CBS News: NSA warns of new cyberattacks by Russian military hackers. “A notorious hacking team backed by the Russian government has been exploiting a serious flaw in commonly used email software, the National Security Agency (NSA) warned Thursday, issuing a rare advisory that publicly attributed attempts to utilize the software flaw to a nation-state actor.”
Bleeping Computer: Russian cyberspies use Gmail to control updated ComRAT malware. “ESET security researchers have discovered a new version of the ComRAT backdoor controlled using the Gmail web interface and used by the state-backed Russian hacker group Turla for harvesting and stealing in attacks against governmental institutions.”
New York Times: Putin Speaks, Officials Shrug, and Doctors Are Caught in the Middle. “Assailed by critics as an absentee leader at the start of the coronavirus crisis in Russia, President Vladimir V. Putin re-emerged with a splash on state television last month to show that he cared and was taking charge. He promised cash bonuses of up to $1,100 a month for each doctor, nurse and other ‘front line’ health worker involved in fighting the virus. But for an all-powerful leader whose every word must be taken as a command, Mr. Putin has had a surprisingly hard time making his voice heard. More than a month after he spoke, the money has yet to materialize for many. Instead, some doctors have received visits from police investigators and prosecutors demanding to know why they complained publicly about not getting their bonuses.”
The Moscow Times: 1 in 3 Russian Medics Told to Doctor Coronavirus Data – Poll. “One in three Russian doctors who treat coronavirus patients have been told to change how they report cases, according to a survey cited by the Meduza news website Thursday amid questions over Russia’s low Covid-19 death toll. The survey on the Russian app ‘Doctor’s Handbook’ involved 509 medics, Meduza reported.”
Radio Prague International: Website Puts Spotlight On Waves Of Czechoslovaks Interned In Notorious Soviet Gulag. “Thousands of Czechoslovak citizens were among those who passed through the vast network of brutal Soviet labour camps known as the Gulag. In recent years Prague’s Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes has carried out extensive research into this little-known historical chapter – and has just shared its findings via a brand new website. I spoke to the Institute’s Adam Hradilek, who said Czechoslovaks had ended up in the Gulag in several waves.” The site is current in Czech, but English and Russian versions are on the way.
BBC: Coronavirus: The Russian republic enduring a ‘catastrophe’. “Dr Ibragim Yevtemirov still coughs every so often as he talks. A paediatric trauma surgeon in Dagestan, in the Caucasus region of southern Russia, his ward had been full of Covid-19 cases for a couple of weeks when he got infected himself. He says seven colleagues in his town have now died, including nurses, orderlies and laboratory staff, according to a count kept by local medics themselves.”
NPR: Russian Speakers Imitate Art In A Time Of Coronavirus Confinement On Facebook. “Called Izoizolyacia — roughly meaning ‘Art Isolation’ — the Facebook group says it’s for people with “limited movement and unlimited fantasy.” It invites members to re-create masterworks but with one important restriction of its own: Use only what you have at home. In little over a month, the community has grown to more than a half-million members. Using household items, food, raided wardrobes and a familiar Russian-inflected sense of irony, members have produced dizzyingly creative remakes of everything from European masterpieces to Soviet agitprop and coronavirus-influenced memes.”