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About Active Measures, LLC

Active Measures, LLC is a Midwestern research and analysis firm focused on supporting defense, national security, and civilian agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. Active Measures and its director Michael van Landingham also provide baseline risk assessments and background information for non-profits and private corporations based in the United States. Our work includes analysis of current dynamics related to client topics of interest—to include an overview of barriers and opportunities—and development of risk mitigation strategies, white papers, and communication.

Active Measures, LLC can engage with outside analytic teams to develop these products and more, as well as to act as a “red team” that examines others’ analytic conclusions and identify novel issues. We offer formal analytic line reviews and stylistic and substantive reviews of outside analytic products, proposals, and requests for information. Michael can participate in a range of structured analytic techniques or analytic brainstorming sessions upon request.


Michael E. van Landingham is the founder and director of Active Measures, LLC. For eight years, Michael was an analyst for a federal government agency, where he provided strategic and tactical analysis across a range of formats to senior policymakers and others. 

Michael received his Bachelor’s from Princeton University in Slavic Languages and Literatures. He earned a Master’s from Harvard University in Russian, Eastern European, and Central Asian Studies. Michael is in the process of developing a dissertation for the graduate program in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He resides in Wisconsin and speaks Russian and French.

Our Work





Recognized thought leadership and earned media placement in international publications on topics in our wheelhouse.

Feb 16, 2024

“Alexei Navalny, Russian Opposition Leader and Fierce Putin Critic, Dead at 47”

“Navalny “continued to develop new ways to try to undermine the near total control Putin had on Russian life,” Michael Van Landingham, a former CIA Russia analyst, tells Rolling Stone.

“Navalny developed a means to fight Putin’s regime within the system that resonated with Russians’ exasperation with corrupt governance, first exposing shady business dealings and then flagrant embezzlement,” Van Landingham says.”


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By Ryan Bort, Nikki Mccann Ramirez, Adam Rawnsley         

Sept 27, 2023

“Menendez Indictment Looks Like Egypt Recruiting Intelligence Source, Say Former Cia Officials”

Michael van Landingham, a former CIA analyst, told The Intercept, “Reading the indictment, it certainly appears like the Egyptian government was using a classic source-recruitment pattern to get Menendez and his wife to spy for them.”


“As an analyst, when you receive a human source report, it comes with a sourcing statement that evaluates the source’s relative position, reliability, access to information, responsiveness to tasking, and track record,” said van Landingham, the former CIA analyst.”


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By Ken Klippenstein, Daniel Boguslaw


May 16, 2023

“CIA Launches Effort to Recruit Russian Spies”

Michael van Landingham, a former CIA analyst who runs the consultancy Active Measures LLC, also said that the ads could be thought of as “a marketing campaign in part to upset the Russian authorities.”

“They are the social media equivalent of a ‘cold pitch,’ where an intelligence officer approaches another without previous contact and asks them to volunteer information…”These pitches are aggressive and low yield, and mostly just create a headache for the officer who gets pitched because they must report the approach to their agency.”


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By Jon Jackson


Feb 18, 2023

“Inside the stunning growth of Russia’s Wagner Group”

“I think it’s always been clear that Wagner is acting as a parastatal arm of the Russian government,” said Michael van Landingham, a former Russia analyst for the CIA. “[They’re] deployed where the Russian government may not have the resources or may not see a direct interest but they can do it through Wagner.”

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By Erin Banco, Sarah Anne Aarup and Anastasiia Carrier


Jul 1, 2022

“Cybersecurity experts question Microsoft’s Ukraine report”

Michael van Landingham, who was a Russia analyst for the CIA until 2019 and who now runs Active Measures, a research and analysis firm, also said the report’s lack of data undermines its findings. For example, he said, it was unclear how Microsoft determined that only 29 percent of Russia’s attempted cyber intrusions aimed at Ukraine succeeded.”

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By Suzanne Smalley


May 8, 2022

“Russia is quietly wielding its cyber weapons as its military struggles in Ukraine”

“Despite the scale of the destruction, Russia’s cyber component hasn’t been as robust or as visible as some expected — but it’s not absent, according to Michael E. van Landingham, a former Russia analyst at the CIA.

“I don’t think Russian cyber activity is more muted than expected,” van Landingham told Insider, pointing to “multiple” distributed denial-of-service attacks and “wiper” attacks, which remove data from devices, used by Russia against Ukrainian sectors.

“That said, many had perceptions of a cyber Armageddon bricking US and European computers or destroying Ukrainian critical infrastructure. That probably didn’t happen because Putin wanted to fight a limited war in Ukraine…”

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By Stavros Atlamazoglou


Feb 2, 2022

“Sen. Bob Menendez Embraces GOP Proposal To Sanction Russia Immediately, Rankling White House”

“The White House prefers to maintain flexibility to punish or reward Russia and tailor sanctions so they don’t bite allies,” van Landingham added, warning of the unintended consequences that sanctions could have on European partners if not crafted properly.”

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By Ken Klippenstein, Sara Sirota


April 16, 2021

“How the Kremlin provides a safe harbor for ransomware”

“Like almost any major industry in Russia, (cybercriminals) work kind of with the tacit consent and sometimes explicit consent of the security services,” said Michael van Landingham, a former CIA analyst who runs the consultancy Active Measures LLC.

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By Frank Bajak


April 15, 2021

“Sanctioned Russian IT firm was partner with Microsoft, IBM”

Former CIA analyst Michael van Landingham applauded the naming and sanctioning of Russian IT companies known to have aided and abetted malign government activity.

“Naming specific companies can create incentives for educated and skilled Russians who might be able to obtain jobs elsewhere where they don’t support Russian state hacking,” he said.

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By Frank Bajak & Matt O’Brien


Nov. 17, 2020

“Fewer opportunities and a changed political environment in the U.S. may have curbed Moscow’s election interference this year, analysts say”

“The email content really wasn’t about Joe Biden himself,” said Michael Van Landingham, a former CIA political analyst who worked on the 2017 intelligence-community assessment on Russian interference. “It was a stretch to make a connection between the candidate and the leaked information.”

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By Ellen Nakashima