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Putin: We'll Target US With Missiles If We Have To

Russian leader says he's at the ready, but only if US deploys first anywhere in Europe

(Newser) - Vladimir Putin is seemingly following DC's lead of late, first by announcing that Russia will, like the US, pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and now by threatening another mirroring. The Russian leader gave his annual speech, akin to the State of the Union, to the nation... More »

Emergency Declared Over Polar Bears— Lots of Polar Bears

They've invaded the Novaya Zemlya archipelago

(Newser) - An emergency has been declared in the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, due to ... polar bears? Yes, dozens of the animals have invaded the Russian islands, prompting environmental authorities to bring in a team of specialists to sedate and remove them, the Guardian reports. The bears "have literally been chasing people,... More »

They Fled the Tent to Their Deaths. Now, a Search for Why

Russia to reinvestigate the Dyatlov Pass Incident

(Newser) - On January 23, 1959, 10 students set off on a skiing trip in Russia's Ural Mountains. One became sick and bowed out. The other nine didn't make it out alive, and though their bodies were recovered, the mystery of how they met their end has persisted for 60... More »

A Russian First: Jehovah's Witness Sent to Prison

Dennis Christensen convicted of extremism

(Newser) - A regional court in western Russia on Wednesday sentenced a Danish Jehovah's Witness to six years in prison, in arguably the most severe crackdown on religious freedom in Russia in recent years, the AP reports. The court in Oryol found Dennis Christensen, who was leading the local Bible reading,... More »

Trump Was Denied a Loan While Running for Prez

This time, Deutsche Bank was nervous about it

(Newser) - While running for president, Donald Trump reached out for a loan and got an unexpected answer—and that answer was "no," the New York Times reports. Trump made the request of Deutsche Bank in early 2016 while lending his campaign tens of millions and spending money to improve... More »

Putin Just Made 'Tit-for-Tat' Move on INF Treaty

Following in US footsteps, Russia's pulling out of treaty now, too, he says

(Newser) - On Friday, the US said it would pull out of a longtime arms-control treaty with Russia; on Saturday, Russia followed suit. There'd been a small window to save the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which had been in place since the end of the Cold War, with Russia still... More »

'We Must Prepare for a World Without the INF Treaty'

Pompeo announces the US is withdrawing

(Newser) - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Friday that the US is pulling out of a treaty with Russia that's been a centerpiece of arms control since the Cold War. The American withdrawal, expected for months, follows years of unresolved dispute over Russian compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, or... More »

Mueller: Files Given to Russian Firm Were Leaked Online

His office says hackers tried to discredit probe

(Newser) - Robert Mueller's office says materials it provided to the defense team of a Russian company ended up being altered and leaked online as part of a disinformation campaign to discredit his investigation. In a court filing Wednesday, the office said more than 1,000 files posted in October by... More »

Russian Plane, 20 Tons of Gold Add to Venezuelan Chaos

Jetliner waits on tarmac outside the capital as rumors swirl about its cargo

(Newser) - An empty Russian airliner is sitting on a tarmac outside Caracas—but the reason why isn't clear yet. At the moment, the mystery only deepens the confusion in Venezuela, where the presidency is in dispute—as is control of the country's gold. Opposition lawmaker Jose Guerra tweeted Tuesday... More »

Intelligence Chief: N. Korea's WMDs 'Critical to Regime Survival'

National Intelligence Director Dan Coats says it's 'unlikely' Kim Jong Un will entirely give up nukes

(Newser) - In an assessment casting doubt on President Trump's goal of a nuclear-disarmed North Korea, US intelligence agencies told Congress Tuesday the North is unlikely to entirely dismantle its nuclear arsenal. National Intelligence Director Dan Coats, in testimony for the Senate Intelligence Committee, noted leader Kim Jong Un has expressed... More »

Huge Set of Russian Documents Leaked Online

Distributed Denial of Secrets releases 175GB of documents

(Newser) - A leaked trove of Russian documents called "The Dark Side of the Kremlin" is so huge that no one seems to know everything that's in it, the New York Times reports. Transparency advocates leaked the mammoth 175-gigabyte stash at Distributed Denial of Secrets and the Internet Archive , culling... More »

Russia Has a Warning for US About Venezuela

Military intervention would lead to 'catastrophic situation,' official says

(Newser) - After the US rejected Nicolas Maduro's demand that all American diplomats leave Venezuela, China—a Maduro ally— warned the US against getting involved in the country's crisis. Now another Maduro supporter has done the same: US military intervention in Venezuela would lead to a "catastrophic scenario" in... More »

Lawyer: Paul Whelan Thought He Was Getting Vacation Pics

But the American's lawyer says he thought he was getting vacation photos

(Newser) - In early January, Russian authorities claimed the American arrested in Moscow over an alleged "espionage operation" received a flash drive containing a list of employees of a secret Russian agency. Now Paul Whelan's attorney says he did indeed receive a drive that held "state secrets," but... More »

Rudy Giuliani Walks Back Startling Moscow Claim

He said Trump Tower timeline was 'hypothetical'

(Newser) - For the second time in the space of a week, Rudy Giuliani has found himself walking back his own startling statements. Giuliani, President Trump's personal attorney, said Monday that comments he had made to the New York Times the day before about Trump Tower Moscow were "hypothetical."... More »

Europe Strikes Back Over Poisoning of Ex-Russian Agent

The European Union slaps sanctions on four Russians

(Newser) - The European Union retaliated with sanctions Monday over the poisoning of an ex-Russian double agent and his daughter in Britain, CNN reports. The sanctions target four members of the GRU, Russia's military intelligence agency: officers Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov—who were accused of carrying out the 2018 nerve-agent... More »

Facebook Hits Fake News Linked to Russia, Sputnik

Site shutters hundreds of accounts engaged in 'coordinated inauthentic behavior'

(Newser) - Facebook says it has removed hundreds of Russia-linked pages, groups, and accounts that were part of two big disinformation operations, in its latest effort to fight fake news. The social media company said Thursday it took action after finding two networks "that engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior" on its... More »

Russia to Japan: Time to 'Accept the Results of WWII'

Two countries are still in territorial dispute over islands

(Newser) - World War II ended in 1945, and in the decades since, Japan and Russia have never signed a peace treaty to formally end hostilities. That's partially because the two countries have been in a territorial dispute over islands—known as the Southern Kuriles or Kuril Islands in Russia and... More »

Hillary Clinton Has Fighting Words for Trump

Implies he's Russia's 'puppet'

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton on Monday jumped into the latest President Trump-Russia fray. "Like I said: A puppet," Clinton tweeted , alongside a clip of her exchange with Trump during the final 2016 presidential debate in which she said Russian President Vladimir Putin would "rather have a puppet as president... More »

Trump Answers 'Most Insulting' Question

'I have never worked for Russia,' president says

(Newser) - When Jeanine Pirro of Fox News posed it to him on Saturday, President Trump called it "the most insulting thing I have ever been asked." On Monday, he answered it. Pirro had asked about whether he had ever worked for Moscow, following a New York Times report that... More »

Trump Fired Comey. Then the FBI Took Action: Report

'NYT' says bureau opened inquiry into whether Trump was working for Russia

(Newser) - The New York Times has a new "bombshell" on President Trump, and it ties back to a probe into his potential ties to Russia—not Robert Mueller's investigation, but one reportedly opened by the FBI soon after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on May 9, 2017. Sources... More »

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