Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Media Update – 18 July 2017

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

Please pay attention to the Russian dig on the name Malorossiya, explained below.

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Interesting developments overnight. The leader of the DNR proxy “republic” in Donbass, Zakharchenko, declares the formation of a new state called “Malorossiya” [Little Russia] merging the DNR (Donetsk) and LNR (Luhansk) proxy republics. The choice of the name “Malorossiya” was interesting, and clearly intended to provoke and anger all Ukrainians, as this was the name assigned by the Tsarist regime during the 1600s to the colonial acquisition of central Ukraine. Political propaganda message here:  “We will conquer you just as we did in 1654”. Actual agenda? Most likely political provocation to compel the Ukrainians to make a political mistake in dealing with the West, or to distract Western MSM away from MH17 and Moldova. Much Western MSM reporting, some well informed, some not.

Russian media reporting an internal meltdown in Transnistria, with the former President fleeing the territory. Russia cut its subsidies to Transnistria, used as a FOB for SOF and covert ops groups, operating in Moldova and Southern Ukraine, as well as a source of on-tap paid for “rent-a-crowds used for riots in Odessa during 2014. While this transpires, Poroshenko offers help to Moldova: “Ukraine is willing to facilitate the restoration of Moldova’s territorial integrity and sovereignty” – in diplomatic speak, help throw the Russians out of Transnistria. If Transnistria is dismantled and the Russian garrison expelled, Russia loses a key strategic FOB for destabilizing Moldova, Ukraine and Balkans states. The long running debate over reintegrating Moldova with Romania can resume in earnest – Moldova was traded to the Tsarist regime by the Ottomans in 1812AD.

Russia’s dive into the abyss continues. Eidman elaborates on Putin’s ongoing defense of Stalin, and the equally destructive Ivan IV, the Terrible, both of who were leading expansionists who conquered significant territory. Putin’s spin doctors stuck on finding a saleable theme for the upcoming election, seeing that “Making Russia Nice Again” is a non-seller. Russian court reject an appeal by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, leaving them legally in the same domain as ISIS and other terrorists, declared to be “extremists”. Another corruption scandal explodes. Aerospace industry plans for austere budgets. Belarusian nationalists hold World Congress of Belarusians, observing that the “Social-Democratic movement in Europe is in crisis” and “have started to lose their moral bearings”, a veiled reference to Russia appeasement in EU Left politics.

More commentaries on MH17, little out of the Russian propaganda machine.

A half dozen interesting reports mostly on cyber topics.

Poroshenko signs “strategic partnership” with Georgia, the intend being to cooperate in rejecting Russia. In Shabla live-fire exercise, ZSU missileers kill two drones with 5V55R/SA-10B missiles. SEA BREEZE continues, some good footage. 831st Tac Air Bde Colonel Oleksander Oksanchenko wins best overall flying demonstration award at RIAT-2017. Commander of the Canadian Army, Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk visiting Ukraine. Donbass fires continue. Mothballed USCG Island class cutters to be transferred to Ukraine’s Navy. Oklahoma National Guard troops off duty in Lviv rescue civilians from burning building, before fire brigade arrives.

Iran dominating MidEast MSM, with Foreign Minister threatening to bail out of nuclear deal, and why not, seeing they got what they wanted out of it? Turkey refuses entry to Central Asians suspected to be ISIS recruits (reinforcements). Russia attempting to backstab Iran in Syria – what a trustworthy ally Russia has become.

Miller elaborates on the Russian play to leverage the DPRK against the US. More on Himalayan dispute, and the treatment of Liu Xiaobo.

Orban apologises to Netanyahu for WW2 collaboration of Hungary with Nazis – curious for a politician best known for promoting fascist agendas and the Putin regime. Venezuelan vote rejects regime position.

In the US debate, interesting commentaries by Lockie and Chotiner, while Rubin lambasts POTUS yet the criticisms could be equally applied to the previous administration, and much of the EU. Toxicity persists, and blowback against Russia continues. It would be interesting to compare the relative proportions of MSM bandwidth consumed by UBL/911 in 2001-2002 and Russia in 2016-2017.

Russia / Russophone Reports

Russia’s Zapad Wargames Are Making NATO Nervous

Zapad 2017 will involve thousands of troops, hundreds of pieces of military equipment.

Mansur Mirovalev | Russia: A resurgent superpower? | Russia | Al Jazeera

A century after Bolshevik revolution, Russia is seen as champion for belligerent nationalism across the globe.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin Feels a Kinship with Stalin and Ivan the Terrible, Eidman Says

Paul Goble Staunton, July 18 – Vladimir Putin “defends Ivan the Terrible and Stalin ‘from excessive demonization’ because unconsciously he feels himself” to share with them a common approach, Igor Eidman says, and views criticism of them like criticism of himself as “the slander of hated foreigners.” Stalin defended Ivan for the same reason, the Russian commentator says; but unlike Putin, Stalin viewed the tsar as “an insufficiently decisive murderer,” who should have killed more people. Putin for part isn’t disturbed by the actions of Stalin and their continuing impact on Russia ( “Ivan the Terrible was rehabilitated under Stalin, but under Putin a creeping rehabilitation of not only Ivan but of Stalin himself is going on,” Eidman continues, a reflection of the fact that other paranoids don’t appear to have a problem to those who are paranoid themselves. He then quotes Stalin on Ivan and Putin on both Ivan and Stalin to make his point. Stalin said that “the wisdom of Ivan the Terrible consisted in the fact that he stood on a national point of view and did not allow foreigners into his country, thus defending it from the penetration of foreign influence. [He] was very harsh [but] it was necessary to show” that in his times. “One of the mistakes of Ivan the Terrible consisted in that he did not cut down the five major feudal families. If he had destroyed these five boyar families, then there wouldn’t have been a time of troubles. But Ivan the Terrible executed some and then for a long time repented and brayed … He needed to be more decisive.” Putin said of Ivan the Terrible that it is “unknown whether he killed his son or not” and that the legend that he did was the work of the papal nuncio “who came to him for negotiations and tried to transform Orthodox Rus into Catholic Rus.” The nuncio then portrayed Ivan as something extraordinary, but exactly the same thing was occurring elsewhere at that time. And finally, Putin said of Stalin: “Stalin was a product of his times … It seems to me that excessive demonization of Stalin is one of the means, one of the lines of attack on the Soviet Union and Russia. in order to show that today’s Russia bears some birthmarks of Stalin. So what? – We all bear some birthmarks of some kind or another.”

A paranoid cannot close his eyes to another paranoid | Все блоги | Блоги | Каспаров.Ru

Igor Eidman: Putin subconsciously feels himself “a brother in cause” with Stalin and [Ivan] The Terrible. Update: 17-07-2017 (17:48) !! Spelling and stylistics of the author are kept Putin defends Ivan the Terrible and Stalin “from excessive demonization,” because he subconsciously feels in them “brothers by reason,” or rather, by clinical paranoia. In addition, the new “Vozhd” perceives his predecessors to be the same as himself, victims of the slander of hated foreigners. Exactly why Stalin defended the Terrible. True, to Stalin, the Terrible seemed an inadequate assassin, and for Putin both of them are cruel at the time, “in accordance with the demands of the times.” Putin, by his own admission, does not frighten the birthmarks (or corpse?) Of Stalinism on the body of modern Russia. Under Stalin, Ivan the Terrible was rehabilitated, and under Putin there is a creeping rehabilitation not only of the Terrible, but of Stalin himself. Paranoids do not give offense to one another. 🙂 Stalin on Ivan the Terrible The wisdom of Ivan the Terrible was that he stood on the national point of view and did not let foreigners into his country, protecting the country from the penetration of foreign influence. Ivan the Terrible was very cruel. Show that he was cruel you can, but you need to show why it is necessary to be cruel. One of the mistakes of Ivan the Terrible was that he did not cut down the five large feudal families. If he destroyed these five boyar families, then there would not be a Time of Troubles at all. And Ivan the Terrible executed someone and then repented and prayed for a long time. God hindered him in this matter … It was necessary to be even more determined. Putin on Ivan the Terrible Take the famous legend that Ivan the Terrible – Ivan the Terrible – killed his son. It’s still unknown whether he killed his son or not. Many researchers believe that he did not kill anyone at all, and thought it all papal nuncio, who came to him for talks and tried to turn the Orthodox Rus into Catholic Russia. And when Ivan Vasilievich refused him and sent him to a well-known address, there were all sorts of legends and stuff, and so on. He was made of Ivan the Terrible, such a superhero man. Although if you look at other countries at that time, everything was the same everywhere. The time was so cruel enough. Putin about Stalin. Stalin was a product of his era … It seems to me that the excessive demonization of Stalin is one of the ways, one of the ways of attacking the Soviet Union and Russia. Show that today’s Russia bears on itself some birthmarks of Stalinism. We all bear some kind of birthmarks, so what.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kremlin Still Unable to Come Up with Future for Putin to Run On, Vedomosti Says

Paul Goble Staunton, July 17 – An article in today’s Vedomosti suggesting that the Kremlin has not been able to come up with “an image of the future” which Vladimir Putin can use in the upcoming presidential elections has sparked widespread comment in the Internet that perhaps this means that “Putin doesn’t have a future” (e.g., In the Moscow paper, Elena Mukhametshina and Olga Churakova report that sources “close to the Presidential Administration” have told them that despite many “stormy” meetings, Kremlin officials haven’t been able to come close to an agreement on what Putin’s “future” should be ( The difficulties have been so intense, one source told the journalists, that Putin or his top aides have replaced “the curator” responsible for this project several times and brought in new people from polling agencies and the government media to give advice on what might work as a campaign agenda. Among those involved in this project now are television host Valery Fadeyev, Konstantin Kostin of the Foundation for the Development of Civil Society and Aleksandr Oslon of the Public Opinion Foundation.” They have not been able to agree either with Kremlin officials or with each other, the journalists suggest. In addition, Mukhametshina and Churakova say, the leadership of the United Russia Party, the All-Russian Popular Front, and the VTsIOM polling agency are involved as is the Valdai discussion club. “The image of the future is the main ideological message of the campaign, which explains the goal of policy of the new term for various social groups and society as a whole,” one participant in these discussions says. The current “triad – justice, respect and trust” is insufficient as far as most of those discussing this topic are concerned. According to another, “the image of the future must be ready by the end of September” so that the campaign can be launched in earnest in December. That schedule adds urgency for some but has led others to say that any final decision about “the image of the future” need not be made just yet.

Last Russian Tsar, Family Commemorated By Large Procession

Large numbers of people marched near the Russian city of Yekaterinburg before dawn on July 17 to mark the 99th anniversary of the killing by Bolsheviks of Tsar Nicholas II and his family. Marcher…

Rights Watchdog Condemns Russia’s ‘Assault’ On Freedom Of Expression

Human Rights Watch says Russia has introduced significant restrictions to online speech, conducts invasive surveillance of online activity, and prosecutes critics under the guise of fighting extremis…

Russian Supreme Court Upholds Jehovah’s Witness Ban

The Russian Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal and allowed Russia’s nationwide ban on on Jehovah’s Witnesses to go forward.

Russian Supreme Court Upholds Ruling Banning Jehovah’s Witnesses

The European Union and a U.S. government commission have sharply criticized a Russian Supreme Court decision that they say amounts to a nationwide ban on the Jehovah's Witnesses. The EU and th…

Russia Jehovah’s Witnesses banned after they lose appeal – BBC News

The Supreme Court rejects an appeal by the religious group against a ruling branding it extremist.

‘Spitting In Our Faces!’: Russians Outraged By Judge’s Daughter’s Lavish Wedding

Maybe it was the wedding gift the newlyweds allegedly received: a brand-new Bentley. Or the presence of one of Russia&rsquo;s most famous crooners. Or the reception at the most expensive restaurant i…

Just hitched: A wedding in Krasnodar brings together Russian pop stars, entrepreneurs, and state officials in a messy controversy — Meduza

On July 16, the public learned about the wedding of Sophia Khakhaleva (the daughter of Krasnodar regional judge Elena Khakhaleva) and local state investigator Vadim Badalov. The ceremony happened a week earlier, on July 10, when the couple welcomed crooner Joseph Kobzon, singer Nikolay Baskov, and several other Russian pop stars. According to a lawyer named Sergey Zhorin, who was the first to draw attention to this story, the wedding party cost an estimated $2 million. Judge Khakhaleva has sharply criticized Zhorin’s allegations, saying that her daughter’s ceremony was bankrolled by her ex-husband, a prominent real estate owner in the region. Local farmers, incidentally, accuse the Khakhalevs of abusing the courts to seize their lands. Meanwhile, investigator Vadim Badalov, Sophia Khakhaleva’s groom, is known for leading the case against one of the Kuban’s largest businessmen. Meduza reviews what’s known about this wedding and the family behind it.

Russians Drinking Themselves To Extinction – YouTube

Russian people have tripled thier consumption of alcohol in spite of declining population. The misery caused by alcohol can be seen in low Men to Women Popul…

Russia’s Impending Drink Catastrophe – YouTube

Russian people have tripled thier consumption of alcohol in spite of declining population. The misery caused by alcohol can be seen in low Men to Women Popul…

UAWire – Russia: world aircraft industry depends on Russian titanium supplies

Restrictions on importing titanium metal from Russia to Europe will adversely affect the world aircraft building industry, according to Viktor Kladov, Director of International Cooperation and Regional Policy of Rostec, (Russian State corporation) in an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta. Kladov explained that Western companies import raw materials and titanium products mainly from the Russian Federation. That is why “when the subject of sanctions was just beginning to circulate,” American aviation companies “began feeling nervous.” “In the West they understand that if they block all cooperation with Russia, it will be worse for them, not for us,” Kladov said, adding that Russia has not introduced such sanctions. Kladov indicated that for example, companies like Boeing and Airbus, who according to the Director of Rostec, receive 40% and 60% respectively, of their titanium supplies from Russia. “We have a joint venture with the American company, Boeing. It is located in the Urals region, in Verkhnyaya Salda, where products are manufactured using absolutely unique technologies. We supply not only titanium blanks, but finished products overseas. The know-how belongs to the Russians,” Kladov noted.

This is a lesson for all responsible businesses – Klimkin about supply of turbines by Siemens to Russia

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has said the case with Siemens in Russia is a lesson for all responsible businesses.

UAC Plans For Constrained Russian Defense Budgets | Aviation Week & Space Technology content from Aviation Week

The Russian military intends to buy more Sukhoi Su-35 fighters and Tu-160M2 bombers while next-generation systems continue development.

All-Composite An-2 Derivative Flies In Siberia | AWIN_Defense content from Aviation Week

Siberian aeronautical research institute SibNIA has flown the prototype on an all-composite, turboprop-powered derivative of the Antonov An-2, a utility biplane produced by the thousands in the Soviet Union and China and still in widespread service …

Fire Breaks Out In Moscow’s Famous ‘Book Building’

A fire broke out on July 18 at a high-rise office building in central Moscow famed for resembling a book. The Emergency Situations Ministry said nobody was hurt in the blaze, which was extinguished by firefighters. Some 126 people left the building safely, officials said. An investigation has begun. (Reuters)

Fire Hits High-Rise Hotel In Moscow

A fire struck a high-rise hotel that is undergoing renovations on Novy Arbat, a main thoroughfare in central Moscow. The Emergency Situations Ministry's Moscow branch said nobody was hurt i…

Major Quake Hits Off Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula

A powerful earthquake of magnitude 7.8 hit off Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula and triggered a tsunami warning, but the threat soon passed, the U.S. earthquake monitoring agencies said early on Jul…

Stanislau Shushkevich: Victims, Slaughterers Cannot Be Together – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk

The first leader of the independent Belarus spoke about the World Congress of Belarusians. Chairman of the Supreme Council of the 12th convocation Stanislau Shushkevich, who solemnly opened the 1st World Congress of Belarusians, revealed his opinion about the current Congress, Radio Liberty reports. – This is a good Congress. I like most of the people here, most of them. However, when they state that victims and slaughterers should be together, I cannot get this. And today, those who are defending the Belarusian regime, they came to this Congress with exactly these slogans. We need to be honest, down with lies. I am speaking about the words of Makei, Krauchanka,” – Stanislau Shushkevich said.

Statkevich Made Speech In New York: Support Belarusians’ Struggle For Freedom! – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk

The West must stop closing its eyes to the dictatorship in Belarus. Belarusian National Congress Leader and Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Narodnaya Hramada) Chairman Mikalai Statkevich addressed the Council of the Social Democratic International in New York. made the transcript of the Politian’s speech: – The UN Secretary-General said that, unfortunately, the alignment of forces in the world had changed, leading to a decrease in support for democracy, support for human rights. We feel this on ourselves in Belarus. European countries, frightened by the conflict in Ukraine, have moved to the preservation of the status quo. They do not want democracy in Belarus, they want balance and peace, so that there is no war and no refugees. We also do not want war and refugees, but we have the right to freedom. The Belarusians counted on international solidarity, but Western officials, unfortunately, have turned to the actual support of the Belarusian dictator. The OSCE PA has taken place in Minsk recently. Usually this session is held in the countries that are an example of democracy. This time it was held in a country where about 1,100 people had been repressed for participation in peaceful protests in spring. We do not approve, but understand the motives of the neighboring countries’ governments. We see that they are losing their moral bearings, that they want to make profit and have “stability” in neighboring countries. But we cannot understand when Social-Democratic parties don’t keep their character. During the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly session in Minsk, Lithuania introduced a resolution on repressions in Belarus, the resolution was blocked by the OSCE PA Vice-President, a Swedish Social Democrat. He said that the resolution did not reflect “the improvement of the situation” with human rights in Belarus. Where he had found these improvements – we do not know. He should know about how people were arrested and beaten in the streets of Minsk during peaceful protests. He is certain to know what happened to our party leadership: the authorities started to arrest the potential leaders preventively. I tried to get to the biggest protest rally to head it. Belarusian security services broke into the BSDP (Hramada) leadership members’ apartments, the deputy chairman of the party was beaten, when the police was demanding to tell where I was. A young activist was tortured with electric shock, and then placed for two months in the KGB prison. If these are improvements, then what do our Swedish colleagues understand as democracy? Unfortunately, the fraternal party did not react to such behavior in any way. I want to ask a public question: how do you feel about what happened in Belarus? You know that the Social-Democratic movement in Europe is in crisis. The crisis results from the fact that our comrades have started to lose their moral bearings, they are budging from the slogan “Freedom. Justice. Solidarity”. They care about their well-being and prosperity. Supporting injustice in neighboring countries, supporting lack of freedom in the neighboring countries, they will lose peace and prosperity in their own countries. Freedom is indivisible in the world. If there becomes less freedom in one country – then there becomes less freedom in the whole world. The forces of unfreedom are becoming stronger. Dear friends, I am sure that everyone who has gathered here will continue to fight for our ideals. I am sure that we will make the lives of people on our planet better. Thank you for your solidarity.

Makei: Russia, Belarus Stand Strongly Against Deployment Of NATO Contingents In Baltic States, Poland – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk

Official Minsk, following the Kremlin, opposed the deployment of NATO contingents in the Baltic States and Poland.”The deployment of new military contingents will not contribute to stability and security in this region, so we stand strongly against the deployment of NATO troops in the Baltic States and Poland, which obliges the other side to take measures and contribute to the arms race, as in the Cold War,” – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus Uladzimir Makei said in an interview with the Spanish media “El País”, Interfax reports. The Minister also commented on the possibility of placing a Russian military base at the territory of Belarus. “The new foreign military base in Belarus does not make sense, because modern weapons allow Russia to react equally quickly from its own territory,” – the minister stressed.

Ukraine’s Embassy Sends Note Of Protest To Belarusian MFA – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk

Ukraine protests against possible showing of the propagandistic movie about the Crimea in Belarus.The Embassy of Ukraine to Belarus protests against the possible showing of the propagandistic movie “Crimea. Don’t Part with Loved Ones” in cinemas. A corresponding note was submitted to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in connection with the demonstration of a trailer to this movie in cinemas. In the trailer, which they started to show in Minsk cinemas, it is stated that the drama “is based on real events” at the background of “return” of the peninsula “to the native harbour”. The first night of the movie is scheduled for mid-August, the movie was shot for the money of the Russian governmental “Cinema Fund” by director and TV-host Alexey Pimonov. Meanwhile, First Deputy General Manager of “Kinovideoprokat” Andrei Razzhavaikin said in a comment for Radio Liberty that the “Crimea” wouldn’t be demonstrated on large screens: “I can assure you, this movie wasn’t planned to be shown in cinemas here. As far as I know, the premiere was postponed from August till September, but, in any case, we cannot show all the movies produced by the Russian Federation. I repeat, we never planned to show the “Crimea”, not even in the far perspective. And it will not appear in our plans…”

MH17 Reports

Marking the Third Anniversary of the Downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17

Three years ago today 298 innocent civilians were killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. The United States again extends its deepest sympathy to the families and friends of the victims. The United States will continue to support the efforts of the Joint Investigation Team and urges other states to cooperate fully in order to ensure those responsible are brought to justice. As we and the Joint Investigation Team have said, Russian-led forces in eastern Ukraine fired the surface-to-air BUK missile — brought into sovereign Ukrainian territory from Russia — that took down flight MH17. We welcome the team’s recent decision to grant jurisdiction to the Dutch courts for the prosecution of those responsible for this tragedy. We have full confidence in the ability of the Dutch criminal justice system to conduct a prosecution that is comprehensive, objective and just.

Tatyana Urbanskaya | MH17 crash: Сhronicles of Russian lies

Three years ago, on Thursday, July 17, came the day that changed the attitude of Europe toward Russian aggression in Ukraine, from &quot;we are concerned but the conflict has nothing to do with us&quot; to &quot;we are outraged, and the guilty will be punished.&quot; Today, in 2017, the punishment already seems inevitable. News 17 July from UNIAN.

Ukrainian Canadian Congress urges to punish those responsible for MH17 tragedy – 18.07.2017 10:30 — Ukrinform News

18.07.2017 10:30. The Ukrainian diaspora in Canada urges to punish those responsible for the MH17 tragedy&nbsp;and recognizes Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.

IW/IO/Cyber Reports

Iranian nationals charged with hacking US defense contractor – Fifth Domain | Cyber

A U.S. court issued an arrest warrant for two Iranian nationals accused of working together to hack into, obtain and sell software from a Vermont-based engineering consulting and software design company. Mohammed Reza Rezakhah, 39, Mohammed Saeed Ajily, 35, and a third actor who already pleaded guilty for related conduct, were charged with criminal conspiracy relating to computer fraud and abuse, unauthorized access to and theft of information from computers, wire fraud, exporting defense articles without licenses, and violating sanctions against Iran, according to a press release from the Department of Justice. Allegations declare the operations began in or around 2007. The company, Arrow Tech, is known for software it developed supporting aerodynamics analysis and design of ammunition, which has been designated as a “defense article” on the United States Munitions List of International Traffic in Arms Regulations. This designation restricts the software from being sold internationally without permission from the U.S. Department of State. Rezakhah allegedly hacked the company in October 2012 and Ajily, a businessman, promoted the software as a product he could sell to Iranian clients. The case will be prosecuted by acting U.S. Attorney Eugenia A.P. Cowles of the District of Vermont and Deputy Chief Sean Newell of the Justice Department’s National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section. The case was investigated by the FBI’s Albany Cyber Squad.

It’s Time to Stop Comparing Exploits to Physical Weapons – To Inform is to Influence

JOSEPH COX Jul 17 2017, 10:29am Analogies may seem helpful, but often they are inaccurate, and only lead to a misinformed debate. Digital security is full of bad analogies; it’s a complex, quickly changing field. But as hacking tools continue to intertwine with significant stories of conflict, politics, and justice, one analogy in particular lingers: the comparison of…

Digital Generals Are As Important As Military Generals (Because The US Is Losing the Digital War) – To Inform is to Influence

Excerpt: The US Department of Education reported the following (which is now “archived” information with lots of dead links to previous programs and funding proposals): “The United States has developed as a global leader, in large part, through the genius and hard work of its scientists, engineers, and innovators. In a world that’s becoming increasingly complex, where success is…

Military Steps Up Recruiting of Cyberwarriors – To Inform is to Influence

By Sandra Erwin, July 17th, 2017 Lt. Gen. Paul M. Nakasone says he is baffled by complaints that tech-minded young people are not interested in government service. He believes the problem is not disinterest but rather a lack of awareness of the opportunities that the military offers, especially in cybersecurity. “The feedback we get is: ‘You’re…

Building a cyber ROTC – To Inform is to Influence

Excerpts: In a similar vein, the US military should create new cyber reserve units concentrated where talent already exists — regardless of whether there is military infrastructure in place. Taking a page from the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental organization that was established to serve as a bridge between the Department of Defense and the tech…

CCDCOE – Geneva Conventions Apply to Cyberspace: No Need for a ‘Digital Geneva Convention’ – To Inform is to Influence

Geneva Conventions Apply to Cyberspace: No Need for a ‘Digital Geneva Convention’ Calls for a new international treaty to regulate cyber operations between states are confusing the debate over norms and policy development in cyberspace according to the independent review of Tomáš Minárik and LTC Kris van der Meij, researchers at the NATO CCD COE,…

Cybersecurity mistakes prompt changes to Georgia election system – Fifth Domain | Cyber

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s top elections official announced Friday that his office plans to take over managing the state’s elections technology after major security mistakes were discovered at the center that has done the work for 15 years. The planned change by Secretary of State Brian Kemp follows media reports that cybersecurity experts discovered the state’s 6.7 million voter records and other sensitive files had been left exposed for months on the public website of the Center for Election Systems. The researchers raised an alarm in March, prompting an FBI investigation and revealing still more problems. According to an $815,000 contract obtained by The Associated Press, the center will continue to operate on the Kennesaw State University campus through June 30, 2018. Kemp’s spokeswoman Candice Broce said the state didn’t want to disrupt training and other services during the transition that the center provides to county election officials. In the meantime, she said, Kemp’s office will prepare to take over the center’s all-encompassing responsibilities. Its staff designs ballots, creates memory cards with lists of registered voters for each polling site, and tests and certifies every piece of repaired equipment.

Transnistria Reports

Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘Moscow Losing Control in Transdniestria,’ Russian Paper Says

Paul Goble Staunton, July 17 – The flight of the former Transdniestrian president to Chisinau coming after Moldova’s erection of customs posts on Ukrainian territory on the border of the unrecognized republic and Chisinau’s expulsion of five Russian diplomats has sparked fears in Tiraspol and Moscow that Russia is “losing control” of the situation there, Gazeta reports. The flight of former Transdniestria president Yevgeny Shevchuk form Tiraspol to Chisinau changes the dynamics in the breakaway republic, Aleksandr Rybin says, thus making it more likely that those with economic interests there will press for reorienting the republic away from Moscow ( That is especially true now, the newspaper’s Aleksandr Rybin says, because with the new customs posts on Ukrainian territory, Chisinau can institute an effective blockade of Transdniestria that will hurt its already-hard-pressed economy in ways that Moscow will not be able to do anything about. And that in turn will mean that Moscow’s pleasure in the election of a pro-Russian president in Moldova will prove to be almost meaningless because the Moldovan government which has the real power in the country is pressing ahead with its pro-Western program of European integration and distancing that country from Russia. Given all this, Rybin says, a situation close to “panic” has arisen in Transdniestria. According to one source near the leadership of the unrecognized republic, “Russia if one speaks honestly now does not decide anything in Transdniestria. It has isolated itself from the processes which are taking place in the region” and is paying a price as a result. Indeed, the source continues, “the orientation toward Russia in Transdniestria is only for show. Tomorrow the republic may easily reorient itself toward the European Union” and away from Moscow. That is because as a result of Moscow’s failure to respond to Chisinau’s actions, economics rather than politics is driving decisions and hence working against Russia now. Some in Moscow both at the foreign ministry and in the Duma are alarmed, but they have not acted yet. Perhaps something will emerge at talks next month between the sides in the conflict, but given Moscow’s weakened position, Rybin suggests, no one can assume that Russia will win out then.

Transnistria: Moscow loses control | Russia has less influence on the situation in Transnistria | [Russian Language]

Alexander Rybin July 16, 2012, 10:01 PM This week it became known that the runaway ex-president of Transnistria Evgeny Shevchuk lives in the capital of Moldova under guard. In Transnistria, it is believed that the Moldovan authorities can use Shevchuk against Tiraspol and Moscow in the context of the forthcoming blockade of Transnistria and the possible withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from the banks of the Dniester. “Gazeta.Ru” understood the situation. Last Wednesday it became known that the former president of the unrecognized republic Evgeny Shevchuk secretly escaped from Transdniestria. The reason was … → The Moldavian online edition of Newsmaker reported this week that the former president of Transnistria Evgeny Shevchuk currently lives in one of the elite houses in the center of Chisinau. This information was confirmed to journalists by the neighbors of the ex-president. To publish the exact address of the house where the former Transnistrian leader now lives, the publication was considered unethical. Earlier, Shevchuk, together with his wife Nina Shtanski, the former head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Pridnestrovskaia Moldavskaia Respublika (PMR), secretly escaped from the unrecognized state, which he ran from 2011 to 2016. The fact is that law enforcement bodies of the PMR initiated several criminal cases against Shevchuk, and the local Supreme Council decided to remove the immunity status from the former president. Now the new residence of the disgraced Transnistrian politician in Chisinau is guarded around the clock by “people in civilian clothes,” the Moldovan media say. This same guard accompanies the ex-president, when he moves around the city by car Mercedes GLE 450. Earlier, “Gazeta.Ru” wrote that during the presidency Shevchuk had good relations with the Moldovan oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc and the latter can use this connection for pressure on Transnistria in the interests of Chisinau. Moldavia considers the PMR to be its own territory. Pro-Russian and representative For the Russian influence in Moldova and the PMR, the situation may turn out to be sad. This causes panic in the Transnistrian region itself. “To be honest, Russia does not decide anything in Transnistria. She herself withdrew from the processes taking place in the region, “a source from Gazeta, close to the leadership of the unrecognized republic, said. – Orientation to Russia in Transnistria is just a picture. Tomorrow the republic can easily reorient to the European Union, if necessary. They solve the economic interests of the holding company Sheriff. Today, the “Sheriff” businessman Viktor Gushan has great influence in the region. Vadim Krasnoselsky, who now holds the post of PMR president, is considered a loyal person of the holding. Previously, the “Sheriff” could only affect the economic situation in the country and partly on the political power – the previous presidents were independent of the company. Prime Minister of Moldova spoke about the reason for expulsion of Russian diplomats Moldova demands respect from Russia Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip, commenting on the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Moldova, said he wants a more respectful attitude of Moscow to his … → “Moscow could have a story of confrontation between Shevchuk and Gushan ended up in the world, could affect the situation,” the Gazeta source continues. “But she did not do anything.” And Plahotniuc, therefore, got a trump card in his hands. ” Assets of Vladimir Plahotniuc are concentrated outside of Moldova – in the European Union and the United States. This explains the anti-Russian course of the current Moldovan authorities. When Chisinau needs something to be bargained in the European Union or the US, local politicians are actively trying to remind that it is Moldova that “will hold back the Russian tanks when they go west.” Moldovan President Igor Dodon, who at the end of last year in the elections positioned himself as a pro-Russian politician, performs mostly representative functions. Dodon went into conflict with the pro-Western government and part of parliament. The split in the ruling elite of Moldova became evident in May, when five Russian diplomats were expelled from the country. President Dodon strongly condemned the decision of the authorities of his own country, but this limited himself. Moscow is also concerned about this state of affairs. “The situation in the Transnistrian settlement continues to be complicated,” Maria Zakharova said on July 14 at a traditional briefing at the Russian Foreign Ministry. According to her, “the positive potential created by the two meetings of Moldovan President Igor Dodon and the leader of Transnistria Vadim Krasnoselsky in January and March of this year, in fact, is wasted.”

From Transnistria, the old power sails away | What will the persecution of the former PMR result in for Russia? | [Russian Language]

Last Wednesday it became known that the former president of the unrecognized republic Evgeny Shevchuk secretly escaped from Transdniestria. The reason was the criminal cases brought against him by law enforcement agencies of the state. Shevchuk himself believes that his persecution is politically motivated. What consequences the conflict between the incumbent and the current heads of the state oriented on Russia can have, “Gazeta.Ru” understood. The Supreme Council of the Pridnestrovskaia Moldavskaia Respublika (PMR) issued a decision to remove the immunity status from the former head of the republic Yevgeny Shevchuk. For this vote, 35 deputies voted, against – only one. The initiative to deprive Shevchuk of immunity was made by the prosecutor of Pridnestrovie Anatoly Guritsky. Immunity did not allow law enforcement bodies to involve the ex-president in investigative measures on the theft of public funds in especially large amounts. The day before Shevchuk received from the Supreme Council materials related to the upcoming parliamentary meeting. And on Wednesday night, he secretly crossed the boat across the Dniester to Moldavia. This information was officially confirmed by the Speaker of the Transnistrian Parliament Alexander Scherba. The next visit of Moldovan President Igor Dodon to Moscow may start the accelerated entry of the country into the Eurasian Union.

President: Ukraine is grateful for the support of Moldova and is willing to facilitate the restoration of Moldova’s territorial integrity — Official website of the President of Ukraine

President Petro Poroshenko noted that Moldova supports Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. He assured that Ukraine is willing to facilitate the restoration of Moldova’s territorial integrity. “I am really grateful to the Government, Prime Minister, Parliament of the Republic of Moldova for a firm support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence. Ukraine is willing to facilitate the restoration of Moldova’s territorial integrity and sovereignty,” Petro Poroshenko said in the course of the press statement following the bilateral meeting with Prime Minister of Moldova Pavel Filip. In his turn, the Prime Minister of Moldova told that over 70% of trade operations of Transnistria had earlier been conducted via “Kuchurhan-Pervomaisc” border crossing point. He noted that it is strange to hear all sorts of speculation about the so-called plans to implement the economic blockade of Transnistria. “What kind of blockade can be discussed if almost 60% of the total exports from this region was delivered to the EU countries? Perhaps some of the leaders in this region do not like that, but it is very much needed for people who live there,” Pavlo Filip emphasized.

Joint Ukrainian-Moldovan Border Checkpoint Opened In Breakaway Transdniester Region

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip have opened a joint border checkpoint whose Moldovan side is in the breakaway region of Transdniester. Poroshenko sai…

Poroshenko promises to help Chisinau restore Moldova’s sovereignty over Transdniestria

Ukraine stands ready to help Moldova restore its territorial integrity and sovereignty, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said. “We, Ukraine, are ready to facilitate the restoration of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Moldova as much as we can and do whatever we can to restore what was provoked 25 years ago and has grave consequences for hundreds of thousands of people living today in Transdniestria,” Poroshenko said at a joint press briefing with Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip in Odesa region, opening the joint Ukrainian-Moldovan border checkpoint Kuchurgan-Pervomaisk. Filip described allegations of a blockade of Transdniestria by Ukraine and Moldova as mere speculations. “It’s strange to hear various speculations regarding the so-called blockade of Transdniestria by the Moldovan and Ukrainian authorities. We should see that exports of products to Ukraine from this territory, for example, in 2015-2016 amounted to nearly $10 million, and 60% of general exports from this region were to EU countries,” Filip said. Transdniestrian leadership might be discontented with such an amount of exports to EU countries, he said.

Poroshenko orders introducing EUBAM mission at more Ukrainian-Moldovan border crossing points

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has instructed relevant departments to expand the presence of the EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) at a number of border crossing points. “Today, I’ve instructed the Foreign Ministry and the State Fiscal Service to extend EUBAM to other border crossing points to ensure transparency and efficient countering of smuggling and corruption,” Poroshenko said during a joint statement with Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip at the launch of the joint Ukrainian-Moldovan customs and border control in Kuchurgan. He also assured that the Ukrainian part of the joint commission for the demarcation of the Transdniestrian section of the Ukrainian-Moldovan border will start its work immediately. Poroshenko recalled the process of demarcation began in 2009 and currently Ukraine and Moldova are at the final stage. “We agreed that we will do our best to complete this in the shortest possible time,” the president said. “At my instruction, the Ukrainian part of our joint commission for demarcating the border was formed and its head appointed, and we agreed that the work will be immediately started,” the head of state said. According to him, they will continue to develop the border infrastructure together with partners from the European Union to create more comfortable conditions for crossing the border. Poroshenko also said the next meeting of the Ukrainian-Moldovan intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation should be held this September. In addition, automobile traffic across the Bronnytsia-Ungur Bridge between Ukraine and Moldova should be launched soon, the president said.

Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and EU to start working on second stage of Eastern Partnership – Poroshenko

Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, together with their European partners, are starting to form the next stage of the agenda of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership program, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said. “Now we, together with partners from Georgia, Moldova and our European partners will form the second stage of the agenda of the Eastern Partnership,” he said at a joint press conference with Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili in Tbilisi on Tuesday. Poroshenko also said that the Ukrainian and Georgian sides had discussed the coordination of joint actions on cooperation with the EU.

Malorossiya Reports

Ukraine Separatists Criticized Over Call For Creation Of ‘Little Russia’

Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region have announced what they say is the creation of a new state called Malorossia, or Little Russia, a declaration that was swiftly condemned by Kyiv. The announcement on July 18 appeared to be the latest twist in attempts by the separatists who seized territory with Russian help in 2014 to claim legitimacy and discredit the government of Ukraine. But it was met with silence from the Kremlin and failed to win support from fellow separatists in the neighboring Luhansk region, where one leader said the idea “raises big doubts.” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko suggested it was part of a Russian effort to divide and conquer his country, and said that would never happen. Steeped in the history of Ukraine and its perennially troubled ties with Russia, the announcement comes amid a war that has killed more than 10,000 people in eastern Ukraine and continues despite an internationally backed cease-fire mandated by the 2015 Minsk accords. ‘Failed State’ Aleksandr Zakharchenko, leader of the separatists who control the city of Donetsk and part of the surrounding province, which borders Russia, read out a declaration on the creation of Malorossia, according to the separatist-affiliated Donetsk News Agency. Speaking at a meeting with unidentified “representatives” of numerous provinces that are controlled by Kyiv, he suggested that the idea is for Malorossia to assume the mantle of Ukraine, which the declaration asserted “has revealed itself as a failed state.” “We must build a new country in which the concepts of conscience and honor are not forgotten,” Zakharchenko said, according to the Donetsk separatists’ website. Another Donetsk separatist leader, Aleksandr Timofeyev, read out a so-called “Constitutional Act” that said participants at the meeting “agree that the new state will be called Malorossia, because the very name Ukraine has discredited itself.” Tsarist-Era Term Malorossia, which means Little Russia or Lesser Russia, was a name used in Tsarist-era Russia for several regions of today’s Ukraine. Another tsarist-era term for parts of Ukraine, Novorossia — New Russia — was sometimes used by separatists and Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, around the time that Russia was fomenting separatism in Ukraine. Use of the term added to concerns in Kyiv and the West that Russia would seek to take control over large portions of eastern and southern Ukraine, and might try to annex the area or create a new state beholden to Moscow. But talk of Novorossia faded after a few months, as Kyiv’s forces held the Russia-backed separatists to territory covering parts of Donetsk and Luhansk. Russia has not formally recognized the self-proclaimed separatist entities in Ukraine as independent, and Moscow’s stated position is that they should be part of Ukraine. ‘Big Doubts’ Analysts say Russia hopes to continue to use them as long as it can to destabilize Ukraine and maintain pressure on its pro-Western government. There was no immediate Kremlin comment on the declaration about Malorossia. But Poroshenko suggested the initiative was part of a Russian effort to break Ukraine into pieces and said it would not succeed. “From the beginning of the military aggression against my nation, the Russian Federation’s goal has been to divide Ukraine into parts,” Poroshenko said during a visit to Tbilisi. He said that the “Novorossia project” had “completely failed.” Poroshenko said that Zakharchenko and Luhansk separatist leader Igor Plotnitsky are “not political figures but a puppet show that transmits messages received from Russia.”

Russia-Backed Separatist Rebels Proclaim New State in Ukraine – WSJ

Separatists in eastern Ukraine proclaimed a new state that aspires to include not only the areas they control but also the rest of Ukraine.

Separatists proclaim a new state to replace all of Ukraine – ABC News

Separatists proclaim a new state to replace all of Ukraine

Pro-Russian Rebel Leader in E. Ukraine Unveils Plan for New State | World News | US News

US News is a recognized leader in college, grad school, hospital, mutual fund, and car rankings. Track elected officials, research health conditions, and find news you can use in politics, business, health, and education.

Little Russia: Ukraine separatists proclaim new state | News | DW | 18.07.2017

Russian-backed rebels in east Ukraine have proclaimed the creation of a new state known as Malorossiya, which translates as “Little Russia.” Germany has condemned the proposal as “completely unacceptable.”

Separatists in Ukraine declare creation of new ‘state’ Malorossiya

Russian-backed rebels fighting against Kiev announced on Tuesday the creation of a new &quot;state&quot; that they said would take the place of Ukraine and have its capital in their territory.

“DPR” leader announces new separatist entity in Donbas, would-be “successor to Ukraine”

Leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (&quot;DPR&quot;) Alexander Zakharchenko has announced the creation of a new separatist entity, &quot;the state of Malorossiya,&quot; suggesting the introduction of a state of emergency in Ukraine for three years, according to Russia's news agency Interfax. “We believe that the state of Ukraine cannot be reinstated the way it used to be. We, representatives of regions of former Ukraine, with the exception of Crimea, are declaring the establishment of a new state, which would be the successor to Ukraine. We agree that the new state shall be called Malorossiya, as the very name of Ukraine has discredited itself,” Interfax quoted Zakharchenko as saying. The city of Donetsk should become the capital of “Malorossiya.” According to Zakharchenko, the city of Kyiv should “remain a historical and cultural center.” He also mentioned the need to introduce a three-year state of emergency in the country. “Seeking to avoid chaos, we suggest imposing a state of emergency for three years, in which the activity of any parties would be banned; the same period will witness the beginning of probes with the involvement of the international public into the crimes committed in Odesa, on the Maidan and in Donbas. This decision is long overdue, but all in good time; today we are offering a solution that can help stop the war,” Zakharchenko said. “This is our first and last offer,” Zakharchenko said. Read also Ukrainian language out of curriculum in “DPR” schools – transition to Russian completed The Donbas situation has come to a dead-end, and “it is no longer possible to cut this knot,” Zakharchenko added. Alexander Timofeyev, the so-called “DPR” deputy prime minister, in turn, claimed that the initiative to establish the state of “Malorossiya” does not run counter to the Minsk peace agreements on Donbas. “Our suggestion does not contradict the Minsk [accords]. Rather, what the Minsk deal says of what should stem from our suggestions is exactly the fulfillment of the Minsk [accords],” he told reporters.

President: “Novorossiya” project failed — Official website of the President of Ukraine

“Since the beginning of the military aggression against my nation, Russia’s goal was to divide Ukraine in pieces. The project of Novorossiya included 9 regions of Ukraine. This project totally failed,” President Petro Poroshenko said in the press conference in Georgia. He noted that the military forces of Ukraine had stopped the aggression of Russia on the touch line. The President reminded that when he had been elected President, the majority of Donbas had been occupied and the Ukrainian military had liberated two thirds of Donbas in summer of 2014. “You must understand that Zakharchenko, Plotnitskiy are not political figures. They are the puppet show that broadcasts messages from Russia,” President Petro Poroshenko said. The President emphasized that the Minsk agreements are unique. Unfortunately, Georgia does not have Russia’s signature under the obligation to withdraw troops, cease fire, liberate hostages and ensure access for the OSCE to the occupied territories. “For three years, the world has been not punishing, but motivating Russia to sit down at the table of negotiations. Russia is trying to blackmail with a danger of recognition of independence of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk Republics under the Abkhazian scenario. But do people of the occupied Abkhazia feel happy? To my mind, there is a humanitarian disaster,” the President said. According to Petro Poroshenko, Georgia successfully implements reforms. “The same situation is in Ukraine. We have a humanitarian crisis in the occupied territories, a high level of unemployment, disastrous situation in the healthcare and educational spheres,” the Head of State noted. Petro Poroshenko is confident that the only way out is to implement the Minsk agreements and withdraw Russian troops and artillery. “We are hopeful for the reintegration of Donbas and Crimea and restoration of Ukrainian sovereignty over those territories,” he emphasized.

Poroshenko: Novorossiya project dead, Ukraine to retake Donbas, Crimea

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has responded to reports about plans by leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (&quot;DPR&quot;) to create a new separatist entity, &quot;the state of Malorossiya.&quot; “The Novorossiya project has been buried. Ukraine will regain sovereignty over Donbas and Crimea,” Tseholko tweeted on Tuesday quoting Poroshenko as saying. As UNIAN reported earlier, “DPR” leader Alexander Zakharchenko announced the creation of a new separatist entity, “the state of Malorossiya,” with Donetsk being its capital. “Zakharchenko is not a political figure, but a puppet transmitting the Kremlin messages,” Poroshenko said at a press conference in Tbilisi, Georgia, where he is currently on a state visit.

Novorossiya project dead, Ukraine to regain control over Donbas, Crimea, – Poroshenko

18.07.17 14:05 – Ukraine will resume its sovereignty over the temporarily occupied territories of the Donbas and Crimea. Censor.NET reports quoting presidential spokesman Sviatoslav Tseholko as saying on Twitter. “Novorossiya project is buried. Ukraine will resume its sovereignty over the Donbas and Crimea,” wrote Tseholko citing President Poroshenko. The head of the Ukrainian state added that the Kremlin sought to split Ukraine in two. According to Tseholko, the president stressed that the Ukrainians are grateful to those Georgians who came to Ukraine in 2014 to defend its sovereignty. Earlier, the media circulated a draft law on the occupied territories of the Donbas prepared by Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council.

Novorossiya project ‘buried’, Ukraine to resume sovereignty over Donbas, Crimea – Poroshenko

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has underlined the lack of prospects for the separatist Novorossiya project and said occupied regions of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as Crimea, will be returned under the sovereignty of the Ukrainian state, press secretary of the president Sviatoslav Tseholko has said.

Zakharchenko’s declaration on Malorossiya shows Putin’s aggressive plans, unwillingness to peacefully solve situation

The statement by head of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Oleksandr Zakharchenko, about the creation of Malorossiya testifies to the Kremlin’s aggressive plans and the lack of intention to follow the peaceful resolution of the conflict in the east of the country and is an argument in favor of Ukraine’s adoption of the law on de-occupation of Donbas, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov has said. “The statements of the Kremlin clown puppets who call themselves the leaders of the occupied Donbas, about the creation of Malorossiya is more proof of Putin’s aggressive plans and his maniacal reluctance to resolve issues in the east of Ukraine by peaceful means,” Turchynov said on Facebook on Tuesday afternoon. The secretary of the National Security and Defense Council is convinced that the representatives of the Russian leadership are the true authors of the intentions voiced by Zakharchenko and this “testifies to the desire of the Moscow” strategists” to resume again the advance of military aggression to the west, drawing new regions of Ukraine into bloody millstones.” At the same time, Turchynov said that such plans are “another argument in favor of the adoption of the law “On the peculiarities of state policy for restoring Ukraine’s sovereignty over the temporarily occupied territory of Donetsk and Luhansk regions” and the need to accelerate the liberation of the east of the country from Russian invaders and criminally separatist thugs controlled by them.” The secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine expressed conviction that “the fate of the Kremlin plan Malorossiya-17 will be similar to Novorossiya-14 or any other Putin format.”

Fate of any terrorist state to be equal irrespective of its name, – Turchynov on Malorossiya

18.07.17 14:52 – The statements about the foundation of Malorossiya by the Kremlin puppets, who call themselves the leaders of the Russian-occupied Donbas, are yet another proof of the aggressive plans of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his reluctance to resolve the conflict in the east of Ukraine peacefully. As reported by Censor.NET, this was announced by National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov. “This perverted nonsense that was invented in the Kremlin and voiced by clowns like Zakharchenko testifies to the desire of the Moscow ‘strategists’ to resume the military aggressive advance to the west, drawing Ukraine’s new regions into bloody millstones,” the NSDC secretary said. According to him, these inadequate and provocative plans are another argument in favor of the adoption of the law on the occupied territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and the need to step up efforts aimed at the liberation of the east of the country from Russian invaders and separatists. Turchynov believes that the fate of any terrorist state will be the same irrespective of its name. Earlier today, “DPR” chieftain Alexander Zakharchenko announced the establishment of a new state – Malorossiya.

Malorossiya project needed to promote ‘Abkhaz scenario’ in Donbas

Russia is trying to use the statement by DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic) leader Alexander Zakharchenko about the establishment of Malorossiya to play out the ‘Abkhaz scenario’ in Donbas, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said. “Just when the Ukrainian delegation is visiting Georgia, the Kremlin is trying to play out the Abkhaz scenario in Donbas. We and our partners won’t let it happen,” Klimkin wrote on Twitter. “Pulling Malorossiya out of naphthalene,” Donetsk “has come up with another three-ring circus,” Klimkin said.

LPR denies participation in creation of Malorossiya declared by Zaharchenko

Chairman of the so-called People’s Council of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR)” Vladimir Degtyarenko has denied the participation of representatives of LPR in the event held in Donetsk, where Donetsk People’s Republic head Oleksandr Zakharchenko [on July 18] announced the establishment of the Malorossiya state. “LPR did not send its official delegates to Donetsk to participate in the meeting of representatives of the regions of Ukraine. In fact, we were not even aware of the intention to host this event. This issue was not coordinated with us,” militant-controlled Luhansk Information Centre quotes Degtyarenko as saying. He said, “at the moment the expediency of such a step raises serious doubts.” “After all, such decisions can only be taken with regard to the opinion of the people. In addition, we are currently observing the Minsk agreements. There are no other alternatives,” Degtyarenko said, adding that they are ready to discuss this issue in the LPR if the issue is raised.

Zakharchenko’s statement on creation of Malorossiya may block Minsk process

Statement of the self-proclaimed leader of the so-called DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko, on the creation of Malorossiya can paralyze the negotiations of the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG), Ukrainian representative in the TGG security subgroup Yevhen Marchuk has said. “This statement can generally block the negotiation process,” he said in an interview with 112.Ukraine TV channel on Tuesday. “This statement was made before tomorrow’s meeting in Minsk, and it can happen so that there will be nothing to talk about,” Marchuk said. He said that some of the agreements, reached in Minsk, worked, citing as an example the disengagement of forces and means on the contact line of the sides in several districts of Donbas.

Berlin condemns Zakharchenko’s “initiative” and considers it absolutely unacceptable – 18.07.2017 14:54 — Ukrinform News

18.07.2017 14:54. Official Berlin considers absolutely unacceptable the creation of Malorossiya announced by the separatists on Tuesday.The German Government commented on a statement made by head of the so-called DPR Alexander Zakharchenko, an Ukrinform correspondent reported. “The Federal Government condemns this step and considers it absolutely unacceptable,” a government’s representative said. Zakharchenko has no legitimate right to speak on behalf of this part of Ukraine, she said. The German Government expects that “Russia will immediately condemn this step, and it will not express its respect and understanding to him and will not recognize it.” “The position of the German Government is clear: the solution of the conflict in and around Ukraine can be found only through negotiations. We are talking about the implementation of the Minsk agreements, which Russia, Russia-backed separatists and Ukraine agree with,” the government said. As reported, self-proclaimed leader of the so-called DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko, announced the creation of Malorossiya.

Little Russia – Wikipedia

Little Russia Governorate (1764–81) – Wikipedia

Ukraine Reports 

President: Strategic partnership between Ukraine and Georgia has common challenges and threats — Official website of the President of Ukraine

Ukraine and Georgia have many years of relations and today, the two states face the same challenges. Thus, the restoration of relations and establishment of strategic partnership is a strong foundation for the support, trust and friendship between the two nations, as stated by President Petro Poroshenko.

Poroshenko holding talks with Georgian president – 18.07.2017 11:09 — Ukrinform News

18.07.2017 11:09. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko is holding talks with President&nbsp;of&nbsp;Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili.

Ukraine, Georgia sign declaration on establishment of strategic partnership – 18.07.2017 12:07 — Ukrinform News

18.07.2017 12:07. Ukraine and Georgia have signed a declaration on the establishment of strategic partnership, which, in particular, provides for mutual support for sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Ukraine, Georgia to enhance cooperation in GUAM and BSEC – 18.07.2017 13:39 — Ukrinform News

18.07.2017 13:39. Ukraine and Georgia are stepping up cooperation in the GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development and the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC). &nbsp;

Facing Russia threat, Ukraine and Georgia join in push West

TBILISI: The presidents of Ukraine and Georgia on Tuesday agreed to work together to further their ambitions to join Nato and the European Union, in defiance of threats from former master Russia.

Shabla 2017 Exercise: Ukrainian military hit air target by two launches of S-300 guided missiles | Міністерство оборони України

In the framework of Shabla 2017 exercise undergoing in Bulgaria, the Ukrainian military worked out successfully practical tasks with two launches of S-300 [SA-10B GRUMBLE] guided missiles. Chief of General Staff General of the Army of Ukraine Viktor Muzhenko and Commander of Air Force of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Colonel General Serhii Drozdov observed the training. The second phase will be held on July 18. Press Center of Command of Air Force of Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Marines Hit Ukraine Beaches, In ‘Most Realistic’ Drills

Military exercises in the Black Sea are the “most realistic” ever staged by the 17 participating nations, according to the U.S. commander there. The 20th annual Sea Breeze exercises come amid ongoing tensions with Russia, which has buzzed U.S. craft this year. (RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service)

Sea Breeze 2017: Active phase | Міністерство оборони України

The active phase of Sea Breeze 2017 exercise kicks off today. During a week the multinational HQ on planning of naval operations planned the mentioned operation. The HQ evaluated the situation, analyzed and developed the task, worked out maneuvers and agreed the scenario. According to Ukrainian co-director Capt. 1st Rank Oleksii Neizhpapa, the operation will be conducted as ‘free play’ and will become a tool of transfer of the Ukrainian Navy to the NATO standards.

News: Top Displays Honoured at Air Tattoo | Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Enterprises

The As The Crow Flies trophy for the best overall flying demonstration as judged by members of the Friends of the Royal International Air Tattoo was presented by RAFCTE Non-Exec Director Dr Jim Glover toSukhoi Su-27P1M pilot Col Oleksander Oksanchenko of the 831st Guards Tactical Aviation Brigade, Ukrainian Air Force, from Myrhorod air base. It was the first time a Ukrainian ‘Flanker’ had taken part in the RIAT flying display for 18 years. Speaking through an interpreter, Oksanchenko said: “Thank you very much for your hospitality, your partnership and to all the guys who organise the Royal International Air Tattoo. A very high standard is set, and we are very happy to be here. Everything is well organised. God bless your Queen!”

Ukrainian pilots honoured at The Royal International Air Tattoo — 2017 for best display | Міністерство оборони України

Pilots of the 831 Myrhorod Tactical Aviation Brigade got awards for best displays at The Royal International Air Tattoo — 2017 held on July 14-16, 2017 in the UK. Static and dynamic displays were provided by two Su-27s and Ol-76 transport aircraft. Sukhoi Su-27P1M pilot Col Oleksandr Oksanchenko of the 831st Tactical Aviation Brigade, Ukrainian Air Force, from Myrhorod air base, performed dynamic program. Speaking through an interpreter, Oksanchenko said: “Thank you very much for your hospitality, your partnership and to all the guys who organise the Royal International Air Tattoo. A very high standard is set, and we are very happy to be here. Everything is well organised. The English weather made some corrections but we displayed a good result.” Credits by: Leigh Saunderson

Poroshenko praises Ukrainian fighter pilots’ brilliant performance at UK air show

A group of Ukrainian Air Force pilots made a stunning appearance at the Royal International Air Tattoo-2017 air show, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko wrote on Facebook. Ukrainian pilots who are part of Ukraine’s Air Force 831st tactical brigade “showed fantastic skills,” the president wrote. “We are proud of you, guys!” reads the message.

Петро Порошенко – Наші аси показали клас на британському авіашоу… [VIDEO]


831 бригада тактичної авіації / 831 brigade of tactical aviation – Interview Colonel Oleksander Oksanchenko [Su-27P1M display pilot]




Militants launched 17 attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas in last day – 18.07.2017 09:25 — Ukrinform News

18.07.2017 09:25. Militants launched 17 attacks on positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in ATO area in Donbas over the past day.

ATO HQ: Ukrainian troops in Donbas forced to fire back 10 times in past day

Russia's hybrid military forces breached the ceasefire in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, 17 times in the last day; Ukrainian troops fired back 10 times, according to the press center of the Ukrainian Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters. News 18 July from UNIAN.

One Ukrainian soldier wounded, another one injured yesterday, – HQ

18.07.17 09:26 – One Ukrainian soldier wounded, another one injured yesterday, – HQ One Ukrainian soldier got wounded, another one was injured in action in Ukraine’s east on July 17. View news.

Russia-backed separatists holding Ukrainian journalist, accuse him of espionage – Committee to Protect Journalists

New York, July 17, 2017–Russia-backed separatists in Ukraine’s east should immediately release Donetsk-based journalist Stanyslav Aseyev, who has been detained by the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR), the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Aseyev, who has contributed to the Ukrainian service of the U.S.-government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty under…

Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk: Canadian Army also learning from our Ukrainian counterparts – 18.07.2017 09:51 — Ukrinform News

18.07.2017 09:51. The Canadian military training mission in Ukraine UNIFIER gives an excellent opportunity for mutually beneficial relationship.The Commander of the Canadian Army, Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk, stated this during his official visit to Ukraine, an Ukrinform correspondent reports. “In speaking with our soldiers, the Army Sergeant Major, Chief Warrant Officer Alain Guimond and I were told time and again of the deep appreciation our members have to be a part of this significant mission. This is a mutually beneficial relationship where, in addition to providing training to Ukrainian soldiers, we are also learning from our Ukrainian counterparts based on their recent experiences,” Wynnyk said. According to him, this visit “further solidifies the Canadian Army’s already strong relationship with the Ukrainian Armed Forces.” “I’m extremely proud of the men and women of the Canadian Army who have displayed outstanding professionalism in supporting our partner,” he stressed. The Defense Ministry of Canada also assured of further support for Ukraine on its way of key reforms. “Canada is unwavering in its support to Ukraine, both in helping to preserve and protect Ukraine’s sovereignty, and in providing assistance to Ukraine to implement key reforms,” reads the report. As Ukrinform earlier reported, Canada in march 2017 officially announced that it would extend its military training mission in Ukraine until the end of March 2019.

Ukraine to get U.S.-made patrol boats following Sea Breeze 2017

A decision has been made to transfer to the Ukrainian Navy U.S. military patrol boats following Sea Breeze-2017 military exercise, Rear Admiral of the Ukrainian Navy Andriy Tarasov has told Krym.Realii. News 17 July from UNIAN.

UAWire – US to transfer Island-class patrol boats to Ukraine after Sea Breeze exercises

A decision has effectively been made to transfer US military patrol boats to Ukraine after the Sea Breeze 2017 exercises, Rear Admiral of the …

Poroshenko believes Sea Breeze exercises to be step towards stability in the region – 17.07.2017 17:27 — Ukrinform News

17.07.2017 17:27. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko believes that the current Sea Breeze exercises will become a powerful step towards achieving stability in the region.

California blood center presents Ukraine with bloodmobile – 18.07.2017 14:30 — Ukrinform News

18.07.2017 14:30. Central California Blood Center has presented Ukraine with a bus equipped with a mobile laboratory to collect blood from donors.

Ukroboronprom raises arms exports by 25% – 18.07.2017 10:52 — Ukrinform News

18.07.2017 10:52. State-run Ukroboronprom Concern managed to increase the export of Ukrainian arms by 25% in 2016. &nbsp;

Oklahoma National Guard Soldiers Save Residents In Ukraine Apart – – Oklahoma City, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Members of the Oklahoma National Guard in Ukraine earned the gratitude and respect of many civilians there as they went above and beyond the call of duty.

DVIDS – News – Thunderbirds come to the rescue in Ukraine

L’VIV, UKRAINE 07.17.2017 Story by 1st Lt. Kayla Christopher 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Subscribe 22 LVIV, Ukraine – During a routine morale, welfare and recreation trip, deployed Citizen-Soldiers of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team found themselves in a dangerous situation that put their military and civilian training to good use. We were about to head back to base when we saw smoke coming from down the street, so we decided to investigate, explained Sgt. Matthew Odom, of Norman, Oklahoma, a Soldier assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 279th Infantry Regiment, 45th IBCT. The smoke was coming from an apartment building that had caught fire. Odom, along with fellow Thunderbirds Sgt. Nelson Deese, Spc. Vincent Humerickhouse, Spc. Kellar Jackson, Spc. Aaron Moore and Pfc. Kevin Polk, rushed into the burning building and evacuated the third floor before local firefighters arrived on scene. We kept asking if there was anyone still in the building, and finally we found someone who spoke English who said that there was, Odom said. Sgt. Deese and I just gave each other a look; it was like we knew what the other was thinking and we just stormed in. “Instinctively, we all just ran inside and started getting people out,” said Jackson, a native of Watonga, Oklahoma. “There was a lot of smoke. It was chaotic and intense.” The language barrier made the situation even more difficult, Jackson said. Deese, who serves as a volunteer firefighter in his community of Crowder, Oklahoma, said his training as a firefighter and infantryman just kicked in, “We were knocking on doors and windows trying to get people’s attention; they were definitely not aware of the fire.” Once firefighters arrived on scene, Deese made sure his fellow Soldiers were safely outside the burning building before he pitched in to help the firefighters, unrolling their hose and helping them move their equipment upstairs. “I feel like most Soldiers, especially infantrymen, we run to the fight,” said Deese. “Not a single hesitation.” Soldiers with the Oklahoma Army National Guard’s 1st Bn., 279th Inf. Regt., 45th IBCT are deployed to Ukraine in support of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, an international coalition dedicated to building the training capacity of the Ukrainian army. “I’m proud of the actions these Soldiers took to ensure the safety of others,” said Lt. Col. Bruce Lambeth, commander of the 1st Bn., 279th Inf. Regt., “They are true examples of Oklahomans upholding the Oklahoma standard, in this case, looking after their global neighbors while serving their state and country abroad here in Ukraine.”

DVIDS – Images – Thunderbirds come to the rescue in Ukraine [Image 1 of 6]


Ukraine’s Naftogaz to sign gas deals with Vattenfall, Trafigura

Ukraine’s Naftogaz plans to signnatural gas purchase agreements with Trafigura Trading (Europe)Sarl and Vattenfall Energy Trading GmbH as it expands supplyfrom Europe.

Twelve Myths about Change in Ukraine

Struggle against fake information about events in Ukraine

Groysman initiates establishment of Council of Prime Ministers – 18.07.2017 12:21 — Ukrinform News

18.07.2017 12:21. The Council of Prime Ministers has been established at the solemn meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine at the initiative of Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman.

EU Commission explains Juncker’s position on setting up anti-corruption courts in Ukraine

President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker stands for the creation in Ukraine, as a matter of urgency, of an independent body aimed to fight corruption, noting that its institutional structure should be determined by the Ukrainian authorities, that&rsquo;s according to&nbsp;a reply&nbsp;by President Juncker&rsquo;s Advisor Richard Szostak to Ukraine-based Anti-Corruption Action Center, seen by UNIAN&rsquo;. News 17 July from UNIAN.

The American Doctor Trying to Cure Ukraine’s Corruption

The health minister was born and raised in the USA, but when she saw the rot in Ukraine’s hospitals, she had to do something.

UAWire – Crimean authorities: More than 15,000 residents of Crimea prohibited from travelling abroad due to ‘debt obligations’

More than 15,000 citizens of the Crimea cannot travel abroad &quot;because of debt obligations,&quot; according to the Crimean News citing the so-called …

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports

Exclusive: Iran’s Foreign Minister Warns Donald Trump That Tehran Can Abandon the Nuclear Deal | The National Interest

TNI’s Jacob Heilbrunn just sat down with Tehran’s top diplomat—and he was not happy with the Trump administration.

John R. Bolton | Trump must withdraw from Iran nuclear deal — now | TheHill

OPINION | In the last six months, Iran has made six more months of progress toward posing a mortal threat to America and its allies.

Trump administration unveils new Iran sanctions | TheHill

Trump Says Iran Complying With Nuclear Deal But Remains Dangerous Threat – NBC News

This is the second time Trump certified Iranian compliance with the agreement since he took office in January, despite once calling it “the worst deal ever.”

US: Iran complying with nuclear deal but defying its spirit – ABC News

US: Iran complying with nuclear deal but defying its spirit

Trump Just Came Very Close to Killing the Iran Deal – Bloomberg

At the last minute, the president nearly told Tillerson not to certify Iranian compliance.

Russia pressures Bashar Assad to cut Syria’s Hezbollah alliance – Washington Times

The Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah and the Syrian government have enjoyed a close, fruitful relationship for nearly 40 years. But six years into the Syrian civil war, there are signs that battle fatigue and diverging strategic visions are fraying their alliance.

Pentagon: Al-Udeid Air Base still open, but U.S. prepared in case Qatar rift escalates

The U.S. still has full use of al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar but has considered alternatives in case the diplomatic rift between the U.S. ally and four other Arab nations further escalates, Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said

Report: UAE behind hacking of Qatari media – Fifth Domain | Cyber

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Qatar, the tiny Gulf state being isolated by its neighbors, said Monday the reported involvement of the United Arab Emirates in hacking its government news site in May is “unfortunate” and a breach of agreements among the Gulf countries. The Washington Post, quoting unnamed U.S. intelligence officials, reported Sunday that the UAE orchestrated the hacking and planted a false story that was used as a pretext for the crisis between Qatar and four Arab countries. The report said senior members of the Emirati government discussed the hacking plan a day before a story appeared on the official Qatar News Agency quoting Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, allegedly praising Iran and saying Qatar has a good relationship with Israel. The UAE has denied involvement, calling the Post report “false” and insisting that the UAE “had no role whatsoever” in the alleged hacking. The UAE along with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties and severed air, land and sea links with Qatar in early June over allegations that it supports extremist ideology — a charge Qatar denied. The crisis has dragged on for more than a month with neither side showing signs of backing down. Qatar maintained from the beginning that the quotes attributed to its ruler were the result of a hacking. It said in a statement Monday that the Post report “unequivocally proves that this hacking crime took place.”

Turkey Bars Entry To Thousands Of Suspected IS Supporters From Ex-Soviet Republics

Turkey has barred the entrance of thousands of people from the former Soviet Union whom it suspects of having ties to Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq.

Turkey has agreed to buy Russia’s advanced missile-defence system, leaving NATO wondering what’s next | Business Insider

Turkey reached an agreement with Russia to…

US Navy drone-killing laser weapon USS Ponce –

In the sometimes hostile waters of the Persian Gulf looms the US Navy’s first — in fact, the world’s first — active laser weapon.


Chris Miller | Why Isn’t Russia Worried About Kim Jong Un’s Nukes? | Foreign Policy

As the Trump administration heads toward a showdown with Pyongyang, Vladimir Putin sees strategic advantage to be gained.

South Korea Testing Larger, Precision Ballistic Missile | AWIN_Defense content from Aviation Week

SEOUL, BEIJING—South Korea is testing a ballistic missile larger than the previously revealed Hyunmu 2A and 2B and featuring a maneuverable reentry vehicle with high …

China urges India withdrawal in standoff, stages drills – The Washington Post

China on Tuesday renewed a call for India to immediately withdraw its troops from disputed territory high in the Himalayan mountains, following a report that Chinese forces recently held live firing drills in the region.

India-China relations: China must admit India is a force to be reckoned with: Nisha Desai Biswal

Biswal said that there has been a fair degree of assertive actions and signals being sent from China across many different border points, maritime and land, across its geography.

Liu Xiaobo had violated the law and had been convicted accordingly

From Zeng Rong, Chinese Embassy in the UK

Will Liu Xiaobo’s death end our China fantasy? | HuffPost

In December 2010, when Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in absentia, I was part of a team that organized a small protest in New York to conde…

Liu Xiaobo’s last love letter to his wife, Liu Xia — Quartz

During his last days, the late Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo wrote a powerful love letter to his wife of two decades, Liu Xia. That letter, released after his death at the age of 61 on Thursday (July 13), will become the foreword for a collection of her photographs—Accompanying Liu Xiaobo (paywall). The couple had…

Foreign Policy Reports

Hungary’s Orban welcomes Netanyahu, vows to fight anti-Semitism

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban told Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday that his country stood firmly against anti-Semitism today after the “crime” of failing to protect its Jewish citizens during World War Two.

Amid Benjamin Netanyahu visit, Hungarian PM admits WWII ‘sin’ of Nazi cooperation – Israel News – Jerusalem Post

Viktor Orban’s comments come against the backdrop of an anti-immigrant billboard campaign sponsored by the Hungarian government that features the image of Hungarian-Jewish financier George Soros.

Is It Racist to Say Africa Has ‘Civilizational’ Problems? | Foreign Policy

The French president got in hot water for noting the continent’s dysfunction. But nothing he said was false.

Ethiopian Musicians Charged With Terrorism for ‘Inciting’ Song Lyrics – To Inform is to Influence

Posted 14 July 2017 19:47 GMT Seven producers and performers of a popular YouTube music video were charged in Ethiopia in late June with terrorism for producing ‘inciting’ audio-visual materials and ‘uploading them on YouTube’. The group members were arrested in December 2016 and were held in detention without charges until last month. Among those facing charges is Seenaa Solomon, a young female…

Austria to retire Eurofighter Typhoons from 2020


Royals changed name to Windsor exactly 100-years ago today – and THIS is why | Daily Star

THE ROYAL Family were not always the Windsors as they historically changed their name 100-years ago today.

Millions of Venezuelans reject constitutional rewrite in non-binding referendum –

Millions of Venezuelans have voted to reject President Nicolas Maduro’s controversial plans to rewrite the country’s constitution.

7 million Venezuelans voted against President Nicolás Maduro’s reform plan.

President Nicolás Maduro, backed by a loyal military, has dug in against opposition tactics and international criticism.

Second Australian senator forced to resign over dual citizenship violation – NBC Montana

Two Australian senators have resigned within the space of a week following revelations they violated a law that bans dual nationals from standing for election.

US Domestic Policy Reports

Alex Lockie | A key American defence has failed, and now Russia fears no reprisal for hacking the US | Business Insider

Russia has boldly intruded into vital US…

Ryabkov Says Russia Has ‘Almost’ Gotten Diplomatic Compounds Back

A senior Russian diplomat has suggested that Moscow and Washington are close to an agreement that would restore Russian access to two diplomatic compounds that were seized in December by the…

Russia And U.S. To Discuss Russian Compounds Closed By U.S. Authorities : The Two-Way : NPR

In retaliation for Russian meddling in the 2016 election, U.S. authorities seized the two Russian luxury estates in December because they were allegedly being used for intelligence activities.

US: More work needed to resolve irritants with Russia – The Washington Post

The Trump administration said Tuesday that more work needs to be done to resolve irritants in the U.S.-Russia relationship, as Moscow stepped up its impatient calls for the return of two seized diplomatic compounds.

Oil industry warns US over new Russia sanctions

Senate bill is so broad it could hit jobs and projects across world, say executives

Isaac Chotiner | The Russia scandal dots are never going to connect.

Putin is not the all-knowing mastermind Americans make him out to be.

Former Trump Campaign Adviser Defends Russian Election Meddling

Years before Michael R. Caputo was a top Trump campaign official, he helped secure the Russian presidency for Vladimir Putin.

Sean Spicer: Democrats Colluded With Ukraine During Election

White House press secretary Sean Spicer accused Democrats on Monday of “colluding” with Ukraine during the 2016 election.

Susan Rice No Longer Expected to Testify Before Lawmakers Tuesday on ‘Unmasking’ Trump Associates

Susan Rice, former President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, is no longer expected to testify Tuesday in a closed-door hearing before the House Intelligence Committee on allegations that she requested the identities of “masked” U.S. persons in intelligence reports linked to President Donald Trump’s transition and campaign.

Dreaming of a counter-terror alliance with Russia? That’s a nightmare (and a very bad idea) | Fox News

To the bewilderment of Moscow-watchers everywhere, some Americans have raised the prospect of an anti-terror alliance with Russia.

Jennifer Rubin | The Trump team’s delusional fixation on getting along with Russia – The Washington Post

Rex Tillerson mimics John Kerry. The desire to “get along” is more than dangerous naivete. It’s emblematic of the mentality of an exhausted West that finds defense of its own interests and values so daunting that it must resort to self-delusion about the nature of its enemy. Kramer recommends: “The next time President Trump asks, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if we and Russia got along?’ answer with the following: How many more Russian liberal activists need to be killed or poisoned? How many more countries does Putin need to invade? How many more Ukrainians need to die? How many more civilians need to be killed in Syria? And how many more elections does he need to interfere in—before we understand the existential threat the Putin regime represents?” Ironically, the president who asks “Wouldn’t it be nice if we and Russia got along?” is one who will never maintain American greatness nor “win” on the international stage. It’s the language of a loser, a weakling. You see, America is great when it stands up to the likes of Russia on behalf of democracy, universal human rights and an international liberal order that respects national sovereignty.

Hillary Clinton sided with Russia on sanctions as Bill made $500G on Moscow speech | Fox News

The Russian lawyer who landed a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. during last year’s campaign with the promise of dirt on Hillary Clinton had one big thing in common with the Democratic candidate: Both had opposed Russia sanctions targeting human-rights abusers.

Poll: Clinton more unpopular than Trump | TheHill

President Trump is viewed more favorably than his 2016 Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton, according to a new poll. A Bloomberg News survey finds Clinton is viewed favorably by just 39 percent of Americans, compared to Trump, who is viewed favorably by 41 percent of Americans. Fifty-eight percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of Clinton, compared to a slightly lower majority — 55 percent — who have an unfavorable view of Trump. ADVERTISEMENT The poll also finds more than one-fifth of those who voted for Clinton in the 2016 presidential race have an unfavorable view of her. In the last Bloomberg poll before the election, just 8 percent of likely Clinton voters reported having an unfavorable view of the former 2016 Democratic nominee. “There’s growing discontent with Hillary Clinton even as she has largely stayed out of the spotlight,” said pollster J. Ann Selzer, who oversaw the survey. “It’s not a pox on the Democratic house, because numbers for other Democrats are good.” The poll comes as the Trump administration is battling controversies stemming from the Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting last year with a Russian lawyer. Trump often goes after Clinton on Twitter, most recently attacking her on Sunday for her deleted emails. “HillaryClinton can illegally get the questions to the Debate & delete 33,000 emails but my son Don is being scorned by the Fake News Media?” Trump tweeted Sunday.

Amid Russia storm, Trump pivots to Made in America | TheHill


Flynn Plans Defense Fund to Pay Trump Russia Probe Legal Bills – Bloomberg

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn plans to set up a fund to raise money to pay his legal bills stemming from multiple investigations into possible Trump campaign ties to Russia, according to a person close to Flynn.

Time for US to treat modern drones like aircraft, not missiles | TheHill

OPINION | The U.S. can update its drone policy, but it must preserve the norm against missile proliferation. President Trump’s decision last month to sell MQ-9B Guardian drones to India represents a significant shift in U.S. drone export policy. International transfers of drones like the MQ-9 are restricted by the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), an anachronism from 30 years ago when the MTCR was signed and drones functioned more like missiles than aircraft. The Trump administration’s decision to sell MQ-9s to India is a good first step to treating drones like aircraft, which are not covered under the MTCR. But if the administration follows up with additional drone sales to other nations, it will be important for the U.S. to clearly distinguish drones from missiles in order to preserve the MTCR’s norm against missile proliferation. The MTCR is a voluntary, non-legally binding agreement among 35 countries to limit transfers of missiles that could be used as delivery vehicles for weapons of mass destruction. Missiles that can carry a 500-kilogram payload 300 kilometers or more are classified as “Category I” systems. States agree to an “unconditional strong presumption of denial” of transferring them abroad, which should “only occur on rare occasions.” The MTCR is not legally binding, so countries can choose to overcome this strong presumption of denial and transfer Category I systems when they desire, but too many transfers can undermine the integrity of the regime. ADVERTISEMENT While the MTCR has not stopped rogue regimes like North Korea and Iran from advancing their missile programs, overall the MTCR has shown success in slowing ballistic missile proliferation. The MTCR has had far less success in slowing drone proliferation, however. In addition to ballistic and cruise missiles, the MTCR covers “complete unmanned aerial vehicle systems (including cruise missiles, target drones, and reconnaissance drones).” Including drones made sense 30 years ago when the MTCR was signed and unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, functioned much like cruise missiles, but this classification has become increasingly untenable as drone technology has evolved. Today’s drones operate like aircraft, not one-way missiles. Advanced drones like the RQ-4 Global Hawk are sophisticated airplanes and a far cry from the disposable target and reconnaissance drones the MTCR mentions. Technology even allows traditional human-inhabited (“manned”) aircraft to be equipped with sensors, autonomy, and communications links to be “optionally piloted” — flown by a human in the cockpit or remotely like a drone, blurring the line between drones and traditional aircraft. This makes the MTCR’s restrictions on transferring drones but not equivalent human-inhabited aircraft increasingly senseless. F-16 fighters can carry a 500-kilogram payload 300 kilometers, but sales are permitted because the MTCR doesn’t cover aircraft. Would the optionally piloted QF-16 fighter be covered by the MTCR, though? The difference is software and sensors, not their payload and range. Discriminating between platforms based on whether or not there is a human onboard doesn’t make sense when a person can hop in the cockpit one minute and out the next and any airplane can be converted into a drone. Technology evolves and it isn’t surprising that policies that made sense 30 years ago need updating today. The United States has been slow to adapt to this new reality, though. The U.S. has limited transfers of Category I drones, approving transfers only to a few close allies. Even in those cases, the U.S. bureaucracy has sometimes moved abysmally slow, taking four years to approve the sale of armed MQ-9 Reaper drones to Italy. Meanwhile China, who is not a signatory to the MTCR, has not held back, transferring its Reaper-class CH-4 drone to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq, all close U.S. partners. Self-limiting drone exports has not stopped proliferation and harms U.S. interests in tangible ways. Close U.S. partners have turned to China after being rebuffed by the United States. U.S. drone manufacturers need to compete in the global marketplace if they are to maintain their edge in a rapidly evolving technology area. The biggest beneficiary of U.S. reluctance to sell drones has been China, which has been able to deepen its defense relationships with U.S. partners and grow its defense industry. The Trump administration’s approval of the MQ-9B sale to India is a good first step towards reversing the Obama administration’s counterproductive self-limitations on drone exports, but United States must follow the sale by clearly communicating the rules it will follow for which transfers are permitted. The MTCR has shown success in slowing missile proliferation, and it is in U.S. interests to preserve the MTCR’s norm against missile transfers. The United States should state that it will begin treating recoverable uninhabited aircraft, or drones, the same as equivalent human-inhabited aircraft that are not captured under the MTCR. Non-recoverable one-way vehicles, on the other hand, the U.S. would continue to treat like missiles and limit transfers under the MTCR. This approach offers the best way forward for adapting to changing technology, while preserving the MTCR overall. Paul Scharre is a senior fellow and Director of the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). He is co-author of the recent CNAS report “Drone Proliferation: Policy Choices for the Trump Administration.”

The ExploDrone, first and only system of its kind

Explotrain LLC has taken on the newest threat of using UAVs as IEDs. Florida-based business Explotrain has announced the creation of a realistic drone and improvised explosive device-integrated simulation and training system. The system can provide troops with accurate and realistic training, according to the company. “A key challenge in developing, testing and validating the current crop of counter-unmanned aerial systems (cUAS) is a lack of true simulators,” said Michael Hopmeier, an expert on cUAS system strategy and technology. “Faked YouTube videos and staged tests are entertaining, but they are what lead to so many casualties from IEDs just a decade ago.” The device, dubbed the ExploDrone, is capable of being reused and is advertised as a money-saver for the military. The drones that carry the simulators are repurposed military- and improvised-munitions interfaces that are positioned in or on target areas before training begins, providing for more effective and realistic psychological training. The new device addresses the latest threat to U.S. troops from adversaries that use small UAVs to deliver and deploy explosives.