Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Media Update – 5June 2017

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Leading Russia topics are its reversion to Soviet and Tsarist behaviours, most notable of these being a belief that Russia has special entitlements to neighbouring nations’ territory, the replacement of strategic reasoning with “conspiracy thinking”, propaganda” andmysticism”, the Deputy Commander of the Russian NatGuard declaring it to be  “the heir of the NKVD”, while Putin gives the NatGuard authority over the Russian military, Great Russian birth rates nosedive, and St Nicholas relics become a major national hit. Vladimir Kara-Murza interviewed on 60 minutes about being poisoned twice.

Russia’s 21st century Oprichnina: Krasheninnikov’s comments are direct recognition from inside Russia that the nation’s leadership is in the grip of Dunning-Kruger Effect induced illusory self-confidence, and Groupthink, and his comments on internal destabilisation arising from the NatGuard being given “the right to assume control over and give orders to military units as may be necessary” are very apt. In many ways, this is a reversion to the period of Ivan IV.

IO/cyber dominated by Russia, also a good essay on the history of fake news.

Donbas fires continue, while AFU on high alert following unannounced Russian border exercises. Adam Osmaev declared out of danger following surgery for gunshot wounds, while assassin confirmed to be paralyzed after being shot through the spine by Osmaev’s wife Amina, who in an interview admitsI have eliminated dozens of personnel. When you work with sniper rifles or a kilometer and a half, something quite different than at a distance of half a meter.Bellingcat finds another missing image of SA-11 GADFLY TELAR #332.

Russians ramp up DPRK sanctions busting, SECDEF and SECSTATE visit AUS, while AUS MSM exposes major PRC CCP influence campaign in Canberra.

UK ISIS attack in London still swamping the MSM. Claimed shootout between ISIS fanatic and police in Melbourne, AUS, with two reported dead. Multiple reports on Russian meddling in the Balkans.

US domestic Russia debate continues, with Rice backflipping from promoting Sukov’s alternate reality myths to arguing that Putin lied – a remarkable transformation in less than 6 months.

Russia / Russophone Reports

The Morning Vertical, June 5, 2017 ON MY MIND Vladimir Putin wants to go back to the 1970s. As foreign affairs analyst Vladimir Frolov notes in an insightful piece featured below, the Kremlin leader’s comments at the St. Petersburg economic forum and his interview with Megyn Kelly illustrate a clear desire to return to the era of detente. An era when the United States and the West recognized Moscow’s superpower status and its so-called “legitimate interests” in Eastern Europe. In other words, he wants to go back to a world in which Russia has “full sovereignty” and its neighbors — both in the former Soviet Union and in the former Warsaw Pact — have “limited sovereignty.” He wants Helsinki 2.0 — but without the human rights basket. He wants the principle of nonintervention upheld, unless it is in Russia’s legitimate interests to intervene and invade. Even if it were geopolitically wise and morally acceptable for the West to give Putin this, and it is clearly not, it would also be practically impossible. Because Putin is asking the West to give him something that is not the West’s to give: the sovereignty of Ukraine, Georgia, and that of all of Russia’s neighbors.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kremlin’s Conspiracy Thinking Lands Russia in Trouble, Krasheninnikov Says Paul Goble Staunton, June 5 – The Putin regime increasingly is relying not on a careful analysis of the facts but rather on the conspiracy thinking its propagandists disseminate as a guide to action, Fyodor Krasheninnikov says, with increasingly disastrous consequences for Russia and its place in the world. The Yekaterinburg political analyst says that it is now obvious that “the most important decisions are being taken on the basis of pseudo-facts disseminated by [Moscow’s own] propaganda” and that conspiracy thinking, supported by “mysticism,” is generating “a baseless self-confidence” ( The current reliance on conspiracy thinking in foreign affairs, Krasheninnikov says, grew out of the Kremlin’s vision of Russia’s past and its unwillingness to focus on the domestic sources of the revolutions of the 20th century. In the Kremlin’s view, all these events occurred “not as a result of domestic conflicts, economic problems, and lousy governance.” Instead, the Kremlin believes, all these revolutions took place “exclusively under the influence of external forces, which via agents of influence and propaganda achieved the weakening of the power of the state and the disintegration of the country.” And it thinks that such foreign machinations are the result of “’Russophobia.” Reliance on that force as an explanation, Krasheninnikov says, is a reflection of the fact that “faith in conspiracies requires an irrational explanation” and that this set of views explains why foreigners devote “so much energy, effort, and resources on the struggle with Russia.” This “conspiratorial view of the past sooner or later had to lead to the idea that [Moscow] can act the same way now” given that “Russia is as it were the citadel of the good and therefore not only can but should beat the perennial enemy with his own weapon.” And that explains what the Kremlin has been doing in many places around the world. It has calculated on success by “finding some local politicians or simply citizens who are dissatisfied with an existing regime, to begin financing them directly or indirectly, to create special agitation media and NGOs.” In short, Moscow has been seeking to do “everything that our leadership has been accusing the Western countries of for many years.” Since such methods proved capable of destroying “holy and beautiful tsarist Russia and the miraculous and invincible USSR,” the Kremlin reasons, and therefore they will be even more effective against “the rotting democracies of the West and all sorts of small pseudo-states.” Not surprising where there is a demand based on such a vision, Krasheninnikov continues, there will be a supply; and various analytic centers have rushed to provide the Kremlin with ideas on how to disorder the West, destroy NATO, and ensure “’a belt of neutral states in the Balkans.’” But this approach hasn’t worked: “however much [Moscow] invests in marginal fighters with the system [in these countries], they all the same lost to the systemic forces there in ways that are completely predictable,” he argues. Even in the case of the US elections, which “seemed to many to be the beginning of a new era,” Moscow’s conspiracy-driven approach has failed: The US did not collapse or disintegrate, and “American democracy has shown itself to have a significant level of stability. One man, even if he is the US president, isn’t capable of turning everything upside down.” And in the cases of “small countries like Montenegro and Macedonia,” Moscow’s conspiracy-driven approach has “turned out to be ineffective,” even when reinforced by “mystical” faith in “Slavic unity and Orthodox brotherhood.” In this case, Krasheninnikov says, “the contemporary world has turned out to be much more complicated that Dugin and Prokhanov see it.” First, Balkan elites think “pragmatically” and recognize that the rich EU nearby is “a much more interesting partner than distant and comparatively poor Russia.” Second, it was “extremely native to plan something” of the kind Moscow did without recognizing that the EU and NATO could and would respond. And third, those who implemented the Kremlin’s decision showed themselves to be pathetic. The result: Montenegro joined NATO, and Macedonia seeks closer ties with the Western alliance and with the EU.Despite this, Krasheninnikov says, “there is no basis to suppose that this destructive and expensive fiath that one can achieve anything anywhere with money and propaganda is about to be thrown aside in the near future by the ruling elite of our country.” Instead, driven by its own propaganda, Moscow will waste “billions of dollars” and have little to show for it. One thing, however, is “already clear,” he concludes. “Seeking domination or even suggest in world politics by operating on archaic theories and open mysticism in the 21st century” is doomed to failure after failure.

NATO’s unprecedented military build-up destabilizes situation in Europe, – Lavrov 05.06.17 16:56 – NATO’s unprecedented military build-up destabilizes situation in Europe, – Lavrov Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he will discuss with his Belarussian counterpart Vladimir Makey a coordinated action with NATO in the wake of the last decisions taken at the summit of the alliance. View news.

Putin Threatens Sweden – To Inform is to Influence Putin is threatening Sweden if they decide to join NATO. PUTIN VOWS MILITARY RESPONSE TO ‘ELIMINATE NATO THREAT’ IF SWEDEN JOINS U.S.-LED ALLIANCE Sweden bolsters army in warning to Putin Putin Will ‘Eliminate’ the NATO Threat If Sweden Joins Sweden in Nato would be ‘threat to Russia’: Putin Russia warns Sweden it will face military…

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin Gives National Guard Powers Even NKVD Didn’t Have – The Question Now is Why? Gorevoy Says Paul Goble Staunton, June 5 – Vladimir Putin on May 24th gave his National Guard the right to assume control over and give orders to military units as may be necessary in the course of “fulfilling tasks laid on National Guard forces” (, a grant of power that may reflect or will trigger conflicts among the siloviki, Ruslan Gorevoy says. Indeed, the Versiya commentator says, there has been “nothing like this” in Russian history; and “it is impossible to imagine that the oprichniki would have been given command of the military forces of the Grand Duchy of Muscovy, the gendarmes over the Russian Imperial army or officers of the NKVD over Red Army men.” For the military, such “subordination” is simultaneously “a humiliation and a challenge,” Gorevoy says; and that fact which promises no good for the future prompts the question: “why did the powers that be take such a step?” ( The answer, he suggests, lies not only in the nature of the Russian Guard but also in the possible purposes to which it can be put. In briefest terms, the Russian Guard is “a militarized formation subordinate directly to the chief of state intended to guarantee society’s security and the territorial integrity of the country.” It has its roots in the oprichiki of Ivan the Terrible’s times, the gendarmie of tsarist ones, and the NKVD forces in Soviet times, Gorevoy says. But just as those forces were used in various ways for various purposes so too the Russian Guard may be used variously – and thus one must examine what commentators are saying about it. Yury Baluyevsky, who advises the commander of the Russian Guard, said recently that “the main threats to the security of Russia are not from the outside but internal. The Russian Guard was created not for suppressing but for preventing the rash actions of those who by rocking the boat intend to lead the state to a situation like the one [in] Libya, Syria and Ukraine” ( That suggests that the Russian Guard is above all about domestic security; and “it is instructive that in the defense ministry [which bears primary responsibility for defending the country in the international arena] there has not been able demonstrative reaction to the presidential decree.” According to military expert Aleksandr Golts, the powers that me plan to respond to any protests with “military force” (, a plan that makes shifting military units to the command of the Russian Guard understandable, especially given the reluctance of officers and soldiers to shoot at fellow Russians, something the Guard may be required to do. But there may be more to this Putin order than just that, Gorevoy suggests. It may be a way to take defense minister Sergey Shoygu down a peg given recent polls that show him ranking second to Putin in the estimations of the country’s population. That would be analogous to how Stalin used Lavrenty Beria at one point. Indeed, as Gorevoy has said before, it could be that Putin is insuring himself against a military coup, such as may have been under discussion last year among Baltic Fleet officers who were suddenly and inexplicably removed from office in ways “not in the style of Putin or Shoygu” ( and There is yet another possibility, although even Gorevoy says it is improbable, one that has its roots in Ivan the Terrible’s decision to cede power for a time and then return. Historian Ruslan Skrynnikov argues that this move reflected a crisis in the state and uncertainty how to “preserve the appearance of legality in the state” while rebuilding oprichnik power ( Could Putin be planning something similar by using the Russian Guard and its commander as his apparent successor? Gorevoy reminds that he earlier predicted that the Guard could be “a super-ministry headed by a super-president.” And he cites Sergey Parkhomenko as saying the head of the Russian Guard could play exactly this kind of role, at least for a time.

The Daily Vertical: The New NKVD (Transcript) Words matter. And they particularly matter when they are uttered by somebody as powerful as the second-in-command of Vladimir Putin’s personal Praetorian Guard. They matter when somebody like General Sergei Melikov gets caught telling the truth. The deputy commander of Russia’s National Guard recently told Izvestia that the 400,000-strong force, a force led by Putin’s old bodyguard and reports to the Kremlin leader alone, is — and I am quoting here — “the heir to the NKVD.” So now it’s official, I guess. WATCH: Today’s Daily Vertical The No. 2 man in Putin’s private army told the main pro-Kremlin newspaper that what everybody feared when the National Guard was formed last year was, in fact, true. Putin’s National Guard is the heir to the organization that implemented Josef Stalin’s Great Terror. It’s the heir to the organization that carried out mass extrajudicial executions. It’s the heir to the organization that created and administered the Soviet gulag. And it’s the heir to the organization responsible for the mass deportations of Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Poles, Crimean Tatars, and other ethnic groups. And General Melikov is proud of this fact. This is a frightening window into the current thinking of Putin’s top generals and into the subculture of his personal Praetorian Guard. And it’s an unmistakable — and unmistakably disturbing — message to Russia’s opposition, its elite, and its neighbors.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin’s Russian Guard is True ‘Heir to the NKVD,’ Its Deputy Commander Says Paul Goble Staunton, June 4 – In explaining why the new Russian Guard plans to restore the red banner and the name Feliks Dzerzhinsky in its operations, Col. General Sergey Melikov told Izvestiya that such moves were entirely appropriate because veterans have asked for this and because his organization is “the heir of the NKVD.” Those words were included in the original article but then taken down when someone recognized the dangers of drawing a direct link between an organization that repressed millions of Russians and Putin’s new Guard. However, those who took them down from the webpage forgot that in the age of Screenshot, nothing is really ever lost forever. The original Izvestiya article is at; the Screenshot of the passages that were removed is available at In reporting this incident, Snob portal commentator Ivan Davydov says that words like these matter, however much some may devalue them in their efforts to hide what they are really about ( And he then offers what is certainly the most succinct and accurate definition of national unity under Putin now available. In Putin’s Russia, he writes, “the unity of the nation is when one and the same people scurry to churches built in memory of those innocents who were killed and then write on their banners the name of the executioner who killed those innocents.” This sends a horrific signal about the direction in which Russia is now moving. Individual Russians can privately believe what they like, but when the state sends such signals, society should respond with horror, Davydov says, because “people must understand that out of this ‘continuity’ and ‘unity of the nation grows the chance” that the horrors of the past can return.

Putin’s Russian Guard is True ‘Heir to the NKVD,’ Its Deputy Commander Says – To Inform is to Influence Putin’s Russian guard is restoring the red banner and using the name of Feliks Dzerzhinsky, the former head of the Soviet secret police, the NKVD, which was first known as Cheka. They were responsible for mass executions of tens of thousands during the Red Terror and the Russian Civil war – without trial. Dzerzhinsky established the All-Russia…

Russia: Conviction of librarian for holding ‘extremist books’ demonstrates utter contempt for rule of law | Amnesty International The conviction of Natalya Sharina, former Director of the state-run Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow, for holding ‘extremist books’ demonstrates utter contempt for the rule of law and highlights flaws in the independence of Russia’s judiciary, said Amnesty International today.

Ex-Director Of Moscow-Based Ukrainian Library Handed Suspended Sentence The former director of Moscow's Ukrainian Literature Library, Natalya Sharina, has been handed a four-year suspended sentence by a Moscow court in a case that is steeped in the confrontatio…

Declining birthrates among Russians accelerating demographic decline, Rosstat figures show | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press | Rosstat, the Russian government’s statistics agency, reports that during the first four months of 2017, Russians gave birth to almost 70,000 fewer children than they did in the comparable period a year earlier, a decline that wiped out all gains from declines in mortality rates and put Russia on course to lose more than 280,000 people in 2017. And that happened even though marriages increased in number relative to population while divorces declined slightly ( and, and means that Russia’s demographic decline is accelerating again. Especially hard hit are predominantly ethnic Russian regions where the declines in the first three months were greatest, amounting to some 114,000. That was partially compensated for by increases in predominantly Muslim regions, and as a result, the total decline for this period was only 93,000. But the ethnic mix of the country continues to change against the Russians.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Declining Birthrates among Russians Leading to Further Demographic Decline, Rosstat Figures Show Paul Goble Staunton, June 4 – Rosstat, the Russian government’s statistics agency, reports that during the first four months of 2017, Russians gave birth to almost 70,000 fewer children than they did in the comparable period a year earlier, a decline that wiped out all gains from declines in mortality rates and put Russia on course to lose more than 280,000 people in 2017. And that happened even though marriages increased in number relative to population while divorces declined slightly( and, and means that Russia’s demographic decline is accelerating again. Especially hard hit are predominantly ethnic Russian regions where the declines in the first three months were greatest, amounting to some 114,000. That was partially compensated for by increases in predominantly Muslim regions, and as a result, the total decline for this period was only 93,000. But the ethnic mix of the country continues to change against the Russians. All of this was predicted by demographers. What Russia is going through now, they say, is “the second wave of the demographic collapse of 1992-2000.” Low birthrates then mean that there is simply no new group of women in the prime child-bearing cohort to give birth. And that pattern will feed on itself, reducing each new generation in turn. As a result, many regions and especially predominantly Russian ones will suffer from depopulation or from an increase in the number of pensioners to the extent life expectancies increase. But there will be no one to replace them as workers or to support them after they take retirement. What makes this situation especially difficult is that Vladimir Putin and his regime are almost in complete denial, especially after the three years in which there was a slight uptick in the number of births and in which births did exceed deaths. But that period is now ending as all serious demographers predicted it would. And what is worse is that Putin’s “optimization” programs – a euphemism for cutbacks in medical care and social services – almost certainly means that there will be ever fewer live births, higher infant mortality, and a much slower growth in life expectancies than would have been the case otherwise.

Poisoned again? What 60 Minutes learned about Russia’s “love of poison” – CBS News 60 Minutes had already interviewed Putin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza when news broke that he was in the hospital again. Poisoned, he says, for speaking out against the Kremlin

Putin critic says he’s one of the lucky ones: “I’m still here” – CBS News 60 Minutes examines the unfortunate fate that stalks some of Putin's most prominent critics: unsolved shootings, suspicious suicides and poisonings

Chechen Man Who Claimed Torture Said Detained In Russia A Chechen man who claimed in 2013 that he was tortured by police has been detained in Russia’s Bryansk region.

Saint’s relics are a miraculous must-see in secular Russia | CTV News In the three weeks since St. Nicholas came to Moscow, more than 300,000 people have stood in huge lines for up to 10 hours to visit a gilded ark thought to carry his bone fragments.

World Bank Says Russian Economy To Grow 1.3 Percent In 2017, 1.4 percent in 2018 The World Bank has forecast Russian economic growth at a 1.3 percent rate in 2017, helped by improving consumption in the country, which&nbsp;is recovering from a two-year recession. The World Ban…

How the Soviet Union Transformed Terrorism – The Atlantic The USSR developed two tools that changed the world: airplane hijackings and state-sponsorship of terror

IW/IO/Cyber Reports

Putin May Want to Pick a Male Interviewer Next Time – Bloomberg When Megyn Kelly turned up the heat, he turned to nastiness and eyerolls.

Putin Denies U.S. Election Meddling, Compromising Material On Trump Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking on a prime-time U.S. TV program, has again denied that Moscow interfered in the presidential election last year and said that the Kremlin has no compromisin…

Megyn Kelly gets outmaneuvered by Vladimir Putin on her NBC premiere ‘Sunday Night’ – LA Times‘ Sundays with Megyn Kelly’

Centralized Guidance, Decentralized Execution, Russian Propaganda? No, Weekly Standard Editor To “Media” – To Inform is to Influence I don’t follow him so I was amazed when Twitter sent me a daily synopsis of ‘important’ Tweets. Here’s one from the editor-at-large of the Weekly Standard: Memo to media: LET HIM PLAY GOLF. Don’t criticize or mock. It’s good for the country if he golfs, compared to what else he could be doing. Funny…

Russia Attacks German Soldiers, NATO In Lithuania In Information War – To Inform is to Influence Sputnik and RIA Novosti published these absolutely fabricated lies: Four NATO Soldiers Get Into ‘Drunken Kung Fu’ Brawl in Lithuania, Catch Flack In Lithuania drunken NATO military staged a fight Not surprisingly there are no reports of any brawls in Lithuania.  No German soldiers in trouble. No NATO problems. All is quiet on the Western…

Weapons of retribution. Iskander-M. Unique footage (HD) The film by Arkady Mamontov Подпишитесь на канал Россия24: Эксклюзив! Идеальный ответ на любые угрозы и любую военную агрессию. Р…

Russia President Vladimir Putin Condemns ‘Cruelty And Cynicism’ Of London Attack Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday condemned the “cruelty and cynicism” of the London attack and called for greater joint efforts in the fight against terror, the Kremlin said.

Wanted: DISA cyber warriors The agency is vying for skilled cyber professionals — and developing their own.

French cyber chief warns of ‘permanent war,’ ‘chaos’ in cyberspace – Fifth Domain | Cyber PARIS (AP) — Cyberspace faces an approaching risk of “permanent war” between states and criminal or extremist organizations because of increasingly destructive hacking attacks, the head of the French government’s cybersecurity agency warned Thursday. In a wide-ranging interview in his office with The Associated Press, Guillaume Poupard lamented a lack of commonly agreed rules to govern cyberspace and said: “We must work collectively, not just with two or three Western countries, but on a global scale.” “With what we see today — attacks that are criminal, from states, often for espionage or fraud but also more and more for sabotage or destruction — we are getting closer, clearly, to a state of war, a state of war that could be more complicated, probably, than those we’ve known until now,” he said. His comments echoed testimony from the head of the U.S. National Security Agency, Adm. Michael Rogers, to the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 9. Rogers spoke of “cyber effects” being used by states “to maintain the initiative just short of war” and said: “‘Cyber war’ is not some future concept or cinematic spectacle, it is real and here to stay.”

New report details ‘clear attribution’ of Lazarus Group hacks to North Korean military – Fifth Domain | Cyber A report published this week by cybersecurity researchers establishes some of the strongest links yet between the mysterious hacker collective Lazarus Group and North Korea’s Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB), the military unit responsible for peacetime cyberattacks and espionage against enemies. Cybersecurity company Group-IB published the findings in its report, Lazarus Arisen: Architecture / Tools / Attribution. The report details Lazarus Group’s cyber tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs), including the “complex botnet” it uses for command and control (C&C) infrastructure and the extensive “multi-modal” toolset it uses to conduct cyberattacks. Lazarus Group “demonstrated a flexible approach to attacks by applying different hacking tools, which prevented their detection by endpoint security solutions,” the researchers wrote. The hackers also pulled off “several successful attacks without employing 0-day exploits.”

The True History Of Fake News – To Inform is to Influence The history of made-up stories explains why they have re-emerged in the internet era. Tom Standage delves into the archives TOM STANDAGE | JUNE/JULY 2017 Giant man-bats that spent their days collecting fruit and holding animated conversations; goat-like creatures with blue skin; a temple made of polished sapphire. These were the astonishing sights witnessed by…

Ukraine Reports

Ukrainian military on high alert as Russia launches snap border drills, – MoD 05.06.17 16:16 – Ukrainian military on high alert as Russia launches snap border drills, – MoD The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine closely monitors sudden exercises that the Russian Federation is conducting on the border of Ukraine and in occupied Crimea. All military units have been placed on high alert. View news.

Two Ukrainian soldiers wounded yesterday, – ATO HQ 05.06.17 09:22 – Two Ukrainian soldiers wounded yesterday, – ATO HQ Two military of the Ukraine’s Armed Forces were wounded in combat in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) in the east of Ukraine on June 4. View news.

Two private houses damaged in new attack on Ukraine’s Krasnohorivka in Donbas The Ukrainian-controlled town of Krasnohorivka in Donbas has come under a new attack by Russia's hybrid military forces, as a result of which private houses have been damaged, according to the press service of the National Police's main department in Donetsk region. News 05 June from UNIAN.

Large-scale fire raging outside Kyiv as fuel depot bursts out (Photos) A large-scale fire has broken out outside Kyiv as fuel tanks at a depot in the town of Brovary have caught fire, according to, a news portal covering car accidents and other emergency situations. News 05 June from UNIAN.

“Adam can get up. No threat to his life in terms of health now,” – Okueva. PHOTO 05.06.17 10:37 – Adam can get up. No threat to his life in terms of health now, – Okueva. PHOTO Adam Osmaev, who fell a victim of an attempt last week, has got better in the hospital. View photo news.

Exclusive TSN: Amin Okuyeva described the customized armed attack on her and her husband If I is not been perfected to automatism, then nothing would have happened. The killer managed to make just two shots. I do not know what the other was in his hand, for life is not dangerous. I needed only to remove a fuse, bear in self-defense cartridge in the chamber. If no cartridge in the chamber, I have not had time to do anything. He turned around and stopped shooting and started to reach for my gun, I leaned back and fell sharply, sharply foot and pushed hard in the face. He flew to the car windshield. She made a fuse, made a series of shots while I have not stuck sleeve. I am glad that he (the killer) survived. But this is not my merit. If I was not stuck sleeve, I would have released the entire store and it would be very little chance. Maybe subconsciously I try not to aim at the head. When jammed, he began to cry, it seems that I did not shoot. The fact that he is alive – a miracle. This is important not only for overall policy, but from a geopolitical point. Their exiled Russian terrorists and saboteurs worldwide, he worked in Austria. He is now in Ukraine, the man tried to work in Ukraine. Absolutely no assurance that massive attacks in France or anywhere else occurred, they may well create the same people who are professionals and unscrupulous who kill does not matter who ordered or commit an attack on the crowd. I felt that no human thought. He would not humbly began shouting “give up, stop shooting.” He has a damaged spine. One of the bullets hit. He fell out of the car and roared with anger and wanted to run away, but naturally lower half paralysed. He could not do it, he writhed and could not get up. I immediately rushed to help Adam, who could not get out on their own. I told him (the killer) have all said. Four shots – more than anything I tell him. I have eliminated dozens of personnel. When you work with sniper rifles or a kilometer and a half, something quite different than at a distance of half a meter. I never even was not about battle and such a distance.

Volunteers, civil society and the army: united in face of the enemy -Euromaidan Press | The war in Ukraine is well into its third year, and has taken more than 10,000 lives, left thousands maimed, physically scarred and psychologically traumatized, and forced over one million refugees to leave their homes in Crimea and the Donbas. Without the constant presence and assistance of Ukraine’s volunteers (both military and civilian), and a strong and vibrant civil society born of the Revolution of Dignity in 2014, the Ukrainian army, systematically dismantled during 25 years of independence and completely ransacked by the previous regime, would have been immediately annihilated by the first invading Russian troops.

bellingcat – Pre-MH17 Photograph of Buk 332 Discovered – bellingcat Since the July 17, 2014 downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17), Bellingcat has published numerous articles concerning the anti-aircraft missile launcher that downed the passenger plane–Buk 332, of Russia’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade. This Buk missile launcher (TELAR) was previous dubbed “Buk 3×2” due to an obscured middle digit, but after a May 3, 2016 report, we established that the middle digit was originally a “3,” making the identity of this Buk clear. This report identified many of the details that allowed us to identify Buk 332, using materials as far back as 2009 and relying heavily on photographs and videos showing Buk 332 in a June 2014 convoy that traveled from near the missile launcher’s base in Kursk to Millerovo, near the Russia-Ukraine border. These details include the shape of the side skirt, a hollow wheel among spoked wheels on the right side, a dent in the left front panel, the arrangement and connections of electricity cables, the font and wider spacing of the digits of the unit designation, oil and soot stains, and white transport marks on both side skirts. The white gravity mark (appearing like a cross-hair) and transport mark on the left side of the vehicle were not unique for this vehicle in the convoy, but were clearly visible on Buk 332 both in the June 2014 convoy in Russia, and in July 17 and 18 photographs and videos while in eastern Ukraine. However, while photographs of Buk 332 uploaded on social media profiles of soldiers of the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade showed the white gravity mark, they did not show the white transport marks on the side of the vehicle and the side skirts. Following a tip from Twitter user @Sl0zhny, Bellingcat was able to find the “missing link” photograph that shows these white transport markings on Buk 332 from before the June 2014 convoy. A photograph taken by a Russian mechanic, likely in the spring of 2013, shows Buk 332 with the same white transport markings that were on the Buk while in Ukraine shortly before and after the downing of MH17. This photograph is the last discovered image of Buk 332, showing its non-obscured unit designation and transport markings, before the June 2014 convoy, when the middle digit of its unit designation was painted over.

Cybersleuths Say Convoy Movements Show Link To MH17 Plane Crash A team of open-source researchers investigating the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 has published reports linking the movements of Russian military equipment to the plane&rsquo;s downing. Th…

Russian Air Defense Officer Found Exactly Where Putin Said He Was Not – To Inform is to Influence I believe we have another nail in the coffin of Putin’s and Russia’s credibility.   The man in the multi-colored shirt behind the DNR forces posing with a drone is Mikhail Us, a captain in the Russian Armed Forces. Please, Russia, just say you have forces inside Ukraine. </end editorial> Russian Air Defense Officer Found…

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports

To Break the Stalemate in Afghanistan, America Must Break Pakistan’s Pathologies | The National Interest Blog The war in Afghanistan remains a strategic stalemate because defeating an enemy requires taking away its capacity and will.  

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, U.A.E. Cut Contacts With Qatar, Citing ‘Terrorism’ Four Arab nations have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, citing the country&rsquo;s alleged support for Islamist groups and its close relations with Iran.&nbsp; In a coordinated move, Saudi Arabia…

Reuters: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE sever ties with Qatar over ‘terrorism’ Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed their ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of supporting terrorism, opening up the worst rift in years among some of the most powerful states in the Arab world, according to Reuters. News 05 June from UNIAN.

Qatar row: Economic impact threatens food, flights and football – BBC News Cutting ties with the tiny Gulf nation threatens a string of its key industries.

JOHN MENADUE. The terrorists are over here because our troops are over there. | John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations Political leaders like John Howard, who lead us into the war in Iraq must shoulder most of the blame for the appalling world-wide consequences, particularly terrorism. Yet, conservative political leaders today – John Howard’s successors – seek every opportunity to exploit the community’s fear of terrorism. Our news media cannot get enough of terrorist attacks…

DPRK / PRC Reports

Russia boosts trade with North Korea as China cuts it Russia’s moves could thwart Trump’s effwWest in pressuring North Korea over its rogue nuclear program and ballistic missile tests, Russia has increased trade and is improving rail lines to help the hermit nation stay connected to the rest of the worl

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.

Rex Tillerson warns China against ‘buying’ its way out of trouble | Rex Tillerson says China needs to show greater regional responsibility.

Tillerson Says China Must Do More to Rein in North Korea – Bloomberg U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson again urged China to do more to rein in North Korea, saying it should use its growing clout responsibly.

China Must Put More Pressure on North Korea: U.S. Secretary of State Beijing argues that the world should take collective responsibility to rein in Pyongyang.

Recent developments surrounding the South China Sea – The Washington Post A look at recent developments in the South China Sea, where China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons in waters crucial for global commerce and rich in fish and potential oil and gas reserves:

South China Sea: Beijing lashes out at US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis Beijing has hit back at US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis’s criticism of its militarisation of South China Sea islands.

China avoids full confrontation with US- Nikkei Asian Review SINGAPORE — China and the U.S. did some verbal sparring here on Saturday during the 16th Asia Security Summit, also known as the Shangri-La Dialogue.

Unsure of U.S., Asia builds new alliances to counter China | Reuters Several Asian nations are seeking to bolster informal alliances among themselves, regional diplomats and officials said, unsettled by growing fears that the United States could not be relied on to maintain a buffer against China’s assertiveness.

On Tiananmen Square anniversary, detentions in China and candlelight vigil in Hong Kong – The Washington Post There is tight security in Beijing, while thousands gathered in Hong Kong for an annual commemoration.

Chinese City With a Russian Past Struggles to Preserve Its Legacy – The New York Times Harbin was a Russian outpost and a base for the Chinese Eastern Railway. But the city’s distinct styles are threatened by urban redevelopment.

China gets smarter on artificial intelligence, Asia News & Top Stories – The Straits Times When Chinese Go master Ke Jie was comprehensively defeated by Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) program AlphaGo on May 27 in the ancient canal town of Wuzhen, technology watchers around the world had to redraw the timeline in which AI rules the world.. Read more at

U.S. looks to reassure allies as concerns grow about American global role | Reuters Senior U.S officials said on Monday the United States, under President Donald Trump, was committed to the region, reassuring nervous global partners even as it received criticism for pulling out of major a climate pact.

In Australia, Mattis and Tillerson address growing concerns about American isolationism – The Washington PostThe U.S. officials stressed the need to dialogue with America’s allies to address “pockets of doubt.”

Sheri Yan, jailed for bribing UN official, was target of secret ASIO raid in 2015 – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) ASIO agents found a cache of secret government files when they broke into a Canberra home in October 2015 while searching for evidence that one of the occupants might be a Chinese spy.

ASIO warns parties that taking China cash could compromise Australia ASIO has warned the major political parties about taking donations from two high-profile Chinese businessmen.

The Australia-China Relations Institute doesn’t belong at UTS If Australia is going to successfully navigate its way through the “Asian Century,” we need independent centres of research excellence on China.

Foreign Policy Reports

Jeremy Corbyn’s desire for dialogue with extremists is not just absurd, but dangerous It is good that election campaigning will resume on Monday, after being suspended following Saturday night&rsquo;s atrocities.

Jeremy Corbyn breaks post-attack truce – POLITICO Labour leader says Theresa May tried to ‘protect public on the cheap.’

Anthony H. Cordesman | Politicized overreaction to London Bridge attacks will play into terrorist hands | TheHill   OPINION | Governments that make largely empty political gestures should get as much media criticism as the terrorists.

ISIS Claims Responsibility For London Attack That Killed 7, Injured 48 : The Two-Way : NPR The attack began when a van crossing London Bridge veered into pedestrians. Three men exited the vehicle and began a stabbing rampage in which hundreds fled for their lives.

London terrorist had twice been referred to police over his extremist views One of the three jihadists who murdered revellers in central London on Saturday had been reported to the anti-terror police on at least two occasions, it has been claimed.

London attack spawns political controversy as May and Corbyn trade barbs ahead of vote – The Washington Post The escalating rhetoric came as investigators made arrests and Britain mourned.

Trump’s tweets on London terrorist attack strike a combative tone – LA Times President Trump struck a discordant note Sunday in his response to the terrorist attack in central London that killed seven people and …

London attack: PM’s condemnation of tech firms criticised – BBC News Tech giants say they are working to fight extremism, after Theresa May calls for more regulation.

Eight minutes on London Bridge: years of training led to lightning police response The attack in London was horrific but armed officers were on the scene and ending it with astonishing speed.

London Bridge attack: too right ‘enough is enough’ – but Britain must tackle uncomfortable questions Tightening security, impact of foreign wars – Britons have heard it before. The UK now has to dig beyond rhetoric to ask why some care so little of their own lives to take those of others.

Why is it so difficult to prosecute returning fighters? There are many obstacles to successful prosecution, including obtaining evidence in a war zone and using foreign intelligence in court.

Melbourne hostage shootout: Two dead and two police officers shot after ISIS gunman calls TV news station – Mirror Online Video shot by a bystander captures the moment a ‘hail’ of gunfire erupts after police – who found another man dead – tried to negotiate with the man who’d taken a woman hostage

Brisbane university professor slammed for calling Islam “a cancer on the planet” Queensland University of Technology has been forced to distance itself from journalism professor Brian McNair after he called Islam “a cancer” on Twitter.

Ariana Grande Brings Message of Defiance to Concert for Manchester Victims – The New York Times The event was Ms. Grande’s first appearance since a suicide bombing at her May 22 concert at the Manchester Arena killed 22 people.

Ariana Grande holds benefit concert in wake of terror attacks – Ariana Grande returned Sunday to Manchester to honor the lives of those lost there.

The Briefing: The Balkan Battleground NATO welcomes its 29th member as Montenegro joins the alliance, and joins over Russia's strenuous objections. On this week's Power Vertical Briefing, we look at the showdown between Mosco…

Leaked Documents Show Russian, Serbian Attempts to Meddle in Macedonia – OCCRP Secret intelligence documents obtained by OCCRP and partners show how Russian and Serbian operatives in Macedonia have worked to pry the fragile Balkan nation away from the West.

Russia actively stoking discord in Macedonia since 2008, intel files say – To Inform is to Influence Russia is actively sowing discord, chaos, and undermining democracy all over the West. Now we have evidence of Russia doing the same in Macedonia. Ukraine, Georgia, UK, US, France, Germany, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Czechia, Belarus, Sweden, Norway…  more, much more. What are we doing to stop Russia?   </end editorial> Leaked documents suggest Kremlin’s goal…

In Giant Step Toward West, Montenegro Joining NATO On June 5 Montenegro will take a giant step toward integrating&nbsp;with the West when it officially becomes the 29th member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) at a ceremony in Washington on Jun…

Kremlin’s Diplomatic Sour Grapes Leave Bad Taste For Montenegrin Winemaker CEMOVSKO POLJE, Montenegro — From the tranquil vineyards of the Plantaze winery near Montenegro's Adriatic coastline, it's hard to imagine one is in the crosshairs of a geopolitical struggl…

US Domestic Policy Reports

Putin ‘is lying’ by denying Russian interference in US election, Susan Rice says – ABC News Putin ‘is lying’ by denying Russian interference in US election, Susan Rice says

Russia Probe: Investigators Want To Know More About Oleg Deripaska : NPR Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska was once a close associate of ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who offered to cooperate with congressional panels investigating Russia’s role in the election.

Russia needs to know there are “consequences” for intervening in elections, Haley says – CBS News &quot;I can tell you the international community is concerned about Russia's meddling within all of their elections,&quot; U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations says

Haley: U.S. plans to retain Russia sanctions – POLITICO “I’m not aware of that,” she tells Jake Tapper on CNN.

Bank at Center of U.S. Inquiry Projects Russian ‘Soft Power’ – The New York Times VEB, whose chief met in December with Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, is intertwined with the Russian state and intelligence services.

How Hillary’s sore-loserism helps Vladimir Putin | New York Post Hillary Clinton may be the most tone-deaf politician in modern history. Repeatedly over the course of a 41-year career as a political wife, candidate and…

The Campus Mob Came for Me—and You, Professor, Could Be Next – WSJ Whites were asked to leave for a ‘Day of Absence.’ I objected. Then 50 yelling students crashed my class.



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