Special note, read US military aid to Ukraine: opponents only catching panic – LB.ua news portal. It contains analysis of Russia’s information strategy.
Russian propaganda and disinformation campaign intended to convince POTUS not to supply Ukraine with lethal aid is detailed by LB.ua in a very long essay – very Bernays/Goebbels and they seem to be throwing everything at it including the kitchen sink, and recruiting proxies in the strangest places.
A great many reports illustrating Russia’s dive into the abyss, some of the most bizarre captured in Prof Goble’s “A Baker’s Double Dozen of Neglected Russian Stories – No. 102” – as always a must read. NYT look at the new regime in Crimea and its campaign to fleece the local residents, many of whom foolishly supported Russian annexation – the cynical view is of course that these folks are now getting exactly what they deserve. Putin despairs over unfair treatment in the West of Russia’s “media” – in WW2 they would have been put behind bars, period.
Disturbing report from Belarus about Russian Orthodox paramilitary groups recruiting Belarusian teenagers and sending them to paramilitary training camps.
Debate over Kalynivka depot continues in Ukraine. Donbass fires persist, while Russian proxy force ineptly tries to convince the OSCE that Ukrainian operated Soviet weapons shoot further than the same weapons operated by Russians, to blameshift a Russian diversionary attack on to Ukraine. Nine Ukrainian battalions, mainly VDV and SOF, now rated as NATO compliant/compatible. Minister of National Defence of Canada Harjit Singh Hajjan visit on Flickr.
In Syria, Russia’s second S-400 / SA-21 battery has been geolocated. Hezbollah threatening Israel again.
SECSTATE visit to Beijing and disclosure that backchannel contact with DPRK exists producing much MSM traffic, while State Dept notes the DPRK is refusing to talk to the US, as they have refused to talk to the PRC – this is classic escalation in the extortion tactic, attempting to play both DC and Beijing. Some very nice essays by Dr Pry on DPRK capabilities and options to take down the regime – he makes an excellent point that MSM refuse to accept that in a severe WMD overmatch scenario, a weaker WMD owner might not decide to suicide by using their WMDs, and presents case studies including Germany who did not use their stock of nerve agents for fear of the Allies bombing German cities with chemical agents. Excellent essay by Dr Daniels on the DPRK’s pervasive violations of every human rights rule in the book, this including maintenance of “racial purity” by exterminating mixed-race children – the comparisons with Nazi German camps are appropriate.
East German regional leaders plead with Merkel for policy changes to reverse the growing success of neo-Nazi and ultra-right-wing parties in the former DDR – 25 years have not yet erased the cultural imprint of the preceding 45 years of Soviet militaristic brainwashing. Catalan mess continues.
Counter-Russian Top Ten by Harding is excellent.
Google will aid in investigations of Russian meddling, which might have significant impact given exactly how much data Google servers quietly collect in the course of daily operations.
Russia / Russophone Reports
UATV English Published on Sep 30, 2017 The UK’s Defense Secretary has said the country’s nuclear deterrent is the only way to defend against the dangers posed by an “increasingly aggressive” Russia – and “reckless” North Korea.
Before Kyiv made an official statement on a possible expansion of the range of US military assistance to Ukraine, international humanitarian (!) organizations grew sharply worried about Ukrainian militarism! If it goes like this, FIFA, chess federations or philatelic societies can start monitoring Ukraine’s observance of arms trade regulations. Ukraine can become the first post-Soviet state to be granted an opportunity to buy modern unmanned combat aerial vehicles, UCAV. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin mentioned this prospect on 25 September. This and other assistance will be provided under the bill, which US lawmakers approved this summer, which foresees 500m dollars in military aid for Ukraine. Such assistance will be very significant against the backdrop of Ukraine’s future defence spending of 3.3bn dollars, which is approximately the amount booked for the Ukrainian Defence Ministry in the Ukrainian draft budget for 2018. Literally until mid-September, the discussion on the contents of US military-technical assistance was limited mainly to the conditions of delivery of defensive lethal weapons, such as antitank missiles and counter-battery assets. In view of this, the prospect of Ukraine joining the club of countries with assault UCAVs stirred the Russian Federation. One of the signs of this was a sharp change in tactics after which Ukraine faced the accusations of being an “unreliable supplier” and a “risky arms buyer in the world market”.
Changes in the Russian strategy
Until now, the Russian tactic of discrediting Ukraine was based on targeted publications in the European or American press used to launch media campaigns against Ukraine. Usually, they started with a publication in the West, which would quote an independent source speaking about a weak, unreliable and simply incapable Ukraine. At the second stage, this very original opinion was broadly picked up by the Russian press. It instantly expanded and supplemented the next Russian allegations about Ukraine’s military-technical cooperation with its partner countries. Such amendments and addenda often looked like they had been prepared in advance. And this property was an obvious drawback of this kind of strategy. Because when the Russian press surprisingly broadly quoted “information from independent sources in the Western press”, the catch became obvious. And very often, an information campaign launched against Ukraine did not bring any results. After the US decision to give half a billion in military aid to Kyiv became a fact last summer, targeted information attacks on Ukraine began to subside. Instead the anti-Kyiv strategy began was becoming institutional. For example, targeted publications in the USA or the EU are less and less often used as an information fodder for the Russian press. They are being replaced by exposing reports allegedly written by independent Western research and expert centres, civic initiatives or international associations of investigative journalism. If Moscow decided to use all its people in these institutions, who took years and big money to bring up, this means one thing: the Russian capital is now being guided by the reflex “as if there were no tomorrow”. In other words, the question of Ukraine’s positive image in the arms market is a real burr in the saddle for many in the Russian government. So much so that Moscow is ready to expose their cadres in Western public and professional organizations.
Change of tactics
The latest such example is a rather paradoxical report by the OCCRP and Amnesty International (AI), which was published on 25 September, exactly on the day when the Ukrainian foreign minister announced a coming expansion of the range of US military assistance to Ukraine. There are many paradoxes in this military-technical report of the international humanitarian organization. But two of them are the key ones. The first of the paradoxes is very simple: even if state supplies from Ukraine to South Sudan did take place, that country is not on the list of sanctions and trade restrictions, which is approved by the UN Security Council, anyway. The second paradox is more complicated. AI, which is a humanitarian organization, has nothing to do with the main specialized international body for control over the legality of arms supplies. This is the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA). It is this intergovernmental institution of the United Nations, rather than citizens’ assemblies or journalistic syndicates, that is authorized by the international community to monitor the implementation of the Arms Trade Convention. It was concluded in 2015 under the multilateral arms trade agreement, the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). As of the current year, the number of signatory countries, together with Ukraine, has reached 130, and 72 countries have ratified it. Russia refuses to sign this agreement in principle. In addition to these paradoxes, the report also contained other absurdities. For example, it mixed public and private companies mentioned in the documents. In short, the point of the report was that, as long as three years ago, government agencies of Ukraine, which is not an EU member, allegedly violated the EU’s restrictions on the supply of military equipment to the Republic of South Sudan. The Ukrainian state company Ukrinmash, which was mentioned in the OCCRP and AI report, dismissed absolutely all the data contained in this document. A representative of this company told the press that certain documents had indeed been signed, but they never made it to the stage of implementation. Nothing was delivered or paid. Ukrinmash’s statement was corroborated by the State Export Control Service of Ukraine (SECS): “As for the foreign trade activity of the private company Tekhimpex mentioned in the report, it fits within the framework of a legitimate business,” the agency said. According to the SECS, the products manufactured by this private company using imported components were supplied to Ethiopia, the UAE, Chad and Uganda in 2014-2016. It noted that there are no UN or EU restrictions with regard to these countries. And, according to international reports, other countries, including EU members, also supply arms to these countries on a regular basis……..
US sanctions against Russia did not lead to a drastic change in the situation in Ukraine, said in an interview with the Kommersant newspaper former US Ambassador to Russia, John Tefft. In his opinion, the imposed sanctions proved to be effective against Russia. “And the Russian president, together with a number of other Russian Federation officials, acknowledged this,” he emphasized. “But did these sanctions lead to a drastic change in the situation in Ukraine? Obviously not.” Nevertheless, Moscow “has paid a serious price for its military actions against Ukraine,” he believes. Tefft explained that, first of all, “this affected its access to financial markets,” because Russian businessmen “directly face these problems.” He did not rule out the possibility that part of the sanctions against Russia could be cancelled. “If we make progress in the Donbas, then we will be ready to cancel part of the sanctions. But so far we have not even come close to this goal, so there was no serious discussion on this topic,” he concluded. The armed conflict in the Donbas between the forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics and the Ukrainian Army began in 2014. The Ukrainian authorities believe that the Russian armed forces have been supporting the militia and they accuse Russia of “aggression”.
29 September 2017 Satire and comedy are universal ways of overcoming tensions in any society. Kings and queens have always had to live with being made fun of – they might even have learned something from seeing themselves and their power mirrored in the jokes of their fools and jesters. In modern Russia, however, it’s a…
Russia complains when it is allowed to broadcast from inside another country, but does not allow others to broadcast in Russia. Putin gave no specifics. Perhaps Russia and Putin are feeling pressure as a result of ‘not playing nicely with others’? Is the petulant child, the playground bully, crying? </end editorial> SEPTEMBER 29, 2017 /…
Paul Goble Staunton, September 30 — The flood of news stories from a country as large, diverse and strange as the Russian Federation often appears to be is far too large for anyone to keep up with. But there needs to be a way to mark those which can’t be discussed in detail but which are too indicative of broader developments to ignore. Consequently, Windows on Eurasia each week presents a selection of these other and typically neglected stories at the end of each week. This is the 102nd such compilation, and it is again a double issue with 26 from Russia and 13 from Russia’s neighbors. Even then, it is far from complete, but perhaps one or more of these stories will prove of broader interest.
- Putin Views Instability as Boost for His Return as Savior of the Nation. In the view of an increasing number of analysts, Vladimir Putin welcomes the instability that the Mathilda film and the anonymous calls have produced as well as the threat of more clashes between liberals and nationalists in the months ahead as setting the stage for him to return as savior of the nation next spring (dsnews.ua/world/da-duraki-oni-kogda-putin-otsenit-matildu–16092017140000and newsland.com/community/5392/content/nenavist-k-putinu-liberaly-i-natsionalisty-gotoviat-moskve-krovavuiu-osen/6014000). Another Russian scholar says that Putin has succeeded in returning Russia to what it traditionally has been, a country at war with the rest of the world (profi-forex.org/novosti-rossii/entry1008310406.html). In other Putin news, some Russians are planning a Soviet-style subbotnik on Putin’s upcoming birthday (newizv.ru/news/society/26-09-2017/vopros-dnya-komu-nuzhen-subbotnik-k-yubileyu-putina), and another analyst says that Putin must look to Russia’s school teachers as his chief defense given that the media is losing influence on the population (ej.ru/?a=note&id=31594).
- Putin Will Never Forgive Trump for Attack on Russian General in Syria. While it has not attracted as much attention as many other aspects of the Syrian campaign, Moscow analysts say that Putin will “never forgive” US President Donald Trump for the attack on Russian forces in Syria that cost the life of one of his generals (newsland.com/community/5625/content/putin-ne-prostil-ssha-napadenie-na-rossiiskii-spetsnaz-i-gibel-russkogo-generala-v-sirii/6009469and https://cont.ws/@akbar/724000). Russians are also celebrating what they see as the low price Putin paid to install Trump in the White House – only 150,000 US dollars for ads on social media (ria.ru/analytics/20170929/1505833693.html) and suggest that Putin has outplayed the American president ever since (http://politikus.ru/events/print:page,1,99521-vladimir-putin-udelal-donalda-trampa.html).
- Putin May Eliminate Position of Prime Minister. Gazeta reports that some in the Kremlin are considering moving Russia formally to where it already is: a purely presidential regime without a prime minister (.gazeta.ru/business/2017/09/28/10908932.shtml). If so, that would likely be the end of Dmitry Medvedev’s political career, and Putin would stop trying to emulate him or putting up with his sometimes over the top statements (babr24.com/msk/?IDE=165368and meduza.io/shapito/2017/09/25/medvedevu-rasskazali-chto-u-nego-bolshe-podpischikov-v-instagrame-chem-u-navalnogo-on-obradovalsya). Meanwhile, LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky has called on the leaders of Russia’s other major political parties to retire and give way to younger people (newsland.com/community/4109/content/zhirinovskii-prizval-ziuganova-mironova-i-iavlinskogo-ustupit-mesto-molodym/6013863), a Russian politician has lost his job for being “excessively pro-Kremlin” (newsland.com/community/5652/content/smi-glavu-samarskoi-oblasti-smestili-za-izlishne-prokremlevskuiu-pozitsiiu/6010573), the Putin regime has deployed prostitutes against the Navalny campaign (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=59C9FC5FDE22F), the quasi-feudal nature of the Putin regime has been highlighted by a hit and run crime in which the suspect fled in an FSB car (themoscowtimes.com/news/hit-and-run-suspect-fled-in-fsb-car-59082), the finance ministry has again boosted the share of the state budget that is classified as secret (rbc.ru/economics/27/09/2017/59cbe0f99a79475fda89dd0d?from=newsfeed), a study has found that Russians pay more to support their deputies than does any other people (newsland.com/community/8137/content/rossiiskii-deputat-samyi-ekonomicheski-uspeshnyi-v-mire-narod-naoborot/6007561), more reports about the falsification of the recent elections have been surfacing (newizv.ru/news/politics/28-09-2017/vopros-dnya-chemu-nauchit-uchitel-kotoraya-falsifitsiruet-vybory-1df42940-358e-460f-8e0b-2a6eadc5fd5e, idelreal.org/a/28757738.html andliberal.ru/upload/files/Kak_rossya_vibirala_2016.pdf), and a poll has found that most Russians would like to see the direct election of mayors restored (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=59C8EA277B5CD).
- Russia’s Rich Get Richer, Its Poor Poorer, and Only the Regime Says Everything is Better. Because of income growth at the top of the pyramid, Russia now has 182,000 dollar millionaires, and the top one percent is getting fat while the rest of the population is suffering (rbc.ru/business/28/09/2017/59ccd1d89a794748c2c7b766?from=center_4andnewsland.com/community/6437/content/odin-protsent-rossiian-zhiruet-za-schet-vsei-strany/6014369). Meanwhile, pensions are being cut and one in every seven Russians live in poverty: with those just above the poverty line doing so almost exclusively by going into debt (ng.ru/economics/2017-09-29/1_7084_pensia.html, ng.ru/economics/2017-09-26/4_7081_poverty.html and iz.ru/647249/grigorii-kogan/potrebitelskie-raskhody-rossiian-vyrosli-za-schet-kreditov). Dumpster diving for food is spreading even as the authorities spend fabulous amounts of money taking care of members of the elite (rusjev.net/2017/09/26/rossiyane-vyinuzhdenyi-pitatsya-musorom/ and politsovet.ru/56672-gosduma-potratit-166-tysyach-na-bezopasnoe-pitanie-volodina.html). And one thoughtful analyst has warned that among the most important lessons of 1917 that Russians and others haven’t learned is that radical income differentiation will ultimately lead to revolt (ng.ru/stsenarii/2017-09-26/13_7081_zakon.html). Other distressing economic news includes: Russian banks are running out of hard currency (rosbalt.ru/business/2017/09/27/1649205.html), major firms are going bankrupt (rusjev.net/2017/09/28/krupneyshiy-mashinostroitelnyiy-kontsern-rossii-budet-obyavlen-bankrotom/ and https://takiedela.ru/news/2017/09/26/vim-avia-zakryvaetsya/), the banking system may be renationalized (profile.ru/economics/item/119800-garegin-tosunyan), and the Russian government is looking for money in all the wrong places (gazeta.ru/column/vladislav_inozemcev/10898948.shtml). But Rosstat and Russian officials say that life is getting better and better in Russia (svpressa.ru/economy/article/182062/).
- Kremlin Allowing for Outbursts of Aggression to Distract Russians, Some Say. The readers of the opposition Kasparov portal say that Putin is permitting the manifestation of aggression in Russian society as a way of distracting people from their problems (sobkorr.ru/news/59CB514909F72.html). Russians are indeed focusing on crime and violence (newsland.com/community/4765/content/tsel-aue-ugolovniki-khotiat-chtoby-my-zhili-po-ikh-zakonam/6000218, volgograd.kp.ru/daily/26731/3758287/kp.ru/daily/26731.4/3757797/, https://www.kp.ru/daily/26731/3758287/, regnum.ru/news/accidents/2325870.html, sobkorr.ru/news/59C62E6F11708.html, versia.ru/v-chite-nochyu-sgoreli-bolee-15-marshrutnyx-avtobusov, newsland.com/community/289/content/pensioner-rasstrelial-iz-avtomata-troikh-chuzhakov-prishedshikh-ego-ograbit/6012585and lenta.ru/news/2017/09/27/budanov/). But they may be drawing very different conclusions than the regime would like, concluding that security under Putin is increasingly illusory and that the authorities themselves are to blame for many of the problems (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=59CABB36BF4C4 andura.news/articles/1036272371).
- European University Too European for Russia. The Russian authorities have taken another step to shutter St. Petersburg’s European University, an institution that has proven “too European” for Putin’s Russia and one whose closure reflects the growing crisis in Russian higher education (zaks.ru/new/archive/view/170879and newsland.com/community/700/content/vuz-obshchestvo/6009255). Meanwhile, repression of LGBTs continues to spread across the country (newsland.com/community/5652/content/transseksual-iz-permskoi-glubinki-prosit-kongress-ssha-pomoch-ei-stat-prezidentom-rossii/6006652, properm.ru/news/society/144002/ and thebarentsobserver.com/en/life-and-public/2017/09/pride-parade-participants-stopped-fsb-return-russia). And in another social development that highlights the gap between the megalopolises and the rest of the country: there are only 17 crematoria in Russia and most are in Moscow and St. Petersburg (iq.hse.ru/news/209621989.html).
- Electronic Media Spreading into Russia’s Hinterland. Two developments this week, however, show that with regard to access to electronic media, Russia’s hinterlands are rapidly catching up with Moscow. The largest city in the Arctic now has fiber optic cable (thebarentsobserver.com/en/industry-and-energy/2017/09/largest-city-russias-arctic-tundra-gets-fiber-optic-internet), and Muslim cable television, which focuses on the lives of Muslims around the world, is slated to come to Tatarstan and the Middle Volga by the end of the year (idelreal.org/a/28762134.htmland nazaccent.ru/content/25506-islamskoe-tv-vozmetsya-za-populyarizaciyu-nackultur.html).
- Russians Can’t Afford the Medicines They Need. Fifty percent of Russians say they have cut back their spending on medications, and most now buy them only if they are in extremis (rosbalt.ru/russia/2017/09/28/1649315.htmland ng.ru/economics/2017-09-28/4_7083_lekarstva.html). Residents in some parts of Russia are again suffering from iodine deficiency, the result of the still-widespread use of non-iodized salt (politsovet.ru/56712-zhitelyam-sverdlovskoy-oblasti-ne-hvataet-yoda-eto-grozit-kretinizmom.html). And financial problems are now so severe that Russians have cut back on the bribes they give to doctors (newsland.com/community/8171/content/v-rossii-stali-menshe-davat-vziatki-vracham/6010266). Another cutback is that 78 of the country’s federal subjects do not bother to keep track of alcohol purchases, thus missing a great deal of revenue and failing to see where they need to intervene to prevent deaths from alcoholism (business-gazeta.ru/article/358617).
- Ever More Non-Russians Say ‘A Nation without Schools in Its Language Sooner or Later Dies.’ Vladimir Putin’s campaign against non-Russian languages is sparking a sharp reaction in ever more non-Russian areas with people seeing the Kremlin leader’s action as a direct threat to their national survival and choosing to protest or to subvert his orders (business-gazeta.ru/article/358364, regnum.ru/news/society/2326290.html, nazaccent.ru/content/25514-v-bashkirii-budut-proveryat-soblyudenie-yazykovogo.html andruskline.ru/news_rl/2017/09/28/tatarstan_sabotiruet_slova_prezidenta/). And as for Putin’s suggestion that studying a non-native language should be voluntary, many non-Russians are pointing out that we don’t make the study of math or biology “voluntary” (ru.wikinews.org/wiki/Якутия:_Мы_же_не_требуем_согласия_родителей_на_изучение_математики_или_биологии). But worse seems likely to be ahead now that the education ministry has said that it won’t allow for the study of two “foreign” languages because that would cut into other subjects too heavily (meduza.io/news/2017/09/27/ministr-obrazovaniya-vasilieva-my-ne-mozhem-pozvolit-sebe-dva-inostrannyh-yazyka-vo-vseh-shkolah).
- New Push for a New Ministry for Nationality Affairs. Duma deputies and outside experts have again called for the establishment of a ministry for nationality affairs to replace the Federal Agency that they do not believe has enough bureaucratic clout to deal with the situation (islamrf.ru/news/russia/rusnews/42506/). Other developments this week on the nationalities front include: a call for a new census of indigenous peoples (nazaccent.ru/content/25513-v-rossii-hotyat-provesti-perepis-korennyh.html), new problems among Meskhetians who have resettled in Turkey (kavkazr.com/a/dilemma-turok-meskhetintsev/28758179.html), increasing outrage among Circassians over the Gvashev case and Moscow’s efforts to obliterate Circassian history (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/310281/), and widespread concern that new clashes between Russians and Central Asians in Moscow have entered a dangerous stage beyond the control of the authorities (newsland.com/community/7552/content/sharipov-ugrozhaet-100-tysiachnym-tadzhikskim-maidanom-v-moskve/6005843, newsland.com/community/5625/content/aktivnost-migrantov-v-rossii-perekhodit-v-novoe-kachestvo/6005582, newizv.ru/news/incident/21-09-2017/bolee-250-tadzhikov-gastarbayterov-zaderzhany-v-hode-konflikta-v-moskve, vsenovosti.com.ua/novosti-politiki-ukrainy/5416-Moskva-plavno-prevrashaetsya-v-Moskvabad.htmland regnum.ru/news/accidents/2325358.html).
- Rights Activists Fear Kremlin Will Now Target Scientologists.Having gone after the Jehovah’s Witnesses who are now appealing the decisions against them, the Kremlin, according to human rights activists, is likely to target Scientologists. They have appealed to Vladimir Putin not to do so (sova-center.ru/misuse/news/persecution/2017/09/d37929/ andkasparov.ru/material.php?id=59C8C4C3E1BB1). Orthodox Russian nationalists are outraged by suggestions that there is such a thing as “an Orthodox Jihad” (ruskline.ru/news_rl/2017/09/25/kto_zachem_i_pochemu_fabrikuet_mif_o_pravoslavnom_igil/). Meanwhile, the Moscow Patriarchate has adapted its missionary work to conform to the Yarovaya package of restrictive measures (sclj.ru/news/detail.php?SECTION_ID=484&ELEMENT_ID=7687). But all has not gone will for the church: its effort to recover three buildings in Yekaterinburg has been turned down by the courts (politsovet.ru/56698-sud-otkazalsya-peredat-rpc-zdaniya-treh-kolledzhey-v-ekaterinburge.html). Perhaps as a result and to show itself more royalist than the king, the church ahs called for “nationalizing” Soviet songs (politsovet.ru/56699-v-rpc-predlozhili-nacionalizirovat-sovetskie-pesni.html).
- Catalonia, Kurdistan Inspire Russia’s Regionalists. Efforts by the Catalans and the Kurds to achieve independent statehood have inspired many regionalists in Russia. some have even travelled to Catalonia (rosbalt.ru/blogs/2017/09/21/1647877.htmland freeingria.org/2017/09/nablyudateli-iz-ingrii-rasskazhut-o-katalonskom-referendume/). But Moscow has responded even more harshly to their efforts, an action that is only further radicalizing the regionalists (afterempire.info/2017/09/28/free-ingria/ andregnum.ru/news/polit/2325552.html). Meanwhile, contributing to regionalist activism are declining populations and failing infrastructure in many places (thebarentsobserver.com/en/life-and-public/2017/09/murmansk-and-arkhangelsk-population-continues-decline and classic.newsru.com/russia/28sep2017/vethoejilie.html). But the most powerful stimulus is the behavior of Moscow: the city and oblast now buy 20 percent of the hard liquor in Russia (regnum.ru/news/economy/2327802.html), and the city leads in almost all categories of crime despite having far higher incomes (forum-msk.org/material/news/13747163.htmland ria.ru/society/20170925/1505459859.html).
- Moscow’s Fear: Social and Regional Protests Could Combine with Navalny Campaign. Many in the Russian government are now worried that Aleksey Navalny’s travel around the country may allow him to tap into social and regional protests in order to power his campaign (echo.msk.ru/programs/personalno/2063312-echo/). Such concerns only grew when the Navalny campaign said it would ignore illegal rulings against its right to hold meetings (ng.ru/politics/2017-09-28/1_7083_navalny.html andsobkorr.ru/news/59CCAB186B9D0.html). Other protests of note this week: an anti-Putin picket in Voronezh (ixtc.org/2017/09/antiputinskiy-piket-v-voronezhe/), Circassian demonstrations in support of Gvashev (kavkazr.com/a/piket-v-zashchitu-gvasheva/28755713.html), more protests by debtors and those owed back wages (newsland.com/community/4788/content/obmanutye-dolshchiki-v-sankt-peterburge-perekryli-suzdalskii-prospekt/6009240 and rosbalt.ru/russia/2017/09/29/1649583.html), and an actors’ protest against theater managers in Irkutsk (babr24.com/irk/?IDE=165271).
- ‘Repression is Increasing Because Propaganda No Longer Works,’ Navalny Says. Opposition presidential candidate Aleksey Navalny says that the Putin regime is increasing repression because it has discovered that its propaganda no longer has the impact it once did (golos-ameriki.ru/a/navalny-interview/4045048.html). Repression is on the rise in prisons where a new site allows outsiders to track official abuse (vturme.info/ru/o-proekte), officials are now reading Russians’ letters and not just their electronic posts (profile.ru/obsch/item/119839-ostorozhno-vas-chitayut), Mosow says it may block Facebook in Russia (snob.ru/selected/entry/129445), the Central Banks wants to block employees of banks in trouble from leaving the country (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=59C8F8BC45F93), Russians abroad must now register more things with consular officials (zimamagazine.com/2017/09/zhivushhie-za-rubezhom-grazhdane-rossii-dolzhny-budut-otchity-vat-sya-o-vstupleniyah-v-brak-i-razvodah-v-rossijskie-konsul-stva/), and the number of paintings that educators can’t reproduce in textbooks has expanded (chaskor.ru/article/russkaya_dejstvitelnost_42480).
- Matviyenko Says Russia Faces Destabilization Efforts in Coming Months. Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko says that outside forces are planning to try to destabilize Russia in the run up to the elections and that the government must take measures to block them (echo.msk.ru/news/2063056-echo.html). The FSB announced that it has broken up an underground arms trading organization that had been operating in 21 federal subjects (rbc.ru/society/29/09/2017/59cde9059a7947d968f79fb1?from=main). Putin’s Russian Guard wants to block arms sales to “potential” criminals and to impose the same rules on pneumatic pistols that now exist for regular weapons (lenta.ru/news/2017/09/29/rosgvard/and polit.ru/news/2017/09/29/firearms/). But the siloviki have suffered some embarrassment this week: the Russian Guard was discovered to have spent fabulous sums for shoulder boards for its officers and a defense ministry official was charged with taking the largest bribe on record (newsland.com/community/5652/content/rosgvardiia-kupit-generalam-khrustalnye-pogony/6012120and rosbalt.ru/moscow/2017/09/26/1648738.html).
- Zapad Exercise Appears to Have Cost Senior Officer His Job. The Zapad-2017 exercise may not have gone as well as Moscow hoped: at least one senior general has been fired in its wake (tass.com/politics/967588and there has been much speculation about why Putin didn’t travel to Belarus during the event (newsland.com/community/5206/content/pochemu-putin-ne-priekhal-na-belorusskii-poligon/6014088). Meanwhile, in other defense news, it has been reported that Russia’s heavy rockets have not been functioning well in recent trials (newsland.com/community/4109/content/rossiiskie-tiazhelye-rakety-perestali-letat/6011549) and that the US purchased Russian rocket engines not because they were better but because they were cheaper (newsland.com/community/5206/content/ssha-ispolzuet-rd-180-tolko-iz-za-deshevizny/6008432). There has been much discussion as well about the length of time the refitting of capital ships is taking and about the US report on the Russian military that suggests draftees are less than fully motivated (newsland.com/community/5234/content/remont-atomnogo-raketnogo-kreisera-admiral-nakhimov-zavershat-k-2021-godu/6012907, belsat.eu/ru/news/ssha-vydali-posobie-po-protivostoyaniyu-rossii-na-osnove-ukrainskih-sobytij/ and znak.com/2017-09-24/v_obchem_dostupe_poyavilos_posobie_dlya_armii_ssha_po_vozmozhnoy_voyne_s_rossiey). Meanwhile, there are indications that Moscow is still trying to conduct foreign policy on the cheap, not only backing Catalonian independence (versia.ru/rossiya-obeshhaet-vsestoronyuyu-podderzhku-katalonskim-separatistam-v-ispanii and versia.ru/kto-i-zachem-dobivaetsya-nezavisimosti-v-starom-svete), but not even bothering to update old Russian slogans like “worse than a Tatar” in its campaign efforts in Germany (facebook.com/groups/418134964913502/?multi_permalinks=1561908413869479¬if_t=group_activity¬if_id=1506190805217090).
17.Russians Almost Equally Divided on Whether They’ll Go to See Mathilda. Only slightly more Russians say they won’t go to see the controversial film than say that they will (regnum.ru/news/polit/2328332.html). The Moscow Patriarchate has refused to issue a blanket prohibition on attending but it has put up 300 billboards in Moscow celebrating the love between Nicholas II and his wife Aleksandra (echo.msk.ru/blog/echomsk/2062960-echo/, echo.msk.ru/news/2063060-echo.html and politsovet.ru/56664-rpc-otkazalas-trebovat-zapreta-matildy.html). The Mathilda director has declared that the use of religion to oppose something opens the door to opposing almost anything (crimea.kp.ru/daily/26734.4/3761336/). And in the latest twist of the Mathilda saga, a Russian pornographer says he plans to make a porno version of the film and is ready to emigrate if he has to (ura.news/news/1052306013).
18.Kalashnikov Statue Keeps Giving Moscow Problems. The German gun that was mistakenly portrayed on the Kalashnikov statue has been removed, but careful observers have noted that there are masonic symbols elsewhere that haven’t been touched (politsovet.ru/56695-na-pamyatnike-kalashnikovu-ostavili-masonskie-simvoly.html). In addition, the statue has become the focus of anti-war protesters (sota.vision/ne-strelyay-u-pamyatnika-kalashnikovu-poyut-antivoennyie-pesni/). The authorities are trying to hold the line, arresting those who pointed out the mistakes (novayagazeta.ru/news/2017/09/22/135507-stolichnaya-politsiya-zaderzhala-ustranivshih-oshibku-na-pamyatnike-kalashnikovu-rabochih). Two other monument stories of note: the largest memorial to Stalin’s victims in Russia opened in the Butovo polygon (interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=68256), and a Perm statue showing a bear and a panda to celebrate Russian-Chinese friendship has been criticized for its depiction of the Russian side (afterempire.info/2017/09/29/panda/).
- US, Ukraine Anti-Doping Agencies Say Russia Shouldn’t Be at Next Olympics. The US and the Ukrainian anti-doping organizations say that Russia has failed to address its doping problems and that Russian athletes should be banned from the Olympics until they are (ekhokavkaza.com/a/28753863.htmland newsland.com/community/5512/content/ukraina-prizvala-zakryt-olimpiadu-2018-dlia-rossii/6009674). FIFA has inspected the Yekaterinburg stadium and reports it is 90 percent ready (nakanune.ru/news/2017/9/27/22484168/). More racist behavior among Russian football fans takes place (versia.ru/stalo-izvestno-o-proyavlenii-rasizma-vo-vremya-matcha-mezhdu-spartakom-i-liverpulem). Feeling under pressure from foreign countries, Russian officials are beginning to consider that Russian athletes may be blocked from participating in the Olympics and to argues that the world has launched a conspiracy against Russia (islamrf.ru/news/russia/rusnews/42506/ and ria.ru/analytics/20170927/1505643693.html). And the Kremlin has lashed out, issuing an Interpol arrest warrant for the man who informed WADA about Russian doping (ekhokavkaza.com/a/28762150.html).
- Moscow Offers Citizenship to Anyone Investing 10 Million US Dollars in Russian Far East. In yet another effort to stem the depopulation of its Pacific rim, the Russian government has offered to give citizenship to anyone who agrees to invest ten million US dollars or more in the region (themoscowtimes.com/news/russia-promises-citizenship-to-foreigners-if-they-invest-in-the-far-east-59106).
- Russians Can’t Get Enough of Krasnodar Cannibal Story. Other issues may be more important, but Russian readers and television viewers have been focused this week on the story of two Krasnodar cannibals for have killed, eaten, and offered for sale the flesh of many Russians over the last 20 years (apn.ru/index.php?newsid=36686 andnewsland.com/community/7285/content/v-rossii-poimali-semiu-kannibalov/6009064).
- Only 423 Russians Visited North Korea Last Year. Despite efforts by Pyongyang and new transportation connections between North Korea and the Russian Federation, only 423 Russians, most from the Far East, visited the outlaw country last year (gorod-812.ru/dlya-chego-koze-bayan-nam-phenyan/).
- Russian Officials Not Only Killing Homeless Animals But Want to Fine Those Who Feed Them. In advance of what they hope will be the hosting of the World Cup next year, Russian officials have launched a major campaign to get homeless animals off the streets. But now some of these officials have gone further and are seeking to fine those who feed homeless animals or birds as well (newizv.ru/news/society/24-09-2017/eto-ne-shutka-v-rossii-mozhet-razgoretsya-voyna-sobachnikov-s-koshatnikami,newsland.com/community/8029/content/ogon-po-vorobiam/6009344and novayagazeta.ru/articles/2017/09/24/73964-ogon-po-vorobyam).
- Burger King Russia Gets into the Censorship Business. The owners of Burger King restaurants in Russia have gone to court to demand that Russian officials ban a film featuring a clown they say looks like Ronald McDonald and thus constitutes an advertisement for their competitors (spektr.press/news/2017/09/22/burger-king-potreboval-zapretit-v-rossii-film-ono/).
- ‘Are You a Real Journalist or from Russia Today?’ Russian opposition groups increasingly are confronting those who question them with a question of their own: “are you a real journalist or are you from Russia today – and thus something else entirely?” (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=59C8B15A6CAB4).
- Urals City Residents Fill Potholes with Mayor’s Picture. Residents of a small city in the Urals have found a way to make use of campaign pictures of the local mayor: they are using them to fill potholes that the official has failed to repair (ura.news/news/1052305477). Meanwhile, a study concludes that the city with the worst roads in Russia is Makhachkala, the capital of Daghestan (onkavkaz.com/novosti/3183-gorodom-s-hudshimi-dorogami-v-strane-stala-mahachkala-v-chislo-dorozhnyh-autsaiderov-popal-i-na.html).
And 13 more from countries in Russia’s neighborhood:
- Belarus is No Longer the Worst Police State in the World. Minsk scholars say that there are now a number of other countries around the world with more police per capita than Belarus (thinktanks.by/publication/2017/09/23/belarus-ne-samoe-politseyskoe-gosudarstvo-v-mire-no-v-chisle-liderov.html). But if it is not the worst, it is among the leaders; and it is also among the leaders of the most unhealthy countries as well (thinktanks.by/publication/2017/09/27/belarus-okazalas-v-pervoy-chetverke-samyh-nezdorovyh-stran-mira.html). Meanwhile, its leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka told visiting Roman Catholic prelates that Belarus’ position at the center of Europe was “ordained by God” (belsat.eu/ru/news/lukashenko-katolicheskim-ierarham-belarus-ne-prosto-geograficheskij-tsentr-evropy-eto-prednachertano-gospodom/), but a Belarusian religious leader says no more than one percent of the country’s residents are truly Orthodox (charter97.org/ru/news/2017/9/29/264369/).
- Not Only Did Russia Leave Behind Troops in Belarus After Zapad-2017 But It has Stepped up Training of Belarusian Youths.Moscow introduced troops into Belarus that it did not announce and has left some behind, Belarusian and Ukrainian officials say (belsat.eu/ru/news/v-minsk-pribyl-rossijskij-spetsnaz/). Perhaps more worrisome, the Russian authorities appear to have stepped up their paramilitary training of Belarusian youths at what Belarusians describe as “neo-Nazi” camps in Russia itself (belsat.eu/ru/news/pravoslavie-s-granatoj-v-rukah-belorusskih-podrostkov-snova-vozili-k-neonatsistam-v-rossiyu/).
- Russian Drugs, Prostitutes Behind Explosion in HIV/AIDS in Belarus.Russia has introduced more drugs and prostitutes into Belarus, officials say, sparking a dramatic increase in HIV infections and full-blown cases of AIDS (belsat.eu/ru/in-focus/epidemiya-vich-v-belarusi-prichina-rossijskie-narkotiki-i-prostitutki/).
- Belarusians More Passive than Active, Minsk Scholars Say. A study of popular attitudes finds that Belarusians tend to be more passive than active and thus are less inclined to join protests or even to defend their own immediate interests (thinktanks.by/publication/2017/09/28/issledovanie-pochti-polovina-naseleniya-belarusi-skoree-passivnye.html).
- UN Report Says Human Rights have Deteriorated in Crimea Since Russian Occupation. A United Nations study concludes that the Russian occupation has led to a serious deterioration in the state of human rights on the Ukrainian peninsula (ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/UA/Crimea2014_2017_EN.pdf).
- Russian Occupiers in Crimea Add Karaim and Krymchaks to List of Numerically Small Peoples. The Russian occupation authorities, despite their well-documented mistreatment of ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars, have added two small nations there, the Karaim and the Krymchaks, to the Russian list of numerically small peoples whose members are entitled to special benefits (nazaccent.ru/content/25463-fadn-poprosyat-vnesti-karaimov-i-krymchakov.html).
- Lithuania Agrees to Call Georgia by Its Own Name.Vilnius officials have announced that they will join other countries who call the country known to most as Georgia by its Georgian name, Sakartvelo (baltnews.lt/lithuania/20170925/1017616156.html).
- Anti-Russian Campaigns Spread in Armenia.Armenian activists are campaigning for Yerevan’s exit from Moscow-dominated institutions, an action that has stirred concern in Russia (kavkazoved.info/news/2017/09/25/elk-pytaetsja-nachat-kampaniu-za-vyhod-armenii-iz-eaes.html and kavkazoved.info/news/2017/09/27/metody-nagnetania-antirusskih-antirossijskih-i-antievrazijskih-nastroenij-v-armenii.html).
- More Central Asian Women Accompanying Their Husbands to Russia. In the past, most gastarbeiters in Russian from Central Asia were unaccompanied young men who either were unmarried or had left their wives behind, thus indicating that they planned to return relatively quickly. But now, new data published by Rosstat suggest that ever more wives are accompanying them, a pattern that implies many may be planning to remain for the long haul (migrant.ferghana.ru/newslaw/analyze/женская-трудовая-миграция-из-таджики.htmland gks.ru/free_doc/doc_2017/rusfig/rus17.pdf).
- Transition to Latin Script in Uzbekistan Far from Complete.Even as Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are debating if and when to introduce a Latin script, Uzbekistan shows that even if a decision is made to do so that doesn’t end the fight. Many who have grown used to the Soviet-imposed Cyrillic alphabet will continue to use it, and publications will reflect that fact for many years (theopenasia.net/articles/detail/opyt-uzbekistana-6-faktov-o-perekhode-strany-na-latinitsu/).
- Cotton Harvest Again Claims Victims in Uzbekistan. Several Uzbeks who were forced to harvest cotton died as a result, sparking complaints given that Tashkent had suggested that it would no longer require anyone to do so against their will (fergananews.com/articles/9567).
- Beijing Establishes Center for Study of Kazakhstan. Reflecting China’s expanding interest in Central Asia, Beijing has now set up a special center for the study of Kazakhstan, an indication that Astana more than any other capital in the region is the focus of Chinese attention (ratel.kz/kaz/v_kitae_otkrylsja_tsentr_izuchenija_kazahstana).
- Kazakhstan Now Imprisons Half as Many People Per Capita as Russia Does. Central Asian countries have the reputation for being more repressive than the Russian Federation, but new data show that Kazakhstan currently imprisons people at a rate half that of Russia (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=59C8F42C1612D).
In storied Sevastopol, government effort to confiscate land distributed free under Ukraine adds to long list of grievances over Russian rule.
UATV English Published on Sep 30, 2017 Thousands of people have been stranded for up to several days at the Crimean port of Kerch. The ferry service from the Russian-occupied Black Sea Peninsula was suspended due to weather conditions.
Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov, who is serving a 20-year prison term in Russia, has said he believes he will be transferred to Russia's northernmost prison camp near the village of Kharp in th…
Russia sends Sentsov to serve term above Arctic Circle. He remains composed. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today
* 36-year-old activist died after nose broken in assault* Man who attacked him accused him of not liking Putin* Attack latest violent inciden
Russia has led its partners in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) with the highest ranking among the group in the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2017-18 Global Competitiveness Report. Russia ranked 38t…
Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces tested a RS-12M Topol intercontinental ballistic missile on September 26. The missile was launched from Kapustin Yar to the
Russia has denied allegations from Ukraine that it left troops behind in Belarus after staging military exercises there, despite Moscow's pledge not to do so. “As far as the Russia…
It would be reminiscent of the Soviet children’s game Zarnitsa, if everyone were not ruled by former militants of illegal armed formations. Teenagers from Belarus are not the first to find themselves on “military-patriotic gatherings” in the suburbs, organized by the ultra-right paramilitary community of Enot Corp. “Raccoons” is a group of Russian fighters who took part in the war in the Donbass from the very beginning. Closely friends with the famous St. Petersburg neo-Nazi Alexei Milchakov, who was noted for his cruelty. In addition to participating in the battles, the Raccoons actively engaged in looting, and afterwards they traded things taken from the killed Ukrainian soldiers. Separatist circles also talked about their involvement in the disarmament of a number of rebellious units of the LDNR.
The fate of West-2017 military exercises could have been completely different. Yesterday while studying the map of Belarus to find the very Novy Dvor village a 10-year old Maksim Markhalyuk came from, I suddenly found out that those places were in close vicinity to Ruzhany and Damanava training areas. Novy Dvor village is 50 km away from the Ruzhany training area. And 100 km away from Damanava. Only. At the time when the child disappeared, the exercises West-2017 were held at these training areas. Russian and Belarusian military showed amusing battles. And volunteers of the Angel detachment, and servicemen combed the forest nearby. Believe me, I admire not only the “Angels” who have been combing forests for two weeks, going to the Novy Dvor from other areas, spending time, money, and sometimes losing their jobs being not able to come back on time. I take a hat off to employees of the Emergency Control Ministry who have been looking for Maksim during working hours and keep doing it when their working hours are over. I bow to policemen and military men who participate in the search. I take a low bow to village dwellers and teachers of the local school who were wandering through the forest all night long. In fact, I consider the chief of the Angel rescue team Siarhei Kovhan a real hero of our time. Let everyone who is looking for a gone missing boy will be happy. I do not mean those mentioned above – they are worth long talks, high praises. I’d like to talk about these damn training areas. And about those who ran West-2017 demonstrative exercises. About those who invented all that stupid scenarios like the attack of Vejshnoriya. About those who flew to training areas on their own helicopters expressing interest in maneuvers. According to official data, almost 13 thousand military men of Belarus and Russia took part in exercises on our territory. In reality, this figure is even more, but this is not the point. Let’s believe these official figures. It turns out that 13 thousand people participated in demonstrative maneuvers and were out of ordinary duty. A half of those people could have been involved in the search of the boy. They are well-equipped, prepared for speed marches, they could comb the territory within a day. Every inch of it. The chief of the Angel told that time was neither on the side of the gone missing nor those who conducted the search. The involvement of soldiers would have allowed to move on. I mean that the forest combing could have taken much less time and the search could have been carried out in other directions. It’s a wishful thinking, but what if it could help to overcome natural challenges – wild animals, weather, potential criminals? Then the fate of West-2017 military exercises could have been completely different. There wouldn’t have been any posters with inscriptions “Russian soldier, go home” in our cities. There wouldn’t have been fears, anxiety for the country, disgust at any mention of “green men”. They would have been accompanied with songs and loaf of bread, hugs and kisses, called brothers and asked over. The search for one little boy could have changed the attitude of the whole world to the of the “West” exercises. The Maksim’s story increasingly recalls the tragedy of Kursk submarine. For a few days the Kursk crew was dying under the water, Vladimir Putin spent all that time in Sochi, and only eight days later when the Kursk ceased going on the air, Russia graciously allowed the Norwegian Seaway Eagle ship to open the aft rescue hatch. To take away bodies. And before that both the Norwegians and the Danes offered help. Russian divers even took a rally in Moscow and demanded to send them to save the “Kursk”. (The waters of the Barents Sea are not the Bialowieza forest. It is extremely hard to get there). But the commander-in-chief took a rest then. And the local one has learned to press buttons of a mobile command post and expressed gratitude. He does not care. The main thing is to be handsome, elegant and with rhinestones. Iryna Khalip for Charter97.org
UATV English Published on Sep 29, 2017 Dmytro Shkurko, communications officer for Ukraine’s Armed Forces joined UATV on September 28 to speak about the large-scale evacuation and clean up effort, following a huge fire and subsequent explosions at a military weapons storage facility near the small town of Kalynivka, in central Ukraine
When eliminating the consequences of fire at the ammo depot in Kalynivka, two people were injured, as Oleksandr Kutovoy, Head of press service of the State Emergency Service in Vinnytsia region, told 112.UA. “Two people were hospitalized as a result of an explosion at the depot. They suffered from fractured bones as a result of an explosion. There is no information as to threat to their lives, they are getting better. We can say that the worst was avoided – no losses of life occurred,” Kutovoy said.
The situation in the Donbas conflict zone remained tense on September 30, but is controlled by the Ukrainian soldiers, the Ukrainian Army HQ reports. Donetsk sector was the hot spot. After 6 pm, the Russia-backed militants used grenade launchers, heavy machine guns, and small arms to attack Ukrainian soldiers in Avdiivka. Ukrainian strongholds near Butivka mine, Nevelske, and Mayorsk were attacked with heavy machine guns and small arms. In Mariupol sector, the enemy used heavy machine guns near Lebedynske and Vodiane. At around 9 pm, Ukrainian positions near Shyrokyne were under attack for an hour. Here the terrorists used 82-mm mortars, grenade launchers and small arms. Overall the militants broke the cease-fire 20 times. One Ukrainian soldier was wounded, and two more were injured.
On Saturday, September 30, the pro-Russian militants intensified the fire in Donetsk and Mariupol sectors. On Saturday, September 30, the pro-Russian militants intensified the fire in Donetsk and Mariupol sectors. This is reported by the press center of Donbas conflict headquarters in Facebook. So, in the area of Avdiivka and the Butivka mine, the militants fired three times from various types of grenade launchers and small arms. “During these bombardments, at 12:45, two of our fighters received military injuries, and the same pro-Russian mercenaries attacked us near the Butivka mine at night, and around 12:00, as a result of enemy shelling of the fortifications o Ukrainian forces in Pisky area, one Ukrainian serviceman was injured, “the report said. In the Mariupol direction in the area of Vodiane, militants used grenade launchers and large-caliber machine guns three times. Also under enemy fire got support points of the Ukrainian forces near Bohdanivka and Shyrokine. In addition, the headquarters noted that the enemy continues to block the restoration of the infrastructure of Donbas.
Ukrainian side of the Joint Center for Control and Cooperation informs that the militants continue accusing the Armed Forces of Ukraine of what they had done themselves, according to the Ukrainian Army HQ. The SMM OSCE recorded damage to one of the hotels and a building close to it in Dokuchaevsk, the city, which is in the militant’s power. According to the Mission’s estimates, the buildings were attacked with 30-mm grenades and BMP-2. The Russian side of the JCCC accused the Ukrainian Army of these attacks, saying that they used 120-mm mines, 73-mm grenades, and BMP-1. The next day, however, they changed it into 30-mm grenades and BMP-2. After the examination of the terrain, and specifics of the arms used it becomes clear that the Ukrainian Army couldn’t have been involved in the attack. The Ukrainian side of the JCCC notes that such accusations are groundless, and that the militants are spreading fake statements, in an attempt to hide their own crimes.
At present, nine Ukrainian battalions are already compatible with the troops of NATO countries. At present, nine Ukrainian battalions are already compatible with the troops of NATO countries. This was stated in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine, by the chief of the General Staff of Ukrainian Armed Forces Victor Muzhenko. “Preparation of battalions which began in 2015, is continuing with the help of foreign specialists. Today in Ukraine there are instructors and military personnel from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland … And we have today reached the appropriate compatibility at least for those nine battalions that have already been trained, “he said. Muzhenko explained that the joint training of troops are being conducted with units of mechanized, highly mobile-landing troops and the personnel of special-purpose units. “In addition, NATO standards are used as a basis, which are adapted to our conditions in the light of the experience we have gained during the hostilities, and, by the way, NATO military personnel are already making changes and adjustments to their standards in the light of our experience. That is not just blind copying, but a creative approach to working out the relevant standards taking into account the acquired combat experience, “the chief of the General Staff stressed.
Minister of National Defence of Canada Harjit Singh Hajjan is on official visit to Ukrainian MoD
Ministers of Defence of Ukraine and Canada discuss prospects of bilateral cooperation
Minister of National Defence of Canada and State Secretary of Ministry of Defence of Ukraine visited International Peacekeeping and Security Centre
Myroslav Dnistryanskyi What are the reasons and possible solutions?
An Antonov An-12 military transport plane crashed in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Saturday, September 30, killing its 12 crew members. Ukrainians may be among the dead, according to TV Channel 24. News 30 September from UNIAN.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine told 112.UA that three Ukrainians died in an air crash in Congo. “Three Ukrainians died in the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kinshasa. However, no details have been given, as the victims are not military,” out journalist said. A source also told 112.UA that the Ukrainians, who deceased in the air crash, had signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense of Congo to work on the aircrafts, even though the airplanes are very old and shouldn’t be operating at all. Previously it was informed that a military aircraft crashed in Congo; the crew didn’t survive. The preliminary cause of the crash is technical problems. There were 12 people on the airplane, none of them survived.
The new trade preferences are the beginning of future duty-free exports for other products
In the city of Kolomyia, in the Ivano-Frankivsk region, the German company, Leoni has launched its first production line of its newly built plant in Ukraine. The company manufactures parts for a number of automobile brands. Ukrainian President Peter Poroshenko was present at the opening ceremony. The plant, which will produce automobile cables, was opened on Friday, September 29th. “Imagine, the products that will be produced in Kolomyia will be installed on elite cars such as Audi, Volkswagen, General Motors, Porsche, and Lamborghini,” Petro Poroshenko said during his speech at the opening ceremony. The plant will employ 800 people. However, the company plans to significantly increase production volumes and staff. By 2018 the company plans to increase the number of employees to 2,500. By 2020, the plant will employ 5,000 people in total. The average salary at the plant is 8000 UAH ($308). The total investment for the first stage of the Kolomyia plant is 16 million euros. The German manufacturer has plants in 31 countries across the world. In Ukraine, Leoni has already opened a second division. The first one has been operational since 2003 in the village of Nezhukhov, in the Lviv region, and provides work for about 7,000 people. Earlier, the global company, Nexans, opened another subsidiary plant for the production of cable networks in the Lviv region.
ODESA, Ukraine — Former Georgian President and ex-Governor of Ukraine's Odessa region Mikheil Saakashvili has called on supporters to rally in Kyiv on October 17 to "defeat evil." …
KYIV — Ukraine has marked the 76th anniversary of a World War II-era massacre of 33,771 Jews by Nazi troops on the outskirts of occupied Kyiv. The slaughter of Jewish men, women, and children o…
The west-Ukrainian city of Lviv could very well be a world record-setter by the number of lions on its streets. The local historian Yuriy Haida with a group of conspirators counted 4,500 of them in 2012, claiming that Lviv deserves a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. “Are they living lions?” asked my 9-year old daughter, amazed. I found it hard to answer: while the lions that Haida’s group counted were set in stone, bronze, glass, and plaster, the feline character was alive and kicking in the public imagination. So we set off on a lion expedition. The lions met us at arrival, gazing from virtually every street bench in the city.
Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports
Key Points Russia now has two S-400 air defence systems deployed in Syria Located in the coastal mountain range, the second S-400 should provide better coverage of Syrian territory Russia has deployed a second S-400 long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system to Syria, a move that significantly increases its air defence capability in the region, satellite imagery has confirmed.
The United States says it is adding Iran to the list of countries it accuses of failing to crack down on human trafficking and that it has increased restrictions against Russia, which was already o…
Lebanon’s Hezbollah accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government on Sunday of pushing the region to war in Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, and said nowhere in Israel would be safe if such a conflict were to erupt.
The leader of Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah did not mince words in his latest threat against Israel, blaming it of violating UN resolutions and spying on Lebanese territory.
Russia received an advance payment from Turkey for the S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems, as indicated by Vladimir Kozhin, Presidential Aide …
DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports
Faced with the rapid progress of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs – along with escalating provocations – President Trump’s foreign policy team has engaged in an intensive effort to put “maximum pressure” on the regime and its enablers.
The effort included a campaign targeting hackers in North Korea’s military spy agency.
Chinese President Xi Jinping offered warm words for US President Donald Trump on Saturday, calling him a friend and saying he expected Trump’s visit to China in November would be “wonderful”.
BEIJING (Kyodo) — Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson agreed Saturday to reinforce cooperation between the two wor
Direct talks between Washington and Pyongyang could not only avoid strategic misjudgments on the two sides and thus prevent military clashes, but also pave the way for more effective and swift solutions to the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula, said Chinese experts on Sunday.
China is papering over its diplomatic cracks in readiness for a key Communist Party congress but one problem refuses to be swept under the carpet
The State Department clarified earlier comments from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, but acknowledged "open channels" with the North Koreans
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Saturday that North Korea’s regime has shown no interest in negotiations related to its nuclear program after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson revealed that the U.S.
The U.S. is communicating with North Korea about its nuclear program and testing Pyongyang’s appetite for negotiations, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in the first public acknowledgment by a senior administration official of direct contact on the matter.
“We have lines of communications to Pyongyang,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said. The State Department later said North Korean officials are not “ready for talks regarding denuclearization.”
The U.S. secretary of state acknowledged three ongoing direct channels between the United States and North Korea.
Tillerson described the situation with North Korea as "overheated"
This is the way a nuclear war begins.
Contrary to the prevailing view in the press, academia, and among Democrats and establishment Republicans, President Trump and National Security Advisor, Lt. General McMaster are right that there are many realistic military options for disarming North Korea’s nuclear threat. What might some of these options look like?
The mainstream media, by ignorance or design, consistently and grossly underestimates the nuclear and missile threat from North Korea.
North Korea’s nuclear threats are not mere bluster. We should tread carefully.
It should come as no surprise that North Korea is threatening parts of the United States with annihilation. For decades, the North Korean regime has been systematically annihilating segments of its own population. More specifically, the North Korean regime has been engaged for decades in the supreme human rights offense of genocide — the deliberate attempt to exterminate entire racial, ethnic or religious groups.
Missile tests by North Korea and threats against the United States by her leader, Kim Jong-un, and an unprecedentedly firm response of “fire and fury” from President Donald J. Trump combined this summer to create what may be described as a panic over the prospect of a nuclear attack on American soil.
North Korea has often marked significant events on its calendar by conducting weapons tests, such as its fifth nuclear test last year on Sept 9, its founding anniversary.
Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, the commander of U.S. Forces Korea (USFK), received South Korea’s top state medal from President Moon Jae-in on Thursday for his contribution to the alliance and the defense of the region amid growing North Korean threats. South Korea’s National Intelligence Service was unable to confirm the report immediately. Chung “also said there are worries over military conflict being sparked by accidental incidents”, Park added. On Sept. 3, the North conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test. “North Korea’s weapons program is a grave threat to the Asia-Pacific region and the entire global community. We will make North Korea realize that it has no future should it try to face the rest of the world with nukes”, he said. Two days earlier, the United States had sent fighter jets and bombers the farthest north of the demilitarised zone that any had flown off North Korea’s coast this century. The two Koreas have since the early 1950s been in a state of hostility – war, to be precise. The fighting ended when 1953 Korean War Armistice Agreement was signed. The propaganda material was released as the political powerhouses of Washington and Pyongyang dealt with the fallout over a public war of words between North Korea and Mr Trump.
Amid Trump and Kim Jong-un’s perilous standoff, the history of nuclear near-accidents is a call to wisdom and caution.
Foreign Policy Reports
The premiers of two regions where the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party made big gains in Sunday’s national election warned that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives must change course to stop the former East Germany’s rightward drift.
Violence flares in the Spanish region as police try to halt a banned independence referendum.
The Turnbull government has hit back at a scathing independent report into the 50 billion plan for a fleet of French-built submarines, declaring it had been produced by individuals who have no experience in designing, building or operating submarines.
Strategy / History / Capability Publications
The worst of the worst.
Editor’s Note: This is the ninth installment of “Southern (Dis)Comfort,” a new series from War on the Rocks and the Stimson Center. The series seeks to unp
By David Thornton September 29, 2017 11:55 am The United States may have superiority in most domains — sea, land, air, space — but it lacks the kind of whole-of-government integration currently allowing near-peer adversaries to excel at a level of “adversarial competition” that falls short of the definition of war. That’s what Chairman of the…
Counter-Russian Top Ten – To Inform is to Influence by Joel Harding
This is partially in response to the RT list, Russophobia: RT rates the top 10 Kremlin critics & their hilarious hate campaigns, which was more snarky than factual. It has been 1,312 days since the Russian Security Council met and decided to invade Crimea, it is time to name those people and organizations who have risen to…
How the Kremlin built one of the most powerful information weapons of the 21st century — and why it may be impossible to stop. By JIM RUTENBERG SEPT. 13, 2017 One morning in January 2016, Martin Steltner showed up at his office in the state courthouse building in western Berlin. Steltner, who has served for more than a…
US Domestic Policy Reports
Joining other Silicon Valley giants in the Russia investigation.
Google is conducting a broad internal investigation to determine whether Russian-linked entities used its ads or services to try to manipulate voters ahead of the U.S. election.
The road to understanding Russia’s election meddling runs through the technology industry. That appears to be one conclusion drawn by congressional investigators who, seeking to illuminate a far-reaching Russian campaign to foment division and undermine confidence in democracy during the 2016 election cycle, have increasingly turned their attention to the role of major tech platforms. And it is putting major Silicon Valley players in the hot seat.