Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Ad Hoc Media Update (27)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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While Salisbury, the Syrian CW attack, and the Telegram debacle have dominated media this week, other interesting developments took place:

  1. NATO more actively promoting Ukraine as a future member and advocating the supply of lethal aid, more on the denuclearisation of Ukraine (a blunder from a Ukrainian perspective), US Army reboots SHORADS, Russian space sector collapsing, more on Wunderwaffe;
  2. Much on Russia’s ongoing descent into the abyss, especially the social breakdown and increasing ethnic divisions;
  3. Interesting reports from Belarus, Central Asia, Moldova/Transnistria – active debate on expelling the Russian occupation force;
  4. In Ukraine intensive debate on risk of Russian invasion, and on how to reclaim Crimea and Donbass, Russians escalate Donbass fires and take larger losses at Svitlodarsk and Dokhuchaevsk, Russians flood Yunkom nuclear test site risking major contamination, Ukraine now jamming Russian propaganda in Donbass, much on defence industry – Ukraine displacing Russian in Indian market, S-300V1, Buk M1 and Tor M to be upgraded, Lutsk AB upgrades, in domestic politics biggest news is that Orthodox church has approval to separate from Russian church after centuries of subordination;
  5. Most notable M.E. news are overt public threats by Iran to attack Israel;
  6. Much on DPRK negotiations, even more on China, covering full gamut of topics;
  7. In the foreign policy domain, debate on democracy in Europe, Nordstream 2 debate intensifies, protests against Putinist Orban in Hungary, Russian meddling in Balkans;
  8. Tech reporting mostly on programs, especially AI;
  9. IW/IO/Cyber reports again dominated by Facebook and Russian hacking;
  10. US domestic debate remains unstable

NATO / EU / Russia Reports


China, Russia and Iran Are Forming an Axis of Autocracy – Bloomberg
Russia and China had a vicious split in the 1960s. Now they are in a budding bromance.
What is NATO? And what do Trump and Russia think about it?
NATO says it had one central aim: “Countering the threat posed at the time by the Soviet Union.”
UAWire – General Pavel: NATO ready to provide weapons to Ukraine
During his visit to Lviv, Czech General and Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Petr Pavel, stated that the NATO Military Committee is ready to support Ukraine and supply it with weapons, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports. During the event, Pavel stated: “The NATO Military Committee will continue to assist Ukraine and will provide the tools and actions necessary to achieve this, which may include providing weapons to Ukraine.” Approximately 40 NATO Military Committee officers arrived in Lviv for a visiting session at the Kyiv State Maritime Academy, which is named after hetman Petro Konashevich-Sahaydachniy. The meeting was attended, among others, by Alexander Hug, the first deputy chairman of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. Ukraine will be represented by Viktor Muzhenko, Chief of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
UAWire – NATO Military Committee holds a historic first meeting in Lviv
The visiting session of the NATO Military Committee at the level of military representatives was held in the Hetman Petro Sahaidachnyi National …
NATO Military Committee for the first time held field meeting in Ukraine – 112.international
For the first time in the history of Ukraine, NATO Military Committee held a meeting at the level of military representatives in the country. The head of Lviv Regional State Administration Oleh Sinyutka reported this on Facebook. “For the first time in the history of Ukraine, the visiting session of the Military Committee of NATO took place in Lviv region, and I am confident that with the support of the North Atlantic Alliance and joint efforts we will defend Ukraine’s independence and return Eastern occupied territories and Crimea,” he wrote. The meeting was held at the National Ground Forces Academy named after Hetman Petro Sahaidachny in Lviv on Wednesday, April 18.
Head of NATO Military Committee General Petr Pavel: We are heading to make Ukrainian defense forces capable and credible enough to deter any potential aggression | UNIAN
On April 18-19, the NATO Military Committee is visiting Ukraine. On the eve of the visit, its chief, four-star general Petr Pavel told UNIAN about the purpose of the visit, gave his assessment of the likelihood of the escalation in eastern Ukraine, and described how realistic it is for the Ukrainian army to start operating in line with NATO standards by 2020 Chairman of the NATO Military Committee General Petr Pavel sat down with UNIAN to explain whether it’s possible to bring Ukrainian forces to NATO standards by 2020, be granted a Membership Action Plan, whether to expect from Russia a full-scale invasion into Ukraine in the short term, and why he believes the Donbas conflict has no military solution to it.On April 18-19, the NATO Military Committee is visiting Ukraine. On the eve of the visit, its chief, four-star general Petr Pavel told UNIAN about the purpose of the visit, gave his assessment of the likelihood of the escalation in eastern Ukraine, and described how realistic it is for the Ukrainian army to start operating in line with NATO standards by 2020
Ukraine hopes for Lithuania’s support in organizing Ukraine-NATO Commission meeting at the highest level – 20.04.2018 12:21 — Ukrinform News
Ukraine hopes for Lithuania's support in organizing the meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Commission at the highest political level.
UAWire – Prime Minister of Lithuania: We must continue to supply Ukraine with lethal weapons
Saulius Skvernelis, the Prime Minister of Lithuania, stated during the Kyiv Security Forum that he is convinced of the necessity to continue  …
Interpreting the Bomb: Ownership and Deterrence in Ukraine’s Nuclear Discourse | Wilson Center
Nuclear deterrence thinking has become so entrenched in US academic and policy circles that it only seems natural that other states regard nuclear weapons in the same terms. Yet is it necessarily so? Polina Sinovets and Mariana Budjeryn examine the case of Ukraine to understand how its leaders interpreted the value of the nuclear weapons deployed on Ukrainian territory in 1990–1994. Nuclear deterrence thinking has become so entrenched in US academic and policy circles that it only seems natural that other states regard nuclear weapons in the same terms. Yet is it necessarily so? In this article, Polina Sinovets and Mariana Budjeryn examine the case of Ukraine to understand how its leaders interpreted the value of the nuclear weapons deployed on Ukrainian territory in 1990–1994. Ukraine became the host of world’s third largest nuclear arsenal following the Soviet collapse in 1991. Its pre-independence intention to rid itself of nuclear weapons soon gave way to a more nuanced nuclear stance that developed into a claim of rightful nuclear “ownership.” Western security theories and practices led US leaders to assume that Ukraine sought to keep nuclear weapons as a deterrent against the growing Russian threat. Drawing on Ukrainian and US archival sources and interviews, Sinovets and Budjeryn reconstruct Ukrainian deliberations about the meaning of their nuclear inheritance and find that deterrence thinking was conspicuously lacking. Sinovets and Budjeryn’s investigation demonstrates that deterrence thinking, far from being a “natural” or systemically determined way of regarding nuclear weapons, is a socially constructed and historically contingent set of concepts and practices. Key words: Nuclear weapons, NPT, deterrence, Ukraine, disarmament Click here to download the full paper.
Denuclearization Again? Lessons from Ukraine’s Decision to Disarm – War on the Rocks
On Dec. 25, 1991, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev announced his resignation and handed off his nuclear strike authorization unit, the so-called Cheget briefcase, to Russian President Boris Yeltsin. With this final act, the Soviet Union was no more. What remained, however, was Soviet Union’s gargantuan nuclear. On Dec. 25, 1991, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev announced his resignation and handed off his nuclear strike authorization unit, the so-called Cheget briefcase, to Russian President Boris Yeltsin. With this final act, the Soviet Union was no more. What remained, however, was Soviet Union’s gargantuan nuclear arsenal and the military-industrial complex that produced it. The problem was that now it was situated not in one, but in four sovereign states: Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine. This unprecedented development spurred fears that the biggest wave of nuclear proliferation in history was in the offing, fears that fortunately failed to materialize. Amid proliferation gloom about North Korea, Iran, and possibly Saudi Arabia, it seems fitting to recall past nonproliferation successes. Ukraine’s case is the most instructive of the Soviet nuclear inheritors. The United States and its allies formulated an expectation that only one nuclear state should emerge from the Soviet collapse, and everyone understood that state to be Russia. While Belarus and, after a short hesitation, Kazakhstan complied with this expectation, Ukraine followed a more convoluted and difficult path. Ukraine’s initial intention to become a nuclear-free state, recorded in its 1990 Declaration of Sovereignty, gave way to a more nuanced stance soon after the country became independent the following year. As a successor state of the Soviet Union, Ukraine claimed, it was the rightful owner of what amounted to the world’s third-largest nuclear arsenal deployed on its territory: 176 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) armed with 1,240 nuclear warheads and 44 strategic bombers armed with hundreds of nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. Heated internal deliberations and intense international negotiations ensued. In mid-1993 it seemed far from certain that Ukraine would agree to denuclearize. Yet by 1994, Ukraine joined the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as a non-nuclear-weapons state, proceeding to transfer all nuclear warheads to Russia and dismantle, with U.S. technical assistance, ICBMs, silos, bombers, and cruise missiles. In exchange, the young country received compensation for fissile material contained in warheads and security assurances from recognized nuclear states.
U.S. Army Rediscovers Importance Of Air Defense | Defense content from Aviation Week
U.S. Army is accelerating several programs to improve air defense of deployed forces, particularly against the growing threat from drones. After years of neglect, the U.S. Army is moving rapidly to rebuild its ability to defend deployed forces from air threats including drones. The devastating effect of Russian unmanned aircraft and rocket artillery on Ukrainian forces spotlighted a dangerous weakness in U.S. defense, and several programs are being accelerated to close the gap. The first of these is to reequip battalions with mobile short-range air defense systems (Shorad), most of which were removed from service in the early 2000s as the Army focused resources on other threats. But the service is also stepping up efforts to field new interceptor missiles and even high-energy laser weapons to counter proliferating drones. Stryker-based mobile short-range air defense by 2020 Interceptor for fixed-site counter-RAM defense by 2021 Laser weapon counter-UAS capability as early as 2023 With only a handful of Humvee-mounted Avenger mobile air-defense systems still in service, armed with Stinger heat-seeking missiles and a 0.50-caliber gun, the Army’s most urgent move is to develop and deploy the Maneuver Shorad (M-Shorad) system. This is to be a Stryker eight-wheel armor vehicle carrying a radar, Stinger and laser-guided Hellfire missiles, a gun and eventually a laser.
Air Force sets ambitious goal to procure next missile warning satellites in five years
Procurement of Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared will involve a phase of competitive prototyping.
STRATCOM head: Don’t doubt Russia’s drive to develop ‘invincible’ hypersonic missile
“You should believe Vladimir Putin about everything he said he’s working on,” said Gen. John Hyten, head of U.S. Strategic Command. COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The head of U.S. Strategic Command would not say whether the United States has seen evidence of Russia’s “invincible” hypersonic missile, but the U.S. military has observed both Russia and China operating hypersonic missiles of varied capabilities, he confirmed Tuesday. “I won’t give you any specifics about the means we use to watch that. I won’t give you any of the technical specifics about the capabilities of those missiles,” Gen. John Hyten told reporters at the Space Symposium. “But I can tell you that we have observed both Russia and China testing hypersonic capabilities.” Hyten’s comments come after Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed in March that Russia had successfully tested a new “invincible” hypersonic missile that could travel at speeds in excess of Mach 10 — twice the Mach 5 speed that qualifies an air vehicle as hypersonic — and with a range of more than 2,000 kilometers. The Kinzhal hypersonic cruise missile, which will be able to be equipped with both a nuclear and conventional warhead, can “overcome all existing and, I think, prospective anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense systems,” Putin said then.
US and Russian nuclear arsenals set to be unchecked for first time since 1972 | World news | The Guardian
Arms control experts have signed an open letter warning international constraints will expire in 2021 unless a new nuclear deal is reached
Top Russian, NATO Generals To ‘Discuss Syria, Europe’ In Baku
Valery Gerasimov, the chief of Russia’s military General Staff, and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Curtis Scaparrotti are due to meet in Azerbaijan to discuss Syria, Russian news agencies report, ci…
Top Russian, U.S. Generals Meet In Baku, Discuss NATO, Syria
Russia’s top military officer and the NATO commander discussed military activities in Europe and exchanged views on Syria during a rare face-to-face meeting in Azerbaijan, both sides have said in…
Russia’s new air-launched ballistic missile will be unveiled to public at military parade in Moscow – Defence Blog
The Russian Aerospace Forces publicly will display its new air-launched ballistic missile, called the Kinzhal, for the first time during the grand Victory Day Parade in Moscow on May 9. Russia is going to unveil its new KH-47M2 Kinzhal (Dagger) precision-guided ballistic missile launches from the MiG-31 interceptor aircraft at the vast Victory Parade on May 9 to commemorate the victory over Nazi Germany. A pair of Russia’s modified MiG-31BM supersonic interceptor aircraft with a mass-scale model of the hypersonic rocket will fly for the first time over Moscow’s Red Square during the Victory Parade on May 9, the RG.ru announced on 15 April. In an interview with a TASS on 1 March, the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Aerospace Force Colonel General Sergei Surovikin has revealed some details of the new KH-47M2 Kinzhal complex. More: Russian bombers to get longer-range hypersonic missiles According to Sergei Surovikin, the new Russian KH-47M2 Kinzhal has been developed on the basis of the upgraded Mikoyan MiG-31 aircraft. The new system designed for a strike at targets at a distance of over 2,000 km that allows manned aircraft remain at a safe distance. More: Ukraine develops hypersonic cruise missile According to Russian industry sources, the Kinzhal is based on the 9M723-1F variant of the 9M723-1 missile – as used by the 9K720 Iskander-M short-range road-mobile ballistic missile system – and modified for air-launch without major changes in its architecture. Russian Deputy Defence Minister Yuri Borisov has confirmed that Kinzhal missiles are capable of hitting both stationary and moving targets, including enemy aircraft carriers, destroyers and cruisers. The length of the KH-47M2 is about three meters, externally it is distinguished by the air intake of the ramjet air-jet engine projecting at the bottom – a similar configuration is used on the latest strategic missiles KH-101. The speed of the new missile exceeds 4 Mach. One of the carriers of the new weapon also will be the Su-57 fighter.
Kinzhal, Sarmat and combat lasers. What weapon is Putin scaring the world with? – LB.ua news portal
The announcement of a new Russian weapon, which Vladimir Putin made in his speech to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, made a lot of headlines. The world began talking about the appearance of a partner to North Korean President Kim Jong-un, who also keeps the world in suspense with nuclear weapons tests. In the case of Russia, first of all, we are talking about developments that are now at different stages of implementation: from an outline sketch to a certain “iron” form. At the same time, one thing is clear: there is no such armament on the balance of the Russian armed forces. It is not batch produced. And it will not be in the near future. But let us look at each “bayonet” more closely. Desired or real? The necessary requirement for technological breakthrough development is the availability of research and development teams with a vast decades-long experience and the material embodiment of this experience: in the form of test ranges, measuring systems and software. The USSR had these. Russia does not. It has lost the main carriers of priceless experience, people who embodied theoretical knowledge and technological skills. A 10-15-year “gap” in scientific and technological development, compared with Americans’ progress, is obvious. At the very best, Russia managed to revive old Soviet developments and somewhat cut the distance from the world military-technical leader. Given Russia’s recent failed missile launches, the idea that this country suddenly became the owner of flawlessly operating new weapons systems raises great doubts. And there is no independent information about the development of such technologies in Russia. Modern detection systems did not register any flight-design tests. So, there is still no weapons which Putin was talking about. It has not yet come into service with the Armed Forces. There are only single samples or just designs at all, including in the form of sketches.
This Is Not a Test: Operational Missile Ranges of Nuclear-Armed States – Blog
Innovations in missile systems have brought the possibility of nuclear attack to more world regions than ever before. Using data from the CSIS Missile Defense Project, we compiled a graphic to show what is currently known about the longest possible ranges of operational nuclear missiles.
Here Are All the Submarines of the Russian Navy in One Infographic
One more than the United States. 
Political Tensions Could Rob the U.S. of the Russian Rocket Engine It Desperately Needs
The United States has become increasingly reliant on the RD-180. The burgeoning private space industry might find itself caught in the middle of geopolitical tensions between the United States and Russia. Russian lawmakers have drafted a law that would ban cooperation between the two countries on building rocket engines, including sales of the crucial RD-180. The RD-180 powers the Atlas V, the launch system maintained by United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint company owned by both Lockheed Martin and Boeing. Earlier this year the company was awarded a $351 million dollar contract by the U.S Air Force for launching satellites. Derived from Soviet rocketry—RD engines, built by NPO Energomash, powered the famed Vostock and Soyuz missions—the RD-180 is living proof of Russia’s outsized power in space as opposed to the rest of its economy. In the early 90s, the United States suffered the tragedy of the Challenger and a series of Titan rocket failures. Combined with a shrinking military budget and the collapse of the Soviet Union, a deal with NPO Energomash to build rocket engines appeared to be practical, economically sound and an extension of goodwill to a new country with an established industry. The deal was signed in 1995 with the promise that American RD-180s would be built within 4 years. However, spiraling costs and production overruns kept the American engine from becoming a reality. By 2008, the Air Force and ULA agreed to end domestic production attempts. Thanks to an “unmatched combination of performance and reliability,” to quote a ULA study, NPO Energomash has become essential to American space flight.
Russia appears to have surrendered to SpaceX in the global launch market | Ars Technica
“The 4 percent stake isn’t worth the effort to try to elbow Musk and China aside.” As recently as 2013, Russia controlled about half of the global commercial launch industry with its fleet of rockets, including the Proton boosters. But technical problems with the Proton, as well as competition from SpaceX and other players, has substantially eroded the Russian share. This year, it may only have about 10 percent of the commercial satellite launch market, compared to as much as 50 percent for SpaceX. In the past, Russian space officials have talked tough about competing with SpaceX in providing low-cost, reliable service to low-Earth and geostationary orbit. For example, the Russian rocket corporation, Energia, has fast-tracked development of a new medium-class launch vehicle that it is calling Soyuz-5 to challenge SpaceX.
UAWire – Kremlin: Russia wants to borrow space technology developed by Elon Musk
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Tuesday that Russia plans to use some technical solutions developed for the aerospace industry by Canadian-American businessman Elon Musk. He stressed that the severance of cooperation with the US in space and the cessation of rocket engine deliveries to the United States, both of which the State Duma proposed within the framework of a new law on retaliatory sanctions, would be a shot in the foot. “The Americans still fly on our Soyuz ships; we still cooperate on the ISS and train crews in Star City, then prepare at Baikonur. We supply [them with] NK-33 and RD-180 engines. Could we turn around and suspend all this? We could. The only issue is that we must always weigh the pros and cons, understand what [of these changes] is pure politics, and what is economic pragmatism,” the Deputy Prime Minister said in an interview with RBC. According to Rogozin, the money received from selling to the United States H-33 engines, which are “not the newest” and which “were not even used by the USSR in the 1970s”, is put toward funding for the latest Russian space research. Thus, cooperation in this area is more beneficial to Russia than to the US. Current international contracts for the supply of RD-180 and RD-181 engines, which are produced by NPO Energomash and which in effect replaced the NK-33 after an accident in 2014, are valid through the end of 2019. In 2017, the USA tested BE-4 rocket engines, which are designed to replace the Russian RD-180 after the contract is concluded. At the same time, Rogozin stressed that Russia is not worried about losing its position in the market for commercial space launch vehicles. “To jostle with Elon Musk on the market…that is not money that we needed to earn,” he said, adding that he takes Musk very seriously. “He is a very talented engineer and a brilliant PR man. I, for example, carefully analyzed his technical solutions with our specialists. I can say that we are ashamed, but we will use something,” the Deputy Prime Minister said. As for the moon exploration program, Rogozin denied rumors about negotiations with the United States. “We do not intend to impose ourselves on the Americans,” said the Deputy Prime Minister. “We definitely will not be apprentices.” He also promised to start launching Russian space stations on the Moon as early as 2019, and to deploy work in orbit by 2024, despite Russia’s lack of modern super-heavy carriers.
Russia Is Mopping The Floor With The US In The Arctic
Embarrassing fact: The U.S. has only one aging icebreaker, while Russia has at least 46 icebreakers, and China is working on its second.
Katyn: The Massacre Stalin Tried To Blame On The Nazis
On April 13, 1943, Nazi Germany announced the discovery of a series of mass graves containing the bodies of thousands of Polish officers who had been arrested and then executed by the Soviet Army. Seventy-five years later, the Katyn massacre is still a sensitive issue between Poland and Russia.

Russia / Russophone Reports


Russia considers new ‘counter-sanctions’ against America. Watch your back, Uncle Sam. — Meduza
Lawmakers in the State Duma introduced draft legislation offering the government a series of measures it can adopt as counter-sanctions against the United States and “other foreign states.” The bill is sponsored by Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin and the leaders of all the political parties with seats in the parliament, which means it will likely be adopted without delay.
Sanctions Targeting North Korea Ripple Into Russia : Parallels : NPR
Sanctions require Russia to expel about 30,000 North Korean migrant workers. In this city in Russia’s Far East, some business owners say they will be sorely missed.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Push to Enshrine Putin Language Policy in Law Sparks Warning from Tatarstan Officials
Paul Goble Staunton, April 13 – An effort in the Duma to bring Russian law into line with Vladimir Putin’s policy announced last summer that the study of non-Russian languages must be voluntary even as that of Russian be compulsory has led the government of Tatarstan to declare that the measure is “puzzling” and has “the potential” to spark “conflicts” in the country. Liliya Galimova, a spokesperson for Kazan says that a working group in the republic government has concluded that “the exclusion of the state language from the list of obligatory subjects will lead to restrictions of the rights of citizens to study their native language” (kommersant.ru/doc/3600958 and nazaccent.ru/content/27021-tatarstan-nazval-konfliktogennym-zakon-o-dobrovolnom.html). Further, she says, Tatarstan view this as “unacceptable” and even dangerous in the context of the linguistic multiplicity of the Russian Federation. Razil Valeyev, the head of the education, culture, science and national languages committee of Tatarstan’s State Council, adds that “we had though that this issue had been settled but that again the question is being raised,” something that he says “will play a negative role in the unification of Russia’s peoples and the formation of a nation.” Valeyev’s remarks reflect the view of many that the November 2017 decision of the Russian procuracy on the study of languages was sufficient and the introduction of the new draft bill on April 10 was therefore not only unnecessary but a provocation given that Tatars and others are still protesting the decision and demanding that republic languages be compulsory. There are at least two reasons why this exchange between Kazan and the Russian Duma are important. On the one hand, this reflects a frequently observed pattern in Russian governance in which Putin announces a change in policy, the judicial system enforces it, and only then is national law brought into line with Putin’s wishes. And on the other, this Moscow action appears to confirm what many non-Russians have feared: that Moscow plans new and harsher policies against them now that the presidential election is over, including a possible move to eliminate the non-Russian republics altogether or at least further degrade their status. Tatarstan’s protest, carefully presented not by the very top officials of the republic but by lower-ranking ones and cast not as a defense of Tatar alone, is a clear warning that non-Russians are afraid of what may lie ahead and that within the hierarchies as well as in the population, there are many who will protest if the Kremlin goes ahead even if their leaders don’t do so in public. That could set the stage not only for conflicts not only between Moscow and the republics but also within the republics, a development the center may hope it can exploit but one that could make it far more difficult for the state to control the situation.
Kremlin Watch Briefing – 17 April 2018 – To Inform is to Influence
Good morning, We have recently begun gathering information about investigations into the Kremlin’s influence operations conducted by national parliaments. Thus far, we are aware of cases in the United States, United Kingdom, and Singapore. If you have information about similar initiatives, we would love to hear from you! The European Values Think-Tank enthusiastically supports investigative efforts…
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Trump Helping Putin by Making Kremlin Leader Look Restrained and Rational, Kotsyubinsky Says
Paul Goble Staunton, April 13 – At least since Donald Trump’s election as US president in November 2016, Russian assessments of him have ranged from the most positive to the most negative; but in a Facebook post today, Russian historian Daniil Kotsyubinsky says that, despite everything, Trump perhaps is ”our man” after all. “In the international competition of nuclear idiotism as before US President Donald Trump has a convincing lead,” he suggests. Given his behavior, Russian President Vladimir Putin without even trying looks “less compulsive, less unpredictable and less inconsistent;” and the Kremlin leader benefits from this comparison (blog.newsru.com/article/13apr2018/trump). As a result, “cowboy Trump” is doing what he can to help Putin even if he is not aware of that fact. But it may be, Kotsyubinsky says, that what Trump is doing is simply “gratitude for the secret support which the leader Vladimir gave cowboy Donald in the recent elections.” If that is the case, the Russian historian suggests, Trump is truly “ours.”
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Non-Russians’ Demographic Advantages Not Limited to Higher Birthrates or Lower Alcohol Consumption
Paul Goble Staunton, April 16 – Russian and Western analysts in recent decades have typically pointed to the higher birthrates and lower consumption of alcohol among non-Russian nations within the borders of the Russian Federation to explain why these peoples have increased their share of the population of the country. Earlier, these same analysts explained these increases by the dramatic reduction in infant morality among these peoples in Soviet times. But now as birthrates among the non-Russians are converging on ethnic Russian ones and alcohol consumption is rising in some of them, many commentators suggest the non-Russians won’t continue to increase their share of the population. There are two reasons why such conclusions are wrong. On the one hand, the impact of earlier growth does not stop immediately but continues over several generations. Consequently, if non-Russian women have more children than Russian women in the first generation, they will have a greater percentage increase in the second even if the birthrate converges on the Russian. And on the other, non-Russians enjoy certain other demographic advantages that reflect their often healthier style of life. Reports about two of these have just appeared. First, the health ministry has published a ranking of the regions and republics in terms of mortality (iz.ru/725368/elina-khetagurova/minzdrav-nazval-regiony-s-samoi-nizkoi-i-samoi-vysokoi-smertnostiu). The federal subjects with the highest mortality rates from all causes are all in predominantly ethnic Russian areas, while those with the lowest are all in non-Russian republics. That means that it is not only birthrates which drive changes in the demographic balance but death rates as well. And second, newly published figures concerning rates of HIV/AIDS infection show that all but one of the ten federal subjects with the highest rates are predominantly ethnic Russian oblasts and krays while most of the non-Russian republics are at the very bottom of this scale (sobkorr.ru/news/5ACFA8D21C3BF.html).
Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘An Epidemic of Murders’ – Russian Politics Increasingly Resembles a Crime Report, Kirillova Says
Paul Goble Staunton, April 18 – “The more cynically the top Russian powers that be are, the more people die at its hands,” Kseniya Kirillova says, leading to “an epidemic of murders” ranging from those that attract international attention even when the regime’s attempts fail as in the Skripal case to more obscure figures who far more often are murdered successfully. The US-based Russian journalist says that in Russia today, people are being killed “at all levels beginning from the highest and ending at the regional ones. Some of these murders undoubtedly can’t be carried out without approval ‘from on high,” while those lower down need only the backing of the regional FSB (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5AD7359ACF66A). It would be “extremely naïve,” Kirillova says, “to think that there exists one common for all ‘killer list.’ In fact, we cannot imagine how many such lists there are or may soon be compiled.” For the most prominent victims, Novichok can be employed while for those further down the scale, “illegal” drugs, a bullet or “an unexpected fall” from an upper floor. Kirillova points out that “human life in Russia is being devalued every day. In fact, how can one speak about its value in a country which threatens the entire world with nuclear weapons, advises its own population what to take with it into bomb shelters, and puts out the idea that ‘death is beautiful’?” These bitter conclusions, she says, are prompted by the death of journalist Maksim Borodin, who was the first to write about the losses of the Vagner “private” military company in Syria. “He died in a hospital without regaining consciousness after falling from the fifth floor of his own apartment building.” Kirillova says she knew Borodin for approximately ten years as a result of their work together on the Novy Region portal. When that portal split over the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Borodin continued to work in Yekaterinburg but fully supported those like Kirillova who went over to the Ukrainian outlet. “He like many other thinking people in Russia understood the disastrous nature of the annexation of Crimea and the war that has followed and tried to write the truth even in difficult Russian circumstances,” she continues. In addition to the Vagner story, “he conducted several regional investigations and as always did so without fear of raising the most dangerous themes.” Neither Kirillova nor those who knew Borodin better believe the official version that the Yekaterinburg journalist committed suicide. Such an action, she says, would not have been in character; and therefore, she concludes that he was killed by the criminal regime he so often worked to expose. It would be naïve to suggest that Putin personally has been behind each of those murdered in the regions. “However, Putin created the system in which it is easy to attack and even kill those who cause problems, and death is in its eyes a suitable solution for the problem of an ‘inconvenient’ individual.” “The contempt for human life which Putin and his entire regime show cannot but affect the entire country,” Kirillova says; “and the main targets in that country turn out to be always the best, the most honest and the most uncompromising people.” And in that sense, Putin bears responsibility for each of these tragic deaths.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Nearly 300,000 Russians have Died of AIDS and Situation is Deteriorating, Medical Expert Says
Paul Goble Staunton, April 17 – Over the past 30 years, 1,250,000 Russians have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, and about 300,000 have died, according to Academician Vadim Pokrovsky; but what is most disturbing is that their numbers continue to go up and may rise dramatically if the most advanced medications now imported from the West become unavailable. In 2016, the head of the Federal Center for Prevention and the Struggle with HIV/AIDS says, doctors identified 102,200 new cases, while in 2017, they diagnosed 104,500, an increase that reflects both better diagnostic work and the spread of the disease itself (ria.ru/society/20180417/1518771261.html). According to Pokrovsky, the average age of those infected has risen from 20 to 20 to “about 35” and spread from men to women and more often by sexual congress than by drug use as was the case earlier. The disease is spread far more by heterosexual ties than homosexual ones, he says, because only two percent of Russians are homosexuals. The disease is also differentially distributed geographically, with the Urals, Siberia and the Volga region being the leaders followed by St. Petersburg and other port cities. What is worrisome is that some of the most effective medications may no longer be imported, and if that should prove to be the case, the situation could become dire indeed. An example of the nature of that threat is provided by Tajikistan: Twenty years ago, Dushanbe decided to save money by not importing vaccines (forum-msk.org/material/news/14556201.html). Now, there is a polio epidemic in that Central Asian country, and it is spreading to Russian cities where unvaccinated Tajik migrants are coming in large numbers (nazaccent.ru/content/27039-za-god-v-rossiyu-vehalo-bolee.html). Something similar could happen with HIV/AIDS, analysts suggest, if anti-retorviral drugs are no longer readily available in Russia or its neighbors.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: No Foreign Policy Can Maintain Putin’s Standing for Much Longer, Gontmakher Says
Paul Goble Staunton, April 17 – Vladimir Putin has won support for his foreign policy successes because he has made Russians feel better about themselves, but he will not retain that support by foreign policy alone, Yevgeny Gontmakher says, and must instead address the aspirations of the Russian people for social justice. Most Russians believe “that the authorities are doing everything possible to rob the population,” the Moscow economist says; and “no one except a narrow clutch of the wealthiest is satisfied with differences in pay and family incomes” (mk.ru/social/2018/04/16/v-rossii-zabyli-pro-spravedlivost-kakie-pretenzii-predyavlyaet-naselenie-gosudarstvu.html). Russians voted for Putin because unlike the Russian government, he embodies for them “the hope for another kind of state,” one that is supportive of the population. “And it is from this that there is a precise division in public thinking between the figure of the president and the bureaucracy according to the principle of ‘the good tsar and the bad boyars.’” “This means,” Gontmakher says, “that the result Vladimir Putin obtained in the elections is not so much a recognition of his services but rather a very powerful advance given to him for the future by the majority of the electorate. Therefore, over the next six years he must devote himself to the restoration” of the popular sense that social justice has been restored.” Neither “primitive populism” nor foreign policies “of whatever kind” will achieve that, the Moscow economist says. Two other commentaries this week show what a difficult task Putin faces and also the constraints he is now operating under with regard t his foreign policy. In the first, a Moscow analyst points out that the Russian GDP according to some measures is now half of what it was in 2013 (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5AD589878A66E). And in the second, Andrey Illarionov points out that in the course of the 20th century, 33 of the 35 countries who attacked others – and the Soviet Union and Russia in every case – had economic superiority over those they attacked. If that trend continues, Russia’s choices for attack are more restricted than many think (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5AD4BFFFE74B5).
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia’s Great Misfortune: Its Rulers are Alien Occupiers rather than Representatives of the People, Kizim Says
Paul Goble Staunton, April 17 – No people is incapable of development, “but there are sick peoples who bodies are being eaten alive by parasites, microbes and worms,” Oleg Kizim says; and tragically, Russia is one of them and this mortal threat emanates from rulers who act more as occupiers than as representatives of the people. Russians have often demonstrated their capacity for hard work, courage and noble action, he says in a commentary for the Publizist portal. “But today Russians are viewed by all of humanity as angry, inadequate, aggressive, false, cowardly, and work-averse people” with whom no one wants to live (publizist.ru/blogs/107559/24558/-?utm_source=politobzor.net). Why is that? Kizim asks. “Because all of these enumerated negative qualities are characteristic of those who sit on the necks of the ethnic Russian people and the other peoples of Russia as well.” They are not the characteristics of the Russians themselves. “We are an occupied people, a captive native, an oppressed country. The people who run our state do not have any relationship to us at all. This is a separate caste which hates and despise us, which fears us much more than it fears any foreign enemies. Consequently, its members keep their money abroad … and keep their families and property there as well. These “occupiers” view Russia exclusively as “a cash cow.” “If you look at the families of our power and financial elites,” Kizim continues, “then you will see that these are representatives of a separate caste, that they from generation to generation (including during Soviet times) have not had any relation to ordinary Russian peoples. They were always a caste of the elect” who destroyed the USSR when they decided they didn’t need it. This caste and not the Russian people have all the negative qualities many ascribe to Russians as a whole and hate them for, not understanding that between Russians and those who rule them lies an enormous gap,” the commentator says. “I repeat,” Kizim concludes, “today Russia is a seriously ill country, and that is why it is such a horrific condition. Not because this is the norm of life for ethnic Russians and other nations who populate Russia but because these pathogenic microbes have transformed Russia into an unhappy being.” If Russians do not cure themselves of this infestation and occupation by expelling it and doing so quickly, the commentator says, the outcome will be “lethal.”
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia as an Empire Can’t Be a European Country but Parts of It Could Become Part of Europe, Yakovenko Says
Paul Goble Staunton, April 17 – Russian culture is very much part of European culture, Igor Yakovenko says; but “Russia cannot become a European country while maintaining itself as an empire and having a horde-style system of rule.” However once the empire disintegrates, parts of it could enter Europe and even after doing so form a new federation among themselves. Reporting on a panel about federalism and regionalism at the just-concluded Free Russian Forum in Vilnius, the Russian commentator argues that one cannot draw any line across Russia and say that one side is European and the other Asian. Yekaterinburg and Tomsk are more European, for example, than Grozny and Elista, despite being on opposite sides of the Urals. “That a large part of Russian territory is located in Asia geographically does not make Russia Asian or even a Eurasian country. Europe is part of Eurasia and the borders between Europe and Asia have been marked in different places by different people overtime” (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5AD5A2FD6E10C). Yakovenko notes that “Homer in his hymn to Apollo of Pythias called Europe only Northern Greece. That was in the eighth century before our era. From the times of Polybius and Strabon, the border of Europe was drawn along the river Don. That was how the limits of Europe were defined by the famous Flemish cartographer Mercator n the 16th century.” “The idea of drawing a Euro-Asian border to the east and having it pass along the Urals mountains belongs to [Russian statesman and ethnographer Vasily] Tatishchev in 1720,” thus creating “a geographic convention” which has lasted up to now but which says nothing about a cultural divide. Many countries and places not located west of the Urals are nonetheless European such as Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Cyprus, Yakovenko says; and many to the West such as Turkey are not European but rather something else, the most obvious case being Turkey. But in addition, there are many parts of “European Russia” that aren’t European by culture either. Thus “all these geographic borders between Europe and Asia are conditional and historically changeable,” he argues. “Russia is a European country which its authorities have made into not even an Asian country but an Aesopian one.” Parts of it have a chance to become part of Europe but not Russia in its current borders or with its current regime.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Andropov Elite was Ready to Give Up Soviet Republics, Unify Germany to Enter Europe, Kurginyan Says
Paul Goble Staunton, April 17 – Already in Andropov’s times, Sergey Kurginyan said on Vladimir Solovyev’s Russia-1 talk show yesterday, the Moscow elite – including Vladimir Putin — “dreamed about entering the West” and was ready to give up the Muslim republics to make Russia more demographically acceptable to the Europeans. “Over the course of 30 years or more,” the commentator says, “our elite wanted one thing: to enter Europe” one way or another … And it wasn’t Yeltsin or Gorbachev who started this but rather Yury Vladimirovich Andropov” who was prepared to “unify Germany” and end Soviet autarchy in order to be taken into Europe (regnum.ru/news/polit/2405166.html). By dispensing with the Muslim republics, those in Andropov’s circle believed, Russia could have real democratic elections and the kind of economy that would permit Russia to enter Europe and ultimately dominate it, the commentator says. Indeed, the gas pipeline projects of that time were part of this vision. Kurganiyan says that Vladimir Kryuchkov, who headed the KGB between 1988 and 1991 and was part of the failed coup against Gorbachev, once told his wife that he thought the other members of the Soviet leadership were going to kill him for opposing the unification of the two Germanies. He told her that he had taken that position against the others in 1979. What this means, the Russian commentator says, is that in this regard, “there is no essential differences between the course of Andropov and Gorbachev” and that “an orientation toward the West was retained by Vladimir Putin, the current president of Russia” until about 2008. In that year, Kurganyan continues, it became obvious that Europe was prepared to take in Russia only if it gave up portions of the Russian Federation itself. Faced with that demand, “the Putin elite firmly said ‘no’” first by moving against Georgia and then much harder against Ukraine. Their predecessors were prepared to try to enter Europe even at the price of the disintegration of the USSR,” he says; but the current leaders aren’t “at the price of the disintegration of Russia.” In his comments, Kurginyan does not make reference to the most obvious precedent for Andropov’s position: the one Stalin’s last secret police chief, Lavrenty Beria. He was convinced that Moscow could check NATO by agreeing to a neutralized but united Germany and by transforming the Baltic states from Soviet republics to East European-style peoples democracies.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Broad Coalition of Non-Russians Launch Internet Petition Drive Against Putin’s Language Policies
Paul Goble Staunton, April 18 – Representatives of a significant cross-section of non-Russian nations now within the borders of the Russian Federation have launched an online petition on Change.org to oppose Moscow’s plans to make the study of non-Russian languages entirely voluntary while keeping the study of Russian compulsory. Ayrat Fayzrakhmanov, a Tatar who is a member of the group behind this drive says that if the draft law making this change is adopted, “then Tatar, Yakut, Chuvash and other languages of the peoples of Russia” will be reduced to elective status, something that will threaten their survival in the future (idelreal.org/a/29174650.html). The petition, addressed to Putin personally, is available for signature at change.org/p/президент-российской-федерации-владимир-владимирович-путин-нет-закону-против-родных-языков. Among those who are behind it was Ivan Shamayev, a Sakha Republic State Assembly deputy, Ruslan Kurbanov, an orientalist from Daghestan, Aysin Ruslan, a Tatar journalist, Mark Shishkin, a regional specialist, Ayrat Fayzrakhmanov of the Platform XXI, representatives of the Chuvash Republic and representatives of the Association of Finno-Ugric Peoples. The non-Russian peoples have good reason to fear what will happen if Putin as expected gets his way. Yesterday, at the United Nations forum on indigenous peoples, Igor Barinov, head of the Federal Agency for Nationality Affairs, said native languages aren’t “a social necessity” but rather a private matter (nazaccent.ru/content/27051-glava-fadn-rasskazal-v-oon-o.html). That comment strongly suggests that if the Kremlin can push the non-Russian languages out of the schools of the non-Russian republics by making them voluntary, it will then proceed to go after non-Russian media and even the existence of the non-Russian republics themselves or even the official status of nationality as such.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia Moving Rapidly Back to Socialism with State Now Controlling More than 60 Percent of Economy
Paul Goble Staunton, April 19 – Even as the government talks about the temporary or partial nationalization of Rusal (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5AD858D2DBA7E), Dmitry Pristanskov, head of the State Property Agency, has made one of the most false declarations ever about the Russian economy, the Telegram channel SerpomPo says. According to Pristankov, almost everything that can be privatized has been and the government is prepared to continue that process to the end. But in fact, analysts say, the share of the economy controlled by the state has increased from 25 percent in 1998 to more than 60 percent now and continues to go up (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5AD859EDB1133). As a result, the analysts at SepomPo say, “in the 21st century, Russia de facto has turned back to socialism with the state dominating the economy. It may even be time to think about a new ‘voucher privatization’ given how much belongs to the state” and how the government acknowledges that scheduled privatization efforts have been put on hold. In the last year alone, they say, there hasn’t been a program of privatization but rather one of re-nationalization whatever the government says. The government has taken over three major private banks, the Magnit retail trade network, Peresvet Bank, two oil companies as well as other firms. Consequently, Pristankov’s words, undoubtedly uttered to please those above him, can be ignored as completely false. Russia is experiencing “a powerful process of the nationalism of everything.” Saying anything else is like calling black white or white black, and that is just what officials are now doing.
Russian Police Disperse Protesters Blocking Road To Garbage Dump
Activists say police have forcefully dispersed protesters who were blocking a road to a controversial garbage dump near the town of Volokolamsk, and briefly detained at least 10 of them.
Russians Protest Against Landfills In Moscow Region
Russians staged a number of protests in several cities and towns in the Moscow region over pollution from landfills.
Russian Investigative Journalist Dies After Fall From Window; Editor Rejects Suicide Claim – To Inform is to Influence
April 15, 2018 17:51 GMT RFE/RL’s Russian Service Russian investigative journalist Maksim Borodin of Yekaterinburg has died of injuries sustained on April 12 when he fell from the window of his fifth-floor apartment. Borodin, 32, died on April 15 in a hospital without recovering consciousness. Officially, his death is being considered a suicide. Polina Rumyantseva,…
#MeToo in Russia: Women protesting sexual harassment face hurdles
While allegations of workplace sexual harassment and assault swept the West, a similar movement in Russia has been slower to take off.
Siberian Indigenous Activists Flee Russia Fearing For Safety
Two prominent activists for the rights of Siberia’s indigenous peoples, Vladislav and Yana Tannagashev, have had to leave Russia fearing for their safety, the Memorial human rights center says.
Activist In Siberia Says Dacha Destroyed By Arson
The leader of a consumer-protection group in the Russian city of Novosibirsk says an arson attack has destroyed his summer house.
Siberian Court Bans Anti-Tuleyev Rally Following Deadly Mall Fire
The Kemerovo Regional Court in Siberia has overruled a lower court’s decision to allow a rally against former regional Governor Aman Tuleyev, who resigned over a deadly shopping-mall fire earlier t…
Russian Government Drafts Bill To Fight AIDS Denial
The Russian government has drafted legislation that would make it illegal to urge people not to seek treatment for AIDS or to deny the existence of HIV, the virus that causes the disease.
A death in Russia, and questions about the risks of investigative reporting – CNN
The death of a Russian investigative reporter has raised alarms about a worrying pattern: Tragic and often deadly incidents involving people who go public on sensitive issues.
Ukrainian Man Denies Sabotage Charges In Russia-Controlled Crimea
Ukrainian national Yevhen Panov pleaded not guilty to sabotage charges as a Russia-imposed court in annexed Crimea started his trial on April 16.
Two Die In Russian Navy Helicopter Crash
The Russian military says a navy helicopter has crashed during a night training flight, killing both pilots.
Russian Director Serebrennikov’s House Arrest Extended
A Moscow court has extended the house arrest of theater and film director Kirill Serebrennikov for three months, meaning he likely will not be able to attend the Cannes Film Festival next month.
Some See Gold In Investing In Chechnya, But Not Everyone Is Sold
Chechnya’s leader is touting the Russian republic as a great investment opportunity, but wealthy Chechens themselves aren’t getting in on the action.
Two Russian Officials Kept Canary Island Property Secret, And Prosecutors Backed Them Up
An RFE/RL investigation uncovers evidence that two regional Russian officials kept their Canary Island property secret, and prosecutors backed them up.
In Russia, You Don’t Have To Be A Telegram User To Be Affected By The Ban
Russia’s attempt to block Telegram has brought blowback, shutting down services ranging from online English courses, phone services, to Internet shopping.
Russian FSB Says Suspected IS Member Blows Self Up During Arrest
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) says it apprehended three suspected members of the extremist group Islamic State (IS) and that a fourth suspect blew himself up while being arrested.
Newspaper Says Russian Businessman Raped, Tortured, Killed In Jail
A Russian entrepreneur suspected of embezzling money earmarked for building military submarines was raped, tortured, and killed in pretrial detention, the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta reports.
Japan traders ask Rusal to stop shipping aluminum after U.S. sanctions – media | UNIAN
The Armed Forces of Ukraine have conducted firing drills involving BMP-1AK infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) supplied from Poland within the military and technical cooperation program between the two countries. The IFVs have minimum mileage and barrel wear, officials stress.
Russian drive to replace Western technology hits snag as turbine prototype destroyed in tests – Reuters | UNIAN
The Armed Forces of Ukraine have conducted firing drills involving BMP-1AK infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) supplied from Poland within the military and technical cooperation program between the two countries. The IFVs have minimum mileage and barrel wear, officials stress.
Three Students, Teacher Hospitalized After Teen Attacks School In Russia
Four people have been hospitalized after a knife-wielding teenage student attacked his school in Russia’s Bashkortostan region, officials and media reports say.
Event: How to Run an Independent Media Outlet in Russia – To Inform is to Influence
Despite the truism that Russia’s independent media is dead, a number of important outlets continue to provide independent news and analysis in Russia. Top owners/managers of three such outlets – Vedomosti, Republic (formerly Slon), and MediaZona – will share their secrets and discuss current developments in the Russian press. Speakers: Damian Kudriavtsev, Board of Directors, Vedomosti and The Moscow Times Maksim Kashulinsky, Editor-in-chief, Republic…
Man Accused Of Stabbing Russian Radio Journalist Goes On Trial
The trial of a man accused of stabbing an Ekho Moskvy radio journalist in the neck last year has kicked off in Moscow.
Group Of 18 Russians Found Guilty Of Hate Crimes, Including Murder
A court in St. Petersburg has found 18 Russian men and women guilty of committing 36 hate crimes, including the murder of an Uzbek man in 2013.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Five Reasons Russians Tell Chukchi Jokes
Paul Goble Staunton, April 19 – No nationality in the post-Soviet space is the subject of so many jokes as the Chukchi, a numerically small people of the north living almost as far from Moscow as one can get. Indeed, that is the usual explanation for their popularity: Few have ever met a Chukchi and thus are not at risk of offending one by telling jokes. But because such jokes are so widespread, Orynganym Tanatarova, a Chukchi writer, says, many people want to know how this situation came to be, especially since “no linguist, historian or ethnographer can say with 100-percent certainty why namely the Chukchi became the subjects” of so many jokes (russian7.ru/post/anekdoty-o-chukchakh-pochemu-v-sssr-stali-t/). She suggests there are five main theories. According to the first, ignorance about this northern people was initially so great that Russians elsewhere were prepared to believe almost anything some one told them about the Chukchi, and the anecdotes often presented them with respect or not as people fundamentally different than Russians or anyone else. The second theory involves the treatment of the Chukchis in Soviet films. In many such films, such as Vitaly Melnikov’s wildly popular ‘The Boss of Chukotka’ (1967), the Chukchis were presented as “naïve simpletons.” This led to the multiplication of stories about the Chukchis in which they were almost always presented in an unflattering way. Melnikov’s film was so over the top in this regard, Tanatarova says, that the Magadan oblast committee of the CPSU filed a public protest as did the staff of the Scientific Research Institute for the North East. Unfortunately, she continues, these objections did little to stem the tide of humor denigrating the Chukchis. The third theory is that the Chukchis liked laughing at themselves and were delighted to come up with stories that showed them to good advantage compared to others. They laughed at how they were portrayed by Melnikov because they knew how wrong he was – and their response was picked up by some others, some scholars claim. Tanatarova notes that “among the Chukchis are encountered people who live by telling jokes and funny stories” and that such people are respected by the community. Thus, “the reindeer herders like anecdotes” and soon they began sending into the Russian community stories that they had come up with on their own. The fourth theory, related to the second, is that the Chukchis believed that the real joke was on the Russians rather than on them. The people the Russians call Chukchis call themselves Luogavetlans. For them, the word “Chukchi” refers to the owners of many reindeer. In making fun of the Chukchis, the Russians are unwittingly making fun of successful people, not failures. And the fifth theory, Tanatarova says, is that the Soviet leadership encouraged the telling of such hokes both to allow Russians to let off steam in a safe way and also to encourage Russians to think that it was perfectly fine for them to take away the wealth of the Far North because the Chukchis couldn’t exploit themselves. In short, “the authorities wanted somehow to justify the colonization of the enormous territories earlier occupied by the Chukchis and the extraction of resources from their lands immemorial. Therefore,” she says, “the representatives of this people were intentionally portrayed as good people but incapable of independently organizing their lives.” Tarantarova does not offer any examples of Chukchi jokes, but those who care about such things know there are two kinds, one that makes fun of the Chukchis in an ugly, even racist way; and a second in which the Chukchis behave in a way that makes fun of the Russians or even the Soviet political system. Here is an example of the first kind: A young Chukchi comes to enroll in the Institute of Literature in Moscow. The director asks him if he has read this or that author. In every case, the Chukchi says no; and so the director says that there really isn’t a place in the institute for someone who hasn’t done any reading. The Chukchi responds that he didn’t come to become a reader but rather to become a writer. And here is an example of the second kind: A young Chukchi drives all the way across the Soviet Union, pulls into Red Square and starts to walk away. A Soviet militiaman comes up and tells him he can’t park there. The Chukchi notes that he doesn’t see any no parking signs. That leads the militiaman to explode: “But this is the center of the Soviet state, important people, even members of the Politburo go across here all the time.” That gets the Chukchi’s attention, and after a brief reflection, he responds: “Thank you officer, I did forget to lock my car.”
Gone too Tsar: the erotic period drama that has enraged Russia | Film | The Guardian
A state-funded film about tsar Nicholas II’s affair with a ballerina, Matilda was expected to be a celebration of Russian culture – but it has outraged the Orthodox church

Central Asia / Caucasus Reports


‘Organs Missing’ From Georgian Man’s Body Returned From South Ossetia
The internal organs were removed from the body of a Georgian man who died while in the custody of separatist authorities in Georgia’s breakaway South Ossetia region, prosecutors have told the family.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Global Warming Sparks New Interest in Diversion of Siberian River Water to Central Asia
Paul Goble Staunton, April 16 – The idea of diverting water from Ob to Central Asia to save the Aral Sea or meet the needs of the growing population of Central Asia has been raised and shot down several times in the last century, most recently in 2010 when Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov came out in support of the idea only to be fired shortly thereafter. But now as a result of global warming which is projected simultaneously to desiccate large portions of the countries of Central Asia and dramatically increase the flow of Siberian rivers, the idea of Siberian river diversion is experiencing a new boomlet, although the costs and political problems associated with it means it is still unlikely to happen anytime soon. In the Kazakhstan-based Central Asian Monitor, journalist Zhenikh Baykhozha says that even today advocates and opponents of Siberian river diversion begin as they did in Soviet times by talking about the annual diversion of 27.2 cubic kilometers of water from the Ob along a 2259 kilometer canal to Central Asia (camonitor.kz/30997-aral-i-voda-iz-sibiri-chego-v-etom-proekte-bolshe-ekonomiki-ili-politiki.html). At present, she says, the annual flow of the Ob is approximately 360 cubic kilometers, so that the planned diversion would amount to only 7.5 percent. But now, given global warming, the Ob’s flow is slated to increase dramatically and thus reduce the share that would have to be diverted and the impact that diversion would have on Siberia and the Arctic Ocean. But the cost of such a project both direct and indirect would still be enormous, and the political difficulties of reaching agreement among all the countries that would be involved are so large that it is difficult to imagine that as useful as such a project might be for Central Asia, it could ever be built. The most commonly used current estimate of the cost to dig the canal and build the atomic power plants to power the pumping stations has been offered by Viktor Danilov-Danilyan, the former Russian ecology minister and now director of the Moscow Institute of Water Problems. He says it would cost about 200 billion US dollars. Because he is an opponent of the project, Baykhozha says, his estimate may be an exaggeration. But most people including advocates admit that it would be enormously costly. Moreover, they say that if the Central Asians had to amortize any debt by paying higher prices for water, they might not be able to afford it, at least on their own. But given the death of the Aral Sea, the melting of the glaciers on which Central Asians have long relied for water, and the declining flows of the Amu-Darya and Syr-Darya river systems, they may not have any choice but to pay these prices or be forced to flee their homeland to get enough water to live. The project itself has one important political dimension now that it did not have in Soviet times, she continues. Fifty years ago, Moscow was able to play off the water surplus republics – Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan – against the water shortage republics – Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – to maintain its power in the region. Now, all five are independent countries; and all have both less available water and greater demands for it than they did. Consequently, it is at least possible that Moscow might see water as a weapon to restore its power of these countries and thus decide to support – or at least promise to do so – Siberian river diversion. If that were to happen, it would dramatically change the politics of the region by giving Moscow the power to turn on or off the tap, a power that none of the countries there could afford to ignore.
Tens Of Thousands Protest In Yerevan, Other Armenian Cities Against Sarkisian As New Prime Minister
Thousands of protesters gathered in the center of the Armenian capital after lawmakers elected Serzh Sarkisian prime minister, cementing his continued dominance of power.
Armenian Protest Leader Has Long Track Record Of Defiance, Civil Disobedience
An opposition lawmaker who served three years in prison for his alleged role in Armenia’s 2008 postelection demonstrations is back at it.

Belarus Reports


Belarus Moves To Tighten Control Over Online News, Social Media
The lower house of the Belarusian parliament has approved in its first reading draft amendments to the country’s media law that would tighten control over online news websites and social-media ne…
‘Nastya Rybka,’ Self-Styled Russian Sex Guru Appear At Thai Court
A court in Thailand has acquitted a self-styled Russian sex guru and a Belarusian model who claims to have evidence of Moscow’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on charges of vio…
EU Lawmakers Deplore Harassment Of Independent Belarusian Media
The European Parliament has overwhelmingly approved a resolution deploring the harassment of independent media before and after the February 2018 local elections in Belarus.
Bugs For Dinner In Belarus
This Belarusian entrepreneur hopes that eating crickets will be the next food fad — and make him rich.

Transnistria / Moldova Reports


Russia will not go on withdrawal of the “peacekeeping mission” in Transnistria – Russia not going to withdraw its troops from Transnistria – 112.international
Chisinau wants to negotiate with Kyiv on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Transnistria through the corridor on the territory of Ukraine. Russia will not go on withdrawal of the “peacekeeping mission” in Transnistria. This was stated on his Facebook page by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. “We will not allow the degradation of the status of Transnistria, where our compatriots and fellow citizens live, and we will not go on withdrawal of our peacekeeping mission,” Rogozin wrote. He said that the Russian Federation is in constant contact with the president, the government and the Supreme Council of Transnistria. “We are looking for and finding solutions to all the complex problems that Chisinau and the West are creating to toughen the blockade of this unrecognized Republic,” the Deputy Prime Minister stressed. We recall, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko declared his readiness to contribute to the restoration of the territorial integrity of Moldova. Ukraine stands for a peaceful settlement of the Transnistrian conflict through negotiations on the basis of the territorial integrity of Moldova. Transnistria proclaimed independence from Moldova in 1990. Its independence to date is nly partially recognized by the republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as well as by the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
UAWire – Kyiv: Ukraine ready to provide corridor for withdrawal of Russian troops from Transnistria
Ukraine is ready to provide Russian troops with a corridor for withdrawing from Transnistria, the special representative for the Transdniestrian settlement, Viktor Kryzhanovskiy stated. The diplomat said that Kyiv will provide Russian troops with a corridor immediately, as soon as the Russians are ready to begin the withdrawal process. “Our position is unchanged. We will provide the territory. We will ensure the unhindered and safe withdrawal of Russian troops and ammunition from the territory of Transnistria as soon as Russia begins to do so or when it at least expresses readiness,” he said. At the same time, Kryzhanovskiy said that at the moment, Russia is not demonstrating readiness to withdraw its troops. “Literally yesterday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Rogozin wrote that they would not do this because this could destabilize the situation. Politicians in the Russian State Duma say that the situation in Ukraine is unstable and how can ammunition be transported through such a territory?” the special representative of Ukraine said. According to the ambassador of Moldova to Ukraine, Ruslan Bolbochan, Chisinau insists on the prompt withdrawal of Russian troops. “We are concerned about the military exercises held on the territory of Transnistria. We are talking about this at various international platforms. According to some reports, last year there were about 300 such exercises. This worries us,” the Moldovan diplomat said. The last time, the issue of the withdrawal of Russian troops from Transnistria was raised on the initiative of the Prime Minister of Moldova. President Igor Dodon did not approve of the move. The issue was scheduled for discussion at the United Nations In September 2017 but was forestalled. As early as the year before, Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak already spoke of the readiness to provide a corridor for the withdrawal of the occupation forces.
Ukraine ready to provide Russia with corridor for withdrawal of troops from Transnistria | UNIAN
Ukraine’s Special Representative for Transnistrian Settlement Viktor Kryzhanivsky says Ukraine is ready to provide its territory for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Transnistria, while the Russian Federation is showing no willingness to withdraw its forces from the region. A Ukrainian diplomat pointed out at the lack of steps toward a political settlement around Transnistria.
Dangers of Russia withdrawal corridor from Transnistria via Ukraine | UNIAN
This question is still far from being resolved, and Russia’s consent at the moment is not a fait accompli. The talks between Moldova and Russia on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Transnistria have been ongoing for years. Russia has even given an obligation to withdraw its forces from Moldova, which Moscow has so far failed to fulfill. According to Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Philip, Moldova seeks to negotiate with Kyiv a corridor via its territory for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Transnistria. He also recalled that at this year’s Munich Security Forum there was a discussion on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Moldova, where a Russian official explained that there is a problem with the withdrawal of weapons via Ukraine due to the difficult situation in Donbas. This question is still far from being resolved, and Russia’s consent at the moment is not a fait accompli. The talks between Moldova and Russia on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Transnistria have been ongoing for years. Russia has even given an obligation to withdraw its forces from Moldova, which Moscow has so far failed to fulfill.
Transnistrian “instructors” who helped Donbas militants detained in Moldova | UNIAN
Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova to Ukraine Ruslan Bolbochan states that “instructors” from the unrecognized Transnistria who collaborated with Russian-backed militants in Donbas have been detained in Moldova, thanks to cooperation and information exchange between Ukrainian and Moldovan security officials. The diplomat refused to specify the number of Transnistrian mercenaries detained.
UAWire – Ukraine and Moldova sign an agreement on air traffic
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine signed an agreement on air traffic with the government of Moldova, Ukraine Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman …

Ukraine Reports


UAWire – Kyiv: Ukraine is preparing for the worst-case scenario in the Donbas
There is a fairly high probability that Russia will strike Ukraine due to recent events in Syria, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Vasyl Bodnar told Ukrinform news agency. “Nobody can say with absolute certainty what Russia’s reactions will be to the actions of the Western allies in Syria since no one knows what is in Mr. Putin’s head. But we must prepare for the worst. Last week [April 13], my Slovak colleague [Slovakian Foreign Ministry Secretary Lukáš Parízek] and I were in the east, and we saw that our military was preparing for defensive actions and for the worst-case scenario,” Bodnar said. He said that Ukrainian diplomats are now working to shift the focus of the world’s attention from the events in Syria to Ukraine in the sense that another strike by Russia is also possible in the Donbas, which will have to be fended off by the whole world. “Ukraine will deflect it physically, and the entire civilized West will do it politically and organize world opposition against the aggressor,” the Deputy Minister said. On the night of April 14, the United States, United Kingdom and France conducted air strikes against Syria in response to a chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma.
Ukrainian Foreign Ministry preparing for worst-case scenario in Donbas – 16.04.2018 15:40 — Ukrinform News
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry highly assesses the likelihood of Russia&rsquo;s attacks on Ukraine against the backdrop of recent events in Syria, and it is working on the preparation of the world to counter a possible Russian aggression in the east of the country.
UAWire – Kyiv: Russia plans large-scale invasion of Ukraine in fall
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has information on Russia's plans to foster preconditions for the deployment of Russian troops into …
Russia to create preconditions for deployment of its troops in Ukraine this autumn, – SBU – 112.international
The workers of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) succeeded to get the information about Russia’s plans to create the preconditions for the large-scale deployment of its troops in Ukraine in autumn 2018. Viktor Kononenko, the Deputy Head of the SBU claimed this Interfax-Ukraine reported. As he reported, it was established that the group of people closed to Russian President Vladimir Putin is engaged with the creation of the preconditions for the deployment of its troops in Ukraine. The main reason will be the defense of the Russian-speaking population.
Putin might hit on brake or raise stakes dramatically in Donbas – Avakov | UNIAN
Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov says the whole world has been convinced that the Putin regime is a dangerous anomaly on the other side of civilizational values, therefore the Russian leader will hit on brakes brake of raise the stakes once more pressure is imposed on Russia. The minister is confident that the pressure on Russia will increase sharply, which will also affect Ukraine.
Expert assesses threat of full-scale offensive by Putin’s troops in Donbas | UNIAN
Director of Military Programs at Razumkov Center Mykola Sunhurovskyi suggests Russian President Vladimir Putin is unlikely to launch a full-scale offensive in Donbas. Ukraine’s Armed Forces are already superior to those of Russian proxies in Donbas. Director of Military Programs at Razumkov Center Mykola Sunhurovskyi suggests Russian President Vladimir Putin is unlikely to launch a full-scale offensive in Donbas. “The offensive by forces of the two groupings [the so-called ‘army corps of self-proclaimed Donetsk and that of the Luhansk People’s Republics] in Donbas will not have a significant effect. Ukraine already has Armed Forces that are superior to those [of militants] deployed in Donbas,” the expert told Apostrophe, a Ukrainian news outlet. If Moscow decides to use artillery, missile formations and regular air forces, it will then admit to an open participation in the conflict, which will lead to the recognition of Russia as a warring party, which will deprive Moscow of its veto rite in the UN Security Council. “Putin is unlikely to do this if he can think several moves ahead, since after that nobody will ask him: ‘Are peacekeeping forces needed there?’, ‘What should be the composition of these peacekeeping forces?’ The country involved in the conflict does not participate in voting on such issues,” the expert concluded. Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, General Petr Pavel, earlier said it’s unlikely that the conflict in Donbas would escalate into a full-scale aggression on the part of Russia.
Regaining by force or abandoning Donbas: Experts name four scenarios for east Ukraine developments | UNIAN
Neither war nor peace; return by peaceful means; return by force; and the abandonment of the occupied territories – these are the key options for Donbas developments for the coming years. According to experts, the current situation being preserved until 2020 would be the most sustainable scenario.
UAWire – Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs: military confrontation between Ukraine and Russian will be catastrophic for both sides
Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov said in an interview with Ukrayinska Pravda online on Monday that Ukrainian armed forces would incur enormous losses in a military confrontation with Russia. According to him, if Russia decides to undertake a military operation in the Donbas, losses can be catastrophic for both sides. At the same time, Avakov recognized that neighboring countries have different balance of forces. “Yes, we also have new missiles and many other things. However, it will be a very hard confrontation. But we should know and take into account that it is possible,” the Minister said. According to him, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that the introduction of a peacekeeping mission in the Donbas is important to the implementation of peaceful development. Since April 2014, Ukraine has been conducting a military operation against the self-proclaimed Republics of the Donbas that claimed their independence after a coup d’état. According to the UN, over ten thousand people became victims of the conflict with more than 2,700 civilians among them. About 24,000 were injured. Kyiv constantly accuses Moscow of interfering in the conflict in the Donbas. Russia denies these accusations, stressing that it is not a party to the conflict and that it supports a rapid and peaceful settlement.
Tuka comments on interior minister’s plan for Donbas de-occupation | UNIAN
Ukrainian Deputy Minister for temporarily occupied territories and internally displaced persons George Tuka has commented on the opinion expressed by Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov that de-occupation of certain areas in Donetsk and Luhansk regions should be made in stages. Avakov earlier said he had a plan for the return of the occupied Donbas to Ukraine he called “tactic of small steps, which everyone applauds.” Ukrainian Deputy Minister for temporarily occupied territories and internally displaced persons George Tuka has commented on the opinion expressed by Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov that de-occupation of certain areas in Donetsk and Luhansk regions should be made in stages. “When Arsen Avakov named specific settlements or areas [Ukraine forces will be liberating first], it is supposed he had used as nothing but an example,” Tuka told Hromadske Radio on April 18. “[Donbas] is actually a huge conglomeration, where quite often one settlement is separated from another only by road signs. Sometimes two or three settlements are perceived as one. If we’re talking about the town mentioned by Arsen Borysovych [Avakov], namely Horlivka, it flows into Yenakiieve. I think that this was just an example. In terms of implementation, it is virtually impossible to take Horlivka under control, leaving Yenakiieve uncontrolled,” the official said. In his opinion, the idea may be elaborated to separate occupied territories into several areas, for example, six to eight, taking them under control gradually, not just particular settlements. “But at the same time one must understand that under any circumstances such actions will require the good will on the part of the Russian Federation,” Tuka added. He also said he opposed Avakov’s proposal that Ukraine adopt a law on collaboration and collaborationists, which would define the measure of responsibility for such collaboration with the aggressors. “Given that the law will first of all refer to those people now living in the occupied territory, in my opinion, it is better to give them a positive message rather than negative one. It’s worth talking about forgiveness,” he added. As UNIAN reported earlier, Avakov said he had a plan for the return of the occupied territory of Donbas to Ukraine, titled “tactics of small steps, which everyone applauds.”
British political scientist: Change of elites in Russia needed to solve Crimea problem – 16.04.2018 17:14 — Ukrinform News
The settlement of the situation in Crimea requires a real change of the elites in the Russian Federation.
Gerashchenko, Herbst discuss prospects for peacekeeping mission in Donbas. Photos – 20.04.2018 10:58 — Ukrinform News
First Vice Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Iryna Gerashchenko and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst exchanged views on the prospects and concept of the peacekeeping mission in Donbas within the framework of the informal parliamentary Minsk platform.
Deoccupation of Crimea, Donbas to be discussed at G7 Foreign Ministers meeting – 112.international
Deoccupation of Crimea, Donbas to be discussed at G7 Foreign Ministers meeting
Klimkin in Toronto to discuss reforms in Ukraine, situation in Crimea and Donbas – 20.04.2018 15:25 — Ukrinform News
Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin has left for Toronto, Canada, to meet with the foreign ministers of the G7 countries.


A Farewell to ATO: Ukraine Shifts Command of Forces Serving Around Temporarily Occupied Territories – 112.international
Additional powers have been granted to personnel under JOHAF command regarding their interactions with the civilian population. Always a misnomer, albeit a deliberate one, Ukraine’s “Anti-Terrorist Operation”(ATO) in and surrounding the temporarily occupied territories of Luhansk and Donetsk is slated to come to an end as of April 30, 2018, some four years after it began. The ATO will cease both on paper and with regard to the current internal Ukrainian military command-and-control mechanisms. This anticipated change in command and control was announced by President Petro Poroshenko on April 13 (Interfax, April 13). Previously, the ATO was officially under the command and control of the State Security Service (SSU), the internal agency charged with anti-terrorism and counter-intelligence. Clearly, the conflict in eastern Ukraine is far more than a terrorist insurgency; and just as clearly, the SSU is not necessarily the correct agency to be officially commanding what is, in reality, a conventional, yet contained, military conflict marked by (en)trenched warfare and the heavy use of armor and artillery. Recognition of this fact was codified via urgent draft legislation submitted to the Verkhovna Rada (national parliament) by President Poroshenko on October 4, 2017, and which subsequently became law on February 21, 2018 (Rada.gov.ua, accessed April 16). The new law, effective the day after it was published in February, de jure ended the ATO. The command and control of the operation, however—due to be transferred to the Joint Operational Headquarters of the Armed Forces (JOHAF)—has in practice not yet occurred. Indeed it was not until March 16 that Poroshenko appointed Lieutenant General Sergei Naev as commander of the Joint Operational Headquarters—a new commander for an entirely new command-and-control structure (Interfax, March 16). Lieutenant General Naev previously held the position of deputy chief of staff of the Armed Forces and first deputy commander of the Land Forces. In announcing Naev’s new appointment, President Poroshenko stated, “On my initiative, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a law on the reintegration of Donbas, which created a new legal basis for repelling enemy aggression in Donbas, and, in the long term, for restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity. The format of the anti-terrorist operation will be changed to the operation of the Joint Forces. The Supreme Armed Forces and other military formations and law enforcement bodies will answer to the commander of the Joint Forces. I decided to appoint Lieutenant General Sergei Naev to this post” (Interfax, March 16).
Poroshenko tells about ‘vaccine’ against Russian propaganda in occupied territories – 19.04.2018 17:11 — Ukrinform News
Ukraine has developed a system for counteracting the anti-Ukrainian broadcasting in the occupied territories. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said this at the meeting on the counteraction to the information aggression of the Russian Federation, an Ukrinform correspondent reports. “On my instruction, the National Security and Defense Council, under the coordination of the Secretary of the Council and with the active participation of the Information Policy Ministry, the National Security Committee of the Verkhovna Rada and the regulator, the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council, has developed and implemented the system of counteraction to the anti-Ukrainian broadcasting in the area of anti-terrorist operation,” the Head of State said. He specified that the goal was not just to develop the system of counteraction to the Russian-language and anti-Ukrainian broadcasting, but “to convey the signal of the Ukrainian mass media, which today can be considered as the vaccine against Russian propaganda.”
System to counter anti-Ukrainian broadcasting launched in Donbas – LB.ua news portal
System to counter anti-Ukrainian broadcasting launched in Donbas. Poroshenko and Turchynov will visit Donetsk and Luhansk regions to check the signal quality. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today
Russian-led forces launch savage Grad attack against defenders of Lebedynske in Donbas | UNIAN
Since the beginning of the day, the Ukrainian military have recorded eight militant attacks, including with the use of banned Grad multiple rocket launchers. In the Donetsk sector, Russian occupation forces carried out six attacks as of 09:00.
“DPR” terrorists suffer significant losses near Dokuchaievsk – volunteers | UNIAN
Terrorists of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” (DPR) suffered significant losses near the occupied town of Dokuchaievsk over the weekend. According to the report, 17 Russian mercenaries were killed in the faceoff.
UAWire – Ukrainian activist: Armed Forces of Ukraine inflicted heavy damage on pro-Russian militants near Svitlodarsk
In the Svitlodarsk salient in the Donbass, Ukrainian military destroyed the so-called Furunkul reinforced position of the separatists and “thinned the troops of the invaders,” Ukrainian volunteer Yuriy Mysyagin reported on Facebook. According to him, “terrorists and admirers of the ‘Russian world’ in the Donbas” are in dire straits, especially with several internal problems to deal with. “They also suffer serious losses in military equipment and manpower because of their provocative actions,” he said. “Because of constant shelling and provocations committed during the ceasefire, our military units and various “invisible” combat teams in the form of the ‘Third Force’ are simply forced to react to the actions of terrorists. Here, as the commander of one of the divisions said, ‘There is always an end to everything. Sooner or later,’ the volunteer writes. He notes that the 54th Brigade and its battalions collected and analyzed the information on the enemy: where the shelling and provocations are conducted from, where the hidden and closed positions are located, and when there are large numbers of personnel on those positions. “And after, when all the analytical work was carried out, the shelling on terrorists began from different positions… On the one hand, the artillery was firing and a ‘meteor shower’ began, and on the other hand an unknown ‘Third Force’ began to operate. An old enemy reinforced position, Furunkul was destroyed,” Mysyagin said. He went on to add that six of separatists shelling positions and platoons’ fortified positions were seriously damaged and in some places completely destroyed. He also emphasized that the enemy forces were reduced and that they shell-shocked a massive number of people. Earlier, according to information from the Come Back Alive charitable fund helping the army, 17 pro-Russian mercenaries were killed near Dokuchaievsk.
Number of cases of use of proscribed weapons in eastern Ukraine grows by nine times – Hug – 20.04.2018 15:07 — Ukrinform News
The number of cases of use of proscribed weapons in eastern Ukraine grew by almost nine times last week.
Russian-led troops in Donetsk now using 152mm artillery to attack Ukraine – NGO StopTerror | UNIAN
Russian-led troops stationed in the occupied city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, on Wednesday evening resorted to 152mm artillery systems to massively attack the Ukrainian army. Terrorists are patrolling streets in Russian-occupied Donetsk in search for “saboteurs.” Russian-led troops stationed in the occupied city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, on Wednesday evening resorted to 152mm artillery systems to massively attack the Ukrainian army. “The enemy has just opened fire from 152mm artillery systems deployed in Donetsk. They are now attacking our positions near the town of Avdiyivka, the village of Pisky, and the Yasynuvata interchange. The enemy has been shelling for half an hour already, also using 82mm and 120mm mortars,” coordinator of NGO StopTerror Semen Kabakaev wrote on Facebook.
Militants launched 35 attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas in last day – 20.04.2018 09:43 — Ukrinform News
Russian-backed militants launched 35 attacks on positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) area in Donbas over the past day.&nbsp;
Militants launched 50 attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas in last day – 19.04.2018 09:18 — Ukrinform News
Russian-backed militants launched 50 attacks on positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) area in Donbas over the past day.&nbsp;
Day in war zone: Ukraine reports 2 WIAs amid 35 enemy attacks | UNIAN
Russia’s hybrid military forces mounted 35 attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas in the past 24 hours, with two Ukrainian soldiers reported as wounded in action (WIA). The enemy engaged the Ukrainian forces, firing mortars, machine guns, and grenade launchers.
One Ukrainian soldier killed, three wounded in Donbas over past day – 20.04.2018 13:27 — Ukrinform News
One Ukrainian soldier was killed, another three were wounded in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) area in eastern Ukraine over the past day.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Ukraine to ‘Leave’ CIS in Same Way Georgia Did, ‘Izvestiya’ Says
Paul Goble Staunton, April 19 – Ukraine will leave the Commonwealth of Independent States in the same way Georgia did, dropping its membership in the Russian-dominated organization of former Soviet republics but continuing to honor various agreements it has reached with that group of states, according to today’s Izvestiya. Citing unnamed sources in Kyiv, Aleksey Zabrodin and Dmitry Laru, two journalists at the Moscow paper say that the Ukrainian authorities are doing exactly what Georgia did earlier. They note that Kyiv has not officially dropped its membership and that CIS officials expect it to develop a relationship with the organization even after it formally leaves. Since 2014, Ukrainian officials have not taken part in CIS-wide activities, they say; but at the same time, Kyiv has continued to honor most of the agreements it signed with the organization; and Moscow thinks that it will likely continue to do so just as Georgia has done (iz.ru/732785/aleksei-zabrodin-dmitrii-laru/gruzinskii-stcenarii-dlia-kieva). According to CIS officials, Ukraine in recent months has been trying to provoke the organization to take the kind of action against Kyiv that could be used to justify a harder break. But the CIS, almost certainly at Moscow’s order, has refused to be drawn, forcing Kyiv to come up with its own post-membership arrangements. At present, the two journalists say, Kyiv is following the Georgian “scenario,” planning to quit the organization but “remain a participant in certain agreement which were obligatory for members of the CIS.” That is what Georgia has done in the case of 34 agreements on a wide variety of issues, including railway operations. (The Izvestiya article doesn’t note, but after the three Baltic countries recovered their independence in 1991, they too retained their membership in the railway commissions that Moscow describes as CIS-based even though the three formerly occupied republics have never joined the Commonwealth.) Many of the agreements Moscow describes as CIS accords in fact are typical of relations among countries in various regions, including such things as mutual recognition of diplomas and rail transportation. That these are likely to be retained will be presented by Moscow as showing that Kyiv has not made a clean break with the CIS. Ukraine has already been on the way out of the CIS since Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014. It has refused to pay its membership dues or to take part in official meetings. In 2015, the Ukrainian foreign ministry said that the CIS does not serve Ukrainian interests, although it still uses the free trade arrangements among members.
One Ukrainian Soldier Killed Fighting Separatists
Ukraine says one of its soldiers has been killed and five wounded in clashes in the country’s east.
Russia fully responsible for “horrendous” humanitarian costs of Donbas conflict – Volker | UNIAN
The Russian Federation, being in total control over its proxy forces in eastern Ukraine, bears full responsibility for humanitarian costs of the conflict, according to U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine negotiations Kurt Volker. “Over the last four years we have seen consistent Russian military support for its proxies in eastern Ukraine – and it continues to today,” the diplomat said.
Donetsk water filtration station shuts down – war news
The Donetsk water filtration station in eastern Ukraine has shut down for security reasons. In total, it supplies water to about 600,000 people. The Donetsk water filtration station in eastern Ukraine has shut down for security reasons. It ceased operating at 15:05 local time on Wednesday, April 18, enterprise Voda Donbasa’s website said. “The supply of drinking water to the government-controlled town of Avdiyivka, partly to Donetsk and the town of Yasynuvata [both are occupied by Russia], to the [occupied] village of Krasny Partizan [its new name – Betmanove], the [Ukrainian-controlled] villages of Kruta Balka and Verkhniotoretske has been suspended,” it said.
United States condemn shooting of Donetsk Filtration Station – 112.international
The United States condemns the shelling of the Donetsk Filtration Station, which resulted in injuring five people. This was stated by the representative of the US State Department Heather Nauert. “The United States condemns yesterday’s shooting of civilian employees of the Donetsk Filtration Station in Ukraine, which left five individuals wounded. The filtration station has temporarily shut down following the incident. In addition to endangering the lives of innocent civilians, this attack threatened water supplies for almost 350,000 Ukrainians living on both sides of the line of contact,” the message says. Yesterday’s incident follows closely shelling that severely damaged power lines near water pumping stations in the Donetsk region, which has endangered water supplies to over three million people. We urge Russia-led forces and Ukrainian Armed Forces to allow for maintenance workers to conduct repairs and prevent a new humanitarian crisis. We further call on all forces to withdraw from positions around the Donetsk Filtration Station and other critical civilian infrastructure, the US State Department wrote.
Foreign Ministry: No signs of Minsk implementation by Russia – 18.04.2018 11:09 — Ukrinform News
The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine states that there are no signs of implementation of the Minsk agreements by the Russian Federation, as Russian-backed troops continued to shell the Ukrainian positions and kill Ukrainian servicepersons.
Ukraine’s drones patrol border with Crimea – 112.international
Ukraine’s drones patrol border with Crimea
Ukraine’s Turchynov: Kremlin was preparing to invade Kyiv in 2014 | UNIAN
Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchynov, states that the Kremlin in early March 2014 was preparing an invasion plan not only for the east of Ukraine, but also for Kyiv, with the purpose of bringing back to power the regime of Viktor Yanukovych. The NSDC secretary said that in early March 2014, there had been over 200,000 Russian troops amassed at Ukraine border.
UAWire – Kyiv: Ukraine will not withdraw from the CIS treaties on transit, diplomas and employment
Ukraine will not denounce agreements within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in the fields of transit, recognition of diplomas and …
Ukrainian units of OPFOR during exercises will wear a uniform in “hostile colors”
Servicemen forming part of the “contingent opponent” of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be provided with an appropriate form for the duration of the exercises.This is stipulated by the recent amendments to the Norms for providing servicemen with property (Order No. 322), which Ukrainian Military Pages had previously reported.In particular, the Regulation No. 44 (provision of special clothing of military personnel of the Armed Forces engaged in the execution of various special works) is supplemented with the section “Servicemen who are part of the” contingent opponent “of the Armed Forces of Ukraine:
SBU interrogates Russian man who sent Wagner mercenaries to Syria | UNIAN
Operatives of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine have questioned a Russian national who has witnessed and taken direct part in the transfer of mercenaries of Russia’s Wagner private military company to Syria. The detainee repeatedly participated in the transfer of Wagner mercenaries to Syria on ships also loaded with heavy weapons and ammunition. Operatives of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine have questioned a Russian national who has witnessed and taken direct part in the transfer of mercenaries of Russia’s Wagner private military company to Syria. The man is one of the two persons earlier detained by security officials, while attempting to illegally cross the Ukrainian border, as reported by the SBU press center. “One of the detainees turned out to be a citizen of Ukraine, while another one is a citizen of the Russian Federation who was carrying a military ID on him that said he had been awarded for participation in a military operation in Syria,” the report says. “The former Russian military testified to the agents of the Security Service of Ukraine that during his contract service on the Varyag missile cruiser back in 2015-2017, he repeatedly took part in the transfer of Wagner mercenaries to Syria [on ships loaded] with heavy weapons and ammunition,” the SBU said. The SBU added that the agency continues to document crimes of Russian mercenaries in Donbas, Syria and other countries for further transfer of evidence to Ukrainian and international courts. As UNIAN reported earlier, on October 7, chief of the Security Service of Ukraine Vasyl Hrytsak unveiled a sensational investigation into the part Wagner played in the majority of Russian military operations on Ukrainian soil from 2014 to 2015, beginning with the occupation of Crimea. The Wagner company, according to the information provided by the SBU and published by Russian journalists, consists of between 2,000 and 5,000 well-trained professional soldiers, as well as tanks, howitzers, and Multiple Launch Rocket Systems. They train in a special, secret training ground in Rostov Oblast.
SBU exposes group engaged in fomenting inter-ethnic hatred in Chernihiv on Russia’s order | UNIAN
The Ukrainian SBU Security Service last weekend exposed a criminal group that was engaged in fomenting inter-religious and ethnic hostility in the Ukrainian city of Chernihiv under the supervision of Russia’s security services. A resident of one Ukraine’s southern regions organized provocations, security officials say.
Ukraine’s police, State Security Service bust weapon supply channel – 112.international
Ukraine’s National Police and the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) have busted the international weapon supply channel in this country, with the weapons, explosives and spare parts coming from abroad
Ukraine’s Interior Ministry to cooperate with FBI – 112.international
Arsen Avakov, the Interior Minister of Ukraine held the meeting with Christopher Wray, the Director of the FBI during his working visit to the US. On the results of the meeting, the sides signed the Memorandum on the mutual cooperation as the press service of Ukraine’s ministry reported.
UAWire – Ukraine’s Navy Chief of Staff dismissed due to wife’s Russian citizenship
The Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Stepan Poltorak dismissed the Navy Chief of Staff and First Deputy Commander of the Ukrainian Naval Forces, First Rank Captain Roman Gladky, reported Dumskaya Odessa news outlet, with reference to sources in the Ministry of Defense. Gladky was suspended for the duration of an official investigation into possible financial and economic violations, as well as the alleged Russian citizenship of his wife. According to Dumskaya Odessa, in the first two years of the military conflict, his wife continued to live with the children on the annexed peninsula. Gladky’s daughter performed at swimming competitions for the team of the Central Sports Club of the Russian Army. Gladky’s first deputy, Rear Admiral Dmytro Taran will temporarily take up the duties of the chief of staff. The Navy’s Facebook page states that this is not a suspension but “the measure taken by the order of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine to determine the future official position.” The reasons for this decision are shortcomings in work performance according to the conclusion by the Chief Inspection office of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, which worked in one of the military units of the Ukrainian Navy. Roman Gladky was born on September 9, 1975 in the Vinnytsa region. From 1997 to 2003, he held commander positions on the ships Lutsk and Kirovograd. From 2004 to 2013, he served on the Konstantin Olshansky ship.
Two sailors of Crimean ship seized in Ukraine flee to Belarus with Russian-issued passports | UNIAN
Two crew members of the Crimean-registered Nord fishing vessel seized in Ukraine have managed to flee to Belarus, using Russian-issued passports. The Ukrainian border guards did not let seven more members of the Nord’s crew to register for a flight to Minsk.
UAWire – Russia threatens Ukraine with a ‘strong response’ over the detention of the Nord vessel crew
Russia demands that Ukrainian border guards allow the crew members of the detained fishing vessel &quot;Nord&quot; to go to the annexed Crimea via Russia. …
Ukrainian surveillance drones start mission on border with Russian-occupied Crimea | UNIAN
Ukrainian-made drones, the Spectator-M, have been employed to patrol the administrative border between mainland Ukraine and Russian-occupied Crimea. The drones are equipped with modern surveillance cameras.
US tragedy assistance group wants to help military families in Ukraine
TAPS is sharing what it has learned about peer-based emotional support with an increasing number of countries around the world ― most recently Ukraine. At a recent gathering of mourning Ukrainian families in the central city of Dnipro, there was a FaceTime call between a Ukrainian father and an American father, both of whom had lost a son in war. Despite a language barrier, the fathers connected on several levels, connecting on everything from their sons’ deaths to sports. It was the first time the Ukrainian man had laughed since his son died, family members said. “It was a beautiful moment, everyone realizing we’re all there with a broken heart,” said Bonnie Carroll, president and founder of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, or TAPS. “They [survivors] were no longer alone in that pain and grief.” Since 1994, TAPS has provided emotional support to more than 75,000 U.S. military families, casualty officers and caregivers grieving the loss of a beloved service member, according to its website.
Ukraine, U.S. agree on medical rehabilitation of people affected by post war syndrome – 17.04.2018 16:48 — Ukrinform News
Ukraine and the United States have agreed on a large program of medical rehabilitation and psychological aid to people affected by the post war syndrome. Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov reported this on Twitter. “At a meeting with U.S. congresspersons Marcy Kaptur, Andy Harris and Sander Levin, we agreed on a large partnership program of medical rehabilitation and psychological assistance to those affected by the post war syndrome. The U.S. has a great experience – we have a complete mutual understanding,” Avakov wrote.


Russia’s Donbas proxies flood Yunkom mine despite risk of radioactive catastrophe – 112.international
Author : Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group It is these pumps that the DPR militants now think are too expensive to repair. Militants from the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk people’s republic’ [DPR] are ignoring local residents, the Ukrainian government and international warnings, and flooding the Yunkom (Yuny Komynar) former coalmine which was used for a nuclear test in 1979. The scale of radioactive contamination of soil and water sources could prove catastrophic. Staff at the Yunkom mine in Bunhe told the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission that some of the mine’s pumps would be shut down on 14 April. This will lead to the gradual flooding of the mine, including the capsule in which a nuclear device was detonated on 16 September, 1979. Although nobody knows how the capsule will react under water, the risk of major contamination throughout Ukraine’s independence was always considered much too high and pumps were constantly repaired to keep the mineshaft dry. It is these pumps that the DPR militants now think are too expensive to repair, quoting a figure of “600 million [Russian] roubles” (or 7,876 thousand Euros). It seems that the militants’ Russian paymasters are willing to send vast stocks of tanks, heavy military equipment and weapons, but do not want to pay for people’s safety. It is clear from addresses during protests back in June 2017 that Russian specialists are well aware of the problem – one with consequences that could affect Russia, as well as Ukraine. The official ‘DPR’ version is, of course, very different. On 22 March, 2018, the planned suspension of the pumping as of 14 April was announced, with this claimed to be after “comprehensive scientific studies by leading DPR and Russian Federation institutes”. They had purportedly concluded that the immersion in water would not lead to contamination of the environment and the threat of radiation. This has not convinced the US State Department, whose representative on April 13 warned that “Plans by Russian proxies to flood the abandoned YunKom coal mine … could threaten the drinking water of thousands of Ukrainians in Russia-controlled eastern Ukraine”. The local population are clearly also unconvinced judging by the number of people who came out onto the streets in protest – something that can have adverse consequences in the so-called ‘republics’. Exiled Donetsk journalist Denis Kazansky points out the bitter irony of the situation. Since 2014, Russia and its local supporters in Donbas have constantly pushed the narrative that Ukraine’s government never listened to the local population. In fact, back in 2002, when the authorities considered flooding Yunkom and adjacent mines, it was local protest that persuaded them to back down. Each year under all Ukrainian governments, huge amounts (around 45 million USD) were spent ensuring that the mine was kept dry.
Yunkom mine flooding can become new Chornobyl, – Ecology Minister – 112.international
The minister believes that militants’ intention to flood the nuclear mine is terrorism and blackmail. The flooding of Yunkom mine in Donbas can become a new Chornobyl, and it is nothing more than terrorism and blackmail, the Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine Ostap Semerak said after the meeting of EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee in Strasbourg. This was reported by the press service of the ministry. “Not only nuclear experts but also international organizations responsible for the security in the region were confused by the militants’ plans. I informed the European parliamentarians about this emergency, and I insisted on bringing up this issue in all negotiating groups on the settlement of Donbas situation and, in particular, on the admission of OSCE mission representatives for environmental monitoring at Yunkom mine,” the minister said. He confirmed that, according to experts, the mine poses threat not only to Ukraine’s ecology but also to the neighbouring countries. The environmental situation in Donbas, which is one of the most technologically burdened areas of Europe, has been also a concern prior to 2014, according to Semerak, but now the situation is on the brink of disaster. As it was reported earlier, militants started to flood Yunkom mine in a temporarily occupied Yenakiyeve of Donetsk region. Almost 40 years ago there has been a nuclear explosion performed with an aim to relieve the tension in the mountain massif. Thus, Donbas residents are facing the danger of radiation poisoning, in particular through the poisoning of drinking water. As it was reported earlier, out of 4 thousand dangerous objects established by Swiss experts, 17 represent a “radiation hazard”. The most dangerous mine can be the Yunkom mine in Yenakiyeve, the city of steel and coal in the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic, which is proud not only of its fellow countryman, Soviet cosmonaut Georgy Beregov, but also of former president Viktor Yanukovych who fled to Russia. Here in 1979 the Soviet Union tested the atomic bomb deep underground.
Ukraine fears ‘second Chernobyl’ if militants flood nuclear bomb mine
Russian-led separatists say mine is no longer radioactive after 1979 blast


Ukraine, US are kicking Russia out of India’s defense market
Despite pressure from the West and Western-aligned states, it is premature to say Russia will lose the Indian market. The Ukrainian and Russian military-industrial complexes are engaged in a fierce competition for India’s arms market. India, which represents 12 percent of global arms purchases, is critical for both countries, and their rivalry will only intensify. New Delhi is aware of Russia’s unreliability and unpredictability. India understands that Western sanctions have wreaked havoc on the Russian defense industry and seeks to diversify its arms imports, signing a growing number of contracts with NATO countries. For India, Ukraine is becoming a vital partner. New Delhi has chosen to increase its reliance on Ukraine in the repair and modernization of Soviet weapons, which constitute an essential part of all armaments of the Armed Forces of India. New Delhi’s decision to partner with Ukraine is a consequence of Russia’s inability to fulfill part of its Indian contracts because of the breakdown of technical cooperation between Russia and Ukraine after Russian aggression in Crimea and the Donbass. Moscow’s lack of access to the Ukrainian defense industry is costing the Russian defense sector dearly. The Kremlin is extremely concerned about this, since the weakening of its position on the Indian market is not only a loss of profitable contracts, but also of geopolitical influence in an extremely important region. Russia’s reduced presence in India — resulting in part from Ukrainian defense competition — has generated a vacuum that will inevitably be replaced by U.S. influence. Russia has failed to increase the quality of its weapons systems and provides regular deliveries of defective products. (For example, more than half of the 210 Su-30MK fighter jets bought by Russia are inactive due to maintenance problems). As a result, Moscow chooses to compete unfairly and unethically. Using a range of surreptitious hybrid tactics, the Kremlin is trying to discredit Ukraine as a reliable and honest partner. Russian propaganda and information campaigns are regularly carried out to spread the false narrative that Ukraine and its military-industrial complex produce defective products, are massively corrupt and engage in illicit arms trafficking around the world. This information warfare is conducted not only in the Indian and Ukrainian press, but also in the international media, including American media, as well as in the official bulletins of Russian propaganda such as RT, Sputnik and others.
India, a battlefield for the defence industries of Ukraine and Russia – LB.ua news portal
The competition between Ukrainian and Russian defence companies is increasingly tightening in the Indian military market, which is developing and is considered one of the most promising ones. Numerous failures of joint Russian-Indian projects, as well as international sanctions against Russia, stimulate India’s withdrawal from the obsessive Russian care in arms exports and prompt Delhi to work directly with Kyiv.
Ukraine Antonov’s website hacked, again – news about economy
Ukraine’s state-run military-industrial concern Ukroboronprom reports that the website of Ukraine’s largest aircraft manufacturer, state-run Antonov, was once again penetrated by hacker in another cyberattack. Ukroboronprom stresses, the attackers deliberately try to discredit Ukraine’s leading aviation company.
Malaysia interested in Ukrainian defense products – Ukroboronprom | UNIAN
Malaysian military leadership is interested in acquiring the products of Ukraine’s defense companies, of which the officials talked at meetings with CEO of Ukraine’s state-run military-industrial concern Ukroboronprom Pavlo Bukin who attended the Defense Services Asia exhibition. During the meeting with the commander of the Royal Air Force of Malaysia, the head of Ukraine’s major arms manufacturer discussed cooperation in the field of aviation.
Antonov aircraft can help Malaysia to control the coastline – Ukroboronprom Director General – 18.04.2018 10:29 — Ukrinform News
Ukraine in Malaysia has represented Antonov aircraft, which may be of interest to the Malaysian Armed Forces and ensure control over the country&rsquo;s seacoast.
Ukraine sent a strong message to Russia with its new service rifle choice – We Are The Mighty
This former Soviet state’s military wants to tote western rifles and military hardware in its bid to join NATO. Goodbye, AK-47. Hello, WAC-47.
Ukraine to modernise S-300V1 air defence system – Defence Blog
On 12 April 2018, the Public Affairs Office of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine announced that Ukraine plans to upgrade and return to service its S-300V1 (NATO reporting name SA-12 Gladiator/Giant) long-range, surface-to-air missile system. According to the announced, Ukraine is considering the possibility to upgrade the unique S-300V1 air defence system, providing a defence against ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft. Ukrainian Defence Minister Stepan Poltorak said that was considered how modernization and deployment of the S-300V1, Kub, Tor and other air defense systems. “During the official meeting, were decided on the ways to modernize the air defense complexes of the Air Forces of Ukraine,” Minister noted. The S-300V1 is the only one of its kind and developed to provide advanced air defense capability for vital battlefield and rear areas as well as country’s administrative and political centers. This complex is not part of the S-300, including is designed by another developer. It was built by Antey rather than Almaz, and its 9M82 and 9M83 missiles were designed by NPO Novator. The V suffix stands for Voyska (ground forces). It was designed to form the top tier army air defence system, providing a defence against ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft. The S-300V1 weapon system comprises a command post vehicle, an all-around surveillance radar, a sector scanning radar, up to 4 missile guidance radars, and up to 24 launcher vehicles. It can engage helicopters and aircraft flying at any altitude from 25 to 30,000 meters, reduced radar cross section targets such as unmanned aerial vehicles and stealth aircraft and missiles, as well as supersonic and subsonic cruise missiles. The S-300V1 can engage up to 24 targets simultaneously with 48 9M83 missiles (two missiles per target) in-flight for optimized kill probability.
Юрий Бирюков – How many things we have in storage
How many things we have in storage – the enemy was known initially. Especially since many weapons systems have been produced in the Soviet Union. At the beginning of the war, we had an air defense system in the same condition as the entire army: something, somewhere, somehow… At the beginning of the war, our production was in the same condition: something, something… Cooperation, documentation, technology, components – pitch to Russia was colossal and they actually defined our vector for us. It’s been four years. And in addition to being able to carry out on a battle duty, part of the c-300 B1, has begun to look forward today. At the meeting of the minister of defence with representatives of the line business enterprises, ukroboronproma today discussed plans not only to restore, but also to component modernization of the c-300 complexes missile ” BUK ” and missile ” Thor “. Step by step, step by step.
National Security Secretary predicts large-scale testing of Ukrainian cruise missiles – 112.international
National Security Secretary predicts large-scale testing of Ukrainian cruise missiles. The large-scale testing of the Ukrainian cruise missiles will take place at the end of 2018. Oleksandr Turchynov, the Secretary of the National Security Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) claimed this at the 11th Kyiv Security Council as Interfax-Ukraine reported. ‘Talking about the preparation of the Ukrainian cruise missiles, we will see the launching system, the worked out technology of the production of these missiles. The serious testing will take place, not state, but quite large-scale, at the end of 2018’, he reported. Earlier Turchynov noted that the tactic and technical characteristics of the Ukrainian missiles do not contradict the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty). ‘A few months ago we held the testing of a Ukrainian cruise missile and the next day our American partners sent us a letter with the demand to provide the tactic and technical characteristics of the missile to know whether they increase the limited range of the missiles, whether we are moving beyond the ratified treaties’, he said.
Ukraine tests its cruise missile for the first time – 112.international
The ground-based winged missile is able to hit both ground and sea targets
Ukraine’s new light helicopter performs maiden flight (Photo, video) | UNIAN
Ukraine’s new light MSB-2 Nadiya helicopter, built by Zaporizhia-based JSC Motor Sich, made its maiden flight in the city of Zaporizhia on April 16. The MSB-2 helicopter is an upgraded version of the Mi-2.
G.A. Medvedev, V.O. Kovalov | Areas of improvement of means of communication and data transmission of aviation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
The current status of aviation communications of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is analyzed, taking into account the experience gained during the antiterrorist operation. The directions of improvement of these means, which are relevant for aviation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, are determined. The analysis of the main trends in the development of armaments and military equipment advanced in the military and technical attitude of the states, as well as the experience of armed conflicts in recent times, indicates that improving communication and data communication is one of the priority directions in ensuring effective management of troops and forces. The importance of reliable, high-quality, interfering communication was clearly demonstrated during the anti-terrorist operation. In order to formulate proposals for improving the means of aviation communication of the Armed Forces of Ukraine it seems expedient to analyze their current status, identify the main shortcomings and determine the direction of the work required. Currently, in the aviation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, for the organization of radio communications, onboard ultrashort waves (VHF) and shortwave (HF) radio stations, as well as terrestrial radio stations of the appropriate ranges are used. Among the VHF radio stations (the so-called near-communications) can be distinguished command and communication. Command VHF radio stations (for example, P-863, P-862, P-800L1 (L2)) are intended to provide radio telephone communications for aircraft, as well as for the transmission and reception of telecode information. They are capable of operating in both amplitude (AM) and frequency (PM) modulation modes, and in frequency telegraph mode (CT) [1] [2]. Such radio stations provide untracked and uninterrupted radio communications within the direct vision of both airplanes and aircrafts with ground command posts, as well as interactions with aircraft intercoms, automatic radio compasses, and some other on-board equipment of the respective types of aircraft (LAs).
L.B. Pidchibiy | Approach to the modernization of a tactical airplane pilot’s helmet helping to improve the performance of its operator functions
The article deals with the modernization of existing protective helmets by removing integrated information from on-board aeronautical navigational devices and weapon systems directly in front of the pilot’s eyes.Summary data of the Information and Analytical Center of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine at 17:00, July 23, 2014 [1]: “Today, in the district of Dmitrovka, 4 Su-25 attack planes provided aviation support to units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine who courageously hold positions at the border of our country. After successfully completing the task of Ukrainian pilots, they fired the anti-aircraft missile complexes of the medium range. Despite the missile maneuvers carried out and the heat traps shot down, our two planes, flying at an altitude of 5,200 meters, were shot down. According to preliminary information, the launch of anti-aircraft missiles was carried out from the territory of Russia. ” From the given information it is possible to suppose that this could be the Buk, S-300 or “Tor” anti-aircraft missile complexes (ARMs), since the distance from a possible launch site, taking into account the distance to the state border of Ukraine, is several dozen kilometers, Heads of self-propelled missiles – radar type [2].Meteorological conditions in the whole area are simple: small clouds of middle tier, visibility more than 10 km, temperatures up to +27 ° C.The Lankan attack aircraft after the execution of the combat mission and the last measure on the target has not yet reached the height of the safe echelon, as visually, the pilots spotted anti-aircraft missiles. Therefore, they began to carry out anti-missile maneuvers and use thermal traps, believing that they were attacked by portable anti-aircraft missile systems (MANPADS) equipped with infrared GOS. From the above, it follows: The anti-aircraft missiles were seen late because the pilots did not use the information from the system of notification about the radiation of SPO-15 on the attack of the SRS; the applied traps did not match the type of missile guns, because the pilots thought that these were missiles with infrared GOS.It should be noted that the SPO-15 in such conditions shows that the radar station has switched from view mode to the target illumination mode. This indicates the launch and launch of anti-aircraft missiles. The relevance of the study is also due to the fact that the overwhelming majority of our tactical aviation aircraft are single, with the exception of the Su-24 aircraft, which is double, which makes it easier for him to detect launch of missiles by airplane.When performing the task there were cases of use of aircraft of several guided missiles at the same time. So, by Su-24MR aircraft, four launches from the MANPADs were made (the launches were marked by rear-view mirrors), with three rockets seizing false thermal targets, and the fourth hit the plane. Taking into account the above-mentioned, important practical tasks concerning the modernization of the obsolete fleet of the Air Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as well as the integration of on-board systems to increase combat capabilities of combat aircraft, should be emphasized.The analysis of recent studies and publications shows [2] [3] [4] that the question of handling a variety of information from on-board sensors by a pilot, its correct and timely evaluation and the subsequent possibility of correct actions based on it, today is one of the most important tasks of military use of military aviation To do this, considerable amounts of money are invested in the armies of different countries.
Infrastructure for Tactical Aviation Brigade at Lutsk Military Aerodrome
In November last year, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted a decision to redeploy 204 tactical aviation brigades who left the occupied Crimea from the Kulkankine airfield at the Lutsk airfield by the end of 2018.In 2014, this airfield resumed its work for military purposes. A little later, there began repair and restoration work, first by the aviation commandant’s office and a separate engineering battalion. In particular, in 2016, the replacement of the artificial runway coverage was carried out. In 2018, further construction, repair and restoration of infrastructure – squadron buildings, duty stations, aviation aircrafts, a guard room, a command-dispatching station, a warehouse of RW, etc. – are planned.According to the Military Aviation website, on April 10, 2018, the Command of the Air Forces of the Armed Forces and the State Enterprise “Central Design Institute” concluded two contracts for conducting design and survey works on the objects “New construction of the building of the squadron and technical building at the Lutsk airfield” and “New Construction of the next link building at the Lutsk airfield “. The works will include engineer-geodetic and engineering geological surveys; development of design and estimate documentation; passing state examination of the design and estimate documentation. The term of work is until the end of August 2018. It is planned that the squadron-technical building will have an area of 360 square meters, and the next level will be 276 square meters. Both buildings with water supply and drainage, insulated with a minivate, are equipped with metal-plastic windows and doors, as well as facades painted in the color “Khaki”.Until 2004, the 806th bomber air regiment was based in Lutsk. Subsequently, the airfield was used as a reserve, as well as for military use of aviation at the Polourship landfill.Unlike many airfields that were “released” during the reduction, the entire infrastructure was stored here. The main thing is active concrete, capable of receiving large airplanes. The length of the runway is more than 2500 meters, there is also a ground strip.
The State Border Guard Service will receive 24 helicopters «Airbus Helicopters»
The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine aims to create a modern aviation structure capable of providing comprehensive aviation support for the tasks assigned to the Border Guard.Therefore, the fleet of aircraft is currently undergoing renewal. March 23, 2018, the signing of the Statement of Intent on the Development of Bilateral Cooperation between the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine and the Ministry of Europe and the Foreign Affairs of France was signed, in which the Military Aircraft Helicopter Park should replenish 55 cars of the company Airbus Helicopters. 24 of them will arrive at the unit of the State Border Guard Service. “The modern functional 5-seater helicopters” Airbus Helicopters “is expedient to use in the protection of the state border. 24 aircraft will be located throughout the border line, at 14 base stations “, – said Major General Mykola Tepan, Head of Aviation Administration-Aviation Chief of the Department of the State Border Guard.Since 2011, lightweight patrol aircraft “Diamond” Austrian production has also begun to protect the border. The service claims that their use fully justifies itself.They are actively used for air monitoring of the state border, border control areas, coverage of the surface conditions in the B (M) EZ of Ukraine, the territorial sea and the Ukrainian part of the waters of the Azov Sea.
Ukraine test-fires advanced version of SKIF anti-tank guided missile – Defence Blog
Ukrainian State Design Bureau ‘Luch’ from Kyiv successfully test fired its advanced SKIF portable anti-tank guided missile. On 18 April, the Luch’s press service said in a statement that an advanced version of SKIF anti-tank guided missile (export version of the STUGNA-P developed for Ukrainian army) was successfully test-fired. According to Luch, the new version of the SKIF portable anti-tank guided missile system has undergone a series of changes and improvements according to the requirements of the potential customer. Major changes were made for use launchers of the anti-tank guided missile system in conditions of soft soils and sand. Also, SKIF shall be equipped with new thermal sight, is designed for detection, recognition and identification of threats at longer ranges during day-night and adverse weather conditions. The missile itself has not changed since it was originally designed for use in all climatic and weather conditions, without exception.
Ukroboronprom showcases BMP-1AK IFVs delivered from Poland (Photo, video) | UNIAN
The Armed Forces of Ukraine have conducted firing drills involving BMP-1AK infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) supplied from Poland within the military and technical cooperation program between the two countries. The IFVs have minimum mileage and barrel wear, officials stress.


UAWire – Ukraine prepares sanctions list of companies involved in construction of Kerch Bridge
Ukraine's Ministry of Infrastructure monitors all companies working on the construction of the Kerch Bridge in the annexed Crimea, as reported …
Part of Tuzla Island transferred into ownership of Russia – 18.04.2018 14:18 — Ukrinform News
The &quot;Council of Ministers&quot; of the annexed Crimea at a meeting on Tuesday, April 17, decided to transfer a land plot of more than 6,500 square meters on Tuzla Island into ownership of the Russian Federation.
EU-Ukraine PAC disappointed by lack proposals for talks on Crimea de-occupation | UNIAN
The EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee (PAC) says it is disappointed by lack of concrete proposals for launching an international format of talks on de-occupation of the Russia-annexed Crimea. The Parliamentary Committee condemns the holding March 18 of the so-called “presidential elections” in the Russian-occupied Crimea.
Four people mysteriously died in remand center in annexed Crimea – 112.international
Four people mysteriously died in remand center in annexed Crimea
Russia threatens Ukraine with “tough retaliation” over Crimea vessel crew | UNIAN
Russia requires the Ukrainian side to neglect national legislation and allow the crew of the Crimean-registered Nord fishing vessel seized by Ukrainian border guards in the Sea of Azov on March 25 to leave for the annexed Crimea. According to the Russian side, Kyiv resorted to “forced coercion to Ukrainian citizenship” restricted freedom of movement of the seized vessel’s crew.


I do not exclude that Ryanair to enter Ukrainian market earlier, – Poroshenko – 112.international
I do not exclude that Ryanair to enter Ukrainian market earlier, – Poroshenko
Another two joint checkpoints to be opened on Moldova-Ukraine border in summer – 18.04.2018 18:30 — Ukrinform News
Establishment of joint checkpoints on Moldova-Ukraine border is a priority for the Moldovan authorities.
Ukraine fails to fulfill two conditions for continued cooperation with IMF – Danyliuk | UNIAN
Ukrainian Finance Minister Oleksandr Danyliuk says Ukraine has failed to implement two conditions to receive the next tranche of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). According to Danyliuk, the law on the anti-corruption court can be adopted in April-May of this year.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kyiv Must Create an International Day in Memory of Victims of Russian Aggression, Ukrainian Commentator Says
Paul Goble Staunton, April 14 – The current conflict between Russia and the West provide an opportunity to create an International Day of Memory of the Victims of Russian Aggression in order to be “an eternal reminder to Russians both now and future generations that they must take responsibility before history for themselves and their leaders,” a Kyiv commentator says. The conflict between Russia, on the one hand, and Ukraine and the rest of the world, on the other, is not simply a military one but rather is about symbols. Moscow has understood this with its “hybrid” war approach; it is time, the Ukrainian commentator writing under the name Setovoy Orakul turn the tables on it. “The establishment of [such a day],” he writes in today’s Delovaya Stolitsa, “would have enormous symbolic meaning both as a day for grieving and as opportunity to remind the world that Putin has not ended the war against our country” (dsnews.ua/politics/kleymo-na-russkih-kogda-ustanovyat-den-pamyati-zhertv-rossiyskoy-14042018100000). Ukraine should establish this day as a national one immediately, the commentator continues, and then work to secure its recognition at the international level much as it has done with the Holodomor. At present, “about 20 countries” recognize that this was an act of genocide “by the totalitarian Stalinist regime;” and more will in the future.
Can Ukraine replace Russia with Poland in foreign trade? – 112.international
The latest data on Ukraine’s exports for the first quarter of 2018 showed that the volume of Ukraine’s exports to Russia is about 860 million dollars, and to Poland – about 820 million dollars. he latest data on Ukraine’s exports for the first quarter of 2018 showed that the volume of Ukraine’s exports to Russia is about 860 million dollars, and to Poland – about 820 million dollars. The difference is small. Is it really the time to replace the Russian market with the Polish one? Economists often like to talk about this, and not only economists. But let’s see how real it is
American diplomat: US actively supports process of Polish-Ukrainian reconciliation – 20.04.2018 14:27 — Ukrinform News
Polish-Ukrainian relations are complicated, so the United States is making efforts to improve them.
SBU warned Yanukovych twice of Russian invasion threat – declassified evidence | UNIAN
Prosecutor of the Main Military Prosecutor’s Office, Ruslan Kravchenko, during a Wednesday court hearing in the Viktor Yanukovych treason case said the SBU Security Service of Ukraine had warned former Ukrainian President twice that there were risks of a violation of territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine coming from Russia. The agency submitted a report on threats to national security of Ukraine on the part of Russia of January 15, 2013, and another one – on Russian threat to territorial integrity, of February 17, 2014.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Ukrainian was the Official Language and Predominant Identity in the Kuban until the 1930s
Paul Goble Staunton, April 17 – Moscow becomes outraged by any Ukrainian suggestions that the Kuban has more in common with Ukraine than with the Russian Federation, suppressing the fact that until the 1930s Ukrainian was an official language there, alongside Russian, and that many Kuban Cossacks considered themselves to be ethnic Ukrainians. Indeed, as a new article on the Russian7 portal says, all this raises the question: “Why was the Kuban joined to Russia in 1924?” a question that the site answers in a way that explains why there is more reason for Ukrainians to view this area as Ukrainian than there is for Russians to view the Donbass as Russian (russian7.ru/post/pochemu-kuban-v-1924-godu-prisoedinilas/). The Kuban Cossack host arose in 1696 when a group of Don Cossacks took part in the occupation of Azov. Later, in 1708, this group was singled out with its current name. In the 18th century, as Russian forces moved south, the Kuban was Russianized but not entirely Russified and the Kuban Cossacks retained their distinct identity, the Russian historical site says. That identity reflected both their Ukrainian and their Russian roots, although “until the beginning of the 20th century, a social stratum consciousness dominated over an ethnic one in the Cossack milieu. That began to change at the end of the 19th century when the Russian military ministry decided to eliminate this stratum. But another force at work, Russian7 says, were the attitudes of the growing number of people in the Kuban Cossack milieu who were not connected with military service but rather were involved in intellectual work like newspapers, schools and so on. Influenced by the nationalizing forces around them, this group began to articulate the idea of “a Cossack nation.” A shaky balance between the two was maintained until the Bolshevik revolution which the Kuban Cossacks did not accept. “The Kuban Rada declared the formation of an independent Kuban Peoples Republic,” declaring that they were prepared to join Russia but only on a federal basis. The question remained open as to what Russia they had in mind. “This wasn’t clear.” In March 1918, the Kuban Rada had to withdraw from Yekaterinodar and join forces with the Volunteer Army of General Lavr Kornilov who soon died and was replaced by Anton Denikin. The two sides signed a cooperation agreement, but as neither yet had significant forces, this remained more a statement of intent than a description of reality. The situation changed later that year when the Volunteer Army occupied most of the Kuban. As a result, the Kuban Cossacks became the most important rear force of Denikin’s forces. But very quickly conflicts arose because the Cossacks viewed Denikin’s force as a representative of the old order and Denikin’s people viewed the Cossacks almost as Ukrainians. These attitudes reduced the chances for cooperation, and there were only overcome when it was too late, when the Red Army was pushing into the Kuban and driving the White Armies into emigration. In the first months of 1920, the Kuban governing institutions were “in fact liquidated” by the Bolsheviks and the region included within the RSFSR. But for the first 12 years of Soviet power there, the Ukrainian language remained official alongside Russian, and Kuban Cossacks continued to identify largely as Ukrainian in ethnic terms. In 1924, Moscow included the Kuban in the North Caucasus kray “which made possible the further Russification” of the Kuban Cossacks. In 1932, Ukrainian lost its official status there. Thus, the Russian site says, “over the first quarter of the 20th century, the Kuban evolved from a region of the Russian Empire with the special status of a Cossack stratum into a subject of the RSFSR, passing through specific periods of Cossack statehood and the experiment of Ukrainian national-cultural self-determination within the framework of Soviet society.” This history does not mean that the Kuban should be annexed to Ukraine anymore than the ethnic resettlements Stalin sponsored after the Holodomor in the Donbass mean that that region should be detached from Ukraine. But what it does mean is that Ukrainian arguments should be taken seriously rather than dismissed out of hand as they all too often are.
Donbass movie by Sergei Loznitsa to get world premiere at Cannes – 20.04.2018 11:45 — Ukrinform News
Donbass movie by Sergei Loznitsa will receive its world premiere at the 71st Cannes Film Festival.
Modern Ukrainian cuisine presented in Singapore – 20.04.2018 12:40 — Ukrinform News
Ukraine&rsquo;s chefs have presented a modern national cuisine at the World Gourmet Summit in Singapore.
Expatriate teachers find new homes in Ukraine | KyivPost
There are easier places for foreigners to teach than in Ukraine. The nation has suffered the Chornobyl disaster, economic turmoil, two revolutions and now war. But brave souls have chosen to live, work — and spread their knowledge in Ukraine. The Kyiv Post spoke to three international teachers who have found the positive side of life in this country.
Jailed Ukrainian Lawmaker Savchenko Resumes Hunger Strike
Ukrainian lawmaker Nadia Savchenko, who is in jail pending trial on charges of plotting a terrorist attack on parliament with grenades and automatic weapons, has resumed a hunger strike.


Constantinople “greenlights” creation of independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Poroshenko | UNIAN
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko on Tuesday, April 17, announced the start of the procedure for the creation of a unified Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The relevant agreement was reached at 7-hour long negotiations between Poroshenko and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Synode members held during a presidential visit to Turkey, Poroshenko said at a meeting with heads of parliamentary factions on Tuesday. “Ukraine is as close as ever to the emergence of its own Unified Orthodox Church,” the president said, adding that he cannot elaborate on all details of the agreements reached. A number of elements are needed for the process to see success. First, a corresponding appeal from UOC of the Kyiv Patriarchate and Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, which has already been signed to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in a rare united move of the two churches, according to Poroshenko. Poroshenko expressed hope that the new UOC would be created before the 1030th anniversary of baptism of the Kyiv Rus and called on Parliament to support the appeal to Constantinople. The president called the developments around a possible creation of a United Orthodox Church which would not be subordinate to Moscow a “historic event.” The president ruled out the possibility of banning any other churches in Ukraine and noted that the state will remain separated from church.
Ukraine moves to split church from Russia as elections approach
Ukraine’s Orthodox church could become independent of Moscow under the terms of a presidential initiative lawmakers approved on Thursday, a move that President Petro Poroshenko said would make it harder for Russia to meddle in Ukrainian affairs.
MPs back schism to cut church ties with Russia | World | The Times
Kiev Ukrainian MPs have voted to switch the allegiance of the country’s Orthodox churches from their patriarchate in Moscow to one in Kiev. The change was the idea of President Poroshenko, who says that it will make it harder for Russia to meddle in Ukrainian affairs. He has visited the leade
Ukrainian Orthodox switch allegiance from Moscow to Kiev-linked churches | National Catholic Reporter
The Rev. Andriy Lototskiy faced perhaps the toughest decision in his life: He had to choose between his faith and his flock. In 2014,&nbsp;Lototskiy&nbsp;had been preaching for 14 years at the Church …
Ukrainian Lawmakers Back President’s Move To Obtain Autocephalous Status For Orthodox Church
Ukrainian lawmakers have backed President Petro Poroshenko’s appeal to the worldwide head of the Orthodox Church to recognize the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s independence from Moscow.
Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church: What is it and why is it important – 112.international
Ukraine has the support of the Ecumenical Patriarch, there is a mutual understanding between the Ukrainian Orthodox churches and the intentions of the president. One people, one language, one church… President Petro Poroshenko has made a loud statement – for 26 years of independence, Ukraine is more than ever close to creating its own unified autocephalous local church. According to him, this is evidenced not only by the position of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, who, as is known, has been supporting the unification of Ukrainian churches for a number of years – today all the necessary key elements are present. Related: Poroshenko signs appeal to Ecumenical Patriarch to provide autocephaly to Ukrainian Orthodox Church “The first is the appeal of the church hierarchies… After my meeting with the Patriarch Filaret, all the bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate have put their signatures, witnessed them in their address to the Ecumenical Patriarch about granting a tomos to the new Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC). I also met with His Beatitude Metropolitan Makarii, head of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, and this morning I was informed about the results of the Bishops’ the defense of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church with very pleasant news: all without exception the archbishops of the UAOC signed an appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch and an appeal to the president. For 26 years this is the first document that united all the hierarchies of these churches,” Poroshenko stressed during a meeting with the chairmen of the parliamentary factions. The president himself also intends to appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I to publish a tomos about the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine and asks the Verkhovna Rada to support him in this matter since he and the parliamentarians are “representatives of the Ukrainian people”. The representatives of the UOC-KP and the UAOC hope that among the episcopate of the UOC-Moscow Patriarchate there are responsible hierarchs who are really worried about the future of Orthodoxy in Ukraine and will support efforts regarding the canonical recognition by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Ukrainian ecclesiastical independence.
Struggling To Believe: Ukrainian Orthodox Church Under Pressure In Crimea
The Kyiv-based Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Crimea is on the brink of oblivion.
The President met with the Primate of the Orthodox Churches of Ukraine
President Petro Poroshenko met with the Presidents of the Orthodox Churches of Ukraine and formally accepted the Appeal to convey to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew the provision of the Autocephalous to the Ukrainian church Tomas with the signatures of all the bishops who supported this decision.His Holiness Patriarch of Kyiv and All Russia-Ukraine Filaret officially handed over to the President the Appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to give the Ukrainian church Tomos on autocephaly, signed by all the bishops of the UOC-KP. “I think for many years millions of Ukrainians dreamed that the Lord would send us our United Orthodox Local Church. Some lost hope, some went on to believe. And God’s help now gives me reason to assert that we are close to getting Tomas to the Autocephalous Local Church as never before, “the President said.In turn, Patriarch Filaret supported the words of the President: “This is the spiritual foundation of any state. Without this spiritual foundation, the state can not exist. Just as there can be no state without an army, can not – without a church. This will be a big impetus to unite the entire Ukrainian society – the recognition of the Ukrainian church. ” He added that the church wanted it all 26 years.
Autocephaly for UOC as important as visa-free travel, NATO membership – president – 19.04.2018 12:21 — Ukrinform News
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that the establishment of an independent local church is just as important to him as visa-free travel and membership in NATO.
Ukraine’s parliament backs appeal to Bartholomew to create independent UOC | UNIAN
Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, has adopted a resolution in support of the appeal by President Petro Poroshenko to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I to recognize the independence of Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC). Poroshenko asks Patriarch Bartholomew to provide Ukrainian Orthodox Church with a tomos for autocephaly.
Poroshenko gets appeal of Ukrainian Orthodox Church on provision of tome on autocephaly to it – 112.international
Poroshenko gets appeal of Ukrainian Orthodox Church on provision of tome on autocephaly to it. Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine held the meeting with the primates of the Orthodox churches and accepted the appeal to Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch on the provision of the tome on the autocephaly for the Ukrainian church with the signs of all bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate and Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church as the press service of the president reported. ‘His Holiness, the Patriarch of Kyiv and All Rus’- Ukraine Filaret officially passed to Poroshenko the appeal to Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch on the provision of the tome on the autocephaly for the Ukrainian church signed all bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate’, the message said. Patriarch Filaret noted that the appeal signed by all bishops and expressed the hope that the decision of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will become the beginning of the recognized Ukrainian local Orthodox Church. ‘The Ukrainian state had stood the war and it showed that Ukraine exists and will exist. And if it exists, the church – the spiritual basis should be in Ukraine so that it can be a state. We fight for the spiritual basis for the Ukrainian state’. The head of the state also held the meeting with Macarius, the Metropolitan of Kyiv, the Primate of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and officially accepted the appeal to Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch on the provision of the tome on the autocephaly for the Ukrainian church signed all bishops of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.
Poroshenko signs appeal to Ecumenical Patriarch to provide autocephaly to Ukrainian Orthodox Church – 112.international
Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine intends to appeal to Bartholomew, the Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch with a plea to publish tome towards the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and urges the Verkhovna Rada to support it as 112 Ukraine broadcasted. ‘I as the president made a decision to appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch, His Holiness (Bartholomew) with a request to provide a tome of the Ukrainian independent, actually, local autocephaly church’, Poroshenko claimed.
Believers to be able choose church, parish after creation of Ukrainian united local church – 112.international
Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine claimed that the believers will have freedom of belief and right to freely choose the temple and church jurisdiction after the creation of the Ukrainian united local church as 112 Ukraine broadcasted. ‘The United Orthodox local church will not become state and the separation of the church from the state will continue to exist. All believers will have freedom of belief and right to freely choose a particular temple and church jurisdiction’, Poroshenko said.
Poroshenko holds meeting with Cabinet behind closed doors – media | UNIAN
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko held in the presidential administration a closed meeting with the Government late Tuesday, April 17. The meeting was attended by the leadership of the Presidential Administration, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, and most ministers.
Kremlin refuses to support creation of independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church, branding it “schism” | UNIAN
Russian President’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov says the Kremlin cannot support the creation of Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), calling it a “schism.” Ukraine’s parliament has adopted a resolution in support of the appeal by the president to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I to recognize independence of Ukrainian Orthodox Church. “You are aware of the position of the Russian Orthodox Church and Patriarch of [Moscow] and all Russia [Kirill] on the issue. And of course, some actions aimed at splitting the church can hardly be supported and are unlikely to be welcomed,” Peskov said on April 19, answering a question from an UNIAN correspondent. As UNIAN reported earlier, on April 17, at a meeting with leaders of parliamentary factions, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced that he and hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church decided to officially address Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I to grant the Tomos of Autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and asked the parliament to support the move.
 

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports


UAWire – Pentagon: Russian air defense systems in Syria ‘absolutely ineffective’
At a press briefing, Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said that she considers the Russian-made air defense systems that Damascus used to respond to the West’s attack on Syria to be “absolutely ineffective”. She also said that the missiles used by Washington and its allies appear to have hit all targets. White also accused Moscow of allegedly presenting false information. “Following our operations, Russia falsely claimed Syria air defenses shot down a significant number of missiles, when in fact we hit all of our targets. Of the surface-to-air missiles that the Assad regime launched, nearly each one was launched after the last of our missiles hit their targets. The Russian manufactured air defense systems were totally ineffective,” the Pentagon spokesperson said. The Director for the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Armed Forces, General Kenneth McKenzie, also spoke about the erroneous launch of the Syrian missile defense systems on April 16th. According to McKenzie, such erroneous launch of missiles show a disruption in the normal functioning of Syrian air defense systems. General Kenneth McKenzie spoke of the incident that occurred on Tuesday night, during which, as reported by the Syria-based SANA agency, Syrian air defense systems were activated by mistake, although it was previously alleged that they repulsed two missile strikes that were carried out at the military airfields of Shayrat, in Homs province, and Dumeir, 50 kilometers north of Damascus. “I would note that on the evening of the 16th, we noticed a spasm of Syrian air defenses where they again fired six surface-to-air missiles against no targets, and probably without any kind of fire direction, which means the missile goes ballistic, travels to either where it explodes in air, or continues forward.” said Mackenzie during the daily press briefing. According to the Director, “this indicates a pretty serious dislocation of Syrian air defense.”
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards threaten Israel: ‘Finger’s on the trigger, missiles ready for launch’ – Israel News – Haaretz.com
Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami says ‘Israel is surrounded and you have nowhere to escape to except to fall into the sea’.
Iran Tells Israel ‘Our Fingers Are On the Trigger, Missiles Are Ready to Launch’ As Syria Tensions Mount
Hossein Salami, second-in-command, of the Revolutionary Guards told Israel “there is no way for you but the sea.”
Iran Will Buy All the Weapons It Needs, Doesn’t Care What the Rest of the World Thinks About It
Iran will acquire whatever weapons it needs to keep out “invading powers” that seek to surround it the country’s President Hassan Rouhani said at a military showcase in Tehran. Speaking at a rally for National Army Day, Rouhani appeared to take a swipe at the recent strikes against its ally Syria by
String ‘Em Up: Iranian Cleric Wants Money Changers Executed Amid Currency Crisis
A senior cleric wants to make examples of “several” currency exchangers by putting them to death with the rial plummeting.
Time for region’s leaders to put Arab interests first | Arab News
With the Middle Eastern policies of Western nations more fickle, uncommitted and unreliable than ever before, the Dhahran Arab League summit was an opportunity for Arab states to stand up and display strategic regional leadership.
Pentagon acknowledges US contractor presence in Syria for first time
The US military revealed in a new report that some 5,500 contractors are helping fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Turkey to go to polls for snap election on June 24
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have in a surprise move agreed to hold parliamentary and presidential elections on June 24, 2018, 17 months before the scheduled date.
U.S. has ‘concerns’ about Turkey holding fair vote under state of emergency
The United States said on Thursday it had concerns about Turkey’s ability to hold free and fair elections given the ongoing state of emergency, a day after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called for a snap vote on June 24. “During a state of emergency, it would be difficult to hold a completely
Iraq Hands Life Sentences To Russian Women For Islamic State Ties
Iraq has sentenced two women from Russia to life in prison after convicting them of belonging to the extremist Islamic State group.
Russia Works To Rescue The Lost Children Of ISIS Fighters : NPR
The government-backed effort seeks to reunite the wives and children of ISIS fighters with family in Russia. Many of the thousands of Russian Muslim men who joined ISIS were killed in the fighting.
Indiana Woman’s Future in Doubt after Leaving Packing Plant to Become Unwitting ISIS Bride | FOX40
For Samantha Sally, a vacation was all it took to flip her quiet middle-American world of muscle cars, cotton candy and an Indiana packing company, into the horror of the ritual beatings, serial rape, torture and propaganda videos of ISIS’s so-called Caliphate.
Saudi king slams Iran, US Jerusalem move at Arab summit
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Sunday slammed Iran’s “blatant interference” in regional affairs and criticised the US over Jerusalem as Arab leaders met in the kingdom for an annual gathering. The 82-year-old monarch dubbed the Arab League meeting the “Jerusalem summit” as
Opinion | Israel Celebrates Its Independence, We Mourn Our Loss – The New York Times
This week Israel celebrates 70 years since it declared independence. But as Palestinians, we mark a catastrophe.

DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports


Trump Says He’ll Abandon Kim Talks If They’re Not ‘Fruitful’ – Bloomberg
President Donald Trump said he’ll abandon plans for an unprecedented summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un if he decides it won’t be successful.
China’s attempted power play hands leverage to Trump on North Korea | TheHill
Now we know Pyongyang still needs the support of its historic ally when facing the U.S. and its allies on the diplomatic stage.
North Korea drops withdrawal of US forces as condition of denuclearization, Moon says – CNN
North Korea has dropped its long-held demand that the United States withdraw forces from South Korea in exchange for denuclearization, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Thursday.
Kim Jong-un Plans Formal Nod to Denuclearization, South Korea Says – The New York Times
The statement of willingness is expected to be part of a joint declaration by the North Korean leader and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea.
North and South Korea prepare to announce permanent end to their war | Daily Mail Online
North and South Korea are technically still at war as the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a truce, not a peace treaty, but this may finally come to a halt when Kim Jong-Un meets Moon Jae-in next week. North and South Korea may finally end the Korean War which started in 1950 War did not technically end in 1953 as sides agreed to a truce, not peace Kim Jong-Un and President Moon Jae-in are due to meet next week Kim spent the weekend celebrating Day of thew Sun – his grandfather’s birthday
Treaty to Formally End Korean War Is Being Discussed, South Confirms – The New York Times
South Korea said it had been in talks with both American and North Korean officials about replacing the 1953 armistice with a full peace agreement.
Two Koreas Discuss Official End to 68-Year War, Report Says – Bloomberg
South and North Korea are discussing plans to announce an official end to the military conflict between the two countries that are still technically at war, the Munhwa Ilbo newspaper reported, citing an unidentified South Korean official.
Will Kim Jong Un Give Up North Korea’s Nukes? History Says No – Bloomberg
If U.S. President Donald Trump presses Kim Jong Un to give up his nuclear arsenal when they meet, he’ll be asking the North Korean leader to surrender more than a half century’s labor.
Unpacking a US Decision to Engage North Korea: What it Entails and What it Could Achieve | 38 North: Informed Analysis of North Korea
By: Carla Freeman and Mel Gurtov April 16, 2018 Commentary, Special Reports, A Third Way? In a report published last January in 38 North, “Unpacking a US Decision to Use Force Against North Korea: Issues, Options, and Consequences,” Robert Jervis assesses the efficacy of using force against North Korea. Jervis cautions against assuming that superior US military and economic capabilities guarantee success in denuclearizing the North. He also underscores the uncertainties attendant to even the limited use of force: actors beyond the United States-North Korea binary will influence outcomes, and how North Korea itself will respond is unpredictable. It would be a mistake, Jervis observes, to “attribute the failure only to a lack of American willingness to be tougher.”
Person to person: North and South Korea get neighborly with direct hot line
Diplomatic foes North and South Korea installed a direct phone line between their leaders on Friday as they prepare for the first summit since 2007 – and the connection was great, the South’s presidential office said.
Trump says Pompeo meeting with Kim Jong Un went ‘very smoothly’ – POLITICO
Trump and Kim Jong UN are tentatively scheduled to meet in June.
CIA Director Mike Pompeo secretly met with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un – CNNPolitics
CIA Director Mike Pompeo visited North Korea more than two weeks ago for a secret meeting with leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, sources confirmed to CNN.
CIA Director Mike Pompeo Secretly Met With North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un: Report
Donald Trump is planning to meet with the North Korean leader in the coming months.
Trump Says U.S. and North Korea Had Direct, ‘High-Level’ Talks – Bloomberg
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit strategy faces a renewed threat on Wednesday when her flagship bill returns to Parliament’s upper chamber, where Lords of all political stripes are seeking to amend it.
Sanctions Are Hurting North Korea. Can They Make Kim Give In? – The New York Times
Despite President Trump’s “maximum pressure,” there is no sign of economic crisis in the North. Does that make its leader, Kim Jong-un, less likely to give up his weapons?


China Installed Military Jamming Equipment on Spratly Islands, U.S. Says – WSJ
Beijing’s installation of equipment capable of jamming communications and radar systems on two of its fortified outposts is a significant step in China’s creeping militarization of the South China Sea, U.S. officials say.
China has jamming equipment in the South China Sea — and the US may ‘not look kindly on it’ | Business Insider
The US Navy’s USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier has reached the Philippines, and it looks like China has jamming equipment in the South China Sea. Beijing has built and militarised artificial islands in the South China Sea, and is extremely touchy about US Navy ships sailing around them despite their legal status as lying in international waters. While jamming isn’t anywhere near shooting, the provocative activity “could lead to an escalatory pattern that could be negative for both sides,” and the US will “not look kindly” on the practice, according to an expert.
China’s military drills raise tensions in Taiwan Strait | Asia Times
China air force goads Taiwan with Hokkien-language video
China’s air force has released a propaganda film dubbed into Hokkien, a language strongly identified with Taiwan’s pro-independence movement, showing bomber aircraft which have been involved in flying patrols around the self-ruled island.
Taiwan Downplays Chinese Military Exercises – WSJ
China’s military conducted live-fire exercises in coastal waters opposite Taiwan, trying to send a message to the democratic island whose Defense Ministry dismissed the drill as small-scale intimidation.
Philippines verifying photos of China military aircraft on reef
The Philippines may lodge a protest with China against the reported presence of two military aircraft on a Chinese-built island in the South China Sea, the top Philippine diplomat said, amid concern that China is militarising the waterway.
China’s other mystery stealth bomber: Our analysis | Hush-Kit
Jim Smith had significant technical roles in the development of the UK’s leading military aviation programmes. From ASRAAM and Nimrod, to the JSF and Eurofighter Typhoon. We asked him his opinions on the Chinese H-18/JH-XX bomber concept, a mysterious project with an ambiguous designation, and unknown role, size and status.  Here’s what the article in Popular…
The Chinese Communist Party Is Setting Up Cells at Universities Across America – To Inform is to Influence
It’s a strategy to tighten ideological control. And it’s happening around the world. BY BETHANY ALLEN-EBRAHIMIAN | APRIL 18, 2018, 12:53 PM In July 2017, a group of nine Chinese students and faculty from Huazhong University of Science and Technology participating in a summer program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) formed a Chinese Communist Party branch on…
Chinese Spies Engaged in Massive Theft of U.S. Technology – To Inform is to Influence
Obama weakened counterintelligence against foreign spies, Congress told By Bill Gertz April 12, 2018 5:00 am China is engaged in large-scale theft of American research and technology from universities, using spies, students, and researchers as collectors, experts told Congress on Wednesday. Compounding the technology theft, the administration of President Barack Obama weakened U.S. counterintelligence efforts…
U.S. Ban Risks Leaving China’s Rising Tech Star ‘Half Dead’ – Bloomberg
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit strategy faces a renewed threat on Wednesday when her flagship bill returns to Parliament’s upper chamber, where Lords of all political stripes are seeking to amend it.
Old Wall Street Strategies Are Now Hugely Profitable in China – Bloomberg
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit strategy faces a renewed threat on Wednesday when her flagship bill returns to Parliament’s upper chamber, where Lords of all political stripes are seeking to amend it.


China Is Moving into the Indian Ocean | The National Interest
China is pushing westward in the Indian Ocean while New Delhi is pushing eastward through its Act East and Indo-Pacific strategies.
China’s $1 Billion White Elephant: The Port Ships Don’t Use – Bloomberg
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit strategy faces a renewed threat on Wednesday when her flagship bill returns to Parliament’s upper chamber, where Lords of all political stripes are seeking to amend it.
Ukraine, U.S. winning Indian defense market over Russia – official | UNIAN
The Armed Forces of Ukraine have conducted firing drills involving BMP-1AK infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) supplied from Poland within the military and technical cooperation program between the two countries. The IFVs have minimum mileage and barrel wear, officials stress.
Tripura CM claims Internet, satellite communication existed in Mahabharata era, gets panned | Business Standard News
Read more about Tripura CM claims Internet, satellite communication existed in Mahabharata era, gets panned on Business Standard. Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has claimed that the Internet and sophisticated satellite communication system existed in the days of Mahabharata, drawing sharp ridicule from his opponents, academicians and social media users alike who
Politics with Michelle Grattan: Clive Hamilton and Richard Rigby on Chinese influence in Australia
The Australia-China relationship is again in the headlines, with reports of strains between the two countries, resulting in federal ministers who want to visit finding it hard to get visas.
Australian warships challenged in South China Sea
Clearly, someone in Australia’s defence and security establishment wanted China’s challenge to be made public. How should we react to news reports that China challenged Australian warships in the course of transiting the South China Sea, on their way from Subic Bay in the Philippines to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam? Without knowing where the challenge occurred (was it inside 12 nautical miles of a Chinese-occupied feature, or not?) or what form it took (a verbal challenge by radio, or something more physical in nature?), it’s hard to say how significant this episode really is. China’s military has previously challenged Indian Navy vessels and Australian aircraft in the South China Sea without any indication that they were operating within 12 nautical miles of rocks or islands. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s response when asked about the reports this morning was simply to assert Australia’s “perfect right” to operate in the South China Sea. Was this the much-anticipated will-they, won’t-they Australian FONOP in the South China Sea? Probably not. Canberra’s standard refrain is that it doesn’t do FONOPs, at least not in the way the US Navy does. A navigational course from Subic Bay to Ho Chi Minh City would have taken the Australian warships conveniently close to the disputed Spratly Islands, the scene of China’s island-building efforts and US Navy FONOPs in recent years. But most likely this was a routine transit conducted in the normal operational mode.
China challenged Australian warships in South China Sea, reports say – CNN
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull asserted the right of the Australian navy to travel the South China Sea, after local media reported three Australian warships were challenged by the Chinese navy earlier this month.
The Geostrategic Challenge – And Opportunity – of the South Pacific
Editor’s Note: A version of this article was originally published by The Interpreter, which is published by the Lowy Institute, an independent, nonpartisan think tank based in Sydney. War on the Rocks is proud to be publishing select articles from The Interpreter. The United States used to think regularly about the

Foreign Policy Reports


EU Ambassador Back In Moscow After Recall
The European Union’s ambassador to Russia has returned to Moscow less than three weeks after being recalled by the EU foreign-policy chief amid severe tensions, the EU has confirmed to RFE/RL.
Fight Over Values Risks a ‘European Civil War,’ Macron Says – The New York Times
The French leader said the continent was in a battle between its postwar vision and a new populist authoritarianism that brushes aside dissent and cares little about the rule of law.
Macron to Europeans: Nationalism is not the answer | Euronews
French president calls for rebuilding the EU as a bulwark of democracy
Ex-British PM: West needs its ‘democratic mojo’ back – POLITICO
“We have the rule of law, we have independent courts … we have the free press,&quot; he said.
West Should Rediscover Its ‘Democratic Mojo,’ David Cameron Says – Bloomberg
Western countries need to “mount a fightback” against the rise of populism that’s led to Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, David Cameron said.
Washington Should Help Europe Achieve ‘Strategic Autonomy,’ Not Fight It
In 2016, the European Union issued its Global Strategy, the union’s latest foreign and security policy strategy document. The strategy “nurtures the ambition of strategic autonomy for the European Union.” American policymakers’ feelings about these aspirations are, to say the least, mixed. Several U.S. officials have


Leaked EU files show Brussels cover-up and collusion on Putin’s Gazprom abuses
Vladimir Putin&rsquo;s abusive stranglehold over European gas supplies has been laid bare by explosive EU documents, exposing deliberate violations of EU law and a pattern of political bullying over almost a decade. Vladimir Putin’s abusive stranglehold over European gas supplies has been laid bare by explosive EU documents, exposing deliberate violations of EU law and a pattern of political bullying over almost a decade. The longest investigation in EU history found that the Kremlin-controlled energy giant Gazprom has used its enormous power to pressure vulnerable states in Eastern Europe, and to fragment the EU’s unified energy market with coercive pricing policies. The report suggests that Germany has been enjoying a sweetheart deal with Gazprom, gaining a competitive advantage in gas costs at the expense of fellow EU economies and leaving front line states at the mercy of Moscow’s strong-arm tactics….
Gazprom uses leverage to manipulate gas-dependent EU countries, – The Telegraph – 112.international
Gazprom, the Russian energy monopolist uses its power to affect and manipulate the economies of gas-dependent countries of Eastern Europe. As Ukraine-Russia gas dispute continues, and the Kremlin seems to be losing – under the decision of Stockholm arbitrary court – Gazprom, the Russian energy monopolist uses its power to affect and manipulate the economies of gas-dependent countries of Eastern Europe. The Telegraph wrote that in an article on the issue. ‘The longest investigation in EU history found that the Kremlin-controlled energy giant Gazprom has used its enormous power to pressure vulnerable states in Eastern Europe and to fragment the EU’s unified energy market with coercive pricing policies. The report suggests that Germany has been enjoying a sweetheart deal with Gazprom, gaining a competitive advantage in gas costs at the expense of fellow EU economies and leaving frontline states at the mercy of Moscow’s strong-arm tactics. Hundreds of pages leaked from the European Commission paint an extraordinary picture of predatory behavior, with Gazprom acting as an enforcement arm of Russian foreign policy. Bulgaria was treated almost like a colony, while Poland was forced to pay exorbitant prices for imported flows of pipeline gas from Siberia’, the story reads.
Nord Stream 2 will finance Putin’s mafia – Czech expert – 18.04.2018 15:36 — Ukrinform News
The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project is aimed at strategic blackmail and corruption in Europe. Director of the European Values Think-Tank and Head of the Kremlin Watch Program Jakub Janda said this in an exclusive comment to Ukrinform’s correspondent in Brussels. “Nord Stream 2 is a tool of future strategic political blackmail from Russia against Europe. We have seen in the past that Moscow uses energy dependency as a blackmail tool and this Nord Stream 2 will only increase opportunities for strategic corruption by Russian money towards selected European politicians and former politicians such as Gerhard Schroder,” the Czech expert said. According to Janda, Nord Stream 2 will also “serve as a tool of funding for Putin’s mafia.” Some European media reported at the beginning of the week that on the basis of journalistic investigations conclusions were made about lobbying corruption consent between some European governments, individual companies and EU governing bodies on the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Therefore, despite direct negative consequences for EU energy security and non-compliance with EU legislation, the pipeline, which is considered to be a purely political rather than economic project for Europe and is lobbied by the Kremlin, receives support for implementation at this stage.
Why Putin’s Pal, Germany’s Ex-Chancellor Schroeder, Isn’t On A Sanctions List : Parallels : NPR
Gerhard Schroeder went from chancellor of Germany to chairman of key Russian energy corporations. But many Germans are in no mood for more sanctions against Kremlin interests.
UAWire – US offers alternative to Nord Stream 2 pipeline
The United States can ensure delivery of energy resources at low prices. According to US Permanent Representative to NATO Kay Hutchison, such a solution could serve as an alternative for countries that are dependent on Russian gas. “I want to emphasize that we are all very worried about Nord Stream 2. We should not be dependent on Russia because of energy needs. We hope, many of us hope, that the US will be able to offer diversified energy resources,” Hutchison said. According to Hutchinson, just a year and a half ago, the US could not provide such oil and gas exports because the country had to ensure it had enough resources for domestic consumption. “Today, our technology allows America to become one of the largest producers of oil and natural gas. Yes, we won’t be the largest exporter, because we consume a lot. But we will have an export campaign, which means that the prices for our natural gas supplies will decrease. We are currently building the infrastructure to do this. We will be able to export oil and natural gas at reduced prices, which can become diversified resources, including for Ukraine, and we hope, Germany, because we do not want the Russian [supported] Nord Stream 2 to contain the European response to Russian aggression. Nord Stream 2, which will cause dependence on Russian resources, will damage the ability of dependent countries to confront Russia,” the NATO representative stressed.
Brussels and Berlin promise to keep gas transit via Ukraine after Nord Stream 2 is built – 16.04.2018 14:45 — Ukrinform News
Brussels and Berlin promise to guarantee the transit of gas via Ukraine after the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is constructed.
Ukrainian gas transit route “strategic” to EU’s security: energy chief | UNIAN
The Ukrainian gas transit route is of strategic importance to the energy security of the European Union, the bloc’s energy chief has said. Sefcovic said, despite a recent dispute with Russia, Ukraine was able to ensure gas transit to EU consumers.
UAWire – Ukraine intends to impose sanctions against companies participating in the construction of Nord Stream-2 pipeline
International companies participating in the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline project may not be allowed to run business in Ukraine, the Minister of …


Thousands of Hungarians Protest Against Newly Elected Leader – The New York Times
The demonstrations reflect the deep divisions in this Central European country that has been at forefront of a regional drift away from liberal Western values.
Tens of thousands of Hungarians in anti-Orban protest [Video]
Many tens of thousands of Hungarians protest in Budapest against newly re-elected Prime Minister Viktor Orban, saying they want to “live in a state of law”.
Anti-Fidesz protest planned in Hungary, Europe on Saturday | The Budapest Business Journal on the web | bbj.hu
After the overwhelming victory of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party in Sunday’s Hungarian general election, what is being touted as the “largest protest of Hungarians to date” is being planned for tomorrow (April 14) at 5:30.p.m; more than 130,000 people have said they will attend on Facebook.
Hungary’s Orban retains two-thirds legislative majority | The Times of Israel
Final ballot count gives ruling right-wing Fidesz party 133 seats in the 199-seat parliament, after elections that observers said were marked by ‘intimidating, xenophobic rhetoric’
Sting operations and war on migration help Orbán to victory | World news | The Guardian
Was there a hidden strategy in play behind Hungarian PM’s election victory?


Moscow Using Serbs Against Bosnia as It Did Ethnic Russians Against Ukraine – Jamestown
Many Western analysts have focused on the ways Moscow is seeking to use ethnic Russians and Russian-speakers in the former Soviet republics to expand the Kremlin’s influence—both by actually destabilizing these countries or simply raising the specter that it could repeat there what it has been doing in Ukraine since 2014. But fewer have considered that Moscow is pursuing a similar strategy in the Balkans by using Serbian groups allied with Russia. In particular, these tactics are targeting Bosnia-Herzegovina and seeking to further destabilize the broader region in order to try to block the enlargement of Western institutions like the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Two decades ago, Moscow did much the same thing as Yugoslavia came apart, relying on the Serbs until it was countered by the West (Paul Goble, “Dangerous Liaisons: Moscow, the Former Yugoslavia and the West” in Richard Ullman, ed., The World and Yugoslavia’s Wars, 1996, pp. 182–197). That experience has largely been forgotten by the West, but not by Moscow, as the US-based Foreign Policy Research Institute points out in a new report. One of its co-authors, Emir Suljagic, recently discussed the nature and implications of Russian involvement of this kind for the Balkans and for the West in an interview with Radio Liberty (Krymr.com, April 18).
Talk Of Paramilitaries, Real Or Imagined, Could Fuel Division
Are mounting reports of paramilitary groups lighting a dangerous fuse in Bosnia? (The views expressed in this blog post do not necessarily reflect those of RFE/RL.)
Serbian Nobel Nominee Lauded Abroad, Scorned At Home
The name Natasa Kandic raises hackles among Balkan nationalists despite her inclusive approach to justice for victims of atrocity. (The views expressed in this blog post do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.)
Serbia, And Its Parliament, Grapple With Fate Of War Criminal Vojislav Seselj
Opinion in Serbia is sharply divided over whether ultranationalist Vojislav Seselj’s conviction on war crimes charges should prevent him from taking up a seat in parliament.
Russia Set to Grab Economic Foothold in Reluctant EU Member – Bloomberg
Two Russian banks are on the verge of taking a substantial equity stake of Croatia’s biggest retailer, expanding Moscow’s reach in a corner of the European Union that has for years tried to fend off Russian investment.
Montenegro’s Djukanovic Defies Balkan Political Instability With Ability To Change
Milo Djukanovic, who has led Montenegro from the presidency or the prime minister’s office for decades, has been a master of change.
Romanian Prosecutors Indict Former President For 1989 Uprising Deaths
Romanian prosecutors have formally indicted former President Ion Iliescu for crimes against humanity, contending that he shares responsibility for the more than 1,100 deaths that occurred during th…


UAWire – Media: Russia bribed President of International Biathlon Union with paid escorts
According to the German publication Bild, citing sources from the channel ARD, an official Russian delegation paid for call girl services for the President of the International Biathlon Union (IBU) Anders Besseberg in exchange for his support in choosing Tyumen as the host city for the 2021 World Cup. Besseberg, a Norwegian citizen, has taken a temporary leave of absence from activity with the IBU in connection with an investigation into the concealment of doping incidents. The Norwegian tabloid Verdens Gang previously reported that the IBU President had concealed 65 doping cases involving Russian biathletes beginning in 2011, for which, according to the Norwegian media, he received 300,000 euros. The Austrian police are currently investigating the activities of the IBU; World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) informant Grigory Rodchenkov is cooperating with the investigation. The president of IBU claims that he did not hide a single doping test by Russian biathletes. “I told investigators everything. Rodchenkov has attracted attention, but lawyers do not even have the means to contact him. I am convinced that it is impossible to hide blood samples from the existing system,” Besseberg said. Le Monde earlier reported that IBU staff were offered 25,000 to 100,000 euros in exchange for a vote in support of Russian city Tyumen as the host city for the 2021 World Cup. 25 of the 49 members of the organization’s congress voted for Russia’s application. Tyumen was deprived of the right to conduct competitions in 2017 due to the doping scandal.
UAWire – Media: Germany’s most expensive villa belongs to a fugitive Ukrainian businessman
The fugitive Ukrainian businessman Mykola Guta, who in the past managed the MRIYA Agro Holding, is selling his Villa Glory in Garmisch- …
Theresa May Faces a New Brexit Challenge From the House of Lords – Bloomberg
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit strategy faces a renewed threat on Wednesday when her flagship bill returns to Parliament’s upper chamber, where Lords of all political stripes are seeking to amend it.
EU tells Turkey to be ‘neighbourly’ to win membership
The EU on Tuesday criticised Turkey’s efforts to win membership of the bloc, saying recent spats with European states were “not conducive to good neighbourly relations”. In its latest report on Ankara’s long-stalled bid to join the union, the European Commission said “serious
WWII bomb forces mass evacuation in central Berlin
German police began evacuating thousands of people around Berlin’s central railway station on Friday, as bomb disposal experts prepare to move in to defuse an unexploded World War II explosive unearthed on a building site. Authorities have declared an exclusion zone with an 800-metre (yard) radius
After 59 Years, a Castro Is No Longer Official Leader of Cuba – WSJ
Raúl Castro kicked off a generational change in Cuba by handing over the nation’s presidency to his handpicked successor, a long-time party apparatchik, marking the first time since 1959 that Cuba’s destiny will be in the hands of a man not named Castro.


Tensions in Labour erupt over rising abuse of Jews | News | The Times
Labour’s antisemitism row intensified yesterday as three of the party’s Jewish MPs received standing ovations in the Commons after attacking its handling of the issue.Jewish leaders also said they would boycott a meeting next week with Jeremy Corbyn after it emerged that a hard-left group which deni
‘Enough is enough’: MPs rip leader Jeremy Corbyn for rise in anti-Semitism in U.K. Labour Party | National Post
‘I have never felt as nervous and frightened as I feel today at being a Jew. It feels that my party has given permission for anti-Semitism to go unchallenged’
QUENTIN LETTS watches as Corbyn muttered like a bulldog chomping on nettles | Daily Mail Online
A tad of Baldrick-ian calamity for Jeremy Corbyn. First he saw his cunning plan – of getting the Commons to vote on Government war powers – backfire like a badly-serviced Wartburg Knight.
German Theater Offers Free Tickets to Theatergoers Wearing Swastikas
Audience members would have an option to wear a Star of David or the Nazi-branded symbol to a play named after Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.”

Strategy / History / Capability Publications


The Pursuit of AI Is More Than an Arms Race – Defense One
Dealing wisely with the challenges of artificial intelligence requires reframing the current debates.
The Pentagon Is Building an AI Product Factory – Defense One
Job One for the new Joint Artificial Intelligence Center will be delivering solutions for services’ specific problems.
Pentagon developing artificial intelligence center
The Pentagon is working to stand up a center for all its artificial intelligence research.
Britain can show the world the best of AI | Comment | The Times
As a member of the House of Lords select committee on artificial intelligence, whose report is released today, I was struck by two things during the course of our inquiry: how well placed Britain could be to take advantage of the new technologies that go under the name of AI, should we choose to pla
Eric Schmidt Didn’t Know That Google Was Working the Pentagon’s AI Project – Defense One
The former chairman of Google was kept in the dark about the company’s outreach to the Defense Department — by design, he says.
NSC Readies Major Overhaul in US Arms Exports « Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary
The Trump Administration is putting the final touches on a plan to speed up arms sales to allies, and play catchup to China and Israel in selling armed drones.
Trump’s new drone, defense export rules expected this week
The Trump administration is set to unveil a series of rules making it easier to export drones to other nations.
The US Navy Wants a Better Way to Keep China’s Nose Out of Its Contracts – Defense One
A subcontract with a Huawei partner has the secretary looking for an ‘institutional algorithm’ for spotting dicey partnerships.
Robert H. Scales | Forecasting the Future of Warfare
“No one in this room can accurately predict the future, least of all me. The nature of war is never gonna change. But the character of war is changing before our eyes — with the introduction of a lot of technology, a lot of societal changes with urbanization and a wide variety of other factors.” -Gen. Mark Milley at
High-cost satellites remain vulnerable to low-cost threats
Satellites are critical for national security. But despite advances in technology, these expensive assets often remain vulnerable to low cost threats.
Aerospace Security Project | Center for Strategic and International Studies
Microsite The Aerospace Security Project at CSIS explores the technological, budgetary, and policy issues related to the air and space domains and innovative operational concepts for air and space forces. Part of the International Security Program at CSIS, the Aerospace Security Project is led by Senior Fellow Todd Harrison and includes the following research areas. Space Security examines how the evolving military uses of space and the lack of norms of behavior affects escalation and deterrence. It explores how alternative architectures and new operational concepts for space-based capabilities can be used to improve stability and enhance the resilience of U.S. military space systems. Air Dominance and Long-Range Strike looks at the future of air and missile forces in a more contested operating environment. It analyzes the role of stealth, unmanned systems, and autonomous systems and how these capabilities can be integrated with legacy aircraft to enable new operational concepts. It also explores options for standoff attack, the missile salvo competition, and the air and ground-based legs of the nuclear triad. Commercial and Civil Space analyzes how U.S. civil and commercial space programs can be used to promote norms of behavior in space and enhance U.S. national security in the space domain. It explores international partnerships in space, efforts to reduce the costs of launch, new commercial space technologies, and policy issues that affect civil and commercial space programs. Photo by blueforce4116 licensed under CC by 2.0
Air Force launches experiment to boost satellite communications
The Air Force sent a package of innovative and secretive satellites to orbit Saturday night.
For satellite imagery to thrive, industry wants reforms
Regulations for the satellite imagery sector have left industry leaders flustered, but they’re hopeful change is on the way.
$8.63-billion advanced fighter aircraft project with Russia put on ice | Business Standard News
Read more about $8.63-billion advanced fighter aircraft project with Russia put on ice on Business Standard. National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval tells Russian delegation at “Defence Acquisition Meeting” that India shelving $8.63 billion deal to improve PAK-FA with IAF’s requirements. Find latest updates on India Russia defence deal.
Military Drones Prove Vulnerable to GPS Jamming
Maritime security experts have warned for years about the hazards that simple GPS jamming methods co…
The Air Force is still thinking about retiring the F-15 — and it could happen sooner than you think
The Air Force still is considering a possible retirement of the fourth-generation F-15 Eagle fighter — and it could happen by the end of the next decade.
USAF Announces Major New Hypersonic Weapon Contract « Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary
The Pentagon is moving out quickly amid worries that China has outpaced U.S. capabilities in hypersonic weapons development.
LRASM field test from F/A-18 Super Hornet slated for this year | ExecutiveBiz
Boeing‘s F/A-18 Super Hornet will be live-testing Lockheed Martin‘s Long Range Anti-Ship Missile later this year, Military.com reported Tuesday. The AGM-158C LRASM is expected to become operational in September 2019. At Naval Station Patuxent River, Md., the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet completed a successful “jettison release” test in 2017, which led to captive-carry tests at Navy Air Weapons Station China Lake, Calif., currently being held. The precision-guided missile will likely first be field tested on Boeing’s B-1B Lancer bomber. B-1 crews shot the LRASM at Point Mugu Sea Range, Calif., in December, with the first B-1B test occurring in August. According to Alan Jackson, Lockheed’s vice president of strike systems, all six tests have been a success. Two more flights are slated for summer ahead of September’s test. Jackson says the missiles have deck-launch capability from a U.S. Navy destroyer’s vertical launch system. He adds they have an increased survivability rate when compared to Tomahawk cruise missiles since their low-observable technologies make them more difficult to detect. Since the B-1 can already launch the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range, it was seen as a natural fit for the LRASM. Like the JASSM-ER, the LRASM is outfitted with a 1,000-lb. warhead, features pinpoint accuracy using an infrared sensor, and includes GPS and anti-jamming navigation. However, the LRASM can also detect, identify and attack moving underwater targets, and contains a datalink on board that allows it to communicate with its launch platform. Lockheed is in Block 1 production for the LRASM, with the Air Force contract providing for 23 missiles to date. Both the Air Force and Navy have streamlined the testing process for their aircraft, Jackson says.
Boeing and Rolls-Royce Invest in a New Hybrid Rocket Engine
The best features of a jet engine and rocket engine combined into one design.
Air Force plan for a futuristic laser cannon hit huge obstacle – Business Insider
Air Force Special Operations Command has been itching to add a laser beam to the already-brimming arsenal of its AC-130J Ghostrider gunships.
Everybody wants the ability to take down drones
The days of hunting drones exclusively by missile are over, and two stories this week better reflect the new counter-drone world.
This remote controlled ‘naval mine’ attaches to ships, explodes on command
This stealthy underwater device reportedly sticks itself under the hull of an enemy vessel with electromagnetic magnets. And then BOOM.
UAWire – Russia to replace Grad and Smerch MLRS with new generation systems
Russia has stopped serial production of the Grad and Smerch Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), as they are to be replaced by a new generation of MLRS, as announced by Vladimir Lepin, CEO of Techmash (part of Rostec), Rossiyskaya Gazeta reports. According to him, the Grad system first appeared in 1963. It has been an extremely successful project, which has been improved several times, and today “it would completely satisfy the requirements of the time”. “Not only the Grad, but also the more powerful Smerch MLRS will be gradually replaced. Already today, the serial release of Grad and Smerch systems has been discontinued. Production of two new systems – the Tornado G and the Tornado S – has begun. One will have the Grad’s 122mm caliber, and the other will have a 300mm like the Smerch system’s,” Lepin explained. He noted that the Tornadoes are completely new generation systems, equipped with modern ballistic computers that work in conjunction with the Global Navigation System (GLONASS), and the “accuracy and range of their shots is significantly better than their predecessors’”. “With the Tornado-G we have achieved significant growth in firing power. On the face of it, the decision was simple, but there were many nuances. The classic Grad rockets destroy area at an inclined trajectory. The Tornado-G’s load has new ammunition – when it is over the target, a combat unit detaches, a parachute opens and an entire salvo is fired vertically. Thus there can be an explosion from both the strike and at a certain altitude,” the CEO of Techmash explained. Lepin also noted that the Tornado S rockets “can correct themselves in flight, which significantly increases the accuracy of target destruction at a distance greater than 100 km. However, they are not corrected by a human operator, but by the guidance system located directly inside the rocket”. “We are still producing quite a powerful MLRS – the 220mm Uragan. This system has also been upgraded. A feature of the Uragan 1M is a package charge. There are two packages on the launcher. One can be 220 mm, the other 300 mm. Or two 220 mm. The guidance tubes are carbon fiber. They are filled with rockets at a factory or special artillery arsenal. After firing a salvo with the Uragan 1M, the launch unit is simply discarded, which enables the machines to leave the firing position quickly. Then fully loaded packages with new rockets are installed at a safe distance,” Lepin continued.
Why the Navy wants more of these hard-to-find software developers
While the Navy has stood up a direct commissioning program for software engineers, it has only commissioned 25 officers since 2011.
The Army sensors that could lead to maintenance-free aircraft
Researchers at the Army Research Laboratory say they have tested a new sensor that would help detect aircraft maintenance.
T-6 Pilots Report Eight New Physiological Events | Defense content from Aviation Week
U.S. Air Force student and instructor pilots have reported eight additional physiological events in the T-6 Texan II trainer since March 1.
Video: Podcast: Sizing Up the U.S. Navy’s MQ-25 Competition | Combat Aircraft content from Aviation Week
Boeing, General Atomics and Lockheed Martin have revealed new design details and the ability to carry weapons.
F-22 Raptor Performs Belly Landing in Nevada
Thankfully the pilot was not injured in the incident.
F-35 Aims to Finish System Development and Demonstration Flights This Week
The F-35 program expects to hit a major milestone in its development this week, conducting the final flight in its system development demonstration test—wrapping up flights in a test program that included 70,000 test points and 9,000 flight hours. Joint Program Office Executive Vice Adm. Mat Winter, speaking at the Navy League’s Sea Air Space expo in National Harbor, Md., said the milestone comes at a time when the program is moving forward on negotiations for the next production lot contracts and as the contractors on the program are working to dramatically reduce production and sustainment costs. “This is real, folks,” Winter said. “There are 280 aircraft out there operational, and ready to go to war. We own the fight.” The program office is “getting close” to closing out the deal for low-rate initial production Lot 11. It has also fielded proposals from Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney on Lots 12, 13, and 14. The JPO is going into these negotiations with a focus on driving the “cost out of production,” Winter said. Under the previous contract award, the Air Force’s F-35A variant fell below $100 million per airplane. By Lots 14 and 15, all three variants will be under the $100 million mark.
UK’s Royal Air Force Debuts First F-35 Squadron | Defense content from Aviation Week
Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) has re-established 617 Sqdn. as the nation’s first unit to fly the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter.
Meet the new Pentagon official who will buy software for the F-35
Jeff Boleng will advise the Department of Defense on software acquisition, especially for the F-35 joint strike fighter.
Underwater GPS Inspired by Shrimp Eyes – IEEE Spectrum
Cameras that see light polarization patterns can provide a GPS substitute under the sea
Self-Powered Image Sensor Could Watch You Forever – IEEE Spectrum
New technology puts the equivalent of a solar cell under each pixel


Nazi Germany’s Most High-Tech Submarine Has Been Found Near Denmark
A Nazi submarine that sank in the waning days of World War II has just been discovered off the coast of Denmark.
Messerschmitt Me 262 “Schwalbe” – First Flight Over Berlin after 61 Years, Historical Footage! – YouTube
Amateur Archaeologist And 13-Year-Old Student Discover Trove Tied To Danish King : The Two-Way : NPR
The duo uncovered thousand-year-old silver coins, pearls, rings and a hammer in northern Germany. They include coins from the reign of Harald Bluetooth of Denmark — possibly from his own trove.
Boy unearths treasure of the Danish king Bluetooth in Germany | World news | The Guardian
Discovery by a 13-year-old boy and an amateur archaeologist leads to hoard linked to king who brought Christianity to Denmark

IW/IO/Cyber Reports


Nielsen says cyber is a conflict, not an IT challenge
Kirstjen Nielsen, head of the Department of Homeland Security told the RSA conference
EU East StratCom Task Force Disinformation Review – When nothing is true and everything is possible – To Inform is to Influence
19 April 2018 *TRENDS OF THE WEEK* When nothing is true and everything is possible The last couple of weeks, we have seen two major campaigns unfold within the pro-Kremlin disinformation machinery: the disinformation surrounding the poisoning of the Skripals, where the number of narratives spread about it from pro-Kremlin sources is now 31 (!);…
Algorithms, bots, and political communication in the US 2016 election – The Computational Propaganda Project
Sandy Hook Parents Sue Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones Over Claim Shooting Was ‘Fake’ : The Two-Way : NPR
The defamation cases chronicle instances in which the right-wing host alleged the 2012 school massacre was a “giant hoax” staged by the federal government to undermine Second Amendment rights.
How I Accidentally Spread ‘Fake News’ And Learned From It
I was about to tweet an apology for having inadvertently misled; but before doing so, I read through the deluge of responses and realized they said more about the problem than I ever could. (The vi…
One tiny corner of the U.S. government pushes back against Russian disinformation – To Inform is to Influence
Polygraph is part of a small U.S. government effort to counter the Russian propaganda machine. by Ken Dilanian and Rich Gardella / Apr.15.2018 / 9:05 AM ET WASHINGTON — When reports began to emerge last month that Russian mercenaries had attacked a U.S. base in Syria, Russia issued a flat denial, and the U.S. was silent. Then, leaked recordings surfaced on…
Russian Information Warfare Is The Lingchi Of The 21st Century – To Inform is to Influence
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joe Dunford, recently spoke about Russian Information Warfare. What the Russians are trying to do in the gray zone is undermine the credibility of U.S. alliances and partnerships, the general said. “So what’s critical for us to do is overcome in the information space, overcome in…
“USA Really. Wake Up Americans”: Russia launching another propaganda outlet in U.S. | UNIAN
A combined press release and job announcement appeared in English earlier this month on the website of RIA FAN, a Russian news agency based in St. Petersburg, calling for English-speaking journalists and authors to work on a project called “Wake up, America!” A journalistic research project undertaken last year by the independent Russian news outlet RBC showed that the project’s mother company is in fact an offspring project of the famous St. Petersburg “troll factory.”
Zero Shades of Grey: Russian-Ops Violate International Law – To Inform is to Influence
by Steven J. Barela March 29, 2018 A lot more is known since January 2017 when I wrote a piece for Just Security arguing that the Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election should be interpreted as a violation of international law. We now know that the operation has continued since the election, and that it is a broad, deep…
EU to demand improvements on tackling fake news by end of year: draft – To Inform is to Influence
By REUTERS last updated: 12/04/2018 By Julia Fioretti BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union is set to demand tech giants like Facebook <FB.O> and Google <GOOGL.O> do more to stop the spread of fake news on their websites by the end of the year to avoid possible regulatory actions, according to a draft document seen by Reuters. The…
How Did the Pentagon Quantify This Bizarre Statistic on ‘Russian Trolls’? – To Inform is to Influence
Unfortunately, this is a hit piece and is not truly asking nor exploring “How Did the Pentagon Quantify This Bizarre Statistic on ‘Russian Trolls’?” It does, however, give insight as to the bias against Pentagon statistics of this particular author. His snarky, sneering attack is abhorrent and it does not deserve publication.  It is quite…
DHS Funds Tech to Root Out Malware in Government Mobile Apps – Nextgov
The tool, developed with Red Hat, is one of several the department is touting at the RSA Cybersecurity conference.
Meet the Russian-Owned Firm Creating an Army of Traveling ‘Proxies’ – Foreign Policy
A former senior Russian intelligence official has created an American tech firm that pays people to go places and film things.
How North Korea’s Hackers Became Dangerously Good – WSJ
North Korea’s fingerprints have appeared recently in some surprisingly sophisticated cyberattacks, including on central banks and cryptocurrency exchanges. Pyongyang is cultivating elite hackers much like other countries train Olympic athletes.
Has a Russian intelligence agent hacked your wifi? – To Inform is to Influence
James Ball @jamesrbuk Tue 17 Apr 2018 09.44 EDT  A global conflict is taking place on the internet – and your router may be more attractive to a foreign operative than you think Another day, another hacking attack – or, in Monday’s case, another few million hacking attacks. Russia has been blamed by the US and the UK for…
Russian Cyber Attacks Escalate International Tensions
The US and UK have issued an “unprecedented joint alert” regarding an increase in Russian cyber attacks against American and British companies and government operations. The Russian cyber attacks are said to have infected millions of computers especially in the US, UK, and Australia.
Russian cyber attack should be met by counter-strikes | TheHill
It’s a new era of warfare and the stunning state-sponsored attack targeting millions of computers deserves a forceful response.
If Russia launches a cyber attack on the UK, this is what we can do | The Independent
As tensions rise with Russia, both over the Salisbury incident and the recent strikes on Syria, the risk of a serious cyber attack on the UK has gone up substantially. So, what do we expect?
Russian hacker warning: How to protect yourself from network attacks | ZDNet
Consumers are urged to check their devices are secure – but how many devices are just forgotten about?


Should Congress treat Facebook like the Exxon Valdez?
A prominent security professional at the RSA conference likened Facebook to the giant oil company in the late 1980s.
Cambridge Analytica’s ex-CEO backs out of giving evidence to UK parliament | TechCrunch
Alexander Nix, the former CEO of the political consultancy firm at the center of a storm about mishandled Facebook users data, has backed out of re-appearing in front of the UK parliament for a second time. Nix had been scheduled to take questions from the DCMS committee that’s probing online misinformation tomorrow afternoon. In a press notice today, the committee said: “The former CEO of Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix, is now refusing to appear before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee at a public session tomorrow, Wednesday 18th April, at 2.15pm. He cites the Information Commissioner’s Office’s ongoing investigation as a reason not to appear.” Nix has already given evidence to the committee — in February — but last month it recalled him, saying it has fresh questions for him in light of revelations that millions of Facebook users had their data passed to CA in violation of Facebook’s policies.
Cambridge Analytica chief refuses to appear before fake news inquiry | UK news | The Guardian
Alexander Nix’s lawyers cite criminal investigation into firm’s use of data as reason for no-show
Cambridge Analytica and SCL – how I peered inside the propaganda machine – To Inform is to Influence
Full disclosure: The author, Dr. Emma Briant and I are professional associates, perhaps even friends. We frequently confer on matters regarding propaganda. I consider her the top authority in the world on propaganda, since the passing of Dr. Phil Taylor of the University of Leeds. We are now practically neighbors (perhaps even neighbours) upon her…
Lawmakers publish evidence that Cambridge Analytica work helped Brexit group
British lawmakers on Monday published evidence that Brexit campaign group Leave.EU benefited from work by Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy at the center of a recent storm over use of Facebook data.
Cambridge Analytica work helped Brexit group – evidence | UNIAN
British lawmakers on Monday published evidence that Brexit campaign group Leave.EU benefited from work by Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy at the center of a recent storm over use of Facebook data. The “extreme messaging” around immigration during the campaign meant these statements will frighten targeted voters with messaging designed to create “an artificial enemy” for them to act against.
Ex-Spies Are Harvesting Facebook Photos For A Massive Facial Recognition Database – To Inform is to Influence
These Ex-Spies Are Harvesting Facebook Photos For A Massive Facial Recognition Database Thomas Fox-Brewster , Forbes Staff I cover crime, privacy and security in digital and physical forms. https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2018/04/16/huge-facebook-facial-recognition-database-built-by-ex-israeli-spies/#352242fc7f18 When Mark Zuckerberg appeared before the House Energy and Commerce Committee last week in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica revelations, he tried to describe the…
Help to break Facebook’s grip on data, peers urge Whitehall | News | The Times
Data held on people by the NHS and other public institutions should be made available to artificial intelligence companies to counter the giant US technology companies, a House of Lords report has recommended.The authors said that companies such as Facebook and Google benefited from huge “network

US Domestic Policy Reports


Macron, Merkel Set to Visit Trump With Iran Deal Hanging in the Balance – WSJ
French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit the White House next week, hoping to persuade President Donald Trump against pulling the U.S. out of the Iranian nuclear agreement.
Opinion: Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron embody a two-speed EU | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 19.04.2018
Germany and France are the drivers of European Union integration. But Chancellor Angela Merkel could struggle if she tries keeping up with President Emmanuel Macron’s breakneck reform agenda, says DW’s Jens Thurau.
Nikki Haley hits harder, emerges stronger for Oval Office run | TheHill
She’s not a rising star. She is a star.
Pompeo’s Secret Korea Trip May Not Save His Nomination, But It Could Save Trump’s Summit – Defense One
The president needs a \”win\” somewhere so badly that at the summit he may accept a nuclear freeze and a determined process as a major victory. That is a …
U.S. Democratic Party Sues Russia, Trump Campaign
The U.S. Democratic Party has filed a lawsuit against the Russian government, President Donald Trump’s election campaign, and the WikiLeaks organization, accusing them of conspiring to disrupt th…
UAWire – Russian Foreign Ministry: Direct flights between Russia and US may cease
Russia and the US may no longer have direct air traffic, due to the difficulties encountered by Aeroflot crews in acquiring American visas, the …
U.S. Says Russia Agrees To Extend Overflight Approvals For U.S. Carriers
The United States says Russia agreed to extend overflight approvals for U.S. airlines, hours before a deal on the overflights was set to expire.
Trump Asserts He Did Not Fire FBI Chief Over Russia Probe
U.S. President Donald Trump has said that he did not fire James Comey as FBI director in 2017 over the agency’s probe into alleged Russian meddling in the election that put him in office.
Manafort Suspected of Serving as ‘Back Channel’ to Russia, DOJ Says – Bloomberg
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s interest in former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort stemmed in part from his suspected role as a “back channel” between the campaign and Russians intent on meddling in the election, a Justice Department lawyer told a judge.
Fresno State professor placed on leave after tweeting ‘Trump must hang’
A history professor at Fresno State has been placed on paid leave for the remainder of the semester


He Inhaled Mustard Agent in Iraq, but the Navy Denied Him a Purple Heart – The New York Times
In 2006, Jeremiah Foxwell became the Navy’s first known chemical-warfare casualty after the Iraq invasion, but the service refuses to award him a Purple Heart.
Two Decades of War Have Eroded the Morale of America’s Troops – Defense One
If the courage of young men and women in battle truly does depend on the nature and quality of our civic society, we should be very worried.
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