Shortly after Special counsel Robert Mueller released the indictments of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for alleged interference in the United States political system and the 2016 presidential election, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein held a brief press conference to explain the charges. The following is a summary of his statements:
Twitter politics is not just for the White House. On January 8, 2018, Dmitry Rogozin, the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the military industry, tweeted about the creation of “operational headquarters” within the Military-Industrial Commission (VPK)—the highest decision-making organ in the defense industry. This task force will monitor the impact of U.S. sanctions on the Russian defense industry and on the implementation of State defense orders (GOZ). It will be headed by deputy chairman of the VPK Oleg Bochkarev.
The U.S. Congress adopted the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAASTA) in July 2017 and strengthened it in October 2017 with an extended list of more than thirty defense companies and their subsidiaries responsible for GOZ fulfilment, such as Rostec, United Aircraft Corporation (OAK), Almaz-Antey, Kalashnikov and others. Starting January 2018, the U.S. administration will be able to apply extraterritorial sanctions against legal entities and individuals targeted by CAASTA.
Confusion reigns over a recent series of U.S. airstrikes in Syria that allegedly killed several Russian mercenaries. While the American side seems to lack information, the Kremlin is dismissing the suggestion that Russian mercenaries were killed as “disinformation.” Given the confusion surrounding the issue, it is hard to say what the truth on the ground actually is.
Image: A preliminary-round match of women’s ice hockey between the United States and Olympic Athletes from Russia, February 13, 2018. Reuters/Grigory Dukor
For some reason, the international community never seems to learn the lessons of recent attempts to “shame” Russia into closer compliance with its rules and mandates, or finding ways to generate pressure on the Kremlin to change its behavior. This time, it has been the turn of the International Olympic Committee.