$100 million… Leta Capital wants to be a friend to Russia-speaking founders everywhere

It’s become increasingly obvious over the last few years, as Vladimir Putin has tightened his grip on his country, that Russian entrepreneurs who want to engage properly with the rest of the world have had to leave their mother country. Gone are the days when a startup in Russia might attract attention from many Western investors. The same, alas, is true of Russian-speaking Belorussians, many of whom have left the country after brutal crackdowns there. Ukraine’s economy also remains sub-par due to the ongoing Russian aggression in the East of the country. So it’s fallen to enterprising Russian-speaking investors in and outside Russia to work out the best ways to harness the obvious talent out there.

Leta Capital makes a play of investing in Russian-speaking entrepreneurs based just about anywhere. It’s now launching its third and largest fund to date and says it will invest over $100 million in UK, European, and US-based growth-stage tech companies over the next three years. Its focus will be Seed/ Round A / Round B investments. It intends to invest in the range of $2-5 million and will be focused on software, IT, and internet technologies

The new fund will to hone in on East European and Russian-speaking entrepreneurs. Particularly those operating out of international hubs such as London and New York.

Leta’s founder and former tech entrepreneur Alexander Chachava says Russian-speaking startups based abroad are often – these days – over-looked and under-valued by Western VCs and investors, and I dare say he’s right. Prejudice isn’t just about skin color, as we all know.

Chachava says his fund has invested over $45 million to date since 2012, going into 30 technology companies including Synthesis AI, Unigine, InDriver, NovaKid (which I covered last year) and 365Scores.

Exits include the sale of Bright Box HK to Zurich Insurance Group in 2017, and WeWork’s acquisition of sales and marketing platform Unomy.

Chachava said: “While we are significantly broadening our geographic focus towards key global hubs, our strategy effectively remains the same: to identify exciting, high-potential technology start-ups and entrepreneurs, and support them in realizing their international ambitions.”

Chachava says his own research suggests there are in excess of 17,000 Russian-speaking and East European tech entrepreneurs and start-ups active in the UK, Europe, and US.

“Our analysis shows they continue to be undervalued and overlooked for funding, despite often generating significant cash when it comes to ARR. These entrepreneurs are some of the most dynamic and technically skilled in the world, and for investors, they represent a massive untapped opportunity.”

He has a point. Significant businesses such as Telegram, Revolut, TradingView, PandaDoc, and Preply were all started by Russian speakers who are emigres from their respective Russian-influenced countries.

Leta says its first “evergreen” fund of $15 million was fully deployed in early 2020, delivering a gross IRR of 27% per annum to investors. Its second $50 million fund had its first closing in September 2018 and has committed about 60% of its capital, says the company.

Leta will invest out of an entity in the Cayman Islands, but doesn’t plan to have an office right now, and nor will it need it to invest.

As Chachava told me over a Zoom call: “The last two years, we have not been not traveling too much, our work has been downgraded to Zoom calls. But before that, we spent a couple of months in the US, a couple of months in Western Europe. I was a frequent visitor to London but I don’t think we need space anymore in our modern world.”

#365scores, #articles, #business, #cayman-islands, #economy, #entrepreneur, #entrepreneurship, #europe, #indriver, #leta-capital, #london, #new-york, #revolut, #russia, #tc, #technology, #ukraine, #united-kingdom, #united-states, #wework

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A Mysterious Crater’s Age May Add Clues to the Dinosaur Extinction

Boltysh crater in Ukraine formed around the same time as the Chicxulub event, raising questions about its role in this tumultuous era.

#asteroids, #dinosaurs, #earth, #geology, #research, #science-advances-journal, #ukraine, #your-feed-science

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Ukraine arrests ransomware gang in global cybercriminal crackdown

A chainlink fence separates us from fossil fuel tanks.

Enlarge / A Colonial Pipeline facility in Woodbridge, New Jersey. Hackers last month disrupted the pipeline supplying petroleum to much of the East Coast. (credit: Michael M. Santiago, Getty Images)

Ukrainian police have arrested members of a notorious ransomware gang that recently targeted American universities, as pressure mounts on global law enforcement to crack down on cybercriminals.

The Ukraine National Police said in a statement on Wednesday that it had worked with Interpol and the US and South Korean authorities to charge six members of the Ukraine-based Cl0p hacker group, which it claimed had inflicted a half-billion dollars in damages on victims based in the US and South Korea.

The move marks the first time that a national law enforcement agency has carried out mass arrests of a ransomware gang, adding to pressure on other countries to follow suit. Russia, a hub for ransomware gangs, has been blamed for harbouring cybercriminals by failing to prosecute or extradite them.

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#biz-it, #cl0p, #cybercrime, #policy, #ransomware, #ukraine

0

We’ve Come a Long Way Since Trump. Putin Is Still Winning.

The overriding U.S. foreign policy aim must be to prevent an existential confrontation with Russia.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #navalny-aleksei-a, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia, #trump-donald-j, #ukraine, #united-states-politics-and-government

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F.E.C. Dismisses Case Against Democrats Over Outreach to Ukraine

The Federal Election Commission voted 4 to 2 not to pursue accusations that Democrats in 2016 sought help from Ukraine to damage Donald J. Trump’s campaign.

#democratic-national-committee, #foundation-for-accountability-and-civic-trust, #manafort-paul-j, #presidential-election-of-2016, #russian-interference-in-2016-us-elections-and-ties-to-trump-associates, #telizhenko-andrii, #ukraine, #weintraub-ellen-l, #whitaker-matthew-g

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Ukrainian police arrest multiple Clop ransomware gang suspects

Multiple suspects believed to be linked to the Clop ransomware gang have been detained in Ukraine after a joint operation from law enforcement agencies in Ukraine, South Korea, and the United States.

The Cyber Police Department of the National Police of Ukraine confirmed that six arrests were made after searches at 21 residences in the capital Kyiv and nearby regions. While it’s unclear whether the defendants are affiliates or core developers of the ransomware operation, they are accused of running a “double extortion” scheme, in which victims who refuse to pay the ransom are threatened with the leak of data stolen from their networks prior to their files being encrypted.

“It was established that six defendants carried out attacks of malicious software such as ‘ransomware’ on the servers of American and [South] Korean companies,” alleged Ukraine’s national police force in a statement.

The police also seized equipment from the alleged Clop ransomware gang, said to behind total financial damages of about $500 million. This includes computer equipment, several cars — including a Tesla and Mercedes, and 5 million Ukrainian Hryvnia (around $185,000) in cash. The authorities also claim to have successfully shut down the server infrastructure used by the gang members to launch previous attacks.

“Together, law enforcement has managed to shut down the infrastructure from which the virus spreads and block channels for legalizing criminally acquired cryptocurrencies,” the statement added.

These attacks first began in February 2019, when the group attacked four Korean companies and encrypted 810 internal services and personal computers. Since, Clop — often styled as “Cl0p” — has been linked to a number of high-profile ransomware attacks. These include the breach of U.S. pharmaceutical giant ExecuPharm in April 2020 and the attack on South Korean e-commerce giant E-Land in November that forced the retailer to close almost half of its stores.

Clop is also linked to the ransomware attack and data breach at Accellion, which saw hackers exploit flaws in the IT provider’s File Transfer Appliance (FTA) software to steal data from dozens of its customers. Victims of this breach include Singaporean telecom Singtel, law firm Jones Day, grocery store chain Kroger, and cybersecurity firm Qualys.

At the time of writing, the dark web portal that Clop uses to share stolen data is still up and running, although it hasn’t been updated for several weeks. However, law enforcement typically replaces the targets’ website with their own logo in the event of a successful takedown, which suggests that members of the gang could still be active.

“The Cl0p operation has been used to disrupt and extort organizations globally in a variety of sectors including telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, aerospace, and technology,” said John Hultquist, vice president of analysis at Mandiant’s threat intelligence unit. “The actor FIN11 has been strongly associated with this operation, which has included both ransomware and extortion, but it is unclear if the arrests included FIN11 actors or others who may also be associated with the operation.”

Hultquist said the efforts of the Ukrainian police “are a reminder that the country is a strong partner for the U.S. in the fight against cybercrime and authorities there are making the effort to deny criminals a safe harbor.”

The alleged perpetrators face up to eight years in prison on charges of unauthorized interference in the work of computers, automated systems, computer networks, or telecommunications networks and laundering property obtained by criminal means.

News of the arrests comes as international law enforcement turns up the heat on ransomware gangs. Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it had seized most of the ransom paid to members of DarkSide by Colonial Pipeline.

#aerospace, #colonial-pipeline, #crime, #cybercrime, #e-commerce, #extortion, #government, #kroger, #law, #law-enforcement, #malware, #mandiant, #oil-and-gas, #pharmaceuticals, #qualys, #ransomware, #security, #security-breaches, #singtel, #south-korea, #telecommunications, #tesla, #ukraine, #united-states

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U.S. to Ban Dogs From Over 100 Countries Amid Concern Over Spread of Rabies

The countries targeted by the ban, which will take effect on July 14, include the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Cuba, China, Russia and Ukraine.

#centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #china, #colombia, #cuba, #dogs, #dominican-republic, #india, #philippines, #rabies, #russia, #ukraine, #united-states, #vaccination-and-immunization

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Blockchain startup Propy plans first-ever auction of a real apartment as a collectible NFT

We previously wrote about Propy using blockchain technology to smooth real-world real estate sales by introducing the concept of smart contracts. Propy was the first blockchain startup to make that work. Now the company is pushing the boundaries again, by auctioning a real apartment as an NFT. Although one might want to brush this aside as a stunt, the event is designed to make the point that it could well be done legally. And, by golly, they are going to try.

The auction will be of the NFT attached to a modern, brand new, one-bedroom apartment in Kiev, Ukraine, that Propy previously made history with by making it the first-ever level blockchain-based real estate sale.

The NFT created by Propy will, it says, transfers real ownership of the property. Just in case you haven;t been paying attention, NFTs, or Non-Fungible Tokens, are cryptographic ‘tokens’ that represent a unique asset — such as a piece of art, music, or other collectibles — and certify ownership digitally. NFTs have set the crypto-world alight with their potential to be applied to just about anything, including a work of art by Banksy which was then burnt.

Once someone has won the NFT of the apartment at auction, the NFT will include access to the ownership transfer paperwork; a digital artwork NFT by a popular Kiev graffiti artist, Chizz (a physical painting of the digital artwork is painted on a wall of the apartment)’ and the apartment pictures. But obviously, the apartment is the main asset here. 


The auction itself will happen over a 24hr period with the initial listing starting at $20,000. Details for the NFT sale are available here and will be updated with any new information as the auction proceeds.

The apartment in question is currently owned by Michael Arrington, founder of this very news site, and now a Crypto investor with Arrington XRP Capital.

Investors in Propy – which says it has so far processed $1bn worth of transactions via its platform – include Arrington himself and Tim Draper, former founder of DFJ.

Natalia Karayaneva, CEO of Propy said: “This NFT will go down in history. For Propy it is a major milestone in leveraging the promise of blockchain technology and non-fungible tokens (NFT) to achieve ‘self-driving’ real estate transactions and real estate participation in the decentralized finance economy.”

Here’s how this is all going to work: Arrington has signed legal papers designed by Propy’s lawyers for the NFT to transfer ownership to a future buyer. Propy then conducts the NFT auction and receives payment in cryptocurrency. The winner in the auction becomes the owner within a minute, after filling out KYC details.

The Kiev property is owned by a USA-based entity, and when the auction completes, the new owner of the NFT becomes the owner of the entity and thus the property itself. This process is repeated every time the NFT attached to the property is resold. 

In an interview with me, Karayaneva said: “We were brainstorming and this appeared to be a natural development of our white paper of 2017. And in fact, many things we transact, real estate, via property, we are actually already kind of doing NF T’s, but with our unique smart contracts. But now the NFT concept provides a different approach, where a property can be transferred between two wallets, peer to peer.”

“Thus we do not need to change the name of the owner in the land registry. And this applies to many countries, as well as the United States. This model will work for the United States, and overall, there is this notion of buying real estate via LLC in the United States to preserve the privacy of the owner.”

Over the same call, Arrington added: “Coming at this from a crypto angle, we’ve seen what happens how DeFi gets plugged into credit markets. If I have an NFT or any DeFI asset I can then borrow against it, without a middleman. Right now, if I have a real piece of real estate, there is no way for me to borrow against it, without a middleman, because I have to go through a bank and get a mortgage or whatever. And it’s also the friction all of the costs in terms of speed and how long it takes.”

“If we can find a way to plug real estate and other real-world assets into DeFi, I think that the amount of credit that can be created around that is in the trillions, eventually. And so I think that has to happen. The questions around this are legal and regulatory… The legal stuff around this is tough, and so Propy has done a lot of work with that. But if they do, I think that the idea of an NFT representation of a real-world asset purely from the point of view of ease of trade and ease of access to credit markets is a big idea.”

#arrington-xrp-capital, #articles, #auction, #bank, #blockchains, #ceo, #crypto-art, #cryptocurrencies, #cryptography, #decentralization, #decentralized-finance, #dfj, #ethereum, #europe, #founder, #michael-arrington, #peer-to-peer, #propy, #real-estate, #smart-contract, #tc, #tim-draper, #ukraine, #united-states

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E.U. and Britain Move to Impede Belarus’s Access to Air Travel

The European Union told airlines to avoid Belarusian airspace after the country forced a commercial flight to land in order to arrest a journalist.

#airbaltic, #airlines-and-airplanes, #belarus, #estonia, #european-union, #great-britain, #lukashenko-aleksandr-g, #oleary-michael-kevin-1961, #politics-and-government, #protasevich-roman, #ryanair-holdings-plc, #ukraine, #wizz-air

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Ukraine’s Burial Mounds Offer Meaning in a Heap of History

The Scythians, marijuana-smoking nomadic warriors of ancient Ukraine, built thousands of burial mounds that are at risk today. A preservation group finds resonance in them for a country at war.

#archaeology-and-anthropology, #dnipro-ukraine, #funerals-and-memorials, #kyiv-ukraine, #monuments-and-memorials-structures, #scythians-ancient-civilization, #ukraine

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Where Ukrainians Are Preparing for All-Out War With Russia

A dried-up canal running from Ukraine into Russian-occupied Crimea is emerging as one of Europe’s main flash points.

#crimea-ukraine, #international-relations, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia, #ukraine, #water

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For Biden, Ukraine Is a ‘Déjà Vu’ Problem That’s Hard to Fix

American officials have been delivering the same message to Kyiv for more than seven years, but little has changed — or is likely to, analysts say.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #blinken-antony-j, #center-for-strategic-and-international-studies, #defense-and-military-forces, #kyiv-ukraine, #pompeo-mike, #rand-corp, #state-department, #tefft-john-f, #trump-ukraine-whistle-blower-complaint-and-impeachment-inquiry, #ukraine, #united-states-international-relations

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U.S. Secretary of State Blinken Visiting Ukraine

The secretary of state will reassure Kyiv of backing against Russian hostilities, but call for more determined efforts to clean up the political system.

#blinken-antony-j, #corruption-institutional, #nuland-victoria-j, #politics-and-government, #russia, #trump-ukraine-whistle-blower-complaint-and-impeachment-inquiry, #trump-donald-j, #ukraine, #united-states-international-relations, #zelensky-volodymyr

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80,000 Russian Troops Remain at Ukraine Border as NATO Holds Exercise

Biden administration officials said they saw the sustained deployment as a message from Moscow that it could match the number of troops taking part in the exercise.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #blinken-antony-j, #cyberwarfare-and-defense, #defense-and-military-forces, #north-atlantic-treaty-organization, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia, #ukraine, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government

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Blinken Will Visit Ukraine in Show of Support Against Russia

The secretary of state will first meet with British officials and other American allies in London.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #blinken-antony-j, #defense-and-military-forces, #defense-department, #group-of-seven, #presidential-election-of-2020, #russia, #state-department, #trump-ukraine-whistle-blower-complaint-and-impeachment-inquiry, #ukraine, #zelensky-volodymyr

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Firing of U.S. Ambassador Is at Center of Giuliani Investigation

Prosecutors want to scrutinize Rudolph W. Giuliani’s communications with Ukrainian officials about the ouster of the ambassador, Marie L. Yovanovitch.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #foreign-agents-registration-act, #fruman-igor, #giuliani-rudolph-w, #impeachment, #justice-department, #lobbying-and-lobbyists, #parnas-lev, #trump-ukraine-whistle-blower-complaint-and-impeachment-inquiry, #trump-donald-j, #ukraine, #united-states, #yovanovitch-marie-l

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Russian Spy Unit Investigated for Links to Bulgarian Explosions

The probe will look at whether Unit 29155, an elite group of Russian intelligence operatives, is connected to a series of blasts at ammunition depots over the past 10 years.

#bombs-and-explosives, #bulgaria, #espionage-and-intelligence-services, #gebrev-emilian, #poisoning-and-poisons, #politics-and-government, #russia, #sabotage-crime, #skripal-sergei-v, #ukraine, #unit-29155-russian-intelligence-group

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After Testing the World’s Limits, Putin Steps Back From the Brink

The Russian president pulled back troops from Ukraine’s border and relented on medical treatment for his nemesis Aleksei A. Navalny, after a performance blending fear and force to affirm his power.

#defense-and-military-forces, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #kgb, #navalny-aleksei-a, #political-prisoners, #politics-and-government, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia, #ukraine, #united-states-international-relations

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Russian Defense Minister Orders Partial Pullback From Ukraine Border Region

Sergei K. Shoigu said troops would withdraw from the area by May 1, citing a training exercise there that had ended. But the plan includes leaving some armored vehicles in field camps near Ukraine.

#defense-and-military-forces, #europe, #politics-and-government, #russia, #ukraine

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Putin Warns of a Russian ‘Red Line’ the West Will Regret Crossing

In a state-of-the nation speech, President Vladimir Putin warned of a “fast and tough” response to security threats, in a message seemingly aimed at President Biden and delivered amid large protests.

#demonstrations-protests-and-riots, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #navalny-aleksei-a, #politics-and-government, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia, #ukraine, #united-states-international-relations

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‘We Know How to Defend Our Interests’: Putin’s Emerging Hard Line

With an air of moral superiority, the Russian president seems intent on teaching President Biden and other Western leaders a lesson.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia, #ukraine, #united-states-international-relations

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Alarm in Ukraine as Russian Forces Mass at Border

Few analysts believe that Moscow intends to invade. But as Russia’s military buildup proceeds, the tension is rising in war-weary Eastern Ukraine.

#avdiivka-ukraine, #defense-and-military-forces, #mariupol-ukraine, #politics-and-government, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia, #ukraine, #zelensky-volodymyr

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In Russia, a Military Buildup That Can’t be Missed

Russia’s massing of tanks and infantry along its southwestern border with Ukraine was meant to send a message, analysts say.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #burns-william-j, #central-intelligence-agency, #defense-and-military-forces, #diplomatic-service-embassies-and-consulates, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #federal-security-service, #north-atlantic-treaty-organization, #peskov-dmitri-s, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia, #shoigu-sergei-k, #trump-donald-j, #ukraine, #united-states-international-relations, #zelensky-volodymyr

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Intelligence Chiefs Warn of Russian Troops Near Ukraine and Other Threats

Officials said that China’s push for global power posed a threat to the United States, and they dwelled on climate change, domestic extremism and more.

#burns-william-j, #central-intelligence-agency, #china, #defense-intelligence-agency, #espionage-and-intelligence-services, #federal-bureau-of-investigation, #haines-avril-d, #office-of-the-director-of-national-intelligence, #russia, #ukraine, #united-states-politics-and-government, #wray-christopher-a

0

Russian Troop Movements and Talk of Intervention Cause Jitters in Ukraine

Russia has amassed more troops on the Ukrainian border than at any time since 2014. Western governments are asking: Why now?

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #defense-and-military-forces, #kiselyov-dmitry-k, #politics-and-government, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia, #ukraine

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Putin Authorized Russian Interference in 2020 Election, Report Says

The assessment was the intelligence community’s most comprehensive look at foreign efforts to interfere in the election.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #china, #classified-information-and-state-secrets, #cyberwarfare-and-defense, #espionage-and-intelligence-services, #giuliani-rudolph-w, #iran, #office-of-the-director-of-national-intelligence, #presidential-election-of-2016, #presidential-election-of-2020, #putin-vladimir-v, #ratcliffe-john-lee-1965, #rumors-and-misinformation, #russia, #russian-interference-in-2016-us-elections-and-ties-to-trump-associates, #trump-ukraine-whistle-blower-complaint-and-impeachment-inquiry, #trump-donald-j, #ukraine, #united-states-politics-and-government

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U.S. Prosecutors Call Him a Murderer. To Ukraine He’s an Asylum Seeker.

A complex legal battle in Kyiv is shedding light on the Americans who seek battle experience with far-right paramilitary units in Ukraine — and on the F.B.I.’s efforts to monitor them.

#defense-and-military-forces, #fringe-groups-and-movements, #kyiv-ukraine, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #right-sector-ukraine, #right-wing-extremism-and-alt-right, #ukraine

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Ukraine says Russia hacked its document portal and planted malicious files

Ukraine says Russia hacked its document portal and planted malicious files

Enlarge (credit: Oleksii Leonov)

Ukraine has accused the Russian government of hacking into one of its government Web portals and planting malicious documents that would install malware on end users’ computers.

“The purpose of the attack was the mass contamination of information resources of public authorities, as this system is used for the circulation of documents in most public authorities,” officials from Ukraine’s National Coordination Center for Cybersecurity said in a statement published on Wednesday. “The malicious documents contained a macro that secretly downloaded a program to remotely control a computer when opening the files.”

Wednesday’s statement said that the methods used in the attack connected the hackers to the Russian Federation. Ukraine didn’t say if the attack succeeded in infecting any authorities’ computers.

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#biz-it, #hackers, #policy, #russia, #tech, #ukraine

0

When Genocide Is Caught on Film

“The Ravine,” by Wendy Lower, investigates a rare photograph documenting the murder of Jews in Ukraine during the Holocaust, unearthing a history of perpetrators and victims.

#books-and-literature, #germany, #holocaust-and-the-nazi-era, #jews-and-judaism, #lower-wendy, #photography, #the-ravine-a-family-a-photograph-a-holocaust-massacre-revealed-book, #ukraine, #war-crimes-genocide-and-crimes-against-humanity, #world-war-ii-1939-45

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Ukraine Ended Secret Government Spending. Vaccine Makers Now Demand It.

Seeking to secure vital supplies, the authorities in the country maneuvered around anticorruption rules that require public disclosure of contracts.

#drugs-pharmaceuticals, #europe, #government-contracts-and-procurement, #ukraine, #vaccination-and-immunization

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In Vaccine Geopolitics, a Great Game Played With Ukrainians’ Health

Blocked from obtaining vaccines from the United States, its putative ally, and taunted in Russian propaganda, Ukraine turned to China.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #russia, #ukraine, #vaccination-and-immunization

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With Trump Fading, Ukraine’s President Looks to a Reset With the U.S.

“They roped us in, but I think we behaved with dignity,” Volodymyr Zelensky said of his encounter with American politics.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #giuliani-rudolph-w, #trump-ukraine-whistle-blower-complaint-and-impeachment-inquiry, #trump-donald-j, #ukraine, #zelensky-volodymyr

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‘I Have Never Seen so Many Toadstools.’ A Bumper Crop of Mushrooms in Ukraine

Hunting for mushrooms deep in the forest is the ideal socially distanced pastime.

#chernobyl-ukraine, #mushrooms, #ukraine

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A New Front Opens in the Russia-Ukraine Conflict: Borscht

“A lot of things were taken away from Ukraine, but they will not take our borscht,” said a chef who is leading a drive to recognize the soup as a Ukrainian cultural heritage.

#borscht, #russia, #soups, #ukraine, #united-nations-educational-scientific-and-cultural-organization, #ussr-former-soviet-union

0

What We Know and Don’t About Hunter Biden and a Laptop

President Trump’s allies have promoted claims of corruption aimed at the former vice president’s son in an effort to damage the Biden campaign.

#biden-hunter, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #burisma-holdings-ltd, #computers-and-the-internet, #delaware, #ethics-and-official-misconduct, #federal-bureau-of-investigation, #giuliani-rudolph-w, #laptop-computers, #new-york-post, #presidential-election-of-2020, #rumors-and-misinformation, #trump-donald-j, #ukraine, #united-states-politics-and-government

0

U.S. Charges Russian Intelligence Officers in Major Cyberattacks

Prosecutors said the suspects hacked elections in France and the 2018 Winter Olympics.

#cyberwarfare-and-defense, #defense-and-military-forces, #espionage-and-intelligence-services, #france, #gru-russia, #justice-department, #olympic-games-2018, #presidential-election-of-2016, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia, #russian-interference-in-2016-us-elections-and-ties-to-trump-associates, #ukraine, #united-states-politics-and-government

0

U.S. charges Russian hackers blamed for Ukraine power outages and the NotPetya ransomware attack

Six Russian intelligence officers accused of launching some of the “world’s most destructive malware” — including an attack that took down the Ukraine power grid in December 2015 and the NotPetya gloibal ransomware attack in 2017 — have been charged by the U.S. Justice Department.

Prosecutors said the group of hackers, who work for the Russian GRU and reside in Russia, are behind the “most disruptive and destructive series of computer attacks ever attributed to a single group.”

“No country has weaponized its cyber capabilities as maliciously or irresponsibly as Russia, wantonly causing unprecedented damage to pursue small tactical advantages and to satisfy fits of spite,” said John Demers, U.S. U.S. assistant attorney general for national security. “Today the Department has charged these Russian officers with conducting the most disruptive and destructive series of computer attacks ever attributed to a single group, including by unleashing the NotPetya malware. No nation will recapture greatness while behaving in this way.”

The six accused Russian intelligence officers. (Image: FBI/supplied)

In charges laid out Monday, the hackers are accused of developing and launching attacks using the KillDisk and Industroyer (also known as Crash Override) to target and disrupt the power supply in Ukraine, which left hundreds of thousands of customers without electricity two days before Christmas. The prosecutors also said the hackers were behind the NotPetya attack, a ransomware attack that spread across the world in 2017, causing billions of dollars in damages.

The hackers are also said to have used Olympic Destroyer, designed to knock out internet connections during the opening ceremony of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Prosecutors also blamed the six hackers for trying to disrupt the 2017 French elections by launching a “hack and leak” operation to discredit the then-presidential frontrunner, Emmanuel Macron, as well as launching targeted spearphishing attacks against the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the U.K.’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, tasked with investigating the use of the Russian nerve agent Novichok in Salisbury, U.K. in 2018.

The accused hackers — Yuriy Sergeyevich Andrienko, 32; Sergey Vladimirovich Detistov, 35; Pavel Valeryevich Frolov, 28; Anatoliy Sergeyevich Kovalev, 29; Artem Valeryevich Ochichenko, 27; and Petr Nikolayevich Pliskin, 32 — are all charged with seven counts of conspiracy to hack, commit wire fraud, and causing computer damage.

#articles, #christmas, #crime, #cyberattack, #cybercrime, #electricity, #emmanuel-macron, #government, #malware, #petya, #phishing, #ransomware, #russia, #security, #south-korea, #ukraine, #united-kingdom, #united-states

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Trump Said to Be Warned That Giuliani Was Conveying Russian Disinformation

President Trump shrugged off the warning from the intelligence agencies, officials said.

#biden-hunter, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #espionage-and-intelligence-services, #giuliani-rudolph-w, #obrien-robert-c-1952, #presidential-election-of-2020, #rumors-and-misinformation, #russia, #russian-interference-in-2016-us-elections-and-ties-to-trump-associates, #trump-donald-j, #ukraine, #united-states-politics-and-government

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Battling Wildfire and Pandemic, Ukraine Faces a New Foe: Landmines

The blaze is setting off mines and other ordnance littering the war zone in eastern Ukraine, hampering already dangerous firefighting and evacuation efforts.

#explosions-accidental, #ukraine, #wildfires

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Trump Has Sold Off America’s Credibility for His Personal Gain

From China to Ukraine, this president has acted at odds with American foreign policy. Imagine what he could do with four more years.

#china, #kyiv-ukraine, #national-security-council, #presidential-election-of-2020, #putin-vladimir-v, #trump-ukraine-whistle-blower-complaint-and-impeachment-inquiry, #trump-donald-j, #ukraine, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government, #vindman-alexander-s

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On Ukraine’s Border, the Coronavirus Ends a Hasidic Pilgrimage

After days of pleading to enter Ukraine despite virus travel restrictions, some pilgrims sang the country’s national anthem, to no avail. Most turned back on Friday.

#belarus, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #jews-and-judaism, #rosh-hashana, #ukraine

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Lev Parnas, Giuliani Associate, Faces New Fraud Charges

Mr. Parnas, who participated in a campaign to dig up dirt on the president’s political rivals, is accused of swindling investors.

#campaign-finance, #correia-david-p-1975, #fraud-guarantee, #frauds-and-swindling, #fruman-igor, #giuliani-rudolph-w, #parnas-lev, #presidential-election-of-2020, #trump-ukraine-whistle-blower-complaint-and-impeachment-inquiry, #ukraine

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Covid Strands Hasidic Pilgrims on Ukraine-Belarus Border

Hundreds of Jewish pilgrims seeking to travel from Belarus to Ukraine to visit the grave of a revered rabbi were barred from entering because of virus restrictions.

#belarus, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #hasidism, #israel, #rosh-hashana, #ukraine, #zelensky-volodymyr

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Abducted Opposition Leader in Belarus Averts Expulsion to Ukraine

A plan by security agents to expel Maria Kolesnikova came unstuck at the border when she tore up her passport.

#belarus, #demonstrations-protests-and-riots, #kidnapping-and-hostages, #lukashenko-aleksandr-g, #maria-kolesnikova, #putin-vladimir-v, #tikhanovskaya-svetlana, #ukraine

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Report Details Manafort’s Ties During 2016 Trump Campaign to a Russian Agent

The former campaign chairman Paul Manafort kept in close touch with a longtime colleague whom Senate investigators identified as a Russian intelligence officer.

#deripaska-oleg-v, #espionage-and-intelligence-services, #kilimnik-konstantin-v, #manafort-paul-j, #presidential-election-of-2016, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia, #russian-interference-in-2016-us-elections-and-ties-to-trump-associates, #senate-committee-on-intelligence, #trump-donald-j, #ukraine, #united-states-politics-and-government

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Armed Man Seizes Hostages on Ukraine Bus

A man with a firearm and explosives called the police to announce he was holding about 20 people hostage in the western city of Lutsk. He made political demands.

#buses, #firearms, #kidnapping-and-hostages, #politics-and-government, #ukraine

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In a Death, Details of More Russian Murder-for-Hire Plots

A Chechen man shot near Vienna last weekend had spoken publicly of giving Austrian and Ukrainian authorities information about contract killings. He also said there was a price on his head.

#austria, #beck-martin-d-2020, #chechnya-russia, #informers, #kadyrov-ramzan, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #politics-and-government, #russia, #targeted-killings, #ukraine

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I’m a U.S. Citizen, Where in the World Can I Go?

For Americans eager to resume international travel, here are the countries that currently allow U.S. citizens to enter, though there may be restrictions.

#albania, #antigua-and-barbuda, #aruba, #bahama-islands, #barbados, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #ecuador, #french-polynesia-france, #kosovo, #maldives, #mexico, #quarantines, #serbia, #st-lucia, #st-maarten-caribbean, #st-vincent-and-the-grenadines, #tanzania, #travel-and-vacations, #turkey, #turks-and-caicos-islands, #ukraine, #united-states

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Russia Denies Paying Bounties, but Some Say the U.S. Had It Coming

Russia’s grievances against what it sees as American bullying and expansion into its own zones of influence have been stacking up for decades.

#afghanistan-war-2001, #central-intelligence-agency, #gru-russia, #kabul-afghanistan, #kgb, #moscow-russia, #obama-barack, #putin-vladimir-v, #trump-donald-j, #ukraine, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #ussr-former-soviet-union

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Ukraine’s Backlog of Babies Born to Surrogates Begins to Ease

Eleven foreign couples, previously barred by coronavirus restrictions, have entered the country to meet their newborns. But births are still outpacing pickups.

#argentina, #babies-and-infants, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-reopenings, #kyiv-ukraine, #quarantines, #spain, #surrogate-motherhood, #travel-warnings, #ukraine

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