Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Salisbury CW Attack / Syria / Iran / Russia Ad Hoc Update (79)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Some remarkable outbursts by the Vozhd and his leading propagandist, both on MH17 and the Salisbury attack, while the larger propaganda machinery follows the usual multiplicity of narratives. Western media are actually paying attention to the fiction emanating from Moscow, and also citing Hrytsak and Malomuzh. Excellent essay on gaslighting by Kovalev, and supporting commentary by Harding. The Vozhd complains about the international rules based system. More on Russian saber-rattling.

A great many reports on the international reaction to the JIT brief, and Bellingcat’s exposure of Ivannikov. Interesting commentary by Rogan.

Four reports on Salisbury, including a rebuttal of some nonsense propounded by the Muscovians.

Iran debate continues.

Putin accuses Britain of blaming ‘all their mortal sins’ on Russia | World news | The Guardian

President’s remarks come after commente by Boris Johnson about downing of MH17 plane

Putin says UK should stop blaming Russia for all ‘mortal sins’ – The Scotsman

Russian president Vladimir Putin has hit out at Britain for blaming “all their mortal sins” on Russia.

Asked about Thursday’s flight MH17 ‘decision,’ Putin doesn’t immediately understand what plane people are talking about — Meduza

On May 24, when asked by a French journalist about “the decision” announced earlier that day, Vladimir Putin didn’t immediately understand the question. The reporter wanted to know Putin’s response to the Joint Investigative Team’s findings that Russia’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade is responsible for firing the missile in 2014 that shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, killing all 298 people on board. Standing on stage with French President Emmanuel Macron, Putin repeatedly asked “what plane” the journalist was talking about. The Joint Investigative Team’s report on Thursday was hotly anticipated and covered by news outlets around the world.

The Latest: Putin denies Russia responsible for MH17 downing

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Latest on the international reaction to a report on the downing of MH17 in 2014 (all times local):

It Was ‘Certainly’ Not Russian Missile That Downed MH17 – Putin – Sputnik International

There are different versions of the MH17 crash, but nobody takes them into account, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

‘Certainly not’: Putin deniesupportis Russian missile shot down flight MH17 — RT World News

Vladimir Putin rejected the accusations by the Netherlands and Australia that a Russian Buk surface-to-air missile had shot down a passenger plane over eastern Ukraine in 2014. The missile was “certainly not” Russian, he said.

Putin says ‘of course’ Russian rocket did not shoot down MH17 | New Straits Times | Malaysia General Business Sports and Lifestyle News

SAINT PETERSBURG: Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday the rocket that shot down flight MH17 over war-torn eastern Ukraine in 2014 was ‘of course’ not Russian, dismissing the Dutch and Australian decision to blame Moscow for the tragedy.

Kremlin Responds to Netherlands, Australia Blame Russia for MH17 Crash | Observer

Predictably, the Kremlin is pushing back, implying that it is the victim of a nefarious smear campaign.

Moscow rejects MH17 report claiming Russian missile downed flight – YouTube

CBC News Published on May 25, 2018 Moscow continues to deny involvement in the destruction of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, even as an international team of investigators said Thursday that detailed analysis of video images and photos has unequivocally established that the Buk missile that brought down the plane over eastern Ukraine nearly four years ago came from a Russia-based military unit.

No ‘facts’ to support MH17 charges: Russia’s Lavrov – Channel NewsAsia

Russia said Friday the Netherlands had provided no evidence that Moscow was directly behind the 2014 shooting down of flight MH17 over war-torn …

Bellingcat Allegations of Russia’s Role in MH17 Crash Based on Fakes – MoD – Sputnik International

Russian Defense Ministry stated Friday that the country’s officers mentioned in the report issued by Bellingcat had long retired from the Russian military.

New MH17 Claims Sound Like ‘NATO Propaganda to Save Crumbling Infowar on Russia’ – Sputnik International

Dutch investigators now say that the missile which shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014 was launched from a BUK missile system operated by the Russian military. Speaking to Sputnik, Eastern Europe political affairs observer Jafe Arnold said the claims were part of a concerted NATO campaign against Russia.

TASS: World – Russian military brass comments on MH17 crash investigation

The Russian Defense Ministry issued an official statement on the origin of the alleged missile that caused the plane’s crash in 2014

TASS: World – Ukraine received no new Buk missiles since 1991 — Russian military brass

The Russian Defense Ministry dismissed all JIT charges, saying that not a single air defense system of the Russian armed forces had ever crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border

TASS: World – Russia must ‘accept state responsibility’ for MH17 crash in Donbass — UK foreign secretary

Boris Johnson thanked the Joint Investigation Team «for its painstaking work»

TASS: World – Dutch-led investigators: Missile downing flight MH17 could be invisible for Russian radars

According to the experts, «an important explanation of the absence of the BUK-missile on the radar images lies in the flight properties of a BUK-missile»

MH17 cover-up claim as Russia accused of murdering troops who shot down flight – Mirror Online

This chilling warning came as British, Dutch and Australian relatives of the 298 victims accuse Vladimir Putin’s regime of deliberately twisting and distorting evidence to mask the truth…

Time for UK to Apologize to Moscow for Accusations Over Skripal Case – Embassy – Sputnik International

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Russian Embassy in the United Kingdom said on Friday it was time for the UK side to apologize to Russia for accusations over the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, as no evidence was provided by London to substantiate its claims of Moscow’s involvement during the three months which passed since the incident. “Time has come for British authorities to apologize to Russia for the hollow accusations accompanied by an unprecedented anti-Russian campaign, to give answers to all the questions and requests officially sent to the British side on this matter, to engage with Russian law enforcement agencies that have opened the criminal case regarding the attempted murder of Yulia Skripal, and to stop isolating the two Russian citizens,” the embassy’s press release read.

Yulia Skripal looks so well everything Britain said about poisoning is in doubt – Putin — RT World News

The fact neither of those poisoned in Salisbury died and one seems to have recovered well after what Britain called an exposure to a Russian military-grade chemical weapon, casts doubts on London’s stance, says Vladimir Putin.

Putin says ‘not possible’ Skripals were poisoned with military nerve agent

Vladimir Putin has said it’s &ldquo;not possible&rdquo; that Sergei and Yulia Skripal were poisoned in Salisbury by a military nerve agent and raised doubts about British allegations that Russia attacked them.

Vladimir Putin says it’s ‘impossible’ Russia was behind spy attack… because Skripals would have died on the spot

VLADIMIR Putin said today it is “not possible” the Skripals were poisoned with a Soviet military-grade nerve agent – because they didn’t die. The Russian leader tried to distance the Kremlin from the “assassination attempt” saying if they really had been poisoned with Novichok they wouldn’t have survived.

Kremlin says unconvinced by Yulia Skripal’s first media outing

The Kremlin said on Thursday it was deeply sceptical about Yulia Skripal’s first media appearance since she and her father Sergei were poisoned by a nerve agent in England and said it was unclear if she had been talking of her own free will. Skripal, who survived the March attack that Britain

Skripal’s I Don’t Believe It! – Sputnik International

Columnists 18:27 25.05.2018 Jon Gaunt | I no longer believe one iota of the Skripal narrative Theresa May, Boris Johnson and the controlled MSM have been peddling these past few months. The Boris hoax phone call with the “Armenian Prime Minister” was the final climax of this tragicomedy and if it doesn’t lead to the end of his cabinet career the UK will truly be the laughing stock of the world.

I don’t believe the Skripal story and Boris has to go after hoax call

The Home of uncensored, unregulated Free Speech! Award-winning Talk Radio and podcasts covering politics, news, sport and controversial opinion by Jon Gaunt.

Who, us? Russia is gaslighting the world on the Skripal poisonings – To Inform is to Influence

From Wikipedia. “Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, hoping to make them question their own memory, perception, and sanity.” This is one of the many tools that Russia uses to counter claims that cause Russia’s reputation harm. …

Who, us? Russia is gaslighting the world on the Skripal poisonings | Alexey Kovalev | Opinion | The Guardian

From state television to the Russian embassy, indignation, mockery and flat-out denial is the order of the day, writes Russian journalist Alexey Kovalev

11 Warning Signs of Gaslighting | Psychology Today

You may be a victim of gaslighting—no one is immune. Learn what it is so you can identify it before it sucks you in.

Are Gaslighters Aware of What They Do? | Psychology Today

Are gaslighters aware they are manipulating others? It depends on the gaslighter.

How to Know If You’re a Victim of Gaslighting | Psychology Today

Gaslighting is a malicious form of mental and emotional abuse that causes self-doubt and alters your perception of reality. Learn the signs and symptoms — and how to recover.

Russia’s Putin: U.S. enforcement of own laws abroad unacceptable | Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday it was unacceptable for the United States to apply its own rules beyond its borders.

Watch One Of Russia’s Newest Ballistic Missile Subs Launch A Rare Four Missile Salvo – The Drive

The dramatic test underscores Russia’s renewed interest in a submarine-based nuclear deterrent as it increased underwater activity in general.

NATO’s Worst Nightmare: Russia’s Kaliningrad Is Armed to the Teeth | The National Interest Blog

The biggest threat Russia poses from Kaliningrad is its deployment of Iskander-M ballistic missiles.

Boris Johnson on Twitter: “Fully support Australian and Dutch request to Russia to accept state responsibility for its role in the downing of flight MH17. Vital Russia now cooperates to deliver justice for victims of this tragedy, which killed 298 people including 10 Brits.”

Foreign Secretary statement on the MH17 investigation – GOV.UK

The MH17 Joint Investigation Team countries (Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine) have announced their latest findings in their investigation into the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.

Russia must face justice over flight MH17, says Boris Johnson | News | The Times

Boris Johnson has backed calls for Russia to face international justice over the shooting down of a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet over Ukraine, saying it was “an egregious example of the Kremlin’s disregard for innocent life”. The foreign secretary was speaking after the Dutch cabinet vowed to hold Russia responsible for the downing of MH17 over Ukraine which killed all 298 people on board. Ten of those killed in the 2014 incident were British. Mr Johnson thanked the “thorough and professional” work by investigators who traced the missile used to the 53rd anti-aircraft military brigade of the Russian army. Russia has denied any involvement. The Netherlands and Australia said that they would seek to hold Russia legally responsible. “The Netherlands and Australia today asked Russia to enter into talks aimed at finding a solution that would do justice to the tremendous suffering and damage caused by the downing of MH17,” Stef Blok, the Dutch foreign minister said. “A possible next step is to present the case to an international court or organisation for their judgment.” Mr Johnson said: “The UK fully supports Australia and the Netherlands in their request to the Russian Federation to accept state responsibility, and to co-operate with them in their efforts to deliver justice for the victims of this tragedy.

Chris Philp MP on Twitter: “Joint Investigation Team’s detailed and carefully evidenced report shows Russian Military shot down Malaysian airline flight MH17, killing all 298 people on board. Enhanced sanctions against Russia are needed to curb this kind of behaviour by Putin”

Margot Wallström on Twitter: “Fully support work of the JIT in relation to downing of flight MH17. Important those responsible are brought to justice for. Expect Russia to accept its responsibility and fully cooperate with all efforts to establish accountability, in line with UNSC-res 2166.…”

EU Council Press on Twitter: “Declaration by High Representative @FedericaMog on behalf of the EU on the findings of Joint Investigation Team on downing of flight #MH17 EU calls on #Russia to accept its responsibility and fully cooperate with all efforts to establish accountability”

NATO Chief Wants Russia ‘To Admit Responsibility’ In MH17 Case

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg wants Russia “to admit responsibility and also to fully cooperate” with the investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) over eastern Ukraine in 2014. Speaking to RFE/RL’s Rikard Jozwiak in Brussels on May 25, Stoltenberg said NATO members will also discuss challenges related to “increased military activities close to our borders” at a meeting next week.

State Dep’t to Russia: Stop Lying and Account For Your Role in Shooting Down Malaysian Airplane

All 298 passengers and crew onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, were killed when the aircraft crashed in eastern Ukraine in July 2014.

Heather Nauert condemns Russia’s ‘callous disinformation campaign’ – To Inform is to Influence

by Joel Gehrke  | May 25, 2018 11:21 AM Russian officials are conducting a “callous disinformation campaign” to obscure their role in the violence in Ukraine, according to the State Department’s top spokesperson. Russia has long denied any involvement in the conflict, but the diplomatic clash with the United States was rekindled after international investigators this…

UN chief notes ‘with concern’ report holding Russia liable for downing airliner | UN News

25 May 2018 Peace and Security Following the conclusion of an investigation that holds Russia responsible for the downing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane in 2014, the United Nations chief said on Friday that he “has taken note with concern of the latest report”. On Thursday, according to media reports, the Dutch-led international investigation team announced that it was Russian military personnel who had deployed the Buk surface-to-air missile, that shot down the plane. Russia has denied any involvement in the plane’s destruction. Speaking to journalists on Friday at UN Headquarters in New York, UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq said that Secretary-General António Guterres underlined a prior Security Council resolution demanding that “all states cooperate fully with efforts to establish accountability”. “In such instances, establishing the truth about this event is an important part of achieving justice for the victims and their families,” Mr. Haq added. All 298 people on board MH17, which was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, died when it crashed on 17 July 2014, in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine.

Putin’s Evasions on Flight MH-17 Are a Disgrace – Bloomberg

The Kremlin may not want to admit guilt over the downed airliner, but it can at least stop dodging responsibility.

bellingcat – MH17 – Russian GRU Commander ‘Orion’ Identified as Oleg Ivannikov – bellingcat

A joint investigation between Bellingcat, The Insider, and McClatchy DC Bureau has conclusively identified another key person of interest in the ongoing investigation of the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17). The person known as ’Andrey Ivanovich’, a.k.a. call sign ‘Orion’, is in fact a high-ranking Russian GRU officer named Oleg Vladimirovich Ivannikov. Русская версия этого расследования опубликована изданием The Insider. Read McClatchy’s article here. Research and report by Moritz Rakuszitzky, Daniel Romein, and Roman Dobrokhotov. Additional research and editing by Aric Toler and Klement Anders. Summary A joint international open source investigation led by Bellingcat has identified conclusively that the person of interest known as ‘Andrey Ivanovich’ or ‘Orion’ whose identity is sought by the Joint Investigating Team in connection with the criminal investigation into the downing of MH17, is in fact Russian citizen Oleg Vladimirovich Ivannikov, born on 2 April 1967.

Oh hello, Mr. Oleg ‘Orion’ Ivannikov: Unmasking a chief suspect in the MH17 attack, who just happens to work for Russian intelligence — Meduza

The research group Bellingcat and the Russian news outlet The Insider have presented the results of a new joint investigation into flight MH17, which was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, killing everyone on board. The team of journalists and researchers say they’ve managed to identify a soldier known as “Orion,” who may have coordinated pro-Russian separatists in the region and most likely played a role in the MH17 tragedy. The man in question turns out to be a Russian military intelligence officer named Oleg Ivannikov, who previously served (under a different name) as defense minister for the breakaway republic of South Ossetia.

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…

Siren Call: The ‘Distinctly High Voice’ That Led MH17 Sleuths To A Russian Missile Suspect

When the trail of documentation ended, the suspect’s “high-pitched” voice led the way.

How an online purchase helped find the Russian blamed for downing MH17

A mysterious man wanted in connection with the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 appears to be a high-level Russian military intelligence officer.

Russian unit, GRU officer linked to 2014 shoot-down of airliner over Ukraine | Ars Technica

Open source intelligence, physical evidence show Russia provided missile system.

Russian GRU officer tied to 2014 downing of passenger plane in Ukraine – NY Daily News

A man wanted in connection with the downing of Malaysia Air Flight 17 in 2014 appears to be a Russian military intelligence officer.

MH17 Was Downed With Help From Senior Russian Military Officer Code-Named ‘Orion,’ Probe Says

The Netherlands and Australia on May 25 accused Moscow of being behind the 2014 downing of the plane that killed 298 people.

Bellingcat Investigators Identify Russian GRU Officer Linked to MH17 Downing

A report by the open-source Bellingcat investigative team has identified a Russian military intelligence officer as the suspect sought by Dutch prosecutors for transporting the missile launcher that shot down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014. The announcement came a day after a Dutch-led interim report by prosecutors said that the missile that shot down the plane was fired from a launcher in Russia’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade. On Friday, the Dutch foreign minister said Amsterdam holds Russia responsible for the missile that killed 298 people, a claim that Moscow rejects.

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 To Blame For MH17: Investigators – Network Ten

Russia To Blame For MH17 Investigators

World Cup will have ‘darker meaning’ for families of MH17 victims

Jack O’Brien had just completed a grand tour during the last World Cup, and was on his way home from Moscow when he died on the doomed MH17 flight.

‘We Want The Truth’: Parents Of MH17 Victim Seek Justice, ‘Chain Of Command’

The Australian parents of a man killed when Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down in 2014 say they want the truth to come out but stress that they blame the Russian leadership and not the pe…

Some 270 relatives of Dutch MH17 victims to sue Russia in ECHR | UNIAN

A group of 270 relatives of the Dutch victims of flight MH17 downed in July 2014 in Russian-occupied Donbas will lodge a complaint against Russia with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Their U.S. aviation attorney, Jerry Skinner, told the Dutch EénVandaag current affairs program about the plans, the Ukrainian news outlet Yevropeiska Pravda said, citing the De Morgen newspaper. The complaint will be filed no later than on June 13, he said.

Tom Rogan |How Obama blew the response to Russians downing MH-17

As former Obama administration officials now criticize President Trump’s Iran and North Korea policies, we should remember how Trump’s predecessor handled MH-17’s destruction.

Language expert rebuffs Russian claim that Yulia Skripal is hostage | Daily Mail Online

A language expert has rebutted Russian claims that Yulia Skripal was coerced into reading a prepared statement – after the spy’s daughter spoke for the first time yesterday about the Salisbury attack. Russian ex-spy and his daughter poisoned in Salisbury, UK, using nerve agent. Skripal and daughter Yulia, 33, have since been discharged from hospital. She said she is ‘lucky to be alive’ following the ‘attempted assassination’. Putin’s spokesman said Thursday: ‘We have no reason to trust or believe in this’. Russia’s UK embassy claimed she was coerced into reading the statement. A linguistic expert analysed the footage and said her words seemed genuine.

‘Nerve agent’ shopping centre in Salisbury reopens – BBC News

The Maltings, where ex Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found, has been cleaned.

Salisbury area to reopen 11 weeks after Russian spy attack | Daily Mail Online

Businesses in the Maltings area of Salisbury are preparing to reopen 11 weeks after the Novichok attack as the city takes a ‘massive step’ in its recovery.

How Britain let Russia hide its dirty money | News | The Guardian

The long read: For decades, politicians have welcomed the super-rich with open arms. Now they’re finally having second thoughts. But is it too late?

VOA Persian Interviews Secretary Pompeo on Iran

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo outlined the Trump administration’s efforts to end Iran’s nuclear program in an exclusive interview with VOA’s Persian service. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports, Thursday’s conversation also covered recent protests in Iran and the administration’s efforts to free Americans detained by Iran.

Tempers Flare As Iranian Lawmakers Debate UN Effort Targeting Terrorism

The floor of Iran’s parliament descended into chaos this week as lawmakers debated joining an international effort to choke off funding for terrorist groups, with lawmakers storming the speaker’s dais, complaining of “colonialism,” and holding aloft notes of protest amid the din. The May 22 session was scheduled to review a bill on the country’s accession to the International Convention for the Suppression Of Financing Of Terrorism, also known as the Terrorism Financing Convention, a resolution adopted by the UN in 1999. Local media quoted conservative lawmakers decrying it as a “colonial bill” that would allow foreign influence over the country and demanding that speaker Ali Larijani remove it from parliament’s agenda. Hard-liners have suggested that enemies abroad could use the fight against terrorism to demand action against Iranian officials, including the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force, a key instrument in Iran’s clandestine operations abroad.

German FM: Europe ‘Very United’ On Decision To Stay In Iran Deal

Germany’s foreign minister has reiterated Europe’s determination to remain a part of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal even in the face of a U.S. withdrawal from the landmark agreement.

Iran gives E.U. deadline to salvage nuclear deal

Iran wants European powers to present it with measures by the end of May to compensate it for the U.S. abandoning the 2015 nuclear deal, a senior official said.

Iran pressures Europe to speed up plans to save nuclear deal | Reuters

Major powers and Iran agreed on Friday to move quickly to offset the U.S. pullout from its nuclear deal and Washington’s renewed sanctions, with Tehran pressuring Europe to come up with a package of economic measures by May 31.

U.S. Warns Syria of ‘Firm’ Measures for Ceasefire Violations | World News | US News

The United States warned Syria on Friday it would take “firm and appropriate measures” in response to ceasefire violations …

U.S. warns Syria of ‘firm’ measures for ceasefire violations | Reuters

The United States warned Syria on Friday it would take “firm and appropriate measures” in response to ceasefire violations, saying it was concerned about reports of an impending military operation in a de-escalation zone in the country’s southwest.

US ‘concerned’ about possible Assad operation in southwest Syria | TheHill

The Trump administration late Friday voiced concerns about an “impending” operation by Bashar Assad’s forces in Syria that it says will fall inside the boundaries of a U.S.-enforced de-escalation zone. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert warned in a statement that the U.S. would respond with “firm and appropriate measures” if Assad’s government were to violate the ceasefire in the region, located in the southwestern part of the country. ADVERTISEMENT “Unfortunately, the Assad regime, with the support of Russia and Iran, has repeatedly violated these de-escalation zones, most recently in its brutal assault on East Ghouta. The Assad regime and its allies continue to prolong the conflict by ignoring their own de-escalation agreements and stonewalling the Geneva process,” Nauert said. She called on Russia to exercise control over the Assad government at the United Nations Security Council, pressing the country to use its “diplomatic and military advantage over the Assad regime to stop attacks and compel the Assad regime to cease further military offensives.” “The United States remains committed to maintaining the stability of the southwest de-escalation zone and to the ceasefire underpinning it,” she said.

Hosted by Putin, Leaders of France and Japan Castigate Trump – The New York Times

Vladimir Putin hosted leaders of France and Japan in his native city, where they showed unity in their criticism of President Trump’s recent moves.

In Russia, France’s Macron Tries His Next Charm Offensive On ‘Cher Vladimir’ : Parallels : NPR

Will French President Emmanuel Macron turn out to be the West’s Putin whisperer?

US could stop Turkey, not yet a Moscow ally, from caving to Russia | TheHill

Addressing the US relationship with Kurdish militia and providing Turkey guarantees against Russian aggression would go a long way.

Turkey threatens retaliation if new bill stops F-35 sale

Tension between the U.S. and Turkey over Ankara’s plans to buy a Russian-made S-400 air defense system have yielded legislation to bar the sale of F-35 fighter jets.