Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Media Update – 12 July 2017

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Russians unhappy that Romania is to procure four MIM-104 Patriot batteries, while Poland committed last week to eight batteries. Russian propaganda already arguing that the Patriots can be destroyed quickly using Iskander M / SS-26 STONE TBMs, despite the PAC-3 being specifically built to defeat such TBMs. Never let facts get in the way of a good propaganda pitch. Patriot in Poland and Romania is a terrible thing as it might shoot down Russian bombers, cruise missiles and TBMs intended to attack these nations – how dare you invest in preventing Russia from attacking you with impunity! Evidently, these brazen Poles and Romanians are emulating the impudent Ukrainians, who since 2014 reactivated over 20 batteries of their S-300P / SA-10 GRUMBLE Patriot-ski” systems.

Russia seems determined to dive into the abyss. Nemtsova is a committed Russian nationalist, who is bemoaning the collateral damage produced by Putin’s campaign to use ethnic Russian diaspora in the Baltics in a replay, as done in Donbass and Crimea, of the classic Nazi  “Volksdeutsche” game, making them into a tool for destabilisation and ultimately invasion of their host nations – Harding’s commentary applies. In Ukraine, the percentage of self-identified Russians has collapsed down to 5.5% from 17.3% in the 2001 census. Being an ethnic Russian in a nation the Putin regime targets is not good for one’s wellbeing, emotional or physical. Former Pres Ilves points to the futility of the Russian game, as Estonian pensioners get more money than the average wage of working Russians, but this overlooks the opportunities even a small minority of zombified ethnic Russians provide with safehouses and cover for covert operations elements deployed from Russia (BTW a feature of the Nazi campaign to destabilise the Sudeten in 1938, where the most ideologically committedVolksdeutsche served as enablers for Waffen-SS covert action teams). Speculation in Russia about a replay of the Khrushchov ousting, probably futile given the changes in Moscow’s governance structures, ethnic Germans in Russia complain about centuries of discrimination, Tatarstan treaty dispute continues, a multiplicity of meltdown reports, and curiously, Colonel Igor Girkin of Slovyansk fame publicly challenges Alexei Navalniy to a debate on nationalism.

Kaspersky dominates MSM cyber/IW coverage.

Ukraine-European Union Summit launches in Kyiv, and arguments start immediately with the Dutch claimed to be insisting on language that opposes Ukraine’s EU entry – Russia’s successful support of the Dutch anti-Ukraine referendum remains one of the few notable successes in their botched propaganda campaign in the West (the gullibility of Dutch rural voters was critical). Russians going apoplectic over Ukraine’s decision to introduce registration and fingerprinting of visiting Russians – how terrible, somebody is trying to impede Russian covert operations and insertion of assassination teams. Russians make false claims of an economic blockade of Transnistria (which actually would not be such a bad idea). More on the stellar track record of VDV Colonel Valery Gratov as a covert operator. Ukraine commits over UAH8B to supplement annual defense appropriation, including funds for Vilkha GMLRS program, Oplot MBTs, and new NATO compliant ammo manufacturing plant to be operational in 18 months time. Donbass fires continue, while two more Russians apprehended, one blundering into a Ukrainian checkpoint. Antonov pitch their production of heavy, medium and light military airlifters to NATO GENSEC Stoltenberg.

ISIS collapse dominant MSM theme, with a gruesome report on human shield use by ISIS, and equally gruesome reports of quiet payback killings of ISIS collaborators, supporters, informants and families – a sorry replay of the ugliness across Europe dispensed to associates of the Nazis in 1944-45, when the local citizenry sought to even the score.

Schilling publishes an initial assessment on the Hwasong-14 ICBM. Russian oil exports to DPRK triple, an opportunity to get the DPRK to pay Russia to poke the US in the eye. DPRK bypassing sanctions by deploying slave labour globally. China activates its naval base and garrison in Djibouti. Chinese scientists publish on a successful quantum teleportation experiment – noting that teleporting state information between quantum particles is not the Star Trek teleportation of physical objects the Western MSM seem to believe it to be.

Pro-Russian grouping in PACE runs into difficulty. Pres Macron planning lavish reception for POTUS. More on Orban’s taxpayer funded vilification of Soros.

US-Russia debate grinds on. Sen McCain unhappy about nominations from industry.

Essay by Cavanaugh on defeating A2/AD makes a good point – it is in strategy terms a game played many times before, and always beaten by innovation.

Russia / Russophone Reports

US set to approve $4bn Patriot missile sale to Romania – Yahoo7 Washington (AFP) – The US State Department said Tuesday it is ready to approve the sale of Patriot air defense systems to Romania, a $3.

US set to approve $4-billion defense sale to Romania | News | DW | 12.07.2017 The US State Department says it’s prepared to approve the sale of Patriot missile defense systems to Romania. The purchase is a further signal that Bucharest is concerned about the Kremlin’s role in the Black Sea area.

Russia Won’t Be Happy: State Department Approves Missile Defense System Sale to Romania The department approved a possible $3.9 billion missile defense sale.

UAWire – US State Department approves sale of Patriot missile system to Romania The U.S. State Department approved the sale of Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems to Romania, according to a report from a Pentagon agency …

Trump in Poland: U.S. to Sell Warsaw Arms to Stop ‘Hot War’ With Russia Poland has long called for U.S. backing in deterring Moscow, and Russian missiles are set to arrive near its border.

Poland signs memo to buy Patriot missiles from US: report | TheHill The Trump administration has agreed to sell medium-range Patriot missiles to Poland to upgrade the country’s air defenses, Reuters reported. Poland’s defense minister, Antoni Macierewicz, said Thursday that the United States and Poland signed a memorandum Wednesday for the missiles, made by U.S. defense contractor Raytheon. “I am glad that I can pass on this information on the day of President’s Trump visit to Warsaw,” Macierewicz said in a news conference broadcast on Poland public television.  The deal, which has not yet been signed, is expected to be worth nearly $8 billion. Poland said in March it expects to sign a $7.6 billion deal with Raytheon to buy eight Patriot missile defense systems by the end of this year. The announcement comes as Trump meets with Eastern European officials, including Polish President Andrzej Duda, in Warsaw on defense and energy initiatives. Trump will then attend the G-20 summit in Germany on Friday and Saturday. Thirteen countries, including five NATO partners, already own Patriot systems, and more nations intend to purchase the missiles. Romania said in April it plans to buy Patriot missiles to help protect its airspace. Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, has called the missile defense systems in Eastern Europe a “great danger.” Putin also threatened to enhance Russia’s own missile strike capability in response.

U.S. deploys advanced anti-aircraft missiles in Baltics for first time The United States deployed a battery of Patriot long-range anti-aircraft missiles in Lithuania to be used in NATO wargames from Tuesday – the first time the advanced defence system has been brought to the Baltics where Russia has air superiority.

MIM-104 Patriot – Wikipedia

Patriots for Poland: Why US SAMs Can’t Survive a Russian Iskander Missile Strike – Sputnik International Poland and the United States have signed an agreement on the delivery of US Patriot surface-to-air missile systems. Commenting on the deal, Russian military observer Alexander Khrolenko noted that it seems like Warsaw is eager to strengthen its status as a US ‘mercenary’, and explained why the Patriots wouldn’t be able to stop Russian missiles.

With Fraying U.S.-Russian Ties Comes Fraying Arms Control WASHINGTON — The U.S. Congress is moving decisively to start dismantling some of the bedrock agreements of U.S.-Russian arms control, reflecting the dangerous state of relations between Washingto…

Russia is boldly and repeatedly testing our defences. What should we do about it? During the election campaign, defence issues were barely mentioned.

UAWire – Georgian army to replace Kalashnikov assault rifles with American M4 The Ministry of Defense of Georgia announced the beginning of a phased replacement of Soviet-made and Russian-made automatic weapons with their …

Anna Nemtsova | Russia’s Fear Abroad: The Baltics Try to Wall Out Russian Agents, But Moscow’s Message Still Comes Through It’s not easy to speak up in defense of the Kremlin in these countries once crushed by the Soviets, but some very popular politicians do. And then, there’s the dark side…

Russia’s Fear Abroad: The Baltics Try to Wall Out Russian Agents, But Moscow’s Message Still Comes Through – To Inform is to Influence Russia is playing a dangerous long game with its neighbors and the countries of the world.  By posing the Russian diaspora and descendants as ‘victims’ and the object of Russian ‘rescue’ operations, they become the unwitting source of scorn.   Worth noting the endgame of Hitler’s Volksdeutsche play across Europe was the en masse expulsion of ethnic…

Too Embarrassed To Admit To Being Ethnic Russian? – To Inform is to Influence In the 2001 Census, 17.3% of Ukrainians self-identified as ethnic Russian. The most recent survey, even if not a census, has the number down at 5%. Even accounting for Crimea, and occupied Donbass, this says ethnic Russians are denying their heritage. Should we be surprised given the Putin doctrine of using resident ethnic Russians as…

4 maps that debunk National Geographic, and why they need to issue another correction -Euromaidan Press |

Only 5.5% of Ukrainian citizens consider themselves “Russian” – survey  Only one out of twenty Ukrainian citizens identifies themselves as Russian, according to a survey conducted by the Gorshenin Institute in cooperation with the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation to Ukraine and Belarus,&nbsp;an UNIAN&nbsp;correspondent reports. Nine out of ten respondents (92.6%) consider themselves Ukrainians, while every twentieth (5.5%) Russian, the report said. The study also showed that the overwhelming majority of respondents (81.8%) identify themselves as citizens of their country, Ukraine. At the same time, over half of the respondents who are ethnic Russians speak of themselves as citizens of Ukraine (55%). Almost a quarter of them identified themselves as citizens of the former Soviet Union (24.8%). In this regard, sociologists note that it’s mostly those living in eastern Ukraine (12% of the region’s residents) and those over 60 years of age (10.5% of this age group) refer to themselves as citizens of the former Soviet Union. Young Ukrainians, aged 18-29 (10.2%), as well as respondents living in the north of Ukraine (11.9%) consider themselves citizens of the world. Read also Ukraine poll: Majority want Donbas to remain in Ukraine Some 60.4% of Ukrainians said they mostly communicate in Ukrainian, while 37.8% in Russian, and 1.6% in other languages. Sociologists note that the fact that the residents of the occupied territories, who have not participated in the study and most of whom are traditionally considered Russian speakers, could affect the final outcome of the survey on this indicator. People mostly communicate in Russian in the east of Ukraine (74.7%), while in the country’s west Ukrainian language dominates absolutely (96.5%). During the survey, the sociologists used two methods: focus-group discussions and personal interviews. In particular, six focus groups were held in April, in couples (with supporters and opponents of European integration) in Kyiv, Lviv, and Dnipro. Ukrainians aged 18 to 65 took part the discussions, while each of the groups consisted of an equal number of men and women. Following focus group discussions, personal interviews were conducted in May-June in accordance with the respondents’ places of residence. A total of 2,000 respondents aged 18 and over were surveyed in all regions (excluding the occupied territories of Crimea, the city of Sevastopol, and Donetsk and Luhansk regions). The field stage of the study was held from May 26 to June 6, 2017. Representative margin does not exceed +/- 2.2%.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin’s Donbass Tactics Won’t Work in Baltic Countries for Economic Reasons, Ilves Says Paul Goble Staunton, July 11 – Moscow won’t be able to use “the Russian speaking diaspora” in Estonia and other Baltic countries as it did in the Donbass, however much propaganda it deploys against such people because they know that they earn more, have more options and will have better pensions in Estonia than in Russia, former Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves says. Russian speakers in Estonia may watch Russian TV, Ilves says, but “the incomes of residents of Estonia are ten times those in Eastern Ukraine,” Estonia is a member of the EU and so its residents can move about freely, and “the minimum pension” in Estonia exceeds the average Russian’s pay and that makes all the difference ( Some Russian speakers in Estonia, the former Estonian president tells journalist Kseniya Kirillova, may accept what they see on Russian television because they “haven’t seen with their own eyes the conditions of the Russian provinces” but “attempts to influence Estonian speakers haven’t been crowned with great success.” Consequently, Ilves says, he “doesn’t think that Moscow will be able to use the Russian-language diaspora in Estonia as it used them let us say in the Donbass. The reason is simple: in addition to propaganda, it is important to consider the material factor as well” because that drives people’s behavior. “The incomes of residents of Estonia can exceed by an order of magnitude the incomes of residents of the eastern portion of Ukraine. Besides, Estonia is a member of the European Union, and therefore all its citizens, including the Russian speakers, can travel throughout Europe without a visa and earn money there.” “More than that, “the former president says, “the minimum pension of any grandmother in Estonia exceeds the average pay in Russia, and therefore people simply do not see any sense in uniting with Moscow.” Ilves also points to the importance of getting energy from sources other than Russia, increasing defense spending, fighting Russian espionage – Estonia is the leader in Europe in this regard –the presence in Estonia and other Baltic countries of NATO forces and combatting Russian disinformation about Estonia. President Ilves doesn’t draw a broader conclusion, but the implications of his remarks are that those who want to defend the countries of Eastern Europe from Russian hybrid war should focus on improving the economic situation of these countries. If they are more successful than Russia, that will do more to protect them from Russian subversion than almost anything else.

How well off is the average Russian, anyway? -Euromaidan Press | Growing protests indicate widespread dissatisfaction with material welfare, and anecdotal evidence suggests Russians are under severe economic stress. As an example, the broad-based truckers’ strike in its third year has grown because the new road toll system makes it impossible for independent truckers to make a living, forcing them out of business or into the shadow economy. As one analyst describes it, Poverty in Russia, “…despite the overall economic upturn, Russia’s people are still in dire straits. One-quarter of Russian companies cut salaries in 2016, at times even skipping payments to their employees. The average monthly wage in Russia dropped 8% last year (after falling 9.5% in 2015) to under $450 — less than the mean monthly pay in China, Poland or Romania — while the poverty rate jumped to nearly 15%. And the country’s regional governments are not faring much better, much to the Kremlin’s consternation.” Although the commenter argues that the quality of life is better in Russia because the price of basic needs such as food and housing is lower, price alone is a misleading and inadequate indicator of economic welfare. Income matters, too, as does freedom from want, opportunity to better oneself and to provide for one’s family, and the chance to enjoy life’s pleasures. In Russia, these are threatened by poor economic policies. There may be Russians who can afford what the commenter describes, but there are too many who cannot. The commenter’s notion that the average Russian is just as well off materially—or better off–as his or her counterpart in the Europe is nonsense. Most Russians have to think twice before spending 220 rubles on a foot-long Subway sandwich.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Could Putin Be Ousted the Way Khrushchev Was – and for the Same Reason? Paul Goble Staunton, July 11 – Most Russians today associate Nikita Khrushchev with the thaw, de-Stalinization, and the opening of more comfortable five-story apartment blocks; but they did to forget that he was removed from power by his colleagues because he ran the country in a hands on way, intervening in some of the smallest details of Soviet life without consulting colleagues. Russian commentator Georgy Filin describes in detail just how Khrushchev was removed following the preparation of a special report by Dmitry Polyansky which showed how Khrushchev acted without regard to party policies ( Filin’s article provides interesting details on the October 1964 events, but they prompt another question that may be more important: Could Vladimir Putin be ousted as the result of the composition and circulation of a report documenting the ways in which he has acted on his own on a wide variety of issues and not on behalf of the leadership? The conventional wisdom is that because there is no Politburo in Russia today, Putin does not face such a challenge. That is certainly true in the narrow sense. But Putin’s style of rule, increasingly personalistic and arbitrary, is certainly alarming to at least some of his colleagues. And thus it is perhaps possible that such a report about Putin could be compiled as well. Were that to happen, it could split the elite in ways that might lead some to move to oust Putin in a way not terribly dissimilar to the ways Khrushchev was a half-century ago. At the very least, it might provoke discussions in the corridors of power of the possible impact of continued arbitrary power on the interests of the other members of the elite. That in and of itself, Filin’s article suggests about the events at the end of 1964, could have profound consequences for Russia, its leadership and its current ruler.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin-Trump Summit Wasn’t a Second Yalta; It was Rappallo-2, Abarinov Warns Paul Goble Staunton, July 11 – Many especially in Eastern Europe feared that the first Putin-Trump summit in Hamburg could become a second Yalta, leading to a new dividing line in the continent with them on the wrong side. But in fact, Vladimir Abarinov argues, what occurred was rather a repetition of the 1922 Rappallo Accord between Soviet Russia and Weimar Germany. That should not reduce concerns but rather increase them because the latest meeting by two “outsiders” who relish in that status like the two earlier “outsiders” who were forced into that position by war and revolution ultimately led to the Soviets helping the Germans illegally rearm after their defeat in World War I. The difference between these two situations, the Moscow commentator says, is that “the US voluntarily has rejected the role of world leader and, on its own initiative, has set itself against the international community on such important issues as free trade, climate change and migration” ( Russia, in contrast, he continues, is isolated “as a result of its actions and now is trying to present sanctions as ‘a hidden form’ of protectionism.” But because of the path both leaders have pursued, their meeting in Hamburg like that of the Germans and Soviets at the time of the Genoa talks has all the earmarks of “a summit of the unjustly offended.” And thus, Putin who has been forced into isolation has chosen to work with Trump who has relished in the status of an outsider, of a leader against the world, exactly the kind of cooperation that in the case of Rappallo led to so many negative consequences and may lead to more now. At the very least, Abarinov’s insight suggests that Putin will play to Trump’s sense of being an outsider to increase tensions between Washington and Europe and thus play to the Kremlin leader’s fundamental goal of splitting the Atlantic world and thus giving Russia a much freer hand.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: There is No Such Thing as ‘a Russian German;’ Only Germans from Russia, One of Them Says Paul Goble Staunton, July 11 – Russians and some Germans refer to the Germans of Russia as “’Russian Germans,’” Sergey German says; “but this name is the greatest possible lie and provocation, invented by thodse who for many years have considered us a third-class illiterate tribe capable only of herding cattle, cutting wood, mining coal and cutting timber.” German, the son of Germans deported by Stalin who has been living in Germany since 2002, says that “by calling us ‘Russian Germans,’ the Russian authorities are manipulating our feelings” and suggesting we are almost Russians. “This is a lie because we never were Russians and never had the rights given them from birth” ( “Therefore, I can assert: ‘Russian Germans’ did not exist a priori. Just as never existed ‘Russian Jews,’ ‘Russian Poles,’ ‘Russian Ukrainians’ or ‘Russian Estonians, Lithuanians and Latvians.’” Indeed, “a large portion of the population of German colonies [in Russia] didn’t know Russia because they had no need to accept an alien culture and way of life.” Even later, German continues, “for a long time, Russian for our fathers and grandfathers remained alien, a language spoken by the bosses, convoy soldiers, and camp guards, and therefore it was precisely in this language and at the beginning of the last century that one heard the slogan ‘Kill the German!’” Even before World War II, Germans in Russia were viewed with suspicion; and then, they were deported. “And after the war, they were prohibited from returning to the places of their former residence or to study in universities and technicums. They were even prohibited from speaking their native language in public places.” “For many years,” he says, “Soviet power did everything possible so that the Germans would occupy a lower social rank and be more illiterate than other Soviet peoples. More denigrated and more rightless.” But despite this, now, Russians want to call “all Germans born in the post-Soviet space Russian Germans.” Millions of Germans lived earlier in Ukraine, in Central Asia, and in the Baltic republics did not have any relationship to Russia and Russians,” raising the question “why then do they still call us ‘Russian Germans?” One reason is that thanks to Soviet oppression, many Germans born in Russia don’t speak their national language but only Russian. “But these circumstances do not give a sense of attachment to a land and its dominant nation,” he says. Instead, “it gives birth to hatred to the country of one’s birth.” And thus we declare “We are not ‘Russian Germans. Not ‘Germano-Russians’ and not ‘Rosso-Germans.’ We are Germans who were born in the USSR or in Russia.”

Tatar Lawmakers Urge Renewal Of Kazan-Moscow Power-Sharing Agreement KAZAN, Russia — Lawmakers from the Russian Republic of Tatarstan have appealed to Moscow to extend a power-sharing treaty between the capital and the region that is set to expire later this month. …

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russian Protests Now Compared to 2011 Reflect a Shift from Hope to Despair, Inozemtsev Says Paul Goble Staunton, July 11 – The number of protest actions in Russia jumped by a third between the first and second quarters, from 284 to 378, according to a new survey by the Moscow Center for Economic and Political Reform ( and But Moscow economist Vladislav Inozemtsev says that the motivating force behind these protests is despair about the current situation and fears about the future rather than the hope that stood behind the wave of protests which swept through Russia in 2011-2012 ( “Six years ago,” he writes, “’the multi-polarity’ of the opposition pushed the authorities to make concessions. Today, however, the protest is monopolized and the chance of achieving any concessions is minimal.” That is because “the events of 2011 were ‘a protest of hope’” which “arose under conditions when positive trends were sharply being replaced by the reverse. This anger had a political quality, a clearly recognized cause and object, and almost didn’t depend on the economic situation.” According to Inozemtsev, economic growth in that year was 4.3 percent. Average pay had reached a record 800US dollars a month. And thus “the decision of Vladimir Putin to become president again and the obvious violations in the Duma elections drew into the streets thousands of people and the leaders of all opposition forces.” “The slogans were clear: the power here is ‘we’ and we don’t want Putin anymore.” Everyone was united on that. Such protests were hardly unique. They happened in Ukraine in 2004 and again in 2013 because “when a dream arises with people an dit seems that they can achieve something, protest movements can be very effective.” But the anger of 2017 looks very different, Inozemtsev says. It is “’the protest of despair’ – the chances for changing the direction of the movement do not exist, nor are there broad forces which would want it.” Pay has fallen, relations with the West have deteriorated, and society is tired of the burdens of conflict. The case of protests against tearing down the khrushchoby in Moscow shows this: the powers that be can make a few promises to make concessions and that has turned out to be “sufficient” for the protests to fade away to nothing. Protests of despair “can be very effective” in societies with well-developed horizontal structures: Russia isn’t one of these. But this is only one of the distinctions between the demonstrations of 2011 and those of the present day, the Moscow commentator says. Among them are the following: “Monopolization of protest.” In 2011, many people came in to the streets and many leaders did to. But “today, the protest movement to a large degree has been the result of the activity of Aleksey Navalny and his comrades. In essence, this is a one-man play and is considered as such by the majority of participants of earlier protests.” In 2011, those who took part in the protests subordinated their differences to a common goal; now, that isn’t possible because the demonstrations are based on slogans rather than on a plan of action and there is an all too obvious willingness to compromise “for the sake of popularity.” “The Composition of Those Taking Part.” There are more young people in demonstrations now because they have nothing to lose while older people do. The special feature of the protesters of 2011 was that they consisted of people who “did not want to lose what they had achieved” and were thus far more motivated than are participants now. That means that the current demonstrations are far less likely to grow than were those in 2011. “Likes instead of Actions.” The protests six years ago relied on the more conventional media and thus gained access to the middle class and the elite. The protsts now have bed on “the Internet, YouTube, information channels, posts and clips.” That entails “a significant danger” because “the monologue of the computer replaces solidarity; likes and posts replace action.” “The Reaction of Higher Ups.” In 2011, the elite was split and reacted to what the people in the streets were saying. “Now the Kremlin circle is united and there is no ‘protest’ between ‘liberals’ and ‘siloviki.’” The powers that be are ready to crush any protest that seems to them to be threatening. As a result, Inozemtsev says, these two kinds of protests have different outcomes: “the first can bring the protesters to victory, but the second can’t. However, the consequences of defeat both in the first and in the second are similar: the dissatisfied part of society is demoralized and seeks individual strategies to get out it.” In the current context, this means that Russia’s future will feature not “a rapid revolution but a gradual degradation of power” and that campaigns about corruption or improving the state apparatus will “only prolong this process. Thus, Russians should be looking “beyond the horizon of the Putin era in the mid-2020s” to think about what they should be doing. And if they do this, Inozemtsev says, they will see that the demonstrators of 2011 will be more useful than those engaged in protest now.

Krasnoyarsk Police Focus On Navalny’s National Campaign Director Police in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk have confiscated the computers from opposition politician Aleksei Navalny's local election headquarters, saying Navalny's national campaign chief…

max seddon on Twitter: “Ex-Donbass militia commander Strelkov to debate @navalny. He could learn a few video blogging tricks from him too”

Игорь Стрелков вызывает Алексея Навального на дебаты [Igor Strelkov calls out Aleksey Navalniy for a debate] – YouTube Игорь Стрелков обращается к Алексею Навальному. Если Алексей называет себя русским националистом, пора конкретно обсудить важные темы. Итак, предлагается отк…

Gay ‘Propaganda’ Furor Brews Over Canceled Bolshoi Ballet About Nureyev Did Russia's culture minister kill the premiere of a Bolshoi Theater ballet because it was too gay? That's one question at the center of an escalating scandal over the last-minut…

Prosecutor Seeks Lengthy Prison Terms For Nemtsov Slaying Convicts A state prosecutor has asked a Russian court to sentence five men convicted of killing opposition politician Boris Nemtsov to prison terms ranging from 17 years to life. Prosecutor Maria Semenenk…

Russian Real Estate Tycoon Polonsky Convicted, Freed A Russian court has convicted flamboyant real-estate tycoon Sergei Polonsky of large-scale embezzlement but released him from custody, saying that the statute of limitations has expired. Th…

Russian Internet Pioneer Nosik Buried In Moscow Russian journalist, activist, and Internet pioneer Anton Nosik has been buried in Moscow. Nosik died in Moscow during the night of July 8-9, according to his friend Demyan Kudryavtsev, who is als…

Mourners Pay Tribute To Russian Internet Pioneer Anton Nossik Hundreds paid their respects to Anton Nossik, considered one of the driving forces of Russian digital media. (RFE/RL’s Russian Service)

“It’s time to make amends for MH17, Mr Putin,” – open letter to Russian President by victims attorney 12.07.17 15:17 – It’s time to make amends for MH17, Mr Putin, – open letter to Russian President by victims attorney Some think MH17 must have been a terrible, inevitable mistake of war. The facts scream intent and motive. It was a calculated military strike as willful as the killing of one more political opponent. View news.

Dutch Ready Monument To 298 Victims Of Airliner Shot Down Over Ukraine King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands have announced that they will join Prime Minister Mark Rutte on July 17 for the unveiling of a national monument for the victims of Malaysi…

Putin has transformed Russia into a gigantic ‘Island of Dr. Moreau,’ Nemets says | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press | In his 1896 novel, The Island of Doctor Moreau, H.G. Wells describes how a doctor on a small and isolated island in the Pacific manages to create “human-like hybrid beings” by doing surgery on animals. British critics at the time suggested Wells’ book was a commentary on what had happened in their country over the two preceding decades. They suggested, Moscow commentator Aleksandr Nemets says, that Wells was a kind of fictional retelling of what happened in England after the social upsurge of the 1880s when in his words “Englishmen were almost converted into people and then again returned to their ‘primitive state.’”

When a Western leader spoke the truth directly to Putin — and Putin couldn’t take it | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press | Address by H.E. Lennart Meri, President of the Republic of Estonia, at the Matthiae-Supper in Hamburg on February 25, 1994 Dear Mayor, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen! I am the President of the Republic of Estonia. When I see before me the pointed steeples of the Free and Hanseatic city of Hamburg, I might as well think I am at home, in the old Hanseatic city of Reval/Tallinn on the Gulf of Finland. However, I have an honourable duty to fulfil here today – a duty which I consider particularly important: I have to give you a message from my country which is situated quite near to Hamburg.

Siemens says at least two turbine sets moved to Crimea Siemens (SIEGn.DE) said at least two of four gas-turbine sets it delivered for a project in Russia had been moved to Crimea against its will, and it would take criminal action against responsible individuals at its customer, Technopromexport.

Russia’s nuke train and Satan 2 missile to be implemented | Daily Mail Online Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Moscow’s defence ministry is beginning work immediately on the ‘Satan 2’ missile and the Barguzin railroad combat missile complex (pictured).

IW/IO/Cyber Reports

Info Ops Officer Offers Artificial Intelligence Roadmap – To Inform is to Influence By CHRIS TELLEY on July 11, 2017  Artificial intelligence, machine learning and autonomy are central to the future of American war. In particular, the Pentagon wants to develop software that can absorb more information from more sources than a human can, analyze it and either advise the human how to respond or — in high-speed situations like cyber warfare and missile defense — act on its…

Inside Russia’s propaganda machine – To Inform is to Influence Inside Russia’s propaganda machine 12:08 video, a fairly good video which lightly scrapes the surface of Russian information warfare.

U.S. Government Takes Russia’s Kaspersky Lab Off List Of Approved Vendors The Trump administration has removed Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab from two lists of approved vendors used by government agencies to purchase technology equipment, amid concerns the cybersecurit…

US government backing away from Russia-based Kaspersky Labs – Fifth Domain | Cyber The fate of Kaspersky Labs within the U.S. government appears to be in a death spiral as fresh reports seem to link the Russian cybersecurity company directly to Russian government intelligence and security agencies, a long founded claim disavowed by the company’s chief. Internal emails from Kaspersky, obtained by Bloomberg Businessweek, reveal a closer than publicly stated relationship with the Russian FSB. Eugene Kaspersky, the company’s CEO, has on several occasions publicly disputed ties to the Russian government. The emails highlighted a conversation concerning a project aimed at protecting clients from distributed denial of service attacks. “The project includes both technology to protect against attacks (filters) as well as interaction with the hosters (‘spreading’ of sacrifice) and active countermeasures (about which, we keep quiet) and so on,” Bloomberg quoted Kaspersky as writing in one email. Following the Bloomberg article, Kaspersky Lab issued a lengthy statement that sought to dispute the article’s claims point by point. “Regardless of how the facts are misconstrued to fit in with a hypothetical, false theory, Kaspersky Lab, and its executives, do not have inappropriate ties with any government,” part of the statement from Kaspersky Lab stated. “The company does regularly work with governments and law enforcement agencies around the world with the sole purpose of fighting cybercrime.” It continued: “In the internal communications referenced within the recent article, the facts are once again either being misinterpreted or manipulated to fit the agenda of certain individuals desperately wanting there to be inappropriate ties between the company, its CEO and the Russian government, but no matter what communication they claim to have, the facts clearly remain there is no evidence because no such inappropriate ties exist.” Separately, ABC reported Tuesday that the Trump administration could be considering a government-wide ban on all Kaspersky products, with a decision coming potentially in the next few days. “Removing Kaspersky Lab … would likely only impact future contracts,” ABC reports. This also follows the unusual comments from the president over the weekend following his historic first meeting with Russia’s president Vladimir Putin on the prospects of forming a “cyber security unit” aimed at combating election hacking, only to be backtracked days later by President Donald Trump himself. U.S. intelligence community officials have long been skeptical of Kaspersky products being used within the government and critical infrastructure. “The concern over Kaspersky is well founded and I think that there’s growing recognition – there has been for a while and more recently [within] Congress – that we probably don’t want that in really significant parts of the government or critical infrastructure networks,” Richard Ledgett, who was most recently deputy director of NSA until his retirement at the end of April, said in a recent podcast. Ledgett, like most current officials, noted there is much he cannot say on this topic. There is bipartisan opposition to Kaspersky Labs products in government within the halls of Congress.

The Trump administration is weighing a move that experts say could strike back at Russian hackers – To Inform is to Influence Sonam Sheth The Trump administration is weighing whether to prohibit government agencies from using products developed by Kaspersky Labs, an elite Russian cybersecurity firm, ABC News reported on Tuesday. Kaspersky is currently under active FBI counterintelligence investigation, and the Senate Intelligence Committee is alsoprobing the nature of its relationship to the Kremlin, and called it an “important national…

Kaspersky Lab complains it has been drawn into U.S.-Russia geopolitical game: RIA | Reuters Russian cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab said on Wednesday it had fallen victim to geopolitical sparring between Russia and the United States, but said it was ready to respond to any questions from U.S. officials, the RIA news agency reported.

The internet is fucked (again) – The Verge Why does this keep happening?

Spyware in Mexico targeted international experts – Fifth Domain | Cyber MEXICO CITY (AP) — Investigators said Monday that targets of high-tech spying in Mexico included an international group of experts backed by the Organization of American States who had criticized the government’s probe into the disappearance of 43 students. Previous investigations by the internet watchdog group Citizen Lab found that the spyware had been directed at journalists, activists and opposition politicians in Mexico. But targeting foreign experts operating under the aegis of an international body marks an escalation of the scandal, which so far involves 19 individuals or groups. “This must be investigated to find out who sent these messages, because they could put at risk a lot of contacts and sources,” said former Colombian prosecutor Angela Buitrago, a member of the group of experts. Buitrago said she and another expert, Carlos Beristain, received the messages. “I didn’t open it because I am used to spying,” Buitrago said. “When you work in a prosecutors’ office, a government office, there are strange messages and you pass them on to the analysts.” Beristain said the spying attempt “may be a more serious crime given the diplomatic protected status that we had in order to carry out our work.” A report released by the University of Toronto-based cyber-sleuths found that someone sent emails with links to the spyware to the International Group of Independent Experts, named by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The experts had been critical of the government’s investigation into the 2014 disappearance of 43 students from a rural teachers college in Guerrero state — a politically sensitive incident that deeply embarrassed the government. Jose Eguiguren Praeli, the president of Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, called the revelations “extremely worrying.” “There should be an investigation that is completely independent and impartial, to find out who carried out the supposed espionage and who ordered it,” he said. While the Mexican government bought such software, it’s not clear who used it. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto last week dismissed allegations that his government was responsible and promised an investigation. Arely Gomez, who was attorney general at the time some of the hacking attempts occurred but now heads the country’s anti-corruption agency, said Thursday that her office had intelligence tools “like any other attorney general’s office in Mexico and anywhere else in the world.” “During my term, they were always applied in accordance with the legal framework,” Gomez said. The spyware, known as Pegasus, is made by the Israel-based NSO Group, which says it sells only to government agencies for use against criminals and terrorists. It turns a cellphone into an eavesdropper, giving snoopers the ability to remotely activate its microphone and camera and access its data. The spyware is uploaded when users click on a link in email messages designed to pique their interest. Citizen Lab said the spyware attempts against the international experts occurred in March 2016 as the group was preparing its final, critical report on the government investigation into the disappearances. “In March 2016 a phone belonging to the GIEI group received two messages designed to trick the recipient into clicking. The two messages related to the purported death of a relative,” the group reported. It was unclear if the link was opened or the phones were compromised. The 43 students from a rural teachers college in Guerrero state were detained by local police in the city of Iguala on Sept. 26, 2014, and were turned over to a crime gang. After an initial investigation, the government said it had determined the “historical truth:” that all of the students were killed and that their bodies were incinerated at a dump and then tossed into a river.

Ukraine Reports

Ukraine-EU Summit kicks off in Kyiv today – News about politics | UNIAN On Wednesday, July 12, the XIX Ukraine-European Union Summit opens its work in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. Current news and events 12 July from the Agency UNIAN.

Ukraine sees strong opposition from 3 EU states against notion of country’s accession path in UA-EU Summit’s joint statement – media The Netherlands, however, firmly oppose such wording, while being indirectly supported by Germany and France, a source in the European Commission told DW. A joint statement is a traditional final document of the Ukraine-EU summits, which take place every six months alternately in Kyiv and Brussels. Its text is first agreed between the Ukrainian and European sides, and only after that submitted for the signing by the presidents of Ukraine, the European Council, and the European Commission. In general, the draft statement of the current summit covers all the main directions of Ukraine’s cooperation with the European Union and raises no objections from either side except for a single sentence in the document’s preamble. It says that the leaders of the EU member states recognize Ukraine’s European aspirations and welcome the country’s European choice. The Ukrainian side insists that this proposal be included in the text exactly in this shape, the source in the European Commission has told DW. Otherwise, according to the source, Kyiv will refuse from adopting the joint statement. As reported earlier, the Netherlands, where the process of forming the government is ongoing following parliamentary elections, expresses concern over any fixed references to Ukraine’s EU prospects, in the wake of the recent ratification of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement by the Dutch parliament, which had confronted fierce resistance. Only following the adoption in The Hague in December 2016 of a special statement on the interpretation of the deal in question did Brussels manage to win back Dutch support for ratification. The interpretation separately emphasizes that the Association Agreement with Ukraine does not grant it the status of a candidate for membership in the European Union, nor does it create an obligation to grant such status to Ukraine in the future. Other European capitals also believe that statements about Ukraine’s possible accession to the EU are seen as premature at the current stage of relations. “We are ready to confirm and acknowledge this, but now it makes no sense as Ukraine has many friends in the EU and they all assure them that these discussions only irritate European partners and are irrelevant,” a Kyiv-based diplomat from Estonia, the country that is now chairing the EU, said in an interview with DW.

Bundestag deputy: Interest in Ukraine might be lost – 12.07.2017 16:00 — Ukrinform News 12.07.2017 16:00. Germany is actively supporting the reforms that were launched in Ukraine after Euromaidan protests, but the interest in Ukraine is falling because of a small number of positive news about their progress.

EU publishes document on ratification of association agreement with Ukraine – 12.07.2017 12:49 — Ukrinform News 12.07.2017 12:49. This has become the final formal step towards completing the ratification of the Association Agreement with Ukraine on the part of the EU.

UAWire – Kyiv to launch an electronic registry of Russian citizens visiting Ukraine At a meeting on Monday, the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) approved a decision to introduce a biometric control system …

Ukraine surprised by charges from Russia regarding ‘blockade’ of Transnistria – 11.07.2017 17:54 — Ukrinform News 11.07.2017 17:54. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry is surprised by unfounded accusations made by the State Duma of Russia against Ukraine and Moldova regarding the alleged blockade of the Transnistrian region of Moldova, according to a statement posted on the ministry's website.&nbsp; “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine is surprised by a statement made by the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation on July 7, which contained unfounded accusations against the Ukrainian and Moldovan sides, in particular, regarding the alleged blockade of the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova,” reads the statement. According to the ministry, in fact, the Transnistrian region of Moldova enjoys all advantages of the regime of the CIS free trade zone and the free trade area between Moldova and the European Union. In particular, exports of products produced in Transnistria to Ukraine increased from $51 million in 2015 to $61 million in 2016 and continues to grow this year. According to the statement, another example of the open manipulation is accusations made by the Russian side of allegedly delaying the next round of negotiations in the 5+2 format, because the Tiraspol administration rejected the recent proposal for the organization of the Bavarian conference, where it was planned to discuss the future agenda of talks and terms of holding them. The ministry said that Ukraine’s position lied in the need for a peaceful settlement on the basis of the fundamental principles of international law, in particular, respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders. “This fully concerns the Transnistrian settlement process,” the ministry said. Finally, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry urged Russia to stop destructive actions and finally render effective assistance to the negotiation process in the 5+2 format in the interests of the population of both banks of the Dniester River, including by observing the commitments assumed by Moscow at the Istanbul Summit of the OSCE in 1999 and withdrawing its troops from the Transnistrian region of Moldova.

Russian Airborne Colonel Gratov detained in Ukraine -Euromaidan Press | Russian national Valery Gratov participated in a few post-Soviet conflicts, according to the database records of Myrotvorets, a website gathering information on individuals and entities supporting Russia’s war in Ukraine. In 1992, Gratov took part in military action against government forces in Moldova’s region of Transnistria. Amid the constitutional crisis of 1993 in Russia, he was one of the defenders of the Parliament from President Yeltsin’s forces. Also in 1993, Gratov fought against government forces in Georgia’s Abkhazia. Since August 2014 by now, the colonel took an active part in the Donbas conflict on the Russian side, Gratov fought against Ukrainians in Luhansk, Donetsk Airport, Alchevsk, Horlivka, Makiivka, Debaltseve, Vuhlehirsk. In 1990-1996, the Russian colonel established and led the security service of Igor Smirnov, the Russia-backed president of the breakaway “Transnistrian Moldovan Republic.” According to journalist Andriy Tsapliyenko, Valery Gratov left Transnistria as the “era of Smirnov came to its end” (in 2011 Smirnov lost elections) and moved to Moscow. From 2014 the colonel emerged in the Donbas officially as a head of Union of Donbas Paratroopers.

Russia Likens New Ukraine Passport Initiative To “New Berlin Wall” – To Inform is to Influence When Russia illegally invaded Ukraine, now in its fourth year, and Ukraine takes steps to defend itself, Russia labels it a “new Berlin Wall”.   Quite literally, “Berlin Wall” is used by Russian FM Lavrov in his statement:  11 July 201717:17 Comment by the Information and Press Department on Kiev’s plans to change the rules of…

Russia Threatens to Deport Ukrainians Over Electronic Registration Dispute – YouTube Moscow has threatened to deport Ukrainians, in response to Ukraine’s implementation of biometric controls on their border. In the Russian parliament, the int…

UAWire – The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine proposes expanding sanctions on Russia The National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine instructed the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) …

Rex Tillerson’s visit to Kyiv: key things to know -Euromaidan Press | US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson paid an official visit to Kyiv on 9 June. A few days before he announced the appointment of US Special Representative for Ukrainian Negotiations, Kurt Volker. Here is what you need to know about these developments.

Ukraine to initiate issue of Crimea de-occupation at next UN GA session – Yeliseiev Ukraine is preparing a number of initiatives for the next session of the UN General Assembly, in particular, on the de-occupation of Crimea, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine Kostyantyn&nbsp;Yeliseiev&nbsp;told a TV panel show, according to Crimea.Realities. News 12 July from UNIAN.

U.S. Special Envoy agrees with Ukraine steps toward new impetus in Minsk process “Yesterday the presidential administration hosted a meeting where we determined our common steps to bring a new impetus to the Minsk process. Of course, we also talked strategy,” Yeliseiev told Radio Svoboda. “The president also had a short meeting with Volker to encourage him to participate more actively in the Donbas peaceful settlement. I am impressed by his absolute practicality, pragmatism and will to achieve concrete results,” Yeliseiev added. The deputy administration chief also confirmed that Volker’s appointment had been lobbied, in particular, by the participants in the Normandy format. “This is a long-awaited decision that the Ukrainian side has also lobbied in coordination with its partners in the Normandy format,” he said. Read also American “hawk” for Donbas On July 11, U.S. special representative Kurt Volker met Verkhovna Rada deputies and representatives of the Ukrainian side in the political subgroup of the Tripartite Contact Group. Mr Volker has also discussed the situation in Donbas and approaches toward its settlement with Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman. Read also U.S. Special Envoy Volker lays out vision for Ukraine In addition, the day before, former president of Ukraine and now the country’s representative in the TCG Leonid Kuchma discussed with Kurt Volker the conflict settlement process and agreed on regular meetings.

NSDC secretary suggests increasing Ukraine’s defense, security spending by UAH 9 bln Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Oleksandr Turchynov says the NSDC recommends the Cabinet to increase defense and security spending by UAH 9 billion, or US$346 million, that is UAH 3 billion from the general budget fund and UAH 6 billion from the special budget fund, according to&nbsp;an UNIAN&nbsp;correspondent. News 11 July from UNIAN.

Parliament members became accomplices in cybercrimes against own country, – Turchynov 12.07.17 14:35 – Parliament members became accomplices in cybercrimes against own country, – Turchynov Many Ukrainian companies haven’t recovered fully from the large-scale cyberattack of June 27. “Countering this cyberwar, which is a component of Russia’s hybrid aggression against our country, requires the mobilization of both relevant government agencies and significant financial and intellectual resources,” Turchynov said, adding that cyber and informational threats cannot be effectively counteracted without legislating many of these issues. The NSDC secretary added that on Tuesday, July 11, the draft law “On countering threats to national security in the informational sphere” was not even included in the agenda. “Deputies, who work several days a month, are apparently very tired, and next week they are leaving on another vacation for several months. Yesterday they did not even bother to include the law of key importance for the state’s cyberdefense in the agenda,” Turchynov said adding that those deputies who “did not vote for the defense of their own country, covering their destructive actions, business, and interests with empty populism and demagogy, are accomplices in cyber aggression against Ukraine.” See more: Map of Petya.A virus outbreak published: 75.24 percent of attack affected Ukraine. INFOGRAPHICS According to him, the parliamentarians plan to leave on vacation next week and until mid-September, “leaving the country open for new cyberattacks and informational provocations.”

Russian gas transit via Ukraine deterrent against Moscow’s aggression – Naftogaz Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolev says transit shipments of Russian natural gas via the Ukrainian gas&nbsp;transport system (GTS) is one of the factors holding back Russian aggression against Ukraine. News 11 July from UNIAN.

Militants launched 21 attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas in last day – 12.07.2017 09:19 — Ukrinform News 12.07.2017 09:19. Militants launched 21 attacks on positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in ATO area in Donbas over the past day.

ATO report: militants increase number of attacks on Ukrainian positions The past day in the zone of the Anti-Terrorist Operation was marked by intensified shelling of Ukrainian positions in Luhansk direction, that&rsquo;s according to a report by the press center of the ATO HQ as of 06:00 July 12. News 12 July from UNIAN.

One Ukrainian soldier wounded by shrapnel yesterday, – ATO HQ 12.07.17 09:21 – One Ukrainian soldier wounded by shrapnel yesterday, – ATO HQ One Ukrainian military was wounded in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) area on July 11. View news.

Ukrainian fighter deadly wounded in enemy shelling of Zaitseve, – ATO HQ 12.07.17 13:53 – Ukrainian fighter deadly wounded in enemy shelling of Zaitseve, – ATO HQ The military died of numerous wounds in Bakhmut hospital. View news.

National Guard soldiers at Donbas checkpoint detain separatist fighter and Russian citizen with military ID 12.07.17 13:27 – National Guard soldiers at Donbas checkpoint detain separatist fighter and Russian citizen with military ID Servicemen of the National Guard of Ukraine have detained an LPR (Luhansk People’s Republic) fighter and a Russian citizen with a military ID when they tried to cross a checkpoint in the Donbas. View news.

Russian Soldier Captured in Donbas Confirms His Status in Russian Army – YouTube Last month Ukrainian forces detained a group of militants in eastern Ukraine during an ambush. One of those captured was Victor Ageyev, who comes from Altai,…

Looking at The Situation on Ukraine’s Front Lines – YouTube Russian aggression against Ukraine is in its 3rd year. Since the 2014 Revolution of Dignity that forced out corrupt ex-President Viktor Yanukovych, Russia ha…

Defense Ministry to get UAH 600 mln for Oplot tanks and Vilkha missiles – 12.07.2017 15:32 — Ukrinform News 12.07.2017 15:32. The decision of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), which was enacted by President Petro Poroshenko on July 11, foresees the allocation of UAH 600 million to the Defense Ministry for modern weapons and military equipment. In particular, UAH 300 million will be spent on research and development work on the designing of the Vilkha newest missile system, and another UAH 300 million will be allocated for the supply of Oplot tanks. This is stated in the NSDC decision of July 10 on urgent measures to finance the needs of the national security and defense of Ukraine in 2017, which was made public on the website of the head of state. According to the document, the NSDC instructed the Cabinet of Ministers to table in the Verkhovna Rada proposals for the draft law introducing amendments to the law on Ukraine’s state budget for 2017 (No. 6600 of June 21, 2017), which is being prepared for second reading. In particular, the proposals concern additional budget allocations for the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. It is proposed to allocate an additional UAH 4 billion to the ministry from the special fund of the state budget (confiscated funds and proceeds from the sale of property confiscated by a court ruling for committing corruption and corruption-related offenses). Of this amount, UAH 1 billion is to be used for the purchase of weapons and military equipment, UAH 1.4 billion for the purchase and production of ammunition, and UAH 1 billion for the construction of housing for servicemen.

Poroshenko enacts NSDC decision on defense financing – 12.07.2017 11:34 — Ukrinform News 12.07.2017 11:34. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has enacted the decision by the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) to increase spending on Ukraine's national security and defense in 2017. The respective decree, No. 183/2017 of July 11, has been posted on the website of the head of state. “To bring into force the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine of July 10, 2017 ‘On urgent measures to finance the needs of the national security and defense of Ukraine in 2017,'” the document reads. NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov has been entrusted with exercising control over the implementation of the decision. This decree comes into force on the day it is published. According to the decision of July 10, the Cabinet of Ministers should submit to the Verkhovna Rada proposals for amending the state budget regarding the introduction of additional budget allocations for the Defense Ministry, the National Guard, the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Defense Ministry, the Administration of the State Special Transport Service of Ukraine, the National Police, the Administration of the State Border Service, the State Emergency Service, the Security Service of Ukraine, the Foreign Intelligence Service, the Administration of the State Special Communications Service of Ukraine, the State Guard Department, and the Justice Ministry. The government should draft and approve by September 15, 2017 the programs related to improving the country’s defense capability and security, which are being implemented through the attraction of loans under state guarantees by economic entities – residents of Ukraine. In addition, the Cabinet of Ministers was ordered to work out by September 1 the issue of reforming the penitentiary system of Ukraine. As reported, the National Security and Defense Council, at a meeting on July 10, recommended that the Ukrainian government increase spending on the security and defense sector by an additional UAH 3 billion.

UAWire – Ukraine to build a new ammunition factory President Petro Poroshenko has proposed the construction of an ammunition factory in Ukraine. To do so, there will need to be 1.4 billion hryvnia ($53.8 million) allocated for the project, as he explained during a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council, according to the Presidential website. According to the President, a significant part of the funds from the budget surplus will be spent on strengthening the defense and security sector. “I made a proposal to build an ammunition plant. The introduction of new technologies in full compliance with NATO standards will ensure the compatibility of ammunition calibers,” the President said. “This will make it possible not only to store ammunition, but to ensure the manufacture of ammunition from domestic raw materials. We will have to restore the capacities that were in Ukraine before the occupation of the Russian Federation, I put this position forward as one of our main priorities,” Poroshenko stressed. In addition, 1.6 billion hryvnia ($61.5 million) will be spent on purchasing the latest weapons and military equipment. Earlier, the Deputy General Director of the state business Ukroboronprom, Volodymyr Korobov, said that they are ready to start large-scale ammunition production within 18 months of receiving funding. This plant will be able to produce ammunition of both NATO caliber and post-Soviet ones. At the same time, the chairman of the Committee for National Security and Defense, Serghiy Pashinsky, stated that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will not be ordering cartridges in the coming years, so it makes no sense to build a cartridge plant. In Ukraine, there was previously a cartridge factory in Luhansk that produced ammunition for small arms, however, it is currently located in the territory temporarily uncontrolled by the Ukrainian government.

“Driven out to a wasteland at gunpoint”: Crimean man tells of his abduction by FSB A group of unidentified persons abducted Petro Borodin right from outside his house in&nbsp;Lenino, a settlement in the Russian-occupied Crimea, drove him outside the village, and set up an &quot;interrogation&quot; in the middle of nowhere, the victim has told RFE/RL&rsquo;s project, Crimea. Realities. News 12 July from UNIAN.

CPJ Criticizes Ukrainian Probe Of Journalist Sheremet’s Death  A Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) report is critical of a Ukrainian investigation into the killing of journalist Pavel Sheremet, with no arrests in the case and more questions than answers nearly one year after his car-bomb death in Kyiv.

Poroshenko Proposes Adding International Investigator To Sheremet Slaying Probe KYIV — President Petro Poroshenko has proposed incorporating an internationally recognized investigator into the Ukrainian team investigating the killing of journalist Pavel Sheremet, in hopes o…

Yanukovych’s Treason Trial Adjourned Until August 3 A Ukrainian court has adjourned Viktor Yanukovych's in-absentia treason trial until August 3 after the former president's new lawyer asked for more time to prepare. In a July 12 ruling…

Turkey to sign free trade agreement with Ukraine this year – 11.07.2017 15:37 — Ukrinform News 11.07.2017 15:37. A free trade agreement between Turkey and Ukraine will be signed by the end of this year.

60 new plants opened in Ukraine over past three years – Poroshenko – 12.07.2017 14:21 — Ukrinform News 12.07.2017 14:21. Sixty new plants have opened in Ukraine over the past three years.

Ukraine vs Russia in suit over railcars imports ban: Kyiv awaits WTO decision in 2018 Ukraine's Ministry of Economic Development and Trade expects that the final decision of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Kyiv&rsquo;s suit against Russia over the ban on imports of Ukrainian railway cars and equipment in the Russian Federation be handed down in April 2018, according to the ministry's press service referring to the results of the first WTO experts' meeting on July 10-11. News 12 July from UNIAN.

U.S. ex-envoy to Ukraine: health care reform “moment of truth” for Ukraine As the Ukrainian parliament this week is getting ready to vote for the sweeping health care reform to bring the Soviet-era system up to international standards, the bill is being held hostage to political partisanship, which works to the detriment of Ukraine&rsquo;s national interests, William Taylor, who is the executive vice president&nbsp;at&nbsp;the U.S. Institute of Peace, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, wrote for the Atlantic Council. News 11 July from UNIAN.

U.S. delays introduction of anti-dumping duty for Ukraine pipes The U.S. has extended the agreement on price obligations with regard to Ukrainian pipe products, which provides for the abolition of the anti-dumping duty for Ukrainian producers involved in pipe exports, according to Ukraine's Trade Envoy Nataliya Mykolska. News 12 July from UNIAN.

Stoltenberg estimates capacity of Ukraine’s Antonov aircraft. Photos – 11.07.2017 15:11 — Ukrinform News 11.07.2017 15:11. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has visited the Antonov state enterprise, which is part of the Ukroboronprom concern.

Державний концерн “Укроборонпром” (Ed. Note: State Concern “Ukroboronprom”) – Home  Державний концерн “Укроборонпром”, Київ. 14k likes. Державний концерн «УКРОБОРОНПРОМ» – це об’єднання більше 100 підприємств оборонної галузі України, на…

Stoltenberg in Kyiv: NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg’s day in Kyiv. PHOTOS | 11.07.17 14:55 – NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg’s day in Kyiv. PHOTOS During the day of his visit to Ukraine on July 10, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg met the country’s leaders, delivered a speech in the parliament, and opened a NATO Office in Kyiv. View photo news.

NATO Secretary General Takes Official Tour of Kyiv – YouTube NATO visits Ukraine. 29 ambassadors from NATO member countries as well as NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg arrived in Kyiv for an official meeting. Ou…

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports

Frederic C. Hof | Is This Ceasefire Different? For the United States, however, to leave all the cards in the Kremlin’s hands would be a mistake. It may be too late to help decent, non-Assad governance take root in eastern Syrian areas liberated from ISIS. But one fact remains immutable in Syria: nothing good will happen politically if civilians remain on the regime’s bullseye. This is precisely why mass homicide and collective punishment form the core of the Assad family’s political survival strategy. If Washington is willing to complicate and frustrate the regime’s ability to commit mass murder—and not just in southwestern Syria or with chemicals—it will have a powerful diplomatic card to play for the sake of a future Syria that is something other than a bleeding carcass on which the family, Iran, and the extremists they spawn will feed and threaten the West for decades to come.

How ISIS uses human shields in fighting coalition forces | Fox News It’s the stuff of horror movies.

Syrian Observatory says it has ‘confirmed information’ that Islamic State chief is dead | Reuters The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told Reuters on Tuesday that it had “confirmed information” that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed.

Syrian Observatory says it has ‘confirmed information’ that Islamic State chief is dead | Reuters The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told Reuters on Tuesday that it had “confirmed information” that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed.

Pentagon working to confirm reports of ISIS leader’s death – YouTube Fresh reports that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead; reaction on ‘The Five’

U.S. Can’t Confirm Reports Russia Killed ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi | World | US News Renewed Russian claims that it killed the elusive leader face skepticism from the U.S. and scrutiny among analysts.

US general fighting ISIS hopes group’s leader ‘deader than a doornail’ The US officer leading the ISIS fight doesn’t expect the US troop count in Iraq to fall despite Mosul’s recapture, insisting Americans must stay longer.

Russia Says Military Adviser Killed In Syria The Russian Defense Ministry says a Russian military adviser has been killed in Syria. In a statement on July 11, the ministry said that Captain Nikolai Afanasov was killed in a mortar attack i…

‘I would kill every last one of the Isis families’ — Death squads dish out vengeance in Mosul | World | The Times & The Sunday Times In Iraq, death squads arrive by ambulance. Anthony Loyd sees vengeance dished out to Mosul’s widows

Saudi Arabia executes four terrorists for attacks in Qatif | Arab News JEDDAH: Four Saudi nationals convicted of terrorism in Qatif have been executed, the Kingdom’s Ministry of Interior announced on Tuesday. The four — Zaher Abdul Rahim Hussein Al-Basri, Mahdi Mohammed Hassan Al-Sayegh, Amjad Naji Hassan Al-Muaibeed and Yousef Ali Abdullah Al-Mushaikhees — were handed death sentences for involvement in shootings and trading weapons aimed at destabilizing the country.


What is True and Not True About North Korea’s Hwasong-14 ICBM: A Technical Evaluation | 38 North: Informed Analysis of North Korea John Schilling presents a technical assessment of North Korea’s Hwasong-14 ICBM, including structural design and performance estimates. How does it add to North Korea’s WMD program and capabilities?

US Experts Dispute Russia’s Claim That North Korea’s New Missile Not an ICBM Kremlin contends Pyongyang launched a smaller missile last week, not an intercontinental-range device

Missile Wars: Where North Korea stands after ICBM launch – The Washington Post North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is on the cusp of having something his father and grandfather could only dream of — the ability to unleash a nuclear attack on the United States.

US continues to look at secondary boycott of N. Korea: State Department WASHINGTON — The US continues to look into a so-called secondary boycott of North Korea to starve the communist nation of resources to develop its nuclear and missile programs, the State Department said Tuesday.North Korea is under a wide range of sanctions for its missile and nuclear tests, and is expected to face stronger punishment for its intercontinental ballistic missile launch last week.”We are willing to loo…

Russian oil imports surge in N. Korea North Korea’s dependence on Russia for oil has increased threefold this year compared to the same period the previous year, according to media reports, Tuesday. Citing the Russian customs material, the Voice of America (VOA) said that Russian oil exports to North Korea has totaled $2.3 million by April this year, a considerable increase from $740 thousand last year.

How North Korea Uses Slave Labor Exports to Circumvent Sanctions | It’s estimated that North Korean slave labor is utilized in over 45 countries around the world, including in the European Union.

North Korea missiles just one part of deadly weapons – Washington Times Kim Jong-un considered his July Fourth intercontinental ballistic missile test just one of many promised “big and small ‘gift packages’ to the Yankees,” words that ring beyond the “handsome” Hwasong-14 missile.

The US had a clear shot at killing Kim Jong Un on July 4 — here’s why it didn’t strike | Business Insider When North Korea launched its first…

Even Kim Jong Un’s Wife Came Out of Hiding to Celebrate North Korea’s Missile Test Ri Sol Ju did not, however, get a drink to toast North Korea’s missile developers’ success.

The North Korea puzzle and its missing piece – will Kim Jong Un see the light? | Fox News At the center of mounting global concern over a nuclear strike by North Korea is one individual – 33-year old Kim Jong-un.

U.S. THAAD missile defenses hit test target as North Korea tension rises The United States said on Tuesday it shot down a simulated, incoming intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) similar to the ones being developed by countries like North Korea, in a new test of the nation’s THAAD missile defenses.

Chinese Ships Drill In Mediterranean En Route To Joint Exercises With Russia Chinese warships have conducted live-fire drills in the Mediterranean Sea as they make their way toward a scheduled joint exercise with Russian Navy ships in the Baltic Sea. The Chinese Defens…

China sets up base in Djibouti – Xinhua |

China sends troops to open first overseas military base in Djibouti | Reuters Ships carrying personnel for China’s first overseas military base, in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, have set sail to begin setting up the facility, as China’s rapidly modernizing military extends its global reach.

Chinese scientists just teleported an object [Ed: information not physical object!] into Earth’s orbit for the first time – Business Insider The work is an essential step towards establishing a global-scale quantum internet.

[1707.00934] Ground-to-satellite quantum teleportation

Quantum teleportation – Wikipedia

Foreign Policy Reports

Creation of new pro-Russian group in PACE called into question – media PACE has put a brake on and even called into question the creation of a new &quot;pro-Russian group&quot; which called itself &quot;Free Democrats,&quot; Europeiska Pravda reports. News 12 July from UNIAN.

Lavrov, Mogherini Hold Talks In Brussels EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini says she and visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov have discussed the Libyan crisis, Persian Gulf tensions, the stalled Middle East peace process…

Paris, much maligned by Trump, set to welcome him – POLITICO Few cities have been the subject of Trump’s derision and mockery like Paris, and the feeling appears to be mutual.

Macron to treat Trump to blue lobster in plush Eiffel Tower restaurant – The Local The French president Emmanuel Macron will wine and dine his American counterpart Donald Trump in a plush restaurant on the second level of the Eiffel Tower when the US president visits Paris this week, according to reports.

Hungary’s Orban Targets Soros in New Anti-Immigrant Campaign | Foreign Policy Hungary has launched a new anti-immigrant campaign featuring — who else? — the smiling picture of Hungarian-American financier and philanthropist George Soros. “Don’t let Soros have the last laugh,” the new advertisement reads, plastered on billboards across the country and in major publications. It’s the latest chapter in an ongoing battled over Hungary’s political direction, which in recent years has run headlong toward nationalism and illiberalism. Soros, who is Jewish, survived Axis-allied, then German-occupied Hungary during World War II, and emigrated to the United States in 1947, where he eventually became a billionaire investor and hedge fund manager. A vocal critic of the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, he frequently funds projects and institutions that promote democratic values and equitable resettlement for refugees around the world, often putting him in the crosshairs of right-wing conspiracy theories. In Hungary, his philanthropic efforts are increasingly cast as the work of a “globalist” bogeyman threatening Hungarian traditional values. In April, Orban’s government passed a law widely seen as a ploy to shut down the Central European University in Budapest, an institution founded by Soros in 1991 to train democratic thinkers as the country emerged from decades of communism. In recent years, Orban’s right-wing Fidesz-led government has clashed with the European Union over academic freedoms, clampdowns on foreign-funded non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and EU refugee acceptance plans.

US Domestic Policy Reports

Lavrov Says Russia To Retaliate If U.S. Does Not Release Property Russia will retaliate in a reciprocal manner if the United States does not heed its demands for a return of diplomatic assets, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said. &quot;We hope that the Unite…

U.S., Russia To Revive High-Level Talks On Seized Dachas, Other ‘Irritants’The United States and Russia are reviving high-level talks aimed at resolving major irritants between the two world powers, the U.S. State Department has said. The announcement came afte…

Russia Threatens to Expel 30 U.S. Diplomats – The AtlanticMoscow is angry about the Trump administration’s refusal to return two diplomatic compounds seized last year by the Obama administration.

Russian diplomacy about to get tougher edge in Washington – POLITICONoted hardliner Anatoly Antonov is taking over from Sergey Kislyak, who used a softer touch as the Russian ambassador.

The 6 toughest questions for the next FBI director – POLITICOChristopher Wray’s confirmation hearing takes place as the Trump-Russia scandal deepens.

McCain to White House: No more defense industry nomineesSenate Armed Services Committee Chair John McCain, a key congressional gatekeeper for Pentagon nominees, said he does not want the Trump administration to nominate any more executives from the top five defense firms to run the Pentagon.

CIA director on Russian election meddling: “They’ve been at this a hell of a long time” – CBS News CIA Director Mike Pompeo said Russians &quot;clearly&quot; intervened in the 2016 election, as they did in the 2012 election and other election cycles

Trump’s Son Publishes E-Mails With Russian Offer Of Damaging Information On Clinton U.S. President Donald Trump's eldest son has published e-mails showing he was aware that a Russian lawyer he met with in 2016 had alleged ties to the Russian government, and that he was offere…

Did Donald Trump Jr. Break Any Laws When He Met With Russian Lawyer Veselnitskaya? – NBC News Donald Trump Jr., who has claimed there was nothing untoward about the meeting last summer, may have violated federal campaign finance law, experts say.

Morning Joe’ co-host Joe Scarborough tells Stephen Colbert he’s leaving the Republican Party – The Washington Post He made the announcement on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” Tuesday night.

Mika Brzezinski lands mega 3-book deal | Page Six The “Morning Joe” anchor has signed a deal with Harvey and Bob Weinstein’s publishing imprint said to be worth “in the high six figures,” sources…

Maj. ML Cavanaugh | North Korea’s ICBM and Breaking Twenty-First-Century Trench Warfare – Modern War Institute What primary capability has each American adversary invested heavily in over the past decade? (Hint: it’s not better bayonets.) Standoff fires of all kinds. Russian long-range artillery. A Chinese carrier-killing missile. Iranian short- and medium-range strike capabilities. And most prominently, the North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile. Why? They intend to use these fires as a tactical stiff-arm to induce distant stalemate—to hold America’s global power projection at bay so they can achieve regional objectives. While most observers likely see this trend as negative, there is a bright spot: if everyone’s doing it, then everyone’s got relatively similar vulnerabilities. So American military strategists can think about the problem comprehensively. And these strategists have some hundred-year-old help. World War I also saw a combination of geography and fires that provided seemingly overwhelming advantages for the defender. Then, it was trenches and high-volume fire; today, it’s a combination of distance and water and greatly improved fires. As Stephen Biddle wrote in Military Power, the advent of this issue in World War I brought “the central problem of modern warfare: how to conduct meaningful military operations in the face of radical firepower.” Sound familiar? Biddle called the solution the “modern system,” which included “a tightly interrelated complex of cover, concealment, dispersion, suppression, small-unit independent maneuver, and combined arms at the tactical level, and depth, reserves, and differential concentration at the operational level of war.” Taken together, these features “focused on reducing exposure to hostile fire and enabling friendly movement while slowing the enemy’s.” Our adversaries have led us back to what roughly amounts to a bigger version of the same problem—how to conduct useful military efforts in the face of formidable firepower. Even a hundred years on we cannot simply head into the teeth of their fires, which would be too costly, and our missile defenses are too expensive and limited. A direct approach would be as suicidal today as it was a century ago, and likely losses would require full-scale mobilization and a return to compulsory service—an option our society certainly will not consider. So what can we take from previous experience?

The Secret U.S. Army Study That Targets Moscow – POLITICO Magazine A quarter century after the Cold War, the Pentagon is worried about Russia’s military prowess all over again.