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Russia / Strategy Media Update – 11 September 2017

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Zapad 2017 and the bogus Russian peacekeeper plan remain major topics, with some excellent analyses on the latter. Sweden launches largest exercise in 20 years.

Solovey speculates on how Putin will depart, exploring outcomes, alternatives and circumstances. More reports on Russia’s decent into the abyss, covering ethnic discrimination, electoral fraud and repression of critics.

Zapad 2017 is the dominant theme in Belarus. Berezovets’ forensic analysis of Putinist Pres Dodon is the best to date, and explains how the EU’s well meaning scheme to allow Moldovans to work in the EU brought him into office.

Ukraine news is saturated with Saakashvili’s illegal and foolish border crossing stunt – Ukraine would be in its rights to send him home, but they will not do so. Rasmussen commits to further engagement in Ukraine. Donbass fires almost double overnight. Russians caught stealing natural gas from Ukraine’s EEZ.

Most important DPRK news is the pending UN sanctions vote, defanged to gain Chinese and Russian support, while the DPRK makes bizarre threats over the sanctions, and earns today’s COCW Award. Tarabay, like Glick, argues that if the DPRK gets away with what it has done, the NPT is gone.  Yongbyon reactor may be active again. WashPost argues to go it alone against the DPRK. Osons does excellent background on Kim clan and its internal succession machinations. AUS MSM investigative report on the DPRK’s network of companies used for sanction busting. Muzas report is thoughtful and raises the same points brought forth by the Kirby report – the DPRK is a criminal regime in many ways worse than that of Saddam or Khaddafi.

Some excellent reports from Germany, especially on the decline of the Soviet Disciple Party. Merkel’s comments on Crimea exactly target the voter camp who have been most sympathetic (read gullible) to Russia – theOssies.

Updates on T-90M and Tu-160M2 BLACKJACK B. A fascinating report on the Vikings – their descendants continue this tradition in Donbass a millennium later.

Six most interesting reports on IO/IW and cyber, and three choice samples of Russian propaganda designed to sucker the unwary.

Most interesting domestic report is the suspected use by Russia of UN facilities for their propaganda war.

Russia / Russophone Reports

U.K.’s Fallon Says Russian War Games Aimed At ‘Provoking’ West

British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon has said Russia's upcoming military maneuvers with Belarus are aimed at &quot;provoking&quot; NATO and &quot;testing&quot; its defenses.&nbsp; &quo…

Russian Zapad military exercise in Belarus raises tension – BBC News

Why is Russia launching a huge military exercise in Belarus? The BBC’s Jonathan Marcus investigates.

Know Your Enemy: Russian War Games Expected To Yield Valuable Insight For Western Watchers

WASHINGTON — When thousands of Russian troops wheeled and maneuvered through the steppes of southern Siberia two years ago, as part of massive military exercises known as Tsentr, Western expert…

We need to be vigilant. Russia will be judged on actions, not words

Next week, as many as tens of thousands of Russian troops will mass on NATO&rsquo;s borders as part of Zapad 2017 &ndash; a major Russian military exercise.

Russia to use “Zapad-2017” exercise to intimidate its neighbours but permanent military basing in Belarus unlikely | Jane’s 360

Key Points IHS Markit assesses that a key political objective of Zapad-2017 is for Russia to intimidate its eastern European neighbours with a display of its upgraded military capabilities. Russia is unlikely to use the exercise to mask the establishment of a permanent military presence in

Russian ′Zapad-2017′ drill – what does Moscow want? | Europe | DW | 09.09.2017

The large “Zapad-2017” war games will pit the troops of Russia and Belarus against terrorist infiltrators from three “hypothetical” Eastern European countries. DW gives you an overview of the upcoming drill.

Sweden’s biggest military exercise in 20 years criticised – Radio Sweden | Sveriges Radio

The largest military exercise in Sweden in over 20 years begins on Monday, but critics argue that it is likely to increase military tensions in the region. Sweden’s Armed Forces say that the military exercise, Aurora 17, which involves several NATO countries, including the USA, will strengthen Sweden’s ability to withstand an attack. (Sweden is not a member of NATO.) However, several peace organisations who have joined forces in a resistance campaign, are critical of the two-week long military manoeuvres. “This is a really big problem for us because the exercise is part of Sweden getting closer and closer to Nato. The exercise itself is an example of this because troops from four or five Nato countries will take part in the Aurora in Sweden. We strongly oppose Swedish politics turning closer to Nato,” Tomas Magnusson, chairman of the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Association’s local office in Gothenburg tells Radio Sweden. The Armed Forces emphasize that it is not a NATO exercise but a Swedish national defense force exercise. It says the participation of foreign forces will improve the manoeuvres and allow Sweden to practise the ability to receive and support foreign troops. Colonel Stefan Sandborg, tells Swedish Radio that the criticism that Aurora 17 will heighten military tension in the Baltic region is unjustified. “There will always be people who have such an approach to it. My professional view of the exercise is that we are now focusing on building our ability to handle an armed attack.” The exercise is the largest in Sweden for over 20 years, with about 20,000 participants. It will concentrate in particular around Mälardalen, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Gotland between September 11 and September 29. Several NATO countries are invited to participate, including the United States and France.

UAWire – Baltic States ask media not to call them ‘former Soviet Republics’

The ambassadors of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia sent a letter to the Le Monde newspaper with a request not to call their countries “former Soviet republics” in their articles, as stated on the website of the Latvian Embassy in France. The reason for the letter was an article in the French newspaper Le Monde from September 3 about Finland’s struggle with the “hybrid threat” from Russia. In the article, a map of Finland and the Baltic States was published where they were called “former Soviet republics.” In the letter, the diplomats highly appreciated the interest of the French publication to the region, however it was also pointed out that the Baltic countries were “illegally occupied and annexed by the USSR” in 1940, which European states, including France, did not recognize. The letter notes that the refusal to recognize the annexation of the Baltic states to the USSR ensured the continuity of the statehood of the Baltic countries and the restoration of independence after the collapse of the USSR.

Igor Solovey | Putin’s peacemaking game: is there a chance to have “blue helmets” in Donbas? – news portal

Putin’s peacemaking game: is there a chance to have “blue helmets” in Donbas?. Putin’s statement on a UN peacekeeping mission essentially means he has agreed to a certain vector of development of the situation in Donbas, that is international control, which was earlier proposed by Kyiv. So, there will be no Malorossiya or LDPR for that matter. Although Russia’s vision of such international control is still unacceptable to both Ukraine and the international community, Moscow’s acceptance of UN peacekeepers opens a possibility for more pressure to be put on the Kremlin to format such international control in occupied Donbas in a way that is acceptable to both Ukraine and the West. Political – news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Vitaly Portnikov | Russia blocks Ukraine’s peacekeeping proposals -Euromaidan Press |

Russia moves to block any possibility of serious discussion of Ukraine’s peacekeeping proposal in the UN Security Council. Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin stated that no one in the UN Security Council supported the Russian formula for a UN peacekeeping mission in the Donbas. The minister’s statement was made against the background of the Ukrainian delegation’s submission of its own resolution on peacekeepers. Incidentally, this is not the first such Ukrainian project. Ukraine has sent proposals on the deployment of UN peacekeepers in the Donbas last year but they were not considered in the Security Council because of Moscow’s objections. I have no doubt that this will be the case again. Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov has already announced that Ukraine’s proposals for the deployment of peacekeepers are contrary to the Minsk agreements. After all, these agreements do not call for any peacekeepers. One may wonder how the Ukrainian proposals contradict the Minsk agreements and the Russian ones do not. Well, Lavrov has a simple answer. The Russian position is fully in line with the Minsk agreements and the Ukrainian one contradicts them because the Minsk agreements state that the control of the border will be transferred to Ukraine only after it carries out a whole series of political agreements. And Russia proposes to place the peacekeepers only on the line of demarcation. And only to assist the OSCE mission observers. Therefore, these are not UN peacekeepers at all. All this is the purest kind of demagoguery. UN peacekeepers are UN peacekeepers regardless of where they are stationed or what their mission is called. Any military formation directed by the decision of the UN Security Council is a UN peacekeeping force. There forces are not mentioned in the Minsk agreements. But in the document there is no ban on deploying such forces if they are agreed to by the parties involved. And in the document there is no mention about patrolling the border between Russia and Ukraine by international forces. The control by UN peacekeepers of the part of the Russian-Ukrainian border that is currently under Russia’s actual control is not control by Ukraine. Instead, it would be Russia’s demonstration that it is not claiming the neighbor’s territory. The proof is not in words but in real actions. And the placement of peacekeepers exclusively on the line of demarcation is the actual transfer of the Russian border to this line. Because this would give Russia the right to do as it pleases in the occupied territory — by international accord. And in Moscow they understand perfectly that no one will grant Russia this right. This is why Putin’s initiative was designed, first of all, to forestall even the possibility of any serious discussion of Ukraine’s peacekeeping proposal. If we draw the correct conclusion from the latest statements by the Russian rulers, there will be no peacekeeping forces in the Donbas. This is what they had to demonstrate.

Putin’s Ukraine peace offer a Trojan horse |           No, Vladimir Putin has not suddenly become a man of peace. His recent overture in Ukraine should be seen for what it is — an effort to further his own interests — and treated as such. After the Russian president called for bringing United Nations peacekeepers into Ukraine conflict, Germany’s foreign minister said he was “very glad” about the “surprising” development from a Kremlin that had previously shunned calls for an international force. Nobody who knows Putin well should be so gullible. While the Ukrainian government and its Western supporters have also called for the UN to monitor the civil war in Eastern Ukraine, they have rightly insisted that the peacekeepers monitor the border with Russia, where arms and advisers pour in to aid the separatist rebels aiming to split the nation further apart. Yet Putin wants the international force to patrol only the unofficial dividing line between the breakaway regions and the Ukrainian military. His goal, clearly, is to have the UN forces establish a de facto independent state for the Russia-aligned forces. This Ukraine strategy — including the annexation of Crimea through an illegal referendum in 2014 — is of a piece with Putin’s long-term goal of creating a series of “frozen conflicts” around Russia’s borders to serve as a buffer zone between his nation and what he sees as a hostile West. Others involve the breakaway Transnistria region in Moldova as well as Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the Caucasus, which have been under the Kremlin’s thumb since the brief border war between Russia and Georgia in 2008. The West should see Putin’s latest offer in Ukraine for what it is: a Trojan horse to solidify the pro-Russian rebels’ hold on Eastern Ukraine. If there are to be talks about UN peacekeepers, they must begin with an understanding that they will patrol Ukraine-Russia border and interdict all military aid flowing to the breakaway regions. The U.S. and its allies should also consider measures that might give Ukraine greater leverage in talks to restore its full sovereignty, including shipping so-called lethal defensive weapons such as Javelin anti-tank missiles. They should also be straightforward with the Ukrainian government that it will never unify the nation without a serious effort to eliminate corruption and to punish those on the nationalist side who have committed war crimes in the civil conflict. Yes, Ukraine conflict has cooled and slipped off the headlines, but that’s not really an improvement: It’s exactly what Putin wants.

No, Vladimir Putin has not suddenly become a man of peace. His recent overture in Ukraine should be seen for what it is — an effort to further his own interests — and treated as such. After the Russian president called for bringing United Nations peacekeepers into Ukraine conflict, Germany’s foreign minister said he was “very glad” about the “surprising” development from a Kremlin that had previously shunned calls for an international force. Nobody who knows Putin well should be so gullible. While the Ukrainian government and its Western supporters have also called for the UN to monitor the civil war in Eastern Ukraine, they have rightly insisted that the peacekeepers monitor the border with Russia, where arms and advisers pour in to aid the separatist rebels aiming to split the nation further apart. Yet Putin wants the international force to patrol only the unofficial dividing line between the breakaway regions and the Ukrainian military. His goal, clearly, is to have the UN forces establish a de facto independent state for the Russia-aligned forces. This Ukraine strategy — including the annexation of Crimea through an illegal referendum in 2014 — is of a piece with Putin’s long-term goal of creating a series of “frozen conflicts” around Russia’s borders to serve as a buffer zone between his nation and what he sees as a hostile West. Others involve the breakaway Transnistria region in Moldova as well as Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the Caucasus, which have been under the Kremlin’s thumb since the brief border war between Russia and Georgia in 2008. The West should see Putin’s latest offer in Ukraine for what it is: a Trojan horse to solidify the pro-Russian rebels’ hold on Eastern Ukraine. If there are to be talks about UN peacekeepers, they must begin with an understanding that they will patrol Ukraine-Russia border and interdict all military aid flowing to the breakaway regions. The U.S. and its allies should also consider measures that might give Ukraine greater leverage in talks to restore its full sovereignty, including shipping so-called lethal defensive weapons such as Javelin anti-tank missiles. They should also be straightforward with the Ukrainian government that it will never unify the nation without a serious effort to eliminate corruption and to punish those on the nationalist side who have committed war crimes in the civil conflict. Yes, Ukraine conflict has cooled and slipped off the headlines, but that’s not really an improvement: It’s exactly what Putin wants.

UAWire – Ukraine’s representative to UN: The Russian delegation to the United Nations has dramatically changed its style

The new Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya, does not have any negative emotions towards Ukraine, believes …

UAWire – Putin’s aide Surkov turns down US request to relocate Donbas talks from Minsk to Belgrade

On August 21, during a meeting in Minsk with Russian President Vladimir Putin's aide, Vladislav Surkov, US Special Representative to Ukraine …

Window on Eurasia — New Series: If Putin Seeks to Use the Army to Keep Power, He Might be Forced Out But Russia Won’t Fall Apart, Solovey Says

Paul Goble Staunton, September 10 – Vladimir Putin will likely leave office in three or four years either by appointing a successor as Boris Yeltsin did him in 1999 or as a result of being confronted by popular uprisings like 1991 and 1993, risings that the Russian military will not want to crush by force, according to Valery Solovey. The MGIMO professor and frequent commentator says that the latter events show that the military would only “extremely unwillingly” shoot at Russian citizens and the killing of 120 people by the authorities in Kyiv at the time of the Maidan shows that “even a peaceful revolution after the first deaths radically changes its nature.” In the course of an interview taken by Dmitry Bykov for the latest issue of Sobesednik, Solovey says that if Putin can exercise the 1999 option, he will not select Sergey Shoygu or Dmitry Rogozin and Aleksey Dyumin couldn’t handle the job ( When Putin leaves one way or another, his system will disappear with him because it is a pyramid that was built from the top down, Solovey says. Asked whether this would lead to territorial disintegration, the MGIMO scholar says no because the country is held together by “the Russian language, the Russian ruble, and Russian culture.” But the main reason for that conclusion is that no one is pressing to leave. Even in Tatarstan, centrifugal forces are minimal: the most Kazan will seek will be “some symbolic preferences.” As for the North Caucasus, no one there has figured out how to live independent of Russia. According to Solovey, there is also little chance of fascism or mass repressions: “Even FSB generals do not get real satisfaction from that.” What they want is a personal yacht. And their children are the same. They want to be in charge but they don’t want to expend the effort that real repression would require. Solovey devotes much of his interview to issues surrounding Ukraine. He says that “relations between Russia and Ukraine will never be what they were,” that the longer the Donbass is under Russian influence, the less likely it will be to return to Ukrainian control, and that Ukraine may agree to federalize if Europe rather than Russia pushes that idea. At the same time, however, he argues that Moscow has no interest in or even ability to achieve the absorption of all of Ukraine. It is finding it difficult to incorporate Crimea with its 2.5 million people; it was face a much bigger and likely impossible task if it were to try to take in 45 million. Solovey dismisses the idea that anyone will pursue war as a policy: It is “a wonderful means of resolving internal problems if it doesn’t lead to suicide;” and he argues that there is no wave of conservative revenge sweeping the world despite what so many had concluded last year after Donald Trump won election and Britain voted to leave the EU. As for Russia, he continues, it will have to cure itself because “now the country and society are serious ill, and we all feel this. The problem even isn’t in corruption: that’s a secondary issue. It is rather in the thoroughgoing and general amoralism” that has affected everything. This has assumed forms of “absolute absurdity and idiotism which we feel at all levels. In the medieval world into which we are falling not by someone’s evil will but simply because if there is no movement forward, then the world rolls backward.” What is needed, Solovey says, is “a return to the norm.” Almost everyone “with a few exceptions” even in Putin’s entourage understands this and wants it, the MGIMO scholar concludes. And if the new government moves in that direction, it will have support except from the five percent that exists in every society and wants to remain opposed to whatever is going on.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Will Non-Russian Languages Die When the Last Teachers of Them Do?

Paul Goble Staunton, September 10 – Many evaluate the threat to the survival to languages spoken by relatively few people by focusing on when the last native speakers of these languages will die; but they may need to worry about another threat, one that the authorities in the country they live in has more control over: the disappearance of those who can teach these language in schools. Indeed, even languages still spoken by a relatively large number of people may become at risk if there are no teachers to instruct children in them; and governments may be able to avoid being held accountable for what is in fact a consequence of their policies if they argue that if no one wants to teach these languages, they don’t enjoy the support needed for continued existence. The number of teachers for many of the numerically smaller languages of the Russian Federation has declined in recent years not only because the Russian authorities are anything but supportive but also because those who might become teachers of these languages can see the handwriting on the wall and choose other careers. The statistics on this are anything but complete, but some new ones from Buryatia, a republic of nearly one million people, almost 300,000 of whom identify as Buryats, tell a frightening story. There, 67,287 of the 132,475 pupils in the general education system are Buryats studying their national language ( Among their instructors are only 319 teachers of the Buryat language, three percent of all teachers in the republic and one for every 207 students. That is hardly enough to keep the language alive; and more seriously, it is an indication of what is likely true in other and even smaller republics and non-Russian areas elsewhere.

Ruling Party Dominates Russian Elections Amid Low Turnout

MOSCOW — The ruling United Russia party has dominated a slew of regional and local elections marked by low turnout and claims of voter suppression, but liberal opposition candidates appeared to gai…

Opposition Cries Foul Over Low Turnout And ‘Anomalous’ Home Voting In Moscow Elections 

MOSCOW — Sidelined from big-time politics, Russia's opposition threw its energies into this year's municipal elections hoping to steal a march on the Kremlin from the grassroots up. But a…

Russians Vote For Regional Governors, Local Legislatures

MOSCOW — People across Russia have gone to the polls&nbsp;to elect local and regional councils and governors in the last major vote before a presidential election in March. Opposition candidate…

Jailed Ukrainian Filmmaker Sentsov Transferred To Another Siberian Jail

IRKUTSK, Russia — Ukrainian writer and filmmaker Oleh Sentsov, who is jailed in Russia over his opposition to Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, has been transferred from a penal colony i…

Crimean Tatar Leader Sentenced To Eight Years In Prison

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — A court in Ukraine's Russian-controlled Crimea region has sentenced a prominent Crimean Tatar leader, Akhtem Chiygoz, to eight years in prison. A court in the regiona…

Dozens Of French Cultural Figures Express Support For Russian Director Serebrennikov

Dozens of French cultural figures have gathered in Paris to call for the release of acclaimed film director Kirill Serebrennikov, who is under house arrest in Russia and faces embezzlement charges. …

Tight Security At Vladivostok Screening of Russian Film Matilda

VLADIVOSTOK — &nbsp;A controversial film about an affair Tsar Nicholas II had before his marriage was screened amid &quot;unprecedented security measures&quot; in the city of Vladivostok followin…

Is Russia Planning to Build a 115,000 Ton Monster Aircraft Carrier? | The National Interest Blog

Having a dry dock does not equal the know-how to build a carrier.

Belarus Reports

Stanislau Shushkevich About West-2017 Exercises: You Can Expect Anything From Russia – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk

The command of the Russian Federation is deploying too many troops in Belarus. First head of independent Belarus Stanislau Shushkevich said that in the TV program Gordon on the 112 Ukraine channel. “From Russia we can expect anything. The question is – why is in hell Russia conducting exercises in small Belarus, when the Russian vast expanse is so great? Why are they bringing so many troops? This show of force, this demonstration will not fail, because the West has shown that it will set against some forces, too. Provocations are impossible here,” – he said. According to Shushkevich, provocation against Ukraine “are difficult to plan” today considering the current state of the Ukrainian Army in comparison with the period of the Crimea’s annexation. The Russian-Belarussian exercises West-2017 will start on the territory of Belarus in September. A record number of rail cars — more than 4 thousand — was involved to transfer the Russian contingent. Many politicians and military experts believe that Russian troops will remain in Belarus after the exercises. The exercises will involve a number of military training ranges in Belarus: near Lepel, Barysau, Vitsebsk, Asipovichy, Ruzhany and Damanava. It is also reported that some raids are planned on the “sector of the terrain” near Dretun. The Prevention Rally demanding the cancellation of the exercises West-2017 took place at Kastrychnitskaya Square in Minsk on September 8.

Belarusians Of New York Protested Against West-2017 Exercises – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk

The Belarusian diaspora of New York said “no” to Putin’s military games.

Belarus To Battle Fake State ‘Veishnoria’ In Zapad Exercise

It has a foreign ministry, flag, and even briefly had its history outlined on Wikipedia. Russia accuses it of stirring up trouble in Belarus. But &quot;Veishnoria&quot; is nothing more than …

Transnistria / Moldova Reports

Taras Berezovets | Military exercises in Ukraine as “apple of discord” for Moldovan authorities

The National Army of Moldova, despite a ban by President Igor Dodon, arrived in Ukraine to take part in military exercises Rapid Trident-2017 after the Moldovan government allowed the troops to participate in the drills. By the way, this is not the first time the Moldovan government acts in discord with the president. Earlier this year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Moldova expelled a group of Russian diplomats, also despite the president’s position. Dodon was clearly offended but nobody listened to him anyway… However, the president is always the commander-in-chief. And when the armed forces take part in military exercises in the territory of another country without his consent, it is a kind of a nonsense. Apparently, things like that don’t tend to happen anywhere in the world. Moldova at the moment is in fact a failed state, where Russian sabotage led to the collapse of the whole system of power. This is a parliamentary-presidential state. But the latest row emerged as a result of Chisinau’s U-turn from its course of European integration. Actually, Moldova was granted free trade preferences with the European Union way before Ukraine, as well as a visa-free travel for its citizens across Europe. But this led to some really negative consequences for the country because pro-European citizens set off to Europe to find better jobs; accordingly, it was mostly the pensioners who were left to vote so they eventually elected a pro-Russian president. At the same time, Moldovan elite still remains pro-European by its very nature. So now there is a conflict along the line of attitudes of those who remained in Moldova – they are opposed to Europe. And so there is an ongoing sabotage that seriously threatens the whole country. After all, dissatisfaction with Dodon is increasing, especially among the country’s security forces and the army. Therefore, at the end of the day, this can lead to the removal of the president or even to an attempt to a coup. An odious leader he is, Dodon stood against the participation of his military in exercises. After all, when he ran for president, he stated that Crimea should be recognized as Russian territory. However, he later watered down his statements on the issue. That is, today he has no support in the country, support from the elite and security forces. His only salvation is Russia and the preferences that Moscow provides (gas and periodic money transfers). If Russia ceases its support, Dodon will simply be tackled down from his post. Hence, his relentless rooting for the Kremlin. This situation shows Russia that its plans for the usurpation of power through a controlled president are so far failing. That’s unlike Belarus, where the country’s generals and officers are mostly pro-Russian, in spite of the “cleansing” carried out by President Lukashenko. This is not the case in Moldova, because it is a smaller country with a very small army. Given the country’s size, the vast majority of their officers has already trained with NATO at various drills and studied at Western (European and American) academies. All small armies have similar experience. Of course, the current situation in Moldova sends worrisome signals to Russia. That’s because it shows the extremely unstable position of President Dodon, on the one hand and on the other – it shows that the army has an absolutely anti-Russian attitude. And this is a clear signal to the separatists in Transnistria that, in case of some kind of a stir, the army will not stand aside, but will focus on the position of Ukraine. For Ukraine, the latest developments are rather promising because now the Moldovan elite is beginning to orient on Ukraine, which has already become a regional leader. And, it is clear that such small countries as Moldova are greatly interested in Ukraine as their advocate in the West. The same is true for Belarus. Taras Berezovets is a political technologist, director at Berta Communications, co-founder of Ukrainian Institute for the Future

Ukraine Reports

Rasmussen, ex-NATO secretary general, deepens involvement with Ukraine | KyivPost

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former NATO secretary general and Danish prime minister, is taking on an even larger role in Ukrainian affairs. For more than a year, Rasmussen has been a private adviser to President Petro Poroshenko. This month, he also joins the supervisory board of Victor Pinchuk’s Yalta European Strategy conference, along with such luminaries as ex-Polish President Alexander Kwasniewski and ex-Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt. Rasmussen said he’s excited about both of these paid roles for two of Ukraine’s premier oligarchs, Poroshenko and Pinchuk, even though he hopes oligarchs will not have commanding power over Ukraine’s future.

Escalation in Donbas: Militants attack Ukraine 51 times in last day

Russia's hybrid military forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in Donbas 51 times in the past 24 hours, according to the press service of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters. News 11 September from UNIAN.

Donbas: Intensity of mortar attacks increases; Russian mercenaries launched 51 attacks on Ukrainian positions –

Donbas: Intensity of mortar attacks increases; Russian mercenaries launched 51 attacks on Ukrainian positions

Nolan Peterson | Defending Ukraine From a Former Dictator’s Seaside Palace

The Azov Regiment is occupying the villa of Ukraine’s pro-Russian former president.

UAWire – Ukrainian military command: 6,000 Russian troops are stationed in the Donbas

Russian military personnel, including the leadership of the army continue to travel to the separatist-held territories of the Donbas. There are …

Russia brings trumped-up charges against Ukraine’s defense officials

The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation says 20 &quot;criminal cases&quot; have been launched against the leadership of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, while Russian investigators&nbsp;have documented &quot;dozens of crimes against the Russian-speaking population in Donbas,&quot; the Committee's press service told&nbsp;an UNIAN&nbsp;correspondent. News 11 September from UNIAN.

UAWire – Putin orders Russian government to provide pensions to former Ukrainian military in the Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed the Russian government, in conjunction with the Ministry of Defense of the country and Kremlin- …

Russia Illegally Extracting Natural Gas From Ukrainian Waters in the Black Sea – YouTube

UATV English Published on Sep 10, 2017 It’s been discovered that Russia is illegally extracting Ukrainian energy resources in the Black Sea. There are Russian floating rigs in offshore natural gas fields within the economic zone of Ukraine.

UAWire – Kyiv: 100 Ukrainians who went to work in Russia are now being detained there

Valeriya Lutkovska, the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights said in an interview with Channel 5 that presently it is dangerous for citizens of Ukraine to leave for work in Russia. “If you went out into the street, the metro, Independence Square station, you will find there a job advertisement offering work as a courier in the Russian Federation. I can tell you that today I have about a hundred people who asked for help because they went to get a job and ended up in jail,” the ombudsman said. Lutkovska noted that Ukrainians should be aware of the risks when they are leaving to work in the Russian Federation. “It’s obvious that people leave to seek money because of the state’s terrible economy. But this is dangerous if you are traveling to the territory of the Russian Federation. You must understand the risks. Activities to raise awareness must be carried out,” she noted. Earlier, the head of the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine), Vasyl Hrytsak said that, according to rough estimates, there are about 2 million Ukrainians in Russian territory who went there to work. He also stressed that the Russian Federation is actively sending its agents to Ukraine. Hrytsak urged Ukrainians not to work in Russia.

U.S. diplomats greet Ukraine on passing new education law

As UNIAN reported earlier, on September 5, the Ukrainian parliament passed the bill “On Education,” providing for the introduction of 12-year secondary education for children who will start school next year. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said that the law “gives a key to the future of Ukraine.” Meanwhile, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania expressed concern about the norms of the new law on education regarding the language of study for representatives of national minorities in Ukraine. A Hungary and Poland have also expressed concern over the matter.

Hungary says Ukraine’s new school law hurts minority rights – ABC News

Hungary says Ukraine’s new school law hurts minority rights

Poroshenko says Ukraine has right to have autonomous church | KyivPost

Ukraine has a right to have an autonomous church and will seek its creation, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said. However, he said that will not mean a ban on any other Orthodox denomination on the territory of the country. “The recognition of Ukrainian autocephaly by the Ecumenical Patriarch will in no way mean the appearance of a state church or a ban on the activities of other Orthodox denominations,” the president said in his annual address to the parliament on Sept. 7.

Lithuania submits film about Donbas war for Oscar –

Film makers from Lithuania, Ukraine, France, and Poland collaborated on the creation of the movie

Canada, Ukraine to agree on joint film production – 11.09.2017 10:54 — Ukrinform News

Canada has agreed to start to elaborate a joint film production agreement with Ukraine.

Demi Moore wears embroidered dress from Ukrainian designer. Photo – 11.09.2017 12:19 — Ukrinform News

American actress Demi Moore chose a dress by Ukrainian designer Vita Kin to attend the photo exhibition in Los Angeles.

Saakashvili Faces ‘Serious’ Criminal Charges After Entering Ukraine

KYIV — Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov says Mikheil Saakashvili is wanted on &quot;serious&quot; criminal charges after entering Ukraine illegally on September 10 and sparking a brawl on th…

Ukraine president criticizes Saakashvili for crossing border – The Washington Post

Ukraine’s president on Monday criticized former governor Mikhail Saakashvili for illegally crossing into Ukraine from Poland.

Poroshenko: I hope Saakashvily will show same zeal to return to Georgia – news portal

Poroshenko: I hope Saakashvily will show same zeal to return to Georgia. “Whoever violates the state border – be it militants in the east in or politicians in the west – there should be a clear legal responsibility.” Main – news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Poroshenko says Saakashvili’s illegal entry “crime”, “punishment” must follow

The incident at the Shehyni checkpoint on the Ukrainian-Polish border involving ex-president of Georgia, former chairman of the Odesa regional state administration Mikhail Saakashvili, requires no political comment, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said during his speech at the National Medical University in Kyiv on Monday,&nbsp;an UNIAN&nbsp;correspondent reports. “A crime has been committed because there is a constitutional principle of inviolability of the state border. This is a matter of national security of the state, and I do not care who violates the state border – militants in the east or populist politicians in the west. There must be an absolutely clear legal responsibility,” the president said. “In my opinion, this incident requires absolutely no political comment. We must comment and will comment on the issue exclusively in the legal field,” said Poroshenko. “I don’t care who exactly violates the state border – there must be punishment for this, in line with the Ukrainian legislation,” the president wrote on Twitter. As UNIAN reported earlier, on September 10, ex-head of the Odesa Regional State Administration Mikheil Saakashvili, earlier deprived of Ukrainian citizenship, managed to cross into Ukraine at the Shehyni checkpoint.

Interior Minister offers two options following Saakashvili’s illegal border crossing

Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has said that former Odesa governor Mikheil Saakashvili and other individuals who illegally crossed the border at the Shehini checkpoint need to either arrive immediately at the said border crossing and undergo ID verification or report to the Migration Service. News 11 September from UNIAN.

Saakashvili has two ways to act, – Ukraine’s Interior Minister; Ex-Georgian leader and his associates should either undergo border checkpoint procedure or report to Migration Service, – Arsen Avakov –

Saakashvili has two ways to act, – Ukraine’s Interior Minister; Ex-Georgian leader and his associates should either undergo border checkpoint procedure or report to Migration Service, – Arsen Avakov. Since Mikheil Saakashvili and his supporters violated the order of border crossing, they now have only two options. Arsen Avakov, the Interior Minister of Ukraine, posted that on Facebook on Monday. According to the official, the ex-president of Georgia and his supporters should either complete border checkpoint procedure – exactly where they started, at Shegyni checkpoint – or show up at the Migration Service desk. All of the involved in the yesterday’s incident should testify before the police. Avakov added that those behind the incident will be identified and brought to criminal responsibility. The Interior Minister called the yesterday’s events ‘a humiliating picture’ and an ‘attack on the state’s basis institutes for political interests’.

Groysman describes break into Ukraine by Saakashvili supporters as attack on Ukrainian statehood | KyivPost

Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman has insisted that the culprits behind the break through the Polish-Ukrainian border near Shehyni checkpoint be held liable. “The crossing of the Ukrainian border by force is a crime, and those who organized this break must be held liable,” Groysman said in a post on his Facebook page on Sept. 11 morning. Those who dared to insult and strike the servicemen protecting Ukraine and its border should face especially severe punishment, he said.

Groysman slams Saakashvili’s act, urges MPs not to swing “flywheel of destruction and chaos”

Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman has stressed that a forceful penetration of the Ukrainian border is a crime and all those who are involved in setting it up must be held accountable. News 11 September from UNIAN.

Humiliation of Ukraine: Gerashchenko comments on Saakashvili breaking through Ukraine border

The actions at the Shehini checkpoint at the Polish-Ukrainian border by ex-chairman of the Odesa regional state administration Mikhail Saakashvili, his supporters, as well as politicians and public figures, is a blow to the image of the Ukrainian state and its borders, First Deputy Head of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Iryna Gerashchenko, wrote on Facebook. News 11 September from UNIAN.

Five MPs and former SBU head crossed Ukraine’s border illegally together with Saakashvili, – MP Herashchenko « News |

11.09.17 11:48 – Five members of Ukrainian parliament and former head of Security Service of Ukraine illegally crossed the state border of Ukraine together with leader of Rukh Novykh Syl party, former Odesa governor and ex-president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili on Sept. 10. People’s Front MP, Interior Minister Adviser Anton Herashchenko wrote on Facebook, Censor.NET reports. “The list of Ukraine MPs who illegally crossed the border of Ukraine together with Saakashvili the provocator: Yuliia Tymoshenko, Serhii Vlasenko, Yurii Derevianko, Pavlo Kostenko, Dmytro Dobrodomov,” Herashchenko wrote. Former SBU Chief Valentyn Nalyvaichenko also crossed the border illegally yesterday, Herashchenko said. Source:

Saakashvili claims passport stolen at checkpoint, applies for protection to legalize stay in Ukraine

Former chairman of the Odesa Regional State Administration Mikheil Saakashvili during his speech in Lviv on Monday has claimed that the Ukrainian border guards did not want to take his travel document for verification or accept his application to the State Migration Service, and then the police allegedly &ldquo;stole&rdquo; his passport, which he &ldquo;left on the bus,&rdquo; an UNIAN correspondent reports. News 11 September from UNIAN.

Saakshvili seeks status of person in need of additional protection – news portal

Saakshvili seeks status of person in need of additional protection. The Migration Service neither denies nor confirms th einformation. Main – news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Saakashvili Storms Through Poland-Ukraine Border – YouTube

UATV English Published on Sep 11, 2017 Mikheil Saakashvili, the former governor of Ukraine’s Odesa Region, has crossed the border into Ukraine from Poland – with the help of his supporters.

Saakashvili enters Ukraine after fans storm border crossing -Euromaidan Press |

Former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, whose Ukrainian citizenship and passport were annulled after his relations with President Poroshenko went sour, crossed into the territory of Ukraine through the Polish-Ukrainian border crossing point of Shegyni after a column of his supporters rammed through an armed special forces cordon. The video of the exact moment, approximately 20:00, 10 September 2017, was captured by the Georgian TV station Rustavi:

The Latest: Saakashvili, backers break through into Ukraine – The Washington Post

The Latest on former Georgia president and Ukraine governor Mikheil Saakashvili’s attempt to enter Ukraine (all times local):

Ex-Leader, Now a Man Without a Country, Surfaces in Ukraine – The New York Times

Mikheil Saakashvili, a former president of Georgia who is stripped of citizenship there and in Ukraine, is an exceptional position: He’s a stateless ex-head of state.

Saakashvili Supporters Force Entry Into Ukraine

Supporters of Mikheil Saakashvili, the former Georgian president and ex-governor of Ukraine’s Odesa Oblast, managed to get him through a Polish-Ukrainian border crossing near the village of Shehyni in Ukraine late on September 10. Ukrainian authorities had previously stopped him from entering the country by train earlier that day. RFE/RL footage shows dozens of Saakashvili’s supporters scuffling with Ukrainian security forces and eventually breaking through their cordon. After entering Ukrainian territory, they march onward, singing the Ukrainian national anthem.(RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service)

Khaki-Clad Men, Topless Woman Arrested Ahead Of Saakashvili’s Border Crossing Attempt

Ukrainian police arrested a topless woman protester affiliated with the Ukrainian feminist group Femen at Ukraine’s Krakovets border checkpoint on September 10. The seminaked protest against “fools without borders” took place as supporters of Mikheil Saakashvili, the former Georgian President and ex-governor of Ukraine’s Odesa Oblast, gathered at the border crossing in anticipation of his attempt to enter Ukraine from Poland despite the fact that he has been stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship. Ukrainian police said they had also arrested a group of more than 100 young men wearing camouflage clothing who arrived at the border on foot. (RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service, natural sound)

People broke through the checkpoint Medyka-Shegyni on Ukrainian-Polish border, a fight with the border guards began – Saakashvili crosses border of Ukraine –

People broke through the checkpoint Medyka-Shegyni on Ukrainian-Polish border, a fight with the border guards began. People broke through the checkpoint Medyka-Shegyni on Ukrainian-Polish border, a fight with the border guards began. This was reported by the Press Secretary of the State Border Service Oleh Slobodyan in Facebook. “The crowd broke through the checkpoint Shegyni. The fight started…,” he wrote. He also noted that at the moment it is difficult to predict the consequences. Ex-president of Georgia and former head of the Odesa Regional State Administration Mikheil Saakashvili arrived in Ukraine. He crossed the border at the checkpoint Shegyni. This was reported on Facebook by Radio Liberty journalist Andriy Dubchak. Saakashvili literally broke into Ukraine, because the crowd that gathered at the checkpoint broke through the border from the Ukrainian side and made a fight with the border guards who were in the transit zone. Today Mikheil Saakashvili is trying to cross the border of Ukraine. Initially, it was planned that he would cross the border through the checkpoint Krakowiec. There was a lot of his supporters, and there was even a fight with the police. As a result of the riots, more than one hundred people were detained. Considering all this, the party decided that Saakashvili would go to Ukraine by train from Przemysl. However, the train was delayed, as reported in the “Ukrzaliznytsya” because of a man who has no reason to enter Ukraine. It was, apparently, Mikheil Saakashvili. As a result, the passengers of the train, and with them Saakashvili, were taken to the bus and headed to the Shegyni checkpoint where many people have already gathered to support Saakashvili.

Former governor Mikheil Saakashvili forces entry to Ukraine – BBC News

The stateless former president of Georgia and governor in Ukraine had been stopped at the border.

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports

Report: Iraq Holding 1,400 Wives, Children Of Defeated IS Fighters

Reuters news agency is reporting that Iraqi authorities are holding 1,400 foreign wives and children of suspected fighters of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group. The news agency, citin…

Russia’s Lavrov Urges Saudi-Led Arab Nations To Resolve Diplomatic Dispute With Qatar

The Russian foreign minister has urged a coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia to negotiate with Qatar to end a bitter diplomatic dispute that has raised tensions on the Arabian Peninsula. …

Saudi government allegedly funded a ‘dry run’ for 9/11 | New York Post

Fresh evidence submitted in a major 9/11 lawsuit moving forward against the Saudi Arabian government reveals its embassy in Washington may have funded a “dry…

Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar Is ‘Ethnic Cleansing,’ U.N. Rights Chief Says – The New York Times

The security campaign that has led nearly 300,000 people to flee to Bangladesh is in clear violation of international law, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said.

UN rights chief: Rohingya seemingly face ‘ethnic cleansing’ – The Washington Post

The U.N. human rights chief said Monday that the violence and injustice faced by the ethnic Rohingya minority in Myanmar, where U.N. rights investigators have been barred from entering, “seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”


Ted Galen Carpenter | If China Doesn’t Like THAAD, It Should Squeeze North Korea | The National Interest Blog

Seoul isn’t looking to pick a fight with Beijing.

Jamie Tarabay | North Korea’s Kim Jong Un sets a template for other rogue states – CNN

Among the many strides North Korea has made in its development of nuclear weapons it can add another disquieting distinction: the precedent it’s set for other rogue states who covet nuclear weapons.

IAEA says indications show DPRK’s nuclear reactor could be operating – Xinhua |

VIENNA, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) — The UN nuclear agency on Monday said the Yongbyon Experimental Nuclear Power Plant reactor could be operating according to the indications of the plant. In a statement to the board governor meeting in Vienna, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it was concerned over the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)’s latest nuclear test. “There were indications at the Yongbyon Experimental Nuclear Power Plant suggesting that the reactor was being operated. At the Yongbyon Nuclear Fuel Rod Fabrication Plant, there were indications consistent with the use of the reported centrifuge enrichment facility,” said Yukiya Amano, head of IAEA. The IAEA chief said IAEA keeps following the development of DPRK’s nuclear program, although the country is not under the IAEA’s safeguard regime. Last month, a DPRK Team was formed in the Department of Safeguards to enhance the ability to monitor the DPRK’s nuclear program, according to IAEA. On Sept. 3, the DPRK’s Korea Central Television announced that the country had successfully detonated an H-bomb, a hydrogen bomb that can be carried by an intercontinental ballistic missile.

U.N. Security Council to vote Monday on weakened North Korea sanctions: diplomats

The U.N. Security Council is set to vote on Monday on a watered-down U.S.-drafted resolution to impose new sanctions on North Korea over its latest nuclear test, diplomats said, but it was unclear whether China and Russia would support it.

North Korea: US ‘waters down sanctions demands’ | World news | The Guardian

Washington reportedly drops some demands in attempt to win support of China and Russia at UN security council meeting

Will China and Russia support oil sanctions on North Korea? Experts are skeptical

The U.N. Security Council is voting on new sanctions on North Korea, but experts are skeptical of whether China and Russia will support an oil embargo.

DPRK warns U.S. of reactions by “ultimate means” if UN imposes new sanctions – Xinhua |

PYONGYANG, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) — The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Monday warned that the United States would face a “series of action tougher than it has ever envisaged” if Washington pushes through a new UN resolution imposing extra sanctions on Pyongyang. “The sanctions and pressure racket of the United States to completely obliterate the DPRK’s sovereignty and right to existence is reaching an extremely reckless phase,” said the DPRK’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement. “The United States is going frantic to fabricate the harshest ever ‘sanctions resolution’ by manipulating the United Nations Security Council over the DPRK’s ICBM mountable H-bomb test,” it said. “The DPRK is ready and willing to use any form of ultimate means” to respond to the new sanctions, the statement warned. It accused the United States of “trying to use the DPRK’s legitimate self-defensive measures as an excuse to strangle and completely suffocate it,” saying that the latest missile and nuclear tests by the DPRK are aimed at deterring U.S. threats to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. “Since the United States is revealing its nature as a blood-thirsty beast obsessed with the wild dream of reversing the DPRK’s development of the state nuclear force which has already reached the completion phase, there is no way that the DPRK is going to wait and let the U.S. feast on it,” it said. “In case the U.S. eventually does rig up the illegal and unlawful ‘resolution’ on harsher sanctions, the DPRK shall make absolutely sure that the United Stats pays due price,” it added. The United States and Japan are pushing for a new sanctions resolution against the DPRK at the UN Security Council, after Pyongyang tested a hydrogen bomb one week ago. The United Nations passed a resolution last month imposing additional sanctions on the DPRK and banning its export of coal, iron, iron core and sea food, after its tested two ICBM missiles in July.

North Korea: Pyongyang vows ‘suffering’ ahead of sanctions vote – CNN

North Korea has warned the United States that it will pay a “due price” if harsh sanctions against the country are agreed at a United Nations Security Council meeting on Monday.

North Korea warns of harsh response if new sanctions imposed – ABC News

North Korea warns of harsh response if new sanctions imposed

Time for maximum pressure on North Korea, even without China’s permission – The Washington Post

The policy of trying to induce North Korea’s friends to rein in Pyongyang has failed.

Evan Osnos | The Risk of Nuclear War with North Korea | The New Yorker

On the ground in Pyongyang: Could Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump goad each other into a devastating confrontation?

North Korea: Four Corners investigation reveals secret global business network

A SECRET global network of North Korean businesses are bringing in billions of dollars to sustain the hermit kingdom despite international sanctions.

Trump’s “fire and fury” on North Korea is prompting concerned offers of help from Europe — Quartz

Donald Trump’s bluster over North Korea plays well with some of the Americans who voted for him. The US president has refused to rule out military action in North Korea, made dramatic threats against Pyongyang (including one of “fire and fury”), and tweeted that “talking is not the answer” for reining in the nation’s alarmingly fast…

North Korea nukes came with help from Iran or Russia – report | The Times of Israel

Senior British officials quoted saying Pyongyang could not have made such rapid progress alone

NATO head warns of North Korean threat as Kim celebrates | Euronews

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un celebrated the scientists and technicians behind his country’s nuclear programme.

Father Brian Muzas | North Korea and the Responsibility to Protect – why is no one talking about the suffering of its people? | Fox News

Worldwide attention on North Korea has been misplaced. A tool to help the hermit kingdom’s people remains overlooked – a global political commitment called the Responsibility to Protect (R2P).

China’s Senkaku incursions are the new normal- Nikkei Asian Review

TOKYO — Today marks the fifth anniversary of Japan’s nationalization of the Senkaku Islands by buying them from private landowners, a move that trigg

EDITORIAL: 5 years after Senkaku crisis, it’s time to reset Japan-China ties:The Asahi Shimbun

Five years have passed since the government of Japan purchased three of the disputed Senkaku Islands

Foreign Policy Reports

As Germans prepare to vote, a mystery grows: Where are the Russians? – The Washington Post

The country braced for leaks, bots and disinformation. But evidence of meddling has been scant.

Merkel on Crimea: Recognizing Crimea annexation is like accepting Germany division after WWII, – Merkel – Germany, Crimea, Merkel, annexation, Merkel on Crimea (11.09.17 09:41) « News |

11.09.17 09:41 – German Chancellor Angela Merkel does not share the position voiced by leader of Free Democratic Party of Germany Christian Lindner regarding Russia-occupied Crimea. Merkel told Frankfurter Allgemeinen Sonntagszeitung in an interview, Censor.NET reports citing 112 Ukraine. “If I now, for example, hear that the Russian annexation of Crimea should be simply accepted, I ask myself: what would have happened if they had treated us in the GDR the same way, according to the slogan. If Germany would be divided, nothing will change?” said Merkel.

Speaking of Crimea, Merkel recalls history of GDR | UNIAN

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, talking with Frankfurter Allgemeinen Sonntagszeitung about the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia, recalled the history of German unification, reports. News 10 September from UNIAN.

The Rise and Fall of Leftist Populism in Germany – The Atlantic

What happened to Martin Schulz? After Germany’s Martin Schulz stepped down as president of the European Parliament in late 2016, he embarked on a nationwide tour of his home country. His aim, he said, was to better understand the concerns of ordinary Germans. In speeches before packed union halls, beer tents, and farmers markets, Schulz, a prominent member of the troubled Social Democratic Party (SPD), touted the classic values of social democracy—fairness and dignity. Such values, in his mind, translated into things like free education, a fairer unemployment-insurance system, and a progressive tax code. While it was at first unclear whether Schulz sought to challenge Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel in this month’s elections, his fact-finding mission swiftly morphed into a frenetic campaign tour. Everywhere he went, he billed himself as the candidate of the little person. I am you, he said. “How can we mobilize billions to rescue banks, but the plaster in our children’s schools is crumbling from the wall? This doesn’t happen in a fair country!” he said in Berlin. Germans hadn’t heard this kind of rhetoric from the SPD in decades, much less from Schulz: He had, after all, made his name in Brussels as a statesman and centrist power broker.

Azerbaijan Threatens to Cut Off Military Cooperation With US and NATO |

Strategy / History / Capability Publications

Russia’s army to receive new T-90M main battle tank in 2018 | Defence Blog

The Russian tank’s manufacture Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) displayed publicly for the first time a new version of T-90 main battle tank during the demonstration of newest armored vehicles in honor of the tanker’s day on the territory of the 33rd combined-arms training range. The upgraded version of T-90 main battle tank is called T-90M. The new tank will likely feature many of the technologies developed for Russia’s revolutionary T-14 Armata. The T-90M will also incorporate advanced defensive systems such are slat armor, active protection systems and new reactive armor. The T-90 main battle tank is an armed with a fully-stabilized longer 2A46M-4 125 mm smoothbore gun. This gun is also used to launch 9K119 Refleks (NATO designation AT-11 Sniper-B) anti-tank guided missiles, in the same manner, as ordinary munitions. Secondary armament consists of a coaxial PKT 7.62 mm machine gun and a roof mounted remotely-controlled NSVT 12.7 mm machine gun, used against both ground and air targets. Crew – 3 men Maximum road speed – 60 km/h Range – 500 km The T-90M is equipped with a 1,000 hp power pack, which includes a B-92C2 engine. According to Chief of the Main Armored Directorate of the Russian Defence Ministry Lt. Gen. Alexander Shevchenko, the modernized T-90M tank has entered state trials. “The directorate had to speed up the design of new armored fighting vehicles and modernization of old ones in line with combat experience obtained in Syria”, he said. Supplies of the modernized T-90M tank to the Russian military may begin in 2018.

Russia to receive a “digital” Tu-160 strategic bomber after upgrade | Defence Blog

In the Soviet past, over several thousand engineers worked on the design of the world’s largest supersonic bomber Tu-160 for over a decade. Today, in the framework of the program for the aircraft modernization, the Tupolev company has introduced new methods for designing and manufacturing. For instance, a unified information system (EIS) is used to digitize design documentation and to launch the production of Tu-160M2 “in digital”. In total, it is planned to attract about 1,500 specialists to participate in the project. Using the EIS would allow to finish all the work in about four years. “Tu-160M2 differs from its predecessor by a totally new complex of on-board electronics and a set of weapons,” Russia Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov said earlier. – Tu-160 in the M2 variant will be an absolutely new aircraft with a new on-board radio electronic equipment, but has the old well-known look. Its efficiency will increase two and a half times compared to its predecessor.” The aircraft was manufactured by the Kazan Aviation Plant since 1984. The last machine was handed over to the customer in 2008. In order to use the latest achievements in the field of digitalization and updating the product life cycle, United Aircraft Corporation along with the MoD of Russia have launched a project to digitize the Tu-160 design documentation. In the framework of the Tu-160M2 project, special work has been carried out, such as the protection of data exchange channels, a unified network with centralized corporate apps has been set up and exchange of design and engineering data was orginized.

Aviation Photography Digest | NATO Tiger Meet 2017

From BAN Landivisiau, France, Danny Reijnen gives us a look “THROUGH THE LENS” at NATO Tiger Meet 2017

Viking warrior buried with two horses was a woman, study shows –

Tales of formidable shieldmaidens such as Lagertha, from Vikings, could well be true.

DNA Confirms Viking Remains Found in Sweden Are Female | World | US News

The remains of the Viking warrior are of a high-ranking, female military leader, researchers confirm.

IW/IO/Cyber Reports

Russia Has Just Claimed Mount Everest

The embassy in the U.K. said the tweet was an error and has since deleted it.

Dezinformatsiya – To Inform is to Influence

September 9, 2017, 6:31 pm by Sanjana Hattotuwa The word is Russian, and comes from its intelligence services. The meaning isn’t hard to guess in English – disinformation. The phenomenon is global in scope and reach. There are now new, cutting-edge companies in the West, whose clients are powerful politicians across the world, employing disinformation…

Disinformation as a service? DaaS not good! – To Inform is to Influence

‘Computational propaganda’ started in politics, but may be coming soon to the world of business.  Mike Elgan (Computerworld (US)) 09 September, 2017 20:45 Oh, great. Bots are buying ads now. Facebook said this week that an internal investigation uncovered 470 fraudulent Facebook accounts and pages linked to a Russian “troll farm” that bought 3,300 Facebook ads costing around…

Help Run Anti-Putin Ads On VKontakte! GoFundMe page! – To Inform is to Influence

Brandon McGuire in Katy, Texas, started a GoFundMe page today to run anti-Putin ads on VKontakte. Buy Anti Putin Ads on VKontakte I sent Brandon a note asking for comments and received this reply. Dear Sir, I have yet to establish VK accounts, hoping to seek counsel on such an attempt as the fundraising project…

The military turns to machines to fight machines [Commentary]

Machine-aided cyber warfare attacks developed by nation states are posing a growing threat to national security.

Another ‘Cracka’ sentenced for hacking feds’ personal accounts

Liverman hacked into government databases to obtain personal details that could be used to harass them. More than 10 people were victimized, causing at least $1.5 million in damage.

Fake: Ukraine’s Tuberculosis Epidemic Threatens the EU

Struggle against fake information about events in Ukraine

Commentary: Here’s what a realistic Ukraine settlement may look like

By Josh Cohen U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis wants the Trump administration to supply Ukraine with “defensive weapons” to combat th

ON TARGET: NATO film rewrites history, glorifies Nazis | The Chronicle Herald

There is a controversial new video out on NATO’s official YouTube channel entitled Forest Brothers. The gist of the 8-minute film is to lionize the brave Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian fighters who took to the woods to resist the Soviet Union’s 1945 occupation of the Baltic States.

US Domestic Policy Reports

Officials Suspect Russia Used U.N. Facilities to Impact 2016 Election | Newsweek

Is a mysterious building in the Bronx the secret lair of Boris and Natasha?

UAWire – German counterintelligence: Snowden is a part of Kremlin’s war against the West

The President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution of Germany (counterintelligence), Hans-Georg Maassen, admits that ex-officer of the U.S. special services Edward Snowden is an agent of the Russian special services. Maassen made it clear that he has reasons to consider Snowden’s activity a “part of the hybrid war led by Russia against the West”. In turn, Snowden, in an interview with the Spiegel newspaper, claimed that he was not a Russian spy. “He [Maassen] did not even have the courage to say that I’m a Russian spy. Instead, he said that we cannot prove that Snowden is a Russian agent; there is only some “likelihood.” In fact, this can be said about everyone,” Snowden added. In June 2013, Snowden handed over a number of secret materials about the U.S. and British intelligence agencies’ programs for surveillance on the Internet to the Washington Post and the Guardian. He flew to Hong Kong and from there to Moscow. In August 2014, Snowden received a three-year residence permit in Russia. In January 2017, the residence permit for Snowden was extended until 2020.

John McCain: ‘I’m facing a challenge’ – CNNPolitics

Sen. John McCain acknowledged the severity of his cancer prognosis Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” saying in his first national interview since receiving the diagnosis that it is the latest test in a lifetime of tough fights.

McCain: ‘Every life has to end one way or another’ – POLITICO

The Arizona senator talks about his battle with cancer — and his ultimate fate.