Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Media Update – 13 July 2017

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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NATO-Russia Council meeting. Unexplained, suspected to be Russian, large scale GPS spoofing attack in Black Sea region – happily no maritime or aerial collisions.

Another collection of abyssal reports from inside Russia, all events self-inflicted. Russian historian Aleksandr Sytin describes that what non-Russians in post-Soviet space label a  “Sovok” or Vatnik”, Prof Goble observing that any non-Russian saying this  “would be denounced immediately as a Russophobe. Pastukhov, Shevchenko, Milekhin reports validate earlier observations, Moscow on track to have  30% Muslim population, Chechen killings brushed off by Peskov. All four Siemens gas turbines might have been illegally moved to Crimea. Belarusians conduct paramilitary exercise with the PLA.

Latest Disinformation Review is a good read, has the whole of Europe really become a seething mass of “fascists”? New York Times “Dark Arts” essay sheds light on the far from stellar track record of Russian/Soviet influence ops.

Ukraine-EU Summit running, good comments by Tusk, not so good by others. Donbass fires continue. German DW reports on the Donbass proxy republics’ network of forced labour camps – the mini-Gulag of Donbass. LtGen Hodges lauds Ukrainian military. Ukrainians participating in SEA BREEZE and SABRE GUARDIAN exercises, and RIAT in the UK. USAF CV-22s in Odessa become MSM stars in Ukraine. Disturbing reports on large number of dolphin deaths in Black Sea since occupation of Crimea.

Reports on Syrian plant manufacturing Iranian ballistic missiles, with help from Iran and DPRK. Multiple interesting background reports on Syria and Iran.

DPRK exports covered by several interesting reports. PLAN Type 22 catamaran missile boat exercise.

POTUS visit Paris, majority of French approve.

In the US debate, Snopes forensically disassembles a number of anti-POTUS MSM myths, showing them to be fabrications. Multiple other reports on the Russia debate. Calls to investigate Ukrainian support for HRC during election. Seven interesting essays on defense policy – quadcopter RPV attacks on parked aircraft at US airfields would merely be a replay of the Donbass experience with ammo storage sites, just a lot more expensive in damage effects.


Russia / Russophone Reports

NATO-Russia Council To Focus On Flight Incidents Over The Baltic Sea A meeting of the NATO-Russia Council on July 13 is expected to focus on measures to reduce tensions and risks after recent incidents involving maneuvering by warplanes flying over the Baltic Sea. …

NATO-Russia Council Expected To Discuss Flight Incidents, Ukraine A meeting of the NATO-Russia Council, the second this year, has begun in Brussels. The July 13 talks are expected to focus on measures to reduce tensions and risks after recent incidents involvin…

Mass GPS Spoofing Attack in Black Sea? – To Inform is to Influence Russia appears to be spoofing GPS signals off their coast in the Black Sea. Two paragraphs stand out: Russia has very advanced capabilities to disrupt GPS. Over 250,000 cell towers in Russia have been equipped with GPS jamming devices as a defense against attack by U.S. missiles. And there have been press reports of Russian GPS jamming…

Mass GPS Spoofing Attack in Black Sea? An apparent mass and blatant, GPS spoofing attack involving over 20 vessels in the Black Sea last month has navigation experts and maritime

Crews of Czech L-159 enhances tactical skills in air-to-air combat between aircraft and helicopters | Defence Blog Personnel from the Caslav Tactical Air Force Base returned on Monday from a two-week Helicopter Tactical Instructor Course (HTIC) held in Arvidsjaur, Sweden. The aim of the course was to improve the tactical skills of pilots in air-to-air combat between aircraft and helicopters. “We have a unique opportunity to train in a specific Nordic environment with different types of helicopters and aircraft, and we are proud to say that our professionalism and adaptability is highly valued by NATO and partner states,” said Captain Pavel Linhart, Commander of the Czech Task Force. The Czech Task Force, consisting primarily of members of the 212th Tactical Squadron operating the L-159 ALCA aircraft, has been participating in the HTIC regularly since 2014. The role of the Caslav pilots was to act as aggressors in aerial helicopter battles. Aircraft fly at minimum flight levels (30-100 meters above ground), and helicopter pilots benefit from practising manoeuvrability and agility skills at low speeds while flying over uneven or irregular terrains. Fighters, on the other hand, have the advantage of an onboard radar, can climb quickly, and other tactics such as using the sun to dazzle helicopter pilots. These are the different tactical activities that need to be improved and enhanced during the course. “In the event of a threat or an increased security risk, the National Air Defence System of the Czech Republic is activated and that includes the L-159s,” said Linhart, and went on to explain that, since the latter part of the previous year, the Caslav pilots, together with technical staff, have been transferring their long-standing experience and knowledge to the Iraqi Air Force. Besides the participation of three Czech L-159s, this year’s course and training exercise also included the British Hawk T1 aircraft, the Austrian Bell 212, the OH-59 and UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, the German Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters, and the Swedish SAAB-39 Gripen supersonic fighters.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin’s Russian World Seeks to Offer Others 12 Unattractive Values, Sytin Says Paul Goble Staunton, July 12 – Aleksandr Sytin was recently on a Moscow television show hosted by Vladimir Solovyev about the values Vladimir Putin’s Russian world seeks to offer other peoples. Solovyev did not given the Russian historian the chance to present his ideas, and so Sytin has posted online 12 such Russian ( Sytin’s dozen clearly show why Putin’s Russian world project is unlikely to be successful beyond the borders of his country. Indeed, most of the values the historian points so are so off-putting that it is no surprise that an employee of a Russian government TV station would be all too ready to cut him off. The 12 values Sytin identifies include: 
1. “The chief value for Russians is territory, its size.” This is “absolutely irrational” because “the larger part of it is unsuitable for life” and is left unused. 
2. “For Russians, the state plays a sacred role,” defining the position of all of them in relation to itself and creating in them “a pathological feature of being without the paternalistic concern of the state” or of taking responsibility for themselves. 
3. “Russians are incapable of self-organization without an external stimulus and organizing force. The exceptions concern chiefly military activity – the peasant revolts, Minin, Yermak, and the Cossacks.” 
4. “Russians have not mastered the culture of work.” They view it as “God’s curse” and will use “any pretext to minimize their efforts.” 
5. “They are extremely arrogant toward other nations especially those less numerous or smaller in territory than their own.” Without knowledge, they are proud of their own history and ignorant about the history of almost everyone else. 
6. “Unlike their close Western Slavic neighbors, the Poles, the Ukrainians, and Belarusians, the Russians do not value education highly.” 
7. “They arrogantly treat those who are physically weaker than they are. They are absolutely without pity to those with physical handicaps or infectious illnesses” and they are cruel to “women, children and animals.” 
8. No one should trust anything a Russian says. 
9. Russian society cannot be called anything other than bestial, with drunkenness, force, pedophilia, hostility to old people “even their own relatives” all being the norm and reflecting “the very lowest level of human morality.” 
10. “Russians fear and do not accept any changes.” Stability and “certainty about tomorrow” are for them central and defining values. 
11. “Russians lack the ability to live, to show what the French call ‘savoir vivre.’” They may acquire money but they will never display a serious aesthetic. “Look at their cities! Only St. Petersburg can pretend to the rank of city, and that with qualifications. All the rest are faceless agglomerations.” 
12. Russians are given to nostalgia, something that saps their will and the ability to “take decisions. 

Only in Russian literature is there a tradition of the phenomenon of ‘superfluous men,’ people who above all else haven’t found their place in government activity.” 
Any non-Russian who would say any of these things would be denounced immediately as a Russophobe. For a Russian to say all of them is damning indeed.


What spiritual values Russia can offer to the West – Alexander Sytin

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Any Successor of Putin Likely to Be a Dictator Unless Society Gets Organized, Pastukhov Says Paul Goble Staunton, July 12 – The current attacks on Aleksey Navalny that suggest he will become a dictator if he manages somehow to defeat Vladimir Putin reflect the utopianism of the Russian intelligentsia and its failure to understand that anyone who succeeds the current Kremlin leader is likely to be one as long as society remains atomized and weak, Vladimir Pastukhov says. The St. Antony’s College Russian historian says that those who are now asking “Who is Mr. Navalny?” much as many asked about Putin nearly two decades ago reveal more about themselves and the situation in Russia than about the opposition leader in their commentaries and attacks ( “The problem is that being by their nature politically impotent … the liberal opposition constantly needs a political outsider: it first seeks him, then when it gets him, it immediately begins shouting about rape. The cause of this behavior is the impassable gap between ambitions and capacities, between aspirations and reality.” The liberal intelligentsia in Russia,” Pastukhov continues, “lives by a utopian dream about a hero who kills the dragon, takes power from him and then, on bended knee, hands it over to the outstanding representatives of the Russian intelligentsia (the best people)” in the country – in short that the victor must share power with those who didn’t make his victory possible. But that isn’t how politics works and it isn’t how Navalny will behave, the historian says. “Judged by his views, [Navalny] is a classical Bolshevik. His single goal is gaining power. How and under what pretext he gets it doesn’t interest him. Today, he is doing everything to help gain power and then he will do everything that will help him keep it.” That of course is what every politician does, Pastukhov points out. “To accuse Navalny of seeking power is the same as accusing a predator that he wants meat. This is his nature: he is ‘a political animal.’ That isn’t an insult but rather a compliment because people who are otherwise do not achieve success in politics.” The only ones who can compete with such people are other “’political animals.’” Unfortunately, the liberal intelligentsia doesn’t include many of them. It is “too principled and too scrupulous. It is above politics, it isn’t interested in it, and it doesn’t get involved with it.” And thus, its members fail to recognize that what is possible politically is given “not so much by the moral worth of the leaders as by the restraining potential of society.” Thus, the problem isn’t Navalny’s proclivities, Pastukhov argues, but the state of the minds of the Russian educated class, with its slavish mentality and inability to “unite in groups of more than three and with its lack of desire to consistently do something in order to achieve the goal it desires.” “The antidote against a dictatorship is in the organized force of civil society and not in the castration of the leader,” he says. “If the intelligentsia so fears a new Putin,” then it needs in the first instance to get organized and help society get organized as well so that they and it will be factors to be reckoned with. When someone asked Winston Churchill why there was no anti-Semitism in England, the British leader responded “because we do not consider ourselves more stupid than the Jews.” In like manner, Pastukhov says, “Navalny is not frightening to those who do not consider themselves weaker than he and who understand that it is possible to move against him in an organized way if something goes wrong.” “But if society feels itself weak, then no warning letters will help. Any non-entity who comes to power [in such a society] can become a dictator.” Thus, “the queston is not whether Navalny is bad or good and whether he has dictatorial manners or not and whether he will become or not become another Putin. Rather the question is whether in the real conditions of present-day Russia a refined liberal Westerner could come to power” and not be tempted to become a dictator given the weakness of society.” “I fear,” Pastukhov says, “there are no such chances.” “In any case, Navalny cannot become a second Putin” because Putin was and remains a product of specific historical circumstances … Navalny will be a product of other historical circumstances, also unique.” That doesn’t mean that he can’t become a dictator but it does mean that he won’t be a dictator just like Putin. That is because in such circumstances, politics operates dialectically. The first “negation whatever it is always is one-sided and consequently is incomplete … And only a little later, at the stage of ‘the negation of the negation’ takes place the complete and final farewell to the past (its being overcome).” Whoever comes to power after Putin be it Navalny or someone else, is “simply condemned to become a kind of anti-Putin or a Putin inside out who will be infinitely far from the liberal ideal,” Pastukhov says. In Russia, liberal democracy will emerge only after a long and difficult past: it isn’t the starting point. “In order to prevent or at least soften the practically inevitable future ‘revolutionary’ dictator, an organized force, capable of imposing its political will on any potential dictatorship must be organized. If such a force within society is established, then Navalny or any other victor will be forced to deal with it” rather than act without regard to its concerns. But “if such a force doesn’t exist in society, then no liberal incantations or appeals is going to help.” What is especially worrisome just now, Pastukhov says, is that some of the criticism of Navalny is contributing the view among some Russians that Putin is the devil they know while Navalny is one they don’t — and that they would be better off to stay with the current leader than try another. That will make both Navalny’s task and the achievement of a better future in Russia far more difficult.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Draft Law on Russian Nation as Written Threatens Russia’s Future, Shevchenko Says Paul Goble Staunton, July 12 – Because Academician Vitaly Tishkov hasn’t responded to his criticisms of the draft law on the Russian nation and because the Moscow media have dismissed them without detailing them, Maksim Shevchenko, a member of the Presidential Council that has been preparing them, has released an open letter outlining his objections and concerns. Having expressed his respect for the other members of the commission, including the chairman of the working group, Tishkov, and all their work on this project, the Russian journalist says the current draft law contains provisions which he believes are dangerous and that he cannot in good conscience accept ( His main concern, Shevchenko says is with the language in the preamble which attributes to the Russian people, its culture and language a special unifying role as the historic foundation of the Russian state, a defining one in the affirmation of all-Russian self-consciousness (identity) and the strengthening of the unity of the multi-national Russian Federation.” Such language, which may be appropriate for a political speech, is not only completely inappropriate in a draft law but also “extremely dangerous” because when included there, it inserts “a mine under this very state, the bear of sovereignty and source of power in which, according to [the Constitution] is called ‘the multi-national people.’” “I understand,” Shevchenko continues, this use of terminology “about the special role of the ethnic Russian people corresponds to the specific nature of the moment – rapprochement with China where in fact, the Han-Chinese are a state-forming people.” But, he points out, “the Russian Federation isn’t a Han empire” that is supposed to absorb all others. Instead of being like the Chinese state, the commentator says, Russians are “rather the political and historical heirs of the mortal enemy of Great Han China, the Hun and Mongol empires which denied in both cases ethnic domination and introduced the term of political nation as the basis of statehood.” “Mongol is a political term,” Shevchenko argues. And evidence of that is that “the first Mongol take prisoner near Balaton by European knights was an Englishman who had joined the army of Batu Khan in Crimea and became ‘a Mongol’ after taking an oath.” The Europeans were so horrified that they immediately killed him. These are not simply historical “details,” he continues. They matter in principle. “All the peoples of the Russian Federation have made their particular contribution to the establishment and strengthening of Russian statehood. And separating out the ethnic Russian people as special will have in the future the most serious consequences.” In the event of a crisis, the other peoples of Russia will be inclined to blame the Russian people for any problems rather than accept common responsibility. The issue of Russian language is different, however. “It is the main political language of Russia,” and it should be defined as such in the law. Shevchenko continues: “The essence of Russia and the Russian political nation is not to divide but to unite peoples. Not to set them at each other’s throats but to bring them together. Therefore, we are a federation and not the Heavenly Kingdom.” But “there is another detail [in the draft law Tishkov has promoted] which is striking,” Shevchenko says: “Peoples are nowhere named as the subject of nationality policy.” That is either a mistake or something that has been overlooked and will be the subject of criticism as the measure goes forward. “We must think how to include the people (peoples) among the subjects of nationality policy in the Russian Federation and also, possibly, include those regions of the Russian Federation which have the status of nationality subjects.” Failing to do so now will guarantee serious problems later.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russians Seldom Know Much about Their Ancestors Before Their Grandparents Generation, New Research Shows Paul Goble Staunton, July 12 – Two new studies, one by the Moscow Institute of Sociology and a second by the Romir Organization, show that Russians know very little about their ancestors beyond two generations back, a reflection of the traumas of the 20th century but a phenomenon that makes it vastly more difficult for them to integrate into a common nation. The Romir survey, conducted in June found that few Russians can name all their relatives three generations back, that two-thirds of Russian households do not have family archives, and that despite a recent uptick in interest in the past the share of Russians focusing on the history of their families remains small. As Mariya Nedyuk of Izvestiya notes, “sociologists link such a ‘short’ family memory to the fact that the country experienced such a large number of shocks,” as well as the fear of talking about the past in Soviet times and the illiteracy of most of the Russian population before the 20th century ( Andrey Milekhin, the head of Romir, says “it is possible that the role of inertia of Soviet times when studying history outside of official frameworks wasn’t permitted and that going into the history of one’s own family (and especially telling this to one’s children) was at times simply dangerous” ( The Institute of Sociology study found that 60 percent of those surveyed “did not know whether there were among their ancestors those who during the revolution and civil war supported the Whites or suffered from the terror” at that time. Equally large fractions didn’t know about what happened to their ancestors under Stalin ( This absence of knowledge represents “a kind of ‘family trauma,’” experts say. Dmitry Travel of St. Petersburg University says that his research has found that most Russians have large gaps in their knowledge about their families, gaps that increase as one goes back earlier in time. Vasily Zharkov, a political psychologist at the Moscow Higher School of Social and Economic Sciences, says that fear in Soviet times played a major role in this: his own grandmother did not acknowledge until July 1991 that she had had relatives who fought for Admiral Kolchak. The absence of memories about one’s own family has serious consequences for society as a whole. People find it difficult to fit themselves into a national narrative or even to identify as members of the nation if they do not know where their ancestors came from. Being part of an imagined community is easier if one knows something about where one comes from. Vladimir Petukhov of the Institute of Sociology says that the situation in Russia is especially dire: “Even in Germany with its Nazi past, memories about ancestors have not broken off.” But because the Soviets created a situation where it was dangerous to talk about the past, Russians have learned not to. Overcoming that will be extremely difficult.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Within 20 Years, Moscow will have 35 Million Residents and Almost a Third of Them will be Muslims, Russian Experts Say Paul Goble Staunton, July 12 – The population of the Moscow agglomeration by 2035 will reach 35 million, of whom 25 to 30 percent will be Muslims,” according to experts at the Mayak Discussion Club. The city will be ever more expensive to live in and ever more uncomfortable, and taxes will go up because the oil money will have dried up. One consequence may be a demand for greater local democracy at least in the capital but it will also mean that the capital will form a far larger share of the population of the country, well above a third, and that this along with the Muslim share will make the capital an increasingly “Asiatic” one (москва-2035-35-млн-человек-и-рождение-полит/). The presentations of three members of the club are summarized below. Dmitry Glukhovsky, author of the anti-utopian novel Metro-2033, suggested that Moscow will increasingly resemble Beijing, a capitalist economy but one in which the state exercises “total” control over the population. There are already 160,000 video cameras in operation in the Russian capital. By 2035, the novelist says, there will be far more; and the state will be able to track “every move” of every citizen. Sergey Gorigorov, described as a politician, also described an anti-utopia, a city of 50 million people living in high-rise apartment blocks and allowed to travel to the center of the city only occasions. At the edge of this agglomeration, he suggests, will be areas dominated by Islamists who will impose shariat law. And Pavel Pryanikov, who operates the Tolkovatel internet portal, suggested that Moscow will be less the Asiatic city other speakers projected than “a peripheral European” one like Istanbul, Buenos Aires or Mexico City. He said that he would talk about the future only in terms of a continuation of current trends. First of all, Russia “will remain a raw materials exports and highly centralized, and Moscow as now will be the main center of money, attractive work, knowledge, medicine, and entertainment.” Its population will continue to grow but the amount of new housing won’t keep up. As a result, prices for apartments will rise; and taxes on property will as well. Because these will be paid by the population directly, Muscovites will demand a more immediate say in how they are spent by insisting on more democratic forms of governance. Pryanikov said that one of the most important changes will be the composition of the city’s population. Because two-thirds of gastarbeiters will settle in Moscow, the city will have as many as five million Central Asian residents by 2035. Together with Muslims already there, they will boost the Islamic share of the city’s population to 25-30 percent. As a result, Pryanikov continued, “we shall see then their growing role in the life of the city: the appearance eof Muslim districts, life according to shariat law, new mosques [there are only six officially registered ones now], and medrassahs as well.” But perhaps the most important trend he mentioned was the rise of voluntary mobility especially among older people. By 2035, there will be retirees without pensions and they will make ends meet by selling their Moscow apartments, buying two or more elsewhere, living in one and renting the other to make ends meet. In other comments, he suggested that “the quality of social relations in the city will improve,” with declines in the amount of crime and alcoholism and a rising life expectancies, “the result,” he says, “of the conscious responsibility of citizens for their own lives” rather than of any action by the state. Unfortunately, Pryanikov concluded, the consequences of this will not be good for the rest of Russia: There like in many countries of “the Second world,” life will be concentrated in the megalopolises, “and the remaining territory will be viewed only as places to get raw materials or for simple agricultural and industrial production.”

Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin reacts to news of 27 men killed in Chechnya · PinkNews The Kremlin has declined to accept outright the names of men reported to have been murdered in Chechnya.

Russia Hands 20-year Jail Term to Killer of Vladimir Putin Critic Boris Nemtsov – News18 The same court last month found the five men guilty of killing Nemtsov, but the late politician’s allies said the investigation had been a cover-up and that the people who had ordered his killing remained at large.

Dmitry Medvedev reportedly won’t campaign in Russia’s regions because of Alexey Navalny — Meduza Reportedly against the expectations of his own political party, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, the leader of United Russia, hasn’t joined regional campaign efforts this summer, avoiding trips to the regions where gubernatorial races will take place this September. Instead, President Putin has been visiting United Russia’s regional candidates. According to the newspaper Vedomosti, Medvedev’s diminished public role is likely tied to corruption allegations by Alexey Navalny, whose nationwide protest movement has damaged the prime minister’s political reputation.

Exclusive: Russia appears to deliver more turbines to Crimea – Reuters witnesses Two more gas turbines appear to have been delivered to Russian-controlled Crimea, according to two Reuters reporters who saw the equipment at the port of Feodosia, potentially deepening a row over sanctions compliance in which Germany’s Siemens has become embroiled.

Berlin Demands Explanation Over Siemens Turbines In Crimea The German government demanded speedy answers on July 12 from industrial conglomerate Siemens, after two of the group’s gas turbines were delivered to Russian-annexed Crimea despite sanction…

Does Putin Speak English? After Trump Meeting, the Kremlin Weighs In Putin’s German language skills are well-known, thanks to his past career as a KGB spy in East Germany.

Twelve shades of Vladimir Putin | All media content | DW | 13.07.2017 Russian President Vladimir Putin has just released his 2018 wall calendar. The latest edition features the strongman in a variety of creative poses, but many of the photos are not new. Is this a case of new year, but the same, old president?

Who is Putin’s ex-wife – Business Insider While little is known about Putin’s personal life, even less has been reported about his ex-wife, Lyudmila Ocheretnaya.

Fire In Russia Kills Seven Central Asia Migrant Workers A fire at an industrial facility in Russia’s northwestern Leningrad region has killed seven labor migrants from Central Asia.

China, Belarus launch United Shield-2017 joint anti-terrorism drill | Defence Blog The United Shield-2017 joint anti-terrorism drill, which was jointly held for the first time by the Chinese People’s Armed Police Force (APF) and the Internal Troops of the Belarusian Interior Ministry, started in the suburb of Minsk, capital of Belarus, on July 11, 2017. Major General Yang Guangyao, deputy commander of the APF, said at the drill’s opening ceremony that the drill is a concrete action of military exchanges between the Chinese armed police troops and the internal security troops of Belarus, which is designed to enhance mutual understanding and communication, upgrade the two sides’ coordination in joint operations and verify the ability of the two sides to deal with sudden terrorist threat. The drill did not aim at any third-party countries or regions, Yang mentioned. Yang believed that with the joint drill, the friendly cooperative relations between China and Belarus will for sure reach a new level resulting in more pragmatic cooperation in various fields and more profound China-Belarus friendship. Major General Yuri Karayev, chief of the Internal Troops of the Belarusian Interior Ministry, said in his speech at the drill’s opening ceremony that the relations between Belarus and China are currently developing fast, and the exchange and cooperation between the two countries and their peoples have a broad prospect, which is perfectly evidenced by the United Shield-2017 joint drill. The over 10-day joint drill will be held at several tactical training ranges of the Belarusian Internal Troops. A total of 62 members with 31 from each side will take part in the drill, which focuses on such detachment tactical training as destroying camps of illegal armed groups, capturing criminals in buildings, hunting and annihilating armed criminals in urban areas, and anti-hijacking tactics on various means of transport.

IW/IO/Cyber Reports

Interpreting fascism – Disinformation Review – To Inform is to Influence 13 July 2017 *TRENDS OF THE WEEK* Interpreting fascism If you look up fascism [fash-iz-uh m] in a dictionary, you will find “a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism”. This week, we saw alternative interpretations…

How to Deter Russian Cyber Attacks – To Inform is to Influence George Beebe July 12, 2017 Washington’s political class may not agree on much these days, but nearly everyone agrees that Russia should be punished for meddling in the US presidential election. The only question is how severe that punishment should be.  Many worry that if the consequences are too lenient, Moscow will interfere in future…

NATO: We’re supplying new cybersecurity equipment to Ukraine – Fifth Domain | Cyber KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — NATO’s secretary-general says the 29-member alliance is supplying hardware to the Ukrainian government to help protect its government networks from cyberattacks. At a news conference in Kiev alongside Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Monday, Jens Stoltenberg told journalists that “we are in the process of providing Ukraine with new equipment to some key government institutions.” Few other details were provided, but Stoltenberg said the gear would “help Ukraine investigate who is behind the different attacks.” Ukraine has recently been hit by a series of powerful cyberattacks, including a June 27 attack that crippled computers across the country. Kiev blames Russia for the intrusions, charges the Kremlin denies. Stoltenberg added that the alliance is studying the Ukraine attacks closely. “NATO is learning a lot from Ukraine,” he said.

When Russia’s Dark Arts Backfire – To Inform is to Influence This New York Times story connects Natalia Veselnitskaya, who is now connected with Donald Trump, Jr, to Russian propaganda. No, Donald Trump, Jr. is not connected with Russian propaganda, don’t make that leap.  First, a few words of context. I know of many more cases of Russian Information Warfare failing than I do of their success.…

When Russia’s Dark Arts Backfire That is the side of Russian influence operations you hear about less often. Yes, these operations pose a serious and growing threat to the Western order. But it’s worth remembering that this is still Russia, a country that has seen its geopolitical position decline steadily for years. Since it ramped up these influence operations, starting around 2013, it has gotten itself isolated and sanctioned, its economy has tanked and it has become mired in wars in Ukraine and Syria. It is easy to be dazzled by these influence operations and mistake Russia for an all-knowing superpower executing one brilliant chess move after another. It is not. It is, nearly every Russia expert agrees, driven primarily by fear and weakness, and with reason. Ms. Veselnitskaya’s misadventure in Brussels is a reminder of that.

TASS: World – Ukraine’s ex-PM anticipates ‘regime change’ in Kiev and return of ousted politicians «The situation is rolling to an early end of the Pyotr Poroshenko regime. Changes are around the corner,» former Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov said

Kremlin Denounces U.S. Ban On Kaspersky Software As ‘Politicized’  The Kremlin on July 12 criticized the U.S. government’s decision not to buy products from Russia’s Kaspersky Lab as &quot;politicized&quot; while the company said it had fallen victim to …

Google pays academics millions for key support | News | The Times & The Sunday Times Google has paid millions of dollars to academics at British and American universities for research that it hoped would sway public opinion and influence policy

Security experts warn of account risks after Verizon customer data leak | ZDNet Thought your email, social media, and bank accounts were safe with two-factor authentication? Think again — your phone account will likely be the biggest point of security failure in your life today.

Perry: Hacking threat to US nuclear reactors ‘real,’ ongoing – Fifth Domain | Cyber WASHINGTON (AP) — Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Tuesday that “state-sponsored” or criminal hackers are targeting U.S. nuclear power plants and other energy providers, but said the government has resources to safeguard the nation’s electric grid. Perry told Fox Business Network that the threat of cyberattacks on the electric grid “is real, it’s ongoing and we shouldn’t be surprised when you think of the world we live in today.” The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security told energy providers last week that hackers may be trying to breach their computer systems. Hackers appear to have tried to breach the business and administrative networks of unidentified facilities, DHS said. At least one attack has been widely reported as occurring at Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corp., which runs the Wolf Creek nuclear power station in Kansas. Jenny Hageman, a plant spokeswoman, declined to comment, “except to confirm there has been absolutely no operational impact to Wolf Creek. The reason that is true is because the operational computer systems are completely separate from the corporate network.” The safety and control systems for the nuclear reactor and other plant components are not connected to business networks or the internet, Hageman said. The plant continues to operate safely, she said. DHS said in its report there was no threat to public safety. DHS and the FBI routinely advise the private sector of possible cyber threats to help officials protect potentially vulnerable networks. The source of the intrusions is unknown, but Perry said the hackers “may be state-sponsored” or just “criminal elements” trying to penetrate vulnerable sites. Perry said “the good news” is that the Energy Department has substantial resources to combat the threat “and we have been working on his for a long time.” Perry cited work by the Idaho National Laboratory to devise a “full-out grid” that helps officials detect problems and protect the grid. “I want Americans to feel very comfortable we are doing everything possible to protect their information, but more importantly to protect the electrical grid from those that would try to penetrate in and do harm or do mischief,” Perry said. The Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry group, said last week that no nuclear reactors were affected by the would-be hackers. If any facilities were affected by a cyberattack, a publicly available report would have to be made to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which oversees the nation’s commercial nuclear fleet.

Ukraine Reports

Poroshenko Opens Ukraine-EU Summit In Kyiv Talks are under way at an EU-Ukraine summit in the Ukrainian capital. President Petro Poroshenko opened the event on July 13 by lauding cooperation between the European Union and his country. …

Poroshenko opens Ukraine-EU Summit: “New page of our common success story!” 13.07.17 12:14 – Poroshenko opens Ukraine-EU Summit: New page of our common success story! President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has opened the Ukraine-EU Summit at Presidential Administration in Kyiv. View news.

Poroshenko hopes to hold Ukraine-EU summits in Donetsk, Yalta Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has thanked the European Union for supporting Ukraine in opposing Russia’s actions in Crimea and Donbas and expressed hope that Ukraine-EU summits may be held in Donetsk and Yalta in future.

Kyiv hopes for greater EU role in settlement of Donbas crisis, Crimea de-occupation – Poroshenko President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko expects that the current Ukraine-EU summit will be a clear signal to the international community about the unity of aspirations, adding that Ukraine expects the EU’s greater involvement in the settlement of the Donbas crisis.

NATO “not ready” to defend Ukraine: EP Vice President The West is not ready to move on to a violent conflict with Russia in order to return Crimea under Ukraine’s control, Vice President of the European Parliament, MEP from the Free Democratic Party of Germany Alexander Graf Lambsdorff told Deutsche Welle. At the same time, the official confirmed to Deutsche Welle the position of Western countries regarding the non-recognition of the annexation of Crimea by Russia, which, he said, was “absolutely and unequivocally illegal.” “A flagrant violation of international law has been committed, and we do not recognize Russia’s actions against Crimea, which means that, even if the return of Crimea to Ukraine is virtually impossible because no one wants to escalate violence, we do not recognize Crimea as Russian from the legal point of view. It’s an absolutely clear line, and practically the whole world adheres to this position,” Lambsdorff said. At the same time, the MEP has noted that he does not see Kremlin’s readiness to discuss the situation around Crimea. Lambsdorff also said that among NATO countries there is “no readiness” to defend the interests of Ukraine. I see readiness to stabilize the situation in Ukraine, to promote its democratic development, economic growth, but to guarantee compliance with Article 5 of the NATO Charter, which regards the attack on a single NATO member as an attack on all Allies, I do not see such readiness,” the German politician said when asked whether Ukraine should be admitted to NATO. He added that the issue should be approached with “great patience and caution.”

Ukraine can only be defeated from within, not by external enemies – Tusk If Ukraine can withstand the burden of reforms and not give up, the country will reach its goals, President of the European Council Donald Tusk said at the EU-Ukraine summit in Kyiv on Thursday, delivering his speech in Ukrainian. “Together we have achieved a lot, but we are still only halfway down the road. I am convinced that if you continue to be as determined, as courageous and as consistent as you were back then in Independence Square (Maidan), as you were during the battle for Ukraine’s integrity, if you can withstand the burden of reforms and not give up, then you will reach your dreams and goals,” Donald Tusk said. “Today I can see clearly that you will not be defeated by an external enemy,” he went on to say. “You are too strong. You can only be defeated by yourselves.” Therefore, Tusk believes Ukraine needs to keep its unity “at any cost” and “avoid internal conflicts like the plague.”“Only united can we overcome the challenges of modern times,” he said, emphasizing the fact that he has already told this in other European countries. “There is nothing worse than the break-up of a community in the face of modern-day threats.” He concluded that democracy is about differences of opinion and competition, but also about permanent looking for consensus. Read also NATO “not ready” to defend Ukraine: EP Vice President If Ukraine builds a modern state that is “citizen-friendly, resistant to corruption, respectful of the highest standards of public life” and “pass this exam, nothing and no one will defeat you,” said Donald Tusk.

Tusk sees internal conflicts as biggest threat to Ukraine – 13.07.2017 12:58 — Ukrinform News 13.07.2017 12:58. External enemies cannot overcome Ukrainians, but internal contradictions pose the biggest threat to the unity of the state.

Ukraine cannot be defeated by external enemy, – Tusk Ukraine is strong in the face of external threats, problems can be inside, President of the European Council Donald Tusk has said.

Junker asks Ukraine to intensify fight against corruption – 13.07.2017 14:24 — Ukrinform News 13.07.2017 14:24. Ukraine has made significant progress on the path of reform, but the fight against corruption is of particular importance for the development of cooperation with the European Union.

Clashes outside Rada: police use tear gas – News from Kyiv | UNIAN Clashes between rally participants and police forces have been reported outside the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in Kyiv as protesters prevent the towing of vehicles blocking the drive to the parliament building. News 13 July from UNIAN.

Andrew Budd: Military Exercises West-2017 Is Threat To Ukraine – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk  The NATO representative has told about the possible consequences of the Russian-Belarusian exercises. The holding of Russian-Belarusian exercises West-2017 causes concern in the West, because they can affect the situation in Ukraine, head of the defense capabilities section of the NATO Directorate for Defense Policy Andrew Budd says, Interfax reports. “Kavkaz-2014 (the command and control exercises of the Southern Military District of the Armed Forces of Russia, which took place on September 17 – 23, 2012) helped the Russians to seize part of Georgia’s territory, so the West-2017 exercises cause concern in the West, since this can seriously influence the situation in relation to Ukraine,” – E. Budd said during the Rose-Rota seminar “Security and Stability in Ukraine and the Black Sea Region” on Monday in Kiev. He notes that the exercises West-2017 provide for “serious, large-scale transfer of forces by rail” and other events that cannot but cause concern.

Turchynov, Ambassador Sumi discuss deepening of security and defense cooperation – 12.07.2017 16:56 — Ukrinform News 12.07.2017 16:56. Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov held a meeting with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Ukraine Shigeki Sumi. The parties discussed the issues of deepening security and defense cooperation between the countries.

NSDC bill on Donbas: Media published draft version. DOCUMENT (in Ukrainian) 13.07.17 11:11 – The National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) will introduce a bill in fall 2017 that will stipulate for Ukraine’s recognition of separate areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions as occupied, and place the responsibility for that on Russia. Censor.NET reports citing the text of the bill published by The agency reported that the document was to be approved at an NSDC session on July 10, but this didn’t happen. The reason was that some officials from the Presidential Administration (AP) of Petro Poroshenko wanted to coordinate some details with Ukraine’s allies. The bill reads that as long as Russia constantly violates its obligations, Ukraine is no longer able to preserve a status-quo in the matter of the occupied territories. In order to have more legal arguments, Ukraine will recognize these areas as occupied and place the responsibility for that on the invader, the Russian Federation. “This will strengthen our positions in the court against Russia,” AP sources told LIGA.  The AP initiated postponing the issue of the new status for certain areas of the Donbas presumably until fall. By that time Ukraine intends to unite enough international partners around the issue. “So that no one thinks we opt for an escalation,” the AP sources say. “Our allies know about it. We coordinate with them all activities in relation with the Minsk agreements,” official says. The document reminds that Russia has violated many of its obligations within the Minsk agreements. The authors hope this bill to push the Kremlin to fulfill its promises. The sources in the General Staff and the National Security and Defense Council note several important points. One of them is the Joint Operational Headquarters of the Armed Forces. The chief of this staff will receive great powers without the need to constantly coordinate each step, as is currently the case with the Anti-terrorist Center. In addition, consolidation around the military, rather than secret services, will allow the army to operate more efficiently. The new head of the Joint Operational Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will have the authority to determine the regime and order of movement of goods on the border with the occupied territories. In addition, a humanitarian catastrophe is approaching in the Donbas. The question arises who will be responsible for the consequences. If the territories are declared occupied, the responsibility, according to the 1949 Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, will be borne by Russia.

Militants launched 30 attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas in last day – 13.07.2017 09:40 — Ukrinform News13.07.2017 09:40. Militants launched 30 attacks on positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in ATO area in Donbas over the past day.

ATO report: 1 KIA, 1 WIA in past 24 hours – War news | UNIAN A Ukrainian military serviceman man was killed in action and another one wounded in the zone of the Anti-Terrorist Operation in eastern Ukraine over the past day amid the increase in the number of enemy attacks from many directions, according to the ATO HQ press service. In general, Russian-supported illegal armed groups violated the ceasefire 30 times, while Ukrainian forces reported 1 KIA and 1 WIA as of 6:00 July 13, the ATO HQ wrote on Facebook. At about 17:00 and 23:00 July 12, on the Donetsk line, the enemy shelled Ukrainian positions in Troitske from grenade launchers and fired from heavy machine guns, small arms, and weapons installed on infantry fighting vehicles four times from the village of Kalynove. In addition, militants used 120mm and 82mm mortars, banned by the Minsk Agreements. ATO forces returned fire from small arms and grenade launchers. At about 18:00 and 23:00, the gangs fired at Ukrainian strong points in the area of Avdiyivka. Read also Ukraine’s Maryinka repeatedly attacked on Wednesday, buildings on fire Mariupol direction was another hotbed last night. Militants opened fire on the villages of Berezove and Novomykhailivka from 82mm mortars. The enemy also fired grenade launchers, heavy machine guns and small arms were fired on Krasnohorivka, Talakivka, Vodiane, Hnutove, and Pavlopil. At about 21:00 as a result of shelling from an 82mm mortar of one of Ukraine’s strong points in the village of Maryinka, a Ukrainian military was wounded. It should be stressed that the same evening, the enemy once again deliberately fired on the residential quarters of Marynka using mortars and machine guns, which led to house fires and more destruction in the residential area. On the Luhansk line, after 18:00, militants fired on Novozvanivka three times, using small arms and grenade launchers. And almost at 21:00 the enemy launched five 120mm mortar shells on Stanytsia Luhanska.

Ukraine’s Maryinka repeatedly attacked on Wednesday, buildings on fire Ukrainian-held Maryinka’s residential area was repeatedly attacked on Wednesday, July 12, according to the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC). News 13 July from UNIAN.

Invaders set up network of labor camps in occupied Donbas – German media Pro-Russian separatists in the occupied territories of eastern Ukraine maintain a network of the so-called &ldquo;labor camps&rdquo; where thousands of prisoners are held, according to Germany&rsquo;s Deutschlandfunk radio station, Deutsche Welle reports. Deutschlandfunk refers to a group of human rights activists who have been monitoring the situation in the self-proclaimed “LPR” and “DPR.” The monitors claim that the illegal income from forced labor in such penitentiary facilities reached EUR 500,000 per month. The funds are used to finance pro-Russian militants in Donbas, according to DW. The self-styled governments of the pro-Russian puppet “republics” have not responded to the reporters’ inquiry about the existence and functioning of such labor camps. Human rights activists and journalists proceed from the fact that there are up to 10,000 prisoners being held in camps across the occupied Donbas. Many of them had been locked there with no sufficient grounds. It is reported that part of the prisoners in question were those convicted to prison sentences by Ukrainian courts in the spring of 2014. At present, these people should either have served their sentences, been subject to amnesty or other mitigation of punishment, as it was done across the rest of Ukraine, on territories controlled by the Kyiv government. From a map provided by DLF it is clear that the camps are located in the territory of Ukraine beyond government control in Luhansk region, in particular, in the cities of Luhansk, Alchevsk, Brianka, Perevalsk, and Petrovske. Read also Twelve pre-conflict prisoners transferred to mainland Ukraine – UN In these and other cities of Luhansk region, which are not controlled by the Ukrainian government, penal institutions are located of the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine. In particular, in the Luhansk-based penitentiary No. 17, about 1,470 people are serving their sentence, according to human rights activists. Another 470 are held in Brianka’s Penal Colony No. 11; 500 – in Perevalsk Penitentiary No. 15, and another 215 – in Alchevsk Penal Colony No. 1. Penal Colony No. 19 in Krasny Luch holds 780 prisoners, Sukhodolsky Penal Colony No. 36 – another 600 people, and Sverdlovsk Correctional Colony No. 38 – 550 people.

UAWire – SBU: two Russian border guards who crossed into Ukraine from Crimea were charged with violating territorial integrity of Ukraine The Russian border guards who were detained in the Kherson Oblast near the administrative border with the Crimea were charged with violating the …

President opened the Cossack Cross to the Fighters for the Freedom of Ukraine in Sumy | Міністерство оборони України In the course of the working trip to Sumy region, President Petro Poroshenko opened the Cossack Cross to the Fighters for the Freedom of Ukraine on the territory of the Resurrection Church of the Holy Resurrection Cathedral of the Sumy Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate. “We are standing in a truly historic place. The Resurrection Church is a unique example of the Cossack Baroque built at the cost of the first Colonels of Sumy Herasym and Andriy Kondratyev. It was a true spiritual sanctuary for our ancestors. The whole world knew and respected the Ukrainian Cossacks. They were worthy players on the geopolitical map of the past centuries,” Petro Poroshenko said. “Modern defenders of independence and territorial integrity of our state proved and prove that the Ukrainian army is battle-worthy, has a strong morale and can oppose Russian aggression. We are opening the Cossack Cross to the Fighters for the Freedom of Ukraine. It is a symbol of inextricable connection of various generations of defenders of Ukraine. The Cossack blood, courage and victory are raging in the veins of our defenders,” the President noted. The Head of State took part in the prayer for Ukraine and spoke with parents of ATO participant Andriy Reuta who was killed defending Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. “I pray for the Lord to send Ukraine a single local church, for us to unite. It is the most important thing. Ukraine needs unity today,” Petro Poroshenko said adding that he would do everything necessary for that.

“We love your country, value your courage and morale and do everything to support you”, Gen. Ben Hodges | Міністерство оборони України Minister of Defence of Ukraine General of the Army of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak held talks with Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, Commander U.S. Army, Europe. Their discussion was focused on prospects of training conducted by the NATO instructors at the Ukrainian training fields. “I would like to thank you for provided conditions for NATO instructors in Ukraine. We love your country and value your courage and morale and do everything to support you during these difficult times”, General Hodges underlined and shared the reform experience within the U.S. Army. “We invested a lot of time and efforts into education and educational projects. It’s a great contribution to the future. I am more optimistic when I see that the Ukrainian soldiers achieve progress very quickly and enhance their professionalism. Training process is always a two-way process. We also learn. We have already amended our instructions and regulations considering your experience,” Ben Hodges said.

General Abizaid: Struggle for Ukraine is not only in east of Ukraine | Міністерство оборони України During a meeting of Committee of Reforms of Ministry of Defence and General Staff of Ukraine, Gen. John Philip Abizaid (ret.), Senior Advisor at the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine and Armed Forces of Ukraine, evaluated the security and defence changes within the Ministry of Defence and in Ukraine as whole. “Our group of advisers travelled a lot around Ukraine and communicated with service members and now we are ready to give consultations and advice. Struggle for Ukraine is going on not only in east of Ukraine, but in defence reforms, struggle is in all spheres of social life. We see these changes, and I would like to welcome you with this success, especially success in combat units. I travelled to ATO and I saw that your army is well equipped, disciplined and trained”, Gen. Abizaid said, “We learn from you every day and we hope that we are doing important things to support you”, he underlined.

John Abizaid: Challenging task for Ukrainian defence leaders is to achieve cultural army transformations | Міністерство оборони України Foreign advisers at the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine and Armed Forces of Ukraine see a progress in implementing reforms within the Ukrainian army and are ready to support it. Gen. John Philip Abizaid (ret.), Senior Advisor at the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine and Armed Forces of Ukraine, stressed it during a meeting with Ukrainian army leaders in Kyiv. According to him, they see positive changes in training, civil military cooperation, etc., but the most challenging task is to achieve cultural army transformations. Retired General Abizaid positively considered the proposal of the Minister of Defence of Ukraine regarding necessity to increase assistance in training of the Ukrainian military, especially language training. He stressed the strong support for reforms and development of cooperation at the level of executors. “Foreign advisers are in touch with leaders of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine and Armed Forces of Ukraine. Meanwhile, we count on high level of trust and cooperation while implementing reforms”, John Abizaid underscored.

UK Royal AF representative: UK audience will be impressed by performance of Ukrainian pilots at “The Royal International Air Tattoo — 2017” | Міністерство оборони України “The Royal International Air Tattoo — 2017” will take place at RAF Fairford (the UK) on Fri 14 July — Sun 16 July 2017 in Gloucestershire. The piloting program of the Ukrainian pilots will be more dynamic and interesting this year. The pilots will give a thrilling display on Su-27 specially reequipped for participation in this greatest world’s airshow. “I observed the training of the Su-27 Ukrainian pilots. The piloting program meets all safety measures and is very impressive. I am sure the UK audience will be impressed, too. I will also remember friendship and hospitability of the Ukrainians. I hope I will come back here later”, LTC Jonathan Nixon, Wing Commander, Royal Air Force, said having inspected the training of the Ukrainian pilots before the airshow.

UAWire – Russia conducts snap combat readiness check of its Black Sea fleet in the Crimea According to Russia’s Interfax news agency, the Command of Russia’s Southern Military District has begun the combat readiness check of the Black …

U.S., Ukraine Join Others For Black Sea Naval Exercises U.S. and Ukrainian ships have been conducting operations in the Black Sea, joining with forces from 15 other countries in the port of Odesa for the annual Sea Breeze exercises. (RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service)

Osprey tiltrotors of US Marines arrived in Ukraine for Sea Breeze 2017. PHOTOS 13.07.17 09:33 – Osprey tiltrotors of US Marines arrived in Ukraine for Sea Breeze 2017. PHOTOS On July 11, two rare aircraft of the U.S. Marine Corps, Bell V-22 Osprey, landed in Odesa for fuel top-up. View photo news.

Unique US tilt-rotor aircraft arrive in Ukraine for first time – 13.07.2017 10:16 — Ukrinform News 13.07.2017 10:16. Two unique Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft of the U.S. Marine Corps have arrived in Odesa as part of the Sea Breeze 2017 military exercises, the local online news site Dumskaya has reported.

Ukrainian AF units to participate in Shabla — 2017 Multinational Exercise | Міністерство оборони України The delegation of the Ukrainian Air Force chaired by Major General Dmytro Karpenko, Chief of Air Defence Missile Forces, Ukraine’s AF Command, (80 service members and two airlifters) is on visit to Bulgaria to participate in Shabla — 2017 Multinational Joint Live Fire Exercise. The exercise participants will enhance combat capabilities; develop skills for tasks accomplishment within the multinational environment to achieve tactical interoperability with NATO air defence units, etc. During the manoeuvres the Ukrainian units will learn the tactics and procedures used by AF units of the NATO nations.

SABER GUARDIAN 2017 #SaberGuardian U.S. ARMY EUROPE As of JUNE 26, 2017 MEDIA INFORMATION KIT SABER GUARDIAN 2017 #SaberGuardian U.S. ARMY EUROPE As of JUNE 26, 2017 MEDIA INFORMATION KIT Page 2 SABER GUARDIAN 17 #SaberGuardian | Saber Guardian Update 1 OVERVIEW Saber Guardian 2017 (SG17) is an annual, multinational exercise held in the Black Sea Region as part of the U.S. European Command Joint Exercise Program. This year’s iteration will take place July 11 – 20, 2017. Saber Guardian 2017 aims to assure our allies and partners of the enduring U.S. commitment to the collective defense and prosperity of the Black Sea Region, enable the Alliance’s command and control functions, and reinforce deterrence measures agreed to by NATO allies at the Warsaw Summit in 2016. The lead organizations for Saber Guardian 2017 are U.S. Army Europe and the Bulgarian Armed Forces. SG17 will be co-hosted by the Bulgarian, Hungarian and Romanian land force components and will take place in numerous locations across Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania. Novo Selo Training Area (NSTA), Bulgaria, and Mihail Kogalniceanu (MK) Air Base, Romania, will be used as logistical hubs.

Bulgaria will host the multinational military exercise „Saber Guardian – 2017“ The multinational exercise „Saber Guardian – 2017“ is planned to take place in the period 11 -20 July 2017 in Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania.

‘Saber Guardian 2017’ Multinational Exercise Starts in Bulgaria – – Sofia News Agency The biggest multinational exercise in the Black Sea region called ‘’Saber Guardian 2017’’ starts today at the Novo Selo military camp in Southern Bulgaria, reported BGNES. In the period July 11-20, a total of 18 specialized exercises will take place under the leadership of the US Army Command in Europe on the territory of the three host countries – Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary.

‘Saber Guardian’: Huge military exercise to take place in Bulgaria | The Sofia Globe For the seventh time, the annual military exercise Saber Guardian will take place. It commences on July 11, 2017, involves a total of 25,000 soldiers from the United States and from 23 partner nations and will take place in Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary. Saber Guardian is supposed to demonstrate deterrence capability and the ability to mass forces anywhere in Europe, at any time. This multinational exercise will include the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. The 2nd Cavalry Regiment, stationed in Germany, will move to numerous exercise locations throughout the joint operations area. Saber Guardian will also feature an air defense artillery live fire exercise, several field training and live fire exercises, multiple river crossings, and a mass casualty exercise. Since 2013, the Saber Guardian exercise rotates through Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine and serves as part of U.S. European Command’s Joint Exercise Program (JEP). The 2017 version is the largest iteration of the Saber Guardian series to date. But Saber Guardian is only part of a large number of exercises designed to support security and stability, which are scheduled in the Black Sea region.

Ukraine to suggest creating free trade area with the UK – Ambassador Halibarenko – 13.07.2017 11:48 — Ukrinform News 13.07.2017 11:48. Ukraine intends to start informal consultations on trade regime and will suggest creating a free trade area with the UK in the near future.

UAWire – Ukrainian scientist: Dolphins in the Black Sea are dying because of the construction of the Kerch Strait bridge and military exercises Dolphins in the Black Sea near the coast of the Crimea could be dying because of the construction of the Kerch Strait bridge and Russian military exercises on the peninsula, as suggested by a Ukrainian zoologist and dolphin expert, Pavlo Goldin, on July 11th on Radio Krym.Realii. “Factors such as the acoustic pollution of the sea are playing a role, due to active warship activity. The installation of piles for the bridge also increases the acoustic pollution of the sea. In order to prove this, data needs to be gathered and analyzed. In general, the acoustic activity in this area currently is of great concern today,” Goldin said. Lack of food and fishermen’s nets are two other reasons for the mass deaths of dolphins, as indicated by the Russian ecological scientific organization, Serene Sea, which operates in the annexed Crimea. “We find harbor porpoise calves or newborns whose teeth have not even erupted yet. These are very thin animals with a failed neck and head. This clearly points to a lack of nutrition. Very often dolphins perish when they get caught in fishing nets, they get tangled and choke. A couple of weeks ago we found a bottlenose dolphin whose tail was cut off, a clear sign that it had become entangled in a net. In order not to cut and damage the nets, the fishermen simply cut off its tail and threw it away,” the experts said. At the same time, the presence of dolphins is important for the ecosystem, experts explain. Without these marine mammals, all the fish in the sea would disappear, according to dolphin expert, Pavlo Goldin. “When we nearly lost all our dolphins as a result of Soviet fishing activities in the 1960s, problems with fishing immediately followed. And in the late 80’s, this led to a period of several years where there were almost no fish at all being caught. Even the anchovy catches were at zero,” Goldin said. Mass dolphin deaths have become more frequent in the Crimea. On June 8th a harbour porpoise with a wound on its head was found on a Kerch beach. Another six dead marine mammals were found on Balaklava beach the day before. A mass dolphin death on the peninsula was also reported in May 2017. The Russian Azov and Black Sea Inter-district Environmental Prosecutor’s Office reported the beginning of an investigation into the reasons behind the mass deaths of dolphins in the Black Sea region.

Ukraine must prove its commitment to credibly investigating Sheremet’s murder | HuffPost Pavel Sheremet was a journalist of rare caliber, one whose reporting exemplified the best practices in the countries he covered: Belarus, Russia, and Ukr…

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…

Ukraine Moves to Integrate Its Power Grid With European Network – Jamestown The Ukrainian state operator of power transmission lines, Ukrenergo, signed an agreement on June 28 with the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) to integrate Ukraine’s power grid with the European one. Neighboring Moldova is also about to sign a similar agreement with ENTSO-E. Ukraine recently approved a law to transform its electricity sector in line with free market principles, which made it possible to sign the agreement. Integration with the European power grid should enable Ukraine to boost power exports to the European Union. It also should remove the need for Ukraine to turn to a hostile Russia in case of a power shortage, as was the case in late 2014. Ukrenergo CEO Vsevolod Kovalchuk said the agreement was the starting point for Ukraine’s integration with the European power grid. He said that although integration with ENTSO-E was, in technical terms, similar to work with such neighbors as Russia or Belarus, it would be based on a completely different economic model, requiring the restructuring of the domestic power market so that Ukrainian consumers should be able to “import electricity from any EU country, and any electricity producer [should be able to] export it to the final consumer in Europe.” Kovalchuk noted that synchronization with ENTSO-E would be impossible without the full implementation by Ukraine of such a model, to be based on the European Third Energy Package, which was rejected by Russia (, June 29). Ukraine has undertaken to introduce the new model by approving a new law on the power market. It was signed by President Petro Poroshenko in early June (UNIAN, June 8). The parliament passed the bill on April 13. It had been agreed with Ukraine’s donors and creditors in 2014, but its earlier approval had been thwarted by populist and nationalist parties. According to the law, Ukraine will have to replace, within two years, the current corruption-prone single power market structure managed by the government with a multi-layer structure similar to the ones in place in EU countries and consisting of a day-ahead market, an intraday market, a balancing market, a retail market, a market of auxiliary services, and a market of bilateral contracts (, April 13). Through the integration of its power grid with the European one, Ukrenergo hopes to boost power exports from around 5 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) to 18–20 billion kWh, potentially increasing Ukraine’s power export revenue to $1.5 billion. Also, Ukraine’s power plants should receive access to the European market to balance peak loads on the grid, earning yet more (, May 24).

Ukraine urges Ryanair to resume flight talks Discussions end a month after Ukrainians were offered visa-free travel to EU

A budget airline backs out of Ukraine — and prompts a bout of national soul-searching – The Washington Post Ryanair’s withdrawal from the Ukrainian market shows that the oligarchy is alive and well.

Hungry for Travels: Make Ukraine your next foodie destination – NY Daily News Much like the U.S., Ukraine is a large country with each region possessing diverse, yet delectable cuisines .

Ducklings rescued in Kyiv’s Podil The ‘indifferent’ Kyiv residents have rescued a duck with eight ducklings from a manhole in Kyiv’s Podil district, directly on Andriyivskiy Uzviz, which is one of the city&rsquo;s main tourist attractions, according to a Facebook user, Olha Bernasovska. News 12 July from UNIAN.

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports

Report: Iran Building Long-Range Ballistic Missiles in Syria Iran is said to be building new long-range ballistic missiles at a Syrian weapons factory identified by the United States as developing non-conventional weaponry, according to regional reports alleging that Russia and North Korea are aiding in the endeavor. The Syrian opposition news website recently published multiple reports and pictures of a weapons factory in Syria that it claims is under direct control of Iran. The reports appear to confirm other recent news articles indicating that Iran has begun manufacturing advanced missile technology in Syria with permission from embattled President Bashar al-Assad. The reports claim that Iran is constructing long-range ballistic missiles in a factory operating under the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center, which the United States had identified as the key government agency behind the country’s contested non-conventional weapons work, including chemical weapons. Assad is reported to have visited the Iranian factory recently, where he met with Iranian and Syrian weapons experts, according to a translation of the articles conducted by the Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI. “The facility is producing long-range missiles as well as M600 ballistic missiles, which are a Syrian version of the Iranian Fateh 110 missile,” according to MEMRI’s readout of the report. “This facility has a branch in western Hama province for producing chemicals, and that that there is a Russian military base in the region, where North Korean officers once served.”The facility is said to be shrouded in secrecy, despite evidence that agents from Russia, North Korea, and Iran are freely moving around the site.

Syrian Rebels Shoot Down Warplane Near Cease-Fire Zone – The Atlantic Two rebel groups said they downed the plane in regime-controlled territory just days after the U.S. and Russia agreed to a ceasefire in the region.

US-led coalition: Amnesty report on Mosul ‘irresponsible’ The U.S.-led coalition said Wednesday that an Amnesty International report accusing its forces of violating international law during the fight against the Islamic State group in Mosul is “irresponsible.

Secret Details of Trump-Putin Syria Cease-fire Focus on Iranian Proxies | Foreign Policy A confidential U.S.-Russian cease-fire agreement for southwestern Syria that went into effect Sunday calls for barring Iranian-backed foreign fighters from a strategic stretch of Syrian territory near the borders of Israel and Jordan, according to three diplomatic sources. President Donald Trump hailed it as an important agreement that would serve to save lives. But few details of the accord have been made public. U.S. Defense Department officials — who would have responsibility for monitoring the agreement — appeared to be in the dark about the pact’s fine print. The pact is aimed at addressing demands by Israel and Jordan — the latter is a party to the agreement — that Iranian forces and their proxies, including Hezbollah, not be permitted near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, which separates Syria from Israel, or along the Jordanian border.

UAWire – Israel, Russia and U.S. will discuss Syrian issue in Vienna Israel, Russia and the U.S. will discuss the Syrian issue in Vienna. Representatives of these countries will meet and clarify details concerning …

ISIS Terror in Syria: American Volunteer Dead Fighting Alongside Anti-ISIS Militia – NBC News Robert Grodt and Nicholas Warden died while volunteering for the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, in Raqqa.

Islamist extremism funded by donations from public | News | The Times & The Sunday Times Hundreds of thousands of pounds in small donations from within the UK are the main source of income for some Islamist extremist organisations, according to a

The MacArthur Model for Afghanistan – WSJ Consolidate authority into one person: an American viceroy who’d lead all coalition efforts.

Strategy to Restore U.S. Leverage Against Iran | JINSA Online July 12, 2017 Download the full report.Download the full report.JINSA’s Gemunder Center Iran Task Force Co-Chairs Ambassador Eric Edelman and General Charles Wald, USAF (ret.) So disastrous is the agreement struck by the Obama administration to limit Iran’s nuclear program, that neither continuing in this arrangement nor exiting from it currently serves the national interests and security of the United States. As the Trump administration confronts this dangerous inheritance, its preeminent priority should be restoring U.S. credibility, leverage and options to confront the entire range of Iran’s menacing behavior: its undeterred nuclear ambitions; its expanding ballistic missile program; its destabilizing engagement in regional conflicts; and its unending support for terrorism. Until such credibility is restored, the United States incurs too great a risk from either continuing to abide by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the agreement is known, or walking away from it. Under the agreement Iran accrues great financial, military and geopolitical benefits while having to make only the smallest of concessions on its nuclear program – mothballing some installations and limiting some of its activities, but only for a decade and a half at most. Allowing the JCPOA to run its course means acquiescing to the emergence of a nuclear and hegemonic Iran. Meanwhile, the agreement forced the United States to give up what leverage it did have over Iran – in the form of economic sanctions – with no ability to rapidly restore it or re-exert pressure on Tehran. Exiting from the JCPOA now would free Iran to sprint for a nuclear weapons capability in a year or less, while the United States would face years of diplomatic wrangling to rebuild the international sanctions regime that eventually brought Iran to the negotiating table. The Trump administration cannot and should not abide this strategic imbalance — with Iran accruing leverage over the United States, effectively able to deter it from exiting a diplomatic agreement that harms its national security. To reverse this dangerous and worsening trajectory, the United States needs a comprehensive strategy that rebuilds leverage. Given the short time horizon, the damage already done by the JCPOA, and advances already made by Iran, economic pressure alone will not suffice. A serious Iran strategy must call upon all forms of U.S. national power, not just sanctions. This requires sustained leadership and continued engagement by the White House. Specifically, the United States must vigorously enforce the JCPOA, rebuild military pressures against Iran, cooperate closely with regional allies including Israel and Gulf countries, support these allies’ efforts to cooperate more closely with one another and use strategic communications to amplify all these steps and demonstrate newfound resolve to Iran.


Chinese imports from North Korea fall sharply, a sign that Beijing is cracking down? – The Washington Post But overall trade between the two countries rose 10 percent in the first six months of 2017.

North Koreans in Russia Work ‘Basically in the Situation of Slaves’ – The New York Times North Korea, desperate for foreign currency, has sent tens of thousands of its citizens to Russia, where they are welcomed as “fast, cheap and reliable” laborers.

He ran North Korea’s secret money making operation. Now he lives in Virginia. – The Washington Post Ri Jong Ho says pressure on North Korea is not enough. He advocates talks, too.

North Korea Is Taking More Americans Hostage and Treating Them Worse, Former Diplomat Says Diplomat David Straub told Yonhap News Agency this week that Pyongyang is raising its demands to free hostages.

Don’t Be Fooled, There Is No ‘Diplomacy’ With North Korea | The American Conservative Some would prefer a preemptive attack.

North Korea missile tests U.S. defense systems – Washington Times North Korea’s ballistic missile test is shining an intense spotlight on the Pentagon’s missile defenses, systems installed to protect South Korea and now the U.S. mainland. Recent results have been promising, but U.S. officials acknowledge that Pyongyang’s stunning advances this month are providing a real-world test much sooner than they had expected.

THAAD Successfully Intercepts Target in Missile Defense Test | MDA – MDA News Releases The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), the Ballistic Missile Defense System Operational Test Agency, and U.S. Army soldiers of the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade from Fort Bliss, Texas, conducted an intercept test today of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) element of the nation’s ballistic missile defense system. The test, designated Flight Test THAAD (FTT)-18, was executed by MDA, supported by elements of the U.S. Army, Joint Forces Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Coast Guard, Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska (PSCA), Ballistic Missile Defense Operational Test Agency, DoD Operational Test and Evaluation, and the Army Test and Evaluation Command. A ballistic missile target was air-launched by a U.S. Air Force C-17 over the Pacific Ocean north of Hawaii. A THAAD weapon system located at PSCA in Kodiak, Alaska, detected, tracked and intercepted the target. Preliminary indications are that planned flight test objectives were achieved and the threat-representative, intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) target was successfully intercepted by the THAAD weapon system. “I couldn’t be more proud of the government and contractor team who executed this flight test today,” said MDA Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves. “This test further demonstrates the capabilities of the THAAD weapon system and its ability to intercept and destroy ballistic missile threats. THAAD continues to protect our citizens, deployed forces and allies from a real and growing threat.” Soldiers from the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade conducted launcher, fire control and radar operations using the same procedures they would use in an actual combat scenario. Soldiers operating the equipment were not aware of the actual target launch time. This was the 14th successful intercept in 14 attempts for the THAAD weapon system. The THAAD element provides a globally-transportable, rapidly-deployable capability to intercept ballistic missiles inside or outside the atmosphere during their final, or terminal, phase of flight. THAAD is strictly a defense system. The system uses hit-to-kill technology whereby kinetic energy destroys the incoming target. The high-altitude intercept mitigates effects of enemy weapons before they reach the ground. The successful demonstration of THAAD against an IRBM-range missile threat bolsters the country’s defensive capability against developing missile threats in North Korea and other countries around the globe and contributes to the broader strategic deterrence architecture.

Pornhub: North Korea’s favourite sex searches REVEALED | Daily Star HORNY North Koreans are continuing to search for porn despite knowing they will be thrown into a prison camp if they get caught.

North Korean nuclear ambitions put long-time ally China in a difficult position – RN – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) As North Korea edges closer to launching a nuclear weapon across the Pacific, President Donald Trump is demanding China pressure Pyongyang to stop its weapons program. But just how much influence does China have on North Korea?

Chinese Type 022 catamaran missile boats take part at exercise in East China Sea | Defence Blog The Type 22 (NATO designation: Houbei class) missile boats of Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy taken part at a maritime attack and defense training exercise in waters of the East China Sea in early July, 2017. They are attached to a fast attack missile boat group under the PLA Navy’s East China Sea Fleet. The first boat was launched in April 2004. The boats incorporate stealth features and are based on an Australian-designed wave-piercing catamaran hulls that are more stable than other fast missile craft in high sea conditions. Approximately 83 of these missile boats are currently in service with three flotillas having been produced over a span of seven years. Type 22 is designed to patrol China’s coastal areas and operate within its littoral zone. As each of the 83 ships is armed with eight anti-ship missiles, it is speculated by some observers that a large number of missile craft firing in salvos can potentially overwhelm an enemy fleet, including an aircraft carrier battle group. Although an offensive missile attack poses a threat to hostile surface ships, historically small missile boats have fared poorly in major naval confrontations against larger vessels and aircraft, so the Type 22 is vulnerable when operating outside of air defense cover.

U.S.-China Trade Tensions Are About to Get Ugly Again – WSJ A recipe for renewed trade tensions: Donald Trump facing difficulties at home, China failing to rein in North Korea and a sharply rising trade deficit.

Foreign Policy Reports

Most French approve of Trump’s visit (even after all he’s said about France) – The Local Even after everything the US president has said about Paris and France in the past, most French people approve of him being invited to the annual July 14th parade on the Champs-Elysées. Although there will be pockets of French resistance.

In France, Trump and Macron Strive to Put Awkward Start Behind Them – The New York Times President Trump, visiting for Bastille Day, and President Emmanuel Macron had a tense initial relationship that seems to have given way to a working partnership.

French military rehearses for Bastille Day military parade – YouTube

French military rehearses for Bastille Day military parade | Defence Blog The French Armed Forces hold a rehearsal for Bastille Day military parade. The French national holiday commemorates the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, a turning point in the French Revolution. The July 14th Bastille Day parade along the Champs-Elysées is the highlight of the French national holiday celebrations. Every year in the morning, the spotlight is on the French military regiments as they parade down the avenue. Later in the day, the focus shifts to the eagerly-awaited fireworks display at the Eiffel Tower. The parade passes down the Champs-Elysées from l’Arc de Triomphe to Place de la Concorde where the President of the French Republic, his government and foreign ambassadors to France stand. This is a popular event in France, broadcast on French TV, and is one of the oldest regular military parades in the world. In some years, invited detachments of foreign troops take part in the parade and foreign statesmen attend as guests.

Emmanuel Macron demands Germany gives more cash to Europe German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron presided on Thursday over a joint cabinet meeting aimed at underscoring Franco-German resolve to kick-start the European Union.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain offer warm words on Gibraltar | News | The Times & The Sunday Times The King of Spain raised the prospect of a negotiated settlement over Gibraltar yesterday, but his diplomacy triggered an angry riposte from the disputed t

US Domestic Policy Reports

The Lies of Donald Trump’s Critics, and How They Shape His Many Personas | Conclusion It has to be acknowledged that since January, many of Trump’s opponents, and even lukewarm supporters, have found considerable fault with his policies and behavior, based on accurate facts. There have been many occasions when Trump himself, undistorted and unfiltered, contributed mightily to the four personas we have outlined. Indeed, in many instances the false claims against him carry a grain of truth. The president’s plan to scrap the Community Development Block Grant was real, and could very reasonably be expected to have significant consequences across a number of services and programs, including Meals on Wheels. All this is true, but it makes it no less false and no more acceptable to claim, on this basis, that he had singled out Meals on Wheels for elimination. He had not. In some ways, these sorts of massive exaggerations and gross distortions are even more corrosive and destructive than fake news about diarrhea on the golf course, because they bear some distant relationship with the truth.

From the Kremlin to K Street: Russia-funded radio broadcasts blocks from the White House – The Washington Post Russian state media takes the place of bluegrass on Washington’s airwaves.

Trump says Vladimir Putin may prefer Hillary Clinton as President – NY Daily News “I think ‘probably not,’” the President now says of whether Putin favored him in the election.

Trump In Interview Says He Gets Along ‘Very, Very Well’ With Putin WASHINGTON&nbsp;– U.S. President Donald Trump has said in an interview that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin &quot;get along very, very well&quot; and that the two had &quot;an excellen…

This is what makes Russia a hostile power – The Washington Post It’s about Putin’s adherence to a set of values that are antithetical to what have been bedrock American values.

U.S. Democrats Question Settlement With Russian Firm Linked To Veselnitskaya U.S. House Democrats on July 12 questioned a decision by the Justice Department to settle a lawsuit against a Russian real estate firm in light of its ties to a Russian lawyer now under scrutiny fo…

Senate Judiciary panel will call Paul Manafort to testify in Russia probe Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley said he will subpoena the former Trump campaign chairman if necessary.

U.S. House Speaker Wants ‘Strong, Bold’ Sanctions Bill Amid White House Opposition U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan says he wants to move as quickly as possible on a package of &quot;strong, bold&quot; new sanctions against Russia despite opposition from U.S. President Donald Trump&#3…

Congress Wants to Punish Russia, but Can’t Dole Out the Punishment – The New York Times Infighting has delayed sanctions against Moscow for election meddling, even as the cloud of Russia-tinged scandal darkens over President Trump.

McCain: Russia scandals ‘sucking the oxygen out of the room’ | TheHill Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) bemoaned the continuous slew of revelations surrounding alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russian election meddling on Wednesday, saying it was “sucking the oxygen out of the room.” “It’s sucking the oxygen out of the room, everybody knows that,” the veteran senator told CNN. ADVERTISEMENT “I think it’s very difficult when you have this overwhelming barrage of new information that unfolds every few days. I think it’s obvious,” he continued. McCain has proven to be one of the most hawkish senators toward Russia. However, his comments come as Senate Republican leadership struggles to unify its conference in order to pass an ObamaCare repeal and replace bill. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has gone so far as to keep senators in session during the first two weeks of August recess. Healthcare was kicked out of the media limelight on Saturday when The New York Times reported Donald Trump Jr. arranged a meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower during the presidential campaign, along with Jared Kushner and Trump’s then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort. The lawyer had promised Trump Jr. damaging information on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. The president’s son released a chain of emails on Tuesday, in which one message from the intermediary setting of the meeting reads, the information “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.”

Trump And Russia? Didn’t A Ukrainian-American Try To Help The Democrats? | Here & Now A January article published by Politico reported that Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump and his allies.

Did Ukraine try to interfere in the 2016 election on Clinton’s behalf? – CBS News A breakdown of claims that Russia’s neighbor to the west tried to assist Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump

DNC denies working with Ukrainian government, but contractor did float cooperation on anti-Trump material – Multiple Democratic National Committee officials, former Clinton campaign officials and Democratic sources denied that the Democratic committee or Clinton campaign worked with the government of Ukraine to dig up dirt on Donald Trump and his top aides.

House Democrat files article of impeachment against Trump | TheHill Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) formally introduced an article of impeachment against President Trump on Wednesday that accuses the president of obstructing justice during the federal investigation of Russia’s 2016 election interference.

We’re a long, long way from a real impeachment effort – An empowered special counsel. A White House consumed by scandal and on its heels. You don’t have to make too big a leap to get from Donald Trump’s White House of today to Bill Clinton’s White House of the 1990s.

Nominee for top FBI post: U.S. should “deal warily” with Russia During the FBI Director confirmation hearings in the U.S. Senate Donald Trump&rsquo;s pick for this post, Christopher&nbsp;Wray,&nbsp;voiced his position on the U.S. relations with Russia. According to Voice of America. News 13 July from UNIAN.

Nominee for top FBI post to probe Ukraine’s possible U.S. election “involvement” During an FBI Director confirmation hearing in the U.S.&nbsp;Senate&nbsp;July 12 GOP Senator Lindsay Graham asked Christopher Wray, Donald Trump&rsquo;s pick for the top FBI post, to provide an assessment of reports on Ukraine&rsquo;s interference in the U.S. presidential campaign in 2016, according to the Voice of America. News 13 July from UNIAN.

Trump Campaign Is Sued Over Leaked Emails Linked to Russians – The New York Times The invasion of privacy suit accuses the Trump campaign and a top adviser of conspiring with Russia in its release of hacked data that exposed the plaintiffs’ personal details to the public.

What Exactly Are ‘Kremlin Ties’? – The Atlantic Was the lawyer who met Donald Trump Jr. an agent of Moscow or not? A little bit of both, maybe.

Trump Says Didn’t Know Of Son’s Meeting With Russian Lawyer During Campaign U.S. President Donald Trump said he was unaware that his oldest son Donald had a meeting with a Russian lawyer during the presidential campaign, but he does not fault him for the controversial move. …

Republicans view individual colleges differently than they do higher ed in general (essay) While the majority of Republicans may believe colleges have a negative impact on America, they probably don’t feel that way about their alma maters or intercollegiate sports teams, writes Christopher R. Marsicano.

GEORGE YANCY AND NOAM CHOMSKY (INTERVIEW). On Trump and the State of the Union | John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations Is Russian hacking really more significant than, for example, the Republican campaign to destroy the conditions for organized social existence, in defiance of the entire world? Over the past few months, as the disturbing prospect of a Trump administration became a disturbing reality, I decided to reach out to Noam Chomsky, the philosopher whose writing,…

Pentagon moves to shut foreign firms out of its supply chain – The Washington Post The Trump administration pushes to enforce “Buy American” laws and limit waivers.

DoD To Force Contractors To Buy American | The Daily Caller The Pentagon is in the process of strengthening the enforcement existing rules mandating that the government buy only American-made goods.

Pentagon Considers Canceling Program That Recruits Immigrant Soldiers : NPR The deal the military made with thousands of noncitizen recruits with specialized skills: Sign up and we’ll put you on the fast track to citizenship.

The Pentagon Ponders the Threat of Synthetic Bioweapons | WIRED An imminent review from the National Academies of Sciences will address the risk of virulent organisms created by gene editing technology.

A Primer On The Raging Battle For A New Pentagon Space Corps – The Drive As Defense Secretary James Mattis enters the debate, lawmakers are already deeply divided about creating a new military branch.

One Can’t Run the Pentagon Like a Business – WSJ Federal agencies need to do good budgetary accounting, not private-sector-style financial accounting.

USAF Wants Authority To Down Drones After F-22 Near Miss | Defense content from Aviation Week The U.S. Air Force is developing tools to defend against small, commercial unmanned aerial systems but lacks the legal authority to use them.