Russian internal meltdown continues, especially good essays by Babchenko and Prof Yakovenko (both Russians despite Ukrainian surnames). Gudkov is on target: “Russia today from the point of view of the monopoly of the authorities is exactly as were Iraq or Libya at one time. And even almost where North Korea now is” – a point made earlier in this series, Putin’s quest to become a larger DPRK. Excellent RFE?RL PV podcast for the week. Yermek Narymbay map of Russia’s impending fragmentation is interesting, it is divided into Russia’s Muscovite homeland (blue), annexed or colonised areas with large or majority proportions of ethnic “Russian” colonists (red) – actually a diverse mix of Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians and other Europeans, and finally autonomous regions mostly populated by indigenous peoples (yellow-green). This is the best rendering yet of the “Muscovite colonial empire” view of Russia as a quasi-state – the Roman Empire is a good analogy, made up of conquered provinces populated by Roman colonists and local peoples.
Some good reports on IO topics.
In Ukraine, Artemenko is stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship for trying to peddle a pro-Russian Crimea proposal to the Trump Administration, he loses his seat in parliament and likely will be expelled as an alien to Canada – I am sure the Canadians will appreciate another peddler of Russian written bogus proposals. Donbas fires continue, and a sad report that a 95th Bde paratrooper wounded defending Mt. Saur Mogila in 2014 died of his injuries yesterday. Seagal banned from entry to Ukraine. Russians fish a sunken WW2 Lend-Lease P-40 Kittyhawk fighter out of the silt of the Kerch Strait, the Youtube clip is excellent.
Syria No Fly Zone producing the most MSM traffic.
DPRK vs. China exchanges most interesting. The latest CCP retorts to Pyongyang are worth a careful read. The Chinese are putting the blame for various misfortunes China has endured upon the DPRK leadership: “The post questioned whether there would have been a war on the Korean Peninsula if Kim Il-sung had not attempted to unify the peninsula, and also claimed that because China was drawn into the war, tens of thousands of Chinese lives were lost, there followed 20 years of conflict between the US and China, and that even the Taiwan issue remained neglected. In short, that China has had to pay the price for most the North Korea’s rash, ill-advised actions.” The latter is of course entirely true, but to see this position posted on a CCP hosted platform is unprecedented – the ugly truth of China’s broken relationship with the DPRK. If these comments do indeed reflect the viewpoint of the CCP Central Committee, then the DPRK is being cast out, in a very public manner. It will be interesting to see whether the Western MSM pick up on the significance of this latest exchange. Mizokami surveys the DPRK’s accomplishments in overseas terrorism, assassinations and kidnappings, but does not detail their efforts in the trade of narcotics and WMD technology. Good interview with Rick Fisher @ IASC, and an interesting argument between Lewis, Pry and Liu over potential DPRK EMP capabilities. BBC posts full text of North Korea CIA plot allegation. Also some good background essays, and some bizarre ones as well.
Russians apoplectic at the claimed US proposal to blockade DPRK shipping traffic, evidently aiming to maximise their anti-US propaganda payoff from the DPRK situation.
French election hogging MSM bandwidth in foreign policy.
Russia debate continues in the US.
Russia / Russophone Reports
Paul Goble Staunton, May 6 – Among the many messages the Kremlin wants Russians to take away from its celebrations of Victory Day is that Moscow has arranged things so that they have lived in peace for 72 years. But in fact, Arkady Babchenko points out, the Kremlin has involved the country in military operations on average once every two years over that period. The Moscow commentator offers a useful list (echo.msk.ru/blog/thequestion_ru/1975802-echo/) for those who have forgotten that tragic reality. From 1945 to the mid-1950s, Moscow engaged in operations against the forest brothers on the territory of the USSR that Stalin had absorbed as a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Then, it did the following: · In 1946, Soviet forces provided military assistance to the Chinese Communists in Manchuria. · In 1950, Soviet air forces participated in the Korean War. · In 1956, Soviet forces invaded Hungary. · In 1960, 1964, and 1969, Soviet forces were active in Laos. · In 1962, Soviet forces were involved in Algeria. · In 1962 and 1967, Soviet forces were involved in Yemen. · In 1965, Soviet forces were involved in Vietnam. · In 1967-1974, Soviet forces supported Egypt in the Arab-Israeli wars. · In 1967, Soviet forces were in Syria. · In 1967, 1975, and 1984, Soviet forces were involved in Mozabique. · In 1968, Soviet forces invaded Czechoslovakia. · In 1969, Soviet forces clashed with the Chinense army on Damansky Island. · In 1970, Soviet forces were involved in Cambodia. · In 1974, Soviet forces were involved in Bangladesh. · In 1975-1979, Soviet forces were involved in Angola. · In 1977, Soviet forces were involved in Ethiopia. · In 1978, Soviet forces were involved in Nicaragua. · In 1979, Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan and remained there for ten years. · In 1982, Soviet forces were involved in Syria and Lebanon. · In 1987, Soviet forces were involved in Chad. · In 1988, Soviet forces were involved in Karabakh. · In 1989, Soviet forces killed 19 and wounded 291 Georgians in Tbilisi. · In 1991, Soviet forces were involved in South Ossetia.rr · In 1991, Soviet forces killed 15 Lithuanians in Vilnius and attacked demonstrators in other Lithuanian cities. · In 1991, Soviet forces killed seven Latvians. · In 1991, Soviet forces killed three in Moscow. · In 1991, irregular Russian forces dispatched by Moscow participated in the war in Yugoslavia. · In 1992, Russian forces were involved in Abkhazia. · In 1992, Russian forces were involved in Tajikistan. · In 1992, Russian forces were involved in Moldova’s Trandniestria. · In 1993, Russian forces killed approximately 150 people in Moscow alone. · In 1994, Russian forces began the first Chechen war. · In 1999, Russian forces began the second Chechen war. · In 2008, Russian forces invaded Georgia. · In 2014, Russian forces invaded and annexed Crimea and occupied part of the Donbass. · In 2015, Russian forces became involved in Syria. And this listing does not include the 1962 Caribbean crisis or Moscow’s peacekeeping operations under UN auspices in Sierra Leon, Sudan, Burundi, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Liberia, Chad and Angola, Babchenko points out. But even leaving those out, he concludes, “the USSR and Russia in one or another degree took part in approximately 30 conflicts, that is, one war every two years,” a pattern that is hardly consistent with Moscow’s claims about peace since 1945. And it took losses: 17,000 killed in Soviet times, and an unknown but mounting number in Russian ones.
Paul Goble Staunton, May 6 – Unlike other fascist regimes which came to power either via force or elections, the one headed by Vladimir Putin arose by appointment, Igor Yakovenko says; but despite that, the regime he heads increasingly resembles other fascist regimes and justifies identifying it as “Putinist fascism.” “The uniqueness of the Putin regime of a fascist type,” the Moscow commentator writes, “is that it did not come to power either as a result of elections or by force. In Russia, there wasn’t a Beerhall putsch, a Kristallnacht, or a March on Rome.” Instead, Putin’s predecessors handed him power on a plate (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=590D589E39BBB). Some behind this “unique special operation” are still around, although many are horrified by what Putin has done, and some are now living abroad in “forced emigration.” Putin’s regime “has acquired fascist characteristics gradually as it has become obvious it couldn’t keep power by democratic means and as its crimes made any exit from office mortally dangerous.” “The formation of the dictatorship in Russia,” Yakovenko says, “coincided with the chain of ‘color revolutions’ in the world.” Looking at them as they unfolded, “Putin ever more became convinced that it was necessary to radically intensify the country’s repressive apparatus, to strengthen its internal army and use it in a war with its own population.” Putin was truly horrified by the Arab Spring in 2011 and the death of Muammar Qaddafi. The Kremlin leader, the commentator continues, could easily imagine something similar happening to himself. And those fears became even stronger when the Russian people demonstrated against his faked elections. Putin, of course, “understood that no one will kill him,” but he wasn’t going to take any chances and began to intensify repression at home and military adventurism abroad, a combination that justifies calling his regime a fascist one. That is all the more so because he created “his own personal army” to defend himself rather than Russia. Yakovenko notes that Khrushchev shot the Novocherkassk workers in 1962 without any qualms and that the Chinese similarly without qualms crushed the Tiananmen Square democracy protests in 1989 despite the certainty in the latter case at least that this would provoke an international outcry. But “the Putin dictatorship” is “immeasurably more dependent on the West” that either Khrushchev’s Soviet Union or Beijing’s China was despite its bravado about sanctions and much else. If pushed to the wall, Putin will kill his own people just as willingly as the others did, but he hopes to avoid that by repressing Russians in ways that won’t provoke the West. In the first instance, the Kremlin leader used “Surkov’s red guards,” Cossacks, extreme Russian nationalists, and anti-Maidan types. But he has moved ever more in the direction of those who resemble the stormtroopers of the Nazis with the formation in Russian-occupied portions of Ukraine of “semi-criminal groupings under the name SERB.” Set up by Sergey Glazyev, the SERB activists failed in their efforts to spread terror in Ukraine. But they have now come back to Russia where they “have been used to organize repression against the opponents of the Putin regime” as in the case of the chemical attack on Aleksey Navalny. It should be obvious that these “almost stormtroopers were created by the powers that be, are directed by them, and act under their protection.” But because they didn’t play a role in the Putin fascist regime coming to power, they are largely excluded from the higher echelons of its structures – and their inability to offer career advancement keeps them relatively small. “However, on the periphery of the Putin regime real storm trooper detachments have been emerging,” including the personal guard of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and “the bandits of the LDNR.” Both know what would happen to them if the Putin regime were to collapse and so will defend it to the end. Consequently, Yakovenko says, if Putin does go, these forces, because the regular army will stand aside, may play an outsized role in determining the direction Russia will go, the result of Putin’s actions and a poison pill that he has given Russia as part of his effort to save himself at any cost. Two other news items also speak to the rise of fascism in Putin’s Russia. Igor Eidman suggests the George ribbon Russians are encouraged or forced to wear is now “Putin’s swastika” (facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1477310795665228&id=100001589654713). And Russian parliamentarians say that the world must unite against the rebirth of fascism without acknowledging that the place where that is occurring most frighteningly is not somewhere far away but in Russia itself (regions.ru/news/2604012/).
Paul Goble Staunton, May 5 – The Foundation for the Development of Civil Society says in a 26-page report that “’a Putin majority’” exists and consists “not only of the traditionally supportive employees of the state, villagers and pensioners but also the restless youth.” But Gennady Gudkov says this majority is deceptive and could disappear almost instantly. The opposition politician tells Moskovsky komsomolets that “no phenomenon of support for Putin exists.” Instead, what is in evidence is “typical for any non-democratic country” (mk.ru/politics/2017/05/04/kult-lichnosti-putina-pochemu-reyting-vvp-dognal-aziatskikh-diktatorov.html a copy is available at newsland.com/community/4109/content/pochemu-reiting-vvp-dognal-aziatskikh-diktatorov/5815108). “The majority of the media have been transformed into weapons of propaganda that from morning to night celebrate the first person and no competitor to the ruler exists,” Gudkov says. “Russia today from the point of view of the monopoly of the authorities is exactly as were Iraq or Libya at one time. And even almost where North Korea now is.” The big difference between Russia and these states is that the country is more powerful than they and consequently the regime cannot be overthrown from the outside. Thus, “from this point of view, Putin is secure.” “But his entourage must understand that this historic maximum of support of the ruler in the course of one hour can be transformed into nothing if the pot of dissatisfaction begins to boil inside the country. In today’s world, Putin is ruler most beloved by his people after the North Korean despot who counts among his supporters many who are already dead. Russia is “a soft authoritarian regime … not a democracy. And all regimes love to soothe themselves by various investigations about the love of the people for their leader.” Thus, “there was ‘a Brezhnev majority’” 40 years ago, and today “there is ‘a Putin majority.” There were even majorities for Stalin and Nicholas II. These “majorities” exist because people want to be part of a majority and not attract the unwanted attentions of the powers that be to themselves as dissidents or opposition figures. The pollsters who do these surveys are “mostly honest,” but “sociology cannot show anything in a situation when the respondents are organically fearful of responding to questions honestly.” “The level of authoritarianism defines the level of sociological support of the leader,” Gudkov suggests. “If this is a harsh regime, support will be above 100 percent.” In places like Turkmenistan and Chechnya, this “support” approaches that figure even though Chechens are among the leaders of people seeking asylum in Europe. “Saddam Hussein had 99 percent support, but the [Iraqi] people did not form a human shield to defend him. And Qaddafi’s 99 percent didn’t help him. That pattern is typical because regime change in countries with harsh regimes occurs in way completely unexpected for the dictators themselves.” Putin “of course” isn’t as extreme a case as Hussein or Qaddafi, and that’s why some 20 percent of the Russian people can say they don’t support him without looking over their shoulders. But the Kremlin leader has “gone sufficiently far that the remaining 80 percent are afraid to do that.” Indeed, the thinness of this number is one of the reasons why the Putin regime is so insistent on repeating it. “Our powers that be are not stupid. They understand that their position is shaky and that all this support can disappear in an instant.” And when it does, the new majority will support the new dictator and condemn the one – Putin – he replaced. That has been true throughout modern Russian history because “the distance between popular love and popular hatred is a single step” as shown by what happened to Nicholas II, Stalin and Lenin, Gudkov says.
Paul Goble Staunton, May 5 – Workers in Russia are increasingly engaged in various forms of labor action, although most of these are not monitored by the government or attended to by the media or politicians; and ever more of these actions are the result of growing wage arrears, again a trend that official statistics underreport because they do not include the “black” economy. In March, Ivan Ovsyannikov says, Rosstat reported that less than one percent of all workers had money owed to them for their work, some 63,000 in all, and that their unpaid back wages amounted to only 3.6 billion rubles (60 million US dollars) (провэд.рф/society/social-organizations/42011-kak-lyudi-bopyutsya-za-svoyu-zapplatu-v-possii.html). Experts and activists say that the real numbers are far larger and even recall the horrific cases of the 1990s. As evidence, they point the increasing number of strikes and other actions, including violence against business owners and suicides, that workers have undertaken in the hopes of getting the money they are owed. The journalist cites Elena Gerasimov, the head of the Lawyers for Labor Rights Association, as saying that the primary reason wage arrears are underreported now is that about 15 million workers are now employed in the “black” sector of the economy. They are not counted by the state for most purposes, and they enjoy far fewer legal protections. The aristocracy of Russian workers now consists of those employed by foreign corporations. Below them are those employed by companies with foreign ties. And at the very bottom are those in the “black” segment of the marketplace who are working for other companies rather than for the state. The latter arrangement gives workers some leverage. There is one major difference between the wage arrears of the 1990s and those now. In the earlier period, most of the wages not paid were simply pocketed by managers and owners for their own purposes. Now, in many cases, owners are putting the money they keep from workers back into the company, leading many workers to assume that this is just the way things now are. Recently, the Moscow Center for Economic and Political Reforms said that last year there were 1141 cases of worker conflict, 79.4 percent of which involved wage arrears. Not all these cases led to strikes, but in the 419 which did, slightly over half – 54 percent – were about workers not having been paid. These figures were twice as bad as three years earlier. When workers strike or complain to government officials, they are often successful in getting the money they are owed. More important, activists say, almost all successful efforts become models for others in neighboring areas. That is because success spreads via word of mouth given that the official media often doesn’t report such actions. One intriguing finding of the center’s research: ethnic Russians are far less likely to take action to get the pay they are owed than are Central Asian gastarbeiters. According to Ovsvannikov, the reason is this: Russians can quit and change jobs far more easily than can the Central Asians. The latter thus have few choices but to stand and fight. Such labor actions rarely attract the support of opposition parties because they see little chance of politicizing the movement, even though many of these parties talk constantly about the need for the refrigerator to defeat the television. They are making a mistake, activists say, because worker solidarity by itself has a political meaning.
Over the last week, Russians protested more often, on more issues, and in more locations than at any point in the last five years. A major reason for this is that while the authorities typically responded with repressive measures, in some cases as in that of the possible demolition of five-storey apartment blocks in Moscow, they responded by making concessions, thus demonstrating that collective action can work (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=590985F697EBD). Among the protests were those by peoples of the North against oil companies (nazaccent.ru/content/23975-v-internete-proshel-fleshmob-v-zashitu.html), support for Navalny and the Russian opposition in Tomsk (newsland.com/community//content/na-miting-oppozitsii-v-tomske-vyshlo-okolo-200-chelovek/5806160), 1000 Buryats demanded the ouster of a local district head (asiarussia.ru/news/16080/). Nonetheless, the powers that be continued to think about taking steps that almost certainly will guarantee more protests (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=590ADE05C6754) and use various repressive actions and threats against protesters (ekhokavkaza.com/a/28465384.html andyuga.ru/news/414811/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter).
Posted 4 May 2017 16:33 GMT A new mobile app for protesters in Russia called “Red Button” went live for the first time in late April. The app became available just in time for anti-Putin demonstrations on April 29, organized by the “Open Russia” movement, whose sister organizations in Britain were recently outlawed by the Russian…
Russia is rapidly descending into “a swamp of illegality and unconstrained banditry” in large measure because those features of the Donbas regimes Moscow has created are rapidly spreading back into and across the country, according to Arkady Babchenko, Euromaidan Press reports. News 06 May from UNIAN.
Paul Goble Staunton, May 5 – Russia’s long-haul truckers struck to force Moscow to drop its plans have them pay new and higher fees. There is little indication that the center is ready to back down. But there did appear to be some room for compromise if the Plato system fees were used to meet some of the trucker’s other concerns – better roads and weight control. But any possibility for such an outcome has been much reduced given that the company collecting the fees from the truckers has decided not to take part in the establishment of an automated weight control system that many drivers would like to have, Vedomosti reported today (vedomosti.ru/economics/articles/2017/05/05/688810-platona-sistemi-kontrolya). The Russian government has been working to introduce a better and more automated weight control system given that so many trucks are carrying too much cargo and damaging the roads as a result, but budgetary stringencies mean that this project is unlikely to be fully operational anytime soon. Had Plato fees gone to that end and to improving the highways in other ways, many drivers might have been peeled away from the strike; but the company’s decision, obviously backed by the government, not to make that kind of investment means that many drivers will again view the new system as simply an effort to take money from them and give nothing back. As a result, many truckers will likely restart their strike after the May holidays end, and that will leave the government with few options besides using force, possibly setting the stage for clashes, including violent ones, between the drivers and the siloviki. And any such clashes especially if they come to be widely known will give the Kremlin another black eye that it clearly doesn’t need.
Vigilante chemical attacks against Kremlin critics. Teachers berating — and even threatening — students for supporting the opposition. Online video smear campaigns against opposition leaders. And Vladimir Putin’s regime is shocked — shocked! –and has absolutely nothing to do with any of it. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Don’t look now, but the Kremlin’s campaign against the opposition appears to have gone hybrid. On this week’s Power Vertical Podcast, we look at the rising protest mood in Russia and the degree to which vigilante attacks on opposition leaders like Aleksei Navalny are sanctioned by the regime. Joining me is co-host Mark Galeotti, a senior research fellow at the Institute of International Relations in Prague, a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, and author of the blog In Moscow’s Shadows; and journalist and playwright Natalia Antonova, an associate editor at OpenDemocracy-Russia. Enjoy…
The author of the map is a public man Yermek Narymbay, who moved from Kazakhstan to Ukraine because he was convicted in his country for criticizing the Nazarbayev regime. He published a map on his Facebook page, and later a Ukrainian blogger Alexei Kovalenko (Evil Odessite), commented on the image on his page in LiveJournal. With the help of color, the author showed what territories Russia seized at different times and what territory really belongs to it. It is the blue color that shows the borders of Russia itself, and the red marks the annexed and captured regions that the Kremlin has included in its “empire.” In yellow, the author marked the autonomy of indigenous peoples.
Russia’s Ministry of Defense has confirmed two of its nuclear-capable bombers, flanked by two multi-role fighter jets, brushed near Alaskan airspace earlier this week. The ministry confirmed the deployment on Facebook on Friday, posting video of the flight that took place on Wednesday. The flight
Jehovah’s Witnesses are subject to restrictive policies around the globe.
Dzmitry Mitskevich On February-March, we reported on the protests against the “social parasites” tax that swept over Belarus, mobilizing unprecedented social activity and solidarity. The Belarusian authorities responded with a brutal crackdown and detainment of over a thousand activists, and has now launched a state discreditation campaign against the protesters which carries many similarities to the approaches state propaganda in Russia takes to discredit popular movements. On 21 March 2017, the Belarusian authorities began a program of repression against civil society activists, which is still ongoing. These measures followed mass protests of the population against the unpopular economic policies of the government, including the famous decree on ‘social parasites’. The work of the state propaganda machine goes hand in hand with this process. It aims to instil fear into the population with tales of terrorist and nationalist ‘threats’. These stories also serve to justify the state’s overblown response to the protests, as well as improve the image of law enforcement agencies. However, the propaganda effort has largely failed. Instead, what became obvious was their plan to increase repression and control over society, as well as the poor quality of state media.
03.05.2017 | Halya Coynash On the third anniversary of the tragic riots and fire in Odesa on 2 May, 2014 which killed 48 people, both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the state-controlled Russian media have continued to push the propaganda line that this was a ‘massacre’ by Ukrainian nationalists. Since the Kremlin-funded Russia Today [RT]…
On the third anniversary of the tragic riots and fire in Odesa on May 2, 2014, both Vladimir Putin and the Russian media have again pushed the propaganda ‘Odesa Massacre’ narrative. Since they quote international reports which gave quite different conclusions, there can be no suggestion that the lies are not deliberate. –
Emmanuel Macron: ‘Le Pen comes up with this. She has troops behind her.’ By Jason Murdock May 5, 2017 16:37 BST A 200-strong collective of French-language Twitter accounts were involved in a coordinated campaign to spread misinformation by using “fake news” from troll-website 4Chan to damage the reputation of presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, it has…
That’s what Russian propaganda site Sputnik’s Paris-based editor in chief Nataliya Novikova told the New York Times when asked about false stories published about France’s presidential contender…
Andriy Artemenko, the "back-door diplomat" who allegedly pitched a so-called plan to resolve the conflict with Russia onto the desk of Trump's national security adviser (at the time) Michael Flynn, has been deprived of Ukrainian citizenship by a presidential decree, according to the State Migration Service. News 05 May from UNIAN.
Russian-occupation troops continue their armed provocations against the Ukrainian government forces as 63 shellings of Ukraine’s positions were recorded in the last day, the press center of the Anti-Terrorist Operation Staff wrote on Facebook. News 06 May from UNIAN.
06.05.17 10:26 – Five Ukrainian soldiers wounded as militants launched 63 attacks, – ATO HQ The pro-Russian hybrid forces continue shelling the positions of the Ukrainian army in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) zone. View news.
Instead of Russian salaries and pensions, of which crowds dreamed on the squares in 2014, the residents of the so-called "DPR" (self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic) now receive handouts that do not match the size of even those payments they had received before the war, journalist Denis Kazansky wrote on his website. News 05 May from UNIAN.
06.05.17 12:58 – My great-grandmother survived Buchenwald and Reykjavik, – ‘DPR’ leader Zakharchenko. VIDEO The leader of the terrorist ‘DPR’ (‘Donetsk People’s Republic’) Alexander Zakharchenko said that his great-grandmother had been kept in the ”Reykjavik” concentration camp. View video news.
06.05.17 14:34 – Valentyn Kovalskyi, severely wounded at Saur-Mohyla in 2014, died. PHOTO On Friday, May 5, Ukrainian soldier Valentyn Kovalskyi, who was severely wounded in July 2014 in battles near Saur-Mohyla in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) zone, passed away. View photo news.
06.05.17 11:55 – Russian border guards attempted to seize Ukrainian cutter near Crimea Ukrainian sailors recorded a capture attempt. View news.
During the regular crew training routine by Ukraine’s Maritime Search and Rescue Service in the Black Sea off the coast of Skadovsk, the Russian military vessel tried to seize the Ukrainian rescue boat, as reported by the press service of the Ministry of Infrastructure. News 05 May from UNIAN.
There are 128 Ukrainian citizens held hostage by Russian-backed Donbas militants, while ten more Ukrainians remain in captivity in the territory of the Russian Federation, according to Yuriy Tandit, the adviser of the SBU head, Ukraine's TV Channel 5 reported. News 06 May from UNIAN.
05.05.17 18:18 – SBU bars Russian TV presenter Varnava from entering Ukraine The Security Service of Ukraine banned the entry into the country by Russian TV hostess, Comedy Woman TV show star Yekaterina Varnava. View news.
As preparations for the Eurovision Song Contest moved into higher gear in Kiev on Friday, last year’s winner urged her fellow Ukrainians not to allow any provocations from Russia to spoil the event.
Politics are never far beneath the surface at Eurovision.
Steven Seagal has been barred from entering Ukraine after the action star received Russian citizenship. The US-born actor is one of many cultural figures to be blacklisted as fighting between Russian rebels and Ukrainian forces escalate in eastern Ukraine.
Olena Makarenko Kyiv has already opened its doors for tourists coming to see the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. We at Euromaidan Press want to take you beyond the city as it looks on TV or in a banal tour guide, to pull open the curtain on how it really lives. Let’s start from the things which you probably don’t expect.
In the Kerch Strait, where the construction of Kerch bridge is underway to connect the Russian-annexed Crimea with mainland Russia, the floating crane crew managed to raise from the sea bottom an American P40 “Kittyhawk” fighter plane that crashed into the sea at the times of World War 2, according to media reports. News 06 May from UNIAN.
Официальный канал информационного агентства “Крыминформ” http://www.c-inform.info/
Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports
A State Department spokesman said that the agreement does not “preclude anyone from going after terrorists wherever they may be in Syria.”
Posted 4 May 2017 18:33 GMT Iranian authorities seemingly haven’t given up their decades-long efforts to discredit the office of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in Iran, which is tasked with reporting and highlighting the human rights abuses that the government denies are a problem. The latest attempt came in the form of an…
05.05.17 17:54 – Syrian terrorists use advanced night vision devices produced in Russia Military experts examining weapons of terrorists eliminated in Syria found that the snipers of Islamic State and Al-Nusra Front banned in the Russian Federation use night vision sights with electronic components produced by Russian… View news.
Russian energy monopoly Gazprom has completed the preparatory work on the Turkish Stream gas pipeline and intends to start laying its sea section in the coming days, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller told Russian President Vladimir Putin at their latest meeting, Prime news agency reports. News 05 May from UNIAN.
DPRK / PRC Reports
Even while further developing its nuclear program, North Korea has maintained—up until the death of leader Kim Jong-il in 2011—the position that “denuclearization was the final wish of Kim Il-sung,” then that “denuclearization was the final wish of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il.” At the same time, North Korea has emphasized that denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula is not about North Korea unilaterally giving up its nuclear program, but that it includes the denuclearization of the area around the peninsula, and the resolution of the US threat. A July 2016 statement from a North Korean spokesperson similarly emphasized the “denuclearization final wish” while promising not to wield nuclear weapons as a threat, and simultaneously demanding the withdrawal of US forces from the Korean Peninsula. China has long argued that for a solution to the North Korean nuclear issue, it is necessary to also find a solution for the interests of related parties, including North Korea and its demands. Yang Xiyu, who was interviewed by the China Daily, also argued in a separate contributing piece from January that even while thoroughly dismantling the nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula, there needs to be a thorough solution to the reasonable concerns of North Korea in regards to security and the economy. The abrupt focussed mention of the “denuclearization final wish” by the Chinese state-run media, which is unlikely to be unaware of this historical context, is seen by some as the consequence of the recent battle between North Korean and Chinese state-run media outlets. Even the overseas social media account of the Chinese Communist Party bulletin, the People’s Daily, published posts on May 4 criticizing Kim Il-sung’s role in the Korean War. The post questioned whether there would have been a war on the Korean Peninsula if Kim Il-sung had not attempted to unify the peninsula, and also claimed that because China was drawn into the war, tens of thousands of Chinese lives were lost, there followed 20 years of conflict between the US and China, and that even the Taiwan issue remained neglected. In short, that China has had to pay the price for most the North Korea’s rash, ill-advised actions. This is a clear deviation from the conventional Chinese view of the Korean War as a US attempt at expansion, and the idealization of China’s participation in the war as “helping North Korea and resisting the US.” This sudden flare-up between the Chinese and North Korean media outlets could be a reflection of the worsened relations between the two countries. In this vein, in the field of international relations in China, there are some arguing for the need to reexamine China’s policy towards North Korea, including the China-North Korea alliance. Yet there still remain those with opposing views, who claim that while denuclearization may be important, the geopolitical value of North Korea and the Korean Peninsula is equally important.
North Korea has issued a rare direct criticism of China through a commentary saying its “reckless remarks” on the North’s nuclear program are testing its patience and could trigger unspecified “grave” consequences.
For the first time, North Korea has lashed out at China. The neighboring country is North Korea’s most important ally and benefactor. China accounts for 90 percent of North Korea’s …
North Korea accuses Chinese media of making “absurd and reckless remarks” about Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.
There is a quiet effort underway to tone down any military rhetoric that could lead to North Korea viewing the Pentagon as warmongering, several US military officials have told CNN.
What’s next from North Korea? With last month’s failed missile launch, Kim Jong Un’s regime is ratcheting up its face-saving missile-flexing to the next level, with a rumored test of a nuclear warhead.
Satellite imagery shows new activity at North Korea’s main nuclear weapons site as Pyongyang warns the “dark clouds of a nuclear war hang heavily.”
Think assassinations, bombings and kidnappings.
05-03-2017 (Photo: ) http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/contact http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/schedules Twitter: @BatchelorShow PRC vs DPRK combat on the Korean Peninsula. Rick Fisher, International Assessment & Strategy Center. “After a productive phone call between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Chinese state-run media reported that a force of 150,000 troops went to North Korea’s border. International observers fear that North Korea may conduct another nuclear test this weekend on the anniversary of the founding of the Kim regime, but the US has broadcast loud and clear that nuclear posturing in the Korean peninsula will no longer be tolerated, and the Chinese seem to be stepping up to help…” https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/04/12/china-reportedly-sent-150-000-troops-to-north-koreas-border-h/22037672/
Almost no one talks about North Korean capabilities to make an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, except to ignorantly dismiss and belittle the possibility, as did National Public Radio (NPR) in an interview with EMP non-expert Jeffrey Lewis on April 27. Yet, the very pundits who claim North Korea has not developed reentry vehicles or accurate guidance systems or sufficiently reliable missiles should be most concerned about EMP attack — which requires none of these. An EMP attack entails detonating a nuclear weapon at high-altitude, above the atmosphere, so no reentry vehicle is necessary to penetrate the atmosphere and blast a city. The area of effect of an EMP is so enormous — a warhead detonated at an altitude of 30 kilometers will generate an EMP field on the ground having a radius of 600 kilometers — that an accurate guidance system is unnecessary. And the mass destruction of electronics and blackout of electric grids over such a vast region would be so injurious that missile reliability matters little — only one nuclear missile needs to work to deliver an EMP attack against an entire nation. Academics and press pundits, who typically know nothing about EMP, mistakenly assert that a high-yield megaton-class (1,000 kilotons) nuclear weapon is needed for an EMP attack, whereas North Korea’s most powerful test was between 20 to 30 kilotons. But a high-yield weapon is not necessary to make an EMP attack. I am looking at an unclassified U.S. Government chart that shows a 10-kiloton warhead (the power of the Hiroshima A-Bomb) detonated at an altitude of 70 kilometers will generate an EMP field inflicting upset and damage on unprotected electronics.
On April 26, NPR interviewed Ambassador R. James Woolsey, former Director of Central Intelligence, who correctly warned listeners that the biggest and most immediate threat from North Korea is its capability to perform an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack by satellite, which could plunge the entire U.S. into a protracted blackout. North Korea currently has two satellites orbiting over the U.S. on trajectories consistent with making a surprise EMP attack. The Congressional EMP Commission, on which Ambassador Woolsey serves as senior adviser, estimates that a nationwide blackout lasting one year could kill up to 90 percent of the American people from starvation and societal collapse. NPR was not really interested in Woolsey’s warning about the North Korean EMP threat, the interviewer only commenting, “I never heard of that.” Instead, NPR was interviewing Woolsey about President Trump’s first 100 days, fishing for some negative comment from the former Trump adviser, which they did not get. The next day, on April 27, NPR science editor Geoff Brunfield (who, according to his NPR bio, has a Master’s in science writing from Johns Hopkins University) interviewed EMP non-expert Jeffrey Lewis in a segment titled “The North Korean Electromagnetic Pulse Threat, Or Lack Thereof.” Why Brunfield would interview Jeffrey Lewis about EMP, and not the vastly more knowledgeable former Director of Central Intelligence Jim Woolsey, is explicable only as a combination of incompetence and possible NPR bias against the “politically incorrect” EMP threat. Lewis opened the interview by laughing hysterically for nearly a minute at the warning by former CIA Director Woolsey and the Congressional EMP Commission that a North Korean EMP attack would have catastrophic consequences. According to Lewis, the 1962 Starfish Prime high-altitude nuclear test proves that EMP is relatively harmless because the Hawaiian Islands were not destroyed, merely damaged a little. And L
In the wake of resurfacing concerns that North Korea could launch an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack against the United States, Jack Liu explains the physics
But isn’t Kim Jong-un irrational—even crazy? The same was said of both Stalin and Mao in their times. Yet both were deterred
Pyongyang reacts angrily to use of huge U.S. bombers in drill with S. Korea; THAAD anti-missile system in initial operational phase in S. Korea, U.S. says
South Korea’s US-supplied THAAD is now operational, but it’s no magic bullet.North Korea CIA plot allegation – full text – BBC NewsThe full text of a statement released by the North Korean government accusing the CIA of a plot.
North Korea is not holding back words of condemnation after U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., called leader Kim Jong Un a “whack job.”
PM has seized on the “bitter resentment” North Korea had recently expressed against China.
The Pentagon is reportedly seeing further signs of cooperation between Iran and North Korea over their missile programs.
A local version of Spam. Smartphones, or two, for everyone. Amid escalating U.S.-North Korea tensions, former journalist Jean Lee visits Pyongyang and finds that, at least there, life has improved.
“Bali! Bali!” (Quicker! Quicker!) When I first heard those words, I was only 17 kilometers into the marathon’s 42, and I was already in all sorts of trouble. Having trained all winter in the miserable UK weather, southeast Asia’s timid sunrays were enough to burn me out—and a bit early for such a long race….
For years, there have been rumours that North…
When North Korea tests a nuclear weapon, the blast sends a jolt of energy through the Earth — one that could potentially trigger a volcanic eruption on its border with China.
As South Koreans prepare to go to the polls on May 9, many feel that Seoul is becoming increasingly sidelined in multilateral discussions over the question of
South Korean opinion polls suggest that the fall of Park Geun-hye, the country’s ousted, jailed president now awaiting a corruption trial, has doomed conservatives in next week’s presidential election.
A former anti-government student leader, Moon Jae-in stands poised to succeed ousted leader Park Geun-hye, the daughter of the slain South Korean dictator who jailed him in the 1970s.
A source says the government will explore the idea of acquiring and deploying Tomahawk missiles in case it has to take out North Korean missile sites.
The oldest fear in the post-World War II era is back with a vengeance in Trump’s presidency
The Federation Council of Russia has reacted to the US bill on tightening sanctions against North Korea. According to the document, Washington has the right to take control of Russian ports in Primorsky Krai‘
A senior Russian senator says the American bill allowing the US Navy to enforce international sanctions on North Korea through the control of Russian ports is a violation of international law, and is equal to a declaration of war.
As the US government ponders whether to attempt to establish control over several of Russia’s Far Eastern ports, it remains unclear how such a feat could be accomplished without causing severe consequences.
The United States should leave port management in the Russian Far East to Moscow and focus on its own affairs, Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev said Friday.
The US has approved a bill which envisages control over foreign vessels that have stayed in North Korea’s national sea over the past 365 days
A Russian senator comments on a the US House of Representatives’ bill tightening sanctions against North Korea
Foreign Policy Reports
Leading French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has been the victim of a “massive and coordinated hacking operation,” after files purporting to be from the campaign were posted online via social media, his campaign said Friday.
Few doubted Richard Burr, head of the US Senate intelligence committee, when he said in March that, “the Russians are actively involved in the French elections.” The news today of a massive online leak of emails from the campaign of Emmanuel Macron, the centrist who is leading the polls, adds weight to that suspicion. An internet security firm…
The campaign team of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron said it had been the victim of a "massive hacking attack" after a trove of documents was released online.
The claim came in the closing hours of a contentious campaign for the French presidential election, set for Sunday.
A trove of internal campaign documents was posted online, campaign staff for the French presidential candidate said.
A physicist in France has worked out the maths to try to show that it’s not impossible for Marine Le Pen to become French president on May 7th.
Even if the worst is avoided this Sunday in France&rsquo;s election, all the European elite will get is a time-limited chance to mend its ways.
US Domestic Policy Reports
He’s the second Trump pick for the post to withdraw from the confirmation process.
Senators want answers about a Justice Department complaint that the opposition research firm behind the debunked Trump dossier was funded by Russians.
The step by the Senate Intelligence Committee in its investigation into Russian election meddling may be a way to open a path to subpoenas if needed.
Senior members of President Trump’s transition team warned former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn against communicating with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, The Washington Post reported Friday. The transition officials told Flynn that Kislyak’s conversations were likely being monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies and sought to warn Flynn of the risks of talking to the ambassador, even requesting a classified CIA profile of Kislyak from the Obama administration. Flynn was forced to resign in February amid revelations that he had discussed U.S. sanctions with Kislyak in the month before Trump took office and failed to disclose the conversations to senior White House officials.
The former national security adviser was told weeks before a phone call that led to his resignation that the Russian’s communications were sure to be monitored.
Former U.S. intel officials and current congressional sources say Russians will try to exploit vulnerabilities and spread misinformation as investigation unfolds
FBI Director James Comey considered an anti-Trump dossier compiled by a former British intelligence officer so important that he insisted the document be included in January’s final intelligence community report on Russian meddling in the U.S. election, Fox News was told.
“Of course the Australians have better healthcare than we do — everybody does,” he tweeted.
Australia’s prime minister on Friday described his first meeting with President Donald Trump as “more family than formal,” as the Australian ended a brief visit to New York planned to set the tone of bilateral relations with the Republican administration.