Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / New Administration Media Ad Hoc – 18 February 2017

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting

Edited. I removed most of what I categorize as US domestic media politically motivated hit-pieces. If an article even tries to be objective, I will include it.  I removed one big batch, I didn’t bother about collateral damage.  The media, all too often, isn’t even disguising their lack of professionalism. It is easily solved, however, I just remove the junk.  The anonymous expert makes a statement addressing the issue, I don’t even bother. It’s gone. I don’t perpetuate that crap.

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Some excellent reading and viewing today, especially from the Munich Security Conference. Russian propaganda machine ramps up again, now aligning with POTUS’s media enemies in the US. Russian ultranationalists attacking Putin for being weak in dealing with the West.

Munich Security Conference: truly excellent 20-minute speech by VP Pence, and interesting comments by FRG DefMin von der Leyen, while Merkel plays political CYA over German funding shortfall, and Juncker continues his tirade against NATO spending, pushing his “EU Army” agenda. The Russian leadership will be apoplectic over the language at the conference.

Russia continues Donbass bombardment. Interesting IISS chart on Russian military personnel numbers – Army combat formation strength put at 240,000, RuAF at 145,000, noting UA is now ~200,000 augmented by  “130,000 police, National Guard, and border service troops”. The chart shows that Russia is less able to recruit and retain per capita than Ukraine can, but more to the point, the numbers ratio between Russian military and Ukrainian military does not provide for an overwhelming numbers advantage in a large-scale attrition campaign against the now better trained and historically more aggressive Ukrainians.

A deluge of US domestic traffic – much of it departing from reality entirely. The cartoon is funny but not in the intended manner – the MSM’s propensity to treat fake news and speculation as fact speaks for itself.


Vladimir Putin’s ‘puppet strings’ on Trump are an illusion | TheHill OPINION | Putin gains from perpetuating the idea that he can control Trump.

Alexey Pushkov: Trump, top advisers ‘differ on Russia’ – Russian Senator Alexey Pushkov tweeted that President Donald Trump, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson differed on Russia.

Is Russia’s obsession with Donald Trump waning? – When Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin shared a phone call after Trump’s inauguration, Russian media delighted in covering every detail. But interest is dropping.

Paul Goble | ‘Moscow names Kuril island to honor Hero of Ukraine Derevyanko’ and other neglected Russian stories | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press | But there are some Trump supporters in Russia who, like some of his supporters in the US, say that they don’t care what the American president says or does: they love and support him anyway. Meanwhile, Russian psychiatrists announced that they were dealing with the first case of a man who thinks he IS Donald Trump. More sober analysts have been pointing out that Trump’s program was never as pro-Russian as the Kremlin hoped and that if the new US president succeeds in re-industrializing America, it will be death for Russia which can’t hope to compete or have fallen back on the slogan that “Crimea is ours; Trump isn’t.”

This Russian threat cannot go unchallenged – The Washington Post Trump should start with negotiations to counter Putin’s apparent violation of a key U.S.-Russia treaty.

Paul Goble | Putin, like Trump, being pressed to take harder line abroad to shore up his own position, Piontkovsky says | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press | Donald Trump, as the scandal about the multiple and continuing contacts between his team and Moscow grows, has come under increasing pressure from some in the US Congress to take a harder line against the Russian government in Ukraine and elsewhere than he might have preferred in order to shore up his presidency. That is widely recognized. But Russian analyst Andrey Piontkovsky argues Vladimir Putin is now under similar pressure to take a harder line against the US from those in the Moscow elite he calls “the party of war” who are using the media to whip up anti-American sentiments and demand aggressive action. To the extent that the commentator’s conclusions are correct, that could presage a far greater deterioration in relations between Washington and Moscow in the immediate future, a negative trend driven not by geopolitical calculations on either side but rather by the imperatives of domestic politics in both. From the point of view of the Russian “war party,” Piontkovsky argues, Putin has been responsible for “three serious foreign policy defeats” and has landed Russia in two wars that he does not seem to have a clear way forward to get out of. That is a very dangerous situation for the leader of any authoritarian regime. Putin’s own approach and the Russian elite political culture within which he operates requires “dynamism,” a sense that Moscow is moving forward rather than drifting. Right now, many in the Russian capital don’t have a sense that this is the case with Putin, Piontkovsky argues.

Push against Russia’s ‘disinformation’ goes online – To Inform is to Influence BY LARISA EPATKO  February 13, 2017 at 5:00 PM EST Two U.S. government-funded news organizations, known for their counter-propaganda efforts during Soviet times, are turning to social media to reach Russian audiences. Prague-based Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the Washington, D.C.-based Voice of America recently launched a 24/7 digital and television network called Current Time that offers news shows,…

NATO Officials Say Russian ‘Fake News’ Seeks to Undermine Alliance In latest example of what’s seen as disinformation campaign, emails accusing German soldiers in Lithuania of rape were sent to local news outlets this week

NATO Officials Say Russian ‘Fake News’ Seeks to Undermine Alliance – To Inform is to Influence February 17, 2017 9:08 PM Author: Jamie Dettmer LONDON —  Emails accusing German soldiers stationed in Lithuania of rape were sent this week to local news outlets, the latest incident in what NATO officials say is a Russian “fake news” campaign aimed at eroding public support for the military alliance. The emails, which were sent to…

NATO: Russia targeted German army with fake news campaign – To Inform is to Influence Emails accusing German soldiers stationed in Lithuania of rape were sent to local news outlets and the parliamentary president. NATO officials allege that Russia is targeting the military alliance. 16.02.2017 German soldiers stationed in Lithuania have been the target of false rape claims, German news magazine “Der Spiegel” first reported on Thursday. NATO diplomats told…

NATO and Russia have not changed positions on Ukraine 18.02.17 09:33 – NATO and Russia have not changed positions on Ukraine NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reported on his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Munich Security Conference. View news.

Russian provocation: Bluster or genuine peril? – There’s a Russian spy ship off the coast of Connecticut. Crammed with eavesdropping equipment, the Viktor Leonov’s visit is the latest in a string of provocations.

Poroshenko: Nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine | UNIANUkrainian President Petro Poroshenko says that any deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Donbas behind Ukraine’s back will only aggravate the situation, according to the Ukrainian presidential administration. News 17 February from UNIAN.

Poroshenko at Munich Security Conference: easing pressure on Russia to encourage further aggression17.02.17 22:09 – Poroshenko at Munich Security Conference: easing pressure on Russia to encourage further aggression President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko believes lifting of diplomatic pressure on Russia or easing of sanctions until it withdraws troops from the Donbas and returns annexed Crimea will encourage further aggression. View news.

Ukraine’s Poroshenko, US Secretary of State Tillerson discuss recent escalation in Donbas, Russia’s violation of Minsk deal17.02.17 19:50 – Ukraine’s Poroshenko, US Secretary of State Tillerson discuss recent escalation in Donbas, Russia’s violation of Minsk deal President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko had a telephone call with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as part of the 53rd Munich Security Conference. View news.

Militants opened fire 73 times yesterday, four Ukrainian soldiers wounded, – ATO Staff 18.02.17 10:49 – Militants opened fire 73 times yesterday, four Ukrainian soldiers wounded, – ATO Staff The militants continue to intensify attacks in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) zone. View news.

Russian militants committed 32 attacks on Ukrainian troops’ positions today, used tanks, 120 mm mortars, anti-tank missiles, – Staff 17.02.17 21:02 – Russian militants committed 32 attacks on Ukrainian troops’ positions today, used tanks, 120 mm mortars, anti-tank missiles, – Staff The Russian occupation forces fired upon the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ positions 32 times as at 6 p.m. Jan. 17. View news.

Avdiivka Under Fire: Shelling Returns to War-Torn Town – YouTube Adviivka is again under attack from Russian-backed forces. One local resident has died in the latest shelling, and three more civilians have been wounded.

Humanitarian Aid Has Arrived in Avdiivka After Days of Devastating Shelling by Russian Hybrid Forces – YouTube Humanitarian aid has arrived for war-torn Avdiivka in Eastern Ukraine. Volunteers, along with the military, are helping local residents recover from the deva…

Russian invaders again shell Avdiivka: two teenagers wounded as projectile hit apartment house, – Governor Zhebrivskyi 17.02.17 19:29 – Russian invaders again shell Avdiivka: two teenagers wounded as projectile hit apartment house, – Governor Zhebrivskyi Russian terrorist forces committed another strike on residential neighborhoods of the town of Avdiivka (the Donetsk region). View news.

One Ukrainian military killed, three wounded in Donbas as at 6 p.m. today, – Staff 17.02.17 20:02 – One Ukrainian military killed, three wounded in Donbas as at 6 p.m. today, – Staff Ukrainian Armed Forces incurred losses as a result of the attacks committed by the Russian militants in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) zone today. View news.


MH 17 Search Continues This Spring – YouTube

Fake News Influenced Dutch Referendum on Ukraine: New York Times – YouTube

Vladimir Putin Could Be World’s Richest Man With $200 Billion Net Worth, Report Says | World | US News The controversial Russian leader could be quietly worth more than Bill Gates, but how that wealth is calculated is controversial.

Vladimir Putin’s Political Meddling Revives Old KGB Tactics – WSJ Russia is returning to the playbook of the Cold War in its covert efforts to interfere with elections in the WestPodcast: Putin’s Russian IdeaIn Vladimir Putin’s Russia, you can now face harsher criminal penalties for questioning the existence of God or insulting someone’s religious beliefs than for wife beating. Recen…

Judy Dempsey | Judy Asks: Is the Crisis of the Liberal Order Exaggerated? – Carnegie Europe – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace A selection of experts answer a new question from Judy Dempsey on the foreign and security policy challenges shaping Europe’s role in the world.

Merkel stresses NATO also crucial for US | News | DW.COM | 18.02.2017 [Pence Speech in Full] German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told the Munich Security Conference that multilateral efforts are needed to cope with current challenges. She stressed that NATO was in the interests not only of Europe, but of the US.

German Defense Minister: ′I am happy to see how deep transatlantic bonds are′ | All media content | DW.COM | 17.02.2017 [Ursula von der Leyen Interviewed] In an exclusive interview with DW, Ursula von der Leyen said she was pleased to hear reassuring words from US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis on the importance of NATO and transatlantic relations.

Mike Pence pledges Washington’s unwavering support for Nato  Vice-president promises to hold Russia to account 

Pence say US will back NATOVP Mike Pence has confirmed the US will continue support for NATO but says other countries need to pay up.

Germany: U.S. benefits from stable EU, united NATOGermany’s defense minister told the U.S. on Friday that Washington has an interest in both a stable European Union and a united NATO, and cautioned against turning the fight against terrorism into a “front against Islam and Muslims.”

German defense chief hits Trump attitudes on torture, Russia and Muslims  – The Washington Post The tough speech came in front of top Trump Cabinet officials on their first visits to Europe.
US would demand Russia to honor Minsk agreements, – Mike Pence 18.02.17 15:06 – US would demand Russia to honor Minsk agreements, – Mike Pence At the Munich Security Conference, the U.S. vice-president Mike Pence declared that his country would demand that Russia honor a 2015 peace deal agreed upon in Minsk, aimed at ending violence in eastern Ukraine. View news.

′A post-Western age′: Munich Security Report details fragile world order | Germany | DW.COM | 13.02.2017 With the rise of populism threatening the international order, the report warns of an “illiberal moment” globally. A withdrawal of the US on the world stage could allow others to take advantage of the power vacuum.

Mike Pence widens US rift with Europe over Nato defence spending | World news | The Guardian On first visit to Europe since taking office, US vice-president tells Munich conference Nato allies must step up their contributions

Pence and Merkel embrace NATO but differ on transatlantic partnership – The Washington Post Vice President Pence’s silence on the European Union may only fuel fears among allies that the Trump administration will reject certain aspects of European unity.

Merkel to Trump: NATO Alliance Is Important for the U.S. Too – Bloomberg

European Union president rejects Trump call for more NATO spending EC President Jean-Claude Juncker wants Europe to resist U.S. pressure on defense spend.

UK minister: ′Defense is for NATO and not the EU′ | News | DW.COM | 18.02.2017 British defense secretary Michael Fallon has told DW that Britain’s departure from the European Union will not compromise European security. He also reiterated London’s view that a European army is unnecessary.

Most Americans Support NATO Alliance | Gallup While President Trump has previously characterized NATO as “obsolete,” 80% of Americans think the alliance should be maintained.

Sharing the NATO Burden – The New York Times The laggards should pay up, and Washington should show its allies that America has their back.

David Cameron ‘courted’ for top NATO post – POLITICO Brussels post for former PM would give Britain major role on Continent post-Brexit.

Nato: Rest in peace, Opinion News & Top Stories – The Straits Times. Read more at,

Australian Defense Minister Confer in Brussels > U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE > Article Defense Secretary Jim Mattis expressed his admiration of the high-performing troops of the Australian armed forces during a meeting with his Australian counterpart, Defense Department spokesperson Navy Cmdr. Sarah Higgins said.,

Marise Payne open to Australia increasing its commitment to the war on IS PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull has not ruled out sending more troops to Syria and Iraq to fight ISIL, saying the Government will assess any requests from the United States on its merit.

Payne holds talks with US counterpart Mattis Defence Minister Maris Payne has held talks with her US counterpart James Mattis in Brussels.

Australia open to working with Russia to fight IS in Syria: Defence Minister Marise Payne Defence Minister Marise Payne has said Australia “will consider” co-operating with Russia in the fight against Islamic State in Syria.

Minister Payne builds bridges with US Defence Minister Marise Payne is set to become the first Australian minister to have a face-to-face meeting with a Trump administration counterpart.

Malcolm Turnbull’s verdict on Vladimir Putin Malcolm Turnbull has delivered a blunt assessment of Vladimir Putin in the face of growing approval from some political leaders, declaring he did not admire the Russian President nor consider him a role model.

Fourth suspect arrested in Kim Jong Nam’s death A second autopsy on Kim Jong Nam’s body was also performed after the first was deemed inconclusive, AP reports.

North Korean Is Arrested in Killing of Kim Jong-un’s Half Brother – The New York TimesThe Malaysian police provided few details Saturday about the 46-year-old man detained in connection with the death of Kim Jong-nam at Kuala Lumpur’s airport.