LIVE UPDATES: Moscow police detained two people who had come to the US Embassy in Moscow to lay flowers in an expression of their condolences over the terrorist killing of 49 people in Orlando.
Welcome to our column, Russia Update, where we will be closely following day-to-day developments in Russia, including the Russian government’s foreign and domestic policies.
The previous issue is here.
Recent Analysis and Translations:
– NATO Got Nothing From Conceding To Russia In the Past, Why Should It Cave To The Kremlin Now?
– Who is Hacking the Russian Opposition and State Media Officials — and How?
– Does it Matter if the Russian Opposition Stays United?
– Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov Has Invented A Version Of History To Meet His Needs
– Getting The News From Chechnya â The Crackdown On Free Press You May Have Missed
TV Rain reported that the Russians are to be held for a day while the investigation of the killing of the British man continues.
One of the detainees, Aleksandr Shprygin, an extreme right-wing aide to a member of Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s ill-named Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, has been tweeting about the arrests (see our earlier report).
Translation: we are detained for a day. We are being transferred to Marseilles for the conduct of the investigation. The time of detention starts from the moment the bus was stopped.
Translation: The Russian Federation Prosecutor General is in touch with us, he will not abandon us, he will help us with what he can. By morning we must either be released or charged.
As we reported, French prosecutors determined that Russian soccer fans instigated a brawl in Marseilles over the weekend that led to the arrests of people from multiple countries.
What this means is that one more strike and Russia is out of the European championship.
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
Donald Trump is a known entity to the public, but the reality TV star and business mogul has never undergone the kind of scrutiny that a presidential candidate goes through until now. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has therefore been doing extensive opposition research on Trump — research that is invaluable to foreign governments.
So it’s no surprise that not one but possibly two different Russian intelligence agencies have hacked the DNC’s computer network in an attempt to learn more about the presidential hopeful.
The Washington Post reports that security firms hired by the DNC believe that two different hacker groups, both linked to the Russian government, are behind the hack, specifically focusing on opposition research into Donald Trump:
The firm identified two separate hacker groups, both working for the Russian government, that had infiltrated the network, said Dmitri Alperovitch, CrowdStrike co-founder and chief technology officer. The firm had analyzed other breaches by both groups over the last two years.
One group, which CrowdStrike had dubbed Cozy Bear, had gained access last summer and was monitoring the DNC’s email and chat communications, Alperovitch said.
The other, which the firm had named Fancy Bear, broke into the network in late April and targeted the opposition research files. It was this breach that set off the alarm. The hackers stole two files, Henry said. And they had access to the computers of the entire research staff — an average of about several dozen on any given day.
The two groups did not appear to be working together, Alperovitch said. Fancy Bear is believed to work for the GRU, or Russia’s military intelligence service, he said. CrowdStrike is less sure of whom Cozy Bear works for but thinks it might be the Federal Security Service or FSB, the country’s powerful security agency, which was once headed by Putin.
Russian government hackers penetrated DNC, stole opposition research on Trump
Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to committee officials and security experts who responded to the breach.
The European football association, UEFA, has issued Russia with a “suspended disqualification,” and charged them €150,000 following fan violence at Saturday’s match with England in Marseille.
According to the UEFA statement, the disqualification will come into effect if there is a repeat incidence of violence from Russian supporters.
A little earlier this morning, French police stopped a group of Russian football fans on a bus in Cannes bound for Lille, where Russia is due to play Slovakia tomorrow afternoon.
According to Nice-Matin, gendarmes have orders to deport 29 members of the group, which is reported to number up to 50.
Regional security chief Francois-Xavier Lauch told the paper that the Russian fans they sought to deport were considered by the national anti-hooliganism commission to pose a threat to public order during Euro 2016.
As The Guardian reports, one of those on board the bus is Aleksandr Shprygin, who has reportedly been granted official accreditation as part of the Russian team’s entourage.
Shprygin, who is the founder of the All-Russian Football Supporters’ Union (VOB), has a history of involvement with the far-right.
Novaya Gazeta reported on the background of Shprygin, who also serves an aide to State Duma Deputy Chairman Igor Lebedev of the ill-named Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), in May, after he grabbed and smashed one of their reporters cameras when they attempted to film celebrations of LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s birthday party.
Here is Shprygin on the right giving a Nazi salute:
The Guardian reports:
Shprygin is considered by the Fare network, which provides official observers at matches for Uefa and Fifa, to be a leading light in Russia’s network of extreme-right ultra fan groups. Piara Powar, the network’s executive director, said that the presence of Shprygin within the official party raised wider concerns about “the apparent nexus of high-level politicians, far-right leaders and extreme nationalism” in Russian football ahead of the 2018 World Cup that will be hosted in the country.
It should be noted that Shrpygin’s boss, Lebedev, has himself tweeted his support for the Russian hooligans at the Marseille match, tell them to “keep it up!”
Shprygin has been tweeting from the bus:
Translation: They said they will deport everyone, the deported will have to pay for the plane tickets.
Translation: We’re getting on with the procedure. The Russian Consul-General is talking with the police.
— Pierre Vaux
Several people came wearing rainbow ribbons on their clothes or bags.
Yasin said in a statement about the action (translation by The
“The temperature of xenophobia is very high. As the tragedy in the USA illustrates, even there, no one is insured and no one can feel himself safe. Not to mention Russia. So far we have not had such tragedies here, but it is not a fact that they will never occur. We must remember Orlando and fight so that this doesn’t happen to us, as well. LGBT do not have any separate interests or rights. Our goal is equal rights for all of society.”
“These are our ‘friends,’ who organize provocations at all actions.
Even today, when 50 people have been killed. I hope that they have the conscience at least for today not to organize attacks on LGBT.”
“We wanted to light candles and place a sign with the line ‘Love Wins’. We simply came to express our condolences to the victims. Totally innocent people were killed. This was not a political action and there were no slogans.”
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick