Guess Who Came to Dinner With Flynn and Putin 

NBC News reviewed video and photos from a 2015 Moscow gala that Mike Flynn was paid $45,000 to attend to see who else was in the room.

…U.S. Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, the only American besides Flynn at the head table.

Stein’s 2016 campaign was heavily promoted by RT. 

“And my own connection to RT, you know ironically, it takes a Russian television station to actually be open to independent candidates in this country and that is a shame. A shameful commentary on our own media,” she told NBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald.

(Stein did well enough to help Russia achieve its aims. Her vote totals in the crucial states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan were all greater than Clinton’s margin of defeat, and arguably denied Clinton an Electoral College victory.)

Guess Who Came to Dinner With Flynn and Putin – NBC News

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Russia is engaged in a full-scale shadow war in Europe

As the French prepare to vote Sunday in a presidential election marked by acrimonious debate about Russian influence in Europe, there’s little doubt about which candidate Moscow backs.

Last month, the combative populist Marine Le Pen of the right-wing National Front flew to Moscow to meet with President Vladimir Putin.

…American politics was jolted when 17 intelligence agencies concluded in January that Russia had covertly intervened in the 2016 presidential campaign with the aim of electing Donald Trump. Such activity is nothing new in Europe, where Russia has launched a series of clandestine and open efforts to sway governments and exert influence, according to European and U.S. national security officials, diplomats, academics and other experts interviewed by ProPublica in recent weeks.

“The Russians have had an aggressive espionage presence here for a long time,” a senior French intelligence official said. “The Russians now have more spies, more clandestine operations, in France than they did in the Cold War.”

Russia is engaged in a full-scale shadow war in Europe

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Putin-linked think tank drew up plan to sway 2016 U.S. election 

A Russian government think tank controlled by Vladimir Putin developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system, three current and four former U.S. officials told Reuters.

They described two confidential documents from the think tank as providing the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election. 

…It recommended the Kremlin launch a propaganda campaign on social media and Russian state-backed global news outlets to encourage U.S. voters to elect a president who would take a softer line toward Russia than the administration of then-President Barack Obama, the seven officials said.

A second institute document, drafted in October and distributed in the same way, warned that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was likely to win the election. For that reason, it argued, it was better for Russia to end its pro-Trump propaganda and instead intensify its messaging about voter fraud to undermine the U.S. electoral system’s legitimacy and damage Clinton’s reputation in an effort to undermine her presidency, the seven officials said.

Exclusive: Putin-linked think tank drew up plan to sway 2016 U.S. election – documents | Reuters

hmmm, from Reuters, even.

Putin’s ex-wife and the fancy French villa the official disclosed “facts” would have her in no way able to afford 

But the OCCRP’s discovery of the luxury villa in France also raised questions about how Lyudmila or her new husband could afford such a lavish property. Artur Ocheretny is the director of a nonprofit organization, the Center for the Development of Interpersonal Communications, which is best known for being closely linked to Lyudmila. …The OCCRP notes that Russian NGO directors do not generally receive high salaries, and none of Ocheretny’s business ventures appear to be a success.

Lyudmila is not officially wealthy, either. Until her divorce, she was required by law to declare her assets and income, and she never declared much. In fact, Vladimir Putin’s own wealth declarations are similarly sparse, with a $147,000 salary and limited assets, including a Moscow apartment, a plot of land and three cars, listed on his 2015 statement.

There has long been speculation, however, that Putin and those close to him are significantly wealthier than they let on. Some estimates for the Russian president’s personal wealth go as high as $200 billion, though they are backed by sparse evidence. A 2016 leak of records from a law firm based in Panama did suggest that associates known to be close to Putin held as much as $2 billion through offshore accounts.

…Reuters reported in 2015 that Katerina Tikhonova, widely said to be the younger of Putin’s two daughters, owned a seaside villa in Biarritz that was worth about $3.7 million at the time. She and her husband, Kirill Shamalov, the son of a friend of the Russian president, together were worth around $2 billion, the news agency reported.

Putin’s ex-wife returns to the spotlight with a dashing young husband and a fancy French villa – The Washington Post

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