Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Media Update – 19 July 2017

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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An unusually active day for Russia traffic in the MSM, reflected in the unusual length of this digest (approaching 200 articles).

Most strategically important reports are relating to the testimony of Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva to SASC on arming Ukraine, with a decision in the near future. Should the US provide lethal aid, the capability needs to be sufficient to convince even the most optimistic yes-men in the Russian General Staff that any future offensive operations against Ukraine, and continuation of the Donbass morass, would result in catastrophic campaign failure and global embarrassment for Russia – like TsushimaCrimea, the Winter War in 1939, the Mars counteroffensive in 1942 and other notable disasters. Noting that body counts of many tens of thousands of Russian military personnel would be unconvincing to the Russian political leadership when considering the payoffs from a full scale invasion of Ukraine – as observed in Donbass, the lives of Russian military personnel now come cheap, as they can be retrospectively discharged and benefits to dependents denied, and sunk training costs written off. Sen Cotton comments on the need to escalate pressure on Russia. Estonia points out some ground truths on Nordstream-2, generally ignored by material beneficiaries of Russian largesse in EU politics. Lithuanian FM Linas Linkevičius needles the EU over its double standard on Ukraine versus Serbia – Serbia is forgiven for conducting military exercises in Russia, while Ukraine is kept at an arms length. Lithuanian public inundate Russian Foreign Ministry Facebook site with unlikes.

Russia’s descent into the abyss continues unabated. Russia is becoming the subject of ridicule in the Western MSM, and Acute Choke On Coffee Warnings are hereby declared for multiple reports on fidget spinners, judo prowess, and medieval masculinity rituals. Richard Lourie’s new book on Putin is reviewed, and he aptly observes that “…Putin, who came to power in 2000, has squandered his opportunity. After the breakup of the Soviet Union and a sharp, chaotic turn from ossified Communism to a free-booting market culture — with oligarchs skimming billions and former Soviet countries becoming Russia’s rivals — Putin has “reverted to the tried and true, in his case ‘the power vertical,’”. Piontkovsky aptly comments on how Putin has failed Russia’s “approximately 100 members of the expanded Politburo of the Russian kleptocracy” and how this will weaken Putin’s grip.  Shelin observes Russian populace has no vision for the future. Ethnic divisions continue. Russian media now required to treat Jehovah’s Witnesses the same as ISIS, and footnote all comments with an explanation that they are an extremist organisation (we have yet to see yellow stars being required). Multiple meltdown reports. MAKS-2017 airshow is under way, and clearly aimed to promote export sales, while Russia’s defence industry plans for austere future investment – the impact of losing access to Ukrainian defence products is still ongoing.

While Russia dominates IW/IO/cyber traffic, two interesting reports on China’s folly with WWW censorship.

The distraction stunt with the announcement of Malorossiya has produced immense blowback, but did not divert attention from MH17. Sen McCain points out some ground truths. The whole statement reeks of past propaganda plays, where outrageous assertions were made by Moscow using proxies, if traction was gained, they were further promoted, if not, abandoned. In this instance there was evidently no assessment of blowback if the game failed – quite characteristic of the groupthink powered Putin regime, where giddy optimism and moral certitude rule.

Apoplexy seems to best characterise the Russian reaction to Ukraine and Moldova introducing proper border controls on Transnistria. Russia should consider the manner in which it can least painfully amputate this gangrenous appendage. If Moscow asks nicely, the Ukrainians might even be generous and offer discounted transportation charges for sending the Transnistria garrison back to the Motherland.

In Ukraine multiple reports on the three concurrent exercises, with good IMINT and footage released. Polling in Ukraine indicates public favour international peacekeeping force in Donbass, and no concessions to Russia. Yevhen Marchuk of the TCG states that reduced Russian military optempo in Donbass has been offset by much increased optempo in covert operations, i.e. terrorism inside Ukraine. Ukraine defence cooperation deal with Turkey progresses, while deals are arranged to prop up Belarus. Minor deluge of articles on Georgia visit by Poroshenko.

Iran looks likely to bail out of nuclear deal, which should come as no surprise. Russia to loan Turkey funds to procure the S-400 Triumf A2/AD systems. Sorry tales from ISIS liberated areas.

Accuracy of DPRK ICBM rated poor by Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, while RoK approaches production of an 800 km range terminally guided TBM. PLA releases photo of  “J-10C fighter jet carried under the wings the PL-10 short-range air-to-air missile and PL-15 long-range air-to-air missile” according to Chinese MSM – Ukrainian sources have claimed the PL-10 was developed using technology from Luch, and with assistance by Ukrainian engineers.

France and Germany to co-develop new fighter aircraft, maritime patrol aircraft and artillery systems. Russian Montenegro plotters and would be assassins trial delayed. US ramps up pressure on Venezuela.

Amb Jon Huntsman nominated as new Ambassador to Kremlin (an unenviable job at this time). Toxicity in US domestic Russia debate spikes again.

Russia / Russophone Reports

US Joint Staff deciding on type of lethal defensive aid for Ukraine – 19.07.2017 10:27 — Ukrinform News

19.07.2017 10:27. The Joint&nbsp;Chiefs of&nbsp;Staff of the US Armed Forces, along with other structures, are discussing the issue of granting Ukraine specific types of defensive weapons. The final political decision is to be made by the American leadership. Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva said this during the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, an Ukrinform correspondent reports. Selva, inter alia, addressed Russia and its actions in Ukraine. He said the Joint Staff is working with U.S. European Command to determine what lethal defensive aid might look like. “It will be more than just a military recommendation. This will be a policy choice on whether or not we’re going to give the Ukrainian government the tools they need to defend themselves against what we believe to be a Russian-supported insurgency movement in the Donbas,” the American General stressed.

U.S. military stand for providing lethal aid to Ukraine

The U.S. military support the idea of providing Ukraine with lethal defensive weapons, U.S. Air Force General and Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chair Paul&nbsp;Selva said during a reappointment hearing at the U.S. Senate Armed Services and Defense Committee, adding that he personally supports lethal aid for Ukraine. “We [the European Command and the Joint Staff] have advocated for lethal means [for Ukraine] like anti-tank weapons – not tanks and offensive capabilities but defensive capabilities,” said Gen Selva, noting that in the coming months, recommendations would be submitted to the U.S. legislators’ consideration on what types of weapons Washington should provide to Ukraine. Steven Pifer, a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, who is now an expert at the U.S-based Brookings Institution, tweeted that Gen Selva “advocated for providing lethal military assistance to Ukraine.” Former high-ranking DoD official Michael Carpenter wrote on Twitter that he had heard “it goes beyond Joint Staff & there is interagency consensus to support arming Ukraine, but the decision rests with White House.” During the hearing, Gen Selva agreed with an assumption by the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen Joseph Dunford, that Russia constitutes the biggest threat to the U.S. national security. As UNIAN reported earlier, on June 29, the U.S. Senate Armed Services and Defense Committee has agreed on the measures on deterring Russia, including the provision of lethal weapons to Ukraine.

Poltorak: Ukraine is ready to receive lethal weapons from the USA | Міністерство оборони України

Minister of Defence of Ukraine Army General Stepan Poltorak states Ukraine is ready to receive lethal weapons from the USA if this decision is taken. “The US Congress many times expressed its readiness to give lethal weapons to Ukraine. Meanwhile, the final decision should be left to the US President”, General Poltorak said. He underlined Ukraine’s readiness to receive this weapon.

Ukraine ready to accept lethal weapons from U.S. as soon as there is relevant decision

Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak has said that Ukraine is ready to accept lethal weapons from the U.S. as soon as Washington approves this decision. “It was repeatedly stated that the U.S. Congress has expressed its readiness to transfer lethal weapons to Ukraine, but in order for this decision to be final, the president’s approval is needed,” the minister told journalists before the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, commenting on the report about the U.S. Congress’ decision to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine. He stressed that Ukraine is ready to accept such weapons.

U.S. Senator Cotton: Enough pressure needed to make Russia leave Ukraine, Georgia

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas says that enough pressure needed to make Russia eastern Ukraine, Crimea and Georgia. “At the moment, it’s not obvious the path that Georgia and Ukraine were taken to NATO while they still have Russian troops on their soil. Our immediate objective should be to bring enough pressure to bear on Russia so that they leave those lands, that they give back Crimea to Ukraine and leave eastern Ukraine and northern Georgia,” he said in Washington, D.C., in remarks at a discussion on Russia’s military strategy in Europe and violation of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Read also Russia sanctions to remain until settlement of Ukraine, Syria conflicts – Trump In his words, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s outcome of the bilateral meeting in Hamburg was very clear that “the sanctions we put in place on Russia will remain in place as long as there are Russian troops on Ukrainian soil.” “Of course Russia is trying to destabilize and divide the west. That’s what they have been doing for decades,” he said. “They did it in 1983 when they helped fund those massive protests against the deployment of INF forces to Europe and they are doing it today, in the elections in Western Europe and in our elections here. They are doing it through snap military exercises or increasingly bellicose rhetoric. This is simply what Russia does. That’s why we have to meet this kind of provocations with a firm and unyielding response,” he said.

NATO, Russian Troops Rattle Swords Along Hundreds of Miles of Borderland | Foreign Policy

Across Eastern Europe, Moscow and the transatlantic alliance are staging large-scale exercises to show they mean business

Estonia considers Russia’s Nord Stream-2 possible threat to Europe

The Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline project may have negative consequences for Europe&rsquo;s energy security, Estonian foreign minister Sven Mikser told Germany&rsquo;s Tagesspiegel, according to Europeiska Pravda. We cannot allow the supplier to use energy as an instrument of political pressure. Before the project is continued, we must analyze its consequences very thoroughly,” said the foreign minister of Estonia, which is now chairing the EU Council, Europeiska Pravda reported referring to Tagesspiegel. “If the analysis shows that Nord Stream-2 puts Russia in a position where it can pressure countries in Europe, such as Ukraine, we should take this very seriously,” said Mikser. Read also PM Groysman: Kyiv does its best to hinder construction of Nord Stream-2 pipeline bypassing Ukraine At the same time, the official supported direct negotiations on the controversial project between the European Commission and Russia. As reported earlier, a number of European countries had opposed the construction of the pipeline, believing that it would make the EU hostage to Moscow. Earlier, President of the European Council Donald Tusk wrote a letter to the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, noting that the construction of Nord Stream-2 would strengthen Russia’s position. Nord Stream -2 will concentrate the supply of Russian gas along a single route to Germany via the Baltic Sea starting 2020.

Russian Foreign Ministry forced to turn off Facebook ratings after thousands of Lithuanians protest – To Inform is to Influence

Russian Foreign Ministry forced to turn off Facebook ratings after thousands of Lithuanians protest Published by  Linas at  July 18, 2017 (MOSCOW) – On Sunday, the Russian Foreign Ministry was forced to take down the “ratings & reviews” feature on their Facebook page after receiving over 17,000 negative-poor responses in a 24-hour period, as compared to only 75…

Linkevičius: Why are those who hold exercises with Russia negotiating, and Ukraine cannot? – European Western Balkans

BRUSSELS – Speaking with POLITICO’s Playbook, Linas Antanas Linkevičius, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, has questioned the European Union’s enlargement policy by pointing out that some countries that share basic EU foreign policy goals, such as Ukraine, do not have a membership perspective, while others are implementing membership negotiations while at the same time conducting military exercises with Russia on EU’s borders. Clearly hinting at Serbia, which has held numerous military exercises with Russia, Linkevičius said that “some countries enjoy enlargement negotiations, while conducting military exercises with Russia near our borders, while other, highly motivated countries, facing sovereignty and military threats, are not even given membership perspective”. Linkevičius said that the European Union’s policies should be based on “common goals, not internal politics”.

“Russia-friendly Serbia moving toward EU – Ukraine can’t?” – World – on

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Antanas Linkevicius has asked why Ukraine is unable to move closer to the EU, while Serbia can.

Russia appears to be taking Georgia’s land inch by inch | Business Insider

Russia has been slowly taking land from…

As long as Vladimir Putin is president, Russia will be a greater threat than ISIL

Much of the world’s attention has, quite rightly, been focused on the defeat of Isil in Iraq and Syria.

That Devious Plot to ‘Zombify’ Russia: The Fidget Spinner – The New York Times

State-run news outlets in Russia have identified fidget spinners as a potential threat to state security, saying the toys are an attempt to influence young people.

Fidget Spinners vs Putin: Russian State Media Warns That Toy Will Turn Kids Against Kremlin

Not everyone gets fidget spinners. The trendy new toy is meant to ease stress and anxiety but Russian state TV fears it could have more nefarious purposes, namely turning the nation’s youth to vandalism and acts of opposition against Russian leader Vladimir Putin. The palm-sized device “makes a person impressionable for manipulation,” news show host Alexey Kazakov said on one of multiple segments broadcast by the state-run Rossiya24 dedicated to the dangers of fidget spinners. The toys themselves look innocuous enough, mostly consisting of a bearing center with a three-pronged ring which spins when pushed. They come in different colours and have become a global phenomenon among young people, including young Russians.

Russia Investigates ‘Aggressively Promoted’ Fidget Spinners

Russia’s consumer protection agency, Rospotrebnadzor, says it is looking into fidget spinners' possible negative effects on children's health amid allegations on Russian television program…

Is Vladimir Putin a judo fraud? – The Washington Post

Is the Russian leader really the martial arts master he is made out to be? One writer and martial arts aficionado says no.

I’ll Fight Putin Any Time, Any Place He Can’t Have Me Arrested – Lawfare

My martial arts challenge to the President of the Russian Federation.

Brookings Scholar to Vladimir Putin: Fight Me! | The Fiscal Times

Washington is full of people who have issued challenges to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Vladimir Putin accused of being a FRAUD over judo expertise | Daily Star

VLADIMIR Putin has been accused of lying about something he has claimed to be very good at for years.

Vladimir Putin ‘likes baths in BLOOD extracted from deer antlers | World | News |

VLADIMIR Putin is a fan of taking baths in blood extracted from the severed antlers of Maral deer, say Russian reports.

WATCH: Is Vladimir Putin’s big collapse coming soon? –

Author Richard Lourie talks about how Putin’s failure to wean Russia off oil will destroy the nation’s economy

New book predicts Vladimir Putin’s downfall

In ‘Putin,’ Richard Lourie says Russia’s president banks too heavily on the oil economy. Enter Richard Lourie, who has all the Kremlinological credentials to set us straight. Biographer of Stalin and Sakharov, former consultant on Russia to Hillary Clinton, and Mikhail Gorbachev’s translator for The New York Times, Lourie takes the autocrat’s measure in his hot new book, Putin (Thomas Dunne Books, 224 pp., **½ out of four stars). With its predictive subtitle, His Downfall and Russia’s Coming Crash, Lourie also takes a leap of expert judgment. His thesis is that Putin, who came to power in 2000, has squandered his opportunity. After the breakup of the Soviet Union and a sharp, chaotic turn from ossified Communism to a free-booting market culture — with oligarchs skimming billions and former Soviet countries becoming Russia’s rivals — Putin has “reverted to the tried and true, in his case ‘the power vertical,’ ” Lourie concludes. Rather than transform Russia into a broadly engaged, knowledge-based society that would mean more jobs for the masses and a more agile future, Lourie’s Putin has been content with a house-of-cards economy based on Russia’s oil and gas bounty, and with old-school imperial ambitions. Lourie begins in Leningrad, where Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin — “Volodya” — was born in 1952, kept his head down at KGB school, mastered sambo (a Russian form of judo), and got to Moscow just in time to rise to power, quietly and inscrutably, while the old USSR was falling apart. Now, everywhere from the NATO countries, Ukraine and Crimea, to Kazakhstan and central Asia, Putin casts an opportunistic but less than visionary eye, Lourie tells us. He believes it’s all too late for the aging spymaster (he’s 64), as oil prices stagnate and authoritarianism breeds revolt, chasing Putin into exile, or worse, before long. No wonder Putin signed into existence a personal army of 400,000 loyal troops, the Rosguard, in April of last year. Still, Lourie concedes, “A man extremely favored by fortune in his rise to power, he could yet prove favored again.” How? Russia’s aggressive moves on the emerging resources of the warming Arctic could enrich it — and Putin — for another generation. “Or a military intervention in Kazakhstan might provide the Kremlin with leverage over China, thereby completing the task of restoring Russia’s greatness by restoring Russia’s power.” Big maybes. And, ultimately, not a big enough book. Lourie’s 200-page gloss on the immense geopolitical complexities of Russia, Ukraine, China — and the shadowy string-puller named Putin — is well-sourced, certainly, and deeply knowing. But it’s also a breathless, fact-crammed, highly speculative read, and for all its timeliness, there isn’t more than a page or so on Putin’s cyber-meddling with the Trump-Clinton election. By the book’s end, we know Volodya only well enough to underestimate him.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Core Russian Elite Worried Putin Can’t Protect Their Interests in the West, Piontkovsky Says

Paul Goble Staunton, July 19 – The future of Vladimir Putin is not going to be decided by 100 million Russian voters next year but rather in the coming weeks by “the approximately 100 members of the expanded Politburo of the Russian kleptocracy,” according to Russian commentator Andrey Piontkovsky. And while Putin is still their leading candidate, many of them are beginning to have doubts about Putin’s ability “to effectively fulfill in the next six years the most important function for the bridgade as interface with the eternally hated and eternally loved West” ( Indeed, for this elite, Putin’s actions, including his foreign policy actions that have antagonized Western governments, are beginning to constitute “an existential threat to the dearest thing for Russian rulers” – their ability not only to shift their money to the West but to send their children there and live there themselves. They are still able to do what they want in that regard; but, according to Piontkovsky, they are increasingly concerned that they won’t be able to over the next six years given the increasingly harsh response of Western leaders like the new president of France and of US commentators like Farid Zakaria. What the members of the elite are beginning to appreciate is that Putin made a bad mistake in his efforts to promote Donald Trump, efforts that are now backfiring. The Kremlin leader simply couldn’t appreciate “the simple fact” that “the president of the United States is not the boss of a criminal community” and that getting his loyalty is not only not enough but quite possibly counterproductive. As more Americans suspect that there is something going on between Trump and Putin, the commentator suggests, each step of the former that appears to be a concession to the latter inevitably “sparks a spark reaction in Washington which is being transformed into completely concrete legislative actions” and policies. According to Piontkovsky, “Trump has turned out to be not Putin’s agent but a burden Putin has to carry, just as Putin is a burden on Trump. That is the true result of the broad scale operation of ‘Trump is Ours” that Putin’s Kremlin launched. With the benefit of hindsight, the Russian commentator says, “it is clear what an enormous error the Kremlin made having bet on Trump.” A Clinton presidency would not have been nearly as problematic for Putin and his elite. That is something the Moscow elite is beginning to understand – and to take decisions on that basis, Piontkovsky says.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Like Putin, Russians Don’t have ‘Image of the Future,’ Shelin Says

Paul Goble Staunton, July 19 – The report earlier this week that “the Kremlin still has not succeeded in thinking up an image of the future on which Vladimir Putin can run in the 2018 elections” ( is exceptional under Russian conditions, Rosbalt commentator Sergey Shelin says. But behind it is an even deeper problem, he argues. While ordinary Russians are looking to the future somewhat more confidently than they did a year ago, they are not doing so because of anything the government has done or is promising. They are adapting to survive rather than counting on the Kremlin to save them ( As recent polls show, Shelin continues, “tens of millions of people are somehow adapting to new conditions: some are going into the shadow sector. Others are feeding themselves from their gardens, and others are learning to do without quality food and goods. But [none] are getting any help from the state.” Instead, “from the state, the ordinary man receives only bad news and bad promises. It raises his communal services and transportation fares, it forces him to pay for what he used to get for free, it bombs him with plans for ever more offensive prohibitions and burdens – from bans on smoking to punishments on the Yarovaya laws.” Today, for the ordinary Russian, is hard, Shelin says. Tomorrow threatens to be even worse. As a result, “it is perfectly normal that Vladimir Putin doesn’t have ‘an image of the future.’ He shouldn’t, because his subjects don’t have ‘an image of the future’ either” – or at least one that like his is only about survival.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Three Worrisome Lessons from the Latest Conflicts in Daghestan

Paul Goble Staunton, July 18 – The continuing clashes among ethnic groups in Daghestan and the intervention of Chechen officials offer three disturbing lessons for the future of that region, according to a new analysis for the OnKavkaz portal by commentator Shamil Dhamaludinov ( The three are: first, “ethnic conflicts will attract ever more protesting young” who earlier had turned to the Islamist underground; second, the ethnic quota system for officials Daghestan has used ignores the population and is ceasing to be effective; and third, powerful regional leaders are increasingly prepared to intervene on behalf of their co-ethnics in other republics. Each of these will reorder the social and political situation in the region and challenge the ability of Moscow and the regional authorities to keep the situation under control. They thus merit the close attention the OnKavkaz analyst provides. First of all, Dzhamaludinov says, young people in the North Caucasus who had earlier gone into the Islamist underground are now expressing their anger at social and economic injustices in the region “via ethnic mobilization.” The two are linked: where Islamist extremism was strongest, now ethnic protest is. At one point, he continues, “specialists on the Caucasus proposed in place of the expression ‘the radicalization of Islam’ to use the term ‘the Islamization of radicalism’” in order to capture the reality that many people angry about conditions locally became radicalized and then turned to Islamist groups. Now, these same people are shifting back to ethnic groups. “Non-traditional Islam,” the analyst argues, legitimated protest “against the existing system of relations” and thus drew in those who were angry about it. “Today,” however, “one can speak about the beginning of ‘the ethnicization’ of protest,” with nationality movements attracting and being affected by the same people. The Islamic protest movement “both radical and civic” has now entered a period of crisis and can no longer attract as many young people as it did. “The last massive protests of Islamist youth took place 18 months ago in Khasavyurt and Derbet.” Now, the same people are involved in ethnic mobilization or in protests like those of the long-haul truckers. Second, Dzhamaludinov continues, these new protests mean that the ethnic quota system that the Daghestani authorities have used to try to keep the peace is rapidly collapsing, primarily because they may work with some elites but they do not address the concerns of members of these ethnic communities. Unfortunately, he says, the current head of Daghestan, Ramazan Abdulatipov does not appear to understand this, routinely using ethnic quotas as a substitute for rather than a policy that addresses the needs of communities. That is severing the ties between the population and those in power and opening the way for radicalization in the population. The OnKavkaz analyst then describes in detail a series of actions Abdulatipov has taken in this regard since being named to lead the republic and the ways in which each of them has exacerbated ethnic and also religious tensions rather than ameliorating the situation. And third, the commentator continues, the events in Daghestan where the leadership is weak have encouraged Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov to intervene on behalf of Chechens in the neighboring republic, effectively taking power there and challenging the existing territorial divisions. This situation is not so critical and has a long history, but if what Kadyrov is doing spreads to other republic heads, it is possible that full-scale conflicts will break out not just between various titular nationalities but also between republic leaderships. That will challenge existing ethno-territorial divisions and may lead to the collapse of one or more republics.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Caucasus Emirate Far From Dead But Focused Now on Syria, Analyst Says

Paul Goble Staunton, July 19 – The Caucasus Emirate has been so quiet in the North Caucasus in recent years that many Russian sources have declared it to be dead, but in fact it continues to operate with some structures in the North Caucasus but headquartered in Turkey and focused on fighting for the Islamist cause but not as part of ISIS in Syria, according to Lyubov Merenkova. The Radio Liberty journalist’s report details what can be gleaned from the Emirate’s various websites and describes an organization that could easily reactivate and again become a threat to stability in the North Caucasus if the fighting in Syria ebbs and Caucasians fighting there return home ( She details the splits within the organization since the death of Emir Doku Umarov in 2013 and notes the absence of any single agreed-upon leader above the regional groupings that largely but not completely follow ethnic lines in the North Caucasus. And she details the controversies among the various sub-leaders in recent times. While the Russian media rarely refer to the Caucasus Emirate anymore, its representatives use a series of websites to communicate its messages. They include KavkazTsentr, Islamdin, Checheninfo, and Vdagestan. But most of these draw their information from Russian sources, although they put their own spin on it. The leading figures of the Caucasus Emirate are now based in Turkey or fighting in Syria. Moscow has sought the extradition of those in Turkey but so far without success, although Merenkova says that emirate representatives are anything but pleased with the way in which they have been treated by Ankara.

Why Is Vladimir Putin’s Russia so Afraid of Jehovah’s Witnesses?

On Monday, July 17, the Russian Supreme Court rejected an appeal of an earlier ruling sanctioning Jehovah’s Witnesses as an extremist group. As a last ditch effort, Russian Jehovah’s Witnesses intend to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. But, as of now, Jehovah’s Witness gatherings and preaching are criminal offenses in Russia. The Russian government also has the legal authority to liquidate any property held by Jehovah’s Witnesses as an organization. There are over eight million Jehovah’s Witnesses in 240 countries worldwide. Russia, with a population of more than 150 million, has a total of 117,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses—one Jehovah’s Witness per 850 people.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Jehovah’s Witnesses Given ISIS Asterisk in Russian Media

Paul Goble Staunton, July 19 – On Monday, the Russian Supreme Court confirmed the ban on the Jehovah’s Witnesses on the basis of Russian government claims that the Witnesses are an extremist organization; and already yesterday, Russia media discussing the denomination have been forced to put an asterisk after any reference to indicate that it has been banned as extremist. That asterisk not only leads to a footnote, already used in the case of the Islamic State, that declares that “the organization has been recognized as extremist and its activity in Russia banned by a decision of the court,” a formulation likely to spark more attacks on the Witnesses among Russians who will now view them as equivalent to ISIS. An example of this unfortunate Russian practice is provided in both the title and the content of an article by Kavkaz-Uzel specifying that the defenders of the Witnesses say they are “victims of political persecution” and that they plan to appeal the Russian high court’s decision to the European Court of Human Rights ( Such asterisks, like putting defendants in Russian courts behind bars at hearings, may seem like small things; but they are likely to cast a far larger shadow on those to whom they are applied because of the way in which they will become the Muscovite equivalent of “a scarlet letter” on anyone they are applied. And thus, those who care about human rights need not only to support the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ appeal to Strasbourg but also to be alert to the ways in which Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin is virtually inviting Russians to attack a group whose only “crime” is to obey the law, read the Bible, and encourage others to do likewise.

Jehovah’s Witnesses Ban Appeal Rejected by Russia’s Supreme Court, Allowing Government to Seize Worship Halls

Updated | Russia’s Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal launched by Jehovah’s Witnesses against the group’s ban in the country. The decision was made following a single-day hearing in Moscow in which the court swiftly rejected all the defense motions put forward by representatives of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, including a request to have a religious studies scholar.

UAWire – EU expressed its deep regret over Russia’s decision to ban Jehovah’s Witnesses

The European Union expressed its regret that the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation confirmed its decision to liquidate all registered …


Window on Eurasia — New Series: A Damning Trend in Putin’s Russia: Number Convicted of Crimes Against the State Up 2800 Percent During His Term

Paul Goble Staunton, July 19 – In 2003, shortly after the beginning of the Putin era, 28 Russians were convicted of crimes against the state such as treason, espionage, or extremism; but by 2016, the number had risen to 588, according to data released by officials of the Russian Supreme Court ( Unless one accepts the counter-intuitive notion that Russia has faced a dramatic increase in the number of actions that deserve to be classified in this way, one can only agree with the New Chronicle of Current Events that “the number of political prisoners in Russia is growing rapidly.” And these figures which are given for each year show not only that those charged with such state crimes have increased in number since Putin’s third term began but are rising with each passing year since that time, a trend that suggests there will be even more such “crimes” discovered in the future.

Browder: Putin Determined To Have Magnitsky Act Repealed

U.S.-born British investor Bill Browder was one of the driving forces behind the Magnitsky Act, a 2012 U.S. law that authorizes sanctions against human rights abusers in Russia. The law was named for Russian tax attorney Sergei Magnitsky, who died in November 2009 in police custody. Critics believe his death was retribution for uncovering high-level corruption. In an interview with Current Time America, Browder, who was Magnitsky’s client, said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is determined to see the Magnitsky Act repealed, as is Natalia Veselnitskaya, a lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. during the 2016 election campaign.

State Duma Toughens Punishment For ‘Carousel’ Voting

Russia’s lower chamber of parliament, the State Duma, has approved a bill that toughens punishment for “carousel” voting, when voters cast ballots repeatedly at different polling stations.

Russian occupants blame Ukraine of “tourist blockade” of Crimea

19.07.17 10:06 – Russian occupants blame Ukraine of tourist blockade of Crimea Crimea says Ukrainian authorities prevent Ukrainian tourists from traveling to the occupied peninsula. View news.

Trial Of Crimean Journalist Semena Resumes In Simferopol

Russian-appointed judges at a court in Ukraine's occupied Crimea region have conducted a new hearing in the trial of Mykola Semena, an RFE/RL contributor who is fighting what he says is …

What Is the Blue Whale Game, the Russian ‘Challenge’ Blamed for Suicides?

The suicide of a loved one often sends family members searching for clues and warning signs that they might have missed. When one boy did so following the suicide of his younger sister in Atlanta, he found a sketch she had drawn of a girl, as well as the name Rina Palenkova. The brother researched the name and learned it was the nickname of a Russian teenager whose 2015 suicide is believed to have been the first related to Blue Whale, an online “challenge” in which administrators convince participants to end their lives. Suddenly, the blue whales that the Atlanta girl had painted and displayed around her bedroom took on a new, heartbreaking meaning. “If I had come across the Blue Whale game online or heard about it from somewhere, maybe I could have pieced it together a little bit faster,” the brother told CNN, which published a report about it on Monday. “There needs to be awareness. People need to know.”

Court Orders Russia To Pay Dutch 6.25 Million Dollars In Damages Over Greenpeace Ship

Russia must pay 5.4 million euros ($6.25 million) in damages to the Netherlands for the 2013 seizure of Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise ship during an oil drilling protest, an internationa…

UAWire – Arbitration Court at The Hague demands €5.4 million from Russia for the detention of Greenpeace vessel

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague has ordered Russia to pay the Netherlands € 5.4 million plus interest for the detention of …

UAC to Show Advanced Airplanes at MAKS-2017

The United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) will present the prototype models of the military, civil, and special-purpose aircraft at the International Airspace Show MAKS-2017, the company’s representative told Mil.Today.

TASS: Military & Defense – First stage of PAK FA test flights to be over in late 2017

T-50 is a perfect aircraft which has already demonstrated its capabilities at the MAKS international airshow, commander-in-chief of the Russian aerospace forces said

Russia, Iran Highlight Combat Tested Hardware at the Russian MAKS Airshow | Defense Update:


Russia’s State Armaments Program Supports MiG-35 Orders | Defense content from Aviation Week

Russian aircraft corporation MiG has been thrown a lifeline by the Russian government.

‘Every Country Wants to Possess’ Jets Such as Russia’s 5th-Gen PAK FA Fighter – Sputnik International

The first stage of tests of Russia’s Sukhoi T-50 (PAK FA) fifth-generation fighter aircraft is expected to finish in December, Russian Aerospace Forces Commander Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev said Tuesday.

UEC Presented Gas Turbines to Replace Ukrainian Ones

The United Engine Corporation (UEC) demonstrated new marine gas turbine engines, which mass production will start in 2018 at assembling and testing facility of NPO Saturn (Rybinsk, Russia). The engines were designed to substitute Ukrainian products banned for export to Russia.

Production of Zubr-Class Air-Cushion Ships Resumes Only in 2019-2021, Shipbuilders Say

Russian shipbuilders may resume construction of Project 12322 &lt;i&gt;Zubr&lt;/i&gt; small-size air-cushion landing ships only by 2019-2021, but in no way in 2018, as &lt;i&gt;Izvestiya&lt;/i&gt; wrote, representatives of &lt;i&gt;Almaz&lt;/i&gt; (Saint Petersburg) and &lt;i&gt;More&lt;/i&gt; (Feodosiya), the shipyards that formerly built these vessels, told Mil.Today.

Opinion: Why Sino-Russian Widebody Project Is Not Another Airbus | Commercial Aviation content from Aviation Week

Vladimir Putin’s Russia is eager to restore the country’s former aerospace glory, and China’s government wants to create a national aircraft industry.

Russia successfully launches ‘brightest star in the night sky’ – but astronomers are seeing red – Mirror Online

Mayak’s giant reflective sheet will be unfurled in the next few days

IW/IO/Cyber Reports

Respond to Russia’s Information Warfare – To Inform is to Influence

General McClintock makes one minor error, which may throw readers initially off balance.  He uses the terms ‘information warfare’ and ‘hacking’ interchangeably at the beginning of the article.  Information Warfare is much larger than cyberwarfare, but is the new sexy name in the game.   Otherwise. this is a very good article.  </end editorial> The…

The U.S. Needs a Response to Russia’s Information Warfare | World Report | US News

The United States needs a new strategy.

Fred Kaplan Book: The Secret Moscow Meeting That Revealed Russia’s Cyber Prowess – POLITICO Magazine

In 1998, a fledgling national security team traced an early hack across the globe. This is the untold story.

How State Media Became A Weapon Of Information Warfare – To Inform is to Influence

Russia, China and others are using their state-run media abroad in hopes of expanding their influence beyond their borders. By Jake Godin July 18, 2017 Media is everywhere — newspapers, television, radio, the internet. And how free that media is from government interference is often a way to gauge the health of a democracy. But some…

“Seen on the Web” 18 July 2017 — Strategic Communication and Public Diplomacy – To Inform is to Influence


China’s Censors Can Apparently Delete Photos Mid-Transmission

It is no secret that China is a very heavily censored country, where posts that criticize the government are taken down swiftly. It has also made…

How Badly Is China’s Great Firewall Hurting the Country’s Economy? | Foreign Policy

Beijing’s strict control over the internet doesn’t come cheap. The Chinese government created its censorship regime, bulwarked by the “Great Firewall,” to keep pernicious political ideas out of the country. To the extent that discussions of color revolutions, the Tiananmen massacre, and domestic political intrigue are almost universally blocked, its overseers might consider it a success. But the economic ramifications of policing the internet are as important as the political ones. It’s not just that, by some accounts, Beijing employs some 2 million people to police the imperfectly socialist thoughts of the public. The regulatory and policy whims of Beijing create constant dilemmas for Chinese business: Nobody knows where the line is or when they might cross it. China’s ability to innovate in the digital age is thus held hostage to a government that’s paranoid about the possibilities of change.

Ukrainian cyber police receive special equipment from OSCE – news portal

Ukrainian cyber police receive special equipment from OSCE. UK provided training to 184 officers Main – news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Cyberattacks targeting clinics in Ukraine draws concerns from experts – National |

Dr. Lidiia Podkopaieva was about to click “send” on an order of new surgical instruments when her computer monitor suddenly went dark.

June Cyberattack Hit Ukraine Hospitals – YouTube

Subscribe for more Breaking News: The cyberattack that ripped through Ukraine on June 27 disrupted operations at several h…

Malorossiya Reports


Washington, D.C. ­– U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today on Russian-backed separatists proclaiming a new state in Ukraine: “Vladimir Putin’s ambition to restore the Russian Empire took another step forward today as Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine’s Donetsk region proclaimed an independent state and adopted the tsarist-era name of ‘Little Russia.’ The ultimate responsibility for this latest flagrant violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty lies squarely with Vladimir Putin’s Russia, upon whose leadership, financing, troops, and weapons the separatists are entirely dependent. “This illegal proclamation of a Russian puppet state in eastern Ukraine also adds to Russia’s serial violations of the Minsk agreements. Through its aggressive behavior, Russia has demonstrated it does not seek the peace the Minsk agreements were designed to achieve. Instead, Vladimir Putin is calculating that the more Ukrainians his forces and his proxies kill, the more Ukrainian territory they will be able to seize. And the more Putin forces Ukraine to devote scarce resources to war rather than improving the economy, the more he can destabilize the government in Kiev and prevent Ukraine from realizing its Euro-Atlantic future. “The United States and our European allies must honestly confront the reality that we have failed to fundamentally change Russia’s calculus in Ukraine over the last three years. “If we are serious about ending the bloodletting in eastern Ukraine and restoring Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, we must be willing to think and act anew to compel a change in Russian behavior. It is simply not enough, for example, to say that U.S. and European sanctions imposed after the annexation of Crimea will remain until Russia fulfills its obligations under the Minsk agreements. That approach has been tried, and it has failed. Acting together, the United States and our European allies need to develop a policy and strategy to escalate the diplomatic, economic, and military consequences Russia will suffer until it honors its commitments under the Minsk agreements. Here at home, we must start by sending a strong Russia sanctions bill to the president’s desk and providing Ukraine the defensive lethal assistance it needs to defend itself.”

Senator McCain: Ultimate responsibility for “Malorossiya” lies with Putin’s Russia

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, says that the ultimate responsibility for the creation of an unlawful state of &quot;Malorossiya&quot; lies with Putin's Russia. Vladimir Putin’s ambition to restore the Russian Empire took another step forward today as Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine’s Donetsk region proclaimed an independent state and adopted the tsarist-era name of ‘Little Russia.’ The ultimate responsibility for this latest flagrant violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty lies squarely with Vladimir Putin’s Russia, upon whose leadership, financing, troops, and weapons the separatists are entirely dependent,” the senator said in his statement on July 18. According to him, the declaration on the establishment of this “Little Russia” violates the Minsk peace agreements on Donbas. Read also EU says Zakharchenko’s “Malorossiya” against Minsk peace accords “This illegal proclamation of a Russian puppet state in eastern Ukraine also adds to Russia’s serial violations of the Minsk agreements. Through its aggressive behavior, Russia has demonstrated it does not seek the peace the Minsk agreements were designed to achieve,” the statement said. “Instead, Vladimir Putin is calculating that the more Ukrainians his forces and his proxies kill, the more Ukrainian territory they will be able to seize. And the more Putin forces Ukraine to devote scarce resources to war rather than improving the economy, the more he can destabilize the government in Kiev and prevent Ukraine from realizing its Euro-Atlantic future,” McCain said. The senator insists that the United States and its European allies must honestly confront the reality that they have failed to fundamentally change Russia’s calculus in Ukraine over the last three years. “If we are serious about ending the bloodletting in eastern Ukraine and restoring Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, we must be willing to think and act anew to compel a change in Russian behavior. It is simply not enough, for example, to say that U.S. and European sanctions imposed after the annexation of Crimea will remain until Russia fulfills its obligations under the Minsk agreements. That approach has been tried, and it has failed. Acting together, the United States and our European allies need to develop a policy and strategy to escalate the diplomatic, economic, and military consequences Russia will suffer until it honors its commitments under the Minsk agreements. Here at home, we must start by sending a strong Russia sanctions bill to the president’s desk and providing Ukraine the defensive lethal assistance it needs to defend itself,” he said.

“I don’t want to dignify it with a response,” – US Department of State spokesperson Nauert on separatists’ announcements of “Malorossiya”

19.07.17 10:41 – I don’t want to dignify it with a response, – US Department of State spokesperson Nauert on separatists’ announcements of Malorossiya The U.S. Department of State said on Tuesday they are concerned with the recent announcement of DPR leader Zakharchenko to create Malorossiya instead of independent Ukraine, but said it would not dignify it with a response. View news.

Department Press Briefing – July 18, 2017

QUESTION: On Ukraine. MS NAUERT: Okay. QUESTION: Russian-backed rebels in east Ukraine have proclaimed the creation of a new state, and I’m not going to attempt to say it, but “Little Russia,” translated. Could you comment? MS NAUERT: So here’s what we had heard: that the so-called separatists – and notice I call them “so-called separatists” – want to see a new state. That new state would be in place of Ukraine. That is something that’s certainly an area of concern to us, but I just don’t – beyond that, I don’t want to dignify it with a response.

Ukraine’s top brass: “Malorossiya” a sick fantasy – news portal

Ukraine’s top brass: “Malorossiya” a sick fantasy. “Territorial sovereignty of Ukraine will be restored.” Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Viktor Muzhenko called the “Malorossiya” state announced today by the “DPR” leader, Oleksandr Zakharchenko, a “sick fantasy of the Russian puppet”. “Ukrainian people have buried “Novorossiya” and will bury “Malorossiya”. The fantasies of Russian puppets always melt like ghosts. The territorial sovereignty of Ukraine will be restored. Undoubtedly,” Muzhenko wrote on Facebook on Tuesday, 18 July. Earlier on the day, Zakharchenko in Donetsk said that the “DPR” and “LPR” create a new state instead of Ukraine. He alleged that, in addition to members of these terrorist organizations, representatives of 19 regions of Ukraine took part in the ceremony of reading out the “constitutional act of the new state”. He said the capital of “Malorossiya” will be Donetsk, while Kyiv shall “remain a historical and cultural center without the status of a capital city.”

Ukraine FM: Kremlin behind creation of Malorossiya – news portal

Ukraine FM: Kremlin behind creation of Malorossiya. “Russia is trying to play the Abkhaz scenario in Donbas.” Main – news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Aiming To Distract From Russian Embarrassment, Zakharchenko Announces Malorossiya – To Inform is to Influence

Self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Leader Alexander Zakharchenko, timing his announcement so as to divert attention from the three year anniversary of the MH17 shootdown by Russian and Russian proxy troops using a Russian buk missile, announced the formation of “Little Russia” or MaloRossiya. The announcement was quickly denounced by France. France urges Russia to…

Little Russia Squashed By Big Russia – To Inform is to Influence

That was quick. This statement by Putin’s spokesman quashes Zakharchenko: “The statement made by [Alexander] Zakharchenko this morning on the topic of Malorossiya seems to be his own personal initiative, and in Moscow we learned about it this morning in the press,” Dmitry Peskov, spokesman of Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday. Quash: to reject…

Big Russia Quashes Hopes of Little Russia in Ukraine


Ukraine conflict: Russia rejects new Donetsk rebel ‘state’ – BBC News

Russia says “Malorossiya” (Little Russia) is just a rebel leader’s personal initiative in Ukraine.

EU says Zakharchenko’s “Malorossiya” against Minsk peace accords

The European Union says that plans by the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (&quot;DPR&quot;) to create the so-called &quot;Malorossiya&quot; (literally &quot;Little Russia&quot;) instead of Ukraine are against the objective of the Minsk peace agreement on Donbas.&nbsp; News 19 July from UNIAN.

U.S., Russian Envoy, OSCE Dismiss Ukraine Separatists’ ‘Little Russia’ Declaration

The U.S. State Department, Russia's envoy to Ukrainian peace talks, and the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe all voiced concern about the declaration of a &quot;Littl…

Prague shrugs off “DPR”, “LPR” statements as illegitimate – news portal

Prague shrugs off “DPR”, “LPR” statements as illegitimate. Czech Foreign Ministry expressed full respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. Main – news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Militant Leaders in Ukraine’s East Are Kremlin ‘Puppet Show’: Poroshenko – YouTube

A surprise announcement coming from one of the Russian-backed separatist groups controlling parts of eastern Ukraine, has left everyone scratching their head…

Ukraine, Georgia Denounce Pro-Russian Separatists | World News | US News

MOSCOW (AP) — Ukraine’s leader says Ukraine and Georgia will coordinate their efforts to reclaim areas captured by pro-Russian separatists.

France, Germany call on Russia to condemn “Malorossiya” project

France and Germany have called on Russia to condemn the statement by the leader of the &quot;DPR&quot; militants, Alexander Zakharchenko, on the creation of the &quot;state of Malorossiya,&quot; the foreign ministries of the two EU member states reported on Tuesday. Answering a question at today’s briefing on whether the French foreign ministry has any response to the statement by Zakharchenko, the ministry’s speaker said:” We call on Russia to condemn the statement that is a violation of the Minsk agreements, betraying the spirit of the negotiations in the Normandy format. Russia should intensify its efforts to bring this conflict to an end.” Read also Some 70% of Ukrainians ready for compromise for peace to reign in Donbas – poll The speaker added that France “remains committed to the full restoration of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. The Minsk agreements signed by Russia and Ukraine, supported by the Normandy Four, as well as by the United Nations Security Council, are the only basis agreed upon by all parties, to achieve a peaceful and sustainable settlement of the crisis between the two countries.” Earlier today, the German government has also condemned the creation of the “Malorossiya” project. “Zakharchenko has no legitimate right to speak for this part of Ukraine.We expect that Russia will immediately condemn this step, will not respect and recognize it,” the statement by the German government’s press secretary read. Read also Poroshenko: Novorossiya project dead, Ukraine to retake Donbas, Crimea Berlin considers negotiations the only way to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, the press secretary said. It is, in particular, the implementation of the Minsk agreements by Russia, Ukraine, and Moscow-supported separatists in Donbas. As UNIAN reported earlier on Tuesday, the so-called leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (“DPR”), Alexander Zakharchenko, has announced the creation of a new separatist entity, “the state of Malorossiya,” suggesting the introduction of a state of emergency in Ukraine for three years, according to Russia’s news agency Interfax. Ukraine’s NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov believes that the statement by the terrorist leader testifies to the intention of Russian President Vladimir Putin to resume the advance of military aggression deeper into Ukraine, while the representative of Ukraine in the security subgroup on of the Tripartite Contact Group, Yevhen Marchuk, noted that Zakharchenko’s statement was blocking the Minsk negotiation process on the Donbas settlement.

Ukrainian separatists claim to have created a new country: Malorossiya, or ‘Little Russia’ – The Washington Post

The announcement appears to have caught both Kiev and Moscow off guard. However, Malorossiya is different from Novorossiya. The word is thought to date back as far as the medieval era, but came into widespread use under the Russian Empire in the 19th century when it was used to describe the land that now makes up Ukraine. The term has long been considered archaic in Ukraine itself; some nationalists use it disparagingly, and it is sometimes used as an insult to describe Russified Ukrainians in the country’s east. Importantly, the word is used to refer to almost of all of Ukraine rather than the eastern provinces that made up Novorossiya — implying increased ambitions for the Donetsk People’s Republic. Zakhar Prilepin, a Russian writer who formed a volunteer battalion for the Donetsk People’s Republic, told the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper that the ultimate aim of Malorossiya was to merge with both Russia and Belarus. Despite these lofty ideals, there were signs that the announcement of Malorossiya was rushed. The statement announcing the proposed country referred to “19 regions of the former Ukraine” — an apparent error as Ukraine has 24 administrative regions and the Malorossiya map showed all these regions accurately. Documents claiming to mark the official establishment of the country were riddled with red squiggly lines, suggesting that they were images taken hastily from word-processing software.

Pro-Russia rebel leader unveils plan to abolish Ukraine

Further blow for peace talks as Zakharchenko proposes new state called ‘Malorossiya’

Zakharchenko’s initiative on Malorossiya doesn’t fit in Minsk process, – Gryzlov

18.07.17 17:17 – Zakharchenko’s initiative on Malorossiya doesn’t fit in Minsk process, – Gryzlov The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) leader’s proclamation of a new state called Malorossiya doesn’t fit in the Ukrainian peace process. View news.


Pro-Russian rebel leader in E. Ukraine unveils plan for new state

The pro-Russian rebel leader of a breakaway region in eastern Ukraine announced proposals to abolish Ukraine and create a new state in its place.

Taras Berezovets | Zakharchenko’s drunken gibberish – News about politics | UNIAN

A statement by a self-proclaimed leader of the so-called “DPR,” Alexander Zakharchenko, on creating a new state “Malorossiya” with its capital in Donetsk seems to be some gibberish by a sick man, perhaps, a drug or alcohol addict. From the very start, it was clear that this statement has not been agreed either with Putin’s aide Surkov, or any of the Donbas puppet republics’ supervisors from the Kremlin. So it’s just delirious ravings, which have probably been discussed in militant circles and those of the administration of the Russian president. Indeed, at this level, they may have discussed various plans, including a morbid idea of creating “Malorossiya.” After all, the odious Vladimir Zhirinovsky used to speak a lot about it. But, of course, nobody built any actual plans to create “Malorossiya” so nothing serious stands behind these words and no real steps will be taken. Besides, the response by the “leader” of the neighboring occupied areas of Luhansk region, so-called “LPR,” Igor Plotnitsky, indicates that for this part of pro-Russian militants, the statement was a shock, too. The turbulent response to Zakharchenko’s notorious statement on the part of the West is quite natural. Western officials, as any normal people, simply cannot grasp the fact that a person, whether stoned or drunk, can come out and say something of a kind. This is simply unthinkable. After all, if any western politician made a public appearance while intoxicated, this would mean the end of their political career. However, in “LPR” and “DPR” it always seems to be Friday night for their “officials.” They can easily show up drunk at local press conferences and TV shows. So naturally, Western politicians, without seeing or understanding the context, started to comment on the statement on the creation of “Malorossiya.” It should be understood though that no statements by those alcoholics from “LPR” and “DNR” are worth commenting on. It just so happened that Zakharchenko woke up terribly hungover and decided to come up with something to declare. But this in no way should be even discussed by experts, political scientists or politicians, because this is something to be dealt with by a shrink or a rehab specialist. Taras Berezovets is a co-founder of the Ukrainian Institute for the Future, political technologist, and CEO at Berta Communications

Transnistria Reports

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

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.

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. 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.

Krasnoselski about Cuciurgan-Pervomaisc crossing point: “Moldova and Ukraine are lighting the fuse that can cause an explosion”

The leader of the Transnistrian region, Vadim Krasnoselski, is outraged by the inauguration of the Moldovan-Ukrainian common crossing point at the Cuciurgan-Pervomaisc border in Transnistria and points out that this point will create impediments for the inhabitants of the region. In a press release, issued by the presidency of Transnistria, Vadim Krasnoselski states that Cuciurgan-Pervomaisc crossing point was set up to control exports and imports of Transnistria, as well as the movement of its citizens. “There are previous agreements stipulating that Transnistria has the right to exercise its economic activity, the right to free movement of its citizens. Of course, the establishment of this post has violated all the previous agreements. Moreover, the decisions, adopted on June 2-3, in the 5 + 2 format, say that all the issues have to be resolved by negotiations. Everyone knows that the decision to open the post was taken without Tiraspol’s consent, without any agreement in this regard,” the Transnistrian leader said. Similarly, Krasnoselski pointed out that since he is at the helm of the region, the issue of the joint crossing point has not been raised and he does not know whether this was discussed with the former leadership. “This thing alarms us. Of course, Transnistria will suffer. I don’t share the optimism of the leadership of Ukraine and Moldova, who claim that everything will be fine. For someone it can and will be, but certainly not for Transnistria,” Krasnoselski added. The official also emphasized that the territory between Transnistria and Moldova was shared with the Russian peacekeepers and there have not been any problems for 25 years, but now direct contacts will take place. “Why, after 25 years of peaceful coexistence of Transnistria, Moldova and Ukraine are lighting the fuse that can cause an explosion? Moldova doesn’t want to discuss the issue in the 5 + 2 format, arguing that this is strictly an internal issue of Ukraine and Moldova. All the problems have to be solved by negotiations,” the leader of the Transnistrian region said. We remind you that yesterday, July 17, the Prime Minister Pavel Filip and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko inaugurated the Moldovan-Ukrainian joint border point Cuciurgan-Pervomaisc, located in Transnistria. The new joint crossing point is aimed to eradicate corruption and to increase citizens’ accessibility.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Chisinau eyes path to NATO by forcing Transnistria’s reintegration | TASS: Press Review

Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko and Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip opened a joint Moldovan-Ukrainian checkpoint at the Ukrainian-Transnistrian border. In the future, there will be another 13 checkpoints and Transnistria will find itself surrounded, unable to leave or enter without asking Chisinau and Kiev, Nezavisimaya Gazeta wrote. Read also Moldova’s President Igor Dodon Moldova’s president initiates process of national reconciliation over Transnistria Transnistrian President Vadim Krasnoselsky told the newspaper that for Chisinau regaining control over its eastern border is a step towards joining NATO and the EU, and a blow to Russia’s interests. The fact that Moldova and Ukraine have established a joint border and customs posts at the Transnistrian section of the border means a complete economic blockade of the unrecognized republic, Krasnoselsky told Nezavisimaya Gazeta. “The checkpoint on the Transnistrian section of the Moldovan-Ukrainian border is Moldova’s step towards joining NATO and the EU,” he explained, adding that “Moldova’s practical closure of the Transnistrian border with Ukraine is a blow to Russia’s interests – 220,000 Russian citizens live in Transnistria. Travelling to the Odessa region will be restricted for them, and their rights will be infringed. I will defend their rights. I hope that Russia will not abandon its citizens,” he said. “It is economic strangulation of Transnistria, and this is a consolidated decision of the entire Moldovan government. President Igor Dodon, who advocates dialogue with Transnistria and restoring ties with Russia, also supported the idea of establishing joint Moldovan-Ukrainian checkpoints. The decision on the checkpoints was taken in violation of the 5+2 format (Moldova, Transnistria – as the parties, Russia, Ukraine, and the OSCE – as the mediators, the EU and the United States – as the observers),” Krasnoselsky said, adding that Ukraine under these conditions turns into an interested party from the settlement’s guarantor.

Moldova MFA contradicts President on North Korea wine exports | NK News – North Korea News

Moldova is not exporting domestic wines to North Korea and will not do so as long as UN sanctions are in place, a spokesperson for the country’s Ministry of

The two Moldovan and Russian citizens announced in international search, to be extradited to Moldova

The two Moldovan and Russian citizens announced in international search, to be extradited to Moldova

MH17 Reports

Flight MH17 three years on: getting the truth out of Eastern Ukraine -Euromaidan Press |

The first casualty of war is truth. Where were you on 17 July 2014? On this day a Malaysian Airlines flight, which had taken off from Amsterdam bound for Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over Eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers and crew, among them 80 children. To many, this tragic event became a watershed: the conflict in Eastern Ukraine ceased to be a regional problem and moved much closer to the life of a larger, global international community.

Why did Russia close its airspace near Donbas one day before flight MH17 was downed? -Euromaidan Press |

17 hours and 20 minutes before flight MH17 was shot down above Donbas, Russia suddenly issued restrictions essentially banning civilian air traffic in regions adjacent to eastern Ukraine. Despite this restriction, the air traffic controller allowed the crew of MH17 to continue their flight as if nothing had happened. So far, Russia has offered no explanation for this, Russian Forbes writes. When on 13 October 2015 the Dutch Safety Board released its report into the crash of flight MH17, which was downed on 17 July 2014 above the skies of eastern Ukraine where Russian-backed separatists were waging a war against the Ukrainian government, it implicitly accused Ukraine of being one of the culprits of the shot down airplane because of not closing its airspace. The reasoning goes like this: had Ukraine predicted that a civilian aircraft would be fired upon at the cruising altitude of the MH17 and prohibited flights above Donbas, no airplane would be shot down, and 298 people wouldn’t die. This argument was eagerly picked up by Russian officials, who were quick to present Ukraine not closing its airspace as “of one of the main reasons for the tragedy,” as Russia’s deputy Foreign Minister Aleksei Meshkov worded it in an official memo of the Russian Foreign Ministry to Regina Jones-Bos, the Dutch ambassador to Russia, on 3 October 2016. This was a convenient talking point for Russia; as Bellingcat’s open source report on the third year anniversary of the MH17 tragedy shows, the only realistic culprit of the MH17 downing is Russia’s 53d Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, who brought a Buk into Ukraine on the day MH17 was shot down with a missile produced in Russia, and since the date of the tragedy, Russia had engaged in a campaign to conceal that fact.

Ukraine Reports

Russia special services step up activities in Ukraine – Marchuk

Ukraine’s representative in the security subgroup of the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG), Yevhen Marchuk has said Russia has decreased the intensity of combat operations on the contact line demarcation in eastern Ukraine while simultaneously stepping up the activities of Russian special services in the rest of the country. “It is absolutely the case that Russia has decreased its military activities and stepped up work bone by Russian special services in Ukraine,” Ukraine’s representative in the TGG security subgroup Marchuk told reporters in Kyiv on Tuesday. At the same time, he said ordinary citizens see only the recent terrorist attacks – the assassinations of Ukrainian high-ranking military personnel – using mines and car bombs.


Talks On Eastern Ukraine Conflict Held In Minsk

A new round of talks aimed at fostering implementation of a cease-fire and peace deal for the conflict in eastern Ukraine was held in Minsk, Belarus, on July 19. The talks involved representative…


Ukrainian Military Suicides Reach 500 In Three Years

Hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers have committed suicide after returning home from war in the country’s eastern Donbas region. Ukraine’s military prosecutor said it has registered around 500 suicides among Ukrainian veterans throughout the three-year conflict against Russia-backed separatist. Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said overcoming post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) will be one of the “key challenges” facing Ukraine in the future. (RFE/RL’s Current Time TV)

Combatant status granted to more than 207,000 ATO fighters, – MoD

18.07.17 14:30 – Combatant status granted to more than 207,000 ATO fighters, – MoD To date, more than 207,000 people have already received the combatant status. View news.

“80 percent of tasks were offensive actions”, – large-scale paratrooper exercises took place across Ukraine. VIDEO

18.07.17 18:05 – 80 percent of tasks were offensive actions, – large-scale paratrooper exercises took place across Ukraine. VIDEO Six training fields across the country hosted large-scale paratrooper exercises. View video news.

Житомир.info | Zhytomyr paratroopers participated in large-scale exercises of airborne, airborne and on-land airborne units

In the air, on the sea and on land in Ukraine, brigade tactical exercises of the airborne forces of the Airborne Forces took place, in which several thousand paratroopers 79 separate assault and assault and 81 separate airmobile brigades of the Allied Air Forces took part. Combined fires training and personnel deployment lasted for up to 10 days in close cooperation with the Naval Forces, Air Force Assault and Military Aviation, Army Airborne Ground Forces, operational support units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The training was conducted by the commander of the Airborne Forces Mykhaylo Zabrodsky, officers and generals from Zhytomyr. “At the same time, two brigades of airborne forces conducted brigade-tactical training. Spatial indicators covered a fairly large area – these are 6 different areas of the Armed Forces, including maritime and aviation firing ranges. In addition, long-distance transportation was deployed in a variety of ways, including rail transport, marching, air transport and sea transport. 80% of the tasks were offensive actions – actions in the composition of the airborne landing, assault and assault operations and raid actions “, – said the commander of the High-Military Allied Army of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Mikhail Zabrodsky.

Several thousand paratroopers under the command of the airborne commander practiced offensive ops – YouTube У повітрі, на морі та на суші в Україні відбулися бригадні тактичні навчання частин ВДВ, у яких взяло участь кілька…

Sea Breeze – 2017: Sea, air and land maneuvers | Міністерство оборони України

The first day of active phase of Sea Breeze exercise is full of sea, air and land maneuvers. This year the multinational operation is conducted as free play. In this case the exercise participants need to be creative and should be ready to take non-standard decisions. For the first time in the history of Sea Breeze its participants worked out rescuing the ship in distress on the Danube River. Yesterday, a tactical group of ships seized an intruder vessel in the framework of embargo operation. Meanwhile, a tactical group of ships was patrolling the region and an air component provided air patrolling. A land component blocked and neutralized the illegal armed formations. At the same time they worked out river crossing maneuvers. This morning the crew of Hetman Shaidachnyi frigate and pilots of air brigade of the Ukrainian Navy worked out shipboard landing and takeoff of helicopter.

Press Release: U.S., Ukrainian Marines Conduct Amphibious Landing – To Inform is to Influence

U.S., Ukrainian Marines Conduct Amphibious Landing #SeaBreeze STUTTGART, Germany – U.S. and Ukrainian Marines launched coordinated amphibious assault from a Turkish ship against a beachhead, today, during Exercise Sea Breeze in Mykolaivka, Ukraine. The partnered Marine forces assaulted the beach in two different waves with firepower from a land force to support the attack. The…

Shabla – 2017: VIP and Media Day | Міністерство оборони України

On July 18, Bulgarian Shabla training field hosted a VIP and Media Day in the framework of Shable-2017 exercise. Guests and representatives of media observed practical actions of ground-based and air components of tactical exercise. Ukrainian military carried out S-300 launches. According to Commander of Ukrainian Air Force Col. Gen. Serhii Drozdov, launches were successful and the Ukrainian staff got great experience of operation at training field of foreign country. Chief of General Staff Army General Viktor Muzhenko also valued and praised the actions of the Ukrainian military. “Our units completed combat launches at Bulgarian training field in the framework of the joint exercise and demonstrated their professionalism”, General Muzhenko stressed.

Below – S-300PS / SA-10B GRUMBLE launch.


Cabinet approves agreement on military and financial cooperation with Turkey – 19.07.2017 15:46 — Ukrinform News

19.07.2017 15:46. The Cabinet of Ministers approves an agreement on military and financial cooperation with the Government of the Republic of Turkey.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Majority of Ukrainians Now Favor International Peacekeepers in the Donbass, Oppose Any Special Status for Region

Paul Goble Staunton, July 19 –According to new polls, 60 percent of Ukrainians favor the introduction of international peacekeepers in the Donbass; and 55 percent oppose any special status for that region, a hardening of Ukrainian attitudes about things the Kremlin doesn’t one in the first case and very much wants in the second. These are only some of the pieces of “bad news” for the Kremlin, Yury Vishnevsky of Delovaya stolitsa says. Among the others is the fact that a majority of Ukrainians – 54.6 percent — now favor identifying the areas in Donets and Luhansk oblast not under Kyiv’s control as “occupied territories.” Only 22.3 percent oppose doing that ( And only 8.7 percent of Ukrainians are prepared to consider the possibility that the Donbass might become independent or part of Russia. The majority, in contrast, “prepare to wait until Donets and Luhansk are returned to Ukraine under Kyiv’s conditions, Vishnevsky says summarizing the latest polls, all of which show a hardening of attitudes on this subject. Respondents of the latest poll, conducted by Kucherin Democratic Initiative Foundation and the Razumkov Center, were asked whether it was necessary to make compromises with Moscow or the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk “republics” to achieve peace. Only 17.9 percent of Ukrainians say that they favor peace “at any price” and with “any compromise.” Fifty-two percent say that some compromises are needed but “not on every” issue. And 17.7 percent argue that “’in fact peace in the Donbass can be established only from a position of force when one of the sides wins.” Those surveyed were also asked “what decisions should be taken in order to establish peace in the Donbass?” They were offered 11 possible answers, and they were least supportive of what Moscow wants and most supportive of taking a hard line against Russian pretensions. Below are the 11 positions and the percentage of Ukrainians supporting each: “Amnesty for all those who have taken part in military actions in the Donbass” – 3.8 percent. “Introduction of a federal system in Ukraine” – 4.6 percent. “Extend to the Russian language the status of a second state language” – 4.9 percent. “Reject the prospect of NATO membership and the inclusion in the constitution of a paragraph requiring Ukraine to remain neutral” – 6.3 percent. “The conduct on the territories controlled by the DNR and LNR of legitimate elections” – 11.7 percent. “Extending to the DNR and LNR a special status within the borders of Ukraine” – 11.8 percent. “Separation of the territories occupied by the DNR and LNR from Ukraine” – 8.8 percent. “Ending financing of the territories occupied by the DNR and LNR – 11 percent. “Establish Ukraine’s control over these territories by military force” – 13.5 percent. “Successful restoration of normal life on the territories of the Donbass controlled by Ukraine” – 28 percent. “Force Russia to stop interfering in the conflict in the Donbass by intensifying international sanctions and international pressure on the Russian Federation” – 38.1 percent.


Militants launched 23 attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas in last day – 19.07.2017 09:30 — Ukrinform News

19.07.2017 09:30. Militants launched 23 attacks on positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in ATO area in Donbas over the past day.

Two Ukrainian soldiers killed, four wounded in ATO zone in last day – 19.07.2017 14:01 — Ukrinform News

19.07.2017 14:01. Two Ukrainian soldiers were killed in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) zone in eastern Ukraine over the past day.

Two Ukrainian soldiers killed, four wounded in action in Donbas in past day

Two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and four were wounded in action in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, in the past day, July 18, according to the press center of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters. News 19 July from UNIAN.


Fighter of 128th Brigade Zoltan Balazh killed in skirmish with Russian mercenaries at Zaitseve. PHOTOS

19.07.17 16:17 – Fighter of 128th Brigade Zoltan Balazh killed in skirmish with Russian mercenaries at Zaitseve. PHOTOS 22-year-old fighter of the 128th Brigade Zoltan Balazh from Vynohradiv, the Zakarpattia region, was killed on Tuesday, July 18. The fighter died of numerous shrapnel wounds. View photo news.

Sergeant corps to be formed in Ukraine’s Armed Forces by 2020

A professional sergeant corps of the level of the world’s leading armies will be established in the Armed Forces of Ukraine until 2020, chief sergeant of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, department head for work with the sergeant staff of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Oleksandr Kosynsky, has said.

Ukraine wins prize for best aerobatics at The Royal International Air Tattoo 2017 – 19.07.2017 12:55 — Ukrinform News

19.07.2017 12:55. Ukrainian military pilots have won the prize for the best aerobatics at The Royal International Air Tattoo 2017 show.

Which one is the best Ukrainian modern tank, Bulat or Oplot? | Defence Blog

Ukraine many years occupies leading positions in the production and development of most advanced main battle tanks. Ukraine has become well known all over the world, primarily owing to the legendary T-34, T-64, and T-80 tanks. As of today, Ukrainian defense companies have an opportunity to develop the new generation of main battle tanks such a T-64BM Bulat and BM Oplot. Since T-64BM Bulat and BM Oplot tanks have a number of common engineering solutions, it is advisable to consider them together. In our analysis, is based on specifications and available data, we try to answer the question: which one is the best tank, Bulat or Oplot? So, the purpose of Bulat main battle tanks, also and Oplot, is to provide mobile fire power of armored formation for successfully close with and destroy any opposing armored fighting vehicle, while providing protection for its crew in any combat environment. The T-64BM Bulat is an upgrade of T-64 Soviet main battle tank developed Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau (KMDB). It has improved armor and a 125mm smoothbore 2A46M-1 gun that has increased range and kill probability. The T-64BM is fitted with an automatic loader. Maximum effective range of fire is 1500 m. But also the Bulat tank is compatible with the 9K119 (NATO designation AT-11 Sniper) anti-tank guided missiles, its range could reach 5,000 m. Secondary armament of T-64BM Bulat consists of coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun and remotely operated 12.7-mm anti-aircraft machine gun. The Bulat series tank is equipped with a 850 horsepower 5TDFM multi-fuel diesel engine. It tactical cruising range is approximately 385 km. The tank has a combat weight of 45 tonnes. Despite its weight, the T-64BM can attain a top speed of nearly 37 km per hour. The Bulat tank is fitted with new Nozh modular “reactive armor’ to thwart armor-defeating munitions. The armor of tank can provide protection from attacks of the up-to-date anti-tank weapons but has low maintainability and to need repair at the factory.

Ukrainian aircraft industrial company proposes ACS unmanned aerial system for export | Defence Blog

Kyiv-based aircraft industrial company SKYETON has developed a new man portable Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) of the ACS series. The new UAS is being considered to improve the service’s surveillance, reconnaissance, and target acquisition capabilities. According to the company, the Man portable (one-box) aircraft with reconnaissance system ready to be deployed in minutes. The modular flying platform makes changing of various function modules easy. The system is a unique efficient and technological instrument, which allows to perform various tasks, including: aerial photography monitoring of various infrastructure objects (pipelines, electric transmission lines, railways, etc.) control of meteorological situation and fire detection patrol of land/sea borders tasks for agricultural business (monitoring of soil condition and machinery operations, application of trichogramma, etc.) control of mining operations different military tasks etc. Vertically integrated design and production allow the company to manufacture systems to Client’s needs. This also provides for top-notch maintenance during UAS exploitation and enables modifications as Client’s needs evolve.


Regional development minister: Ukraine, Belarus to develop transport corridors | KyivPost

Ukraine and Belarus will develop interstate cooperation, in particular, in engineering and agricultural machinery building, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Regional Development, Building and Housing Hennadiy Zubko said after the 25th meeting of the Ukrainian-Belarusian Intergovernmental Commission for Trade and Economic Cooperation, the press service of the deputy prime minister has reported. “We have decided to continue organization of joint Belarus tractor and Gomselmash grain harvester assembly facilities in Belarus and Ukraine, production of trucks and mutual supplies of freight wagons, spare parts to them and other heavy engineering products,” Zubko said. It was arranged to cooperate in agriculture, railway transportation and water transportation on the Kyivska hydroelectric power plan – Nizhniye Zhary section.

Pavel Sheremet: The Life And Violent Death Of A Journalist

Journalist Pavel Sheremet was killed by a car bomb in Kyiv on July 20, 2016. One year on, Ukrainian authorities still have not identified any suspects. Sheremet was a well-known reporter who had worked at prominent media outlets in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine during his career. He was often threatened and harassed for his hard-hitting journalism that was often critical of political leaders. (Melani Bachina, Andrei Kostyanov RFE/RL’s Russian service, Harut Mansuryan)

Ukraine seeks to join Schengen zone – news portal

Ukraine seeks to join Schengen zone. Negotiations on the liberalization of the labor movement are not on agenda. Main – news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Poroshenko’s envoy for Crimea in Kherson suspends work “for security reasons”

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's representative office for the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in the city of Kherson, Ukraine, has announced the suspension of work and stopped handling citizens' requests in the office, according to the office's press service. News 18 July from UNIAN.

Agent ‘Kateryna’: Ukraine’s anti-corruption hero – France 24

FOCUS : The government that came to power in Ukraine after the 2014 revolution pledged to end corruption, and the EU also made progress on that f…

President on the liberation of the occupied territories of Ukraine and Georgia: We will struggle to eliminate fences with barbed wire — Official website of the President of Ukraine

“We have a common aggressor – both Ukraine and Georgia – this is the Russian Federation. As I have already said, the situation in the occupied territories is pretty similar: chaos, no hope, humanitarian disaster. What should we do to free this territory from occupation? We emphasize that it is a political and diplomatic way. For this end, we need unity of the whole world and solidarity with Georgia and Ukraine. I believe that the world is united today and Russia remains in isolation. Russia has to make steps on de-occupation of the Ukrainian and Georgian territory,” the Head of State emphasized during the visit to the delimitation line with the occupied region of Tskhinvali.

Presidents of Ukraine and Georgia visited the delimitation line with the occupied region of Tskhinvali: This is an abyss between the past and the future — Official website of the President of Ukraine

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili visited the delimitation line with the region of Tskhinvali occupied by Russia. “It is important that we are here now. This is not a touch line. This is even not a line of occupation. This is an abyss between the past and the future,” Petro Poroshenko said.

President honored memory of the Great Kobzar in Tbilisi — Official website of the President of Ukraine

The monument was presented by Kyiv to the city of Tbilisi within the year of Georgia in Ukraine in 2006. The monument was opened on March 2, 2007.

Petro Poroshenko visited the Museum of Soviet Occupation in Tbilisi — Official website of the President of Ukraine

The exhibition of the museum is dedicated to the Soviet period of Georgia of 1921-1991, victims of political repressions, insurgent and national-liberal movements of the country. A separate stand is devoted to Russian aggression in 2008 when Georgia lost Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In May 2015, the Museum organized a photo exhibition called “Donbas: War and Peace. Ukrainian Women: War and Peace”.

Georgian, Ukrainian Presidents Agree To Boost NATO, EU Efforts – YouTube

The presidents of Georgia and Ukraine agreed to work together to help their former Soviet countries prepare for eventual NATO and European Union membership. …

Poroshenko: Russia must remain isolated until Ukraine and Georgia are de-occupied – 19.07.2017 12:22 — Ukrinform News

19.07.2017 12:22. Russia must take steps to de-occupy the Ukrainian and Georgian territories.

Georgia, Ukraine Agree To Cooperate On Efforts To Join EU

The presidents of Georgia and Ukraine have agreed to coordinate their efforts toward integration into the European Union.

Georgian, Ukrainian Presidents Agree To Boost NATO, EU Efforts

The presidents of Georgia and Ukraine agreed to work together to help their former Soviet countries prepare for eventual NATO and European Union membership. (RFE/RL’s Georgian Service)

Margvelashvili: Georgia-Ukraine Relations Advance to a New Level

The FINANCIAL, Business News & Multimedia, Global brands, Investments and Personal Finance. Regional focus: United States, Georgia, Ukraine, Turkey, EU

Poroshenko intends to discuss with Georgia action plan on NATO membership

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko intends to speak with the Georgian authorities on the action plan for NATO membership, press secretary of the Ukrainian president Sviatoslav Tseholko has said.

Ukraine, Georgia expect to double trade – News about economy | UNIAN

Ukraine and Georgia expect to increase annual trade between the countries from US$526 million to $1 billion, according to Ukraine's presidential press service referring to the results of a meeting between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili. News 19 July from UNIAN.

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports

The U.S. and Iran are heading toward crisis – The Washington Post

President Trump seems eager to pull the plug on the nuclear deal.

U.S. puts new sanctions on Iran over ballistic missile program

The United States slapped new economic sanctions against Iran on Tuesday over its ballistic missile program and said Tehran’s “malign activities” in the Middle East undercut any “positive contributions” coming from the 2015 Iran nuclear accord.

As Relations Worsen, Iran Says U.S. Sanctions May Violate Nuclear Deal – The New York Times

The Trump administration announced new restrictions, mainly aimed at the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, and has revived notions of abandoning the agreement.

Regime Change in Iran Would Be a Disaster for Everyone | Foreign Policy

Donald Trump says Iran is a threat to the region, but his administration might be the real danger.

German jihadi girl Linda Wenzel was lured to Iraq by internet lover | World | The Times & The Sunday Times

A young Isis member captured in the ruins of Mosul is believed to be a German schoolgirl who was lured into joining the jihadists a year ago by specialist recru

UAWire – Kremlin: Turkey to take loan from Russia to purchase S-400 missile systems

A portion of the funds for Turkey’s purchase of an S-400 system from Russia will apparently be taken on loan from Russia, Rostec CEO Sergey …

On a Mission to Mars, Imprisoned in Turkey | Foreign Policy

The Kafkaesque trial of a U.S. NASA scientist — accused of being a coup-plotter — shows just how paranoid the Turkish judiciary has become.


North Korea lacks capacity to hit U.S. with accuracy: U.S. general

North Korea does not have the ability to strike the United States with “any degree of accuracy” and while its missiles have the range, they lack the necessary guidance capability, the vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Tuesday.

North Korea conducts public executions for theft, watching South Korea media: report

North Korea carries out public executions on river banks and at school grounds and marketplaces for charges such as stealing copper from factory machines, distributing media from South Korea and prostitution, a report issued on Wednesday said.

Seoul’s Latest Ballistic Missile Close To Deployment | Defense content from Aviation Week

The reentry vehicle of Hyunmu 2C features fins, implying it is maneuverable and terminally guided. In the latest test, it fell within about 5 m of the target.

A fighter jet with new generation air-to-air missiles spotted in China | Defence Blog

The J-10C fighter jet with new generation air-to-air missiles carried on the wing tips has been spotted in China. According to the Chinese media, the J-10C fighter jet carried under the wings the PL-10 short-range air-to-air missile and PL-15 long-range air-to-air missile. The PL-10 short-range air-to-air missile (AAM) is a new generation air-to-air Chinese missile which has a maximum range of 20 km. It has an all-weather, active infrared guidance system. The PL-10 is developed by Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) consortium for use on modern fighter jets such as the stealth J-20. The PL-15 is a beyond visual range air-to-air missiles (BVRAAM). Chinese media said the PL-15 can reach out to over 300 km at a speed greater than Mach 4 (4,900 km/h). The PL-15 can detect, attack and destroy a target with minimum aircrew input. Some military expert said that the PL-15 missile designed to gain and sustain air superiority and shoot down defenseless aerial tankers and airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft from as far away as 300 kilometers.

China develops unmanned robot supply trucks | Defence Blog

China has developed a prototype of the unmanned ground technology for capable of making almost every military vehicle an optionally-manned vehicle. According to local media, the first prototype of a new unmanned ground system based on Shaanxi SX2306 high mobility tactical truck conducted some road test. The new technology is capable of supervised autonomous navigation of unmanned military truck. The unmanned vehicle with cameras and other sensors is capable of independently performing basic maneuvers (turning, turning around, moving in a snake pattern, etc.) of stopping before various obstacles and of moving in an organized column. The truck can also capable of distinguishing people and of making sharp turns. The military experts consider the operation of driverless trucks would make supply distribution safer and more efficient, providing the flexibility to adapt to ever-changing and evolving threats.


Case of missing China scholar rattles compatriots at U.S. colleges

For many of the 300,000 Chinese students at U.S. colleges and their parents back home, the presumed kidnapping of a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois confirmed their worst fears about coming to America to study.

Foreign Policy Reports

France And Germany Vow To Kickstart Defense Programs | Aviation Week & Space Technology content from Aviation Week

Fighter, maritime patrol aircraft and artillery pieces are on France and Germany “must develop” list, as they seek to form a tighter relationship.

Macron names François Lecointre new armed forces chief – France 24

General François Lecointre was appointed France’s new military chief Wednesday. The 55-year-old career military officer will replace General Pierre de Villiers, who resigned after a row over budget cuts with President Emmanuel Macron.

France’s armed forces chief resigns over Macron budget cuts

France’s head of the armed forces resigned on Wednesday after a heated dispute with Emmanuel Macron over defense budget cuts, bringing to a head an early test of the newly elected president’s mettle.

Trial Against Alleged Montenegro Coup Plotters Delayed

The trial has opened against 14 suspects accused of allegedly attempting to overthrow Montenegro’s government. The hearing, however, was postponed due to a defense motion to replace the state prosecutor. (RFE/RL’s Balkan Service)

EU proposes duties on Brazil, Iran, Russia, Ukraine steel

The European Union is planning to impose duties of up to 33 percent on hot-rolled steel imports from Brazil, Iran, Russia and Ukraine to counter what it sees as unfairly low prices, according to a document seen by Reuters.

France moves above US and Britain to become the world’s top ‘soft power’ with more non-military global influence than any other country following Macron election win – To Inform is to Influence

France has been named the world’s top ‘soft power’ after overtaking US and UK New status ‘was helped by the election of centrist President Emmanuel Macron’  Soft power rankings show which nation has more non-military global influence By Afp and Julian Robinson for MailOnline PUBLISHED: 09:23 EDT, 18 July 2017 | UPDATED: 13:39 EDT, 18 July 2017 France has leapfrogged the United…

The Soft Power 30 – A Global Ranking of Soft Power 2017 – To Inform is to Influence

The Soft Power 30 – A Global Ranking of Soft Power 2017 The nature of power has never been more complex. It had long been held that traditional hard power involving armies and economic might ruled the day. This resulted in a straight-forward power exchange – whoever was stronger was dominant. Now, we are living in…

Trump threatens sanctions on ‘bad leader’ Maduro –

US President Donald Trump described Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro as a “bad leader” and an aspiring “dictator” on Monday, and threatened to take “strong and swift economic actions” if Maduro goes ahead with plans to rewrite the country’s constitution.

All options on the table for dealing with Venezuela: U.S. official

The Trump administration is keeping all options “on the table” for responding to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday when asked whether Washington was considering banning Venezuelan oil imports to the United States.

US Domestic Policy Reports

Trump to nominate Jon Huntsman as ambassador to Russia – The Washington Post

Former Utah governor and ambassador to China is picked amid tense relations with Moscow.

Trump’s Man In Moscow: Russia Envoy Nominee Faces Challenging Post

WASHINGTON — Jon Huntsman, the former Utah governor nominated by President Donald Trump to be the next U.S. ambassador to Russia, will have his diplomatic experience and business acumen put to th…

Trump Picks His Ambassador to Moscow: How Russian Media Reacted

Russia is anticipating an ex-U.S. governor, a rockstar, a billionaire’s son and a chemical magnate to arrive in Moscow’s U.S. Embassy soon. At least, that’s how Russian media has described the résumé of one man—Washington’s new top diplomat in the Russian capital, John Huntsman Jr. Huntsman, a onetime presidential hopeful, has been touted as President Donald Trump’s likely candidate to take the reins of the Embassy for months. Trump made his pick official in a White House statement Tuesday night, and the Senate is expected to approve the appointment.

Corker: Russia sanctions could move before August recess – POLITICO

&quot;I was a little worried about adding North Korea to it because of floor time,&quot; Corker told reporters. &quot;But it seems we have a gap in the floor.&quot;

Russia warns US over seized diplomatic compounds –

Russia says any conditions set by Washington to return two diplomatic compounds in the US that were closed down late last year would be “unacceptable.”

S.V. Dáte | Russia Spent A Fortune Shilling For Trump – And May Not Have Broken Any Laws

Putin may have exposed an election law loophole big enough to drive busloads of Macedonian internet trolls through.

How the GOP Became the Party of Putin – POLITICO Magazine

Republicans have sold their souls to Russia. And Trump isn’t the only reason why.

What Congressional Republicans Really Think About Trump and Russia – The Atlantic

Even as alarm has reached fever pitch among Democrats, most in the GOP see the reaction as little more than partisan noise.

Russia developments have little effect on Trump’s base | PBS NewsHour

A new Washington Post-ABC news poll shows 60 percent of Americans believe Russia tried to influence last year’s election and 41 percent believe the Trump campaign intentionally aided those efforts. The poll also shows President Trump’s approval rating has dropped to 36 percent. NewsHour Weekend’s Jeff Greenfield joins Hari Sreenivasan to break down the numbers and how they impact Trump’s base.

There is more evidence Russia interfered in the election. Fewer Trump supporters believe it. – Vox

Trump supporters won’t believe what the Trumps already admitted.

While Trump Twiddles and Tweets, Putin Bullies His Neighbors

Trump and Putin Held a Second, Undisclosed, Private Conversation – The New York Times

There is no official American record of the prolonged discussion between the two presidents on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit meeting.

Trump, Putin met for nearly an hour in second G20 meeting –

President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, spoke for a second time on July 7 in a previously undisclosed discussion, the White House confirmed on Tuesday.

Donald Trump: Unacknowledged Vladimir Putin Meeting ‘Casual’ |

President Trump held a second, previously unacknowledged conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin at this month’s G-20 meeting.

News of my secret meeting with Vladimir Putin is ‘fake’ and ‘sick’: Donald Trump – YouTube

The US President has denied the reports that he had a secret meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit He called the reports fake and sick

The Trumps and the Truth – WSJ

The best defense against future revelations is radical transparency.

“Set aside Putin and follow the money”: a Russia expert’s theory of the Trump scandal – Vox

Why the collusion story begins with money, not politics.

The Agalarovs, Who Set Up the Trump-Russia Meeting, Are Selling Their Jersey Mansions – Mother Jones

Is Treason Still Punishable in America Today? | Foreign Policy

Donald Trump Jr.’s actions might rise to the level of criminal conspiracy against the republic, but it probably wouldn’t even matter.

Could Trump Jr., Kushner, or Manafort Be Charged Under the Espionage Act? | Foreign Policy

If the meeting at Trump Tower feels to you like treason, that’s probably because it may actually be espionage.

Could Trump Jr., Kushner, or Manafort Be Charged Under the Espionage Act? – Lawfare

On Lawfare@FP, Michel Paradis assesses whether members of Donald Trump’s inner circle could be prosecuted under the Espionage Act for a meeting with Russians.

The Seven Circles of Donald Trump’s Russia Inferno | Foreign Policy

We now know that the president wasn’t ignorant of his campaign’s contacts with Moscow’s intelligence agents. But, on a scale, how complicit was he?

How Steve Bannon Fought Fox News, Cracked the Clinton Code and Elected Donald Trump President | Politics | US News

A new book details the shadowy strategist’s essential role in the 2016 presidential election.

Russian Lawyer Who Met Trump Jr. Says ‘Ready’ To Testify In Congress

A Russian lawyer whose meeting with President Donald Trump's eldest son has added to questions about Russia's role in the 2016 U.S. election claims she is prepared to testify to Congress t…

Russian Mogul’s Aide Attended Meeting With Trump Jr. During Campaign

An executive working for a Russian billionaire and one-time partner with U.S. President Donald Trump was the eighth person at a meeting between Russians and the president's son during las…

The Russian spies living next door –

For unsuspecting residents of a suburban Montclair, New Jersey, neighborhood, it seemed too crazy to be believed: their neighbors were Russian spies.

Americans want U.S. goods, but not willing to pay more: Reuters/Ipsos poll

Americans say they love U.S.-made goods. They are less enthusiastic, however, about paying a premium for them.

Mauni Michael Jalali | Towards an American Realpolitik: Jacksonian-Jeffersonian Grand Strategy | The Bridge

After 70 years of domination by the Wilsonian and Hamiltonian schools of thought, the Jacksonian and Jeffersonian traditions are emerging once more. President Trump’s non-conformist policy suggestions have raised concerns regarding the stability of the liberal international order. The rupturing of the internationalist order is not merely rooted in domestic realities however; it is also a consequence of the shifting tectonic plates of geopolitics. This article maintains that the liberal international order, and the grand strategy accompanying it, will have to evolve in response to both the changing dynamics of the American polity and the geopolitical fault lines overseas. This transitional period, in the words of Robert Osgood, is one of “limited readjustment…without disengagement after which America could establish a more enduring rationale of global influence.”