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Krutskikh's comments are important because they may help explain the radical strategic doctrine that underlies Russia's hacking and attempted manipulation of the 2016 presidential campaign in America, as well as Russian political subversion in Europe.A senior Obama administration official described Krutskikh as a "senior-level adviser" to President Vladimir Putin and "a long-standing player in cyber issues" at the foreign ministry. Krutskikh's comments may have been a precursor of a new doctrine for information operations announced publicly by the Kremlin in December.Russian hacking during the 2016 presidential campaign, as outlined in the unclassified report released this month by U.S. intelligence agencies, is an example of Russia's use of new tools in this continuum of conflict, the U.S. official said. In Russia's view, America is pushing just as aggressively in the information space, but denies it. Russia is now strong enough to retaliate, as Krutskikh signaled in his February 2016 speech.Krutskikh and other Russian cyber experts don't appear to have been deterred by public warnings or sanctions.
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