Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Media Update – 7 June 2017


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

Russia is heating up, big time. It seems to be difficult, however, to keep domestic political games from interfering with reality. 

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Unusually busy day in the MSM. Russia dominating, with numerous reports detailing internal meltdown and crackdown. Multiple reports on NATO adapting to the new reality. A truly bizzare commentary on Russophobia by a senior cleric, promoting Putin. VP comments on Russia – very accurate – elicit toxic reaction. Golt comments on Putin’s loss of credibility in the West.

Half a dozen very interesting reports on IO/IW and cyber – UK PM’s comments on Internet censorship are ill considered and simply naive, as the distribution channel is irrelevant, the source of the message is relevant.

In Ukraine, Donbass fires escalated. Major debate under way on language, while polling indicates most native Russian speakers are bilingual and happy to use Ukrainian. Interesting backgrounder on Osmaev assassin.

Bergman essay on PLO is a must read – pity most MSM will ignore it. Iranian parliament attacked, ISIS being credited – this may be disaffected minorities who have conducted low level terrorism for years now. Qatar blockade escalates, while Russian cyber meddling suspected.

OSD China report released – capabilities survey is good, but some gaps like the Ukrainian supplied Zubr LCACs – the MIDAS tankers are listed finally. China building 24 fighter aircraft hangars on the Great Wall of Sand islands. AUS debate over CCP influence continues, while PRC lambasts Canberra.  OSD report (pdf): 2017_China_Military_Power_Report. (3445K)

UK, France and Montenegro main themes in foreign policy.

In the US, SeCAF puts strategy first and aims to restore USAF after a decade of neglect and damage.

Russia debate continues, and expands into political integrity (or lack thereof).


Russia / Russophone Reports


NATO Chief: ‘Have to be Strong’ in Response to Russia But Dialogue Important Jens Stoltenberg also said U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed commitment to the alliance

Russian Fighter Jets Intercept U.S. Bomber, Norwegian Patrol Plane Russia says one of its fighter jets intercepted a U.S. bomber flying near its border over the Baltic Sea, while Russian news reports say another Russian warplane intercepted a patrol plane from NAT…

Russian jet intercepts US B-52 bomber – To Inform is to Influence The US sent Russia a message. </end editorial> By Zachary Cohen and Barbara Starr, CNN Updated 12:46 PM ET, Tue June 6, 2017 “The crew of Russia’s Sukhoi-27 jet approached the aircraft staying at a safe distance, identified it as a US strategic bomber B-52 and escorted it for some time,” the report said. The…

Bracing for Russian military exercise, Lithuania puts up a border fence | Reuters Lithuania has began constructing a two-meter high wire fence along its border with the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad ahead of military exercises Moscow is planning to hold there in September.

Lithuania Fences Off Russia – YouTube Lithuania has begun constructing a fence along its border with the Russia’s Kaliningrad enclave. The purpose isn’t what you’d imagine. _ Follow UATV English:…

Latvia hosting NATO’s Saber Strike drills (Photos, video) NATO’s Saber Strike international military drills are under way in Latvia. Read online in the world from 06 June news feed of UNIAN Information Agency.

NATO Counters Russian Threat: US Marines in the Baltics – YouTube_  Follow UATV English: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UATVEN Twitter: https://twitter.com/UATV_en Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/uatv.en Medium: ht…

Russia and China Are Bulking Up in the U.S.’s Backyard – Bloomberg Putin and Xi are working to win over small, poor countries with promises of aid, military support, and investment, even as Trump scales back.

Moscow Bristles At Pence’s Claim That Russia Is A Threat Russian officials have protested strongly against comments by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in which he mentioned Russia as a threat to global stability on a par with Iran. Kremlin spokesma…

Kremlin gripes over West’s “unfriendly intentions”, reacts to Pence’s statement on Russian threat The West does not conceal its unfriendly intentions toward Russia but nevertheless, Moscow expects that the U.S. position on the issue of relations with the Russian Federation will clear up,&nbsp;Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov&nbsp;said, according to an UNIAN correspondent in Russia. “We see a lot of unfriendly manifestations. They are visible to the naked eye. It’s not just about Washington, their unfriendly statements and even facts, when they choose not to hide their unfriendly intentions against us,” Peskov said. According to him, “the matter is in the policy pursued by NATO and a number of other states, who don’t mind resorting to a variety of methods to interfere in one’s internal affairs.” “This is not a new trend, we are well aware of it. The necessary measures are being taken as counteraction,” he said. Commenting on the words of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson claiming U.S. President Donald Trump told him that the current investigation into Trump team’s alleged links to Russia should not undermine Tillerson’s efforts to improve relations with Moscow, Peskov said: “We hope for the revival and development of our interaction in various fields.”

Putin believes U.S.-Russia war would leave no survivors Russian President Vladimir Putin in his interview with Oliver Stone said that there would have been no survivors in case of an armed conflict between the U.S. and Russia. News 07 June from UNIAN.

Russian Senator Predicts US Will Interfere in Russia’s Presidential Election In 2018 – To Inform is to Influence Will American hackers interfere in Russia’s 2018 Presidential election? Oh, I’m sure of it. But only patriotic hackers.  </end editorial> Russian Senator Predicts U.S. Will Interfere in Russia’s Presidential Election In 2018 BY DAMIEN SHARKOV ON 6/6/17 AT 12:50 PM The U.S. and its NATO allies are preparing to influence Russia’s upcoming presidential election Russian…

The Daily Vertical: Caymans In The Caucasus (Transcript) South Ossetia and the Russian-occupied parts of the Donbas have a lot in common. They’re de facto Moscow protectorates pretending to be countries. They’re propped up by the Russian military and by Kremlin subsidies. And they’re key components of Moscow’s strategy of destabilizing Georgia and Ukraine. And now they have one more thing uniting them. South Ossetia is effectively becoming something of a little Switzerland — or a little Cayman Islands — for the self-styled Donetsk and Luhansk “people’s republics.” According to a recent report in Eurasianet, an obscure South Ossetia-based holding company called Vneshtorgservis, now controls the nine largest factories in Donetsk and the three biggest plants in Luhansk. And, oh by the way, Vneshtorgservis is reportedly run by Vladimir Pashkov, a Russian citizen and the former deputy governor of Irkutsk Oblast. And there’s more: According to the report, for the past two years the Tskhinvali-based International Clearance Bank has been managing payments between Moscow and the separatist eastern Ukrainian territories. Now, in a perverse sense, this all makes sense. South Ossetia, which, of course, is legally part of Georgia, is the only entity in the world that has recognized the independence of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics — which are of course legally part of Ukraine. So one fake country recognizes two other fake countries. And then that fake country becomes the main money-laundering hub for the other two fake countries. Got it? Good. Welcome to the new Russian Empire.

South Ossetia: A “Little Switzerland” for Donbas? | EurasiaNet.org South Ossetia has emerged as an unlikely banking center, providing financial services that connect Russia and the self-declared, Kremlin-backed breakaway republics in eastern Ukraine, according to officials in all three regions.  

Mark Galeotti | Is the Russian National Guard suddenly acquiring sweeping new powers? No, not so much | In Moscow’s Shadows A new Presidential Decree with the snappy title ‘On Approval of Regulations of the Operational-Territorial Unification of forces of the National Guard of the Russian Federation’ has suddenly caused something of a fuss because of a clause which allows the president to subordinate military units to the Rosgvardiya. From Versiya, for example, there came the outraged cry that…

The worst Russophobes in the world are in the Kremlin, Kornyev says | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press | Russian leaders like Vladimir Putin routinely denounce others as Russophobes, but most of those they target do not hate or fear the Russian people, Sergey Kornyev says. In fact, the real Russophobes are those in the Kremlin itself who seek to impose a single “Muscovite” definition of Russians by suppressing their diversity. On the AfterEmpire portal, the commentator suggests that this isn’t always obvious because the Kremlin likes to talk about Russia as “not ‘simply a country’ but a whole unique civilization,” something that appears to elevate them above a mere nationality to a status equivalent to that of Europe or Islam.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: West’s Russophobia Will be the Salvation of Russia, Orthodox Priest Says Paul Goble Staunton, June 6 – Now that Vladimir Putin has accused the West of “racist Russohobia,” Father Aleksandr Shumsky says, the Kremlin leader is close to a clear recognition of the need to destroy “the Russophobic part of the Russian ruling elite.” And if he does, the West’s Russophobia will prove the salvation of Russia. In a Russkaya liniya commentary entitled “Thank the West for Russophobia!” the priest who is also an active member of the Russian Writers’ Union argues that Putin has approached this problem much in the same way that detective Columbo does in the television series by that name (ruskline.ru/news_rl/2017/06/06/spasibo_zapadu_za_rusofobiyu/). Like Columbo, Putin sometimes appears not to be fully cognizant of what is going on around him but then he focuses in a mistake by his opponents and gives an absolutely correct diagnosis and then takes action, Shumsy says. That is especially the case with the issue of Russophobia. Not long ago, the priest continues, “the very word ‘Russian’ was under an unwritten ban and the use of the term ‘Russophobia’ in general was considered a criminal act.” Indeed, he suggests, “if the prime minister even uttered the words ‘Russian culture,’ this generated sincere surprise” and predictions by liberals of the imminent return of Stalinism and the GULAG. Patriotic Russians in contrast were encouraged by any such references, Shumsky says, but for a long time, their hopes that any such words would be followed by action were routinely dashed. But in fact, even this silence showed that “everyone understood that ‘the Russian question’ is the main issue not only of all Russian life but also of all world politics.” Things might have continued this way for a long time, Shumsky suggests, had it not been for the rise in the West “not simply” of Russophobia but of a bestial variant of that “in no way less than Nazi racism. And it is precisely in this that the main mistake of the representatives of the criminal Western elite lies.” “And our president,” Shumsky says, “just like Columbo, immediately ‘got’ them. Vladimir Vladimirovich precisely and clearly declared to the entire world that racist Russophobia from now on is the leitmotif of all Western policy toward Russia” and that the West has “crossed a line” which makes a return even to tense relations of the recent past impossible. “Never before this” had Putin or his predecessors been “bold enough to say such things at a high level in public,” Shumsky says. “What then does this mean?” According to this Russian priest, it means that “our relations with the West have reached their end, one that points to an inevitable global military clash.” “Putin no longer wants to conceal that the main goal of the Russophobic West is the complete destruction and ‘cleansing’ of Russia. And that is very valuable: the last illusions regarding the ‘peace-loving’ West have finally been cast aside by Russia’s supreme power,” the priest says. It took a long time to get to this point, Shumsky continues. One would have wished for it to come sooner, “but the main thing is that it has come.” And that in turn means that Putin must now move to eliminate “the Russophobic part of the Russian ruling elite,” which forms an “enormous” part of the upper reaches of his regime. Without the elimination of such people, the priest says, “resistance to the Russophobic West will be impossible, a West which is unleashing a war against us.” That war cannot be fought successfully “with such a quantity of traitors in power.” Putin has now shown that he understands this, and “we with impatience will await when he begins to solve it in a real way.” “Thanks to the West for Russophobia!” Father Aleksandr concludes.

West’s Russophobia Will be the Salvation of Russia, Orthodox Priest Says – To Inform is to Influence Be cautious, my friends, Choke On Coffee Warning applies.  There is crazy, there is really crazy, and then there is bat-crap, hair-on-fire, eyes bugging out just out-there nuts. That is the villain of this story, Father Aleksandr Shumsky.  In a very circuitous ride through the twisted mind of our villain, one encounters severe onset dementia, elevated levels…

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin’s ‘Magic’ has Disappeared Like Cinderella’s Coach, Golts Says Paul Goble Staunton, June 6 – Like Cinderella’s coach at the stroke of midnight, Vladimir Putin’s “magic,” his “negative charm, no longer works” as it did in the past, Aleksandr Golts says. Instead, as the recent St. Petersburg Export Forum showed, it has disappeared or more precisely turned into something else entirely (ej.ru/?a=note&id=31172). For most of Putin’s time at the top of the Russian political pyramid, foreigners have been interested in what the Kremlin leader has to say on this or that topic. But “suddenly it has turned out that the surrounding world has simply lost interest in [his] views” and no longer wants to speak with him about “generalities” but only about specific issues. That shift first became obvious when Putin visited Paris and the new French president Emmanuel Macron “coldly said what Paris wants from the master of the Kremlin and what will be if these demands are not satisfied.” So dramatic was this shift, Golts says, it “deprived the chief Russian official of his gift of speech.” Then there was the behavior of NBC journalist Megan Kelly who chaired a session in St. Petersburg where Putin spoke but “ignored the themes” he wanted to talk about, refused to respond to his tactic of answers “in the style ‘but you lynch Negroes,’” and ignored his crudities which his media claque called humor. Instead, Kelly did what a journalist is supposed to do. She asked the same question again and again, about “the level of Moscow’s interference in American domestic politics and in particular in the American elections.” That is a tactic which works because finally those who don’t want to answer nonetheless give way. That is what happened with Putin this time, and the Kremlin leader conceded far more than he likely intended with his comments about hackers and his refrain that everybody can do this and nothing that they do really matters. And it is worth noting, Golts continues, that the US media reported only this and not Putin’s preferred themes about the economy and cooperation. This represents “a change in the paradigm of interrelationships between the master of the Kremlin and the rest of the world. No one is trying to predict Moscow’s actions based on Putin’s remarks. It is well known that the chief boss of Russia lies as often as he breathes,” Golts continues. And so this time around “no one asked the question ‘Who is Mr. Putin?’ No one sought to compose psychological portraits” of the man. Instead, “they offered accusations about what had already been done and [just] watched to see how he would [try to] justify himself” to the world.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia and Its Authoritarian Friends Lag Increasingly Behind Its Free Enemies, Illarionov Says Paul Goble Staunton, June 6 – Not only are the countries Russians identify as friendly more likely to be authoritarian and poor than those they list as enemies, Andrey Illarionov says; but the former are falling ever further behind the latter both in terms of GDP per capita and the amount of freedom their citizens enjoy. In a blog post today, the Moscow economist says that polls routinely show that Russians consider the US, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Estonia, Great Britain, France and Ukraine as its enemies and that they view Belarus, China, Kazakhstan, Syria, Armenia, Cuba, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan and India as friends (echo.msk.ru/blog/aillar/1994996-echo/). What is striking, he suggests, is that almost all of the former are free and highly developed countries while almost all of the latter are “unfree authoritarian and economically less developed” ones. And what is worrisome is that over the last 12 years, the two groups have diverged both economically and politically rather than converged. Over that period, Illarionov says, “average GDP per capita among Russia’s “enemies” rose 67.1 percent, while among its ‘friends,’ this measure stagnated – increasingly only 1.3 percent.” As far as civil and political freedom is concerned, the “enemies” remained high while the “friends” saw a decline of almost 30 percent, using the Freedom House measures. And those trends mean that “the relative level of GDP per capita among Russia’s ‘friends’ compared to this measure among its ‘enemies’ fell from approximately 81 percent in 2005 to 49 percent in 2016.” At the same time, the relative level of political and civic freedoms of ‘the friends’ compared to that of ‘the enemies’ fell from 61 percent to 46 percent. This pattern leads to some devastating and disturbing conclusions: “Russia’s ‘enemies’ (that is, of the current Russian leadership are, as a rule, politically free countries with well-off citizens who have long life expectancies, low crime, and low levels of domestic and foreign aggression.” “Russia’s ‘friends,’” in contrast, Illarionov says, “are as a rule unfree authoritarian regime with poor residents who are condemned to short life expectancies, high crime and high levels of domestic and foreign aggression.” Still worse this divergence is “rapidly growing” rather than narrowing as many had hoped as recently as the 1990s.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: In Russian North, Official Ethnic Discrimination Only Makes National Identities More Important Paul Goble Staunton, June 6 – Russian officials have fallen into a trap that many in other countries have as well. When they discriminate, especially in violation of their country’s constitution and laws, against members of particular ethnic communities, they only succeed in making the identities of these communities not only stronger but often directed against the state itself. The Russian government has proposed rules that would prevent anyone not a member of a numerically small people of the Russian North from having fishing and hunting rights, a measure that might seem designed to protect them from outsiders but that in fact subverts their rights and the rights of others. The draft is available online at http://regulation.gov.ru/Projects#npa=63627. It has been criticized by members of the communities of the Far North (csipn.ru/glavnaya/novosti-regionov/3270#.WTcTVMYpDIX). And it is the subject of an analysis by Anatoly Bednov on the AfterEmpire portal today (afterempire.info/2017/06/06/instructions/). “As residents of Russia have known for a long time,” Bednov writes, “the action of any, even the most justice and vitally necessary laws is reduced to nothing, neutralized or even entirely eliminated by administrative rulings and instructions. And even the action of paragraphs of the Constitution are subject to such ‘corrections.’” The latest such case involves fishing rights in the Far North. According to the draft instruction, officials will not give fishing rights to any community there living by traditional ways of life if any of the members of that community are not full-blooded members of nationalities defined by the state as indigenous numerically small peoples of the North. “If in a list of a Nenets community there are ethnic Russians, for example, Pomors or Ust-Tsilems, and in the list of a Yukagir community, there are Yakuts (also indigenous but not numerically small) … the community will be deprived of the right to exploit the bio-resources of waterways.” Three outcomes are then possible, Bednov says. First, those who are not members of the numerically small indigenous peoples could be expelled from the community. Second, they could change their nationality – thus, a Pomor could declare himself a Saam or a Yakut a Yukagir or Chukchi. And third, anyone married to “an outsider” could get a divorce. Officials are presenting this measure as a defense of these communities, but in fact they are just the reverse and they are reminiscent, the AfterEmpire portal writer says, of ethnic discrimination of the kind found in “the Nuremberg race laws of Hitlerite Germany,” where an ethnic German with a non-Aryan spouse would be subjected to repression. The most likely outcome of the introduction of this new measure, he continues, will be that ethnic Russians and other “’not numerically small’” peoples will begin to reidentify as members of those groups that are on the list of numerically small indigenous peoples, possibly making them too large to remain on it or undermining the ethnic group itself. Besides being a violation of the Russian Constitution, such actions by officials and the response of the population raise some interesting questions. “How will government bureaucrats define whether a citizen belongs to the category of the numerically small indigenous peoples or not? There is no ‘nationality’ line in passports anymore.” Will they use language as the marker? But many indigenous peoples don’t speak their national language. Or will they use some sort of “anthropological signs” and measure the skulls of the peoples of the North to make sure that only they and no one else gets to fish in the waters of the region. The Russian constitution bans such ethnic discrimination and makes clear that communities given special rights because they engage in a traditional way of life have them not because they are members of this or that nationality but because of their economic activities. Thus an ethnic Russian who does so has as much right to that as any Evenk. Bednov concludes his detailed analysis of what Moscow is planning to do by suggesting that it is time to repeat the demand of dissidents in Soviet times: “Observe your own Constitution! Although,” he says, he “fears that this will sound like the latest voice crying in the desert of in this case in the tundra.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Saratov Police Raid Shows Long-Haul Truckers’ Strike Still in Active Phase Paul Goble Staunton, June 6 – Despite Moscow media claims that the truckers’ strike is over and union leaders’ statements that their protest has shifted from the highways to the courts, a police raid on a group of truckers still very much on strike in Saratov indicates that the strike goes on and that the authorities are trying to snuff it out by force. Yesterday, regional media reported but Moscow media did not that law enforcement organs in the city of Engelsk in Saratov oblast had made an unsuccessful attempt to disperse striking drivers from the encampment where they have been since the start of the strike March 27 (vzsar.ru/news/2017/06/06/v-engelse-predprinyata-popytka-razgona-stachki-dalnoboischikov.html, 4vsar.ru/news/90468.html and saratov.versia.ru/protestuyushhie-dalnobojshhiki-zayavili-o-popytke-svernut-ix-lager). The police charged the drivers with engaging in an illegal meeting even though the authorities had earlier given their permission for the truckers to assemble where they were. The drivers said they were not discouraged and would continue to press their demand for an end to the Plato fee system and for meetings with people in power to discuss their grievances. One driver, Aleksey Kaldikhin, said the police behaved atrociously and that as far as he and the other drivers are concerned, what happened was “a punitive operation” of the purest kind. The authorities “conducted themselves” like “fascist occupiers” (nversia.ru/news/view/id/107166). Meanwhile, in other strike news, police released three truckers they had detained last weekend (echo.msk.ru/news/1993758-echo.html), and a new analysis of protests shows that regional actions can be quite strong but that they have not been able to come together to make themselves an all-Russian cause (http://iz.ru/602922/natalia-rozhkova/moskovskaia-renovatciia-ne-zainteresovala-regiony).

Russian Hacking Allegations Could Get Putin Reelected (Op-ed) Allegations of Russian hacking are still murky, but distraction in Washington is still a net gain for Russia

Regional Navalny Campaign Chief Detained In Russian Far East The chief of Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny’s campaign office in the Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk has been detained. Aleksei Vorsin wrote on Facebook that officers of the regiona…

Hundreds Protest Moscow City Hall’s Plans To Demolish Soviet-Era Buildings Several hundred people rallied outside the Russian parliament on June 6 to protest a plan to demolish Soviet-era low-rise apartment blocks. The State Duma on June 6 hosted Moscow Mayor Serge…

Facts In Attack On National Guard In Chechnya Questioned More than two months after six National Guardsmen were killed in an attack on their base in northern Chechnya, it remains unclear precisely what happened. On May 25, the Russian daily Kommersan…

European Court of Human Rights ruled Russia responsible for actions of Transnistria -Euromaidan Press | The European Court of Human Rights holds Russia responsible for the actions of the authorities of the self-proclaimed “Moldovan Republic of Transnistria.” It’s quite likely that ECHR will, similarly, find Russia guilty of actions committed by the authorities of its puppet states in Donbas, the Luhansk and Donetsk “People’s Republics.” But it’s unlikely that Russia will pay compensation to the victims, as the country has chosen to ignore such lawsuits.

EU Ambassadors Favor Extending Crimea Sanctions BRUSSELS — The ambassadors of the European Union member states decided on June 6 to prolong the bloc’s investment ban against Crimea for another year, punishing Russia for its armed takeover o…

Russian Authorities Raid Church Of Scientology In St. Petersburg Russia’s security service has told Russian news agencies that it raided the Church of Scientology’s branch in St. Petersburg as part of a probe into illegal entrepreneurship, extremism, an…

New stratospheric missile carrier of the United States stolen from the USSR The next space development of the United States, following the supposedly new shuttle and the equivalent of RD-180 engines, turned out to be plagiarism from the old projects of the USSR, and experts note not just similarity but full coincidence of technological solutions (see below). We are talking about the recent “sensational” rollout from the aircraft hangar for an air launch – a carrier, which will make it possible to reduce the cost of launching spacecraft into orbit. So, already nicknamed “Lord of the heavens” Stratolaunch immediately after the appearance of his photos and video caused a huge number of questions from aerospace experts. As already reported by the media, the idea of an air start, which allows to abandon the construction of a complex launch pad and its infrastructure, as well as from a multi-day preparation of the launch vehicle to launch, began to develop even in the heyday of the USSR. According to the designers, then an airplane was required, “capable of carrying a rocket weighing 100 tons and having a transport compartment capable of accommodating a 30-meter construction.” As a result, a super-carrier project “Hercules” was created. The Soviet “Hercules” (also known as the “Molniya-1000”) was planned to be created as a triplane capable of lifting a useful load of 450 tons into the sky. However, in connection with the restructuring and collapse of the USSR, the project of a six-engine super-plane did not reach production and was forgotten.

Belarusian MFA demands Lithuania to explain the statements of its president The Ambassador of Lithuania to Belarus was summoned to the Belarusian Foreign Ministry in connection with the statements of the President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite in an interview with LRT. President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite in the interview called the presence of an aggressive Russia and its allied Belarus in the east as the main threat for the Baltic States and Poland. “The very neighborhood with Russia and Belarus is a threat to him. Plus the militarization of the Kaliningrad region, plus the use of the territory of Belarus for various experiments and aggressive games directed against the West, “the president said. “On June 6, in connection with the statements of the President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite, the Ambassador of Lithuania was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus in an interview with LRT in the Belarusian Foreign Ministry.In the course of the meeting, the Belarusian side demanded explanations in connection with the accusations of Belarus in the threat to the Baltic States and Poland, State, “the press service of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry informed. As stressed in the Foreign Ministry, “it was especially noted that the vocabulary used by the President of Lithuania, including the words” aggressive games, “is an insult to our country, leading a peace-loving policy that makes a real and universally recognized contribution to strengthening the security of our region.” “Such statements are not made to strengthen security in the region, but to increase their recognition among NATO partners and popularity among voters,” the Foreign Ministry noted. At the same time, they noted there, “it is very strange that such rhetoric sounds from the lips of the president of the country, friendly relations with which are cemented by the Belarus-Lithuania” Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Cooperation “, signed and acting for more than 20 years.” “Attention of the Lithuanian Ambassador was especially drawn to the fact that the key word in this treaty is good-neighborliness, as neighbors are known not to choose – they are given by God,” the press service summarized.

About half a million Belarusians are registered with psychiatrists and narcologists In Belarus, about one million people need the help of a psychotherapist, including due to stress, depression, insomnia. But only about half of them are registered with doctors – psychiatrists and narcologists. At the same time, we have 800-1000 psychiatrists – this, experts say, is a Central European indicator, but no matter how hard the doctors tried, they can not help a million, writes Tut.by Therefore, psychiatry goes beyond the responsibility of only psychiatrists – says Roman Evsegneev, head of the Department of Psychiatry and Addiction BelMAPO. – In this direction, people work in primary health care – in general hospitals, which are as close as possible to the population. The specialist notes that the process of the withdrawal of psychiatric care outside the walls of psychiatric hospitals is quite fast. “On the one hand, the psychiatric service should be ready to detect mild mental disorders, to provide assistance,” continues Evsegneev. “But on the other hand, people themselves need to deal with their mental health.” Do not be afraid of a psychiatrist, because this is a useful specialist, which can significantly affect a person’s life. According to the head of the department, acute psychosis – deep, severe depression is always detected. With the lungs – much harder. Well, if they can be found in 2-3% of cases. Depending on the age, the doctor says, people are susceptible to various forms of mental disorders. In childhood, for example, it is epilepsy and mental retardation, in adolescents – behavioral disorder. – 20-30 years – psychoses, 30-40 – depression, anxiety disorders, – lists Roman Evsegneev. – And after 50-60 – dementia of the elderly.


IW/IO/Cyber Reports


Disinformation is attractive for millions in Central and Eastern Europe -Euromaidan Press | The Slovak institute GLOBSEC and its partners have conducted an interesting opinion poll in seven Central and Eastern European Countries. One of the questions focused on the acceptance of news outlets oriented towards spreading disinformation. “Almost 10% of people in Central and Eastern Europe trust online disinformation outlets as relevant sources of information on world affairs,” the authors say. The highest percentage was found in Romania (37%), followed by Slovakia (12%), Poland and the Czech Republic (both 9%).

Are there “independent” media in Russia and why would Putin need them? – LB.ua news portal Are there “independent” media in Russia and why would Putin need them?. At a joint news conference with Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron did not beat around the bush when he said that Russia Today and Sputnik (a group of the state-owned media holding Russia Today) were involved in propaganda. It turns out the list is far longer. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world todayRussia is struggling to keep its cybercrime groups on a tight leash • The Register
Russia is struggling to keep its cybercrime groups on a tight leash – To Inform is to InfluenceCryptocurrencies, globalisation erode Kremlin’s coercive power 6 Jun 2017 at 09:05, John Leyden Russia’s control of cybercrime groups that have come to play a part in its espionage activity is crumbling, according to Cybereason. The security intelligence outfit reached this conclusion after reviewing the latest tactics and procedures associated with high-profile cyber-espionage pops blamed on…Theresa May says the internet must now be regulated following London Bridge terror attack – To Inform is to InfluenceThe same arguments will happen, again, but now we have many more dead.   The arguments always boil down to privacy & freedom versus safety & security.   The counter-arguments against privacy and freedom always boils down to the need to detect a widespread insidious low-level but a very dangerous threat. The counter-arguments against safety and security always…Anonymous hacker breaks into ISIS Twitter accounts AGAIN, makes them “fabulously” gay – To Inform is to InfluenceI am doubting the veracity of this report.  Reports from January 2017, 2016, and 2015 are making the same reports, all recycled today. Reported by both CNN (Dec 8, 2016) and The Independent (24 April 2017). The Inquisiter (June 2016), and Marketplace Africa (Jan 2017).  No guarantees, however. The Inquisitor says it was Anonymous.  If true…


Ukraine Reports


Poroshenko green-lights 75% Ukrainian language quota on national TV Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a bill into law to introduce a 75% quota for Ukrainian-language content on television channels, according to the presidential press service. News 07 June from UNIAN.

Russian-speakers having problems with Ukrainian language more myth than reality, poll reveals -Euromaidan Press | Russian politicians and pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine love the myth that the Ukrainian language is a big problem for people living in southeastern Ukraine. After the country turned westward following the Euromaidan revolution, Russian President Vladimir Putin considered the protection of Russian speakers an adequate reason for invading Ukraine, leading some Ukrainians to urge to switch to Ukrainian as protection for Russian aggression. Even now, pro-Russian forces continue to exploit this myth, which sometimes spills out to western media. A new report by the Institute of Mass Information suggests that the language question is not as important to the population of southeastern Ukraine as politicians would like to believe.

Truth is best counteraction to Russian information aggression Secretary of the National Security Council of Ukraine (NSDC) Oleksandr Turchynov noted the importance of a balanced, impartial and responsible attitude to informing the society on the occasion of the Day of the Journalist, the press service of the National Security and Defense Council said. “The best counteraction to Russian information aggression is the truth. Therefore professional, unbiased, objective and principled coverage of events in Ukraine and the world is extremely important both for the country itself and for the formation of our country’s image abroad,” Turchynov said. He also said that the assessments and comments of journalists influence the adoption of state decisions, form public opinion and “life often depends on your word.” “It’s you, each of you – chroniclers of the newest history of Ukraine, you even often create it,” the NSDC secretary said.

Poroshenko hopes for development of independent media, its integration into Europe’s information space Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said he is certain that the Ukrainian independent media will develop dynamically and Ukrainian journalists will be provided the necessary security for their work in the country.

How Russia Uses Normandy Format to Hide Real Intentions of Destroying Ukraine – YouTube Three years ago, the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany held their first negotiations to end Moscow’s war in Donbas. However, according to Ukrai…

“We will respond with visas, too,” – Lavrov commented on Ukraine plans for visa regime with Russia 07.06.17 10:52 – We will respond with visas, too, – Lavrov commented on Ukraine plans for visa regime with Russia Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov threatens the introduction of a visa regime with Ukraine if Kyiv adopts a similar decision. View news.

Escalation in Donbas: 8 WIAs amid 85 enemy attacks in last day Russia’s hybrid military forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in Donbas 85 times in the past 24 hours with eight Ukrainian soldiers reported as wounded in action (WIA), according to the press service of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters. News 07 June from UNIAN.

Marinka checkpoint comes under enemy fire, – State Border Guard Service 07.06.17 12:02 – Marinka checkpoint comes under enemy fire, – State Border Guard Service Yesterday, Russian-terrorist forces again opened fire on Ukrainian positions at the Marinka checkpoint in the Donetsk region guarded by the military and border guards. View news.

Russian officers train Donbas militants to down OSCE drones – intel Officers of the Russian Armed Forces deployed in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the east of Ukraine are training pro-Russian militants to shoot down unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry reports. News 06 June from UNIAN.

Gerashchenko urges Rada to effectively work to achieve full energy independence First Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Iryna Gerashchenko points out the expediency of strengthening the work of the Verkhovna Rada in order to get full energy independence for Ukraine.

“This mafia will go to jail,” – Tymoshenko threatens authorities following 2009 gas deal accusations 06.06.17 16:35 – This mafia will go to jail, – Tymoshenko threatens authorities following 2009 gas deal accusations Ukrainian authorities use the ruling of the Stockholm court in order to destroy the Batkivshchyna party being in opposition to them. “Today, this corrupt government has set a price for Ukrainian gas for the people at $285 per thousand cubic meters. And I am now making commitment to the people of Ukraine that this mafia will go to jail for this – for robbing people by selling Ukrainian gas at a higher price than that of Russian gas after the 2009 contract,” said Tymoshenko. As reported, in 2009 Yuliia Tymoshenko signed a contract with Vladimir Putin on the supply of Russian gas to Ukraine. The contract contained the “take-or-pay” principle stipulating fines for Ukraine in the event it failed to take the amount of Russian gas specified in the contract. This principle became the reason for Ukraine’s Naftohaz to take action in the Stockholm Arbitration Institute in 2014. The company demanded that Gazprom cancel the “take-or-pay” principle and pay out a compensation in the amount of $30.3 billion for revising the tariff for transporting the fuel via the European gas transportation system. On May 31, the Stockholm Arbitration Institute passed a judgment on the dispute between Naftohaz Ukrainy and Gazprom regarding the 2009 gas contract.

‘Dingo’ Explained: The Strange Journey Of Alleged Kadyrov Henchman Nabbed In Kyiv Shooting On June 10, 2008, a Chechen man walked into a police office in Vienna with an ominous claim: The southern Russian region of Chechnya’s Kremlin-backed strongman, Ramzan Kadyrov, possessed a list o…

Govt mulls passenger train to link five capitals – LB.ua news portal Govt mulls passenger train to link five capitals. The train will run on the route Kyiv-Minsk-Vilnius-Riga-Tallinn. Main – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Post Scriptum. Vengeance – LB.ua news portal Do you remember the days of Maydan? Especially its last days. When we were standing in chilly weather on central squares across the country, dreaming of the future and justice. The majority of us associated the justice, above all, with adequate vengeance on representatives of Yanukovych’s regime. Vengeance on those who killed. Those who stole on an industrial scale. However, the majority of these people fled the country back in 2014. Mostly without any problems. Cash they were taking with them worked back then and continues to work now to the benefit of the Russian aggression – to split the country, sow death among our citizens and destabilize the economy. Those who stayed bought their freedom. I think if we add together what they had paid, the sum will be times higher than those 1.5bn dollars of Yanukovych’s entourage recently confiscated by court after all. There is hardly any wonder: those who worked in prosecution in 2014 have bought Hyatt after retiring. Those who came after them are now trying to build on the territory of [Kyiv’s historic Hay Market demolished on controversial grounds in 2006] Sinnyy. Unfortunately, it seems that it is only now that the country’s top leadership starts to understand that vengeance is not about simply settling scores, but is the question of preventing turning the tables. A basis for the revanche is formed by uninvestigated deaths of the Heavenly Hundred [killed Maydan protesters], unsolved laundering and kickback schemes, and continuing traditions of political corruption. A basis for the revanche includes populists’ lies streaming from the screens, double standards in backroom politics, and slowing-down reforms. It seems to me it is time we give it a thought. Not only politicians but we, civil society. Good night and good luck!


Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports


Judith Bergman | The Soviet-Palestinian Lie“The PLO was dreamt up by the KGB, which had a penchant for ‘liberation’ organizations.” — Ion Mihai Pacepa, former chief of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Romania. “First, the KGB destroyed the official records of Arafat’s birth in Cairo, and

The Soviet-Palestinian Lie – To Inform is to Influence Some of you may not be familiar with how Russian intelligence works, thinks, and acts. This is a fairly decent primer, it shows their principles (or lack thereof), operating procedures, and scruples. This also gives a good mindset for how Putin thinks, breathes, and acts. This is his legacy, don’t forget. </end editorial> by Judith…

Attackers raid Iran parliament and mausoleum, up to seven dead: Iranian media | Reuters Attackers raided Iran’s parliament and set off a suicide bomb at the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran on Wednesday, killing up to seven people in a twin assault at the heart of the Islamic Republic, Iranian media reported.

Seven dead, four taken hostage as unknowns open fire at Iran’s parliament, – local media. PHOTO 07.06.17 12:30 – Seven dead, four taken hostage as unknowns open fire at Iran’s parliament, – local media. PHOTO A shootout occurred at Iran’s Parliament (Majlis). View photo news.

CNN Exclusive: US suspects Russian hackers planted fake news behind Qatar crisis – CNNPolitics.com US investigators believe Russian hackers breached Qatar’s state news agency and planted a fake news report that contributed to a crisis among the US’ closest Gulf allies, according to US officials briefed on the investigation.

CNN Exclusive: US suspects Russian hackers planted fake news behind Qatar crisis – To Inform is to Influence This could be some truly serious stuff.  This is so much more than fake news.  It is disinformation, bordering on Active Measures, perhaps.  </end editorial> By Evan Perez and Shimon Prokupecz, CNN Updated 8:21 PM ET, Tue June 6, 2017 Washington (CNN)US investigators believe Russian hackers breached Qatar’s state news agency and planted a fake…

CNN: U.S. Investigators Believe Russian Hackers Contributed To Arab Rift With Qatar CNN has reported that U.S. investigators believe Russian hackers planted a false news story that was a factor in the decisions by several Arab countries to sever ties with Qatar. The CNN repor…

Gulf states round on Qatar over support for Hamas – The Jewish Chronicle Saudis, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain cut ties with Doha

UAE turns screw on Qatar, threatens sympathizers with jail | Reuters The United Arab Emirates tightened the squeeze on fellow Gulf state Qatar on Wednesday threatening anyone publishing expressions of sympathy toward it with up to 15 years in prison, and barring entry to Qataris.

Bahrain closes Qatari air corridors | Corporate Jet Investor

Qatar is falling into a rapid socio-economic death spiral and the UAE made it illegal to feel sorry for it | Business Insider Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United…

Former Israeli emissary to Qatar: Hamas wouldn’t survive in Gaza without Doha – Arab-Israeli Conflict – Jerusalem Post “Israel will be tempted to use the current diplomatic situation to force Qatar to use its influence on Hamas,” says Eli Avidar amid Gulf diplomatic rift.

Qatar rift sets back Trump’s ‘Arab NATO’ A diplomatic rift between Qatar and four Gulf neighbors shows why a military union to fight terrorism and push back against Iran is easier said than done.

Saudi Arabia’s Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology The GCCEI needs to examine, among other things, the way in which its patron, Saudi Arabia, has participated in, if not spearheaded, the very extremism that it is claiming now to combat: the connection between Wahhabism and terrorism; the hostility of its

Saudi Arabia: 14 protesters facing execution after unfair trials | Amnesty International Saudi Arabia should immediately quash the death sentences of 14 members of the Shia community for protest-related crimes, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today. The Court of Appeal of the notorious Specialized Criminal Court upheld the sentences in May, after they were handed down a year ago on June 1, 2016 following a grossly unfair trial of 24 Saudi Shia citizens. The Specialized Criminal Court is Saudi Arabia’s counter-terrorism tribunal.

Trump’s $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia is ‘fake news,’ defense expert says


DPRK / PRC Reports


China builds 24 fighter-size hangars on South China Sea outposts: U.S. | The Japan Times China was constructing 24 fighter-sized hangars, fixed-weapons positions and other military-related infrastructure on each of three major Chinese-occupied

China builds fighter hangars and fixed weapons positions on South China Sea outposts, US says | South China Morning Post Once facilities are complete, Beijing will have capacity for up to three regiments of fighters in the Spratly Islands, according to Pentagon report

US says China likely to build more overseas bases, maybe in Pakistan A Pentagon report released on Tuesday singled out Pakistan as a possible location for a future Chinese military base, as it forecast that Beijing would likely build more bases overseas after establishing a facility in the African nation of Djibouti.

China Missiles Can Send Nukes to Western Pacific, U.S. Says – Bloomberg China’s deployment of missiles able to deliver nuclear warheads to U.S. bases on Guam were among the military advancements highlighted in an annual Pentagon report.

South Korea Suspends Deployment of U.S. Antimissile System – The New York Times The move by the new president, Moon Jae-in, signals a less friendly approach to the United States’ agenda. The system, known as Thaad, is designed to counter North Korean threats.

Watch Out, China: India’s Navy Wants 200 Warships | The National Interest Blog By 2027, India wants a 200-ship naval fleet.

Malcolm Turnbull orders inquiry following revelations ASIO warned parties about Chinese donations – China power – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Following revelations the Coalition and Labor were warned by ASIO about taking donations from two Chinese billionaires, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull orders a major inquiry into the nation’s espionage and foreign interference laws.

China must be told to stop interfering in Australian affairs – China power – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Both Israel and China have an alarming, take-no-prisoners approach to the espionage side of the influence game, but Israel is not our major trading partner and there are not one million people of Israeli descent living in Australia, writes Graeme Smith.

China hits back at claims of ‘secretly infiltrating’ Australia An investigation by Australian media claiming that China was attempting to exert its influence in the country has been slammed by Beijing, …


Foreign Policy Reports


Theresa May’s plans to regulate the internet are late, unworkable and wrong The Prime Minister is offering homeopathy to cure a bullet wound, says Chi Onwurah.

Jeremy Corbyn was ‘watched by undercover Special Branch officers for 20 years over fears he was trying to undermine democracy’ A Special Branch officer said the Labour leader was labelled a ‘subversive’

London Attackers Slipped By Despite an Avalanche of Warnings – The New York Times Revelations about three assailants tumbled into the open, raising pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May to explain how the signs were missed.

London attack linked to hate preacher Anjem Choudary’s extremist network | The Independent The bloody rampage that left seven people dead and dozens injured on a busy Saturday night in London Bridge is the latest atrocity to be tied to Anjem Choudary’s network of extremists, it has emerged.

Don’t Count on Germany to Save the West President Donald Trump is widely seen in Europe and by his numerous critics in the United States as having abdicated American leadership of the West. When

Roshka and Russian Hackers. The GRU broke into French President’s mail box. | Free Russia Foundation Last week, the Insider, a Russian independent online media outlet, published an investigation on how Russian intelligence agencies were involved in hacking the mailbox of the French President Emmanuel Macron. Free Russia Foundation has translated this story into English.

The Morning Vertical, June 7, 2017 ON MY MIND As his country formally joined NATO, Montenegrin Defense Minister Predrag Boskovic had a message for the Kremlin: This ain’t about you. Montenegro didn’t join NATO because of any “anti-Russian hysteria,” as the Kremlin claims Montenegro joined NATO because Podgorica sees the alliance as the best guarantor of stability in the Western Balkans. Makes sense. Countries in the region that joined NATO — like Slovenia and Croatia — are stable. Countries that haven’t, not so much. Boskovic added that “this is also in the best interest of Russia, as peace in the Western Balkans is in Moscow’s best interest.” But here’s the thing. Judging from its behavior, peace and stability in the Western Balkans are the very last things Moscow is interested in. Russia’s proxies apparently attempted to instigate a coup in Montenegro last year. According to a recent report by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (featured in the Morning Vertical on June 5), Moscow has been actively trying to destabilize Macedonia. And Russia is widely suspected of instigating mischief in Bosnia-Herzegovina through proxies in Republika Srpska. So while Boskovic was probably quite sincere when he said this isn’t about Russia, the Kremlin and its proxies is doing all it can to make it all about them.

Montenegro Reacts To Russian Criticism For Joining The Alliance Montenegro has said Russia should not be alarmed by the Balkan country’s joining NATO, after Moscow warned of retaliation against Montenegro’s “hostile course” and condemned the country’s “anti-Russian hysteria.”


US Domestic Policy Reports


New Air Force secretary: ‘We are too small for what the nation expects of us’ The Air Force’s new secretary, Heather Wilson, wants to grow the force. But before making any long-term decisions on just how many airmen to add, she wants to have a better idea of what threats the United States is going to face in coming years.

Watergate ‘pales’ in comparison to Trump-Russia scandal, says ex-spy chief James Clapper Investigators must get to the bottom of ties between the Trump administration and Russia, James Clapper says.

Donald Trump’s alleged Russia links will dwarf Watergate scandal, says James Clapper – Donald Trump’s America – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) The man privy to America’s darkest intelligence secrets for the past six years says the 1970s Watergate scandal will pale when compared to the Trump administration’s links to Russia.

Clinton’s charity confirms Qatar’s $1 million gift while she was at State Dept | Reuters The Clinton Foundation has confirmed it accepted a $1 million gift from Qatar while Hillary Clinton was U.S. secretary of state without informing the State Department, even though she had promised to let the agency review new or significantly increased support from foreign governments.

Mainstream Media Bias And Discrimination, Re: NSA Leak and Russians in US 2016 Election – To Inform is to Influence Want to see a black and white contrast between mainstream media and conservative media? Look for anything in the mainstream where the headline shows a contradiction between what Obama said about there being no Russian interference in the election and the leaked NSA Russia-voting document. Nothing, zero, zip, nada. The mainstream media only says the…

Media Bias, Media Suppression – More Proof – Clinton Collusion With Media – To Inform is to Influence Not to beat a dead horse too much, but the media appears to have colluded, in the real sense of the word, in suppressing a story that might have further sunk Candidate Hillary Clinton.  Of this, there is no doubt, no denial, and, so far, no trial.  As many truly and remarkably illegal activities uncovered…

The Leaked NSA Report Is Being Read Backward – Bloomberg What if Russian hackers were more anti-Clinton than pro-Trump?

Entrepreneurs, Thought Leaders Debate High Tech Immigration as VOA Opens Silicon Valley Bureau – To Inform is to Influence WASHINGTON D.C., June 6, 2017 — A lively debate between a congressman, an entrepreneur and an academic was the focal point of the opening of Voice of America’s first-ever Silicon Valley bureau in San Francisco. At the event – held June 1 among the entrepreneurs and financiers of the global incubator 500 Startups in San…

U.S. Senators To Press Security Chiefs On Russia Probe U.S. senators are set to hear testimony from top security officials on the FBI’s probe into Russia’s alleged meddling in the U.S. election last year and fallout from the firing of former FB…

Trump Wishes Ex-FBI Chief ‘Good Luck’ Ahead Of Testimony U.S. President Donald Trump had a&nbsp;short message for former FBI Director James Comey on June 6 ahead of Comey’s June 8 testimony to the U.S. Congress. &quot;I wish him luck,&quot; Trum…

 

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