Russian Roulette (Alex Rider, #10) | Anthony Horowitz

Summary of: Russian Roulette (Alex Rider, #10)
By: Anthony Horowitz

Introduction

Dive into the gripping and suspenseful world of ‘Russian Roulette’ by Anthony Horowitz, a thrilling account of the events leading up to the 2016 United States presidential election. Uncover the intriguing connections between Donald Trump’s business empire, his campaign, and Russian influence, as well as the potential impact that these ties had on the election outcome. Discover the various tactics employed by Russia in their alleged interference, including hacking, trolling, and espionage, and the policies and relationships that shaped the US-Russia dynamic. With an alluring blend of high-stakes politics, intricate power play, and a sprawling global cast, this summary is sure to keep you captivated and well-informed.

Trump’s Moscow Business Dealings

In 2013, Donald Trump used the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow as an opportunity to expand his business empire to Russia and build a Trump Tower in Moscow. Despite facing backlash from human rights organizations protesting recent anti-gay legislation, Trump was determined to pursue this lucrative opportunity. The event also gave Trump the chance to work with Emin Agalarov, an up-and-coming pop star and son of billionaire developer Aras Agalarov, who helped cut through Russian red tape. Trump’s persistent public praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin ultimately paid off, as he received an official message from Putin expressing his desire to meet Trump. While traffic prevented Putin from attending the pageant, Trump’s meeting with the Russian president paved the way for the signing of a letter of intent between his organization and Agalarov’s company to construct a Trump Tower in Moscow.

US-Russia Relations: A Diplomatic Death

The book explains that after decades of chilly relations, the US and Russia were finally having open diplomatic conversations during Obama’s first term in office between 2008 and 2012 and signed the New Start Treaty in April of 2010. However, in 2011, Putin was re-elected as Russia’s president, and Secretary Clinton made public statements questioning the validity of the election, leading to a diplomatic rift. Clinton’s exit memo in 2013 confirmed that the reset was dead. The diplomatic death was cemented in 2014 when Putin annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, leading to economic sanctions that made Trump’s plans for a new Trump Tower in Moscow unviable.

Putin’s Internet Army

The book discusses Putin’s internet army that played a vital role in his aggressive internet agenda during the US presidential campaign. Putin despised Obama and Clinton and wanted to increase Russia’s global power. Social media and cyber attacks were Putin’s new weapons to wage a war against the US. He had an army of internet trolls who spread disinformation to promote him, ridicule the opposition, and insult Obama and Clinton. APT 28, a hacking organization with connections to the Russian intelligence agency GRU, had targeted the Democratic National Committee (DNC), government agencies, political organizations, and think tanks. APT 28 successfully targeted John Podesta, chairman of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign by sending a fake email to his Gmail account, giving Russian hackers access to Clinton’s campaign details. Trump was organizing a secret deal with the Russian government to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. However, Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, abandoned the project in January 2016, due to potential trouble.

The Suspicious Figures Surrounding the Trump Campaign

Manafort, Page, and Papadopoulos, three individuals closely associated with the Trump campaign, had suspicious connections to Russia. Manafort, a Republican Party consultant with significant Russian baggage, joined as chairman and chief strategist hoping to fix his relationship with Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire oligarch. Page, who opened a Moscow office for Merrill Lynch, was an investment adviser for Russia’s state-owned natural gas conglomerate, Gazprom. Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser, met with Joseph Mifsud, a professor close to high-level Russian officials, who alleged that Russian officials had obtained “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Manafort, Page, and Papadopoulos, all individuals with close ties to Russia and Russian officials, raised immediate red flags around the Trump campaign.

Trump Campaign’s Russian Connection

In 2016, Donald Trump’s son, Jr., received an email from Rob Goldstone indicating that Russia was interested in helping Trump win the presidential election. At a scheduled meeting on June 9, representatives from the Russian government offered no valuable information but made it clear that they were willing to covertly help Trump win. Despite evidence of Russian interference in the election, the Trump campaign refused to report any overtures made by Russia to the FBI or any other government institution. The campaign instead accused the DNC of committing a hoax and attempted to distract people from the important issues.

Steele Dossier Revelations

Learn about the explosive revelations of the Steele dossier and its implications on the 2016 US presidential election.

In July 2016, FBI Director James Comey announced he was not seeking to prosecute Hillary Clinton despite evidence of her mishandling of classified information through a private email server. But the FBI’s attention soon shifted to investigating Donald Trump’s alleged involvement with Russian hacking efforts, prompted by an opposition research conducted by investigative firm Fusion GPS, co-founded by Glenn Simpson. This led Simpson to reach out to the former MI6 agent Christopher David Steele, who specialized in kompromat, or compromising information as a political weapon. Steele’s investigation uncovered that the Russian Federal Security Service had obtained compromising material on Trump’s involvement in perverted sexual acts during his visit for the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, which could be used as blackmail material. Steele compiled this information into a three-page dossier and shared it with Simpson, recommending that it be brought to the attention of the FBI. The dossier’s findings left the FBI deeply concerned, as it suggested that a US presidential candidate could potentially be blackmailed by the Putin regime. The explosive revelations from the Steele dossier became a major talking point during the 2016 US presidential election, with Trump and his supporters criticizing it as false propaganda. Nevertheless, it brought to light allegations of foreign interference in US elections and the misuse of personal information for political gain.

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