Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Media Update – 14 August 2017


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Lethal aid debate continues. ICC to investigate invasion of Georgia. More on Zhirinovsky’s outburst (better translation). Khodorkovsky and Zhdanov predict years of stagnation due to sanctions. Yakovenko on Putin’s effort to mold Russia into something like Iran or the DPRK. Mitrokhin on fascism in Russia. Gudkov on Russia’s Putin induced brain drain. Four Crimea articles.

Belarusian concerns over Zapad-2017 again.

Portnikov on Russia exiting Donbass without losing face. Russian infiltration of civil society in Ukraine. Donbass fires continue. Tymchuk on Russian commission auditing proxy force and searching for drug use and thefts. Ilovaysk report details losses. Antonov claims production free of Russian components.

Iran and Russia sanction-busting.

DPRK debate remains intensive. Ukraine being accused of supplying RD-250 series engines to the DPRK, the claim rejected by Turchenov. That the missile stock fitted with these engines were all held in Russia does not appear to have deterred numerous parties in the US from blaming the Ukrainians, who may not have had any remaining stock, as even the civil derivative RD-261/262 was used in ELVs launched from Russia. In fact Russia abandoned its conversion of R-36 / SS-18 ICBMs into Dnepr ELVs after 2014, so Russia still holds stock of these engines and has no further use for them. China sanctions the DPRK, but has yet to stop supplying POL.

VP Pence in Latin America. Claims that the Venezuelans may have contracted a hit on Sen Rubio.

China reports first quantum data transmission from orbit to earth.

Wired on Russia’s  “High Tech Tool Box for Subverting US Democracy”. Claims Obama Administration warned of Russian subversion effort in 2014.


Russia / Russophone Reports

U.S. ‘Defensive Arms’ For Ukraine?

The White House is considering supplying Ukraine with “defensive arms,” but what does this actually mean? (RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service/Reuters)

US debate on arming Ukraine puts pressure on Russia, Trump – The Washington Post

Seeking leverage with Russia, the Trump administration has reopened consideration of long-rejected plans to give Ukraine lethal weapons, even if that would plunge the United States deeper into the former Soviet republic’s conflict.

Close military ties with Europe must remain | Comment | The Times & The Sunday Times

The British and our continental European neighbours share at least one thing in common. There are times when neither of us can see the wood for the trees. The

UAWire – ‘Given the threat’, Poland does not want to resume a small border crossing with Russia

Poland does not want to resume a small border crossing with Russia in the Kaliningrad region &quot;given the threat posed by Russian politics&quot;, as …

UAWire – International Criminal Court to investigate Russia’s war in Georgia

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has included funding for an investigation of the 2008 Russian-Georgian war in its 2018 budget, reported …

UAWire – Russian Minister of Defense hopes for continued cooperation between Russia and Serbia

The Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation, and General of the Russian Army, Sergei Shoygu, is counting on the growth of military and …

Vladimir Zhirinovsky Threatens All Americans – To Inform is to Influence

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a Russian politician, and leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia threatened all Americans in Ukraine. “Your Americans will die, we will destroy them all, shoot them and hang you all. You are a mean creature, [low/lowly animals/beasts/livestock] “he said.[He is basically calling all Ukrainians cattle], “he said. Google his name in Russian, the results…

Who does not jump is the winner: Ukraine have nothing to blackmail Russia – micetimes.asia

Three years ago in Runet seething Patriotic passions on the line, to be the Kremlin against Ukraine. Some patriots demanded the immediate and total cutting gone mad on the basis of nationalism and svidomo Nebrat from Russian benefits and preferences.+ They violently resented that the Kremlin did not do it sooner, instead, more than twenty years with his own hands fed the new Internet Any new step of Moscow, aimed at preserving the status quo, is perceived as a betrayal.+ Other patriots insisted that everything that happens in Ukraine is of short duration, and Moscow is obliged to enter the army to return to Kiev Yanukovych to keep the maximum status quo to everything eventually returned to normal and Russia with Ukraine returned to the familiar format of the “centuries-old fraternal relations.”+

Dimitri K. Simes | The Costs of Ignoring Russia | The National Interest

Current mutual hostility threatens an explosive confrontation.

US sanctions might condemn Russia to decade of stagnation, – Khodorkovsky

14.08.17 10:31 – US sanctions might condemn Russia to decade of stagnation, – Khodorkovsky The U.S. sanctions against Russia might have a long-term negative effect upon the Russian economy. View news.

Russia lost the main battle: years of oblivion predicted for the Kremlin

Russia is hopelessly losing its opposition to the West politically. This opinion was broadcast on the air by the Observer.LIVE military expert Oleg Zhdanov. “Here, in fact, Russia lost the main battle. It seems to me that their main strategic mistake is that they are fighting the methods of the XIX-XX century. The President of Russia began wars of conquest across the territories. Territories – this is the last century. Now everyone is interested in the market. This is the main thing, this is the impetus for the development of the economy, where to sell the products that you produce. While they were engaged in “gathering the lands of Russians”, the US embarked on expansion to the European market. And, in fact, they won this war, “the expert believes. Also, he said, for Europe there will be a change of the “gas needle” from Russian to American. “The technology of shale drilling and the technology of gas speculation makes US gas cheaper than Russian gas. The expansion of the US to the European market is almost won. By the way, Merkel understands this very well. Hence, its attempts to lobby the Nord Stream-2, and attempts to resist American expansion, “he said. In addition, Zhdanov is sure that now the Kremlin does not even have something to offer in return for Washington. “Russia will now toughen methods in terms of propaganda war, but this is already post factum or beating by tail. Because the West understands the perniciousness of this influence. Their special services are quite strong, and now they will work for opposition. To date, Russia does not even have a “change coin,” with which it could enter into negotiations with the United States, “the expert concluded.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: To Retain Power, Putin Wants to Destroy Everything European in Russia, Yakovenko Says

Paul Goble Staunton, August 13 – In order to preserve his regime and retain his personal power, Vladimir Putin is prepared to isolate Russia, clericalize society, and degrade the population, Igor Yakovenko says; fur fortunately, because Russia is a European country, he has few chances to succeed in doing so. The Moscow commentator points out that many in Russia, including people like “former liberal and democrat and now a big supporter of Putin and an anti-Westerner, Sergey Stankevich,” are especially angry that the US has lumped Russia together with North Kore and Iran in its current sanctions package (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=598E96ECD3A58). Stankevich and his ilk don’t recognize that for Putin to survive, the Kremlin leader’s only chance is to copy elements from those two states. In a certain sense, Yakovenko continues, “sanctions and the growth of isolation can add stability to the Putin regime” far more than any import substitution or the rise in domestic production. Instead, “for sanctions to strengthen the Putin regime, he must rape the country several times, finally finish off several of the remaining social institutions and cripple public consciousness” by isolating the country from the world, clericalizing society, and degrading Russian society at all levels. Putin has already succeeded in isolating Russia but not yet to North Korean or Iranian levels. In 2012, Russia’s share of world exports was 2.86 percent. Last year, it had fallen to 1.46 percent. And at the same time, its trade with Iran, as some “domestic patriots from the Izborsky and Zinovyev clubs” desire, had increased. But that is not enough for Putin. Many of his supporters are convinced that the real crime of perestroika and its fallout was that Russians began to think that things are better in the West than in Russia, something that happened, Yakovenko says, because people could see that with their own eyes when the walls came down. To save himself, Putin must try to reverse that and re-isolate Russia, but unfortunately for him, “’the Putin elite’ is still not ready for that. Compared to Iran and North Korea, Russia’s greatest lack is a dominant totalitarian ideology. Putin would like to see Orthodoxy play a role in that regard, but there are reasons why the Russian Orthodox Church despite all its efforts as in the case of the Mathilda dispute simply doesn’t have the ability to create “an Orthodox khalifate” modelled on Iran. The Moscow Patriarchate is incapable of promoting that kind of ideological system: it is limited, Yakovenko argues, to seizing property for itself much as other portions of Putin’s elite have done. And thus Putin has focused on the third element of this unholy trinity: degrading the political elite and Russian society as a whole. Those surrounding him in the Olympus of power would be laughable as members of the ruling class anywhere but in Russia, but they are there because Putin has made great strides in degrading the population. However, despite the Kremlin leader’s enormous efforts, Yakovenko says, “Putin hasn’t been able to reduce Russia to a situation where no circumstances can anything threaten his power. The reason is that Russia despite everything was, is and remains a European country, more precisely a country of European culture.” Putin may want to take Russia down the route of North Korea, Iran or even Zimbabwe, but “Russia all the same isn’t an African country. And thus in the battle with everything European in Russia, Putin has not a few chances to lose,” however strong he may look at any one time.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Fascism Remains a Greater Threat in Russia than in the US, Mitrokhin Says

Paul Goble Staunton, August 14 – The clashes in Charlottesville have raised the specter of the rise of fascism in the United States, but Yabloko leader Sergey Mitrokhin says that while Donald Trump has unleashed these forces and Vladimir Putin currently is trying to control them, fascism remains a far greater threat in Russia than it is in the United States. The main cause of the outburst of extremism in the US, Mitrokhin says, is Donald Trump’s exploitation of white ethnic anger in his election campaign. For the fascists in the US, Trump’s call for “America first” sounds as it does in German an appeal for America “uber alles” (echo.msk.ru/blog/sergei_mitrohin/2036376-echo/). They voted for Trump because they believed that he wants what they want, the Russian politician and analyst says, but “now they understand that the old man will not go further and are beginning to act on their own,” especially since the US leader is unwilling to condemn them directly and lacks the means to suppress them completely. “It is instructive to compare” this situation with that in Russia, he continues. Putin also has played on this theme. So far, he hasn’t issued a call for “’Russia uber alles,’” but he and his team have constantly insisted that “’the entire world is against us,’” a phrase that for many means the same thing. Playing on this theme brought Trump to power, and exploiting it is keeping Putin in power, Mitrokhin says. But Putin is in a position to control the situation far more radically than is Trump. He has more levers than just the media and public statements to control national populism, and he is using them. Putin “understands that among all the ideologies, present-day nationalism is the strongest instrument of influencing the poplar masses. Thus, a monopoly on it is just as important as control on firearms. By maintaining a monopoly, he can keep the ugliest forms of nationalism, which are destructive for society, in check.” That is why so many extreme Russian nationalists are now sitting in prison, Mitrokhin argues. “Trump doesn’t have such possibilities,” he continues. And while the murderer in Charlottesville will receive “the harshest punishment,” it will be impossible for the American president to bring under control “the hundreds and thousands” of those across the US who think the same way and have been encouraged to do so by Trump himself. As a result, the US president “is losing on this front” because “he will not be able to establish a monopoly on this explosive ideology.” In Russia, things are different. “Putin has the means to keep it under control. Trump doesn’t.” But paradoxically, the threat of fascism remains far greater in Russia than in the US. “Nationalistic excesses are likely to be repeated and even multiplied” in the US, “but fascists will not become an influential political force in that country let alone come to power,” Mitrokhin says. There are simply too many forces, including civil society and an independent media, to allow that to happen. Unfortunately, the situation in Russia does not allow for similar optimism, the Yabloko party leader continues. Putin has inspired radical nationalists just as Trump has, and just as in the US, they want far more awful things than even he does. While he is in power, he may be able to keep them in check. But he has destroyed all the other things that could guarantee that. Consequently, if Putin weakens or leaves power, these nationalist radicals will resurface in a redoubled form, and there will be no one to stop them from attempting to take power. If they do, Article 282 now being used against them will be no more effective than the provisions of the Russian Constitution, given what Putin himself has done. “God forbid,” Mitrokhin concludes, that Putin will be sitting “somewhere in Cuba, Syria or Venezuela” after leaving office and will look at what is happening in Russia and say, “consider, they drove me out and they got fascists,” completely oblivious to his own role in bringing them to power not only by encouraging their ideas but by destroying their opponents.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin Regime is Driving Out the Most Qualified Cadres, Levada Center’s Gudkov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, August 13 – Russia faces a massive brain drain because those seeking to leave Russia now in ever greater numbers are the most educated and competent, Lev Gudkov says; and they are leaving precisely because of way in which the Putin regime is treating civil society, the decline in incomes, and growing income inequality. The Levada Center director tells VOA’s Viktor Vladimirov that Russia today is “really observing the fourth wave of outflow and that is is connected first of all with the increasingly tough domestic situation and the strengthening of the authoritarian regime” (golos-ameriki.ru/a/lev-gudkov-on-russian-brain-drain/3980619.html). Now, the most successful people are fleeing, not necessarily forever but rather to give themselves and their children the opportunity to outlive and outlast the current regime in Moscow. Indeed, many of them retain their homes in Russia, expecting that eventually they may be able to return, Gudkov says. This makes the current emigration very different from its predecessors, including those of the 1990s when “Jews, Germans and other ethnic communities left in massive numbers.” Given Moscow’s current policies of militarism, gigantism and isolation, the sociologist continues, there is little chance that the people leaving now will decide to return anytime soon. It simply will take too long for Russia to change back into a country in which they can place their hopes for their futures and those of their children. Most Russians are still trying to adapt to the current situation and are not thinking about leaving, but while “emigration touches a not very large contingent of the population, [what it does affect] are “extraordinarily important for our society, the most educated, the most active and the most capable part.” They are the drivers of Russian development, and “without them, the country is not in a position to rise up and consistently develop. And this part of the population feels itself extremely uncomfortable.” Among its numbers are people in mid-sized and small business, technology, and science, all of whom feel under pressure from the regime. One way or another, Gudkov says, “all the academic scientific milieu is degrading under bureaucratic control and low financing. Also suffering are spheres of culture, education and medicine.” But no society can afford to lose people in these segments in large numbers even if their share of the population at large remains relatively small.

Russia Says Armed Group Leader Killed In Daghestan

Russian authorities say the leader of an armed criminal group has been killed in the volatile North Caucasus region of Daghestan.

The Daily Vertical: What’s Mine Is Mine And What’s Yours Is Mine (Transcript)

There’s more than one way to intimidate your neighbor. Last week, for example, Moscow announced that it was temporarily closing the Kerch Strait to all maritime traffic except for Russian naval vessels — effectively cutting off southeastern Ukraine’s access to the Black Sea. This time, the closure lasted just for a day. The stated reason was to facilitate construction work on a controversial bridge across the strait linking the illegally annexed Crimean Peninsula to Russia. But according to Russian media reports, there are plans to close the strait for more than three weeks in August and September. WATCH: Today’s Daily Vertical And if this happens, the strategically important port cities of Mariupol and Berdyansk would be cut off from international trade, heavily damaging the Ukrainian economy. Russia’s closure of the Kerch Strait is essentially a double violation of international law. It would violate a 2003 agreement between Moscow and Kyiv giving vessels from both countries free access to the strait. And the only reason Russia has the ability to unilaterally close the strait, the only reason Moscow controls both sides of the passage, is, of course, the illegal occupation and annexation of Crimea. Russia’s closure of the Kerch Strait is yet another way for Moscow to send the same message to Kyiv that it has been sending for years: We can — and will — make your life miserable in oh so many ways. It’s yet another message that the Kremlin views Ukraine’s sovereignty as limited and conditional. Moscow is telling Kyiv that what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine. And this goes for Ukraine’s territory, as well as its territorial waters. There are, indeed, many ways to intimidate a neighbor.

Road To Dispossession: Locals Pushed Aside For Trans-Crimea Highway

KERCH, Ukraine — For years and even decades, residents of the Crimean city of Kerch have tended orchards and gardens in the green dacha community of Zaliv. But in recent days they have watched i…

Five Crimean Tatars Detained During Pickets In Simferopol

SIMFEROPOL — Five Crimean Tatar activists have been detained while protesting the jailing of Server Karametov, a 76-year-old man who has Parkinson's disease, by the Russian-imposed authorities. …

Crimea – the big budget Russian blockbuster the world will never see | World news | The Guardian

Film depicting Vladimir Putin’s 2014 annexing of Crimea from Ukraine will only be shown in Russia and Belarus

Russia to train female fighter pilots – BBC News

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu says the Air Force received “hundreds of letters” asking to apply.

An Entirely Hopeless Attempt To Measure Economic Inequality In Soviet Russia

Attempting to measure inequality in a society by monetary income where monetary income simply was not the determinant of inequality, as in Soviet Russia, just isn’t going to work, is it?

Five years of Russia’s Foreign Agent law | openDemocracy

Russia’s Foreign Agent law has made the existence of many NGOs practically impossible. But solidarity is rising among organisations that are working against these restrictions.

Former Chess Champion Kasparov Set For Onetime Return From Retirement

Former world chess champion and Kremlin critic Garry Kasparov is briefly coming out of retirement after 12 years. Kasparov, who dominated professional chess from 1985 to 2000, will compete in th…

A century of Russia’s wildlife reserves: The unseen wilderness created by the last Tsar 100 years ago

It’s a landscape of forests, steppe, arctic tundra and subtropical mountains that few people will ever see.


Belarus Reports

Three Russian Airborne Forces’ Divisions Are To Be In Attendance Of West-2017 Exercises – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk

This exceeds the number of forces that will be officially involved in the joint exercises in Belarus two times. As Colonel-General Andrei Serdyukov, the commander of the Airborne Forces of Russia, said that an auxiliary control center of the Airborne Forces and three divisions will take part in the Belarusian-Russian exercises West-2017. That is about 24 thousand people, which exceeds the number of forces, planned to be involved in the West-2017, almost twice, bsblog.info reports. At that, the airborne troops of Russia will allegedly not be sent to Belarus, but “will carry out combat training tasks at unfamiliar ranges of the Western Military District.” The concrete plan has not been officially announced yet. But, judging by the recent exercises of the Airborne Forces of Russia, we are talking about offensive actions: long-range transportation, landing in unfamiliar sector of the terrain, outflanking maneuvers, actions in isolation from the main forces. Thus, the experts’ forecasts that during the West-2017 exercises there will be large-scale exercises with an offensive scenario in the territory of Russia are correct. Against the background of Russia’s exercises, the West-2017 itself and its defensive concept will simply be not noticeable.

Lukashenka: They Started To Play Pranks At Border – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk

The dictator is concerned about the “roll-backs” in his relations with Russia. Aliaksandr Lukashenka is concerned about the restoration of border zones on the border of Belarus and Russia. The Belarusian dictator said that in an interview to the Formula of Power program on the Russia 24 TV channel, vesti.ru writes. In his opinion, the negative dynamics is observed in relations between our countries. He notes that “we have lost a lot in many fields,” and “allow roll-backs” regarding some of the issues. According to the Belarusian ruler, “they have started to play pranks at the border”: the Russians have brought border guards to the border, customs officers have “started behaving weirdly, they block goods”, and people from third countries are allowed through international checkpoints. “We are already in some kind of disrepute. This is a serious danger, we are starting to roll back,” – Lukashenka says. He stresses that in relations with the Russian Federation, “it is important for him not to allow roll-backs, but to move forward, at least gradually.”


Ukraine Reports

The Kremlin’s new preoccupation: how to get out of the Donbas -Euromaidan Press |

Vitaly Portnikov “Military force will not solve the problems of the Donbas.” These words by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, pronounced at a meeting with pro-Putin activists, accurately depict the changes in Russian foreign policy toward Ukraine. Of course, the Kremlin will continue to flex its military muscle near Ukrainian borders in the foreseeable future, but the Russian leadership will have to forget about war for a long time. There are objective reasons for this: the effect of sanctions, new measures by the US, the fall in oil prices and, of course, the Russian presidential elections. Putin would like to approach his new term in office as the stabilizing president. And without at least a partial improvement in the relations with the civilized world, he will not succeed. Therefore, the main preoccupation in the Kremlin today is how to get out of the Donbas without losing face. It is no coincidence that Lavrov’s statement coincided with the reinforcement of the border command in the area under the control of the occupying forces. The mercenaries are being prepared for the concept that they will have to return to Kyiv’s control and that they will not succeed in moving to Russia “just like that.” As was the case with Afghanistan after the withdrawal of Soviet troops, only the trustworthy people will be admitted — those who worked closely with the special services and who are ready to continue this collaboration. And since there has been no real border in the occupied territory, Donbas appeared to be the continuation of Russia. Now this will no longer be the case. Of course, in the beginning Moscow will insist on the need to comply with the Minsk agreements. This is precisely what Sergey Lavrov was taking about when he argued that “no one wants a war with Ukraine.” But the fact remains that the Minsk agreements are not simply a special procedure for the management of the occupied territories after their liberation. They are first of all a ceasefire — in other words, something that Moscow still cannot ensure to this day. And now let us just imagine that shooting ceases in the Donbas. What will be the justification for the so-called “people’s republics,” for Zakharchenko, for Plotnicky and their Russian curators? All these “republics” have been invented for one purpose only — to kill Ukrainians. If the Kremlin decides that the shooting must stop, there will be no war and no money for the Donbas either. The “people’s republics” will simply disintegrate as if they had never existed. And we should not think that Moscow does not understand this. This is why Moscow is in no hurry to stop the shooting. This is why it is in no hurry to leave — because in Moscow they have not yet come up with a way to explain this surrender to the Russian population, how to say that the Donbas is no longer the “Russian World” and that the Donbas residents who “dreamed” of living in Russia will now happily live in Ukraine. But as soon as Moscow comes up with the explanation, it will leave. Naturally, this does not mean that Putin will leave Ukraine alone. First, the Russian president is still not ready to leave Crimea. The occupation of Crimea has become the cornerstone of his entire political career and the basis for years of intense international pressure to force Russia to leave the peninsula. Putin may think that after withdrawing from the Donbas he will be left alone, but he is mistaken. Donbas will become an indicator that the West is doing everything right and the Russia can and should be pressured — and that it will leave from anywhere. So we hope the pressure will not weaken: without the return of Crimea, Ukraine will not be able to become a state with defined borders. The return of Crimea is in the interests of both Ukraine and Russia. Only the abandonment of the peninsula will allow Russia to return to the civilized world. With Crimea, Russia will always be a rogue state. Secondly, the Kremlin will continue to pursue the destabilization of Ukraine. For Putin, it is critically important to prove that Ukraine cannot exist as a state. As the military pressure declines, there will be more diversionary pressure. Moscow will work actively with Ukrainian opposition politicians and the simulated part of civil society; it will finance media and promote negative views among Ukrainians. Based on the social moods I’ve observed, I would even venture to guess that Putin will find it much easier to win in the fields of propaganda and sabotage than in military action. Therefore, we should not think that the struggle for the future of the Ukrainian state will end with the withdrawal of the occupation forces from the Donbas. In fact, Lavrov has simply admitted that the Kremlin will not vanquish Ukraine with the help of war. This means the Kremlin will use other means.

Russian Active Measures Used to Attack Ukrainian Civil Society -Euromaidan Press |

After the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine in 2014, the Kremlin launched a full-scale disinformation campaign against Ukraine. After the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine in 2014, the Kremlin launched a full-scale disinformation campaign against Ukraine. Russian special services are deeply involved in these actions. Agents from the FSB, the Russian special services, have been trying to infiltrate Ukrainian organizations and civil society. Volunteers say that these activities are widespread. Our journalists took a look into the Kremlin’s shadowy tactics. Russian special services have been heavily involved in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. From their officers commanding the so-called ‘separatist’ forces to cyber attacks and old-school spying, Russian authorities have pulled out all the stops in order to damage Ukraine. Here’s an example: there is an organization formed by Ukrainians veterans from the conflict to help other veterans in trouble. After one of their public events, a girl started texting the leader of the group. They began talking about music. Later her husband joined the conversation.

Militants launched 25 attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas in last day – 14.08.2017 09:33 — Ukrinform News

Militants launched 25 attacks on positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in ATO area in Donbas over the past day.

Ukraine reports 2 WIA’s amid 25 enemy attacks in last day

Russia's hybrid military forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in Donbas 25 times in the past 24 hours, with two Ukrainian soldiers reported as wounded in action (WIA), according to the press service of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters. News 14 August from UNIAN.

Nine Ukrainian soldiers wounded, one killed by explosive device in ATO zone on Monday

Over the past day one Ukrainian serviceman died as a result of an explosive device going off, nine military were wounded and injured in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) zone in Ukraine’s east, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s spokesman, Andriy Lysenko, said. Over the past day one Ukrainian serviceman died as a result of an explosive device going off, nine military were wounded and injured in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) zone in Ukraine’s east, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s spokesman, Andriy Lysenko, said. “Over the past 24 hours, as a result of hostilities, there have been no deaths in the Armed Forces. Six servicemen were injured in the enemy shelling,” Lysenko said at a briefing in Kyiv on Saturday. However, one serviceman was killed and three others were wounded when an explosive device went off. “This happened near Avdiyivka and Zaitseve,” the Defense Ministry’s spokesman said. The press center of the ATO headquarters reported earlier militants fired 20 times at Ukrainian positions in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) zone on Friday, as a result of which one serviceman was killed, three were wounded, and three more were injured. “Another activation of the Russian-occupation groups along the entire contact line in the ATO zone took place last night. Until 18.00, the enemy unsuccessfully tried to test almost all the fire weapons of our defenses in the Avdiyivka area, then in the evening the tension shifted to the Luhansk sector,” the ATO headquarters said in a statement posted on their Facebook page on Saturday morning. In the area of Schastia and Novotoshkivske militants several times used mortars and grenade launchers to shell the ATO positions. In addition, at night, they shelled the Ukrainian fortifications in the vicinity of Krymske for almost half an hour using 120-mm mortars. In the coastal area, militants used mortars, grenade launchers and small arms to fire at the Ukrainian observation post near Lebedynske twice. Also armed provocations of the enemy were registered in the area of Maryinka. In the Donetsk sector, around 21.00 one Ukrainian soldier was wounded as a result of the shelling of the ATO positions from grenade launchers and large-caliber machine guns on the outskirts of Avdiyivka. Servicemen of the Armed Forces promptly responded firing at the enemy positions.

Enemy sabotage groups active along contact line – Tymchuk

Sabotage and reconnaissance groups of militants have become active along the contact line in Donbas, Ukrainian MP and military expert Dmytro Tymchuk, who is also a coordinator of the analytical group Information Resistance, wrote on Facebook. News 14 August from UNIAN.

Armed man at Stanytsia Luhanska bridge threatens to shoot OSCE SMM patrol members

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine has reported that an armed man at the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge threatened to shoot SMM patrol members. News 14 August from UNIAN.

Eight Russian mercenaries killed, 35 wounded in combat over past week, – ATO spokesperson

14.08.17 14:43 – Eight Russian mercenaries killed, 35 wounded in combat over past week, – ATO spokesperson Eight Russian mercenaries were killed in combat, 35 wounded over the past week in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) in the Donbas. View news.

Russian commission checking readiness of militants in Donbas – Tymchuk – 14.08.2017 11:54 — Ukrinform News

A commission from Russia is working in the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas, the head of the Information Resistance group, Dmytro Tymchuk, has said. “A commission consisting of representatives of the staff of the 8th Combined Arms Army of the Russian Armed Forces has been working in the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas since August 1 this year in order to control the measures being taken, as well as checking the condition, accounting and storage of weapons and military equipment, material and technical facilities, staffing and combat readiness of the units of the ‘first army corps of DPR’ and the ‘second army corps of LPR,'” reads the statement. It notes that according to the preliminary data of the commission’s work, an extremely low level of moral and psychological state of personnel was detected in the “9th separate assault rifle regiment of the marine corps of the first army corps of DPR” (Novoazovsk). The causes include the massive and systematic use by the “regiment” personnel of alcohol and narcotic drugs (cannabis). As a result, the commander of the “9th separate assault rifle regiment,” the commander of the “first army corps of DPR”, as well as a deputy commander of the “second army corps of LPR” for educational work were dismissed from their posts and brought to criminal liability. op

Ukrainian soldiers celebrated Day of Ichkeria victory over Russian occupants in Grozny. PHOTOS+VIDEO

14.08.17 11:04 – Ukrainian soldiers celebrated Day of Ichkeria victory over Russian occupants in Grozny. PHOTOS+VIDEO The world’s largest flag of Free Ichkeria was unfurled at Kyiv’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) on Sunday, Aug. 13. View photo news.

World’s largest flag of Chechen Republic of Ichkeria unraveled in central Kyiv -Euromaidan Press |

The world’s largest flag of the unrecognized republic of Ichkeria was unraveled in central Kyiv today. The republic was proclaimed in late 1991 by Dzhokhar Dudayev, the first President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, and fought two devastating wars with the Russian Federation, which denounced the secession.

UAWire – Media: flow of goods between Russia and separatist-held territories of Ukraine reaches $1.4 billion

The total trade between Russia and the separatist territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions in 2016 is estimated at about $1.4 billion, as …

Ilovaisk tragedy: 366 soldiers killed, 429 wounded, 300 captured – 14.08.2017 15:40 — Ukrinform News

Investigators have found out that 366 soldiers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces were killed, 429 wounded and 300 captured during military operations near Ilovaisk in August 2014, according to a report by the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine. “The treacherous murder of 366 Ukrainian soldiers was carried out, 429 sustained various wounds, and 300 were captured. The Ukrainian Armed Forces suffered significant losses of weapons and military equipment worth almost UAH 300 million,” the statement reads. According to investigators, on August 29, 2014, Russian troops, following instructions from the command of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, opened fire with heavy weapons on the columns of Ukrainian servicemen, together with three captured Russian paratroopers. According to the findings of the Security Service of Ukraine, intelligence agencies and the joint staff of the anti-terrorist operation (ATO), the critical ratio of Ukraine’s military forces in the vicinity of Ilovaisk with the subunits of the Russian Armed Forces and representatives of the “DPR” and “LPR” terrorist organizations was: personnel – 1 to 18; tanks – 1 to 11; armored vehicles – 1 to 16; artillery – 1 to 15; Grad multiple rocket launchers – 1 to 24. At the same time, the groups of the Russian Armed Forces along the eastern part of the state border of Ukraine included 35 battalion tactical groups, at least 45,100 servicemen, up to 160 tanks, 1,360 infantry fighting vehicles, 350 artillery units, 130 multiple rocket launchers, 192 combat aircraft, and 137 helicopters. op

“Perfect spy”: journalists learn details about brand new Ukrainian UAV

Ukrainian volunteer engineers from Cherkasy and Kyiv created and adapted to the needs of Ukrainian military a unique unmanned aerial vehicle they named &quot;Margaryta,&quot; TV Channel 5 reported. Cherkasy and Kyiv designers created their new drone from scratch, the report reads. A smallish device is able to get a sneak peek of enemy positions quickly and silently. The designers say that even hi-end tracking systems fail to spot the UAV on a mission. “This is a universal machine, able to be used as a fire spotter and a long-distance scout, This bird flies farther and longer than those that are now in service,” says the UAV designer. While Margaryta is still being tested, the volunteer group is already raising funds for the next project, “Taras,” which was named after a young scientist, the developer of drones, who had died. “Taras” system will consist of two reconnaissance aerial vehicles that will operate in tandem The new drones will be called “Hrom” [Thunder] and “Blyskavka” [Lightning].

UAWire – Prosecutor’s General Office finds unjustified spending in Ukrainian Ministry of Defense

The General Prosecutor's Office found out that at the end of 2016 the receivables of the supply companies to the Defense Ministry tripled by 2.4 …

Antonov plans to produce 70 aircraft within 5 years | UNIAN

The marketing plan of Ukraine's state-owned enterprise Antonov provides for the production of at least 70 aircraft within the next five years, according to the state-run Ukroboronprom Concern's press service. News 14 August from UNIAN.

Antonov ensures complete replacement of Russian parts for An-148/158, An-178 aircraft production

Antonov State Enterprise (Kyiv) has provided for the complete replaced of Russian parts in production of regional jets of next generation An-148/158 aircraft and new transport An-178 aircraft with a carrying capacity of 18 tonnes, the press service of the enterprise reported last week. According to the report, earlier the share of parts imported from Russia in the An-148, An-158 and An-178 programs was up to 50-60%. Today Russian parts in these programs have been replaced by parts of other foreign manufacturers and Ukrainian-made parts. “The share of Ukrainian-made spare parts grew from 25% to 38%,” the press service said. According to earlier announced plans, Antonov seeks to invest around UAH 600 million in the import replacement program in 2016-2019. Antonov is Ukraine’s leading developer and designer of aviation equipment. Since April 2015, the enterprise has been a part of the state-owned Ukroboronprom concern.

Ukraine’s War Against Putin-Backed Rebels is Being Undermined by Corruption

The military-industrial complex is more committed to exporting weapons than supplying Ukraine’s front line troops.

Stets, Feygin discuss release of Kremlin’s political prisoners – 14.08.2017 12:33 — Ukrinform News

Ukrainian Information Policy Minister Yuriy Stets has met with Russian lawyer Mark Feygin to discuss the situation with Ukrainian political prisoners, in particular, Ukrinform journalist Roman Sushchenko, as well as the prospects for their release.

Mom said she does not want to know me if I sign the contract, – Ukrainian football player Yurii Trachuk refused to play in Russia

14.08.17 09:25 – Mom said she does not want to know me if I sign the contract, – Ukrainian football player Yurii Trachuk refused to play in Russia Karpaty FC halfback Yurii Tkachuk refused to be transferred to Russian Anzhi football club form Makhachkala. View news.

Russian poetess Astakhova performed in Odesa despite visiting occupied Crimea. PHOTOS

14.08.17 12:43 – Russian poetess Astakhova performed in Odesa despite visiting occupied Crimea. PHOTOS Russian poetess Irina Astakhova (pen name Akh Astakhova) gave a performance on Sunday, Aug. 13, in Odesa, despite protests of local activists over her visit to occupied Crimea. View photo news.

Third vessel with coal from South Africa for DTEK arrives to Ukraine

A third vessel with 75,000 tonnes of anthracite from South Africa for Prydniprovska and Kryvy Rih thermal power plants (TPPs) of DTEK Energo has arrived to the Yuzhny port, the press service of DTEK has reported.

World-famous artists bring colorful murals to Ukraine’s concrete jungles -Euromaidan Press |

Ugly and uglier. This is how the gray blocks in the districts of any big city can be described. However, over last two years, the gray districts in Kyiv are starting to surprise, with colorful murals springing up on otherwise boring highrises in different parts of the city. Recently Euromaidan Press wrote about the project “Back to School” by the Mural Social Club, which brought new colors to school buildings around Ukraine for the start of the new school year. Now we want to keep you updated about the murals which appeared on ordinary buildings during last year.


Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports

UAWire – Media: Iran shipped heavy weaponry components to Russia despite UN sanctions

Iran shipped components of heavy weapons to Russia despite the UN Security Council sanctions. As Welt am Sonntag (the Sunday edition of Die Welt) …

Daughter Of Iran’s ‘Hanging Judge’ Breaks Silence About Her Notorious Father

Ayatollah Sadeq Khalkhali is notorious as Iran's &quot;hanging judge,&quot; having ruthlessly ordered hundreds of summary executions after trials that sometimes lasted just minutes in the month…

Sadegh Khalkhali, 77, a Judge In Iran Who Executed Hundreds – The New York Times

Sadegh Khalkhali, first leader of Islamic Revolutionary Courts in Iran afer 1979 revolution, who ordered execution of hundreds of people during his six-month tenure, dies at age of 77; he later said there were many more who deserved to be killed, but he could not get them; he was forced to resign after he issued death sentences for members of royal family who were then in exile; photo (M)

Israel Is Trying to Ban Al Jazeera: Here’s What You Need to Know – NBC News

The government has opposed Al Jazeera for years, claiming it broadcasts biased coverage of conflicts and violence involving Israeli and Palestinian territories.

Blackwater founder Erik Prince awaits president’s call to privatise war in Afghanistan | World | The Times & The Sunday Times

President Trump is to be briefed directly on a plan to privatise the war in Afghanistan drawn up by the founder of Blackwater, the world’s most notorious privat


DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports

Nyshka Chandran | Nuclear tests could generate aid money for North Korea

North Korea’s nuclear aggression buys the country billions in aid money, according to Tufts University professor Sung-Yoon Lee.

WILLIAM J. BROAD and DAVID E. SANGER | North Korea’s Missile Success Is Linked to Ukrainian Plant, Investigators Say – The New York Times

Investigators are focusing on the factory as a black-market source for North Korea, a new report and classified intelligence assessments say.

North Korea’s missile success is linked to Ukrainian plant, investigators say, East Asia News & Top Stories – The Straits Times

SEOUL (NYTIMES) – North Korea’s success in testing a intercontinental missile that appears able to reach the US was made possible by black-market purchases of powerful rocket engines probably from a Ukrainian factory with historical ties to Russia’s missile program, according to an expert analysis being published on Monday and classified assessments by US intelligence agencies.. Read more atstraitstimes.com.

NYT Shocking Report: US “Ally” Ukraine Is Source Of North Korean Missile Engines | Zero Hedge

The NYT reports that a Ukraine factory it is the most likely source of the engines that in July powered the two ICBM tests, which were the first to suggest that North Korea has the range, if not necessarily the accuracy or warhead technology, to threaten American cities with nuclear destruction.

Ukraine has never supplied weapons, military technologies to North Korea – Turchynov – 14.08.2017 16:20 — Ukrinform News

Ukraine has always complied with all the assumed international obligations. Therefore, the enterprises of the Ukrainian defense and aerospace complex have never supplied weapons and military technologies to North Korea. Oleksandr Turchynov, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine said this in his commentary, the press service of the National Security and Defense Council reports. According to Turchynov, some foreign media started to spread false information about supplies of missile technologies designed at the Ukraine’s Yuzhmash machine-building plant to North Korea. “This information has no grounds, it is provocative in content and has been most likely triggered by the Russian special services to cover their own crimes,” Turchynov said. He stressed that Ukraine considered the regime of North Korea to be “totalitarian, dangerous and unpredictable and supports all sanctions against this country.” Turchynov added that “Ukraine has completely stopped to supply arms, military equipment and military technologies to Russia” since the beginning of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine in 2014. “Ukraine has never supplied rocket engines or other missile technologies to North Korea. We believe that this anti-Ukrainian campaign was provoked by Russian special services to cover their participation in North Korean nuclear and missile programs,” the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine summed up. Earlier today, The New York Times reported that North Korea’s success in testing an intercontinental ballistic missile was made possible by black-market purchases of powerful rocket engines probably from a Ukrainian factory Yuzhmash. The newspaper cited a study by Michael Elleman, a missile expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and classified assessments by American intelligence agencies. ol

Ukraine’s defense and airspace industry never delivered weapons and military technologies to North Korea

14.08.17 16:25 – Ukraine’s defense and airspace industry never delivered weapons and military technologies to North Korea Ukraine always obliges its international obligations, so the state defense and airspace industries have never delivered weapons and military technologies to North Korea. Ukraine always obliges its international obligations, so the state defense and airspace industries have never delivered weapons and military technologies to North Korea. National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov said in a commentary, Censor.NET reports citing NSDC press service. Read more: Engines for North Korean missiles could be obtained from Ukraine, – The New York Times He said information spread by foreign media on Pivdenmash (Yuzhmash) allegedly transferring missile technologies to North Korea is not true. “This information is totally unfounded, is provocative in content, and most likely triggered by the Russian secret services to cover their own crimes,” Turchynov said. NSDC secretary noted that Ukraine believes the government regime of North Korea is “totalitarian, dangerous and unpredictable, and supports all sanctions against this country.” “Just like sanctions against the Russian Federation, the regime of which is becoming more like North Korea,” Turchynov said, adding that since the beginning of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine in 2014, “Ukraine has completely stopped supplying weapons, hardware, and military technology to Russia.” “Ukraine has not supplied rocket engines or any missile technology to North Korea, and we believe that this anti-Ukrainian campaign has been provoked by the Russian secret services to cover their participation in North Korean nuclear and missile programs,” the NSDC secretary summed up. Earlier, The New York Times cited an expert analysis and classified assessments by American intelligence agencies stating that North Korea’s success in testing an intercontinental ballistic missile that appears able to reach the United States was made possible by black-market purchases of powerful rocket engines probably from a Ukrainian factory with historical ties to Russia’s missile program.

Engines for North Korean missiles could be obtained from Ukraine, – The New York Times

14.08.17 15:42 – Engines for North Korean missiles could be obtained from Ukraine, – The New York Times … View news.

How North Korea Developed Missiles So Quickly | Defense content from Aviation Week

Despite sanctions and international pressure, North Korea now possesses an eclectic mix of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.

North Korea’s “not quite” ICBM can’t hit the lower 48 states | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

On July 3, 2017, while Americans were preparing for the 241st celebration of the Declaration of Independence, a lone rocket rose from North Korea on a near-vertical trajectory. After five to six minutes of powered flight, the second stage of the missile shut down and coasted to an altitude of about 2,720 kilometers. It then fell back to Earth, reentering the atmosphere above the Sea of Japan some 900 kilometers to the east of where it had launched.

Americans once carpet-bombed North Korea. It’s time to remember that past | Bruce Cumings | Opinion | The Guardian

The US Air Force subjected North Koreans to three years of ‘rain and ruin’. It was a living nightmare – one that still haunts the country to this day

Will NKorea’s Kim pull the trigger? Possible signs to watch – To Inform is to Influence

More than likely, North Korea will make the magnanimous gesture of standing down ‘for peace’s sake’.  North Korea has everything to lose and almost nothing to gain through escalation.  </end editorial> By The Associated PressAugust 13, 2017 10:29 pm SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Tensions between the United States and North Korea tend to flare suddenly…

North Korea: Tillerson, Mattis present united front, urge China to act – CNNPolitics

As America’s top military official arrived in South Korea, two of the Trump administration’s most senior figures attempted to present a clear, united position on North Korea’s ongoing threats.

Top US military official arrives South Korea for talks amid North Korea tension – CNN

The US’ top military official, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph. Dunford, arrived in South Korea Monday, and is scheduled to meet with the leaders of US Forces Korea and the country’s President Moon Jae-in.

Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford tells North Korea U.S. military ‘ready’

Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in South Korea on Sunday.

U.S. officials downplay idea that nuclear war with North Korea is imminent – Chicago Tribune

U.S. national security officials say a military confrontation with North Korea is not imminent, but the possibility of war is greater than it was a decade ago.

Korea tensions ease slightly as U.S. officials play down war risks

Tensions on the Korean peninsula eased slightly on Monday as South Korea’s president said resolving Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions must be done peacefully and key U.S. officials played down the risk of an imminent war with North Korea.

The Morning Vertical, August 14, 2017

ON MY MIND&nbsp; Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced a proposal to reduce tensions with North Korea. Under what Lavrov billed as a Chinese-Russian proposal, North Korea would freeze missile tests and the United States and South Korea would impose a moratorium on large-scale military exercises. As we discuss on this week’s Power Vertical Briefing, the plan isn’t very different from Moscow’s rhetoric every time North Korea acts up. After every missile test, Moscow oh so mildly criticizes Pyongyang — but the criticism always comes with a twist, a hedge, and a yeah-but. After a North Korean missile launch back in May, for example, Vladimir Putin said we need to “stop intimidating” Kim Jong Un’s regime and find “peaceful ways of resolving these issues.” A little context here is useful, because the Kremlin is far from an honest broker regarding North Korea. In fact, Moscow has been quite busy courting Pyongyang for some time now. Shortly after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, Putin wrote off most of North Korea’s $11 billion debt to Russia. Moreover, about 50,000 North Koreans are working on construction projects in the Russian Far East. And a new ferry route was recently opened between Vladivostok and the North Korean port of Rason. If Russia chose to, it could use its leverage to curb North Korea’s dangerous behavior. But, instead, it appears to be more interested in courting and protecting a client.

The Briefing: Missile Diplomacy

What’s behind Russia’s proposal to de-escalate tensions with North Korea? Listen to this week’s Power Vertical Briefing.

Former spy chief: Denuclearized NK not in the cards – CNNPolitics

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, now a CNN contributor, said Sunday that he does not foresee a scenario where North Korea relinquishes its nuclear weapons.

Michael Reagan: The follies of appeasement | Columnists | journalnow.com

Haven’t we’ve learned yet that appeasement doesn’t work?

Between old foe and aggressive ally, no honeymoon for South Korea’s Moon

min Park and Heekyong Yang

South Korean views on national security shift as crisis deepens with North Korea : National : News : The Hankyoreh

Trump’s Threat ‘Very Worrisome,’ South Korean Presidential Adviser Says – Bloomberg

A South Korean presidential adviser criticized Donald Trump’s escalating North Korea threats, exposing a potential rift with a key ally in the firing line if war breaks out.

China Has Nothing To Gain From Sanctioning North Korea

U.S. President Trump should stop pressuring China to rein in North Korea, as China has nothing to gain from doing so.

Without Oil, North Korea Sanctions Won’t Stop Kim – Bloomberg

For North Korea’s fledgling economy, the latest round of sanctions will cut deep.

China’s Xi Grapples With Rising Cost of Backing Kim Jong Un – Bloomberg

It’s getting harder for Chinese President Xi Jinping to maintain support for wayward ally North Korea.

China issues order to implement U.N. sanctions on North Korea

China’s Commerce Ministry issued on Monday an order banning imports of coal, iron ore, lead concentrates and ore, lead and sea food from North Korea, effective from Tuesday, as Beijing moved to implement United Nations sanctions announced earlier this month.

China says it will stop importing North Korean coal, iron ore, fish and other goods under U.N. sanctions  – LA Times

China says it will stop importing North Korean coal, iron ore, fish and other goods on Sept. 5 under U.N. sanctions

China appoints new envoy for North Korea issue

China has appointed a new special envoy for the North Korean issue, Assistant Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou, its foreign ministry said on Monday, after his predecessor, Wu Dawei, reached retirement age.

Rolling Back the Growing North Korean Threat – Atlantic Council Publications

The policies of the last three US Presidents that were designed to eliminate North Korea’s nuclear weapons have failed. Despite twenty-five years of consistent US policies focused on multilateral dialogue and an ever-improving US-Republic of Korea (ROK) alliance, the North Korean nuclear threat to the region and to the US homeland is accelerating.

Consider legality, morality of military action against North Korea | Letters to the editor | stltoday.com

The headlines concerning the situation in North Korea are extremely worrisome. I am concerned about both the legality and the morality of a possible military action on the part of

Video: How did the 1994 deal with North Korea fall apart? – The Washington Post

As Trump threatens military action, Glenn Kessler explains what happened to the agreement.

North Korea recalls key ambassadors to Pyongyang amid missile row | The Independent

Several key North Korean ambassadors have been asked to return to the country’s capital Pyongyang, it has emerged. Among the top envoys recalled were Ji Jae-ryong, Ja Song-nam and Kim Hyong-jun – ambassadors to China, the UN and Russia – according to South Korean news agency Yonhap News.

No Easy Military Options In North Korea | Defense content from Aviation Week

President Trump’s military options against North Korea range from offensive cyber to thermonuclear strikes.

The Aviationist » Here Is How A U.S. Pre-Emptive Strike On North Korea Could Unfold

DoD’s annual China assessment shows growing cyber, EW capabilities

DoD released its annual assessment of China’s military capabilities, with more focus on cyber operations. Last year, cyber got a total of 30 words in the report.


Foreign Policy Reports

Is the World Slouching Toward a Grave Systemic Crisis? – The Atlantic

History is punctuated by catalytic episodes—events that can become guideposts toward a more open and civilized world.

Pence defends Trump’s Venezuela stance – BBC News

US Vice President Mike Pence was speaking in Colombia at the start of a Latin American tour.

In Latin America, VP Pence threads needle on Venezuela – The Washington Post

Vice President Mike Pence is demonstrating the delicate balancing act that has thus far defined his term, walking a line during a trip to Latin America between the region’s opposition to possible U.S. military intervention in Venezuela, and President Donald Trump’s surprising refusal to rule out that option.

Venezuelan leader may have launched Rubio assassination plot – POLITICO

The scenario drew the attention of Homeland Security and the Capitol Police.

U.S. detects possible death threat against Rubio from Venezuela | Miami Herald

A possible death threat from powerful Venezuelan government leader Diosdado Cabello prompted Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to get a security detail.

Large Anti-Maduro Protests Fill the Streets in Venezuela | SOFREP

Anti-government protesters filled the streets of Venezuela’s capital and other major cities in a show of force against Presidential Nicolas Maduro, whose a

Strategy / Capability Publications

Long Wars and Industrial Mobilization: It Won’t Be World War II Again

After a generation of absence, interest in long wars against peer adversaries has returned and with it, an interest in mobilization. Many observers — from

Modified X-47B Breaks Cover As Testbed For MQ-25 Bid | Defense content from Aviation Week

Russia unveils new supersonic stealth fighter jets that can be INVISIBLE to enemies – Mirror Online

The Sukhoi-57 is said to rival the American F-22 and Chinese Chengdu J-20 and Shenyang J-31 combat planes and is due for military service in 2019

Russia reveals Il-22PP special mission aircraft | Jane’s 360

Russia has shown for the first time its new Ilyushin Il-22PP Porubshchik special mission aircraft. The ‘escort jammer’ aircraft made its public debut on the occasion of the 105th anniversary of the Russian air force over Kubinka on 12 August. The Il-22P is a signals intelligence


IW/IO/Cyber Reports

UAWire – Lithuania seeking to abandon Russian-made software

Lithuanian cyber security experts are searching for replacements for software developed in Russia, reported Interfax news agency. As stated by …

China successfully sent ‘unhackable’ message to Earth

The first “unhackable” message was sent to Earth from the Chinese satellite, Micius.

US is ‘outgunned’ in electronic warfare, says cyber commander

Two military leaders admitted at the TechNet Augusta conference this week that the United States is falling behind in its electronic warfare capability.

Lithuanian court OKs extradition in US phishing case

A Lithuanian businessman suspected of tricking more than $100 million out of Google and Facebook in an elaborate cybercrime case should be extradited to the United States, a local court ruled Friday.


US Domestic Policy Reports

Why Trump Is Beating the War Drum—and How It Could Lead to Disaster | The Nation

It’s sure to win favor among hawks of both parties, while distracting the media and public from his domestic woes—but foreign powers are not backing down.

Trump and Russia: We Are Losing the War Against Disinformation, and It Is Our Fault

Russian disinformation is becoming a serious problem and The U.S. is showing a complete lack of leadership on fighting it.

A Guide to Russia’s High Tech Tool Box for Subverting US Democracy | WIRED

Russia’s government draws on a century of espionage tradecraft to influence and undermine Western society. Now it’s updated for the digital age.

Trump’s weakness against Putin is on display — again – The Washington Post

When Trump praises Putin for diplomatic staff reductions, what country’s interests is he advancing?

Obama team was warned about Russian interference – POLITICO

In 2014, the administration got a report of Russia’s intention to disrupt Western democracies, including the United States.

How Trump could improve U.S.-Russia relations — and head off an arms race – The Washington Post

It would take will and skill, however, to masterfully update U.S.-Russia arms-control agreements.

Manafort’s son-in-law met with federal investigators, sources say – CNNPolitics

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s son-in-law, Jeffrey Yohai, met with Department of Justice investigators in recent months, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

 

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