Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
Ambassador Haley in one statement yesterday demolished Russia’s long running propaganda and influence campaign to promote the “Yalta 2.0 / Grand Bargain” sell-off of Europe to Russia. She also demolished the whole propaganda and influence campaign constructed by the Russians around the Steele Dossier. She also gave Putin an ultimatum in the process – play nice, roll back, or go bankrupt. Finally, she destroyed the now well established MSM genre of speculating on which particular way POTUS might give Europe to Russia.
What Amb Haley did was to simply state that sanctions over Crimea will remain in place until Russia vacates Crimea.
This establishes a “transactional” tit-for-tat dynamic. Moreover, POTUS does not have to do any work. With Congress furious over Russian behaviour, producing bills for more sanctions, and lethal aid to Ukraine, Putin has to give POTUS compelling reasons to veto or not sign off on these bills once passed. Putin must now grovel to POTUS to extricate himself from his self-inflicted mess.
Much of what the Putin regime has done after the invasion of Crimea has revolved around “leverage” to compel the West to give up on Crimea, and let Putin off the hook, despite the toxic precedent the invasion creates for the post-WW2 order, and the NPT. Russia has now overstretched strategically and economically, has renewed thought to be long buried animosities with neighbours, made new enemies from friends, and destroyed over 20 years of post-Soviet concealment of its failure to change its wicked ways.
Russian reaction has been limited to toxic comments by Alexey Pushkov in Moscow, and silly comments by Amb Churkin in the UN. It will be interesting to see how the Moscow propaganda machine explains this event away. Western MSM and POTUS critics do not appear to have actually understood what has transpired.
Some very good essays today on Russia, mostly written before Amb Haley’s statement. An exceptionally good read is UK SECDEF Fallon’s speech on Russia.
Russia has increased the intensity of rocket and tube artillery fires in Donbass to the highest level seen in many months, and killed multiple civilians.
SECDEF Mattis lays down the law to the DPRK, Mike Flynn lays down the law to Iran, POTUS tells Israeli ultranationalists exactly what they do not want to be told.
A very interesting week indeed.
Nikki Haley, US representative to UN: ‘Crimea is a part of Ukraine’ (TRANSCRIPT, VIDEO) | KyivPost Editor’s Note: The following are the remarks delivered on Feb. 2 in the United Nations Security Council by U.S. Permanent Representative Nikki Haley. They are also found here. A video of her remarks can be found here.
UN Ambassador Haley hits Russia hard on Ukraine – CNNPolitics.comThe US ambassador to the United Nations offered a strong condemnation of Russia in her first appearance at the UN Security Council on Thursday, calling on Moscow to de-escalate violence in eastern Ukraine and saying that US sanctions against Moscow would remain in place until it withdraws from Crimea.
Haley slams Russian actions in Ukraine in first UN Security Council speech | Fox NewsU.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley condemned what she called Russia’s aggressive actions in eastern Ukraine Thursday, as fighting between government troops and Moscow-backed separatist rebels continued for a fifth day.
US Condemns Russia’s ‘Aggressive Actions’ in Eastern Ukraine – The New York TimesU.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley condemned Russia’s
Nikki Haley Blasts Russia in First Remarks at UN Security Council – ABC NewsNikki Haley Blasts Russia in First Remarks at UN Security Council
The US ambassador to the UN just delivered the Trump administration’s most hawkish words yet toward Russia | Business InsiderThe US ambassador to the United Nations on…
U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley blames Russia for new fighting in Ukraine – LA TimesUpdate on ‘White House calls Yemen raid a ‘successful operation by all standards”
Donald Trump finally gets tough on Vladimir Putin as US says it won’t lift sanctions until Russia gives back CrimeaAnnouncement comes as fighting flares up again around town of Avdiivka, north of Donetsk
Russia Embarrassed By US Condemnation – To Inform is to InfluenceThe only appropriate description for how Russia reacted to Nikki Haley’s condemnation is with embarrassment. Otherwise, Russia would not have attempted to make fun of Haley’s strong censuring of the Russian invasion of Crimea and ongoing invasion of East Ukraine. Russian attempt, Russian failure. Notice, no denials, which means guilt. Another Russian failure. Also, notice Russia…
Russian official: Was Nikki Haley reading Samantha Power’s speech? | TheHillHaley blasted Russia on Thursday, condemning Moscow’s actions in Eastern Ukraine.
Russia’s Churkin cites US constitution after ambassador Haley’s rant at UNSC over Ukraine — RT NewsBelligerent rhetoric towards Moscow over Ukrainian crisis is nothing new, Russia’s UN ambassador noted after the Security Council meeting, where the newly-appointed US envoy blamed Moscow for the recent surge of violence provoked by Kiev.
SASC CHARIMAIN JOHN McCAIN URGES PRESIDENT TRUMP TO PROVIDE DEFENSIVE LETHAL ASSISTANCE TO UKRAINE – Press Releases – United States Senator John McCainWashington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, sent a letter to President Donald Trump yesterday raising concerns about Russia’s recent attacks against Ukraine, and urging the president to provide the defensive lethal assistance the Ukrainian forces need to defend themselves. “Vladimir Putin’s violent campaign to destabilize and dismember the sovereign nation of Ukraine will not stop unless and until he meets a strong and determined response,” writes Chairman McCain. “Therefore, in light of the latest Russian attacks and the prospect of future aggression against Ukraine, I urge you to exercise the authority given to you by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 to provide defensive lethal assistance to Ukraine to defend its territory against further violations by Russia and its separatist proxies. At the same time, so long as Russia continues to occupy Crimea and destabilize Ukraine, I implore you to maintain current sanctions against Russia. And based on Russia’s attempted interference in our elections, I urge you to expand current sanctions against Russia.”
Putin is testing you over Ukraine, McCain tells Trump | Daily Mail OnlineSenator John McCain has written President Donald Trump to call out Russian attempts to ‘dismember’ Ukraine and warning that his new administration is being tested by President Vladimir Putin.
Putin Attempting To Play Trump In Ukraine – To Inform is to InfluencePutin linked the worsening in the Donbas with the desire to Kiev to establish contact with Trump Russian President Vladimir Putin said that one reason for the escalation in the Donbass is the alleged support to the November presidential elections in the US Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton Ukrainian oligarchs. He said this during a press conference…
Putin says “certain Ukrainian oligarchs” funded Clinton’s presidential campaign02.02.17 20:58 – Putin says “certain Ukrainian oligarchs” funded Clinton’s presidential campaign President Vladimir Putin of Russia said Ukrainian oligarchs were allegedly involved in funding campaign of Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. View news. “As we know, the current Ukrainian government took a unilateral position in support of one of the candidates in the course of the U.S. presidential campaign and, moreover, certain oligarchs provided financial assistance to this candidate, or female candidate, to be more precise, definitely doing this with the approval of the political leadership,” Putin said at a press conference after talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
Putin says Ukraine escalated conflict to bolster US support | Fox NewsSalvos of artillery shook a sector of eastern Ukraine on Thursday, the fifth day of escalated fighting between government troops and Russia-backed separatist rebels. Two Ukrainian troops were killed overnight and 10 others wounded, the government said; rebels said one of their fighters was killed.
Yelchenko to Churkin: “This is the picture of a 26-years old officer Andriy Kyzylo killed on 29 January near Avdiivka. Look in his eyes, Mr. Ambassador. It is your weapons and your compatriots who killed him”. PHOTOS03.02.17 10:53 – Yelchenko to Churkin: This is the picture of a 26-years old officer Andriy Kyzylo killed on 29 January near Avdiivka. Look in his eyes, Mr. Ambassador. It is your weapons and your compatriots who killed him. PHOTOS Yesterday’s UN Security Council discussed the situation in the east of Ukraine. View photo news.
Paul Goble | Putin is attacking in Ukraine precisely to boost chances for ‘Big Deal’ with Trump | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press |Some commentators are suggesting Vladimir Putin launched his latest round of aggression in Ukraine because he has gotten a green light from Donald Trump. Others are opining that Putin doesn’t really want an accord and is demonstrating his power to do what he likes. And still a third group, egged on by Moscow, has concluded that Ukraine is to blame and has launched a military campaign on its own territory against Russian forces as a way of torpedoing any chance for a broader agreement between Putin and Trump, one in which they fear the West would sell out Ukraine. But such analyses miss a point that has been repeatedly demonstrated over the past three years and misunderstand Putin’s psychology and at least his perception of what the psychology of the new American president is about such conflicts in the world and how they can best be solved. And they fail to take seriously the all too real possibility that Putin’s aggression is designed to bring Trump to the table for a deal on Ukraine and a deal on a wide range of other subjects as well, a possibility that Putin’s own spokesmen have shown is precisely what is on the Kremlin leader’s mind.
Adrian Karatnycky | Why Trump Cannot Ignore UkrainePoroshenko, Ukraine’s political elite, and its public are today strongly pro-American and pro-European. If Trump is to bargain with Putin from a position of strength and forge a new pragmatic relationship with Russia, he will be well served by a strong Ukraine that is capable of deterring further Russia aggression. Should he ignore Ukraine’s security interests in the rush to cut a deal with Putin, Trump will be opening the door to an unstable relationship with an aggressive Russia that will undermine his desire to turn the Kremlin into an ally in the global war on terror.
Alexander J. Motyl | Trump and Putin’s Game Theory | Foreign AffairsA rational Trump could never believe that Putin will stick to his word, just as a rational Putin could not believe that Trump would stick to his.
Andranik Migranyan | What Russia Expects from the Trump Administration | The National InterestA new Congress of Vienna could strengthen U.S. leadership by sharing responsibility for global order.
The Daily Vertical: There’s Only One Reason Why There’s War In The Donbas (Transcript)So y'all may have noticed that there's this little debate going on over who started the latest round of fighting in the Donbas. One eyewitness says this. And another says that. An…
Donbas militants attack Ukraine 114 times, 4 KIA, 17 WIA in last dayThe combined Russian-separatist forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in Donbas 114 times in the past 24 hours with four Ukrainian soldiers reported as killed in action (KIA) and 17 wounded in action (WIA), according to the press service of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters. News 03 February from UNIAN.
New attack on Avdiyivka: School, heating points under fire; 2 killed, 1 wounded – ZhebrivskyZhebrivsky, the head of the Donetsk regional military-civil administration of Ukraine, has informed about a new attack by the combined Russian-separatist forces on the Ukrainian town of Avdiyivka, where a stadium in the center of the town and a school, which was used as a humanitarian aid collection point, have come under fire. News 02 February from UNIAN.
Avdiivka came under heavy artillery strike, Russian militants intensified attacks on Marinka, Krasnohorivka in evening, Donetsk region police chief says. PHOTOS02.02.17 23:33 – Avdiivka came under heavy artillery strike, Russian militants intensified attacks on Marinka, Krasnohorivka in evening, Donetsk region police chief says. PHOTOS Donetsk region National Police Chief Viacheslav Abroskin says the militants committed heavy artillery strike on Avdiivka this evening and later continued shelling the town with mortars. The enemy also intensified attacks on Marinka and Krasnohorivka. View photo news.
One civilian killed, one more wounded as Russian terrorists hit humanitarian aid point in Avdiivka, – Zhebrivskyi03.02.17 00:10 – One civilian killed, one more wounded as Russian terrorists hit humanitarian aid point in Avdiivka, – Zhebrivskyi The head of the Donetsk military and civil administration Pavlo Zhebrivskyi reports on consequences of the latest militant’s strikes on Avdiivka. View news.
“Not involved in fighting”: Def. Ministry explains tanks in Avdiyivka (video)The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine says that the tanks that have earlier been spotted in the town of Avdiyivka are part of the Ukrainian army’s operational reserve and are not involved in hostilities, the ministry's press service reported. News 03 February from UNIAN.
“DPR” militants resort to “human shield” tactics in Donetsk – Bellingcat reportThe international investigative group of journalists and experts, Bellingcat, has identified exact locations in the occupied Donetsk used as launch sites for Grad multiple rocket launchers as they were shelling Avdiyivka January 31. News 03 February from UNIAN.
Powerful explosion rocks Donetsk. Local military store completely destroyed, – journalist. PHOTOS+VIDEO03.02.17 11:36 – Powerful explosion rocks Donetsk. Local military store completely destroyed, – journalist. PHOTOS+VIDEO At about 9:15 p.m., Feb. 2, a powerful explosion rocked the occupied city of Donetsk. View news. Journalist Denys Kazanskyi wrote: “Information is circulating online about a strong explosion near Motel [a hotel in Donetsk] not far from my house, where I lived before the war. “Militants initially claimed the arrival of a Tochka missile and then said it allegedly was the Uragan system. “The real picture is as follows. Kamufliazh (camouflage) military store has been completely destroyed by an impact. The rubble is scattered all over the road. It looks like an ammo warehouse detonated. Russian journalist Kots says a truck has exploded. “If so, it must have been carrying something very explosive. The nearby dorms have not been affected. Even the lights are on inside.”
Europe’s responsibility to stand firm on UkraineIf the US goes soft on Putin, Merkel will need to stiffen EU spines
Alexander J. Motyl | Kiev Should Give Up on the Donbass | Foreign PolicyKiev Should Give Up on the Donbass « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
Jacopo Barigazzi and David M. Herszenhorn |Russia’s ‘crescent of instability’ spreads west – POLITICOVALLETTA — When EU leaders began wrestling with how to confront Russia over its military intervention in Ukraine, there seemed little connection between events in Crimea and Donbas, the raging conflict in Syria and the outset of a second civil war in Libya. As they gather Friday for an informal European Council summit on the island of Malta, a striking new geopolitical landscape has come clearly into focus: a crescent of Russian influence, arching from Donetsk in the east to Tripoli in the west. Having cemented Russia’s role as the dominant belligerent against a pro-Western Ukraine, where the half-frozen conflict in the east has flared up in the past week, and in Syria where a fragile ceasefire has taken hold with Moscow’s ally Bashar al-Assad still in power, President Vladimir Putin has turned his attention to Libya. For Europe, this raises the worrying prospect that Russia could gain control over the flow of migrants across the central Mediterranean, giving Putin leverage to destabilize Europe by unleashing a flood of refugees like the exodus from Syria that caused a crisis in Europe in 2015.
Toward a New Equilibrium in U.S.-Russian Relations | The National InterestThe new administration must understand how Russia relates to American goals. Thomas Graham, managing director at Kissinger Associates, was the senior director for Russia on the National Security Council staff 2004-2007. This paper will appear in the Center for the National Interest’s forthcoming publication, “A New Direction in U.S.-Russia Relations? America’s Challenges and Opportunities in Dealing with Russia.”Thomas Graham, managing director at Kissinger Associates, was the senior director for Russia on the National Security Council staff 2004-2007. This paper will appear in the Center for the National Interest’s forthcoming publication, “A New Direction in U.S.-Russia Relations? America’s Challenges and Opportunities in Dealing with Russia.”
Empire by Other Means: Russia’s Strategy for the 21st Century – To Inform is to InfluenceSince Vladimir Putin became president of Russia in 2000, his first of three terms so far, the nation has steadfastly pursued a seven-part strategy for gaining influence over former Soviet republics and preventing them from moving into the more liberal sphere of the West. In her book “Beyond Crimea: The New Russian Empire”, Agnia Grigas…
Who Is Alexander Dugin, the Man Linking Putin, Erdogan and Trump? – Bloomberg‘He’s seen as a brilliant philosopher, but brilliance and madness are very close to each other.’
Vladimir Kara-Murza, Putin critic, suffers sudden organ failure – Washington TimesRussian opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza, a pro-Democracy crusader revered as one of President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critics, was abruptly hospitalized with organ failure Thursday after unexpectedly becoming critically ill for the second time in two years, his wife told reporters.
Nobody Understands the Latest Russian Sanctions Tweak, But Everybody’s Riled Up | Foreign PolicyNobody Understands the Latest Russian Sanctions Tweak, But Everybody’s Riled Up « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and IdeasU.S. revises Russia sanctions for electronics exportsThe Trump administration on Thursday revised recent U.S. sanctions that prevented American companies from exporting some electronic equipment to Russia. It also modified penalties on Iran, expanding a list of medical equipment that needs federal authorization to be sold to Iranian customers.
Coping with Russia – Speeches – Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon speaking about Russia at St Andrews University. | GOV.UKSo there you have it. A clear eyed assessment of Russian behaviour. We’ve seen a persistent pattern of behaviour that is becoming more pronounced. We hope that Russia changes tack. That it abides by the Minsk agreements, curbs the reckless military activity, and ditches the misinformation. If it does, then there is the potential for a better relationship. Russia could again become the partner the West always wished for. We could dare to hope that, to quote Bulgakov again, “everything will turn out right, the world is built like that.”
We must counter Putin’s Pravda with a faster truth,” – UK Defense Secretary Fallon calls to oppose Kremlin’s propaganda03.02.17 12:02 – We must counter Putin’s Pravda with a faster truth, – UK Defense Secretary Fallon calls to oppose Kremlin’s propaganda NATO and the West should do more to tackle the false reality promoted through Soviet-style misinformation. View news.
Russia hacking aims to disrupt democracy, says Sir Michael FallonThe Kremlin is “routinely lying” and “weaponising misinformation” to destabilise the West, says the defence secretary.
The Morning Vertical, February 3, 2017ON MY MIND Hybrid warfare. Nonlinear warfare. New generation warfare. Cross-domain coercion. Active measures. Reflexive control. And the Gerasimov doctrine. There is certainly no shortage o…
How to Survive Russian Disinformation – To Inform is to InfluenceAgain, gentle reader, I had to change the title of an article for my blog in order to bring in truth and reality. This is not about a Russian hack, this is about Russian disinformation, plain and simple. If you look at the URL of the article, that was the original name. Some ‘genius’ editor…
Here Are The Hacks In Charge Of Broadcasting Trump’s Propaganda Internationally – To Inform is to InfluenceI requested information from the Public Affairs office at the BBG about these two men, but have been held at arm’s length for one week. As recently as this morning, I received a reply that I would receive a response soon. Media Matters put out this one page paper about the two ‘officials’ sent by…
NATO chief sees growing Russian influence in the BalkansNATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says the alliance is closely following reports about growing Russian influence in the Balkans and is cooperating with regional allies to strengthen their ability to resist outside interference.
Trump rattles world leaders as Cabinet tries to soften toneDonald Trump’s spats with U.S. allies as close as Mexico and as unlikely as Australia are leaving his new secretary of state and others in his Cabinet to clean up a lot of potential damage. It’s a good-cop, bad-cop dynamic that could define America’s foreign policy for the next four years.
Trump Embraces Pillars of Obama’s Foreign Policy – The New York TimesIn a turnabout, the president appeared to embrace decades-long United States policy on what is necessary for a two-state solution.
Trump says ‘nothing off the table’ for IranDonald Trump says nothing is off the table with Iran following a missile test.
Trump puts Iran ‘on notice’ after ballistic missile testPresident Donald Trump said Thursday his administration has put Iran “on notice,” echoing comments from his top national security adviser that the U.S. will act against Iran unless it stops testing ballistic missiles and supporting Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Israeli Settlements ‘May Not Be Helpful’ for Middle East Peace, Trump Administration Says – WSJ President Donald Trump’s administration said Thursday night that the growth of Israeli settlements “may not be helpful” in achieving a goal of peace in the Middle East, an abrupt shift that signals a potentially tougher stance with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Settlements and ‘the ultimate deal’: Trump’s surprising statement on Israel in context – U.S. News – Haaretz.com What’s new – and what isn’t – in Trump’s statement on Israel’s settlement building.
China ‘steps up preparedness for possible military conflict with US’ | South China Morning Post Donald Trump’s election as US president has increased the risk of hostilities breaking out, according to Chinese state media and analysts
North Korea faces ‘overwhelming’ US response if it uses nuclear arms – Mattis | World news | The Guardian Donald Trump’s defense secretary warned Pyongyang that any attack on the south would be defeated
Mattis warns North Korea of ‘overwhelming’ response to nuclear use – BBC News Any use of nuclear weapons by the North would be met with an “overwhelming” response, says US defence chief.
Mattis vows to deploy THAAD ‘without a hitch’ US Defense Secretary James Mattis on Thursday reaffirmed plans to deploy its advanced missile defense system in South Korea this year “without a hitch,” singling out North Korea’s nuclear and missile program as a top priority for the new Donald Trump administration. Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn (Right) shakes hands with U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis at the Government Building in Seou…
Mattis: Only North Korea needs to fear missile-defence talks in Seoul US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis says only North Korea needs to fear his talks with South Korea over plans to deploy a missile defence system in the country.James
‘Mad Dog’ Mattis reassures acting South Korean President Hwang Kyo-ahn – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)US Defence Secretary James Mattis starts his first trip abroad by reassuring a key Asian ally of the United States’ continued support.
3 Goals for Defense Secretary James Mattis on Japan and South Korea Trip | World Report | US NewsHow Defense Secretary Mattis should introduce Trump administration policy to Japan and South Korea.
Can Jim Mattis Fix Asia? – POLITICO MagazineThe first major Trump adviser to venture abroad has a delicate task ahead of him.
Is ISIS Breaking Apart? | Foreign AffairsTo gain a sense of how ISIS has splintered, the authors analyzed the group’s media output—the propaganda it releases—over time. At its height in 2015, over 40 individual propaganda “offices” were producing media. As of mid-January 2017, just 19 outlets were active. These days, the caliphate brand is associated almost entirely with Iraq and Syria, and regional affiliates appear to be becoming even more distant and disconnected from the core.
Donald Trump travel ban: Pakistan may be nextPakistan must combat homegrown terrorism or risk joining the Muslim-majority nations on President Trump’s travel ban, according to Eurasia.Europe Processing Donald Trump ChallengeHow is Europe adapting to Trump? Not well, say some observers but nations may have no choice but to overcome their shock, get on with business