Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Russia / Strategy Media Update – 24 August 2017


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

Happy Independence Day of Ukraine!

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Russian provocations continue, this time near Japan and RoK. Kofman does a decent primer on Zapad, but spoils it with his usual soft arguments. Russia’s industrial base problems with denied access to Ukrainian components for missiles remain unresolved, with Russian domestic production remaining crippled for multiple missile types since early 2014.

Concerns growing that more Ukrainians will be taken hostage in Russia, with Russian law enforcement and FSB being alerted to “Ukrainian sabotage groups” and “Ukrainian terrorists” – with several million Ukrainian migrant workers in Russia, and over 25 million ethnic Ukrainian Russian nationals available as hostages, Putin has yet another card to play, SBU head Hrytsak suggesting the intent is to smear Ukraine internationally. If Russia’s resident and ethnic Ukrainian populace did actively turn against the regime, it would have a problem of unsolvable proportions, especially in Siberia where ethnic Russians are often outnumbered. Reports on Tatarstan suggest that Tartars are also in for an interesting time. Feldman is very right on the “Russian World”. Further reports detailing Russia’s descent into the Boschian, with comparisons against Stalinism.

Bullying of Belarus detailed. In Moldova, COCW on opposition decorating Putinist Pres Dodon, while the “Leninopad” movement seems to be taking hold in Moldova now, having completed its work in Ukraine.

POTUS congratulations to Ukraine on Independence Day read as “snub” to Putin.

SECDEF Mattis arrives in Kyiv on an E-4B NEACP and treated as a true friend. He stated that he will report to POTUS following the visit with a recommendation on lethal aid. Donbass fires continue. Part 3 of Gen Muzhenko’s account of Ilovaysk, very sobering appraisal, and how many Western militaries would have done any better under such challenging circumstances?

Independence Day celebrations and military parade very nicely done, and dramatically depart from the past Soviet-style parades. Poroshenko does excellent speech but no English transcript as yet. COCW Award again goes to Pres Poroshenko, for this superb observation: “In the Kremlin “laboratories” they make up Novorossiya; then announce Malorossiya. What can be said? Let them dwell in madness, agonize as they please, but we have things to do. Even though this quote is from the already sovietized [poet] Tychyna, it serves well as a response to the Russians.” During parade, notable are the new “British style” dress uniforms, and contingents by friends and allies marching in the parade. Statue of Gen Zhukov toppled in Odessa. Military equipment presented as static exhibit for public access, some good photoessays.

Iran seems to dominate M.E. MSM traffic, while Russians trash new Afghanistan policy.

Nikkei Asian Review reports that Kim Jong Un’s killing spree against his family members was the result of him learning of a Beijing plot to oust him, and replace him with a more agreeable dynasty member. Multiple interesting backfill reports on the DPRK with the usual dose of speculative reporting. Beijing complains about secondary DPRK sanctions. India-Vietnam alignment forming. Good WashPost essay on Beijing’s export of historical revisionism.

In Germany, the SDP turns against the US, and day by day looks more the “Soviet Disciple Party” as it tries to capitalise on neutralist and anti-US sentiments.

A mixed bag of very interesting articles today in Strategy / History / Capability, noting the Tsar Bomba was scarcely deployable in an operational environment due to its immense size and weight.

Two disturbing reports on cyber, while it appears the MSM have done it again, misusing the term hacking to describe GPS spoofing. Like RPVs becoming magically drones.

US domestic debate remains sadly toxic.


Russia / Russophone Reports


Russia sends nuclear-capable bombers on mission near South Korea, Japan

Russian nuclear-capable strategic bombers have flown over the Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Japan, the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea, prompting Japan and South Korea to scramble jets to escort them, Russia said on Thursday.

Air Force bombers land overseas for Czech Republic exercise

The exercise focuses on training joint terminal attack controllers.

‘We know how to live next to Russia’: Lithuania builds border fence with Kaliningrad | World news | The Guardian

Russia’s recent Baltic moves – huge military exercise, cyber-attacks, missile deployment and seizure of Estonian official – prompt action by Vilnius

The Aviationist » When Highway Landings Go Wrong: A-10 Demolishes Road Sign During Exercise In Estonia

On Aug. 10, one of the ten A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft assigned to the 104th Fighter Squadron, Maryland Air National Guard, performing landing and take off training from an extension of Jägala-Käravete Highway, a portion of the longer road known as Piibe Highway, in Northern Estonia, hit and damaged a road sign at roughly 3.15 PM local time. Although the Warthog, carrying a dummy AGM-85 Maverick missile and a Litening ATP (Advanced Targeting Pod) did not suffer significant damage (the Thunderbolt II is an extremely sturdy plane, able to survive much more than a few scrapes) and was able to take off again later on, the highway remained closed until the following morning. The incident is under investigation; based on the photographs it seems that the aircraft (AF 79-0108) may have approached the extension a bit too low and hit (with the right hand wing) the road sign along with a plastic barrier that marks the beginning of the highway section used as runway. You can find several interesting shots here.

Michael Kofman | What to Expect When You’re Expecting Zapad 2017

In the end, Zapad is a good window into the Russian mindset. The Russian leadership is not lying. In a conflict between Russia and NATO, things will probably go badly. Moscow may resort to using nuclear weapons. For all the modernization and transformation of Russian armed forces, in reality the Russian leadership is probably still afraid: afraid the United States will try to make a bid for Belarus, afraid of American technological and economic superiority, afraid the U.S. seeks regime change in Moscow, and afraid Washington desires the complete fragmentation of Russian influence in its near abroad, or even worse, Russia itself. Zapad is the most coherent manifestation of these fears, and a threat from Moscow to the United States about what it might do if the worst should come to pass. Washington should pay close attention to both, it’s an opportunity to learn a great deal about an adversary, and it only comes every four years.

Russia can not find replacements for the unique parts of missiles produced in Ukraine – Gorbulin

Russia has so far failed to find a replacement for the unique parts and components of missiles produced by Ukrainian enterprises. The adviser to the president, director of the National Institute of Strategic Studies Vladimir Gorbulin wrote in an article for the “Mirror of the Week”. “Incidentally, the Ukrainian sanctions (as regards the breakdown of cooperation in the military-industrial complex) are as hard for Russia, according to SIPRI, Russia has so far failed to establish at least 185 unique parts and components produced by Ukrainian enterprises” Gorbulin wrote. He quoted the expert of the Swedish Defense Research Agency (FOI) Thomas Malmloof, according to which, “by the most cautious estimates, almost 30% of the components supplied by the Ukrainian military-industrial complex are unique, and so far Russia has not been able to find a replacement for them.” However, according to Gorbulin himself, it is a very specific 51 percent of all Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles carrying 82 percent of all nuclear warheads in service with the Russian Armed Forces. Yuzhmash, Kharkiv Hartron, Kosmotrans, Kiev Arsenal and Artem, Zaporizhzhya Motor Sich are search and guidance systems for Russian air-to-air missiles, guidance systems for the bombing of MiG and Su, Almost all hydraulics of the Russian Air Force, engines for all Russian combat helicopters and much more, “said the adviser to the president of Ukraine.

FSB mulling new provocations against Ukrainians: fears spread in Moscow of “Ukrainian sabotage groups”

The information about the intentions of supposedly &quot;Ukrainian terrorists&quot; to carry out a series of large scale acts of terror at Moscow's railway stations (Kazan, Kiev, Kursk, Yaroslavl, and Paveletsky) on August 24 is being spread among Russia's law enforcement agencies and Federal Security Service (FSB), according to Ukraine&rsquo;s Information Resistance volunteer group. In this regard, security officials are being instructed to “take measures to interact with all agencies and special services involved to exchange intel in case the situation develops, especially if signs of preparation of a terrorist attack are discovered,” the Information Resistance wrote referring to its trustworthy sources, familiar with the matter. The FSB, Moscow Regional Center for Railroad Safety, and Transport Police take part in the joint efforts, the report says. As UNIAN reported earlier, Head of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) Vasyl Hrytsak said that Russian intelligence services had plotted to use three former ATO troops as potential “executors” of terrorist acts in Moscow, without their knowledge, in an operation aimed to discredit Ukraine on the international arena. The mediators had initially offered highly-paid construction jobs in Moscow. Instead, the three men were taken to various infrastructure facilities across Moscow, namely the subway and railway stations, while their visits were recorded on camera and documented otherwise by calling them on the cell phones earlier given to them by the organizers of the plot.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russian ‘World’ Different in Kind from English, Spanish or French ‘Worlds,’ Feldman Says

Paul Goble Staunton, August 23 – Moscow writers, most prominently Academician Valery Tishkov, routinely suggest that “the Russian world” the Kremlin talks about is analogous to “’the worlds’ of the European colonial powers which are spheres of cultural influence on the planetary civilization,” Mikhail Feldman says. But that is a fundamental mistake, he continues, not only because “’the worlds’ of the English, the Spanish, the Dutch and other European imperialists were born only with the collapse of their colonial empires” but also because the Russian “world” came into existence alongside the empire and was/is based on military conquest and authoritarian rule. “It is no accident,” the Russian commentator writes on the AfterEmpire portal today, that the person usually given credit for the term in the Russian case was tsarist General Mikhail Chernyayev who led the forces that brutally seized Tashkent in 1865 and the culturally alien peoples around it (afterempire.info/2017/08/23/russian-countries/). “Even today,” Feldman continues, “this ‘world’ is associated not with cultural expansion but with soldiers without identifying badges, with the downing of the Boeing, and with the arrest of civic activists who want to return to their native city the historic name of Koenigsberg” – in short with military power not cultural influence. One Moscow commentator has suggested that “Russians will cease to exist in the form in which they have existed for centuries if there is no Empire,” an argument that implies that “Russians are incapable of self-organization” and can exist only under a powerful and paternalistic Russian state. This might seem “logical,” Feldman says, “if one considered Russians exclusively as coming from ‘the nucleus’ of the empire … but if there is a metropolitan center, this means that there are colonies. And in ‘the Russian world’ are not only the North Caucasus or the recently seized Crimea.” It is “all of us: Tambov, Voronezh, Veliky and Nizhny Novgorod … the entire country from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok, the source of resources for the imperial (or to put it in a politically correct way, the federal) center, comfortably situated in the borders of the Moscow Ring Road.” A Russian world analogous to those of the Western imperial powers could come into existence only if the Russian empire disintegrates, Feldman argues. Then and only then could there be a Russian “world” like the European ones that include the US, Canada, Brazil or Australia.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Tatarstan Failed to Fight for Treaty Extension and Now Moscow will Target Tatar Language, Kazan Professor Says

Paul Goble Staunton, August 23 – It is clear that the Kremlin has no intention of extending the power-sharing agreement between Moscow and Kazan but instead will take its lapse as an occasion to launch a broad new attack on the Tatar language and culture, according to Midkhat Farukshin. But it is also clear that the Tatarstan elite and the Tatar population are to blame for this state of affairs because they did not use the treaty when it did exist to create specific legal arrangements and because they didn’t fight for its extension lest they anger Moscow, the Kazan professor says (idelreal.org/a/midkhat-farukshin-dogovor-tatarstan-rossiya/28692206.html). During the ten years that the first extension of the treaty was in force, Kazan did not insist that Russia ratify the accord and still worse did not use the opportunity to make specific institutional arrangements limiting themselves to a few symbols and many generalities, the Kazan philosopher argues. As a result, he continues, “there is not one legal norm by which Tatarstan could be considered independent of Russia and not subordinate to Russian law, at least from the point of view of international law,” Farukshin says, adding that “it is an historic fact that there is no independence.” It was “a big mistake” that the Tatarstan authorities did not say anything about the specific delimitation of authorities over that decade. “There was not a single proposal, and as a result, things did not move forward.” Kazan could have demanded control over its educational system and especially over languages in the schools, but in fact it didn’t do so. The professor agrees with his interlocutor that “the Tatarstan authorities did not try particularly hard to achieve the extension of the treaty.” As he points out, “there were no open declarations” about that, with the State Council talking only about the need to create a join commission “without a single word about the treaty.” And the World Congress of Tatars, which might have been expected to press Moscow on this issue, in fact behaved “very cautiously” since apparently Moscow had already signaled that it wouldn’t tolerate anything else. Tatars should have spoken openly and made demands because “silence is a mark of agreement.” Unfortunately, now that the treaty has lapsed, there is little chance that Kazan will do anything to revive it. “The authorities of the republic will remain quiet; they won’t take any steps,” Farukshin says, given that at present they don’t have any means to put pressure on the federal center. A decade ago, “the attack of the federal center on the republic began;” now, it will intensify and be directed against the Tatar language. The Kazan elites aren’t fighting this as they should, he suggests, and “the people is also neutral” because the 2007 treaty “didn’t take its interests into consideration and so the people are indifferent.”

‘It’s Only Getting Darker’: Arrested Russian Director Has Long Record Of Dissent

Kirill Serebrennikov, the acclaimed theater and film director whose arrest in Moscow this week on embezzlement charges rocked Russia&rsquo;s political and cultural classes, has repeatedly clashed wit…

The Morning Vertical, August 24, 2017

ON MY MIND There is conspicuously little consensus about what is behind the bizarre criminal case against theater director Kirill Serebrennikov. Some, like opposition journalist Oleg Kashin, have framed it as the opening bell of Vladimir Putin’s election campaign (see Kashin’s piece in Republic.ru featured in the Morning Vertical earlier this week). In an editorial this week, Meduza compared Serebrennikov’s case to that of Vsevolod Meyerhold, the director who was arrested and executed at the height of Josef Stalin’s Great Terror. Others, like Yulia Latynina (in a piece featured below), have focused on how the case doesn’t really help Putin at all, and instead illustrates that Russian law enforcement is spinning out of control. Such speculation tends to note that Putin has reportedly called the investigators in the case “fools.” And some media have speculated that the case is being driven by Russia’s ultraconservative culture minister, Vladimir Medinsky (although I am skeptical that Medinsky has the necessary juice in the Kremlin to move the law-enforcement apparatus on his own). It’s all pretty murky at this point, and will remain so until we have more data points to work with. But what is clear, as I noted on yesterday’s Daily Vertical, is that due to the prominence of the defendant and the utterly Orwellian nature of the charges, this case is indeed a watershed.

What Is the Point of Navalny’s “Pointless” Election? – The Russia File

In early July, Russian media reported Vladimir Putin’s decision to run as an independent candidate in the 2018 presidential election. To do this, it seems, he plans to propose his own candidacy on general grounds, rather than as an official representative of United Russia—the party that since its creation in 2001 has identified itself exclusively as the party of Putin. The path of an independent candidate is extremely laborious and unpredictable in Russia, requiring that the candidate collect 300,000 voter signatures throughout the country just to be nominated, and so the Russian-language segment of Facebook and Twitter broke out in a storm of wisecracking: “Wow! Putin now envies Alexei Navalny: he also wants to be a self-nominated candidate going around collecting signatures. Now we’ve got two whole independent candidates!” To be sure, Navalny—Russia’s eternal would-be independent candidate—has been in the spotlight over the last two years. His anticorruption investigations have become runaway hits, particularly since he started putting them up on YouTube in the form of eye-catching, humorous videos. The videos get millions of views, while Navalny’s personal social media accounts hover at the top of the ratings of most followed bloggers on Russian-language Facebook and Twitter.

Navalny Campaign Coordinator Detained In Kazan

The coordinator of Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny's presidential election campaign staff in Kazan, the capital of the Tatarstan region, has been detained. Elvira Dmitriyeva tol…

Putin Holds Talks With Visiting Vatican Secretary Of State

Russian President Vladimir Putin has held talks with the visiting Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin in the Russian city of Sochi. Putin praised the ties of the Russian Orthodox Church wit…

Russian Punk Rocker Who Defected To U.S. Cancels Tour In Russia

A prominent Russian punk rocker who defected to the United States following a recent Russian ban on the Jehovah's Witnesses has canceled plans to tour Russia in November, saying going to hi…

Last Convicted Russian ‘Bolotnaya’ Protester Released From Prison

The last Russian activist imprisoned following clashes at a protest on the eve of President Vladimir Putin's inauguration to his current term has been released after serving his 30-month sentence…

Russia issues new ‘red notice’ request for arrest of British Putin critic Bill Browder

Russia is facing a showdown with European leaders over claims it is &quot;abusing&quot; the international &quot;red notice&quot; system for arresting criminals, in an attempt to silence critics of Vladimir Putin.

Russian ambassador found dead in swimming pool | New York Post

Russia’s ambassador to Sudan, Mirgayas Shirinskiy, was found dead in his swimming pool Wednesday — the fourth Russian envoy to die in just eight…

Angry protests as Russian court puts theatre director under house arrest | World news | The Guardian

Kirill Serebrennikov is accused of embezzling £900,000, but supporters say he is victim of crackdown on dissent

Jehovah’s Witnesses are banned in Russia. That doesn’t stop them from worshipping. – Vox

In Putin’s Russia, Jehovah’s Witnesses are labeled “extremists” and accused of being American spies. Still, they keep their faith alive.

Chechnya’s Kadyrov, Rosneft Again At Odds

The long-standing feud between Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov and Russian state-controlled oil company Rosneft has taken a new turn. Last week Kadyrov criticized Rosneft in an Instagram pos…

Russia To Send Teachers, Textbooks To Tajik Secondary Schools

Russia plans to send 30 teachers to secondary schools in Tajikistan by September 1, the first day of the next academic year. The government-sponsored Russian World foundation, which promotes th…


Belarus Reports


Putin expects Belarus to boycott ports of Baltic States | BelarusDigest

On 16 August, at a conference on transportation in Northwest Russia, Russian president Vladimir Putin demanded that Belarus stop exporting its oil products through Latvian and Lithuanian ports. Instead, Moscow wants Belarus to reroute through Russia’s Baltic ports. This…


Transnistria / Moldova Reports


(Video) The Liberals gave Dodon a “Traitor of the Nation” medal. Ceban: “Shove it down Ghimpu’s throat”

Moldova today, where they sent a patent and a medal to President Igor Dodon. “The Traitor of the Nation,” writes on the handmade paper medal. The Liberals’ demonstration comes as a response to the activities organized today by the Presidency, namely a concert in the center of Chisinau, dedicated to the “celebration of 73 years since the victorious conclusion of the Iasi-Chisinau Operation”. Speaker of the president, Ion Ceban, said he is due to send the medal of Liberal Party President Mihai Ghimpu. “Shove it down Ghimpu’s throat,” Ceban replied.

Lenin Statue Demolition Sparks Fury in Moldova :: Balkan Insight

The decision of the local authorities in a Moldovan town to remove a statue of Vladimir Lenin has infuriated Communist and pro-Russian politicians.&nbsp;

EUROPP – The Transnistrian challenge: Why tensions are escalating between Russia and Moldova

A diplomatic row has escalated in recent months between Moldova and Russia, with Moldova expelling five Russian diplomats in May, and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin being prevented from entering the disputed territory of Transnistria at the end of July. Alexander Tabachnik writes that much of the animosity between the two countries is linked to internal political debates between pro-western and pro-Russian parties within Moldova, as well as the wider regional instability caused by the Ukraine crisis and the continuing dispute over Transnistria.

Russia Objects To Moldovan Call For Removing Troops From Transdniester

Russia's ambassador to the United Nations has objected to the Moldovan government's call for the UN to discuss withdrawing Russian troops from its breakaway Transdniester region at nex…

Russian Departure From Transnistria May Trigger Moldovan Incursion – Sputnik International

A pullout of Russian peacekeepers from Moldova’s breakaway Transnistria region could trigger an incursion by Moldovan forces, the regional president said in an interview out Thursday.


Ukraine Reports


Is Trump’s Message of Support for Ukraine a Snub to Putin?

Trump has sent Ukraine his congratulations as the country marks 26 years of independence from Moscow’s Soviet reign.

Trump congratulates Ukraine on Independence Day – Trump congratulates Ukraine on Independence Day – 112.international

The president said the US will continue their efforts for restoring Ukraine’s sovereignty. The US President Donald Trump congratulated Ukraine on the Independence Day, and said the USA would remain Ukraine’s partner, as the press service of the president of Ukraine informs. Trump emphasized that the United States, since the Declaration of Ukraine’s Independence on August 24 1991, and especially after the Revolution of Dignity, have supported Ukraine’s commitment to becoming a truly European country. The US president also noted that the US will continue supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and will work on their restoration with their European partners.

Trump greets Poroshenko on Independence Day – 24.08.2017 10:09 — Ukrinform News

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has received congratulations from U.S. President Donald Trump on the occasion of the 26th anniversary of Ukraine's independence, the press service of the head of the Ukrainian state has reported.

China leader wishes Ukraine wealth and prosperity – 24.08.2017 13:07 — Ukrinform News

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that strategic partnership between China and Ukraine has achieved positive results in recent years.

U.S. mulls supplying lethal arms to Ukraine – Mattis – 24.08.2017 15:44 — Ukrinform News

The United States is considering supplying lethal weapons to Ukraine, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis has said.

In Kiev, Mattis Says Moscow Wants to Redraw Borders By Force – Bloomberg

On the 26th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence from Moscow, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis accused Russia of menacing Europe and suggested that he favors providing Ukraine with defensive lethal weapons.

Poroshenko and James Mattis negotiate in Kyiv – Poroshenko and James Mattis negotiate in Kyiv – 112.international

Ukrainian President and United States Secretary of Defense report on the results of their talks at their joint briefing. The United States have never recognized Russia’s annexation of the Crimea and never will. James Mattis said, the Head of Pentagon, said that on the briefing in Kyiv after the talks with the Ukrainian President Poroshenko. “We are not accepting and never will accept annexation of the Crimea by the Russian Federation and undermining of the internationally established borders by Russia. Actually Russia agreed to seize fire under Minsk agreement and agreed to withdraw its troops, to provide further cooperation to ensure security in Europe in frames of Minsk agreement,” Mattis said. It should be noted that this is the first visit of the U.S. Secretary of Defense to Ukraine within last 10 years. The visit was discussed during Poroshenko’s visit to the United States. Mattis also spoke of his intention to give his further recommendations. “Speaking about lethal weapons, we are considering the issue. When I return back home, taking into account everything I saw and knew, I will inform the country’s leadership on very specific things, htat I could recommend to implement,” said James Mattis.

Mattis says U.S. allies will continue to press Russia – 24.08.2017 14:31 — Ukrinform News

The United States will continue to support Ukraine and insist on restoring its territorial integrity, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis has said.

Петро Порошенко on Twitter: “Happy to welcome James Mattis in Ukraine. Visit of U.S. Defense Secretary, first in the last 10 years, is a powerful symbol. https://t.co/IPublCze8I”

Jonathan Beale on Twitter: “US Sec Def Mattis says US is actively looking at sending weapons to #Ukraine. Says wouldn’t be provocative”

Hromadske Int. on Twitter: “US Defense Secretary Mattis, Ukraine’s president Poroshenko, US Special Envoy Volker, Amb Yovanovitch Kyiv, Ukraine Independence @Hromadske https://t.co/KoCjIDjpaA”

Poroshenko: U.S. weapons would motivate Russia to stop aggression – 24.08.2017 15:00 — Ukrinform News

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that discussing the question of possible lethal weapons supplies to Ukraine requires &quot;silence.&quot;

Poroshenko, Mattis discuss fight against Russian aggression in Ukraine – 24.08.2017 14:00 — Ukrinform News

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis have discussed the issue of fighting Russian aggression in Ukraine.

Poroshenko, Mattis meet in Kyiv – 24.08.2017 12:42 — Ukrinform News

The official ceremony of a meeting between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis has begun in Kyiv.&nbsp;

Jim Mattis Comes to Ukraine to Discuss Security and Celebrate Independence – YouTube

American Secretary of Defense James Mattis has arrived in Kyiv along with special Ukraine envoy Kurt Volker. This is the first visit by a Defense Secretary i…

General Mattis Arrives in Ukraine for Talks in what Looks Like Antiquated Jet (SD) No Audio – YouTube

General Mattis (Mad Dog) Arrives in Ukraine for Talks in what Looks Like Antiquated Jet……. Whats the Deal with the Huge Suction Hole on the Roof……. P…

STATEMENT BY SASC CHAIRMAN JOHN McCAIN URGING TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TO PROVIDE LETHAL DEFENSIVE ASSISTANCE TO UKRAINE – Press Releases – United States Senator John McCain

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement ahead of Secretary Mattis’s trip to Kiev tomorrow, urging the Trump administration to provide lethal defensive assistance to Ukraine: “Secretary Mattis’s visit to Kiev provides yet another opportunity for the United States to correct its policy toward Ukraine and provide the lethal defensive assistance the country needs to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Earlier this week, President Trump took a step forward when he changed course and departed from his predecessor’s failed policy in Afghanistan. The President now has the same opportunity with regard to Ukraine. “It is long past time for the United States to provide Ukraine the defensive lethal assistance it needs to deter and defend against further Russian aggression. Raising the cost of aggression may help to change Vladimir Putin’s calculus, pressure Russia to fully comply with the Minsk agreements, and, ultimately, create more stable security conditions on the ground that are essential for peace. In other words, providing defensive lethal assistance to Ukraine is not opposed to a peaceful resolution of this conflict – it is essential to achieving it. As long as the status quo remains, Russia has no reason to change its behavior, and we should only expect more violence and more death. “Several weeks ago, the President took the first significant step toward imposing costs on Russian aggression when he signed into law new sanctions passed by Congress. Changing U.S. policy to provide lethal defensive assistance to Ukraine would be another step in the right direction – sending a strong signal that the United States will stand by the sovereign right of its allies and partners to choose their own future.”

Sen. McCain urges Trump to provide lethal defensive assistance to Ukraine

U.S. Senator John McCain has called on Trump's administration to provide lethal defensive assistance to Ukraine, according to a statement posted on the senator's website. News 24 August from UNIAN.

State Department still considering sending weapons to Ukraine – 24.08.2017 11:50 — Ukrinform News

The United States has not yet made a formal decision on providing Ukraine with lethal weapons, State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert has said.

Ukraine expects to receive lethal weapons from partner countries – Poltorak – 23.08.2017 15:22 — Ukrinform News

Ukraine expects to receive lethal weapons from its partner countries. At the moment, only Lithuania has provided such assistance to the state. Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak stated this during a briefing on August 23, an Ukrinform correspondent reports. “Since the first day of the aggression of the Russian Federation we have appealed to all countries of the world regarding the provision of lethal weapons to us. Only Lithuania has given us such assistance. We are ready to receive lethal weapons, but this requires a decision made by the partner countries,” Poltorak said. As Ukrinform reported, in 2016 Ukraine received from Lithuania 146 units of lethal weapons developed and produced by the former USSR.

Mattis Says Defensive Arms For Ukraine Not Provocative

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, on a visit to Ukraine, said he will provide policy options for Washington with a better understanding about what is happening on the front lines of Kyiv’s battle against Russia-backed separatists. Speaking alongside Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on August 24, Mattis said that providing defensive weapons to Ukraine should not be seen as provocative “unless you are an aggressor.” Ukraine has been fighting against Russia-backed separatists in eastern regions of the country since 2014, and the United States has already provided $750 million in nonlethal weapons and support to Kyiv, according to Mattis. (Reuters)

SitRep: Mattis Lands in Ukraine, Rips Russia; WH Hands Pentagon Transgender Ban Memo | Foreign Policy

SitRep: Mattis Lands in Ukraine, Rips Russia; WH Hands Pentagon Transgender Ban Memo « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas

Defense Secretary Mattis promises support to Ukraine, says reviewing lethal aid

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on a visit to Ukraine on Thursday said Washington would keep up pressure on Russia over what he called its aggressive behavior and signaled his personal support for providing weapons to Kiev.

Jim Mattis’s Mission to Reassure Ukraine – The Atlantic

He’ll be contending with a stalled Minsk process, unclear direction from Washington, and a still-hot war with Russia in the east.

Defense Secretary Mattis promises support to Ukraine, but no arms

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on a visit to Ukraine on Thursday said Washington would continue to put pressure on Russia over what he called its aggressive behavior, but stopped short of promising to provide lethal weapons to Kiev.

Podcast: Ukraine – Europe’s forgotten war

This week’s World View Podcast also looks at the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Spain

Ukraine reports 18 enemy attacks over past 24 hours – 24.08.2017 10:39 — Ukrinform News

Russian-supported militants have attacked Ukrainian army positions 18 times over the past 24 hours, the press center of the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) headquarters has reported.&nbsp;

Ukraine reports 18 enemy attacks, 2 WIA’s in last day | UNIAN

Russia's hybrid military forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in Donbas 18 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 24 August from UNIAN.

Two Ukrainian soldiers wounded over past day – 24.08.2017 12:54 — Ukrinform News

Two Ukrainian servicemen have been wounded as a result of hostilities in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) zone in Donbas over the past 24 hours.&nbsp;

Chief of the General Staff of the Ukrainian army told 112.ua news agency about the causes of terrible loss in the bloody battle that took place in Donbas in August 2014 – Viktor Muzhenko: Battle of Ilovaisk through the prism of time. Part 3 – 112.international

Chief of the General Staff of the Ukrainian army told 112.ua news agency about the causes of terrible loss in the bloody battle that took place in Donbas in August 2014

Ukrainian Daredevil Mellows, Won’t Return To Russia For More Provocative Stunts

PRAGUE — The Ukrainian daredevil who climbed a Moscow tower in 2014 to paint its crowning star in Ukraine's national colors and hoist a Ukrainian flag has told RFE/RL that he loves living life o…

Ukraine’s Amber-Mining Outlaws

Criminal gangs remain in control of much of Ukraine’s amber business. The business is worth as much as $500 million each year. Nine Ukrainian companies are licensed to mine amber legally, but the vast majority of production takes place outside the law. This report was originally produced by Shahida Yakub for Current Time TV, the Russian-language network run by RFE/RL in cooperation with VOA.

Has Trump Noticed Putin Has Cut Off Ukraine’s Black Sea Ports?

Ukraine’s southeast coast, including the ports of Berdiansk and Mariupol, is blockaded.

Second hand Ukraine -Euromaidan Press |

Yaroslav Hrytsak On Ukraine’s 26th independence day, we would like to offer you an essay by historian and journalist Yaroslav Hrytsak, author of the book “25% percent or how to beat history.” In it, Mr. Hrytsak analyzes the path Ukraine has gone since its independence and the road that is still ahead. At first glance, lots has changed in Ukraine over the last three years. But the more changes, the more visible it is how much the country’s development is burdened with the past. What is wrong? Independent Ukraine emerged as a result of the fall of communism. But it happened quietly. Unlike the French Revolution of 1789 and the Russian one in 1917, which led to great geopolitical changes, the velvet revolution of 1989-1991 did not give birth to any new “ism.” Communism was overthrown by an old “ism” – consumerism. Communism had many enemies. But one of them was the strongest – everyday life. Where communism came, the bright colors on the streets, the noise in the cafes, and the variety of goods in the shops disappeared. They were replaced by the sad canteen, deficits, and rank-and-file clothes. It was possible to put up with domestic unattractiveness while there existed revolutionary terror or revolutionary enthusiasm. But the terror has died with Joseph Stalin, and it was hard to imagine Leonid Brezhnev and any other late Soviet leader in a revolutionary budenovka.

Ukraine Marks Independence Day Ahead Of New School-Year Truce

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is in Kyiv for Ukrainian Independence Day celebrations and talks with President Petro Poroshenko and Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak. The 26th anniversary o…

Military parade in Kyiv – 24.08.2017 14:47 — Ukrinform News

About 4,500 servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard, the State Border Service, and employees of the National Police of Ukraine took part in celebrations marking the 26th anniversary of Ukraine's independence. A march was attended by about 3,100 people and 500 members of military bands.

Kyiv hosts military parade on Independence Day (Photo) | UNIAN

A military parade on the occasion of the 26th anniversary of Ukraine's independence was held on Kyiv's Khreshchatyk Street on August 24, according to&nbsp;an UNIAN&nbsp;correspondent. News 24 August from UNIAN.

The Daily Vertical: Why Ukrainian Independence Matters (Transcript)

Twenty-six years ago today Ukraine won its de jure independence. Today it is fighting to achieve its de facto independence. And on this day, it’s worth reflecting on why Ukrainian independence matters. It matters because it shatters a myth. It shatters the myth that Ukraine is somehow just some appendage of Russia and is destined to be ruled from Moscow. It corrects the historical record. It reminds us that while Ukraine does share much history with Russia, it also shares much history with Poland, with Lithuania, Austria, Hungary, and Slovakia as well. It reminds us that Ukraine is European and as the Yale University historian Timothy Snyder has said, European history doesn’t make much sense if it doesn’t include Ukraine. WATCH Today’s Daily Vertical Ukrainian independence matters because without it the territory of the former Soviet Union cannot become truly post-Soviet. Because any Russian imperial project begins with — and must include — Ukraine. That old cliche that “without Ukraine, Russia is a country; and with Ukraine, Russia is an empire,” may be cliche, but it also has the virtue of being true. And Ukrainian independence matters because it sets an example. It goes without saying that if Ukraine can succeed in establishing a stable and prosperous European democracy, it would be the best thing that ever happened to Ukrainians But it would be also the best thing that ever happened to Russians as well, because it would inspire, motivate, and embolden those Russians who desire the same for their country. On August 24, 1991 Ukraine declared its formal independence. Today it is finally realizing it — and the fallout will be profound. Happy Independence Day, Ukraine.

Poroshenko says Ukraine ready to repulse aggressor | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says Ukraine is ready to repulse the aggressor severely in case of its attempts to launch an offensive against the country, according to UNIAN’s correspondent. News 24 August from UNIAN.

Ukraine’s army is in it’s best, – Poroshenko – Ukraine’s army is in it’s best, – Poroshenko – 112.international

Ukraine is ready to firmly repel aggressor in his attempt to set out on an offensive, but we places a priority on peaceful, diplomatic, political and legal way to return back Donbas and Crimea. President said that our state is ready to repel an aggressor however he places a priority on diplomatic way to return back Donbas and Crimea n than ever before, however there’s plenty of work to strengthen it. President Poroshenko announced that in his speech during the festive events dedicated to the 26th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence. “I feel confident of our army – it is in its best, more than ever before. And by the way this is the evaluation of the European analytical centers. However there’s still plenty of work to strengthen and modernize it, to acquire it’s complete compatibility with the NATO standards. We search and find the asymmetric and effective solutions to deter Russian army, the biggest in Europe and the third in the world, in the long term perspective,” Poroshenko said.

Poroshenko on Russia: Let them dwell in madness, agonize as they please, but we have things to do – 112.international

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in his military parade speech quoted Ukrainian poet Pavlo Tychyna referring to Russia’s “inventions”. 112UA Chanel was broadcasting the event. “In the Kremlin “laboratories” they make up Novorossiya; then announce Malorossiya. What can be said? Let them dwell in madness, agonize as they please, but we have things to do. Even though this quote is from the already sovietized Tychyna, it serves well as the response to Russians,” the president said. Pavlo Tychyna was a major Ukrainian poet, who, under the pressure of the Stalinist terror in the 1930s, started to write poems in compliance with the Soviet ideology. Many of his contemporaries were executed or sent to forced labour camps. This époque of Ukrainian creative eilte repressed in the 1920s-1930s is called the Executed Renaissance.

Poroshenko: in the 26th year of independence, we broke out of deep shock and pain – Poroshenko: in the 26th year of independence, we broke out of deep shock and pain – 112.international

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in his speech during the military parade dedicated to the Independence Day of Ukraine said, that in our 26th year of independence, we broke out of deep shock and pain. 112UA Chanel is broadcasting the event. “In the 26th year of independence, we broke out of deep shock and pain in our economics, which were caused by the Russian aggression. We renewed the GDP growth, and the forecast for Ukraine is positive,” the president said. As it was reported earlier, the military parade dedicated to the Independence Day of Ukraine is held today in Kyiv. 231 soldiers and 9 Ministers of Defence from other countries are participating in the event.

Military parade: online broadcast – Military parade: online broadcast – 112.international

4.5 thousand Ukrainian military men will take part in the parade together with more than 200 soldiers from armed forces of the NATO member states and those aspiring for NATO membership

Poroshenko awards two soldiers with Hero of Ukraine title, one of them posthumously – Poroshenko awards two soldiers with Hero of Ukraine title, one of them posthumously – 112.international

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko awarded Lieutenant Vasyl Tarasiuk the Hero of Ukraine title with a Golden Star order. Another soldier, Captain Evgen Loskot, was awarded for bravery, heroism and self-sacrifice in defending territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine posthumously. “42 Heroes of Ukraine. I can name the 43rd and the 44th right now. 23-year-old Lieutenant Vasyl Tarasiuk is a brave defender of Avdiivka industrial zone, one of the grandest hot spots on today’s front line. And Captain Evgen Loskot, who in 2014 stopped the column of Russian military moving towards Shchastia. Having been surrounded, he detonated his last grenade and took his own life, shouting “Glory to Ukraine”. The orders for awarding the titles were signed today,” the president said in his military parade speech. 112UA Chanel was broadcasting the event.

231 foreign soldiers, 9 Ministers of Defence to participate in Independence Day parade – 231 foreign soldiers, 9 Ministers of Defence to participate in Independence Day parade – 112.international

Many official guests and delegations are expected at the celebration of Ukraine’s 26th Independence Day. Military representatives from the UK, Georgia, Canada, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, the USA, Latvia, Romania, and Estonia will take part in the military parade dedicated to Ukraine’s Independence Day, which will be held in Kyiv on August 24. Overall, there will be 231 foreign soldiers, as Assistant Minister for Defence Yuriy Biriukov wrote on Facebook. Related: Ukrainian National Bank warns about cyber-attack at Independence Day “Officially. Parade calculations (of platoons): the UK, Georgia, Canada, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, the USA, Latvia, Romania, and Estonia will take part in the military parade dedicated to Ukraine’s Independence Day, which will be held in Kyiv on August 24. Overall: 231 servicemen. Ministers of Defence from nine countries. A Deputy Minister of Defence of another country. Many official guests and delegations,” he wrote. Biriukov also noted that the main surprise is still held secret. Related: Ukrainian Military in Donbas to receive 67 new military equipment units after Independence Day As it was said reported previously, 4,500 servicemen are to participate in the Independence Day parade, more than 1,000 of them – participants in the Donbas conflict. More than 200 soldiers participating in the parade were awarded for their exceptional bravery. NATO representatives will also join the Ukrainian soldiers in the parade. Ukraine’s Minister of Defence Stepan Poltorak noted that representatives from 10 countries helping Ukraine with the military reform would attend.

Military Parade in Central Kyiv Marks 26 Years of Independence – YouTube

One of the most important holidays is being celebrated in Ukraine today. The Day of Independence. _ Follow UATV English: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/U

Парад ко Дню Независимости в Киеве. 24.08.2017 – YouTube

Смотрите праздничный парад по случаю Дня независимости Украины: https://goo.gl/JB1QUa• Выступление Порошенко в честь 26 годовщины Дня Независимости Украин…

Парад до Дня Незалежності України – YouTube

Пряма трансляція параду до Дня Незалежності України під назвою “Зродились ми великої години”. Захід коментуватиме Юрій Макаров. В урочистостях з нагоди святк…

День Независимости Киев: Повтор 24.08.2017 – YouTube

Парад ко Дню Независимости Украины в Киеве трансляция онлайн. Донат сообщение (ваше сообщение все увидят): https://www.donationalerts.ru/r/dropvideo

Войска НАТО на Параде независимости Украины – YouTube

В параде в День независимости Украины впервые принимают участие войска стран НАТО. Воины США, Великобритании, Грузии, Канады и Литвы пройдут по Крещатику. Uk…

Monument to Zhukov toppled in Odesa – Monument to Zhukov toppled in Odesa – 112.international

A monument to Georgy Zhukov, Soviet general, was toppled in Odesa before the Independence Day, as the Head of Odesa Right Sector informed on Facebook. The monument was flung from the pedestal, and seriously damaged. The police officers who came to the site tried to remove the sculpture in the trunk of the police car. Georgy Zhukov was the head of Odesa Military District in 1946-1948. Apart from that, he was a prominent figure in the Soviet history. He was the Chief of General Staff, Deputy Commander-in-Chief, and Minister of Defence. During World War II he participated in multiple battles, ultimately commanding the 1st Belorussian Front in the Battle of Berlin, which resulted in the defeat of Nazi Germany, and the end of the War in Europe.

«Might of the Undefeated» arms exhibition opens in Kyiv | Defence Blog

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has opened an exhibition of military vehicles and equipment on Khreshchatyk Street in Kyiv on the occasion of the 26th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence. Up to 70 modern military systems, in particular, tanks, armored vehicles, howitzers, multiple rocket launchers, combat and medical vehicles, trucks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the State Border Service and the National Guard were deployed in central Kyiv on Aug. 22. The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine informs that after the Independence Day celebrations, all this equipment will be sent to the military units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard of Ukraine and the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, which perform tasks in the ATO zone. The exhibition of arms and military equipment will last from August 22 until August 27 along Khreshchatyk – from Instytutska Street to European Square.

Ukraine military vehicles in Kyiv – 22 August | Flickr

Ukraine military vehicles in Kyiv – 22 August

Ukraine military vehicles in Kyiv – 22 August | Flickr

Ukraine military vehicles in Kyiv – 22 August

Ukrainian upgrade T-72 – YouTube

http://glavcom.blogspot.com/

Ukraine Unveils Upgraded T-72AMT Main Battle Tank – YouTube

http://glavcom.blogspot.com/


Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports


For Civilians Trapped In Raqqa, Offensive Against ISIS Presents New Dangers : The Two-Way : NPR

An Amnesty International report depicts the terrors faced by the Syrian civilians trapped by ISIS fighters. Among those terrors: errant airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition pushing to liberate them.

Do Iran’s Missile Tests Violate The Nuclear Deal?

A war of words between Iran and the United States has intensified in recent months as the two countries traded accusations that the other was not upholding the terms of the nuclear agreement reached with Tehran in 2015. We take a look at how Iranian missile tests are complicating an already complex issue.

The Russian-Saudi rapprochement and Iran | Russia | Al Jazeera

Would Russia draw closer to Saudi Arabia and risk losing Iran?

Qatar restores diplomatic ties with Iran despite demands by Arab neighbors – The Washington Post

The decision threatens to deepen the region’s worst diplomatic crisis in decades between Qatar and its neighbors, who are wary of Teheran’s influence.

Key China diplomat defends Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan

Key Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi asked Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to respect Pakistan after President Trump questioned its efforts in Afghanistan.

Russia says Trump’s new strategy for Afghanistan is ‘dead end’

Moscow believes that Washington’s bet on using of force in U.S. President Donald Trump’s new strategy for Afghanistan is “a dead end”, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference on Thursday.

Russia Prepares New Sanctions Against U.S. As Washington Blames Moscow For Supporting Taliban

Yeah, about that detente with Russia…


DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports


North Korea leader Kim Jong Un ‘killed relatives over China coup plot’

The authoritarian ruler mistrusts Beijing since learning of an alleged plan by family members to oust him with China’s help.

U.S. engaging in a “military confrontation” against N. Korea: DPRK military | NK News – North Korea News

Ongoing joint military drills by the U.S. and South Korea represent acts of aggression against North Korea, a spokesperson for North Korea’s Panmunjom Mission

In photos, North Korea signals a more powerful ICBM in the works

With photographs obliquely showing a new rocket design, North Korea has sent a message that it is working on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) more powerful than any it has previously tested, weapons experts said on Thursday.

DPRK may have new SLBM designs – The Japan News

TOKYO (AP) — North Korea’s state media released photos Wednesday that appear to show the designs of one or possibly two new missiles.

How a Chinese entrepreneur evaded sanctions and financed North Korea’s nuclear weapons program – Chicago Tribune

Among the flurry of U.S. legal maneuverings on Tuesday involving North Korea, maybe the most revealing involves a federal lawsuit aimed at the businesses of one

We Know a War with North Korea Could be World War III (But Fear What Happens After) | The National Interest Blog

The aftermath could be hell.

We won’t go to war with North Korea on purpose. But we might by accident. – The Washington Post

It’s not Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un we should be worried about.

Anderson Air Force Base: The runways in North Korea’s sights – CNN

Andersen Air Force Base is deceptively quiet. The calm is at times punctuated by the screaming of a B-1B Bomber flying off into the skies above the tiny US territory of Guam, but the roars don’t come as often as expected.

Here’s How North Korea Could Accidentally Trigger A Volcanic Supereruption

North Korea shares a volcano with China, and it’s one of the most dangerous in the world. Now, thanks to the actions of the regime there, they may be about to accidentally set it off – but why?

China urges US to drop its sanctions on Chinese companies | Fox News

China has urged the U.S. to withdraw sanctions it imposed on Chinese companies that Washington says are supporting North Korea as it carries out increasingly ambitious missile tests.

China state media says US will ‘pay’ for ‘unjust’ sanctions

China has come out strongly against new U.S. moves to pressure North Korea with its foreign ministry opposing the “long-arm jurisdiction” of Trump’s administration.

China’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative could be the next risk to the global financial system

China has pitched its mammoth “Belt and Road” initiative comes with risks, and increasing levels of state-backed funding have raised concerns.

Exclusive: In China, the Party’s push for influence inside foreign firms stirs fears

Late last month, executives from more than a dozen top European companies in China met in Beijing to discuss their concerns about the growing role of the ruling Communist Party in the local operations of foreign firms, according to three people with knowledge of the discussions.

Vietnam is the East Asian cornerstone of India’s “counter China” policy — Quartz

Last week, Vietnam indicated it has bought BrahMos anti-ship cruise missiles, a weapon the country has long cherished, from India. Without going into the specifics, the Vietnamese foreign ministry said “the procurement of defence equipment by Vietnam is consistent with the policy of peace and self-defence and is the normal practice in national defence.” India,…

China’s odious manipulation of history is infecting the West – The Washington Post

China’s is trying to export its domestic censorship regime abroad.


Foreign Policy Reports


German rival of Chancellor Merkel vows to remove U.S. weapons from the country – LA Times

Germany’s candidate for chancellor Martin Schulz vows to remove U.S. weapons from the country.

‘Let’s get emotional’ says German SPD, struggling to oust Merkel

One month away from a national election, Germany’s Social Democrats are struggling in their efforts to narrow a yawning gap in support behind Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives.

Relations with Russia in the mirror of Germany’s election campaign | Intersection

The topic of Russia is no longer peripheral to the German election campaign


Strategy / History / Capability Publications


An Underwater War May Be Brewing in the Asia-Pacific | The National Interest Blog

When half the world’s submarines will be so close together, how can we tell friend from foe?

Lockheed, Raytheon nab contracts for nuclear cruise missile

The Air Force on Wednesday awarded contracts to Lockheed Martin and Raytheon for additional work on a new, nuclear-capable cruise missile known as the Long Range Standoff weapon or LRSO.

Russia to develop improved variant of ISKANDER missile | Defence Blog

The State Corporation Rostec has announced a plans to develop an improved variant of Iskander mobile short-range ballistic missile system for the Russian armed forces. According to the company, Rostec is planning to improve its operational-tactical missile systems in the next ten years. After 2020, the upgraded version of PTRC Iskander-M will be presented. The improved variant of Iskander mobile short-range ballistic missile system will have an increased range and will be based on the new highly mobile wheeled platform. The Iskander-M system is equipped with two solid-propellant single-stage guided missiles, model 9M723K1. Each one is controlled throughout the entire flight path and fitted with an inseparable warhead. Each missile in the launch carrier vehicle can be independently targeted in a matter of seconds. Range: published 415 km, rumoured 500 km. Flight altitude up to 6–50 km, stealth missile, controlled at all stages, not ballistic flight path. The intense maneuvering on takeoff and descent complicates prediction of target. Missile constantly maneuvers during the flight.

India-Russia fifth generation fighter project appears to be stuck: Def Min Report

The cost of developing four prototype fighter jets would cost around $6 billion, which is very high according to officials in the Defence Ministry.

The F-22 Raptor’s Replacement Is Starting to Take Shape

“Penetrating Counter Air” will be stealthier, longer ranged and carry new, deadly missiles.

Paul Dibb | In 1983, Russia and America Came to the Brink of a Nuclear World War III | The National Interest Blog

It was a scary time.

Scientists solve mystery of US Civil War submarine : Nature News & Comment

Blast from Hunley’s own torpedo probably killed its crew instantly.

BBC – Future – The monster atomic bomb that was too big to use

In 1961, the Soviet Union tested a nuclear bomb so powerful that it would have been too big to use in war. And it had far-reaching effects of a very different kind.


IW/IO/Cyber Reports


Report: Critical infrastructure under risk of ‘9/11-level cyber attack’

A draft report issued by the U.S. president’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council offers a series of recommendations for securiing critical infrastructure from potential cyberattacks.

Take down: Hackers looking to shut down factories for pay

AW North Carolina stood to lose $270,000 in revenue, plus wages for idled employees, for every hour the factory wasn’t shipping.

FACT CHECK: Did Russia Hack the GPS System of the USS John McCain to Cause a Collision?

While it’s true that Russia is developing the ability to hack GPS systems, experts doubt that GPS hacking caused the USS John McCain to crash.


US Domestic Policy Reports


Tefft: U.S. Move To Suspend Nonimmigrant Visas In Russia ‘Not Vindictive’

The outgoing American ambassador to Russia says the U.S. move to suspend all nonimmigrant visa operations at U.S. missions across Russia is a result of forced staff cuts and &ldquo;not about bein…

Trump clashed with multiple GOP senators over Russia – POLITICO

The conversations are evidence of rising tensions between the president and congressional Republicans heading into a critical legislative span.

Donald Trump’s Identity Politics – The New York Times

The more white voters care about being white, the more they like President Trump.

Donald Trump: Culture warrior – CNNPolitics

It’s hardly a surprise that Steve Bannon declared the Trump presidency — the one “we fought for and won” — dead a few hours after he was banished from Trump’s White House.

Donald Trump, the media and the politics of grievance | Fox News

In spending half an hour excoriating the media at the Phoenix rally, Donald Trump may have shattered his own record for such a lengthy indictment by an American president.

 

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