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Michael Weiss

Michael Weiss

News Director

Michael Weiss is news director at New Lines. He is also Editor-at-Large at The Daily Beast and director of special investigations at the Free Russia Foundation. He is the bestselling coauthor of “ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror.” He is writing a book about the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency. He was one of the founding editors of New Lines.

Latest from Michael Weiss

Is Putin Sick – Or Are We Meant to Think He Is?

Is Putin Sick – Or Are We Meant to Think He Is?

The recording represents rare testimony by an oligarch with proven ties to the Russian government that the fanatical dictator may well be seriously unwell. And the oligarch had no idea he was being recorded.

Michael Weiss
Exclusive: Sergei Lavrov and Oleg Deripaska Traveled With a Sex Worker to Japan in 2018

Exclusive: Sergei Lavrov and Oleg Deripaska Traveled With a Sex Worker to Japan in 2018

In collaboration with The Insider, New Lines has identified Lobanova as a Russian sex worker — and not the first Deripaska has traveled the world with, although the first to be seen with the U.S.-sanctioned oligarch in the company of Russia’s top diplomat, also now sanctioned owing to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Michael Weiss
In a Kyiv Suburb, Wanton Destruction Amid the Stench of Death

In a Kyiv Suburb, Wanton Destruction Amid the Stench of Death

Bloodstained clothes, shoes (mercifully absent dismembered feet), bits of plumbing, a PJ Mask stuffie, a car seat, and dozens of books and papers. I found a certificate of an eighth-grader, Yulia Lapai, for first place at the All-Ukrainian Olympiad for the English language at her school.

Michael Weiss
Exclusive: How Russia Evades Sanctions via Syrian Loan Schemes

Exclusive: How Russia Evades Sanctions via Syrian Loan Schemes

The Kremlin, the source added, has engaged in needless bureaucratic foot-dragging, last-minute renegotiation of terms and price-gouging, and has generally treated Damascus as an imperial power might a lesser colony.

Michael Weiss
Inside Ukraine’s Psyops on Russian and Belarusian Soldiers

Inside Ukraine’s Psyops on Russian and Belarusian Soldiers

“If you go forward, you will all die here. We are waiting for you. Is it clear? Personally, I have tons of friends, relatives in Belarus, and I don't want us to fight with Belarusians.”

Michael Weiss
Exclusive: Russia Backs Europe’s Far Right

Exclusive: Russia Backs Europe’s Far Right

In what appears to have been a kind of fee-for-service bottom line, the document concluded that the cost of such an endeavor would be about $20,000 and, “in case of successful voting,” an additional $15,000.

Holger Roonemaa,
Martin Laine,
Michael Weiss
The End of My Life

The End of My Life

Michael Weiss discovers a Russian social media influencer who's the real victim of Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

Michael Weiss
Putin’s Worsening Problems

Putin’s Worsening Problems

“This is a serious risk to Russian forces as the supply lines, which we already know are crap, will be dragged even longer. This leaves the Ukrainians plenty of chances to beat them to pieces.”

Holger Roonemaa,
Michael Weiss
Russia’s Ex-Foreign Minister on His ‘Totalitarian’ Country

Russia’s Ex-Foreign Minister on His ‘Totalitarian’ Country

“This argument about NATO is just propaganda fed to Americans who then regurgitate it in their opinion and journal essays. The only real analysts who come here from Russia are dissidents. The rest are front people, just like in the Soviet Union, and they manufacture Western champions of the Putin regime, chumps and useful idiots.”

Michael Weiss
Ukraine’s Insurgency-in-Waiting

Ukraine’s Insurgency-in-Waiting

He says it has already got operatives working “undercover” behind enemy lines in contested areas of Ukraine such as Mariupol, Sumy, Kharkiv and Irpin, near Kyiv.

Michael Weiss
Is Poland Sending Fighter Jets to Ukraine?

Is Poland Sending Fighter Jets to Ukraine?

“We could easily avoid ground-to-air defense systems that the Russians might put in place while also taking out tanks of Russian soldiers,” a Polish pilot told New Lines, adding, “If we can do it with MiG-29s, so can the Ukrainians.”

Michael Weiss,
Courtney Dobson
A CIA Cold Warrior on the Intelligence War Over Ukraine

A CIA Cold Warrior on the Intelligence War Over Ukraine

"What I see is that Putin wants to keep the world, particularly the Europeans, on edge. He likes it that way. He’s the center of everything, his preferred state. And they are wholly reactive. By leaving the threat of war lingering, he waits until people get fed up with waiting and their avowed support for Ukraine begins to flag."

Michael Weiss
In Ukraine Coverage, the Press May Be Doing Putin’s Work

In Ukraine Coverage, the Press May Be Doing Putin’s Work

By now everyone is surely an expert on the mud-freeze theory of warfare or whether bombs-away begins halfway through the bobsleigh or snowboarding competition in Beijing.

Owen Matthews,
Michael Weiss
In Kyiv, War is Both Remote and Ever-Present

In Kyiv, War is Both Remote and Ever-Present

What Ukrainians argue over is what’s going on in their country and in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s head, an admittedly dark and inscrutable precinct they nevertheless believe they understand better than their Western counterparts do. Rather than play into Russia’s psychological brinkmanship, Ukrainians have opted to keep calm and carry on. Is this the mentality of the cyborg or the myopia of the ostrich?

Michael Weiss
A Syrian Army Deserter Was Savagely Killed by Putin’s Wagner. Now His Family Seek Justice in Russia

A Syrian Army Deserter Was Savagely Killed by Putin’s Wagner. Now His Family Seek Justice in Russia

Mhesn Alabdullah’s cousin Hamadi Bouta, a Syrian army deserter, was savagely beaten to death and mutilated on camera by soldiers of the notorious Wagner Group in eastern Syria in 2017. Now his family wants justice.

Michael Weiss,
Mattias Carlsson,
Saeed Alnahhal
The Fallen Mercenaries in Russia’s Dark Army

The Fallen Mercenaries in Russia’s Dark Army

"No one can build anything on blood. Blood has never been a foundation for any construction. On the contrary, it turns into a swamp in which you drown. Why fight for strangers and kill for strangers?"

Michael Weiss,
Holger Roonemaa,
Mattias Carlsson,
Liliana Botnariuc,
Pierre Vaux
Will Putin Invade Ukraine (Again)?

Will Putin Invade Ukraine (Again)?

The cost to Putin in casualties would be enormous — not to mention triggering crippling economic sanctions that could shut down not just Nord Stream 2 but all of Russia’s exports of gas, oil, steel, aluminum and nickel. “We don’t see any plausible way in which Putin could actually win a war if he started it,” the British official told New Lines. “It’s not very clear what his war aims would even be.”

Owen Matthews,
Michael Weiss
Exclusive: Berlin Murder Suspect’s New Ties to Russian Security Services

Exclusive: Berlin Murder Suspect’s New Ties to Russian Security Services

Upon his arrest, the killer insisted he was 50-year-old Vadim Sokolov and claimed he was just a tourist who had come to see Berlin after visiting Paris and Warsaw. However, a series of investigations spearheaded by Bellingcat showed that Sokolov was a nonexistent persona.

Christo Grozev,
Michael Weiss
Exclusive: Western Intelligence Fears New Russian Sat-Nav’s Espionage Capabilities

Exclusive: Western Intelligence Fears New Russian Sat-Nav’s Espionage Capabilities

Russia is preparing to introduce a new generation of its GLONASS satellite navigation system, with expanded global infrastructure. Several Western intelligence agencies say the program is also being used to conduct high-level espionage.

Holger Roonemaa,
Michael Weiss
The Russian Agent Who Escaped

The Russian Agent Who Escaped

Mayorov would this time travel under a cover name and plant flash drives with compromising material on Belova so that she could be turned over to the French authorities. He’d asked his recruiter, Galiakberov, “Aren't you afraid that I’ll just stay there?” Galiakberov replied that if he did, he’d “come back in a zinc coffin.”

Michael Weiss
Lukashenko’s Crazy-Stupid Hamas Headfake

Lukashenko’s Crazy-Stupid Hamas Headfake

Adding to the fact that the message was sent after the mid-air bomb theatrics unfolded, the sought-for cease fire referenced in the email had already taken effect on Friday, two days before this communique was sent out.

Michael Weiss
Czechs and Imbalances

Czechs and Imbalances

But then there’s the awkward fact that the Czechs themselves have, by their own admission, played a strong hand incredibly poorly, owing largely to the fact that high-profile members of their political establishment are more eager to represent Moscow’s interests over Prague’s.

Michael Weiss,
Holger Roonemaa
How an Email Sting Operation Unearthed a pro-Assad Conspiracy—and Russia’s Role In It

How an Email Sting Operation Unearthed a pro-Assad Conspiracy—and Russia’s Role In It

Attempts to undermine the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons' investigation of the 2018 Douma chemical weapon attack involved Russian diplomats, Russian state media, WikiLeaks, and Julian Assange’s personal lawyer.

Michael Weiss,
Jett Goldsmith
You Don’t Have to Be Recruited to Work for Russian Intelligence

You Don’t Have to Be Recruited to Work for Russian Intelligence

Confidential contacts can be virtually anyone: politicians, diplomats, scientists, businessmen, engineers, and reporters. They have no state secrets to pass on, and the safest way of engaging them is in plain sight, under the guise of their everyday work.

Michael Weiss
Little Man, What Now?

Little Man, What Now?

Can anyone now deny that the core of MAGA is a molten cauldron of cultural and psychological pathologies characteristic of middle-class dilettantes and people with at least enough money to have way too much time on their hands?

Michael Weiss
Inside Russia’s Secret Propaganda Unit

Inside Russia’s Secret Propaganda Unit

Exclusive documents reveal the role of a secret Russian intelligence section in propaganda and espionage operations.

Andrei Soldatov,
Michael Weiss
The Spectacle of Trump’s Unsuccess

The Spectacle of Trump’s Unsuccess

That America’s first authoritarian commander-in-chief appears to be going out as “Richard III” directed by Corky St. Clair is a relief, but it’s also a testament to just how nourished Trump has been by the mere spectacle of success more than the thing itself.

Michael Weiss
In Praise of Working Mothers Under COVID

In Praise of Working Mothers Under COVID

COVID has created a new level of stress for working mothers and highlighted the difference in expectations for men and women.

Michael Weiss