Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
France is dominating MSM traffic, especially Russian hacking of the Macron campaign, and Russian media speculating on how wonderful it would be if a major terrorist attack propelled Le Pen to the Presidency, in turn producing speculation that Russia might arrange or facilitate such an attack, or withhold intel on such an attack.
The most interesting Russia news is via Ukraine, US OSINT analysts working the hacked Surkov email trail finding “smoking gun” paper trail evidence of how the proxy force is funded, managed and scripted from Surkov’s office, and his pool of subcontractors. This proves that Western MSM are quite inept when propagating the Russian meme of separatists and rebels. No less interesting is Novaya Gazeta in Russia blowing the lid off MH17, showing via voiceprint analysis that retired Russian Major General Sergei Dubinsky arranged the movement of the SA-11 TELARs from Kursk into Russian occupied Donbas. Latest Russian polling shows support for Putin beginning to sag, as is support for the invasion of Crimea. Unhappiness in Russia about Kadyrov and foodstuff substitution scams. Russia, with the GDP of Spain, ranks third globally in military spending, putting Russia on a trajectory to bankruptcy far steeper than Gorbachev’s Russia during the Reagan era. RAF Typhoons deploy to Romania, while the F-35 deploys to Estonia.
A dozen very nice reports and essays on IW/IO/Cyber etc.
In Ukraine, Donbas fires continue at lower opempo, while SBU warns of Russian covert actions in Odessa, and MoD of Donbas movements under the cover of parade preparations. Superb essay by Peter Dickinson summarising how the Russian invasion of Ukraine failed in 2014 – assuming of course the Russians do not try again this year. Excellent history essay on the “Vistula Operation”, the brutal post-WW2 Communist led ethnic cleansing of Ukrainian communities from Eastern Poland – the flipside of the argument in Poland about brutal UPA ethnic cleansing of Poles in Ukraine during the 1940s – both almost forgotten until Russian proxies reignited the argument by provoking Polish nationalist politicians, and Ukrainian nationalist groups.
Russian meddling in Afghanistan, Syrian rebels and Turkish wall in MSM. A lot of interesting reading on the DPRK, including a Top Gun Youtube video (choke on coffee warning applies). Hanson, Baker and Wolfsthal essays on deterrence are worth reading, but with the caveat that Kim does not seem to understand that while the DPRK might be expensive to invade with ground forces, it is cheap to eviscerate with an aerial bombing campaign along the lines of ODS in 1991. Once his IADS is down, his hardened installations, major ground force elements, and mobile TBMs and IRBMs will be plinked one by one by strike aircraft. The PLAAF is now strong enough to conduct such a campaign, even if it lacks prior experience, it has the assets and the numbers to play this game (the US could do it better and faster, of course). The undefended North of the DPRK would be then open to PLA ground forces to oust the regime. Poking China in both eyes, while trying to aggravate the US, when China and the US have much bigger agendas to deal with, is not that smart a strategic play for Kim.
While Russian meddling in France is the main MSM focus, UK SECDEF Fallon does not rule out pre-emptive use of nukes, EU analysts look at perceptions of Russia, EU identifies Black Sea strategic risks, and Erdogan’s principal opponent is profiled.
In the US, The Hill OpEd calls for draining the swamp on lobbyists working for pro-Russian oligarchs in Ukraine. Joel Harding explores the bizarre Buzzfeed attack on former MP Louise Mensch, who has been outing Russian “agenty vliyaniya” and “useful idiots”.
Russia / Russophone Reports
Hacked emails show that the Kremlin directs and funds the ostensibly independent republics in eastern Ukraine and runs military operations there. In late 2016, Ukrainian hacker groups released emails purportedly taken from the office of Kremlin official Vladislav Surkov, who oversees Ukraine policy for Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Surkov leaks confirm what many have long suspected: the Kremlin has orchestrated and funded the supposedly independent governments in the Donbas, and seeks to disrupt internal Ukrainian politics, making the task of rebuilding modern Ukraine impossible. Russia has consistently denied accusations from Kyiv and the West that it is providing the separatists with troops, weapons, and other material support or meddling in Ukrainian affairs. The emails from Surkov’s office betray the official Kremlin line, revealing the extent of Russian involvement in the seizure of Ukrainian territory, the creation of puppet “people’s republics,” and the funding to ensure their survival. There have been three tranches of information from Surkov’s account: a PDF document detailing plans to destabilize Ukraine, a dump of 2,337 emails, and a final dump of 1,000 emails. While the plot to destabilize Ukraine with its detailed plan to use energy tariffs to foment revolution has garnered attention, its veracity is disputed. The trove of 2,337 emails, released by the hacker group Cyber Hunta, covers the period from September 2013 to November 2014, when Russia illegally annexed Crimea and deployed separatist proxies in eastern Ukraine to start a war. The final dump dates from September 2014 to September 2016. We have analyzed the overlooked second and third troves. Here’s what we found.
Special correspondent of Russia’s Novaya Gazeta Pavel Kanygin has found exclusive proof of involvement of Russian Colonel Sergey Dubinsky, nom de guerre Khmuryi (‘Gloomy’ or ‘Grumpy’), in the organization of the MH17 downing in occupied territory in Donbas in July 2014. News 25 April from UNIAN.
The voice of the organizer of transportation along the territory of the Donbass of the Buk complex, from which the plane of the MH17 flight was shot down, belongs to the Russian officer Sergei Dubinsky. The editorial board of Novaya Gazeta came to an appropriate conclusion in its investigation. Earlier, an international team of investigators Bellingcat unveiled a report stating that the transportation of the Buck unit, which was supposedly shot down by the MH17 flight, was carried out by retired Russian Major General Sergei Dubinsky known under the pseudonym “Gloomy”. Also, a recording of the telephone conversation “Gloomy” about the MH17 disaster was published. In preparing the material, the Novaya Gazeta journalist talked to Dubinsky by phone, and then sent audio samples to the language analysis experts from the Institute of Neurology and Physiology of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden (Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, University of Gothenburg). The analysis was carried out in the laboratory Voxalys (carries out forensic examinations by order of the Swedish prosecutor’s office, police and courts) using the “blind test” method without immersion in the context and in accordance with the instructions of the International Association of Criminalistic Phonetics and Acoustics (IAFPA). Experts were not familiar with when, to whom, and for what reason, what was provided to them as materials for research was said. The criminalistics analyst and member of the IAFPA executive committee, Jonas Lind, supervised the study. Swedish experts analyzed only technical (acoustic) parameters: tone, frequency and timbre of voices. To assess the similarity, experts from the University of Goteborg used a nine-point scale, approved by the Swedish National Forensic Center. +4 corresponds to a high degree of coincidence of the voices under study (“with an extremely high probability of a voice on the records belong to one person”), -4 – the slightest (“voices with high probability belong to different people”), and a neutral score of 0 points indicates the inability of experts to calculate Likelihood of similarity / difference. After spending 10 days on research, the Swedes prepared a crime report in which they reported that the records represented a small but sufficient amount of material for the conclusions. “Thus, the results of their research support the hypothesis that the compared vocal samples belong to the same person + 2 points,” Novaya Gazeta reports. “This strictly technical analysis and other evidence collected by us confirm that the voice of the organizer of transportation of the Buk complex on the territory of Donbass belongs to the Russian officer Sergei Dubinsky,” the material says.
Putin’s popularity is now down, from a high of 84%. That sinking sound you hear is Putin’s popularity and approval rating slumping. The economy in Russia is in the tubes. The standard of living is sliding. Cutbacks in the military. Russian scandals on a global scale. Corruption exposure is increasing. Reports of unaccountable Medvedev…
ON MY MIND So the Kremlin has no reason not to trust Ramzan Kadyrov. The Kremlin has full faith in the man who is believed to have masterminded the assassinations of journalists, opposition leaders, and human rights activists. The Kremlin has complete confidence in the man who now stands accused of orchestrating the mass abductions, torture, and executions of gay men in Chechnya. And the Kremlin stands behind the man who has threatened journalists for reporting these allegations. Speaking to reporters yesterday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “We have no reason to believe that Kadyrov would provide incorrect information of any kind” to Vladimir Putin. So Putin trusts Kadyrov. And you can tell a lot about a man from whom he trusts.
Is Putin Going to Be Remembered as the Man Who Allowed Chechnya to Conquer Russia? Paul Goble Staunton, April 24 — Yuliya Latynina says it is quite possible that “Putin will go down in history as the man under whom Russia was conquered by Chechnya” given the Kremlin leader’s reaction to Ramzan Kadyrov’s actions regarding LGBT people in his republic and his threats against those who exposed his crimes (echo.msk.ru/programs/code/1967426-echo/). For years, many Russian and Western writers have pointed to Putin’s incredible support for Kadyrov and tolerance for his outrageous behavior – the “disappearances” of his opponents, the repression of his people, and his ability to act in violation of Russian law and constitution – quite literally his “getting away with murder” without consequences. On the one hand, many believe that Kadyrov is doing exactly what Putin wants, testing the waters as it were for repressive actions elsewhere; and that may be especially true in the current case given widespread hostility to LGBT people elsewhere in the Russian Federation. (On that, see lenta.ru/articles/2017/04/21/yan_holland/.) But on the other hand, Kadyrov’s behavior in this case has crossed a line, because Novaya gazeta has documented that Kadyrov has lied in public and appears to have lied to Putin personally about what he has been doing with regard to LGBTs in Chechnya (meduza.io/news/2017/04/24/novaya-gazeta-soobschila-o-shesti-sekretnyh-tyurmah-dlya-geev-v-chechne and spektr.press/news/2017/04/24/novaya-gazeta-obvinila-ramzana-kadyrova-vo-lzhi/). Putin can’t afford to have his subordinates lie to him and remain unpunished. To do so not only shows the kind of weakness that no autocrat can afford lest what one of his underlings does spread to others and ever more of them and others too conclude that they also can do the same thing. But even more than that, it raises a question that the Kremlin leader certainly doesn’t want anyone to ask: Is he unwilling or even more is he unable to remove Kadyrov? If he is unwilling, that is an indictment of Putin’s own viciousness; if the Kremlin leader can’t, that suggests Putin isn’t nearly as all-powerful as he and his acolytes like to believe. Latynina’s remark is over the top, but Putin’s behavior in this case in particular makes her words less absurd and easily dismissed than they would have been not long ago. And consequently, they suggest that unless Putin acts against Kadyrov and soon, it will not only be the Chechen leader’s career but his own that may be in jeopardy.
Paul Goble Staunton, April 24 – Experts at the Kremlin’s Institute for Social Research say that the populist wave that is sweeping the West will come to Russia only “after six or seven years,” allowing Moscow to learn what how it should respond. But they add that Vladimir Putin can use “populist technologies” in the upcoming presidential elections. Not long ago, the Presidential Administration created an Expert Institute for Social Research, and that body has conducted a study of populist movements around the world, a copy of which has landed in the hands of Moscow’s Gazeta newspaper and is discussed by its journalist Andrey Vinokurov (gazeta.ru/politics/2017/04/23_a_10641071.shtml). The report, its authors, including Gleb Kuznetsov, say that the study was prepared in the first two months of this year after Donald Trump won the US presidential election and Marin Le Pen appeared set to do far better in the French presidential vote than many expected. It does not include data about Russia now but insists that the populist wave is coming to Russia soon. That means, the report says, that Moscow has the opportunity to study how populism works and how it can be opposed or exploited before its leaders have to confront an analogous upsurge in the next electoral cycle. And the authors say that the current wave is far from being the first one. Perhaps the report’s most important argument is that “contemporary populism is politics for the distracted voter,” a means, even a technology of helping him or her feel reconnected with decision making by providing simple answers and attacking existing elites. Such voters are numerous in many countries, including the Russian Federation. The report also argues that it is impossible to call the ideology of populism “leftist” or “rightist.” In some countries, it takes one form; in others, the opposite. What ties it together is that it arises most often during a time of crisis “when the middle class is losing its customary benefits.” Vinokurov also reports that the study argues that “the enthusiasm of the populists for internet technologies in large measure arises from the nature of such movements … because populism calls for the participation of ordinary citizens in the taking of decisions. Such present-day technologies give people a chance at ‘direct democracy.’” Social media give people a sense of horizontal and vertical connectedness, the report continues, but they also have a powerfully centralizing effect: the followers of a charismatic leader get to the point that the only source of news and views that they are prepared to accept as true and valuable is the tweet or post of that leader. Traditional politicians have not yet figured out how best to respond. Criticizing the populists in normal ways simply represents an effort to extinguish a fire with kerosene. Efforts to marginalize the populists also backfire because they play into the mythology of the movement and its leader themselves. Sometimes borrowing ideas from the populists works, the report says, but not always. According to Vinokurov, “the authors predict that the wave of populist technologists will reach Russia in six or seven years. By that time it will be possible to analyze both the mistakes of traditional parties and leaders in the struggle with populists in other countries and also the methods which allow leaders to take control of the wave and become first among the populists.” Kuznetsov, one of the authors of the report, says that Aleksey Navalny isn’t really a populist but rather a traditional politician who is trying to use social media. A better Russian example of populism, he suggests, is LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky. And he argues that Putin may use populist technologies even in the upcoming race. “This is the best means of increasing participation,” he concludes.
In the last 24 hours, more than 60 long-haul truckers joined the strike encampment in Manas in Daghestan, bringing the total number of trucks parked there to 350, and truckers in Sverdlovsk Oblast said they will send a column of 480 trucks to Moscow to press their case. The drivers said they chose that number in order to highlight how false was Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s claim last week that only 480 drivers were taking part in the job action in Russia as a whole.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, indirectly accusing him of using his anticorruption campaign to gain political prominence. Without naming Navaln…
A Russian court has fined a woman for her teenage daughter’s participation in an unsanctioned anticorruption protest on March 26. Yelena Makarova, an attorney for 17-year-old vocational hig…
A Russian man who was jailed following antigovernment protests held nationwide on March 26 has filed a lawsuit with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). In an interview published in th…
A third of condensed milk, sold in Russia, turned out to be counterfeit and should be called a condensed product, according to the materials of the Research of the Rocky. The organization tested 27 branded products “condensed whole milk” – this labeling does not allow the use of vegetable fats, artificial thickeners and additives in its production by fat content of 8.5% throughout Russia. The investigated samples were produced in the Belgorod, Vologda, Voronezh, Orel and Smolensk regions, the Republic of Bashkiria and the Krasnodar Territory, as well as several samples from Belarus. “In the present condensed milk can only be milk and sugar.If milk and starch are added to the milk, it is not condensed milk, but a milk product that can be called” condensed milk “,” Varenka “,” condensed milk “, but only Not “condensed milk.” However, as the study showed, in 10 cases, supposedly “lodged” condensed milk turned out to be more condensed milk, not reaching the declared GOST, “the statement says. It is noted that starch was found in four samples of the product, and nine samples were not produced in accordance with GOST, but “by recombination (bringing to the desired mass fraction of dry substances, fat, protein, carbohydrates not by thickening whole milk, but by mixing dry skim milk, Butter and sugar) with the use of skimmed milk and whey, two products showed inconsistencies with the declared GOST according to the viscosity index, two more with respect to the content of sucrose, five found an increased moisture content , Added to the organization.
When Russia violates treaties, we should respond.
Despite a lagging economy, Moscow has boosted defense spending to come in just behind the U.S. and China.
Russia boosted its military spending to $69.2 billion in 2016, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
President Donald Trump often said on the campaign trail that he’d likely “get along” with Russian…
Typhoons set off from RAF Coninsby, Lincolnshire and will spent up to four months based at Mihail Kogalniceanu airbase in south east Romania.
The event follows a successful mock up of the 1941-42 Battle for Moscow.
The implication of this report is that RT had advance notice of an attack on an OSCE vehicle which resulted in the death of an OSCE member American observer. This point is not explicitly stated. It is also not specifically mentioned that OSCE members from other vehicles kept a detailed description of events as they…
Hromadske’s Nataliya Gumenyuk spoke to Jakub Janda, Head of the Kremlin Watch Program via Skype on April 23, 2017.
Russian social networks are potential channels for spreading the truth about the Kremlin’s corruption and propaganda. By Andreas Umland, February 26, 2016 During the past 15 years, Russia’s citizens have been exposed to a relentless demonization of the Western world, purposeful instigation of hatred toward the United States and heavy manipulation of foreign affairs reporting.…
6 ways the EU and NATO can head off Russia’s many-pronged attack on Western democracy.
On April 1, Novaya Gazeta, well-known for its biting exposés and publications about human-rights violations, reported on the mass arrests and torture of suspected homosexuals in Chechnya—at least 100 gay men were arrested and at least three are dead as a result of this persecution.
A senior official in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted this link – today. As the Bulgarian weapons falls to terrorists in Syria http://warsonline.info/siriia/novosti/siriia/kak-bolgarskoe-oruzhie-popadaet-k-terroristam-v-sirii.html Wow. Weapons were going to the terrorists in Syria. …but some of the pictures looked familiar. I saw these before. Last year. Let’s do some Google Images reverse search. I…
Yesterday, when everybody else was announcing Macron was winning the French election, RT took another view. “Le Pen, the leader in the French presidential election after counting half the votes” April 23, 2017, 23:11 The leader of the party “National Front” Marine Le Pen after counting 50.3% of ballots gaining 24,10% of votes at the…
Every year the Estonians come out with an unvarnished and all too accurate assessment of Russian skullduggery. The latest is very interesting indeed.
Let’s follow the timeline on this. Russia denies Danish military hacking 9News 08:10 Russia Does Not Engage in Hacker Attacks – Kremlin on Danish Allegations Sputnik 07:58 Denmark accuses ‘aggressive’ Russia of hacking defence ministry emails Livemint.com 06:58 Denmark Says Russia Hacked Defense Ministry Emails SecurityWeek 05:56 Minister: Russia hacked Danish defence for two years…
Denmark’s defense minister has criticized Moscow’s "aggressive" behavior after a report accused Russian hackers of infiltrating e-mail accounts of the country’s Defense Ministry…
Anonymous expert analysis. Seldom do I get to chuckle as much as I do when reading this particular expert’s analysis and writing. I have permission to share. Enjoy! </end editorial> The Russian mass media propaganda campaign launched against Ukraine in early 2014 had several key foci, all of which were intended to turn the Russian…
by BRYAN CLARK 25 April 2017 A hacker is waging war on ISIS, with porn. WauchulaGhost — who formerly pointed out security flaws in President Trump’s Twitter account, as well as those of his cabinet members — claims to have hacked over 250 Twitter accounts known to be associated with ISIS. He told CNN: We…
WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump reaffirmed U.S. support for efforts led by Germany and France to negotiate a resolution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, the White House said on April 24….
Kyiv, April 24, 2017 Russian President Vladimir Putin had hoped to seize large parts of mainland Ukraine with his 2014 hybrid invasion – instead, the campaign has served to consolidate Ukrainian national identity while dealing a historical blow to Russia influence in Ukraine. Just today Business Ukraine magazine published a marvelous article by Peter Dickinson,…
HOW PUTIN LOST UKRAINE: The Kremlin hubris that led Russia into self-defeating Ukraine hybrid war.
Lithuanian leadership assured that Lithuania would continue to be a reliable partner of Ukraine in upholding its territorial integrity and sovereignty, as well as realizing the urgent tasks of the reform process, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry’s press service told UNIAN following the meetings of Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin with Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevicius, as well as the leadership and MPs of the Seimas (Parliament) of Lithuania and members of newly created Pro Ukraine deputy group. News 25 April from UNIAN.
25.04.17 12:25 – Russian secret services plan provocations in Odesa on May 2, 9, – Defense Intelligence Secret services of the Russian Federation are preparing provocative anti-Ukrainian activities in the territory of the Odesa region on May 2 and 9. View news.
25.04.17 13:00 – Russia redeploys hardware and troops to frontline, disguises as preparations to military parade, – Intelligence Russian military command of the occupation troops in the Donbas is conducting secret redeployment of hardware and personnel for reinforcement of front line positions of the militants. View news.
25.04.17 09:45 – 21 attacks in Donbas yesterday, involving Grad-P, mortars, AA guns and IFVs, – ATO HQ The situation in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) area remains controlled by the Ukrainian military. View news.
Russia’s hybrid military forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in Donbas 21 times in the past 24 hours, according to the press service of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters. News 25 April from UNIAN.
25.04.17 11:50 – Civil volunteer wounded as Marinka town came under fire by Russian troops During Marinka shelling (the Donetsk region) by Russian militants, a man was wounded, and several houses damaged. View news.
Ukraine has shut down all power supplies to the occupied part of Luhansk region, according to the operator of the country’s power grids, state-run national energy company Ukrenergo. News 25 April from UNIAN.
The issue of termination of electricity supplies to the occupied parts of Donetsk region (ORDO) is being considered now, but it is not as urgent as in the occupied areas of Luhansk region (ORLO), Deputy Minister for the Occupied Territories and IDPs George Tuka told 112 Ukraine TV channel. News 25 April from UNIAN.
24.04.17 23:45 – Detained journalists of ZIK TV channel were filming sensitive military facility, – Defense Ministry The reporters detained in the Rivne region today were filming a sensitive military facility without proper permit. View news.
25.04.17 10:38 – US plans to cut aid to Ukraine via USAID by almost 69%, – Foreign Policy President Donald Trump’s vow to put “America first” includes a plan to drastically cut assistance to developing countries and merge the State Department with USAID. View news.
25.04.17 13:47 – 12,400 people killed, 100,000 injured in traffic accidents in Ukraine over three years and three months, – PM Hroisman The matter of road security should be addressed with more attention. View news.
Close ties with Russian president prompts suspicion of Kiev’s negotiator
Viktor Medvedchuk has an unusually powerful godfather to his daughter: Vladimir Putin, the Russian president. The Ukrainian is also under U.S. sanctions for "threatening the peace, security, stability, sovereignty or territorial integrity" of his country, according to the Financial Times (FT). News 25 April from UNIAN.
The novel War Artist is an honest tale about the origins of the war in Donbas, told by a native. Its English translation will come out in July 2017. What makes a man betray his country? Maxim Butchenko’s novel The War Artist explores this question against the backdrop of a war forgotten by Europe. As I write this introduction in February 2017 shells are raining down on a city in Adviyivka, a European city. A 24-year-old ambulance driver has been killed overnight. A Russian shell landed next to his vehicle and his brains are smeared onto its ceiling. Civilians huddle in tents in temperatures of – 20 c around field kitchens were the Ukrainian army doles out hot food. Nolan Peterson an ex-US Special Forces pilot turned journalist says he has never seen fighting as intense as he has witnessed in Ukraine. The Russians currently deploy more tanks in the Donbas than the entire Czech French and German armies combined. The war has claimed 10,000 casualties by some estimates. However, a German intelligence report which emerged in February 2015 gave a figure of 50,000 . Yet the conflict is often misunderstood largely due to Russia’s ability to manipulate western media by distributing stories through manipulated journalists and corrupt politicians. This introduction explains the origins of the war and its implications for the West.
Paul’s son Sasha has his own memories. When he was 10, his father took him to one of the Sunday gatherings during the start of Euromaidan revolution.
Russia’s ethnic repression of Ukrainians relies on chauvinism to enhance the authority of despots, much as the Vistula Operation did in post-war Poland. Vitaliy Portnikov Commemorations associated with the 70th anniversary of the Vistula Operation have begun in Ukraine and Poland. As a result of this operation to evict the Ukrainian population from the border areas of Poland under the pretext of “liquidating the nationalist underground,” thousands of people not only lost their homes and property, but an entire civilization was in fact destroyed. Soviet security operatives and Polish communists were the crime’s organizers and participants. And for both of them it was important to destroy any pockets of resistance during the postwar years. It is important to understand that after the victory over Nazism an illusion of freedom prevailed among the populations in the countries liberated from Hitler. And it was this illusion that the true heirs of Hitler’s Reich– Stalin and his puppets in the “people’s democracies”– wanted to destroy as soon as possible. From this point of view, the Vistula Operation appears as absolutely logical and in line with the deportations of peoples on the territory of the Soviet Union itself. And the fate of Ukrainians in Poland did not differ from the fate of the Russian Germans, the Crimean Tatars and the peoples of the Caucasus. The Russian regime is doing something similar now But there was another aspect to the Vistula operation that is often overlooked. Polish communists were able to increase their legitimacy in the eyes of their compatriots with the help of ethnic cleansing. The Poles had no doubt that the communists were a foreign power imposed by the Kremlin. But after the Vistula Operation, the number of those who believed that the new government could carry out a “Polish program” increased significantly. Stalin’s puppets succeeded in expertly manipulating xenophobic instincts and chauvinism. And this greatly simplified their repression of real Polish patriots in subsequent years and the transformation of a freedom-loving country into a Soviet colony. Nobody won from the eviction of the Ukrainians except the enemies of Poland and their allies.
Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov insists that the Russian leaders are to blame for an OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) patrol car incident when one U.S. citizen was killed and two other foreign citizens (Germany and the Czech Republic) were injured in a roadside mine blast in Donbas on April 23. News 24 April from UNIAN.
The head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on April 25 in Moscow. OSCE Secretary-General Lamberto Zannier…
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has identified an American paramedic who was killed by a land mine explosion in eastern Ukraine on April 23 while working as an OSC…
Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports
An energy has infused the once-faltering Free Syrian Army in the wake of missile attacks that President Trump ordered on a Syrian air force base this month following Mr. Assad’s suspected use of chemical weapons on civilians.
24.04.17 18:49 – Uproar in PACE: many delegates seek President Agramunt’s resignation, – MP Ariev The visit of President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Pedro Agramunt to Syria caused controversy among the Assembly members. View news.
Turkey has announced the completion of a three-metre high fortification along its border with Syria to prevent refugees and smugglers entering the country.
Turkish warplanes carried out airstrikes on Tuesday against suspected Kurdish rebel positions in northern Iraq and in northeastern Syria, the military said, in a bid to prevent militants from smuggling fighters and weapons into Turkey.
The Russian Aerospace Forces have been taking every measure to maintain the security of Russian military personnel in Syria, Russian Foreign Ministe
By dropping charges against major arms targets, the administration infuriated Justice Department officials — and undermined its own counterproliferation task forces.
This just out: Trump sanctions Syria, questions U.N. USA Today 13:40 Treasury hits 271 people in ‘one of largest sanctions actions’ ever following Syria attacks CNBC 13:39 US Sanctions 271 Employees of Syrian Agency Allegedly Developing Chemical Weapons Sputnik 13:41 Trump sanctions Syria, questions U.N. USA Today 13:40 US sanctions hundreds of employees of Syrian…
A top U.S. Army general has suggested during a visit to Afghanistan by U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis that Russia is arming Taliban militants. General John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said during a joint press conference in Kabul with Mattis on April 24 that he wouldn’t dispute that Russia’s involvement in…
A top U.S. Army general has suggested during a visit to Afghanistan by U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis that Russia is arming Taliban militants. General John Nicholson, the commander of U.S…
The head of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan said on Monday he was “not refuting” reports that Russia was providing support, including weapons, to the Taliban.
DPRK / PRC Reports
While lawmakers often receive classified briefings on Capitol Hill, it is rare for them to take place at the White House and for the entire Senate to be involved in one event
Top Trump administration officials will hold a rare briefing on Wednesday at the White House for the entire U.S. Senate on the situation in North Korea.
WASHINGTON – As governments around the world brace for a possible nuclear test in North Korea, the entire United States Senate is invited to the White House for a briefing on threats from Kim Jong-Un’s government.
As tensions surrounding North Korea escalated, top Trump officials issued new threats—ones that surprised the U.S. military.
When a nutty nuclear or would-be nuclear state becomes an existential threat, then long-term dangers become short-term crises and override short-term appeasement.
“Deterrence is the art of producing in the mind of the enemy the fear to attack. And so, because of the automated and irrevocable decision-making process which rules out human meddling, the doomsday machine is terrifying. It’s simple to understand. And completely credible, and convincing.… But the whole point of the doomsday machine is lost if you keep it a secret!” – Dr Strangelove (Peter Sellers) “In appearance it is very powerful but in reality it is nothing to be afraid of, it is a paper tiger. Outwardly a tiger, it is made of paper, unable to withstand the wind and the rain.… Regarding it as a whole, we must despise it. But regarding each part, we must take it seriously. It has claws and fangs. We have to destroy it piecemeal.… If we deal with it step by step and in earnest, we will certainly succeed in the end.” – Mao Zedong Is North Korea in possession of a doomsday machine, under a crazy leadership that will spark a devastating regional war it knows it cannot win, or is it a paper tiger, more bluster than action? This is the fundamental question being asked as the United States reviews, updates and considers military action in North Korea.
North Korea has been the focus of global attention and anxiety over the past few weeks. The country’s nuclear and missile capabilities, and increasingly strong
They probably couldn’t even find it.
Pressure on North Korea ratcheted up amid nuclear test possibility
North Korea celebrated the 85th anniversary of the founding of its army Tuesday, a significant date in the country’s calendar.
North Korea on Tuesday celebrated the founding of country’s army by holding a “large-scale artillery drill,” according to multiple reports. “Our military is closely monitoring the North Korean military’s movements and remains firmly prepared,” a statement from the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff says, according to CNN. The statement did not detail the kinds of weapons or military units that were used, according to the network. ADVERTISEMENT North Korea is celebrating the 85th anniversary of the founding of its army. The South Korean president’s office said in a statement that an emergency meeting was called to discuss the exercise. The massive artillery drill comes amid increased tensions between the United States and North Korea. Earlier this week, the U.S. called for North Korea to stop its “destabilizing actions and rhetoric” and follow through on its international obligations. “North Korea’s unlawful weapons programs represents a clear, grave threat to U.S. national security,” Pentagon spokesman Gary Ross said in a statement. The comments came after North Korea on Sunday said its military could sink the U.S. aircraft carrier that President Trump is sending to the region “with a single strike.” A report on Monday said a nuclear-powered U.S. Navy submarine was also en route to South Korea. A defense official described the move as a show of force amid rising tensions in the region.
North Korea’s military staged a “large-scale artillery drill” in the country’s east Tuesday to mark the founding of the country’s army.
US president’s rhetoric and policy turn confusion to consternation
Since North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test in January 2016, neither Washington nor Pyongyang seem willing to make any conciliatory gestures
Air China, the only Chinese carrier with regular services to North Korea, will resume the flights between Beijing and Pyongyang on May 5 after a three-week suspension, state media reported on Tuesday….
Kinda speaks for itself. But, might I say to all MiG-21 detractors, the Fishbed is still one of the finest jet fighters ever produced, and I believe exported…
The VR experience inside Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was created by Marcus Olsson from SceneThere
Amid Scramble for Influence, China Scoops Up Chevron’s Gas Fields in Bangladesh « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
The Kremlin says Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will travel to Russia and meet with President Vladimir Putin on April 27. A statement on the Kremlin website on April 25 said Abe and Putin wil…
Foreign Policy Reports
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “In the most extreme circumstances we’ve made it very clear that you can’t rule out the use of nuclear weapons as a first strike”
24.04.17 16:16 – Russia seen as key threat in Black Sea region, – EU Crimea’s occupation helped Russia strengthen its military presence in this region. View news.
How Do European Countries Really See Russia? « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
A new comparative study “Behavior of Putin`s Russia through lens of allied strategic and policy documents” by European Values Think-Tank will be presented. It will analyze security strategies, foreign policy strategies and annual reports of allied intelligence agencies of EU28 states through lens of how these documents perceive behavior of the Russian Federation.
The feisty, nationalist grandmother Meral Aksener is a real threat to unseat Turkey’s demagogic president. If he doesn’t toss her in jail first. « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
A massive disinformation campaign didn’t do the trick. A series of cyberattacks didn’t do the trick. Injecting money into the campaign didn’t do the trick. So now, is the Kremlin actually hoping that a terrorist attack might just do the trick? Is Vladimir Putin’s regime actually openly rooting for this? It appears so. WATCH: Today’s Daily Vertical Despite all the Kremlin’s efforts, pro-European centrist Emmanuel Macron appears set to handily defeat pro-Moscow nationalist Marine Le Pen in the second round of France’s presidential election on May 7. And he’s doing so with a campaign that is appealing to voters’ hopes and aspirations rather than exploiting their darkest fears. But speaking on state television yesterday, Vladimir Solovyev, one of the Kremlin’s favorite propagandists, made the case that fear and division could still win the day in France. Solovyev said that terrorist acts could yet play a role in the campaign and help Le Pen win. After all, he added, two weeks is a long time. And he actually appeared to be rooting for this to happen. It was one of those revealing moments when the mask comes off. It was one of those revealing moments when a deeply cynical regime got caught telling the truth. It was one of those revealing moments when Putin’s Kremlin and its surrogates showed their true colors.
The tweet by Grani.ru says: “Solovyev burned himself a bit: ‘Terrorist acts could yet play their role and help Le Pen’… ‘Two weeks is a long time.'”
Paul Goble Staunton, April 24 – Vladimir Solovyev, a host and commentator on Moscow’s Rossiya-1 television station, said today that “terrorist acts could yet play their role and help Le Pen” win the second round in the French presidential race. After all, he continued, “two weeks is a long time” (twitter.com/GraniTweet/status/856534144804945920). That Vladimir Putin hoped and may still hope for the victory of Marin Le Pen is obvious given her deference to his claims about occupied Crimea, her opposition to Western sanctions for his continuing invasion of Ukraine, and her hostility to key Western institutions like the European Union and NATO. And it is also true that the Kremlin leader has provided Le Pen with financial assistance via his network of banks and given her additional prominence both by meeting with her and by promoting her candidacy via his state-controlled media and networks not only in Russia but also in Western Europe in general and France in particular. But while many have argued that Le Pen has benefitted from past terrorist attacks — it plays on the xenophobic fears of her followers — for one of his pocket journalists to speculate about how a future terrorist attack might benefit her, even if he said it in a joking manner, crosses a dangerous line. At the very least, it reflects a horrifying moral callousness about possible victims; but more than that, it raises the possibility that Moscow might in some way orchestrate just such an attack to benefit its ally and thus itself. That is what Putin did in the 1999 apartment bombings, and so it can’t be excluded that he may now believe he can do something similar abroad. In the murky world that the former KGB officer operates in, taking such a step or more likely encouraging or failing to stop others from doing so would not be out of character. The French authorities and those of the West more generally need to be on high alert because of this danger. More than that, Western leaders need to serve notice on Putin that if there is a terrorist incident in France in the next two weeks, he will be far from the last suspect – and that because that is so, there will be real and serious consequences.
Russia’s media attacks on centrist Emmanuel Macron are a political fumble. It didn’t have to be this way
The hacking group who attacked the DNC and was behind the Podesta leaks also went after France’s Presidential frontrunner.
The campaign of Emmanuel Macron, the favorite to win France’s presidential election, has been targeted by a cyber espionage group linked by some experts to the Russian military intelligence agency GRU, according to Reuters. News 25 April from UNIAN.
A report by a cybersecurity firm has heightened concerns that Russia has turned its weapons on France in an effort to bolster Marine Le Pen’s candidacy.
The campaign of Emmanuel Macron, the favorite to win France’s presidential election, has been targeted by a cyber espionage group linked by some experts to the Russian military intelligence agency GRU.
French presidential front-runner Emmanuel Macron’s campaign says that it was targeted by Russia-linked hackers. The attempts to penetrate the Macron campaign date back to December, th…
Russia is forever damned by their infiltration into US DNC and DCCC servers in the midst of the 2016 election campaign. Even if somebody else is proven to be hacking, Russia will be the first blamed. Russia has earned a well-deserved reputation for excessive pride, extreme lying, lust for power, overt aggression, complete lawlessness, ruthless corruption, wrath, immorality,…
It is almost certain that Russia is behind this deluge of fake news associated with the French election. Russia continues to attack democracy and freedom in the West, at every opportunity. Yet we in the West continue to do nothing. </end editorial> By Mark Hosenball and Joseph Menn French voters are being deluged with false…
Russian propaganda missed no time in lying about the results, saying Marine Le Pen was winning almost 60% of the French votes. We know this was wrong. Opinion polls for 2nd round released: 60%+ Macron, Le Pen around 40% </end editorial> by Ilya Arkhipov April 24, 2017, 8:29 AM EDT Even as the Kremlin called…
Following Macron’s win on Sunday – and the second place finish by far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen – many of the defeated presidential contenders threw their voice behind the centrist frontrunner ahead of the May 7 run-off.
The European Union may be making a comeback after a year of political drubbing
24.04.17 17:11 – Macron shares most adequate view of Ukraine, – Dzhemilev Leader of the Crimean Tatar people, Member of the Ukrainian parliament Mustafa Dzhemilev believes that Ukraine-related policy of French centrist presidential candidate Emanuel Macron will be most adequate in case if he secures victory in… View news.
The French election shows the strength and good sense of old Europe.
US Domestic Policy Reports
OPINION | Trump’s pledge to “drain the swamp” has to include Democrats and Republicans who have been both hired by foreign kleptocrats. The Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA), administered by the Department of Justice and other sources, provides evidence of both Democrats and Republicans having been hired as political consultants and lobbyists by pro-Russian Ukrainian kleptocrats. These are the very same political figures who have been routinely criticized by U.S. policymakers. Viktor Pinchuk, a well-known Ukrainian oligarch, has links to Washington that stretch back to 2001 when he hired Kroll, an investigative agency, to whitewash President Leonid Kuchma’s involvement in the murder of journalist Georgiy Gongadze. ADVERTISEMENT In 2003-2004, Pinchuk brought U.S. VIPs, such as Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski and President George H.W. Bush to Ukraine to improve Kuchma’s international image. Pinchuk also hired Black, Kelly, Scruggs & Healey (BKSH) Associates and the Washington World Group for public relations work. Pinchuk has provided donations to both Democrats and Republicans. He supported the Clinton Library and Hillary Clinton’s 2008 election campaign and when Clinton was Secretary of State she received $8.6 million from Pinchuk’s foundation. In 2016, Pinchuk switched sides and provided a donation to the Trump campaign and paid Trump, then a presidential candidate, $150,000 for a 19-minute video call to the Yalta European Strategy summit. Ukrainian gas tycoon Dmytro Firtash has a more colorful background and is wanted by the U.S. on corruption charges and by Spain for money laundering with Russian organized crime. Firtash hired Jack Abramoff, who had spent three years in jail after working with Israeli consultant Aron Shaviv, to thwart U.S. requests for his extradition and to promote his newly created Agency for the Modernization of Ukraine. Six years earlier, Zev Furst, president of First International Resources, and Firtash had met U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor where he admitted to being permitted to operate in the highly-opaque gas business by Russian mafia don Semyon Mogilevich, who has been on the FBI wanted list since the 1990s for multi-million-dollar fraud schemes.
The Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA), administered by the Department of Justice and other sources, provides evidence of both Democrats and Republicans having been hired as political consultants and lobbyists by pro-Russian Ukrainian kleptocrats. These are the very same political figures who have been routinely criticized by U.S. policymakers, Taras Kuzio wrote in an article for The Hill titled "Beyond Manafort: Both parties deal with pro-Russian Ukrainians." News 25 April from UNIAN.
A combined 61 percent of Americans say they have little to no confidence in Congress conducting a fair and impartial investigation
Just in case you didn’t turn on your computer since Friday of this past week, there is a little storm brewing around Louise Mensch and Joe Bernstein of Buzzfeed. Louise Mensch, in case you didn’t know, is a former British MP, meaning a member of parliament. For reasons I don’t fully understand, she displaced and…
The former British MP leads an outraged online investigation into Trump’s connection to Russia. Is it pulling in innocent people?
A woman who was found shot dead in the northwestern state of Oregon had arrived in the United States last month from Russia and was having a relationship with the man arrested in connection with her death, authorities say.