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“Cyber Truce”

Illustration: sloanreview.mit.edu

Article prepared by InformNapalm Lithuanian editorial office. [1]

On Friday, 25 September, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a statement calling for the United States and Russia to create “a comprehensive program of practical measures to reboot relations in the field of security in the use of information and communication technologies.” Putin’s proposal was otherwise broad and vague. He mentioned nothing about Russia’s well­ documented misdeeds in cyberspace. The White House dismissed Putin’s proposal in a statement to the New York Times, and Russia-watchers expressed the usual caution, with such tweets as “The Kremlin is trolling us!” and “We should take this former KGB officer up on his offer!”


Russian GRU officers are responsible for numerous cyber attacks around the world / source teiss.co.uk

Putin is no strategic genius, and the corrupt system he has built in Russia is designed to overlook the logical consequences of his malign behavior. Putin irrationally states that any cyber or influence operations against the United States must be the work of private, “patriotic” Russians and not of the Russian government itself. First of all, literally nobody on earth believes this. But even if someone did, what use would a cyber truce be with the Russian State when the Russian State claims it has has no control over the cyber attacks?

Putin and his cronies frequently ignore or violate Russia’s long-standing treaty commitments (the Vienna Convention, the UN Charter, and the Budapest Memorandum all come to mind, but there are many others), so what is to say that Moscow would abide by this proposed treat of theirs, assuming they could get anyone to take it seriously? The spirit of the proposal itself is already codified in Article VI of the Helsinki Final Act on the non-interference in the internal affairs of signatories which Brezhnev himself demanded and then promptly violated repeatedly. Putin has a well-known reputation for violating that and every other article of the Helsinki agreement. With this kind of record, why does he expect the United States to trust him not to continue violating their sovereignty. Why should we trust him not to violate ours?


InformNapalm has already written about that – “US charges six Russian intelligence officers with global hacking attacks” [4]

Putin’s calls for a bilateral agreement echo Stalin’s approach at Yalta, where he argued for the Great Powers to secure their own interests at the expense of less powerful countries. Putin is essentially asking the United States to abandon its allies and to cut a separate peace.


State departments of Russian Federation responsible for cyber espionage and attacks / source securityaffairs.co

Putin’s hypocritical proposal is proof positive that Moscow is behind the ongoing cyber attacks aimed at modern, Western democracies–the very kinds of countries that make him nervous.

InformNapalm Partner in Lithuania: Res Publica – Civic Resilience Center.

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