Russian/Iran/DPRK (“Rogue State Collective” or “New Axis of Evil”?) Sanctions bill deal agreed, finally – EU complains. Prof Gregory essay on Germany’s collusion with Russia is on target – the statement on the Siemens turbines is illustrative, deceiving Germany is cause for offense, invading countries and killing tens of thousands is not, as long as we get our promised Gazprom board seats… Lithuanian President call for Patriot deployment.
More on Russia’s descent into the abyss. Harding commentary on the NATO Stratcom rebuttal over Russian claims that NATO nations were fostering Nazis is very good – the Molotov-Ribbentrop poster is priceless, and gets to the root of Russian historical revisionism about WW2, and outright deceit when it comes to their track record aiding and abetting Hitler and the NSDAP, while German Communist Party members were being beheaded and hanged following bogus trials in NSDAP People’s Courts in Germany. Galeotti’s comment on Russia as an ‘adhocracy’ hit the mark nicely – everything is arbitrary, as long as it serves the regime’s agenda. Gudkov’s observations on Russia’s “Anti-Records” provides an excellent snapshot of a society that seems to have wholly lost its way, and trying as hard as it can to dive down a deep black hole – in many ways emulating Iran in 1979. Putin as “President for Life”? Shelin’s commentary is very good and his observation impossible to dispute: “One has to recognize that Russia again is in a feudal dead end – and the exit from it hardly will be rapid, short, and democratic.” Prof Goble comments on regime attempts to institutionalise ethnic discrimination – more accelerant to be added to the Tsarists’ embers. Russian Embassy in UK starts controversy over Dunkirk movie. Half a dozen interesting reports from MAKS-2017.
No major developments in Belarus or Moldova.
It seems Malorossiya refuses to die.
In Ukraine, Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch visit Kramatorsk HQ, Avdiivka, and other sites in Donbass, Amb Volker observing it is a hot war rather than frozen conflict. More on yesterday’s briefing by Head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Vasyl Hrytsak on the Russian rent-a-crowd destabilisation campaign dismantled by the SBU – the Russians are waging a hot war in Donbass, an assassination campaign, a destabilisation campaign, an espionage campaign, a propaganda campaign, an ideological campaign, an economic campaign …. this really fits the definition of a classical “total war”, other than full scale aerial bombardment and full scale Blitzkrieg invasion, making the label of a “sub-threshold total war” much more accurate than the media’s favourite, “hybrid war”. Some briefs from Ukrainian Military TV, who are becoming very professional (but not subtitled in English sadly). Multiple reports on SEA BREEZE 2017 and SABER GUARDIAN 2017, and some excellent UATV backgrounders. Roblin attempts to analyse the losses of the BMD-1/2/3 in Donbass War, but spoils the work by including Russian propaganda as if it were fact.
Multiple reports on Iran and Syria, including some authors attempting to defend the dubious nuclear deal.
Chinese companies may be sanctioned over DPRK, DPRK economic growth details, and excellent primer on Japan’s Navy.
Germany puts arms embargo on Turkey in latest tit-for-tat round, Polish schism continues.
Ten excellent essays and reports on IW/IO/cyber – Swedish bureaucrats earn the COCW Award for today.
US domestic debate on Russia continues, two good essays by Prof Gregory.
Russia / Russophone Reports
The top U.S. military officer has told a security conference that Russia is the “most capable state actor” that the United States faces, but it is just one of many security challenges i…
White House officials acknowledge that the president would all but have to sign legislation punishing Russia for its election interference.
U.S. Republicans and Democrats have reached agreement on legislation that allows new sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea, leading congressional Democrats said on Saturday, in a bill that would limit any potential effort by President Donald Trump to try to lift sanctions against Moscow.
U.S. Republicans and Democrats have reached agreement on legislation that allows new sanctions against Russia, Iran and now also North Korea, leading congressional Democrats said on Saturday.
U.S. lawmakers say they have reached a bipartisan agreement on a bill that would bring new sanctions against Russia, Iran, and North Korea. Steny Hoyer (Democrat-Maryland), the second-rankin…
The bill comes to vote on Tuesday, 25 July 2017. This deal is mostly political, between the Democrats and Republicans. A bill including sanctions against North Korea was passed with only 1 dissenting vote and will be included with the Russian sanctions bill. Besides sanctions, it barred any country not complying with shipping to…
The European Union sounded an alarm on Saturday about moves in the U.S. Congress to step up U.S. sanctions on Russia, urging Washington to keep coordinating with its G7 partners and warning of unintended consequences.
The $10 billion Nord Stream deal seems to say that the West is ready to forget about Crimea and the ten thousand people killed in east Ukraine by Russian aggression.
Germany has warned Russia that breaches of sanctions including the relocation to Crimea of four gas turbines delivered to Russia by Siemens are straining political relations between the two countries, Bild am Sonntag reported on Sunday.
The German company has accused a Russian customer of moving power generation machinery to the disputed territory of Crimea against its wishes.
German conglomerate Siemens is stepping back from its business dealings with Russia. Siemens has announced it will halt deliveries of equipment to Kremlin co…
In September 2016, during a meeting in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin promised then Vice-Chancellor and current German Foreign …
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany stated that the "harvest ceasefire," which took effect in eastern Ukraine on June 24, is not being …
The Lithuanian President has called on permanently placing U.S. advanced anti-aircraft missiles in Baltics. _ Follow UATV English: Facebook: https://www.face…
Two of Russia’s largest nuclear-powered vessels passed through Denmark’s’ Great Belt straits on Friday and entered the Baltic sea to take part in the upcoming celebration of the Russian Navy in St.
Russia tries so hard, sometimes, to present an ‘irate’ face and ends up looking foolish. This is one of those times. </end editorial> July 22, 2017 – 19:26 Context By East Stratcom We rarely see such a swift and aggressive reaction to a single video. But the Russian communication outburst to a recent eight-minute movie on YouTube…
By LUCIAN KIM • JUL 21, 2017 When Donald Trump Jr. agreed to meet Natalia Veselnitskaya last summer, she was introduced to him as a “Russian government attorney” with dirt on Hillary Clinton. After it turned out that Veselnitskaya couldn’t deliver the goods, the meeting ended quickly. But the fact that Trump Jr. didn’t even question that the meeting…
When Donald Trump Jr. agreed to meet Natalia Veselnitskaya last summer, she was introduced to him as a “Russian government attorney” with dirt on Hillary Clinton. After it turned out that Veselnitskaya couldn’t deliver the goods, the meeting ended quickly. But the fact that Trump Jr. didn’t even question that the meeting had been billed as part of Russia’s support for his father has hardly dispelled suspicions of collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow. Veselnitskaya insists she wasn’t working for the Russian government — and the Kremlin denies any knowledge of her. Proving the contrary is practically impossible. So is it just another big nothingburger after all? Not so fast. Trump Jr. may have found the meeting a waste of time, but Veselnitskaya’s seemingly hapless visit to Trump Tower fits into a larger pattern of freelance political activity that has come to characterize Putin’s Russia. From Russian “volunteers” fighting in eastern Ukraine to “patriotic hackers” launching cyberattacks on the United States, nongovernment actors with no formal ties to the Kremlin provide official Moscow with a cushion of plausible deniability.Veselnitskaya may very well have been on a fishing expedition in Manhattan to see what she could angle, says Mark Galeotti, a senior researcher at the Institute of International Relations Prague. “That’s precisely the kind of thing you can then take back to Moscow and leverage. At that point, you suddenly become interesting for the Kremlin. So this is a classic case of political entrepreneurship from an individual rather than some long-term, planned intelligence operation,” says Galeotti. “In the West,” he says, “we’re used to a system in which people’s job titles actually tell you what they do. Russia has become rather different, deinstitutionalized. It’s become what I have called an ‘adhocracy.'” In that sense, Aras Agalarov, the Russian real estate magnate whose son was mentioned as the organizer of the Veselnitskaya meeting, may have been on a similar mission — even though he calls the whole story “fiction.” Agalarov already knew Trump Sr. from their time together putting on the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013. That relationship would have made Agalarov a logical middleman for any outreach to candidate Trump. “It appears that there was an attempt by the Agalarov family to provide a specific service. Whether that service was volunteered by the Agalarovs or it was, let’s say, prompted by somebody else — that is something that we have no idea about,” said Vladimir Frolov, a Russian political analyst. “So there are really very murky questions,” he said. “But you don’t have to be a Russian government employee to perform a service for the Russian government.” Journalist Mikhail Zygar says that it would be inaccurate to call Agalarov “an oligarch” or “Kremlin-connected” as he lacks the requisite business clout and political influence. Asserting that someone like Veselnitskaya or Agalarov is linked to the Kremlin is an oversimplification, Zygar says, since “there is no exact center of decision-making” in Moscow. In his 2016 book, All the Kremlin’s Men: Inside the Court of Vladimir Putin, Zygar argues that power in Russia is actually very diffuse, with an army of government officials trying to anticipate what Putin wants — without necessarily getting a direct order. In other words, Russia is ruled by a kind of collective Putin. “They usually do not say anything directly. They always hint,” said Zygar. “They would never say, ‘Please steal those billions of dollars or please murder those journalists.’ They would say, ‘Do what you have to do. You know your obligations; please fulfill them.’ ” Unwritten agreements and non-state initiatives were on full display in Russia’s conflict with Ukraine. While the seizure of Crimea in 2014 was a Kremlin-guided operation, the ensuing war in eastern Ukraine was largely unleashed by Russian soldiers of fortune funded by private money from Moscow, according to Zygar. Just as the Russian government still claims it is not militarily involved in Ukraine, it denies any involvement in cyberattacks targeting the U.S. presidential election last year. Yet in June, Putin suggested that “patriotically” inclined hackers may have felt Russia was being slighted and taken matters into their own hands. “Hackers are free people, like artists,” he said. Russia’s loose system of command-and-control creates a filter of plausible deniability for the Kremlin, says analyst Frolov. “It’s very convenient. Even if things fail, there’s no direct fallout — negative fallout — for the Russian government,” he says. It would be wrong to view Russia as a country ruled from the top down, says Galeotti, whose research focuses on Russia’s security agencies. He says plenty of initiatives come from the bottom up — from people who may have only informal connections to the government — and then the Kremlin picks and chooses the ones it likes. On the surface, an “adhocracy” may appear more nimble than ponderous Western democracies. But Galeotti warns that in the long term, such a system could turn Russia into a pariah state — and make every Russian businessperson or diplomat a suspected Kremlin agent.
By Eric DuVall | Updated July 22, 2017 at 6:18 PM July 22 (UPI) — In an interview with teenage schoolchildren, Russian President Vladimir Putin hinted he may remain president for life. Putin, who is widely expected to win another six-year term after elections in March, was asked by one of the children what he would do after his time in office is over. But I haven’t decided yet if I will leave the presidency,” Putin said, earning a loud round of applause from the friendly audience. The session was broadcast live on Russian television across the country and the questions appeared to have been screened in advance. The appearance before a group of young people who attend a school for gifted students Putin opened in Sochi, came a month after youth-fueled protests in Moscow over corruption at the Kremlin. Opposition leader Alexei Navalny has said he wants to run against Putin next year, but expects the government will not allow his name on the ballot. Under Russian law, presidents are not permitted to serve more than two consecutive terms. Putin served two terms from 2000 to 2008, then ceded power to a political ally and loyalist, Dmitry Medvedev. After his four-year term, Putin ran again in 2012. In 2011, the Russian Duma passed a law lengthening a president’s term to six years, pushing Putin’s re-election to 2018. Source: https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2017/07/22/Putin-hints-he-may-be-Russian-president-for-life/4311500761469/
Paul Goble Staunton, July 22 – “There are achievements which it would be better not to have,” opposition Russian politician Gennady Gudkov says, and over the last two decades of Vladimir Putin, Russia has “achieved” ever more of these, something Russians should reflect upon when thinking about the current ruler and the future. Among the worst, he says, is that Russia now leads or is near the top of countries in terms of the number of suicides and murders, deaths on highways, deaths from alcohol and drug abuse, and deaths from fires. It also is a leader in child mortality rates, traffic delays in Moscow and bad roads there and elsewhere (echo.msk.ru/blog/gudkov/2022510-echo/). But the “anti-records” don’t stop there, Gudkov continues. Russia has more domestic security officers than any other country and the third largest army. And it has “the most numerous” bureaucracy in the world, including two million in Moscow and “hundreds of thousands” more in the regions. Symbolically, Russia now has “more generals in the police and the FSB” than do the next 20 countries combined. Russia is a leader in terms of corruption and occupied second place in terms of the number of dollar millionaires. The economy under Putin has fallen from sixth place in the world to 15th and may soon fall further, and its per capita incomes rank it 76th in the world, far behind even Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. And Portugal, which Putin earlier promised Russia would “catch up and surpass,” now gives its poor citizens three times more than does Russia which officially has more than 23 million impoverished residents. In terms of territory, Russia is far smaller in real terms than the map suggests. “Of the 17 million square kilometers of Russia, 12 million are COMPLETELY UNSUITABLE for living.” One can pump oil or mine there but not live. “Of the remaining five million, 1.5 million are PARTIALLY suitable for living. Only 3.5 million are comfortable” for permanent residence [Ed: 20% is ‘comfortable’, 80% unsuitable or partially suitable]. Demographically, Russia is now the 11th largest country, after Pakistan and Bangladesh; but under Putin it is making further progress in its decline, Gudkov says, and soon will be “proud” of being in 17th or even 20th place.” The Russian population is aging, but rising mortality rates also mean that many in it don’t reach pension age.
Paul Goble Staunton, July 22 – Russian futurology, currently experiencing an unprecedented boom, is focusing on the question of who might succeed Vladimir Putin rather than on the more important question of what kind of a country Putin or someone else will have to rule, according to Rosbalt commentator Sergey Shelin. Shelin says that most Russian futurology falls into one of two camps, one that calls for no real and rapid change lest things fall apart or the ruble collapse and a second that is ready for that on the principle that “a horrible end is better than horrors without end.” But both focus on the leaders rather than on the country to be led (rosbalt.ru/blogs/2017/07/21/1632644.html). At present, most are talking about Aleksey Navalny, who is performing an important service by being the first in the 21st century to openly seek power. That is a serious “political contribution before the country. But from the struggle to victory is a long way,” Shelin pointedly suggests. The main problem, he says, is this: “If Russia in fact had matured to the level of democracy, self-government, openness to the world, and free and humane capitalism, then who would stop it? Any imaginable leader would not spit against the wind and try to head a movement” that would block what was occurring in the population. But the problem is precisely there, in the population, Shelin continues. Putin came to power with support from the population for his plans to “rebuild the central powers.” And thus what he has done, even if not in all details, “corresponds to a broad social desire. Russia was prepared precisely for this course, although it didn’t guess how far he would go.” Now, almost 20 years later, Russia has gone back into time of feudal confusion and chaos, in a way that recalls but does not simply duplicate what was the case before Putin arrived. The power vertical is weaker now than it was and “the power of Vladimir Putin only looks absolute.” It isn’t. This is not just about Chechnya, Shelin says. It is about a situation in which no one is confident that what he has will not be taken away from him by those with more power. And given that, he argues, even if democracy magically appeared, the population would overwhelmingly vote for “a dictatorship of the feudal lords.” There is no real private property or any autonomous legal system. And “the leading strata are so similar and affected by an anti-social spirit that there are no reasons to expect anything but cosmetic changes from above.” Those on top believe that they could lose everything if they weaken further and so they won’t, at least on their own. Only real and continuing pressure from below can change that, and what one sees, Shelin points out, is that the pressure from below is not only weak but that its demands are “quite narrow,” such as fighting corruption, precisely the kind that authoritarian rulers can successfully address to remain in power. Russians “aren’t demanding an end to wars, they are little interested in the gigantic militarist spending and … in general consider elections and electoral structures fictional.” Consequently, they are still seeking “a strong and just hand” rather than self-administration and self-development.” If Russia’s futurologists would focus not on what would be a good order but on what Russia “in fact is ready for,” that would be obvious, the commentator says. “One has to recognize that Russia again is in a feudal dead end – and the exit from it hardly will be rapid, short, and democratic.” For two decades of Putin, Shelin concludes, Russians have shown that they are prepared to put up with and even support a firm hand. The only real hope is that “it doesn’t follow that they will remain silent for another 20 years.”
Paul Goble Staunton, July 22 – For much of the last year, there has been a lively debate in Russia over plans, approved by Vladimir Putin and pushed by experts like Academician Valery Tishkov, to redefine the population of Russia as “a civic Russian nation” with the ethnic Russian nation being the state-forming core of this constellation. Not surprisingly, that idea has sparked outrage among some ethnic Russians who see it as a diminution of their status or a dilution of their identity and also among many non-Russians who see it as a threat to their future status as nations and thus opening the way to the destruction of their languages and political institutions. Putin’s remarks earlier this week in Ioshkar-Ola about the relative rights of Russian and non-Russian languages have only intensified those fears about the non-Russian portion of the population. But sadly there is a straw in the wind that suggests the Kremlin leader may have even more radical ideas about the future. At the Ioshkar-Ola meeting, Igor Barinov, the head of the Federal Agency for Nationality Affairs, said that he had proposed to Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin that a “House of the Peoples of Russia” be established on the premises and basis of “the Moscow House of Nationalities” which has existed there since the 1990s (tass.ru/obschestvo/4428980). Barinov, who noted that Putin had called for the creation of “a House of the Peoples of Russia” last October in Astrakhan (where the civic Russian nation law began to be promoted), said that such a step would “allow for saving budgetary funds and more effectively achieving the tasks that have been set.” Those may be the only reasons for this proposal, but words matter and the decision to speak of “peoples” rather than “nationalities” in this case is potentially a threat to non-Russians given the context within which it is being proposed. In Soviet times, the Russians were always described as “a nation,” while the non-Russians were classified as “nationalities,” a lesser and offensive status. “Peoples” in contrast either referred to the entire “Soviet people” or to the collection of nations, nationalities, and (still smaller) ethnographic groups. If Putin’s regime is simply returning to that latter meaning, it is not a positive development but it is not necessarily a fatal one for non-Russians. But there is another more disturbing possibility. As long as ethnic groups are considered “nations” or “nationalities,” they at least in principle have the right to self-determination under international law. That doesn’t necessarily mean state independence, of course, but also involves the existence of structures like national republics that some of the non-Russians within the borders of the Russian Federation currently have. If however Moscow begins to speak only of “peoples,” a more nebulous category that doesn’t entail self-determination, rather than “nationalities” or “nations,” that do, such a change could set the stage for new moves against the non-Russian republics within the Russian Federation and a further degradation of the status of the nations on which they are based.
Paul Goble Staunton, July 22 – The number of political prisoners in Russia has risen dramatically over the period of Vladimir Putin’s rule, but now there has been an especially disturbing development within that trend: the appearance in that country of the first political prisoner for exclusively religious reasons since the end of Soviet times. He is Dennis Christensen, a Danish Jehovah’s Witness who has been living in Russia for some time and has now had his detention extended for another four months, who has thus become in the words of Anton Chivchalov, “the first political prisoner on purely religious grounds in Russia since the 1980s” (portal-credo.ru/site/?act=comment&id=2191). In a new commentary on the Portal-Credo website, the Minsk-based specialist on religious life in the post-Soviet states says that as a result of the decision of the Soviet district court in Oryol, Christensen has had his time in an isolator “in the framework of a shameful and fabricated religious case” extended for another four months, to November 23. The Memorial human rights group had already recognized Christensen as a political prisoner (memohrc.org/news/memorial-priznal-politzaklyuchennym-veruyushchego-svidetelya-iegovy-iz-danii-dennisa), but Chivchalov underscores the distinctively religious nature of this status and notes that it “opens a new page in the history of repression on the post-Soviet space.” Christensen’s travails began on May 26 when the FSB broke into a peaceful religious meeting and arrested a group of unarmed believers. “His case was completely fabricated from A to Z,” the religious affairs expert says, making it even more Orwellian than many of the political processes in Russia in recent years. The Jehovah’s Witness “did not do anything that could even be discussed. When the FSB broke into the building, he was simply sitting on a chair. He had not guns, drugs, or prohibited literature. He hadn’t stolen or killed anyone or distributed prohibited literature, and he wasn’t involved in ‘extremist’ or ‘missionary’ activity,” Chivchalov says. Christensen “was not a member of any banned organization. He didn’t take an apartment away from someone, he didn’t destroy a family, he didn’t ban blood transfusions or refuse to serve in the army – in sum, he didn’t do any of the horrific things” that the Russian media regularly claims that Jehovah’s Witnesses do. Apparently, the expert says, “the FSB was interested in the Dane only because he is a foreigner,” but instead of expelling him from Russia, the authorities wanted to use his case to “frighten believers and put moral and psychological pressure on them.” The message is clear: what happened with Christensen in Oryol today can happen to them tomorrow. Russian investigators continue to lie and claim that Christensen is the leader of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Oryol. In fact, he is not even a member of that group, let alone its leader. But that alone doesn’t end the horrific strangeness of this case: in June, Rossiiskaya gazeta reported on Oryol court hearing about him that had not in fact taken place (rg.ru/2017/06/10/reg-cfo/arest-svidetel.html). “One can like or dislike various religions,” Chivchalov says. “one can agree or disagree with them. This is normal in civil society. But in any situation, one must act according to the law.” What has happened in Oryol is a complete flouting of the legal system, just like the kind of thing that often happened in Soviet times. And this is happening not just with Christensen and not just in Oryol. A Jehovah’s Witness died of a heart attack after questioning in Russian-occupied Crimea and another elderly follower of that denomination is currently languishing in detention in the North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. Worse may be ahead, Chivchalov says. A few days ago, the Russian Orthodox Church’s television channel Tsargrad spoke about “’the end of Yeltsin ecumenism’” as reflected in moves against the Witnesses and other sectarians, a virtual call for Russians to attack such people and do so without regard to Russian law. “But if the system of law collapses, everyone will suffer from this, including those who today who want to march with torches,” the religious affairs specialist says. There is a more immediate worry: Christensen is in weak health and cannot get treatment in the place where he has been jailed. “What will happen if he dies in jail, repeating the fate of Otto Wormbir in North Korea … another hapless foreigner who travelled from a contemporary country into a medieval one and turned out to be the accidental victim of a cannibalistic ideology.” That is no stretch, Chivchalov says. After all, the Russian media today regularly stresses that countries like North Korea are “new models for emulation, new progressive eastern partners” in dealing with “spiritual” challenges and maintaining “spiritual bindings” on Russian society.
Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of Moscow on July 23 to protest Internet censorship and demand the resignation of the head of Russia's state media regulator. The protest came ami…
We have seen the dumbing down accelerate as Putin replaced smart/unreliable with dumb/reliable yes-men across the leadership structures. This becomes institutionalized groupthink and then everything fails. </end editorial> Paul Goble Staunton, July 21 – “By his planned cleansing of the political field of Russia” of anyone who might challenge him, Vladimir Putin has “liquidated any…
Excellent article by Paul Goble. A few notable details from the original report. 457 very brave people signed the report The “rule of law” is the basis for their recommendations. Not logic, not feelings, not rights of any sort. This is an outright call for a complete purge of current practices by Russia which have been…
As Russia’s economy crawls back from two years of recession, the locals are growing oddly pessimistic.
Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan’s depiction of the 1940 evacuation, has delighted critics and audiences in Britain, but not in every country.
Though the Russian president may be off-limits thanks to hacking concerns, Russia-themed thrillers (including ‘Red Sparrow,’ starring Jennifer Lawrence as a spy) are white hot as a new red dawn rises in Hollywood.
According to Tarasenko, the MiG-35 is 20 to 25 per cent cheaper than its competitors, and for India, which already has experience of flying various various variants of MiG fighters and with its support and maintenance facilities, it would be easy to adapt to the new plane.
Russia and Angola are negotiating the purchase of six additional Su-30K fighters. Luanda will be able to increase its fleet and Moscow will be able to get rid of the aircraft returned by the India built in fulfilment of the contract signed in 1996-1998. These are the same aircraft Luanda contracted in 2013 but has to still receive the aircraft. Russian officials nevertheless insist that the contract is executed in accordance with the agreements, Kommersant reported Friday.The fact that Russian and Byelorussian specialists are searching for buyers for six Su-30K fighters stored in Belarus, was confirmed by a source in the aviation industry to Kommersant. This was confirmed by the director of the 558th aircraft repair plant (ARZ) Pavel Pinigin, who arrived at the MAKS-2017 airshow (Zhukovsky). According to him, the search for a buyer is “just a matter of time” and “no significant problems arise”: “Do not rush, and everything will be all right.” In turn, sources of Kommersant in the field of military-technical cooperation (MTC) clarified that negotiations for the supply of six fighters are being conducted with Angola. Representatives of Rosoboronexport and the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation refused to comment. The history of these Su-30Ks began in 1996-1998. Then, the Irkut corporation signed a contract for the supply of the Su-30MKI fighter aircraft to India, but because of the need to prepare the capacity for the deployment of serial production of new aircraft, the customer was provided with simplified versions of the fighters with an obligation to replace them in the future.
At the MAKS-2017 international airspace show, defense companies present both readymade mass-produced projects and new prototypes and models of advanced airplanes, weapons and onboard equipment. Mil.Today reporters spent these days at the show, interviewed participants and have collected the most interesting projects debuted at the broad audience.
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.
The Russian military is about to acquire hypersonic air-launched weapons by 2020-2022, Yury Borisov, deputy defense minister in charge of armaments told Mil.Today at the MAKS-2017 airshow.
The Russian Defense Ministry is discussing with aircraft designers the concept of the deck-based reduced takeoff and landing (RTOL) fighter, Yury Borisov, deputy defense minister told Mil.Today at the MAKS-2017 international airspace show.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has greeted his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko at Ukraine’s Presidential Administration today. _ Follow UAT…
Ukraine and Belarus intend to develop cooperation in the field of culture and language, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said. “Our ambassador has received a task to work very carefully with Ukrainians who stay on the territory of the Republic of Belarus, so that they feel the care of the Ukrainian state about every citizen,” Poroshenko said during a joint statement with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in Kyiv on Friday. According to the Ukrainian president, the cooperation between the countries will continue in the field of learning languages: the Belarusian language in the Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University and in Irpin; and the Ukrainian language in Gomel and Brest regions.
In order to mark the Belarusian President’s visit, a Ukrainian – Belarusian business forum has been held in Kyiv. The numbers are impressive – 18 contracts s…
On Lukashenka in Kyiv. Obviously, many in Ukraine remember well the mass protests of the population of Belarus this March and the tough reaction of the local authorities to them. Therefore, on the Pecherski Hills, they could not fail to understand that the official visit of the President of the Republic of Belarus will unequivocally entail, to put it mildly, an extremely negative reaction of a significant part of the Ukrainian society. Nevertheless, the decision to invite Aliaksandr Lukashenka to Kyiv was taken on Bankova. Why? After all, we did not hear, for example, about the abolition of the joint Russian-Belarusian military exercises West 2017, scheduled for September this year in the western regions of Russia and Belarus, which will involve about 13 thousand military men of the two countries and nearly 700 units of equipment, or about the official statement of Minsk on the condemnation of the illegal annexation and occupation of the Crimea by Russia either. There has been no official statement of Minsk on the condemnation of the illegal annexation and occupation of the Crimea by Russia. It appears extremely difficult to find an unequivocal answer to this question, because predictability has never been among the key features of the Ukrainian foreign policy. On the contrary, its constant fluctuations from West to East, which for a long time were covered by the so-called “multi-vector nature”, led to the extremely complicated foreign policy situation in which Ukraine found itself in 2014 and remains now. Moreover, the lack of consistency remains one of the main reasons for many failures of Ukraine’s foreign policy, since few are ready to deal with a poorly predictable partner. The lack of consistency remains one of the main reasons for many failures of Ukraine’s foreign policy. In particular, this top-ranked visit by protocol looks more than weird in view of the recent statements by the Ukrainian side regarding the desire to “return the question of the NATO Membership Action Plan to the agenda.” Today’s official Minsk, which is a military-political ally of Moscow, sees this organization as a threat to itself. Are we really going to please ourselves with unjustified illusions and return the bankrupt “multi-vector nature”? Oleg Belokolos, diplomat, expert of the Maidan of Foreign Affairs, exclusively for Gazeta.ua
Lawmakers of the pro-Moscow breakaway region of Transdniester assailed calls by the Moldovan government that Russia pull its troops out of the territory. Transdniester’s parliament on July 2…
Moldovan lawmakers have called on Russia to pull troops out of the breakaway region of Transnistria, where Russian troops have been stationed for more than 2…
Kiev sees talk of ‘Malorossiya’ as a Russian-inspired provocation
23.07.17 10:23 – The Moldovan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Moldova condemns the proclamation of the so-called Little Russia in the East of Ukraine. According to Tsensor.NET with reference to ZN.UA, this is stated in the statement of the department. The ministry stressed that they considered this “draft” another threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, as well as regional security. In addition, the proclamation of “Little Russia” in Donetsk, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is a flagrant violation of international law. “The Ministry would like to reaffirm the principled position of the Republic of Moldova in respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine in its internationally recognized borders,” the statement said. Recall that on July 18, the leader of the terrorist group “Dnieper” Alexander Zakharchenko announced the creation of a new project called “Little Russia”. Google Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite Translator
19.07.17 00:27 – A statement of the leader of the terrorist organization “DNR” Alexander Zakharchenko on the creation of the so-called. Little Russia testifies to the intention of the Russian authorities to aggravate the situation in the Donbass. As reported by Tsenzor.NET, such an opinion was expressed by the parliamentarian from the “Popular Front” Dmitry Tymchuk on Facebook. “First of all, it’s funny that separatists appeared at the stage of the emergence of” Little Russia. “Zakharchenko did not have time to finish his speech, as the leadership of the so-called” LNR “denied the entry of the” republic “into” Little Russia. “They say the Lugansk militants consider the initiative Premature and holy Minsk conventions, especially since they were not invited to discuss this venture, “he writes. “Between Luhansk and Donetsk terrorists (or rather between their patrons) there is a serious intraspecific struggle for the right to pillage the Donbas.” LNR “even accused the” DNR “of trying to occupy it.There is a customs (!) Between these wonderful entities, compared to which the most ferocious “Dill” – just small children. “In general, a single” people of Donbass “from competing gangs can not be blinded,” the deputy noted. “Secondly, the statement about” Little Russia “is another signal that Moscow is not going to implement any agreements and is ready to exacerbate.In the context of preparations for the large-scale exercise” West-2017 “(scheduled for mid-September), the Kremlin can initiate various appeals “About the protection” of the “people of Little Russia”, to further aggravate the situation and use it for bargaining in the negotiations, “the politician assumes. Earlier, Alexander Zakharchenko suggested creating a new state “Little Russia” for a transitional period of up to three years as the successor of Ukraine – with non-aligned status, a course for restoring ties with Russia and joining the Union State of Russia and Belarus.
United States Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch are visiting the area of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) in Donbas, the east of Ukraine, according to the press center of the ATO Headquarters. Their tour started with a visit to the “Donetsk” tactical force headquarters, the ATO HQ wrote on Facebook on Sunday, July 23. The U.S. delegation also includes member of U.S. Embassy in Ukraine Colonel Paul Schmitt, a representative of the U.S. Department of State and other officials. Read also U.S. Special Envoy agrees with Ukraine steps toward new impetus in Minsk process “The guests were briefed on the management of [Ukrainian] military units during hostilities, the structure and organization of the military command and other issues,” the report said. The ATO HQ said that the Ukrainian military “were highly assessed by their American counterparts.” According to an announcement by the U.S. Department of State, Volker is travelling to eastern Ukraine to meet with those who have been affected by Russian aggression and to discuss the importance of security and safety for all Ukrainians. On July 24, he will be in Kyiv to meet with Ukrainian officials to discuss the path to restoring Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. He will then travel to Paris to see French and German officials to discuss the Minsk process and Normandy format conversations. His next stop will be Brussels, where he will meet EU and NATO officials on resolving the conflict in Ukraine. On July 26, he will travel to Vienna for meetings with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to discuss the efforts of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in eastern Ukraine. He will then travel to London, where he will consult with British officials regarding the way forward in Ukraine. As UNIAN reported, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on July 7 tapped former U.S. ambassador to NATO Volker to appoint as Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations.
During a visit to the area of the Anti-Terrorist Operation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the official delegation from the US Department of State, headed by the Special Representative of the United States Department of State for Ukraine, Kurt Volker, visited the front-line Avdiyivka, where he met with military, civilian and civilian representatives and the victims. Inhabitants of the city. – I came here personally to get acquainted with the details of these events. I can say – this is a terrible tragedy, because we know that Ukraine is a flowering state, “said Kurt Volker. According to Volcker, he heard the tragedy of people, saw the destruction. “Our main task is to restore the integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine,” he continued. – As I understand it, it is not a frozen conflict, but a hot war. And the price is dangerously high – human life. Representatives of the delegation visited a renovated school and visited the Avdeyevka Coke Plant. According to Kurt Volcker, after his visit to Ukraine, he plans to hold a series of meetings with representatives of European governments in order to consolidate the position on the situation in the ATO zone with our allies.During a visit to the area of the Anti-Terrorist Operation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the official delegation from the US Department of State, headed by the Special Representative of the United States Department of State for Ukraine, Kurt Volker, visited the front-line Avdiyivka, where he met with military, civilian and civilian representatives and the victims. Inhabitants of the city. – I came here personally to get acquainted with the details of these events. I can say – this is a terrible tragedy, because we know that Ukraine is a flowering state, “said Kurt Volker. According to Volcker, he heard the tragedy of people, saw the destruction. “Our main task is to restore the integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine,” he continued. – As I understand it, it is not a frozen conflict, but a hot war. And the price is dangerously high – human life. Representatives of the delegation visited a renovated school and visited the Avdeyevka Coke Plant. According to Kurt Volker, after his visit to Ukraine, he plans to hold a series of meetings with representatives of European governments in order to consolidate the position on the situation in the ATO zone with our allies.
From the visit to the headquarters of the operational tactical group “Donetsk”, a visit to the area of the Anti-Terrorist Operation in the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts began with the official delegation of the US Department of State, headed by Kurt Volker, Special Representative of the United States Department of State for Ukraine. Together with him, the United States Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Ukraine Mari Jovanovich, US Department of State Lane Ball, US Ambassador to Colonel Paul Schmitt and other officials arrived in the district of the ATO. The delegation from the Armed Forces of Ukraine was accompanied by the head of the Antiterrorist operation on the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk regions Lieutenant-General Alexander Lokota, Director of the Department of Military Policy, Strategic Planning and International Cooperation of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Major-General Anatoly Petrenko. The guests got acquainted with the specifics of the management of military formations during the conduct of hostilities, the structure and organization of military management, and so on. The Ukrainian military received high praise from American colleagues. Google Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite Translator
The United States Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker is heading to Ukraine for his first solo visit since his post was created. He p…
Following the visit to Kyiv by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg earlier this month, President Petro Poroshenko said Ukraine would seek to meet the alliance’s membership criteria by 2020. On July 17, he stated that Ukraine would pursue a membership action plan. After more than three years of war with Russia, the desire to join NATO is entirely understandable. Polls show public support for a membership course. However, Poroshenko is setting himself and Ukraine up for disappointment. To be clear, Ukraine as a sovereign state has a right to choose its orientation and to join alliances. All member states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe—including Russia—accepted that in the 1975 Helsinki Final Act. But NATO also has a say in who joins the alliance. It is difficult to see NATO saying yes to Ukraine in the foreseeable future. NATO has dealt oddly with Ukraine’s membership aspirations in the past. President George W. Bush personally tried to persuade his counterparts to grant Ukraine a membership action plan at the 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest. He failed to win consensus, but the summit communique language stated that Ukraine (and Georgia) would be members of NATO. The alliance had never said anything like that before regarding prospective candidates. The language seemed to be a consolation prize for the American president rather than something with operational relevance for the NATO-Ukraine relationship. Ukraine today is involved in an undeclared, low intensity conflict with Russia in the Donbas. That is not a conflict of Kyiv’s choosing, but one forced upon it by Moscow. The Kremlin has organized, led, funded, armed and otherwise supported—in some cases with regular units of the Russian army—violent separatism in Donetsk and Luhansk of a kind that Russia itself would never tolerate (witness two wars in 25 years in Chechnya). Even if the Donbas conflict were settled, there would remain the issue of Crimea and its illegal seizure, occupation and annexation by Russia. Until the simmering conflict in the Donbas and frozen conflict in Crimea are resolved, Ukraine has little prospect of membership. Bringing Ukraine in with the ongoing disputes would mean that NATO would face an Article 5 contingency against Russia on day one of Kyiv’s membership. As European Parliament Vice President Graff Lambsdorff said, “the West is not ready to defend Ukraine”—and that is particularly true against a nuclear-armed Russia. NATO foreshadowed its unreadiness to take in states with territorial or border disputes in 1995 in its study on the how and why of enlargement. That study called on potential aspirants for membership to resolve those disputes before joining—precisely because the alliance did not want to import Article 5 cases into NATO ranks. There is no reason to think this attitude will change. So what should Ukraine do? First, the Ukrainian government needs to manage expectations, not fan them. Setting membership as a goal with a fixed near-term date sets a target that will not be met. That failure will negatively affect public attitudes toward the government and toward NATO. Second, Kyiv should continue to deepen its cooperation with NATO and incorporate the reforms that it would undertake in a membership action plan in its annual action plans with the alliance. Moscow reacts viscerally to the idea of a membership action plan for Ukraine, but it has not reacted in a similar way in the past to action plans that include virtually everything that is in a membership action plan except for the title. Third, the Ukrainian government should energetically pursue the agreed plan. The reforms would strengthen the military and bolster democratic institutions (NATO is an alliance of shared values as well as interests). Such reforms make sense for Kyiv irrespective of whether or when it might hope to join the alliance. Having agreed on a plan, Ukraine needs to implement. Unfortunately, its track record over the past 20 years of taking steps it has committed to with the alliance is weak, one reason why Kyiv’s corridor reputation in the halls of NATO headquarters is not what it should be. While there is nothing wrong with ambition, completely fulfilling a less ambitious plan rather than again falling short will win Ukraine more points with NATO. Fourth, instead of pressing NATO for an early membership signal, the Ukrainian government should urge that the alliance maintain its open door policy. Kyiv cannot get in now. It wants to ensure, however, that “not now” does not become “never.” This approach would keep Ukraine moving on a Westward trajectory. It would help the country become a more modern and resilient European state, better capable of resisting Russian pressure. It would avoid unrealistic public expectations. And it would position Ukraine to make a convincing membership bid when the opportunity arises. Steven Pifer, a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of “The Eagle and the Trident: U.S.-Ukraine Relations in Turbulent Times.”
The leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany will hold telephone talks on Monday, officials said, amid a fresh flare up in fighting in eastern Ukraine between government troops and Russian-backed rebels.
French President Emmanuel Macron has said he will call the leaders of Russia, Germany, and Ukraine on July 24 in a stepped-up international effort to end the fighting in eastern Ukraine. Th…
But first this hour, more evidence has emerged suggesting Russia’s intelligence services have been organizing provocative protests, in a bid to destabilize U…
The Head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Vasyl Hrytsak, has reported details of new attempts by the Russian side to organize provocations in Kyiv. “Attempts to undermine Ukraine continue. According to operational information, at a closed meeting of the Russian leadership in May, Putin criticized his aide Surkov for the failure of an operation to destabilize the socio-political situation in Ukraine, and set a new task to achieve the so-called ‘resetting’ of the ruling regime in Ukraine in the shortest possible time. The capital, Kyiv, was chosen as the place of provocation”, said Hrytsak at a briefing on Saturday in Kyiv. According to Hrytsak, during the week of June 28 to July 4 alone, the SBU prevented six attempts by the Russian side to organize protests near the Polish Embassy in Ukraine. And on July 5, the SBU were warned of a seventh provocation attempt, this time near the building of Polish consulate in Ukraine. Hrytsak stressed that Russia also remains the main initiator of forceful provocations aimed to present Ukraine as the alleged source of the spread of extremism. “On July 12, on the instructions of the Russian side, an attempt was made to occupy the public reception office of the General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine,” the head of the SBU said.
President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin instructed his aides and intelligence services to achieve a “reset of the ruling regime in Ukrain” head of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine Vasyl Hrytsak told a Saturday briefing in Kyiv, according to “a UNIAN” correspondent. News 22 July from UNIAN.
Chief of the Security Service of Ukraine Vasyl Hrytsak has reported about the attempt to seize the public reception of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine and the planned provocation in the presidential administration, organized by Russia with the view of destabilizing the situation in Ukraine.
The special services of the Russian Federation are trying to destabilize the situation in Ukraine by organizing artificial provocative protest actions. This was said at a briefing by the Chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine Vasily Hrytsak. “Since January 2017, under a single plan, provocations have been carried out in various regions of Ukraine by organizing 15 pseudo protest actions like the Hungarian, Polish and Bulgarian ethnic communities. Only during the week (from June 28 to July 4, 2017), the Service uncovered six attempts by the Russian side to organize protests under the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Ukraine. The coordinators in the Russian Federation demanded of their ties in Kiev to hold an action on the anniversary of the Volyn tragedy, “the report said. The head of the SBU also said that on July 5, 2017, the Service had warned the seventh attempt at organizing provocations – this time near the building of the Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Ukraine. On July 12, the SBU stopped the attempt to seize the public reception of the General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine. The SBU exposed organizers of all fake actions, sources of financing and the existence of a single scenario for their conduct, with the supervision of the special services of the Russian Federation. “The Security Council of Ukraine states that the Russian side can not shake the situation in our country. And it will not be possible “, – Vasily Hrytsak noted.
Chief of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine Vasyl Hrytsak has called on mothers of Russian soldiers who have gone missing in Donbas to apply for the SBU's hostage exchange center for DNA tests to determine the whereabouts of their sons, according to an UNIAN correspondent. “It is in the interests of the Russians themselves to stop, as they say, the ‘traffic of zinc coffins with Russian fighters’ coming from the territory of Donbas. According to intelligence information, several thousand Russian servicemen and mercenaries have already been killed in Ukrainian territory,” Hrytsak said at a briefing in Kyiv on Saturday, July 22. Read also DNA profiling helps identify 450 KIA in Donbas He mentioned that an interdepartmental group and a single DNA database of people missing in the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) zone have been created in Ukraine. “Today there are more than 300 DNA profiles of people whose samples do not coincide with those of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians who went missing in the ATO zone. Some of them, no doubt, belong to Russian soldiers and fighters,” Hrytsak said. “We call on all mothers, fathers, children of Russian citizens, who have left to build the so-called ‘Russki Mir’ (‘Russian World’) in Donbas and disappeared, to get into contact with the hostage exchange center and conduct necessary tests,” he said.
Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman for Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) issues Andriy Lysenko says that the Armed Forces of Ukraine have not suffered any casualties in the past day in Donbas. News 23 July from UNIAN.
Bloody battle in Krasnogorovets, “Sea Breeze – 2017” and fighting “Turtle” [Robotic UGV] in the next release of the Pro-military program. See, analyze and stay with us:
Published on July 21, 2017 In issue: – Edelweiss goes on the offensive -The Military Special Forces teaches students the hand-to-hand combat -Experience at the Training Center of the JTS -Ukrainian pilots brought the Friendship Cup from Great Britain – Quality restorative treatment for the military -DYN … THREE … SAME
DONETSK : As clashes drag on in east Ukraine between government forces and Russian-backed rebels, health activist Natalia Gurova is fighting another battle of her own. Gurova manages a project in her insurgent-controlled home city of Lugansk handing out clean syringes and condoms to drug-users and sex workers who are most at risk from HIV and hepatitis. That puts her at the forefront of the perilous struggle against the spread of infections as more than three years of conflict and rebel rule have hit vital treatment programmes. “Everything has worsened,” Gurova, from the All-Ukrainian Public Health Association, a charitable organisation, told AFP. Getting supplies such as condoms, lubricants and hygienic wipes into rebel-held territory remains a constant challenge as they run the gauntlet of checkpoints to cross the tightly guarded frontline.
Public Company “Izyum Instrument Factory” is one of Europe’s leading suppliers of optical flint and color glasses. The Company’s optronic instrument product portfolio includes ATGM guidance units and components, naval surveillance equipment, target acquisition components of fire control systems, armored vehicle driver’s night vision devices, anti-aircraft sights, and a complete range of vision instruments for applications ranging from armored military vehicles, and anti-tank weapons systems to missile attack warning/missile guidance systems. In an interview conducted by Defense Express, CEO of Izyum Instrument Factory, Serhiy FILONENKO discusses his Company’s latest developments and plans for the future.
Almost 900 state companies will be privatized in Ukraine before the end of 2020, including large banks, three film studios, Artemsil, and …
Ukraine’s central bank has banned PricewaterhouseCoopers from conducting bank audits in the country after finding PrivatBank, the country’s top lender, developed a more-than-$5-billion hole in its books while under the accounting firm’s supervision.
NEWS ITEM: Several members of parliament filed a draft law suggesting that every meeting of the Verkhovna Rada should begin with a prayer.
In Eastern Europe this month, 45,000 troops from the United States and 23 other countries are staging war rehearsals for a Russian invasion.
The United States and multinational forces are wrapping up a two-week exercise on the Black Sea, a region of heightened tensions since Russia’s takeover of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
Naval vessels from Georgia, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine and the US have departed the port of Odessa and the nearby Western Naval Base to participate in the free-play phase of Exercise Sea Breeze 2017 in Ukraine.
Compilation of Navy global presence – including exercises near Ukraine and in the Black Sea
In April 2014, a few months after Russian troops seized Crimea, a pro-Russian uprising broke out in Eastern Ukraine centered on Donetsk Oblast. The province had a substantial ethnic Russian population which supported the pro-Moscow government of Pres. Viktor Yanukovych, who fled the country that February after the Euromaidan protests. Though a significant minority in Eastern Ukraine had expressed support for reunification with Russia in the past, prior to 2014 there had not been any major episodes of violence. That all changed when pro-Russian separatists began seizing police and military posts to loot them for weapons, then organizing into armed “People’s Republics” centered around the cities of Luhansk and Donetsk. In mid-April, the Ukrainian army launched its first counter-offensive, with the “aluminum tanks” of the 25th Airborne Brigade leading the way. Clashes in the so-called “Anti-Terrorist Operation” at first involved minimal loss of life, but soon escalated into a full-scale conventional war with tanks, artillery, attack jets, drones and anti-aircraft missiles, culminating in a poorly-disguised intervention by Russian tanks on behalf of the separatists in August. Throughout the first year of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, the BMD family of armored fighting vehicles would remain ubiquitous on both sides — and suffered heavy losses along with their crews because of their thin armor.
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Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports
It is actually the United States, not Iran, that appears to be in breach of the Iran nuke deal.
Nuclear weapons accord shouldn’t be allowed to continue, writes Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Iran continues to be the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, the Trump administration said Wednesday in a new report that also noted a decline in the number of terrorist attacks globally between 2015 and 2016.
Iran announced Saturday that it had started on a new missile production line, a move that comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran. Iranian state media announced the move days after the United States hit the country with new sanctions over its ballistic missile program, Reuters reported. Iranian defense minister Hossein Dehghan said Saturday at a ceremony that the Sayyad 3 missile can reach an altitude of 16 miles and travel up to 74 miles. The official said at a ceremony that the missile could target different types of aircraft such as fighter planes and helicopters, as well as cruise missiles, Reuters reported. Dehghan said that a recent $110 billion weapons deal struck between the Trump administration and Saudi Arabia was “done with the goal of threatening Iran.” “We recently witnessed an immense purchase that some countries in the region paid as a ransom to America and they intend to bring weapons into the region, and this purchase was done with the goal of threatening Islamic Iran,” he said. ADVERTISEMENT On Tuesday, the Trump administration unveiled a new round of sanctions targeting 16 individuals and entities in Iran for supporting “illicit Iranian actors or transnational criminal activity,” according to a statement from the Treasury Department. “This Administration will continue to aggressively target Iran’s malign activity, including their ongoing state support of terrorism, ballistic missile program, and human rights abuses,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday.
Trump administration urges Iran to release all “unjustly imprisoned” Americans or face “serious consequences.”
Iran demanded on Saturday that the United States release Iranians detained there, a day after U.S. president Donald Trump called on the Islamic Republic to release three U.S. citizens.
ldquo;An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him lastrdquo; (Winston Churchill)Marking two years since Iranrsquo;s nuclear
A newest Irainain Kosar advanced jet trainer is set to make its maiden flight in the third quarter of 2017. That was reported by local media. Iran’s new Kosar jet trainer has undergone taxi trials that were broadcast on national media and posted to YouTube on 20 Jule. Now Iran’s military plans to field a new jet trainer within 2.5 years. The Kosar is a two-seater modern jet trainer or ground light attack aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of 6,180kg. The aircraft is powered by two J90 engines, which is a domestic adaptation of General Electric J85 turbojets fielded. The new Iranian Kowsar advanced jet trainer looks like to the AIDC AT-3 Tzu Chung aircraft developed by the Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation of the Taiwan in collaboration with American aircraft manufacturer Northrop between 1984 and 1990.
The tweet appears to reference a 2015 story about intelligence on the ISIS leader's whereabouts
If true, this will be a source of extreme embarrassment for Russia. Russia touted his death as a de facto testament to their ‘lethality’ and ‘superiority’. </end editorial> U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says he believes that the leader of the extremist Islamic State (IS) group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is still alive. “I think Baghdadi’s…
Syria and Russia have announced agreement on a cease-fire in an area that is a stronghold of opposition forces near the capital, Damascus. The Syrian military command the Russian Defense Ministr…
A key element for a potentially devastating weapon was missing in Mosul.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Erik Kang is accused of sharing secret information and supplying gear, such as a GoPro drone, to undercover FBI agents he believed were affiliated with ISIS.
One of the suicide bombers who attacked an Afghan security outpost this week was the son of Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada, the Taliban’s supreme leader, officials with the movement said.
The Egyptian Ministry of Defence has received into service the new 59N6E Protivnik-GE 3D early warning surveillance radar from Russia. The 59N6E Protivnik-GE 3D early warning surveillance radar was spotted during a latest military parade in Egypt. According to the ausairpower.net, the 59N6E Protivnik-GE is a medium/high-altitude radar is designed to acquire and track strategic and tactical planes, air-launched and ballistic missiles and small low-speed aircraft in electronic countermeasures-heavy environment and feed the resultant data to the automation systems of command posts. The primary antenna planar array is designed for low sidelobes and backlobes – the inner sidelobes being cited at -40 dB and the average sidelobe level at -53 dB. The transmitter delivers a peak power rating of 500 kiloWatts, and a average power rating of 12 kiloWatts, with a 3 dB receiver noise figure. An IFF array is mounted beneath the primary aperture. Russian sources claim the use of Space Time Adaptive Processing (STAP) techniques, as well as adaptive sidelobe nulling. All radar processing is digital. The 8.5 x 5.5 metre aperture planar array uses electronic beamsteering in elevation while azimuthal pointing is achieved by rotating the turntable. EU claim the ability to form up to twenty pencil beams to track precisely individual targets. The azimuthal tracking accuracy of 0.2°, elevation accuracy of 0.17° and range accuracy of 50-100 metres make this radar capable of providing midcourse cueing for a range of SAM systems.
DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports
US-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue independent sanctions threatened targeting Chinese companies During the US-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue that was held in Washington on July 19, the US reportedly communicated to China that it would impose independent sanctions on more than ten Chinese companies and individuals that do business with North Korea if China does not cooperate with a tough sanctions resolution by the UN Security Council. “The US stated that if there is no progress in the discussion with China about a UN Security Council sanctions resolution against North Korea, it is fully prepared to implement specific independent sanctions. I’m told that this position was strongly expressed to China during the recent economic talks,” said a diplomatic source in Washington on July 20. “But the US probably did not provide China a specific timing for the sanctions,” the source said.This means that the imposition of the sanctions will depend on whether or not China cooperates. “In addition, my understanding is that companies from several countries other than China are on the US’s sanctions list,” the source said. In connection with this, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported that “the US is planning to include multiple Russian companies on the sanctions list.” The companies that the US told China would be sanctioned reportedly include Dandong Zhicheng Metallic Material Co., a company that imports North Korean coal, and companies that import coal, steel and workers, with Shandong International Trade and Xiamen Xiangyu. The US government also indicated that it could impose sanctions in a manner similar to the massive fine of about US$200 million that was slapped on the ZTE Corporation, China’s largest telecom equipment manufacturer, this past March, after the company was charged with violating sanctions against Iran and North Korea. In related news, lawmakers in the US Congress are competing to submit sanctions bills against North Korea. On July 19, Senators Chris Van Hollen and Pat Toomey submitted the Banking Restrictions Involving North Korea (BRINK) Act of 2017 to the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. This bill calls for investigations into financial organizations that do business either directly or indirectly with North Korean financial organizations. On July 13, Senator Cory Gardner, chair of the Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific, submitted a bill that would prevent companies that do business with North Korea from accessing the US financial network. The North Korean Enablers Accountability Act, which would cut off access to the American financial system to financial organizations that do not faithfully implement financial sanctions against North Korea, is largely aimed at Chinese banks. The bill also states in a section called the “view of Congress,” which is designed to communicate the attitude of members of Congress, that the Kaesong Industrial Complex should not be reopened until North Korea has shut down all of its nuclear, chemical, biological, and radiological weapons programs completely, verifiably and permanently. This clause would not be legally binding. By Yi Yong-in, Washington correspondent
Growth was led by mining and manufacturing, with declines in construction and service sectors On July 21, the Bank of Korea announced that North Korea’s real gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 increased by 3.9%, and that it had a gross national income (GNI) per capita of 1,461,000 South Korean won (about US$1,300). The GDP growth was the highest rate since 1999 (6.1%). “A major factor in the North Korean economy was the base effect resulting from the negative growth (-1.1%) caused by the drought in 2015. The low-growth paradigm remains in place, with an average yearly rate of growth of 1.3% in 2015 and 2016,” the Bank of Korea said. North Korea’s economic growth rate is estimated using South Korea’s system of national accounts (SNA) method of gauging national income, based on documents drawn up by professional organizations in the North Korean economy. By industry, growth was led by a major rally in mining (-2.6%→8.4%), with production increasing in coal and zinc mines; manufacturing (-3.4%→4.8%), with heavy industry, including primary metals and chemical products, enjoying a boom; and electricity, gas and water (-12.7%→22.3%), with more output from hydroelectricity and coal. In North Korea, the mining and industrial sectors account for 33.2% of nominal GDP, which is higher than the service sector (31.1%). The growth rate declined in the construction sector (4.8%→1.2%) and the service sector (0.8%→0.6%). North Korea’s nominal GNI last year was estimated to be 36.4 trillion won, or 1/45 (2.2%) of South Korea (1,639.1 trillion won). GNI per capita in the North was 1,461,000 won, about 1/22 (4.6%) of South Korea (31,984,000 won). Last year, North Korea had a population of 24,900,000, which was 48.6% of South Korea (51,250,000). North Korea’s foreign trade last year (excluding inter-Korean trade) amounted to US$6.55 billion, which was up 4.7% from the previous year. Exports (US$2.82 billion) and imports (US$3.73 billion) increased by 4.6% and 4.8%, respectively. Inter-Korean trade shrank 87.7% to US$330 million, because of former President Park Geun-hye’s (2013-16) decision to close the Kaesong Industrial Complex last year. Since April 2016, there has been no movement of goods between North and South Korea. By Han Gwang-deok, finance correspondent
Technically, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force is a “self-defense force.” However, it is, ship for ship, the best navy in Asia.
Foreign Policy Reports
Germany has frozen all arms shipment to Turkey, following Ankara’s arrest of many human rights activists, including a German national. Berlin issued its travel advisory Thursday for Turkey. It also warned that it would review state guarantees for foreign investment there. Turkey called the measures as “blackmail and threats”. The latest move came after a Turkish court on Tuesday issued arrest warrants for six human rights activists for allegedly helping a “terror” group, among them German citizen Peter Steudtner. The arrests further strained the already tarnished relations between the two NATO allies. Germany is also “freezing all planned and ongoing arms deliveries to Turkey,” the top-circulation Bild newspaper reported. “we will at any time consider whether further measures are necessary.” Chancellor Angela Merkel’s right-hand man, Peter Altmaier warned. Ties between Turkey and Germany, home to three million ethnic Turks, have been strained, particularly after the failed coup last year. In the months after the July 2016 coup attempt, Germany already blocked 11 separate arms export shipments to Turkey, including handguns, ammunition or weapons components, according to media reports. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said “Turkey is arresting people arbitrarily and not respecting even minimal consular standards. It reminds me of the way it was in the GDR. When you travelled there, you knew if something happens to you, no one can help you,”. Altmaier also stated that Berlin would urge Belgium to freeze 4.45 billion euros ($5.2 billion) in EU funds theoretically earmarked until the end of 2020 for Turkey, a long-term aspirant for membership to the bloc. [PrivacyBadger has replaced this AddThis button.]
The French-Italian air defence consortium Eurosam has signed a “Heads of Agreement” (HoA) with Turkish defence companies Aselsan and Roketsan to fulfill the Turkish Undersecretariat of Defence Industries (SSM)’s call for a locally produced long-range air and missile defence system. The HoA was signed on July 14 in Ankara. In its press release, MBDA stated, “The HoA sets the work sharing agreements for a definition study with the SSM on a long-range air and missile defence system to be launched in the coming months.” Defense Aerospace reported that the “definition study” will be concluded within 24 months, after which Eurosam, Aselsan and Roketsan will proceed to develop a system for the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). MBDA has confirmed that this system will effectively form the basis of Turkey’s own air defence program, “The future Turkish air and missile system will be based on the technologies and experience that Eurosam has built in ground and naval systems.” It is unclear if the TSK will also acquire Aster 30 SAMP/T (Surface-to-Air Missile Platform/Terrain) batteries off-the-shelf or if it will solely acquire the joint Eurosam, Aselsan and Roketsan system. Ankara is in late-stage talks with Moscow for the latter’s S-400 long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system. In 2015, Turkey had intended to close a $3.44 billion U.S. deal with China Precision Machinery Import Export Corp (CPMIEC) for the latter’s HQ-9 long-range SAM system. However, pressure from NATO pushed Ankara to walk away from that program and re-open its long-range SAM program for bids. In November 2015, the SSM tasked Aselsan and Roketsan to develop a homegrown solution. However, during 2016 Ankara had begun negotiating with Moscow and Western firms for air defence systems – the SSM and Turkey’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) opened talks with Eurosam in September 2016. Despite these engagements, the SSM had reiterated that a domestic long-range SAM system was still in the pipeline. It is apparent that this system will be developed in collaboration with Eurosam. Besides augmenting Turkey’s land-based air defence network, the new SAM system will also accompany the Turkish Navy’s future TF-2000 anti-air warfare (AAW) frigate. While this SAM will draw from the Aster-30, it is not known if it will be a copy or a derivative. The latter avenue could enable Turkey (and Eurosam) to examine new applications, such as quad-packing (like the Standard Missile series), among others.
Turkey has signed a “cooperation agreement” with the French-Italian air defence consortium Eurosam, ostensibly for Eurosam’s Aster 30-based SAMP/T (short for Surface-to-Air Missile Platform/Terrain) long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system. Turkey’s Minister of Defence announced the agreement at the French embassy’s Bastille Day reception in Ankara on Friday, July 14 (via Daily Sabah). Ankara had been negotiating with Eurosam for the SAMP/T since September with the aim of ushering a two-stage program: First, to import Aster 30 SAM systems to strengthen Turkey’s integrated air defence system (IADS). Second, to accrue technology from Eurosam and co-produce the Aster-30. Defence Aerospace’s sources report that the agreement involves a “24-month definition phase funded by the Turkish government … [which] will immediate lead to the full-scale development phase … [for] late 2019 or early 2020 at the latest.” It adds that the SAMP/T is being sought in parallel to the S-400. The centrepiece of the SAMP/T is the Aster 30, which was introduced in 1988. It has a range of more than 100 km and is deployable from land and from surface warships. In 2016, Eurosam initiated the Aster 30 Block 1 New Technology (B1NT) program, which is tipped with a Ka-band active radar-homing seeker, which offers longer terminal-stage engagement range and enhanced angular resolution. Eurosam is positioning the B1NT for neutralizing anti-ship ballistic missiles. Eurosam was competing with the Medium Extended Air Defence System (MEADS), a consortium made up of U.S., German and Italian companies. The core the MEADS is the PAC-3 MSE (Patriot Advanced Capability Missile Segment Enhancement).
The populist ruling party has moved to put the Supreme Court and the rest of the judicial system under their political control
Measures stripping away judicial independence have drawn rebuke from the E.U.
President Andrzej Duda is expected to sign new laws passed by Parliament giving the ruling party more control over the courts. But protesters still hope to dissuade him.
During a bad-tempered debate, Jarosław Kaczyński accuses the opposition of ‘murdering’ his brother.
A plan to build hydroelectric power stations in Kyrgyzstan has become steeped in controversy after the contract to build them was awarded to a Czech company, which critics allege has neither the experience nor the finances to do so.
In any Balkan country the names of war criminals are well-known. But the names of people who have moved humanity in a positive direction are often hidden from the public eye. That is the case with Diana Budisavlejvic, whose heroics in rescuing thousands of lives during World War II-era Croatia went unrecognized for more than half a century.
by ALICIA WANLESS on 05/05/2017 Where does all this manipulation leave you, Dear Reader? Like it or not, your mind is the new battleground in a Digital Age. While the U.S. has had laws in the past to protect citizens from being propagandised by their own government, there are no such restrictions on political campaigns, corporations, or foreign governments,…
Sweden’s Transport Agency moved all of its data to “the cloud”, apparently unaware that there is no cloud, only somebody else’s computer. In doing so, it exposed and leaked every conceivable top secret database: fighter pilots, SEAL team operators, police suspects, people under witness relocation. Names, photos, and home addresses: the list is just getting…
Malaysia Sun – Saturday 22nd July, 2017 The company is taking help from Jigsaw, Google’s in-house think tank Terrorist groups have long used YouTube to post extremist videos aimed at radicalizing targets The company has come up with a new project called the Redirect Method to deal with the problem CALIFORNIA, U.S. – In a…
A few notable takeaways. Russian Information Warfare (IW) on the French election had limited effectiveness Alt-Right (mostly?) Americans read and redistributed Russian disinformation (during the French campaign) Russian IW was mostly in English Assume Russians hacked candidates, released incriminating evidence – just like US campaign Conclusion? Russian IW did not affect target audience, it missed…
The Russian president asked why people feel the need to hide behind pseudonyms online.
Last week, word began to spread that the Trump administration was considering granting new powers to U.S. Cyber Command. Lolita Baldor of the Associated Pr
Months of preparation and coordination have resulted today, 20 July 2017, in the takedown of two of the largest criminal Dark Web markets, AlphaBay and Hansa.
Microsoft lawyers have quietly been fighting back against the Russian hacking group that attacked the Democratic party last year, by taking it to court, according to a report in the Daily Beast. Beginning in August 2016, around six weeks after the cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike declared the group often called Fancy Bear or APT 28 as the culprit of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) hack, Microsoft began suing the group to disrupt its infrastructure. ADVERTISEMENT Hackers use intermediary servers to send commands to computers controlled by their malware, which are typically hidden behind innocuous sounding domain names like “livemicrosoft[.]net.” Microsoft has successfully sued for 70 different domains used by APT 28, cutting off the attackers from their victims. Microsoft has sued APT 28 as a general anonymous group rather than a government organization — serving papers over email accounts associated with the command and control servers. According to the Daily Beast, trackers placed in the emails show they have been opened, with no response. APT 28 has, thus far, missed its court dates, according to the Daily Beast. In addition to the DNC, APT 28 has been linked to attacks on the German parliament, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the web news source Bellingcat, as well as other targets.
BY JOE UCHILL – 07/21/17 01:01 PM EDT Microsoft lawyers have quietly been fighting back against the Russian hacking group that attacked the Democratic party last year, by taking it to court, according to a report in the Daily Beast. Beginning in August 2016, around six weeks after the cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike declared the group often called Fancy…
Struggle against fake information about events in Ukraine
US Domestic Policy Reports
National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers on Saturday rebuffed the prospect for a U.S.-Russia cyber unit, a proposal which has been greeted with incredulity by several senior U.S. lawmakers and which President Donald Trump himself appeared to back down from after initially indicating interest.
WASHINGTON — Sergei Kislyak, Russia’s controversial ambassador to Washington, on July 22 departed from the United States as he ended his nine-year term as Moscow’s chief diplomat to it…
‘Now is a bad time not to have an ambassador in Germany,’ says Lieutenant General Ben Hodges.
U.S. investigators examining money laundering accusations against President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort hope to push him to cooperate with their probe into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia, two sources with direct knowledge of the investigation said.
The potential significance of the Syrian partial cease fire cannot be understated. If Putin wishes to build a relationship , he cannot play his usual game of ignoring agreements. Trump must decide whether it is worth negotiating with this guy despite his countless lies
The ironical outcome is that the real collusion is between the enemies of Trump making an alliance with Putin to weaken their own country, all in order to overturn an election outcome they despise.
In memoriam, Sean Spicer. We hardly believed ye.
Kelli Ward, who lost to McCain in last year’s Republican primary, said the senator “owes it to the people of Arizona to step aside.”
With praise and a blessing for the military, President Donald Trump helped hand over the USS Gerald R. Ford to the Navy on Saturday and said the state-of-the-art aircraft carrier will send a “100,000-ton message to the world” about America’s military might when it is ultimately deployed.
King Stallion, the U.S. Marine Corps’ ultra-powerful new helo, can carry an astonishing three times more weight than its predecessor.