The Skripal attack also appears to have been calculated for its domestic impact. It sends a chilling message to anyone from inside Russia’s spy agencies and bureaucracy thinking of cooperating with western intelligence. The message: that the state can mete out punishment at its own pleasure and in the most barbaric way. Oh, and your family might suffer too.
Moscow’s covert operation to support Trump during the 2016 US election was a large enterprise. It involved career intelligence officers, cyber-criminals and professional trolls. Only Putin and a few top officials know its full scope. But a wider group of individuals understand parts.
Anyone thinking of cooperating with Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating collusion, will think twice.