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Russia – Analysis and Articles Digest


Intro: An expert who prefers to remain anonymous put this together.  Well worth reading and perusing the links that follow.

</end intro>


Quite a lot of news piled up over the last three days, although no dramatic developments since the Syria bugout started. A lot of decent analytical and opinion essays on Russia, and argument about Russia’s gains and losses in Syria, and from the pullout.

Motyl’s essay on the risks in the play is excellent, and puts the focus on how Putin makes short term decisions. Lloyd as always on the money, focussing on the closed circle of Putin, Patrushev and Ivanov who appear to be making all decisions in Moscow – worst case Groupthink model. Also explains the reported dumbfounded behaviour of Lavrov and Shoigu when instructed to bug out.

Pondering the Russian play, it may be motivated more than anything by the intractable behaviours of Putin’s two allies in Syria, Iran and Assad, pushing their own agendas at the expense of Putin – he likes to be seen to be duping everybody else, and driving the agenda, and both of these regimes have minds of their own.

Historically, no alliance between narcisstic authoritarian leaders has ever lasted as these relationships always devolve into selfish prisoner’s dilemma mutual backstabs – these is this inherent meta-stability to these alliances as the only stable high outcome play is cooperation that is inherently at odds with the behavioural propensities of narcissistic sociopaths, who are unable to see or accept the other players’ needs.

Nasty report from Russia about a Roma (Gypsy) settlement being “pacified” by Russian security forces following a dispute over local gas supplies.

Most interesting from Ukraine is the NYT essay on Oksana Syroyid, MP, deputy speaker of the Parliament, former Prof of constitutional law, and her campaign to protect the constitution from being adulterated by changes to accommodate Putin’s trojan horse model, as being promoted by Steinmeyer and other EU proxies of Moscow. The leadership squabbles in Kiev continue without resolution.

Reports on UK and Canadian support and aid of interest. Fascinating interview with Prof Mironenko in Moscow, discussing how collectively most Russians have no understanding of Ukraine, its history, culture and values, and how they mostly believe it to be the same as Russia, mirroring the ner identical problems of ignorance pervading EU nations – they all imagine it to be a province of Russia, linguistically and culturally Russian. Top Ukraine media item this week was not Darth Vader, rather the statue of his understudy in Zaporozhiye being taken down.

Fascinating reports on the Crimea Kerch-Taman bridge debacle, Putin’s shenanigans, and the stark truth of how Speer during the German occupation abandoned the plan to put the bridge up after a geological study showed the seabed to be tectonically unstable making a bridge of such length infeasible.

Techie media dominated by Russian 3M22 Zirkon hypersonic ASCM testing – this is the joint Brahmos ASCM follow-on with India.

“The Russian World” is the usual fare, grotesque to distasteful.

Donbass harassment fires continue.

A hollow superpower | The EconomistDon’t be fooled by Syria. Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy is born of weakness and made for television

Alexander J. Motyl | Putin’s Syria Gambit | World Affairs JournalVladimir Putin’s surprise withdrawal of troops in Syria is no stroke of genius. Instead he has acted on yet another whim that will end badly for him.

Putin’s long game has been revealed, and the omens are bad for Europe | Natalie Nougayrède | Opinion | The GuardianThrough his writings, Russia’s foreign minister tells us what the president really wants – a historic realignment in his favour. To get a glimpse into Vladimir Putin’s mind, it’s worth reading the recent writings of his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov. In a long article published this month by the Moscow-based magazine Russia in Global Affairs– translated here into English – Lavrov spells it out with clarity. What Russia wants is nothing short of fundamental change: a formal, treaty-based say on Europe’s political and security architecture. Until Russia gets that, goes the message, there will be no stability on the continent. The key sentence in the article is this: “During the last two centuries, any attempt to unite Europe without Russia and against it has inevitably led to grim tragedies.”

The Daily Vertical: A Coincidence? I Think Not! (Transcript)Well, as if on cue, the pivot to Ukraine has begun. Well, as if on cue, the pivot to Ukraine has begun. Pro-Moscow separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine yesterday began issuing passports for the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, the name that they have given to the territory they control.

The Daily Vertical: A Spoiler Not A Superpower (Transcript)The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday.

U.S. Senators Seek New Center To Counter Russian, Chinese ‘Propaganda’New legislation being introduced in the U.S. Senate aims to improve Washington’s efforts to counter “propaganda and disinformation” spread by Russia, China, and other countries.

John Lloyd | What is the best way to describe Vladimir Putin’s Russia?Patriarch Putin has drawn a small, tight group around him. Alexei Venediktov, head of the still-operating liberal radio stationm Ekho Moskvy, says only two really count: Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Russia’s Security Council, and Sergey Ivanov, head of the Presidential Administration, both former intelligence officers. “They are close to him both educationally and mentally. The more years pass by, the more influential they become.” To have such narrow influences indicates that the course is set, and won’t change. In this system, everything depends on the tsar-patriarch-president. In testimony to the U.S. Congress in February, Fiona Hill, director of the Brookings Center on the United States and Europe and a formidable expert on Russia for two decades, said that he and his team have “worked very hard to increase (their) tactical advantage by making the Russian President — and thus the Russian decision-making system — as inscrutable and unpredictable as possible… No-one outside the inner circle is supposed to know what is going on.”

Putin’s Syria Gambit: Russian Pundits Ponder What Moscow Achieved Russian President Vladimir Putin’s abrupt decision to draw down his country’s military presence in Syria has left analysts scratching their heads. Does it signal a strategic shift or is it merely an easily reversible public-relations gambit aimed at strengthening Moscow’s hand as the Geneva peace talks get under way?

Podcast: Putin’s New World OrderWill Vladimir Putin succeed in his quest to change the global rules? Listen to the new Power Vertical Podcast.

How Russia Views Its ‘Compatriots’ in the Near Abroad | The National InterestThe Kremlin sees ethnic Russians as a powerful ally in the region.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky Is Putin’s Most Powerful Enemy (in Exile) – The Daily BeastRussia may not be ready for ex-billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky to return, but his arguments are gaining ground.

Khodorkovsky makes gloomy forecast for Putin regime for next 10 years : UNIAN newsExiled Russian tycoon Mikhail&nbsp;Khodorkovksy, who spent years in the Russian jail, stated he was planning to go back to Russia as soon as the Putin’s regime started to fall apart, RBC reported referring to his interview with The Daily Beast.

Atheism on Trial in Russia’s Stavropol | Opinion | The Moscow TimesIn a courtroom in Stavropol, Viktor Krasnov, a physician’s assistant, is accused of the same crime as Giordano Bruno, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Salman Rushdie — atheism.“What are you doing ?! You like the Germans ?! Yes !?” – about 500 Russian security forces participated in the special operation to pacify the rebellious Roma [Gypsies] in Tula. VIDEO

What are you doing ?! You like the Germans ?! Yes !?” – about 500 Russian security forces participated in the special operation to pacify the rebellious Roma [Gypsies] in Tula. VIDEOAbout a hundred residents of the Gypsy camp in the village Plekhanovo near Tula staged a protest after the authorities’ attempts to cut off the gas supply from the village. According Tsenzor.NET , authorities said that due to illegal connections, the Roma left without gas of about 400 houses in the neighboring streets. Roma tried to provide resistance to the police and burned tires, as a sign of protest against the actions of the authorities. After that, for the pacification of “riot gas” in the village came about five hundred police officers, among them the riot police, SWAT, internal forces, PPS and dog handlers.

http://censor.net.ua/cnPlayer.swf?vf=170316_tulRussia slashes space funding amid economic woes – AJE NewsPM Medvedev cuts space budget by 30 percent in an effort to reign in spending in the face of deepening economic crisis.

NATO rethinks strategy after Russia’s renewed military power show in Syria“It is now necessary to plan defence, while previously it was not.”

NATO Needs to Move Two Brigades East, and That’s Just a Start – Defense OneThe world is changing around the alliance; here\’s what its leaders must do to keep up.The President Who Dared to Call Putin’s Russia What It Is: A Terrorist State – The Daily BeastLithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite was blunt about her neighbor’s aggression after it took over Crimea—and in an interview, she sounds the alarm about her nation’s vulnerability.

No-show Obama | EditorialIn Kyiv on May 29, 1972, U.S. President Richard Nixon toasted Ukrainians from the baroque splendor of Mariyinsky Palace near the Dnipro River. Ukrainians “are a people who are world famous for their warmth, for their strength, for their courage,” Nixon said. He talked about the sacrifices of Ukrainians during World War II and the rebuilding of a destroyed Kyiv. He toasted “the heroes of the Ukraine in war and in peace.” Presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush followed Nixon, visiting Kyiv in 1991, 1995 and 2008, respectively. But U.S. President Barack Obama, his domestic agenda paralyzed by Republicans and the Nov. 8 presidential election, still has no plans to visit Ukraine. Obama will do a lot of international traveling in his last year, as many presidents do. He’s going to Cuba this week and maybe the United Kingdom yet this spring. He will be in Japan for a G7 meeting in June, in Poland for the NATO summit in July, in China for the G20 meeting in September and also possibly South America, the Middle East and Africa. But not to Ukraine. He will be the first president since Ronald Reagan not to make the trip while in office. Reagan had a good excuse: The Soviet Union was still in existence, but not for long. Reagan helped break up the “evil empire,” leaving it on the “ash heap of history” in 1991. We have editorialized for Obama to come to Ukraine. But maybe it’s better that he just stays away, given his dismissal of Ukraine as a “client state” of Russia and not one of America’s core interests.Growing the next generation of Russia experts | TheHillWithout building expertise in countries like Russia, we risk a reactive foreign policy.

Growing the next generation of Russia experts – To Inform is to InfluenceThe author brings up some very valid arguments but misses one major point. Russia is the world’s leading advocate and perpetrator of Information Warfare.  For the past 2+ years, the world has been deluged with Russian propaganda. Russia has controlled information flowing internally to its citizens, supporting Russian actions and denigrating anything Western. Russia controlled…

Opinion: How The Presidential Election Could Shape U.S. Defense Policy | Defense content from Aviation WeekThere may be some hints of intent as the presidential campaign heads into the home stretch in September-October.

Maps & Jammers: Army Intensifies Training Vs. Russian-Style Jamming « Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentaryHUNTSVILLE, ALA.: After two decades of largely ignoring the danger, the Army is seriously training for a scary scenario: What if GPS, our satellite communications and our wireless networks go down? It’s hardly a hypothetical threat. Russian electronic warfare units locate Ukrainian troops by their transmissions and jam their radios so they can’t call for help, setting them up for slaughter. American soldiers are much better trained and equipped than Ukrainian ones, but they’re also much more dependent on wireless devices. Almost 80 percent of an armored brigade’s equipment depends to some degree on space. Over 250 systems use satellite communications; more than 2,500 use GPS. Even short-range tactical communications relay on radio. We depend on networks for everything from communications to guiding precision weapons, to not shooting friendly units by accident, “to not getting lost in the woods — not that I’ve ever been lost,” said Gen. David Perkins, head of the Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). Our digital technology has been an “asymmetric advantage” adversaries couldn’t match, but all advantages in war are temporary, Perkins warned reporters at the Association of the US Army conference here. In the modern era, he added, the time a technological advantage lasts is getting “shorter and shorter and shorter.” In the future, while we will hopefully never fight Russia or China, we almost certainly will fight someone who has bought advanced jamming and electronic warfare systems from them or even some of our own allies, said Tom Greco, Gen. Perkins’ chief of intelligence: “It is not a stretch to say that just about any capability that we have has the potential of being disrupted.” So the Army is now deliberately disrupting its own units during training. For example, when brigades go to the National Training Center, they naturally bring all their usual GPS navigation systems — but now “we routinely take that capability away from them,” said Perkins. “We’re having to teach people at the Basic Course on up on how you operate if that is taken away, in other words introducing people to maps.” he Army needs to look to its past to see its future in EW.”


US, Philippines agree on 5 base locations under defence deal | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & AnalysisUS, Philippines agree on 5 base locations under defence deal – The deal was reached under the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) signed in 2015.

US, Philippines agree on locations covered by defense pact | Headlines, News, The Philippine Star | philstar.comThe U.S. and the Philippines have agreed on locations where American forces will have access as the U.S. looks to reassert its presence in Asia, officials said Friday.

Japan’s Master Plan to Stop China in the East China Sea: Lawfare? | The National Interest BlogIs Tokyo about to embrace “Lawfare” in the East China Sea? 

US-China relationship will be complex: Ashton Carter – The Economic TimesDefence Secretary Ashton Carter said that the US-China ties will be “complex” as there remain areas of concern including in the disputed South China Sea.

Asia Briefs: China provoking arms race: US , Asia News & Top Stories – The Straits TimesChina provoking arms race: US CANBERRA • China’s “might makes right” attitude and “unprecedented examples of aggressive construction and militarisation” in disputed areas of the South China Sea are provoking a regional arms build-up, said Admiral Scott Swift, commander of the US Pacific Fleet.. Read more at

straitstimes.com.China and Russia are planning to take down US satellites, Air Force general warns | Daily Mail OnlineGeneral John Hyten, head of the U.S. Air Force Space Command, says adversaries to America are developing ‘cyber tools’ to degrade and destroy their space capabilities and damage satellites.

Japan Extends East China Sea SurveillanceJapan is expanding the East China Sea surveillance network around the disputed Senkaku Islands

Japan May Bring China to International Court over East China Sea Islands – BreitbartLegislators in Japan’s Ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) are urging Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to bring a case against China to an international tribunal to settle once and for all ownership over disputed islands in the East China Sea.

Japanese island caught between military powers | Shoreline BeaconNews, Local, Provincial, Canada, World, Sports, High School Sports, Local Hockey, Hockey, Basketball, Baseball, Football, Soccer, Lacrosse, Curling, Other Sports, Entertainment, Local, Movies, Music, Television, Celebrities, Life, Health, Food, Travel, Money, Opinion, Editorial, Letters, Column, Your Newspaper, Social medias, Events, UR, News, Sports, Life, Entertainment, Money, Opinion, Marketplace, Photos, Videos, Contests, Polls, Weather, Sitemap, Event Submission

Tough new rules may have stopped Darwin port saleTHE Federal Government has announced it will strengthen Australia’s foreign ownership rules, just months after copping criticism for failing to properly assess the sale of the Port of Darwin.


Trump


‘Simpsons’ Writer Who Predicted Trump Presidency in 2000: “It Was a Warning to America” – Hollywood ReporterIt “just seemed like the logical last stop before hitting bottom,” Dan Greaney recalls.

The Simpsons predicted a Trump presidency 16 years agoDonald Trump was president in The Simpsons 16 years ago, but only because the writers needed something absurd.

Kremlin hits out at Trump pre-election video for demonizing Russia | ReutersThe Kremlin on Thursday hit out at a pre-election video promoting U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, complaining it demonized Russia’s image.

Russia’s Putin sees a kindred spirit in Donald Trump | Public Radio InternationalVladimir Putin has praised Donald Trump — in part because Russians don’t want to see Hillary Clinton in the White House.

Michael Den Tandt: Trump’s shadow stretches as far as the East China Sea | National PostTop of mind, for many Okinawans, is that their home remains the staging ground for 75 per cent of U.S. military bases in Japan

Unless Trump Nukes Them, Danes are Very Happy
Letter to the Editor: Trump’s Comments on Strategy Make No Sense to This Army Officer | Foreign PolicyLetter to the Editor: Trump’s Comments on Strategy Make No Sense to This Army Officer « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas

Jewish leaders plan boycott of Donald Trump at AIPAC – CNNPolitics.comSeveral groups of rabbis and Jewish religious leaders are planning to protest Donald Trump’s speech to a major pro-Israel conference in Washington on Monday.


Ukraine – Lt. Savchenko


FLOOR STATEMENT BY SENATOR JOHN McCAIN ON NADIYA SAVCHENKO – Floor Statements – United States Senator John McCain
Obama, G7 Urge Russia To Free Ukrainian Pilot SavchenkoNews media are reporting that U.S. President Barack Obama and the world’s top economic powers are urging Russian President Vladimir Putin to release jailed Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko.

Ukraine Lists Individuals It Wants EU To Blacklist Over Savchenko Trial Ukraine has identified nearly 50 people it considers responsible for the “illegal detention and falsified trial” of Ukrainian military pilot Nadia Savchenko and has urged the European Union to impose sanctions against them.

Mock trial of Savchenko: Money is what Putin cares for rather than people – exchange, Putin, Savchenko, Polozov, Ukrainian hostages in Russia, Mock trial of Savchenko (16.03.16 23:38) « News | EN.Censor.net 16.03.16 23:38 – Putin doesn’t care a straw for Yerofeyev and Aleksandrov, – Polozov on possible exchange of Savchenko Nikolai Polozov, the lawyer of Ukrainian pilot Nadiia Savchenko illegally held in the Russian Federation, believes that Vladimir Putin is holding her for another reason that exchanging for GRU operatives Yevgeniy Yerofeyev and Alexander Aleksandrov. View news.

Poroshenko: Ukraine and the EU cannot keep silent on ‘brutal violation of human rights’ – watch on – uatoday.tv Kyiv pressing Brussels for sanctions on people involved in abduction of Ukrainian pilot Savchenko

Savchenko trial: Medvedchuk bumps me and Polozov off on direct order of Kremlin, – Feygin – Medvedchuk, Savchenko, Feigin, Polozov, Ukrainian hostages in Russia, Savchenko trial, Mark Feygin (19.03.16 13:08) « News | EN.Censor.net 19.03.16 13:08 – Medvedchuk bumps me and Polozov off on direct order of Kremlin, – Feygin Mark Feygin, lawyer of Ukrainian pilot Nadiia Savchenko, accuses the representative of Ukraine in the subgroup on Humanitarian Affairs of the trilateral contact group on the settlement of the conflict in the Donbas Viktor Medvedchuk in an attempt to… View news.

Pro-Russian militants: Vladimir Putin tops Savchenko related sanctions list – Savchenko, sanctions, European Union, Sanctions against Russia, Ukrainian hostages in Russia, Pro-Russian militants, Alexei Pushkov | Alexander Bortnikov (17.03.16 18:51) « Incidents « News | EN.Censor.net 17.03.16 18:51 – Savchenko List contains names of 44 Russians and two Ukrainians, – journalist President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko handed over Savchenko related sanctions list to the European leaders today. 29 Russian citizens were earlier reportedly included in this list. According to the media, President Vladimir Putin of Russia topped… View news.

Mogherini urges Russia to immediately release Sentsov and Kolchenko : UNIAN news High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini has called on Russia to immediately release illegally detained Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov and Ukrainian activist Oleksandr Kolchenko.


Ukraine – Politics


Ex-Professor Upsets Ukraine Politics, and Russia Peace Accord – The New York Times Oksana I. Syroyid has shot to the top of politics in Ukraine by trying to derail a peace accord with Russia.

No trust in leadership Ukrainians and their Western partnes would be justified in giving up on President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Ukraine’s two leaders have betrayed their nation’s hopes to put an end to the oligarchy and legal impunity for the powerful elite. Instead, they have manipulated to preserve the corrupt status quo and their own business interests. Poroshenko would even deny Ukrainians the democratic right to elect their own leaders. He signed into law changes that would allow party leaders, not the people, to decide who gets seated in parliament. Poroshenko is untrustworthy in other ways, namely his control of prosecutors and judges while Yatsenyuk has shown himself to be a tool of the oligarchy and vested interests. It is appalling that the president’s corrupt lackey, General Prosecutor Viktor Shokin, is still on the job. A new and restless generation of incorruptible politicians, civic activists and professionals is on the rise in Ukraine. Their coming to power cannot happen soon enough to save the nation and the dreams of the EuroMaidan Revolution.

How Ukraine’s politicians are spoiling another revolution – The Globe and Mail Street battles in the capital, a separatist war in the east and Russia grabbing the Crimea region. That was two years ago. Mark MacKinnon reports on how Ukraine’s latest crisis involves its politicians.

Yatsenyuk ready to give Groysman premiership under certain conditions – media : UNIAN news Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is ready to step down in favor of the current Verkhovna Rada Speaker, Volodymyr Groysman if the People’s Front party gets an acceptable quota in government, according to several informed sources in the different factions of the coalition, Ukrainian online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda has reported.

Poroshenko hopes political crisis to be overcome before late March : UNIAN news Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said he hopes that the political crisis in Ukraine will be resolved before the end of the month, according to&nbsp;an UNIAN&nbsp;correspondent.

Timothy Ash: Shokin’s return as prosecutor general is story of day in Ukraine Forget about the machinations around the formation/reformulation of the new cabinet (in Ukraine). The return to work today of General Prosecutor Viktor Shokin is the big story today in Ukraine. Remember international financial institutions and civil society movements had called for Shokhin to be removed as a step towards cleaning up the public prosecutor’s office. The problems run much deeper than one individual though. President Petro Poroshenko asked Shokhin to resign and he “usefully” went off on holiday (on Feb. 16, a day after Deputy Prosecutor General Vitaliy Kasko resigned, citing ongoing obstruction of justice by Shokin.) This seemed to calm criticism down a bit – buying time perhaps for Poroshenko to regroup. Now Shokhin has returned to work, and the Rada needs to vote to remove him.

Timothy Ash: Despite messiness today, Ukraine can still be the next Poland Editor’s Note: The following is a question-and-answer session written by Timothy Ash, the London-based head of Central Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa credit strategy for Nomura International, a Japanese financial holding company. Ash said it is based on his communication with institutional investors in the U.S. and Europe in recent weeks.

#DUTCHINUA | No-vote in referendum is a support-vote for Russia – Dutch businessman -Euromaidan Press | Dutch businessman in Ukraine says Dutch exporters are waiting for Association Agreement between EU and Ukraine to come into force

#DUTCHINUA | Referendum organizers spread lies about Ukraine – director of Dutch company in Ukraine -Euromaidan Press | Peter Kinds started his business in Ukraine almost 12 years ago. Today Control Pay has around 150 people of which 140 are located in Kyiv. The company controls an audit freight invoices freight costs for large multinationals. For that, a unique system was set Ukraine. Thanks to the previous experiences with Ukraine, Kinds knew the country, its opportunities for business and for IT development. This is an abridged version of his interview given to Ukraine Today.

A tetter to my Dutch friendEuromaidan Press | Good afternoon. My name is Victor and I need your assistance. I’m a Ukrainian journalist. My job is to provide the public with information. I would like to use this opportunity to present the Dutch population the views, hopes and aspirations of my fellow citizens. In my humble opinion, this would be useful to both parties. In a short period, you will have the opportunity to participate in a referendum and express your negative or positive attitude towards the Association between the EU and my country. I should say that we’re following this process with great interest. We surely cannot give any piece of advice to Dutch citizens on how to vote. It’s solely their sovereign right. Under different circumstances I wouldn’t write this addressed statement at all.

Behind the scenes of civic society’s battle with corruption in Ukraine -Euromaidan Press | The struggle to establish the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption shows how much easier it is to denounce corruption in Ukraine than to fight it

Ukrainian parliament votes to remove embattled Prosecutor General from office – watch on – uatoday.tv Viktor Shokin returned to work after several weeks on leaveEU to Launch Formal Visa-Free Process for Ukraine in April – WSJThe European Union’s executive will formally launch the process for approving Ukraine’s visa-free access to the bloc in April, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said, taking Kiev a step closer to a key political goal.

“The cooperation between Ukraine and Spain is really reinforced” – watch on – uatoday.tv Discussing current development of Spanish-Ukraine relations with Ignacio Ybanez Rubio, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Spain


Ukraine – Most Interesting


Britain signs new defence pact to help Ukraine in Russia confrontation – Telegraph Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, says new 15-year defence agreement will see Britain help Ukraine defend itself

UK-Ukraine defense deal: Britain signs new defence pact to help Ukraine in Russia confrontation – army, UK, treaty, Defense, training, UK-Ukraine defense deal, Aid to Ukraine (18.03.16 12:52) « News | EN.Censor.net 18.03.16 12:52 – Britain signs new defence pact to help Ukraine in Russia confrontation, – The Telegraph Britain is to sign a new defence pact with Ukraine pledging to help the country with more military training and intelligence amid its confrontation with Russia. 

Canada Imposes More Sanctions Over Russia’s Handling Of Ukraine Dion says Canada has no intention of lifting sanctions until Russia meets its international obligations.

Canada expands sanctions over Russia’s stance on Ukraine | Toronto Star Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion says Canada has no intention of lifting sanction and added more names to the list.

Dmitry Tymchuk: Military update 03.14 #FreeSavchenko | Информационное сопротивлениеOperational data from Information Resistance:

Ukraine-EU cooperation: Top level negotiations – Merkel, Poroshenko, Hollande, Ukraine – EU, Ukraine-EU cooperation, Donald Tusk | Jean-Claude Juncker (16.03.16 20:50) « World « News | EN.Censor.net 16.03.16 20:50 – Poroshenko, Merkel, Hollande and EU leaders to meet in Belgium March 17 President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande will hold a trilateral meeting in Brussels (Belgium) March 17. View news.

Delegates gather at the United Nations for meeting on Russian-annexed Crimea – watch on – uatoday.tv Crimea will always remain a part of Ukraine – Samantha Power says

Voitsitska attempt: Samopomich MP Voitsitska declares attempt on her life, says mastermind unknown – assassination attempt, Samopomich, Voitsitska, Corruption, Voitsitska attempt, Samopomich assassination attempt (17.03.16 10:02) « News | EN.Censor.net 17.03.16 10:02 – Samopomich MP Voitsitska declares attempt on her life, says mastermind unknown Samopomich MP Victoriia Voitsitska has reported an attempt on her life. View news.

Ukraine initiates WTO proceedings against Russia over import, transit restrictions : UNIAN news Ukraine initiates dispute proceedings with the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding restrictions on transit and imports of food and railway equipment imposed by the Russian Federation.

Ukrainian Intelligence: Poroshenko signs National Intelligence Program, – NSDC – Poroshenko, intelligence, NSDC, Ukrainian Intelligence, Ukraine defense capability (16.03.16 16:48) « News | EN.Censor.net 16.03.16 16:48 – Poroshenko signs National Intelligence Program, – NSDC The National Intelligence Program, outlining the development of Ukraine’s intelligence agencies, was signed by President Petro Poroshenko a few days ago. View news.

Turkey to purchase natural gas via Ukraine – Daily Sabah Speaking to Russian news agency RIA Novosti, Igor Prokopiv, the president of the Ukrainian Public Joint Stock Company (PJSC) Ukrtransgaz, said: Turkey and…

Ukrainian Player Called ‘Traitor’ For Opting To Play In Russia With tensions between Kyiv and Moscow at all-time highs, even the transfer of top Ukrainian soccer player Yevhen Seleznyov to a club in Russia stirs passions.

Ministers of Defense of Ukraine and Canada visit military training field in Western Ukraine – watch on – uatoday.tv Canada’s minister of national defense calls relations with Ukraine &lsquo;unique

Linkevičius in Shyrokyne: Minsk in ‘action’ – shelling continued even during my visit to Shyrokyne, – Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linkevičius. PHOTOS – shoot out, Minsk agreements, Shyrokyne, Linkevičius, Russian Aggression Against Ukraine, Linkevičius in Shyrokyne, Minsk agreements inefficient (17.03.16 12:28) « Photo news | EN.Censor.net 17.03.16 12:28 – Minsk in ‘action’ – shelling continued even during my visit to Shyrokyne, – Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linkevičius. PHOTOS Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius shared thoughts about his visit to Mariupol and Syrokyne. View photo news.

Nolan Peterson: What You Should Know About War in Ukraine“The media tends to downplay the seriousness of what’s at stake,” The Daily Signal’s foreign correspondent says in an on-camera interview.Military resolution of Donbas conflict should not be discussed – Bezsmertny : UNIAN newsDiscussions regarding a military solution to the conflict in Donbas should be excluded from the agenda, Representative of Ukraine in the Trilateral Contact Group’s political subgroup Roman Bezsmertny said during a talk show on Ukrainian 1plus1 TV channel.

Russian expert on Ukraine: “Overwhelming majority of Russians know nothing about Ukraine” : UNIAN newsHead of the Center for Ukrainian Studies of the Institute of Europe at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia’s chief expert on Ukraine Viktor Mironenko has told UNIAN about the misconceptions of the Russian elite that provoked the annexation of Crimea and the attempt to create &ldquo;Novorossiya,&rdquo; and suggested a way out of the current situation.

Ukraine’s New Sniper Rifles: Deadly weapons to fight Russia’s war in Donbas – watch on – uatoday.tvNew rifles for Ukrainian snipers – now the enemy should be afraid

Triton armored vehicle: Withstands anti-tank mine. Equipped with thermal viewer and radar, – border guards tested Triton armored car. VIDEO – State Border Patrol, testing, arms, Defense, Triton armored vehicle, Army armament (17.03.16 17:40) « Video news | EN.Censor.net17.03.16 17:40 – Withstands anti-tank mine. Equipped with thermal viewer and radar, – border guards tested Triton armored car. VIDEO Ukrainian border guards have tested up-to-date wheeled armored vehicles Triton with enhanced mine protection. View video news.


Ukraine tears down giant Lenin statue | SBS NewsExhaustive efforts to tear down Ukraine’s largest remaining monument to Vladimir Lenin have finally borne fruit as workers prised the late Soviet leader’s statue from its plinth in the city of Zaporizhzhya. Since a pro-Western uprising ousted a Russia-backed president in 2014, Ukraine has passed laws aimed at severing the former Soviet republic from its communist past – a move some have criticised as an attempt to erase history.

Lenin Zaporizhia: Biggest monument to Lenin in Ukraine dismantled in Zaporizhia. VIDEO+PHOTOS – derigging, Zaporizhya Region, Lenin, monument, decommunisation, Anticommunist laws, Lenin Zaporizhia (17.03.16 16:48) « Video news | EN.Censor.net17.03.16 16:48 – Biggest monument to Lenin in Ukraine dismantled in Zaporizhia. VIDEO+PHOTOS In Zaporizhia, Thursday, the monument to Vladimir Lenin on Zaporizka Square (previously – Lenin Square) was finally pulled down. View video news.

Biggest Lenin statue in Ukraine pulled down in Zaporizhia (photos, video) – watch on – uatoday.tvUkraine dismantles its biggest Lenin monumentLast major Lenin monument demolished in Ukrainian-controlled territory (VIDEO)The last big Lenin monument in a major city controlled by Ukrainian authorities was demolished on March 16. The Lenin monument in the oblast capital Zaporizhzhia – the last one in Ukrainian-controlled regional capitals – was taken down by city authorities to comply with the country’s decommunization law, which was passed last May and aims to dismantle the Soviet Union’s totalitarian legacy. The 19.8 meter monument, which weighs 40 tonnes, was Ukraine’s biggest Lenin statue. Demolition works started on March 14 but were thwarted by technical problems. The event completes the demolition of Soviet monuments in central and southeastern Ukraine, which started with the toppling of a Lenin statue on Bessarabska Ploshcha in Kyiv during the EuroMaidan Revolution, on Dec. 8, 2013. Lenin monuments in western Ukrainian regional capitals were toppled in the 1990s, while statues of the Soviet leader in Russian-occupied Crimea and Donbas still remain untouched.

Ukraine topples biggest remaining Lenin statue | World news | The Guardian Bronze and granite monument measuring 20m in south-eastern city of Zaporizhia fell foul of ban on Soviet symbols

Ukraine tears down giant Lenin statueUkraine tears down giant Lenin statue


Crimea / Turkey


Official explains why Crimea-Russia bridge stillborn project : UNIAN news There are documents in archives proving that the construction of the bridge over the Kerch Strait, which would connect the occupied Crimea with Russia, &nbsp;is impossible, according to the representative of Ukraine in the political subgroup at the Tripartite Liaison Group, Roman Bezsmertniy, 112 TV channel reports.

Vladimir Putin threatens to ‘hang’ someone if Crimea and Russia bridge is not done | Daily Mail Online Russian president flew into Crimea on the second anniversary of Moscow’s ‘illegal’ annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine despite the strong opposition of the international community.

Why Vladimir Putin’s Building a Bridge From Russia to CrimeaThe bridge is being built by a company owned by Arkady Rotenberg, Putin’s judo partner.

Putin’s Crimea Is No VacationTwo years ago on March 16, Crimeans voted in a sham referendum for Russia to annex Crimea. Has life improved for the approximately two million people who live there? Not at all. On every measure, from the economy to its treatment of minorities, the beautiful peninsula has become a shell of what it once was. The economic situation in Crimea is desperate. Tourism, one of the peninsula’s main economic engines, took a serious nosedive in 2014, when Crimea received fewer than three million visitors—half the number who vacationed there in 2013. That is because Ukrainians made up the largest portion of tourists in Crimea prior to annexation. But for political and economic reasons, many now choose not to go. The Russian tourists who were supposed to flood into Crimea never came. Crimeans have experienced a sharp decline in their standard of living. Western sanctions prevent European and American companies from operating on the peninsula, cutting into potential revenue and jobs from foreign investment. The Ukrainian government has imposed restrictions on trade with Crimea as well. Since switching to the Russian ruble, Crimeans have been subject to that currency’s massive depreciation, from an exchange rate of about 35 rubles per dollar in 2014 to 70 rubles per dollar today. While Crimeans’ pensions under Russian occupation may be nominally higher, their rubles have lost more than half of their purchasing power.

Russian Sanctions to Remain Until Crimea Returned to Ukraine – U.S. | News | The Moscow Times Sanctions against Russia will remain in place until Crimea is returned to Ukraine, U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a press statement Tuesday.

Two years after Russia’s occupation, is life for civilians possible in Crimea? -Euromaidan Press |They’re calling it the “Crimean Spring.” These are the several celebratory events that are being held in occupied Crimea and in Russia from March 15 to March 18. The celebrations are to commemorate what most of the world recognizes as a criminal referendum which took place in Crimea on 16th of March, 2014. The referendum, conducted virtually at gunpoint as Russia’s armed troops were visible at every polling station, were announced the following day. That is the day that Russian occupation officially began. We take a look at Crimea today, two years into occupation, to see what it is Crimea and Russia have to celebrate.

Entire indigenous population of Crimea endangered with looming Mejlis ban -Euromaidan Press |If the ban is enacted, almost any Crimean Tatar could be prosecuted on all-inclusive charges of “extremism.”

Ukraine: Fear, Repression in Crimea | Human Rights Watch

Tatar Mejlis hearing branded ‘kangaroo court’ begins on Russian-occupied Crimea – watch on – uatoday.tv Crimea’s occupational authorities mull banning Crimean Tatars’ Mejlis

EU calls on all UN member states to join sanctions against Russia : UNIAN news High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini has called on UN Member States to adhere to non-recognition policy of the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation.

Kurdish TAK militant group says it was behind Ankara bombing that killed 37 : UNIAN newsThe Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK) militant group on Thursday claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in the Turkish capital Ankara that killed 37 people, and vowed to continue its strikes against security forces, Reuters reported.

Joseph Sywenkyj, Alexey Furman, Anastasia Vlasova: Another Crimea project leaves viewers with distorted view of events On the second anniversary of Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, six photographers from the renowned photo agencies Magnum Photos, VII Photo Agency and Noor Images presented the Another Crimea project, which is exceptionally beautiful, engaging and well produced.

Another Crimea | stories| stories


Syria / ISIS / Russia


What Russia Accomplished in Syria – The New York Times An analysis of which groups gained and lost ground during Russia’s air campaign.

Islamic State committing genocide, ‘crimes against humanity’ against minorities, John Kerry says – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) The United States officially accuses the Islamic State militant group of carrying out genocide against the Christian, Yazidi and Shiite minorities on its territory in Iraq and Syria.

Operation in Syria has cost Russia about 33 billion rubles – Putin Moscow. March 17.

INTERFAX.RU – Financing operations in Syria was carried out mainly by the Ministry of Defence capabilities and cost about 33 billion rubles, said Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting with soldiers who took part in the operation. “Of course, the military operation in Syria, and demanded a certain cost, but most of them – are the resources of the Ministry of Defense … about 33 billion rubles – has previously been incorporated into the budget 2015 of the Ministry, on the conduct of exercises and combat training We simply redirected these. resources to ensure the groups in Syria, “- said the head of state. According to him, these costs themselves fully justified, as the goal of the Russian groups in Syria were generally met. “The modern Russian weapons test passed with dignity, and not on the training grounds, and in the real world, in a battle It -. The most severe, the most severe check “, – Putin said. March 14, Putin ordered from Tuesday March 15 to begin withdrawing the main part of the Russian military group in Syria. However, he said on Thursday the president, Russia at any time may again increase its group in Syria, focusing on the current situation. He assured that the fight against terrorism in Syria, as well as groups, in violation of the truce will continue.

Ten Reasons Why Putin Wins Big In Syria While The U.S. Gets Nothing – Forbes Vladimir Putin’s announcement that he is pulling the main part of his armed forces out of Syria caught the world flat-footed. The Russian president may not carry through as promised, but the announcement alone gives him a number of domestic and foreign policy wins.

Russia just made an outrageous claim about its bombing campaign in Syria | Business Insider After the surprise announcement that Russia…

Russia says to complete withdrawing most of Syria force in two-three days | Reuters Russia will complete the withdrawal of most of its military contingent in Syria in two to three days, Russian Air Force Commander Viktor Bondarev said in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily published on Thursday.

Russian-speaking jihadis in Syria ‘could threaten Moscow in future’ | World news | The Guardian International Crisis Group says apparent policy of allowing Islamists to leave before Sochi Olympics could come back to haunt Russia

The Russians show their hand in Syria by withdrawing | The Economist Putin appears to turn from hard power to diplomacy

Did Russia Just Broker A Deal To Exempt Iran From Oil Freeze? – Forbes Unable to persuade Tehran to join in capping production, Russia has thrown its weight behind Iran’s asserted right to restore shut-in production and recover lost market share. Having help initiate the “freeze” talks, Moscow has now likely informed major OPEC producers that reaching a final deal would require either excluding Iran all together or making special concessions to bring Iran on board.

Andrew Roth | Syria shows that Russia built an effective military. Now how will Putin use it? – The Washington Post No one in NATO expects a war, but the alliance has been paying close attention.

Russia’s Syrian campaign showcases weaponry, maybe ‘even profitable,’ Kremlin backer says – World – CBC News Russia’s quickie, 5 and 1/2-month war in Syria didn’t cost it that much, and may even have brought in billions in new orders for Russian weaponry, one Kremlin strategist said. The unanswered question: What does Putin’s pullout mean for Syria’s al-Assad?

Russia delivers first weapons supplies to Iraqi Kurds | Russia Beyond The Headlines Moscow hopes that arms will help regional forces defeat ISIS

Israel presents red lines to Russia on Golan, Iran – Defense/Security – News – Arutz Sheva President Rivlin met with Putin on Wednesday, outlining Israel’s concerns as Russia prepares to remove its forces from Syria.

Israel fears Russia’s pullout from Syria will leave dangerous void – The Washington Post Officials were surprised and nervous after Putin announced the troop withdrawal.


Capabilities / Tech


Breaking: Russia Tests New Hypersonic Cruise Missile | The National Interest Blog “The tests of the hypersonic Zircon missiles have begun using a ground-based launching site.”

Russian fleet transitions to hypersonics [Russian language] Журналист Александр Березин — о том, зачем российской армии гиперзвуковые ракеты и почему у США их до сих пор нет на вооружении.

Russia Kicks Off 3M22 Zircon Next Generation Hypersonic Anti-Ship Missile Trials Russia Kicks Off 3M22 Zircon Next Generation Hypersonic Anti-Ship Missile Trials

World Defence News: 3M22 Zircon Hypersonic Missile in Development Testing for Russian Navy Kirov-class Cruiser

Russia Test-Firing New Hypersonic Zircon Cruise Missiles for 5th-Gen Subs The hypersonic cruise missile’s speed is estimated to be 5-6 Mach.

Hypersonic missiles could be operational in 2020s, general says Hypersonic missiles could be here faster than you know it.

TASS: Military & Defense – Russia radioelectronic warfare complexes proved effective in Syria — manufacturer ST. PETERSBURG, March 17. /TASS/. The operation of Russia’s air group in Syria has proved the effectiveness of Russian radio-electronic warfare means, the first deputy CEO of the Radioelectronic Technologies concern (an affiliate of Rostec), Igor Nasenkov, told the media.

Air Force orders hundreds of Raytheon AMRAAM air-to-air missiles in $573 million deal EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla., 17 March 2016. U.S. Air Force airborne weapons experts are ordering several hundred of the nation’s most sophisticated radar-guided air-to-air missiles under terms of a contract modification announced Wednesday.

Russia plans 2018 test of nuclear engine that could get cosmonauts to Mars in WEEKS | Daily Mail Online The country is betting on nuclear propulsion because it weighs almost half as much as a chemical rocket without reducing thrust.

Sen. McCain: Keep the B-21 On Track « Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary The Air Force’s new B-21 long range strike bomber acquisition program has encountered turbulence in recent weeks as Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, declared: “I will not authorize a program that has a cost-plus contract.” Justifying his position, the senator referenced his smart phone, explaining that: “Silicon Valley built the latest one of these without a cost-plus contract.” While Sen. McCain’s frustration with the military procurement system is understandable, his stated solution of turning to a fixed price contract will not deliver the bomber on time, on budget.  That would probably have the opposite effect. Fixed price contracting is best used when the goods in question involve known technologies and established production methods. This is not the case with a new stealth bomber design.  While the Air Force has sought to reduce risk with the B-21 program by investing $1.9 billion in technology maturation risk reduction efforts over the past few years, integrating existing systems on a new aircraft will still yield unexpected challenges. Recognizing this basic reality,  the Pentagon’s top buyer Frank Kendall said it best when he concluded: “Cost plus, versus fixed price, is a red herring…the emphasis should be on matching incentives to the situation at hand instead of expecting fixed-price contracting to be a magic bullet.” To reflect these circumstances, the Air Force structured the B-21 program in a two-phase fashion. Development, which comprises about 30 percent of the funding, is conducted using a cost-plus incentive contract.  Production, which represents about 70 percent of the contract value, uses the fixed price structure advocated by Sen. McCain.

RAF Plots Future Course For Combat Aircraft Fleet | Defense content from Aviation Week New Typhoon capabilities could be paid for via savings from operating model.

Prof. Robert C. Owen: Time To Rethink Airlift Strategy And Assets | Defense content from Aviation Week The strategic world of today does not conform to air mobility and force-structure plans based on mass force movements between secure bases.

F-16 Fighting To Avoid Production Gap | Defense content from Aviation Week Sales to Pakistan are moving forward, but without further sales, Lockheed’s manufacturing line may run cold.

DARPA awards GPS-denied navigation contract to Northrop Northrop Grumman has been awarded a $6.3 million DARPA contract to develop an inertial navigation system that will allow users to navigate even in GPS-denied environments.

Soldiers Are Taking Target Practice Against These Man-Shaped Robots In case of robot uprising, burn the evidence that this happened.

Navy’s code-cracking officers get a new nameThese naval officers have been known as information dominators, spooks and cryppies. Now they’ve got another one.

Is the Joint Strike Fighter the right plane for Australia? – Background Briefing – ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) The JSF is not terribly fast and it’s not terribly agile, and the high tech helmet could take the pilots head off if there is a mishap. Sarah Dingle investigates the over budget and over due Joint Strike Fighter

Pentagon worried about dwindling USAF fighter numbers

Million Lines of Code | Information is BeautifulDedicated to distilling the world’s data, information and knowledge into beautiful, interesting and, above all, useful visualizations, infographics and diagrams.


NATO / Russia


‘Unity of Europe must be preserved’: Polish and Hungarian presidents on Ukraine conflict – watch on – uatoday.tv EU sanctions on Russia over aggression in Donbas up for renewal in July

Flydubai Boeing crash in Rostov-on-Don kills all 61 on board — RT News Flydubai flight FZ981 has crashed in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don killing all 61 passengers and crew on board. The flight was en route from Dubai and crashed during its second landing approach amid poor weather conditions.

SUNDAY TIMES – Sixty-one killed as plane crashes in southern Russia Latest news from South Africa, World, Politics, Entertainment and Lifestyle. The home of The Times and Sunday Times newspaper.

The Latest: Dubai gives nationalities of plane crash victims – The Washington Post The Latest on the crash of the FlyDubai Boeing 737-800 in Rostov-on-Don in southern Russia (all times local):

‘Great Estonian Wall:’ Country decides to cut itself off from Russia … with 2.5-meter fence — RT News The Estonian government has approved the building of a 2.5-meter fence on its border with Russia as the latest measure aimed at fortifying Estonia’s part of EU outer borders, local media report.

The mysterious death of Mikhail Lesin in D.C. – The Washington Post Answers are needed in the case of a prominent Russian businessman found dead.

Commandant looks to ‘disruptive thinkers’ to fix Corps’ problemsCommandant Gen. Robert Neller is calling for a cultural revolution in which Marines challenge the status quo, develop solutions and leaders serve as their advocates.

This man spied for the CIA, Russia and Germany out of boredom Markus Reichel spied for both the CIA and the Russian secret service because he wanted to “experience something exciting.”

Nemtsov’s killers reportedly revealed due to accidental call : UNIAN newsAnzor Gubashev, one of the alleged killers of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, unwittingly assisted the investigators in identification and arrest of a criminal group. After committing the crime, he made an accidental call using an illegally purchased SIM card,&nbsp;thus revealing himself and other accomplices, Russian newspaper Kommersant reported, with reference to a source close to the investigation.

Russia central bank holds key rate at 11%Russia’s central bank held interest rates steady on Friday warning that inflation risks remained “high” and the oil price rise could be “unsustainable.

Georgia’s Political Elite Targeted in Sex Videos Blackmail The Georgian Prosecutor’s office announced on March 15 that charges have been brought against five people in connection with illegal video footage featuring prominent political figures engaging in sexual intercourse.

Why Scandinavian countries are the happiest in the world – The Economic Times Denmark reclaimed its place as the worlds happiest country, while Burundi ranks as the least happy nation, according to the World Happiness Report.


“The Russian World” / Propaganda


Russia Kills: Chronology of Russian war crimes in Ukraine Chronology of Russian war crimes in Ukraine

German Minister Aims To Get Russian Sanctions Lifted German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel has called on the European Union to create conditions by this summer to lift sanctions imposed against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine.

Russian Archive Chief out after debunking Soviet WW II legend – RFE/RL : UNIAN news The longtime director of the Russian State Archive, Sergei Mironenko, has been laid off less than a year after he exposed a popular Soviet World War II legend to be &quot;fiction&quot; and railed against Soviet &quot;myths&quot; in front of top officials, Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported.

Pro-Russian propagandist Graham Phillips detained in Riga :: khpg.orgPro-Russian propagandist Graham Phillips detained in Riga Graham Phillips, a Briton well-known for his propaganda coverage in excruciatingly bad Russian of the Kremlin-provoked and armed conflict in Donbas, has been detained by police in Riga. This has given pro-Kremlin media a particular boost with Phillips himself claiming he was simply standing and filming ‘fascists’.

Russia Places U.S. Organization On ‘Undesirable’ List Russia’s Justice Ministry has added a U.S. organization on the list of “undesirable organizations” under a law that Moscow says is needed to prevent foreign organizations from being used to undermine Russian national security.

How Russia Practices Digital Diplomacy- Interview with Press Attaché at Russian Embassy In London | Exploring Digital DiplomacyOver the past year, much has been written about Russian digital diplomacy. While some have argued that Russia uses social media for propaganda, analysis has shown that the Russian MFA is one of the most active and dominant foreign ministries on twitter. Moreover, the Russian MFA is one of the most central ministries among the…

Russian Foreign Ministry names prime enemies in media warfare – PravdaReportRussian operation in Syria was compared by Western politicians to the war in Afghanistan, but they were wrong

Putin’s Death Sentence for Russia’s Oldest Ukrainian Hostage :: khpg.orgPutin’s Death Sentence for Russia’s Oldest Ukrainian Hostage Yury Soloshenko, the 73-year-old Ukrainian pensioner, sentenced to 6 years in Russia on mystery ‘spying’ charges has cancer. This is the latest blow for the elderly Ukrainian who has not seen his grandchildren since August 2014

Russian Rights Activist Pays Price For Confronting KadyrovHuman rights activist Igor Kalyapin has campaigned for years against police torture and abuse throughout Russia. But although he has documented dozens of cases in the southern region of Chechnya, he has not been able to bring even one to court. He has, however, attracted the personal enmity of its strongman leader, Ramzan Kadyrov.

Gutted Like A Pig’: Grieving Mother Takes On Russia’s Organ Donation SystemYelena Sablina has been waging a legal battle to change Russia’s law on organ donation. Two years ago, Sablina accidentally found out that her deceased daughter’s organs had been removed without her knowledge.

Russia’s new disability rules prompt outrage as 500,000 lose benefits | World news | The Guardian System only awards financial aid if claimant has lost ‘40% of a bodily function’, meaning thousands no longer qualify. RFE/RL reports

‘Putin Country’ Offers A Glimpse Inside ‘Real’ Russia : NPR

Putin Country’ Offers A Glimpse Inside ‘Real’ Russia : NPRVeteran foreign correspondent Anne Garrels takes us deep inside Russia, where citizens struggle with a shaky economy and widespread corruption, but seem supportive of their controversial president.

Yuliya Efimova Fails Doping Test For Meldonium; Russia Confirms Temporary Suspension – Swimming World News

Russia and the Arts: The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky review – ‘intense, tortured and troubled’ | Art and design | The GuardianEnjoyed War and Peace? Then visit this showcase of Russian portraits whose artists share the sensitivity and searching unease of the writers they portray

Anatol Lieven | Don’t Fear the Russians – The New York TimesWashington needs to stop the saber rattling and recognize that President Putin doesn’t threaten American interests in either Syria or Ukraine.

Ukraine and Russia: A Fraternal Rivalry | Foreign AffairsUkrainian and Russian nationalists will not like this book, nor will Westerners who see Ukraine as a useful counterbalance to Russian expansionism. Lieven’s two main arguments provide them little ammunition. First, he argues, because most Ukrainian Russians and Ukrainians are very close in culture, language, behavior, and attitudes after centuries of coexistence, the more untrammeled aspirations of both Russian and Ukrainian extremists do not sit well with them. The natural disposition is for an independent Ukraine, but one that is ethnically mixed and culturally tolerant.


Ukraine – Military


АТО news: Terrorists shelled Zaitseve with large-caliber mortars and Avdiivka with anti-aircraft guns – shoot out, ATO, Avdiivka, Shyrokyne, Marinka, Anti-Terrorist Operation, АТО news, ATO press center (19.03.16 09:36) « News | EN.Censor.net 19.03.16 09:36 – Terrorists shelled Zaitseve with large-caliber mortars and Avdiivka with anti-aircraft guns, – ATO press center The militants continue to violate the truce and fire at Ukrainian soldiers’ positions. View news.

Russian fighters continue to flow into east Ukraine, US official states | IHS Jane’s 360Large numbers of personnel continue to flow into east Ukraine from Russia, according to the Chargé d’Affaires of the United States’ mission to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). In an address to the OSCE in Vienna on 17 March, the wording of which was obtained by

Militants deploy tanks, Grad systems in Luhansk, Krasniy Luch, Horlivka – Ukraine intel : UNIAN newsThe militants have deployed main battle tanks and Grad multiple rocket launchers in the city of Luhansk and the towns of Krasniy Luch and Horlivka, according to the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.

Ukraine says Russian-backed separatist forces using heavy weapons in eastern Ukraine – watch on – uatoday.tvOne Ukrainian soldier wounded

ATO HQ: 52 attacks on Ukraine troops in last day : UNIAN newsThe combined Russian-separatist forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in eastern Ukraine 52 times in the past 24 hours, including 39 times in the Donetsk sector, 11 times in the Mariupol sector, and twice in the Luhansk sector, the press center of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) reported on Thursday.

Poroshenko reiterates Ukraine fully meets Minsk accordsUkrainian President Petro Poroshenko has again reassured that the Ukrainian side has been fulfilling the provisions of the Minsk agreements on the settlement of the Donbas crisis.

$2 to deploy, $1,000 to remove: Ukraine’s landmine tragedy | euronews, world newsworld news – The Ukrainian military has revealed to euronews it is deploying devices targeting individuals as well as vehicles in the east of the country.

‘Is This Real Life?’: Inside the Ukraine War’s Gray ZoneThe gray zone—the palette of the 2-year-old conflict, where the primary colors of war and peace blend.


Ukraine – Civil


Ukraine Ambassador to Czech Republic resigns amid scandal — Ukrinform NewsNotorious Ukrainian Ambassador to the Czech Republic Borys Zaychuk has submitted his resignation.

Make a Ukrainian comfort food classic for Easter: Varenyky and more recipes from chef Olia Hercules | National PostForget those commonly held misconceptions: foods of varying shades of grey with a side of overcooked cabbage. Ukrainian cuisine is rich and varied in its influences