In a sweeping response to election hacking and other meddlesome behavior, President Barack Obama on Thursday sanctioned Russian intelligence services and their top officials, kicked out 35 Russian officials and closed down two Russian-owned compounds in the U.S. It was the strongest action the Obama administration has taken to date to retaliate for a cyberattack.
Tragedy struck Russia on Christmas after a Russian military plane en route to Syria crashed into the Back Sea, the Associated Press reports. The Tu-154 aircraft reportedly had 92 passengers on board, including the official military choir who were traveling to the Russian Hemeimeem air base in Syria’s coastal province of Latakia for a scheduled New Year’s Eve performance. There was no sign of survivors, according to the Russian defense ministry.
Russia is flexing its military muscle as tensions with the US simmer in the wake of a heated third presidential debate, where Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton called Republican candidate Donald Trump a “puppet” for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Now, Russia has declassified the first image of its new thermonuclear intercontinental ballistic missile.
When the United States broke off cease-fire talks with Russia over the war in Syria (after the Russian air force continued to bomb civilians in Aleppo), Russian President Vladimir Putin retaliated by suspending a nearly two-decades old arms agreement to get rid of his country’s extra weapons-grade plutonium.
The U.S. government on Friday formally accused Russia of a campaign of cyber attacks against Democratic Party organizations during the campaign for the Nov. 8 presidential election.
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