Portnikov spells out some ground truths about Russian behaviour, but does not account for groupthink in Moscow leadership circles. NYT essay on US Army exercise in Bulgaria. More ground truths from HR’s MSM interview last week. Kazakhstan refuses to provide Russian with “peacekeepers” for Syria. Ukrainians in Russia commemorate the immense loss of life in a Soviet Gulag camp in Karelia. Debate around alleged fraternisation between troops in Donbass. Tatars forming transnational body to promote Tatar national agendas. Pussy Riot activists conduct protest in Yakutsk against jailing of Ukrainian cinema director, and get arrested. More on Russia’s melting permafrost woes, and some fascinating reports on the recovery of medieval era mummified remains from the permafrost near Yamal Peninsula.
Belarusian govt accused of seeking to farm in radioactive soil – glow in the dark farming? Moldova’s Putinist Pres Dodon pleads for forgiveness to Rogozin.
Polish Foreign Minister Waszczykowski interviewed by Kommersant, contradicts the Kremlin, slams Russia, and backpedals on earlier anti-Ukrainian rhetoric. Volker to meet Surkov. Donbass fires continue, while Russians show more creativity in concealing combat losses. Ukraine bails out of joint Ukrainian-Kazakh-Russian nuclear power venture. Hollywood starlet Mila Kunis visits her place of birth in Ukraine and make headlines.
Iran dominates the M.E. MSM coverage.
DPRK promises thousands-fold revenge for UNSC sanctions – these may not be enough to topple the regime. Many China reports, some most interesting.
Free Democratic Party of Germany (FDP) joins the SDP in peddling Russian agendas.
Ukrainian Cyberpolice arrest local resident who inflected 400 PCs with the Goldeneye/Petya.A pseudo-ransomware. Two good influence essays. The ‘splinternet’ debate. TNI peddling more Russian propaganda.
SECSTATE spells out some realities to Lavrov. Interesting NR and BT reports.
Russia / Russophone Reports
The Pentagon’s recommendation to supply lethal weapons to Ukraine is a serious turning point in the US approach to settling a crisis. I would call it a return to sobriety. When Russian troops launched the invasion of Crimea and the Donbas, many politicians in the West– and also in the White House — categorically opposed supplying lethal weapons to Ukraine. This was explained by the fear of intensifying the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The problem was going to be resolved solely through the pressure of sanctions on Russia. Sanctions, of course, are very important. Objectively, they contribute to the dismantling of the Russian regime, they weaken the Russian economy, and they are a clear signal for Russian elites that collapse is inevitable without a change of direction. But sanctions are a necessary but insufficient condition for restoring the territorial integrity of Ukraine, for salvaging peace in Europe. Cowards always attack only the weak Putin with his trophy pike Moscow is used to attacking the weak. This was the case with Finland and Poland, with the Baltic states and Hungary, with Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan, with Georgia and Ukraine. When Russia meets firm opposition, its troops sooner or later leave the occupied country. This was the case with Finland following its war with the USSR in 1939-1940. Thanks to heroic resistance, Finland not only retained its sovereignty but also earned Moscow’s respect. This was the case with Afghanistan before the collapse of the Soviet Union. The heroic resistance of the Afghans and the constant losses suffered by the occupation forces forced the Kremlin to withdraw its troops from a country that Moscow considered its colony But when an attempt is made to negotiate with Moscow, its soldiers and chekists begin to take reprisals against the population right in the streets of peaceful cities. This was the case in Budapest. Also in Prague. And in Crimea. This was the case in the Donbas. Russian aggression can be stopped only by a strong Ukrainian army. Only a modern Ukrainian army can save Europe from another war. And this is not because it will defeat Russian armed forces, no. It is because Russia will not fight with such an army. And because the Kremlin will stop considering Ukrainians “weak.” The Russians will understand they are going to war and not to a parade. And they will take up much more important matters — for example, hunting for pike in the bogs of (Siberia’s) Tuva region. After all, the pike will definitely not receive modern weapons that would allow it to repel Putin and Shoigu (Russian defense minister–Ed.). This is why it is a wonderful subject for a parade, and for trophy photos. The West must understand that Russia is led by cowards. And cowards always attack only the weak.
A 10-day exercise in July offered a window into how Army commanders are rehearsing updated tactics and strategies once used to counter Soviet troops.
President Donald Trump’s national security…
Kazakhstan’s emphatic refusal to deploy peacekeepers to Syria has contrasted markedly with Kyrgyzstan’s openness to a potential deployment, and reveals a growing rift between Astana and Moscow over the mandate of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
The Latvian National Armed Forces (NAF) are ready for possible provocations during the West-2017 Russian-Belarusian military exercises, according to the Ministry of Defense of the country, Delfi reports.
07.08.17 09:44 – Ukrainians in Russia commemorated victims of Great Terror. PHOTOS On Aug. 5-6, Ukrainians living in Russia were commemorating the victims of Stalin repression in Sandarmokh, 30 percent of which were Ukrainians. View photo news.
Paul Goble Staunton, August 6 – In December 1914, as the first Christmas during World War I approached, German and British troops in various sectors of the line between them agreed to “local armistices” and even came together for soccer matches and religious services, an event that was brilliantly portrayed in the 2005 film, “Joyeux Noel.” Some saw this fraternization as the basis for hope that the soldiers could come together and end the war either by transforming the war between countries into a civil war, as Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin hoped, or by forcing the governments to seek an armistice lest their own troops refuse to fight. But that is not how things worked out. On the one hand, commanders on both sides suppressed information about these cases of fraternization and severely punished those involved by breaking up the units where such actions were most common. And on the other, the high commands promptly stepped up propaganda portraying the other side in the most negative way. One involuntarily recalls this classic example of fraternization given a discussion of reported fraternization between Ukrainian forces and pro-Moscow Russian forces in the Donbass that appears on the Svobodnaya pressa portal evaluating Ukrainian media reports about such contacts (http://svpressa.ru/war21/article/178421/). The author, Dmitry Rodionov, interviews three Russian observers of military developments. The first, military correspondent Marina Kharkova says that such contacts have been taking place since the conflict began and “this is not news for anyone.” But she insists that these have no impact on the situation on the front as a whole. At the same time, however, Kharkova says that “local armistices of course influence the situation but in a minimal way. These are not so much armistices as a war put on pause in a concrete place and in a concrete interval of time.” They aren’t firm or long-lasting because neither side can fully trust the other; but they keep occurring. Igor Nemodruk, a fighter for the pro-Moscow Luhansk Peoples Republic, even recalls the Christmas truce in World War I, and observes that “then as now, people were tired of war, and standing in place only intensifies this weariness.” That is because those who remain in one section for a long time naturally become curious about their opposite numbers. He says that in his view, “such contacts in the short term will have little impact on mutual understanding between the sides.” Unfortunately, the war will be resolved by others far removed from the battlefield. Those on the line of fire will be the victims of their decisions. And Aleksandr Dmitriyevsky a journalist in Donets who edits the journal Novaya Zemlya, argues that such contacts show there are people on both sides interested in an end to the conflict. The pro-Russian side should take this into consideration. The message of all three is that reported fraternization won’t have any real impact on the conflict. But there are at least three reasons to think that judgment is incorrect even if it is true that such contacts will not bring an end to the conflict on their own: · First, commanders are going to be more concerned about such reports and to take more steps to prevent fraternization. They may shift troops more often or intensify supervision to prevent such moves. · Second, both the Ukrainian and the Russian side are likely to copy what the Germans and British did in 1914, intensifying propaganda about the other to make it clear that no agreement short of complete victory is acceptable, thus making the conflict longer rather than shorter. · And third, given that reports about such things are themselves of great propaganda value, each side is likely to read them as an effort by the other to weaken its resolve – and even to try to spin reports about fraternization in its favor.
Paul Goble Staunton, August 7 – Last week, the World Congress of Tatars resolved to create its own national council, the Milli Shura, an institution that echoes the one Tatars set up exactly 100 years ago to unite the Muslim nations of the disintegrating Russian Empire and that ultimately became the basis for the formation of the Tatar Republic within the USSR. Ayrat Fayzrakhmanov, the vice president of the World Forum of Tatar Youth, draws attention to this historical coincidence and argues that Tatars and especially Tatar officials and young people must make use of this new institution to prevent the Tatar nation from dying out (idelreal.org/a/28659105.html and business-gazeta.ru/article/353689). The 1917 action was intended to create an extraterritorial autonomy that could unite the Muslim peoples of the Russian Empire and coexist with other forms of national autonomy, he writes. Its authority spread across the Muslim communities of the Volga, the Urals region and Siberia as well as in Moscow and Petrograd. And the leaders of the 1917 Milli Shura boldly proclaimed that their goal was to create “a nation of ‘Turkic-Tatar Muslims’” who could take their destiny into their own hands both via this body and via meetings of Muslims from across the Empire. (For a discussion of the details of this movement, see Shafiqa Daulet’s Moscow and Kazan (Hudson, NH, 2003).) The Tatars like other Turkic nations a century ago were forming themselves out of the common Muslim community, and the Milli Shura’s call for national cultural autonomy served, Fayzrakhmanov says, as the basis for the subsequent rise of Tatarstan as an autonomous republic within the Soviet Union Indeed, at the very first meeting of this alternative legislature and government, delegates spoke of the need to create a territorial unit that later became known as “the state of Idel-Ural” with a capital in Kazan. The Bolsheviks reacted harshly, arresting the leaders and disarming the state’s soldiers; but they did not kill the idea by their action. Indeed, the restoration of the name this past week shows that the same ideas which animated the Tatars and other Muslim peoples of the empire in 1917 continue to animate them a century later, the Tatar youth leader suggests. Unfortunately, given how politically charged this term is, the leaders of the World Congress chose not to draw these links in public. But that doesn’t make them any less powerful. And here is why: Tatars then and now are animated by Gayaz Iskakhi’s pre-1914 novel that suggested they would disappear as a nation in 200 years if they did not struggle to survive. If one uses Iskhaki’s time line, the Tatars have only about 80 years left. At a time when Moscow is moving to take more and more rights away from Tatarstan, even that period of time seems optimistic. But this line of argument represents a major sea change in opinion, one that may be the most important outcome of the World Congress. There are two kinds of national movements in the world: the optimistic and the pessimistic. They are very different, and the latter is often more dramatic and radical. Optimistic nationalist movements are generally a reflection of a people that is growing demographically and expects to win by just continuing. Central Asian movements at the end of Soviet times were of this type. As one of their leaders put it to the author of these lines 30 years ago, “we don’t have to win the battle of the streets: we are winning the battle of the bedroom.” Pessimistic nationalist movements, in contrast, arise when members of a group conclude that if they do not act and soon, their nations will disappear. The national movements in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in Soviet times were precisely of that kind: Their peoples looked at the demographic and political situation and drew the direst conclusions. That energized them and led to the movements which assumed a leading role in the demise of the USSR. For a long time, the Tatars of the Middle Volga were an optimistic national movement, despite Iskhaki’s prediction; now, they are becoming a pessimistic one – and that suggests the Milli Shura may play a larger and more radical role than anyone now expects. Some in Moscow appear to appreciate that this is a serious threat to Moscow. One commentator has even suggested that Kazan by taking it has “declared war” on the Russian government (versia.ru/vlasti-tatarstana-gotovyatsya-k-vojne-s-federalnym-centrom).
Paul Goble Stanton, August 7 – Twenty-five years ago, Russian writer Yury Nagibin argued that Stalin and Hitler were two figures who, as a result of their common amorality, were set to become the best of friends but who, as a result of circumstances, in fact became the worst of enemies. Something similar is happening now between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, St. Antony’s College historian Vladimir Pastukhov says, two leaders who despite some fundamental differences are ethically similar and thus view their own actions in much the same way (bbc.com/russian/blog-pastoukhov-40804883). In a new commentary, Pastukhov argues that the two “are united by a utilitarian attitude toward law … suspicious of humanism, justice … and other Christian values” which neither sees as a guide to “practical action” in general or “even more” in political life. “They consider any institutions as chains from which any sensible individual must seek to free himself from as quickly as possible. On the other hand, they are guided by ‘understandings,’ an unwritten code of behavior … [which set] rules of the game between those who believe in only one God – power.” Both leaders, he continues, “are to a great degree more the products of specific financial ‘clans’ than they are representatives of specific social forces. Both are more similar to political freebooters than to the leaders of political democracies.” And both “believe less in democracy than in justice. They are prepared to use [democracy] but they are not prepared to serve it. Both appeal to ‘the peopple’ over the heads of the elites, and both, being fully part of the rotten elites, position themselves as enemies of the establishment (oligarchate).” Putin understood this commonality first and recognized that it presented “an unprecedented opportunity for the leaders of Russia and America (and even more broadly the West) to speak with one another in a common language.” And that was aided by the back that both Putin and Trump “sincerely believed that their ‘personal diplomacy’” would bring each enormous dividends. According to Pastukhov, Putin was ready to sacrifice Asad, a Syrian leader he really doesn’t need, in exchange for Trump’s recognition of Putin’s right “to restore the USSR if not de jure then at least de facto.” Given Trump’s indifference to who controls Crimea, the US leader was only looking for a suitable way to get something he deems “’essential.’” There was no shortage of Russian involvement in last year’s US elections precisely because Putin saw such an amazing opportunity. Indeed, the Russian historian argues, the Kremlin viewed Trump as one of their own, as “a kind of Armand Hammer of our time” ready to do business and thus someone who could be played and hopefully outplayed. For Putin’s goal to be achieved, it was not required that Trump knew about Russian support in advance, Pastukhov says. That could be presented to him later as Putin’s “gift” and something that would increase Russian influence in Washington even more. But things didn’t work out as Putin hoped. While both Putin and Trump are ethically similar, they are nonetheless embedded in completely different political systems. “Putin for Russia is an entirely organic figure. His views and values are entirely and completely part of the Russian political tradition. He is culturally identical to the chief Russian type and in a certain sense really is a leader of the majority.”’ Trump in contrast is “a real ‘enfant terrible’” for the American political tradition, and his election generated in response “a real ‘institutional storm’” as the immune system of the American political elite sought to expel this hostile bacillis” and restore what the American elite believes America to be. Putin didn’t expect this reaction because he “cannot recognize the right to exist of any other reality besides that which he is personally accustomed to. But Trump was put in a difficult position as well. “With all his soul, he wanted to do ‘a deal’ with Putin and reach agreements. But in the existing situation, that would be political suicide.” And Trump’s “instinct for self-preservation” has led him to discover not only that “Ukraine is not Russia” but that “neither is America.” As a result, he has transformed himself even more than those opposed to him from “the great friend” of Moscow to his sworn enemy and his attitude from “almost love” to “almost hatred.” In many ways, Pastukhov says, “this is simply Nixon in reverse, who all his life was an anti-communist but ended with détente and the Helsinki Final Act.” But this has the ironic consequence that the two leaders who wanted to reach agreement are moving “step by step” toward the global confrontation” they had wanted to avoid.
And it might not have the funds to fix it.
Female activists from Pussy Riot, a Russian feminist protest punk rock group, have unfolded a Free Sentsov banner in the Russian city of Yakutsk in support of Oleh Sentsov, a Ukrainian film director and political prisoner jailed in Russia. News 06 August from UNIAN.
Maria Alyokhina says she and another member of the Russian punk protest group Pussy Riot have been detained after staging a protest near the remote prison where Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov i…
Two members of the Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot were reportedly detained near the prison where a Ukrainian filmmaker is being held. A protest on August 7 took place on a bridge in the Siberian city of Yakutsk, where director Oleg Sentsov is serving a sentence on Russian terrorism charges his supporters say are politically motivated. Two people are seen in a brief video clip wearing the band’s familiar balaclavas along with a banner on reading “Free Sentsov!” Band member Maria Alyokhina tweeted that she and Olga Borisova were detained during the protest. (Mediazona video via AP)
SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — A state prosecutor in Ukraine's Russian-controlled Crimea region has asked a court to convict a prominent Crimean Tatar leader, Akhtem Chiygoz, and sentence him to eigh…
Russian authorities say five children are among nine people who have been killed in an early-morning house fire in the Republic of Bashkortostan. The regional Health Ministry said that the fir…
A Russian opposition activist who was extradited by Belarus has been sent to pretrial detention in a politically charged extremism case, his lawyer says.
The ongoing melting of permafrost in Siberia has brought with it some very strange events — including the creation of massive methane blowout craters. In addition to the — sometimes catastrophically violent — release of methane from the previously frozen tundra, the melting has also been accompanied by the return of microbial illnesses that haven’t been present in the region for quite some time. Of particular note are the recent outbreaks of anthrax in the remote Yamal Peninsula, after a more than 75-year-long absence from the region. One such outbreak last August involved the death of a boy, along with 20 other infections. That outbreak followed closely after a heatwave in the region that saw temperatures climb to more than 30° Celsius — high enough to melt permafrost. The Guardian provides more: “Long dormant spores of the highly infectious anthrax bacteria frozen in the carcass of an infected reindeer rejuvenated themselves and infected herds of reindeer and eventually local people.
Hundreds or even thousands of huge ‘gas bubbles’ are exploding in northern Siberia, leaving huge craters in the ground – and possibly posing a danger to our planet. The ‘bubbles’ are thought to be caused either by global warming or changes in Earth’s orbit – which causes permafrost beneath the ground
Unearthed on the edge of the Arctic, she is the only woman so far found in an otherwise all-male necropolis, buried in a cocoon of copper and fur.
Siberian medieval graveyard near Arctic Circle village Zeleniy Yar (Russia) yields 34 mummified bodies and materials that corpses were buried with; extreme cold mummified 1,000-year-old remains by accident rather than intent; several bodies have been found shrouded in copper and some carry knives that suggest they were warriors; Dr Natalia Fedorova, Russian Academy of Sciences Ural branch archaeologist, and Dr William Fitzhugh, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center director and anthropology department chairman, first found remains on 1997 expedition; stress significance of find in region where little is known about people living there; map; photo (M)
Russian archaeologists are once again digging at Zeleniy Yar, a remote excavation site near the Arctic circle. This same site produced nearly a dozen extraordinary mummies a few years ago — including unintentionally preserved corpses wearing copper masks. The researchers are now hoping to learn more about this mysterious northern community.
Clique from Drazdy decided that they can abolish the laws of physics. The protective zone of Polesie State Radioecological Reserve will be waived. Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Rusy explained in an interview with the television channel STV if they will grow food products there, which will later enter the market. – I just wanted to say that to avoid misunderstanding, – the Deputy Prime Minister clarified immediately after the interview had started. – There is a radioecological reserve in our country. To make it all safe, we have very strict requirements and rules for obtaining clean products, which provide for even criminal liability in case of violation. Thanks to these requirements we have learned to cultivate clean products in zones with radiation of 1.5 – 5 curies. Therefore, the products must be safe. That is why, he said, the “additional protective buffer zone” was introduced. Now the president “at the numerous request of the local authorities, in particular the Homel Regional Executive Committee”, has changed the status of “this strict zone”.
The authorities must stop the persecution of REP trade union activists.
Transnistria / Moldova Reports
Moldovan President Igor Dodon promised during a meeting with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin to support a strategic dialogue between the two countries. At the same time, Dodon appealed to Moscow with a request to refrain from sanctions after Rogozin was declared persona non grata in Moldova. The meeting between Dodon and Rogozin took place in Tehran. Initially, it was planned to be held in Chisinau on July 28, but Romania did not permit the plane carrying the Russian official through its airspace, and on August 2 Moldovan authorities declared Rogozin persona non grata. Dodon called the meeting with Rogozin “good” and “constructive.” “We discussed the events of recent weeks in detail, clarified the current state of affairs between our countries and determined priority areas for the coming months,” the Moldovan president said. He also called the Moldovan Foreign Ministry’s decision to recognize Rogozin as persona non grata “an undermining of the efforts of the Presidents of Moldova and Russia to return to strategic dialogue and partnership.” Dodon said that these actions by the Moldovan authorities are not supported by most of the country’s population. Consequently, the President of Moldova appealed to Russia with a request to refrain from retaliatory measures. “In light of this, I have asked our Russian partners to refrain from measures and sanctions that would impact and strike at the interests of ordinary citizens and economic agents. Those who would suffer from potential trade and migration sanctions would not be ministers and deputies of the ruling group, but rather ordinary Moldovans, who are not guilty of anything,” Dodon explained. In response, Dodon promised to take all possible measures on his part to normalize dialogue. Amongst other things, the Head of State said that he intends to block bills that could damage relations between the two countries. “As the President of Moldova and on the basis of the legitimate mandate entrusted to me by the people of our country, I will defend the interests of the Moldovan people, and intend to block with all possible legal means, up to the boycott, draft laws passed by Parliament that are attempts by the ruling Democratic Party to sabotage and destroy our bilateral Relations with the Russian Federation,” wrote Dodon. The head of the Moldovan Foreign Ministry, Andrei Galbur, explained that the assignment of persona non grata status to Dmitry Rogozin was due to “insulting remarks” by Rogozin towards Moldova. The Kremlin called the decision of the Moldovan government “absolutely unacceptable”. The Russian Foreign Ministry, in turn, promised to give an “appropriate response” to the actions of Chisinau.
Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski has said that the Poles are aware of the glorification of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists – Ukrainian Insurgent Army (OUN-UPA) in Ukraine, but at the same time they understand the importance of an independent Ukraine for the security of Europe and are still ready to support Kyiv. “Ukraine is unconsciously trying to articulate, to find its historical identity, to lay the foundation for patriotism – although someone may call it nationalism. This is a normal trend. But our advice [to the Ukrainians] is not to build a historical identity on such figures as Shukhevych (Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army Roman Shukhevych) for instance. This may affect the European aspirations of Ukraine, because members of the OUN-UPA participated not only in crimes against the Poles, but also in the Holocaust,” Waszczykowski said in an interview with the Russian newspaper Kommersant. The Polish foreign minister said that in December last year during the visit of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to Poland, the parties discussed this issue and the Polish side suggested acting according to Israel’s example of rethinking of the Holocaust – rewarding and celebrating those Ukrainians and Poles “who really saved people during and after the war.” “In the common history of Poland and Ukraine there are individuals who have done a lot of good…,” Waszczykowski said adding that he discussed this matter with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, but hadn’t heard anything from him on the matter since then. He said that he was still waiting for an opportunity to resume this discussion with the Ukrainian side and was waiting for a response from Ukraine. At the same time, Waszczykowski said he understands the importance of independent Ukraine for European security. “However, I should say that for the Poles, although they are aware of this problem, it is not a key one. We remember. We will not forget the Volyn massacre. We know that the UPA are being glorified. But that does not mean that we will forget how an independent and sovereign Ukraine is important for security in our part of Europe. We are still ready to cooperate with and support Ukraine,” the minister said. Waszczykowski noted that what is happening in Donbas is a conflict between Ukraine and Russia, provoked by Moscow. “There is no such thing as ‘a crisis in Ukraine’. There is a Russian-Ukrainian conflict caused by Russia, and we will strive to contribute to its resolution,” he said. The Polish foreign minister stressed that he prefers to call this a conflict of low intensity, rather than a frozen conflict, because according to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, “people continue to die there every day, shooting is resumed several times a day.” He also pointed out that the armed conflict in the Donbas hinders the economic transformation of Ukraine. “Therefore, we on our part are trying to help, for instance through sharing the experience of the reform of local authorities, which we managed to hold successfully many years ago. And the Ukrainians are currently trying to copy this model,” the Polish minister said.
“I do not agree. One of my deputies visited Lviv a few days ago. And we have no information about growing nationalism in Ukraine. The conflict, of course, triggers anti-Russian moods across Ukraine, but we do not see the growth of nationalism, including anti-Polish one,” he said. Waszczykowski also noted that Ukraine “unconsciously tries to formulate, find its historical identity, to lay the foundation for patriotism.” “But our advice is: do not build a historical identity on a persona of Shukhevych, for example. This could affect Ukraine’s pro-European aspirations,” the Polish foreign minister said. He said that in the joint history of Poland and Ukraine there were also figures who have done a lot of good. Commenting on his statement that “Ukraine will not enter the EU with Bandera,” Waszczykowski noted that he was still looking forward to the chance to resume this discussion with Ukraine. “I am still looking forward to the opportunity to resume this debate with the Ukrainians. After all, we have the experience of reconciliation with the Germans. We are waiting for a response from Ukraine. At the same time, I can say that for the Poles, although they are aware of this problem, it is not a key one. We won’t forget about the Volyn massacre, we know that the UPA is being glorified, but that does not mean that we will forget how the independent and sovereign Ukraine is important for security in our part of Europe. We are still ready to cooperate with and support Ukraine,” the Polish foreign minister said. Read also Another citizen of Poland to head state-run company in Ukraine As UNIAN reported earlier, Witold Waszczykowski stated that Ukraine would not be able to enter Europe until the historical issues and issues of the status of Polish minorities had been resolved. It should be noted that Waszczykowski essentially repeated the words of the chairman of the ruling party of Poland, “Law and Justice,” Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who believes that the glorification of the name of Stepan Bandera in Ukraine could hinder with Ukraine’s European aspirations.
Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski says there is no such a notion as the “Ukraine crisis,” there is only the Russian-Ukrainian conflict caused by Russia, according to the Russian business daily Kommersant.
US special representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker will soon visit Russia and meet with Vladislav Surkov, advisor to the Russian president, as stated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov after meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was in the Philippine capital of Manila on Sunday. “Rex Tillerson confirmed that such contact with our representative Vladislav Surkov has been planned and will take place soon,” RIA Novosti cites Lavrov as saying. Lavrov mentioned that Volker has already visited numerous capitals, including Kyiv, Paris, Berlin and London. “We will be interested to see what kind of presentation of the current state of affairs the American special representative has put together,” the Russian minister said. Volker was in Ukraine between July 23 and 24. Amongst other places, he visited front-line Avdiivka and Kramatorsk, and stated that in the Donbas there is not a “frozen conflict” but a “hot war”. After Ukraine, he went to Paris in order to have discussions with the French and German representatives regarding the negotiation process in Minsk (Ukraine, Russia, OSCE) and the Normandy Format (Ukraine, Russia, France, Germany). He also visited Brussels for talks with EU and NATO representatives, Vienna for a meeting with the OSCE leadership and London for talks with the British authorities. On July 7, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appointed former US Permanent Representative to NATO Kurt Volker as the special representative for Ukraine. He will coordinate the Department of State’s efforts to resolve the conflict in Ukraine. Volker is a specialist in international relations. From 1986 he worked as an analyst in the CIA and since 1988 he has worked in the US Department of State. In 1998 Volker became the first secretary of the American mission to NATO, in 2005 he became the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, and between 2008 and 2009 he served as the US Permanent Representative to NATO. In recent years Volker has worked in the McCain international republican institute.
07.08.2017 09:35. Militants launched 18 attacks on positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in ATO area in Donbas over the past day.
In the past day, two Ukrainian military were wounded in the zone of the Anti-Terrorist Operation, as reported by the press center of the ATO Headquarters. News 07 August from UNIAN.
Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov has said the Russian hybrid forces do not stop constant attempts to break through the Ukrainian defense near the Bakhmutka highway with access to strategically important bounds, but receive a worthy rebuff, the NSDC’s press service reports. War 15:00, 07 August 2017 463 READ LATER
The department says that the Kremlin continues to cynically hide the fact that the Russian military is involved in the fighting in Donbas. Read also Militants recorded using heavy artillery, Ukraine reports 2 WIA For example, they hide the death of the military from the 3rd separate motorized rifle brigade (Horlivka) of the 1st Army Corps (Donetsk) of the Russian Armed Forces. They were members of the reconnaissance company and blew up on a mine while carrying out sabotage actions. “Upon the decision of the leadership of the brigade, the bodies of the deceased were disguised in civilian clothes and left in a forest belt near the contact line. The relatives who arrived from the Russian Federation were informed that the deceased had never served in the army of the so-called ‘LPR’/’DPR’, and the military command of the ‘republics’ is not involved in their deaths,” the press service of military intelligence wrote on Facebook. This is done not only to conceal the participation of Russia in the conflict, but also to deprive families of fallen soldiers of material aid.
Russia has artificially delayed the replacement of the Ukrainian border group at their “Donetsk” checkpoint, Ukrainian Border Service head Petro Tsyhykal has said.
07.08.17 11:15 – 500 million to be spent on Wall project in 2017, – State Border Service The state Border Service of Ukraine plans to spend 500 million hryvnia ($19.46 million) on the Wall project of strengthened border between Ukraine and Russia. View news.
07.08.2017 13:44. Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) Oleksandr Turchynov says that amendments to the state defense order should primarily include the real needs of soldiers in ATO zone, the NSDC’s press service reports.
07.08.17 13:40 – Amendments to defense order should take into account the needs of combat units of Ukraine’s Army, – Turchynov. PHOTOS … View photo news.
On Monday, August 7, at 12.00, the Interfax-Ukraine News Agency’s press center will host a press conference entitled “Dirty tricks of Russian special services in Ukrainian politics.” The participants will include chairman of the human rights organization Syndicate Yevhen Chepeliansky; activist of the Syndicate organization, ATO member Borys Portny, who will talk about the ways the Russian special services tried to use them as unwitting agents: the tricks that are used during the recruiting in social networks, criminal schemes, features of work and proposed fees (8/5a Reitarska Street). Admission requires press accreditation.
There is no doubt that the education system needs a major overhaul. The question is whether the country will receive the funding that it needs.
The State Property Fund of Ukraine (SPF) has announced the auction, putting up on sale state-owned shares (33.3%) in the share capital of the private joint-stock company "Joint Ukrainian-Kazakh-Russian enterprise for the production of nuclear fuel"(JV "UkrTVS"), the SPF press service reports. News 07 August from UNIAN.
07.08.2017 12:41. Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman says Ukraine should maintain its world's leading positions in aircraft and rocket building.
KP NPK Iskra (a plant in Zaporizhia, Ukraine) has created a prototype of the new generation radar station 80K6T, which operates on solid-state modules, the press service of state-owned concern UkrOboronProm reports. “80K6T meets all world standards. The station is equipped with a transistor transmitter and it is compact enough that it can be transported by an American C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft. These exact requirements were indicated in almost all international tenders for radar station purchase, so the 80K6T radar station was designed decisively,” it was reported. According UkrOboronProm’s information, the station provides automatic detection and determination of three coordinates, “binding” of state recognition signals and detected targets tracking at small, medium and high altitudes. It also provides information about the detected targets to command posts and connected systems. “When we developed the new radar station, we took into account all the drawbacks of previous models and the best world models’ experience. The newest station has high operational and tactical-technical characteristics. It is adapted as much as possible to use in field conditions. In particular, it can be effectively installed and repaired directly in the field,” the developers report.
Ukraine’s clan networks are re-asserting their power again. Western partners need to think carefully about whom to support and how.
Popular Hollywood actress Mila Kunis accompanied by her husband Ashton Kutcher on Sunday visited the west Ukrainian city of Chernivtsi, where she was born, according to the Molody Bukovynets news portal. News 06 August from UNIAN.
Russian power engineers have introduced schedules of temporary power outages on the southern coast of the occupied Crimean Peninsula as a result of the breach of a permissible load on the Simferopol-Yalta power line, LB.ua reported. News 07 August from UNIAN.
07.08.2017 15:05. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has demanded that invaders in Crimea stop the persecution of a leader of the Crimean Tatar people, Ahtem Ciygoz, ministry spokesperson Mariana Betsa has said.
The German government's coordinator for intersocietal cooperation with Russia, Central Asia, and the Eastern Partnership countries Gernot Erler opposes the debate on the status of Russian-annexed Crimea until the Donbas conflict is settled, according to Deutsche Welle. News 07 August from UNIAN.
Ukraine has barred over 20,000 Russians from entering its territory since 2015, Ukrainian State Border Service chief Petro Tsyhykal said.
Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports
While the sanctions are meant to punish the two countries, they appear to be pushing them together.
Iran ridicules US push for inspecting its military sites
Iranian President Hassan Rohani hailed European officials’ presence at his swearing-in ceremony, saying it showed the Continent was determined to expand ties with Tehran.
(This version of the August 5 story corrects identity of French minister in paragraph 13. Minister of State Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne attended the ceremony, not
BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:45 P.M.) – A homemade missile was successfully tested under the supervision of military officers in the rural village of Kiasar, Mazanda
President Donald Trump has reportedly become frustrated with what he sees as the U.S.’s losing position in the 16-year war in Afghanistan. The New York Times also reported this weekend that Iran has gained influence there, conducting covert activities and supporting the Taliban, which was once its enemy. Carlotta Gall, who is covering the issue for The New York Times, joins Hari Sreenivasan.
U.S. policy has essentially boosted Tehran’s ability to foment terrorism and threaten American interests, Epstein says
U.S. oil companies are primed to lose out on new oil and gas contracts. Just as they did in Iraq.
DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports
Following the United Nations Security Council’s decision to put new sanctions on North Korea, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Sunday “all options,” including a military one, are still available.
At a regional conference in Manila, secretary of state seeks to enlist other countries in the campaign to pressure Pyongyang.
Analysts expressed doubt over how strictly the latest sanctions will be enforced and whether they will affect North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Armed with extraordinary new U.N. sanctions, nations raced Monday to ensure that North Korea’s biggest trading partners actually carry them out, an elus
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea vowed Monday to bolster its nuclear arsenal and launch “thousands-fold” revenge against the United States in response to tough U.N. sanctions imposed after its recent intercontinental ballistic missile launches. The warning came two days after the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved new sanctions to punish North Korea, including a ban on coal and other exports worth over $1 billion. The U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, called the U.S.-drafted resolution “the single largest economic sanctions package ever leveled against” North Korea. In a statement carried by state media, the North Korean government said the sanctions were a “violent infringement of its sovereignty” that was caused by a “heinous U.S. plot to isolate and stifle” North Korea. It said the U.N. sanctions will never force the country to negotiate over its nuclear program or to give up its push to strengthen its nuclear capability as long as U.S. hostility and nuclear threats persist. The North said it will take an “action of justice,” but didn’t elaborate. “It’s a wild idea to think the DPRK will be shaken and change its position due to this kind of new sanctions formulated by hostile forces,” said the statement, carried by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency. DPRK stands for the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The North’s statement “rhetorically expresses its anger” against the U.N. sanctions, but the country is not likely to launch a direct provocation against the United States, said Lim Eul Chul, a North Korea expert at South Korea’s Kyungnam University. He said the North could still carry out new missile tests or a sixth atomic bomb test in the coming months under its broader weapons development timetable. North Korea test-launched two ICBMs last month as part of its efforts to possess a long-range missile capable of striking anywhere in the mainland U.S. Both missiles were fired at highly lofted angles and analysts say the weapons could reach parts of the United States including Alaska, Los Angeles and Chicago if fired at a normal, flattened trajectory. The centerpiece of the U.N. sanctions is a ban on North Korean exports of coal, iron, lead and seafood products — and a ban on all countries importing those products, estimated to be worth over $1 billion a year in hard currency. The resolution also bans countries from giving any additional permits to North Korean laborers, another source of foreign currency for the North, and prohibits all new joint ventures with North Korean companies. According to a Security Council diplomat, coal has been North Korea’s largest export, earning $1.2 billion last year. It was then restricted by the Security Council in November to a maximum of $400 million. This year, Pyongyang is estimated to have earned $251 million from iron and iron ore exports, $113 million from lead and lead ore exports, and $295 million from fish and seafood exports, the diplomat said. The diplomat was not authorized to speak publicly and insisted on anonymity. Analysts say that North Korea, already under numerous U.N. and other international sanctions, will feel some pains from the new U.N. sanctions but won’t likely return to disarmament negotiations anytime soon because of them. Lim, the North Korea expert, said the North will likely squeeze its ordinary citizens to help finance its nuclear and missile programs. Shin Beomchul of the Seoul-based Korea National Diplomatic Academy said the North won’t likely return to disarmament talks unless there are sanctions that require China to stop sending its annual, mostly free shipment of 500,000 tons of crude oil to North Korea and order U.N. member states to deport the existing tens of thousands of North Korean workers dispatched abroad.
North Korea vowed Monday to strike the U.S. with thousands-fold revenge after the United Nations imposed new sanctions in response to a recent ICBM launch from the rogue regime.
North Korean state media has slammed the latest round of sanctions approved by the United Nations, calling them a “flagrant violation of our sovereignty.” It vowed retaliation against Washington.
North Korea is ready to give the United States a “severe lesson” with its strategic nuclear force if it takes military action against it.
China has warned its nationals to respect local laws after two Chinese tourists were detained in Berlin for performing a Nazi salute in front of the Reichstag.
Chinese state media on Monday stressed the limits of new United Nations sanctions on North Korea, and also slammed the United States for its “arrogance”, saying Washington needed to understand it also has a role in lessening tensions.
Beijing has invested billions in “soft power” campaigns aimed at convincing the world that China is a cultural and political success story. Now it’s backing it with digital infrastructure in Africa
China, more than any other country, feels it’s heading in the right direction. That same confidence, however, doesn’t extend to other Chinese people. A recent survey (pdf) released by research firm Ipsos ranks China as the country most confident about its future. When asked, “Generally speaking, would you say things in this country are heading in the right…
The spread of its global economic influence is slowing sharply.
Rising temperatures on the roof of the world make Tibet both a driver and amplifier of global warming. China’s unchecked mining and dam building has to be reigned in
A bowl of ice cream on a hot day in Shanghai gave American Mitchell Weinberg the worst bout of food poisoning he can recall. It also inspired the then-trade consultant to set up Inscatech — a global network of food spies.
A visit by Indian journalists, sponsored by the Chinese government, today turned into a propaganda exercise by the Chinese Army for delivering its message.
China could conduct a “small-scale military operation” to expel Indian troops from a contested region in the Himalayas, according to an article published a Chinese state-controlled newspaper. Indian troops entered the area in the Doklam Plateau in June after New Delhi’s ally Bhutan complained a Chinese military construction party was building a road inside Bhutan’s territory.
Foreign Policy Reports
The chairman of the Free Democratic Party of Germany (FDP), Christian Lindner spoke in favour of Berlin adjusting its direction of politics with Russia. “Security and prosperity in Europe depend, in particular, on relations with Moscow,” he said in an interview with Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper. “Western countries should make an offer to Russian President Vladimir Putin, which would allow him to change his policy without losing his credibility,” Lindner said. “Talking about this is considered taboo, but I’m afraid that for now the Crimea should be regarded as a temporary solution for an indefinite period.” Lindner’s position was that the conflict over Russian-annexed Crimea should be “fenced off” from the rest of the topics in order to make progress in other directions. The agreement of the Baltic states of the USSR before the Second World War was also not recognized by the West but despite this, in the 1970s, German Chancellor Willy Brandt, together with Foreign Minister Walter Scheel, developed their “new eastern policy,” Lindner explained. The change of direction regarding the Soviet Union and the compromise with the Eastern Bloc were a new look at the state of affairs and such changes are necessary today, the leader of the German democrats assured. Lindner also believes that it would be necessary to reconsider the attitude towards EU’s sanctions against the Russian leadership. According to him, elimination of the sanctions should not rely on compliance with all of the conditions of the Minsk agreement regarding the conflict in the Eastern Ukraine. “It is necessary to evaluate the intermediate steps in the right direction as well,” he said. Later Lindner wrote a message on Facebook to clarify his position. He said that his proposal should not be taken as recognition of the annexation of the Crimea. “The FDP supports the principles of international law. The FDP sees Germany as part of the West. That is why transatlantic relations take precedence. Therefore, we support our Eastern European NATO partners at every opportunity. We do not accept the annexation of the Crimea, which is contrary to the international law, or any other imperial gestures of the Kremlin,” he declared. In his opinion, the issue of the Crimea cannot be solved now; it is necessary to talk about the annexation of the peninsula and not recognize it as lawful. However, the dialog about the annexation should not be tying all other issues, since it would impede the progress in relations with Russia. According to Lindner, an example of such a long temporary condition may be Northern Cyprus, which is recognized only by Turkey. German parliamentary elections will soon be held on September 24, 2017. Lindner’s Free Democratic Party, which is not currently represented in the Bundestag, has a rating of 8% to 9% and should be able to secure the seats in the new German Parliament.
Business owners in Germany are concerned about the possible consequences of the new US sanctions against Russia. If German companies lost their …
French President Emmanuel Macron has come under fire over plans to give his wife Brigitte official status as “First Lady” of France.
Strategy / Capability Publications
Could this be the future of defense?
A 51-year-old resident of Nikopol, Dnipropetrovsk region, placed the Internet virus “Petya.A” and infected him with about 400 computers. According to the Department of Cyberpolicies of the National Police, he uploaded the virus to his account after a major hacker attack that took place on June 27. The employees of the anti-cybercrime department in the Chernihiv region of Kyiv’s Cyberpolicies Department found that the Nikopolian posted on the file-exchangers and social media a video describing how to run the Petya.A virus on computers. In comments to the video, he gave a link to his page in the social network, which downloaded the virus. At the place of residence of the attacker, employees of the cyber police conducted a search, removed the computer equipment. Employees of the cyber police detected files with malicious software – having worked out them, confirmed its similarity to the virus “Petya.A” “During a conversation with a policeman, he explained that after a hacker attack that took place in June 2017, he downloaded the virus to his account on the file-sharing server, downloading a link to the file to his blog, leaving comments under a free video”, – informs the cyberpolice . The operatives found that this virus was downloaded by users of the network to their computers about 400 times, thus infecting their own technical devices with the virus “Petya.A”. Solve the question of declaring a man suspected. In addition, it establishes “a list of companies that have decided to use a national cyberattack and intentionally downloaded the virus for themselves to conceal their criminal activity and avoid paying state penalties.” Measures to bring management of these companies to liability are already under way. At present, the withdrawn technique is sent to carry out the necessary examinations. The pre-trial investigation in the criminal proceedings initiated under Part 1 of Art. 361 (unauthorized interference with the work of electronic computers) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Elena Roschenko, VP
By Emily Holland, Rebecca Friedman Lissner Sunday, August 6, 2017, 10:00 AM https://www.lawfareblog.com/countering-russian-influence-balkans Editor’s Note: Russia appears to be trying to undermine U.S. influence throughout Europe—and, unfortunately, Moscow appears to be succeeding. Although most eyes are on Ukraine and the Baltic states, the Balkans represent another potential flash point. Emily Holland of Columbia University and Rebecca Lissner…
Aug 4, 2017 by Soft Power 30, Katherine Brown To be an effective public diplomat, you need a well of sufficient soft power resources on which to draw. There is no canonical definition of public diplomacy (PD), but the official practice of it involves using informational, educational, and cultural tools to engage with international audiences to…
Locals laws and norms are breaking up the internet as we know it.
Historical records show that Washington has meddled in the political affairs of dozens of countries–including many democracies.
US Domestic Policy Reports
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that Moscow’s “meddling” in the U.S. elections had seriously damaged bilateral relations. Tillerson was speaking in Manila on August 7, where he met Lavrov on the sidelines of an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) forum. (AP)
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says he has told his Russian counterpart that Moscow's meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election created "serious mistrust" between the tw…
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Sunday said the U.S.-Russia relationship is at a low right now because of the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Russia remains an adversary to the United States. We have some overlapping interests. It would be better if our relationship was better,” he said on CBS’s “Face The Nation.” “But our relationship is not good right now because of Vladimir Putin.” Cotton said there are further steps he thinks can be taken regarding Russia. President Trump last week signed into law a bill overwhelmingly approved by Congress that imposes new sanctions on Russia and curbs the president’s authority to lift them. After he signed it, Trump put blame on Congress for the U.S. relationship with Russia. “Our relationship with Russia is at an all-time & very dangerous low,” Trump tweeted. “You can thank Congress, the same people that can’t even give us [healthcare]!” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) shot back, tweeting that the American people can thank Putin for “attacking our democracy, invading neighbors & threatening our allies.”
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Latest on U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the Philippines (all times local):
“We felt the readiness of our U.S. colleagues,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Russian journalists on August 6 following bilateral talks with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) forum in the Philippine capital, Manila. “After all, the dialogue continues. I think an alternative to that simply does not exist,” Lavrov said after what he described as “a long meeting with Rex Tillerson.” (Reuters, Rossia 24)
Russia’s top diplomat said Sunday his country was ready for more engagement with the United States on North Korea, Syria, Ukraine and other pressing matters, even as Moscow braced for new sanctions from the Trump administration.
Democrats aren’t likely to win back the voters they’ve lost until they make an effort to understand them and show a little respect. Contempt does not win votes …
Renowned linguist and public intellectual MIT Professor Noam Chomsky offers his take on the Trump administration and its troubles with Russia.