Whitmore nails a ground truth, which appeasers in the West wilfully ignore. Russia threatens to bail from arms control treaties, another no win game given economic disparities. Fried has a point, although his optimism may be misplaced. Russia attacks VP Pence accusing him of “Cold War mentality” and defamation – were the US truly imbued with “Cold War mentality” Russia would have been crushed like the proverbial bug already. Ukraine’s NSDC Chair Turchenov’s comparisons of Russia and the DPRK are on target, moreso given the extent the Kim regime has been lionised in Moscow propaganda. Bodner surveys Russian analyst opinions on Russian options to respond to US arms supply to Ukraine. Kofman and Dougherty demonstrate a poor grasp of what is happening in Ukraine and Russia, and would have done better saying nothing. Russian debate develops over the Baltic “Forest Brothers” post WW2 insurgency, a truth hidden and denied by the Sovs, like the UPA insurgency, until the fall of the regime. Putin trolls Georgia again.
Ryvkin is on target – Western MSM have inflated Putin and Russia in Western popular culture into an entity of vastly greater strength than the Evil Empire (no differently to inflating ISIS into an existential threat to the West). Prof Goble comments on a most interesting report on toxic ethnic divisions in the RF Army, to the extent of NCOs brawling and putting each other in hospital, cite: “Sixty ethnic Tuvin professional soldiers clashed with about 100 ethnic Russian professional soldiers at a sergeants training academy in Yelan in Sverdlovsk oblast earlier this week. The fighting turned violent and 14 of the soldiers remain hospitalized, according to regional news agencies.” Konchalovsky argues that medieval public attitudes and values in Russia shaped Putin – he has a point. More on neo-Stalinism, and the legacy of Stalinism. Novoprudsky on delusional attitudes in Russia. Russia may criminalise distribution of “foreign newspapers and magazines” without permission, that would force ISPs to block most foreign MSM. COCW on Putinzombies.
Belarusians nervous about visiting Russian troops, while Russia punishes Romania by stopping the supply of live pigs to Russia, making Russian conduct in this matter even more porcine.
Ukrainian MoD expects major Russian escalation in Donbass, to punish the US for the sanctions legislation. Another Ukraine-Russia Twitter spat in progress. Ukraine deploys first TV/radio jamming system at Pokrovsk, 42 km East of Avdiivka (we should expect the Russians to reciprocate). Donbass fires continue. In Odessa, Russian car bomber covert ops team captured – posing as Donbass IDPs. Independence Day parade Aug 2th will see troops from NATO nations participate in review march, with UK already agreed. COCW applies to report on complaint to Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights. Wartime comicbooks and anime.
Reports on Syria, Turkey and Afghanistan, and ISIS plot in Australia.
Backfill reports on DPRK and PRC.
FP look at Germany’s ability to overcome Russian meddling, enhanced by unswerving SDP support. Ukrainian FM Pavlo Klimkin’s comments on making deals with Russia earn him today’s COCW Award – well done! Poland may demand WW2 reparations from Germany, likely payback for appeasement of Russia – this is collateral damage produced by the SDP. Venezuelan meltdown continues.
New Scientist on Dark Ads. Class action against the patient zero software house that through negligence allowed its server to launch the Goldeneye / NotPetya pseudo-ransomware epidemic. Russian use of Linked-In for trolling, propaganda distribution, and presumably, HUMINT collection. The Mia Ash honeytrap.
US domestic debate on Russia remains toxic.
Russia / Russophone Reports
They’re not just faraway countries of which we know little. They’re not just former Soviet states. And they’re certainly not just part of Russia’s natural sphere of influence. What happens in Ukraine, what happens in Georgia, and what happens in Moldova matters — and it matters a lot. Because these three countries represent the front line of one of the most consequential conflicts of our time. They form the contested zone in a battle of governance, the results of which will be felt for generations. Because while what we are experiencing now is not really a Cold War in the sense that most understand that term, we nevertheless are in a battle between two normative systems on the Eurasian landmass. The one to the West is based on values we hold near and dear: individual rights, accountable government, transparency, the rule of law, and the sanctity of contracts. And the one to the East is based on a very different set of principles: patron-client relationships, cronyism, paternalism, and the subordination of the law to power. Despite very real flaws in how it has been implemented in practice, the Western normative system has facilitated unprecedented peace and prosperity. The other normative system has led to repression and deprivation. When you strip away all the rhetoric and all the spin, this is the essence of the conflict between Moscow and the West. And in this war of governance, what happens in the countries in the middle — in Ukraine, in Georgia, and in Moldova — is far from inconsequential.
Mikhail Ulyanov, Director of the Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control at the Russian Foreign Ministry admitted to Interfax that Russia could review disarmament agreements in response to new US sanctions. In answer to whether Moscow’s retaliatory steps could touch upon the sphere of disarmament and the treaties which are in force in this area, the Foreign Ministry spokesman replied that “everything is possible in life.” He recalled that in October 2016, Russia decided to suspend the bilateral agreement on the disposal of weapons-grade plutonium. “We then made it clear that this decision was made to send a signal to Washington that it is not possible to introduce sanctions with one hand and to extend another one for cooperation in areas of interest to the US. That is, there are precedents,” Ulyanov said. At the same time, according to Ulyanov, it is necessary to approach the decisions on such issues responsibly and “to correlate every step with our national interests, because by responding to the unacceptable step by our partners, we shouldn’t take actions that will go against our own interests.” Ulyanov also said that despite the contradictions between Russia and the United States, both countries “also have common interests.” “This is an objective reality, which is recognized both in Washington and in Moscow, and to dismantle indiscriminately everything that exists in this sphere, it would be extremely unreasonable.” Ulyanov explained that “profile agreements” with the US today are quite adequate to Russian needs and, in his opinion, it is hardly advisable to change anything. “However, the situation might change. Much depends on how the United States will behave further,” he added. Earlier it was reported that US President Donald Trump signed a law on the expansion of sanctions against Russia. In particular, the document limits the ability of the US President to lift sanctions though it does not introduce any new measures directly and does not oblige the President to introduce them. Russia announced the imposition of retaliatory measures against Washington even before the signing of the document by US president. In particular, the Russian Federation confiscated the summer house from the US embassy and ordered the expulsion of some of the diplomats.
Moscow has reprised Cold War tactics against the United States. It’s worth remembering that they didn’t work out well for the Soviet Union last time.
Russia on August 3 denounced what it called "destabilizing" comments by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on his tour of the Western Balkans and said they exposed a Cold War mentality i…
The Russian Foreign Ministry called on the U.S. to stop defaming Russia and its foreign policy after Mike Pence’s visits to European countries this week.
A senior U.S. general in Europe says the U.S. military is keeping a close eye on Moscow's planned military exercises in Russia and Belarus — exercises that some experts say could involve 100,00…
The U.S. military is moving toward more global exercises to better prepare for a more assertive Russia and other worldwide threats, a senior officer said in an interview with Reuters.
Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov has commented on the introduction in the U.S. of the Russia Sanctions Act, saying that the regimes of Russia and North Korea are becoming more similar to each other while the rest of world starts to see this clearer, the NSDC's press service said.”It is a sign that in the bill passed by the Congress, supported by the Senate and signed by U.S. President Trump, imposing sanctions, Russia is put on a par with North Korea,” Turchynov said. “This shows that the world is beginning to understand that the regimes of these two countries are becoming more similar to each other – unpredictable and dangerous,” he said. Read also How Russia will “bury” U.S. in response to sanctions At the same time, Turchynov said this is one of the important steps toward complete isolation of Vladimir Putin and the totalitarian country into which he had transformed modern Russia. “All dictators should remember they all end the same – in total contempt and disgrace,” he said.
03.08.17 18:12 – Regimes in Russia and North Korea are becoming more similar to each other, and world gets to understand it, – Turchynov Regimes in Russia and North Korea are becoming more similar to each other. View news.
03.08.17 18:12 Regimes in Russia and North Korea are becoming more similar to each other Secretary of National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Oleksandr Turchynov commented on Russia sanctions, Censor.NET reports citing the press service of the agency. He said the sanctions against Russia that were introduced by U.S. President Donald Trump signing the new law were…
03.08.2017 17:45. The regimes of Russia and North Korea are becoming more similar to each other, and the world is beginning to understand that, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov has said.
WHEN Russian members of parliament uncorked champagne to celebrate the electoral victory of Donald Trump, they hoped that America would stop meddling in the former Soviet backyard and ease sanctions imposed in response to its war in Ukraine. But as some Russians are now saying, it was too early to drink it.
There exists the risk that Ukraine takes U.S. weapons deliveries as approval for a renewed offensive on separatist positions — a move that could prompt Moscow to surge into the region to stabilize separatist positions.
Expert casts doubt the delivery of Javelin missiles can turn the tide of battle [Why sending weapons to Ukraine would be a terrible idea for the US — Quartz; Pulling Russia and Ukraine Back from the Brink of War | The National Interest]
It’s tempting for U.S. policymakers to stick a finger in Vladimir Putin’s eye by arming Ukraine. But it would be a costly, foolish mistake …
Michael Brendan Dougherty is senior correspondent at TheWeek.com. He is the founder and editor of The Slurve, a newsletter about baseball. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, ESPN Magazine, Slate and The American Conservative.
Reports emerged on Monday that the US is planning to send defensive weapons to Ukraine in order to deter Russia, which has managed and funded rebels in the Donbas. The plan includes sending Javelin anti-tank missile systems, and possibly anti-aircraft and other weapons systems. Developed by Raytheon in 1989, the FGM-148 Javelin is a large shoulder-mounted, infrared guided missile system capable of piercing 600mm to 800mm steel armour.
Soldiers with the 2d Cavalry Regiment fire the Javelin Anti-Tank Missile system at the Grafenwhor Training Area in Germany. Slow motion footage of the missil…
A new package of sanctions against Russia, adopted by the US Congress and signed by President Trump this week, sparked a lively discussion on both sides of the Atlantic. The European Commission has commented on the new restrictions with an emphatic disapproval, urging the United States to co-ordinate and coordinate in such actions. About the same wrote the American magazine The National Interest, publishing an article by Angela Stent – a professor at Georgetown University and a former MGIMO teacher, the author of the book “Why America and Russia do not hear each other?” The State considered that the adoption of anti-Russian sanctions in the form in which they were adopted would affect US relations with Europe, since Washington politicians obviously did not calculate all the consequences for the European economy. There was no doubt that such a point of view would please Russia – any crack on the foundation of the Transatlantic partnership evokes enthusiasm in the country’s power elite. “When it comes to the real economy, it becomes not the notorious realpolitik, read – transatlantic solidarity,” noted the head of the Federation Council International Committee Konstantin Kosachev with satisfaction. The split between Brussels and Washington, which is dreamed of in Moscow, nevertheless did not lead to noticeable failures in the operation of the sanctions vehicle. Whenever it comes to real economy, Europeans generally take the position of the United States – despite the multibillion-dollar damage from the sanctions wars for Europe itself, which the Kremlin likes to recall. Why is this so? Better understand the logic and priorities of the EU allow for the following several graphs.
ON MY MIND Reset interrupted. Detente derailed. Rapprochement rebuked. Any illusions about a thaw in U.S.-Russian relations were pretty much laid to rest this week. So what happens now? On this week’s Power Vertical Podcast, we look at relations between Moscow and Washington in the aftermath of new U.S. sanctions and Russia’s retaliatory moves. We’ll also discuss Russia’s upcoming Zapad 2017 military exercises. Joining me will be co-host Mark Galeotti, a senior research fellow at the Institute of International Relations in Prague and head of its Center for European Security; former U.S. State Department official Angela Stent, director of Georgetown University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies; and Moscow-based foreign affairs analyst Vladimir Frolov, a former Russian Foreign Ministry official and a columnist for Republic.ru. With a lineup like that, it should be a great show. So be sure to tune in later today!
Washington has got a new way to counter Russian influence in Europe as it is set to become the world’s third-largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by 2020. News 04 August from UNIAN.
04.08.2017 13:59. NATO's relations with Russia are the most complicated since the end of the Cold War, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said. He stated this in an interview with the CNN channel, a transcript of which was posted on the channel’s website. “This, I think, is correct to say that NATO’s relationship with Russia is more difficult than it has been any time since the end of the Cold War,” he said, while commenting on a recent statement made by U.S. President Donald Trump on Twitter, who noted that “our relationship with Russia is at an all-time and very dangerous low.” The NATO secretary general also said that at the end of the Cold War the United States hoped to develop a close partnership with Russia. “At the end of the Cold War, we hoped to develop a close partnership with Russia, but especially after the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, and the continued Russian destabilization of eastern Ukraine, and the relationship between NATO and Russia has deteriorated considerably,” Stoltenberg said. He also added that a dual approach in the form of defense, deterrence and dialogue was currently applied. “Russia is our neighbor. Russia is there to stay. So we are pursuing it, a dual approach, which is defense, deterrence and dialogue. And we believe that as long as we are strong, as long as we are predictable, we can also engage in political dialogue with Russia to try to avoid escalation and to avoid a new Cold War,” Stoltenberg said. According to him, Russia’s behavior was a result of such a deterioration of relations, implying a violation of international law, annexation of Crimea and destabilization of eastern Ukraine.
The Estonian Foreign Minister, Sven Mikser, said that Russia is a country which is ready to go to war with its neighbors to achieve political goals, in an interview with Current Time, commenting on the recent visit of the U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Postimees reports. Answering the correspondent’s question as to whether Estonia feels safe, Mikser answered, “Estonia definitely feels that our allies are protecting us. We believe that the deterrence policy really works. We neighbor a large country that possesses nuclear weapons. A country which has demonstrated twice over the past ten years that it is ready to go to war with its neighbors to achieve political goals. And we cannot take it easy. On the contrary, we should take it very seriously.” At the same time, Mikser noted that Putin’s actions are predictable. “We think that Putin and his regime are acting with cold prudence. Their actions are not unpredictable. But these actions can be restrained if the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance confront them with force and determination,” Mikser said. “This is what we have been doing in the recent years, and we will continue these efforts. We should unanimously make it clear that we are ready to do anything to preserve peace and security in our region. And when we do it right, it works.”
Paul Goble Staunton, August 4 – Many in the Baltic countries and elsewhere still celebrate the US non-recognition policy which specified that Washington would never recognize Stalin’s “forcible incorporation” of the three Baltic states into the USSR, a policy that send a clear message to Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians that they were not alone in their fight for freedom. But at the same time, some of them have asked over the years why the US did not do more to support the Baltic peoples and their aspirations — even though US policy did not ever promise to take any actions to liberate the three occupied countries, a point Washington was consistent about from 1940 to 1991. In fact, however, as some newly declassified CIA documents show, the US government not only carefully kept track of “the forest brothers,” as the underground armed resistance to Soviet power there in the late 1940s and early 1950s was known, but provided some limited covert assistance to these groups. Portions of these documents are being published in Russian translation by the Russian staff of the unified news portal of Latvian Radio and Latvian television. Two selections have been issued(rus.lsm.lv/statja/novosti/obschestvo/taynie-arhivi-tsru.-latviyskie-lesnie-bratja-vozniknovenie-organizacija-kontrol.a244834/ and rus.lsm.lv/statja/novosti/obschestvo/taynie-arhivi-tsru.-latviyskie-lesnie-bratja.-pomosch-zapada.a245141/), and more are promised. Like the NATO film released about the forest brothers a month ago, these documents have attracted Moscow’s attention. One commentary by Sergey Orlov of Svobodnaya pressa posted online yesterday directly states that with these documents, “the US has acknowledged its role in the support of ‘the [Baltic] forest brothers’” (svpressa.ru/politic/article/178280/). In Orlov’s words, the documents show that “the CIA provided the anti-Soviet underground in the Baltic countries organizational and financial help … and from this it follows in particular,” he continues, “that in August 1950, the CIA approved the financing of ‘the forest brothers.’” “The total sum is not clear,” the Svobodnaya pressa writer says, “but in 1953, 134,950 dollars was devoted to one of the projects for assistance to the anti-Soviet underground. Money was also allocated to the support of anti-Soviet Baltic media beyond the borders of the USSR, he organization of a unity conference in the US, and other goals.” Orlov does not suggest that the US provided the forest brothers with lethal aid, something he would surely have done if there was anything in the documents to suggest that. But what he does say about the documents may be far more important to an understanding of the complex picture of life in Soviet-occupied Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania at that time. First, he makes it clear that the Central Intelligence Agency was extremely well-informed about the nature and composition of the forest brothers. Second, Orlov’s selective quotations indicate that Washington was extremely cautious in taking any steps that might inflame the situation and cause Moscow to crack down even harder than it already was at that time. And third, Orlov mentions that the Americans were not the only people fishing in these troubled waters at the time. He notes that Stalin’s secret police chief Lavrenty Beriya tried to reach an agreement of some kind with a leader of the anti-Soviet underground in Lithuania whom the NKVD had arrested. What the two discussed is “unknown,” the commentator says; but after Beria was arrested, interrogated and then shot in 1953, this Lithuanian, Jonas-Vytautas Zemaitis, was shot in Moscow’s Butyrka prison on November 26, 1954, on the basis of a decision by the Supreme Court of the Lithuanian SSR. Zemaitis is now considered a hero in Lithuania, and there is a monument to him at the Lithuanian defense ministry, Orlov says. But that raises a bigger question: is Orlov’s article really about events of almost 70 years ago, or is it really about the present-day agenda of Moscow which remains interested in destabilizing the situation there. If the latter – and there is every reason to suspect that – this conclusion suggests Moscow will use the further release and translation of US documents as the occasion not only to try to blacken the reputation of the Americans but also to talk about contacts between Baltic leaders in the past and the Soviet secret services in order to sow discord in the three countries.
The State Minister for Reconciliation and Civil Equality of Georgia, Ketevan Tsihelashvili, stated that the Russian President’s visit, scheduled for August 8th, to Abkhazia is “an occupation and an attempt at actual annexation”, as reported by Georgia Online. “There are provocative actions and this visit should likely be considered as one at this point. This fits into the overall picture and is an ongoing provocation. This is an attempt at an actual annexation on Russia’s part, so our task is to level out any provocation. Our task is to preserve peace, which is vitally important for the country,” Tsikhelashvili stated. According to Russian media, on August 8th Putin plans to visit Abkhazia. Putin will meet with the de facto leader, the President of Abkhazia, Raul Khajimba. The last time Putin visited Abkhazia was in 2013. Tbilisi broke diplomatic relations with Moscow as the result of war with Georgia in 2008, when Russia recognized the sovereignty of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two autonomous regions that were the part of Georgia. Besides Russia,Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Nauru have recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The European Union does not recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and has declared support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia. In July, the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the current process an actual annexation of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region already occupied by Russia the most important foreign policy challenge for Georgia.
The Russian president wants more than anything for his country to be seen as an equal of the United States.
Paul Goble Staunton, August 3 – Sixty ethnic Tuvin professional soldiers clashed with about 100 ethnic Russian professional soldiers at a sergeants training academy in Yelan in Sverdlovsk oblast earlier this week. The fighting turned violent and 14 of the soldiers remain hospitalized, according to regional news agencies (ura.news/news/1052299414). According to anonymous inside sources, “three months ago approximately 60 contract soldiers arrived from Tuva to take courses” so that they could be promoted. On the night before graduation, they purchased alcohol to celebrate but “having gotten drunk, they recalled” the hostility and mistreatment they had encountered from the ethnic Russian soldiers. Armed with knives and clubs, they threw themselves on the Russians, wounding 13 soldiers and one officer. An investigation has begun, and the defense ministry is supposedly flying in from Moscow. But officials have gone out of their say to say that no guns were used in the clash (nakanune.ru/news/2017/8/3/22478334/). On the one hand, many may be tempted to dismiss this as the result of alcohol at a time of graduation ceremonies; but on the other, this event may be far more serious than the usual incidents of “dedovshchina” that are routinely reported which involve what the Russians calls “non-standard behavior” by one group of soldiers against others, usually more junior draftees. There are at least three reasons for the conclusion, one that will be most worrisome to Russian commanders. First, these were all professional soldiers, people who had been screened for longterm service as sergeants in the Russian army. If they are so deeply split ethnically as to come to blow, unit cohesion below them is likely to be even more problematic. Second, the relative size of the two components – 60 Tuvins to 100 ethnic Russians – reflects the demographic decline of the Russian nation and the fact that Moscow is increasingly forced to draft or recruit as professionals ever more non-Russians who continue to grow at a more rapid rate than do the Russians. And third, the fact that it was the Tuvans in this case is likely to be worrisome not only because Russian commanders have typically viewed the Tuvans as more loyal and obedient than the North Caucasians whom it still does not draft heavily or promote but have chosen to promote them. If Moscow can no longer count on non-Russian nations like the Tuvins, it can’t count on almost anyone other than ethnic Russians. There will thus be fallout from this clash, but it remains to be seen how much of it will be reported.
Paul Goble Staunton, August 3 – Many people accuse Vladimir Putin of destroying Russia, film director Andrey Konchalovsky says; but instead “Russia has destroyed Putin” because like any Russian ruler, he finds it hard “rule a state whose population has no idea about democracy … and by according to inviolable tradition voluntarily delegates all power to one single individual.” In a wide-ranging interview to Germany’s Spiegel magazine, the noted film director says that Putin began with a “pro-Western” orientation but has been forced by the nature of the Russian people to become like his predecessors (magazin.spiegel.de/SP/2017/30/152270478/; in Russian atphilologist.livejournal.com/9493875.html). What people need to understand, Konchalovsky says, is that Russians are “an archaic nation, the majority of its people live in the stone age even though they use i-phones. And as far as [its] system of values compared to Europe, [Russians] are in the 11th or 12th centuries when there was no bourgeoisie and no citizens. Marx wrong about this.” Russians “never had property,” he points out, “and when an individual does not have anything that he must defend or can sell, he cannot understand what a market economy is. As a result, many Russians cannot understand Germans and Germans, Russians: there exist different systems of priorities” and in fact a clash of “two civilizations.” And there is an additional problem: “Russian thought is Manichean: there is only light and darkness, black or white. And that is one of the reasons for the crisis-like development of our society. Dialogue between the left and the right in Russia will never lead to reconciliation or agreement.” Asked about his recent film, “The White Nights of Postman Aleksey Tryapitsyn,” Konchalovsky says that he doesn’t view it as denigrating Russia in any way. Instead, the film “simply shows the life of people whom [he] loves and who however strange this may seem don’t suffer.” Such people can’t be harmed by Western sanctions, he says. “They have lived their entire life under sanctions. They don’t run off in search of French camembert because it has suddenly disappeared from the shelves of stores.” Instead, their response will be to become more patriotic, and if a war begins, they will rally round the Kremlin. “But when there is no war,” Konchalovsky continues, “then the national idea will disappear into thin air.” Asked to explain his statement that in Russia, “everything is possible except reforms,” the director says that he “had in mind successful reforms. We still haven’t cracked the Russian cultural code … the German one is more understandable than [the Russian].” That is because the Russian is “a peasant” while the German “from birth” is either a rural resident or a bourgeois.” Compared to the bourgeois, “the peasant has completely different qualities: he is always hostile to the state because it constantly wants to take something from him. The West isn’t in a position to understand this: The CIA in the 1990s thought that the situation would lead to revolts of the hungry.” That was “complete nonsense,” the director says. “In Russia, there cannot be any revolts of the hungry because Russians are always prepared for hunger. Their patience is so great that they can survive injustice.” And that sets them apart from the West. This is “a conflict of two civilizations” and between “such different worlds, there will always be hostility.” The current round, he says, is the West’s fault. “The Western man will always be afraid of the Russian,” Konchalovsky says, “even if there is nothing in him to fear. But then he will drink vodka with him and everything will be fine.”
Paul Goble Staunton, August 3 – “Stalinist,” like many epithets, is not so much an explanation as something that needs to be explained, US-based Russian historian Irina Pavlova says; and in a new post, she argues that Stalinists are best understood as people who share five particular and interrelated beliefs (ivpavlova.blogspot.com/2017/08/blog-post.html#more). First of all, she says, a Stalinist is someone who supports traditional Russian statehood and great power. Indeed, “the basis of Stalinism lies Russian state traditions …as embodied in the rule of Ivan the Terrible.” During more liberal periods in Russian history, these ideas have receded into the background somewhat, but they have never disappeared. “With Stalin, [these views] reached their logical end point,” with the state viewing itself as surrounded by enemies and having as its domestic task the establishment of tight control over the population so that the country will not fall apart and as its foreign ones increasing its influence and power and showing Russia to be a great power. That means, Pavlova says, that “the state in Russia is not the civil service [as is the case in other countries] but [an independent] demiurge-power. Power itself is the highest value, it is always primary and the people are always secondary, even though formally the Stalinist declares the Russian multi-national people as the source of all power.” Second, Pavlova continues, “a Stalinist is a supporter of ethnic Russian state nationalism. The ideal of the Stalinist is only a centralized and unitary state … [and] in this Russian picture of the world, federation as a system of government organization is alien both to the supreme power and to public consciousness,” whatever the country is called. That view is widely shared in the population and even among “various representatives of the so-called elite and anti-Putin opposition,” the historian points out. Indeed, among both systemic liberals and nationalists, “the majority are supporters of the great power position and imperialists.” Third, she says, “a Stalinist is a supporter of government ownership and control not only of natural resources but of industry and also of the active interference of the state in the development of science, culture, the social sphere and health care.” Often Stalinists criticize Putin for failing to carrying out “a new industrialization of the country.” Fourth, “a Stalinist is a supporter of the development of military industry which in his language is always called not military but defense. In reality, the purpose of this industry is entirely different: not defense against an external enemy but the affirmation of the status of Russia as a great power in the world by force of arms and the militarization of his own country.” Fifth, a Stalinist is someone whose consciousness is opposed to law. “He may call for ‘the dictatorship of law,’ but the orders of the supreme power, as a rule, secret are for him always ‘higher than formal legality,’” and he is quite prepared to use “illegal methods” against corruption or other ills. And sixth, “a Stalinist is a supporter of social projects introduced ‘from above,’ be it socialism, democracy or a legal state.” Thus, “calls to ‘build socialism in one country’” are for a Stalinist equivalent to “calls to ‘build a democratic legal state.’ In any case, this means actions ‘from above,’” and that inevitably involves “force and repressions.”
“Stalinist,” like many epithets, is not so much an explanation as something that needs to be explained, US-based Russian historian Irina Pavlova says; and in a new post, she argues that Stalinists are best understood as people who share five particular and interrelated beliefs.
In northwestern Russia, residents are frequently reminded that their village was once home to one of Soviet leader Josef Stalin’s notorious gulags. Bones of the camp’s victims are often found in the surrounding forest. Correspondent Vadim Kondakov of Current Time TV, the Russian-language network run by RFE/RL in cooperation with VOA, spoke with a man who is trying to bring dignity to the victim’s remains.
Paul Goble Staunton, August 3 – The Russian authorities have long promoted the idea that whatever is is forever as “an effective means of convincing people that the powers that be are always right” and that it is impossible and even dangerous to try to change anything, according to Gazeta journalist Semyon Novoprudsky. In an essay published today, the journalist says that he calls this “the syndrome of ‘imaginary eternity’” and sees evidence of this all the time. When the US introduced sanctions or Russian introduced counter-sanctions, the Kremlin described all of these things as “’forever’” even when it should have been obvious that they had a beginning, a middle and an end (gazeta.ru/comments/column/novoprudsky/10815265.shtml). And that propagandistic argument has created an atmosphere for statements equally untrue, Novoprudsky says, that “’relations of Russia and the West were NEVER good’” and that “’in Russia there will NEVER be reforms of changes for the better.’” But the idea is not new: in Soviet times, the regime claimed the republics would always be together. In fact, the Gazeta journalist points out, this “’forever’” lasted less than 69 years, about the length of a single human life time. And none of its leaders from first to last managed that even though their spokespeople insisted that each of them was forever and irreplaceable as well. Despite the regime’s claims, “nothing is eternal under the moon, and therefore ‘nevers” and ‘forevers’ do not exist in politics. The borders of states and even the states themselves are not eternal. Nor are the longest-ruling leaders eternal” however much they seek to convince their populations otherwise. “The syndrome of ‘imaginary eternity’ in general is entirely understandable,” he continues. “Its parents are the brevity of an individual human life and the fear of (sometimes on the contrary the desire for) change.” But understanding where it comes from does not make it any less dangerous even if it often is unnoticed, Novoprudsky says. That is because it is “a powerful weapon of manipulation” for the elites who use it to control their populations. “Its main message is that ‘the future is impossible.’ Everything will always be as it is now. There is only a great past and the only correct present that directly follows it. And if you try to change something, things will only be worse.” But where people try or not, “changes all the same are inevitable.” And as a result, “the syndrome of ‘imaginary eternity’ is the main enemy of normal development” because it suggests that people should not try to act but rather accept the system others have imposed and the future such as it is that these others project. With the help of this syndrome, he continues, “the authorities are really trying to stop time, to paralyze the will of the nation to changes and development. ‘Sanctions are forever.’ ‘They will always hate us.’ ‘The West is the eternal enemy.’” – all these are attempts to stop time where it is now rather than be open to change or even to the possibility of working for change. “In reality,” Novoprudsky says, “today was never exactly like yesterday and tomorrow will not be exactly like today. Ideas, the environment, and people all change. Denying that may help some people to live, to cope with what they do not believe they can change or should try to change. The future will be different, but here is “one additional important detail,” the journalist concludes, “no one says that other times will necessarily be better.”
I have long wanted to write about what I call the “imaginary eternity” syndrome or the fatalism of Russian public consciousness and political discourse for myself. For the Russian authorities, this is perhaps the most effective way to convince people that any bosses are always right, that things are invariably going in the right direction. And – the main thing – is that nothing can be changed anyway. Do not even try. The “imaginary eternity” syndrome arises when, say, America introduces new sanctions against Russia. Or Russia versus America. And right away – just one-time – there are a dozen identical headlines in our media out of the computer monitor: “Sanctions FOREVER” (my cap). Or else, this idea is constantly being slurred – mostly in the mouths of the supporters of the current Russian government: “Russia’s relations with the West will NEVER be good.” And opponents of the regime categorically categorically state: “In Russia, there will NEVER be reforms and changes for the better.” And, of course, supporters with opponents are in solidarity with the fact that the “current” Russian government is forever. It started not today or yesterday. Here, for example, the words of the Soviet anthem: “The Union of the indestructible republics of the free rallied the Great Naval Forces”. This “forever” lasted incomplete 69 years. One is not the longest human life. In the USSR, “forever” was also the only (because – according to a well-known anecdote – the second simply can not feed) the ruling party of the CPSU, however, changing its names. At the same time, the line of the party changed many times, yesterday’s leaders of the country turned out to be “foreign spies” and shot, and after Stalin’s death, in more vegetarian times, they retired against their will. “Forever” was first Stalin, then – to a lesser extent – Khrushchev. And then, for sure, “forever” – dear Leonid Ilyich. At the same time Brezhnev ruled the country “only” 18 years, and Stalin – yes, “whole” 31 years. But still, neither one nor the other period is equal to eternity. Our current main official enemy – the United States – has not yet hit 350. Is it possible to say that we have never had and will not have good relations? These relations were very different. What in them (for the time being) really was never, so it’s a hot war with each other. Just 150 years ago, in March 1867, the Russian Empire in general officially sold the territory of Alaska to the North American States for 7 million dollars.
Inozemtsev: Russian Empire’s special features haven’t disappeared in Russia today | EUROMAIDAN PRESSInozemtsev: Russian Empire’s special features haven’t disappeared in Russia today -Euromaidan Press |
Three specific and even unique characteristics of the Russian Empire in the past have not disappeared in the Russian Federation of today but instead continue to drive both the foreign and domestic policies of the Kremlin, according to Moscow commentator Vladislav Inozemtsev.
Vadim Pogodin, a militant of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” (DPR) who has been released in the Crimea, could give evidence about the individuals involved in the crash of the MN17 aircraft in the Donbas in the summer of 2014, as reported by Novaya Gazeta. Ukrainian authorities suspect Pogodin of the brutal murder of schoolboy Stepan Chubenko, and have demanded his extradition. However, deputies in Russia, as well as former militant leaders, including Sergei Dubinsky aka Hmuriy (“Gloomy”) in particular, who played a role in the case of the MH17 crash and is allegedly responsible for moving the ‘Buk’, missile system, have spoken out against extradition. The newspaper emphasizes that, in addition to the old friendship between these militants, they are united by their shared knowled of who, in 2014, got the Russian Buk missile system that shot down the plane. “And of course, the extradition of any of them to Ukraine (under any pretext) could be a gift for investigators in the MH17 case (Ukraine is one of the five countries participating in the investigation under the leadership of the Netherlands),” the publication notes. At the same time, the publication notes that the former leader of the DPR, Alexander Boroday, particularly highlighted Hmuriy’s concern about the possible extradition of Pogodin. “The fact that Boroday has highlighted the anxiety of ”Hmuriy is the most noteworthy detail in his speech [in an interview with one of the editions]. The alarm of the most vilified figure of the MH17 case, voiced publicly, can be seen as a reminder of himself: do you confirm there (in Moscow) my immunity, and Moscow confirms…a few months before the Netherlands presented the final accusations and the disclosure of the names of all those involved in the tragedy. The sadist not only avoids extradition but is free as well. As is now becoming clear, there will be no suit against him, neither in Russia, nor even in the DPR,” summed up Novaya Gazeta. Earlier it was reported that the General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine (GPO) did not receive a response from the Russian Federation about the transfer of Pogodin suspected of killing a schoolboy in Donetsk. “The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine has not received an official response from the Russian Federation about the transfer to Ukrainian law enforcers of former head of the ‘Kerch’ battalion, Pogodin, who brutally killed Ukrainian citizen Stepan Chubenko in the Donbas and was subsequently detained in the Crimea,” the GPO stated.
Russia's Communications and Mass Media Ministry has prepared draft legislation that would impose fines for the distribution of foreign newspapers and magazines without the permission of th…
For expertise on shipbuilding in Russia-annexed Crimea, a 19-year-old marketing student based in Paris might seem like an unusual choice. But for many observers in Russia, where children o…
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he will "think about" running for a fourth term as president in the election scheduled for March 2018. Speaking at a public gathering near Lak…
Campaign workers for Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny say a group called Otryady Putina (Putin's Brigades) attacked Navalny's local headquarters in the city of Krasnodar on Augus…
A Russian court on August 3 ordered opposition leader Aleksei Navalny and two of his associates to pay fines for distributing leaflets at an unauthorized rally in Moscow last month. Navalny sai…
A court in Ukraine’s Russia-controlled Crimea region has sentenced pro-Kyiv activist Volodymyr Balukh to prison on charges of weapons and explosives possession he says was politically motivated…
SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine – Resolutions from the UN General Assembly and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crime…
A Russian activist in the southern region of Krasnodar jailed for propagating extremism and separatism online has started a hunger strike in custody, her mother says. Darya Polyudova's mother…
A Russian opposition activist who was extradited by Belarus has been sent to pretrial detention in a politically charged extremism case, his lawyer says.
Authorities in the Russian Republic of Tatarstan have demolished houses belonging to the Romany minority, saying they were built illegally.
The European Court of Human Rights has issued an extraordinary order barring the transfer of a journalist in Russia to the autocratic Central Asia county of Uzbekistan, the journalist's defens…
Russian officials said on August 3 that they will never accept a demand from world anti-doping authorities that they acknowledge that the state oversaw a mass sports doping operation and cover-up. …
Russian authorities say rescuers are trying evacuate more than 150 workers from a flooded Siberian diamond mine.
“Doublethink” is defined as “holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.” That word is from George…
Tanks from Russia, China, Iran and more are battling it out in Russia in a gigantic spectacle competing for the title of best tank.
The railway platforms carrying the military vehicles were spotted in the center of the Belarusian capital.Airborne combat vehicles and other military equipment arrived at the Minsk-Pasazhyrski railway station on specialized railway platforms. A reader reported this to the Charter97.org, having also sent a photo of the military vehicles to the editor’s office. The airborne combat vehicles bear no symbols which would indicate their relatedness to any state, there is only the number 624. Most likely, the readers believe, these machines are Russian and remain a part of the military group which is to be sent to Belarus on 4162 railway platforms.Important to note, recently the Brest residents spotted and photographed the “Hurricane” multiple-launch rocket systems a few hundred meters away from the border with Poland. In autumn, Belarus plans to hold joint Russian-Belarusian exercises West-2017, in which an unprecedented number of Russian troops and military equipment will take part. According to many military experts and politicians, after the exercises a part of the contingent of the Russian Federation will remain in Belarus with the goal of “soft occupation” of our country.
MINSK — The offices of two major independent trade unions in Belarus have been raided and searched by financial police. The headquarters of the Union of Workers of Electronic Outputs Producin…
According to Ukrainian Ambassador to Belarus Igor Kizim, Belarusian companies supplying products to the DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic) and LPR (Luhansk People’s Republic) will be sanctioned. Belorusskie Novosti newspaper’s correspondent asked Kizim about the position of Ukrainian authorities regarding the deliveries of Belarusian products to the uncontrolled territories, while noting that Belarusian producers “sometimes do not hide that they directly work with Donetsk and Luhansk or supply goods to the Crimea.” The ambassador replied, “The issue is also ambiguous, because the presence of Belarusian goods on the shelves in shops in temporarily uncontrolled territories does not always mean direct deliveries. Sometimes Belarusian goods get there through intermediaries who buy them from Russian companies. We warn our Belarusian counterparts officially: if the Belarusian companies directly deliver products to separatists, sanctions will be imposed against them, and not only by Ukraine. We will try to do everything so that these sanctions would be introduced by the European Union also,” the ambassador said. “It should be understood that not only diplomats work; special services work also. And in case the relevant data is found, the Ukrainian market will be closed to such companies, with a 100% probability. Recently, Belsat TV published an investigation into the deliveries. For example, Kommunarka admitted that it works directly with Donetsk,” Kizim added. According to the ambassador, in case of confirmation of this data, Kommunarka will definitely be added to the black list and will be unable to deliver products to the territory of Ukraine. In a related move, the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko recently guaranteed Ukraine security from the north, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said the day before.
Transnistria / Moldova Reports
Russia imposed a temporary ban on the supply of live pigs and pig products from Romania a few days after Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin was refused entry into the country, reported by Novosti with reference to a statement by Rosselkhoznadzor (Russia’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance). Russia explained that the reason for the ban on the supply of live pigs and pig products from Romania is the outbreak of African swine fever in the country. “Rosselkhoznadzor reports that in connection with the registration of the outbreak of African swine fever in Romania, since August 2, 2017, temporary restrictions have been imposed on the importation of live pigs, their genetic material, pork and raw pork meat products, and the meat of wild boars,” the report states. In addition, since August 2, temporary restrictions on the transit of live pigs from Romania, as well as live pigs that are transported through Romania to Russia, are also being imposed in the territory of the Russian Federation. As reported, on July 28 Rogozin was supposed to visit Moldova on the invitation of its president Igor Dodon. As part of the visit, Rogozin intended to participate in events in Transnistria. There were plans for a meeting of the Moldovan president and Transnistrian President Vadim Krasnoselsky in Bender with Rogozin’s participation. On July 28, Romanian authorities did not allow Rogozin, who was flying in a passenger plane, to fly through their territory, and so the plan landed in Minsk, from where the Russian deputy prime minister returned to Moscow, and the other passengers flew to Chișinău. Since Rogozin did not arrive, the Transnistrian authorities refused to meet with Dodon. At the same time, in an interview with Moldovan TV channel NTV, Rogozin said that Vladimir Plahotniuc, leader of the ruling Democratic Party in Moldova, stands behind the disruption of his trip to Chișinău and Tiraspol. Furthermore, he noted that suggestions regarding response measures will be prepared for Russia’s political leadership.
In response to the tightening of US sanctions as well as the US’s expected allocation of lethal weapons to Ukraine, Russia is planning a number of military and organizational events which will improve its abilities to escalate combat action in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, LB.ua reports, citing a high-ranking source in the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. “We are noting that alongside the increase in intensity of combat and, correspondingly, shipments of ammunition and weapons for its groups of forces in the Donbas, Moscow is considering the matter of legalizing and admitting not only humanitarian, but also military aid, to ‘people’s republics’” the media outlet’s source stated.Furthermore, a decision has been made by the Russian command to abandon the practice of appointing local collaborators (including those based in Crimea) to lower level command positions (platoon commander, battalion commander) and to return to the appointment of only regular officers of the Russian Armed Forces to such positions. The intention is for this step to improve the manageability of forces in the separatist-held regions of the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces, first and foremost at the first echelon of the existing corps. As reported, on August 2, US President Donald Trump signed a bill introducing sanctions against Iran, North Korea and Russia. The primary significance of the new law is that it deprives the president of the ability to lift the sanctions against Russia without the consent of Congress. The law consolidates and supplements the large number of documents on sanctions against Russia adopted previously, following the annexation of the Crimea and the start of the conflict in the Donbas. The document does not directly introduce any new measures, and does not obligate the president to introduce them.
Ukraine and Russia face off in Twitter rematch with South Park gif, after Simpsons meme.
While Russia had a rather unique reaction on Twitter to the recently-signed sanctions bill: a video of a folk festival set to a metal song, Ukraine came up with a witty comeback, according to Townhall. News 04 August from UNIAN.
Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov during a working trip to Pokrovsk August 3 inspected the pro-Russian TV jamming system, which will be installed along the entire line of demarcation, as reported on the municipal website. In Pokrovsk, the first pilot installation of an integrated information countermeasures system was set up, which allows for a complete blocking of pro-Russian TV and radio channels and simultaneously a very good reception of all Ukrainian ones. Now we have checked its performance – it is working very well. In a few months, it will be installed along the entire line of demarcation,” Turchynov said. As reported by the press center of the Anti-Terrorist Operation Headquarters, a technique for suppressing television broadcasting from the territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions beyond the Ukrainian government control has been developed one of Ukraine’s major companies. The system allows to effectively hinder broadcast of up to 10 TV channels simultaneously. Read also Another TV tower to be erected in Luhansk region to air Ukrainian TV programs At frequencies that are being blocked, this technique ensures unobstructed operation of Ukrainian channels.
Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov has tested the first prototype of the complex information countermeasures system in the area of responsibility of the operational-tactical grouping ‘Donetsk.’
04.08.17 10:40 – NSDC Secretary Turchynov tested system that jams anti-Ukrainian broadcast in Donbas. PHOTOS Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov has tested the first developmental prototype of a complex system for information countermeasures. Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov has tested the first developmental prototype of a complex system for information countermeasures. Censor.NET reports citing the NSDC press service. Turchynov said the complex system for information countermeasures, as promised, should be deployed along the demarcation line in the Donbas and will “allow efficiently jamming anti-Ukrainian broadcast.” Read more: Regimes in Russia and North Korea are becoming more similar to each other, and world gets to understand it, – Turchynov “It’s important that this system allows blocking selected analogue, digital, and satellite TV and radio channels that broadcast separatist and pro-Russian propaganda, and at the same time without interfering with Ukrainian broadcast,” NSDC secretary said. He reminded that the funds for the system were allocated by the Cabinet upon his request. Turchynov said the tests were successful: “Russian and separatist channels have been reliably blocked, and Ukrainian were unhindered and reached receivers.” It requires about four months to deploy the system along the entire demarcation line.
A new jamming TV satellite broadcast system was successfully tested in Ukraine’s war-torn Donbas on Aug. 3, according to Oleksandr Turchynov, the head of the National Security and Defense Council. The system was launched in the Ukrainian-controlled city of Pokrovsk (formerly known as Kransoarmeisk), 537 kilometers southeast of Kyiv. It would be the first one among many others the council plans to launch along the contact line in eastern Ukraine. “This system allows to selectively block analogue, digital and satellite TV and radio signals that spread separatist and pro-Russian propaganda, while not interfering with the work of the Ukrainian television and radio broadcasting,” Turchynov said after he checked the system and added that everything works well. The funds for the system were allocated from the Cabinet of Minister’s reserve fund.
04.08.2017 09:38. The United States should help Ukraine rebuild its military fleet, which has virtually been destroyed during Russia's occupation of Crimea, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia Michael Carpenter has said. ”While U.S. security assistance has rightly focused to date on the land forces fighting in the Donbas, Ukraine needs additional support to build a small and nimble ‘mosquito fleet’ to disrupt potential Russian aggression along its coast,” he wrote in an article for the Defense One magazine. In his opinion, the States should also expand the mandate of its military training mission in Ukraine. “The current U.S. training program for Ukraine’s military – by far the single most effective aspect of U.S. security assistance – should also be expanded from its current focus on small unit tactics to more sophisticated combined arms training,” the expert said. According to him, Washington should also increase the amount of financial assistance to increase Ukraine’s defense capability. “The $150 million appropriated under the current fiscal year’s act is wholly insufficient for a country at war with a much larger neighbor determined to keep the conflict going indefinitely,” Carpenter emphasized.
04.08.2017 09:25. Militants launched 21 attacks on positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in ATO area in Donbas over the past day.
Russian-occupation forces after 18:00 on Thursday, August 3, have somewhat intensified fire on Ukrainian positions in Donbas, mostly from small arms, the press center of the ATO Headquarters wrote on Facebook. News 04 August from UNIAN.
Odesa law enforcers have detained a suspect in a July 24 car bombing in the city center, the press service of the regional SBU Security Service office told UNIAN. The suspect, who is believed to have organized the terrorist act in the center of Odesa, was detained on August 2 by a team of SBU operatives, prosecutors, and police. It is noted that law enforcers first detained near the line of contact in a conflict zone in eastern Ukraine the perpetrator of the terrorist act, an internally displaced man from the occupied areas. Later into the special operation, the operatives arrested his accomplice in Odesa, who operated under the guise of a refugee from the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (“DPR”). Read also Car explodes outside office of patriotic organization in Odesa Employees of the Security Service of Ukraine found that the detainees were part of a covert group set up by Russian intelligence operatives to destabilize the situation in southern Ukraine. Training and payment were carried out in the territory of Russia, the law enforcers say. The SBU documented the criminals’ contacts with their Russian supervisors, including via encrypted communication channels. As UNIAN reported, on July 24, a black VAZ 2101 vehicle exploded in the center of Odesa. An improvised explosive device was used, according to CSI experts.
04.08.17 11:48 – Ukrainian military downed Russian drone in Azov sea area. VIDEO Fighters of Ukraine Armed Forces stationed in Azov sea area (Pryazovia) have downed a drone belonging to pro-Russian separatists. The UAV that was gathering data for Russian mercenaries fighting against Ukrainian troops in the Donbas was flying at about 800 m altitude. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n11R1elQQEo&feature=youtu.be [ZU-23-2]
04.08.17 14:37 – One military killed, five traumatized in ammunition explosion during drills in Kyiv region, – General Staff The wounded military have been provided with medical aid and taken to a hospital. View news.
Published on July 31, 2017 Lugansk direction We met with Hope exactly when she adapted her masking for further tasks as part of the ATO’s forces. But the most interesting thing was further, when the sniper girl invited us to shoot his modern rifle with a thermal imager a few kilometers from the enemy …
Soldiers from the NATO countries will take part in the parade of troops on Ukraine’s Independence Day in Kyiv, Defence Minister Stepan Poltorak told reporters Friday. “We are currently in talks, I reckon up to 10 countries will participate, in particular the Baltic states. We are negotiating with all the Alliance and the country that wants to join NATO – Georgia,” Poltorak said. He said six countries have confirmed the participation of their servicemen in Kyiv parade. 4.5 thousand Ukrainian military are going to take part in the parade, including one thousand participants in the anti-terrorist operation in Donbas. Among the participants of the parade there will also be 200 fighters awarded for courage. 70 samples of military equipment will be demonstrated, of which 25 are completely new, the minister said.
At least 700 people came to the territory of the Antonov factory airfield near the city of Kyiv for another rehearsal of the Independence Day military parade, TSN news service reported. Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak has arrived at the Antonov airfield to inspect the rehearsal and join the act. Some 4,500 Ukrainian servicemen will take part in the current parade, Poltorak told reporters. In addition, military units of Ukraine’s partner countries will march in formations on Kyiv’s main street for the first time in the history of Ukraine’s independence, TSN correspondent reported. The United Kingdom, Estonia and Latvia have already confirmed participation. More confirmations from other partners may follow, the reporter hinted. Besides military personnel, some 70 pieces of military equipment, of which 25 are brand new pieces, will also be part of the parade on August 24, according to Minister Poltorak.
August 02, 2017 – 15:51 By Halya Coynash. for Human Rights in Ukraine A so-called military court in the self-proclaimed ‘Luhansk people’s republic’ [LPR] has sentenced two Ukrainians to huge sentences for what it calls ‘state treason’. Since the alleged ‘treason’ involved spreading ‘negative information’ on the Internet, it seems likely that one of the two…
18 people included in the lists for the exchange of prisoners are categorically against being transferred to a territory beyond Ukraine’s control, as stated by the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, Valeriya Lutkovska, UNIAN reports. Lutkovska said that the exchange of prisoners within the framework of the Minsk process is now at the stage of clarifying the lists. She noted that 18 people who were included in the exchange lists “categorically refuse to be transferred to the territory which is not under control of the Ukrainian government.” She also added that the so-called LPR (Luhansk People’s Republic) and DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic) included people in the lists who were in no way involved in the events in the east of Ukraine. “For example, there is a person who committed a crime in the Kyiv region. Why should he be as a part of this exchange?” Lutkovska maintained that representatives of the so-called DPR agreed with her position, and that the LPR separatists are still working and are not ready to confirm the lists. “Now, the exact number of Ukrainian prisoners held by the separatists is unknown, since we can only talk about the list of prisoners confirmed by them. There are 70 such people now… They promise to confirm a couple more but we are requesting much more: 137 people who, according to our information, are in uncontrolled territory.” Lutkovska also added that the formation of the exchange lists is significantly hampered by the fact that Ukraine does not have access to the uncontrolled territories to find out exactly how many captured Ukrainians are there. In this issue she hopes for the help of the coordinator of the humanitarian subgroup in the Tripartite Contact Group, Toni Frisch. “We are ready to open remand centers isolators for him [Frisch], but on parity conditions: confidential communication with prisoners. However, if he is accompanied by people with machine guns in Donetsk or Makiivka, what parity can we speak of?” the ombudsman asked.
The mother of two Ukrainian government soldiers is on desperate hunt to learn the fate of her sons who went missing in action in eastern Ukraine in 2014. Kateryna Khomyak’s sons were among more than 400 soldiers the Ukrainian government says are missing after battling Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. (YouTube, RFE/RL’s Current Time TV)
Modern superheroes “Protectors of the country.” The graphic novel about the ATO fighters has been presented in Kyiv. This is the 4th issue of the Ukrainian comic, out of 10 planned issues. The first three issues cover the events in Donbas. The new issue is about the occupied Crimea. “It is a graphic novel, which tells about the confrontation of the country Krayina with the country Taigan. There is a struggle for artifacts. The artifacts have their special purpose: when they are in different parts of the world, they preserve peace and tranquility all over the world,” says Ihor Rohovoy, Author of ‘Protectors of the Country’. Such is the plot of the comics ‘Protectors of the Country.’ The main characters are modern Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar warriors. They have historical names that recall the founders of Kyiv: “Kyi”, “Shchek”, “Khoryv” and “Lybid”. There is also- Asker, Dzenike, and Mustafa. The last mentioned is modeled off of the leader of the Crimean Tatars, Mustafa Dzhemilev. “This is a person through whose eyes everyone learns about Crimea. His whole life is a struggle for his people. He spent 15 years in Soviet camps for his principles. And yet he is still deprived of the opportunity to be in Crimea, the place for which he fought all his life,” says Emine Dzhaparova, First Deputy Minister of Information Policy of Ukraine. Other characters are inspired by a blend of ATO fighters. They fight for the freedom and integrity of the country. All the characters, as well as the storyline itself, are approved by users of social networks. Every issue ends with the victory of good over evil. In order to prop up the morale of active soldiers, some volunteers send comics to the front line. “It is for our guys who sacrifice their lives, which we see in the news bulletins every day. And these comics might help them resist the enemy. It is a small kind of achievement but it still can do good,” explains Leonid Krasnopolskiy, Designer and Producer of Graphic Novel ‘Protectors of the Country’. Fictional stories in comics are based on true stories that took place in Ukraine. Distribution of the comics at schools has been planned, for the young generation to know about, and to be proud of the real modern super-heroes, who defend their native land. The next issue, the 5th, will be released in September. In total, 10 issues are planned.
04.08.17 16:14 – Some media report that Ukrainian military theme is gaining popularity is certain circles of Japanese society. Censor.NET reports citing Ukrainski Novyny. The artist @msc_nm publishes his anime pictures of Ukrainian military and patriots on Twitter. His drawings feature young people with chevrons of Ukrainian Security Service, and Donbas and Azov battalions. Erepublik website reported that certain circles of population in Japan are becoming fans of war artifacts from Russia-occupied areas of Ukrainian Donbas. The authors of the article reported the Japanese youth are fans of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and buy clothes, chevrons, flags, and weapon models with its insignia. A computer game featuring the Donbas war has been also created in Japan. One of the Japanese anime series has a character name Ukraine (below), who was born on Aug. 24, Ukraine’s Independence Day.
When U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis arrives for his upcoming Ukraine visit, he should bring promises of arms for the military and support for anti-corruption forces and the country’s defense industry, Defense One writes. News 03 August from UNIAN.
“Ukraine, a very serious issue. We will continue to hold Russia accountable to that. We just appointed Kurt Volker to go out and deal with part of that issue…
The U.S. Department of State says Washington will continue its work to hold Russia accountable for the aggression in Ukraine, that's according to Heather Nauert, the Department's spokesperson. “Ukraine, a very serious issue. We will continue to hold Russia accountable to that,” Nauert told reporters at a briefing August 3. “We just appointed Kurt Volker to go out and deal with part of that issue. You know how important that is to us to try to maintain or try to get back Ukraine’s integrity and territorial sovereignty. That is something that we are passionate about. That is a direct effect because of Russian activities and some of the things that they have done. Just because we want to find areas of cooperation and to improve the relationship in – with Russia where we can because they are also a nuclear superpower does not mean that we will turn a blind eye to some of the bad acts that they are involved with, such as Ukraine,” the spokesperson said.
Law No. 2120-VIII on strengthening liability for cruelty toward animals has entered into force in Ukraine August 4, after being published in the official newspaper of the Verkhovna Rada, "Holos Ukrainy." The new legislation defines cruel treatment of animals, which includes abuse, beatings or other violent acts that inflicted physical pain, suffering, and did not cause bodily harm, mutilation, or death, abandonment of animals, including violation of animal welfare rules. All these actions entail a fine from UAH 3,400 to UAH 5,100 with the confiscation of the pet if the animal’s stay at the owner poses a threat to its life or health. If two or more animals are abused, or the perpetrators acted in a group, or if it was a repeated act, a severer punishment is stipulated – a fine of UAH 5,100 to UAH 8,500, or an administrative arrest up to 15 days with confiscation of the animal if necessary. Read also Rada mulls making illegal border crossing criminal offense, for Russians The Criminal Code is supplemented by the article “cruel treatment of animals,” providing for arrest for up to six months or restriction of freedom for up to three years. If the act of animal abuse has been performed in the presence of a minor, the restriction or liberty or imprisonment for 3-5 years is foreseen. Those treating animals with grave cruelty face up to 8 years in prison.
Canadian Minister of International Trade Francois-Philippe Champagne has said on Twitter that the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada supports the agreement on the establishment of a free trade zone with Ukraine. News 03 August from UNIAN.
Veronika Movchan, Ricardo Giucci The provisional application of the deep and comprehensive free trade area (DCFTA) between the EU and Ukraine January 2016. After one year, the German Advisory Group Ukraine assesses the implementation of the treaty by Ukraine by reviewing seven fields: market access, industrial product safety, food safety, customs, public procurement, protection of intellectual property rights and competition policy. Overall, Ukraine is making good progress in the implementation of the treaty and work is mostly on track. The biggest success story relates to public procurement, in which new legislation and procedures create preconditions for the mutual opening of the public procurement market between Ukraine and the EU. However, there were two explicit breaches regarding market access. First, the export duties for metal scrap were increased. Second, a ten-year ban on exports of wood logs was adopted, creating undue preferences to domestic wood processing companies. In the fields of protection of property rights and competition policy, the legislation is already largely in line with the international norms. However, the real situation is still far from optimal and there is a need to enforce legislation more vigorously.
Is economic recovery on the cards? Prof.Sunil Kumar Sharma In the latest economic data released by the World Bank (WB), a marked improvement has been projected for Ukraine’s economic growth. A WB report for June shows that, though the GDP growth rate for 2017 would remain at 2% as projected earlier, there has been a noticeable change for better for 2018 and 2019. In its revised estimates, WB has changed the earlier stated GDP figures for Ukraine. For 2018 the growth rate would be 3.5% instead of 3.0% as predicted earlier. According to the World Bank, for 2019, Ukraine would consolidate further its economic development and register a good 4% GDP growth, which is a full 1% higher than the 3% growth rate projected earlier. Some of the factors that were considered by the World Bank while improving the economic projections for Ukraine in the coming years are as follows:
The Dnipro was an established water artery from the medieval times of Kyivan Rus, when, as the legend goes, the three brothers of Kyi, Shchek, Khoryv, and their sister Lybid founded the city of Kyiv after arriving at its shores via a boat from the north. In Soviet times, the river was used for both cargo transport and cruises, but the river fleet didn’t withstand the turbulent times of Ukraine’s independence. Today, a barge full of watermelons could be the harbinger of the revival of this cost-efficient transport along Ukraine’s main water channel. The Ukrainian south and especially the Kherson Oblast are famous for its juicy watermelons ripening in August. Up until 1993, they were regularly transported to the Ukrainian capital by river. In 2003, there was an unsuccessful attempt to restore this way of transporting the famous Kherson berries up north (and watermelons are berries by biological classification). The first barge carrying 250 tons of watermelons departed from the Hola Prystan port in Kherson Oblast on 31 July and is almost in Kyiv. This pilot project is a result of a cooperation between 6 local farmer companies, Nibulon, one of the largest grain companies in Ukraine, USAID within the framework of the project “Supporting agrarian and rural development,” and the Silpo supermarket chain, where the watermelons will be sold at cheaper prices. As the business portal svb.ua reported, road transport prices grow by 2-2.5 times during the high season in Ukraine, because alternative modes of transportation are lacking. Difficulties with logistics and sales result in approximately 30% of the watermelon harvest going to waste on the field. There are other problems arising from transportation by lorries: approximately 10-13% of the product is mechanically damaged, and the heavy vehicles deform the hot summer asphalt on their way. On the barge, the watermelons will be packed in special containers which will reduce the transportation losses from 10% to 2-3%. In result, farmers will receive significant savings, and consumers – a better product. Patrick Reider, a project manager at USAID, noted that small farmers usually do not have the opportunity to cooperate with trading networks since they produce relatively small volumes of production. According to him, the watermelon barge project will help agricultural producers of the Kherson Oblast to unite, form large batches of crops, and build a new efficient supply chain from the Kherson Oblast fields to the largest supermarket networks. Modern international logistics and packaging standards will be applied, and consumers will receive a better quality and fresh watermelon, said Reider.
Vitaly Portnikov Saakashvili has every right to defend his political reputation and rights, but he needs to learn to place the interests of the state above his personal ambitions and to respect the country that gave him shelter at a difficult time for him. The former president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili has every reason to be indignant at the revocation of his Ukrainian citizenship. Citizenship in a civilized country can never be an instrument in political games. And this applies both to the process of its granting as to the process of its revocation. The decision by Georgian authorities to strip the former Georgian president of his Georgian citizenship, as well the decision by the Ukrainian leadership to strip the former head of the Odesa Oblast administration of his Ukrainian citizenship, should be considered not only from the legal but also from the political point of view. As should the well-known attempt by Saakashvili himself to deprive Bidzina Ivanishvili of his Georgian citizenship, a decision that was later annulled by the Supreme Court of Georgia. Passport manipulations are unattractive always and everywhere. However, Saakashvili’s indignation must not be transformed into attempts to harm the country whose citizen he wishes to remain and which he claims to love. There is no other way to portray the statement of the former Georgian president that Donald Trump is right on the question of Ukraine’s alleged interference in the US presidential elections. Saakashvili even speaks of “dirty games begun by certain Ukrainian oligarchic circles.” At the same time, he cannot fail to know that the only politician who, during the US election campaign, revealed really significant information about bonuses paid by the Party of Regions to Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort was Saakashvili’s closest ally Serhiy Leshchenko. And the only agency that has confirmed this information was NABU (Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine)– an agency headed by Artem Sytnuk, who has been repeatedly supported by Saakashvili and where Saakashvili’s associate Gizo Uglava also works. Are these people really pawns in “dirty oligarchic games”? And if such a statement is not treasonous then what is treason? Saakashvili probably thinks that this way he gets even with Poroshenko — but he takes his revenge on Ukraine. Saakashvili probably thinks that this way he will draw Trump’s attention — but in his egocentrism he threatens American support for Ukraine. When he speaks about the price that Ukraine supposedly must pay for the “incompetence of its leaders and dirty games” does he know that this price will be paid not by Poroshenko and not even by Leshchenko. It will be paid by ordinary Ukrainians who are defending their country and who need support — first of all, military support. Saakashvili has every right to defend his political reputation and rights — both in the courts and the media. But he needs to learn to place the interests of the state above his own ambitions and to respect the country that gave him shelter at a difficult time for him — even if he has quarreled with the president of that country.
Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports
Across the Middle East, the inevitable question is whether Washington’s apparent willingness to live with North Korean nuclear weapons foreshadows what is to come in Iran.
Russia’s Defense Ministry says it has agreed with Syria’s opposition to create a new safe zone north of the city of Homs.
The Kremlin admits that Russian volunteers may be fighting in Syria, but says that, even so, official data of the Russian Ministry of Defense should be consulted for the number of casualties among Russian soldiers there, reports the Russian media. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated this in regards to Reuters, which alleged that the number of Russians that have been killed in Syria is higher than was officially stated. According to him, the Russian volunteers who may be in Syria have nothing to do with Russia’s support of the Syrian army. “No, we do not see (grounds for re-checking the data on losses). The data (from the Kremlin) comes through the Ministry of Defense, and this data should be relied upon as the official information,” Peskov added. “If there are some Russian citizens in Syria serving as volunteers and so on, this is not through the state and the Ministry of Defense, it has nothing to do with it. So it would be interesting to find out from Reuters where this information comes from and what sources they have,” Peskov said. According to Reuters, at least 40 Russians have been killed in Syria since the beginning of the year. But according to the official numbers from the Russian Ministry of Defense, ten Russian citizens have been killed in Syria this year. Reuters notes that the number of dead Russian servicemen in Syria in the first half of the year exceeds the country’s losses in Syria in the previous 15 months of the operation.
The Turkish government is targeting aid workers with intimidation tactics, inane red tape, and senseless deportations.
Administration officials have been embroiled in a heated debate for months.
U.S. President Donald Trump recently proposed firing the top U.S. Army commander in Afghanistan out of frustration that the war against the Taliban there remains stalemated, media reports said o…
Twin terror plots, one involving the bombing of a passenger plane and the other a potential poison gas attack, have been described by police as the “most sophisticated” ever attempted on Australian soil.
DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports
As mixed signals on US policy toward North Korea emerge, Richard Sokolsky and Aaron David Miller explain why pursuing regime change should not be Plan A.
South Korean officials try to dispel rumors of a crisis on the Korean peninsula, say they’re in constant contact with US During a visit to the National Assembly on Aug. 3, Blue House National Security Advisor Chung Eui-yong told Minjoo Party floor leader Woo Won-shik and other party leaders that “There will be no war, and the US thinks the same thing.” In the wake of North Korea’s second test launch of an ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile), the government’s decision to “temporarily deploy” four more THAAD launchers has provoked controversy, and widespread rumors about an “August crisis on the Korean Peninsula” have even sparked concern in the ruling party. This meeting was designed to forge a consensus on the security situation between the party and the Blue House. “We’re communicating adequately with the American government, and we’ve confirmed through several channels that the US does not think a war is about to break out either,” Jung told lawmakers who asked whether there could be war on the Korean Peninsula, according to Minjoo Party floor spokesperson Kang Hoon-sik. “I’m in close consultation with National Security Advisor Herbert McMaster, as is Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and we have the same level of communication with China as well,” Jung was quoted as saying. In related news, the Blue House also criticized opposition parties for their allegations about “Korea passing,” a term that refers to South Korea being sidelined in discussions of issues on the Korean Peninsula. “Allow me to reiterate that President Moon and US President Donald Trump will be having a phone call before long. It’s fine to criticize, but people ought to avoid nitpicking about sensitive and critical diplomatic issues as if they wanted something to go wrong,” said a high-ranking official from the Blue House during a meeting with reporters. By Um Ji-won, staff reporter Please direct questions or comments to [email@example.com]
The Doklam crisis shows how quickly a conflict could blow up between Asia’s giants.
Foreign Policy Reports
Of course the Kremlin is going to try to hack Germany’s upcoming election. But it’s not going to succeed.
Pavlo Klimkin, specially for Euromaidan Press The recent case where the German industrial giant Siemens was been found to have provided Gas Turbines to a Russian State Company, the turbines subsequently ending up being used in Crimea in direct contravention to international economic sanctions, raises a number of serious concerns. Before exploring the implications of this it is useful to remember exactly what the sanctions are and why they were put in place. The sanctions were imposed by the international community on Russia in 2014 in response to Russia’s invasion of Crimea and Donbas. The sanctions vary in their extent but in relation to those imposed for the invasion and temporary occupation of Crimea they are clear and unequivocal. There is a complete ban on trade to and from Crimea – there simply is no room for ambiguity. And these sanctions are designed to stay in place until such time as Russia gets out of Crimea. Siemens announced recently that they were to press charges against Russian State Firm Technopromexport following the delivery of turbines it sold to the company last year found their way to Crimea “against Siemens wishes and without its knowledge.” This is however somewhat lacking the credibility of an honest response. As far back as 2015, the Ukrainian government raised concerns with the German government, European institutions, and Siemens regarding the risk of the sanctions being broken. And then in August last year a Reuters investigative journalist, Jack Stubbs, revealed that four of Siemens Gas Turbines had been earmarked for Crimea. The German industrial giant which last year made EUR 1.2 bn from trade with Russia must be assumed to be at best naive and to have failed to carry out diligence with regard to the sale of the turbines. At worst, we must think they were directly implicated in colluding with a Russian state firm to break the sanctions imposed on the Russian Federation for the temporary occupation of the peninsula. At worst, we must think they were directly implicated in colluding with a Russian State Firm to break the sanctions imposed on the Russian Federation for the temporary occupation of the peninsula. Stubbs has since doggedly followed the story down a trail which has seen subterfuge, smoke screens, and, despite all supposed assurances, two of the turbines [already all four – Ed.] turning up in Crimea. There are two principal problems with what has happened. First, in order for sanctions to be effective, they must be enforced. And for this to happen Ukraine relies on the goodwill and support of its partners. And we do not just rely on national governments – the business community, and in particular, big corporations like Siemens must be committed and must put principles before short-term corporate profit. We know sanctions are also tough on those imposing them but they are currently the only tool at the disposal of the international community to bring pressure to bear on the Russian Federation for their crimes. The second issue is one for the individual corporation involved, in this case, Siemens. I would suggest they must take the long term view. Russia may wish to convince the West as well as its own people that Ukraine is not sustainable and will not last. Ukraine has embraced a future based on European values, is forward looking, ambitious, and moving away from everything the current Kremlin regime represents. Russia is a state which is backward looking and relies, in part, on demonizing the West for its very survival. And the West according to this Kremlin myth is decadent, perverted, threatening and in decline And the West, according to this Kremlin myth, is decadent, perverted, threatening, and in decline Corporations must not fall for this myth – Russia is not the horse to bet on in the race. Doing deals with Russia or at best allowing an organization to be duped by Russia will damage corporate reputation, likely make shareholders anxious, and in the longer term could well drive down both profits and share price. Russia by its actions in Crimea and Donbas has violated the rules based order that the West relies upon for its prosperity and the success of its societies as well as its peace. These are rules all of us in the west have decided to live by – Russia has not. ‘Sanctions busting’, and that is indeed now the question to be asked about Siemens, is aiding and abetting the aggressor. In light of this whole murky episode, there needs to be a full and comprehensive independent inquiry into how Siemens conducts its business dealings with the Russian Federation. This must be done in the interest of ensuring that these essential sanctions remain effective. It must be done in the interest of every citizen who embraces European values and the rules based order which we cherish. And finally, it must be done in the interest of the great company Siemens, its employees, customers, and shareholders. We really are all in this together, we need to know the truth about the Siemens deal but in the meantime, there is probably one piece of advice for Siemens or any other business dealing with Russian state owned companies – if you shake hands, count your fingers afterward.
The recent case where German industrial giant Siemens have been found to have provided gas turbines to a Russian State Company, the turbines subsequently ending up being used in Crimea in direct contravention to international economic sanctions, raises a number of serious concerns, Ukraine's top diplomat Pavlo Klimkin wrote in a statement published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. We know sanctions are also tough on those imposing them but they are currently the only tool at the disposal of the international community to bring pressure to bear on the Russian Federation for their crimes. The second issue is one for the individual corporation involved, in this case, Siemens. I would suggest they must take the long term view. Russia may wish to convince the West as well as its own people that Ukraine is not sustainable and will not last. Ukraine has embraced a future based on European values, which is forward looking, ambitious and moving away from everything the current Kremlin regime represents. Russia is a state that is backward looking which relies in part on demonizing the West for its very survival. And the West according to this Kremlin myth is decadent, perverted, threatening and in decline Corporations must not fall for this myth – Russia is not the horse to bet on in the race. Doing deals with Russia or at best allowing an organization to be duped by Russia will damage corporate reputation, likely see shareholders disquiet and in the longer term could well drive down both profits and share price. Read also Russia has no replacement for Siemens turbines – media Russia by its actions in Crimea and Donbas has violated the rules based order that the West relies upon for its prosperity and the success of its societies as well as its peace. These are rules all of us in the west have decided to live by – Russia has not. ‘Sanctions busting’, and that is indeed now the question to be asked about Siemens, is aiding and abetting the aggressor. In light of this whole murky episode, there needs to be full and comprehensive independent inquiry into Siemens conduct in its business dealings with the Russian Federation. This must be done in the interest of ensuring these essential sanctions remain effective. It must be done in the interest of every citizen who embraces European values and the rules based order which we cherish. And finally, it must be done in the interest of the great company Siemens, its employees, customers and shareholders. Read also Reuters: Siemens sees EUR 100-200 mln revenue loss in Russia over Crimea turbines affair We really are all in this together, we need to know the truth about the Siemens deal but in the meantime, there is probably one piece of advice for Siemens or any other business dealing with Russian state owned companies – if you shake hands, count your fingers afterwards.
Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said that Germany should pay Poland reparations for material damage and crimes against Poles committed in 1939-1945, reported Radio Poland, citing an interview by Macierewicz on TVPInfo. As noted by Macierewicz, Poland de facto never renounced its claim toward the Germany, which began on September 1, 1939 with military aggression against Poland, and which continued with the occupation of Polish territory for almost five years. “It’s not true that the Polish state refused the German military reparations. This was the Soviet colony, called the Polish People’s Republic, that refused part of the reparations associated with a puppet state, also called the German Democratic Republic. In this fashion, the act never received formal legal registration, but rather was political and journalistic in nature, “the Polish minister said. At the same time, a deputy from the ruling “Law and Justice” party, Arkadiusz Mularczyk, said that the Polish Sejm’s Bureau of Legal Analysis would publish a report in the coming days on international legal grounds for possible official claims by Poland against Germany.
Italy approved a controversial naval mission to stop Libyan migrant smuggling boats and impounded a migrant rescue ship. Here’s why
Despite the recent European Parliament resolution halting talks, because of their mutual need of one another, neither Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan nor the EU wants to terminate the Turkish accession process.
In Venezuela, Maduro seeks to establish a one-party state …
The country’s new 545-member constituent assembly that was voted in on Sunday will rewrite the Constitution and govern with virtually unlimited authority.
Venezuela’s democracy has crumbled—but because the Maduro government’s position is still unsustainable, the opposition should keep on planning for an eventual transition.
The United States has repeated its threats to bring about regime change following the election.
Strategy / Capability Publications
What good is having the best fighting forces in the world if the U.S. Army loses the ability to employ them? What happens when the 82nd Airborne Division i
Washington’s worst fear.
Successful test intercepts demonstrate new sensor technologies.
A study shows step by step how to target political opinions online. But we still don’t really know exactly how that translates to the voting booth
The cyber attack that crippled Ukraine businesses and spread worldwide to shut down shipping ports, factories and corporate offices has taken a costly toll on the results of major U.S. and European companies in the latest quarter, with more to come.
The Juscutum Attorneys Association, a Ukrainian law firm, is rallying NotPetya victims to join a collective lawsuit against Intellect-Service LLC, the company behind the M.E.Doc accounting software, the point of origin of the NotPetya ransomware outbreak.
The Juscutum Attorneys Association, a Ukrainian law firm, is rallying NotPetya victims to join a collective lawsuit against Intellect-Service LLC, the company behind the M.E.Doc accounting software, the point of origin of the NotPetya ransomware outbreak, according to Bleeping Computer, a computer help site, which also publishes news and reviews for PC users. The lawsuit is in its incipient stages. Juscutum representatives are currently spreading their message and encouraging victims to join the lawsuit via social media posts and articles in local Ukrainian press, reads the report. The NotPetya ransomware spread via a trojanized M.E.Doc update, according to Microsoft, Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Cisco, ESET, and Ukrainian Cyber Police. A subsequent investigation by ESET researcher Anton Cherepanov discovered that a known cyber-espionage group – named TeleBots – had compromised the servers of Intellect-Service three times in the past months and used the same M.E.Doc update mechanism to deliver three different ransomware families: XData, an obscure WannaCry clone, and NotPetya – with the last one causing the most damage. Cherepanov’s investigation revealed that Intellect-Service had grossly mismanaged the hacked servers, which the company failed to install updates since 2013. Days later, Ukrainian police seized the hacked Intellect-Service servers as part of an investigation into the attacks. Authorities did not arrest any staff, but said they were considering filing charges in the future. Juscutum’s legal endeavor comes on the civil front, akin to a class-action lawsuit. “Juscutum offers legal retribution,” the company wrote in a social media post [translated from Ukrainian]. “You have the opportunity to join a collective lawsuit against MEDoc.” Read also Ukraine “playground” for Russian cyberattacks – media Because the NotPetya ransomware contained buggy code (some called it a wiper disguised as ransomware), many victims couldn’t recover all the encrypted data. FedEx said damage from NotPetya was permanent and might have lost some user shipping details for good. Similarly, U.S. pharma giant Merck said last week that production of active ingredients used for key drugs is still down because of the NotPetya attack.
Has the Kremlin’s campaign to harass Putin’s critics on LinkedIn moved beyond the relative safety of the internet and into the streets?
Honey-trappers are posing as beautiful women online to talk to vulnerable men In Mia Ash’s situation, the profile was used to steal corporate and strategic plans The internet appears to offer a new level of persuasion to honey-trappers The techniques bear close similarities to those used by spies trawling for secrets By John Naish for the…
A Russian man extradited from Finland two years ago on computer-fraud charges has been sentenced to 46 months in a U.S. prison for spreading malicious software and netting millions of dollars for himself.
US Domestic Policy Reports
The signing by the U.S. President Donald Trump of the new “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act,” which provides for the introduction of additional restrictions against Russia, Northern Korea and Iran, and a separate part of which is dedicated to supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, is the step many in Ukraine have been awaiting since the first day of Russian aggression. The move actually affects Russia’s interests, and, more importantly, it strikes the direct organizers of a bloody massacre in the east of Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea. We should also wait a bit until the U.S. financial intelligence collects the necessary materials (according to this law, it is to be done within 180 days) and submits proposals on “freezing” the assets in the West of Putin’s entire “camarilla” and, maybe his personal assets, too. Then, I believe, the situation will change dramatically, and we will see a certain turn in Russia’s policies. Or, if this does not happen, the process of Russia’s decline will accelerate significantly. I do not see any other options here. The restrictions imposed by the new sanctions act actually deprive the Russian Federation of even the slightest chance of returning to “business as usual” With the signing of this act, Russians have lost the last bits of hope they had left for Trump, and now they realize that they have no chance of changing to positive the American president’s position. Therefore, the Russian leadership will now make statements similar to those voiced yesterday (August 2) by the Kremlin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, who said they have been expecting it anyway and nothing new happened. But there is actually something “new,” and it’s very serious. Russia will now have to make a decision. That’s because the sanctions imposed by the new act actually deprive the Russian Federation of even the slightest chance of returning to “business as usual.” And it will be hit very painfully the key sectors of the Russian economy, namely, the oil and gas industry. Officially, the European Union has declared that it would pursue a policy of reducing energy dependence on Russia, but, on the other hand, real steps are being taken to increase this dependence in the interest of several large businesses in Germany, Austria, France, UK, and the Netherlands. Russian rhetoric is mainly aimed at the domestic Russian consumer. “We will bury them” is the Kremlin’s traditional approach. Russian authorities will be telling their people: “Please, brace yourselves, for our enemies are encroaching on us from all directions.” Therefore, in this sense, there will be nothing new, indeed. Meanwhile, the economic effect of international sanctions will be increasing. In this situation, the reaction of Europeans to new American sanctions against Russia is not very clear. Their position is surprising due to one simple thing: officially, the European Union has declared that it would pursue a policy of reducing energy dependence on Russia, but, on the other hand, real steps are being taken to increase this dependence in the interest of several large businesses in Germany, Austria, France, UK, and the Netherlands (meaning the notorious Nord Stream-2 project). Therefore, I don’t quite understand what position prevails in the European Union – whether it’s a healthy political agenda or a banal business interest of some, albeit large, companies in the oil and gas industry. It seems to me that Western politicians should not become hostages of the short-sighted interests of certain firms, but rather think of strategic issues that they themselves promote. Such a position is one of the consequences of corruption in the gas sector that Russia has successfully exported to the West. And the West should fight this corruption rather than just pointing at the fact that corruption erodes Ukraine (which it does, overwhelmingly). Volodymyr Ohryzko is a head of the Russian Research Center, former Foreign Minister of Ukraine.
Trump doesn’t want to let his dream of cozying up to Russia’s leader die.
03.08.17 16:29 – Congress needs to keep sharp eye on Trump’s Administration’s activities regarding Ukraine, – US senators Sen. John McCain and other U.S. senators have reacted to the statement of President Donald Trump regarding signing the law on sanctions, where he expressed his discontent with Congress limiting his powers. View news.
U.S. President Donald Trump has said that Washington's relations with Moscow have hit a “very dangerous low," blaming lawmakers for the situation. “Our relationship wit…
Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman says the Kremlin agrees with President Donald Trump's statement that the U.S. "relationship with Russia is at an all-time and very dangerou…
03.08.17 16:50 – US relationship with Russia is at an all-time and dangerous low, – Trump U.S. President Donald Trump is concerned with the way U.S.-Russia relations are developing. View news.
When President Donald Trump scolded U.S. lawmakers on Thursday for clamping down on Moscow with new sanctions, his message clashed with the one that Vice President Mike Pence pushed during a four-day trip this week to Eastern Europe.
US vice president Mike Pence and his Republican colleagues in Congress seem to be working in tandem to constrain president Donald Trump over Russia. Last week, only five out of 535 members of Congress voted against a bill designed to nix any chance of Trump cozying up to the Kremlin, by taking away his power to…
A good policy outcome, but “unmasking” helped set a troubling precedent that forced Trump to capitulate.
Trump’s national security adviser has emerged as one of the most volatile personalities in White House.
Former national security adviser Rice reportedly continued getting classified information.
The president has handed huge power to a group of military officers, and they’re out to solve two big problems: Obama’s policies, and their boss.
Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury as the federal investigation into Russia’s interference in the presidential election intensifies, according to news reports.
Rohrabacher has been in the news a lot lately for his connections to Russia.
An overseas trip to contact a former British spy exposes friction among House, Senate investigations and special counsel Robert Mueller.
WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump said that Russia did not help him win the 2016 election, speaking as media reports said the Justice Department has convened a grand jury to investigat…
The Breakdown: conversation starters and context, drawn from the day’s news in Australia.
The U.S. may buy two white-tail Boeing 747-8Is originally ordered for a now-defunct Russian airline and refurbish them as the next Air Force One fleet.