Intelligence chief warns Russian troops near Ukraine and other threats

WASHINGTON – Russian military buildup in the Ukraine border and Crimea could provide enough force for a limited military incarnation, CIA Director, William J. Burns told senators on Wednesday that he and other senior officials had posed threats to the United States Stated a limit. States.

Russia Mr. Burns told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the bus could send a signal to the United States or try to intimidate the Ukrainian government, but it had the potential to do more.

“Burnup has reached the point that it can provide the basis for a limited military incursion,” Mr Burns said. “This is to take not only the United States but our allies very seriously.”

Mr. Burns called Avril d. Haines, along with the Director of National Intelligence and other officials, testified to the dangers of global powers such as Russia and China as well as challenges that have been the focus of intelligence agencies in the past. Domestic Extremism and Climate Change.

In its Annual Threat Assessment Report, Ahead of the hearing on Tuesday, the intelligence community said China’s push for global power posed a threat to the United States through aggression in its territory, expanding its surveillance capabilities and efforts to dominate technological developments .

The report states that Russia has also pushed into spheres of influence that include part of the Soviet Union, such as Ukraine.

However, both China and Russia wanted to avoid direct confrontation with the United States, the report stated.

Mr. Burns said Russian actions have prompted internal briefings and consultations with colleagues. Russian President Vladimir V. President Biden’s call to Putin on Tuesday was intended to “clearly register the seriousness of our concern”.

The United States monitors Russian troops for at least some time since March. US officials have privately stated that the Russians, unlike them in 2014, have done little to hide their troop buildup. First attacked Ukraine. Some people have convinced, but not all, officials have given intelligence that Russian activities may be mostly for show-off.

Lt. Gen. Scott D., director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. “They can go into a series of exercises they’ve never actually started, or they can, if they strike a limited objective,” Barrier said. “We don’t know what the intention is, right now.”

Both Russia and China have been blamed for operating cyber suppliers who compromised broad sections of the software supply chain. The lawmen, Ms. Haines and General Paul M., directors of the National Security Agency. Asked Naksone about Russian hacking, Nine federal agencies entered, And another by China that compromised Microsoft Exchange Servers. The Biden administration is expected to respond to Russian hacking soon, most likely with sanctions and other measures.

Ms Haines said Russia used hacking to stop discord and threaten the United States and its allies. He added, “Russia is rapidly evolving to develop asymmetric options in both the military and cyber sectors to leverage its technical skills, to push itself backward and force the US to adjust its interests Could “.

MPs also raised this issue A series of mysterious episodes Has wounded diplomats and CIA officials abroad. Some former officials believe Russia is behind the episode, which they have called an attack.

Mr Burns said he was working with his colleagues to ensure better medical care for CIA officers. He also said that he was “working to get down to the question of who else might be responsible for these incidents.”

Questions prevailed over China’s first Senate confirmation hearing for Ms. Haynes and Mr. Burns, and lawmakers on Wednesday again pressured China to assess and attempt to steal US technology. Ms. Haines underlined how China can use technological power, economic influence and other levers of power to intimidate its neighbors.

“China is using a broader approach to demonstrate its growing strength and to force regional neighbors to be Beijing’s priorities,” she told the senators.

FBI Director, Christopher A. Ray also stressed the threat from China. “We are conducting a new investigation every 10 hours,” he told the bureau.

Biden administration officials have said they want intelligence agencies to have a broader view of national security threats.

Ms. Haines stated that Another recent intelligence report on global trends, Highlighting how technological change, as well as coronovirus epidemics and climate change, were testing the “resilience and adaptability” of society. “Heterogeneous inequality,” he said, forces intelligence agencies to broaden their definition of national security.

But at least one lawmaker, Senator Richard M. Burr, a Republican from North Carolina, also asked a more practical question: How many intelligence officers have received coronovirus vaccines?

Mr. Burns said that 80 percent of the CIA’s workforce was fully vaccinated and another 10 percent have had their first shot. He said that all CIA officers serving abroad “have the vaccine directly available to them.”

Mr. Ray was unable to estimate how many of his agents had received a shot, stating that the vaccination rates at field offices in different states varied. Ms Haines said 86 percent of her work force had at least one shot, with a “fair percentage” fully vaccinated. General Nakasone also had no estimate, but said that an immunization center has been established at Fort Mayday, Md., The headquarters of the National Security Agency.

Lawmakers are also pressuring intelligence agencies to help investigate the problem of domestic extremism. Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia and chairman of the Intelligence Committee linked the rise of domestic extremism to similar trends promoting disinfection produced by Russia and others. And he said he wants to tell intelligence chiefs how they can better warn of potential violence, such as the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

Social media has helped domestic extremist groups spread more speed and efficiency than ever before – as much as Russia and other countries have used it to spread lies, Mr. Ray said.

“Social media has, in many ways, become a significant amplifier for domestic violence extremism, just as it is for deadly foreign influence,” he said. “Every kind of material exists on the Internet that presents as facts, which it does not have right now.”

The isolation due to the epidemic, Mr. Ray continued, had heightened the sensitivity of the public.

The intelligence chiefs’ hearing was the first since early 2019, when they heard President Donald J. Trump’s public statements were denied, asking Mr. Trump to publicly criticize his appointment, “Go back to school.” Mr. Trump’s final director of national intelligence, John Ratcliffe, decided not to issue a threat assessment or testify before Congress last year.

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