Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Salisbury CW Attack / Syrian CW Attack (58)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

I respectfully disagree with the anonymous expert’s opinion about Rubin’s piece on the Russian Troll Factory and the new RIA FAN’s operation “USA Really. Wake Up Americans.”  I do not think the article well researched, I believe it is poorly written, and after reading I had more questions than answers. New Russian Propaganda Outlet In May 2018: “USA Really. Wake Up Americans”

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While the Russian propaganda machine has not been unusually visible over the last few days, the Russian AV-MF contingent indulged in more aerial harassment in the Baltics. Russia’s defence budget is reported to be diving, noting that this will exclude a usually large black component. An excellent analysis of Russian trolling by Rubin – the reinforcement of Muscovy’s alternate reality is indeed another self-destructive effect. More on troll meddling in the US, attempting to sabotage shale industry. Telegram blowback cascades. Turks furious about fake news of yet to be determined origin.

In the UK, Skripals being harassed by a troll of yet to be determined origin. Magnitsky Bill moving through UK parliamentary process. Reports allege a major Brexit back was working for Russia.

In the Middle East, debate over Russia’s export of the S-300PMU2 to Syria is petering out. Hama attack attributed to Israel. A major debate, as expected, erupts over the Netanyahu brief on Iran. Previous Administration’s staff attack Netanyahu brief, and Netanyahu himself with claims of collusion with POTUS.

Russian jet intercepts US Navy plane – CNNPolitics

A Russian Su-27 fighter jet performed an “unprofessional” intercept of a US Navy P-8 surveillance plane while it was flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea Tuesday, two defense officials told CNN.

Russian fighter jet reportedly intercepts US military plane | The Independent

A Russian fighter jet has reportedly intercepted a US surveillance plane in international airspace. The Russian Su-27 jet performed an “unprofessional” but not unsafe interception of a US Navy P-8 plane that was flying over the Baltic Sea, defence officials told CNN and Fox News. The jet reportedly came within 20 feet of the US aeroplane, but American pilots told officials they never felt threatened, according to Fox.

Russian fighter jet buzzes US spy plane | Fox News Video

Newly sworn in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed NATO allies and called for unity against Russian meddling; former ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker reacts.

Russia cuts military spending by 20%, first time in recent decades – SIPRI experts | UNIAN

Russia in 2017 reduced military spending by 20%, which became the first decrease in allocations in almost two decades. The move is due to a deep economic recession caused by the 2014 fall in oil prices and the impact of Western sanctions, the experts say.

Russia’s military spending drops for first time in 20 years

Grim economic reality is pushing Russia’s grand military modernization plans to the side.

Russia, Despite Military Ventures, Cut Defense Spending By Most In Decades

Western sanctions and a long recession forced Russia’s military to slash spending by 20 percent last year, its first drop in nearly two decades, a closely followed think-tank report said.

Even as fear of Russia is rising, its military spending is actually decreasing – The Washington Post

Russia’s economy has been stagnating since 2014 and the money isn’t there for more costly military adventures

Why Is Russia Cutting Military Spending?

Russia’s 2017 spend was $66.3 billion—20 per cent lower than in 2016.

Struggling Russia cuts military spending, could weaken its forces – Business Insider

Russian military spending fell by a fifth last year, its first decline in nearly two decades, with tighter purse-strings likely to affect Moscow’s military activity ahead. But while global military spending rose one percent to $1,739 billion last year, Russia’s fell 20 percent in real terms to $66.3 billion. Russia’s finances are still fragile following a two-year economic downturn brought on by Western sanctions and a collapse in global oil prices.

Russian threat is an ‘eye opener’ for Marines

Observations of advanced electronic warfare capabilities have confirmed that Marine Corps forces will have to operate in degraded environments.

Rubin: Troll factory does most harm in Russia, not America

The real threat is that Russians will have a false sense of U.S. motivations in the Ukraine and the world

Russian trolls are pitting Americans against energy industry | TheHill

The evidence is mounting that Russian cyber-meddling had any impact on U.S. attitudes toward domestic energy production?

Russians Protest Ban On Telegram App During Traditional May Day Parade

Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg to protest against government attempts to curtail Internet freedom — marching defiantly while more than 100,000 other Russians took part in the traditional May Day parade.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin’s Telegram Ban Doing More than Western Sanctions to Divide Russian Elite

Paul Goble Staunton, May 1 – Anger about the blocking of the Telegram messenger service has spread from rights activists to opposition leaders like Aleksey Navalny and to the millions of ordinary Russians who have become accustomed to using the Internet. But the most important group angered by this Kremlin move is a significant part of the elite, Igor Bunin says. The head of the Moscow Center for Political Technologies tells the URA news agency that portions of the elite also rely on the Internet, view it as important to the future of their companies and their country, and could if the regime doesn’t change course join the other groups in protesting ( Bunin does not say but the implications of his remarks are clear: the Putin regime has suffered from a self-inflicted would that has divided the elite between those like Putin who are prepared to go back to the past regardless of the costs to the economy and the country and those who look to the future and know it rests not with the old economy but with the information one. This divide between those looking to the past and those looking to the future is being highlighted by others ( and And that in turn has the following implication, one likely to matter ever more if Putin doesn’t back down and quite possibly even if he does: his clumsy approach to blocking the Telegram messenger service has divided the elite on which he depends even more than Western sanctions have done at least so far. The Kremlin leader can play to patriotism in the face of Western actions, but his obscurantism in the case of the Internet will only infuriate those who hope that Russian can become something more than a raw materials supplier to the West and become a modern country. Against that appeals to patriotism will do little even among his own elite.

Turkey denies report on Syria meeting with Russia, Iran

Turkey on April 30 rejected a Euronews report regarding a meeting of Turkish, Russian and Iranian Foreign Ministers on Syria held in Moscow over the weekend.

UAWire – Estonian Foreign Minister says Russia should be negotiated with from a position of strength and unity

In an interview with the Australian newspaper Sydney Morning Herald, Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser said that he is convinced that the …

Sergei Skripal family ‘stalked by Twitter troll claiming to be Yulia’ | Daily Mail Online

Twitter account claiming to be Yulia Skripal, 33, is trolling her family. It claimed the poisoned spy’s daughter was new living in the U.S. after recovery. Tweets including claims of being ‘pumped full of drugs’ by Western doctors. Skripal relatives made contact and asked a question she didn’t answer. Yulia and her father were poisoned in Salisbury in a nerve agent attack. They survived and are recovering, Yulia issuing a statement three weeks ago . The account @SkripalYulia claims to be Yulia Skripal, 33, who is recovering from an attack by a Novichok nerve agent in Salisbury along with her father Sergei.

Sergei Skripal’s family are ‘being stalked by Twitter troll claiming to be poisoned spy’s daughter’

A Twitter account set up on April 12 claims to be written by Yulia Skripal but her family believes it is the work of a ‘cruel prankster’

Russia news: Britain steps up national security after warnings UK is ‘vulnerable’ to attack | World | News |

CONCERNS the UK is “vulnerable” to Russian attacks have prompted the Government to step up national security in the wake of the Salisbury nerve agent poisonings.

Spies have still not identified a prime suspect for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury – Mirror Online

National Security Adviser Sir Mark Sedwill told MPs the Government did “not yet” know who was responsible for the nerve agent attack

British House Of Commons OKs Bill Targeting Russian Rights Abusers

Britain’s House of Commons has approved a measure to impose sanctions against people deemed guilty of human rights violations in memory of the late Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

U.K. House of Commons approves equivalent of Magnitsky act –

U.K. House of Commons approves equivalent of Magnitsky act

Brexit-Backing Think Tank Founder Accused of Working for Russia – Bloomberg

The founder of one of the most influential pro-Brexit think tanks was suspected of working for the Kremlin, a member of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party said.

Pro-Brexit think tank founder ‘suspected of working for Russia’ | News | The Times

The billionaire behind a pro-Brexit think tank was accused in the House of Commons yesterday of being a suspected Russian agent with links to money-laundering. Christopher Chandler was said to be an “object of interest” to the French, who suspected him of “working for the Russian intelligence service.”

What Smoke Signals Are Russia’s Arms Deals Sending? (Op-ed)

Just like in Soviet times, Moscow is using weapons deals to form alliances and pressure rivals. In the aftermath of the most recent chemical attack in Syria, it looks as if Russia has decided to finally make good on an arms deal brokered nearly a decade ago. After the Syrian regime reportedly launched its most recent chemical attack in Douma in early April, the United States, Britain and France hit back with a series of airstrikes targeting Syrian President Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons facilities. In the wake of the strikes, Russia came rallying to Assad’s side by recommitting to delivering the S-300 missile system in a deal brokered between Moscow and Damascus in 2010. The agreement was scrapped at the time after Israel, another of Russia’s regional allies, voiced concerns that Syria could use the system to target Israel. Russia’s decision now to go ahead with the deal could significantly complicate the situation in southern Syria. The new deployment could spark a military response from Israel and end with its direct confrontation with Iran. But it also brings to light Moscow’s habit of using arms transfers to win influence with allies and leverage opponents.

ANALYSIS: What Israel should do about S-300 anti-aircraft system – Israel National News

Russian S-300 anti-aircraft system could allow Syria to shoot down planes at Ben Gurion Airport, interfere with IAF operations.

US officials say Israel responsible for missile strike on Hama base

Three US officials affirm IAF was the one to attack the Iranian bases in Syria Sunday, adding a weapons shipment was struck and concluding Israel may be preparing for war with Iran.

i24NEWS Exclusive Interview with Israeli Deputy Defense Minister – YouTube

Russia, China, Iran: Future Challenges & How to Meet Them | National Review

Russia, China, and Iran have aggressively gained ground in recent years. How can the U.S. thwart their ambitions?

Trump understands that no one wants a war | Comment | The Times

Europeans have become too wedded to the lazy assumption that right-wing US presidents are dangerous buffoons. Dwight Eisenhower outraged Parisian intellectuals by stating a readiness to use nuclear weapons to defend the Taiwan Strait in 1955. Ronald Reagan threatened to bomb Gaddafi and walked out o

Opinion | The Iran Deal Is a Lie – The New York Times

Iran didn’t honor its end of the bargain and neither need the United States now.

Condoleezza Rice defends Trump leaving Iran nuclear deal | TheHill

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Tuesday that while she would likely have the United States remain part of the Iranian nuclear deal, it won’t be “the end of the world” should President Trump decide to pull out of the accord.

Sorry, Obama Apologists — Israel’s Revelations on Iranian Nuclear Lies Are Both New and Important – Guy Benson

Intelligence. .05/01/2018 22:12:58PM EST.

Obama administration official accuses Trump and Netanyahu of ‘cooking up intel’

A former Obama administration official accused President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of “cooking up” intelligence after evidence obtained by Israeli intelligence operatives indicated Iran planned to continue a nuclear weapons program despite having signed the 2015 nuclear deal.

Obama’s National Security Council Spokesman Accuses Trump, Israelis of ‘Cooking Up’ Intel | Trending

Tommy Vietor, the co-host of “Pod Save America” and founder of, was the spokesman for former President Barack Obama’s National Security Council from 2011-2013. Today, Vietor tweeted what appears to be an accusation that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Dona…

Netanyahu’s Iran Deal Speech Really Had an Audience of One | Time

Trump has called the deal an “embarrassment” and mused publicly that he might withdraw from the deal by May 12

Netanyahu’s Iran Revelations Were Aimed at an Audience of One – Bloomberg

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the stage in Tel Aviv on Monday to expose what he said was more than a decade of Iranian nuclear deception. Critics said he didn’t reveal anything new. That may never have been the point.

Under cover of Iran, Netanyahu just took three new steps toward fascism – Opinion – Israel News |

For Israel’s rickety democracy, already shot through with holes, the worst may well be dead ahead

European Diplomats Suspect Netanyahu Choreographed Iran Presentation with US

America’s European allies drawing a sharply different collective conclusion from the US about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech

Israeli claims on Iran divide US, allies

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest accusations about Iran’s past nuclear activities have received a warm welcome in Washington but a far cooler reception in Europe.

The Latest: Israeli claims on Iran divide US, allies

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Latest on the Israel’s allegations that Iran concealed a nuclear weapons program before signing a deal with world powers in 2015 (all times local):

PressTV-‘Iran’s response to conspiracies benumbing, crushing’

The Iranian defense minister says Tehran will give a benumbing and crushing response to enemies’ conspiracies.

Iran nuclear row: Tehran says Israel’s Netanyahu lied – BBC News

Israel’s prime minister produced what he said was proof Iran had lied about its nuclear plans.

Mossad agents snuck nuclear files out of Iran with authorities ‘on their tails’ | The Times of Israel

TV reports say Israel utilized expansive operational infrastructure on Iranian soil; PM’s exposé targeted chiefly at IAEA; unconfirmed reports of mass arrests in Iran after breach

Israel’s Mossad Broke Into Iranian Nuclear Files And Smuggled Out Half A Ton Of Documents The Same night | Jewish Week

Israel’s Mossad intelligence service broke into the anonymous Tehran building that housed Iran’s secret nuclear files and smuggled half a ton of documents and compact discs back to Israel the same night.

Stolen Iranian Nuclear Plans May Trigger New Inspections : Parallels : NPR

Former inspectors say documents obtained by the Israeli government may prompt a fresh look at the nation’s nuclear sites.

Five Most Shocking Revelations in Benjamin Netanyahu’s Iran Presentation

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a slideshow presentation on Monday detailing the Jewish state’s findings of Iran’s ongoing nuclear weapons program. Below are the presentation’s key takeaways.

Iran Works to Keep Europe On Board Amid Uncertainty Over Nuclear Deal – WSJ

Iran is trying to keep Europe on its side as questions mount about the future of its nuclear deal with Western powers and suspected Israeli airstrikes on its bases in Syria.

Iran nuclear evidence from Israel shows lies, but France, IAEA and US see no violations of JCOPA nuclear deal – CBS News

Israel’s trove of “evidence”; does show Iran lied about its work, but global nuclear agency and U.S. allies see no smoking gun

The details reveal the true danger of Iran’s secret nuclear program | TheHill

Israel’s discovery shows Iran was much closer to a deliverable nuclear weapon than many experts may have imagined.

IAEA Saw No ‘Credible Evidence’ Iran Was Working On Nuclear Weapon After 2009

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says it has “no credible” evidence Iran was working on developing a nuclear “explosive device” after 2009 and that the UN’s nuclear watchdog considered the issue “closed” after it was presented in a report in December 2015.

Watchdog says no sign of Iran nuclear weapon program after 2009 – NY Daily News

The International Atomic Energy Agency is in charge of monitoring Iran’s compliance with its 2015 nuclear deal.

Iran nuclear: What’s changed after Netanyahu’s presentation? – BBC News

The Israeli prime minister revealed a cache of alleged Iranian nuclear documents. What does it mean?

UAWire – Netanyahu speaks with Putin after Iran accusations

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. It took place at Israel’s initiative and concerned, among other things, allegations made earlier by Netanyahu against Iran that Tehran continues its nuclear program in defiance of the “nuclear deal”. During the telephone conversation, the Kremlin’s press service reports, Putin confirmed Russia’s stance that “The JCPOA [plan], which is of paramount importance for ensuring international stability and security, must be strictly observed by all parties.” On Monday, April 30, Netanyahu claimed that Tehran is secretly continuing to work on nuclear weapons and hiding evidence from the global community. In support of this, he presented part of the secret “nuclear archive” of Iran – documents obtained by Israeli intelligence. Tehran has denied the accusations. According to a statement by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, the Israeli accusations are “childish and ridiculous”. “Netanyahu’s show was a childish and ridiculous game … The planned show ahead of May 12 deadline is to affect Trump’s decision on Iran’s nuclear deal,” Reuters quotes Araghchi as saying.

An Unwelcome Reminder Puts Iran in Spotlight – Bloomberg

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Pushing to bury Iran deal, Israel says no one wants war with Tehran | Reuters

Israel said on Tuesday it does not seek war with Iran and suggested U.S. President Donald Trump backed Israel’s latest attempt to kill the 2015 Iran nuclear deal by disclosing purported evidence of past Iranian nuclear arms work.

Israel and the U.S. have little to gain from Trump scrapping Iran nuclear deal – Israel News –

American withdrawal would not require the imposition of new sanctions on Iran, but it would make it very difficult to mobilize an international coalition to reach an agreement on Iranian ballistic missiles