Russia slams US threats over cyber attacks
THE Kremlin has slammed Washington for its “unprecedented” threats against Moscow over an alleged series of cyber attacks and vowed to respond.
Last week, Washington formally accused the Russian government of trying to “interfere” in the 2016 White House race through cyber attacks on American political institutions.
And on October 14, US Vice President Joe Biden told NBC a “message” would be sent to Russian President Vladimir Putin over the alleged hacking, with the channel saying the CIA was preparing a retaliatory cyber attack “designed to harass and ‘embarrass’ the Kremlin leadership.”
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov immediately denounced Mr Biden’s remarks, saying Moscow would take precautions to safeguard its interests in the face of the increasing “unpredictability and aggressiveness of the United States”.
“The threats directed against Moscow and our leadership are unprecedented because they are voiced at the level of the US vice president,” Mr Peskov was quoted as saying.
“To the backdrop of this aggressive, unpredictable line, we must take measures to protect [our] interests, to hedge risks.”
And Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov vowed Moscow would respond to any US cyber attacks, saying such threats were “borderline insolence”, the news agency said.
In the NBC interview, excerpts of which were released late on October 14, Mr Biden said Washington would respond “at the time of our choosing and under the circumstances that have the greatest impact.”
Earlier this week Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shrugged off the US allegations, telling CNN the hacking claims were “flattering” but baseless, with not a “single fact” to prove it. – MULTIPLE missiles were fired at three US warships in the Red Sea, though none was hit and there were no casualties, the US military said, amid rising tensions with Yemen’s Huthi rebels.
A US defence official said the altercation took place starting around 7:30pm GMT on October 15. It was unclear how many of the surfaceto-surface missiles were fired at the USS Mason, USS Nitze and USS Ponce.
The USS Mason destroyer, which was sailing in international waters off Yemen’s coast earlier this week, used unspecified countermeasures against the incoming missiles, the official said.
The attempted missile strikes would be the most serious escalation yet of America’s involvement in a deadly civil war that has killed more than 6800 people, wounded more than 35,000 and displaced at least three million since a Saudi-led coalition launched military operations last year.
Officials have stressed that Washington wants to avoid getting embroiled in yet another war in an already volatile region where America is to varying degrees waging wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria.
On October 14, the US Navy launched five Tomahawk cruise missiles at three mobile radar sites in Huthi-controlled territory on Yemen’s Red Sea coast, after the Iran-backed rebels blasted rockets at the USS Mason twice in four days.
The military insists these moves are taken out of self-defence. The Huthis have denied conducting the attacks. –