Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Media Update – 26 May 2017

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

I left the US domestic reporting intact. Much of it is beginning to resemble real news with some actual facts and not pure conjecture. 

</end editorial>

Russia’s internal crackdown / meltdown continues, regime induced poverty becoming issue for political debate, HRW on Chechnya. Sweden rearms – Russia as a former colony of Sweden turned feral remains untrusted. Russia scuttles T-50 PAK-FA sale to India by doubling price. Belarus to deploy pervasive “Orwellian” video surveillance.

In the IO domain, Russia proven to be “salting” hacked material with fabricated fake content, previously observed tactic in Ukraine, yet another resuscitated Soviet/Tsarist technique. More on disinformation. Survey of false flag conspiracy theory sources. New survey of Russian EW/IW systems used in Ukraine.

Power Vertical looks at escalating“divorce” from Russia by Ukraine. Reports on NATO summit, EU and POTUS on Ukraine. More Donbass fires, dog rescue story. DEFMIN Poltorak on munitions stocks, Ukrainian AF to receive 60 refurbished / upgraded tactical aircraft in 2017, while fifty MBTs damaged in 2014/2015 rebuilt and returned to service. Articles on decapitation of Lenin statues.

In Iran, IRGC brags about third underground factory built to manufacture ballistic missiles.

Russia-China summit on DPRK, while China claims restrictions on DPRK border movements. DPRK missile program leaders profiled. FONOPS in MSM, and Vietnam.

Much on NATO summit, much disagreement on the issue of European nations failing on funding commitments. Good and very bad behaviours following Manchester tragedy.

In the US, articles on USAF futures and RPV policy, while toxic Russia debate continues.

Russia / Russophone Reports

NATO must offer an ultimatum to Russia – Get out of Ukraine | Ottawa Citizen There is the old saying that when the going gets tough the tough get going. It’s been a long time since the world order has hovered on the brink as it is doing now. In the European Union, some members are leaving, while others are reversing course from open societies to insular ones.

U.S. General Concerned About Russia’s Arctic Military Buildup A U.S. commander in Alaska has expressed concern about Russia's recent military buildup in the Arctic, saying it threatens the historically peaceful region. &quot;What concerns me about Russi…

The Russian Military of 2035 | Center for Strategic and International Studies After two decades of neglect, the extensive renewal of military equipment is an important component of Russia’s on-going military modernization. Tomas Malmlöf, Swedish Defence Research Agency, will join CSIS for a discussion on the long-term implications of Russian military acquisitions. Based on what we know now, what can we predict about how Russia’s procurement plans will translate into new arms systems and defense technologies?   

The Russian Military’s Ultimate Goal: To Kill Its Enemies from Long-Ranges | The National Interest Blog Russia is not the USSR–but it is no longer weak. 

Long-neutral Sweden beefs up military defenses to face Russia threat | PBS NewsHour Twelve years ago, Sweden demilitarized the strategic island of Gotland, deeming Russia a non-threat. But times have changed, and Sweden has been beefing up its defenses in the face of increasing Russian aggression. Special correspondent Malcolm Brabant reports.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: A New Threat to the Kremlin: Russians’ Incomes Not Keeping Pace with Their Expectations Paul Goble Staunton, May 25 – In every federal district except the Far East, Russians say they need more money for “a normal life” than their current incomes, a situation that reflects stagnating wages and salaries and rising prices and one, the editors of Nezavisimaya gazeta say, that represents an increasingly serious political threat to the Kremlin. According to a new Romir survey, the editors says, Russians estimate that a family of three needs a monthly income of 83,600 rubles (1700 US dollars), 10,900 rubles (200 US dollars) more than a year ago and greater than the incomes of such families everywhere but in the Far Eastern FD ( Russians have had to get accustomed to “’a new normal,’” the editors say, “but the not yet forgotten life of the recent past remains the guide” to their judgments about what they in fact need. In most countries, the emergence of a gap between the two leads to demands for reform, a change in government policy or even the replacement of those in power. But while the Russian authorities were only too happy to promote a rising standard of living in the first decade of this century, they “have not created or preserved conditions in which the political realization of dissatisfaction is possible and legal.” And that means the powers that be now face a problem that to a certain extent is of their own making. Many speak about a contract between the population and the powers that be in the early 2000s, one in which the ruling elite guaranteed a rising standard of living in exchange for being free to pursue its own goals. “There wasn’t any such contract, of course,” the editors point out. But the general pattern was clear. It no longer holds on either side. “It is possible to call the privatization of institutions and the restriction of the political field instinctual behavior” on the part of elites, the editors say. Any elite wants to extend its rule and weaken those who oppose it. Thus, “the logic of this process is universal and doesn’t affect only Russia.” But other elites recognize more than Russian ones do that “any economic success of any policy is a stick with two ends: it creates a group of beneficiaries of the policy of the ruling elite, the quality of life of which has been improved by the reforms.” And such beneficiaries may be on the left or right. Then, however, “a crisis arises. The powers that be can’t spend more, and yet the growth in prices, inflation, and the increasing cost of living require this. Or the powers can’t after one successful round of reforms agree on a second and thus purchase social trust again.” And those who benefitted earlier are now suffering. “The special feature of the Russian situation,” the editors of the Moscow paper say, is that no political force wins points on the basis of the gap between possibilities and needs.” And that is why the powers that be prefer to talk about “Trump, Ukraine, pensions or suicide groups on the Internet.” How long that can work remains very much an open question.

Human Rights Watch Confirms Torture, Abuse Of Gay Men By Chechen Authorities Human Rights Watch says it has confirmed that police in Russia's Chechnya region rounded up, tortured, and humiliated dozens of gay or bisexual men during the spring of 2017 in &quot;an apparen…

Prosecutors To Look Into Comments By Transparency International Official The Russian Prosecutor-General's Office says it will look into recent remarks by the deputy chief of Transparency International Russia (TIR) regarding controversial lawmaker Natalya Poklonskaya. …

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Almost Half of Muscovites Say Nationality Affects Life Chances, Drobizheva Says Paul Goble Staunton, May 25 – In the course of a wide-ranging interview with Realnovremya, Leokadiya Drobizheva, director of the Center for Research on Inter-Ethnic Relations at the Moscow Institute of Sociology, says that roughly 40 percent of Muscovites feel that their life chances and those of others depend on nationality. That widespread feeling reflects the influx of migrants that has made the Russian capital far more multi-ethnic than it was, the ethno-sociologist says, but it is far greater than the five percent who say they personally have experienced either favoritism or discrimination (

Prosecutor Demands Lengthy Prison Terms in Kabardino-Balkaria ‘Caliphate Trial’  The prosecutor has demanded prison terms of up to 20 years for eight young men from Kabardino-Balkaria on charges ranging from illegal possession of arms and establishing an illegal armed group to the attempted killing of a police officer. (The views expressed in this blog post do not necessarily reflect those of RFE/RL.)

Former Tennis Star Safin To Step Down From Russia’s State Duma Marat Safin, the former world No. 1 tennis player, has said he plans to&nbsp;step down as a lawmaker in Russia&rsquo;s lower house of parliament after six years in the position. Safin on May 2…

Putin’s Russian world increasingly informed by a Nazi aesthetic, Moscow specialist says – To Inform is to Influence «We’ll Take It All Back!» by Russian artist Alexey Belyayev-Gintovt (Image:  2017/05/25 – 11:18 • ANALYSIS & OPINION, RUSSIA Many commentators have discussed whether Vladimir Putin is a fascist in any serious sense, but most have failed to consider one area where fascism has clearly arisen in his Russia: in the aesthetics that increasingly…

Steep price rise hits Indo-Russian 5th-gen fighter project The Russians are demanding more than $7 billion as part of India’s share in the development of the FGFA.

Russia is building a secure Skype knock-off Russia’s state-owned technology business, Rostec, is building a secure voice and video communications platform. In a statement, the company revealed that the sy…

Orwell Life: Lukashenka signed a decree on total control in the country On May 25, Lukashenka signed Decree No. 187 “On the Republican Public Security Monitoring System,” which will create a centralized video monitoring system in Belarus. Жизнь по Оруэллу: Лукашенко подписал указ о тотальном контроле в стране Implementation of the decree is the responsibility of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. According to the press service of Lukashenka in the comments to the decree, “the document provides for the development in the interests of ensuring public order of the CCTV systems in the country by creating a centralized monitoring system on the basis of unified technical requirements. Its main task is to monitor the state of public security in order to ensure public order, prevention, detection, disclosure and suppression of crimes, other offenses, tracing the persons who committed them, and persons missing, preventing and eliminating emergencies. For this purpose, video analytics software and special detectors are functioning in the software monitoring system, allowing to fix certain events. It is planned to create a video archive with the ability to search for necessary information. It is planned to inform the state bodies of the security management system automatically about the occurrence of events affecting public safety. The right to receive information recorded by the monitoring system is vested in other entities according to their competence. ” It should be recalled that Lukashenka announced the need to create a system for monitoring public security at the end of March , shortly after the protests against the “parasitic” decree and brutal detentions on Freedom Day in Minsk. “A similar system that we have, we need not just modernize, but bring it to the modern level, so that we can get the most from it.” Recent events just testify that we would have used such a system, “Lukashenko said then. The security analyst, the creator of the Belarus security blog, Andrei Porotnikov, believes that when creating such a system, we can talk about total control in the country . As it turned out, the new system of surveillance for Belarusians will cost citizens about 100 million dollars .

IW/IO/Cyber Reports

Tainted Leaks: Disinformation and Phishing With a Russian Nexus – To Inform is to Influence I include the first half of the article here, to drive traffic to the Citizen Lab website.  Excellent report, excellent investigation, excellent details! </end editorial> May 25, 2017 Categories: Adam Hulcoop, John Scott-Railton, Matt Brooks, Reports and Briefings, Ron Deibert By: Adam Hulcoop, John Scott-Railton, Peter Tanchak, Matt Brooks, and Ron Deibert Read Citizen Lab…

Russian Hackers Are Using ‘Tainted’ Leaks to Sow Disinformation | WIRED A group of security researchers present the most systematic analysis yet showing Russian hackers mix fakes in with their hacked revelations.

E-mails phished from Russian critic were “tainted” before being leaked | Ars  Technica Campaign targeting more than 200 people also spread disinformation, report says.

Mapping the World of #FalseFlag Conspiracy Theories on Social Media – To Inform is to Influence CORIN FAIFE May 25 2017, 7:00am A broad network of websites and social media accounts is creating confusion after every crisis event. “Fake news” has been around in some form for as long as there’s been any news at all, but in the social media era (and the President Trump era) it’s taken on a…

Russian Spokeswoman Quotes Poetic Line About ‘Elderly Negro’ And Again Raises Eyebrows John Kerry, who served as secretary of state under the first black president of the United States, lamented the state of relations between Moscow and Washington this week, as he encouraged Harvar…

Voice of America faces budget cuts, vows to fight ‘Russian disinformation’ — RT America – To Inform is to Influence I appreciate RT making the point that the US is not defending against Russian propaganda.  Thank you, Russia, for making our case for us. I guess the Congressional hearings by the Senate and the House were for show. </end editorial> The US government’s broadcasting agency may shut down some services if it loses a suggested…

The Obvious Mistake We Make in Fighting Russian Disinformation “The person who tells their story best, wins,” said Jed Willard of the FDR Center for Global Engagement at Harvard University in Prague on May 17, succinctly explaining the challenges of fighting disinformation. Willard and 330 other experts from twenty-nine countries gathered in Prague for a strategic communications summit (STRATCOM) hosted by European Values, a Czech-based think tank, on May 15-19. Focusing on Russian disinformation and propaganda, the meeting shed light on the Kremlin’s influence operations in the West and aimed to encourage deeper coordination between European countries and their partners across the Atlantic. While there were numerous opinions about how to best counter Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attempts to destabilize Western democracies, experts agreed on the importance of investing in media literacy, and the critical need to call out fake news and its perpetrators. Media literacy will be the key to battling disinformation, from the Kremlin or elsewhere, experts overwhelmingly said. In this media environment, it is easy for people to be convinced of their own worldview. If news consumers know how to access, evaluate, and analyze the news they are taking in, fake news and disinformation efforts will be far less effective. Speakers referenced the Finnish example, in which media literacy is viewed as a core element of civic competence and efforts are led by a government agency, as a model to emulate. The challenge, however, is that we cannot all be Finland. Furthermore, as Janis Sartis from the STRATCOM Centre of Excellence emphasized, the burden to fight disinformation should not fall solely on the EU or NATO, but rather on national governments. Thus, it is important that at future meetings, experts address how it can be added to countries’ national agendas. In the United States, we can foresee additional challenges, as the issue of disinformation is still highly politicized and education curriculums are established by state governments. Even worse, as security expert John Schindler notes, the effort to counter Russian disinformation within the US government is stuck. It will take time to put media literacy programs in place, but there are other tools democratic governments can use now. The Kremlin’s disinformation campaigns are often successful because they exploit the vulnerabilities in each society to create an alternate narrative. In the case of Germany, for example, the refugee crisis has been consistently spun by Russian media to chip away at Chancellor Angela Merkel’s popularity and hinder her reelection bid. In response, the West, and Germany in this case, must double down on good journalism and counter the Kremlin’s negative narrative with its own ahead of elections in September. Edward Lucas, senior editor at the Economist and vice president of CEPA, wants to call out fake news, fake outlets, and reporters who report on fake news. Whether it is via Twitter or other mediums, the sources of disinformation need to be exposed. Even further, governments and individuals should name, shame, and raise the costs for those who interact with well-known fake news outlets—particularly politicians and high-level figures who will no doubt cringe at the bad press.

The Obvious Mistake We Make in Fighting Russian Disinformation – To Inform is to Influence MAY 24, 2017 The Obvious Mistake We Make in Fighting Russian Disinformation BY GEYSHA GONZALEZ “The person who tells their story best, wins,” said Jed Willard of the FDR Center for Global Engagement at Harvard University in Prague on May 17, succinctly explaining the challenges of fighting disinformation. Willard and 330 other experts from twenty-nine…

Russia’s efforts to ‘destabilise western democracy’ increase cyber insecurity Country replaces China as most feared state-sponsored attacker

FACT CHECK: Was the Manchester Terror Attack a ‘False Flag’? A viral conspiracy video has emerged spreading a false rumor that a suicide bombing attack at an Ariana Grande concert was a hoax.

Russian Electronic Warfare in Ukraine: Between Real and Imaginable – Jamestown All in all, according to Ukrainian sources, by March 22, 2017, the Russia-backed separatists received 43 pieces of modern EW equipment, which were used against the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the Donbas region/ATO area (, March 26). In the meantime, Ukrainian specialists (“Armiya SOS”) were able to intercept signals from “the newest electronic warfare (EW) stations of the Russian Air Force” located in Crimea (Cape Tarkhankut) (, April 11). This was done by employing the so-called HackRF One gadget—a software defined radio for transmission/reception of radio signals in the range of 1 megahertz–6 gigahertz). The result of this investigation (conducted in March 2017) is a revelation. It suggests the presence in Crimea of Mi-8MTPR-1 helicopters equipped with Rychag-AV jamming stations, making these aircraft formidable weapons for EW operations. One of the main ways these systems have been employed by Russia has been to deal with counter-air defense systems and complexes by reducing their effectiveness though muting and jamming their radio signals. Results of Ukraine’s investigation from this past March show that, in 2016, the Russian side deployed helicopters of this type on the territories of both the SMD and the Western Military District (WMD). All this leads to the following conclusions: First, the impressive capabilities of Ukrainian hackers and open-source-intelligence volunteers in disclosing Russian EW have not yet been met with any significant level of support from the Ukrainian government. Traditional problems such as bureaucracy, red tape and a slow pace of decision-making do not allow the government to rapidly apply the results of these investigations to the needs of the Armed Forces and Ukrainian cyber security. This drastically reduces the potential of the Ukrainian military and convinces the Russian side of its unconditional superiority. Second, even though Russian capabilities in the domain of EW have grown exponentially since 2014, they still cannot deliver total invulnerability. The most recent events in Syria (the United States’ April 7 cruise missile strike on al-Shayrat Airbase—see EDM, April 10) and the fact that Ukraine managed to intercept Russian signals in Crimea suggest that the actual might of Russian EW capabilities is lower than frequently portrayed in the West. Finally, Crimea as well as Kaliningrad oblast—as two heavily militarized anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) “bubbles”—together constitute key links in Russia’s growing “arc of counter-containment” (see EDM, January 18). And these areas could increasingly be used by the Kremlin as “cyber bastions” as well.

Ukraine Reports

Podcast: The Not-So-Velvet Divorce Bans on Russian social networks and search engines. Proposed restrictions on the Moscow Patriarchate. And a potential visa regime for Russian citizens. Step by step, bit by bit, law by law, the authorities in Kyiv are severing the ties that bind Ukraine to Russia. On this week’s Power Vertical Podcast, we look at what appears to be adding up to a not-so-velvet divorce — and where it may be leading. Joining me is co-host Mark Galeotti, a senior researcher at the Institute of International Relations in Prague, head of its Center for European Security, and a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations; and Natalia Churikova, managing editor of RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service and host of the program European Connect.

Trump ‘Looking At’ Sanctions On Russia Over Aggression In Ukraine U.S. President Donald Trump is &quot;looking at&quot; the series of sanctions imposed on Russia by the Obama administration over Moscow's interference in Ukraine and has no position right now o…

EU, U.S. to continue common sanctions policy towards Russia – Tusk President of the European Council Donald Tusk has said that the European Union and the United States will continue their common sanctions policy toward Russia. News 26 May from UNIAN.

US Congress will not support cutting aid to Ukraine, – Senator Shaheen 26.05.17 11:11 – US Congress will not support cutting aid to Ukraine, – Senator Shaheen U.S. Senator from New Hampshire Jeanne Shaheen says the U.S. Congress will not support cutting financial aid to Ukraine in 2018. View news.

Stoltenberg says NATO allies confirm support of Ukraine  NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announces that NATO allies have confirmed political and practical support of Ukraine at a meeting for the first time attended by U.S. President Donald Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, according to an UNIAN correspondent from Brussels. News 26 May from UNIAN.

Klimkin speaks of upcoming talks with France, Germany, without Russia Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin says it is necessary to bring the team of French President Emmanuel Macron up to speed to facilitate further work of the Normandy Four. News 26 May from UNIAN.

Poroshenko: Russia’s aggression against Ukraine challenge for whole Black Sea region Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says Russia's annexation of Crimea and its aggression in eastern Ukraine are a challenge for the entire Black Sea region and global security, according to his statement made at a solemn opening ceremony of the Istanbul Park&nbsp;in Odesa, an UNIAN correspondent reports. News 26 May from UNIAN.

Ukrainian Deputy FM: Kyiv to establish autonomy for Crimean Tatars Vadym Prystaiko, the First Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine, said Thursday that Ukraine will establish autonomy for the Crimean Tatars who fled from Crimea after the Russian invasion, Daily Sabah reports. News 26 May from UNIAN.

The Dangers of Ukraine’s Ban on Russian Websites – YouTube Tanya Cooper from Human Rights Watch discussed the slippery slope of Ukraine’s ban on popular Russian social media websites. She talks about how the poorly-c…

Savchenko Says Ukraine Ignoring Her Party Registration Bid KYIV — Nadia Savchenko, a former military helicopter navigator who entered politics after returning home following two years in a Russian jail, says the Justice Ministry is ignoring her request t…

Kharkiv, Sloviansk Key to Understanding War – YouTube Paul Niland talks to us about what we can learn from Sloviansk and for Kharkiv. By looking at them, we can get a better idea of the origins and potential aft…

Ukraine reports 5 WIAs in Donbas in past 24 hours | UNIAN The situation in the zone of the Anti-Terrorist Operation remains difficult, with the signs of escalation at certain sectors of the contact line, the ATO press center wrote on Facebook. News 26 May from UNIAN.

Five Ukrainian soldiers wounded yesterday, – ATO HQ 26.05.17 09:44 – Five Ukrainian soldiers wounded yesterday, – ATO HQ Five Ukrainian military were wounded in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) on May 25. View news.

Dog saved two Ukrainian soldiers in Donbas shelling by covering them with his body. PHOTOS26.05.17 14:15 – Dog saved two Ukrainian soldiers in Donbas shelling by covering them with his body. PHOTOS A dog in the anti-terrorist operation area (ATO) covered two Ukrainian fighters with his body during the attack. He took the impact upon himself and was wounded. Military doctors attempted saving the dog’s life. View photo news.Russia just released this video of its elite Spetsnaz taking over a cargo ship | Business Insider Russia just released a video of their elite…

War shatters lives in eastern Ukraine as world looks awayEurovision night bloodshed highlights continued suffering caused by three-year-old conflict

Armed Forces of Ukraine have enough weapons and ammunition, – says the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak | Міністерство оборони України—  Ukraine has a sufficient supply of ammunition, weapons and equipment, while the official requests to our international partners are related to the defensive capabilities, — told the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Army General of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak. — We need to reinforce our capabilities, including antitank, air defense, etc. This is defensive equipment. And this is what we are asking from our foreign partners, — told the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak in an interview to Interfax-Ukraine. The Minister of Defense of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak has underlined that the Armed Forces of Ukraine have sufficient number of ammunition, weapons and equipment in warehouses and storage facilities to effectively perform all the assigned objectives. — The time for those reserves to expire depends on the intensity of combat operations. Presently, they are sufficient for an adequate response in the case of an escalation. I am not going to tell you the number of tones we have — as this would save the resources of our enemy in identifying it. Still we have sufficient number of weapons and equipment. In the future, we shall need to construct a factory that would supply our stocks, — informed the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak.

Ukraine’s Air Force to get modernized jet fighters, bombers The Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) in 2017 will receive about 60 repaired and modernized jet fighters MiG-29, Su-27, Su-25 attack aircraft, Su-24 bombers, as well as L-39 combat training aircraft,&nbsp;head of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry's Communications and Press Department Lt. Col. Oksana Havryliuk told a Kyiv briefing, according to an UNIAN correspondent. “This year, the Air Force will receive from state enterprises about 60 repaired and modernized jet fighters MiG-29, Su-27, Su-25 attack aircraft, Su-24 bombers, as well as L-39 combat training aircraft,” she said. “The Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine continue to build up their combat capabilities. This year, the priority objectives of the Air Force command include the restoration of infrastructure, the revision of the deployment of military units taking into account the modern safe environment, the gradual transition of the Air Force control bodies to the J-structure adopted in NATO member countries, as well as the intensification of combat training, purchase, restoration and modernization of weapons and military equipment,” Havryliuk said. “During this time, the Air Force pilots gain more than 6,600 flight hours, while those of the warcraft of the Land Forces amounts to about 4,000 hours,” she said. According to Havryliuk, the Air Force has also increased the number of firing tests at combined-arms training grounds, while foreign specialists have been involved in training the instructors of Ukraine’s training centers. “State defense enterprises are able to modernize almost the entire range of aircraft currently in service with the AFU. Due to modernization, the combat capabilities of aircraft increase by an average of 50%. In particular, the range of detection of air and ground targets is increasing and a high probability of destruction is provided, safety of flights, reliability, survivability and other characteristics of combat vehicles are increased,” Havryliuk said.

UkrOboronProm restores damaged T-64BM «Bulat» main battle tanks | Defence Blog Ukraine’s defence concern Ukroboronprom has done a large amount of works to restore damaged T-64BM «Bulat» main battle tanks. The T-64BM «Bulat» tanks suffered heavy damage during the armed conflict in the Donbass region of Ukraine from the beginning of March 2014. According to Ukroboronprom’s official, SE “Malyshev Plant”, part of Ukroboronprom, restored 50 units of main battle tanks “Bulat” and transferred those to the Ukrainian Army. Overall, 64 “Bulats” in 3 years demonstrated their abilities on the battlefield and proved themselves as safe military equipment of a high quality. The BM Bulat is a modernised version of the T-64B Soviet main battle tank. The upgraded T-64B tank has been designed to meet the technical and combat characteristics of a modern tank. With a crew of three, it has a combat weight of 45t. The Bulat has a maximum speed of 70km/h and range of 385km. The original T-64B tank was developed in 1976 and its production began in 1980. The upgraded Bulat version of the T-64B was unveiled in 1999. The first upgraded tanks entered service with the Ukrainian Army in 2005.

UkrOboronProm shows off the firepower of its BTR-4 armoured personnel carriers | Defence Blog Ukroboronprom defence industry concern demonstrated successful test of modern BTR-4 armoured personnel carriers. SE «Kharkiv Morozov Machine-Building Design Bureau», which is part of Ukrainian state-run Ukroboronprom, has shown combat capabilities of the BTR-4 armoured personnel carrier at the military range near Kharkiv. Representatives UkrObornProm and Ministry of Defence of Ukraine conducted a number of different firing tests with a 30-mm automatic cannon ZTM-1, 30 mm grenade launcher and 7,76 automatic gun. The BTR-4 with a BM-7 «Parus» modern combat turret confirmed shooting accuracy from different types of weapons. Armoured personnel carrier was equipped with uninhabited combat turret BM-7 Parus with a 30-mm automatic gun ZTM-1, 30 mm grenade launcher and 7,76 automatic gun, Barrier antitank guided missile system. According to the manufacturer, effective range of the 30-mm automatic cannon when engaging ground targets such as light armoured vehicles is 1,500 m while soft-skinned targets can be engaged out to 4,000 m. Air targets can be engaged flying at low altitudes of up to 2,000 m at subsonic speeds and up to a slant range of 2,500 m. The 30 mm grenade launcher to provide to medium range fire support against enemy personnel and unarmored targets. The weapon fires 30mm rounds provided with highly sensitive fuses and self-destructors that operate after a certain time after firing. Barrier anti-tank guided missile launcher is intended to destroy stationary and moving modern armoured targets with combined, carried or monolithic armour including ERA (explosive reactive armour), and also pinpoint targets like weapon emplacements, a tank in a trench, light-armoured objects and helicopters. BTR-4E is entirely Ukrainian development, which is highly competitive. The domestic light armored vehicle sample has powerful armament, great speed and protection for the crew.

Ukraine’s military to conduct sea trials of new high-speed patrol boats | Defence Blog Ministry of Defense of Ukraine in the near future to conduct sea trials of a series of fast high-speed military boats developed by company «Sea Magic». As the press service of the Association of Ukrainian Defense Manufacturers told, which includes the company «Sea Magic», the relevant document on preparation for state trials was signed by Minister of Defence of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak and representative of the company of 24 May. During the last several years the member companies of the Association has provided the Armed Forces of Ukraine with considerable amount of armored vehicles, air-defense capabilities, electronic warfare devices, drones, other modern armaments and military equipment. According to the document, the first trial will be held “Jura” high-speed patrol boats. The high-speed patrol boat is designed to deliver up to 3 combat swimmers or 5 soldiers with light equipment, staging surface and underwater false targets and obstacles delivery remote-controlled underwater robots and explosive charges, finding and destroying underwater mines and navigation tasks in the sea. The maximum speed of the boat – 110 km / h, range – more than 500 km. In addition, the boat has the sixth grade ballistic protection post controls and systems, and invisible to thermal imagers. In the near future will be published a detailed review of the «Sea Magic» company products.

New batch of Oplot tanks to be delivered to Thailand next week – manufacturer Another batch of the Ukrainian-made Oplot main battle tanks will be supplied under the contract to Thailand next week, chief engineer at Kharkiv-based Malyshev Plant Oleksandr&nbsp;Sheiko&nbsp;told journalists on May 25. News 26 May from UNIAN.

Тест Ase Utra SL7, SL9, Jet-Z Compact, A-Tec Maxim Titan – YouTube Невеличкий порівняльний тест глушників для гвинтівки 308-го калібру. Фінські моделі Ase Utra SL7, SL9, Jet-Z Compact та норвежська A-Tec Maxim Titan. Камера …

DTEK receives first batch of anthracite coal from South Africa The first cargo ship loaded with deficient anthracite coal arrived in Ukraine from the Republic of South Africa, the press service of Rinat Akhmetov&rsquo;s DTEK wrote on Facebook. News 26 May from UNIAN.

Fighting corruption, Ukraine starts to judge its judges | Reuters Ukrainian judge Artur Yemelianov has acknowledged in an online declaration that he owns a Breguet watch worth nearly a third of his annual salary and keeps piles of cash.

23 Yanukovych’s taxmen arrested in anti-corruption raid. What you need to know -Euromaidan Press | Vitalii Rybak On 24 May 2017, [the day of Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko’s annual report in the Ukrainian Parliament – Ed] 23 people have been arrested in a joint operation of Ukraine’s National Police and Military Prosecutor’s office. Arsen Avakov, Ukraine’s Minister of Interior, and Anatoliy Matios, Chief Military Prosecutor, underlined in a joint press conference that the operation involved 1,700 policemen and 500 military prosecutors who simultaneously conducted 454 searches in 15 regions across Ukraine. Avakov stressed that this is the largest anti-corruption operation in the history of Ukraine. The detained were brought to Kyiv by helicopter so that the court hearing could have been held on the same day. Here is what you need to know about this story:

New evidence in Gongadze case will rub some people the wrong way, – Prosecutor General Lutsenko 26.05.17 13:28 – New evidence in Gongadze case will rub some people the wrong way, – Prosecutor General Lutsenko Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko says new important evidence has been found in the case of murdered journalist Heorhii Gongadze. View news.

Turkey ‘key’ partner of Ukraine in Black Sea: Envoy 2017 ‘very symbolic’ year as it marks 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties, says Ukraine’s ambassador to Ankara – Anadolu Agency

Ukrainians Express Outrage Over U.S. Sculptor’s Seated Ballerina Ukrainians have taken to the Internet to criticize U.S. artist Jeff Koons over his sculpture of a sitting ballerina recently installed in New York, saying it appears remarkably similar to a work by …

Ukraine’s Babi Yar suffers damage following incident – Diaspora – Jerusalem Post An incident caused damage to the monument in Kiev commemorates the lives of 33,771 people who were slain by the Nazis in the mass killings at the ravine.

Decapitating Lenin Statues Is the Hottest New Trend in Ukraine – VICE Surreal photos of monuments to the Communist leader in overgrown fields, supply closets, and hatchbacks.

The Hunt for Ukraine’s Toppled Lenin Statues – Atlas Obscura Photographing the hidden afterlives of Soviet monuments.

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports

Iran claims third underground missile production site built – The Washington Post An Iranian semi-official news agency says the country’s powerful Revolutionary Guard has built a third underground facility designated to produce ballistic missiles.

Iran says it has built third underground ballistic missile factory | Reuters Iran has built a third underground ballistic missile production factory and will keep developing its missile program, the semi-official Fars news agency quoted a senior commander of the elite Revolutionary Guard as saying.

US official: Russia apologized after Russian jet performed barrel roll over US plane – A Russian fighter jet recently conducted an “unprofessional” intercept of a US KC-10 tanker aircraft in the skies over Syria, prompting Russian officers to apologize, Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian told reporters at the Pentagon Wednesday.

DPRK / PRC Reports

The China-Russia summit will focus on North Korea – but it’s really about Western influence in the region | The Independent Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi makes an official visit to Russia on Thursday and Friday for meetings with key officials, including his counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

US Diplomat: China Tightened Border Controls With N. Korea | World News | US News BEIJING (AP) — Chinese officials have told the U.S. that they’ve tightened inspections and policing along the border with North Korea as part of U.N. sanctions aimed at halting Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile activities, the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia said Friday.

North Korea missile advances worries commander of 11th Air Force in Alaska A U.S. military general has told Alaska business owners that he’s more worried about North Korea’s missile advancements than he is about the country’s current military capabilities.

EXCLUSIVE: Kim’s rocket stars: The trio behind North Korea’s missile programme | Reuters min Park and James Pearson

In the South China Sea, the U.S. is Struggling to Halt Beijing’s Advance | Foreign Policy Despite a belated U.S. naval patrol, Beijing’s bid to extend its military power over the South China Sea is moving ahead unchecked.

U.S. drill designed to reject China’s claim around artificial island: officials | Reuters A U.S. warship carried out a “maneuvering drill” when it sailed within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, to show it was not entitled to a territorial sea around it, U.S. officials said on Thursday.

China Claims ‘Indisputable Sovereignty’ in South China Sea After First Trump-Era U.S. Navy Operation China has condemned a U.S. Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP) conducted in the South China Sea.

Pivotal Vietnam Balances U.S. and China Amid Trump Uncertainty | World News | US News US News is a recognized leader in college, grad school, hospital, mutual fund, and car rankings. Track elected officials, research health conditions, and find news you can use in politics, business, health, and education.

Foreign Policy Reports

In NATO Speech, Trump Is Vague About Mutual Defense Pledge – The New York Times The president promised to “never forsake” allies but lectured NATO members on the need to pay what he said was their fair share of the alliance costs.

NATO Article 5: The law bows to power – Washington Times Article 5 of the 29-member North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has been willfully misinterpreted to accommodate the vaulting ambition of the American Empire for world domination.

Former U.S. Ambassador Responds To Trump’s Rhetoric On NATO : NPR NPR’s Audie Cornish speaks with Gen. Douglas Lute, who was the U.S. ambassador to NATO until January, about Trump’s visit to NATO, and how his comments square with his past statements about the alliance.

Tusk Says Europe Fails To Find Common Ground With Trump On Several Issues European Council President Donald Tusk has said U.S. President Donald Trump and senior European Union officials failed to find common ground on several issues at a meeting in Brussels on May 25.

Trump Hands Putin a Win at First NATO Meeting | Foreign Policy European leaders hoped President Donald Trump would explicitly endorse NATO’s bedrock collective defense clause during his visit to Brussels on Thursday, after he spent the presidential campaign suggesting it was hollow. He didn’t. In a speech at the opening of NATO’s new headquarters, Trump slammed U.S. allies for not spending enough on defense before an uncomfortable-looking audience of fellow heads of state, and in between sparked awkward run-ins with other leaders that underscored strained U.S.-European relations since Trump took office. He berated allies for “chronic underpayments” on defense spending in remarks that left allies, former officials, and longtime NATO experts stunned. “This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States,” Trump said in a speech. “And many of these nations owe massive amounts of money from past years and not paying in those past years,” he said yet again. (Of course, as Trump has had explained to him countless times, countries don’t pay any dues to NATO, as they do to organizations like the U.N., so it’s unclear what he is talking about.)

Trump directly scolds NATO allies, says they owe ‘massive’ sums | Reuters U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday intensified his accusations that NATO allies were not spending enough on defense and said more attacks such as this week’s bombing in Manchester would take place unless the alliance did more to stop militants.

Trump scolds NATO allies on defense spending | TheHill President Trump on Thursday scolded NATO allies for not paying their fair share for defense during a ceremony at the alliance’s new headquarters in Brussels. “NATO members must finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations,” Trump said, as other leaders looked on from the sidelines. Returning to a refrain from his campaign, Trump pointed out that 23 of the 28 member nations are not meeting NATO’s target of spending 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense. ADVERTISEMENT “This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States and many of these nations owe massive amounts of money from past years — and not paying in those past years,” Trump said. Trump did not explicitly endorse Article 5 of NATO’s founding treaty, which declares that an attack on any allied state is an attack on all. He only spoke generally of “the commitments that bind us together as one.” The omission stood out further because the ceremony was held to unveil a memorial symbolizing the mutual-defense pledge: a twisted piece of metal from the north tower of the World Trade Center. The 9/11 attacks are the only time the alliance has invoked Article 5. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said later that Trump is “fully committed” to the mutual defense of NATO allies. “We’re not playing cutesy with this,” he told reporters. “I’ve seen some of the questions I’ve gotten from you guys, but there’s 100 percent commitment to Article 5.” Trump’s speech provoked exasperation from NATO leaders already uneasy with their relationship with the president, who condemned the alliance as “obsolete” during the 2016 campaign. French President Emmanuel Macron stole bewildered glances with other leaders during Trump’s remarks. Trump appeared to take pleasure in lecturing his counterparts, even suggesting the NATO headquarters cost too much. “I never asked once what the new NATO headquarters cost,” he said in an unscripted aside. “I refuse to do that. But it is beautiful.” The speech was one of the more uncomfortable moments on Trump’s grueling, nine-day foreign trip. Trump received a hero’s welcome during previous stops in Saudi Arabia and Israel. But in Brussels, a city he once described as a “hellhole,” he was met with major street protests. He was also put face-to-face with leaders he’s clashed with in the past, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Standing alongside Trump, the German leader spoke about a piece of the Berlin Wall that was being dedicated as part of the memorial. “It is not isolation or the building of walls that will make us successful, but the sharing of values,” Merkel said in a subtle jab at Trump’s immigration policies. For all the awkwardness it has appeared to create, U.S. officials argue Trump’s approach has resulted in positive changes at the alliance. After Trump’s repeated suggestions the alliance was not doing enough to fight terrorism, NATO announced it is officially joining the coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Trump tied the issue of defense spending to their commitment to the fight against terrorism. “If NATO countries made their full and complete contributions, then NATO would be even stronger than it is today, especially from the threat of terrorism,” Trump said.

Trump chastises fellow NATO members, demands they meet payment obligations – The Washington Post The president used a speech at a NATO summit in Brussels to complain about members’ failure to meet defense spending targets.

EU Leaders and Trump Clash Over Russia – YouTube_ Follow UATV English: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Medium: ht…

President Donald Trump, European Union leaders remain at odds over Russia President meets EU officials on the sidelines of NATO summit.

Turkey’s leader confronted by France, Germany at NATO summit – The Washington Post Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was confronted by key allies France and Germany with diplomatic complaints despite him traveling to Brussels to celebrate the unity of the NATO alliance.

Trump calls for investigation of U.S. leaks in Manchester bomb probe – The Washington Post In Brussels, Trump responded to British outrage over the leaks and vowed to “get to the bottom of this” to preserve intelligence sharing.

Trump condemns leaks after UK police stop sharing attack information | Reuters President Donald Trump said on Thursday that “deeply troubling” leaks to U.S. media about the Manchester suicide bombing would be investigated, after irate British police stopped sharing information with U.S. agencies.

Trump Sides With U.K. Against U.S. Intelligence Over Manchester Leaks Facing British outrage at the NATO summit after U.S. officials leaked details of the Manchester attack, POTUS, the subject of many leaks himself, called for an investigation.

‘Arrogant, Wrong’ : U.K. Blasts U.S. Leaks of Manchester Attack – The Atlantic Manchester police say they will stop sharing information about the investigation with their American counterparts.

Israel changes intelligence sharing with US after Trump’s revelations to Russia – POLITICO ‘We discussed the issue with our friends in America,’ Israeli defense minister said.

Macron white-knuckles Trump in first meetup – France 24 Newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron completed the initial leg of his first diplomatic marathon with a win: He beat his US counterpart in a handshake contest.

Trump and Macron had an awkward, white-knuckled handshake – Business Insider “Each president gripped the other’s hand with considerable intensity, their knuckles turning white and their jaws clenching and faces tightening.”

Montenegro: Key NATO Ally Or Adriatic Afterthought? Nestled in the Adriatic coastline between Croatia and Albania, tiny Montenegro may appear to have little military value. Just don't tell that to NATO or its sworn rival, Russia. Montenegro…

Trump Advisor Stephen Miller Blocked G-7 Migration Proposal | Foreign Policy The author of the ‘Muslim Ban’ is now working to scuttle plans to settle refugees.

Times of Malta ‒ Russia denies interference in Malta’s affairs

Pope Francis: God is no warlord claiming victory with enemies’ blood | ‘God does not like to be loved the way a warlord would like, dragging his people to victory, debasing them in the blood of his enemies,’ Pope Francis said

Ariana Grande is targeted by trolls over postponed tour | Daily Mail Online Pop star Ariana Grande, 23, will take time out to pay ‘proper respects’ to the 22 people who lost their lives in the attack on her concert at Manchester Arena on Monday night, it was announced.

Ariana Grande Manager on Manchester: ‘Fear Cannot Rule’ – Rolling Stone Ariana Grande’s manager Scooter Braun responded to the Manchester terror attack with an emotional message on Twitter.Did

Ariana Grande Offer to Pay for the Funerals of the Manchester Bombing Victims?

‘When you’re ready, sing again.’ Advice to Ariana Grande – BBC News ‘Only when you are ready, sing again.’ A dad of three passes on advice.

Manchester bombing: Queen says Ariana Grande is ‘very good singer’ during hospital visit to injured fans | The Independent The Queen has told one of the young victims of the Manchester bombing that she thinks Ariana Grande is a “very good singer” in a visit to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.  Speaking to Evie Mills,14, from Harrogate, who had been given tickets to the concert as a birthday present, the monarch told her Grande “sounds very, very good”. She also told Evie’s parents that “everyone is united” following the attack.  “It’s dreadful. Very wicked,” she said. “To target that sort of thing.”

‘We had to pull nails out of children’s faces’: Homeless men helped after Manchester blast – The Washington Post Two homeless rescuers are being rewarded for their daring actions, though the devastation they encountered left them scarred.

Homeless man offered job, money and a home after helping Manchester attack victims – CBS News The homeless man, who was sleeping near Manchester Arena at the time of the blast, was hailed a hero after sharing his harrowing account

US Domestic Policy Reports

As lone DoD service secretary, Wilson seen as key advocate for the Air Force Air Force officials are looking to Wilson to advocate for the service during a period where the president has promised a large military buildup, but offered few details about what that means for air power.

Combat Forces in Peril Hawk Carlisle, former ACC and PACAF commander, offers a frank look at USAF’s mistakes and opportunities.

Trump wants capability to track, hack and destroy drones If these new powers do come into law, we can expect a whole new range of drone-capture kit to hit the market for law enforcement agencies.

Proposed Rules Would Allow U.S. to Track and Destroy Drones – The New York Times Citing security threats, the Trump administration has asked Congress to give the federal government sweeping powers regarding drones over domestic soil.

The media are totally trolling Trump on Russia | New York Post If President Trump has acted as his own worst enemy in the Russia controversy, as everyone says, he’s been baited into it. Rush Limbaugh a couple of weeks ago…

Trump, Russia News Making Americans Nervous, Poll Finds Showing that optimism does still exist in the country, however, 48 percent said they were hopeful, according to Morning Consult/Politico.

Official: Trump ‘looking at’ future of US sanctions on Russia | TheHill

Fox News Poll: Is Russia friend or foe? Voters say foe, think Trump says friend | Fox News By a 36-point margin, American voters consider Russia an enemy of the U.S. rather than an ally. In contrast, by a 53-point spread, most think President Trump sees it the other way around.

Brennan Shoots Down Claim Trump Tried to Kill Flynn Probe | The Daily Caller Former CIA Director James Brennan told Congress Trump did not ask IC officials to kill the investigation of former nationals security advisor Michael Flynn.

“Trump Russia Collusion” & John Brennan’s Testimony: How to Fight Politicized Narrative | National Review The “Russian collusion” scandal is manufactured — but like all good subterfuge, it is premised on a kernel of truth …

How Alleged Russian Hacker Teamed Up With Florida GOP Operative – WSJ Political consultant Aaron Nevins asked for and received documents from hacker “Guccifer 2.0” and posted some on his blog, after which the hacker called the blog to the attention of Trump adviser Roger Stone.

Michael Flynn Invokes 5th Amendment, Refusing To Give Documents To Senate Intelligence Committee : The Two-Way : NPR Lawyers for the former national security adviser cited “public frenzy” against him. Meanwhile, another congressional committee says Michael Flynn may have lied to security clearance investigators.

Congress, give Flynn immunity (opinion) – Instead of subpoening Flynn, Congress should grant him limited immunity first, so he can begin to answer questions regarding Russia’s potential collusion with the Trump campaign, writes Page Pate.

How Michael Flynn May Have Run Afoul of the Law – The New York Times Mr. Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, faces potential legal problems over money he made from foreign entities and what he has told investigators.

Americans should learn Russian to influence Trump, Kerry says – BBC News Learn Russian if you want to influence the Trump team, US ex-Secretary of State John Kerry says.

Lawmakers push Trump to punish Erdogan over embassy violence

House speaker calls Erdogan visit violence ‘indefensible’ – NY Daily News WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that the violence against peaceful protesters by bodyguards for Turkey’s president was “completely indefensible,” as members of Congress pressed the Trump administration for a more forceful U.S. response.

Sean Hannity: Russia probe consumes media, but goes nowhere | Fox News The destroy-Trump, alt-left media continues to breathlessly push the bizarre, tinfoil hat conspiracy that President Trump and Russia colluded to help him win the election.

FBI turns focus on Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner in Russia investigation At this time, Kushner is not regarded as a formal target of the probe, however.

Manafort advised Trump team on Russia scandal – POLITICO Former campaign chief remained in contact with the president and his aides after the FBI launched its Russia probe.

Manafort called Priebus over Russia allegations: report | TheHill

‘Anyone . . . with a pulse’: How a Russia-friendly adviser found his way into the Trump campaign – The Washington Post Carter Page appeared as Trump needed a foreign policy team. The story behind his arrival could answer key questions in the Russia probe.