Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
Another day of saturation Russia coverage in the MSM.
Major snap amphibious and land assault exercise launched in Crimea. Former Crimean Communist MP Hrach dumps on the Russians, implicating Patrushev et al in setting up for the Crimea invasion immediately after the Orange Revolution in 2004, validating earlier claims by less prominent players, and also explaining the clockwork timing and meticulous planning of the invasion as we observed it.
A multiplicity of reports on Russia’s internal meltdown, and more on the Laundromat scam, cyber, and the smear campaign against Chrystia Freeland in Canada.
A selection of excellent Youtube interviews and documentaries on hybrid warfare and Ukraine, esp. recent interview with Gen Breedlove – NB his observations on Belarus.
Most interesting Ukraine headline is “Rada calls on U.S. Congress to make Ukraine Major Non-NATO Ally”. Umland interviewed on Intermarium. Donbass mayhem continues. SBU publicly challenges Lukashenko to explain exactly what he meant by claiming Ukraine was training insurgents against Belarus. Russian Eurovision 2017 contender banned from entry to Ukraine for 3 years. SBU cracks Russian spy ring in Odessa detaining 9.
Ukraine conducts another series of Vilkha GMLRS test launches to validate maximum range operation. Ukrainian Defence Blog disputes IHS Janes article, claiming the new jet will be a Yak-130 lookalike trainer / light attack jet – the article appears to be conflating two separate reports.
USCC publishes excellent China report, flagging gains in PLA air superiority capabilities. Saudis order 300 Chinese Predator RPV lookalikes. China sponsors ASEAN meeting on SCS. DPRK missile test fails. Russian body count in Syria triple that officially reported.
SECSTATE puts case to Congress for Montenegro NATO accession. Sweden reactivates Cold War fallout/bomb shelters.
Debate around Congressional Russia investigations generating significant MSM traffic. The blowback against Russia well exceeds any expectations from early November last year.
Russia has launched unprecedented land, air and sea drills in annexed Crimea in a coordinated training exercise involving thousands of troops. The action is billed as significant by the military as it is said to be the first time in the history of the Russian army that three large Airborne units have been “simultaneously alerted”.
To face possible terrorist threat in Crimea, Moscow has launched land, air and sea drills, involving thousands of troops.
The show of force in Ukraine was played as Russia’s greatest moment since the second world war. But it’s a risky strategy
Paul Goble Staunton, March 23 – It has become an article of faith that Vladimir Putin acted suddenly in annexing Ukraine’s Crimea that many have ignored something that Leonid Grach, the former leader of the Communist Party on the peninsula, knows well: Russia was actively preparing the groundwork in Crimea for such actions six years before it pounced. In an interview given to the Meduza news agency, Grach, who headed the Crimean Supreme Soviet from 1998 to 2002 said that Moscow was involved in political and economic life in Crimea at least as early as 2008 – just after Putin’s notorious Munich Security Conference speech (meduza.io/feature/2017/03/21/esli-by-nas-ne-podderzhal-patrushev-v-krymu-stoyal-by-amerikanskiy-flot?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=share_fb&utm_campaign=share). The former communist leader says that while a Ukrainian peoples deputy, he never concealed his “pro-Russian attitudes” and took “definite actions intended to promote the rapprochement of Crimea and Russia … I openly professed pro-Russian sentiments. More than that, I realized them.” “In particular,” he says, he and his people seized NATO equipment that was put in Crimea for a NATO-Ukrainian exercise in 2008 and did so on the orders of Nikolay Patrushev, then director of Russia’s FSB and now the secretary of the Russian Security Council. Patrushev understood clearly what was at stake in Crimea, Grach says. Grach’s remarks are far from matters of historical interest only. They are an indication that Moscow is playing a long game and that it is putting in place in various parts of the former Soviet space people and institutions that it can use if and when it chooses to subvert or annex part of them. On the one hand, of course, such statements are intended to further poison political life in these countries and thus promote precisely that outcome. But on the other, Grach’s words should serve as a warning to all the countries in Russia’s neighborhood and those who support of the real nature of the dangers they face given Putin’s intelligence operative style of foreign policy.
22.03.17 10:23 – Former communist MP Hrach: FSB plotted Crimea invasion since 2005 The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) started supporting pro-Russian forces in Crimea back in 2005. View news.
Ukrainian elder statesman: How Russian hybrid war is changing the world order « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
THIRD international flashpoint is emerging. First the South China Sea. Then the Baltic. Now, it’s NATO versus Russia in the Black Sea.
The riddle. At the “r” begins, the Russian hates, the “b” ends. Russophobe? Almost. The correct answer is Balti. We say balt, we mean Russophobe. So, not a single nation in the world has distinguished itself by such nasty and mean russophobia as the Latvians. Correctly delivering executioners in the infamous punitive regiments, the Latvians in the years of native Soviet power received billions of dollars at the expense of the Russian people. Lithuanians and Estonians did not lag behind. The Baltic people are still carrying out the ethnocide of the Russian population, they spit in Russia where and when they can, and in every way shun: from supporting the Chechen separatists in 1994 and 1998 to applause to the Ukrainian separatists in 2014. Add to this the humiliation of 25 percent of the Estonian population who received the crusts of non-citizens, as well as the dirty tricks and naughty Lithuanians who dream of the Great Lithuania with the Belarusian separatists. Since 2014, formally independent states in general have become a bridgehead for NATO in the event of war – the presence of the Alliance in the Baltic region is growing before our eyes. Finally, all three Baltic dwarfs have territorial claims to Russia. Latvia wants Pytalovsky district of the Pskov region. Estonia – the city of Ivangorod of the Leningrad Region and the Pechora District of the Pskov Region. Lithuania claims the whole of the Federation and the main base of the Baltic Fleet – the Kaliningrad region and Kaliningrad (the so-called “Little Lithuania”). What to do about it? You can go along the beaten path of the Russian Federation and give our Baltic partners more money, as much money as possible. And you can act in an adult way – as do normal states with unfriendly states.
The liberal world order is under assault. Polls suggest an American ambivalence about upholding the rules-based global system. Populists are besieging governing elites in the West while Russia works…
Russian Stalinist who invented Europe – POLITICOAlexandre Kojève was one of the architects of what is now the EU — and may have been a spy for the Kremlin.
Paul Goble Staunton, March 22 – “Patriotism has become so officious and insincere that it has begun to be rejected” by Russians, especially given that those officials who are promoting it are presiding over a situation in which Russians are living far worse than they did, according to Moscow political analyst Abbas Gallyamov. His comments came in reaction to a Levada Center poll showing Russians are far less interested in the Russian past, including even the much-ballyhooed Great Fatherland War, than they were only a year ago and that the number saying they are not interested in the country’s history at all has doubled since 2016 from seven to 15 percent (znak.com/2017-03-22/rossiyane_stali_menshe_interesovatsya_istoriey_velikoy_otechestvennoy_voyny). Indeed, other experts say, the Putin regime’s reliance on the Great Fatherland War as a unifying force is failing. Political analyst Nikolay Mironov says that that conflict “interests already less than half of Russians given that as a result of the increasing time since its end, the events of the war have passed into the realm of myths.” And in presenting its commentary on the Levada Center poll, the New Chronicle of Current Events leads with the following quotation, one that must certainly disturb those in the Kremlin who think that their version of patriotism is sufficient to fill the vacuum left by the absence of an ideology at a time of social and economic stress. According to the New Chronicle, patriotism in Russia today has become “a clear and well-argued explanation of why we must live worse than others” (ixtc.org/2017/03/rossiyane-uzhe-ustali-ot-patriotizma/). In another reflection about this poll, Moscow commentator Arkady Babchenko says “in fact, Russians are not proud of anything. Russia is a country with an absolutely Soviet mentality: close your eyes and pass by. Always. Give out the impression that you didn’t see anything” and say whatever the powers want you to (echo.msk.ru/blog/ababchenko/1948348-echo/). And that reflects a deeper problem: Russia is “a country which is not capable of sympathy and therefore is no capable of being proud. Pride is always tied up with shame. And if you are incapable of feeling shame, you will not be capable of feeling pride either.” As a result of Stalinism, Russians were reduced to a state of “’moral idiotism’” or even suffered “’moral castration,’” Babchenko says. “Since that time, Russia has been a country of cynics who spit on both shame and pride.” That is because they know that all they are told is mythical – and they thus suspect the worst. Sometimes it may seem that national myths are useful in uniting the nation, but “this isn’t so. Myth [at that level] is always dangerous,” he continues. The myth about St. Vladimir led to the Crimean Anschluss. “The myth about the Aryans and the untermenschen led to Auschwitz. The myth about the 40 hooris led to ISIS.”
A firebrand nationalist Russian lawmaker has called for a criminal investigation of the Freemasons, saying the fraternal organization is engaging in illegal political activity. The call b…
Paul Goble Staunton, March 21 – Vitaly Milonov, the Duma deputy of the ruling United Russia Partywho attracted withering criticism for his anti-Semitic remarks in February — see windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2017/02/anti-semitism-on-rise-in-russia-and.html — now says “a Masonic conspiracy” threatens Russia and that he has asked the government to investigate. The deputy says that “Masonic lodges are openly working for the establishment of a new world order and are subordinate to foreign leaders” and that they are in violation of Russian law which prohibits foreign and trans-national organizations from getting involved in Russian affairs (ria.ru/society/20170321/1490454567.html and kasparov.ru/material.php?id=58D0DE75B3552). Milonov also says that Russia has a long history of prohibiting Masonic organizations and kept them “under the strict control of the state” to prevent them from working against Russian interests. The deputy’s words have already provoked a response from Andrey Bogdanov, the grand master of the Grand Lodge of Russia. He accused Milonov of being ignorant of history, pointing out that among prominent Russians who were Masons were Kutuzuv, Suvorov, Griboyedov, and Pushkin. “The Grand Lodge of Russia never in its works has discussed issues of religion and politics,” Bogdanov says, adding that “the first two traditional toasts at its banquet after work are For Russia! and For the President of Russia!” Nonetheless, Milonov’s revival of the pre-1917 Russian nationalist belief in “a Jewish-Masonic conspiracy” is likely to gain some traction as reports in response to the death of David Rockefeller about the supposed existence of a behind-the-scenes world government and its campaign against Russia show (argumenti.ru/live/2017/03/526656).
MOSCOW — A postgraduate student at Moscow State University (MGU) says he was beaten and interrogated by the Federal Security Service (FSB) after he exposed a makeshift Ukrainian flag on the thir…
A suspect in the deadly 2002 hostage-taking attack on a Moscow theater has been sentenced to 19 years in prison. The Moscow Regional Military Court pronounced the sentence on March 21 afte…
Ellen Mickiewicz on how Russians watch the news.Index – Belföld –
Hungarian secret agent reveals in detail how serious the Russian threat is – How does it feel when your boss is accused of spying for Moscow? Why do Russian spies think they can do whatever they want in Hungary? A former counter-intelligence officer speaks out.
Paul Goble Staunton, March 21 – Following the path the Russian Orthodox Church and Russia’s Muslim groups have already entered, Russia’s Jewish community is demanding that the Russian authorities restore to them synagogues that the Soviet state seized from them, a call that is already provoking a negative reaction by some Russians. Citing the Russian law on the restoration of religious property to its rightful owners, Aleksandr Boroda, the president of FEOR, says that his community “unqualifiedly supports” the provisions of that legislation and wants to see Russian officials, especially at the regional level, respond to its call “more actively” (apn-spb.ru/opinions/article25633.htm). At present, he continues, “historic synagogue buildings in Kaluga and Rybninsk” have been returned and “negotiations are taking place in a number of other cities.” Unfortunately, he suggests, this is “a quite complicated and slow process,” despite the clear intention of the Russian law on this point. The return of synagogues to the Jewish community may be even more important than the return of churches to the Russian Orthodox or mosques to the Muslims, he suggests, because “before 1917, Jewish communities were subjected to various limitations and simply couldn’t physically ‘acquire’ significant property.” That has provoked an angry response by the Russian nationalist APN-St. Petersburg portal which declares that “Boroda doesn’t know the history of his own people. In 1917,” it says, in just the five largest cities of the Russian Empire on the territory of present-day Belarus, there were 231 synagogues. In Minsk alone, the 67,000 Jews could pray in 83 synagogues.” “The Jewish diaspora of present-day Russia,” the portal continues, “numbers fewer than 200,000, of whom more than 50,000 live in Moscow where there are five synagogues” open. “But in contrast to 1917,” APN-St. Petersburg says, “the overwhelming majority of them are non-believers, Christians or agnostics.” “For the rest,” the site says, “there are quite enough” to satisfy demand. Clearly, the Jews of Russia are simply following the “infectious” demands of the Russian Orthodox Church for restitution even though the ROC has far more justified claims given how many more Orthodox Christians there are in the country. The APN-St. Petersburg report is likely to be the openly salvo of a new attack on any religious group other than the ROC which seeks restitution, but the fact that FEOR is seeking the return of Jewish property means that this segment of the war of monuments is likely to heat up still further in the coming months.
Paul Goble Staunton, March 21 – Under the terms of a Russian law adopted last week, oblast officials have the right to unilaterally combine city and village settlements into larger units without consulting with the population. As a result, “hundreds” of Russian population centers have been left without any immediate government presence at all. Not only does that threaten some of the local identities and make it less likely that the villages and other small population centers will be able to survive, but it deprives their residence of the experience of working with government officials – and deprives government officials of the feedback they get from such contacts. The measure, pushed by the government as yet another cost-saving “optimization” measure intended to reduce the number of officials, has already sparked protests in some areas near the Russian capital. It is likely to do the same elsewhere because it leaves Russians without any effective way to speak to the powers that be. That is the conclusion of commentator Svetlana Gavrilina in an essay entitled “The Russian State Leaves Russia – Or the Destruction of Local Self-Administration as a Stick with Two Ends” that she posted today on the AfterEmpire portal (afterempire.info/2017/03/21/msu/). What is especially duplicitous about this latest Moscow effort is that it won’t save nearly as much money as the center claims: most of the local deputies who will be displayed aren’t paid: “they are a local entrepreneur or librarian or pensioner.” And this will further alienate such people and the population as a whole from the government as such. Gavrilina says that this trend in Russia is at variance with the one found in many countries where instead of centralizing political life, there is a drive toward decentralizing power and administration and political life as well. There is a recognition in the West but not in Russia that “the quality of the life of people is directly connected with local self-administration.” To complain to officials now, Russians have to go far further, often taking a whole day to deal with something that in the past took only a few minutes. That will lead some of them simply to ignore the government altogether, but it will also mean, the commentator says, that people will not complain until things get really bad – and then it will be harder for the powers to respond.
21.03.17 19:45 – Ukrainian journalist Tsymbaliuk detained by Moscow police Roman Tsymbaliuk, a Ukrainian journalist accredited by Russia’s Foreign Ministry, has been detained by the Moscow police for attempting to interview a Moscow State University student who waved a Ukrainian flag from his dorm window on the anniversary… View news.
UNIAN correspondent in Russia Roman Tsymbaliuk and 1+1 TV channel cameraman Mykyta Borodin along with their interviewee, a post-graduate student of Moscow State University Zakhar Sarapulov, earlier detained by Moscow police, were released from a police station. This was reported by Roman Tsymbalyuk. News 21 March from UNIAN.
Moscow police said an UNIAN correspondent in Russia Roman Tsymbaliuk and 1+1 TV channel cameraman Mykyta Borodin were detained with the aim of verifying their identity, according to a comment to UNIAN by head of the consular support division at the Department of Consular Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Vasyl Kyrylych. News 21 March from UNIAN.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation will look into the circumstances of the detention in Moscow of an UNIAN correspondent Roman Tsymbaliuk and 1+1 TV channel cameraman Mykyta Borodin, the ministry’s spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in her comments to UNIAN. News 21 March from UNIAN.
Magnitsky family lawyer Nikolai Gorokhov thrown from 4th-floor apartment in Moscow. Currently in critical condition w/severe head injuries. Russia. Is there any doubt this was planned, approved, and executed by the Russian government? Corroboration: Magnitsky Family Lawyer ‘Thrown From Building’ The lawyer representing the family of an anti-Putin-government, anti-corruption attorney who was murdered in prison…
A lawyer hired by the family of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian whistleblower who died in jail, has been injured in a fall from his Moscow apartment.
The case, USA v. Prevezon, was being spearheaded by now-fired US Attorney Preet Bharara…
Tamara Grechukhina was 15 years old in 1938 when her father was locked up by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin’s secret police. Soon afterward, her mother died of tuberculosis. The family’…
The Russian space program doesn’t get a lot of great press these days. The big news is not Russia but the rise of a new generation of players—from countries such as China and India making ambitious advances to billionaires such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos aiming for the moon and Mars. And even when the Russian space program makes the headlines, it’s often been for less-than-stellar news. It’s not just the headlines. Many space policy analysts, too, are counting out the country that gave us Sputnik, at least in terms of breaking new ground. As the founder of George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute, John Logsdon, noted, “Their budget is not adequate to maintain a world-class space effort across the board.”
Paul Goble Staunton, March 22 – The Russian economy is small relative to that of Europe or the United States. It military is hardly capable of competing with NATO. But “the Kremlin has a secret weapon which no one else in the world has: enormous criminal financial resources” that Vladimir Putin can deploy to promote his goals, according to Igor Eidman. During the time of Putin’s rule, “trillions of dollars” have flowed out of Russia abroad, a trend that is “not simply a criminal affair” but rather “the story about the struggle for rule in the world” designed to promote the goals of the FSB and its master in the Kremlin, the Russian analyst says (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=58D15268674FA). (Eidman doesn’t mention it, but the size of these cash flows out of Russia is now so large that some banks and countries are afraid to go after Putin’s holdings because of the enormous profits that they are making from holding or laundering this money (nr2.lt/News/Society/Zapad-poka-hochet-zarabatyvat-na-procentah-putinskih-milliardov-125012.html). This “criminal money is the main weapon of the secret war which Putin is conducting against democracy. It is used for buying off Western elites. Financing propaganda, and manipulating public opinion as well as for supporting destructive political forces, organizing hacker attacks, and collecting compromising information and blackmail of influential people.” “The goal of all this is a sharp strengthening of Putin’s influence in the world, splitting the EU and NATO, destroying the union between Europe and the US, and destabilizing the situation in democratic countries,” Eidman says. “Now, the most important tasks are sparking hysteria about the refugee crisis in the EU and unleashing a new conflict in the Balkans. Eidman surveys the way Russian money has been used in Montenegro, Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Poland, Sweden, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Germany, France, Italy, and the US. “In addition,” he says, “the Kremlin also supports ultra-right, separatist and isolationist forces in the UK, Spain, the Netherlands, Greece and other European countries.” The way in which Moscow is using its illegal money to destabilize the situation in the former Soviet republics is “particularly dangerous,” Eidman says, and thus requires “a separate discussion.” In many ways, Eidman suggests, “the situation is like the development of cancer. The tumor (the Putin corporation) is so large that it is impossible to remove without harm to the healthy part of the organism. The infected (the West) is afraid of this and is refusing to have an operation.” “But if the surgery is put off forever, the tumor will spread to the point that the life of the victim will be at risk. And then those ill from it will simply die.” The West needs to recognize this and to recognize that Putin is using his “dirty money” not only to affect the political systems of Western countries but also their economies. Moreover, the West needs to recognize something else: Even in those relatively few cases where the Russian money involved is not dirty to begin with – it may have flowed out in completely legal ways – it has been hijacked by the Kremlin and put to criminally dangerous political use. Consequently, Eidman concludes, “the capital and influence of Russian bureaucrats and oligarchs must be surgically removed from Western society. Otherwise, the metasticizing of Putinism will not stop.”
Between 2010 and 2014, at least $20.8 billion was laundered out of Russia, funneled into banks in Moldova and Latvia, and spread from there into 96 countries across the world. The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), which unearthed the scheme in 2014, dubbed it “the Russian Laundromat.” Its main beneficiaries haven’t been named (though former Moldovan…
A global money-laundering scheme saw at least 18 billion euros smuggled out of Russia into offshore funds via banks in Europe. Investigation shows that in Finland, close to 20 million euros passed through Nordea and other banks, and some of the money was used to purchase items such as furs, computers, power tools and building materials.
The ground underneath Siberia is getting extremely bouncy, and it’s not a good thing.
7,000 huge gas bubbles have formed under Siberia, and could explode at any moment – ScienceAlertWhat happens when the permafrost thaws.
The Russian Aerospace Forces will receive six Sukhoi T-50 (PAK FA) fifth-generation fighter aircraft, spokesman said Wednesday.
To quote an anonymous friend: Nothing particularly new or insightful … but clearly indicates the Canadian media is catching on to the existence and depravity of Russian smear campaigns. </end editorial> By MARTIN REGG COHN Ontario Politics Columnist Mon., March 20, 2017
Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland isn’t answerable for the actions of her grandfather during…
A mysterious cybercriminal deployed an invincible botnet to steal a fortune from US banks. Then the FBI discovered what else he was after.
Fifth Domain is a news and information resource that brings civilian, defense, industry, private sector and critical infrastructure stakeholders together in one place for a holistic discussion on cybersecurity, both defense and offense. The cyberwar is here. Fifth Domain has it covered.
Overall concept, excellent. I agree with his concept of forming an IO basic branch, leaving the functional area of IO behind. I believe the personnel issues will be like military intelligence, there is a need for Captains and few Lieutenants. I believe what he’s proposing is necessary. The Russians have pushed much of this…
I was heavily involved in UAV development in the mid-1990s, as the Intelligence Collection Manager of the 18th Airborne Corps at Ft. Bragg, NC. During that time period, I became a part of the requirements process for the UAVs which are now in common use, such as the Predator, Global Hawk, and the Hunter. Since…
“Weaponized a fake headline”… After a night of restless sleep, contemplating the limits and capabilities of the laws of physics in theoretical directed energy weapons design, these four words caught my attention. Second paragraph of this AP story… A few major points emerge out of this story which I find significant. Readers are inherently lazy,…
General (Ret.) Phillip M. Breedlove, the 17th Supreme Allied Commander of Europe, sits down with Polish TV to discuss the future of European Security. PDL in…
Published on Feb 26, 2016 Documentary about battle for Debaltseve in winter 2015
Published on Sep 21, 2016 A HYBRID WAR is a 30-minute short documentary that attempts to explain the so-called hybridization, or “hybrid war,” of the Ukraine conflict since the Euromaidan protests in 2014.
Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster speaks on the future of US Military development and the implications of Russia’s New Generation Warfare. Here, he speaks on …
The CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program is pleased to invite you to a discussion with Dr. Phillip Karber, President of the Potomac Foundation, a defense and fore…
The Verkhovna Rada has appealed to the U.S. Congress regarding security guarantees for Ukraine. Some 232 people’s deputies supported the corresponding resolution on the appeal to the Congress at the plenary session of the Ukrainian parliament on March 22, an Interfax-Ukraine correspondent reports. “In accordance with the spirit and language of the Budapest Memorandum, as well as the development of a strategic partnership between our states, we ask the U.S. to consider the issue of concluding a defense agreement with Ukraine and granting Ukraine a status of a major ally beyond NATO,” the resolution says.
Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada has urged the United States Congress to conclude a mutual defense treaty with Ukraine and grant the country Major Non-NATO Ally (MNNA) status, according to an UNIAN correspondent. News 22 March from UNIAN.
Even countries, such as the Baltic States and Turkey – NATO members – are concerned that NATO will not protect them against possible attacks by Russia. And Ukraine is still a long way off from NATO or EU membership. So what can Ukraine do to ensure its security? We’re here to discuss this issue with Andreas Umland, a leading German political scientist.
Head of the SBU chief’s staff Oleksandr Tkachuk has said the SBU Security Service of Ukraine has requested that their Belarusian counterparts explain what Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko had meant by speaking about "militant camps" established in Ukraine, according to the political news online newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda. News 22 March from UNIAN.
Influential British think tank, Ukraine’s military dispute US cybersecurity firm report used to buttress claims of Russian hacking in presidential election
So Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has denied that Russia was preparing to annex territories in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts occupied by Moscow’s proxies. And when you consider all the other things the Kremlin has denied (things that turned out to be — you know — like, true) well, then you can’t help but wonder if the annexation of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics might actually be on the table. After all, when the Kremlin denies that it’s doing something, it’s not a bad rule of thumb to pay a little bit more attention to that particular something. And then there’s all the, you know, stuff, that’s been happening lately. Stuff like Russia recognizing travel documents issued by separatist authorities. Stuff like Moscow encouraging the use of the ruble in the occupied parts of the Donbas. Stuff like Kremlin-backed warlords seizing mines, factories, and other enterprises owned by Ukrainian-registered firms. Stuff like Ukraine cutting off cargo traffic to the territories in retaliation. And stuff like Russia building up its armed forces near the Ukrainian border. In recent months, the last ties between and the Russian-occupied parts of the Donbas and the rest of Ukraine have been pretty much severed. It’s become clear as day that the much-maligned and deeply flawed Minsk peace process is finally dead in the water. And it’s become clear that Moscow’s Plan A — forcing the occupied territories back into Ukraine as a Trojan horse — has failed. So now Russia’s war on Ukraine is entering a new phase. The Kremlin may be preparing to annex the occupied territories. It may be preparing to recognize their independence. Or it may be preparing for a new offensive. But it is clearly preparing to do something.
Setting up a Russia-Donbas integration committee is actually another step in the Kremlin’s PR-manipulations, intended to deceive public opinion in Russia (assuming there is any), and send certain signals to the West, as if to say that if they continue supporting Kyiv, the situation may go as far as it has with Crimea. Let’s not talk about internal consumers of such spins because public attitudes in Russia can make a U-turn within just a couple of weeks. However, to the outside world, such a move on the part of Russia will become another tool of blackmail and bargaining. In fact, the only thing Russia is keen on is blackmail. This has now become the core of Russia’s foreign policy as the Kremlin simply has no other tools at its disposal. Bargaining, intimidation, and the attempts to sell the air — that’s what Russian diplomacy is all about nowadays. Russia can’t realistically afford to also feed Donbas. Even their own economists admit it’s impossible. Crimea has become “a suitcase without a handle,” which is already difficult to maintain (and this is just the beginning, because problems just keep growing like a snowball). If they add a literally looted region, the areas of Donbas now temporarily occupied by Russian proxies, and try to feed and provide jobs to several million people living there, this would be unbearable to Russia. Therefore, I believe it is the Kremlin’s game, aimed to provoke the West to steps stimulating Kyiv to become more relented. But I think, at the end of the day, this will once again boil down to the attempts to push the territory back under Ukraine’s control on some pretext, imposing some “special status” on them, as a tumor on Ukraine’s body. The newly created Russia-Donbas integration committee, in my opinion, is just a show-off. Russia could set up whatever they want – a committee, or a commission, or a working group, drafting some kind of documents, and still they will mean nothing. If it is not funded, if it has no authority, if it remains just the name on paper, it will simply be an office with a table, a couple of chairs and three secretaries – that’s it. It will only exist until the Kremlin comes up with some concrete decision on whether to withdraw from Donbas or seize this territory and declare it their own. That is, if they don’t plan to prepare the annexation of Donbas, as it has been done with Crimea. If this is just a game, it will only be limited to setting up this sham “committee,” which is, in fact, meaningless. Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/politics/1833971-integrating-donbas-into-russia-kremlins-show-off-or-real-intentions.htmlNBU lowers GDP growth forecast to 1.9% due to Donbas blockade
The National Bank of Ukraine has lowered its GDP growth forecast in Ukraine in 2017 to 1.9% from previously projected 2.8% as part of a move to review the country’s macroeconomic forecasts after trade with occupied areas in Donetsk and Luhansk regions was blocked in keeping with a decision by the National Security and Defense Council. News 21 March from UNIAN.
The best way to diminish Russia’s influence in the region is not by building up NATO forces but by ensuring a stable and democratic Ukraine
21.03.17 14:26 – Defense, security spending increase is our response to Russia’s military aggression, – Poroshenko President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko commented on comparative test of Shkval and Stilet turrets designed for upgraded infantry fighting vehicles, which was held by Ukroboronprom State Concern. View news.
Today, the planned test launches of Ukrainian missiles produced by the “Ukroboronprom” State Concern in cooperation with the State Space Agency of Ukraine were carried out. This was stated by Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov. According to him, during the test, the missile control system check and the check of hit precision at the maximum range were conducted. “All the launches were successful. The missiles accurately hit the targets”, – Secretary of the NSDC of Ukraine noticed. Mr. Turchynov stressed that due to the implementation of the missile program approved by the NSDC, “since the fourth quarter of 2016, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have started to receive powerful missile weapons capable of reliable execution of complex combat missions”.
Сьогодні відбулись планові випробувальні запуски українських ракет, що були вироблені у кооперації підприємств ДК «Укроборонпром» та Державного космічного аг…
21.03.17 17:48 – NSDC secretary says test launch of Ukraine missiles a success. PHOTOS+VIDEO A planned test launch of Ukrainian-produced missiles took place on March 21. View photo news.
Hodges visits Ukraine: NATO’s efforts to deter Russian aggression – visit, NATO, USA, training, Ben Hodges, Hodges visits Ukraine, Ukraine-NATO cooperation (21.03.17 17:53) « Incidents « Photo news | EN.Censor.net
21.03.17 17:53 – US Army Europe Commander Hodges visits Ukraine, asks Ukrainian military to share experience of countering Russian artillery strikes. PHOTOS Lt. Gen. Frederick Ben Hodges, commander, U.S. Army Europe visited Ukraine’s National Defense Ivan Cherniakhivskyi University. View photo news.
Savchenko in the Donbas: Russia’s secret services use Savchenko unknown to her – Savchenko, Security Service of Ukraine, Donbas, Tandit, Savchenko in the Donbas (21.03.17 13:29) « News | EN.Censor.net
21.03.17 13:29 – Russia’s secret services use Savchenko unknown to her, – SBU head adviser Tandit SBU head adviser Yurii Tandit says the secret services of Russia use Ukraine MP Nadiia Savchenko unknown to her. View news.
22.03.17 13:47 – Military counterintelligence, SBU disclosed Russian spy ring in Odesa, detained nine persons. VIDEO Ukraine’s military counterintelligence and the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) have detained members of a Russian spy ring in Odesa. View video news.
22.03.17 15:45 – Rada to consider stripping officials with dual citizenship of Ukrainian nationality tomorrow, – Parubii Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andrii Parubii instructed the Committee on Human Rights, National Minorities and Interethnic Relations to urgently consider the presidential bill No. 6175 in order to adopt it at the plenary session on… View news.
Russia’s biggest bank Sberbank is looking "very actively" at options for a quick exit from Ukraine, the bank’s Chief Executive German Gref said on Tuesday, March 21, Reuters reported. News 22 March from UNIAN.
Ukraine’s central bank said on March 21 that a blockade of the part of the country controlled by Russia-backed separatists will hit the country’s economy harder than previously expected. …
22.03.17 11:49 – Shock, not disaster, – German experts estimated losses to Ukraine’s economy caused by Donbas blockade The German advisory group working in Ukraine estimated losses incurred to the Ukrainian economy by the ban to transport goods across the demarcation line in the Donbas at 1.6 percent of the gross domestic product. View news.
Russia’s hybrid military forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in Donbas 76 times in the past 24 hours with one Ukrainian soldier reported as wounded in action (WIA), according to the press service of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters. News 22 March from UNIAN.
21.03.17 10:03 – Three Ukrainian military killed, nine wounded in combat yesterday, – ATO Staff Three Ukrainian fighters were killed, nine were wounded in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) in the east of Ukraine on March 20. View news.
22.03.17 15:02 – Two our men were killed. We will avenge them and push enemy as far as Russian border, – Ukrainian marines dwell on battle near Vodiane. VIDEO Following the strike on Vodiane, the Russian militants tried to storm positions of Ukrainian marines but received a fitting rebuff and suffered heavy losses. View video news.
Chief Physician of Dnipro Regional Mechnikov Clinical Hospital Serhiy Ryzhenko says that two out of the five wounded Ukrainian soldiers who have been taken to Dnipro hospitals in the past 24 hours are in a critical condition, according to 112 Ukraine TV channel. News 21 March from UNIAN.
Adviser to the SBU chief Yuriy Tandit claims that 3,136 Ukrainian prisoners of war and civilian hostages have been released or tracked since Russia has unleashed aggression in Donbas. News 21 March from UNIAN.
22.03.17 13:08 – Russian militants rob DPR”/LPR residents at customs established between fake republics Members of the so-called customs office of the Donetsk People’s Republic established by the militants at the border between Donetsk and Luhansk regions rob local residents trying to make a living by trading. View news.
The so-called "Donetsk People’s Republic" ("DPR") has opened an unofficial office in Greece on Tuesday, according to the Russian news agency TASS. News 22 March from UNIAN.
The UK Mission to the United Nations Geneva has pointed out to an "under-reported facet" of violations of human rights, including conflict-related sexual violence, in Russia-occupied Donbas. News 22 March from UNIAN.
The European Commission has agreed to send Ukraine 600 million euros to shore up its deteriorating economy, ending months of delays over conditions linked to the loan. With Ukraine in a third yea…
Ukraine’s IT sector could play a critical role in fighting corruption, building confidence in the country and easing the concerns of critics in the EU.
Head of the Ukrainian government Volodymyr Groysman has boasted that the country has lived for as long as 500 days ‘without a drop of the Russian gas’.
The SBU Security Service of Ukraine has banned Eurovision 2017 participant from Russia Yulia Samoilova from entering Ukraine. Latest UNIAN news from 22 March.
22.03.17 16:17 – SBU banned Russia’s Eurovision pick Samoylova from visiting Ukraine for three years The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has banned Russian nominee for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 Yulia Samoylova entry to Ukraine for a three-year term. View news.
If you ever turned up to school red faced and gasping after having to run the last mile up the hill, look away now. Because for some people, when they…
Centuries later, the famous Ukrainian hetman – Ivan Mazepa is returning to Kyiv. A museum in memory of the great ukrainian leader is to open in Mazepa Tower,…
On 15 March Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko announced that Ukraine’s defense enterprises would soon create a new light strike aircraft to replace the Soviet-made L-39, Su-25 and MiG-29 aircraft. During a visit to the Ivchenko-Progress engine design bureau located in Zaporozhye, President Poroshenko got acquainted with the “mock-ups” of a platform for a new aircraft, which has been given the programme name of Legkiy Boiviy Litak, which is Ukrainian for “Lightweight Combat Aircraft” and abbreviated as LBL. The new Ukrainian light strike aircraft “looks similar” to the Chinese L-15 supersonic training and light attack aircraft and Iranian Shafaq subsonic aircraft project. At the moment, the “new” aircraft remains at the conceptual design stage. The LBL is a two-seat training and light attack aircraft being developed by National Aerospace University – Kharkiv Aviation Institute in partnership with the Motor Sich. Reports from Poroshenko’s visit to the Ivchenko facility stated that the two engines would be “a design based on the AI-225-25 or AI-322F and the avionics would be of both Western and Ukrainian manufacture”. The LBL can perform light-attack and reconnaissance duties, carrying a combat load of 3,000 kg. Maximum true airspeed is 1040 km/h, service ceiling is 14,000 metres, service range 780 km. The aircraft can carry weapons, suspended fuel tanks, reconnaissance pods and a range of electronic warfare pods including radar jammers and infrared countermeasures.
Chances are its not going to happen.
Ukraine’s state-owned defence holding company Ukroboronprom is looking to boost its presence in the Malaysian and Thai defence markets through government-level commitments to support the growth of the two Southeast Asian country’s respective defence industries. Ukraine and Malaysia proposed a joint
BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:45 A.M.) – Dozens of Ukrainian nationalists vandalised two branches of Russian-owned banks, Sberbank and Alfa Bank, in the Ukrainian ci
Congressional report raises concerns over Beijing’s procurement of advanced weapons
China’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday denied reports that China will begin preparatory work this year for an environmental monitoring station on disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea.
CHINA will be hosting a dialogue with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in May over the crafting of a framework for a legally-binding code of conduct in the South China Sea, acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo said Wednesday. “China will be hosting a meeting in May and hopefully, maybe at that time, we will have made significant progress on the framework [for the code of conduct in the South China Sea],” Manalo told reporters in Thailand.
The failure will reassure allies worried about the speed of the country’s missile development.
A SHOCKING North Korean propaganda video features Kim Jong-Un blowing up a US aircraft carrier and shooting down a bomber in the hermit state’s latest threat to the West.
US President Donald Trump will attend a NATO leaders summit scheduled for May, the White House has confirmed.
Why does it matter if Rex Tillerson skips a NATO summit?
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has written to the leaders of the U.S. Senate urging the ratification of Montenegro as the newest member of the NATO alliance, saying it is “strongly in the interests of the United States.”
Aspiring NATO member Montenegro is hardly a formidable military force — the tiny country’s four military jets are up for sale and its two operational warships hardly ever leave their home port.
War preparations come as Nordic country reintroduces military conscription
Emmanuel Macron’s advisers are calling for caution as their candidate strengthens his lead in the French election race and Republican rival Francois Fillon is hit by another scandal, this time reports he profited from ties to the Russian government.
Emmanuel Macron’s once improbable bid to become French president gained more momentum again this week but he’s still a long way from the finish line.
If Macron is elected, he’ll be the country’s first leader not to come from an establishment party.
Russia’s force in Syria has suffered losses since late January more than three times higher than the official toll, according to evidence gathered by Reuters, a tally that shows the fight in Syria is tougher and more costly than the Kremlin has disclosed.
Former Mossad chief Tamir Pardo: We’re nearing point of no return with Palestinians, moderates
Israel draws up plans to evacuate quarter-million civilians to protect them from attacks from Hamas, Hezbollah or other Islamic militant groups
ynet Opinion: Ynetnews Opinion offers In-Depth Analysis on Culture, Religion, Palestinians, Peace Process and Controversial Issues in Israel, The Middle East and Jewish world
Federal investigators are examining whether far-right news sites played any role last year in a Russian cyber operation that dramatically widened the reach of news stories — some fictional — that favored Donald Trump’s presidential bid, two people familiar with the inquiry say. The bots’ end products were largely millions of Twitter and Facebook posts carrying links to stories on conservative internet sites such as Breitbart News and InfoWars, as well as on the Kremlin-backed Russia Today News.
Russia’s intervention in the US election was…
Republicans on Capitol Hill are digging in their heels, insisting that the FBI’s investigation into alleged coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia won’t slow down the president’s legislative agenda.
Russian mafia boss still at large after FBI wiretap at Trump Tower
Russian view: Why the Comey Hearing Was Frightening Leonid Bershidsky at Bloomberg says that, as a Russian, he “was a little scared” by Monday’s congressional hearing on Moscow’s alleged election interference — both by FBI Director James Comey’s apparent ignorance of Gazprom, “Russia’s biggest company,” and the “low threshold for suspicion” set by some legislators. “A shortage of knowledge accompanied by a desire to generalize as broadly as possible are the basic ingredients of a witch-hunt,” he warns, adding his fear that “Comey, no Russia expert, may be susceptible to the mood Trump’s opponents are trying to whip up, and that results of all the different investigations will be affected by it.” US investigators need to better “understand how Putin’s Russia works, and the complex web of relationships around the Kremlin.” From the right: Dems’ Sudden About-Face on Comey There is “no one with whom partisans on both sides of the political divide have a more conflicted relationship with” than James Comey, <a href=“https://www.commentarymagazine.com/politics-ideas/james-comey-wont-provide-the-left-closure-on-russia/”>notes Noah Rothman in Commentary</a>. — Compiled by Eric Fettmann
What is a counterintelligence investigation? Are charges often brought? Here’s a look at a few questions raised by the F.B.I. director’s testimony.
Ryan Lizza writes about how a source within the White House was wrong about what James Comey, the director of the F.B.I., would say at the Russia hearing.
The House Intelligence Committee’s first open hearing on Russia exposed a partisan rift between the committee’s Republicans and Democrats that threatens to only grow bigger as they dig deeper into the possible ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian operatives.
The public confirmation this week that federal investigators are probing links between the Russian government and associates of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign prompted Democrats to renew their call for an independent investigation into the matter.
As part of its investigation, the FBI is trying to determine whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials
Democrats took turns laying out a web of circumstantial evidence linking Donald Trump and his aides to Russia – but still haven’t found proof of wrongdoing.
Why the Trump-Russia Nightmare Will Only Get Worse | Vanity FairA dark cloud of scandal continues to grow over the White House.Conway: Investigation into Trump, Russia has ‘nothing to show for it’ | Fox News
Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway told Fox News’ Hannity Monday night that an FBI investigation into possible ties between the Russian government and President Trump’s campaign associates has nothing to show for it.
In an exclusive interview with FORBES, Emin Agalarov—a Russian pop singer, real estate mogul and son of one of the country’s richest people—made a number of striking claims.
How Russian propaganda on the Balkans found its way onto congressional letterhead.
Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano is being kept off the air indefinitely amid the controversy over his unverified claims that British intelligence wiretapped Trump.
Napolitano, a Fox News commentator, is not scheduled to appear on the network in the near future.
His assertions have been cited by President Trump and his press secretary Sean Spicer to back up their own baseless allegations.
Wall Street led the so-called Trump Bump. And it also led the worst stock trading day of the year on Tuesday.