Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Russia / Strategy Media Update – 30 August 2017


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Zapad 2017 is a major MSM theme today, with the Russians playing it for what it is worth – their claimed benign intent does not make sense given Belarus disclosure on the naming of fictitious exercise opponents using Baltic names, and holding the exercise in ethnic and religious minority areas of Belarus. Sputnik brags about Russian bunker buster potency against the Helsinki tunnel and bunker network. Sigmar Gabriel again peddling appeasement. Amb Tefft tells Ekho Moskvy that the US has irrefutable but classified intel proving the Russians shot down MH17. Stone argues equivalency between Nazism and Soviet Communism, and has a good case, as under the ideological facade both had more in common than any other period regimes, especially reliance on toxic propaganda, and hostility toward democracies. Voltskaya and Coalson’s essay on the NKVD murder of deaf-mute victims in 1937 is a good illustration. Ikhlov comments on the islamisation of Moscow’s working class, while Shevtsova maps out regime supporters in Russia. Law enforcement personnel killed in Daghestan shootout were formerly turncoat Ukrainian SBU officers from Crimea. Multiple reports detailing Russia’s descent.

Belarus media dominated by Zapad 2017, while FSB kidnapping of Ukrainian teenager in Belarus elicits angry reactions from Kyiv. In Moldova, a minor political party files a criminal complaint of treason against Putinist Pres Dodon, whether they can get him impeached is another matter, while Modovan Govt tells Russia it will proceed with UNGA complaint.

Amb Volker interviewed by DW challenges SDP / AfD arguments to cede Crimea to Russia. Juncker makes a foolish statement. InformNapalm ident 75 Russian units that served in Donbass. UA mobilising reserve paratroopers to attain full strength before Zapad 2017 starts – very prudent. Donbass fires continue, including new 122mm Grad ammo with earth penetrating casing and delay fuse. Ukrainian-made Corsar ATGW enters service. More on Ilovaysk and Russian military deployments to Crimea.

Reports on ISIS retreat, and 19 Erdogan bodyguards indicted in the US for protester beatings.

RoK tests new Pershing II style precision guided TBM. PLAAF Chief of Staff trolls JASDF. More or Doklan, and Japan strategy argued.

Poland vs. Germany tit-for-tat continues. German election debates continue.

MWI critique rotational force model – the classic two war model was more relevant, and arguably, getting rid of it created the vacuum now exploited by the New Axis of Evil.

Four good articles on IO/IW/cyber.

In the US, the new  “Russian Bund” de facto militia movement is detailed, and what an interesting replay of the 1930s NSDAP game in the US. Toxic hyper-polarised argument continues.


Russia / Russophone Reports


The Daily Vertical: Don’t Fear The Zapad (Transcript)

So I guess everybody in Vilnius, Warsaw, and Kyiv can rest easy now. At a briefing this week, Russia’s deputy defense minister, Aleksandr Fomin, said the upcoming Zapad-2017 war-games exercises would not be used as a platform for an invasion and occupation of Lithuania, Poland, or Ukraine. He interestingly didn’t offer similar guarantees to Estonia and Latvia, but — let’s give him the benefit of the doubt — that was probably just an oversight. It would be a mistake, however, to interpret Fomin’s remarks as an effort to reassure Russia’s neighbors and the West on the eve of Russia’s largest military exercises since the Cold War. Quite the opposite, in fact. By saying the words Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, invasion, and occupation in the same sentence, Fomin appeared to be encouraging everybody to think about this possibility. Can you say psyop? Of course you can. Because it is in Russia’s interests for the Zapad exercises to be seen as menacing. It’s in Moscow’s interests for Zapad to be seen as a threat. It’s in the Kremlin’s interests for the Baltic states, Poland, and Ukraine to be nervous and edgy. But while these war games do give Russia an opportunity to spook and intimidate the West, they also give the West an opportunity to better understand Moscow’s true military capabilities and its strategic thinking. As the military analyst Michael Kofman reminds us in a recent article, the West shouldn’t fear the Zapad exercises, the West should watch them very closely — and learn from them.

Russia Says Western Concerns About Zapad War Games Unfounded

Russia says that upcoming Zapad 2017 military exercises with Belarus will be &quot;purely defensive&quot; and pose no threat to Russia's neighbors, NATO, or the West. Deputy Defense Ministe…

Russia seeks to reassure over war games, denies invasion plans – To Inform is to Influence

Why is the West worried that Russia may use this exercise, Zapad 2017, as a cover for an invasion or a takeover of another country?  That is precisely what they did to invade both Georgia and Ukraine.  During the Sochi Olympics, I was curious why there was a Russian military exercise DURING THE OLYMPICS along…

NATO Says Sending Three Monitors To Russian War Games, Seeks Greater Access

BRUSSELS — NATO says it will send three observers to Belarus and Russia to monitor the upcoming Zapad-2017 military exercises, but is repeating its calls on the two countries to allow broade…

Meaning Of Belarus And Russia’s West-2017 Opponents’ Names – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk

The creators of the names for the Russian-Belarusian military maneuvers were in a delicate situation. “The developers of the plan of the exercises not only cut off the “Belarusian” part of the “native Lithuania” (Lithuania propria) from the modern territory of Belarus on their maps, but also took recognizable Baltic names for the names of opponents,” – the researcher of the Baltic heritage of Belarusians Ales Mikus writes for nn.by. “So, who are the likely opponents for the Russian and Belarusian armies? “Veishnoria”, “Vesbaria” and “Lubeniya.” The first two have clearly derived from the two-part Baltic names (such a two-part structure was inherited from Indo-European times and is well known due to Greek names, such as Archimedes, Aristotle, Heraclitus). These are the names Vaishnor (in Lithuanian – Vaišnoras, in the ancient Prussian – Waisnor) – “the one who willingly treats” (hospitable), and Vizbar (in Lithuanian – Vizbaras, in the Prussian – Wissebar) – “the all-conquering”. We have a village called Vaishnaryshki near Ashmiany, and there was a similar farm near Astravets. “Lubeniya” also has links with the Baltic names. There is an Old Prussian name Lubene, there is the lake Lubāns in Latvia and the river Lubano in Prussia. These words derived from the Baltic, Indo-European root, which meaning is “rip off; break off; peel off.” Threatening meaning, as you can see. By the way, the famous linguist Toporov also linked the Moscow name Lubianka with this root.”

“West-2017”: Veisnaryja Coincides With Pazniak’s Electoral Map At Elections – 1994 – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk

Against whom are the Russian-Belorussian troops holding maneuvers? According to the plan of the exercises, the relations between the neighboring countries deteriorated on the basis of interethnic, ethnic and religious contradictions, as well as territorial claims, nn.by writes. “Luben” — the North-East of Poland, the South-West of Lithuania (the so-called “Suwalki Gap”). “Vesbaria” — Lithuania, Central and Western Latvia. “Veishnoria” — the North-West of Hrodna, Minsk and Vitsebsk regions. It is curious that the areas of Belarus with a large proportion of the Catholic population have been designated as a separate state of “Veishnoria”. Belarus is shown on the map in a truncated form.

China Quietly Looms Over Zapad 2017 Exercises | The Diplomat

Any Russian aggression out of the exercises could hurt Sino-Russian relations. As Russia prepares for the Zapad exercises in September with its partner Belarus – the largest military exercise since the Cold War – many regional and transatlantic observers are, understandably, worried. Putting aside the alarmist rhetoric of potential Russian aggression, much less attention is paid to the unintended consequences of Russian actions aimed at destabilizing Belarus, Ukraine, or other regional actors. Most coverage of Zapad ignores the presence of a new player in Eastern Europe: China. Russia may be entertaining provocative action with the exercise, but anything Russia could do would undermine China’s economic interests in the region and, by extension, Russia’s relationship with its so-called strategic partner.

Pro-Kremlin Media Spread Disinformation On Zapad 2017 In Lithuania – To Inform is to Influence

AUTHOR: Dalia Bankauskaitė   Earlier this month, pro-Kremlin media websites Rubaltic.ru, Ria.ru, Tass.ru and Sputniknews.lt, referring to each other—a ping-pong manipulation technique—reported on the 16 August radio interview of Lithuanian Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis. The interview focused on the forthcoming Zapad 2017 Russia-Belarus military exercises, scheduled for 14-20 September. Karoblis, speaking with independent Lithuanian radio station Ziniu radijas, said that Lithuanian and NATO military…

Military expert Starykov: Zapad-2017 war games in Belarus designed to demonstrate Russia’s military power – To Inform is to Influence

There appears to be an exercise held by Russia external to Zapad 2017, with possible forces numbering up to 300,000 servicemen participating.  Oleh Starykov says Russia is preparing for three different ‘wars’ conducted by ‘the West’ against Russia: The first war is the war with Ukraine; the second involves preparations for a nuclear war, and the…

“Russia’s bunker busters will reach Finns underground” – how to ridicule and threaten at once -Euromaidan Press |

When the respected Wall Street Journal publishes an article “Beneath Helsinki, Finns prepare for Russian Threat”, there are several ways media can react. And it is quite telling to observe the difference between mainstream journalists and pro-Kremlin outlets. The story explains that while Russia is planning its biggest military exercise in years, Finland is going underground and Finnish soldiers routinely train in a network that features more than 124 miles of tunnels, passageways and shelters. In Finland, media outlets tried to find out how much truth there was behind the catchy headline. They discovered that, although it is possible to transform the tunnel network for civil defence purposes, it is in fact decades old and activity there is not linked to the Russian military exercise. See here or here. Meanwhile in Russia, the media’s reaction was twofold, as Keir Giles, associate fellow from the Chatham House put it on Twitter: We are no threat to anyone, you are hysterical and living in the last century. Our weapons are invincible and you cannot hide from them.

Press Release: 48th Air Expeditionary Group deploys to Lithuania – To Inform is to Influence

Press Release Baltic Air Policing News Release Headquarters, United States European Command Media Operations Division Unit 30400, Box 1000, APO, AE 09128 Tel: +49 (0)711 680-6868/6618 E-mail: eucom.media@mail.mil Release: 17-64 August 29, 2017 48th Air Expeditionary Group deploys to Lithuania ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England (Aug. 28, 2017) — The 48th Fighter Wing has deployed approximately 140 Airmen…

The Morning Vertical, August 30, 2017

ON MY MIND European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s remarks that Brussels should seek better relations with Russia “without renouncing our values and principles” is a perfect illustration of the paradox the West faces with Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin. Because while it may be possible to achieve better relations with some future Russia without sacrificing values and principles, it appears all but impossible with this Russia, with Putin’s Russia. And this is because as a price for better relations, Putin wants something — a free hand in the former Soviet space; limited and conditional sovereignty for Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova; and an effective revival of its empire — that the West simply cannot give it while at the same time upholding its values.

German Foreign Minister Says Russia, West Should Avoid ‘New Ice Age’

Germany's foreign minister says that Washington and its European partners should ensure that new U.S. sanctions targeting Russia do not lead to a &quot;new ice age&quot; between Moscow and th…

Germany keen to avoid new ‘ice age’ in ties between Russia, West

Germany and Europe want to ensure that new U.S. sanctions against Russia do not lead to a new “ice age” in ties between Russia and the West, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Tuesday.

UAWire – American Ambassador to Russia: US has reasons not to make public evidence of pro-Russian separatists’ involvement in the crash of MH17 flight in the Donbas

The US has not declassified available evidence that the Malaysian Boeing from July 2014 was shot down from separatist-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region, as US intelligence agencies are interested in keeping their sources of information secret, as stated in an interview with the radio station Ekho Moskvy (Echo of Moscow) by the US Ambassador to Russia, John Tefft. “There are sources and methods which they won’t talk about. And it seems to me that any intelligence agency wouldn’t talk about it. Once you open it, you could put the source of the information in danger, and no one would do that; the Russians also wouldn’t do it,” Tefft said. The Ambassador noted that the intelligence agencies presented the evidence in the US Senate and the House of Representatives. “The evidence was presented to representatives of the American people in the Senate and in the House, and they nearly unanimously voted for sanctions. Nobody asked questions. I know from colleagues, that the evidence was conclusive,” asserted Tefft. The diplomat recalled that an investigation by the Dutch commission confirmed that the airliner had been shot down by a Buk anti-aircraft missile system that Russia had provided to militants in the Donbas. “It seems to me that the Dutch authorities and their investigation very much made it clear. There is a video – I do not remember on which website it posted – where it is clear when precisely the Russian installation crossed the territory and then went back, and during this time one of the rockets goes missing,” Tefft noted. It was earlier reported that international expert-journalist group Bellingcat had released a new photo confirming that the Buk anti-aircraft missile system, which hit the Boeing 777 in the sky over Ukraine during the summer of 2014, was assigned to a Russian brigade.

U.S. Senator Urges Serbia To Deny Russian Center Diplomatic Immunity

A U.S. senator visiting Belgrade has urged Serbia not to grant diplomatic status to the staff of a Russian disaster-relief center that some Western officials suspect harbors spies and disseminate…

Russia and the Western Far Right: Tango Noir (Paperback) – Routledge

The growing influence of Russia on the Western far right has been much discussed in the media recently. This book is the first detailed inquiry into what has been a neglected but critically important trend: the growing links between Russian actors and Western far right activists, publicists, ideologues, and politicians. The author uses a range of sources including interviews, video footage, leaked communications, official statements and press coverage in order to discuss both historical and contemporary Russia in terms of its relationship with the Western far right. Initial contacts between Russian political actors and Western far right activists were established in the early 1990s, but these contacts were low profile. As Moscow has become more anti-Western, these contacts have become more intense and have operated at a higher level. The book shows that the Russian establishment was first interested in using the Western far right to legitimise Moscow’s politics and actions both domestically and internationally, but more recently Moscow has begun to support particular far right political forces to gain leverage on European politics and undermine the liberal-democratic consensus in the West. Contributing to ongoing scholarly debates about Russia’s role in the world, its strategies aimed at securing legitimation of Putin’s regime both internationally and domestically, modern information warfare and propaganda, far right politics and activism in the West, this book draws on theories and methods from history, political science, area studies, and media studies and will be of interest to students, scholars, activists and practitioners in these areas.

U.S. Equipment Tops Romanian Arms Shopping List | Defense content from Aviation Week

Patriots, F-16s and attack helicopters are high on Romania’s defense list as Bucharest increases defense spending …

Tyler Stone | No, The Communist Soviet Union Wasn’t Anti-Fascist. The Two Ideologies Are Bedfellows – To Inform is to Influence

This is intended as a jab in the eye to Antifa but it is even more applicable to ongoing Russian historical revisionism. A friend remarked:  Tyler Stone concludes: Communism stood side by side with Nazism, and marched with it across Europe.  …If the left wants to remove offensive objects from history, then perhaps they should…

Tatyana Voltskaya and Robert Coalson | In Stalin’s Great Terror, Even The Deaf, Mute Could Be ‘Fascist Terrorist Saboteurs’

PETERSBURG — At the Levashovo mass grave site outside Russia’s northern capital, there are nearly two dozen separate memorials for various groups of victims of dictator Josef Stalin’s Great Terror — Assyrians, Belarusians, Jews, Italians, Lithuanians, Germans, and so on. Each one represents a small chapter in a historical crime that saw between 650,000 and 1.4 million people executed and millions of others imprisoned, deported, displaced, or orphaned. One of the Levashovo stones features two hands reaching up from a prison cell toward the light, with the words: “To the eternal memory of the deaf-mute victims of political repression — 1937.” That particular chapter of the horror story of the Great Terror began one night in August 1937 when members of the Leningrad Deaf-Mute Society were in rehearsal for a special production to be presented for the 20th anniversary of the October 1917 Bolshevik seizure of power. Two security agents in plain clothes unexpectedly entered the hall. By the time the chapter closed, 35 deaf people had been summarily executed (34 of them sentenced to death on December 19, 1937, and shot in the back of the head on December 24) and 20 had been sentenced to 10 years in Stalin’s labor camps. Among the executed were scientists, artists, laureates of state productivity awards, athletes, teachers, and others. All of them — according to investigators with Stalin’s NKVD secret police — were members of a pro-German fascist terrorist organization specializing in the distribution of fascist and counterrevolutionary literature. “When I read the case files, I saw that [investigators] even forced the sign-language interpreters to lie so that they could write up falsified protocols,” said Anatoly Razumov, a historian whose multivolume Leningrad Martyrology documents the Great Terror in the city of Leningrad, which is now St. Petersburg. “That’s how the whole case was fabricated. And then the victims were shot.”

The ‘Prophylactic Conversation’ and the management of Russian organised crime: the Ekaterinburg example | In Moscow’s Shadows

Back when Yuri Andropov headed the KGB, the Soviet political police replaced, or at least supplemented the blunter instruments of earlier times with more subtle and insidious ones. One such was the profilakticheskii razgovor, the ‘prophylactic conversation.’ Someone identified as a possible problem – talking too openly critically about the Party, say, or trying to…

Inside Putin’s new holiday home: Images show the former tsarist mansion turned into a lavish bolt-hole, complete with gold-plated underground spa, for the Russian president – To Inform is to Influence

Vladimir Putin has a new lavish holiday home with gold-plated tiles in Russia House is in the Vyborg Bay, around 12 miles from the Russian border with Finland Pictures inside show a grand indoor pool, a steam sauna and a billiard room  By Will Stewart for MailOnline PUBLISHED: 05:19 EDT, 28 August 2017 | UPDATED: 08:50 EDT, 28 August 2017…

Window on Eurasia — New Series: A Russian’s Nightmare: Moscow as Beirut or Ulster

Paul Goble Staunton, August 30 – Class, religious, and ethnic succession in Moscow is creating a situation in which the worst possible nightmare for any Russian would be the transformation of the Russian capital into something between Beirut and Ulster, according to Russian commentator Yevgeny Ikhlov. The Muslim “proletariat” there, consisting of gastarbeiters from Central Asia and the Caucasus, while often mistreated by businesses and officials, he argues, is in fact “close to optimal” because its members are pursuing their dream of creating a better life for their children allowing them to rise into the middle class (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=59A5B5DD751E6). The problem now, Ikhlov continues, is that “native Muscovites (conditionally Slavic and conditionally Orthodox) categorically do not want to multiply in numbers and their children categorically do not want to become part of the proletariat.” Both groups have higher aspirations than that. Russians who travelled into the city in the past to earn their keep might have been able to supplement this group, he suggests, but they were pushed into the middle class “precisely by the Muslim proletariat” in much the same way that in the musical “West Side Story,” the rise of the Puerto Ricans pushed the Irish and Poles into the category of “’real Americans.’” Hereditary Muscovites a generation ago viewed the “limitchiki” as outsiders in much the same way, but now they have to view them as part of their community, something that creates problems for both groups and especially for the former outsiders who now want to do everything to maintain their status against the rising Muslim proletariat. Moscow has been very fortunate that it has avoided the formation of religious or ethnic ghettos, Ikhlov says, although it is clearly on its way thanks to the renovation program to forming wealthy neighborhoods and slums, with the strong possibility that the latter in many cases will take on an ethnic or religious dimension. If that happens, he suggests, these places will become “a state within a state” in which Russian rule will be only provisional. But there are two other problems, one near term and one more distant. On the one hand, there is the issue of building a sufficient number of mosques. Indigenous Muscovites will oppose them on the NIMBY principle, and officials will because given that they can’t control six mosques, they certainly wouldn’t be able to control 20 to 40. Indeed, Ikhlov says, three-quarters of any new mosques that might be built would quickly become Salafi and hearths of radicalization in the Russian capital, something both Muscovites and Russian officials fear even more than they do having Muslim neighbors. And on the other, Ikhlov concludes, given the inability and unwillingness of Russians to become proletarians in the capital, the Muslim community will continue to fill that niche. As a result, he says, he very much fears that a populist will win the mayor’s job in some upcoming election. In that case, the commentator warns, the newly elected city head would fulfill his promises during the campaign and order the closure of mosques in the center of Moscow. In that event, the Russian capital “would very quickly be transformed into something midway between Ulster and Beirut.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kremlin Can Count on Eight Kinds of Defenders of Status Quo, Shevtsova Says

Paul Goble Staunton, August 29 –Every system if it is going to survive needs people who will defend it; and the Putin regime is no different. In fact, in addition to its open propagandists, the Kremlin today has eight different kinds of the defenders of the status quo, according to Moscow analyst Lidiya Shevtsova. These “defenders” so monopolize the public space that it is often difficult for anyone else to get a word in edgewise, and that is exactly the point of having so many – they are now beyond counting — and so many different kinds – there are at least eight –she says in a commentary for Radio Liberty (svoboda.org/a/28662872.html). Some of those involved in this effort may “sincerely see themselves as progressives, but in fact they are helping to preserve the existing system,” Shevtsova continues. But perhaps some of them are simply going along because it is professionally profitable and they don’t want to be cast out into the cold. In any case, it is useful to have a list: 1. “The pragmatists” form the majority of the defenders of the system. They are happy to comment uncritically about what is happening, but as Shevtsova points out, “the absence of ideology means also the absence of principles.” 2. “The technocrats” are those “who have mastered the art of serving those in power.” The powers that be need them to run the system, and this group dominates the economy. 3. “The optimists” always assert that things aren’t as bad as they appear and that things are getting better and better. 4. “The supporters of ‘small steps’” include those who point to small changes now as indications of bigger and more positive ones in the future. 5. “The realists” are those who focus on foreign policy and believe that foreign policy is all about force and having power and also think that Russians should focus on foreign affairs and ignore things at home. 6. “The geopoliticians” are people who love to talk about myths that “support the appearance of the greatness of the state.” 7. “The statists” are those who support the power of the state over everything else, quite possibly because they believe that is the only way Russia can exist. 8. And “the supporters of new forms and styles” include those who delude their audiences by using new technologies to support old ideas. According to Shevtsova, those who talk about foreign policy occupy the most prominent position among the defenders and preservers of the system, and their arguments reflect the fact that this is a realm where intellectual bravery is the least possible. But even when they appear critical, they are in fact doing little more than working around the edges. However, in her view, the most dangerous of the preservers who want to appear to be critics are those who focus on every twitch in the Kremlin, subjecting it to microscopic analysis and building on that alone. A microscope does reveal many interesting things, but it can have the effect of distracting attention from the situation as a whole. And that of course, in the current situation, is exactly what the Kremlin wants and what the preservers are all too willing to provide.

Former Alpha Group officers, traitors to Ukraine, killed in Dagestan, – journalist. PHOTOS

30.08.17 11:42 – Former Alpha Group officers, traitors to Ukraine, killed in Dagestan, – journalist. PHOTOS The officers of Ukraine’s Alpha Group special force who defected to Russia back in 2014 are sent by the Kremlin to participate in punitive operations in Chechnya and Dagestan. View photo news.

Russian Economist Critical Of Kremlin Plans To Remain Abroad Due To Alleged Criminal Probe

A leading Russian economist critical of the Kremlin says he is holding off on returning to Russia due to possible &quot;dangers&quot; following a report that he is under investigation for allegedl…

Young Russian Cultural Figures Add Support For Embattled Theater Director

More than 300 young Russian cultural figures have published an open letter of support for theater director Kirill Serebrennikov, who is under house arrest and facing embezzlement charges, and fou…

‘All-Encompassing Cannibalism’: Suspect In Russian Director’s Fraud Case Warns Of Repressions

A suspect in the criminal investigation into prominent Russian theater and film director Kirill Serebrennikov has warned of a looming clampdown by authorities and urged &ldquo;uncompromisin…

Russia’s Central Bank Steps In To Rescue Troubled Lender

Russia's central bank said on August 29 that it was stepping in to save the country's eighth largest lender, Otkritie, after it suffered a sustained run on its deposits amid worries about it…

The Russian government will ‘reorganize’ the Otkritie banking group. What’s that mean? — Meduza

Russia’s Central Bank has announced the reorganization of the banking group “Otkritie,” one of the largest financial institutions in the country, with hundreds of billions of rubles on its accounts. The Otkritie banking group consists of a bank by the same name and the banks Tochka, Roketbank, Rosgosstrakh Bank, and other organizations. All these institutions will now be “rehabilitated.”

German-Russian Citizen Charged With Attempted Murder In Dortmund Soccer Bus Attack

German prosecutors have charged a German-Russian dual citizen suspected of bombing the Borussia Dortmund soccer team's bus with attempted murder. The Dortmund prosecutor's office said o…

Chechen Leader Rules Out Obvious Motives For Parliamentarian’s Murder

Four days after the killing of Chechen parliamentarian Mukhmad Askhabov, the perpetrators remain at large and uncertainty still surrounds their motive. Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov has ruled out two of the most seemingly obvious motives. (The views expressed in this blog post do not necessarily reflect those of RFE/RL.)

UAWire – Chechnya draws up list of singers who may be homosexual

Kavkaz.Realii reports, citing employees of human rights organizations working in the Chechnya, that Chechen security forces have drawn up a list …

Reports Say Russian Businessman Dzhabrailov Faces Charges Over Moscow Hotel Gunfire

News reports from Moscow say that Umar Dzhabrailov, a wealthy businessman and former member of the Russian parliament, could face criminal charges after allegedly firing a pistol in a luxury hote…

Map Mystery: Russia’s Largest Island Vanishes After North Korean Missile Test

MOSCOW — Someone swiped Sakhalin. The 76,000-square-kilometer Sakhalin Island disappeared from Russia's Pacific coast on the online Yandex.Maps service overnight on August 28-29, around th…


Belarus Reports


Video: String Of Russian Military Vehicles Found In Vorsha – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk

Russian military vehicles continue to move through Vorsha.

Russia gathers armored vehicles for West-2017 drills: photos – Russia gathers armored vehicles for West-2017 drills: photos – 112.international

Russia gathers armored vehicles for West-2017 drills: photos. The convoys of the Russian armored vehicles were spotted in the range of the regions of Russia where the West-2017 drills will take place and at the territory of Belarus as the users of the social networks reported. The displacement of the military equipment of the Armed Forces of Russia was spotted in Kursk, Voronezh, Vologda, Rostov, Leningrad Regions and Krasnodar Krai. Mostly it is the places where the military drills will be held or that are near the border with Belarus. Moreover, according to the users, the serial of the tanks arrived at the Belarusian Railways Station Molodechno that is near Minsk.

Lukashenka Combed Out Ministry Of Internal Affairs And State Military-Industrial Committee – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk

The dictator signed two important personnel orders. Henadz Smolski was dismissed from the post of deputy chairman of the State Military-Industrial Committee. The corresponding decree No. 308 was signed by Lukashenka on August 29. This is reported by his press office. Smolski was dismissed due to the reduction in the number of employees. The governor also reduced the number of deputy interior ministers. This is stipulated in his Decree No. 309. According to the document, four deputy ministers will serve in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, including the first deputy minister – the head of the criminal police, the deputy minister – the head of the public security police, the deputy minister – the commander of internal troops, the deputy minister. The decree was adopted in order to “improve the activities of the internal affairs bodies”. At the moment, the Interior Minister has five deputies: the commander of internal troops, the head of the finance and logistics department, the deputy minister of internal affairs for ideological work and personnel, the chief of the public security police and the first deputy minister of internal affairs – the head of the criminal police. Apparently, the post of the deputy head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for ideology or the head of the department of finance and logistics has been reduced. Now these positions are occupied by Aliaksandr Kobruseu and Viktar Dubavets respectively.

Lost Pavlo Gryb is at Krasnodar FSB directorate – Lost Pavlo Gryb is at Krasnodar FSB directorate – 112.international

Lost Pavlo Gryb is at Krasnodar FSB directorate

Pavlo Hryb was abducted by FSB, responsibility for that lies with Belarus, – Herashchenko

30.08.17 12:13 – Pavlo Hryb was abducted by FSB, responsibility for that lies with Belarus, – Herashchenko The responsibility for the disappearance of Ukrainian Pavlo Hryb lies not only with the FSB but also with the Belarusian special services. View news.


Transnistria / Moldova Reports


Moldovan Party Accuses President Of Treason, Files Lawsuit

CHISINAU — A Moldovan political party says it has filed a criminal complaint accusing President Igor Dodon of treason and of fomenting divisions in the interest of Russia. In a statement posted on its website, the Action and Solidarity Party (PAS) said that it had filed the suit with the Prosecutor-General’s Office on August 29. It accused Dodon of violating laws against the “betrayal of the homeland” and “incitement of national, ethnic, racial, or religious disunity.” It contended that Dodon, who has courted Moscow and is at odds with his country’s pro-European Union government, “acts [in] contrary to the interests of the Republic of Moldova, openly promoting the interests of another state — the Russian Federation.” The Moldovan president has not commented on the complaint. Among other things, the party criticized Dodon for congratulating the separatist leader of the breakaway Transdniester region, Vadim Krasnoselsky, on his victory in a December election that was not recognized by Moldova or the international community. Dodon “seriously damages the consolidation of the Moldovan society and the unity of the citizens” through his actions, it said. The move comes as Moldova, one of Europe’s poorest countries, marked the 26th anniversary of its 1991 declaration of independence from the Soviet Union on August 27. During celebrations that day, Dodon decorated several people for contributing to closer ties with Russia while Prime Minister Pavel Filip reiterated his government’s determination to pursue closer ties with the EU in a speech to parliament. The celebrations came amid heightened tensions with Russia after Moldova’s envoy to the United Nations, Victor Moraru, earlier this month called on the upcoming session of the UN General Assembly to discuss the withdrawal of Russian troops from Transdniester. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called the move “provocative.” Transdniester declared independence what was then the Soviet republic of Moldova in 1990. Moldovan forces and Moscow-backed Transdniester fought a short war in 1992, in part over fears in the breakaway region that newly independent Moldova would seek reunification with neighboring Romania. The conflict ended with a cease-fire agreement after Russian troops in the region intervened on the side of the separatists. Russia maintains an estimated 2,000-strong force in Transdniester — 1,500 troops that Moscow says guard huge Soviet-era arms depots, and up to 500 other soldiers to ensure the uneasy 25-year-old cease-fire. At a 1999 OSCE summit in Istanbul, Moscow pledged to withdraw its troops from Transdniester by 2002, but it has not done so. No country recognizes Transdniester as independent, but Moscow has been unofficially backing the separatist leadership.

Moldova to demand from UNGA considering Russian troops withdrawal – Moldova to demand from UNGA considering Russian troops withdrawal – 112.international

The head of the Foreign Ministry of Moldova said that during his meeting with the Russian Ambassador to Moldova. Moldova shall boost adding an additional issue called “complete withdrawal of foreign armed forces from the territory of Moldova” to the agenda of the 72th session of the UN General Assembly. Andrei Galbur, Moldova Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, said that during his meeting with the Rusiian Ambassador to Moldova, Farit Mukhametshin, DW reported. “Minister Andrei Galbur confirmed the intention of the Moldovan authorities to boost adding an additional issue called “complete withdrawal of foreign armed forces from the territory of Moldova” to the agenda of the 72th session of the UN General Assembly,” the Foreign Ministry of Moldova reported.


Ukraine Reports


No difference exists between Russia’s occupation of Crimea and Donbas, – Volker

30.08.17 10:36 – U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker sees no difference between the Russian invasion and occupation of Crimea and the Donbas. He said it in an interview with DW, Censor.NET reports. According to Volker, no difference is there between the occupation of Crimea and the Donbas, but in the case with Crimea Russia, except for the occupation, claimed the annexation of the territory, actually seizing it from Ukraine. Accepting or recognizing this is out of question, said the envoy.

EU Official Claims No War in Europe (Leaving Ukraine Aside) – YouTube

 

NATO delegation to review Ukrainian Armed Forces for compliance with Alliance standards – NATO delegation to review Ukrainian Armed Forces for compliance with Alliance standards – 112.international

NATO delegation to review Ukrainian Armed Forces for compliance with Alliance standards. The NATO delegation headed by the representative of the NATO Defense Policy and Planning Committee David Brown intends to meet with the representatives of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the Ukrainian officials to get acquainted with the current state of the achievement of the chosen partnership goals by Ukraine. The press service of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry reported this. ‘The NATO delegation headed by the representative of the NATO Defense Policy and Planning Committee David Brown will hold a range of the meetings with the representatives of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the Ukrainian officials and will get acquainted with the current state of the achievement of the chosen partnership goals by Ukraine for the current cycle of the planning process and estimations of the forces and discuss the necessity of the Ukrainian government authorities for the next 2018-2019 cycle in the additional goals of the partnership’, the message said. According to David Brown, it is planned to consummate the organizational catalog of the resources of the Armed Forces that are written in the accordance with the NATO criteria until the end of October 2017. ‘The issue is the complex vision of the available resources and the tasks that we face. It will allow us to perfect the responses on the scenarios that can take place in the future’, he said. Brown noted that the manual for the estimation of the force is under the working out at the moment. It will allow preparing the recommendation on the critical issues for the balance of the defense planning and the estimation of the available resources. The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko approved the joining of Ukraine to NATO as one of the key points of the state policy. However, he claimed that Ukraine will not apply for the membership in NATO in the near time. Ukraine should hold the range of the reforms to join NATO and the Government of Ukraine actively works upon this issue. The Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin assured that Ukraine will correspond to the NATO standards until 2020. Ukraine and NATO began the discussion towards the joining and the Membership Action Plan. The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg claimed at the 112 International Insight interview that Ukraine should come to NATO with the package of the multifaceted assistance.

Klimkin to attend Visegrad Group and Eastern Partnership meeting – 30.08.2017 16:13 — Ukrinform News

Ukraine Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin will participate in a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Visegrad Group and Eastern Partnership countries in Budapest on Thursday, August 31.

“We have been impressed by National Guard soldiers, our efforts to modernize NGU will continue,” – US Senior Defense Advisor Hargus. PHOTO

30.08.17 10:13 – We have been impressed by National Guard soldiers, our efforts to modernize NGU will continue, – US Senior Defense Advisor Hargus. PHOTO On Aug. 29, Commander of the National Guard of Ukraine Yurii Allerov held an official meeting with U.S. Senior Defense Adviser Coyt D. Hargus and Security Reform Advisor to the NATO Liaison Office in Ukraine Jaroslaw Pato. View photo news.

UAWire – Kyiv: Bill on reintegration of Donbas is almost ready, Russia is called ‘country-aggressor’

The bill on the reintegration of the Donbass is 99.9% ready for submission to the Ukrainian parliament, said Iryna Lutsenko, the representative of the President of Ukraine in the Verkhovna Rada, Channel 5 reports. “The bill on the reintegration of the Donbas, that is, the law on state policy and the direction of state policy on the return and restoration of the Donbas, is completed,” Lutsenko stressed. She clarified that “this project, in fact, is 99.9% complete. It was reviewed. Consultations with our partners in the ‘Normandy format’ were even held,” the politician said. According to Lutsenko, experts and specialists from the United States were invited to the consultations on this bill. She also said that the relevant bill was drafted with the participation of experts from the Presidential Administration, a working group of representatives of the parliamentary coalition, lawyers, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice. “It [the bill] is fully-fledged. I think that certain points from this bill will also be in the President’s address to the Verkhovna Rada,” Lutsenko said. She stressed that in the new bill, the concept of Russia as the aggressor will be introduced for the first time at the legislative level. Also, according to the new Bill on the Occupied Territories, Ukraine has a right to use the army and is not responsible for the situation on the temporarily occupied territories. On June 13, NSDC (National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine) Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine that it is necessary to end the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) and move to a new format of defending the country from a hybrid war with Russia. He said that the relevant bill is under development, after which it will be submitted to the president and then to the Verkhovna Rada. Commenting on Turchynov’s statement, President Petro Poroshenko clarified that the bill will deal with the reintegration of the Donbas and establish measures to return the occupied territories. It must also determine their legal status. The bill was planned to be considered at the NSDC meeting on July 10 but consideration was postponed.

Over 75 Russian military units identified in Donbas – InformNapalm – 30.08.2017 15:32 — Ukrinform News

Representatives of the InformNapalm international volunteer community have identified over 75 Russian military units that were involved in the conflict in the Donbas.

UAWire – Ukraine begins large-scale assembly of reserve paratroopers

The Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) have begun to assemble highly mobile paratrooper forces, Ukrinform reported with reference to the AFU General Staff press service. “In the Dnipropetrovsk and Lviv provinces, large-scale military gatherings have begun with reservists from the rapid first phase reserve of two military command brigades of highly mobile AFU paratrooper forces,” the report states. The military commissariats have summoned rapid reservists in such numbers as to bring the staff of these brigades to their full complements. Some of these soldiers are being called to drills for the second time already. “The plan is for the assemblies to last for 30 days in two stages. The first stage is individual training at certain training centers, retraining courses and advanced training. The second and final stage is the brigades’ team training,” the General Staff reported. In addition, in order to work on the reserve’s Corps formation, monthly training assemblies have begun for the obligated reservists in the rapid reserve of the management and one of the combat units of the reserve Corps. A full deployment of the mentioned units to the wartime staff is expected. The military commissariats have already selected the necessary number of obligated reservists to bring certain units to their full complement of staff. Almost all obligated reservists are participating in the training assemblies of their own free will. In September this year, rapid reservist assemblies will be held for ground forces combat brigades, air force combat units, and territorial defense subdivisions, the report states.

Donbas’ fragile ceasefire: 21 attacks on Ukraine, no casualties in last day

Russia's hybrid military forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in Donbas 21 times in the past 24 hours, according to the press service of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters. News 30 August from UNIAN.

Militants launched 21 attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas in last day – 30.08.2017 09:24 — Ukrinform News

Militants launched 21 attacks on positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in ATO area in Donbas over the past day. There were no losses among Ukrainian soldiers.

Militants might be using new kind of ammunition in Donbas; new charges are used in shells loaded in Grad-P missile launchers – Ukrainian army – Militants might be using new kind of ammunition in Donbas, – Ukrainian army – 112.international

Militants might be using new kind of ammunition in Donbas; new charges are used in shells loaded in Grad-P missile launchers – Ukrainian army. Russian mercenaries who fight the Ukrainian forces in Donbas began using some sort of new ammunition; it is capable of causing significant damage to manpower and structures. According to Ukrainian military, the enemy uses such shells near Vodyane (Mariupol sector, Donetsk region). ‘152-mm artillery shells, fired from self-propelled artillery do not make such holes in the ground. On the other hand, the ground is soft in this area; but still, it seems they use something heavier’, a spokesman of Ukraine’s Military TV said. According to the spokesman, the height of the hole in the ground made 2.20 meters, and the width made about 4 meters. ‘We found fragments of the missiles from MLRS Grad-P. They apparently use new charges in these missiles. The charge does not explode on impact. It goes deep under the ground and brings a lot of ground up in the air, making a hole. If such shell hit the asphalt, the damage radius would make 150 meters,’ he said.

OSCE revealed 24 tanks and 10 howitzers of Russian terrorists in Miusynsk, 22 tanks and six antiaircraft missile systems in Buhaivka area – To Inform is to Influence

Russia is blatantly breaking the Minsk agreement, as opposed to their proxies.  </end editorial> 29.08.17 15:39 The military hardware was recorded by means of aerial reconnaissance conducted by the OSCE special monitoring mission in Ukraine. Censor.NET reports citing the OSCE SMM update as of Aug. 27. “In violation of the respective withdrawal lines, in government-controlled areas, on 26…

Ukrainian paratroopers use 16-tonne amphibious APCs to ford a lake | Defence Blog

Yavoriv CTC Observer Coach Trainers, along with mentors from the U.S. Army’s 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, led the training for soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 95th Separate Airmobile Brigade during the battalion’s rotation through the Yavoriv CTC. That was reported on the official Facebook page of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT). The 45th is deployed to Ukraine as part of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, an international coalition dedicated to improving the CTC’s training capacity and building professionalism within the Ukrainian army. During the drills, Ukrainian paratroopers use 16-tonne amphibious armored personnel carriers to ford a lake during training at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center.

Ukrainian army adopts new man-portable missile system ‘Corsair’; the new weapons is capable of hitting targets within the same range as FGM-148 Javelin – Ukrainian army adopts new man-portable missile system ‘Corsair’ – 112.international

Ukrainian army adopts new man-portable missile system ‘Corsair’; the new weapons is capable of hitting targets within the same range as FGM-148 Javelin. Ukroboronprom Ukraine’s armed forces officially adopted the new man-portable missile system. Press service of the state-run defense enterprise Ukroboronprom reported that on Tuesday. The newly adopted weapon called ‘Corsair’ is designed to hit hostile armored targets, combat helicopters, lightly armored fortifications and manpower. The laser-guided missiles can hit the targets within the range of 2,500 meters – the same as U.S.-employed FGM-148 Javelin. After the successfully passed tests, Ukroboronprom sent about 50 missiles for Corsairs.

First batch of Ukraine-made Corsar anti-tank missile launchers delivered to Ukrainian army

Ukrainian-made Corsar light portable anti-tank missile systems have been received by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, according to the press service of Ukroboronpom. A whole range of tests preceded the acceptance procedure. Over 50 missiles to the said system have been produced before schedule, Ukroboronprom says. Small mass – less than 14 kg – and small size are the main features of the given light portable missile system. Despite this, Corsar’s firepower is enough to destroy all existing types of armored vehicles at a 2.5 km range (same for the U.S.-made Javelins). A modern laser guidance system ensures the accuracy of launches. Read also How anti-tank weapons are shaping Donbas conflict – experts Luch State Design Bureau has developed two guided missiles to fit the system – ZhK-3K and ZhK-30F.

NSDC chief Turchynov pledges at least 5% of GDP for defense in 2018

The National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine says that the country's defense budget in 2018 will be at least 5% of GDP, while its total financing will be at least UAH 162.7 billion, or about US$6.4 billion, according to the NSDC's press service. News 30 August from UNIAN.

Security Council head predicts $6 billion of defense spending in 2018 – Security Council head predicts $6 billion of defense spending in 2018 – 112.international

The main funding will come from the general fund

SBU prevents purchase of Russian equipment in Odesa with budget funds

Members of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine have prevented a deal of an Odesa-based municipal company which was going to buy Russian equipment worth UAH 7 million ($280,000) via a tender with the use of budget funds, according to the SBU press center. News 30 August from UNIAN.

Russian journalist Kurbatova to be deported from Ukraine – SBU – 30.08.2017 16:28 — Ukrinform News

Russia's Channel One journalist Anna Kurbatova will be deported to Russia, Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) spokesperson Olena Hitlianska has reported on Facebook.

Ukraine To Deport ‘Kidnapped’ Russian State TV Journalist

Ukrainian authorities say they are planning to deport a Russian state TV journalist, a move that is likely to increase already severe tension between Moscow and Kyiv. In a Facebook post on Augus…

Ударний вертоліт Мі-24ПУ1 – YouTube

Мі-24ПУ1 повністю відповідає всім вимогам сучасної війни, оснащений передовою електронікою, ефективною системою захисту та потужним озброєнням. Саме така тех…

President Poroshenko: Ukraine carried out 144 reforms over last three years – 30.08.2017 13:36 — Ukrinform News

President Petro Poroshenko says that Ukraine has implemented 144 reforms in the last three years.

Ukraine’s GogolFest Breathes New Life Into Abandoned Building – YouTube

Ilovaisk hell: Memories of volunteer battalion soldier who survived in “trap” – Ilovaisk hell: Memories of volunteer battalion soldier who survived in “trap” – 112.international

Mykhailo Ukhman Recently, Prosecutor General’s Office published the results of an investigation into the events of the Ilovaisk trap, which became the most terrible page in ATO forces history during all the years of the war. Investigators confirmed that the reasons for the tragedy were the invasion of Russian regular troops to Ukraine, some miscalculations of our command and desertion among the ATO forces. However, ordinary soldiers who passed Ilovaisk, think differently. Last week, we published a point of view of General Staff head Viktor Muzhenko on this issue, and today – the story of a soldier of Shakhtarsk battalion, who was able to survive in that meat grinder.

Kyiv commemorates fighters killed in Ilovaisk three years ago. PHOTOS+VIDEO

29.08.17 16:16 – Kyiv commemorates fighters killed in Ilovaisk three years ago. PHOTOS+VIDEO The commemoration events took place at the Memory Wall in Kyiv downtown. View photo news.

UAWire – Russia conducts snap readiness check of its air force and air defense in Crimea

Yesterday the air force and air defense of Russia’s Southern Military District were brought to complete combat readiness during an inspection, announced Vadim Astafyev, head spokesperson for the Southern Military District, as reported by RIA Novosti Crimea. “With the military alarm signal, the personnel of the aviation compound and the combat units were alerted, as well as the anti-air defense forces located in the Rostov and Volgograd provinces, Krasnodar and Stavropol Krai, the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania and Crimea,” he said. The inspection was carried out at the order of Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces. During the inspection, the level of readiness of the aircraft, pilots and ground specialists was assessed.

Russia tests cruise missile in occupied Crimea; the missile was launched from ‘Skala,’ the coastal missile system located in the Crimean mountains – Russia tests cruise missile in occupied Crimea – 112.international

Russia tests cruise missile in occupied Crimea; the missile was launched from ‘Utes,’ the coastal missile system located in the Crimean mountains. The Russian military used the occupied Crimea to test the cruise missile, fired from the coastal missile system called Utes (‘The Rock’ in English). According to the country’s defense ministry, this was a part of the naval drills, where Russia’s Black Sea Fleet was involved. 15 battleships and support vessels, as well as naval aviation and drones took part in the exercise. The coastal missile system is located in the Crimean Mountains, on the altitude of 500 m above the sea. The weapon is designed to take down any sea-based targets within the range of 300 km.

Russia tests cruise missiles in occupied Crimea [VIDEO] – 112.international

The Russian military used the occupied Crimea to test the cruise missile, fired from the coastal missile system called Utes (‘The Rock ‘in English). According to the country’s defense ministry, this was a part of the naval drills, where Russia’s Black Sea Fleet was involved. 15 battleships and support vessels, as well as naval aviation and drones took part in the exercise. The coastal missile system is located in the Crimean Mountains, on the altitude of 500 m above the sea. The weapon is designed to take down any sea-based targets within the range of 300 km.

Crimean Tatar-speaking class to emerge in Kherson region; this will be the first school class in the mainland Ukraine where the language of study is Crimean Tatar – Crimean Tatar-speaking class to emerge in Kherson region – 112.international

Crimean Tatar-speaking class to emerge in Kherson region; this will be the first school class in the mainland Ukraine where the language of study is Crimean Tatar


Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports


U.S. Military Threatens to Bomb Convoy Transferring ISIS Fighters – The New York Times

The American command criticized a deal to relocate 600 militants and their families from Lebanon to eastern Syria, saying they could be “lucrative targets.”

ISIS negotiates safe exit from Lebanese border in air-conditioned buses

The withdrawal was part of an agreement brokered by Hezbollah.

Erdogan’s Thugs Finally Indicted For Att | The Daily Caller

I don’t care if this “complicates” our relations with Turkey. Those people were protesting peacefully in the United States of America. They get to do that. If

19 indicted for attack on protesters outside Turkish embassy | TheHill


DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports


Trump Says ‘All Options Are On Table’ After North Korea Fires Missile Over Japan

President Donald Trump has said that &quot;all options are on the table&quot; in terms of a U.S. response to North Korea's launch of a missile over Japan. In an August 29 statement, Trump sai…

South Korea tests new ballistic missile | Defence Blog

South Korea made public rare footage of its testing on new ballistic missiles Tuesday, hours after North Korea’s ballistic missile launch. Just before 6 a.m. South Korea time Tuesday, North Korea fired an unidentified missile from near the capital Pyongyang, towards the northeast. According to Yonhap, the 86-second-long video clip shows the vivid scene of the test-firing of a 500-kilometer-range ballistic missile with improved warhead power and that of another one with a range of 800 km. It was released by the state-run Agency for Defense Development (ADD). The footage shows the missile being fired and accurately hitting mock targets on the ground and in the water. The tests were conducted last week and were the last ones before the deployment of the missiles, it added. The ADD said the missiles will serve as core elements in South Korea’s Kill Chain pre-emptive strike system and the Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation (KMPR) scheme. “Our military has the missile capability with top-level precision and power to strike any place in North Korea if necessary,” the ADD said. “It will greatly reinforce missile forces and power down the road as well.”

800km 탄도미사일 전력화 비행시험 영상 – YouTube – Ballistic missile-powered flight test video

[국방부 제공]

Opinion: How Anti-Proliferation Rules Are Helping China, Hurting U.S. | Defense content from Aviation Week

Inadvertently, decades-old restraints on weapons exports are helping China expand its foothold in the unmanned aircraft arena.

General Ma Xiaotian: the Sea of Japan is not Japan’s sea | Defence Blog

General Ma Xiaotian, the PLA Air Force’s commander, said earlier this month in Changchun, Jilin province, that the Air Force “must carry out drills at sea”. “Our Air Force cannot simply guard on land and not fly out”, he said in response to questions on Japan’s concerns about the PLA’s “increasing activities” over the Sea of Japan. Ma said it is normal for the Chinese Air Force to conduct training and exercises over the Sea of Japan and that “the Sea of Japan is not Japan’s sea”. The PLA Air Force started to perform long-range, ocean-bound drills in March 2015. At first, the frequency was about four times a year, but now it is several times a week. In July, the PLA Air Force carried out exercises over the Bashi Channel and Miyako Strait with several types of aircraft, according to Shen. Colonel Ren Guoqiang, a Defense Ministry spokesman, said in July that other nations should not “make a fuss about or over-interpret” the Chinese military’s oceangoing exercises. Recent moves by the Chinese Air Force show it has determination to expand its presence over oceans by conducting more long-distance drills and developing new bomber aircraft with longer ranges, according to military officers and experts. The latest move came on Thursday, when six People’s Liberation Army Air Force H-6K bombers flew through the Miyako Strait between the islands of Okinawa and Miyako in the East China Sea and approached the Kii Peninsula, Japanese media quoted the Japanese Defense Ministry as saying. This was the first time the PLA Air Force flew along that route, the report said. The Air Force also disclosed the operation on its micro blog, saying that Chinese military aircraft would make more such training runs in the area. The account published a photo of an H-6K taken by the crew of another bomber during the mission. “Such regular, long-distance exercises are in line with international laws and international practices. They are the normal needs of the PLA to enhance our combat capability and build a strong air force,” said Senior Colonel Shen Jinke, an Air Force spokesman. The H-6K is the PLA’s most advanced bomber and is capable of carrying supersonic cruise missiles for strikes against land or sea targets. Wang Ya’nan, editor of Aerospace Knowledge magazine, said these long-range drills would enable the Air Force and the PLA Navy’s aviation units to push China’s defense line farther into the ocean and to better safeguard the country’s maritime routes. In addition to intensified training, the Air Force also has commissioned Aviation Industry Corp of China, the leading Chinese aircraft producer, to develop a new-generation of long-range strategic bombers capable of fulfilling intercontinental missions, Air Force sources said. Photos circulating on Chinese online forums indicate that the Air Force also is testing a variant of the H-6K equipped with a refueling probe, which enables the new model to be refueled in flight and thus operate farther than existing models.

Countering Chinese Coercion: The Case of Doklam – War on the Rocks

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth installment of “Southern (Dis)Comfort,” a new series from War on the Rocks and the Stimson Center. The series seeks to unp

Who blinked in the China-India military standoff? – The Washington Post

China and India both claimed victory after troop-pull out ended standoff

The Bolshevik Revolution Is a Chinese Tourist Trap | Foreign Policy

China is excited by the 100th anniversary of Vladimir Lenin’s rise to power — and Russians are excited to take its money.

Japan’s Empty Menu of Options to Stop North Korea | Foreign Policy

Hawkish Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seems to have few choices save strong words of condemnation for the Kim regime’s missile tests. But he’s working the long game.

Ukraine condemns DPRK ballistic missile launch | UNIAN

Ukraine resolutely condemns the recent launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile by the DPRK, which posed a serious threat to neighboring Japan, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. News 30 August from UNIAN.


Foreign Policy Reports


Poland calls for reparations amid strains with Germany, EU – ABC News

Poland calls for reparations amid strains with Germany, EU

Angela Merkel: we cannot hold our tongues on risk to rule of law in Poland | World news | The Guardian

German chancellor says EU fears over Polish reforms giving justice minister right to fire judges must be taken seriously

UAWire – Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany calls on German politicians to avoid ‘freezing the issue of Crimea’

During an interview with German newspaper Kieler Nachrichten, the Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, reminded the leadership of the Free Democratic Party of Germany that the “freezing” of the issue of the annexation of the Crimea would mean the de facto lifting of economic sanctions on Russia, and called on politicians to adhere to “strategic patience”, as reported by Ukrainian Diplomat Svitlana Melnyk on Facebook on August 28th. According to Ambassador Melnyk, Ukraine “will never agree” with the lifting of sanctions on Russia, he noted that such sanctions “begin to function fully in the medium and long term, as evidenced by the experience of solving the Iranian dossier.” The Ukrainian diplomat recalled that the decision by the International Court of Justice of the United Nations in April 2017 which demanded that Russia ensure the educational rights of Ukrainians in the Crimea and to protect the Crimean Tatars was completely ignored by the Russia-controlled authorities, and that Crimean’s rights are violated on the peninsula. In early August, the head of the Free Democratic Party of Germany, Christian Lindner, stressed the need to improve relations with Russia and suggested recognizing the Crimea as Russian. The politician was criticized, both in Ukraine and by the government of Germany. Lindner later said that he proposed not to recognize the peninsula as part of the territory of Russia, but only to “freeze” the issue of the Crimea for the sake of advancing the settlement of other important problems.

Germany’s Merkel admonishes other European nations for not accepting more refugees – LA Times

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says some countries in Europe have failed to take in a fair share of refugees.

Germany′s right-wing AfD hands out pepper spray to young women during election campaign | News | DW | 30.08.2017

The youth wing of the populist Alternative for Germany’s (AfD) has handed out pepper spray to girls while election campaigning. The party claims the unusual election giveaways are to protect against animals, not people.

Germany’s Populist AfD Party Recognizes It Has an Image Problem – Bloomberg

The Alternative for Germany party is concerned that its support base is overwhelmingly male and its image extreme, prompting its leadership to consider a last-minute drive to appeal to women voters in the run-up to the Sept. 24 election.


Strategy / History / Capability Publications


The Rotational Force Fig Leaf – Modern War Institute

People are interesting creatures. We want so badly to be rational and at the same time are incredibly irrational when confronted with information that is contrary to what we believe. For both individuals and institutions facing critical decisions, how we respond to new, contrary information cuts to the core of whether we will be successful. Today, the Army sits at such a decision point: Does forward-deployment of armored forces in regions vital to US interests or a rotational model offer a better means of meeting security requirements? Andrew Gregory’s recent MWI article, entitled “Maintaining a Deep Bench: Why Armored BCT Rotations in Europe and Korea Are Best for America’s Global Security Requirements,” makes a compelling argument for the continuation of rotational force presence in Europe, Korea, and the Middle East. But while it is encouraging to see intellectual debate on this subject, the conclusion—that rotational presence is the “only” way to meet the United States’ security requirements—is contradicted by the facts. To use Gregory’s own analogy, no team ever wins by keeping its “blue-chip” athletes on the bench. In fact, if the other team takes the field and you stay in the locker room, you forfeit, no matter how good your team is. Rotational presence is a fig leaf that the Army shifts to cover whichever bare spot is exposed at any given time. When the Army lacks money, proponents of rotational presence argue it is less expensive. When the Army lacks force structure, rotational presence supposedly gives us flexibility. When readiness is paramount, rotational forces are claimed to be more ready. But the model is born of constrained resourcing and a misreading of the environment; in reality, rotational forces are neither cheaper, readier, nor more flexible.

Russia’s Super Strange Kiev-Class Aircraft Carriers: Submarine and Carrier-Killer? | The National Interest Blog

And some are sitting as museum ships in China.

Russian company unveiled new SAMUM self-propelled anti-aircraft gun | Defence Blog

The JSC “Podolsk Electromechanical Plant of Special Machine Building” has showcased a new SAMUM self-propelled anti-aircraft gun during Russia’s Army-2017 international military-technical exhibition. The Samum is a short-range air defence system based on the new 4×4 light wheeled platform, also developed by “Podolsk Electromechanical Plant of Special Machine Building”. The vehicle accommodates a crew of three including driver, commander and gunner. The Samum is fitted with twin ZU-23/30M1-4 23mm automatic cannon which is operated by one gunner. The cannon can engage air targets within a range of 2,5 km and 1,500 m against aerial targets. The Samum is powered by diesel engine delivering a power of 200hp. The engine provides a maximum speed of 160km/h and a range of 1000km. It has a total weight of 6,500 kg. Photo by vladimirkrym.livejournal.com

In an LCS first, drone supports targeting mission for missile

The U.S. Navy has for the first time used a UAV to provide over-the-horizon targeting information and damage assessment for a missile fired from onboard a ship.


IW/IO/Cyber Reports


RT reading list – To Inform is to Influence

From “Boycott Russia Today” Updated “RT reading list” now in our BRT Notes section, with a dozen 2017 citations having been added: Ahmad, Muhammad Idrees (2017) For Russian TV, Syria isn’t just a foreign country — it’s a parallel universe https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/democracy-post/wp/2017/03/13/for-russian-tv-syria-isnt-just-a-foreign-country-its-a-parallel-universe/ Baran, Tara Katrusiak (2017) Want To See Fake News? Check Out ‘Russia Today’ http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/tara-katrusiak-baran/fighting-fake-news-russia-today_b_14408674.html Bodner, Matthew, Matthew Kupfer…

Israeli firm sees the spy agencies behind the sexy images – To Inform is to Influence

Tel Aviv-based ClearSky tells tale of pretty women luring social media friends into networks of deceit in bids to steal data By SHOSHANNA SOLOMONAugust 28, 2017, 4:18 pm ‘This looks like a fake one,” said Eyal Sela, head of threat intelligence at Tel Aviv-based firm ClearSky Cyber Security. The Facebook profile on the screen of Sela’s…

#BotSpot: Twelve Ways to Spot a Bot – 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 28 Some tricks to identify fake Twitter accounts “Bots” — automated social media accounts which pose as real people — have a huge presence on platforms such as Twitter. They number in the millions; individual networks can…

FBI: Chinese man supplied rare malware used in OPM breach – To Inform is to Influence

By: Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press 28 August 2017 LOS ANGELES — A Chinese man has been charged in California with distributing a type of computer malware that has been linked to attacks on U.S. businesses and to the theft of personnel records of millions of U.S. government employees, authorities said. Defendant Yu Pingan, 36, knew…


US Domestic Policy Reports


Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Diplomats Said Behind Formation of Militarized Russian and Cossack Groups in US

Paul Goble Staunton, August 30 – Ruslan Gurzhiy, a journalist for a Russian émigré publication in Sacramento, California, says that Russian diplomats and oligarchs linked to them are actively promoting the organization of militarized pro-Moscow youth groups, including “boot camps” and biker organizations in the United States. In a 3500-word article this week, he writes that “employees of Russian consulates … are involved in the creation of a network of pro-Russian militarized youth detachments on the territory of the United States” (nashdom.us/home/sootechestvenniki/compatriots/zachem-kremlju-voenizirovannye-otrjady-na-territorii-ssha). On the one hand, of course, the involvement of Russian diplomatic personnel with émigré organizations is a normal part of their work, something the diplomats of other countries routinely do as well in other countries. And thus, it is difficult, perhaps intentionally so, to separate what the Russian diplomats are doing legitimately from what they are doing that isn’t. But on the other, some of the stories that Gurzhiy offers suggest that the Russian diplomats on the west coast of the United States and oligarchs living in Florida cross lines that should not be crossed and suggest intentions on the part of Moscow that are worrisome in the extreme. Many Russian social and youth groups in the US, the émigré journalist writes, “instantly fall under the direct influence and often are created and financed by employees of the Russian émigré, the consulate generals of the Russian Federation and other diplomatic agencies” that include on at least some occasions visits by Rosmolodezh staffers from Moscow. Many émigré organizations are hostile to the Russian government but some are not, and this often leads to curious developments. In one Russian youth camp near Seattle, Washington, a Russian Orthodox priest delivered his message in front of a red banner with the Soviet symbols of the hammer and sickle. In other cases, some Russian Cossack groups in California have organized what they call “boot camps” to provide sports and military training for young Russian emigres (slavicsac.com/2015/03/24/russian-orthodox-cossacks-in-california/ and compatriotsru.uanet.biz/russian/nashi-sootechestvenniki/nashi-sootechestvenniki-v-raznykh-stranakh-mira/mid-rossii-gotovit-voenizirovannye-molodezhnye-otrjady-na-territorii-ssha).And some emigres who were opposed to Moscow while in Russia now are openly supportive. In one case, Russian Pentecostals who refused to serve in the Russian armed forces and received asylum in the US on the basis of the problems that caused them while in their homeland are engaged in the military training of their children now that they are in the US. Gurzhiy points as well to the way some Russian groups have created charter schools to promote their ideas, simultaneously getting money from the state government and providing ideological training hostile to the US. Among such institutions in California are the Community Outreach Academy and the Futures High School, whose organizers officials at the Russian consulate general in San Francisco have praised. The Sacramento journalist also points to an odd development in Florida. There Russian oligarchs have put money into a Russian bikers club known as Spetsnaz. This has attracted more attention because some of the oligarchs involved have invested in Trump properties (miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article157640179.html). The bikers use a symbol resembling that of the FSB and have relations with both Putin’s Night Wolves in Russia and some US law enforcement agencies. Gurzhiy ends his article with a truly provocative reference. He notes that newly appointed Russian ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, was earlier awarded the Russian medal “For the Return of Crimea” given to those most directly involved in Putin’s Crimean Anschluss in 2014. And he points out that in the Crimean city of Evpatoria, the Russian occupiers set up a monument which includes a call for future generations of Russians to act elsewhere as their ancestors have in Crimea. “We returned Crimea,” it says. “You must return Alaska!” Gurzhiy provides a picture of this (slavicsac.com/2016/11/29/russia-alaska/).

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Trump Remains ‘a Real Gift’ for Russia, Moscow Blogger Says

Paul Goble Staunton, August 30 – Many in Russia are unhappy that Donald Trump has not delivered in the ways they expected, a Moscow blogger says; but they forget that he remains “a real gift” to Russia in what he has given it “at a minimum four quiet years in which there will not be any external interference” by the US in Russia’s internal affairs. That is far more valuable, the blogger who uses the screen name “Manzal” argues, than any losses Moscow may have suffered from the anti-Russian sanctions which Trump opposes but could not block or his occasional criticism of Russian policies or expressions of support for NATO (manzal.livejournal.com/610948.html). Had Hillary Clinton won the US presidency last year, he continues, Russia would have undoubtedly faced interference in the form of American efforts to promote a color revolution of some kind in Russia. But with Trump, Manzal suggests, there is no danger of that at least for the next four years – and that gives Moscow time it needs. Evidence of this is overwhelming, he says. On the one hand, Trump has cut the financing of all agencies like USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy which had promoted such things in the past. Without money, they will not be in a position to cause trouble for Russia in the future. And on the other, Trump has exacerbated problems within the US to the point that American elites have been forced to turn inward even though they don’t want to and to focus on conflicts racial, economic and otherwise. That will keep them busy and keep them from doing anything in Russia.

Trump’s Business Record in Russia Is Humiliating – Bloomberg

He never had what it takes to negotiate with Moscow.

U.S. Senate Committee To Hear Private Testimony From Trump Jr.

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has announced that President Donald Trump's oldest son has agreed to testify privately as the committee probes allegations of Russian interference in the 201…

Kremlin Says It Received Trump Lawyer’s E-Mail About Tower Project

The Kremlin has confirmed that U.S. President Donald Trump's lawyer sent an e-mail about a real estate project in Moscow during the U.S. presidential campaign. President Vladimir Putin'…

Don Surber: Smells like Mueller desperation

The special prosecutor game plays out as Washington tries to foul out as president an honest man.

DIA gets new director

Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley was confirmed as the new head of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

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