Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / New Administration Media Ad Hoc 2 April 2017


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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A somewhat quieter day in the MSM, nevertheless plenty of good reading. Goble’s summaries on Russia are very revealing, and if these Russian commentators are correct, Russia may be sliding into the same zone as Belarus, as the credibility of Moscow and its agencies crashes in the minds of the populace. NB report on private gun ownership which does not address the previously reported problem of military automatic weapons being smuggled in quantity into Russia from occupied Donbass. Reports of mass killings of gays in Chechnya are disturbing, moreso as it sets precedents for extrajudicial murders of other unwanted minorities – Chechnya has been Putin’s proving ground for deviant practices. This is how the Nazis started during the mid 1930s.

In Ukraine ceasefire failure as expected, more from Gen Muzhenko, Eurovision spat escalates following threats by organisers to ban Ukraine, and Zakharova weighs into Ukraine’s debate on official language.

US domestic debate on Russia remains polarised, but some unexpected sane commentary amidst the deluge of highly partisan copy.


Russia mocks U.S. in ‘election interference’ April Fool’s post – NY Daily News

From Russia with laughs?

Russian MFA April Fool’s Day Message – To Inform is to Influence

Today, everybody laughs with you, Russia.   Tomorrow, at you. “You have reached the Russian Embassy. Your call is very important to us.  To arrange a call from a Russian Diplomat, please press 1. To use the services of Russian hackers, press 2. To request election interference, press 3 and wait until the next election…

Call the Russian Embassy. Press 3 for ‘election interference.’ – The Washington Post

An April Fools’ Day special from Moscow.

Russia offers ‘election interference’ in April Fools’ voicemail | TheHill

“Please note that all calls are recorded for quality improvement and training purposes.”

Putin Likes to Pretend the Russian Revolution Never Happened – The Atlantic

How the Russian Revolution became taboo

Chechen Authorities Arresting and Killing Gay Men, Russian Paper Says – The New York Times

More than 100 gay men had been detained, the newspaper said. It said it had the names of three murder victims, and that it suspected many others had died in extrajudicial killings.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: The Chief Threat to the Putin System Isn’t Navalny: It’s Putin Himself, Novoprudsky Says

Paul Goble Staunton, April 1 – Last Sunday’s marches against corruption highlight that “there really are certain aspects of a revolutionary situation in Russia, Semyon Novoprudsky says. But “the chief revolutionary isn’t Navalny but rather Putin who, beginning with the Crimean adventure has consistently destroyed the foundations of his own regime.” In a commentary for Kyiv’s Novoye vremya, the Russian journalist says that before Crimea, the Putin regime offered the country stability: “the people lived quietly and weren’t interested in politics, and we stole as we could and shared a bit with them” (nv.ua/opinion/novoprudskiy/budet-li-russkij-majdan-898638.html). But after the Crimean Anschluss and the imposition by the West of sanctions, he continues, the Kremlin changed its line and no longer talked about stability. Instead, the only basis for the state and loyalty to it was “’war’ – cold, hot, hybrid, or any combination. The state stopped promising to make people’s lives better.” Instead, “it said that it is defending the people from imaginary enemies whom it names by itself. No one is to ask ‘a savior’ about the ruble exchange rate or impoverishment,” Novoprudsky says. As a result, he continues, Russia over the last three years was “transformed from a corporatist state of ‘the friends of Putin’ into a full-blown militarist dictatorship,” in which all institutions were subordinate to a single individual and the survival of Russia was directly linked to the survival of that individual. Navalny’s marches “showed the vulnerability of that construction.” People are no longer afraid to protest, but on the other hand, there is as yet “no clear all-national theme of protest” like the one in Ukraine when Yanukovich suddenly refused to sign the association agreement with the European Union. There is no point in appealing to this regime, Novoprudsky says. “It is stupid to demand from Putin the retirement of Medvedev given that the prime minister doesn’t decide anything in the country and that he is far from the only corrupt figure.” Moreover, “it is stupid to demand from Putin a real struggle with corruption because corruption for a long time already has been the format of relations of state and society at all levels … in this sense, the entire country has been corrupted and not only the powers that be,” the journalist continues. Putin has been in office too long to correct this. “Russia is at an economic dead end which it is trying to compensate for by the sale to the world of threats of its military potential, its interference in the affairs of other states, and its capacity ‘to choose any president.’” Moreover, it has shown that “it isn’t afraid of violating international rules of the game.” But at the same time, “there is no mass hunger or military losses like those which accompanied the beginning of the February and then the October revolutions of 1917.” And so one can “confidently” assert that while the Russian authorities now must focus on saving themselves, this “doesn’t mean Navalny’s marches represent the start of a ‘Russian Maidan.’”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kremlin has Lost Control Not Only of the Future but the Past, Shelin Says

Paul Goble Staunton, April 1 – Russia, it is sometime said, is a country with an unpredictable past; but Russian governments have worked hard to try to control not only the future but also the past. Now, however, Sergey Shelin says, the Kremlin “no longer controls either the future or the past” – and that leaves Putin “without the two accustomed instruments” for manipulating the people. Many have pointed out that Putin’s team now doesn’t have “any model for the future” as it heads into the presidential elections, the Rosbalt commentator says. “This is true, but it is far from the whole truth.” The Kremlin has also lost control over the past as well and thus is increasingly unable to hold people in check (rosbalt.ru/blogs/2017/03/31/1603794.html). Indeed, Shelin argues, “the present-day situation is absolutely new for post-Soviet Russia.” Occasionally, it has been unable to present “an attractive picture of the future … But never has this been combined with an inability to speak in the role” of either an opponent of a hated past or a defender of one Russians as a whole like. Instead, the regime’s constant revisions of its views of the past and the transparent falsification and exploitation of themes, combined with the indifference of Russians to a past that is ever more distant from and less significant to them than before make the regime’s failure to talk about the future even more critical. “Ever less time remains until March 2018,” Shelin points out, “and the mechanisms of control over the past and over the future are misfiring again and again. [As a result,] Vladimir Putin is approaching his re-election without either of the traditional instruments for manipulating the minds” of the voters. He gives several examples to support these conclusions. What, he asks rhetorically, can a regime propagandist say about the anti-corruption “disorders?” Besides referring to the Arab Spring or Western machinations, two things few Russians pay attention to, he will be driven to talk “about the horrors of all Russian coups and revolutions, from the earlier up to 1991.” This propagandist will do so because he “imagines that this is a completely irresistible intellectual weapon. And he will then be surprised when his listeners simply yawn.” His shock will be greater because “earlier this wasn’t the case: images of the past occupied a central place in the propaganda of our regime at all of its turning points. And they worked. People responded.” In 1996, for example, Boris Yeltsin was reelected not because he enjoyed real support but because he successfully portrayed Gennady Zyuganov as someone who would restore Soviet times – and not just Brezhnevite stagnation but Stalinist terror. In 2000 and 2004, Putin was elected and then re-elected on a platform of “moderate restorationism” which promised to turn away “from the cursed 1990s” and return to the relative well-being and stability of the late Brezhnev years. In 2008, Dmitry Medvedev was elected with the support of both those who hoped for “a continuation of Putin restorationism” and those who wanted “a return” to the greater freedoms of th3e 1990s. “Both the one and the other, however, instead of the past they wanted go the past which they wanted somewhat less – the return of Vladimir Putin to the Kremlin throne.” And thus it is no accident that 2012 and the years following “became a time of grandiose militant mobilization of history with the goal of having it serve the interests of the bosses.” Not only was the traditional celebration of victory in World War II but also of all kinds of other victories from the times of Ivan the Terrible onward. But today, none of this has the same effect. Russians see how often the regime is prepared to rewrite the past and how difficult a time it faces in confronting the complexities of earlier times. And they see that the regime uses these things only to try to distract attention from its failure to address their real problems now. The reason Russians have changed is not only that the young people “going into the streets don’t remember even ‘the cursed 1990s’ not to speak about the times of Gorbachev and Brezhnev,” Shelin argues. Instead, it is rooted in the fact that all events have a certain “to be used by” date, after which they don’t play the same role. Instead, they are met with indifference bordering on contempt. “Don’t believe pollsters” who talk about the rising rating of Stalin, he says. “Pollsters simply can’t capture the indifference with which the masses view today both Stalinism and anti-Stalinism.” Those are increasingly issues of the distant past. And efforts to use even more distant pasts – such as the revolutionary year of 1917 – not only highlight that problem but show that the regime can’t make up its mind about how it wants to treat this or that issue. The Kremlin’s failure to take a clear line only makes it easier for Russians to go their own way, ignoring the past and focusing only on current problems.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Five Reasons Putin has Lost the Younger Generation Forever

Paul Goble Staunton, April 2 – Kremlin propagandists suggest there were two basic reasons why so many young people took part in last Sunday’s anti-corruption demonstrations: supposedly, the organizers paid them and young people are easier to mislead. But Igor Eidman points to five more fundamental reasons why “Putin has lost the younger generation” now and forever.
First of all, the Russian commentator says, younger Russians “are group in the population least affected by state television programming.” They watch television far less than their elders, and some of them do not watch television at all, preferring to rely on the Internet (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=58DE74ED87B58).
Second, younger Russians are more put off than their elders by the officious and bombastic official patriotism the Kremlin and its backers no often. They don’t accept the memes Putin offers as necessarily true because he offers them; they want to form their own views on the basis of their own experience.
Third, younger Russians are not burdened by “the weight of the negative experience of the past as are those in their 40s and 50s.” The latter suffered disappointment as a result of the unrealized promises of perestroika, but the former in most cases weren’t even alive when these promises were made. They are not as disillusioned because they haven’t been illusioned.
Fourth, young Russians “didn’t take part in the division of property” after 1991, and they are put off by the emergence of two Russians, a hereditary wealthy set and an impoverished mass. That strikes them even more than their parents as fundamentally unjust and something that must be changed.
 And fifth, young Russians like young people everywhere generally react negatively to efforts by their elders to impose the values of the latter on them. The more pressure the parental generation imposes, the sharper and more negative young people turn away from those ideas.
As a result, “to protest against the regime is becoming fashionable.” There are, of course, additional reasons that Eidman doesn’t mention including the calculation of at least some young Russians that a change in the national leadership might reduce the number of foreign conflicts Russia is involved with and thus their chances of being dispatched to and possibly being wounded or killed in such wars.

Young Russians can’t remember a time when Putin was not in power – To Inform is to Influence

This generation of young Russians can’t remember a time when Putin was not in power is making itself heard.

How Russia’s YouTube generation is getting its news – BBC News

Social media is allowing Russian activists to sidestep the state-controlled media, finds Sarah Rainsford.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin’s National Guard Alarmed by Rising Tide of Gun Ownership among Russians

Paul Goble Staunton, April 1 – Vladimir Putin’s National Guard is alarmed by the rapidly rising tide of gun ownership by private individuals in Russian and shortcomings in the companies that are supposed to store these weapons, but the figures the Guard cites likely understate the problem by a factor of five. According to the figures its first deputy commander provided TASS yesterday, some 4.5 million Russians own 7.3 million firearms, up from 4.4 and 6.7 million respectively a year ago (newsru.com/russia/31mar2017/arms.html and rg.ru/2016/06/10/v-rossii-zaregistrirovano-67-milliona-edinic-ognestrelnogo-oruzhiia.html). But these figures are only for guns registered with the authorities. According to independent experts, there are at least four times as many more unregistered guns in Russia, a share and a number that has likely gone up since the invasion of Ukraine (See windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2017/01/80-percent-of-25-million-guns-now-in.html andwindowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2015/07/putins-war-in-ukraine-metasticizing-in.html). Col.Gen. Sergey Melikov, the officer in question, said that his institution plans to tighten the rules governing enterprises financed by the state that provide protective services. He said such a step was needed because “there are a very large number of weapons in private hands now.” There are more than 23,000 such services in Russia today, of which “about 6,000” areknow to have approximately 80,000 guns for their officers. Moscow shut down 904 such agencies last year because of violations of existing law. Melikov added that “the number of crimes committed with registered weapons rose four times in 2015 from the number in 2014.” These mostly involved the illegal use of pneumatic pistols. There were reports earlier this year that such weapons would soon be banned (newsru.com/russia/10jan2017/travmaty.html), but those reports have been denied. What is perhaps most disturbing about this is that the National Guard is going after those who have at least nominally tried to obey the law by registering their weapons as required rather than the much larger number who have guns illegally because they have never sought registration with the state. In many ways, that is typical of gun control efforts in many countries: It is far easier for police forces to go after those who register their weapons than after those who do not, even though it is almost certain that in Russia as in other countries, the larger number of illegally held weapons is a far greater problem – but one far more difficult for the authorities to tackle.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Navalny Demonstrations if Not Navalny Himself Re-Energizing Federalist Efforts, Shtepa Says

Paul Goble Staunton, April 2 – The demonstrations in 100 Russian cities last Sunday “are making the theme of federalism important again,” Vadim Shtepa says, because their participants spoke out against not only “’all-Russian’” corruption but also “local corrupt figures” as well, even if their overall leader Aleksey Navalny remains as Moscow-centric as Vladimir Putin. That protests occurred so many places and raised so many different issues, the Russian regionalist says, “will inevitably force politicians to consider all the federative multiplicity of Russia and to search for new agreed-upon solutions for future government arrangements” (spektr.press/igra-v-federaciyu-mozhet-li-navalnyj-izmenit-ustrojstvo-rossii/). Shtepa, who now lives in Estonian exile where he edits the AfterEmpire portal, posted his essay on Friday, the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Russian Federative Treaty in 1992, a document that “nominally” made Russia a federation but that was so centralist in its implications that two republics, Tatarstan and Chechnya refused to sign. He then surveys the gutting of even the limited rights of the regions and republics and argues that it is now possible to “classify the present state system of Russia as “’post-federalism,’” that is, “nominally the country continues to be called a federation but in reality, it is a much more unitary state than, for example, Ukraine.” Nearly all backers of the Putin regime and many of its opponents believe that allowing the federal subjects to have more power would only lead to a recrudescence of the regional barons who ran things in the 1990s. But the solution to that shortcoming in the nominally federal system was and is not less federalism but more. Regional legislatures need to be strengthened rather than reduced to the status of appendages of the heads of the federal subjects, and regional parties, which exist throughout Europe but which are banned in Putin’s Russia, need to be encouraged to compete and serve as a check on the governors. Unfortunately, Shtepa continues, “today in Russia it is difficult to struggle for the rights of regions and real federalism,” given “the criminalization” not only of political actions “but even academic discussions” on these subjects as somehow inevitably involving threats to “the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation,” as the 2014 law puts it.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Deploys Russian Guard and OMON Against Truckers in Daghestan

Paul Goble Staunton, April 2 – Daghestan is not only the most Islamic and even Islamist place in the Russian Federation. It is also where truckers are the most radical because of the republic’s location next to Azerbaijan and the ability of those who drive long-haul routes to disrupt an important link in Russian foreign trade. When truckers protested against the Platon system in 2015, more drivers from Daghestan took part than did those in any other region. And now that the long-haul drivers are again protesting, that North Caucasus republic is the leading federal subject in that regard, with several thousand trucks already involved. To prevent the protest from spreading, Moscow has deployed units of the Russian Guard and also OMON forces. According to journalist Anton Chablin of Svobodnaya pressa, the situation is rapidly approaching “a critical point” and it cannot be excluded that there could be bloodshed (svpressa.ru/society/article/169606/). The truckers’ strike began last Monday when organizers announced that they would not move cargo until their demands were met. The Russian authorities sent in the troops mid-week. As a result, the truckers haven’t been able to move from their main bases in Manas, Kizilyurt, Kizlyar and Khasavyurt to the republic capital of Makachkala. Daghestani officials have called on the truckers to negotiate, something the truckers say they are willing to do as long as the talks are fully covered by television. But they appear to be becoming increasingly radical with some drivers apparently even talking about themselves becoming a kind of “Long-Haul Peoples’ Republic.” Among the drivers’ demands now are the following: “lowering the number of weigh stations on Russian roads, cutting taxes on licenses and fuel, and increasing the term of permission for carrying international cargo.” Making concessions on such things would appear to be relatively easy, but the authorities clearly don’t want to appear to be responding to pressure. Sergey Vladimirov, head of the United Carriers of Russia, has appealed to all political forces and rights organizations in Russia not to allow “mass bloodletting in Manas.” According to Chablin, such a turn of events is “improbable” but given the situation today can’t be “excluded” altogether. Some opposition politicians may be increasing that risk. Gennady Gudkov, a former Duma deputy of the Just Russia Party, sent a message to the truckers stating among other things that “a systematic crisis in Russia will bring ever more new people into the streets. Will the Russian Guard dare to shoot at unarmed people?!” And Chablin observes as well that “mass arrests are hardly likely to frighten” the truckers or other groups like market operators who also are protesting in Daghestan.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: No Law by Itself Can Make a Russian Civic Nation or Any Other Kind, Drobizheva Says

Paul Goble Staunton, April 1 – Leokadiya Drobizheva, Russia’s senior ethno-sociologist and a member of the Presidential council on ethnic relations, says that no law can make a nation civic or otherwise because “a nation is formed over the course of centuries” and “collective mentality and historical memory aren’t governed by legislation.” In an interview with Vladimir Yemelyanenko of Rossiiskaya gazeta, Drobizheva says that she and her colleagues at the direction of the president were working on “a project about the strengthening of a civic nation and suddenly the theme of a law about the civic Russian nation surfaced” (rg.ru/2017/03/28/sociolog-o-tom-nuzhen-li-v-rossii-zakon-o-rossijskoj-nacii.html). Russians feel themselves citizens of their country, but “don’t call this a nation,” she continues. “We have a historic term ‘nation’” that defines that in ethnic terms. Civic identity “is a recognition of oneself as a Rossiyanin, a member of a political community which includes people of various nationalities.” Drobizheva points out that this sense of civic identity, just like a sense of ethnic identity, varies over time. In the 1990s, she recalls, the Moscow Institute of Sociology “conducted the first surveys on whether Russians felt themselves to be” members of a civic nation. At that time, in Moscow, only 25-27 percent of Muscovites answered “yes.” Today, however, 75 to 80 percent of all residents of the Russian Federation answer that question positively. The very highest percentages, “more than 91 percent,” are found in Tomsk, Yekaterinburg and Sverdlovsk oblasts, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Kaliningrad, and Astrakhan. The lowest – 63-67 percent – are reported in the Caucasus, the Far East and Kamchatka.” Asked whether as many as a third of people in the latter group of federal subjects don’t feel themselves to be members of a civic Russian nation, Drobizheva says, that this misreads the situation: “Russian civic identity has regional and intra-corporate hierarchies,” and thus in some places other identities are predominant. “In Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, Sochi, and Siberia (Omsk and Novosibirsk),” she says, “urban or scientific cultural identity may predominate over all-Russian identities.” In some places a peasant identity or a religious identity may be more important for residents, but that doesn’t mean that a civic Russian identity isn’t there as well. According to Drobizheva, “the task of the new law or action about the nation is to combine these hierarchies,” rather than to eliminate important parts of them. In most countries, civic identities have emerged first in major cities; but in Russia, there has been a problem, at least from the point of view of the state. There, “the Russian center of European identity … is [also] a leader of opposition attitudes,” and that makes both the state and other ethnic and religious groups suspicious of it. But the opposition attitudes in Moscow are not the problem, the sociologist argues. “We have said for a long time that the threat of social storms comes not from the creative opposition, not from the fall in oil prices and not from nationalists but from extra-judicial reprisals.” Data show that inter-ethnic and inter-religious levels of trust are quite high. “Trust in the parliament and judicial system is low, but it does exist,” Drobizheva says. “We have a very high level of trust in the president. [And] inter-confessional and inter=ethnic trust is much higher than usually thought. [But] on the other hand, only 30 percent of citizens feel personal responsibility for the fate of the country and understand that it depends on them.” In some places, like Sakha, the major cities of Siberia, and St. Petersburg, this sense of civic responsibility is higher. In those places, “people are not afraid to assume the burden of forming volunteer or their own mini-communities and organizations.” Such attitudes need to be encouraged and spread. The reason for that is obvious: “it is impossible to form a civic nation only ‘from above.’ One must have a response ‘from below.’” Russia is becoming “a nation of nations,” the sociologist says. “No one will take the title of nation from the people. But a nation has as well the function of uniting people of various nationalities and various cultural interests into [such a] nation of nations.” Russians often look to the US or Western Europe for models of the formation of a civic nation, but Drobizheva suggests that the Russian experience if closed to that of Spain. “There there are the nations of Catalonians, Castillians, and Basques but all of them together are Spaniards.” She points out further that “a sense of unity with people of one’s own nationality experience 80 percent of ethnic Russians and 83-87 percent of Russian residents of other nationalities.” Research also shows the great significance of religious identity, not only on its own but as a promoter of ethnic solidarity. Russians should not be afraid of this but rather welcome it, Drobizheva concludes, because “the ethnic solidarity of all peoples is, as research shows, a resource for the future.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Mari El Most Russian-Occupied Non-Russian Republic, Statistics Show

Paul Goble Staunton, April 2 – Despite Vladimir Putin’s much-ballyhooed power vertical, Moscow has not imposed an identical approach to running the various non-Russian republics of the Russian Federation, as new statistics about ethnic representation in government positions in three Middle Volga republics, Mari El, Tatarstan and Chuvashia, show. Indeed, these figures show that while the titular nationalities are represented in the governments in Tatarstan and Chuvashia at levels above their percentage in these republics, the Maris are largely excluded from top government posts, making that republic the most Russian occupied one in the country (mariuver.com/2017/03/27/mar-ne-podp/#more-52149). The three republics vary in terms of the ethnic composition of the population: in Mari El, Maris form 44 percent and Russians 47 percent of residents, in Tatarstan, Tatars form 53 percent and Russians 40 percent, and in Chuvashia, Chuvash form 68 percent and Russians 27 percent. But the representation of the titular nationality varies far more significantly. The difference begins at the top: the president of Tatarstan is a Tatar, the head of Chuvashia is a Chuvash, but the head of Mari El is an ethnic Russian. And this pattern continues in the composition of the council of ministers, the leadership of key executive branch institutions, and the top figures of republic legislatures. With regard to ministers, in Tatarstan, of the 22, there are 18 ethnic Tatars and four ethnic Russians; in Chuvashia, of the 16, 13 are ethnic Chuvash and three are ethnic Russians; but in Mari El, of the 20, only two are ethnic Maris, while 16 are ethnic Russians and two more are ethnic Tatars. As to state committees, services and administrations, in Tatarstan, of the 14, seven are ethnic Tatars and seven are ethnic Russians; in Chuvashia, of the five, all are ethnic Chuvash; but in Mari El, where there are six, only one is an ethnic Mari, four are ethnic Russians and one is an ethnic Tatar.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: False Moscow Story Comparing Conditions in Alaska and Russian North Infuriates Sakha Residents

Paul Goble Staunton, April 1 – A story Moscow media outlets put out yesterday claimed that an advisor to the governor of the US state of Alaska had said that “Alaska might be better developed now if it were under Russian control” has not only been proved false but has outraged residents of the Republic of Sakha. As the Moscow Times reports, Craig Fleener, the official in question, did not say what the Moscow outlets suggested. He only said that if Russia had retained Alaska, it “wouldn’t have abandoned the region entirely” given its natural resources and strategic location (themoscowtimes.com/articles/clarification-how-the-russian-media-distorted-comments-by-an-alaska-state-official-57608). That Russian propagandists distort or even make up quotations to push their agendas is not news: it happens too frequently to fall into that category. But such people and their bosses may discover that such practices not only give Russia a black eye in terms of reputation abroad but also infuriate Russian citizens when they are involved, as in this case they were. Stepan Petrov, leader of the Yakutiya – Nashe mneniye movement, said that what the Moscow media claimed Fleener had said could only be taken to mean that conditions in the Russian North are now better than conditions in Alaska, something that is completely untrue as the residents of the Russian North know all too well (regnum.ru/news/polit/2257058.html). In fact, he told the Regnum news agency, “the very worse conditions of life of residents of the northern countries” – the US, Canada, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia – “are to be found in the North of Russia,” as any visitor or websurfer could confirm without difficulty. The far-eastern regions of the North like Chukotka, Sakhalin, Kamchatka, Sakha and others devastation and hopelessness rule,” despite the fact that the natural resources of these areas are making people in distant Moscow rich while leaving their indigenous population worse off than ever. This is the result of the unjust distribution of incomes from the sale of natural resources, a problem that was the focus of the Arctic Form this week (nazaccent.ru/content/23617-territoriya-nereshyonnyh-problem.html). More than half of the taxes and almost all of the corporate income leaves the region and never returns. The companies involved, Petrov says, “do not bear any social responsibility. In the majority of cases, they don’t hire people from the local population.” Instead, they come in from the outside, take as much out as they can, and then leave without repairing the damage that they inevitably inflict on the land and its people. But it isn’t just the companies that are at fault, he says. The Russian government is to blame as well: Moscow does not respect the federalism enshrined in the Russian Constitution and generally ignores the opinions and needs of the indigenous policy while favoring “greedy oligarchs and corrupt officials.” If Alaska had remained part of Russia, it would have been subject to the same treatment. Monthly pay would be about 200 US dollars, not the 4,000 Alaskans receive; and pensions would be 100 US dollars, not the 1300 that Alaskans get. And Alaskans might be forced into credit slavery – paying interest rates of 900 percent or more – in order to buy food” If Alaska were part of Russia now, Petrov continues, “Alaskans in Russia would live in aging wooden houses and be using outhouses at minus 50. They couldn’t in our country make use of the benefits of developed private aviation and would lose the opportunity to receive free food products that US policy allows. “And of course,” he says. “residents of [a Russian] Alaska couldn’t dream about a permanent fund which is made up of profits from oil there. Some 25 percent of the profits of oil companies in Alaska is put there, and half of the income from it is shared directly among the residents of Alaska.” In a Russia Alaska, all that money would go to oligarchs and officials. Alaska because of its location is not fated to be as wealthy as New York City or Silicon Valley, the Sakha activist says; “but it is obvious nonetheless that present-day life in Alaska [which is part of the United States] is much better than it would have been if Alaska had remained within Russia.”

Russia’s Most Dangerous Nuclear Attack Submarine Ever Is Ready for War | The National Interest Blog

The Kazan could make some serious waves. 

Russia plans massive arms write-off to conceal supplies to Donbas – MP

The Kremlin found a way to &quot;write off&quot; thousands of pieces of military hardware and countless ammunition Russia has been regularly delivering to Donbas militants, according to MP Dmytro Tymchuk, who is also a coordinator Information Resistance online community. News 01 April from UNIAN.

Updated list of detainees in the case of preparation of “mass riots”

At the beginning of April, 22 people remain on the list of detainees in the case of preparing “mass riots”. It is known that 10 of them have already been charged under part 3 of Art. 293 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus. Part 3 of Article 293 of the Criminal Code “Mass riots”: Training or other training of persons to participate in mass riots accompanied by the commission of actions provided for in part one of this article, as well as financing or other material support for such activities – shall be punishable by arrest for a term of up to six months or by imprisonment for up to three years. List of detainees in the case of preparation of “mass riots”: 1. Abramov Alexei Anatolyevich, 1979; Was detained on March 21, 2017, is in the KGB pre-trial detention center, on 30.03.2017 was charged abvinachvanna under part 3 of Art. 293 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus. 2. Belyavsky Andrey Valerievich; Was detained on March 21, 2017, is in the KGB pre-trial detention center, on March 31, 2017, charged under Part 3 of Art. 293 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus. 3. Greek Ilya Gennadievich, born 1992, border guard, Smorgon; Was detained on March 21, 2017, probably is in the KGB pre-trial detention center. 4. Gurin Yuri Evgenevich; Was detained on 21.03.2017 at 21:25, is in SIZO-1. 5. Danilov Victor Konstantinovich; Detained on March 21, 2017, is in the KGB pre-trial detention center. 6. Dashkevich Dmitry Vyacheslavovich, was detained on March 22, 2017, is in SIZO-1, on March 31, 2017 charged under part 3 of Art. 293 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus. 7. Dundukov Andrei Vyacheslavovich, born in 1985; Detained on March 21, 2017, is in the KGB pre-trial detention center. 8. Evdaho Alexander Anatolyevich, born in 1975; Was detained on March 21, 2017, is in the KGB pre-trial detention center, on March 31, 2017, charged under Part 3 of Art. 293 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus. 9. Zimnitsky Alexander Antonovich; Was detained on March 29, 2017, is in the KGB pre-trial detention center. 10. Ivan Kovalchuk; Detained on March 23, 2017, is in the KGB pre-trial detention center, 30.03.2


Ukrainian General Staff chief: Russia readying to step up warfare in Donbas – LB.ua news portal

The head of the General Staff and the top commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Viktor Muzhenko, is concerned about Russia planning to escalate hostilities in Donbas. “No joke. The events of the past two weeks show that Russia is preparing to step up warfare in Donbas,” he tweeted. On Facebook, he said: “No joke. There is another maniac threat by Putin to Ukraine which he made public at the ‘The Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’. I believe a global catastrophe in the world can only be arranged by Russia. If not for the West, Russia would have made it happen long ago.” Muzhenko was likely to be referring to Putin’s remarks about a global conflict which can happen if the West tries to “contain Russia”. Speaking about Ukraine and US reaction to the Russian aggression against it, Putin said: “If we try to use such dangerous means as regional conflicts to contain someone, this may lead to global catastrophes, to global catastrophes.” As reported earlier, yet another agreement on a ceasefire in Donbas was reached, effective as of 1 April. The Ukrainian antiterrorist operation HQ has recorded 12 ceasefire violations by pro-Russian militants since the midnight of 1 April.

Muzhenko responded to Putin’s threat to Ukraine and warned of Russia’s preparation for an aggravation in the Donbass

Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Viktor Muzhenko said that Russia is preparing for the beginning of the intensification of hostilities in the Donbass. He wrote about this on his Twitter page. “Without jokes, the events of the last two weeks show Russia’s preparations for the beginning of the intensification of hostilities in the Donbas,” Muzhenko underscored. On his Facebook page, the head of the General Staff added: “There is another maniacal Putin threat to Ukraine, voiced at the forum” The Arctic – Territory of Dialogue. “I believe that only Russia can organize a global catastrophe in the world. Has created. “No jokes. There is another manic Putin’s threat to Ukraine, announced at the forum “The Arctic – territory of dialogue”. I believe that a global catastrophe in the world can only organize Russia. Lest the West – Russia has used its long established. ” Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin at the forum “The Arctic – Territory of Dialogue” said that in the United States there is an “opinion” that “the worse the relationship between Ukraine and Russia, the better for them,” which ” can lead to global catastrophes and global conflicts “.

Chief of Gen. Staff Muzhenko says Russia plotting escalation in Donbas

Russia is preparing for the start of another round of escalation in Donbas, according to Viktor Mushenko, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. News 01 April from UNIAN.

Rob S on Twitter: “OMG.. Russian Foreign Ministry accuses #Ukraine of “Ukrainisation of Ukraine,” and threatens Kiev with a “high price.” Seriously?!! https://t.co/lDtvGDT27z”

Ukraine’s chief prosecutor reveals some details about assassin of ex-Russian MP

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has announced that the man who assassinated ex-lawmaker from Russia's State Duma Denis Voronenkov in Kyiv on March 23 visited the Russian occupied city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine prior to the incident, according to Germany's Bild. News 02 April from UNIAN.

He was best counterintelligence agent in Ukraine,” – Hrytsak on Colonel Kharaberiush killed in Mariupol

02.04.17 14:57 – He was best counterintelligence agent in Ukraine, – Hrytsak on Colonel Kharaberiush killed in Mariupol The head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) Vasyl Hrytsak announced that the main version of the assassination of SBU Colonel Oleksandr Kharaberiush in Mariupol (the Donetsk region) is a terrorist attack related to the professional activities… View news.

Russia can participate in 2017 Eurovision with contestant who hadn’t breached Ukrainian law

Russia can participate in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv, if it introduces a contestant that had not breached the Ukrainian law, and it is inadmissible to demand Ukraine to violate its own legislation, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Viacheslav Kyrylenko said.

Ukraine Rejects Eurovision Call To Allow Russian Entry

Ukraine has strongly rejected calls from the organizers of the Eurovision Song Contest for Kyiv to lift an entry ban on Russia's entry in this year's competition. &quot;It is unprecedente…

Eurovision 2017: Why Ukraine and Russia are facing off – BBC News

Eurovision is meant to foster unity but 2017 seems to be all about Ukraine’s conflict with Russia.

Ukraine slams Eurovision amid feud with Russia over contest entrant | News | DW.COM | 02.04.2017

Kyiv has lashed out at Eurovision after organizers called on Ukraine to lift its ban on Russian entrant Yulia Samoilova. The singer is believed to have illegally entered Moscow-annexed Crimea for a 2015 performance.

Poroshenko expects European partners to take steps to create ‘Marshall Plan for Ukraine’

The European People’s Party (EPP) has approved a resolution on the development of the long-term support plan for Ukraine and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko expects European partners to take steps to create a ‘Marshall Plan for Ukraine’.

‘Accessible Medications’ medicare launched in Ukraine, – Hroisman. VIDEO

01.04.17 11:37 – ‘Accessible Medications’ medicare launched in Ukraine, – Hroisman. VIDEO According to the ‘Accessible Medications’ government program, the patients will be able to receive medications for free or with a small surcharge. View news.

Ukrainian Health Ministry set to ban Russian medicines – LB.ua news portal

Ukrainian Health Ministry set to ban Russian medicines. Ulana Suprun believes that Ukraine should outlaw the import of medicines from Russia. Main – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

The French elections, seen from Ukraine – LB.ua news portal

The French elections, seen from Ukraine. Ahead of France’s presidential election, Ukraine’s experience shows that opinion polls may be skewed by underlying hatred of the ruling classes and institutions. Vadym Omelchenko warns that ultra-conservatism stands to gain in the end. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

General Electric, Bombardier, Siemens, Hutchison Ports, DP World, Ryanair to enter Ukrainian market in 2017

01.04.17 14:30 – General Electric, Bombardier, Siemens, Hutchison Ports, DP World, Ryanair to enter Ukrainian market in 2017 World’s top enterprises will enter Ukrainian market this year. View news.

$148 billion siphoned from Ukraine to offshore jurisdictions since 1991 – media

Over the period from 1991 to the present day, some $148 billion has been withdrawn from Ukraine to offshore jurisdictions, according to various estimates, according to Inna Shovkun, a leading researcher at the Institute of Economics and Forecasting of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, who wrote an article for the Dzerkalo Tyzhnia newspaper. News 01 April from UNIAN.

“Silence” in the ATO zone: 37 enemy bombardments per day, the hotest of all – near Mariupol

Despite the agreement of the tripartite contact group on the ceasefire from 00.00 on 1 April, along the entire line of demarcation, the Russian-occupation forces provocatively fired upon the positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Over the past day, the enemy 37 times violated the “silence regime.” This is reported by the headquarters of the ATO on the Facebook page. Read also the Case of the downed Il-76: General Nazarov was given 7 years in prison Most of the shelling was recorded in Mariupol direction. “From the mortar of 82mm caliber the enemy opened fire at strong points in the Berezovoy area, and from the arms of the infantry fighting vehicle and small arms shot at the Marines near Shirokino.” From the anti-tank missile system, grenade launchers of various systems, heavy machine guns and small arms, Russian-terrorist units fired on the defenders A position near Berezovoy, Pavlopol, and Gnutovo was fired from large-caliber machine guns, “the report said. According to the headquarters, in Donetsk direction from mortars of 120mm and 82mm caliber, weapons of infantry fighting vehicles and small arms, the enemy covered fire points in the vicinity of Lugansk. Of mortars of the caliber of 82mm, grenade launchers of various systems and heavy machine guns beat on defenders of Avdeevka. On positions near Verkhnetoretsky led fire from grenade launchers, and from large-caliber machine guns fired defenders of Kamenka. Close to Avdeevka, Verkhnetoretsk and Majorsk, enemy snipers were active, and on the defenders of Troitsky the enemy opened fire from small arms. The press center noted that the enemy showed minimal activity in the Lugansk direction. Positions near Luganskaya Stanitsa were fired by an enemy sniper. “Despite armed provocations by the enemy, Ukrainian servicemen strictly observed the regime of” silence and fire in response did not open. Four Ukrainian defenders were injured, “- summed up the headquarters of the ATU.

Militants shelled Ukrainian soldiers 37 times on first cease-fire day, – ATO Staff

02.04.17 11:27 – Militants shelled Ukrainian soldiers 37 times on first cease-fire day, – ATO Staff Despite the fact that the Trilateral Contact Group agreed to introduce the cease-fire in the Donbas at 12 a.m. on April 1, the pro-Russian militants violated the truce for about 37 times on April 1. View news.


Tillerson and Mattis Blast Russia for Aggression – Bloomberg

The top U.S. diplomat and the Pentagon’s chief stressed the importance of NATO and criticized Russia for aggression and meddling in other countries’ affairs, easing European allies’ concerns about President Donald Trump’s commitment to trans-Atlantic security.

At NATO, Tillerson Pledges U.S. Support For Ukraine And Continued Russia Sanctions

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has told his counterparts at NATO that the United States is committed to Ukraine's territorial integrity and that U.S. sanctions against Russia will remain i…

China Unhappy With India Over BrahMos Crusie Missile Deployment Near Its Borders

China has warned India against deployment of BrahMos cruise missiles in the north eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh. India’s move to deploy the missile as a deterrent against China has provoked a sharp response from China’s state-run news daily. The Indian government has ordered the Indian Army to deploy an advanced version of the BrahMos missile earlier this month. The PLA Daily, has warned India that doing so could attract countermeasures from China and bring “a negative influence” to “stability” of border areas. “India deploying supersonic missiles on the border has exceeded its own needs for self-defense and poses a serious threat to China’s Tibet and Yunnan provinces,” said the commentary, published this weekend in the PLA’s influential official newspaper. The Cabinet Committee on Security, chaired by PM Narendra Modi, had cleared this fourth BrahMos regiment at a cost of over Rs 4,300 crore. The regiment consists of around 100 missiles, five mobile autonomous launchers on 12×12 heavy-duty trucks, and a mobile command post. India is also stationing its Su-30MKI fighter aircraft at the newly opened airfield barely 100 km bordering China. “The refurbished advanced landing ground at Pasighat in south east Arunachal Pradesh is as good as new, with a complete airstrip,” a senior IAF officer had said last Wednesday. “Pasighat ALG is a strategic asset it is capable of operating all types of aircrafts and helicopters. It improves our response time. Besides it will also increase our air operations in the eastern frontier,” Group Captain Amit Mahajan said.


A Pentagon Test for Boeing’s Mr. Fix-It – The New York Times

Patrick M. Shanahan brings a reputation as an aerospace troubleshooter to his expected nomination for the No. 2 defense job, which others found too big to handle.

Haley: Trump hasn’t stopped me from ‘beating up on Russia’ | TheHill

The president has not once called me and said, ‘Don’t beat up on Russia,'” U.N. ambassador says.

Haley Says Russia Was ‘Certainly’ Involved in U.S. Election – 

U.S. envoy to the United Nations says she’s maintaining a hard line against Russia, even as her boss — President Donald Trump — continues to dismiss reported Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. election as fake news.

Democrats Know the Election Was Legitimate but Persist in a Dangerous Fraud | National Review

Democrats question the legitimacy of the 2016 election after criticizing Trump for doing the same during the campaign. Russia is a hostile regime whose intelligence operations — from cyber to propaganda to political assassination to promotion of rogue regimes and factions — are formidable. Many of us were warning against Putin while George Bush was gazing into his eyes for a “sense of his soul,” the Bush administration was imagining Russia as a “strategic partner,” Hillary Clinton was resetting our path to cozy relations, Barack Obama was appeasing Putin in desperation to keep the perilous Iran nuclear deal on track, and Donald Trump was “bromancing” the dictator. So if Democrats have suddenly decided the Kremlin is a malign force, we should welcome them and fight the urge to ask, “What took you so long?” Russia did not “hack our election.” But Russia is our “number-one geopolitical foe” — to quote Mitt Romney’s bull’s-eye assessment, the object of such media-Democrat scorn. Putin’s anti-American operations in the run-up to the election — which were directed, according to our intelligence agencies, against both political parties — should be a matter of serious concern to all Americans, as should Russian machinations in the Obama years, the Bush years, in Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere. Yet, rather than encourage a responsible evaluation of what we’re up against, Democrats and their media allies are promoting a fraud: If you take the Russian threat seriously, it means Russia stole the election and, ergo, that Donald Trump is an illegitimate president. Since that is not what happened, Republicans — who should be pushing Trump toward a harder line against Moscow — will be constrained to refute the Democrats’ allegations. The Democrats will demonize Trump, while Trump sympathizers sound like Putin’s defense lawyers. In the Kremlin, they’ll be smiling.

Mark Cuban says Trump was ‘clueless’ to Russian meddling, only ‘stuck to his script’

President Donald Trump was offered political cover on Saturday by an unlikely source: Mark Cuban, a fellow billionaire and mogul with whom the president has repeatedly sparred. As Congress probes suspected ties between Russia and officials close to the president, Cuban launched into a lengthy defense that was little more than a theory. It was unusual, given that there’s no love lost between the two men, who frequently trade barbs and diatribes on social media. In a series of posts on Twitter, Cuban said he believed Trump was “clueless” to any attempts by Russia to co-opt surrogates and campaign officials at the height of the 2016 general election. The billionaire, who owns the Dallas Mavericks and backed Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, theorized that there was “no chance” Trump was in on efforts by the Kremlin to influence the vote—but defended the president in the most backhanded way possible.

Michael Flynn did not initially reveal income from Russia-related entities on his personal financial disclosure – The Washington Post

In all, Flynn earned at least $1.3 million in the past year, including more than $827,000 through his consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group, his disclosure shows.

Michael Flynn left Russian speaking fees off initial financial disclosures – CNNPolitics.com

President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, did not include receiving thousands of dollars in speaking fees from three Russian companies in initial financial disclosures to the Office of Government Ethics, copies of the reports show.

More Flynn omissions as White House discloses Russia Today payment – POLITICO

The ousted national security adviser itemizes payments, revealing at least $5,000 from Kremlin-funded media network.

Michael Flynn Failed to Disclose Income From Russia-Linked Entities – The New York Times

The former national security adviser initially did not list income from companies linked to Russia on a financial disclosure form released by the Trump administration.

James Woolsey: Michael Flynn discussed sending Erdogan foe back to Turkey – CNNPolitics.com

Former Central Intelligence Agency Director James Woolsey told CNN Friday that former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn met with representatives of the Turkish government in 2016 and discussed potential ways to send a foe of Turkey’s president back to face charges in that country,

‘You don’t haul somebody overseas’: Ex CIA director says Michael Flynn may have gone too far in a meeting with Turkish officials

President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn discussed removing a…

Our ally Turkey is in crisis and needs our support | TheHill

OPINION | It is imperative that we remember who our real friends are.

Here’s how Michael Flynn can avoid being indicted – San Francisco Chronicle

Ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn’s request that he be granted immunity before talking to Congress about the Trump campaign’s possible dealings with Russia is the smartest move he could make under the circumstances. […] the circumstances can’t be good if he’s asking to be shielded from criminal prosecution in exchange for telling what he knows. Thankfully, in all the times I came in the crosshairs of the feds over the years, I was never in such a bad way that I had to seek complete immunity. […] — isn’t the outrage over Russian attempts to influence the election a bit misplaced? President Trump’s post-health-care fight with the Freedom Caucus makes it clear that the hard-right representatives haven’t forgotten the most important question in politics, no matter what the issue. Whether it’s health care, taxes, immigration or infrastructure, it’s all about that one big question. Let’s hope Hillary Clinton’s recent appearance at the Professional Women’s Business Conference in San Francisco was just a warm-up for her full-fledged return to the spotlight. Whether it’s getting onto the Golden Gate Bridge or the Bay Bridge, San Francisco is the summit for traffic congestion in the Bay Area. Restrictions are needed on how many private vehicles can be on the streets at certain hours, and that includes the hundreds of ride-hailing cars with drivers who don’t know one bridge from the other without a GPS tracker. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom turned the Julia Morgan Ballroom into a gold mine the other night, hauling in more than $700,000 by my count for his 2018 run for governor. […] when Gavin got up he thanked each and every one of them, especially real estate millionaire Clint Reilly, who hosted the event and did most of the arm-twisting. Take note, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, state Treasurer John Chiang and current Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti — it’s going to be tough to match Gavin’s golden touch.

Cambridge University dragged into row over Donald Trump’s ex-spy chief’s links to Russia

A Cambridge University intelligence group whose members include a glamorous Russian student has been dragged into the escalating row over the Trump campaign&rsquo;s potential links to the Kremlin.

Donald Trump and Russia: The Spanish connection with Trump’s Russia scandal | In English | EL PAÍS

Alexander Torshin, deputy governor of the Central Bank of Russia and investigated in Spain for money laundering, has infiltrated the US president’s circle

Trump tweets plea for Obama to be investigated, not Russia – CNET

Commentary: The president also manages a personal slight against an NBC anchor.

Speier on Nunes controversy: ‘Absolutely convinced it started in the Oval Office’ – POLITICO

Speier leveled blistering criticism at the intelligence chairman.

Obama admin official after Spicer comments: Russia benefits from ‘fake news’ | TheHill

Trump Couple, Now White House Employees, Can’t Escape Conflict Laws – The New York Times

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are walking on perilous legal and ethical ground, according to several prominent experts on the subject.

Trump aide accused of Hatch Act violation after urging Amash primary challenge – POLITICO

Trump has waged an ongoing battle with leaders and members of the Freedom Caucus following the defeat of the American Health Care Act.

Judge to Trump: No protection for speech inciting violence – The Washington Post

A federal judge has rejected President Donald Trump’s free speech defense against a lawsuit accusing him of inciting violence against protesters at a campaign rally.

Suit Accusing Trump Of Inciting Rally Violence Gets Green Light From Judge

“It is plausible that Trump’s direction to ‘get ’em out of here’ advocated use of force,” federal judge rules.

Poll: Majority wants independent Russia probe | TheHill

 

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