US officials: Russia behind spread of virus disinformation (AP)

AP: US officials: Russia behind spread of virus disinformation. “Russian intelligence services are using a trio of English-language websites to spread disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, seeking to exploit a crisis that America is struggling to contain ahead of the presidential election in November, U.S. officials said Tuesday.”

Coronavirus: Russia plans mass vaccination campaign in October (BBC)

BBC: Coronavirus: Russia plans mass vaccination campaign in October. “Russian health authorities are preparing to start a mass vaccination campaign against coronavirus in October, the health minister has said. Russian media quoted Mikhail Murashko as saying that doctors and teachers would be the first to receive the vaccine. Reuters, citing anonymous sources, said Russia’s first potential vaccine would be approved by regulators this month. However, some experts are concerned at Russia’s fast-track approach.”

BBC: Russia’s UK ambassador rejects coronavirus vaccine hacking allegations

BBC: Russia’s UK ambassador rejects coronavirus vaccine hacking allegations. “Russia’s ambassador to the UK has rejected allegations that his country’s intelligence services tried to steal coronavirus vaccine research. ‘I don’t believe in this story at all, there is no sense in it,’ Andrei Kelin told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.”

Coronavirus: Russian hackers target Covid-19 vaccine research (BBC)

BBC: Coronavirus: Russian hackers target Covid-19 vaccine research. “The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said the hackers ‘almost certainly’ operated as ‘part of Russian intelligence services’. It said the group used malware to try and steal information relating to Covid-19 vaccine development.”

‘We feel absolutely abandoned’: How the pandemic in Russia tanked the economy and plunged families into crisis (Washington Post)

Washington Post: ‘We feel absolutely abandoned’: How the pandemic in Russia tanked the economy and plunged families into crisis. “Across the globe, the pandemic has tanked economies as the world faces its worst collective downturn since the Great Depression. Russia has been particularly hard hit by the twin blows of the coronavirus and the collapse in oil prices. Russia relies on taxes from the oil and gas sector for 40 percent of its budget. Since March, Russian charities and nonprofit organizations experienced a surge in the kind of clients they have not had before: families that had never been in financial crisis, but are now desperate. Some of them were unable to buy even food. Some were left homeless.”

Business Insider: Russian influencers and bloggers say they were offered as much as $100,000 to support Putin’s bid to extend his term to 2036

Business Insider: Russian influencers and bloggers say they were offered as much as $100,000 to support Putin’s bid to extend his term to 2036. “Russian influencers claim they were offered as much as $100,000 to write posts calling on fellow citizens to vote in the country’s national referendum, which could see President Vladimir Putin’s grip on power tighten for more than a decade.”

Russian Criminal Group Finds New Target: Americans Working at Home (New York Times)

New York Times: Russian Criminal Group Finds New Target: Americans Working at Home. “A Russian ransomware group whose leaders were indicted by the Justice Department in December is retaliating against the U.S. government, many of America’s largest companies and a major news organization, identifying employees working from home during the pandemic and attempting to get inside their networks with malware intended to cripple their operations.”

Reuters: Putin says Russia’s handling of coronavirus is superior to U.S.

Reuters: Putin says Russia’s handling of coronavirus is superior to U.S.. “President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday that Russia was emerging from the novel coronavirus epidemic with minimal losses, having handled it better than the United States where he said party political interests got in the way.”

New York Times: A Conspiracy Made in America May Have Been Spread by Russia

New York Times: A Conspiracy Made in America May Have Been Spread by Russia. “The Americans who pushed a conspiracy theory the night of the Iowa caucuses have migrated to coronavirus conspiracies on Twitter, with help from a very Russia-friendly account.”

Coronavirus: Covid-denying priest Father Sergei Romanov seizes Russian monastery (BBC)

BBC: Coronavirus: Covid-denying priest Father Sergei Romanov seizes Russian monastery. “An ultraconservative Russian priest who denies coronavirus exists has taken over a women’s monastery by force. Father Sergei Romanov entered the Sredneuralsk convent outside the city of Yekaterinburg on Tuesday. The mother superior and several nuns have left and armed guards are patrolling the site.”

ZDNet: Super secretive Russian disinfo operation discovered dating back to 2014

ZDNet: Super secretive Russian disinfo operation discovered dating back to 2014. “Codenamed Secondary Infektion, the group is different from the Internet Research Agency (IRA), the Sankt Petersburg company (troll farm) that has interfered in the US 2016 presidential election. Graphika says this new and separate group has been operating since 2014 and has been relying on fake news articles, fake leaks, and forged documents to generate political scandals in countries across Europe and North America.”

Reuters: Russia’s Putin protected from coronavirus by disinfection tunnel – RIA

Reuters: Russia’s Putin protected from coronavirus by disinfection tunnel – RIA. “Russian President Vladimir Putin is protected from the novel coronavirus by a special disinfection tunnel that anyone visiting his residence outside Moscow must pass through, the state-controlled RIA news agency reported on Tuesday. The special tunnel, manufactured by a Russian company based in the town of Penza, has been installed at his official Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow where he receives visitors, it said.”

Twitter Blog: Disclosing networks of state-linked information operations we’ve removed

Twitter Blog: Disclosing networks of state-linked information operations we’ve removed. “Today we are disclosing 32,242 accounts to our archive of state-linked information operations — the only one of its kind in the industry. The account sets we’re publishing to the archive today include three distinct operations that we have attributed to the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Russia, and Turkey respectively. Every account and piece of content associated with these operations has been permanently removed from the service.”