Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Media Update – 10 July 2017


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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MSM argumentation over G20 continues, but given its speculative foci largely excluded today. Some excellent observations by Amb Bolton.

Russia’s descent into the abyss continues. Ultra-nationalists in Russia divided over Donbass. A fascinating story from Putin’s early career re-emerges, with commentary by Anna von Münchhausen as “The door-banging Russian” (Nikita Khrushchov comes to mind here) – NB Prof Goble has posted the full address by Pres Meri. MP Vladimir Zhirinovsky again publicly promoting the conquest of Ukraine, of concern as he has previously acted as a deniable mouthpiece for the regime, more than once. Amnesty Int raises profile of the extra-judicial killings in Chechnya, but the report has yet to gain traction in the MSM, too busy trying to find fault with POTUS’s visit to Europe. TheWeaponization Of Psychiatry In Russia reviewed. Miscellaneous reports with varying degrees of the absurd.

IW/IO/Cyber includes a Pravda report in which a Russian “analyst” predicts war between NATO and Russia, if Ukraine is allowed to join. Reports on how Ukrainians improvised using Facebook and Google services to remain operational during the pretend-ransomware attack, and a good discussion of Ukrainian techniques to deal with fake news. Good reports from Harding, and review of Nichol’s book, which in part explains the immense popularity of fake news – believe what pleases you, and damn the facts.

Ukraine presents an MSM deluge. SECSTATE visit has been covered widely, and favorably. Amb Volker is now actively engaging in Kyiv, but diplomatically skirting around the military issues – a successful Russian Blitzkrieg nullifies the wonderful outcomes the Amb is encouraging. NATO SECGEN is in Kyiv for the 20th anniversary of the NATO-Ukraine relationship, and Poroshenko is committing to pursue a MAP (Membership Action Plan), the intent being full NATO compliance by 2020 – two and a half years hence. A vote and formal application after that milestone. Other reports are of interest. Umland maps out possible futures for Ukraine. Khomei comments on the hardships in joining the EU. Polish bureaucracy attempts to cover Waszczykowski over his intemperate threat some days ago, putting the blame correctly on Russian manipulation (never mind the gullibility of the minister himself). Poroshenko engages UN GENSEC, and also announces at NSDC meeting that a new NATO compliant plant for manufacturing ammunition will be funded and urgently built – two years late unfortunately. SBU Counter Intel team catches a very big fish indeed, Russian VDV Colonel Valery Gratov, attempting to enter Transnistria via Ukraine on a phony Ukrainian passport – the good Colonel had previously operated in Donbass and was to become the “Deputy Defense Minister of the Transnistrian Republic”. While Col Gratov would be a valuable witness for the Hague, it is likely the Russians will trade him for POWs and other Ukrainian hostages. Captured EPW Viktor Ageev admits he is professional RF Army.

ISIS collapse continues.

DPRK debate continues, while China-sceptic nationalist wins Mongolia’s election.

US domestic debate, sadly, remains toxic. Commercial sector players, Germany and Austria object to Senate sanctions bill.

 


Russia / Russophone Reports


Trump Says He Didn’t Discuss Sanctions At Hamburg Meeting With Putin U.S. President Donald Trump says he did not discuss sanctions during a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, at the Group of 20 (G20) summit in Hamburg earlier this week. &quo…

John Bolton: Putin looked Trump in the eye and lied – YouTube Former ambassador to the UN reacts on ‘Hannity’ to the meeting between world leaders

Putin and Trump Talked. But Don’t Bet on Real Change (Op-ed) Both sides want to sell the Putin-Trump G20 meeting as a win. But real progress requires policy adjustments.

Brothers in Arms Why Russian ultranationalists confronted their own government on the battlefields of Ukraine. The war gave a huge boost to President Vladimir Putin’s domestic popularity — and sent fissures through the far right. Many ultranationalists expressed their support for Putin and the pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine. Others supported these separatists but would turn against Putin. Most notable among them was an ultranationalist former security officer, Igor Girkin, known as Strelkov. He had ignited the uprising in eastern Ukraine but swiftly fell out with the Kremlin and has recently called Putin a “prostitute who can’t choose between her American and Chinese client.” Other ultranationalists, like Zheleznov, would defy Putin as well. They looked to the Ukrainian far right as their true comrades and to Ukraine itself as a platform for challenging the Kremlin. Since 2014, the Russian authorities have prosecuted hundreds of ultranationalists, suspecting that they sympathize with the Ukrainian enemy. “Nationalists are the best organized opposition group in Russia,” says Aleksandr Verkhovsky, an expert on political extremism at Moscow’s Sova think tank. “So I’m not surprised the authorities are clamping down on them.” He says the latest crackdown has been “harsher than on any other political force in Russia,” except the Islamists of the banned Central Asian Hizb ut-Tahrir group. Under pressure, Russian ultranationalists have continued taking sides. For those who oppose the Kremlin, Ukraine occupies a place like the one once held by Syria in the jihadist imagination. It represents a test of loyalties, a revolutionary ideal, an escape from troubles at home, and a chance to gain battlefield experience with one’s comrades. If any of this is a surprise, it is because of the way the war has been reported in both the West and Russia. For many in Europe and the U.S., the conflict in Ukraine has shown Putin to be the very embodiment of Russian nationalism. The president’s actions in Ukraine have indeed boosted his standing among many nationalists at home. He does not, however, have their universal support. This Western understanding of Putin fails to explain how the conflict in Ukraine can pit his opponents, such as Zheleznov and Strelkov, against each other.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: When a Western Leader Spoke the Truth Directly to Putin — and Putin Couldn’t Take It Paul Goble Staunton, July 10 – Even Western leaders who are distinguished by the boldness of their statements on other issues appear reluctant to speak directly to Vladimir Putin about his lies and crimes, apparently fearful that he will turn the tables on them, use their words to reinforce his power at home, and attack them for undermining the possibility of reasonable relations. But there have been some happy exceptions when Western leaders have not been afraid to speak the truth to Putin directly even though the Russian’s bad behavior only underscores how right they are to do so. One such event is now attracting a great deal of attention in both Russia and Germany. It deserves to be known even more widely. Because the G-20 summit took place in Hamburg this year and because it featured a meeting between Putin and Donald Trump, German and Russian commentators have recalled an earlier meeting in Hamburg, in 1994, when Estonian President Lennart Meri delivered a remarkable address that caused Vladimir Putin to stomp out of the hall. That action, as German officials have pointed out, was unprecedented in the centuries during which this dinner has been held and raises questions to this day about Putin and more generally about Russia and its relationship to Europe (zeit.de/2016/08/wladimir-putin-buergermeister-matthiae-mahl-hamburg-1994). That event occurred on February 25, 1994, at the Mathia-Dinner of Hansa cities and their representatives. Among the honored guests that day were Meri and a relatively junior Russian official, the deputy mayor of St. Petersburg, Vladimir Putin, who shocked those in attendance by his boorish behavior. Russian outlets have published excerpts from Lennart Meri’s speech, which are remarkable not only in their description of what was taking place in Europe and Eurasia in the mid-1990s but also in their predictions about the ways in which Moscow even then was threatening the West (echo.msk.ru/blog/currenttime/2015216-echo/svoboda.org/a/28605684.html, and currenttime.tv/a/28598781.html). Below is the full text of President Meri’s remarks from the portal of the Office of the Estonian President (vp1992-2001.president.ee/eng/k6ned/K6ne.asp?ID=9401). They merit the closest attention both for their analysis of the situation and for the guidance they should be providing other leaders who have to interact with Putin now and in the future. Address by H.E. Lennart Meri, President of the Republic of Estonia, at the Matthiae-Supper in Hamburg on February 25, 1994

Anna von Münchhausen | Vladimir Putin: The door-banging Russian As I once experienced an angry man in Hamburg who was to become very powerful. …. But from the beginning. Since the year 1356 in Hamburg the Matthiae-Mahl is celebrated in February, with the exception of exceptions. 400 guests. Social highlight of the Senate and Kaufmannswelt, named after a rather unknown saint. The Senate does not lash, polish the silver of the Rat, served fallow fillet on plates with gold rim, pours large plants into long-stemmed glasses, from the Rheingau. So that is, every time. It was quite different, however, on February 25, 1994. In the middle of the speech of Estonian President Lennart Meri, a guest of anger pushes back the chair. He pepples the damask pies next to the wine cup, that the candles just flicker. Leaves the room with her knees pressed, each step accompanied by the creaking of the oak parquet. Five. Four. Three. Two. One – wumms. Then the wing door thundered into the lock. One calls such a thing an eclat. Behind him, hectic whispering. who was that? What does he have? The name is passed down table, table, faster, than a spoon is swallowed down by the Steinmeltzrine. This was Vladimir Putin, deputy mayor of St. Petersburg, Hamburg’s partner city. Evil struck the guest from Russia that Meri, with dramatic words, almost like a drowning man, begged the guests for help. That he described the great fear of his countrymen against the imperialist appetite of the Russian neighbor. In the ears of Comrade Putin, such statements were an impertinent impertinence, which he did not want to rinse with a sip of the Kiedrich Cabinet Riesling, the bottling of the producer Robert Weil. Since then, much time has passed. More precisely: 22 years. And yet the political constellation of this evening seems strangely up to date. At a Matthiae meal, Putin was never seen again, although at that time he was hurrying to tell the reporter, “the incident did not cause a lasting upsurge”, of course. In Germany and the German media, Vladimir Putin was still an unknown person. When the Russian President appears on television today, when he is demonstrating his handshake with Obama, if he stabilizes the Syrian regime with weapons and air raids, if one has the impression that this moment of peaceful coexistence in Europe after the end of the Cold War was quite short, then I’m afraid: That’s what began when the man slammed the door, in the Emperor’s Hall on February 25, 1994.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Zhirinovsky’s Final Solution for Ukraine Would Leave Rump State within NATO and the EU Paul Goble Staunton, July 9 – Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the flamboyant and often outrageous leader of the misnamed Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia, must not be ignored because he often expresses ideas circulating among more powerful figures in Moscow who for various reasons are not prepared to advance them in public. That pattern makes Zhirinovsky’s latest remarks about the future of Ukraine especially troubling. He said on the First Studio talk show at the end of last week that “the final result” to the conflict in Ukraine will be that country’s partition “not tomorrow” but after many rounds of negotiations (cont.ws/@severro/660028). According to Zhirinovsky, “south-eastern Ukraine and the Russian population will go to Russia, but the north-west will become a nationalist state of seven to eight million people … will become a member of NATO and the European Union.” In this way, “the problem will be concluded: there will be no Ukrainian question!” Lviv will be the capital of this new state, the LDPR leader says, because Kyiv, “the mother of Russian cities,” must be part of Russia; and the new country centered on Lvov will be called Galicia, a land-locked place, and in no way Ukraine with an outlet to the sea. Thus, the name “Ukraine” will disappear from the map of the earth. Two things make Zhirinovsky’s remark noteworthy. On the one hand, his ideas about partition are not as far removed from those that Vladimir Putin’s Novorossiya project would appear to call for, one that would give Russia a land bridge not only to Crimea but to the Transdnniestria region of Moldova as well, while depriving Ukraine of access to the sea. And on the other, Zhirinovsky suggests that he sees a future in which a Ukrainian state, albeit one not called that and not in anything like its current borders, would be a member of the two key Western institutions, NATO and the EU, an indication that his words in this case likely reflect what Moscow may believe it can offer as a compromise some in the West might accept.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Continues to Cover Up Mass Murder by Chechen Authorities Paul Goble Staunton, July 9 – Novaya gazeta has made continuing contributions to exposing the vicious violence of Ramzan Kadyrov’s regime against its opponents, including gays and anyone whom the Chechen leader views as getting in his way. Its latest expose of mass murder there in January is only the latest. In an article today, the paper’s Elena Milashina documents the way in which Kadyrov’s people murdered in extra-judicial fashion between 27 and 56 people on a single night last January (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2017/07/09/73065-eto-byla-kazn-v-noch-na-26-yanvarya-v-groznom-rasstrelyany-desyatki-lyudey?utm_source=push). Her article makes for chilling reading, fully justifying her conclusion that the terrorist regime that Kadyrov is operating means that “in Chechnya, only the dead no longer have anything to fear.” But there is an aspect of her report that may be neglected when, as expected, this story goes viral in the next few days. And that is this: in various ways, officials in Moscow have refused to investigate fully reports of such crimes and thus behaved in this case as in others involving the Chechen strongman as authors of a cover up that makes them culpable of Kadyrov’s continuing criminal behavior. Sometimes Russian officials started to investigate only to call it off, Milashina says; and sometimes they simply ended their exploration of what is going on by suggesting that since “the victims of crimes themselves have not made declarations, then there wasn’t any crime” to be investigated, a most Orwellian view. Given the remarkable dossier that Novaya gazeta has assembled, this position will be increasingly difficult to maintain even among a cynical Russian population and will spark more questions about the Nemtsov murder and others that Moscow has blamed on individual Chechens but not on the Chechen regime.

Moscow continues to cover up mass murder by Chechen authorities | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press | Novaya gazeta has made continuing contributions to exposing the vicious violence of Ramzan Kadyrov’s regime against its opponents, including gays and anyone whom the Chechen leader views as getting in his way. Its latest expose of mass murder there in January is only the latest. In an article today, the paper’s Elena Milashina documents the way in which Kadyrov’s people murdered in extra-judicial fashion between 27 and 56 people on a single night last January.

UAWire – Russian media reports mass execution of Chechen residents without trial In Chechnya on the night of 26 January 2017 there was supposedly a mass extrajudicial execution of 27 people, reports  Novaya Gazeta with …

Amnesty International Calls For Probe Of Alleged Chechnya Executions The Amnesty International human rights organization is calling on the Russian authorities to investigate a media report that 27 people were summarily executed by security forces in the North Caucasu…

The Weaponization Of Psychiatry In Russia – To Inform is to Influence This one paragraph is chilling to the bone.  “Therefore, when books, articles and documents are not available in Russian, it remains possible for the psychiatric leaders (many of whom hail from Soviet times) to pretend that the diagnosis used for Soviet dissidents – ‘sluggish schizophrenia’ – is quite accepted in the world and even part…

Russian Court Reduces Sentence In Pokemon Go Case YEKATERINBURG, Russia — A Russian court has reduced by more than a year a suspended sentence handed down to a blogger convicted of inciting hatred and insulting religious believers’ feeling…

Russian Nationalist Flees To Lithuania To Avoid Prosecution YEKATERINBURG, Russia — A Russian court has reduced by more than a year a suspended sentence handed down to a blogger convicted of inciting hatred and insulting religious believers’ feeling…

UAWire – A Russian citizen accused of preparing a terrorist act in Belgium was detained in Italy According to Huffington Post, representatives of Italian prosecutors said that yesterday, July 7, a Chechen immigrant named Eli Bombataliev was …

On 1917 Centenary, Russia’s Young Reds Can Only Brood MOSCOW — Sporting a Lenin pin and extolling Marx over a latte in a bustling downtown cafe, Andrei is every bit the modern-day Russian communist. And don’t expect the 19-year-old to get teary-eye…

Russia’s Bolshoi Calls Off Premiere Of Nureyev Ballet Days Before Premiere The Bolshoi Theater has called off the world premiere of Nureyev, a ballet about a famous Russian dancer, just days before it was to take place. The premiere of the biographical show about Rudol…

Russia Plans to Build a ‘Super’ Aircraft Carrier in Spite of Cuts to Defense – Warrior – Scout It is probably never going to happen.

Kyrgyzstan Stops Russian Rights Defender At The Border Prominent Russian human rights activist Vitaly Ponomaryov has been denied permission to enter Kyrgyzstan from neighboring Kazakhstan. Ponomaryov told RFE/RL that he was stopped by Kyrgyz borde…


IW/IO/Cyber Reports


Ukraine as NATO member will mean only one thing – war with Russia – PravdaReport If NATO wanted to wage war against Russia, they would have already started this war, for example, after Russia returned the Crimea, after Russia supported the Donbass

Ukrainian services hit by virus jury-rigged Facebook, Google BORYSPIL, Ukraine — When departure information disappeared from Kiev airport’s website after last month’s cyberattack, employees trained a camera on the departure board and broadcast it to YouTube. When government servers were switched off, officials posted updates to Facebook. And with the disruption continuing, office workers have turned to Gmail to keep their businesses going.

Daniel Bruce | How Ukraine is tackling its huge fake news problem – The i newspaper online iNews Oxford English Dictionaries declared ‘post-truth’ the word of the year in 2016. The so-called ‘fake news’ phenomena remains the subject of a British parliamentary inquiry. Yet here we are halfway through 2017, and mainstream media coverage of the issue appears to be dissipating. I recently returned from Ukraine, which has spent most of its post-Soviet existence on the front line of an information and propaganda war. It’s a country that knows all too well that fake news is most certainly not a one-off. Conflict in the east and Russia’s annexation of Crimea have been accompanied by a tidal wave of propaganda and counter-propaganda. Ukrainian audiences also have to pick through various domestic editorial bad-practices such as jeansa stories on radio and TV: pieces that have been paid for by politicians wanting to be portrayed in a positive light. (It’s called “jeansa” because the cash ends up in the jeans pockets of participating journalists.) Changing the curriculum However, because of these stark circumstances, Ukraine has also become an unlikely laboratory of solutions to defend the truth. The Institute for Mass Information (IMI) conducted a contest called Catch Jeansa to identify fake news for what it was. Ordinary people sent in 1,400 examples, and the spurious content was then debunked with real journalism. ‘Teenagers in Ukraine educating their parents and grandparents on the skills needed to tell fact from fiction‘ The Academy of Ukrainian Press (AUP) has successfully campaigned to build media and information literacy into the national curriculum. Critical thinking, understanding of media structures and content are now fully integrated into a range of social subjects. It’s been inspiring to hear stories of teenagers in Ukraine educating their parents and grandparents on the skills needed to tell fact from fiction. The positive impact of this approach has been backed up by years of research and offers a large-scale example of best practice. The role of public broadcasting Meanwhile, something else is happening that was occurring in Britain in the 1920s: the birth of public service broadcasting. In January, UA: First National TV officially became independent of the state and, thus, the country’s first public network. Senior broadcasting leaders, not undaunted by the massive change programme they must now lead, also speak of audiences returning to established media institutions with reputable newsgathering operations as an antidote to fake news. Globally, the drivers of fake news are as omnipotent today as they were 12 months ago. My organisation has sought to create healthier news and information environments in 100 countries over the past 35 years. We know from this experience that fake news, in all of its forms, is actually not new at all. What happened last year is just that the US and UK got a sudden and painful dose of it, dramatically fuelled by social media. We must maintain a national sense of urgency to find solutions. The Ukrainian example is evidence of what can be achieved against all odds when society comes together. A reminder of why this matters: Buzzfeed analysis showed the top-performing fake US election news stories on Facebook generated more engagement than stories from 19 respected news sources combined. Stories erroneously suggesting that Donald Trump had been endorsed by the Pope gathered such a head of steam that they drowned out the truth. Even those people who labelled themselves social media-savvy struggled to distinguish fact from fiction; or, more to the point, to even find the tiny needle of truth amidst a haystack of hyperbole. If the threat of fake news isn’t at the forefront of people’s minds as it was a year ago, there is less pressure on governments, regulators and civil society to take measures to tackle it. We know there are workable, pragmatic solutions out there. Let’s learn from what works, and take action instead of waiting for the next fake news crisis. Daniel Bruce is Chief Executive in Europe for Internews, an international charity that supports the growth of diverse and professional media worldwide. @InternewsDaniel

DIA report: Russia redeploying KGB tactics to dominate U.S. – To Inform is to Influence Art Moore ‘Information warfare is a key means of achieving its ambitions’ Viewing the United States as its main threat, Moscow is utilizing psychological information warfare as the key means of achieving its ambition to dominate the world stage, deploying disinformation tactics used by the KGB during the Cold War, according to a new Defense Intelligence…

Google is funding AI writers for local UK news reporting – To Inform is to Influence Is it just me, but there appears to be a more than just a real potential problem here? Not just the fact that humans may theoretically no longer write our news for us. But if a belligerent nation, for instance, Russia, were to figure out the algorithm used to ‘write’ the news, it could theoretically…

Study: Dutch Piracy Rates In Free Fall Due Mostly To The Availability Of Legal Alternatives – To Inform is to Influence by Timothy Geigner Fri, Jul 7th 2017 from the you-don’t-say dept The claim that the best way to combat content piracy is to offer good legal alternatives and make them widely available isn’t exactly breaking new ground. Case studies made out of several nations’ piracy rates, such as in Australia and Norway, demonstrate the severe impact creating good digital marketplace alternatives…

Canberra reviewing online Medicare lookup after data breach • The Register It looks like the government’s figured out how Australians’ Medicare numbers were leaking and ending up on a Tor trading site: an insider abusing a login. Lsat week, the existence of “The Medicare Machine” became public after a journalist for The Guardian purchased his own Medicare information from the site for $30 worth of Bitcoin. It’s believed fewer than 100 card numbers (with names) were traded since last year. Last week, human services minister Alan Tudge said the breach looked like “traditional criminal activity” rather than a “cyber security breach”. While still describing it as an “alleged breach”, Tudge and health minister Greg Hunt this morning issued a media release announcing a review into a widely-used online Medicare lookup, the Health Professionals Online Services (HPOS) system. Hospitals, general practitioners and others can use the online portal or a phone system to check the Medicare eligibility of patients who turned up without their card. That system is widely-available and heavily-used by design: the government press release saying it’s accessed 45,000 times a day. When the breach became public, HPOS was the subject of almost immediate speculation because the small scale of the breach didn’t gel with the idea that someone had swiped millions of Medicare records and because HPOS is so widely available it would be hard to guarantee that nobody abused the system. The one-bad-apple theory seems confirmed by the government deciding to put Professor Peter Shergold in charge of a review into who can access the system. Shergold will be joined by representatives of the Australian Medical Association, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, and a public service secretariat. The media statement adds that the system “has to be both convenient and utterly secure. The Review team will examine this balance to determine its adequacy in today’s context.” The review will conclude on September 30.

Book review: The Death of Expertise Tom Nichols’ book The Death of Expertise examines why the relationship between experts and citizens in a democracy is collapsing, and what can be done about it.

Marshall McLuhan – Wikipedia


Ukraine Reports


U.S. Special Envoy Volker lays out vision for Ukraine | UNIAN The best way to help Ukraine would be to make it a strong democracy, attractive to the residents of the country&rsquo;s east, the newly appointed special representative on Ukraine settlement, Kurt Volker, told the Voice of America. News 10 July from UNIAN.

The best way to counter attacks upon Ukraine is to strengthen it, – US Special Representative Volker 10.07.17 14:11 – Newly appointed U.S. Special Representative on Ukraine Kurt Volker said the best way to help Ukraine will be to make it a strong democracy. As reported by Censor.NET citing Liga, Volker said in an interview to Voice of America. The best way to counter attacks upon Ukraine, Volker is quoted as saying, as well as to counter Russian propaganda is to strengthen Ukraine. “We need to have Ukraine, which is a sustainable, resilient, prosperous, strong democracy, so that it would be attractive to the regions in the East, and [be the place]where disinformation and propaganda attacks don’t really have much traction,” the U.S. official said.  Volker added that any information ban is not a right solution for the problem, and said he advocated complete transparency on the media scene. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appointed Kurt Volker, the former U.S. Ambassador to NATO, to serve as a special representative to Ukraine on July 7. Tillerson and Volker visited Ukraine on July 9.

Kuchma, Volker discuss settlement of situation in Donbas – 10.07.2017 15:52 — Ukrinform News 10.07.2017 15:52. Ukraine&rsquo;s representative in the Trilateral Contact Group for the settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine Leonid Kuchma and United States Special Representative&nbsp;for&nbsp;Ukraine Kurt Volker during a meeting discussed the settlement of the situation in Donbas. Kuchma’s press secretary Darka Olifer informed this on Facebook. “President of Ukraine (1994 – 2005) Leonid Kuchma met with U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker. During the meeting, the parties discussed the settlement of the situation in Donbas,” the report said. Kuchma noted the role and active position of the U.S. in resolving the situation in Donbas and thanked for the principled position and support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. “Both sides stress that there can be no progress in resolving humanitarian, political and social issues without a sustained, long-lasting ceasefire and solution of all security issues of the Minsk agreements,” Olifer said.

Poroshenko: US special representative for Ukraine to remain in Kyiv to coordinate further cooperation | KyivPost Newly appointed U.S. special representative for the Ukrainian settlement Kurt Volker will stay in Ukraine for several days to resolve issues of bilateral cooperation, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said. “I am very grateful that just within several hours after his appointment, Kurt Volker’s joined your delegation. We welcome him and thank you for your decision that he is going to remain with us for several days so that we do not suspend the issue, and without a delay, could start effective cooperation just a few hours after the appointment,” Poroshenko said at a joint briefing with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Kyiv on Sunday. Poroshenko expressed the hope that Volker’s experience, combined with his determination, will speed up the negotiation process and ensure the implementation of the Minsk agreements by the Russian Federation.

Ukraine Says U.S. Special Representative Will Help End Russian Aggression | World News | US News US News is a recognized leader in college, grad school, hospital, mutual fund, and car rankings. Track elected officials, research health conditions, and find news you can use in politics, business, health, and education.

Rex Tillerson appoints Kurt Volker as envoy for Ukraine crisis Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has appointed an envoy to lead U.S. efforts to resolve the crisis in Ukraine, he announced Friday. Tillerson tapped Kurt Volker, who previously represented the United States at NATO, to take point on American efforts to end the fighting in Ukraine. The crisis has persisted since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and sent special forces into eastern Ukraine in support of a separatist movement, despite Western sanctions on Russia and a pair of ceasefire deals known as the Minsk agreements. The announcement comes the same day President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Germany at the G-20 summit. “Kurt’s wealth of experience makes him uniquely qualified to move this conflict in the direction of peace,” Tillerson said in a statement. “The United States remains fully committed to the objectives of the Minsk agreements, and I have complete confidence in Kurt to continue our efforts to achieve peace in Ukraine.” Volker, who served under former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, declined to sign an open letter from GOP foreign policy experts denouncing Trump during the 2016 election. “[Trump] would actually use it as a bragging right,” Volker told Reuters in March of 2016. Tillerson hinted at his intention to launch a new negotiation effort during a round of testimony on the State Department budget in June. “I think it is important that we be given sufficient flexibility to achieve the Minsk objectives,” Tillerson told the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “It is very possible that the government of Ukraine and government of Russia could come to a satisfactory resolution through some structure other than Minsk, but would achieve the objectives of Minsk, which we’re committed to. So my caution is, I wouldn’t want to have ourselves handcuffed to Minsk if it turns out the parties decide to settle this through a different agreement.” That statement left some lawmakers, and Russian observers, with the impression that Tillerson might be willing to provide Russia with sanctions relief without requiring it to surrender land taken from Ukraine. “The only thing that Russia understands is tough talk and if they think that we’re somehow willing to relax the sanctions on them before they’ve complied with the Minsk framework and left Crimea, I think it just will encourage Putin to continue his bullying,” New York Rep. Eliot Engel, the panel’s top Democrat, told Tillerson. “And who knows where he will strike next.” Tillerson tried to reassure Engel. “That is not our intent, nor will we do that,” he said. “I’m back to the objectives of Minsk.” But Tillerson also cautioned against lawmakers mandating the imposition of new sanctions on Russia, as 97 senators voted to do. “I would urge Congress to ensure any legislation allows the president to have the flexibility to adjust sanctions to meet the needs of what is always an evolving diplomatic situation,” Tillerson said at the June hearing. “Essentially, we would ask for the flexibility to turn the heat up when we need to, but also to ensure that we have the ability to maintain a constructive dialogue.” Engel signaled an opposition to such flexibility on Thursday, as he faulted Trump for saying that “nobody really knows” who carried out the cyber attacks against the Democratic party during the 2016 elections. “The president’s insistence on denying the truth about Vladimir Putin’s aggression leaves me worried about their upcoming meeting,” Engel said Thursday. “The White House has inexplicably said the president has no agenda for this meeting, but regardless of what comes from it, Congress must be ready to act upon our return to do what the administration won’t and push back against Russia’s hostility.”


Tillerson speaks in Ukraine Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on July 9 that Russia must make the first move to bring peace to eastern Ukraine, during a first official visit to Kiev that President Petro Poroshenko called a powerful signal of U.S. support.

Tillerson Reaffirms US Support, Calls on Moscow to Respect Ukraine’s Border – YouTube Our top story this hour. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The meeting between the two leaders comes a d…

Tillerson Meets With Ukraine President – WSJ U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, a visit that telegraphs U.S. support to Kiev after President Donald Trump’s historic meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Tillerson Delivers Blunt Message to Russia During Ukraine Visit U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson delivered a blunt message to Russia during a trip to Kyiv on July 9, saying the Kremlin must take the first step to ease tensions in Ukraine and that sanction…

Rex Tillerson has sharp words for Moscow during Ukraine visit | News | DW | 09.07.2017 The US Secretary of State has called on Russia to honor the 2015 Minsk accord, which calls for a ceasefire in Ukraine. Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine’s president, hailed the visit as a strong showing of Washington’s support.

Tillerson vows relations with Russia will be frosty until it leaves Ukraine alone – The Washington Post The secretary of state met with the Ukrainian president and reformists as part of a U.S. push to resuscitate stalled talks over ending the government’s war with Russian-allied rebels.

Tillerson reassures Ukraine, talks tough on Russia – The Washington Post U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Russia on Sunday that it must take the first steps to reduce tensions in eastern Ukraine and that American and European sanctions would remain in place until Moscow reversed course in the region.

Tillerson: US has Told Russia to De-escalate Ukraine Eastern Violence The US Secretary of State made his first visit to Kyiv Sunday

Tillerson talks tough on Russia, vows U.S. support for Ukraine | PBS NewsHour U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Russia on Sunday that it must take the first steps to reduce tensions in eastern Ukraine and that American and European sanctions would remain in place until Moscow reversed course in the region.

Tillerson urges Moscow to take ‘first step’ to ease Ukraine conflict US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged Russia Sunday to take the “first step” to ease the bloody separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine, which Kiev and the West believe is being fuelled by Moscow.

Tillerson Says Russia Must Restore Ukraine Territory, or Sanctions Stay – The New York Times The secretary of state, on a visit to Kiev, appeared to set the same high bar for sanctions relief that the Obama administration did.

War in eastern Ukraine was “planned and launched from Moscow, says Rex Tillerson • Dispatch News Desk War in eastern Ukraine was “planned and launched from Moscow, says Rex Tillerson Monitoring Desk: U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said that the war in eastern Ukraine was “planned and launched from Moscow”, reports Ukrainian media. He said during a joint press conference along with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in Kiev on Sunday. Tillerson while responding questions of reporters said that relations between Moscow and Washington would not improve until Ukraine gets back full control of its territory from separatists. He was of the view that Russia must take the first step to ease tensions in eastern parts of Ukraine. Video Player

US urges Russia to reverse its actions in Ukraine | Ukraine News | Al Jazeera State secretary calls on Moscow to de-escalate Russia-backed conflict in east Ukraine, warning sanctions will remain.

Onus on Russia to end Ukraine war, says US secretary of state Rex Tillerson in talks in Kiev as Donald Trump calls for co-operation with Moscow

Ukraine hopeful for US support against Russia after talks with Tillerson – Business Insider Ukraine’s faith in the US was initially shaken as Trump pursued warmer relations with Russia.

Ukraine’s gloom over Trump lifts as Tillerson visits U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Sunday Russia must make the first move to bring peace to eastern Ukraine, during a first official visit to Kiev that President Petro Poroshenko called a powerful signal of U.S. support.

Trump, Tillerson tap Russia hawk Volker for Ukraine envoy – Chicago Tribune Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tapped former U.S. ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker to be special representative to Ukraine, as the Trump administration

Trump Administration Taps Former NATO Envoy for Ukraine Role | Political News | US News WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is selecting a former U.S. envoy to NATO for the top job dealing with the Ukraine crisis.

US names former ambassador to NATO as Ukraine crisis envoy – POLITICO The announcement comes on the eve of Rex Tillerson’s trip to Kiev.

Poroshenko calls talks with Tillerson effective – 09.07.2017 21:00 — Ukrinform News 09.07.2017 21:00. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has noted the effectiveness of talks with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. &nbsp;

Ukraine, U.S. reach agreement on combating cyber crime – Poroshenko President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko states that during the Kyiv visit of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday, July 9, important agreements were reached in&nbsp;cyber security&nbsp;area. News 10 July from UNIAN.


President: Ukraine started discussion on the introduction of the NATO Membership Action Plan — Official website of the President of Ukraine Ukraine has clearly determined its political security future. The Verkhovna Rada adopted the law setting the goal of our future NATO membership. It was stated by President Petro Poroshenko in the joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. The Head of State reminded that he had signed that law and it had entered into force. Answering the question regarding the future format of cooperation with NATO and whether it is possible for Ukraine to apply for the NATO Membership Action Plan or enter the format of the intensified dialogue, which Georgia now has with NATO, the President noted that during today’s session of the Ukraine – NATO Commission, the beginning of the discussion on the introduction of the NATO Membership Action Plan for Ukraine had been announced. This Ukrainian initiative on the beginning of the discussion has been welcomed by the North Atlantic Alliance. The Head of State stressed that “there is no special path to NATO”. At the same time, he reminded that 20 years ago when Ukraine signed the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership with NATO, the Alliance included 16 members. Now it consists of 29 member-states. “We are determined to conduct reforms, have a clear schedule of what must be done by 2020 to meet the NATO membership criteria. Today, Ukraine does not meet these criteria, as nothing has been made over the past 20 years. Moreover, on the contrary, laws were passed that pushed us away from NATO,” the President noted. “Over the past three years we have made huge steps in the reforms and we are confident that this discussion will bring us closer to the given application. We have a plan for these three years, the program until 2020. We clearly know what to do. This is the first “roadmap” in Ukraine,” Petro Poroshenko said. The President emphasized that today, more than 60% of Ukrainians support the Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine and the government must meet the aspirations of the Ukrainian people. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg emphasized: “Every nation has the right to choose its path, including NATO membership”. At the same time, he noted that the decision on the accession of new members is taken by all NATO members and the country-applicant. “Nobody has the right to influence or block the process of adoption of this decision, as it is a sovereign right of an independent country to make a decision as regards its future,” Jens Stoltenberg said. He praised Ukraine’s commitment to reforms and noted that our country is moving persistently towards the NATO standards and has already achieved significant success in the security and defense reform. “NATO will continue supporting Ukraine on the track of deeper cooperation with the Alliance,” he said adding that nobody can block or influence the issue of Ukraine’s membership in NATO except for Ukraine itself and NATO member-states.

President: Ukraine started discussion on the introduction of the NATO Membership Action Plan | Міністерство оборони України Ukraine has clearly determined its political security future. The Verkhovna Rada adopted the law setting the goal of our future NATO membership. It was stated by President Petro Poroshenko in the joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. The Head of State reminded that he had signed that law and it had entered into force. Answering the question regarding the future format of cooperation with NATO and whether it is possible for Ukraine to apply for the NATO Membership Action Plan or enter the format of the intensified dialogue, which Georgia now has with NATO, the President noted that during today’s session of the Ukraine – NATO Commission, the beginning of the discussion on the introduction of the NATO Membership Action Plan for Ukraine had been announced. This Ukrainian initiative on the beginning of the discussion has been welcomed by the North Atlantic Alliance. The Head of State stressed that “there is no special path to NATO”. At the same time, he reminded that 20 years ago when Ukraine signed the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership with NATO, the Alliance included 16 members. Now it consists of 29 member-states. “We are determined to conduct reforms, have a clear schedule of what must be done by 2020 to meet the NATO membership criteria. Today, Ukraine does not meet these criteria, as nothing has been made over the past 20 years. Moreover, on the contrary, laws were passed that pushed us away from NATO,” the President noted. “Over the past three years we have made huge steps in the reforms and we are confident that this discussion will bring us closer to the given application. We have a plan for these three years, the program until 2020. We clearly know what to do. This is the first “roadmap” in Ukraine,” Petro Poroshenko said. The President emphasized that today, more than 60% of Ukrainians support the Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine and the government must meet the aspirations of the Ukrainian people. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg emphasized: “Every nation has the right to choose its path, including NATO membership”. At the same time, he noted that the decision on the accession of new members is taken by all NATO members and the country-applicant. “Nobody has the right to influence or block the process of adoption of this decision, as it is a sovereign right of an independent country to make a decision as regards its future,” Jens Stoltenberg said. He praised Ukraine’s commitment to reforms and noted that our country is moving persistently towards the NATO standards and has already achieved significant success in the security and defense reform. “NATO will continue supporting Ukraine on the track of deeper cooperation with the Alliance,” he said adding that nobody can block or influence the issue of Ukraine’s membership in NATO except for Ukraine itself and NATO member-states. Press Service of the President of Ukraine

President: Investment in Ukraine’s security is a profitable investment in the security of NATO and its members — Official website of the President of Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko is confident that investment in Ukraine’s security will become the basis for the future security of NATO and its members.

NATO Head: Russia ‘Must Withdraw Its Thousands’ From Ukraine The head of the NATO military alliance called on Russia to “withdraw its thousands of soldiers from Ukraine.” Speaking alongside Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko during a visit to Kyiv on July 10, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reiterated the Western alliance’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Russia has repeatedly denied military involvement in eastern Ukraine despite substantial evidence it has provided troops and military equipment to back pro-Russian separatists since 2014. (RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service)

NATO Chief Calls On Russia To Remove ‘Thousands Of Troops’ From Ukraine NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has affirmed the alliance’s “unwavering support” for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and has called on Russia to remove its “thousands of soldiers from Ukraine and stop supporting the militants with command-and-control and military equipment.”

Poroshenko Says Ukraine To Meet NATO Standards By 2020 President Petro Poroshenko said Ukraine and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will begin discussions about a roadmap for his country to join NATO. Speaking alongside NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg after a meeting in Kyiv, Poroshenko said Ukraine pledged to implement reforms to bring the country up to the standards of the Western military alliance by 2020. (RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service)

Ukraine To Focus On Reforms Before Any Possible NATO Bid Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said his country would not seek NATO membership &quot;immediately&quot; but would instead focus on implementing reforms. Poroshenko, speaking in Kyiv afte…

NATO membership is Ukraine’s main foreign policy priority – Newsline Ukraine has officially set NATO membership as a key foreign policy goal, overturning the country’s non-aligned status adopted by the previous government ousted in the Euromaidan coup of 2014. An amendment to Ukraine’s main law related to security was signed by President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday and officially came into force on Sunday. The amendment, which was published in the Ukrainian Rada’s official Golos Ukrainy (Voice of Ukraine) newspaper, makes entry into “the Euro-Atlantic security realm… with the goal of becoming member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization” a top priority.

NATO head Stoltenberg visits Ukraine | Foreign Brief

President: Investment in Ukraine’s security is a profitable investment in the security of NATO and its members | Міністерство оборони України President Petro Poroshenko is confident that investment in Ukraine’s security will become the basis for the future security of NATO and its members. “We will confidently build an independent, stable and strong, democratic Ukraine, which will be the key to Euro-Atlantic security with the assistance of the Alliance. I am confident that the investment in Ukraine’s security is a profitable investment in the security of NATO and its members,” the Head of State noted in the joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. He noted that the participants of the meeting were able today to discuss carefully ways to strengthen partnership in accordance with current realities and existing joint challenges. “Our urgent task is protection and restoration of Euro-Atlantic security, the basis of which was undermined by the Russian Federation – its illegal annexation of Crimea and military invasion in Donbas,” Petro Poroshenko added. The President has informed the North Atlantic Council in details on the present situation in Donbas and continuing escalation caused by constant military provocations of militants controlled by Russia. According to him, the partners of Ukraine expressed unwavering support for its efforts on the protection of territorial integrity and restoration of sovereignty within the internationally recognized borders on the basis of the full implementation of the Minsk agreements and discussed the reinforcement of our state. “We have discussed our common approaches to the enhancement of Ukraine’s defense capacity and security of our allies given Russian aggressive actions,” the Head of State said. In this context, the President praised an extremely important Joint Statement by the Ukraine – NATO Commission adopted at the session confirming mutual willingness to cooperate for the enhancement of defensive partnership and development of comprehensive practical interaction between Ukraine and NATO. In his turn, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg noted: “We must remember that in Ukraine – NATO partnership we support each other. NATO provides a powerful practical and political support for Ukraine. Meanwhile, Ukraine provides support for NATO. We are grateful to Ukraine for its contribution to all NATO missions and operations. Thus, our partnership is mutual and I am really grateful for that and for your personal contribution to the development of this partnership”. Jens Stoltenberg stated that the conflict in east Ukraine still takes many lives. More than 10 thousand people were killed, among them almost 3 thousand civilians. He called the implementation of the Minsk agreements the only way to the restoration of peace in Ukraine. “Obviously, the ceasefire is not observed. We are concerned with the increasing threats to the OSCE observers. The Minsk agreements are the only way to peace. Russia must withdraw thousands of its soldiers from Ukraine and stop supporting militants with command and control and military equipment,” he stressed. The NATO Secretary General emphasized that NATO firmly supports Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and does not and will not recognize the illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea. Press Service of the President of Ukraine

Jens Stoltenberg: Ukraine is the only partner participating in all NATO missions and operations, including in Afghanistan and in Kosovo | Міністерство оборони України In Kyiv, Ukrainian PM Volodymyr Groysman held discussions with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. The parties discussed military and economic situation in Ukraine. Jens Stoltenberg also thanked Ukraine for supporting NATO, “We really value Ukraine’s many contributions to the Alliance”. He also remarked that Ukraine was the only partner participating in all NATO missions and operations, including in Afghanistan and in Kosovo. “Our partnership is profitable both for NATO and Ukraine. We thank both NATO Nations and Ukraine for effective partnership,” Jens Stoltenberg said. Mr Groysman thanked NATO Secretary General for impartial evaluation of on-going events in Ukraine.

Ukraine, NATO launch discussions on membership action plan – President Kyiv and NATO have begun discussions on the introduction of the Membership Action Plan, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said at a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Kyiv July 10, following the meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Commission,&nbsp;an UNIAN&nbsp;correspondent reported. News 10 July from UNIAN.

Ukraine launches discussion with NATO on membership – 10.07.2017 14:48 — Ukrinform News 10.07.2017 14:48. Ukraine and NATO are beginning to discuss the introduction of an action plan on Ukraine’s membership of the alliance.

European and Euro-Atlantic integration is Ukraine’s priority – Groysman – 10.07.2017 15:12 — Ukrinform News 10.07.2017 15:12. European and Euro-Atlantic integration is a priority for Ukraine.

Ukraine’s priority task is to reform security and defense field – Poroshenko – 10.07.2017 13:03 — Ukrinform News 10.07.2017 13:03. The priority task of Ukraine at the current stage of cooperation with NATO is reforming and strengthening of the country’s defense capability.

Ukraine not yet to apply for NATO membership – Poroshenko Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has declared that Ukraine is not going to immediately apply for membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), according to&nbsp;an UNIAN&nbsp;correspondent. News 10 July from UNIAN.

Ukraine’s course for NATO does not mean immediate membership bid – Poroshenko – 10.07.2017 12:13 — Ukrinform News 10.07.2017 12:13. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that a legislative decision by Ukraine to secure its course for NATO membership as a priority in foreign policy does not mean that the country will immediately apply for membership of the alliance.

NATO to cooperate closely with Ukraine on defense – Stoltenberg NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during his Kyiv visit July 10 has assured the Ukrainian officials&nbsp;that the&nbsp;Alliance will continue to cooperate closely with Ukraine on the issues of defense, management, and economic reform that are crucial to Ukraine&rsquo;s stability, prosperity and development,&nbsp;an UNIAN&nbsp;correspondent reports. News 10 July from UNIAN.

Poroshenko proposes NATO create new trust fund for Ukraine – 10.07.2017 15:21 — Ukrinform News 10.07.2017 15:21. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has proposed that NATO create a new trust fund, which should facilitate the creation in Ukraine of a national network of institutions for the psychological rehabilitation of combatants and members of their families.

NATO on Ukraine’s side, never to recognize Crimea annexation – Stoltenberg NATO will never recognize the illegal annexation of Ukraine&rsquo;s Crimean Peninsula by the Russian Federation, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in his opening remarks at the meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission in Kyiv July 10. News 10 July from UNIAN.

Russia must withdraw thousands of its soldiers from Ukraine – Stoltenberg – 10.07.2017 13:41 — Ukrinform News 10.07.2017 13:41. Russia must withdraw thousands of its troops from Ukrainian territory, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said.

Poroshenko calls NATO most effective security tool in the world – 10.07.2017 12:44 — Ukrinform News 10.07.2017 12:44. NATO is the most effective security tool in the world, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said.

Russian aggression against Ukraine “prompted NATO to wake up” – Poroshenko Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine &quot;prompted NATO to wake up, raise defense spending and increase its global presence,&quot; Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said while addressing the meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Commission held in Kyiv July 10,&nbsp;an UNIAN&nbsp;correspondent reports. News 10 July from UNIAN.

Ukraine lost 16% of GDP due to Russian aggression – Groysman – 10.07.2017 14:31 — Ukrinform News  10.07.2017 14:31. Ukraine has lost more than 16% of its gross domestic product because of aggression from the Russian Federation.

NATO to provide cyber defense equipment to Ukraine | UNIAN NATO is in the process of providing Ukraine with equipment to tackle cyber threats and investigate cyberattacks on key government institutions, the Organization&rsquo;s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during his joint press conference with President Poroshenko in Kyiv following the meeting of the North Atlantic Council July 10. News 10 July from UNIAN.


The Daily Vertical: Telling The Truth About The Donbas (Transcript) Has the Kremlin finally decided to stop denying that its military is fighting in eastern Ukraine? Is Moscow finally abandoning the fiction that the war in the Donbas is a Ukrainian civil war an…

Andreas Umland | The Six Futures of Ukraine: Competing Security Scenarios for a European Pivot State | Harvard International Review A preeminent strategic challenge that Kyiv faces during the next years in terms of nation-building and economic development will be how to provide for the state’s security against the myriad of Russian hybrid war measures against Ukraine–above all against another armed intervention by Moscow. The following six alternatives for the evolution of Ukrainian international embeddedness may or may not materialize in the foreseeable future. The probability of a realization of the first set-up, the grey-zone-scenario, in the foreseeable future is far higher than that of the other subsequently outlined scenarios. The latter five trajectories involve the conclusion of a fundamental new treaty in Eastern Europe. While they are so far all more or less unlikely, they may become more probable in case of major novel developments within the domestic affairs or/and international relations of the various states and organizations involved in the so-called “Ukraine Crisis.” The six scenarios are: …. None of these six scenarios is reassuring. The first option, preservation of the current grey zone, is by far the most likely. It remains unclear, however, whether mere cooperation, adaptation and association, within this scenario, can replace, or compensate for, proper institutional integration into a defense coalition. While material, technical and financial help for Ukraine is forthcoming, such piecemeal support could remain eventually insufficient to fundamentally improve the security of Ukraine. Even the concurrent and resolute application of a large and varied battery of mutually re-enforcing legal, military, economic, technical and other instruments strengthening Ukraine’s international embeddedness will, however, not make a new treaty on East European security unnecessary.

Oksana Khomei, Alena Permakova, Dmytro Sydorenko and Balazs Jarabik | A bittersweet victory: Ukraine’s Association Agreement with the EU The expected benefits from Ukraine’s Association Agreement have not yet “trickled down” to ordinary citizens. Ukraine has incurred costs resulting from the formation of the DCFTA as Kyiv has implemented regulations and reformed institutions—all while suffering heavy losses due to Russian aggression in the east. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) support package to Ukraine has prioritised austerity and privatisation for the sake of macroeconomic stabilisation. Although Ukraine’s reforms have been dubbed “unprecedented” in relation to the previous 25 years, progress has been modest to date in many ways. Ukraine’s poor economic performance has caused excessive stress on Ukrainian businesses and citizens. This stress is captured in public opinion polls showing that 72 per cent of Ukrainians believe things are headed in the wrong direction. Economic hardship is being addressed through communication initiatives that call attention to Ukraine’s modest economic rebound and once again emphasise the consequences of the war in Donbas and Russia’s role in it. Correspondingly, the government has been prioritising patriotism at home and sanctions on Russia abroad. For the patriotic-minded elite, further diversification from Russia is a key priority even though doing so reduces Ukraine’s transit potential and plays into Moscow’s plans to economically circumvent Ukraine. Indeed, Moscow assumes that an unfriendly government will remain in power in Ukraine for an extended period of time. Most likely, the Kremlin will proceed with its policy of limiting its dependence on Ukraine, though it seems to want to do so gradually. Notwithstanding the conflict in Donbas, this leaves the EU and Ukraine largely on their own to make the Association Agreement successful. But it is unclear whether the Agreement alone will ultimately prepare Ukraine for long-term development. In order to transition from a resource-oriented economic model, Ukrainian production facilities and infrastructure will require substantial modernisation—a cost that has been neither clearly calculated by Kyiv or Brussels nor inscribed into the Agreement. Last but not least, based on the experience of other post-accession states, any aid that is given should be contingent on a significant de-politicisation of Ukrainian state institutions, and more robust EU engagement. Neither of these is feasible at the moment. A series of practical steps could make a difference, however. Namely, Kyiv could finally follow the advice of the 2006 Ukraine Governance Assessment and embrace a policy of a “radical modesty,” i.e. acting modestly in rejecting grand reforms, and acting radically in accepting a modest reform strategy. Instead of continuing their policy of shock therapy, Western institutions should let Kyiv stimulate the economy and boost consumption confidence. It is crucial to proceed with structural reforms while keeping in mind the need to minimise costs and maximise benefits in the short and medium terms. The implementation of the Minsk Agreement could be coupled with a re-industrialisation programme. The EU should start thinking outside of its quasi-integration box: attraction (or soft power) does not necessarily bring stabilisation without benefits, and long-term investment is a better strategy than simply throwing money at a problem. The EU may embrace the consolidation of power in Kyiv but only if the Ukrainian government is serious about reforms` implementation—including the de-politicisation of state institutions—and continues down the path of decentralisation. According to the 2006 SIGMA assessment, the EU should “encourage main constitutional actors to evolve towards creating a democratic institutional environment where the checks, balances and limits to the exercise of power are legally defined and enforced.” This is by all means valid today. The implementation of the planned public administration and judicial reforms will be particularly crucial in this regard. The West should work with the full spectrum of political actors in Ukraine. Holding ruling elites to democratic and human rights standards needs to be taken more seriously. Otherwise, the West risks inadvertently supporting an autocratic drift. Last but not least, the EU should encourage the ruling elite to embrace consensus building among political actors and reconciliation in society. This does not necessarily mean to give in pressure on the Minsk Agreements. Increasing the capacity of state institutions to address the plight of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and war veterans, and the socio-economic crisis in the separatist republics, would reduce internal instability.

UAWire – Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Kyiv and Warsaw being put at odds The Polish Foreign Ministry has stated that during a meeting with President of the Ukrainian World Congress Eugene Czolij, Polish Undersecretary of State Bartosz Cichocki claimed accusations that the Polish authorities have attempted to block the European integration of Ukraine are part of a hybrid war being waged against Poland. “In reality, groundless accusations against the Polish authorities regarding the alleged obstruction of the process of European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine on the one hand, and little attention to the affairs of commemoration, exhumations and other historical issues on the other, is an important element of the hybrid war that is being waged against our state,” said Cichocki. According to him, this is due to the growing influence of Warsaw in the international arena. “The reality of involvement in campaigns in Ukraine and Poland that are externally managed should cause reflection in the relevant institutions,” said the Polish undersecretary. Earlier, the head of the Ministry, Witold Waszczykowski, said that Poland would veto a potential entry of Ukraine into the European Union if historical issues and minority rights issues were not resolved. In connection with Waszczykowski ‘s statement, the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs invited the Polish Ambassador, Jan Peklo, for a discussion.

Deputy minister says visa regime with Russia “inexpedient” Ukrainian Deputy Minister for temporarily occupied territories and internally displaced persons George&nbsp;Tuka&nbsp;has assessed the possible consequences of introducing visas for Russian citizens, according to Apostrophe, a Ukrainian news outlet. News 10 July from UNIAN.

President in the NSDC meeting: Ukraine will introduce biometric control for the foreign citizens who cross the state border — Official website of the President of Ukraine “It goes about the increase of control over the entry and exit of foreign citizens – we introduce biometric control for all citizens who cross the Ukrainian border,” the President informed.

Poroshenko, Guterres discuss opportunities of increasing UN’s involvement in Donbas settlement Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres discussed the opportunity of increasing the UN&rsquo;s involvement in the resolution of the situation in Donbas, the president&rsquo;s press service reported Sunday. News 10 July from UNIAN.

Poroshenko: Ukraine to continue participation in UN peacekeeping missions despite Russian aggression in Donbas Despite the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, the country will continue participation in the UN peacekeeping operations and cooperation with the UN in other areas, that’s according to President Petro Poroshenko who gave a joint press statement with UN Secretary General Ant&oacute;nio Guterres following their Sunday negotiations, the president’s press service reported. News 10 July from UNIAN.

President: Ukraine will build a new ammunition plant — Official website of the President of Ukraine Significant part of budgetary overfulfillment will be allocated to the defense and security sector, as stated by President Petro Poroshenko in the NSDC meeting. The President offered to build an ammunition plant. “We agreed to allocate the major part of budgetary overfulfillment to the defense and security sector. Development of the Armed Forces and other law enforcement bodies is crucial for us today,” the Head of State noted. The President offered to allocate funds to organize the production of ammunition from national raw materials. “I offered to build an ammunition plant, introduce new technologies in full compliance with the NATO standards that will ensure interoperability of ammunition produced under basic calibers,” the President said adding that 1 billion 400 million hryvnias will be allocated for that issue. “We must restore the capacities Ukraine had before the Russian occupation. This is among the top priorities,” the Head of State emphasized. In addition, 1 billion 600 million hryvnias will be allocated for the procurement of modern armament. “We will organize the production of modern armored vehicles, including “Oplot” tanks, modern missiles that will help increase our defensive capabilities,” Petro Poroshenko said. The President set a task to reinforce the systems of radio-electronic warfare, systems of modern upgraded unmanned aerial vehicles, allocate part of the funding to the anti-sniper complexes, since it is the sabotage groups that today pose a serious threat to the defenders of sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine. “I am confident that these funds must be allocated now, as it will significantly increase the efficiency of our units on the touch line. De-facto, we will have an opportunity to see, hear and counter Russian aggression,” the President noted.

Militants launched 38 attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas in last day – 10.07.2017 09:41 — Ukrinform News 10.07.2017 09:41. Militants launched 38 attacks on positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in ATO area in Donbas over the past day.

No casualties reported in Donbas over past 24 hours but one soldier died in hospital – 10.07.2017 14:26 — Ukrinform News 10.07.2017 14:26. No Ukrainian soldiers were killed or wounded in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) area in Donbas over the past 24 hours, but one soldier died in a hospital after he received a wound in Mariupol direction on June 29.

Russian Military Officer Under Investigation in Ukraine – YouTube A Russian military colonel, Valery Hratov, alias Sanych, was arrested in Ukraine after he entered the country in January. This according to an adviser to the…

SBU counterintelligence detained Russian Colonel Gratov, friend of Donbas terrorists Givi, Motorola, and Zakharchenko, – journalist. PHOTO10.07.17 10:27 – Counterintelligence of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has conducted a special operation to detain career Russian military, Colonel of the Airborne Forces Valery Gratov, who was heading for unrecognized Transnistria with a fake Ukrainian passport. As reported by Censor.NET, this was announced by war reporter Andrii Tsaplienko on Facebook. Read more: FSB servicemen Kuznetsov and Kulub suspected of violation of territorial integrity of Ukraine, – SBU Tsaplienko says Gratov is a friend of Donbas terrorists Motorola (late Arsen Pavlov), Givi (late Mikhail Tolstykh), and leader of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” Alexander Zakharchenko. He was detained with a fake Ukrainian passport for Valerii Voitenko, “a modest retiree,” as put by Tsaplienko. After crossing the border with unrecognized Transnistria, Gratov was to become a “real Russian colonel” Gratov, former chief of security of Transnistria president, acting instructor for Donbas militants. Gratov has been helping Donbas terrorists since 2014. “He still thinks he overacted at the border, when leaving Ukraine and entering Transnistria. But in fact, the counterintelligence has long known that “Valerii Voitenko” is actually certain “Sanych,” known in Moscow as airborne Colonel Valery Gratov. Tsaplienko says Gratov was trying to act as a figurehead, as if he was doing nothing in the Donbas. But in fact, he has been instructing Donbas separatists since early 2014, when the war hadn’t yet begun, Tsaplienko reported and provided copies of instructions written by Gratov for events in spring 2014, when the power in the Donbas was seized by separatists supported by Russia.

Top Right: Bezler, Motorola, Gratov.


95th Anniversary of the VChK (Cheka)-KGB-FSB decoration awarded to Gratov Valeriy Alexanderovich


DNR puppet republic leader Zakharchenko with Col Gratov.

UAWire – Russian colonel who took part in Donbas war arrested in Ukraine The State Border Guard Service (SBGS) of Ukraine arrested Russian Colonel Valery Gratov, whom Russian intelligence planned to make the “deputy …

Russian Colonel Gratov participated in fighting at Luhansk, Donetsk, Ilovaisk, Debaltseve, and other cities, – SBU counterintelligence. DOCUMENT+PHOTO 10.07.17 12:47 – Russian Colonel Gratov participated in fighting at Luhansk, Donetsk, Ilovaisk, Debaltseve, and other cities, – SBU counterintelligence. DOCUMENT+PHOTO … Detained Russian Airborne Colonel Valery Gratov, who was intended by Russian secret services to be appointed “deputy defense minister of Transnistria republic,” personally asked Russian President Putin for pension payments after being deported from Moldova. This is evidenced by materials provided by SBU counterintelligence service to Censor.NET. Read more: Counterintelligence has been preparing Gratov’s detention for six months, – MP Herashchenko In his letter to Putin, Gratov was asking the president to help him move his family from unrecognized Transnistria, where he served for many years prior to 2014, to the Russian Federation, and to appoint him pension payments. Gratov wrote he was deported from Moldova in 2014 for participating in combat activities in Transnitria and the Donbas. “After the deportation, I have had no means to live, deprived of ability to see my family, and help them. At the moment (the letter might have been written in 2015 – ed.) I stay in the Donbas,” he wrote (the full text of the letter below).

Counterintelligence has been preparing Gratov’s detention for six months, – MP Herashchenko 10.07.17 10:57 – Counterintelligence has been preparing Gratov’s detention for six months, – MP Herashchenko. All counterintelligence officers involved in planning and implementation of the special operation to detain terrorist Valery Gratov, callsign Sanych, should be awarded with high state decorations. Herashchenko congratulated Ukrainian counterintelligence officers on the “big victory” and said Gratov was a dangerous terrorist. The ‘cajolery’ operation lasted for about six months. “He is a highly valuable source of information about activities of the Russian secret services in Crimea seizure and the failed operation “Russian spring” in the Donbas. All counterintelligence officers involved in planning and implementation of the special operation to detain Sanych should be awarded with high state decorations,” Herashchenko wrote. As reported by war journalist Andrii Tsaplienko earlier, SBU c ounterintelligence detained career Russian military, Colonel of the Airborne Forces Valery Gratov, who was heading for unrecognized Transnistria with a fake Ukrainian passport.

“I am a military. Unit No.65246,” – Donbas captive Ageev confirms he is Russian army serviceman 10.07.17 09:41 – I am a military. Unit No.65246, – Donbas captive Ageev confirms he is Russian army serviceman Russian military Viktor Ageev, who was taken prisoner in the Donbas, has confirmed he had been sent to fight in the east of Ukraine after he signed a military contract with the Russian Armed Forces. View news.

UAWire – Russian detained by Ukrainian military during battle in Donbas confirms that he is on contract with Russian Army Viktor Ageyev, who has been captured in Donbass, confirmed that he was sent to the east of Ukraine after signing a contract for service in the …

Multinational naval exercise Sea Breeze-2017 launched in Ukraine Sea Breeze 2017 international naval exercise is starting today, July 10, the press service of the Ukrainian Navy has told UNIAN. Latest UNIAN news from 10 July.

Russia may allow public renunciation of Ukrainian citizenship – media An amendment to allow citizens of Ukraine, who cannot obtain a certificate of renunciation of citizenship in order to achieve Russia’s citizenship, to publicly give up their Ukrainian citizenship is expected to be submitted at the meeting of the Russia’s Legislative Committee on July 11, according to Kommersant. News 10 July from UNIAN.

“We must prove Vitalii Markiv’s innocence,” – Italian lawyer of Ukrainian National Guards serviceman, detained in Italy 10.07.17 12:00 – We must prove Vitalii Markiv’s innocence, – Italian lawyer of Ukrainian National Guards serviceman, detained in Italy Italian lawyer of Vitalii Markiv calls upon everyone who was with him in the Donbas to testify in the case. He invites witnesses to come to Italy, but is as well ready to arrive and gather evidence in Ukraine. View news.

UAWire – Ukrainian border guards: Russians create waiting lines at the administrative border with the Crimea On Saturday, the Russian border guard along the administrative border with the Russian-annexed peninsula created queues of cars, which were …


Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports


Two senior Republican senators criticize Tillerson comments on Russia | Reuters Two senior Republican U.S. senators criticized Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday for saying that Russia may have the “right approach” on Syria and for what they called his lack of focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan.

A fraction of Mosul, Syria’s Raqqa no less challenging – ABC News A fraction of Mosul, Syria’s Raqqa no less challenging

Iran: U.S.-Russia Ceasefire Deal Should Be Expanded to Cover All Syria | World News | US News US News is a recognized leader in college, grad school, hospital, mutual fund, and car rankings. Track elected officials, research health conditions, and find news you can use in politics, business, health, and education.

Iraqi Prime Minister Arrives in Mosul to Declare Victory Over ISIS – The New York Times The monthslong battle led to about a thousand deaths among the Iraqi security forces and civilians. Officials must now confront a humanitarian crisis.

Iraqi PM Abadi salutes forces in Mosul for ‘great victory’ over He “congratulates the heroic fighters and the Iraqi people for achieving the great victory,”

Mosul Has Been Liberated From ISIS Control, Iraq’s Prime Minister Says : The Two-Way : NPR “They’re now in one particular neighborhood, where the last pockets of ISIS fighters are fighting very hard. It’s really their last stand,” NPR’s Jane Arraf reports from Mosul.

Iraqi forces get creative dodging bullets to deliver lunch in Mo At the Iraqi Federal Police frontline in west Mosul, officers face the challenge of delivering lunch to their comrades on the other side of a road guarded by ISIS snipers. An ISIS sniper has taken out the line they strung across the road, forcing the police to find another way to deliver food. Here the houses are rigged with explosives and the slightest mistake could result in massive casualties, but the Federal Police are confident. “Where did Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi go? See where we are now. We retook Mosul. ISIS has ended,” proclaimed one. On Sunday, the Federal Police held a parade in west Mosul, celebrating their success against ISIS in the city. The task now facing Iraqi security forces is to clear the streets, alleys, and houses of explosives. Lt. Gen. Abdul Wahab al-Saadi of the Golden Division told Rudaw on Friday that the area ISIS controls in Old Mosul “does not exceed 600 [square] meters.” Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared the “end of the ISIS statelet” on Thursday.

Tillerson aims to ease Qatar crisis with shuttle diplomacy – The Washington Post As the Gulf crisis over Qatar festers, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is embarking on his first shuttle diplomacy mission, heading to the region in a bid to end a deadlock that has badly damaged ties between several key American partners and threatens to hinder counter terrorism efforts.

How the Qatar Crisis Shook Up the World’s Supply of Helium – The Atlantic The country provides 25 percent of helium used on Earth.

Israel grapples with Iran’s growing military presence in Syria — JNS.org The six-year Syrian conflict has long ceased being a civil war, and President Bashar al-Assad is no independent actor, but rather, he is part of an Iranian-led regional coalition. Israel has been issuing stern warnings to Iran, telling it not to repeat past efforts to use its military presence in Syria to set up bases of attack against Israeli targets. Iran is working to link up its forces in Iraq together with those in Syria, with the goal of creating a continuous land corridor stretching from Iran to Lebanon. “There’s no doubt that this is [the Iranians’] strategy. At this stage, they are succeeding—hence we are seeing warnings by Israeli leaders,” said Dr. Ely Karmon, a senior research scholar at Israel’s International Institute for Counter-Terrorism.

ISIS poster girl Sally Jones will stay in Syria ‘until she dies’ | Daily Star ISIS poster girl Sally Jones is preparing for a final stand and will stay in Syria “until she dies”, a friend has revealed.


DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports


Haley: Military action ‘on table’ vs. N. Korea – YouTube Nikki Haley tells Dana Bash that the U.S. has to respond strongly to North Korea’s ICBM launch, and while it is not the first option, military action is “on …

Exclusive: U.S. plans to test THAAD missile defenses as North Korea tensions mount | Reuters The United States plans to carry out a new test of its THAAD missile defense system against an intermediate-range ballistic missile in the coming days, two U.S. officials told Reuters on Friday, as tensions with North Korea climb.

[Reporter’s notebook] Just what can North Korea’s ICBMs do? : North Korea : News : The Hankyoreh Despite being one of the world’s poorest countries, North Korea is close to being able to reach the contiguous United States with ICBMs North Korea is an astonishing country. The CIA World Factbook’s estimate of North Korea’s 2015 GDP (based on purchasing power parity) is US$40 billion. This is 1/48 of South Korea’s US$1.929 trillion and ranks the North as the world’s 115th-largest economy. The per-capita GDP comes to a mere US$1,700, making North Korea one of the world’s poorest countries. During the severe drought of the mid and late 1990s, deaths by starvation are estimated to have reached hundreds of thousands or perhaps even millions. The country survived that terrible time, but even now its children suffer from malnutrition and the North depends on support from the international community. Yet just a few days ago, a country like that somehow managed to launch a state-of-the-art ICBM that can travel thousands of kilometers. That makes North Korea the sixth country in the world to possess such missiles. We would be at a loss to find another example of such extreme incongruity. Is it possible to fill such a huge gap with just the strong will of a “supreme leader” who says he will “fight head-to-head against American imperialism”? North Korea’s history of developing ballistic missiles goes back to the early 1980s. It is said that when the Soviet Union refused to provide the needed technology, the North Koreans bought old Soviet-made Scud-B missiles from Egypt, took them apart, analyzed them, and reverse engineered their own Scud-Bs. There is another theory that the Soviets actually did directly transfer the Scub-B technology. The North’s missile program took a new turn after the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990s. Pyeongyang was able to recruit technicians from Soviet research centers that had lost funding from the central government and with their help, developed a variety of missiles, including the Rodong, Musudan, and Taepodong.

[Photo] US B-1B Lancer shows off military might : North Korea : News : The Hankyoreh US B-1B Lancer strategic bomber jets drop precision guided bombs during a live firing exercise at a firing range in Gangwon Province on July 8, as a show of force after North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. The B-1B jets are called the “swan of death”, and this is the first time they have participated in exercises in South Korea. (provided by the South Korean Air Force)

China Tests Self-sustaining Space Station in Beijing Sealed behind steel doors of two bunkers in a Beijing suburb, university students trying to find out how it feels to live in a space station on another planet, recycling everything from plant cuttings to urine

Mongolia: Khaltmaa Battulga wins election on nationalist platform – YouTube A billionaire property tycoon has promised to kick start Mongolia’s struggling economy, after winning the presidential election. The opposition’s Khaltmaa Ba…

Mongolia’s news president, the martial arts star – YouTube A former martial arts star has won a run-off in Mongolia’s presidential poll, according to the General Election commission. Khaltmaa Battulga won with 50.6 p…


Foreign Policy Reports


Pope Francis: US-Russia alliance ‘dangerous’ | TheHill Pope Francis issued a stark warning against “dangerous” international alliances, including between the U.S. and Russia, on Saturday. The Pope said that he was afraid of “very dangerous alliances among [foreign] powers that have a distorted vision of the world: America and Russia, China and North Korea, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and [Syrian President Bashar] Assad in the war in Syria.” He spoke to the Italian daily newspaper la Repubblica, as reported by Reuters. ADVERTISEMENT The Roman Catholic leader’s comments come days after President Trump and Putin held their first official meeting at the G-20 summit in Hamburg. Trump on Sunday proposed working with Russia on a “cyber security unit” to address cybersecurity. There is also ongoing controversy over alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Kremlin that may relate to the FBI and congressional probes into 2016 Russian election meddling. The pope and Trump have voiced their differences with each other in the past.

As an historic nuclear weapons treaty is reached, G20 leaders miss the mark on North Korea While some countries were taking a major step toward the elimination of nuclear weapons, the US and its allies were focusing on ineffective, counter-productive sanctions against North Korea.

RICHARD TANTER. The global nuclear ban treaty: criminalising all nuclear weapons | John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations Former UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon got it right about the latest North Korean nuclear weapon outrage: neither Kim Jong-un nor Donald Trump are a safe pair of hands for nuclear weapons. A majority of the world’s governments agree with him, and have created a global nuclear weapons prohibition treaty declaring all nuclear weapons and threats…

Mixed Marriages Emerge As Another Casualty Of Bosnia’s War A new casualty has emerged from the war that engulfed Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1990s: ethnically mixed marriages. Once a shining example of the diversity symbolized by former Yugoslav leader Josi…


US Domestic Policy Reports


Despite Deep Policy Divides, Europe Trip Seen by Buoyant Trump as High Point – The New York Times A trip leaves the president and his aides feeling there might still be a market for his hard-edge brand of conservatism in a supposedly inhospitable Europe.

Ted Cruz: I Guarantee Vladimir Putin Didn’t Like Trump’s Speech In Warsaw | Video | RealClearPolitics On Sunday’s edition of ABC’s ‘This Week’: STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, before I let you go, do you agree with President Trump that his meeting with President Putin was a big success? CRUZ: Well, look, I wasn’t in the meeting with President Putin. I will say this, I think the president had a very strong trip to Europe, and I think the most notable part of the trip wasn’t even the meeting with Putin. I think I’m glad that they’re talking. I hope things productive happen. But I think the most notable part of the trip was President Trump’s speech in Poland, which was a powerful speech and it really highlighted the Polish people’s resistance — resistance to the Nazis, resistance to the Soviet Union. He recounted Pope John Paul, one of the great world leaders of history, who stood alongside Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher with a million Poles in the public square. I’ve been to that square in Poland where they were chanting, “We want God” in this communist, atheist country under the Iron Curtain, oppressed by the Soviet Union. I got to tell you, I’m certain Putin and the Russians did not like President Trump powerfully telling the power of freedom and the desire of people to live free, to overcome the oppression and tyranny of the Soviet Union. And I would note of modern day Russia as well.

Washington’s Ferociously Anti-Russia Sanctions Meet Resistance U.S. corporations, Germany and Austria are ticked off at new Senate swipe against the Russians.

Trump Backs Off Cybersecurity Plan With Putin After Criticism From Own Party U.S. President Donald Trump late on July 9 stepped back from his proposal to work with Russian President Vladimir Putin to establish a cybersecurity unit to prevent hacking and election meddling afte…

Does Trump Have a Point About Obama and Russia? – POLITICO Magazine Tom Donilon, the former national security adviser, says ‘no doubt about it’: Obama should have done more about Russian hacking of 2016 election.

Trump-Russia Collusion–Another Non-Bombshell | National Review Meanwhile, the New York Times has another “bomb-shell” report about Russia, this time a meeting between a shady Russian operative and Donald Trump, Jr. and some others from the campaign. Two quick points. One, this jumped out at me given that we are about a year into this thing: While President Trump has been dogged by revelations of undisclosed meetings between his associates and Russians, this episode at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016, is the first confirmed private meeting between a Russian national and members of Mr. Trump’s inner circle during the campaign. It is also the first time that his son Donald Trump Jr. is known to have been involved in such a meeting …

Trump’s Son Met With Russian Lawyer After Being Promised Damaging Information on Clinton – The New York Times Donald Trump Jr. is said to have arranged the meeting with the Kremlin-linked lawyer during the campaign after he was told he would be provided with details about Hillary Clinton.

Trump Son Met With Russian Lawyer Who Promised Info Helpful to Campaign – NBC News Donald Trump Jr. responded Sunday to reports that he was promised information that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

What Can The Russia Investigations — Senate, House, Special Counsel — Actually Do? : NPR There are three major probes into Russian meddling in the 2016 election — the Senate and House intelligence committees and a Justice Department special counsel. Each have different outcomes.

No One Wins the Machiavellian Game of Trump vs. the Press | WIREDWhen it comes to extortion and manipulating public opinion, the President is emulating the master.

Donald Trump shoots CNN in Instagram meme shared by Trump Jr. PRESIDENT Donald Trump can be seen in the quick clip going to war with news channel CNN in a ‘Top Gun’-style video posted on the Instagram and Twitter.

Trump stopping to pick up Marine’s hat blown away by wind is president’s latest viral moment – ABC News Trump stops to pick up Marine’s hat blown away by the wind

This linguist studied the way Trump speaks for two years. Here’s what she found. – YouTubeJennifer Sclafani, a linguist at Georgetown University, says President Trump is a “unique” politician because he doesn’t speak like one. Subscribe to The Was…

In New York, like Kiev, it’s all about Putin – POLITICO The two cities are united now in their common fear and loathing of Russia. NEW YORK — New Yorkers are not easily distracted from their solipsistic love of the “greatest city on earth.” It takes a hurricane, a terror attack or — at the very least — hostile foreign powers meddling with their cherished electoral system to look beyond the shores of their own island. For the first time in the more than two decades I’ve been dropping in on friends in Manhattan from the Russian-speaking world, Russia now dominates the conversation at the dinner table. People are desperate to understand what Putin is really after, and what he expects from a Donald Trump presidency. Does he want the United States to pull out of Syria? Does he hope Trump will break up NATO? What is his position on the Paris climate agreement? New Yorkers — now convinced like Kievans that Putin is behind all their problems — have bought into the idea that the Russians manipulated the elections in Trump’s favor and the president is now in hock to the Kremlin’s wily leader. His actions during the next four years will only be a manifestation of Putin’s supreme will. The New Yorker cover from March depicting a dapper Putin coolly gazing through his magnifying glass at a flustered Trumpian butterfly sums up the dominant mood about Russia in New York City. Walk along Chelsea’s High Line — disused railway tracks turned into a funky walkway garden — and an image of Trump embracing a shirtless Putin stares out at passersby from an apartment window. Head to the gilded Trump Towers in midtown Manhattan and hawkers offer pins showing Trump and Putin with lips locked, over the slogan “Make Fascism Great Again.” A protestor holds up a sign showing Putin holding aloft a baby Trump. “We’re the United States of Russia now,” he shouts, as some passersby clap or join him in chanting. New York’s anti-Putin hysteria evokes memories of Ukrainians screaming “Putin is a Dick” during football matches or political demonstrations in the capital, Kiev. The two cities, so far apart in temperament and geography, are united now in their common fear and loathing of Russia. While Ukraine, which is fighting a proxy war with Russia in the east, has more ironclad reasons for despising Putin than paranoid New Yorkers, the manifestations of the phenomena are similar in both cities. I was almost blacklisted from a friend’s dinner party when I casually mentioned I admired Putin’s skill at playing the West. Similarly, in Kiev any signs of sympathy for Russia are immediately branded “traitorous.” New Yorkers, like Ukrainians, have developed a habit of blaming the Russians for everything that goes wrong in their lives. Ukrainians diss Russia for regular power outages and random acts of violence. An unusually chilly spring was blamed on a cold wind blowing south from Moscow. Now, the internet is packed with memes mocking the U.S. Democrats’ tendency to blame the Russians: One shows two morose dogs staring up at the owner with the headline, “The Russians pooped in the hallway.” New Yorkers are now avid Putin-watchers. His exclusive interviews with NBC host Megyn Kelly or Oliver Stone are prime time television in the U.S. Like Kievans, New Yorkers pick through his words with intensity, hoping to glean some insight into the Machiavellian mind of the tyrant who might be pulling strings in Washington. The stock of a Kremlin watcher has never been higher, either in Kiev or in New York. At an exclusive underground poker room in New York City, the manager jokes that I’d only gain admittance after sharing some “Putin secrets;” in bars in downtown Manhattan, women ask me to teach them some Russian phrases. Back in Kiev, people want to know whether Trump will make a deal with Putin and throw them under the bus. In both cities, speculation over Putin’s intentions fuel heated discussions late into the night.

Cartoons: Donald Trump meets with Vladimir Putin

 

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