Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Russia / Strategy Ad Hoc Media Update (32)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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A very busy week, not just in the DPRK, but also in Russia and Ukraine.


NATO / EU / Russia Reports


Bannon: ‘If Europe Is So Worried About Russia, Pay Up’
Steve Bannon, a former senior adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, told an audience in Prague that NATO countries in Europe need to start paying more to protect themselves from Russia and stop being a “protectorate” of the United States. Speaking at a forum sponsored by a Czech defense contractor on May 22, Bannon said that while Russia is a “kleptocracy” being “run by bad guys,” the real geostrategic threat to the world is China.
Ex-Trump Adviser Bannon: Europe Should ‘Pay Up’ On Defense If It Fears Russia
A former adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, said that NATO countries need to start paying more to protect themselves against Russia, though he added that China is the biggest threat.
NORAD marks 60 years as Russia hypersonic threat grows
The North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, is responsible for detecting incoming threats and protecting the airspace above the United States and Canada.
UAWire – The US tank brigade arrives in Europe
The first American armored brigade units arrived at the Belgian Antwerp port and started to unload for further transportation to Eastern Europe, …
Pompeo Calls For Russian Troop Pullout From Georgia
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called for Russia to withdraw its troops from breakaway regions in Georgia while also pledging deeper security and economic support for Tbilisi.
The US Should Seize Its Chance to Help Shape a Key Ally’s Capabilities – Defense One
Britain’s 2015 defence plan fell apart; a new review offers a door to new discussions.
Did 1 of Russia’s “Black Hole” Submarines Hunt Down a British Nuclear Sub? | The National Interest Blog
Or is this just a bunch of fake news? 
Poland stops ‘Russian hybrid war groups’ – BBC News
Poland says Russian networks were trying to foment Polish hostility to Ukraine.
Four people including one Russian citizen detained in Poland for inciting Polish-Ukrainian enmity – Five people detained in Poland for inciting Polish-Ukrainian enmity – 112.international
Four people including one Russian citizen detained in Poland for inciting Polish-Ukrainian enmity
Sweden Distributes Pamphlets on Preparing For War | Time
Sweden is reissuing an emergency manual from World War II that advises citizens on how best to prepare in the event of an attack
Estonia and Sweden to hold joint military drills – 112.international
The Swedish Armed Forces will hold annual military exercises at the end of May, in which the Estonian Air Force will take part for the first time
Vilnius Names Plaza Opposite Russian Embassy After Slain Opposition Leader Nemtsov
The Lithuanian capital’s city council has voted to name a square outside the Russian Embassy after slain Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, calling him a “symbol of the struggle for democ…
The Czar of battle: Russian artillery use in Ukraine portends advances | IHS Janes
The Russian Army, which has long emphasised its artillery arm, is once again upgrading conventional tube artillery and adding new targeting techniques. Samuel Cranny-Evans, Mark Cazalet, and Christopher F Foss report on the country’s more flexible approach to fire missions Since armed conflict began in Ukraine in 2014, the world has been given insight into Russia’s land warfare playbook. Much of its current warfighting strategy relates to modernisation efforts that began in 2008, and these have had a profound affect on the strategies and equipment used in artillery formations. Russian developments have focused on dramatically increasing accuracy and rate of fire, but the country has also decreased the size of artillery formations.


Russia quietly conducted the world’s longest surface-to-air missile test
Russia claims that the ground-based missile system is capable of intercepting hypersonic missiles, drones, aircraft as well as stealth warplanes like the F-22 and the F-35. Russia quietly conducted the world’s longest surface-to-air missile test, according to sources with direct knowledge of U.S. intelligence about the weapons program. The S-500 surface-to-air missile system successfully struck a target 299 miles away. Russia claims that the ground-based missile system is capable of intercepting hypersonic missiles, drones, aircraft as well as stealth warplanes like the F-22 and the F-35.
Russian Submarine Test-Fires Intercontinental Missiles
The Russian Navy says a nuclear-powered submarine has successfully test-fired four intercontinental ballistic missiles on the country’s northwestern coast.

Russia / Russophone Reports


U.S. Ambassador To Russia Expresses ‘Frustration’ With State Of Relations
U.S. Ambassador to Moscow Jon Huntsman says he has experienced “frustration” due to the reluctance of some Russian officials to meet with him because of the state of affairs between the two countries.
‘World War III’ worries me more than sanctions do, says VTB Bank chief
Diplomatic tensions and the “aggressive policy” of the U.S. toward Russia are of more concern than sanctions, Andrei Kostin told CNBC.
Russian Lawmakers Bend On Sanctions Bill But Stand Firm On Punishing ‘Abettors’
Lawmakers appear set to water down draft legislation that called for punishing Russian citizens who comply with Western sanctions, but they are backing proposed criminal prosecution of Russians dee…
Putin Leaves Russian Cabinet Little-Changed, Brings In Close Ally’s Son
Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved a new cabinet, leaving several key officials in place and appointing a son of longtime ally Nikolai Patrushev as agriculture minister.
Putin Nominates Kudrin To Top Audit Chamber Position
President Vladimir Putin has nominated former longtime Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin as the head of Russia’s Audit Chamber, the lower chamber of parliament says.
The Risks of Creating A Fully Professional Army in Russia – To Inform is to Influence
This is Kirill Shamiev’s perspective. In my opinion, he does not give justification or evidence for his conclusion. I include it here for your situational awareness into possible sea-changes in Russia. Kirill includes one major point the US indirectly addressed with the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. Despite the existence of professionalized, volunteer-based military units, conscription…
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin Outdoes Potemkin for World Cup
Paul Goble Staunton, May 24 – In 1787, Prince Grigory Potemkin erected special villages to impress his lover, Catherine the Great, on her trip to Crimea. Unlike real Russian villages, these were clean and bright and designed to give the impression that the people there were happy. After she passed through, they were were taken down and then up again further along her route. While scholars dispute the accuracy of these stories, they have become a byword for Russian officials ever since who can always be counted on to spruce up the buildings and roads for tsars, general secretaries, or now presidents. But Vladimir Putin has gone Potemkin one better: he hasn’t just ordered buildings cleaned up, he’s painted happy people in the windows. “In the windows of old houses in Rostov” in advance of the World Cup, “have been drawn pictures of happy residents greeting participants” in that competition, the Kasparov portal reports and shows a picture of this latest Putin innovation on an old tsarist tradition (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5B06600644D76). The comments on this report have been savage. Among the most noteworthy so far: Yekaterina Barabash says that “in Rostov for the World Championship they are drawing people in the windows; they even remembered to include a Jew with a violin … This already is not a Potemkin village: it is a whole Potemkin country.” And she asks: are those behind these windows now “sitting in darkness?” Semyon Osheverov says that the French have done something similar in the past but in a way quite different: they paint pictures of windows with people in them but not pictures on the windows of places where people actually live. Yegor Sedov says that this is just one more indication that the World Cup is “a celebration for all except for the Russians.” And these Potemkin pictures demonstrate that “if you can’t make people happy, there is no reason for despair! You simply draw them as happy” and let others assume that they reflect reality. Andrey Nikulin says that the bosses “wanted to organize ‘a victory of Russian sport,’” but all that remains is again “hope for a miracle.” Valery Zen says that no one should be coming to a competition in a country where Oleg Sentsov and so many others are behind bars. “Why is the world community silent? It is completely possible that they in their turn will say that they are deeply concerned, will threaten sanctions and then … come to the World Cup anyway … as if everything were normal, as if the Russian Federation isn’t holdin gin prisons as hostages dozens of Ukrainians, as if there were no Ukraine or Syria. Everything is very simple: business is business.” And Eva Kantorovich says that she is “certain that one should not conduct sports competitions in a country which engages in international aggression and expansion and in which fundamental human rights are violated and in their place are the understandings of thieves.”
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Siberia is ‘a Melting Pot of Peoples,’ Levushkan Says
Paul Goble Staunton, May 23 – Like the United States but unlike Russia west of the Urals, “Siberia is a melting pot of peoples, civilizations, and cultures,” the reflection of the enormous number of migration waves, some voluntary and some involuntary, that have passed through this enormous space and promoted the formation of a new identity, according to Pavel Levushkan. Levushkan, a Lutheran pastor who was born and raised in Siberia but returned to Latvia after 2014 when conditions in Russia deteriorated to the point that he couldn’t function, makes these remarks in an interview given to Vadim Shtepa of the After Empire portal (afterempire.info/2018/05/22/levushkan/). “This melting pot of peoples and cultures has created in Siberia a special atmosphere of openness and tolerance at least it was during [his] time there, when people didn’t ask what’s your origin or religious confession?” the pastor says. Siberians were tolerant to people of various ethnic groups and religious denominations. “Now the situation has become worse as a result of the intensifying imperial unification, there has been a change in attitude including among Siberians. But it seems to me that this is temporary and will pass because Siberian tolerance and openness are historical phenomena connected with the difficult conditions that forced people to trust one another, cooperate and easily accept new arrivals.” He continues: “In this sense, Siberia reminds [him] of the early period of the US and perhaps even of contemporary Europe when a multitude of cultures became one of the fundamental values of the European Union. Tolerance, openness and multiculturalism are the basis of a future Siberian identity.” As to when Siberia will gain autonomy or independence, Lavushkan says, that is a question both for dialogue among the Siberian community itself and for talks between it and the rest of the world.” But he concludes that “for [him], it is perfectly evident that Siberia by its spirit is not a colony however the imperial rulers relate to it.” “Siberia is a special element of the Russian cultural world. Not that ‘Russian world’ as a Kremlin political meme but of the Russian cultural world as an archipelago of various regional differences and regional variations,” the pastor continues. It is one such Russian island: there are others in Eastern Europe, Ukraine and elsewhere. “If one recalls the already classical novel, The Island of Crimea,” Lavushkan says, he believes that “Siberia should be a similar civilizational ‘island,’ and not in any case be swallowed up by that crypto-fascist empire which is now being formed on the territory of [his] former motherland.”
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin Already Deploying His ‘Cossacks’ in Non-Russian Republics
Paul Goble Staunton, May 23 – Before the 1917 revolution, Nicholas II used Cossack units to attack political opponents and ethnic and religious minorities, driving the two together and making his overthrow all the more likely. Now, Vladimir Putin appears set to repeat the tsar’s mistake, moving from attacking protesters with his “Cossacks” to undermining non-Russian nations. Putin’s move in fact may be even more dangerous to his position that Nicholas II’s was to his because unlike the Cossacks of later imperial times who were under effective military control, the neo-Cossack bandits Putin is using are ideologically hostile to dissent and minorities as such. (See windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/05/three-putin-revivals-social-strata.html.) Putin’s use of such groups against protesters on May 5 in Moscow has been well-documented (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/05/real-cossacks-are-to-putins-thugs-what.html), but developments that will allow him to use these groups elsewhere have not (cf. windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/05/moscow-may-soon-use-its-cossacks-in.html). Now, however, thanks to a report by Ilnar Garifullin of Radio Liberty’s Tatar-Bashkir Service, there is more evidence available on “’Cossackization’” in the non-Russian republics of the Middle Volga, a development that could set the stage for more Kremlin-sponsored but uncontrolled violence there (idelreal.org/a/29240199.html). He points out that there is a Kazan link even to the Moscow events because a company there gave 1.7 million rubles (30,000 US dollars) to the shadowy Central Cossack Host that took part in the March 5 mayhem. But he provides disturbing information about the appearance and growth of “Cossack” villages and units in the Middle Volga. The Cossack rebirth at the end of the 1980s involved both real Cossacks and those who wanted to participate in a militarized movement. The former would like to see their regions returned to them or even to gain independence, things Moscow opposes; but the latter have proved to be extremely useful to the powers that be. Many of them have been profoundly affected by the propaganda of Orthodox autocracy and conservative values and are thus quite prepared to be foot soldiers in the campaign against modernity, urban values and non-Orthodox peoples and nations, Garifullin continues. The regime uses them to suggest that “’Orthodox society’” is behind its repressive policies. “It is well known that among the Cossacks in tsarist times there were many Tatar Muslims (the Orenburg Cossacks) and also Buddhists (the Kalmyks).” That is a part of the history of the Cossacks Putin’s “Cossacks” don’t talk about because it is inconsistent with their “Black Hundreds” views. Neo-Cossack communities, supported by grants from the Russian Presidential Administration, have appeared in various parts of the Middle Volga, Garifullin says. Often they are used as supplements to the police; but they are also being used to try to halt the de-Russification of the area as ethnic Russians move out. The support of the neo-Cossacks for Orthodoxy and imperial traditions is, the analyst says, “an element of cultural policy, a unique ‘soft force’ in this case, judging from everything which serves as an attempt to maintain the status quo” of Russian dominance even as ethnic Russians lose their share of the population. The introduction of these “Cossacks” in places where Cossacks never existed before thus represents int eh first instance “an ethno-cultural factor” designed to undermine and threaten the non-Russians even as it encourages the ethnic Russians to remain where they are. But such efforts carry with them real risks, Garifullin says, including violent clashes with the non-Russian nations. On the one hand, many in the region are asking if “the Cossacks” are allowed to arm themselves and push their religion and nation, “why shouldn’t representatives of other confessions not be allowed to do the same?” Why shouldn’t the Tatars and Bashkirs be allowed to restore the regiments they made famous a century ago? And on the other, he concludes, “the intensification of propaganda of one religious may promote radicalization” not only among members of that religion but in response among those who are of a different faith. Thus, “’Cossackization’” Putin-style could end by triggering an outburst of Islamist radicalism in the Middle Volga.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin Nepotism Different and More Dangerous than Earlier Russian Varieties, Illarionov Says
Paul Goble Staunton, May 23 – The appointment of the son of one senior official to be a full minister in the government as happened in Moscow last week is unprecedented in Russian history: Nothing quite like that has ever happened before, Andrei Illarionov says; and its consequences are likely to be both fateful and far reaching. Of course, the Russian commentator says, nepotism is far from unknown in Russian history. Many times senior people have arranged jobs for their children or other relatives, but never have they dared to put the child of one senior official in as a government minister (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5B045527EE908). And there have been cases when the offspring of senior officials have later risen to positions of power on their own without the intervention of their parents. Such events are often referred to as nepotism, but they really are not, Illarionov says. Many view what Putin is doing as a continuation of what Leonid Brezhnev did when he was head of the USSR. He named his son deputy and then first deputy foreign trade minister and his son in law deputy and first deputy interior minister. But he did not in those cases or others put these children into the top jobs. What Putin has done beginning in 2007 is in fact different. It has lasted longer and it has involved his willingness to see the offspring of senior officials become ministers as in the current case of Patrushev’s son becoming minister of agriculture. This crossing of a Rubicon has enormous significance, Illarionov says. It “means the transition of the current Russian political regime into a qualitatively different level of dynastic politics … [and points to] the preparation of a process of the transfer of state power to the next generation.” And it invites comparison with “the multi-generational dynastic politics of leaders of the regimes of certain neighboring countries.” Among these are both successful cases – North Korea, Syria, Azerbaijan and Chechnya – unsuccessful ones – Ukraine – and some that are still in the process of preparation – Belarus.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: 30 Years Ago This Week an Ethnic Russian Region Rose Against Moscow and Forced It to Back Down
Paul Goble Staunton, May 22 – “Thirty years ago, from May 21 to May 28, 1988, Soviet Sakhalin stood in the squares and called the authorities to account for the impoverished condition of the people,” Regnum’s Olga Demidenko writes. Protests spread across the region, and Moscow was forced to fire the region’s obkom secretary, “an unheard of event in the Soviet Union.” She picks up (regnum.ru/news/polit/2417968.html) on the memoirs of those day that have been assembled by a regional news agency, KrabikMedia (krabik.media/2018/05/21/vosem-dnej-kotorye-potryasli-sahalin/) and not insignificantly posts her article under the rubric “politics” rather than “history,” an indication of the way the 1988 events echo today. Until 1985, heavy government subsidies meant that the people of Sakhalin lived far better than many of their counterparts elsewhere in the USSR, people there recall; but then came Mikhail Gorbachev and everything “began to change” and “not for the better” – the shelves of stores emptied and by May 1988, “Sakhalin was in fact at the brink of hunger.” To be sure, no one died; but only because they could go into the forests or to the rivers and sea and find food for themselves. People had to stand in long lines, and they were offended by the fact that the communist party elite continued to live well and to do nothing, even as their own lives deteriorated. Vera Boltunova, described by Demidenko as “a real participant of the Sakhalin Spring of 1988, a member of the CPSU, a happy mother of three children, and an employee of the regional gas and oil prospecting trust, says that everything began when the appeals of Moscow and the actions of local officials diverged. Moscow was talking all the time about glasnost and perestroika and about the need to select “real leaders, “she says; “but local party bosses demanded that people vote for the only candidate they put forward. The opinion of rank and file communists wasn’t considered or taken into consideration.” Sakhalin residents were angry but the trigger for the protests, Boltunova and others recall, was the visit to the region of a central television journalist who invited people to come and talk about their problems and “unexpectedly” said that the first secretary of the CPSU Oblast Committee had been accused of “exceeding his authority.” Petr Tretyakov’s crime? “He had given his own daughter an apartment out of line.” Boltunova says that a party boss would do that was no surprise but that a Soviet journalist would talk about it and suggest that others do as well very much was. Then, obkom officials made things worse: they expelled the journalist from Sakhalin. That was too much under the circumstances. On May 21, small groups of people began to assemble in front of the local theater. And at the invitation of several people in the crowd, they began to share their grievances which went far beyond the heavy-handedness of the obkom secretary. There was no extremism in this, and some of the protesters, led by bulldozer operator Sergey Mikhail kept order. After a few hours, they elected “an initiative group” and it undertook to organize similar groups in workplaces and in neighborhoods. The idea that the people could take things into their own hands spread like wildfire. By May 28, thousands of people from around the oblast flooded into Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk to take part in a mass meeting whose slogans were: “Give us perestroika!” “Down with privileges” and “Raise the militance of party organizations!” And participants said bluntly: “if the authorities don’t understand how the simple people live, how can they run things?” “None of those knew then that an enormous country, the USSR, had only three years left or that ahead of the Sakhalin residents and everyone else of the rest of the Far East could look forward to a real hell, which has passed into history under the name of ‘the wild 1990s,’” Demidenko says. “As Regnum has reported,” she continues, “the incomes of citizens of today’s Russia have been falling for the last four years. The government of the new-old prime minister Dmitry Medvedev is talking seriously about raising the retirement age.” Many say that will create “a nightmare for the country.” And this tragedy of the people is occurring when the new bosses are living well and amassing enormous wealth that they claim they have “’honestly earned’” but that most believe they have stolen from the people, the Regnum journalist says. As for Sakhalin, conditions are again bleak. The island’s residents “today just as 30 years ago, are complaining about collapsing housing, about how new construction quickly collapses because it isn’t being built up to standards, about shabby hospitals, the lack of places in schools, and a whole range of other misfortunes. It is thus an open question, Demidenko implies, if and when they will act as their parents did 30 years ago.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow’s Opposition of Integration of Ethnic Russians in Other Countries Costing It Influence, Kazarin Says
Paul Goble Staunton, May 22 – At a time when it is attempting to Russianize and even Russify non-Russians living within the Russian Federation, Moscow is doing what it can to block the integration of ethnic Russians living in other countries, thereby costing itself influence and leading to more ethnic re-identification among them than anyone expected, Pavel Kazarin says. The Russian journalist and commentator points out that “any diaspora is always a form of soft power for the maternal state, a force which is integrated into the new motherland and thus can aspire to the role of ‘ambassador’ for the old one.” That’s been true for Ukrainians in Canada, Armenians in France and Jews throughout the world (ru.krymr.com/a/29241569.html). “But nothing similar has occurred among ‘Russians abroad,” Kazarin continues. “They haven’t become trend setters. They haven’t created a strategy for the future. They haven’t been able to become lobbyists even of their own interests.” And this has been the case, he says, “for one simple reason:” Moscow views them only as irredenta. For Moscow, the millions of ethnic Russians in the former Soviet republics are to remain as they were so that they can become “a pretext for ‘reunification’ in the framework of a single common state. And for a quarter of a century, the Kremlin has done everything in order to preserve this lever of influence.” Moscow has done what it can to block “the integration of ethnic Russians into the political nations of those countries in which they are fated to live. The very idea that Russians could live according to interests not of Moscow but of their new capitals is viewed as treason” in the Russian capital. According to Kazarin, “the Kremlin never needed the adaptation of ethnic Russians. On the contrary, it needed the maximum amount of isolation of ethnic Russians so that it could from time to time speculate about the defense of these ‘persecuted and oppressed’ people.” It opposed the idea of “Russians for Ukraine” insisting that they be Russians for Russia even in Ukraine. From Moscow’s perspective, ethnic Russians in these republics should remain unchanged from Soviet times, should be informed only by nostalgia for the past, and should represent a kind of “museum exponent” rather than living and breathing human beings.” As a result of this Moscow attitude, Kazarin says, “no Russian parties not focused on the Kremlin have appeared in the Kremlin.” Those who have tried to organize them have been denounced as “a fifth column.” And all of this reflects the fact that Moscow “isn’t interested” in the Russians but only in itself. In Ukraine’s Donbass, for example, the interests of ethnic Russians are “secondary relative to the interests of the Russian leadership. Moscow fights not for them but by means of them: citizens for the empire. And not in any single case the reverse.” But Russians recognize this and that has had consequences Moscow can’t possibly want. “Moscow was certain that the Ukrainian east and south would fall into its embrace, that the Russian language is sufficient for its bearer to be an agent of ‘the Russian world.’ But it has turned out that all this is not the case,” Kazarin says. “As a result of the invasion of Ukraine, something happened which Moscow has always feared: Ethnic Russians began to integrate into Ukraine – as a result of an independent choice which they have made between their own motherland and their new one. And in this new situation, the Kremlin can’t count on them.” Their new identity is replacing their old one, the commentator says; and in the next census, the number of people identifying as ethnic Russians is likely to decline far more than anyone now expects.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Three Putin Revivals – ‘Social Strata,’ ‘Cossacks’ and ‘Eurasians’ — Worse than Originals
Paul Goble Staunton, May 22 – It is a commonplace that Vladimir Putin is reviving many features of the Soviet and even tsarist past; but it is less widely recognized that many are discussing these new-old things as if they were almost a carbon copy of the originals. In fact, they are not; and in three key cases, Putin’s innovations are different and much worse. The first is the promotion of social strata or as they were and are called in Russian sosloviya, groups of people defined not by their relationship to the economy as classes are but by their relationship to the state. The return of such strata as a defining feature of Putin’s Russia has been highlighted by the increasing amount of nepotism among the Kremlin leader’s cronies. The parallels with the post-Petrine Russian imperial state are obvious because in that state all subjects were defined by their relationship to the tsar. There are many elements of that in Putin’s Russia, but there is at least one major difference besides the absence up to now of a formalization of these divisions. And that is this: within the sosloviya of tsarist Russia, classes did emerge and elites, based on education, arose as well, sometimes challenging those state-imposed divisions. But in Putin’s Russia, the wealthiest are entirely dependent on the state and the state has moved against education and science in ways that limit the emergence of a counter-elite. Consequently, the Putin arrangements restore the worst features of the pre-1917 arrangements while largely precluding some of the circumstances that reduced these consequences and ultimately led to revolution. On this, see Dmitry Svetlov’s “Elites We Don’t Have, But We Do have Strata” at svpressa.ru/politic/article/200761/). The second case in which Putin’s copy is worse than the original concerns his use of people whom he calls and who call themselves “Cossacks” even though such people are radically different and far more dangerous to Russia than were their namesakes. One Moscow analyst who has pointed to this difference and its dangers is Aleksey Makarkin of the Center for Political Technologies. He says that those who draw parallels between pre-1917 Cossacks and “Cossacks” because the state has used both against the opposition are missing key points (polit.ru/article/2018/05/22/kazaki2/). “There is a principled difference” between the two, Makarkin says. Before 1917, “the Cossacks were in military service and thus subject to military discipline. At present, we see that the Cossack forces which [the Kremlin calls up] are organizations which consist of ordinary citizens dressed up in corresponding uniforms.” Moreover, the Cossacks before 1917 followed orders, good, bad or indifferent, regardless of what their own political views may have been. But “the Cossacks” of the Putin era are profoundly “ideologized” people who have their own agendas and are quite prepared to exceed their authority in the pursuit of them including the use of force and violence. Many of the “Cossacks” of today are extremely “archaic” in their views. They find the present-day city offensive, believe young people are too free and easy, and look to the Sovietpast for their “moral” orientation, either because they had experience with it or their parents or other relatives did. That is bad enough, but what is worse is that the Russian powers that be have taken them under their wing, used them as adjuncts to the state’s police power, and refused to punish them for their excesses lest these “Cossacks” desert the state at some future hour of its need. That is not how the tsars acted, but it is how Putin and his regime are, Makarkin says. And the third case in which Putin has promoted something with a similar name from the past but with a largely different and more dangerous content concerns his acceptance of many of the outrageous political and geopolitical ideas of Aleksandr Dugin who for more than 30 years has positioned himself as “a neo-Eurasian.” In Kyiv’s Novoye vremya, German political analyst Andreas Umland notes that “the two most important directions of anti-Western though in present-day Russia are classical Eurasianism which arose in the 1920s and 1930s and post-Soviet and so-called ‘neo-Eurasianism’” (nv.ua/opinion/umland/novaja-rossija-chem-otlichaetsja-neoevrazijstvo-duhina-2471164.html). “In spite of its name,” he argues, “’neo-Eurasianism is not a continuation or addition” to its namesake. Instead, it represents a radical and dangerous redefinition of the basic categories of the Eurasianists. “Classical Eurasianism was an isolationist ideology,” which held that Russia, being so different from the rest of the world, must withdraw from it. Dugin’s “neo-Eurasianism” does share with Eurasianism an anti-Western posture, Umland writes; but unlike its predecessor, the new edition of this trend is aggressive toward Russia’s neighbors and the world and calls for military and political expansion against and suppression of other peoples in the region and more generally In all three cases, Putin’s innovations need to be seen for what they are: not the simple revival of past arrangements and ideas that different people feel differently about but rather radically new, different and dangerous developments that he seeks to keep under the radar screen of his own society and world.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia’s ‘Main Export’ Now isn’t Gas and Oil; It’s Corruption, Pastukhov Says
Paul Goble Staunton, May 22 – “The main export of Russia today to the West is hardly oil and gas ass many think,” Vladimir Pastukhov says. “Rather it is the export of [Putin-era Russian] ethical and political standards, or crudely speaking, the export of corruption,” given the enormous sums of unearned cash that suddenly fell into the hands of some Russians 20 years ago. Speaking via Skype on the Ekho Moskvy program, “Personally Yours,” yesterday, the Russian historian who currently works at University College London says that the amount of such money “is so large that it has had a traumatic impact on the political system of the West, on its judicial and law enforcement systems” (echo.msk.ru/programs/personalnovash/2204896-echo/). “The Western system of course has a higher level of immunity to corruption that does Russia and countries of the third world,” Pastukhov says; “but it isn’t absolute. And therefore Western countries must do something about it.” That is what Britain and other Western countries are now trying to do. But the Russian historian says that he is “deeply skeptical” that the measures taken so far or even being contemplated will have an impact on Putin and his friends as their authors hope. They are more likely to affect those Russians who have simply tried to protect their wealth by putting some of it beyond the borders of Russia. Complicating the response is the fact that many Western societies are deeply split about what to do, with some now moving in an extremely left-wing direction as in Britain and quite sympathetic to Putin and his regime if not to the oligarchs regarding whom they draw a clear distinction and others only too happy to profit from the corrupt Russian money. In the course of a wide-ranging discussion, Pastukhov made a number of other noteworthy comments: · “In Russia over the last 20 years and perhaps more, a process of desstorying elites and the degradation and reduction to nothing of their autonomy and independence has been going on.” · Aleksey Kudrin’s return to the government “must not be underrated.” Not only is he likely to have a chance to rise higher than his current position as head of the Audit Chamber, but he represents a focus of hopes and dreams of many in the elite precisely because he is one of the last who is able to differ with Putin and survive. · With its propaganda outlets like Russia Today, “Russia is producing an ideological product without having a serious ideology,” something that is obvious to anyone who plays close attention. · And, perhaps most intriguingly, “Putin is one of the numerous essences of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, one of those many people who live within him. These faces are not always in a position to agree with one another in much the same way that the heads of a mythological dragon can’t either.”
Window on Eurasia — New Series: 71 Years Ago Today, Stalin Deported the Finns and Ingermanlanders from Around Leningrad
Paul Goble Staunton, May 21 – Two of the most truly “punished peoples” of Soviet times but ones that are left off many such lists are the ethnic Finns and Ingermanlanders who lived in the northwestern portion of the USSR near Finland. But if the Finns ultimately had a country to go do, the Ingermanlanders have suffered from the first years of Soviet power up to now. Today is an appropriate anniversary to remember their travails. On May 21, 1947, the Soviet interior ministry issued secret decree No. 00544 “On Measures to Move from the City of Leningrad and Leningrad Oblast persons of Finnish nationality and Ingermanlanders repatriated from Finland” (freeingria.org/2018/05/21-maya-1947-goda-vyshel-pechalno-izvestnyj-sekretnyj-prikaz-sovetskogo-mvd-o-vysylke-iz-leningrada-i-leningradskoj-oblasti-ingermanlandskih-finnov/). At the time of the first Soviet census in 1926, approximately 130,000 people declared themselves to be Ingermanlanders, but as a result of repressions in the 1930s and early 1940s, their number fell to less than 30,000 – even before they were deported as a result of the 1947 decree. At the conclusion of World War II, the Ingermanlanders were briefly allowed to return to their immemorial homes but that didn’t last. And only the death of Stalin in 1953 did any of them have the chance to return home. But up until 1963, the Soviet government blocked most requests. And only on June 29, 1993, did the post-Soviet government lift these restrictions. At present, there are only a few thousand Ingermanlanders living near St. Petersburg. They are represented by two groups, Inkerin Liito, the officially recognized one which many feel considers the policies of Stalin by working closely with the special services and the regional governments. The other is the Free Ingria group whose leaders have been forced into exile but which enjoys significant support among the local Ingermanlanders who show up at its demonstrations, patronize its cafes at which Ingermanland symbols are shown, and who look to Finland and Estonia for support. Like other more familiar punished peoples from Soviet times, they deserve better treatment from the Russian government and more support from people around the world who care about the rights and freedoms of small ethnic groups that some representatives of larger ones believe they can trample with impunity.
Russia’s FSB Accuses Crimean Tatars Of ‘Extremist’ Plot
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has accused Crimean Tatar activists of orchestrating and carrying out attacks with Kyiv’s support, allegations described as “fantasy” by the Ukrainian Securi…
How Muslim Migrants Are Reshaping Russia’s Dying Countryside, One Village At A Time
The arrival to urban centers and the countryside of millions of Muslim labor migrants from Central Asia is at the center of what could emerge as Russia’s most radical ethnic makeover in centuries.
The Making of a Chechen Hitman – Foreign Policy
KGB General In Cossack’s Clothing: Meet The Man Behind The Whips
Retired FSB General Ivan Mironov, a KGB veteran from the 1970s, commands the pseudo-Cossack unit whose members were filmed beating anti-Putin protesters in Moscow on May 5. Although Mironov has tried to remake himself as a guardian of Russian Orthodox tradition, he is an old-school product of the Soviet security agencies with a murky history in the emergence of Russia’s post-Soviet kleptocracy.
Russian Court Upholds Navalny Jail Term
A Russian court has rejected an appeal by Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny against a 30-day prison sentence that was handed to him for organizing nationwide protests against President …
Kremlin Foe Navalny Launches New Political Party
Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny has launched a new political party, though he missed its founding due to a jail sentence over nationwide protests he organized against President Vladimir P…
Navalny TV Show Host Shaveddinov Jailed For 30 Days
The host of the YouTube channel of jailed opposition politician and anticorruption campaigner Aleksei Navalny has also been jailed for 30 days following his detention in Moscow.
Another Navalny Aide Detained Over Anti-Putin Protests
Russian authorities have detained the lawyer of jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny’s Anticorruption Center in Moscow over nationwide protests against President Vladimir Putin, after two…
Global Sentsov Campaign Planned Ahead Of Russia World Cup
Activists have announced a global campaign to demand the release of Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov, who opposed Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and is now on hunger strike in a Russian prison.
Husband and wife, founders and director of Teatr.Doc, suddenly died of ‘heart attacks’ in Moscow – To Inform is to Influence
The murder of Sergei Magnitsky and passing of the US “Magnitsky Act” is a big deal in Russia.  Putin has personally discussed rescinding the Magnitsky act with Trump, who refused. Magnitsky died under mysterious and highly suspect conditions in a Russian prison, seven days before his mandatory release.  Now the writer of a play and her…
Siberian Spring: Soviet Scientists’ Brief Spate Of Freedom
Hidden deep in the woods of Siberia, a community of top Soviet scientists created an isolated pocket of freedom and openness — until Brezhnev stamped it out.
‘Kremlin Doesn’t Know We Exist’: The Siberian Village That Still Backs Putin
The Siberian village of Loshchinka is plagued by alcoholism and unemployment, all-too-common symptoms of Russia’s crumbling countryside. So why did Russian President Vladimir Putin get every vote here during the recent presidential election?
Something Stinks In Russia’s Irkutsk
Garbage is piling up on the streets of Nizhneudinsk, in Russia’s Irkutsk region, after the Defense Ministry closed the town’s main dump.
Beet Salad For Dessert? Russian Symphony Conductor Slammed For Mocking Tatar Music
The head of Tatarstan’s symphony orchestra has come under fire for comparing Tatar music to a hodgepodge salad.
Head Of Navalny’s Moscow Office Gets 15 Days In Jail Over May Protests
Another aide of jailed Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny has been jailed over nationwide protests against President Vladimir Putin.
Criminal Case Opened Against Kemerovo Officials Over Deadly Mall Fire
Russian investigators have opened a criminal case against top officials at the Ministry of Emergency Situations branch in the Kemerovo region in connection with a shopping-mall fire that killed doz…
Rusal CEO, Top Managers Resign Over U.S. Sanctions
Russian aluminum giant Rusal says its chief executive, Aleksandra Buriko, and half of its managerial board have resigned to make sure the firm avoids U.S. sanctions against its founder, Oleg Deripa…
Russian Villagers Send SOS As Homes Crumble
Desperate villagers have painted “SOS” in big letters on their roofs to get help from the authorities in Tatarstan, Russia. Their houses are crumbling, they have no running water, and the last public buses were in March.
Papering Over Samara’s Eyesores Ahead Of Russia’s World Cup
Soccer’s World Cup kicks off in June in Russia. It will be the most expensive tournament ever held, costing billions of dollars, but one city has cut corners in its efforts to improve unsightly neighborhoods for visitors. (AP/Reuters/Current Time TV)
Soccer’s Governing Body Clears Russian World Cup Players Of Doping
Soccer’s world governing body has declared Russia’s World Cup players free of doping but said it will continue to investigate other soccer players in the country.
Hordes of Mosquitos Are Terrorizing Southwest Russia
Summer days mean a few things, including beaches, ice cream, and mosquitoes. Unfortunately, the mosquito part came a bit early for folks in the Voronezh region of southwest Russia.
Putin, Bulgarian President Tout Cultural Ties, Energy Projects
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Bulgarian counterpart have hailed their common cultural ties and vowed to revive economic links between the two Black Sea nations.
U.S. Gives Russian Van Maker GAZ More Time To Comply With Sanctions
The United States on May 22 gave U.S. customers of Russian van manufacturer GAZ more time to wind down business with the company, in the latest softening of sanctions against GAZ owner Oleg Deripaska.
Above St. Petersburg, Europe’s Tallest Skyscraper Takes Shape
After years of delays, a towering new headquarters for Gazprom nears completion.

Central Asia / Caucasus Reports


Georgia accuses Russia of war crimes during 2008 conflict | World news | The Guardian
Tbilisi also alleges human rights violations in closing evidence at European court
ECHR Holds Hearing In Georgia-Russia Case Over 2008 Conflict
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is holding a hearing on May 23 in the case concerning the 2008 armed conflict between Georgia and Russia and its aftermath.

Belarus Reports


Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow May Soon Use Its ‘Cossacks’ in Belarus, Christian Democratic Activist in Vitebsk Warns
Paul Goble Staunton, May 18 – Tatyana Severinets, the Vitebsk coordinator for Belarusian Christian Democracy, has protested to officials there about the fact that the Belarusian government has allowed self-proclaimed Cossack groups to demonstrate at a time when it has banned all other demonstrations. Her protest involved a “Cossack” event on April 21, and Vitebsk officials dismissed her complaint saying there had not been any violations of public order or actions that sparked “hostility between Belarusians and Russians.” Consequently, it was appropriate for the meeting to happen (bchd.info/14114-tacyana-sevyarynec-idze-zdacha-vicebskay-voblasci-ruskamu-miru.html). At first glance, that might seem to be the end of this; but developments since April 21, including the use of Moscow-organized “Cossack” units against demonstrators in Moscow and other Russian cities on May 5 and media reports that the Moscow city government spent 16 million rubles (260,000 US dollars) preparing these “Cossacks” change things, Severinets says. She tells the Internet portal of her party that “in Vitebsk alone, there are registered two organized structures of Cossack. How many there are in the oblast and country [she doesn’t know] … The increase in such pro-Russian groups is “not accidental. They enjoy complete freedom from the authorities here.” “All this is dangerous,” Severinets continues. “Dangerous in the sense of the Donetsk-Luhansk scenario. Very dangerous!” It is not difficult to imagine, she says, that at some point these people will declare “’Vitebsk is ours!’” and that the oblast if not more will pass to the control of “’the Russian world.’” As their answer shows, the activist says, the local officials either don’t see the danger or “more likely support this process.” That is, the Vitebsk authorities are “demonstrating their loyalty: we are already lukewarm – take us in your embrace, ‘Russian world.’” Unfortunately, the Minsk authorities aren’t doing anything to stop this trend. And Belarusian officials should be worried because this open display of their tolerance for pro-Moscow forces is already sparking more hostility in society, dividing people in ways that these “Cossacks” will try to exploit just as they did in the Donbass. Instead, they are displaying what is likely “intentional ideological blindness.” The party portal adds to Severinets’ remarks comments that others have posted about the events in Vitebsk. “Where is the Belarusian militia when people display swords?” “Where is the Belarusian tax service when they collect money?” And “where are the Belarusian security services when Russian ‘Cossacks’ are openly recruiting people to fight in Ukraine?”
Belarus Calls Same-Sex Relationships ‘Fake’ After U.K. Raises Rainbow Flag
Belarus calls same-sex relationships “fake” in response to Britain raising a rainbow flag outside its embassy in Minsk.
Belarusian Court Reportedly Jails Ukrainian Reporter For Eight Years
Media reports say a Belarusian court has sentenced a Ukrainian reporter to more than eight years in prison after convicting him of espionage.

Transnistria / Moldova Reports


Russia-Friendly, Pro-EU Candidates In Runoff Moldovan Election
The candidate of Moldova’s pro-Moscow Socialist Party, Ion Ceban, has won the first round of the snap election for mayor in Moldova’s capital, Chisinau, with almost 41 percent of the vote, followed…
Low Turnout Reported In Moldova Snap Mayoral Elections
Voters in Moldova’s main cities of Chisinau and Balti are heading to the polls to elect their mayors for one year.
Moldovan Police Repel Orthodox Activists Trying To Crash LGBT March
Religious hard-liners in Moldova’s capital tried to crash a rally in support of the country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community but were fended off by police who deployed tea…

Ukraine Reports


Poroshenko signs decree on final termination of Ukraine’s participation in CIS statutory bodies | UNIAN
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a decree to enact the decision of the National Security and Defense Council on the final termination of Ukraine’s participation in the statutory bodies of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Ukraine has done everything to cross the Rubicon and return to the EU, Poroshenko said.
Poroshenko Recalls Ukraine’s Envoys From CIS Bodies
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a decree recalling Kyiv’s envoys from bodies of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), a loose grouping of former Soviet republics that he sai…
UAWire – Poroshenko: Ukraine to withdraw from treaties that do not comply with its national interests
Kyiv will conduct an audit of all international treaties concluded with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and will withdraw from …


Window on Eurasia — New Series: Ten Steps Kyiv Must Take to Counter Russian Efforts to Control Sea of Azov
Paul Goble Staunton, May 23 – The Russian Federation has shown itself ever more ready to take steps to bottle up Ukrainian shipping in the Sea of Azov by the use of its naval power, a violation of international law that would severely harm Ukraine’s economic and security situation if it goes unchallenged. There are some short-term solutions like shifting Ukrainian sea traffic away from Azov ports to Odessa and longer term ones like building a canal between Ukraine and Russian-occupied Crimea (rusjev.net/2018/05/23/kryimskiy-poluostrov-mozhet-stat-ostrovom-ukrgidroproekt-rassmatrivaet-proekt-stroitelstva-chernomorsko-azovskogo-kanala/). But according to Andrey Klimenko, an expert on Crimea for the Maidan of Foreign Affairs, there are ten steps that Ukrainian specialists on maritime law and military affairs say Kyiv needs to take now or in the immediate future (nv.ua/opinion/a_klymenko/kak-nam-sokhranit-kontrol-nad-azovskim-morem-10-shahov-2471500.html). These are: 1. Ukraine must send a note to the Russian foreign ministry stating that it will not respect Moscow’s effort to close the sea near Berdyansk because that it an act of aggression, and Kyiv must also inform all international organizations and especially those who deal with maritime law. 2. Kyiv must call for an immediate session of the UN Security Council. 3. It must “immediately denounce the 2003 treaty between Ukraine and the Russian Federation on cooperation in the use of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Straits. 4. Kyiv must declare the Sea of Azov a territorial sea, its internal waters and exclusive maritime economic zone. 5. It must give orders to the Ukrainian navy and security forces to “take under control the territorial waters of Ukraine in the Sea of Azov. 6. Kyiv must denounce all agreements with the Russian Federation regarding the use of the Sea of Azov. 7. It must seek to work with partners to impose sanctions “against all ports of the Russian Federation on the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov” to block Russian schemes to avoid existing sanctions regimes. 8. Kyiv “must develop a plan of crisis measures in order to minimize the negative consequences of the loss of the possibility of using ports on the Sea of Azov.” 9. It must urge its partners to “create an international naval union (Ukraine-Georgia, Ukraine-Romania, Ukraine-Georgia-Romania, possibly with the participation of Turkey” to protect naval and coastal infrastructure in Ukraine. 10. Kyiv must “do an analysis and secure ratification by Ukraine” to the full list of international conventions and agreements concerning maritime operations. These ten measures are likely to inform Kyiv’s policies in the coming days if as expected Russia moves to tighten its control over the Sea of Azov and the Kerch straits.
Expert names Putin’s three goals in Azov Sea – news about politics
Expert on security issues, Lieutenant-General Vasyl Bohdan says Russia’s actions in the Sea of Azov, namely military drills within 16 kilometers from Ukraine’s coast and detention of Ukrainian ships, are aimed at providing political and economic pressure on Ukraine. Russia’s attempts are aimed at diverting public attention and causing serious losses and an escalation of the situation in Ukraine, Bohdan said.


Estonian president to be first leader of foreign state to visit Donbas | UNIAN
Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid will be the first leader of a foreign state to visit the Ukrainian-controlled Donbas area, which was liberated by the Ukrainian army from the Russian occupation forces. Kaljulaid arrived in Kyiv on May 22.
U.S. urges Russia to end its aggression in Ukraine due to increase in violence | UNIAN
The U.S. State Department has called on Russia to end its aggression in Ukraine due to the increase in violence in the past week. While Russia perpetuates the violence in eastern Ukraine by pouring money, soldiers, and resources into the region, the Russian economy continues to stagnate, Nauert said.
Ukraine’s Army killed 15 militants, two Ukrainian soldiers died – Ukraine’s Army eliminated 15 militants, two Ukrainian soldiers died – 112.international
The fighting continued along the entire combat line; the militants violated the ‘silence regime’ 53 times
Russian-led forces suffer huge losses in Donbas – JFO | UNIAN
Russian-backed forces have suffered huge losses in Donbas over the past day. As of 07:00 on May 23, it was reported four fighters of the Russian-terrorist forces had been killed and four others were wounded.
Ethnic Russians fight against each other in Donbas, – Volker, 112.international – Ethnic Russians fight against each other in Donbas, – Volker – 112.international
Ethnic Russians fight against each other in Donbas, – Volker
The command of the Joint Operation Forces in Donbas: Ukrainian army regained control over Pivdenne village in Donetsk region – Donbas: Ukrainian army releases Pivdenne village, Donetsk region – 112.international
HQ of the Joint Forces Operation claimed that the government troops released Pivdenne village in Donetsk region
Escalation in Donbas: Two Ukrainian soldiers killed, nine wounded in action in past day | UNIAN
The situation in Donbas escalated in the past day: two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and nine were wounded in action on Monday, May 21. There have been no Ukrainian casualties on May 22.
Ukrainian army destroys enemy’s front-line position in Donbas – civil volunteer (Photos) | UNIAN
The Ukrainian Armed Forces have destroyed an enemy position near the village of Troyitske at the Svitlodarska Duha bulge in Donbas, eastern Ukraine. The facility burnt down and collapsed.
UAWire – Ukrainian Armed Forces ‘tightening the noose’ around Donetsk
The purpose of the Ukrainian military attack on Horlivka is to “tighten the noose” around Donetsk, a source in the headquarters of the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) told Strana.ua news outlet. “Horlivka is surrounded by high hills, including the village of Yuzhny. The one who owns the strongholds at these hills in fact owns the town. From these hills, the whole town is easily exposed to fire. Therefore, if the territory around Horlivka is owned [by the Armed Forces of Ukraine], the separatists will surrender Horlivka without a fight. There is just no point in dying there. Everything is clearly visible,” the interlocutor of strana.ua noted. He stressed that Horlivka is a strategic bridgehead to attack Debaltseve and Yenakiieve. “Thus, the noose is being tightened around Donetsk. Moreover, the Armed Forces of Ukraine do not formally violate the Minsk agreements. The grounds around Horlivka belong to the so-called ‘gray area.’ And we have every right to capture a gray area. Such movement is not considered an offensive,” an officer of Ukraine’s Armed Forces noted. On May 20, the separatists near Horlivka tried to push the Ukrainian Armed Forces out, but were driven back. Later, it became known that in the southern outskirts of Pivdenne settlement near Horlivka, two Ukrainian servicemen were killed and four were injured in the firefight with the separatists.
Hot war still on in Ukraine’s Donbas, and it’s far from frozen conflict -Euromaidan Press |
Europe’s forgotten war in the east of Ukraine is far from being a frozen conflict. The Armed Forces of Ukraine sustain casualties almost every single day. Civilians suffer on both sides of the front as well. In summer of 2015, the Russian-hybrid forces attempted to capture Maryinka, a southwestern suburb of Donetsk, but the attacks were repelled. In winter of 2016 Ukrainian army and volunteer battalions retook a village of Shyrokyne on the coast of Azov Sea after a long period of positional engagements. There are no significant territorial gains in the Donbas since early 2015 when the second direct invasion of the Russian regular forces led to the occupation of Debaltseve, the main railway hub of the Donbas region, and further loss of Donetsk Airport.
SBU releases new evidence of Russian Wagner fighters’ involvement in war crimes against Ukraine | UNIAN
The SBU Security Service of Ukraine keeps on public informing about recording results of Russian war crimes in the territory of Ukraine. The SBU operatives established that the urgent withdrawal of Dozors was conducted by the PMC Wagner logistics platoon.
Russian-led forces use Grad, artillery in Donbas; number of attacks on Ukraine grows to 58 in past day | UNIAN
The Russian-led forces resorted to Grad multiple rocket launchers and 122mm artillery systems, having increased the number of attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, to 58 incidents in the past day, May 19. Three Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action on May 19.
UAWire – Pro-Russian militants attack Ukrainian Armed forces in Donbas
A subversive-reconnaissance group of pro-Russian militants attacked the positions of the Ukrainian military near the settlement of Yuzhne in the …
Ukrainian army captures three enemy troops amid fight in Donbas (Photo) | UNIAN
A reconnaissance and subversion group of the 46th separate assault Battalion “Donbas” of the Ukrainian Joint Forces captured three enemy troops during a short battle late in the evening on May 20. The Joint Forces handed the three captives and their personal firearms over to the SBU Security Service of Ukraine.
Russian-backed forces blow up bridge on Khrustalniy–Luhansk route (Photo) | UNIAN
Russian-backed forces have blown up a bridge on the Khrustalniy-Luhansk route near the village of Ivanivka. No official confirmation has been provided.
UAWire – Ukrainian intelligence: Russia delivers Grad missiles and ammunition to Donbas by rail
The Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense reported on Saturday, May 19 that Russia supplied ammunition to the …
Children evacuated after Russian occupation forces shell Toretsk
The building of the Center for Socio-Psychological Rehabilitation has been damaged, where there were 28 children, as a result of shelling by Russian occupation forces in Toretsk (Donetsk region) on Monday morning. Police are conducting evacuation. According to the press service of the National Police in Donetsk region, during the shelling the windows in the center building were damaged, there are no casualties. The administration of the centre appealed to the police with a request for assistance in the evacuation of 28 children aged 3 to 17 years. As a result of shelling in the morning of May 21, seven apartment buildings were damaged, the police of Donetsk region in Toretsk reported.
Two children in intensive care after mass poisoning in Mykolaiv – 21.05.2018 16:58 — Ukrinform News
Two children have been taken to intensive care and 34 more are under the supervision of doctors after an unknown substance was sprayed in a Mykolaiv school, Deputy Head of Mykolaiv Regional State Administration Yevhen Shevchenko has written on his Facebook page.
Over 30 children in hospital, 400 evacuated after unknown substance sprayed in Mykolaiv school | UNIAN
Thirty-two children have been taken to hospital, while about 400 others have been evacuated from a Mykolaiv-based school after an unknown substance was sprayed. Ambulances and police officers are working on the scene.
15 pupils were hospitalized in Kharkiv over poisoning by unknown gas – 15 Kharkiv pupils were hospitalized over poisoning by unknown gas – 112.international
Physicians are on duty at the school and a preventive examination of children is conducted
Ukraine, Canada sign agreement on military training – 18.05.2018 14:19 — Ukrinform News
Ukraine and Canada have signed an agreement on military training, the press service of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry has reported on Facebook.
JFO commander pledges to prevent Russian occupation forces from shelling civilian towns
Joint Forces Operations (JFO) Commander Serhiy Nayev has expressed dismay at the loss of life of civilians on both sides of the demarcation line due to shelling by Russian occupation forces.
Deadly Spike In Fighting Reported In Eastern Ukraine
Monitoring officials say clashes between Ukrainian forces and separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine have escalated in recent days to some of the fiercest fighting of 2018.
Official working for Ukraine’s Social Policy Ministry labelled women as ‘incapable of serving as snipers’; Vice Speaker of the Parliament outraged, demands internal investigation – Ukraine’s Social Policy Ministry worker labels women ‘incapable of serving as snipers’ – 112.international
Serhiy Ryabokin, the worker of Ukraine’s Social Policy Ministry, revealed his views in terms of gender equality and actual military service for women
Ukrainian Security Agency Warns Of Potential Cyberattack Linked To Soccer Final
Ukraine’s main security agency has warned of a potential Russian cyberattack ahead of this weekend’s final match of the Champions League soccer tournament.
Feds deny Russian rumours that 3 Canadian soldiers were killed in Ukraine | CTV News
Federal officials have flatly denied online rumours circulated by Russian social media accounts that three Canadian soldiers working in Ukraine were killed by a landmine.
Poroshenko enacts law on Ukraine’s Air Assault Forces | UNIAN
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a law under which Ukraine’s airmobile forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were renamed the Air Assault Forces. The move is an important phase in the further development of the Ukrainian army.
A new type of troops may appear in the Armed Forces of Ukraine
A new type of troops may appear in the Armed Forces of Ukraine – the military department is considering the possibility of granting the status of a separate type of territorial defense troops that are now part of the Land Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The troops of the territorial defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine this year moved to the brigade structure . Forces of defense, which were formerly created at military commissariats, were transformed into separate battalions and erected in the territorial defense brigade. The brigade consists of eight battalions of TrO, company of fire support, anti-diversion fight, mortar unit, units of combat and logistics. They are completed both by military personnel and by reservists, which make up the majority of the units and are called up if necessary. According to the plan, reservists will be regularly trained at the gathering, the final of which is to hold brigade exercises. The first, in June this year, will be deployed to full strength and combat coordination at the military training ground, 119th brigade of territorial defense in Chernihiv region. During the exercises, actions will be taken to cover the state border – one of the five tasks assigned to territorial defense. Poland, using the experience of Ukraine, began to create its territorial troops in 2015, just as a separate species. Last year, the Polish Territorial Defense Forces Command officially gained abilities and took over the first brigades. The Armed Forces of Ukraine currently consists of three types and two separate generations: the Land Forces, the Air Forces, the Naval Forces, the Airborne Assault and Special Operations Forces, as well as the structures that enjoy the rights of certain types: the Main Department of Operational Support, the Arms, and the Tyli (based on the last two, the Command of the logistics forces is formed ). Details of the Armed Forces structure can be found here . It will be recalled that in April, the Chief of the Medical Service of the Armed Forces Colonel, medical service Igor Khomenko said at a briefing about plans to create another separate type of troops – medical.


Life Is No Beach For Crimeans Seeking Surf And Sun
Crimea’s Russian-installed leaders have failed to live up to promises to free up public access to beaches.
Crimean Tatar leader explains Russia’s miscalculation of Crimean bridge | UNIAN
Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People Ilmi Umerov has said the Crimean bridge, which links Russia with the Russian-occupied peninsula, has become “a bridge to nowhere” for the occupiers, and the huge funds spent on its construction will not pay off. This bridge is unlikely to justify itself from the economic point of view in the near future.
Ukraine’s President to develop bill on Crimean collaborationists – 112.international
Poroshenko announces preparation of bill on Crimean collaborationists
Two Ukrainian fishers detained in Azov Sea by Russia accused of poaching, 112.international – Two Ukrainian fishers detained in Azov Sea by Russia accused of poaching – 112.international
Two Ukrainian fishers detained in Azov Sea by Russia accused of poaching


Ukraine Showcases Javelin Firepower From United States
Ukraine has showcased the firepower of the Javelin antitank missile systems given to it by the United States last month in a performance President Petro Poroshenko called “a dream come true.”
President checked the readiness to use the American anti-tank missile complexes “Javelin”: Combat capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have grown significantly — Official website of the President of Ukraine
The Head of State noted that the American anti-tank complexes had shown extremely high efficiency.
Петро Порошенко – Нарешті цей день настав! Сьогодні вперше в… [Javelin Video]
 
UAWire – Poroshenko shows video of first Javelin shots in Ukraine
The Ukrainian military has fired the  first training shots of the American Javelin anti-tank systems. President Petro Poroshenko was present at …
“Fire and Forget”: it became known about the development of the domestic ATGW of the third generation
During the International Scientific and Technical Conference that took place in Lviv on May 17-18 this year on the basis of Hetman Petah Sagaydachny National Ground Academy, during discussions about the prospects of the development of rocket-artillery armament, it became known that at the present time, the KP SPB “Arsenal” ( The state-owned enterprise of special instrument-making “Arsenal”) develops an infrared (IR) seeker (GOS) redundancy project for its high-end ATGW of the third generation with its own financing. The absence of the seeker for ATGW makes it impossible to develop missile complexes of the third generation, because the rest of our parts are made serially and used on domestic missile systems of the second generation.
Ukraine conducts successful flight test of Skif antitank missile – Defence Blog
Ukraine’s State Kyiv Design Bureau LUCH has successfully test-fired export modification of the Skif man-portable anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs). According to the press service of the company, in middle May was conducted a successful final test of the Skif man-portable anti-tank guided missile system developed for a foreign customer. The design of the advanced AT guided missile system “Skif” has undergone a number of changes in accordance with the requirements of the potential customer. All modifications aimed at adapting the launcher for use in soft soil and sand. First of all, we are talking about installing a powerful thermal imager, allowing to destroy the targets with the first shot, despite the difficult weather conditions, day and night. The missile itself has not changed, as originally was designed for use in all climatic and weather conditions, without exception.
Ukraine Is Developing A New Airborne EW System
Ukrainian scientists are intensively developing new air-based EW systems and facilities for various purposes. Already there are developments in the direction of creating complexes of individual protection. This is reported by the National Industrial Portal with reference to the command of the air forces of the Armed Forces. The new on-board defense complexes (BKO) used to be equipped with the upgraded MiG-29, Su-25 and Su-27 aircraft. This complex will protect aircraft from missiles fired from enemy aircraft and ground-based air defense. Soon we should expect the beginning of their tests. The new Ukrainian BKO to protect the aircraft from missiles of various modifications of air defense equipment, such as the S-125, S-300, S-400, Osa, Tor, Tunguska, Shilka, Kub, Buk etc. In addition, new towed decoys are being developed. The system of towed decoys has several “false” targets of the active type. The principle of the system is quite simple. In case of the danger of the aircraft being destroyed, the decoy is received by the signal from the enemy radar, amplifies and re-emits the received signal, thereby simulating an echo from the aircraft that is being protected. Radiation also simulates the signature of the aircraft engine. As a result, the enemy’s radar receives two signals: weak, reflected from the aircraft, and more powerful, which radiates a transponder of a false target. Thanks to the radar signature of the decoy, which is much larger than that of the airplane, the ground-based radar homing head of the missile perceives a trap for the target. Such towed decoys repeatedly proved their effectiveness as a countermeasure against the missile threat in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. In addition, only in Yugoslavia, they diverted themselves to at least ten anti-aircraft missiles fired by F-16 aircraft. Now, manufacturers are working on options for independent multifunction decoys, which are dropped from the aircraft and operating in an autonomous mode. Collective (mutual protection) means protect not only the equipment on which they are installed, but other airplanes of the strike group. Designers plan to place these funds in suspended containers on the underwing points of the aircraft suspension. Suspended containers are made in the form of transitional beams, and they provide for the possibility of hanging aircraft launch devices to them. This design allows you to maintain a regular ammunition of the aircraft’s armament. Their principle of operation is similar to individual, but they are more powerful and able to provide protection for their group’s aircraft at a distance of up to 2 km. Systems and means of EW of group protection are able to detect and suppress control systems for aviation and air defense, as well as for reconnaissance of air targets. They will be installed on special aircraft (helicopters, UAVs) of the REB, as well as on military transport aircraft. They will receive much more powerful transmitters of active interference.
UOP KHARKIV-MOROZOV DESIGN BUREAU WORKS ON BUILDING NEW COMBAT VEHICLE BMP-U AND PROMISING NEXT-GENERATION TANK – Ukroboronprom
UKROBORONPROM State Enterprise “Kharkiv Morozov Machine-Building Design Bureau”, is working to create next-generation combat vehicles that are to enter into service of the Ukrainian Army in 2020. The designers and engineers of the SE “Kharkiv Morozov Machine-Building Design Bureau” are now focusing on the creation of BMP-U, a new IFV, which is to replace BMP-1 and BMP-2. Kharkiv Morozov Design Bureau has already developed design documentation, manufacture of the prototype and testing will take place in 2019. BMP-U is intended for transportation and fire support of ground forces. It provides reliable protection for the crew of 3 members and 7 paratroopers. According to calculations, the level of BMP-U protection is 10-12% higher than of BTR-4. In addition, the engine transmission compartment is located in the front of the vehicle, which guarantees a greater level of crew protection.
The Magnificent Flying Machines Of Igor Sikorsky
The Kyiv-born aviator who fled the Bolshevik Revolution and created the helicopters that have served U.S. presidents from Eisenhower to Trump.


RIA News Agency, Tycoons Added To Ukraine Sanctions List
Ukraine has banned Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti, according to a recently expanded list of prominent Russians and entities subjected to Ukrainian sanctions.
Ukraine imposes sanctions against oligarch Kurchenko, Gazprom CEO Miller | UNIAN
Ukraine has imposed personal sanctions against fugitive Ukrainian oligarch Serhiy Kurchenko, former business partner of ex-President Viktor Yanukovych, persons who hold offices as “energy ministers” in the so-called “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics” (“DPR”/”LPR”), as well as Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller. Sanctions were also imposed on a number of officials from the Russian-occupied Crimea.
Ukraine suspended work of RIA News agency for three years – Ukraine suspended work of RIA News agency for three years – 112.international
The assets of the agency will also be blocked as a part of sanctions
Pavlo Klimkin calls Rogan’s articel Russian provocation – Another Russia-led provocation, – Ukraine Foreign Minister on Rogan’s article – 112.international
Another Russia-led provocation, – Ukraine Foreign Minister on Rogan’s article
Ukrainian Railways to get 30 American locomotives in 2018, 112.international – Ukrainian Railways to get 30 American locomotives in 2018 – 112.international
Ukrainian Railways to get 30 American locomotives in 2018
Beskydy tunnel opened in western Ukraine; the capacity reaches 100 trains per 24 hours – 112.international
The Beskydy tunnel was opened in Lviv region, western Ukraine on Thursday. This is one of the largest constructions that appeared in Ukraine over the past 15 years. The two-line railway is above two kilometers in length, which allows to increase the capacity twice – up to 100 trains per 24 hours.
Ukraine among world’s three biggest grain exporters – Poroshenko – 23.05.2018 13:45 — Ukrinform News
Ukraine is among three largest grain exporter countries in the world.
Bark Soup In Brussels: Experiencing The Horror Of The Holodomor
In an effort to draw attention to the 1932-33 Holodomor famine in Ukraine, activists and students offered Brussels passersby the type of food people were forced to eat in order to survive.
City council of Poltava, central Ukraine: Ukraine’s state flag and black-and-red banner will be both hoisted on holidays, memorable days – Poltava to use both Ukraine’s state flag and black-and-red banner on holidays, memorable days – 112.international
City council of Poltava, central Ukraine: Ukraine’s state flag and black-and-red banner will be both hoisted on holidays, memorable days
Ukraine’s Loznitsa Wins Cannes ‘Un Certain Regard’ Prize For Best Director
Ukrainian film director Serhiy Loznitsa has won a best director prize in the Cannes film festival’s Un Certain Regard competition for Donbass, his odyssey about the conflict in eastern Ukraine.


Гімн ОУН / Anthem of the OUN (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists) – YouTube
oleggutsulyak Published on Jan 27, 2018 Виконують: Ivan Lenyo, Oleg Skrypka, Sergiy Fomenko
 

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports


Putin Praises Russia-India Ties At Meeting With Modi
President Vladimir Putin hailed Russia’s economic and military ties with India as he hosted the country’s prime minister in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on May 21.

DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports


Trump cancels Singapore summit in letter to Kim Jong Un – CNNPolitics
President Donald Trump will not meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un next month, he announced in a letter to Kim released by the White House Thursday morning, scrapping plans for what would have been a historic diplomatic summit.
Trump Calls Off Summit Meeting With North Korean Leader : The Two-Way : NPR
“Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long planned meeting,” Trump wrote.
White House pulls out of summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un | Fox News
President Trump on Thursday canceled the highly anticipated summit with North Korea that was set for next month, calling the talks “inappropriate” following the “hostility” displayed in the latest comments from dictator Kim Jong Un.
The Word That Derailed the Trump-Kim Summit – Defense One
The Americans and the North Koreans were all set for a historic meeting. Then they started talking about Libya.
WTF: A Few Morning Thoughts on US-North Korea Relations – Defense One
Kim Jong Un doesn’t need to dance with Trump. He’s got his own nuclear weapons.
Behind President Trump’s decision to cancel summit with Kim Jong Un – YouTube
From grin to grim: Inside the Trump-Kim summit collapse – CNNPolitics
The sun was setting, dinner was waiting and President Donald Trump was making the short walk to his private residence when, on March 8, he suddenly made a detour to the press briefing room.
Trump wanted to cancel North Korea summit before Kim Jong Un could
The abrupt decision exposed rifts in the administration, and Trump personally dictated the cancellation letter to Kim Jong Un.
Trump responds to North Korea’s summit threat – YouTube
ABC News Published on May 18, 2018 President Trump is now taking steps to reassure North Korea’s Kim Jong Un after he threatened to cancel an upcoming, historic summit with Trump.
Trump summit with North Korea in jeopardy – YouTube
Trump may have given Kim an offer he dares not refuse, despite Beijing’s objections | TheHill
Trump’s policies are exposing the reality that China has a vested interest in a continuing North Korea crisis and diplomatic stalemate.
North Korea Threatens Again To Call Off Trump Summit, Warns Of ‘Nuclear Showdown’
A top Pyongyang official lambasted “political dummy” Mike Pence and cautioned the U.S. against making “ignorant” remarks.
North Korea again threatens to back out of Trump summit, calls Pence ‘ignorant and stupid’ | South China Morning Post
North Korea’s lambasts US Vice-President Mike Pence who warned it would be a ‘great mistake’ for Kim Jong-un to try and play Donald Trump
Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off – POLITICO Magazine
Why President Donald Trump should cancel his planned June 12 summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un
Trump Blames China’s Xi Jinping for Sabotaging the Kim Jong Un Summit
After that surprise second meeting with Xi this month, the North Korean leader suddenly moved back to the dark side in his dealings with the United States.
Pompeo says U.S. “still working towards” June 12 summit with N.K. – CBS News
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. is still preparing for a summit with North Korea
Kim Jong Un is said to be worried about North Korea falling to a military coup while he’s rubbing shoulders with Trump in Singapore | Business Insider
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is reportedly anxious about a planned summit with President Donald Trump set to take place in Singapore next month. Kim is said to be worried about a military coup or other hostile actors who might try to depose him while he’s away.
Trump, South Korean leader commiserate over upcoming summit – The Washington Post
The president sought Moon Jae-in’s interpretation of North Korea’s shift to a harder-line position on denuclearization.
Stocks Slide as Geopolitics Trump Risk Taking Mood: Markets Wrap – Bloomberg
U.S. stocks fell after President Donald Trump canceled his June summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un because of the “tremendous anger and open hostility” in recent statements from Pyongyang. Treasuries extended gains and gold rose with the yen as investors moved into safe-haven assets.
🇺🇸 🇰🇵 Pompeo: ‘Bad deal’ with North Korea ‘not an option’ for US | Al Jazeera English – YouTube
We Need to Test Our Assumptions About North Korea | The National Interest
Only through a clear eyed approach to North Korea can we hope to develop strategies that will have resonance and traction and make the most of the opportunity that we may now be presented with.
Trump should not listen to Bolton on North Korea | Asia | Al Jazeera
The Trump administration should not take John Bolton’s advice to pursue the ‘Libya model’. It simply won’t work.
South Korea, U.S. to work closely on summit after Pyongyang’s about-face | Reuters
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump held discussions on Sunday to ensure that the North Korea-U.S. summit remains on track after North Korea threatened to pull out of the high-level talks.
5 Tips for Negotiating a Nuclear Deal with Kim Jong Un | The National Interest
The more prepared Trump is, then the less likely it is that the North Koreans will take him for a ride.
U.S. Scrapped Training Exercise With South Korea Involving B-52s – WSJ
A training exercise involving U.S. B-52 bombers and South Korean planes was scrapped this week after Seoul expressed concerns that it could generate tensions before President Donald Trump’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Opinion | Ending the Dead End in North Korea – The New York Times
We should set aside for a minute our demand that it disarm before any other negotiation.
Kim Jong Un beat Trump in a big test before the Singapore summit
The U.S. and South Korea made a serious mistake in canceling a long scheduled military exercise named Max Thunder this week. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the exercise was canceled after South Korea “expressed concerns” over North Korea’s threat to withdraw from the June 12 Singapore summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un.
North Korea received a huge concession from US and South Korea before Trump-Kim talks – Vox
According to the Wall Street Journal, South Korea didn’t want to participate in a joint military drills with America and Japan than involved B-52 bombers — all to keep North Korea happy.
North Korea’s Secret Army: How Operatives Abroad Aid the Regime – WSJ
Records of an undercover agent who lived as a businessman in Malaysia reveal the ways he kept goods flowing to North Korea, despite sanctions.
North Korea blows up tunnels at Punggye-ri nuclear test site – CNN
North Korea appeared to destroy at least three nuclear tunnels, observation buildings, a metal foundry and living quarters at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site on Thursday, in a process observed by invited international journalists.
North Korea Says It Shut Nuclear Test Site Ahead of Planned Meeting With Trump – The New York Times
The event was captured by foreign journalists, but North Korea did not invite any independent nuclear monitors to verify the dismantlement.
2 North Koreans, including a military officer, defect to South Korea – Business Insider
The defections came after North Korea declined to accept a list of South Korean journalists hoping to observe the closure of its nuclear test site.


Pompeo says China incident ‘entirely consistent’ with Cuba ‘sonic attacks’ – CNN
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that an incident involving a US government employee stationed in China who reported “abnormal sensations of sound and pressure” suggesting a mild brain injury has medical indications that are “very similar” and “entirely consistent” to those experienced by American diplomats posted in Havana.
US employee in China suffers brain injury after reporting strange sounds, pressure – ABC News
A U.S. government employee in southern China suffered a brain injury after reporting strange “sensations of sound and pressure,” according to the U.S. State Department.
US issues health warning after employee in China suffers ‘abnormal sensations of sound and pressure’
The U.S. State Department issued a health alert after a government employee stationed in China was diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury.
US warns its citizens in China after embassy worker suffers brain injury from possible ‘sonic attack’ | Business Insider
A US State Department employee has suffered “subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure” that later lead to a diagnosis of “mild traumatic brain injury” while working in China. The strange trauma inflicted on the US official there recalls a similar spat of reports from Cuba, where US officials reported symptoms consistent with a “sonic attack” or exposure to harmful frequencies while abroad. It warned that if you experience any “unusual acute auditory or sensory phenomena accompanied by unusual sounds or piercing noises” to leave immediately.


China’s J-20 stealth fighters will likely patrol Taiwan’s airspace soon — and the island nation is ready to counter | Business Insider
Beijing has repeatedly hinted that its new J-20 stealth fighters will conduct patrols in Taiwan’s airspace to coerce the island nation to reunify with China. But Taiwan has a plan to counter China’s J-20: new mobile passive radars and new active radars for its F-16Vs. One expert believes Taiwan’s plan will be effective but still sees the country as unlikely to be able to defend its airspace as well as major powers such as the US.
China Lands Nuclear Bombers on Disputed South China Sea Islands In Warning to American Rivals
China’s air force said the training was to prepare for the “battle for the South China Sea.”
China lands bomber on South China Sea island for first time
The move is likely to further fuel concerns about Beijing’s expansive claims over the disputed region.
China test bombers on South China Sea island – CNN
China says it has landed long-range bombers for the first time on an island in the South China Sea, the latest in a series of maneuvers putting Beijing at odds with its neighbors and Washington over China’s growing military presence around disputed islands.
Chinese land bomber in South China Sea, potentially escalating tensions over disputed zone | Fox News
Chinese state media released a video showing a long-range nuclear-capable bomber landing on an island in the South China Sea for the first time, a move the Pentagon said raises tensions in the region years after China’s president pledged not to militarize the disputed area.
China air force lands bombers on South China Sea island | Reuters
China’s air force has landed bombers on islands and reefs in the South China Sea as part of a training exercise in the disputed region, it said in a statement.
China’s military ambitions now include nuclear-ready bombers in the South China Sea — Quartz
This is a video of a nuclear-ready Chinese bomber aircraft landing on an island in the South China Sea. It marks the first time Chinese bombers are known to have landed in the area. https://twitter.com/PDChina/status/997386306660384768 “A division of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force recently organized multiple bombers such as the H-6K to conduct take-off…
Bombers in the South China Sea: Beijing Grows its Military Presence on Disputed Islands – WSJ
China’s first-ever landing of a heavy bomber on a disputed island in the South China Sea punctuates a steady buildup of military assets that has solidified Beijing’s claims to one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
Philippines takes action after Beijing’s H-6Ks land in South China Sea – Business Insider
China’s air force said bombers such as the H-6K had landed and taken off from islands and reefs in the South China Sea as part of training exercises last…
PLAN deploys H-6G bomber in electronic warfare configuration | Jane’s 360
“The modified H-6G fitted with ECM pods can engage in combat missions using electronic jamming, suppression, and anti-radiation [measures],” the paper quoted the CCTV programme as saying, adding that China’s JH-7 fighter-bomber has also been seen carrying such ECM pods in PLA Air Force exercises.
China is not even pretending anymore in the South China Sea — it put 400 buildings on one of the disputed islands | Business Insider
Satellite imagery shows China has put nearly 400 buildings on Subi Reef in the South China Sea. The number of buildings on the island are about double that of China’s other large islands in the same Spratly Islands region. Experts are concerned about the growth of China’s militarization of the South China Sea, and hosting a large number of troops on Subi Reef could be part of that plan.
Concrete and coral: Beijing’s South China Sea building boom fuels concerns | Reuters
At first glance from above it looks like any clean and neatly planned small town, complete with sports grounds, neat roads and large civic buildings. 
Trump Grappling With Risks of Proceeding With North Korea Meeting – The New York Times
President Trump was surprised and angered by a statement issued by the North’s chief nuclear negotiator, who declared that the country would not swap its nuclear weapons capability for economic aid.
North Korea Negotiations: Success Possible? Perhaps | National Review
The Kims of North Korea have a wearisome routine for getting concessions from the West, but this time may actually be different.
China to unveil modern air defence systems and UAVs at KADEX 2018 – Defence Blog
Seven Chinese military trade companies will take their best products to participate in an exhibition of weapons and military equipment to be held in Kazakhstan from May 23 to 26. According to China’s State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence, the exhibited Chinese military products include land, sea and air armaments, such as the FM-3000, an advanced medium range air defense missile weapon system, the Wing Loong unmanned aerial system, the JY-27A “SKYWATCH-V” radar, and the LY-80 medium range air defense missile weapon system. More than 400 companies from 55 countries and regions around the world will participate in the show, one of the largest military exhibitions in central Asia, to be held in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana. This is the first exhibition held under the auspices of the Ministry of Defense and Aerospace Industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan. It will be attended by domestic and foreign enterprises of the defense-industrial complex and space industry, leading design bureaus and research institutes. During the years of the exhibition “KADEX” it rightfully became one of the world’s leading exhibition platforms for demonstrating weapons, military and special equipment, technologies in the field of information security.
Trump beware — China lies and cheats on trade deals and will likely do so again | Fox News
China has zero interest in free, fair and reciprocal trade. It sees international economic competition as war by other means – and intends to win in any way it can.
China ‘disinvited’ from major US military exercise over South China Sea – CNNPolitics
The US has withdrawn an invitation to China to participate in what has been described as the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.
The clouds gathering around China’s Belt and Road – Nikkei Asian Review
China’s President Xi Jinping promises that his Belt and Road Initiative, a sweeping vision to put China at the center of the global economy through ne
Giant Chinese Salamander: World’s Largest Amphibian Is Heading for Extinction
The Chinese giant salamander is capable of growing up to 5.9 feet in length.
Merkel in China Talks Trade, Tech and Human Rights | Time
German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed the importance of dialogue with China during a visit to Beijing


Indo-PACOM? Pentagon may rename US Pacific Command
Renaming U.S. PACOM could
India’s Modi To Fly To Sochi For Talks With Putin
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is heading to the Black Sea resort of Sochi to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 21 to discuss ways to strengthen the two countries’ “privileged …
China to Australia: Remove ‘colored glasses’ to get ties back on track | Reuters
Australia should remove its “colored glasses” to get relations back on track with major trading partner China, the Chinese government’s top diplomat Wang Yi has told his Australian counterpart on the sidelines of a G20 meeting in Argentina.
China Blames Australia for Strained Relations – Bloomberg
China has issued a fresh rebuke to Australia as tensions between the two nations continue to simmer.
Australia selects Spike LR2 | Jane’s 360
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has been selected by the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) to supply its Spike LR2 anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) for the Australian Army. Australia becomes the second export customer for Spike LR2, after Latvia ordered an undisclosed quantity earlier this year. Beating out the MMP (Missile Moyenne Portée or medium range missile) from MBDA in what was a mini-contest inside the competition to supply an 8×8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV) under the Land 400 Phase 2 programme, Spike LR2 will arm the Rheinmetall Boxer CRV, itself selected ahead of the BAE Systems AMV35 on 13 March this year under a AUD5.2 billion (USD3.91 billion) acquisition.
US sends powerful warship to Japan amid looming Trump-Kim summit | Fox News
One of the U.S. Navy’s most advanced guided missile destroyers arrived in Japan on Tuesday, weeks before the expected summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
U.S. bolsters Asia ballistic missile defense as Trump-Kim summit nears | Reuters
The USS Milius, one of the U.S. Navy’s most advanced guided missile destroyers, arrived in Japan on Tuesday to reinforce defenses against any ballistic missile attacks by North Korea, or anyone else in East Asia.

Foreign Policy Reports


Trump Forbids Russian Pipeline. Europe Pushes Back – Bloomberg
U.S. may not be able to scuttle the planned Nord Stream 2 project to bring gas to Germany.
U.S. Is Trying to Kill Major Gas Deal Between Russia and Germany
Russia said the situation was “rather challenging” after the U.S. warned it was “exerting as much persuasive power” as possible to stop Nord Stream 2.
The U.S. Casts a Suspicious Eye on Nord Stream 2 – To Inform is to Influence
From Stratfor Highlights Germany views Nord Stream 2 as a commercial project, but it will have little choice but to heed the political consequences and realities of the Russian natural gas pipeline, especially now that the United States has become involved. Russia’s Gazprom will seek to diversify away from Ukraine as a former strategic strength…
Investment in Nord Stream 2 means support for collapse of a united Europe – Poroshenko
Russia’s gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 is a geopolitical project of the Kremlin, which has nothing to do with economic and business interests, but aims to destroy the unity of Europe, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said. In his article for Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, which was published on May 18, Poroshenko emphasized that Nord Stream 2 is a tragic mistake of a historical scale with unthinkable consequences. “This is an absolutely geopolitical project of the Kremlin, which has nothing to do with economic and business interests, and is aimed, first and foremost, at the destruction of the unity of Europe and, subsequently, its subordination. This has always been the ideology of the Russian energy policy. Today there are no grounds to think differently, until Russian aggression against Ukraine and the West is not actually stopped, and the Kremlin begins to respect international law and order,” the president wrote. Poroshenko expressed confidence that under the current circumstances any large-scale pan-European project with the Kremlin would mean pacification of the aggressor, rather than a manifestation of force. And as soon as Nord Stream 2 is filled with Russian gas, “the Kremlin will not refrain from an even more brutal attack on our common values.” “Even worse, it will give Russia an advantage,” Poroshenko said. In addition, he warned of trust in the promises of “bright dividends” of the Kremlin. “Do not believe that Gazprom intends to adhere to the agreements. Its reliability has been significantly compromised, and the last example is the failure of Gazprom to recognize the Stockholm arbitration decision in favor of Ukraine. It’s hard to be a reliable partner when you are called to be an energy lever of the Kremlin in its geopolitical games,” Poroshenko said. “Thus, investment in Nord Stream 2 is investment in the disintegration of Europe. Does Europe really need another such gas pipeline with Russia?” he said.
Nord Stream 2 construction destroys EU unity, it should be stopped, – Poroshenko – 112.international
Poroshenko assured that the Ukrainian side is ready to provide the guarantees of the reliability of gas transit through Ukraine
Boris Johnson joins US in criticising Russia to Germany gas pipeline | World news | The Guardian
Foreign secretary says Nord Stream 2 could leave Europe reliant on ‘malign’ Russia
The Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly Takes on the Legal Challenges of Hybrid Warfare – To Inform is to Influence
By Aurel Sari Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 7:00 AM Over the last few years, “hybrid warfare” has become firmly established in the Western security lexicon. The concept features prominently in NATO and EU policy instruments and has informed the United States’ National Security Strategy adopted in December 2017. (I analyzed this idea in more depth here.) Despite the term’s…
Poroshenko and Merkel discussed security issues over construction of Nord Stream 2 – 112.international
The parties also talked about the situation in Donbas
The Latest: Putin says gas may keep going via Ukraine | Fox News
The Latest on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin (all times local): 3:25 p.m. Russian President Vladimir Putin says that gas supplies to Europe via Ukraine may continue even after the launch of a new prospective Germany-bound pipeline under the Baltic Sea.
Gazprom Clinches Deal In Lengthy EU Antitrust Case, Avoids Fine
Russian state-owned energy firm Gazprom has reached an agreement with EU regulators, avoiding fines in an antitrust case that has dragged on for seven years.
Gazprom Clinches Deal In Lengthy EU Antitrust Case, Avoids Fine
Russian state-owned energy firm Gazprom has reached an agreement with EU regulators, avoiding fines in an antitrust case that has dragged on for seven years.
Austria and Germany Need to Rethink Their National Security Strategies | The National Interest
While there may be a collective sense in Vienna and Berlin that security has worsened in Europe and the world, Russia is not seen as a major security threat.
Austria’s tilt toward Russia worries intelligence experts
The far-right Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) — which is openly supportive of Russia — now has responsibility for Austria’s intelligence services.
Venezuela Election Won by Maduro Amid Widespread Disillusionment – The New York Times
Nicolás Maduro won a second term as president of Venezuela, in a contest that critics said was heavily rigged in his favor and which many voters shunned.
Everything you wanted to know about Nord Stream 2 but were afraid to ask -Euromaidan Press |
Recently, Germany gave the final green light for the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline enabling the Russian state-owned gas monopoly Gazprom to double its gas supplies to Germany. Its adepts say the project will diversify the EU’s gas supplies. However, critics call the project politically motivated and warn that it may pose a threat to European security: Russia will be able to use it as an instrument of hybrid warfare against the West.
Putin Offers Support For Venezuelan Leader Reelected In ‘Sham’ Vote
Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered support for Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro after the United States, the European Union, and Latin American countries rejected his reelection as a…
Pence: Venezuela election a ‘sham’ | TheHill
Vice President Pence on Monday called Venezuela’s recent election, which saw President Nicolás Maduro win a second term, a sham.
President Trump Approves New Sanctions On Venezuela : The Two-Way : NPR
The executive order meant to prevent the country’s leaders from liquidating assets follows an election that returned Nicolas Maduro to power amid an opposition boycott and accusations of fraud.
Event: Dismantling Russian Transnational Crime Organizations: A Conversation with José Grinda Gonzalez – To Inform is to Influence
The 2018 U.S. National Security Strategy warns that transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) “weaken our allies and partners [by] corrupting and undermining democratic institutions” and that “some state adversaries use TCOs as instruments of national power.” No authoritarian regime has exported corruption and criminality with greater impact than Vladimir Putin’s “mafia state.” TCOs linked to senior Russian political and business…

Strategy / History / Capability Publications


Rage Against The Mom: Psychoanalyzing The Link Between Upbringing And Terrorism
Psychoanalyst and terrorism expert Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin says an often overlooked factor in the behavior of suicide attackers is how early child-rearing practices in so-called “shame-honor culture…
Problems megacities will pose for the military
Operations in so-called megacities will be unavoidable in future conflicts, meaning command-and-control issues might be as well.
America’s industrial base is at risk, and the military may feel the consequences
America’s aging workforce could limit the Pentagon’s ability to keep up with other nations, a new government report warns.
The risks facing the Pentagon’s high-end electronics and radars
The industrial base for electronic attack and radar capabilities is potentially at risk in the future, a new report has found.
Air Force secretary: China, Russia could shoot down new JSTARS on day one of a war
Even a new version of the Air Force’s JSTARS battlefield management and control aircraft would be vulnerable to being shot out of the sky during the opening salvo of a conflict with Russia or China.
Russia, China Would Destroy U.S. Command Aircraft on ‘Day 1’ of War, Air Force Warns
Russian television showed an interview on Monday with a woman purporting to be the mother of poisoned Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, demanding British authorities let her to speak to her son. Skripal is a former military intelligence officer who passed information on Russia’s agents in Europe
Wonks As Experts on Electric Grid Threat Are Dangerous | Newsmax.com
We who have worked in EMP for professional lifetimes are enormously frustrated to see amateurs, academics, reporters, and even some scientists untrained and uninformed posturing as experts. It’s extremely dangerous.
America’s New Stealth Bomber has a Stealthy Price Tag – Defense One
Revealing how much the Air Force’s B-21 is costing won’t help America’s enemies — but will make oversight possible.
The F-22 Is Getting Ready for a ‘Dogfight’ | The National Interest Blog
Russian and Chinese pilots better watch out.
How Russia Plans to Kill the Air Force’s F-22 and F-35 in a War | The National Interest Blog
But will it work? 
State of the Art Fighter Jet: Su-57 Continues Test Flights (PHOTOS) – Sputnik International
A test flight of the fifth generation Su-57 fighter jet with a developmental engine installed on it has been caught on camera in Russia’s Zhukovsky.
Air War: Russia’s Deadly Su-57 vs. China’s Stealth J-20 Fighter (Who Wins?) | The National Interest Blog
It would be a tough fight. 
Interview: Mitchell Institute head has advice for the future US Air Force fighter fleet
The Air Force will be making major decisions regarding its fighter jet inventory this year.
The F-35: The Ultimate Nuclear Bomber? | The National Interest Blog
Could the stealth fighter get a new mission? 
Save the Tomahawk – Defense One
The U.S. Navy wants to stop production of America’s most useful long-range missile, betting that a replacement will arrive without delay.
BELL V-280 Valor makes first ever cruise mode flight – Defence Blog
The newest V-280 Valor light tiltrotor aircraft by Bell has completed another milestone in its flight testing by flying in “cruise mode.” This is when the rotors pivot, in flight, from vertical lift mode to fully forward facing. According to Bell, the aircraft then reached 190 knots of true airspeed. According to the company’s press service, the flight was completed on May 11 at Bell’s assembly facility in Amarillo, Texas. While the airspeed for the test was limited to 190 knots, the team will now gradually expand the Valor’s flight envelope to achieve the type’s goal of 280 knots at cruise.
Gabriel Bazzolo: Raytheon ATVs armed with laser weapons will blast drones out of the sky – Defence Blog
Laser weapon plus military grade ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) equals blasting enemy drones out of the sky. This is an ingenious way to provide easily movable defense against the growing threat of attacks from enemy drones. Terrorist drone destroying Raytheon laser weapons mounted on military Polaris Defense ATVs could soon be destroying enemy drones before they can harm U.S. forces with explosives. Rapidly driving an MRZR to support an area under attack by a swarm of small drones, it will look like the warrior has something resembling “R2D2” popping his head out of the backseat. But terrorists will quickly learn it is not a cute robot, it is a powerful drone slaying laser weapon. This isn’t the stuff of science fiction anymore. Last autumn the Raytheon and Polaris team proved that destroying drones with the MRZR HEL armed weapon works. As long as there is power, U.S. forces will never run out ammunition with a laser weapon. This is an outstanding solution to immediately provide U.S. forces with more options to protect the force from these proliferating flying threats. The Polaris Defense MRZR will be able to reach teams in remote areas with difficult terrain and provide them a laser weapon for their arsenal. Raytheon’s Multi-Spectral Targeting System is a high energy laser (HEL) combined with electro-optical and infrared sensors. Delivering 20 to 30 blasts on about the same electricity as a fridge, recent reports suggest the system can already detect an enemy drone at more than 16,400 feet to blast it out of the sky. U.S. forces could soon drive these to forward operating bases to protect teams there, to landing strips to protect arriving aircraft or position the MRZRs with HEL to protect MEDEVAC to make sure wounded are not prevented from reaching care by drones.
Fort Benning hosted live-fire demonstration of a new Stryker weapon’s system – Defence Blog
The press service of the US Army announced on 17 May that the Fort Benning hosted a live-fire demonstration of a new Stryker weapon’s system. According to a statement, the upgraded Striker armored fighting vehicle equipped with new medium calibre turret has demonstrated its capacity during a live-fire event held at the Fort Benning in Georgia. “Tuesday Fort Benning hosted a live-fire demonstration of a new stryker weapon’s system designed to increase the accuracy and lethality of the stryker.” said in a statement. The U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) in cooperation with, the CMI Defence developed new variant of Stryker armored fighting vehicle armored with medium caliber turret.
The Army needs to get better at great power competition
The Army is making a shift in its emerging concept to better posture itself in the
IDEB 2018: New Czecho-Slovak Eva 8×8 155-mm truck-mounted howitzer – Defence Blog
Excalibur Army, Tatra and Konštrukta Defence joint developed a new version of the Eva 155-mm truck-mounted howitzer on the unique 8×8 Tatra chassis. The Group of companies is exhibiting the latest and most advanced version of its Eva 8×8 155-mm truck-mounted howitzer during 7th IDEB international defence and security exhibition in Slovakia. The new artillery system is armed with a 52-caliber barrel designed in accordance with Joint Memorandum of Understanding concerning “Standardization of Elements of 155 mm Howitzers and Ammunitions”. 155 mm 52 cal. EVA presents a self-propelled autonomous artillery system with automatic loading of ammunition providing an effective fire by means of both direct and indirect aiming. The design of new self-propelled autonomous artillery system is based on the 155 mm 52 Cal. SpGH ZUZANA 2 while overtaking maximum assemblies and design solutions verified within the course of demanding testing and tender trials performed in Slovakia and abroad.
South Korea can overtake Russia after the Pantsir-S1’s failure in Syria – Defence Blog
According to forecasts, the South Korean company Hanwha Defense Systems with its most advanced self-propelled anti-aircraft defence system, called the Hybrid BIHO, could outrun Russia at the arms market after Pantsir-S1’s failure in Syria. Early, during an overnight raid on purported Iranian positions in Syria, Israeli rockets hit a Russian-made Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery system. A few months ago, Russian air defence system could not bring down the cruise missiles and, in addition, the Pantsir has a number of difficulties in combating lightweight drones. Against the backdrop of problems with the Russian system, a proposal from South Korea interested a large number of potential customers. The Hybrid BIHO consists of a 30mm self-propelled anti-aircraft defense system ‘BIHO’ combined with the portable surface-to-air guided missile system and intercepts low altitude infiltrating enemy aircraft and helicopters. The Hybrid BIHO can carry a total of 4 guided missiles with an effective range of 5km with upgraded potential to 8-10 km.
SEA 1000: Does the pump jet explain the size? | The Strategist
Hands on with RED Hydrogen One holographic phone
Media event lets filmmakers and tech enthusiasts check out the next big thing in smartphones–4D–over the weekend at Hollywood studio
Hitler teeth analysis dispels myths of Nazi leader’s survival
“Hitler’s teeth were so bad…that his teeth alone made it possible to identify his corpse,” said forensic pathologist Mark Benecke,

IW/IO/Cyber Reports


Pentagon Bans Personal Devices from Classified Areas – Defense One
That includes phones, smartwatches and other devices that can transmit, store and receive data.
U.S. Says Disrupted Major Russian Cyberattack, Possibly On Ukraine
The U.S. Justice Department says that it has seized an internet domain controlled by a hacking group tied to Russian military intelligence that was planning a major cyberattack, possibly in Ukraine.
Russian hackers infect 500,000 devices around globe for cyber-attack on Ukraine – 112.international
Malware that can be exploited by hackers was named VPNFilter
Russians hack home internet connections – here’s how to protect yourself
Here’s how to secure your home network, whether or not it has already been attacked by hackers.
Daily Beast Exclusive: FBI Seizes Control of Russian Botnet – To Inform is to Influence
The FBI operation targets a piece of sophisticated malware linked to the same Russian hacking group that hit the Democratic National Committee in 2016. KEVIN POULSEN 05.23.18 6:25 PM ET FBI agents armed with a court order have seized control of a key server in the Kremlin’s global botnet of 500,000 hacked routers, The Daily…
U.S. seeks to take control of infected routers from hackers | Reuters
The U.S. government said late on Wednesday that it would seek to wrestle hundreds of thousands of infected routers and storage devices from the control of hackers who security researchers warned were planning to use the “botnet” to attack Ukraine.
Russian malware harvesting Telegram Desktop creds, chats • The Register
Britain to tackle ‘Wild West’ internet with new laws | Reuters
Britain will tackle “the Wild West elements” on the internet from cyberbullying to online child exploitation by introducing new laws for social media companies, digital minister Matt Hancock said on Sunday.
Britain introducing new laws on social media companies to tackle ‘Wild West elements’ | TheHill
The United Kingdom is planning to propose laws that would curb cyberbullying and impose restrictions on social media companies,
Ministers pledge tough crackdown on ‘Wild West’ internet outlaws | Daily Mail Online
Digital Secretary Matt Hancock and Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced the move after releasing new research showing that internet users often felt threatened.
Britain to tackle ‘Wild West’ internet with new laws | Reuters
Britain will tackle “the Wild West elements” on the internet from cyberbullying to online child exploitation by introducing new laws for social media companies, digital minister Matt Hancock said on Sunday.


Zuckerberg’s Grilling by EU Leaders Will Be Livestreamed – The Daily Beast
Tuesday’s meeting was previously going to be private.
Live: Mark Zuckerberg testifies before European Parliament – CNN
European lawmakers hit Mark Zuckerberg with a series of pointed questions at a hearing today. Zuckerberg responded with few new answers. The Facebook CEO responded to broad themes of questions with familiar talking points about his openness to regulation and commitment to protecting elections after complaints about misinformation campaigns and data privacy. As he did when testifying before Congress last month, Zuckerberg talked up Facebook’s investment in security and played down concerns about its potential monopoly power.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony with EU lawmakers was super awkward — Quartz
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with members of the European Parliament today (May 22) in what was billed as a “meeting” but ended up being more of an awkward hearing, in which the executive took a public lashing but was also let off the hook from many tough, detailed questions. In one particularly uncomfortable moment for…
Facebook’s Zuckerberg Says ‘Sorry’ To EU Deputies
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has apologized to the European Parliament for causing “harm” by failing to prevent “fake news” and allowing users’ data to be stolen.
Mark Zuckerberg said the ‘vast majority’ of people actively opt into one of Facebook’s most invasive features | Business Insider
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg suggested most people don’t care about one of the most invasive features on Facebook. He said the vast majority of users who were prompted to look at their privacy settings actively opted in to let Facebook track them on apps and other websites to information its targeted ads. He made his comments in Paris just a day before Europe’s strict new privacy legislation was due to kick in on May 25.
Mark Zuckerberg’s meeting with EU officials to be livestreamed
Facebook said it looked forward to the meeting and was happy for it to be live-streamed.
Zuckerberg: ‘We Have Made Significant Investments To Protect The Integrity Of Elections’
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that “we weren’t prepared enough for coordinated misinformation operations” during the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign, but “since then we have made significant investments to protect the integrity of elections by making these kinds of attacks much harder to do on Facebook.” Zuckerberg spoke on May 22 to a group of EU parliamentary leaders in Brussels. Zuckerberg testified last month to the U.S. Congress, and was previously noncommittal about appearing in Europe. (EbS via AP)

US Domestic Policy Reports


Secretary Pompeo: Trump Administration Will Fight Russian Interference
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the Trump administration will not tolerate Russian interference in the 2018 congressional midterm elections. Pompeo told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on May 23 that the administration will take “appropriate countermeasures” to fight what he called “continued Russian efforts” to meddle in U.S. elections. He also said that much work remains “to promote those former Soviet entities who are on the path towards joining the Western world.”
Russia will try again this fall. Congress doesn’t seem to care. – To Inform is to Influence
By Karen Tumulty, Columnist May 23 at 6:18 PM When top intelligence officials went to Capitol Hill one morning this week to give House members a classified briefing on the security of the upcoming elections, only 40 or so bothered to show up. In other words, nine out of 10 lawmakers thought they had better things to do than…
The Obama Administration Allegedly Spied on Pro-Israel Activists. Did They Do the Same to Trump? – Tablet Magazine
Stefan Halper is FBI informant in Trump’s campaign team – FBI informant in Trump’s campaign team revealed – 112.international
FBI informant in Trump’s campaign team revealed
The FBI Informant Who Monitored the Trump Campaign, Stefan Halper, Oversaw a CIA Spying Operation in the 1980 Presidential Election
Far from the top-secret, covert intelligence asset the FBI has depicted him as, Stefan Halper is a long-time, well-known CIA operative with ties to the Bush family and a shady past.
John McCain’s Last Fight – POLITICO Magazine
The Arizona senator’s twilight struggle with Donald Trump is so bitter because they’re more alike than you think.
Pentagon Is Speeding Up Arms Exports to Saudi Arabia, Other Allies – Defense One
A recent law allows one-size-fits-most-allies contracts, the U.S. military’s head weapons buyer explains.
Ukrainian President: BBC Report On Secret Payment To Trump Lawyer ‘Blatant Lie’
Ukraine’s president has lashed out at a BBC report that asserted a secret $400,000 payment was made to U.S. President Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer last year to set up talks between the two leaders.
U.S. Deports Russian Man Convicted Of Nuclear Bribery Scheme
News agencies say U.S. authorities have deported a former Russian executive previously convicted of arranging corrupt payments linked to the Russian state nuclear company Rosatom.
Defense chief tells Air Force graduates to be ready for war
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the 984 new lieutenants who are graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy should be prepared to face war.
The US is running out of bombs — and it may soon struggle to make more
America’s best weapons now rely on parts from an increasingly shrinking industrial base — and in some cases, is totally reliant on Chinese-made materials.

 

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