bankbryan + russia   98

The Mystery of the Havana Syndrome
"The request became a crucial sticking point in the negotiations. Much of the wrangling fell to Roberta Jacobson, the Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs. 'In nonpermissive environments, you have to be able to send a container that they won’t be able to look inside,' she explained. 'When we built our new Embassy in China, they gave us an unlimited quota for secure containers.' The Cubans argued that history had left them apprehensive, she recalled: 'They said to us, "You used your secure containers in the past to bring in materials for counter-revolutionary groups." Which is true—but we hadn’t really been doing that for some time. The thing is, you’d give a fax machine to a dissident and it would be seized the next day, so it was kind of pointless anyway.' After six months of negotiations, the Cubans grudgingly agreed to allow one container into the country without an inspection."
a:Adam-Entous  a:Jon-Lee-Anderson  p:The-New-Yorker★★  d:2018.11.19  w:10500  diplomacy  intelligence-gathering  Cuba  Barack-Obama  Donald-Trump  Russia  China  from instapaper
11 days ago by bankbryan
The Untold Story of NotPetya, the Most Devastating Cyberattack in History
"The most enduring object lesson of NotPetya may simply be the strange, extra­dimensional landscape of cyberwar’s battlefield. This is the confounding geography of cyberwarfare: In ways that still defy human intuition, phantoms inside M.E.Doc’s server room in a gritty corner of Kiev spread chaos into the gilded conference rooms of the capital’s federal agencies, into ports dotting the globe, into the stately headquarters of Maersk on the Copenhagen harbor, and across the global economy. 'Somehow the vulnerability of this Ukrainian accounting software affects the US national security supply of vaccines and global shipping?' asks Joshua Corman, a cybersecurity fellow at the Atlantic Council, as if still puzzling out the shape of the wormhole that made that cause-and-effect possible. 'The physics of cyberspace are wholly different from every other war domain.' In those physics, NotPetya reminds us, distance is no defense. Every barbarian is already at every gate."
a:Andy-Greenberg  p:Wired★★  d:2018.08.22  w:6500  cyberwarfare  Russia  infrastructure  logistics  container-shipping  from instapaper
7 weeks ago by bankbryan
Foxhound vs Blackbird: How the MiGs reclaimed the skies
"'The crew would fly out on an intercept course to close with the target, and then switch the radar to radiation mode and report to their ground controllers when they had detected the target at around 300-320 km. They would then continue to close with the target, and at 120-150 km target lock-on would be achieved, whereupon the crew would report readiness to attack.' At this point the SR-71's missile approach warning system would trigger; the crew would find themselves the hunted, and unable to hold their nerve, there was no course of action for them other than to engage afterburner and run for home."
a:Rakesh-Krishnan-Simha  p:Russia-Beyond  d:2012.09.03  w:1500  aviation  Russia  intelligence-gathering  from instapaper
11 weeks ago by bankbryan
Why Did I Teach My Son to Speak Russian?
"Six is an in-between age in terms of assimilation. If you’re much younger—two or three—the chances of keeping your Russian are slim, and you basically just become an American. If you’re older by a few years—for Russians, nine or ten seems to be the cutoff—you probably won’t ever lose your accent, and you will be marked as Russian for the rest of your life. At six, you can still remember the language, but you won’t have an accent. It’s up to you what to do."
a:Keith-Gessen★  p:The-New-Yorker★★  d:2018.06.16  w:4500  language  children  Russia  from twitter
september 2018 by bankbryan
Trump’s Rougher Edge Complicates Trip by Pompeo and Mattis to India
"Under Mr. Mattis, the Pentagon has been equally committed to the partnership. It has even renamed its Hawaii-based American combatant command that oversees the Pacific region as the Indo-Pacific Command as a lure for India to increase its partnership with the United States and other allied forces. India’s rise was seen as such an obvious win for the United States that previous presidents mostly overlooked New Delhi’s reflexive trade protectionism. And if the Indians wanted to get some military equipment from Russia, that was seen as acceptable to Washington — as long as it meant India was becoming more powerful."
a:Gardiner-Harris  p:The-New-York-Times★★  d:2018.09.02  w:1000  diplomacy  Donald-Trump  India  China  Russia  from iphone
september 2018 by bankbryan
A Vor Never Sleeps
"The experience taught the FBI a critical lesson about the difference between the La Cosa Nostra (LCN) and Russian organized crime: Russians are willing to cut a deal. 'In LCN, cooperators were shunned—there is no reentry to the LCN,' Penza said. But Russians happily flip—and then go back to work with the same partners. There appear to be few permanent grudges. 'It’s like, "You had to do the thing you did,"' he added."
a:Garrett-M-Graff★  p:Longreads★★  d:2018.06.04  w:5000  crime  corruption  Italy  Russia  law-enforcement  from instapaper
august 2018 by bankbryan
Declassified documents offer a new perspective on Yuri Gagarin’s flight
"The many problems that Gagarin faced on his mission were not necessarily due to poor design or bad engineering, I would argue, but instead a combination of haste and poor workmanship on the factory floor. Consider that the Vostok spacecraft consisted of 241 vacuum tubes, more than 6,000 transistors, 56 electric motors, and about 800 relays and switches connected by about 15 kilometers of cable. In addition, there were 880 plug connectors, each (on average) having 850 contact points. A total of 123 organizations, including 36 factories, contributed parts to the entire Vostok system. Despite redundancy in a large number of systems, human-rating such a spacecraft with absolute confidence was practically impossible. Yet, the way that Soviet engineers designed the system, it was meant to operate even at the blurry edges where parameters were pushed to the max. It is because of this that I would argue that the Vostok design was in fact excellent engineering if we define 'excellent engineering' as also being incredibly *robust*."
a:Asif-Siddiqi  p:The-Space-Review  d:2015.10.12  w:3500  space  engineering  Russia  from twitter
august 2018 by bankbryan
The Quiet Americans Behind the U.S.-Russia Imbroglio
"As in other foreign-policy sectors, the Russia hands divide less along party lines than along foreign-policy philosophies: They are either 'realists' or 'internationalists'. Realists tend to be cautious about American overseas commitments and deferential toward state sovereignty; internationalists tend to be more inclined to universalist ideals like democracy and human rights, even where these are forced to cross borders. But the two supposed categories are blurred by a thousand factors, not least of which being that realists don’t like being called realists, because it suggests that they have no values, and internationalists don’t like to be called internationalists, as opposed to realists, because it suggests that they have no common sense. In the end, a vast internationalist middle, consisting of neoconservative Republicans and interventionist Democrats, predominates, with tiny slices of hard realists on the right and soft realists, or 'neorealists', on the left. And there are many shades of difference among all these people."
a:Keith-Gessen★  p:The-New-York-Times-Magazine★★  d:2018.05.08  w:8500  diplomacy  Russia  Donald-Trump  Barack-Obama  George-W-Bush  Bill-Clinton  from twitter
june 2018 by bankbryan
The Pressures Of Being An Interpreter At A High-Stakes Summit
"It was a seemingly minute detail. But in the context of these talks, the word 'verifying' meant that the Russians had unexpectedly sided with the U.S. on one point in the long-sought agreement. The discussion was on an Open Skies proposal, in which both sides could fly over each other's territory to verify compliance in arms control agreements. The Soviets and the Americans didn't agree on whose aircraft should be used for the inspections — the verifying party (the U.S.) or the verified party (the Soviet Union). Korchilov interpreted Gorbachev as saying: 'The aircraft to overfly territory for inspection purposes should be made available by the verifying party at the disposal of its crew.' 'At that moment I wished the earth could swallow me up,' Korchilov wrote in his 1997 memoir."
a:Danny-Hajek  p:NPR  d:2018.06.11  w:1000  language  diplomacy  North-Korea  Donald-Trump  Russia  from instapaper
june 2018 by bankbryan
The Russian Liberal’s Dilemma
"In 2012, Mikhail Prokhorov actually came in second in the capital region, pushing Putin below the 50 percent barrier for the first time since 2000. What felt, for a second, like a symbolic little win for the opposition was in fact a disaster: For Putin’s camp, the lesson was that, if even a transparent Kremlin plant like Prokhorov, running the laziest imaginable campaign, could end up consolidating the protest vote, someone like Navalny must never, in any circumstances, be allowed on the ballot."
a:Michael-Idov★★  p:Slate★★  d:2018.03.19  w:1000  Russia  voting  from twitter
march 2018 by bankbryan
Jared Kushner Is China’s Trump Card
"American intelligence officials describe their Chinese counterparts with grudging respect. At the end of the Obama Administration, Russia and China topped the White House’s list of counterintelligence threats, largely because of their proficiency in electronic surveillance—intercepting phone calls and e-mails. The Chinese were not yet on the level of the Russians in the area of 'human intelligence', or spies and informants, a senior Obama Administration official said, 'but they’re certainly improving, and they’ve been quite aggressive in recent years.' Michael Bahar, a former staff director and general counsel for Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, said, 'They are a professional service. They do their homework.'"
a:Adam-Entous  a:Evan-Osnos  p:The-New-Yorker★★  d:2018.01.29  w:4500  Donald-Trump  China  intelligence-gathering  diplomacy  espionage  Russia  2016-election  from instapaper
march 2018 by bankbryan
“He’s a Coen Brothers Villain”
"How do people there see the Mueller investigation, and does what you just said affect the way you see it?
I think they see it primarily as being incredibly amusing, because finally the U.S. is as obsessed with Russia as the Russians have always fantasized that it was.* Because after spending years and hundreds of millions of dollars on trying to raise Russia’s profile abroad, suddenly they can just kick back, relax, and do nothing while the Western media do their jobs of glorifying Putin as this hypercompetent, brilliant villain for them. They absolutely don’t mind being portrayed as scheming villains, because the only thing that the Russians hate is being accurately portrayed as largely incompetent. As long as we ascribe competence to them, they will be very happy."
a:Isaac-Chotiner  a:Michael-Idov★★  p:Slate★★  d:2018.02.27  w:2500  interview  Russia  2016-election  Donald-Trump  from twitter
march 2018 by bankbryan
U.S. Secretly Negotiated With Russians to Buy Stolen NSA Documents — and the Russians Offered Trump-Related Material, Too
"In March 2017, the Russian met with the American intermediary and a U.S. official in Berlin and agreed to provide the stolen NSA data from the Shadow Brokers in exchange for payment. The U.S. government used 'certain messaging techniques' that the Russian accepted as proof that the U.S. government was behind the negotiations and the proposed deal, according to the documents obtained by The Intercept. Officials gave the Russians advance knowledge that on June 20, 2017, at 12:30 p.m., the official NSA Twitter account would tweet: 'Samuel Morse patented the telegraph 177 years ago. Did you know you can still send telegrams? Faster than post & pay only if it’s delivered.' That tweet, in exactly those words, was issued at that time."
a:James-Risen  p:The-Intercept  d:2018.02.09  w:2500  Russia  NSA  Donald-Trump  intelligence-gathering  Twitter  2016-election  from instapaper
march 2018 by bankbryan
Robert Mueller Is Treating Russia Like a Gang, and It's Working
"For Moscow, this is a difficult issue to handle, behind the ritual nod-and-wink denials. There remains a certain bravado, an inverse pride in their trolls and other spooks, on part of Russia’s political elite. Indeed, you could argue that the more Mueller and others talk up Russian capabilities and the impact of their meddling on the world's most powerful democracy, the stronger the Kremlin looks. To be blunt, if you have already made the decision to be—and be seen as—a global meddler and bully, then you might as well be considered good at it."
a:Mark-Galeotti  p:VICE★★  d:2018.02.20  w:1500  Russia  hacking  Donald-Trump  2016-election  from instapaper
march 2018 by bankbryan
Revealed: The Secret KGB Manual for Recruiting Spies
"The virtues of an open society are vices to its enemies. The notion, for instance, that foreign spies might look to blackmail or incriminate and then recruit sojourning scientists or graduate students or newspaper columnists was anathema to liberal sensibilities. 'The Russians just think it so quaint when we say, "students and cultural exchanges ought to be sacrosanct and certainly nobody would use these honest exchange programs for espionage purposes,"' said Hall. 'They take it to the bank every time.' 'There is no such thing as clean business, people-to-people contact or cultural work that is off limits,' agrees John Sipher. 'Any time a foreigner interacts with the Russian state, he or she should expect to be targeted, assessed and scrutinized.'"
a:Michael-Weiss  p:The-Daily-Beast★  d:2017.12.27  w:5500  intelligence-gathering  espionage  Russia  2016-election  Cold-War  from instapaper
february 2018 by bankbryan
What Putin Really Wants
"The Rose Revolution in Georgia, the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan—'Russia looks at this with understandable mistrust,' Migranyan told his students. He pointed out that the United States, by its own admission, had spent $5 billion in Ukraine to promote democracy—that is, to expand the liberal Western order. Through this prism, it is not irrational to believe that the U.S. might be coming for Moscow—and Putin—next. Putin had always been suspicious of democracy promotion, but two moments convinced him that America was coming for him under its guise. The first was the 2011 nato intervention in Libya, which led, ultimately, to the ousting and gruesome lynching of the Libyan dictator, Muammar Qaddafi. Afterward, many people who interacted with Putin noticed how deeply Qaddafi’s death troubled him. He is said to have watched the video of the killing over and over. 'The way Qaddafi died made a profound impact on him,' says Jake Sullivan, a former senior State Department official who met repeatedly with senior Russian officials around that time. Another former senior Obama-administration official describes Putin as 'obsessed' with Qaddafi’s death."
a:Julia-Ioffe  p:The-Atlantic★★  d:2017.12  w:11500  Russia  hacking  2016-election  Barack-Obama  Hillary-Clinton  government  Donald-Trump  from instapaper
january 2018 by bankbryan
Security Breach and Spilled Secrets Have Shaken the N.S.A. to Its Core
"According to former N.S.A. employees who are still in touch with active workers, investigators of the Shadow Brokers thefts are clearly worried that one or more leakers may still be inside the agency. Some T.A.O. employees have been asked to turn over their passports, take time off their jobs and submit to questioning. The small number of specialists who have worked both at T.A.O. and at the C.I.A. have come in for particular attention, out of concern that a single leaker might be responsible for both the Shadow Brokers and the C.I.A.’s Vault7 breaches. Then there are the Shadow Brokers’ writings, which betray a seeming immersion in American culture. Last April, about the time Mr. Williams was discovering their inside knowledge of T.A.O. operations, the Shadow Brokers posted an appeal to President Trump: 'Don’t Forget Your Base.' With the ease of a seasoned pundit, they tossed around details about Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s now departed adviser; the Freedom Caucus in Congress; the 'deep state'; the Alien and Sedition Acts; and white privilege. 'TheShadowBrokers is wanting to see you succeed,' the post said, addressing Mr. Trump. 'TheShadowBrokers is wanting America to be great again.'"
a:Scott-Shane  a:Nicole-Perlroth  a:David-E-Sanger  p:The-New-York-Times★★  d:2017.11.12  w:4000  NSA  Edward-Snowden  hacking  intelligence-gathering  Russia  from instapaper
january 2018 by bankbryan
The ghostly radio station that no one claims to run
"Many believe that the station is a hybrid of two things. The constant drone is just a marker, saying 'this frequency is mine, this frequency is mine…' to stop people from using it. It only becomes a numbers station in moments of crisis, such as if Russia were invaded. Then it would function as a way to instruct their worldwide spy network and military forces on standby in remote areas. After all, this is a country around 70 times the size of the UK."
a:Zaria-Gorvett  p:BBC-Future  d:2017.08.02  w:2000  Russia  Cold-War  nuclear-weapons  from instapaper
december 2017 by bankbryan
The World According to Trump
"SECOND MEXICAN: Will it work? This can’t weigh more than forty or fifty pounds.
FIRST MEXICAN: The sack weighs sixty pounds.
SECOND MEXICAN: I understand now. That is the exact number of pounds required to knock someone out.
They throw the sack over the border, knock the guard unconscious, and cross into the U.S. while laughing at it, because the country is now a laughingstock."
a:Teddy-Wayne  p:McSweeney's★★★  d:2017.11.30  w:500  satire  Donald-Trump  immigration  voting  Russia  from iphone
december 2017 by bankbryan
How Moscow's Spies Keep Duping America—Over and Over Again
"The Bush administration came in with fresh eyes, and the same slightly egotistical presumption that they could do it better than the last guy. Bush officials saw an opportunity when Putin was among the first to reach out after the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington to offer help against the Taliban who were hosting al-Qaeda. 'In a very American way, a lot of people who did not deal with the Russians day-to-day just assumed they would be natural allies,' said former CIA officer Sipher of the days just after the attacks. 'Those of us who had been working on Russia for years and years had become pretty jaded because the Russians are sort of a police state… writ large."
a:Kimberly-Dozier  p:The-Daily-Beast★  d:2017.06.25  w:2500  intelligence-gathering  Russia  trust  9/11  from instapaper
october 2017 by bankbryan
Facebook’s Heading Toward a Bruising Run-In With the Russia Probe
"Facebook is so accustomed to treating its ‘internal policies’ as though they were something like laws that they appear to have a sort of blind spot that prevents them from seeing how ridiculous their resistance sounds. To use the cliche, it feels like a real shark jumping moment. As someone recently observed, Facebook’s ‘internal policies’ are crafted to create the appearance of civic concerns for privacy, free speech, and other similar concerns. But they’re actually just a business model."
a:Josh-Marshall  p:Talking-Points-Memo  d:2017.09.13  w:1000  Facebook  policy  2016-election  Russia  from twitter
september 2017 by bankbryan
Estimate of Damage to U.S. Foreign Policy Interests (From Net of Listening Devices in U.S. Embassy Moscow)
"The fact that damage to American political interests was not so direct and gross as to be readily demonstrable does not mean that there was none. In considering the possible impact which information derived from bugging had upon Soviet policymakers’ thinking, we find large unknown areas. In some instances Soviet awareness of American firmness may have redounded to our advantage. On balance, however, we must conclude that Soviet leaders gained considerable advantage in their dealings with us, and, over time, they may have felt free to pursue more assertive policies because they had a clearer idea of what our reaction might be."
p:Department-of-State  d:1964.10.02  w:1500  Russia  surveillance  negotiation  intelligence-gathering  from instapaper
august 2017 by bankbryan
The World's Five Military Empires
"Despite talk of American decline, the U.S. still is the world's only superpower – if by that you mean: the country with by far the biggest military footprint throughout the world. The United States spent $611 billion on its defence in 2016. According to this map, that kind of money buys you a military presence on every inhabited continent of the world. According to SIPER, the U.S. has 587 bases in a total of 42 other countries, in addition to 4,154 bases on its own territory, plus 114 bases in U.S. overseas territories."
a:Frank-Jacobs★  p:Strange-Maps★  d:2017.07.10  w:1000  map  military  USA  UK  Russia  France  China 
july 2017 by bankbryan
'I thought I was smarter than almost everybody': my double life as a KGB agent
"Dittrich was given his mission: to establish contacts with foreign policy think tanks, and in particular President Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski. He was given little guidance as to how he should do this, or even how best to blend into US society. The people who trained him had little feeling for the real fabric of America, its visceral, unquantifiable essence. 'It’s as if they had spent time looking at fish swimming in an aquarium, and now they are training you to be a fish,' Barsky says. 'But they don’t actually know what it’s like to be a fish.'"
a:Shaun-Walker  p:The-Guardian★★  d:2017.02.11  w:4500  espionage  Russia  culture  deception  from instapaper
june 2017 by bankbryan
At a Besieged White House, Tempers Flare and Confusion Swirls
"In private, three administration officials conceded that they could not publicly articulate their most compelling — and honest — defense of the president for divulging classified intelligence to the Russians: that Mr. Trump, a hasty and indifferent reader of his briefing materials, simply did not possess the interest or the knowledge of the granular details of intelligence gathering to leak specific sources and methods of intelligence gathering that would harm American allies."
a:Glenn-Thrush★  a:Maggie-Haberman★  p:The-New-York-Times★★  d:2017.05.16  w:1500  government  Donald-Trump  intelligence-gathering  Russia  from instapaper
may 2017 by bankbryan
Bombshell: Initial Thoughts on the Washington Post’s Game-Changing Story
"Trump’s alleged screw-up with the Russians reveals yet again what we have learned many times in the last four months: The successful operation of our government assumes a minimally competent Chief Executive that we now lack. Everyone else in the Executive Branch can be disciplined or fired or worse when they screw up by, say, revealing classified information or lying about some important public policy issue. But the President cannot be fired; we are stuck with him for 3-1/2 more years unless he is impeached, which remains a long-shot. The Post reports: '"It is all kind of shocking," said a former senior U.S. official who is close to current administration officials. "Trump seems to be very reckless and doesn’t grasp the gravity of the things he’s dealing with, especially when it comes to intelligence and national security."'
Bottom line: It matters who we have running the most powerful institution in the world."
a:Jack-Goldsmith  a:Susan-Hennessey  a:Quinta-Jurecic  a:Matthew-Kahn  a:Benjamin-Wittes  a:Elishe-Julian-Wittes  p:Lawfare  d:2017.05.15  w:3500  law  government  Donald-Trump  Russia  intelligence-gathering  from instapaper
may 2017 by bankbryan
HOWTO: Fight Cyberwars and Lose
"This is what the strategic goal of the Trump administration is when dealing with the media. Its just misdirection and a denial of attention attack (everyone has an attention budget, if you can force them to spend it all on trivialities via misdirection, you win.) Every minute that CNN spends defending its newsgathering operation is a minute spent away from the kind of original reporting that caused the administration to throw a hissy fit in the first place. It’s like if someone called you an asshole, and you responded by earnestly lecturing them on anatomy."
a:the-Grugq★★  p:the-Grugq★★  d:2017.04.01  w:1000  cyberwarfare  Donald-Trump  media  Russia  from instapaper
april 2017 by bankbryan
Russia: Life After Trust
"We know, though we often pretend not to, that things like democracy, liberty, and corruption exist on a continuum: Russia’s direct presidential elections are by definition more democratic than our Electoral College, for instance, but bribery in America is still, in most cases, a risky proposition. Yet corruption gradually shades into a culture of lobbyists and expediters and so on. Trust, on the other hand, is trust. It’s either there or it isn’t. Regardless of how strict or liberal a society’s rule book is, the people either agree to Tinkerbell it into existence or they do not. A wailing ambulance contains either someone who needs help or someone taking you for a sucker. Post-Soviet Russia is a spectacular modern case of what happens when that basic trust between the individual and the institution, any institution, breaks down."
a:Michael-Idov★★  p:New-York-Magazine★★  d:2017.01.22  w:3000  trust  government  corruption  Russia  Donald-Trump  from instapaper
april 2017 by bankbryan
From Russia, With Wig: American Spy Suspect Is Ejected
"The circumstances of Mr. Fogle’s unmasking seemed bizarre, even given the long, colorful history of spying by the Soviet Union, Russia and their rivals. Over the years, American diplomats have found bugs and other devices in a wide variety of locations — including the undersides of typewriter keys and the beak of a wooden eagle presented to the ambassador as a gift. The United States once tore down and rebuilt an entire new embassy building in Moscow after discovering the walls were filled with listening devices."
a:David-M-Herszenhorn  a:Ellen-Barry  p:The-New-York-Times★★  d:2013.05.14  w:1500  espionage  Russia  intelligence-gathering  from instapaper
february 2017 by bankbryan
The Spy Revolt Against Trump Begins
"In pretty much every capital worldwide, embassies that provide sanctuary to hostile intelligence services are subject to counterintelligence surveillance, including monitoring phone calls. Our spy services conduct signals intelligence—SIGINT for short—against the Russian embassy in Washington, just as the Russians do against our embassy in Moscow. Ambassadors’ calls are always monitored: that’s how the SpyWar works, everywhere. Ambassador Kislyak surely knew his conversations with Flynn were being intercepted, and it’s incomprehensible that a career military intelligence officer who once headed a major intelligence agency didn’t realize the same. Whether Flynn is monumentally stupid or monumentally arrogant is the big question that hangs over this increasingly strange affair."
a:John-R-Schindler  p:Observer  d:2017.02.12  w:1500  Donald-Trump  intelligence-gathering  Russia  espionage  from instapaper
february 2017 by bankbryan
Freshly Tapped: Port City's Colossal 6
"'We knew from the outset that it was too small, but on balance, it was the best that we could do with the shape of this building and the space that we had available,' Butcher recalls. 'Well, we outgrew that cold room probably six months into production. We knew it would be too small, but we didn’t think it would get too small that quickly.' If this seems like a trivial inconvenience, it’s not. If your cold storage is restricted, then so is the amount of beer you can produce. You can’t make beer that you have nowhere to put. It also results in a herky jerky production schedule, where the cold room is emptied and then has to filled every few days. It’s a problem that’s more common than you might think. 'No brewery I know has enough cold storage,' Butcher says. 'No distributor has enough cold storage. And no retailer has enough cold storage. It’s expensive, and nobody has enough. It’s one of the big capacity issues in the craft beer business right now.'"
a:Philip-Runco★★  p:BrightestYoungThings★  d:2017.02.06  w:6000  beer  manufacturing  history  Russia  logistics  from instapaper
february 2017 by bankbryan
GOP gets bolder in breaking with Trump
"Trump on Saturday lambasted Judge James Robart of the Western District of Washington as a 'so-called judge' for issuing a 'ridiculous' decision against his order. Robart was appointed by former President George W. Bush. GOP lawmakers distanced themselves immediately. McConnell said it’s 'best to avoid criticizing judges individually,' and Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), an outspoken Trump critic during the presidential campaign, said, 'We don’t have any so-called judges, just real judges.'"
a:Alexander-Bolton  p:The-Hill  d:2017.02.07  w:1000  Republicans  Donald-Trump  law  Russia  from twitter
february 2017 by bankbryan
Security, Cyber and Elections (part 4)
"Professional journalists must, generally speaking, conduct fact checking. They must be able to verify the data used for their story, and will (usually) not publish a story that is unverifiable. The technique to use here then is to make the datasets unverifiable, or so difficult to verify that the fact checking exceeds the window of vulnerability."
a:the-Grugq★★  p:the-Grugq★★  d:2017.01.11  w:1000  Russia  2016-election  journalism  intelligence-gathering  from instapaper
january 2017 by bankbryan
The Russian Way of Cyberwar
"It is fair to say that if this was not a Russian operation, someone went to tremendous trouble to conduct an operation that the Russians would have happily done themselves."
a:the-Grugq★★  p:the-Grugq★★  d:2017.01.10  w:1000  cyberwarfare  Russia  intelligence-gathering  from instapaper
january 2017 by bankbryan
Security, Cyber and Elections (part 3)
"The goal of an information operation is to control the narrative around an event, sequence of events, person, etc. etc. An exceptionally effective information operation will inject 'info' into the sensemaking discourse at such a level that it alters the conclusions of those targeted. That is, *a truly good information operation will change the targets’ understanding of reality*."
a:the-Grugq★★  p:the-Grugq★★  d:2016.11.30  w:1500  voting  security  intelligence-gathering  Russia  2016-election  information  social-media  media  from instapaper
december 2016 by bankbryan
Inside the Secret World of Russia's Cold War Mapmakers
"The maps were part of one of the most ambitious cartographic enterprises ever undertaken. During the Cold War, the Soviet military mapped the entire world, parts of it down to the level of individual buildings. The Soviet maps of US and European cities have details that aren’t on domestic maps made around the same time, things like the precise width of roads, the load-bearing capacity of bridges, and the types of factories. They’re the kinds of things that would come in handy if you’re planning a tank invasion. Or an occupation. Things that would be virtually impossible to find out without eyes on the ground. Given the technology of the time, the Soviet maps are incredibly accurate. Even today, the US State Department uses them (among other sources) to place international boundary lines on official government maps."
a:Greg-Miller  p:Wired★★  d:2015.07  w:6000  maps  Russia  Cold-War  from twitter
november 2016 by bankbryan
Security, Cyber, and Elections (part 1)
"If the end point protection systems worked, they would solve cyber security. Everyone pushing these solutions is selling something. Some of it is actually useful, most of it is junk. Just remember that compromising the end points of a civilian computer network is basically what every penetration testing company does on a daily basis. There is no salvation against exploits and compromised end points, only mitigations. Do: harden the systems you use, apply patches in a timely fashion, minimize your exposure to high risk situations, install and use robust end point protection software. Make the bastards work for it!"
a:the-Grugq★★  p:the-Grugq★★  d:2016.11.07  w:1000  instructional  security  voting  intelligence-gathering  Russia  encryption  from instapaper
november 2016 by bankbryan
Stanislav Petrov: The man who may have saved the world
"This was a breach of his instructions, a dereliction of duty. The safe thing to do would have been to pass the responsibility on, to refer up. But his decision may have saved the world. 'I had all the data [to suggest there was an ongoing missile attack]. If I had sent my report up the chain of command, nobody would have said a word against it,' he told the BBC's Russian Service 30 years after that overnight shift."
a:Pavel-Aksenov  p:BBC-News  d:2013.09.26  w:1000  Cold-War  nuclear-weapons  Russia  from twitter
september 2016 by bankbryan
FBI trying to build legal cases against Russian hackers: sources
"While the debate about how and when to respond to the hacking continues, U.S. officials said there is agreement that two Russian intelligence agencies - the military's GRU and the civilian foreign intelligence agency, the FSB - are behind it. There also is a consensus among U.S. officials that Russian attacks have become more frequent and brazen. 'They have decided that hacking and publicly revealing embarrassing things about other nations’ politicians and organizations is now openly something that the Russian government does, and they don’t care we know,' said Clarke. 'They are going to be blamed anyway; why go through the silliness of denying it?'"
a:Mark-Hosenball  a:Joseph-Menn  p:Reuters  d:2016.09.15  w:500  hacking  Russia  from instapaper
september 2016 by bankbryan
Shuffleboard At McMurdo
"The NSF volunteers triage our group into the walking well, the stragglers, and those who are beyond saving. The first two groups press on to our first destination, the Chalet, an ancient administrative building built in a style I would call ‘Ford-era National Park’. As the administrative heart of McMurdo, the Chalet has the power to (unofficially) stamp our passports, and the passengers line up excited for this little formality. In this respect, McMurdo has our number. I have learned that people willing to spend a fortune on Ross Sea travel share a love of grandeur, remoteness, and filling out forms. During our trip south, the passengers have sometimes seemed more interested in the official names of things than in the things themselves. They fight over the map instead of looking out the window. Their idea of heaven would be completing a tax return on Mars."
a:Maciej-Ceglowski★★★  p:Idle-Words★★★  d:2016.05.14  w:7000  travel  weather  United-States  Russia  Cold-War  New-Zealand  from twitter
august 2016 by bankbryan
The day we discovered our parents were Russian spies
"The programme was the only one of its kind in international espionage. (Many assumed it had been stopped, until the 2010 FBI swoop.) Many intelligence agencies use agents operating without diplomatic cover; some have recruited second-generation immigrants already living abroad, but the Russians have been the only ones to train agents to pretend to be foreigners. Canada was a common place for the illegals to go, to build up their 'legend' of being an ordinary western citizen before being deployed to target countries, often the US or Britain. During Soviet times, the illegals had two main functions: to aid in communications between embassy KGB officers and their US sources (an illegal would be less likely to be put under surveillance than a diplomat); and to be sleeper cells for a potential 'special period' – a war between the US and the Soviet Union. The illegals could then spring into action."
a:Shaun-Walker  p:The-Guardian★★  d:2016.05.07  w:6000  espionage  Russia  The-Americans  family  intelligence-gathering  from instapaper
august 2016 by bankbryan
Nuclear Declaratory Policy and Negative Security Assurances
"According to the December 2014 Russian Military Doctrine Paper, Russia reserves the option to use nuclear weapons in response to an attack involving any weapon of mass destruction, and in response to conventional attacks 'when the very existence of the state is under threat'. This phrase suggests a willingness to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states in the event of an impending conventional military defeat."
p:Arms-Control-Association  d:2016.06.30  w:2000  nuclear-weapons  policy  war  Russia  China  France  UK  India  Pakistan  Israel  North-Korea  United-States  from instapaper
august 2016 by bankbryan
Nervous about nukes again? Here’s what you need to know about The Button. (There is no button.)
"At the president’s disposal right now are a little over 900 nuclear warheads deployed on various 'delivery vehicles' around the planet. Some sit atop missiles buried in the ground in Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska and Colorado. Some are carried by submarines that are patrolling the North Atlantic and western Pacific. Others are ready to be loaded onto aircraft in Missouri, North Dakota, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey. Some of these warheads can be launched within minutes of the president’s order, hit anywhere in the world within a half hour, and deliver 20 times the explosive force of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The president can order this without consulting Congress, without being checked by the Supreme Court."
a:Dan-Zak  p:The-Washington-Post★★  d:2016.08.03  w:1500  nuclear-weapons  process  2016-election  Russia  from instapaper
august 2016 by bankbryan
I Ran the C.I.A. Now I’m Endorsing Hillary Clinton.
"President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia was a career intelligence officer, trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them. That is exactly what he did early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump’s vulnerabilities by complimenting him. He responded just as Mr. Putin had calculated. Mr. Putin is a great leader, Mr. Trump says, ignoring that he has killed and jailed journalists and political opponents, has invaded two of his neighbors and is driving his economy to ruin. Mr. Trump has also taken policy positions consistent with Russian, not American, interests — endorsing Russian espionage against the United States, supporting Russia’s annexation of Crimea and giving a green light to a possible Russian invasion of the Baltic States. In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation."
a:Michael-J-Morrell  p:The-New-York-Times★★  d:2016.08.05  w:1000  2016-election  Hillary-Clinton  Russia  from instapaper
august 2016 by bankbryan
Russia is harassing U.S. diplomats all over Europe
"Kerry raised the issue directly with Putin during his visit to Moscow in March. Putin made no promises about ending the harassment, which continued after Kerry returned to Washington. The U.S. ambassadors to Europe are asking the State Department to do more. Leading members of Congress who are involved in diplomacy with Europe see the lack of a more robust U.S. response as part of an effort by the Obama administration to project a veneer of positive U.S.-Russian relations that doesn’t really exist. 'The problem is there have been no consequences for Russia,' said Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), who serves as president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. 'The administration continues to pursue a false narrative that Russia can be our partner. They clearly don’t want to be our partner, they’ve identified us as an adversary, and we need to prepare for that type of relationship.'"
a:Josh-Rogin  p:The-Washington-Post★★  d:2016.06.27  w:1000  diplomacy  Russia  John-Kerry  Barack-Obama  international-relations  from instapaper
june 2016 by bankbryan
In Donald Trump’s Rise, Allies See New American Approach
"'Russia’s enthusiasm about Trump seems to be predicated on the assumption that he may actually withdraw forces from Europe,' said Matthew Rojansky, the director of the Kennan Institute, a Washington research group focused on Russia. That is exactly the fear of others in a region where NATO is the only bulwark against Russia and where some people doubt that an American president would really commit forces to protect them in times of conflict. After Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, 'a lot of Latvians woke up and said, "Thank God we are in NATO,", said Lolita Cigane, a member of the Latvian Parliament."
a:David-E-Sanger  a:Jim-Yardley  p:The-New-York-Times★★  d:2016.05.05  w:1500  Donald-Trump  2016-election  military  Russia  Cold-War  international-relations  foreign-policy  from instapaper
june 2016 by bankbryan
The most important foreign news story this week was about Russian tax policy
"The Russian state, as it currently exists, is not quite as precarious as the late-1980s Soviet Union, but it's pretty precarious, and what stability it has is expensive. Vladimir Putin maintains power through a combination of popular and elite support; the elites support him in part because he keeps them rich and powerful, and the public supports him because he delivers (they feel) stability and protection. He also keeps the Russian state together in part by giving vast amounts of government money to regional governments in Russia's territory in the Caucasus, such as Chechnya, preventing those regions from rebelling or attempting to break away, as they have in the past. All of those things cost money: The elites are accustomed to Versailles-level wealth, the public relies on large (but rapidly shrinking) social services to keep their communities from completely collapsing as the economy shrinks, and everyone believes they need the powerful Russian military to defend from terrorists and from a West that is seen as bent on Russia's destruction. If this oil tax goes through — and Moscow may feel it has no choice, simply to survive year to year — and the Russian economy declines long term as a result, then this status quo simply can't last."
a:Max-Fisher★  p:Vox★★  d:2016.03.25  w:1500  Russia  taxes  energy  military  power  from instapaper
april 2016 by bankbryan
It’s 8 a.m. Somewhere: Russia
"Before this century, on-the-go culture had been mercifully absent from Russian cuisine. I remember one exception: my classmate Arseni would place a couple of tea bags on his tongue and gulp a mouthful of hot water before rushing off to school. He said the freshness of such tea is unparalleled, as it bypasses any adulteration a cup may introduce, and saves you twenty minutes at the very least."
a:Roman-Muradov  p:Lucky-Peach★★  d:2016.04.18  w:500  food  Russia  from twitter
april 2016 by bankbryan
Govern by gaming: Gritty sim reveals truths about urban planning
"Soviet City repackages the idealism of central planning with a strong undercurrent of insurgency to instigate a carefully engineered political stasis. As a player, your goal is purgatory, not paradise. 'You play as a central planner tasked with keeping the populace in line and the government’s five-year plans on track,' Rudin writes. But unlike SimCity, say, becoming mayor of a perfect metropolis is not the aim. 'A certain amount of volatility is desirable. Your goals as a planner are not perfectly aligned with those of your citizens or your overlords.'"
a:Geoff-Manaugh★★  p:New-Scientist  d:2016.02.09  w:1000  games  Russia  cities  from twitter
february 2016 by bankbryan
Are we likely to see new nation states emerge this century?
"Today, refugees flood Europe, and a separatist ‘Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’ (ISIS), declared in a cross-border Sunni Arab heartland, is showing it can export terrorism anywhere. Ethnic and sectarian conflict is erasing the borders imposed after the First World War. No one knows how much bloodshed it will take, but any of the following might emerge as fully recognised states: the Kurds in Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey; Syria’s Druze, Yazidis and Alawites; Iraq’s Shiites and Sunnis; and Palestine itself. Superpower tit-for-tat could achieve some of it: if, say, the US recognises an Assad-run Syrian enclave in exchange for Russia tolerating a pro-US Kurdistan. Or perhaps the UN will convene a grand remapping conference as the only alternative to the power vacuum ISIS currently fills."
a:Chris-Roth  p:Aeon★★  d:2016.01.20  w:1000  history  maps  Russia  Europe  from instapaper
january 2016 by bankbryan
Anna Ivanovna’s Ice Palace
"You would think that *this* would be the end of the story, but Anna wanted to punish Mikhail further. Seemingly, she intended to show him—and everyone—the folly of love and marriage—especially to Catholics—and wanted a 'total victory over all infidels'. So in 1739 she ordered the construction of a massive ice palace 80 feet long and 33 feet high, where all the blocks were 'glued' together with water. Inside was a furnished bridal suite. Made of ice! The bed, the pillows, even the clocks! Outside there were ice trees in which ice birds nested. There was even an ice statue of an elephant that spouted water from its trunk. The elephant could also bellow in a realistic manner because a man sat inside it blowing a horn. (The number of terrible jobs in old Russia are absolutely endless, and the revolution was completely understandable.)"
a:Jennifer-Wright  p:Slate/Culturebox★  d:2015.11.13  w:1500  history  Russia  from twitter
november 2015 by bankbryan
The Threat of Telecom Sabotage
"Unfortunately, accidental submarine cable cuts, along with acts of telecom sabotage, occur with varying degrees of regularity. In either case, service is generally restored in hours, days or weeks and life carries on. It is the centrality of the Internet to modern society that makes it a valuable target for authoritarian governments as well as saboteurs. But it is the distributed nature of the Internet itself that makes it so survivable. It would truly take a Hollywood scenario to even temporarily degrade the Internet for a country as richly connected as the United States. Short of massive solar flares or some other civilization threatening global calamity, the Internet will continue to function as designed and with only sporadic localized failures."
a:Doug-Madory  p:Dyn-Research  d:2015.10.30  w:1000  internet  war  China  Russia  infrastructure  from instapaper
november 2015 by bankbryan
How (and Why) SpaceX Will Colonize Mars
"Today, no one is talking about Mars, and very few people think of Mars as a relevant part of the near future. But unless I’ve missed something big or something unexpected happens, in about 10–20 years, *people will start going to Mars*. *You* could go to Mars in your lifetime. Crazy things are on the horizon. This is one of those topics that’s tough to absorb, because as you think about it, your mind will keep drifting back to, 'Nahhhh.' Learning about what SpaceX is doing and why they’re doing it can take you from a place where thinking the prospect of humans moving to Mars is totally ludicrous to a place where you accept the logic that it’s actually an important thing to do and something that’s possible and even likely to happen. But that’s different than really *believing* it’ll happen. As you read this post, even if you agree with what you’re reading, if you had to quickly bet $1,000 on whether people will be moving to Mars in 20 years, there’s a good chance you’d bet against it, because deep down, your brain hasn’t *really* accepted it. And that’s fair—your brain bases things on experience, and experience tells it that moving to Mars is not something that people ever do. But I’m pretty sure your brain’s in for some big surprises over the next few decades."
a:Tim-Urban★★★  p:Wait-But-Why★★★  d:2015.08  w:38000  space  engineering  SpaceX  Elon-Musk  science  history  future  Russia  disaster  travel  aviation  management  Mars 
october 2015 by bankbryan
How (and Why) SpaceX Will Colonize Mars
"Imagine the current air travel industry with one key difference: an airplane works for one flight only. Each flight is on a brand new plane, and after the flight, passengers exit into the terminal and the plane is broken down into scrap metal and possibly-reusable parts that are sent off to be refurbished for use in a future plane. An airplane costs around $300 million to build. So in this new model, in addition to paying for the crew’s time and fuel, airlines have to spend $300 million extra each flight to build a plane. How would that change things? First, there would be very few flights available—the schedule would be limited by the pace of plane production. Second, the price of a round-trip ticket between Chicago and San Francisco would now cost about $1.5 million per person. For economy. Air Force One would still exist. Wealthy countries would have a small military air fleet. A few governments would fly in order to perform certain types of science experiments. People with 10 billion dollars would probably fly a decent amount, but people with only one billion dollars couldn’t really afford it. And you? You would be born, live your life, and die without ever riding on a plane. If this were the situation, people would probably look at the non-existent air travel industry and determine that clearly, there was no public will to travel by air. Politicians would argue against putting much government funding into the exorbitant activity. Most people wouldn’t even fully understand how airplanes worked, and they wouldn’t waste any time imagining what the world would be like if everyone could use them. It would become a non-topic. We’d travel by car and railroad and ship and that would be that. Can you see where I’m going with this?"
a:Tim-Urban★★★  p:Wait-But-Why★★★  d:2015.08  w:38000  space  engineering  SpaceX  Elon-Musk  science  history  future  Russia  disaster  travel  aviation  management  Mars  from twitter
october 2015 by bankbryan
How (and Why) SpaceX Will Colonize Mars
"Almost every person I talked to at both Tesla and SpaceX emphasized how much of an expert Musk is at their particular field, whether that field be car batteries, car design, electric motors, rocket structures, rocket engines, rocket electronics ('avionics'), or aerospace engineering. He can do this because of a combination of his immensely thick tree trunk of fundamental understanding of physics and engineering and his genius-level ability to retain information as he learns it. It’s that insane breadth of expertise that allows Musk to maintain such an abnormally high level of control over everything that happens at his companies. I asked SpaceX’s VP of Software Engineering, Jinnah Hosein, about Musk’s nanomanagement. He said: 'The biggest surprise for anyone first joining the company—SpaceX throws around term “nanomanager,” and you’re like, “Okay he likes to go down in the weeds, that’s cool”—but you have no idea. For the CEO of the company, he has an incredibly deep stack—he has all that info available to him, and he can drill down on any one thing, and often does. He’s making very low-level decisions and very low-level course directions for the company, with high fidelity, and I can’t imagine it working with anyone else at any other company. The thought of one person being a key decision point for so many things is remarkable to me—he can hold it all it in his head and recall it on demand in real time, as necessary, in order to be able to make good decisions.'"
a:Tim-Urban★★★  p:Wait-But-Why★★★  d:2015.08  w:38000  space  engineering  SpaceX  Elon-Musk  science  history  future  Russia  disaster  travel  aviation  management  Mars  from twitter
october 2015 by bankbryan
How (and Why) SpaceX Will Colonize Mars
"Can we just acknowledge how good living on *Earth* sounds right now?? Imagine the privilege of living in *room* temperature weather, one atmosphere of pressure, *g* gravity, light breezes, watery rainstorms, plentiful liquid oceans, magnetic and atmospheric protection from the sun, food everywhere, and air you can just *breathe in*. You need a huge number of different conditions to be *precisely* correct in order for you to be able to just stroll around outdoors without a spacesuit. So let’s all appreciate the *luxury* of living on Earth for the next seven minutes until we all simultaneously forget to give a shit about it again forever."
a:Tim-Urban★★★  p:Wait-But-Why★★★  d:2015.08  w:38000  space  engineering  SpaceX  Elon-Musk  science  history  future  Russia  disaster  travel  aviation  management  Mars  from twitter
october 2015 by bankbryan
How (and Why) SpaceX Will Colonize Mars
"When I look at what’s going on with humans and space today, I should think it’s incredible. Just 58 years after the Soviets put the first man-made object into orbit, we now have a swarm of high-tech equipment soaring around our planet, giving humans magical capabilities in vision and communication. There’s a team of flying robot messengers spread out through the Solar System, reporting back to us with their findings. There’s a *huge flying telescope high* above Earth, showing us exactly what the observable universe looks like. There’s a football field-sized *science lab* 250 miles above our heads with *people* in it. Everything I just said is *amazing*. But unfortunately, the 60s happened."
a:Tim-Urban★★★  p:Wait-But-Why★★★  d:2015.08  w:38000  space  engineering  SpaceX  Elon-Musk  science  history  future  Russia  disaster  travel  aviation  management  Mars  from twitter
october 2015 by bankbryan
None Dare Call It a Conspiracy
"By continuing to push on with the case, and by continuing to call for a public investigation, Trepashkin may also be propelling himself ever closer to the answers that will destroy him. So long as those behind the bombings are confident that they have won or that they have at least sufficiently buried the past, he remains relatively safe. It is when the crowds start taking his leaflets that the danger to him grows. That day may now be fast approaching."
a:Scott-Anderson  p:GQ★★  d:2009.09  w:8000  conspiracy  Russia  from twitter
july 2015 by bankbryan
The Marlboro Men of Chernivtsi
"There’s one particular company that seems to defy all sense of decency in the world—even in the shady world of cigarette trafficking. The Baltic Tobacco Company, located in the western Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, has been producing Jin Ling cigarettes since 1997. Jin Ling is known for its labeling and artwork, which are almost identical to the US brand Camel. Jin Ling cigarettes are churned out at a clip of around 13 billion a year in Kaliningrad. And while this nets Baltic Tobacco an annual profit of about $1 billion, the cigarettes have no legal market. The Jin Ling brand is intentionally manufactured, transported, and sold exclusively by cigarette traffickers. While other cigarette companies might knowingly partake in the illegal cigarette trade on the side, they all rely primarily on legal sales. Baltic just skipped that part."
a:Andrew-W-Jones  p:The-Morning-News★★  d:2015.02.10  w:5000  law  corruption  smoking  Russia  regulation  from instapaper
july 2015 by bankbryan
What would happen if an 800-kiloton nuclear warhead detonated above midtown Manhattan?
"Within tens of minutes, everything within approximately five to seven miles of Midtown Manhattan would be engulfed by a gigantic firestorm. The fire zone would cover a total area of 90 to 152 square miles (230 to 389 square kilometers). The firestorm would rage for three to six hours. Air temperatures in the fire zone would likely average 400 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (200 to 260 Celsius). After the fire burned out, the street pavement would be so hot that even tracked vehicles could not pass over it for days. Buried, unburned material from collapsed buildings throughout the fire zone could burst into flames when exposed to air—months after the firestorm had ended."
a:Steven-Starr  a:Lynn-Eden  a:Theodore-A-Postol  p:The-Bulletin  d:2015.02.25  w:1500  disaster  nuclear-weapons  NYC  Russia  from instapaper
july 2015 by bankbryan
How to Seduce a Girl, Advice from Love Cheetah, Part 6.
"No. 3: Measure her heartbeat using an arcane Soviet device & say: 'We're on the same side -- let me tear down your walls.'"
a:Ali-Fitzgerald★★  p:McSweeney's★★★  d:2015.05.11  comic  instructional  sex  Russia 
june 2015 by bankbryan
‘Out of My Mouth Comes Unimpeachable Manly Truth’
"The lessons for all Russians, especially spoiled Camembert-addicted Muscovites, are clear: In the difficult days to come, learn to shoot a gun, learn to catch ducks."
a:Gary-Shteyngart  p:The-New-York-Times-Magazine★★  d:2015.02.18  w:6000  Russia  culture  television  gay  from twitter
june 2015 by bankbryan
The Never-Ending Film
"She was clearly one of Khrzhanovsky's, you know, favorites. When I asked her how long she was on set she said she worked at the cafeteria since 1949s. So for three years. In reality she had been on the set for four months. And she invited me and the photographer over for dinner at her apartment. Her apartment was, of course, part of the set. The dinner was probably one of the most surreal experiences I've had. Everyone was trying to keep period appropriate conversation. Olya was the one who held her facade the best. Everyone else, including Khrzhanovsky, kept slipping into anachronistic speech and there was just no breaking her character. I sort of pulled her aside and she pulled out her cigarette and had a smoke. The cigarette - I checked - was, of course, a period appropriate Soviet cigarette. And I asked her if she wants to be an actress if, you know, when she grows up. And she would have none of it. She said no, why? I want to be a scientist. And she was just sort of perfect."
a:Joe-Rosenberg  a:Michael-Idov★★  p:NPR  d:2014.12.12  w:2500  interview  film  surveillance  Russia  from instapaper
march 2015 by bankbryan
The Soviet Collapse
"Already in 1970, Western Siberia was considered a large oil region by international standards. During the next twelve years, the Soviet Union increased oil production there twelvefold. There was intensive debate among the Soviet leadership about how to best exploit the Western Siberian oil. The oil industry experts warned the CPSU leadership and government State Planning Committee that it would be impossible to increase the production at such a rapid pace in the future without facing serious technical problems. Yet the Soviet leadership told the oil ministry there was no other choice. The Soviet premier, Aleksey Kosygin, used to call the chief of the Tyumenneftegaz, Viktor Muravlenko, and explain the desperation of the situation: 'Dai tri milliona ton sverkh plana. S khlebushkom sovsem plokho' [Please give three million tons above the planning level. The situation with the bread is awful.]"
a:Yegor-Gaidar  p:American-Enterprise-Institute  d:2007.04  w:3500  Russia  Cold-War  history  agriculture  from twitter
march 2015 by bankbryan
The Quiet German
"In Obama’s first years in office, Merkel was frequently and unfavorably compared with him, and the criticism annoyed her. According to Stern, her favorite joke ends with Obama walking on water. 'She does not really think Obama is a helpful partner,' Torsten Krauel, a senior writer for Die Welt, said. 'She thinks he is a professor, a loner, unable to build coalitions.' Merkel’s relationship with Bush was much warmer than hers with Obama, the longtime political associate said. A demonstrative man like Bush sparks a response, whereas Obama and Merkel are like 'two hit men in the same room. They don’t have to talk—both are quiet, both are killers.'"
a:George-Packer★  p:The-New-Yorker★★  d:2014.11.24  w:14500  profile  politics  Germany  Barack-Obama  Russia  Europe  from twitter
february 2015 by bankbryan
Normal Countries
"Comparing the economic performance of these three groups reveals that quicker and more thorough reforms entailed less, not more, economic pain. To be fair, at the outset of their transition, many countries in the radical group did experience a slightly greater fall in output than the gradual reformers did. But after three years, the radicals surged ahead, far outpacing the gradualists. Meanwhile, slow reformers fared the worst and continue to trail behind the other two groups today. The gradual reformers eventually caught up to the radical reformers, but not before suffering many years of costly underperformance. Compared with those countries that eagerly embraced free markets, the gradualists took longer to recover their previous levels of household consumption and to stabilize inflation. And insofar as one can tell from the available statistics, unemployment hit the slow reformers, such as Armenia and Macedonia, harder than the rest of the transition states. Altogether, there is no evidence that a gradual approach reduced the pain of transition. All signs point in the opposite direction: it was the hares, not the tortoises, who won. Many of the tortoises eventually caught up, but only after a more grueling trek."
a:Andrei-Shleifer  a:Daniel-Treisman  p:Foreign-Affairs  d:2014.10  w:4000  government  economics  Russia  from twitter
february 2015 by bankbryan
Why not kill them all?
"Imagine if for two decades you have been trying to pull your country, bit by bit, into Europe. Imagine that it’s been a bumpy road – everything you accomplish seems to get sabotaged by the political forces from the east. Imagine that finally the contradictions within your country have come to a breaking point. Imagine that all the people who opposed your politics for twenty years – all the most backward, poorest, least successful people in the country – got together in one place, declared an independent republic, and *took up arms*? What would you do? You could let them go. But then you’d lose all that land and its industrial capacity and also what kind of country just lets chunks of itself fall off? Perhaps you could think of it as an opportunity. Something similar happened when the old Stalinists and nationalists took over the Supreme Soviet in Moscow in 1993. All the enemies of progress in one place, all the losers and has-beens: wouldn’t it be better just to solve the problem once and for all? Wouldn’t it be a better long-term solution just to kill as many as you could and scare the shit out of the rest of them, for ever? This is what I heard from respectable people in Kiev. Not from the nationalists, but from liberals, from professionals and journalists. All the bad people were in one place – why not kill them all?"
a:Keith-Gessen★  p:London-Review-of-Books★★  d:2014.08.29  w:6500  Russia  Ukraine  violence  from twitter
october 2014 by bankbryan
The Dying Russians
"Sometime in 1993, after several trips to Russia, I noticed something bizarre and disturbing: people kept dying. I was used to losing friends to AIDS in the United States, but this was different. People in Russia were dying suddenly and violently, and their own friends and colleagues did not find these deaths shocking. Upon arriving in Moscow I called a friend with whom I had become close over the course of a year. 'Vadim is no more,' said his father, who picked up the phone. 'He drowned.' I showed up for a meeting with a newspaper reporter to have the receptionist say, 'But he is dead, don’t you know?' I didn’t. I’d seen the man a week earlier; he was thirty and apparently healthy. The receptionist seemed to think I was being dense. 'A helicopter accident,' she finally said, in a tone that seemed to indicate I had no business being surprised."
a:Masha-Gessen  p:The-New-York-Review-of-Books/NYR-Blog  d:2014.09.02  w:3500  death  Russia  health  from instapaper
october 2014 by bankbryan
Threats to Americans, ranked (by actual threat instead of media hype)
"Americans are inundated with media coverage and politicians warning them of dire threats: Ebola, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the war on Christmas. The truth, though, is that the most-hyped threats are often not actually that threatening to Americans, while larger dangers go mostly ignored. That should tell you something about how our political system and media can distort threats, leading Americans to overreact to minor dangers while ignoring the big, challenging, divisive problems — like climate change — that we should actually be worried about. Obsessing about possible threats is something of a beloved national past-time here in America, which is objectively one of the safest places on Earth, so we want to help you do it right."
a:Max-Fisher★  p:Vox★★  d:2014.10.17  w:1500  list  risk  future  environment  climate-change  public-health  war  nuclear-weapons  Russia  guns  health  ISIS  from twitter
october 2014 by bankbryan
War in Europe
"Not long ago, Vladimir Zhirinovsky—the Russian member of parliament and court jester, who sometimes says things that those in power cannot—argued on television that Russia should use nuclear weapons to bomb Poland and the Baltic countries—'dwarf states,' he called them—and show the West who really holds power in Europe: '*Nothing* threatens America, it’s far away. But Eastern European countries will place themselves under the threat of total annihilation,' he declared. Vladimir Putin indulges these comments: Zhirinovsky’s statements are not official policy, the Russian president says, but he always 'gets the party going.'"
a:Anne-Applebaum  p:Slate/Foreigners  d:2014.08.29  w:1500  war  Russia  World-War-II  Europe  Ukraine  from twitter
august 2014 by bankbryan
Russia: What You Didn't Know You Don't Know
"The people are not fond of the US. No bipolar situation in this case. About 28 of 30 people I talked to about this were strongly anti-America. When I asked them about something like the Ukraine situation, the universal response was that the US spent a ton of money to turn the Ukrainians against Russia for their own selfish reasons. This never translated to anyone being nasty to *me*, they’d just calmly explain that unfortunately, my country is a piece of shit, and that would be that."
a:Tim-Urban★★★  p:Wait-But-Why★★★  d:2014.07  w:4000  Russia  history  United-States  from twitter
august 2014 by bankbryan
Jet Wreckage Bears Signs of Impact by Supersonic Missile, Analysis Shows
"Rather than striking an aircraft directly, missiles in this class fly a course that is designed to intercept the targeted aircraft and explode beneath it, creating a cloud of shrapnel. At the end of the missiles’ flight, they act 'more like a shotgun than a rifle,' Mr. Foster said, adding: 'one is attempting to put as many consistently sized, low-drag fragments into the airframe as possible.' Based on the capabilities of an SA-11, when pitted against a civilian passenger jet, which has no defenses against an incoming missile, the results would be devastating."
a:C-J-Shivers  p:The-New-York-Times★★  d:2014.07.21  w:1000  aviation  disaster  Russia  weapons  from twitter
july 2014 by bankbryan
Beyond Gravity: the complex quest to take out our orbital trash
"Both Beijing and Moscow have been pushing since 2008 for a treaty banning systems 'specially produced or converted' to be weapons in space. However, Krepon said this treaty exempts ground-based systems. This exemption covers, effectively, most systems that’d actually be deployed in any conflict in space today, including ASAT kinetic missiles—probably the first items a space weapons treaty should ban, since they create the most debris. But figuring out what not to exempt is challenging. 'The notion of banning weapons in space rests on being able to define them," Krepon also noted. "I haven’t yet heard a definition that’s verifiable and meaningful when dealing with these multiple-purpose technologies.' If kinetic ASATs actually were banned, would it cover any medium-range missile, ICBM, SLBM, or missile defense interceptor that might also be used for that purpose? Unless weapons inspectors could examine such a missile’s programming, its purpose wouldn’t necessarily be evident. 'I seriously doubt that this problem can be surmounted,' Krepon says. 'The Russian and Chinese draft treaty is not a serious document.'"
a:Mark-Pontin  p:Ars-Technica★★  d:2014.05.27  w:4500  space  future  China  Russia  weapons  from instapaper
july 2014 by bankbryan
What Happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 17
"Malaysia Airlines was not alone in flying over eastern Ukraine. A survey of flights to Asia from Europe in the last week found that other airlines, including Lufthansa, Thai Airways and KLM, were also flying over the region. Some, however, like Air France and British Airways, appeared to have been avoiding the area even before the crash."
p:The-New-York-Times★★  d:2014.07.18  w:1500  aviation  disaster  map  Russia  security  Ukraine  from twitter
july 2014 by bankbryan
Inside the 11-Story Building That's Calling Itself the People's Republic of Donetsk
"'So can you guys help put us in touch with some of the heads of the People’s Republic?” Max asked. 'We just wanted to talk to some people and take some portraits.' Sergei leaned back in his ratty office chair and shook his head. 'Oh, no, no, no. We don’t have time for that.' 'You’re journalists,” said the man with the paper clip bracelet. 'We won’t go catching your fish for you.' Max tried to ask the same thing of a young woman who had just rushed in, a propusk pinned to her chest. She had just been named a deputy press secretary. 'Okay,” she said. 'Let’s talk the day after tomorrow after I know what powers I have and what powers I don’t have.'"
a:Julia-Ioffe  p:The-New-Republic★★  d:2014.05.21  w:2000  bureaucracy  Russia  government  journalism  from twitter
july 2014 by bankbryan
The Half-Century Anniversary of 'Dr. Strangelove'
"As Kubrick began working on the screenplay, he gagged on the idea of a straight version of the material. As he said later, 'My idea of doing it as a nightmare comedy came in the early weeks of working on the screenplay. I found that in trying to put meat on the bones and to imagine the scenes fully, one had to keep leaving out of it things which were either absurd or paradoxical, in order to keep it from being funny; and these things seemed to be close to the heart of the scenes in question…. The things you laugh at were really the heart of the paradoxical practices that make a nuclear war possible.' So he stopped leaving out 'things which were either absurd or paradoxical.' In the movie, the planes can be recalled only with special codes that the mad general will not release; the Doomsday Machine cannot be stopped once it is triggered. And so on. Each element makes some sort of sense in itself as strategy, but, in the aggregate, they produce an insane system of interlocking absolutes."
a:David-Denby  p:The-New-Yorker/Culture-Desk  d:2014.05.14  w:2500  film  war  nuclear-weapons  Russia  from twitter
july 2014 by bankbryan
The Most Soviet Park in Russia
"Other Soviet symbols have been spared this uncertainty. The Moscow Metro and Stalin’s 'Seven Sisters' towers are too functional to be interrogated for meaning; they’re simply a form of transport or the home of a government ministry. By contrast, because VDNKh is the most bricks-and-mortar monument to the Soviet past, it is also the most vulnerable. It houses its most obscure and emblematic buildings, dedicated to ideas, territories, and social groups that no longer exist, such as Friendship of the Peoples, the Uzbek SSR, and Young Naturalists and Scientists. In fact, some of the pavilions (such as Rabbit-Rearing or Peat) are almost mockingly irrelevant; their earnestness, not their agrarianness, being their most outdated and Soviet quality. Perhaps the barbarity of their destruction, the recklessness of the alterations, and the callous neglect can be explained by a sublimated revulsion against a historical mistake that was all the more tragic because it was self-induced."
a:Charles-Shaw  p:The-Appendix  d:2014.03.24  w:3500  Russia  government  agriculture  economics  from twitter
may 2014 by bankbryan
What's Your Favorite Part Of The Sochi Opening Ceremony?
"Skating Tolstoy mascot
The way the lights danced off the pale, waxen visages of the Russian performers
Nesting doll shit"
p:The-Onion★★  d:2014.02.07  satire  map  list  Russia  from twitter
february 2014 by bankbryan
Coconut Borscht
"Because I am part Russian, I am always part sad. Because my father abandoned my family when I was six, my Eastern-European culinary knowledge comes predominantly from Tolstoy and that hot Anya Marina song that is either about binge drinking or anal sex. ('We can pop bottles all night, baby you can have whatever you like… Late night sex so wet, so tight… Baby, you can go wherever you like.') Being industrious, I have learned about all these things myself."
a:Katelyn-Sack  p:McSweeney's★★★  d:2014.01.28  w:500  cooking  Russia  instructional  nutrition 
february 2014 by bankbryan
Bad Blood
"At its height, says Volodarsky, the Soviet Union had the largest biological warfare program in the world. Sources have claimed there were 40,000 individuals, including 9,000 scientists, working at 47 different facilities. More than 1,000 of these experts specialized in the development and application of deadly compounds. They used lethal gasses, skin contact poisons that were smeared on door handles and nerve toxins said to be untraceable. The idea, at all times, was to make death seem natural — or, at the very least, to confuse doctors and investigators. 'It’s never designed to demonstrate anything, only to kill the victim, quietly and unobtrusively,' Volodarsky writes in The KGB’s Poison Factory. 'This was an unbreakable principle.'"
a:Will-Storr  p:Matter★  d:2013  w:8500  Russia  biology 
february 2014 by bankbryan
« earlier      
per page:    204080120160

related tags

9/11  2016-election  a:Adam-Entous  a:Adam-Raymond  a:Alexander-Bolton  a:Ali-Fitzgerald★★  a:Andrei-Shleifer  a:Andrew-W-Jones  a:Andy-Greenberg  a:Anne-Applebaum  a:Asif-Siddiqi  a:Benjamin-Wittes  a:Bruce-Sterling★★  a:C-J-Shivers  a:Catherina  a:Charles-Shaw  a:Chris-Roth  a:Clifford-J-Levy  a:Dan-Zak  a:Daniel-Coyle  a:Daniel-Treisman  a:Danny-Hajek  a:David-Denby  a:David-E-Sanger  a:David-M-Herszenhorn  a:Doug-Madory  a:Edith-Viau  a:Elishe-Julian-Wittes  a:Ellen-Barry  a:Evan-Osnos  a:Frank-Jacobs★  a:Gardiner-Harris  a:Garrett-M-Graff★  a:Gary-Shteyngart  a:Geoff-Manaugh★★  a:George-Packer★  a:Glenn-Thrush★  a:Google  a:Greg-Miller  a:Isaac-Chotiner  a:Jack-Goldsmith  a:James-Risen  a:Jennifer-Wright  a:Jim-Yardley  a:Joe-Rosenberg  a:John-R-Schindler  a:Jon-Lee-Anderson  a:Joseph-Menn  a:Josh-Marshall  a:Josh-Rogin  a:Joshua-Davis★  a:Julia-Ioffe  a:Katelyn-Sack  a:Keith-Gessen★  a:Kimberly-Dozier  a:Lucy-Morris★  a:Lynn-Eden  a:Maciej-Ceglowski★★★  a:Maggie-Haberman★  a:Mark-Galeotti  a:Mark-Hosenball  a:Mark-Pontin  a:Masha-Gessen  a:Matthew-Kahn  a:Max-Fisher★  a:Michael-Idov★★  a:Michael-J-Morrell  a:Michael-Weiss  a:Milton-Bearden  a:Nicole-Perlroth  a:Noah-Shachtman  a:Pavel-Aksenov  a:Philip-Runco★★  a:Quinta-Jurecic  a:Rakesh-Krishnan-Simha  a:Roman-Muradov  a:Rose-Previte  a:Scott-Anderson  a:Scott-Shane  a:Shaun-Walker  a:Steven-Starr  a:Susan-Hennessey  a:Teddy-Wayne  a:the-Grugq★★  a:Theodore-A-Postol  a:Tim-Urban★★★  a:Will-Storr  a:Yegor-Gaidar  a:Zaria-Gorvett  agriculture  animals  aviation  Barack-Obama  beer  Bill-Clinton  biology  bureaucracy  children  China  cities  climate-change  Cold-War  comic  conspiracy  container-shipping  cooking  corruption  crime  Cuba  culture  cyberwarfare  d:1964.10.02  d:2003.08  d:2005.08.03  d:2007.03.04  d:2007.04  d:2009.09  d:2011.09.15  d:2011.12.30  d:2012-07-23  d:2012.02.10  d:2012.02.17  d:2012.04.24  d:2012.07  d:2012.08.07  d:2012.09.03  d:2013  d:2013.05.14  d:2013.06.04  d:2013.06.24  d:2013.07.12  d:2013.07.15  d:2013.08.03  d:2013.08.08  d:2013.09.26  d:2014.01.28  d:2014.02.07  d:2014.03.24  d:2014.05.14  d:2014.05.21  d:2014.05.27  d:2014.07  d:2014.07.18  d:2014.07.21  d:2014.08.29  d:2014.09.02  d:2014.10  d:2014.10.17  d:2014.11.24  d:2014.12.12  d:2015.02.10  d:2015.02.18  d:2015.02.25  d:2015.05.11  d:2015.07  d:2015.08  d:2015.10.12  d:2015.10.30  d:2015.11.13  d:2016.01.20  d:2016.02.09  d:2016.03.25  d:2016.04.18  d:2016.05.05  d:2016.05.07  d:2016.05.14  d:2016.06.27  d:2016.06.30  d:2016.08.03  d:2016.08.05  d:2016.09.15  d:2016.11.07  d:2016.11.30  d:2017.01.10  d:2017.01.11  d:2017.01.22  d:2017.02.06  d:2017.02.07  d:2017.02.11  d:2017.02.12  d:2017.04.01  d:2017.05.15  d:2017.05.16  d:2017.06.25  d:2017.07.10  d:2017.08.02  d:2017.09.13  d:2017.11.12  d:2017.11.30  d:2017.12  d:2017.12.27  d:2018.01.29  d:2018.02.09  d:2018.02.20  d:2018.02.27  d:2018.03.19  d:2018.05.08  d:2018.06.04  d:2018.06.11  d:2018.06.16  d:2018.08.22  d:2018.09.02  d:2018.11.19  death  deception  diplomacy  disaster  Donald-Trump  economics  education  Edward-Snowden  Elon-Musk  encryption  energy  engineering  environment  espionage  Europe  experiment  Facebook  family  fashion  film  food  foreign-policy  France  future  games  gay  George-W-Bush  Germany  Gmail  government  guns  hacking  health  Hillary-Clinton  hipsters  history  immigration  India  information  infrastructure  instructional  intelligence-gathering  international-relations  internet  interview  ISIS  Israel  Italy  John-Kerry  journalism  language  law  law-enforcement  list  logistics  management  manufacturing  map  maps  Mars  media  military  money  nature  negotiation  New-Zealand  North-Korea  NSA  nuclear-weapons  nutrition  NYC  p:Aeon★★  p:American-Enterprise-Institute  p:Arms-Control-Association  p:Ars-Technica★★  p:BBC-Future  p:BBC-News  p:BrightestYoungThings★  p:Democratic-Underground  p:Department-of-State  p:Dyn-Research  p:Esquire/Just-Now-Ago  p:Foreign-Affairs  p:Foreign-Policy★  p:Geek-Empire  p:GQ★★  p:Idle-Words★★★  p:Lawfare  p:London-Review-of-Books★★  p:Longreads★★  p:Lucky-Peach★★  p:Matter★  p:McSweeney's★★★  p:New-Scientist  p:New-York-Magazine★★  p:NPR  p:Observer  p:Rambling-Rosa  p:Reuters  p:Russia-Beyond  p:Slate/Culturebox★  p:Slate/Foreigners  p:Slate★★  p:Strange-Maps★  p:Talking-Points-Memo  p:The-Appendix  p:The-Atlantic★★  p:The-Bulletin  p:The-Daily-Beast★  p:the-Grugq★★  p:The-Guardian★★  p:The-Hill  p:The-Intercept  p:The-Morning-News★★  p:The-New-Republic★★  p:The-New-York-Review-of-Books/NYR-Blog  p:The-New-York-Times-Magazine★★  p:The-New-York-Times★★  p:The-New-Yorker/Culture-Desk  p:The-New-Yorker★★  p:The-Onion★★  p:The-Space-Review  p:The-Washington-Post★★  p:This-Recording★  p:VICE★★  p:Vox★★  p:Wait-But-Why★★★  p:Wired★★  Pakistan  parenting  policy  politics  power  process  profile  public-health  regulation  Republicans  risk  Russia  safety  satire  science  security  sex  smoking  social-media  space  SpaceX  sports  Starbucks  story  Stuxnet  surveillance  taxes  technology  television  The-Americans  transcript  travel  trust  Twitter  UK  Ukraine  United-States  USA  video  violence  voting  w:500  w:1000  w:1500  w:2000  w:2500  w:3000  w:3500  w:4000  w:4500  w:5000  w:5500  w:6000  w:6500  w:7000  w:8000  w:8500  w:10500  w:11500  w:14500  w:38000  war  weapons  weather  Wikileaks  work  World-War-II 

Copy this bookmark: