Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Media Update – 28 May 2017

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Russia’s internal crackdown/meltdown continues, while ISIS builds up for a major campaign inside Russia. Bandow has a point – Europe is back to its well established “tragedy of the commons” problem, which previously led to WW2, at the root of much the same point made by Poroshenko in Politico. Russia’s naval recapitalisation program in collapse, with medium to large surface combatants deferred indefinitely, and new build warships all brown water assets.

Half a dozen very interesting reports on IO/IW/cyber.

In Ukraine, latest Donbass fires demolish half of a hospital, as Russians shift targeting to civilian areas. Sungurovsky debate on war vs. ATO continues. Unexpected public protest in Crimea.

Iran publicly insults the Saudis, making headlines with unusually provocative commentary.

DPRK tests new SAM, type undisclosed, while Xi talks up PLAN futures.

Arguments continue over G7 and NATO. Manchester tragedy fallout continues.

US domestic Russia debate continues.

Russia / Russophone Reports

G7 must face down Russia or suffer disaster – POLITICO History teaches us that appeasement doesn’t work, writes President Petro Poroshenko.


Russia’s hybrid warfare gaining pace, world should react conjointly Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko believes today hybrid warfare on the part of the Russian Federation is gaining pace and the international community should resist this. “Russia’s new generation of hybrid warfare is gaining momentum. And its effects spread beyond Ukraine. The Kremlin’s tentacles are reaching for the throats of the key capitals of Europe and its transatlantic allies,” Poroshenko wrote in his article “G7 must face down Russia or suffer disaster,” posted in the Politico edition on May 26. “Russia won’t stop its campaign of aggression unless we force its hand. The Western world needs to commit to joint action and stand together to protect its values and respect for international law,” reads the document. “Moscow’s hybrid attacks strike on multiple fronts, with a priority on cyberspace. Those who are brave enough to cut these tentacles only find themselves under renewed attack. This recently became obvious in Ukraine. When we suspended access to social networks administered by the Russian Federation, Moscow responded with a massive and coordinated cyberattack supported by information propaganda. Russia activated its information forces, so well-known in Paris, Berlin and across the Atlantic, to protect its social media agents such as VKontakte or Odnoklassniki,” Poroshenko wrote. “Three years ago, on May 26, the battle for Donetsk airport began. The fierce confrontation between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia militants supported by Russia lasted for months. It also showed the world that it is possible to resist Russia’s aggression. Ukrainian soldiers proved that they are ready to pay with their lives to defend Western values such as freedom and democracy. Ukraine proved that it is a reliable stronghold of these values and that it is ready to do its part for international security. Investing in Ukraine’s security is an investment in the security of Europe and beyond,” the article reads.

Doug Bandow | If Europe Really Worried About Russia, It Would Get Serious About Defense Spending | The National Interest BlogIgnore what they say. Look at what they do.

 ISIL: Target Russia | Afghanistan | Al Jazeera Thousands of ISIL fighters are training in the mountains of Afghanistan, plotting an attack on the Kremlin.

An Interview With Anna Veduta, Russian Activist, Expert, and Feminist – To Inform is to Influence Excellent insight into Russia, the developing Russian culture, communications inside and into Russia, and what to expect in the future.   Anna Veduta is going to be a future leader.  She knows Russia, is a keen observer and commenter and activist and has a brilliant mind.   I hope that she is correct about Generation Z,…

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Daghestani Truckers Likely to Resume Strike After Ramadan if Their Demands Aren’t Met Paul Goble Staunton, May 28 – Long-haul truck drivers in Daghestan, one of the most important centers of the truckers’ strike in Russia over the last six weeks, say they will likely restart their labor action against the Plato fee system after the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan if regional and central officials don’t meet their demands in the interval. They have been encouraged, driver there say, by the conclusions of the Social Chamber of Daghestan that the drivers’ demands are legal, reasonable and should be addressed by officials, conclusions that were reached after a month of public hearings and published yesterday. On the Nashe delo portal, Aida Gadzhikhanova says that this confluence of events – the continuing anger of the truckers, the support of the Social Chamber, and the unwillingness of officials to make any concessions – means that Ramadan may be only “the quiet before the storm” ( Daghestan’s Social Chamber, she reports, has called on officials to resolve in a step-by-step manner the problems the drivers have raised, urged republic and regional officials to take the steps they can to meet driver demands, and called on representatives of the central government to reduce if not eliminate the new fees the Plato system imposes. Unfortunately, Nabi Akhadova, one of the members of the Social chamber, says that “so far not one of these points has been fulfilled. Drivers have suspended the active phase of their strike, although many have parked their trucks at home, but they are committed to continuing the struggle and will review the situation “after Ramadan.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: When Russian Liberalism Doesn’t Stop at Border with Ukraine or at Ring Road around MoscowPaul Goble Staunton, May 28 – It is often said and with some justification that “Russian liberalism ends at the borders with Ukraine” – that is, that Russian liberals support liberal values until it becomes a question of Moscow’s dominance over non-Russians within and beyond the borders of the Russian Federation and even over Russians who live beyond the capital’s ring road. All too often in the pursuit of support among the Russian population, Russian liberals have supported the imperialist and hyper-centralist positions of Vladimir Putin, promising only that when they come to power, they will treat Russia’s neighbors and Russia’s regions more generously. But this past week, at the Free Russia Forum in Vilnius, Russian liberals took a major step away from the typically unacknowledged Moscow-centric view of the world that their predecessors have so often reflected, adopting a declaration on Ukraine that condemns Putin’s aggression and annexation and featuring a discussion of regional interests within Russia.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Spying is Far From the Only ‘Action Incompatible with Diplomatic Status’ Staunton, May 28 – Tallinn has not yet provided an official explanation for its decision to expel two Russian officials from Moscow’s consulate in Narva, but Estonian experts say that such actions are typically taken because the officials involved are engaged in espionage, “an action incompatible with diplomatic service.” There is no question these officials may have been engaged in spying given Moscow’s interest in Estonia’s defense programs and especially in NATO forces exercising there. But it is important to recognize that in the case of Russian missions in the former Soviet space – and not just there — spying may be far from the most serious violation of the rules governing the actions of diplomats. That is because, as Estonian and Lithuanian security agencies have pointed out in the past, roughly a third of all Russian “diplomats” in the Baltic countries have links to Moscow’s security services, with many not only spying but working to undermine these states ( Among these activities are active involvement with the Russian-speaking community there. Indeed, an article in Moscow’s Komsomolskaya Pravda yesterday suggests that such activites may be the real reason the two Russian officials in Narva were expelled ( Estonia has compiled an impressive record in identifying and expelling Russian officials who violate the rules of diplomatic practice not only by spying but by working against the Estonian government. Lithuania and Latvia have also stepped up their monitoring of Russian diplomats but have not expelled them.

Moscow Police Criticized For Detaining Boy Reading Poetry Several Moscow police officers are facing harsh criticism for roughly detaining a 10-year-old boy who was reciting poetry by William Shakespeare on a downtown street. A video of the May 26 inciden…

Danish man arrested in Russian raid on Jehovah’s Witness service Russia recently banned the group as an extremist group and ordered its property seized.

Russia’s Plans for New Nuclear Carriers And Destroyers Delayed Indefinitely – The Drive Plans for the nuclear-powered surface ships are conspicuously missing from the Kremlin’s latest military modernization package.

Russia to Focus On Frigates, Corvettes In New Armaments Program MOSCOW — The new Russian armaments program calls for a gradually reduction in modernization of old armaments and prioritizes the construction of new warships for the Navy, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told Russia 1 TV channel. “We will gradually abandon modernization of old weapons although we have to admit that modernization is a normal phenomenon like the creation of new armaments. However, there can be no endlessly numerous modernizations. Otherwise they will stop the creation of new armaments. The new armaments program is innovative and includes completely new approaches. They are mostly related to the creation of smart weapons, automatic communications and reconnaissance systems. The troops will get modern communications which have always been a weakness,” he said. “Robotized systems appear. We are completing the design of new unmanned vehicles both ground and airborne. The space grouping is intensively renewed. (We develop) high-quality navigation, reconnaissance and many other things,” Rogozin said. “Today we stake on “muscular” warships – frigates and corvettes of the near and distant sea zone which are no big targets for the adversary but rather agile and maneuverable means which can hit back exactly like a major warship,” he added. “If we speak about aircraft carriers, the Russian defense industry is technically and technologically capable of building a warship of such displacement. There is a technical project and work is ongoing. But there is a question to the military whether they need such a warship. We have to remember that in contrast to the global ocean power the United States we are a great continental power with different priorities,” Rogozin said. A source in the military-defense complex earlier told TASS that in the coming years Russia will be building frigates and corvettes armed with high-precision guided missiles. “We have to first and foremost build corvettes and frigates and stop thinking about universal landing ships which fulfil mostly transportation rather than combat tasks. Corvettes and frigates are the maximum we can afford at present. The economic potential of the country does not allow building bigger ships such as destroyers,” he said.

Why St Nicholas works wonders for Russians – BBC News Russians have been venerating the rib of one of their most revered saints, St Nicholas the Wonder Worker, which is in Moscow on loan from Italy.

Microphones: Mic Maker Moves Russian Jobs From Arms To Audio A small private company in the Russian city of Tula, long famous for producing arms, is turning swords into golden plowshares — or missiles to microphones, to be more precise. Using lathes from …

Tiger That Wandered a Russian City Is Returned to the Wild Found roaming an urban area in Siberia, this rare Amur tiger was rehabilitated and set free inside a national park.

IW/IO/Cyber Reports

Putin’s Propaganda Machine Targets Europe – To Inform is to Influence Russian propaganda never sleeps. MAX BOOT / APR. 25, 2017 You can’t win them all. After Vladimir Putin’s successful intervention in the U.S. election last year—successful in the sense that he helped to elect Donald Trump even if Trump isn’t delivering exactly the policies he hoped to see—he has mounted a similar disinformation effort to…

Identifying Cyberespionage and Disinformation from Russia – To Inform is to Influence Identifying Cyberespionage and Disinformation in (from) Russia Hackers are increasing efforts to steal and manipulate emails from critics of the Russian government, according to a report from Citizen Lab, recipient of the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Documents stolen from a prominent journalist and critic of the Russian government were manipulated and then released…

Researchers say they’ve uncovered a disinformation campaign with apparent Russian link – The Washington Post “Tainted leaks” turn authentic stolen documents into convincing forgeries.

The Many Faces of a Botnet – To Inform is to Influence How a single network of fake accounts claims many identities @DFRLab @AtlanticCouncil’s Digital Forensic Research Lab. Catalyzing a global network of digital forensic researchers, following conflicts in real time. May 25 Some of the many avatars used in the botnet. On May 5, a Twitter account which had posted just twelve times in its lifespan tweeted…

Russian Hackers Are Using Google’s Own Infrastructure to Hack Gmail Users – To Inform is to Influence LORENZO FRANCESCHI-BICCHIERAI May 26 2017, 10:42am Security researchers have exposed a sophisticated hacking and disinformation campaign that targeted more than 200 Gmail users. Russian government hackers seem to have figured out that sometimes the best way to hack into people’s Gmail accounts is be to abuse Google’s own services. On Thursday, researchers exposed a massive…

Social media fights back against fake news – To Inform is to Influence BY ALI BRELAND – 05/27/17 11:52 AM EDT Facebook and other social media networks are taking steps to make sure their platforms don’t become tools for foreign governments spreading “fake news” stories. Experts consider the threat level high for these platforms to be used by foreign governments or other entities seeking to influence millions because…

The secret world of microwave networks – To Inform is to Influence Has anyone spanned the Atlantic with floating microwave masts yet? We’re not sure… by Sebastian Anthony – Nov 3, 2016 3:35am EDT Stretching between London and Frankfurt there is a private, mysterious network that is twice as fast as the normal Internet. The connection, provided by a series of microwave dishes on masts, was once…

Ukraine Reports

Ukraine Is In State Of War With Russia – OpEd – Eurasia Review 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.

France’s Macron Stands Firm On Ukraine – YouTube_ Follow UATV English: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Medium: ht…

People Protest Against Kremlin-Installed Government in Sevastopol – YouTube_ Follow UATV English: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Medium: ht…

Resolution in support of Ukraine adopted at Free Russia Forum. Photos – 27.05.2017 12:25 — Ukrinform News 27.05.2017 12:25. The topical problems of world politics and ways of Russia’s emergence from the systematic crisis were discussed at the opposition Free Russia Forum, held in Riga, Lithuania.

Nalyvaichenko: Dialogue between Ukraine and Russia possible only after return of Crimea, Donbas | KyivPost A dialogue between new Ukraine and new Russia is possible only after Russia returns Crimea, the occupied territories in the east of Ukraine and releases all hostages and political prisoners, leader of the Spravedlyvist Social-Political Movement Valentyn Nalyvaichenko believes. “First of all, it is necessary to return Crimea and liberate the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, withdraw the troops and special services therefrom, and then release all citizens of Ukraine who are illegally held hostage and political prisoners… The third component is the prosecution of persons involved in the deployment of aggression, committing crimes against humanity,” Nalyvaichenko said at the third opposition Free Russia Forum in Vilnius. He stressed in order to resume a dialogue between the two countries these requirements are unchanged both for the current regime in Russia and to the authorities that will inevitably sooner or later replace it.

Stalemate: Ukraine and Russia are both trapped by the war in Donbas | The Economist ON APRIL 12TH 2014 Igor Girkin, a former Russian military officer also known as “Strelkov” (“Shooter”), sneaked across the border into Ukraine’s Donbas region with a few dozen men and took control of the small town of Sloviansk, igniting Europe’s bloodiest war since the 1990s.

Moldova s frozen conflict has lessons for east Ukraine – Yahoo7 Tiraspol (Moldova) (AFP) – The country Nikolai Klimkin serves does not officially exist and has remained trapped in a limbo of impoverished stagnation for decades.

Moscow patriarchate seeks allies in battle against restrictive legislation in Ukraine : News Headlines | Catholic Culture A chief provider and curator of Catholic information on the web since 1996. Our editorial voice, always faithful to the teachings of the Church, assists and inspires Catholic clergy and laity.

Russian Patriarch urges opposition to proposal changing status of Orthodox churches in Ukraine : News Headlines | Catholic Culture A chief provider and curator of Catholic information on the web since 1996. Our editorial voice, always faithful to the teachings of the Church, assists and inspires Catholic clergy and laity.

Eight Ukrainian soldiers wounded as militants launched 49 attacks yesterday, – ATO HQ 28.05.17 10:17 – Eight Ukrainian soldiers wounded as militants launched 49 attacks yesterday, – ATO HQ The situation in the in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) zone didn’t change much. The pro-Russian hybrid forces are reported to use heavy artillery banned by the Minsk agreements. View news.

Militants’ shelling destroyed half of Krasnohorivka hospital. Most part of town left without water supply, – Zhebrivskyi 28.05.17 12:50 – Militants’ shelling destroyed half of Krasnohorivka hospital. Most part of town left without water supply, – Zhebrivskyi Most part of Krasnohorivka in the Donetsk region remained without water supply as the town was shelled by the militants this morning. View news.

Ukraine’s Krasnohorivka under attack on Sunday: Hospital, school buildings damaged Russia’s hybrid military forces have been shelling residential areas of the Ukrainian-controlled town of Krasnohorivka in Donbas for two hours on Sunday, May 28, according to chief of the Main Police Department in Donetsk region Viacheslav Abroskin. News 28 May from UNIAN.

Donetsk governor gives details about Krasnohorivka Sunday attack (Photos) Head of Donetsk military and civilian administration Pavlo Zhebrivsky has given details about a recent attack by Russia’s hybrid military forces on the Ukrainian-controlled town of Krasnohorivka in Donetsk region on Sunday, May 28. News 28 May from UNIAN.

Ukraine offers military equipment to the Philippines Ukrainian defense export agency said this week that it was in discussions with the Philippines to expand defense cooperation. The development illustrates Kyiv&rsquo;s continued interest in expanding into ASEAN markets and the Philippines in particular given the country&rsquo;s recent alignment shifts, according to Tribune Content Agency News 27 May from UNIAN.

Major European low-cost airlines to revolutionize Ukrainian air passenger market -Euromaidan Press | The concrete wall of the Ukrainian air transportation market was eventually broken as one of the largest low-cost airlines in Europe, Ryanair announced its intention to work in Ukraine. Ryanair was not the first low-cost airline operating in the country, however, its entrance to the market made even monopolistic Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) rethink its prices.

Film about Russia’s war in Ukraine receives standing ovation in Cannes | KyivPost “Frost,” a film by Lithuanian director Šarūnas Bartas featuring French actress Vanessa Paradis, received a standing ovation after its May 23 screening at the 49th Directors’ Fortnight, an independent section held parallel to the Cannes Film Festival. The general producer of Ukrainian film office Insight Media Volodymyr Filippov posted a video on his Facebook page on May 23 showing the Cannes audience standing up, applauding and chanting “bravo” non-stop for a couple of minutes at the end of the screening. Insight Media worked on “Frost” alongside Lithuanian film production company Studija Kinema, Polish film company Donten & Lacroix, and Ukraine’s Tato Film.

Ukrainian Cossack Fest Kicks Off With A Giant Sword Record – YouTube_ Follow UATV English: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Medium: ht…

Ukrainians Proudly Show Off Their Traditional Embroidered Vyshyvankas – YouTube_ Follow UATV English: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Medium: ht…

Poland weighs benefits of surge in migrants from Ukraine Influx of almost 1.3m last year is proving both politically and economically useful

Fake: Ukraine Begins Repression of Hungarians in Transcarpathia Struggle against fake information about events in UkraineFake: Ukraine Cancels Train Travel to RussiaStruggle against fake information about events in Ukraine

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports

Iran′s Supreme Leader calls the Saudi leaders ′idiots′ | News | DW | 28.05.2017 Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned Saudi Arabia’s rulers they face “certain downfall” for their close ties with the US. Iran’s pragmatic president instead called for more cooperation to tackle the region’s issues.

Iran: Saudi Arabia Is a ‘Cow Being Milked’ by U.S. | Semi-official Fars news agency quotes Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei saying Saudi Arabia trades its wealth with “pagans and enemies”

Iran’s Khamenei says Saudis will fall, Rouhani calls for better ties | Reuters Iran’s hardline Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday Saudi Arabia’s rulers faced “certain downfall” for aligning themselves with the United States, hours after the country’s pragmatist president called for improved ties with Gulf states.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei lashes out against Saudi Arabia for strengthening US ties | Fox News Iran’s Supreme Leader said Saturday that Saudi Arabia is a “cow being milked” by the U.S.

If you think a ‘moderate’ has won in Iran, think again Largely missed last week was the remarkable geo-political shift which took place when President Trump lined up Saudi Arabia and Israel in what is being called &ldquo;a Nato-style coalition&rdquo; against the country they all agree is at the heart of most of the Middle East&rsquo;s problems:

Feeling sorry for Iran? Not me There is very little doubt that the US-Arab Summit was a vulgar display of power and malice on the part of Saudi Arabia and the United States primarily. There

In Razing Its Modernist Buildings, Iran Is Erasing Its Past Western Influence Without protection, Iran’s spectacular American- and Italian-designed mid-century structures will be reduced to dust, beams and concrete blocks.

U.S. Sees a Vital Iraqi Toll Road, but Iran Sees a Threat – The New York Times Along an insurgent-riddled Iraqi national highway, the United States wants new rest areas and cafes — and brokered a long security contract to shield them.

DPRK / PRC Reports

North Korea leader Kim guides test of new anti-aircraft weapon | Reuters North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has supervised the test of a new anti-aircraft weapon system and ordered its mass production and deployment throughout the country, the state news agency reported on Sunday, after weeks of defiant ballistic missile tests.

North Korea’s Media Says Anti-Aircraft Weapon Tested – NBC News North Korean state media said Saturday that a “new type of anti-aircraft guided weapon” was tested.

A US attack on North Korea would be catastrophic — but the US might still do it | Business Insider As North Korea draws ever closer to possessing…

Why a rising Moon bodes well for China-Korea relations | This Week In Asia | South China Morning Post A liberal president in Seoul who has learnt to say no to America and seeks a new approach to North Korea will be music to Beijing’s ears, even if Moon Jae-in cannot reverse the deployment of US anti-missile system THAAD

Xi Calls for “Strong, Modern” Navy BEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for efforts to build the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy into a strong and modern force to lend support for the realization of the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation and the dream of a strong army. Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), made the remarks during an inspection of the PLA Navy headquarters. Xi expressed congratulations on the 12th Party congress of the PLA Navy, met delegates to the congress and conveyed greetings to all navy members. Noting that the navy is a strategic military service concerning national security and overall development, Xi asked naval authorities to build a world-class force by promoting political awareness, reforms and rule of law. Xi visited the navy’s operational command center, where he greeted via video navy officers who were performing duties at sea. He first talked with members of flotilla 150, which was in an overseas journey of good-will visit. The members told Xi that they had visited five countries in more than one month and were warmly welcomed by the host countries. Xi asked them to pass on friendship and contribute to world peace. Xi also talked with staff who were carrying out a patrol mission aboard ship 538. “You continuously fight wind and waves. Thanks for your hard work!” Xi said. “I hope all you comrades perform duties loyally and merit the trust of the Party and the people.” After hearing a report on naval work, Xi said a strong navy is a symbol of a world-class army and is a pivot for building the nation into a great maritime power. He asked navy authorities to advance the transformation of the PLA Navy and focus on combat capabilities. He said the navy should improve overall fighting capacity by combining the “mechanization and informationization,” promoting both offshore and high sea forces and balancing operations on the water surface, below the sea and in the air. Innovation is key to improving and transforming the navy, according to Xi. He noted the transformation must be carried out in accordance with the law. The navy must resolutely safeguard the CPC Central Committee’s authority and unwaveringly stick to the Party’s absolute leadership, Xi stressed. He called for efforts to thoroughly purge the pernicious influence of Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou, former corrupt senior CMC officials, and promote the anti-corruption drive. He asked naval authorities to improve their own abilities while training a large number of capable military staff.

Missing IAF Sukhoi-30MKI’s Wreckage Found The wreckage of the Indian Air Force’ Su-30MKI fighter jet that went missing four days ago has been found. “Wreckage found. Close to the last known position of aircraft. As of now weather is bad and the place has dense foliage. Further update follows,” IAF said in an official statement Friday. IAF’s frontline aircraft went missing around 11 am on Tuesday, 60 kilometres north of Tezpur. The aircraft was on a routine mission. The aircraft disappeared with two pilots onboard, at 70°03′ N n 92°30′ E near Kalaktang in West Kameng district in Arunachal Pradesh. The aircraft had lost its contact at Narayanpur area in Lakhimpur district of Assam. The region near China border was witnessing unfavourable weather when the multi-role fighter jet lost control with the ground control. [PrivacyBadger has replaced this AddThis button.]

Foreign Policy Reports

G7 warns that Russia may face tougher sanctions over war in Ukraine | KyivPost The G7 summit of the world’s most powerful democracies wrapped up its meeting on May 27 with a unified approach to Russia. The leaders said economic sanctions will stay in place and could toughen if Russian President Vladimir Putin does not call off his war against Ukraine and return Crimea.

Tillerson: Russia won’t be back in the Group of Seven ‘any time’ Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on May 24 said Russia won’t be allowed back in the Group of Seven major economies unless it respects “Ukrainian sovereignty.”

First lady Melania Trump speaks to U.S. troops in Italy Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on May 24 said Russia won’t be allowed back in the Group of Seven major economies unless it respects “Ukrainian sovereignty.”

McMaster says ‘of course’ Trump supports NATO Article 5 | Reuters U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said on Saturday that “of course” President Donald Trump backed NATO’s mutual defense doctrine, despite not making an explicit reference to it during a visit to Brussels this week.

America’s NATO Problem: We’ve Forgotten Why We’re a Member (excerpt) But America’s NATO problem did not originate with President Trump. It has roots that well pre-date the 2016 election campaign and go deeper than the president’s “allies owe us” statements. American leaders in both parties have failed in recent decades to explain the strategic benefit of NATO to the United States. As a result, they are now debating the president on his terms—how generous or frugal the United States should be toward Europe—rather than considering the bigger picture for U.S. security interests. It is important to recall why the United States created NATO in the first place. In 1949, Washington sought security against threats from the Soviet Union and the benefits of a prosperous global economy and a favorable international political system. The immediate Soviet aim at the time was to dominate the Eurasian landmass, but the ultimate threat was to the security of the United States through the possibility of military conflict with the world’s other superpower. The North Atlantic alliance was built to keep the United States safe—not just Europe—by preserving the freedom of Western Europe and after 1955 by anchoring Germany in the Western world. Today’s Russia is not the Soviet Union, lacking the latter’s aspirations for global ideological leadership and its military capabilities. But Russia is nonetheless a threat to Europe and the United States. Russia maintains essential nuclear parity with the United States and undertakes increasingly risky and bold actions at sea and in the air to remind us of that fact, while violating international agreements with the United States such as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Russia’s military arsenal is complemented by its cyber, information, and other tools of malign influence to discredit and undermine democracies. Moscow does not shrink from employing these instruments against the United States and several of our European allies and partners, as we have witnessed painfully in the past year. Russia occupies significant portions of sovereign Ukraine and Georgia and supports separatists and anti-European and anti-American parties in several other countries. Today, as in 1949, it is in the U.S. interest that the European continent not be dominated or destabilized by any adversary—not only for international stability under accepted principles of international law, but because the U.S. economic relationship with Europe is the largest in the world, far greater than U.S. trade and investment with China. Protecting U.S. economic and national security depends on stability in Europe. To ensure U.S. security in modern circumstances, we require different tools than in 1949, but the same approach: to build common defenses with Europe, to foster coordinated civilian action to make ourselves impervious to malign foreign influence, and to build our shared prosperity.

Trump calls on NATO to focus on issues of terrorism, migration, threats from Russia U.S. President Donald Trump has called on NATO member states to focus on the problems of terrorism, migration and threats from Russia. “The NATO of the future must include a great focus on terrorism and immigration, as well as threats from Russia and on NATO’s eastern and southern borders,” he said at the NATO unveiling of the Article 5 and Berlin Wall Memorials in Brussels, Belgium on Thursday, May 25. The U.S. administration thinks that the NATO members’ commitments to spend 2% of GDP on defense in keeping with the North Atlantic Treaty will strengthen Europe and will complicate Russia’s existence. “The more the NATO members spend, the worse it is for Russia… As Trump insists on greater NATO spending, this obviously complicates the life of Russia and creates a stronger and more vibrant Europe,” a senior U.S. administration official who spoke on terms of anonymity told journalists in Brussels on Thursday. According to the official, “in fact, Trump really strengthens NATO’s ability to deter any kind of aggression on its borders, including aggression from Russia.”

Georgia’s military budget should be over 2% of GDP, it will bring republic closer to NATO standards The Georgian Defense Ministry is working on ensuring that its budget exceeds two percent of the country’s GDP, Georgian Defense Minister Levan Izoria.

Macron: Awkward Trump handshake a ‘moment of truth’ – BBC News France’s president says his white-knuckle encounter with the US leader was designed to get respect.

Young people in Moldova dance away their frustrations as a threatening Russia lurks – LA Times In the former Soviet republic of Moldova, young people gather to dance to grindcore metal in a basement, the better to take their minds off a reassertive Russia.

Defiance of Manchester: Thousands take to streets for run | Daily Mail Online There were initial fears the Great Manchester Run would be abandoned after the atrocity on Monday, but organisers vowed the annual event for 40,000 would go ahead amid heightened security.

Manchester attack: Islamic community organises ‘peace walk’ – BBC News Hundreds are expected to march through Manchester in solidarity with the families of the terror attack’s victims.

Britain Says It Has ‘Large Part’ of Manchester Bomber’s Network – The New York Times The bomber may have assembled enough material for a second bomb, but with eight men in custody, officials said they were making progress.

Britain’s Terror Threat Level Reduced to ‘Severe’ After Raids Linked to Manchester Bombing – NBC News Britain lowered its terror threat level to “severe” after raids by police investigating the Manchester Ariana Grande concert bombing.

Timeline Shows Manchester Bomber’s Family’s Deep Ties to Libya – The New York Times Salman Abedi, who killed 22 people in a terrorist attack, visited North Africa with his brother and father, who worked to overthrow Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.

23,000 Terror Suspects In United Kingdom Keep Intelligence Agencies Busy Out of 23,000 terror suspects in the UK, at least 3,000 people have been judged to pose a threat and are under investigation or active monitoring in 500 operations being run by police and intelligence services. Libyan-origin Salman Abedi had killed 22 people in Manchester Arena during a concert by US singer Ariana Grande.

Corbyn is a ‘shameless apologist for world’s men of evil’ | Daily Mail Online Sporting a black tie and with his top button uncharacteristically fastened, Jeremy Corbyn condemned this week’s ‘appalling, atrocious’ but ignore these crocodile tears, writes Guy Adams.

The three lies that Jeremy Corbyn told Andrew Neil last night | Coffee House

US Domestic Policy Reports

Trump Returns, Reportedly Considering Major Personnel Shake-Up At White House WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump arrived back in Washington after his nine-day trip to the Middle East and Europe, with media reports saying he is considering a major personnel shake-up a…

Trump, both feted and chided, returns to uncertainty – Swinging over the green Ionian sea Saturday, his first foreign trip behind him, President Donald Trump was in a valedictory mood.

There Remains No Evidence Of Trump-Russia Collusion These facts shed little light, if any, on collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian state to throw the election to Trump, as is evidenced by the deafening silence of anti-Trumpists.

Lawyer: Kushner ‘has no recollection’ of reported undisclosed Russian contacts – POLITICO &quot;Mr. Kushner participated in thousands of calls in this time period,&quot; they say.

John F. Kennedy had a Russian back channel. The more we learn about Kennedy’s presidency, the more impressive he becomes.

Deripaska Reportedly Sought Immunity To Cooperate With U.S.’s Russia Probes The New York Times has reported that Kremlin-connected Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska has agreed to cooperate with U.S. congressional committees investigating possible connections between Russia…

Manafort Resurfaces in Russian Probe The name of Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, has resurfaced in the ongoing investigations into Russian ties to the president’s 2016 campaign, The Hill reported Saturday.