Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
Poland says Russia preparing for hot war against NATO. Putin tells Russian industry to prepare to shift to wartime production. WashPost maps out Russian proxies in EU politics. Peterson on hybrid war. POTUS to be presented with proposal to provide lethal aid to Ukraine – that debate continues actively. Stoltenberg says NATO doors remain open to Ukraine.
Debate over presidential poll continues, Sobchak calls for cultural change in Russia, Applebaum on Putin agendas. A deluge of reports on Russia’s descent into the abyss – media repression, civil rights repression, repression of ethnic and religious minorities, corruption, poverty, demographic collapse, doping, and two interesting reports on Russia’s involvement with ISIS. Novocherkassk massacre and nuclear leak.
Belarus turns on Ukraine, Lukashenko snubs EU on EP invite, and Parteigenosse Sigmar Gabriel clashes with Belarus opposition leader.
In Ukraine, biggest news is what appears to be an internal coup inside the occupied Donbass, with the security forces of “Luganda” rebelling against the puppet leader, and if Russian media are right, forcing him to flee to Russia.
Hyrych on “Bolshevism of the mind”. Lutsenko comments on 600 documented acts of torture by Russian proxy forces, including “skin removal, scalping, castration, pouring lead into the throat, dismemberment, crucifixion, references to the minefield, what Russian terrorist forces are doing”. Russia repopulating Crimea with 250,000 transmigrants since 2014. Polls show increasing support for NATO membership. Industry launching domestic production of ammo, including large calibre arty. Donbass fires continue, including escalated ops in Luhansk area. “Luganda” threatens UN peacekeepers. Morozov’s Object 477A or “Nota” MBT detailed. AFU switches to new “British style” dress uniforms. Many interesting reports on domestic matters, and the spat with Poland.
In Syria, Russian VKS FLANKERs baiting USAF F-22s. Multiple reports on Riyadh vs. Tehran, and Riyadh’s defacto alliance with Israel. Erdogan’s exposure to money laundering trial increases. USAF hits drug labs in Afghanistan.
More on EU EP summit. Political chaos in Germany. Missing Argentine SSK may have imploded shortly after distress call. Mugabe falls in Zimbabwe after 37 years of misery.
Golts on “Gerasimov’s doctrine” in newtimes.ru. Russia attacks Google over pagerank proposal for Sputnik and RT – are Russian robots driving up pagerank with fake pageviews? Multiple reports on propaganda and cyber.
Nuclear C2 debate continues in the US.
Russia / Russophone Reports
He noted he wasn’t speaking about a new Cold War, but about preparation for hot hostilities. Minister of National Defence for Poland Antoni Macierewicz said the latest West-2017 military drills testify Russia’s preparation for an offensive, according to his interview in Canada, as Ukrinform reports. The Minister noted that the drills ended two months ago and they were carried out on the territory in between the Arctic Ocean and the Black Sea and included even ballistic missiles Iskander which can carry nuclear warheads. He emphasized that Russians prepared not for defence, but specifically for aggression.
Vladimir Putin told a meeting of world military chiefs in Sochi on Wednesday that ‘all large-scale enterprises should be ready’ to meet war-time needs at a moment’s notice.
Several European parties — ranging from the far right to the far left — are under scrutiny.
The 280-foot-tall spy tower, nearly the size of the Statue of Liberty, can reportedly pick up radio signals across the Baltic and in parts of Russia.
Updated | Russian President Vladimir Putin essentially wants to rebuild the Soviet Union and restore Russia as a “major power” in the world, General Sir Mike Jackson, former head of the British Army, warned Thursday. “I always like to remind people regarding Vladimir Putin that he said publicly…that the worst thing, the worst thing let me underline that, that happened in the 20th century, i.e., worse than two World Wars, worse than the Holocaust, worse than the Great Depression—the worst thing was the fall of the Soviet Union,” Jackson told the U.K.-based LBC. “It tells you quite a lot I think about Putin because he sees modern Russia as the inheritor of the great power status which the Soviet Union used to have and I think he’s trying to rebuild that.” “It’s a theme which is there, to rebuild modern Russia as a major power in the world as the Soviet Union was in his view,” Jackson added of the former KGB officer turned world leader.
“We must finally wake up and unite against this imperialist Neo-red threat,” Ukraine’s foreign minister says.
The president and Congress must approve the sale of anti-tank missiles.
National security officials are urging President Trump to approve the sale of nearly $50 million worth of U.S. weapons to Ukraine, which has confronted what it sees as military aggression from Russia and pro-Russian separatists for years. It’s unclear if Trump will agree.
President Trump will be presented with a plan from senior aides to finance and sell weapons to Ukraine in an effort to counter Russian aggression in the region,
Russia believes that if the United States decides to supply arms to Ukraine, it will seriously destabilize the situation in the Donbas as stated …
Ukraine has no doubt that it will receive access to modern defense weapons, said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin during a visit to …
Ukraine would like Canada to provide it with defensive weapons.
Senior aides will present U.S. President Donald Trump with a $47 million plan to finance and sell high-tech defensive weapons to Ukraine to bolster its efforts to repel Russian aggression in the re…
James Inhofe noted having visited Ukraine twice, which has brought the gravity of the situation into stark relief. Senator James Inhofe wrote a letter to President Trump encouraging increased support for Ukraine, according to his Twitter. “Russia’s continued aggression and repeated refusal to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity warrants a strong response from those of us who respect the rules-based international order. Our response should include lethal military hardware as part of the broader effort to help Ukrainians defend themselves and deter future aggression,” the Senator wrote.
The head of the Ukrainian foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin told about the terms on which will be the transfer of “the experience of the struggle with the Russians” in the USA. This valuable information, a Ukrainian diplomat has promised to share in exchange for weapons. This format is the Minister of foreign Affairs of Ukraine considers beneficial, especially for Americans.
The North Atlantic Alliance keeps adhering to the open door policy and is ready to accept new members. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said this at the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada, an Ukrinform correspondent reports. “The doors of NATO are opened. The best proof is that the number of the Alliance members has almost doubled since the end of the Cold War. Moreover, Montenegro joined NATO in spring this year, having expanded the NATO membership up to 29 countries,” Stoltenberg replied to the question about the Alliance’s position regarding the possible membership of Ukraine. However, he stressed that the state must necessarily meet certain standards to join NATO. “Georgia and Ukraine are now focused on reforms: modernizing their defense institutions, tackling corruption, strengthening democracy. NATO and its allies help both countries implement these reforms,” the NATO Secretary General said. At the same time, Stoltenberg stressed that no third party had the right to interfere in this decision-making process.
MINSK (Reuters) – There is a substantial…
Stratfor: Hints of a shift in the Ukraine conflict. View news feed in news about politics for 17 November from UNIAN Information Agency
U.S. makes determination for possible sale of Javelin missiles to Georgia. View news feed in world news for 21 November from UNIAN Information Agency
Russian presidential hopeful and television personality Ksenia Sobchak says she wants to make her country’s “extremely intolerant” society and political system more open and democratic.
For a long time, it has seemed that the only person unsure he will run in the presidential elections next March is Vladimir Putin. The people expect it, his opponents are sure of it, his entourage is convinced of it. But Russia’s President is delaying.
There is one provision in the Russian Constitution that Vladimir Putin has been adamant about following: the prohibition on three consecutive presidential terms. Back in 2007-8, Putin rejected the advice of some aides who were urging him to ignore or amend Russia’s basic law and stay on for a third term. Putin of course settled on the so-called “castling,” using Dmitry Medvedev as a placeholder president for four years before returning to the Kremlin in 2012. But now, as Putin prepares to campaign for what would be his final term under the current law, talk of an impending “constitutional reform” is gaining currency among Kremlin-watchers. (I wrote about it here and here). In a good piece featured below, the always insightful political analyst Tatyana Stanovaya looks back at the history of the idea of changing the Russian Constitution and makes a compelling case that it could be in the offing after the presidential election in March. How Russia’s ruling elite will handle a lame-duck Putin, and what measures they might take to keep him in power one way or another, will be one of the key developments to watch in 2018.
Putin not interested in Russian empire, as he interested in recapturing Soviet position on world’s stage, – Anne Applebaum
Vladimir Putin receives incomplete and distorted information about conditions in Russia and he is often deceived by his aides. The Kremlin leader is also highly dependent on the security services. And he acts largely in the interests of the security services, oligarchs, bankers, and business tycoons. Now, just to be clear, these are not my opinions. They are the findings of a new poll by the independent Levada Center on Russians’ opinions about their leader. And while these findings are not surprising, they are nonetheless revealing. Because despite the wall-to-wall propaganda on the airwaves, they show us that Russians continue to be extremely savvy and extremely perceptive about their rulers and about the true nature of the system that governs them. But here’s the thing. They’re OK with this — at least for now. Or, at least they say they are OK with it. Because according to another recent Levada Center poll, a stunning 82 percent of Russians nevertheless approve of Putin’s performance as president. Now, does this mean that Russians don’t object to being governed by a man who is misinformed and dependent on powerful entrenched interests? Does it mean that they are not telling the truth to pollsters? Or does it mean that they separate Putin the myth and the symbol from the very real system he presides over? Is it just the latest manifestation of the old Russian belief in the good tsar and the bad boyars? I don’t have answers — at least not today. But this paradox is worth keeping in mind as Russia enters another election season and as Putin prepares for what many in Moscow believe will be his last campaign.
With an election that is completely devoid of suspense just four months away, attention is quickly turning to what happens after the vote. And as both Mark Galeotti and Tatiana Stanovaya note in separate pieces featured below, the first “tell” about Russia’s political direction will be whom Putin — after his all-but-inevitable reelection — names as his prime minister. A strong prime minister — somebody like Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin or Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu — would likely be interpreted (correctly or incorrectly) as a sign that Putin views his next term as his last and is grooming a successor. The appointment of a regime “liberal” like Economic Development Minister Maksim Oreshkin or Central Bank chair Elvira Nabiullina would be interpreted (correctly or incorrectly) as an indication that economic reform was in the offing. And a weak “technical” prime minister that Putin plucks out of obscurity, on the other hand, would be seen (again, correctly or incorrectly) as a sign that Putin is either planning to stick around beyond 2024 or that he wants to delay talk of a successor until later in his fourth term. And then, of course, there is Dmitry Medvedev. Stanovaya notes that after being all but written off and ridiculed as ineffectual, Medvedev’s stock has been rising in recent months and the consensus among Moscow pundits is that he has a pretty good chance of remaining prime minister after the election. Medvedev’s strength, the virtue that makes him very useful for Putin, is that he could be a weak technical prime minister and a potential successor — all at the same time. As Galeotti notes, Medvedev “is not dangerous” and “is unlikely to be considered presidential material, except as a front man for an oligarchic coalition.” A second Medvedev premiership, in short, allows Putin to keep all his options open. That doesn’t mean it is going to happen. But it does explain Medvedev’s strange rehabilitation.
Putin’s choice as to who holds it will say much about his priorities and concerns heading into his next term.
Russian smear tactics in the forefront. If you can’t fight the message, attack the messenger. Following British Prime Minister’s very public, very loud, and very damning accusations against Russian Information Warfare, Russia is responding by attacking her. </end editorial> 20 November 2017 By EU Disinfo Task Force Theresa May warnings over Russia dismissed On November…
Pyotr Tolstoy, the deputy speaker of the State Duma, says Moscow will consider banning Google from collecting advertising revenue in Russia, in response to the company’s recent actions against Russian media outlets.
The author’s claim that the regime in Russia is ‘totalitarian’ is extravagant, but she has written a fascinating account of the toxic legacy of the Soviet era
Allegations seen as latest attempt to discredit hedge fund manager who has led global campaign for justice in the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky
How the Kremlin destroyed the far right in Russia, while backing it in the West.
For a long time, it has seemed that the only person unsure he will run in the presidential elections next March is Vladimir Putin. But Russia’s President…
‘Tired’ Vladimir Putin may not run for 2018 Russia Election – Putin is ‘tired’ and lately has been unenthusiastic about joining any major campaign for the upcoming presidential election.
Threats about 50 bombs planted along the route by which President Putin’s motorcade was to move down the streets of St Petersburg proved false, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS agency. “Telephone terrorists made prank phone calls all day long,” he said. “About 60 phone calls were taken today as of the early morning. Reports concerned fifty or so bombs allegedly planted in various places, including the ones located along the route of Putin’s motorcade, or at the facilities in the neighborhood of the places he was expected to visit”. Peskov also told that ‘telephone terrorists’ have not been identified so far but in all probability, they are based abroad. “I don’t have any doubts it will be established sooner or later [who made the fake reports],” Peskov said. ‘These are telephone hooligans or telephone terrorists or whatever you call them. Beyond any doubt, this is criminal activity and surely they will be found sooner or later.”
Paul Goble Staunton, November 17 – Moscow now has a new state ideology, “Russian fundamentalism,” which views the Russian people as the bearer of a special morality, rejects the West as a model, sees Russia as an eternal empire, and is confident in its “special historical mission” in the world, Irina Pavlova says. The Russian people overwhelmingly accept that ideology, the US-based Russian historian says, and they will support Vladimir Putin’s enthronement as “national leader” after the presidential “elections” (newizv.ru/comment/irina-pavlova/17-11-2017/novoy-gosudarstvennoy-ideologiey-stanet-russkiy-fundamentalizm-045d4d96-9ae5-4bb6-98b5-8d63e57a4c6b). Pavlova says that the outlines of this ideology and Putin’s role were provided a decade ago by Abdul-Khakim Sultygov, a functionary of the United Russia Party (kreml.org/opinions/164932766/). At the time, many dismissed his words as only a personal opinion and suggested that he went too far. But intervening events suggest otherwise. “For me,” the historian writes in Novyye izvestiya, “the value of the Sultygov document is that the author unintentionally introduced clarity on the issue of the character of political power in Russia.” That power was and is “not ‘administered’ or ‘sovereign’ democracy” or even “’imitation democracy.’” Instead, he made clear the regime is and should be a dictatorship. According to Sultygov, “Putin’s activity has become a manifestation of the idea of national-state unity of Russia,” of its uniqueness and thus apartness and hostility to the West, a set of ideas that Russians overwhelmingly support and that can best be described by the term “Russian fundamentalism,” Pavlova continues. Sultygov’s essay appeared as Russia was about to hold elections for the Duma, elections that he suggested were not about the competition of parties and ideas but rather “an all-national referendum in support of the Putin Plan.” That thesis “is true today as well about the upcoming pseudo-elections of March 2018. No real elections are possible in Russia under Putin, but that is fine with Sultygov and those who agree with him. “Adapting his ideas to the new reality, one can suggest that on the basis of the results of ‘the election’-referendum will be introduced not only “the special status of Putin as national leader … but also ‘the institution of national leader’ as such.” He will thus be officially enthroned, to use Sultygov’s words, as “’the highest personified institution of the representative power of the Russian people which will carry out in the name of the people civic control over the execution of his will as expressed in the results of the upcoming presidential election.” Sultygov wrote ten years ago that this would occur via a Civic Assembly of the Russian Nation, a special body that after doing this would remain as “a constantly acting space for the promulgation of the messages of the national leader to ‘the Russian people and the policy forming class.’” Such an arrangement would suit Putin perfectly, Pavlova says. “A national leader is forever. He is also the foundation of the nation and the guarantor of the preservation of power.” And any complaints can be directed not at him but at the president or prime minister, two posts subordinate to him. This is “a typical Byzantine” arrangement, Pavlova says, yet another indication of the triumph of Russian fundamentalism as Moscow’s ideology of the 21st century.
Paul Goble Staunton, November 17 – There is a dramatic moment in the 1986 British film, Defense of the Realm, in which an editor tells a journalist played by Gabriel Byrne who is seeking to expose the way in which the official secrets act is misused that “there is a lot wrong with this country, but it isn’t Bulgaria.” That remark comes to mind after reading Sergey Shelin’s commentary suggesting that “the excessive interest” Russian intellectuals have shown to “the replacement of the irreplaceable [Zimbabwean leader Robert] Mugabe is based on some mistaken ideas about their own country” (rosbalt.ru/blogs/2017/11/17/1661662.html). Most Russians couldn’t find Zimbabwe on a map much less discuss its political system with any intelligence, the Rosbalt commentator says; and consequently, one is compelled to conclude that all the talk in some circles in Moscow about what is going on in that country is in fact not about Zimbabwe but about Russia. Unfortunately, for those pushing an analogy between Zimbabwe and Mugabe’s exist and Russia and Putin’s future, there is little evidence. The length of the former’s rule, his authoritarianism, and his irreplaceability are far from the most important factors explaining what is happening to Mugabe. Four others are far more relevant: his role as “founding father” of his country, the decay of the economy under his rule, the presence of organized opposition groups and parties, and Mugabe’s obvious deterioration with age. Only the first of these works in his favor; the other three don’t. But the real reason Putin isn’t threatened with a Mugabe-like exit. Over the past half century, Shelin continues, the supreme leader of the country has been pushed out of office only twice: Khrushchev in 1964 and Gorbachev in 1991. “In the first case, he was sent off into retirement by the then-powerful party machine … In the second, by the machine of the power of the Russian Federation which destroyed the demoralized union state.” In both cases, there were powerful organizations in a position to oppose the ruler, but now “there is almost nothing.” Institutions are largely meaningless, and they lack the capacity to form “any serious coalitions” against Putin. The population is “more politicized than it was several years ago, but these are only the first steps up from absolute zero.” Expecting a Zimbabwe-like outcome in Russia today is thus absurd, however many people in Moscow want to talk about it. The country is in stagnation but not collapse and so people aren’t having to reflect deeply about what kind a change of course they would really like to see.
Paul Goble Staunton, November18 – Aleksey Shiropayev, a self-described national democrat and longtime liberal Russian commentator, argues that any consistent Russian nationalism must be oriented toward Europe and oppose the imperialists in Russia who remain trapped within the paradigm of the Mongol horde. “The failure of the Kremlin’s aggression against Ukraine inevitably intensifies the crisis of Russian identity,” pointing to either its final “agony” or toward its fundamental “revision.” The regime calls for “’popular unity’” but the way forward, he insists, is by separation into two camps regarding the Russian mentality (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5A0DB6FC6987C). The first “type,” Shiropayev says, is “the traditional, archaic, ‘old Testament’ imperial and anti-Western, ‘Muscovite,’” in short. “Its heroes are Ivan the Terrible and Stalin. “The second type is anti-imperial and pro-European” and traces its origins to the free cities of Novgorod, Pskov, Tver and Ryazan of pre-Mongol times. Today, this second type takes the form of urban protests, the strivings of the young and the middle class to identify themselves in ways that open the way to the future rather than keeping them trapped in the past, the commentator continues. Indeed, the rise of “anti-Putin Russian nationalism” which is opposed to the Crimean Anschluss is the archetype of this kind. Nationalism has a bad name in Russia, but that’s because it is linked in the minds of many with the past or with trinkets rather than as it should be with the defense of Russianness as a form of European identity and a defense against the horde-like approach of the current government. Such Russian nationalists, he acknowledges, are not fundamentally different from those who describe themselves as Westernizers, especially since Russian nationalism understood in this way is not narrowly ethnic but rather about the promotion of a genuinely civic communal identity. Shiropayev suggests that the time has come to form “an informal, secular cultural-political net movement which could be called Alt-Rus,” for “Alternative Russians,” in order to reach out to all those “who want to be Russian but at the same time live in a contemporary and democratic country.” What this constitutes, he says, is an affirmative answer to the question as to whether “a positive, progressive Russian identity of the post-imperial era is possible or not.” For this to take off, Shiropayev argues, Russians needs to go through the process of national self-determination within Russia “via federalism and regionalism.” There is no reason that there shouldn’t be “several” genuinely ethnic Russian states on the territory of the country as it now exists given the enormous size of the Russian Federation. And he concludes with this observation: “everything will be decided not at the level of the clashes of Putinites and liberals, Russians and non-Russians but on the level of the opposition within the very understanding of Russianness itself.”
Paul Goble Staunton, November 17 – Several Moscow commentators have called attention to a development for which they have not yet given a name but which might be called by analogy with Vladimir Putin’s modification of other phenomena “hybrid laws” – documents bearing the name of law but lacking one or more of the characteristics of genuine legislation. Ekaterina Schulmann of the Russian Academy of Economics and State Service says that she has been disturbed by a trend in Russian legislation, one that after mixing and matching cases and punishments has moved on to a situation where crimes are not defined or punishments specified for their commission (echo.msk.ru/blog/ekaterina_schulmann/2094194-echo/). On the one hand, that leads to absurdities; but on the other, it opens the way to the misuse of law for political ends and increasing repression. “More bark than bite is the common device of halfbreed regimes,” she says, “but at a certain state, there is an evolution of barking and biting in the opposite direction.” Among the very worst examples of such legislation, various other commentators say, are draft bills on “undesirable activity and cooperation,” “interference from outside,” and the definitions of “Fatherland” and “patriotism”(newsru.com/russia/16nov2017/kontrpatriot.html,fontanka.ru/2017/11/16/103/ and ixtc.org/2017/11/za-parmezan-budut-sazhat-kak-za-plutoniy/). Members of the Presidential Human Rights Council have condemned all of these laws for “vagueness;” and Yabloko leader Sergey Mitrokhin has pointed out that history teaches that the more vague the laws are, the more repressive they will be in their execution. That is, he says, “the normal algorithm.” And Dmitry Gudkov, an opposition politician and commentator, argues that the legislation as drafted opens the way for the preparation or at least application of a law “’about searches for enemies of the people’” much as happened in Stalin’s time. That is one of the meanings of such badly written laws, but there are others. Indeed, it appears that Tretyakov Art Museum curator Tatyana Levina is alluding to one of them when she suggests that “judging by the news, we have a high level of absurdity,” not “the stability” that the Russian authorities are always talking about as the highest good (republic.ru/posts/87656).
Paul Goble Staunton, November 16 – In the first months of 2017, wealthy Russians doubled the number of purchases of housing stock abroad, especially near universities for their children, and increased by 600 percent their purchases of existing businesses that they may eventually move to and run, according to a report by Finanz.ru. Using figures from the international consulting company Knight Frank, the Russian financial affairs agency says well-to-do Russians are rapidly increasing purchases of property and businesses abroad as a result of Russia’s economic crisis and the deterioration of relations between Moscow and the West (finanz.ru/novosti/lichnyye-finansy/begstvo-rossiyskikh-elit-v-evropu-uskorilos-vdvoe-1008253826). But the company’s figures also show that the average amount Russians are spending to purchase housing abroad has fallen 38 percent over the last two years, a reflection of economic hard times at home and more important the fact that Russians ever further down the income pyramid are now working to emigrate. The purchases of businesses abroad, Marina Shalayeva of Knight Frank says, clearly indicate that Russian investors are no longer just looking for passive income but rather are focusing on places where they could work themselves. And the purchases of housing for their children suggests they are taking a genuinely long view about the future. These figures are significant because they indicate that those Russians who can are now voting with their feet and not planning to return anytime soon or perhaps ever, thereby depriving their country of birth much of the managerial talent and capital it will need to recover from the current economic malaise.
Paul Goble Staunton, November 16 – Last year, Credit Suisse reports, the total wealth of the people of the world increased 6.4 percent to 280 trillion US dollars. Of that, Russians had only slightly more than one half of one percent — and most of that wealth is concentrated in a tiny segment at the top of the national income pyramid, with 80 percent of Russians not having any wealth at all. The total amount of personal wealth by this measure in Russia “has not reached two trillion US dollars,’ Nezavisimaya gazeta reports, noting in addition that over the last year, this measure has fallen by 28 percent in dollar equivalents while rising 73 percent when expressed in rubles (ng.ru/economics/2017-11-16/4_7116_dolya.html). At present, the paper continues, each Russian on average has 16,770 US dollars in wealth, up from less than 3,000 on that measure in 2000. But there is enormous income and wealth inequality in Russia, with those in the top one-tenth of one percent have capital greater than a million US dollars, while 82 percent have “less than 10,000 US dollars” each. Viewed from another perspective, there are 132,000 dollar millionaires in Russia, and 69 billionaires, with 2.1 million Russians being in the top ten percent of the world’s wealthiest and 175,000 being in the top one percent. Those at the bottom thus are far behind not only their wealthiest domestically but internationally. While globalization and economic change have produced income inequality of unprecedented size, that development is now in Russia and elsewhere having a negative impact on economic growth, according to Moscow experts with who the newspaper spoke. Andrey Klepach of Vsneshekonombank, points out that the level of income inequality in Russia is now just what it was at the beginning of the 2000s, but there is an important difference: Then incomes were growing and poverty was being overcome. “Now we have another situation: poverty is growing and incomes for the last three years have fallen 10 percent in real terms And according to Ivan Karyakin of Global FX, the situation in Russia “will only get worse.” Indeed, he argues, “the model of economic growth” Russia is following meaning that “the gap in incomes will only increase,” something that will create problems given that an overwhelming majority of Russians believe economic inequality there is too great.
In an interview with newspaper Argumenty i Fakty, Former Russian Minister of Finance and Chairman of the Center for Strategic Research (CSR) …
Paul Goble Staunton, November 19 – The United States is now prepared to impose “sanctions in the harshest possible form,” Andrey Piontkovsky says, thus directly affecting not only the business and political entourage of Vladimir Putin but also — and in ways that change the nature of the game — the Kremlin leader himself. On Youtube yesterday, the émigré Russian analyst says it is his impression that the August 2 sanctions law will be carried out “in the harshest possible form” and that “what is the most revolutionary aspect of the law” is that “this will be the first case when the head of the Russian state will turn up on this list” (youtube.com/watch?v=xvbRqX5fYG0&feature=youtu.be). The inclusion of Putin on this list is significant, Piontkovsky says, because normally such sanctions are imposed only on “absolutely hardened rogues and criminals like Milosevich, the Sudanese president, someone from Equatorial Guinea and so on.” For Putin to be on this list and for the Americans to put him there is thus a breakthrough. He adds that US President Donald Trump, although he has opposed this measure despite signing it, “will not be able to interfere with the imposition of sanctions. “This is a government law,” and any effort “to sabotage it” will have the most serious consequences for the incumbent of the White House. In other comments, Piontkovsky argues that the approximately one trillion US dollars in illegal earnings of Russians now stashed abroad must be returned to “the first post-mafia government of Russia,” something requiring more changes in Russia than just a move to a “post-Putin” one. It is a mistake to over-personalize things in the Russian case, he suggests. Putin may leave office but “the essence of this mafia system will not change” as a result by that alone. But seizing the assets of Putin and other Russians held abroad via the new sanctions law will help promote the necessary changes in Russia and bring closer the day these assets can be returned.
Paul Goble Staunton, November 23 – Independent Chechen journalist Musa Muradov adds another dimension to Moscow’s complicated relationship with those North Caucasians its security forces allowed to go to fight for ISIS in Syria. He suggests that the Russian government did so in order that as many would be killed as possible in ways allowing Moscow to avoid responsibility. He makes that point in the course of an interview posted on the OnKavkaz portal (onkavkaz.com/news/1975-musa-muradov-siloviki-ne-meshali-vyezdu-kavkazskoi-molodezhi-v-siriyu-a-potom-nachali-ee-unicht.html). The Russian force structures helped North Caucasus radicals leave, did not promote anti-ISIS propaganda early on, and clearly hoped that those going would be killed. Such an arrangement would suit Moscow perfectly, Muradov argues, because it would see many of those who might otherwise fight against it in their homelands be killed in ways that Moscow could plausibly argue it had nothing to do with, thus reducing the chance that these deaths would lead to more anti-Russian feelings in the region. (Muradov’s words do not mean that other reports which suggest that some of the ISIS fighters from the North Caucasus were Russian agents under various degrees of control and may, now that Moscow is helping to extract them, be used elsewhere. On that possibility, see windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2017/11/moscows-extraction-of-isis-cadres-from.html). Kavkaz-Uzel reports on another Syrian-North Caucasus development. Asker Bor, a Circassian activist, says Damascus is actively opposing the departure of Circassians from that country, an opposition that Moscow is fully respecting even as it is pulling some others from the North Caucasus out (kavkaz-uzel.eu/blogs/1927/posts/30769).
Paul Goble Staunton, November 20 – For the last several years, Russian security services have driven Islamist radicals and others out of the North Caucasus and other regions of the Russian Federation under paid of jail or death to fight for ISIS in Syria, Israeli expert Avraam Shmulyevich says. Now that the last redoubts of the Islamic State in that country have fallen, these same services, exploiting Chechens in Syria, have begun to extract these same people back to Russia, an action that strongly suggests, the president of the Israeli Eastern Partnership Institute says, that Moscow plans to make use of them elsewhere – and may even have them under its control. One place where this is especially likely, Shmulyevich continues, is in Crimea where the ISIS cadres may stage terrorist actions that Moscow can the blame on the Crimean Tatars and thus gain understanding if not support for its repressive moves against that minority in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian peninsula. Shmulyevich made these and other points in the course of an interview with US-based Russian journalist Kseniya Kirillova , although he was careful to say that he did not have definitive proof for these possibilities but that Moscow’s recent actions do not allow much room for any alternative conclusion (ru.krymr.com/a/28858018.html). In the past, as in the run-up to the Sochi Olympiad in 2014, the Russian authorities have not even tried to conceal their role in pushing North Caucasians to leave and fight for ISIS, an effort the Russian media have suggested reduces the likelihood of terrorist actions within the borders of the Russian Federation. Shmulyevich has investigated the ways in which some Islamists from Russia have gone to Syria in hopes of acquiring military skills that they could employ back at home, but those whom Moscow is now helping to extract are unlikely to take up arms against Moscow. Instead, it is far more likely that they will use their “skills” to promote Moscow’s policies. “There are as yet insufficient data on the character of relations between Russia and ISIS,” the Israeli expert says. They might be limited only to a cooperative one based on common goals in particular places or they might be those of “a creature of Moscow,” especially if the Russian government follows Soviet precedents. The most likely places such people could be deployed would be in the North Caucasus and in Crimea, locations where Moscow would be delighted to organize violent actions that could be blamed on Muslims of another stripe entirely. The only real limiting factor, Shmulyevich says, is that Putin doesn’t want to allow any terrorist action at all. The reason is simple: the Kremlin leader portrays himself as the victor over terrorism in Russia and would not like to see that questioned as the election approaches. But at the same time, Putin’s behavior in the past shows that he is more than prepared to use those he controls to place blame on those who are his targets, be it Chechens in 1999 or Crimean Tatars now.
Paul Goble Staunton, November 17 – Researchers from the Center for Strategic Development and the Higher School of Economics say that the Russian authorities should seek to adapt their policies to the projected demographic declines in Russia rather than think that they can overcome these “inevitable” developments. According to their research, the Russian population will decline between 400,000 and a million a year by the 2030s with the total falling 14 million by mid-century and reducing Russia’s population ranking in the world from ninth to 15th place, behind Tanzania, the Philippines and Mexico (rosbalt.ru/russia/2017/11/17/1661771.html). Moreover, the scholars say, Siberia and the Russian Far East will continue to lose population with people moving south and west rather than north and east as was the case in Soviet times when the government used a combination of force and subsidies to drive people in the opposite direction. Anatoly Vishnevsky, director of the Higher School of Economics’ Institute of Demography and the leader of this study, says that present-day Russia faces “seven groups” of demographic challenges, the most significant of which is underpopulation in many parts of the country. Between 1950 and 1992, the population of the Russian republic increased from 103 million to 148.6 million, but in the years since that time, it has continually declined – and that decline shows no sign of letting up. Indeed, because the amount of Slavic in-migration from other former Soviet republics has slowed, this decline is certain to accelerate. The slight uptick in natural growth that began in 2013 which the Kremlin has celebrated was both “very small and has no future because [even] according to official predictions, it will soon end.” Vishnevsky adds that UN predictions suggest that the population of Russia will decline even more than Rosstat acknowledges. Another demographic problem Russia faces is that it lacks a large number of big cities. Only Moscow and St. Petersburg are really megalopolises. There are only 15 millionaire cities, and “only three of them are beyond the Urals. This is very few for such an enormous country as Russia,” the demographer says. In addition, Russia’s population is aging, and now that trend is pushing down the size of the working-age cohort, something that has never happened before in Russian history and that no government seems to have a good answer on how to reverse. There are three other challenges as well – declining birthrates, high mortality rates, and migration. The government can affect the latter two by spending more on health care, the opposite of what it is doing now and by imposing rules against or working to attract more immigrants and improving their conditions so that they will remain. But changing birthrates is harder because they reflect deeper and broader trends. According to Vishnevsky, however, “the main distinguishing characteristic of the demographic policy of the country is that up to now, ‘there has not been a clear answer to the question: does Russia need people?’” Migration is the only way available to boost population because “there are no internal demographic resources in the country left.”
Paul Goble Staunton, November 18 – Having unified Ukraine by annexing Crimea and united NATO by his aggressive stance there and elsewhere, Vladimir Putin has now achieved another outcome that does not promise him or his regime well: he has united the non-Russians of his country against him on the issue of school programs in their national languages. In many ways, this third Putin achievement could prove to be the most dangerous of all because Russian policy throughout history has been based the divide-and-rule principle of setting one non-Russian group against another in order to allow the Russian center to dominate all of them. If the non-Russians are able to come together on this issue, such a united front will make it far more difficult for the Kremlin to do what it has always done: moving against one non-Russian nation confident that other non-Russians will not come to its defense but rather try to make the best side deal they can with the center. As so often now, the Internet is playing a key role in this process. An 1200-word open letter to Putin has appeared online calling on the Kremlin leader to reverse his position and guarantee the obligatory teaching of non-Russian languages in the republics of Russia (docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSelopoXbZsFOYpLaTahohT5_Jpyl9TK7aR9WQAHK-IxsgeDTQ/viewform). “We consider the system that exists in most national republics requiring the study of all state languages (both Russian and non-Russian) is correct, harmonious and corresponds to the needs of constructing healthy society of inter-nation concord, in which the rights of all indigenous peoples are defended and their interests taken into consideration,” the authors say. They point out that the languages of the peoples of the Russian Federation provide “the indisputable basis of natural Russian diversity,” a pattern that is enshrined in the law “on the languages of the peoples of the Russian Federation” and that must be respected by the Russian government. “The exclusion of national languages from the system of education will lead to the violation of the process of the transmission and support of literary languages, something that also will lead to a reduction of the number of those knowing the literary language of their people.” And that in turn will lead to the deterioration of cultural creativity and scholarly activity. The letter argues that “the study of a non-Russian national language is the best key to the establishment of equal relations and interrelationships of cultures with each other. When all study the language of one people but that people does not study the language of others,” this leads to a dangerous imbalance. On the one hand, the subordinate groups, in this case, the non-Russians have additional burdens placed on them as well as additional restrictions in their activities. And on the other, the dominant one, in this case, the Russians, no longer has “the obligation to know the language of other groups” and will also suffer as a result.
Paul Goble Staunton, November 15 – When Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov said last week that education officials in Moscow were willing to allow for two hours a week of compulsory Tatar instruction in his republic’s schools, he and many others felt that Moscow and Kazan were inching toward a compromise. But now an anonymous Russian government source, in words confirmed by Putin’s press secretary, says that no compromise with Tatarstan or any other republic is possible on the issue of making the study of all non-Russian languages entirely voluntary (rbc.ru/politics/15/11/2017/5a0b1ab59a7947409bf6e965?from=main). “Everything will be in correspondence with the law – national languages are to be studied on a voluntary basis. This is the rule for all national republics, and there won’t be any exceptions for anyone,” the source told RBC. Later when the news agency queried Dmitry Peskov, he confirmed that. A major reason Minnikhanov thought he had achieved some progress was that Olga Vasilyeva, Russia’s education minister, said that each case of the forcible study of a language should be considered separately and that “it is incorrect if you are born anlive in Bashkortostan or Tatarstan and don’t know the language” (charter97.org/ru/news/2017/11/15/269241/). But now the Kremlin appears to have walked away from that more open position and adopted a hard line, something that is certain to anger and alienate many in Tatarstan and the other non-Russian republics even if it pleases some Russian parents who think their children’s studying any language but Russia is a waste of time. Abbas Gallyamov, a Bashkortostan political analyst, says that most Russian parents had considered the required study of non-Russian languages as “a necessary evil” and not “a serious political problem” until Vladimir Putin raised the stakes with his declaration on language at Ufa in July. After Putin’s intervention, however, both Russians and non-Russians came to view it differently, the former as a test of whether Moscow will impose the same rules everywhere in the country and the latter as an indication about the future of their nations. As a result, protests by both sides are likely to increase. Mikhail Vinogradov, head of the Petersburg Politics Foundation, says that new tensions may not have an impact on the presidential election this time; but they will on elections after that. Both sides can see that this language move is a signal the Kremlin plans to be far more interventionist on all issues in the republics than ever before. The real test of Putin’s new approach, however, isn’t going to come in Tatarstan but in Chechnya where the Kremlin leader has allowed Ramzan Kadyrov unprecedented opportunities to conduct an independent policy. If Putin doesn’t or can’t change that, then this campaign is likely to be viewed as a failure – and that will have consequences sooner as well as later.
Paul Goble Staunton, November 19 – “At one point,” Mufti Mansur Dzhalyaletdin says, “the Tatar language saved religion” in Russia; “now, Islam will try to preserve the Tatar language.” And in that effort, he continues, the Tatar language will gain defenders not only among Tatar Muslims but also from Muslims across the former Soviet space and even the world. The deputy mufti of the Republic of Tatarstan’s observation about the past reflects the fact that Tatars provided not only the intellectual leadership for Russia’s Muslims but also provided many of the mullahs and imams in mosques in Russia during Soviet times. Indeed, many referred to these places in Moscow and other cities as “Tatar mosques.” But his suggestion that Muslims from across Russia, from Central Asia and the Caucasus, and from the Muslim umma abroad are now coming to the aid of the Tatar language, now under assault by Vladimir Putin’s regime, is the subject of an important new article he has written for Kazan’s Business-Gazeta (business-gazeta.ru/article/364294). Tatarstan, Dzhalyaletdin says, has largely avoided the ethnic conflicts that have broken out elsewhere because despite hostility from some quarters, its people are tolerant and open to others, including Russians whose language they learn. They believe people should know the language of where they live. But the new attack on the Tatar language threatens to change that. On the one hand, he suggests, many Tatars already view the attack on their language as an attack on their nationhood and dignity. And on the other, they are likely to respond by becoming less open to others, possibly even opening private schools for their children to study Tatar if the public schools make this impossible. There are currently 1500 Muslim parishes in Tatarstan, the mufti continues, and they are following the order of the Muslim Spiritual Directorate (MSD) to conduct services in Tatar. That directive is not only enthusiastically supported in Tatarstan, Dzhalyaletdin says, but by Muslim leaders throughout Russia. “It is no secret that many people send their children to England the US to study English,” he continues; but it is less well known that Muslims across Russia and indeed from the entire Muslim world are sending their children to Kazan to learn Tatar. They too are prepared to defend Tatar against Russian attacks. To distract attention from its shortcomings and policy failures – such as repairing roads or building hospitals – the mufti says, Moscow has launched an attack on the Tatar language. What it did not understand is that Tatars would see that as an attack on their nationhood and Muslims would see it as an attack on their faith.
Paul Goble Staunton, November 18 – The relationship between faith and declared religious identity is never simple, but the gap between the two appears to be especially large in present-day Russia where a significant number of self-described atheists say they believe in heaven and many self-proclaimed Orthodox Christians declare they don’t believe in God. Those are just two of the findings of a new Levada Center poll released this week. Noting that the share of the population declaring itself atheist had declined from 36 percent in 1991 to 13 percent now, it found that the number of self-described believers had gone up from 14 percent to 34 percent over the same period (openrussia.org/notes/716124/). The survey did find that the percentage of Russians identifying as Orthodox has declined since 2009 from 36 percent to 25 percent, an indication that other faiths, including Islam, account for the continuing growth in the intervening period. But the most interesting finding of the new survey is that “almost every third atheist in Russia believes in the existence of hell and every fourth in the existence of the devil.” The optimists slightly outnumber of the pessimists in this regard. The center thus concludes that “faith and superstition can coexistence independently from one another in an individual.” The same kind of split exists among Orthodox Christians, with 17 percent of them denying the existence of the devil, and 11 percent saying they believed in heaven but not in hell. Thus, every sixth Orthodox denies the basic doctrine of Christianity – life after death” without that constituting any problem for his or her saying they’re believers.
Paul Goble Staunton, November 20 – Just as has been the case with his actions regarding foreign countries, Vladimir Putin’s new policy on languages is generating chaos in the schools of Tatarstan and other non-Russian republics, helping him to avoid being held responsible for a situation he created and allowing him to move far further than his original words suggested. Indeed, Ilshat Sayedov, a political scientist, argues in Novaya gazeta today, the main goal of Putin and the Russian activists who support him is “not an increase in the number of hours of Russian for their children but a ban on the required study of Tatar” by everyone, including Tatar pupils whose parents want them to study it (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2017/11/20/74610-tatary-podchinyayutsya-no-ne-povinuyutsya). If Putin is able to do that, he will please many Russian nationalists who don’t believe that anyone except they should have the right to study his or her language; but he is already triggering a nationalist backlash among not only activists in the republics but also among the ostensibly loyal and obedient republic leaderships. Ever since Putin announced in Ufa last summer that no one should have to study any language other than Russian except on a voluntarily basis, Moscow has sent mixed signals as to just what that means. The Russian education ministry has called for compromise, but Putin’s press secretary has taken a hard line. And that line has led prosecutors to investigate non-Russian schools where they have found exactly what they expected to find and have called for school directors to end the requirement that all pupils study the national language of the republic they live in and to shift teachers of those languages to other subjects. Because this is being done in the middle of the school year, the result has been chaos, the kind of chaos many are now blaming on the schools and the republics rather than on the man responsible, Vladimir Putin, whose superficially reasonable words – everything should be voluntary – conceal a broad attack on non-Russian languages and non-Russian republics. But there is something even worse taking place, the journalist says. “The most horrible thing is that children are beginning to be divided into Tatars and Russians” in Tatarstan and between the titular nationality in other republics and ethnic Russians. That promises no good for anyone. “No other action could so divide society and set the nationally oriented strata in the republics against the federation and often against the local authorities as well,” Sayedov says. “Many patriotically inclined Tatars, for example, only now have understood that ‘the Russian world’ is not for them and that no one in this ‘world’ needs them.” A backlash is setting in, the political analyst continues, with some Tatars furious at being treated as “second class citizens” now calling for the schools in their republic to conduct instruction only in Tatar, something that might weaken their language and people as well but that underscores how angry the chaos Putin has provoked and his obvious intentions have left them.
Paul Goble Staunton, November 23 – One of the many things those Russian officials and their allies who condemn any critic of the Russian government as a Russophobe don’t understand is that the objects of such attacks make a distinction they do not – between the horrific government and the many good Russians who suffer under its rule. Indeed, as some in Moscow do not understand as well, a major reason why many in the West came to the study of Russia and continue to be fascinated by it is because they have always been struck by the fundamental goodness of so many ordinary Russians and the stark contrast between their qualities and the horrors of the Russian regime. And these students of Russia have usually been horrified by the insistence of many in the regime and its supporters that the Russian government and the Russian people are one and the same thing, a specious claim such people use to deflect criticism from within and without by suggesting that the people are the same as the state when that is clearly not the case. On this American Thanksgiving Day, when we pause to reflect about the many good things we have been blessed with, it is appropriate to recall the good Russians of whom there are millions who despite their suffering continue to choose to give to others poorer than themselves even when they don’t have enough to eat. Earlier this week, Nezavisimaya gazeta reported the results of a survey by experts from the Higher School of Economics showing that despite hard times, 57 percent of Russians give to charitable causes with many of them giving more now precisely because times are hard than they did earlier (ng.ru/economics/2017-11-21/100_poorrussians.html). As anyone who knows Russians would expect, much of their charitable giving is directed at children, those that are ill in particular, but also those who are orphans or who have been left in difficult circumstances far beyond their control. But the most important and timely finding of this study is the following, as Nezavisimaya gazeta makes clear: “the greatest average sum of gifts to those people do not know directly comes form the least well-off strata of the population, who often ‘don’t even have enough money to feed themselves.’” These poor people do this, the study suggests, “out of solidarity” with those who are suffering a difficult fate like their own, a finding that those Russians who insist that Russians are incapable of solidarity and thus remain atomized victims of the state need to recognize is incomplete if not completely wrong.
Paul Goble Staunton, November 23 – It is bad enough when the current Russian government restores some of the features of the Soviet regime, but it may be even worse when it revives something that was not part of the CPSU program but rather the subject of anecdotes that simultaneously made fun of that system and called it into question. In Soviet times, it was sometimes said that “friendship of the peoples,” a highly valued Moscow notion, existed when a Russian, a Ukrainian and an Uzbek got together and beat up a Jew, hardly the message that the communist regime actually wanted to promote at least most of the time. But now, the Yekaterinburg portal, Politsovet, reports the Federal Agency for Nationality Affairs is calling on schools to help form “positive inter-ethnic relations” by organizing among pupils “hunts for extremists,” an idea that would seem internally inconsistent on its face (politsovet.ru/57244-v-rossiyskih-shkolah-i-borcovskih-sekciyah-budut-iskat-ekstremistov.html). The Yekaterinburg site is not making this up, as one might be tempted to conclude, but rather quoting directly from an FADN document with the truly Soviet title, “Methodological Recommendations for Organs of State Power of the Subjects of the Russian Federation and organs of local self-administration for important questions of the realization of the government’s nationality policy, the formation in local communities of positive inter-ethnic and inter-confessional relations and also the identification and prevention of inter-ethnic conflicts.” The portal doesn’t specify how extremists are going to be found in schools and camps or what will happen if members of one nationality or religious group decide that the only extremists about are those in another ethnic or religious community.
Paul Goble Staunton, November 18 – Vladimir Putin on Thursday told key ministers and business leaders that he wants Russian-flagged ships to have the exclusive right to move oil and gas across the Northern Sea Route and is prepared to consider extending a similar ban on non-Russian shipping to “other sea routes of our country.” Specifically, he said he wants to offer “ships sailing under the Russian flag the exclusive right to carry and store hydrocarbons along the Northern Sea Route,” an action that will “allow the growth of the amount of such shipments, strengthen the position of domestic shipping companies and create additional opportunities for the renewal of the fleets belong to them” (kremlin.ru/events/president/news/56112 and thebarentsobserver.com/en/industry-and-energy/2017/11/putin-nationalizes-arctic-petroleum-shipments). Putin added that “a corresponding draft law is now being considered in the State Duma,” one that he said will be “adopted in a short time.” And then he added that he was aware that “there are proposals to extend this norm to other waterways of our country.” The Kremlin leader’s declaration puts Russia on a possible collision course with China and other countries interested in using the Northern Sea Route and makes it likely that they will explore routes further from the Russian coast in order to continue to make use of it (asia.nikkei.com/magazine/20170615/Politics-Economy/Six-centuries-later-China-rekindles-its-Arctic-ambitions?page=1 and thebarentsobserver.com/en/arctic/2017/08/chinese-icebreaker-navigates-across-central-arctic). But more even than that, Putin’s words set the stage for new clashes between Moscow with its expansive claims of control over much of the Arctic and other Arctic powers both traditional and on the rise.
Paul Goble Staunton, November 19 – Gastarbeiters in Russian cities from the former Soviet republics typically work at lower-paying and lower-status jobs than the Russians around them, but their children on reaching maturity often have more education and have higher incomes that do members of the indigenous population, according to a new study. The study, which focused only on Armenians and Azerbaijanis, was conducted by a group of scholars at the Russian Academy of Economics and State Service. They warn against overgeneralizing the results of this small pilot research project on a subject about which little academic work has been carried out (kommersant.ru/doc/3468861). But Yevgeny Varshaver, who led the research group, says the findings are suggestive of a trend that may become widespread if large numbers of children of gastarbeiters choose to remain in Russia long enough to grow up, get an education and go to work on their own. He notes that his group found that this second generation of migrants, aged 18 to 30, had average reported incomes of 36,400 rubles (600 US dollars) a month, as compared to average reported incomes among native Russians of 25,600 rubles (430 US dollars) a month, a significant difference. The researchers found that some of the Armenians and Azerbaijanis in smaller Russian cities went to work in the same kind of businesses their parents had started, while those in Moscow and other larger cities, especially women, typically went into professions requiring more education which they had managed to achieve. According to Varshaver, “migrants of the second generation are more educated than the average for Russians,” with a higher percentage of them completing higher education while Russians as a whole tended to stop before doing so. Thus, the migrants experienced greater upward social mobility than Russians. With regard to their attachment to their ethnic communities, he continues, the evidence points in two ways. In smaller cities where ethnic regions have formed, the second generation tends to stay within the community, while in Moscow, where no such regions have emerged in the same way, the reverse is the case. Varshaver says that “there is no integration policy in Russia,” largely because those charged with dealing with the issue are the police. The latter’s use of force may keep the first generation in line, he continues, but this will have a much smaller impact on the second generation. And that is going to matter ever more in the future, he suggests, because the first generation of migrants had a common Soviet background while the second generation may be less affected by that and more by ethnicity. And any new immigrants will be increasingly different because they do not share such common experiences. In his comments to Kommersant, Varshaver does not discuss how Russians are likely to view the outcome he describes with children of migrants doing better than children of indigenous Russians. But if this report is given widespread attention, it is certain to spark resentment and possibly lead to even more demands that migrants and their children be sent home.
Paul Goble Staunton, November 19 – A new survey by Germany’s Körber-Stiftung finds that while only 41 percent of Germans and 38 percent of polls do not consider Russia part of Europe, a slightly higher percentage of Russians – 44 percent – say that they do not consider their country part of Europe. Moreover, the survey found that Germans and Poles are far more ready to say that a rapprochement of the West and Russia is important or very important – 95 percent and 80 percent respectively – than are Russians. Only 66 percent of Russians made similar declarations (koerber-stiftung.de/pressemeldungen-fotos-journalistenservice/russland-in-europa-kalter-krieg-in-den-koepfen-1187.html and dw.com/ru/опрос-принадлежит-ли-россия-к-европе/a-41323799). The Körber Foundation poll also identified some important value differences among the populations of these three countries. According to the survey, 86 percent of Germans, 83 percent of Russians, but only 56 percent of Poles said that showing hostility to foreigners was something now wrong. The three also diverged about the role of the mass media and its relationship to the state. The poll found that 76 percent of the Russians said that the task of the media is to support the government and report its decisions to the population. Only 53 percent of the Poles, and 43 percent of the Germans shared that view.
Paul Goble Staunton, November 18 – Fighting over monuments to the past has become a regular feature inside the countries of the former Soviet bloc and among them as well, with decisions to erect or dismantle this or that statue sparking controversies in many places. But now, such disputes are spreading far beyond the borders of what was that bloc. Often these disputes intersect with conflicts within the countries where the monuments were erected or involve differences of opinion about the foreign relations of those countries. One such conflict, which is likely to attract far more attention in the future than it has so far concerns an Abkhaz monument in the Scottish city of Kilmarnock. More than 20 years ago, the city authorities there agreed to the erection of a memorial plaque in honor of those Abkhaz who died in the 1992-1993 fighting between the Abkhaz and the Georgian authorities. Scotland, which has its own interests in a separate future, was apparently quite happy to have this plaque erected, Then on November 8, the Georgian ambassador in London called for the statue to be removed because it contained language and symbols at odds with British policy toward Georgia and the breakaway republic of Abkhazia. Abkhazians and their supporters in the UK and in Abkhazia protested Kilmarnock’s agreement to take the monument down. Then Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister David Dondua said in Tbilisi that “no one had planned to remove or take down the monument as the Abkhaza claims but only to modify it to bring it into correspondence with British policy and then put it back in place in the Scottish city (ekhokavkaza.com/a/28860255.html). That wasn’t sufficient for the Abkhazians and their defenders, and officials in Sukhumi and Abkhazian residents organized a protest, even adopting an appeal to the international community to intervene on their behalf in this latest battle of the monument wars (ekhokavkaza.com/a/28860162.html). Levan Geradze, a Georgian conflict specialist, says that it isn’t surprising that this has happened. When the two sides can’t agree on fundamental questions, they often get more exercised than one might expect on secondary ones like monuments – and these disputes spread through the diplomatic world and on social networks. Giya Khukhashvili, another Georgian political scientist, adds that “polemics of this kind reflect the political impotence of both sides,” adding that in his opinion the current conflict is being spurred on by third parties interested in keeping tensions high and avoiding any serious negotiations. But participants at a protest in the Abkhaz city of Gali are clearly furious and say they will be watching closely to see what happens to their monument in Scotland. If it is not restored exactly as it was, they say, they will erect “an exact copy in Sukhumi on Scotland Street” to make their point. In any case, observers say, it is already clear that the controversy around the monument in Kilmarnock is nowhere close to resolution and likely will spark morediplomatic and non-diplomatic exchanges in the future.
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Russian Senator Anton Belyakov has drafted legislation that would ban the propagation of “criminal subculture.”
Igor Sechin, CEO of the Russian state-owned oil giant Rosneft, has told investigators that then-Economy Minister Aleksei Ulyukayev asked him for a $2 million bribe during a BRICS summit in Goa, Ind…
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has attended a gala ceremony in the Crimean city of Yalta on Saturday, unveiling a monument to Russian Tsar Alexander III (1845-1894). Presidential Plenipotentiary Representative in the Southern Federal District Vladimir Ustinov, Crimea’s head Sergei Aksyonov, Sevastopol’s Governor Dmitry Ovsyannikov, Metropolitan Lazarus of Simferopol and Crimea, Crimea’s Mufti Emirali Ablayev and other dignitaries along with students took part in the ceremony. Alexander III went down in history as a man of peace as under his reign Russia did not fight in major wars. The four-meter-high monument by Russian sculptor Andrey Kovalchuk was made of bronze at a plant in the Urals.
Bloggers say famous figures and innovations on a new statue ensemble have little or nothing to do with its centerpiece, Tsar Alexander III.
The speech given before Germany’s parliament by a Russian high-school student fit perfectly with the theme of the event — an annual German remembrance for the military personnel and civilians kill…
An ethnic German family has returned to Russia from “sexually permissive” Germany, this time moving into a lavish southern home bequeathed to the authorities by a local businessman.
The corruption trial of former Economy Minister Aleksei Ulyukayev and Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin’s role in putting him in the dock are providing a rare window into the high-stakes power struggles in V…
Luke Harding, journalist and author of…
Moscow says it’s retaliating because the U.S. Justice Department declared RT America (Russia Today) a “foreign agent.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hailed the level of cooperation between Moscow and Baku as he met with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Elmar Mammadyarov, for talks expected to focus on bilatera…
The fact that the European Union wants to enact and enforce its own laws on its own territory shouldn’t really strike one as controversial. But nevertheless, Russia’s prime minister is apparently taking issue with such a proposition. In remarks last week, Dmitry Medvedev claimed that attempts by Brussels to regulate the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline are aimed at complicating its implementation and forcing Moscow to abandon it. WATCH: Today’s Daily Vertical Medvedev’s comments came in response to legislation proposed by the European Commission that would require all major gas pipelines entering EU territory to comply with the bloc’s rules on transparency, accessibility, and efficiency. This includes things like requiring nondiscriminatory tariffs and transparent reporting. It also includes antimonopoly measures such as requiring pipelines to offer at least 10 percent of the capacity to third parties, and so-called ownership unbundling, which prohibits pipelines from being directly owned by gas suppliers. Speaking about the regulations, European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic said they were necessary to provide “much-needed clarity and legal certainty” and that Nord Stream 2 “should not be built in a legal void.” Which sounds kind of, you know, reasonable. But the fact that the Russian prime minister is actually making an issue of the fact that the EU wants pipelines on EU territory to comply with EU rules speaks volumes about what Russian energy companies have been able to get away with in the past. And at a deeper level, the fact that Moscow objects to being subject to the same rules as everybody else in the European energy market also says a quite a bit about the gap that exists between Russia and the West on the primacy of the rule of law.
His propaganda today is rather simple: It’s anti-Western, not pro-Russian.
Anytime Russia is caught red-handed, they accuse others of doing what they are doing. This is called blameshifting. Especially interesting is that both the Russian foreign ministry and the Russian Embassy in Washington were asked for comments for a Buzzfeed story. Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova denied ever receiving any such requests. Buzzfeed responds: “The…
Novaya Gazeta has announced the appointment of Sergei Kozheurov, the respected Russian newspaper’s longtime general director, as its new editor in chief.
The measure is said to be a response to a U.S. requirement imposed on the state-owned RT television network, but it is far broader in scope.
Russia is misinterpreting the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which creates transparency but does not restrict freedom of speech or …
The Russian Ministry of Justice of Russia has sent a notice to the Radio Liberty project Krym.Realii as well as Radio Liberty’s Tatar-Bashkir …
The flood of news stories from a country as large, diverse and strange as the Russian Federation often appears to be is far too large for anyone to keep up with. But there needs to be a way to mark those which can’t be discussed in detail but which are too indicative of broader developments to ignore. Consequently, Windows on Eurasia each week presents a selection of these other and typically neglected stories at the end of each week. This is the 108th such compilation, and it is again a double issue with 26 from Russia and 13 from Russia’s neighbors. Even then, it is far from complete, but perhaps one or more of these stories will prove of broader interest. 1. Putin Stands Taller – as a Statue – and Alienates Even His Allies with Lying Vladimir Putin has always been sensitive about his height, and the Russian media have gone to great lengths to make him appear taller than he really is. Now a new statue in Chelyabinsk, supposedly life size, makes him 10 centimeters (four inches) taller than in reality (agonia-ru.com).
President Vladimir Putin continues to dismiss his country’s well-documented cheating in recent Olympics.
This article indicates the level of effort Russia will put forth to ensure that their Olympic team does not cheat. Russia, however, lives in the world of cheating. If a Russian official is not lying, cheating, or stealing, something must be amiss. In this case, the whistleblower impeded a doping effort by the Russian Olympic committee…
Police in Moscow have opened a criminal investigation into the theft of a special communication cable belonging to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). A source in law enforcement told the magazine RBC that the case was opened on November 16, though it’s unclear when the theft took place.
Russian officials are fuming over the possibility that Russian athletes could be banned from the Winter Olympics in February because of doping, with Russian state television threatening not to broa…
Diplomatic tensions between Russia and Opec are set to deepen this week as oil cartel members resume talks in Vienna.
OPEC meets next week and the elephant in the room is the U.S. shale sector, ramping up production as OPEC and Russia cut back.
The world’s largest oil exporter could be poised to back out of a widely anticipated extension to global supply cuts, Chris Weafer, senior partner at Macro-Advisory, said Friday.
Nope. Not fake news.
On June 2, 1962, Soviet soldiers fired on a demonstration by workers demanding better living conditions and lower prices. The shooting took place in downtown Novocherkassk, an industrial city near Rostov-on-Don. More than 25 people were killed, and more than 85 people were injured. For decades, the Soviet authorities kept the incident a secret, executing another seven demonstrators and sentencing another 100 participants to 10 years in prison. The truth about the Novocherkassk massacre only started leaking to the media during Perestroika, and a formal investigation didn’t occur until after the collapse of the USSR. Meduza special correspondent Daniil Turovsky visited Novocherkassk and met with people who have guarded the tragedy’s memory for 55 years. Turovsky also studied the criminal records, books, films, and archival documents related to the massacre, in order to retell the full history of the incident, from the terrible events on the day of the shooting to the efforts decades later to find the victims’ graves and bury their remains properly.
Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps.
A secretive group living in Kyrgyzstan that adheres to a strict interpretation of Islam is in the spotlight once again after the arrest of one of the community’s leaders.
RFE/RL spoke with two independent nuclear experts who said evidence suggested no health threat from the incident, but suspect it was similar to an accident that occurred in 1993 at a nuclear facili…
Russian authorities on Tuesday confirmed reports of a spike in radioactivity in the air over the Ural Mountains.
Russia’s meteorological service said on Tuesday it had measured pollution of a radioactive isotope at nearly 1,000 times normal levels in the Ural mountains, the first official Russian data supporting reports that an accident had taken place.
Russia’s meteorological service has confirmed there were “extremely high” concentrations of the radioactive isotope ruthenium-106 (Ru-106) in several parts of the country in late September, AFP rep…
Russia Denies Nuclear Incident as Monitors Record Abnormal Radiation Levels
The Mayak nuclear reprocessing plant, owned by Russian state nuclear company Rosatom and located in the southern Urals, said on Tuesday it was not the source of increased levels of ruthenium 106 in the atmosphere in late September-early October.
Western scientists say they may never know the source of the cloud of ruthenium-106 that hovered over Europe last month. But what little data there is suggests a research facility inside Russia.
Worsening of Ukrainian-Belarusian relations is beneficial for someone, – Klimkin
What can we expect at this week’s Eastern Partnership summit? Listen to The Power Vertical Briefing.
Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s appearance at this week’s Eastern Partnership summit in Brussels will be sure to attract a lot of attention. How will he be received by EU leaders? With Belarus’s relations with Russia hitting a rough patch, will Lukashenka use the occasion to send a message to Moscow? But beyond the inevitable Lukashenka show, this week’s summit is also marked by a “what now?” vibe. (See a piece by Andrew Rettman in EUObserver, featured below.) Association agreements, free-trade agreements, and visa-free travel have been implemented with Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova, but membership is obviously a far-off prospect. There is also the persistently yawning gap between these three countries and three other partnership countries — Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Belarus — which have, to put it mildly, not advanced as far on issues of democracy and human rights. On this week’s Power Vertical Briefing (featured below), we look ahead to the Eastern Partnership summit and what we can expect and should be looking for. So be sure to tune in.
The talk was not exactly a diplomatical one. Today, Belarusian National Congress leader Mikalai Statkevich has met with Vice-Chancellor, Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany Sigmar Gabriel, who arrived on a visit in Minsk. Mikalai Statkevich has reported the details of his meeting with one of the German government leaders to Charter97.org: – I was very pleased to meet Sigmar Gabriel, whom I have known for many years. I am very pleased that a Social Democrat occupies such a high position in the German government. I told Sigmar Gabriel about the situation in Belarus: the persecution of Narodnaya Hramada activists, repressions against Belarusian National Congress members and the REP independent trade union, about the pressure on one of the BNC leaders Uladzimir Niakliayeu. I informed the German Foreign Minister of using tortures in the KGB prison and other prisons of Belarus. I also expressed my opinion about contacts with dictator Lukashenka at the highest level. My position is known: I believe that such meetings harm the European Union reputation. It is not rational to reward Lukashenka with such contacts, as they are ill-received by the Belarusians themselves. 80% of Belarusians are negative about such meetings, they harm the image of the European Union and Germany. Sigmar Gabriel told me about his meetings with the Belarusian authorities and the German side’s motives. Our conversation was not exactly a diplomatical one, but it was honest. An honest conversation between the two Social-Democrats.
Having arrested Ukrainian Radio correspondent Pavel Sharoiko, the Belarusian authorities confirmed their dependence on the Kremlin.
Belarus says President Alyaksandr Lukashenka will not attend the European Union’s Eastern Partnership summit in Brussels on November 24.
The KGB of Belarus did not provide information on the arrest of a Ukrainian
The head of Ukraine’s National Union of Journalists (NUJU) is demanding the release of a Ukrainian radio correspondent being held in Belarus.
The Embassy of Belarus avoids an answer about the reason for the detention of the Ukrainian journalist.
The Belarusian Committee for State Security (KGB) says it has arrested a Ukrainian journalist on suspicion of espionage, accusing him of being a military intelligence agent — a claim immediately r…
Ukraine journo charged with espionage in Belarus dismissed from intel service back in 2009 – Military Intelligence Directorate. The latest news from UNIAN for 20 November
Ukraine’s embassy adviser declared persona non-grate left Belarus
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has responded to the unfriendly actions of Belarus, which had previously declared Ukrainian embassy adviser Ihor Skvortsov persona non grata.
Ukraine has expelled a Belarusian diplomat amid a spy scandal between the two neighboring countries.
Belarusian authorities say they have detained a Russian man who attempted to rob a bank and took several people hostage in the eastern city of Mahilyou.
Transnistria / Moldova Reports
A local referendum is being held in Moldova’s capital, Chisinau, on November 19 to decide whether to dismiss the city’s mayor who is facing accusations that include corruption.
Leader of Luhansk People’s Republic escaped to Russia, – Russian mass media
“LPR” leader Plotnitsky reportedly flees to Russia – media. View news feed in war news for 23 November from UNIAN Information Agency
Plotnitsky’s escape leads to speculation about “LPR”-“DPR” merger – NGO. View news feed in war news for 24 November from UNIAN Information Agency
Plotnitsky did not leave “LPR” – Russian media. View news feed from Ukrainian Independent Information Agency UNIAN – war news for 22 November
For several weeks, the unrecognized Luhansk People’s Republic has been witnessing truly violent political events
Ukraine Def. Ministry: All cash from Luhansk withdrawn to Russia. View news feed in war news for 23 November from UNIAN Information Agency
Coup in “LPR”: 200 armed men storm Luhansk “PGO’s” building – social media. View news feed in war news for 22 November from UNIAN Information Agency
Armed men in unmarked uniforms took up positions in the center of Luhansk on November 21 in what appeared to be a move in a power struggle among the Russia-backed separatists who control the city i…
Heavily armed men on armored vehicles are patrolling the streets of a war-wracked eastern Ukrainian city — but this time it’s different.
Zakharchenko asked to unite DPR, LPR into “Novorossiya”, take lead. View news feed in war news for 22 November from UNIAN Information Agency
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said Moscow is closely following the situation in the parts of Ukraine’s eastern region of Luhansk that are controlled by Russia-backed separatists following rep…
So, whose little green men are they, anyway? At this point, we don’t really know. But there was a sense of deja vu in Luhansk yesterday as masked, armed men in unmarked uniforms took up positions in the center of the de facto Russian-controlled eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk. It all felt so retro — so very 2014. Except that then, the so-called “little green men” were part of a Kremlin campaign to stir up and manufacture a separatist uprising in the Donbas and undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty. Today, they appear to be a tool in a fight among the separatists themselves. Initial reports suggest that the reappearance of little green men in Luhansk is connected to a power struggle that ensued after Igor Plotnitsky, the pro-Moscow separatist leader in Luhansk, fired his police chief, Igor Kornet, earlier this week. The Russian news agency RBK is quoting an unidentified Kremlin official close to Vladislav Surkov, Russia’s point man on Ukraine policy, as saying that Moscow is displeased with Plotnitsky’s rule and is backing Kornet. But the Kremlin is denying this and — quite improbably — calling the whole thing an internal affair of the so-called “Luhansk People’s Republic.” It’s going to take a little while for the smoke to clear before we can piece together what exactly is really going on here. But one thing is clear. When you use force, deception, and subterfuge to create a fake state on somebody else’s territory — force, deception, and subterfuge will likely become the organizing principles of that fake state. A territory established by little green men is doomed to be governed by the rule of little green men.
Internal conflict in Luhansk People’s Republic is also conflict between Russian special services, – Klimkin
Turchynov: Russian occupation forces massing in Donbas due to local feuds. View news feed in war news for 24 November from UNIAN Information Agency
Article by: Vira Hyrych Soviet traits continue to dominate the consciousness of Ukrainians: antagonism towards one another, intolerance, and split moralities. In the evening of 25 October 1917, a blank shot from the forecastle gun of the Cruiser “Aurora” signaled the start of the assault on the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, which was to be the beginning of the Bolshevik Revolution. Her salvo introduced a new political class – the proletariat – to the rulers of the Russian Empire. This political movement was led by the Bolsheviks – “the Majority” – the wing of the Communist Party led by Vladimir Lenin, and its instruments were war, terror, deliberate starvation of millions, repression, and deportations. And although Bolshevism has long ago ceased to be the sole political idea in Ukraine. Consequences of that Avrora’s blank shot are still felt to this day. In 2012 the Institute of Global Politics analyzed, in a special investigation, the effects of post-Soviet life in the politics and societies of several countries which once constituted the USSR, and discovered no small number of common features. Inherent to each was a single and similar worldview, reflected in the behavior of people and which displayed itself in politics.
The General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine recorded 600 facts of torture by militants on the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk regions. This was during a briefing, said Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko , reports Espresso.TV . Speaking about the activities of law enforcement in the Donbass, he noted that the tasks of the GPU also include assessing the facts of war crimes of Russia. In particular, 20 Russian generals and admirals were accused of crimes against humanity. “We have 600 facts of torture: skin removal, scalp, castration, pouring lead into the throat, dismemberment, crucifixion, references to the minefield, what Russian terrorist forces are doing,” Lutsenko said.
At least 250 000 people were transferred from Russia to occupied Crimea
Crimean Tatar leader Dzhemilev: At least 250,000 people from Russia brought to occupied Crimea. Current news and events for 24 November from UNIAN Information Agency
U.S. National Defense Authorization Act conditions $350 million in security assistance to Ukraine on progress towards key reforms in the Ukrainian defense sector. This was stated by US Senator Rob Portman, Voice of America reports. “As Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine persists, and as it continues to utilize hybrid warfare techniques such as propaganda and disinformation, it is critical that the U.S. and NATO provide the sustained economic, political, and military support necessary to allow Ukraine to secure its democratic future. An independent Ukraine is critical not just to Eastern Europe, but it also impacts broader U.S. interests in the region and beyond,” Portman said. According to him, the bill conditions U.S. aid on progress towards key reforms including instituting civilian control of the military, cooperation and coordination with Ukrainian parliamentary efforts to exercise oversight of the Ministry of Defense and military forces, and improvements in sustainment capabilities, inventory management, and security of sensitive foreign technologies. The U.S. Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act authorizes $350 million in security assistance, including lethal and non-lethal equipment, training, and technical assistance. For the first time, it authorizes assistance to bolster Ukraine’s naval capabilities, which were severely degraded following Russia’s seizure of Crimea.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister is sure the country will receive the equipment. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin during his visit to Canada said he is sure Ukraine will get access to up-to-date defence arms, as Ukrinform reports. When asked about the possible delivery of arms from the U.S., Klimkin said he was sure Ukraine would receive more defence arms and military equipment in future, and although there wasn’t a specific date, the work is ongoing. He noted that the list includes not only anti-tank equipment, but also drones, counter-battery radars, and cyber warfare. The Minister also noted that the exchange and training are mutually beneficial as the Ukrainian soldiers are experienced in countering Russian aggression.
The Ukrainian government would like to acquire more electronic-warfare and countermeasure equipment, as well as further help with logistics and training.
Sixty-two percent of Ukrainians support Ukraine’s membership of NATO, and 57 percent want the country to join the European Union, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze has said. According to the press service of the Cabinet of Ministers, she stated this as part of a working visit to Paris during a meeting with French presidential adviser on European affairs Clement Beaune. Beaune asked about the moods of Ukrainians regarding the state’s course for European integration.
Recent sociological surveys show solid support of common Ukrainians of the country’s membership in the NATO, – Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister for EU integration
Ukraine’s Armed Forces lack artillery shells of large calibers, – Oleksandr Tuchynov, Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council. Ukraine’s Armed Forces lack artillery shells of large calibers, and defense industry companies are due to fixing that. Oleksandr Turchynov, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council said that during the exhibition of military vehicles in Kyiv. ‘Sure, we currently experience the lack of large-caliber shells. Ukroboronprom and many private defense companies are working to change the situation for the better. Several weeks ago, we tested new heavy caliber shells and now our defense enterprises are to arrange production of all kinds of shells widely used by the army. It’s a well-known fact that the Armed Forces have been using mostly Soviet-made ammunition lately. We never produced much ammunition,’ he said. Tuchynov added that next year, the country’s defense industry is going to launch the serial production of multiple missile launchers.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine are capable of deterring the militant and Russian forces and improve its position as there’s confrontation between “Luhansk People’s Republic” leaders, as Oleksandr Turchynov, Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, told journalists today. “Over 24 hours, we have five soldiers killed in actions. It’s a very serious issue for us. You know that we had a military committee, where we analyzed the situation (in the “LPR” – 112.int) and came to the conclusion that an escalation will occur due to the increase of Russian military presence in the occupied territory. But the Armed Forces of Ukraine control the situation and I am sure, that we will not only deter the provocations of the Russian military, but will improve our positions,” he said.
Ukrainian army retakes several villages at Svitlodarska Duha bulge – volunteer. View news feed in war news for 22 November from UNIAN Information Agency
24.11.17 14:33 – Krymske village defenders repulsed fierce 8-hour long attack of Russian proxies yesterday, both sides suffered losses, – ATO HQ The situation in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) zone remains tense, but controlled by the Ukrainian army. View news. The situation in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) zone remains tense, but controlled by the Ukrainian army. Censor.NET reports citing the statement by the ATO headquarters press center as of Nov. 23, 2017. “The most intense yesterday’s attack was recorded on the outskirts of Krymske village in Luhansk direction. A fierce clash which lasted about eight hours took place there. The Ukrainian soldiers eliminated four invaders and injured five more. Unfortunately four our heroes were killed, two more were injured. The Russian-terrorist forces also fired upon the ATO forces’ defenses near Krymske with 82-mm mortars and light infantry weapons. The enemy employed small arms and large-caliber machine guns against the defenders of Novooleksandrivka. The Ukrainian troops deployed near Luhanske came under a grenade launcher strike. Source: https://en.censor.net.ua/n463851
Reuters publishes photos of Travneve retaken by Ukraine’s army. View news feed in war news for 24 November from UNIAN Information Agency
Ukraine reports significant losses in heavy fighting in Luhansk sector in last day. Current news and events for 24 November from UNIAN Information Agency
Ukraine’s military says that five of its soldiers have been killed and four wounded in clashes with Russia-backed separatists in the east of the country.
Some 25 “DPR” militants detained in Donetsk region last week. View news feed in news about politics for 20 November from UNIAN Information Agency
Ukraine and pro-Russia separatists appear to be moving closer to a new round of prisoner exchanges after a flurry of comments from Kyiv, Moscow, and separatist groups.
Three Ukrainian soldiers die in non-battle incident in Donbas. View news feed in war news for 20 November from UNIAN Information Agency
“If any international mission of UN peacekeepers penetrates into “LNR-controlled” territories without our consent, our troops deployed in the Donbas will be ready to fire on them,” said the “LNR” representative in the Tripartite Contact Group Vladislav Deynega in an interview on the separatist television channel Luhansk 24.
Oleksandr Zakharchenko, the self-proclaimed leader of the Russian client statelet, the Donetsk Peoples Republic, has called for the confiscation of all agricultural food products and their being handed over to his regime, an ugly order in and of itself and especially ugly given Ukraine’s experience with the Holodomor in 1932-1933.
Oleksandr Zakharchenko, the self-proclaimed “DNR leader”, has ordered all cereals and grains, as well as all vegetables, fruits, grapes, etc. to be confiscated and transferred to the “republican state”. The text of this “Order” dated Novemeber 3, 2017 has been published on the “DNR” website.
Sweden might start training Ukrainian military, Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said in an interview with Ukrinform. "Sweden expressed its …
Air Force University head detained in embezzlement case. The Kharkiv-based university trains military pilots. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today
Ukraine will need 10-15 years to clean the territory of the Luhansk and Donetsk provinces of mines, as reported by Zerkalo Nedeli with reference …
“Minister of Defence of Ukraine approved recommendations on defence planning based on the Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces of Ukraine capabilities. This is the first ever document on defence planning based on capabilities which is prepared and approved within the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine”, Acting Secretary of State of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine Volodymyr Hovor said it during a briefing before direct government telephone line. In order to improve the environment for implementation of a new process of defence planning with the assistance of the UK experts the efforts on establishment of Defence Management School were made at the National Defence University. Mr Hovor also mentioned that in order to harmonize the National Codification System with the NATO Codification System about 5,500 items of supply have been codified under these principles this year.
President Petro Poroshenko has stated that the Ukrainian Marine Corps is capable to perform any tasks both on land and water. In a post on his Facebook page, he wrote: “The Ukrainian Marine Corps is capable to perform any tasks both on land and water. The tasks of the Naval Forces command are to complete the formation of this kind of troops – with the use of modern samples of weapons and military equipment, new forms and methods of conducting military operations”. As reported, President Petro Poroshenko during the celebrations on the occasion of the Day of the Marine Corps on November 16 said that the tank battalion of the marine corps of the Ukrainian Naval Forces will be transferred to the T-80 tanks next year as part of the general rearmament program for these troops. In addition, another battalion of marines will receive upgraded infantry fighting vehicles.
More than 2,5 thousand paratroopers were given state awards
After much experimentation and disappointing American UAVs, the Ukrainian military has a drone of their own.
General Muzenka, I know for a long time, when he was still a lieutenant colonel. He is a trained person. And you can not hang all the dogs, he – the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Do not forget that when it gives orders, it already knows that the execution of this order will be a loss and can not be avoided. This was on the program of HARD program with Vlaschenko on the ZIK channel, said the general of the Ukrainian Army, former Defense Minister of Ukraine Oleksandr Kuzmuk. The program leader noted that in recent years Ukraine has suffered a lot of tragedies, in particular, Ilovajsk and Debaltsevo. As a result, Mrs. Vlaschenko asked the guest of the program how he evaluated the actions of the head of the General Staff Victor Muzenka. “I know General Muzenka a long time ago when he was still a lieutenant colonel. And I want to say that he is a trained person. You can not hang all the dogs, he is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Do not forget that when it gives orders, it already knows that the execution of this order will be a loss and can not be avoided. He voluntarily assumes all responsibility: both moral and before the law “, – said Alexander Kuzmuk. According to the former defense minister, not every military commander is capable of taking such steps as Mugenko decided. “I know that a large group of experts worked on each issue. And call me at least one marshal in the history that, during his command, was always successful. You will not find this. And all at the expense of responsibility. But then civilians love to blame all the military. This is not correct, “Kuzmuk stressed. Therefore, regarding the tragedies in Ilovajsk and Debaltsevo, the Army General noted that this should be considered a common tragedy of Ukraine, and not to blame an individual. “This is our common trouble. We lost a lot of people, we could lose more. But you know why the Russians did not go further during the events in Ilovaysk (and they could go to Odessa)? They were scared. They were transferred, they say, in the Donbass, they are waiting for them in the Odessa region with bread and salt. But there was such a rise of patriotism that nobody in the Kremlin could fit in the head that children and elderly women would be making camouflage nets. Therefore, they were afraid. And our people have risen “, – added Alexander Kuzmuk.
People with disabilities have long been hidden away in Ukraine. But former soldiers who lost limbs in the war with Russian-backed rebels are winning medals in international sports events and giving them new status.
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko thanked the film director David Lynch for the opening of David Lynch Foundation in Ukraine. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko thanked the film director David Lynch for the opening of David Lynch Foundation in Ukraine. This Poroshenko wrote on his Facebook page. “Now this is a very urgent and important issue for Ukraine, which is going through the war and suffers from Russian aggression. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers are returning from the war and need psychological rehabilitation. People should get help in overcoming stress, because not only the military, who are directly involved in military operations, but also civilians suffer from this, “Poroshenko wrote. The David Lynch Foundation was founded in 2005. During its existence organization ” trained 100 thousand people. Lynch plans to involve millions of people with post-traumatic stress disorder. The offices of the Foundation are located in several American cities, London, and now one of them will operate in Kyiv.
Article by: Yan Osoka The pain could be relieved somewhat if he stared at the sky. It would recede deep behind the coping mechanisms of consciousness, gnawing at the spot where the bullet struck. The pain didn’t seem so daunting and consuming if he focused his gaze upon the lazy clouds. He could become nearly oblivious to the hot and sticky liquid flowing from his side. He looked to the sky: while they carried him on the stretcher, while they ran with him to the ambulance, while he could catch glimpses of little ribbons of blue and white. He looked skyward, coveting within himself what he had left of the warmth of last summer’s suntan, contrasted with the leaves cast about by the wind, the autumn colours of the poplar trees. He longed to retain his memories of summer, to remember, and remember…
21.11.17 11:43 – Ukraine’s defense minister approves new regulations for wearing military uniforms and insignia. DOCUMENT (in Ukrainian) The Minister of Defense of Ukraine approved the new rules for wearing military uniforms and new insignia in Ukrainian Armed Forces. View photo news.
Explore this photo album by Ministry of Defense of Ukraine on Flickr!
A previously unknown photo of ‘secret’ Ukrainian tank project called “Nota” has been leaked to the Russian social media. A new photo of “Nota” showed a front view of the tank at the military range near Kharkiv. This photograph became the second proof of the existence of a secret Ukrainian tank project of the late 90’s. The Object 477A or “Nota” is a Ukrainian project of a next-generation tank was developed by the Kharkiv-based Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau in the period in 1993–2000. The “Nota” is fitted with a turret mounting a 152mm 2A73 smoothbore gun fed by an automatic loader. The turret carries a total of 42 rounds of ammunition, including 10 ready-to-use ammunition in special rotary loader. The main gun allows the firing of the long-range anti-tank guided missiles. The tank also fitted with secondary weapons including a 30mm machine gun.
Ukraine’s major arms exporter Ukrspecexport, which is part of UkrOboronProm State Concern, has signed a contract with a state-run European company to supply components to T-72 tanks during 2017-2019, according to the company’s press service.
Living a new life. Ten days. This is how long I have been learning to live “a new life”, that is under the watchful eye of my guards. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today
Ukraine is marking the Day of Dignity and Freedom, a holiday commemorating the beginning of the Euromaidan protests that started in November 2013 and pushed President Viktor Yanukovych from power t…
As leaders gather for the Eastern Partnership summit, a key question is: Can Brussels put Ukraine back together?
Crisis emerged in the Belarusian-Ukrainian relations. Because, even if there are suspicions or reasonable charges of carrying out activities that are contrary to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, there are different ways of responding, including peaceful ones
Ukraine lifts moratorium on exhumation of Polish graves. A meeting of deputy prime ministers is planned. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today
The neighbors are at odds over the World War II killing of Poles in Ukraine and the exhumation of the remains
Foreign minister says policy is reaction to disrespect shown at Polish cemetery in city of Lviv, which was part of Poland before WW II
The two countries’ troubled past has come to the fore following Kyiv’s ban on the exhumation of Poles killed in Ukraine during WWII. A Ukraine official who reportedly pushed for the ban has been denied entry into Poland.
Jaroslaw Szarek, the Chairman of the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) claimed that Warsaw cannot choose the heroes for Kyiv but it also cannot keep silent on ‘the UPA crimes against the Poles in Volyn’ – 112.international
Warsaw cannot choose heroes for Kyiv but it cannot keep silent on crimes against Poles
Yushchenko: How many bandits were put behind the bars by Vaclav Havel or Aleksander Kwasniewski, or Angela Merkel?
On November 18, a Russian citizen arrived by train at the Ukrainian capital and asked for refugee status at the checkpoint "Kyiv-Passazhyrsky", …
Mikheil Saakashvili, the former governor of Ukraine’s Odesa region, told a protest rally in Kyiv that he is ready to “create a new government of Ukraine” and to become the country’s prime m…
In a new challenge to the Ukrainian leadership, opposition leader Mikhail Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia, said Monday that Ukraine needs a new Cabinet and he’s ready to lead it.
On the morning of November 16 at the Karpata resort near Mukachevo, law enforcement officers arrested Horvat Attila, alias “Doki”, who is the …
The Minister of Culture of Russia, Vladimir Medinsky, argues that the continuation of inter-museum relations with Holland is impossible if the …
Second batch of U.S. coal for DTEK arrives in Ukraine. View news feed in news about economy for 21 November from UNIAN Information Agency
Ukrainian lawmakers have voted to make December 25, celebrated as Christmas by the majority of the world’s Christians, as an official state holiday, besides January 7. This means that, starting from 2017, Ukraine will officially celebrate two Christmases. On the same day, the MPs voted to deprive May 2 of its holiday status, so Ukrainians will still have the same number of state holidays in a year – 11. Prior to that, Ukraine had an official state holiday for Christmas only on 7 January, which, despite being known as the “Orthodox Christmas,” is observed only by 56% of the world’s Orthodox Christians (and 6.6% of all Christians), who use the older calendar of Julius Caesar (also known as the Julian calendar) instead of the one developed by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 (the Gregorian calendar), used by most countries today.
Poltava burger bar wins Top 2017 European Restaurant Award. View news feed in news about social life for 18 November from UNIAN Information Agency
“Warning: some photos may be shocking.” That’s what BBC Ukraine wrote about “.RAW,” a book of documentary photography about the EuroMaidan Revolution, Crimea annexation, and the war in the eastern Ukraine. The photos featured in the book will be exhibited in the Ukrainian Museum in New York, United States, from Nov. 18 to March 25, 2018. “.RAW” focuses on volunteers, soldiers, refugees whose life was affected by war. It contains 137 pictures taken by 33 photographers. The New York exhibition will feature a share of the photos. The exhibition will open on Nov. 18. at 6:30 p.m. with a discussion with Anatolii Stepanov, co-author of the book and a photographer who has been taking pictures of war since 2014. Kostiantyn Chernickin, the Kyiv Post photographer, curated the production of the book with the Pole Zoru agency. “The name ‘.RAW’ has three meanings,” Chernickin said. “Firstly, raw means ‘in a natural state.’ Ukrainian society and army weren’t ready to the war, they were in a raw condition. Secondly, raw is a format of a photo file that was minimally processed. It’s a book of documentary photography, these photos are true.” He also said that the name is a game of words, because “raw” spells “war” backwards. “We wanted to show how the war influenced people and society, and Ukrainian army as a part of this society,” Chernickin said. Chernichkin added that the most complicating part in creating a book was going through the great amount of photos, choosing the best photos, and putting them together in a story. He said that the authors of the book went through more than 10,000 photos from 50 photographers who shoot the war in Ukraine in 2014-2016. “It was difficult to find a format and a way to organize the photos to create a story that would convey our idea: to show a person in the cycle of historical events and their role in these events,” he said. “We know that many ordinary people found the strength and courage to change the history both during the EuroMaidan and at the war.” The book was published in March, and was already presented at several European photo and book fairs and during the Invictus Games in Canada. “.RAW: Ukraine on the Front Lines” (photo exhibition). Nov. 18 – March 25, 2018. Ukrainian Museum in New York City (222 East 6th Street (bet. 2nd and
Article by: Olha Komarova Unique archaeological finds of the Kyivan Rus period are threatened with destruction. Due to construction or negligence of the authorities? The views and opinions of the concerned parties and independent observers diverge. There is reason to believe that archaeologists have found the place where Volodymyr the Great baptized Kyivan Rus, and public organizations insist on suspending all construction work. The developer, who has also invested in the excavations, says that the construction project must be continued and the law must be complied with.
Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps.
Fast, portable, and eco-friendly. Over three years ago, soups served in edible bowls could be found in corporate parties and street food festivals in Ukraine. Today, people eat them for lunch in a dozen European cities. It’s so delicious that you can even eat the plate. Most of the time, that’s only a turn of phrase. But in this cafe, those words are actually true. The soup here is served in an edible bread bowl. This trend started gaining popularity in Ukraine years ago. Now, edible soup bowls can be found in Norway, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland.
Article by: Valeriia Darynova. Graphics by Valeriia Darynova With the help of Sentinel satellite imagery, the Ukrainian media outlet Teksty.org.ua investigated how the construction of the Bridge which Russia builds to connect Crimea to Russia has changed since February 2016. The article also reminds how Stalin tried to build a similar bridge.
Ukraine official casts doubt on one of main versions of Amina Okueva’s murder. View news feed in news about social life for 20 November from UNIAN Information Agency
President Petro Poroshenko has dismissed Volodymyr Synkevych as deputy head of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine.
Russia has named a man detained at its request in Ukraine under the accusation of involvement in the assassination of an American journalist in Moscow 13 years ago.
Ukraine’s state Security Service says it detained a suspect, a Russian man, who is also wanted in other slayings; man was arrested in Kyiv
The murder of an American investigative journalist and ex-chief editor of Forbes Russia Paul Klebnikov in July 2004 remains among many unsolved contract murders of journalists in Russia. Although the General Prosecutor’s Office of Russia re-opened the investigation in 2009, no masterminds and killers have been brought to justice. It turned out that for years one of the alleged shooters of Klebnikov had been hiding in Ukraine.
Ukraine’s main security agency says it has detained two Russian citizens wanted by Interpol, including one who allegedly was involved in the assassination of American journalist Paul Klebnikov.
The project is oriented towards the revelation of corrupted officials, organized crime representatives, who are tied to the law enforcement and ruling establishments.
Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports
F-22 Raptor pilots say Russian fighters frequently fly within striking distance of coalition ground troops.
As airstrikes in Syria and Iraq begin to wind down, they are ramping up in Afghanistan and relying on precision munitions to reduce concerns about mounting civilian casualties.
Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler attacks Iran’s supreme leader, amid soaring Saudi-Iranian tensions.
Russian President Vladimir Putin held a surprise meeting with his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad, kicking off a diplomatic drive this week to outline the terms of an end to the Middle Eastern country’s bloody civil war. Putin said he’ll speak by phone with U.S. President Donald Trump later Tuesday.
After surprise talks in Sochi with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about the need to move from military operations in Syria to the search for a political so…
The shock and awe unleashed by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince has prompted concern in Iran, where speculation is mounting that the U.S. and Israel will unite with the kingdom to take the fight to its bitter regional rival.
By James M. Dorsey Emboldened by perceived White House support, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman appears to have stepped up his risky,…
Some say that President Trump’s time in power is a good time for Arabs and Israelis to set aside their differences and make peace. The peace that …
Driven by succession plans and a strategy to confront Iran’s influence in the Arab region, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) has engage…
Saudi Arabia ramped up its campaign against Iran’s growing influence in the Arab World Sunday by persuading most of the 22 member states of the Arab League to condemn Iran’s Lebanese ally, Hezbollah, as a “terrorist organization.”
The crown prince has big plans to bring back a level of tolerance to his society.
Significant progress has been made against ISIS, but the goal for the Trump administration now is to add to that accomplishment.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani declared the end of Islamic State on Tuesday while a senior military commander thanked the “thousands of martyrs” killed in operations organized by Iran to defeat the militant group in Syria and Iraq.
As Moscow slams the U.S. for what a foreign ministry spokesperson describes as American “occupation” in Syria.
Summit aims to review political progress and humanitarian aid access, Turkish source says.
A senior Russian official says Sweden and Uruguay have written a draft resolution that could lead to another vote to keep alive a United Nations investigation into who is responsible for chemical w…
The militants of the Islamic State group destroyed the T-90 main battle tank of the Syrian army and more than ten servicemen during the fighting near Abu Kamal. That was said in the report of ISIL media. ISIS on its social pages released images showing a destroyed T-90 main battle tank near west of Abu Kamal. In the photographs, released by ISIS, were a destroyed tank with a dead Syrian crew and soldiers. The Syrian armed forces do not confirm the information about the loss of the tank.
Civilians continue to die in Raqqa — the Islamic State’s now-liberated capital in Syria. The killer is the unexploded ordnance, which consist of mines and
Iranian media have reported that a commander in the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has been killed in fighting against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria.
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri arrived in France on Saturday, two weeks after his shocking resignation sparked speculation that he was being held hostage in Saudi Arabia.
A series of new court filings help explain why Turkey’s president is so angry over the prosecution of Reza Zarrab.
Turkey’s foreign minister has accused the United States of bringing what he called a “politically motivated” and “fabricated” case against a Turkish-Iranian businessman accused of helping Iran evad…
A statement from the office seemed to suggest the ban was for LGBT citizens’ own good, as the government claimed gay rights events could evoke dangerous cultural clashes.
The Iran-vs.-Saudi Arabia proxy war isn’t worth getting our military involved.
B-52s, F-22s, unmanned aircraft and Marine Corps rocket fire were involved.
The airstrikes were first use of expanded authorities in Afghanistan, top U.S. general says.
The group is infighting in the eastern province of Nangahar.
The National Commission for Human Rights in Libya (NCHRL) said Friday it was upset about the CNN report that alleged there were slave auctions working in public in some Libyan cities including Tripoli suburbs. The Libyan human rights body indicated in a statement that it was not eased by the exaggerated details in the report and the wrong information it included, such as saying that the slave markets are public in the country, remarking that such rare sights are very discrete and clandestine.
“Those responsible for these atrocities must be held accountable,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement Wednesday. Targeted sanctions against Myanmar are a possibility.
Foreign Policy Reports
Pope Francis will visit the Baltic states in 2018 as Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania mark 100 years since they gained independence from Russia, the presidents of the three countries said on November…
EU’s Tusk says alarmed that Poland’s policy resembles ‘Kremlin’s plan’ – media. View news feed in world news for 20 November from UNIAN Information Agency
European Union leaders are set to hold a meeting aimed at deepening ties with six of the EU’s eastern neighbors. The November 24 Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels is designed to bolster trade and promote European values in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. The EU is expected to sign a partnership deal Armenia. For the first time, Belarus leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka was invited, but he announced he’d skip the gathering. (AP, EU video, Reuters, RFE/RL)
BRUSSELS — The leaders of the European Union and the six Eastern Partnership countries are meeting in Brussels in an effort to deepen ties between the EU and the former Soviet republics.
It’s going to be a while before Europe’s most powerful country has a stable government – and Angela Merkel probably won’t be leading it.
The surprise pullout of the Free Democrats leaves the chancellor with few options for a government.
Exploratory talks between Germany’s conservatives, Greens and Free Democrats have failed after the latter’s withdrawal. The collapse of this coalition option was a necessity, political scientist Christian Hacke tells DW.
Germany’s blue-chip Dax index and the euro have paired early losses suffered after German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s efforts to form a coalition government failed. But political uncertainty remains.
Voters promised a virtuous revolution get coal and high prices instead.
An underwater explosion recorded hours after the last contact with the missing Argentine submarine has all but confirmed fears that the 44 crew have perished in
The Argentine navy and at least six other nations have joined in the search for an Argentine submarine that was last heard from Wednesday.
A Nasa research plane joins the search for the vessel, now missing in the Atlantic for three days.
Russian President Vladimir Putin offered the president of Argentina help in finding a submarine that disappeared in the South Atlantic a week ago with 44 crew members on board, the Russian and Arge…
By Elias Mambo Incoming President Emmerson Mnangagwa (pictured), who will be sworn in as Zimbabwe’s new leader at the National Sports Stadium in Harare replacing former president Robert Mugabe forced out on Tuesday, wants a major policy shift and a raft of reforms to revive the shrunken economy, the Zimbabwe Independent has heard. This comes as Mnangagwa’s advisors say the new president is also keen on an inclusive cabinet which may include members of the opposition and technocrats if they agree to work under his Zanu PF administration. “As part of his inclusive strategy to get the best competencies and brains in his cabinet to fix the economy, he will extend invitations to individuals from across the political divide and technocrats who wish to serve in his new government,” a Mnangagwa advisor said. “It is not going to be a coalition or an inclusive government as such, but a few individuals with technical expertise will be invited to serve in the new government.” Mnangagwa, an admirer of Chinese reformist leader Deng Xiaoping, wants to initiate economic reforms which will, among other objectives, address issues of investment, production, the ease of doing business and the controversial indigenisation policy. The new president also wants massive parastatal and civil service reforms, while also tackling corruption in government. He further wants to re-engage the international community to end Zimbabwe’s isolation and attract foreign direct investment (FDI). “There is definitely going to a major policy shift under the new administration which officially starts today,” a close Mnangagwa advisor told the Independent yesterday. “We will sit down urgently and come up with a new economic plan and reform agenda to ensure recovery, growth and sustainability.”
In the early morning on Wednesday, Nov. 15, Zimbabwe’s military directly intervened in the country’s politics in an unprecedented fashion, placing 93-year-
Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose firing as vice president was the catalyst for the army’s takeover, called on Mugabe to quit.
Zimbabwe’s president has defied calls to resign despite his own party’s threat to impeach him.
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe was expected Sunday to discuss the end of his 37-year-long rule in a meeting with army commander Constantino Chiwenga, who led a sudden military takeover of the African country’s government last week.
The military allowed him to address a university graduation, while negotiations aimed at a peaceful and face-saving exit continued.
One of the biggest selling writers in the world, Wilbur Smith in conversation with us during his Pune visit.
The news that the head of Zimbabwe’s military visited China days before it took power has sparked questions.
What is the “Gerasimov’s doctrine” and from where do they really get propaganda fakes, which our military are periodically caught by?
This is, perhaps, the best article on how to counter Russian information warfare, to date, but this subject needs to developed much further. I have a paper on the subject, which provides a good organization, guidance, and procedures we should follow to remain legal, ethical, and moral. I must work on a synopsis to publish…
Share Tweet Forward 23 November 2017 *TRENDS OF THE WEEK* Pre-emptive distortion of facts: the Eastern Partnership Summit On Friday this week the Eastern Partnership summit will take place in Brussels between the EU and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. In the build up, we have seen plenty of pre-emptive distortion concerning the…
Former staffers of the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, tasked with fighting propaganda, say that ‘administrative incompetence’ has hamstrung efforts.
Here is Russia’s latest missive to blame the West, notably Google, for protecting themselves from Russian Information Warfare. Notice the Whataboutism, saying. they certainly have all the opportunity to look at what I call propaganda from the leftist mainstream news media Or, ‘Oh, big bad CNN or big, bad, evil MSNBC’,” Malzberg said. “Russia is ‘boogeyman’ right…
Russia said that moves by Google to place articles from Russian news outlets Sputnik and Russia Today lower in search results would amount to censorship.
Imagine you could re-invent yourself. Start from the beginning, erase wrongdoings, polish your past and take credit for some good things that happened. Re-invention is usually about creating the future you want rather than erasing the history you have. That is, unless you’re in the pro-Kremlin disinformation space, where historical revisionism is a favorite tool which seems to have no boundaries. This week we saw plenty of historical re-inventions in pro-Kremlin outlets. For example, the staggering number of victims of communist regimes was dismissed as having been “pulled out of a hat”. It was also claimed that Georgia had joined Russia out of free will in 1801, although it was actually an annexation of (then) the Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti. The wording reminds us of a more recent annexation. Or how about the demand made on state-controlled Pervyi Kanal that the EU should compensate Russia for genocide during WWII since the European armies invaded USSR and killed millions of people? This both ignores the contribution of allied European forces to defeating fascism and ignores the fact that the EU was founded after WWII. Blaming Europe for atrocities did not stop there. In another show on state-controlled Rossiya 1, it was claimed that the USSR mass famine – known in Ukraine as the Holodomor – was caused by Europe. In fact, the famine was a result of Stalin’s policies, which in the case of Ukraine has been recognized as a crime against humanity in several international resolutions. We also saw some official polishing of Russia’s history, with the claim that it was Soviet soldiers who saved 50,000 Bulgarian Jews from deportation to Nazi Germany during WWII. It was actually the combined forces of the Bulgarian people, the Orthodox Church and Bulgarian leaders that saved around 50,000 Jews from Sofia from deportation to Nazi Germany.
Trove included more than 1.8 billion posts spanning eight years, many from US people.
There is not much new in this article, but it does reveal the division of labor within the Internet Research Agency, today known as Glavset. </end editorial> November 17, 2017 A former insider at Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA) has divulged details on the online troll factory’s operations, stating that he “absolutely” believes the organization is connected to the Kremlin.…
BBC has uncovered more operations by Russia’s most notorious hackers, the outfit that hacked the DNC during the election.
A Czech court has ruled that a suspected Russian hacker at the center of a tug-of-war between Washington and Moscow can be extradited to the United States.
Caitlin Johnstone Rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper. Nov 16 I’ve Been Banned From Facebook For Sharing An Article About False Flags My personal Facebook account, which has the maximum 5,000 friends and an additional 5,000+ followers, has been blocked from posting for three days. My page hasn’t been blocked yet, but we’ll see; I shared…
A senior member of the Russian Foreign Ministry just pushed a link to a conspiracy theory, which is an unbelievable stretch of the imagination. Scandal in the US: Marine Corps disembarked at the CIA headquarters Hal Turner writes, According to people living near Langley, a large Marine Corps arrived on Saturday at the headquarters of…
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By MARGARET HARDING MCGILL 11/20/2017 07:17 PM EST Updated 11/20/2017 07:58 PM EST Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai will reveal plans to his fellow commissioners on Tuesday to fully dismantle the agency’s Obama-era net neutrality regulations, people familiar with the plans said, in a major victory for the telecom industry in the long-running policy debate. The…
US Domestic Policy Reports
Holy Cats… things are moving exponentially fast now… Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is now disclosing the nature of his resignation, and why he left Lebanon to spend time in Saudi Arabia. It appears the Saudi and regional partners provided evidence that Iran and Hezbollah were planning an assassination targeting Hariri and his family. Saad…
It was a remarkable statement from a senator who enthusiastically backed Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid last year but has been deeply involved in efforts to curb sexual abuse and harassment.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said Clinton should have resigned after his affair with Monica Lewinsky. A longtime Clinton aide lashed back.
The former Democratic nominee spoke bitterly about the president during a 25th anniversary celebration of her husband’s election in Little Rock, Ark.
Nuclear expert Daniel Ellsberg on the possibility of the supreme leader’s backup “doomsday device.”
What if the general says ‘no’ to president’s nuclear order?
"We think about these things a lot. When you have this responsibility, how do you not think about it?"
The top US nuclear commander said Saturday he would push back against an order from President Donald Trump for a nuclear strike if it were “illegal.”
If you’ve seen recent headlines like “House passes nearly $700 billion defense authorization bill,” or “Massive U.S. defense bill includes a bevy of resear
The “thousand-ship navy” dream is over.
Suggests link between parasitic worms endemic to Vietnam and rare form of bile-duct cancer.