Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Russia / Strategy Media Update (328) – 7 October 2017

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Jardine’s essay on “Russia’s New ‘Useful Idiots’” makes some good points, the other pole of Russia’s proxy base in the West being the bought, who include numerous European politicians for whom national interest is much less important than supplementing their incomes from Russian sources, directly or indirectly. Russia appears to be causing mayhem in the Baltic region not only by cyber attacks, but by employing powerful long range jammers to disrupt civil cellphone networks in Sweden and the Baltic states. Ukraine is changing the legislative status of Russian occupied territories, and not surprisingly, Russia is howling, and their remaining proxies in Ukraine howling even more loudly. Launching live 3M14/54 / SS-N-27/30 Kalibr SLCMs from a Kilo SSK in the Black Sea is clearly intimidation. Trevithick discusses the recent MaRV tests.

Russification of ethnic regional government, Putin as a lame duck, harassment of the opposition, and the box office flop of a Krymnash propaganda movie, all symptoms of Russia’s ongoing dive into the abyss.

Most interesting Belarus report is on its tech sector, not surprising given the sophisticated military equipment like radar and C3 systems developed and built in Belarus.

Two missing Ukrainian border guards turn up in Russian jail cells, captured by the FSB – whenever Russia’s political negotiating position is weak, they seem to make a major effort to grab hostages to bolster their position. Donbass fires continue. AFU conducting increasing numbers of exercises involving Bde sized formations. AFU asks for up to 20,000 more troops to cover growing needs, including proper protection of ammo storage. M4 WAC-47 Carbine now being trialled, as it enters production in Ukraine – it is an M4 variant configurable for Soviet 7.62 × 39 and 5.45 × 39 mm caliber ammunition, or NATO .223.

Russian propaganda campaign around Syria continues, while speculation about Russia versus an Israel – Hezbollah conflict increases. Much on the Saudi order for the S-400 / SA-21 system, while they concurrently intend to procure the THAAD.

WashPost appear to have finally figured out the DPRK’s escalation / extortion game, and why POTUS tweets make very good sense – amazing. Russian legislators from Zhirinovskiy’s party visit the DPRK and are told of an impending ICBM launch. LA Times note the environmental consequences of DPRK WMD testing. Three samples of DPRK propaganda.

Catalan and Mongolia reports.

Four interesting strategy essays, especially LtGen Deptula and Duray on France’s RPVs. Bureaucratic dysfunction of a post-Soviet style Down Under detailed.

Kaspersky appears to have aided via a backdoor Russian theft of NSA tools, that explains the US ban, but may destroy the company. Harding aptly comments on the sad tendency of many politicians (media being no better) to confuse Cyberwar, Information Warfare, and Fake News – this being much the same as the media describing RPVs as drones, despite very different functions and capabilities. Media have an excuse – most of them are not smart enough to tell the difference, but politicians do not have this excuse.

Joe Biden’s very apt comment on Putin gets a COCW. Dominant US domestic theme is Russian exploitation of social media for IO/IW during the election, and some very interesting articles as more and more forensic studies emerge.

Russia / Russophone Reports

Russia’s New ‘Useful Idiots’? – To Inform is to Influence

Full disclosure, I am currently reading and reviewing this book, “Tango Noir: Russia and the Western Far Right,” a new book by Anton Shekhovtsov.  </end editorial> “Originally published by” October 6, 2017 – 11:32am, by Bradley Jardine Russia A EurasiaNet Partner Post from:  Coda There are echoes of Soviet times in the way Russia has been…

UAWire – President of Bulgaria: Sanctions against Russia should be abolished

At a meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev said that he wants European sanctions against Russia to be …

UAWire – Hungary invites Russia to join in putting pressure on Kyiv over Ukrainian Education Law

Deputy Head of the Committee on International Affairs of the Parliament of Hungary Márton Gyöngyösi called on Moscow and Budapest to join forces …

War Games: Russia Is Testing Out Live Bombings And Shutting Down Phone Lines, But Why? – To Inform is to Influence

BY REUTERS ON 10/5/17 AT 1:10 PM Moscow was probably behind interruptions in Latvia’s mobile communications network before Russia’s war games last month, in an apparent test of its cyber attack tools, Baltic and NATO officials said, based on early intelligence of the drills. Russia is suspected of interrupting the mobile network along Latvia’s western coast for…

Kremlin not happy about Ukraine’s new bill calling Russia “aggressor state” – To Inform is to Influence

Russia likes being an aggressor in Ukraine, they just do not like being called an aggressor in Ukraine. Once the title is formalized in Ukraine law, it becomes more difficult for Russia to legally counter and could subsequently become labeled a “rogue state”, similar to North Korea, in international forums.  As long as Russia is…

Poroshenko on attempt to disrupt vote on Donbas reintegration: some MPs acting in Russia’s interests – To Inform is to Influence

The President says the issue of Ukraine’s sovereignty must unite all political forces 17:32, 6 October 2017  President Petro Poroshenko criticized the attempts of some of the MPs to disrupt the vote on the Donbas reintegrationdraft law, according to the address published on the President’s website. “I can’t wrap my head around what we’ve seen yesterday and today in…

Russian subs fired Kalibr cruise missiles in Black Sea waters | Defence Blog

In accordance with the combat training plan, the Black Fleet submarines Rostov-on-Don and Novorossiysk fired cruise missiles Kalibr at ground and surface targets at the training areas in the Black Sea waters. In course the mission, the Rostov-on-Don hit the target located on the shore near Opuk training ground. The submarine Novosibirsk fired at surface target located at a naval training area of the Black Fleet. The missiles were launched from a submerged position. More than 20 warships and support vessels as well as Fleet Air Force aircraft were involved to provide security during the training. Earlier, the submarines Rostov-on-Don and Novorossiysk performed missions as part of the Russian naval group in the Mediterranean Sea in Syria.

Joseph Trevithick | Russia Tests Modified RS-24 Ballistic Missile With an “Experimental Warhead” – The Drive

Russia says it has successfully tested a new version of its RS-24 Yars nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with an “experimental warhead” design. The three-warhead configuration could make the weapon more accurate, as well as harder for an opponent to track and intercept. The Russian Strategic Missile Force conducted the test launch from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the northwestern Arkhangelsk Oblast, flying approximately 3,500 miles before impacting the Kura Missile Test Range in Kamchatka Krai on the other side of the country. It was unclear whether or not this was the first test of the new warhead arrangement on the RS-24, which first entered service in December 2010.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kremlin Cautioned against Installing Ethnic Russian Heads in Other Non-Russian Republics

Paul Goble Staunton, October 6 – Vladimir Putin’s appointment of a Russian to head Daghestan may be justified by conditions in that most Muslim, most multi-ethnic and most corrupt republic in the country, but he would be making a mistake if he were to try to install Russians in other more mono-ethnic non-Russian republics, according to Galina Khizriyeva. That is because, the editor of says, Daghestan is very different than the others. It is vastly more multi-national with three major ethnic groups and no one dominant one, has suffered because of that, and thus has a population at least part of which welcomes an outsider to put things in order ( Marina Perevozkina of Moskovsky komsomolets spoke with her and remarked that the traditional pattern of having someone from the titular nationality works far better in more mono-ethnic republics and that eventually Daghestan should again be headed by someone from one or another of its own ethnic communities. According to Perevozkina, even now Daghestan’s population is divided into “two camps” about the new outsider the Kremlin has appointed. One thinks that the new man “not connected with any clan or political group and not having any obligations to them will get involved in a serious struggle with corruption and crime. And this cannot fail to make people glad.” The other is very much opposed to having an outsider as republic head, “considering this appointment as a sign of a lack of respect to the republic and its residents” and believing that he will have a hard time navigating the complex politics of the republic. Many of the republic bureaucrats have adopted “a wait and see position.” Many in Russia like the idea of returning to the tsarist practice of ruling the North Caucasus by governors general, but “up to now the federal center” has remained committed “to another political line” and supports local people. That works in Chechnya and Ingushetia, Khizriyeva says, but “it hasn’t been working in Daghestan.” Khizriyeva says that many in Daghestan think that only an outsider can bring order to the republic and some of them even favor the appointment of an ethnic Russian because such an individual would be independent of the local ethnically based political “clans.” But that should not be read to mean that Daghestani pro-Russian groups are strong. “Today in the republic,” she continues, “pro-Russian forces have been marginalized. They exist, but they can’t express themselves. In essence, they are ‘a silent majority’” because “on the whole, the region is pro-Russian, but as a result of the most varied processes, this fact is not manifested,” while other forces have assumed a more prominent position. The previous republic head, an Avar, “didn’t block the activities of the federal forces in their struggle with terrorism,” Khizriyeva says, “but he didn’t help them much … There was nothing in Daghestan” like the efforts made in Chechnya and Ingushetia. That is one of the reasons a change had to be made. But then she argues that once conditions have been put in order in Daghestan, the practice of having a local figure in charge needs to be restored, via “normal legitimating elections of the leader from local cadres.” One hopes that the new head will be able to do that, to bring order and set the stage for a return to having a member of a republic nation in charge.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: One Draft-Age Russian in Four Views Military Service as ‘Lost Time’

Paul Goble Staunton, October 6 – A new Public Opinion Foundation poll shows that Russians overall have a more positive view of the military than a year ago, but it also shows that one young Russian in four still views any years in uniform as “lost time” and would rather not be drafted let alone volunteer. The poll found that overall, 76 percent of Russians say that service in the military is “a school of life,” but 15 percent of all Russians say that it is simply time taken away from real life. Among younger people, those subject to the draft, however, 25 percent view in the more negative way, highlighting a generation shift ( Two-thirds of all Russians – 68 percent – say that “every young man should be obligated to serve in the army. The remainder – 30 percent — say that young people should “have the right to independently decide whether to serve or not. Among the younger cohort, 41 percent say that service should be up to the individual. The survey also found that many Russians who served in the military experienced dedovshchina, the term for the mistreatment of newer recruits by more senior ones. But the military insists this has disappeared because draft service has been reduced to only one year and the differences in time are minimal. What is perhaps most striking is that a greater share of Russians view dedovshchina and related phenomena as having a positive impact on soldiers than view it negatively, 49 percent to 42 percent respectively. That suggests that they may be understanding of other bases such as ethnicity or religion for the mistreatment of one group of soldiers by another.

Podcast: The Lame-Duck Blues

Is Russia’s indispensable man becoming the Kremlin’s lame duck?

Blockbuster Or Flop? Russia’s Flick About Crimea Takeover Gets Lackluster Reception

MOSCOW — The public reception of Russia's new &quot;Crimea&quot; movie blockbuster about its invasion of the Ukrainian peninsula is being hotly contested, with Kremlin-tied media suggestin…

Russian Court Upholds Jail Term For Navalny

A Moscow court upheld a 20-day jail sentence for Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny, meaning he will not be able to attend protests marking President Vladimir Putin’s birthday on October 7. (Current Time TV, the Russian-language network run by RFE/RL in cooperation with VOA)

Supporters Of Jailed Kremlin Foe Navalny Protesting Across Russia

Supporters of Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny have come out in cities across the country on October 7 for protests that could trigger harsh crackdowns by police.&nbsp; Rallies and picket…

Supporters Of Jailed Kremlin Foe Navalny Protest In Vladivostok

Supporters of Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny gathered on October 7 in Vladivostok to hold a protest rally. Demonstrators demanded that Navalny be allowed to participate in the country’s March 2018 presidential election. The protests in cities across the country were timed to take place on President Vladimir Putin’s 65th birthday. (Current Time TV)

Supporters of opposition leader Navalny rally across Russia | News & Observer

Supporters of opposition leader Alexei Navalny are rallying across Russia demanding that authorities allow him to run for president.

Bookkeeper Who Testified Against Serebrennikov Transferred To House Arrest

Nina Maslyayeva, the bookkeeper of the drama collective Seventh Studio at the Moscow-based Gogol Center who has been in custody in connection with a high-profile embezzlement case, has bee…

U.S. Urges Russia To Find Masterminds Of Politkovskaya Killing

The U.S. State Department has called on Russia to find and prosecute those who ordered the 2006 murder of prominent Russian investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya. In a statement release…

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Could Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan Solve Exclave Problems by Exchanging Territory?

Paul Goble Staunton, October 6 – Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have now agreed on the delimitation of 85 percent of their borders, but they have not yet succeeded in agreeing on the borders between the exclaves of each on the territory of the other. Some in Bishkek think this could be addressed by an exchange of territories, but others in Tashkent remain totally opposed. Despite the widespread view that the borders of the Soviet Union republics on which the post-Soviet states are based were immutable, there are dozens of major and more than 200 minor transfers of territory from one republic to another in Soviet times. (On this, see this author’s “Can Republic Borders Be Changed?” RFE/RL Report on the USSR, 28 September 1990.) That view was reinforced in February 1992 when the first Bush Administration announced that the United States would not recognize “any secession from secession” in the post-Soviet states, a position that explains the US position not only on Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia but also on Russian-occupied Crimea. But despite that principle, in fact, many of the post-Soviet states in Central Asia in particular have adjusted their borders in order to reach bilateral agreements on their delimitation and the Russian Federation has even adjusted its borders with China over the course of the last 25 years. Most of these changes have been small, involving 100 hectares or less; but now some are at least discussing the possibility of a larger exchange of territory between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan so that the two could resolve the neuralgic problems of the enclaves of the one on the territory of the other. These include most prominently the Uzbek exclaves in Kyrgyzstan, Sokh with some 50,000 people and Shakhimardan with 5,000. In the event of an exchange, these could become part of Kyrgyzstan and their residents Kyrgyz nationals (unless they were to leave) and Bishkek would compensate Tashkent by land elsewhere along the current administrative border. Anvar Mokeyev, former Kyrgyz ambassador to Tashkent, says that such an exchange would face many difficulties including the still open question as to whether the residents of the exclaves would want to remain in Kyrgyzstan or those in land transferred to Uzbekistan would want to remain in that country ( Bakhtier Ergashev, a researcher at the Center for Traditional Cultures, sees another obstacle to such an exchange: there is no Kyrgyz equivalent in Uzbekistan to Sokh in Kyrgyzstan. The closest is the Barak exclave, but it has a population of less than a thousand and a total area of four hectares. For a trade to work, other territories would have to be included. The political analyst aacknowledges that there have been small exchanges of territory between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan as those two countries have worked to delimit their common border. That kind of thing is “normal practice in the process of defining borders.” But larger exchanges of land and population are something else entirely. According to Ergash, “the exchange of the enclaves would be a big mistake which would have serious social consequences for the entire territory of the Fergana Valley. But here there is already another question: would citizens of Uzbekistan agree to become citizens of Kyrgyzstan?” The answer almost certainly is no given the instability in the latter. Given these arguments, the possibility of an exchange is undoubtedly small; but what is intriguing is that officials in many countries keep bringing up this possibility as the only way they can see to move forward on otherwise intractable issues.

Belarus Reports

How Europe’s Last Dictatorship Became a Tech Hub – The New York Times

Minsk, the capital of Belarus, is home to more than 30,000 tech workers, and many of them are creating mobile apps used across the world.

MTZ Welder: Workers Talk About Revolution During Breaks – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk

Those who are older remember the strikes of the early 1990s. Public activist and former MTZ worker Artsiom Charniak reported that to the press service of the Belarusian National Congress. According to him, it is almost impossible to find a job in the specialty today. – Not so long ago you were fired from MTZ. Did you manage to find a new job? Is it difficult? – I have succeeded, but with a great difficulty and not in Minsk. Everything shows that Belarus is now experiencing the largest socio-economic crisis for all time. It is not clear how the authorities will get out of it. It is almost impossible to find a job in the specialty, especially outside of Minsk. The salaries are not normal, too. A few years ago, they were $ 400 a month at the factories and construction sites. Now it’s good if the salary is at least 150. Yes, I worked at the Minsk Tractor Plant as a welder of the 4th grade for a long time. The salary in recent months (in July I was fired) was not more than $ 150. As my colleagues said, their incomes were cut almost twofold. That was due to the fact that our tractors simply hadn’t been bought. We are losing even traditional markets. So it turns out that in order to get at least 500 rubles per month, it was necessary for a worker to work more than 10 hours overtune every week and to come to work on Saturdays. The main problem is that the authorities do not allow people to earn money. They need a humiliated, poor and ragged slave, whom they can easily command. I think this is the main task of Decree No. 3 and the contract system hated by all normal people: to get everyone to work for a penny. With the current authorities in Belarus, only those who sit at the feeding trough can earn normal money. Officials spit down on ordinary people – You said that the salary of your former colleagues – MTZ workers – fell by half. What do they say about their prospects? – They say that the country is in a mess, they always criticise the authorities during breaks – and they don’t care to choose expressions. There are also those who openly argue that revolutionary changes are necessary, that people must take to the streets. Some senior comrades recall the strikes of the early 90’s. People talk about it quietly, but regularly. – And what do you think about it? – I think the same. If we remain silent, the authorities will go on treating us like cattle. It is necessary to take to the streets, we should show an example of how to struggle to those who are still talking about changes in their kitchens and smoking rooms. We must fight for a decent life. It is necessary to put pressure on the authorities. We managed to achieve concessions in the spring. I hope that the Outraged Belarusians March 2.0 will help move forward in this direction.

Homeownership in Belarus: an unaffordable dream | BelarusDigest

On 3 October, at a meeting to discuss the drafting of a new housing code, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka said that helping citizens to improve their housing conditions will remain a key priority. However, while the state has achieved…

Venezuelan president visits Belarus, discusses military ties – The Washington Post

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has visited Belarus, emphasizing plans to bolster military ties with the ex-Soviet nation.

Transnistria / Moldova Reports

Moldova denies fugitive Ukrainian judge political asylum – news portal

Moldova denies fugitive Ukrainian judge political asylum. Notorious judge Mykola Chaus will be extradited to Ukraine. Main – news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Ukraine Reports

Ukraine consul not allowed to visit two Ukrainian border guards detained by Russia’s FSB – To Inform is to Influence

Russia, here’s a hint.   You identified the murderers of Boris Nemtsov in Chechnya in less time than you’ve had to identify two Ukraine border guard that you detained, complete with uniforms and identification cards.  Stop lying, Russia. </end editorial> A Ukrainian consul is not allowed to meet with two Ukrainian border guards who went missing…

Ukrainian diplomats not allowed to see border guards detained in Russia –

Diplomats aren’t allowed to visit the Ukrainian border guards, who were recently detained by the Russian Security Service, as UNIAN informs linking to their source in the State Border Guard Service. At the moment the Consul of Ukraine in Russia is trying to get in touch with the detainees, but he is denied, with an explanation that the detained haven’t been identified yet.

9 attacks, 1 soldier wounded in Donbas over 24 hours –

Nine attacks on the Ukrainian Army in the Donbas conflict zone were reported on October 6, According to the Ukrainian Army HQ. In Donetsk sector, heavy machine guns and grenade launchers were used to attack the Ukrainian soldiers near Avdiivka during a few hours. The same arms were used near Krymske I Zolote, which are in Luhansk sector. In Mariupol sector, the Russia-backed militants used machine guns and a grenade launcher to attack the Ukrainian strongholds near Shyrokyne. Overall nine attacks were reported, with the Ukrainian Army opening return fire to seven of them. One Ukrainian soldier was wounded.

Media News2 “By the end of the year, the number of brigade exercises will exceed two dozen,” – General of the Army of Ukraine Viktor Muzhenko

Brigade tactical exercises with the firing of a separate mechanized brigade of the Operational Command “North” took place in Chernihiv Region. As part of the military part, fighting is conducted in different conditions: offensive, counterattacking, capture and maintenance of a favorable line, etc. Brigade divisions under the guise of helicopters of the Army Aviation carried out the boost of the water obstacle on the run and the pontoon bridge crossing. – Combat shooting tactical combat tactics were part of the practice of training the Armed Forces of Ukraine and became systematic. The brigade performs tasks in the ATO, displays the restoration of combat capability, provides time for rest of personnel, sending servicemen to leave, rehabilitation centers. Then begins individual training, other measures of combat training, culminating in brigade tactical exercises in full with the summoning of reservists of the first turn. And such a cycle is practically all brigades. This year we will get more than two dozen such exercises, – the head of the General Staff – Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, General of the Army of Ukraine Viktor Muzhenko told. As the Chief of General Staff noted, such trainings are conducted both for brigade co-ordination, as well as for the development of new forms and methods for the use of units, the organization of interaction between interspecies groups, etc.

Ukraine’s Exploding Munition Depots Give Ammunition To Security Concerns

It was dusk&nbsp;when the chain of explosions began, feeding a towering fireball that would force the evacuation of 30,000 locals and send 1,200 firefighters scrambling to the arms depot situate…

The Ministry of Defense proposes to increase the number of the army by 10-20 thousand

In order to equip military units and protect arsenals, it is necessary to increase the number of the Armed Forces of Ukraine by 10-20 thousand troops. This was stated by Deputy Defense Minister Igor Pavlovsky at a meeting of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security and Defense Affairs, the correspondent of Ukrinforma reports. “At present, the number of Ukrainian Armed Forces is 250,000. In order to accomplish all the tasks related to the completion of combat units, even 80-85% and the arsenal of security, this number is insufficient. Therefore, it needs to be increased by 10-20 thousand “, – he said. At the same time Pavlovsky added that now strengthened warehouses due to combat units. In addition, responding to the questions of members of the committee, whether the information about the conviction of the former commander of ammunition in Kalinovka, Vinnytsia region, for non-compliance with the fire prevention measures corresponded, he said that the former chief of staff was indeed convicted “for some violations”. At the same time, according to him, the new chief of staff tries to correct the shortcomings that were made earlier.

President signs law on peaceful settlement of situation in certain areas of Donetsk, Luhansk regions – 07.10.2017 14:25 — Ukrinform News

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has signed the Law of Ukraine No. 2167-VIII &quot;On Creation of Necessary Conditions for Peaceful Settlement of the Situation in Certain Areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Regions.&quot;

WAC-47: the first “American” automatic weapon of the Ukrainian army

The Ukrainian Army can change from the AK to the AR-15. On Wednesday, October 4, 2007, the press service of the Concern “Ukroboronprom” reported that the test of the first batch of automatic machines WAC-47 will be held at the National Guard Police in Novy Petrovtsy (Kyiv region). The machine is a clone of American assault rifles M4 / M16, which, in turn, are designed on the basis of the weapon system AR-15. This is the first model of small arms based on the American weapons platform, created for the Ukrainian army, which uses mainly Soviet AK weapons and the “Fort 221” rifle (a license copy of the Israeli machine Tavor Assault Rifle-21). “The assault rifle WAC-47, which will be produced at the state-owned enterprises” Ukroboronprom “in cooperation with the American company Aeroscraft, is a modern weapon. The new machine should become a complete weapon system in accordance with NATO requirements. Production of WAC-47 in Ukraine is a real step of our army to the Euro-Atlantic structures “, the press service of” Ukroboronprom “informed. Initially, WAC-47 assault rifles are planned to arm the units that are part of the international Lithuanian-Polish-Ukrainian brigade, as well as soldiers participating in peacekeeping missions. If the tests are successful, then the new weapons will come in multi-series production and will be able to gradually replace the AK with the armament of the Ukrainian security forces. To make the transition from Soviet armed platforms to NATO standards as “soft” as possible, the WAC-47 will first be available in variants for 7.62 × 39 and 5.45 × 39 mm caliber ammunition with the ability to use stores from AK. Thanks to the modular design, the WAC-47 can use both “Soviet” and “NATO” cartridges after a quick replacement of some parts.

Ukroboronservice unveils new WAC-47 variant of the M4 assault rifle | Defence Blog

Ukrainian company Ukroboronservice, part of Ukrainian state concern UkrOboronProm, presented a new WAC-47 variant of the M4 assault rifle at the shooting range of Ukrainian National Guard near Novo-Petrivtsi village, not far from Kyiv. According to the Ukroboronservice, the American company Aeroscraft, founded by Igor Pasternak (an immigrant from Ukraine), and the State-owned company Ukroboronservis will co-operate to produce M4 carbines to NATO standard. The WAC-47 is a variant of the M4 assault rifle has been designed to replace Soviet-designed 5.45/7.62mm AK weapons in Ukrainian service. The WAC-47 is a modular assault rifle in 5.56mm calibre and can quick conversions to 7.62mmх39. Additionally, it is possible to adapt to the latest types of ammunition: .458 SOCOM or 6.8 mm Remington Special Purpose Cartridges. The WAC-47 main peculiarity is design modularity, allowing to create various versions that best meet the needs of the soldiers. This allows switching calibers, increasing or reducing the length of the barrel, changing units of the weapon, from rifle butt and hilt up to the firing mechanism. The new rifle can be used as sniper rifle for infantry, equipped with a longer barrel and optical sight. The WAC-47 assault rifle is accurate at a range of up to 400 m and has a rate of fire of 850 rds/min. The rifle weighs 3.4 kg with an empty 30-round magazine and has a length of 940 mm without a silencer (barrel length 400mm).

Ukrspetstechnika showcases ACMAT reconnaissance vehicle upgraded with JAB system | Defence Blog

Ukraine’s Joint Stock Company “Holding Company “Ukrspetstechnika”” is specialising in the design and development of wide range of military and special-purpose equipment, displayed a model of its JAB reconnaissance and electronic countermeasure system based on ACMAT ALTV vehicle during the First All-Ukrainian forum of private enterprises of the Ukrainian defense industrial complex. The JAB reconnaissance and electronic countermeasure system is based on a French ACMAT ALTV 4×4 light tactical wheeled vehicle. The system consists of radar, an optical and infrared module on a rotary platform. The radar sensor is capable of maximum detection ranges of 3,000 meters for a human being and 6,000 meters for a vehicle; while the thermal imager can detect human beings out to 2,400 meters and vehicles out to 6,600 meters.

AUSA 2017: UkrOboronProm to represent experience gained during the Russian aggression | Defence Blog

For the first time, Ukrainian state defence manufacturer UkrOboronProm to participate at 2017 AUSA Annual Meeting & Exposition, Hall C Booth № 3817. UkrOboronProm to represent its unique experience, gained during the period of Russian aggression in Ukraine. For almost four years Ukraine has been confronting Russian aggression. Unfortunately, such behavior of neighbor country continues to affect more and more countries and regions. This stimulates to develop domestic defense industry base, using all gained experience in hybrid war, as well as to strength Ukraine’s position in the global arms market. Despite the critical state of the industry in 2014, in very tight terms “UkrOboronProm” succeed in fixing the process of immediate modernization of existing armament and production of the newest advanced weaponry and equipment samples. As of today, Ukraine clearly understands what needs to be done to keep the world’s democracy safe. Ukraine gained much practical experience in resistance to the new type of aggression, which the whole world has never faced before. “We believe we are to share this experience with all democratic world”, said in UkrOboronProm’s report. UkrOboronProm director General Mr. Roman Romanov will share insights about strategic approaches and technologies, aimed at protecting Ukraine and the whole Eastern Europe. He will also comment on implementation of these technologies and results of their utilization in real war conditions.

Aus Emb Ukraine on Twitter: “Australian Senate Pres. Stephen Parry took time from his program to pay respects to the memory of the #HeavenlyHundred @ the Maidan in Kyiv”

Smoke Bomb In Ukrainian Parliament

A smoke grenade and scuffles disrupted the Ukrainian parliament on October 6. A member of the nationalist Svoboda, or freedom, party tossed the smoke grenade just after legislators gave their preliminary approval to two bills. The Svoboda lawmaker later said he was protesting against what he called an “unconstitutional” measure relating to the conflict with Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. (RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service)

Police open case over smoke grenade in parliament – news portal

Police open case over smoke grenade in parliament. An MP lit an RDG-55 smoke grenade used by the National Guard. Main – news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Kyiv may get animal cops unit – news from kyiv | UNIAN

Kyiv City Council on October 5 decided to ask Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada to amend the law on the National Police with a clause that would ensure the creation of an animal police force, according to Kyiv City Council's website. News 06 October from UNIAN.

A record number of young Indians wish to get higher education in Ukraine – 07.10.2017 13:53 — Ukrinform News

More than 4,000 young Indian citizens, a record number for the entire period of diplomatic relations between the two countries, wish to get higher education in Ukraine.

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports

Russia and the Next Lebanon War | Foreign Affairs

How would Russia respond to another war between Israel and Hezbollah?

Russia Strikes Kill 120 ISIS fighters, Over 60 ‘Foreign Mercenaries’ In Syria: Moscow

Some 120 ISIS fighters and 60 foreign mercenaries were killed in a series of Russian air strikes in Syria over the past 24 hours, the defence ministry in Moscow said on Saturday.

Turkey Gears Up for ‘Risky’ Syria Mission With Russia and Iran – Bloomberg

Syrian rebels backed by Turkey are engaged in a “serious operation” in the country’s Idlib province, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, part of a joint mission with Russia and Iran to monitor a ceasefire agreement and pacify a rebel stronghold in northwest Syria.

Thaad: US to sell $15bn missile defence to Saudi Arabia – BBC News

The deal will supply the US’s advanced Thaad missile defence system to Saudi Arabia.

Saudis Kick Off Historic Moscow Visit With Plans to Buy S-400 Missiles – The Drive

Amid reported arms deals, the first ever visit by a Saudi King to the Kremlin could signal a shift away from the US.

Saudis Rock US Alliance, Say They’ll Buy Russia’s Top Plane Killer, S-400 « Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary

WASHINGTON: That rumble under your feet you sensed this morning was the earthquake caused by the decision of one of America’s closest allies, Saudis Arabia, to join Turkey in buying Russia’s vaunted S-400 surface to air missile system. The announcement carried extra diplomatic weight as Saudi King Salman was visiting Russia when the Saudis made the announcement. Former NATO and European Command leader, retired Adm. James Stavridis, called the sale “a step backwards in US foreign and defense policy.” Since World War II, when President Roosevelt agreed with King Faisal that we would guarantee Saudi sovereignty in return for access to their oil, the kingdom has been one of our closest allies, notwithstanding the 911 attacks led by Saudi citizens. “While the enormous global arms market is a free trade zone, it is disconcerting to see close US Allies like Turkey and Saudi Arabia buying significant systems like the S-400 air defense from Russia,” Stavridis, now the dean of the Fletcher School of law and Diplomacy, writes in an email. “It decreases interoperability, opens up cyber vulnerabilities, exposes additional real intelligence to Russia, and reduces the tendency of the US to truly open its technology transfer process to partners.” While Stavridis, long known as a warrior-diplomat, does not say it explicitly, his comment about tech transfer is seminal. Should Saudi Arabia proceed with this sale, it may lead to the United States deciding not to sell advanced command and control systems or aircraft to them. Why? Fear that the Russians could get access to highly classified data about our systems’ vulnerabilities. One of America’s top experts on arms sales was surprised by the Saudi’s announcement, as he suspects was the US government. “This is especially surprising given Trump’s announcement during his Saudi visit that his administration approved a very large package of defense systems for Saudi Arabia. That suggests USG officials knew nothing about the Saudi S-400 decision,” writes Frank Cevasco, former longtime head of international affairs at the Pentagon and a veteran consultant to American and foreign companies on arms sales. The impact of this sale will reverberate well beyond the simple purchase of the S-400, Cevasco says. Military operations and intelligence may be affected. “The US has a large number of personnel, communications systems, military aircraft, ships, and vehicles in the region. “The Saudi’s will not be able to link the S-400 with Saudi’s current (US and Europe-sourced) infrastructure, nor will they be able to connect the S-400 with US systems.  More troubling to me is that Russia will gain a foothold in a nation that for decades has depended largely on defense systems acquired from the US and Europe,” he writes. “That alone ensured a measure of interoperability among US, European and Saudi forces. That interoperability will remain in most areas, but not in the air and missile defense realms. While I don’t have any first hand insight, I worry that the Russian system may contain a capability to collect electronic signals from US and allied emissions.” Turkey also upset the Western allies by choosing the S-400 over US or European systems. Cevasco, who wasn’t involved in either the sale to Turkey or Saudi Arabia, says he suspects Turkey’s decision to select the S-400 was driven in part by Turkey’s wish to signal to the US and NATO that “it will do what it perceives as its best interests.” He also bets that Russia “offered a very inviting price (driven by a desire to capture a place in a NATO member nation), and offered technology transfer and industrial participation of a magnitude the US would never consider.” And, in a comment that will be read with glum faces by many In the US defense industry, Cevasco says the Saudis may have acted because of the long and difficult history of their experience buying advanced weapons over the last 30 years. Most sales, he notes, “were achieved only after much hand-wringing by Washington’s political community and Executive Branch staffs.” With his usual deft touch, Cevasco wryly notes that he suspects “decisions come substantially faster in Moscow than in Washington.” A former senior official of a major NATO ally characterized the purchase as “quite surprising in terms of strategic balance.” The source noted the irony that “the Saudis are angry with the US since the Iran agreement (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), while the Russians are clear supporters of Iran…” And it certainly raises interesting questions about the purported $110 billion arms sales President Donald Trump announced during his recent visit to the oil-rich kingdom. Given how much of that sale is, to say the least, fuzzy, the S-400 decision also raises questions about how committed the Saudis are to much of the future US arms sales.

Saudi Arabia agrees to buy Russian S-400 air defense system: Arabiya TV

Saudi Arabia has agreed to buy Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems, Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television reported on Thursday.

Saudi Arabia just agreed to buy Russia’s S-400 missile defense system – Business Insider

It’s the second time in the last month that a US ally has purchased Moscow’s S-400 defense system.

U.S. deaths in Niger highlight Africa military mission creep

U.S. special forces soldiers were with their counterparts from Niger on Wednesday in the West African nation’s volatile southwest, a growing hot-bed of jihadist violence, when the report came in of a raid nearby.

2016 plot to target New York concerts, landmarks foiled, feds say – CNNPolitics

Federal officials on Friday unsealed charges against three men accused of a thwarted plot to attack concert venues and landmarks around New York City in 2016, according to court documents — a case that comes on the heels of a mass shooting at a concert in Las Vegas.


The case for brinksmanship with North Korea – The Washington Post

Trump’s threats against Pyongyang could work.

Russia Lawmakers Say North Korea May Test Longer-Range Missile Soon – Bloomberg

North Korea is planning to test a missile that its officials said could be capable of reaching the U.S. West Coast, according to two Russian legislators who returned from a visit to Pyongyang this week.

North Korea preparing long-range missile test: RIA cites Russian lawmaker

North Korea is preparing to test a long-range missile which it believes can reach the west coast of the United States, a Russian lawmaker just returned from a visit to Pyongyang was quoted as saying on Friday.

Germany is struggling to shut down a hostel funding North Korea. The hostel is fighting back. – The Washington Post

How a low-budget Berlin youth hostel is taking on the German government and the North Korean regime.

The first casualty of North Korean nuclear tests? The country’s environment – LA Times

Weeks after North Korea’s sixth and largest nuclear test, the ground is still rumbling. Two small earthquakes have occurred since then.

Forget Diplomacy With North Korea if Trump Decertifies the Iran Deal | The Diplomat

Reopening the Iran deal risks placing the United States in the middle of two nuclear crises.

War With North Korea Would Be ‘Unbelievably Bloody,’ Congressman Who Served in Air Force Warns

Representative Ted Lieu is one of the most vocal critics of President Donald Trump’s approach to North Korea.

Nicholas Kristof | Inside North Korea, and Feeling the Drums of War – The New York Times

A visit to the reclusive country reveals the perilous moment we’re in.

North Korea Mocks Trump, Mattis and Portrays U.S. as Dying Fish on Chopping Board

The latest batch of propaganda leaflets is particularly visual.

U.S. Tried to Kill North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in May, According to North Korea

North Korea claims it foiled a joint CIA and South Korean plot on Kim Jong Un’s life and blasted Washington’s global war on terror.

Foreign Policy Reports

Catalan crisis: Two views about independence – BBC News

A celebrated author and a well-known broadcaster outline their thoughts on the situation in Catalonia.

In Catalonia Independence Push, Policing Becomes Politicized – The New York Times

As the region threatens to declare independence from Spain, divisions have deepened between the national police and the regional force.

Why Catalonia shouldn’t be compared with Donbas or Crimea

It would be incorrect to compare the situation in Spain regarding Catalonia’s efforts to proclaim independence with the events in Ukraine’s Donbas and Crimea. Such a comparison is rather a media manipulation. Such wave was launched in Russia, but it was soon picked up by many in Ukraine – both the public and media. It’s a shame that local media outlets keep spreading such an idea instead of offering their own perspective. And then it turns out that we start denying reports and trying to prove that this is not the case. And this wrong and unbeneficial. However, such parallels are being drawn because the method of analogy is the most evident one in the analysis and allows through certain stereotypes from other situations or past to better understand certain events. In this case, Ukrainians use Russian stereotypes when comparing Catalonia with Crimea, Abkhazia, or South Ossetia. It is simply wrong. As to the essence of the matter, the situations in Spain and Ukraine are simply disproportionate and incomparable. By and large, the analogy between Ukraine as a whole and Catalonia would be correct. After all, at one time Ukraine fought for and gained independence from the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union. Similarly, Catalonia has struggled for centuries for its autonomy, for the creation of a federation within Spain, and is now struggling for its own independence. In my opinion, this would be a correct historical analogy, because the scale of Ukrainian and Catalan craving for autonomy and independence are comparable and do have historical parallels. Therefore, there is nothing in common in these situations, except for the word “referendum”, which a Crimea survey was branded Instead, the situation with the Russian occupation of Crimea, Donbas, Abkhazia and North Ossetia is of a completely different nature. First and foremost, external interventions took place in these cases, and referenda were instigated, set up, and held under the leadership of the occupation forces and with their full assistance. That’s anything but what is being happening in Catalonia… Therefore, there is nothing in common in these situations, except for the word “referendum”, which a Crimea survey was branded. In any case, Ukraine should be very careful in its reactions to the events in Catalonia. Spokesperson for Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mariana Betsa has already made a statement. In my opinion, a really correct position has been voiced. It remains restrained, and that’s good. After all, the worst thing Ukraine could do was to intervene in Spain’s internal affairs. Ukraine must in no way allow this to happen. In addition, the consistency of Ukraine’s foreign policy is important. Kyiv must adhere to a consistent line, remaining a predictable partner at the European and global level. On its part, the Kingdom of Spain has been and remains Ukraine’s long-standing and stable partner on the issue of recognizing or not recognizing all sorts of separatists across Europe. For example, Spain is the only EU member state that did not recognize the independence of the Republic of Kosovo. Similarly, Kosovo’s independence was never recognized by Ukraine. And the moves are quite understandable. That’s because in both countries there is a problem of internal separatism. In Ukraine, this was an issue of Crimea as the Russians had never concealed the fact that they would in the future try to use the Kosovo precedent to annex the Black Sea peninsula. That’s what they did, actually. That is, Ukraine’s fears weren’t groundless after all. So the coordination of Ukraine’s foreign policy lines in this issue with Madrid is a correct step. Such line should be pursued further without any sharp fluctuations. Volodymyr Horbach is a political analyst at the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation.

Ukhna Khurelsukh: Mongolia, a possible broker with North Korea, just got a macho new prime minister — Quartz

His Facebook page shows him holding the reins of a horse against the rugged landscape of a Mongolian steppe. In 2012, he brawled with a fellow lawmaker, earning him the nickname “Fist.” He has a series of photos of himself in poses struck by Vladimir Putin. He’s the president of a local chapter of a…

Strategy / History / Capability Publications

David Deptula and John Duray | How France Could Change the Counterterrorism Game | The National Interest

France’s decision to arm its MQ-9 RPAs brings with it incredible tactical efficiencies as well as political and cultural concerns.

Mattis Under Pressure to Look into China’s Backdoor Threat to National Security | The National Interest

House Armed Services Committee members are ringing the alarm bells about a pending funding deal with China that might give the country access to sensitive U.S. secrets.

Puerto Rico Shows Why the Army Needs to Look Beyond Helicopters

When disaster strikes, helicopters are in high demand. Hundreds participated in rescue efforts following Hurricane Katrina, and dozens more aided residents

MICHAEL KEATING. Contestability and Defence Advice | John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations

Major defence decisions have long been made with a minimum amount of consultation. That is certainly true of the recent decision to give the French Naval Group a monopoly over the design and build of Australia’s next submarine. The way this decision was made seems to reflect a long-standing view that civilians are not competent…

IW/IO/Cyber Reports

‘The nail in the coffin’: Russia’s top cyber-firm may have made a ‘catastrophic’ mistake | Business Insider

Russian hackers reportedly stole top secret…

Politicians Intermix Cyberwar, Information Warfare, And Fake News – To Inform is to Influence

By politicians, please allow me to use Hillary Clinton as an example of someone who doesn’t quite get it, doesn’t make any effort to differentiate terms, or doesn’t care about being right, she just wants to be heard. Former Democratic Candidate for President, Hillary Clinton, is trying to sell her book, remain relevant, and be…

Finland opens new center to fight ‘hybrid threats’ from Russia – To Inform is to Influence

Reid Standish, GlobalPost Published 4:44 a.m. ET Oct. 4, 2017 HELSINKI — In a sign of just how seriously countries are taking Moscow’s attempts to destabilize them, 11 European governments plus the United States have now joined forces to build a special think tank about new kinds of war. Based in Finland’s capital Helsinki, the…

US Domestic Policy Reports

Joe Biden Says He Told Vladimir Putin: ‘You Have No Soul’ (Video)

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday revealed that he had some tough words for Vladimir Putin during their last meeting. “When I was last with Putin and we were in his office alone, and he wanted to show me his magnificent office, and it was, and I said it’s amazing what capitalism will do,” said Biden before dropping the burn. “And I said, and I wasn’t being a wise guy, I said, ‘Mr. President I’m looking in your eyes and you have no soul.’” According to Biden, Putin replied: “We understand one another.” Biden made his remarks while receiving the Zbigniew Brzezinski Prize from the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The august award honors those who promote “the importance of geostrategic thinking with a transcending moral purpose.” The footage of Biden aired on “Morning Joe” on Friday — which is co-hosted by the late Zbigniew Brzezinski’s daughter, Mika Brzezinski. Biden’s remarks and Putin’s ambiguous rejoinder provoked some gasps from the assembled crowd. The zinger appear to be a back-handed reference to former President George W. Bush’s fateful statement about a 2001 meeting with Putin in which he said he “was able to get a sense of [Putin’s] soul” after looking into his eyes.

Russian government hackers used antivirus software to steal U.S. cyber capabilities – To Inform is to Influence

The hearing referenced in the last paragraph had been scheduled for last week. I had initially been invited to testify, but was bumped when Eugene Kaspersky agreed to appear. Inexplicably the entire hearing was “postponed”.  </end editorial> By Ellen Nakashima and Jack Gillum October 5 at 6:38 PM Russian government hackers lifted details of U.S. cyber capabilities from a…

‘We Can’t Even Hire A Stringer’: Russia Today Says Its U.S. Staff Leaving In ‘Masses’ – To Inform is to Influence

Equal treatment of RT as a Foreign Agent of Influence is killing Russia Today.  This is the exact same treatment for anyone working for the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, or any other Broadcasting Board of Governors person or operation running in Russia.   Damn, it sucks to be truthful, eh, Russia? </end editorial>…

Kremlin Threatens To Restrict U.S. Media, Alleging Pressure On RT

The Kremlin has again warned that some U.S. media operations in Russia may be restricted in response to reported pressure on Russian state-funded outlets in the United States. &quot;Clearly, in th…

Russia Has No Clue The Difference Between VOA and CNN – To Inform is to Influence

Dear Russian Government,    I’m  typing this slowly so that you might understand better.  The US made RT and Sputnik News corporations register under FARA. Their counterparts fall beneath the BBG, such as Voice of America and Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty.  CNN is commercial media, they are not state run or funded, unlike…

UAWire – Kremlin: Washington violates the US laws by declaring news agency Russia Today as a foreign agent

The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova said that Washington violated its own legislation and the …

Stoking Islamophobia and secession in Texas — from an office in Russia – To Inform is to Influence

By Tim Lister and Clare Sebastian, CNN Updated 5:00 PM ET, Fri October 6, 2017 (CNN)On May 21 2016, a handful of people turned out to protest the opening of a library at an Islamic Center in Houston, Texas. Two held up a banner proclaiming #WhiteLivesMatter. A counter-protest began across the street; video shows a noisy but non-violent confrontation.…

Russian propaganda may have been shared hundreds of millions of times, new research says – To Inform is to Influence

By Craig Timberg October 5 Facebook has said ads bought by Russian operatives reached 10 million of its users. But does that include everyone reached by the information operation? Couldn’t the Russians also have created simple — and free — Facebook posts and hoped they went viral? And if so, how many times were these messages seen…

Itemized Posts and Historical Engagement – 6 Now-Closed FB Pages – d1gi | Tableau Public

See tabs above for breakdown of post engagement, time frequency, interaction, and full text from posts on six election-related (offline) FB pages

Russia-backed “Blacktivist” FB page sold merchandise – To Inform is to Influence

The “Blacktivist” Facebook story appears to be growing daily.  By all accounts, Facebook needs to trace any and all links to the Blacktivist accounts, outline all activity, and document everything they have done.  There should be absolutely nothing left out.  Nothing. Especially the links to domestic people, accounts, activities, and organizations. That last one may…

Here’s what fake Russian Facebook posts during the election looked like – To Inform is to Influence

OCTOBER 6, 2017 by Rob Tornoe, STAFF WRITER  @robtornoe | In May 2016, a small group of protesters with a “#WhiteLivesMatter” sign adorned with Confederate flags showed up outside an Islamic center in Houston for a rally promoted by a Facebook page called “Heart of Texas.” It was fake news. Billed as a rally to “Stop Islamization of…

Russia’s U.S. Propaganda Campaign Infiltrated Instagram, Too – To Inform is to Influence

We can easily conclude that Russia waged information warfare on multiple fronts in Social Media.  Facebook, Twitter, now Instagram.  Surely many others will follow, in varying degrees of participation.  Ads, posts, bots, pictures, and memes. Many more will follow. This was the domain of the Russian troll farm in St. Petersburg.  I initially ran across…

U.S. lawmakers investigating Russia’s election interference are still missing key evidence from Facebook – Recode

They have ads, but not a full download of everything posted by the 470 Russia-tied profiles and pages.

Facebook reportedly cut Russia from election meddling report – To Inform is to Influence

Facebook whittled down a public report on election meddling to remove mentions to Russia, The Wall Street Journal reports. BY STEVEN MUSIL OCTOBER 5, 2017 7:32 PM PDT Facebook removed all references to Russia from a public report in April concerning manipulation of its platform during the 2016 presidential election, according to a The Wall Street Journal report Thursday. Mentions…

Exclusive: Senate ‘Russia Probe’ Is Not Investigating Russia

The Judiciary Committee may be issuing press releases about its ‘Russia Probe.’ But staffers say there’s no full-blown investigation, just routine oversight of the FBI.

Mitchell Sunderland Fired From Vice After BuzzFeed’s Bombshell Report

Vice told BuzzFeed it was “shocked and disappointed” by the Broadly writer’s “highly inappropriate and unprofessional conduct.”

The Trump-Russia dossier: why its findings grow more significant by the day | US news | The Guardian

As US officials investigate potential collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign, the series of reports by the former UK intelligence official Christopher Steele are casting an ever darker shadow over the president

Tillerson chaos lays bare Kelly’s struggle to manage White House – CNNPolitics

As early morning news headlines blared Wednesday that President Donald Trump’s top diplomat had insulted the President’s intelligence, the man hired by Trump to rein in West Wing chaos found himself caught between his boss and his ally.

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