Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Media Update – 14 July 2017


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Estonia seeks SAMs to keep Russian AF at bay. Romania to acquire seven (7) MIM-104 Patriot batteries, which will complicate any play by Russia to use Crimea as a FOB for airstrikes into Balkans NATO area. NATO-Russia Council meets. RAF 102 and 201 SQNs to operate P-8A. NATO  “Forest Brothers” documentary video about the Baltic States’ insurgency against the Soviets“enraged [the Russians] beyond belief”, eliciting ridicule of the Kremlin by Russian opposition. 

Eidman elaborates on this assessments of Stalin and Putin as “paranoid” and insane”, Tatarstan dispute escalates while Russian analysts dismiss religion as cause of Islamist movement, while Russia’s internal meltdown continues. Berman elaborates on the ethnic russification of Crimea by transmigration, while Siemens controversy continues. 

Study on 
“Information warfare in the Internet. Countering pro-Kremlin disinformation in the Central and Eastern European countries released. Cohen criticised for supporting Putin. US infrastructure cyber vulnerability debated. Fake news labelled cause of US Army soldier joining ISIS.

WSJ publishes “Putin’s dangerous new Ukraine doctrine”. EU summit ends without final joint statement due to Dutch sabotage (best effort yet by Russia). POTUS comments on not lifting sanctions until Ukraine satisfied with results. Amb Herbst OpEd on European NATO nations blocking Ukraine entry due to fear of Russia, rather than having been bought off. Sen Portman briefs MSM on Ukraine support in 2018 NDAA. New Ukrainian bill on Donbass leaked to MSM, Russians apoplectic as it dismantles their subversion game. SBU breaks up two GRU espionage operations targeting AFU. Donbass fires continue, hotspot in Mariupol area. SEA BREEZE 2017, SABER GUARDIAN 2017 and RIAT 2017 reports. UK court sentences pro-Russian Donbass proxy force mercenary to 5 years.

Miscellaneous reports on ISIS, Syria, Iraq, Qatar and Turkey.

DPRK sanctions debate continues. Viability of the THAAD in stopping saturation “swarm” TBM attacks questioned, and LM counter-arguments raised – to date there have been no reports of any testing to validate THAAD capability to defeat a saturation attack, which is critical if the attacker is using the TBMs to carry WMDs. Multiple background reports on DPRK. China news dominated by death of dissident Liu Xiaobo. PLAAF flies formations of H-6K in provocations against Taiwan and Japan.

POTUS visit to France – Pres Macron treated POTUS like royalty, and exceptional Bastille Day parade presented. Following Warsaw, this is a another major political wound to the Russians in Europe.

Russians posturing loudly over future negotiations with US over sanctions, curious as they have nothing useful to offer into a deal, other than scurrying back to the Motherland. White House releases transcript of POTUS brief to MSM. Russians leak alleged kompromat on Ukrainian support for HRC, the open question is whether any of it is real. Three interesting defense policy articles.


Russia / Russophone Reports


Russia’s NATO Neighbor in Talks Over Anti-Aircraft Weapons – Bloomberg Estonia, a NATO member that shares a border with Russia, wants to enhance its defensive capabilities with anti-aircraft weapons and is discussing a more permanent deployment with other countries inside the military alliance.

Russian, NATO Pilots Play Chicken Amid Escalation Risk The Cold War test of nerves is back. Risky close encounters between Russian and NATO forces have increased dramatically in the Baltic region over the past three years. The WSJ’s Tanya Rivero explains

NATO-Russia Council Meeting ‘Useful’ Despite ‘Fundamental Disagreements’ BRUSSELS — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has characterized the latest session of the NATO-Russia Council as a &quot;frank and useful discussion&quot; of Ukraine, Afghanistan, and ris…

NATO-Russia: Stoltenberg names fundamental disagreements on situation in Ukraine – 13.07.2017 16:43 — Ukrinform News 13.07.2017 16:43. NATO and Russia have fundamental disagreements in views on the situation in Ukraine, including the annexed Crimea.

Analysts Warn Foiled Montenegrin Coup Will Likely Be Repeated By Russia Elsewhere WASHINGTON — Analysts are warning that an alleged coup attempt last year by Russian agents that Montenegro said was foiled will likely be repeated, and Washington needs to do more to shore up &quo…

U.S. Senate highlights Russian interference in Montenegro as sanctions bill stalls The Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing Thursday on last year&rsquo;s attempted coup in Montenegro, accusing Moscow of being behind the plot, according to Foreign Policy. News 14 July from UNIAN.

Romania – Patriot Air Defense System and Related Support and Equipment | The Official Home of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency WASHINGTON, Jul. 11, 2017 – The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Romania for Patriot air defense systems, related support and equipment. The estimated cost is $3.9 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on July 10, 2017. The Government of Romania has requested the possible sale of seven (7) Patriot Configuration-3+ Modernized Fire Units consisting of: seven (7) AN/MPQ-65 radar sets, seven (7) AN/MSQ-132 engagement control stations, thirteen (13) antenna mast groups, twenty-eight (28) M903 launching stations, fifty-six (56) Patriot MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missile-TBM (GEM-T) missiles, one hundred and sixty-eight (168) Patriot Advanced Capabilty-3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missiles, and seven (7) Electrical Power Plants (EPP) III. Also included with this request are communications equipment, tools and test equipment, support equipment, prime movers, generators, publications and technical documentation, training equipment, spare and repair parts, personnel training, TAFT team, U.S. Government and contractor technical, engineering, and logistics support services, Systems Integration and Checkout (SICO), field office support, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The total estimated program cost is $3.9 billion.

UK Defence Secretary announces new Maritime Patrol Aircraft squadrons | Defence Blog The UK Defence Secretary, the Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon, announced today the numbers of the UK’s two new Maritime Patrol Aircraft squadrons. Nine new P-8A Poseidon aircraft will be operated by number 120 Squadron and number 201 Squadron from RAF Lossiemouth in Moray. The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier said: “Today is an important milestone in the P-8A Poseidon programme which will bring to the Royal Air Force an unrivalled maritime patrol capability. The advanced state-of-the-art sensors aboard the P-8A will provide global protection to UK, NATO and our Allies’ submarines and warships, and enhance and complement the UK’s standing search and rescue responsibilities. “It is also a great pleasure to welcome back 120 and 201 Squadrons. Both have long and distinguished records serving in the maritime role and together they will help forge the next generation Royal Air Force.” The Boeing P-8 Poseidon is the US Navy’s next generation long-range maritime patrol, anti-submarine warfare, anti-shipping, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft. The aircraft design is based on the proven fuselage of the 737-800 and the wings of the 737-900. The P-8A aircraft has increased gross weight capability in comparison with the 737-800.

Poroshenko sees Russia as cynical and defiant aggressor, not mediator – 13.07.2017 15:54 — Ukrinform News 13.07.2017 15:54. Russia is a cynical and defiant aggressor, rather than a mediator in resolving the conflict in Donbas. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said this at a press conference after the 19th Ukraine-EU summit in Kyiv on Thursday, an Ukrinform correspondent reports. “We also devoted a great part of the talks to the situation in Donbas and Crimea. We reaffirmed a common understanding of the nature of the current situation and the responsibility of the Russian Federation for its emergence and development. And it’s obvious that Ukraine is an object of aggression, while Russia is an aggressor, rather than an intermediary in these positions. An arrogant and cynical aggressor,” he said. Poroshenko said that the brightest example of this was the EU decision to extend sanctions against Russia. “Sanctions should remain in force until the reasons for their introduction are removed, namely until the full restoration of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state, including Crimea,” Poroshenko said.


NATO Hits Russian Raw Nerve With “Forest Brothers” – To Inform is to Influence Sputnik just published an article titled ”NATO Charging New Propaganda Cannons’: What’s Behind ‘Forest Brothers’ Video?” As soon as I read the following two paragraphs, I knew somebody in Russia was so angry they were spewing and spitting – generally enraged beyond belief. Russia’s Foreign Ministry severely criticized a video about Nazi collaborators, the so-called…

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Baltic Forest Brothers Did in 1940s What Russians Did in 1991 — They Fought Soviet Power, Ross Says Paul Goble Staunton, July 14 – The Kremlin-orchestrated attack on the Forest Brothers in the Baltic countries in the 1940s and on a NATO film clip about them calls attention to a fundamental contradiction in Russian thinking that the powers that be are exacerbating rather than addressing by their criticisms, according to Tatyana Ross. Today, the Moscow commentator writes, officials “do not want to rewrite what was written in Soviet textbooks” where it was said that “in Ukraine and in the Baltic countries, Soviet power (which was considered correct) was established and its enemies (local Ukrainian nationalist-Banderites and ‘forest brothers’ in the Baltic fought against it.” That means, according to this verison of events, Ross says, that members of these groups by definition are “criminals” (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=59678A5F0BE68). “But,” she continues, there is a problem. “Russia ‘overthrew’ Soviet power” in 1991 when thousands came to the defense of the Russian White House during the coup attempt and several of them died. “If Russia overthrew Soviet power (did it?) … then it must (?) condemn (among its other crimes0 the occupation by Soviet military forces of the territories of neighboring states and recognize that those who fought with Soviet power (the nationalists of Ukraine and the Baltics) were not criminals but fighters FOR THE FREEDOM of their countries.” But if one accepts the Kremlin’s logic, Ross continues, then “why not condemn those in Russia who were at the White House in 1991? [For the present] they are even considered heroes. But those who struggled against Soviet power in Ukraine and in the Baltics are considered criminals. Where is the logic in that?” According to Ross, officials and regime journalists in Moscow “do not want to rewrite the history … which was written in Soviet textbooks. They do not want to REWRITE THE LIE and write instead the REAL history, that is the TRUTH.” And thus they signal that they “do not consider that power in Russia has changed.” It is the same old Soviet version. Many people had hoped, she says, that “a new generation which had not lived in the USSR would grow up and everything ‘would be put in its place.’ But how can one count on that if the new generation is studying the same Soviet textbooks? And it is being taught by the very same Soviet teachers.” The final word of official Moscow on all this was delivered by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mariya Zakharova who said that no one can remain “indifferent” to the NATO clip about the forest brothers that has as “its goal undermining the results of Nuremburg. That must be blocked.” Given such attitudes, Ross says, the question arises: “What will truth be TOMORROW?” Given that the current regime maintains itself with stories about its own “doubtful victories” and by whitewashing “the Soviet-Chekist past,” there is very little that can be excluded as far as what the past will be tomorrow.

Forest Brothers – Fight for the Baltics – YouTube After the Second World War, soldiers from across the Baltics who had fought on both sides of the war disappeared into the forests to wage Europe’s bloodiest …


Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia Needs the US as an Enemy and as a Supporter, Shevtsova Says Paul Goble Staunton, July 13 – During Mikhail Gorbachev’s first visit to Washington, Gyorgy Arbatov, the Soviet Union’s leading Americanist who was accompanying him, said that the Soviet leader was going to do something far more terrible to the United States than any of his predecessors: Namely, Gorbachev was going to take away Washington’s preferred enemy. Although it is unlikely that Arbatov knew then just how far Gorbachev was prepared to go, even contributing to the demise of the USSR, his insight was fundamental. Without an enemy, Arbatov suggested, the US would be unable to navigate in a brave new world and would be forced either to find new enemies or to build up Moscow so that it could resume that role. Now, thirty years later, Liliya Shevtsova, a Brookings Institution Russian expert based in Moscow, makes a similar argument but this time about Russia’s needs. “Imagine,” she says, that the US suddenly disappeared?” What would Putin do, given that he believes the world rests on “hostility and cooperation with America” (echo.msk.ru/blog/shevtsova/2017622-echo/). However loath the Kremlin is to admit it, she continues, “America has become our systemic ‘binding,” given the exhaustion of any other “unifying ideas.” No other country can play the role of a foreign “threat” sufficient to justify the Kremlin’s position and mobilize the Russian people behind it. It would be an insult to Russia to put any other country in that role. Moreover, Shevtsova says, “America is splendid enemy.” Under Barack Obama, for example, Washington “did everything possible not to make Putin angry” despite his behavior. But there is another reason Moscow looks to the US: Americans played a key role in buiding up the Soviet economy and military-industrial complex.” “Without the assistance of America,” she argues, “the Soviet Union hardly would have been transformed into a global power.” And she cites the evidence of US assistance government and non-government provided in Anthony Sutton’s 1973 volume, National Suicide (New Rochelle, 1973). As Shevtsova notes, Stalin recognized this, telling the US ambassador that “two-thirds of all major industrial enterprises in the USSR were built with the help of the US or with American technical support.” All major US companies worked in the USSR, and “the Americans sold [it] licenses for the latest technology,” arms in the first instance but other things as well. There were two reasons for this, Sutton argued in his book. On the one hand, “Americans believed that through trade and cooperation they would tame the rising giant.” But on the other, many in the US believed in the Soviet project of “building communism” and promoted the idea that the US should be involved in this. But Shevtsova suggests that “the most striking story was the participation of America in saving Soviet Russia from famine in 1921-1923,” assistance organized and led by future US president Herbert Hoover that Lenin first opposed but then accepted and led to the saving of some ten million lives. Thus, she continues, “America demonstrated not only capitalist pragmatism but generosity and compassion.” During World War II, “America again came to the aid of the USSR,” and between 1941 and 1945, Washington extended military and humanitarian assistance that was worth in today’s prices, 146 billion US dollars. And that was only the government: ordinary Americans created a special committee to assist “Russia at war” and sent millions more. When the USSR collapsed, the US again provided assistance. “Between 1992 and 2007, the total amount of assistance to the Russian Federation from the US government amounted to 16 billion US dollars,” Shevtsova says. And the structure of that assistance showed that “America was trying to support stability in Russia and to help resolve the problems of security.” Russia, like the Soviet Union before it, responded by pointing to the US as its number on enemy and threat. “And today, “Russia needs American technology and investment, and today it needs America as the basis of its great power status.” That has some implications many in Moscow (and in Washington) prefer not to think about. “The key to the survival of Russian autocracy is in the pockets of Americans. The anti-Americanism of the Russian elite and its obsession with America are only a confirmation of what it knows about this, the Brookings analyst says. “It remains only to pose the question: does American know that it is our systemic ‘binding’? Or does it pretend not to know? Or does it know and not understand what to do with this role?” And that leads to a final question: What if the US does know and acts on it? How will Russia’s “statist regime on steroids” survive at a time of need?

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Failure to Recognize Stalin was Insane Opens the Way for His Rehabilitation, Eidman Says Paul Goble Staunton, July 13 – “The creeping rehabilitation of Stalin has turned out to be successful largely because from the times of Solzhenitsyn, Stalinist crimes were explained by ideological or even rationalist reasons,” Igor Eidman says. Had people recognized and declared that he was insane, that alone “would have made the rehabilitation of Stalin impossible.” On the Kasparov portal today, the Russian commentator for Deutsche Welle argues that both those who believe Stalin was a committed communist and those who view him as a harsh emperor are making it easier for Russians to accept him either for one reason of the other (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5966874447437). “But Stalin was simply a madman” with power whose “clinical paranoia transformed him into one of the most horrific serial maniac killers in the history of the world,” Eidman continues. That can be easily seen if one imagines something like the following scenario: “A paranoid tells the chief doctor of a psychiatric hospital that ‘all the patients in my ward are Chinese spies.’” The doctor won’t argue but will simply have his aides ensure that the paranoid is kept under better control. “But now imagine,” Eidman continues, “that an armed paranoid seized the hospital, takes its staff hostage and proclaims himself the chief doctor. In this situation, the personnel will be forced to agree with any of his ravings. The doctors and nurses will acknowledge that they and each other are Chinese or even Martian spies if only to calm the maniac” and save themselves. That is exactly what happened “during Stalin’s Great Terror.” The Soviet leader “sincerely believed in the most fantastic conspiracies and spy stores and so on involving people he knew well.” He came up with these notions in his diseased brain and then demanded the secret police beat and kill people until they confessed that his notions were true. According to Eidman, “it is impossible to find any other somewhat rational explanation for the bloody bacchanalia of 1937-38,” a set of actions that destroyed many who were in no way a threat to the Soviet Union or Stalin personally and that left the USSR far weaker than it had been as war approached. Unfortunately, the Russian analyst says, Stalin is hardly the only Russian leader infected by paranoia. “Putin’s actions, including his maniacal striving to destroy the independence of Ukraine are also something that people try to give some logical explanation for.” But in fact, Putin “like his predecessor Stalin is simply ill with a serious case of paranoia.” Like the late Soviet dictator, “Putin lives in the power of absurd fantasies, the chief of which is a conspiracy of the West against Russia and him personally.” As a result of this “paranoid picture of the world,” he explains “all real and imaginary misfortunes” that happen around him. Also like Stalin, Putin constantly lies something that deceives himself above all but that spread his fantastic notions more broadly and give them life because of the power of the Russian special services and the media, the first of which provides “evidence” that what Putin says is true and the second spreads this across the population of Russia and the world. And again like Stalin – and this is the saddest thing of all, Eidman concludes – Putin not only suffers himself but via total propaganda infects the entire society with his paranoia.” Curing that will be a difficult task indeed. But the first step is to recognize the disease rather than try to explain it away “rationally.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia Hurtling Toward ‘Most Serious Crisis in Nationality Relations’ Since Early 2000s Paul Goble Staunton, July 13 – While most Russians are focusing on Vladimir Putin’s latest move or Aleksey Navalny’s plans or on mass repressions in Chechnya, “the Russia Federation is rushing toward the most serioius crisis in nationality relations in recent years … the problem of the status of Tatarstan,” according to Yevgeny Ikhlov (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=596716654952B). Too few now remember that in 1992, two republics refused to sign the Russian federation treaty, Chechnya and Tatarstan. In the case of the first, Moscow became embroiled in two vicious wars and oversaw the rise of the equally vicious current Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov who remains in power thanks to his violence and Moscow’s massive subventions. In the case of the latter, Moscow ultimately signed a power-sharing agreement that served as a symbol of that republic’s unique status, helped keep the peace, and allowed the Volga republic to be a major donor region. The original 1994 power-sharing accord was renewed in 2007, but now the Kremlin has decided not to extend it. (For a discussion, see windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2017/06/if-moscow-doesnt-extend-power-sharing.html). The Tatarstan power-sharing agreement is symbolically important in much the same ways the special relationships between Berlin and Bavaria and between Washington and the US state of Texas are: they symbolize the specialness of a relationship even if they do not have many other consequences, and they help keep together entities that might otherwise drift apart. But Vladimir Putin with his one-size-fits-all mentality and conviction that making any concession for one group or institution threatens to bring down the entire structure of the country has decided to let the accord lapse. By doing so, he is likely to get just the kind of political earthquake that he fears. On the one hand, Tatars are furious. They feel betrayed. The republic establishment has already called for an extension of the treaty and demanded that what the accord allowed by extended even if no new agreement is signed in the coming weeks. Moreover, Tatar nationalism is intensifying (svpressa.ru/politic/article/176673/ and politcom.ru/22593.html). And on the other, all other non-Russian republics and many predominantly ethnic Russian regions as well are monitoring the situation, viewing what happens in and to Tatarstan as a bellwether of what they can expect for themselves. If Moscow insists and Kazan resists, that will not pass without consequences elsewhere. The most dangerous, of course, is that Tatarstan’s leadership in the name of preserving the rights to have a president and special relations with Moscow could decide to mobilize their own nationalists against Moscow, triggering ethnic conflicts in the republic and signaling to others that this may be the only way to defend the rights of republics in the age of Putin. Moscow’s response would likely be brutal, but the center would have only itself to blame. A major reason that no Kazan Tatar leader has turned to the nationalists up to now is that he has a power-sharing agreement that gives him much of what he wants. If Putin takes that away as he appears to be planning, the Kazan elites may decide on a very different course. In an editorial today, Nezavimaya gazeta calls the power-sharing agreement a relic of “the times of the parade of sovereignties,” when Boris Yeltsin encouraged the non-Russian republics to “take as much sovereignty as you can swallow” (ng.ru/editorial/2017-07-13/2_7028_red.html). What the editors ignore, however, is that the power-sharing agreement with Kazan was one of the ways that “parade” was ended. The other involved wars in Chechnya and the rise of Kadyrov’s Moscow-funded criminal state. It is intriguing that in its drive for uniformity, the Putin regime should have failed to learn a lesson from that.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Theological Explanations of Islamist Radicalism Deeply Mistaken, Russian Scholars Say Paul Goble Staunton, July 13 – In a new book on Islamic radical movements in the Caucasus, a group of Russian scholars argue that efforts to explain Islamist movements by considering the theological positions of this or that trend within Islam are deeply mistaken because many radicals don’t know theology and come their radicalism independent of this or that doctrine. One of the authors of the book, Enver Khizriyev, a specialist on the Caucasus at the Moscow Institute of African Studies, says that efforts to explain Islamist radicalism by searching for theological citations are not only wrong but have the effect of leading to incorrect conclusions about what is going on (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/305846/). Adopting a civilizational approach, one that considers specific social situations, the influence of both internal and external factors, local history and changes in the world at large, provides a far better way to understanding why some Muslims become radicalized while others do not. The new book, Radical Islamist Movements on the Political Map of the Present-Day World, Issue 2. North and South Caucasus (in Russian, Moscow: Academy, 2017, 610 pages, 300 copies), will soon go on sale in Moscow, one of its authors, Anatoly Savateyev of the Institute for African Studies says. Savateyev tells Kavkaz-Uzel that “Islam has given a new meaning of life to former residents of the USSR.” After the Soviet collapse “a vacuum of ideas arose,” one that hit the peoples of the Caucasus especially hard especially because they were deeply attached to ideas of social justice common to Islam and Sovietism, values that capitalism rejected. That rejection helped power Islamist radicalization as did events in Iran and Afghanistan, and Russian scholars have been trying to understand its causes and trajectories ever since. This latest work, the second in what is projected to be a multi-volume series, systematizes and generalizes on their research. Khizriyev says that the volume is unified by a rejection of the theological approach often encountered in the past, “In many texts on this theme,” he says, “one can uncover the position that this or that Islamic theological doctrine directly motivates its supporters to acts of political radicalism.” That is seldom the case and has the effect of making Islamism a product of Islam rather than being a product of Islam’s interaction with a variety of social and political factors, the scholar says. Indeed, he says, “offering particular citations from the Koran to show the origin of Islamist movements is a profanation of scientific research.” Naima Neflyasheva, a senior scholar at the Center for Civilizational and Regional Research at the Institute of Africa and a blogger for Kavkaz-Uzel, agrees. The radicalization of young people reflects “a number of factors, ‘from social lifts that don’t work to clans,, from poor education including Islamic to the crisis of traditional ethnic ideologies.” Other factors at work, she continues, include “the aggressive presence of radical groups on the Internet and their impact on young people to the dominance of an approach based on force … and questions about relations with the so-called ‘new Muslims’ and Caucasuso-phobia, which is present in latent form in the media.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russians, Long Focused on Stability, Becoming More Open to Change, New Research Shows Paul Goble Staunton, July 13 – Falling incomes and a rising sense of unresolved problems between the government and the population is prompting Russians to be more open to change economically and politically than at any time since Vladimir Putin became president, according to new research by the Moscow Institute of Sociology. In 1999, the researchers said, 69 percent of Russians said the country needed real economic and political change, while 31 percent of them said that stability was more important to them than anything that might be achieved at the risk of change, Olga Solovyeva reported in Nezavisimaya gazeta today (ng.ru/economics/2017-07-13/4_7028_people.html). By 2003, those favoring change had fallen to 53 percent while those favoring stability had risen to 46. By 2007, these figures were 60 and 40 respectively; by 2012, they were 72 and 28; and by 2014, they were 70 and 30. But since that time, they have begun to convert and now while 56 percent favor stability, but 44 percent believe change is needed. The trend is clear and the sociologists expect those who want change to outnumber those who are more concerned with stability in the coming months. The supporters of change are greatest among young people (55 percent), the less well off (50 percent), and those living in smaller cities (48 percent). What is striking, Solovyeva reports, is that the sociologists found that “there are “comparatively few – less than a third – residents of megalopolises [like Moscow] who would like to see fundamental changes” at the possible expense of stability. The sociologists were also struck by the large fraction of Russians who are “dissatisfied” with the powers that be. Thirty-six percent of the roughly 4000 people surveyed acknowledged the existence of “contradictions” between the powers and the people. And 45 percent see a growing threat of social tensions in the country. Moreover, if one includes other contradictions, such as between bureaucreats and citizens, the rich and poor, and the oligarchs and the rest of society, the sociologists say, “almost 70 percent of Russians are focusing on societal contradictions.” And they note that all other social conflicts, including ethnic and religious, are viewed as less significant.

Russian Court Rules Tatar Activist To Remain Under Police Control After Prison Release A leading Tatar activist will remain under police supervision for eight years after his expected release from prison later this year. In what lawyers are describing as an unprecedented decision, …

Report: Russian Police Compel Young Demonstrators To Complete Questionnaire Russian police have created a special questionnaire for youths who participated in anticorruption rallies organized by opposition politician Aleksei Navalny in March, according to a report by the RB…

Navalny Supporter’s Expulsion Ignites Fresh Row Over Russian Student Activism Oleg Alekseyev, a university student in Russia’s western Kaliningrad exclave, says his problems began last month after he requested formal permission to stage an anticorruption rally in th…

UAWire – Media: Putin presented Valaam Monastery with a yacht worth $4 million Russian President Vladimir Putin presented Valaam Monastery with the yacht “Pallada”, reported Kommersant FM radio in a broadcast about the …

Chechnya’s Kadyrov Criticizes Convictions Of Nemtsov Killers Ramzan Kadyrov, the Kremlin-installed head of the North Caucasus Republic of Chechnya, has criticized the recent conviction and sentencing of five Chechens for the 2015 murder of opposition politicia…

In Disturbing Video, Men Beaten, Forced To Apologize To Daghestani Leader Two men in Russia’s North Caucasus region of Daghestan have been beaten and forced to offer apologies after they publicly insulted the region’s leader, Ramazan Abdulatipov. On July 13, th…

Victims Of Fire In Russia Were Uzbek Nationals Uzbek officials have confirmed that the seven victims of a July 13 fire in northwestern Russia were Uzbek nationals. The Uzbek Foreign Ministry issued a statement on July 14, saying that all th…

Russia Reportedly Detains Power Executive Connected With Siemens Project Russian authorities have detained the chief executive of Russian electricity equipment maker Power Machines on suspicion of attempting to divulge state secrets, Russian media have reported, citin…

UAWire – Russian FSB arrests head of company which made Siemens turbines for Crimea Officers of the Russian FSB have arrested the director general of Power Machines plant, Roman Filippov on suspicion of disclosing state secrets. …

Ilan Berman | How Russian Rule Has Changed Crimea | Foreign Affairs A new study paints a damning picture of the human and economic costs of Russian rule in Crimea.

Two more Siemens turbines delivered to occupied Crimea by same company -Euromaidan Press | Alya Shandra Following the appearance on 29 June of photographs and videos of two gas turbines, apparently produced by Siemens, being delivered to Sevastopol in occupied Crimea, the German technology giant has first refuted media allegations that its turbines entered Crimea, breaching EU sanctions, then acknowledged it, then sued its partners in Russia for moving the turbines to Crimea “against its will” and said it will be investigating the location of two other turbines it sold to its Russian partners. The German government has demanded Siemens clarify how its four turbines ended up in Crimea, a territory to which EU sanctions prohibit shipping energy technology. The incident has been said to be a test of the limit of EU sanctions.

Malaysia says MH17 suspects to face charges could be known by year-end Malaysia hopes that suspects in the July 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 to face charges in the Netherlands should be known by the end of the year, its transport minister, Liow Tiong Lai, said on Thursday.

Malaysia Expects MH17 Suspects To Be Known By End Of 2017 Malaysia hopes that suspects in the July 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 should be known by the end of 2017, Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said. He was speaking to journalists on July 13 in Kuala Lumpur after briefing the families of the victims. The jet crashed in a area of eastern Ukraine controlled by Russia-backed separatists, killing all 298 people aboard. (Reuters)

UAWire – Russia wants to leave WTO A bill for Russia to leave the World Trade Organization (WTO) has been introduced in the State Duma. The initiative was put forward by a group …

UAWire – Russia postponed the commissioning of the nuclear-powered icebreaker Arktika because of sanctions and loss of access to Ukrainian turbines Last May, Russian President Vladimir Putin was forced to push back the deadline for the delivery of the main nuclear-powered icebreaker LK-60YA …

Rosoboronexport: since its establishment the company has exported over 1300 aircraft | Defence Blog JSC Rosoboronexport (part of the Rostec State Corporation) has recorded a positive trend in the combat aviation market and now forecasts a further increase in the share of aviation equipment in the company’s overall supplies. “Aviation equipment has traditionally dominated Rosoboronexport’s supplies. Since its establishment the company has exported over 1300 fixed-winged and rotary-winged aircraft and associated equipment totaling about 65 billion US dollars”, – Rosoboronexport’s Director General Alexander Mikheev said. Russian defense industry and Rosoboronexport, as a player in the international military-technical cooperation, are prepared to face the growing aviation segment of the arms market. “Our forecasts are that the export volumes and cost of contracts on aviation equipment will continue growing. We expect the share of aviation equipment in the entire Rosoboronexport’s supplies in 2017 to exceed 50%. The main importers of this type of weapons will be the Middle Eastern and Asia-Pacific countries”, – Alexander Mikheev noted. Successful activities of the Russian Aerospace Forces during the counterterrorist operation in Syria have provoked a surge of interest in the Russian combat aviation in the global arms market. “Foreign customers are peculiarly interested in the Su-30 and Su-35 aircraft and Mi-28NE, Ka-52 and Mi-17 helicopters, which passed impeccably all the battle tests”, – Rosoboronexport’s CEO added. Joint-Stock Company Rosoboronexport is Russia’s only state-controlled intermediary in the area of exports and imports of the entire range of military and double-purpose products, technologies and services. The Company is actively involved in pursuing national policy of the Russian Federation in the area of military technical cooperation with foreign countries.

Kalashnikov: Reviving a Business That Was Almost Shot The Kalashnikov rifle, or AK-47, is one of the most abundant firearms ever made. But the company behind the iconic weapon is fighting its own battles. WSJ’s Niki Blasina reports. Photo: Niki

Putin’s Russian World Seeks to Offer Others 12 Unattractive Values, Sytin Says – To Inform is to Influence The original is arguably more brutal but also uses too many colloquialisms for an easy translate: What spiritual values Russia can offer to the West – Alexander Sytin </end editorial> Wednesday, July 12, 2017 Putin’s Russian World Seeks to Offer Others 12 Unattractive Values, Sytin Says Paul Goble Staunton, July 12 –Aleksandr Sytin was recently on…

Azerbaijani Prosecutor Seeks Lengthy Prison Term For Russian-Israeli Blogger BAKU — An Azerbaijani prosecutor has asked a court in Baku to sentence Russian-Israeli blogger Aleksandr Lapshin, who is charged with calling for the violation of the country’s territoria…

Belarusians are the leaders of Europe on racism In any case, our people are far from being the best in people with dark skin color. Moreover, as it turned out during the tests conducted on a specially created for this purpose resource Project Implicit, we are racist in the top three of all Europe, writes by24.org . The “index of racism” in Belarus, as shown by tests offered to citizens of different countries, is 0.435. And absolute leaders in Europe in this indicator were residents of the Czech Republic with indicators of 0.447. On the second place – our neighbors Lithuanians with figure 0,444. Thus, in the ranking of European racists Belarusians occupy the “honorable” third place. Interestingly, many of our neighbors, for example, residents of Ukraine (0.429), Poland (0.388) and Latvia (0.377) refer to people with dark skin color much more positively.


IW/IO/Cyber Reports


Workings of Russian propaganda in Eastern Europe – LB.ua news portal Experts from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine (StopFake team) have carried out a study entitled “Information warfare in the Internet. Countering pro-Kremlin disinformation in the Central and Eastern European countries”. It analyses a set of tools adopted by the Kremlin to manipulate public opinion and affect political, social and business environment in the Visegrad Four countries, Moldova and Ukraine. The report is an interesting read for Ukrainians as it allows them to compare their experience with the situation in other Eastern European countries. The presentation of the study was announced back in February. LB.ua acquainted itself with the final text on the eve of its publication and provides an analysis of the main distribution channels and narratives of the Russian and pro-Russian propaganda in these countries.

The Desperation of Stephen Cohen – To Inform is to Influence July 12, 2017 – 18:57 Context Jim Kovpak Russia’s foreign language propaganda outlets have long had a problem getting real experts to go to bat for the Kremlin. Most times they rely on some blogger or “independent journalist” and  call them “political analysts.” As such, Stephen Cohen, a Putin apologist with an actual academic pedigree, is…

The Desperation of Stephen Cohen Struggle against fake information about events in Ukraine

Trump and Putin’s Meeting of the Minds | Foreign Affairs Putin wants to win acceptance as a major player at the international table. And that’s what Trump gave him at the G-20 summit.

Cyber Operational Considerations in Dense Urban Terrain – To Inform is to Influence Conclusion: Dense Urban Terrain presents numerous challenges and opportunities to military forces due its cyber characteristics. The volume of networked devices and communications platforms offers both offensive and defensive opportunities and challenges. The intelligence and command and control capabilities that these devices offer is unparalleled in other terrain. As discussed, these devices can impact maneuver,…

Black Hat survey: US critical infrastructure in imminent danger – Fifth Domain | Cyber As of May 30, the Identity Theft Resource Center reported 698 major data breaches at different U.S. organizations. These numerous breaches represent over 10.2 million compromised records. It is no secret that cybersecurity is in high demand. To gauge attitudes and plans of the industry’s most experienced, highly trained, top professionals, Black Hat conducted a survey. With a margin of error of +/- 4 percent, Black Hat found a clear and imminent threat to the safety of critical infrastructure within the next 24 months. Out of the 580 top cybersecurity and information technology professionals surveyed, 60 percent believe the U.S. will experience a successful cyberattack on critical infrastructure within the next two years. Of the remaining 40 percent, 30 percent chose to remain neutral on the matter while 10 percent believed the U.S.’s cyber defense would prevent any such attack. In addition, the survey identified the top security threats that professionals are worried about. Fifty percent of the individuals surveyed found the biggest threats to be phishing, social engineering and social network exploitation efforts and 45 percent were more worried about sophisticated and targeted attacks on an organization. These threats are even more worrisome when assessed with the problems of the IT and cybersecurity industry, most notably the shortfall of trained cyber workers. With an expected shortfall of 1.8 million workers in the cybersecurity industry by the year 2022, many professionals indicated the lack of workers to be the biggest challenge. Without enough people, responding to threats quickly is difficult, if not impossible, and 71 percent of those surveyed indicated not having enough people to protect critical data. The major concerns and priorities for cybersecurity and IT professionals are expected to change in two years. The current concern for attacks on the internet of things and other non-computer systems is ranked 10th. However, in two years, it is predicted to be the No. 1 concern. Plus, these concerns are well-founded, with continual research proving more and more vulnerabilities of non-computer systems.

Senator: Power plants vulnerable to cyberattack; DC needs to do more – Fifth Domain | Cyber ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer says New York state’s power plants are vulnerable to cyberattacks and that Washington must do more to ensure their security. The Democrat said Wednesday that he has written to the secretaries of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy seeking an update on efforts to improve cybersecurity at critical facilities such as power plants. He says that reports that hackers have targeted power plants should serve as a “wake up call” that the facilities could be at risk. Schumer says the federal government must to more to safeguard power stations from attacks that could disrupt the power grid. Specifically, Schumer wants any infrastructure bill that passes Congress to include funding for cybersecurity upgrades at power plants and other vital facilities.

Solider accused of supporting ISIS thought 9/11 was inside job: ex-bunkmate | New York Post HONOLULU — A U.S. soldier accused of wanting to commit a mass shooting after pledging loyalty to the Islamic State group believed the moon landing was faked,…


Ukraine Reports


Putin’s dangerous new Ukraine doctrine – WSJ Moscow has been intensifying its efforts to destabilize Ukraine. Mr. Putin has been reluctant to deploy large military forces, but fighting in Eastern Ukraine claims five or six lives a week, according to The Wall Street Journal. Putin is stymied by Ukraine’s growing military capability and frustrated by signs of its economic recovery, both results of the ongoing reforms, WSJ reports. For Vladimir Putin, this is unacceptable as Russia is paying a large economic price because of Western sanctions. It also faces a growing threat of social discontent in the impoverished parts of Ukraine it controls. With 1.8 million residents internally displaced on Ukraine-controlled soil and 600,000 resettled in Russia, the self-styled Donetsk and Luhansk “peoples republics” have a combined population of more than 3.5 million. Many are retirees dependent on Ukrainian state pension payments. Others are miners and industrial workers whose plants were deeply integrated into the Ukrainian economy. Mr. Putin’s response has been to step up the aggression. The first five months of 2017 saw a steep increase in attacks on hospitals, schools, factories and other civilian targets, resulting in 44 fatalities. Terrorist bombings and assassinations in Kyiv and elsewhere have become commonplace. On June 27 and 28 car bombs killed two colonels from Ukraine’s security service. Among other cases, in late March an assassin from Russian-annexed Crimea killed a former Russian parliamentarian and Putin critic who had received asylum in Ukraine. Russia is also accelerating the integration of occupied Donbas into Russia. On Feb. 18, Mr. Putin issued a decree enabling Russian state and private institutions to accept passports and other identity documents issued by the self-styled “DPR” and “LPR.” The breakaway economies have begun rapidly converting to the Russian ruble. A further step came March 5, with the confiscation by the “republics” of some 40 major privately held Ukrainian companies. These enterprises had provided employment for locals while paying taxes to Kyiv and scrupulously withholding them from the renegade authorities. The swiftness of the confiscations suggested they had long been planned. On the day of the takeovers, senior Russian managers appeared at the “nationalized” workplaces to announce they were taking charge. In early April, Vladimir Pashkov, a former deputy governor of Russia’s Irkutsk region, arrived to administer Eastern Ukraine’s key industrial holdings, according to Russia’s RBC news agency. Russia is also escalating its interference in the internal political life of the rest of Ukraine, including cyberattacks against government and business targets and the use of fifth columns. This does not mean the Kremlin is committed to the permanent separation of the said areas from Ukraine. What Mr. Putin wants above all is to ensure that whatever the future status of these regions, Moscow, not Kyiv, will call the shots. Still, the radical steps Russia is taking, including terrorism, make clear that Mr. Putin seeks to derail the 2015 Minsk II process, even as he points the finger at Ukraine for lack of progress toward peace. “The U.S. and Europe must respond forcefully to this new intensification in Russia’s hybrid war,” the author says, adding that “the engagement of Mr. Volker to shape diplomacy on the Russia-Ukraine conflict signals that the U.S. will adopt a pragmatic hard-line policy.” “It is a welcome sign that the personal chemistry between Messrs. Trump and Putin won’t override the physics of power politics and diplomacy,” he concludes.

Putin’s Dangerous New Ukraine Doctrine – WSJ Russia tries to absorb breakaway regions while stepping up terror in Kiev and elsewhere.

“I would never take the sanctions off until something is worked out”, – Trump on Russia sanctions 14.07.17 12:41 – I would never take the sanctions off until something is worked out, – Trump on Russia sanctions U.S. President Donald Trump has refuted messages about lifting sanctions against Russia for its activities in Crimea and the Donbas. View news.

Russia sanctions could be lifted if Ukraine satisfied – Trump U.S. President Donald Trump says he is ready to cancel economic sanctions imposed against Russia after it launched aggression in Ukraine if an agreement is reached to Ukraine&rsquo;s &ldquo;satisfaction,&rdquo; Politico reported. News 14 July from UNIAN.

Trump dodges on Russia sanctions – POLITICO The comments came as the House struggles for a way forward on a bill that cleared the Senate with 98 votes last month.

Trump Says Would Only Lift Russian Sanctions If Reached Deals In Ukraine, Syria U.S. President Donald Trump has said he will not roll back sanctions on Russia unless Moscow agrees to negotiated peace deals between warring parties in Ukraine and Syria. &quot;I would never tak…

Ukraine may not become NATO member until Russia has “less belligerent president” – ex-U.S. envoy Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst believes that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was too optimistic when suggesting a deadline for Ukraine&rsquo;s accession to NATO by 2020, Business Insider reports. Herbst said Ukraine probably would not be able to join for another 10 years or more because the European NATO members “are anxious about provoking Moscow,” according to Business Insider. In order to join NATO, Ukraine also cannot have any territorial disputes, which it does in Crimea and Donbas, where Kyiv has been battling Russian-backed militants since 2014. Nevertheless, if Ukraine became a member, “you can’t rule out additional aggression by Moscow,” Herbst said. Read also NATO “not ready” to defend Ukraine: EP Vice President But at the same time, “Moscow would be limited in how it would respond” because its aggression is already causing it “problems in terms of sanctions and international isolation” — such as their removal from the G8 in 2014. Stoltenberg pledged on Monday that NATO would give Ukraine more hardware to defend against cyber warfare attacks. Members of the Oklahoma National Guard are helping train Ukrainian troops, and the U.S. recently announced that it would help provide Ukraine with more defense military equipment. This is the kind of support — equipment, military training, intelligence — that would be increased, Herbst said, if the war ended and Ukraine joined NATO. Read also Russian aggression against Ukraine “prompted NATO to wake up” – Poroshenko But, he said, “Russia’s behavior in Ukraine suggests they’re willing to do extreme things to achieve their ends.” And until Russia has a “less belligerent president,” Herbst added, Ukraine may not become a NATO member.

This is what would happen if Ukraine joined NATO | Business Insider Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg met in Kiev on Monday and discussed the prospect of Ukraine joining the alliance. “Today we clearly stated that we would begin a discussion about a membership action plan and our proposals for such a discussion were accepted [by Stoltenberg] with pleasure,” Poroshenko told reporters while standing next to the NATO chief. “We are also here to demonstrate NATO’s solidarity with Ukraine and our firm support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of your country,” Stoltenberg told reporters. The majority of Ukrainians want their country to join NATO too. A poll by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation in June found that about 69% of Ukrainians favour joining. The Ukrainian parliament also passed a resolution that month in support of becoming the 30th member of NATO. Ukraine must still pass a number of economic and anti-corruption reforms before becoming a member. Poroshenko acknowledged this on Monday, pledging to “build a genuine program of reforms” and “have a clear schedule of what must be done by 2020 to meet the NATO membership criteria.” But John Herbst, former US ambassador to Ukraine and current director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, told Business Insider that “2020 is an optimistic scenario.” Herbst said Ukraine probably wouldn’t be able to join for another 10 years or more because the European NATO members “are anxious about provoking Moscow.” In order to join NATO, Ukraine also cannot have any territorial disputes, which it does in Crimea and the Donbass, an eastern area of the country where Kiev has been battling Russian-backed separatists since 2014. Nevertheless, if Ukraine became a member, “you can’t rule out additional aggression by Moscow,” Herbst said. But at the same time, “Moscow would be limited in how it would respond” because its aggression is already causing it “probems in terms of sanctions and international isolation” — such as their removal from the G8 in 2014. Russia has been using hybrid warfare techniques against the former Soviet satellite since the 2014 Ukrainian revolution. At least 13 high-profile assassinations in Ukraine have been linked to Russia in the last three years, and Ukraine has also been the victim of multiple cyberattacks thought to be perpetrated by the Kremlin, most recently the Petya attack on June 27.

Ukraine’s new NATO ambassador discusses steps to membership -Euromaidan Press | Serhii Sydorenko On July 10, NATO participated in one of the most significant events of past decade to take place in Ukraine: the full complement of the North Atlantic Council (ambassadors of all the countries and the secretary general), as well as a number of top leaders of the North Atlantic Alliance, arrived in Kyiv to hold the meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Commission. (The North Atlantic Council is the principal political decision-making body within NATO — Ed.). And three days earlier President Poroshenko finally did what he has been promising the Alliance for more than two years — he appointed the head of the NATO mission, that is Ukraine’s ambassador to this organization. Yevropeiska (European) Pravda is publishing the first interview with Ambassador Vadym Prystaiko since his appointment. Naturally, we began the interview with questions regarding the misunderstanding between Kyiv and Brussels. As has been reported, Poroshenko announced that Ukraine and NATO are beginning discussions on the Membership Action Plan (MAP), but then a NATO representative stated that this agreement has not been confirmed. The MAP does not guarantee NATO membership


UAWire – US could allocate $500 million to Ukraine for defense A bill on the U.S. National Defense Budget for the 2018 financial year provides for the allocation of $500 million to help Ukraine in the security field, including the provision of lethal and other weapons, training, and technical assistance, as reported by Senator Rob Portman, according to Voice of America. Half of the money, or $250 million, is allocated to programs related to the implementation of key defense sector reforms necessary to develop and consolidate existing achievements. Among the concrete reforms are the establishment of civilian control over the military bloc, cooperation and coordination of efforts with the Verkhovna Rada to establish supervision over the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and military forces, an increase in the transparency and accountability of defense procurement, and the development of privatization opportunities. After the approval by the Senate Armed Services Committee, the bill will be put to a vote in the Senate. “As long as Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine continues, and Russia continues to use hybrid war tactics such as propaganda and disinformation, it is extremely important that the US and NATO provided constant economic, political, and military support necessary for Ukraine to ensure its democratic future,” Senator Portman said, noting that an independent Ukraine is extremely important not only for Eastern Europe, but also for broader US interests in the region and beyond.

UAWire – The USA allocated $25 million in aid to Ukraine for security According to the US Embassy to Ukraine, the USA allocated $25 million of aid to Ukraine in July to improve security. “The USA allocated $25 …

Ukraine spends 6% of GDP on security and defence – 14.07.2017 14:50 — Ukrinform News 14.07.2017 14:50. Ukraine spends 6% of its GDP on financing the security and defence sector.

Poroshenko speaks of ways to return DonbasUkrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said he plans to return the occupied parts of Donbas under Ukraine’scontrol by political and diplomatic means, the president&rsquo;s spokesman Svyatoslav Tsegolko wrote on Twitter. News 14 July from UNIAN.

Ukraine’s draft law on reintegrating Donbas finally says it’s under Russian occupation -Euromaidan Press | Alya Shandra A draft bill on reintegrating Donbas, created by Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council (NSDC)l, recognizes that the territories under the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk “People’s Republics,” until now officially called “certain areas of the Luhansk and Donetsk Oblast (ORDLO),” or the “Anti-Terrorist Operation zone” as being under Russian occupation, and outlines the measures Ukraine will take to regain control over them. The bill was published by the Ukrainian media outlet hromadske.ua. The first news of the preparation of such a bill appeared on 13 June, when NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov stated that Ukraine needs to move to a new format for protecting the country from Russia’s hybrid war and that this requires legislative cancellation of the “anti-terrorist operation” status that Ukraine has been in since the start of Russian-backed aggression against the country in 2014. The NSDC was supposed to consider the document for approval at a meeting on 19 July 2017, but this has been postponed for consultations with strategic partners, according to Turchynov. Hromadske’s sources suspect that the document will be considered only in autumn after the Verkhovna Rada returns from vacation. The outlet has published a copy of the draft law “On the peculiarities of state policy on the restoration of the state sovereignty of Ukraine over the temporarily occupied territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine,” along with a summary.

UAWire – Ukrainian media: In the new bill on de-occupation of Donbas Russia is called an aggressor The online publication Hromadske published the text of the bill “on the characteristics of state policy on the restoration of state sovereignty …

“Calls into question the special status and amnesty”: a bill on the reintegration of Donbass has caused outrage in the Russian Federation 14.07.17 18:09 – The draft law on the reintegration of Donbass, developed by the National Security and Defense Council, aroused outrage  in Russia. As reported by the Censor. NO, the representatives of the Russian Federation made a statement that this bill does not meet the Minsk agreements.  The head of the Commission of the Federation Council of Russia for Information Policy Alexei Pushkov said that the bill on the reintegration of Donbass means complete rejection of the Minsk agreements. “The draft law on the reintegration of Donbass is a complete and final rejection of the Minsk agreements, and as such has no chance,” he wrote on Twitter. According to Gazeta.ru, a similar opinion was expressed by Russia’s permanent representative to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich. The issue of amnesty for militants is of particular concern to the RF Permanent Representative. “We carefully follow the discussions in Ukraine on the new draft law on the reintegration of Donbass, are concerned that this document may conflict with the Minsk agreements, call into question the holding of local elections in Donbas, the prospects for the entry into force of laws on special status and amnesty,” – He said at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council. He also noted that the alarm of the Russian authorities “is caused by the fact that the discussion of the new initiative is taking place against the backdrop of growing belligerent rhetoric, threats to resort to force.” The leaders of the ORLO militia are also concerned about the possible adoption of this bill. In June, a representative of the self-proclaimed “LNR” in the political subgroup of the contact group Rodion Miroshnik said that the bill would turn Poroshenko into a dictator. “The main goal of the so-called law on the reintegration of Donbass is the granting of Poroshenko with dictatorial powers that he could not receive in 2014, when the power operation in Donbass began, but three years of brainwashing allowed to throw this bill into society,” Miroshnik said, Noting that “the next step may be the question of introducing a law on the succession of power in Ukraine to the Rada, which provides for the consolidation of succession to the family of Poroshenko’s grandchildren.” Recall, the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) has developed a law on the return of state sovereignty over the occupied areas of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, its inclusion in the Verkhovna Rada is planned in September after consultations with Ukraine’s strategic partners. On July 12, a preliminary version of the bill appeared in the media. Brief essence of the bill: since Russia constantly violates its obligations, Ukraine can no longer maintain the status quo in the occupied territories. To have more legal arguments, Ukraine will approve the occupied status of these territories and place all responsibility for them on the invader – the Russian Federation.

Russian secret services agent detained while receiving secret information from Ukraine’s Armed Forces General Staff, – SBU Counterintelligence. PHOTOS 14.07.17 15:24 – SBU Counterintelligence together with Chief Directorate of Security Service in Kyiv and the Kyiv region revealed and detained on July 13 an agent of Russia’s secret services, who attempted obtaining secret documents from the military and recruit a Defense Ministry of Ukraine representative. Censor.NET reports citing SBU press service. These intelligence activities were conducted by a Ukrainian citizen, resident and native of Donetsk, who was trying to get intelligence information about Ukrainian military units, as tasked by Russian secret services. He was interested in learning about Ukraine’s units personnel, equipment, location, weapons and relocation along the demarcation line, NATO supplies of military equipment to Ukraine, Sea Breeze drills in 2017, and data about officers of U.S. Army who train Ukrainian military. Most of these data is classified, experts say. To obtain this information, the agent made contact with a former Ukrainian Army officer and was trying to receive classified materials from him. The Ukrainian citizen was promised financial remuneration for completion of this intelligence activities.

Ukrainian military probed for spying for Russia – LB.ua news portal Ukrainian military probed for spying for Russia. Col. Ihor Slisarchuk is cooperating with the investigation. The Security Service of Ukraine suspects the head of the Yavorovsky landfill of working for the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia (GRU). Kyiv’s Shevchenkivskyy district court on 21 June warranted the suspects’ arrest and the seizure of his computer, mobile phone and data storage device incriminating his spying activities in the interests of Russia. The court warrant states that during the period of 2015-2016, the suspect, occupying the post of the head of the military testing Site of the International Center for Peacekeeping and Security (ICMP) carried out the orders of the Russian GRU by collecting and transferring secret information about the activities of the Center. Col. Ihor Slisarchuk, who has been heading the Yavoriv testing center since 2011, is suspected of high treason. Yavoriv military testing ground, officially known as the International Center for Peacemaking and Security of the National Hetman Sahaidachnyy Army Academy, is located 30 km north of Lviv. Starting from 2015, the US has regularly sent its instructors to the Yavoriv center for the training of Ukrainian servicemen.

SBU suspects chief of joint shooting range of International Peacekeeping Center of links with Russian military intelligence, – journalist 13.07.17 16:16 – Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) suspects the chief of the all-arms shooting range of the International Peacekeeping and Security Center of cooperation with Russian intelligence. This was announced by Censor.NET Chief Editor Yurii Butusov on Facebook. “A source of Censor.NET close to SBU told us that investigation is being conducted against chief of all-arms shooting range of the International Peacekeeping and Security Center. A number of media outlets reported it was head of the Center, Colonel Ihor Slisarchuk, but in fact the searches are conducted not at his place, but at his subordinate’s. “The person suspected of links to Russian military intelligence is the chief of the shooting range, which is a structural unit of the International Center,” Butusov wrote. Earlier, media reported that SBU suspects Ihor Slisarchuk, chief of the International Peacekeeping and Security Center, of cooperation with Russian Main Intelligence Department (GRU) of Russian MoD. Source: https://en.censor.net.ua/n447672

SBU busts Islamic State terrorists in Kharkiv | UNIAN Two men, suspected of involvement with the Islamic State terrorist organization, have been detained by SBU Security Service operatives at a parking lot outside a shopping mall in Kharkiv, TSN news service reports. News 14 July from UNIAN.

Militants launched 29 attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas in last day – 14.07.2017 09:24 — Ukrinform News 14.07.2017 09:24. Militants launched 29 attacks on positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in ATO area in Donbas over the past day, having intensified attacks in Donetsk and Mariupol directions.

Pro-Russian militants breach ceasefire 29 times in past 24 hours – ATO HQ Over the past&nbsp;day, the enemy violated the ceasefire agreement 29 times along the line of contact in eastern Ukraine, according to the Anti-Terrorist Operation Headquarters. News 14 July from UNIAN.

Two Ukrainian military wounded in combat yesterday, – ATO HQ 14.07.17 13:29 – Two Ukrainian military wounded in combat yesterday, – ATO HQ Two Ukrainian servicemen were wounded in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) in the east of Ukraine on July 13. View news.

Areas near Ukraine’s port city of Mariupol turn into hot spot of Donbas war in past day Russia’s hybrid military forces violated the ceasefire in Ukraine’s east 13 times in the past day, and they became most active in the sector near the Ukrainian-controlled strategic port city of Mariupol in Donetsk region, according to the press center of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters. News 13 July from UNIAN.

Sabotage group commander killed in Donbas got sniper rifle from Russia Commander of a terrorist sabotage group neutralized by Ukrainian forces outside Zholobok in Donbas, Russian military officer Alexander Shcherba, who was killed in a shootout, carried a Russian-made sniper rifle, that’s according to an OSINT investigation by InformNapalm community. News 14 July from UNIAN.

Twenty-eight Ukrainian combat units already trained under NATO standards – 14.07.2017 12:37 — Ukrinform News 14.07.2017 12:37. Twenty-eight combat units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have already undergone military training under the NATO standards.

“Requirements are high. Only one in ten graduated,” – Spetsnaz graduation in SOF training center. VIDEO 13.07.17 17:23 – Requirements are high. Only one in ten graduated, – Spetsnaz graduation in SOF training center. VIDEO Graduates of the Special Operation Forces (SOF) training center have been trained for six months using the latest military techniques. View video news.
Sea Breeze 2017 CV-22 @ Odessa https://www.facebook.com/SeaBreezeexercise/videos/1066330790169141/

Sea Breeze 2017 Su-25M1 FROGFOOT https://www.facebook.com/SeaBreezeexercise/videos/1066309670171253/


P-8A in Odessa.

UAWire – Two American P-8 Poseidon aircraft arrived in Ukraine for the first time Two American reconnaissance P-8 Poseidon aircraft have arrived for the first time in Odessa to participate in the Ukrainian-American exercise Sea Breeze-2017, the press service of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces reported on Facebook on Wednesday. In Odessa, the Sea Breeze international naval exercises are held under the auspices of the Partnership for Peace program and in accordance with the program of bilateral cooperation between the defense ministries of Ukraine and the United States for the current year. “On July 11th, two American reconnaissance P-8 Poseidon aircraft arrived in the city to take part in the exercises. This is the first time such aircraft have been not only to Odessa but in Ukraine. In all previous Sea Breeze, the P-3 Orion basic patrol P-3 aircraft were used. However, these aircraft have recently begun to be removed from the arsenal and replaced by Poseidons,” the Facebook post reads. The joint American and Ukrainian naval exercises, Sea Breeze-2017, started on Monday in southern Ukraine. It was reported earlier that the US military participation in Sea Breeze involved two battleships equipped with the Aegis anti-missile system, a Ticonderoga-class crusier, Hue City and a Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, Carney, which arrived in Odessa on Monday. In addition four aircraft, including the patrol anti-submarine Boeing P-8A Poseidon; a mobile engineering unit, and a marine special operations detachment are participating in the exercises. Overall, about 800 U.N. Navy sailors and Marines are taking part in Sea Breeze-2017. In total, according to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, 31 vessels, boats and ships, 29 aircraft, and more than 3,000 personnel are involved in the joint Ukrainian-American exercises Sea Breeze-2017, which started on Monday in southern Ukraine.

U.S. Poseidon aircraft arrive for Sea Breeze 2017 drills in Odesa | KyivPost The United States Navy’s two Poseidon P-8 patrol anti-submarine aircraft have arrived in Odesa to participate in the Sea Breeze 2017 international naval exercises, which had began on July 10, the press service for the Ukrainian General Staff said. “Two U.S. Poseidon P-8 state-of-the-art surveillance aircraft arrived to participate in drills in the city on July 11. It is the first visit of such hardware not only to Odesa, but to Ukraine. The Orion P-3 basic patrol aircraft, which had recently begun to be decommissioned and replaced with the Poseidon aircraft, participated in all previous Sea Breeze exercises,” the press service said. According to information from open sources, the Boeing Poseidon P-8 is a patrol anti-submarine aircraft developed under the multimission maritime aircraft program to replace the Lockheed P-3 Orion. The aircraft’s production had begun in 2012, and its operations started in 2013. The Poseidon P-8 modification was developed for the U.S. Navy on the basis of the Boeing 737-800ERX. A total of 50 aircraft were supplies as part of the order for 122 of them as of the beginning of 2017.

Си Бриз-2017: В Одессе приземлились новейшие самолеты-разведчики США [Sea Breeze-2017: Latest US reconnaissance aircraft land in Odessa | Новое Время Как сообщает Думская, самолеты-разведчики приземлились в аэропорту Одессы с интервалом в 25 минут.Перед ними сел транспортный C-130J Геркулес, кото…

US readies to sink Russian submarines in the Black Sea – PravdaReport The US combat aviation has taken control of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. This is the legend of Sea Breeze 2017 international sea drills that started in the Black Sea on July 10, the press service of the Ukrainian General Staff reports. Two state-of-the-art US reconnaissance aircraft P-8 Poseidon arrived in Odessa for the purpose. The aircraft are designed to detect and destroy enemy submarines. Prior to this, all previous Sea Breeze drills involved basic patrol P-3 Orion aircraft, which are currently being replaced with Poseidons. Earlier, they patrolled the Eastern Mediterranean region near the Russian naval group and the logistics center of the Russian Navy in Tartus (Syria), as well as the Black Sea area in the vicinity of the coast of Russia. American patrol anti-submarine aircraft, especially of latest modifications, pose a certain threat to the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation, primarily to diesel submarines deployed there. The US aircraft are able to detect submarines on their bubble trail, the presence of oil spots, and magnetic radiation. In addition, P-8 Poseidon aircraft may detect submarines with the help of radio-acoustic buoys and other means capable of detecting submarines under the water.
ZSU S-300PS / SA-10B GRUMBLE in Shabla, Bulgaria.

SABER GUARDIAN 2017 | Command of the Air Force of Ukraine- Home At the military training ground of the Republic of Bulgaria, training of Ukrainian missileers for participation in Shabla-2017 fire fighting continues On July 12, at the Shabla range of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bulgaria, the combat services of the air defense missile systems S-300 from the Air Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to the International live-fire exercises “Shabla-2017” . According to the head of the Ukrainian side, Major General Dmitry Karpenko, according to the plan for preparation for exercises, direct cooperation at the “Shabla” range began with the joint preparation of equipment and armament of air defense missile systems for combat use. The foreign colleagues in detail acquainted Ukrainian rocketters with the peculiarities of the preparation and setting up of anti-aircraft missile technology for combat shooting, taking into account the requirements imposed on the personnel of other states while fulfilling common tasks in the multinational groupings of air defense of NATO member states. In general, as Major General Dmitry Karpenko noted, during the conduct of joint training activities, the personnel of the Air Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Air Force of the Republic of Bulgaria will exchange experience in the preparation and combat use of the anti-aircraft missile systems of the air defense system S-300 which Today is at the disposal of both states.

Ukrainian pilots left for the UK to participate in The Royal International Air Tattoo – 2017 | Міністерство оборони УкраїниThe personnel of the 831st Tactical Aviation Brigade based at Myrhorod 9Poltava, central Ukraine) left for the United Kingdom to participate in The Royal International Air Tattoo – 2017. Ukraine sends two Su-27s and one Il-76 this year. The official event website says ‘One of the most famous of all combat jets will make a spectacular return to the Royal International Air Tattoo this year’. One Su-27 will take part in the flying display on the Saturday and Sunday of the show, while the other will go on static display. An Il-76 four-jet transport will in the static park. According to the official website, RIAT chief executive Andy Armstrong said: “The return of the Ukrainian Su-27 this year is the result of a lot of hard work by the Air Tattoo team. I am delighted that the Ukrainian Air Force has made such a commitment to the show, and know that the ‘Flanker’ will be a major highlight in 2017.”

831st TACAIRBDE Su-27PU FLANKER C at RIAT in UK.

831 бригада тактичної авіації / 831 brigade of tactical aviation – Home Mirgorod aviators went to the UK to participate in the international aviation show “The Royal International Air Tattoo – 2017” The flight and engineering staff of 831 tactical aviation brigades of the Air Command Center “of the Air Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine stationed in Poltava region departed for the participation in the international aviation show” The Royal International Air Tattoo – 2017 “. This year, Ukraine is represented by two Su-27 fighter planes and Il-76 military transport aircraft. According to the official site of the Royal Air Show, the greatest attention is already focused on the striking return of the Ukrainian fighter “Flanker”. One of the Su-27 planes will be presented during a three-day static display along with the IL-76 transport aircraft. The Su-27 combat aircraft will show aerobatics on Saturday and Sunday. Andy Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer of the International Air Show “The Royal International Air Tattoo – 2017” said: – The return of the Ukrainian Su-27 this year is the result of the great work carried out by the Air Tattoo team. I am very pleased that the Ukrainian Air Forces demonstrate such commitment to the air show. Know that Flanker will be the main event in 2017, which will be most covered by the media. Reference: For the first time, the official delegation of the Ukrainian Air Force took part in the prestigious international aviation show “The Royal International Air Tattoo” in 1996. This year, Ukrainian military pilots increased the number of aerobatics and added new elements that are performed at small and extremely low altitudes. The implementation of the loop of Nesterov, an element such as the “Bell”, battle turns with a turn in the inner side, battle turns with “Barrels”, an overturned flight, imitation of approach from the chassis, passages at low and high speeds will not leave anyone indifferent. Our pilots carry out their demonstration program on serial aircraft, and not on specially prepared and refitted for air shows. In general, the program is designed to demonstrate the capabilities of the fighter plane, its maneuverability, and the professional level of the military pilot during the performance, without exceeding the limits of visual visibility. Demonstration program, depending on meteorological conditions, was worked out in four variants. Most importantly, participation in international aviation shows is a demonstration of prestige of Ukraine. This is a great opportunity to chat with pilots from other countries of the world, to see their professional level and technology. Officer – spokesman for 831 brigades of tactical aviation lieutenant Svetlana BORISOVA

Amnesty Says Missing Ukrainian Blogger Held By Russia-Backed Separatists Amnesty International says it has information that a missing Ukrainian blogger is being held by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s eastern region of Donetsk. In a July 12 statement, Amnest…

Russian soldiers captured in Ukraine: an exchange pool for Ukrainian hostages | #LetMyPeopleGo -Euromaidan Press The recent capture of two Russian FSB border guards in South Ukraine may make the Kremlin more tractable in the issue of exchanging its Ukrainian hostages. At the same time, these developments bring about the discussion on the legal status of the servicemen of the aggressor state once they are detained in Ukraine. On 30 June 2017, a powerboat bearing Russian identification marks was intercepted by Ukrainian military when approaching the shore in Kherson Oblast from the side of occupied Crimea. Two members of the Russian border service (a part of Russia’s Federal Security Service, FSB) who were in the boat were detained. They claim they had strayed from the route and “confused landmarks” during the training. The volunteer investigative team InformNapalm has identified the names of the two captives: they are junior officers Vladimir Kuznetsov (born in Russian Far East) and Askar Kulub (from Rostov Oblast, a Russian region adjacent to Ukraine). Initially, a Ukrainian court adjudged them to serve a tiny 15-day administrative arrest for entering the Ukrainian territory in violation of existing rules. On 6 July, after InformNapalm pointed to this information, the Security Service of Ukraine reported on a new indictment against the captives under Article 110 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code: encroachment on Ukraine’s territorial integrity. The article stipulates the punishment of three to twelve years in jail.

The Briton was given more than 5 years: he was a “soldier of Novorossia” in Ukraine The British court first recognized the citizen of the country as guilty of terrorist activities in connection with his participation in the conflict in the Donbass. The court in Manchester sentenced British Benjamin Stimson, who was part of the armed formations of the self-proclaimed People’s Democratic Republic and the People’s Republic of Germany, to five years and four months in prison. The judge clarified that he sentenced Stimson to eight years in prison, but deducted one-third of this time for admission of guilt. The prosecution said that Stimson had “the intention, with the assistance of others, to commit acts of terrorism by joining the ranks of the militia opposing the authorities of Ukraine and serving as a militia fighter.” However, the judge found no evidence that Stimson was directly involved in the armed conflict. The judge ruled that Benjamin Stimson does not have extremist views and does not present a danger to the population of Britain. Initially, Stimson was also accused of preparing and committing terrorist acts, but then these charges were dropped. A fighter against imperialism Benjamin Stimson is 41 years old. He was born and raised in the north of England. In autumn 2015, the BBC journalists met him near Debaltsevo. He said that he went to Donbass, because he did not see any prospects at home. At that time he had been unemployed for a year and a half. But no less important for the British were and ideological reasons. “I consider what is happening here as a Western imperialist aggression against Russia, against people who do not play Western games,” he told the BBC. During the interview, Stimson held the carbine standing next to the chair. At the same time, he said that he had never fired an enemy in three months in eastern Ukraine. At trial, Benjamin Stimson denied his involvement in the hostilities. According to him, he spent four months in the east of Ukraine, working as an ambulance driver. Judging by the materials of the case, during his stay in Donbass, the Briton spent several weeks in the hospital because of stomach problems, and then quite a long time was in the rear of the formations of the DNR, only occasionally leaving for the front line. The armed conflict in eastern Ukraine began in the spring of 2014. His most active stage was in the summer of the same year. Kiev and Western countries accuse Russia of providing military assistance to supporters of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk “People’s Republics.” The Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly stated that in the east of the country there are regular parts of the Russian army. The Kremlin denies the participation of Russian military in this conflict, while stressing that there may be citizens of Russia who voluntarily take part in hostilities. In Britain, there is legislation that allows individuals returning from countries where they took part in armed conflicts to be charged with terrorism. This law appeared after hundreds of British citizens went to Syria in order to fight on the side of the extremist group “Islamic State”.

NABU held director of Lviv Armor Plant, his deputy – LB.ua news portal  NABU held director of Lviv Armor Plant, his deputy. Poroshenko was supposed to visit the company today. Main – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Why Ryanair ditched Ukraine -Euromaidan Press | Olena Makarenko First, the low-cost airline Ryanair caused a commotion when it announced it was entering the Ukrainian market in spring 2017. Second, when on July 10 it announced that it is leaving it before even starting to operate. In the aftermath, Ukrainian consumers and experts try to figure out whom to blame for scrapping the deal – the airport Boryspil, which did not allow the airlines to operate there, or the airlines, which put forward impossible conditions. Probably, both versions are true at the same time. Moreover, the game might be not over yet. Still, even the intention of Ryanair to enter the country stirred up the inert, antiquated Ukrainian market. On June 10, Pavlo Ryabikin, the head of Ukraine’s main airport Boryspil, where Ryanair was planning to operate, held a press conference. During it, he stated that the airlines and the airport could not come to understanding in the negotiation process. On the same day, it became impossible to purchase tickets on the site of the low-cost airline. The same day Volodymyr Omelyan, the Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine put all the blame on Boryspil: “The aim of the Boryspil airport was to block Ryanair from coming to Ukraine, but not to negotiate. From the first day, it was clear that a full breakdown and sabotage of the agreement is taking place.” Omelyan also initiated the dismissal of the head of the airport. However, a number of experts defend the position of the airport, saying that Ryanair is well known as a tough negotiator and that the conditions they demand are indeed hard to fulfill. So let’s take a look at who wanted what.

Ryanair canceled its plans to enter Ukrainian market. Is the story over? -Euromaidan Press | Vitalii Rybak Ryanair lowcost airline announced on 10 July it had canceled its planned entry into Ukrainian market. David O’Brien, Ryanair’s Chief Commercial Officer, said in an official statement that “Ukraine is not yet a sufficiently mature or reliable business location to invest valuable Ryanair aircraft capacity.” According to O’Brien, the withdrawal will result in the “loss of over 500,000 customers and 400 airport jobs in the first year alone, which would have provided a significant boost to the Ukrainian economy.” This development follows Boryspil airport’s failure to honor a growth agreement reached at the Ministry of Infrastructure with airport officials and the current airport director general, Pavlo Ryabikin. Ryabikin himself, however, is sure that this was a right decision. “Ryanair’s demands were extremely harsh and far from market standards. This deal would have resulted in 2 billion hryvnias losses yearly for the airport,” Boryspil’s director general argued at a press-briefing. He also recalled that another Kyiv’s airport, Zhuliany, had also closed negotiations with Ryanair in May 2017 due to the very same reasons, but nobody paid attention because hopes for Boryspil were high. Economichna Pravda published a list of Ryanair’s demands which was announced by Ryabikin.

UAWire – The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine is investigating the appropriation of $3.8 million for the construction of a wall on the Russian border The Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine has launched a joint investigation together with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) into a …

Donbas beyond the war. Preserving the steppe marmot -Euromaidan Press Striltsivskyi Steppe is a nature reserve in the north of Luhansk Oblast, one of four divisions of Luhansk Nature Reserve. It is the only one of four untouched by war. Two other parts of Luhansk Reserve, Prydintsivska Zaplava and Tryokhizbenskyi Steppe, are situated near the war-torn settlements of Stanytsia Luhanska and Krymske just at the frontline. Finally, Provalskyi Steppe is the deep rear of the occupied territory. Striltsivskyi Steppe was established in 1923 to preserve the steppe marmot, an endangered species also known as bobak marmot. Later the reserve’s mission was extended to preserve the steppe wildlife, flora, and fauna. The reserve is named after Striltsivka, a village 15 km away from the protected area of Striltsivskyi Steppe. Back in 1923, the nature reserve was called wildlife sanctuary Striletskyi Steppe and some sources still use its old name. Striltsivskyi Steppe houses 673 species of vascular plants, 25 bryophyte species, 78 species of green algae. Also, about 150 fungi species have been discovered in the reserve. 25 plants are on the Red List including a local white mushroom (Agaricus tabularis), a species of the couch grass (Elytrigia stipifolia), several species of the feather grass (Stipa). The nature reserve provides habitats for 47 species of mammals, as well as other wildlife including 190 bird species, 7 reptile and 6 frog species. In addition, there are about 1100 insect species.
http://www.nature-images.eu/species/mammals/images/marmota_bobak/1200x800/4.jpg

Endangered Ukrainian Steppe Marmot

UAWire – Yanukovych to file a lawsuit against Ukraine in the European Court of Human Rights Viktor Yanukovych, the former President of Ukraine, will file a lawsuit with the European Court of Human Rights within a month, according to his …


Kyiv official explains failure to sign joint declaration of Ukraine-EU summit The final declaration of the Ukraine-EU Summit held in Kyiv has failed to be adopted due to the lack of consensus, deputy head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine Kostyantyn&nbsp;Yeliseiev&nbsp;told TV&nbsp;Channnel&nbsp;5. “I’m a little upset over the fact that everyone is paying attention to whether or not there was a final document, that is, the declaration. Indeed, attempts have been made to work out a joint document, and it’s a normal situation where a consensus has not been reached. In this case, the draft of this political document, unfortunately, did not go beyond those ambitions that had been laid down in the text of the Association Agreement,” he said. Yeliseiev noted that since the draft final declaration failed to fix more far-reaching goals, the parties “decided to concentrate on more concrete results, those concrete steps that will allow Ukrainian citizens to get all the benefits from European integration.” On July 12, the Official Journal of the European Union published a decision on the completion of ratification of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement.

Ukraine-EU Summit In Kyiv Focuses On Bolstering Ties At an EU-Ukraine summit in Kyiv, both sides have hailed strengthening relations in the wake of the European Union’s final approval of an Association Agreement with Kyiv earlier in the week and th…

Poroshenko, European leaders discuss Marshall Plan for Ukraine Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has announced Ukraine has discussed with the European Union the possibility of developing a new long-term economic support plan similar to a Marshall Plan, a comprehensive U.S. program of support for Europe after World War II. News 13 July from UNIAN.

EU acknowledges Ukraine’s European aspirations, recognizes its European choice – Tusk President of the EU Council notes that the European Union acknowledges Ukraine&rsquo;s European aspirations and welcomes its pro-European choice,&nbsp;an UNIAN&nbsp;correspondent reported from a joint press conference of EU leaders with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kyiv following a plenary session of the XIX Ukraine-EU Summit. “I will just repeat what I said about the most important part of the most important document, I mean, the Association Agreement. It’s not the slogan. After visa liberalization decision, after Association Agreement and DCFTA, this is our new reality, and I want just to repeat this quote: ‘The European Union acknowledges the European aspiration of Ukraine and welcomes its European choice’.” said Tusk.

Nobody has right to take away Ukraine’s pro-European choice – Poroshenko Ukraine has clearly declared its European aspirations and European choice, which the country will not give it up, so nobody has the right to take it away from Ukrainians, President Petro Poroshenko noted in his opening address during the XIX Ukraine &ndash; EU Summit. Petro Poroshenko emphasized that he had neither moral nor political right to give up the letter and spirit of the Association Agreement, its purpose, its meaning for the Ukrainian nation and for the future of the state. The president has emphasized that the Agreement is a document for which millions of Ukrainians came out to the Revolution of Dignity. “It has become a symbol of struggle of the Ukrainian nation for freedom, independence, common values of Ukraine and the EU, free and democratic development of Ukraine, right to choose the future of our state freely,” he said. Read also Ukraine sees strong opposition from 3 EU states against notion of country’s accession path in UA-EU Summit’s joint statement – media “The right to choose the future belongs solely to Ukrainians and no country in the world can turn on the red light on this path. However, no nation has paid such a high price for the rapprochement with the EU,” the president noted.

Poroshenko, Tusk congratulate political prisoner Sentsov on his birthday – 13.07.2017 16:00 — Ukrinform News 13.07.2017 16:00. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and President of the European Council Donald Tusk have congratulated filmmaker Oleg Sentsov on his birthday and called on Russia to immediately release all Ukrainian political prisoners.

Ukraine shares proof with EU that Russia circumvents sanctions Deputy head of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s administration Kostiantyn Yeliseyev has announced that the Ukrainian side handed over a document to the European Union that lists all facts of Russia’s circumvention of EU sanctions, according to Channel 5. News 14 July from UNIAN.


Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports


Trump, Macron Pledge To Work Jointly On Postwar Road Map For Syria, Iraq U.S. President Donald Trump says Washington will work with France on a postwar plan for Syria, and with its partners in Iraq to cement victory over Islamic State (IS) fighters in the city of Mosul. …

Cracks Appear In ISIS Online Caliphate – To Inform is to Influence ISIS has not only lost the Iraqi city of Mosul, it’s also losing the cyberspace jihad. Andrew McIntosh HuffPost Quebec Cyber jihad efforts of the self-described Islamic State are weakening in quantity, quality and effectiveness as “cracks” appear in the terrorist group’s online propaganda machine, a new report argues. Since 2016, proactive antiterrorist measures by technology…

‘Lion of Mosul’ Heroic Iraqi soldier infiltrates ISIS before gunning down SIX jihadis – To Inform is to Influence I first saw a reference to this in an obscure listing on Facebook, so I clicked on it. I thought perhaps it was fun propaganda, and at worst, a sensational headline.  It turns out that the truth is more fascinating than fiction. An Iraqi Special Forces soldier volunteered for the ultimate dangerous mission, infiltrated ISIS,…

The ISIS Killers: The Men Leading the Battle For Mosul Might Be Wiped Out Along the Way An elite group of Iraqi soldiers is leading the battle to free the city of Mosul from ISIS. The so-called “Golden Division” was formed and trained by the US to hunt terrorists — but in Mosul they have

Mosul: What the Decade’s Largest Battle Says About the Future of War – Defense One Here’s how Western-backed Iraqi soldiers helped break the Islamic State’s grip on a city of more than 1 million people — and what we can learn from it.

ISIS has been a catastrophe for Sunnis in Iraq and Syria | The Washington Post ISIS has been a catastrophe for Sunnis in Iraq and Syria

Iraq Pushes Back Over Allegations of Civilian Casualties, Abuse in Mosul Iraqi officials visiting Pentagon suggest some videos may have been fabricated, as forces prepare for next steps against Islamic State

How Saudi Arabia Botched Its Campaign Against Qatar | Foreign Affairs The best hope for Saudi Arabia and its allies is that some face-saving resolution to the conflict with Qatar can be found.

Turkey Chooses Russia Over NATO for Missile Defense – Bloomberg Turkey has agreed to pay $2.5 billion to acquire Russia’s most advanced missile defense system, a senior Turkish official said, in a deal that signals a turn away from the NATO military alliance that has anchored Turkey to the West for more than six decades.

Turkey’s Post-Coup Purge and Erdogan’s Private Army | Foreign Policy The Turkish president has brutally cleansed ranks and is building a new army with some strange bedfellows.

JOHN TULLOH. Fear, paranoia and anxiety in Turkey one year on from the failed coup attempt. | John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations As one opposition MP noted: ‘Turkey has been wrapped in a cloak of fear and anxiety’. Paranoia as well, he might have added.   Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may have relished the coup attempt one year ago. Not because it failed, but that it gave him the perfect excuse to pursue his…


DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports


With Possible New Sanctions, White House Gets Serious on China’s North Korea Ties | Foreign Policy The United States is reportedly preparing a new round of secondary sanctions on Chinese companies and individuals that do business with North Korea, according to Reuters. The new measures would target select companies and minor financial firms but no big banks, and could be announced within a matter of weeks, according to the report. The United States slapped an initial round of sanctions on Chinese firms who help prop up Pyongyang in late June — a departure from a traditionally cautious approach to ratcheting up pressure on North Korea’s main source of support. That the White House would consider a second round of sanctions so soon after the first indicates that the Trump administration is willing to back up its tough rhetoric on North Korea. The sanctions are meant to apply meaningful pressure on a government which is all but single-handedly propping up a regime that threatens South Korea, Japan, and the United States with nuclear destruction. North Korea’s multiple missile tests in recent months, culminating with its first-ever successful launch last week of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching Alaska, has alarmed the international community and presented Trump’s first major foreign policy test.

Chinese figures show trade is up with North Korea, but questions abound – The Washington Post Despite sanctions, trade between the two countries rose 10% in the first six months of 2017.

Chinese trade with North Korea jumped 10.5% in the first half of this year, according to China Customs data China Customs said Thursday that the country’s overall trade with North Korea had grown 10.5 percent in the first half of the year.

South Korea’s THAAD missile shield could be ‘overwhelmed’ by Pyongyang South Korea’s U.S.-supplied THAAD missile shield could be “overwhelmed” by a swarm-like attack from North Korea, according to an expert.

Why THAAD Is North Korea’s Worst Nightmare (And Everything Else Lockheed Martin Told Us) | The National Interest Blog What you need to know about THAAD. 

Could North Korea turn America’s lights out? We’re living in the dark about our electric grid | Fox News Forty years ago this week, lightning struck an electrical power station, blacking out the city of New York and surrounding suburbs. Believe it or not, such a scenario is even more likely now, thanks to North Korea.

North Korea: What Next for Kim Jong Un’s Nuclear Gamble? | Time.com Kim Jong Un’s rule has actually seen North Korea’s economy improve, and he has shown a hardline stance when it comes to the nuclear drive

North Korea Can Now Launch Lethal, More Accurate Missiles: U.S. Intelligence The National Air and Space Intelligence Center says Pyongyang’s CRBM rockets have a maximum range of 220 miles.

North Korean Boat Pointed Gun At Japanese Ship and Chased It: Reports The North Korea ship was spotted by a Japanese fishing boat inside an area Tokyo claims as its own.

China’s North Korean Liability | Foreign Affairs On July 8, at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, U.S. President Donald Trump held a cordial press conference with Chinese President Xi Jinping where they discussed how they would address the growing threat of North Korea.

A Collection of North Korean Stories and the Mystery of Their Origins | The New Yorker Mythili Rao writes about “The Accusation,” by Bandi, the first work of dissident fiction by a living North Korean writer ever smuggled out of that country.

North Korea seen as more dangerous than Islamic State, survey says – UPI.com U.S. voters regard North Korea as a greater threat to the United States than the Islamic State, according to a recent survey.

Why military options won’t work against N. Korea threat (Opinion) – CNN.com Although a US THAAD missile successfully intercepted a test target in Alaska on Tuesday, our defense systems would not be fully effective in shielding the United States from missile attacks, writes Thomas H. Lee.

North Korea Cools Trump’s Initial Warmth Toward China The Trump administration may soon be imposing additional sanctions on Chinese banks and firms for doing business with North Korea. WSJ’s Gerald F. Seib examines what has happened to the warm feelings

How China’s Loudest Voice for Political Change Was Silenced 7/13/2017 12:03PM Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, who embodied the hopes of the 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy movement, died on July 13 while serving an 11-year prison sentence for inciting subversion. Photo: AFP/Getty.

Liu Xiaobo a victim led astray by West – Global Times Source:Global Times Published: 2017/7/14 0:38:39  The bureau of justice of Shenyang announced Thursday night that cancer patient Liu Xiaobo has died from organ failure, despite emergency efforts. Liu was given an 11-year sentence in 2009 for instigating subversion of State power. He was granted medical parole last month. The First Hospital of China Medical University where Liu was hospitalized invited top Chinese cancer experts to treat him, with doctors from the US and Germany participating in medical consultations. But his condition deteriorated quickly and he had been in a critical condition since Monday. The rapid deterioration of his illness is Liu’s huge misfortune. The hospital and doctors are believed to have tried their best to save and prolong Liu’s life. China has no motive not to provide Liu the best treatment, and the Chinese doctors’ efforts are highly regarded by foreign experts. Despite disputes over whether Liu should be sent abroad for treatment, German doctor Markus Buchler admitted “I don’t think we can do better medically than you do.” Since Liu’s medical parole was made public, the Chinese side has been focusing on Liu’s treatment, but some Western forces are always attempting to steer the issue in a political direction, hyping the treatment as a “human rights” issue. US and German authorities have also chimed in. Obviously, outside disturbances were of no help to Liu’s treatment. It is common sense that a critically ill patient should not be informed of disputes surrounding him that may arouse emotional upheaval, but the West was unwilling to care about Liu’s condition. Liu’s last days were politicized by the forces overseas. They used Liu’s illness as a tool to boost their image and demonize China. They aren’t really interested in prolonging Liu’s life. While Chinese doctors were doing their best to save Liu, they clamored and asked the critically ill patient to be transferred abroad only to show their so-called “sympathy.” Liu’s jail sentence is a solemn ruling of the Chinese law. Liu was diagnosed with cancer in jail, and the prison authorities granted him medical parole and provided him with humanitarian treatment. These are all facts. The various speculations from the West will vanish soon. The West has bestowed upon Liu a halo, which will not linger. By granting him the Nobel Prize, the West has “kidnapped” Liu. However, the West only puts a halo on those useful to them. Another example is Wei Jingsheng, living in the US now. Once an electrician at Beijing Zoo, the Western media called him the “father of China’s democracy.” He has been forgotten by Chinese society, and even in the US, few remember him. In Chinese history, none of China’s heroes were conferred by the West. One’s position and value in history will be decided by whether one’s endeavors and persistence have value to the country’s development and historical trends. One can create some waves against the current, but history will eventually wash away these traces. Liu lived in an era when China witnessed the most rapid growth in recent history, but he attempted to confront Chinese mainstream society under Western support. This has determined his tragic life. Even if he could live longer, he would never have achieved his political goals that are in opposition to the path of history.

China lodges protests with countries over ‘dissident’, Liu Xiaobo’s death After two decades of fighting for democracy, Liu was arrested in 2008 and sentenced on 25 December, 2009

Hong Kong leader offers condolences to wife of Chinese dissident Liu Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Friday she shares the compassion of people over the death of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo and acknowledged “anxieties” about “incidents” in the former British colony that can potentially erode its autonomy.

Chinese Citizens Evade Internet Censors to Remember Liu Xiaobo – The New York Times Through creative means, Chinese internet users showed support for a prominent political prisoner.

The enduring love story of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo – YouTube The enduring love story of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia.

audioBoom / PRC spies in America. PRC at the Paris Air Show. Rick Fisher, International Assessment and Strategy Center. @GordonGChang 07-12-2017 (Photo:Paris Air Show 2007 at Le Bourget)  http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/contact http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/schedules Twitter: @BatchelorShow Beijing’s spy networks in the United States include up to 25,000 Chinese intelligence officers and more than 15,000 recruited agents who have stepped up offensive spying activities since 2012, according to a Chinese dissident with close ties to Beijing’s military and intelligence establishment. Guo Wengui, a billionaire businessman who broke with the regime several months ago, said in an interview that he has close ties to the Ministry of State Security (MSS), the civilian intelligence service, and the military spy service of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). “I know the Chinese spy system very, very well,” Guo said, speaking through an interpreter, in his first American interview. “I have information about very minute details about how it operates.” 

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/chinas-spy-network-united-states-includes-25000-intelligence-officers/Chinese formation of Xian H-6 bombers fly near Taiwan and Japan | Defence BlogChina’s air force on Thursday sent formations of Xian H-6 strategic bombers near Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) and the Miyako Strait south of Japan’s Okinawa as part of a long-range drill, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said that day. Japan’s defence ministry also issued a statement late on Thursday describing the flyover by the formation of Xian H-6 bombers earlier that day as “unusual”, while noting that there had been no violation of Japanese airspace. Near the border with Taiwan and Japan were spotted the Xian H-6K is an updated version of the H-6 medium-range bomber. The H-6K is designed for long-range attacks and stand-off attacks. It is considered as a strategic bomber. It is capable of attacking US carrier battle groups and priority targets in Asia.This aircraft has nuclear strike capability. Earlier this week, Ministry of National Defense People’s Republic of China reported that the H-6 bombers attached to an aviation regiment of the air force under the PLA Eastern Theater Command will take part at a maritime orientation flight training exercise.


Foreign Policy Reports


Macron is Europe’s Trump whisperer (Opinion) – CNN.com Macron planned Trump’s visit as a strategic way to build a strong diplomatic foundation for France to become the leader among the EU, writes David A. Andelman

Trump And Macron Celebrate Bastille Day In Paris U.S. President Donald Trump joined French President Emmanuel Macron for Bastille Day celebrations in Paris. Trump was the guest of honor for the July 14 commemorations that marked the storming of the Bastille during the French Revolution. The celebrations also marked the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I in 1917. (AP)

Macron: ‘Nothing Will Ever Separate’ U.S. And France French President Emmanuel Macron said “nothing will ever separate” the United States and France as he hosted U.S. President Donald Trump at Bastille Day celebrations in Paris. The lavish parade on July 14 marked the storming of the Bastille during the French Revolution in 1789. This year’s celebrations also commemorated the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I in 1917, which Macron said had “rescued” France. (AP)

President Trump Arrives in France, Paris. Élysée Palace. July 13, 2017. Trump meets President Macron – YouTube President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive in Paris, France. Élysée Palace. July 13, 2017. President Trump meets with French President Macron…

WATCH: President Donald Trump Joint Press Conference LIVE in Paris, France 7/13/17 Macron Trump – YouTube WATCH: President Donald Trump Joint Press Conference with President Macron 7/13/2017 Trump Macron LIVE Paris Press Conference Watch LIVE: President Donald Tr…

President Trump & Melania’s Eiffel Tower Dinner with President Macron 7/13/17 – YouTube President Donald Trump & First Lady Melania Trump Have Dinner at the Top of the Eiffel Tower with President Macron🇺🇸🇫🇷 Paris, France July 13, 2017

President Trump to attend French National Day Parade with President and Mrs. Macron. 14 juillet 2017 – YouTube Watch: FULL. President Trump and Melania Trump participate in the French National Day Parade with President and Mrs. Macron. july 14 celebrations. July 14, 2…

Live: President Donald Trump Bastille Day Parade in Paris, France With Macron 7/13/17 – YouTube Live Stream: President Trump attends Bastille Day parade Bastille Day, Trump, Macron coverage Bastille Day in Paris President Trump and The First Lady Arrive…

Trump in Paris: France Celebrates Bastille Day With American Twist – NBC News The streets around the Champs Elysée Avenue in western Paris were brimming with French citizens Friday, some of whom came just to see President Trump.

Bastille Day Is a Military Holiday Out of Donald Trump’s Fantasies | Foreign Policy France and America are seeking rapprochement at an annual pageant that today is less about liberty, equality, and solidarity than tanks, drones, and missiles.

Trump revels in French military pomp as counter protest decries his visit – The Washington Post This year’s Bastille Day events included a special tribute to U.S. forces 100 years after entering World War I.

Donald Trump in France: What Emmanuel Macron and the President Have in Common Macron’s aides describe his lofty, distant governing style as “Jupiterian,” after the Roman king of the Gods.

Trump Breaks Bread with France’s Macron, Defends Son’s Meeting for Russian Dirt | Foreign Policy French President Emmanuel Macron and President Donald Trump didn’t get off the to the best of starts when they first met in May. But they sought to present an image of “unbreakable” friendship during a meeting in Paris Thursday to celebrate Bastille Day. At first glance, the two newly-minted political leaders are comfortably perched at nearly opposite poles of the current political spectrum. Macron is a young technocrat who ran on a platform promoting multiculturalism and greater cooperation with the European Union. Trump rode into office promoting nationalist policies like reduced immigration and greater isolationism. But at a joint press conference, both Macron and Trump spoke positively about shared history and cultural values, and promoted greater Franco-American cooperation on fighting terrorism, Syria, and trade. Trump also dangled a vague but tantalizing clue that Macron’s charm offensive may have a chance in swaying him towards compromise on some of France’s priorities.

Watch: President Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron hold news conference in Paris | WTKR.com Trump will serve as guest of honor at France’s Bastille Day national military parade on the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into World War I, invoking American triumphs abroad with a dash of pageantry that could help lift a struggling presidency and position him as a strong commander-in-chief.

How best to celebrate Bastille Day in France – The Local Fireworks, military parades, firemen’s balls – here are some of the best ways to celebrate July 14th in France this year.

Macron Says Direct Relationship With Russia Is ‘Very Important’ French President Emmanuel Macron said it was important to maintain direct contact with Russia and President Vladimir Putin despite having disagreements. At a news conference with U.S. President Donald Trump after the two leaders met in Paris on July 13, Macron was asked if he thought Trump was taking a hard enough line on Russia after allegations of Moscow’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. (Reuters)

Merkel In Paris Ahead Of Trump Visit Talks Of Europe Self-Reliance, U.S. Cooperation German Chancellor Angela Merkel has met in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron ahead of a visit by U.S. President Donald Trump, with the two European leaders expressing the need fo…

France unveils newest VBMR Griffon multi-role armoured vehicle at military parade in Paris | Defence Blog The French Armed Forces have displayed newest VBMR Griffon multi-role armoured vehicle, as part of «1917-2017: 100 ans de technologie» show during Bastille Day 2017 military parade. The new-generation Griffon 6×6 multi-role armoured vehicles (VBMR) are being acquired by the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) to replace the ageing fleet of Véhicule de l’Avant Blindé (VAB) 4×4 armoured personnel carriers, which have been operational with the French Army since 1976. The Griffon vehicle is based on a 6×6 commercial all-terrain truck chassis and will carry up to eight infantry soldiers. Currently six versions of the Griffon are planned, with four of these (Armored Personnel Carrier, Command Post, Ambulance, and Artillery Observer) ordered in the first tranche. The Griffon is equipped with a remote weapons station that can be armed with either a 12.7mm or 7.62mm machine gun, or a 40mm automatic grenade launcher. On 6 December 2014, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced that deliveries will commence in 2018 and the first tranche of 319 Griffons was ordered in April 2017. In total the French Army wants to buy 1,722 VBMR 6×6 Griffon. Also, On 22 June 2017, Belgium’s cabinet approved a plan to purchase 60 “Jaguar” and 417 “Griffon” vehicles for €1.1 billion. The 14th of July is an important date in the French calendar and thousands of French troops were parade down the Champs-Élysées in a dramatic show of pageantry to mark the storming of the Bastille military prison in 1789, a turning point in the French Revolution.


French, German leaders say nations must talk to Trump – The Washington Post Maintaining healthy ties with President Donald Trump is essential despite clear differences of opinion, the leaders of France and Germany said Thursday following their summit meeting.

Where Israel and Europe Go From Here | Foreign Affairs The outlook for the relationship between Europe and Israel is at worst a mixed one. Israel’s economic and security ties with European states are strong.

UAWire – Russians arrested in Hamburg unrest, face up to 10 years in prison Two Russians arrested after the riots in Hamburg, which took place on the eve of and during the recent G20 summit, may face six months to ten years in prison, as stated by the official representative of the Hamburg prosecutor’s office Nana Frombach. According to her, ten years is the maximum period to which detainees can be sentenced, but the final decision will be made by the court after the investigation is completed and formal charges are brought. Both prisoners are currently being held in pre-trial detention. They are suspected of resisting and causing serious bodily harm to the police. According to law enforcement agencies, the Russians threw bottles at police. The police detained a total of six Russian citizens in connection with the riots in Hamburg. Four were released soon afterwards. During the protests in connection with the G20 summit, which took place on July 7-8, the protesters – mostly left-wing extremists – fought with police in the streets, burned cars, and broke into and looted shops in the areas near the venue where the summit was held. The police used water cannons and tear gas. A special commission is investigating the riots. As was already reported, Germany has asked the EU for help in investigating the unrest in Hamburg.

Where Are The World’s Laziest People? The largest-ever study of daily movement reveals the laziest and most obese people around the world.


US Domestic Policy Reports


Here’s the White House’s Transcript of What Trump Told Reporters Off the Record – Bloomberg President Donald Trump spoke to reporters off the record Wednesday aboard Air Force One on his way to Paris to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron and participate in Bastille Day festivities. In an unusual episode, the White House on Thursday released its transcript of some of his comments, after Trump asked a reporter in Paris why she hadn’t reported on what he’d said the night before. Here’s the transcript as released by the White House.

Russia Expecting ‘Substantial’ Proposals In Upcoming Talks With U.S. Moscow expects &quot;substantial&quot; proposals on improving relations during diplomatic talks between the United States and Russia set for Washington on July 17. Russian Foreign Ministr…

Russia Threatens Retaliation For U.S. Diplomatic Expulsions Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on July 14 that Moscow could be forced to retaliate for the decision by the United States in December 2016 to expel 35 Russian diplomats and seize two Russian diplomatic compounds. She added that Moscow expected a July 17 meeting between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and U.S. Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon to make real progress on the issue. (Reuters)

U.S. May Return Seized Russian Dachas If Syrian Cease-Fire Holds U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration may return seized Russian diplomatic compounds in the United States if Moscow fulfills its commitments to a cease-fire deal in Syria, Sebastian Gorka…

No Counter-Propaganda Intel Resources: House Intel Committee Passes FY18 Intelligence Authorization Bill – To Inform is to Influence Interesting. There is a technical gap which jumps out at me.  Between “foreign counterintelligence” and the line at the bottom, “Russian influence campaigns directed at foreign elections”, there is nothing accounting for foreign propaganda intended to influence the American public or any foreign information warfare efforts.  That gap means no resources will be dedicated to…

Trump Again Defends Son For Meeting With Russian Lawyer During Election Campaign U.S. President Donald Trump has again defended his son’s meeting last year with a Russian lawyer, saying &quot;most people would have taken that meeting.&quot; Trump made the comments on Jul…

Ex-Soviet Intelligence Officer, Now Lobbyist, Reportedly At Trump Jr. Meeting With Russian Lawyer The Russian lawyer who met with the eldest son of U.S. President Donald Trump and other officials of his presidential campaign in June 2016 was accompanied by a Russian-American lobbyist who is …

Pro-Russian “Cyber Berkut” Publishes Alleged Links Between Ukraine And Clinton – To Inform is to Influence This appears to be where the real collusion was. Pro-Russia hacker site (or front) “Cyber Berkut” publishes alleged links between Ukraine and Clinton https://cyber-berkut.org/en/

Already A White House Liability, Kushner Became Radioactive This Week – Talking Points Memo Storm clouds have been gathering above the lightly-tousled head of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and trusted White House adviser, since April. But they split wide open this week amid damaging revelations about Kushner’s participation in a meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer promising incriminating information about Hillary Clinton, in addition to a fresh report about investigators’ interest in the data operation he was responsible for during the campaign.

Russia scandal: Trump supporters still back president Supporters of the president in Monroe County, Tenn., are not bothered by possible Russian interference in elections.

There’s No Escaping Donald Trump—Or the Imperial Presidency That Preceded Him Everywhere we go, Trump Trump Trump. Partly it’s the psychodrama he creates. But partly it’s because the presidency is much bigger than it was ever supposed to be.


A proposed new military branch would send US troops to guard the galaxy – CNNPolitics.com The crew of real-life Buzz Lightyears is described in the National Defense Authorization Act, which is now headed to the full House for a vote.

How a special forces ‘band of brothers’ culture leads to civilian deaths in war We need to acknowledge that ‘band of brothers’ military culture has a dark underbelly – and that individual acts of atrocity might be a reflection of broader, systemic issues.

Dr. Janine A. Davidson | Generations of War | Center for a New American Security Though the American experiment of an all-volunteer military force is largely considered to be a success, maintaining long-term awareness of challenges facing recruitment and retention will prove instrumental to sustaining the force for years to come. One such element is the “warrior caste” – the propensity of youth from military families to serve in the armed forces – a concept gaining renewed attention as the wars of the past 15 years wind down and the composition and readiness of the military take priority. While the “warrior caste” offers unique benefits and certainly speaks well of the military community and ethos of service fostered therein, it also raises questions about future recruitment prospects, who bears the burden of a nation at war, and how this trend may affect use-of-force decisions. Schafer rightly observes that this trend may portend future problems for both recruiting and civil-military relations. She provides a key examination of the available data and a critical foundation for further research and discussion. The importance of robust civil-military relations will only increase as the nation faces an increasingly tumultuous domestic and international environment. Ensuring the proper tools and dynamics are in place for the future must start with careful consideration of the varied factors contributing to fractures in civil-military relations today. “Generations of War” adds cogent analysis and insight to this discussion and raises questions about how an emerging “military caste” might affect the nation’s relationship with its military.

 

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