The purpose of this article is to create a basis in fact for the following understanding:
Russia is one of the few remaining [large] countries in the world where there is little or no surveillance, so it is possible to hide almost any crime when physically present. Basically, Russia is a black hole where information can be sucked and lost forever.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has not implemented a domestic surveillance system similar to use in China, the EU, or North America (US & Canada). Furthermore, Russia operates a complex mix of black market norms that are illegal but common practice.
Making Russia even a more perfect mask for high profile crimes, is the fact that the new Russian capitalists will do anything for money.
Finally, there are a lot of foreign actors who are interested to utilize the "Russian Hoax" scapegoat theory. Because everything is impossible to prove in Russia, this works great for those who are not physically present in Russia (if you try this while living in Russia you will not be living long). The way it works is as follows. The 'victim' claims that he lived in or did business in Russia, and Russians abused him. So he escaped to the 'freedom' of the west, where he makes many friends with those who have used the same plot to blame their crimes on. The US Military and especially the CIA has loved the "Blame Russia" stance because it plays into Americans xenophobia and jingoism so well. Plus, a bearded Russian male with a deep voice makes a great film villian! If you think this is a joke, take a look at the number of Russian/Ukrainian villians in films around the 2014+ timeline. This scheme works great because you can never prove anything that happened in Russia! So it's easy to write books and makeup whatever story you want, get judgements courts can't enforce - the black hole is impenetrable. Anyway, most hard evidence was destroyed in 90's and there was no electronic archive because their society wasn't digitized yet, and in many aspects still isn't. So many Orthodox and Jew alike have turned this into a business, most notably Bill Browder, but there are many others. This is best elaborated in the case of Alex K, which reached it's peak during an immigration case, in which the prosecution provided evidence that was in Russian language, and the translation was provided by the prosecutor (with no independent verification). A complex case came down to he said she said, and the judge sided with the defendant.
But here was the catch: In virtually every case, the information was provided to U.S. authorities by Col. Volevodz, often translated and interpreted by him, and generally accepted at face value. And in each instance, the defense argued that Volevodz had fabricated or doctored the evidence, intimidated witnesses into lying, or dissuaded U.S. officials from trying to verify his data.
Example 1: Black Salary
For example employees are paid 'black salary' and 'white salary' - taxes are paid on 'white salary' so it's usually 10% of your 'black salary.' For example, a worker gets $200 in month 'white salary' so taxes are $35 or something like this. Then they receive $3,000 in 'black salary' which is under the table. Therefore, any economic statistics about employment & salaries must be wrong. This is so widespread it's unusual to find an organization that DOES NOT do this. What happens in Russia stays in Russia. There is no accountability for money or anything else. The salary situation is explained here 'from a native' -
In both Russia and Ukraine, companies are able to navigate the fiscal system to their benefit by dividing salaries into white (taxed) and black (untaxed) segments via any number of grey payment schemes.
White payments are the salaries declared in an employee’s contract. Black payments escape documentation entirely, often coming in the form of illegal cash payments “in envelopes,” or “v konverte,” as the Russian saying goes. Ultimately, many companies end up paying grey salaries—a combination of the two.
Example 2: Ultimate internet proxy
For less than $15 a month, you can get a VPN that will mask your identity with the click of a button. By using anonymous proxy servers internationally, it is virtually impossible to track someone down based on an IP address. You don't have to be the CIA or a hacker to use this service, you just need a computer and a credit card (or PayPal) - see the following advertisement:
HideMyAss! World's most powerful and popular VPN network - mask your identity or avoid your crappy office IP that's been abused by your underpaid marketing department.
The above mentioned service can make your computer look like it's a user from Iceland, Germany, or even Russia. Now watch this slippery slope of manipulation:
We have just above explained how it's possible to get a Russian IP for your home computer, in fact there is no limit to the amount of Russian IPs you can purchase. Of course there are far more sophisticated tools out there for IP obfuscation, the point being if this tool is so easy to install and setup for only $15 - what basis do 'news agencies' have for making the slippery slope conclusions, Russian IP = from Russia?
Daily Kos, CNN, and ABC all use a Senate report on the subject, which relies on information from intelligence agencies. Much of the report is blacked out. No technical forensic evidence is presented in the report, that would indicate they have proven it was a state actor and not a kid in his basement using HideMyAss!. It's unclear whether this is a joke or not, but this is presented as evidence:
Incidentally, most hackers, whether Russian or not, will use Russia as a proxy, because there is such a large and complex hacking culture in Russia which is sometimes tied to "Mafia" and sometimes to the government, it provides the perfect opaque mask.
Another point brought up by the Intercept, is the heavy use of TOR browser, an anonymous browser developed by the US Department of Defense:
I found out, after some digging, that of the 876 suspicious IP addresses that the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of National Intelligence put on the Russian cyber attacker list, at least 367 of them (roughly 42%) are either Tor exit nodes right now, or were Tor exit nodes in the last few years. I have a lot of regular readers who are Tor users, and I’m pretty sure they’re not all Russian hackers. So the quick answer to the mystery of my website apparently being attacked by nefarious IP addresses listed in the U.S. report is that the Russians, along with many thousands of others, just happened to use the Tor IP addresses that my regular readers used (and still use).
Example 3: Bribes and corruption
Russia is still a place where 'money talks' - it's possible to do many things in Russia with money; including but not limited to, destroying evidence, changing official records, get out of jail, have the police or investigators look the other way, hire a 'stand in' stooge to take the fall for you, have cases lost or materially changed, etc. etc. Use your imagination. But the big catch is that this only works domestically. So for all practical purposes Russia is a black hole where criminals can escape and live worry free, as long as you have a little money. Also, due to a number of cultural and legal barriers, it is difficult to track and monitor criminals in Russia. Of course anything is possible if the suspect is wanted badly enough, but the point is there is zero cooperation with Russian authorities and they may even impede your investigation because you may discover things about their domestic operations they don't want discovered. This is unique to Russia and a few other black holes like North Korea. But unlike North Korea, Russia will accept you as a foreigner if you so wanted, and again, if you had a little money.
Russian anti-corruption police officer has been sentenced to more than a decade in jail after being found in possession of $139 million in cash bribes. Colonel Dmitry Zakharchenko, 41, was serving as the acting deputy chief of a branch at the General Directorate of Economic Security and Anti-Corruption of Russia's Ministry of Internal Affairs when he was arrested in September 2016. Though he was only convicted of one charge of bribery, police found around 9 billion rubles (around $139 million) in cash—much of it in foreign currencies—at properties linked to him in Moscow, state news agency Tass reported. Zakharchenko was sentenced to 13 years in a maximum security correctional facility and slapped with a fine of around $1.8 million. He was found guilty of accepting large-scale bribes and obstructing justice, Tass explained. He was also stripped of all titles and state awards. His lawyers have said they intend to appeal the sentence.
Example 4: Many things not digitized
Nearly three years have passed, however, and no one has produced forensic evidence of a DNC “hack” by “the Russians”—and that includes special counsel Robert Mueller, whose 2018 indictment of a dozen or so Russians presents zero evidence to support his accusations. Not even the FBI discovered evidence of any hack at the DNC because, in part, the nation’s federal law enforcement body never examined the DNC’s computer servers.“In fact,” two former intelligence experts write, “the available forensic evidence contradicts the official account that blames the leak of the DNC emails on a Russian internet ‘intrusion.’ The existing evidence supports an alternative explanation—the files taken from the DNC between 23 and 25 May 2016 and were copied onto a file storage device, such as a thumb drive.”
But in response to the revelation that several of the professional activists, including the two young women who accosted Senator Jeff Flake last week, were exposed as "employees" of a non-profit organization funded by George Soros, President Trump has weighed in on Twitter, blasting the "elevator screamers" in a tweet that was essentially red meat for his base.