Senators scrap Russia trip after Kremlin snubs Shaheen

Two Republican senators have called off a planned trip to Russia after the Kremlin denied a visa to a Democratic colleague, New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

Shaheen, an outspoken backer of a Russia sanctions bill that Congress approved overwhelmingly earlier this year, had been scheduled to visit Russia along with GOP colleagues Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and John Barrasso of Wyoming. But a Shaheen spokesman said the senator believes the Kremlin has placed her under a travel sanction, prohibiting her visit.

Senators scrap Russia trip after Kremlin snubs Shaheen – POLITICO



Washington Capitals Alex Ovechkin’s complicated relationship with Vladimir Putin

Despite its intentions, the campaign has highlighted the dilemma facing Russian professional athletes living in the United States who support Putin. Several Russian hockey players, including those who have not publicly signed on to Ovechkin’s initiative, declined interview requests. Malkin waited five days after pledging his support on social media to answer questions about the campaign.

…One U.S.-based hockey agent who represents Russian players in North America said of Ovechkin’s initiative: “All of my clients, everybody’s rolling their eyes, basically, saying, ‘What the [heck]?’ It’s like he’s lobbying for a job in politics.”

…A person close to Ovechkin explained that he tries to navigate a delicate tightrope, supporting one country while trying not to offend the other, and that the PutinTeam initiative has underscored the innate difficulties he faces.

“If he played in Carolina, this probably wouldn’t be as interesting to some people as it probably is, just given where he lives and works and what he does,” said the Ovechkin associate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity so he could talk more freely. “To say that Alex or anybody is following the daily nuances of really high-level, very complex geopolitical issues, they’re probably not doing that, right?”

…While the Capitals organization may not be eager to discuss Ovechkin’s relationship with Putin, team officials are aware that it could upset some fans. At the same time, they accept the demands being placed on him from Moscow and recognize the franchise has at times had to work around them, especially during the offseason.

…Kremlin observers explain that many Russian celebrities can face pressures both overt and indirect to take part in a Russian political campaign. For many, an endorsement might protect their families or help secure government funding for their projects. But most agree that Ovechkin probably is above such pressures — too rich, too high profile.

Washington Capitals Alex Ovechkin has a complicated relationship with Vladimir Putin – The Washington Post


Widespread ransomware outbreak strikes Ukraine, Russia 

The ransomware, dubbed Bad Rabbit and DiskCoder by different sources, has been reported to have hit the Kiev Metro, Odessa airport, Ukrainian ministries of infrastructure and finance, as well as targets in Russia and as far off as Turkey.

The Russian news wire service, Interfax, among the victims, suspended service. The only available story on its website as of 10:30 a.m. Tuesday was a note reading “Interfax news service not available due to hacker attack.”

Widespread ransomware outbreak strikes Ukraine, Russia | TheHill


Russian politician says ‘let’s hit Trump with our Kompromat’ on state TV 

A Russian politician has threatened to “hit Donald Trump with our Kompromat” on state TV. 

Speaking on Russia-24, Nikita Isaev, leader of the far-right New Russia Movement, said the compromising material should be released in retaliation over the closure of several Russian diplomatic compounds across the US. 

When asked whether Russia has such material, Mr Isaev, who is also director of the Russian Institute of Contemporary Economics, replied: “Of course we have it!”

Russian politician says ‘let’s hit Trump with our Kompromat’ on state TV | The Independent