Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
Today is a day of unexpected statements, the NYT OpEd by Blinken being the least expected. Amb Volker to meet Surkov again. Russians playing Donbass games with NATO troops’ cellphones. Canada legislating its clone of the Magnitsky Act. Maduro statement gets a COCW. Nezavisimaya Gazeta on Russia’s plan to stagnate and fall behind. Russian media on the Flat Earth Theory, which is consistent with every other aspect of Russia’s
Nezavisimaya Gazeta on Russia’s plan to stagnate and fall behind. Russian media on the Flat Earth Theory, which is consistent with every other aspect of Russia’s medievalisation. More harassment of opposition.Whitmore and Ioffe essays on Belarus are most interesting – Russia vs. Lukashenko. Putinist Pres Dodon in Moldova wins one of three COCW Awards today for a truly bizarre public statement – the last two weeks have seen increasingly absurd public statements by key Russian players and proxies, so Dodon is being consistent with the trend.
Whitmore and Ioffe essays on Belarus are most interesting – Russia vs. Lukashenko. Putinist Pres Dodon in Moldova wins one of three COCW Awards today for a truly bizarre public statement – the last two weeks have seen increasingly absurd public statements by key Russian players and proxies, so Dodon is being consistent with the trend.Debate in Ukraine over Kalynivka ammo depot fire continues, evidence now suggesting an inside job by
Debate in Ukraine over Kalynivka ammo depot fire continues, evidence now suggesting an inside job by timed charge in one or more closed concrete bunkers. Progress on new Donbass legislation. Russian provocateur nearly gets himself lynched in Kyiv. Donbass fires continue. Good essay by Oliver. Conscription of Crimeans creates public dispute.
Multiple reports on Russians in Syria, Iran shafts one of their own, Iran and Turkey oppose Kurds, Rohingya tragedy continues.
Russia reported to be quietly boosting trade with the DPRK, while Putin publicly feeds Western Pyongyang appeasers. Agency assessment of Kim as “very rational actor” refutes the media and appeaser follies – the game is simply extortion. Zagurek models impact of DPRK nuke strikes on Tokyo and Seoul, pity he neglected to cover Beijing and Shanghai. OPCW warns on DPRK CW warstocks. China revoking work visas for DPRK labourers in China. Multiple backgrounders on DPRK poverty, and exploitation of DPRK refugees in China. The trial of the clueless assassins of Kim Jong Nam continues in Malaysia, more evidence of VX use has been presented.
Hungarian govt gets another COCW Award. Two Catalonia vs. Crimea articles. More on Turkish turmoil.
Mauroni rebuts Krepon’s essay on small nukes. Rosen on military innovation.
Jones’ Infowars audience in Russia. Good commentary on cyber integration.
Comical Sergei earns a COCW Award, as does his boss, for patently absurd public statements about the US (probably produced for the Sovok TV audience). Multiple reports on meddling, hacking, social media and related Russian misdeeds during the election – this is truly becoming a perfect storm of blowback for Russia.
Russia / Russophone Reports
President Trump has been sensibly tough with Russia about its aggression in Ukraine. He needs to go a step further and supply weapons to Kiev.
Kurt Volker, the U.S. special envoy for efforts to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine, says he will meet with Kremlin aide Vladislav Surkov on October 7 in Serbia's capital, Belgrade. …
On September 20, the joint Russian-Belarusian military exercises codenamed Zapad-2017 (West 2017) came to an end. Even before they started, experts talked about possible provocations. And now analysts agree that the exercises have reached their main goal. Former Ambassador of Montenegro to NATO, Professor of Practical Diplomacy and International Relations of Boston University Vesco Garchevic believes that through these exercises Russia tried to show the West that it has become stronger and more powerful and that it plans to participate in global issues.
Military Schengen zone is a successful plan, which is aimed to optimize bureaucratic procedures at the borders and improve infrastructure that must cope with heavy military equipment
Russia is hacking the smartphones of NATO troops in Europe in a cyber campaign to gauge military strength, gain insight into operations and intimidate…
Russia’s digital warfare campaign isn’t limited to targeting distant servers. The Wall Street Journal has learned that Russian hackers are targeting individual…
BY AJ DELLINGER ON 10/04/17 AT 12:26 PM James Comey on Russian Hackers: ‘They Will Be Back’ Soldiers and officials of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member countries deployed in eastern Europe are being victimized by targeted hacks that aim to compromise their smartphones, the Wall Street Journal reported. The nearly 4,000 NATO troops positioned near the Russian border…
Russia has opened a new battlefront with NATO, according to Western military officials, by exploiting a point of vulnerability for almost all allied soldiers: their personal smartphones.
The Canadian Parliament has stepped closer to final approval of its version of the U.S. Magnitsky Act, which sanctions Russians for alleged human rights abuses, a move that has brought threats o…
The Kremlin is upset with Canada. It is all up in arms about something called Bill S-226. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called it an “anti-Russian action” and threatened retaliation against it. And the Russian Embassy in Ottawa called it “a deplorably confrontational act blatantly interfering in Russia’s domestic affairs.” So what exactly is Bill S-226? Well, it’s otherwise known as the Justice For Victims Of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act. The bill allows the Canadian government to sanction, freeze the assets of, and deny entry to foreigners from any country — and I stress any country — which is responsible for corruption, extrajudicial killings, torture, or other human rights violations. Now, why would the Kremlin be so threatened by that? How is that inherently anti-Russian? Unless, of course, Russia is engaged in systematic state-sponsored corruption, extrajudicial killings, torture, and other human rights violations. Now, despite the Kremlin’s threats and an intensive lobbying campaign by pro-Kremlin front groups, the bill unanimously passed its third and final reading in the lower house of Canada’s Parliament last night. It still must pass the Canadian Senate and be approved by the Governor General to become law. Bill S-226, the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act, is of course informally known as the Sergei Magnitsky Act, named for the Russian lawyer who died in prison after exposing a massive official corruption scheme. It’s the latest part of an overdue message from the West to the world’s kleptocrats and autocrats: If you want access to Western markets, Western banking systems, and Western societies, you need to abide by Western rules and Western norms. And the fact that Putin’s regime is threatened by that says quite a bit about Putin’s regime.
<p>Bill to sanction foreign officials involved in human rights abuses blasted by Russia as “deplorably confrontational act.” </p>
Despite the pressure, Parliament passed a bill to bar Canadians from business dealings with foreigners who have committed human rights violations.
During a visit to Moscow, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Wednesday that he was confident Russia would come to Venezuela’s aid if the South American country were to face intrusions from the Trump administration.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who is facing international isolation amid unrest in the Latin American country, has thanked his Russian counterpart for backing him. "Thank you for you…
In Soviet times, we were promised welfare growth, and now – the growth of poverty. The Russian society is offered an important decision: to agree to a long-term stagnation with growing poverty and a backwardness from developed countries and nearest neighbors. The government has decided on a long-term development plan, which does not necessarily mean any special development. This plan is designed in the form of a draft three-year budget, which was proposed to the society – as they say, “in full compliance with the current legislation.” The fact of approval of this budget in the parliament and will mean a public agreement with the growth of poverty and the country’s lagging behind competitors. And there is no deception here: the main figures and key decisions for the future have already been published and are now awaiting public approval. That is, in Soviet times, the authorities promised citizens a permanent increase in welfare – and deceived. And the current authorities promise an increase in poverty – and do not deceive. Dissenters with such a policy no one shut up. Criticism of budget plans sounds quite loud. And citizens can see everything happening in detail and with full awareness of what is happening. So the decision about economic “downshifting” and degradation is taken by society with full responsibility. Over the past nine years, the Russian economy has grown by 1.7%. On average, the annual GDP growth was virtually zero, or, more precisely, less than 0.2%. Now the country is offered to agree to the second “lost decade”, during which Russia will lag several times behind the rest of the world in terms of its development rates.
The Emmy Awards stirred controversy last month with politically charged speeches and comedy routines, many targeting U.S. President Donald Trump. In Russia, meanwhile, that country’s analogous awards show has triggered ridicule and outrage after its trophy for best “educational program” was handed to the host of a recent show giving credence to the theory that the Earth is flat. Igor Prokopenko, a television host with the national REN-TV network, accepted the honor at the October 3 TEFI awards ceremony in Moscow for his show Military Secrets. But it was another of his productions — The Most Shocking Hypotheses — that prompted widespread mockery and hand-wringing. That program’s episode last week — titled But The Earth Is Flat! — delivered a 45-minute exploration of the Flat-Earth Theory, featuring dramatic music and interviews with purported “experts” purveying the preposterous claim:
Less than six months before Russia's next election, President Vladimir Putin says he has not yet decided whether to seek a new six-year term. Putin, who is widely expected to seek and easil…
YAKUTSK, Russia — No one knows where the bones of the victims of dictator Josef Stalin’s gulag in the Far Eastern region of Sakha (formerly Yakutia) are buried. But the bones of the camps themselves still litter the most remote and inhospitable corners of the vast territory. During Stalin’s reign of terror, there were no less than 105 gulag camps in Sakha, covering about one-third of its area. Even today, it is nearly impossible to reach some of the most far-flung locations — places like Tomponsky, Oimyakonsky, and Verkhoyansky — where prisoners worked and died by the tens of thousands. “We are talking about hundreds and thousands of kilometers just to get to these places — mostly without roads in the most inhuman circumstances,” geologist Arkady Vishnevsky wrote in his memoirs. “We can only guess how many people died on the way there, never even reaching the place where they were supposed to serve their sentences.” “The ones who did arrive were given the most difficult physical labor — in mines, in construction, laying roads, breaking rocks, felling trees,” he continued. “They worked in brigades of 30 to 40 people under armed guard. Every morning, after roll call, they went out to work and in the evening, after being frisked, they found themselves once again behind the barbed wire. Not many survived their full sentences from beginning to end. It is hard for me to think that the village of Batagai, where I lived and worked, largely came into being through the work of the slaves of Stalin’s camps.” This summer, a small group of enthusiasts made the arduous, 64-kilometer journey from Batagai to 1,271-meter Mt. Kyoster, which was once the location of the Yansky labor camps. “From tsarist times, our Verkhoyansky region was a place of political exile,” local management specialist Dmitry Gabyshev told RFE/RL during the expedition in late August. “And in Soviet times, they mined here using prisoner labor. It was a prison without bars since there are only hills as far as you can see. Even if you really wanted to and made a tremendous effort, it was impossible to run off and survive. Our expedition is dedicated to the eternal memory of the prisoners of the Yansky camp system, so that we — today’s young people — remember and understand at what price our lives were built.”
Jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny has called on Russians nationwide to protest on President Vladimir Putin’s 65th birthday on October 7, despite a Kremlin warning that organizers o…
Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny called on his supporters on Wednesday to hold street protests this weekend across Russia, in defiance of an official ban, to demand that Navalny be allowed to run in next year’s presidential election.
The Moscow homes of several employees of a civic movement established by exiled former tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky have been searched by Russian police. Open Russia said in an October 5 statemen…
Russian Law Enforcement Raid Homes of Khodorkovsky’s Open Russia Employees
On September 28, the Rosobrnadzor refused to grant the European University (EUSP) a new license, despite the three resolutions of the President “Support”
Old Soviet and Russian cars are commonplace in the Azerbaijani capital — and so is pollution from vehicles that don’t meet modern standards. With weak regulations in place for cars already on the road, the air over Baku isn’t likely to clear up soon. (RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani Service)
Tajikistan's state language committee is demanding that Wikipedia correct what it described as "spelling mistakes" in the online encyclopedia's Tajik-language content. Th…
One of the Southern Military District’s (SMD) missile units, equipped with Iskander missiles, has been put on high readiness state in order to …
ON MY MIND The would-be emperor sees the relationship as imperial. The master gamer views it as transactional. It’s a dysfunctional marriage between two wary partners that has survived on mutual convenience and inertia for more than 17 years. And whether it will last into its second decade is anybody’s guess. If there is one thing that last month’s Zapad 2017 military exercises illustrated, it was the escalating strain on the strategic partnership between Vladimir Putin and Alyaksandr Lukashenka. As Grigory Ioffe notes in a piece featured below, Belarus frustrated Russia’s efforts to turn Zapad into a psyop to spook the West. “Moscow had long insisted on the offensive character of the exercises, Belarus had nevertheless invited several international observers, especially those from Ukraine, without coordination with Russia,” Ioffe writes. “Consequently, both President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu did not visit Belarus during the drill, and the Russian military commanders did not stay for a ceremonial meal right after the event.” Lukashenka, moreover, did not visit a Russian military installation with Putin as planned. The Belarusian elite, meanwhile, is splitting. A faction of technocrats including Foreign Minister Uladzimer Makey, Security Council Secretary Stanislau Zas, Deputy Prime Minister Vasil Matsyusheuski is pushing economic reform to reduce Minsk’s dependency on Russia. Another group, led by Interior Minister Ihar Shunevich and KGB Chairman Valery Vakulchyk are pro-Moscow. Some informed Minsk-based political analysts have told me privately that they are convinced that the Kremlin is considering removing Lukashenka in favor of a more pliant figure. They also say Lukashenka is wise to this and is planning fresh efforts at reorganization of his security structures to root out potential Kremlin moles. That, of course, is all unconfirmed and difficult to substantiate at this point. But what is clear is that we will all need to brush up on our Minsk Kremlinology soon. Post-Zapad Belarus, it appears, could be about to get very interesting indeed.
The joint Russian-Belarusian Zapad 2017 war games, which ran during September 14–20, inspired a wide-ranging debate about the nature and geopolitical realities of Belarusian statehood and independence. Thus, according to the Belarusian military analyst Alexander Alesin, the Kremlin had evinced utmost irritation with Minsk because, even though Moscow had long insisted on the offensive character of the exercises, Belarus had nevertheless invited several international observers, especially those from Ukraine, without coordination with Russia. Consequently, both President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu did not visit Belarus during the drill, and the Russian military commanders did not stay for a ceremonial meal right after the event (Naviny, September 26). Artyom Shraibman, a political commentator for Tut.by, opines, on the other hand, that during Zapad 2017, Belarus was twice shown the limits of its sovereignty. In the first instance, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) kidnapped a Ukrainian citizen who came to Gomel, Belarus (see EDM, September 12). And in the second instance, the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced shortly after the beginning of the Zapad drills—and contrary to a detailed plan—that it was about to transfer a tank army to Belarus. While the Belarusian MoD disavowed this announcement, it clearly did not anticipate or understand what its Russian ally had in mind in the first place. In both cases, Shraibman argues, Moscow evinced extreme carelessness regarding Belarus’s image in the eyes of the West. This did not justify the Baltic States’ loud apprehensions, he suggests, but it did compromise Minsk’s guarantees that no attack on these countries would come from Belarusian soil (Tut.by, September 21). Yauheni Preiherman, the director of research at the Liberal Club, a unique Minsk-based institution with ties to both international donor agencies and the Belarusian government, objects to Shraibman’s perspective on Belarus’s sovereignty. He calls the Zapad 2017 war games an event that bored everyone to death and cheers the fact that it is over. To Preiherman, the FSB’s capture of a Ukrainian citizen from Belarus need not be interpreted as any evidence of a limitation of Belarus’s sovereignty since spy agencies routinely engage in such activities across the world. Rather, the occurrence testifies to a “cynical and cruel” fight between Russia and Ukraine. Did the bugging of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone by the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) limit Germany’s sovereignty, he asks (Tut.by, September 23). While some might give an affirmative answer to this seemingly rhetorical question by Preiherman, what is more important is that it actually lays bare the so-called notion of “attribute substitution,” a phenomenon studied by social psychology. Specifically, displeasure over limitations to sovereignty may be a spontaneous self-deception since few countries in the world exercise unlimited freedom of action to begin with. The true, if latent, displeasure may, in fact, reflect anger at the inherent limits of one’s sovereignty rather than about any outside-imposed constraints.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whose government is under pressure from protesters at home and Western governments that say he has become increasingly authoritarian, is to meet this week with th…
Transnistria / Moldova Reports
On a broadcast of a Moldovan TV channel, Moldovan President Igor Dodon has said that his power was sent down to him from God, Newsmaker news website reports. According to Dodon himself, such an idea occurred to him after a conversation with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow (secular name Vladimir Gundyaev). “You know, Patriarch Kirill told me at the very beginning of the mandate: ‘Mr. President, this mandate was given by the Lord’,” Dodon said. It is reported that Dodon met with Patriarch Kirill twice this year, in January and in March. During one of the meetings, the patriarch said that Dodon’s Christian principles “give hope for his success in serving the people of Moldova and in serving the state.” Newsmaker notes that Dodon is an active advocate of Christian values. He often visits monasteries and temples in Moldova. Deputies from the pro-European Liberal Party of the Moldovan Parliament have begun collecting signatures for a bill to initiate procedures for the removal of President Igor Dodon from office.
First explosions in Kalynivka occurred in closed bunker. The first explosions in Kalynivka occurred inside the storage with the self-propelled mortars ‘Tyulpan’ and in the closed bunker with multiple rocket launchers ‘Uragan’. Director of Kyiv Research Institute of Foreign Expertise Olexandr Ruvin claimed this at the meeting of Committee of the Verkhovna Rada on National Security and Defense broadcasted by 112 Ukraine.https://112.ua/ ‘We understand that the explosions occurred inside the storage. Two powerful explosions took place. One was at the open storage with the number of ‘Tyulpan’. The second was at the bunker with the number of Uragan’. There was no possibility to initiate the explosions outside of it, it was totally enclosed, it is made of concrete and there was a missile stations so the wideness of the concrete doors is one meter. Nothing could get there. Moreover, there was any equipped armament’, Ruvin noted.
Experts of the military prosecutor’s office of the Defense Ministry led by chief inspector of the Ministry, Lieutenant General Ruslan Khomchak are finishing the work on finding the circumstances of the explosions at the 48th arsenal in Kalynivka. The primary lead has been established. Censor.NET Chief Editor Yurii Butusov wrote on Facebook. He said Censor.NET sources say that the explosions were caused by a sabotage act at one of the storage areas for Grads BM-21. “This was definitely a sabotage act. However, preliminary investigation completely disproves a statement by presidential adviser Yurii Biriukov that the storage was blown up with a bomb from a drone,” the journalist wrote. “The experts concluded its was a ground sabotage act that, in violation of all storage regulations and instructions prescribed by inspections, led to explosion of half of the ammo held in the depot,” Butusov said. “So the matter of organizing and storing ammunition is being studied… Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak has tasked to present conclusions of the commission by Oct. 25,” Butusov wrote and reminded that the explosion of 3,500 tons of ammunition in Svatove led to dismissal of deputy chief of the General Staff, while the explosion of 90,000 tons of ammo in Balakliia and 30,000 tons in Kalynivka led to no resignations.
The explosives are confiscated and passed to the representatives of the arsenal
The Cabinet should inform international organizations about Russia’s violation of human rights in the occupied territories. Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko proposes to relieve Ukraine of responsibility for Russia’s and illegal armed groups’ actions in the occupied territories of Donbas. This was stated in the presidential draft law “On specifics of state policy on ensuring Ukraine’s sovereignty over temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.” The bill was registered in the parliament today, October 4. The document notes that Ukraine is not responsible for the Russian aggression in the Donbas, as well as for the actions of Russia-backed armed groups and occupation authorities. “The state of Ukraine is not responsible for the unlawful actions of the Russian Federation as an aggressor state, its armed forces, other military formations and the occupation administration in the temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” the bill says. Also, according to the bill, the Cabinet should monitor Russia’s violations of human rights in the uncontrolled territory of the Donbas and inform international human rights organizations about the precedents.
The Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security and Defense supported the presidential bill on the specifics of state policy to ensure state sovereignty of Ukraine over temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk regions (No. 7163), at the same time instructing that the working group draft a number of amendments, according to an UNIAN correspondent. News 05 October from UNIAN.
Berlin supported Poroshenko’s initiative
The offender was detained
05.10.17 13:19 – The police is preventing the people from lynching the offender. A man has destroyed the Nebesna Sotnia (Heavenly Hundred) monument at Instytuska Street in Kyiv and was detained on spot, Censor.NET correspondent reports. The offender said he committed the act of vandalism as a revenge for “killing people in the Donbas.” The detainee, born in 1974, lives in occupied Crimea, in Sevastopol. The reason of his arrival in Kyiv has not yet been found. After the act of offense, about 20 citizens angry over his deed gathered at the destroyed monument and attempted to commit mob punishment. Police has arrived at the scene and is trying to prevent the people from doing this. There has been no official commentary issued by the National Police on the offense. Source:https://en.censor.net.ua/p458111
In the evening, militants were mostly active in the Donetsk sector
Russia's hybrid military forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in Donbas 19 times in the past 24 hours, with two Ukrainian soldiers reported as wounded in action (WIA), according to the press service of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters. News 05 October from UNIAN.
Anthracite from the occupied Donbas comes semi-legally to Poland thanks to Russian documents, the Polish outlet Dziennik wrote, Yevropeiska Pravda reported. Profits from its sales end up in the pocket of Igor Plotnitskyi, leader of the “Luhansk People’s Republic” (“LNR”), a Russian proxy statelet in Ukraine’s Donbas. The coal is delivered from occupied Donbas to Poland by the company Doncoaltrade, which had been registered in 2012 is the city of Katowice. Its president and main shareholder is Oleksandr Melnychuk, who for some time was the deputy “minister” of fuel, energy, and coal industry of the so-called “LNR.”
Unknown people who introduced themselves as Security Service officers visited the school
An attempted murder of Deputy Head of Odesa region administration, former MP from “Fatherland” political party Oleh Radkovskiy, happened in downtown Odesa, as Dumskaya reports, with a link to Odesa police. It is reported that Radkovskiy suffered from three gunshot wounds while exiting a restaurant. “According to the preliminary information, Radkovskiy was shot at from a small-calibre rifle. He was shot in the leg, arm, and lower back. His life is not under threat,” the message says.
As the reform of the key judicial institution in Ukraine, the new Supreme Court, draws closer to the end, the differences between the views of representatives of civil society and state institutions on this process becomes dramatic. The President Petro Poroshenko, who is considered the initiator of judicial reform, praised the competition to the Supreme Court and insisted that it was transparent. So did the High Qualification Commission of Judges (HQCJ), the selection committee made out of judges which chose which judges will go into the new Supreme Court, which sifted out 120 judges from the pool of candidates.
Ukraine has expelled a Russian TV journalist whom the country's main security agency accused of delivering "deceitful, anti-Ukrainian" reports from areas in eastern Ukraine that are hel…
Leaving for Russia in search of work, some Ukrainians have found themselves on the wrong side of the law. Through blackmail and threats, a number of people have been forced to distribute illegal drugs around Russia. Many Ukrainians travel abroad for better jobs. Working in a foreign country often pays much more than a similar job in Ukraine. And Russia, due to its proximity to Ukraine, has always been a top destination. However, working in Russia for Ukrainians, since the start of Moscow’s military intervention in Donbas in 2014 has become more dangerous and lands people in prison. Kateryna Onopriyenko’s son saw the dark side of working in Russia. He applied for a courier job. Recruiters promised him a salary of about 1 thousand US dollars a month. But on his arrival to Russia, the Ukrainian citizen realized that the job did not match the recruiters’ promises. Instead, he was forced to create ‘spice’, a designer drug that is now illegal in many countries, including Russia.
Does the man-made Great Famine of 1932–33 in Kremlin-ruled Ukraine fit the criteria of genocide? James Oliver argues that it definitely does in his review of the new book Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine by Pulitzer Prize winner Anne Applebaum. The book’s merit, he notes, is the return to the original notion of “genocide” as a policy aimed at the destruction of social ties, particularly solidarity, within the group, rather than just physical elimination of its members. This is exactly what the Stalinist regime was doing to Ukrainians in the 1930s, Oliver observes. Between 1932–33, Stalin sought to wipe out the very concept of an independent Ukraine by targeting its peasantry and its leadership. In many senses, Lenin and Stalin carried on the traditions of the Tsarist empire in seeking to deny the Ukrainians their own identity, history, language, and culture. But Stalin’s application of this tradition proved to be far more lethal than anything the Tsars ever conceived. At least 4 million (possibly up to 7 million) Ukrainians perished in a deliberate genocide where starvation, terror, and deportation were the main weapons of choice for Stalin’s regime. For decades, the realities of the Holodomor were and still are covered up by the Kremlin in a deliberately orchestrated fog of disinformation concocted by Stalin himself. It has been echoed not just in Walter Duranty’s nefarious New York Times dispatches but also in the numerous pro-Soviet lackeys who repeatedly attacked and vilified anyone in the Ukrainian diaspora who spoke of the Holodomor and the brave few journalists such as Gareth Jones, Malcolm Muggeridge, and Rhea Clyman who reported on the Soviet genocide against the Ukrainians at the time.
In annexed Crimea, more than 2,000 citizens will be drafted into the Russian army for military service, as announced on October 2 by the press …
In a statement released on October 3 on the website of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine demands that …
Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports
A member of Iran’s team of nuclear negotiators that struck the 2015 deal with world powers has been sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted in Iran of espionage, a semi-official news agency reported on Wednesday.
The capture of Hawija, the militants’ last stronghold in northern Iraq, means the only area left under ISIS’s control in Iraq is a stretch of land near the Syrian border.
The Israelis and Turks, the Egyptians and Jordanians — they’re all beating a path to the Kremlin in the hope that Vladimir Putin, the new master of the Middle East, can secure their interests and fix their problems.
The Latest developments on the war in Syria (all times local):
Russia has accused the United States of supporting Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria, enabling them to mount counteroffensive attacks there. The Defense Ministry made the accusation on Octobe…
That Russia depends heavily on Russian mercenaries to do their dirty work in Syria creates an inconvenient problem for Russia. Russia is going to have to tiptoe around the issue, placing doubt on the numbers of “Russians” killed in Syria. </end editorial> Dmitry Peskov says Russia would be ‘concerned’ if the men ‘turn out to be…
FSB staff have forced the parents of the Russian soldier Gregory Tsurkanu, who was captured in Syria, not to “cause a stir”, Tsurkanu’s parents …
Moscow had claimed the killing of ISIS leader Baghdadi, but he appeared in an audio message last month.
Russia says its military also destroyed an ammunition depot
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, commenting on the situation in Syria and Idlib, said that it is necessary to ensure the territorial …
The presidents of Iran and Turkey say their countries will take steps to ensure that borders in the region remain unchanged following last week’s independence referendum in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region.
Bangladeshi authorities have destroyed about 20 boats that ferried Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in Myanmar, accusing smugglers of using the huge exodus to bring methamphetamine into the country.
Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been stripped of a human rights award by the City of Oxford, where she was an undergraduate, as British institutions increasingly distance themselves from the beleaguered former rights icon.
DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports
Russia is quietly boosting economic support for North Korea to try to stymie any U.S.-led push to oust Kim Jong Un as Moscow fears his fall would sap its regional clout and allow U.S. troops to deploy on Russia’s eastern border.
The Russian president urged all parties to move toward constructive dialogue.
President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that a military strike against North Korea designed to destroy its nuclear and missile program might not succeed because Pyongyang could have hidden military facilities that nobody knows about.
In contrast to President Trump’s assertion that Kim Jong-un is a “madman,” an influential CIA official said Wednesday that the North Korean dictator is actually a “very rational actor” who doesn’t want a war with the United States.
The things Kim Jong Un used to fear most about China and the U.S. are no longer a concern, the CIA Korea Mission Center’s Yong Suk Lee says.
It’s the physics, stupid
Experts outside U.S. government are uncovering amazingly detailed information about North Korea’s nuclear capabilities using the regime’s propaganda images. Photo: North Korea State Media
As U.S. President Donald Trump threatens to destroy North Korea, even some of his closest aides have warned of the potentially disastrous effects of a war. New research published on the 38 North website points to just how catastrophic the impact might be on the regime’s neighbors.
At various times over the past few weeks, US President Donald Trump and other members of his administration have threatened to use military force to prevent North Korea from conducting additional nuclear or ballistic missile tests. The US carrying out any military option raises a significant risk of military escalation by the North, including the use of nuclear weapons against South Korea and Japan. According to the calculations presented below, if the “unthinkable” happened, nuclear detonations over Seoul and Tokyo with North Korea’s current estimated weapon yields could result in as many as 2.1 million fatalities and 7.7 million injuries.
It is often said that nuclear weapons offer little beyond the ability to deter. But if nuclear weapons deter, they also necessarily offer benefits to state
THE HAGUE (AFP) – North Korea’s chemical weapons stockpile is a “concern for peace and stability” on the Korean peninsula and beyond, the world’s chemical watchdog said on Wednesday (Oct 4)..The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ (OPCW) director-general Ahmet Uzumcu urged countries to pressurise Pyongyang to get rid of them. Estimates say there are between 3,000 and 5,000 tonnes of chemical weapons in North Korea’s arsenal, Mr Uzumcu told Agence France-Presse news agency in an interview.
The US slapped North Korea with new sanctions…
The workers wake up each morning on metal bunk beds in fluorescent-lit Chinese dormitories, North Koreans outsourced by their government to process seafood that ends up in American stores and homes.
North Koreans who were working in China are returning en masse to their homeland due stricter rules for obtaining and extending visas after the …
Fortunately, the United States can.
It’s time for peace talks, and Rex Tillerson is on the right track.
Russia is quietly boosting economic support for North Korea to try to stymie any U.S.-led push to oust Kim Jong Un as Moscow fears his fall would sap its regional clout and allow U.S. troops to deploy on Russia’s eastern border.
Zumwalt: South Korea’s Pivot Back to ‘Sunshine’ Softball Has Enabled North Korea
WONSAN, North Korea (AFP) – At the turbine hall at North Korea’s Wonsan Number 5 hydropower station, a placard mounted on a wall proclaims: “Prosperous and Powerful Nation”. But when it comes to electricity, the North is anything but.. Read more at straitstimes.com.
Some women who cross the border are sold to men in rural areas who cannot find wives. Others are abducted and forced into prostitution
As North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and provocative missile tests draw the world’s attention, one crucial reality about the totalitarian regime has been left largely unnoticed: As bleak as life is for most who live in North Korea, it is often far worse for those who flee—most of whom are forced to suffer horrific human…
The Latest on the trial in Malaysia of two women accused of killing Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half brother of North Korea’s leader (all times local):
SHAH ALAM: VX (nerve agent) poison as well as its precursor and degradation elements were discovered on the clothing items of both murder accused Siti Aisyah, 25, and Doan Thi Huong, 29, the High Court heard during the trial on the murder of Kim Jong-Nam here today.
Foreign Policy Reports
The European Union member won’t break rank on sanctions but questions impact on Moscow.
Hungary may insist on adding a notion about the law on education in Ukraine in the final declaration of the Eastern Partnership summit, according to RFE/RL correspondent in Brussels Rikard Jozwiak. News 05 October from UNIAN.
Tornike Sharashenidze is a professor and head of the MA programme in International Affairs at the Georgian Institute for Public Affairs.
The Spanish region’s referendum is just as illegitimate, but it has less practical ability to secede.
As last summer the separatist government of Catalonia, an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, announced a referendum on leaving Spain and later staged it on 1 October, pro-Russian whistle-blowers and Russian media started to draw a parallel between it and the plebiscite staged by Russia in Ukraine’s Crimea back in March 2014. Can these two referendums be equated with each other? The Russian state-funded TV channel RT broadcasted an interview with Heinz-Christian Strache, leader of Austria’s far-right Freedom Party in which he compared the current situation in Catalonia to that in Crimea. The pro-Russian politician considers both referendums, in Crimea and Catalonia, to have been held on the basis of the right to self-determination. Russian propaganda placed Ukraine’s Crimea and Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia, occupied by Russia in 2008, on par with Kosovo. Russian political scientists believe that “the Catalan referendum, like the Crimean one, showed that Europe once again ignores the people’s will.”
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont kept the rest of Spain guessing on if and when he will declare independence, prolonging the uncertainty over the breakaway region’s next, crucial move in its confrontation with the government in Madrid.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is struggling to secure support from across the traditional political divide in his battle to stop Catalonia breaking away – a lack of consensus that could compound Spain’s worst political crisis for decades.
The subway and bus networks in Barcelona were brought to a standstill, and demonstrators, including farmers with tractors, shut down some streets and highways.
Mariano Rajoy made many mistakes but was right on the basics. The Catalan referendum was a reckless sham.
The prime ministers of Bulgaria, Greece, and Romania have expressed support for Serbia's bid to join them in the European Union, saying the move would help guarantee regional peace and security. …
A Turkish court has ordered 34 people to serve life over an alleged attempt to kill the president.
Strategy / History / Capability Publications
In the debate over low-yield nukes, opposing camps are largely talking past each other. Here are some thoughts about why they remain necessary.
How and why did the US Navy shift from battleships to aircraft carriers? What drove the US Army’s adoption of helicopter aviation? In this episode of the Modern War Institute podcast, MWI’s Capt. Jake Miraldi speaks to Harvard University’s Professor Stephen Rosen about these and a range of other fascinating questions about innovation in the military.
The CIA has released newly declassified documents showing that U.S. intelligence agencies were aware of Russia's impending launch of the Sputnik 1 satellite — an event that shocked the America…
Archaeologists delight as an undiscovered tomb is found in the Turkish resting place of St Nicholas.
The tomb of Saint Nicholas may have been buried in the southern Turkish province of Antalya all along, Antalya Director of Surveying and Monuments Cemil Karabayram has claimed, after an intact temple has been discovered underneath the Saint Nicholas Church in the Demre district.
My wording is very precise, the Kremlin uses anything and everything against the West to wage an information war, in order to: Sow chaos and confusion in the West Undermine Democracy in the West Promote Russian National Interests When Dmitry Krasnov or Дмитрий Краснов wrote his normal sensationalist alternative and conspiracy theory articles about the Las…
Having served in Desert Storm flying combat missions in the F-16, I found that success during that conflict came from the first true integration of electronic warfare and conventional munitions.
The Arexis pod is a new electronic warfare system to screen and so protect aircraft against low frequency radars.
US Domestic Policy Reports
The Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs has said that Moscow hopes for an exit from the impasse in Russian-American relations and is ready to …
The Russian leader said his country was “patiently waiting” for political strife in the United States to end so that ties between the countries can be strengthened.
In May 2016, Elizaveta Osetinskaya left the RBC holding company, where she served as the chief editor of RBC’s editorial office, after heading the news organizations Vedomosti and Forbes Russia. Leaving RBC with Osetinskaya were another two top managers: Roman Badanin and Maxim Solyus. Shortly afterward, Osetinskaya moved to Palo Alto, where she began a Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University — a one-year internship for media professionals. In the spring of 2017, Osetinskaya unveiled her latest project: a daily newsletter called “The Bell,” which covers events in Russia and around the world. The publication’s editorial staff now includes Irina Malkova, the former chief editor of Republic, and Svetlana Reiter, a former Reuters correspondent. The whole team is made up of seven people, including Osetinskaya. In mid-September 2017, Meduza senior editor Alexander Gorbachev spoke to Osetinskaya about the need for current-events newsletters, and found out what the Russian media looks like from California.
The US government should have anticipated Russia’s efforts to meddle in the 2016 elections — but the FBI is nevertheless working to make sure Russia “pays” for its actions, bureau officials said Wednesday.
Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) said their probe continues and questions of collusion remain unanswered. They also warned that future elections are at risk.
A U.S. Senate committee says there is a consensus that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election but it is still investigating whether there was any collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign team.
The Senate Intelligence Committee chairman and vice chairman backed the intelligence community’s conclusions on Russian election interference, warning that it hasn’t ended.
‘They’ve got some more work to do,’ Senator says
OCT 4, 2017 @ 08:20 PM Kathleen Chaykowski , FORBES STAFF Congressional leaders on Wednesday called on Facebook FB -0.91% and Twitter TWTR +0.91% to publicly share Kremlin-linked political ads that spread on social media in what appear to be a Russian-backed effort to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. However, the Senate Intelligence committee — one of three committees investigating the…
Investigators want to know more about how…
In a letter Tuesday to the CEOs of top election technology firms, Sen. Ron Wyden writes that public faith in American election infrastructure is “more important than ever before.”
The special counsel investigating whether Russia tried to sway the 2016 U.S. election has taken over FBI inquiries into a former British spy’s dossier of allegations of Russian financial and personal links to President Donald Trump’s campaign and associates.
WASHINGTON — Three powerful Russian businessmen who control the country’s largest commercial bank have filed the second of two defamation lawsuits in connection with a salacious intelligenc…
Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson made a statement from the Treaty Room of the State Department reiterating his support of President Trump.
The secretary of state had hoped to douse questions about how long he will stay, but instead further fueled a debate about his future.
Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson was so infuriated with President Trump this past summer that Vice President Mike Pence had to intervene, NBC News first reported on Wednesday.
A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day
Trump had suggested the U.S. would help wipe out the U.S. territory’s debt
Psychopathy and suicidal behavior As investigators seek deeper insight into what could explain the attack, perhaps the most intriguing background on Paddock goes way back: His father was a notorious bank robber once on the FBI’s Most Wanted List, classified by the bureau in 1969 as a dangerous psychopath with suicidal tendencies. (Suicidal behavior is also common among mass shooters—a majority take their own lives, as Paddock did.) According to threat assessment expert Dr. Reid Meloy, research indicates that psychopathic traits can be inherited, and that this is more likely to happen the more severe the trait. That condition “wouldn’t explain specifics of the act,” says Meloy, “but may explain the detachment and cruelty to carry out such an act.” Evidence may yet emerge as to what was going on inside Paddock’s mind as he plotted his slaughter. It was without a doubt a hideous and evil act, and it was hardly inexplicable.