Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Media Update – 6 June 2017

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

</end editorial>

Russia’s internal crackdown/meltdown continues, while multiple commentators equate the Russian National Guard with the Oprichniki of Ivan IV – Whitmore is correct, the Putin regime is clearly preparing to engage and defeat a large-scale public uprising. Lithuania puts up a fence to keep the Russians out. Freedom House report on the digital age adaptation of the Komintern subversion model. Levada poll – Russian public sees Russia’s main enemies to be the United States, Ukraine, and Germany – the very same Germany that has desperately tried to appease Russia for 3 years.

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

Ukraine legislating to cast attainment of NATO membership into law, while AFU alert status increased while monitoring Russian readiness exercise. Donbass fires continue, with a lot of civilian areas hit again. Ukraine may impound Gazprom assets across EU if Russia refuses to pay multibillion dollar settlement. Bellingcat publishes personnel details on Russian SA-11 GADFLY movements to Ukraine preceding kill of MH17.

Interesting developments in the Muslim world. Qatar isolation ramps up. 130 Imams refuse to say prayers at London terrorist burials. UAE ambassador emails hacked. Also, Egypt taking delivery of first of three S-300VM / SA-23 batteries. ISIS claims AUS attack on police and civilians.

DPRK attacks PRC in MSM again. Russia promoting DPRK in MSM. Reports on DPRK EMP capability, citing 2004 Russian testimony that EMP bomb and rocket designs transferred from Russia to DPRK, and Russian scientists aiding in nuke and missile programs. A major debate in AUS over PRC CCP influence campaign, and buying off of politicians.

Media reports that POTUS NATO address was manipulated to remove language supporting Article 5. Reports on Montenegro NATO accession, and failure of Russian influence campaign.

Most interesting US news includes leaked NSA report on Russian attempts to hack into voting systems and software provider, and FBI detains an NSA leaker.

Russia / Russophone Reports

The Daily Vertical: Preparing For War (Transcript) The Kremlin, it appears, is preparing for a war with its own people. On yesterday’s Daily Vertical, I noted how General Sergei Melikov, the deputy commander of Russia’s National Guard, told Izvestia that the 400,000-strong force, which reports directly to Putin, is “the heir to the NKVD.” Well, now we’re learning that this wasn’t just wishful thinking. Because Putin has apparently just handed his personal Praetorian Guard powers that even Josef Stalin’s secret police didn’t have.  According to the decree, which was signed late last month, the National Guard’s commander now has the power to assume control over and give direct orders to regular military units. And who is that commander? Well, that, of course, would be Putin’s old pal and former bodyguard Viktor Zolotov, one of the most hard-line members of the Kremlin inner circle. So Putin’s old bodyguard now has the power to commandeer entire military units. And since the National Guard exists to combat domestic threats, this basically points to one conclusion: Putin is laying the groundwork to use the military against the Russian people should the need arise. And he’s making sure that he can do so without any input from the defense minister, who might, after all, get cold feet. Call it insurance against either a popular uprising or a palace coup. So, the man who was once tasked with protecting the security of Putin the man is now in charge of protecting the security of the Putin regime. And that bodes ill for the security of the Russian people.

The Morning Vertical, June 6, 2017 ON MY MIND In a piece featured below, Ruslan Gorevoy wrote that new powers acquired by Russia’s National Guard are turning it into something akin to Ivan the Terrible’s “Oprichniki” or Josef Stalin’s NKVD. That may be a bit of a stretch. The National Guard hasn’t been empowered to carry out extrajudicial executions, at least not yet. And they certainly won’t be riding around the country on black horses and clad in monastic garb, sacking cities and torturing dissidents. But Putin did just give the guard the right to assume control over and give direct orders to regular military units. And as Aleksandr Golts notes in another piece featured below, this suggests that the Kremlin expects mass protests and civil unrest — and is preparing to use military force to suppress them if necessary. And it’s preparing to do so under the command of a force that reports to Putin alone and is run by his crony and former bodyguard. It may not be the Oprichniki or the NKVD. But it is disturbing nonetheless.

Lithuania launches fence construction on border with Russia 05.06.17 17:28 – Lithuania launches fence construction on border with Russia On Monday, the construction of a security fence kicked off on the Lithuanian border with Russia. View news.

Russia, Serbia, Belarus Hold ‘Slavic Brotherhood’ Military Drills Russia, Serbia, and Belarus are holding joint military exercises near the Belarusian border with NATO member Poland. At an opening ceremony on June 6, Russian Colonel Aleksei Sgibnev said th…

Russians name U.S., Ukraine main foes – poll – News about politics | UNIAN Russian citizens consider their main enemies the United States, Ukraine, and Germany, while among the country&rsquo;s allies they named Belarus, China, and Kazakhstan, that&rsquo;s according to a poll by Levada Center, RBC news agency reported citing Interfax. News 06 June from UNIAN.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow’s Nationality Policies Must Focus on Regions as Well as Republics, Zorin Says Paul Goble Staunton, June 5 – The 47-member Presidential Council on Inter-Ethnic Relations should devote “more attention to the regions and the level of local self-administration” rather than just to the non-Russian republics and specific ethnic communities, according to Vladimir Zorin, the deputy director of the Moscow Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology. That is because, he says, it is in the regions where “the ethnic policy of the state is carried out” and because these regions expect from us methological directives generalizing positive practices, and for this one must travel more to localities and spend more time solving practical tasks” ( “I would even create a group of federal experts on issues of nationality policy. There is experience of that kind, for example, in Perm kray where there is an individual with the status of the kray expert on issues of the state’s nationality strategies.” And the federal group should include representatives not only from Moscow and St. Petersburg but from “many regions.” Zorin’s words may seem unimportant, but they in fact mark a double breakthrough as far as Moscow’s nationality policy is concerned. On the one hand, his suggestion that experts from the federal subjects should be involved in any Moscow discussions challenges the hyper-centralized approach that has long dominated this and other fields. It thus provides an opening for experts from both non-Russian republics and predominantly ethnic Russian oblasts and krays to participate in the formulation of ideas rather than simply having them presented to them as the decision of the center. And on the other – and this is the far more important aspect of what Zorin told the Nazaccent portal today – his call for those formulating nationality policy to focus on all regions and on local self-administration in particular suggests that Moscow may be expanding the definition of nationality policy to include elements that are usually left to others. For most of Soviet and nearly all of post-Soviet Russian history, Moscow has operated with a very restricted definition of what is included in nationality policy and that means that other agencies define outcomes more than they should and that Russian oblasts take decisions on ethnicity without Moscow’s input, often tilting the field in them against non-Russians. Given how underfunded and understaffed the Federal Agency for Nationality Affairs is and given the difficulties of expanding its writ to include all issues that ethnicity affects, it is far from certain that Zorin’s suggestion will be accepted. But the fact that he is pushing for this redefinition of nationality policy may open the way to change. At the very least, his words will allow officials and ethnic activists at various levels the occasion for the kind of discussion that might allow for innovation and for taking ethnic issues more seriously than Soviet and latterly Russian “nationality policy” has done up to now.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russian Officials Must Protect Endangered Languages or Nationalists Will Exploit Their Failure to Do So, Expert Says Paul Goble Staunton, June 5 – Despite the denials of some in Moscow, many non-Russian languages are in trouble or even threatened with disappearing altogether as the increasingly urbanized youth under the influence of the media and educational testing in Russian stop speaking their native language and use Russian instead. Many ethnic activists are calling for society and the state to take steps to reverse this process, one that many in the Russian capital not only see as natural but as a welcome contribution to the integration of non-Russians into Vladimir Putin’s Russian world and civic Russian nation. But that Moscow-desired outcome is threatened by two things. On the one hand, some scholars have pointed out that many ethnic communities become more nationalist after they lose their historically native languages because they are then in a position to compete and feel discrimination more clearly on an ethnic basis ( And on the other, to the extent that Russian officials simply allow non-Russian languages to continue to decline, they effectively cede the field to nationalists who often mobilize non-Russian nations against the center on the issue of language use even if these nationalists cannot stop but only slow losses in the number of native speakers. As a result, some officials, especially in non-Russian areas, are taking up the issue of language survival more actively as in Kalmykia, the Buddhist republic adjoining the North Caucasus where officials have been cooperating with activists to talk about ways to boost the number of Kalmyk speakers ( Such cooperation is important not only to help these languages survive but also to prevent a nationalist explosion. Indeed, Vitaly Arkov, an Elista political scientist says that “the authorities of Kalmykia have already successfully solved one important task: not to allow the language issue to be seized by local radical nationalists.” Whether Arkov is correct or not is hard to say, but the mere fact that some in the Russian establishment are now thinking in these terms may provide an opening for non-Russians to expand their demands for more support of their native languages, threatening if they do not get it to turn to the nationalists the center has good reason to fear.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia, Known for Potemkin Villages, is Now ‘a Garden of Fig Leaves,’ Yerofeyev Says Paul Goble Staunton, June 5 – Russia gave the world the Potemkin village, in which officials tried to cover up problems from those above them; but now it has become “a garden of fig leaves,” in which those at the top have turned the country into “a garden of fig leaves” in which the real reason the regime is doing something is concealed under a lie that it is doing something else, according to Viktor Yerofeyev. The situation today is “quite murky,” the Moscow novelist and commentator says, with winds blowing in various directions as far as Russian culture is concerned. But the murkiness is intentional and covers the fact that “everything is becoming worse and worse” (писатель-виктор-ерофеев-суровые-ветры-дуют-со-всех-сторон/a-39049434). s The realm of culture is where this is perhaps clearest, Yerofeyev says. On the one hand, “culture exists independently from censorship.” Writers can write in the most horrific times as did Platonov and Pasternak. But on the other, the Putin regime is restricting the ability of writers and other producers of culture to reach their audiences. How it is doing so is significant: If 20 years ago, cultural figures could produce what they wanted and count on reaching an audience, now, it is impossible for them to do so “without the fear that their work one way or another will be interpreted as Russophobic or offensive to the feelings of someone and so on.” This reflects one “episode of the civil war” which is taking place “between the Russian which wants to be part of Europe and the Russia which wants to belong to itself and to live with isolationism, nationalism and an extremely archaic philosophy,” the writer says. Putin and his regime belong to the latter unfortunately. But the Kremlin hides its true purposes behind various “fig leaves,” claims that it is doing something for one reason when in fact it is doing something for quite another and that it uses to reduce people to objects that the powers that be control and direct rather than being individuals who belong to themselves.

You Can’t Do That Here: Nine Things That Can Get You Into Trouble In Putin’s Russia Moscow librarian Natalya Sharina has been convicted of “inciting ethnic hatred” because some of the books in her library’s collection were found to be on the Russian government’s list of “extremist” materials. Her case, though, is not unique. RFE/RL has compiled a far-from-complete list of some recent Russian legal cases that have raised eyebrows around the world.

Zurab Kodalashvili: FSB surveils Russian journalists in the West, just like in Soviet times -Euromaidan Press | Since Vladimir Putin came to power, Russia started turning into a state totally controlled by the security services.

Tatarstan Man Awarded Compensation For Torture By Police A man in the Russian region of Tatarstan has been awarded compensation after a court found that he had been tortured by police. The region's Supreme Court on June 5 awarded the victim, who wa…

Russian Regional Official Arrested For Bribe-TakingThe deputy governor of Russia’s Kursk Oblast has been arrested on suspicion of corruption.

Russia’s soft power: information warfare here to stay – To Inform is to Influence Russia has played an outsized role in the development of modern authoritarian systems, especially in media control, propaganda, the smothering of civil society, and the weakening of political pluralism, according to the new Freedom House report, Breaking Down Democracy: The Goals, Strategies, and Methods of Modern Authoritarians. In doing so, it has deployed a range of…

Breaking Down Democracy | Freedom House Modern authoritarianism has succeeded, where previous totalitarian systems failed, due to new strategies of repression, the exploitation of open societies, and the spread of illiberal policies in democratic countries themselves.

The Evolution of the Post-Soviet Russian Media: An Interview with Vasily Gatov | Public Diplomacy Magazine Public Diplomacy Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Bret Schafer, spoke with Gatov about the transformation of the post-Soviet independent media in Russia, the influence of Russia’s international broadcasting efforts in the United States, America’s public diplomacy strategy towards Russia, and the prospects of improved U.S.-Russia relations under President Donald Trump. Despite the political and social turmoil in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union, one could argue that the 1990s were a decade when independent journalism was relatively strong in Russia, especially during the first Chechen War. When did things begin to change?

IW/IO/Cyber Reports

Troll cries troll – CEPA STRATCOM PROGRAM. In recent years, several journalists have investigated Kremlin-sponsored troll factories. While their impact on policy and political contests is debatable, less examined—though no less important—are the interconnected ecosystems of disinformation, which the online troll community feeds and sustains. Finding them is remarkably easy. Joining them is even easier, thanks to the anonymity of the internet. For this study on Russian disinformation in Romania, all I needed was a fake Facebook profile dedicated to following pro-Russian pages, groups and profiles on social media. Facebook opened many doors. It became a point of access to pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives and outlets in Romania, as well as to other international, pro-Putin groups or profiles acting as aggregators for local pages. This was a good lesson about Russia’s distribution machine in Romania and potentially elsewhere: Facebook is a prime vehicle for channeling viewers to blogs and websites.

Options for Defining “Acts of War” in Cyberspace – To Inform is to Influence By Divergent Options, June 5th, 2017 Michael R. Tregle, Jr. is a U.S. Army judge advocate officer currently assigned as a student in the 65thGraduate Course at The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center & School.  A former enlisted infantryman, he has served at almost every level of command, from the infantry squad to an Army Service…

Some non-lessons from WannaCry – To Inform is to Influence This piece by Bruce Schneier needs debunking. I thought I’d list the things wrong with it. The NSA 0day debate Schneier’s description of the problem is deceptive: When the US government discovers a vulnerability in a piece of software, however, it decides between two competing equities. It can keep it secret and use it offensively,…

Army electronic warfare technology attacks and disables tank – To Inform is to Influence BY KATHERINE OWENS JUN 05, 2017 Army trainers successfully used cyber weapons and electronic warfare (EW) technology to thwart a simulated tank assault at a training exercise conducted at the Army National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif. The exercise reinforced the need for the EW and cyber protection technology that is under development by…

No GPS signal, no problem: Army works on ops in denied regions – To Inform is to Influence By: Mark Pomerleau, June 5, 2017 (Photo Credit: Andrzej Wojcicki/Science Photo Library via Getty Images) As the military shifts resources to a more diverse set of actors and capabilities than the previous 15 years, it is taking into consideration battlefields in which access to GPS may be limited by adversarial efforts. The Army is looking…

New cyber weapons needed in move from ‘Cold War to the Code War’ [CyCon Tallinn] – Fifth Domain | Cyber The increasing potential for conflict in the cyberspace domain will require governments and militaries to focus more deeply on the specific advantages of using defensive or offensive cyber weapons technologies. Militaries can be expected to develop counter-response “weapons” that have surgical precision strike capabilities. Digitalization, pushed by the rapid advance of digital-based communications, has taken the world from the “Cold War to the Code War” in this battle-space era, said William H. Saito, an IT and cyber threats special adviser to the Cabinet Office of the Government of Japan.

Ukraine Reports

“This document clearly declares Ukraine’s accession to NATO,” the parliament will consider changes in foreign policy today. VIDEO 06.06.17 13:35 – People’s deputies introduced in the agenda a bill declaring Ukraine’s intentions to join NATO. As informs Цензор.НЕТ, for consideration of this question 260 deputies have voted. People’s deputies plan to discuss this bill today. “The document clearly states that for Ukraine the key to foreign policy activity is to join NATO.This bill clearly declares this intention,” Verkhovna Rada Speaker Andrei Parubiy said. Google Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder

Ukraine may legislatively formalize priority of getting NATO membership Verkhovna Rada Chairman Andriy Parubiy has launched an initiative to formalize at the legislative level the provisions that Ukraine’s membership in NATO is a priority of the country’s foreign policy.

Russia’s war against Ukraine is offensive against united Europe, including against Poland A joint statement of the seventh meeting of the Ukrainian-Polish Partnership Forum, which took place in Kyiv on June 3, stresses Poland’s unwavering support for Ukraine amidst the Russian aggression and the desire of the parties to act in a spirit of partnership and unity.

Ukraine adequately reacts to Russia’s snap combat readiness drills on borders Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Andriy Lysenko has announced that Ukraine has stepped up the monitoring of its airspace and borders in response to a statement by Russia's Defense Ministry about snap checks of Russian troops' combat readiness&nbsp;near the Ukrainian borders and the transfer of Russian military units to the Russian-occupied Crimea. News 05 June from UNIAN.

Ukraine reports 4 WIAs amid 77 enemy attacks in last day Russia's hybrid military forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in Donbas 77 times in the past 24 hours with four Ukrainian soldiers reported as wounded in action (WIA), according to the press service of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters. News 06 June from UNIAN.

Militants fire Ukrainian army positions using artillery in Pavlopil region Militants have shelled the positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and border guards using artillery in the area of Pavlopil, spokesperson of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine Oleh Slobodian has said on Facebook.

Militants shell residential areas of Krasnohorivka Militants of illegal armed formations have fired on the residential districts of Krasnohorivka at night, the Ukrainian side of the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) of the ceasefire in Donbas said on Facebook page of ATO’s press centre.

If Osmaev killer managed to escape – the Russian secret services were to discredit the Chechen resistance movement. – To Inform is to Influence From Twitter: Mosiychuk: If Osmaev killer managed to escape – the Russian secret services were to discredit the Chechen resistance movement. VIDEO 06/05/2017 – 6:30 In case of a successful attack on Adam Osmaev, the Russian special services would use this event to discredit the Chechen resistance movement. This was on his page on FB says MP…

Infrastructure ministry supports limiting railway, bus travel with Russia Ukraine’s Infrastructure Ministry Minister Volodymyr Omelyan has supported the idea of curtailing bus and railways travel to and from the Russian Federation and establishing a visa regime with that country.

Crimean Journalist’s Trial Resumes, Adjourned Until June 14 The trial of RFE/RL contributor Mykola Semena, a Crimean journalist who is fighting what he says is a politically motivated separatism charge on the Russian-controlled peninsula, resumed on June 5 i…

Naftogaz CEO: Gazprom’s gas price for Ukraine should be reviewed retroactively, from 2014 Naftogaz of Ukraine CEO Andriy Kobolev has announced that the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce has ruled that the price of natural gas Ukraine bought from Russia's gas giant Gazprom at in 2011-2015 should be reviewed retroactively, and ordered that the review should cover the period starting from 2014. News 05 June from UNIAN.

Ukraine to be entitled to enforce Stockholm Arbitration’s award in case of Gazprom’s demarche – Kobolev Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolev says Ukraine will have a right to enforce the Stockholm Arbitration's decision in countries (jurisdictions) where Russia's gas monopoly Gazprom has assets, that&rsquo;s in case the energy giant refuses to comply with the tribunal award obliging it to pay compensation to Naftogaz. News 06 June from UNIAN.

Ukraine Scores Major Gas Victory over Russia: What You Need to Know – YouTube Late last week, a Stockholm arbitration tribunal granted a major victory to Ukraine – and a big blow to Russia. It made the first of what will be several rul…

RIP Lubomyr Husar: The Extraordinary Life of Ukraine’s Ex-Greek Catholic Head – YouTube Final respects have been paid to the former head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. Liubomyr Husar passed away last Wednesday. In a special report, UATV…

Bellingcat Finds More Evidence Linking Russian Military to MH17 Tragedy – YouTube Bellingcat has uncovered a pre-2014 photo of the infamous Russian surface-to-air missile system that shot down Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukra…

Bellingcat identifies drivers of convoy trucks involved in Buk transportation to Donbas In a continued investigation to reveal those involved in the downing of a Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 on July 17, 2017, Bellingcat sifted through a bulk of open data sources to collect information on possible drivers of a convoy that brought to Ukraine a deadly Buk missile launcher that eventually shot down a passenger jet. News 06 June from UNIAN.

bellingcat – MH17 – Drivers of the Russian June and July 2014 Buk Convoy Trucks – bellingcat On 13 May 2015, Bellingcat published a report about the involvement of the Russian 2nd Automobile Battalion of the 69th Separate Logistics Brigade (military unit 11385) and the 147th Automobile Battalion for Material Support (military unit 83466) in the transport of Buk unit vehicles of the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade in a convoy that left on 23 June 2014 from Marshala Zhukova near Kursk and arrived in Millerovo on 25 June 2014. This convoy transported a Buk missile launcher with unit designation 332, previously known as ‘Buk 3×2’. Bellingcat has published multiple reports asserting that this Buk missile launcher downed Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) on 17 July 2014.

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports

The Powerful Anti-Terrorism Ad That’s The Hit of Ramadan – To Inform is to Influence اعبد ربك..حباً لا رعباً.. كن في دينك..سهلاً لا صعباً.. خالف ندك..سلماً لا حرباً.. اقنع غيرك..ليناً لا غصباً.. كلمات: هبه مشاري حماده الحان: بشار الشطي توزيع مكس وماستر: ربيع الصيداوي وتريات: اسماعيل تونش بلاك اخراج: سمير عبود The month of Ramadan is a time of peak TV consumption in the Arab world, and in turn, peak TV ad…‫اعلان زين رمضان 2017‬‎ – YouTubeاعبد ربك..حباً لا رعباً.. كن في دينك..سهلاً لا صعباً.. خالف ندك..سلماً لا حرباً.. اقنع غيرك..ليناً لا غصباً.. كلمات: هبه مشاري حماده الحان: بشار الشطي توزيع …

Arab neighbors isolate Qatar over terror ties – Washington Times Saudi Arabia, Egypt and two other Arab powers — apparently emboldened by President Trump’s recent visit to the region — on Monday moved to diplomatically isolate the tiny, energy-rich Persian Gulf nation of Qatar over what they say are its ties to Iran and support for jihadi groups such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

5 Arab Nations Move to Isolate Qatar, Putting the U.S. in a Bind – The New York Times The feud among regional allies of Washington threatens to stress the American-led campaign against ISIS and complicate efforts to confront Iran.

Qatar may have paid $1 billion in ransom for release of royal family members captured while hunting with falcons – AOL News Qatar paid $1 billion to al-Qaeda-linked forces to secure the release of 26 people — including some Qatari royals — who’d been hunting in southern Iraq.

Arab powers sever Qatar ties, citing support for militants – To Inform is to Influence Finally. It appears the Arab world is finally taking the first step in actively standing up against terrorism.  This is a very loud information activity – a statement, saying that their countries do not support terrorism and will not tolerate those that do.  A good first step. </end editorial> By Noah Browning, Reuters DUBAI (Reuters) – The…

Hacked emails of UAE ambassador to US reveal alleged role in Turkey coup attempt – Daily Sabah The emails allegedly stolen from the inbox of the Yousef Al- Otaiba, the United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to the United States, revealed on Saturday the…

Hacked Emails Show Top UAE Diplomat Coordinating With Pro-Israel Think Tank Against Iran

Hackers ‘to leak’ emails of UAE ambassador to US | UAE News | Al Jazeera Hackers say they will release a trove of documents from Yousef al-Otaiba’s inbox to US media, Daily Beast reports.

Egypt to recieve Antey 2500 missile systems – MENADEFENSERussia is starting deliveries for the air defence system Antey 2500, also known as S300 VM, to Egypt, as shown by a picture hred by Milinfolive on the russian ocial network VK. Egypt will be officially the fist export client for this advanced system that can intercept and destroy aircrafts and missiles (including balistic ones) in large radius area. Three regiments of S300VM have been ordered by the egyptian army, which will significately modify the power balance in the region.

Egypt receives first Antey-2500 long-range air defense missile system from Russia | Defence Blog

Australian foreign fighters will have no escape from Islamic State heartland, US vows The United States has vowed there will be no escape for Australian foreign fighters from the battlefields of Syria and Iraq.

Melbourne siege: Terror suspect Yacqub Khayre an ‘ISIS soldier’ A SUSPECTED terrorist who killed a man and took a woman hostage in an up-market suburb of Melbourne overnight had arranged to meet her through an escort service. 

Hostage-taker in Australia had been acquitted of terror plot – ABC News Hostage-taker in Australia had been acquitted of terror plot

‘Muslim Australia must face extremist reality’ Muslim Australia has been asked to place a mirror to ourselves in the wake of Ramadan terror attacks around the world and question whether it genuinely supports human rights, the rule of law, equality and other basic tenets of Western society.

Australian-Bulgarian John Zakhariev sentenced for terrorism A 21-year-old Australian man has been sentenced to four years in prison in Bulgaria for planning to commit an act of terrorism.

DPRK / PRC Reports

North Korea lashes out at China for cooperating with U.S. – Washington Times The North Korean regime lashed out Monday at China for cooperating with the United States in its attempts to apply pressure against Kim Jong-un’s quest for a nuclear capability to threaten its enemies.

Russia’s Vladimir Putin shines sympathetic light on nuclear North Korea – Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed U.S. military actions in the Middle East for North Korea’s nuclear weapons buildup.

Russia supports North Korea after China backs off at Trump’s request Readers comment on Russia increasing trade between them and North Korea.

A North Korean Nuclear EMP Attack: The Threat America Downplays at Its Peril | The National Interest Blog Why Washington needs to see this threat for what it is. In 2004, two Russian generals, both EMP experts, warned the EMP Commission that the design for Russia’s super-EMP warhead, capable of generating high intensity EMP fields of 200,000 volts per meter, was “accidentally” transferred to North Korea, and that due to “brain drain,” Russian scientists were in North Korea, helping with their missile and nuclear weapon programs. South Korean military intelligence told their press that Russian scientists are in North Korea helping develop an EMP nuclear weapon. In 2013, a Chinese military commentator stated North Korea has super-EMP nuclear weapons.[2] Super-EMP weapons are low-yield and designed to produce not a big kinetic explosion, but rather a high level of gamma rays, which generate the high-frequency E1 EMP that is most damaging to the broadest range of electronics. North Korean nuclear tests—including the first in 2006, which was predicted to the EMP Commission two years in advance by the two Russian EMP experts—mostly have yields consistent with the size of a super-EMP weapon. The Russian generals’ accurate prediction of when the North would perform its first nuclear test, and the yield being consistent with a super-EMP weapon, indicates their warning about a North Korean super-EMP weapon should be taken very seriously.

US sends third aircraft carrier to the Pacific as massive armada looms near North Korea | Business Insider The USS Nimitz, the US Navy’s oldest operating…

Trump’s Handling of North Korea Is Going to Lead Us Straight Into Nuclear Disaster | The Nation Public strong-arming isn’t the key to de-escalating confrontation—it’s the key to igniting it.

North Korea Proves You Barely Need Computers to Win a Cyberwar | Foreign Policy North Korea Proves You Barely Need Computers to Win a Cyberwar « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas

China ‘enabling’ North Korea: Beazley Former ambassador to the US Kim Beazley says China has been an ‘enabler’ of the North Korean regime.

Academic Chongyi Feng: profits, freedom and China’s ‘soft power’ in Australia The communist state exercises ‘soft power’ in Australia in myriad ways, and it is vital that it is resisted.

Australian Politics Is Open to Foreign Cash, and China Has Much to Gain – The New York Times A recent report raised questions about Chinese interference in Australia’s political system, where foreign campaign donations are legal and difficult to track.

Australia warns China to keep out of its affairs Furore over tycoon donations prompts foreign political funding ban and spy law review

Chinese political influence sparks espionage, foreign interference law changes | Espionage and foreign investigation laws set be overhauled in response to concerns about growing Chinese influence in Australia’s democratic process.

The Labor Party, Chinese property developer Huang Xiangmo, and the seat in the NSW parliament – China power – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) What went on when Eric Roozendaal quit NSW politics and who pulled the strings to fill his upper house seat?

Peter Layton | China is fighting a new battle for south-east Asia | Australia could find itself exposed and isolated on the edge of a new Chinese sphere of influence in southeast Asia. We have four strategic choices in response.

JOHN MENADUE. The question Leigh Sales didn’t ask Senator John McCain. | John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations In her “exclusive interview” with Senator John McCain on 7.30 Report last week, Leigh Sales was told: “The Russians tried to destroy the foundations of democracy and to change the outcome of the American election … and they have just tried to affect the outcome of the French election.”   Leigh Sales failed to ask…

Foreign Policy Reports

After London Attack, It’s Time to Take Islamic Terrorism Seriously | World Report | US News If we want to deal seriously with terrorism, we must confront the factors that allow it to operate.

London attack: Third London Bridge attacker named – BBC News Moroccan-Italian Youssef Zaghba is named as the third London Bridge attacker.

Imams refuse funeral prayers to ‘indefensible’ London Bridge attackers | UK news | The Guardian More than 130 religious leaders use unusual sanction to express disgust at murders ‘contravening Islam’ and vow to root out extremism

London terror: Over 130 imams, religious leaders refuse to pray for London Bridge attackers | Fox News Over 130 Muslim religious leaders have refused to say funeral prayers for the terrorists who took part Saturday’s London Bridge attack.

When Home Isn’t Where the Heart Is | Despite generous benefits and a robust effort by Estonia to welcome Syrian refugees, the rural setting and lack of countrymen leave families yearning for alternatives

Central Europe in the era of Merkel-Macron | CEPA Unpleasant surprises can be chastening and productive. By saying he would pull the United States out of the Paris deal on climate change, President Donald Trump has reinvigorated the push towards clean energy, not least in America’s own states and cities. Likewise, by declining to mention Article 5 during a keynote speech at NATO headquarters, he has prompted a scramble in Europe towards closer defense cooperation. Just as nature abhors a vacuum, so does politics. The perceived absence of U.S. leadership is rapidly being filled. One new leader is China, which is emerging both as a buttress of the rules-based global trading system, and of the switch to clean energy.

Line of contention – why EU-US understanding worsens | UNIAN Chancellor Angela Merkel in her recent speech in Munich said the U.S. and Europe could no longer fully rely on each other – these days are gone. And this is all because of serious disagreements between the U.S. and EU that emerged under President Trump. First of all, it concerns two key aspects, which do not relate to security issues: climate agreement and trade relations. First of all, Merkel and Trump held several discussions on issues of mutual trade, and Trump’s overly emotional statements were often delivered in a frankly insulting form. They were rather stern, involving direct threats of a possible introduction of trade sanctions – something Germany sees as completely absurd. Merkel tried to explain to the American leader that the $5 billion imbalance did not in fact relate to Germany but to the American states where the subsidiaries of German automobile factories are located. And that is where the bulk of the money earned goes to their local workers and the development of these very states. And these are the workers, by the way, who mostly voted for Trump.

Transatlantic Alliance Front and Center at Atlantic Council’s Distinguished Leadership Awards The Atlantic Council’s 2017 Distinguished Leadership Awards ceremony in Washington on June 5 was a celebration of the transatlantic alliance and a recognition of the accomplishments of five unique individuals. The event coincided with the 70th anniversary of the Marshall Plan—an unprecedented American commitment to rebuild Europe after World War II—and the expansion of NATO with Montenegro becoming the twenty-ninth nation to join the military alliance earlier in the day.

U.S. Vice President names Russia among world’s main threats U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has called Russia, Iran, and terrorism the world's main threats, at the same time affirming the U.S. readiness to assist its NATO allies in addressing the challenges&nbsp;the Alliance faces. News 06 June from UNIAN.

Trump National Security Team Blindsided by NATO Speech – POLITICO MagazineThey thought the president would commit to the principle of collective defense. They were wrong.

‘They didn’t know it had been removed’: Trump’s big NATO speech reportedly blindsided his own national security team | Business Insider President Donald Trump drew backlash after he…

Amid Alliance Strains And Russian Opposition, Montenegro Officially Joins NATO Montenegro officially became the 29th member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) at a ceremony in Washington on June 5.

Why Russian Influence in Balkans Failed to Stop Montenegro Joining NATO Military Alliance: Analysis – YouTube Much to the Kremlin’s dismay, Montenegro became the 29th member of North Atlantic Treat Organization on June 5. But what influence will this agreement have o…

US Domestic Policy Reports

Leaked Report Says Russia Tried To Break Into U.S. Voter System A top-secret National Security Agency document leaked to news media shows that hackers from Russian military intelligence tried repeatedly to break into U.S. voting systems before last year'…

TOP-SECRET NSA REPORT DETAILS RUSSIAN HACKING EFFORT DAYS BEFORE 2016 ELECTION – To Inform is to Influence Matthew Cole, Richard Esposito, Sam Biddle, Ryan Grim June 5 2017, 3:44 p.m. RUSSIAN MILITARY INTELLIGENCE executed a cyberattack on at least one U.S. voting software supplier and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials just days before last November’s presidential election, according to a highly classified intelligence report obtained by The Intercept.…

Propaganda and disinformation: How Russia’s new war campaign works – To Inform is to Influence Kerri Miller , Elizabeth Shockman · Jun 5, 2017 The Democrats are focusing on President Trump’s connections to Russia. The Republicans are focusing on intelligence leaks. But what should Americans really be paying attention to as we investigate Russia’s influence on our 2016 presidential elections. MPR News host Kerri Miller talks to Russia expert and…

Federal Government Contractor in Georgia Charged With Removing and Mailing Classified Materials to a News Outlet | OPA | Department of Justice A criminal complaint was filed in the Southern District of Georgia today charging Reality Leigh Winner, 25, a federal contractor from Augusta, Georgia, with removing classified material from a government facility and mailing it to a news outlet, in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 793(e). Winner was arrested by the FBI at her home on Saturday, June 3, and appeared in federal court in Augusta this afternoon. “Exceptional law enforcement efforts allowed us quickly to identify and arrest the defendant,” said Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein. “Releasing classified material without authorization threatens our nation’s security and undermines public faith in government. People who are trusted with classified information and pledge to protect it must be held accountable when they violate that obligation.” According to the allegations contained in the criminal complaint: Winner is a contractor with Pluribus International Corporation assigned to a U.S. government agency facility in Georgia. She has been employed at the facility since on or about February 13, and has held a Top Secret clearance during that time. On or about May 9, Winner printed and improperly removed classified intelligence reporting, which contained classified national defense information from an intelligence community agency, and unlawfully retained it. Approximately a few days later, Winner unlawfully transmitted by mail the intelligence reporting to an online news outlet. Once investigative efforts identified Winner as a suspect, the FBI obtained and executed a search warrant at her residence. According to the complaint, Winner agreed to talk with agents during the execution of the warrant. During that conversation, Winner admitted intentionally identifying and printing the classified intelligence reporting at issue despite not having a “need to know,” and with knowledge that the intelligence reporting was classified. Winner further admitted removing the classified intelligence reporting from her office space, retaining it, and mailing it from Augusta, Georgia, to the news outlet, which she knew was not authorized to receive or possess the documents.

NSA Leaker Is A Bernie Supporter Who ‘Resists’ Trump | The Daily Caller Reality Leigh Winner supports other liberal causes

The easy trail that led the feds to Reality Winner, alleged source of NSA leak – The Washington Post Leak investigations tend to move slowly, but authorities charged Reality Leigh Winner after just a few days.

Trump Wants ‘Reengagement’ With Russia, Tillerson Says U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says President Donald Trump told him to &quot;begin a reengagement process&quot;&nbsp;aimed at&nbsp;rebuilding relations with Moscow and not to let the turmoil i…

Trump’s ‘been clear to me’ to try to rebuild Russia ties: Tillerson Donald Trump told Rex Tillerson that the dispute over probes into links between his inner circle and Russia should not undermine U.S. efforts to rebuild relations with Moscow.

Monday Talk with Michael Carpenter on NATO and the US under Trump – Vocal Europe

Mattis sticks to his guns – The Washington Post Mattis knows there is strength in numbers.