Category Archives: Russia

Report: Russia planned cyberattack on Tokyo Olympics

If the latest media reports are to be believed, the Russian government planned a major cyberattack against the Tokyo Olympics, which were to take place last summer before being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The question of Russia and cyber attacks is no longer if the country engages in such activities but how often it can be blamed.

The narrative is now quite familiar: A U.S. government agency (often supported by another Western ally) accuses Russia of a cyberattack. Names of the accused, who almost always are men, often are provided. Russia quickly denies the accusation. This kabuki theater play ends with all parties knowing that no matter what did — or didn’t happen — the accused will never be arrested because they live in Russia.

Monday’s announcement came on the same day the U.S. indicted six Russians amid accusations they tried to disrupt the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. It coincided with Russia making its own claim of being hacked.

Keep in mind that the U.S. is not innocent; it, too, carries out cyberattacks against its enemies. Iran often is the target, but China also has been in the U.S. cyber crosshairs.

Cyberattacks happen every single day. That statement is not meant to defend or criticize the action; the reality is they happen. But we’d be naive to suggest that liking the attack is determined solely by whether friend or foe is responsible for it.

A Russian journalist immolates herself

News reports from Russia indicate journalist Irina Slavina immolated herself earlier this week.

The stories infer that she cracked under the pressure of trying to be an anti-government reporter. One such suggestion comes from the Guardian, which states

Prior to her self-immolation, Irina Slavina wrote on her Facebook page: “I ask you to blame the Russian Federation for my death.”

Slavina worked as editor-in-chief at Koza Press, a small local news outlet that advertised itself as having “no censorship, no orders ‘from above’”.

Even if we accept this narrative, there seems no justification for Slavina’s decision. If she wanted to start a revolution, an attempt therefore to remind people of the Tunisian who immolated himself and was credited with starting the Arab Spring, then we can only speculate on whether such a revolution is possible. 

Regardless of what prompted her action, remember that a husband is now a widow and a daughter no longer has a mother. That reality undermines whatever she was attempting to do.

Stop blaming Russia

“Blame Russia“ has become the Bobo doll for too many American politicians, government officials, journalists and the public.

Like the Bobo doll, “Blame Russia” pops up every now and then (just this week for example), and it needs to be smashed down. But at some point it returns, because the aforementioned politicians, government officials, journalists and the public let it, and it has to be knocked backward again.

Such a silly cycle of action and reaction.

If the concept of the Bobo doll doesn’t suit you, then perhaps the monster under the bed will.

Much like the monster under the bed that scares children all over the world, “Blame Russia” is not a real thing. But if you allow the monster to continue frightening you, then you’ve given it life.

And so “Blame Russia” is alive and well.

Unnamed sources here. Classified information there. Foreign sources, too. All used to press the narrative that Russia is eager to undermine the upcoming election. But no one talks about the many examples of America’s heavy-handed actions in upsetting regional relations.

Spare me the 2016 election interference story. Instead, you and I need to remember this: Roughly 55,000 voters across three states decided that Donald Trump was the better candidate than Hillary Clinton. Chauvinism, sexism, white supremacy, decades of anti-Clinton conversation (especially on talk radio) and fear defined a voting decision that cannot be undone.

If those roughly 55,000 voters had chosen her over him, Trump’s Electoral College triumph would have been a Clinton Electoral College victory.

Like many of you reading this post, I believed then (and still do now) that Trump was the vastly inferior candidate. Had I not voted for Clinton, I would have selected a so-called third-party candidate.

That was then. In roughly 40 days, Americans will decide whether Trump or Joe Biden will lead the country over the next four years. Right now, the highly credible fivethirtyeight.com projects Biden has a 77% chance of winning.

Solid odds. But not guaranteed. Should Trump pull off what could be called an “upset,” would certain people blame Russia?