An cyber attacker wanted by both the FBI and the Kremlin: Is it the Cold War all over again? Will Drumpf do his good friend Vlad a solid and let Yevgeny Nikulin escape the American justice system?
A casual reader of La Repubblica, one of Italy’s biggest newspapers, might have come across this article,
imagining that the possible DNC Election Hacker would be of great interest in the US. However, I wasn’t able to find much at all, just a scattering of articles around the globe. The only news items an American would have been likely to find were from the Washington Times (NOT the Washington Post, but the much smaller and definitely right-leaning newspaper that was founded in the 80s by Reverend Sun Myung Moon) and from the Guardian. The story broke in October, that is, before the election, and has remained more or less out of the news until yesterday’s article in La Repubblica.
But while Nikulin is suspected in major cyber attacks in the US, Russia says that he is also wanted there for cyber theft of about 1500 Euros. There is clearly a great difference in the severity of the crimes. The article in La Repubblica hints that the crime in Russia is so insignificant in comparison with the one in the US, that one can’t help but wonder if the Russian claim is real, or merely a bogus claim from his employers or enablers, charged to keep him from falling into American hands. The Czechs are puzzling over a charge would give Nikulin a slap on the wrist versus a possible 30-year jail sentence in the US: are Putin’s efforts to draw Hungary away from Europe and towards Moscow are being duplicated in Prague? (Both the Czech Republic and Hungary are former Warsaw Pact nations that have since joined NATO.)
We probably won’t know how forcefully Drumpf will try and prevail in this case, or if he’ll even try at all. Pray for some reliable leaks to major US newspapers. Without them we won’t know how much the FBI and CIA were willing to go along with the new president, should he decide to let the Russians have Mr Nikulin. I imagine, James Comey’s perfidious actions notwithstanding, that there are many in our own intelligence community that would like to see him brought to court in the US.
Stay tuned, stay vigilant.