Congress pressuring Administration to act on lethal aid for Ukraine and Russia sanctions. Diaspora lobbies Canadian Govt to take lead in UN Donbass peacekeeping mission. Russians objecting to UN peacekeepers and lethal aid for Ukraine. Russian objections to BMD – is it that Russia has less confidence in the RVSN and V-MF ICBM/SLBM capabilities than the West does?
Russian censors harass CNN – curious given the extent to which CNN has uncritically regurgitated Russian propaganda not knowing it from fact. More threats against social media – what if these companies ban Russian subscribers including trolls? Russia could be cutting itself out of some the best proxy delivery platforms they have. Yakovenko’s Kasparov.ru essay on “How and why Putin arranged the ethnocide of the Russian people in Ukraine” reiterates in much greater detail Harding’s July 11, 2017 argument in “Too Embarrassed To Admit To Being Ethnic Russian?” – why was it that disproportionate numbers of ethnic Russians joined Ukrainian militias in 2014 to fight the Russian invasion? Hitler’s Volksdeutsche campaign to exploit ethic Germans in Eastern Europe and the Balkans had one final outcome post-WW2 – ethnic cleansing of literally millions of ethnic Germans, many of whom resided in their host nations for centuries and were not NSDAP supporters. More ugliness in Crimea, pervasive labour shortages, upset Belarusian gastarbeiters, and a red-on-red shooting incident – the abyss beckons and the Putin regime cannot resist.
Russians dispute Gen Muzhenko’s statement on stay-behinds. Belarus tries to bypass Russian POL policy. More on the kidnapping of the teenager by the FSB. Putinist Pres Dodon in Moldova continues his crusade.
In Ukraine, debate over Kalinovka fire continues. Butusov details losses, and the circumstances – non-existent security permitting easy access from outside. Good news – critical 152mm arty and 220mm MLRS stocks survived, bad news is up to 40,000 tonnes ammo lost, especially 21,000 tonnes of 125mm tank ammo, plus a lot of 122mm MLRS, 122mm arty, 82mm and 120mm mortar warstocks. Replacement cost of stock estimated at US$600-800M. Donbass fires continue, while Russia tries to shift blame for the US national OSCE observer killed by a landmine in a Russian held area.
Iran, ISIS, Syria, Kurdistan articles of interest.
RoK media claim the DPRK is relocating ballistic missiles from a Pyongyang facility. Three interesting essays by Bateman, Rovere and Kazianis (referring to Bennett @ RAND). It is indeed likely that if the sanctions work, the Kim regime may start a war to stave off domestic collapse, and thus accelerate the economic implosion, producing one of the outcomes Bennett details, which could regardless be an outcome of the sanctions eventually. Notion of a popular uprising or large scale mutiny of the military do not reflect the realities history depicts, the best case study being the collapse of Germany in April/May 1945, when people stopped going to work, and soldiers deserted en masse, while diehards from the Waffen SS and other NSDAP entities murdered vast numbers of deserters, soldiers who no longer wanted to fight, civilians who tried to flee, etc (well depicted by Hollywood in Fury). What is better? An unstable regime led by an ambitious psychopath with ICBMs, VX and nuclear warheads, or a disintegrating failed state? SECSTATE is in Beijing. WashEx eviscerates the NYT over proxy delivery of DPRK propaganda.
In Sweden, major Nazi march with 50 arrests. More on Germany. Poland says no to Muslim refugees. Catalan mayhem continues. US evacs staff from Havana Embassy.
Three interesting strategy/history essays, with thanks to Harding.
“Russian Razzie Awards” could be described as a funny tit-for-tat were it not tragic. More on Russian propaganda and hacking. Exemplar Donbass propaganda website.
Social media remain main topic in US domestic Russia debate.
Russia / Russophone Reports
GOP lawmakers are waiting on the White House to act on recommendations from top officials to send lethal defensive aid to Ukraine. Russia has boosted Ukrainian separatists with weapons and fighters in the years-long conflict on the country’s eastern border. The Obama administration refused to give Ukraine defensive arms and opted instead for non-lethal aid and training. But with the Kremlin’s continued failure to abide by ceasefire agreements and its destabilizing activities abroad, experts and lawmakers say, the present moment is a ripe opportunity to try to change Russian president Vladimir Putin’s calculus. The question remains whether the Trump administration—which has said it wants to improve relations with the Kremlin—will take it.
WASHINGTON — Two leading U.S. senators are warning President Donald Trump to enforce the Russia sanctions that Congress recently passed into law over Trump's objections. A letter released o…
Senators John McCain and Ben Cardin, in a letter addressed to the US President, said that the Trump administration hasn’t yet started implementing the new sanctions law, signed two months ago, as reported by Reuters. “Now, as critical deadlines are approaching, it is imperative that your Administration implement the law to its fullest extent to uphold and protect American interests,” the letter said.
OTTAWA – The national president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) has called on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take the lead in a United Nations peacekeeping mission in eastern Ukraine.Following a September 22 meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Toronto, Prime Minister Trudeau told reporters at a joint news conference with both leaders that a U.N. mission could ensure that “people are able to live their lives in peace and security in a way that upholds the principles of international law that, quite frankly, Russia violated with its illegitimate actions.”
Stepan Poltorak, the Ukrainian Defence Minister, has told journalists in that country that he had discussions with Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan to become involved in building a Ukrainian ammunition plant.
A Russian parliamentarian said Saturday that they should ‘do everything possible’ to prevent Canadian arms transfers to Ukraine
This week, pro-Kremlin propagandists wrapped themselves in red tape. Significant paperwork is needed to dig into the details: it’s all about official documents and agreements.
In recent weeks, Russia has conducted a number of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests with experimental payloads that are designed to penetrate advanced
Putin: “We have nukes”. </end editorial> Russia’s president, speaking at a pro-Kremlin youth camp at a lake near Moscow, said “it’s best not to mess with us,” adding “I want to remind you that Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers” By Colin Freeman 4:32PM BST 29 Aug 2014 Vladimir Putin raised the spectre of…
The head of Russia’s ground forces has announced Moscow’s troops will carry out seven drills next year.
Russia’s communications regulator accused CNN on Friday of violating the country’s media laws and has summoned network reps over the allegations. The…
Russia's media-regulatory agency, Roskomnadzor, has accused the U.S.-based broadcaster CNN of unspecified legal violations that breach the terms of its broadcast license in Russia. In …
The Minister of Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation, Nikolay Nikiforov, stated that Telegram and other Internet services …
The Russian Duma has declared that Kyiv’s decision to make Ukrainian the language of instruction in Ukrainian schools is “’an act of ethnocide’ of the ethnic Russian people in Ukraine, thus denouncing in another what Moscow is itself doing in Russia and ignoring who is really responsible for the shift away from Russian ethnic identity in Ukraine.
Paul Goble Staunton, September 29 – The Russian Duma has declared that Kyiv’s decision to make Ukrainian the language of instruction in Ukrainian schools is “’an act of ethnocide’ of the ethnic Russian people in Ukraine, thus denouncing in another what Moscow is itself doing in Russia and ignoring who is really responsible for the shift away from Russian ethnic identity in Ukraine. In a Kasparov.ru commentary, Russian analyst Igor Yakovenko notes that “ethnocide is the policy of the intentional destruction of national identity and the self-consciousness of a people” that can be achieved either by genocide or by forced assimilation into another human community (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=59CD203BD5D3A). There is no genocide of ethnic Russians going on in Ukraine except in the fevered imaginations of some Russian commentators, Yakovenko says; but there is assimilation of ethnic Russians into the Ukrainian nation – but not as a result of Kyiv’s policies but rather because of the actions and statement of the Russian government. In Soviet times, the share of ethnic Russians in the Ukrainian population rose from 9.23 percent in 1926 to 22.07 percent in 1989, the result of the mass murder of the Ukrainian peasantry by Stalin and the Moscow-organized in-migration of ethnic Russians and Moscow’s encouragement of Russian as opposed to Ukrainian identity. The next Ukrainian census is scheduled for 2020 and it will show a precipitous decline in the share of ethnic Russians in the population, Yakovenko says. A recent survey found that only six percent of the citizens of Ukraine now say they are ethnic Russians. The figure in 2020 will likely be even lower. Most ethnic Russians in Ukraine are characterized by “bi-ethnicity,” the Russian analyst says. That is, people who hold this identity view themselves as part of two peoples simultaneously – Russians and Ukrainians. But now if they have to choose, almost all of these people will choose to identify as Ukrainians. According to Yakovenko, “the process of the sharp reduction of the share of people who consider themselves ethnic Russians is occurring in all post-Soviet republics except perhaps Belarus.” In Ukraine, he says, “this process is occurring in a more troubled and more intensive manner.” More troubled because of the ethnic closeness of the Ukrainian and Russian peoples, and more intensively “above all” because of the war that Russian has unleashed against Ukraine. But it is not connected only with the war, Yakovenko says. It also reflects the hatred of Ukraine spewed out by Russian media outlets which still reach many people in Ukraine. As a result, “to be an ethnic Russian in Ukraine is becoming a problem,” the analyst says. It is not just a problem of how others view ethnic Russians in Ukraine, he argues; it is also a problem of self-consciousness, of how ethnic Russians in Ukraine see themselves. They do not see themselves as Moscow TV commentators insist they should, and they are choosing to be Ukrainians even though under different circumstances they might have chosen otherwise. “If it weren’t for the war, the political talk shows, and a number of other broadcasts of Russian television,” ethnic Russians in Ukraine wouldn’t be confronted with a choice. But when they hear what those who are invading their country say, they make the only reasonable choice and become Ukrainians. Thus, Yakovenko says, “an ethnocide of the Russian people in Ukraine is really occurring. Russia by its military actions and its television broadcasts is intentionally carrying it out.” That Moscow should blame Kyiv for what the Russian authorities are doing is only yet another confirmation of that reality.
On September 27, the State Duma unanimously adopted a statement on the inadmissibility of violating the fundamental right of indigenous peoples and national minorities of Ukraine to study in their native languages. In the statement, the deputies unanimously condemned the new edition of the law “On Education” signed by Petro Poroshenko on 25.09.17. Most of all deputies were outraged by the fact that the law establishes the Ukrainian language as the language of the educational process in the country’s educational institutions. In anger, Russian deputies called this law “an act of ethnocide” of the Russian people in Ukraine Before that, the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs reacted to this law almost in a similar way, saying that because of this act “Hungary will block and veto any step of Ukraine on the way to further European integration.” Ethnocide is the policy of purposeful destruction of the national identity, the self-awareness of the people. Can be carried out by two methods: the physical destruction of the people, that is, by the method of genocide and through forced assimilation, that is, by creating conditions for the loss of the nation’s national identity and the replacement of its identity by another people. The fact that the “genocide of the Russian people” is going on in Ukraine can only be declared by the “political” talk shows of Russian television channels that are insane, or they are pretending to be. As for assimilation, it really does happen. And there are real reasons that push this process. But these reasons are for the most part outside of Ukraine, namely to the east of its state border. Almost the entire 20th century, the process of Russification of the population was going on in the territory of Ukraine. According to the 1926 population census in Ukraine, there were 9.23% of Russians, according to the 1989 census – 22.07%. A decade after the creation of a sovereign state, according to the population census in Ukraine, the number of Russians decreased: they were 17.28%. The next census in Ukraine is scheduled for 2020, and it is likely to show a sharp decline in the share of Russians. According to a poll conducted by the Razumkov Sociological Center in 2017, only 6% of the Ukrainian citizens surveyed said they were Russian. At the same time, the survey showed that for Russians in Ukraine there is a characteristic “biethnicity,” that is, referring oneself to two peoples simultaneously: to Russians and Ukrainians. And in the case of a clarifying question: to which people would you be classified, if you had to choose, most of the “biethnic” chose in favor of Ukrainian ethnicity. The process of a sharp reduction in the proportion of people who consider themselves Russians, occurs in all post-Soviet republics, except, perhaps, Belarus. Indicative data on the change in the number of citizens who speak at home in Russian. Here is information on four post-Soviet countries:
In the 2001 Census, 17.3% of Ukrainians self-identified as ethnic Russian. The most recent survey, even if not a census, has the number down at 5%. Even accounting for Crimea, and occupied Donbass, this says ethnic Russians are denying their heritage. Should we be surprised given the Putin doctrine of using resident ethnic Russians as…
Paul Goble Staunton, September 30 – Russian law currently requires all media outlets, print and electronic, that issue materials in non-Russian languages to translate them into Russian, a requirement that adds to the burdens of the editors of these publications and puts them at risk of major fines if they do not comply. At its current meeting in Syktyvkar, the Association of Finno-Ugric Peoples of the Russian Federation is working on a proposal to be sent to the Russian Duma calling for the law to be changed to end this unnecessary duplication, something participants called an all-Russian problem for the country’s non-Russian media (komiinform.ru/news/153942/). Yury Mishanin, a scholar at the Mordvinian State University, said the requirement that materials from non-Russian outlets be translated into Russia “does not make any sense” because the non-Russian media is directed at the indigenous population and that those who don’t know the languages of these people can turn to Russian-language media.t There is no guarantee that the Duma will approve such a change. Indeed, the likelihood is that Moscow will turn the Finno-Ugric proposal down flat given that the central authorities use the current legal arrangements to put additional pressure on non-Russian publishers in order to force them to cut back their efforts. But there are at least three reasons why this is important. First, even more than schools in non-Russian languages in many cases, non-Russian media outlets help maintain national identities. That the Finno-Ugrics are focusing on this suggests that these small and dispersed peoples understand that this is something worth defending. Second, the Finno-Ugric peoples are pushing for this change not just for themselves alone but for all non-Russian peoples inside the current borders of the Russian Federation, an example of the kind of cooperation among them that Moscow has always sought to block or to break up when it appears. And third, this Finno-Ugric appeal calls attention to something Moscow fears and that many others don’t suspect: the non-Russian language media is very different than the Russian ones in the same territories. Those who read its outlets often have a very different view of the world than those who rely on Russian alone. Consequently, any effort to allow the non-Russian media to have less Russian supervision not only reflects but intensifies the aspirations of non-Russians to focus on what matters to them, to set their own agendas, and to view themselves as distinct from the Russian “world” Moscow wants to promote.
Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny met with residents in Orenburg in the Urals on September 30 as part of his campaign for the March 2018 presidentia…
The head of the local election coordinating committee and about a dozen activists have been detained by police in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod while attempting to hold a rally in support o…
On September 27, one day after members of his administration had rejected rumors of his imminent resignation as unfounded, Ramazan Abdulatipov told a Moscow radio station that he had decided to ste…
Russia’s top domestic security agency says it has arrested two people suspected of passing the nation’s military secrets to Ukraine.
The scandal surrounding Siemens turbines has heightened the concern of foreign investors in Russia, stated German Ambassador to Russia Rüdiger …
Russia is planning to erect a border wall to separate Crimea from mainland Ukraine.
Violent attacks by radical Orthodox activists against theaters in Russia threaten the release of a film about a love affair between Russian Czar Nicholas II and a young ballerina.
Russian television is calling her the “Angelina Jolie of the Urals,” but Julia Savinovskih is no movie star. Earlier this month, social workers in Yekaterinburg seized her two adopted children, after Savinovskih had an elective double mastectomy.
Long gone are the days of party-issued uniforms and uninspired Soviet style. In Moscow and Kazan, the photographer Sasha Arutyunova captured the Russian sartorial ambition to stand out through bold colors, vintage or handmade items and eye-catching patterns.
Russian authorities say a soldier shot and killed three fellow servicemen with an automatic weapon during target practice in the country's Far East and fled the scene with his weapon. Two othe…
A Russian soldier who shot and killed three fellow servicemen with an automatic weapon during target practice in the country’s Far East and fled the scene with his weapon was killed by police during a search operation.
Russian troops that took part in war games in neighboring Belarus have returned to their bases, a Russian general said on Saturday.
The Ukrainian military's chief of staff says Russia left troops behind in Belarus after staging military exercises there, despite Moscow's pledge not to do so, Reuters reports. Vikto…
Russian efforts to have Belarus to ship oil product exports via Russian ports rather than through Latvia and Lithuania are unlikely to be successful for cost reasons, as Belarus seeks other export opportunities, including through a planned product pipeline to the southwest, officials have said. Belarus is almost entirely dependent on Russia to supply crude oil to its two refineries, at Mozyr in the south and Novopolotsk in the north, which it buys at favorable rates. Wider tensions have periodically disrupted supplies however, and Russia sharply reduced crude deliveries to Belarus last year, before a deal was reached to resolve the issue this April. At a conference in Minsk, the acting director general of state-owned Belarusian Oil Company (Beloil), Sergei Grib, said a 50% discount offered by Russia as an inducement to Belarus to ship oil products from its refineries through Russian ports in the Gulf of Finland was still not competitive with costs through Latvia and Lithuania. Belarus is giving buyers the option to receive products at the Russian port of Ust-Luga, but “the 50% discount they gave us still doesn’t cover the cost of railway shipment. In addition, Russia has very high trans-shipment costs by comparison with the Baltic ports,” Grib told S&P Global Platts. Grib said the distance from Belarus’ northern refinery, Naftan, to Ust-Luga, at 800 km (496 miles), is double that to the Latvian port of Riga. He said Belarus also continued using an oil product pipeline to ship 50 ppm “Euro IV” diesel to the Latvian port of Ventspils, with deliveries in both August and September. Russia has repeatedly said it will stop using the same export pipeline to Latvia, which it partly owns. Belarus is also discussing the construction of a product pipeline from its southern refinery at Mozyr to the southwestern city of Brest, near the Polish and Ukrainian borders, enabling it to diversify exports and better cope with a threat to its position in the Ukrainian market.
19-year-old Pavlo Gryb went to Belarus to meet his friend Tatiana from Russia, whom he knew from social networks. After meeting her, he was abducted by unknown men dressed in civilian clothes, who turned out to be Russian secret service employees, according to Novaya gazeta. The young people discussed the Euromaidan, the Donbas conflict, and other events in Ukraine over social networks, which brought attention of the Russian Security Service (the FSB). Tatiana was planning to move to Ukraine. The FSB brought her in for questioning, where they, as she understood, made her a deal: she would meet Pavlo on their rules, and they would help her with the documents to move to Ukraine. Pavlo Gryb was aware of the plan, but decided to go to Gomel anyway. He met Tatiana on August 24. After an hour-long-meeting, he went to the Homel bus station to go back to Kyiv. On his way there, he was stopped by people in civilian clothes, and forced into a van, which brought him to a forest, where he was handed over to other strangers. He was brought into a cell without windows where he spent, as he reckons, about 2 days. By the informational materials inside the building, he understood he was in the village Riabtsevo, Smolensk region. He was informed that he would be arrested under Russian laws, after which he was brought to Krasnodar, the media says.
Transnistria / Moldova Reports
Moldovan parliamentary Chairman Andrian Candu said he hoped negotiations on settling the Transdniestria conflict in the 5+2 format (Moldova, Transdniestria, Russia, Ukraine, and the OSCE plus observers from the United States and the European Union) would be resumed before the end of 2017. “We are seeking to resume the negotiations and discuss the existing problems so as to achieve at least some results before the end of the year. We also spoke at today’s meeting about the need to submit proposals to the parliament for resolving problems facing the residents of the safety zone on the left and on the right banks of the Dniester River,” Candu told journalists on September 29, following a meeting of the parliamentary platform for settling the Transdniestria conflict. “These could be social and economic issues, the simplification of the procedure for confirming Moldovan citizenship for residents of Transdniestria,” he said.
Russian journalist Daria Aslamova, who set out for Chisinau for an interview with President Igor Dodon, has been refused entry into the country, …
All recent blasts at ammunition depots in Ukraine have resulted from acts of sabotage organized by the Russian side and Russian-supported illegal armed groups, even though this was facilitated by negligence of officials, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has said. “We are inclined to presume that all recent blasts are part of warfare by the Russian Federation and Russian terrorists,” Lutsenko said in a program on the Inter television channel late on September 29. “We see all signs of sabotage. I am telling you responsibly that we detected an unmanned aerial vehicle’s flight across the Russian-Ukrainian border in Balakliya to drop thermobaric charges, which caused the explosions near Balakliya. Therefore, this is an act of sabotage on the part of Russia, which is destroying our military capability,” Lutsenko said.
Ukraine's Prosecutor-General Yuriy Lutsenko said investigators are operating under a theory that saboteurs may have used a detonator to trigger a massive explosion and fire at a munitions depot i…
September 27, at 22:00, at the 48th arsenal of the APU in the village of Kalinovka Vinnytsia region there were explosions, which led to the destruction of tens of thousands of tons of shells at one of the largest storage of ammunition in Ukraine. This disaster was the third explosion of the ammunition depot in 2017 and the sixth attempt to undermine ammunition depots in the last three years of the war. The value of the 48th arsenal and damage assessment The 48th Arsenal of the Armed Forces is located in a densely populated area in the village of Kalinovka, 30 km from Vinnytsia, and is surrounded on all sides by villages and private houses. Arsenal was one of the three largest ammunition storage bases in Ukraine, along with Balakley in Kharkiv and Tsvetokha in Khmelnitsky regions. The first in importance was Balakleya, almost completely destroyed in March 2017. According to the statement of the Minister of Defense Stepan Poltorak, in Kalinovka there were about 83 thousand tons of ammunition, including 68 thousand tons of equipment, the rest – in the form of disassembled components. According to official data of the Defense Ministry, about 30% of the ammunition was blown up. but On September 29, the Ministry of Defense provided information to the presidential administration on the destruction of more shells. At the moment, the destruction of 32 thousand tons of shells is declared, including 21 thousand tons of tank shells 125 mm. Secretary of the Verkhovna Rada Defense Committee Ivan Vinnik, a member of the State Commission for Export Control of Arms, citing his sources in the Ministry of Defense, said that the real damage from the Kalinovka disaster is 40,000 tons of ammunition. Of course, what exactly exploded in open areas – for the enemy and our allies is not a secret. Is it too much or not enough to lose 32 thousand tons of ammunition? For comparison: from the arsenal Kalinovka for four years of the war in 2014-2017. About 24 thousand tons of ammunition were delivered to the front and combat training of the army. That is, even according to the most minimal estimates, the damage from the explosion exceeds the entire supply of shells and mines from the arsenal in four years of the war. This is a huge figure, because the destroyed shells from Kalinovka in the conditions of Minsk restrictions could close the needs of the entire ATU front, as well as all the needs for ammunition for the army’s combat training. What is blown up and what is the cost of destroyed ammunition? The Ministry of Defense and its PR specialists disseminate information that the shells that were to be disposed of and destroyed did not represent a real value. This information is absolutely unreliable, and discredits the state. It’s a shame that statesmen mislead their own people with such statements. Because the enemy knows the situation on open storage bases and has information about the nomenclature. Ammunition in fact is of great value, since no new shells are produced in Ukraine, there are almost no purchases abroad due to the high cost. In Ukraine repair and refurbishment of old shells and mines has been adjusted. Also, Ukraine, for replenishment of the state budget, sends the parties of unloaded shells for export – under official contracts controlled by our Western allies – which brings significant revenues to the state budget and is directed to the needs of the Ministry of Defense. According to ZN.UA sources, the main losses in the Kalinovka warehouse are 125 mm tank shells, 122 mm rocket launchers BM-21 Grad, 122 mm howitzer shells, 82 and 120 mm mortar mines. Hundreds of thousands of shells of these types were destroyed – some of the most popular in the army. No one planned to destroy the projectiles, they were either ready for use or subject to repair. RU / UA Search by date – in the news by author in articles in photos and videos in an interview Catastrophe in Kalinovka: the explosion that was expected September 29, 19:51 Print this story yury Butusov Author Yury Butusov Author’s articles US Military Assistance: A New Approach to Trump? Today in Washington, the new administration of President Trump is trying to formulate what kind of politics … US military equipment for Ukraine: political symbolism and goal-setting Military assistance to NATO countries, and especially the United States, in the war for Ukraine’s independence is of paramount importance … What happened in Avdeevka? An unexpected outbreak of hostilities in the Donbas, bombardment of residential areas, the death of Ukrainian soldiers and … A great miracle simply saved the big victims. Currently September 27, at 22:00, at the 48th arsenal of the APU in the village of Kalinovka Vinnytsia region there were explosions, which led to the destruction of tens of thousands of tons of shells at one of the largest storage of ammunition in Ukraine. This disaster was the third explosion of the ammunition depot in 2017 and the sixth attempt to undermine ammunition depots in the last three years of the war. The value of the 48th arsenal and damage assessment The 48th Arsenal of the Armed Forces is located in a densely populated area in the village of Kalinovka, 30 km from Vinnytsia, and is surrounded on all sides by villages and private houses. Arsenal was one of the three largest ammunition storage bases in Ukraine, along with Balakley in Kharkiv and Tsvetokha in Khmelnitsky regions. The first in importance was Balakleya, almost completely destroyed in March 2017. According to the statement of the Minister of Defense Stepan Poltorak, in Kalinovka there were about 83 thousand tons of ammunition, including 68 thousand tons of equipment, the rest – in the form of disassembled components. According to official data of the Defense Ministry, about 30% of the ammunition was blown up. but On September 29, the Ministry of Defense provided information to the presidential administration on the destruction of more shells. At the moment, the destruction of 32 thousand tons of shells is declared, including 21 thousand tons of tank shells 125 mm. Secretary of the Verkhovna Rada Defense Committee Ivan Vinnik, a member of the State Commission for Export Control of Arms, citing his sources in the Ministry of Defense, said that the real damage from the Kalinovka disaster is 40,000 tons of ammunition. Of course, what exactly exploded in open areas – for the enemy and our allies is not a secret. Is it too much or not enough to lose 32 thousand tons of ammunition? For comparison: from the arsenal Kalinovka for four years of the war in 2014-2017. About 24 thousand tons of ammunition were delivered to the front and combat training of the army. That is, even according to the most minimal estimates, the damage from the explosion exceeds the entire supply of shells and mines from the arsenal in four years of the war. This is a huge figure, because the destroyed shells from Kalinovka in the conditions of Minsk restrictions could close the needs of the entire ATU front, as well as all the needs for ammunition for the army’s combat training. What is blown up and what is the cost of destroyed ammunition? The Ministry of Defense and its PR specialists disseminate information that the shells that were to be disposed of and destroyed did not represent a real value. This information is absolutely unreliable, and discredits the state. It’s a shame that statesmen mislead their own people with such statements. Because the enemy knows the situation on open storage bases and has information about the nomenclature. Ammunition in fact is of great value, since no new shells are produced in Ukraine, there are almost no purchases abroad due to the high cost. In Ukraine repair and refurbishment of old shells and mines has been adjusted. Also, Ukraine, for replenishment of the state budget, sends the parties of unloaded shells for export – under official contracts controlled by our Western allies – which brings significant revenues to the state budget and is directed to the needs of the Ministry of Defense. According to ZN.UA sources, the main losses in the Kalinovka warehouse are 125 mm tank shells, 122 mm rocket launchers BM-21 Grad, 122 mm howitzer shells, 82 and 120 mm mortar mines. Hundreds of thousands of shells of these types were destroyed – some of the most popular in the army. No one planned to destroy the projectiles, they were either ready for use or subject to repair. By a lucky chance, the storage of especially valuable 152 mm howitzer shells and 220 mm rocket missiles of the BM-27 Uragan MLRS did not explode and survived. Of great value are not only ready-to-use shells, but also their components, which were processed in the repair shop at the base. And this value is not only military, but also commercial. One kilogram of weapons-grade explosives in the world market costs about $ 20. One kilogram of hexogen is about 40 dollars. One kilogram of an octogen is about 140-150 dollars. Their cost is also a primer (even old ones that can be repaired), and shell shells. What to say about valuable metals – large-scale theft of especially valuable brass casings in warehouses was the reason for many scandals during the years of independence – these cases have a high price even as scrap, not to mention that it is a liquid export commodity, and sell it much more profitable than to destroy. According to Ivan Vinnik, the damage from the loss of ammunition is at least $ 800 million. How can you check this figure? According to sources ZN.UA, the cost of one thousand tons of old Soviet ammunition 3- 4 categories, requiring repair and disassembly, on the world arms market ranges from $ 15 to $ 30 million – according to the most minimal estimates. Ukraine even during the war exports such munitions for the replenishment of the military budget. If you take their cost at the minimum prices, the 27,000 tons declared by the Defense Ministry is at least $ 400 million. Unofficial estimates of damage of 40,000 tons mean that the cost of lost ammunition (without taking into account the destruction of the infrastructure of the military base and adjacent territories) is at least $ 600 million. How much will it cost for Ukraine to purchase new ammunition of these calibers in the world market? After all, apart from us, there are not many such suppliers, and above all it is the Russian Federation, with which we do not trade arms. So, if you buy shells from other, non-Russian suppliers, the price for a similar colossal batch of shells would be an order of magnitude higher. Is this a lot or a little – damage of $ 600 million? This is more than 25% of the total budget of the Ministry of Defense for 2017. Even with the ban on the use of heavy weapons at the front, the blown up munitions could provide all the requests for combat training of the APU for several years. After all, the firing of live ammunition in the Armed Forces has severe limits. The minimum number of shells is allocated to the training of artillerymen, tankers and cadets of military schools, shooting is not frequent, there is a severe regime of economy, which is at the expense of the fighting capacity of the troops and does not allow maintaining a high level of combat equipment. And now, after the mediocre loss of a huge number of shells, the standards for providing combat training will undoubtedly be curtailed even more. In these conditions, neglecting the problem of the safety of munitions is not just negligence, it is damage to the country’s defense capability, undermining the key element of military capabilities during the war. After the disaster in Balakley, the disaster in Kalinovka is too serious a problem that it can just be talked about and left without consequences. We suffered irreparable losses – and not only because the enemy is cunning and cunning, but because the arsenal in Kalinovka was in such a deplorable state in the fourth year of the war that it could not be saved from sabotage or accident. And if no one for these terrible failures will not answer – then what is the responsibility of statesmen and commanders in general? Why did the arsenal in Kalinovka explode? After the disaster in Balakley, it was obvious that the next blast could occur in Kalinovka: in fact, most of the storage places here, like in Balakley, are located openly (on the ground) and are as vulnerable as possible. After the destruction of Balakley, Kalinovka became the largest arsenal of storage. And it was clear to all military specialists that the arsenal could become an attractive target for Russian sabotage. As a result, the arsenal began checking, and the depth of problems was uncovered before the explosion. ZN.UA managed to obtain data on the state of the 48th arsenal in Kalinovka. From April to June 2017, four inspections of the arsenal were carried out by the commissions of the presidential administration, the Main Inspectorate of the Ministry of Defense, and the Central Rocket and Artillery Directorate. The facts given here about the state of the arsenal are from official documents. The total area of the 48th arsenal is about 1200 hectares. The shells were placed on the territory inside a protected perimeter with a length of 10 km 450 m. Arsenal is located in a densely populated area, and it is impossible to effectively control the movement of people around the base and if they penetrate into the perimeter it was impossible. However, the “perimeter” is a very conventional name. According to official conclusions, even the minimum security conditions for the arsenal were not secured. Here is a list of key flaws that clearly demonstrates – how deplorable was the state of security and protection of the arsenal, established by checks:
A huge crater has shown just how big the explosion was that destroyed an ammunition depot in Ukraine. The suspected arson attack sent a massive fireball skyward, prompting the evacuation…
Ukraine stresses the absurdity of Russia’s claims that the Ukrainian forces were to blame for the tragic death of an OSCE Special Monitoring Mission’s observer, a U.S. citizen, in a militant-controlled area in Donbas in April 2017, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna said, addressing the meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council September 28, 2017. News 29 September from UNIAN.
There were several occasions throughout the Ukrainian-Russian conflict when German foreign ministry was concerned that an actual war could break out between the two countries, spokesman for the ministry Martin Schaefer said at his last press conference in office before resignation, Deutsche Welle reports. “There were two or three situations in the Ukrainian crisis when we were seriously afraid that war would start between Russia and Ukraine,” he said, according to DW. Speaking in Berlin on Friday, Schaefer announced that he was leaving his post after seven years in office as a speaker for the German foreign ministry. He worked under three ministers. Now he is appointed Ambassador of Germany to the Republic of South Africa.
In late July 2017, the Ukrainian non-governmental advisory organization Reanimation Package of Reforms (RPR) called on President Petro Poroshenko and the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) to immediately reform the Security Service of Ukraine (known by its Ukrainian based acronym as SBU). The authors of the RPR letter asserted that the SBU was unable […]
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has ordered that the authorities sue Russia over the construction of a bridge across the Strait of Kerch, the project causing significant environmental damage, that’s according to president’s spox Svyatoslav Tsegolko. News 29 September from UNIAN.
Militants launched 16 attacks on positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in ATO area in Donbas over the past day. Four Ukrainian servicemen were wounded.
Russia's hybrid military forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in Donbas 16 times in the past 24 hours, with four Ukrainian soldiers reported as wounded in action (WIA), according to the press service of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters. News 30 September from UNIAN.
he Russia-backed militants launched 16 attacks in the Donbas conflict zone on September 29, used mortars and tanks. Four Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in the attacks, according to the Ukrainian Army HQ report. Overall the terrorists used six 120 and 82-mm mortars, having fired over 70 mines and 20 tank shells.
Some are refugees, some criminals, some terrorists, some freedom fighters. And some of the Chechens in Ukraine are all of the above.
Head of General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces Viktor Muzhenko is to visit the US in October to hold a number of bilateral meetings and take part in a security conference, according to Interfax-Ukraine. “Next month I’m planning to visit the United States, where I will have a meeting with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a number of bilateral meetings. I will also attend a security conference for NATO countries and partners, which will address the issues of responding to terrorist threats,” he told Interfax-Ukraine. Muzhenko also noted that the U.S. side has confirmed the request of Ukrainian colleagues and promised to tell them about the work of the United States Joint Forces Command. “We are also going to visit a number of military bases of the California National Guard. By the way, the national guardsmen of California have more than 20 years of partnership experience with the Ukrainian Armed Forces,” Muzhenko said.
The process of forming the core judicial institution in Ukraine, the Supreme Court, is almost completed. The High Council of Justice recommended 111 candidates for the positions of judges. The next step is for them to be appointed by the president Petro Poroshenko. Meanwhile, reform activists sound the alarm once again. They warn that 25% of the candidates do not fit the criteria of integrity and professional ethics. Moreover, among the recommended candidates, two judges are responsible for putting acting Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko behind bars in 2012.
On 28 September 2017, Ukraine’s new law on education entered into force. Called to advance Ukraine’s badly needed education reform, it has been praised for introducing the concept of competence-orientation and giving schools more independence, as well as increasing teachers’ salaries from the average $202 to $370. However, this wasn’t the reason for its international fame: in the weeks after its adoption on 5 September, Ukraine has come under attack of its neighbors for Article 7 of the law stipulating that in all Ukrainian schools, Ukrainian will be the language of instruction starting from Grade 5 (with the exception of schools for Crimean Tatars, an indigenous people of the Crimean peninsula occupied by Russia in 2014).
The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) welcomes the Law of Ukraine "On Education" which is yet another important step by Ukraine on its reform path.
Yanair chief executive Yaroslav Agafonov talks about the Ukrainian airline’s expansion plans in Europe.
LOOK at a map of domestic air traffic in any rich country and the relationship between flying and economic prosperity becomes obvious. In America, 614 towns and cities have regular flights to other domestic airports. Australia has 144 such places. Even in modestly sized Britain that number is 49.
Ukrainian lawmakers previously said that the legal status of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could be determined by last week. However, a unified position has not been reached among regulators. Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Oleg Churiy explained why lawmakers cannot reach consensus on cryptocurrency.
Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine. By Anne Applebaum. Doubleday; 496 pages; $35. Allen Lane; £25. OF THE estimated 70m deaths due to famines in the 20th century, at least 40m occurred under communist regimes in China, the Soviet Union, North Korea and Cambodia.
Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports
It would not be pretty.
The U.S. military and its allies have largely defeated the Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria. Now comes the tricky part: finding political solutions in both of those troubled countries.
Russian Tu-95MS strategic bombers have carried out strikes on the most important Daesh and Al Nusra Front facilities in several Syrian provinces, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday. According to the report of Russian Defense Ministry, the Tu-95MS bombers fired cruise missiles at objects of international terrorist groupings in Syria. The aircraft scrambled from the Engels airfield and flew over territories of Iran and Iraq. “The sudden strikes destroyed a number of terrorist command posts, troop concentrations, and military equipment, as well as ammunition depots,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said in a statement. The objective monitoring data has confirmed elimination of all assigned targets. Su-30 and Su-35 fighters were covering the Tu-95MS bombers. The strategic bombers successfully flew about 7,000 kilometers. They were in-flight refueled by Il-78 tanker aircraft. The missile strikes were carried out against the ISIS objects in order to support offensive of the Syrian Arab Army to eliminate the last terrorists’ bridgehead. It is to be stressed that all the targets were located out of settlements and in a safe distance from strongholds of the US SOF and Syrian Democratic Forces in the ISIS-controlled territories. Latest air photos of Deir ez-Zor area demonstrate these objects. In order to ensure security of the American troops and Kurdish formations, the Russian party will not specify locations of these strongholds.
Two years into the Russian intervention in Syria, we ask what Russians think of the war.
Iraq’s Kurds voted overwhelmingly for an independent state, but their territory lacks democratic institutions, and their troubled economy is dependent on hostile neighbors.
DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports
North Korea says it would be “foolish” for the United States to expect it to abandon its nuclear weapons, despite damaging sanctions.
Several North Korean missiles were recently spotted moved from a rocket facility in the capital Pyongyang, South Korea’s Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) reported late Friday amid speculation that the North was preparing to take more provocative actions.
It doesn’t have to be all-out nuclear war.
War is the inevitable, and only, alternative.
What is left to say at this point when it comes to that “Hermit Kingdom” everyone loves to hate? North Korea, or also known as the so-called Democratic People’s Republic, is the ultimate Pandora’s Box and every president’s worst nightmare: A-bombs, chemical toxins, biological weapons and missiles to lob them all over the world—including now at the continental United States. And Pyongyang knows how to get the news cycle to turn its way—thanks to making Northeast Asia shake with a fresh atomic test. And yet, while North Korea flexing its atomic muscles is certainly a big deal, the world is missing the real story: What happens if someday North Korea falls apart through a mass uprising, economic disaster, or war? Plus-sized bad boy Kim Jung-un is at the head of a state that would likely take trillions of dollars to turn around towards anything resembling normal—say nothing of putting the lives back together of millions of people who been brainwashed, starved and treated as slaves.
A North Korean government collapse would have serious consequences in North Korea and beyond. At the very least, a collapse would reduce the already scarce food and essential goods available to the population, in part due to hoarding and increasing costs. This could lead to a humanitarian disaster. Factions emerging after a collapse could plunge the country into civil war that spills over into neighboring countries. Weapons of mass destruction (WMD) could be used and even proliferated. This report examines ways of controlling and mitigating the consequences, recognizing that the Republic of Korea (ROK) and its U.S. ally will almost certainly need to intervene militarily in the North, likely seeking Korean unification as the ultimate outcome. But such an intervention requires serious preparation. North Koreans must be convinced that they will be treated well and could actually have better lives after unification. The allies need to prepare to deliver humanitarian aid in the North, stop conflict, demilitarize the North Korean military and security services over time, and secure and eventually eliminate North Korean WMD. Potential Chinese intervention must be addressed, ideally leading to cooperation with ROK and U.S. forces. Plans are needed for liberating North Korean political prisons before the guards execute the prisoners. Property rights need to be addressed. The ROK must sustain its military capabilities despite major reductions in force size due to very low birthrates. And ROK reluctance to broadly address North Korean collapse must be overcome so that plans in these areas can move forward.
Russia says it is ready to work with Pyongyang to peacefully resolve the standoff over North Korea’s missile and nuclear-weapons programs. The Russian Foreign Ministry made the comments in …
North Korea through the looking glass.
Analysts are not certain, but the answer is likely: No.
Is there is nothing that either Donald Trump or Kim Jong Un like better than hurling abuse at one another?
The confirmation marks the first time the Trump administration has acknowledged it is in contact with Pyongyang without the help of an intermediary.
BEIJING, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping met with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Saturday, discussing U.S. President Donald Trump’s state visit to China later this year. “Currently the most important event in our bilateral relations is President Trump’s China visit in November,” Xi said. “His visit will be a major opportunity for the development of China-U.S. relations.” Xi said China-U.S ties have been generally stable, and that he has maintained sound communication with President Trump. Chinese and U.S. teams should implement consensus reached by the two heads of state, grasp the direction of bilateral relationship, respect each other, and focus on cooperation while dealing with differences properly, Xi said. “China attaches great importance to President Trump’s visit, and I look forward to working with him to outline and advance our bilateral relations in the years to come,” Xi said. He said the teams on both sides should work closely to make the visit “successful and special.” China and the U.S. are respectively the largest developing country and the largest developed one as well as two leading economies of the world, Xi said, stressing both sides need to and can cooperate on the bilateral, regional and global levels. “The common interests of our two countries far exceed our differences, and cooperation is the only correct choice,” Xi said. The two sides should expand mutually beneficial cooperation and strengthen communication and coordination on major international and regional issues, he said. Xi called on the two sides to handle their differences and sensitive issues through dialogue and consultation, on the basis of respecting each other’s core interests and major concerns, so as to maintain stability of bilateral relations. The two sides should continue to encourage and expand people-to-people exchanges and strengthen friendship between the people of the two countries, he said. Tillerson conveyed Trump’s greetings to Xi, saying the U.S. president looks forward to his visit to China. Hailing the progress in U.S.-China relations under the auspices of the two presidents, Tillerson said the United States values its relations with China and hopes to increase mutual trust and practical cooperation in various areas as well as to jointly tackle international and regional challenges.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other officials Saturday on issues including trade, North Korea and preparations for an anticipated visit by President Donald Trump to China in November.
What do you suppose it’s like, being the kind of guy who posts pictures of his pizza in a country where the people are literally starving to…
Foreign Policy Reports
Three people have been arrested and several others detained by police in Gothenburg prior to a neo-Nazi demonstration in the city Saturday.
Police said at least 50 people were detained Saturday during a right-wing demonstration in Sweden’s second-largest city that left one police officer and several others injured.
Dismay, confusion, fear and a search for answers for Germans who did not vote for far-right AfD, but must come to terms with it shaping their future.
Frauke Petry has left the Alternative for Germany. As an independent member of parliament, her privileges will be limited: She might not even get a desk in the Bundestag’s plenary chamber.
Poland will not accept refugees from the south, despite the promise made by the previous Polish government to do so, as stated by Deputy Foreign …
Online activities designed to cast doubt on Europe’s democratic processes, experts warn.
The occupation of elementary and high schools, which in Spain serve as polling stations, set the stage for a confrontation between pro-independence Catalans and their central government.
Spanish police monitored schools earmarked as polling stations and occupied the Catalan government’s communications hub on Saturday in an effort to prevent a banned independence referendum which has divided Spain.
Cyberspace has become an active front in the Catalan rebellion for independence as the Spanish government pulls down websites, police detain hackers and software developers and haul them into court to testify, and even Wikileaks founder Julian Assange wades into the fray.
Catalans are split over seceding with support for independence as high as 50%, according to a recent poll.
Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson repeated the American assertion that embassy personnel were deliberately targeted. But he did not blame Cuba.
Over 20 U.S. diplomats have suffered apparent acoustic attacks causing hearing loss and nerve damage in some cases
Strategy / History / Capability Publications
#WritingContest2017 Miah Hammond-Errey September 28, 2017 Source: https://thestrategybridge.org/the-bridge/2017/9/28/a-perpetual-conflict-of-ideas Earlier this year, The Strategy Bridge asked university and professional military education students to participate in our first annual writing contest by sending us their thoughts on strategy. Now, we are pleased to present one of the essays tied for third place, from Miah Hammond-Errey of the Australian National University. ARE…
LAURA DANIELS SEPTEMBER 27, 2017 Leaking damaging documents during election season, feeding the media false stories about candidates, and concocting conspiracy theories to smear politicians: this will sound familiar to anyone who followed the U.S. presidential election, and to an extent, recent campaigns in France and Germany. But these methods are not new. In fact, the Soviet Union used them all in West Germany throughout the Cold War. The United States, as the Soviet Union’s “main enemy,” and West Germany, seen as the KGB’s “door to the West,” were the primary targets of Soviet “active measures,” or subversive operations. The two countries share a history that is all the more vital to understand amid claims that Russian active measures are back in business. In Germany, warnings of the resurrection of active measures followed a series of high-profile incidents last year that evoked Cold War methods. Particularly notorious was the Lisa case, in which even Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov joined Kremlin-backed media in stoking German public outrage over the alleged rape of a Russian-German by refugees — after the story had been debunked. Compounding that, after the highly publicized 2015 hack of the German parliament, some feared that stepped-up attempts to hack politicians and journalists would lead to the leaking of documents during the elections. Berlin suspected the recent attempts, along with the 2015 hack, were committed by APT 28, the Russian military-linked group accused of the 2016 Democratic National Committee (DNC) hack.
Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen talks with Scott Simon about how Russia went from communism back to authoritarianism without a stop at democracy in her new book, “The Future Is History.”
Individuals The following individuals have done the most to deny the truth about Russia and project a uniquely positive image about Russia to the world. This is usually accomplished with lies, whataboutisms, deception, and deceit, all packaged up in a nice, neat coordinated propaganda message. If you want it bad, they’ll give it bad, they never disappoint. RT’s feeble attempt at the same: Russophobia: RT rates the top 10 Kremlin critics & their hilarious hate campaigns. Seriously? Morgan Freeman and Rob Reiner for one highly effective video?
A screencapped tweet praising gender inclusivity in the NFL and “gluten free options at stadiums” was geo-tagged from Vladivostok, Russia. BECKETT MUFSON Sep 28 2017, 1:25pm The uptick in fake Antifa accounts claiming to belong to the current anti-fascist movement can be a minefield for internet explorers looking for a safe place to talk about punching Nazis and resisting…
An excellent base document on how to counter Russian information warfare. As Nina says in a tweet on 25 September, Let’s think seriously about why RT, Sputnik & fake news resonate with so many people in the first place. Ms. Jankowicz is absolutely spot on when she says, Finally, under no circumstances should the US…
State officials are punching holes in recent claims by the federal government that their election systems were targeted last year by hackers believed to be Russian agents.
Collecting and publishing reliable and verified information from Donbass region (Donetsk People’s Republic – DPR and Lugansk People’s Republic – LPR).
The Russian Federal Security Service’s branch in Crimea has unveiled plans to build a 50-km fence on the border with Ukraine to ensure the republic’s security. The construction will cost more than 200 million rubles ($3.4 mln) and the works are expected to be completed already this year, according to the website detailing the government procurement.
US Domestic Policy Reports
Two months after signing it, President Donald Trump has not begun enforcing a law imposing new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea, Senators John McCain and Ben Cardin said in a letter seen by Reuters on Friday.
It turns out $100,000 can let you reach you up to 25 million people or allow you to target a key, niche audience multiple times.
Lawmakers slam Twitter’s response to Russian election interference as “frankly inadequate.”
Twitter has taken exception to Senator Mark Warner’s comments that Twitter’s response to the probe was “inadequate on almost every level.”