"Over the last five years, Congress has monitored and, together with the executive branch, taken steps to respond to significant concerns about Russian domestic and foreign policy developments. These developments include a trend toward increasingly authoritarian governance since Vladimir Putin's return to the presidential post in 2012; Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and sponsorship and support of separatists in eastern Ukraine; violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty; Moscow's ongoing intervention in Syria in support of Bashar al Asad's government; increased military activity oriented toward Europe; and, according to the U.S. intelligence community, cyber-related influence operations that have extended to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. U.S. responses to these developments have included the imposition of sanctions related to human rights violations, Russia's actions in Ukraine, and malicious cyber activity. The United States has also led NATO in developing a new military posture in Eastern Europe designed to reassure allies and deter further aggression. The Barack Obama Administration, together with Congress, condemned Russia's military support to Asad's government, especially its air strikes on Aleppo. […] In addition, Congress has begun to investigate Russian interference in U.S. elections. In January 2017, the House and Senate Select Committees on Intelligence announced inquiries into Russian cyber activities and 'active measures' surrounding the U.S. election and more broadly. The Senate Armed Services, Foreign Relations, and Judiciary Committees launched or announced related investigations. […] […] This report provides background information on Russian politics, economics, and military issues. It also discusses a number of key issues for Congress concerning Russia's foreign relations and the U.S.-Russian relationship."
|Report Number:||CRS Report for Congress, R44775|
|Publisher:||Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service|
|Retrieved From:||Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html|