Russian cyber activity has become “very frantic and reckless” and has turned into a difficult topic for journalists and intelligence officers, Andrei Soldatov, a Russian investigative journalist and a watchdog of the Russian secret services’ activities, explained in an interview. He also stated that it is proven by technology expertise that Russian hackers have tried to attack a lot of targets in US and that they intervened in the US presidential elections, albeit he does not believe that it played a major role in Trump’s victory.

During a panel titled “Trump: the Kremlin candidate?” Soldatov discussed Trump’s relations with Russia and the question of Russia has money and sex ‘kompromat’ (i.e. compromise material) against Trump.  He also told the audience about his experience as a watchdog of Russian secret services since 1999. Soldatov disclosed how difficult it is to be a journalist in Moscow and in the entire central region of Russia, where all media are owned by local governors, and if journalists want to write about “something more sensitive”, they have to find another place to publish it, like Western Europe, just like he does. Six journalists from Novaya Gazeta have been killed in the last sixteen years only.

However, Soldatov ended on a positive note saying that he still lives in Moscow and many of his colleagues too, and he still hopes that together they can make their country a democratic one.