The US Justice Department has charged six Russian citizens with hacktivities across continents. The prosecution believes the hackers are employees of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (formerly the GRU). The US claims this is one of the "most disruptive and destructive series of computer attacks ever attributed to a single group".
The mentioned cyber attacks include those against companies and hospitals in the United States, Ukraine's energy systems in 2016, the French presidential election in 2017, and the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Besides, Washington accuses Russia of cyber attacks on the British Porton Down laboratory and the OPCW, which headed the investigation into the Novichok poisoning of Sergey and Yulia Skripal. The attacks were reported at a Monday press conference by Assistant Secretary of State for Justice John Demers, who is tasked with national security issues.
London has before long joined Washington's accusations against the Russians. Traditionally. Thus, the British Foreign Office issued a statement affirming the US Justice Department's findings, and also accused Russian hackers of preparing cyber attacks on those arranging the 2020 Tokyo Olympics even before those were postponed until 2021over the coronavirus. According to London, all the attacks were carried out by the G.U. special technology core – military unit 74455. On top of that, the United Kingdom's National Cyber Security Center said it was also involved in the investigation along with the US intelligence.
Apparently, having failed to prove Kremlin's alleged interference in the 2016 US election, Washington decided to mount a massive international campaign to counter Russia ahead of the American general election due on November 3 this year. To do this, the United States has attracted its traditional ally Great Britain, where the "Skripal case" and Moscow's alleged interference in the United Kingdom's democratic processes are constantly brought to mind. In the current accusations regarding Russian cyber attacks, London was one of the first to support its transatlantic "elder brother".
It is entirely possible that the United States has "played a hand" in the poisoning case of Aleksey Navalny, and encouraged Germany to initiate a vibrant performance around Russia's opposition leader. Now Washington and London want France, South Korea and Japan to join attacks against Russia. This is what the facts suggest. In particular, the day before, head of the State Department Mike Pompeo explicitly urged the world to help the United States punish the Russian hackers. And it is not important to the story that Washington and London fail to provide specific evidence about Russian citizens' involvement in the cyber attacks. This, by the way, was pointed out by the Russian Embassy in the UK and a number of State Duma deputies, particularly Chairman of the International Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky. Thus, according to the Embassy, the British authorities do not set a mission to understand the alleged cyber incidents, but use the issue for a consistent disinformation campaign to blacken Russia.
However, it is worth noting that US and British allies are in no particular hurry to join Mr. Pompeo's calls to help punish Russia for alleged cyber attacks. For instance, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said the following at a Tuesday press conference in Tokyo: "We know about this report of the British side. The Japanese government is collecting the respective information, however we would like to refrain from any comments on this issue." At the same time, he stressed that Japan will take every arrangement to protect the Tokyo summer Olympics from cyber attacks.
Apparently, if we follow US President's National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien's recent statement that there are virtually no targets in Russia to impose further sanctions against, Washington and its allies in the West decided to act against specific Russians personally. For one, most recently the European Union and Britain imposed sanctions over the Navalny situation against six Russians from the "upper echelon of power", including FSB head Alexander Bortnikov, First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Administration Sergey Kiriyenko and Chief of the Presidential Domestic Policy Directorate Andrey Yarin. Washington seemingly decided to push back against those involved in the decision-making process inside Russia and thereby try to undermine our country from within.
The West, primarily in United States, does not give up on shattering the situation around the Russian borders either. Here we can mention the failed coup in Belarus, the situation in Kyrgyzstan, and, certainly, the escalated tensions around Nagorno-Karabakh, which entailed a direct armed conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Why does the United States and its Western allies so actively attack Russia all the way round, without sticking at any methods and means? Obviously, everything happening around Russia is a kind of reaction to the rise of our country in global terms. Yes, it is Russia's international rise as one of present-day leaders (along with China and the United States). Aware of this, the West has several goals when it pursues various kinds of hostile actions against our country. Let's note the key ones.
First, all of these actions aim to deter Russia in order to return to the Cold War-era ideological opposition. But how can this be done? No one knows, but the United States understands that without an ideological confrontation, it will fail to make its allies stay, and the latter are getting increasingly aware of the new prospects for beneficial cooperation with none other than Russia.
Secondly, by imposing sanctions or restrictions, Washington and its allies are trying to create a favorable environment for competition in the world market. Especially given that Russia's strategic partner – China – demonstrates a speedy economic development and, according to some experts, has already come out on top this year, leaving the United States behind.
Russia, as we can see, tries not to respond to the aggressive attacks of the West and seeks to behave correctly and even all too diplomatically in the international arena. Perhaps Moscow remembers that the peremptory replies of 1950-1970 was a fool's errand to our country. Moreover, we must not forget that although the USSR fell into oblivion almost three decades ago, it is still fresh in the memory of current generations, especially in Europe, and a lot of time has to pass before Russia is perceived as a new country, and not just as a renamed USSR.