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Russia

AP News | Equities.com |

Fresh from supportive summits with allies, Joe Biden declared himself ready Tuesday to take on Russia’s Vladimir Putin in far more confrontational talks — a climactic finish to the most important week of meetings in his young presidency.

Biden meets for his first talks as president with the Russian leader on Wednesday, in what’s expected to be roughly a half-day of discussions between the two leaders and aides behind closed doors. That’s after spending much of a weeklong European trip — the foreign policy highlight of his presidency so far — working to strengthen ties with like-minded partner nations in order to better deal with rivals Russia and China.


Bloomberg | Equities.com |

A notorious Russia-linked hacking group is behind the cyberattack against JBS SA, according to four people familiar with the assault who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. The cyber gang goes by the name REvil or Sodinokibi.

While it’s unclear if all of REvil’s hackers operate in Russia, the group’s public face, a user on the dark web cyber-crime forum XSS who goes by the name “Unknown,” exclusively publishes in Russian. REvil typically uses a darkweb blog called “Happy Blog” to name victims when they decline to engage in ransom negotiations. REvil has yet to post a blog item dedicated to JBS.


Reuters | Equities.com |

The group behind the SolarWinds cyber attack identified late last year is now targeting government agencies, think tanks, consultants, and non-governmental organizations, Microsoft Corp said on Thursday.

"This week we observed cyberattacks by the threat actor Nobelium targeting government agencies, think tanks, consultants, and non-governmental organizations," Microsoft said in a blog.


AP News | Equities.com |

The Biden administration imposed sanctions Wednesday on Russian companies and ships for their work on a European natural gas pipeline adamantly opposed by the U.S., but President Joe Biden angered many Democratic and Republican lawmakers by opting not to punish the German company overseeing the project.

Waiving penalties regarding ally German in the Nord Stream 2 project was “in line with our commitment to strengthen our Transatlantic relationships as a matter of national security,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.


AP News | Equities.com |

Top diplomats from the United States and Russia are set to square off this week in Iceland for their first face-to-face encounter that comes as ties between the nations have deteriorated sharply in recent months.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russia’s longtime Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov plan to talk Wednesday on the sidelines of an Arctic Council meeting in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik, a city with deep history in U.S.-Russian relations.


AP News | Equities.com |

On the frontlines of the battle against Russia-backed separatists and in the halls of government in Kyiv, Ukrainians hold strong hopes for Thursday’s visit of the U.S. secretary of state — increased military aid and strong support for NATO membership among them.

By visiting so early in his tenure, before any trip to Russia, Antony Blinken is signaling that Ukraine is a high foreign-policy priority for President Joe Biden’s administration. But what he can, or will, deliver in the meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is unclear.


AP News | Equities.com |

The Biden administration announced Thursday the U.S. is expelling 10 Russian diplomats and imposing sanctions against several dozen people and companies, holding the Kremlin accountable for interference in last year’s presidential election and the hacking of federal agencies.

The sweeping measures are meant to punish Russia for actions that U.S. officials say cut to the core of American democracy and to deter future acts by imposing economic costs on Moscow, including by targeting its ability to borrow money. The sanctions are certain to exacerbate tensions with Russia, which promised a response, even as President Joe Biden said the administration could have taken even more punitive measures but chose not to in the interests of maintaining stability.


Reuters | Equities.com |

The United States will announce sanctions on Russia as soon as Thursday for alleged election interference and malicious cyber activity, targeting several individuals and entities, people familiar the matter said.

The sanctions, in which 30 entities are expected to be blacklisted, will be tied with orders expelling about 10 Russian officials from the United States, one of the people said.


AP News | Equities.com |

Suspected Russian hackers gained access to email accounts belonging to the Trump administration’s head of the Department of Homeland Security and members of the department’s cybersecurity staff whose jobs included hunting threats from foreign countries, The Associated Press has learned.

The intelligence value of the hacking of then-acting Secretary Chad Wolf and his staff is not publicly known, but the symbolism is stark. Their accounts were accessed as part of what’s known as the SolarWinds intrusion and it throws into question how the U.S. government can protect individuals, companies and institutions across the country if it can’t protect itself.


Reuters | Equities.com |

Russian President Vladimir Putin knew of and likely directed a Russian effort to manipulate the 2020 U.S. presidential campaign to benefit former President Donald Trump with “misleading or unsubstantiated allegations” against challenger Joe Biden, U.S. intelligence officials said on Tuesday.

The assessment was made in a 15-page report into election interference released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It underscored allegations that Trump’s allies played into Moscow’s hands by amplifying claims made against Biden by Russian-linked Ukrainian figures in the run-up to the Nov. 3 election. Biden, a Democrat, defeated Trump, a Republican, and became president on Jan. 20.