Russian army used prohibited weapons in Syria

October 5, 2015, 1:07
Russian troops used to attack the positions of the Syrian opposition banned weapons.

The Russian air force attacked targets in the camp near the village Nusra Kafr Halab, Aleppo province, with the use of prohibited weapons.

In particular, Russia used cluster munitions, which is clearly seen in the video, in the wake of the explosions on approach to land.

Cluster bombs – this aircraft munitions in the form of thin-walled bombs, mines curb aviation or small bombs for different purposes.They detonate at a certain height above the target, hitting a large area.They are dangerous because unexploded shells are literally “anti-personnel mines”, affects mainly civilians and children.

Cluster munitions are banned by international convention in 2008. But countries such as Russia and China refused to ratify the convention.


“The Second World War Information. (Will) It Beat Russia?”

Dr. Igor Panarin writing on the need for a strengthened Russian Information Warfare program.

Igor’s article contains many distortions upon which much of Russian propaganda accepts as fact.  Brainwashing by the US government.  A law prohibiting 25% ownership of media by foreigners changed in 2013. Strategic Communication is somehow offensive information war. There are many others.

A new twist is the NATO Strategic Communication Center of Excellence in Riga, Latvia is somehow an operational element, whereas it is academic only.

This article updates his 2008 proposal for an eight part Information Warfare organization, as highlighted in Timothy L. Thomas’ “Recasting the Red Star”.  It is now seven parts and does not contain as much of the specification by media-type as before.

(Translated by my Chrome browser)

21:41 09.28.2015,

Igor Panarin

The intensity of the external information attacks will increase and the need to strengthen the means of countering

Strengthening Russia’s military presence in Syria is a forced measure and response in connection with large-scale armed LIH Western states.

For example, February 26, 2015 Iraqi air defenses shot down two British discharging weapons to LIH. And the US has provided 500 million. Dollars to supply militants LIH weapons under the guise of training programs for 75 alleged militants to fight LIH.

Only in September 2015 the US intelligence services handed LIH 12 armored vehicles under the guise of the legend of the passage of militants trained by the Pentagon on the side of LIH.

It should be clearly understood that the project “LIH” aimed against Russia and created three intelligence services – MI6, the CIA and Mossad. These circumstances require Russia of skilled information-psychological support of military presence in Syria, as well as an active and effective measures to counter, as part of the West against Russia information war.

Modernization theory of information warfare

After the victories of the Red Army at Stalingrad and Kursk, the leader of the British Empire Winston Churchill in Quebec (August 1943) was a plan of information warfare against the Soviet Union. Then, this plan has made additions and clarifications to the head of the CIA and of the Council on Foreign Relations A.Dalles.

The coming to power of Mikhail Gorbachev in the Soviet Union was the decisive factor that ensured the realization of the secret plans of Churchill and Dulles of the USSR collapse the information and ideological means.

The main result of the First World War was the information collapse of the USSR. Actually the phrase “information war” and used for the first time A.Dalles in his book in 1967. Mikhail Gorbachev came to power, deliberately destroying the USSR. But after the collapse of the USSR the information war against Russia did not cease. And in 2011, a succession organized by Western intelligence agencies “color revolutions” in the Middle East, the Second World War Information, whose main goal is the disintegration of Russia.

Past the inauguration of Vladimir Putin after the third year is characterized by dynamic restoration of the status of Russia’s position as a powerful nation and gradual blocking of Western financial support channels of the liberal opposition. All this is happening against the background of a sharp deterioration of the situation in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, intensifying efforts of the West to unleash a direct military aggression against Syria, with further escalation of chaos in the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Along with the positive aspects, there are cases that pose a threat to the national security of the Russian state, especially in the information and ideological sphere.

In 1997 I defended my doctoral thesis, which formulated the methodology of conducting information warfare (This term was first used by Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking September 12, 2012 in Krasnodar).

In the thesis, I stressed that we must distinguish between information warfare in the broad (in all areas) and the narrow sense of the word (in any field, such as in the political sphere).

Information warfare (confrontation) – a form of struggle of the parties, is the use of special (political, economic, diplomatic, military and other) methods, ways and means to influence the information environment and the protection of the opposing side in order to achieve their own goals.

However, the beginning of the 21th century has shown a sharp increase in the volume and number of communication flows. As an example, such a figure. For example from 1994 to 2015 the number of Internet users in Russia increased more than 400 times, reaching 82 million people. Thus, the possibility of communication have changed dramatically impact, including the negative, on the population of Russia.

The leading countries of the world now have a powerful communication capabilities (primarily the United States and the United Kingdom), which can provide them with the achievement of secret political aims, especially since there are no international legal norms of conducting information warfare.

On the situation in the world affected by a flood of diverse communications. Here are just a few numbers that characterize the global communications flows, especially in social networks:

– Facebook, more than 1.4 billion users

– FaceBook (Editor’s note: VKontakt) – more than 350 million users.

In general, we underestimate the work in social networks. First of all, in Russia there is no state of Internet holding company, of which I speak more than one year, which could do the work and on the internal and external field of social networking.

Here I would recall that as far back as 1998, Americans embraced the concept of information operations, which first introduced the concept of offensive information operations. There were no social networks, but there is a fundamental point was that such operations may take place in peace time – it was the cardinal methodological conclusion – this is an open official American document.

And in 2006, the Americans issued a new document that details the previous and announce social networks and the Internet for the main field of information operations. That is, they are based on 2006 postulates that social networks – the main field of information warfare, and create a new “shock news fists.”

Russia has recently introduced changes to the law on mass media in terms of who can be the owner of the Russian media, but pay attention that the lowering of the foreigners from 50 to 20% eventually happen only in 2017. But there is a danger that attempts to destabilize the situation in Russia will take external forces in 2016. Americans have a law on information has existed since 1948, where foreigners can not own more than 25% of the media.

Do not put us and mandatory re-registration of mass media. In Russia there are media with 100% foreign capital, but the new rules will only apply to newly created media. In Russia there are three federal TV channel with 100% foreign capital. Regulation will begin in 2017 – too late.

There is also the problem of the owners of the media, social networking, social service providers – there is also a problem with the participation of foreign capital. Remember, we have two years could not find out who is the owner of the largest airport of Russia, and in the information environment, I think these issues are not less.

We are late in the legal regulation. The intensity of the external information attacks will increase and the need to strengthen the means of resistance. If two thousand. British troops of the newly established 77 Brigade of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom will work professionally in social networks against Russia – it is a huge figure.

Therefore, Russia needs a special official in charge of this activity. And such a man we do not have. In the US, this mechanism is closed to the intelligence services. Director of the US Cyber ​​Command and Director of the NSA at the same time, meaning it at the usual time in the senior National Security Agency, and during the operation of the information war – he is the eldest of all the country’s 18 intelligence agencies. We have similar attempts were made several times, but did not result in the creation of a coordination structure.

In 2009, the Obama administration has supported the theoretical views developed by a former senior State Department and the Defense Department, Harvard University professor Joseph Nye. A graduate of the prestigious Princeton University and Harvard professor of many years, he is considered the main ideologist of the United States.

Joseph Nye in January 2006 published his ideas in the journal “Foreign Policy”. Then, in 2006, the US Center for Strategic and International Studies, a bipartisan commission was set up to develop a new strategy, which is headed by former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and John Nye.

Members of the committee were 18 well-known people in the United States. Bipartisan Commission presented to the US Congress in November 2007, his strategy, which was the first to provide leading US position in the world was a concept of the use of “smart power» (smart power) – as a combination of “hard” military and economic power with “soft” power public diplomacy. Consensus American expert and analytical circles created a foundation for the development of a new concept of the Obama administration. Already in 2010, the concept was developed by the offensive conduct of a global information war – the concept of SC.

Strategic Communication (SC) – a new concept of information warfare, adopted in the development of the doctrine of offensive information operations (1998), which is actively developed by the State Department, the Department of Defense, other governmental and non-governmental institutions and organizations in the US. It is understood as a complex communication activities focused on the impact of the communication to the target audience in other countries (both hostile allied and neutral).

It uses tools such as the concerted information campaigns, social networking, indoctrination and brainwashing the population, various advocacy plans and programs. In the United States the major structures, realizing the concept of IC include the State Department, the Defense Department, the US Armed Forces Combat Command, US Cyber ​​Command, Special Operations Forces United States, United States Agency for International Development, non-governmental organization.

The Middle East was the first experimental field for the implementation of the doctrine of the UK. In March 2013 it has been further practical development of the concept of Strategic Communications of the United States. It is about creating Latvian Center for Strategic Communications, actually performs the role of point operations management information war against Russia, as close as possible to the borders of Russia.

But the coup in Ukraine in 2014 has become the hallmark of the effectiveness of the new doctrine, especially in the issue of a global zombie latest information-psychological technologies of tens of millions of people. Arriving March 9th, 2014 in Kiev from Estonia 16 officers kibertsentra NATO deployed there active anti-Russian activities in the information space, especially in social networks.

I should also mention that in late November 2013, just before the coup in Kiev, in the British satellite Estonia passed during the existence of the largest NATO exercises conduct information warfare in cyberspace (Cyber ​​Soalition 2013). The exercise was attended by almost 500 people more than 100 employees Tallinn Kibertsentra NATO and more than 300 officers from 32 countries – members and partners of the Alliance – remotely.

It is possible that the scenario of the exercises and provided an opportunity to conduct information warfare against Russia (supposedly fictional state Botnia), and including information support activities in cyberspace coup in Kiev. Then London – the main owner of Kibertsentra NATO plans to establish them in support of the army of Internet trolls in 2,000. So information confrontation in social networks will only increase.

In addition, it should pay attention to the creation of new special structures (US Cyber ​​Command) and active communication strategy of new organizational structures offensive, such as British-American Sledgehammer Communications (CC), trying to influence the decision-making system in Russia (sanctions etc.) .

British-American Sledgehammer Communications (QC) is a system of British and American government agencies engaged in global communications impact on political decision-making processes in Russia in order to achieve their goals in the information war against Russia. QC – is the US State Department and the British Foreign Office, is a British-American media, this system “echelon”, the CIA and MI6, the NSA and the US Office of Government Communications and Britain is special operations forces.

We can not say that our country’s leadership does not understand that this is an important area. It is. After all, the same Russia today has been created and successfully operates, the same Dmitry Kiselyov and Konstantin Semin, Arkady Mamontov and several other journalists are excellent television coverage. Part of the information work carried out, but the system being against us many years of work that requires a strategic response of the system, which is not.

The main problem – the lack of institutional mechanisms of coordination structures. For effective management of information warfare, from my point of view, it is necessary to establish the State Committee of Information Security of Russia (Kibray), which will be seconded experts in the field of information of different agencies – the Federal Security Service, Interior Ministry, Federal Security Service, Foreign Intelligence Service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the state media and other agencies involved in the system of information operations (offensive and defensive).

We need also the State Council Information confrontation with the president of Russia, in the regions – in the presidential envoy, the head of state to appear relevant Advisor. In the end, there is an urgent need for a public Internet-holding. Well, it will not prevent re-orient our submarines with cruise missiles on economic information and control centers in the West. It is enough to promise that in the event of military aggression against Russia they will be immediately destroyed – it will serve as a strong deterrent.

Russian system of information warfare can be formed in this way:

1.Gosudarstvenny Council for information warfare at the President of Russia (the executive and the legislature, the media, business and civil society).

2.Regionalnye Tips for information warfare at the plenipotentiary of the Russian President in the federal districts.

3.Sovetnik the President of Russia on information warfare.

4.Koordinatsionny Council for information warfare at the Russian Foreign Minister.

5.Mezhvedomstvenny focal point for information-ideological anti-LIH.

6.Kommunikatsionny Center to stabilize the countries of the Middle East and Eastern Europe after the committed there “color revolutions.”

7.KIB Russia – Committee of Russia’s information security (cyber security service, information service counterintelligence Situational Center of analysis and forecasting, the Office of the Information Special Forces (operations outside Russia).

In the context of the Second World War are invited to send information Russia’s efforts in the following areas: 

1. Formation of the foundations of the state system of counteraction against information warfare operations and management of the Russian population.

2. Creation of Russian national legislation aimed at countering technologies “color revolutions.”

3. Identification and diagnosis activities negative communicators seeking to undermine the sovereignty of the Russian information. Permanent monitoring of the blogosphere and social networks in order to block the spread in the Russian information space of negative publicity aimed at promoting extremism and terrorism, ethnic and religious strife.

4. Preventive blocking all channels (financial, informational, organizational) structures, and foreign aid and oligarchic radical and extremist opposition in Russia.

5. Enhancing information exchange and international cooperation with allies in the military strength, economic, financial and information-psychological spheres to take the necessary measures to identify and counter threats to Russia’s security.

As the ruble dollar win

Today it is obvious that the Anglo-Saxon financial and economic system of the West is ineffective. In 1991 she received a doping by the collapse of the Soviet Union as a result of the First World War, the information, to prolong its existence.

Now the United Kingdom and the United States want to repeat the same scenario. Their task is to activate as much as possible attacks on Russia through different areas: through Syria and Ukraine through the Baltic states, through the collapse of oil prices, through sanctions, hybrid war provocation. The risk remains of a palace coup. The enemy will continue to try to sow discord in interfaith and interethnic relations in our country.

On all these challenges we must meet, repel all external attacks, prevent the collapse of the country and the enormous upheaval. Remember the lessons of February 1917 and 1991. The West is fighting any Russia – Tsarist, Soviet, democratic.

The main thing for us to start to trade in energy resources for their national currency. I am convinced that this impact will accelerate the collapse of the US financial system, and British banks. I have almost ten years ago offered to sell oil for rubles – expressed this idea in January 2006.

And in May 2006, President Vladimir Putin delivered a message to the Federal Assembly, which supported this idea. He said about the need for a speedy transfer of oil and gas for rubles. I also proposed the creation of oil and gas stock exchange that trades in rubles. It was established only two years later. Igor Sechin opened it in St. Petersburg – in the autumn of 2008.

Exchange functions. But sales of her less than 1% – and only in the domestic market. The volume of transactions on it are not changed Russia’s foreign trade balance. That is the beginning of a terrible external resistance.

One right step was taken in the autumn of 2014, when “Zarubezhneft” has sold the first batch of the foreign market for Russian rubles. It was a breakthrough. But we see the slow moving thing in this direction since 2006, was 9 years old!

Another action which I support, is a barter deals for oil with Iran. Our main opponent is London, which is aimed at destroying Russia. The basis of the world financial system – dollar oil prices which are formed on the London Stock Exchange. The sale of our energy resources for rubles fundamentally undermines the system.

I believe that Russia has taken the right steps, concluding barter deal with Iran: Iran gives us the oil, we are giving him the goods. The dollar is no longer needed. And at the same time it was awarded a giant gas contract with China on trade in national currencies. It also expands bezdollarovuyu zone. But we must go further. The key point – is the sale of oil and gas for rubles Europe and Ukraine.

Now the trade is in dollars. If we activate the European sector is in my view lead to the collapse of the British bank, and they are the main sponsors of aggression against Russia on all fronts.

In addition, it is advisable to constantly remind the world of information about the disappeared royal gold and gold of the Soviet Union. Gold nowhere completely unable to escape. I am convinced that the Russian gold is the foundation of the Federal Reserve and the IMF. Therefore, one of the following legal information and knockout blows to the British petrodollars – the requirement return the gold of the Russian Empire. It is the foundation of Anglo-Saxon financial model.

They tell me: “They will not give up.” I say, “It does not matter. We must demand. Bring legal proceedings. ” To arrange a talk show on the subject Solovyov on TV channel “Russia”, devoted to this key topic.

It is also important in my view to start the process of forming a single financial area of ​​the Eurasian Union, taking into account the sale of energy resources for rubles. Alternatively, Russia and Kazakhstan on a contractual basis could sell oil and gas for rubles, and if we are talking about the introduction of the common currency of the Eurasian, there is an option to use it as a settlement. There is a necessity to temporarily withdraw from the sale of energy in national currencies at the intermediate stage of the introduction of the common currency, and go to the sale of the Eurasian ruble.

It should be noted the expansion of cooperation with other countries of the EAEC, for example, the first batch of energy was sold to Vietnam, recently logged into the zone of free trade in rubles and it happened in the autumn of 2014, that is a first step in the care of the dollar in the calculations were made.

I believe that with the January 2016 Russia should be invited to consider countries within the free trade area, the possibility of selling energy resources for rubles within the association. As an alternative to establish the sale of energy resources for rubles in the framework of the Russian-Belarusian Union, as there is the presence of suitable economic mechanisms to implement such initiatives.

Moscow (Third Rome) against London (Third of Carthage)

Spiritual confrontation between Moscow and London last for centuries, since the era of the great Russian Tsar Ivan the Terrible. We know that the British were behind the assassination of the Russian Emperor Paul I and the uprising of the Decembrists. They organized a coup in February 1917, to dismember our country and seize Russian gold.

The attack of Nazi Germany on the Soviet Union – also their handiwork. I am convinced that Hitler nurtured bankers from London and deliberately sent to Stalin’s USSR, carried out in the thirties of the giant economic leap (GDP tripled in 10 years). Today, Britain has full control of NATO and the European Union. But it does not show this effect.

Ancient Rome, Byzantium and then Russia (Moscow). Carthage – it first Phoenicia (Tunisia), then the collective Carthage – with centers in Venice and Toledo (Semitic Caliphate). The third is the Carthage Empire bankers from London, through the Federal Reserve secretly administering the US and British colonies from Canada to Australia.

How London became the third Carthage?

It’s quite a long story. And to understand this process, we have to dive deep into the centuries and to recall how the great Russian Prince Sviatoslav destroyed the Khazar Khanate in 965. Remains of its elite, and it was – ethnic Turks, accepted Judaism, through the Crimea moved to Europe and settled in Genoa and Venice. There they mixed with the Sephardim and formed the basis of Venetian merchants, the essence of which is well described by Shakespeare in his play. Their meaning of life – profit at any cost.

It Venetian merchants financed the Crusaders, who in 1204 sacked Constantinople Orthodox.Values ​​of St. Sophia since decorate the main church of Venice – St. Mark’s Basilica. Then history would have it, Khazar-Venetian and Genoese bankers Khazar moved first to Holland and then to Britain, where they led their people in power, and where in 1694 created a special Bank of England. Since then, the report is the modern global financial system. After all, today the world currency – the dollar – makes the Fed, whose founders are the British private banks.

By the way, there is speculation that the Fed’s base – Russian. I’m not ready to say that this is so. But the information we may require international investigation. Require opening documents – the founders of the Federal Reserve, to demand the opening of the archives. It troubling that after the publication of materials on the subject suddenly burned INION archives XIX-XX centuries. A day later there was a fire in New York in the same repository.And it raises questions.

We need to be more active in the information war – to discuss all of these topics. For example, you can raise the issue that the sale of Alaska and California Russian money into the Russian treasury has not been received. All these information shocks Russia could use in the confrontation with London. It is in London, and not “the Washington regional committee.”

I believe that the United States since 1913, with the inception of the Federal Reserve, are no longer an independent state. Outside surroundings is preserved. But any attempt to recreate the national independence ends sadly. Recall demonstrative shot US President Irish Catholic John F. Kennedy in 1963, dared to print the national US dollars, differed from the Fed dollars in red ink.

Confrontation is a thousand years. It is metaphysical. At the core of the ideology of Moscow lies spirituality and principle – be. At the core of the ideology of London – the principle of greed – have. I hope that the third collapse of Carthage, before it can move to another point (Shanghai, Hong Kong or Singapore). And the Third Rome – Moscow, Russia – will prosper.

Our future in a multipolar world must be built on the principle of dialogue among civilizations.What is the fundamental difference between the Third Rome (Moscow) from the Third Carthage (London)? The Anglo-Saxons most territories captured as predators, physically destroying the local people.

We have always acted differently: try to keep all the small nations, their language and culture, because professed inflorescences of different ethnic groups, included in the Russian civilization. I was in California and I know that the Russian came to this land with well – taught and baptized Indians, and did not kill them.

From the standpoint of conceptual: we need a spiritual sovereignty, based on the Slavic-Turkic and Orthodox-Islamic union of peoples belonging to our civilization. Also, for the construction of a new ideological matrix can take the ideas of the Russian cosmism, Gumilevsky of drive theory and ideas of Vernadsky’s noosphere, considering Christianity as the foundation of our civilization.

We have experienced in the past year, the return of the Crimea to home port. And the Russian Crimea, sacral Crimea – is the second year together with Russia. This is a sign to the world community that it is now a world leader in the future will again be for Russia.

Why is it so important peninsula, in what his mystical mystery? It seems that it is the gateway to the spiritual and noosphere relationship between Russia and its predecessors – the great empires of antiquity: the Trojan, Roman and Byzantine empires.

After the Crimean spiritual impulse Russia has a chance to become a world spiritual leader, but it needs its own ideology. I propose to take as a basis the Russian ideology of his triad: spirituality, statehood, dignity. After all, without the ideology of Russian difficult to defeat in the Second World War Information. 


Russia Kills 2,488 People In One day In Syria

Dr. Igor Panarin’s report for today, 4 October, from the Russian Foreign Ministry:

Syria: Lost LIH terrorist attacks on Russian aircraft from September 30 to October 4, 2015

– 5613 people (killed, wounded, missing and deserters).
– 11 command control centers.
– 7 magazine.
– 5 field of terrorist training camps.
– 4 fuel storage.
– 4 communications center.
– Center for special training militants
– 4 hopper.
– 19 BMP.
– 13 armored personnel carriers.
– 4 mini-factory for the production of weapons for terrorists
– 3avod for the production of bombs and explosives
– Workshop for the production of explosive devices for terrorists

Yesterday’s report, 3 October.

Syria: loss of terrorists ISIS from the attacks of the Russian aviation from 30 September to 3 October 2015
– 3,125 people killed, wounded, missing and deserters).
– 7 command line item of the office.
– 3 Ammunition Depot . – 4 hub of communication. – 3 field terrorist training camps. – 4 the bunker. – 19 INFANTRY FIGHTING VEHICLE BMP. – 13 armoured personnel carriers. – 3 Labor for the production of roadside bombs and explosive devices – 4 mini-factory for the production of weapons to terrorists

Subtracting 3,125 from 5,613, the remainder is 2,488 – the number of people killed in one day of Russian airstrikes.  Again, like the Russian forces bombing Syria, there is no differentiation between civilians, ISIS, FSA, military and any other collateral damage.

This may be viewed as indiscriminate killing, haphazard targeting and careless accounting.

The death rate is increasing.  Yesterday Russian airstrikes killed 1,477 people, today it increased to 2,488.

There is no source, no citation and no verification.  Dr. Panarin’s reporting has notoriously been high by a factor of ten.

Dr. Panarin is a high-ranking member of the Russian government and his numbers are the only released casualty count figure for the Russian government.

His report directly contradicts CNN reporting: Russia bombs Syrian targets for 4th day as international concerns grow

It is unclear why Dr. Panarin releases such highly inflated numbers. Russia clearly desires to be perceived as a powerful military force, but they are succeeding to be seen as out of control and ruthlessly murdering innocent civilians.

Compare this with US rates in operations one year ago over a one month period: Syria Airstrikes Kill 553, Including 32 Civilians, During Monthlong Offensive Against ISIS: Monitor.  One month versus one day, verified by independent monitors.

Russia continues to feed the perception that they are out of control, murderous.

Ukraine’s pro-Russia rebels target media in propaganda war

Donetsk (Ukraine) (AFP) – Yana Agafonova, a media official in the pro-Russian rebel government in eastern Ukraine, says critical publications are not welcome in the separatist region, which is locked in a vicious propaganda war with Kiev.

Her office in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) is authorised to crack down on information access, she said, “like a mother protects her children from horror movies and pornography” because of the “dirt” circulated in Ukrainian media.

Since pro-Russian rebels took over swathes of the ex-Soviet republic last year, the local media has been tamed and many Ukrainian news sites and television channels blocked.

Pro-Ukrainian media outlets, pressured to tow Kiev’s line, have been booted out of the rebel-controlled region and are barred from covering the local elections next month.

“Hostile media outlets don’t come to us,” Agafonova said. “They understand that they should not be filming here and drag us through the mud.”

The Ukrainian government and the pro-Moscow rebels have accused each other of fuelling vitriolic propaganda vehemently denouncing the other side.

Both sides have routinely detained journalists and hampered the work of media outlets deemed to be hostile in their coverage of the conflict, which has claimed nearly 8,000 lives since last April.

Ukraine ranks 129th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders’ 2015 world press freedom index.

Eight media workers have been killed — some in crossfire and some apparently targeted — since the start of the unrest.

RSF has deplored delays in the creation of an independent public broadcaster in Ukraine and says Kiev’s newly-created information ministry shows that the government is “tempted to use media control in response to security challenges.”

Some outlets have been accused of self-censorship to toe the government line while others have come under pressure for airing Russian pop concerts featuring stars who backed Moscow’s annexation of Crimea.

While pro-Moscow media depict the conflict as the Russian-speaking population’s legitimate fight against a “fascist” Ukrainian government, Kiev claims it is battling Russian-backed “terrorists.”

Confronted with these diametrically opposed positions, Agafonova stands by the DNR’s decision to block Ukrainian television channels and about a dozen news sites.

“You always have the choice,” she said. “Those who have a satellite dish have access to everything, as well as those who have Internet access.”

– ‘Truth first victim of war’ –

Blocked websites in the DNR can be accessed on mobile phones or through specialised software, but these are not within everyone’s reach.

The rebels have also targeted the print media, emptying kiosks of Ukrainian publications, sparing only apolitical women’s glossy magazines.

“I haven’t received Ukrainian publications like [weekly magazine] Korrespondent for a long time,” said kiosk vendor Antonina Yakovleva.

“We have even stopped requesting them. People now mostly buy [Russian daily] Komsomolskaya Pravda and Donetsk Republic [newspaper].”

Ukrainian media outlets are unable to fight for viewers, listeners and readers in areas controlled by rebels, according to journalist Vitaly Sizov of the Donetsk Institute of Information.

“Dozens of my Donetsk colleagues have been imprisoned and tortured, and hundreds have fled the [rebel] occupied territories because they couldn’t work,” Sizov said, admitting he had also been forced to leave after receiving threats.

Twenty-four news sites, 135 newspapers, 11 television channels and six radio stations are registered with the DNR and are accessible in the region, its authorities claim, adding that registration procedures for media outlets are free.

But even Russian media outlets, which are generally well-received in the region, have faced hurdles.

“Unofficial advisors to [DNR ‘president’] Alexander Zakharchenko have ordered that no newspapers be printed unless they have been registered with the DNR,” Dmitry Durnev, the editor of the local branch of Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets, told AFP.

“Offenders can face imprisonment or their equipment can be damaged,” he said.

Foreign reporters have also been treated with increasing suspicion, with many being denied accreditation to cover events in rebel-controlled territory.

“Truth is the first victim of war,” said 87-year-old Donetsk resident Vladislav Sergeevich, adding he no longer reads “political newspapers” as he glanced at a newsstand.


When Online Kremlin Propaganda Leaves the Web, It Looks Like This

News in the section ‘Context’ are not fakes. We publish them in order to keep you informed about events concerning the information war between Ukraine and Russia

The Material Evidence exhibition website was just one of dozens in the pro-Kremlin network discovered by Alexander

In previous investigative pieces for RuNet Echo, Lawrence Alexander has exposed a large network of pro-Kremlin websites, and (together with Aric Toler) provided an in-depth look at some of these resources. In this installment of his network saga, Alexander follows an offline lead from the tangled online web of sites rooting for the Kremlin agenda.

“Material Evidence” is one of few pro-Putin Internet projects connected to Russia’s “troll factories” with a significant offline trail. Because of this, we can trace its operations better than we can with other similar schemes. Pulling the threads of Material Evidence reveals that it has exploited and fooled several individuals in its efforts to promote itself.

A touring exhibition of photographs and artifacts focusing on recent events in Ukraine and Syria, Material Evidence’s imagery placed heavy emphasis on violent clashes during the Euromaidan protests, particularly on the supposed extreme-right elements in the movement. The show debuted in Moscow as “ВеЩдоки” [1 2, an abbreviated Russian portmanteau for Material Evidence], where it claimed to have the support of the Moscow Department of Culture and Russia’s Syrian Embassy. The exhibit then moved on to Europe and the US, where it drew allegations of pro-Kremlin propaganda and “astroturfing,” both from journalists and from some skeptical visitors. At least one observer questioned the statistical validity of the infographics on display.

The appointed curator for the Material Evidence tour in the West was a man named Benjamin Hiller—a German-American photojournalistwith over seven years of experience, particularly related to the MENA countries. RuNet Echo got in touch with Hiller to find out how he came to front the exhibition.

It was in May 2014, Hiller told RuNet Echo, that he was first contacted by Alexander Zhitenev, who was then acting as “manager” of the Material Evidence project in Moscow. Zhitenev was looking for “a proper curator to enhance the exhibition”—someone with a recognized journalistic background. A month later, in June (and despite some early reservations about the show’s stance toward Syria and Ukraine), Hiller took on the job. WHOIS records show the English-language Material Evidence website was registered at exactly this time.

In a previous interview with Adrian Chen for the New York Times Magazine, Hiller claimed that the touring art show’s costs were covered by crowdfunding. Having found no trace of Material Evidence on any of the leading crowdfunding sites, RuNet Echo asked him to elaborate.

“When I was brought into the project, I asked how they are financed. They told me via crowdfunding, and some single-donations from ‘middle class businessmen.’ I took it in the beginning (a bit naive, I know) as granted,” Hiller said. “After the New York Exhibition I got doubts—and as far as I know, there was never any crowdfunding involved. I was lied to in that regard by Material Evidence (as they did in so many other instances).”

It was Zhitenev, Hiller said, who acted as intermediary between him and the “businessmen”; it was also his job to handle the administration and pay the gallery staff. It remains unclear, however, how exactly Zhitenev got involved with the project. According to Hiller, he had no journalistic or creative background, deriving his main income from a cleaning business in Moscow. (Russian state records appear to confirm this, showing such a company, А-Сервис (A-Service), registered under the name of Alexander Zhitenev.) So how did he come to run a photographic exhibition?

Zhitenev claimed to Hiller that it was his wife who brought him into the role, which her work colleagues at an “advertising agency” were seeking to fill. RuNet Echo wasn’t able to find information to confirm this, and Zhitenev did not respond to our request for comment.

As Material Evidence began to promote itself around New York in the autumn of 2014—employing an extensive ad campaign—allegations of political bias began to emerge. One article by Ukrainian singer and activist Ruslana pointed to the strange use of the name Svetlana Zakharova, a patriotic Russian ballerina, as the registered administrator of Material Evidence’s website. Spotted along with it was the e-mail address of one Nikita Podgorny—the crucial detail that provided a link between St. Petersburg’s Internet Research Agency and the pro-Kremlin web network in an earlier RuNet Echo investigation.

In a BuzzFeed article dated October 12, 2014, Hiller issued a strong rebuttal, calling the allegations “a lie.” When asked about funding, he stood by his previous claims about crowdfunding. Material Evidence, he said, had no connection to Zakharova: their Web designer had used the name without their knowledge and for reasons unknown. Hiller went so far as to suggest that Material Evidence might resort to legal action against the designer.

Was that designer Nikita Podgorny? Hiller maintains he never had any contact with Podgorny. Furthermore, he claims he had “no contact with the wider [Material Evidence] project”. Instead, all of this went through Zhitenev, who pledged to resolve the issue over the website. But Hiller says he heard nothing more on the matter.

This odd episode made Hiller further question the legitimacy of Material Evidence. In November 2014, he requested a face-to-face meeting with its elusive “businessmen” funders. But after initially agreeing, the backers never appeared. “I was sitting frustrated in Moscow (the first time in Russia for me), feeling more and more that I was being used as a pawn for a pro-Russian agenda,” Hiller said.

Hiller said he finally quit the project in February 2015.

The timeline of Material Evidence’s appearance in Europe and the US matches periods of peak activity in the wider pro-Kremlin website network. Domain registration dates show that just over half of the 84 sites identified to date were created between May and August 2014 (as seen in the interactive graphic of the registration date distribution below).

Pie (1)

The geopolitical focus of Material Evidence—on rebellion and protest in Ukraine and Syria — is also strongly reflected in many of the websites in the network, notably Syria Inform, Syria Union, and Emaidan.

In its early days, ВеЩдоки (the Russian Material Evidence exhibit) appears to have made significant use of online spam to promote itself. In the winter of 2013, as the show opened in Moscow, identical messages were posted across dozens of Russian forums (see examples 1,2, 34, and 5) in an attempt to draw in visitors. The profiles involved were mostly fakes specifically created for the purpose, with some also spreading pro-Kremlin political sentiment on other topics. Similarly, the ВеЩдоки VK community was administered by an account otherwise dedicated to business promotion and marketing.

The now-defunct ВеЩдоки website credited the Syrian Embassy in Russia and the Syrian Information Ministry for assisting their venture. The site stated ВеЩдоки’s rationale as:

All Russians should understand what is happening in Syria and what makes the Russian MFA [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] and the Russian President personally engage in tremendous efforts in the international political arena.

The newspaper ЖУРНАЛИСТСКАЯ ПРАВДА (Journalistic Truth) was originally presented as the organizer behind Material Evidence, and some sources claim it is ultimately funded by the Internet Research Agency “troll farms” previously reported on by RuNet Echo. Its website,, was part of the same network that led to our original investigation, but its Google Analytics tracking code has since been changed. Both its VK profile and its Twitter account were apparently suspended for using spam techniques.

The now inactive Russian exhibit website вещдоки.рф (veschdoki.rf) was created in December 2013, presumably to further promote the project, but it seems no content was ever added to it. Records show that four other sites had been hosted on its server (1 2 3). One of them,, features in the wider pro-Kremlin network. Another is Material Auction, an incomplete skeleton site bearing the Material Evidence logo. It was registered under Hiller’s name shortly before he left the project in February 2015. An e-mail address,, also appears in its domain records. But Hiller denied any knowledge of the site or the Russian Yandex address, citing it as another example of how the project had acted dishonestly towards him.

“I regret to have been part of a pro-Putin propaganda show,” Hiller told RuNet Echo. “[Material Evidence] tried to use me and the photographers I organized as pawns for their propaganda war, and succeeded with that to a degree.”

By Lawrence Alexander, Global Voices


US Soft Power

What do Fulbright fellows in Kenya, the broadcasts of Radio Free Asia, and the Foreign Press Center near the United Nations have in common? All are facets of U.S. public diplomacy, which advances national security by informing, engaging and influencing the views of people around the world.

Public diplomacy (PD to its friends) is one of the less celebrated but more intriguing investments in U.S. foreign policy. For decades, it has earned lasting allies for our country and helped multitudes understand and embrace our core values, including human rights, freedom of information, strong civil society and education for all.

And yet just 3.5 percent of what we spend on civilian international affairs – which altogether is about 1 percent of the federal budget, so we’re talking about a fraction of a sliver – goes to such programs. This modest down-payment on America’s future deserves recognition and prudent stewardship.

Promoting both is the job of the bipartisan U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, which Congress is considering reauthorizing before its mandate lapses this week. Its members, appointed by the White House and confirmed by the Senate, work with a lean team of expert employees to assess PD’s effectiveness, recommend policies and programs and write up its findings for the president, Congress and the public.

The commission has just released an assessment of all PD efforts at the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors. The comprehensive report drills down on some timely issues such as push-back against Russian propaganda in the former Soviet states and the use of communications to combat violent extremist groups. It raises questions about resource allocation and makes 28 big-picture recommendations, plus nearly three dozen program-specific proposals for places to improve.

Here are some of top takeaways:

PD efforts worldwide are short-staffed and under-funded. At the same time, a risk-adverse State Department personnel system often quashes innovation that could lead to more creative use of existing resources. But the commission commends Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel, who came on board early last year, for encouraging career staffers to take more calculated risks and “get caught trying.”

State Department “American spaces,” ranging from curated bookshelves in local university libraries to brick-and-mortar cultural oases – many offering everything from movie nights to training in civil society tools to uncensored Internet use – are valuable, especially in countries that restrict access to information. Yet they face budget and security challenges; the report calls for explicit congressional support for keeping these facilities open and accessible.

Progress has been made within the past year to develop more rigorous research and evaluation – particularly at State, which recently created a new position to oversee this area. The commission proposes further expanding the Office of Policy, Planning and Resources (R/PPR) and increasing research operations at both State and the BBG. Both need strong data so they can better gauge what resonates with their audiences and provide solid metrics to make decisions on how best to allocate their funds.

The report highlights the BBG’s boost in programming during the past year in response to crises in Ukraine and the surrounding region through VOA and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. It calls for more, along with other PD efforts, throughout the former Soviet states to counter Russian influence. At a time when Moscow is choking off ideas from outside – targeting media, NGOs, cultural institutions and other traditional sources – the commission urgently pushes for more funding, staffing and creative programming of all kinds.

Similarly, it endorses recent PD efforts at countering violent extremism (CVE) through messaging and other means, and urges coordination across all government agencies engaged in this fight. It also recommends that congressional staffers specializing in defense and foreign affairs collaborate more closely to examine CVE efforts and see where PD fits in.
The commission roundly applauds the White House-led creation of academic and professional exchange programs for people from previously underserved regions, including Africa and Southeast Asia, and flags them for longer-term support.
At 360 pages, 50 alone dedicated to the executive summary, the new PD report is a hefty read. But it’s well worth a look, and it underscores that in spite of some shortcomings, much of the way our country exerts its “soft power” is well worthwhile.

The commission itself merits maintaining, too. Let’s hope Congress agrees, and either gives it a nod in a spending measure for Fiscal Year 2016 by Wednesday or in an authorization bill soon.

Weil had the public diplomacy oversight portfolio on the staff of the House Foreign Affairs Committee from 2003-2010, served as a senior advisor to the under secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs at State from 2010-2012, and was director of Communications and Public Affairs for the BBG from 2012 to last year.


Russia Kills 1,477 People in One Day In Syria

Today’s (3 Oct 2015) Russian update from Dr. Igor Panarin, of the Russian Foreign Ministry:

(translated by my Chrome browser)

Syria: loss of terrorists ISIS from the attacks of the Russian aviation from 30 September to 3 October 2015
– 3,125 people killed, wounded, missing and deserters).
– 7 command line item of the office.
– 3 Ammunition Depot . – 4 hub of communication. – 3 field terrorist training camps. – 4 the bunker. – 19 INFANTRY FIGHTING VEHICLE BMP. – 13 armoured personnel carriers. – 3 Labor for the production of roadside bombs and explosive devices – 4 mini-factory for the production of weapons to terrorists

Here is yesterday’s report:

Syria: loss of terrorists ISIS from the attacks of the Russian aviation from 30 September to 2 October 2015
1. of the 1648 killed people, wounded, missing and deserters).
2.3 command line item of the office.
3. A Warehouse of petroleum products.
4. Depot Ammunition.
5.2 Node of the connection.
6. Field Training Camp for terrorists.
7. Of the bunker Three.
8.10 BMP.
9.7 APC.
10. Plant for the production of roadside bombs and explosive devices.

Conclusion.  In ONE day, Russia has killed (3,125 – 1,648) = 1,477 people.  One THOUSAND Four Hundred Seventy Seven people.  Syria has 22.85 million people before the revolution.  How many millions of refugees are fleeing from Syria?  At the rate of 1,477 people killed per day, 15,233 days of operations will wipe out the entire country.

Of course, the New York Times report is a little different.  The Latest: Syrian Group Says Russian Strikes Killed 36  That’s a little different from 1,477 claimed by Russia. Is their intent to have a high body count?

This is based entirely on Russian reporting.  It is not verifiable. There is no independent report and no independent reporting. There are no monitors.

There probably is little truth in the Russian report, just saying.


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