White House to shut down alleged Russian spy base on Eastern Shore in Maryland

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December 29, 2016

As the White House announced a series of measures designed to respond to a hacking campaign to interfere with the presidential election, officials revealed that Russia maintains a suspected spy base in Maryland.

Bing maps aerial view of Russian Embassy retreat in Centreville, Md.

December 29, 2016

As the White House announced a series of measures designed to respond to a hacking campaign to interfere with the presidential election, officials revealed that Russia maintains a suspected spy base in Maryland.

Bing maps aerial view of Russian Embassy retreat in Centreville, Md.

The State Department would shut down the facility along with another one in New York, the White House said Thursday.

The facility was acquired by the Soviet Union in 1972 and occupies 45-acres on the Eastern Shore waterfront in Centreville, a State Department spokesman said.

The steps are part of a sweeping package designed to punish the Russian government over what the U.S. intelligence community has concluded was a concerted effort to interfere in the presidential election. Russian operatives are suspected of hacking into the computers of the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton's campaign officials and leaking private messages through sites including Wikileaks.

President Barack Obama said in a statement that the government would impose sanctions on the FSB and GRU, two Russian intelligence agencies, several senior Russian intelligence officials and private organizations believed to be linked to the hacking. The State Department is also kicking 35 Russian diplomats suspected of spying out of the country, Obama said.

"These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm U.S. interests in violation of established international norms of behavior," Obama said. "All Americans should be alarmed by Russia's actions."

It's not clear whether President-elect Donald Trump will maintain pressure on Russia once he takes office on January 20. He has repeatedly questioned the intelligence community's conclusions about the hacking campaign and asked about imposing sanctions he told reporters Wednesday "I think we ought to get on with our lives."

"I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly," he said. "The whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what is going on."


Courtesy: Baltimore Sun

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