FROM Fred Weir
Russians say meddling in US election is preposterous FBI Director James Comey said today that the Russians did try to influence the U.S. election by hacking into DNC emails and by trying to access voter registration databases. Comey says the FBI is investigating whether that hacking was coordinated with the Trump campaign. Today we get the perspective from Russia.
Cyberhacking, the Russian way Cybersecurity experts quickly reached a worldwide consensus that the recent hack of Democratic National Committee emails bore a Russian fingerprint. But pinning down the Russian government's involvement in the leak is a harder case to make since most of the nation's expertise is focused in the private sector. This is according to the author of a book about to be published in Russian next week. The Red Web is about the unique history and makeup of Russia's cyberscene. Fred Weir, Moscow correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor , spoke recently with the one of the authors.
Russia's Withdrawal from Syria: Is It Real? Vladimir Putin surprised the world when he suddenly started bombing in Syria last September. This week, he surprised the world again when he ordered the "main part" of his military forces out of Syria. The Pentagon says the Russians aren't going away. Long-range missiles and bombs are still falling, and Russia's airbase and naval station are permanent fixtures. For the moment, Putin's surprise move has kept him out of the "quagmire" predicted by President Obama, but his long-range intentions are unclear. His air assaults did enough damage to embolden President Assad to join talks in Geneva, but are Syrians any closer to ending a savage civil war?
Turmoil in Ukraine Brings a Challenge to Russia Over the weekend, the Ukrainian Parliament ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled to the Eastern part of the country, raising fears that the country might come apart, with half leaning toward Western Europe and half toward traditional ties with Russia. We get an update from Andrew Kramer, who is in Kiev for the New York Times , and from Fred Weir of the Christian Science Monitor , who's in Moscow, which is questioning the new government's legitimacy.
Anti-Putin Protest Gathers Despite Pressure Large crowds opposed to Russian President Vladimir Putin turned out in Moscow today, despite yesterday's police raids on the homes of ten leading opponents. Fred Weir is Moscow correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor .
Demonstrations over Election in Russia Continue For the second night in a row, demonstrators in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other Russian cities protested recent elections allegedly rigged in favor of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's United Russia Party. Secretary of State Clinton repeated her charge that the voting was neither free nor fair. Fred Weir is based in Moscow for the Christian Science Monitor .
Will Russia Produce a Green (and Gold) Olympics? As President of Russia, one of Vladimir Putin's crowning achievements was securing the Winter Olympic Games for 2014 . As Prime Minister, he's facing criticism. While Canada is getting high praise for making sure this year's Vancouver Winter Olympics were Green and "carbon neutral," Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund have complained to the United Nations that Russia's plans for Sochi are destroying Europe's last pristine Alpine wilderness. Fred Weir is based in Moscow for the Christian Science Monitor .
Russia Sends Planes, Tanks and Troops to Georgia Russia has sent troops and tanks into a breakaway region of Georgia, a former member of the Soviet Union. Interviewed on CNN, Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili declared, "We are freedom-loving nation that is right now under attack. This is really way too much. And if this thing is – if they get away with this in Georgia – the world will be in trouble." Fred Weir is correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor in Moscow.
Russia Delivers Nuclear Fuel to Iran There's been what could be a watershed moment for Iran's development of atomic power. After years of delay, Russia today began delivery of the uranium fuel that will allow Iran to fire up its reactor at the southern port city of Bushehr. Fred Weir is Moscow Correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor .
Putin Drops Political Bomb as Military Drops 'Father' of Bombs Russia today announced testing of what it calls the "Father of all bombs," as President Putin dropped a political bombshell. He replaced Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov with a virtual unknown—financial crime investigator Victor Zubkov . Fred Wier reports from Moscow for the Christian Science Monitor .
Bush and Putin Reel It In George Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin got together in Kennebunkport, Maine for two days of lengthy conversations, an event that once might have held great significance for the rest of the world. After their meetings, they held a press conference that was amiable in tone, though on major issues they mostly agreed to disagree. The White House had played down expectations, and America news agencies followed suit with low-key stories about missile defense and Iranian nuclear enrichment. In Russia, it was a different story. Fred Weir is Moscow correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor .
Can the US and Russia 'Just Get Along?' Condoleezza Rice has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of squelching democracy. Putin's accused the US of behaving like Germany's Third Reich during World War II. Today, hard on the heels of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has gone to Moscow . After initial talks with Putin, Russia's Foreign Minister said they've agreed to "tone down" the public rhetoric and focus on "concrete issues." We look at the roller-coaster relationship between the superpower and a resurgent Russia overflowing with oil money. Will a US anti-missile system in Eastern Europe threaten Russia's security? Is Russia reverting to the days of the Cold War or just getting stronger?
Journalist's Suspicious Death and Human Rights in Russia There was a funeral today after another Russian journalist died mysteriously, reportedly while working on a story that could upset Russian relations with the US and Israel. Ivan Safronov died after falling from a fourth story window. Fred Weir reports from Moscow for the Christian Science Monitor .
Resurgent Russia, Friend or Foe? The US may not want to resume the Cold War, but Vladimir Putin's Russia shows signs of returning to Soviet-style authoritarianism. The Kremlin is taking over powerful industries and the media. Political critics, business rivals and reporters have been murdered in mysterious circumstances. In Munich this weekend, Putin used an international forum to berate the US for destabilizing the world by ignoring international law. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the Bush Administration are playing it down, but what does Putin's aggressiveness mean--at home and abroad? We get perspective from journalists and Russia experts, including the attorney for Mikhail Khodorkovsky , the former head of Yukos Oil , who is serving time in a Siberian prison for fraud and tax evasion.
Truth and Lies in Trumpland Donald Trump is using mis-information like no President has before him. It's an unprecedented challenge to the news media, and a potential threat to democracy. We hear how the "leader of all the people" is dividing Americans and confusing the rest of the world.
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.