Michael Weiss is contributing editor at New Lines magazine. He is also 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 part of the magazine’s launch team.
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Ukraine’s ability to project power well behind a 1,000-mile line of contact has grown nearly exponentially since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion last year.
Having serially outperformed expectations, Ukraine finds itself in the unenviable position of having gone from scrappy underdog to victim of its own mythologized success.
Prigozhin' march to Moscow will go down as the most dramatic — certainly the weirdest — 24-hour period in the last quarter century of Russian history. Yevgeny Prigozhin, the mugger who became a jailbird, who became a hot dog vendor, who became a catering magnate and then a mercenary boss, launched a relatively uncontested putsch that saw his private army come within 125 miles of the Kremlin’s gates. Then he called the whole thing off.
The most compelling evidence is the growing consensus that what destroyed the dam was an explosion, not failure due to poor maintenance while being occupied by the Russians or the exceptionally high water levels in the Kakhovka Reservoir in the days leading up to the failure. The dam and hydroelectric power plant were captured on Feb. 24, 2022, in the early stages of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. They have been in Russian possession ever since.
President Trump’s indictment represents the apotheosis of the lowlife in American politics, a process that arguably got underway before the tanning bed Babbitt descended his gilt escalator on Fifth Avenue in 2016, but which now looks irreversible.
No Estonian needs to be told what occupation is like or what it does to a nation. None requires a tutorial about what Josef Stalin did to their parents, grandparents or great-grandparents in 1941 and 1949, or to be reminded of those events’ gruesome parallel to what Putin is today doing to Ukrainian families. Kallas’ mother, for instance, spent a good portion of her childhood in Siberian exile, after the Soviets deported her via cattle car at only six months old with her mother and grandmother.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
Michael Weiss discovers a Russian social media influencer who's the real victim of Putin's invasion of Ukraine.
“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.”
“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.”
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.
“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.”
"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."
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.
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?
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.
"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?"
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Exclusive documents reveal the role of a secret Russian intelligence section in propaganda and espionage operations.
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.
COVID has created a new level of stress for working mothers and highlighted the difference in expectations for men and women.