Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Russia / Strategy Media Update – 16 June 2017


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Russia’s self-inflicted MSM flagellation continues, with major MSM blowback from Putin’s call-in (multiple Choke on Coffee Warnings), and Buzzfeed and Times reports on Russian assassinations of Russian emigres in the UK. Ukrainians detain suspects in Voronenkov assassination. New US sanctions bill targets European political corruption by blocking the Nordstream-2 project, eliciting loud public complaints from the intended beneficiaries of Russian largesse, including Germany’s SDP – we can hope this provision in the bill is not diluted, but rather strengthened to target other channels of foreign political corruption in Europe (Europeans have been unable to solve this problem for themselves it appears). Rumer essay exposes some interesting Russian leadership perspectives that show Russia will remain a toxic adversary until it undergoes both internal regime change and major cultural changes. Most brazen Putin comment during annual phone-in was his labelling of Ukraine as  “the territories now called Ukraine”, which is possibly the first time he has publicly stated that the regime neither recognises nor accepts Ukraine’s right to exist as a nation / culture / state, or put differently, Russia’s view that Ukraine is a wayward province of Russia – this has been claimed to have been said in various meetings many times, but never as brazenly as this in public. This statement confirms that Ukraine will have to be prepared to fight off a Russian invasion and Russian subversion for as long as Putin holds power, and possibly much longer. Stone’s promotion of Putin producing MSM blowback.

Ten interesting reports on IW/IO/Cyber, and one exemplar of very polished propaganda. I concur with Harding’s commentary on the SBU proposal to criminalize distribution of enemy propaganda – important, but easy to do poorly, and hard to do well. Analysis of Russian exploitation of Yandexsearch engine (AKA “Russophone Google) is very good.

Ukraine’s Parubiy now in DC pleading for lethal military aid from the US – given the very high potential for dangerous high-risk behaviors by Putin this year, increasing Ukrainian capability to discourage further Russian offensive operations in Ukraine would be very good play by the Administration. A very active debate in the Ukrainian political space over the future re-integration of Donbass and Crimea, and the need to plan ahead for the possibility of a Russian withdrawal (following an internal collapse) – Chubarov’s comments are very good, and if Russia was unable to hold Donbass, it would also see a large scale exodus of local turncoats to Russia. A grotesque red-on-red report from Donbass, while artillery fires continue. Sad report on the exhumation of a mass grave of 1941 NKVD victims.


Qatar-Saud argument continues. Russia claiming possible kill of ISIS leader.

China claims major win with orbital quantum communications experiment, while the DPRK is reported to have impounded a Russian yacht in the Sea of Japan, biting the last hand to feed Pyongyang it would seem.

US pressures Cuba over human rights. EU offers Moldova 100M aid, and will easily outspend Russia.

Galeotti essay on “Steele-Trump Dossier” is very good and shows exactly the style of Moscow leadership rumor mill the regime uses to propagate toxic kompromat claims. Johnson essay on Soviet subversion of the US is a good primer.


Russia / Russophone Reports


Germany, Austria Object To Provision Of U.S. Senate’s Russian Sanctions Bill Germany and Austria strongly objected to a provision in Russian sanctions legislation approved by the Senate on June 15, saying it could hurt European businesses involved in a project to bring Russian natural gas supplies to Europe. The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly for new sanctions on key sectors of Russia’s economy and cementing into law existing sanctions on Russia over its aggression in Ukraine. The European nations said they oppose a provision in the legislation that enables the United States to impose sanctions on European firms involved in financing Russian energy export pipelines to Europe, including the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that is being built under the Baltic Sea to provide Russian gas to Germany, apparently because it poses a threat to Ukraine. The pipeline project was conceived by Russia and Germany as a way to avoid sending gas to Europe through an existing pipeline that runs through Ukraine, which has proved to be unreliable at times because of a long-running spat between Ukraine and Russia over the cost of gas and other contract terms.

U.S. Joint Chiefs Chairman Says Russia Undermining U.S. ‘Credibility’ To NATO The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff says Russia is &quot;each and every day&quot; undermining the credibility of the U.S. commitment to NATO and its ability to respond to the alliance. …

Putin’s Hidden Insurgency Tore Up Ukraine. Now It’s Coming for Your Inbox. | The Daily Beast Putin claimed ‘little green men’ in Crimea were pro-Russian locals. They were actually Russian forces laying groundwork for invasion—a playbook that’s taking over American media.

From Russia With Blood: 14 Suspected Hits On British Soil That The Government Ignored Lavish London mansions. A hand-painted Rolls-Royce. And eight dead friends. For the British fixer Scot Young, working for Vladimir Putin’s most vocal critic meant stunning perks – but also constant danger. His gruesome death is one of 14 that US spy agencies have linked to Russia – but the UK police shut down every last case. A bombshell cache of documents today reveals the full story of a ring of death on British soil that the government has ignored.

Alexander Perepilichnyy: Vladimir Putin ‘ordered killing’ of Russian whisteblower in Surrey | News | The Times & The Sunday Times The British government has been criticised by foreign security officials for continuing to treat the death of a Russian whistleblower as one resulting from nat

American spies believe Russian whistle blower was assassinated on ‘direct orders of Vladimir Putin’ – The i newspaper online iNews A Russian whistleblower found collapsed outside his home on a luxury Surrey estate is believed with “high confidence” by American intelligence officials to

Russian whistle-blower killed in Britain was murdered ‘on direct orders from Vladimir Putin’ It is reported that US spies are confident the Russian leader or someone close to him was behind the death

Ukrainian Police Arrest Suspects In Former Russian Lawmaker’s Killing KYIV — Ukrainian authorities say they have detained suspects linked to the assassination of former Russian lawmaker Denis Voronenkov. In a statement on June 16, the National Police said that &quo…

Eugene Rumer | Russia and the West in a New Standoff – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Writing in 2016 in the leading Russian foreign affairs journal Russia in Global Affairs, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov argued that the West had always been a source of existential threat to Russia in a way that the East had never been. Western Europe, Lavrov wrote, had always tried to impose its will and way of life on Russia and deny the Russian people their identity. By comparison, the Mongols—the Golden Horde—were on the whole tolerant and did not deny Russia the right to have its own faith and determine its own fate.

Even direct costs of Putin’s aggression unsustainable, Pashkov says | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press | Mercenaries from the 9th Infantry Regiment of Russia’s hybrid military force in the Donbas captured in firefight on June 27, 2016 being interrogated by the Ukrainian Security Service. They stated that they were commanded by officers from the regular Russian army and that a mercenary private’s monthly pay in their unit is 15000 rubles or about $250 U.S. dollars. (Image: video screen capture)

Chechens Describe Horrors of Anti-LGBT Pogroms – YouTube Two men from Chechnya have provided accounts of police torture for being homosexual. The examples reinforce reports in April by Novaya Gazeta that 100 gay or…


Vladimir Putin refers to ‘territories now called Ukraine’ in ominous comments during annual phone-in | The Independent Vladimir Putin has referred to “the territories which now belong to Ukraine” in ominous comments during his annual phone-in. The Russian President made several remarks about Ukraine, recent anti-government protests and his country’s relations with the United States, during A Direct Line With Putin. “I hope at some time this period in the life and history of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people will come to an end,” Mr Putin said. 

Vladimir Putin describes Ukraine as ‘the territories now called Ukraine’ – WorldNews Vladimir Putin has referred to “the territories which now belong to Ukraine” in ominousPutin describes

Ukraine as ‘the territories now called Ukraine’ – World News Report – EIN News Vladimir Putin has referred to “the territories which now belong to Ukraine” in ominous comments during his annual phone-in. The Russian President made several remarks about Ukraine, recent anti-government protests and his country’s relations with the United States, during A Direct Line With Putin. “I hope at some time this period in the life and history of …

Vladimir Putin describes Ukraine as ‘the territories now called Ukraine’ | FXNCC – Vladimir Putin has referred to “the territories which now belong to Ukraine” in ominous comments during his annual phone-in. The Russian President made sev..

Independent: Putin describes Ukraine as ‘the territories now called Ukraine’ | KyivPost Vladimir Putin has referred to “the territories which now belong to Ukraine” in ominous comments during his annual phone-in. The Russian President made several remarks about Ukraine, recent anti-government protests and his country’s relations with the United States, during A Direct Line With Putin.

As Ukraine Says ‘Farewell Unwashed Russia,’ Putin Says Take Care In ‘Gay’ Europe MOSCOW — When Ukraine was finally granted visa-free travel to the European Union last week, President Petro Poroshenko hailed it as a &quot;final break&quot; with the &quot;Russian Empire,&quot…

Putin hails Poroshenko for knowledge of Russian literature Russian President Vladimir Putin has hailed Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko, who recently quoted the verse &quot;Forever you, the unwashed Russia!&quot; attributed to the 19th century Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov, for knowing classical Russian literature. News 16 June from UNIAN.

Putin: Russia ‘Has Many Friends in Ukraine’ Moscow is trying not to interfere in the domestic political processes in Ukraine, President Putin said. Russia has a lot of friends in the country.Putin

Takes Questions from Russians, Little Regard to Protests – YouTube Russian President Vladimir Putin has hosted an annual TV program. _ Follow UATV English: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UATVEN Twitter: https://twitter.cThe Power Vertical: Putin Has No Story To Tell (Transcript)Vladimir Putin has always been a very good storyteller. First he told a story about how he was the man who restored order, saved Russia from the chaos of the nineties, battled the oligarchs, and brought unprecedented prosperity. Never mind that Putin benefited handsomely from the chaos of the nineties and was busy creating his own oligarchy to replace the one he vanquished. People bought the story anyway, and enough were content to trade their political freedom for stability and prosperity. And when that story ran its course, and the people started getting restless, Putin spun a new tale. He annexed Crimea, invaded the Donbas, menaced the West, and told Russians that they were a mighty great power that was reclaiming its pride of place in the world. This new story was a big hit. Russians appeared willing to trade political freedom and prosperity for the promise of empire. Putin’s popularity soared and he looked invincible. But the euphoria from Putin’s Crimea drug finally appears to be wearing off. And, if one thing was clear from Putin’s lackluster live call-in program yesterday, it was this: For the first time, it seems that the great storyteller has run out of good stories to tell the Russian people. And that puts us in uncharted territory as Russia enters a volatile political season. We may be about to see Putin without a legitimizing myth. We may be about to get our first look at the emperor without any clothes.

The Morning Vertical, June 16, 2017 ON MY MIND The choreographed televised spectacle versus the defiance of the street. The master of the universe versus the maverick revolutionary. Vladimir Putin versus Aleksei Navalny. Welcome to the battle for Russia’s future. Putin is saying he’s making Russia great again. And Navalny is saying we can do much better than this. On this week’s Power Vertical Podcast, we look back at the optics of this past week, which appear to be a microcosm of the battle ahead. It will be a test of wills, a contest of images, and a competition of narratives. Joining me will be co-host Mark Galeotti, a senior research fellow at the Institute of International Relations in Prague, a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, and author of the blog In Moscow’s Shadows; and Moscow-based journalist and playwright Natalia Antonova, an editor at OpenDemocracy-Russia. Also on the Podcast, Mark, Natalia, and I will discuss Russia’s youth rebellion and the teenagers who are taking on the Kremlin. It should be a good show, so be sure to tune in later today!

On TV, Putin Plays the Role He Likes Best: Russia’s Mr. Fix-It – The New York Times In his lengthy annual Q.-and-A. session on state television, President Vladimir V. Putin fielded questions mostly from aggrieved Russians.

Has Russia Grown Weary Of Putin’s Phone-In? Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to have fine-tuned the art of live stagecraft over the years in his annual call-in show. But this year's Direct Line program may have been the first i…

Putin Interviews Are Always Pointless – Bloomberg I can’t recall a single one over 16 years in which he revealed anything accidentally or under pressure.

Putin Peppered with Tough Questions During Annual Show Jabs mar otherwise ‘rehearsed’ call-in program on Russian president’s policies

Vladimir Putin Accuses U.S. of Backing ‘Terrorists’ in Chechnya Moscow learned a lesson of the U.S. double standard on “terrorism,” Putin said in Oliver Stone’s four-hour film of interviews with the Russian president.

Vladimir Putin issues threat ‘North Korea and US’ in Russian Q&A | Daily Star VLADIMIR PUTIN sent a stark warning to his enemies in a revealing interview.

‘Too Long On Your Throne’: Was Putin’s Big Phone-In Show Massively Trolled? MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin's annual phone-in marathon was shaping up to be the carefully choreographed affair that Russians are accustomed to, until a string of brazenly defiant question…

Meduza in English on Twitter: “If you’re a Russian young person, this exchange may have been the most important and revealing in Putin’s entire 4-hour-long telethon today. https://t.co/Ae2Nm4WOQt”

Things of which Putin chose to remain silent – News about politics | UNIAN Communication with Russian citizens, or rather, Vladimir Putin’s staged solo performance, is primarily aimed at “processing” the minds of Russian voters ahead of the 2018 presidential elections. Therefore, it is not at all surprising that too many questions just could not be voiced. But we can try to fill this gap a little, by collecting a few topics that seemed to be inconvenient for Putin or those he chose to “not notice” or ignore. “We will address this one for sure.” Putin opted for this phrase a lot when answering the questions asked by Russian citizens during his “Direct Line” Q&A on June 15. Those who wished to “bow and ask their Tsar” were probably satisfied with the several-hour “communication”, Putin’s traditional “gopnik” [street thug]-style jokes and petty claims that Russia is stronger than ever and is just about ready to win on all fronts. Of course, it’s sad that some 13.5% of Russians trying to survive under poverty line may not live to see Russia great again, but the situation is recoverable since Russian economy is re-emerging from crisis thanks to the “wise leader,” and – you do remember, right? – it was all much worse in the 90’s, and we’ve made it somehow anyway… At the same time, it all looked like a poorly-directed, staged act. Even more so, against the background of live streams from shabby barracks and trailers, where Russians still live in the 21st century and where, it seems, it was only due to the arrival of the TV crews that the utility services finally managed to remove fecal stalactites from basements. At the same time, in addition to utility issues, low salaries and pensions (which Putin says causes indignation as it is “nonsense” and “gibberish”, and which he will personally address) as well as high prices (even import substitution are of no help), Russians were traditionally interested in issues related to gays in Europe, knowledge of Russian literature by the Ukrainian president and, in general, the establishment of a new world order where Russia would be one of the major geopolitical players. It turned out that instead of specific recipes by the Russian president, who has amassed all power in the country, on how Russians should survive with their beggarly salaries, gravely poor utility services, healthcare, and education, and the lack of an adequate law enforcement and judicial systems, Vladimir Putin spoke about growing production, restoration of the “missile industry, aircraft construction, radio electronics, and heavy engineering,” raised wheat exports, and the search for new markets for Russian meat in China. Therefore, no matter how much Putin sneers at allegations about staged questions, the latter were in the main focus of the whole address. For example, the father of a rookie conscript, who quite by chance was at that moment taking a pledge of allegiance somewhere at his military base, was not interested in whether his son would be deployed to die in the Ukrainian Donbas or Middle East, instead asking the president what “lessons” Russia’s armed forces have learned from their Syrian campaign. Putin’s answer was: “In Syria, we tried out in combat our latest arms systems… This is a very valuable experience.” But, no matter how hard the Russian Federation tries to “establish a peaceful process for the conflict settlement,” it does incur losses in Syria. But Vladimir Putin preferred to evade this topic. Similarly, the president of the Russian Federation eluded the answer about Russian opposition and protests. Not a word has been said about the recent rallies of truckers who had declared an all-Russian strike back in March, or thousands of detainees in Moscow and St. Petersburg protests this Monday. Probably, they all just don’t exist in Vladimir Putin’s world. At the same time, the Russian president believes that the opposition, which “speculates on problems,” has no right to dialogue with the authorities. He suggests that it is only possible to speak with those who “offer solutions.” He didn’t say though, whether such people exist and who they are. Putin chose the same style when addressing the questions about “kompromat,” the discrediting and compromising material in the media and internet in relation to Russian officials. The hint at Navalny’s prominent investigative report targeting Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is obvious. But the Russia president stated that this could be a dirty media spin, of which there are plenty these days. Moreover, “the internet is often used for political squabbles.” Therefore, any information needs to be verified “and final conclusions have to be made only on based on objective data”. In other words, all complaints by Russian citizens against corrupt officials can as well go down the drain… If there is an untouchable prime minister, “Dimon”, then the others shouldn’t be afraid of any allegations either. It seems that another painful issue for Putin is LGBT. It is not for the first time that the president of the Russian Federation tries to shame this topic, grimacing at the word “gay.” Putin even said Ukraine needs to be cautious with EU visa liberalization, because “Europe has more gays than we do.” “He better not relax. He should watch out,” Putin said, addressing Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, when commenting on his earlier visa-free speech. “We hold nothing against you,” Putin added to gay people, apparently considering it very witty. “Good luck to you, especially with the ‘rookies’,” he said, which was followed by a good laugh from the audience. And, obviously, Putin liked this kind of reaction of the Russian public. It’s a shame though that at the same time the Russian president forgot to mention how exactly gay people are being prosecuted in Chechnya and explain to the Russians how come the LGBT refugees from Grozny started surfacing in Moscow. Of course, it’s much easier to have a laugh at this “European phenomenon,” and keep terminating Russian members of LGBT community, pretending that they simply do not exist in Russia.

Vladimir Putin Trolls James Comey Over ‘Strange’ Memo Leak “We would be ready to offer political asylum to Comey if he’s persecuted in the U.S.

‘All this circus’: Putin takes heat from broke, angry Russians in live call-in show  – The Washington Post The Kremlin’s annual “Direct Line” gave citizens a chance to appeal directly to their president.

How Vladimir Putin Uses Dissent To Tighten His Grip On Power Monday’s arrests are just the latest of a series of anti-government crackdowns.

Putin Emphasizes The Positive In Marathon Question-And-Answer Show In his last scheduled televised question-and-answer session with the public before Russia's next presidential election in March 2018, President Vladimir Putin sought to convey confidence an…

Putin: Israel’s Sharon warned me against trusting anyone in Middle East – Israel News – Jerusalem Post Vladimir Putin reveals all in a new Showtime documentary airing this week.

Russian police accidentally arrest only Vladimir Putin supporter in crowd of anti-Putin demonstrators | The Independent A Vladimir Putin supporter was dragged away by police at a protest in Moscow despite expressing his support for the Russian leader. 

Hello President Putin, It’s Arizona Calling! American Had ‘No Idea’ Russian Leader Would Take His Question Sprinkled through the four-hour spectacle that President Vladimir Putin's nationally televised call-in show was this year were the usual bread-and-butter questions from Russians: about potholes…

Putin angrily denounces ‘anti-Russian hysteria’ in U.S. | The Ukrainian Weekly At the annual St. Petersburg Economic Forum on June 1-3, President Vladimir Putin repeatedly rejected accusations of Russian covert meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election (see Eurasia Daily Monitor, June 5). Mr. Putin defended the Russian ambassador in Washington, Sergey Kislyak, who did apparently meet with different members of President Donald Trump’s team during the election campaign and the transition period. According to the Russian president, Mr. Kislyak was simply doing his job as an ambassador. “Are you totally out of your mind?” seethed Mr. Putin, “There is zero evidence [of wrongdoing]. This is some kind of hysteria. You [Americans] cannot stop. Maybe you need some pills? Does anybody have any pills?” (Kremlin.ru, June 2). Mr. Putin seemed genuinely angry and frustrated that the election-related scandals in the U.S. over possible Russian meddling continue to drag on with no apparent end in sight. After Trump’s election, hopes were high in Moscow that bilateral relations could improve. Mr. Trump boasted that he would strike some important deals with Mr. Putin, and Moscow seemed ready to bargain in earnest. But now, according to Mr. Putin, internal U.S. infighting has dramatically overshadowed international issues. Mr. Putin expressed frustration that Mr. Trump’s domestic opponents have hijacked the show and are selfishly exploiting the Russian election meddling inquiry. It turns out that Mr. Putin does indeed have a serious grievance: Leaks from sources in Washington and Moscow indicate there was in fact momentum to swiftly move to rebuild relations and make deals that would have granted Russia much-desired sanction relief.

Stephen Colbert and Oliver Stone spar over Vladimir Putin – LA Times “Let’s talk about Vladimir Putin.”And thus began what ultimately became a sometimes tense conversation between Stephen Colbert and Oliv…

Oliver Stone claims Vladimir Putin has been ‘insulted and abused’ in tense Colbert interview | The Independent Oliver Stone’s controversial new four-part documentary The Putin Interviews has solidified its infamy thanks to the director’s tense appearance on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show. 

Oliver Stone: ‘Shocked’ by Intelligence Agencies’ Hostility Toward Trump | Fox News Insider Oliver Stone joined Tucker Carlson to discuss his new four-hour documentary on Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russia’s alleged meddling in the U.S. presidential election, and intelligence agencies’ “hostility” toward President Donald Trump.


IW/IO/Cyber Reports


SBU suggests criminal liability for enemy propaganda in Ukraine’s media – To Inform is to Influence This is a noble effort, very necessary, but fraught with many dangers.  First, what is propaganda?  I have had deep, detailed, and sometimes heated discussions with a British expert about the definition of propaganda. Dr. Emma Briant gives perhaps, the best current definition for propaganda in her excellent book “Propaganda and Counter-Terrorism”, but I believe…

Sergey Sukhankin | Yandex: Tool of Russian Disinformation and Cyber Operations in Ukraine – Jamestown In terms of the challenges to Ukrainian information and cyber security from Russian IT programs and software, Yandex may pose the greatest threat. Yandex has become the fourth largest online search tool in the world and enjoys unparalleled popularity in the post-Soviet space, with populations in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan being the main users. Multiple reports have alleged that the Russian special and intelligence services routinely use Yandex to “manipulate the collective and individual conscious of Ukrainian citizens” (Sprotyv.info, May 29). Reportedly, this is accomplished by implementing search tools and mechanisms that aim to prioritize anti-Ukrainian and anti-Western online content to Yandex’s Ukrainian-based users. Also, it has been argued that private Yandex e-mail accounts and other data passing through Yandex-offered web services are monitored and actively used by the FSB and Russian hackers to design effective cyber attacks against “critical infrastructure, public institutions and individuals.” Indeed, the Kremlin has been investing heavily in putting the domestic Internet sphere (Runet) under direct government control and is attempting to subjugate the Russian IT and software industry to its own interests. The infamous “Shaltay Boltay affair” that made public a large tranche of e-mails allegedly belonging to Vladislav Surkov—the architect of the “Russian Spring”—explicitly showed the true level of dependence of the entire Russian IT industry on the FSB (see EDM, February 9). Also, recent remarks by President Vladimir Putin, comparing Russian hackers to artists and true patriots (RT, June 1), reveals the apparent attitude of the authorities in Moscow toward cyber crimes committed in the name of the Russian state. In April, an alliance of Ukrainian independent journalists and investigators outlined the main reasons why Russian IT and software products (especially Yandex) are a dangerous weapon in the hands of Moscow. These can be summarized in three key points

America’s answer to Russian propaganda TV – To Inform is to Influence This is a start. A small start, but it is the first tiny baby step towards fully countering the massive Russian propaganda machine. It is not nearly enough, by no means, but it indicates a step in the right direction. </end editorial> Current Time broadcasts in Russian from Capitol Hill Jun 15th 2017| WASHINGTON, DC…

Russian Inform And Influence Operations On Public Opinion – To Inform is to Influence A trusted expert source sent this today.  It explains how the Russians are using technology to influence public opinion.  Our https://digital.report  project secured an interview with one of the companies that provides the Russian government with their cyber warfare capabilities, on the information operations side. You can read the  interview here: https://digital.report/andrey-masalovich-informatsiyu-nado-vpryiskivat-tolko-v-te-mozgi-kotoryie-ee-gotovyi-vosprinyat/ It’s  in Russian,…

Russia’s cyber trolls attack online as NATO troops gather in Latvia – To Inform is to Influence Jeff Lagerquist, CTVNews.ca Published Tuesday, June 13, 2017 10:00PM EDT More Canadian troops will arrive in Latvia next week, fulfilling Ottawa’s commitment of 450 personnel to the multinational battle group tasked with deterring any potential military action by Russia. While the show of NATO-led “hard power” may convince the former Soviet superpower to respect its…

70 percent of U.S. Cyber Command force teams now ‘fully operational’ – To Inform is to Influence Patrick Howell O’Neill JUN 14, 2017 | CYBERSCOOP Eight months after all 133 of U.S. Cyber Command’s Cyber Mission Force teams reached initial operating capability, 70 percent of the force’s teams are “fully operational capable,” the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff testified on Tuesday before the House Armed Services Committee. “They’ve had all the manning,…

Cyber Power Potential of the Army’s Reserve Component – To Inform is to Influence Cyber Power Potential of the Army’s Reserve Component by Isaac R. Porche III, Caolionn O’Connell, John S. Davis II, Bradley Wilson, Chad C. Serena, Tracy C. McCausland, Erin-Elizabeth Johnson, Brian D. Wisniewski, Michael Vasseur DOWNLOAD EBOOK FOR FREE Full Document Format File Size Notes PDF file 1.8 MB Technical Details » Research Synopsis Format File…

Private Sector Cyber Defense: Can Active Measures Help Stabilize Cyberspace? – To Inform is to Influence WYATT HOFFMAN,  ARIEL (ELI) LEVITE Faced with limited capacity and resources, governments need to develop a complementary, legitimate space for private sector active cyber defense. Published June 14, 2017 Resources Full Text Brief Print Page Add a comment Related Topics Americas United States Defense and Security Foreign Policy Cyberspace Technology The cyber revolution and ever-growing transfer…

Why the U.S. is struggling with the digital war on ISIS – To Inform is to Influence WRITTEN BY Chris Bing JUN 14, 2017 | CYBERSCOOP The U.S. military’s reported inability to effectively “drop cyber bombs”on the Islamic State is raising new questions about the military’s existing “cyberweapons arsenal,” a loosely defined collage of digital warfare capabilities shrouded in secrecy. Computer network attacks have been conducted by operators within the National Security Agency and U.S.…

The Un-Mighty American Pen: Why the United States Struggles in the Information Environment – Modern War Institute

Three Years After Revolution, Ukraine Marred in Treason, Corruption | Observer [Propaganda] Only 1.9 percent of Ukrainians trust President Petro Poroshenko.


Ukraine Reports


Pentagon Considering Lethal Aid to Ukrainian Military – YouTube The Pentagon is discussing the authorization of lethal weapons to Ukraine. The issue remains open according to Andrii Parubii the Speaker of the Ukrainian Pa…

Parubiy hopes for Washington’s decision on weapon provision to Ukraine by year-end – 16.06.2017 12:30 — Ukrinform News 16.06.2017 12:30. Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andriy Parubiy, who is on a visit to Washington, hopes that the U.S. administration will decide on the provision of defensive weapons to Ukraine before the end of this year, which can be either positive or negative.

U.S. ready to support alternative to Minsk accords | UNIAN “The parties, if they were to come to some sort of an agreement on their own through some sort of different mechanism, and those parties could adhere to it and agree to it and it would be successful, I think that would be something that we would be open to supporting that,” Nauert said at a press briefing on June 15. “I would say overall, our objective on that matter remains the same. The objective is peace. We are not seeing that happen. We have some numbers, the United Nations has some numbers and some statistics about how the number of civilian deaths are up. We remain very concerned about the situation there,” she said. Read also Poroshenko to table Donbas reintegration bill in parliament soon – lawmaker As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that the United States was ready to continue and even toughen sanctions against Russia in case of its non-fulfillment of the Minsk agreements. “We are in constant dialogue with our American partners, and the U.S. is constantly present at Normandy format meetings at the ambassadorial level and has full information and coordination,” Poroshenko said.

U.S. might support alternate format for Donbas conflict settlement other than Minsk agreements, – Department of State 16.06.17 11:31 – U.S. might support alternate format for Donbas conflict settlement other than Minsk agreements, – Department of State However, the U.S. remains committed to the Minsk agreements and continues to call upon the parties to honor those commitments. View news.

Crimea to be purged after de-occupation, 200,000 persons have to leave, – Chubarov 16.06.17 14:22 – Head of Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars, president of World Crimean Tatar Congress, MP Refat Chubarov is certain Crimea will return from Russian occupation to Ukraine’s control. People who moved to the peninsula after its annexation by the Russian Federation will have to leave, Chubarov said on air of a Ukrainian TV channel on Thursday evening, Censor.NET reports citing Interfax-Ukraine. “It will be a ‘purge’ of the peninsula… All those who arrived in Crimea after Feb. 20, 2014, will have to leave, regardless of their motives… It’s a minimum of 200,000 people, including military, prosecutor’s office, FSB, and Russian police. This means 200,000 people have to leave with the last Russian soldier,” Chubarov said. He added that people who betrayed Ukraine also need to go, but they will do it on their own. “They will be the first to flee, when the soldiers are still there, all those goblins who betrayed Ukraine, the Crimean land, those who were killing the Crimean Tatars. They will not stay as they will not be spared,” Chubarov added. The politician added that the relocation should not be forced. “It’s not about kicking thousands of people out like Stalin did,” the head of the Mejlis said.

Human rights violations in Crimea to be investigated as war crimes -Euromaidan Press | From now on, Ukrainian prosecutors will consider offenses against life and the rights of their fellow citizens in Russian-occupied Crimea as crimes under international humanitarian law. The cases of kidnapping, murder, persecution, torture, illegal detention and forced transportation to Russia will be investigated under Article 438 (violation of the internationally recognized laws and customs of war) of the Ukrainian Criminal Code. The Prosecutor of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea Giunduz Mamedov, whose office has been operating in mainland Ukraine since the annexation of the peninsula, has confirmed recently that a substantial part of violations committed by the occupation authorities will be regarded as war crimes in view of the 1949 Geneva Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Earlier in November 2016, the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) noted in its report that the situation in Crimea since the deployment of the members of Russian armed forces there at the end of February 2014 “amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.” The law of international armed conflict, the report went on, continued to apply after the formal act of annexation “to the extent that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol factually amounts to an on-going state of occupation.”

Ukraine looking into Croatia’s experience for Donbas de-occupation purposes, – PM Hroisman 16.06.17 12:22 – Ukraine looking into Croatia’s experience for Donbas de-occupation purposes, – PM Hroisman Ukraine will use the experience of Croatia in the process of reintegration of the Donbas. View news.

Ukraine reports 50 enemy attacks, 1 KIA in last day | UNIAN Russia's hybrid military forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in Donbas 50 times in the past 24 hours, with one Ukrainian soldier reported as killed in action (KIA), according to the press service of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters. News 16 June from UNIAN.

Luhanska power plant in Donbas comes under mortar fire | UNIAN The largest private energy holding DTEK's Luhanska thermal power plant (TPP) in the war-torn Ukrainian-controlled town of Schastia in Luhansk region came under mortar fire late on June 15, according to DTEK Energo's press service. News 16 June from UNIAN.

Ukrainian soldier killed by militant sniper this morning, – Luhansk authorities 16.06.17 14:48 – Ukrainian soldier killed by militant sniper this morning, – Luhansk authorities This morning, June 16, 2017, a Ukrainian Armed Forces fighter died due to a fatal wound by an enemy sniper in Novotoshkivka village, Novoaidar district of the Luhansk region. View news.

“Intensity is permanent. When militants act blatantly, we open fire to retaliate,” – Ukraine Armed Forces fighters in Shyrokyne. VIDEO 16.06.17 15:16 – Intensity is permanent. When militants act blatantly, we open fire to retaliate, – Ukraine Armed Forces fighters in Shyrokyne. VIDEO Russian militants shell positions of Ukraine’s Army fighters in Shyrokyne with all available weapons, including those banned by Minsk agreements. View video news.

“Russia will do its best to support Donbas residents, regardless of external factors,” – Putin 15.06.17 19:13 – Russia will do its best to support Donbas residents, regardless of external factors, – Putin Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow would do its best to minimize the damage inflicted by military aggression of Russia in the Donbas. View news.

New “Somali” battalion chief shot in legs in brawl with “DPR” leader – media A conflict arose between leader of the self-proclaimed &quot;Donetsk People's Republic&quot; (&quot;DPR&quot;) Alexander Zakharchenko and new &quot;commander&quot; of the &quot;Somali&quot; battalion Yegor Volchkov, nom de guerre &quot;Synok&quot; (&quot;Son&quot;), as a result of which the new chief was shot in the legs, according to media reports. News 15 June from UNIAN.

Abducted in Donbas – war news | UNIAN The number of Ukrainian prisoners of the Kremlin has steadily been growing both in&nbsp;the territory of the Russian Federation and in the Russia-occupied areas of Ukraine. And while the negotiators in Minsk continue their efforts to coordinate the number of people the parties are willing to exchange, pro-Russian militants from &ldquo;DPR&rdquo; and &ldquo;LPR&rdquo; are filling throwing more hostages into their dungeons. News 14 June from UNIAN.

Gerashchenko: 129 Ukrainians held captive in Donbas – 16.06.2017 15:00 — Ukrinform News 16.06.2017 15:00. The number of hostages, citizens of Ukraine held&nbsp;captive&nbsp;by militants in Donbas, has increased and already amounts to 129 people.

About 2,700 Ukrainian soldiers killed in Donbas war – Def. Ministry The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has announced the death toll of the Armed Forces of Ukraine since the beginning of the war in Donbas in 2014, according to an UNIAN correspondent. News 16 June from UNIAN.

Turchynov, Grant discuss transition of Ukraine to NATO standards Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov held a meeting with NATO Deputy Secretary General Camille Grand to discuss cooperation with NATO member countries in the military-technical sphere and cyber security, as well as the transition to NATO standards of Ukraine's security and defense sector, in particular, its military and industrial complex. News 15 June from UNIAN.

Ukraine’s NSDC Secretary meets with NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defense Investment – 16.06.2017 09:55 — Ukrinform News 16.06.2017 09:55. Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov held a meeting with NATO Assistant Secretary General Camille Grand.

Kyiv court to consider Yanukovych treason case on its merits on June 26 Kyiv's Obolonskiy district court has scheduled hearings on former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's treason case on its merits for June 26, according to an UNIAN correspondent. News 16 June from UNIAN.

Kyiv court pledges security for Yanukovych in Ukraine | UNIAN Kyiv's Obolonskiy district court will provide security for ousted ex-President Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine if his defense applies for this, according to the news portal Ukrayinska Pravda. News 16 June from UNIAN.

Preliminary Stage Of Yanukovych’s Trial Resumes In Kyiv KYIV — A court in Kyiv has resumed hearings in the in-absentia treason trial of former President Viktor Yanukovych. Yanukovych's lawyer Vitaliy Serdyuk again asked Judge Vladyslav Devyatko t…

Trial over fugitive Ukrainian President Yanukovych. Notes of proceedings 16.06.17 09:43 – Trial over fugitive Ukrainian President Yanukovych. Notes of proceedings On June 16, Obolonskyi district court of Kyiv will held another preparation trial in absentia over former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, accused of high treason by the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine. View news.

Two Russians, Navalny Party Members, Seek Political Asylum In Ukraine Two Russian opposition figures from Aleksei Navalny's party asked for political asylum at the Ukrainian border on June 15, Ukraine's Border Guard Service said. &quot;Men arrived at th…

Three years into war, Ukrainians more positive toward aggressor than vice versa -Euromaidan Press | Three years into the de facto war of Russia against Ukraine, the overall attitudes of Ukrainians towards Russia, the aggressor country, is better than the overall attitudes of Russians towards Ukrainians, the country which is being attacked. These are the findings of a joint project by the Levada-Center and KIIS (Kyiv International Institute of Sociology) to monitor the mutual attitudes of Ukrainians and Russians towards each others’ countries. According to its results, in December 2016, 54% of Russians felt negatively towards Ukraine and 47% of Ukrainians felt negatively towards Russia. Before Euromaidan, Russia’s occupation of Crimea, and covert war in Donbas, up to 95% of Ukrainians experienced positive attitudes towards Russia, and up to 74% of Russians felt positive towards Ukraine. Relations between the two countries flipped after the occupation of Crimea in March 2014 and continue to stay low, although, paradoxically, Ukrainians are of a better opinion towards Russia than Russians towards Ukraine.

Lithuania and Sweden Support Ukraine – YouTube Lithuania and Sweden stand with Ukraine! President Petro Poroshenko thanked the heads of the Foreign Ministries of those countries for supporting the indepen…

Ukraine president, Swedish and Lithuanian foreign ministers discussed Donbas situation. PHOTO 15.06.17 17:26 – Ukraine president, Swedish and Lithuanian foreign ministers discussed Donbas situation. PHOTO President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko held a meeting with Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania and Sweden, Mr. Linas Linkevičius and Ms. Margot Wallström. View photo news.

Ukraine aims to become ‘strong chain’ in modern Silk Road – media Ukraine targets to become a &quot;strong chain&quot; in the China-proposed modern Silk Road through building economic and logistic links between Asia and Europe, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Gennady Zubko said on Thursday, according to China Daily. News 16 June from UNIAN.

Andriy Kobolyev | When Winning the War Isn’t Enough Since Russia’s military aggression began in 2014, I have been asking myself what Ukraine must do to win. There is no simple answer, but we cannot defeat Ukraine’s external enemy until we have overcome the enemy within, which is corruption. And Ukraine is losing this internal battle. I am convinced that a zero-tolerance approach at all levels is the only way to defeat corruption. Zero means no exceptions, and the fight needs to begin at the top. Over the past three years as CEO of Naftogaz, I have encountered levels of corruption that I could not have previously imagined. Zero tolerance to corruption has become a pragmatic survival strategy for Naftogaz since I took over in April 2014. In three years, we have turned the company around from sucking up twenty-five percent of the state budget ($5.6 billion net loss) in 2014 to contributing 10 percent in revenue ($0.8 billion net profits) in 2016. We did this by acting in the interests of the company, not third parties, and this has benefited the state and all Ukrainians.

Mass Grave of Victims of NKVD Unearthed in Lutsk – YouTube Archaeologists have found a mass grave of prisoners held in a Soviet prison in Lutsk. Scholars say that the people were shot by the members of NKVD in 1941. …

Ukrainian Graduate Students Receive Grants to Study in Top American Universities – YouTube Investment in education. 16 Ukrainian students will continue their studying in the leading universities of the United States. They will study business and pu…


Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports


Russia Accuses U.S. Of Deploying Missiles In Syria Russia has accused the U.S.-led coalition of deploying missiles against Syrian government troops at a base in the east of the country where rebels fighting the Islamic State (IS) group are bein…

Mevlut Cavusoglu pushes efforts to end Qatar dispute | Qatar News | Al Jazeera Foreign minister says, after holding talks in Qatar and Kuwait, ‘problem can’t be solved with embargoes and sanctions’.

Saudi Arabia is playing a dangerous game with Qatar The risk of escalation in the Middle East is considerable

Can tiny Qatar keep defying its powerful neighbors? It may be up to Washington Saudi Arabia and the UAE led a group of countries that have severed all ties to fellow American ally Qatar over its foreign policy. The US will play a key role in whether it accedes to their demands.

Qatar says fighter jets deal shows deep U.S. support – NY Daily News Qatar is facing a severe economic and diplomatic boycott by Saudi Arabia and its regional allies who cut ties last week.

U.S. Stands With Qatar’s Foes, While Selling F-15s to Qatar – Bloomberg The deal could give the Gulf state the impression that it can defy its neighbors and remain a frenemy of the U.S.

Aussie cows in bovine airlift as Qatar runs out of milk A Qatari businessman is preparing to fly 4000 cows thousands of kilometres to the tiny desert nation in an attempt to break the blockade imposed by several Gulf states that accuse it of having ties with terrorism.

When there’s a quarrel in the Middle East, ‘let Rex handle it’ – The Washington Post Secretary of State Tillerson is leading the effort to find a solution to the anti-Qatar blockade.

Russia Says It May Have Killed IS Leader Al-Baghdadi In Air Strike The Russian Defense Ministry says the leader of the extremist group Islamic State (IS), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, may have been killed in a Russian air strike in Syria late last month. Russian new…

Baghdadi: Russia says it may have killed ISIS chief – CNN.comRussia’s Defense Ministry says it is investigating reports that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in one of its airstrikes in Syria last month.

US Congress takes up new bill to ensure Israel’s qualitative military edge | The Times of Israel As lawmakers contemplate $350 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, legislation seeks to up coordination with Israel


DPRK / PRC Reports


Russia looking into reports of alleged yacht seizure by North Korea — media The Russian Foreign Ministry is looking into reports that a Russian yacht was detained by North Korea while sailing in the Sea of Japan, a Russian diplomat in Vladivostok told Russian news agency TASS on Friday. News 16 June from UNIAN.

Chinese satellite beats distance record for quantum entanglement | New Scientist Entangled photons survived transmission to locations 1200 kilometres apart on Earth, a feat that could kick off the use of quantum satellites for secure communications

China’s ‘Undersea Great Wall’ | The National Interest Beijing will build its next line of defense on the ocean floor.


Foreign Policy Reports


Trump to clamp down on Cuba travel and trade – POLITICO The president’s policy, set to be issued Friday, will roll back Obama’s efforts to normalize relations with the island.

Moving to Scuttle Obama Legacy, Donald Trump to Crack Down on Cuba – The New York Times The president is expected to declare that the two-year-old Obama-era approach of engagement amounted to a failed policy of appeasement.

EU To Offer Moldova 100 Million Euros Aid Linked To Anticorruption Reforms The European Union on June 15 agreed to offer Moldova 100 million euros in economic aid provided it steps up anti-corruption efforts. The aid, including 60 million in loans and 40 million euros i…

Romanian Government in Crisis, PM Refuses to Resign – YouTube Romanian Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu refuses to resign despite loss of support from his party and the Romanian people. _ Follow UATV English: Facebook: ht…

Why Germany Should Not Get a Nuclear Bomb | Foreign Affairs Trump’s election has set off dangerous nuclear rumblings in Berlin. At a time of rising European insecurity, Trump should move fast to reassure the continent.

Transformation of NATO – YouTube Professor Samuel Wells, a Senior Fellow at the Wilson Center in Washington D.C., discussed how NATO has changed over the last 77 years in order to defend aga…

Bishop denies making China defence order Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has denied reports her office asked for references to China be removed from a WA Liberal policy motion calling for greater defence assets in the state.

Malcolm Turnbull faces claims he called China a ‘frenemy’ after Donald Trump impersonation leak MALCOLM Turnbull has reportedly labelled China a “frenemy” of Australia at a public event in Sydney.

Australian leader is on the hot seat for making fun of Donald Trump – The Washington Post “Donald and I, we are winning and winning in the polls.”

Malcolm Turnbull mocks Donald Trump in Australia parliament’s midwinter ball The Australian Prime Minister was caught mocking U.S. President Donald Trump in a speech at the Midwinter Ball.


US Domestic Policy Reports


Mark Galeotti | The ‘Trump Dossier,’ or How Russia Helped America Break Itself – Tablet Magazine The trouble with the Trump Dossier is that it’s a recognizable product of a specific milieu: If you spend an evening or two in the bars where Moscow’s chattering classes hang out, you’ll hear an equal complement of political tall tales about Putin and his presidential administration. The inner circle of the Kremlin is secretly gay; Putin is a pedophile; there has been a “slow-motion coup” and Putin is now just a figurehead. Moscow is a breeding ground for conspiracy theories because it is very far from a healthy or open society: Decisions are made within a very narrowly-drawn and tightly-controlled circle; the legislature is a pantomime caricature of a parliament; “public consultations” are carefully managed; even institutions such as the foreign ministry no longer have any real traction on policy. In such an environment, everyone gossips, everyone speculates, everyone competes to have the most interesting bits of samovar conversation. The kind of gossip that fills the Trump Dossier is common currency in Moscow, even if very little of it has any authority behind it aside from the speaker’s own imagination. Any experienced observer learns to filter gossip for the stray useful clues that are sometimes hidden within curlicues of fantasy. The author of the Trump Dossier, though, appears enthusiastically to have transcribed every bit of tittle-tattle that fit the overarching narrative of a grand Kremlin scheme to elevate Donald Trump to the presidency.

Moscow’s Assaults on American Democracy Began 80 Years Ago – To Inform is to Influence Excellent short essay on how the Soviet Union attempted to influence American politics over the course of the past 80 years.  I have no doubt there are a plethora of other stories of this type, it would be interesting to see a modern compilation done with comments on their effectiveness and as a reflection on current…

Ian Johnson | Moscow’s Assaults on American Democracy Began 80 Years Ago Over the last nine months, headlines have reverberated with questions regarding the Russian role in “hacking” the American electoral process. On January 5,

Senate overwhelmingly passes Russia sanctions deal – To Inform is to Influence Clearly, Russia deserves this treatment after attacking the US, Ukraine, and the West for years.  This lower-than-the-threshold, lower-than-the-definition, unethical and immoral less-than-war Russia has been waging has hopefully reached its limit. It is also good that Russia’s evil little brother, Iran, is also being punished. This is strategic communications of the highest order.  Russia, hear…

U.S. Senate Advances New Russia Sanctions Amid Moscow Threats, White House Caution The U.S. Senate has voted overwhelmingly to cement existing economic sanctions imposed on Russia for its actions in Ukraine, and to impose new ones in response to Moscow’s alleged meddling in last year’s U.S. presidential election campaign.

U.S. Senate Overwhelmingly Backs Stronger Sanctions Against Russia, Iran The U.S. Senate has overwhelmingly approved legislation that included tougher new sanctions against Russia and Iran, making it more difficult for President Donald Trump to ease existing restriction…

U.S. Senate Votes 94-6 To Let NASA Keep Using Russian Rocket Engines The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly on June 15 to allow the U.S. space agency NASA to continue using Russian-made rocket engines in an amendment to legislation imposing new sanctions on Russia. …

US Senate Approves Russia Sanctions While Blocking Trump from Undoing Them – YouTube US Senate voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to enact new sanctions against Russia and make it difficult for President Trump to lift them. _ Follow UATV Engli…

Manafort still doing international work – POLITICO Trump’s former campaign chairman is under FBI investigation, but some say he is touting access to the president to prospective business partners.

U.S. Vice President Hires Lawyer For Russia Probes U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has hired a lawyer to oversee his response to inquiries into possible collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.&nbsp; Pence'…

Scalise Faces Prospect of Multiple Operations – The New York Times Trauma surgeons have learned that a series of operations for such wounds have better outcomes than one long operation.

 

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