Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Russia / Strategy Media Update – 18 August 2017


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

</end editorial>



Concerns over Zapad 2017 persist. Ignatius@WashPost points out the expensive blowback and indeed folly in Russia’s brazen campaign to destabilise US politics. Russia chops its defense budget again. Pew Research poll on Russia’s collapsing global popularity. Prof Denning @ NPS forensically explores the history of Russian hacking in the US. CAP explore Russia’s revival of the Okhrana / Soviet practices of manipulating diasporas.Russia’s descent continues, unabated. Most interesting are Manyakin and RFE/RL reports on growing inter-ethnic schisms between indigenous minorities and ethnic Russians. Republic.ru comments on the shuffling of general officers in Moscow. Russians arguing primacy in supplying gas to the EU, and claim a better fracking technique. New Russian ICBM TEL disclosed, likely intended to replace Belarusian MZKT TELs used to date.

Russia’s descent continues, unabated. Most interesting are Manyakin and RFE/RL reports on growing inter-ethnic schisms between indigenous minorities and ethnic Russians. Republic.ru comments on the shuffling of general officers in Moscow. Russians arguing primacy in supplying gas to the EU, and claim a better fracking technique. New Russian ICBM TEL disclosed, likely intended to replace Belarusian MZKT TELs used to date.In Belarus, Lukashenko invites Western observers to Zapad 2017, while Russia decides to cut off one of Belarus’ main exports to the West, refined POL products, by insisting on the use of Russian ports for shippingIn Belarus, Lukashenko invites Western observers to Zapad 2017, while Russia decides to cut off one of Belarus’ main exports to the West, refined POL products, by insisting on the use of Russian ports for shipping.Russia owned TV  station may be broadcasting propaganda into Romania, demonstrating the lack of proper controls on Russian IO in the West.

In Belarus, Lukashenko invites Western observers to Zapad 2017, while Russia decides to cut off one of Belarus’ main exports to the West, refined POL products, by insisting on the use of Russian ports for shipping.Russia owned TV  station may be broadcasting propaganda into Romania, demonstrating the lack of proper controls on Russian IO in the West

Russia owned TV  station may be broadcasting propaganda into Romania, demonstrating the lack of proper controls on Russian IO in the West.

The biggest report out of Ukraine is Hrytsak’s SBU briefing on the scale of Russia’s expanding covert ops campaign in Ukraine, with the arrest of a covert ops team specifically tasked with assassinating Ukrainian politicians and senior officials, as well as multiple teams tasked with bombings, and organising rent-a-crowd protests. Donbass fires continue. Ukraine initiates TV broadcasts into Crimea via the Chonhar peninsula tower, while blackouts continue in Crimea, and Russians deploy three more Su-24M FENCER D into a Crimean airfield. Stats from 2016 arms exports show major improvement. Another mass grave of NKVD victims discovered by accident, in Ivano-Frankivsk.

ISIS related news dominated by attacks in Spain.

DPRK debate continues, but no major developments reported.

Half a dozen IO/IW/cyber reports, half of which deal with Ukraine.

US domestic debate on Russia is multithreaded.


Russia / Russophone Reports


Russian Invasion? Moscow’s Rivals Say War Games Are Cover And Troops Won’t Leave

Despite repeatedly assuring his rivals that Russia’s upcoming military exercises were just that, President Vladimir Putin faces regional doubts.

David Ignatius | Russia’s election meddling backfired — big-time – The Washington Post

The country’s name is again a toxic word in American politics.

Russia Reaps Blowback from Covert Campaign – To Inform is to Influence

By David Ignatius August 18, 2017 WASHINGTON — Intelligence officers sometimes talk about “blowback,” when covert actions go bad and end up damaging the country that initiated them. A year later, that is surely the case with Russia’s secret attempt to meddle in the U.S. presidential election, which has brought a string of adverse unintended consequences for…

What stands behind Russia’s defense budget cut

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s move to reduce the country’s defense budget is a direct consequence of a three-year international sanctions regime against Russia, which among other spheres targeted the Kremlin’s military-industrial complex. Moreover, given that over the recent period global prices for energy resources, which remain Russia’s main source of income, have fallen significantly, Moscow has no alternative but to reduce its defense budget to support the financing of social programs. Over these three years, Russia has completely exhausted one of its two reserve funds, and now it is already using the money from the second one, the “National Welfare Fund.” This suggests that the financial situation in Russia is becoming ever more complex, including the rising budgetary problems. It is because of these problems that Russians are forced to cut their military expenditures in order to support the financing of other spheres. Almost half of Russia’s defense expenditures are classified However, it should be noted that almost half of Russia’s defense expenditures are classified, so finding out the real volume of defense financing is quite difficult. However, it is now reported that the reduction will be at 2.7%-2.8% of GDP. In this case, it is about the open part of the financing of troops. Meanwhile, the classified part remains secret. Therefore, it is difficult to draw a conclusion on how the reduction will affect the defense capability of the Russian Federation in general. Given the “skills” of Russian propaganda, in Russia, any fact can be presented as a positive decision, while the Kremlin leadership is portrayed as the wisest. So the decision of the Russian authorities will be presented by Russian propaganda as Moscow’s willingness to peacefully settle any conflict and a step toward the rapprochement with the West in response to the fact that the West is increasing its defenses both within NATO and in regards to the defense budgets of individual countries. The Russian media will spin the information in a way to show that Russia, unlike the hated Westerners, reduces army expenditures and cares more about the citizens of the Russian Federation. It is difficult to predict whether the trend toward the reduction of Russia’s defense budget will prevail. After all, it’s not clear yet, what will be Russia’s position on conflicts and wars in which Moscow is involved: whether it is going to move toward escalation or gradually curtail its aggression in Ukraine and Syria. It is these plans and intentions that will affect the dynamics of financing of the Russian army. Andriy Novak is a Chairman of the Committee of Economists of Ukraine

Russia and Putin Viewed Negatively Worldwide | Pew Research Center

But few see Russian power and influence as a major threat By Margaret Vice Around the world, few people trust Russian President Vladimir Putin to do the right thing when it comes to international affairs. A global median of roughly one-in-four (26%) say they have confidence in the Russian leader. Doubts about Putin’s handling of foreign policy, however, do not necessarily coincide with perceptions of Russia as a security risk. Across 37 countries, a median of 31% describe Russia’s power and influence as a major threat to their country – identical to the median percentage who say the same about China, and similar to the median share (35%) that sees America’s power and influence as a large threat. On balance, Russia’s international image is more negative than positive. Critical opinions of Russia are particularly widespread in the United States and Europe, while views are more mixed in the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. In only three countries surveyed do majorities express a favorable opinion of Russia: Vietnam (83%), Greece (64%) and the Philippines (55%). Many people doubt the Russian government’s commitment to civil liberties. Globally, a median of 30% say Russia respects the rights of its citizens, compared with 46% who disagree and 17% who do not offer an opinion. Skepticism about the protection of personal freedoms in Russia is widespread in the U.S. and Europe. Views are mixed across the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Latin America, while publics in sub-Saharan Africa are more convinced than not that the Russian government safeguards individual liberties at home. These are among the major findings from a new Pew Research Center survey conducted among 40,951 respondents in 37 countries outside of Russia from Feb. 16 to May 8, 2017. (For views from within Russia, see “Russians Remain Confident in Putin’s Global Leadership.”) Europeans are particularly harsh in their assessment of Putin, with a median in Europe of 78% expressing a lack of confidence in the leader. In the U.S. and Canada, few are confident in Putin’s global leadership, with more than three times as many people disliking Putin as liking him. In a handful of nations (Vietnam, the Philippines, Tanzania and Greece), half or more are positive on Putin’s international performance. In other nations, many do not express any view of him: Roughly one-third or more in India, Indonesia, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa and Argentina do not share an opinion on the Russian leader. Though Putin and Russia receive low ratings across much of the world, few see Russian power and influence as a major threat to their nation. Russia is seen as far less threatening than other issues such as the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) and climate change in every nation surveyed except for Poland and Jordan. A global median of 31% say that Russian power poses a major threat to their nation, compared with 62% for ISIS, 61% for climate change and 51% for cyberattacks from other countries and for the condition of the global economy. In fact, among the eight threats tested, Russia’s power and influence is tied with that of China for last place (median of 31%). (For views on global threats, see “Globally, People Point to ISIS and Climate Change as Leading Security Threats.”) Generally, the Russian government is not seen as respecting the personal freedoms of its people. Across the 37 nations surveyed, a median of only 30% believe that Russia adheres to this tenet of democracy; that is lower than those who believe the same of France (60%, excluding France’s figures) and the U.S. (54%, excluding U.S. figures) but higher than for China (25%). Both Americans (80%) and Canadians (73%) widely feel that Putin’s government does not respect personal freedoms. Similarly high shares feel this way in most European countries surveyed. In the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific, views vary among the countries polled. Majorities in Tunisia, Lebanon, Vietnam and the Philippines think Russia respects civil liberties, while publics elsewhere in these regions are split on the issue.

Poll: only three countries in the world have positive perception of Russia – To Inform is to Influence

This is a remarkable change from two years ago.  In 2015, only three countries had a positive outlook for Russia: Vietnam Ghana Venezuela The number has not changed, but the countries on the list have, with only one country on both lists: Vietnam Greece Philippines Either way, this result does not reflect well on Putin’s Russia. Whatever…

Dorothy Denning | Tracing the sources of today’s Russian cyberthreat [Commentary]

Who are these operators, why are they so skilled and what are they up to?

Russia’s Weaponization of the Diaspora: Lessons from Georgia, Tajikistan, and Azerbaijan – Central Asia Program

By Marintha Miles CAP Papers 190 July 2017 In mid-May 2017, the Russian Ministry of Justice moved to revoke the registration of the All-Russia Azerbaijani Congress (ARAC), the largest and most influential Azerbaijani diaspora organization in Russia. This is nothing new: Russia dissolves diaspora groups regularly, and policies toward diaspora groups on Russian soil work to serve Russia’s interests both at home and abroad. It is likely that in 2001, when ARAC was formed, that it was not wholly a grassroots effort by Azerbaijani diaspora members, and was at least coopted and funded by Russia. At the time, the Russian Orthodox Church and Vladimir Putin gave their blessing to the formation of the organization. It was only when Russia no longer had control over the organization and it failed to serve Moscow’s interests that the group was dissolved. A comparison with Russia’s control over two other diasporic communities, Georgian and Tajikistani, shows a pattern of Moscow’s long-term policy and actions regarding diasporic communities. While much research has been done on how Russia utilizes its diasporas in places like the Baltics in hybrid warfare, Russia’s weaponization of foreign diasporas on its own soil is underexplored. An understanding of how diaspora organizations are formed in Russia and by whom, how they are funded, what their goals and aims are, and how these goals are carried out sheds light on how Russia might act to bring the Azerbaijanis diaspora back under Kremlin control.

The Ghosts Of August

In Russia, August is often been a month of political watersheds; when old eras die and new ones are born.

The Morning Vertical, August 18, 2017

ON MY MIND August is half over and so far it has been relatively quiet. There have been no disasters, coup attempts, invasions, or other dramatic events that have caused annual speculation about Russia’s “August curse.” Vladimir Putin has been keeping a low profile, and even disappeared from public view for a week. But this also has the feeling of a calm before the storm. Russia is entering a potentially volatile political season with Putin set to seek a fourth term in elections in March, amid rising discontent over corruption and falling living standards. Aleksei Navalny will probably not be allowed on the ballot to run against Putin, but nevertheless he will be a major factor in the elections. Moscow’s war in eastern Ukraine simmers on with periodic and sinister hints that it could escalate at any time. And tensions with the West remain high as Russia prepares to hold the Zapad 2017 joint military exercises with Belarus — the largest war games since the end of the Cold War — near NATO’s borders in September. On this week’s Power Vertical Podcast, we’ll take advantage of the (so far) quiet “cucumber season” to take stock and look at potential tempests below the surface in Russian domestic politics and foreign affairs. Joining me will be two veteran Kremlin-watchers: Donald Jensen, a former U.S. State Department official, a fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations in the Nitze School of International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and a senior fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis; and James Sherr, an associate fellow with Chatham House’s Russia and Eurasia program, a senior fellow at the Institute of Statecraft, and author of the book Hard Diplomacy And Soft Coercion: Russia’s Influence Abroad. So be sure to tune in later today!

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin’s Lower Profile This Summer Reflects Desire to Project New Image, Experts Say

Paul Goble Staunton, August 17 – Even though Vladimir Putin reappeared yesterday after a week of being out of public view (themoscowtimes.com/news/putin-watch-over-before-it-even-started-58678), the Kremlin leader’s personal activities this summer have been significantly less frequent than in earlier years, experts say. They argue that this reflects his desire to present himself in a new way, as a severe but caring father of the nation who focuses on his official duties rather than youthful leader full of vigor with an active private life, a stance he adopted earlier to underscore the differences between himself and his predecessor Boris Yeltsin. In an article today, two URA.ru journalists, Mikhail Vyugin and Aysel Gereykhanova surveyed a variety of commentators as to why there have been significantly fewer well-covered personal activities of the Russian president this year than there were in earlier summers of his rule (ura.news/articles/1036271854). “For the first time in the last five years, summer has not become a season of ‘popular’ news from Russian President Vladimir Putin,” they write, a change that is striking because “Russians are accustomed to the idea that summer is a time for demonstrating … that he is not only a leader but a man able to combine work with relaxation and hobbies.” Vyugin and Gereykhanova survey Putin’s activities over the last decade during the summer months and point out that this summer is especially less busy than the last pre-election summer of 2011. Then, Putin went to the bottom of the Taman Gulf, bringing up two amphoras, and took part in a motor-show with the Night Wolves, arriving on a Harley-Davidson. This year, however, the Kremlin leader has been much less in the public eye as far as his private activities are concerned. Valery Fadeyev, the secretary of the Russian Social Chamber, says that instead, Putin has visited the regions where gubernatorial elections are scheduled to give support and direction. Political analyst Oleg Matveychev of the Higher School of Economics, suggests that “it would be strange” for Putin to behave now the way he did six years ago. He doesn’t have to show that he is vigorous; he only needs to show that he is focused on issues of concern to the Russian electorate. Dmitry Orlov, head of the Altay Industrial College, sees a more fundamental shift. Putin, he says, has decided to portray himself now as “a wise father” of the nation who takes into account the views of all the people in Russia. He doesn’t need to appeal to any one group or collection of groups as he may have had to earlier. In 2012, Orlov continues, Putin was organizing a conservative majority, but “today he is the leader of the nation. There is thus no need to call focus on any specific group because there are no threats from the opposition as there were in 2011-2012.” An anonymous source, identified only as someone “close to the Kremlin” agrees. He says that Putin is entering the current elections as “’the president for all’” and “will speak with each electoral group.” That is why he has adopted “a compromise position” on issues like St. Isaac’s, housing renovation in Moscow, and the film Mathilda. This same source adds that Putin’s relatively infrequent appearances as a private person are part of this effort: They are intended to generate interest among the population as to when and what he might do next, much as the absence of television shows in the summer months leading to speculation about “a new season of a favorite serial.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘Crimea is Ours but Novosibirsk Oblast Maybe Not So Much,’ Some Russians Fear

Paul Goble Staunton, August 17 – Journalists often refer to August as “the silly season” because stories that wouldn’t normally pass muster are published in the absence of other news, but sometimes these otherwise neglected stories can at least in part shed light on larger issues and thus deserve attention. For the last week, the Russian media, electronic and otherwise, has been filled with stories about the drying out of a lake on the Russian-Kazakhstan border, with some saying that Moscow has ceded a few hectares of territory to Astana, others denying that, and still others saying everything will return to normal when the rainy season come again. Among them are those atkasparov.ru/material.php?id=599475D40AEBDej.ru/?a=note&id=31452, and regnum.ru/news/society/2310718.html). But far and away the most comprehensive is a report by Novosibirsk journalist Pyotr Manyakin (meduza.io/feature/2017/08/17/gde-nahoditsya-granitsa-nikto-ne-ponimaet). Last Thursday, local Russian officials on the border posted online a report saying that the drying out of Lake Sladkoye on the Russian-Kazakhstan border meant that as of now, it is completely part of the territory of Kazakhstan. But the notion that Russia had ceded any land to anyone was so abhorrent that soon that statement was taken down and disowned. But not quickly enough to avoid sparking controversy. More senior Russian officials denied that any transfer had occurred. However, the FSB made it worse by issuing a statement saying that the lake had been divided between the two countries earlier. That of course implied that any change in the waterline would change the border. Kazakhstan’s embassy in Moscow insisted that there had been no change in the border, but then Russia’s natural resources minister Sergey Donskoy said that everything would go back to normal when the lake fills up with new rain water, again implying but not saying that the border had somehow been shifted. Russia and Kazakhstan have been working on the demarcation of their border since 2005, and Russians are sensitive to any “gift” of Russian land to anyone, especially after Moscow ceded several hundred hectares to China a few years ago. But the present case highlights something that few recognize. Unlike most countries, Russia in many cases still defines its borders external and internal not by designating lines from one point defined by latitude and longitude to another point similarly defined but rather in terms of named objects and their size, thus opening the way to disputes if the size of a body of water shifts. Over the last two decades, Moscow has moved from this traditional way to the more internationally accepted one; but people who live along borders often still think in terms of mountains, lakes or rivers rather than latitude and longitude. That appears to be what has happened in this case. But post-Soviet borders remain so sensitive to Russians for other reasons as well, including the unhappiness of many of them with the demise of the USSR and the rise of real borders where there were once unimportant administrative ones that any such report can be counted on to generate controversy. Indeed, as one Russian politician, Dmitry Gudkov, put it on his Facebook page, “Crimea is ours but Novosibirsk already isn’t so much. Lake Sladkoye had been in Russia but now it has become part of Kazakhstan,” leading him to ask why there isn’t even more anger in Moscow about this (facebook.com/dgudkov/posts/1647452328629534).

Window on Eurasia — New Series: 99.7 Percent of Taymyr People Say Life ‘Unbearable’ Since Amalgamation with Krasnoyarsk Kray

Paul Goble Staunton, August 17 – Life has become “unbearable” for the residents of the former Dolgano-Nenets Autonomous District, a poll of residents finds; and 1197 of 1200 of them have appealed to Vladimir Putin and other Russian leaders to adopt a law that will allow them to reverse that 2005 action. Their request for a referendum on this point has been turned down twice by the Krasnoyarsk authorities; they are now in the process of making a third such request; but because they do not expect a positive answer, they are appealing to Moscow for a new law that will give them that right (svoboda.org/a/28679409.html). Dolgan and Nenets activists say, and the indigenous population overwhelmingly agrees that “after the dissolution of the autonomy” in 2005 as part of Vladimir Putin’s regional amalgamation drive, “life in the Taymyr became unbearable: the quality of state services declined, as did the state of roads and transport, medicine and education.” Twelve years ago, the residents voted 70 percent in favor of amalgamation but only because they were promised that their lives would become better. The reverse has happened, and the people there are angry. Indeed, they have been among the most prominent critics of Putin’s program since the outset. (On that and for background, see windowoneurasia.blogspot.com/2010/07/window-on-eurasia-amalgamated-minority.htmlwindowoneurasia.blogspot.com/2008/11/window-on-eurasia-putin-policies.htmlwindowoneurasia.blogspot.com/2009/10/window-on-eurasia-non-russian-units-in.htmlwindowoneurasia.blogspot.com/2011/03/window-on-eurasia-national-districts-of.html,windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/06/window-on-eurasia-non-russian-regions.htmlwindowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2015/06/another-partial-retreat-from-putins.htmlwindowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2017/07/putins-regional-amalgamation-program.html and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2017/05/northern-peoples-seek-to-reverse-putins.html.) The appeal by the Taymyr activists is almost certainly going to be ignored by Moscow and turned down by Krasnoyarsk. After all, regional amalgamation is one of Putin’s signature programs. But the new poll showing almost universal unhappiness with that program in the Taymyr will have three important consequences: First, it will further radicalize opinion in the Taymyr, many of whose residents have protested and been repressed in various ways for more than a decade. Second, it will encourage dissent in the five other autonomous oblasts that Putin has succeeded in folding into larger and predominantly ethnic Russian federation subjects. These include the Evenk AO which was also folded into Krasnoyarsk kray, the Ust-Orda Buryat AO that was included within Irkutsk oblast, the Komi-Permyak AO which was combined with Perm oblast to form Perm kray, the Agin Buryat AO which was combined with China oblast to form the Transbaikal kray, and the Koryak AO which was linked to Kamchatka oblast which also became a kray. But third – and this is by far the most important result – it will send a powerful message to Russians as well as non-Russians within the Russian Federation that they are not alone if they find Putin policies objectionable and that by itself may encourage ever more of them to speak out in opposition to the Kremlin leader.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘There was Always Toilet Paper in the Soviet Union but Only for the Privileged’

Paul Goble Staunton, August 17 – Many foreigners and indeed many Russians believe to this day that there was no toilet paper in the USSR until sometime near the end of that state, but in fact, as a debate that has broken out on the Internet suggests, “there was always toilet paper in the Soviet Union but only for the privileged.” Novyye izvestiya reports on this debate today, picking up on an earlier article on TheQuestion.ru (newizv.ru/news/society/17-08-2017/tualetnaya-bumaga-v-sssr-byla-vsegda-no-tolko-dlya-izbrannyh-14f4dbee-b2d2-4791-8bd0-7afe8716611c and thequestion.ru/questions/49696/eto-pravda-chto-v-sssr-tualetnaya-bumaga-poyavilas-tolko-v-1969-godu). Asked by The Question whether it is true that “in the USSR, toilet paper appeared only in 1969?” the q-and-a portal reproduced some of the answers it received: · A Russian student too young to have had direct experience wrote in that “the production of toilet paper in the USSR began only in 1968” at a plan in Leningrad oblast which made use of two English machines. Its production initially attracted “zero interest” from Soviet consumers because they “simply didn’t know how it was supposed to be used.” And “only after a massive ad campaign” did purchases take off and turn toilet paper in the USSR into a “deficit” good for which people stood in lines for hours. · Another visitor the site, Ksyusha Krapiva, 46, confirmed this, but she said that during her childhood, newspapers continued to be used because there was no toilet paper in the restrooms of Soviet schools. · A third visitor, Vladislav Shikhov, said that while it was true that toilet paper wasn’t available in many places, it had always been produced. According to him, it was listed in a 1956 list of products Soviet firms were manufacturing. It was thus available to some Soviet citizens even if it wasn’t to most. · And a fourth visitor, journalist Aleksandr Budris, suggested that toilet paper production had an even longer history. He noted at that a Lithuanian factory had begun producing toilet paper in 1923. But as the portal’s editors pointed out, Lithuania wasn’t part of the Soviet Union then.

Putin’s Russia rehabilitates Stalin, prosecutes Last Address Activist for Plaque to Victim of the Terror – To Inform is to Influence

18.08.2017 | Halya Coynash In yet another move in Russia to silence those telling the truth about the Great Terror and Stalinism in general, Dmitry Kozlov has been fined for erecting a Last Address plaque, part of the civic initiative honouring the memory of individual victims of the Terror. Kozlov’s lawyer Ivan Pavlov explains that the Arkhangelsk building…

Movement of generals. How the balance of power in the special services has changed | republic.ru [Russian]

Law enforcement agencies and special services are closed from outside the eyes of the territory, but the processes inside these departments affect the entire domestic and foreign policy of Russia: in the ministries and intelligence agencies there are undercover games, whole units are emerging and disappearing, leaders are changing – all this then leads to detention, Arrests and special operations. A year ago the Republic told about important rearrangements in special services. What has changed since then? Journalist Ilya Rozhdestvensky lists four most important stories of the last year and the main characters. To Rosneft and back Those who follow the case of Alexei Ulyukayev should have heard about Oleg Feoktistov , whose role in the most high-profile criminal trial of the last year remains to be clarified. Coming from the FSB, Feoktistov came to the post of head of security and vice president of Rosneft in September last year. And in November, Ulyukayev was detained with $ 2 million directly on leaving the office of the oil company. Already in March 2017 it became known that Feoktistov left Rosneft and, as the head of the company Igor Sechin put it, “returned to the service.” Why Feoktistov spent only six months on his new job is unknown, but a high-ranking Republican interlocutor in the FSB explains the logic of events like this: in the pre-election year, the president did not want to consolidate the positions of an already powerful company at the expense of one of the most powerful security forces; According to the source, this decision was also due to “exceptional activity” in the case of Ulyukaev. As noted by The Bell, in counterintelligence, that is, at the old place of work, Feoktistov did not find a place. This is also confirmed by two sources of the Republic in the FSB. One of them points out that the general was too “exposed” in the media to continue working in the FSB. A source close to the leadership of the FSB says: “Now Feoktistov is listed in the FSB reserve and is waiting for a pension.”

Jailed Russian Ex-Intelligence Officer Kvachkov Receives Additional Sentence

A former Russian intelligence officer who is serving a prison term for an alleged attempt to overthrow the government, has been handed an additional prison term for incitement to hatred. The Volg…

Navalny Says Peskov’s Alleged Son Living Luxurious Life, But Has No Job

Aleksei Navalny, the Russian anticorruption crusader and foe of President Vladimir Putin, says the alleged son of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov is living a life of luxury well beyond his apparen…

Putin Grants Russian Citizenship To Australian Track Cyclist Perkins

President Vladimir Putin has awarded Russian citizenship to former cycling world champion Shane Perkins of Australia, according to a decree published by the Kremlin on August 17. &quot;My emotion…

Cossacks Strike Again: Russian Feminists Abandon Camp Amid Threats, Detentions

MOSCOW — The innocuous-sounding summer camp for feminists and women&rsquo;s rights activists, Femcamp, was due to be held in Krasnodar, the conservative southern Black Sea region and Cossac…

Is Chechnya Taking Over Russia? – The New York Times

The Kremlin relies on Chechnya’s leader as a loyal satrap, but — ominously for Vladimir Putin — Ramzan Kadyrov may be outgrowing the role.

Wall of Grief: Russia remembers victims of Soviet repression – To Inform is to Influence

By Sarah Rainsford BBC News, Moscow 17 August 2017 Vera Golubeva spent six years in a Stalinist labour camp for telling a joke. In 1951 she was labelled an enemy of the people and sent to Siberia. “It sounds ridiculous,” the former history teacher smiles. “But that’s the only ‘evidence’ they had on me.” Now almost…

Russia bans Jehovah’s Witnesses as ‘extremist’

Russia has banned Jehovah’s Witnesses as an extremist organisation, placing the pacifist sect in the company of neo-Nazi and jihadi groups.

Russia Claims To Have Invented Alternative To Fracking | OilPrice.com

Russian scientists may have invented a new technology as an alternative to fracking capable of increasing production by between 1.7 and 6 times

Even if US Sells LNG For Free, It Can’t Replace Russia in Europe: Moscow | OilPrice.com

Moscow’s envoy to the European Union, has said the US could not replace Russian natural gas supplies to Europe, even if suppliers gave it away for free

Russian Cosmonauts Release First Satellite Made Mostly By 3-D Printer

Russian cosmonauts released a satellite made almost entirely with a 3-D printer on August 17&nbsp;in a first for the space program. Fyodor Yurchikhin and Sergei Ryazansky sent into orbit five smal…

Russia: Russia’s nuclear submarine successfully fires missile

The Northern Fleet’s multipurpose nuclear submarine successfully fired a Kalibr sea-based cruise missile. The missile travelled around 600 km.

Russia unveils new transporter-loader vehicles for intercontinental ballistic missile | Defence Blog

KB Motor in cooperation with Special Vehicles Company (ZSA) facility part of JSC «Remdizel» (a subsidiary of the Rostec state corporation) displayed publicly for the first time a new series of the special transporter-loader vehicles for the intercontinental ballistic missile. The KB Motor is specialized in transport equipment for the space industry and Russian Strategic Rocket Forces and Special Vehicles Company is a wheeled special platform maker were developed new special transporter-loader vehicles for the intercontinental ballistic missile. The KB Motor has developed a new generation of the transporter-loader system towed by the ubiquitous K-78504 tractor and 15T528 transporter-loader vehicle based on the K-78501 wheeled platform. These systems are a part of the ground infrastructure serving the ballistic missile system, it is designed to quickly transport the missiles along roads of any quality from storage facilities for subsequent installations in an underground missile silo. According toarmyrecognition.com, the new vehicles are a part of Platforma-O family includes four heavy wheeled vehicles. “Platforma-O comprises K-7850 16×16 special wheeled platform with a lifting capacity of 85 t, K-78509 12×12 special wheeled platform with a lifting capacity of 60 t, K-78504 8×8 wheeled artic intended for towing of a 90 t semi-trailer, and K-78508 8×8 wheeled ballast prime mover with a lifting capacity of 75 t intended for the transportation of aircraft on the airfield. It should be noted that K-7850 and K-78509 are supposed to be used as the mobile ICBM systems` new chassis. There is a plan to integrate them with RS-24 Yars (SS-27 Mod 2) mobile ICBM launchers,” the source pointed out.


Belarus Reports


The Daily Vertical: Lukashenka The ‘Good Cop’? (Transcript)

So it appears there will be a degree of transparency in next month’s massive Zapad 2017 war games after all. &nbsp; Scores of observers from NATO and non-NATO countries, as well as from the OSC…

UAWire – Lithuania to send observers to Russia-Belarus Zapad-2017 exercises

Lithuania received permission to send observers to the Russia-Belarus exercise Zapad-2017, which will be held on September 14 to 20, reported …

UAWire – Putin: Russian oil will be supplied to Belarus only if its exports take place through Russian ports

“Belarusian refineries process our raw oil. There is no other oil there and it is unlikely to appear, that is why we need to align their receiving our oil with the requirement of using our infrastructure,” as said by President Vladimir Putin at a meeting on transport infrastructure development for the northwest Russia which was held on Wednesday, August 16th, in Kaliningrad, as reported by RIA Novosti. Belarus has two oil refineries in Mozyr and Novopolotsk. Russia agreed to supply 24 million tons of oil to Belarus in 2017 on duty-free conditions, 18 million of which go directly to the refineries. However, oil products from these plants are exported through Baltic ports. Belarus does not use Russian ports at all, despite the fact that RZD (JSC Russian Railways) has provided the maximum 50% discount for transportation. “We are negotiating, Belarus says that they have long-term contracts for transport with these companies, but we are trying to build a dialogue with them,” Oleg Belozyorov, President of RZD, told Putin during the meeting. The main exporter of petroleum products in Belarus is the state-owned Belarusian Oil Company (BNK). It has not disclosed its export volumes through the Baltic ports. However, based on data reported by the business publication Belrynok, the volume of export of petroleum products through Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania is about 10 million tons per year. The same number was confirmed to RBC news agency by one of the transporters engaged in deliveries throughout the Baltics. According to the RBC’s source in the Ministry of Energy, Belarus can export up to 6 million tons via Russian ports. Three terminals in northwest Russia can take in Belarusian oil products. They are Ust-Luga Oil, controlled by businessman Andrei Bokarev, St. Petersburg Oil Terminal, and the LUKOIL terminal in Vysotsk. All of them specialize in the transport of petroleum products and own railway lines. Their representatives have not yet responded to RBC news agency’s requests, but RBC’s source in the Ministry of Energy said that the tariffs for oil shipment through Russian ports were “affordable”. However, he notes that the Baltic States are dropping the transportation prices in order to compensate for the deflated volume of Russian cargo. A representative of the Ministry of Energy told RBC Group that the agency had not yet been instructed to make the provision of Russian oil to Belarus on the condition that Belarusian oil products are transported through Russian ports. Sources in Rosneft and LUKOIL, the main suppliers of oil to Belarus, also said that they did not receive any instructions on this matter and did not participate in any negotiations on this topic. Rosneft spokesman Mikhail Leontyev told RBC that the company supports this proposal. At the same time, the source in Rosneft adds that duty-free oil supplies to Belarus are beneficial first of all to this country, and companies perform them only on the government’s instructions. Russia purposefully pursues a policy of reorientation of export cargoes, which are transported through ports of neighboring countries to its own ports. As a result, the shipment of Russian cargo through the Baltic ports in 2016 fell by 20%, to 42.5 million tons, according to the information of Association of Sea Commercial Ports, as reported by TASS. Transport of oil and oil products decreased by 49.3%, to 10.08 million tons, and coal volume by 13.3%, to 16.36 million tons. The president of Transneft, Nikolay Tokarev, said at the end of 2016 that the company would cease to deliver oil products to Latvia by 2018. The pipeline monopoly supplies oil products through the pipeline to the port of Ventspils or through the pipeline to Bryansk and then by rail. Now, Transneft is completing the Sever project aimed to increase the capacity of the oil products pipeline to the port of Primorsk from 15 million to 25 million tons per year.


Transnistria / Moldova Reports


Romania fears propaganda from Russian-owned Moldovan channel — The Calvert Journal

The latest from Romania’s ongoing deliberation over a Russian-owned Moldovan TV station’s request for a permit to broadcast in Romania

‘Welcome to Gagauzia’ Sign – Moldova – Atlas Obscura

It’s an archipelago of national yearning.

Moldovan girls trafficked to Sweden: Romanian citizen detained

Moldovan girls trafficked to Sweden: Romanian citizen detained

Moldova’s LGBT Community Faces a Russia-Inspired Media Crackdown

Moldova&amp;rsquo;s LGBT community has come under increasing fire from a campaign to restrict their use of media and information platforms to mobilize for their rights. In an email interview, Anastasia Danilova, describes the hostile environment activists face, in part due to Russia-inspired measures, and how they are responding.


Ukraine Reports


UAWire – Media: Talks between US envoy on Ukraine Volker and Putin’s aide Surkov may be held next week

A meeting between US State Department Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker and the Russian Presidential Aide Vladislav Surkov is …

Seth J. Frantzman | U.S. Ukrainian Military Aid Needs to Be More than Weapons | National Review

Ukraine’s army aspires to Western standards of military preparedness. What it needs from the U.S. is more than weapons …

Andreas Umland | Bad History Doesn’t Make Friends | Foreign Policy

Kiev’s glorification of wartime Ukrainian nationalists threatens to turn away its Western allies — just when it needs them the most.

TASS: Russian Politics & Diplomacy – Senator calls Kiev’s anti-Russian monument ‘rare combination of hatred and disrespect’

This monument has no relation to servicemen of the Ukrainian armed forces who died during the civil war in Donbass, a senator stated. MOSCOW, August 15. /TASS/. A monument representing a sword piercing the map of Russia, intended to honor the memory of those who perished during the civil conflict in eastern Ukraine, has no relation to mourning and is instead a “rare combination of hatred and disrespect,” a Russian senator said on Tuesday.

SBU detains leader of Russian saboteurs who plotted killing of politicians – 18.08.2017 09:48 — Ukrinform News

He said this at a briefing in Kyiv on Thursday, an Ukrinform correspondent reports. “In Kharkiv, we detained the head and executor of a sabotage group, who is connected with the directorate of the Russian general staff. The group was tasked with assassinating several public and state figures in Ukraine,” Hrytsak said. He noted that he could not name these public figures, because these people had not given permission to reveal their names. Hrytsak also recalled that a sabotage group that planned to detonate a bomb outside a unit of the National Guard of Ukraine in Mariupol was detained on July 13. Members of this group were detained when they were laying an anti-personnel mine near the police unit. Hrytsak said that this mine had been produced in Russia. SBU also detained saboteurs in Odesa who blew up a car on July 24, he added.

Leader of sabotage group of Russian secret services detained in Kharkiv, – SBU. VIDEO

18.08.17 11:15 – Leader of sabotage group of Russian secret services detained in Kharkiv, – SBU. VIDEO … View video news.

Russia’s FSB plotting terror acts, assassinations in Ukraine – SBU chief – LB.ua news portal

Russia’s FSB plotting terror acts, assassinations in Ukraine – SBU chief. Three Russian sabotage groups were detained. he Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, which is the successor of KGB, over the last month deployed to Ukraine three sabotage groups tasked with committing terrorist attacks and assassinations of public and political figures, Head of the Security Service of Ukraine Pavlo Hrytsak told a Kyiv briefing on Thursday, according to an UNIAN correspondent. “Russia’s FSB continues to deploy its sabotage groups to Ukrainian soil to commit terrorist attacks in our territory. Among their main targets are strategic infrastructure facilities, while another goal is the assassination of certain public and political figures. As a rule, they should be some high-profile personas, no matter their political affiliation – the ruling forces or the opposition. The aim is for the assassination of such figure to yield the expected public outcry,” he said. According to Hrytsak, the SBU prevented a number of such terrorist attacks. “Over the last month, the Security Service exposed three of such groups. In particular, in Kharkiv on July 17 we detained the leader and the main executor, the organizer of such a group, trained by the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian armed forces. The group was instructed to assassinate several public figures and Ukrainian government officials. I can’t tell you the names [of targets] because these people have not given permission to reveal names,” Hrytsak added. The SBU chief also said that the information received points at further escalation of intelligence and terrorist efforts of Russian special services in Ukraine. “Subversive efforts are manifested in internal destabilization, the efforts of subversive reconnaissance groups, attempts to commit acts of sabotage and terrorist acts,” said Hrytsak. “I will only recall the last few key activities that the Russian Federation is engaged in, while constantly accusing Ukraine of violating Minsk agreements. It’s the attempts to incite and provide media support for pseudo rallies on ethnic grounds; systemic spins of fake news, such as about the supply of missile engines to North Korea and detentions in Crimea and in occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of sabotage groups allegedly sent by the SBU,” he said. According to Hrytsak, SBU does not consider such increase in Russian efforts accidental. “We clearly understand the reasons for such activities of Russian special services,” he stressed.

Russia’s FSB plotting terrorist attacks, high-profile assassinations of state officials in Ukraine – SBU chief

The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, which is the successor of KGB, over the last month deployed to Ukraine three sabotage groups tasked with committing terrorist attacks and assassinations of public and political figures, Head of the Security Service of Ukraine Pavlo Hrytsak told a Kyiv briefing on Thursday, according to&nbsp;an UNIAN&nbsp;correspondent. “Russia’s FSB continues to deploy its sabotage groups to Ukrainian soil to commit terrorist attacks in our territory. Among their main targets are strategic infrastructure facilities, while another goal is the assassination of certain public and political figures. As a rule, they should be some high-profile personas, no matter their political affiliation – the ruling forces or the opposition. The aim is for the assassination of such figure to yield the expected public outcry,” he said. According to Hrytsak, the SBU prevented a number of such terrorist attacks. “Over the last month, the Security Service exposed three of such groups. In particular, in Kharkiv on July 17 we detained the leader and the main executor, the organizer of such a group, trained by the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian armed forces. The group was instructed to assassinate several public figures and Ukrainian government officials. I can’t tell you the names [of targets] because these people have not given permission to reveal names,” Hrytsak added. The SBU chief also said that the information received points at further escalation of intelligence and terrorist efforts of Russian special services in Ukraine. “Subversive efforts are manifested in internal destabilization, the efforts of subversive reconnaissance groups, attempts to commit acts of sabotage and terrorist acts,” said Hrytsak. Read also Putin orders intel services to achieve “reset of Ukraine’s ruling regime” – SBU chief “I will only recall the last few key activities that the Russian Federation is engaged in, while constantly accusing Ukraine of violating Minsk agreements. It’s the attempts to incite and provide media support for pseudo rallies on ethnic grounds; systemic spins of fake news, such as about the supply of missile engines to North Korea and detentions in Crimea and in occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of sabotage groups allegedly sent by the SBU,” he said. Read also SBU reveals its officer cooperating with Russia’s FSB According to Hrytsak, SBU does not consider such increase in Russian efforts accidental. “We clearly understand the reasons for such activities of Russian special services,” he stressed.

Kiev accuses Moscow of plotting sabotage activities in Ukraine – Xinhua | English.news.cn

SBU exposes Russian special operation for spreading fake news

The SBU Security Service of Ukraine has exposed a special operation of the Russian special services aimed at discrediting the security forces and Ukrainian journalism. News 18 August from UNIAN.

Three Russian sabotage groups exposed in Ukraine – SBU – 18.08.2017 09:24 — Ukrinform News

SBU Chief Vasyl Hrytsak said this at a briefing in Kyiv on Thursday, an Ukrinform correspondent reports. “SBU is recording the intensified activity of Russian special services on Ukrainian territory. Their subversive activities are manifested in the work of sabotage reconnaissance groups, attempts to commit acts of sabotage, terrorist attacks, and to organize pseudo protests on ethnic grounds. Fake news are systemically spun, and the assassinations of certain public figures and famous personalities are plotted,” he said. According to him, the information received points to the escalation of intelligence terrorist activities of Russian special groups on Ukrainian territory. “Russia’s FSB deploys sabotage groups to carry out terrorist attacks on our territory,” Hrytsak said. According to him, among their main targets are strategic infrastructure facilities, and another goal is the killing of people, regardless of their political affiliation, “so as to yield the public outcry.” Hrytsak said that a number of terrorist attacks had already been prevented. “SBU exposed three of such sabotage groups over the last month,” he said.

Ukraine starts broadcasting TV channels from Chonhar to occupied Crimea

Ukraine has started broadcasting TV channels in test mode to Crimea from the village of Chonhar in Kherson region’s Henichesk district, according to Serhiy Kostinsky, a member of the National Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine.According to him, “digital television has been put into operation in the test mode on the Chonhar transmission tower (Kherson region). Thus, UA: CRIMEA (National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine), TV Channel 5, TONIS TV channel, ICTV, and Chornomorska (the Black Sea) TV are broadcasting to the territory of the North Crimea in DVB-T2 standard. Kostinsky referred to Petro Semerey, CEO of Teleseti Ukrainy, which built the Chonhar transmission tower and acting as a telecommunications operator, saying that the multiplex would start operating in the standard mode with a power of 0.3 kW from September 1, and with a power of 1 kW from November 1. Read also Another TV tower to be erected in Luhansk region to air Ukrainian TV programs “I ask the compatriots living in Yana Kapu (the town of Krasnoperekopsk), the town of Dzhankoy, as well as Krasnoperekopsk and Dzhankoy districts, to adjust their digital antennas to Chonhar and catch the signal, fixing the Ukrainian broadcasting on video,” Kostinsky said. According to him, “the company is developing another multiplex, which will involve another five Ukrainian TV channels.”

Ukraine now relaying TV signal to northern Crimea – LB.ua news portal

Ukraine now relaying TV signal to northern Crimea. Five Ukrainian TV channels are reportedly available in northern Crimea. Ukraine has started broadcasting TV channels in test mode to Crimea from the village of Chonhar in Henichesk District of Kherson Region, according to Serhiy Kostynskyy, a member of the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine. “Digital television has been put into operation in test mode on the Chonhar transmission tower (Kherson region). Thus, UA: CRIMEA (National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine), 5 Kanal, TONIS, ICTV and Black Sea TV are now accessible in northern Crimea in DVB-T2 standard,” he quoted the director of the Telemerezhi Ukrayiny company operating the TV tower. Standard multiplex signal will be available as of 1 September (0.3 kW) and as of 1 November (1 kW). “I would like to ask our compatriots living in Yani Qapi (Krasnoperekopsk), Dzhankoy, as well as in Krasnoperekopsk and Dzhankoy districts, to direct their digital antennas at Chonhar and catch the signal,” Kostynskyy said. There are plans to broadcast five more Ukrainian TV channels, he added.

UAWire – Russia sends three Su-24M tactical bombers to Crimea

Three Su-24M front-line bombers were sent from neighboring Russia to the annexed Crimea, as indicated by the press service of the Russian Defense Ministry. The front-line bombers will reinforce the air squadron of the assault aviation regiment of the Black Sea Fleet. “The aircraft arrived in the Crimea after the planned plant repairs were completed on the Russian mainland. It is expected that in the future, the aircraft will undergo modernization at military facilities of the regiment, which will significantly expand their capabilities,” reads the statement made by the Russian Defense Ministry. Earlier, Ukrainian military command called Russian military drills in the annexed Crimea illegal and condemned the continued transfer of military equipment to the peninsula. Russia’s annexation of Crimea followed the ouster of Ukraine’s pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, and has been widely condemned as an illegal act by world leaders. This, and a prolonged fighting between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists in the east of Ukraine, has led to the imposition of a series of economic sanctions against Russia.

Militants launched 27 attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas in last day – 18.08.2017 09:23 — Ukrinform News

Militants launched 27 attacks on positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in ATO area in Donbas over the past day. Two Ukrainian soldiers were wounded.

Ukraine reports 2 WIA’s amid 27 enemy attacks in last day

Russia’s hybrid military forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in Donbas 27 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 18 August from UNIAN.

SBU: Russian secret services try to covertly use ATO soldiers to discredit Ukraine

Head of the Security Service of Ukraine Vasyl Hrytsak during a Thursday briefing in Kyiv informed that the SBU officers had revealed a mechanism of Russian secret services through which FSB secretly uses former ATO soldiers to cover terrorist attacks in the territory of Russia, the SBU’s press center said. News 18 August from UNIAN.

Ukraine’s Army enlists 120,000 contract soldiers, and 130,000 reservists, – Defense Ministry

18.08.17 12:23 – Ukraine’s Army enlists 120,000 contract soldiers, and 130,000 reservists, – Defense Ministry More than 17,000 persons signed the contract with the Armed Forces of Ukraine recently. View news.

SBU reveals Russian ammunition in Donbas (Photo) | UNIAN

The employees of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine have revealed another fact of use of the Russian-made ammunition against the Anti-Terrorist Operation forces. News 18 August from UNIAN.

UAWire – Massive blackouts continue in annexed Crimea

Power supply problems persist in Russian-annexed Crimea, a report from the Russian Ministry of Energy states. “On August 15, from 12:47 to the present, due to unfavorable weather conditions (rain, thunderstorms) there have been massive emergency power outages of the 6-10 KW distribution grids in Crimean territory,” the Russian Energy Ministry announced. Due to the bad weather, 13 aerial 6-10 KW lines and 62 transformer substations were switched off. Yesterday, on August 15, 53 settlements had no power supply, roughly 9,050 people. As of today, 19 settlements have no power, roughly 1,600 people. “In territorial grid operators’ zone of responsibility, there are no disconnected consumers, the reserve power supply sources have not been used. Emergency repair work continues. The situation is under the special control of Russian Deputy Energy Minister Andrei Cherezov until the emergency repair work is completed,” the Russian Energy Ministry stated. As reported, the electrical power failed in Crimea during the day on July 28. Major cities such as Yalta, Simferopol, Feodosia, Sudak and Kerch were disconnected. According to the Russian Energy Ministry, an “abnormally high” air temperature in Krasnodar Krai was the reason for the emergency power outages which caused blackouts in all the Crimean territory.

UAWire – Ukrainian military command: Ukrainian military advised not to visit Crimea

Work is being done among Ukrainian military personnel, including those who have been placed in reserve, to explain the undesirability of traveling to the occupied territories, including the Crimea. This was announced on August 17 by Vladislav Seleznev, spokesperson for the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, in a broadcast of the Ukrainian Radio Svoboda’s program “Your Freedom”, while commenting on the arrests of former Ukrainian soldiers whom the Russian law enforcement officials accuse of terrorism. “Such work is being done, even by the officers working with the personnel,” he said. Vladislav Seleznev mentioned the risks which exist for former Ukrainian soldiers in the occupied territories, and pointed out that recently he personally was unable to make it to his mother’s funeral in annexed Simferopol since as a participant of the Ukraine’s Army operation in the Donbas and a member of the Ukrainian General Staff, the Russian law enforcement authorities had “a great deal of questions” for him. On August 15, the Russian intelligence agency released a video showing a man being arrested and interrogated. To the camera he called himself Hennadiy Limeshko, born in 1992, and confessed to supposedly preparing an act of sabotage on annexed Crimean territory. On August 14, the Kremlin-controlled Kyiv District Court of Simferopol arrested Limeshko for a period of two months, until October 13. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense announced that Limeshko, who is accused by the Russian FSB of being an “SBU agent”, served on contract in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and was dismissed in May this year on account of unsuitability for service. The SBU called the FSB’s announcement “yet another provocation”. The so-called DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic) Ministry of State Security reported the arrest of a “sabotage group” led by a soldier from the 8th regiment of the special operation forces of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. The Security Service of Ukraine called the information distributed by separatist news outlets “fake”.

Ilovaisk tragedy: eight Ukrainian fighters remain prisoners of terrorists, – Defense Ministry

18.08.17 14:09 – Ilovaisk tragedy: eight Ukrainian fighters remain prisoners of terrorists, – Defense Ministry Eight Ukrainian military who fought in the Ilovaisk entrapment in August 2014 have remained prisoners of the terrorists for three years now. View news.

NATO and Ukrainian Soldiers Rehearse Ahead of Independence Day Parade in Kyiv – YouTube

Ukrainians will mark 26 years since their country gained its independence on August 24, 1991. Nearly a week away, parade rehearsals are underway in the Ukrai…

Counseling in Combat: How One Psychologist Is Mending Hearts and Minds – YouTube

Psychologists have a long standing history of serving in conflicts around the world. For decades therapists have been helping servicemen overcome mental trau…

Ukrainian arms exports in 2016

After the suspension of Ukraine’s arms sales in 2014, the Ukrainian defense industry is once again increasing its export potential. The country’s leadership plans to make Ukraine one of the leaders of the global arms market, while representatives of the Ukrainian defense industry are calling for liberalization of the terms of military exports. News 11 August from UNIAN.

Marshall Plan for Ukraine provides for EUR 5 bln annual support from EU – Kubiv

Ukraine’s Minister of Economic Development and Trade Stepan Kubiv says the New European Plan for Ukraine prepared by the Seimas of Lithuania (the so-called &quot;Marshall Plan for Ukraine&quot;) provides for at least EUR 5 billion in annual support from the European Union for the implementation of reforms aimed at the country’s economic growth and development. News 18 August from UNIAN.

Mass graves of victims of political repression discovered in Ivano-Frankivsk -Euromaidan Press

Mass graves with the remains of at least 50 people were found in Ivano-Frankivsk by workers who were laying a new electric cable near the city’s central lake. According to eyewitnesses, the employees of Prykarpattyaoblenergo did not initially understand what they were looking at even though an old Jewish cemetery is located right next to the discovery site. However, local residents prevented them from filling up the uncovered graves and phoned the police.

26 years after fall of USSR, Ukraine still seeks freedom | KyivPost

As Ukraine celebrates 26 years of independence, the nation’s journey out of Russia’s orbit to the circle of European nations is continuing. While there is still a long way to go, Ukraine passed some major milestones in the last year as it seeks to shake off Kremlin influence once and for all.

Georgia Asks Ukraine To Extradite Saakashvili

Georgia has requested that Ukraine extradite Mikheil Saakashvili, the former Georgian president and ex-governor of Ukraine’s Odesa region who was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship last month….

Ukrainian Voices From Abroad: Tanya Goldsmith’s Independence Day story | KyivPost

Editor’s Note: As Ukraine’s 26th Independence Day approaches on Aug. 24, the Kyiv Post is asking Ukrainians who live abroad to send in their picture with answers to the following questions for publication. Send to Kyiv Post chief editor Brian Bonner at bonner@kyivpost.com. The published replies can be found here: Ukrainian Voices From Abroad. Kyiv Post: Where are you from in Ukraine? Tanya Goldsmith: I was born in small town in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast and was raised there for the first three years. After that my parents moved to Kyocera, where I grew up. Exclusive article

CALAMITY KYIV? The Economist sparks outcry by placing Ukrainian capital among world’s bottom ten least livable cities

Authoritative annual global city ranking accused of absurdity for ranking Kyiv alongside Damascus, Tripoli and Lagos

Ukraine’s ATO veterans go from protecting their country to protecting its cats -Euromaidan Press |

In their regular lives, some veterans of the conflict in eastern Ukraine help homeless animals find a family.

How Abused Circus Bears Are Getting a New Life in Ukraine (Watch) – YouTube

A rehabilitation center for brown bears has been successfully operating in a little town in Western Ukraine for over 4 years. The facility is home to dozens …


Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports


Russia’s Syria Mirage: July 17 – August 13, 2017 – To Inform is to Influence

Bottom line: Russia’s operations in Syria are disingenuous, designed to lure the United States into unhealthy partnership operations with the aim of reducing obstacles to a Russian buildup.  </end editorial> By Matti Suomenaro, Ellen Stockert, and Genevieve Casagrande Russia continues to masquerade as an effective anti-ISIS actor in order to lure the U.S. into a…

Iran Praises ‘Martyrdom’ Of Fighter Beheaded By Islamic State Extremists

A 25-year-old-member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) who was recently beheaded by the extremist group Islamic State (IS) is becoming the poster child of Iran&rsquo;s militar…

Barcelona and Cambrils attacks: What we know so far – BBC News

Here’s what we know after two attacks in Spain’s Catalonia region.

Spain Terror: At Least 100 Hurt, 13 Killed, Five Suspects Dead in Two Attacks – NBC News

A third suspect was arrested Friday after the deadly van rampage in Barcelona and related attack in Cambrils that left 13 people and 5 attackets dead.


DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports


Mattis and Tillerson move to clarify administration policy on North Korea – The Washington Post

Military action is only contemplated in response to an attack by Pyongyang.

Tillerson, Mattis: Military option in play for N.Korea – CNNPolitics

The US continues to consider military options to respond to North Korea’s aggressive pursuit of missile capabilities.

The Latest: Tillerson, Mattis say military option on table – ABC News

The Latest: Tillerson, Mattis say military option on table

U.S. and Japan warn North Korea of consequences if it attacks first. – The Washington Post

Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with their Japanese counterparts at the State Department.

Russia, China Warn U.S. Against Military Conflict With North Korea

Russia joined with China on August 17 in urging the United States not to take military action against North Korea, saying the escalating threats of war being traded between Washington and Pyongyan…

Why Japan lent support to India against China over Doklam standoff : India, News – India Today

There is a reason for Japan to extend support to India over Doklam standoff as Tokyo itself is facing an expansionist China on its western maritime borders.


IW/IO/Cyber Reports


Ukraine completes Lenin wipeout — The Calvert Journal

If you’re looking for statues of Lenin, you won’t find them in Ukraine

Ukraine Central Bank Warns of New Cyber-Attack Risk – The New York Times

The Ukrainian central bank said on Friday it had warned state-owned and private lenders of the appearance of new malware as security services said Ukraine faced cyber attacks like those that knocked out global systems in June.

Into the Uncanny Valley of Fake News – To Inform is to Influence

@DFRLab @AtlanticCouncil’s Digital Forensic Research Lab. Catalyzing a global network of digital forensic researchers, following conflicts in real time. Aug 17https://medium.com/dfrlab/into-the-uncanny-valley-of-fake-news-9417e25c3b0a A case study in how a cluster of websites managed to pose as legitimate sources and, despite being exposed, got away with it On August 13, a website posing as the site of British daily The…

Scottish Parliament under cyberattack, no systems breached

Officials at the Scottish Parliament say the legislature’s IT systems are under sustained cyberattack but have not been breached.

Why We Terminated Daily Stormer

Earlier today, Cloudflare terminated the account of the Daily Stormer. We’ve stopped proxying their traffic and stopped answering DNS requests for their sites. We’ve taken measures to ensure that they cannot sign up for Cloudflare’s services ever again. Our terms of service reserve the right for us to terminate users of our network at our sole discretion. The tipping point for us making this decision was that the team behind Daily Stormer made the claim that we were secretly supporters of their ideology. Our team has been thorough and have had thoughtful discussions for years about what the right policy was on censoring. Like a lot of people, we’ve felt angry at these hateful people for a long time but we have followed the law and remained content neutral as a network. We could not remain neutral after these claims of secret support by Cloudflare. Now, having made that decision, let me explain why it’s so dangerous.

Urgency In U.S. Electronic Warfare Faces Funding Challenges | Aviation Week & Space Technology content from Aviation Week

The U.S. is striving to make its electronic warfare systems agile and flexible to offset advances made by potential adversaries.


US Domestic Policy Reports


REPORT: WikiLeaks Turned Down Leaks on Russian Government During U.S. Presidential Campaign – To Inform is to Influence

Wikileaks is selectively accepting documents to share, apparently rejecting documents injurious to Russia’s reputation. But perhaps this reflects a good decision on Assange’s part, however. I’m having difficulty understanding the source of the leak which tried supplying Julian Assange with the Russian-damaging documents. I cannot help but get the feeling that at least some of…

WikiLeaks Turned Down Leaks on Russian Government During U.S. Presidential Campaign – Foreign Policy

The leak organization ignored damaging information on the Kremlin to focus on Hillary Clinton and election-related hacks.

3 Questions About A Pro-Russia Congressman’s Meeting With Julian Assange : NPR

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., met in London with Julian Assange — and has a secret message from Assange for President Trump.

Rohrabacher: Assange Says Russia Not Behind DNC Email Leak | Congressman Dana Rohrabacher

Aug 17, 2017 Press Release LONDON – Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on Wednesday told Rep. Dana Rohrabacher that Russia was not behind leaks of emails during last year’s presidential election campaign that damaged Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and exposed the inner workings of the Democratic National Committee. The California congressman spent some three hours with the Australian-born fugitive, now living under the protection of the Ecuadorian embassy in the British capital. Assange’s claim contradicts the widely accepted assessment of the U.S. intelligence community that the thousands of leaked emails, which indicated the Democratic National Committee rigged the nomination process against Sen. Bernie Sanders in favor of Clinton, were the result of hacking by the Russian government or persons connected to the Kremlin. Assange, said Rohrabacher, “emphatically stated that the Russians were not involved in the hacking or disclosure of those emails.” Rohrabacher, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats, is the only U.S. congressman to have visited the controversial figure. The conversation ranged over many topics, said Rohrabacher, including the status of Wikileaks, which Assange maintains is vital to keeping Americans informed on matters hidden by their traditional media. The congressman plans to divulge more of what he found directly to President Trump.

Julian Assange, a Man Without a Country | The New Yorker

From his tiny sanctum in London, the founder of WikiLeaks has interfered with the world’s most powerful institutions.

Trump, the alt-right and the Kremlin: White supremacists’ Russia links are no secret – Salon.com

Neo-Nazis, white supremacists and Donald Trump all have deep ties to Russia — and this “conspiracy” isn’t hidden

Why Manafort, Kushner, Donald Jr., Page and Cohen May Avoid Prosecution

It proved hard to nail notorious Soviet spies like Fuchs, Hiss, McLean and the Rosenbergs, too.

Ukraine Is Proving Key to the DNC Hack Investigation

One hacker whose code was used is speaking with authorities.

UAWire – Kyiv: Information on Manafort was disclosed at media’s request

The National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) said that it reported the existence of the name Paul Manafort in the Party of Regions’ “black ledger” in response to the media’s inquiries. “The NABU and SAP have repeatedly stated that no investigation has been carried out with respect to Paul Manafort. We stress that he is not a person being investigated by us. All comments regarding the presence of the name Paul Manafort in the lists of the so-called ‘black ledger’ of the Party of Regions were exclusively in response to the media’s inquiries and the goal to prevent manipulation,” the NABU press service announced on Wednesday, as reported by Interfax Ukraine. On August 16, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine (GPU) clarified that it is investigating the disclosure of information from a pretrial investigation by the NABU, not interference in US elections. On August 15, the online news outlet Obozrevatel, citing a document in the editorial staff’s possession, published news with the title “GPU opens case on NABU interference in US presidential elections: the document”. According to the news outlet, criminal case No. 42017000000002470 was opened according to Sec. 2 Art. 387 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (disclosure of pretrial investigation information or knowledge) “concerning interference by individual officials from the NABU in the US presidential elections in 2016”. The disclosed photocopy of part of the document gives the story of the case opened on August 2: “According to the appeal of Ukrainian MP Derkach A.L. [unaffiliated MP Andrei Derkach] Ukrainian law enforcement officials disclosed pretrial investigation information by revealing to the media fragments of records made on lists in the Party of Regions’ ‘black ledger’ on the name of Donald Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort. The Ukrainian information discredits the person, degrades his honor and dignity by creating a public impression of illegal interference in the US presidential elections”. In May 2016, former first deputy SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) head Viktor Trepak gave the NBU documents relating to the Party of Regions’ “black ledger”. According to him, these documents are evidence of the Party of Regions’ illegal cash payments to Ukrainian officials and politicians, as well as to Manafort, who later became the head of Trump’s electoral campaign. The New York Times subsequently released an article on Manafort’s work in Ukraine, after which he resigned from his position as Trump’s campaign manager. At the end of July 2017, the NABU said that it and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office are not authorized to investigate Manafort’s activity as a political consultant of the Party of Regions. On July 25, Trump demanded on Twitter for Ukraine’s interference in his presidential campaign to be investigated.

Hillary Clinton, Ukraine collusion story in fake news shadows – Washington Times

The “Trump colluded with Russia” narrative is alive and well in the United States. With the media and the Marxist left lacking any facts to support this falsehood, they have now resorted to guessing what evidence hackers overseas may provide to resuscitate their attempt to unseat a duly elected U.S. president.

The story behind a retracted CNN report on the Trump campaign and Russia – The Washington Post

Finger-pointing and fallout followed the report that led to an apology and three resignations.

Anonymous targets Trump by doxxing GOP

After a near two-year silence from the hacktivist group, Anonymous has come out of the dark to fight for President Trump’s impeachment.

Robert E. Lee discouraged monuments. They ‘keep open the sores of war,’ he wrote. – The Washington Post

Better to tend to the graves of the fallen, Lee believed.

Top Two Officers on Navy Ship in Deadly Collision Off Japan Are Relieved of Duties – The New York Times

The ship, the destroyer Fitzgerald, collided with a cargo freighter in the middle of the night, killing seven sailors.

Advertisements

One thought on “Russia / Strategy Media Update – 18 August 2017

Comments are closed.