CounterPropaganda · Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Media Update – 5 July 2017


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

I have problems with a few of the articles as I reviewed them: 

All the above articles use the word “Militant”, which is a regurgitation of Russian propaganda.  This is Russian-initiated, Russian controlled, and Russian-sponsored, bought paid for and supplied, unconventional warfare started specifically to destabilize Ukraine. These are Russian troops and Russian mercenaries. Period, full stop.

So, the following are named and shamed for promoting Russian propaganda in the articles above. 

  • LB.ua
  • Unian.info
  • Ukrinform.net
  • Euromaidanpress.com

You know better.  

</end editorial>



POTUS will be promoting the export of US LNG into Eastern Europe at the Three Seas Initiative Summit, an expanded group patterned on the Polish “Intermarium”  initiative – significant both in establishing direct relationships with Central and Eastern European leaders, and getting the message across to a wide audience. Long essay by Zhelenin speculating on who will be Russia’s next invasion target. Radin and Reach @ RAND have produced a good survey of Russian attitudes/statements on the international order, with a strong focus on Russian priorities and agendas, but the report in its conclusions avoids the motivations for Russia’s hostility toward Western-style liberal democracy – its very nature is toxic to colonial empires run by privileged kleptocracies, as the ethnic Russian masses, and ethnic minorities, might want to have a say in their own futures – this is an existential political threat to the Putin regime and any successor regimes with similar imperial agendas. Putin-Xi summit produces much radiant PR, but only a trivial USD11B loan from China – the proverbial droplet in the bucket. Stratfor summarizes Russia’s meltdown. Ethnic and class discord continues. Key MH17 witness arrested by FSB on an unrelated charge. Dutch intend to prosecute MH17 perpetrators in a Dutch court.

The Russian cyberattack dominates IW/IO/Cyber in the MSM, specifically the Kyiv cyber-police impounding compromised company servers before the Russians launched a second wave attack of the pretend-ransomware – it looks like the company will be charged for ignoring prior warnings. Some good essays on fake news.

Donbass fires continue, and Ukrainian volunteers leak report on Russian assault in Luhansk early July in which 18 Russian troops were KIA, 20 WIA, and multiple AFVs destroyed – such disclosures confirm the consistent previously reported ~10:1 combat loss ratio, but may be seen to be unhelpful as Russia appeasers will use this to argue that Ukraine needs no military aid. PM Hroisman publishes upbeat OpEd in WSJ, concurrently with an upbeat economic report in FinTimes. Spat with Poland over Bandera continues, an immensely successful Russian false flag provocation operation to stimulate discord, that witless nationalists in both nations continue to prolong to promote selfish agendas. Zimmerman essay map out the long Russian destabilization campaign conducted before the invasion in 2014. A lengthy report by Stezhar details the full extent of the environmental calamity the Russians have precipitated in the Donbass, adding to the USD50B losses in assets and production Ukraine suffered. Two reports of Russians seeking to get into Ukraine after falling out with the Putin regime. Possibly the most interesting report is of Antonov pitching to a US Congressional delegation a proposal for US industry to buy into the An-77 airliner program with Ukrainian industry, to produce a C-130 replacement in the class of the A-400M. The An-77 label was originally created for the An-70 variant in which the propfans were replaced by Western CFM-56 turbofans. The proposal likely reflects Ukraine’s need for initial capital to design-out remaining Russian components, engineer the engine retrofit, and tool up for volume production. As a very cheap route to a C-130 replacement, this would be the cheapest to develop A-400M alternative.

Tehran media report that Syria has threatened the US with retaliation if it strikes again against Syrian forces. Washpost OpEd is simply naive.

DPRK producing a tsunami of MSM traffic across the West, but little of substance actually reported – DPRK appeasers in the MSM out in strength. DPRK taunts and insults directed at the US widely reported. The DPRK missile appears to fall into the boundary zone between big IRBMs and smaller ICBMs. RoK and US forces conduct TBM live fire exercise. UNSC meeting called.

The dispute between India and China is escalating rapidly and the language is toxic, China daily reported to have stated Withdraw Indian troops from Sikkim or we will kick them out”. Given the strategic exposure of India’s Eastern provinces to the loss of the Sikkim region, any Chinese play to push India out of Sikkim will end up in real combat very quickly.

MSM on Europe dominated by G20, Russian meddling, and the POTUS visit.

US domestic debate on Russia has temporarily (?) refocussed on the G20 meeting. Durso essay overlooks one sad reality – no matter how the US tries to relate to Russia, the US being a wealthy liberal democracy makes it a political existential threat to Russia, and short of the US unilaterally self-destructing, the Russians cannot and will not be happy about anything any US Administration says or does – other that declaring Russia to be superior and granting it every wish it desires.


Russia / Russophone Reports


Trump To Promote U.S. Gas At Warsaw Summit Before heading to Germany for the G20 summit, U.S. President Donald Trump will stop in Poland on July 6 to promote U.S. energy exports. Trump will attend the Three Seas Initiative Summit and meet with leaders from Central and Eastern Europe whose nations border the Adriatic, Baltic, and Black seas. They are all countries looking to reduce their reliance on natural gas imports from Russia.(RFE/RL, AP, Reuters, YouTube)

Aleksandr Zhelenin | To strike or not to strike. Scenarios of Russia’s expansion – LB.ua news portal Russian leaders mark 22 June not as pompously as 9 May but they still do this on a state level. After all, for Moscow it is not just a useful for propaganda purposes occasion to remember the glorious victory of the past (if not the only one) but a chance to portray Russia as a victim once again. In fact, starting from the USSR collapse in the 1990s, Russia has been carefully trying to hide its true essence of an aggressor state. The Dniester region in Moldova, Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia, Crimea and ORDLO (militant-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions) in Ukraine and Syria form a not so long list of places where Russia has secured its geopolitical influence with military expansion. Therefore, one of the key questions global readers and common citizens in various countries have is whether Putin’s Russia is to continue its external expansion or what it has already seized is enough for it?

Andrew Radin and Clint Reach | Russian Views of the International Order [RR1826] | RAND In this report, RAND researchers analyze Russian views of the current international order, identify Russia’s core interests, and highlight the underlying choices for U.S. policy going forward.

China-Russia ties reaffirmed after Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin meet Strategic ties between Russia and China were appraised in glowing terms as Chinese President Xi Jinping concluded a two-day state visit to Russia.

China and Russia strike $11bn funding deal Renminbi-denominated funds allow Russian counterparties to avoid US sanctions

Russia To Start Supplying Gas To China By Pipeline In December 2019 Russia will start supplying natural gas to China through a new pipeline by the end of 2019 as part of the two countries' $400 billion energy pact, state gas giant Gazprom said on July 4. … 

For Russia, Putin Power Is Losing Some of Its Shine – Stratfor Worldview The Russian president has held on to the government with a strong fist and a creative media presence, but a storm is brewing.

Russia Aims To Guard Against Foreign Influence In Its Presidential Election : NPR Russia’s Federation Council is creating a special commission on preventing “foreign meddling” as nervousness in the Kremlin grows about the upcoming elections.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Nogay Crisis in Daghestan Echoes in the Middle Volga Region Paul Goble Staunton, July 4 – Protests by some 450 Nogay activists against Makhachakala’s attempt to impose its own man as head of their region without taking their views into account and threats by some of them to lead their region out of Daghestan if nothing changes are now echoing far beyond that North Caucasus republic. Today, some of the activists broke into the administrative center building to demand that their voices be heard, to assert that no one must be named head of their region in northwestern Daghestan without their consent, and to warn that if they continue to be ignored, they will demand a referendum on the self-determination of their region. The referendum would call for the entire region to be transferred from Daghestan to one of the neighboring federal subjects of the Russian Federation, which include in this case Chechnya, Kalmykia and Stavropol kray. Moscow and Makhachkala will certainly oppose this, but the demand itself is attracting attention. (For background on the emergence of the Nogay crisis in recent months, see windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2017/06/daghestan-needs-nogay-lands-not-nogay.html andwindowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2017/06/having-provoked-nogay-makhachkala-has.html. For the latest developments, see kavkazr.com/a/28594978.html,kavkazr.com/a/28595219.htmlkavkazr.com/a/nogaytsy-trebuyut-vyborov-glavy-nogayskogo-rayona/28593111.htmlkavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/305406/kavkazr.com/a/28595299.htmland kavkazr.com/a/28593831.html.) At their meeting today, the Nogay activists distributed an appeal, noting that “today we are forced to assemble in connection with the deep political conflict arising on the fault of the authorities of Daghestan and the former leader of the Nogay district of the republic” and pointing to the demands of the June 14 congress of the Nogay people. Unfortunately, the appeal notes, their legitimate demands continue to be “ignored” by Makhachkala, which continues to try to run the Nogay district as if it were the personal fiefdom of the powers that be in the republic capital rather than the homeland of the Turkic Nogays whose opinions must be respected. Over the last 15 years, the Nogay activists continue, their region has been reduced to extreme poverty and many of its youth have been forced to leave because of extraordinarily high levels of poverty. “All these years,” they say, “the powers have been subordinate not to the people by to the republic-level bureaucrats. Rustam Adilgereyev, a Nogay leader, told Kavkaz.Realii that ever more Nogays are talking about the need to have their region shifted out of Daghestan and included within one of the border regions given that Makhachkala ignores all their reasonable demands for respect and democratic values. Another activist, Arslan Tangatarov confirmed that the Nogays are actively pursuing a referendum on such a shit. “The residents of the Nogay region must express themselves,” he continues, “as to which subject of Russia they want to live given that no one respects us” here in Daghestan. Borders are among the most sensitive issues in the Russian Federation because allowing any one of them to be changed especially in response to demands from below will provoke demands from many others for the same thing. That is exactly what appears to be happening now as a result of the Nogay action. The IdelReal portal, which is directed at the peoples of the Middle Volga, observes today that “if the referendum about the self-determination of the Nogays takes place, this in essence will become a precedent for the Tatars of Bashkortostan living in the north-west portion of that republic” (idelreal.org/a/28594150.html). That is especially likely given that at the congress of the All-Tatar Social Center (VTOTs) on April 8, delegates called for giving Tatar the status of a state language in Bashkortostan and also “’to conduct a referendum about joining parts of Ufa gubernia with its Tatar population to Tatarstan.” That possibility makes what is going on among the 100,000 Nogays of northwestern Daghestan far more important and fateful than many may think. If it leads to similar demands in the Middle Volga, that could trigger a redivision of that region into a genuine restoration of the Idel-Ural Republic, an entity that would represent a new and greater challenge to Moscow.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia’s Long-Haul Truckers Press Their Case with Moscow Officials, Join Other Protests Paul Goble Staunton, July 5 – A delegation of Russia’s long-haul truckers met with legislators and officials to press their case on the Plato fee system and other issues of concern to the drivers. In addition, the truckers signaled that they will increasingly take part in protests organized by others, even as the authorities continue their crackdown against past and present strikers. On Monday, representatives of the long-haul truckers met in the Duma with the head of the legislature’s transportation committee chairman, the official who oversees transportation issues in the capital, and also officials from other ministries and agencies to discuss a resolution to their demands (rosbalt.ru/russia/2017/07/04/1627994.html). The drivers pointed out that “no more than 20 percent” of the promises Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev made to them in March have been fulfilled. Duma transport committee chairman Yevgeny Moskvichev said he would personally intervene to see what could be done to rectify that situation and plans to hold a meeting with Medvedev personally to that end. As they have in the past, the truckers emphasized that if their demands are not addressed, they will seek to expand their strike from the small pockets that remain to the size of the strike that affected truck traffic across the country in April and May. But at the same time, they welcomed the fact that officials were now talking to them. Meanwhile, Russian courts are handing out fines against truckers who took part in the work action earlier and making it clear that more will be forthcoming if the truckers violate the federal law on meetings and demonstrations in the future (e.g., newsmiass.ru/index.php?news=45965). But perhaps the most important development this week as far as this ongoing labor action is concerned is that drivers have signaled that they intend to take part in protests organized by other groups in order to spread the word about their problems and gain additional support (rosbalt.ru/piter/2017/07/04/1628077.html).

FSB isolates one of key witnesses in MH17 case – OSINT group On May 10, 2017, Moscow law enforcers detained a high-ranking operative of Russia&rsquo;s military intelligence, known as GRU, Colonel Vasily Geranin who is also referred to as a member of the so-called Council of the Commanders of the Donbas Union of Volunteers. The man is considered key witness in the investigation into the MH17 crash, as well as a possible accomplice to the downing of the passenger plane over Donbas, InformNapalm OSNT community reports. Certain features of Geranin’s arrest indicate that the Federal Security Service of Russia (FSB) is implementing a special operation aimed at termination and/or isolation of witnesses of the said terrorist attack. A short report on the Colonel Geranin’s detention, where he was named a “military expert” and a “colonel who received reports about the MH17 shootdown, was released by MK.ru, only to be deleted from the online newspaper’s website shortly thereafter, InformNapalm investigation said. The piece was cited by several Russian regional online resources but never developed in mainstream Russian media and seemed to die out. It was reported that Geranin had been detained for the illegal carrying of munition to a GP-25 40 mm grenade launcher. A subsequent search at Geranin’s home has also allegedly revealed illegal firearms. Despite the fact that the arrest and search were carried out by police forces, the very staging and the method of detention resemble a typical FSB operation, the report says. The detainee is mow held in custody. It is also reported that he was fired in retrospect. It is also known that in early March 2014 Colonel Geranin personally arrived in Crimea and took an active part in the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula by Russia. According to the SBU, Geranin personally supervised the Russian top-level militant Bezler (aka “Bes”) during his operations in Donbas. On July 20, 2014, the SBU published an interception of the telephone report by Igor Bezler to Vasiliy Geranin about a downed MH17. Thus, he is one of the key witnesses in the case of the Russian terrorist attack against the international community. “The efforts of the special services of the Russian Federation to isolate and liquidate witnesses of the terrorist act against the passengers of MH17 indicate that Russia is trying its best to obstruct the investigation process,” the volunteers’ investigation says. As UNIAN reported earlier, Bellingcat investigators previously released a report stating that the transportation of the Buk missile launcher that downed MH17, was carried out by retired Russian Major General Sergei Dubinsky, aka “Hmuriy.”

Suspects In Downing Of MH17 To Be Prosecuted In Dutch Court The Dutch Foreign Ministry says the suspects in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine will be prosecuted in a Dutch court. The ministry&rsquo;s announcement on July 5 di…

MH17 case to be heard in Netherlands, Hague seen as probable venue Dutch media outlets have reported with reference to government sources that those responsible for shooting down flight MH17 over Donbas in July 2014 will be tried under the jurisdiction of the courts of the Netherlands, according to an UNIAN correspondent. News 05 July from UNIAN.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Belarusians March against Russian-Belarusian Military Exercise as Moscow Plans Another in Uzbekistan Paul Goble Staunton, July 4 – Several hundred Belarusians staged an independent protest in Minsk against plans for a joint Belarusian-Russian military exercise later this year (Zapad-2017) that Moscow has acknowledged is a response to the NATO build-up in eastern Europe but that Belarusians fear may be used by Moscow to increase Russian control of Belarus. The demonstration took place on the sidelines of the official celebrations of what Alyaksandr Lukashenka insists is the country’s independence day, the anniversary of the Soviet expulsion of German forces from Minsk in 1944. Belarusian opposition groups mark the anniversary of the proclamation of the Belarusian People’s Republic on March 25. Opposition leader Nikolay Statkevich told the marchers that “we know perfectly well who runs Russia and what they allow themselves to do and we very well remember how Russian peacekeepers began the war with Georgia and how it was with the Black Sea fleet when Russia with its help seized Crimea.” (On the Minsk meeting, see among other reports belsat.eu/ru/programs/v-den-nezavisimosti-v-minske-proshla-aktsiya-protiv-vnutrennej-okkupatsii-strany-polnyj-vypusk/charter97.org/ru/news/2017/7/3/255094/,graniru.org/Politics/World/Europe/Belarus/m.262269.html and radiosvoboda.org/a/news/28593754.html.) But even as Belarusians protested against what they fear will be a massive influx of Russian troops and military equipment that could be used to subvert and subjugate their country, Moscow and Tashkent announced that in October, there will be a joint Russian-Uzbek military exercise, the first since 2007 and only the second since 1991 (fergananews.com/news/26584). The first, which came soon after the Andizhan tragedy, played a key role in warming relations between Tashkent and Moscow. Western countries were critical of Islam Karimov’s actions in that city and imposed sanctions. Moscow wasn’t, and Tashkent responded by increasing its involvement with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Russian officials expressed the hope that such joint exercises would become regular even annual events, but there hasn’t been on in the intervening decade. Now, with a new Uzbek leader in place, Moscow appears trying to take advantage of that, perhaps hopeful it can get Tashkent to rejoin the Organization for the Collective Security Treaty, that Uzbekistan left in 2012.

Just How Dangerous Is Russia’s Military? | The National Interest Blog A big threat or a paper tiger? 


IW/IO/Cyber Reports


“Poisoning” by headlines: how Russian disinformation keeps spreading -Euromaidan Press | It had all the ingredients you need for a click-bait story in Russian: A giant sandwich, the national coat of arms of Ukraine, the “salo” traditional pork fat, and a tragedy: food poisoning. Several Russian-language outlets reported that visitors of the “Green Day” festival in the Ukrainian city of Oleshky (Kherson Oblast) suffered from food poisoning. The cause: an attempt to set a new Ukrainian record with a massive open sandwich weighing 200 kg and taking the shape of the Ukrainian national coat of arms. The sandwich was covered with salo (pork fat), a delicacy that every Russian-speaker associates with Ukraine. The story was sourced to “local media” without any links to their websites. Ukrainian fact-checkers StopFake.org demonstrated that the story had no basis in reality. The chief physician of the local hospital denied the rumors about food poisoning, and so did the district state administration.

Fake news: you ain’t seen nothing yet – To Inform is to Influence Generating convincing audio and video of fake events Jul 1st 2017 EARLIER this year Françoise Hardy, a French musician, appeared in a YouTube video (see link). She is asked, by a presenter off-screen, why President Donald Trump sent his press secretary, Sean Spicer, to lie about the size of the inauguration crowd. First, Ms Hardy argues.…

China, Russia to further strengthen media cooperation – To Inform is to Influence Before anybody panics, the source of the news report is People’s Daily Online, not exactly a hardcore propaganda outlet.  On the other hand, China prefers its official propaganda to be much more subtle than does Russia. Yes, both TASS and the People’s Daily Online are state owned and both tend to publish some highly skewed pieces,…

China’s cracking down on VPNs to make Great Firewall stronger – To Inform is to Influence It will soon be tougher to gain access to Twitter and Facebook inside the country for some users. by Aloysius Low July 4, 2017 12:41 AM PDT China’s clamping down on users who rely on virtual private networks (VPN) to break free of its notorious internet filter. Dubbed the Great Firewall, the filter blocks access…

Ukraine: We prevented second cyberattack – ABC News Ukraine: We prevented second cyberattack

Servers impounded by Ukrainian National Cyber-Police

Cyberpolice, SBU, prosecutor’s office halted second wave of Petya attack, – Interior Minister Avakov 05.07.17 10:30 – Cyberpolice, SBU, prosecutor’s office halted second wave of Petya attack, – Interior Minister Avakov On July 4, special agents of Cyberpolice department together with Security Service of Ukraine officers and Kyiv city prosecutor’s office employees stopped the second wave of the cyberattack that employed Petya malware. View news.

Ukrainian Cyberpolice Seize Server Of Small Company Linked To Global Attack Ukraine's cybercrime police seized servers belonging to a small company at the center of a global outbreak of malicious software after &quot;new activity&quot; was detected there, officials sai…

Family firm in Ukraine says it was not responsible for cyber attack | Reuters Ukrainian company Intellect Service was not responsible for last week’s international cyber attack that brought down the computer systems of several major companies, the father and daughter team told Reuters on Monday.

The company M.E.Doc will be held accountable for negligence, which caused a massive infection with the Petya.A ransomware, – the head of cyberpolice Demediuk 04.07.17 17:45 – In relation to the Ukrainian company M.E.Doc, the servers of which were used to spread the virus-extortionist Petya.A, a criminal case will be opened. As reported by Tsenzor.NET with reference to “Radio Liberty”, this was stated by the head of the Ukrainian cyberpolicy Sergey Demedyuk. Read also: The real goal of the most powerful cyber attack was destabilization of the situation inside Ukraine, – Gritsak He stressed that the company has repeatedly ignored warnings regarding the safety of its products. “They knew about it, they were warned many times by various anti-virus companies, for such neglect these people will be criminally liable,” the head of the cyberpolicy said. Demedyuk and other officials claim that the most powerful cyber attack last week was carried out through a malicious update to the M.E.Doc program, which is widely used by Ukrainian accountants and companies. Developers M.E.Doc first recognized the fact of hacking, but then abandoned this statement. Recall, on June 27-29, the servers of many government agencies and commercial structures in Ukraine were subjected to a large-scale cyber attack. The Petya.A virus encrypts all files on the computer and requires redemption for their decryption. SBU said about involvement in the cyber attack of the Russian special services.

Official: firm at center of cyberattack knew of problems KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — The small Ukrainian tax software company that is accused of being the patient zero of a damaging global cyberepidemic is under investigation and will face cha

Ukraine authorities raid MeDoc in NotPetya investigation • The Register There’s a new wrinkle to the NotPetya story: authorities in the Ukraine have seized equipment from MeDoc, the online accounting firm implicated in spreading the malware. The country’s cybercrime unit has seized the servers after saying it had detected new activity, and was acting to “immediately stop the uncontrolled proliferation” of malware. Associated Press’s Raphael Satter quotes a Cyberpolice spokesperson, Yulia Kvitko, as saying the company’s systems had either sent or were preparing to send a new (presumably compromised) update. The Cyberpolice says the company’s management and staff fully assisted in the investigation, adding that equipment will be “sent for detailed analysis”. The department now recommends people stop using the software until further notice, turn off any computers it’s installed on, change their passwords, and get new digital signatures. In another twist, Kaspersky Lab analyst Aleks Gostev says the Bitcoin collected in the original attack has been withdrawn and a statement (which Vulture South can’t verify) posted to an Onion text site.

Ukrainian Software Firm’s Servers Seized After Cyber Attack – NBC News M.E.Doc’s owners deny that some initial infections last week were spread via a malicious update issued by their software.

Ukraine Software Firm Says Computers Compromised After Cyber Attack – The New York Times The Ukrainian software firm at the center of a cyber attack that spread around the world last week said on Wednesday that computers which use its accounting software are compromised by a so-called

SBU: Ransom demands in cyberattack “only cover-up” | UNIAN Head of the Security Service of Ukraine Vasyl Hrytsak during a Tuesday briefing in Kyiv said that&nbsp;cybercriminals&nbsp;who had set up and executed&nbsp;cyberattacks&nbsp;on computer networks across Ukraine pursued goals completely different from profiting from unlocking computers blocked by malware. “The relevant investigation was launched by the National Police from the very first minutes into the attack, as soon as it was discovered, that’s early June 27. SBU experts joined in to work out a countermeasures system, We began collecting evidence, effectively interacting with many countries’ intelligence services, in particular, those of NATO member states,” Hrytsak told journalists about this at a briefing answering a question on whether the evidence on the involvement in massive cyberattacks in Ukraine of Russian intelligence had already been collected. “Unfortunately, I can’t say what I really want to say,” he added “but even during informal communication with our partners [from NATO] we come to the same conclusion: significant forces were behind organizing such powerful cyberattacks. And the goal was disguised by the alleged $300 ransom extortion.” Hrytsak went on to say that, according to preliminary data, a total of only some $12,000 was actually paid by affected users. “It was those groups of hackers that attacked Ukrainian energy enterprises and financial institutions with viruses, including Black Energy, who were involved in setting up this attack. In fact, the goal of the cyberattack was to destabilize the situation in our country. You can guess about the rest,” Hrytsak said. The SBU chief added that the agency perceives the latest act as yet another link in a chain of sabotage efforts against Ukraine. “All this was aimed at destabilization in our country,” Hrytsak said.

Omelian: Cyberattacks cause millions in losses for Infrastructure Ministry – 05.07.2017 14:10 — Ukrinform News 05.07.2017 14:10. The Infrastructure Ministry of Ukraine incurred millions in losses due to the cyberattacks that occurred on June 27.

The masquerade of the largest cyber attack in the history of Ukraine has become the virus Petya (Diskcoder.C) Департамент Кіберполіції Національної поліції України

Russia Threatens Retaliation If Pentagon Bans Kaspersky Software – To Inform is to Influence Kaspersky is offering the US its source code.  Russian Communications Minister Nikolay Nikiforov says Russia may retaliate.  Methinks the lady dost protest too much.   What is Russia hiding?  Another perspective might be that the national leadership of Russia is reacting to one Russian company being singled out for exclusion.  When Rosneft, Gazprom, or others were sanctioned,…

Who is the GovRAT Author and Mirai Botmaster ‘Bestbuy’? – To Inform is to Influence Brian Krebs does excellent work. </end editorial> By Brian Krebs Source: https://krebsonsecurity.com/2017/07/who-is-the-govrat-author-and-mirai-botmaster-bestbuy/ In February 2017, authorities in the United Kingdom arrested a 29-year-old U.K. man on suspicion of knocking more than 900,000 Germans offline in an attack tied to Mirai, a malware strain that enslaves Internet of Things (IoT) devices like security cameras and Internet routers for…

The types of cyber weapons Cyber Command needs in its toolbox – Fifth Domain | Cyber This is Part III of a four-part series exploring what U.S. Cyber Command will need to operate on its own, separate from the National Security Agency.


Ukraine Reports


U.S. Top Diplomat To Visit Kyiv U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is scheduled to visit Ukraine on July 9 for talks with President Petro Poroshenko, the Ukrainian president's office says. Poroshenko&rsquo;s office said o…

US Secretary of State Tillerson To Meet with Poroshenko July 9th – YouTube United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is heading to Kyiv this weekend. _ Follow UATV English: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UATVEN Twitter: htt…

Volodymyr Groysman | Positive Change Is Happening in Ukraine – WSJ We’re ahead of schedule on deregulating energy and fighting corruption, and we’re growing as a result.

Ukraine’s Prime Minister To Travel To Britain To Attend Forum On Reforms Ukraine says Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroysman is to travel to Britain on July 5 to meet with British leaders and take part in a conference devoted to the country's reform process. Hroysman i…

UAWire – Chairman of Ukrainian Parliament: Russia uses the Crimea as a springboard for its actions in Syria In his speech at the solemn session of the parliament devoted to the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Charter on the distinctive partnership between Ukraine and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Andriy Parubiy, stated that the Crimea has become a springboard for Russia’s actions in Syria. In speaking about the “occupation” of the Crimea, he noted that “the seizure of the peninsula and the possible deployment of nuclear weapons there turned the entire Black Sea basin into a zone of danger and instability.” “The Crimea became the springboard for Russia’s actions in Syria, which has destabilized the entire Middle East, and is trying to undermine the European Union by creating a migration crisis,” the speaker said. He noted that Russia has become a direct threat to the security of Europe and the entire civilized world.

Dzhemilev, Erdogan discuss current situation in Crimea – 05.07.2017 11:36 — Ukrinform News 05.07.2017 11:36. Leader of the Crimean Tatar people, member of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Mustafa Dzhemilev met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Parubiy to visit Turkey on July 5-7 Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andriy Parubiy will pay a visit to Turkey on July 5-7. During the visit Parubiy will take part in the events of the 49th PABSEC General Assembly and will speak during the ceremony of handing over the chairmanship of the PABSEC to Ukraine by Turkey, the official website of the Ukrainian parliament says. Parubiy also plans to meet with Speaker of the Turkish Parliament Ismail Kahraman and Secretary General of the PABSEC Asaf Hajiyev.

Statements by Polish Foreign Minister on Bandera are unfriendly and harm interstate relations, – Lubkivskyi 04.07.17 19:48 – The words of Foreign Minister of Poland Vitold Vashchikovsky regarding Stepan Bandera harm relations between the two countries. This was stated by the extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador Markiyan Lubkivsky, informs Censor.NET with reference to “112 Ukraine”.  Ukraine, in his opinion, should officially react to such a statement. “The statements of Polish Foreign Minister Vashchikovsky are untimely, unfriendly and harmful for bilateral Ukrainian-Polish relations, without doubt such words require the reaction of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, I hope that our external political department will call the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland for explanations about the statements of the head of the foreign policy department Of this country, or our Ambassador Dyshchitsa will make a visit to the ministry and will also demand appropriate explanations, “said Lubkivsky. According to him, the Minister’s words are untimely for two reasons: “The first thing that Ukraine is now confronting the Russian aggressor and protects, in fact, its territory, is Europe from the Russian invasion.” To do such statements at that time, opening, in fact, The second front, an unequivocally unfriendly gesture toward Ukraine and interference in Ukraine’s internal affairs The second point, Ukraine’s membership in the EU is still far away, will take a long time, and obviously more than one Vashchikovsky will change and the situation will change. ” Earlier, Polish Foreign Minister Vitold Vashchikovsky, in an interview with wPolityce, said that Poland would require Kiev to review historical issues before joining the European Union, in particular Stepan Bandera’s issue and the “minority rights problem.” We remind you that on February 6, the head of the ruling Right and Justice Party in Poland, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, stated that praising the leader of the OUN Bandera could create obstacles to Ukraine’s integration into Europe.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: The Russian War Against Ukraine by the Numbers Paul Goble Staunton, July 4 – There is no “Ukrainian crisis,” as so many in Moscow and the West continue to say; there is instead an all too real Russian war in and against Ukraine, one that Kyiv is fighting against. And Ukraine’s First Deputy Defense Minister Ivan Rusnak this week provided new numbers that demonstrate that tragic reality beyond any reasonable doubt. Speaking to a meeting in Kyiv today, Rusnak described the Russian invasion and occupation forces, the losses human and otherwise they have imposed on his country, and the burden the Ukrainian people have been forced to bear in opposing what Moscow has done and is doing in Ukraine: A massive Russian invasion and occupation force. There are more than 60,000 Russian troops in Ukraine and along the Russian Ukrainian border, outfitted with modern weapons, and officered almost exclusively at the top by Russian cadres officers and generals (unian.ua/war/2009086-u-minoboroni-nazvali-chiselnist-rosiyskih-viysk-na-kordoni-z-ukrajinoyu-ta-na-donbasi.html). 2700 Ukrainians Killed and More than 10,000 Wounded. Ukraine has suffered massive human losses as Russian forces have killed more than 2700 Ukrainian fighters and citizens and wounded more than 10,000 in addition (unn.com.ua/ru/news/1674205-za-chas-ato-zaginuli-bilshe-2-7-tis-viyskovikh-ta-ponad-10-tis-poraneni-minoboroni). 50 Billion US Dollars in Property Losses. Rusnak says that preliminary assessments suggest that “in the east of Ukraine,” Russian acitons have destroyed “objects of energy, transportation and social infrastructure” worth about 50 billion US dollars (economics.unian.ua/finance/2009076-blizko-50-milyardiv-u-minoboroni-pidrahuvali-sumu-zbitkiv-vid-ruynuvannya-infrastrukturi-na-donbasi-cherez-agresiyu-rf.html). An Ever-Increasing Defense Burden on Ukraine. This year, the deputy minister says, Ukraine spent 64 billion grivna (2.46 billion US dollars) and plans to spend even more next, 74 billion grivna (2.85 billion US dollars)

Rebuilding Donbas After Russia’s War Estimated at $50 billion – YouTube It will cost an estimated 50 billion dollars to undo the damage caused by Russian regular troops and Moscow-backed separatist forces in Ukraine’s eastern reg…

Turchynov discusses with NATO Assistant Secretary General military and technical cooperation – 04.07.2017 16:17 — Ukrinform News 04.07.2017 16:17. Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov held a meeting with NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges Sorin Ducaru. During the meeting, the interlocutors discussed the situation in Ukraine developed as a result of the hybrid aggression of the Russian Federation against our state, the press service of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine reported. According to Turchynov, a powerful infrastructure of Russian troops is being built along the Ukrainian-Russian border, “new divisions are being created in Bilgorod and Rostov regions near the eastern and northern borders”. Moreover, the interlocutors considered the methods of Russia’s hybrid aggression against our country. “In addition to hostilities, an economic, energy, informational, and cybernetic aggression is waged against our country,” he explained. During the discussion, the parties focused on deepening cooperation in military and technical and cybersecurity spheres between Ukraine and NATO member states. In his turn, Ducaru stressed that “Ukraine is the cornerstone of Euro-Atlantic security”.

Turchynov, Mingarelli discuss bills prepared by NSDC on Donbas deoccupation Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Oleksandr Turchynov during a meeting with European Union Ambassador to Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli has discussed a number of topical issues, including those prepared by the NSDC Council on draft de-occupation laws for regions of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions that are temporarily uncontrolled by the Ukrainian authorities. “The two also discussed the peculiarities of the draft laws on the National Security of Ukraine “On the peculiarities of the state policy for restoring Ukraine’s state sovereignty over the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” prepared by the National Security and Defense Council,” the press service of the NSDC said on Wednesday.

UAWire – Ukraine calls on NATO to provide lethal weapons to defend itself from Russia Ukraine has asked the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to provide defensive lethal weapons, as stated by the Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze. “We are asking for defensive lethal weapons to protect ourselves and our land, in order to do it more effectively, so that there are fewer military losses and that there are fewer civilian losses,” Klympush-Tsintsadze said. She stressed the need for such weapons to counter Russian aggression. The Vice Prime Minister added that only systemic and joint pressure could draw Russia’s attention to international law. Earlier the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Hanna Hopko, stated in an interview with LB.ua 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 only just in words but also in deeds.” In 2014 and 2015, the US did not provide Ukraine with lethal weapons, as the White House felt that this could “spur” Russia to escalate the conflict.

UAWire – The President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly confident that Ukraine will join the Alliance in the future The President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Paolo Alli expressed his confidence that Ukraine will become a member of the North Atlantic Alliance in the future. He stated this at a joint briefing with Andriy Parubiy, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, who recently said that Ukraine should become the next NATO member after Montenegro. “There is still much to be done along the way but we see very great progress and we are confident that Ukraine will become a NATO member. We, the Parliamentary Assembly will support it in this,” Alli said. Alli added that the question of the Parliamentary Assembly’s visit to Ukraine is now being discussed: “This is what we are discussing now. I hope that we will be able to come here in full with the Assembly and hold its meeting here in the near future.” He also said that the protection and support of Ukraine is the protection and support of European countries. “Ukraine is the outpost of Western democracies and common values. We know that supporting Ukraine means supporting ourselves; protecting Ukraine is protecting ourselves,” said the President of NATO PA. Earlier it was reported that the chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Andriy Parubiy, believes that Ukraine should become the next NATO member after Montenegro.

Vera Zimmerman | War in Ukraine was years in the making Ukraine is the only country in the world that has ongoing experience with a hybrid war—a simultaneous and adaptive military strategy that blends conventional and non-conventional means. As a result, it offers valuable lessons that could help the West better understand emerging threats. In the last three years, Ukraine has found itself drawn into the burgeoning confrontation between an insolent Russia and a timid West. Taken by surprise, violated, and robbed by a neighbor who for decades touted the historical and ethnic ties between them, Ukraine was forced to quickly mobilize its scarce resources and learn how to fight a sophisticated enemy in a new type of warfare. In a new comprehensive study, “The World Hybrid War: Ukrainian Forefront,” experts from Ukraine’s National Institute for Strategic Studies (NISS) examine the Ukraine-Russia conflict in the context of the global security crisis. In the monograph, they conceptualize hybrid war, trace its origins, look at the evolution of Russia’s revanchist ambitions, single out Ukraine’s vulnerabilities and its response, and advocate a new strategy. The authors aim to share Ukraine’s experience of hybrid war with Western readers and leave no doubt about the true nature of Russia’s goals. Volodymyr Horbulin, director of the NISS and the editor of the monograph, argues that a hybrid war has an undeclared beginning and an indefinite end. It has no outright winners, lacks clear goals, and “operates on several fronts simultaneously, inconsistently, and asymmetrically.” The monograph challenges those who view hybrid war as being a temporary phenomenon or a return to the Cold War, arguing that it constitutes a new form of global confrontation conducted between zones of stability and zones of chaos, between spheres where the rule of law is respected and those where it is not. Unlike the Cold War, which occurred in a bipolar world, hybrid war occurs in the age of globalization and subsequently cannot be confined to the periphery. The authors emphasize that the Donbas conflict is no longer local; it is, in fact, “a starting point for the formation of the new hybrid world order.” One lesson that can be drawn is that hybrid wars begin prior to the active phase. Russia prepared for years on many fronts before activating this war. Ukraine’s historical dependencies on Russia created vulnerabilities that Russia successfully exploited; for example, Ukraine’s connections to oligarchs and its pro-Russian politicians promoted the Kremlin’s agenda, supported pro-Russian integration projects, and spread ideas of separatism. They allowed Russian intelligence forces to infiltrate Ukraine’s national security apparatus to conduct subversive operations. Russia also exerted numerous forms of economic pressure on Ukraine, including trade and gas wars. And Ukraine’s media oligarchy and its dependence on Russia’s information space made Ukraine vulnerable to the Kremlin’s disinformation campaign.

Ukraine’s Generational Struggle Against Soviet Legacy – YouTube Joanna Rohozinska, the Senior Program Officer for Europe and Eurasia at the National Endowment for Democracy, explained to UATV why Ukraine is remarkably different from its European neighbors, and why solving Ukraine’s problems will not happen quickly.

Russia using occupied Crimea as training ground for testing new weapons – MP Friz Russia is creating military structures in occupied areas of Donbas which are full compatible with Russian armed forces, Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine deputy and head of the permanent Rada delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Iryna Friz has said. Friz is a member of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc faction in parliament. “Occupied Crimea, from a military point of view, is completed integrated into Russia’s Southern Military District. All training conducted on the peninsula is coordinated with units assigned to the district. The approach to Crimea is cardinally different that approaches for using military formations in other occupied territories. This shows the Kremlin views Crimea as fully occupied, with security and social unrest risks,” Friz said in her brief, titled “Militarization of occupied territories: Destabilization of the Euro-Atlantic region and mechanism of geopolitical influence.” Friz said Russian forces operate different in occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which is used as a training ground for conducting military operations and testing new weapons systems. “Among the priority tasks for Russian troops there are [testing] new methods of artillery systems use, electronic warfare and radio surveillance, including new unmanned aviation vehicles and the organization of coordination work with artillery units,” Friz says in her report. The MP said the type of trainings and equipment used by the Operations Group of Russian Forces (OGRF) in Moldova’s breakaway Transdniester region does not correspond with the stated aim of Russian military formations located there. “It’s very likely that OGRF units are preparing specialists and infiltrating recon networks in Romania with the aim of creating diversionary groups using citizens of the breakaway region,” Friz says in her report.

Russia deploys attack forces only on territories that should be included in its composition The Russian Federation uses several methods of occupation and militarization, providing for different models of governance and development in the occupied territories, Head of the Permanent Delegation of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, People’s Deputy of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc, Iryna Friz, has said. “Everywhere a new type of stratified society is being created, where the layer of security agencies is one of the highest. The creation of a new type of stratified society lays the groundwork for long-term changes in all social groups. This distances the occupied territories from the rest of the state against which aggression was committed for democratic values and a different type of social relations are adopted there. This in turn lays the foundation for significant complications in the event of probable future de-occupation,” Friz said, delivering the report titled “Militarization of the occupied territories: the factor of the destabilization of the Euro-Atlantic region and the mechanism of geopolitical influence” at the international conference “Ukraine-Solidarity-NATO.” At the same time, the Russian leadership is not interested in the stable economic and social development of the occupied territories, which have no prospects of joining the Russian Federation. “Russia needs an impoverished territory with business and a militarized power that inosculated together. Such occupied territory, even with the presence of quasi-bodies of representative government, will be completely dependent on Russia. Thus, its human resource, territory and status can be used more effectively for an unlimited period. The Decision Making Centre in the Kremlin does not need strong local elites, but generally speaking, there is no difference in the name of the leader – the main thing is that this person should be completely dependent on the Russian Federation, controlled and understood by it and be not so strong to become an independent and influential at the regional level,” the report says. In addition, the MP said that the process of deployment of the strike forces and weapons of mass destruction in the occupied territories is a threat to the Euro-Atlantic space. “According to our estimates, Russia deploys strike forces only in those territories that, according to the plans of the military and political leadership of the Russian Federation, must enter or have already become part of Russia. If there are signs of deployment of Tactical Ballistic Missile System, anti ship missile system, strike aviation in the territories of Crimea and South Ossetia, the dislocation of such means in Transdniester region of the Moldovan Republic, Abkhazia and especially in Donbas does not take place. Obviously, the question of the controllability of the territory, the loyalty of the local population, the future plans of the Kremlin for these territories and security are decisive for placing such types of weapons on these territories,” Friz said.

Deployment of OSCE police mission key for Donbas demilitarization – Gerashchenko First Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Iryna Gerashchenko says that the introduction of the OSCE police mission to Donbas is a key requirement for the region&rsquo;s effective demilitarization,&nbsp;an UNIAN&nbsp;correspondent reports from an international conference held in Kyiv Tuesday, July 4. News 04 July from UNIAN.

Tetiana Stezhar | Awaiting environmental Armageddon – News about social life | UNIAN Besides the fact that Ukraine has joined the Paris Climate Agreement and the latest twists and turns regarding Lviv&rsquo;s waste landfills row, environmental issues in Ukraine have long been back-shelved. Well, they shouldn&rsquo;t be. News 04 July from UNIAN. Recently, Ukraine’s environmental problems suddenly burst out into the media space as Deputy Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons George Tuka predicted an ecological disaster in Donbas. His statement was sharply refuted by Donetsk region’s Governor Pavlo Zhebrivsky. And so the clash started… Tuka said that the flooding of a large number of coal mines in the areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions beyond Kyiv’s control – the mines which, moreover, contained the remains of radioactive materials -leads to water contamination and an increase in the radiation level in natural waters. As a result, as of today, 88% of the reserve sources of drinking water in the occupied areas of Luhansk region are already unsuitable for use. And the further spread of polluted water can lead to an area of 15,000 square kilometers [border regions of Ukraine and Russia] being affected. “According to the report regarding the humanitarian disaster, prepared by the National Academy of Sciences, Donbas is doomed. Processes have started which cannot be leveled,” George Tuka said. Therefore, in his opinion, we should now think about resettling people. It seems this was exactly the statement, which caused indignation on the part of the region’s governor. “Are there environmental problems in Donetsk and Luhansk regions?” Of course, there are. Do terrorists flood Ukrainian mines in the areas they have occupied? Yes, they do. Is it dangerous for the region? Yes, there are risks. And if George Tuka in this way wished to draw the attention of the international community to the issue, let him specify what exactly he meant,” the governor said, adding that such problems are gradually being solved in the Ukraine-controlled territory. He recalled that on July 2, Ecology Minister Ostap Semerak measured the radiation level in the government-controlled city of Bakhmut, and it was within the allowed range. In turn, Tuk parried that one should not pretend nothing is happening and ignore the problem, since the issue of the region’s environmental problems is “extremely complex.” His opinion is shared by Parliament Vice Speaker, Ukraine’s humanitarian envoy to the Trilateral Liaison Group in Minsk on Donbas settlement, Iryna Gerashchenko. “It seems to me that now environmental problems of Donbas are coming to the fore following security and humanitarian components. Global attention is crucial here,” she noted. Indeed, Donbas is not only territories controlled by the Ukrainian government, while environmental issues in the region are not only those with radiation levels in Bakhmut or Mariupol. For example, there are also threats of chemical contamination of both soil and drinking water. The problem should be recognized that any contamination of “DPR” and “LPR”-controlled territories will remain a looming threat to all no matter who much Ukraine does to tackle environmental problems in the areas it effectively controls. For the past three years, none of Ukraine’s controlling agencies have been able to assess the environmental damage caused by large enterprises located in uncontrolled territories, or check the actual condition of flooded mines and treatment facilities, which earlier allowed reducing the harm to the ecosystem. The thing is, the experts simply have no access to the sites in interest. Experts do not undertake to assess air and groundwater pollution (both because of uncontrolled emissions of factories and as a result of the destruction of local national natural parks). In addition, no one can accurately predict the negative effect of all that unexploded ordnance strewn across the Donetsk and Luhansk farmland, and what will be the aftermath of their “decomposition” as their components will eventually end up in groundwater. Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/society/2010661-awaiting-environmental-armageddon.htmlRecently, Ukraine’s environmental problems suddenly burst out into the media space as Deputy Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons George Tuka predicted an ecological disaster in Donbas. His statement was sharply refuted by Donetsk region’s Governor Pavlo Zhebrivsky. And so the clash started… Tuka said that the flooding of a large number of coal mines in the areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions beyond Kyiv’s control – the mines which, moreover, contained the remains of radioactive materials -leads to water contamination and an increase in the radiation level in natural waters. As a result, as of today, 88% of the reserve sources of drinking water in the occupied areas of Luhansk region are already unsuitable for use. And the further spread of polluted water can lead to an area of 15,000 square kilometers [border regions of Ukraine and Russia] being affected. “According to the report regarding the humanitarian disaster, prepared by the National Academy of Sciences, Donbas is doomed. Processes have started which cannot be leveled,” George Tuka said. Therefore, in his opinion, we should now think about resettling people. It seems this was exactly the statement, which caused indignation on the part of the region’s governor. “Are there environmental problems in Donetsk and Luhansk regions?” Of course, there are. Do terrorists flood Ukrainian mines in the areas they have occupied? Yes, they do. Is it dangerous for the region? Yes, there are risks. And if George Tuka in this way wished to draw the attention of the international community to the issue, let him specify what exactly he meant,” the governor said, adding that such problems are gradually being solved in the Ukraine-controlled territory. He recalled that on July 2, Ecology Minister Ostap Semerak measured the radiation level in the government-controlled city of Bakhmut, and it was within the allowed range. In turn, Tuk parried that one should not pretend nothing is happening and ignore the problem, since the issue of the region’s environmental problems is “extremely complex.” His opinion is shared by Parliament Vice Speaker, Ukraine’s humanitarian envoy to the Trilateral Liaison Group in Minsk on Donbas settlement, Iryna Gerashchenko. “It seems to me that now environmental problems of Donbas are coming to the fore following security and humanitarian components. Global attention is crucial here,” she noted. Indeed, Donbas is not only territories controlled by the Ukrainian government, while environmental issues in the region are not only those with radiation levels in Bakhmut or Mariupol. For example, there are also threats of chemical contamination of both soil and drinking water. The problem should be recognized that any contamination of “DPR” and “LPR”-controlled territories will remain a looming threat to all no matter who much Ukraine does to tackle environmental problems in the areas it effectively controls. For the past three years, none of Ukraine’s controlling agencies have been able to assess the environmental damage caused by large enterprises located in uncontrolled territories, or check the actual condition of flooded mines and treatment facilities, which earlier allowed reducing the harm to the ecosystem. The thing is, the experts simply have no access to the sites in interest. Experts do not undertake to assess air and groundwater pollution (both because of uncontrolled emissions of factories and as a result of the destruction of local national natural parks). In addition, no one can accurately predict the negative effect of all that unexploded ordnance strewn across the Donetsk and Luhansk farmland, and what will be the aftermath of their “decomposition” as their components will eventually end up in groundwater. However, it would be unfair to claim that the authorities don’t take the challenge seriously. After all, it is obvious that it is impossible to conduct an environmental assessment in uncontrolled territories by Ukrainian experts. Minister for Temporary Occupied Territories and IDPs Vadym Chernysh sees the resolve in attracting international organizations to tackling the problem. “Environmental issues in Luhansk and Donetsk regions should be put on the agenda of the Minsk talks,” he said. “The topic of environment and a possible manmade disaster in Donbas will be one of the key issues at the meeting of the Ukraine-EU Association Parliamentary Committee which will be held in Ukraine this autumn,” Iryna Gerashchenko said. However, the fact that the OSCE SMM has been warning of a possible environmental disaster in Donbas say since year-start has not brought Ukraine much closer to solving the problem. To date, the Ecology Ministry with the OSCE support has only launched a project to provide for a complete inventory of sites representing environmental and manmade threat in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. In addition, according to Minister of Ecology Ostap Semerak, his ministry along with the State Agency of Water Resources is ready to join the process of setting up an automated water monitoring system in Donetsk region in the framework of the project to introduce an automated pollution monitoring system. Unfortunately, these efforts could remain a drop in the sea. That’s especially if we take into account that Donbas is in fact not the only region of Ukraine that faces environmental problems. Both central and local authorities should also pay more attention to the amber-rich areas where, as a result of uncontrolled extraction, prospectors has unearthed radioactive layers of soil contaminated since the time of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster. By bringing these soil layers up on the surface, amber hunters seem not to care at all about the increased radiation level in Polissia forests. No less important is the problem of forest fires, especially in the aforementioned green areas. No matter how hard the State Emergency Service reports on its successful efforts in extinguishing forest fires in the radiation risk areas, the lesson of 1986 is still alive in the memory of all Ukrainians. Besides, all government actions aimed at resolving environmental problems should be as clear to the Ukrainians as possible, while corresponding national programs should also be timely. After all, what’s the use in raising funds for the untimely attempts to put out the “fire” if the environmental Armageddon has already come? We should prevent this fire from “igniting” in the first place. Tetiana Stezhar

Volunteers: AFU repulsed the enemy’s attack, the enemy – 18 killed, more than 20 wounded In the first days of July terrorists tried to attack the ATO zone, but the fighters of the AFU repulsed the offensive. The enemy suffered significant losses – 18 dead, more than 20 seriously wounded and several units of destroyed equipment. This was reported by the volunteers of the fund “Come back alive” on the page of the organization in Facebook . “North of Luhansk, the regular army of the invaders can not calm down in any way, shelled the settlements of Zhelobok, the Krimskoe and the Trekhizbenka. Here and there the enemy brazenly goes on the offensive. One such offensive ended quickly for the enemy with a total of 18 dead, more than 20 seriously wounded and several units of destroyed equipment, “they note. Hot spots, according to the volunteers are Vodniye, Krasnogorovka, Avdeevka and its surroundings. The firing on the Debaltsevsky direction resumed: “Shells of the caliber of 120-mm in dozens (and even hundreds) are flying toward our defensive positions and into the rear.” Unfortunately, there is a loss on our part. Due to enemy shelling over the past two days, two defenders of Ukraine were killed.

Russian proxies attack Ukraine 15 times in last day | UNIAN Russia's hybrid military forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in Donbas 15 times in the past 24 hours, according to the press service of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters. News 05 July from UNIAN.

Militants launched 15 attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas in last day – 05.07.2017 09:25 — Ukrinform News 05.07.2017 09:25. Militants launched 15 attacks on positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in ATO area in Donbas over the past day.

No combat casualties in Ukrainian army yesterday, – ATO HQ 05.07.17 13:03 – No combat casualties in Ukrainian army yesterday, – ATO HQ No casualties were recorded on July 4 among Ukrainian military fighting in the east of Ukraine. View news.

Representative of UK Air Force on visit to Ukrainian pilots | Міністерство оборони України Jonathan Nixon, Wing Commander, Royal Air Force, visited 831st brigade of tactical aviation in Poltava oblast. He observed demonstrative piloting of Su-27 and praised it in the framework of training of the Ukrainian pilots before The Royal International Air Tattoo — 2017. For the first time the Ukrainian delegation participated in The Royal International Air Tattoo in 1996. Military pilots demonstrated their skills twice in 1999 and 2011.

Ukraine To Recieve €1 Million Worth of NATO Equipment and Assisstance for Cyber Security – YouTube Now recently, news of the destructive Petya computer virus dominated headlines around the world. Ukraine was, by far, the worst affected by the cyber attack …

Marta Havryshko: In the ATO zone, women are often sexually abused by soldiers, but refuse to speak out -Euromaidan Press | Iryna Slavinska, Viktoriya Yermolayeva Ukraine ranks 55th out of 159 countries on the Gender Inequality Index (GII). And since the outbreak of the war in the East things have only changed for the worse as violence and sexual abuse against women has flourished over recent years.

Exchange programs dispel destructive myths, bridge east-west divide in Ukraine -Euromaidan Press | The topic of de-occupying Donbas has become more popular among Ukrainian authorities, giving hope that after nearly three years of a quagmire war, words will soon start turning into reality. At present, 2.5% of continental Ukraine is uncontrolled by the Ukrainian government, having in 2014 become part of the unrecognized Russian satellite states, the Luhansk and Donetsk “People’s Republics” (with illegally annexed Crimea, the total Ukrainian area occupied by Russia rises to 7%). The Minsk peace process has so far been ineffective to stop the conflict between the Ukrainian army and combined Russian-militant forces in Donbas and get the territory back under the control of the Ukrainian government. But it’s important to remember that not only land and infrastructure should be returned. The main fight should take place for the minds of people of Donbas who allowed themselves to be misguided by stereotypes and falsifications to the extent of destroying their lives. Nowadays, different initiatives focused on cultural exchanges for Ukrainians from different regions started to appear. They are called to repair what stereotypes had destroyed. Let’s take a look which stereotypes existed (and often still exist) among the citizens of the eastern Ukraine towards the other regions of Ukraine.

July 5 is Sloviansk liberation day, one of the first big Ukrainian victories in Donbas war, – journalist. PHOTO 05.07.17 11:43 – July 5 is Sloviansk liberation day, one of the first big Ukrainian victories in Donbas war, – journalist. PHOTO Three years ago, on July 5, 2014, the city of Sloviansk, the Donetsk region, was liberated from pro-Russian terrorists. View photo news.

Nolan Peterson: What Freedom Means in Ukraine After three years of war, most Ukrainians still believe freedom is worth fighting for.

UAWire – Pakistan to buy large consignment of Ukrainian tanksPakistan may order a large consignment of Ukrainian-produced Oplot tanks, reports Pakistani military-analytic society Defence Pakistan on …

July 4th in Kyiv Brings Ukrainians and Americans Closer Together -Euromaidan Press | Americans around the world are holding celebrations for their country’s independence day. Kyiv is no different. Over the weekend, America House in Kyiv had a Fourth of July party. Our correspondent was there to find out what America means to Ukrainians.

UAWire – Media: Netherlands is blocking adoption of final declaration from Ukraine-EU summit Interfax-Ukraine, citing a source in diplomatic circles, reports that the adoption of a joint statement on the results of the Ukraine-EU summit, …

FT: Ukraine’s economy has turned a corner – News about economy | UNIAN On the surface, not much seems to have changed since Russia-sponsored separatists seized parts of eastern Ukraine three years ago. Fighting has flared up intermittently, but the front line has remained effectively frozen and efforts to find a diplomatic solution have reached a standstill, according to the Financial Times (FT). News 05 July from UNIAN.

EBA poll: Ukraine become more attractive for investors, leaves negative area first time since 2011 -Euromaidan Press | A recent study conducted by the European Business Association (EBA) has shown that Ukraine’s Investment Attractiveness Index has finally left the negative area. Ukraine demonstrates visible signs of growth since 2011. The economy of Ukraine has become more attractive to foreign and domestic investors. However, more than a half of respondents are not satisfied with the current investment climate. EBA has based its analysis on expert evaluations from 142 directors of the biggest international and Ukrainian companies. In the first half of 2017, the Investment Attractiveness Index of Ukraine reached 3.15 points out of the possible 5, which is the highest result in the last six years. This is progress compared to December 2016, when EBA index for Ukraine was 2.85. EBA measures the Index in Ukraine since 2008 and it had never reached the positive zone since then. The highest Index rate ever was witnessed in late 2010 (3.4) – early 2011 (3,39):

Danyliuk to Bloomberg: No IMF loan in summer, Ukraine may get fifth tranche in autumn Ukrainian Finance Minister Oleksandr Danyliuk has said in an interview with Bloomberg that Ukraine may get a fifth tranche from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) worth up to US$1.9 billion in autumn instead of summer because of a delay in the adoption of laws on key reforms in parliament. News 05 July from UNIAN.

Two U.S. companies want to extract oil, gas in Ukraine | UNIAN U.S. oil and gas companies Frontera Resources and Longfellow want to extract oil and gas in Ukraine's Odesa and Poltava regions, according to the Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Ministry's press service. News 05 July from UNIAN.

UAWire – Russian family seeks asylum in Ukraine because of persecution over social media posts On the evening of July 1st, at one of the checkpoints on the border of Ukraine and Russia, a Russian family asked for refugee status in Ukraine, …

Russian, Who Called for Putin’s Impeachment On Air, Tries To Escape To Ukraine Through Belarus – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk Ukraine didn’t let Vyacheslav Maltsev enter its territory. Vyacheslav Maltsev, a Russian oppositionist with nationalistic views, is known for calling for Putin’s impeachment during the parliamentary debate on the air of state television, nn.by writes. A criminal case for creating an extremist community was initiated against Maltsev. His friends among law enforcers warned him about possible detention, and the oppositionist managed to escape from Russia. He went to Belarus because he wanted to go to Moldova through Ukraine. However, Ukranian border guards didn’t allow him to enter Ukraine, explaining that Maltsev had participated in military operations on the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic. He himself denies this. The place of his stay is still unknown.

Ukraine’s oldest woman turns 117, could be world’s second oldest living person -Euromaidan Press | Alya Shandra Ukraine’s oldest woman Khrystyna Nahorna turned 117 years old on 1 July 2017. She is the oldest living person in Ukraine and could well be the world’s second-oldest living person, although she is absent in the list of oldest living people of the Gerontology Research Group, which keeps track of the oldest humans on the planet. Khrystyna Nahorna lives in the village of Zhadove of the Chernihiv Oblast, located in northern Ukraine, where she was born and lived her whole life. After the early death of her mother, she lived with a stepmother. Having divorced her first husband, she brought up a daughter by herself (the daughter died in 2000). Her second husband was killed in World War II. Her 69-year old grandson lives in Moscow, and there are a few great-grandsons. Through all her grown life Khrystyna worked on the village’s collective farm. But she remembers the times before they were formed as part of the Soviet collectivization measures – prior to 1917, she worked for the local landowners. In those years, she recalls, a part of the villagers in Zhadov rebelled against the forced collectivization. She also remembers the events of the Holodomor famine.


Antonov looks to US for An-70 resurrection | Jane’s 360 Ukraine’s Antonov has announced that it has discussed potentially developing a new version of the An-70 aircraft – to be designated the An-77 – with the United States. In an announcement on 3 July, the company said it had been in discussions with a delegation of the US House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure to develop collaboration between US and Ukrainian firms on the aircraft. As part of the discussions, collaboration between Ukraine’s State Aviation Administration and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) covering aviation safety standards is also to be undertaken. UkrOboronProm Director General Roman Romanov told Jane’s at the recent 2017 Paris Air Show that the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence had recently announced the intention to purchase the An-70, as the country’s requirements for tactical transport grows. The company claims it has also been receiving requests for information on the aircraft from potential export customers. Romanov went on to add that the company had also begun to apply the learning experiences from the Antonov An-132D programme, undertaken with support from Saudi Arabia’s Taqnia Aeronautics and the King Abdulaziz Centre for Science & Technology. In particular, the replacement of Russian systems and components with Western ones has improved the platform’s marketability, as it incorporates higher and more widely established standards and capabilities.

Antonov searches for US partners for An-77 project Ukrainian plane manufacturer Antonov is seeking US partners for the joint development of a new model of An-77 transport aircraft. This question was discussed on July 3 during a visit paid by the delegation of the Committee on Transport and Infrastructure of the US House of Representatives to the company. Antonov provided a proposal for the joint development of the An-77 – a modernized version of the medium-heavy military transport aircraft, capable of short take-off and landing (STOL). The aircraft could potentially occupy a niche between C-130 with a payload of up to 21 tons and C-17 – of up to 76 tons, Antonov said in a Facebook post. Antonov offered to organize cooperation on this project with the broad participation of American aircraft manufacturers and suppliers. According, to Antonov, the implementation of such a project call for an interaction with the bodies of state aviation regulation and control – the State Aviation Service of Ukraine and the US FAA. The conclusion of BASA (Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement) should also become an important step.

An-77 military transport aircraft could be developed jointly with US | KyivPost The Ukrainian state enterprise Antonov (based in Kyiv) has offered the United States to organize cooperation to develop a program for a medium-size military transport aircraft, An-77, an upgraded version of the An-70 short takeoff and landing aircraft. The offer of cooperation was made during a visit to the company’s facilities by a delegation from the U.S. Congress House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, the Antonov spokesperson said on July 4. By the Ukrainian estimate, the An-77 could take up the niche between the C-130 (payload up to 21 tons), and the C-17 (up to 76 tons).

State Enterprise Antonov proposed US to jointly develop An-77 transport aircraft 05.07.17 09:47 – On July 3, 2017, Antotov SE was visited by a delegation of the United States House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. The parties discussed Ukraine-U.S. cooperation in aviation sector. Censor.NET reports citing the company’s press service on Facebook. Antonov SE proposed its U.S. partners to jointly develop a program of An-77, a modernized middle capacity military transport aircraft that can fit between C-130 with up to 21 tons capacity and C-17 with up to 76 tons capacity.

Антонов – Posts The ANTONOV State Enterprise has provided proposals for the development of joint aviation Ukrainian-American projects On July 3, 2017, ANTONOV was visited by a delegation from the Committee on Transport and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives of the US Congress. During the visit, the Ukrainian-US cooperation in the aviation industry was discussed. In particular, the ANTONOV State Enterprise presented a proposal for the joint development of the An-77 program ̶ a modernized version of the medium-range transport aircraft of short take-off and landing. It can take a niche between the C-130 with a payload of up to 21 tons and a C-17 – up to 76 tons. The ANTONOV State Enterprise has proposed to organize cooperation on this project with the participation of American aircraft manufacturing companies and equipment suppliers. Implementation of such a project will require interaction with the State Aviation Regulation and Control Authority – the State Aviation Service of Ukraine and the FAA of the United States. At the same time, an important step should be the conclusion of an intergovernmental agreement (BASA) (Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement).

Antonov An-77 Ukrainian Aircraft The original An-77 design relied on four CFM56-5A16 bypass turbofan engines; these were replaced by four D-30KP-2 bypass turbofan engines eventually used in the Y-20. The aircraft retained the ability to take-off and land using short landing strips, although the take-off length went up to 900m. The solution for increasing the thrust was the same as used in the An-77. First introduced in the C-17A Globemaster III, it directs the exhaust jet of the bypass turbofan engine at the high-lift flaps.


Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports


ISIS will lose Mosul and Raqqa. What happens next? – The Washington Post The jihadists are being forced out of their two biggest strongholds. Now comes the hard part.

UAWire – Assad’s regime threatens Washington with ‘retaliatory blow’ if the US strikes again Damascus has threatened Washington with a &quot;retaliatory strike by its allies&quot; if the US attacks Syria again, reported the FARS agency, citing …

Russian Negotiator Meeting Syrian Opposition Delegates In Astana Diplomats from Russia, Iran, Turkey, and the United States were continuing a fifth round of Syria peace talks in Astana on July 5 with the Syrian government and representatives of some Syria…

Working with Russia might be the best path to peace in Syria – The Washington Post  It would be distasteful, but spurning Moscow likely would make things worse for all sides.

Widow Sues For Money Canada Will Give to Ex-Gitmo Prisoner | Time.com Omar Khadr was convicted of throwing a grenade that killed American special forces medic, U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Christopher Speer.


DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports


Trump calls for UN crisis meeting over North Korea | News | The Times & The Sunday Times The United States last night requested a closed meeting of the United Nations security council after North Korea claimed to have tested an intercontinental ball

Nikki Haley U.S. seeks emergency meeting of UN security council – Washington Times The United States has asked for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council following North Korea’s claim that it successfully test-launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile.

Tillerson calls for global action to end North Korea’s ICBM threat | Reuters U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday called for global action after North Korea tested a newly developed intercontinental ballistic missile, calling it a new escalation of Pyongyang’s nuclear threat.

U.S.: North Korea’s ICBM Test Is ‘New Escalation of Threat’ | Time.com Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called the North’s test launch of a missile capable of hitting the U.S. — a “new escalation of the threat.”

In North Korea, ‘Surgical Strike’ Could Spin Into ‘Worst Kind of Fighting’ – The New York Times Even limited scenarios of an attack on North Korea point to staggering civilian casualties in the South and the prospect of nuclear warfare.

Kalter: ICBM Milestone leaves U.S. little leeway | Boston Herald North Korea’s first successful test-launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile crossed a long-standing line in the sand drawn by the int

US, South Korea conduct military exercise in response to North Korea missile launch – CNN.com A paradigm-changing North Korean missile test has left the United States and China split over how to deal with the aggressive rogue state.

US and Seoul launch retaliatory missiles into sea, as North Korea’s Kim Jong-un laughs and calls ICBM his ‘July 4 gift’ | South China Morning Post North Korean leader Kim, who oversaw ICBM test, reportedly mocks US by saying ‘we should send them gifts once in a while to help break their boredom’

North Korea vows more ‘gift packages’ of missile tests for U.S. – Chicago Tribune  North Korea claimed to have tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile in a launch Tuesday.

 

N. Korea’s Kim: Nukes not negotiable | TheHill North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday reportedly said his country’s nuclear weapons programs are not up for negotiation. In the wake of a high-profile North Korean missile launch, Kim said his country would “demonstrate its mettle to the U.S.,” The Associated Press reported. A state media report said Kim told “scientists and technicians that the U.S. would be displeased to witness [North Korea’s] strategic option” on July 4. Kim “stressed that the protracted showdown with the U.S. imperialists has reached its final phase and it is the time for [North Korea] to demonstrate its mettle to the U.S., which is testing its will in defiance of its warning,” according to the AP. North Korea claimed earlier this week it launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Pyongyang claimed the long-range weapon could “reach anywhere in the world.” After that test, President Trump said he hoped China would “put a heavy move” on North Korea and “end this nonsense once and for all!” “North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?” Trump tweeted earlier this week. “Hard to believe that South Korea…and Japan will put up with this much longer. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!” Trump in a tweet on Wednesday, however, pointed to a trade increase between Beijing and Pyongyang. “So much for China working with us – but we had to give it a try!” he tweeted. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday called for “global action” to stop North Korea. Tillerson condemned the missile launch in a statement, saying “testing an ICBM represents a new escalation of the threat to the United States, our allies and partners, the region, and the world.”

Kim vows North Korea’s nukes are not on negotiation table – The Washington Post North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un vowed his nation would “demonstrate its mettle to the U.S.” and never put its weapons programs up for negotiations a day after test-launching its first intercontinental ballistic missile. The hard line suggests more tests are being prepared as the country tries to perfect a nuclear missile capable of striking anywhere in the United States.

U.S. Confirms North Korea Fired Intercontinental Ballistic Missile – The New York Times The North claimed a milestone in its efforts to build nuclear weapons capable of hitting the American mainland, prompting a warning from the United States.

North Korea tested intercontinental ballistic missile, US officials believe – AOL News The ICBM, which is believed to be “two-stage,” officials said, would have a range of at least 3,500 miles, and thus be capable of reaching Alaska.

North Korea says its ICBM can carry nuclear warhead; U.S. calls for global action | Reuters North Korea said on Wednesday its newly developed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) can carry a large nuclear warhead, triggering a call by Washington for global action to hold it accountable for pursuing nuclear weapons.

North Korea missile launch marks a direct challenge to Trump administration – The Washington Post The test was a major development for the North, and the U.S. and South Korean militaries answered with missile exercises of their own.

North Korea new missile test: A game-changer? – BBC News With Alaska now possibly within range, the US has to accept that the North is a “real” danger.

A look at the US defense capabilities to handle threat of North Korean missile – ABC News US defense capabilities to handle N. Korea threat

Withdraw Indian troops from Sikkim or we will kick them out: China daily | Business Standard News Read more about Withdraw Indian troops from Sikkim or we will kick them out: China daily on Business Standard. China and India have been engaged in a standoff in the Dokalam area near the Bhutan trijunction

Sikkim standoff: Doka La incursions betray Chinese intentions of getting behind Indian, Bhutanese defences The new elements that Doka La has added to the war of words in 2017 have certainly enriched the vocabulary of India-China relations

What’s behind the India-China border stand-off? – BBC News The two countries have been locked in a month-long dispute along part of their shared border.

China-India Border Dispute Involving Bhutan: An Explainer | International Business Times The controversy began when India opposed China’s plan to extend a border road through a disputed plateau which Bhutan recognizes as Doklam, while China claims it’s a part of its Donglang region.

Israel, India sign series of agreements during Modi visit – The Washington Post Israel and India have signed a series of agreements to cooperate in the fields of technology, water and agriculture.

Lockheed Looks To Strengthen Bid In India’s Fighter Competition | Combat Aircraft content from Aviation Week Winning New Delhi’s fighter competition is currently Lockheed Martin’s best chance to keep F-16 production alive into the next decade


Foreign Policy Reports


Trump faces stiff challenge in Merkel, Putin showdowns – CNNPolitics.com When President Donald Trump visited Europe six weeks ago, he and his counterparts parted ways atop a Sicilian cliff feeling agitated and bruised following a long set of disagreements.

G-20: Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin, it’s complicated Germany’s leader is scared of dogs. She has been since childhood.

Europe’s fixer, Merkel faces test in preparing the continent to confront Trump – The Washington Post The German chancellor aims to preserve ties to the U.S. but strengthen Europe to stand alone.

EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker calls European Parliament ‘ridiculous’ – CNN.com Relations between the European Commission and the European Parliament took a turn for the worse after few lawmakers showed up for the Maltese leader’s speech.

Germany Bracing For Russian Effort To Influence September Elections Germany is expecting Russia to try to influence its general election in September, with the goal of undermining faith in German democracy rather than promoting any particular candidate, officials sai…

Germany Says Russia To Try Meddling in Elections – YouTube Russia will most likely try to meddle in the Germany Bundestag elections, which are scheduled for September 24th. That’s according to Germany’s Interior Mini…

U.S. Troops Reassure Allies in Poland Ahead of Trump’s G-20 Visit – NBC News American troops trained with British, Romanian and Polish NATO allies ahead of President Donald Trump’s Polish visit and G-20 summit this week.


US Domestic Policy Reports


Analysis: Despite High Tensions, Trump, Putin Seek To Reestablish A Broken Dialogue Syria, Ukraine, North Korea, purported Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election, Russian efforts to divide Europe, sanctions and countersanctions, hacking and cyberattacks.&nbsp; Ther…

What Russia hopes to gain from this week’s Putin-Trump meeting – The Washington Post  Moscow is counting on Putin to forge a personal relationship with the U.S. president.

 

James Durso | Time for the US to modernize its approach to Russia | TheHill What should we do? One is prioritize. As Charles de Gaulle asked, are we ready to trade New York for Paris? We probably weren’t then and we sure aren’t now as nothing less than an attack on the U.S. is worth a nuclear exchange. If Russia’s focus is on information operations (IO) and unconventional warfare, we should help the Eastern European states that already have experience with Russian cyber operations. Military maneuvers with allies are always useful, but political warfare is moving to the non-kinetic sphere of weaponized social media. IO adds another layer states must work through before they result to kinetic measures and, if combined with unconventional warfare instead of conventional forces on a tripwire footing, can limit the body count if things heat up. Secondly, we should swear off “regime change.” A policy of regime change is an excellent way to rally the troops. Unfortunately, the troops it rallies are the opposition’s. Remember, the first rule of regime change is you don’t talk about regime change. No doubt some senior Russian officials and businessmen are unsatisfied with Putin, but they’re not so unsatisfied that they will cooperate with the U.S., EU or NATO in unhorsing him, especially given our chronic inability to keep a secret. Despite all that “mafia state” chatter, Russia’s leadership will, if they need to, close ranks and clean house to protect themselves and Russia. I’m sure we’ll get along just great with President Sergei Shoigu. Finally, our leaders should shut up. Calling Russia a “regional power,” as President Obama did, or saying Putin can be a “best friend,” as President Trump did, is counterproductive. We’ll get better results with Russia if we are firm, respectful, unambiguous, and consistent in defending our interests.

Democrats: Did Americans help Russia hack the election? – POLITICO Some Republicans say Democrats are playing a dangerous game by stoking such a charged story line without evidence.

Robert Mueller: Probe Could Focus on Russian Organized Crime | Time.com The focus of Mueller’s Russia probe could land again on the intertwining of Russia’s criminal operatives and its intelligence services.

The Method To Trump’s Supposed Madness | White House Dossier I’ll bet it worked because it’s working now. “Morning Joe” used to be an oasis of intelligent and informed news commentary from both sides of the aisle. But Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski’s pique at Trump has sent the show crashing into the gutter, just another partisan stage for showcasing Trump hatred. And CNN has shed its labored efforts to portray itself as a neutral alternative to MSNBC and Fox News, working itself up into a fit about Trump and flinging itself over the left, where, as some recent ratings show, it will have a hard time competing with MSNBC. Trump may just be destroying CNN, as he intends. Or rather, helping them destroy themselves. “The fake media tried to stop us from going to the White House, but I’m president and they’re not,” Trump said Saturday. “The fact is the press destroyed themselves because they went too far. Instead of being subtle and smart, they used the hatchet and the people saw it right from the beginning.” That’s right. The press used to be subtle about its liberalism. Or at least more subtle. Now they’re over the top. And they’ve raised doubts, probably even among independents, about whether they can be trusted. Meanwhile, Trump has inspired his band of followers to fight on, sparking an energy he may need if Republicans in Congress fail to enact the agenda they’ve been promising for nearly a decade. Trump recognizes subtlety because he practices it. And one way he does it is by appearing to be unsubtle.

How Russian meddling impacted the American Revolution | Public Radio International Foreign help was critical to the success of the American Revolution. Many people know about the important roles played by France and Spain. But less well-known is the indirect help the US got from Russia. On this July 4, we explore how Russia accidentally helped the American fight for independence.

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