Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Media Update – 27 May 2017

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Russia’s internal crackdown / meltdown continues, while Western leaders debate additional sanctions.  Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius berates appeasement attitudes in Western leaders. Russian opposition analysts see Putin’s aim in the US to be impeachment of POTUS. More on defense industry meltdown. Russia now hosts 2.4 million Ukrainian gastarbeiters, in addition to 18 million ethnic Ukrainians.

In Ukraine, Sungurovsky argues that Ukraine should call the Russian invasion a “war” rather than “Anti-Terrorist Operation” (ATO), a good argument as Western MSM dismiss the ATO label as the Russian invasion proxy force is not made up of ISIS and Al Qaeda troops and therefore cannot be “terrorists” (Russian paid Chechen mercs decapitating Ukrainian POWs doesn’t count as terrorism in the Western MSM). Law enforcers in Ukraine investigating the ring of corrupt tax officials who orchestrated the Yanukovich regime’s theft of UAH 97 billion (USD3.7B) receive threatening phone calls from Russia. Donbass fires continue, including 152mm barrage for 40 minutes. More on Vilkha MLRS test launch, Turchenov disclosing numbers on accuracy and effects.

Chinese J-10s harass US Navy P-3C.

NATO arguments continue, with some MSM claims patently absurd. Grande to hold a charity concert in Manchester to help victims.

In DC, Deripaska offers to testify against Manafort, while Comey criticized over the use of known to be fake Russian documents. Toxicity of debate undiminished.

Russia / Russophone Reports

US House Homeland Security Committee: Putin Must Be Stopped – YouTube The United States House Homeland Security Committee has a message for the world: Putin must be stopped. The message comes directly from the Committee Chair, …

Trump Administration ‘Looks to Get Tougher on Russia’ – YouTube President Donald Trump supports maintaining US sanctions against Russia. That’s, at least, according to his economic advisor Gary Cohen. _ Follow UATV Englis…

Trump Likely To Keep Russian Sanctions | The Daily Caller In a move that would undermine claims he is controlled by the Kremlin, President Donald Trump is likely to keep in place sanctions against Russia.An Invisible Curtain Falls Between Russia and the West – Stratfor Worldview

n Invisible Curtain Falls Between Russia and the West – Stratfor Worldview Is the Cold War truly over, or has the front line simply moved from battlespace to cyberspace?

An Invisible Curtain Falls Between Russia and the West – To Inform is to Influence By Jon Sather Board of Contributors May 26, 2017 | 08:00 GMT The Cold War ended over 25 years ago, but the lingering Soviet specter continues to haunt the Western world. Since the election of Russian President Vladimir Putin in March 2000, a new conflict has been brewing, this time in cyberspace. And on a…

U.S. Senate Committee Advances Measure On Russian Propaganda, Election Meddling WASHINGTON — A key U.S. Senate committee has moved forward on new legislation aimed at countering Russian propaganda and election meddling in the United States and elsewhere.&nbsp; The bill…

S.94 – Counteracting Russian Hostilities Act of 2017 – To Inform is to Influence There FINALLY appears to be some action on this bill. Two Senators, one Democrat, one Republican, are threatening to push this bill forward (what a threat?) unilaterally if SecState Tillerson cannot show progress with Russia in regards to both Syria and Ukraine.  I’ve also seen this bill nicknamed the Russian propaganda bill.   The last…

Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘Molotov is Alive and Looking for a New Ribbentrop,’ Lithuanian Foreign Minister Says Paul Goble Staunton, May 27 – Speaking in Bratislava yesterday, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said that “Molotov is alive and looking for a new Ribbentrop,” thus suggesting Vladimir Putin now like Stalin in 1939 believes he can cut a deal with someone in the West over Eastern Europe ( The possibility that the great powers might make such a deal over the heads of the countries of Eastern Europe has been a constant fear in many capitals, especially those who have as the Baltic countries did earlier make as their fundamental demand “nothing about us without us.” And such concerns have only intensified in recent months given the all-too-obvious desire of some new leaders to save money by reducing their commitments to these countries and to make money by reaching deals with the Russian Federation, fears that have not been put to rest even by the introduction of NATO troops into some of them. Putin is counting on that, on the absence of ideological restrictions (which Stalin also ignored) and on the increasingly short-time horizon of many Western leaders who want to ignore the past and reach quick agreements that may benefit them politically in the short term at home while harming others directly and immediately and themselves over the longer haul. The Lithuanian diplomat deserves highest praise for describing what is going on in the most lapidary of language.

“Putin said to orchestrate Trump’s impeachment” and other neglected Russian stories | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press | Putin Now Said Trying to Orchestrate Trump’s Impeachment Those who thought the Kremlin leader was simply trying to recruit Donald Trump and have him do Moscow’s bidding while president of the US have not understood what Putin is about. He is interested first and foremost in destabilizing the US as well as other countries and is quite prepared to fish in troubled waters by supporting and then undermining one and the same individual ( and

Russia Decries Plans For Increased NATO Spending, Says Ties In ‘Crisis’ Russia's ambassador to NATO decried the alliance's plans to increase military spending, saying the U.S. defense industry will be the prime beneficiary as European nations purchase more arms. …:

Putin heading to Paris with “well-known” position on Ukraine The Kremlin claims that Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is going to Paris for talks with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Monday, May 29, will reiterate a &quot;well-known&quot; position on Ukraine there, according to an UNIAN correspondent in Russia. News 27 May from UNIAN.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russian Long-Haul Truckers Strike Continues Despite Arrests, Threats and Media Blackout Paul Goble Staunton, May 27 – Despite arrests, threats to drivers and their families, and the lack of coverage in government media, Russia’s long-haul truckers are continuing their strike, with ever more drivers signing up for the Carriers Union and ever greater coordination among branches of that union across the country. Indeed, the only places where the strike action appears to have ebbed in recent days are those in the North Caucasus where local officials have been willing to enter into negotiations with the striking drivers ( But Moscow and many other regional capitals have proved unwilling to do that and instead have arrested some drivers, threatened them and members of their families with violence, and sought to block strikers from moving into parking areas by digging deep trenches across which the trucks can’t go ( That has made many drivers reluctant to take public actions although it has done nothing to get them to pay the Plato fees. Also yesterday, the drivers picked up additional political support. While in Ryazan, opposition leader Aleksey Navalny said that he would end what he called “the unjust Plato tax” if elected president (

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Yekaterinburg Truckers Plan Strike Demonstration for June 3 Paul Goble Staunton, May 26 – The Yekaterinburg branch of the Carriers Union of Russia has applied for a permit to allow 20 truckers to circle the city on its ring road to protest the Plato fee system. Organizers say that they do not know whether the city will give its approval or how many truckers may in fact show up if it does ( and They have put an estimate of 20 on their application but note that there are only six truckers still at the strike parking lot there and that the recent arrest of strikers on Moscow’s ring road, while infuriating many by its brutality, including against women ( may keep numbers down. As often happens at the end of the week, today saw the appearance of several articles summing up what has happened with the Russian long-haul truckers strike so far. Among the best are those posted at, and While the appearance of striking drivers near Moscow and union plans to go to court to seek the overturning of the Plato system have attracted more media attention to this action than earlier, the dominant tone of many articles is that the strike is petering out, the victim of Russian government repression and the needs of drivers to earn money for their families. But strike leaders are more upbeat. Andrey Bazhutin, president of the Carriers Uninon, says that in his view, the strike is only gaining strength because such a labor action doesn’t just involve standing in one place and waving flags. It also means not paying the Plato fees and many drivers and their companies are refusing to do so even now ( He suggested that the current situation is much like the one shown in the Russian movie “DMB” that appeared in 2000. (DMB is army slang for “demobilization.”) One of the actors in the film asks “Do you see a protest?” His friend responds “No.” And the questioner says “Neither do I. But it’s there.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin’s Remark about ‘Fools’ in His Regime Raises Some Serious Questions, Shenderovich Says Paul Goble Staunton, May 26 – Vladimir Putin’s suggestion earlier this week that he didn’t know in advance about the siloviki attack on the Gogol Center and that those who carried it out were “fools” to have done so in such a clumsy way was a transparent effort to avoid any responsibility for what his government has been doing. It is perhaps possible but highly unlikely Putin didn’t know in advance given that his culture minister has acknowledged that he did ( and given that Putin’s regime has launched a broad attack on Russian intellectuals ( and But Putin’s words will be fastened on at home as evidence that the old Russian pattern of “a good tsar and bad boyars” continues and abroad as an indication that Putin whatever some may think of him is not the clumsy thug that some describe him as being but is concerned about the rule of law and basic due process. In a blog post today, journalist Viktor Shenderovich says that whatever may be the case about Putin’s knowledge – the latest Russian version of “what did the president know and when did he know it” – there are four significant questions that the Kremlin leader should be confronted with and soon (

Putin giving “Fool” medals to Officials

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin’s Recipe for Civic Peace Won’t Stop Polarization of Russian Society, Remizov Says Paul Goble Staunton, May 27 – Vladimir Putin’s statement this week that “civic peace is shaky” in Russia and that “our common obligation is to do everything within our power to preserve the unity of the civic Russian nation” reflects his concerns about new debates over 1917 given the approaching anniversary of the October Revolution, Mikhail Remizov says. But the Kremlin leader’s recipe for maintaining unity – not discussing openly which side was right and which was wrong – won’t do anything to block the ongoing “polarization in society” along both “ideological and ethno-religious lines,” according to the head of the Moscow Institute for National Strategy ( It is important to recognize, Remizov argues, that the ideological divide between “the reds” and “the whites” in Russian society is deeper and more profound now than it was in the 1990s because, even though the powers that be have changed their “façade,” “the clash of ‘communists’ and ‘anti-communists’ has again intensified.” This is “a symptom,” the Moscow commentator says, “of the sense by society of Russia’s lack of political and economic success over the last quarter of a century,” something that has only been exacerbated by the choice of the authorities to focus on the past rather than talk about the future. And it also reflects, Remizov continues, what he describes as the government’s “cult of diversity,” something that it inherited from Soviet times and that makes real unity difficult. The country needs an integral vision and a program to support that vision based on “the Russian language, Russian culture, and Russian historical memory.” If the government were to focus on programs to reduce social inequality, he argues, that would go a long way to reduce divisions because it would serve as “a positive vector for the entire society” and “become a very good unifying factor.” But so far, the Putin regime has shown now willingness to move in that direction. Appended to Remizov’s interview are some brief remarks by Aleksandr Shatilov, deal of the sociology and political science faculty of Moscow’s Finance University. He points out that foreign policy successes can unite the country as the annexation of Crimea in 2014 proved but says that the government has failed to follow up on that. Instead, he says, “the Russian elite acts clumsily and sometimes almost in a suicidal fashion” by its “inconsistent” actions and messages. The same pattern is true in the fight against corruption, a fight that should unite the country but in fact is dividing it further. Shatilov suggests Putin understands all this but has been unable to take the bureaucracy with him. As far as ideological clashes are concerned, the sociologist says, “in our intellectual community what is sometimes observed is a war of all against all. Liberals fight with state-thinking people, the state-thinking with communists, the communists with the Orthodox and so on.” And that is made worse, Shatilov says, “to put it mildly by some strange initiatives from the authorities themselves.” For example, putting up memorials to Mannerheim and Kolchak do nothing to unite people but only to divide the Russian people further.

FSB Agents Raid Jehovah’s Witnesses Service In Central Russia; Danish Man Arrested Masked security agents and local police raided a worship service that was being by Jehovah's Witnesses in the central Russian city of Oryol, the latest in a series of raids following a Suprem…

CPJ Urges Russia To Bring Those Responsible For Journalist’s Killing To Justice The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is urging Russian authorities to conduct a &ldquo;thorough, unbiased, and effective&rdquo; investigation into the killing of the chief edito…

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia’s Defense Build-Up Literally Hollow / A Baker’s Double Dozen of Neglected Russian Stories – No. 84 Russia’s Defense Build-Up Literally Hollow. In all the hullaballoo about the launch of a new atomic-powered Russian warship, few noticed that the ship did not contain any power plant or other machinery to allow it to function ( That is just one of the ways in which the budget crunch is hitting the Russian defense system. Others include: the CIS missile defense shield will cost Russia more money that it may have (, budget cuts already mean that Russia will test fewer missiles in the coming years (, Moscow has conceded that it won’t get a helicopter carrier for five years (, and experts are questioning whether such ships make sense given that Russia can’t afford to support a real aircraft carrier ( and But there is an even more serious problem for Russia’s defense system: Vladimir Putin continues to privatize defense plants and many of their new owners value strip them, leaving Russia without key factories (

Russia’s Putin drafts new rearmament program Following a meeting between Putin and military leaders dedicated to drafting a rearmament agenda through 2025, the Russian leader postponed two flagship projects for the Navy.

About ten million foreigners work in Russia Update: 26-05-2017 (12:25) According to the report of the Russian Academy of Science and Technology “2016: The socio-economic situation of the population – an ongoing crisis or a new reality?”, Published on May 24, In 2016 the total number of foreigners arriving in Russia amounted to 9.6-10.4 million people. Most of them – about 8 million people (85%) came from the CIS countries. Most of all labor migrants from Ukraine (2.4 million people), Uzbekistan (2.2 million), Tajikistan (1 million), Moldova (561 thousand) and Kyrgyzstan (544 thousand people), while the flow from Uzbekistan decreased by 30% In comparison with 2015.

Why mortality from HIV does not decrease in Russia Already in 2015, deaths from diseases caused by the immunodeficiency virus accounted for almost half – 45% of all deaths from infectious diseases in Russia.

A Russian Businessman’s Road From Siberia to Success – The New York Times A cosmetics company is a rare bright spot for a Russian economy that has been languishing in recent years.

Putin-Macron Meeting A Chance To ‘Get Acquainted,’ Kremlin Says The Kremlin says a meeting between the Russian and French presidents near Paris next week will be &quot;an opportunity to talk frankly and to get a better feel for each other.&quot; Vladimir Puti…

Estonia Expels Two Russian Diplomats, Moscow Vows Retaliation Estonia says it has expelled two Russian diplomats in the latest incident to strain relations between the two neighbors. The Estonian Foreign Ministry made the announcement on May 26, withou…

Moldova’s president: Transnistria will never become federal subject of Russia President of Moldova Igor Dodon has told TV Channel NTV Moldova that Transnistria will never become an independent state, noting that another Dubai could have been built for about $15 billion invested in the region in the past 25 years, according to News 26 May from UNIAN.

IW/IO/Cyber Reports

Russia’s disinformation efforts hit 39 countries: researchers – To Inform is to Influence May 25, 2017 Russia’s campaign of cyberespionage and disinformation has targeted hundreds of individuals and organizations from at least 39 countries along with the United Nations and NATO, researchers said Thursday. A report by the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto revealed the existence of “a major disinformation and cyber espionage campaign with hundreds…

Why Nobody Trusts US Reporting About Russia – To Inform is to Influence There are two schools of thought concerning Russia, as much as I hate to admit it, but I believe it is important to make the case. One, there is a manufactured ‘crisis’ in the mainstream media with sources based on Tweets. As an example, Louise Mensch’s tweets are conjecture 99% of the time, she is…

Russian Hackers Are Using ‘Tainted’ Leaks to Sow Disinformation – To Inform is to Influence ANDY GREENBERG SECURITY DATE OF PUBLICATION: TIME OF PUBLICATION: 11:51 AM.11:51 AM OVER THE PAST year, the Kremlin’s strategy of weaponizing leaks to meddle with democracies around the world has become increasingly clear, first in the US and more recently in France. But a new report by a group of security researchers digs into…

British Airways cancels flights from London as global IT outage causes chaos | Reuters British Airways canceled all its flights from London’s two biggest airports on Saturday after a global computer system failure caused confusion and chaos, with thousands of passengers queuing for hours and planes left stuck on runways.

Ukraine Reports

Ukraine is in a state of war with Russia – and Kyiv needs to say so, Sungurovsky says | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press |[VIDEO] The Ukrainian government continues to call its fight against the Russian invasion of the country “an anti-terrorist operation,” instead of declaring it to be a real war. According to Mykola Sungurovsky, this failure reflects the fact that Kyiv elites still “think in the categories of economic profit and electoral advantage.” Calling Russian actions a war, the Ukrainian military analyst says, is a matter of principle for “both the domestic and foreign understanding of this conflict,” and failure to use the right term gives Vladimir Putin and his much-hyped notion of “hybrid” war an undeserved advantage.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Ukraine is in a State of War with Russia – and Kyiv Needs to Say So, Sungurovsky Says Paul Goble Staunton, May 27 – The Ukrainian government continues to call its fight against the Russian invasion of the country “an anti-terrorist operation,” instead of declaring it to be a real war. According to Mykola Sungurovsky, this failure reflects the fact that Kyiv elites still “think in the categories of economic profit and electoral advantage.” Calling Russian actions a war, the Ukrainian military analyst says, is a matter of principle for “both the domestic and foreign understanding of this conflict,” and failure to use the right term gives Vladimir Putin and his much-hyped notion of “hybrid” war an undeserved advantage ( That is because, Sungurovsky continues, the words officials use determine “not only attitudes” toward what is going on “but also the behavior of both those who are directly participating in it and also third parties.” Indeed, “it is wrong to speak about the absence of war and yet demand from society mobilization.” “From the very beginning of this conflict,” he says, “the Ukrainian authorities have violated national law” which requires “the introduction of martial law” if Ukraine is invaded. But so far, the government has been unwilling or unable to take that legally required step, one entirely justified by what Russia has done. Repeated statements by senior officials that Ukraine would move in that direction “in the case of the intensification of the conflict” have not been followed by action. And “in many cases,” Sungurovsky says, “the role of the state was compensated by the role of civil society and its volunteer movements.” But Ukrainian society cannot be mobilized unless the government declares the existence of a state of war. Indeed, without such a declaration, “the powers that be do not have the right to demand from society either trust or respect or even more that very much needed mobilization needed for victory over the enemy.” The Ukrainian government says it can’t take this step lest the IMF refuse to extend it credits, but the Kyiv analyst points out that the IMF has not made such demands – and would be unlikely to if Ukraine declared martial law in one or another parts of the country or even for the country as a whole, given that Putin’s “hybrid” invasion touches the entire country.

“Russia won’t stop its campaign of aggression unless we force its hand,” – Poroshenko 27.05.17 14:36 – Russia won’t stop its campaign of aggression unless we force its hand, – Poroshenko Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko addressed G7 leaders. View news.

Trump adviser Gary Cohn says no plans to ease sanctions on Russia – Washington Times A top White House adviser said Friday that President Trump has no plans to lift sanctions against Russia and might even take a “tougher” approach with Moscow.

G7 says full implementation of Minsk Agreements only way to settle Donbas conflict The Great Seven believes the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements is the only path to lead to reach a solution to the Ukraine crisis, according to a communique signed following a G7 summit in Italy&rsquo;s Taormina. News 27 May from UNIAN.

Interior Minister tells of threats, calls from Moscow following arrest of prominent Yanukovych-era fiscal officials Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov says that after the law enforcers launched a large-scale raid to detain 23 former tax officials, they have been receiving threats and calls from Moscow, an UNIAN correspondent from the minister&rsquo;s briefing in the city of Khmelnitsky where he opened a police services center. “To date, threats are being received by military prosecutor Anatoly Matios and the prosecutors who were involved in the raid. There is fierce resistance; we see bribery attempts to positively resolve issues related to the detention [of ex-tax officials]. They even got calls from Moscow,” said Avakov.

“Duration of sanctions is linked to Russia’s complete implementation of its commitments in Minsk Agreements,” – G7 final communique 27.05.17 17:56 – Duration of sanctions is linked to Russia’s complete implementation of its commitments in Minsk Agreements, – G7 final communique Duration of sanctions is clearly linked to Russia’s complete implementation of its commitments in the Minsk Agreements and respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty View news.

The blocking of Russian social networks: how this concerns the country’s security – news portal The blocking of Russian social networks: how this concerns the country’s security. The main word in the very notion of Russia’s “information war” against Ukraine is “war”. And the adjective “information” only describes it, answering the question “what kind of”. In this war, just like in any war, there is an attacker and there is a defending side. Since Kyiv uses prohibitive measures on its territory, its actions can be qualified as “active defence” only. Not to accept this means to knowingly question the right of the state to self-defence. Therefore, Kyiv expects, if not the full support of the West, then at least its understanding and tacit agreement, something like “you cannot help our fight against Russia, so at least do not interfere”. Political – news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Two Ukrainian soldiers wounded as militants launched 61 attacks yesterday, – ATO HQ 27.05.17 10:57 – Two Ukrainian soldiers wounded as militants launched 61 attacks yesterday, – ATO HQ Pro-Russian hybrid forces are reported to use heavy artillery banned by the Minsk agreements in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) zone. View news.

Militants shelled Avdiivka with banned 152 mm guns, – Lysenko 27.05.17 15:08 – Militants shelled Avdiivka with banned 152 mm guns, – Lysenko Pro-Russian militants have been shelling Ukrainian positions near Avdiivka (the Donetsk region) for about 40 minutes on May View news.

Militants rained 152mm shells on Ukraine troops near Avdiyivka for 40 minutes Friday – ATO HQ Russian-terrorist forces on Friday, May 26, fired from 152 mm artillery at the positions of Ukrainian troops non-stop for 40 minutes, Colonel Andrei Lysenko, press secretary of the defense ministry for the ATO told a Saturday briefing in Kyiv, according to an UNIAN correspondent. News 27 May from UNIAN.

How to Tackle Endemic Corruption in Eastern Ukraine Front Line? – 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…

New Ukrainian missiles tested successfully in Odesa region Successful tests of the newest Ukrainian missiles have been carried out in Odesa region, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said.

“Right on target”: NSDC Sec Turchynov speaks of Ukraine’s high precision rocket test Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov says he is satisfied with the results of the latest test launch of Ukrainian-made high-precision rockets, the NSDC press service has told UNIAN. The distance from the point of aiming to the strike point was only about 17 meters, while the kill zone for such a missile stretches for 300 meters,” he said. “The main thing I’d like to say is that Ukrainian missiles hit right on target,” said Turchynov. He explained that one of the important tasks of the tests was to check the performance of the rocket’s armament payload and the effectiveness of engaging conventional targets. “I want to emphasize once again that the armament payload, as well as the rocket as a whole, was manufactured by Ukrainian enterprises,” the NSDC secretary added. “Scientists, manufacturers, and military worked together as a single organism. This is a very important and high-quality result for Ukraine.” Turchynov recalled that the Cabinet recently adopted the National Ammo Production Program and the National Target Program for Reforming and Developing the Defense Industrial Complex until 2021. “The implementation of these programs will ensure the creation of a powerful industrial base for the mass production of modern effective and powerful weapons and military equipment for the army, which will protect our country reliably,” Turchynov added.

Poroshenko attends successful launch of Ukraine’s new precision rocket (Photo, video) President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has attended the successful launch of a new Ukrainian-made precision-guided rocket.&nbsp; Latest UNIAN news from 26 May.

Ukraine’s Successful Missile Tests – YouTube Ukraine has had successful missile tests in the Odessa Region. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was on hand for the event and thanked those who had taken…

Ukrainian soldiers to participate in military drills in Germany. PHOTO 27.05.17 12:13 – Ukrainian soldiers to participate in military drills in Germany. PHOTO Ukrainian military will participate in a major exercise alongside NATO allies and partner-nation forces at the Army’s Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels Training Areas in southeastern Germany. View photo news.

Military chiefs to decide on foreign supplier of comms equipment The choice of the foreign supplier of encrypted communications equipment for Ukraine’s armed forces will be made based on the results of a competition held by the military, Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman has said.

“True friend of Ukraine departed,” – Poroshenko on Brzezinski’s death 27.05.17 12:55 – “True friend of Ukraine departed, – Poroshenko on Brzezinski’s death President of Ukraine expressed condolences to the family of the deceased politician, former U.S. national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski. View news.

“Decommunization” of Ukraine’s railways will only hurt A sensational message was spread by the Kiev media – allegedly the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine is discussing plans for the transfer of all railways to the European track gauge. And this is a project that requires huge funding. What was actually meant in the statement of the Ukrainian Ministry and how will this affect the transport links between Ukraine and Russia? In the mini-infrastructures of Ukraine they said that France would help Ukraine to get a loan from the European Union “for the development of the railway infrastructure, the construction of a new rolling stock, including using a system of changing the track gauge for rolling stock” “The French side will consider the possibility of expert and consulting assistance and will help attract funds from the European Union to receive technical assistance in the implementation of the project on the system of changing track gauge in Ukraine,” the Ukrainian government said in a statement. Full transition to the European track The Ukrainian media interpreted this statement as Kiev’s desire to completely transfer the Ukrainian railways to the European track, different from the current one adopted in the Soviet era. Since the 70s of the last century the USSR railways have received a width of 1520 mm. While in Europe, a narrower gauge with a width of 1435 mm is common. However, not everyone agrees with this version. In particular, an expert in the field of transport and infrastructure, adviser to the head of Ukravtodor Alexander Kava believes that it is not a question of transferring all Ukrainian railways to the European width. “It’s out of the question. The media misinterpreted the statement of the Ministry of Infrastructure. This project is aimed only at strengthening cross-border traffic, as the track width in a number of neighboring countries differs from the Ukrainian one, “Kavu quotes.

What stands in the way of Ukraine’s arms exports to Iraq – news portal What stands in the way of Ukraine’s arms exports to Iraq. Whereas previously Russian arms exporters resorted to the costly tactic of information wars because petrodollars were abundant, now this tactic sounds like the last argument in competition increasingly more often. Political – news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

What Happened to the Hundreds of Lenin Statues, Toppled or Removed From Pedestals? – YouTube Published on May 26, 2017 Since the EuroMaidan Revolution, hundreds of Lenin statues were toppled or removed from their pedestal. What happened to them? Photographer Niels Ackermann and journalist Sébastien Gobert went “Looking for Lenin”…Follow UATV English: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Medium:

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports

The Longest War Fades Even at NATO – Defense One Cameras focused on Trump, but war commanders in Afghanistan wanted more troops from NATO, not promises.

DPRK / PRC Reports

US to attempt first ICBM intercept test | TheHill The Pentagon will attempt to shoot down an intercontinental missile for the first time in a test next week.

U.S. Military Plans Test of Missile Intercept System with N. Korea in Mind – NBC News Preparing for North Korea’s growing threat, the Pentagon will try to shoot down an intercontinental-range missile for the first time in a test next week.

Chinese jets intercept US surveillance plane in ‘unsafe’ incident: report | TheHill

Chinese fighter jets conduct unsafe maneuver near US aircraft – Two Chinese J-10 fighter jets conducted unsafe maneuvers while intercepting a US surveillance aircraft that was operating in international airspace near the South China Sea, according to the Navy.

Foreign Policy Reports

Anthony H. Cordesman | NATO is more than a GDP pledge — it’s about the safety of our world | TheHill OPINION | A political spending goal of 2 percent is just that: an effort to exhort nations to do more. They don’t build up a debt.

NATO Chief Not Shocked By Trump’s ‘Blunt And Direct’ Speech NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg wasn’t shocked by Donald Trump’s “blunt and direct” speech on defense spending during the U.S. president’s first meeting with alliance leaders in Brussels. In an interview with RFE/R’s Brussels Correspondent Rikard Jozwiak a day after the May 25 gathering, Stoltenberg said NATO leaders were committed to fairer burden sharing. Stoltenberg said leaders also discussed Russia and Ukraine at a working dinner following the unveiling of NATO’s new headquarters in Brussels. (NATO TV, RFE/RL)

Nato head defends ‘blunt’ US leader Nato chief Stoltenberg defended Trump’s behaviour at Thursday’s summit. The prime minister of Montenegro also apologised for him.

EU’s Tusk Calls On G7 To Maintain Russia Sanctions Amid new uncertainty over the U.S. position, European Council President Donald Tusk has called on the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries to maintain sanctions on Russia over its aggressio…

Trump Says NATO Allies Don’t Pay Their Share. Is That True? – The New York Times When the president suggests that many allies “owe massive amounts of money” to the alliance, he has a point, but he mischaracterizes the way it works.

NATO: Too big to fail, too small to matter? | TheHill OPINION | The chief danger to the transatlantic alliance is not that it will fail to do enough, but that what it can do remains so thoroughly unknown.

Donald Trump and NATO: Why His Silence on Article 5 Is a Big Deal – NBC News The president was finally expected to promise that America would defend its NATO allies if they ever came under attack. He didn’t.

Visualizations Related to NATO Military Expenditures as Percent of GDP in 2016

The reason behind Macron’s firm handshake with Trump, revealed: He was warned! – The Washington Post Thwarting Trump’s alpha male, grab-and-pull power pump.

This photo of NATO spouses has the internet buzzing – CBS News This year's photo features nine women and one notable first gentleman

Opponents Of Montenegro Joining NATO Seize On Trump Shoving Incident Political groups that oppose Montenegro's bid to join NATO on May 26 seized on an incident at the NATO summit where U.S. President Donald Trump shoved the Montenegrin prime minister aside on hi…

U.K. resumes intelligence sharing with U.S. – CBS News The United Kingdom has resumed sharing intelligence with the U.S., after reportedly suspending it briefly amid fears of leaking

Reuters: Tillerson says U.S. takes ‘full responsibility’ for Manchester intelligence leaks U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Friday that the United States government takes full responsibility for leaks of the British police investigation into Monday's deadly bomb attack in Manchester which killed 22 people, according to Reuters. News 26 May from UNIAN.

Rex Tillerson in United Kingdom: U.S. takes ‘full responsibility’ for Manchester leaks – The Washington Post The announcement eased fears about further attacks, but authorities cautioned vigilance.

Critical Thinkers: The Ties That Bind Orwell and Churchill – The New York Times Apparently they never met. But the common cause of George Orwell and Winston Churchill resonates powerfully today, Thomas Ricks writes in this dual biography.

British police arrested two more suspects of Manchester attack 27.05.17 17:14 – British police arrested two more suspects of Manchester attack British police said they arrested two more people during raids Saturday over the Manchester concert bombing, as Prime Minister Theresa May announced a reduction in the country’s threat level and of its anti-terror operation. View news.

Manchester Bombing: Hunt for Accomplices Hangs Over Long Weekend – NBC News Several high-profile music festivals and sporting events are scheduled — bringing huge crowds together.

Ariana Grande planning benefit concert in Manchester Grande suspended her Dangerous Woman world tour and canceled several European shows after the bombing, which left 22 dead.

Ariana Grande announces a benefit concert: ‘I’ll be returning to the incredibly brave city of Manchester’ – The Washington Post “We won’t let this divide us,” the singer promised fans. “We won’t let hate win.”

Ariana Grande Writes to Fans: ‘I Am Sorry For the Pain and the Fear’ – Rolling Stone Ariana Grande wrote a letter expressing condolences and grief for the victims, families and those traumatized by the Manchester Arena bombing.

Ariana Grande on Twitter: “”

US Domestic Policy Reports

Sources: Comey acted on Russian intelligence he knew was fake – Then-FBI Director James Comey knew that a critical piece of information relating to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email was fake — created by Russian intelligence — but he feared that if it became public it would undermine the probe and the Justice Department itself, according to multiple officials with knowledge of the process.

Russian oligarch asks for immunity to testify about Manafort – NY Daily News A highly influential Russian oligarch has offered to testify to Congress about his relationship Paul Manafort for immunity.

Russian with ties to former Trump aide wants immunity for testimony: NYT | Reuters A Russian oligarch once close to Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, has offered to testify to congressional panels investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election, but lawmakers are rejecting his conditions, the New York Times reported on Friday, citing congressional officials.

Russian Once Tied to Trump Aide Seeks Immunity to Cooperate With Congress – The New York Times Oleg V. Deripaska’s offer comes amid increased attention to his ties to Paul Manafort, who is one of several Trump associates under F.B.I. scrutiny.

Manafort in Russian spotlight | TheHill Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is back in the spotlight in the myriad of investigations into Russia’s involvement in the U.S. election.

US-RUSSIA CROSSTALK: Russophobia is about blocking Trump agenda – Washington Times The current wave of Russophobia sweeping Washington and the halls of power in the Leftist, corrupt media is not about Russia. It is about stopping the Trump agenda. Democrats had no problem cozying up the Kremlin in the past. They still don’t.

News Analysis: President Trump’s Debut Abroad Packs Unconventional Twists Most U.S. presidents have made their first trip abroad to nearby destinations like Canada or Mexico. But if there&rsquo;s one thing Donald Trump has proven over his first four months in office, it&#3…

Brzezinski, White House Adviser During Iran Hostage Crisis, Dead At 89 Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to U.S. President Jimmy Carter in the tumultuous years of the Iran hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970s, died on Ma…

Kushner Met With Russian Banker Who Is Putin Crony, Spy School Grad – NBC News Jared Kushner met with Sergey Gorkov, a graduate of Russia’s spy school who is close to Vladimir Putin and has run two Russian banks.

Kushner Reportedly Proposed Russia Set Up Secret Communications With Trump U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law proposed setting up a secret communications channel between Trump&rsquo;s team and the Kremlin at a meeting with Russia&rsquo;s ambassador in Washingto…

Oh, Lord, Why Won’t Donald Trump Buy Me A Mercedes Benz? Donald Trump should applaud, not scorn, German auto companies selling cars, investing in plants and employing workers in America.