To connect the dots on Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election (RussiaGate), we must begin with the understanding that Russia is a criminal enterprise disguised as a state. Duty-bound KGB officers have been replaced by shadowy figures who deal in compromising material, often for personal financial gain, and shuttle between private and state activities. Russia’s vaunted cyber warfare is carried out by independent-contractor operator/criminals who often wear the uniform of the Federal Security Service (FSB), foreign intelligence (SVR), or defense ministry (GRU). A new term has entered the vocabulary: hackers in epaulets.
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