Debate over arming Ukraine continues, a good summary of issues by Niland, while Kupchan earns today’s COCW Award for desperately clinging to Rice-era NSC policy of putting strategy and outcomes last. Davis tweets on Russian domestic debate on the matter: “Main themes in #Russia’s potential retaliation to U.S. arming #Ukraine would be OPENLY arming proxies and rejecting #Minsk outright.” – they have been brazenly arming their proxies and ignoring Minsk, so what would change? Russia admits to arming and staffing proxy force and admits to ignoring Minsk? German politicians embarrassed? Saakashvili in Poland and Baltic states, lambasting Russia (and Ukraine).
Sanctions debate abating, while Russia gears up for new reality. Putin visits Abkhazia to spite the Georgians. RT report on Russian children eating Lenin cake, almost a tie for the COCW Award (or puke award?). Dugin finds a kindred soul in Jones. Patrushev complains about Russia’s self inflicted illegal immigration problem – mostly from Muslim Central Asia. Kazakhstan confronts a major problem with self-isolation of ethnic Russian minority and alienation from majority Kazakhs, a direct consequence of Putin’s followers’ threats of invasion. A multiplicity of articles on Russia’s meltdown, and persecution of dissenters.
Belarus reports dominated by glow-in-dark farming and the arrest of a Russian Orthodox priest for pimping a pair of prostitutes.
Former Moldovan MP Bolboceanu charged with treason and espionage – for Russia.
Biggest Ukraine MSM topic is extended Liga.net interview with Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Gen Muzhenko, who elaborates on the risks of a Russian invasion, and the use of Zapad 2017 as a cover for prepositioning assets into Belarus. Russia finally activates railroad bypass of Donbass started two years ago. Donbass fires continue, UA troops commenting on Russian units openly showing unit flags. More on Russian rent-a-protests in Ukraine. Another large cache of post-WW2 UPA documents found. Spats with Poland over history continue. Ukrainian MSM lauding Canadian astronaut Colonel Joshua Kurtik, as he has a Ukrainian heritage. Half a dozen sorry reports from Crimea, and expert concerns over safety of Kerch bridge being built on cavity ridden Karst substrate.
Interesting essay on the case for a Kurdish state. Tehran MPs lambasted over selfies with visiting EU FM Mogherini.
DPRK sanctions debate continues, while DPRK threatens US and other UNSC members. WE essay on nuclear counterstrike effects on DPRK is very good – like the many Russians fond of threatening to nuke the USA, the DPRK equally so ignores what comes immediately after that. Himalayan dispute appears to be escalating with threats from China.
Germany’s Free Democratic Party continues promoting a Putinist agenda, and has been publicly challenged by the leader of the Crimean Tartars, Chubarov. Germany’s failure to deal with Russian infiltration and corruption of German politics is simply remarkable. Venezuelan meltdown continues – civil war may indeed be the outcome.
Scimia, Lalwani-Wheeler, and Hyperwar essays are very interesting. Excellent interview with LTG Deptula on LRSO and bomber fleet.
Nine excellent reports on IO/IW/EW/cyber, especially the articles on Russian proxies Yanitskinu and Phillips.
Russian espionage is a major theme in the US domestic debate today.
Russia / Russophone Reports
The debate about whether the United States should provide lethal weapons to Ukraine has been rolling for some time. The idea was considered and rejected by the Obama Administration, despite there being Congressional approval for the move. Ambassador Kurt Volker, the new US Special Envoy to Ukraine backs the idea of sending weapons to Ukraine, and the Pentagon has recently sent for White House approval a detailed request for a $50 million value package of weapons. The response from Russia is unchanged. Russia continues to insist that arming the Ukrainian military is likely to cause there to be an escalation in the war. Of course, we should all know by now that nothing said by Russia can be taken at face value, especially with regard to Ukraine, but casual observers are joining the debate and asking questions like “why should we arm Ukraine?” Before continuing with the answer to that question and an explanation of the intended military aid package, one further piece of historical background… This is a question of such importance to Russia that it was the only change of substance made (via the skills of Paul Manafort) by them to the GOP platform at the Republican National Committee. “Why arm Ukraine?” There are many reasonable responses to this question: One is that the US certainly has a responsibility to Ukraine as a result of the Budapest Memorandum. However, a simpler explanation is that it would be in the spirit of American values, as tweeted concisely by American Naval College Professor and writer Tom Nichols: “we should oppose invasions in the middle of Europe launched by revanchist neo-Soviet mafia states.” In a nutshell, Ukraine is the victim of Russian military aggression, and countries wanting to be on the right side of history should stand with Ukraine, as the consequences of this war are of significant geopolitical importance. What’s in the package? One of the main elements of the Pentagon’s proposed package of military assistance is the Javelin anti-tank missile system. This weapon will change the battlefield calculations considerably. While Ukraine does produce some very fine weapons of their own, and has remarkably produced a very competent army over the course of the last three-and-a-half years, the Javelin moves Ukraine’s defensive capabilities to another league. The Javelin missile system can lock on to a target from a range of almost three miles. Once the Javelin operator hits his mark with an infrared beam, the missile is pretty much guaranteed to destroy its prey – and the Javelin preys on tanks first and foremost. In order to understand why this changes the course of this war, we need to examine two famous battles in Ukraine; the capture by Russian forces, acting on orders from the Russian government, of the Ukrainian cities of Ilovaisk and Debaltseve, where Russian tank units, combined with intense artillery, were decisive in both outcomes. The Battle of Ilovaisk By the summer of 2014 Ukrainian forces were on the offensive, successfully retaking towns and cities that had been outside of government control for several months. At one point it was actually likely that Ukraine would achieve a full military victory – the forces occupying Ukrainian land were losing towns and cities on a daily basis and the city of Donetsk itself was almost encircled. The city of Ilovaisk is located to the east of the city of Donetsk, almost half way between Donetsk and the Russian border, itself this is testament to how far the Ukrainian military had managed to advance. The battle for Ilovaisk started on Aug. 7, 2014. By Aug. 18, the Ukrainian military claimed to have taken control of the city. But by Aug. 24, Ukrainian Independence Day, the situation in Ilovaisk was changing because of a significant inflow of regular Russian military units, including the Russian 6th Tank Brigade, as well as the 8th, 18th, and 21st Motor Rifle Brigades. The days following Aug. 24 were like a living hell in Ilovaisk, with the city under constant and massive bombardment. But worse was to come. After holding out in the face of days of shelling, the Ukrainian side made the decision to surrender Ilovaisk, and negotiated a retreat. The terms of the agreement were that the Ukrainians should leave behind their armored personnel carriers and ammunition, and in return they were to be given a safe route out of the city. Russian President Vladimir Putin himself called this a “humanitarian corridor for besieged Ukrainian soldiers.” In reality, an ambush and massacre awaited those men as they travelled down the agreed six mile route. As a result of this savage and callous attack, hundreds of men who were retreating under a white flag were killed. The Battle of Debaltseve The battle for the city of Debaltseve has more than one reason for being central to understanding the nature of the war in Ukraine, because this battle was taking place as the leaders of France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia were meeting in Minsk in a second attempt to reach a peace agreement for Ukraine. As with any peace deal, Minsk II starts with the first obvious necessity, to cease firing. At the insistence of Putin, the start of the Minsk II cease-fire would be delayed by 72 hours, time enough, his military advisors assumed, to take hold of Debaltseve, which is a key city sitting right in the middle of Luhansk and Donetsk cities, and an important road and rail junction. When Debaltseve had not been taken by the stipulated start of the Minsk II cease-fire, Russia continued fighting, simply ignoring the provisions of a peace deal Putin had signed just days earlier. In this battle too, Russian army tanks were one of the keys to victory. Debaltseve fell on Feb. 18, 2015, one week after Minsk II was signed, and four days after the cease-fire should have started. More than 500 innocent citizens from the city were killed. Escalation? Something very important is missing from all of this, and that is a record of any demands, small or large, from the citizens of Debaltseve or Ilovaisk to be part of the so-called “separatist” enclaves of eastern Ukraine. Fighting rages in Ukraine on a daily basis, people die every single day in this very real war. This morning (Aug. 7) there were reports of 120 mm weapons (banned by Minsk) being used on the outskirts of Mariupol. Also absent is any record any significant number of people in Mariupol wanting to leave Ukraine, as we have learned from looking at cities like Slovyansk, this war is simply not the will of the people, it is not fought with any local agency. While Russia projects the idea of a better armed Ukraine being some kind of “escalation” of events, in reality the examples of Ilovaisk and Debaltseve show that it is actually Russia that is responsible for escalations. The counter argument to arming Ukraine is that it would lead to an increase in hostilities, this idea has simply not stood the test of time, because while Ukraine has not been armed with U.S. weapons, the Kremlin increased its hostility towards Ukraine anyway. The reason why the Pentagon’s request for Javelin missiles makes sense is because it will blunt Russia’s ability to carry out large scale offensive operations designed to capture more population centres. The residents of Mariupol and Avdiyivka (where fighting also rages every day) will be safer in the knowledge that they will not suffer the same fate as their compatriots in Debaltseve and Ilovaisk. The key to ending the war in eastern Ukraine has always been to increase the costs to Russia for their actions. There are many ways to do this, and providing Ukraine with fearsome tank destroying capabilities is an excellent way to start.
The US is selling Ukraine lethal defensive weapons, including the Javelin anti-tank missile.
Arming Ukraine could invite disaster not only for the country but also for U.S.-Europe relations.
Warsaw’s desire to deploy additional batteries of Patriot anti-air defense systems is related to Russia’s plan to rearm the missile brigade in the Kaliningrad province, Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski told Kommersant in an interview. “Here’s your answer: Russian missiles have already been deployed there, and until now we have had no anti-air defense systems to defend ourselves in the event of a possible attack. We are not taking the first steps, we are reacting to what we see. Especially since the Patriot does not make it possible to attack any country – in this regard the system is useless. But Iskanders can be used for attacks, equipped with nuclear warheads,” the minister said. When asked whether Poland would be prepared to deploy intermediate and long range missiles, if the US Congress revises the INF Treaty, the minister responded, “It’s all speculation”. “For now it’s all speculation: we have not received offers from the US, and the decision to deploy such weaponry would depend on NATO. As far as I know, we have not yet considered such a prospect,” Waszczykowski explained. He also said that it is currently unclear when Poland will receive the Patriot systems from the US. “We have signed a preliminary agreement and stated our wishes regarding the specifications of these batteries, radars and other associated equipment. Now we are waiting for a response from the US concerning the technical details of the agreement and the price. So you shouldn’t expect the delivery tomorrow,” the Polish foreign minister said. He did not specify how many systems Poland plans to acquire, but he confirmed that “eight” is “close”. “The important thing is for the anti-air defense systems to defend at least three points: firstly, the capital, secondly the part of the country through which NATO reinforcement forces could arrive to support our defensive capabilities, and thirdly, the main headquarters or another place which is important with respect to defense, and here the choice depends on the military’s opinions. Usually three batteries are required to defend each point like this,” he said.
Poland will no longer cooperate with Russia to investigate the crash of a government aircraft near Smolensk in 2010. According to Foreign Minister of Poland …
Mikheil Saakashvili, the former Georgian president and ex-governor of Ukraine’s Odesa region who was stripped last month of his Ukrainian citizenship, says Russian President Vladimir Putin will eventually face “full international isolation” as a result of tensions between Moscow and the West.
Georgia’s ex-president has stated that the independence of Belarus is under threat. Georgia’s ex-president and former Odessa region governor Mikhail Saakashvili said that the independence of Belarus is under threat. He said that to Radio Racyja while communicating with journalists in Poland. “I have always been an advocate of Belarus. I believed that the independence of Belarus is the highest value, since if there is no Belarus as an independent state, what can we talk about? And this threat has not disappeared. Of course, I am for the freedom of the Belarusian people, I am sure that the democratic future is the only alternative, since the Belarusians are one of the most advanced nations in the world,” – Saakashvili said. At the same time, he noted that it is necessary to fight for independence, protect independence and take into account all the factors. “I think that at the moment Putin, with or without Lukashenka, wants to take Belarus and we must not give him that opportunity,” – the disgraced politician said. According to Mikhail Saakashvili, after the West-2017 exercises, a part of the Russian troops may stay on the territory of Belarus. “The army units can be used both for actions against Ukraine and for occupying of Belarus,” – Georgia’s ex-president and former Odessa region governor said. We remind that on August 3, Ukraine informed the US and all the other countries that all the former Odessa region governor’s passports had been annulled. Nevertheless, Mikhail Saakashvili arrived in Poland. According to him, neither the US nor Poland recognizes the deprivation of his Ukrainian citizenship.
Ex-Georgian president and former regional governor of Odesa, Mikheil Saakashvili, says ordinary people are rejecting ruling elites in both Ukraine and Russia. He was speaking to Aleksei Dzikavitsky of RFE/RL’s Russian Service in Warsaw on August 7.
Former Georgian President and Ukrainian regional governor Mikheil Saakashvili has made a visit to Lithuania, the latest stop in his travels since Ukraine said on July 26 that it was stripping him o…
08.08.17 16:55 – I must get Ukrainian citizenship back, – Saakashvili says he will not gain Lithuanian citizenship Former President of Georgia and former governor of the Odesa region in Ukraine Mikheil Saakashvili announced in Vilnius he was not going to gain Lithuanian citizenship, although he feels thankful for this proposal made by some Lithuanian politicians. View news.
Moscow was hopeful Trump would loosen sanctions. Instead, he made them permanent.
Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the Georgian breakaway region of Abkhazia on Tuesday, the Kremlin said.
Russians have marked the 80th anniversary of a campaign of deadly political repression by former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin known as the Great Terror. Hundreds of thousands of people were murdered by the Soviet regime beginning in the late 1930s. But one activist says he is being punished by the Russian government for digging too deeply into the country’s dark past. (Current Time TV, RFE/RL’s Russian Service)
In The Now, hosted by RT’s Senior Political correspondent Anissa Naouai out of Moscow headquarters every Sunday, shared a video today on Facebook with the following comments: Kids take a bite out of Soviet Union’s Vladimir LeninKids take a bite out of Soviet Union’s Vladimir Lenin But don’t worry! It’s only a cake – not the embalmed body 😜 — feeling hungry. The video is disgusting, with children taking slices out of what looks like Lenin’s body, which is already disgustingly displayed in Lenin’s tomb in Moscow. Then the kids eat it… Comments include: This is disgusting! Too bad I can’t unsee this. need a vomit emjoji 🤮 How do I unsee and imagine and unthink this disgusting idea?!
There are three different videos here. I have not had time to view all three. Two are from Infowars.com and the other is from Geopolitca.ru. Appearing is Dr. Alexandr Dugin, who is perhaps, one of Putin’s most ardent supporters and a prolific writer about Russian Information Warfare. Also, by Dugin: THE FOURTH POLITICAL THEORY AND THE…
Paul Goble Staunton, August 7 – Even though polls suggest that most Russians would like to reduce the number of gastarbeiters among them, Russian officials routinely say that the country’s economy needs these workers because there are now too few Russians entering the workforce as a result of domestic demographic decline. But now, Nikolay Patrushev, the secretary of the Russian Security Council, has added fuel to the fire on this issue by acknowledging that Moscow has been unable to reduce let along stop illegal immigration and that this flow is not only “a feeding ground for terrorism” but is costing Russians jobs (versia.ru/v-rf-ne-udaetsya-sokratit-nelegalnuyu-migraciyu, nazaccent.ru/content/24963-patrushev-nelegalnaya-migraciya-yavlyaetsya-pitatelnoj-sredoj.html and kp.ru/daily/26714/3740097/). Speaking in Yakutsk at a Security Council meeting devoted to issues in the Far Eastern Federal District, Patrushev admitted that Russian officials had not yet succeeded in “significantly reducing illegal immigration which ‘threatens the provision of public security’” and creates conditions for terrorism, cross-border crime, and “the criminalization of economic relations.” He suggested that migrants “are ever more often using false documents” of various kinds and noted that “these challenges and threats are [especially] important” for the Russian Far East where the low density of the population and the flight of the indigenous population creates even more demand from labor, even from abroad, something that only accelerates Russian flight.
Paul Goble Staunton, August 7 – A new scholarly study showing that Kazakhs and ethnic Russians are increasingly estranged from each other, with Russians now twice as likely to feel that way as Kazakhs, has so disturbed the Kazakhstan government that Astana has moved to take it down from all Kazakh sites lest it spark more discussions about this most sensitive issue. Badytzhamal Bekturanova, the president of the Association of Sociologists and Political Scientists of Kazakhstan recently released a report, “Russians and Kazakhs: Why Inter-Ethnic Estrangement is Growing.” Within days, the Kazakhstan government moved to suppress the report by removing it from all websites hosted in the republic. But the nature of the Internet is such that almost nothing that is posted once ever completely disappears, and Bekturanova’s study is now attracting the attention of sites outside of that republic and almost certainly provoking discussions within Kazakhstan and quite likely within the Russian Federation as well. An example of this is provided by a lengthy article on an Uzbek site prepared by Russian journalist Aleksandr Shustov who summarizes Bekturanova’s findings and argues that the estrangement she found is the result in his view of “the dangerous games Kazakh nationalism” (vesti.uz/opasnye-igry-kazahskogo-natsionalizma/). According to the Kazakhstan study, Shustov says, “the level of inter-ethnic alienation” in Kazakhstan has grown from 19.6 percent in 2012 to 26.4 percent in 2016; and it is greatest in the areas where ethnic Russians form a significant part of the population than elsewhere – the north, east, and center of the country and in the old capital of Alma-Ata. As a result, the ethnic Russians are gradually moving toward “a diaspora-style way of life, worldview and behavior” that precludes close relations with the titular nationality. Ethnic Kazakhs and even Russian-speaking Kazakhs feel such things less intensely because they are confident in the protection of the state. But there is one thing members of the two groups agree on: 20 percent of Kazakhs and 20 percent of ethnic Russians say that the country will not be able to avoid open inter-ethnic conflict in the future, particularly after Nursultan Nazarbayev passes from the scene and is succeeded by someone who the two groups agree will be more nationalist than the current president. Russians in the first instance feel discriminated against by measures and practices that put them at a disadvantage with Kazakhs who speak Kazakh. At the same time, however, the Kazakhstan study found that few Russians learn the titular language: At present, only 4.5 percent of Russians in Kazakhstan say they speak Kazakh. The ethnic Russians who a generation ago formed a plurality of the population in Kazakhstan now form only about 20 percent, Shustov notes, and many of them feel increasingly insecure and are thinking about leaving, although the rate of departures now is relatively small. Only 23,000 ethnic Russians departed last year. But “after 2014,” when Moscow invaded Ukraine, “concerns about the possible repetition in the northern regions of Kazakhstan of ‘a Crimean scenario’ have only intensified.” Bekturanova writes in her study that “Kazakh-speaking young people are distinguished by comparably higher indications of a manifestation of ethnophobia, intolerance, and conflict potential on an ethno-religious basis than their Russian-speaking counterparts.” And some are already acting on the basis of these attitudes. Her research found that “more than half of the ethnic Russians have a negative assessment of the political situation [in Kazakhstan]” with 45.5 percent saying that it is bad. “Each tenth Russian is a supporter of radical means of reforming the political system, and each sixth says he or she is prepared to a radicalization of political views and actions.” As a result, she continues, “more than a quarter of Kazakhstan’s ethnic Russians expect mass actions of protest and an equal percentage expresses a willingness to participate in them. The main reasons for their dissatisfaction are economic problems and ethno-linguistic ones.” And that points to some dangerous possibilities, Shustov says. According to him, “the growth of ethnic nationalism among the titular ethnos is creating especially favorable grounds for interference from outside on the model of Ukraine” as well as for a renewal of the massive levels of ethnic Russian flight that were observed during the first decade after independence.
Where are Putin’s daughters? Chicken shit. </end editorial> Yelizaveta Peskova claims she ‘didn’t know a single person’ who thinks ships are built by people Shehab Khan The Independent Online The teenage daughter of Vladimir Putin’s spokesman is being ridiculed after she visited a Crimean shipyard to offer business advice, despite her lack of knowledge about the industry. Yelizaveta…
Two members of the Russian punk protest band Pussy Riot say they have been detained after staging a protest near the remote prison where Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov is incarcerated. Mari…
Russia has already convicted a blogger for videos mocking religion, including one showing him playing Pokemon Go in an Orthodox church. Now it's convicted another Internet user for repostin…
Sergei Udaltsov, a prominent Russian opposition activist imprisoned over a May 2012 protest against Vladimir Putin and his government, has been released after serving a 4 1/2-year term. Udaltso…
Two women who were convicted of treason for sending text messages about the movement of Russian military equipment on the eve of Russia's 2008 war with Georgia have been released after bein…
A Russian court has held a preliminary hearing in the bribery trial of Aleksei Ulyukayev, a former economic development minister who is the highest-ranking government official to be arrested o…
A firm co-owned by a Putin adviser plans to raise millions in cryptocurrency to help Russian entrepreneurs challenge China in bitcoin mining
Oil company sale has Rosneft going after Russian billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov in a $2.8 billion lawsuit, more than his entire net worth.
Paul Goble Staunton, August 7 – As Vladimir Putin prepares to run for re-election and is casting about for initiatives to suggest he is genuinely concerned about the Russian people, the incumbent Kremlin leader has now found an issue that ultimately affects everyone – the funeral industry, one that in Russia exists in what observers call “complete chaos.” But while Putin’s intervention may win him some support from increasingly hard-pressed pensioners who often do not have enough money for food and clothing let alone funeral expenses and who face a “gray” market that prays on them, his raising of this issue highlights just how serious a problem cemeteries and the burial industry now are. No one knows how many Russian cemeteries there are – the finance ministry puts the number at 80,000 but others say it is far larger – no one is certain who owns most of them, and no one has succeeded in blocking the expanding role of quasi-legal operators who take enormous sums from Russians at a most difficult time. Into this mess, Putin has now inserted himself, Yekaterina Gerashchenko of Kommersant reports, pointing out that the Kremlin leader’s solution is to draft new laws and extend what he sees as the best practices of the state as exemplified by Moscow to the rest of the Russian Federation (kommersant.ru/doc/3377853). The journalist reports that Putin has sent a list of demands to the government calling for reforms. Among them would be to do an inventory of existing cemeteries, establish nation-wide rules for their exploitation, and create conditions so that Russians would be able to pay for internment with their pension insurance alone, rather than having to save on their own. To those ends, the Kremlin leader is calling for a new law – the current legislation governing cemeteries was adopted in 1996 and is outdated and regulations that would reduce the amount of spending on funerals and drive out the “gray” industry which extracts 120-150 billion rubles (2 to 2.5 billion US dollars) from Russians every year. That is on top of the 60 billion rubles (1 billion US dollars) various parts of the Russian government now spend. “In a majority of regions,” the Kommersant journalist says, there are no guaranteed services provided or even information given to the population about what it could do. “In every sixth region, there is not even a specialized service which could provide such support (often these functions are fulfilled by private business).” Still worse, there is no common price list or standards for caskets or other funeral expenses. As a result, some Russians have to or want to pay hundreds of times what others do for burial. Andrey Chibis, the deputy construction minister with responsibilities in this area, says that today the situation in the funeral business in Russia is one of “complete chaos.”
In Russia, since August 6, 2015, about 17,000 tons of food products imported from countries that fell under Russia’s food embargo have been …
Russia will speed up efforts to reduce dependence on the U.S. dollar and credit-card system in the wake of tough new sanctions imposed by Washington, a top diplomat says. Sales of oil, natural gas…
The head of Russia’s Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection Troops says the new robots will be better equipped than people to operate in deadly environments.
Yury Varonezhtsau, Candidate of Science, former member of the Chernobyl Commission of the Supreme Council of the USSR, said in a conversation with a Charter97.org correspondent. – Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Rusy said that after abolition of the protection zone of the Polessky radiation-ecological reserve, the territory can be effectively used. According to him, farmers have learned to grow “clean products”. Could you agree with it? – First, we need to decide what “clean products” mean. Clean products mean a complete absence of radionuclides. I do not know what Rusy meant. Perhaps, he was mistaken in terminology. Although, of course, this is untenable for the person who holds such a position. There should be no mistakes in such issues. Well, it can be done, but it will be too expensive. Products grown there will cost much more than those grown in pure lands. Work in those territories inflicts enormous harm to human health, to say nothing of what will be grown there. I see dozens of tractor drivers from this zone in cancer centers. They work there and a person passes away in a year. Works there are unacceptable. This violates the Constitution. There is one more reason why it is prohibited to grow “clean products” there. There are places without radiation, but these pure lands are only of dozens meters not kilometers or hectares. That is, if you measure the content of radionuclides every five meters, which is very expensive, by the way, you can get a clean land plot in a certain place, in a couple of meters the radionuclide content will be exceeded 40 times, in ten – 100 times, and then again zero. Migration of radionuclides leads to the fact that this picture changes from year to year. Therefore, I can hardly imagine how they are going to grow products there. – Why did the authorities need to abolish the protection zone of the Polessky radiation and ecological reserve? Are we really so short of food that we need to use contaminated lands? – From the point of view of common sense, you question finds no reasonable answer. In terms of the number of farmlands in Europe Belarus takes third position after Russia and Ukraine. Poland, in my opinion, has three times less, not to mention Holland and Germany. Why is this done for? I see this as a political motive. If you read a criminal chronicle, you can see that high-ranking district officials are imprisoned for the sale of mineral fertilizers. And the development of those territories requires a huge amount of fertilizers. That is, local leaders are interested in this. In general, I see here also a financial reason. Many are interested in making money there. From the point of view of economics and physics, there is no answer here. – Maybe Rusy does not have enough competence in this sphere? – Yes, of course. Although, there (in the government) should be some percentage of scientists who, however, keep silence. There are people who know what is going on, but they do not dare say. Everything that happened in the 80s, when everything was hushed up and was supposedly normal is now being repeated.
The Vyborg diocese decided that Father Nikolay (Kireev), suspected of trafficking in persons and pimping, shouldn’t minister for some time. At all desire the priest will not be able to visit his parish in the village named after Morozov. He is in the Vitsebsk pre-trial detention center. Police officers detained the Holy Father and two women engaged in prostitution at a local bus station. The trio was going to the bus to St. Petersburg. Belarusian police officers explained that this operation is the result of a thorough criminal intelligence analysis. Investigators intend to demand to take the suspect under arrest. Now the priest faces imprisonment from 5 to 10 years with confiscation of property. As Channel 5 reports, the ROC doesn’t jump to conclusions about the guilt of the priest, but it hopes that even if the accusations are confirmed, the suspect will be handed over to the Russian side. The village where Father Nikolay worked was small. The parishioners all to a man assure that this quiet and modest person could not secretly establish a brothel. He has a wife and two minor children. The parishioners do not exclude the fact that the priest was in the company of prostitutes trying to help someone. According to the believers, the priest was a sensitive person and could try to save the girls from sexual slavery. But all this is only speculations – it will become clear in the near future how the priest appeared among the promiscuous, once the Belarusian detectives have completed the investigation.
Transnistria / Moldova Reports
A former deputy of the Moldovan Parliament faces trial for treason. Yuriy Bolboceanu was allegedly recruited by the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service. _ F…
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Monday that the US Navy’s plans to construct facilities for urban military training in Moldova are an indicator that the United States has started preparing Moldova’s special forces for a potential military conflict with Transnistria.
The Pentagon’s decision to establish several new military training installations in Moldova may become the first step in transforming the former Soviet republic into another foothold for the US expansion in Eurasia, according to a Russian analyst.
Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Viktor Muzhenko says the Russian Federation could create advanced bases for its weapons and military equipment in Belarus under the guise of the West-2017 joint military exercises, according to LIGA.net. He called the West-2017 drills an attempt to exert pressure on both Ukraine and NATO Allies, LIGA.net reports. “First and foremost, we are referring to the Eastern European states: the Baltic states and Poland. NATO decided to strengthen its presence in the region for this period. This [the West-2017 drills] is the primary threat that may arise, as well as there is possibility of destabilization,” he said in an interview with LIGA.net. Muzhenko stressed that the amassing of [Russia’s] military contingent on the Belarusian territory is offensive. “We do not exclude the possibility of Russia setting up its advanced bases for weapons and military equipment in Belarus under the guise of West-2017 exercises, which will enable the Russian Federation to create new military groupings if necessary,” he said. According to Muzhenko, the active phase of the exercises is scheduled for September 14-20. Initially, Russia announced participation of 3,000 troops. Afterwards, it was extended to 5,000 military. “Actually, I think this contingent will be much larger, taking into account the principle of the Russian Federation to deny the presence of their military in conflict areas. Moreover, the West-2017 exercises are not limited to the territory of Belarus since a whole complex of exercises is planned: the creation of appropriate groupings, redeployment of military units, including in the territory of the Russian Federation along the Ukrainian border,” Muzhenko said. Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak stated earlier that the armed conflict in Donbas was not a frozen one, while Russia’s provocations under false pretenses could not be ruled out.
The head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Viktor Muzhenko believes that a military offensive group can be created on the territory of Belarus under the guise of the West-2017 exercises. “We cannot rule out Russia may try to create advanced military bases with weapons and military equipment, which would enable the Russian Federation to promptly create new groupings as the need arises,” Muzhenko said in an interview with LIGA.net published on 7 August. “Initially, it was announced the number of the Russian grouping will be at 3 thousand troops, now we see it nears 5 thousand. I think this group will be much larger. Which Russia will deny as usual” Muzhenko recalled that three new divisions (144th motorized rifle, 3rd motorized rifle and the 150th motorized rifle) have already been deployed near the western border of Russia, which also bear signs of offensive formations. “So far, we do not see the creation of groups powerful enough to allow the Russian Federation, say, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, to launch a large-scale offensive operation. However, their reformatting and an updated command system indicate that a possibility of conducting certain offensive operation cannot be ruled out,” Muzhenko said. It is hard to say how massive this offensive can be, he said: “We examine and analyze all variants for the development of the situation: from local actions to a full-scale invasion.” During a recent visit to Kyiv, Belarus President Alyaksandr Lukashenka assured that the territory of his country would never be used to invade Ukraine. Strategic exercises West-2017 will be held from September 14 to September 20 this year simultaneously in several training ranges of Russia and Belarus. When announcing the excersises, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu called them “the central event of joint training of Russian and Belarusian armed forces in 2017”.
08/08/2017 Valeriya Kondratova Journalist LIGa.net Facebook Borispol, 7:30. The military aircraft An-26 with the marking Ukrainian Armed Forses on the fuselage removes the chassis and gains height. On its board there are about ten people in military uniform, but, perhaps, only a few clearly know where the plane is heading – actually, the pilots and the chief of the General Staff – the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Victor Muzhenko. The other escorts look through the portholes, grab landmarks and try to guess the place and time that will be spent on the flight. In Muzhenko’s trips around the country, this is a normal practice, say the military. Sometimes, they flew with the head of the General Staff for a day, but returned in two weeks. Muzhenko flies in his cabin in the tail section of the An-26, closer to the ramp – it allows you to climb aboard and go out among the first. He has a separate room of several square meters: a table, two soft armchairs with safety belts, a sofa of yellow-brown color. All new, but no frills – recently the plane underwent major repairs and, as they joke, only the fuselage remained from the old aircraft. “But if you need to go to the toilet, do it on the ground, yet not Boeing,” advise the military. One and a half to two hours later, the aircraft lands near the old terminal of the Lviv airport. On the runway of the chief of the General Staff, a helicopter is already waiting, the most convenient transport for moving from the airport to the desired point. This day there will be many such flights. Muzhenko decided to check several objects at once: the international center for peacekeeping and security in Starichi, on the basis of which in September large-scale Ukrainian-American exercises Rapid Trident will take place, the 184th training center for training units of the National Academy of the Land Forces – he is called the forge of personnel for the ATU, the training center Engineering troops in the Khmelnytsky region. The most frequent question from Muzhenko on a trip – what are the problems? He assigns him to colonels, generals, teachers, regular soldiers, students of advanced training courses for officers. And the second question: how many cadets during the training in the centers agreed to sign a contract with the Armed Forces of Ukraine? “How many of these, raise your hands. Not so much, but already there. How much are you here? Month. In principle, there is still time to decide, “he agitates. Muzhenko corrects the teachers and criticizes their slides (why the guerrilla warfare students, if in the Donbass classical positional), asks the students questions about the device of automatic machines, is interested in the work and equipment of the diving center, the schedule of the day of the conscripts, listens to the trainings of foreign instructors on the methods of shooting, Classes. Interview LIGA.net with the chief of the General Staff of the APU took place at an altitude of 9,000 feet, on the way back – during a 50-minute flight from Starokonstantinov to Kiev. A storm was raging in the capital, Boryspil airport put the aircraft in standby mode for half an hour, and the An-26 pilots interrupted our conversation with Muzhenko to agree on a further plan: whether the board will circulate above Boryspil or leave for the airfield in Zhytomyr region. “Maybe we’ll wait?” They write that they are already accepting Zhulian, “the correspondent suggested. To agree on an unscheduled landing in Zhulyany, a military aircraft with the Chief of the General Staff took 9 minutes on board. In an interview, Muzhenko told how the Russian units are present in the ATU zone, whether there are threats from the occupied Transdniestria, what to expect from the September exercises of the Russian Federation in Belarus, what the General Staff thinks about the bill on de-occupation of Donbass and how the Minsk process helped the Ukrainian army. We could not help but ask about the salaries of the military, including combat pilots – who remain miserable, despite the authorities’ statements about the next billion hryvnias and after the proclamation of 2016 as “the year of the Air Force” Company “In the Donbas, up to 40 thousand mercenaries, militants and cadre military from Russia”
Russia has launched a railroad it built in Rostov and Voronezh regions to bypass Ukraine, according a Russian news agency. “Working traffic on the Zhuravka-Millerovo section is now live. Thus, we can say this electrified two-track railroad built to bypass neighboring Ukraine has begun operations,” the Moscow-based Interfax news agency said with reference to a source. According to the report, the traffic will intensify, and relevant plans are being implemented by the Transport Ministry, Russian Railways, and other relevant organizations, the source said. Read also Ukrzaliznytsia to launch direct rail service between Ukraine and Bulgaria The Zhuravka-Millerovo railroad running through Rostov and Voronezh regions has connected different Russian regions while bypassing Ukraine. A decision to build a railroad connecting Russia’s central and southern regions was made in 2015. Earlier on Monday, August 7, Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said the Zhuravka-Millerovo railroad stretch would ensure Russia’s independence from crossing the border with the neighboring Ukraine.
08.08.2017 11:38. The InformNapalm international intelligence community has identified 44 types of weapons and special-purpose vehicles of the Russian Federation in eastern Ukraine within the open source intelligence (OSINT).
07.08.17 18:05 – We saw Dagestanis and Russians. They don’t even hide their flag, – Ukrainian fighters at Avdiivka. VIDEO Ukrainian military at Avdiivka are fighting Russian and Dagestani mercenaries. View video news.
The number of ceasefire violations in Donbas has increased over the week, Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Special Monitoring Mission (OSCE SMM) in Ukraine Alexander Hug said at a press briefing in Luhansk.
During the past day, Russian-backed militants violated ceasefire 18 times across the zone of the Anti-Terrorist Operation, leaving one Ukrainian soldier killed and another two – wounded in action, as reported by the press center of the ATO Headquarters. News 08 August from UNIAN.
08.08.2017 13:08. One Ukrainian soldier was killed, two servicepersons were wounded in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) zone in eastern Ukraine over the past day.
A Ukrainian soldier has been killed by an enemy sniper near the town of Maryinka, eastern Ukraine, according to the press center of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters. News 07 August from UNIAN.
08.08.2017 09:36. Militants launched 18 attacks on positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in ATO area in Donbas over the past day, using the weapons prohibited by the Minsk agreements.
08.08.2017 12:04. The Russian occupation forces have wounded a civilian during shooting exercises near the village of Kadiyivka in Luhansk region, the main intelligence directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry has reported on Facebook.
Human rights activists and veterans of the Anti-Terrorist Operation in eastern Ukraine have warned about provocations by Russian special forces during various protests staged in Ukraine. “Our job is to warn people. Many people think that [Russian] special forces only recruit agents and stage protests with Russian slogans. But now provocations using patriotic rhetoric are being planned,” Yevhen Chepeliansky, chairman of the Syndicate human rights group, said during a press conference held at the Kyiv-based Interfax-Ukraine news agency on Monday in Kyiv. Chepeliansky said before holding protests in Kharkiv people offering assistance contacted activists on social media platforms. “We started to analyze the situation. These people operate using patriotic rhetoric. But we found out about their links to the Nazhdak organization, which carries out political tasks. We gathered information and reported it to Ukraine’s Security Service,” he said, adding that law-enforcement agencies have arrested a man, “who confessed that he was supposed to participate in the Syndicate protest near the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) and throw a grenade.” “There was another group of individuals who were tasked with breaking bottles and causing a stir,” Chepeliansky said.
Russia sent 104 trains and 53 car convoys to Donbas in 2017. Only last month, militants received 19 wagons and 10 trucks with ammunition. Main – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today
08.08.2017 10:57. Ukraine's accession to NATO is supported by 30 percent of residents of Donetsk region.
07.08.2017 16:56. The State Border Service plans to spend UAH 500 million (about $19.4 million) on the implementation of the Project Wall, a fortified barrier on the Ukrainian-Russian border, in 2017, the new head of the State Border Service, Petro Tsyhykal, has said.
Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov on Tuesday said that military communications today are an integral part of the system of the Armed Forces command and control, forming the army’s hi-tech base. In his address to the Signal Corps units on their professional holiday, Turchynov said that “this demands from the Signal Corps troops high professional training based on global achievements in science and technology, confident knowledge of the latest approaches to the introduction of innovative technology in the field of communications in various conditions.” Read also Turchynov boasts new Ukrainian weaponry According to Turchynov, a testimony to this is the successful performance by the Signal Corps of its tasks during the Anti-Terrorist Operation in eastern Ukraine. “In extremely difficult conditions, the Signal Corps personnel heroically fulfill their military duty,” the NSDC secretary stressed.
08.08.2017 10:54. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman congratulated Ukrainian combat signallers on the Day of Communication Troops.
08.08.17 11:53 – New wave of military draft starts today: 1,000 persons to be recruited On Aug. 8, an extra military draft campaign is taking off. It will last until Aug. 31. View news.
08.08.17 12:31 – Participant in Dnipro shooting David Pabiler served new indictments David Pabiler, who participated in the shooting in Dnipro City that claimed lives of two ATO veterans, has been served two more indictments. View news.
The Directorate General of Defence Purchase (DGDP) is awarding a lucrative contract to Turkish firm Delta Defence for supplying as many as 680 Light Armoured Vehicles (LAV) in view of standardizing the Ukraine-made armoured vehicles. That was reported by bdmilitary.com. The Turkish company supplies modified Ukrainian armoured vehicles built as per tender specifications of the Bangladesh Army. According to the source, the Bangladesh Army looks to buy 600 Tur-K2 and 80 Tur-K3 multipurpose armored vehicles. They will be delivered in phases with first 100 due for delivery in 2018, another 150 in 2019 and all remaining units by 2022. The Tur-K2 is a Ukrainian Kozak-2m 4×4 armoured vehicle that based on 4×4 truck Iveco Eurocargo. The Tur-K3 is a Ukrainian Otaman 6×6 wheeled personnel carriers. The Ukrainian company refused to confirm this information. Some sources said that the Ukrainian company «PRACTIKA» together with Turkish company «Delta Defence» are at the negotiation stage and the contract is not signed.
“Yesterday (Saturday, August 5, 2017) was a most interesting day. That’s why I love walking and digging in the forest… you never know what you’re going to stumble on. When I realized that I wasn’t looking at an explosive, but at the lid of a large aluminum can, I started imagining what treasures might be hidden inside. Once, I met a local fellow, a “digger” like me, who boasted that he’d found something similar. And, I wasn’t wrong! The can contained old UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army) archival documents!” writes Yuriy D. “Of course, I couldn’t resist looking through the content of the container although the paper was rather fragile and brittle. I called up Volodymyr Vyatrovych, Director of the Ukrainian Institute of National remembrance who referred me to the Museum “Prison on Lonskoho” in Lviv, and I personally handed over my findings to Director Ruslan Zabily. He promised they’d give me a certificate of acceptance-transmission with a more detailed description of the content, and later a disk of all the digitized documents.” “I looked through only a part of the documents in order not to damage them, and from what I read, they relate to the 1948-1950s, from geographically different regions – Bukovyna, Ivano-Frankivsk, and Lviv regions. After digitizing, the documents should be displayed on the Internet, and a public presentation will also be organized.”
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry handed a note to the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Ukraine Jan Peklo over the intention of the Polish side to include in the new design of the Polish passport’s pages images of a Polish military cemetery in Lviv, the press service of the foreign ministry told UNIAN. News 08 August from UNIAN.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has handed a note of protest to Polish Ambassador to Ukraine Jan Pieklo over Warsaw’s plans to imprint images of a chapel situated in the Lychakiv Cemetery in Ukraine’s Lviv on the pages of Poland’s new passports.
The Canadian Air Force appointed a pilot with Ukrainian heritage to be the new astronaut. Colonel Joshua Kurtik was chosen out of almost 4 thousand applicant…
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the organizer of the Eurovision international song contest, is going to change the rules of the contest to prohibit countries sending participants who might be banned from entering the host country according to its national legislation, the top Eurovision site Esctoday reported. However, this information has not yet appeared on EBU’s official site. Esctoday wrote that after Lisbon was selected as the city hosting Eurovision 2018 on 8, 10 and 12 May, the EBU began to inform national broadcasters of the rule changes. According to the site, the rule modifications were approved during an EBU meeting in June following discussions on the “undesirable incidents” which took place during the Eurovision contest 2017 in Kyiv, when the Ukrainian security service prohibited Russia’s Eurovision contestant Yulia Samoilova from entering the country for a performance in occupied Crimea, which is prohibited by Ukraine’s national law. In response, Russia withdrew from the contest and did not broadcast it inside the country. A small part of the modifications has been made public by the German national broadcaster ARD.
The American company, Avellana Gold, has developed a project to extract gold and gold-polymetallic ore in Transcarpathia (Zakarpattia Region of …
08.08.2017 10:25. France will raise funds for Ukraine to assist it in developing technical and economic assessment for the project on solar power stations’ construction in the exclusion zone in Chornobyl.
In an interview with the television program Persha Spalta, Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine Ihor Nasalik said that the purchase …
Ukraine from June started buying crude oil (according to foreign economic activity code 2709) from Iranian contractors, according to the State Fiscal Service. Thus, if in June Ukraine received crude oil from this country for $236,000, supplies in July amounted to $5.442 million. In general, in January-July Ukraine imported 508,105 tonnes of crude oil worth $213.001 million, in particular from Azerbaijan for $183.858 million, Kazakhstan for $17.504 million, Iran for $5.678 million, and from other countries for $5.961 million.
08.08.2017 10:19. The observatory on the Pop Ivan mountain in the Ukrainian Carpathians will soon be restored to facilitate the development of Ukrainian science and improve the international relations.
At least 99 people have drowned in Ukraine in the past week as sweltering heat drove people to rivers, lakes, and the Black Sea for relief, officials say. In a statement on August 7, the Nationa…
Russia introduced temporary power outage schedule for the southern coast of Crimea as a result of the maximum load on the Simferopol – Yalta …
08.08.17 10:46 – More than 108,000 Crimea residents left without electricity after power cutoffs scheduled The occupation authorities of Crimea have implemented temporary schedule of power cutoffs, leaving more than 108,000 residents without electricity. View news.
Energy officials say electricity was cut for hours to tens of thousands of people on the Russian-controlled Crimean Peninsula amid soaring summer temperatures and continuing supply problems on Augus…
In Kerch, in the territory of the garden non-profit partnership "Zaliv", the demolition of dacha sections owned by members of the cooperative …
The construction of the Kerch Strait Bridge between the Russian Taman peninsula and the annexed Crimea causes serious concerns, as stated by ecologist, Olexandr Sokolenko. The expert said that even in Soviet times no one built a bridge there because of the peculiar landscape of the sea bottom, which can cause the bridge to collapse. “No wonder that in the days of the war the fascists were unable to build it. Nobody took up this project in Soviet times, because there is a very complex geology there… Karst cavities (fissures and pockets) are located at the bottom of the Kerch Strait. They are 20-30 meters in size, making the bridge construction very difficult,” Sokolenko explains. In addition, the construction of a bridge to the annexed Crimea will influence currents in the Kerch Strait that connects the Azov and Black Seas. This can lead to a disruption of the ecosystem of the seas and create difficulty for marine mammal migration. At the same time, Sokolenko said that none of the Ukrainian service or inspection officials are monitoring the situation in this region; therefore, it is very difficult to assess the real damage from the construction of the Kerch Bridge. It became known earlier that the main highway section of the bridge across the Kerch Strait is approximately 70% complete.
Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports
A senior U.S. official says about 2,000 Islamic State (IS) militants are battling for survival in the Syrian city of Raqqa, the extremists’ last stronghold in the north of the country. …
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that a UN commission investigating war crimes in Syria should continue its work despite the resignation of a prominent member of the panel in protest. …
With help from outsiders, Iranian forces reportedly arrested 27 ISIS supporters and killed two other militants also planning attacks.
The Kurds—who occupy a mountainous region that includes portions of Armenia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey—are the largest ethnic group in the world without a state to call their own. It is time to change that. The Kurds have been making bids for statehood—and having them brutally suppressed—since the early 20th century. But there is a strong case for the United States, in particular, to work towards securing a homeland for the Kurds—a case buttressed by Kurdish militias’ indispensable contribution to defeating the Islamic State. To be sure, the establishment of a ‘greater Kurdistan’ that includes all areas where the Kurds comprise a majority remains impossible. If internal Kurdish politics were not enough to prevent such an outcome, geostrategic constraints certainly would be. Kurdish independence is particularly implausible in Turkey. The Kurds’ main representative in that country, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)—which champions a distinctly secular, Marxist brand of nationalism—has been fighting the Turkish government for decades. But, the government, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has not wavered in its commitment to preventing the establishment of a Kurdish state, to the point that even the PKK’s founder, Abdullah Öcalan, now favors a resolution that falls short of independence. Erdoğan’s commitment to ending the PKK’s quest is so strong that he is also working to prevent Syria’s Kurds from leveraging sovereignty from their military gains against ISIS. He fears that Kurdish success in Syria would inspire Turkey’s Kurds to revive their own fight for statehood in the country’s southeast. This fear of nationalist spillover has driven Erdoğan’s campaign to create a buffer zone along the Turkish border that extends well into the territory now controlled by Syrian Kurds.
Iran’s army says four of its servicemen were killed and eight others wounded when a soldier opened fire on his colleagues at a military base.
A group of Iranian lawmakers have come under fire for appearing too eager to take selfies with EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini while she was in Tehran to attend a high-profile event. …
Erik Prince’s proposal to bridge Afghanistan’s air capability gaps with his own private air force faces a mountain of legal hurdles, government oversight, and raises the question of private military companies operating in roles typically in the purview of nation states.
DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports
Responding Monday to new U.N. sanctions, North Korea threatened a nuclear attack on the United States. Speaking at the ASEAN summit in Manila, North Korea’s foreign minister spoke of “intercontinental attack capabilities” that meant his nation could teach the U.S. a “severe lesson with its nuclear strategic force.” Doubling down, North Korea’s state news agency suggested that “There is no bigger mistake than the United States believing that its land is safe across the ocean.” In the context of North Korea’s rapidly advancing intercontinental ballistic missile program, these threats cannot be ignored. Still, North Korean officials would do well to remind themselves of the nuclear threat they currently face. Because at this very moment, there are probably at least two Ohio-class US nuclear ballistic missile submarines on patrol in the Western Pacific. Their mission? To provide surety for the nation’s strategic nuclear deterrence posture. Supporting U.S. land based and air launched nuclear missile forces, the SSBNs move slowly in a variety of pre-defined patrol sectors far out at sea. Under the military’s nuclear attack base plan, OPLAN 8010, the SSBNs stand ready to launch their Trident D-5 ballistic missiles at either preselected or actively chosen targets. Regardless, the SSBNs represent the pinnacle of warfighting lethality. With each SSBN armed with 24 missiles and at least 8 independent nuclear warheads per missile, one US Ohio-class submarine carries at least 192 nuclear warheads varying between yields of 100 and 475 kilotons. Moreover, as the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists blog noted in March, these missiles possess exceptionally accurate targeting systems. This reality is one North Korean leaders must constantly bear in mind. After all, were North Korea preparing a nuclear strike on the U.S. homeland or a territory such as Guam, the response would be swift and overwhelming. In that scenario, the US would likely launch a pre-emptive decapitation strike on Kim Jong Un’s regime. What would that mean? Well, consider the NukeMap below. It shows the projected destructive impact of a 475 kiloton warhead on the North Korean capital, Pyongyang. But that’s just the start. Were a North Korean nuclear attack looming, the U.S. military would almost certainly recommend Trump to authorize 3+ warhead strikes on each major command and control target. Depending on U.S. concerns about civilian casualties and the imminence of the threat, that might include multiple strikes on Pyongyang itself. Missile launch sites, carriers, and warhead silos would also definitely be targeted in such an event. This is what Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was talking about when he recently described “destroying North Korea itself.” Although diplomacy should be the absolute priority in addressing Kim Jong Un’s ballistic missile program, Kim should have no illusions. The nuclear threat game that he’s engaged in is not one that would end well for him if the threats were ever carried out.
NUKEMAP is a Google Maps mash-up that calculates the effects of the detonation of a nuclear bomb.
Example 1.2 MT B83 gravity bomb – Pyongyang, airburst.
The vote is encouraging, but a strategy to denuclearize North Korea remains elusive.
China will pay the biggest price from the new United Nations sanctions against North Korea because of its close economic relationship with the country, but will always enforce the resolutions, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.
China is willing to take the economic hit of greater sanctions on North Korea, a top official said Monday, as Washington continues to pressure Beijing on the issue.
China will pay the biggest price from the new U.N. sanctions against North Korea because of its close economic relationship.
The answer is likely no–but questions remain.
In Japan and South Korea, politicians are calling for new military capabilities, in what could become a regional arms race.
North Korea hinted that it would conduct another nuclear or missile test, as it has often done in response to past United Nations sanctions.
North Korea, showing no intention of succumbing to international sanctions designed to end to the rogue regime’s missile tests, once again on Tuesday hurled threats, vowing to send packs of wolves to strangle the nations standing firm in opposing Kim Jong Un’s dictatorship.
As tensions rise, more and more Americans consider North Korea a threat.
North Korea announces that it won't put its weapons on the negotiating table despite U.N. economic sanctions. Also, a possible tornado rips through coastal Maryland, tossing cars through the air. All that and all that matters in today's Eye Opener. Your world in 90 seconds. <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/newsletters/" target="_blank"><u>Get the Eye Opener delivered straight to your inbox.</u></a>
North Korea could drag the U.S. and China into a major war neither wants.
LONDON — The Chinese pulled 84% of their…
A trade war between the U.S. and China is brewing and could be the biggest risk for global investors, a prominent asset manager told CNBC.
On Monday, official data showed that China’s foreign exchange reserves in July hit $3.081 trillion — the highest in nine months.
In an interaction with visiting Indian media delegation, Chinese diplomat says mutual pullout of forces from the area, as proposed by India, is not an option.
India’s diplomatic efforts to end a seven-week military standoff with China have hit a roadblock, people briefed on the talks said, prompting Chinese state-run media to trumpet rhetoric of “unavoidable countermeasures” on the unmarked border.
Foreign Policy Reports
07.08.17 17:35 – Europe will oppose attempts to legitimize Crimea occupation, – German Foreign Office The European Union hopes Russia will return to the path of legality and compliance with international treaties, meanwhile it is ready to resist any attempts to legitimize the annexation of Ukrainian Crimea. View news.
A controversial drive for a course correction in Russia Russia by Germany’s Federal Democratic Party (FDP) leader Christian Lindner was praised by the country's left-wing forces, whose candidate for the Chancellor post, Sahra Wagenknecht, welcomed the earlier statement by Lindner, Spiegel reports. In her interview with the Funke Mediengruppe, Wagenknecht stated that the need to return immediately to the “detente policy ” in relations with Russia for the sake of European peace and security, Spiegel wrote. “If the FDP recalled these foreign policy traditions, this is welcome,” she said. As UNIAN reported earlier, Germany’s FDP leader Christian Lindner suggested that the issue of Crimea’s illegal annexation should be “sealed” for now in order to make progress on other issues of relations with Moscow. He said that it is necessary to work out proposals that would allow Putin to change his policy “without losing face.”
The head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars, People's Deputy of Ukraine Refat Chubarov told reporters Tuesday he considered it inadmissible to postpone the issue of Crimea's return for later, an UNIAN correspondent reports. “If we leave the issue now, as you say, for some distant future, then Russia will do everything to destroy the indigenous peoples,” Chubarov said in reply to the statements by German politicians that the question of the return of Crimea under Ukraine’s jurisdiction should be resolved after settling the Donbas conflict. The head of the Mejlis stressed that the Ukrainian government cannot allow indigenous peoples to be destroyed on its territory. Read also Candidate for German Chancellor post supports return to “detente policy” with Russia “And therefore, Crimea, just like the territories in Eastern Ukraine beyond our control – Crimea and Donbas – should be in the same line, and we should consider these issues simultaneously,” Chubarov said.
08.08.17 14:03 – Crimea and Donbas should go side by side in de-occupation terms, – Chubarov The issue of the return of Crimea under Ukrainian government control should not be considered separately from the Donbas. View news.
Germany’s Coordinator of German-Russian Intersocietal Cooperation, Gernot Erler, said that Ukraine should focus on resolving the conflict in the Donbas, and only then return to the issue of Crimea’s de-occupation, reports Deutschlandfunk.de. According to the German special envoy, such an approach coincides with the wishes of the European community. It considers the ending of the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine a matter of priority. The matter of the de-occupation of the Crimea is on the political agenda, but should be considered later, reports Ukrayinska Pravda. A day earlier, the head of the Free Democratic Party of Germany, Christian Lindner, advocated resumption of cordial relations with Russia and called for the issue of the annexation of Crimea to be temporarily “sealed” in order to make progress in other matters with Moscow. On August 4, the EU Council decided to add three Russian nationals and three companies to its list of sanctions against the Russian Federation in connection with the “violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty” after Siemens gas turbines were sent to the Crimea. The additional sanctions include freezing of assets and a travel ban, which now will apply to 153 individuals and 40 entities.
France’s new young president, an untested centrist, is seeing his support quickly evaporate as he angers and alienates the left and the right, according to polls.
President Nicolás Maduro has taken great pains to reward military leaders for loyalty, but some in the rank and file are turning against him.
President Nicolas Maduro vowed to remove a key defector as chief prosecutor—and after a controversial election, he got his wish. It’s a chilling moment for the opposition.
Foreign ministers from 14 nations are meeting in Peru on Tuesday in hopes of finding consensus on a regional response to Venezuela’s growing political crisis, while President Nicolas Maduro’s all-powerful constitutional assembly is forging ahead on promises to punish the embattled leader’s foes.
Strategy / Capability Publications
Brothers-in-arms sales Common aversion to the US for its meddling in what Russia and China view as their own geopolitical domains – the former Soviet space for Moscow and the China Seas for Beijing – keeps the Sino-Russian strategic partnership going. China is making the best out of a bad situation. It probably believes Russia’s arms sales to India and Southeast Asian nations are not changing the military balance in the Himalayas and the South China Sea at the moment. The Kremlin in essence uses the same argument to justify its transfer of weapons to countries that are at odds with Beijing. Thus tactical contingency is prevailing in China against strategic calculus. However, this could be a mistake by Beijing. Relations between Moscow and Washington have plunged to a perilous low, but in their competition to place arms orders with India and Southeast Asian countries the two powers are separately contributing to the weakening of China’s position in the Indo-Pacific region. Paradoxically, the US and Russia have become “brothers-in-arms sellers” to Beijing’s potential enemies. And Malaysia’s recent adaptation of its Sukhoi Su-30 combat aircraft to drop US laser-guided bombs gives the best snapshot of this accidental Russian-US collaboration.
Editor’s Note: Welcome to the first installment of “Southern (Dis)Comfort,” a new series from War on the Rocks and the Stimson Center. The series seeks to…
An expert panel appointed by the Indian Ministry of Defense reportedly recommends co-production of a new stealth fighter jet.
Imagine wars fought by swarms of unmanned, autonomous weapons across land, air, sea, space and cyber. The autonomous weapons use artificial intelligence-based algorithms to make decisions, advanced sensors to maneuver and pinpoint precise vulnerabilities in targets and offensive and defensive cyber capabilities – all in real-time and independent of human decision making. This is the emerging nature of warfare, and it’s portrayed via a series of vivid vignettes in a recent article in the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings Magazine article, “On Hyperwar,” authored by U.S. Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen (ret.) and Amir Husain, CEO of AI company Spark Cognition and author of the forthcoming book, The Sentient Machine. Fifth Domain recently caught up with Husain, who gave an in-depth interview on this concept and its implications for near-future warfare. Generals and military theorists have sought to characterize the nature of war for millennia, and for long periods of time, warfare doesn’t dramatically change. But, occasionally, new methods for conducting war cause a fundamental reconsideration of its very nature and implications. Allen and Husain, in “On Hyperwar,” identify cavalry, the rifled musket and Blitzkrieg as three historical examples. For Allen and Husain, the advent of hyperwar signals the next “fundamentally transformative change” in warfare. The term hyperwar has been used historically with different denotations, which Allen and Husain trace, but the authors have redefined and adopted the term to describe this “AI-fueled, machine-waged conflict.” Allen and Husain wrote: What makes this new form of warfare unique is the unparalleled speed enabled by automating decision making and the concurrency of action that become possible by leveraging artificial intelligence and machine cognition. … In military terms, hyperwar may be redefined as a type of conflict where human decision making is almost entirely absent from the observe-orient-decide-act (OODA) loop. As a consequence, the time associated with an OODA cycle will be reduced to near-instantaneous responses. The implications of these developments are many and game changing. “On Hyperwar” details some of these changes, which include the concepts of infinite, distributed command & control capacity, concurrency of action/perfect coordination, logistical simplification and instant mission adaptations. In his interview with Fifth Domain, Husain said he has been interested in AI since a young age. More recently, he has been intrigued by applications of autonomy in weapons systems. Running an AI company, Husain is at the forefront of applying new AI-driven technologies. For instance, he compared the company’s SparkPredict AI-based machine failure prediction system to building R2D2 from Star Wars. He compared the company’s DeepNLP (natural language processing) system to building C3PO from Star Wars. “What was science fiction a few years ago is becoming fact now,” Husain told Fifth Domain.
America’s strategic bomber force is comprised of some of the Air Force’s oldest aircraft. The B-52 has served since the 1950s and will remain a valuable aircraft for decades more. However, this is contingent on developing the Long Range Standoff cruise missile to replace the aging Air-Launched Cruise Missile. This new cruise missile will have the range and targeting accuracy to keep the B-52 out of harm’s way in the face of increasingly advanced countermeasures and ensure the B-52 remains a credible piece of the United States nuclear deterrent. The LRSO will also increase the versatility of more advanced aircraft, such as the B-2, F-35, and the forthcoming B-21. Though the LRSO would add more capabilities, critics warn these capabilities and associated costs are unnecessary, and the LRSO could instead compel adversaries to develop new weapons or countermeasures of their own. The Cipher Brief’s Will Edwards asked Air Force Lt. Gen. (ret) David Deptula to weigh the pros and cons about the value of the LRSO to America’s nuclear triad.
Pilots are national assets, so the current pilot shortage is a national problem.
GPS killed the radio nav in 2010, but a high-def version is set to return.
Washington feared Russian bombers. This was the answer to stopping them.
NEW WAYS IN THE COGNITIVE DIMENSION OF INFORMATION OPERATIONS Zsolt HAIG National University of Public Service, Budapest, Hungary firstname.lastname@example.org Veronika HAJDU National University of Public Service, Budapest, Hungary email@example.com ABSTRACT In this paper the authors introduce the cognitive dimension that is becoming more and more important in the field of information operations with special regard…
Sun Tzu and Information Operations: Ancient Philosophy between China and the United States : Grandson and Informationism: Chinese and American Strategy in Ancient Philosophy Kwang Ho CHUN (Jeon Gwangho) , (Jeon Kwang-ho) Low Publication Name: New Asia Issues / Ho: 新亞細亞第24卷第2號 / 2017/102 ~ 126 (25pages) Publisher: New Asia Research Institute Publication Type: Academic Journal Subject category: Political Science and Diplomacy File format:…
I’m ready. Call me. </end editorial> by Joel Gehrke | Aug 7, 2017, 12:37 PM Lawmakers may mandate a specific strategy for countering Russian disinformation if the State Department does not, a senior House Democrat warned. “I urge you to come up with a strategy and work with Congress to implement it at once,” New York Rep. Eliot…
Chris Bing AUG 3, 2017 | CYBERSCOOP Russian intelligence services have been capable of hijacking satellite signals to launch stealthy cyberattacks since at least 2013, according to a newly published cache of classified documents belonging to Canada’s Communications Security Establishment and obtained by The Intercept. Because the innovative hacking technique is believed to be limited to a…
An air assault unit ― the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division from Fort Campbell, Kentucky ― at the Network Integration Evaluation last month put the first prototypes of several of the Army Rapid Capabilities Office’s electronic warfare solutions to the test out in a hot, austere environment.
Please allow me to reintroduce the players. Ilja Janitskin, here also called Hilliers Yanitskinu, is the founder of MV-lehti, a Neo-Nazi hate group reputedly linked to Russian intelligence. According to one source, Mr. Janitskin has been arrested, conflicting reports say in Spain, and was transported to a hospital in Andorra for stage IV cancer. The website for MV-lehti pushes…
Yesterday I published a story about British national Benjamin Stimson being sentenced to more than five years in prison for fighting on behalf of the Russians in East Ukraine. https://en.lb.ua/news/2017/07/30/4216_british_precedentwith_stimson.html His friend Graham William Phillips is still at large, when he returns to the UK he will follow his compatriot’s way. As a reminder, please allow me…
A Las Vegas federal judge set bail of $30,000 on Friday for a celebrated young British cybersecurity researcher accused by U.S. prosecutors of creating and distributing malicious software designed to steal banking passwords.
Bill Burr’s 2003 report recommended using numbers, obscure characters and capital letters and updating regularly. As his advice is overturned, he feels regretful.
US Domestic Policy Reports
Russia intends to respond to all unfriendly actions of the US, as stated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov following a meeting with US …
Russia will seek access to its diplomatic residences in the United States and will not give up the right to them, stated the former Russian …
John McCain sees Russia as our biggest threat. Donald Trump can’t see beyond his own ego.
Nicholas Schmidle on the expulsion of American intelligence agents in Russia by Vladimir Putin during a period of uncertainty over Donald Trump.
Former CIA operative Daniel Hoffman spent five years in Moscow. He’s certain the Russians meddled in last year’s presidential election and intended that some of their activities be exposed.
Russian spies have flooded the US to infiltrate government, businesses and other institutions as President Vladimir Putin has dramatically expanded intelligence…
Republicans accused over secretive bid to contact dossier author … Britain has some of Europe’s lowest broadband speeds … and another snake in the grass
U.S. servicemembers and their families are being subjected to heightened “scrutiny and harassment” while traveling to Russia, prompting officials to urge the U.S. military community to avoid unofficial visits to the country.
Trump SoHo New York, one of the Trump…
The Trump campaign has launched a weekly news service on social media to provide supporters with positive coverage of the president, amid surveys showing that Mr. Trump’s base of support and job approval ratings are shrinking.
CNN made Kayleigh McEnany famous as a Trump shill; it’s hard to blame the president’s team for hiring her to play the same role …
The U.S. Air Force has awarded Boeing a contract for two 747s that will be converted into presidential airlifters.