Governments and rights organizations are decrying raids by Russian authorities on more than 2,000 international and domestic advocacy groups, what observers say is an unprecedented campaign to silence critics of the Kremlin.
Russia's top military officer warned Thursday that Moscow would strike NATO missile-defense sites in Eastern Europe before they are ready for action, if the U.S. pushes ahead with deployment.
Moscow is preparing a list of U.S. officials it will ban from Russia in retaliation for a White House policy to keep Russian human rights abusers out of the U.S.
In the past four years, Russia's intelligence services have stepped up a campaign of intimidation and dirty tricks against U.S. officials and diplomats in Russia and the countries that used to form the Soviet Union.
U.S. intelligence agencies concluded in a classified report late last year that Russia's military intelligence was responsible for a bomb blast that occurred at an exterior wall of the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, in September.
Russia waged a covert war against Georgia that included missile attacks, arms shipments to anti-government rebels and car bombings since 2004, a newly disclosed U.S. Embassy cable says.
Last month's drowning death of a senior Russian military intelligence official in Syria has sparked speculation among intelligence officials that the spymaster was killed as part of an effort by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to centralize Russian intelligence power and return to the era of the all-powerful KGB communist political police.