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Russia / Strategy Media Update – 10 June 2017


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Russia again dominating MSM and many of the reports are yet again truly bizarre – Federation Council President Valentina Matviyenko (ethnic Ukrainian but Putinist hardliner) yet again making the MSM. Prof Goble’s Baker’s Double Dozen No. 86 full of fascinating meltdown stories. Transnistria essay most interesting, Kirillova compares Putin’s use of Russian diaspora to Hitler’s use of Volksdeutsche across Europe, as tools of foreign policy and an excuse for invasion. NYT covers Osmayev assassination attempt.

Russia again prominent in IO/IW/cyber topics.

Ukraine MSM dominated by NATO topics, and sorry statistics showing how Russian propaganda has turned public in Visegrad nations against NATO and toward Russia – the gullibility of these communities never ceases to amaze, a mere 25 years after the USSR falls, the misery of Russian occupation is again welcomed. Russians’ latest MH17 effort involves forged documents in Ukrainian, replete with grammatical and spelling errors to add some mirth for Ukrainian readers, as welcome as the stunt might be for Western fake news purveyors.

Qatar and Iran remain at the top of MSM interest, although no major developments.

Russia busting PRC sanctions on DPRK, while Kim indulges in Air Force bombing exercise. The MSM’s DPRK “Anti-Ship Missiles of Mysterious Origin” are clearly cloned Soviet/Russian Zvezda 3M24 Uran / Harpoonski / SS-N-25 SWITCHBLADE, with one notable difference, a chin fairing for a thermal imager, with downlinked endgame footage presented in the DPRK propaganda video – evidently the regime went out of its way to push the point on flaunting its dual mode guidance.

UK election continues to dominate European MSM coverage, the Guardian’s observation that“The prime minister’s disaster is self-inflicted – and hubris, lack of vision and a bullying inner circle all played a part in it is difficult to dispute.

US domestic debate remains highly toxic.


Russia / Russophone Reports


Navalny promises withdrawal of Russian troops from Donbas, fair referendum in Crimea Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny claims, if he is elected president, he is ready to withdraw Russian troops from the occupied areas of eastern Ukraine and hold a fair referendum in the Russian-annexed Crimea, according to the Russian independent television channel Dozhd. News 09 June from UNIAN.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Matviyenko Edges Toward Acknowledgement of Putin’s Aggression against Ukraine Paul Goble Staunton, June 9 – Since 1945, Moscow has been involved in approximately 50 military conflicts abroad, most of which it denied at the same but 39 of which Soviet and Russian officials eventually acknowledged and of which are now officially recognized in the Russian law “about veterans,” Yury Khristenzen says. The process by which these conflicts shift from the category of being officialy denied to be officially admitted is never quick or easy, but it now appears to be beginning with regard to Vladimir Putin’s actions against Ukraine over the last four years, the Moscow commentator continues (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=593976CBB3A40). Speaking at a parliamentary hearing this week on preventing foreign interference in the domestic affairs of the Russian Federation, Federation Council President Valentina Matviyenko in a speech she read made some interesting comments about the nature of hybrid wars in general that open the way to a reconsideration of what Russia has been doing in Ukraine. “Hybrid wars, the goal of which is undermining the sovereignty of states and the subordination of their domestic and foreign policy has become the reality of our time,” the speaker said. She even cited events in Ukraine. And this is “already progress” because “only one step remains to acknowledge who precisely undermined Ukraine’s state sovereignty.” Matviyenko also made an intriguing remark about the downing of the Malaysian airliner, MH17. She suggested that the formation of an international tribunal to investigate the shooting down of that plane represented an attempt to interfere in the domestic affairs of the Russian Federation. Her comments are important for two reasons. On the one hand, Matviyenko who speaks Ukrainian used the preposition “na” instead of “v” which has been the universal practice of Moscow spokespeople since 2014. And on the other, talking about the tribunal as interference in Russia’s internal affairs opens the door to bigger questions. The notion that the Netherlands tribunal touches on the internal affairs of Russia, Khristenzen says, is “one step” toward acknowledging that the Kremlin was involved in what the tribunal is investigating. And “after such recognitions will be made, everything will be in its right place.” “It will become clear who shot down the MH17 and who is conducting a hybrid war against Ukraine,” the commentator says. “These will be one and the same people. All the events of recent years follow in the same logical chain … the Kremlin is conducting hybrid wars” and that will eventually be acknowledged even by Moscow. In 2000, Khristenzen concludes, “specialists in hybrid wars came to power in the Russian Federation.” The members of Russia’s Security Council have 82 years of experience in the KGB and 140 years work in the totalitarian institutions of the USSR. They brought to their new positions these experiences and mindsets. Putin is one of them, and Matviyenko’s speech brings Moscow closer to an acknowledgement of that as well.

Matviyenko edges toward acknowledgement of Putin’s aggression against Ukraine | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press | Since 1945, Moscow has been involved in approximately 50 military conflicts abroad, most of which it denied at the same but 39 of which Soviet and Russian officials eventually acknowledged and of which are now officially recognized in the Russian law “about veterans,” Yuri Christensen says. The process by which these conflicts shift from the category of being officially denied to be officially admitted is never quick or easy, but it now appears to be beginning with regard to Vladimir Putin’s actions against Ukraine over the last four years, the Moscow commentator continues. Speaking at a parliamentary hearing this week on preventing foreign interference in the domestic affairs of the Russian Federation, Federation Council President Valentina Matviyenko in a speech she read made some interesting comments about the nature of hybrid wars in general that open the way to a reconsideration of what Russia has been doing in Ukraine.

Valentina Matviyenko – Wikipedia

Transnistria. Why Russia should leave the occupied territories -Euromaidan Press | Moldova’s push for restoration of territorial integrity signals end for Russia’s other occupied territories.

Ksenia Kirillova: “On the Straight Line” Now let’s return to modern Russia. The author of the article, Yevgeny Yakunov, unambiguously makes it clear that methods similar to the German practice of the 1930s are now used by Moscow. In my turn, I would note that there is a certain similarity, although Russia in its “foreign work” sometimes lacks German organization. First, the Kremlin today uses roughly the same channels of influence as the Third Reich. This is propaganda (both broadcasting their own media to foreign audiences and bribery already available), bribing officials and politicians, building corrupt ties through business lobbies, numerous emigrant organizations, working with various segments of the population and special emphasis on existing in any society contradictions , Dissatisfaction and conflicts. Approximately six months ago in the newspaper “Kommersant” an article appeared with an explicit title: “The Russian diaspora in the United States received a special mission.” The material began with a shocking confession: “Yesterday, representatives of the Russian diaspora in the US reported in the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation about how they are promoting the Russian language, history and culture” in the conditions of the sanction war. “Organizations of compatriots receiving grants from Rossotrudnichestvo said that they consider themselves Part of the Russian strategy of “soft power.” Russia’s “sanctions warriors” reported to the head of the Commission for the Development of Public Diplomacy and the Support of Compatriots, Elena Sutormina, who stated and “Who is a rather complex attitude is sanctioned war. You are on the direct line. “

Masquerading as Reporter, Assassin Hunted Putin Foes in Ukraine – The New York TimesP retending to be a reporter for Le Monde, the assassin pulled a gun and fired during an interview with two well-known soldiers in the war against separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Rising Costs Forcing Moscow to Cut Back Military Purchases / A Baker’s Double Dozen of Neglected Russian Stories – No. 86 The cost of new military aircraft is rising so fast that the Russian government is having to purchase fewer (kommersant.ru/doc/3319791), and a billion dollar price tag on refitting Russia’s only aircraft carrier means that it is unlikely to be completed on schedule (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=59328001B9336 and graniru.org/War/Mil_spending/m.261384.html). The same thing may be true regarding Moscow’s plans to modernize four nuclear submarines (fedpress.ru/news/russia/society/1798494). Meanwhile, Russia is having other military problems both large – bears invading closed nuclear facilities and fires burning military sites (siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/bear-causes-panic-by-invading-closed-nuclear-submarine-port-of-vilyuchinsk/ and ng.ru/news/583246.html). And it is also having problems maintaining its force size in Syria given losses and the decision to use North Caucasian units there (http://svpressa.ru/war21/article/173255/ and kavkazr.com/a/ingushi-vernulis-iz-sirii/28531838.html). But this week did feature a report about a Russian defense resource that Moscow has not used very much recently: Old Believers in Siberia are teaching Chinese troops how to live off the land in extreme conditions (mk.ru/politics/2017/06/08/kitayskikh-specnazovcev-obuchili-vyzhivaniyu-sibirskie-starovery.html).

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Polls in Russia Aren’t Representative Because Russians don’t Want to Be Represented, Moscow Sociologist Says Paul Goble Staunton, June 9 – A major problem with polls in the Russian Federation now is that Russians don’t want to be represented either because they don’t trust those asking the questions or fear the way any answers they give may be used, according to Grigory Yudin, a sociologist at the Moscow Higher School of Economics. Often this is discussed in terms of the representativeness of the samples, but in Russia, he and other sociologists suggest that it involves more than just difficulties in reaching people and reflects the fact that many people simply won’t tell pollsters the truth but rather what they think is the desired answer (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2017/06/09/72750-kak-nas-predstavit). That can happen in other countries as well, Yudin says, and he points to the US presidential elections last year. At that time, “a large quantity of people who later voted for Trump preferred not to report about this during the conduct of a poll.” But such problems further undermine public trust in polls as in other public institutions. In Russia in particular, “sociological polls are not viewed as an independent institution; in the eyes of the population, they are one of the instruments in the hands of the authorities. ‘Therefore,’” Yudin says, “’if some Moscow company conducts a poll, the thought immediately arises in the minds of the respondents: ‘Putin has ordered this survey.’” Another Moscow sociologist, Dmitry Rogozin, agrees. He says that “with us, polls are usied not in order to discover the opinion of the population about their concerns and affairs but in order to put them in the situation of a choice, having presented these people with absolutely idiotic issues.” A major reason that even the defenders of Russian polls acknowledge is that problems arise because there are only three major polling agencies and only one of these is independent of the state. As a result, the problems that many Russians fear about polls aren’t being reduced but in some respects may be growing worse. One sign of that, Novaya gazeta reports today, involves the harm that was inflicted on polling by the ways in which the Kremlin sought to use polls to structure public response to what it was doing in Crimea and the Donbass and to give the impression that the polls served as “an instrument of ‘direct democracy.’” But that was duplicitous, as Yudin notes. “Democracy presupposes not simply the summing up of preferences but debates in the course of which people change their point of view. This is extremely far from the idea of summing up individual opinions.” In his view, “for Russia, such a tendency will only strengthen.” Rogozin agrees, arguing “the further a country is from a democratic system of administration, the less one can rely on polls of public opinion.” And he adds that most people polled are giving responses about questions they may not have thought about much to people whom they do not know and who may be using a kind of language at odds with their own. Those things too make Russian polls more problematic than many assume.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Regional Officials Want Plato System Extended to Regional Roads as Well as Federal Ones Paul Goble Staunton, June 9 – One of the ways long-haul drivers who are continuing to refuse to pay the new Plato fees is to avoid as much as possible driving on federal highways, the only roadways where the pay-per-ton system now applies. Instead, they are using regional and local roads and, because of their weight, damaging their surfaces. Next week, the transportation ministry is hosting a conference in Sochi on the Plato system and its future. Leningrad Oblast Governor Aleksandr Drozdenko says that he will use the occasion to extend the Plato system to regional and local roads both to raise money for roads and to protect secondary roads from heavy trucks (regnum.ru/news/economy/2285974.html). Drozdenko is especially concerned about this because his is a port region and there are more secondary roads that drivers can and do use. But the publicity that the Regnum news agency is giving his call suggests that others may support this call at the June 14 meeting, thus raising the stakes for the truckers, striking and otherwise. More details are emerging about the efforts of the authorities to close down the parking area on the Moscow ring road strikers have been using. The police brought in an excavator, the drivers decided not to resist, but they parked their trucks in ways to complicate the efforts of the authorities to remove them (newizv.ru/news/society/08-06-2017/k-bastuyuschim-dalnoboyschikam-priehala-politsiya-s-evakuatorom-0da147fb-3417-4797-b58d-02c5834ae448). The police operation was overseen by senior officers, including five or six colonels, according to the drivers, who said that they were not ending their action but very much fear that in the near term, the authorities may use force against them. Another development which both reflects the concerns of the drivers but may also be something the authorities hope to use to divide them and to deprive them of support is the announcement today that this weekend, there will be flashmobs in six major cities to call attention to the poor quality of Russia’s roads (ria.ru/society/20170609/1496174904.html). The cities in question are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ioshkar-Ola, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan and Irkutsk.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘Civic Russian Nation’ Now Defined in Ways Leaving Room for Ethnicity and Nationality Paul Goble Staunton, June 9 – The working group charged with preparing a draft law on nationality policy and “the strengthening of the multi-national people of the Russian Federation (the civic Russian nation)” has come up with a draft to be discussed by the Presidential Council of Inter-Ethnic Relations later this month. In Kommersant today, Natalya Gorodetskaya reports that there is still no final agreement on what the law itself is to be called – that is just one of the controversies this proposal has sparked — but that the working group has decided on this provisional one for presentation by the August 1 deadline Vladimir Putin set at the end of last year (kommersant.ru/doc/3320393). “The goal of state nationality policy,” she says the draft suggests, “is the preservation of Russian society as a civic nation” along with “’the preservation and consolidation of civic unity, ethno-cultural and linguistic diversity, and the foundations of Russian Federalism.’” This draft thus stresses diversity more than some earlier ones. To that end, the draft document defines “contemporary nations” as “sovereign civic societies under a single state power,” “the civic Russian nation as a community of citizens of the RF of various ethnic, religious, social and other memberships who recognize their historic and civic commonality, political-legal connection with the state and with Russian culture.” It also offers a definition of “a people” or “an ethnic community” as “a state community of people which has arisen on the basis of common territory, language and culture,” a definition not too distant from Stalin’s classical definition of the nation. And it says that “’nationality’ is the conscious belonging to one or another people.” According to one member of the working group, former nationalities minister Vladimir Zorin, the draft provides a framework “detailing the competence of each level of power.” “Native language instruction and foundations of religious knowledge are matters for local self-administration, regions must think through nationality policy, and the federal powers must coordinate this work.” Zorin also said that no one should expect a new law soon. Even after the August 1 deadline, many parts of the government will have to weigh in, and both houses of parliament will have to participate in the drafting of the final language. Another member of the working group, Iosif Diskin, said that the final law would have to specify on what basis the civic nation would be formed. In his view, “a single nation will not arise on the basis of ethno-confessional peace [alone because] when religious or nationality values become the chief things, unity will be destroyed.” And a third member, Leokadiya Drobizheva, who heads the Center for Research on Inter-Ethnic Relations at the Moscow Institute of Sociology, pointed out that “Yakuts, Tatars and other peoples do not want to be ethnic groups: they consider themselves to be nations.” That’s why the draft specifies that there must be “unity of people of various nationalities and ethnic groups.” In her view, “the united nation is not only an inter-ethnic and inter-confessional unity, but a unity of citizens of the country.” People will be unified, Drobizheva continued, on the basis of such common values as “human dignity, justice, the well-being of the people, and mutual respect.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin’s Freudian Slip in the Shower Paul Goble Staunton, June 9 – Vladimir Putin’s response to Oliver Stone’s inquiry as to what he would do if he found himself in a shower with a gay man – Putin said he wouldn’t want to tempt him and that the latter should remember that he is a judo master – has provoked widespread comment by Russian bloggers (http://www.kasparov.ru/material.php?id=59383BCB8C3C4). Perhaps the most thoughtful has been offered by Igor Eidman who notes that “people (regardless of sexual orientation) typically bathe themselves in showers” and that Putin’s remark thus points, as Freud would have it, to “a whole set of serious complexes and deviations” (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=59398434C9302). Eidman, who lives in Germany and provides commentary for Deutsche Welle, offered three: First of all, the comentator says, Putin displayed “a fear of others, a syndrome of a weak boy lacking confidence in himself who constantly fears force from those around him and therefore tells everyone that he is ‘a master of judo.’ They are suddenly frightened and decide not to attack.” Second, Putin’s words point to “a fear of his own latent homosexual nature … Most likely, Putin simply is subconsciously afraid that if he were in a shower, he wouldn’t be able to withstand temptation. Latent homosexuality, as often happens, is pushed out of site by demonstrative homophobia.” And third, Eidman says, Putin’s words also reflect a fundamental narcissism. The Kremlin leader clearly thinks that were he to find himself in a shower with a gay man, the latter would be instantly attracted to him and try to force himself on Putin. It clearly “doesn’t come into his head that he, an older and battered man, might not be of any interest to someone else.”

How a Russian Journalist Exposed the Anti-Gay Crackdown in Chechnya  – The New Yorker An interview with Elena Milashina, the Russian reporter who broke the story of Chechnya’s campaign of repression against gay men.

Kleptobrotherhood | Rufabula Dear reader, the heading of this article contains a word that is not a term for today. But when new phenomena or concepts arise, they need verbal designations. And someone should call these novelties first, and then, when they are discussed by a wide range of people, this name gradually turns into a term. So, what is so new and when did it come about, that a new term was required? This new is the result of the degeneration of the Soviet party nomenclature at the time of the collapse of the USSR and the formation of the country in which we now live. The Soviet party nomenclature was more commonly called the system. The word system has passed in use and on the Russian daughter of the joint-nomenclature, but in general it is applicable to almost any power formations. For example, the tsarist regime of the Russian Empire could also be called a system, remember, at least, the gendarmerie. A new and not yet named in modern Russia is a system that is most closely related to the meaning of the word combination Russian partnomklatura. However, such a long name at the same time does not reflect all the features of the phenomenon under investigation. First, the modern Russian elite does not have the character of strict party membership of its participants. The second difference is even more fundamental. The Soviet partnomenclature, although it was just like the Russian system, was a parasitic layer of society, but it did not have a pronounced kleptomanian color and was strongly ideologized, even if only to the people. It was a strongly leftist, Bolshevik ideology, as a free interpretation of the theory of Karl Marx. The modern Russian government does not position any ideology as its own, only the government periodically publicly declares its intentions to stick to the liberal course in the economy. Although, in doing so, it actually comes in the opposite direction, actively pouring water on the mill of state capitalism. As a result, the Russian system in the eyes of citizens who are behind its perimeter is practically de-ideologized. As for the participants themselves, they certainly have an ideology. And this is the ideology of neo-feudalism. Very briefly and primitively, it can be characterized by such an inner conviction: you can get prosperity only by taking something away from someone.

Bear causes panic by invading closed nuclear submarine port of Vilyuchinsk A Western spy in disguise in this secret location? More likely, the beast came for the tasty fish caught here.

Russian jet intercepts US bombers over Baltic Sea The appearance of an American B-52 would not ease tensions between the West and Moscow, a Russian official says.


IW/IO/Cyber Reports


Inside RT and Sputnik: What is it like to work for Kremlin’s propaganda media? -Euromaidan Press | Several sources reported they had been asked to sign non-disparagement agreements facing a $50,000 fine if the signatory disparages RT at any time.

Falsehoods and free press: the importance of transparency in an age of fake news | WIRED UK The free world should never stop questioning, reporting and fighting the rising tide of online propaganda, says David Omand, former director of GCHQ

Falsehoods and free press: how to fight the tide of online propaganda – To Inform is to Influence The free world should never stop questioning, reporting and fighting the rising tide of online propaganda, says David Omand, former director of GCHQ By DAVID OMAND Friday 9 June 2017 Russian information operations are exercises in perception management, designed to create a new reality. This creates three kinds of harm to free societies – subversion of…

Chinese authorities busted an underground network selling iPhone users’ personal data – To Inform is to Influence Scammers sold $7.36 million worth of data by Nick Statt@nickstatt Jun 8, 2017, 1:18pm EDT Chinese authorities announced today that a network of scammers extracted data from Apple databases and sold it to Chinese black market vendors, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. This underground network consisted of dozens of employees of…


Ukraine Reports


Ukraine saying “final goodbye” to Russian empire – Poroshenko The words “back in the USSR” would only be heard in a Beatles song, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said while launching a symbolic “visa-free countdown timer” in Kyiv June 10, the president’s press service said. “This is a final “goodbye” to the Russian empire and the words “back in the USSR” will be heard only listening to Beatles,” Poroshenko said at a ceremony held outside the presidential administration headquarters. “We will never return to the Soviet Union because we, a proud and free democratic nation, are returning to the family of European nations. And I am proud that we have succeeded,” he said. “I am Ukrainian and I love freedom! This is what every Ukrainian feels today,” the Ukrainian president stressed, adding that Ukraine has been going to the day of the visa-free travel introduction for a long time, with its people working persistently to change the country. It will be Lithuania which will accept the first flight with a group of Ukrainian tourists and government officials within the framework of the entry into force of the visa-free travel, according to an announcement made during a joint press conference of Petro Poroshenko and his Lithuanian counterpart Dalia Grybauskaite in Kharkiv June 9.
Ukraine now more supportive of NATO than Visegrad EU countries -Euromaidan Press | A poll of residents of Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland (the “Visegrad Four”) released by the International Republican Institute (IRI) on 24 May 2017 revealed that the population of those countries have a waning commitment to NATO and the EU, tensions over identity issues, and are vulnerable to Russian influence. The poll found that a majority of respondents in all four countries either strongly or somewhat support neutrality towards both NATO and Russia (Slovakia: 73 percent; Czech Republic: 61 percent; Hungary: 58 percent; Poland: 53 percent).

Support for joining NATO at a historical high in Ukraine | Infographic -Euromaidan Press | On 8 June 2017, three days after Montenegro became the 29th NATO member, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted a bill setting NATO membership as Ukraine’s foreign policy objective. 276 MPs out of the needed 226 voted in favor, 25 were against, and 3 abstained. Less than 10 years ago, the choice for joining NATO was one of the least popular options, but now 44% of Ukrainians opt for NATO to secure the country’s national security.

What can Ukraine offer NATO? -Euromaidan Press | On 8 June 2017, the Ukrainian Parliament restored Ukraine’s course towards NATO membership. While most Ukrainians (44%) are sure that joining NATO is the best way Ukraine can achieve national security, Ukraine’s membership is still on the very distant horizon. We decided to take a look at what Ukraine can offer NATO with the help of an article written by the Institute of World Policy. Is Ukraine a recipient, or contributor to regional security? Recently, there have been speculations that Ukraine is becoming a source of insecurity that cannot contribute to the stability and security of the transatlantic region. Over the past few years, however, Ukraine proved that it is not only able to defend itself, but also willing to share its skills and knowledge with strategic partners. The goal of this memo is to open a discussion about qualitatively new added values for the Alliance that could complement the commonly declared advantages of Ukraine such as its unique geostrategic location, high defense expenditures, and economic potential. A anti-Russian protest at the NATO summit in Wales on 4 September 2014. Photo: Terry Brown

Ukraine restores course towards NATO membership -Euromaidan Press | On 8 June 2017, three days after Montenegro became the 29th NATO member, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted a bill setting NATO membership as Ukraine’s foreign policy objective. 276 MPs out of the needed 226 voted in favor, 25 were against, and 3 abstained. Parliament Speaker Andriy Parubiy, one of the authors of the bill, explained before the vote that the document will solidify “Ukraine’s main security course – NATO membership.” “Russian aggression against Ukraine, the annexation of a part of Ukrainian territory has set urgent targets before the Ukrainian state to ensure real national security. The experience of a number of countries neighboring Ukraine shows that in the current environment they consider the structures of collective security, which operate on principles of progressive democratic values, the most effective of which is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, as the most effective tool for ensuring security, territorial integrity, and sovereignty. The major expansion of the organization in recent years is a convincing confirmation of this,” the bill’s memorandum states.

How Ukraine can open its door to NATO -Euromaidan Press | On 8 June 2017, the Ukrainian Parliament restored Ukraine’s course towards NATO membership. While most Ukrainians (44%) are sure that joining NATO is the best way Ukraine can achieve national security, Ukraine’s membership is still on the very distant horizon. In the meantime, it would make sense to think about what contribution Ukraine could make to Euro-Atlantic security. Here is the opinion of Bruno Lete, who serves as a transatlantic fellow, security, and defense at The German Marshall Fund of the United States in Brussels, republished from the GMF’s site. Ukraine’s top priority needs to be its domestic policy. Success at home will determine the rest, including strengthening Ukraine’s partnership with NATO. To make a case that Kyiv is a reliable partner of the Alliance, it must first start to modernize all fields of government, military, and the private sector. Ukraine must continue to demonstrate to NATO, and itself, that it can carry out reform and fight corruption. If it cannot, Allies’ political willingness to invest in the NATO-Ukraine partnership will decline.

Grybauskaite: Russia’s continued aggression gives no grounds for sanctions lift Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite sees no reason to weaken European sanctions introduced against Russia over its aggression against Ukraine, that&rsquo;s according to her statement voiced during a joint press conference with President Poroshenko in Kharkiv Friday, Europeiska Pravda reported. News 10 June from UNIAN.

Lithuanian President Congratulates Ukraine on EU Visa-Free Travel – YouTube Lithuania’s President has congratulated Ukraine on its EU visa-free deal. Dalia Grybauskaitė came to Kharkiv to mark the occasion, as well as speak with Ukra…

Poroshenko praises idea of “Marshall Plan for Ukraine” | UNIAN Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declares the importance of implementing the long-term plan for supporting Ukraine, the so-called &quot;Marshall Plan for Ukraine&quot;, on the part of the country's European partners. News 10 June from UNIAN. “Separately, I want to note a new important initiative proposed by Lithuanian parliamentarians on the implementation of a new European assistance plan for Ukraine,” Poroshenko said at a joint press conference with the President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite in Kharkiv on Friday. Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/politics/1967314-poroshenko-praises-idea-of-marshall-plan-for-ukraine.html

Ukrainian journalist reported missing in occupied Donetsk, his identity revealed A journalist who has been living in the occupied city of Donetsk since the beginning of the Russian occupation of Ukraine's Donbas and whose articles have been published by Ukrainian media outlets under the pen name Stanislav Vasin went missing last week; his real name is Stanislav Aseyev, according to the Ukrainian online newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda. News 09 June from UNIAN.

No Elections in Ukraine’s Donbas Until Russia Withdraws Troops – YouTube Ukraine cannot be expected to make progress on the political aspects of the Minsk agreements without a lasting ceasefire in the east. That’s the key message …

Russian media forge more papers to blame Ukraine of downing MH17, make bad grammar mistakes -Euromaidan Press | In a botched propaganda stunt, Russian media once again presented forged documents on the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash in the war-torn Donbas in 2014. This time, the Russian outlets published fake “top secret” 2014 reports by the SBU (the Security Service of Ukraine). The documents, written in Ukrainian with bad spelling mistakes, mention the Ukrainian Air Force as responsible for shooting down the Malaysian Boeing. More fake documents On 22 May, the Russian online newspaper Sovershenno Sekretno (“Top Secret”) published its analysis of allegedly top secret documents of Ukraine’s Special Service. The authors didn’t disclose the origin of the documents, the analysis doesn’t include any verification of the format, contents, facts. The newspaper calls the published papers “documents of the Security Service of Ukraine on the conduct of a special operation to destroy the evidence of mass murder in the sky over the Donbas on July 17, 2014.”

After visiting Eurovision, most EU citizens want to see Ukraine part of EU -Euromaidan Press | A poll conducted by the Institute of World Policy during the duration of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv reveals that the majority of EU citizens who visited Ukraine for the contest now want to see Ukraine as a part of the European family even more. Additionally, 70% respondents said that Russia was responsible for the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. It appears that Ukraine had made a good impression on Eurovision visitors, 54% of whom visited Ukraine for the first time. While the majority (24%) of the respondents of the poll, 59% of whom were from the EU and 41% – from non-EU countries, said that war was their primary association with the country before visiting, now most (32%) have the association “the hospitality, wonderful positive people.” 92% of the respondents said they would like to return to Ukraine, and 47% noted that their expectations for visiting the country were exceeded. Only 10 respondents, or 1%, were disappointed with their visit. The visitors were optimistic about the future of Ukraine’s membership in the EU, with 54% of the guests stating that Ukraine would join the EU within the next 5 years. 19% believe that Ukraine will join the EU in 10 years, and 6% – in 20 years. Only 1% don’t see Ukraine in the EU (20% couldn’t answer).

Groysman hopes for continuation of successful cooperation with Britain Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman has congratulated head of the British government Theresa May on the formation of the new government.

Parubiy to visit U.S. on June 12-17 to discuss Ukraine’s integration into NATO Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andriy Parubiy expects that Ukraine’s integration into NATO will be among the main topics of his meeting with Speaker of the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress Paul Ryan, during his visit to the U.S. on June 12-17.

Foreign ministers of Lithuania and Sweden will visit Ukraine on June 13-15 The foreign ministers of Lithuania and Sweden, Linas Linkevicius and Margot Wallstrom, will visit Ukraine on June 13-15, the ZN.UA edition has reported.

Kyiv not ruling out introducing biometrics for Russian visitors to Ukraine Ukraine could introduce a requirement of biometric passports for Russians visitors, Iryna Gerashchenko, First Deputy Parliamentary Speaker, who represents Ukraine in the Trilateral Contact Group on Donbas, has said.

Ukrainian inspectors to visit Turkey on June 12-16 – Defense Ministry A group of Ukrainian inspectors will conduct checks on a number of international treaties in Turkey on June 12-16, according to the website of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.

Russia methodically destroys and removes cultural treasures from occupied Crimea | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press | Elina Sulyma, QHA Crimean News Agency Russia deliberately destroys the historical and cultural treasures on the peninsula and attempts to replace them with monuments to tyrants or to the so-called “polite men” [Russia’s military forces used by Putin to conduct the special operation to occupy and annex the peninsula in the winter-spring of 2014 – Editor].

Ukraine and France to film historical drama about French princess from Kyivan Rus -Euromaidan Press | “Anna of Kyiv” will be a historical film for a wide audience and will hit the big screen in 2019. The Ukrainian company Kinorob and the French Dadafilms have announced that they will film a historical drama about Anna of Kyiv, the French queen from Kyivan Rus, film.ua wrote. They plan to shoot the film during the summer-fall of 2018 in France and Ukraine. The film is expected to hit the big screen in 2019. Now, the creative team is finishing writing the scenario. Yves Angelo, a French filmmaker who was awarded the César Award for Best Cinematography three times, will be the feature’s director, and its operator will be Ukraine’s Serhiy Mykhalchuk. The plot of the film is based on the historical novel by the French writer Jacqueline Dauxois “Anna of Kyiv, Queen of France.” This is a story about the Kyivan princess Anna, the daughter of Yaroslav the Wise, who became the queen of France. After the marriage between King Henry and Anna, France experiences a time of flourishing. It is Anna that inspires the king to do right and great deeds. With the help of weapons and diplomacy, Henry and Anna defeat France’s enemies, expand their lands, and bring peace to them. The project’s producer Yehor Olesov told that the film will be implemented under the framework of a joint production agreement between Ukraine and France and that their main goal is to create a high-quality historical film for a wide audience, which is understandable to the viewer both in Ukraine, France, and other countries. “Also, the film will demonstrate to the general public the exceptional role played by the dynasty of Yaroslav the Wise in the formation of the statehood of France. The history of Princess Anna Yaroslavna can be a turning point for the revision of the geopolitical role of Ukraine over the past 1000 years, which is especially important in the conditions of Ukraine’s current return to Europe and struggle for its identity,” he told.

Not only Anna Yaroslavivna. Why do we allow russification of our history? Kiev studio Dovzhenko for the entire period of its existence has created only two feature films of the same period. This “Yaroslav the Wise” Gregory Darling and “The Legend of Princess Olga” George Illenko first – 1981, the second – in 1984 output. Of course, at the time the funds allocated from Moscow and Ukrainian studies were not given, or – almost did not give to shoot a historical film about Ukrainian same figures, such was the state policy in the USSR. You can also understand why the disintegration of the Union, we could not pull their own respective film projects with large budgets. But that is not the movie itself. At all levels in Ukraine has not delivered the work to promote their achievements and personalities of the past, not very far, not to mention the present. Da Gama around renaming Vatutin Prospect Avenue Shukhevych in Kiev has the same nature as the above-mentioned statement Putin. No change in ideological orientation in Ukraine is not even minimal information support. Instead, supporters of the “Russian World”, which should integrate Yaroslavivna Anna, Prince Vladimir or Mykola Hohol and thus deprive controversial, but nevertheless our Bandera and Shukhevych always have wide support. Ukrainians have not yet explained why the Germans claim to the throne and Russian territory because Russian queen had two hundred years of German origin. The French do not impinge on Russia because two hundred years French was the official language of the Russian nobility. But the Swedes could have more rights to Anna Yaroslavivna than the Russians, but do not declare them. In general, no one except Russia, not someone else’s pockets in all its forms. But nobody but Ukraine does not allow such things lower on the brakes. For though oburyuyemosya social networks, and still subconsciously put an equation mark between “n” and “our.”


Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports


Trump blames Qatar for funding terror President Trump is accusing Qatar of funding terrorism at a “very high level” and says it must stop now.

Al Jazeera media platforms under cyberattack | Qatar News | Al Jazeera Website and digital platforms of entire Doha-based network undergoing ‘systematic and continual hacking attempts’.

Al-Jazeera a target in Gulf confrontation with Qatar – The Washington Post The Arabic news network Al-Jazeera has been thrust into the center of the story as Qatar came under virtual siege by its Gulf neighbors, pressuring it to shut down the channel that has infuriated them with its coverage for 20 years.

Saudi Arabia Has Backed Qatar into a Corner | The National Interest The question isn’t whether Qatar will bow to regional pressure. It’s when, and how much.

Qatar vs. Saudi Arabia: How Iran and the Brotherhood Tore the Gulf Apart | The National Interest Washington should seek to ensure that Qatar ends its support once and for all for the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and other Sunni jihadists.

Qatar is a financier of terrorism. Why does the U.S. tolerate it? – LA Times Western leaders have turned a blind eye to Qatar’s abysmal human rights record at home and malevolent behavior abroad.

U.S. Should Protect Qatar From Arab Threats Saudi Arabia, Bahrain the UAE, and Egypt, fearful of democracy movements in their own societies, are blaming Qatar’s liberalizing and moderating endeavors in the region. The U.S., which has its most important military base in Qatar, should show the progressive emirate more support.

Turkey’s Erdogan Calls for Lifting of Qatar Blockade, Approves Troop Deployment | World News | US News US News is a recognized leader in college, grad school, hospital, mutual fund, and car rankings. Track elected officials, research health conditions, and find news you can use in politics, business, health, and education.

Russia’s Lavrov calls for talks to ease Qatar stand-off | Reuters Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov told Qatar on Saturday of its concern over Arab nations cutting ties with the Gulf state and called for talks to solve the crisis.

Tehran Terror Attacks Expose Rifts Within Iranian Establishment Appeals for unity answered with calls for revenge. Pledges of solidarity competing against vows to &quot;eliminate&quot; the culprits. The deadly twin terror attacks that rocked the Iranian capita…

Iranian Cleric’s Comments Likening Loosely Veiled Women To Prostitutes Spark Backlash Judging women by the degree to which they respect the compulsory hijab is nothing new in Iran. In the past, hard-liners have accused so-called &quot;badly veiled women&quot; of being responsibl…

Self-Proclaimed IS Commander From Kosovo Killed KACANIK, Kosovo — The self-proclaimed commander of ethnic Albanians fighting as part of the extremist group Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq has been killed in the Middle East, the leader of th…

Caterpillar Bulldozers Are Leading the Fight Against the Islamic State Armored bulldozers act as mobile fortresses against mines and suicide bombers.


DPRK / PRC Reports


As China withdraws, Russia advances: what’s up with North Korea? | This Week In Asia | South China Morning Post South Korea halts the deployment of THAAD and, along with Russia, reaches out to help the North economically, undermining Chinese sanctions and thwarting US efforts to contain Pyongyang

Kim Jong-un laughs as North Korean fighter jets practise bombing enemy targets CHILLING footage shows North Korean despot Kim Jong-un clapping and laughing while watching his fighter jets compete in an aerial war games.

The Aviationist » North Korea Conducts “Red Flag” Style Air Combat Simulation

This undated photo distributed on Friday, June 9, 2017, by the North Korean government, shows a test of a new type of cruise missile launch at an undisclosed location in North Korea. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service. North Korea said Friday it has test-launched a new type of cruise missile capable of striking U.S. and South Korean warships “at will,” as South Korea found a suspected North Korean drone near the tense border between the rivals. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

 

Kim Jong Un Guides Combat Flight Contest 2017 – YouTube© Korean Central Television (평양 6월 5일발 조선중앙통신) 조선로동당 위원장이시며 조선민주주의인민공화국 국무위원회 위원장이시며 조선인민군 최고사령관이신 우리 당과 국가,군대의 최고령도자 김정은동지께서 《조선인민군 항공 및 반항공군 비행지휘성원들의 전투비행술…

Kim Jong un Guides Combat Flight Contest – YouTube © Korean Central Television (평양 6월 5일발 조선중앙통신) 조선로동당 위원장이시며 조선민주주의인민공화국 국무위원회 위원장이시며 조선인민군 최고사령관이신 우리 당과 국가,군대의 최고령도자 김정은동지께서 《조선인민군 항공 및 반항공군 비행지휘성원들의 전투비행술…

경애하는 최고령도자 김정은동지께서《조선인민군 항공 및 반항공군 비행지휘성원들의 전투비행술경기대회-2017》을 지도하시였다 – YouTube © Korean Central Television (평양 6월 5일발 조선중앙통신) 조선로동당 위원장이시며 조선민주주의인민공화국 국무위원회 위원장이시며 조선인민군 최고사령관이신 우리 당과 국가,군대의 최고령도자 김정은동지께서 《조선인민군 항공 및 반항공군 비행지휘성원들의 전투비행술…

North Korea: Kim Jong-un laughs during latest fighter jet military display CHILLING new footage shows North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un clapping and laughing while watching his fighter jets compete in aerial war games.

North Korea says it has tested new anti-ship missile The missiles are the fourth new missile system North Korea has disclosed and tested this year, sending a defiant message that it will continue to pursue a weapons program that has rattled its neighbors and Washington.

North Korea Launched a Volley of Anti-Ship Missiles of Mysterious Origin The missiles were some of the most advanced weapons systems in Pyongyang’s arsenal.

Kim Jong Un Watches New Cruise Missile Test Firing – YouTube © Korean Central Television [Subtitles are Generated After a Few Minutes of Video Upload – Active and Select the Subtitles Icon from the Menu and Select your…

North Korea warns long-range missile test ‘not too far away’ | The Japan Times North Korea warned Saturday that it was “not too far away” from testing a long-range missile capable of hitting the continental U.S. amid an unprecedented

A Second Korean War? North Korea missiles could kill millions within minutes | Fox News When it comes to North Korea there is only one thing you need to know: Pyongyang could kill millions of people in South Korea or Japan within minutes. And in just a few years, that threat will spread to the U.S. homeland.

 

What do you do if a North Korean missile is coming at you, Japanese wonder – The Washington Post Local authorities are organizing evacuation drills in response to Kim Jong Un’s missile tests.

Chill, North Korean Nukes Aren’t Going to Trigger a Volcanic Eruption – Motherboard There’s plenty of other stuff to be scared about.

Top U.S. diplomat to visit S. Korea next week U.S. Under Secretary of State Thomas Shannon will visit South Korea next week for talks on the alliance between the two countries, North Korea and other issues, the State Department announced Friday.Shannon will be in Seoul from Tuesday to Thursday to “meet with senior Korean officials to discuss the U.S.-Korea Alliance and our shared global priorities, including our coordinated responses to the threat posed by the D…

China Breaks Promise, Starts Arming Its Fake “Islands” Beijing had said it would not militarize islands made of landfill.

Did India Miscalculate China’s Red Lines in Australia Snub? | The National Interest Chinese analysts have become less concerned about the prospects of an “Asian NATO” and more tolerant of regional multilateral-security activities.

Pakistan, India Join China And Russia In Security Group The leaders of China, Russia, and several former Soviet-bloc countries gathered in Kazakhstan as a regional security group expanded to include India and Pakistan. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping were on hand in Astana for the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on June 9. (Kazakh government video)


Foreign Policy Reports


Trump says US is committed to mutual support of NATO allies – The Washington Post President Donald Trump says the United States is committed to the mutual defense of NATO members, casting aside concerns that his failure to mention the commitment last month weakened the alliance.

Election live: Theresa May’s top aides Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill quit The PM’s closest advisers resign in the face of mounting criticism over their role in the Tories shambolic campaign.

Theresa May to ‘reflect’ after disastrous election result – CNN.com British Prime Minister Theresa May says she will take time to “reflect” on how to move forward after a surprise snap election result left the Conservative Party without a majority, and apologized to members of Parliament who lost their seats.

Britain Will Pay for Theresa May’s Election Gamble – The New York Times After humiliating losses, the prime minister will start Brexit talks with a zero credit rating.

Theresa May won’t survive long. Tory modernisers are already plotting | Gaby Hinsliff | Opinion | The Guardian The prime minister’s disaster is self-inflicted – and hubris, lack of vision and a bullying inner circle all played a part in it

Two thirds of Tory Party members believe Theresa May should resign after disastrous election results Almost two thirds of Conservative Party members believe Theresa May should resign and trigger a leadership contest as the Prime Minister looks to shore up her minority Government by appointing ministers to her new Cabinet today.

 

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