Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Russia / Strategy Media Update (329) – 8 September 2017


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Amb Volker meets Surkov, Amb Hunt comments on relations.

Bomb hoax pandemic continues in Russia. Major protests across Russia on Putin’s 65th birthday, a Russian legislator blaming the West for using the event to defame Russia, Piontkovsky sees these protests as creating divisions that will undo the Putin regime. The Komsomol Redux reviewed. AIDS spinning out of control in Russia due to the cutoff of medical support. The abyss awaits ….

Speculation whether Putin will replace Lukashenko in Belarus. In Moldova, Putinists polling public to gain support for constitutional change to increase powers of Putinist Pres Dodon.

Amb Vershbow encourages Ukraine to seek NATO membership (despite many naysayers in Europe). Poroshenko increases powers for counter-intel effort, while SBU brief media on the involvement of the Russian Wagner PMC (founded and led by a Ukrainian turncoat in Russia) in Donbass, including shooting down the Il-76M CANDID in Luhansk and fighting at Debaltsevo, and note they have identified 40 Wagner SOF troops trained to infiltrate Ukraine. Donbas fire intensity diminishes, while AFU regains control of much of the (lunar landscape) Donetsk city airport. UATV and MoD Youtube clips. Short interview with MGen Karpenko, chief of PSU AD forces, who for the first time discloses the S-300V1 / SA-12A/B GIANT/GLADIATOR is again operational, although actual numbers not disclosed – first photos also released. MT-LB production restart in Kharkiv under way, for domestic and export clientele. Shepetivsky Repair Plant photoessay. More tankers refurbished. Media infatuation with Ukrainian manufactured M4 / WAC-47 Carbines continues. OSW Wilk report makes waves in Ukrainian media.

Iran nuke deal debate continues. Turkey, Syria, Afghanistan and Rohingya reports.

Much MSM traffic on the DPRK, in fact a deluge again. POTUS tweets/comments on the nature of the Kim regime’s extortion play are clearly 100% accurate and show correct understanding of DPRK game, but not understood by most MSM. Emmott proposes China overrun the DPRK and assume control, others dispute his proposal, arguing regime loyalists will fight and continue to fight against a PLA garrison force. More on Russia’s duplicitous game around the DPRK and doubled trade figures. James again argues the value of force, and makes some excellent points. Lamrani @ Stratfor debates deterrence models for the DPRK. Kim et al @ Harvard Kennedy School analyse DPRK BW potential. Miscellaneous background reports, and two on propaganda art.

Catalan mess continues – ethnically and linguistically distinct from Iberians, Catalonians comprise only around 64% of the population of the region. Putinist Agramunt quits as PACE president after visiting Syria.

More on the Russian troll farm, and its IO campaign against the Baltics.

Social media remains the dominant theme in the US domestic Russia debate.


Russia / Russophone Reports


Russia ambassador says Ukraine key to improved relations | Politics | lancasteronline.com

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The new U.S. ambassador to Russia said Saturday that restoring Ukrainian sovereignty and bringing North Korea to the negotiating table will be central issues as

U.S. Envoy For Ukraine Meets Kremlin Aide In Belgrade

Kurt Volker, the U.S. special envoy for efforts to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine, met with Kremlin aide Vladislav Surkov on October 7 in Serbia's capital, Belgrade.&nbsp; Serbian Foreig…

Russia’s military presence in Donbas raises no doubts, U.S. has no need to provide evidence

The presence of the Russian Armed Forces in the east of Ukraine has been confirmed and there is no doubt about it, the U.S.’ Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, Kurt Volker, said. The statement that Russia controls and manages the military forces in Ukraine’s east presently does not raise any doubts, he said in an interview with the Russian newspaper Gazeta.ru published on Friday. Volker explained that there is a lot of public information confirming this: photographs, including satellite images, information from social networks, and reports on interrogation of Russian servicemen who were taken captive. The envoy said he doesn’t think the U.S. should provide any evidence to support this.

Military reconnaissance armored vehicles from Great Britain arrived to Latvia | Baltnews.lv

The National Armed Forces (NAF) of Latvia received 65 of the 123 envisaged combat reconnaissance caterpillar armored vehicles from the UK. This was reported by the press service of the Ministry of Defense of Latvia. The project of mechanization of the infantry brigade of the ground forces of the NAF is divided into several stages and stages. In its framework, it is planned to supply a total of 123 units of armored vehicles. The first armored cars were delivered to Latvia in the fall of 2015. The armored vehicle intended for the creation of a mechanized unit before delivery from the UK is being overhauled and modernized. Deliveries are planned until 2020. The main amount of the contract includes a full renovation and overhaul of 123 platforms, spare parts and training of Latvian specialists, which will cost a total of 39.418 million pounds (46.6 million euros). The platforms are equipped with modern equipment – the Spike anti-tank weapon system, the most modern NATO-classified communications system and command. In addition, it is necessary to plan the purchase of ammunition for 30-millimeter machine-guns, anti-tank missiles, training simulator. Therefore, the total purchase amount is 209,607 million euros. The cost of building the infrastructure for the storage, cleaning and maintenance of this equipment for the armored vehicles will amount to 9.411 million euros. The maintenance of equipment, weapons and control systems and the infrastructure provided for them will cost 18.596 million euros, training – 2.048 million euros, staff costs amount to 9.853 million euros. Thus, the total costs of the mechanization project in the next 10 years are estimated at 249.515 million euros.

Thousands Forced to Evacuate Across Moscow After New Wave of Bomb Scares

More than 20,000 Muscovites were evacuated Friday from some 100 buildings in the capital, including schools, government buildings, and train stations, the RBC news outlet reported Monday. A wave of bomb hoaxes since Sept. 10 across 50 regions has forced hundreds of thousands to flee public buildings in major towns and cities throughout Russia. Alexander Bortnikov, head of the Federal Security Service (FSB) Russia’s domestic intelligence agency said Friday that four Russian citizens abroad are using online calling services to make the anonymous threats. Earlier Friday, 1,500 people were forced from five schools in Moscow after anonymous phone-calls claiming explosives had been planted. Some 6,000 people evacuated 41 schools in the Moscow suburbs. The Moscow regional Duma as well as a shopping mall and the Marriott Grand Hotel were also cleared.

TASS: Russian Politics & Diplomacy – Russia’s lawmaker says West used Putin’s birthday to defame Russia

Commenting on publications in several Western media outlets, the Russian senior lawmaker said he regretted them but could not find unexpected. MOSCOW, October 8. /TASS/. The West has used Russian President Vladimir Putin’s birthday as a pretext for more publications in “influential” media outlets which pursue a goal of defaming Russia, Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the Russian Federation Council (upper house) Foreign Affairs Committee, told TASS. Commenting on publications in several Western media outlets, the Russian senior lawmaker said he regretted them but could not find unexpected. On Saturday, Bloomberg and Independent published articles similar in their message, in which Putin is compared with, as they put it, Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. The publications ponder over the forthcoming presidential race and Putin’s possible new term in office.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Navalny Demonstrations Deepen Split in Putin’s Elite and Bring His End and Its Closer, Piontkovsky Says

Paul Goble Staunton, October 7 – It is now a commonplace that Vladimir Putin’s fate will be decided not at the polls next month but by 15 to 20 of the most powerful figures around him, Andrey Piontkovsky says; and the evidence is mounting that these people are increasingly divided about Putin and his policies. That is why the demonstrations Aleksey Navalny has organized are so important, the Russian commentator continues, because their massive quality shows that there are other groups within the population on whom Putin’s opponents could rely if they removed him from power in order to save themselves and Russia(svoboda.org/a/28777508.html). Today, for the third time since last spring, Piontkovsky points out, “tens of thousands of young people in a hundred cities of Russia” have gone into the streets in response to Navalny’s slogan, “’Putin is a thief!’” And their action today is especially symbolic not only because it is Putin’s birthday but because it is the ninth anniversary of the murder of Anna Politkovskaya. According to the Russian commentator, “there are clear signs that Navalny’s anti-Putin campaign is supported by definite circles among the powers that be, including the siloviki” and that “the Putin ‘bunker’ is extremely concerned by all this” because that raises questions about just how loyal the Kremlin leader’s inner circle now is. That circle consists of people who gained power and wealth thanks to Putin but who wanted to combine anti-Western attitudes with Western standards of living and the ability to travel and even live freely in Western countries. Putin by his actions has threatened all that, Piontkovsky says. This inner group and Putin himself are very much aware that Margarita Simonyan’s observation in 2011 remains valid: “After the first free elections in Russia, they will hang all of us” (kommersant.ru/doc/1836628). And so they know that they date not entrust the problem of Russia’s future leadership to the ballot box with someone like Navalny competing. But at the same time, Piontkovsky argues, “doubts have arisen” within the powers htat be “about Putin’s capacity to effectively fulfill over the next six years the most important function for them, the maintenance of relations with “the eternally hated and eternally beloved West,” where they have stashed “already trillions (!) of dollars.” In addition, Putin’s own recent behavior has sent shockwaves through the inner circle, the Russian analyst continues. It is clear to them that “Putin is really fed up with everything” and may lash out at anyone at any time regardless of past service or present loyalty. And they are asking themselves whether they want to be at risk of “THIS for a minimum of another six years.” According to Piontkovsky, “the Kremlin corporation is the direct heir of the communist nomenklatura” and has the ability to “remove by one means or another the first person who has lost his adequacy” as far as they are concerned. But most of its obvious choices such as relying on Kadyrov to “cleanse” the political arena aren’t attractive. Today, “the corporation has neither people, nor ideas, nor even desires. Fukuyama’s end of history for it has come already long ago.” And they at least recognize that there is a risk that if they do nothing, Russia could plunge into the abyss for the third time in the last century in ways that could prove as fateful as 1917 or 1991. “But if the history of the Soviet Union was a Shakespearean tragedy of world importance, then the history of the Putin empire is a vulgar and disgusting provincial farce,” Piontkovsky says. And so the inner circle must choose between the end of the Putin regime or the end of Russia and themselves. It is not that hard to imagine which many of them will choose, he suggests. And that in turn means that this group is likely to take action against Putin in a matter of days or weeks rather than wait until something else happens. Piontkovsky includes as a headnote to his article an insight offered by the late Russian political analyst Dmitry Furman before his death in 2011. “A feeling of hopelessness always intensified when hatred regimes already have passed their peak and their life cycle is approaching it end” (ng.ru/ideas/2010-06-09/5_revolution.html). Indeed, Furman said, “the feeling of hopelessness is a sign of the beginning of the end and that the way out is near.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Navalny’s Civil Disobedience Intended to Annul ‘Pact of Obedience’ and Restore Sense of Citizenship, Skobov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, October 7 – Aleksey Navalny’s campaign is usually discussed in terms of the ideas and programs he is pushing, Aleksandr Skobov notes, but in fact, his agenda now that he has turned to civil disobedience is far broader and is about the restoration not just of the property the Putin regime has stolen but also the voice it has taken away from Russians as citizens. On the Grani portal today, the Moscow commentator notes that the Navalny staff is telling Russians that the Putin regime wants people to believe that “the very fact of taking part in elections ‘without agreement and permission in advance’ is a strange, exotic, and irrational act” (graniru.org/opinion/skobov/m.264540.html). Indeed, Skobov says, the Putin regime wants Russians to believe that they can do nothing in public life without its approval in advance and that there is nothing that they can do about that reality. This, “the silent ‘social obedience pact’ is the very basis of the Putin system” which seeks to have everyone avoid doing anything that rocks the boat.” Specifically, this pact requires, the commentator continues, that no one “divide society,” “violate the law when you require that the authorities obey it,” “provoke the authorities to repression,” “resist the rapist” but instead “relax and enjoy it.” Navalny’s team wants to “tear up this pact” by engaging in civil disobedience in order to “’create such an atmosphere in society so that it will not want or be able to accept ‘elections’ without real competition and independent candidates’ or to accept denigrating bans on going into the street to express one’s position.” “Without the formation of such an atmosphere, without mass preparation not to subordinate oneself to fraudulent rules, imposed by bandits who have usurped power,” all efforts at advancing a program and candidates in elections the bandits control are worthless, Skobov argues. What Navalny and his team are seeking then is “real participation in elections.” For that he needs to attract overwhelming popular support from those who have changed the way they think because “nothing will change in [Russia] without a massive willingness of people to go out” even at the risk of being attacked or arrested. In seeking to achieve that, Skobov says, “Navalny is appealing not to ideologies and programs. He is appealing to the senses, a sense of justice, of solidarity, of pride in being a human being who cannot be subordinate to someone who is stronger than he is.” In so doing, he is re-awakening “the republican spirit.” Obviously, he is doing this to advance his own candidacy. “But the reverse is also true. Support for Navalny as a candidate works to arouse these feelings.” His tea is “working for political polarization which our ‘moderates and accurate’ people so fear. They do not want to make a clear choice.” And he is demanding that they do so. Ever more Russians are joining him in making this choice, but Navalny’s movement has not yet achieved the strength needed to “destroy the accursed ‘obedience pact.’” But with each demonstration and act of civil disobedience, he is ever closer to achieving that. If Russians join him, a great deal can be achieved; if they don’t, yet another opportunity will be squandered.

Russia’s nationwide protests on Putin’s 65th birthday, in photos — Meduza

Saturday’s protests in 80 cities across Russia turned out very different, depending on the city. Some demonstrations had permits, while others did not. In some places, Alexey Navalny turned out just a few dozen supporters, while hundreds hit the streets in other cities. The biggest rallies took place in Moscow and St. Petersburg, where the police responses were in stark contrast: almost no one was detained in Moscow (though the rally was unsanctioned), while St. Petersburg law enforcement executed a harsh crackdown on protesters. Meduza summarizes Saturday’s activism.

290 arrests in anti-Putin march on Russian leader’s birthday – CNN

Russian police arrested 290 protesters in 26 cities as marches took place against President Vladimir Putin on the leader’s 65th birthday, according to independent monitoring group OVD.

Navalny Supporters Protest Across Russia

Supporters of Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny gathered on October 7 in different cities across the country to hold protest rallies. The protests were timed to take place on President Vladimir Putin’s 65th birthday. (Current Time TV)

Detentions And Spoilers: How A Day Of Protests Went Down On Putin’s Birthday

MOSCOW –&nbsp;More than 270 Russians were detained by police on October 7 as opposition activists staged antigovernment rallies across the country to demand the release of jailed anticorruptio…

Protesters Detained In Putin’s Hometown Of St. Petersburg

Supporters of Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny staged nationwide protests on October 7 to coincide with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s 65th birthday, with police making hundreds of arrests. Most of the arrests on October 7 came in Putin’s hometown of St. Petersburg, where more than 1,000 people gathered at Marsovo Polye (the Field of Mars) in the city center and then marched across the city. (RFE/RL’s Russian Service)

Hundreds In Moscow Hold Protest On Putin’s Birthday

A few hundred people gathered on October 7 at Moscow’s Pushkin Square to hold a protest rally in support of jailed Kremlin foe Aleksei Navalny. Protesters were chanting “Putin is a thief!” “Happy Birthday!” “Russia without Putin!” and “Freedom to Navalny!” Police in Moscow have reportedly thus far been unprecedentedly restrained. The protests in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other cities across the country were timed to take place on President Vladimir Putin’s 65th birthday. (RFE/RL’s Russian Service)

Protests across Russia mark Vladimir Putin’s 65th birthday – To Inform is to Influence

Thousands attended demos in 25 towns across the country against Vladimir Putin and to support opposition leader Alexei Navalny. More than 200 people have been arrested across Russia after opposition groups staged country-wide protests on the birthday of President Vladimir Putin. Demonstrators, many in their teens and twenties, defied bans and faced riot police armed…

Russians Take to the Streets in Mass Anti-Kremlin Protests to Support Navalny

More than 270 people were detained during nationwide protests on Saturday to call for the resignation of President Vladimir Putin and the release of his opponent, opposition activist Alexei Navalny. Presidential hopeful Navalny was sentenced to 20 days behind bars for organizing unsanctioned rallies ahead of a protest rally in Nizhny Novgorod last week. His campaign organized protests in around 80 cities on Saturday, to coincide with Putin’s 65th birthday. Protesters called on Putin to allow Navalny to run in elections next March despite a criminal conviction which Navalny says is politically motivated. In Moscow, around 700 protesters braved the rain to attend the protest, Moscow police told the Interfax news agency. Other reports suggested up to one thousand people attended the rally on Pushkin Square. The protesters chanted “Happy birthday, Putin!”, “Free Navalny!” “Russia without Putin!” and “Navalny is our president!”

On Putin’s birthday, opposition activists protest, call for him to quit

Police detained more than 200 opposition activists on Saturday for taking part in a wave of anti-Kremlin protests across Russia in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, ahead of a presidential election in March, a monitoring group reported.

Six powerful quotes from Anna Politkovskaya about Vladimir Putin -Euromaidan Press |

Eleven years ago, on October 7, the widely respected Russian journalist and human rights activist Anna Politkovskaya, an outspoken critic of Putin’s government and propaganda, was murdered. The courageous Politkovskaya, who was not afraid to speak and write about the atrocities of the Russian president, was shot dead on his birthday… On this Anniversary of Vladimir Putin’s 65th birthday we offer you six quotes from Anna Politkovskaya. They are based on her long-term observations of the Russian leader.

Making real men out of schoolchildren: Meet the ‘YouthArmy,’ Russia’s new hope for military-patriotic education — Meduza

Since September 2016, Russian youths have had the opportunity to participate in “Yunarmiya” (YouthArmy), a “military-patriotic movement” created with support from the Defense Ministry. Organizers say more than 140,000 Russians between the ages of 8 and 18 have already signed up. In a special report for Meduza, Kazan-based journalist Ilnur Sharafiyev takes a deeper look at what YouthArmy is all about, learning about its wide but largely hollow presence across the country, and about allegations that some schoolchildren have been forced to join its ranks.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Death Rates from HIV/AIDS Declining Everywhere in the World but in Russia, Pokrovsky Says

Paul Goble Staunton, October 7 – Mortality rates from HIV infections have declined everywhere in the world except in Russia, Academician Vadim Pokrovsky says. There, he continues, they have gone up in large measure because about a third are not diagnosed until they have developed full-blown AIDS and because another third are not given treatments regularly used in other countries. The head of the Federal Center for Prevention and Combatting HIV says that official statistics give the impression that there has been a reduction in the rate of HIV/AIDS cases in Russia, in fact, the number of new cases has continued to rise from 98,000 in 2015 to what is likely to be more than 104,000 by the end of this year (doctorpiter.ru/articles/17974/). As a result, the total number of those registered as being HIV infected has doubled over the last five years and now stands at 1,167,000, just under one percent of the total Russian population. If those as yet unregistered are included, the number and share suffering from this disease almost certainly is much higher. According to Rosstat, Pokrovsky says, HIV infections now are responsible for more than half of the roughly 35,000 deaths in Russia from all infectious diseases. And these Russian HIV deaths “exceed the number of deaths from highway accidents and suicides.” To date, in Russia, 260,000 people, most in their 30s or 40s, have died from HIV/AIDS. When the epidemic began, men dominated those infected because they were more likely to use drugs. Then when it began to spread through sexual contact, the number of Russian women infected increased. “Now,” the academician says, “the number of men has begun to grow again.” “Some consider that this is connected with the use of new drugs,” while others believe that “there has been an increase in the spread of the virus among men who have sex with other men.” According to official statistics, however, “only about 1.5 percent of cases are explainable by homosexual contacts.” A major reason why this figure is so low, Pokrovsky says, is that if someone is both a drug user and a homosexual, doctors almost always will list drugs as the source of infection rather than homosexual contacts. That leads to a serious overstatement of the role of drug use in the spread of HIV in Russia. There has also been a change in the distribution of cases by age groups. Initially, young people were the most often identified. Now, older people in their 30s or even in their 60s are far more common.

Moscow Buyers Club: Russia’s AIDS Patients Work Together To Overcome Medication Shortages

MOSCOW — Many of the posts on the website Pereboi.ru — a chat room for Russians diagnosed with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS — are alarming. &nbsp; &quot;Today my husband went to the clinic an…

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kremlin Doesn’t Want Regional Heads to Have Popular Support, Vinogradov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, October 7 – “The Kremlin isn’t interested in the appearance of new regional leaders,” St. Petersburg political analyst Mikhail Vinogradov says, because regional and republic heads with a serious base of support could challenge Moscow and use that backing as the basis of demands for compromise. “A popular regional leader presents too great risks for the existing system, Vinogradov says; and with its current set of appointments, it has sent “a clear signal that governors should not work for ‘popular affection’ but act exclusively in pursuit of ‘the Kremlin’s sympathy’” (iarex.ru/articles/54594.html). “A genuinely popular governor could use his position for trade with the center,” he says, “and only one governor, Ramzan Kadyrov [of Chechnya] is in a position to do that. The Kremlin simply cannot allow a situation in which in each region there would be its own analogue to Ramzan.” That calculation rather than anything else, Vinogradov suggests, explains why Vladimir Putin has chosen such “faceless bureaucrats” for these positions. Such people are unlikely to be able to develop a following; and of course, if there is any sign that they are doing so, they can be replaced by those who can’t.


Belarus Reports


Lithuanian Political Analyst: Kremlin In Active Search For Someone To Replace Lukashenka – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk

What could be the reason for the Russian troops to have remained in Belarus? For the last several months, the leading Western media, politicians and experts worriedly discussed the Belarus-Russia joint military drills West-2017. The drills are now over, and Lithuanian political analyst Jan Jacek Komar commented on the current situation at the request of the website charter97.org. — In your opinion, what is the main result of the West-2017 military drills? — Most military experts and analysts agree that Russia has enough strength and opportunitites to occupy the territory of any of the Baltic States in a short period of time. Nevertheless, the noise in the media was, to a greater extent, motivated by the necessity to mobilize the society, desire to show the existing threat from the side of Russia, which, as certain circumstances demonstrate, is preparing for the confrontation with the West and NATO. — What was the role of the Russian propaganda in all this? — First of all, I would like to warn against yeilding to the propaganda, disseminated by the Kremlin, aimed, as the Kremlin’s strategists hope, at intimidating, destroying the people’s will to resist and the desire to defend themselves, ideally — it is aimed at inciting hatred and steering disturbances. Another very curious aspect which I would like to turn attention to is that the exercises West-2017 were considered by many mass media in the Eastern Europe as an occasion for the annexation of Belarus or an aggression in Ukraine. — Why Ukraine? — Because Ukrainians, even more than Lithaunians, could be seriously alerted that the exercises will turn out an occasion for a large-scale military operation against their country. Therefore, their reaction to these exercises should not surprise anyone. — Still, the threat of the occupation of Belarus was also quite real, wasn’t it? — Here we have an even more interesting situation. The exercises were carried out jointly with the Belarusian army, concerning which practically no one doubts that it is an operatively integrated part of the Russian armed forces. However, an old new factor appears in the whole process — Lukashenka, who turns into a problem. Aliaksandr Lukashenka is increasingly trying to find his place between Russia and Europe. Undoubtedly, for the Kremlin such a wavering politician does not add security guarantees. One way or another, in the context of the growing confrontation with NATO, Moscow must be confident of its most important ally, and the politician who is rushing between East and West cannot be trusted. From various sources comes information that the Kremlin is intensively looking for a replacement — a younger and more loyal politician. Of course, the immediate occupation of Belarus, which some analysts and experts from Eastern Europe tell about, is out of the question. A scenario, under which parts of the Russian army will remain at the territory of the country after the exercises, seems more realistic. Such military formations can be an ideal tool to keep the current ruler under control. How to know whom the Russian military will support and how they will act in Belarus, when, for example, a young politician from a pro-Russian organization will lead people out onto the streets to protest against Lukashenka and demand closer ties with Russia?

Belarusian Journalists Still Face Huge Problems – Emerging-Europe.com

Belarus came in a lowly 153rd place (of 180) in Reporters Without Borders 2017 World Press Freedom Index. Other media freedom watchdogs and international organisations have reached similar conclusions: Belarus is ranked amongst the ten least free countries by Freedom House, although – credit where it’s due – it did move up from 194th last year to 192nd this year. What do these rankings mean for journalists on the ground in Belarus however, in the context of a world in which 74 journalists have so far died this year, and hundreds of have been placed in custody?

Belarusian Student Wins Miss Wheelchair World Award

Belarusian student Alyaksandra Chychykava was chosen as Miss Wheelchair World in the first-ever international edition of the pageant held in Warsaw. The October 7 event was organized by the Onl…


Transnistria / Moldova Reports


Party of Socialists in Moldova to collect signatures in support of presidential rule | KyivPost

CHISINAU – The Moldovan opposition pro-presidential Party of Socialists (PSRM) will begin a campaign next week to collect signatures in support of a transition to presidential rule, President Igor Dodon said on his Facebook page, after taking part in a meeting of the PSRM Republican Council. “We addressed actions that would have to be taken to resolve the situation surrounding the blockage of dozens of initiatives proposed by the president and aimed at resolving the country’s social problems and the sabotage of the president’s efforts to strengthen strategic partnership with the Russian Federation and promote new avenues of Moldovan-Russian cooperation,” he said. The Moldovan authorities have prohibited a consultative referendum on “several issues of national importance” initiated by the president, he said.

Moldova is one of Europe’s least-visited countries. But that’s all about to change.

Home to the world’s largest wine cellar, among many other wine-related accolades, everyone’s about to know about Moldova.

Trade volume between Ukraine and Moldova increased by more than 30% – Moldovan PM – 06.10.2017 16:47 — Ukrinform News

Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip considers Ukraine one of the main trade and economic partners of his country.


Ukraine Reports


Former US Ambassador to NATO, Russia supports Ukraine’s aspiration to join Alliance – 112.international

Former US Ambassador to NATO and Russia Alexander Vershbow said that he supported the idea of Ukraine joining the NATO, as he told Radio Liberty. “I absolutely continue to support both Georgia’s and Ukraine’s aspirations for NATO,” he said.

Ukraine Officially Declares Russia an Aggressor. What Changes WIll This Bring? – YouTube

UATV English Published on Oct 7, 2017 President Poroshenko has introduced 2 urgent bills to the Parliament. The proposed bills outline a framework for reintegrating Donbas, in light of the failure of the Minsk accords. They explicitly name Russia as the aggressor responsible for the fighting in the east of Ukraine. The discussion of the bill got out of hand in the Ukrainian Parliament. What is the fate of the bill now? We are joined in the studio by Oleksiy Mushak, member of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Donbas reintegration law will give additional legal protection to Ukrainian soldiers, – Iryna Lutsenko – 112.international

Donbas reintegration law will make it impossible to prosecute Ukrainian soldiers for the so-called war crimes, Iryna Lursenko, MP from Petro Poroshenko blok and the President’s representative in the Parliament, told Espresso.TV. According to her, as the law announces Russia an aggressor country and claimes Ukraine’s need to defend itself, it makes the Donbas conflict not an internal affair, but the international one, which it is.

Poroshenko introduced concept of providing counter-intelligence regime in Ukraine – 112.international

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council “On the Concept of Providing the Counter-Intelligence Regime in Ukraine”. This was said in the press service of the head of state. The President instructed the government, together with the Security Service, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Defense Ministry, the Foreign Intelligence Service, the State Security Administration, the Administration of the State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine and the National Commission, which carries out state regulation in the sphere of communications and information, to approve the implementation plan within a three months.

Poll: Most Ukrainians are ready to defend the country with weapons in their hands | Military Navigator

In September 2017, 54% of Ukrainians surveyed expressed their readiness in the event of a corresponding threat to defend the territorial integrity of Ukraine with weapons in their hands. This is evidenced by the data of the survey of the Sociological Group “Rating”. As sociologists note, this is almost twice as high as in 2012. Such two-thirds are among the residents of the Center and the West. In the South, there are half of them. But in the East, 52% said that they are not ready to defend their homeland with weapons in their hands (26% are ready, 22% are undecided). Patriotically minded more among men, Ukrainian-speaking and better off. The poll of the Sociological Group “Rating” was held September 20-29, 2017 among 2000 citizens of Ukraine. The error of representativeness of the study: no more than 2.2%.

UAWire – Ukraine accuses Russian private military company Wagner of involvement in Donbas conflict

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said that the Wagner Group, a Russian private military company, participated in conflicts in the Donbas in …

Ukrainian Security Service has established the participation of Wagner’s mercenaries in the conflict in Donbas since 2014. – Wagner’s mercenaries participated in Donbas conflict since 2014, – Security Service – 112.international

Ukrainian Security Service has established the participation of Wagner’s mercenaries in the conflict in Donbas since 2014.

Ukrainian Security Service established the identity of 40 Ukrainians who are members of the Wagner group of mercenaries in Donbas – 40 Ukrainians in Wagner group identified, trained for sabotage in Ukraine – 112.international

Ukrainian Security Service established the identity of 40 Ukrainians who are members of the Wagner group of mercenaries in Donbas. This was stated during a briefing, which was broadcasted by 112 Ukraine, by the head of the SSU Vasyl Hrytsak. According to the intelligence service, 95% of mercenaries in the group are Russian citizens, mostly former military men. “We established that there was a division named Carpathians, which is part of the Wagner group, and later it was renamed Spring division. It consists of people who are citizens of Ukraine who are trained at the Wagner group to conduct subversive operations inside our country “, said the head of the SSU Vasyl Hrytsak.

SBU uncovers involvement of Russian ‘Wagner PMC’ headed by Utkin in destroying Il-76 in Donbas, Debaltseve events

Head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Vasyl Hrytsak, has said that the SBU established the involvement of the Russian so-called ‘Wagner PMC’, headed by Dmitry Utkin, in destroying Il-76 aircraft in Donbas, attacking Luhansk airport and events in Debaltseve (Donetsk region). “What was the Wagner group engaged in? It downed Il-76 aircraft with our paratroopers on board, attacked Luhansk airport and Debaltseve,” he said at a briefing in Kyiv on Saturday. According to him, 72 militants of this PMC took part in the first two operations, 15 of them were lost killed. “We know their names,” Hrytsak said. “Some 205 Wagner militants took part in the attacking of Debaltseve, during which 51 members were killed. We know each of them,” he said. The SBU chief also said that 36 militants were killed on the line of demarcation.

Ukraine reports 19 attacks in Donbas, one wounded solider in last day

Russia's hybrid military forces attacked Ukrainian troops in the Anti-Terrorist Operation zone 19 times in the past day, October 7, as a result of which one Ukrainian soldier was wounded, according to the press center of the ATO Headquarters. News 08 October from UNIAN.

The AFU took control of the runway and the ruins of the DAP

In the ATO zone in the Donbass, the Ukrainian military took full control of the runway and outskirts of the Donetsk airport . They also installed the Ukrainian flag a few meters from the destroyed terminal, TSN reports . “The Ukrainian language on this side is heard everywhere – in commands, orders and conversation. And this is very annoying militants who stand behind some hundreds of meters, “the story says. They know the positions when they open fire and where to shoot. Under the fire control of the military – the ruins of the DAP. The fighters even studied the map of the vicinity of the Kuibyshev district of the occupied city in case the team advances.

Ukrainian fighters declared full control over the runway and the outskirts of the Donetsk airport – YouTube

TSN Published on Oct 7, 2017 SUBSCRIBE 373K UA – Ukrainian fighters announced full control of the runway and. The neighborhood of Donetsk airport Ukrainian language on this side is heard everywhere – in teams, orders and talks. And it is very annoying militants who stand for some several hundred meters. At the position they know when to open the fire and where to shoot. Under the fire control of the army, the ruins of the DAPU. The boys even learned the map of the outskirts of the Kuybyshevsky district in case the team is attacked. Issue of TSN. 19:30for 7 жовтня 2017 року RU – Ukrainian fighters declared full control of the runway and the vicinity of the Donetsk airport. The Ukrainian language on this side is heard everywhere – in commands, orders and dialects. And this is very annoying militants, standing behind some few hundred meters. They know the positions when they open fire and where to shoot. Under the fire control of the army, the ruins of DAPU. The guys even studied the map of the neighborhoods of the Kuibyshev district in case the team would advance. Issue of TSN. 19:30 for October 7, 2017

Viktor Muzhenko holds talks with US Defence Attaché to Ukraine | Міністерство оборони України

Artillery OTU “Mariupol” trains to destroy the enemy’s naval targets – YouTube

Ukrainian military TV Published on Oct 7, 2017 The units of the tactical group “Mariupol”, equipped with tube and missile artillery, fire fighting and firing training, firearms from standard armaments made fire damage to the enemy’s conventional maritime targets.

The Ukrainian army undergoes training considering current threats from Russian Federation

The Ukrainian army undergoes training considering current challenges, including from the RF Zapad-2017 exercise held in Republic of Belarus

Ukrainian Soldiers Contribute to New Documentary “Call Sign Zenith” Showing Front Line Realities – YouTube

UATV English Published on Oct 6, 2017 A series of documentary films devoted to the Ukrainian military has commenced this week in Kiev. The series, called “Call Sign Zenith,” hopes to give viewers a glimpse of the realities of life on Ukraine’s front lines. It offers a unique chronicle of the war in Donbas as it is happening.

Life on the Frontline of Russia’s War in Eastern Ukraine – YouTube

UATV English Published on Oct 3, 2017 In eastern Ukraine, war veterans are preparing for the harsh winter months ahead. Russia’s war in Donbas is currently in its static phase but ceasefire violations continue on a nearly daily basis. Most soldiers spend their time in fortified positions monitoring the situation on the ground.

The main ways to solve the problem of rearmament are the development of our own SAM systems

During three years of fighting in the Donbass, Ukrainian anti-aircraft gunners destroyed 21 enemy drones. This was told by the head of anti-aircraft missile forces of the Air Force of Ukraine Dmitry Karpenko. To the journalist’s accusation that “the fight against UAV is not the main task of the SAM forces,” and, according to experts, to use anti-aircraft missile systems against unmanned aerial vehicles, Major General Karpenko said: “Yes, and their main argument is the too high cost of the missile to I want to assure that all the UAVs that were eliminated represented a serious threat to the defense of Ukraine, because they were working on strategic military installations. “The anti-aircraft guns are usually used for less dangerous purposes.” According to Karpenko, around 2,500 servicemen of anti-aircraft missile forces are on duty around the clock in round-the-clock mode throughout Ukraine. “… Even before the war, in the eastern territories of Ukraine, there was not a single military unit capable of fully opposing an enemy such as Russia.With the outbreak of hostilities, we had to urgently deploy anti-aircraft defense units to the eastern borders. great work: anti-aircraft missile complexes have been redeployed, new positions and locations of personnel have been equipped, logistics has been set up, “General Karpenko said. ” Now in the area of ​​the ATO is a powerful group of anti-aircraft missiles capable of repelling a massive attack of aviation and cruise missiles of the enemy.Our experts have repeatedly proved their effectiveness and professionalism ,” said the commander. Dmitry Karpenko explained why only the old Soviet anti-aircraft missile systems are armed. “The S-300 surface-to-air missile systems (PT, PS, V1 ) [Ed:SA-10A, SA-10B, SA-12A/B] and Buk-M1 [SA-11] air defense missile systems are armed with the air forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The armament is really not new. Some samples are made in the 1980s. they have a great resource of further improvements and upgrades, so only in the last three years we have returned to the combat structure after the factory repair of five anti-aircraft missiles, these complexes were reduced during 2007-2012 years and all this time were on the storage base, “said the head of the ZRV . According to him, the capacity of Ukrainian plants can restore four SAMs per year. Starting from 2014, joint efforts of the repair enterprises of the state concern “Ukroboronprom”, the Ministry of Defense, the General Staff and repair units of military units, anti-aircraft missile forces “have significantly increased the level of serviceability of anti-aircraft missile weapons.” Today, after the factory repair, about 65% of the S-300P SAM and 20% of the Buk-M1 came , the commander said. “As a result, today all the complexes that are located in subunits and units are capable of performing tasks for the purpose,” Karpenko convinces. “Since our complexes were not manufactured on the territory of Ukraine, there was a problem with a separate range of spare parts.” The production of such scarcely-defective components has been established at the enterprises of the domestic defense industry for the last two years , “he added. General Karpenko also explained why Ukraine does not buy modern surface-to-air missile weapons. “The purchase of modern anti-aircraft missile systems abroad will not fundamentally solve the problem of rearmament of anti-aircraft missile forces.” First, they cost a lot, so we can not immediately buy the necessary quantity. The main ways to solve the problem of rearmament are the development of our own air defense systems and the deep modernization of existing complexes with the replacement of missiles with modern ones , “said the commander

Above: First photo of Ukrainian overhauled 9S32 GRILL PAN S-300V1 / SA-12 engagement radar, below also 9A83 TEL, all towed by classic MAZ-537 tractors.

KhTZ MAKES A RESEARCH STUDY OF MT-LB WITHOUT RUSSIAN COMPONENTS

PJSC “Kharkiv Tractor Plant” (KhTP) is working on a prototype of multi-purpose light armored transporters (MT-LB) for the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, – said the director general of the company Andriy Koval. This is reported by the National Industrial Portal . “As for the orders from the Ministry of Defense, we are working on this issue now, because we need to finalize the design documentation so that this equipment meets the needs of the Ukrainian Army. It is about the complete set, about other types of engines … We received the task of developing and manufacturing a prototype “, – said A. Koval at a briefing on Thursday. Answering the clarifying question of the correspondent of the agency “Interfax-Ukraine”, the general director of KhTZ said that it is a question of manufacturing a prototype of technology without the use of any n components. “A test piece of MT-LB technology completely without Russian components is scheduled to be released by the middle of next year,” said A. Koval. According to him, while this work is being carried out by KhTZ at its own expense. As it was reported, in the end of February 2015 MP Anton Herashchenko informed that in the near future, experts from the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine will visit the Kharkov tractor plant in order to study the issue of restoration of production of light armored machinery. “The factory has such experience. In particular, KhTZ once issued more than 10,000 “Carnations” and tens of thousands of light-armored MTBB tractors, but was redeemed by the Russian oligarch in the mid-2000s “, – wrote A. Gerashenko on his Facebook page. “The main problem with this will be the question – where to take engines for light armored vehicles … Diesel engines for self-propelled howitzers and armored personnel carriers have always been manufactured in Russia at the Yaroslavl or Chelyabinsk motor plants. In particular, engines that were installed massively on the car of the KRAZ family “, – added the MP.

Shepetivsky Repair Plant (photos)

Shepetivsky Repair Plant SE is a leader in its field. The plant is made overhaul of arms and military equipment manufactured spare parts, special tools and manufacturing equipment, complete sets of covers, tents, bags, belts, wood and metal Closing the majority of samples of missile and artillery weapons. The main activity of the enterprise is the state order Ministry of Defense of Ukraine in repair of weapons and military equipment, contractual obligations to repair and manufacture products both military and general technical purposes. In the 7 major factory shops mastered overhaul 126 samples of missile and artillery weapons, of which around 36 types of products the company has a monopoly. Shepetivsky Repair Plant has experience with repair of weapons and military equipment, manufacture of spare parts and special tools for inozamovnykiv and trains specialists in repair of rocket and artillery. The company can provide maintenance and repair of missile and artillery weapons directly to the customer by visiting specialized teams. The company provides training and training in repairing weapons.

Ukrmilitary English on Twitter: “#2S19 #Msta-S self-propelled 152mm howitzer / #artillery #Ukraine #AFU #UAF https://t.co/i3jgrhELLH”

Armed Forces of Ukraine received 26 units of modernized fuel fillers and 6 tank repair workshops (video)

Today, October 6, in Vinnitsa performed the solemn transfer of military equipment for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which was upgraded by request of the defense department at the State Enterprise “45 Experimental Mechanical Plant”. Total for the needs of the army was transferred 26 fuel refueling AT-5,5 on the basis of the car URAL-4320, and six units of tank repair workshops TPM-80 and MTO-80. Mykola Chumak, Director of the State Enterprise “45 Experimental Mechanical Plant”, noted the effective cooperation with various departments and departments of the military department, thanks to which the company received an order and executes it in a qualitative and timely manner. – The order of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine this year is 55 million UAH, which is 3.5 times more than last year. Today, we ship 26 modernized fuel dispensers, which are made on the basis of former refuelers. The military department handed us this technique, and we made a new special equipment, repaired the chassis. These products have already proven themselves well in the ATO region and have positive feedback, – said the director of the company. According to him, it was very difficult to execute the order for the team. After all, for the modernization of 26 refuelers, the company produced 45,000 components this year and work began much earlier than the deal was signed. In turn, the head of the Central Department for Fuel and Lubricants of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel Ruslan Kubal, noted that the technology that the Ukrainian army has received today is very necessary for military units and units, including those who carry out combat missions in the area of ​​the ATO . “These gas refuellers are currently operating in the ATO region, supplying fuel for military equipment units,” said Colonel Ruslan Kobal.

UAWire – Ukraine and the US began joint production of fire arms

Ukraine and the United States of America have begun the joint production of small arms. Demonstration of the first batch of weapons took place …

Ukroboronprom unveils new WAC-47 variant of the M4 assault rifle (video)

Ukroboronservice, part of Ukrainian state concern Ukroboronprom, presented a new WAC-47 variant of the M4 carbine

Demonstration of Carbines M4 – WAC-47 is taking place at the National Guard Police in Novy Petrovtsy

As it was announced yesterday , a demonstration of the 7.62-mm automatic carbines M4 – WAC-47 is taking place today at the National Guard Polygraphy in Novi Petrovtsi, Kyiv region. This is the first batch of weapon-manufactured weapons, a joint project between the Ukroboronservis, a part of Ukroboronprom, and the American company Aeroscraft. The modular design of the carbine, allows you to change the caliber of weapons in a matter of seconds or install additional equipment or accessories.

DSEI 17: Stiletto Systems Updates STL-016

While at the DSEI defense exposition in London, the Ukrainian/British company showcased an update to their flagship rifle (introduced in October 2016), the .300 WSM bolt action STL-016. That was reported by The Firearm Blog. Mainly, the replacement of the wooden stock with a polymer Archangel OPFOR Adjustable Stock commercially available in the United States. Picatinny rail sections have been added to the handguards at the 6 o’clock position to support a sling mount and what appears to be a Harris bipod. The picatinny rail supporting the optic appears to be the same as previous versions of the STL-016 with the rail attached to the action of the rifle itself. This action is a modified Mosin Nagant action. This isn’t the first time the Mosin Nagant has been married to a modern chassis system in the Ukraine, OUS previously offered a similar setup earlier last year. The rifle also comes with the same direct thread suppressor that came with the previous version. The company has also brought to market ammunition that can penetrate 11mm of armored steel at 800 meters. This comes in 7.62x54R and 12.7x108mm, which should be entering full production and commercial sale in the near future. Although the rifle is a Mosin Nagant with a low cost commercial stock, the need for it is due to the current conflict in the Ukraine, facing armored personal carriers and armor clad troops.

Ukrainian Army helicopters – Ride Of The Valkyries – YouTube

The best army Ukraine has ever had. Changes in Ukraine’s armed forces since the Russian aggression

Report by Poland Centre for Eastern Studies (Ośrodek Studiów Wschodnich im. Marka Karpia)

Ukraine will be a European country in a few decades time, but poor for many years to come – economist -Euromaidan Press |

Oleksandr Paskhaver on the three things holding Ukraine back . In his column for the magazine Novoye Vremia, President of the Ukrainian Center for Economic Development Oleksandr Paskhaver identifies three factors helping Ukraine move forward on its chosen path of development. They are the dissolution of the Russian empire, being conducted by its own leadership, giving Ukraine a chance to move away from the “Russian world.” Then, there is the postindustrial revolution, which brings about technological and social changes making the existing Ukrainian property ownership model – oligarchic capitalism – obsolete. Finally, there is the Euromaidan revolution as the start of an anticolonial social revolution, as an ongoing movement that is helping Ukraine to advance and to transform itself:

The Ukrainian wreath: interweaving beauty and tradition -Euromaidan Press |

Woven from fragrant herbs and delicate flowers, decorated with colourful ribbons and endowed with magical content, the wreath is one of the oldest symbols of Ukraine. Let’s take a closer look at this ancient ornament that stands out as one of the main element of Ukrainian identity.

Ukraine’s Love Affair with Georgia’s Cheesy and Spicy Dishes – YouTube

UATV English Published on Oct 1, 2017 This year, Ukraine and Georgia are celebrating 25 years of diplomatic relations. And this festival is just a reminder of the strong business and cultural ties shared between the two nations.


Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports


Trump’s Iran Gambit to Keep ‘Worst Deal Ever’ Intact – Bloomberg

President Donald Trump is weighing a new strategy to confront Iran’s nuclear ambitions that would leave a 2015 agreement intact for now but ask Congress to toughen a law overseeing the Islamic Republic’s compliance with the accord, according to three administration officials.

Iran warns U.S. against imposing further sanctions

Iran warned the United States against designating its Revolutionary Guards Corp as a terrorist group and said U.S. regional military bases would be at risk if further sanctions were passed.

Iranian president defends nuclear deal, says Trump can not undermine it

Iran warned the United States against designating its Revolutionary Guards Corp as a terrorist group and said U.S. regional military bases would be at risk if further sanctions were passed.

Sen. Chris Murphy: Pulling out of Iran deal a ‘self-inflicted wound’ – CNNPolitics

Sen. Chris Murphy said Sunday that a decision by President Donald Trump to pull the United States out of the Iran nuclear agreement would harm the US and benefit Iran.

It’s not independence, but Syria’s Kurds entrench self-rule – The Washington Post

Adnan Hassan, a Syrian Kurd, finally has hope for himself and his people.

Turkish military vehicles enter Syria’s Idlib: sources

Turkish military vehicles crossed the Syrian border into Idlib on Sunday, a local resident and a local rebel said, after Ankara announced an operation by rebel groups in the area, which is controlled by rival jihadist alliance Tahrir al-Sham.

The Brief: Turkey backs Syria rebels, Saudi-Russia ties | News | Al Jazeera

Turkish-backed rebels launch operation in Idlib, hurricane Nate hits US, Saudi-Russia ties and more.

America’s Afghan Mission Is No Longer Serving Its Purpose | The National Interest Blog

Sending thousands of American military personnel overseas has not made the nation safer.

‘Leave our country’: Protesters in Afghanistan gather to decry ‘US, NATO occupation’ « RAWA News

RT: Protesters took to the streets of the Afghan capital, Kabul on Friday to demand an end to the “American occupation” as the country marks 16 years since the beginning of the US and NATO invasion. Hundreds took to the streets, according to RT’s Ruptly video news agency, shouting anti-American and anti-NATO slogans. Protesters carried banners in both English and local languages, reading “Yankees go home.”

Inside Rohingya Refugee Camps In Bangladesh: Photos : Goats and Soda : NPR

Photographer Tommy Trenchard shares stories from Rohingya refugees who have run for their lives.


DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports


Trump on North Korea: ‘Only one thing will work’ – CNNPolitics

President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday that 25 years of agreements with North Korea have failed, “making fools” of US negotiators.

Trump Says ‘Only One Thing Will Work’ to Rein In North Korea – WSJ

The U.S. president seemed to hint at taking action against Pyongyang in a series of tweets.

Trump on North Korea: ‘Sorry, but only one thing will work!’ – The Washington Post

Trump didn’t explain what that one thing would be.

UPDATE 2-Trump says “only one thing will work” with North Korea

U.S. President Donald Trump onSaturday said “only one thing will work” in dealing with NorthKorea after previous administrations had talked to Pyongyangwithout results.

Trump says ‘only one thing will work’ to solve the North Korea crisis | Business Insider

US President Donald Trump said on Saturday…

Trump hints at military action as he says ‘only one thing will work on North Korea’ | The Independent

Donald Trump has hinted at military action against North Korea, suggesting on Twitter that “only one thing will work” on the secretive communist state.  The US leader said previous American presidential “administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years”, but in his opinion it was “to no avail”.

Trump Rattles Saber at North Korea: ‘Only One Thing Will Work’ – Bloomberg

President Donald Trump returned to saber-rattling against North Korea, saying that “only one thing will work!” after years of diplomacy have failed, even as his counterpart in Pyongyang termed nuclear weapons a powerful deterrent.

Trump tweets ‘only one thing’ will work in North Korea, and we are so fed up with living in fear

Please stop tweeting.

Trump: I want to focus on North Korea not ‘fixing somebody’s back’ | TheHill

President Trump praised health care block grants on Saturday, saying they allow the states to focus on health care, but said he would rather focus his energy on tensions with North Korea than “fixing somebody’s back or their knee.”

A ‘China First’ Strategy for North Korea by Bill Emmott – Project Syndicate

Donald Trump has chided China for failing to take responsibility for its dangerous neighbor. But America’s president should be careful what he tweets for: If China launched a military invasion of North Korea, it could work – and China would gain greater strategic parity with the US in East Asia.

Regional Experts Doubt Likelihood of Chinese Takeover of North Korea

Longtime editor of The Economist posits a scenario where China takes over North Korea, but others disagree, with one saying, ‘I cannot imagine North Korea ever acceding to the notion of Chinese dominance’

What are China’s plans if neighbouring North Korea ends up at war? | Stuff.co.nz

It’s maintained an official silence, but experts reveal what they think China would do if its neighbour went to war.

North Korea: To Be or Not To Be Nuclear « LobeLog

In this respect the more active involvement of Russia, which for the last 25 or so years was “in the back seat,” could be helpful. Russia’s influence in Pyongyang has grown of late, it is resolutely critical of North Korean nuclear ambitions, it sees diplomacy as the only way forward and, like China, though perhaps to a lesser degree, it has grave concerns about the potential consequences of another Korean war. However, there is a school of thought in Moscow which advocates caution and argues against “helping the US” to avoid another strategic disaster, and against being seen to be seizing the reins from China. Nonetheless, on July 4, China and Russia jointly put forward a noteworthy proposal for immediate and longer-term steps. In essence they proposed a DPRK moratorium on nuclear and ballistic missile tests, in return for which the United States and ROK would refrain from large-scale joint military exercises. Simultaneously, the conflicting parties “would begin talks and assert common principles of their relations, including the non-use of force, the renunciation of aggression, peaceful coexistence and determination to do all they can to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula with a view to promoting a complex resolution of all problems.” It is still not too late to take up this proposal, modify it if necessary, or add to it – and start building new relationships in this part of the world.

Putin Not Anxious To Help Trump With North Korea, Worried Hidden Military Facilities May Exist In Pyongyang

Addressing the North Korea crisis Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he believes any kind of aggressive military strike against North Korea designed to destroy its nuclear and missile …

Russia playing all sides in the North Korean issue

Are Russians couching sanctions busting as quiet diplomacy? allegedly to ease mounting tensions between USA and DPRK.

Russia doubled its trade with North Korea despite sanctions – micetimes.asia

Are Russians couching sanctions busting as quiet diplomacy? allegedly to ease mounting tensions between USA and DPRK.

Russia playing a double game over North Korea

Russia is quietly boosting economic support for North Korea to try to stymie any US-led push to oust Kim Jong-un as Moscow fears his fall would sap its

Russia just helped North Korea harden its nuclear arsenal | Business Insider

Without sharing weapons, nuclear secrets, or…

Kevin R. James | Give war a chance: How to deal with North Korea

To think that we can eliminate the risk of a North Korean nuclear attack on the United States by deterring them is a delusion.

Omar Lamrani | Against North Korea, Deterrence Of A Different Kind | Stratfor Worldview

During the Cold War, the United States became an expert in the concept of nuclear deterrence. But this isn’t the 20th century, and North Korea is no Soviet Union.

Seeing the North Korean Stalemate From the Other Side – The New York Times

It’s unsettling to hear ordinary North Koreans talk of war with calm acceptance.

Dialogue remains only viable option | South China Morning Post

US President Donald Trump is still unconvinced that diplomacy is the way to deal with the threat of Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions. But sanctions have their limits and reigniting conflict will only result in dire consequences

North Korea Campaigns to Get Inside Trump’s Mind | The Epoch Times

The reclusive communist regime in North Korea appears to be at a loss trying to figure out President Donald Trump and has gone to great lengths to get into his mind. Pyongyang has reached out to several Republican experts, all of whom have declined invitations, according to an investigative report by The Washington Post. The campaign began before tensions between the United States and North Korea escalated, but are more relevant now that Pyongyang is facing strict sanctions and the threat of total elimination, both spearheaded by Trump and his administration.

Hyun-Kyung Kim, Elizabeth Philipp and Hattie Chung | North Korea’s Biological Weapons Program – The Known and Unknown | Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Amidst the growing threat of North Korea’s nuclear program, the assas- sination of Kim Jong-Un’s half-brother via VX nerve agent in February 2017 brought renewed interest in North Korea’s other weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs—chemical and biological weap- ons. If used on a large scale, these weapons can cause not only tens of thousands of deaths, but also create panic and paralyze societies. Nev- ertheless, the vividness of the nuclear threat has overshadowed other weapons programs, limiting the attention and policy input that they deserve. This paper focuses on North Korea’s biological weapons (BW). Accurately assessing the threat from North Korea’s biological weapons is challenging. Whereas North Korea has publicly declared its will to become a nuclear power many times, it has been less overt about its intention or capability for biological weapons. BW capabilities are inherently hard to detect and measure. While nuclear programs can be monitored by the number of nuclear tests and the success of missile tests, weaponizing and cultivating pathogens can stay invisible behind closed doors. Moreover, equipment used for BW production are often dual-use for agriculture, making external monitoring and verification virtually impossible. Limited information on North Korea’s BW pro- gram leads to a low threat perception that may undermine preparation and response efforts. Nonetheless, preparation against BW is urgent and necessary, which will also serve as defense against naturally occurring epidemics that increasingly threaten the 21st century. Military and public health sectors should cooperate to urgently prepare for “dual-response” mechanisms. Components of a well-established “dual-response” program should include the best possible threat assessment by military and intelligence communities, a strong public health detection and response system, a well-coordinated crisis communication strategy among multiple stake- holders, and compliance from an informed public.

North Korea could hit its enemies with plague and smallpox | Daily Mail Online

Researchers believe North Korea has biological weapons factories containing the likes of anthrax, botulism, cholera, typhoid, yellow fever, typhus, smallpox and even the plague.

Would North Korea Use Old WWII Tanks to Fight America in a War?

While the T-34/85 medium tank might be have been instrumental in the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany’s Wehrmacht in World War Two, the vintage war machine is probably still in service in North Korea. The Soviet Union delivered some 250 T-34/85s to the nascent Democratic People’s Republic of Korea before March 1950. The Soviets delivered more of the tanks later over the course of the Korean War. The North Koreans lost many T-34/85s during the war as it became very apparently that the American M26 Pershing, M46 Patton and the British Centurion grossly outclassed the long-serving Soviet-built tank. It not clear how many of the antiquated T-34/85 tanks are still in service with the Korean People’s Army, but some of the machines were spotted in North Korean propaganda videos as late as 2012 [3]. There were some 250 of the vintage T-34/85 tanks in the North Korean inventory as of 1996 according to some sources [4], but it is not clear how many of those machines are still in service. North Korea has been isolated for much of the preceding 25-years under various sanctions and embargos, so it is possible a significant portion of those tanks are still in the KPA inventory. Forces such as the KPA rarely throw away hardware no matter how obsolete.

The Richest Men in North Korea Not Named ‘Kim’

Global trade, licit or not, has created a small but growing mercantile class: the donju. Chinese sanctions are supposed to target them. But black market may just make them richer.

CIA Officials Say Kim Jong-un Fears Suffering The Same Fate As Former Leaders Of Iraq And Libya

North Korea has long maintained it wants nuclear weapons and long-range missiles to deter the United States from attempting to overthrow the regime of Kim Jong-un. Pyongyang looks at states such as …

Kim Jong Un Brings Sister Deeper Into North Korea’s Inner Circle – Bloomberg

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has promoted his 28-year-old sister within the ruling party’s political wing, bringing her closer to the center of power and tightening the family’s control on the regime.

Hosting Proms and Selling Cows: North Korean Embassies Scrounge for Cash – The New York Times

Desperate for hard currency to keep their operations afloat, diplomats from the so-called hermit kingdom smuggle liquor, drugs, cars and guns — and engage in more mundane activities.

Designing a dictatorship: North Korean graphics – in pictures | Art and design | The Guardian

A new Phaidon book by Nicholas Bonner offers new insight into the isolated society’s visual culture

Anti-American propaganda in North Korea -15 nightmarish propaganda posters, North Korea | | The Sherbroke Times

From 25 June 1950 to 27 July 1953 was the Korean war — armed conflict between North and South Korea, reports Rus.Media. Although many believe that it was a proxy war between the US and the USSR. The war began with the invasion of the DPRK on the territory of its southern neighbor under the pretext of retaliatory aggression. This war came as a surprise to the whole world. Probably in 2005 under the rule of Kim Jong-Il was a range of anti-American propaganda posters on the massacre in Incheon. Part of them posted in Ingescom the Museum of American war crimes.

In the 1960s, America Nearly Went to War with North Korea

The United States and North Korea have had several military confrontations since the end of the Korean War, but few were as potentially dangerous as the seizure of the USS Puebloand her crew. While the incident was eventually resolved peacefully, few knew at the time that President Lyndon Johnson had prepared a range of military options to compel North Korea to release the crew, including air strikes on targets north of the DMZ and a cross-border raid complete with tanks. The incident, designed to provoke the United States, could well have escalated into World War III. On January 23rd, the 1968 ex-World War II Liberty Ship USS Pueblo was in international waters approximately sixteen miles off North Korea’s eastern coastline. The ship, crewed by the U.S. Navy and the U.S. National Security Agency, was outfitted to spy on North Korea, conducting [3] “naval surveillance and intelligence collection in support of high priority national intelligence objectives,” and to “collect photographic, acoustic, hydrographic, and other intelligence materials.” Despite North Korea’s history of provocations, the ship and her eighty-three man crew were unprepared for the oncoming attack, her .50 caliber machine guns unloaded and unmanned. Her defense lay in resembling a civilian merchant vessel, a cover that did not last long.

South Korea Develops ‘Blackout Bomb’ Technology – Sputnik International

South Korea has reportedly developed a technology capable of paralysing power systems of North Korea in case of potential military conflict.

Japan and South Korea Want to Look to the Future. But They Can’t Agree on the Past. | The National Interest

Positive words and repeated references to an optimistic “future” aside, Tokyo and Seoul remain divided on their interpretations of their shared history.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Teaches Meaning Of ‘Namaste’ To Chinese Soldiers In This Video

state government officials had said the defence minister made an aerial survey of the Doklam-Nathu La area.


Foreign Policy Reports


Agramunt Resigns As PACE President After Syria Trip With Russian Lawmakers

BRUSSELS — Spanish politician Pedro Agramunt has announced his resignation as president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). His resignation on October 6 came just thre…

UK’s May signals foreign minister Johnson could be sacked

British Prime Minister Theresa May has signaled that she could sack Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, a Sunday newspaper said, as she tries to reassert her authority after a series of political disasters.

‘We don’t know how good we have it here’: Many Catalans don’t want a break with Spain – The Washington Post

Fifty-eight percent of the Catalan population did not vote in the referendum. Many of them say they feel voiceless.

Young Spaniards worry they might have to leave Catalonia – BBC News

Young Spaniards in Catalonia share their concerns about the region’s surge towards independence.

Languages of Catalonia – Wikipedia


Strategy / History / Capability Publications


The war in Afghanistan messed with my head. Here’s how I found peace — and hope. – The Washington Post

As America’s longest conflict marks its 16th anniversary, a war hero finds meaning in his painful past.

Google’s sister company, Loon, wants to fly its massive balloons over Puerto Rico to restore internet.

It seems like everyone is working in high gear to make this a reality.

FCC will allow Alphabet’s Project Loon to deliver air balloon LTE to Puerto Rico – The Verge

To help island recover from Hurricane Maria


IW/IO/Cyber Reports


The notorious Kremlin-linked ‘troll farm’ and the Russians trying to take it down – The Washington Post

U.S. investigators say the shadowy organization tried to influence American voters.

Baltics battle Russia in online disinformation war | Europe | DW | 08.10.2017

From the hacking attack on Estonia in 2007 to the fake news targeting the NATO battalions on the alliance’s eastern border in 2017 — the Baltics have been the bull’s-eye of of Russian-backed digital warfare.

Iran Prints True Story About Russian Anti-Government Rallies – To Inform is to Influence

One minute ago I was shocked.   PressTV, Iran’s official new agency, published the following report.  Anti-government rallies held in Russia An excerpt from the story: People in Russia have staged separate anti-government rallies, including mostly unauthorized ones, in the country, expressing support for the imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny and clashing with police. Demonstrators flocked…


US Domestic Policy Reports


What Does the Future Hold for the US-Russia Relations? – YouTube

UATV English Published on Oct 6, 2017 The relationship between the United States and Russia is more “dangerous” today than it has been at any point since the end of the Cold War. Following Kremlin’s involvement in the war in Syrian and hostilities orchestrated by Russia in the East of Ukraine, and Kremlin’s alleged meddling into the 2016 US Presidential relations, Washington imposed sanctions on Moscow. So what does the future hold for the relations between two foremost nuclear powers in the world? We were joined in the studio political analyst by Jason Smart.

Facebook and Twitter have to stop Russians and others from sharing racist content, black U.S. lawmakers insist – Recode

The pressure comes as Congress continues to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Exclusive: Russian-linked group sold merchandise online – Oct. 6, 2017

The clothing “Blacktivist” sold through Facebook was supposed to look like it came from Black Lives Matter activists. But it was being promoted by a Russian-linked group working to amplify political discord in the U.S.

What Was on the Russians’ Fake LGBT Facebook Page? – To Inform is to Influence

A lot of general LGBT news, it seems, and a lack of enthusiasm about the election — apparently aimed at depressing voter turnout. BY TRUDY RING OCTOBER 07 2017 1:02 PM EDT The Russian propaganda campaign leading up to the 2016 presidential election included a page targeting LGBT people. LGBT United and several other Facebook accounts…

Russians Still Have An Open Path to U.S. Election Subversion

Key homeland security posts remain unfilled on the anniversary of warning of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Here’s What the ‘Golden Shower’ Dossier Now Being Investigated by Mueller Claims About Trump and Russia

The salacious dossier on Trump’s alleged links to Russia is being treated far more seriously than initially thought.

Trump’s ‘Band of Brothers’ stirs interest | TheHill

Mounting speculation about Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s relationship with President Trump has drawn interest in his alliance with two other senior Trump officials.

Trump: ‘One of the greatest terms I’ve come up with is ‘fake” | TheHill

In a new interview, President Trump praised his use of the term “fake,” saying he thinks it’s “one of the greatest” terms he’s used.

Expressing empathy remains a challenge for Trump – The Washington Post

As the death toll from the shooting in Las Vegas rapidly rose, White House officials urged President Donald Trump to show restraint in his response: No speculative tweets, please. No over-the-top bluster.

Exclusive interview: Hillary Clinton on where it all went wrong | The Sunday Times Magazine | The Times & The Sunday Times

First comes a man to switch the chairs. Then a young press officer to arrange their position. Two men in grey suits with tell-tale earpieces, the Secret Service

 

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One thought on “Russia / Strategy Media Update (329) – 8 September 2017

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