Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / New Administration Media Ad Hoc – 12 March 2017

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Interesting claims concerning the source of the latest Wikileaks dump, interesting reports from Belarus, and a disgraceful interview conducted by the BBC’s Sackur, baiting former Kiev PM Yatsenyuk, and then cutting off the recording before he finishes – this is not the Beeb we grew up with. Is Sackur pitching for a job at RT or Sputnik?

Vault 7 leak: Russia ‘behind CIA data dump on Wikileaks’, experts reveal | World | News |

RUSSIA was behind the latest classified CIA data dump on Wikileaks, experts said last night, with some warning that Britain’s security services might be the next target.

E-Mail Hack Gives Glimpse Into Russia’s Influence Drive In Eastern Europe

Belarusian Alyaksandr Usovsky* describes himself as a historian and publicist. His works include titles such as Who Set Hitler Against The U.S.S.R?, Churchill’s Cannon Fodder, and God Save Stalin…

Cyber security summit to be held over fears Russia could hack UK election

Spy chiefs have written to the leaders of Britain’s political parties, warning them about the threat of interference from Moscow.

US nukes just got a lot deadlier — and experts say it could cause Russia to attack

A recent report from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists details how the US massively upgraded the…

Moldovan President Looks To Bolster Russia Relations With Moscow Visit

Moldovan President Igor Dodon says he will look to strengthen relations with Moscow when he travels to Russia to meet President Vladimir Putin on March 16-18. Dodon on March 11 told Russian stat…

Russia Refused To Discuss Disagreements On Border With Belarus – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk

The meeting, which was supposed to be held in Hrodna on March 15, has been postponed to “several weeks”.

Mahiliou BNC Coordinator: Together We Are Invincible – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk

The Freedom Day on March 25 in Minsk will give the greatest effect, therefore people from regions must join it.

Andrei Sannikov: West Must Support Belarusian Democratic Opposition – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk

Exiled Belarusian pro-democracy opposition leader, Andrei Sannikov, was a leading contender in the 2010 Belarusian Presidential elections.

BBC World News – HARDtalk, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Russia should ‘get out’ of Ukraine

Arseniy Yatsenyuk: Russia should ‘get out’ of Ukraine

BBC World News – HARDtalk – Stephen Sackur

Kremlin denies existence of Yanukovych’s “invasion letter” -Euromaidan Press |

Vitaliy Portnikov Why is the Prosecutor General of Russia denying the fact that Ukraine’s former president Viktor Yanukovych had sent a letter requesting the dispatch of Russian troops to Ukraine? After all, in the first days following the beginning of the aggression, Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s UN ambassador at the time, spoke about this letter at the UN Security Council. In fact, he gave a copy of this letter to the UN Secretariat. The Prosecutor General of Ukraine succeeded in obtaining this copy. But this was not as the result of some special operation; the “Churkin” document was forwarded to him by the UN. Russian President Vladimir Putin also has claimed that he responded to the request of the “legitimate president of Ukraine.” Although he did not display the letter, he expressed no doubt about the existence of the document. Why is the Prosecutor General of Russia now denying that this letter exists? Why is Yanukovych himself refusing to admit that he signed it? This is because at the time when the letter was displayed at the UN and when it was being discussed on TV channels, it was strictly a question of propaganda. It was an attempt to convince Russian viewers and the international community that there had been no invasion of Ukrainian territory by Russian troops. That Vladimir Putin had responded to the request by the legitimate leader of the neighboring country. And that Russia was helping this leader — and the Ukrainian people, of course — to restore order.

Russian media release text of Yanukovych’s letter to Trump | KyivPost

Editor’s Note: Russian media on Feb. 22 released the text of a letter allegedly sent by the ousted former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to U.S. President Donald Trump. Yanukovych claimed that he had sent letters to Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview published on Feb. 22 by German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel. In the letter, Yanukovych gives his own chronology of the events of the EuroMaidan Revolution and Russia’s subsequent war on Ukraine in the Donbas. He also sets out his view on how the situation in Ukraine can be resolved.

Two Ukrainian soldiers killed as 75 militants’ attacks reported in ATO zone yesterday, – ATO press service

12.03.17 10:57 – Two Ukrainian soldiers killed as 75 militants’ attacks reported in ATO zone yesterday, – ATO press service It was reported about 75 militants’ attacks at Ukrainian soldiers in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) area over the past 24 hours. View news.

Russian sabotage-reconnaissance unit tripped mine in Luhansk region

12.03.17 12:12 – Russian sabotage-reconnaissance unit tripped mine in Luhansk region The militants became more active in the Luhansk region. The sabotage-reconnaissance units are preparing terrorist activities. View news.

Scout of the 46th ‘Donbas Ukraine’ DSPB Mykhailo Myronov killed on March 10

12.03.17 10:13 – Scout of the 46th ‘Donbas Ukraine’ DSPB Mykhailo Myronov killed on March 10 On March 10, Mykhailo Myronov, soldier of the 46th ‘Donbas Ukraine’ Detached Special Purpose Battalion (DSPB), was killed in the militants’ attack of the Army’s positions. View news.

At least 23 Ukrainian soldiers killed in Russia’s war in February-March | KyivPost

The fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatists rages on in eastern Ukraine. At least 69 attacks on Ukrainian positions were reported from March 8 to March 9, with the Donetsk Oblast settlements of Vodyane, Shyrokyne, Avdiyivka and Zaitseve remaining hot spots.Sporadic shelling has claimed the lives of 23 Ukrainian soldiers over the last three weeks, according to a Kyiv Post count based on the information from the military and volunteers. Some 178 soldiers have been wounded since February. Civilian casualties soared in February as well, due to the escalation of hostilities in the Donetsk Oblast cities of Avdiyivka and Makiyivka. At least 11 people have been killed and 62 were injured, the highest numbers since August, as estimated by the United Nations.

Avdiivka de-energized after militants’ shelling, – Zhebrivskyi

11.03.17 17:58 – Avdiivka de-energized after militants’ shelling, – Zhebrivskyi Avdiivka in the Donetsk region remained without electricity again because of the militants’ shelling. View news.

OSCE observers came under mortar fire in Donetsk region

11.03.17 17:31 – OSCE observers came under mortar fire in Donetsk region The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) claims that the incoming mortar rounds exploded near monitors’ patrol in Pikuzy on March 10. View news.

UN Warns Of Possible Threat Of Chemical Disaster In Eastern Ukraine

The United Nations has raised the alarm over the threat of a possible chemical disaster due to the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine. A UN human rights expert said in a statement issued on March 1…

Ukraine finished gas extraction from storage facilities and started its injection, – Ukrtranshaz

11.03.17 14:26 – Ukraine finished gas extraction from storage facilities and started its injection, – Ukrtranshaz Ukraine finished the extraction of gas from underground gas storage facilities and started the injection. View news.

Pardoned treason prisoner freed in Russia – BBC News

Oksana Sevastidi was given seven years for texting about Russian tanks moving to Georgia in 2008.

When is a false claim a lie? Here’s what fact-checkers think – To Inform is to Influence

March 10, 2017 By Alexios Mantzarlis, Poynter Readers have had enough of the media not calling things by their names. Take Don Miller, of Littleton, Colorado, for example: Do you remain asea in ‘political correctness,’ or are you just being kind when you make reference to ‘whoppers’ and ‘falsehoods?’ A lie is a lie is…

Window on Eurasia — New Series: A Baker’s Dozen of Neglected Russian Stories – No. 73

‘Putin is War; Putin is Death.’ Russian support for Vladimir Putin may not be quite as universal as assumed if a banner put up and then immediately taken down in Moscow is any guide ( Moreover, as those in the Kremlin plot about the president’s re-election, commentators are pointing out that the 2018 Russian presidential election will be “no less intriguing than those in Azerbaijan and Zimbabwe,” hardly the reaction Putin might like to have ( Two other pieces of Putin news: the Russian president had to redefine the borders of Europe in order to claim, otherwise falsely, that infant mortality in Russia is now lower than in most European countries (, and Russian officials have announced that under Putin, there is one real growth industry: the criminal code which has been adding 25 pages a year under Putin’s presidency ( on Eurasia —

New Series: Shevtsova on 15 Paradoxes of Putin’s Russia

Paul Goble Staunton, March 11 – Liliya Shevtsova, a Moscow-based analyst for the Brookings Institution, has once again provided a useful guide to some of the terminology that Russians and analysts of Russia often use without reflecting on the paradoxical quality of much of it and the ways in which that quality undermines their utility. Today, she gives 15 examples of these paradoxes (

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia Faces Massive Rise in Unemployment Figures Despite New Hires in Force Structures

Paul Goble Staunton, March 11 – The Russian government has done almost everything it can to hide unemployment, encouraging firms and enterprises to keep people on the job even while cutting their hours and wages. But Moscow is running out of options to block a dramatic rise in unemployment in many sectors of the economy. Earlier this week, for example, Vedomosti reported that between 2006 and 2015, the number of Russians employed in processing industries fell from 12.44 million to 10.34 million, a decline partially hidden by a dramatic rise in the number of siloviki from 4.94 million to 5.33 million ( In a commentary on the Svobodnaya pressa portal entitled “Are People Necessary?” Stanislav Vorobyev says that between 2008 and 2014, all sectors, except retail trade, financial services, and state administration (including defense) showed declines in the number employed, a trend that has only gotten worse during the crisis ( Vorobyev cites the conclusion of Tatyana Maleva, a specialist on economic prediction at the Russian Academy of Economics and State Service, that “the situation now is even worse than it was in the 1990s,” a period most Russians look back to with horror. During that decade, Maleva says, the population was able to survive thanks in part to entrepreneurial and non-governmental institutions, “but now the state defines where and how many work places are created and the possibilities for people are significantly less” and will continue to be so.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: The Belarusian Nation has Risen Against Lukashenka

Paul Goble Staunton, March 11 – The Lukashenka regime, “like many other post-Soviet authoritarian” systems, rests “not on the total support of the citizens but rather on their total indifference to what is taking place in their own country,” an indifference which the Belarusian leader like Ukraine’s Viktor Yanukovich in 2013 has violated, Vitaly Portnikov says. As a result, the Ukrainian analyst says, those who have come out into the streets of Minsk, Homel, Mohylev, and Vitebsk are “not the usual Belarusian opposition,” but rather the Belarusian people who “had never been especially interested in politics” and viewed Lukashenka and his regime as something to be endured ( Now, because of Lukashenka’s desperation to find money for his regime given that Moscow is no longer supplying it and no one else is likely to, the Belarusian dictator has awakened the population from its lethargy. And as was the case in Ukraine four years ago, it is the people in the form of a nation rather than the opposition that is now in a position to make history. Neither Lukashenka nor most commentators appear alive to this possibility preferring instead to focus on elites, either within the country or abroad, and dismissing the possibility that ordinary Belarusians are now the prime movers in this drama. Thus, Lukashenka has moved to arrest and otherwise harass his more well-known political opponents, and many analysts have focused on the role that Russian agents – or more rarely Ukrainians or the West – may be playing. There is just enough evidence of such activity that it seems plausible to many, especially given the dismissive attitude to Belarusians. But each weekend is bringing fresh evidence that none of these supposed organizers is playing the role many have expected or assumed is necessary given the remarkable passivity of the Belarusian population in the past – and even more compelling evidence that the Belarusian people have now entered history as actors. Slow to anger and cautious in accepting anyone from the outside of their local communities as a leader, the Belarusian people like the Ukrainians at the time of the Maidan are taking their fate into their own hands. One can only admire this genuine popular rising and hope it will quickly be successful against a brutal and increasingly out-of-touch dictator. And one can also hope for something else: a recognition by Russians and people in the West that the Belarusians are not the backward and passive people outsiders portray them as being and instead more committed to the values of democracy and popular rule that others talk a lot about but don’t always practice.

‘Act friendly or beware’ warns Russia ahead of Boris Johnson’s Moscow visit | World | News |

THE GOVERNMENT has been warned it must choose whether to “engage with” or “beware of” Russia, as the country’s ambassador to the UK insisted it posed no threat to the Britain.

Jon Huntsman, Trump’s pick for Russia ambassador, is a baffling choice – Vox

For one thing, he has no obvious expertise on Russia.

Diplomats warn of Russia hysteria | TheHill

Turkey, Kurds, Russia, U.S. forces make up a confusing, violent pageant in Syria – Chicago Tribune

Turkey achieved a milestone in its goals in Syria: It established a foothold in the heart of the country’s north after driving Islamic State militants away from

Newly Discovered Video Allegedly ‘Exposes Assad’s Lies on Barrel Bombs’ | VICE News

The cell phone footage uncovered from the scene of a helicopter crash shows government forces filming themselves as they drop two of the banned weapons over the northern part of the country.

Russia Hints at Involving US in Talks on Afghanistan

Move comes as Afghan national security adviser due to visit Moscow to discuss prospects for promoting reconciliation with armed opposition

Donald Trump casts a long shadow over Dutch election (Opinion) –

A vote this week in the Netherlands is the first test of whether Trump’s political coattails offer a lift or a dangerous drag in Europe, David Andelman says.

Democrats, Psychological Projection and Russia – Susan Stamper Brown

Democrats, Psychological Projection and Russia – Susan Stamper Brown: Have you ever been around someone who has a bad .03/12/2017 6:07:31AM EST.

Information void inside Trump-Russia controversy | Columnists |

Put aside, for a moment, the raging controversies over this or that aspect of Donald Trump, the Russians and the election. And then ask: What do we know about the

If Russia Inquiry Is Not ‘Legitimate,’ Democrats May Abandon It – The New York Times

Some Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee said they will pull out of the investigation into Russian election meddling if it becomes too partisan.

The super-secret division in charge of the Russia investigation –

Somewhere in the halls of the J. Edgar Hoover building in Washington, a closely held number of FBI agents face the daunting task of determining how the Russian government sought to manipulate the US presidential election.

Bush ethics lawyer on Trump-Russia ties: ‘KGB agents running around the West Wing’ | TheHill

Donald Trump And The GOP Are Facing A Jimmy Carter Problem

Presidents who fail to carry out their agenda when their party runs all of government fare poorly. And the Obamacare repeal is not going well.

Trump Adviser Had Twitter Contact With Figure Tied to Russians – The New York Times

Roger J. Stone Jr., an off-and-on adviser to President Trump, confirmed the contact with Guccifer 2.0, believed to be a front for Russian intelligence.

How Donald Trump could delegitimize his own government –

When Donald Trump was trailing in public opinion polls leading up to Election Day 2016, he had a ready answer for why he was losing — the system was rigged against him. He didn’t offer any proof, but “this election is rigged” turned into a ready applause line at rallies

.The Lima News | Mark Figley: Forgotten war in the Ukraine looms large

As is customary following inaugurations, new presidents telephone various world leaders among their first official acts in office. So early on Donald Trump rang up Vladimir Putin. The very next day, Russian forces intensified military action upon the Ukrainian city of Avdiivka. Was this a simple coincidence or something more sinister? While the Trump administration deals with an increasing number of obvious foreign policy headaches, the forgotten war in the Ukraine looms large. This conflict has already claimed 10,000 dead and displaced 1.7 million others from their homes on the southeastern border with Russia; and the world media has largely failed to even cover it as the conflict escalates. In Avdiivka alone, Russian artillery and rocket attacks have left 16,000 civilians without basic necessities in sub-zero temperatures. Another 17,000 people have fled there since April, 2014. Experts say that Russia’s intent is to sabotage a February 2015 cease-fire with the Ukraine by provoking a major government counter-attack. More than 500 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed since then, and another 3,000-plus wounded following over 11,000 Russian cease-fire violations. American and European Union sanctions against Moscow have had little impact, while western calls for a stoppage of hostilities have been largely ignored.

On ‘S.N.L.,’ Donald Trump Botches His ‘Independence Day’ Moment – The New York Times

After a palpable absence last week, Alec Baldwin returned to play Mr. Trump in the midst of an alien invasion.