Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Media Update – 2 June 2017


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Russia’s descent into the abyss continues, with the regime pouring more kerosene on the trucker strike. Soviet worker riots in 1962 suppressed by the shooting of workers were one of the multiple incidents. Sochi Tupolev crash accident report may be a fabrication. Rumer and Belei report on Belarus. Putin again earns today’s Choke on Coffee Award, with Kadyrov runner up.

Russia dominates IW/IO/Cyber today.

Donbass fires continue. Good essays by  Sungurovsky and Malomuzh on Russian behaviour. Dominant Ukraine news is failed Russian assassination of expat Chechen militiaman Osmaev, Osmaev’s wife pulled a gun out of her handbag and put four rounds into the assassin, a known St Peterburg criminal claimed to have worked for Kadyrov as a contract killer – victim and assassin survived, assassin to testify to Ukrainian law enforcement. UA reclaims territory in no man land grabbed by Russian creeping offensive.

Russia to supply S-400 / SA-21 to Turkey.

Russian entities sanctioned over DPRK sanction busting.

European arguments over Russia continue.

US domestic debate on Russian continues to be very ugly.


Russia / Russophone Reports


Russian Envoy Warns Moscow Will Respond To NATO’s Eastern Boost Russia&rsquo;s ambassador to NATO says Moscow will respond to the alliance's military deployment in Eastern members. Aleksandr Grushko was speaking in Brussels on June 1, as NATO countries ar…

The Aviationist » Russian Activity In The Baltic Region Leads To Spike In Alert Scrambles By NATO Interceptors Supporting BAP Mission The Ministry of National Defence Republic of Lithuania has just released some interesting data about the activities conducted by the NATO fighter aircraft deployed to the Baltic States in support of NATO BAP mission. According to the Lithuanian MoD, in the week between May 22 and 28, allied aircraft were called to perform six alert scrambles to identify and escort Russian combat planes flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea. On May 22 interceptors were scrambled to intercept one An-26 of the Russian Federation flying from mainland Russia to Kaliningrad Oblast in international airspace over the Baltic sea. The Russian transport plane was flying according to a pre-filed FPL, maintained radio contact with the ATC agencies but had its onboard transponder switched off. On the same day, another Russian An-26 flying from mainland Russia to Kaliningrad was intercepted over the Baltic (once again and as usual in international airspace) because the submitted flight plan did not correspond to the actual flight and, although the aircrew had radio contact with the ATC, the transponder was switched off. On May 23 NATO fighter jets were directed to intercept one Tu-134 of the Russian Federation in international airspace over the Baltic Sea. The twin-engined, narrow-body, transport aircraft was flying inbound to Kaliningrad with the transponder switched off: although the ATC had bilateral radio contact with the Tu-134 (NATO reporting name: Crusty) the flight plan for the aircraft had been submitted behind time. On May 25 NATO fighters intercepted one an Il-20 Coot spy plane flying from mainland Russia to Kaliningrad in international airspace over the Baltic Sea. The Il-20 intelligence gathering aircraft did not have a filed FPL, did not maintain radio contact and did not use the onboard transponder, a kind of behaviour that has raised some concern in the past, when Russians spy planes flying in the vicinity of busy airways have almost collided with civilian traffic in the region as happened for instance on Mar. 3, 2014, when SAS flight SK 681, a Boeing 737 with 132 people on board from Copenhagen to Rome almost collided with an Il-20 Coot, about 50 miles to the southwest of Malmö, Sweden. On May 26 NATO air policing fighter aircraft intercepted one Russian Tu-134 escorted by two Su-27 Flankers that were flying from Kaliningrad to the mainland Russia in international airspace over the Baltic Sea. Although the Tu-134 had a valid flight plan, the onboard transponder switched on and kept radio contact with the ATC, the two Su-27s that escorted it till the Gulf of Finland and then returned to Kaliningrad over international waters, had no FPL, onboard transponders off, and did not maintain radio contact with the local air traffic control agencies. On May 28 NATO aircraft intercepted one An-72 and two escorting Su-27s flying from mainland Russia to Kaliningrad in international waters over the Baltic Sea. The An-72 was flying according to a pre-filed flight plan, kept radio contact and used the onboard transponder. The Su-27 complied with none of these requirements according to the Lithuanian authorities. The spike in alert scrambles comes after some weeks of calmness with just six scrambles in the period between March 27 and May 22. The Polish Air Force carries out the BAP mission with four F-16 fighter aircraft from Poznan deployed to Šiauliai, Lithuania, while the Spanish Air Force deployed five F-18 Hornets from Zaragoza Air Base in Spain, to Ämari, Estonia. H/T @cezarysta for the heads-up. Image Credit: Filip Modrzejewski

Putin Denies Western Sanctions Affecting Russia – To Inform is to Influence Choke On Coffee Warning (COCW) in effect. Please proceed with caution.  We are not responsible for you spewing coffee through your nose, either. Putin just said that sanctions by the West are having no effect in Russia.  In light of a growing move in the US to strengthen sanctions against Russia: Senators announce plan to…

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia’s Long-Haul Truckers Say They Won’t Pay Plato Fees — and Know How to Avoid Them Paul Goble Staunton, June 2 – Buoyed by yesterdays’ license strike (fergananews.com/news/26465) and having new evidence that Moscow’s Plato system will not lead to better roads – Moscow has just doubled the period between renovation of major highways(kommersant.ru/doc/3314353) — Russian long-haul drivers say will avoid paying the Plato fees. The drivers say that they continue to discuss how to “get around” the Plato system and already have identified “several” they can use, although they have no intention of broadcasting their intentions to the authorities lest the government use more draconian measures against them (eanews.ru/news/policy/Uralskie_dalnoboyschiki_vnov_udaryat_po_Platonu_avtoprobegom_01_06_2017/). To the extent this is more than bravado, many drivers may see this outcome as safer and more practical than taking part in strikes, the government may accept this as another cost of doing business and allow the drivers to escape paying, and corruption in the trucking industry and its government overseers is likely to increase – which Moscow may not really object to. In order to feed their families and avoid losing their trucks, many drivers who had participated in the strike either by parking their vehicles in truck stops or by simply keeping them off the road have been forced to return to work. But many of them have done so in the shadow economy in order to avoid paying the hated fees. Symbolic of their situation was a legend written in dust on the back of one truck: “The long-haul drivers have no money, but they are holding on,” a play on Dmitry Medvedev’s remark about how Russians should cope with the new economic reality (lentachel.ru/news/2017/06/02/deneg-net-u-dalnoboyschikov-no-oni-derzhatsya.html).

Window on Eurasia — New Series: New Moscow Actions Seen Provoking Even Bigger Long-Haul Trucker Strike Paul Goble Staunton, June 1 – At a time when most Russian long-haul drivers have returned to work or at least left their strike parking areas, Moscow has taken two steps that many are certain will prompt the drivers to resume their labor action and to win over to their side additional people, thus making it probable that the third wave of the strike will be the largest ever. On the one hand, Moscow officials have announced that they are considering doubling the fines on drivers who do not pay the fees required under the Plato system that the drivers went on strike in order to get reversed and one that many drivers and carrier companies have refused to pay (rbc.ru/rbcfreenews/592fea149a7947786c97994d). And on the other, a new Russian law banning anyone without a Russian drivers license from driving a cab or a bus or other public conveyance went into force today and sparked a strike. Many of its participants are likely to link up with the long-haul drivers who are also continuing their protests or planning to resume them (fergananews.com/news/26465). Long-haul drivers are furious at this latest turn of events. The only thing their recent strike action achieved, they say, was an agreement from officials not to raise the fees. But now the authorities have violated that by their latest actions; and one news agency says “it is not excluded that [this] will provoke new mass protests” (newdaynews.ru/automobile/604606.html). Meanwhile, drivers in Yekaterinburg are continuing with plans to hold a mobile protest on Saturday. There will be at least 15 trucks and an escort of motorcyclists. It is intended to attract more attention to the drivers’ plight and more drivers to the strikers’ cause (eanews.ru/news/policy/Uralskie_dalnoboyschiki_vnov_udaryat_po_Platonu_avtoprobegom_01_06_2017/). The Yekaterinburg drivers did pick at least one new supporter yesterday. An 18-year-old bicyclist came to their encampment, picked up signs against the Plato system, and announced that he intends to support the striking truckers by spreading spread news of their actions across the region as he bikes from one city to another (nakanune.ru/news/2017/05/31/22471711).

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Does Symbol of ‘Putin Stability’ Now Threaten His Future? Yekaterinburg Site Asks Paul Goble Staunton, June 2 – “Political projects of the Russian authorities are born with much pomp but die quietly,” the editors of the Yekaterinburg portal Politsovet say, pointing to the Uralvagonzavod plant from being “a synonym of ‘Putin stability’” in 2011 to one now on the verge of collapse that carries with it a very real threat to that stability. The factory, the editors say, “is winding up its public activity and pulling back from its former ambitions and obligations,” a development that “someone will certainly see as a sign of the rapid sunset of the entire Putin era (politsovet.ru/55487-uralvagonzavod-ugroza-putinskoy-stabilnosti.html). In 2011, then Prime Minister Putin was running for a third presidential term and chose Uralvagonzavod as emblematic of “a new mythology” about the stability he had brought the country and a “new social foundation” for his future presidency. There were compelling reasons to choose precisely this Urals factory. It was a defense plant and thus symbolized the Kremlin’s commitment to the revival of Russian military power. And its workers were from rural areas and thus from what was then and now “Putin’s political base,” the editors say. After Putin was elected in March 2012, the plant continued to be featured in the media. One of its managers became the presidential plenipotentiary for the Urals FD, and another became a Duma deputy and vice president of the regional staff of the Popular Front. And the plant’s managers pushed themselves forward by talking about new tanks and other weapons. All this PR activity, the editors continue, was designed to show that “everything was in order with Putin’s stability,” that Russian tanks were the best and fastest, and that the Kremlin leader “as before” was overseeing the well-being not only of the country as a whole but of individual plants and workers. But this year, they note, “everything has come to an end.” At the end of 2016, Putin transferred ownership of Uralvagonzavod to Rostekh, a move that saw the departure of the former management team and the installation of a new one. As a result, “not a trace” remains of the former public face of the factory in the media. It soon became obvious that the reason for this was that the factory has simply run out of money. New orders weren’t coming in, lines were being closed down, and workers were having their hours cut or even their jobs taken away. And now it appears that the much-ballyhooed factory is simply closing down for good. The enterprise’s workers who six years ago felt themselves to be Putin’s favored base no longer feel that way, Politsovet says. And so Uralvagonzavod is coming to symbolize something very different than it did only a few years ago: real problems with “Putin stability” and real problems not only with that defense plant but with others and in other sectors as well. Russians generally, the editors say, “see how ‘the Putin plant’ if it is not going to the bottom at a minimum is experiencing very tough times: problems with pay, the lack of big projects, and the loss of image” are all having a negative impact on public opinion and becoming not simply a crisis for the plant but one for Putin’s regime. Things are likely to get worse in the run-up to the presidential election, Politsovet concludes. “the closer to election day, the more often will be recalled the events of six years ago,” events that make what is happening now appear even worse than might otherwise be the case.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: 1962 Novocherkassk Shootings Led Rise of Dissident Movement and End of Soviet System, Historians Say Aleksandr Daniel, a historian at the Memorial Society, points out that the Novocherkassk events were not as isolated as many think. In 1961, there had been strikes in Murom and Krasnodar, and a little earlier there had been serious protests at the metallurgical factory in Temirtau in Kazakhstan. “As a result of the mass protests,” he continues, “the authorities developed a more careful policy toward the working class,” making concessions rather than using force as they had done in Novocherkassk. But in contrast to what they were doing with the workers, the authorities stepped up their crackdown on the intelligentsia. According to Daniel, “the events in Novocherkassk gave the party and state elite an understanding of the volcano on which they were sitting. The fear of the elites that massive worker hatred of the authorities might combine with the intelligentsia dissents did not leave them until the disintegration of the USSR.” And Pavel Kudyukin of Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, agrees. He says that Novocherkassk “frightened the leadership of the country and sharply intensified the attention of the KGB to major industrial enterprises and student dormitories. The government recognized that the working class … is no less dangerous for a communist regime than for a capitalist one.” The massacre also contributed to the growth in unhappiness with Khrushchev among the nomenklatura and thus played a role in his ouster in 1964. But importantly it also meant that Moscow did not increase prices or cut wages from that date “until the end of the 1980s.” These became, thanks to the strike, “’holy cows’” that could not be touched. “The events in Novocherkassk [also] led to the beginning of a strong dissident movement” because other Russians began to reflect that “’if the workers are striking, this is a good thing,” and those who send tanks against them are “bastards” – and that those bastards “are in the Kremlin” and nowhere else.

In Eurasia, a New Generation Challenges Russia’s Dominance – Stratfor Worldview As more and more people are born into a post-Soviet world, the lingering vestiges of the Soviet Union are diminishing in Eurasia. Moscow’s influence in the region could follow.

Stratfor analyzes why Russia about to lose its control of neighbors, incl. Ukraine Analysts from the U.S. private intelligence company Stratfor have analyzed the situation after the breakup of the Soviet Union and given forecasts of further relations between Russia, which poses itself as the successor of the USSR, and its neighbors, including Ukraine. News 02 June from UNIAN.

Verdict In Moscow-Based Ukrainian Library Director’s Hate-Crime Trial Postponed A Moscow court has postponed the verdict in the trial of Natalya Sharina, a librarian who is charged with inciting hatred in a case that is steeped in the confrontation between Moscow and Kyiv and ha…

Navalny Challenges Moscow Authorities’ Refusal To Allow Protest In City Center Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny is pushing back against the Moscow authorities' proposal that he hold a protest planned for June 12 at a location outside the city center. In a vide…

Chechen Prosecutor Wants Charlie Hebdo Blocked A prosecutor in Chechnya has&nbsp;asked a court to block websites that carrying content from the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which recently posted a lewd comic strip taking aim at th…

Patronalism in Eurasia Henry Hale is Professor of Political Science and International Affairs in the Eliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University and Co-Director of the Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia or PONARS Eurasia. He’s the author of many articles and books on post-Soviet politics. His most recent book is Patronal Politics: Eurasian Regime Dynamics in Comparative Perspective published by Cambridge University Press.

Putin Urges U.S. Businesses To Push For Normalized U.S.-Russia Relations Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged U.S. business representatives to work with President Donald Trump's administration to improve relations between the two countries. Speaking at a…

Russia’s Iskander Tactical Ballistic Missiles Used In Tajikistan Drills Russia says it has for the first time used its Iskander-M tactical ballistic-missile systems out of the country during military exercises in Tajikistan. Colonel Yaroslav Roshchupkin, an aide to th…

Military pilots “rejected” the official version of the Tu-154 crash over the Black Sea “Unless there has been collective insanity,” one of our experts said. – The actions of both the captain and the crew are absolutely inadequate. The actions of the rudders (especially the rudder of the direction – from the pedals) after take-off do not lend themselves to a normal explanation. The flight speed specified in the document allows the aircraft to stay in the air, but the pilot, who was trained, checked and allowed to fly on this type, could not rule with such rudders. The actual self-disengagement of the co-pilot and co-driver can not be explained either: – The crew sees that the FAC makes one fatal mistake after another, and does nothing. This is impossible in military transport aviation. – It can be assumed that the KPP-1 refused (the command and control device is the main device of any aircraft), another interlocutor suggested. – The “document” says about its direct indication, they say, it is difficult. Yes, it is difficult. During the re-training, on the simulator. And Volkov was an experienced pilot. In addition, the CAT-1 has a duplicate aerial horizon AGR-72. Our experts noted that the “document” says that the chassis was removed, but in all photos of the collected fragments of the crashed Tu-154 chassis are in the released position. One of our experts, a veteran of military transport aviation, having more than 10,000 hours of flight, of which about 4,000 – the commander of the Tu-154 crew, continues to adhere to the version that the “New” announced in March. Our interlocutor suggests that the commander of the Tu-154 crew, Major Roman Volkov, took off as a co-pilot during take-off, however, while in his place, and the pilot took off, not only not trained and not allowed to fly on this type of aircraft, but also not Included in the flight assignment, senior in rank and position. Yes, having a great flying experience, but on other types of aircraft, for example the An-72. On board the crashed plane was indeed the senior instructor pilot of the military unit 42829, lieutenant colonel. And he flew to the An-72. The document, which is positioned as a report by Lieutenant-General Sergei Baynetov, is very similar to the present one, but our experts do not exclude that it is a fake made on the basis of this document.

Russia sea tests white whales for military purposes in Arctic waters But seals prove more adept at undertaking polar missions, including potentially killing intruders, say experts.

Beluga whale – Wikipedia

Eugene Rumer, Bogdan Belei | Belarus: With Friends Like These. . . – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Having claimed a “sphere of privileged interests” around its periphery and gone to war twice—in Georgia and in Ukraine—Russia has a number of clear advantages when it comes to projecting power and influence there. But its grip on the vast region its leaders have cavalierly called their “near abroad” is far less certain than often assumed. In fact, the experiences of several countries on the periphery of Russia suggest that it cannot count them as allies. It appears the statement attributed to Czar Alexander III that Russia has only two allies—its army and its navy—has not lost its salience nearly a century and a half later. No country on the periphery of Russia has a more ambiguous relationship with it than Belarus. Long considered to be Moscow’s closest ally among all the former Soviet states, Minsk has, arguably, been the most frustrating for Russian leaders to deal with. It is likely to remain a difficult and unpredictable partner—one that cannot be counted on in times of crisis—yet it will likely continue to be indispensable to Russia in the post-2014 era.


IW/IO/Cyber Reports


The Daily Vertical: Vladimir Putin, Art Lover (Transcript) So, according to Vladimir Putin, hackers are sort of like artists. Just as artists wake up in the morning and paint pictures, hackers wake up in the morning and, if they have a patriotic mind-set, they just decide to go break into the e-mail servers of Russia’s enemies. Sure. Sounds logical to me. But why stop with hackers? Like, what about “little green men”? They’re kind of like artists too, I guess. Apparently they just wake up in the morning and, if they have a patriotic mind-set, they decide to just go off and, you know, invade Ukraine. WATCH Today’s Daily Vertical And I guess pro-Kremlin vigilante groups are also sort of like artists. They wake up in the morning and harass Western diplomats or, if they’re feeling particularly creative, they might decide to give opposition leader Aleksei Navalny a different-colored face. But hey, what are you going to do? Artists, after all, will be artists. And you have to wonder what on Earth the Putin regime would do without all these artists. What would the Kremlin do if all these well-financed and very creative souls weren’t out there doing the exact things the Kremlin wants done — but wants done without any fingerprints? They’d be absolutely lost without Putin’s willing artists. So while Putin may not know much about art, he sure must love his artists.

Putin Compares Hackers To ‘Artists,’ Says They Could Target Russia’s Critics For ‘Patriotic’ Reasons Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Russian hackers might target those who criticize their country out of “patriotic” feelings, but insisted that the government has no involvement in such cyberattacks.

Putin denies involvement in hacking, hails Trump – Fifth Domain | Cyber ST.PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — President Vladimir Putin insisted Thursday that the Russian state has never engaged in hacking and said Moscow will wait out the current political storm in the U.S. to forge constructive relations with President Donald Trump, whom he praised as a straightforward person with a “fresh set of eyes.” The Russian leader acknowledged the possibility that some individual “patriotic” hackers could have mounted some attacks amid the current cold spell in Russia’s relations with the West, but scoffed at allegations that hackers could influence the outcome of elections in the United States or Europe.

Maybe Private Russian Hackers Meddled in Election, Putin Says – The New York Times The Russian president denied any state role, but said that cyberattacks might have been the work of private citizens. “Anything is possible in this virtual world,” Mr. Putin said

Russian Intelligence Agencies Not Spying on Allies – Putin to Oliver Stone – To Inform is to Influence Nations spy on other nations, that is a given. There are acceptable limits. Now read this statement exactly as written: “Russian intelligence services are not spying on the country’s allies”.  The US is not a Russian ally, so Russia is spying on the United States. It really does not get any simpler.  Putin continues: “always…

Welcome to The Machine: Inside the Secretive World of RT As RT faces fresh allegations of peddling propaganda, The Moscow Times gained an insider view.

Megyn Kelly Snags Vladimir Putin One-On-One For NBC Newsmag Debut | Deadline Megyn Kelly has been granted a one-on-one interview with Russia President Vladimir Putin that will air on premiere of ‘Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly.’

If You Download Movies, Beware of This New Hacking Method – To Inform is to Influence Apologies, this is actually an ad for CUJO, but a good article, nonetheless. I’ve removed the advertisement part of this article. </end editorial> What’s happening to video streaming sites? If you use media players like Kodi or VLC you should know about some pretty serious security vulnerabilities that have been exposed lately. Dubbed by Checkpoint…

Top Defense Contractor Left Sensitive Pentagon Files on Amazon Server With No Password – To Inform is to Influence “Oh, no. It’s Booz Allen again.” Dell Cameron Yesterday 9:40am Filed to: SECURITY Sensitive files tied to a US military project were leaked by a multi-billion dollar firm once described as the world’s most profitable spy operation, Gizmodo has confirmed. A cache of more than 60,000 files was discovered last week on a publicly accessible Amazon server,…

NATO might trigger Article 5 for certain cyberattacks [CyCon Tallinn] – Fifth Domain | Cyber TALLINN, Estonia — NATO will not rule out invoking Article 5 of its charter should one or more member nations find themselves under a serious cyberattack that threatens critical military and civilian infrastructure. NATO officials told delegates at the International Conference on Cyber Conflict, or CyCon, in Estonia that the Western alliance would deliver a robust response in the event of a serious and prolonged attack on a member state in cyberspace. Article 5 provides for a united response by NATO states should a member nation come under attack. Estonia came under a series of coordinated denial-of-service attacks in 2007 that caused serious disruption to state IT infrastructure, including military networks. The cyberattack also targeted online platforms run by the country’s leading banks, denying customers access to their accounts and basic services. “Although many of the cyberattacks that we see fall below a level in their seriousness that could trigger NATO’s Article 5, it is plausible that a cyberspace event of great magnitude could take place that might lead to the triggering of Article 5 in special circumstances,” said Catherine Lotrionte, director of CyberProject at Georgetown University.

NATO to beef up cyber defensive, offensive capabilities [CyCon Tallinn] – Fifth Domain | Cyber Fifth Domain is a news and information resource that brings civilian, defense, industry, private sector and critical infrastructure stakeholders together in one place for a holistic discussion on cybersecurity, both defense and offense. The cyberwar is here. Fifth Domain has it covered.

Cyberwar requires more info sharing between NATO allies [CyCon Tallinn] – Fifth Domain | CyberT ALLINN, Estonia – NATO’s cyberspace capability can be maximized if the alliance succeeds in creating a deeper level of intelligence sharing between member nations, according to cyber warfare experts. “There is a great need to share intel and protect the alliance through coordination of information and actions,” said Brad Bigelow, the principal technical adviser to the alliance’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Power Europe (SHAPE), a unit established in 2016 and which is dedicated to the development of NATO cyberspace defensive and offensive capabilities.

Why the NSA Makes Us More Vulnerable to Cyberattacks | Foreign Affairs When the U.S. government discovers a vulnerability in a piece of software, it can either keep it secret or it can alert the software vendor. In the case of WannaCry ransomware that spread throughout the Internet earlier this month, the NSA found the vulnerability years ago and decided to exploit it rather than disclose it.


Ukraine Reports


Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russian Federation Aggression Against Ukraine Began Not in 2013 but in 1991, Sungurovsky Says Paul Goble Staunton, June 2 – Moscow began its efforts to undermine Ukraine not in 2013 in reaction to the Maidan as many with Russian encouragement think but already in 1991, Kyiv military expert Nikolay Sungurovsky says, because Moscow feared that “a successful Ukraine would threaten the territorial integrity of Russia.” “Russia reacted aggressively not to the Maidan,” the director of military programs at the Razumkov Center in Kyiv says, “but to the possibility that Ukraine would go along a European path of development.” Moscow has used various methods to try to prevent that (glavred.info/mir/deystviya-rossii-protiv-ukrainy-nachalis-s-1991-go-goda-voennyy-ekspert-439107.html). Indeed, Sungurovsky says, “attempts at destabilizing and weakening Ukraine from the inside have not ceased over the course of its entire period of independence,” a conclusion for which there is “official confirmation.” As Leonid Kravchuk, the first president of Ukraine, said, “Russian policy always was and always will be anti-Ukrainian.” Moreover, the Kyiv military analyst continues, Moscow has used a variety of tactics across the former Soviet space, ranging from propaganda directed at the post-Soviet countries and to that directed at the West up to and including the so-called “frozen conflicts” in Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine (glavred.info/chat/nikolay-sungurovskiy-435683.html).Mykola Malomuzh | Escalation of hostilities as Putin’s method of pressure on UkraineAnd there’s always the same way Putin acts to achieve his goals – that is, by escalating and radicalizing the situation. And it is only done through a hostilities format: new shellings and ever more grave threats. Look how the situation has been changing: when there was no increase in hostilities, there suddenly emerged some “Ukrainian saboteurs” in Crimea; that is Russia was trying to accuse Ukraine of sabotage, which the West always fears. But this doesn’t work as his scenario has been disclosed. So Russia has applied another option – it went for more powerful attacks on our territory in order to show that the threat is imminent of a large-scale war. Putin is trying to make Americans, Germans, and French to exert pressure on the Ukrainian authorities, to force them to agree to a Russian scenario. Ahead of the G20 summit and the meeting of the Normandy Four leaders, I don’t exclude that we will see hundreds of attacks a day, with the use of heavy weapons and artillery in at least 12 areas: Mariupol, Avdiyivka, Pisky, Donetsk airport, Stanytsia Luhanska, Yasinuvata, and so on. Such attacks can be expected closer to the date of negotiations, but not necessarily on the day they are held, rather ahead of them – to encourage the sides to shape the agenda in line with the Russian scenario. What we see is happening now, perfectly fits into the Russian strategy. Ukraine should expose such plans and provide such information at the international level, in the media, and in the diplomatic format, definitely confirming it with facts on when and how these attacks occur, and what the consequences are.

Hybrid Wars: Yandex’s Hidden Threat (Infographic) – To Inform is to Influence Comment by Inform Napalm, on Facebook: In this small investigation we are going to prove the following three claims: 1.#Yandex is fully controlled by the #Kremlin. 2.Yandex Group is engaged in a very expensive and economically unreasonable expansion in Ukraine. 3.Yandex expansion in #Ukraine is the biggest threat to the national security, even compared to…

Russians Appear To Invent Quote by Ukraine Defense Minister Turchynov – To Inform is to Influence Imagine my amusement when the Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov jokes about the war against Russia by saying Ukraine will continue until Ukraine captures Moscow. The published source is the official Russian military website, tvzvezda.ru.  My source? An official in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.   Zvezda is a…

Ukraine Beats Russia in Epic Gas Battle – To Inform is to Influence On May 31, Ukraine’s Naftogaz won an extraordinary victory over Russia’s Gazprom in the international arbitration court in Stockholm. This was the possibly biggest international arbitration verdict ever. Gazprom had claimed $47.1 billion from Naftogaz, half of Ukraine’s GDP, and Naftogaz $30.3 billion from Gazprom. Naftogaz won on all three counts the court considered. First, Ukraine does not have…

Ukraine to seek seizure of Gazprom’s assets abroad – LB.ua news portal Ukraine to seek seizure of Gazprom’s assets abroad. Justice Ministry will use the international legal assistance mechanisms for the recovery of the fine. Main – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

How Moscow hijacked the history of Kyivan Rus’ – To Inform is to Influence Notice this essay was first published in 2011, republished in 2014, and, furthermore, Russia keeps trying, today, to hijack Ukraine history.  The central point is that much of early Russian “history” has been fabricated for propaganda purposes – the notion of alternate realities has deep roots in Russia. Posting Eupedia maps – Moscow region is…

Russian proxies attack Ukraine 28 times in last day despite June 1 truce Russia's hybrid military forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in Donbas 28 times in the past 24 hours despite a new agreement on a truce as of June 1; no casualties were reported, according to the press service of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters.News 02 June from UNIAN.

Ukraine’s Armed Forces gradually gaining more ground in Donbas – official The Ukrainian forces in Donbas are gradually advancing deeper into the militant-occupied territory, forcing terrorists to retreat from the so-called &quot;grey&nbsp;zone,&quot; Deputy Minister for Occupied Territories George&nbsp;Tuka&nbsp;has told 112 TV channel. News 01 June from UNIAN.

ATO forces advance down Bakhmut highway – LB.ua news portal ATO forces advance down Bakhmut highway. The liberated territory is Ukrainian under the Minsk agreements. Main – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Children in Donbas taught to avoid mines -Euromaidan Press | As of 20 April 2017, 42 children have died and 109 were injured in result of mine explosions in Donbas. Specialists say that some 7,000 square kilometers ha of the area in Donbas need clearing from mines, which will take from 10 to 15 years. According to Serhiy Zubarevskyi, who heads the anti-mine activities of the Anti-Terririst Operation staff, settlements on the contact line between territory controlled by Ukraine and the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, uncontrolled by Ukraine, are the most vulnerable to mine detonations.

Case Against Russia in European Court on Human Rights Makes Progress – YouTube The European Court of Human Rights has recognized the admissibility of Ukraine’s first claim against the Russian Federation for The Kremlin’s actions in Crim…

Judiciary reform under threat because of the old new Supreme Court -Euromaidan Press | Only a few days remain before the end of the competition for the new Supreme Court, the establishment of which is a cornerstone of judicial reform

Hosting concert of Putin-supporting musicians in college in Boston “undignified,” alumni says -Euromaidan Press | On 2 June 2017, Russian artists, violinist-conductor Vladimir Spivakov and soprano Hibla Gerzmava, will perform at Boston’s Cutler Majestic Theater, which belongs to the renown communications and performing arts institution Emerson College. Like the performances of many other Russian artists worldwide over the last three years, the news of their appearance in Boston was received with protests. Spivakov and Gerzmanova, along with 511 other Russian cultural figures, signed a letter announcing their direct “support for the position of President of the Russian Federation regarding Ukraine and Crimea.”

Stopping Ukraine’s Brain Drain: Recruitment Expert Explains Why Many Ukrainians Work Abroad – YouTube UATV speaks with Dmytro Klim, a recruitment specialist about how private Ukrainian businesses and the government can help prevent the brain drain of talented…

Sales of new cars in Ukraine grow by third in five months Sales of new cars in Ukraine rose by a third in January-May 2017 year-over- year (y-o-y), to 30,000 units, according to the Ukrautoprom Association's press service. News 02 June from UNIAN.

Canada Ratifies Ukraine Free Trade Agreement – YouTube Canada has ratified the Free Trade Agreement with Ukraine _ Follow UATV English: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UATVEN Twitter: https://twitter.com/UATV_


Chechen Accused Of Plotting To Kill Putin Survives Shooting In Kyiv KYIV — A Chechen man whom Russian authorities accuse of plotting to kill President Vladimir Putin was shot and wounded in Kyiv in what Ukrainian police say was an assassination attempt. Th…

Two ATO participants Osmayev, Okuyeva attacked in downtown Kyiv Participants of the Anti-Terrorist Operation, who served in the Kyiv-2 police battalion, Adam Osmayev and Amina Okuyeva, were attacked in Podil residential area in Kyiv, director of the communication department of the Interior Ministry, Artem Shevchenko, said.

Putin’s suspected assailant attacked in Kyiv – LB.ua news portal Putin’s suspected assailant attacked in Kyiv. Adam Osmayev and his wife Amina Okuyeva were to meet an alleged French journalist. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Osmaev’s assailant identified as St.Petersburg bandit Dingo – LB.ua news portal Osmaev’s assailant identified as St.Petersburg bandit Dingo. His name is Artur Kurmakaev. Main – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Attacked in Kiev on the “assassinated Putin” Russian was a personal killer Kadyrov Attacking the volunteers ATO Adam Osmayev and his wife Amin Okuev was a bandit from St. Petersburg Arthur Denisultanov-Kurmakaev, nicknamed “Dingo”, who killed the ex-guard of Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov. This is reported by Espresso TV. Recall, on the eve in Kiev there was a shootout with the participation of Adam Osmayev, a Russian citizen, who is accused in the homeland of attempting to assassinate Putin . As a result of the shootout, Adam Osmayev was seriously wounded. Security guard Umar Israilov was killed in 2009 in Vienna, where he applied for political asylum. As the Russian edition of Ruspres writes, Israilov was killed because he accused Kadyrov of being tortured. In late 2006, Israilov filed a lawsuit against Russia in the European Court of Human Rights, in which he accused Kadyrov of torturing and kidnapping people. Israilov’s lawyer Nadia Lorentz in a statement to the police claimed that the killer Denisultanov-Kurmakaev insisted that her client withdraw his suit. During the interrogation after the murder Kurmakaev told about the list of Kadyrov’s enemies, where there are 300 candidates for shooting. He also explained that 50 of these 300 live in Austria and are in danger. According to Denisultanov-Kurmakaev, he allegedly also carried out the will of Kadyrov. He should have persuaded Israilov to return to Chechnya, and after the refusal he received an order to kill the apostate. The New York Times, which conducted its own investigation into Israilov’s death, citing Kurmakayev’s official testimony, wrote that in the summer of 2008 he illegally entered Europe on the instructions of a high-ranking official from Kadyrov’s entourage in order to force Umar Israilov to withdraw his complaint from Strasbourg. It is reported that the native of the Chechen Gudermes Arthur Denisultanov was first convicted in 1990 in the Chechen-Ingush ASSR. Then he received two years for extortion, but in February 1991 he went through an amnesty, announced by Dzhokhar Dudayev. Soon he moved to St. Petersburg, where he started kiosk business, setting the first points at the Moscow railway station. According to Arthur himself, in 1995 he miraculously survived an assassination attempt in Moscow, where he was shot by business partners.

Attempted assassination on patriot volunteer fighters Adam Osmaev and Amina Okueva happened in Kyiv. PHOTOS 02.06.17 09:33 – Attempted assassination on patriot volunteer fighters Adam Osmaev and Amina Okueva happened in Kyiv. PHOTOS Interior Ministry communication department head Artem Shevchenko published the details of a shooting in Kyiv’s Podil district in the evening of June 1. View photo news.

Osmaev attacker survived and will testify, – interior minister adviser Herashchenko 02.06.17 10:46 – Osmaev attacker survived and will testify, – interior minister adviser Herashchenko Killer who attacked Donbas war participant Adam Osmaev in Kyiv on June 1 was wounded by Osmaev’s wife Amina Okueva. He survived, is guarded and will testify. View news.

Group of people who planned to kidnap and transfer former Russian citizen to Russia for $17 million was detained, – Prosecutor General Lutsenko. PHOTOS 02.06.17 13:04 – Group of people who planned to kidnap and transfer former Russian citizen to Russia for $17 million was detained, – Prosecutor General Lutsenko. PHOTOS The suspects were detained while receiving $100,000 as an advance payment for the crime. View photo news.

Osmaev’s condition stable with positive dynamics, wounds penetrating; killer has one bullet in his body, – doctor 02.06.17 14:11 – Osmaev’s condition stable with positive dynamics, wounds penetrating; killer has one bullet in his body, – doctor Health condition of wounded former commander of volunteer battalion of anti-terrorist operation (ATO) forces Adam Osmaev, who had been earlier accused of preparation of an attempt on Russian President Putin, is stable with positive dynamics. View news.

Law enforcers questioning Osmaev’s attacker in hospital, – Police Chief Kniaziev 02.06.17 14:58 – Law enforcers questioning Osmaev’s attacker in hospital, – Police Chief Kniaziev The man’s identity is still to be confirmed. View news.

“Killer turned out sophisticated bit of goods – he used to kill Chechens in Europe,” – Okueva 02.06.17 15:35 – Killer turned out sophisticated bit of goods – he used to kill Chechens in Europe, – Okueva Adam Osmaev is conscious, but not able to testify due to respirator. View news.

Law enforcers thwart kidnapping of Russian businessman – LB.ua news portal Law enforcers thwart kidnapping of Russian businessman. Among the detainees is a district police department chief. Main – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today


Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports


Putin Ready to Sell Advanced Anti-Aircraft System to Turkey Russian President Vladmir Putin said he was ready to sell the advanced S-400 missiles defense system to Turkey.

Russia Lifts Restrictions On Turkish Food Imports Russia has lifted restrictions on the import of several foods from Turkey, the latest move to mend relations that were badly damaged when Turkish jets shot down a Russian warplane in 2015 . Th…

Russian ‘Evidence’ Disputing Idlib Chemical Attack Is Pure Fabrication – To Inform is to Influence Russian  ‘evidence’ is actually merely Russian propaganda.  The video was two years old.   A Swedish group, SWEDHR, has declared medical procedures shown in a video of emergency room treatment not authentic.  Since there is no international court for the fabrications of evidence and lying via the media, and for the lack of ethics in journalism…

Cyberterrorism and Biotechnology | Foreign Affairs Although available information suggests that North Korean hackers were behind the WannaCry ransomware attack, there is reason to believe that terrorist groups such as al Qaeda and ISIS could copy the tactic.

The Battle to Unearth Iraq’s Mass Graves | Foreign Policy Thousands of Yazidis slaughtered by the Islamic State are awaiting exhumation. But a row between Baghdad and Erbil has left them in the ground for more than a year.

Yazidis – Wikipedia

The Aviationist » The U.S. Air Force Has Just Released Photos That Prove The MC-130J Commando II Has Joined The Air War On ISIS The top image shows a U.S. Air Force MC-130J Commando II receiving fuel from a 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker during a flight in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. The photograph was taken by Staff Sgt. Trevor T. McBride on May 29, 2017, and it is particularly interesting because, as our friends at @Airwars noticed, this is the first time the multimission combat transport/special operations tanker, assigned to the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), is depicted flying in support of OIR against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.


DPRK / PRC Reports


North Korea Claims ‘Most Powerful Nuclear Weapon’ in Store for U.S. If Military Does Not Back Off North Korea’s state-run media says the U.S. is risking “further disgrace” in addition to possible nuclear retribution.

Newt Gingrich: The North Korean EMP threat | Fox News North Korea is already one of the most dangerous places in the world, and it’s becoming more perilous by the day.

U.S. Sanctions Russian Firms, Director For North Korea Links WASHINGTON — The United States has sanctioned several new entities and individuals, including two Russian companies, one subsidiary, and a Russian citizen&nbsp;in connection with North Korea&rsquo;…

US sanctions more, including Russians, over North Korea arms The United States on Thursday blacklisted nine companies and government institutions, including two Russian firms, and three people for their support of North Korea’s weapons programs.

As US military flexes, North Korea marches toward nuke – CNNPolitics.com At this point, the pattern is familiar.

Australia Joins Trump In Saying China Could to More to Keep North Korea in Check China has the greatest leverage over the regime in Pyongyang, Turnbull argues.

China Implored to Curtail Ever More ‘Reckless’ North Korea – Bloomberg Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull joined the U.S. in imploring China to rein in North Korea, saying the regime was becoming increasingly reckless and must be curtailed.

In 1938, Russia and Japan Almost Went to War (And History Would Have Been Changed Forever) | The National Interest Blog What would have happenned? 

Narendra Modi in Russia: Vladimir Putin’s govt readying to supply S-400 missile systems to India Russia on Thursday said it was preparing to supply S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft missile systems to India and both governments were “simply discussing” the terms.


Foreign Policy Reports


The Morning Vertical, June 2, 2017 ON MY MIND French President Emmanuel Macron reads Vladimir Putin the riot act in public. An increasingly confident Angela Merkel rides high in the polls, looks to be sailing toward a fourth term as German Chancellor, and there appears to be little the Kremlin can do about it. After the Euro crisis, the migrant crisis, the rise of the xenophobic right, and a coordinated campaign of Russian meddling, it looks to many that with Merkel and Macron at the helm Europe is getting its mojo back. Is it real? Or is it a false dawn? On this week’s Power Vertical Podcast, I’ll be joined to discuss this question by Jamie Kirchick, author of the recently published book The End Of Europe. Also joining us will be Christian Caryl, a columnist at The Washington Post, editor of its Global Opinions section, and author of the book Strange Rebels: 1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century.

Moldova joins the anti-Kremlin fightback | The World Weekly Moldova has become the latest former Soviet republic to push back against Moscow’s influence, expelling five Russian diplomats.

The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked | Technology | The Guardian A shadowy operation involving big data, billionaire friends of Trump and the disparate forces of the Leave campaign heavily influenced the result of the EU referendum. Is our electoral process still fit for purpose?

After Putin Visit, Tillerson Snubbed Top EU Official | Foreign Policy Trans-Atlantic relations hit new lows after President Donald Trump’s gaffe-filled visit to Europe last week. But behind closed doors, the tensions started well before then and included a high-profile slight of a senior European Union official. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s office declined a call with the EU’s foreign-policy chief, Federica Mogherini, after his visit to Russia in April, according to multiple sources close to the incident. The sources told Foreign Policy that Tillerson’s office rejected Mogherini’s request for a call and instead kicked it down to a lower-level State Department official. That move infuriated her and came against the backdrop of an already strained U.S.-EU relationship under Trump, whose scandal-plagued White House is still reeling from investigations into the president’s campaign ties to the Kremlin. Mogherini’s staff made the request to Tillerson’s office after a widely scrutinized visit to Moscow on April 11-12 to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and before her meeting with Lavrov in Moscow on April 24. Allies were eager for a brief out of the meeting directly from Tillerson, but he was unavailable to fulfill the request from Mogherini, multiple sources tell FP.

New Serbian President Reaches Out to Both European Neighbors and Russia – YouTube Newly elected Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic solemnly took office, swearing allegiance to the Serbian people. The former Prime Minister of the country, a…

Moldova’s odd couple: Plahotniuc and Dodon In recent months, the Moldovan parliament passed two bills which aim to change the country’s electoral system. It now seems ever more likely that Moldova will adopt a mixed electoral model and increase the chances of Vlad Plahotniuc, an oligarch (who is the wealthiest and most influential man in Moldova) and leader of the biggest pro-European party in the ruling coalition, to stay in power after the planned 2018 parliamentary elections. Time and again, Plahotniuc has found support from his formal rival – the leader of the pro-Russian socialists, President Igor Dodon.

Cash From America Is Crucial to Venezuela’s Protesters – Bloomberg Helmets and goggles come via private couriers or tucked in carry-on bags. Portable radios and gas masks are smuggled across the border or sent on charter planes.

Venezuela: Maduro Pledges Referendum as Death Toll Hits 62 | Time.com Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro pledged to hold a referendum on a new constitution as the death toll from political unrest reaches 62


US Domestic Policy Reports


What the Russian Revolution Can Teach Us About Trump – The New York Times A lot more than you might imagine

Making sense of Russiagate: what do Russians think?Russian media both hint toward the Russian regime’s prowess in influencing the US election, while simultaneously treating the accusation as baseless Western propaganda.

The Amazing Arrogance of the Paris Climate Agreement – Foundation for Economic Education – Working for a free and prosperous world The “globalists” of the type that tried to make Paris agreement work have a stunning lack of self-awareness. They pretend to be oblivious to the populist resentment they breed. They act as if there is not a single legitimate doubt about the problem, their analysis of cause and effect, the discernment of their selected experts, or their proposed coercive solution. And there certainly isn’t a doubt that their mighty combination of power, resources, and intelligence can cause all the forces in the universe to adapt to their will, including even the climate that King Canute himself said could not be controlled by kings and princes.

 


Objective Metropolis: The Future of Dense Urban Operational Environments – Modern War Institute As the global population evolves toward a denser, more urban-centric environment, the battlefield landscape will likely follow suit. Where the US armed forces of the twenty-first century once militarily dominated the rural landscapes of Afghanistan and the deserts of Iraq, the fight for military objectives will increasingly focus on population centers in the decades to come. Of course, urban operations are not new to the US soldier or Marine. Brave Americans have fought valiantly from the Battle of Hue City in Vietnam to Mosul in the ongoing fight against ISIL. However, the cities of tomorrow will present new challenges where titanic populations and infrastructure density will combine with near-instantaneous flow of information to create a leviathan of complexity for the armed forces. Current doctrine does not address the unique fabric of crowded urban areas of operation, though ongoing research, directed by the chief of staff of the Army, aims to address these shortfalls. A 2014 Strategic Studies Group (SSG) report maintains that the US Army stands ill prepared to respond to and operate within complex cities, even as these areas become increasingly strategically significant. Specifically, the SSG report argues, “the problems found in megacities (explosive growth rates, vast and growing income disparity and a security environment that is increasingly attractive to the politically dispossessed) are landpower problems. Solutions, therefore, will require boots on the ground.” Given this assessment, prioritizing the study of cities and their internal structures is vital to preparing the force to fight and win future wars.

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