LtGen (Reserve) Radkovets’ long and meticulous forensic analysis of Zapad-2017 is possibly the best to date in the media, and puts the US media product on the topic to shame. Vasyl Hrytsak makes the RFE/RL Daily Vertical. Putin makes two threats over lethal aid to Ukraine, both previously canvassed by US analysts in the media, the first being Donbass escalation (proxy force mercenaries will eagerly drive their tanks into Javelin fire), and that the Russian proxy force could “… send the available arms to other zones of the conflict that are pressing for those who create the problems for them…” (some have previously alleged that occupied Donbass DNR/LNR leadership have already been supplying weapons into embargoed conflicts in the Middle East). Russia presents counter-proposal for UN peacekeepers in Donbass, the agenda being to put the UN troops up as a barrier to prevent the UA from overrunning the Russian proxy force. Russia launches a major exercise in Crimea.
Russia may be permanently cast out of CoE/PACE. Multiple reports on Russia’s descent.
In Belarus, Russian troops participating in Zapad-2017 brag to a Belarusian female journalist about previously serving in Donbass. Moldova’s Putinist Pres Dodon bans Moldovan military from an annual exercise in Ukraine they have been part of since 1996.
Hrytsak interview reverberates in Ukrainian media. Donbass fires continue. Russian propagandist posing as journalist arrested. Head of former Luhansk ammo plant arrested after entering Ukraine – the stockpile of ammo was used by the Russian proxy force in 2014. Prof Sergei Khrushchev refutes Russian arguments on the 1950s transfer of Crimea to Ukraine.
DPRK remains dominant media topic, with a deluge of articles speculating on every aspect of the situation, and appeasers out en masse. Much commentary on China’s embarrassment and the timing of the test while Xi was attending BRICS – which is the bigger embarrassment, conceding that the DPRK outplayed and entrapped Beijing, or that the US/RoK/Japan should be regional allies not opponents? Russia continues to grandstand. Chinese geophysicist concerned about the stability of the DPRK test site and risk of massive escape of radioactive materials.
Denmark may block Nordstream 2 as the pipeline must cross either Danish, Swedish or Polish EEZs in the Baltic. Azerbaijan’s $2.8 billion slush fund for buying off European politicians is blown.
Excellent essay by Shore on post-modernism, and its exploitation by pro-Russian (and other) propagandists – and how Havel’s focus on the truth presents a counter. Five excellent reports on contemporary cyber problems – including Russian attacks on the FRG.
COCW Award today goes to the eloquent Dr Mariya Zakharova of the Russian Foreign Ministry, for propagating a story that several Russian consulate staff in SF are seeking asylum in the USA – true or not, propagating an opposing claim is the cardinal sin in the propaganda game. Much on the diplomatic tit-for-tat, and an excellent essay on Russian “active measures”.
Russia / Russophone Reports
Russia is working out a scenario of a European conflict on the Belarusian territory. Yuriy Radkovets is the Vice President of the Borysfen Intel Independent Analytical Center for Geopolitical Studies, Candidate of Military Sciences, Associate Professor, Lieutenant-General of the Reserve.
When spies talk to spies it’s usually pretty interesting. And when the security-service chief on one side of an armed conflict makes a public appeal to the security-service chief on the other side, even more so. In a televised interview this week, Ukrainian Security Service chief Vasyl Hrytsak appealed directly to Russian FSB head Aleksandr Bortnikov “officer to officer.” Hrytsak accused the Russian security services of organizing terrorist attacks in Odesa, Kharkiv, Kherson, and other Ukrainian cities. “Even in war,” Hrytsak said, “there are rules that cannot be violated” and “you’ve crossed the red line.” WATCH Today’s Daily Vertical Hrytsak concluded by asking Bortnikov: “Do you realize that you will have to answer for these actions? Do you understand that today’s political leadership, including Putin, is not forever?” Hrytsak’s appeal to Bortnikov raises an interesting question: Will Putin, Bortnikov, and others ever be asked to answer for Russia’s actions in Ukraine? Because it is beyond doubt that Russia illegally annexed Crimea. It is beyond doubt that Moscow has been complicit in the persecution of — and in some cases the disappearance of — Ukrainian citizens on the peninsula. Despite Moscow’s denials, the evidence is clear that Russia invaded the Donbas; and the overwhelming preponderance of evidence points to Russian culpability in the downing of Flight MH17. And yes, there is reasonable cause to suspect Russian involvement in those mysterious bombings, grenade attacks, and arsons that have occurred over the years in Odesa, Kharkiv, Kherson, and other Ukrainian cities. But despite all this, the Kremlin has gotten much of the world to buy into the fiction that it is a mediator in a war in which it is in fact the aggressor.
The head of Ukraine’s security service said that Russia was prepared to blow up its own people in order to create grounds for invading Ukraine, according to reports by Ukraine’s public broadcaster Hromadske Radio.
If the United States provides lethal aid to Ukraine, Russian militants may point their guns at other Ukrainian regions beyond the war-torn Donbas, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a press conference following the BRICS summit in China an UNIAN correspondent in Russia reports. News 05 September from UNIAN.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that any decision by the United States to supply defensive weapons to Ukraine would fuel the conflict in eastern Ukraine and possibly prompt pro-Russian separatists to expand their campaign there.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that any decision by the United States to supply lethal weapons to Ukraine would fuel the conflict in the country's east. Putin told journalists o…
Provision of lethal arms to Ukraine can exacerbate conflict, – Putin. The possible provision of the lethal arms to Ukraine by the US will not essentially change the situation in Donbas but can provoke the employment of the military force in other territories. The President of Russia Vladimir Putin claimed this at the press conference as Inforesist reported. ‘It is the sovereign decision of the US to choose for whom sell the arms or provide for free and the country that is the recipient of this aid. We cannot influence this process anyway. But there are the common international rules and approaches; the arms supply to the conflict zone will not be beneficial to the peacekeeping but it will only exacerbate the conflict’, Putin said. According to him, ‘if it happens in this particular case then it will not essentially change the situation, it will influence the change of the situation in no way but the number of the victims can increase without doubt’. ‘There is one more point that should be considered– the person who cherishes such ideas’. ‘It lies in the fact that the self-proclaimed republics have enough arms, including the captured from the opposing force. If the American arms are supplied to the conflict zone that it is difficult to predict the reaction of the self-proclaimed republics; they can send the available arms to other zones of the conflict that are pressing for those who create the problems for them’, Putin warned.
Putin instructs Lavrov to introduce resolution on Donbas peacemakers to UN Security Council – Putin tells Lavrov to introduce resolution on Donbas peacekeepers to UN Security Council – 112.international
Peacekeepers in Donbas are appropriate, but they should be on the demarcation line and not in any other territories, Russian president said. Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that the presence of UN peacekeepers in the Donbas would benefit the resolution of the conflict in the east of Ukraine, and instructed the Russian Foreign Ministry to introduce the draft resolution to the UN Security Council. Russian president said this during a press conference following the results of the BRICS summit, Interfax reports. “The presence of peacekeepers, I can even say not the peacekeepers, but those people who ensure the security of the OSCE mission, I think is quite appropriate and I do not see anything wrong here. On the contrary, I believe that it would benefit the resolution of the problem in the southeast of Ukraine,” Putin said. According to Putin, it can be “only the function of ensuring the security of the OSCE staff.” “Secondly, in this connection these forces must be located on the line of demarcation and not on other territories. And the third point is that the resolution of this issue should happen only after the separation of parties to the conflict and removal of heavy equipment, which cannot be resolved without direct contact with representatives of self-proclaimed republics, “DNR” and “LNR”,” Putin said.
05.09.17 12:41 – President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin believes that deployment of U.N. peacekeepers in the Donbas is quite appropriate for solving of the conflict in the region, but only along the line of contact and with the aim of protecting the OSCE mission. Putin told a press conference following the BRICS summit in China that he agrees to the idea of deploying the U.N. peacekeepers in the Donbas only along the contact line to ensure safety of OSCE observers, and instructed the Russian Foreign Ministry to introduce a relevant resolution for consideration by the U.N. Security Council. He stressed that the issue of the peacekeepers’ dispatch cannot be “dragged” through the U.N. General Assembly because the organization’s peacekeepers can be deployed only by decision of the Security Council. “You say that someone wants to drag something through… In fact, I don’t see anything wrong here. I have repeatedly said that I support the idea of arming the OSCE mission, but the organization itself, the OSCE, refuses to arm its employees, since it has neither the relevant personnel nor the experience of such work,” Putin said. According to him, the deployment of the U.N. peacekeepers or people who provide security for the OSCE mission is “quite appropriate.”
05.09.17 11:28 – U.N. peacekeepers must be introduced across all Russia-occupied territories of Ukraine. Ukraine’s representative in Humanitarian subgroup of the Tripartite contact group in Minsk talks, deputy speaker of Ukrainian parliament Iryna Herashchenko wrote on Facebook, Censor.NET reports. “Putin, in keeping with the best traditions of hybrid war, is trying to distort the idea of the Ukrainian leadership on peacekeepers in the Donbas, to turn it upside down. He orders his loyal minister Lavrov to introduce a resolution in the U.N. Security Council on peacekeepers at the contact line. Wait a minute: the contact line became a contact line because of the Russian aggression. For us, it’s a contact line with territories temporarily occupied by Mordor which we will definitely have back. It’s a line that should disappear for good from the Ukrainian land on the day we regain control over the border. It’s not a Ukrainian border, so there could be no peacekeepers only along the contact line,” Herashchenko wrote. She added that “the Kremlin scenarios will fail.” “The peacekeepers should be introduced across all Russia-occupied territories to monitor security and demilitarization. And their mandate should end at the Ukraine-Russia border. It’s Izvaryne and other border crossing points, not Stanytsia Luhanska or Marinka, as the Kremlin chief desires,” she said. Earlier, Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Mariya Zakharova said the initiative to have U.N. peacekeepers in the conflict area in the Donbas was an attempt to undermine the Minsk 2 process. Ukraine’s initiative to introduce U.N. peacekeepers in the Donbas was announced by President Poroshenko on Aug. 22.
Russia starts large-scale military drills in occupied Crimea. The large-scale military drills of the Russian missile and artillery troops began in the southern part of Russia, including the territories of occupied Crimea on September 5 as DW reported. More than 5 000 gunmen of the Armed Forces of Russia sent to 19 proving grounds of the South military district in Rostov and Volgograd regions, Krasnodar and Stavropol Krai, Dagestan, North Ossetia, Crimea and in the territories of the Russian military bases in Abkhazia, Armenia and South Osettia. The training of the gunmen will take place during the next month. According to the press service of the South military district of Russia, the militaries ‘will master new forms and means of the fulfillment of the fire tasks during the support of the motor-rifle and tank detachments at the complex situation of the modern combined arms warfare’. The special attention will be given to the training in the system of the reconnaissance and fire and reconnaissance and striking contours. The Russian-Belarusian West-2017 military drills will take place on 14-20 September. Russia gathers the armored vehicles to the place of the drills holding.
ON MY MIND In practical terms, Russia has already left the Council of Europe. Moscow’s voting rights were suspended following the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014. And in 2015, Vladimir Putin signed legislation allowing Russia to ignore rulings of the European Court of Human Rights. And now, as Nicholas Vinocur points out in a piece in Politico featured below, Russia may be forced out of the council altogether. Vinocur quotes Thorbjorn Jagland, secretary-general of the Council of Europe, as saying that “there is a potential danger that Russia will have to leave. If Russia is forced to leave, then 140 million people will be deprived of going to the highest court in Europe, which is very important for Russian citizens.” Jagland added, “We have to think of the following: Will Europe be better off, safer, with Russia on its own, without being part of the judicial system of Europe?” And therein lies the paradox and the dilemma. Russia’s continued formal membership in the Council of Europe while it continues to occupy Crimea and wage war on Ukraine — and while it insists it does not need to abide by the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights — makes a mockery of the council’s founding principles. But removing Russia from the Council of Europe would mean that Russian citizens would not have access to the possibility for judicial redress in Europe’s human rights court of last resort. And this is something many Russians who have seen their rights violated have long counted on — even if the judicial redress risks becoming only symbolic.
If Russia keeps being excluded from the elections of key personnel at the Council of Europe, Moscow could leave the group.
Paul Goble Staunton, August 3 – The fight over renovation of the five-storey apartment blocks in Moscow has called attention to something anyone who visits a Russian city knows but seldom comments upon: everything is concentrated in the city center, and almost nothing is available in the “sleeping” regions surrounding it. In a commentary for the Rosbalt news agency, Dmitry Gubin, a writer and television personality, says that a truly contemporary city is not about skyscrapers or trade centers but one in which every district has its own life and personality, something that is not true of Russian cities (rosbalt.ru/blogs/2017/09/02/1643097.html). Instead and in contrast to cities in Europe, everything in Russian cities is concentrated in the center and at the edges of the megalopolises is only a boring and unbearable “emptiness.” In the latter places, “it is impossible to live because there is nothing there, while in the center it is impossible to live because everyone is trying to get to the center from where there is nothing.” In fact, he says, this “actually is a copy of Russia in miniature” and so should perhaps not surprise anyone despite the fact that in cities at least, many things could be done to change the situation and for not much of an investment as has happened in some post-Soviet cities in Kazakhstan, for example. But so far, the hyper-centralization of Russia continues to be reproduced and reinforced by the hyper-centralization of Russian cities, thereby creating conditions in which few are happy with where they are living and why.
Paul Goble Staunton, September 3 – Post-Soviet officials and commentators often express their preference for what they call “moderate Islam,” a term that typically means little more than a kind of Islam like that permitted in Soviet times confined to the mosque and not posing any challenge to the powers that be. But Kyrgyz sociologist Mukanmediy Asanbekov argues that moderate Islam in fact has deep roots within the Islamic tradition, reflecting the ideas and values of the Hanafi rite, the largest of the four legal schools of Sunni Islam (easttime.ru/analytics/raznoe/umerennyi-islam-kak-relig-organ-ispoved-islam-khanafitskogo-tolka/13493). Muslims of the Hanafi rite are the most numerous and widespread of all Sunni religious communities, numbering more than 750 million across the world and dominating the Islamic parts of all the post-Soviet states except Azerbaijan, which at least traditionally is two-thirds Shiia. Asanbekov points to five things which he suggests characterize Muslims of the Hanafi rite: they are conscious of their dominant position in Islam, they typically enjoy good relations with the government under which they live, they do not impose a requirement for social action on their members, relations between believers and mosques are relatively free form, and hierarchy is largely absent in their practices. Because they generally avoid political action, the Hanafis are a source of political stability in the societies where they are predominant. Thus, they appear to others and are in fact genuinely “moderate” at least in comparison to the three other legal schools of Sunni Islam, Salafism and Shiite Islam. Because of their freer and more tolerant approach, Hanafi Muslims tend to be less religiously active than other Muslim trends. That is, those who identify as such, including the majority in Russia and all other post-Soviet states except Azerbaijan, take an active role in religious life far less often than do those who follow stricter trends. Another important characteristic of this trend in Islam, the sociologist continues, is that there is little internal organization of the mosque to promote the spread of Islam, to get involved with specific social conflicts, or to take part in the politics of the country in which its members find themselves. “Consequently,” Asanbekov says, “the activity of a religious organization of Hanafis is limited to the fulfillment of spiritual functions alone, the satisfaction of religious requirements or believers and the maximum distancing from political processes. That is why when people speak about moderate Islam, they have in mind above all this Muslim religious organization.”
Four people, including a teacher and three schoolchildren, have been hospitalized after a 15-year-old teenager fired an air rifle and tossed handmade smoke grenades in a school northeast of Moscow. …
The Burevestnik Central Research Institute (part of Uralvagonzavod) has been awarded a contract by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation to supply a 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV 152-mm self-propelled howitzers. “The state tests of the Koalitsiya-SV self-propelled howitzer will be completed in 2019. At the present time … a state contract has been concluded for the supply of a pilot batch in the quantity of ten units, “the press service of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation said. 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV is a latest 152mm self-propelled howitzer from JSC Central Research Institute Burevestnik (Petrel), a division of Uralvagonzavod based in Nizhny Novgorod. Development on the howitzer began in 2006. A Koalitsiya-SV prototype, mounted on a modified T-72/90 tracked chassis, was unveiled during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow in May 2015. The first batch of 12 units was delivered to the Russian Armed Forces in March 2015. The Russian Army’s Western Military District (ZVO) artillery units are expected to receive 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV weapon systems in 2016. The Koalitsiya-SV has an automatic targeting and charge selection system. The vehicle has a remotely controlled weapon station, armed with a 12.7-mm machine gun. It can be used for self-defense against air and ground targets. The primary weapon is a 152mm 2A88 cannon, equipped with a muzzle brake and a recoil system. Ammunition capacity of the self-propelled gun is 50 to 70 shells and the maximum firing range is approximately 70km. An automatic loader with pneumatic rammer allows the cannon to fire up to eight rounds a minute.
Russia’s president wants to show NATO he is ready for a fight. But once he moves his troops and equipment into Belarus, on NATO’s borders, will he be willing to move out?
The Russians who arrived in Belarus do not mince their words. Human rights activist Natallia Harachka recorded near Barysau a conversation with Russian soldiers, who confessed that they had fought in Ukraine. On September 1, Natallia Harachka came to see a son who is on military service and stays at a military training ground near Barysau. It is there that one of the garrisons deployed for the West-2017 exercises is located. The human rights activist reported on the air of Belsat that she had talked with the Russian military, who had confessed to her that they had fought in Ukraine. “They told me that the exercises had already begun,” – Harachka said.
Yevhenia Zakrevska, the lawyer of the family of Pavlo Hryb who has reportedly been abducted by the Russian FSB security service in Belarus has applied to the European Court of Human Rights claiming that the missing young man's life is under threat because of his disease. News 05 September from UNIAN.
The independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reports that Belarusian authorities have detained a woman from Russia's Chechnya region who was attempting to flee to Norway after receiving threat…
Transnistria / Moldova Reports
Dodon prohibits Moldovan militaries to take part in drills in Ukraine. The President of Moldova Igor Dodon prohibited the Moldovan militaries to take part in the international Rapid Trident-2017 drills that will take place at Yavoriv proving ground, Lviv region. Dodon published the exchange of the official letters with the Deputy of the Defense Minister George Galbura at Facebook. Galbura informed the Moldovan President about the participation of 57 militaries in the Rapid Trident drills for the training of the peacekeeping mission in Kosovo in the end of August. He noted that the Moldovan militaries take part in this drills since 1996 within ‘Partnership for Peace’ program and all equipment and placement are paid by the organizers. Dodon reminded Galbura that according to the acting legislation, the permit of the president as the supreme commander is needed for the participation of the militaries in the international drills and noted that he did not give such permission. The leader of Moldova gave the order to cancel all preparations for the drills and the organizers of the Rapid Trident were informed that the National Army of Moldova will not take part in the drills. The Defense Minister of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak claimed that 2.500 militaries from Ukraine and countries-partners will take part in international Rapid Trident-2017 military drills in Lviv region that are planned for September.
Moldovan President Igor Dodon has banned the Moldovan military from participating in the Rapid Trident-2017 international exercises, which will start in Lviv region in early September, according to NewsMaker. News 05 September from UNIAN.
Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) officials detained a large group of Russian resident spies in Kharkiv in August, SBU head Vasyl Hrytsak has said.
Chief of Ukraine’s SBU Security Service Vasyl Hrytsak has asked chief of Russia’s Federal Security Service Aleksandr Bortnikov to curtail special operations [in Ukraine] aimed at destabilizing the situation in Ukraine and Russia. “I appeal to you as an officer. There are rules even in war which should not be broken by secret service agents. You have transgressed all these rules,” Hrytsak said on Sept. 3 evening during an interview with Ukrainian Priamy TV Channel. “You and I both know Russian secret service agents were involved in terrorist acts committed in Odesa, Kharkiv, Kherson and other cities. Dozens of people died as a result. But this time you have broken all the rules and are prepared to destabilize the situation in Russia in order to justify invading Ukraine in a massive military campaign,” Hrytsak said.
The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine (SBGS) will intensify guarding the borders during the Zapad 2017 joint Russia-Belarus military …
Militants launched 36 attacks on positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in ATO area in Donbas over the past day.
05.09.17 09:39 – On Sept. 4, Russian occupation groups got more active in their armed provocations. The enemy was mostly using small arms and grenade launchers. Censor.NET reports citing the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) HQ press service on Facebook. “Just like in previous days, the situation was tense in Donetsk direction. The militants opened fire in Zaitseve using small arms and large caliber machine guns four times, and two times in Pisky. Grenade launchers were used in Avdiivka industrial zone, in Kamianka and Butivka mine area,” the report reads. The HQ reported it was unquiet in Prymorsk direction. “After 6 p.m. the bandits continued fire provocations in Vodiane vicinity. Our positions in Lebedynske, Shyrokyne, and Marinka area came under grenade launcher fire. Strongholds in Talakivka were impacted from large caliber machine guns three times.” Source:
During a special raid at Kyiv's central railway station on Monday, five patrol police officers were detained, who had long been involved in assaults and robberies of commuters, the press service of the prosecutor's office in Kyiv told UNIAN. News 05 September from UNIAN.
Ukraine’s SBU said that the woman was a propagandist and she was officially warned. Ukraine’s Security Service confirmed their involvement in yesterday’s “kidnapping” of a journalist in the center of Kyiv, but said that she was helping one of the pro-Russian propagandists and was invited to give official explanations. This is stated in the statement of the Security Service in Facebook. “Our officers indeed yesterday invited the assistant of one of the pro-Russian propagandists who cooperates with him on regular basis to provide official explanations,” the SBU said. According to the Security Council, she makes for money video footages which are later used by the propagandist to discredit Ukraine in the interests of Russian special services.
An American actor who’s appeared in movies starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Tom Cruise has landed an unwitting role in a real-life thriller about the grinding struggle against graft in Europe’s most corrupt country.
Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andriy Parubiy has emphasized the fact that national security and defense should remain key priority of Parliament’s work at the current session, an UNIAN correspondent reports. News 05 September from UNIAN.
In Ukraine, the far right Azov militia is fighting on the frontline, and running a summer camp for children
The head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Vasyl Hrytsak, proposed to legislatively prohibit visits to Russia by members of Parliament, …
Employees of the Main Investigation Administration of the Security Service of Ukraine together with the counterintelligence of the SBU detained the separatist ex-director of the PJSC (Private Joint-Stock Company) Luhansk Cartridge Works. “Law enforcement officials discovered that in June 2014, by order of the so-called Prime Minister of the LPR (Luhansk People’s Republic), a Ukrainian citizen was appointed as the plant’s Acting Director. Special Service employees recorded that the malefactor, carrying out the “DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic)/ LPR” leaders’ illegal orders, in particular Valeriy Bolotov and Ihor Strelkov, conducted an inventory count of more than fourteen million ammunition cartridges that were stored at the facility. She also organized the manufacturing of nearly two million cartridges of different caliber. The “Director” handed over the ammunition “for the needs of the army of Novorossia (confederation of unrecognized republics)” who used them during combat operations against the anti-terrorist operation forces,” the statement on the SBU website reads. “After another change of leadership in the terrorist organization, LPR, the malefactor was dismissed from her post and was evading justice by hiding in the temporarily occupied territories of the Donbas and in Russia. Special services detained a woman in the city of Kremenchuk, Poltava region, where she arrived on a ‘business visit,” SBU stated According to SBU, the detainee was informed of the accusations that she had committed a crime according to Section 258-3 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (participation in a terrorist group) and as a preventive measure, she was detained.
Khrushchev’s decision to transfer the Crimea to Ukraine in 1954 was structural, but in no way political. The son of Nikita Khrushchev, Brown University professor Sergei Khrushchev spoke about this during a broadcast of the program Gordon “My father gave the Crimea to Ukraine, because if you look at the map, Crimea is attached to Ukraine, and when they began to deal with the economy there, and most importantly, to build that channel that is now unfortunately buried, the State Planning Committee said it would be better if it was built under the same legal entity and transferred to Ukraine, just as they transferred many regions,” Khrushchev said. According to him, it was a structural, not political, decision. “There was no politics; no, as they love to say in Russia, attempts to please the Ukrainian bureaucracy, nor even a gift to my mother, who was born in Western Ukraine. It was a structural and rational decision. Crimea began to be reborn; [they] planted a lot of grapes,” he said. The Crimean Region was transferred from the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (RSFSR) to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) by a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on February 19, 1954. The need for the decree was explained by “the generality of the economy, territorial proximity and close economic and cultural ties between the Crimean region and the Ukrainian SSR.”
“To win without losing anything of value” — that’s what the self-proclaimed Crimean government promised to the people when Russia annexed the peninsula in 2014.
Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports
With a sudden lunge through jihadist lines, the Syrian army and its allies on Monday came to within 3 km of relieving the Euphrates city of Deir al-Zor, where Islamic State has besieged 93,000 civilians and an army garrison for years.
Two Russian soldiers have been killed by mortar fire from the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria's eastern province of Deir al-Zour, where the army is battling jihadists, Russia's Defens…
After a three-month push, Kurdish and Arab forces control 60 percent of the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed capital.
Coalition officials offered congratulations to the Syrian Democratic Forces on the successful clearance of the Great Mosque of Raqqa in the fight to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.,
The Russian frigate Admiral Essen fired Kalibr cruise missiles at Islamic State targets near the Syrian city of Deir al-Zor on Tuesday to help a Syrian army offensive in the area, the Russian Defence Ministry said.
The group has spread its troops across the entire Middle East and is not only hurting financially but is in turmoil internally.
Iran, Turkey, and Russia Aren’t Natural Friends. It’s Up to the U.S. to Keep It That Way. « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports
North Korea showed signs of preparing for another missile launch, a South Korean defense official said.
The US is to table tougher sanctions in a UN Security Council resolution after Sunday’s nuclear test.
The United States on Monday flatly rejected a proposal from China and Russia on how to lower tensions on the Korean Peninsula, which is likely to make it difficult for the United Nations Security Council to agree on a response to North Korea’s hydrogen bomb test over the weekend. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said the U.S. would be circulating a proposed resolution on North Korea this week, and would push for a vote next week. While it’s not clear what that language will say, both China and Russia made it clear they were unlikely to support more sanctions, and instead played up their joint call for North Korea to stop its military aggression in return for both South Korea and the U.S. to stop their military exercises. Haley called that idea “insulting.” “The idea that some have suggested, a so-called freeze for freeze, is insulting,” she said. “When a rogue regime has a nuclear weapon, and an ICBM pointed at you, you do not take steps to lower your guard. No one would do that. We certainly won’t.” Instead, she hinted at the idea of tough sanctions that would be imposed on any country that does any business with North Korea. But after she spoke, both Russia and China made it clear they don’t like that idea. Liu Jeiyi, China’s ambassador to the UN, promoted the China-Russia plan as “practical and feasible,” and noted it would call on the U.S. and South Korea to “suspend their large scale military exercises.” Russia’s ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, noted that Haley summarized how past UN resolutions failed to contain North Korea, and argued they failed because they relied on sanctions, not dialogue.
Pyongyang’s warnings now include a tactic long discussed by some experts: an EMP triggered by a nuclear weapon that would aim to shut down the U.S. electricity grid and electronic devices.
DETONATING a thermonuclear warhead 400km above Washington would instantly fry most of the nation’s power grid — and electronics.
Better a million dead North Koreans than a thousand dead Americans. Again, the primary rationale for our government’s existence is to protect us from physical harm at the hands of foreign powers. That’s why we have a military. We are promised “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” not a spineless calculus that protects our enemies rather than ourselves. If someone screams that they’re going to kill us and points a gun toward us, we have the legal and ethical right to draw and fire first. And if the attacker also threatens to kill our wives and children, it would be immoral not to shoot first. Our North Korea problem comes down to just that. I realize this column will leave liberals aghast, while even conservatives cling to lullaby chatter. I do not relish death or human suffering. But it would be immoral to allow North Korea to develop an arsenal capable of attacking our military, our cities and our allies. How could it be ethically superior and morally correct to permit a self-declared and virulent enemy to destroy Honolulu, San Diego and Seattle? We cannot allow moral relativism to butcher Americans. We must deal with the world as it is, not as we wish it to be. And in the real world, the greatest immorality in war is not killing the enemy. The greatest immorality would be for our country to lose.
With a twice-a-decade political meeting coming up, Xi is not in the mood for a showdown.
China — North Korea’s only global ally and biggest trading partner — has put on a stoic face since Pyongyang successfully conducted its sixth nuclear test Sunday.
U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to support billions of dollars in new weapons sales to South Korea after North Korea’s largest nuclear test, while his ambassador to the United Nations said the U.S. would seek the strongest possible sanctions against Kim Jong Un’s regime.
The U.S. envoy to the United Nations has said the United States plans to circulate a new resolution on North Korea this week and wants a vote next week by the Security Council. "Enough i…
Russian President Vladimir Putin has voiced opposition to imposing further sanctions on North Korea and criticized what he called "military hysteria" following Pyongyang's sixth nuclea…
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the escalating crisis over North Korea risks developing into a “global catastrophe” with mass casualties.
The Russian deputy foreign minister said that the use of political and diplomatic means was the only way to resolve the North Korea issue
According to the diplomat, Moscow is well aware of the parameters and capabilities of the US THAAD missile systems
“The stronger and the smarter one will show restraint,” Russia’s deputy foreign minister said.
France’s defence minister expresses fears about the pace of Kim Jong Un’s missile programme as it appears a new launch is planned.
If mountain under which last five bombs were ‘almost certainly’ detonated crumbles, radiation would leak across region, expert warns.
The nuclear crisis lays bare how the president’s trade agenda — the bedrock of his economic populist campaign — is increasingly at odds with his security agenda.
Such a redeployment would sharply increase the risk of an accidental conflict, analysts say.
The United States is considering a rotational deployment of its stealth jets to South Korea in response to North Korea’s evolving nuclear and missile threats, government sources said Sunday. South Korea and the U.S. are discussing the dispatch of F-22 and F-35B fighter jets on a rotational basis as part of efforts to boost extended deterrence against the North’s threats, they said. The allies are known to be discussing the deployment of U.S. strategic assets on a quarterly basis at U.S. air base in Osan, south of Seoul or Kunsan Air Base in the southwest of the divided peninsula, they added. The U.S. has periodically sent strategic assets to South Korea, including B-1B bombers, as a show of force when North Korea’s provocative acts are escalated. But a possible rotational deployment reflects growing concerns about a fast advance in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. Experts said that the U.S. seems to accept Seoul’s call for the U.S. to offer more powerful and effective extended deterrence as some lawmakers and experts here raised the need for South Korea’s nuclear armament. Extended deterrence refers to the U.S. commitment to mobilize its full range of conventional and strategic military assets, including nuclear capabilities, to protect its allies. “It is believed that the U.S. is positive toward rotational deployment of F-22 and F-35B jets over Korea as it remains firm in countering North Korea’s provocations,” a government source said. Yonhap
Accept mutual nuclear vulnerability with North Korea or embark on a major war on the Korean peninsula. There is no third option.
After months of anticipation, it finally happened. On Sunday morning, September 3, at precisely noon local time, North Korea detonated its sixth nuclear de
Foreign Policy Reports
The Danish government has prepared and submitted for discussion a draft law that can prohibit the construction of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline through the territorial waters of Denmark, the local edition of Politiken reports. It is reported that the document was developed for foreign policy and security reasons. The Government of Denmark proposes to amend the Law on the Continental Shelf, which provides for the refusal to construct pipelines in the event of an environmental threat. The new bill assumes that the application for approval of pipelines can be examined by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Decision-making on requests for construction of pipelines in territorial waters is so specific that it is more suitable for discussion at the ministerial level,” the commentary to the bill says. According to Politiken, the government of Denmark is afraid that the gas supplies through Nord Stream will be turned into a political tool by the Russian authorities. Previously it was reported that Germany rejected 5 projects for the Nord Stream-2. Prior to that, hearings began on the gas pipeline project in the country, which should be another step in the construction of the pipeline.
Azerbaijan’s ruling elite ran a secret $2.8 billion slush fund for two years to pay off European politicians and pay for luxury purchases, an investigation has shown.
The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) is a global network of investigative journalists.
The arrest of another once-close associate of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prompted questions about what he knew, or should have known.
Police in England say men held on suspicion of "commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism"
Hungary is China’s most important ally in the Central and Eastern Europe region. But are great expectations now being dashed?
China’s U.N Ambassador Liu Jieyi urged North Korea to “stop taking actions that are wrong” and called on all parties to “seriously consider” Beijing’s proposal for a joint suspension of Pyongyang’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs and military drills by the United States and South Korea.
Strategy / History / Capability Publications
The 1932-3 famine in Ukraine claimed the lives of 3 to 5 million people (by conservative estimates). The tragedy was proven to be the result of Stalin’s “collectivization” agricultural policies. However, it is still debated whether the deaths were a result of mismanagement and the failure of collectivization, or of a conscious plan to exterminate the Ukrainians in an act of deliberate genocide. Anne Applebaum’s Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine (Penguin, 2017) offers a new contribution to this discussion, drawing upon archival sources as well as first-hand accounts of the famine, or Holodomor, as it is known in Russian and Ukrainian historiography. Applebaum is known for her extensive writings on Soviet history, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gulag: A History (Doubleday, 2003) and Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944–1956 (Allen Lane, 2014). Red Famine, a new addition to her works on the USSR, claims that Holodomor was engineered in order to destroy Ukrainian identity and the Ukrainian peasantry, which posed a threat to Stalin’s power. Red Famine naturally appeared on the radar of Sheila Fitzpatrick, an acclaimed historian of the Soviet Union and author of works such as Stalin’s Peasants (OUP, 1994), on the same subject of the Ukrainian famine, and Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s (OUP, 1999), an account of “people’s history” in the shadow of the Great Terror. In her review in the Guardian, Fitzpatrick spoke positively of Red Famine as “a superior work of popular history.” However, she ultimately reaches different conclusions to Applebaum, echoing those she offered in Stalin’s Peasants: that what Stalin wanted was not the death of millions of Ukrainians, but reaping as much of the harvest as possible, irrespective of the cost in human life.
Elon Musk spent part of his Labor Day weekend tweeting about World War III.
Arena, based at LSE’s Institute of lobal Affairs, is the first programme dedicated solely to the issue of disinformation and 21st century propaganda
The Lithuanian company LiTak-Tak in cooperation with the Polish company Altimus-Tech will be showcased the new AMBER-1800 Ground-based mobile VHF-band radar at the 25th International Defence Industry Exhibition MSPO in Poland. The upcoming, jubilee MSPO is held from 5 to 8 September 2017 in Targi Kielce. The AMBER-1800 is a new ground-based mobile VHF-band radar provides automatic deployment on prepared sites and is designed for detection of air targets, determination of their coordinates and distribution of radar information to consumers. Transmitter and receiver of AMBER-1800 radar are solid-state. Mobile VHF-band radar AMBER-1800 is designed on the basis of automatically deployed multi-section antenna system. The antenna itself represents a stacked array of dipole-slot antennas with linear horizontal polarization. Performance characteristics of the stacked array antenna: elevation of the antenna phase center – 6 meters; operational frequency band from 140MHz to 180 MHz; output impedance – 50 ohms; beamwidth – 6 degrees; level of sidelobes – minus 20 dB; antenna rpm – 3 to 6. Time of deployment (stowing down) and leveling of the antenna mast assembly after vehicle positioning on prepared site does not exceed 12 minutes. Radar design Hardware cabin with main electronic equipment – vehicle No. 1; Vehicular platform with leveling system carrying antenna mast assembly (AMA) and deployment system, antenna-feeder system, two electric power plants – vehicle No. 2.
Polish heavy industry manufacturer Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW) has developed the new infantry fighting vehicles under the Borsuk programme to replace Poland’s BWP-1s, which it unveiled at the recent MSPO 2017 exhibition. The Borsuk infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) fitted with a ZSSW-30 turret that is armed with a 30 mm gun and SPIKE anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM). The turret is located in the middle of the hull with the troop compartment extending to the rear. The vehicle in amphibious variant will have a combat weight of 24-25 tonnes, the assault variant will have a weight of 30 tonnes. The Borsuk IFV is powered by a MTU multi-fuel diesel engine (600kW). The chassis of the new IFV is to be a basic element of specialised variants, such as self-propelled 120 mm mortar, command, engineering vehicles, command and control, ammunition wagons and medical vehicles etc.
Postmodernism was conceived largely by the Left as a safeguard against totalizing ideologies. Yet today, it has been appropriated on behalf of an encroaching…
Latvian foreign minister says there is increasing evidence that Russia is automating disinformation on social media
The west is failing to get to grips with Russian hacking and fake news, the Latvian foreign minister, Edgars Rinkevics, has said, according to The Guardian. News 05 September from UNIAN.
A top leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party said her website had been hit by thousands of cyber attacks — many from Russian IP addresses — before Sunday’s televised election debate.
Kaspersky Lab, the cybersecurity company, is close to Putin’s government. So why is the U.S. government using its software?
Criminals are launching hundreds of successful cyberattacks on British universities each year, targeting scientific, engineering and medical advances including….
US Domestic Policy Reports
The President of the law firm, American Corporate Services, Inc., Gregory Finkelson, said that several employees of the Russian consulate in San Francisco appealed to his company asking for political asylum in the United States. ”We have already received several calls from employees of the Russian Consulate in San Francisco and are already starting to work with them. They do not want to go back, by the way, and I understand them very well,” Finkelson said during a conversation with Russian artist and blogger, Igor Ponochevny. Finkelson’s statement on his Facebook page has already been commented on by an official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, calling this information false. “To distract attention from US intelligence agencies neglecting the laws regarding Russian diplomats and diplomatic property, fake news has been disseminated that the staff of the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco asked for political asylum. Classic information wars,” Zakharova wrote. Earlier the Consulate General of Russia in San Francisco announced its closure at the request of US authorities.
“A fake story about staff members of the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco ‘seeking political asylum’ was launched to divert attention from the actions of the US security services with regard to Russian diplomats and diplomatic property, outrageous from the legal point of view,” Zakharova wrote on her Facebook page.
US representatives searched the premises of former Russian consular offices in an attempt to find evidence of Russians engaging in prohibited …
A Russian politician has threatened to “hit Donald Trump with our Kompromat” on state TV. Speaking on Russia-24, Nikita Isaev, leader of the far-right New Russia Movement, said the compromising material should be released in retaliation over the closure of several Russian diplomatic compounds across the US.
The new Iron Curtain against Russia fits into Trump’s program of Make America great again. US President Donald Trump has promised to respond for the decision of his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to reduce the staff of American diplomatic institutions in Russia before September 1. Since August 23, the United States has postponed indefinitely the issuance of non-immigrant visas to Russians in US consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, and Vladivostok. Now in order to get American visa, Russian citizens from different regions will have to go to US Embassy in Moscow for an interview. Priority in issuing visas will be given to civil servants, employees of international governmental organizations with offices in the United States, such as the United Nations, and diplomats from other countries who need to pay a visit to America after a working trip to Russia. Since September 1, US authorities have closed the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in San Francisco. Recall that in July, Russian authorities ordered to reduce the number of employees of US diplomatic institutions from 1,210 to 455 people in response to the bill on new anti-Russian sanctions; the document was approved by Congress and signed by the president.
Trump “is not my bride, I am not his bride” Putin quipped when asked if he was disappointed with the U.S. president.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has called "boorish" the U.S. move to close down Russian diplomatic missions in the U.S. and warned about possible expulsion from Russia of another 155 American diplomats, according to an UNIAN correspondent in Moscow. News 05 September from UNIAN.
“The only thing is that it was done in such a clearly boorish manner," he says.
Putin Says Russia May Order U.S. To Cut Further Diplomatic Staff
Russian President Vladimir Putin says that his country reserves the right to demand further reductions in the number of U.S. diplomatic staff in Russia but will not immediately call for further cuts….
Probably one of the best articles on Russian active measures I’ve ever read. I’m not totally sure why “Trump Campaign” leads off the headline, except for SEO, but this article is mostly about what Russia is doing in the information world using their special services. The other problem I have with this article is…
Mary Louise Kelly talks with reporter Charles Maynes in Moscow about ongoing tensions between the U.S. and Russia as the countries close diplomatic posts.