The concern about Russia’s intentions preceded this week’s meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Intelligence officials in the US and UK tell CNN that the Russians ordered a relative lull in activity during the month-long soccer tournament, which was hosted by Russia.
Russian officials did not want any high-profile incidents to detract from the prestige of hosting the world’s biggest sporting event, one US intelligence official said. The Russians did the same during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia in 2014.
Those recent poisonings prompted increased intelligence gathering by British, US and allied services. UK officials have warned that similar attacks are likely to be carried out in other countries. Behind the scenes, US and British officials have been coordinating efforts to track and respond to Russian aggression.