Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Media Update – 3 July 2017

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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By far the most interesting report overnight by RFE/RL is that of Nikolay Platonovich Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation [eq. NSC], and member of Putin’s inner circle, publicly threatening to invade Southern Ukraine to restart the flow of Dnieper river water into the North Crimean Canal, which prior to the Russian invasion supplied 85% of the peninsula’s water. When the Russians refused to pay for the water supply, Ukraine turned it off. Russian logic is of course, as always, impeccable: “we poor victim Russians are suffering because the fascist Banderites refuse to supply us with water at no cost and have no choice than to invade and take it from them, which is entirely legal since every Russian knows Ukraine is not a state, and Ukrainians are a not a people, and are also fascists, Nazis, collaborators, Banderites, Bullfinch eaters, dill eaters, salo eaters, crucifiers of Russian children ….”. A senior official like Patrushev making such a threat will not be an accident, he is former KGB/FSB and a hard nosed cynical professional in the intel and security game. So the question is whether this is about concocting a domestically salable pretense for launching a full scale invasion, a negotiating tactic to bamboozle POTUS at the G20, or simple psywar to scare the Ukrainian public in Kherson Oblast. Outcome to be determined, noting that Crimea is not a good staging area for an invasion due to the unusually narrow Perekop Isthmus that makes for an extended KZ for mainland rocket and tube artillery batteries, as well as the challenges in logistics and replenishment of losses via Kerch and Novorossiysk. Poland eagerly awaits visit by POTUS. Lavrov’s comments on NATO show immense ability to resist cognitive dissonance. While Patrushev threatens to invade Southern Ukraine, Piontkovsky speculates that Putin’s next invasion will be Chechnya, as it is sufficiently small to overwhelm, unlike the well armed Banderites. Arkhipova discusses the “New Stalin Cult” in Russia, while Pavlova speculates on whether Putin will attempt to replay the  “Great Terror” of 1937. Many other reports on Russia’s ongoing descent.

The fake-ransomware DoS attack on Ukraine retains a dominant MSM lead in the IW/IO/Cyber domain.

While Donbass fires continue, Ukraine’s leadership is pleading for NATO nations to supply lethal military aid. Kyiv MSM elaborate on NSDC Memo No. 220/3650 from May, 2017, that reports a critical shortage of ammunition supply of 7.62mm caliber for sniper rifles, 12.7mm caliber for DShK and NSVT machine guns, large calibers from 23 to 152mm for artillery systems, grenade launcher rounds of all types and calibers,” with the planned munitions manufacturing plant running so far behind schedule, the AFU is in difficulty with its warstock, not helped by the Balakleya munitions storage depot fire. Butusov claims the car bomb assassination of MGen Shapoval may have been retaliation for a GUR operation on the 7th June, 2017, in which Russian FSB Vympel SOF Colonel Yury Mikhaylovich Cherkashyn, commander of the Russian covert assassination and sabotage network inside Ukraine, became a KIA statistic. Interesting Donbass story about RF Army T-72B3 MBT named the  “White Eagle, and its incessant raids on AFU positions. Two reports on harassment of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Crimea. Bizarre report from Crimea about grave robbers desecrating a WW2 era Holocaust mass grave by stealing the remains.

No dramatic developments in Syria, but SECSTATE reported to have told Russians they are responsible for Assad.

AMTI report more construction along the Great Wall of Sand, while Xi visits Putin in Moscow.

Reports French police foiled an assassination plot against Macron during POTUS visit. Two reports on Russian meddling in Balkans.

In DC, Sputnik Radio FM about to air, while Politico asks whether incessant MSM coverage of Putin is not inflating public views of his capabilities, and Glenn Reynolds lambasts MSM for allowing POTUS to bait them (neglecting the clickbait revenue dimension of such MSM coverage – revenue beats reputation every time in new age MSM). Nice essay on US oil exports.

Russia / Russophone Reports

Russia unable to supply Crimea with water, Putin might deliver ultimatum to Ukraine, – Krym.Realii 03.07.17 12:54 – Russia is not capable to supply water to Crimea without Ukraine’s participation. Agriculture and industrial manufacturing of the peninsula suffer from dehydration, and the steppe might turn into a lifeless desert. The Kremlin is not able to recognize its own incapability. Moscow is preparing for Ukraine’s future ultimatum: either Kyiv unblocks the North Crimean Canal, or the Kremlin will use force, Krym.Realii report is cited by Censor.NET. Secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolay Patrushev, held a meeting in occupied Crimea. The official noted the catastrophic condition of the peninsula’s water supply and accused “unfriendly” Ukraine of trying to destabilize the situation in the region. The Ministry of Defense of Russia reported of training of Marine Corps recruits deployed in Crimea. How are the two messages related? Directly. At the meeting in occupied Simferopol, Patrushev covered several issues: lack of water, activities of “foreign agents” on the peninsula, “threats” from Ukraine, and cooperation of the Russian military-industrial complex with Crimean enterprises. The top-ranking official dwelled into the details of the water supply issue. The data voiced at the meeting might be called catastrophic. The Secretary of the Security Council of Russia said that since the beginning of the occupation the area of ​​irrigated land has decreased by 92%, the industry has suffered. Prior to the occupation, Ukraine covered 85% of the peninsula’s needs for water through the North Crimean Canal. The area of ​​irrigated land was about 437,000 hectares then. At the end of last year, the republican agency reported that now they water only 13,000 hectares. Patrushev’s statements are not just the words of an ordinary official. It’s a person from the circle of cronies of President Vladimir Putin. Together with the head of the FSB, the Russian defense minister and the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service, he reports to the head of state on the situation in the country and the world. The Secretary of the Security Council directly participates in the development of key political decisions. If Patrushev has grown concerned with the supply of water, then the issue had been discussed at the highest level in the Kremlin. And this is of fundamental importance. Two major conclusions can be drawn from Patrushev’s words. First, the Russian authorities failed to fulfill the task of providing Crimea with water. After Kyiv blocked the channel, the republican “authorities” and Moscow’s curators made a good face in a bad game: they say Russia will not leave Crimeans in trouble and will find a way out. Official optimism has dried up quickly. At the end of the first year of the illegal annexation, “speaker” Vladimir Konstantinov accused the authorities of Ukraine of “water genocide,” and demanded an international trial to force Kyiv to open the channel. However, the matter stuck at these talks and propaganda. Moscow did not dare to sue Ukraine with the demand to give water to the occupied peninsula. The Kremlin’s lawyers were well aware that the claim against Ukraine would not even be considered. In accordance with international law, securing the seized territory is a responsibility of the occupying country. The lack of water in Crimea, lack of electricity, or high food prices are the problems of the Kremlin, not of Kyiv. Moscow officials were trying to reassure the population that they could solve the problem. Measures to ensure uninterrupted water supplies were put as a separate line in the federal plan for the “development” of the peninsula. In the Russian and regional media, the idea of ​​building a water pipeline from the Krasnodar Territory was discussed. In spring of last year, the head of the State Committee for Water Management, Igor Vayl, said that the idea of ​​the water pipeline had been abandoned. There was not enough water in Kuban. “Patrushev’s statement shows that Moscow does not have any capabilities to give water to the peninsula without Ukraine’s participation.They try to convince the Crimean population that it’s not the fault of the Kremlin, who seized them, but of Kyiv, who blocked the canal because of being ‘nasty.’ The Russian Security Council is unleashing anti-Ukrainian hysteria. Everything leads to a development when Putin will accuse Ukraine of a “humanitarian catastrophe” on the peninsula and put forward an ultimatum: either Kyiv opens the canal, or the Russian military does it.The Kremlin can make claims at the most convenient moment for them. The main deterrent here is the fighting capability of the Ukraine Armed Forces and the tough stance of Washington and Brussels on the Kremlin aggression,” the medium reported.
Emblem Security Council of Russia.png
UAWire – Expert: Crimea on the verge of withering, Kremlin prepares ultimatum for Ukraine Russia is experiencing major problems with the water supply to the annexed Crimea. Draught is affecting the agriculture and the industry of the …

Expert: Crimea on the verge of withering, Kremlin prepares ultimatum for Ukraine – To Inform is to Influence Beside the obvious point being made by the article, about the water problems in Crimea, note the information flow.  Within the Information Warfare program of Russia, there were nine proposed subordinate structures. One would coordinate the messages coming out of the national leadership of Russia. In this case the message was approved by Putin/Surkov, and…

Original Canal Gates in 2014, after shutdown

New Canal Gates in 2017

Crimea on agenda of Trump-Putin talks amid G20 summit – media The issue of Russian-annexed Crimea is among other subjects on the agenda of talks between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Germany, according to CNN. News 03 July from UNIAN.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: NATO ‘doomed to failure’ NATO is “doomed to failure” in the 21st century for lack of “a reason for existence,” according to Russia’s top diplomat. “The attempts to adapt the institutions dating back to the era of bipolar confrontation to realities of the 21st century are doomed to failure,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday at an international foreign policy forum. “In particular, the North Atlantic Alliance has remained part of the Cold War paradigm as it tries to find a reason for existence … NATO has destabilized and continues to destabilize the security structure in Europe.” Lavrov made that claim as he elaborated on the need for a “post-West world order,” as he put it at a European conference in February. That “renewed world order” would be governed by “a uniform interpretation” of international law. Lavrov’s comments come as western leaders, alarmed by Russian aggression in Ukraine and the Middle East, are boosting NATO defense spending and calling for new military developments to maintain a technological edge. “International relations have reached an important fork,” Lavrov said. “Either we will continue to waste our time and resources, which is fraught with a new arms race, further expansion of the space of instability, chaos, and uncontrollability, or the leading centers of civilization will manage to reach an agreement and unite their efforts based on broad international partnership with the central coordinating role of the U.N.” U.S. leaders, particularly in Congress, blame Russia for the ongoing tensions. Senate lawmakers voted to pass an expansive package of new sanctions over Ukraine. The sanctions bill would also punish Russia’s partnership with Iran in supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad throughout the ongoing Syrian civil war and the cyberattacks conducted against the Democratic party and state election systems in the 2016 elections. And Russia’s ongoing military build-up, including a violation of a Cold War-era arms control treaty, has some American leaders calling for a major increase in U.S. defense spending. “It’s better to win an arms race than lose a war,” Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said Monday. Lavrov defended Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to annex Crimea and invade eastern Ukraine, however, saying that Ukrainian leaders were oppressing ethnic Russians and thus rendering the invasion a matter of national honor. “Had we not done what we did, we would have betrayed our civilization which our forefathers developed over centuries and who then spread it over vast territories,” Lavrov said. Lavrov also said that, had Russia not intervened to help Assad, the United States might have “joined forces with the terrorists” to overthrow the regime. “The reverse side of the ‘West-centric’ globalization model, the persistent desire to measure others by one’s own pseudo-liberal values, impose changes from the outside with no consideration for local traditions and even use force to remove undesirable regimes, has been a surge in international terrorism,” Lavrov said.

UAWire – Russia: There is no positive dynamic in relations with U.S. Russia feels that there is no positive dynamic in its relationship with the U.S., as stated by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov in an …

Poland wants Trump’s vow of protection from Russian activity – ABC News Poland’s government would like visiting President Donald Trump to make assurances this week that the presence of U.S. and NATO troops in Poland will continue as long as the region’s security is threatened by Russia, the foreign minister said Monday. Trump is to deliver a speech in Warsaw during a brief visit Thursday. The visit comes before Trump attends a G20 summit in Germany, where he will meet Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. Poland and other nations in the region that were under Moscow’s dominance in the communist era are concerned for their security because of Russia’s increased military activity, some of it close to their borders. Minister Witold Waszczykowski told reporters that Poland would like to hear Trump’s assurances that the recently installed rotational presence of thousands of U.S. and NATO troops in Poland will continue. “We would like to hear that as long as the threat continues we will be supported by the U.S. and NATO troops,” Waszczykowski said. He said he was less concerned about Trump’s apparent reluctance to confirm NATO’s Article 5, which says that an attack on one member is considered an attack on all, and pledges mutual defense. The president eventually did confirm his commitment to the article in a news conference on June 9. “I am more interested in the 5,000 U.S. troops than in the monthly confirmation, by the means of rhetoric, of Article 5,” Waszczykowski said, calling Article 5 concerns an “artificially created issue.”

Poland Welcomes Trump With Open Arms – Stratfor Worldview The U.S. president will visit the country on his way to the G-20 summit. And an anxious Warsaw will be using the meeting to make sure it can count on the United States.

NATO could be forced to respond to the Petya attack, says new report – To Inform is to Influence If NATO’s Article 5 is triggered as a result of the recent cyberattack, it would be the first since 9/11, which was the only time Article 5 has been invoked.  As I have repeatedly stated, Russia is the most likely culprit and probably launched the attacks. Russia has the capabilities, motive, and history. But cyber…

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin Preparing to Launch Third Post-Soviet Chechen War, Piontkovsky Says Paul Goble Staunton, July 3 – Having suffered a crushing defeat in Ukraine, alienated all of Russia’s neighbors and isolated it from the West, Vladimir Putin is preparing to launch a new war within Russia’s borders, one that, if Moscow propagandists cleverly present it, will not be opposed by the West and might even be welcomed by it, according to Andrey Piontkovsky. “The Russian political ‘elite’ simply cannot comprehend that no one in the post-Soviet space needs it as an instructor as to how to live and as a center of attraction,” the Russian analyst says; and it has failed to learn the learns of Putin’s “shameful Ukrainian adventure” ( The fascist-like Russian “’elite’” does not have the support of a fascist-like people ready to sacrifice itself as did the Germans under Hitler in the 1930s or the Serbs under Milosevich in the 1990s. Russians abroad – in the case, Ukraine, supported Kyiv not Moscow; and Russians at home quickly lost interest in “’Crimea is Ours’” as a mobilizing slogan. Moreover, Moscow did not understand that the West would not simply defer to Russia on what this “’elite’” thinks is properly its home turf, Piontkovsky continues. Instead, it imposed serious sanctions on Russia and isolated Russia from the West which has been a playground for moneyed new Russians for 20 years. And finally, the Moscow “’elite’” failed to recognize that “Ukraine has left” Russia’s orbit forever, “and with it the entire post-soviet space. ‘The greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century’ in fact occurred in the 14th year of the 21st century” because the Anschluss of Crimea means that Russia will never recover what it has lost. Putin and his “’elite’” can’t afford to march in place and so a number of developments suggest that together they are planning to take another “dose of the imperial narcotic” by launching “the third Chechen war.” Such a war is attractive because there is “no risk of further sharpening of relations with the West.” That will be particularly true “if the propagandists are able to sell this war to [the West] as an action intended to restore the constitutional rights of gays,” the Russian analyst continues. Putin’s use of Kadyrov to stop the fighting was clever as far as it went, “but the negative sides of this project have become ever more obvious.” Kadyrov is able to do what he pleases to Chechens and to others and the Russian taxpayer pays his bills, only so that the Chechen leader won’t seek “a formal exit from Russia.” But that is just formally. Kadyrov “already long ago separated his republic from Russia de facto and the formal inclusion in a Putinist-Chechen union suits him since it solves for him his most important tasks.” He gets money, he gets freedom of action, and he gets Putin’s protection from the Russian siloviki who hate him. “The ‘Kadyrov’ project stopped the genocide of the Chechen people and gave Putin the chance to preserve the illusion of ‘victory’ in war and the retention of Chechnya within Russia. But a high price had to be paid for this illusion – the oppressive reality of the insertion of Russia as part of Chechnya.” That is becoming increasingly intolerable and hence unsustainable for Russians. There are two ways out: withdrawing from Chechnya and letting it go its own separate way, or “restoring Russian constitutional Ordnung in Chechnya.” Putin seems more inclined to choose the latter because he and his “’elite’” need another “good little war.” But whether they can get one there easily is very much an open question, Piontkovsky suggests, and as a consequence, “the Chechen question will inevitably become the first and sharpest political crisis of post-Putin Russia,” one that it won’t be able to put off or avoid facing the inevitable separation of the two countries.

UAWire – Putin approved amendments to Russia’s ‘Martial law’ bill Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the federal constitutional law &quot;On amending the federal constitutional law ‘On martial law’.&quot; The …

Window on Eurasia — New Series: New Stalin Cult Product of Russians’ Sense of Injustice and Anger at Stagnation, Anthropologist Says Paul Goble Staunton, July 2 – Paradoxically, Russian anthropologist Aleksandra Arkhipova says, many of the same things that are behind protests against the Putin regime are also behind the new cult of Stalin among broad swaths of the population: a sense of injustice, stagnation and the impotence of the current regime to change things. Since 1998, she writes, “new fewer than 132” Stalin statues have been put up across Russia, two-thirds of which have appeared in villages and most as a result of popular activism rather than at the direction of the state despite what one might call “the ‘soft’ state reconstruction of Stalinism” ( According to Arkhipova, “behind this stands either ‘a low-level party resource’ (a local cell of the KPRF) or a group of residents of a city not united by party. More rarely, but also encountered, are cases when the idea of a memorial [to Stalin] and its implementation belong to a single specific individual.” In many cases, those who want to put up such memorials are opposed by the authorities, and “this means that there exists some internal cause which is forcing people, at great risk to their reputations, to spend their time and resources on the erection of a bust of the leader or the creation of ‘a memory corner.’” “For the supporter of liberal views, interest in this problem ends approximately at this point – ‘they’ve put up a monument, everything is clear’ – but for an anthropologist the conversation is only beginning. What stands behind this idea … besides reaction to the soft rehabilitation of Stalin in official discourse?” Surveys show that since 2014 Russians feel that they are suffering from extreme injustice and a difficult life and that “there do not exist any present-day means of solving these problems.” Hence, they look back to anyone they believe could do so, regardless of the way he did. And it is this search that leads many to Stalin, the anthropologist continues. Indeed, she says, Russians across the board often talk about Stalin’s “’concern’” for people, “a basic feature of an ideal super-paternalist stage which is concerned about you and others unlike the present-day state” which “many of our informants” say isn’t concerned about the population as a whole. Thus, “the more people feel the lack of the concern for themselves from the present-day state, the more appear conclusions of the kind ‘but Stalin was concerned about Soviet people,’a view of the “father” figure that is reinforced by the rise of new anecdotes and the belief in many myths about his reign that are simply not true. There is a sense that Stalin knew how to get things done and thus could solve the problems of today, something many Russians do not believe the Putin regime is capable of. And many also believe that Stalin never allowed the stagnation which has arisen because he constantly changed cadres while Putin allows people to remain in place without fear. “If [Stalin] could build factories throughout the country in a decade and exile whole peoples, then those problems which are now in [Russia] he could also resolve and easily too. Stalin’s cruelty in the solution of problems is in a paradoxical way the key to the solution of their contemporary analogues.” “The most important thing,” Arkhipova argues, is that “everyone measures his daily experience by references to Stalin,” and that means that the striving for justice in the minds of many can only be addressed adequately by the kind of cruelty that Stalin brought to the rule of the country. Such popular appeals to Stalin are becoming “a universal response and a possibility of constructing ‘the position of the strong’” on behalf of the population. And thus, unexpectedly for many, this Stalin, “’a Stalin without Stalinism’ turns out to be an indirect form of protest” against the current regime rather than a basis of its support.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: A 1937 Anniversary the Kremlin Won’t Be Marking – at Least Not with Parades Paul Goble Staunton, July 2 – Today marks the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Great Terror, Irina Pavlova says, because on this date in 1937, the Communist Politburo adopted a then-secret degree “On Anti-Soviet Elements” on the basis of which the NKVD developed the program on which the Great Terror began. These documents, the US-based Russian historian says, “became the basic plan of a grandiose ‘purge’ of society, which was carried out under the cover of an election campaign to the Soviet parliament, the Supreme Soviet of the USSR” which were held six months later ( In 1937, the NKVD launched a wave of arrests that swept up first hundreds, then thousands and then tens of thousands of people all accompanied by mass public meetings in support of excluding from the elite those who had misused their position and punishing them as well. Today, Pavlova argues, “what is required is not this history of mass, secret destruction of Soviet citizens.” Instead, what is needed by those in power is “a half truth about the Great Terror, about its visible aspect, about ‘replacement of elites,’ about Stalin’s so-called cadres reform which was marked by a mass ‘purge’ of the party-state bureaucracy.” Over the last decade, she continues, support for a repetition of 1937 has grown because in the words of Yegor Kholmogorov, one of its advocates, “without a broad repressive policy which will cleanse the air in present-day Russia, it will be impossible to restore order and what is especially important to form a new elite.” Now, such views which he expressed already in 2003, have “conquered the masses and become a commonplace,” as shown by the materials about Stalin in the media of Russia today. In April, Moskovsky komsomolets published an article by Aleksandr Pyzhnikov which could be called “a manifesto” of such appeals ( And since then such appeals have only multiplied. Pavlova suggests that “the campaign for ‘a change of elites,’ for repression against bosses will become the pre-election platform for Vladimir Putin’s fourth term,” a platform that will “unite not only the [current] supporters of Putin but also the protest electorate” which has focused on corruption as an issue. To that end, Dmitry Medvedev may be a symbolic sacrifice. “There is no doubt that with such an agenda, Putin will easily win the Russian elections, casting himself as a popular ruler and defender of the people’s interests.” Of course, “mass murders of the kinds that occurred under Stalin aren’t needed today. The times are different: they are vegetarian.”

‘PUTIN WAS MEDIOCRE’ Feared Russian president Vladimir Putin was not an impressive KGB agent, claims his former spy boss – To Inform is to Influence Consider the source. The Sun is more tabloid than news, but the article is amusing.  </end editorial> Retired general Nikolai Leonov says Putin was sent to an unimportant posting in East Germany By Sam Webb 2nd July 2017, 4:32 pm RUSSIAN president Vladimir Putin was a “mediocre” KGB agent, according to his former boss at…

Dutch journalists indirectly confirm place of residence of Russian officer involved in MH17 tragedy (Video) Dutch journalists from the Nieuwsuur (News Hour) television program broadcast by the public broadcasters NOS and NTR have indirectly confirmed the place of residence of Russian Major General Sergey Dubinsky (Doebinski in the Dutch spelling), nom de guerre Khmuryi ('Gloomy' or 'Grumpy'), who is suspected of involvement in the MH17 downing in occupied territory in Donbas in July 2014, according to an episode aired on July 2, 2017. News 03 July from UNIAN.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Political Murders Will Continue in Russia Because They are Useful to Putin, Feygin Says Paul Goble Staunton, July 2 – New political murders in Russia are likely because Vladimir Putin needs them as part of its effort to whip up hysteria against his opponents and thus protect his own power, lawyer Mark Feygin says, even though there are many elements in the regime who are opposed to such measures also out of a concern for self-preservation. In an interview given to Yulia Zabelina of the Apostrophe portal, Feygin points out that Putin uses Ramzan Kadyrov for such things even though there are institutions such as the FSB which oppose that Chechen leader for his independence (—advokat-mark-feygin/13200). But in the current situation of dictatorship and the absence of democracy, the lawyer continues, “Putin has the last word, not the FSB. In this system, Putin himself personifies the FSB, the North Caucasus and the entire system as a whole. He is the goal and means of this system and doesn’t need to ask the FSB what its officers think.” Putin “has his own strategic plan for preserving himself in power, and Kadyrov serves this plan as a most important detail. So why should Putin himself destroy this machine?” He will continue to use it, even if it sometimes causes troubles for him as it has following the murder of Boris Nemtsov. “I am even convinced,” Feygin says, “that all this isn’t useful for Putin because for Putin Nemtsov wasn’t dangerous. He didn’t represent any decisive threat to the system … and so Putin didn’t need to remove him. To overcome the consequences of this murder will be much more complicated that ignoring the existence of people like Nemtsov.” But there is an explanation for why this process will go on for some time, an explanation that reflects the profound differences between Ukraine with its investigation of the Gongadze murder and Russia with that of Nemtsov. “In Ukraine, what is needed to investigate is political will because there is democracy there, admittedly weak.” “In Russia,” however, “there is no democracy, we are held back by an authoritarian and quite harsh system. In this is the difference between the two countries. The political character of both murders is obvious, but he consequences can be different because of the different opportunities of the system to answer a question that is of interest to society.” Because of the nature of the Putin system in Russia, Feygin continues, he says that he has “no doubts” that there will be more political murders.” The head of the regime still benefits from them and civil society and democratic institutions remain respectively amorphous and weak. Consequently, such murders will be part of the regime’s plans to defend itself. Such murders will take place “not frequently.” But they will continue “because, on the one hand, the hysteria which is supported by Kremlin propaganda divides society into the loyal and disloyal, ‘the fifth column’ and the majority, and therefore these attitudes always will be inspired from above and generate desire to solve all these problems at a stroke by killing someone. As they say, no person, no problem.” And on the other, they will continue because the Kremlin’s political opponents “have no opportunities for response. For them, the non-use of force is a more important principle than power itself … and therefore selective political murders will take place” and the regime will do what it has to both to carry them out and cover up its role in them.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia Considering Introducing Islamic Banking to Get Around Western Sanctions Paul Goble Staunton, July 2 – Facing ever greater difficulty in raising money in the West because of sanctions and calls by its own growing Muslim population for such a step, Russian banks are now considering the introduction of Islamic banking in order to gain access to credit markets in the Muslim world. Bekhnam Gurban-zade, an advisor to the head of Sberbank, tells Novyye izvestiya that his bank is preparing a road map for the introduction of Islamic banking in Russia and the Duma is working on legislation which would allow banking on the principles of shariat law which bans interest but allow banks to become co-investors in projects ( Some Muslim areas in the Russian Federation have been pushing this idea for the last seven years, but now is the first time that it appears there is support in Moscow for the idea, the paper says, although there are concerns about how such a system would work in parallel with the existing mercantilist model. But because of the size of Islamic banking abroad – one to two trillion US dollars now and slated to rise to four trillion in the coming years – financial experts in the Russian capital says that “sooner or later,” Russia will take this step in order to gain access to credit markets in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Iran, and eventually “even Syria.” Indeed, these experts say, the greatest obstacle to that are not financial arrangements but the name, “Islamic” banking. Russia is a secular state, and these experts say that businesses very negatively react to any religiously based banking, be it the Orthodox kind Patriarch Kirill has been talking about or Islamic banking now.

In Russia’s Far East, a Fledgling Las Vegas for Asia’s Gamblers – The New York Times At a time when few Chinese investors want to take a risk on Russia, a new casino in a forest, 4,000 miles east of Moscow, beckons deep-pocketed Asians.

Reaping The Harvest: Siberian Prison Channels Millions To Local Lawmaker’s Firms MOSCOW — Novosibirsk's maximum-security prison No. 2 (IK-2) is a cheerless, daunting place that is home to just over 2,000 hardened criminals, most of them repeat offenders. A gray, urba…

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Nearly 40 Percent of Russian Economy Still in Shadow Sector Paul Goble Staunton, July 2 – According to the international Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, 39.3 percent of the Russian economy remains in the shadow sector, making Russia one of the leaders in this regard and meaning that 35.55 trillion rubles (600 billion US dollars) of economic activity there are off the books and not paying taxes. Not only is the share of the shadow economy in Russia almost twice (1.84 times) that of the worldwide average, but it has remained almost unchanged there since 2011 while it has declined over that period in other countries from 23.1 percent to 22.5 percent ( and Russia has surpassed the level in Kenya (where it is 26.8 percent) but not yet reached the level of Nigeria (47.7 percent), the ACCA says. And it lags far behind the three countries that have the smallest shadow sectors, the United States (7.69 percent), Japan (9.89 percent), and China (10.17 percent). Shadow economies flourish where taxes are high and thus there is a great deal of tax avoidance, where government pressure on business is intense and where the level of poverty is high as well. In Russia, the ACCA says, all these things are true as are underlying weaknesses in democratic institutions and the current recession. According to one poll, two-thirds of Russians either support or at least do not oppose the shadow economy because they back the desire of businesses to avoid paying taxes or registering with the state. Indeed, this public support for the shadow economy is currently at the highest levels in modern times. Moreover, ever fewer Russians express opposition to the shadow economy: in 2001, 42.2 percent did; now only 16.4 percent do. A major reason for this, the ACCA says, is that Russians don’t view business as the cause of the process in which “the poor are becoming poorer and the rich richer” because in Russia, in the view of the public, “the richest people are not entrepreneurs but bureaucrats” and so they can support the efforts of the former to escape from the power of the latter.

UAWire – Media: Russia intends to cut financing of its Arctic development program by 17 times The strategic state program for the development of the Arctic, which is overseen by the Ministry of Economic Development, was conceived as a …

Netflix Continues Operating in Russia Despite Foreign Ownership Restrictions | Hollywood Reporter As of this weekend, a law limits foreign ownership of online video services to 20 percent stakes, but the streaming video giant’s service hasn’t been shut down or interrupted.

8 reasons why Russian Communism and Russian Orthodoxy are so interchangeable | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press | Many people are surprised and others are alarmed that Russian Orthodoxy and Communism are so “easily interchangeable,” but Moscow blogger Yury Komarov says they shouldn’t be because the two share many features, the result of the Bolsheviks’ adaptation of Orthodox customs after 1917 to win over the population. As a result, he says, “the format of both cults” is remarkably similar, even though one is atheistic and the other religious” because both “however paradoxical this may sound are both at the beginning and the continuation of each other.” And that means that a society which initially follows one can easily shift to the other later. Komarov lists eight similarities between the two which allow individuals to move from one to the other with far less difficulty than many might expect.

Protesters urge Belarus to reduce its dependence on Russia | National Post MINSK, Belarus — About 100 people have protested in Belarus, calling for the former Soviet republic to reduce its military dependence on Russia and seek closer ties with Europe. The protest Monday in Minsk, the capital, came as Belarus marked its annual Independence Day celebration with a large military parade. Opposition leader Nikolai Statkevich told people at the rally “this criminal government is dragging Belarus into dangerous Russian games.” Demonstrators said they wanted the government to cancel a joint Russia-Belarus military exercise in Belarus planned for September. While the demonstration was unsanctioned, it went on peacefully. Opposition rallies earlier this year saw hundreds of arrests by riot police. Despite occasional economic spats, Belarus has been a close military and political ally of Russia since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union.

IW/IO/Cyber Reports

Cyber attack: Ukrainian software company will face charges over security neglect, police suggest – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) The small Ukrainian tax software company that is accused of being the patient zero of a damaging global cyber epidemic is under investigation and will face charges, the head of Ukraine’s CyberPolice has suggested. Key points: Ukrainian software company ME Doc had blown off repeated warnings about the security of its IT infrastructure ME Doc initially denied role in the malicious software’s spread Ukrainian authorities blame Russia for masterminding the outbreak The major cyber attack locked up computers around the world, disrupting businesses from Mumbai to Los Angeles and halting production at a Cadbury factory in Tasmania. Colonel Serhiy Demydiuk, the head of Ukraine’s national Cyberpolice unit, said that Kiev-based ME Doc’s employees had blown off repeated warnings about the security of their information technology infrastructure. “They knew about it,” he said. Mr Demydiuk and other officials say last week’s unusually disruptive cyberattack was mainly spread through a malicious update to ME Doc’s eponymous tax software program, which is widely used by accountants and businesses across Ukraine. The malicious update, likely planted on ME Doc’s update server by a hacker, was then disseminated across the country before exploding into an epidemic of data-scrambling software that Ukrainian and several other multinational firms are still recovering from. ME Doc initially denied playing any such role in the malicious software’s spread but later deleted the statement from Facebook. The company, which says it is cooperating with authorities, has not returned messages seeking comment.

How a Hospital Survived the Cyber Attack – YouTube Dr. Anna Horban, the Chief Pediatrician at the Borys Medical Clinic, told UATV how she and her colleagues dealt with the cyber attack shutting down their hos…

Cyberattack hit 30 banks – news portal The National Bank states that about Ukrainian 30 banks suffered from cyberattacks on June 27, the deputy governor of the NBU Kateryna Rozhkova said on Channel 5 on 3 July. “About 30 banking institutions were affected, albeit the degree of damage varies. This virus is known to work in such a way that it damages personal computers. Therefore, depending on how promptly the information security services of banks reacted, they disconnected from the general network and thus minimized the damage,” Rozhkova said. She also said what needs to be done in order to avoid such situations. “First of all, this is technical equipment. Banks should not economize on the software that must sort out, prevent, etc… Second important thing is working with the personnel. People should not open unfamiliar files,” the NBU deputy governor warned. It is critically important for banks to separate operating systems and work systems that do not require inclusion into operating systems. “If this case, even if your personal computer is affected, it will not affect the overall, basic system where the main files are stored,” Rozhkova said.

Ukraine calls out Russian involvement in Petya | ZDNet Ukraine says the cyber attack designed to shut down its data and spread panic on Tuesday involved Russian security services.

Ukraine Security Service Blames Russia for ‘Petya’ Outbreak – Infosecurity Magazine Ukraine Security Service Blames Russia for ‘Petya’ Outbreak. Attackers used ransomware as cover for destructive blitz, it claims

Russia behind GoldenEye ransomware attack, says Ukraine – CNET The GoldenEye strain of the Petya ransomware was designed to wipe out data, and hit companies throughout Europe and even one in Australia.

Ukraine: Russian security services were behind cyberattack Ukraine accused the Russian security services Saturday of planning and launching a cyberattack that locked up computers around the world ear…

Ukraine points finger at Russia over Petya attack – Finance – iTnews Destruction, not ransom, the main aim.

NotPetya Ransomware Hackers ‘Took Down Ukraine Power Grid’ Increasing confidence in some corners that Russia was behind a massive ransomware attack that crippled Ukrainian businesses and government, as well as major global corporations.

Ukraine’s SBU says Russian secret services involved in Petya.A attack 03.07.17 09:44 – The most recent cyberattack upon Ukrainian state agencies and companies with Petya.A malware was aimed at destabilization of current situation in Ukraine. As reported by Censor.NET, this was announced by Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) press center. “SBU believes that the attack had been planned in advance. It occurred in several stages and started on the eve of the national holiday [Constitution Day on June 28 – ed.]. Although this attack was disguised as ransomeware, in fact this virus just covers a large scale attack upon Ukraine,” the agency said. SBU says the type of the attack, through the use of accounting software, is rare, and in the past several years has only been used by North Korea once. The main goal of the attack, SBU says, was to destroy important data and hinder operations of state and private organizations of Ukraine for the purpose of spreading panic among Ukrainians. The security agency added that based on the data they received about the attack, it involved the same hacker groups as in December 2016, when finance, transportation, and energy sectors were affected with TeleBots and Blackenergy. “This is an evidence that the Russian secret services have been involved,” the report reads. On June 27-29, numerous Ukrainian companies, government agencies, and banks were attacked by a large-scale computer virus Petya.A.

Kaspersky Chief Says Willing To Allow U.S. Officials To Examine Products’ Source Code The chief executive of Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab says he is willing to have his company&rsquo;s source code examined by U.S. officials to ease concerns about its cybersecurity products…

Ukraine Reports

Alexander Vershbow: US should help Ukraine strengthen its defensive capabilities – 03.07.2017 15:26 — Ukrinform News 03.07.2017 15:26. The United States should help Ukraine strengthen its defensive capabilities and be ready to step up the economic sanctions to increase the costs to Russia for continuing the conflict. Distinguished Fellow of the U.S. Atlantic Council, former Deputy Secretary General of NATO Alexander Vershbow said this, speaking at the 95th Rose-Roth Seminar on “Security and Stability in Ukraine and the Black Sea Region,” an Ukrinform correspondent reports. “Washington should help Ukraine strengthen its defensive capabilities, which means providing Ukraine with a wider scope of defensive weapons and also increasing the costs to Russia for continuing the conflict in Ukraine,” Vershbow said. He noted he referred not to a military solution, but a search for political and diplomatic settlement of the conflict.

Ukraine asks NATO to provide lethal weapons to counteract Russia’s aggression – news portal Ukraine asks the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to provide defensive lethal weapons, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Ivan Klimpush-Tsintsadze said on Monday, 3 July. “We are asking for defensive lethal weapons to protect ourselves, our land, in order to do it more effectively, so that there are fewer military losses, so that there are fewer civilian losses,” Klimpush-Tsintsadze said. She stressed the need for such weapons to counter Russian aggression. The vice-premier added that only systemic and solidary pressure could draw Russia’s attention to international law. Earlier, head of the Foreign Affairs Committee Hanna Hopko has said in a interview that there is a high probability that the US will provide Ukraine with lethal weapons. She noted that the administration of President Donald Trump “wants to demonstrate that they are with us not just in words.” In 2014 and 2015, the US has refrained from providing Ukraine with lethal weapons as the White House felt that this could “spur” Russia to escalating the conflict.

Ukraine asks for defensive weapons to reduce losses among soldiers and civilians – Vice PM Klympush-Tsyntsadze – 03.07.2017 12:55 — Ukrinform News 03.07.2017 12:55. Ukraine asks the West to provide defensive lethal weapons in order to defend the country more effectively and reduce losses among the military and civilians. Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Ivanna Klympush-Tsyntsadze said this, speaking at the 95th Rose-Roth Seminar on “Security and Stability in Ukraine and the Black Sea Region,” an Ukrinform correspondent reports. “We ask for support and solidarity as the Russian Federation understands only the language of force, and therefore the deterrence must be carried out exclusively from the standpoint of force. We are asking for defensive lethal weapons to more effectively defend ourselves and our land and to reduce civilian and military losses,” Klympush-Tsyntsadze said.

Parubiy not rules out a ‘very fast’ decision on Ukraine’s membership in NATO – 03.07.2017 12:00 — Ukrinform News 03.07.2017 12:00. Verkhovna Rada Speaker Andriy Parubiy does not rule out that the decision on Ukraine’s membership in NATO can be made unexpectedly quickly. Parubiy said this at a briefing on Monday, an Ukrinform correspondent reports. “Ukraine should do everything possible to bring Ukraine’s security sector to the NATO standards by 2020. Then only a political decision will have to be made. We will make every effort to draw nearer the day when we could apply and Ukraine could become a NATO member,” Parubiy said. According to him, everything happens so quickly that “the decision of the North Atlantic Alliance and Ukraine regarding Ukraine’s participation in NATO can arise unexpectedly quickly both for Ukraine and NATO.”

Lavrov admits Russian involvement in instigating the war in eastern Ukraine – To Inform is to Influence The statement by Sergei Lavrov to which the Kyiv Post article refers can be found at “Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at the Primakov Readings International Forum, Moscow, June 30, 2017”.  Here is the whole paragraph so as not to take his quote out of context.  This is from the…

Lavrov admits Russian involvement in instigating the war in eastern Ukraine | KyivPost Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov publicly admitted Russian state involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine on June 30, according to Russian and Ukrainian press reports. Lavrov said in comments in Moscow that he is frequently criticized for “joining the fight in Donbas and Syria,” according to a transcript published on the official website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Russian foreign minister made the statement after being asked about whether Russia was capable of compromising with other nations in its

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov: Russia ‘Involved’ in Ukraine Conflict – 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…

UAWire – Ukrainian Defense Ministry: Armed forces’ ammunition supply situation is critical The Ministry of Defense considers the armed forces’ ammunition supply situation critical for a number of types of weaponry, writes Dmitry Mendeleev in his article for ZN.UA. In his discussion of problems relating to the national defense industry, the author refers specifically to document No. 220/3650, which Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak sent to NSDC (National Security and Defense Council) Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov in May this year. According to Mendeleev, until recently, ammunition made up the lion’s share of Ukraine’s exports. Millions of cartridges and ammunition of various calibers were exported to Malaysia, India and African countries. “It must be noted that the Defense Ministry has already come back down to earth, and considers critical the army’s ammunition supply of 7.62mm caliber for sniper rifles, 12.7mm caliber for DShK and NSVT machine guns, large calibers from 23 to 152mm for artillery systems, grenade launcher rounds of all types and calibers,” the articles states. The author indicates that for the moment, Ukraine has lost production of explosives, gunpowder, cartridge cases, shells and detonators. Since the start of the military operation in the Donbas in the separatist-held territories, the Donetsk State Chemical Products Factory and the H. Petrovsky State Chemical Association have lost the ability to produce AT missile systems, ammunition of medium and large artillery calibers, air bomb military units, ballistic gunpowder for high-accuracy missiles, grenade launcher rounds and ammunition for multiple rocket launchers. According to Mendeleev, the initiative to launch such production in the operational defense enterprises was “cut down” at the start of 2015 by then Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. According to expert assessments, $20-25 million would be required to realize this project. “Yatsenyuk imposed a resolution on the document with his own hand. It literally looks like ‘Can it be done cheaper and faster? And without a cartridge factory there’s no need for this”. Experts from the secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers were unable to explain this detail to the official [Yatsenyuk], that a cartridge factory has nothing to do with it!” the author concluded.

Ukraine reports 20 enemy attacks, 2 WIA’s in last day | UNIAN Russia's hybrid military forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in Donbas 20 times in the past 24 hours, with two Ukrainian soldiers reported as wounded in action (WIA), according to the press service of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters. News 03 July from UNIAN.

Ukraine Army fighters destroyed modernized T-72 with Russian crew. VIDEO 03.07.17 15:01 – Ukrainian fighters stationed at Butivka mine in the Donbas have destroyed a tank with a Russian crew that kept hitting both Ukraine Army positions and Avdiivka civilians. As reported by Censor.NET citing Podrobnosti, the modernized Russian T-72, painted white, had its own name – “White Eagle,” and was probably run by a crew of Russian army professionals. “I think they put regular soldiers from the Russian Federation on the tanks. This machine is expensive; no one would give the one like “White Eagle” that used to come here to those mujahids,” Ukrainian officer, call sign Bazalt, says. Bazalt had been following the Russian tank’s crew for some to catch it into a trap. When the “White Eagle” came to hunt again, it was hunted down by the Ukrainian army. “We trapped it with 82 mm shells and SPG-9 into a certain area. It could not get out of it. It got on the position with full additional tanks of fuel, and it killed it. We took off its active armor with AGS, hit its fuel tanks, and it caught fire,” Bazalt told the details of the tank elimination.

Donetsk water filtration station re-connected to power grids — emergency service The Donetsk water filtration station was re-connected to the power grids as of 07:00 local time on July 3 after its operation had been suspended following damage amid Donbas hostilities, according to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SESU). News 03 July from UNIAN.

Cache with Russian ammo, drugs found outside Kamianka in Donbas (Photos) The Russian side continues to extensively supply its mercenaries in Donbas with ammunition and food, and fresh proof of that was revealed near the village of Kamianka in eastern Ukraine, according to the press service of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters. News 03 July from UNIAN.

Some 120 Ukrainian soldiers killed in Donbas year to date Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze says 120 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in Donbas since the beginning of the year, according to an UNIAN correspondent. News 03 July from UNIAN.

IN MEMORY OF MAKSYM SHAPOVAL. WHY RUSSIAN SECRET SERVICES WERE HUNTING FOR INTELLIGENCE SPETSNAZ COMMANDER? 03.07.17 17:59 – A terrorist attack in Kyiv and the killing of Maksym Shapoval, who was promoted to the rank of major general posthumously, was the first time when the Ukrainian people heard his name. Shapoval’s funeral was attended by thousands. He died on service to his Motherland, and he was well aware of all the risks. In Ukrainian Spetsnaz circles, of course, many knew Shapoval. Censor.NET gathered information about this man that can now be made public. Some information that can be disclosed. Our sources in Shapoval’s directorate told us of one operation. On June 7, 2017, Military Intelligence Spetsnaz of Ukraine in the occupied Donbas liquidated one of the leading officers of Vympel unit of Russia’s FSB, Colonel Yury Mikhaylovich Cherkashyn, born in 1972. Cherkashyn was in charge of organizing terrorist attacks in Ukraine. The attempt on Maksym Shapoval is only a part of terror unleashed by Russian secret services in Ukraine. It’s an attempt to disorganize the operations of the Ukrainian secret services, to kick out officers whose activities are dangerous for the enemy. Obviously, Maksym was hunted for. He was not a public figure and realized that he could be one of the targets for the enemy as the operation conducted by his detachment were causing a stir. At 12:28 p.m. on the attempt day, Russian Regnum website published an article by some Russian author who was slandering Maksym, i.e. they used the same scheme of black PR to cover the murder as they did with the killings of Denys Voronenkov and Colonel Oleksandr Kharaberiush. Unfortunately, some of those who recently contacted Shapoval brought Russian agents to him. It was not necessarily an acting officer – maybe it’s a former employee, or a friend, an acquaintance. This traitor acted in Kyiv, as a member of a Russian terrorist organization. We are confronting a strong and dangerous enemy — Russia has been waging constant wars for 26 years now, and the border between our countries is conditional, and the front line of the secret services war is deep in the rear. Maksym Shapoval is survived by his family: wife, a five-year-old daughter, and a two-year-old son… Rest in peace, the hero who died for freedom and independence of our Motherland.

On June 7, 2017, Intelligence Spetsnaz of Ukraine eliminated Russian FSB Colonel Cherkashyn, – journalist 03.07.17 17:21 – Recently, the directorate headed by killed HUR colonel Maksym Shapoval fulfilled a number of important combat tasks that inflicted losses to the Russian secret services. Censor.NET Chief Editor Yurii Butusov wrote in his article. He says that since the beginning of the war, HUR (Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine’s MoD) Spetsnaz has been one of the best trained units under military command. “On May 26, 2014, during the first fight for the Donetsk airport, a group of military Spetsnaz led by Shapoval himself, together with other reserve units of ATO (anti-terrorist operation) commander was redeployed to reinforce a unit of the 3rd regiment of Spetsnaz in the old terminal, and participated in that fighting,” Butusov wrote. He says that as the war went on, the use of military intelligence has gradually become more structured and purposed. “The military Spetsnaz fulfilled a number of combat tasks during which mercenaries had been captured who were valuable for the enemy and used for exchange of captive citizens of Ukraine. Recently, the directorate headed by Shapoval fulfilled a number of important combat tasks that inflicted losses to the major enemy – the Russian secret services,” Butusov wrote. He is certain that the Russian secret services are hitting because they have many times suffered from the activities of the Ukrainian intelligence. “Some information that can be disclosed. Our sources in Shapoval’s directorate told us of one operation. On June 7, 2017, Military Intelligence Spetsnaz of Ukraine in the occupied Donbas liquidated one of the leading officers of Vympel unit of Russia’s FSB, Colonel Yury Mikhaylovich Cherkashyn, born in 1972. Cherkashyn was in charge of organizing terrorist attacks in Ukraine,” journalist wrote. Butusov is certain that the attempt on Maksym Shapoval is only a part of terror unleashed by Russian secret services in Ukraine. “It’s an attempt to disorganize the operations of the Ukrainian secret services, to kick out officers whose activities are dangerous for the enemy. (…) Unfortunately, some of those who recently contacted Shapoval brought Russian agents to him. It was not necessarily an acting officer – maybe it’s a former employee, or a friend, an acquaintance. This traitor acted in Kyiv as a member of a Russian terrorist organization,” Butusov wrote and added that the front line of the secret services war is deep in the rear.

Ukraine Navy Day marked in Odesa (Photos) Ukraine's Navy has just turned 25, and on this occasion, Ukrainian Navy Day events are being held in Odesa. Latest UNIAN news from 02 July.

UAWire – Ukrainian translator in France sentenced for criticizing pro-Russian film on revolution in Ukraine A Parisian court has ruled against the Ukrainian translator Anna Chesanovska for criticism directed against the infamous filmmaker Paul Moreira, …

UAWire – Jehovah’s Witness follower in the Crimea dies after his trial 67-year-old Dzhanskoy resident Vitaly Arsenyuk, who was charged with illegal missionary activity, died of a heart attack after a local court …

UAWire – Kyiv will demand compensation from Russia over Ukraine’s losses due to construction of the Kerch Bridge Kyiv intends to demand compensation from Moscow for the losses of Ukrainian ports in Mariupol and Berdyansk due to Russia's plans to limit …

Editorial: The hidden abuses in Crimea | Opinion | The Trump administration modestly expanded sanctions on Russia on Tuesday in an encouraging sign that it will continue to raise the pressure on the regime of Vladimir Putin for its

Grave robbers exhume bodies of Holocaust victims from Crimean killing trench | Jewish Telegraphic Agency News Brief Grave robbers exhume bodies of Holocaust victims from Crimean killing trench June 30, 2017 6:50am [PrivacyBadger has replaced this AddThis button.] (JTA) — Police in Crimea are investigating the desecration of a mass grave of Holocaust victims near the city of Simferopol. The investigation opened Tuesday following the unauthorized exhumations performed last week at the site of a firing trench where Nazis and their collaborators killed hundreds of Jews, the Russian TASS news agency reported. Russia annexed the territory from Ukraine in 2014. “A local resident saw at night strangers digging and immediately informed us,” Anatoly Gendin, head of the Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities of Crimea, told the news agency. His organization also complained to police about the dig, which he said was likely the work of robbers looking for precious items. The incident, the second case of its kind in five years in Crimea, came amid preparations for enclosing known burial sites with concrete. “There is a preliminary decision of the Crimea State Committee and Jewish community organizations on setting up concrete enclosures and establish there a surveillance system,” Grigory Ioffe, a deputy speaker of the parliament of Crimea, one of Russia’s semi-autonomous regions, told TASS. The Germans captured Simferopol in November 1941 when it had approximately 12,000 Jews, including many Krymchaks — a nearly extinct ethnic group of Jews of Turkmen descent who had lived in Crimea for many centuries before the Holocaust. They were ordered to wear white armbands with a Star of David on both sleeves or on their chests, according to the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. Some of those who ignored the order to report for registration by the German occupying forces were hanged on the city streets in order to intimidate the Jewish population. Nearly all of Simferopol’s Jews were shot to death. Many of the victims had been betrayed to the Germans by the local population.

Jehovah’s Witnesses in Crimea Ordered to Renounce Faith or Fight for Occupying Russian Army Human rights groups say the order violates multiple international humanitarian laws.

UAWire – Two American companies want to start hydrocarbon mining in Ukraine Two American companies, Frontera Resources and Longfellow made a proposal to the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine to extract …
British Ambassador speaks for visa regime ‘softening’ with Ukraine | KyivPost British Ambassador to Ukraine Judith Gough has expressed the opinion that London should simplify the visa regime with Ukraine. “We have a relaxed visa regime with some countries in the world, and I will persuade my government to apply it to Ukraine,” Gough said during the round table titled “Foreign Policy Audit: Ukraine-the United Kingdom” in Kyiv on July 3. The ambassador said that she needed to coordinate Ukraine’s expectations of the visa regime with the UK, after which she would be able to discuss the details with the British authorities.

Lukashenka to visit Ukraine – news portal Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko sent a congratulatory letter to the President of Belarus Alyaksandr Lukashenka on the occasion of the national holiday, the Independence Day of the Republic of Belarus, as reported on the president’s website on 3 July. Poroshenko stressed that the development of good-neighbourly relations based on the principles of equal partnership and trust is the top important priority of bilateral cooperation between the countries. “The effective coordination of joint efforts to implement practical tasks contributes to the successful implementation of the agreements reached during our meeting in April. I am confident that your forthcoming visit to Ukraine will be another important step in deepening the constructive dialogue between the two countries,” Poroshenko said. In April, Lukashenka took part in the events dedicated to the anniversary of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. He assured Poroshenko that “no one will be able to draw Belarus into the war against Ukraine.” Earlier, in February, Poroshenko ruled out an offensive of Russian troops through Belarus, but the threat of full-scale aggression on the part of the Russian Federation is still relevant. Lukashenka, in turn, promised not to allow using his territory for hostile actions.

Kyiv Gliding Champions Soar Above Competition – YouTube The Ukrainian Gliding Championships were held in the Kyiv region. The best pilots gathered at the aerodrome outside Kyiv to show off their flying skills. Our…

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports

Tillerson Ready to Let Russia Decide Assad’s Fate | Foreign Policy Tillerson Ready to Let Russia Decide Assad’s Fate « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas

Tillerson wants Russia to decide fate of Syria’s Assad: report | TheHill Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly wants to let Russia decide the fate of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Tillerson made the comments to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres during a State Department meeting last week, Foreign Policy reported Monday. Tillerson said the Trump administration will keep its focus on defeating the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to three diplomatic sources familiar with the exchange. ADVERTISEMENT A State official said the U.S. continues to be “committed to the Geneva process” and is in support of a “credible political process that can resolve the question of Syria’s future.” “Ultimately, this process, in our view, will lead to a resolution of Assad’s status,” the official told Foreign Policy. “The Syrian people should determine their country’s political future through a political process,” the official added. Last month, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement the U.S. had “identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime” in Syria. “As we have previously stated, the United States is in Syria to eliminate the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. If, however, Mr. Assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price,” the White House said in the statement.

UAWire – Russia accuses US of starting information war against Assad Maria Zakharova, official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, said that an information and propaganda campaign has begun against …

Three car bombings hit Syria’s Damascus, at least 20 killed – ARA News Three car bombings have struck Damascus, killing 20 people in one of the blasts, in the biggest such attack in the Syrian capital since March. One of the suicide bombers on Sunday blew himself up at Tahrir Square near Bab Touma in central Damascus after being encircled by the authorities. According to a letter sent by the Syrian Foreign Ministry to the UN secretary-general, the number of casualties had gone up to 20. Two other car bomb attackers were pursued and detonated by security forces on the road to Damascus airport southeast of the city, Syrian state media reported. State TV said the casualty toll had been minimised because the security forces had prevented “the terrorists from reaching their targets”, saying they had aimed to target busy areas on the first day back to work after the Eid al-Fitr holiday. Footage broadcast by state TV from Tahrir Square showed roads scattered with debris, several badly damaged cars, and another one that had been turned into a pile of twisted metal.

The “keys to the cyber caliphate”: The daring U.S. raid to seize the ISIS personnel database – To Inform is to Influence SUNDAY, JUL 2, 2017 01:00 PM EDT How U.S. counterterrorism intelligence got their hands on the data that changed the fight against ISIS MALCOLM NANCE AND CHRISTOPHER SAMPSON Excerpted with permission from “Hacking ISIS” by Malcolm Nance and Christopher Sampson. Copyright 2017, Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. Available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and IndieBound. When he woke for dawn prayers…

The Signal in Syria’s Noise The war in Syria can seem impossibly complicated. Depending on the level of detail or abstraction you apply, there are dozens, hundreds, or thousands of in

Key: Red, regime; yellow, Kurdish areas; green, opposition rebels; grey, Islamic State. Map credit, ‘Agathocle de Syracuse’ (@deSyracuse), 9 April 2017.

Saudi bloc gives Qatar 48 more hours to accept demands | Qatar News | Al Jazeera Foreign ministers of nations boycotting Qatar will meet in Cairo on Wednesday to discuss their next steps.

Wealthy Qatar Weathers Siege, but Personal and Political Costs Grow – The New York Times With its immense riches, Qatar can withstand the effects of a blockade. But the longer the dispute lasts, the more likely it is to destabilize the region.

Iran unveils production line of Sadid-345 smart bomb system | Defence Blog The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force has unveiled a new production line of Sadid-345 smart bomb system. That was reported by Babak Taghvaee. The Sadid-345 is a miniaturized precision-guided munition for Iran-made Shahed 129 Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle. The bomb’s small size with a range of 6 km, reduces collateral damage and would allow the Shahed to achieve more kills or attack strikes per mission. The Sadid-345 Smart Bomb is now the main weapon of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force’s Shahed-129 UCAVs inSyria and Iraq.


Trump talks North Korea threat in calls with China, Japan leaders | Reuters The threat posed by North Korea was a key topic in phone calls between U.S. President Donald Trump and the leaders of China and Japan, along with trade issues, the White House said on Sunday.

Xi Lands In Moscow For Putin Talks Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Moscow on July 3 for a two-day visit that will include his third meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, this year. The two leaders will sign economic deals estimated to be worth around $10 billion in meetings that come days before the G20 summit in Germany. (Reuters)

UPDATED: China’s Big Three Near Completion | Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative New imagery shows that while China is keeping attention focused on its negotiations with Southeast Asian countries over basic principles to manage the South China Sea disputes, its construction of military and dual-use facilities on the Spratly Islands continues. New missile shelters, radar/communications facilities, and other infrastructure are going in on Fiery Cross, Mischief, and Subi Reefs, suggesting that while the region is engaged in peaceful discussion, China remains committed to developing its power projection capabilities.

A ‘Serious Political and Military Provocation’ in the South China Sea – The Atlantic A U.S. Navy destroyer sailed within 12 miles of a disputed island for the Trump administration’s second “freedom-of-navigation operation.”

Foreign Policy Reports

Far-right plot to assassinate French president in front of Donald Trump foiled – Mirror Online Prosecuting sources in Paris said the man was from the ‘extreme-Right’ and wanted to murder President Emmanuel Macron, as well as ‘blacks, Arabs, Jews and homosexuals

France’s Macron returns to Mali to boost regional anti-terrorism force – France 24 French President Emmanuel Macron attends a security summit in Mali on Sunday to boost support for the creation of a regional counter-terror force. But while he may be hoping for an exit strategy for French troops, that prospect still seems far off.

UAWire – President of Serbia: We need Russian weapons Serbia needs Russian weapons to ensure its own security, President Alexander Vučić said in an interview with RIA Novosti. According to him, …

Bosnian Serb Group’s Move To Honor Russian Diplomat Stirs Srebrenica Controversy In life, Russian diplomat Vitaly Churkin was often in the middle of controversy. In death he is as well. &nbsp; A Bosnian Serb group has filed a request to unveil a monument in Srebrenica to th…

Nuclear Powers Cut Weapons Numbers But Increase Modernization: Study The number of nuclear weapons in the world is continuing to decline, but nations possessing such arsenals are modernizing their stockpile and are not likely to give them up for the foreseeable future…

US Domestic Policy Reports

Russian (Sputnik) radio takes over local DC station – To Inform is to Influence Just two questions. Did they register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA)?  If not, shut ’em down. We let them in here. Do we get to set up a corresponding FM station in Moscow now?  Moscow turns off Voice of America radio We do have an AM station in Moscow, Radio Svoboda – RFE/RL, Russian…

Is All the Russia Talk Helping Putin? – POLITICO Magazine Our obsession with the diminutive Kremlin strongman makes him look 10 feet tall—and entrenches his power.

Top Senate Democrat: More Urgency Needed In Response To Russian Election Meddling WASHINGTON — A leading lawmaker on the Senate Intelligence Committee says President Donald Trump has hampered the panel&rsquo;s investigation of Russia&rsquo;s meddling in the 2016 election by no…

Trump is playing with the press: Glenn Reynolds He’s gaslighting them and they fall for it every time. So what should the press do? It can keep responding the way it has responded so far, or it can change its approach. But the latter may require more self-discipline than it’s got. The killer counter-move for the press isn’t to double down on anti-Trump messaging. The counter-move is to bolster its own trustworthiness by acting (and being) more neutral and sober, and by being more trustworthy. If the news media actually focused on reporting facts accurately and straightforwardly, on leaving opinion to the pundits, and on giving Trump a clearly fair shake, then Trump’s tactics wouldn’t work, and any actual dirt they found on him would do actual damage. He’s betting on the press being insufficiently mature and self-controlled to manage that. So far, his bet is paying off. That’s too bad. If we had a better press, we’d be much better off as a nation, and Trump’s strategy of capitalizing on the press’s flaws is good for Trump, but will probably make that problem worse, if such a thing is possible. But the truth is, we don’t have a better press. And as long as the press is mindlessly partisan and bereft of self-discipline, capitalizing on that is just good politics.

Donald Trump tweets video of him body-slamming and punching CNN – CNET Commentary: The president insists his tweeting is ‘modern day presidential.’ Is this a prime example?

White House battles backlash after Trump tweets ‘slam’ of CNN | Fox News President Trump kept up his Twitter barrage against the mainstream media Sunday, saying that the dishonest media will NEVER keep us from accomplishing our objectives hours after he tweeted a mock video that shows him pummeling a man in a business suit whose face was obscured by the CNN logo.

The Time I Got Recruited to Collude with the Russians – Lawfare The strange tale behind the recent reports of a GOP opposition researcher who set his sights on Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Scaramucci Warned CNN of Legal Action Over False Russia Story About Him | Fox News Insider Former Trump advisor Anthony Scaramucci said he warned CNN of legal action if they did not correct a defamatory story linking him to a Russian investor.

Gordon to become Principal Deputy Director of National IntelligencePresident Donald Trump has nominated Susan Gordon to become the next principal deputy director of national intelligence. Gordon is currently the deputy director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, where she assists in leading the agency and managing the National System of Geospatial Intelligence. The Senate has received the nomination and referred it to the Select Committee on Intelligence. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence directly reports to the president while also overseeing the U.S. intelligence community. In her new position, Gordon will work closely with the director of national intelligence to assimilate all homeland security and national intelligence in the support of U.S. national security interests.

The Booming Texas Port at the Center of U.S. Oil Exports – gCaptainBy Sheela Tobben and Laura Blewitt (Bloomberg) — Late last month, an oil tanker that measures three football fields long and six stories high moved slowly through the port of Corpus Christi, Texas, to test the waters of America’s booming crude-export industry. After navigating the Aranasas pass around 7 a.m. on May 26, the vessel, Euronav NV’s Anne, didn’t pick up any oil. But its arrival in the humid air of south Texas marked the first time ever a tanker of that size had called on a U.S. terminal in the Gulf of Mexico. The Anne docked at Occidental Petroleum Corp.’s terminal to determine if some of the world’s biggest carriers could start ferrying oil from Texas to foreign buyers. The shipping upgrade is necessary after a surge in production from U.S. shale fields like the Permian Basin led to more oil than Gulf Coast refiners could handle. And Corpus Christi is vying to become America’s main export hub. “Corpus Christi was the No. 1 port for U.S. crude exports last year, and this trend is continuing,” said John LaRue, the port’s executive director. Shipping oil overseas is something new in the U.S., a country that spent most of the past century refining almost every drop of domestic output. For decades, tankers laden with crude from around the world arrived at Gulf Coast refineries to be made into fuel for American cars and trucks. Dependence on imports grew as domestic output fell.

Here’s Why the U.S. Navy Could Add ‘Light’ Aircraft Carriers to the Fleet | The National Interest Blog It might happen.