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Congressman Eric Swalwell

Representing the 15th District of California

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Russia: Not Our Friend

Reversing the thaw in the post-Cold War era, in recent years, Russia has worked against American values repeatedly and overtly. Here are some of the top examples.

Russia Threatens Important U.S. Allies

In 2014, Russia invaded Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, destabilizing democracy and threatening security in the region. As a result of this destabilization, pro-Russian forces fighting in Ukraine were able to obtain and use a missile to shoot down a Malaysian Airlines passenger flight over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. And in recent months, Russia has intensified its military presence along its border with our Baltic allies—Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.  In light of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the continued militarization of the region is a troubling sign of further Russian aggression against U.S. allies and interests abroad.

Russia Attacks Our Friends’ Elections

It's no secret that Russia is not a friend of democracy. Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul noted that “for years now, the Kremlin has looked for ways to disrupt democracies, to help the people that they like to come to power and to undermine the credibility of the democratic process.” This is evident in their continued and directed cyberattacks against foreign nations throughout the last ten years. Here is a timeline of some of its most egregious attacks.

 

 

 

 

This is the timeline of just the public and known attacks. The list of other, yet to-be-attributed attacks is likely to be even longer. An attack on any democracy is a threat to the stability of our own. Russia’s known use of cyberwarfare against these and other democracies is unacceptable, and cannot go unanswered.

Russia Attacks Freedom of the Press

Russia’s national news agenda is largely controlled by the Kremlin; editorial policy at its state-owned television stations is managed by the government. Freedom House has counted at least 63 violent attacks on Russian journalists since 2006, including the killing of 20.  Beyond the atrocious nature of state-sponsored attacks on its citizens, it's evident that Russia doesn't hold any respect for the freedom of the press, a right that the United States holds as fundamental and remains enshrined in our Constitution. 

Russia Commits War Crimes

Russia continues to support the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, whose use of chemical weapons is intolerable and constitutes a war crime. Russian forces in Syria have appeared to deliberately target civilian areas of Aleppo. In a report presented by the Atlantic Council, satellite images, social media, surveillance footage, and eyewitness accounts outline Russia’s “indiscriminate” bombing of civilian areas of Aleppo. These attacks, which are responsible for killing and injuring civilians (including children) and for leaving a portion of the capital city without access to functioning hospitals, have been broadly condemned by the international community.

Russia has committed cyberattacks against America 

Besides taking the egregious step of meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections, Russia has engaged in further cyberattacks against Americans. On March 15, 2017, the Justice Department charged two Russian intelligence officers with directing the hacking of 500 million Yahoo accounts in 2014. The information the Russian government obtained from the hack was used to focus on foreign officials, executives, and journalists, and steal Americans' credit card and gift card information. 

 

More on Russia: Not Our Friend

March 22, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15), the Ranking Member of the CIA Subcommittee of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement Wednesday:

“I was disappointed to see that Chairman Devin Nunes did not share with his House Intelligence colleagues classified information he allegedly received involving President Donald Trump and his campaign. More troubling is that Chairman Nunes chose instead to brief the President and his team, days after it was learned that the President's campaign is under criminal investigation.

March 20, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15), the Ranking Member of the CIA Subcommittee of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement after Monday’s full-committee hearing on ties between the Trump team and Russia:

“The facts that emerged at today’s hearing – as well as the facts on which our witnesses said they could not comment – speak volumes about the ties between President Trump’s team and Russia. As we continue connecting the dots, this looks more and more like a convergence, not a coincidence.

March 1, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15), the Ranking Member of the CIA Subcommittee of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement Wednesday night regarding Jeff Sessions’ contacts with a Russian diplomat: