Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Media Update – 18 June 2017


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Most notable Russia report today was Putin’s comment on former Chancellor Kohl, which speaks for itself. Vilmer and Gorbulin state the obvious – Gazprom board seats are extremely effective. Until the West cuts the firehose of cash from Moscow into Europe, too many European politicians will remain ambivalent on Russia’s attacks, weighing personal earnings against national well-being, as Sinclair applies: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it. ” Fascinating history story about Rhea Clyman in the USSR.

Fake news topics dominate IW/IO/Cyber today.

In Ukraine, the upcoming meeting between POTUS and Pres Poroshenko is stimulating debate on military aid and indeed the relationship with the US. Butusov’s strategy essay provides a good snapshot of views commonly held in Ukraine, but it does not deal with the much more fundamental problem of short, medium and long term deterrence against Russia, and convincing Russia that Ukraine is not on the menu ever again, and that replaying Dolgorukiy’s sacking of Kyiv is really a very bad idea. The latter can only come from a Ukrainian military that gives the Russian General Staff cold sweats every night, and only significant quantities of US lethal aid will do that. Donbas fires continue, and some interesting reports emerge confirming the woeful state of the Russian proxy force. Some fascinating history essays on the British roots of the city of Donetsk, initially named  Hughesovka /  Yuizivka, founded by a Welshman, and renamed Donetsk by the Sovs – sadly the decommunization campaign does not appear to have proposed renaming Donetsk back to Yuizivka.

Qatar and Russia dominate MSM in Middle East.

The Economist rather cheekily labels the PRC as the Meddle Kingdom”, and given Beijing’s clever global influence campaign, the label could well stick. China’s hypersonics in MSM.

Cuba and European internal politics most interesting foreign policy themes today.

Toxicity in the US domestic debate continues, but at least now the toxicity itself is a subject for discussion, although as one observer noted, too much of this debate is about how to blame the other side for the toxicity.


Russia / Russophone Reports


NATO Hold Military Exercises in Poland Near Russian Border – YouTube [Gen Ben Hodges] A NATO training exercise titled “Saber Strike” was carried out near the Polish border with Russia. _ Follow UATV English: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/

Russia is ready to be together with Europe, it is necessary that our partners get rid of the phobias of the past, – Putin President of Russia Vladimir Putin said that Russia is ready to be together with Europe, as the former ex-Chancellor of Germany Helmut Kohl once wanted. This is reported by Censor.NET with reference to Gazeta.ru. Also read: Alienation between Europe and Russia is growing, – Steinmeier According to Putin, Kohl said that “if we want to preserve our civilization in this turbulent and rapidly changing world with growing centers of power … then, of course, Europe and Russia should be together.” “I fully agree with him, you know our position, it is that we are ready for this, it is necessary that our partners are ready to get rid of the phobias of the past,” the Russian leader said. Previously, Putin talked about the influence of Kohl on his political views. Former Chancellor of Germany Helmut Kohl died on the morning of June 16 at his home in German Ludwigshafen. He was 87 years old. He was called the “father of German unification”, because the historical merit of Kolya is the reunification of West and East Germany.

Russia’s influence in EU a serious threat, says French defence expert – LB.ua news portal Russia’s influence in EU a serious threat, says French defence expert. “The main problem in combatting Russian disinformation is the lack of unity.” The threat coming from Russia is not only territorial. Mostly, its the influence that Moscow has, the director of the Institute for Strategic Studies under the French Ministry of Defense (IRSEM), Jean-Baptiste Jeangène Vilmer, told the Seventh National Expert Forum on 15 June. According to him, the lack of unity is the main problem and weakness in the fight against Russian propaganda, which seems to overtake Europe thanks to Moscow’s influence. “The main problem in the fight against Russian disinformation is the lack of unity,” he said. At the same time, the expert noted the successes of the operational working group of the EU on strategic communications of the East StratCom Task Force in countering Russia’s attempts to influence the elections in Europe through disinformation and outright propaganda.

Europe still does not believe that Russia is trying to destabilize it, Gorbulin Leaders of European countries can not fully believe that the Russian leadership is deliberately trying to destabilize the situation in Europe. As reported by the Censor. NET, this opinion was expressed by the director of the National Institute for Strategic Studies, presidential adviser Vladimir Gorbulin in an article for “The Mirror of the Week”. According to him, the Kremlin’s interference in the domestic politics of Western countries got a chance to succeed because the West still can not believe that the world, which 20 years ago left the horrors of the Cold War, today made a circle and turned into a world of ” Post-West and post-order “. “However, even here we see an attempt to camouflage the reality that is unpleasant for our Western partners.” Talk about “post-truth” or “alternative facts” is possible only in one case – if you are afraid to say aloud more understandable and familiar words: lie, propaganda, disinformation “, – the author specifies. Gorbulin points out that Europe’s response to a familiar challenge resembles the first stage of the classic experience of stressful change. “Europe seems to have gotten stuck in the first stage – a shock that is accompanied by a denial, a denial that it is possible at all.” Denying that the situation has dramatically changed and will no longer be the same. “The passage of this stage requires honesty over oneself, with which Politically correct Europe clearly has problems, but without such an adoption, Europe does not go to other stages, including a real change in behavior, “the article reads. According to the analyst, this “denial” today only plays into Moscow’s hands, which additionally feeds it, actively broadcasting the thesis that there is no intervention, nothing has changed and international relations can still be returned to the previous channel. Gorbulin believes that neither IGIL nor the migration crisis can destroy the West as such today. Such a goal can only be put and tried to be implemented by Russia, including by the hands of Islamic terrorists and migrants. The Kremlin will be able to achieve this goal only if the West continues to pretend that the problem does not exist. The expert notes that today, despite the “concern” of the world community by Moscow’s interference in political and electoral processes around the world, such fears do not go beyond the scope of conversations. “It seems that there are various research centers devoted to this problem, texts are being written, resolutions are being made … But there is no feeling that the West is really ready to recognize a simple, but no less disturbing fact (which, incidentally, was understandable in the similar situation of the mid- X): Moscow will never abandon the programs of destabilization, since the basis of this activity are two resources – money and a command system in which the main role is played by representatives of special services (moreover, the number of these representatives of the post It increases), “Gorbulin concludes.

Escape from Putin’s info bubble emboldens Russian youth – To Inform is to Influence LONDON — The worldview of Russians under the age of 30, like their contemporaries everywhere, is shaped by YouTube, V’Kontaktye (Russia’s answer to Facebook) and hundreds of news, music and political websites and blogs. They don’t bother to watch Russian TV, with its Kremlin-controlled content, so they’re not trapped in the state’s information bubble. That…

Vladimir Putin refers to ‘territories now called Ukraine’ in ominous comments during annual phone-in – To Inform is to Influence Gentle readers, I apologize.  News of this came out a few days ago and only am I actually sharing with you.  This is interesting. The Kremlin published the transcript of what Putin supposedly said on his “Direct Line” show. There is no mention of him calling Ukraine “territories now called Ukraine” or “the territories which now…

Azerbaijani Spy Scandal Leaves Trail Of Dead Suspects Within days of being swept up in a wave of arrests on espionage charges last month, at least four Azerbaijani soldiers and a retired military officer died in custody. The circumstances of their death…

Holodomor: How a female Jewish journalist alerted the world to Ukraine’s silent starvation – To Inform is to Influence While driving through the Ukrainian countryside in 1932, Rhea Clyman, a Jewish-Canadian journalist, stopped in a village to ask where she could buy some milk and eggs. The villagers couldn’t understand her, but someone went off and came back with a crippled 14-year-old boy, who slowly made his way to her. “We are starving, we…

Russia Criticises Croatia for Its Relations with Ukraine Again The recent meeting between the Croatian and Ukrainian Prime Ministers has been met with criticism from Moscow. Russia renewed its criticism of Croatia…

Profound contraction of ethnic Russians in former Soviet republics since 1989 | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press | The number of ethnic Russians in what were the non-Russian republics of the former Soviet Union has fallen from 25 million in 1989 to 14 million today, but only 6.5 million of that decline consists of Russians who returned to the Russian Federation. The remainder is almost evenly divided by excess deaths over births and assimilation. According to a new report by the Russian7 channel, approximately 2.5 million ethnic Russians changed their identity from Russian to that of the titular nationality. Of these approximately two million are in Ukraine. The other decline in the number of ethnic Russians there reflected natural population losses because the members of that community had higher death rates and lower birthrates “than representatives of the other nationalities, the station reports, sometimes because of age structure and sometimes because of the actions of the authorities as in Tajikistan and Chechnya. It is intriguing to say the least that this article on the decline of ethnic Russians in the former union republics also focuses on the decline of ethnic Russians from the non-Russian republics of the North Caucasus and the Middle Volga which at least nominally are still within the borders of the post-Soviet Russian Federation. In what was the Chechen-Ingush ASSR in Soviet times, ethnic Russians numbered 290,000. Today in the two successor republics, they number only about 23,000. In Daghestan and in Tatarstan, the situation is not as bad for ethnic Russians, the station continues, but in both places, there has been a decline in the number of ethnic Russians. With regard to Ukraine, the ethnic Russian population there has “actively been assimilated.” Only a third of the three million decline in the number of ethnic Russians in Ukraine between 1989 and now is the product of emigration. The rest involves assimilation in the first case and lower birthrates and higher death rates among ethnic Russians. Elsewhere, the picture is also bleak, the station says. In Kazakhstan, three million of the 6.5 million ethnic Russians who had lived in that Central Asian republic have emigrated. But in the Baltic countries, despite problems for ethnic Russians in Estonia and Latvia, few Russians have emigrated because of the relatively better economic situation there. The fewest Russians now remain in Tajikistan and Georgia. Only 30,000 of the 390,000 ethnic Russians who had been in the former in 1989 are still there. And in Georgia there has been a similar decline. As for Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan, the number of Russians has declined by more than half.

Is Russia Giving Up on Aircraft Carriers? | The National Interest Blog Russia’s five-year defense plan for 2020–25 calls for completely upgrading the nuclear forces, developing new fighters and bombers, and procuring new warships. But no carriers.

Can Russia’s Old Tanks Become ‘New’ Again? | The National Interest Blog For all the talk about the Armata, Moscow might be forced to make due with the tanks it already has.

Kazan can improve perceptions about Russia, stake claim to sport supremacy – ESPN FC Russia’s preparations for the 2018 World Cup have been beset by problems, but Kazan could not be further removed from them, writes Nick Ames.


IW/IO/Cyber Reports


The Steve Scalise Shooting Generated Boatloads of Fake News – VICE Everyone wants to blame everyone else for making America violent.

Top-5 Russian Fakes about US Struggle against fake information about events in Ukraine

 

“Most common way that fake news spreads is from laziness” – Aric Toler (Bellingcat) – To Inform is to Influence This article represents personal opinions of the author. Stopfake editors may not share this opinion. June 16, 2017 – 17:10  Aric Toler has been an employee at Bellingcat since 2015. He graduated with an MA in Slavic Languages & Literatures from the University of Kansas in 2013, focusing on Russian literature and intellectual history. After…

NBC vows to air interview with conspiracy theorist Jones – To Inform is to Influence Normally I wouldn’t even think twice about blogging this story, but the lead up to this story and the possible outcome is significant in the inform and influence world. Last weekend Megyn Kelly made her debut on NBC with an interview with Russian President Putin. Her coverage was soundly lambasted by many critics, saying she…

Russia Today considers legal action over Emmanuel Macron ‘propaganda’ comments – To Inform is to Influence “Considering” is the key word in this interview. Legal warfare is one of Russia’s tools in their Information Warfare toolkit. The threat is often never followed up, as long as the leader talks tough.  Watch the video in its entirety. Margarita Simonyan gives a rare interview but plainly is playing the Russia is the victim…


Ukraine Reports


Liberation of Ukraine from Russia’s occupation is a top priority of US – ex-New York City mayor Liberation of Ukraine from Russia’s occupation is one of the top priorities for the United States, advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump on cybersecurity and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has said. Trump will insist on this interest and will achieve it, he said in an interview with the Novoye Vremia magazine published on June 16. He did not agree that the Trump administration is too gentle in its relations with Russia. Giuliani said that the impression of gentleness towards Russia could be seen in some comments of Trump during his election campaign. However, he said that Trump after running the president post has started studying the essence of international relations more thoroughly. He took Syria as an example, which is the obvious ally of Russia. Trump ordered to bomb the Syrian military base, he said. It is clear that in his steps he prioritizes the interests of the United States over the interests of Russia, he said.

 

The United States must support Ukraine’s vibrant transformation | TheHill OPINION | The stability and strength of any democratic society depends on the health of its economy and the robustness of its civil society institutions. When economic underpinnings degrade, and citizens become apathetic, struggling democracies can quickly become failed states. That’s why the United States has a real interest in preserving the economic viability of nations important to our national security that are striving to become prosperous democracies. We can do this by leveraging the combined efforts of government, business and civil society to support, guide, and reinforce their economic engines. While the US has a distinct part to play, it is not all up to us. The nations we assist must want this transformation at least as much as we do. While we can help plant the seeds, the local government, private sector and civil society play major roles in tending and cultivating the engines of growth. Let’s look at Ukraine, a new democracy of great geostrategic importance to the U.S., which is striving to be part of Europe. Ukraine still grapples with significant challenges, including a decades-long effort to reshape its post-communist governance and economic infrastructure. Here are two possible Ukraine futures: the first is an economically weak country that tempts Russia to repeat its Crimean exercise, or the second as a prosperous Ukraine whose strong ties to the markets and nations of the world make it a more problematic target. The second looks more likely, though in today’s world, nothing is guaranteed. This transformation is due in large measure to the fact that Ukraine now has a vibrant civil society — one that has served as the main driver of positive reforms that began three years ago with the Euromaidan Revolution (also known as the Revolution of Dignity), a movement that emphasized the importance of human dignity and responsible citizenship. Since that widespread call to end government corruption and human rights abuses, senior levels of the Ukrainian government now pay attention to the input of civil society as it moves to implement reforms and build a Ukrainian governance and economic infrastructure compatible with Europe and the West. Citizens and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have taken up the role of advisers and activists. The emergence of NGOs such as the Reanimation Package of Reforms, a coalition of leading NGOs from all over Ukraine who work on implementing reforms, along with the Anti-Corruption Action Center and the Institute of World Policy are all citizen initiatives that work on fostering civic activism and bolstering reforms. U.S. assistance has played a role in this transformation. We can build on our performance by helping Ukraine move ahead faster and better with key reforms advocated by civil society, private businesses, and NGOs. Our support for macroeconomic assistance must be firmly conditioned on effective implementation of these reforms. These organizations, through their work to improve the livelihoods of Ukrainians, can identify real challenges on the ground that can be brought to the government to be addressed through official reforms. This year marks 25 years of U.S.-Ukraine diplomatic relations and so many initiatives begun a quarter of century ago are now beginning to bear fruit. As Ukraine starts to let go of its Soviet past, a young, vibrant generation attempts to position its country as an emerging democratic, economically viable state in the European community of nations. And, since 1992, Ukrainians have had the opportunity to participate in U.S. government programs, such as Fulbright academic exchanges, More than 1,000 Ukrainian students and scholars have done substantive research in the United States and have come back to Ukraine to implement best practices. Such organizations as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which also celebrated 25 years of work in Ukraine last week have been instrumental in promoting reforms in Ukraine, the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council serves as a platform for forging relations between western companies and Ukrainian businesses. The West-NIS Enterprise Fund continues to promote reforms in Ukraine and has a number of programs that support the new generation. Ukraine must deliver on the reforms inspired by the Euromaidan Revolution before the Ukrainian people give up hope. The United States can now support the reformers in the Ukrainian government as well as in civil society and forward-looking private companies who work to improve the lives and economic well-being of ordinary Ukrainian citizens. We have a historic opportunity to support local initiatives, and work with partners to help these reformers realize Ukraine’s full potential. It is in their interest — and ours.

Ukraine does without internet services from Russia | KyivPost A month after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree that banned several popular Russian websites, Ukrainians look to have taken the move in their stride. The May 16 decree, which expanded Ukraine’s sanctions against Russian companies and individuals, blocked access in Ukraine to the popular Russian websites Yandex and Mail.ru, and the social networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki. Software developers ABBYY and C1 were sanctioned as well. According to internet service providers and other web companies, Ukrainians have either found ways around the ban or simply switched to using alternative services. Workarounds Before the ban, around 24 million Ukrainians – more than half of the population – used the Russian websites. Three of them, Vkontakte, Yandex and Mail.ru, were among the five most popular websites in Ukraine. About 18 million Ukrainians used to visit Vkontakte daily, while Yandex processed 20-25 million search requests per day. But on the morning of May 17, millions of people woke to find that they no longer had access to Russian social media accounts and other internet services. It looks like a good many of them promptly started looking for ways around the ban. On the same day the decree was published, there was a surge in downloads of apps that route internet traffic through proxy servers based in other countries, which allow internet users to sidestep website bans. “We observed a 300-percent increase in people from Ukraine on our website on that day,” said Elizabeth Kintzele, the spokesperson of the popular Swiss company Golden Frog, which offers internet privacy services. And the traffic, according to Kintzele continued to grow, reaching 1,400 percent on May 19. Downloads of the company’s products initially grew by seven times and are still above average. Another internet privacy company, KeepSolid from Odesa, saw even more astonishing results — the amount of users of its VPN Unlimited service increased by 980 times.

US Military Assistance: A New Approach for Trump? – zn.ua Today in Washington, the new administration of President Trump is trying to formulate what US policy will be about the Russian-Ukrainian war. This will soon be the meeting between Trump and Poroshenko. Trump is trying more pragmatically to rethink the role of the United States in world politics, is conducting an audit of opportunities and risks. The situation in Ukraine is one of the important nodes. The need for military assistance in principle Washington is not disputed, and this is undoubted merit of Ukraine’s friends in the United States, including the Republican Party itself. However, experts in Washington are interested in answers to three questions:
1. Is Ukraine’s supply of lethal weapons critical to the containment of the Russian army?
2. Will the expansion of the US military aid program cause an escalation of hostilities and retaliatory offensive actions by the Russian Federation?
3. What exactly should be the strategy and structure of military assistance to Ukraine?
 To answer these three questions, it is necessary to have an objective idea of what is really going on in the war. So, on the Russian-Ukrainian front in the Donbas, with a length of 426 kilometers, there are local hostilities for the control of a thin chain of strongholds and dominant heights. The two sides have not built a solid line of defense, the defense is of a focal character, the gaps between positions are provided by fire control, mine barriers. Given the large gaps between positions, extremely small forces are at the forefront, there are no other means of ensuring the security of their troops, except regular shelling. Civilian patrols of the OSCE operate only during the daytime, they do not call into the zone of intense fighting – this is unsafe. The war goes by the forces of infantry, with the regular use of heavy artillery, tanks, modern reconnaissance and target designation, the most advanced electronic warfare systems. Heavy weapons are used in a limited way, ammunition consumption is low, but the accuracy of the use of weapons is constantly growing. The main combat load is for infantry armament. Both sides do not conduct deep offensive operations, the war is conducted by limited forces of separation-platoon, the inclusion of the mouth and battalions in full force is not frequent. At the same time, war in such a local limited format does not stop. Russia continues to wage war, the Donbas has turned into a training ground for the Russian regular army. Here its units are rotated on a rotational basis. The entire control system, intelligence, artillery, EW, logistics – all of this involved the Russian military. However, there are no prerequisites for the cessation of hostilities. Russia continues to wage war, the Donbas has turned into a training ground for the Russian regular army. Here its units are rotated on a rotational basis.
The whole system of control, intelligence, artillery, EW, logistics – all of this involved the Russian military. The 1st and 2nd army corps of the occupation forces at the level from the battalion headquarters to the corps command is staffed by Russian officers in the status of “advisers”, who in fact have the powers of real commanders. Also, motorized rifle and tank divisions are regularly sent to Donbas to carry out combat training tasks, including direct participation in hostilities. Nominally assigned to command posts, local separars perform, at best, the functions of the pupils of the “advisors”, or are simply “talking heads” for propaganda. In all combat units, the core of the combat groups are Russian mercenaries. The total number of Russian servicemen in the Donbass is constantly around 5-6 thousand people.
The 1st and 2nd army corps of Russian mercenaries are organizationally included in the structure of the 8th Combined-Arms Army of the Southern Military District of the Russian Armed Forces, newly created in 2016, deployed on the border with Ukraine and in the Donbas. The closest operational reserve of the Russian occupation corps is the newly created in 2017 150th motorized rifle division, deployed an hour’s drive from the border with the Donbas. Thanks to the constant presence of Russian armored units, the occupation corps does not fear Ukrainian offensive operations and can concentrate all its forces in the first line without thinking about reserves. Due to the large-scale use of the newest types of weapons in the Donbas, Russia has ensured a certain advantage in certain types of combat use of heavy artillery, in reconnaissance and target designation, and the use of unmanned aircraft to strike at military targets in Ukraine far from the front line. This allows the Russian command to keep parity in combat, despite the great problems of the Russian occupation forces.
The main problem of Putin in the war is a lack of human resources and a perceptible numerical shortage, which can not be corrected, despite the considerable material resources allocated by Moscow for the maintenance of the army of occupation. Ukrainian troops at the moment have a certain numerical advantage at the front, and a significant advantage in the motivation and quality of the fighters. It should be noted unpopularity of the war in Russia, a sharp decrease in the number of mercenaries from the Russian Federation, which form the basis of the enemy’s combat units. However, the Russian army has more sophisticated technical means. An important factor is the lack of motivation of personnel, since the objectives of the war are unclear, the idea of joining Donbass to the Russian Federation has been publicly rejected by the Russian leadership, and many popular field commanders of Russian mercenaries have been liquidated during internecine conflicts over spheres of influence with the participation of Russian special services themselves. All this is confirmed by the fact that in 2015-2017 the Ukrainian army firmly holds the initiative and managed to take control of tens of square kilometers of the “gray zone” – an uncontrolled territory between strong points of the opponents left as a result of the Russian offensive 2014-2015 Years and the Minsk agreements assigned to Ukraine. The Russian command, despite a number of attacks and attacks on Ukrainian positions, failed in its attempts to stop the occupation of the “gray zones” by the Ukrainians.
The employment of tactically advantageous positions by Ukrainian troops significantly increased the stability of the defense and confidence in its forces. But this was done, in conditions of technical superiority of the Russian army, primarily thanks to the motivation and courage of the infantry. However, the strengthening of the Ukrainian defense can not completely exclude the attacks of small groups of Russian infantry and fire attacks of heavy artillery and tanks. Losses of the parties in 2017 have stabilized. Combat losses of Ukraine – from 15 to 25 soldiers each month. Non-combat losses – 10-15 people every month. This is a very heavy and noticeable damage to the country. However, these losses do not reduce the morale of the army. Thus, we see that Russia is ready to limit the scale of the war, to minimize the number of victims, but Putin does not intend to stop the war. The RF leverage is used as a permanent opportunity to blow up the situation and put pressure on the situation in Ukraine through military incursion or limited combat operations. Russia is investing a lot of resources, with the help of thousands of Russian “volunteers” and “holidaymakers” from the regular army to increase the combat capability of the occupation corps. This is done to reduce the involvement in the direct fighting of regular troops and for immediate readiness to repel possible attacks by Ukrainian forces on their own. All this shows the ineffectiveness of purely diplomatic instruments for ending the war.
Russia is not going to stop the war solely under the influence of sanctions and negotiations. A purely military solution to the problem, similar to Operation Storm in Croatia in 1995, would be the only quick solution to this problem. However, Ukraine is not yet ready for a quick and decisive operation that minimizes the number of victims. At the same time, it is obvious that if pressure on the diplomatic front is not associated with increased pressure on the war front, Moscow will be able to continue local hostilities for a long time, for many years.
 There is the only obvious problem of Putin – an acute shortage of personnel for the occupation troops due to a sharp drop in the popularity of the war against Ukraine in Russian society. In connection with the foregoing, the questions posed by the American experts can be answered thus:
1. Deliveries of any weapons should be part of the strategy of US participation in ensuring Ukraine’s security and are aimed at eliminating imbalances in weapons systems used by the Russian army in the Donbas. You need to understand the goals. Lethal weapons are necessary for Ukraine primarily not as a political signal. It is necessary to deprive Russia of technical superiority, thanks to which Putin now damages the Ukrainian troops, settlements and infrastructure facilities. The Obama administration supplied certain major types of weapons, which somewhat reduced the critical gap in the technology of the Ukrainian army, but so far far from ensuring parity with the Russian occupation forces. This does not allow balancing the forces of the parties, shows the weakness of military aid to the West in Ukraine and allows the Russian army to inflict significant losses on the Ukrainian forces. Ukraine needs lethal weapons that could quickly hit mobile Russian heavy artillery deployed 10 to 20 kilometers from the front and often leading unpunished attacks on Ukrainian positions, as well as high-precision systems for engaging radio-electronic reconnaissance and target designation stations. In the conditions of the Minsk restrictions and the great superiority of the Russian army in ammunition, accuracy becomes key. The lagging behind of the Ukrainian army in other types of heavy weapons is not as critical as in this sphere. To solve these problems, either guided air or ground-based missiles or long-range artillery systems with corrected or controlled munitions in conjunction with systems for detection, communication and fire control are needed. Such assistance will make it possible to change the nature of hostilities in a short time, and the danger of a rapid retaliatory strike will significantly reduce the effectiveness of the use of Russian heavy artillery for firing Ukrainian positions and settlements.
2. Direct involvement of the Russian army in large-scale battles to break through the defense of Ukrainian troops is currently unlikely. The Russian command understands that a head-on collision and maneuver warfare will inflict heavy losses, which is dangerous for Putin, since they will lead to the fright of Russian society and the repetition of the “Afghan” and “Chechen” syndromes, when unpopular wars led to discrediting the ruling regimes. In the summer of 2014 in the Russian army there were mass refusals to participate in the war against Ukraine. In addition, the fall of the Russian economy as a result of Western sanctions can be continued in the event of an invasion. Sanctions inflict damage on Russia, and the threat of their strengthening also makes the scenario of a large-scale invasion unlikely. Russia’s response outside the framework of the Minsk agreements can only be triggered by the 2008 war scenario in Georgia. That is, if the Ukrainian army undertakes a profound offensive operation, which will take place at a slow pace, which will give the Russian command time to analyze the situation, prepare for an invasion and an information campaign in support of the war. Under other conditions, Putin will not risk his army. Can there be an arms race in the Donbass? No, since Russia participates in this race from the very beginning, and has long been applying at the front all the most modern types of its conventional weapons. By the way, it turned out that the capabilities of the Russian army are rather limited, and modern military equipment is delivered to troops on a limited scale. Technical superiority in certain types of armaments of the Russian army only affects certain sectors of the front.
3. The strategy of military assistance to Ukraine in the conditions of the Minsk agreements and the limitation of the use of armaments with a caliber above 100 mm should be based not on deliveries of certain types of weapons but on a comprehensive increase in the combat readiness of the Armed Forces and the NGU so that Ukraine can independently solve security problems at the front in the Donbas. Ukraine has a qualitative and quantitative superiority in the infantry, and imposing a modern infantry war on the enemy would be a key factor in enhancing Ukraine’s combat capability. For this, complex deliveries of primarily non-lethal types of infantry weapons are needed.

Priorities are as follows:
1) tactical and operational-tactical communication for equipping entire formations and groupings;
2) command and control systems for troops and weapons;
3) reconnaissance and target designation systems, artillery reconnaissance means, passive radio electronic reconnaissance systems, EW assets;
4) mass supplies of means for night operations of infantry units and units, night vision systems and thermal imaging sights, laser range finders and optoelectronic surveillance equipment.
Even the regular Russian army is not capable of equipping and training infantry for operations at night as part of entire battalions. Such supplies would allow Ukraine to concentrate funds for the purchase of weapons for equipping the army with anti-tank missile systems and high-precision weapons of domestic production. At the front at 426 kilometers, the enemy’s most vulnerable and weak point is the quality and quantity of infantry.
A victory in a war for Ukraine may not be in a deep offensive operation, but in a radical weakening of combat capability and a reduction in the combat strength of the occupation forces. The occupation army will not sustain losses at the level of 200-300 mercenaries per month. The desire to earn easy money will disappear, it will be impossible to recruit new recruits. As soon as the Kremlin realizes that its military tools are not working under current conditions, Russia will have to become more compliant in the negotiations.
If the United States helps Ukraine prove to the Russians that they have no military superiority in this conflict and poses problems and losses more than political opportunities, Russia will again attempt to return to the political format of the negotiations and will be able to channel the war into a peaceful settlement. The situation in Syria has been stalled for a long time, until recently, according to Trump’s decision, the US army did not start striking at the positions of the Russian ally of Assad, and until a security zone was declared closed for the actions of the Assad army and Russian troops, where the violators immediately receive NATO bombing strikes.
Russia understands only the language of power. Only an effective and systematic military aid to the West will create conditions for a real peaceful settlement and the withdrawal of the occupation forces. According to our information and in the US Congress, the Security Council, and the Defense Ministry, many understand this. The draft decisions are ready. But the final decision is made by the president, for which Russia is politically toxic, but for the soul – close. The word for Donald Trump.

“The occupation army in the Donbas cannot sustain losses at the level of 200-300 mercenaries per month,” – journalist If the United States helps Ukraine to prove to the Russians that they do not have military superiority in the conflict in the Donbass, Russia will again try to return to the political format. This is written by Glavred Tsenzor.NET Yuri Butusov in the article “US Military Assistance: A New Approach for Trump?” For the “Mirror of the Week”. He notes that the victory in the war for Ukraine (in the Donbas – Ed.) May not be in a deep offensive operation, but in a radical weakening of combat capability and a reduction in the combat strength of the occupation forces. “The occupation army will not sustain losses at the level of 200-300 mercenaries per month, the desire to earn easy money will disappear, it will be impossible to recruit new replenishment. As soon as the Kremlin realizes that its military tools are not working under current conditions, Russia will have to become more compliant in negotiations If the United States helps Ukraine prove to the Russians that they do not have military superiority in this conflict and creates problems and losses more than political opportunities, Russia will again try to return to political life A bargain of negotiations, and the war will be able to channel into a channel of peaceful settlement, “Butusov writes. He recalls the situation in Syria, which for a long time was at a dead end, until, by Trump’s decision, the US army began to strike at the positions of the Russian ally of Assad, and until a security zone was declared closed for the actions of the Assad army and Russian troops, where the violators immediately receive NATO bombing strikes. “Russia understands only the language of force, only effective and systemic military aid to the West will create conditions for a real peaceful settlement and the withdrawal of the occupation forces.” According to our information and in the US Congress, the Security Council and the Defense Ministry, many understand this. The final decision is made by the president, for whom Russia is politically toxic, but close to the soul, for the sake of Donald Trump, “Butusov sums up.

“Donbass has turned into a training ground for the combat training of the Russian regular army”, – journalist The total number of Russian military personnel in the Donbas is constantly around 5-6 thousand people. This is written by Glavred Tsenzor.NET Yuri Butusov in the article “US Military Assistance: A New Approach to Trump?” For the “Mirror of the Week”. “Here (in the Donbas – Ed.) On a rotational basis, it is transferred to its (Russian army – Ed.) Unit.” The entire Russian military is engaged in the whole system of control, reconnaissance, artillery, EW, and logistics. The army corps of the occupation forces at the level from the battalion headquarters to the corps command is staffed by Russian officers in the status of “advisors” who actually have the powers of real commanders. Several motor and rifle and tank divisions are regularly sent to Donbas to carry out combat training tasks, Including the direct participation in military operations, the local separars nominally assigned to command posts perform, at best, the functions of the pupils of the “advisers” or are simply “talking heads” for propaganda.In all combat units, the core of the combat groups are Russian mercenaries, “- Butusov writes. He notes that the total number of Russian troops in the Donbas is constantly about 5-6 thousand people. “The 1st and 2nd army corps of Russian mercenaries are organizationally part of the newly created 8th Combined Arms Army of the Southern Military District of the Russian Armed Forces deployed on the border with Ukraine and in Donbas in 2016. The closest operational reserve of the Russian occupation corps is the newly created In 2017, the 150th motorized rifle division, deployed an hour’s drive from the border with the Donbas, thanks to the constant presence of Russian armored units, the occupation corps does not fear Ukrainian offensive operations and can detail is brought all the forces in the front line, without thinking about the reserves, “- the article says. Butusov notes that due to the large-scale use of the newest types of weapons in the Donbas, Russia has ensured a certain advantage in certain types of combat use of heavy artillery, in reconnaissance and target designation, and the use of unmanned aircraft to strike at military targets in Ukraine far from the front line. “This allows the Russian command to keep parity in the fighting, despite the great problems of the Russian occupation forces.” The main problem of Putin in the war is a lack of human resources and a tangible shortage that can not be corrected, despite the considerable material resources allocated by Moscow for the maintenance of the army “, – the journalist writes.

Ukraine reports 66 enemy attacks, 5 WIA’s in last day | UNIAN Russia’s hybrid military forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in Donbas 66 times in the past 24 hours, with five Ukrainian&nbsp;soldiers&nbsp;reported as wounded in action (WIA), according to the press service of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters.Almost a third of the violations was conducted from artillery systems. The Russian occupation forces mounted 28 attacks on the Ukrainian positions in the Mariupol sector. The defenders of the villages of Hranitne, Chermalyk, and Shyrokyne came under fire from 120mm mortars. The latter was also shelled from a tank. In addition, The occupiers fired 122mm howitzers on the Ukrainian soldiers stationed near the village of Novoselivka Druha from the outskirts of the temporarily occupied town of Horlivka. Moreover, the militants repeatedly opened fire from grenade launchers and small arms of various calibers on the ATO strongholds near the villages of Pavlopil, Slavne, Hnutove, Taramchuk, Talakivka, Vodiane, and the towns of Maryinka and Krasnohorivka. Read also Day in Donbas: 18 enemy attacks, 1 KIA In the Donetsk sector, the enemy continued firing 152mm artillery systems on the Ukrainian fortified positions near the town of Avdiyivka and the village of Kalynove. During the day and evening, the enemy repeatedly used mortars of various calibers, tank shells, and infantry weapons near Avdiyivka. The Ukrainian positions near the village of Novhorodske came under intensive enemy fire as well. In addition, the enemy’s violations of the ceasefire were recorded near the villages of Verkhnyotoretske, Zaitseve, Kamianka, Novoselivka, and Novoluhanske, where the occupiers used anti-tank missile systems, infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, grenade launchers of various modifications, heavy machine guns, and small arms. In total, 17 armed provocations were recorded in this part of the front line. Twenty-one instances of enemy’s violations of the ceasefire were recorded in the Luhansk sector. Afternoon, the Russian-backed militants repeatedly opened fire from 120mm mortars, grenade launchers, and heavy machine guns on Ukrainian strongholds near the villages of Krymske and Katerynivka. Furthermore, the ATO positions came under enemy mortar fire near the villages of Troyitske, Triokhizbenka, and Stariy Aidar. The militants also attacked the Ukrainian strong points near the villages of Stanytsia Luhanska and Novo-Oleksandrivka, as well as Donets station, using infantry fighting vehicles. Last night, the enemy once again fired mortars on residential sector of the village of Berdianske near Mariupol.

The Russian command in the Donbass passes off dead militants as deserters, – the Ministry of Defense Intelligence Russian military continue to hide their crimes in the occupied territories of Donbass. As reported by Censor.No, this is reported on the page in Facebook by the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. The department noted that the commanders of parts of the Russian occupation forces continue to practice the concealment of crimes committed by subordinates. “In particular, a serviceman of 9 separate assault motorized infantry regiment of the Marine Corps (Novoazovsk), who was killed by electric current during the theft of electric wires, issued a command of the regiment as a deserter,” the intelligence said.

Donbas militants shoot comrades-in-arms not to pay them salaries — intel The command of the occupation forces has faced money problems to pay salaries to militants, resulting in some armed groups started to riot, the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry reports. News 17 June from UNIAN.

The senior soldier of the 93rd Brigade, Mocherniuk, died in the Donbas. A PHOTO During the fighting in the Donbas, a senior soldier of the 93rd Independent Guards Mechanized Brigade, Mikhail Mocherniuk, died. “During the execution of the combat mission, the driver-driver, the senior soldier Mikhail Mocherniuk, perished at the observation post.On about 4:20 the post was fired by a sniper of Putin’s terrorist forces, from the almost 50-gram bullet of the caliber of 12.7 mm, which is usually used to combat armored vehicles , The elder soldier Mochernyuk was unable to save the bulletproof vest: he was wounded, not compatible with life “, – quotes Censor. NO message from the brigade in Facebook. “The command of the 93rd separate guards mechanized brigade with deep sorrow expresses sincere condolences to the native of the fallen fighter Igor and Svetlana Mochernyuk,” it was informed. Mikhail Mocherniuk was born in 1974. Before serving, he lived in the village of Borovskoye (Kharkov region).

Ukrainian soldier killed by enemy sniper in Luhansk Region – LB.ua news portal Ukrainian soldier killed by enemy sniper in Luhansk Region. It happened in Novotoshkivske on Friday morning. Main – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Army of Ukraine Continues to Close with and Destroy Russian Hordes – To Inform is to Influence POSTED BY: GALAT 20:17 08/05/2017 Intense Army of Ukraine moto video highlights the men and the military assets that continue to keep the Russian-backed separatist hordes at bay in the east of the country. Although Western media has been silent regarding the ongoing conflict, there is still very much a war taking place and both…Army of Ukraine 2017 • Армія України 2017 – YouTubeMusic : Sonic Symphony – Super Soldier

Some 2,696 Ukrainian servicemen killed, 9,903 wounded since start of Russian aggression Since the beginning of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, 2,696 Ukrainian military servicemen have died and 9,903 have been wounded, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s spokesman Andriy Lysenko said.

Ukraine to develop new 155-mm self-propelled howitzer | Defence Blog The Ukrainian defence industry plans to develop a new 155-mm self-propelled howitzer and fire extended range ammunition. Development of a new self-propelled artillery will be conducted according to the standards of NATO. That was confirmed during the report of the Chief of Armament of the Ukrainian Armed Forces of Ukraine Nikolay Shevtsov during the international scientific and technical conference “Prospects for the development of weapons and military equipment of the Land Forces” in Lviv, May 2017. The Ukrainian Armed Forces currently operates the self-propelled 122 mm 2S1 Gvozdika, the self-propelled 152 mm 2S5 Giatsint-S, the self-propelled 152 mm 2S19 Msta-S, the towed 122 mm D-30. Current artillery pieces deployed by the forces will be supplemented by the new 155-mm self-propelled howitzers. The new self-propelled howitzer will be able to capable of firing all standard Nato 155mm ammunition. The new self-propelled howitzer consists of 155 mm turret, mounted on a tracked chassis. The chassis will be using many components of the Oplot main battle tank.

National Guard of Ukraine parades new Varta armoured vehicles | Defence BlogThe National Guard of Ukraine or NGU publicly displayed its new Varta armoured vehicles for the first time during a parade to mark the third anniversary of the liberation of Mariupol from militants of the self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic. The Varta special purpose vehicle was developed by Kyiv-based Ukrainian Armor company. The Varta is built on a 4×4 two-axle truck base with a specialized chassis with a “high-cross” carrying up to 8.15 tons. This chassis with сentral tire inflation system is proven and reliable even in the most challenging and difficult conditions. The Varta employs an 8-Gear Manual Transmission to accommodate all-terrain situations and to be completely versatile in battle. The Varta have a 6-cylinder, V-type, turbocharged diesel engine dispelling either 270hp or 300hp (depending on the engine chosen) and can run on many types of fuel (including lower quality fuel in combat situations). The Varta has a maximum road speed of 120 km/hour and a maximum torque of 1128 N*m. The vehicle compartment is made from specialized 560 steel grade which protects the crew from armored piercing incendiary ammo up to 7.62mm. Varta uses a V-shape hull structure to accommodate anti-mine seats, giving crew members protection to withstand detonation of charges up to 6kg of TNT. Varta uses a V-shape hull structure to accommodate anti-mine seats, giving crew members protection to withstand detonation of charges up to 6kg of TNT. Varta includes a fighting module equipped with either the 7.62 mm or the 12.7 mm machine gun. The vehicle has 10 gun ports around the vehicle with the feasibility of accommodating a UBGL (Under-Barrel Grenade Launcher).”m” VARTA includes a fighting module equipped with either the 7.62 mm or the 12.7 mm machine gun. The vehicle has 10 gun ports around the vehicle with the feasibility of accommodating a UBGL (Under-Barrel Grenade Launcher). Its vehicles are operated by Ukraine’s rapid deployment police task forces operating under the auspices of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

NATO-Ukraine Working Group in Kyiv considers interim results of cooperation road map implementation Participants of the NATO-Ukraine Joint Working Group on Defense-Technical Cooperation have discussed interaction in the field of armaments and the implementation process of projects as part of NATO’s trust funds.

NATO to help create specialist training center at Ukroboronprom Ukraine’s state-run Ukroboronprom is preparing to create a training center for security and defense experts with the help of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Ukraine, Kazakhstan drawing up intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in aviation industry | KyivPost Ukraine and Kazakhstan plan to expand cooperation in the aircraft building area and drawing up an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in aviation industry for signing. Plans to develop cooperation in the aviation industry between the two countries were discussed at the 13th meeting of the joint interstate Ukrainian-Kazakh commission on economic cooperation in Astana with the participation of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Utilities Services Hennadiy Zubko, the press service of the deputy prime minister reported on Friday.

Kazakhstan eyes Ukraine’s An’s – LB.ua news portal Kazakhstan eyes Ukraine’s An’s. Ukraine also offered a new helicopter engine to Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan took interest in Ukrainian passenger aircraft An-148 and An-158, as well as the services for air transportation of extra-heavy and large-sized cargoes, Vice Prime Minister Henadiy Zubko said on 16 June as quoted by the website of the Cabinet. Zubko said Ukraine also offered Kazakhstan a new helicopter engine TV3–117VMA-SBM1V, as well as the possibility of overhauling the engines of the D-36 family and the TV3–117 engines. “SC Ukrspetsexport and LLC Kazakhstan Aviation Industry agreed to establish a service center for maintenance of Antonov aircraft on the basis of the Aviation and Technical Center in Astana. We plan to finalize a cooperation agreement between [Ukrainian] Cabinet of Ministers and the Government of Kazakhstan on production cooperation in the aircraft industry and prepare it for signing,” the official said. Zubko also said look into the prospects for joint exploration and use of outer space. “We agreed to support cooperation within the framework of the Ukrainian-Kazakh working group on the creation of a space-based missile system based on a light-duty launch rocket,” he said. Ukraine and Kazakhstan will strengthen cooperation in the design, construction and equipment of ships and boats. Ukraine is also ready to offer a concept and supply equipment for the protection of the sealine of Kazakhstan. Over the past seven years, Antonov has built 16 serial planes – six Ан-32, three Ан-148 and six Ан-158. In early 2015, President Petro Poroshenko chose An-148 as his Airforce One aircraft

Ukraine’s ultra-right militias are challenging the government to a showdown – The Washington Post It’s just as important for Ukrainian democracy to cleanse extremists from law enforcement as it is to remove corrupt officials.

Eastern Partnership ministerial meeting to take place in Luxembourg on June 19 Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine for European Integration Olena Zerkal on June 19 will represent Ukraine at the ministerial meeting of Eastern Partnership countries in Luxembourg.

Over 90 per cent of citizens identify themselves as Ukrainian – poll – LB.ua news portal Over 90 per cent of citizens identify themselves as Ukrainian – poll. Ukrainian national identity is most often declared by citizens from 18 to 24 years old. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

U.N. Human Rights Mission to Ukraine – YouTube Fiona Frazer, the Head of the U.N. Human Rights Mission to Ukraine, spoke to UATV about human rights issues in eastern Ukraine and Crimea. _ Follow UATV Engl…

After de-occupation persons started living in Crimea after Feb 20, 2014 are to leave peninsula – Mejlis chairman Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, President of the World Crimean Tatar Congress, MP Refat Chubarov, is convinced that Crimea annexed by Russia will be returned to control of Ukraine. He said that persons who started living in the peninsula after its annexation are to leave Crimea.

President approves cancellation of “Savchenko law” – LB.ua news portal President approves cancellation of “Savchenko law”. The law will become effective the next day after it is published. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Some 2,500 Attend Gay-Pride March In Kyiv Amid Massive Security Presence KYIV — Thousands of gay-rights activists marched in a pride rally&nbsp;in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, on June 18 amid a massive&nbsp;police presence.&nbsp; According to&nbsp;police, some 2,50…

Oligarch Charged With Corruption and Embezzlement – YouTube The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, or NABU, and the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, or SAP, have named a suspect in a massive natur…

Ukrainian Car Designers Unveil New Supercar – YouTube UATV is a 24/7 international broadcaster that targets broad audiences around the globe. UATV’s main goal is to convey objective, unbiased, relevant and inter…


The strange story of Hughesovka, the Ukrainian city built by the Welsh For all the many differences between the cities of the world, the foundation tale of any great metropolis generally runs along the same lines. It may involve settlement on either the bank of a river (London, Paris), or on the edge of the sea (Barcelona, New York, Rio de Janeiro), but the basic spark-point is the same – people finding a reliable, safe and convenient location next to water, and deciding to construct their homes there. Give it a few centuries – and glass skyscrapers and deep-dug Tube systems will eventually follow. There are, though, occasional exceptions to this theory, and the Ukrainian city of Donetsk is certainly one of them. It does not occupy the flank of a major river (the Kalmius, which passes through it, could scarcely be described as such), nor gaze at an ocean – and it was not founded by Romans, or even ancient Slavic peoples. It is a glitch in the timeframe, forged as recently as the late 19th century – and, in a significant way, in origin, it is British. It is not, of course, a place which demands tourist exploration. At least, not at the moment. For there Donetsk sits, in the far east of Ukraine, just 60 miles from the Russian border – a conurbation cloaked in smoke, strife and enduring doubts about its status. Indeed, it is difficult to say whether the term “Ukrainian city” is even correct anymore. As of April 2014, it has been part of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” – a self-proclaimed separatist entity, backed by Russia, which is fighting a civil war against its mother nation. This is not a place that anyone should wish to trawl in these dark times. But if Donetsk’s present is tense, its past is remarkable – and it starts not in Ukraine but in south Wales. In Merthyr Tydfil. For it was here, in 1814, that the businessman John Hughes was born – the son of an ironworks engineer whose skill with this key metal of the Industrial Revolution would see him build a city over 2,100 miles from his birthplace.

Welsh founder of ‘Hughesovka honoured by Ukraine with museum and commemorative stamp – Wales Online Legacy of Merthyr industrialist to be honoured in Ukraine – where he founded a city which is now home to more than 950,000 people

BBC – Dreaming a City: John Hughes and Hughesovka A new book tells the story of John Hughes, the ironmaster from Merthyr who founded a town in Tsarist Russia. Hughesovka – now called Donetsk – grew up around the works he built in the 1870s to make plating for a naval base.

Hughesovka and the New Russia: Gwyn Alf Williams in Donetsk – Wales Arts Review ‘Three times has this city been the focus of a struggle to create the new Russia.’ The words of one Gwyn Alf Williams, introducing the BAFTA Cymru-winning three-part documentary series Hughesovka and the new Russia, directed by Colin Thomas, first aired on BBC2 in 1991. Like Byzantium-Constantinople-Istanbul, the city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine has had three names and a turbulent history, but its history is as short as Istanbul’s is long. Its founder, Merthyr-born engineer and entrepreneur John Hughes, arrived in 1870. Now, less than 150 years later, the city – originally called Hughesovka in the Welshman’s honour – for a fourth time finds itself at the frontier of that battle for The New Russia. As Hughes’ fellow Merthyr Boy Gwyn Alf Williams points out in the mini-series, Donetsk has been – throughout its entire history – ‘a microcosm of Russia’. It is an almost outrageously bold claim that such a place could exist, given the nature of the world’s largest nation and the turbulence of its history, but words spoken as narration on a relatively obscure Wales-made documentary seem remarkably prescient to the current geopolitical faultline forming in eastern Ukraine.

John Hughes (businessman) – Wikipedia


Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports


How the Qatar crisis could turn into a disaster for Beijing | This Week In Asia | South China Morning Post Staying engaged in the Middle East is in China’s long-term economic interests, but competing with the US for influence may be a slippery slope towards picking sides in potential armed conflicts

Doha yet to see demands from Riyadh and allies | Qatar News | Al Jazeera Amid diplomatic rift, foreign minister says Qatar has not received list of demands from Saudi Arabia and its allies.

The British Establishment Has a Qatar Problem The super-rich al-Thanis, who sponsor Royal Ascot, love Britain for stardust of centuries-old tradition—while the British establishment revels in the benefits of Qatari wealth.

As Qatar crisis rages, Egypt gets closer to Hamas – Egypt – Haaretz.com As the diplomatic crisis surrounding Qatar continues, Cairo, Hamas and Palestinian President Abbas’ rival Mohammed Dahlan have reportedly agreed on a new way to run Gaza – which could loosen the blockade at Israel’s expense

Counting the cost of the Qatar-Gulf crisis | Qatar | Al Jazeera We examine the Gulf rift and its effect on Qatar’s economy, as the crisis is about to enter its third week.

Did Russia Kill Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Or Not? Russia – Professionals Or Not? – To Inform is to Influence Seven days ago Russia claimed to have possibly killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.   Seven days.  According to PATC, a full DNA test can be completed in 54 hours. That is two days and six hours in a dedicated lab.   Russia is still claiming a propaganda coup for possibly having killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.  From…

Russian Claims Questioned In Syria – To Inform is to Influence Russia is claiming two more ISIS commanders have been killed, but experts are doubting this and previous claims, according to ISIS experts in the Middle East. Looking at the bigger picture, however, the purpose behind these claims is for ammunition in the information war Putin needs for his 2018 election.  Putin needs to be seen…

Russia upset with US-backed SDF operation in Raqqa, launches propaganda campaign – To Inform is to Influence This story is interesting on multiple levels.  First, the source is ARA News, a Syrian-based news outlet who is overtly independent of US, Russian, and Syrian government influences. From what I have seen, this claim is about as true as you will find in this part of the world.  Second, the claim that the Russians…

U.S. Strike Kills IS Media Head In Eastern Afghanistan A U.S. air strike in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangahar Province killed the Islamic State (IS) extremist group’s director of media, U.S. forces have said. The June 3 air strike, which targete…


DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports


Former Japanese Residents To Fly To Disputed Russian-Held Islands Former Japanese residents are traveling to two Russian-held islands in the Pacific Ocean to pay their respects at family graves, Japanese officials say. The visit set to begin on June 18 will mar…

Chinese Missiles May Be Getting A Big Boost | The Daily Caller China is developing hypersonic missiles with three times the range, potentially threatening American air and naval assets operating in the Asia Pacific.

Meddle kingdom: Australia battles Chinese political influence WHEN Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s prime minister, urged China earlier this month to respect “the sovereignty of others”, many took it as criticism of China’s expansive territorial claims in the South China Sea. But the comment might just as easily have been a reference to Australia’s political parties.

Integrated Asia: Australia’s Dangerous New Strategic Geography – Strategic & Defence Studies Centre – ANU Globalization and major power rivalry are creating a China-centric integrated Asian strategic system, drawing together the once-discrete theatres of Northeast, Southeast, South and Central Asia. In his new Centre of Gravity Paper ‘Integrated Asia’, Professor Nick Bisley explores this changing strategic geography. He argues China will sit at the heart of a strategic system which will have maritime and continental dimensions but it will not be able to dominate it or replicate US primacy. US influence in Asia will decline in relative terms and its ability to provide order will be constrained. Nationalist ambition among the region’s giants will make integrated Asia an unstable place where cooperation among the great powers will be much harder to achieve than in the past. As such, Australia needs to reorient its strategic policy to reflect a more integrated Asian strategic system, one that is likely to be much less conducive to its interests than the international environment it has enjoyed over the past four decades or so.


Foreign Policy Reports


Here’s a snapshot look at Trump’s new guidelines on Cuba – LA Times Trump’s new guidelines make it more difficult to travel and do business with Cuba. Here’s a look.

Russia says Trump is using ‘Cold War rhetoric’ on Cuba – ABC News Russia says Trump is using ‘Cold War rhetoric’ on Cuba

Russia criticizes U.S. for ‘anti-Cuban’ approach, says it sides with Cuba | Reuters The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that “anti-Cuban” actions recently announced by Washington were regrettable and that Moscow confirmed its solidarity with Havana.

As EU Preps Sanctions Extension, Russia Adapts – WSJ The European Union is set to extend economic sanctions on Russia in the coming days, but the bloc’s efforts to isolate Moscow over the Ukraine crisis are fading, even as Washington looks to toughen its stance.

Politics in Moldova – YouTube Denis Cenusa, a Moldovan political analyst, explains to UATV who is in control in Chișinău. _ Follow UATV English: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UATVEN

‘Self-Determination’ Party Capitalizes On Kosovars’ Desire To Punish Governing Parties Kosovo’s political war wing may have won the fight in recent parliamentary elections, but the rise of the Vetevendosje party may be a sign it has lost the battle. Voters in the June 11 pol…

Merkel Pays Tribute To Kohl As Great German, European German Chancellor Angela Merkel paid tribute to her mentor Helmut Kohl as a great German and European. She said Kohl, who died on June 16 at the age of 87, led the two most important tasks in recent German history — the reunification of Germany and the unification of Europe. She added that the former chancellor and leader of her Christian Democratic Union party had changed her life as well, after she was raised in former communist East Germany. (Reuters)

Burqas Banned And LGBT Muslims Welcome At Germany’s First ‘Liberal’ Mosque – To Inform is to Influence You might ask what this has to do with information operations, information warfare, public diplomacy, or strategic communications?  The answer is everything.  This should be the basis for countering extremist Islam – through information.  I have personally sat through many lessons in a madrasa, an Islamic school, to learn Islam.  In my opinion, what is…


US Domestic Policy Reports


White House plans to push House GOP for friendlier Russia sanctions deal – POLITICO Senate Democrats fear that the White House will defang the bill designed to punish Russia for election meddling.

US Navy destroyer Fitzgerald missing sailors found dead – CNN.com The US Navy said Sunday that “a number” of missing sailors from the USS Fitzgerald were found in flooded berthing compartments.

Navy stops search for 7 missing sailors after bodies found – Nikkei Asian Review YOKOSUKA, Japan (AP) — The U.S. Navy ended search and rescue efforts for the seven sailors missing after their destroyer collided with a merchant shi

Russian hackers tried altering US election data. Now what? – CNNPolitics.com New report from Bloomberg reveals that Russian cyber attackers were much more involved in the U.S. presidential election than previously publicized.

This List Of Attacks Against Conservatives Is Mind Blowing | The Daily Caller A wave of liberal rage has marked the last 11 months since the rise and subsequent election of President Donald Trump. The DCNF reviewed numerous articles

Democratic strategist Jim Devine defends #HuntRepublicans, #HuntRepublicanCongressmen tweets Jim Devine tweeted Wednesday afternoon using the hashtags #HuntRepublicanCongressmen and ‘#HuntRepublicans.

Dem Strategist James Devine Launches Hashtag #HuntRepublicanCongressmen After Steve Scalise Shooting James Devine, a political strategist in the Garden State, tweeted that “we are in a war with selfish, foolish & narcissistic rich people.”

Rep. Scalise’s Condition Improves, Upgraded to ‘Serious’ – NBC News Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise’s condition was upgraded to “serious” Saturday, three days after he was shot by a gunman who opened fire on a baseball practice.

Steve Scalise upgraded to ‘serious’ condition, able to speak to family: Hospital – Washington Times Rep. Steve Scalise, the congressman wounded this week by a left-wing zealot gunman, is now in serious condition and is showing signs of improvement, doctors said in an update Saturday afternoon released by the congressman’s office.

If Trump were really in league with Russia, that would be reassuring for America’s civic sanity – LA Times A secret relationship would partially excuse Americans’ folly in voting for him.

Trump’s silence on Russian hacking hands Democrats new weapon – POLITICO Democrats say Trump has yet to express public concern about the underlying issue with striking implications for America’s democracy.

 

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