Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Russia / Strategy Media Update (315) – 24 September 2017

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Russians may be rehearsing an amphibious operation against Iceland, while Zapad 2017 continues to be discussed – Western MSM ignored the nuclear strike rehearsal completely it seems. Some of what we are seeing looks almost scripted out of Red Storm Rising.

An unexpected public protest in St Petersburg against the Donbass war, but not reported as yet by Western MSM, who seem mostly asleep at the wheel. Morgan Freeman video continues to elicit Russian reactions, three good OpEds today. Sixty Tartar intellectuals send open letter to Putin over Russiication policy, describing it as a  “Pandora’s box” and “a time bomb”, alas one of many the regime has inflicted on Russia over the last three years of aberrant policymaking. More reports on Russia’s descent.

Ilyash assesses GRU/FSB assessments of Belarus. NatGeo produce excellent article on the Moldovan Gaugash, whom Putinist Pres Dodon has been manipulating to promote Russian agendas.

More on Poroshenko visit to Canada. Donbass fires continue, DNR attempts to blame yesterday’s assassination on Ukraine. Stiletto Systems armour piercing small calibre weapons reviewed.

More Russian grandstanding in Syria.

DPRK remains a traffic goldmine for MSM with a deluge of headlines and speculation. Good WashPost article on Chinese distress over the DPRK. Political tit-for-tat continues. DPRK declares “inevitability” of a missile strike against the US, giving the US a de facto legal carte blanche to pre-emptively hit the DPRK. Finally, six months later, MSM discover that the DPRK has a CW arsenal of credible size and potency.

German election under way, with polling indicating a most likely win for Merkel.

Russian New Generation Warfare Handbook published and detailed.

Russian IW/IO/cyber dominant today.

Domestic US Russia debate remains in existing themes.

Russia / Russophone Reports

Russia practices for an Iceland invasion

The Russian Northern Fleet has been very active lately, in addition to the usual landing drills close to the fleets home ports in the Kola peninsula, the fleet has been roaming the Russian northern coast with a landing squadron that carries a mix of marines and Arctic brigade specialists from the Alakurtti military base. This unit has now made a landing drill at the remote island of Kotelny that sits between the Laptev Sea and the East Siberian Sea. The squadrons last supply point, where the crews and troops were allowed to rest and refit was in Dudinka. The distance from Dudinka to Kotelny is roughly 2000 km. This distance corresponds closely to the distance between the fleets home base in Kola and Iceland. The geography and the size of the islands are also very similar. It is very important to test these kind of long distance naval operations in advance as the troops and the vehicles on board, must remain combat worthy all the way to the target. And the seas up north can be extremely demanding. Iceland is one of the few nations in the world without an army. Iceland only has an approximately 200 men strong coast guard and a 230 men strong force for peacekeeping purposes. Due to the extremely strategic location of the island nation, USA has been guaranteeing its freedom and Iceland is a NATO member. Other NATO members and even some neutral countries like Finland have lent aircraft’s and personnel to help police the Icelandic airspace. Without an effective navy Iceland isn’t equipped to stop a Russian landing force and without an army it has no change to repel an amphibious landing by the Russian marines. A dug in Marine brigade with support from the Arctic brigade and it’s modern anti-aircraft missile units a Russian foothold in the island would be a real challenge to the NATO forces available. As we can see the Cold War hot-spots haven’t all vanished. The GIUK gap from Greenland via Iceland to United Kingdom is still included in the Russian military training curriculum. NATO has also been sending more and more vessels and aircraft to patrol the northern waters.

Russia held a big military exercise this week. Here’s why the U.S. is paying attention. – The Washington Post

NATO leaders are assessing Russia’s military capability, which is in a period of change.

Americans Train With NATO Not Far From Russian Drills in the Baltics – NBC News

U.S. troops have upped their exercises with European counterparts in recent years as a show of force and to strengthen integration between their militaries.

Hundreds take to streets in Russia’s St. Petersburg for unauthorized rally against war with Ukraine (Photos)

In St. Petersburg, several hundred people came out for an unauthorized rally protesting Russia&rsquo;s aggression against Ukraine, according to&nbsp;an UNIAN&nbsp;correspondent in Russia. News 24 September from UNIAN.

Who Attacks, Share, and Supports Morgan Freeman Video – To Inform is to Influence

As soon as the Morgan Freeman video was published, I began seeing articles attacking, sharing (neutral), or supporting Morgan Freeman’s “We are at War with Russia” immediately. Says Rob Reiner, “Yes,” the filmmaker smirked. “We definitely got under their skin, no question about it. When you see the thousands of bots and trolls come out…

Russia, Smarting From Morgan Freeman Video, Attacks The Messenger – To Inform is to Influence

In my last post I stated normal Russian tactics for dealing with highly effective rhetoric. Russian official strategy whenever confronted: Deny, deny, deny Attack the messenger Attack the message Say “we have nukes” For today’s lesson, boys and girls, please identify what the Kremlin is doing here: “Is Morgan Freeman Stressed Out? The Kremlin Thinks So”…

Hollywood gets tough on Russia, by Jennifer Rubin | Op-ed |

O nce upon a time (like last Sunday, after the Emmys) conservatives used to grouse that Hollywood was filled with liberals who disdained America and fancied themselves internationalists. Well, on

Window on Eurasia — New Series: With His Language Policy, Putin has Put a Time Bomb Under Russia, 60 Tatar Writers Say

Paul Goble Staunton, September 23 – Vladimir Putin’s decision to make Russian obligatory and non-Russian languages in the republics of the country entirely voluntary has not only angered many non-Russians who view this as an insult to their dignity but opened “a Pandora’s box” and placed “a time bomb” under the country, according to 60 Tatar writers and intellectuals. As Kazan’s Business-Gazeta reports, the 60 Tatar intellectuals, most in their 30s or 40s, have sent an open letter to the Kremlin leader detailing their fears and appealing to Putin to reflect on the dangers ahead to Russia if he continues on his current course ( The letter calls on Putin “not to violate the linguistic balance in the Republic of Tatarstan” and say that eliminating Tatar’s status as a required subject will make it and the people who speak it feel “second-rate and unneeded.” More than that, his new policy will threaten more than that. “We are convinced,” they write, “that you are interested in the preservation of peace and concord about the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation, the flourishing of tolerance and mutual respect among the peoples populating it, and the impermissibility of inter-ethnic disagreements and conflicts.” Your speech in Ufa and your directive that Russian officials ensure that the study of Tatar and other non-Russian languages be entirely voluntary, the 60 Tatar writers tell the Russian president, “is in our view nothing but a reckless placement of ‘a bomb’ in the very heart of Russia.” “We call on you not to violate the linguistic balance in the Republic of Tatarstan and to permit the ministry of education and science of the Republic of Tatarstan to carry out its responsibilities in the framework of the existing legislation of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Tatarstan,” they conclude. The authors say they acted independently of the political authorities, but some of the signatories add that in reality, “the author of this letter is the entire Tatar people” because Tatars know that “if you want to destroy the nation, you simply have to close its school. Neither wars nor epidemics, nor natural disasters are necessary.” The authors have little expectation that their letter will have any impact or even receive a response. After all, many have been writing to Putin about this before. But they feel they cannot do anything but express their horror about and opposition to what the Kremlin leader is doing. It is, they say, “a cry of despair of the soul.” One signatory, however, said the following: “We shall see how Moscow listens to small peoples. We aren’t from somewhere else but a native people.” When Ukraine adopted a law restricting Russian, the Kremlin reacted the next day, even though Ukraine is a foreign state and most of the Russians there came from elsewhere. But here in the Russian Federation, we Tatars, Bashkirs, Chuvash, Maris, Mordvins, and Chechens are all natives. “We didn’t come from somewhere else.” And yet they tell us we don’t have the right to require our languages be studied even as the same people insist that the Baltic countries and Ukraine must require instruction in Russian. “I’ve been in many countries of the world,” this author says; and “Tatar is one of the Turkic languages: absolutely all Turks understand it. There are 300 million of us in the world. The Slavs also are approximately 300 million as well. Why are we being refused the right to education in our native tongue?”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Most Russians Don’t Want to Take Part in Demonstrations — Either Against or For the Regime

Paul Goble Staunton, September 23 – Three out of four Russians – 76 percent – say they will not take part in mass protest demonstration, 54 percent say they are not ready to support either opponents or supporters of the regime, 20 percent said they would support the regime but not by taking part in protests, and only nine percent said they would take part in pro-government meetings. Those are the results of a new poll by the Public Opinion Foundation, and they send a mixed message about the Russian people and the powers that be. On the one hand, they indicate that very few Russians want to engage in protests, thus suggesting it will be very hard for the opposition to get them to do so ( But on the other hand, these figures show that the government itself cannot count on mobilizing the population to go into the street if the political situation should require that, an indication of the growing indifference of the population toward the Kremlin and a better measure of how much support Vladimir Putin really has than the much-ballyhooed “86 percent.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: First Post-Soviet Lenin Statue in Moscow Erected, Piling One Absurdity on Another, Commentators Say

Paul Goble Staunton, September 23 – This week, busts of Stalin and Lenin were dedicated in the so-called Alley of Rulers in Moscow. The two join the other Soviet rulers – Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko, Gorbachev, and Yeltsin – and as was pointed out at the opening, this is the first Lenin statue to go up in the Russian capital since Soviet times. These eight join the busts of 33 earlier rulers of Russia, including not only the Rurikides and the Romanovs but also Prince Lvov and Aleksandr Kerensky, the two leaders of the Provisional Government who overthrew the last tsar, Nicholas II, thus putting side by side and without comment some who displaced others. Mikhail Myagkov of the Russian Military-History Society which oversaw this project acknowledges that this placement may elicit a problematic reaction among some visitors, but he insisted that the alley has “an educational function” to remind everyone that “we had such a history” ( Three Russian commentators were more critical. Historian Boris Sokolov says that the whole idea reflects “the nostalgia of the Military-History Society for Soviet times. They want to legitimize the Soviet past in its imperial dimension. And the past supports this.” After all, the authorities created the society. More seriously, he says, all this “testifies that the Soviet imperial component of consciousness remains in the ruling circles and they are trying to support it in the population,” although how this will work in the current case is problematic given that some of these leaders were very much enemies of others. Sergey Shokaryov of the Russian State Humanities University says that “if the goal of the museum is to show all the leaders of the state, this wouldn’t be a bad thing. But when you see how this is done, [with bad copies of earlier statues,] this project loses any possible respect.” And that is made worse by the fact that there are gaps. Why are some tsars here and not others? And Gasan Guseynov, a cultural historian at the Higher School of Economics, adds that the most important aspect of the appearance of this Alley of Rulers is that it hasn’t generated any response in Russian society, “despite the obvious absurdity of this project.” What is really on display is not an Alley of Rulers, he says, but “an Alley of the Glory of Rulers.” This reflects “the desire of the present-day rulers of Rusisa to combine all past regimes into some kind of single thing: we have had a beautiful, great history in the 20th century, let us bow down before all rulers which were elevated to the throne on this land.” But that idea is “absolutely absurd and insane.” Why? Because one ruler in order to gain the thrown had to destroy another.” Now they must stand together forever as if that were irrelevant. If Russian society were healthy, Guseynov says; it would react. But it hasn’t because today Russian society is “completely demoralized and apathetic.”

Fighting Russia Online: How Activists Are Using Memes Against Putin’s Social Media Censorship

From Alexei Navalny’s “crooks and thieves” jibe to the manatee that keeps waiting around, Russians have found innovative ways to criticize the government online.

Russian Christian Extremist Group Leader Held For One Month

The leader of a self-styled Russian Christian religious group detained as a suspect in a high-profile arson attack, has been placed under arrest for one month, Russian news agencies reported o…

Raoul Wallenberg Case: Establishing Historical Truth Is A Marathon, Lawyer Says

Relatives of wartime Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg have pledged to appeal a Moscow district court decision that denied their demand that Russia's secret services release documents related t…

Russia and China quietly build business bonds

Beijing oil and gas investment gives Moscow alternative cash source

Belarus Reports

Window on Eurasia — New Series: FSB May Be Well Pleased with Zapad-2017 Outcome, Belarusian Analysts Say

Paul Goble Staunton, September 23 – The Zapad-2017 exercise has ended “without the annexation of Belarus, a new round of aggression against Ukraine, or the triggering of World War III” that many had predicted or feared, Igor Ilyash point out in a new commentary. And those are all good things. But the Belarusian analyst argues that those pleased that these things did not happen should nonetheless not look away from what happened and instead consider how the FSB or the GRU in Moscow may be evaluating this enormous military exercise because it will be their judgments about that which will shape the future. And in a new Belsat commentary, Ilyash offers five conclusions that he believes the Russian authorities are most likely to have drawn about “the Belarusian aspect of the Zapad-2017 exercise” ( First of all, he says, the Russian security services are completely correct to assume that “the attitude toward the Russian military among the main part of the population of Belarus is either quite loyal or absolutely indifferent.” Few Belarusians criticized the Russian forces and most accepted their appearance as something quite normal. Second, Ilyash continues, Moscow is likely to conclude that “civil society is very weak [in Belarus] and is not capable of mobilizing anti-Russian protests even in those cases when pressure isn’t being applied to it.” Minsk showed that by allowing the opposition to organize a tiny demonstration against the Russian forces. But all that did, the Belsat journalist says, was to underscore to Moscow that “any accusations of Russophobia in Belarus are baseless” and that “only ‘a handful of marginals’ are prepared to speak out against the Kremlin.” Third, Moscow is certain to conclude that “public control was lacking and that no monitoring of Russian forces on the territory of Belarus was carried out.” In many cases, that would have been quite easy to do and it would have allowed for precise measurements of the size and movements of troops. But it wasn’t done. Instead, Belarusians and Belarusian officials continued to act as if nothing was happening, and that in turn lends credence to the Kantemir soldier who said “if we wanted to occupy you, we would have, and you wouldn’t have understood anything. We would simply have come in and your officers would have become [non-ethnic] Russians.” Fourth, Ilyash suggests, the FSB and the GRU are almost certain to have concluded that “the Belarusian authorities do not have even elementary ideas about the principles of conducting information war. The state media and press services are not capable of reacting in a timely fashion to releases [from the other side] and in general don’t consider that necessary.” And fifth, and perhaps most important, the Russians will have concluded that “even the politically active part of society does not believe in the Russian threat, does not take it seriously and therefore no one should count on a rapid reaction in the case of a deterioration of the situation.” Yes, some Belarusians talked about Veyshnoria, the imaginary enemy country, Ilyash says; but far more paid attention on Facebook to Mikhail Saakashvili’s return to Ukraine than to the actions of Russian tanks on their own national territory. If these are in fact the conclusions that Moscow has reached, then Zapad-2017 is not so much about something that didn’t happen but rather a test for something that may yet happen in the future – especially because so many in the West are celebrating what didn’t happen and concluding that since it didn’t, it won’t.

FSB may be well pleased with Zapad-2017 outcome, Belarusian analysts say | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press |

The Zapad-2017 military exercise has ended “without the annexation of Belarus, a new round of aggression against Ukraine, or the triggering of World War III” that many had predicted or feared, Igor Ilyash point out in a new commentary. And those are all good things. But the Belarusian analyst argues that those pleased that these things did not happen should nonetheless not look away from what happened and instead consider how the FSB or the GRU in Moscow may be evaluating this enormous military exercise because it will be their judgments about that which will shape the future. And in a new Belsat commentary, Ilyash offers five conclusions that he believes the Russian authorities are most likely to have drawn about “the Belarusian aspect of the Zapad-2017 exercise.” First of all, he says, the Russian security services are completely correct to assume that “the attitude toward the Russian military among the main part of the population of Belarus is either quite loyal or absolutely indifferent.” Few Belarusians criticized the Russian forces and most accepted their appearance as something quite normal.

Transnistria / Moldova Reports

A Struggle for Identity in a Forgotten Corner of Europe

Amid the ghosts of the past empires, residents of Gagauzia fight poverty and a loss of tradition to maintain their culture. The question of independence has hung over the Moldovan region of Gagauzia for decades. Though its people are desperately poor and rely on agriculture to survive, they cherish their language and culture deeply. Their lives are governed by the land but their hearts are governed by a yearning for identity. For photographer Julien Pebrel, who has been documenting Gagauzia for three months, it was the mystery behind this unresolved question of independence that first drew him in. “I simply heard the word ‘Gagauzia’, which sounds very intriguing to me, [along with the words] ‘autonomous’, ‘split territory’ and ‘shepherds’ and it was enough to give me a haunting will to go there,” Pebrel tells National Geographic.

Ukraine Reports

President: We are really interested in the experience of Canada’s peacekeeping activities — Official website of the President of Ukraine

President Petro Poroshenko emphasized that Ukraine is interested in receiving the Canadian experience of peacekeeping operations and assured that the UN peacekeeping mission in Donbas will not be conducted under the Russian scenario.

Canada’s Minister of National Defence to visit Ukraine –

Minister of National Defence of Canada is to come to Ukraine soon, according to Deputy Head of Presidential Administration of Ukraine Kostiantyn Eliseev, as Ukrinform reports. This decision was reached during Petro Poroshenko’s working visit to Canada. Eliseev noted that Ukraine and Canada have a warm relationship. “Our relations in political, economical and military spheres have never been at such a high level,” he said. Eliseev added that a big Ukrainian diaspora in Canada contributes to cooperation between the countries.

Another Ukrainian soldier killed in Donbas hostilities as militants attack 18 times in past day

On September 23, Russia-supported militants in Donbas opened fire on positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine 18 times. One Ukrainian soldier was killed in action, according to a daily report by the press center of the Anti-Terrorist Operation Headquarters. News 24 September from UNIAN.

18 attacks on Ukrainian Army in Donbas over 24 hours, one soldier killed –

The Russia-backed terrorists intensified the attacks on Ukrainian Army in the Donbas conflict zone by night, using mostly small arms and grenade launchers, the Ukrainian Army HQ informs. In Donetsk sector, defenders of the Avdiivka industrial zone were attacked three times with grenade launchers and heavy machine guns. The same arms were used near Butivka mine and Svitlovarsk, while in the almost 2-hour attack on Ukrainian soldiers near Kamianka, the separatists used an 82-mm mine. Ukrainian soldiers near Nevelske were also attacked. Related: Donbas elections can be held after introduction of peacekeepers , – Volker In Mariupol sector, the mercenaries used grenade launchers near Hnutove and Vodiane, while their heavy machine gun was firing near Shyrokyne. In Luhansk sector, the militants opened fire three times near Krymske and used a heavy machine gun near Novotoshkivske. Overall the Russia-backed terrorists violated the cease-fire 18 times. The Ukrainian Army opened return fire 10 times, when there was direct threat to the lives of the soldiers. One Ukrainian soldier was killed in action.

According to the OSCE observers’ estimates, the militants’ reinforcements have recently been equipped, or are being built near Dovge settlement – OSCE reports strengthening of militants’ positions near Luhansk –

According to the OSCE observers’ estimates, the militants’ reinforcements have recently been equipped, or are being built near Dovge settlement

Militants claim to have detained “Ukrainian intelligence officers” for attempted murder of their Minsiter –

DNR militants claim to have detained the organizers of the explosion aiming to kill the “DNR Minister of Income” Timofeev, according to Novosti Donbasa. According to the statement, six people were detained. The militants claim the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine had part in it. The DNR media claimed that a “diversion group from Kyiv” was trying to kill the so-called Minister. Timofeev himself accused Ukraine. As it was reported earlier, two explosions occurred in Donetsk Saturday morning. The militants claim that the explosives were planted in their Minister of Income’s car as an attempt to murder him.

Donbas City of Kramatorsk Celebrates City Day With Marathon – YouTube

Stiletto Systems’ sniper rifle with new bullets can replace heavy machine gun | Defence Blog

The Central Armament and Military Hardware Research Institute of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has performed tests for comparative evaluation of armor-piercing capability of up-to-date bullets made by Stiletto Systems Limited and bullets of standard large-caliber cartridges while firing against armored elements. The Ukrainian military has conducted a number of tests along with experts of the Stiletto Systems Company to confirm claimed specifications on armor piercing ability of a new generation of bullets with the new sniper rifle STL-016. Conditions corresponding to a real battle were simulated at the firing range. One of the targets imitated frontal view of modern armored vehicles and was hit at ranges starting from 200 meters. Conducted tests demonstrated that cartridge .300WSM with sniper armor-piercing bullet Stiletto from the STL-016 sniper rifle (also developed by Stiletto Systems Limited) is able to pierce 20.5 mm Armstal 500 armor plate at 220 m range with 100% expectancy. At the same time, the bullets of 12.7 mm cartridges from Soviet heavy machine gun was unable to penetrate armor plate. The STL-016 is a .300WSM calibre rifle that incorporates a patented rifling designed by Stiletto and is capable of delivering lethal effects on soft targets out to a maximum range of 2,000 m. Although the STL-016 has been designed as a sniper’s weapon to defeat enemy forces wearing body armour, its armour-piercing ammunition – a separate development from Stiletto – allows it to penetrate the hulls of armoured personnel carriers (APCs) or Infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs). For now, Stiletto bullets can guarantee piercing absolutely any type of bullet-proof equipment, hitting successfully frontal armor of both Soviet and modern infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers; hitting targets protected by concrete frames or sheltered at pillboxes or armored modules. Besides, bullet flight trajectory shall not be changed when overcoming window-block glass structures metal-plastic windows or façade components of buildings, ensuring 100% hit during special operations in a built-up areas.

STL-016 sniper rifle. Photo by Dylan Malyasov
12.7 and .300WSM (with 7.62 armor-piercing bullet) cartridge. Photo by Sergey Zgurets / Defense Express
Test results of new cartridge .300WSM with sniper armor-piercing bullet developed by Stiletto

A Soldier’s Lament: No one ever returns from the war… ever… -Euromaidan Press |

Vitaliy Korun Mothers look at their sons returning from the war and don’t recognize them – aggressive animals standing before them. Wives look at their husbands and see men who are angry at the whole world, who don’t believe in anything except death. Yesterday’s soldier belongs neither to his parents nor to his closest family. He belongs to the war, from which only his body, or its miserable remains, have returned home… His heart and soul are still over there, far away, with the war… But, the body has returned home. At first, the war inside fades slowly, retreating layer by layer, piece by piece … Slowly, very slowly, yesterday’s soldier turns from an inanimate mannequin with empty eyes and a burnt-out soul into a semblance of a human being. The unbearable nervous tension subsides, aggression and hatred recede… But, fear persists – the animal fear of death, but eventually, it also passes… He begins to learn and to live in this world all over again… Learning to walk without looking at the ground under his feet; learning to get up on a village well hatch and stand fearlessly in the open. Learning to buy food, talk on the phone and sleep on a bed. Learning not to be surprised by hot water spurting from the faucets, by lighting in all the rooms and by the warmth emanating permanently from home radiators. Learning not to shake or jump at the slightest noise… He begins breathing and living… because that’s the way it happened and he’s still alive… But, he feels no joy, thinking that life has been granted to him as a bonus, something that foolish destiny has chosen for him…

Ukrainian Language Bill Facing Barrage Of Criticism From Minorities, Foreign Capitals

Timeya Leshko doesn&rsquo;t see much of a future for her four children in Ukraine, where a Moscow-backed conflict still flares up in the east and economic opportunities seem few and far betwee…

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Ukrainian Church’s Gains Could be Reversed if Kyiv Bans Moscow Patriarchal Church in Ukraine, Greek Catholic Priest Says

Paul Goble Staunton, September 23 – Ukrainian churches have been gaining in recent years as ever more people have chosen to leave the parishes of the Moscow Patriarchal Church in that country, Chaplain Nikolay Medinsky says; but if the Ukrainian government were to ban the Moscow church as some are suggesting, those gains could turn into losses over night. That is because, the Greek Catholic priest says, such a governmental ban would be taken as “a signal” by some of the most zombified within the Russian church and they would “immediately begin protest actions in society” (–svyaschennik-iz-ato/14184). Indeed, he says, some of them might try to act in ways that would allow them to become martyrs to their cause. At the very least, this would divide many communities and weaken Ukraine, something many in Moscow may want but that no one committed to Ukraine’s future can possibly be in favor of.

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports

Trump says Iran ‘working with North Korea’ after ballistic missile test | Fox News

President Trump accused Iran of collaborating with North Korea to strengthen their missile technology Saturday evening in a Twitter post criticizing the 2015 nuclear agreement between the U.S., Iran and five other nations.

Breaking nuclear deal could bring hacking onslaught from Iran – POLITICO

“They’re plenty good enough to cause a lot of difficulty,” said one cyber expert.

‘Now you can feel Russia’s power:’ Russian military in Syria eager to show its victories – World – CBC News

Russia has been at war in Syria since September 2015, supporting President Bashar al-Assad. Ever since, its military has been bringing reporters from Moscow to showcase what it says are the positive aspects of Russia’s involvement in Syria’s six-year civil war.

Kurdish city gassed by Saddam hopes referendum heralds better days

When poison gas killed thousands of Kurds in Halabja in 1988, its residents never imagined they would ever escape Saddam Hussein’s grip, let alone vote one day in a referendum on secession from Iraq.

U.N. medics see evidence of rape in Myanmar army ‘cleansing’ campaign

Doctors treating some of the 429,000 Rohingya Muslims who have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar in recent weeks have seen dozens of women with injuries consistent with violent sexual attacks, U.N. clinicians and other health workers said.


China watches in frustration as North Korea crisis enters dangerous spiral – The Washington Post

The threat of conflict and the presence of U.S. bombers leaves China looking on unhappily from the sidelines.

Trump cranks up North Korea threats as Pyongyang holds anti-U.S. rally

U.S. President Donald Trump dialled up the rhetoric against North Korea again at the weekend, warning the country’s foreign minister that he and leader Kim Jong Un “won’t be around much longer”, as Pyongyang staged a major anti-U.S. rally.

Trump Cranks Up NKorea Threats: ‘They Won’t Be Around Much Longer’

Trump Cranks Up NKorea Threats: ‘They Won’t Be Around Much Longer’

North Korea says strike on US is ‘inevitable’ as Pentagon flies bombers off coast | Fox News

North Korea’s foreign minister called U.S. President Donald Trump a mentally deranged person full of megalomania and promised a strike on the American mainland was inevitable in a blistering speech to the United Nations General Assembly Saturday.

North Korea’s top diplomat says strike against U.S. mainland is ‘inevitable’ – The Washington Post

Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said President Trump’s insulting “rocketman” label for Kim Jong Un brings the nations closer to a military confrontation.

Korea Says Rockets to U.S. ‘Inevitable’ as American Jets Stage Show of Force – NBC News

The war of words between the two countries escalated on Saturday after U.S. fighter jets flew over waters east of North Korea in a show of force

North Korean foreign minister says Trump is on a “suicide mission” – CBS News

North Korea's top diplomat addressed he United Nations General Assembly Saturday after a week of fiery exchanges

Trump: North Korean leaders ‘won’t be around much longer’ if they strike US | Fox News

If North Korea’s foreign minister hoped to draw a response from U.S. President Donald Trump with his Saturday speech to the U.N. General Assembly, he succeeded.

Trump vs. Kim Jong Un: Political theater or prelude to apocalypse?

Analysts in U.S. and North Korea are sifting Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un’s bombast for clues to their nations’ real intentions.

The Madman Theory of North Korea | The New Yorker

Never before have two leaders in command of nuclear arsenals more closely evoked a professional wrestling match.

If North Korea gets ready to test a nuclear missile in the Pacific Ocean destroy it first | Fox News

If U.S. intelligence discovers that North Korea has a nuclear tipped, long-range missile getting ready to fire into the South Pacific with the goal of detonating it—to prove to the world it is a nuclear power—there is only one thing President Trump should do: destroy it before it ever goes into the air.

Trump will ‘do everything’ to avoid nuclear war with North Korea: Mnuchin

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Sunday said President Donald Trump wants to avoid nuclear war with North Korea and “will do everything we can” to avoid conflict.

North Korea Also Has Nerve Agent VX, Chemical Weapons Expert Warns – NBC News

The Center for Nonproliferation Studies estimates North Korea has between 2,500 and 5,000 metric tons of chemical weapons.

Nuclear war isn’t North Korea’s only threat (Opinion) – CNN

The country has invested heavily in cyberattack operations to target Western countries and South Korea, Eric O’Neill says.

US Air Force flies jets off North Korea’s coast in show of force – Business Insider

The Pentagon said the flyover demonstrated the range of military options available to President Donald Trump.

U.S. bombers fly off North Korea’s coast in show of force | Daily Mail Online

Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers escorted by fighter jets flew in international airspace east of North Korea. The regime’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said firing at the US was ‘inevitable.’

Is it Time to Launch a Preemptive Military Strike Against North Korea?

As tensions with North Korea rise to dangerous levels, there are voices in the Congress starting to call for a preemptive military strike on the regime in Pyongyang.

Russia Just Likened Trump and Kim Jong Un to Pre-Schoolers—If Those Kids Had Nuclear Warheads

Moscow’s Sergey Lavrov said a pause was needed in the confrontation between Trump and Kim Jong Un “to calm down the hotheads”.

Earthquake In North Korea Sets Off Alarm And Speculation : The Two-Way : NPR

The quake occurred close to the site where the country detonated a hydrogen bomb earlier this month.

China Says ‘Suspected Explosion’ Behind North Korea Quake – The Daily Beast

But officials are divided on whether the tremors were natural or man-made.

China Curbs Oil Product Exports to North Korea, Bans Condensate – Bloomberg

China slapped fresh sanctions on North Korea, curbing some oil product exports to the country, after U.S. President Donald Trump ordered new sanctions this week.

Foreign Policy Reports

Germany heads to the polls | News | DW | 24.09.2017

Germans are voting in a nationwide election that is expected to deliver a fourth term to Chancellor Angela Merkel. It is also expected to see the right-wing populist AfD party enter parliament for the first time.

Germans warned against apathy as Merkel heads for fourth term

Turnout slipped slightly in Germany’s election despite politicians warning that apathy could boost the far-right, expected to return to parliament after a half century’s absence, overshadowing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s expected victory.

In a number of German provinces, voter turnout at the moment exceeds the figures registered during past parliamentary elections – Turnout at elections to Bundestag is higher than four years ago –

In a number of German provinces, voter turnout at the moment exceeds the figures registered during past parliamentary elections

Germany votes as Merkel bids for a fourth term, far right eyes seats in Parliament – The Washington Post

Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to keep her job, even as the anti-Islam Alternative for Germany party is poised to make gains.

Strategy / History / Capability Publications

This is the U.S. Army’s Handbook for Defeating Russia in a War | The National Interest Blog

The handbook recommends that U.S. forces train to fight in an environment where electronic warfare jams GPS and radios.

(U//FOUO) Asymmetric Warfare Group Russian New Generation Warfare Handbook | Public Intelligence

(U) As the American Army fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, it became the best tactical level counter insurgency force of the modern era. America’s enemies, however, did not rest. Russia observed the transformation of the American Army and began a transformation of their own. This new military barely resembles its former Soviet self. Wielding a sophisticated blend of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), electronic warfare (EW) jamming equipment, and long range rocket artillery, it took the Soviet model out of the 1980s and into the 21st Century. (U) Ukraine’s 2014 Euromaidan Revolution overthrew a corrupt Russian supported president and threatened to place a pro-European government in power on the very outskirts of the Russian Federation. In March 2014, Russia occupied Ukraine’s Crimea with SPETsNAZ units in a virtually bloodless operation. SPETsNAZ then infiltrated into the Donbas region, fomenting unrest and sparking a pro-Russian insurgency. (U) Over the next few months, the Ukrainian military and volunteer militia fought back rather successfully. They pushed the separatists back to the very border with Russia. Then everything changed. Russian regular troops with heavy equipment attacked across their border and fought a series of encirclement battles resulting in hundreds of Ukrainian troops killed and the Ukrainian Anti-Terror Operation teetering on the brink of defeat. (U) How do we combat this enemy? America has not encountered this type of conflict for nearly a generation and needs to transform to fight and win in complex maneuver warfare. Several factors contribute to potential challenges U.S. formations may face in such a conflict: It has been several years since we deployed large numbers of troops in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan. Our junior leaders, both officers and enlisted, have less and less combat experience. Our equipment has been designed to combat an insurgency, not an enemy with potential overmatch. How do we protect our troops from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), communications and GPS jamming, and layered air defense networks? (U) This handbook attempts to examine the tactics used by Russia in Ukraine as the military component of their New Generation Warfare doctrine. We will attempt to describe their capabilities and applications of combat power. Finally, this handbook will present recommendations for U.S. Battalions and Brigade Combat Teams to counter these Russian methods of war. The war in Ukraine is still ongoing. The Russian Forces are still involved in Syria and continue to improve from their successes and shortfalls. We, as American Soldiers, must do the same. As the saying goes, “Only fools learn from their mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.”

F-22 Fighter Jet Getting Even More Firepower

The U.S. military’s F-22 fighter jet is getting even more firepower amid increasing demand for U.S. air power across the globe.

Радиолокационный комплекс разведки «Зоопарк» – YouTube

IW/IO/Cyber Reports

Russian ‘botnet’ promotes far-right messages in German election – POLITICO

Researchers say botnet with links to Russia started to promote hashtags on Twitter connected to the AfD over the last 48 hours

Real-time tracking system measures Russian interference in German elections – To Inform is to Influence

Putin backs the far right, according to DC-based Alliance for Securing Democracy, which is using a new ‘dashboard’ to expose ‘online influence networks’ aimed at German voters By JULIE MASISSeptember 24, 2017 The Russians are actively promoting Germany’s far-right political party in today’s national elections, according to a Twitter tracking service set up by Laura Rosenberger, co-director of… #UKR + Eastern Europe Update as of 241410UTC September 2017 – To Inform is to Influence

Tidbits from Both Sides of the Fight #Ukraine UKR President Has Mo’ Meetings in Canada From the UKR Pres Info-machine  “President held a meeting with the group of Canadian MPs” – “President held a meeting with the Premier of Ontario” – “President met with representatives of Canadian business in Toronto” – “President met with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada” “Canada considers…

US Domestic Policy Reports

Poll: Far more trust generals than Trump on N. Korea, while two-thirds oppose preemptive strike – The Washington Post

The president’s image overall remains negative, but he gets strong marks for his handling of hurricanes and a deal with Democrats.

DHS finally reveals the states Russia hacked during the elections

State officials finally know if they serve one of the 21 states Russia tried to hack during the 2016 Presidential elections. Homeland Security and other agencie…

Internet giants, once above the fray, on the defensive in Washington

Internet giants, including Alphabet’s Google (GOOGL.O) and Facebook (FB.O), are moving to compromise on several major policy issues as they adjust to an abrupt shift in the political winds in Washington.

The Russia Investigations: Paul Manafort Has A Bad Week; Twitter, Facebook In The Hot Seat : NPR

Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman is in the special counsel’s crosshairs. Facebook and Twitter are under the interrogation lights. Here’s a look back at the past week in the Russia imbroglio.

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