Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
Apologies, I’m physically exhausted, this edition is absolutely barebones.
Russia making more nonsensical claims, e.g. speculating that the US may put TLAMs into Aegis-Ashore cells and then claiming an INF violation on the basis of assumption rather than fact. Never let facts get in the way of appealing fiction.
The Death of Stalin movie upsets Russia – they do not like seeing the absurdity of their reality, or as the Matilda movie proves, anything but appealing myths. Russia experiences “an epidemic of fear” resulting from hoax bomb calls. Support for Syrian intervention diminishing. Russian intent to enlist gastarbeiters from Central Asia as part of their foreign legion, to deploy expendable “myaso” [cannon fodder] for Syria and Donbass. Many more reports on Russia’s descent into the abyss. Excellent NatGeo clip on Nenets indigenous peoples of Yamal Peninsula.
Lukashenko invited to EU summit, clearly to spite Muscovy.
Amb Chaly meets Amb Volker. Rasmussen advocating more support for Ukraine. Donbass fires continue. Another Ukrainian mysteriously vanishes and reappears in a Russian jail – this is a pandemic of kidnappings showing lax border controls. Ukraine celebrates Day of the Defender, Poroshenko addressing cadets with comments designed to please Muscovy: “Ukraine is getting stronger every day”, “Ukraine will definitely become a member of the North Atlantic Alliance”, and “Feats of UPA heroes inspire current Ukrainian defenders”. He also inspects training exercise at Zhytomir, and then hands over to the AFU 200 items of refurbished and new equipment, including Su-27P1M FLANKER, MiG-29S FULCRUM, BM-27 Uragan 220mm MLRS, and 62 MBTs many with new KrAZ-6446 tractors and transporters. Iskra 80K6T AESA displayed, as well as two new Radionix active radar seekers, intended for use in AAMs and SAMs. Former PM Yulia Tymoshenko, known for a poor temper, little patience, and not liking Russia in any way, shape or form, declares intent to stand for President – she would be far more inclined than Poroshenko to use force against the Russians in any disagreement.
Decertification of Iran deal dominates Middle Eastern media topics by an immense margin, with argumentation firmly divided along US partisan political lines. As a result there is far more T3 traffic than reasoned argument. Russia defends Assad’s CW attacks. Saudi S-400 deal may proceed. Haaretz speculates on whether Russia will support Hezbollah or Israel.
Arguments over DPRK policy continue. Japan reports a reduced frequency of PLAAF/PLANAF aerial provocations.
More on Brexit and Russian political subversion of Europe – European politicians do appear to be remarkably easy to procure with Russian cash.
Will the US Army revert to the classic “pinks and greens” uniform?
Iran conducted large scale cyber attack on UK parliament in 2016, with some success. More on Facebook and Twitter.
Wood makes a good point on preparedness – if you create a strategic vacuum others will try to fill it while they can. Two superb commentaries by Harding – Russian trolls pretending to be fellow citizens is a feature of the digital age it seems, social media being ideally susceptible to the Komintern model of covert subversion. Manafort cannot seem to stay out the press these days.
Russia / Russophone Reports
Norway said on Friday it planned to send an armored battalion near its arctic border with Russia and buy more tanks and artillery to respond to growing threats.
The United States’ deployment of missile launch systems at the anti-missile defense base in Romania violates the Intermediate-Range Nuclear …
Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz denied the Russian Defense Ministry’s accusations that a US tank brigade had been deployed in Poland …
Russia may respond to the deployment of a U.S. armored division in Poland by strengthening its Iskander missile system grouping, stated the …
In the centenary year of the Russian Revolution, Veep creator’s feted satire on the Soviet leader faces a hostile reaction
Militant cultural conservatism under Putin leaves cinemas scared to screen ‘Matilda’
Russia has accounted for oil at $40 a barrel in its budget, finance minister Anton Siluanov said.
Paul Goble Staunton, October 13 – Since September 11 when what Russians call “telephone terrorism” – anonymous reports that bombs have been planted in one or another location – more than a million people have been evacuated from almost 2500 buildings in 170 cities and towns across Russia. This phenomenon is continuing, even though it has received little attention from the central media or officials, Galina Mursaliyeva writes in today’s Novaya gazeta. Thus, on October 10 alone, she reports, 79,000 Russians were evacuated from 115 sites in seven cities, including Moscow and St. Petersburg (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2017/10/13/74180-vremya-ryt-okopy). Three experts with whom the journalist spoke say that this drumbeat of events is having an effect as many people have been forced to evacuate more than once and because they have not been given guidance from the authorities on the nature of the problem and how they should react. As a result, many are falling into depression. Maksim Chekmaryev, a psychotherapist, says that “the social instability” that the bomb threats and forced evacuations suggest has led to “the growth of depression, worry, panic attacks, and neuroses.” Daniil Khlomov, a psychologist agrees but points out that the fact that no bombs have been found has a dual impact. On the one hand, he suggests, many are frightened; but on the other, many others are dismissive or assume that everything is under complete control. At the same time, the evacuations have had a serious economic impact amounting to billions of rubles and that too worries many. The organization of the evacuations has convinced many, Khlomov continues, that “we are reliably defended.” It has led others to treat the whole thing as a joke. “One thing is obvious: only those whose psyche is troubled are going to get genuinely ill as a result of this situation.” But it is unfortunately the case that in Russia today, “there are many such people.” “They can evaluate evacuations as a tragedy,” and “if the situation continues for a long time, depression in society will grow.” If that occurs, it will lead to “an increase in the general level of concern.” And Academician Aleksandr Asmolov, a psychologist, says that the continuing threat has put Russians as a whole in the position of soldiers in the trenches who fear that an attack could come at any time. If they keep busy and focus on doing what they are doing, they do well; if not, then not. Clearly, he says, those making the threatening phone calls want to infect the country with “an epidemic of fear,” something for which there are no drugs available and which has the avility to transform peoples “from personalities into members of a crowd and lead to the loss of ‘the ego.’” “In order that this not happen,” Asmolov says, “one must be ready for an encounter with the unexpected and find a place” for taking actions that will allow individuals to cope by suggesting that they are still capable of doing something to defend themselves. The fact that officials have been so reluctant to talk about these events may be making it worse. On the one hand, that lack of public discussion has led some to speculate that the Russian special services are behind telephone terrorism (sobkorr.ru/news/59E07C2D59331.html). And on the other, it has led some to accept reports about other things more readily or combine them into one common threat (ura.news/news/1052308310).
Paul Goble Staunton, October 13 – Although 54 percent of Russians tell VTsIOM that they back the Kremlin’s policy of continuing the war in Syria, 34 percent say they are against doing so, with 24 percent of the latter pointing to Russian combat losses as justification for their position and another 15 percent saying that Moscow has many problems at home it should be addressing. Not surprisingly, Russian outlets have played up Russian support for Vladimir Putin’s policies in Syria and played down opposition – see, for example, regnum.ru/news/polit/2333329.html and polit.ru/news/2017/10/12/poll/ — but both the share willing to say they oppose and their reasons suggest public support for Putin’s war is softening. And in yet another possible sign of a shift in Russian opinion about the Kremlin leader’s foreign military adventures, nearly one in five of the entire sample – 19 percent – told the polling agency that there was no need to provide support to Syria and its government after the end of the war. That was just one of the poll results released this past week that provide insights into where Russians now are and where they are headed. Among the more interesting findings of these other polls were the following: · Russian trust in the Moscow Patriarchate is declining and backing for the security agencies and the military is increasing (profile.ru/obsch/item/120385-siloviks and http://polit.ru/news/2017/10/12/trust/), · Russians have a relatively positive view of the Bolsheviks but do not want a new revolution (kommersant.ru/doc/3435786 and vz.ru/politics/2017/10/12/890583.html), · Ever more Russians are concerned about the growing gap between rich and poor (ria.ru/society/20171013/1506754905.html and fedpress.ru/article/1873940), and · Russian university students heavily back Putin, the only president they have ever known (iz.ru/657263/angelina-galanina/pokolenie-putina-opredelilos-s-prezidentom).
Paul Goble Staunton, October 13 – Central Asian gastarbeiters in Russia are likely to be among the first foreigners to serve in the Russian military in Syria, now that Vladimir Putin has opened the way for that, a development that will allow Moscow to address three problems at one and the same time. First of all, the Central Asians, most of whom are Sunni, will provide reinforcements for that religious trend against the Shiites in Syria; and their presence will further muddy the waters as to who is serving whom in that conflict by giving Moscow plausible deniability (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2017/10/putin-comes-up-with-another-way-to-hide.html). Yekaterina Sokiryanskaya, a specialist on the Caucasus at the International Crisis Group, tells Anton Chablin that she believes that Putin’s action is all about Syria. It won’t lead to a significant increase in fighters there, but it will give Moscow more flexibility there and elsewhere (svpressa.ru/war21/article/183457/). “It is important to strengthen the Sunni presence” in Syria, she says; and “people from Central Asia” are predominantly Sunni and will fill that bill. Moreover, Sokiryanskaya adds, the Central Asians will be enthusiastic about fighting against ISIS and gaining access to the pursuit of a military career in Russia. That view is echoed as well by Abdullo Davlatov, the former head of the Union of Tajikistanis of Russia, who has declared that he is “certain” the migrants from Central Asia “will willingly fight in the ranks of the Russian Army in against the militants of the Islamic State (govoritmoskva.ru/news/137489/). Second, it will help solve Moscow’s own military manpower problems occasioned by its demographic crisis. And third, it will please both Russians who will be glad to see the gastarbeiters take on this burden and the gastarbeiters as well by offering them higher pay and a path to Russian citizenship, as both Sokriyanskaya and Davlatov suggest.
UATV English Published on Oct 13, 2017
Paul Goble Staunton, October 13 — Moscow has implicitly recognized there are some 25 million Muslims in the Russian Federation by requesting additional haj slots not on the basis of supposed pent-up demand from Soviet times when it was almost impossible for Soviet Muslims to make the pilgrimage but rather using the Saudi formula of one annually for every 1000 believers. Over the last two decades, Moscow has pressed for more than the up to 20,500 haj slots that the Saudis have offered, a figure that would imply there are 20.5 million Muslims in the Russian Federation. But it has always done so on the basis of an argument about unsatisfied demand from the past rather than on the need to up that number and hence the number of hajis. Now that appears to have changed. Rushan Abbyasov, first deputy chairman of the Council of Muftis of Russia (SMR) and an important player in setting Russia’s haj policy, has declared that “today the Russian Muslim umma represents about 25 million Muslims” and that they thus deserve 25,000 places (islamrf.ru/news/russia/rusnews/42580/). He made that comment during a meeting with Saudi King Salman and expressed “confidence” that this number and not the smaller one would be “fixed” during an upcoming visit by the Russian delegation to Saudi Arabia that will reach an agreement with the Saudi ministry for haj affairs. If in fact that happens – and Abbyasov would not have made this remark unless that were highly probable – Russia’s Muslims will now begin to invoke the higher number for their community, adding new confidence to its members and likely forcing the Russian authorities to make concessions to them on other issues as well.
The question of the Siemens turbines that were shipped to the Crimea was not raised at a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and …
The law Trump signed reluctantly in August targets ‘the most significant senior foreign political figures and oligarchs in the Russian Federation.’ It takes effect in February.
The former head of the Russia Ministry of Finance and head of the Center for Strategic Research, Alexei Kudrin, said that in the recent years, …
Jared Feldschreiber 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 her 54th birthday. We offer you a review of her life and legacy.
Truth be told, Putin should not be considered a friend to abuse victims, and the same can be said for Russia as a whole.
Reindeer herders in the Russian Arctic persevere while oil pipelines encroach on their annual migration.
EU has invited Belarusian leader Lukashenko to a summit in Brussels, in a move deemed “scandalous” by some.
VILNIUS – Lithuania has officially admitted that its border guards had violated the Belarusian border, pledging to take measures to preven…
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What is going on in the Belarusian army?
The fuel of Naftan does not have the necessary documents. The State Aviation Service of Ukraine banned the refueling of aircraft with JET A-1 aviation fuel produced by the Belarusian company Naftan (Navapolatsk Refinery). “We sent such a telegram to the heads of airports on October 4. But the telegram itself does not have a definite term of validity, ” — Spokesperson of the State Aviation Service of Ukraine Iryna Kustovska told Radio Liberty. As it was reported, such restrictions are recommended to the heads of Ukrainian airports in connection with the lack of documents confirming the compliance of this fuel with the requirements of technical conditions and the coordination of its application with the developers of aviation equipment. At the same time, Kyiv International Airport Boryspil, which uses Belarusian fuel, refused to comment on the recommendation of the State Air Service, and also to report whether the planes stopped fueling with Belarusian fuel. At the end of last year, Belarus resumed the supply of aviation fuel to Ukraine, which was stopped in December 2015 due to the changes in the national legislation regarding the classification of the relevant fuel. For this reason, the amount of excise tax that the suppliers of Belarusian petroleum products were supposed to pay increased almost 10-fold. And this, in turn, led to the non-competitiveness of Belarusian fuel in the Ukrainian market. In 2015, Belarus supplied 96.2 thousand tons of jet fuel to the Ukrainian market, in 2016 — only 1.1 thousand, and for eight months in 2017 — 10.6 thousand tons with a total volume of the Ukrainian market of 323.1 thousand tons. The share of Belarusian aviation fuel in the Ukrainian market reaches 5.2 percent.
Transnistria / Moldova Reports
Four Moldovan nationals were killed and two others were injured when a propeller-engine cargo plane crashed into the sea near the international airport in Ivory Coast’s main city Abidjan on Saturday, the Ivorian security minister said.
US Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker met Ambassador of Ukraine to the US Valeriy Chaly, as the Embassy of Ukraine in the USA informs on Facebook. “The diplomats discussed the situation caused by Russian aggression in Donbas and next steps to restore sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, in particular through deployment of the UN Peacekeeping Mission,” the statement reads.
NATO members should step up efforts to help Ukraine in its conflict, the alliance’s former chief said Wednesday, warning that a Russian proposal for a…
Russia's hybrid military forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in Donbas 21 times in the past 24 hours, with one Ukrainian soldier reported as wounded in action (WIA), according to the press service of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters. News 14 October from UNIAN.
Russian-terrorist groups are continuing to violate the ceasefire in Donbas, firing over 20 times at Ukrainian positions over the past 24 hours, Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Andriy Lysenko has said.
UATV English Published on Oct 12, 2017 Ukrainian Soldier, Oleksandr Shumkov, was arrested and is currently being detained in the Russian city of Bryansk. A clear reason for his detention is still unknown.
UATV English Published on Oct 12, 2017 The war in eastern Ukraine rages on despite numerous agreed peace deals and ongoing diplomatic negotiations. For Ukrainian servicemen it is an everyday struggle to defend their positions and respond to nearly daily shellings.
The Defender of Ukraine Day is celebrated today, October 14. The holiday honours and commemorates the courage and heroism of the defenders of Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Its slogan is “Strength of the unbowed”. The President’s decree to make this day a public holiday was approved by the Ukrainian parliament on March 5, 2015. Thus the Soviet celebration on February 23 (the Defender of the Fatherland Day) was replaced with another one, which is Ukrainian in origin. October 14, by the Orthodox tradition, is the Intercession of the Theotokos (Pokrova by local tradition, – 112.int). Pokrova was the most respected holiday for the Ukrainian Cossacks. This day is the official day of Ukrainian Cossacks. The Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) was also created on October 14. Holiday concerts, exhibitions, marches, and festivals all over the country are planned for today in Kyiv.
Ukraine will definitely become a member of the North Atlantic Alliance, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said.
Ukraine gets access to NATO Logistic Electronic Database. The Alliance is considering Ukraine’s access to a number of NATO support and procurement partnerships. Main – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has appealed to the Ukrainian people on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), the press service of the head of state has reported.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said Ukraine is getting stronger every day. Current news and events 14 October from the Agency UNIAN.
200 pieces of military equipment will be handed over to the Ukrainian Army today, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said during the ceremony of taking the military oath by the students of the Ivan Bohun Military High School. “Today, right after this, I’m going to the soldiers to hand over another batch of arms and military equipment: 200 pieces, including 62 tanks,” the President said.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that he will pass over 200 pieces of weapons and equipment, including 62 tanks, to the Ukrainian army on October 14.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman has said the draft state budget for 2018 provides for UAH 165 billion for security and defense. Latest UNIAN news from 14 October.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine have already received over 1,300 pieces of arms and military equipment this year, and will receive another 1,000 before the year’s end, President Petro Poroshenko said. “The new quality of the army became possible due to the solidarity of all Ukrainian people. I remember vividly when in 2014 the defence industry provided batches of arms that were just enough to arm one full tank brigade. Now the Ukrainian Army is becoming stronger by another batch, which consists of 200 pieces of armor, artillery, aircrafts, air defence systems and other types,” the President said. He also added that the budget of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be increased from $2.4 billion to almost $3.1 billion.
President Petro Poroshenko examined the course of combat training of the AFU in the training center of Zhytomyr region. The Head of State congratulated the military on a successful performance of the tasks. “The whole country saw your skills. This is already one of the most powerful armies on the continent. Well-trained, armed, with a unique combat experience. It demonstrates that we have something to defend the Ukrainian land,” the President said. Petro Poroshenko said that the military equipment transferred today will be thoroughly inspected and tested. After that, part will be sent to the ATO area, the other one will be allocated to the reserve. The Head of State also noted the effectiveness of the equipment brought back from the ATO area and involved in the training. “In the most difficult times in 2014-2016, you had the most difficult task — to stop the fully armed aggressor. And you honestly did it. That is why people today in Ukraine most of all pay tribute to the defenders of the Homeland,” the President said, congratulating the military on their holiday. Press Service of the President of Ukraine
President handed certificates for military equipment and weaponry to the AFU: War has proved that one can win only uniting high morale, nationwide support and advanced weapons | Міністерство оборони України
President Petro Poroshenko handed certificates for military equipment and weaponry to the AFU. The overall number of items exceeded 200. “War has proved that one can win only uniting high morale, nationwide support and advanced weapons,” the President noted in the course of the working visit to Zhytomyr region on the Day of the Defender of Ukraine. The Head of State reminded the conditions of the AFU in 2014, when the defense industry provided batches of weaponry that was enough only for a platoon. Today, the number of provided tanks will be enough for the whole tank brigade, as stated by Petro Poroshenko. “The Ukrainian army will become stronger with this batch of more than 200 items of armored vehicles, artillery, aircrafts, anti-aircraft missile systems and other engineering samples,” the President said. In general, in 2017, the AFU received 1300 items of weaponry and military equipment, more than 22 thousand of missiles and ammunition. “By the end of the year, troops will have received over a thousand units of armament and military equipment more,” Petro Poroshenko told. According to him, the increase in the AFU funding played a crucial role in the weaponry upgrade. “In 2017, 64.5 billion hryvnias were allocated for the AFU. The draft state budget for 2018 plans to allocate almost 84 billion,” Petro Poroshenko informed. He added that the ratio is maintained so that at least 5% of GDP is allocated to the defense and security sector. The President also emphasized that some of the equipment provided for the AFU today will be allocated to the reserve: “We are forming the reserve. We already have much more opportunities to quickly build up our combat capability”. Press Service of the president of Ukraine
13.10.17 14:50 – Ukroboronprom presented state-of-the-art 3D radar able to follow 500 targets simultaneously. PHOTOS KP NPK Iskra Company, a part of Ukroboronprom state defense concern, has developed 80K6T 3D radar station for target handoff to anti-aircraft defenses. View photo news.
UATV English Published on Oct 13, 2017 This week hundreds of visitors gathered in central Kyiv to check out the latest innovation in Ukraine’s defence industry. Companies from 15 different countries including Ukraine showcased their latest products at the fair.
A reconnaissance complex for the detection of optical devices SICH was presented at the 14th International Specialized Exhibition 'Arms and Security-2017' in Kyiv on October 11, according to TV Channel 24. News 13 October from UNIAN.
UATV English Published on Oct 12, 2017 Feeding an army. President Petro Poroshenko joined Ukrainian servicemen and journalists in taste testing food being consumed everyday on the frontline.
UATV English Published on Oct 14, 2017 Young Japanese artist Natsume felt deeply moved by the stories of Ukrainian soldiers defending their country in Donbas, and decided to start drawing them. _
Manmade “language ghettos” are dangerous, warns education minister. Liliya Hrynevych worries that some Transcarpathia residents do not understand Ukrainian. Main – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today
A rally titled "Self-determination for Zakarpattia," the protest against which was expressed by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, was held near the Ukrainian Embassy in Budapest on October 13, 2017, according to Ambassador of Ukraine to Hungary Liubov Nepop. News 14 October from UNIAN.
150 km of Ukraine-Hungary border is currently in private property, and is just plots of land, Chief Military Prosecutor Anatolii Matios told 112.UA. According to him, the Ukrainian border guards are denied full access to 150 km of the border, as it is in private property. The council of the village gave two hectares of land to locals, and over time the land was accumulated in the hands of a single person.
Leader of the Batkivshchyna political faction Yulia Tymoshenko intends to run for president at the next presidential elections in Ukraine. – Tymoshenko announces she will run for president of Ukraine – 112.international
Leader of the Batkivshchyna political faction Yulia Tymoshenko intends to run for president at the next presidential elections in Ukraine. Leader of the Batkivshchyna political faction Yulia Tymoshenko intends to run for president at the next presidential elections in Ukraine. She announced this on October 13 on the NewsOne channel. “I will run for president, we will win in order to put the country back on its feet,” Tymoshenko said. At the same time, she noted that she had previously supported Viktor Yushchenko as president and Arseniy Yatsenyuk as prime minister, but this did not lead to anything.
EU member states have reportedly come to a compromise on the way "European aspirations" of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia should be referred to in the final declaration of the Eastern Partnership summit, Europeiska Pravda reports. News 13 October from UNIAN.
12.10.17 17:54 – National Corps held event at Czech embassy in Kyiv against country’s president Zeman. PHOTOS+VIDEO Activists of the National Corps held an event at Czech embassy in Kyiv – they brought a live male goat to the building to show their attitude to the statement of Czech President Milos Zeman on compensation for Crimea. View photo news.
Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports
President Trump’s proposed alternative would seek to include Iran’s ballistic missiles, destabilizing activities in amended sanctions law.
Trump will announce a combative new strategy toward Iran on Friday, decertifying the country’s adherence to the nuclear deal but stopping short of scrapping it.
President Trump signalled new sanctions against Iran last night and voiced his suspicions that it was colluding with North Korea, but stopped short of withdraw
The Texas Republican says President Donald Trump’s expected decertification is the “right thing” to do.
Iranians fear decision of US president to abandon deal will bring back ‘Ahmadinejad era’ of recession and sanctions.
Here’s a roundup of eight key claims made by President Trump in his speech on the Iran nuclear deal
Former officials who played a key role in negotiating the 2015 Iran Deal say President Donald Trump’s unilateral actions are risking U.S. credibility abroad.
A nuclear fudge in the service of a larger containment policy.
Like his predecessor, President Trump has grown frustrated with Congress and as a result has turned to executive power to advance a stalled agenda.
President Donald Trump on Friday “decertified” the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, which leaves the fate of the deal in Congress’ hands.
The Pentagon is conducting a major review as Iran announces the U.S. military has been added to a list of groups threatening regional stability.
The JCPOA is not to blame for Iran’s success in the regional power game, and reversing it will not deprive Iran of its gains.
If anyone is in violation of this deal, it is Trump.
The Trump Administration will lay out a new Iran strategy Friday in which the President will seek to “strengthen” the deal, says the Secretary of State.
A senior commander in Iran’s Quds Force, the overseas arm of the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has said that his forces have “buried many” like Donald Trump, and the US President’s threats against Iran will “damage” America.
Commenting on US plans to withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said it was difficult to imagine how …
What’s in a name? A lot, when it’s the Persian Gulf.
Boeing’s plans to sell commercial jetliners to Iran appears safe for now despite President Donald Trump’s new campaign to “fix” the 2015 nuclear deal.
Russia on October 13 complained that UN investigators failed to search for traces of the banned nerve gas sarin on their visit this week to a Syrian airfield that Western nations say was used t…
Fighters for so-called Islamic State are still holding out, an alliance commander tells the BBC.
Russia has agreed a deal with Saudi Arabia to supply advanced S-400 air defence missiles to Riyadh, Vladimir Putin’s aide has announced. “The talks are ongoing now, the terms are being agreed,” Interfax news agency cited Vladimir Kozhin as saying. He said the contract could be signed “in the nearest time,” giving no further detail. Mr Putin hosted Saudi King Salman for talks at the Kremlin last week.
If there is one thing that characterizes Russian policy, it is its utter cynicism. It’s possible the Russians will actually conclude that mutual bloodletting is in their interests if a new war erupts between Israel and Hezbollah
A Canadian man who was freed along with his family after five years in militant captivity in Afghanistan said his captors authorized the killing of one of his children and raped his wife.
DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said Thursday the North Korean nuclear and missile threat is “manageable” for now but the isolated nation can’t be allowed to develop the ability to strike the U.S. homeland.
The president offered a reassuring image in case of a North Korean attack, but it’s based on faulty math and flawed assumptions.
Japan scrambled its fighter jets in response to aircraft approaching its airspace 561 times in the first half of fiscal 2017 through September — 33 fewer than last year’s record-setting figure but still the second-highest total ever for the period, the Defense Ministry has said. While the Air Self-Defense Force scrambled fighter jets last year at a record pace as China’s military sought to break out farther into the western Pacific, incidents involving Chinese aircraft in this year’s first half fell to 287, or 51 percent of the total, down 120 from the previous year. Despite the fall, the Defense Ministry documented an uptick in “unusual” flights, including an unprecedented military drill in August by Chinese H-6K heavy bombers that took them through the Miyako Strait — between the islands of Okinawa and Miyako in the East China Sea — to the skies off Kansai’s Kii Peninsula for the first time. The Defense Ministry also cited a drone-like aircraft — discovered in May flying above a Chinese coast guard vessel that had entered Japanese waters near the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea — as one of 14 unusual flights by China, an increase from nine cases last year. Scrambles against Russian aircraft, meanwhile, jumped to 267, or 48 percent of the total, up 87 times year-on-year in the same period. Last year, the ASDF scrambled fighters 1,168 times, the most since records began being kept in 1958, besting the previous high of 944 — a figure that came at the height of the Cold War in 1984. China’s military has also sent aircraft, including bombers and fighters, on long-range missions over the Bashi Channel and the Miyako Strait as well as through the Tsushima Strait from the East China Sea into the Sea of Japan and back. In July, the Chinese military sent ships and planes through international but politically sensitive waters and airspace near Japan as part of its continuing push to hone its ability to operate farther from its shores. At the time, the Chinese Defense Ministry said Japan “should not make a fuss about nothing or over-interpret, it will be fine once they get used to it.” China has spent aggressively on modernizing its military, including on developing aircraft carriers, but has also ramped up its training and exercises. Beijing has blasted Japan for hyping the flights, calling them part of “regular” drills, while Tokyo has said it will keep a steady eye on the “expanding and increasing” actions of the Chinese military in the area. The drills come amid bad blood between the two Asian rivals as their dispute over the Japan-controlled, China-claimed Senkaku Islands continues to bubble. This has prompted concern over the prospects of an accidental clash near the islets, which are known as Diaoyu in China and Tiaoyutai in Taiwan, which also claims them.
A Chinese Air Force H-6K long-range bomber is seen in November 2015. | JAPANESE DEFENSE MINISTRY
North Korea considers the Crimea’s accession to Russia legitimate, as stated by the Russian embassy in Pyongyang. According to Russian …
The Russian Embassy in the DPRK highlights that Crimea is marked as Russian territory in a world atlas recently issued in North Korea. The North Korean Foreign Ministry confirms the recognition of Russian sovereignty over Crimea. Meanwhile, South Korea is absent on the maps in the same atlas, being depicted as a North-Korean territory. The DPRK had been stating its support for the Crimea annexation since 2014. The Russian Embassy in the North Korea in their 12 October post on Facebook proudly reports that Crimea, a Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Russia in March 2014, has “already been painted in Russian colors” on maps in a new political atlas of the world released in the DPRK by the publishing house “Scientific Encyclopedia.” Russian diplomats pretend being surprised at this and tell that they have requested clarification from the North Korean Foreign Ministry on this issue: “As we were explained in the DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Republic respects the outcome of the referendum held in Crimea on the entry of the peninsula into the Russian Federation, considers its results to be legitimate and fully compliant with international legal norms,” the post reads.
Foreign Policy Reports
Philip Hammond was forced to apologise yesterday for calling the European Union “the enemy”. The chancellor faced immediate criticism for his pugnacious rhetor
The Joint Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe met on …
Vitaly Portnikov The proposal that Czech President Milos Zeman made to Russia about the need to “pay” Ukraine for the ” surrender ” of Crimea may appear to be simply an extravagant ploy that can be ignored. This would be true if only this statement had not been made from PACE’s rostrum and had not been so calmly greeted by many deputies who did not even attempt to challenge the Czech president. Ukrainian representative Vladyslav Holub, who was not able to question Zeman, later wrote in social media that he wanted to draw parallels between the Sudetenland, annexed by Hitler, and the Crimea annexed by Putin. But the point is that prewar Czechoslovakia was forced to give up the Sudetenland for the same reasons that Zeman used to frighten his listeners during his speech at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) — the need to avoid a major European war. When Chamberlain and Daladier reached an agreement with Hitler, this fear of war was common — people had not yet forgotten the horrors of World War I. This is why it was important for Great Britain and France not only to satisfy the Fuhrer’s appetites but also to preserve the formal adherence to international law — in other words, to convince Czechoslovakia to recognize the annexation of the Sudetenland. Now history is being repeated. The speech by Milos Zeman demonstrates that among the representatives of the Western elite there are not two but at least three ideas about Crimea’s future. There are those who are convinced that the Crimean issue is “closed,” that Crimea has become a “part” of Russia’s territory and that it is possible — even without agreeing with this fact from the point of view of international law — to avoid returning to this topic in the foreseeable future. There are those who are convinced that Crimea is a part of Ukraine and that the main task of the West is to achieve respect for international law and to restore Ukraine’s sovereignty over the annexed peninsula. But there are also others, like Zeman, who want Crimea to remain a “part” of Russian territory and for the law to be “upheld.” Supposedly “upheld.” In other words, for Ukraine itself to accept the fact of the annexation and the idea that Crimea is “Russian” and not Ukrainian territory. And this agreement can be exchanged for anything — for money, for energy, for the end of the Donbas war and complete restoration of territorial integrity on the mainland — in a word, for anything at all as long as the “law is restored.” A dangerous trend This is why Zeman’s position is not simply an extravagant ploy; it is a trend. Zeman has been called a European Zhirinovsky — probably because he says what many are thinking but are too embarrassed to say. And I have no doubt that over time the pressure on Ukraine to force it to sit at the negotiating table and acknowledge the fact of the “irreversibility of the seizure” of Crimea will only intensify. What is the way out of this situation? In reality, there are several options for the development of events. The first one is for everyone to understand that it is impossible to postpone the Crimean issue indefinitely, to think that Crimea can be dealt with after the Donbas. Because, paradoxical as it may seem, in this case, the resolution of the Donbas issue may permanently close the Crimean issue. This is why it is necessary to speak about Crimea today and now. And not only about the return of the territory, but also about the rights of the indigenous people of Crimea, about the repressions suffered by Crimean Tatars and pro-Ukrainian activists of other nationalities. This is what needs to brought to the attention of those like Zeman. If Crimea is “simply” Russia, then why has a real occupational repressive regime been established there? Crimea should become an important part of the political and legal daily agenda. It needs to be discussed with society — because if we ourselves are not interested in it then why do we need it? Wouldn’t it be easier really to give up the annexed territory? One way or another, Zeman’s speech reflects a tendency in the politics of the West. The West is ready to assist Ukraine in returning the Donbas but, so far, it is not prepared to deal with Crimea. This is because the promise to retain the toothless personal sanctions imposed after the annexation reveals the readiness to forget rather than the desire to restore. This is precisely why it is important not to pretend that there was no speech by Zeman and that he is simply a pro-Russian politician who can be ignored. It is important to realize that Zeman is not denying the annexation, as do many other friends of the Kremlin. He acknowledges the annexation. But he uses it to reach conclusions that are opposite of Ukraine’s. And this is very dangerous.
Groysman questioned mental health of Czech president. “This is not something a sane person would say.” Main – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today
Strategy / History / Capability Publications
The United States has maintained its air superiority for far too long and they are now developing the weapons that will take them years ahead of others. With the ongoing development of sixth generation jet fighters, United State Air Force has started to facilitate their Next Generation Air Dominance program. The USAF provides aerial support to the ground forces and helps in recovering troops. Currently, the arsenal of US Air Force contains 5137 military aircraft consisting of jet fighters, bombers, electronic aircraft, cargo, UAVs, 63 satellites and 450 ICBMs. The long-range strike bomber (LRS-B) like B-21 Stealth Bomber aircraft which are currently being developed, will give the service major surgical advantage. B-21 is meant to replace the famed B-2 long-range stealth bomber. It will be able to travel undetected from the US air base to another part of the world to launch a successful assault. The future of air force is unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs and USAF is all set to take it to a next level. The conceptualized Lockheed Martin SR-72 which will be developed by Lockheed Martin for the air force which will succeed the famous Lockheed Martin SR-71 Thunderbird. It has been claimed that the SR-72 will be able to move at the speed of Mach 6 which has never been achieved previously by any military aircraft.
After seeing three soldiers sport prototypes of the “pinks and greens” uniform at the AUSA annual meeting in Washington, D.C. this week, Army Times readers are overwhelmingly in support of bringing back the iconic World War II-era service uniform.
Iran carried out a “brute force” cyberattack on parliament that hit dozens of MPs this summer, according to a secret intelligence assessment.Some 9,000 email ac
Along with Facebook, YouTube, Google, and Twitter, it seems that Nintendo’s most popular augmented reality game was also used to exert foreign influence over American voters last year.
Twitter turns over ‘handles’ of 201 Russia-linked accounts to Senate investigators.
Facebook said it squashed “a bug.” Researchers say it is hiding crucial information.
In the midst of the frenzy of trying to determine how Russia influenced the US elections through buying ads on Facebook, The San Diego Union Tribune reminds us that basically everyone—including the US government—can buy ads on the platform to push their agenda. Carl Prine, an investigative reporter at the paper, writes that in two…
US Domestic Policy Reports
Winston Churchill summarized the theme of his seminal history of World War II as “[h]ow the English-speaking peoples through their unwisdom, carelessness, and good nature allowed the wicked to rearm.” His first volume, The Gathering Storm, recounted many instances of failure among the leading figures of the 1930s to appreciate the growing danger of Hitler’s rise to power. Churchill’s history highlighted how the good intentions and virtuous character of Britain, France, and the United States hindered them from taking actions that could very well have prevented a war that claimed the lives of some 60 million people. He marveled at [how] easily the tragedy of the Second World War could have been prevented; how the malice of the wicked was reinforced by the weakness of the virtuous; … how counsels of prudence and restraint may become the prime agents of mortal danger; how the middle course adopted from desires for safety and a quiet life may be found to lead direct to the bull’s-eye of disaster. In 2011, the United States faced a federal budget crisis. The government had hit its debt ceiling, yet needed to accommodate a mounting annual budget deficit. The two major political parties were at an impasse on how to authorize more debt while somehow slowing the annual growth in federal spending. Enter the Budget Control Act of 2011. It was intended to incentivize the parties to reduce federal budget growth by legislating mandatory cuts so painful — to the country’s security, in particular — that the parties would find some compromise in their positions that would allow them to avoid such harsh consequences. The effort to compromise failed, and the cuts became law, drastically reducing spending on defense through the early 2020s. Meanwhile, operational employment of the military was kept at high levels, accelerating the consumption and degradation of equipment, supplies, and people.
Today I watched Trump’s Iran speech, it was as I expected. What was different for me, however, was reading the comments from “Americans” during the speech. Hateful, extremist, and thoroughly without merit… and I got to thinking ‘How many are Russian trolls?’ I realized “We’re not in Kansas any more”, referring to the Wizard of Oz. We are in a place very much unlike where we were one year ago. I realized that I could now label almost anyone a Russian troll for their extremist perspective and it might be taken as an insult, our perceptions, as a people, might have changed. Nevermore can it be just dismissed. The genius of the Russian trolls is that about 49% of Americans are “Never Trumpers”, meaning they are opposed to Trump as the President. Of course, the media might eventually extrapolate their findings of Russian involvement in the American culture and examine if Russia fanned the flames of “Never Trumpers” to exacerbate the divisions that exist within America. We know that the flames of BLM were fanned, it only makes sense that the violence prone far-left was also fanned. We see a direct opening with Antifa, who openly embraces communism – which is different from Russia but must be acknowledged. The genius is that unless one has access to IP addresses for accounts, or the account uses a foreign address, it is very difficult to say this or that account is Russian and not, as it appears to be, American. Without the direct cooperation from Facebook, the questions will only remain questions. How to obtain that cooperation? That is a secret… In the face of continued exposure of Russian involvement in the US pre and post election, one might think Americans would be more introspective and aware of the global forces at work to influence the way they think. According to the comment section of the Facebook livestreaming of President Trump’s address, there is nothing further from the truth. I checked out the identities of quite a few people making rude, hateful, and thoughtless comments. Most appeared to be genuine Americans, with a deep history of family pictures, shared histories, and exchanges of ideas. There were a few, however, that fit the description of a probable Russian troll. Few friends, a very shallow history, no profile information, and very divisive comments made on public comment sections. When I interact with Americans on Facebook, especially in comment sections to ongoing events broadcast live, I must remember… “You’re not in Kansas anymore”. Russia is still working against us. Be careful out there.
Good article and great premise, but the personal opinion of the author produced a very poisonous pill in one swarmy paragraph which implies cooperation between the Trump campaign and Russia. As I’ve said from the beginning of the 2016 campaigns, it appears, externally, that everybody was just aligned against Hillary. Only a pittance of ads in support of Trump have ever been found. The goal of inventing an illusory manifest collusion between Trump and Russia looks more hallucinogenic by the day. About half of America hated Hillary. Russia hated Hillary. End of statement. </end editorial>
Russian trolls and bots focused on controversial topics in an effort to stoke political division on an enormous scale – and it hasn’t stopped, experts say
Russia’s foreign ministry said on Friday it had summoned the U.S. Embassy charge d’affaires in Moscow to protest against what it said was the removal of Russian flags from diplomatic premises that Russia had to vacate in the United States, Russia’s RIA news agency reported.
Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, has much stronger financial ties to a Russian oligarch than have been previously reported.
At least $60 million in alleged loans have been…