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Putin’s GRU agents on ‘brazen’ global rampage of killing and cyber hacking

BRUSSELS — The Dutch defence minister has accused Russia’s army intelligence unit of tried cybercrimes concentrating on the worldwide chemical weapons watchdog and the investigation into the 2014 Malaysian Airways crash over Ukraine.

The Dutch allegations got here as British officers blamed Russia’s GRU for allegedly “brazen” actions worldwide and for making an attempt to cowl up its alleged participation within the nerve agent poisoning of an ex-spy and the downing of a Malaysia Airways aircraft over Ukraine. MH17. Russia has constantly denied involvement within the occasions.

Dutch Defence Minister Ank Bijleveld stated that the GRU’s alleged hacking makes an attempt on the Group for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons occurred in April and have been disrupted by authorities. 4 Russian intelligence officers have been instantly expelled from the Netherlands, she stated.

Talking about Russia’s hacking attempts into the MH17 crash investigation, she stated: “We have now been conscious of the curiosity of Russian intelligence providers on this investigation and have taken acceptable measures.”

“We stay very alert about this,” she stated.

Britain’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Peter Wilson, stated the GRU would now not be allowed to behave with impunity. Britain blames the secretive army intelligence unit for the nerve agent assault in March on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, within the English metropolis of Salisbury.

He stated Russia’s actions in opposition to the Netherlands-based OPCW got here because the company was conducting an impartial evaluation of the nerve agent used in opposition to the Skripals.

Russian International Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova dismissed the brand new accusations, calling them “massive fantasies.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and a masked safety officer stand at a taking pictures gallery of the brand new GRU army intelligence headquarters constructing as he visits it in Moscow

Earlier, British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson branded a sequence of world cyberattacks blamed on Russia because the reckless actions of a “pariah state,” saying that the U.Ok. and its NATO allies would uncover such actions sooner or later.

“The place Russia acts in an indiscriminate and reckless means, the place they’ve executed by way of these cyberattacks, we can be exposing them,” Williamson informed reporters in Brussels at talks with U.S. Protection Secretary Jim Mattis and their NATO counterparts.

His remarks got here after British and Australian officers stated the Russian army intelligence unit GRU is behind a wave of world cybercrimes. Britain’s Nationwide Cyber Safety Middle says 4 new assaults are related to the GRU in addition to earlier cyberattacks.

It cites attacks on the World Anti-Doping Agency, Ukrainian transport programs, the 2016 U.S. presidential race and others as very seemingly the work of the GRU.

“We aren’t going to be backward leaning. We’re going to really make it clear that the place Russia acts, we’re going to be exposing that motion,” Williamson stated.

“This isn’t the actions of an ideal energy. That is the actions of a pariah state, and we are going to proceed working with allies to isolate them; make them perceive they can’t proceed to conduct themselves in such a means,” he stated.

Earlier, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and International Minister Marise Payne issued a joint assertion that Australian intelligence companies agreed that GRU “is accountable for this sample of malicious cyber exercise.” They stated Australia wasn’t considerably impacted, however the cyberattacks induced financial harm and disrupted civilian infrastructure elsewhere.

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