Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
Another exceptionally active week for media across Russia related topics. Again, in the political game Russia continues to do well in buying European politicians, but continues to lose ground especially in the US.
Russia / Russophone Reports:
- Excellent report by CEPA;
- Major restructure (again) of security forces in Russia;
- Multiple reports on oligarch, foreign exchange, sanctions impact – regime is loudly indulging in wishful thinking on sanctions and impact;
- Russian public will be expected to monitor all foreign nationals;
- Multiple reports on Russia’s descent into the abyss, notable is the unlawful use of a supercomputer intended to model nukes to mine bitcoins for cash;
- Three excellent photoessays;
- Much on Russian doping;
- Belarus may replace AK-74 with AR-15 variant;
- Belarus again offers Donbass peacekeepers;
Transnistria / Moldova Reports:
- AEI report on Russian options in Moldova;
- Dodon predicts civil war if Moldova seeks NATO membership or reunification with Romania (read Transnistrian Russian forces and irregulars attacking Moldova);
- Dodon asks for Ukrainian support (bizarre since Ukraine backs the Moldovan parliament, not Russia);
- Dodon attacks parliament over its criticism of Russian meddling.
- Gen Muzhenko on AFU mobility enhancements;
- Gen Zamana testifies at Yanukovich trial on the illegal order to use the military against the protesters (Zamana refused and was dismissed from his post);
Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports:
- Igor “Strelkov” Girkin states that the Assad troops annihilated by Coalition airstrikes were in fact two battalions of Russian Wagner mercenaries, cite:“…However, under the guise of the Syrians whose losses are estimated to be as many as 100 individuals, two tactical divisions of Wagner were attacked by American aircraft. One [division] was almost completely destroyed; the second was totalled. Losses, in all likelihood, are very close to this figure [100 killed]…”;
- Russians call Coalition air strikes a “crime” – Russians wiping out civilian urban areas evidently does not count;
- Israel conducts multiple airstrikes against Iranian assets in Syria, an F-16 is lost to a SAM, crew ejects over Israel;
DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports:
- USAF orders more GBU-57/B Massive Ordnance Penetrators;
- Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. nominated as Ambassador to Canberra;
Foreign Policy Reports:
- Ukraine pushes for UNSC veto rules changes;
- Fukuyama and Ilves debate;
- Multiple essays on Europe’s political metldown, and how the political Left drove the working class vote to ultra-nationalist, anti-immigrant and other toxic political players (usually funded by Russia);
- Multiple reports on Germany’s and Spain’s problems;
- Hungary to buy half of its gas from Romania, halving use of Russian gas, Russia predicts gas shortages unless Europe buys more gas (duuuh);
- Polish Holocaust denial law criticism continues, Russia effectively threatens Israel over Holodomor bill;
- Russian meddling in Latin America (excellent essay by Prof Blank);
Strategy / History / Capability Publications:
- USMC finally decides to address vulnerability to LACMs and other long range weapons;
- Fancy Bear targets US defence industry, DEPSECDEF Shanahan tells industry contracts will be contingent on cybersecurity;
- DHS briefs on Russian penetrations of state voting apparatus;
- New paper by Oxford University Computational Propaganda Project;
- Multiple reports on social media exploitation by Russia;
US Domestic Policy Reports:
- NPR media and toxic reactions by new axis of evil and PRC;
- Nuclear cruise missile to be deployed to force Russian concessions;
- Vicki Nuland on Russian meddling;
- Multiple Russia meddling and blowback reports;
- Again, Russian Foreign Ministry travel warning: US intel agencies hunting for any and all Russians abroad (is Russia telling everybody that every Russian must be a hacker, money launderer or other criminal?);
- Boris Nemtsov Plaza reports;
- Reports on defence policy;
- Menadue’s compendium of US media critiques of US policy, politics and recent history;
Russia / Russophone Reports
How the Kremlin hijacked history to survive. Are Western actions to blame for the steady deterioration in U.S.-Russia relations? While the Kremlin’s view of the West has long been hostile, the spread of “color revolutions” in the early 2000s acted as a catalyst. Fearing a similar revolution at home, Putin’s “political technologists” worried that they lacked powerful stories, symbols, and the means to mobilize youth in support of the government. The Kremlin subsequently undertook a systematic effort to transform the country’s own history into a tool of the state. The retelling of Russian history—and the revival of potent anti-Western narratives—became an important component of the regime’s survival strategy. Parts of the old propaganda state were being reborn—with significant consequences for Moscow’s relations with the West. In the first of a three-part analytical series on Russia, the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) publishes its latest brief on “Reviving the Propaganda State: How the Kremlin hijacked history to survive.” In it, author Maria Snegovaya dissects how the Kremlin reimagined Russia’s identity to support its policies both at home and abroad. It was the starting point for two of the most influential narratives in the Kremlin’s contemporary propaganda kit: the “predatory West” and the glorification of Russia’s past. Snegovaya concludes that not only is the Kremlin successfully reframing contemporary perceptions of Russia, but that its propaganda pen is not yet out of ink.
Rival security services are vying for influence amid rumors of major restructuring within the Kremlin.
President Vladimir Putin has told Russian business leaders that he believes Western countries will tire of their sanctions against Moscow “soon” and relations will improve.
The Russian Ministry of Finance continues to increase the volume of the operations to buy currency on the market after receiving additional oil …
US’ plans to sow discord between Russian authorities and business elite futile — expert
Russian oligarchs suspected of corruption will be forced to explain their wealth in Britain, The Times newspaper reported on February 3, quoting the security minister.
Wealthy Russians in Britain have written to President Putin to ask if they can return home without fear of arrest as the government tightens the screw on oligar
Feb. 05 2018 – 12:02 Internet freedom in Russia has continued its downward spiral over the past year with over 115,000 recorded cases of censorship, according to an internet and media freedom report published Monday. The report by the Agora international human rights group was published half a year before new anti-terror legislation comes into…
As the newspaper Izvestia reports, Russian citizens and companies will be required to monitor the behavior of foreign guests and partners, so …
Did the Russian liberals of the 1990s lay the groundwork for Putinism? Did a belief that democracy means keeping us democrats in power set the stage for Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian rule? In an insightful piece featured below, Igor Yakovenko makes the case that they did, primarily by drafting a constitution that vested so much formal power in the presidency. “The legal foundation of the present Putin empire was laid by people who were completely sincerely convinced that they were laying the foundations of a democratic state,” he writes. At the time, of course, Russian liberals supported a strong super-presidency because they believed the office was occupied by one of their own and because the legislature and many of the regions were dominated by retrograde forces. It was Russian liberals — and many of their Western backers — who cheered the October 1993 shelling of a hard-liner-dominated parliament as a victory for Russian democracy. Yakovenko’s piece raises compelling and disturbing questions going forward. If the Putin regime eventually falls, will this cycle repeat itself? Would a liberal leader in the Kremlin (as unlikely as that seems at the moment) again feel the need to centralize power and again lay the groundwork for yet another authoritarian regime?
Earlier this week, the Agora International Human Rights Group published a new report titled “Internet Freedom 2017: Creeping Criminalization,” where researchers Damir Gainutdinov and Pavel Chikov assessed the Russian authorities’ approach to regulating the Internet. Agora’s findings are distressing: journalists, bloggers, and online activists continue to face persecution, and the state is expanding the grounds on which it can block or ban certain content.
Entering an arms race with a weak economy. Launching foreign military adventures. Supporting anti-Western rogue regimes. Pouring massive funds into vanity projects. Exasperating conflicts with ethnic elites in non-Russian republics. Looking at Vladimir Putin’s policies, it is easy to get a sense of deja vu. It’s easy to think we are reliving the 1970s and early 1980s. As Igor Eidman writes in a piece featured below, the current Kremlin leadership appears to be repeating the exact same mistakes of the Soviet leadership. Mistakes that led to declining living standards, economic stagnation, and ultimately the decline and fall of the U.S.S.R. And that is not the only similarity. Then, as now, the West was experiencing a deep funk and there was a sense that Moscow was actually winning the Cold War. History, of course, doesn’t repeat itself. But these parallels are worth bearing in mind.
I never thought I’d say this, but I am tired of hearing about Russia.
An activist in Russia’s Tatarstan region who spent three years in prison for criticizing the Russian occupation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula says he has fled from Russia.
In Vladimir Putin’s Russia there are effectively two realities. There is the real world that everybody actually lives in. And there is the virtual reality of how Kremlin officials describe that world. One case in point would be comments Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov made this week about the recent purge of regional elites in Daghestan as part of an alleged anticorruption campaign. In Peskov’s world, this has absolutely nothing to do with politics. Instead, it is “guided by legal considerations and the inevitability of punishment for any crimes that are committed.” Shortly after Peskov spoke, opposition leader and anticorruption campaigner Aleksei Navalny released a video and report targeting Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko. WATCH Today’s Daily Vertical In the past, Navalny has released exhaustively documented reports exposing alleged corruption by a plethora of top Kremlin officials, including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Prosecutor-General Yury Chaika, and Peskov himself. Can we expect any of these people to be investigated in a world where punishment is inevitable for any crimes that are committed? Probably not, as long as none of them fall out of political favor. So back to Daghestan: What’s really going on there? I think political commentator Vitaly Portnikov pretty much gets it right in an article in Grani.ru this week. The purge in Daghestan, Portnikov writes, “is not about any desire to defeat corruption,” but instead about “a desire to transform a corrupted dominion, a state within a state, into a corrupt colony of the Kremlin.” Or, as veteran Kremlin-watcher Paul Goble elegantly put it on his blog, “to transform Daghestan from a place where the Daghestanis engage in corruption to one where the Muscovites do.”
Employees at a Russian top-secret nuclear facility have reportedly been detained after trying to use one of Russia’s most powerful supercomputers to mine Bitcoin.
Russia has arrested a group of scientists in Sarov who attempted to use a nuclear facility’s supercomputer to mine for Bitcoin.
The scientists who worked at a top-secret nuclear weapons facility were arrested by Russia’s FSB, the successor to the KGB, reports said.
Federal Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin said on Tuesday that the students who carried out attacks in January at high schools in Perm, Chelyabinsk, and Ulan-Ude had frequented “sadistic” websites “that propagate school violence,” including a website dedicated to the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in the United States that killed 15 people, including the two shooters: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.
A Russian court has sentenced a former governor of the Sakhalin Oblast to 13 years in prison after convicting him on corruption charges.
LGBT people in Crimea have told RFE/RL how life has changed since Russia annexed the peninsula from Ukraine in 2014. (RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service)
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) says nine militants linked to the Islamic State (IS) militant group have been sentenced in Ingushetia to prison terms ranging from five years to 19 years.
French film legend and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot has assailed what she called the “barbarism” of animal-cruelty and culling programs in Russian cities.
Russia’s leader lays flowers to honour 1.1m Soviet war dead in the city now called Volgograd.
Russian opposition activist Konstantin Sinitsyn has been found dead of head injuries in the entranceway to his St. Petersburg apartment building.
Galina Lobova was left at an orphanage in 1989 after Soviet doctors warned her parents that they couldn’t care for a disabled child. Now she and her husband, who also has a disability, have created the family home they never had and are busy raising their 3-year-old son. (Current Time)
Danil Cheshko, 19, is accused of beating 41-year-old Svetlana Sapogova, a mother of two, then sexually assaulting her with a stick and a car jack in a horrifying attack in Russia.
Several senior government officials in Russia’s North Caucasus region of Daghestan have been detained on financial fraud charges, the Investigative Committee says.
The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation has released images that show how Russian air defence units learn to operate Buk-M3 SAM system. The Russian air defence units from the Western Military District learn to operate Buk-M3 SAM system in Kursk region. Buk-M3 is the latest in the family of Buk air defense systems. Its parameters are unknown. Its predecessor, Buk-M2, armed with solid propellant missiles, is capable of hitting targets three to 45 kilometers away at altitudes ranging 15 meters to 25 kilometers.
Author and photographer Frederic Chaubin undertook a decadelong mission to visit and document examples of grand – but often forgotten – Soviet architecture dating from the 1970s and 1980s.
Images of Yamalo-Nenets, Russia. : Photography by Nick Mayo
Dozens of Russian athletes have lost an eleventh-hour bid to join the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejected their appeal.
The apology was issued after claims of verbal abuse about Russian doping, despite no certainty that a Canadian had been involved.
A total of 32 Russian athletes, including six-time gold medalist speed skater Viktor Ahn, have filed appeals with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) as they race to find spots at the upcoming…
The disconnect between the International Olympic Committee and the Court of Arbitration for Sports could not be better timed for Vladimir Putin. The court overturned the lifetime bans of 28 Russian athletes, who had been barred by the IOC for doping. The IOC responded by calling the ruling “extremely disappointing and surprising” — and declining to invite 15 of the athletes to participate in the Winter Games in South Korea. The Kremlin is sure to use all this to claim vindication and to portray the doping scandal as some kind of nefarious plot against Russia. And just in time for the election. On this week’s Power Vertical Briefing (featured below), we look at the early signals in Russia’s tightly choreographed presidential election campaign, which is getting underway in earnest, as well as the reactions to the doping scandal with the Winter Games about to start. So be sure to tune in…
Let athletes use performance-enhancing drugs that don’t damage their health. Putin will find other ways to embarrass himself.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) says it will not invite 15 more Russian athletes and coaches whose doping suspensions have been lifted to the Winter Olympics in South Korea.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has refused a request for 15 Russian athletes and coaches to attend the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
The head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has described a ruling by the world’s top sports court that lifts Olympic doping bans for 28 Russian athletes as “extremely disappointing and s…
Central Asia / Caucasus Reports
Your beard and pants could warrant extra police attention under proposed amendments to Kazakhstan’s law on religion.
Belarus’ state defence products exporter has unveiled AR-15 assault rifle variant for the 7,62х39 caliber which is currently used in Armed Forces of Belarus. That was reported by 42.tut.by. The Belspetsvneshtechnika has unveiled AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, chambered for the 7.62×39 mm Soviet standard round, during meeting of the board of the State Military-Industrial Committee of the Republic of Belarus. According to the 42.tut.by, Belarus’ AR-15 is equipped with a lateral impingement gas system with the removal of gases through a transverse hole in the barrel with a short stroke of the piston.
Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei stressed that “there is no place for sanctions in the international relations”
Transnistria / Moldova Reports
Given Moldova’s complicated history, divided identity, and meager defense capabilities, the country is extremely vulnerable to Russian intervention.
Moldovan President, Igor Dodon, criticized the Republic’s Parliament for adopting a declaration in which Russia is accused of interfering in the …
President of Moldova Igor Dodon believes that if his country joins NATO, it will face a war, where its people will be used as cannon fodder.
A senior Moldovan lawmaker has accused Russia of meddling in his country’s domestic politics ahead of parliamentary elections later this year.
The union of the Republic of Moldova with Romania would mean civil war, Moldovan President Igor Dodon said during the “Direct access” NTV Moldova ta…
Dodon: Much depends on Ukraine in resolving Transnistria issue. View news feed in news about politics for 07 February from UNIAN Information Agency
Moldovan President Igor Dodon has warned mayors who signed a declaration on reunification with Romania that they could face criminal charges.
The key priority of military reform and training of troops is increasing their mobility.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a decree enacting the decision of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) on additional measures to counter Russia’s information aggression.
Ukraine has submitted to the European Court of Human Rights the causes of action on two cases over the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia and the military conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Former Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Volodymyr Zamana testified as a witness in the high treason case against ex-President …
Royal Canadian Mounted Police is investigating the theft, – 112
Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports
On his VKontakte page, former DPR separatist leader Igor “Strelkov” (Girkin) has said that Russian mercenaries working for the private military …
The strike conducted by coalition forces led by the United States on the forces of Bashar al-Assad’s supporters in the province of Deir ez Zor …
The White House does not know if Russian citizens were involved in the attack on the headquarters of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) …
A clash between U.S. and Russian proxy forces underlines the precariousness of a long-term role for the U.S. in Syria.
Israel responds with a new wave of attacks on Iranian targets in Syria after the loss of its plane.
One pilot in serious condition ■ Israel attacks Syrian, Iranian targets in fresh strike ■ Rocket sirens sound throughout northern Israel
The two men, detained in Syria, belonged to a cell that beheaded American hostages.
The Taliban vehicle was speeding off having just attacked “Afghan people,” according to the Air Force. They didn’t get too far.
American airstrikes targeted training camps along the Afghanistan-China border used by the Taliban and their Chinese Uighur jihadi allies.
The man charged with carrying out the deadly truck attack in Stockholm in April 2017 was in contact with Islamic State (IS) militants in Tajikistan, a joint investigation by RFE/RL and a Swedish ne…
DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports
The improved 33,000 pound bunker busters would be a key part of any
In an exclusive interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt, Vice President Pence spoke of the administration’s strategy on North Korea, if the president would meet with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and the allegations against former White House aide Rob Porter.
China hopes both it and the United States can increase their coordination on the North Korea issue, China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi told U.S. President Donald Trump during a meeting in Washington, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in plans to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister and other senior North Korean officials.
After North Korea’s leader relayed the proposal through his sister, President Moon Jae-in said the Koreas should “create the environment to make it happen.”
Navy Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. is known for his tough stance on North Korea and Chinese military adventurism.
What a spiteful, divisive, unethical and prejudiced political force the Greens are in Australian politics.
Foreign Policy Reports
At the meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform, Ukraine said the procedure of veto has to be reformed. Reforming the UN Security Council is vital and requires, first of all, the change of the veto procedure, as Ukrainian delegation said at the informal meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform, according to the mission’s statement. “In the process of negotiations special emphasis should be paid to such issues as the veto right and working methods of the Council,” the mission noted. Apart from that, in the past two years of Ukraine’s participation in the UNSC, it noted a few “institutional shortcomings” of the Council.“Moreover, as a country under attack from its neighbour we also feel first-hand consequences of the Council’s embedded flaws,” Ukrainian mission says.
Russia, Europe moving closer to war – media. View news feed from Ukrainian Independent Information Agency UNIAN – world news for 08 February
Francis Fukuyama didn’t pronounce “the end” of Liberal Democracy last week at Stanford, but he identified its modern nemesis: Populist Nationalism (which he wrote about last year). It was one of…
Liberal values have been betrayed and we are witnessing a concerted effort to dismantle the system created after the fall of the Berlin Wall – a counter-revolution.
Ukraine diplomat says world might be witnessing “epic dusk of tough Europe”. Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe Dmytro Kuleba says that following Crimea annexation and the outbreak of the Donbas war, Europe “jumped above its head”, introducing an unprecedentedly tough sanctions policy towards Russia. He noted that this proved to be a really hard step for many European states because of their close ties with Moscow. “Ukraine should be grateful to Europe for its support at the most difficult moment of its recent history,” Kuleba told the Novoe Vremya weekly.
The refugee crisis has highlighted a strategic problem for Europe’s left: how to approach immigration and immigrant voters without driving away their working-class base.
Since the Catalan independence crisis of October 2017, Spain has experienced a resurgence of nationalism.
The EU has offered an updated and considerably more robust strategy for the region, but will it do enough to change the dynamics in the region?
Members of Germany’s far-right political party visit occupied Crimea in violation of Ukraine laws. Current news and events for 04 February from UNIAN Information Agency
“Circle day” — that’s how some Germans refer to February 5, 2018. It’s the day when the Wall has been gone for as long as it stood. DW’s Klaus Krämer shares his recollections of Germany’s division and reunification.
After protracted talks, Angela Merkel’s conservatives have made a deal with the Social Democrats over a new coalition contract in Germany. The SPD confirmed this in a message to its members, who will have the final say.
The grand coalition of the German government will continue to support Ukraine on the road to reform and the restoration of its territorial …
The coalition government of the Christian Democratic Union, the Christian Social Union and the Social Democratic Party of Germany bloc has no …
Reuters: Gazprom warns Europe of gas shortage without increased Russian imports. View news feed in news about economy for 09 February from UNIAN Information Agency
European Union and Georgian officials are set to meet in Brussels on February 5 to review the state of bilateral relations and assess the progress made in the implementation of their association ag…
A man draped in an Italian flag has shot at least six dark-skinned foreigners in a drive-by rampage in Macerata, central Italy.
Critics of policy recall Jewish refugees turned away from Western countries during the Holocaust
The Kremlin says President Vladimir Putin has spoken by phone with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss his planned visit to Russia.
A court in Paris has prolonged the pretrial detention of the Russian protest artist Pyotr Pavlensky, who was detained in October after setting fire to an entrance of the Bank of France in the Frenc…
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban says a forthcoming deal to import natural gas from Romania will mean an end to the “age or the Russian gas monopoly in Hungary.”
Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis made an emotional defense of the Greekness of Macedonia during a speech to hundreds of thousands of Greeks in Athens on Sunday.
Why are Greece and the Republic of Macedonia, locked in a name dispute for over two decades? We take a look at the issue that is preventing this young nation from joining the EU and NATO.
A Russian diplomat warned Israel about approving a proposed bill on the official recognition of the Holodomor in Ukraine as genocide, as …
When Poland’s nationalist government passed a bill last week criminalizing use of the phrase “Polish death camps” in reference to concentration camps German Nazis ran in Poland during World War II, they never expected the firestorm it would provoke in Israel and the United States. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the law as “baseless,” saying, “the Holocaust cannot be denied,” while the U.S. State Department said it undermined free speech. Pressure has mounted on Warsaw to rethink its legislation. Poland’s leaders have had to put on a brave face and bluster their way through the storm without appearing to back down. After all, the ruling Law and Justice party represents an authoritarian-minded and nationalistic right-wing electorate that will forgive anything except perceived weakness — and which does include some anti-Semites. This is why the government in Warsaw has consistently tolerated demonstrations such as last November’s Independence Day march in which far-right groups led tens of thousands of people, some carrying banners demanding a “White Europe” with “Pure Blood.” Warsaw has consistently tolerated demonstrations such as last November’s Independence Day march in which far-right groups led tens of thousands of people, some carrying banners demanding a “White Europe” with “Pure Blood.” Interior Minister Mariusz Blaszczak later described the march as a “beautiful scene” and when queried about the racist slogans told reporters he “didn’t see” them. Polish President Andrzej Duda has spent the past few weeks engaged in a balancing act to appease his hard-line base while leaving the door open in a way that has calmed official Israeli criticism for the moment. He eventually signed the controversial bill into law this week, but he simultaneously requested that the government-controlled Constitutional Tribunal review it to ensure that the law fully complies with Polish freedom of speech rights, opening the door to amendments. While the Israeli government has acknowledged this gesture, emotions continue to run high on the ground there, with dozens of Holocaust survivors protesting the signing of the bill outside the Polish embassy in Tel Aviv on Thursday, carrying signs bearing slogans such as “No law can erase history” and “Poles, we remember what you did.”
Russia’s actions in Latin America—including a recent series of economic agreements signed with Argentina (Izvestia, January 18)—are often overlooked given that Europe, Asia, the Middle East and, of course, the United States are widely understood to be much higher foreign policy priorities for Moscow. But that neglect is misconceived. While Latin America is hardly at the top of Russian geostrategic concerns, Moscow is certainly not ignoring potential opportunities there, which the Kremlin views as a way to upset Washington’s global objectives and interests. For that purpose no country is too small. Thus, last fall, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that Russia sees Surinam “as a promising partner in Latin America and the Caribbean and seeks to strengthen bilateral economic ties” (Mid.ru, October 31, 2017), a traditional entrée for Moscow into Latin America. Beyond economic relations, Lavrov equally touted the prospect that Surinam might agree with Russia on the need to use the United Nations to block the United States (though, of course, not Russia) from pursuing unilateral actions on the world stage. Moreover, he sought Surinam’s support in developing relations between Russia and multilateral organizations like the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) (Mid.ru, October 31, 2017).
Sen. Ben Cardin, who recently released a 206-page report on Russia’s foreign disinformation campaign, explains why Putin may want to interfere in Mexico’s vote.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signaled the U.S. is closer to imposing sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector, raising the pressure on President Nicolas Maduro as his talks with opposition leaders remained at an impasse.
Tillerson says U.S. may ban the import and export of oil and crude products from Venezuela to pressure President Maduro to "return to the constitution."
The United States is considering restricting imports of Venezuelan crude oil and exports of U.S. refined products to Venezuela, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Sunday, to put pressure on socialist President Nicolas Maduro to “return to the constitution.”
Strategy / History / Capability Publications
The Corps is looking for a new
The hackers known as Fancy Bear, who also intruded in the U.S. election, went after at least 87 people working on militarized drones, missiles, rockets, stealth fighter jets, cloud-computing platforms or other sensitive activities.
Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan says cyber security should be a top priority for its contractors.
A U.S. cybersecurity official said Wednesday that Russia “successfully penetrated” the voter rolls in a small number of states in 2016.
Christopher Lane Ph.D. Side Effects New research documents how social media algorithms are driving polarization. “Social media algorithms can be purposefully used to distribute polarizing political content and misinformation,” note the authors of a recent and timely study on fake news by Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project. In “Polarization, Partisanship and Junk News Consumption over…
by CYNTHIA MCFADDEN, WILLIAM M. ARKIN and KEVIN MONAHAN The U.S. official in charge of protecting American elections from hacking says the Russians successfully penetrated the voter registration rolls of several U.S. states prior to the 2016 presidential election. In an exclusive interview with NBC News, Jeanette Manfra, the head of cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security, said she…
U.S. officials have said there is no evidence that any states’ voter registration rolls were tampered with.
This article is the new standard by which other articles on information warfare will be judged. This article is being cited, already, as the ” detailed analysis of the computational propaganda campaign” on #ReleaseTheMemo. It would be good to read this entire article and consider modeling future analysis in a similar fashion. Kudos to Molly McKew. </end editorial>…
Almost nobody in the mainstream media seems to be picking up on the big picture, the most important takeaway of the Russian Information Warfare on the US and the West: Russia is consistently and constantly waging an information war against the US and the West. Russia is seeking to: Sow chaos and confusion in the…
Twitter has shut down 49 accounts linked to a Russian “troll factory”. View news feed in world news for 09 February from UNIAN Information Agency
This is a reminder that all social media is susceptible to Russian meddling. We should not stop with only holding Facebook and Twitter accountable, all social media must undergo scrutiny. Russia is using every available tool against the West, experience shows us that we should leave nothing to chance. Chinese information warfare does the same things…
Senator Mark Warner said he’s not finished pressing the technology companies whose networks were exploited by Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign and beyond.
Comedian Jim Carrey urges people to quit Facebook over Russia meddling. View news feed in world news for 07 February from UNIAN Information Agency
YouTube has a a new feature that will label certain news channels that have received funding from governments, a change that comes as social networks wrestle with how to contain the spread of misinformation online. It already looks set to be a contentious move. In a blog post Feb. 2, YouTube states it introduced the new…
Government departments should be more worried about teenage bedroom hackers than state-sponsored cyber terrorists, the Information Commissioner has warned.
History of Modern Public Diplomacy The Origins of the Founding of United States Information Agency (USIA) Monday, February 26, 2018 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm CSIS Headquarters The United States Information Agency (USIA) took the lead in the war of ideas between the United States and the Soviet Union following World War II. The Cold…
The Air Force is rolling out the next phase of its initiative that aims to protect the critical Air Force-specific missions that ensure cyber threats are thwarted.
The largest CPU bug in history caught the Defense Department by surprise. Or not.
US Domestic Policy Reports
We are pleased that Congress has been able to meet our defense spending requirement and come together on a two-year spending bill. This deal achieves our top priority: a much-needed increase in funding for our national defense. This deal also increases budget caps, ends the sequester, and provides certainty for the next two years. Defense spending will match the request made by the Pentagon, and will reflect what the President signed into law with the National Defense Authorization Act. The bottom line is that, thanks to President Trump, we can now have the strongest military we have ever had. Additionally, this deal increases the debt ceiling to March of 2019, which moves us away from crisis-to-crisis budgeting. It also ensures funding for our other critical priorities, including rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure, tackling the opioids epidemic, and taking care of our great veterans. To discuss this agreement in more depth from a military perspective, we have Secretary Mattis here with us today. Secretary Mattis will come up to make a brief statement and take a few questions on the importance of funding our armed forces, and then I will be back up after him to answer questions on news of the day. Thank you.
Last week, the Trump administration formally released its review of U.S. nuclear weapons policy—which is nearly identical to the version leaked to the Huffington Post in early January. Judging by reactions over what amounts to the longest rollout in Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) history, there is something in it for everyone. That means almost no one is happy.
GENEVA (Reuters) – North Korea may be only months away from being able to strike the United States with a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile and its atomic weapons program must be shut down, a senior U.S. disarmament official said on Tuesday. U.S. disarmament ambassador Robert Wood, addressing the U.N.-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, also warned that arsenals in China and Russia were expanding. “Russia, China and North Korea are growing their stockpiles, increasing the prominence of nuclear weapons in their security strategies, and – in some cases – pursuing the development of new nuclear capabilities to threaten other peaceful nations,” he said. North Korea “may now be only months away from the capability to strike the U.S. with nuclear-armed ballistic missiles”. (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Alison Williams)
Russia, Iran, and China have strongly criticized Washington’s newly revealed policy plan to expand U.S. nuclear weapons capabilities in order to deter other countries.
The review of US nuclear policy published on Friday has riled Russia, which viewed the document as confrontational.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has slammed a new nuclear-policy document issued by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump on February 2.
Pentagon: U.S. needs small-yield bomb to deter “one country”. View news feed in world news for 08 February from UNIAN Information Agency
A new nuclear policy issued by the Trump administration, which vows to counter a rush by the Russians to modernize their forces, is touching off a new kind of nuclear arms race.
The New START Treaty was signed in Prague on April 8, 2010 and came into force on February 5, 2011
Germany sees a threat of the new nuclear arms race, – German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel
The Su-57 could potentially supplant the Su-34 Fullback bomber—which is Russia’s current nuclear-capable strike aircraft—for intermediate range missions against heavily defended airspace.
The Pentagon wants a new nuclear-armed cruise missile. But is it just a ploy to get Russia to change its tune on an arms treaty?
The U.S. plans to use a new sea-launched nuclear missile as negotiating leverage against Russia, Pentagon chief James Mattis testified Tuesday.
The new Nuclear Posture Review nods to North Korea, China, and Iran but devotes most of its time to Russian threats and U.S. deterrence.
But don’t call the low-yield option a ‘tactical nuclear weapon’ — it’s still strategic, he says.
Defense leaders won’t completely rule out the possibility. But it’s a very, very, very remote possibility.
The Nuclear Posture Review, officially revealed Friday, does not change when a president might order a nuclear strike in response to a non-nuclear attack. But it does provide more hypotheticals about the circumstances that might force the president’s hand.
Here’s how to fix it.
No way. Here’s why.
Russian nabbed in Spain set to face hacking charges in Conn.
Former top diplomat Victoria Nuland tells the story of how she pushed the Obama administration to do more to stop Russian hacking.
Nuland: Author of Trump-Russia dossier also consulted commercial clients on Ukraine. Current news and events for 06 February from UNIAN Information Agency
The secret communications channel has opened rifts between CIA and NSA officials, some of whom fear getting damaging material on Donald Trump.
Christopher Steele struggled to navigate dual obligations — to his private clients, who were paying him to help Hillary Clinton win, and to a sense of public duty born of his previous life
After months of negotiations, the Russian insisted on including information about the president as part of a deal involving stolen hacking tools.
US Rep. Will Hurd [R-TX] has a strategy to check Russian meddling in the midterm elections later this year and the US Department of Homeland Security would have a pivotal role in that plan. “We have a model that we should be thinking about when countering disinformation, and that’s CVE: Countering Violent Extremism,” said Hurd, adding: “The Department of Homeland Security is the entity designed to do that.” Speaking at the Atlantic Council on February 6, Hurd, noting that “disinformation is part of covert action,” added, it “requires the creation of a counter-influence operation against Russia.” While covert operations fall to the US intelligence community, specifically the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Act of 1947 mandates that the CIA may not perform such operations within the United States. Considering the nature of the threat posed by disinformation, Hurd, a former CIA agent, claimed that DHS is the next best candidate in light of the department’s ongoing work to counter the spread of radical extremism. “Countering an Islamic extremism message is very similar to countering a disinformation campaign,” he said. The US intelligence community concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential elections that were won by US President Donald J. Trump. CIA Director Mike Pompeo told the BBC in a recent interview that he expects Russia will meddle in the midterm elections as well. As Moscow is unable to compete against the United States and other Western powers in conventional arenas, Russia relies on asymmetrical warfare, such as disinformation, said Hurd. The threat of Russian interference in elections is real, but there is not yet a cohesive strategy to defend against it. With US congressional elections looming later in 2018, “this is a problem we need to be prepared for,” Hurd cautioned. Until Washington is able to acknowledge the threat posed to US democracy, let alone counter it, “the Russians are winning here,” he said. According to Hurd, an effective strategy to fight disinformation requires government cooperation with the private sector. Rachel Ansley is assistant director of editorial content at the Atlantic Council.
A more applicable message than the post I previously posted, Russians penetrated U.S. voter systems, says top U.S. official. Without saying so, this is a call for action by the US government, not just Congress and/or the White House. This is a call for action at every level, by all concerned. </end editorial> BY FRANCIS X.…
The White House needs to impose the sanctions on Russia that Congress overwhelmingly passed last year to discourage that nation from meddling in U.S. elections, U.S. Rep. Fred Upton said
Russia still has counter measures it can take against the United States in a tit-for-tat sanctions battle, but is keeping its powder dry for now, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the Izvestia newspaper in an interview published on Monday.
In February, the Russian embassy in Washington DC will overlook the newly named Boris Nemtsov Plaza—a decision met with objection by the Kremlin but perhaps with time, pride.
The city council of Washington, D.C., has renamed the street where Russia’s embassy is located to honor the memory of slain Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in a move that Moscow has complai…
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday warned the United States is ill-prepared to prevent Russian interference in the upcoming midterms, as it was in the 2016 general election.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned that Russia is trying to influence the 2018 elections. In addition to sowing division in America, new data show Russia now pushing its agenda in U.S. politics.
Bush also defended DACA recipients. “America is their home,” he said.
U.S. President Donald Trump is claiming that he has been completely vindicated by a Republican-written congressional memo that alleges the FBI abused its surveillance powers during an investigation…
President Trump blocked the release of a classified Democratic memo, setting up a potential showdown with Congress over the fate of its contents.
The Nunes memo doesn’t make a big dent on public opinion.
Democratic lawmakers and several Republicans have disputed U.S. President Donald Trump’s contention that a GOP-produced classified memo on FBI surveillance powers cleared him in the Russia invest…
The Intelligence Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives has voted unanimously to release a memo authored by its Democrat members that was written in response to a similar document from Repu…
The White House says President Donald Trump has blocked the release of a memo drafted by Democrats that countered allegations by Republicans of abuse of powers related to the FBI’s Russia probe.
Several Republican lawmakers disagreed on Sunday with President Donald Trump’s assertion that a memo released last week by the House Intelligence Committee vindicated him in the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
During a speech near Cincinnati touting the new tax law, Trump slammed Democrats for not being more positive during his State of the Union. He avoided discussing the stock market as it plunged Monday.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday that Democrats need to decide if they “hate” President Trump “more than they love this country” after Trump slammed Democrats who didn’t applaud during his State of the Uni
The top Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence fell for a prank in which two comedians claimed to have compromising info on Trump.
Those fitting broad “at-risk” profiles would be targeted for continuous vetting.
If the Senate really wants the administration to engage in diplomacy, then it should try harder itself to engage in majority-rules democracy.
As many as 60 Russians are expected to attend the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, more than three times last year’s number, per Russian officials.
The conditions of detention of Russian citizen Peter Levashov, who is charged with cyber-fraud and was extradited from Spain to the US, can be …
The former Navy SEAL who claims he fired the shot that killed Osama bin Laden is blasting President Donald Trump’s desire for a military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue.
“I believe it’s a moral obligation for leaders to lay out clearly to the subordinates in the Department of Defense what it is we expect of them.” -Secretar
The Pentagon on Thursday announced a sweeping new policy meant to crackdown on everything from hazing to offensive humor to sexual harassment, nearly a year after a nude-photo scandal caused an uproar in the military community.
As Marine commandant, Krulak bucked Pentagon wisdom and rebuilt the Corps for small, messy conflicts. Now his ideas run through the National Defense …