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Russia

Two days after staging his death with the help of Ukrainian authorities, Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko is explaining how the plot unfolded and why he went along with it.

Updated at 8 a.m. ET Friday

The Netherlands and Australia are formally blaming Russia's government for the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in 2014, one day after international investigators said the missile that struck the jet originated from the Russian military.

The passenger jet crashed in July 2014 in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people aboard.

Updated at 10:27 p.m. ET

Donald Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, may have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments from both corporate clients and potentially a Russian billionaire, according to new allegations from an attorney suing them.

Michael Avenatti, who represents adult film actress Stormy Daniels, described what he called Cohen's suspicious financial relationships in a document released on Tuesday evening.

Shielded by an identity-protecting tarp, a Seattle locksmith drills the locks on a Russian-owned consular building.
RT Twitter feed

Yesterday afternoon in Madison Park, you may have seen an unusual breaking and entering. U.S. State Department officials drilled through the locks on the gate of a Russian-owned home, while former consular employees filmed across the street.

The Russian government occupied this Madison Park home in Seattle until the U.S. ordered Russian diplomats to leave Washington state in April, 2018.
Google Maps

It was a big week on the job for one Seattle locksmith. The task: unlock the gate and front door of a mansion owned by the Russian government. The house, a Seattle landmark, is on East Madison Street in Seattle's Madison Park neighborhood.

Russian officials condemned the U.S.-led airstrikes on three sites in Syria early Saturday, calling the attacks "treacherous and insane" and a "clear and present danger to world peace."

The U.S., U.K. and France carried out the strikes in the early morning hours on targets that U.S. officials said were linked to a Syrian government chemical weapons program. The strikes were a response to an alleged chemical weapons attack carried out by Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime on April 7.

Updated at 12 p.m. ET

Amid international outcry over an alleged poison gas attack in Syria over the weekend, Damascus said one of its air bases had come under attack, first blaming the U.S., but later Israel.

Meanwhile, President Trump says the White House will be making a decision on Syria in the next day or two, saying the reported attack was "atrocious" and "can't be allowed to happen."

Photo Courtesy of FBI Records

In the early 2000s ten Russian nationals were living normal lives in the United States. They went to school, got jobs, and tried to infiltrate the inner circles of U.S. policymakers and businesses to send information back to Russia.

KUOW PHOTO/KARA MCDERMOTT

This week, Seattle lost its Russian consulate, lost its “first in time” rental law, lost the Battery Street Park, lost everything... except the season opener. The Seattle Mariners won that, 2-1.

The Russian Consulate in Seattle was shuttered on Monday.
KUOW photo/John Ryan

Except for the rock-star parking space reserved for consul-licensed vehicles, you’d never know the Russian consulate in Seattle is inside the One Union Square building, on the 25th floor.

Bill Radke talks to Don Hellmann, professor emeritus at the University of Washington's Jackson School of International Studies about the U.S. State Department's decision to close the Russian consulate in Seattle and expel 60 Russian diplomats in response to an attack on an ex-spy for Russia in England. 

When President Trump phoned Russian President Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his re-election Wednesday, Trump made no mention of one of the latest irritants between Russia and the West — his administration's announcement that Russia successfully hacked the U.S. power grid.

ballot drop box ballot box
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Kim Malcolm talks with Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman about the safeguards in place to prevent cyber attacks on Washington's election systems. In 2016, Russian hackers targeted Washington's voter registration system, but were unsuccessful.

This interview was inspired by a listener question. If you want to know something about the news in this region, just ask us.

Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, and Manafort's business associate Rick Gates have pleaded not guilty to felony charges of conspiracy against the U.S. and other counts.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Tech giants testify before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Tuesday about Russian efforts to spread disinformation in the U.S.

Representatives of Facebook, Twitter and Google, along with two national security analysts, will speak with lawmakers about ways that Russia has used the social media platforms.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

Apparent Russian agents began reaching out to Donald Trump's presidential campaign as early as March 2016, the Justice Department established in documents released Monday, with appeals for partnership and offers of help including "dirt" on Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton.

That case is made in charging documents in the case of then-Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

Last week in the Russia investigations: Washington, D.C., gears up for the big show; Trump campaign data firm's guru tried to link up with WikiLeaks; and Clinton, DNC helped pay for infamous dossier on Trump.

Get Ready For The Big Show

After weeks of buildups, letdowns, surprises, scoops and headlines, this is it: Three central players in the world of Big Tech are set to face off across the witness table this week from members of Congress.

Updated at 2:17 p.m. ET, Oct. 3

Facebook said on Monday it has given Congress thousands of ads linked with Russian influence operations in the United States and is tightening its policies to make such interference more difficult.

"Many [of the ads] appear to amplify racial and social divisions," it said.

The social media giant confirmed that it discovered the ad sales earlier this year and gave copies to Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.

For more than nine months, Twitter and Facebook have tried to dodge the intense public scrutiny involved with the investigation into Russian interference in last year's presidential election.

Now they're in the spotlight.

Congressional investigators are digging in on Russia's use of Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies to try to influence the 2016 campaign.

Updated: 7:26 p.m.

The House overwhelmingly passed a sanctions bill on Tuesday that would punish Russia for interfering in the 2016 election and tie President Trump's hands in terms of lifting economic restrictions on Moscow.

Updated at 2:00 p.m. ET

"I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government," President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner said in a statement prior to his closed-door meeting Monday before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Speaking to reporters at the White House after the appearance, he said that documents and records that he provided the committee "show that all of my actions are proper, and occurred in the normal course of events of a very unique campaign."

The author (left) with her mother, Maria Espinoza, at the Womxn's March on Seattle in January 2017.
COURTESY OF MILLA ESPINOZA

When my mom, Maria Espinoza, came to the United States from Russia at age 13, it was toward the end of the Cold War, and some Americans were openly hostile to Russians. 


Updated 2 p.m.

A day late, the Justice Department complied this morning with a federal court order and released part of a security clearance form dealing with Attorney General Jeff Sessions' contacts with foreign governments.

On June 12, a judge had ordered the agency to provide the information within 30 days, a deadline that passed on Wednesday.

In a filing Thursday morning with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the Justice Department released that part of Sessions' form which poses the question:

When Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer last June, did he break any U.S. laws?

Then Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, hugs his son Donald Trump Jr. during a rally at Ohio University Eastern Campus in St. Clairsville, Ohio, Tuesday, June 28, 2016.
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Donald Trump Jr. tweeted images of emails regarding his 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer on Tuesday.

An intermediary said he could connect Trump Jr. with people who had information "that would incriminate Hillary [Clinton]... and would be very useful to your father." 

Update 10:05 p.m. ET

Donald Trump Jr. insisted on Monday that his meeting with a Russian lawyer in the middle of the campaign last year was benign, but the lawyer has a number of ties to Russian government officials.

Updated at 9:02 a.m. ET

President Trump says he "strongly pressed" Russian President Vladimir Putin twice about Russia's meddling in the U.S. election — and that it's now time "to move forward in working constructively with Russia."

That work, Trump said, will include a new ceasefire in Syria, as well as a joint cybersecurity operation. But by Sunday evening he distanced himself from the latter, tweeting, "The fact that President Putin and I discussed a Cyber Security unit doesn't mean I think it can happen."

Other than vodka, the Russian product most familiar to Americans is probably the anti-virus software made by Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab.

Russia's efforts to interfere with last year's elections will be front and center during two hearings on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson will appear before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence while the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will hear from current U.S. intelligence officials and state election experts.

Here are five questions likely to be on lawmakers' minds as they listen to witnesses and ask questions.

The Watergate building in Washington D.C.
Flickr Photo/Rudi Riet (CC BY-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/2FEW1m

Bill Rakde talks to Joseph Janes, associate professor in the University of Washington Information School, about why he includes the 18 and a half minutes of static recording from the Nixon tapes in his new book "Documents that Changed the Way We Live."

You can hear his podcast Documents that Changed the World.

In this Sept. 10, 2013, file photo Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Washington Rep. Adam Smith (D) has unveiled a bill aimed at deterring Russian aggression against the U.S. and its allies.

The bill would pressure the Trump administration to create a comprehensive policy on Russia and increase sanctions.

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