Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Salisbury CW Attack / Syria / Iran / Russia Ad Hoc Update (78)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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The Russian play around both the Yulia Skripal interview and MH17 appears to be yet again centered in sowing doubt and spreading conspiracy theories – with the aid of the less clueful in the Western media. Tsipko again articulates some uncomfortable ground truths about Russia – and its collective obsession with denying anything and everything that is imperfect in Russia’s past and present.

Netherlands and Australia publicly hold Russia responsible for the MH17 mass murder – backed by NATO, EU, and the US. It took a number of politicians spelling this out to get at least one-half of the media to actually understand the significance of the JIT brief yesterday – media ignorance and laziness remains Russia’s best asset in the West. Bellingcat tag senior GRU officer Ivannikov as another key player in the MH17 attack, while Hrytsak and Malomuzh in Kyiv observe that Russian participants in the attack are now at risk, and a number believed to now be dead. Assassination 101 – assassinate the assassin.

Only two new reports on the Yulia Skripal interview – if we discount the deluge of new Russian conspiracy theories.

Iran spells out its ultimatum to the Europeans – if they roll over on this one, they will roll over for anything. Putin tries to buy Macron. NYT publish a detailed report on the Deir Ezzor Turkey Shoot.

The Latest: Russia denies responsibility for downing of MH17 | Fox News

The Latest on the international reaction to a report on the downing of MH17 in 2014 (all times local): 11:55 a.m.

TASS: World – Russia must take part in flight MH17 crash probe to accept its results — Putin

French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed Russia’s readiness to cooperate

“Made in USSR”: Russia making excuse for missile shot down MH17 | UNIAN

The Russian Defense Ministry has said the serial number of the missile indicates that it was made in the Soviet Union. The ministry said the serial number on the missile engine clearly indicates that it was made in the Soviet Union in 1986.

Russian MoD: Missiles Shown By MH17 Investigators Were Decommissioned After 2011 – Sputnik International

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, it’s analyzing videos provided by Dutch investigators on the MH17 downing.

MH17 Case: French Activist Explains Why He Feels Probe is Biased – Sputnik International

French public figure Nikola Mirkovic, commenting on Dutch investigators’ allegations that they have obtained strong evidence that the missile system that downed the MH17 flight over East Ukraine in 2014 was part of the Russian military, has told Sputnik that Ukraine should not be included in an investigative team.

Russia’s Knee-Jerk Reaction To Report Damning Russia – Propaganda – To Inform is to Influence

Today, the Joint Investigative Team (JIT), comprising authorities from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands, and Ukraine, made the announcement at a press conference on May 24 in Utrecht, the Netherlands, released a report Investigators: Buk Missile From Russian Antiaircraft Brigade Downed MH17.  The report names the 53rd Antiaircraft Missile Brigade based in Kursk in Russia as having…

Yulia Skripal statement sparks crackpot Russian conspiracy theories claiming she is being held hostage by Britain

A number of Russian ‘experts’ have been wheeled out to claim Yulia Skripal’s video statement was made under duress as she was being threatened by the very people looking after her in the UK

Some Russians Are Money Chasing Traitors – Get Over It! – Eurasia Future

The forever strange Sergey and Yulia Skripal saga has taken a new and increasingly absurd turn. Yulia who was allegedly poisoned alongside her father, an allegedly retired British spy of Russian origin in March of this year, gave an interview to Reuters that one could be forgiven for confusing with a commercial for America’s Next Top Model. The Reuters video, complete with a dramatic entrance in the middle of what looks to be some sort of forest shows a very healthy looking Yulia who by any objective standard appears to be far more attractive than she did in any of her “pre-poisoning” photos.

Russia says Yulia Skripal interview STAGED: ‘No one looks that good after a chemical attak | World | News |

RUSSIA has alleged the television interview given by Yulia Skripal was staged, claiming anyone who has survived such attacks has never looked so good.

‘Yulia Skripal’s Video Message Had One Crucial Phrase’ – Political Scientist – Sputnik International

Viktoria Skripal has expressed concerns that her cousin Yulia’s first public testimony since her poisoning may have been made under duress. Political observer Igor Shatrov isn’t so sure and says there’s one moment in her statement which completely undermines London’s claims about Moscow being responsible for the poisoning of Yulia and her father.

Moscow Casts Doubt on Veracity of Yulia Skripal’s Reuters Interview – Sputnik International

Yulia Skripal’s Wednesday interview with Reuters has already caused a public outcry. Yulia along with her father Sergei Skripal were poisoned in an alleged nerve agent attack in the UK’s Salisbury in March 2018.

Kremlin doubts ex-spy’s daughter’s statement on poisoning

MOSCOW (AP) — The Kremlin said Thursday it doubts that Yulia Skripal has issued a statement of her own free will after her recovery from poisoning that Britain blames on Russia.

Under duress? Skripal statement splits social media | The Cube | Euronews

The Cube looks at reactions to the first public statement from Yulia Skripal

Kremlin questions integrity of Yulia Skripal TV appearance | Euronews

Moscow questions whether Skripal was speaking of her own free will

These are the unanswered questions that still remain after Yulia Skripal’s shock reappearance | The Independent

Eighty days after being found with her father, collapsed on a bench near a Salisbury shopping centre, Yulia Skripal has made a near-miraculous reappearance. She was filmed at an anonymous park-like location, reading a handwritten statement about her plight. In substance, what she said added almost nothing to the two statements issued by the Metropolitan Police in her name before. But the whole short recording was crucial in the messages it was designed to send – to the British, Russian and international public.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘There is Not Now and Never has Been a Russian Nation,’ Tsipko Says

Paul Goble Staunton, May 23 – The recent events in Armenia are especially disturbing to Russians because they demonstrate something the Armenians have and the Russians do not, a nation whose members don’t need to seek any special “national idea” and who are not indifferent to the shedding of blood of their compatriots, Aleksandr Tsipko says. In an essay posted online last week provocatively entitled “The Russian Nation is a Myth,” the longtime social commentator says that “peoples who are distinguished by a sense of unity, by concern for one another, by the ability to view the misfortunes of their neighbors as their own don’t seek and do not seek any national idea.” Examples of such peoples are the Jews, the Armenians, and “among the Slavs, the Poles,” Tsipko says. But no one who has considered the question would put Russians among them either at some point in the past or now, something that the current hoopla about finding a Russian national idea only underscores ( “All Russian thinkers who have searched for a Russian idea somehow haven’t taken note of the obvious, that the Russian nation as a single organic whole has never existed and that there is nothing in common between the overwhelming majority of the population and the tiny clutch of educated Russia.” Throughout the imperial period, Tsipko says, there were in fact “two nations,” the mass of illiterate peasants who could not even read the thinkers who claimed to speak for them, and the tiny literate intelligentsia who produced these thinkers but who had little but active disdain for those they purported to speak on behalf of. Anton Denikin, the leader of the White Russian movement, wrote in his Studies of the Great Time of Troubles that “even the church and religion did not enter into the body and blood of the Russian people.” As soon as the February 1917 revolution happened, soldiers stopped crossing themselves and army churches were converted into recreation centers. Because that was so, Tsipko argues, “the Bolsheviks in Russia were able to do what the communists couldn’t in Poland, Hungary or Czechoslovakia: lead the people to the destruction of the church and to outrages over national shrines and memorials of the past,” something the Bolsheviks themselves fully recognized. Leon Trotsky, for example, said that the revolution won out because its leaders “were not afraid to make use of the distrust and hatred of illiterate Russia to ‘the man in glasses,’ to the rich and to professors, not to mention hatred to the nobility.” And as Denikin put it, “what national idea could one talk about if soldiers from among the peasantry when quitting the front began to say: ‘We’re Tambov men; the Germans won’t reach us.’” Tsipko says that his point here is not to start a debate about any Russian national idea but rather to provoke “a serous discussion on the formation of the Russian nation as something organic and integral and about what is necessary for the transformation of the people into a nation that Russians clearly lack.” The Poles whom Russians don’t like provide a clear example of “when a nation begins.” It begins when as in 1980, people in Poland said, “a Pole doesn’t’ shoot at another Pole,” and acted on that principle, a remarkable advance over 1970 when the Gomulka government in fact shot people. The first sign that the people in post-Soviet Russia were not a nation came in October 1993 when the Moscow population showed indifference or curiosity but not anger and concern about the fact that some Russians were prepared to kill others. Of course, Tsipko continues, “there wasn’t a Russian nation in 1917 when ignorant Russian did away with the educated one; and there wasn’t a Russian nation either at the start of the 1990s. Neither the authorities, nor the church, not the leaders of the RSFSR congress of peoples deputies did anything in order to avoid the shedding of blood.” Even more, he says, “there is no Russian nation now when people who call themselves Russians demonstrate a shocking indifference to the death and suffering of millions of their own compatriots who died as a result of Stalin’s terror.” Instead, over the last decades, the share of Russian people considering Stalin’s repression a crime has fallen from 72 to 39 percent. Feeling united by the joys of victory “is not difficult to achieve, even if these victories carry hidden within themselves new misfortunes.” But genuine national unity exists only when a people feels a common sense of loss for the suffering of others among its number. That is something Poles and Armenians feel but that Russians do not. Indeed, Tsipko says, “our Russian tragedy consists in the fact that we do not have and have never had the most important thing for the establishment of a nation – the ability to feel for the suffering of our compatriots and to view a national tragedy as a personal one.” The reality is that there are virtually no such among the Russian people. “The Poles would curse forever a leader who killed even one figure equal to Florensky, Mandelshtam, Kondratyev, Chayanov or Nikolay Vavilov,” the Russian commentator say; “but with us, on the contrary, any reference t the destruction of the Russian national elite by Lenin and Stalin is condemned as ‘blackening Russian history and the Russian people.’” And Tsipko concludes by observing that Russia’s current tragedy “consists not only that we have not evolved into a full-blown nation … but also in that [we are not capable of acting like a community capable of] speaking without fear the truth about ourselves, about our history and about our own powers that be.”

U.S. Ambassador: Russia Should Address Issues Behind Sanctions

Jon Huntsman, the U.S. ambassador to Russia, has said that the “underlying issues” that led to U.S. sanctions on Russia need to be addressed before a discussion of those sanctions can begin. Huntsman made the remarks to Current Time TV on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on May 24.

MH17: Julie Bishop says Russia has questions to answer over flight’s downing – YouTube

Australia accuses Russia of direct role in shooting down MH17

Australia is now holding Russia directly responsible for its role in the attack on the passenger plane.

Jens Stoltenberg on Twitter: “I call on Russia to accept responsibility and fully cooperate with all efforts to establish accountability for its part in the downing of flight #MH17 in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2166. My statement:”

NATO – News: Statement by the NATO Secretary General on MH17 investigation, 25-May.-2018

The Netherlands and Australia have announced that they hold Russia responsible for its part in the downing of flight MH17 on 17 July 2014. I call on Russia to accept responsibility and fully cooperate with all efforts to establish accountability, in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2166.

NATO, EU urge Russia to recognize its role in MH17 plane crash –

Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary-General of the NATO and Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy have urged Russia to take responsibility for the crash of the MH17 plane in 2014 and assist in the investigation of the tragedy as the press service of Stoltenberg reported. ‘I call on Russia to accept responsibility and fully cooperate with all efforts to establish accountability, in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2166’, the message said. He also expressed the hope that the guilty in the tragedy will be brought to the responsibility. Mogherini expressed the same urge to Russia. ‘The EU against claims on the complete support of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2166 that demands all guilty in MH17 plane crash to be brought to the responsibility’, she claimed.

Netherlands, Australia hold Russia responsible in MH17 downing: Dutch cabinet | Reuters

The Netherlands and Australia said on Friday they held the Russian state responsible in part for the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in July 2014 that killed all 298 aboard, and will seek compensation.

Netherlands, Australia hold Russia liable for downing MH17 | Fox News

The Netherlands and Australia are holding Russia legally responsible for the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was shot down over war-ravaged eastern Ukraine nearly four years ago, killing all 298 people on board.

Australia and Netherlands Formally Blame Russia for MH17 – The Daily Beast

Say they may take Russia to international court.

MH17: Russia ‘liable’ for downing airliner over Ukraine – BBC News

Australia and the Netherlands say they will hold Russia accountable for downing flight MH17.

Russia “accountable” for Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 MH17 missile attack, Netherlands and Australia say – CBS News

After joint investigation says missile that hit plane over Ukraine came from Russian military, Dutch vow to hold Moscow &quot;accountable&quot;

Carl Bildt on Twitter: “Russia should accept its responsibility for the downing of MH17.”

Dutch minister: MH17 investigation points to Russian involvement | Reuters

Interim findings released this week by prosecutors investigating the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 point to Russian involvement, the Dutch foreign minister said on Friday.

US has ‘complete confidence’ in probe that Russian missile downed MH17 | TheHill

“It is time for Russia to cease its lies and account for its role in the shoot down.”

Bellingcat Links High-Ranking Russian GRU Officer To Downing Of MH17

Researchers from the British-based group Bellingcat have published a report that, for the first time, establishes what they say is the involvement of a high-ranking Russian military intelligence of…

Russian GRU officer involved in delivery of Buk to Donbas – CIT | UNIAN

The Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) research group has said the Bellingcat team and other investigators identified another suspect in the MH17 crash over Donbas. Earlier Ivannikov served as Defense Minister of South Ossetia, CIT said.

Bellingcat: Russian high-ranking military officer Oleg Ivannikov involved in MH17 downing

The project is oriented towards the revelation of corrupted officials, organized crime representatives, who are tied to the law enforcement and ruling establishments.

Russian troops involved in shooting down Flight MH17 ‘in mortal danger as Vladimir Putin looks to eliminate evidence linking Russia to tragedy’

Dutch-led investigators have identified a specific Russian military unit as supplying the Buk missile that downed the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014. RUSSIAN troops accused of shooting down MH17 are in mortal danger as Moscow stages a cover-up of the plane’s loss, claims a former secret services chief. Around 20 military personnel are known to be involved, but officials say their identity is being kept secret for the sake of “their own safety”. The former head of Ukrainian foreign intelligence Mykola Malomuzh has warned that the “culprits or witnesses… lives are in danger” and some may be dead already. “There are reports that several of these people have been killed – or have died,” he told Ukrayina TV.

Linking MH17 To Russia’s 53rd Brigade

The Dutch-led international criminal investigation’s conclusion that a missile from the Russian military downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine in 2014 has brought fresh scrutiny to a Russ…

Fact of delivery of Buk to Donbas to be added to Ukraine’s memo on Russia’s financing of terrorism | UNIAN

Ukraine will add the fact of the delivery of the Russian-made Buk missile system to Donbas, which shot down Malaysia’s MH17, to a memorandum on the financing by Russia of terrorism. The memorandum will be submitted to the International Court of Justice on June 12.

Investigators Say Missile From Russian Unit Downed MH17

International investigators have concluded that the missile that shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014 came from Russia’s 53rd Antiaircraft Missile Brigade.

Australian FM: Russia should pay compensation to families of MH17 victims | UNIAN

Russia should pay compensation to the families of the 38 Australians killed by the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in 2014, according to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. Russia had so far failed to cooperate “at all” with the criminal investigation into the incident.

Russian military unit’s missile downed MH17, investigators say

International investigators said the Buk missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was from Russian 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade.

MH17 downing: Missile came from ‘Russian brigade’ – CNN

A missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine nearly four years ago was fired from a launcher belonging to Russia’s 53rd anti-aircraft brigade.

MH17 missile owned by Russian brigade, investigators say – BBC News

The flight was downed over Ukraine by a missile fired by a unit based in Russia, investigators say.

Yulia Skripal delivered a coded message and it spoke volumes | Angus Roxburgh | Opinion | The Guardian

Russia is the likely perpetrator of the Salisbury poisoning. But ratcheting up the pressure is not the way forward, says author Angus Roxburgh

Yulia Skripal’s TV interview shows ‘one in a million’ recovery from nerve agent attack, says chemical weapons expert

Yulia Skripal&rsquo;s television appearance showed her &ldquo;one in a million&rdquo; recovery after being attacked with one of the deadliest nerve agents less than four months ago, according to a leading chemical weapons expert.

🇮🇷 Iran’s leader to Europe: Fulfill demands or nuclear deal is dead | Al Jazeera English – YouTube

Al Jazeera English Published on May 24, 2018 Iran’s supreme leader has set out conditions for Tehran to stay in its nuclear deal with world powers, including steps by to be taken by European banks to safeguard trade with Tehran after the US withdrawal from the deal. European powers must continue buying crude oil, protect Iranian oil sales from US pressure and promise to not seek new negotiations on Iran’s ballistic missile programme and Middle East activities, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s official website said on Wednesday. Al Jazeera’s Zein Basravi reports from Tehran.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei endorses the hardliners and signals doom for a renegotiated Iran nuclear deal

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has just issued six demands to Britain, France, and Germany if they wish Iran to remain in the 2015 nuclear agreement. Those demands make it likely that Iran will leave the agreement and recommence its enrichment of uranium.

Iran lists demands for staying in nuclear deal | World news | The Guardian

Officials say EU must present credible package by end of May to compensate for US sanctions

Iran sets end of May deadline to see EU measures to save nuclear deal | Reuters

Iran wants European powers to present it with measures by the end of May to compensate it for the U.S. decision to abandon the 2015 nuclear deal, a senior official said on Friday, and Tehran would decide within weeks whether to quit the accord.

Washington and Europe playing ‘game of chicken’ over Iran nuclear deal

Europe is preparing measures to protect its companies from U.S. sanctions on Iran, and the fallout is hard to predict.

Putin welcomes European efforts to save Iran nuclear deal | Reuters

President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia appreciated efforts by Europe to save the Iran nuclear deal despite the withdrawal of the United States and warned of “lamentable consequences” if it was not preserved.

Putin Woos France’s Macron With Closer Economic Ties

Russian President Vladimir Putin is wooing French counterpart Emmanuel Macron with closer business ties, hosting him as an honored guest at his annual economic forum in St. Petersburg while sealing…

Syria airstrike: US airstrikes obliterate Syria bases – dealing blow to Vladimir Putin | Daily Star

FIGHTER jets have bombed Syrian bases controlled by Russia-backed tyrant Bashar al-Assad, according to local reports.

Israel reportedly just launched missile attack near Homs in Syria – Business Insider

The region of Al-Qusayr is an Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah stronghold. Israel reportedly launched missiles at a military airport near Homs in Syria on Thursday. Al-Qusayr is an Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah stronghold.

Putin’s Endgame in Syria Has Arrived – Foreign Policy

It’s not an Assad victory — it’s a frozen conflict.

How a four-hour battle between Russian mercenaries and US commandos unfolded

The details of the February 7 firefight were gleaned from interviews and documents newly obtained by The New York Times.

U.S. Attacks That Killed ‘Hundreds’ of Russians and Syrians Detailed in New Report

A New York Times report revealed the battle between the U.S.-led coalition and pro-Syrian government fighters in dramatic detail.

How a 4-Hour Battle Between Russian Mercenaries and U.S. Commandos Unfolded in Syria – The New York Times

Interviews and newly obtained documents provide the Pentagon’s first public on-the-ground accounting of one of the bloodiest battles the military has faced in Syria since deploying to fight ISIS.

The F-35’s Combat Debut | Aviation Week & Space Technology content from Aviation Week

The Israeli Air Force has employed the Lockheed Martin-made aircraft across the Middle East.