Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Media Update – 12 May 2017


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting

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The MSM orgy of speculation around the firing of Comey is now making it difficult to find actual news reports on Russia using Google News Search – 90 percent or more of traffic is either speculative nonsense around the matter or patently T3 traffic.

A Russian FLANKER harasses a USN P-8A over the Black Sea. SECDEF suggests Patriot deployment in the Baltics, which should have happened in early 2014. Pavlova essay on Putinist ideology is good – it is indeed a curious melange of Communist, and some Tsarist, ideological constructs with the Communist facade removed. Truckers have a win in the Caucasus, but are apt to be rebuffed by the Moscow Duma. Support for Putin eroding in polling. Jehovah’s Witness’ house firebombed. In Belarus, harassment of rebellious police officers continues, while regime licenses Syrian regime to build MAZ vehicles.

Sixteen nice reports on IO/cyber, including Russian exploratory attacks on Baltic States’ power grid. Russian play with SMS messaging very popular with Western MSM.

Ukraine news dominated by POTUS/VPOTUS meeting and EU visa free travel, with Poroshenko’s comment that this finalizes the Divorce From Russian Empire” making for Western MSM headlines. US Congressional delegation in Kyiv discussing military aid. DNI Coats predicts long term persistent Russian campaign to sabotage Ukraine’s integration with the West – which will of course turn ever more Ukrainians against Russia. Donbas fires continue major bombardment of Mariupol, more reports from the Surkov disclosure. More defence industry deals signed with Turkey.

DPRK threatens to punish hostages and producing more bizarre propaganda stunts. Debate over best move continues. Excellent essay by Euan Graham @ Lowy. Some excellent reports on the PRC Silk Road effort, including the challenges they confront, but not discussing very likely Russian sabotage in Central Asia – China’s agreement with other participants to standardize on English language would be cause for apoplexy across Muscovy.

France and Germany leading Europe topics. Anti-Russian protests in Moldova.

[Ed. Note. The vast majority of US domestic political reporting was removed]


Russia / Russophone Reports


Russian Fighter Jet Comes Within 20 Feet of U.S. Navy Plane: Official – NBC News

Russia’s Ministry of Defense said the fighter had been scrambled due to “an air target approaching the Russian state border” over the Black Sea.

Russian fighter jet comes with 20 feet of US Navy aircraft, official says | Fox News

A Russian fighter jet approached within 20 feet of a U.S. Navy aircraft over the Black Sea on Tuesday, U.S. defense officials told Fox News.

Turchynov: Russia Intends to Bear the Suwalki Corridor – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk

The objective of the West-2017 military exercises is the training of the attack on Lithuania and Poland. Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov said that during the West-2017 exercises the Russians would train to bear down the Suwalki Gap, which in reality is impossible without aggression against Lithuania and Poland. This is told in a large special project liga.net dedicated to the triennial of the Russian-Ukrainian war “War-2017”. According to Turchinov, the restoration of Russia’s borders within the framework of the former Soviet Union is one of the priorities of the Kremlin. “It is what Russian propaganda is working at, as well as special and security services. But the attempt to return Ukraine, which, according to Brzeziński’s assessment, is the core element the reanimation of the Empire is not possible without has obviously failed to gain traction”, he states. According to Turchynov, in order to fulfill its goal the regime of Moscow applies the technology of drawing in and “tight ties to its interests” in relation to its neighbors. “Here comes the influence on elections, on personnel appointments, financial or energy (gas, oil) doping, the deployment of military bases, the creation of a military quasi-union (CSTO – the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which includes Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan). Well, in case of breaking the rules of the game these states will face the scheme for the replacement of the leadership or a banal military force,” the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council said. In addition, he recalls that Russia does not stop trying to strengthen its influence in the Balkans. Speaking proof of it is a recent attempt of coup d’état in Montenegro. The National Security Council notes that Russia’s aggressive policy is noticeable in its preparations of joint exercises with offensive operations between the Russian Federation and Belarus. “The objective of the Russian military exercises is to check the readiness of troops to conduct large-scale operations with strict time restrictions on their preparation. The exercises also intend to bear the Suwalki corridor, which in reality is impossible without aggression against Lithuania and Poland,” the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council informs.

Russia blames US for “atmosphere of Cold War,” Mattis warns Patriot missiles in Lithuania possible over Putin’s war games – CBS News

As U.S. warns Putin's military build-up on Europe's doorstep could be met with Patriot missiles, Kremlin

U.S. Criticizes Russian Buildup In Baltics, May Temporarily Deploy Patriot Missiles

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has criticized what he called a &quot;destabilizing&quot; Russian military buildup near the Baltic states, as officials said the United States was considerin…

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia’s Ideology is ‘Traditional Great Powerness Cleansed of Communism,’ Pavlova Says

Paul Goble Staunton, May 11 – Both supporters and critics of the Putin regime often say his regime lacks an ideology – Aleksandr Podrabinek is only the latest (svoboda.org/a/28471232.html) – but in fact, Irina Pavlova says, it does: “traditional Russian great powerness (velikoderzhaviye), cleansed of communism and dressed up in Orthodox clothing.” Not only should this be obvious to even a casual observer as such events as the just-concluded celebrations of Victory Day, the US-based Russian historian argues that the chord that this ideology has struck with the Russian people, one much deeper than communism ever did, explains support for Putin and Putinism (ivpavlova.blogspot.com/2017/05/blog-post_10.html). The majority of the Russian population accepts the idea that Russia must be a great power regardless of the price because it is surrounded by enemies, Pavlova says. Indeed, one can say that “if you ‘scratch’ a Russian, you will find a great power chauvinist.” Russians are ready to “talk for hours” about the greatness of Russia and its power. This is “a fait accompli” and it won’t be significantly changed if it is adopted as a formal ideological platform, the historian continues. Attachment to the core ideas of greatpowerness “unites the powers, the elite, the people of Russia and also a significant part of progressive society” elsewhere. This idea has its roots in the 16th century idea of Moscow as “the third Rome.” Over time, “this idea was transformed into an ideology” and now has taken the form of what may be called “Russian fundamentalism,” whose followers accept without question four key notions without asking that they be proven. First, Russians believe that “the Russian people is the bearer of a special morality and a special feeling of justice.” Second, they reject “the spiritless West as a model of societal development. Third, they have a “vision of the future of Russia as an empire.” And fourth, they are “certain of its special and unique historical mission.” That is an ideology, Pavlova says, whatever those who deny its existence suggest.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia’s Truckers Win Biggest Victory Yet: Daghestan to Press for Repeal of Plato System

Paul Goble Staunton, May 12 – Parliamentarians of the North Caucasus Republic of Daghestan, which has been the center of the long-haul truckers strike, plan to call on the Russian Duma to repeal the Plato fee system that the drivers oppose, according to prime minister Abdusamad Gamidov (kavkaz.versia.ru/vlasti-dagestana-poobeshhali-posodejstvovat-otmene-platona). Gamidov’s words are likely intended to reduce the pressure the truckers have put on Makhachkala and to show Moscow that the republic authorities are trying to find a way to end the strike which has paralyzed much of the long-haul traffic in the southern portions of the Russian Federation. And they do not mean by themselves that the Russian Duma in Moscow will agree to this step. Nonetheless, this represents a significant victory for the long-haul drivers because the republic government will find it very difficult to back down from its promise regardless of what the central Russian government does. Indeed, it could set the stage for a situation in which Daghestani officials would simply ignore Moscow’s demands to collect the Plato fees lest they provoke an even larger labor action by the drivers, an outcome that would certainly inspire long haul truckers in other parts of the country to adopt the same strategy. The Daghestani prime minister also promised to improve the operation of the republic’s only weigh station and to raise the issue of taxes on gasoline in Moscow, two of the truckers’ other demands. In short, Makhachkala which for so long had refused even to meet with the drivers has now agreed to be their spokesman and representative in the Russian capital. Meanwhile, there have been two other reports about the truckers strike today that deserve broader attention. According to the first, Kabardino-Balkarskaya Pravda reports federal officials have issued more than 500 fines to truckers for failing to sign up with the Plato system (http://kbr.news-r.ru/news/society/102976/). And according to the second, which provides additional details on the First Congress of Yakutsk Long-Haul Truckers that took place earlier, that meeting featured heated protests by the 300 delegates about the Plato system despite earlier reports officials had managed to refocus the session on other issues (transler.ru/news/cargo/perviy_sezd_yakutskih_dalnoboyschikov.html). But perhaps the most fateful statement at the meeting came from one long-haul trucker who said that the authorities had best address the drivers’ objections to the Plato system and other regulations or they will face the likelihood that many northern villages and even cities will not get the food supplies in they will need to survive next winter.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kremlin Worried about 20 Percent of Putin Supporters Who are Seen as ‘Vacillating’

Paul Goble Staunton, May 11 – In the clearest indication yet that even Vladimir Putin doesn’t believe in the much-ballyhooed 86 percent support his backers claim, his Presidential Administration is currently soliciting ideas on ways to keep in his column the roughly 20 percent of the electorate who say they support Putin but are judged to be “vacillating” on that point. Znak journalist Yekaterina Vinokurova writes that “the Presidential Administration is collecting proposals about work with ‘vacillating loyalists,’ the number of whom may be up to 20 percent of the total number of voters,” according to two sources close to the Kremlin (znak.com/2017-05-10/kreml_ichet_put_k_serdcu_koleblyuchihsya_storonnikov_putina). The Presidential Administration has contacted expert groups ranging “from Aleksey Kudrin’s Committee on Civic Initiative to the recently established Expert Institute of Social Research under Andrey Shutov,” they say. Most agree that Putin’s base electorate is about 77 percent and that those counted above that number are “vacillating” and might shift. Some of the vacillating are objecting to specific local issues; others are simply longing for a clearer picture of the future or more focus on foreign policy; and still others want to see something new in Russia given that Putin has been in power for so long, the two sources continue. One analyst with whom Vinokurova said, political scientist Abbas Gallyamov said that Putin like any candidate must first secure his base and then focus on how to reach out to others. Doing the first comes almost naturally because it largely requires continuing to do what has been done; doing the second is more challenging. “One must understand why they are vacillating, what blocks them from joining your base and then formulating a message” that will reach them. But according to Gallyamov, Putin’s “main problem” isn’t one of content. Few Russians see an alternative to Putin, but the length of time Putin has been in power inevitably has given rise to desire to see something new. The electorate wants variety and change, he says. “Therefore, the main task of the Presidential Administration is to think up something that will reduce this desire for renewal to a minimum. Typically, foreign threats are used to do that … [But] the problem is that people have had enough of foreign policy and the search for enemies hasn’t generated much emotion.” “If the powers that be now begin to frighten the electorate, the risk will increase that some one of the competitors having organized a demonstratively positive campaign full of hope will take away from Putin an indecent number of votes. So the problem of vacillating loyalists as very serious and does not have obvious solutions.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: USSR Lasted 11 Years after Moscow Olympiad: Will Putin’s Russia Last as Long After Sochi or the World Cup?

Paul Goble Staunton, May 11 – Kremlin leaders have always devoted particular attention to sporting events, using them to boost their image at home and abroad and to cover or at least distract attention from their aggressive and repressive actions, only to discover that these high-profile actions often adumbrate the collapse of all their hopes and dreams. In 1980, shortly after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, Leonid Brezhnev hosted an Olympiad diminished by a Western boycott, hoping to distract attention from that and from Soviet weakness. That effort failed: What the Kremlin hoped would make the USSR look powerful only highlighted its fundamental weaknesses. Eleven years later, it was gone. More recently, Vladimir Putin, who is even more interested in using sporting events to boost himself and to hide his increasing weakness and repressiveness, sought to use the Sochi Olympiad to cover his increasing aggressiveness toward Russia’s neighbors and his increasing repression at home. Now, looking toward what he hopes will be an equally successful operation in the form of the 2018 World Cup, the Russian president is adopting ever more bombastic, aggressive and repressive moves that for thoughtful people in both Russia and the West only underscore the weaknesses of his regime. And they raise a serious question: will Putin’s regime last any longer after Sochi than Brezhnev’s did after Moscow? Or will the second act of this drama of imperial and national decline, one that began long before 1980, conclude even sooner and more pathetically, albeit more explosively, than did the first? A group of Russian and Western analysts have examined that broader issue in a new book, Russia in Decline (Washington, DC: Jamestown, 2017, xv + 366 pp.). Edited by S. Enders Wimbush and Elizabeth M. Portale, it contains 17 essays exploring various aspects of this problem. The current author is proud to have been asked to write the foreward to this volume. Now, a Moscow commentator, Anton Orekh, has focused specifically on what might be called the Olympic link. In an essay this week, he argues that Putin’s use of sports competitions represents simply the latest update of Brezhnev’s in 1980 and that it may prove equally fateful in ways the Kremlin doesn’t want (echo.msk.ru/blog/oreh/1978554-echo/). “Sport has recommended itself [historically] as a universal means for achieving any goals,” Orekh says. “With the help of sports, one can solve certain infrastructure problems of cities where the Olympiad, the Universal, or the World Cup competition will take place. And at one and the same time, solve one’s own problems as well,” personal and political. International athletic competitions for Russia in particular are “a beautiful addition to the Georgian ribbons … for now, every gold medal will allow for reasserting the indisputable advantages of our capitalist system,” the Moscow analyst argues. The Sochi games both in terms of how they were prepared and what they led to are an “already tested model” for the future. As Putin is already demonstrating, “football has turned out to be a fine occasion to ban meetings and close population points to alien elements. And this practice in principle can be extended even further. It can be presented as it were as counter-terrorist, anti-criminal and anti-vandal” by the authorities. “But if everything takes place successfully, beautifully and without problems, then why in general not ban meetings that don’t have the permission of the authorities and the FSB, why not introduce visas for visiting cities, and at the same time restore the registration system for residents” as in Soviet times? No athletic competitions are really needed for that, Orekh says. “Thirty-seven years ago, in the summer of 1980,” he continues, an Olympiad took place in Moscow. Those who were in the capital at the time still recall those already distant two weeks when in the city it was quiet and clean and militiamen at each crosswalk were dressed in parade uniforms.” “We with seven league steps are moving forward to the Soviet past,” Orekh concludes. “And naturally, the 2018 World Cup must be a copy of the 1980 Olympics. [But] the main thing is not to forget that after that Olympiad,” which appeared to be so successful, “the country had only 11 years to live.”

UN Chief Calls For End Of Abuse, Release Of Detained Gay Men In Chechnya

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres is calling for an end to the abuse of gay men in Chechnya and the release of suspected gay men detained by Chechen authorities UN spokesma…

Activists Detained For Seeking Inquiry Into Abuse Of Gay Men In Chechnya

Moscow police detained five activists who tried to deliver a petition demanding an official investigation into reports of kidnapping and torture against gay men in Chechnya. Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked officials to look into the reports, which have been widely condemned by rights groups. (RFE/RL’s Russian Service)

LGBT Activists With Petition Detained In Moscow

Russian authorities have detained several activists in Moscow as they prepared to deliver a petition calling on authorities to investigate reports alleging a campaign of abuse targeting gay men in th…

Kadyrov’s Campaign of Anti-Gay Violence | Foreign Affairs

Over a hundred men suspected of being gay have been abducted, tortured, and detained by local authorities. At least three men have been killed.

House Torched As ‘Acts Of Vandalism’ Target Jehovah’s Witnesses In Russia

MOSCOW — A home inhabited by Jehovah's Witnesses outside Moscow was destroyed in an arson attack, the religious organization said, citing it as the starkest example of a string of &quot;acts o…

Russia Charges Three St. Petersburg Subway Bombing Suspects

Russian authorities say they have charged three suspects in the April 3 bombing that killed 16 people on a subway train in St. Petersburg. The federal Investigative Committee said on May 11 tha…

Navalny Returns To Russia, Urges Support For Rallies Planned In 147 Cities

Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny returned home on May 11 after surgery in Spain, which he said is restoring vision to his injured eye, and quickly returned to work on planned demonstrations….
European Bank Rejects Russian Request To Lift Ban On New Loans

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on May 10 rejected Russia's request to lift a ban on new loans, prompting Moscow to say it will look to banks led by China for funding. …

Authorities Take Revenge On Rebellious Krychau Police Officers – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk

One more police officer, who complained about his bosses, was fired from the District Office of Internal Affairs in Krychau. One more employee, who signed a letter to the Minister of Internal Affairs, containing complaints about “multiple power abuses” performed by the bosses, was fired from the District Office of Internal Affairs in Krychau, tut.by reports. One of those who signed the collective appeal to the Minister – Major Yury Dzubanau – was fired for “gross violation of official discipline” in April. Now the second – the district police inspector Andrei Shashkou – was also fired. “They sacked me for violating the terms of the contract and the rules of professional ethics,” – Andrei Shashkou said and stressed that he would appeal this decision. Another signatory, head of the Law Enforcement and Prevention Department of the District Office of Internal Affairs Lieutenant Colonel Ihar Vusik filed a letter of resignation on May 3. However, he said that the decision on him had not been made yet. We remind that the Krychau police department collectively addressed a letter to the Minister of Internal Affairs, in which they stated that their rights were violated. The policemen asked to conduct a check in respect of the leadership of the District Office of Internal Affairs “in connection with numerous abuses”.

German Expert: Belarus Should Hold Serious Government-Opposition Talks – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk

In the interests of the EU, the goal of such negotiations should be free elections.

Assad And Lukashenka Decided To “Twirl MAZ’s Wheels” Together – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk

The first batch of spare parts for assembling MAZs in Syria will be sent in the coming months. Syrian ruler Bashar Assad said that in an interview to the ONT television channel, BelTA informs. The Syrian dictator recalled that a wide range of economic agreements had been signed during his visit to Belarus several months before the war. “The war has changed our plans. But recently, after the meetings of the Syrian-Belarusian commission and after the Minister of Industry of Belarus visited Syria a few weeks ago, some of the paragraphs of these agreements were reactivated. Several trade agreements were completed as well,” – Bashar Assad said. Within the next few months, the export of the first batch of spare parts will be started in order to produce MAZs in Syria. “This, of course, is just the beginning. The main thing is to make the wheels twirl,” – Assad said.


IW/IO/Cyber Reports


Suspected Russia-backed hackers target Baltic energy networks | Reuters

Suspected Russia-backed hackers have launched exploratory cyber attacks against the energy networks of the Baltic states, sources said, raising security concerns inside the West’s main military alliance, NATO.

Russian ‘Cyber Troops’: A Weapon of Aggression – To Inform is to Influence

Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 14 Issue: 63 By: Sergey Sukhankin May 11, 2017 06:03 PM Age: 4 hours (Source: Cyware) Speaking to the Russian parliament (Duma) last February, Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu announced the creation of “information operations troops” (“cyber troops”) within the Armed Forces. He emphasized that state “propaganda should be…

“FORTUNA” & THE FINNISH STYLE OF ACTIVE MEASURES – To Inform is to Influence

BY PEKKA VIRKKI ANALYSIS, FEATURE, FINLAND, NEWS, RUSSIAMAY 11, 2017 In countering  Russian non-linear wafare and so-called “hybrid operations”, the identification and publication of  Kremlin-linked networks of influence is an essential act for every country with a potentially high level of FSB (and KGB) penetration in its society and government. As mentioned before in my…

How tech, laws and leadership impede digital diplomacy – To Inform is to Influence

By Chase Gunter May 10, 2017 Digital diplomacy, a priority for the State Department under the Obama administration, appears to be at a crossroads. At a May 9 State Department meeting held at George Washington University, former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), who chaired the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said that what made the…

U.S. Says Reviewing Use Of Kaspersky Security Software Amid Concerns

The United States says it is reviewing government use of software from Russia's Kaspersky Lab amid concerns that Moscow could use the product to attack U.S. computer systems. Defens…

Intelligence Officials Warn of Continued Russia Cyberthreats – The New York Times

Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, and Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director, offer a dire view of Russian meddling, one that differs starkly from the president.Former intelligence officials talk cyberattack options against Russia – CBS News

Senators heard from former U.S. intelligence officials about the possibility of targeting Putin's bank account, and being prepared for severe retaliation

Head of US Cyber Command Addresses Cyber Threat Concerns After Russian Interference in Elections – YouTube

National Security Agency Director Admiral Mike Rogers claims the U.S. government gave French officials “a heads up” that they observed Russian infiltration i…

US intelligence director warns of more Russian cyberthreats – Fifth Domain | Cyber

Fifth Domain is a news and information resource that brings civilian, defense, industry, private sector and critical infrastructure stakeholders together in one place for a holistic discussion on cybersecurity, both defense and offense. The cyberwar is here. 

POTUS signs cybersecurity exec order – To Inform is to Influence

White House Office of the Press Secretary For Immediate Release May 11, 2017 Presidential Executive Order on Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure  https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/05/11/presidential-executive-order-strengthening-cybersecurity-federal

What the new cybersecurity order means for federal employees – Fifth Domain | Cyber

Fifth Domain is a news and information resource that brings civilian, defense, industry, private sector and critical infrastructure stakeholders together in one place for a holistic discussion on cybersecurity, both defense and offense. The cyberwar is here. 

Breaking down Trump’s cyber order with Paul Rosenzweig [Video] – Fifth Domain | Cyber

Fifth Domain is a news and information resource that brings civilian, defense, industry, private sector and critical infrastructure stakeholders together in one place for a holistic discussion on cybersecurity, both defense and offense. The cyberwar is here. 

HP laptops covertly log user keystrokes, researchers warn – To Inform is to Influence

Audio driver supplied by Conexant may put PCs from other makers at risk, too. DAN GOODIN – 5/11/2017, 2:50 PM HP is selling more than two dozen models of laptops and tablets that covertly monitor every keystroke a user makes, security researchers warned Thursday. The devices then store the key presses in an unencrypted file…

Sinister text messages reveal high-tech front in Ukraine war – Fifth Domain | Cyber

Fifth Domain is a news and information resource that brings civilian, defense, industry, private sector and critical infrastructure stakeholders together in one place for a holistic discussion on cybersecurity, both defense and offense. The cyberwar is here. 

Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine are hijacking cell networks to send threatening texts

Ukrainian soldiers fighting pro-Russian separatists are frequently bombarded with highly specialized text messages, with the intent to demoralize soldiers.

How a Gift from Schoolchildren Let the Soviets Spy on the U.S. for 7 Years – Atlas Obscura


Ukraine Reports


‘U.S. supports Ukraine’ against Russia, Trump tells foreign minister

“Without U.S. engagement, it’s not possible to sort this out because Russia has respect for the United States,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said.

Trump Tweets ‘Let’s Make Peace’ After Meeting Russian, Ukrainian Envoys

U.S. President Donald Trump posted photos of his separate meetings with the top diplomats of Ukraine and Russia on Twitter and urged the two nations to end their conflict and &quot;make peace.&quot; …

Trump calls on Russia, Ukraine to make peace

U.S. President Donald Trump has tweeted about his recent meetings with the foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine, using the &quot;LetsMakePeace&quot; hashtag. News 12 May from UNIAN.

U.S. ready to join efforts to coerce Russia to implement Minsk deal – Klimkin

The United States of America is ready to join in different ways the efforts to coerce Russia into the implementation of Minsk agreements, including by contributing the Normandy Four talks, Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin told a Kyiv briefing Friday, an UNIAN correspondent reports. News 12 May from UNIAN.

Readout of Vice President Mike Pence’s Meeting with Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin of Ukraine | whitehouse.gov

Vice President Mike Pence met with Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin of Ukraine today. The Vice President emphasized unwavering U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. He underscored that the Minsk agreements remain the most viable path towards peace. Following that meeting, the President spoke with the Foreign Minister and reaffirmed U.S. support for Ukraine and his desire to work with our Ukrainian partners to peacefully resolve the conflict.

Pence: Ukraine has ′unwavering support′ of US | News | DW.COM | 11.05.2017

Vice President Mike Pence has told the Ukrainian foreign minister that the US remains firmly committed the cause of Ukrainian sovereignty. At the same time, Trump met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Pence Expresses ‘Unwavering’ U.S. Support For Ukraine’s Sovereignty

Vice President Mike Pence expressed the Trump administration's &quot;unwavering support&quot; for Ukraine's sovereignty in a meeting with the country's foreign minister on May 10. …

President met with U.S. Congress delegation — Official website of the President of Ukraine

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko had a meeting with bipartisan delegation of the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress.

U.S. congressmen assure Poltorak in their unified stance on Ukraine

On Thursday, May 11, Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak met with representatives of the U.S. Congress, during which he informed congressmen about the situation on the territory of the Anti-Terrorist operation (ATO) in the east of Ukraine and on the territory of the temporarily occupied Crimea. “The U.S. has been providing consistent and serious assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of our struggle for territorial integrity. American instructors’ assistance in the training of Ukrainian soldiers gives results on the battlefield, saves lives and allows us to effectively solve problems,” the press service of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said. Also, the Defense Minister of Ukraine told U.S. congressmen about the main achievements in the reform of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. We are amazed that in a short period of time Ukraine has built an army that protects the country, head of the delegation Michael McCann said. Representatives of the delegation of the U.S. Congress noted that there are debatable issues in the Congress as in the parliament of any country, but their position on Ukraine is unified. “Ukraine must be strong and we must work on this together,” the press service of the Defense Ministry quoted congressmen as saying. In his turn, the Ukrainian defense minister said that “the Ukrainians are trying to build a strong and prosperous democratic country, ready to defend their values with lethal force and even give their lives, but it is important for us not to be alone in this confrontation, we need the support of partners.” “Having the strength of spirit and will and the help of foreign partners, we will definitely win,” Poltorak said.

Russia will try to frustrate Ukraine’s attempts to integrate into western institutions – US intelligence – 12.05.2017 12:58 — Ukrinform News

12.05.2017 12:58. Russia's strategic objective in Ukraine in 2017 is to frustrate its attempts to integrate into western institutions.

Ukraine’s energy ministry to discuss coal supplies from U.S.

Ukraine’s Energy and Coal Industry Ministry intends to discuss a possibility of supplying coal from the United States with representatives of this country, Minister Ihor Nasalyk has said on 112 TV Channel. “An expert group from the United States arrives on May 22. We will discuss the possibility of supplying U.S. coal,” he said. The minister said that now Ukrainian power generating companies have signed contracts to ship coal from South Africa. Coal is also supplied from Russia.

President of Ukraine met with leader of the Swedish Moderate Party — Official website of the President of Ukraine

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko met with leader of the Swedish Moderate Party Anna Kinberg Batra. The Head of State drew attention of Ms. Batra to the worsening security situation in Donbas, non-fulfillment of the Minsk agreements by Russia and oppression of Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians in Crimea. The parties agreed with the necessity of preserving unity inside the EU in the issue of countering Russian aggression and continuation of sanctions against Russia.

President’s address on the occasion of the decision of the Council of the EU to approve legislative initiative on the introduction of visa-free regime for Ukrainian citizens — Official website of the President of Ukraine

Congratulations, fellow Ukrainians, on this historic decision of the Council of the European Union. This is like returning home after a long and exhausting trip… Returning to our common European home. Appreciate your Ukrainian passport. And love Ukraine!

Poroshenko: Visa-Free EU Travel Marks Ukraine’s ‘Divorce From Russian Empire’

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says a visa-liberalization deal with the European Union marks his country's &quot;divorce from the Russian Empire.&quot; Poroshenko spoke on May 11, afte…

Poroshenko: “Having received visa-free travel, Ukraine finally completed divorce with Russia”

11.05.17 23:39 – Poroshenko: “Having received visa-free travel, Ukraine finally completed divorce with Russia” President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko believes that after receiving a visa-free regime, Ukraine finally leaves Russia and returns home in Europe. View news.

Poroshenko: EU visa waiver completes Ukraine ‘divorce’ from Russia – EURACTIV.com

In a statement marking the long-awaited EU visa waiver for Ukrainian citizens, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko said today his country had now completed its “break up with the Russian Empire”. The European Union approved visa-free travel for Ukrainians yesterday, fulfilling a key promise to cement ties with Kyiv as it remains embroiled in a deadly conflict with pro-Russian insurgents. Speaking to the 1+1 TV channel, Poroshenko said the visa waiver should be perceived “in a philosophical way”. “It is a withdrawal from over 300 years of history that started with the Pereyaslav Council. Today, Ukraine returns home,” Poroshenko said.

Visas: Council adopts regulation on visa liberalisation for Ukrainian citizens – Consilium

The Council adopted a regulation on visa liberalization for Ukrainian citizens traveling to the EU for a period of stay of 90 days in any 180-day period.

Ukraine can finally be separated from Russia having visa-free regime – Poroshenko

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko believes that after receiving a visa-free regime, Ukraine finally departs from Russia and returns home to Europe. “I would say that today Ukraine has finally drawn up its divorce with the Russian Empire and that’s the way we should philosophically perceive it,” he said in an interview with 1 plus 1 TV channel on Thursday night. According to him, from now on three freedoms will operate – freedom of movement of goods, capitals and people. “It’s not just about visa-free border crossing, it’s about returning Ukraine to a historical place in the European family of nations,” the president said. He said that there were obstacles inside the country and even some Euro-optimists had publicly appealed to the leadership of the European Commission and the European Union with an appeal not to grant a visa-free regime to Ukraine. Also, according to Poroshenko, there were external obstacles, in particular, attempts to mobilize anti-European forces within the EU in order to prevent Ukraine from obtaining visa-free regime.

Ukraine offers EU new association format – News about politics | UNIAN

Kyiv is officially inviting the European Union to develop a new format of relations with Ukraine,&nbsp;Moldova&nbsp;and Georgia, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin told a briefing at the Foreign Ministry on Friday, Europeiska Pravda reported. News 12 May from UNIAN.

Ukraine Hopes Macron Will Play Key Role in Retaining Pressure on Russia – YouTube

UATV is a 24/7 international broadcaster that targets broad audiences around the globe. UATV’s main goal is to convey objective, unbiased, relevant and inter…

Ukrainian positions attacked 53 times yesterday as enemy employed mortarts, grenade launchers, and IFVs, – ATO HQ

12.05.17 10:18 – Ukrainian positions attacked 53 times yesterday as enemy employed mortarts, grenade launchers, and IFVs, – ATO HQ Russian occupation troops continue conducting armed provocations against ATO (anti-terrorist operation) forces. View news.

Ukraine reports 53 enemy attacks, 2 KIAs, 6 WIAs in last day

Russia's hybrid military forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in Donbas 53 times in the past 24 hours, with two Ukrainian soldiers reported as killed in action (KIA) and six as wounded in action (WIA), according to the press service of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters. News 12 May from UNIAN.

“86 impacts. The strongest attack since 2014. Four wounded, including two heavily,” – militants pound Ukrainian positions with heavy artillery. VIDEO

11.05.17 14:32 – 86 impacts. The strongest attack since 2014. Four wounded, including two heavily, – militants pound Ukrainian positions with heavy artillery. VIDEO Russian militants attacked Ukrainian marines’ positions near Mariupol with large-caliber weapons. They employed rocket systems, self-propelled howitzers, tanks and mortars. View video news.

Reuters Publishes Exposé on the Kremlin’s Role in Eastern Ukraine – YouTubeVladislav Surkov, a top aide to Vladimir Putin has played a key role in running the so-called republics in eastern Ukraine for the past few years. Now, today…

“We fulfilled Putin’s and Surkov’s will,” – confession of illegal Donbas “referendum” orchestrator Alexandrov

11.05.17 18:24 – We fulfilled Putin’s and Surkov’s will, – confession of illegal Donbas referendum orchestrator Alexandrov Some of those who orchestrated the illegal referendum in occupied Donbas three years ago have become more frank today. These individuals openly admit that they fulfilled not so much the will of the people as the will of Russian President… View news.

I was tortured for refusal to fulfill direct orders, – former head of Election Committee in self-styled “Donetsk People’s Republic” Lyagin

12.05.17 13:39 – I was tortured for refusal to fulfill direct orders, – former head of Election Committee in self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic Lyagin Former head of the so-called Central Election Committee of self-proclaimed DPR Roman Lyagin said all DPR leadership appointments are being agreed with Russian President Putin’s aide Vladislav Surkov, who is deemed… View news.

The Annexation of Crimea Isn’t Going as Planned | Foreign Policy

The show trial of Akhtem Chiygoz was supposed to be a quick and easy way to discourage dissent. That was before it went off the rails.

What could curb Russia’s brazen defiance

However, there is no sensation in it. Indeed, long before our time, German Chancellor Bismarck made a remarkable notion that no agreement signed with Russia could be worth a piece of paper on which it is written. Unfortunately, this is a historic wisdom, as his words have repeatedly found confirmation, including in our days. For example, we may recall the Budapest Memorandum or a Russia-Ukraine treaty on the inviolability of borders. But the main problem lays with the fact that our Western partners fail to address this brazen behavior. Russia’s refusal to fulfill the decisions of international institutions is another step in breaking down the system of international relations on which the whole world is based. If the government in such a manner refuses to fulfill its obligations, this means that no obligations exist anymore. In my opinion, the only response to such behavior could be serious punitive sanctions against violators of international law. This is the only way to bring Russia back to its senses. There are no other ways so far, unfortunately. History knows cases when Russia was punished, punished severely. For example, it was once expelled from the League of Nations for its aggression. But, unfortunately, we are seeing nothing like that happening today, although it would’ve been easy to raise the issue of sanctions in the Council of Europe in the context of Moscow’s defiance. At the same time, Ukrainian diplomats could have studied the relevant legal framework to submit this issue at the next meeting of the Ministerial Committee of the Council of Europe. Why is the West so slow with its response to brazen Russia? The answer is simple: in fact, the West fears Russia. After all, they see the inadequacy of the current Russian leadership. Secondly, the West seems to continue to naively believe that Russia can be convinced into returning to the path of common sense. And, thirdly, there is a lobby, created and bribed by Russia over the last decade, which makes great efforts to pursue economic corruption disguised as mutually beneficial projects. This combination of factors hinders the West from going for obvious and objective measures. Volodymyr Ohryzko is a former Foreign Minister of Ukraine, now heading Russia Research Center.

Russia to supply raw materials to seized factories in occupied Donbas – media

The Russian Federal Agency for State Reserves (Rosrezerv) in 2017 will receive RUB 10 billion from the government's Reserve Fund to finance the costs associated with the recovery of stocks raw materials and materials of the metallurgical industry, RBC reports citing the government's order of May 4, 2017, signed by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. News 12 May from UNIAN.

Ukraine soldiers bombarded by ‘pinpoint propaganda’ texts – ABC NewsUkraine soldiers bombarded by ‘pinpoint propaganda’ texts

Ukrainian Navy Still Recovering After Russia’s Crimean Annexation – YouTube

UATV sat down with CPT. Andriy Ryzhenko to discuss the state of Ukraine’s navy and what it needs to do to reach NATO standards by 2020. _ Follow UATV English…

How the Estonia-Ukraine Connection Goes Deeper Than Defence – YouTube

Ingvar Pärnamäe, CEO of the Estonian Defence Industry Association, sat down with UATV to discuss how historic similarities connect Estonia and Ukraine, how t…

Ukraine and Turkey Poised to Strengthen Defense Cooperation – YouTube

Ukraine has showcased its modern weapons and top grade military equipment at the biggest defense industry fair in the Eurasia region. _ Follow UATV English: …

Kyiv, Ankara sign MoU to expand co-op in defense industry – media

Ukrainian state-owned aircraft company Antonov, which is a part of the SC UkrOboronProm, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Turkey&rsquo;s leading defense company ASELSAN, says a message posted on the Ukrainian company&rsquo;s website, according to Trend news agency reports. News 12 May from UNIAN.

Ukraine and Romania Join Forces for Extensive Military Drills – YouTube

Ukrainian marines have finished participation in the second round of Platinum Eagle 2017 joint military exercises. The two-week-long drills took place in Bab…Ukraine Police to Question Authors of Documentary “Killing Pavel”Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project

Ukraine Police Scramble To Probe Fresh Claims In Journalist’s Car-Bomb Killing

KYIV — Ukrainian police investigating the car-bomb killing of a Belarus-born journalist are sifting through a new documentary film's claims about the unsolved case, including that a current o…

President: Ukrainians are full participants of victory over Nazism and will not allow using these historic events to meet the revanchist needs of Moscow — Official website of the President of Ukraine

The contribution of Ukrainians to the victory over Nazism is huge – battles took place on our territory, millions of our fellow citizens fought the enemy side-by-side with other nations, thus, the people of Ukraine is a full participant of victory, as stated by President Petro Poroshenko.

Ukraine’s IT Market’s Bright Future – YouTubeT

hose young entrepreneurs are willing to change the face of Ukraine’s high-tech industry. _ Follow UATV English: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UATVEN Tw…

Ukraine’s Iconic 150 Tonne Motherland Monument Gets a Makeover for Eurovision – YouTube

Ukrainian region of Zakarpattia is one of the greatest tourist attractions. It offers a wide variety of nature sites as well as tasty treats. However, it’s t…

Tensions Between Russia And Ukraine Blend Into Eurovision Contest : NPR

The finals of the Eurovision Song Contest are being held on Saturday in Kiev. This year’s event is in Ukraine, but tensions with neighboring Russia threaten to overshadow the festivities.

Ukrainian Authorities Give Go-Ahead To Bulgarian Eurovision Contestant

Ukrainian authorities say the Bulgarian entrant in the Eurovision Song Contest won't be banned from attending the competition's second semifinal round on May 11, although he visited Crimea -…

Ukraine to check Crimea visit by Bulgaria’s Eurovision singer | Reuters

Ukraine said on Thursday it was checking reports that Bulgaria’s Eurovision song contest entrant, one of the favorites to win, may have broken Ukrainian law by performing in Crimea after its annexation by Russia.

RFE/RL: Officials examine report Bulgarian Eurovision entrant performed in Crimea

Ukrainian authorities and Eurovision Song Contest officials in Kyiv said on May 11 that they were looking into reports that the Bulgarian entrant in the competition visited Crimea, a potential violation of Ukrainian law, according to Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). News 11 May from UNIAN.

Kickin’ Kiev: Why the Ukraine city is looking to Eurovision to jump start tourism | Travel | The Guardian

Ukraine’s historic capital may be preparing for the pop and ‘nul points’ of Saturday’s Eurovision but, kitsch aside, it is developing its edgy creative atmosphere

Kyiv Or Kiev — What’s Correct?

The Ukrainian capital has two spellings in English — Kyiv and Kiev. So why is this, and which is actually correct? (RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service)

Experience the Music, Food, and Nature of the Ukrainian Zakarpattia – YouTube

Ukrainian region of Zakarpattia is one of the greatest tourist attractions. It offers a wide variety of nature sites as well as tasty treats. However, it’s t…

“We will not televise it,” – Ukraine’s National Broadcaster CEO refuses showing Russia-hosted World Football Cup

11.05.17 22:32 – We will not televise it, – Ukraine’s National Broadcaster CEO refuses showing Russia-hosted World Football Cup Chairman of the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine (UA:PBC) Zurab Alasania refuses to broadcast the upcoming World Football Cup if the national team paves its way to the championship hosted by Russia. View news.

Diversity, Interrupted: Anti-Gay Crusades Mar Ukraine’s Tolerant Facade · Global Voices

As this year’s Eurovision Song Contest enters its final weekend, a half-painted rainbow arch meant to symbolize the event’s slogan, “Celebrate Diversity,” hovers ominously over the center of Kyiv. After far-right leaders complained that the colorful paint job amounted to homosexual propaganda, the city promptly halted the makeover of the giant arch, which was renamed the “Arch of Diversity” for Eurovision (it was previously known as the “Friendship of Nations Arc” and was dedicated to Russian and Ukrainian unity in the Soviet Union). The incomplete monument serves as a conspicuous reminder of Ukraine’s unfinished battle against homophobia—a problem that has been accentuated by a recent spate of homophobic attacks.

Ukrainian general calls for destruction of Jews – The Jewish Chronicle

“I’m telling you one more time – go to hell, kikes”, wrote senior officer affiliated to the intelligence services

Vadim Rabinovich – Wikipedia


Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports


Mattis makes clear US commitment to protecting Turkey

Pentagon chief Jim Mattis on Thursday made clear that America is committed to protecting Turkey, a NATO ally upset the Trump administration has agreed to arm anti-Islamic State fighters in Syria that Turkey considers terrorists.

Erdogan sees ‘new beginning’ in Turkish-U.S. ties despite Kurdish arms move | Reuters

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday his visit to the United States next week could mark a “new beginning” in relations between the NATO allies which were shaken by a U.S. decision to arm Kurdish YPG fighters in Syria.

Egypt’s Failed War on Terror | Foreign Affairs

Beyond what appear to be significant human rights abuses, to date Cairo has demonstrated a stunning lack of will and competence to eradicate ISIS from Egyptian territory.

U.S. Intelligence Official Says Afghan Security Likely To ‘Deteriorate’

The U.S. national intelligence director says the security situation in Afghanistan will &ldquo;almost certainly&rdquo; continue to &ldquo;deteriorate&rdquo; over the next 18 months. Dan Coats&#39…

Why Would Trump Want to Prolong America’s Longest War? – The Atlantic

Barely anyone in the United States is paying attention.

Turnbull ‘open’ to sending more Australian troops to Afghanistan – CNN.com

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says he is considering sending troops back to Afghanistan. Turnbull’s comments come in the wake of a US request for more support, which was made during his April 25 visit to Afghanistan.

Australia considering NATO request to send more troops to Afghanistan | Reuters

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Friday he is considering a NATO request for more troops in Afghanistan, as U.S. President Donald Trump considers whether to expand the NATO-led mission there by several thousand.


DPRK / PRC Reports


North Korea vows to ‘ruthlessly punish’ detained US citizens | New York Post

North Korea says it has the right to “ruthlessly punish” US citizens who have been detained for crimes against its government. The Hermit Kingdom…

North Korea Demands ‘Handover’ of U.S., South Korean ‘Terror Suspects’

North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Han Song Ryol on Thursday demanded the U.S. and South Korea “hand over” the “terror suspects.”

North Korea pens letter to Congress protesting ‘heinous’ sanctions

North Korea and the United States have no formal diplomatic relations and virtually no official channels of communication.

North Korea sends protest to US Congress over sanctions – ABC News

North Korea sends protest to US Congress over sanctionsHow Russia Could Help Solve the North Korea Crisis | The National Interest

At this point, Pyongyang might trust Moscow more than it trusts Beijing.

Kim Jong-un Removal Will Cost $175 Billion, Claims A New Theory

What it will take to remove Kim Jong-un from North Korea? Well, according to a recent book, it will take $175 billion to remove him from his power.

Intel Chiefs Warn About North Korean Threat | Defense content from Aviation Week

Officials won’t offer date North Korea could marry nuclear warhead with ICBM; administration may expand laptop ban; Trump takes aim at carrier launch system.

North Korea poses ‘existential’ threat, US intel chief warns

North Korea’s nuclear weapons program poses a potentially “existential” threat to the United States, the national intelligence director said in a bleak appraisal to Congress on Thursday. He wouldn’t say how close Pyongyang is to being able to strike the U.S. mainland.

North Korea: The “Highest Priority” of the U.S. Intelligence Community | The National Interest Blog

“American interests are held at risk today,” Pompeo said, referring to U.S. allies and American military assets in the region.

How Is the CIA Working to Stop North Korea?

The Mission Center will be located within the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

CIA Chief Lauds Chinese Cooperation on North Korea – WSJ

China has begun making new efforts to restrain North Korea’s nuclear-weapons ambitions, Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo said Thursday while suggesting it could do more.

The North Korean threat is not theoretical, it is reality | Fox News

North Korea is surging to the brink. Advancements in their missile technology and nuclear weapons program will soon put the United States in the crosshairs.

North Korea to Test a Nuclear Missile That Could Strike America This Year | The National Interest Blog

“They could flight test anytime.”

North Korea military growing more powerful, survey shows – UPI.com

North Korea’s military manpower has improved but remains well below South Korea.

A package deal for nukes and Thaad-INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily

We need to break away form the zero-sum game and find a win-win proposal.

Euan Graham: North Korea’s historical hall of mirrors- Nikkei Asian Review

Though the image varies with the beholder, North Korea presents a wormhole to the darkest episodes of East Asia’s recent past. It is the revenge of history, always spoiling for a comeback. It is the region’s guilty conscience, reflected back in nightmares. It is the country that glares accusingly from cardboard boxes under the shiny escalators of an economic miracle. When neighbors look in, they see demons from their own past. Then how does North Korea see itself? Self-reflection is actively discouraged by the regime. Instead, a hostile world, led by the United States and its Asian “stooges,” is blamed for all the country’s ills. Pride and victimhood are the dominant emotions. Shame, too, for those old enough to remember when North Korea was a genuine contender for the legitimacy of a unified Korean state. Few can privately maintain that fiction now, owing to the illicit spread of South Korean cultural products across the 38th parallel that divides the two Koreas. To hide the shame, the regime needs external enemies. It extolls a perverted pride in nuclear weapons and missiles, which is its final redoubt of comparative advantage. Kim Jong Un may be sane, within the bounds of North Korea’s survivalist logic, but sometimes whole countries can go mad. If North Korea disappeared overnight, East Asia’s security tensions and nationalist enmities would not vanish with it. But it is important to see it not as an outlier state, so much as historical relic. A snarling pariah it may be, but correctly understood, it should also be a window to its neighbors of the skeletons in their own closets. While North Korea exists, it serves as a festering symbol of unrepented sins and unfinished business. A phantom with no intention of going gently into the night.

This hostel in Berlin is a clandestine cash cow for North Korea – The Washington Post

For years, North Korean embassies in Europe have allegedly helped to finance the regime’s nuclear weapons program.

What it’s like inside a North Korean grocery store – Business Insider

Take a look inside a few North Korean stores, where vendors are selling more local products — as the Trump administration considers tougher economic…

Photos of North Korea reveal what childhood is really like there – Business Insider

Poverty and propaganda run amok in North Korea, the world’s most secretive country, making childhood far from typical.

Malaysia chief fears player poisonings during North Korea visit – BBC Sport

Malaysia’s football chief is worried players could be poisoned if their Asian Cup qualifier goes ahead in North Korean capital Pyongyang.

South Korea’s Break With the Past | Foreign Affairs

Park’s impeachment has probably ended the long nostalgia boom that surrounded her father, former President Park Chung-hee, who ruled South Korea with an iron fist from 1961 until his assassination in 1979.

Bye-bye Blue House As S. Korean Leader Shuns Imperial Home

Moon Jae-in instead plans to commute to office in nearby streets of Gwanghwamun, near square where millions took part in peaceful protests for months before predecessor Park Geun-hye was removed from office

North Korea destroy’s South’s presidential palace in mock invasion | Daily Star

KIM Jong-un destroys the South Korean presidential palace in shocking new pictures.

South Korea’s New President and China Move to Soothe Tensions – The New York TimesPresident Moon Jae-in spoke with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, and said he would send a delegation to Beijing to discuss friction over a U.S. antimissile system.

China official discourages linking US trade moves to North Korea issue | ABS-CBN News

China’s vice finance minister Zhu Guangyao on Friday said economic issues should not be politicized as he responded to questions on whether the outcomes of the 100-day plan for trade talks with the United States were related to the North Korea nuclear issue.

China’s Big Bet on Soft Power – Council on Foreign RelationsChina is believed to spend billions of dollars to boost its international image, but it has yet to see a marked return on its investment in soft power.

Belt and Road Initiative: China Plans $1 Trillion New ‘Silk Road’ – NBC News

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s colossal program is 11 times the size of the U.S. Marshall Plan that reconstructed Europe after World War II.

Forum on China’s economic reach helps leader extend his own – NY Daily News

BEIJING (AP) — China will seek to burnish President Xi Jinping’s stature as a statesman at a gathering centered on his signature foreign policy effort envisioning a future world order in which all roads lead to Beijing.

India cool on Beijing summit as ‘Silk Road’ stirs unease | Reuters

India is likely to be represented by local embassy staff or academics this weekend at a major gathering of leaders and ministers on China’s “Silk Road” initiative, reflecting deep unease in New Delhi about the far-reaching project.

China is stepping up its game in emerging Asia as US pulls back

As the U.S. pulls back from globalization, China is stepping into the breach, experts said at the WEF Asean meeting this week.

Chinese spies ‘very active’ in Australia, departing defence secretary warns – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The departing Secretary of Defence Dennis Richardson accuses China of spying and exerting unreasonable influence over Chinese communities and media in Australia.

China spying in Australia, Dennis Richardson, outgoing defence secretary says

Outgoing Defence Secretary Dennis Richardson has accused China of spying in Australia, particularly on Chinese diaspora communities and of controlling the Chinese language press.

A Robot Revolution, This Time in China – The New York Times

Car manufacturing in China, once labor-intensive, is now heavily automated.


Foreign Policy Reports


Merkel: Germany Favors Support for “Eastern Flank” in Lithuania Over the Middle East – YouTube

German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed in a press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that Germany does not plan to expand their capac…

Meeting Macron in the Middle | Foreign Affairs

German leaders should compromise with Emmanuel Macron. His presidency may offer the last chance to prevent the EU from crumbling for good.

France’s First Lady, a Confidante and Coach, May Break the Mold – The New York Times

Brigitte Macron, who is 24 years older than her husband, President-elect Emmanuel Macron, and has coached him during his career is expected to define her future role.

Emmanuel Macron Hits Obstacles With Candidate List

The République En Marche party faces a tough test in June parliamentary elections.

NSA Chief: We Watched Russians Hack French Elections – YouTube

UATV is a 24/7 international broadcaster that targets broad audiences around the globe. UATV’s main goal is to convey objective, unbiased, relevant and inter…

“Dodon is Putin’s servant”: Moldovans protest against rapprochement with Russia. VIDEO

11.05.17 21:00 – Dodon is Putin’s servant: Moldovans protest against rapprochement with Russia. VIDEO Members of the Liberal Party youth movement held a rally at the Chisinau International Airport upon arrival of Moldovan President Igor Dodon. View video news.

 

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