Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Ad Hoc Media Update (33)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Much interesting reading in every category, but especially Russia’s ongoing internal meltdown, and developments in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly China’s interactions with its neighbors. The Chinese proverb about living in interesting times does indeed apply.


NATO / EU / Russia Reports


UAWire – NATO considers imposing restrictions on Russian-owned foreign assets
At the spring session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Warsaw, a proposal was made to impose restrictions on foreign assets of wealthy …
NATO-Russia Council Meeting Aims To Defuse Tensions
NATO ambassadors are due to meet with their Russian counterparts on May 31 for talks on the conflict in Ukraine, reducing tensions over military maneuvers, and other issues.
UAWire – Putin: Ukraine’s potential membership in NATO is a ‘red line’ the West should not cross
At the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed fears that Ukraine could become a NATO …
How to Admit Georgia to NATO — Without Triggering a War – Defense One
Russia’s partial occupation of the Caucasian country has given it a kind of veto on alliance membership. Here\’s a way around that. …. Thankfully, there is a creative way around this problem. All of Georgia’s internationally recognized territory, which includes the Tskhinvali region and Abkhazia, could be invited to join NATO. However, NATO could amend Article 6 of the 1949 treaty (which defines which territories fall under the Article 5 protection) to temporarily exclude only the Russian-occupied region from NATO’s Article 5 protection. So all of Georgia would join NATO, but only the regions of Georgia not under Russian occupation — about 80 percent of the country — will get the alliance’s security guarantee. It is important to point out that this would only be a temporary measure, intended to last only until Georgia’s full, internationally recognized territory can be re-established by peaceful means. There is a precedent for amending Article 6. It was done in 1951 as part of the accession protocol for Turkey and Greece when they joined NATO. Twelve years later, the North Atlantic Council noted the original inclusion of the Algerian Departments of France in Article 6 was no longer applicable due to Algeria’s independence. In addition, there are countless examples of NATO members not having all of their territory under the protection of Article 5. Think the U.S. and Guam, the UK and the Falkland Islands, or even West Germany and East Germany. Also, allowing Georgia to join NATO with an amended Article 6 is consistent with the country’s pledge to abstain from retaking the occupied regions by force. This is why this proposal could not work for Ukraine, for example, because Kyiv has made no such pledge regarding the Donbas and Crimea. After all, if the Georgian government has already pledged not to use force to get its occupied regions back, then why would an Article 5 security guarantee for these two regions even be needed? Admittedly, this proposal is not without its challenges. For it to work, real political leadership is needed in Washington, D.C., and Tbilisi. The U.S. will have to convince Europeans that it successfully heads off an automatic war with Russia. The Georgian government will have to explain to its people that this is not abandoning the two occupied regions and that it is in line with the non-use of force pledge. Russia will spin this idea as a choice between Georgians joining NATO or giving up on the two occupied regions. This is a false dichotomy.
UAWire – NATO Parliamentary Assembly accuses Russia of human rights violations in Ukraine and Georgia
Iryna Friz, the chairman of Ukraine’s permanent delegation, stated on her Facebook page that a report of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly that held its spring session in Warsaw on Saturday, identified Russia as responsible for human rights violations in Ukraine and Georgia. The report “Fostering Democracy and Human Rights in the Black Sea Region” was presented by special rapporteur Ulla Schmidt. It highlights massive violations of human rights in the occupied territories of Ukraine. “The presenter supports the theses of Russia’s responsibility for human rights violations not only in the east of Ukraine, but also in Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” Friz emphasized.
US Secretary, Hungary’s Foreign Ministry discuss supporting Ukraine in war with Russia – 112.international
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has met with Hungarian Foreign Ministry Péter Szijjártó in Washington. During the meeting, Pompeo noted the necessity to support Ukraine in countering Russian aggression. This was reported by the US Department of State. “Secretary Michael Pompeo met with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto in Washington on Wednesday. The two discussed areas of mutual interest and opportunities for our countries to increase cooperation. The Secretary underscored the importance of maintaining a vibrant civil society. The Secretary also emphasized the urgent need to help Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression, including the importance of facilitating and supporting Ukraine’s engagement with NATO, and the need to counter Russian malign influence in Central Europe. Both sides agreed that Europe should diversify its sources of energy and discussed increasing U.S. investment in Hungary. The Secretary and Foreign Minister committed to concluding a Defense Cooperation Agreement in the days ahead,” the message says.
NATO doesn’t plan to cease support of Ukraine despite Hungary’s demand | UNIAN
NATO does not plan to cease the support of Ukraine despite Hungary’s demand. NATO says it is important for Ukraine to continue reforms.
UAWire – Lithuania and Canada oppose Hungarian initiative to revise NATO’s cooperation with Ukraine
Hungary's proposal to reconsider NATO's cooperation with Ukraine that was earlier sent to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was criticized …
UAWire – Hungary requests NATO review relations with Ukraine
Yevropeiska Pravda reports that Hungary has submitted an official request to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg regarding an initiative to …
Stoltenberg hopes Ukraine, Hungary able to find solution in language row | UNIAN
NATO is in a very close contact and cooperation with Ukraine, with regular meetings being held with the country’s leadership, including President Petro Poroshenko and Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Warsaw following a NATO PA meeting on Monday, May 28. The NATO chief has confirmed he is in close contact on the issue of national minority languages with the leadership of both countries.
Why Poland wants a permanent US military base, and is willing to pay $2 billion for it
Poland wants a full U.S. armor division to help deter Russian aggression.
Norway worried by intensified Russian naval activity | Reuters
Russia has increased its naval activity in international waters close to Norway and its military capabilities are a growing concern, Norway’s navy chief said on Thursday.
Polish FM calls on NATO’s Stoltenberg to intervene in Hungary-Ukraine row | UNIAN
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland Jacek Czaputowicz believes NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg should intervene in the situation where Hungary is trying to block Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration. The top diplomat believes the head of the Alliance has all necessary instruments in this regard.
UAWire – Poland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs: relations with Russia remain in deep crisis
At the spring session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Warsaw ,the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jacek Czaputowicz believes that relations with Russia are still in deep crisis, Polish radio reports. According to Czaputowicz, “there were no elements that would justify a change in the Alliance’s position”. Under the so-called Warsaw Compromise, NATO pursues a policy of consistent deterrence against Russia while maintaining its readiness to hold talks. Czaputowicz added that the recent use of chemical weapons on the territory of Great Britain clearly did not help change policy towards Russia. The Foreign Minister of Poland stressed that in conversations with Russia, “we cannot ignore the topics that are inconvenient to them, such as the annexation of the Crimea, the war in the Donbas or the return of the wreckage of the Polish Tu-154 aircraft that crashed near Smolensk.
Lithuanian Minister Says Having World Cup In Russia ‘Stupid Idea’
Lithuanian foreign minister Linas Linkevicius called having the World Cup in Russia “a stupid idea,” but he said that a coordinated EU diplomatic boycott of the soccer championship next month i…
NATO Warns Russia On ‘Malign Activities,’ Briefs On War Games
NATO ambassadors told Russia to put a halt to its “malign activities” in Europe and elsewhere as the sides met at a time of high geopolitical tensions between East and West. Kay Bailey Hutchison, the U.S. ambassador to NATO, said on Twitter on May 31 that the Western alliance sent a “strong, unified message to Russia: Stop interfering in Ukraine & cease malign activities that seek to divide our Alliance.” NATO and Russian officials were meeting in the first NATO-Russia Council of 2018 in Brussels. An alliance official said before the talks that they would focus on NATO’s twin-track approach combining a strong defense posture with “meaningful dialogue” with Russia. Along with the stern message, NATO ambassadors also briefed their Russian counterparts on a huge military maneuver involving 40,000 troops scheduled for Norway in October. The NATO war games, called Trident Juncture, will include a live exercise in and around the Scandinavian country, involving some 70 ships and 130 aircraft. It will also include a command-post exercise, mostly in Italy. NATO officials said the briefing on the maneuvers was intended to ease tensions between the alliance and Moscow and to reduce the risk of inadvertent military encounters. “The dialogue between NATO and Russia contributes to more predictable relations and enhanced mutual security,” the alliance said. Russia and the West have clashed in recent months regarding the war in Syria and the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Britain, among other matters. Most recently, NATO demanded that Russia accept responsibility for the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine, an incident in which 298 civilians of multiple nationalities were killed. NATO suspended practical cooperation with Moscow in 2014 in response to its aggression in Ukraine, where Russia seized and annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region and has supported separatists in the eastern part of the country in a bloody war. For two years, ambassadors and ministers did not meet, until the NATO-Russia Council was revived in 2016. The last meeting was in October 2017.
UAWire – Rockets from Russian-made submarines found on the Polish coast of the Baltic Sea
Signal rockets for Russian-made Baltic Sea submarines were found in three places on the Polish coast over several days, Polish channel RMF24 …
How NATO Should Respond to Increasingly Assertive Russia? – YouTube
UATV English Published on May 31, 2018 Andriy Nadzhos, Expert at the Ukrainian Council on Foreign Affairs, talks about new NATO strategy of “resistance and dialogue” with Russia and Ukraine`s place in it. _
Exclusive: U.S. military looking at deploying anti-missile system in Germany – sources | Reuters
The U.S. military has held preliminary discussions about moving a powerful missile defense system to Germany to boost European defenses, according to two sources familiar with the issue, a move that experts said could trigger fresh tensions with Moscow.
US in talks to move missile defense system to Germany: report | TheHill
The U.S. military is considering plans to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system to Germany in a powerful boost to Europe’s military defenses.

Russia / Russophone Reports


Putin says he will step down in 2024 as constitution requires | TheHill
“I have always strictly abided by and abide by the constitution of the Russian Federation,” Putin said.
Everybody wants respect. Especially Vladimir Putin.
The Russian president likes power for its own sake, and he’ll do almost anything to get it.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Foreign Intervention Forced Bolsheviks to Make Overly ‘Liberal’ Concessions to Non-Russians, Stalin told Lenin
Paul Goble Staunton, May 26 – The combination of Moscow’s pressure on the non-Russians and the centenary of the Russian civil war is attracting attention to documents from the past that reveal a great deal about the thinking of Soviet leaders on issues that continue to agitate the leaders and population of the Russian Federation. In Kazan’s Business-Gazeta, journalist Mikhail Birin reports that “close to the end of the Civil War, on September 22, 1922, Joseph Stalin sent a letter to Vladimir Lenin declaring that “We have come to a situation when the existing order of relations between the center and the borderlands, i.e., the complete lack of any order and complete chaos, has become intolerable” (business-gazeta.ru/article/383540). “Thus, Birin continues, Stalin “demanded an end to ‘games about the independence of the republics … For the four years of the Civil War when we in view of the intervention were forced to demonstrate the liberalism of Moscow on the nationality question, we have raised up communists … who demand real independence in all senses.’” Such people, Stalin continued, “’view the interference of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party as deception and hypocrisy on the part of Moscow.’” They must be stopped, and Stalin “insisted on the most rapid possible replacement of formal (fictional) independence by real autonomy.” Stalin viewed the proper course as imposing party control over all other institutions of power “both at the center and in the localities – in all oblasts and krays of Soviet Russia and in particular in its young republics,” the Kazan journalist says. He sent his own people there, replacing many quickly who proved unable to impose Moscow’s will. It does not require much imagination to extrapolate Stalin’s judgment on the sources of Moscow’s concessionary policy to the non-Russians in the first years of power and on his need to change it once that pressure was reduce to Vladimir Putin’s on the sources of post-Soviet Russia’s handling of the non-Russian republics after 1991 and his approach since 2000.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russian Language Under Assault and in Retreat at Home and Abroad
Paul Goble Staunton, May 24 – A major reason why Vladimir Putin is pushing so hard to advance the Russian language at the expense of non-Russians ones is that the Russian language is under assault and in retreat at the level of society both inside the Russian Federation and in other countries as well. As even Moscow commentators acknowledge, far fewer people speak Russian now than did at the end of Soviet times, and the prospects for the language are anything but bright even inside the country where the government is able to compel people to study it let alone in the former Soviet republics or further afield. This week alone has brought seven reports which indicate that the flow of events is moving against the Russian language. They include: · Chuvash activists are dropping the Russian names that were imposed on them in the past in favor of Chuvash ones even as they fight to maintain Chuvash instruction in that Middle Volga republic’s schools (irekle.org/news/i2035.html). · Ossetians too are increasingly changing from Russian-style names to Ossetian ones and are among the leaders in the North Caucasus of the resistance to Putin’s proposed law making Russian compulsory but non-Russian languages voluntary (ekhokavkaza.com/a/29245972.html). · In Tajikistan, the country’s foreign minister has changed his name from one that sounds Russian and follows Russian spelling rules to one that is completely Tajik in its origins (centrasia.ru/news.php?st=1527137580). · The government of Kazakhstan has announced plans to promote the Kazakhization of society in order to achieve a situation in which all Kazakh officials and 95 percent of the population of that formerly bilingual republic will speak Kazakh within a decade or so (camonitor.kz/31126-chto-tormozit-stoprocentnuyu-yazykovuyu-kazahizaciyu.html). · The Belarusian government is promoting the use of Belarusian in publications directed at and used by that country’s armed services, an especially remarkable development given Belarus’ status as a member of a union state with Russia and the strong Russian-language traditions of its security services (thinktanks.by/publication/2018/05/23/voennye-smi-belarusi-stanovyatsya-vse-bolee-belorusskoyazychnymi.html). · Russian commentators and politicians are increasingly apocalyptic about the decision of the Republic of Latvia to close Russian-language schools in that country and ensure that all graduates are fluent in the national language, a goal Riga is far closer to achieving than many are ready to admit (ru.sputniknewslv.com/Latvia/20180524/8346394/marsh-zaschita-deti-russkije-shkoly-riga.html). · And the Moldovan Supreme Court appears set on May 31 to rule against the current status of the Russian language in that country, thus reducing pressure on students there to learn it and allowing them time to learn Western languages like English. As in Latvia, Russians are predicting a political disaster if the court acts as expected (ng.ru/cis/2018-05-24/1_7231_moldova.html and politobzor.net/167862-v-moldavii-namechaetsya-russkiy-bunt.html).
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Correspondence of Last Tsar Remains Classified Possibly in Aid of His Canonization
Paul Goble Staunton, May 28 – Among the many archival documents in Russia which remain classified are the letters of Nicholas II to his wife and orders he issued during World War I, quite possibly the result of the efforts of those who want to canonize him, according to journalist Sergey Kuzmitsky. He points out that documents can be kept classified far longer than the law normally allows if that is necessary to protect state secrets “or at the request of relatives of the people who figure in the papers” (topcor.ru/1442-kakie-dokumenty-rossiyskoy-imperii-i-sssr-do-sih-por-ne-rassekrecheny.html). This grows out of Soviet-era practice. Already in 1918, the Bolsheviks began to be concerned with preserving tsarist archives and keeping ordinary people from having access to them. In 1938, this control was identified when these archival documents were put under the administration of the NKVD which decided to classify most of them. These documents remained under the control of the secret services until 2016, when they were transferred to the office of the Russian president, himself a former KGB officer. And thus Vladimir Putin has the last word on the declassification of the tsarist documents and other archival materials now classified secret. Among the archival papers that are still classified secret in most but not in all cases are the archives of the KGB and its Soviet and tsarist predecessors, some of the papers concerning the purge trials of the 1930s, and the personal papers of prominent people like Vysotsky, Solzhenitsyn and Ryzhkov. “It is possible,” Kuzmitsky says, “that many of the old Russian secrets have significance even today and must be preserved in that state. But many simply haven’t been declassified only because earlier there were so many secrets that it will require a great deal of effort to make decisions about them.” However, there are compelling reasons to declassify as much as possible of these older documents, he suggests. Otherwise, Russians will be confronted with a situation in which their past will be defined by those with an agenda rather than on the basis of the facts that can be learned from the archives.
Anthem Tantrum: Mayor Assails ‘Traitor’ Journalist For Sitting During Russian State Song
A journalist claims Dimitrovgrad’s mayor publicly called him a “traitor” and struck him twice after he failed to stand during the national anthem. The mayor admits calling the journalist a traitor …
Russia Asks Apple To Help It Enforce Ban On Telegram
Russia’s communications regulator said it has asked U.S. cell phone giant Apple to help it block the popular messaging service Telegram in Russia.
Russian Diabetics’ Rights Group Labeled ‘Foreign Agent’
A district court in the Russian city of Saratov has ruled that a local nongovernmental organization providing assistance to diabetics is a “foreign agent” and has imposed a fine of 300,000 rubles (…
Russian Oligarch Abramovich Becomes Israeli Citizen
Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, the owner of Britain’s Chelsea soccer team, has become an Israeli citizen, just a month after Britain delayed the renewal of his British visa in the midst of di…
Repin’s Ivan The Terrible Painting Damaged By Vandal
A famous work by Russian realist painter Ilya Repin was vandalized by a visitor at Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery on May 25.
Ivan The Terrible Painting To Get State-Of-The-Art Case After Vandal Attack
The director of Russia’s state-run Tretyakov Gallery says Ilya Repin’s painting of Ivan the Terrible will be displayed in a special protective glass case after it was damaged by a vandal.
Top Kemerovo Official In Custody Over Deadly Mall Fire
A Russian court has ordered the head of the Emergency Situations Ministry’s branch in the Kemerovo region be kept in pretrial detention for two months in connection with a shopping-mall fire that k…
Leaders Of Two Russian Far East Regions Resign
The head of Russia’s Far Eastern Sakha Republic has announced his resignation.
Jailed Ukrainian Filmmaker On Hunger Strike In Russia Agrees To Treatment
Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov, who opposed Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and is now on hunger strike in a Russian prison, has agreed to receive medical treatment, Russia’s prison authoritie…
Russia Seeks 14-Year Term For Ukrainian Journalist Accused Of Spying
Russian prosecutors are seeking a 14-year prison term for Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko, who is on trial in Moscow on espionage charges in a case viewed by Kyiv and rights activists as poli…
Russian electrician may be sentenced for anti-Putin post in social network | UNIAN
A prosecutor in Toropets district court of Tver region, Russia, has requested the court to rule a two-year probation sentence for a local electrician Vladimir Yegorov, charged over his posting against Russian President Vladimir Putin in Vkontakte social network. The Memorial human rights center has recognized Yegorov as a political prisoner.
The Moscow Migrants’ Martial Arts Club
Uzbek migrants are proudly flying their country’s flag as they compete on the mixed martial arts, or MMA, circuit in Moscow.
Saratov Airlines Grounded Four Months After An-148 Crash | AWIN_Commercial content from Aviation Week
Global Protests Plan To Show ‘Red Card’ To Putin Over Imprisoned Filmmaker Sentsov
A global campaign to demand the release of Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov is being organized on June 1-2.
UAWire – Russia’s Federation Council approves bill on counter-sanctions against the US
On May 31, Russia's Federation Council approved the bill on counter-sanctions against the US and other &quot;unfriendly states&quot;. The document was …
Judge Extends Detention Of Chechen Rights Activist Titiyev
A judge in Russia’s Chechnya region has extended until July 9 the pretrial detention of activist Oyub Titiyev, according to Memorial, the Russian human rights group that Titiyev heads in Chechnya.
Global Protests For Release Of Ukrainian Director Held By Russia
Protests are planned in more than 50 cities around the world in June 1-2, demanding Russia release Ukrainian director Oleh Sentsov from a Siberian prison colony. Sentsov has been on a hunger strike since May 14.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin Given Truly Tsar-Like Powers over the Economy
Paul Goble Staunton, May 31 – Vladimir Putin has amassed so many powers, legally or illegally, that many have suggested that he is like a tsar. But this week, the Duma and Federation Council “without much fuss” gave the Kremlin leader powers which can only be described as those of a tsar, Babr journalist Vlad Krasov says. This grant came in the form of two laws. The first gives Putin the power to prohibit the importation of goods and the cessation of cooperation with other countries without reference to any other Russian government body in the name of countering sanctions imposed by others but not limited to that, Krasov says (babr24.com/msk/?IDE=177168). In its first draft, this Duma measure specified what products should be banned and what cooperation ended, but in the end, the Duma simply handed over all those decisions to the president, giving him formally powers that no Russian leader has ever had before. The second measure came in the form of parliamentary approval of a draft law that was first introduced in 2014. After languishing for three years, it was suddenly and “unexpectedly approved in the course of two days by the Duma and backed by the Federation Council on the next. According to this new law, Krasov writes, “the president in exceptional circumstances can reorganize, liquidate or change the legal status of companies and corporations in particular fields of activity,” although these restrictions are nowhere defined in the measure and thus do not in fact exist. “The law allows the chief of state independently to decide,” the Babr journalist says, how companies should behave, what deals they should make or not, and what stocks they should issue or buy back.” In short, Putin will now be able to overrule any and all company mangers and boards of directors. These are truly “tsar-like.” Indeed, they represent powers that no tsar ever really had.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russians aren’t Becoming a Nation: They’re Degenerating into a Population, Sycheva Says
Paul Goble Staunton, May 31 – The current Russian regime talks a lot about promoting the development of a civic Russian nation and takes the existence of an ethnic Russian nation as a given, Lidiya Sycheva says; but in fact, it is systematically destroying the Russia people as a collective identity and transforming its members into a more easily manageable population. In a commentary for Moskovsky komsomolets, the journalist-observer argues that this can be easily seen if one looks at people in the rural areas of the country and contrasts them with the increasing number who have moved into major cities (ru/social/2018/05/30/naselenie-vmesto-naroda-tak-ubivayut-rossiyu.html). The former display a certain “calm dignity” and look at the world directly, she writes. “Young and old, ill and healthy,” one can see “an honest life of labor. What confident faces! Rural people look at the world in the broadest possible way.” Those in the cities are different, homogenized, atomized, and without the spiritual world of those in rural areas. In contrast to people on rural bus routes, those who ride the Moscow metro “in the main are weighted down by the contents of their mobile telephones. The virtual world dictates their agendas and drives out their own space of spiritual life … Instead of life, they live in a space of news about others, primarily political people.” Indeed, Sychev says, “90 percent of the lead news stories in our country concern 20 or 30 people from the ruling class.” Its all about them, and everyone else is to take his or her lead from the way they live rather than from living and breathing people around them as do people in rural areas, a condition that deprives them of independence and makes them easier to rule. “The natural feeling of a motherland tells an individual: ‘where you were born is where you must learn to deal.’ But the reality of physical survival drives Russians into a multi-story ghetto. The urban man is economically and politically suitable to the ruling class. Its cheaper to feed him, educate him, and cure him.” “Besides that,” she continues, “the overwhelming majority of urban resident do not own anything besides their modest apartments. Where there is no property, there are no rights – or even certain feelings.” Without property, people grow up without the feeling of being master of something and responsible for it. As a result, the journalist says, “the people, deprives of the feelings of being masters is converted into a population, into a society of separate and synthetic spiritually and materially individuals who are held together only by television and propaganda.” And media surveys show that they are told far more often about bureaucrats than about the people. The resulting population, having displaced the people, “forms and advances out of its milieu a ruling class which is even less attached to its native hearth than its atomized ‘parent.’” That class, Sychev says, “does not feel any attachment to ‘simple people’ other than disdain.” It truly consists of “’princes who have come out of the dirt.” “Such a ruling class can retain power only by one means – the consistent fulfilment of a given ‘program’ that continue to degrade the people into a population. Any other legitimation for it is simply impossible for objective reasons.” According to the journalist, “self-administration, collectivism, cooperation, entrepreneurialism (but not ‘business’), good sense, and a moral view on people and actions are part and parcel of the life of the people.” These values have been “reduced to a minimum in today’s Russia because they are “dangerous for the people on top.” “The formalization of spiritual life in the form of state religious customs” leads to all kinds of perversions, including the notion that God will forgive us if we steal and the view of those on top that the people below are “slaves.” And that in turn is why the powers that be talk so much about “’bindings,’” the chief content of which is shamelessness in all its forms. The language of mass culture and of political debates show this. The former has no real voices of the people and the latter is full of “imitation, emptiness and scandal.” Indeed, “our television is poison wrapped up as candy.” Many mistakenly think this is a spontaneous process, but in fact, it is organized by those on top to serve their interests. “Villages have been almost destroyed, national culture has been replaced by state financing, and there is no strategy for the development of the economy.” Instead, those on top do whatever serves their interests regardless of what that means for everyone else. “The ability to think independently and to act in the interests of the Russian people aren’t qualities you can impose by force,” Sychev say. “They can arise naturally and organically only on a healthy basis.” But Russia doesn’t have this: Millions of the best people have left, and the Russian people have suffered as a result. According to Sychev, “the main task of the current historical period is the restoration of the vitality of the Russian people in three areas – natural-demographic, socio-political, and spiritual-moral.” A leader needs to emerge who can speak for the Russian people which still exists. Soon it may be too late entirely.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Only in Russia Today – Seven Stories Too Strange Not to Be True
Paul Goble Staunton, May 30 – In 1882, Lady Victoria Fullerton wrote a remarkable book entitled Too Strange Not to Be True in which she described lands and peoples “not our own.” Her book and its title certainly could be updated to cover the strange things that continue to go on in the Russian Federation of Vladimir Putin. Today, as on many days, a number of such stories surfaced. They are offered here as facets of the Russian condition, small vignettes of life in a country very much “not our own.” · Russia’s Senators Vote to Insure Themselves Against a Popular Uprising. Parliamentarians in many countries go to great lengths to provide themselves with far better insurance than their electorates have, but Russia’s senators have taken this to new lengths: they’ve voted to insure themselves against losses in the event of a popular uprising (politsovet.ru/59132-rossiyskih-senatorov-zastrahuyut-na-sluchay-narodnyh-volneniy.html). · Russian Actress Advises Reading Dostoyevsky But Favors Rex Stout and Ellery Queen. Yuliya Mikhalkova, a Russian actress, said on Russian television today that everyone should read the complete works of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, arguably Russia’s greatest novelist. But in making her pitch, she held up a book which she appeared to be reading, containing not his works but rather those of American detective novelists Rex Stout and Ellery Queen (politsovet.ru/59123-yuliya-mihalkova-sputala-dostoevskogo-s-amerikanskimi-detektivschikami.html). · An African Student is Expelled from Russia for Singing in Church. An African student in Russia has been expelled, officials have told her, for singing in church, something that they say her student visa doesn’t allow (interfax-religion.ru/?act=print&div=20587). · When There are No Painkillers, Vodka is Best. People in Russia’s regions are currently suffering from severe even “catastrophic” shortages of painkillers (life.ru/t/здоровье/1121358/bolnaia_tiema_v_rieghionakh_katastrofichieski_nie_khvataiet_obiezbolivaiushchikh). As a result, ever more people there suffering from extreme pain even when they are in hospitals are turning to vodka (lenta.ru/articles/2018/05/28/vrachiodekriminalizacii/). · A Putin Statue Goes Up But without Putin in It. A village in Kurgan oblast wanted to put up a statue of Vladimir Putin. They had all the attributes of Russian power and clearly intended for a full-size figure of the Kremlin leader to be in the middle of things. But a call came from the Kremlin, and so one of the very first statues honoring Putin has gone up without Putin in it (afterempire.info/2018/05/30/putin-without-putin/). · Russian Orthodox Church Doesn’t Want Toilets in Churches but Officials Insist. Some 700,000 Russian faithful have signed a petition opposing the building of toilets in Orthodox churches, but government officials are insisting that they do so and appear set to override the views of the parishioners and the priesthood (ruskline.ru/news_rl/2018/05/30/zachem_nuzhny_tualety_v_hramah/). · Moscow Patriarchate Says Majority Religious Group is Most Oppressed One. Stung by US criticism of Russia’s treatment of religious minorities, a senior churchman for the Moscow Patriarchate says that some people pay too much attention to the rights of minorities such as the hard-pressed Jehovah’s Witnesses, and too little to the rights of majorities, in this case, the Russian Orthodox (interfax-religion.ru/?act=dujour&div=130).
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Seven More Strange Reports from Putin’s Russia
Paul Goble Staunton, May 31 – For whatever reasons – possibly including the approach of summer and the absence of major pieces of good news – the Russian media this week has been filled with strange stories that cast light on the nature of Russia under Vladimir Putin. Here are seven which surfaced today: · Moscow Mulls Dropping GDP as a Measure of Economic Performance. GDP, the most widely used measure of a country’s economic performance and one on which Russia has not been doing well, may soon not be computed by the Russian government. Officials have picked up on Western academic and banking criticism of the measure and so may soon stop issuing even falsified GDP figures (lenta.ru/news/2018/05/31/gross_domestic_product/). · Tukhachevsky Blamed for Rise of Modern Russian Neo-Paganism. Russian Orthodox activists concerned about the spread of paganism among Russians are placing blame on Mikhail Tukhachevsky, the Soviet military leader who was executed by Stalin. Before his death, the commander called for the Soviet state to promote paganism to “save” itself from Christianity (ruskline.ru/news_rl/2018/05/31/neoyazychestvo_vsegda_pahnet_demonizmom/). · Water Bottle Shaped Like Soccer Ball a Threat to Life and Limb. Many companies are seeking to cash in on the World Cup craze by offering products ranging from bread shaped like a football to vodka named after the event. But one company has created a public relations disaster for itself. A Russian water company has produced bottles in the shape of a football that when sunlight passes through them act as a lens and can set things on fire (themoscowtimes.com/news/russian-world-cup-themed-water-bottle-ignites-objects-media-reports-61652). · Blondes Really Do Fare Better in Putin’s Power Vertical. Whether they have more fun or not is an open question, but blonde young women really do fare better in rising through the ranks of the Putin power vertical, according to Komsomolskaya pravda. All four of the female ministers are blondes as are most female spokespersons for government agencies (kp.ru/daily/26836.4/3876663/). · 40 Regions Lack Hospitals for Children; Half in the Others are in Bad Condition. Thanks to underinvestment in health care over many years and Putin’s “optimization” campaign, 40 regions in the Russian Federation now do not have special hospitals for children. Of the remaining regions that do, half of their hospitals are in substandard condition and some in such bad repair that they should simply be torn down and replaced (forum-msk.org/material/news/14687937.html). · Russian Man without Hands Accused of Strangling a Policeman. Aslan Iritov, an invalid who has no hands, has been accused by prosecutors in Kabardino-Balkaria of strangling a policeman. Pictures of Iritov showing his lack of hands have gone viral on the Russian net, one more indication of just how hyperbolically absurd Russian jurisprudence can be (enta.ru/articles/2018/05/29/iritov/). Not to be left behind, Moscow police today accused an erotic model of using force against them (https://vz.ru/news/2018/5/31/925574.html). · Kamchatka Deputy Demands Parking Space for His Horse. Mikhail Puchkovsky, a deputy in the Kamchatka regional parliament, is demanding that officials provide him with “a parking space” for his horse. Either because of rising gas prices or some other reasons, the deputy has decided to dispense with his car and come to work on horseback (kam.kam24.ru/news/main/20180531/59904.html).
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kremlin Keeps Talking about World War II, the Only Issue Where Gap Between Putin and People isn’t Growing, Gallyamov Says
Paul Goble Staunton, May 30 – Most people assume that Vladimir Putin keeps the focus on World War II because it is something both he and the Russian people take pride in. That is certainly true. But political analyst Abbas Gallyamov says there is another reason: it is the only subject where Putin and the population are in full agreement. On all other issues, historical or contemporary, he says, “the distance between the regime and the people is growing.” As a result, “there is nothing surprising that Untied Russia again and again tries to exploit” this theme. However, even the use of World War II as a propaganda theme is paying ever diminishing returns to the Kremlin (znak.com/2018-05-30/edinaya_rossiya_zapustit_eche_tri_patrioticheskih_proekta_na_temu_velikoy_otechestvennoy). “The effect of novelty here was exhausted long ago, Gallyamov continues. “People have accepted that the powers that be are patriotic and ever more of them ant from it something else besides a demonstration of its patriotism.” But because patriotism and World War II have worked in the past and because there is no other obvious issue, it will continue to be used. His comments come in response to an announcement by United Russia that it plans to launch three new ideological projects: one that will support volunteer groups searching for the graves of soldiers from the war, a second that will promote the identification of Russians with specific World War II divisions, and the third to identify heroes who live near them. Mikhail Vinogradov, the head of the Petersburg Politics Foundation, is more positive about this program than is Gallyamov. “People like military themes,” he says, “and identify with them If in Soviet times, it was considered that ‘real’ life was in1917 … now the chief event of ‘real history’ is considered World War II.”
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Soviets Imposed ‘Colonial Homogenization’ on Non-Russia Folklore, Moscow Scholar Says
Paul Goble Staunton, May 30 – On the 20th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution, the Pravda publishing house issued a book entitled The Creativity of the Peoples of the USSR, more than half of which consisted of poetic translations from Armenian, Ukrainian, Kazakh and other languages of the peoples of the Soviet Union. The book, Moscow philologist Elena Zemskova of the Higher School of Economics says, was ostensibly intended to show “the cultural diversity of the USSR, but in practice, it turned out to be an example of colonial homogenization” in which translators mangled the works of non-Russians to make them conform to Soviet Russian standards (iq.hse.ru/news/219573373.html). Her research, available in English as “Soviet Folklore as a Translation Project” (publications.hse.ru/en/chapters/180510856), offers a devastating portrait of the ways in which the Soviet authorities simultaneously destroyed and reinvented the culture and folklore of the non-Russians. Maksim Gorky was the moving spirit behind this book, Zemskova says. The book itself included 255 works, mostly poetic. “It is possible to trace a certain hierarchy in terms of the languages represented: 71 were in Russian and didn’t require translation, 37 were from Ukrainian, 13 from Belarusian, 12 from Armenian, 12 from Georgian, and 14 from Kazakh.” In addition, she reports, “there were small number of translations from Tajik, Turkmen and Azerbaijani languages and also works from the peoples of the Caucasus, the Middle Volga, the North and the Altay. Zemskova said she focused on this book because it was so atypical of colonial publishing. Typically, books and articles in most empires are translated from the language of the metropolitan people into the language of minorities. But in this case, at least the book claimed to be about the reverse. The book was supposed to highlight the real diversity of peoples in the USSR, but “when you look into how it was organized, you understand that the result did not offer a picture of the real diversity of folklore [in the country] at least in 1937.” That is because the translators took liberties of the kind that reduce the value of the work almost to nothing. The Russian State Archive has a file of documents about how this book was prepared. “Ideally, the schema of collecting material for the collection should have looked like the following: the collector, knowing the local language, writes down the folklore.” Then he and others do a line by line translation and smooth out the text for publication. “However,” Zemskova says, “research showed that at each of these stages took place falsifications.” The collectors often didn’t know the language of the source. What was written down had little to do with the original. And then when the translation was prepared, it was fitted into a Procrustean bed so that everything came out as Soviet Russian. Pravda editors did send some of the texts out to experts who were quite critical of what had been done; but the editors then ignored these scholars in the interest of speed and presenting a book that would please communist ideologists. Everyone got well paid, but what was produced was largely junk. Zemskova gives numerous examples of how little of the original survived and concludes that “the harsh ideological requirements made this work as a result useless. The existence or absence of an original was ignored, the special features of folkloric poetry was not taken into account, and the literary form of the Russian translated texts were simplified to the point of cliché according to the canons of Russian poetry.” Thus, this book takes its place alongside all the other actions of the Soviet state to destroy what was special and unique among the non-Russians and to force them or at least their public works into a mold that did not allow for that uniqueness to manifest itself.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin Regime Responsible for Accelerating Death of Rural Russia
Paul Goble Staunton, May 29 – Both by what it has done and by what it has left undone, the Putin regime bears responsibility for the accelerating death of rural Russia, with more people there dying or leaving because of his destruction of health care outside the major cities and because of his failure to invest money in basic infrastructure like reliable water lines and sewage systems. Since Putin became president, the number of hospitals in rural Russia has declined between 300 and 350 every year, Ada Gorbacheva of Nezavisimaya gazeta reports. There are now only 20 percent as many as there were in 2000. The number of polyclinics had fallen by 2700, and the number of field medical stations by “more than 5,000” since 2011 alone. As a result, she says, “the rural population has been left without medical help” (ng.ru/kartblansh/2018-05-29/3_7234_kartblansh.html). Russian officials admit the collapse: The Accounting Chamber in 2016 reported that “of the 130,000 rural population points in the country, only in 45,000 can one receive any kind of medical assistance.” In 2015, there was no medical infrastructure at all in 17,500 villages, and “more than 11,000 of these were located “more than 20 kilometers” from the closest doctor. Moreover, “in 35 percent of these population points, there is no public transport;” and so when people need medical help, they have no reliable way to get from their villages to the ever fewer number of medical facilities in rural areas. And in this regard, “rural” begins just outside the major cities, not just hundreds of kilometers away (ej.ru/?a=note&id=32515). But the Putin regime’s culpability for the ill health and deaths of rural Russians is not limited to that. It is shown in three other developments: First, Putin’s anti-extremism program is leading to the closure of medical groups, such as those who help diabetics with insulin, under the pretext that they are “foreign agents” (kommersant.ru/doc/3643046). Second, his regime’s economic approach to health care is leading ever more regime officials to take the position that the population should only get treatment if it will lead to cures that mean the state won’t have to bear responsibility for invalids (uralinform.ru/news/society/291547-v-pomoshi-mladencam-nujno-znat-meru-skandalnye-otkroveniya-uralskogo-deputata/). In one horrific case, a Yekaterinburg legislative assembly deputy, Nikolay Kosaryev, says that the regime shouldn’t be spending money on low birthrate babies or those with some serious diseases because there won’t be a cure and the people involved will become a burden on the state. It may look good to cut mortality rates, Kosaryev says; but “from the point of view of burdens on the state, this is not very good at all.” Instead, he argues, the population should be encouraged to pursue a health way of life lest by not doing so, they cost the government money it needs for other purposes. And third, Moscow has failed to develop critical infrastructure that can support the health of Russians in the villages. According to Tsargrad TV, no enemy of the Putin regime, at the present time, 62 percent of the small cities of Russia don’t have sewage lines connecting most houses, and 40 percent don’t have waterlines (belsat.eu/ru/news/tsargrad-tv-62-malyh-gorodov-rossii-zhivet-bez-kanalizatsii-v-40-netu-vodosnabzheniya/). “We can talk about any possibilities, about the development of national identity, and about tourist potential, but when, forgive me, we have not toilets and water, we have problems with tourism and everything else,” Elena Dovlatova, the director of the Association of Waterworks of Russia, says. Or as Belsat puts it even more bluntly, “’the toilet question’ in the small cities of Russia isn’t being solved because of an insufficient amount of money in local budgets.” And in Russia, “small cities” are any which have fewer than 50,000 people in them.

Central Asia / Caucasus Reports


Hunger And Eviction: Money Woes Send Turkmen Students Abroad Scrambling
Turkmen students abroad are going hungry and getting tossed from their homes and universities as their banks in Turkmenistan withhold cash.
Are Central Asia’s Militants Already Coming Home From The Middle East?
Many governments worry about what to do with citizens returning from combat abroad in the ranks of extremists. Kyrgyzstan, which suddenly ramped up its roundups of returning “jihadists,” thinks it has an answer.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘National Rebirth of Circassians’ an Accomplished Fact – and Moscow is Worried
Paul Goble Staunton, May 30 – Despite the uptick in international attention the Circassians received at the time of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, many people in the West were inclined to dismiss them as an echo of a distant past. But now, their national rebirth is a fait accompli, a development underscored by Moscow’s actions at home and abroad. What is striking is that the Russian powers that be appear less worried about the Circassians themselves than about the possibility that the Circassians will unite others against Moscow and become a model, because of their successful revival of a national movement, for other oppressed peoples in the Russian Federation itself. On the one hand, Moscow is clearly worried that the Circassians, five million of whom live in the Middle East as a result of their 1864 expulsion from the Russian Empire, might become the nucleus of an anti-Moscow popular movement there and has launched a propaganda campaign against that possibility (almanar.com.lb/3802797). And on the other, as Israeli analyst Avraham Shmulyevich points out, “the Circassian rebirth may serve as an inspiration for other peoples” in the Russian empire of today and for Cossack groups in particular. That is because the Circassians and the Cossacks have a long, fraught but ultimately respectful relationship (kafkassam.com/черкесское-политическое-движение-пр.html). From Moscow’s perspective, either of those developments would represent a greater threat to Russian interests than even the restoration of a Circassian Republic within the Russian Federation. And consequently, it appears likely that some Circassian activists are going to be able to exploit those fears to get a better deal for their people. Up to now, these developments are happening below the radar screen of most Western governments and analysts, just as the revived national movements in the Soviet Union did until they were already strong. Like these predecessors, the Circassians certainly deserve more attention and support than they have received up to now. (For background on this revival, see the current author’s “Circassians Remember the Past but Mobilize for the Future,” Jamestown Eurasia Daily Monitor, May 29, 2018 (jamestown.org/program/circassians-remember-the-past-but-mobilize-for-the-future/).)
Circassians Remember the Past But Mobilize for the Future – Jamestown
This year as every year for more than a century, the nearly 500,000 Circassians in their North Caucasus homeland and the more than five million Circassians in the diaspora paused, on May 21, to remember the losses they suffered during their 101-year-long resistance to Russian imperial expansion and their forcible expulsion from their homeland in 1864. Indeed, according to Zaurbek Kozhev of the Kabardino-Balkar Institute of Humanitarian Research, this memorial day is “an inalienable part of contemporary Circassian identity” and thus the basis for the mobilization of the community to pursue its collective goals, a point other speakers at memorial meetings made as well (Kavkazsky Uzel, May 23). While many who do not know the history of the Circassians may be inclined to dismiss these remembrances as solely about the past, they increasingly are just as much about the future as the recollections of the events of 1915 are for the Armenians or the Holocaust is for the Jews. They help maintain a collective identity among a people divided by geography, politics and even language. And they demonstrate that the Circassian search for justice concerning what happened to their nation more than a century and a half ago is intended to help them solve immediate problems. Those contemporary problems include the return to their homeland of Circassians from war-torn Syria, an end to Moscow’s division of the Circassian people into several nations and republics and repression of their national activists there, and the defense of the Circassian language at a time when Vladimir Putin’s regime is seeking to reduce its status and thus its future. As it frequently does, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs unwittingly called attention to the contemporary nature of these memories. First, the authorities blocked any commemoration of 1864 in Moscow—officials put out the word that there was no need for a meeting there because there were meetings in the North Caucasus. Second, the foreign ministry warned Russian citizens against taking part in Circassian memorial day activities in Turkey (Kavkazsky Uzel, May 22). And third, the ministry denounced the Circassian meetings abroad as “anti-Russian” actions (Kavkazsky Uzel, May 22).

Belarus Reports


Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Military Journal Says Belarus ‘a Redundant Structure,’ Sparking Furor in Minsk
Paul Goble Staunton, May 25 – A recent article in Moscow’s influential military affairs journal Voyennoye obozreniye says that Belarus has become “a redundant structure” and should cease to exist, a view perhaps shared by many in the Russian capital but one not surprisingly highly offensive in Belarus itself, even among Belarusians who want good relations with Russia. The Russian article, entitled “The Republic Belarus as a Redundant Structure” and written by military commentator Oleg Yegorov argues that Belarus should be evaluated as a business holding company. If it is profitable, it’s worth keeping around; if not as Belarus is not, not (topwar.ru/136081-respublika-belarus-kak-izbytochnaya-struktura.html). Yegorov writes that since becoming independent, the Belarusian economy has “degraded so much that only two oil processing plants and BelarusCalcium are really generating a profit,” an unacceptable number for a country of ten million people. Much of this degradation, he continues, is the result of Belarusian state policy and behavior. And he argues that those three Belarusian firms now operating at a profit would function at an even higher level of profitability if they were within the borders of the Russian Federation and that many other currently unprofitable Belarusian enterprises would turn the corner and become profitable if Belarus simply ceased to exist and they became part of the Russian market. The Belarus Partisan portal in reporting this Russian story clearly balances between agreeing that the Lukashenka regime has not been good for the Belarusian economy or people and being horrified that a Russian military commentator should suggest that this justifies concluding that Belarus should be absorbed into Russia (belaruspartisan.org/politic/426195/).
EU, Council Of Europe Condemn New Executions In Belarus, Call For Moratorium
The European Union and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has strongly condemned the reported secret executions of two Belarusians whose appeals had been rejected by the country’s Supreme Court.

Transnistria / Moldova Reports


Ukraine puts dent in Transnistria’s separatist steel industry – media | UNIAN
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko last week extended the list of companies subject to economic sanctions by including the Ribnita Steelworks (MMZ) – one of the main sources of income for the breakaway Moldova’s separatist region of Transnistria. Sanctions involve freezing assets, limiting trade, preventing procurement or any other capital withdrawal anywhere in Ukraine.  Ukrainian sanctions target a plant that is of critical value for the pro-Kremlin Transnistrian regime.

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports


Russia, Saudi Arabia Say Likely To Raise Oil Output To Curb Rising Prices
Saudi Arabia and Russia are likely to agree to raise oil production next month in a bid to ease consumer worries about higher energy prices, their energy ministers have said.
America Should See Saudi Arabia’s War on Yemen for the Horror It Really Is | The National Interest Blog
What could justify U.S. complicity in another state’s war?
Ancient Iranian City Angrily Faces Divided Future
A proposal to carve up an ancient Iranian city has sparked public anger and deadly protests.
Death Finally Ends Media Ban On ‘King Of Iranian Cinema’
For decades, a prominent Iranian actor and director was forbidden from working and faced a strict media ban. That only changed when he passed away over the weekend at the age of 88.
Iran Detains University Professor For Insulting Sunni Muslims
A university professor has been detained in Iran for insulting Sunni Muslims, Iranian media reported.
Syria Establishes Diplomatic Relations With Abkhazia, South Ossetia
Syria has agreed to recognize the breakaway Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent countries.
The US Military Has a New Tool to Connect Its Far-Flung African Bases – Defense One
A medium-earth-orbit satellite contract hints at AFRICOM’s data and connectivity needs.

DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports


Trump plays hardball on North Korea summit, just like Reagan did
President Trump defied all expectations when he announced in March that he would meet with North Korean strongman Kim Jong Un to negotiate the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. For the first time ever, a U.S. president would sit with a North Korean dictator to negotiate peaceful disarmament. And the president has played his cards well, using a combination of sweeteners and threats in the lead-up to the summit to ensure he gets the best deal available.
North Korea and the art of diplomatic brinkmanship | TheHill
North Korea’s posturing is one of greatest challenges for the U.S. intelligence community.
Trump pick for South Korea ambassador: North Korea ‘most imminent threat’ | TheHill
The outgoing commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, who has been nominated by President Trump to be the next ambassador to South Korea, warned Wednesday that North Korea is the United States’s most immediate threat. 
North Korea threat ‘imminent,’ China biggest long term, admiral says – CNNPolitics
The US admiral expected to become the country’s next ambassador to South Korea says North Korea remains the most imminent threat to peace in the Pacific but China’s “dream of hegemony” is Washington’s biggest long-term challenge.
Mike Pompeo, top North Korean official Kim Yong Chol have dinner in New York – CBS News
Kim Yong Chol is a former military intelligence chief and one of the North Korean leader's most trusted aides
North Korean ‘spymaster’ Kim Yong-chol meets Mike Pompeo in New York ahead of planned Trump summit 
Kim Jong-un’s envoy had dinner with Mike Pompeo in New York on Wednesday night to try to reinstate plans to hold a summit between Donald Trump and the North Korean leader.
Live: Mike Pompeo briefing after meeting North Korea officials – live updates and online stream – CBS News
 
Pompeo says North Korean official to deliver ‘personal letter’ from Kim Jong Un to White House | Fox News
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that North Korean official Kim Yong Chol will travel to Washington to deliver a “personal letter” from the rogue regime’s leader Kim Jong Un, while saying talks for a potential summit are moving in the right direction.
Kim Jong Un Sends Right-Hand Man to U.S. for Pre-Summit Talks – Bloomberg
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has dispatched one of his top aides to the U.S. for talks ahead of his planned summit with Donald Trump next month, according to a person familiar with the issue who asked not to be named because the trip isn’t public.
Trump: US team in North Korea arranging ‘for the Summit between Kim Jong Un and myself’ | Fox News
President Trump said Sunday that U.S. officials had arrived in North Korea “for the Summit between Kim Jong Un and myself,” in perhaps the strongest indication that the much-anticipated meeting could be back on.
Kim Jong Un reportedly cried over North Korea’s bad economy – AOL News
A video of Kim Jong Un crying about his country’s terrible economy while surveying its coast has reportedly made the rounds in the country’s leadership. A video of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un crying about his country’s terrible economy is reportedly circulating in the country. The video, which was described by a defector, would mark a very strange development and possibly signal big changes coming to the country. If Kim is crying about North Korea’s bad economy, then he’s effectively crying about President Donald Trump’s successful sanctions regime.
Pompeo tries to salvage North Korea summit as Kim Jong Un meets with Russian official – YouTube
 
North Korean official Kim Yong Chol arrives in U.S. for summit talks – YouTube
 
New details about North Korea meeting with South Korea – YouTube
 
U.S.-North Korea summit could still be on – YouTube
 
U.S.-North Korea summit planning resumes – YouTube
 
What Would Denuclearization Look Like in North Korea? – Defense One
Success will start by closing the gap between what the U.S. and North Korea mean by the term.
Pace of Disarmament Stands as Major Obstacle in North Korea Talks – WSJ
South Korea warned of big differences between the U.S. and North Korean positions on denuclearization, highlighting the difficulty of reaching a deal as both sides continued talks aimed at halting the threat from Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons.
North Korea’s Kim Tells Lavrov He’s Committed To ‘Denuclearization’ In ‘Stages’
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov his commitment to denuclearization of the Korean peninsula “remains unchanged and consistent and fixed,” the official KCNA news agency reported on June 1.
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, On Rare Visit To North Korea, Invites Kim To Russia
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has arrived in North Korea for talks with senior officials ahead of a planned summit between the U.S. president and the North Korean leader.
Kim Jong-un willing to meet with Putin – media | UNIAN
DPRK’s Kim Jong-un suggested organizing this year a summit of the leaders of North Korea and Russia. According to the North Korean leader, the summit would contribute to the further strengthening of relations between the two countries.
Putin: North Korea points to need for US-Russia summit | TheHill
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that the the canceled meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un highlights the need for a U.S.–Russia summit. 
America cannot allow summit to trump substance on North Korea | TheHill
What really matters is whether progress is made in securing the interests of our nation and our allies.
Trump’s canceled summit points to changes for allies – CNNPolitics
President Donald Trump’s decision to cancel his historic meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un left South Korea’s President “perplexed” and sparked angry protests in Seoul. One sign read: “We condemn Trump.”
Trump says U.S. having productive talks with North Korea about reinstating summit | UNIAN
President Donald Trump says the U.S. is “having very productive talks with North Korea” about a summit next month with Kim Jong Un. The summit will likely be held in Singapore on June 12, he said.
CIA report says North Korea won’t denuclearize, but might open a burger joint
Trump continues to pursue a summit with Kim Jong Un even though the CIA casts doubt on his stated goal for the meeting, eliminating North Korea’s nukes.
Trump will never sacrifice American security in dealing with North Korea | TheHill
Critics are wrong to say the White House failed in deciding to cancel the summit next month.
South Korea may join US-North Korea summit in Singapore
South Korean President Moon Jae-in could join President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un for nuclear talks in Singapore next month, according to media reports.
North Korea Wants to End up Like Pakistan, Not Libya – Defense One
A poor country made enormous sacrifices to get nuclear weapons—and has them still.
Kim Jong Un wants to open burger joint as ‘show of goodwill’ | Fox News
Turns out Kim Jong Un might be as big of a fast food fan as Trump.
Japan: Chinese ship appears to help North Korea cheat on sanctions
China may be be helping North Korea circumvent international oil sanctions designed to pressure the regime into dismantling its nuclear weapons program, Japanese officials suggested Tuesday.
Japan says Chinese ships did illegal business with North Korea – Business Insider
“Following a comprehensive assessment, the government of Japan strongly suspects that they conducted ship-to-ship transfers banned by UNSCR,” Japan’s…

In Asia, Mattis to face allies seeking answers on NKorea | Fox News
As international defense chiefs gather at a conference in Singapore this week, U.S. officials will face a barrage of questions from allies struggling to unravel the chaotic fits and starts of American and North Korean diplomacy.
U.S. Military ‘Prepared’ To Face China and North Korea Ahead of Major Asia Conference
A Chinese Foreign Ministry official likened U.S. complaints about China’s militarization of the South China Sea to “a thief crying ‘stop thief.'”
U.S. Has the Ability to ‘Take Down’ China’s Man-Made Islands | Time
During a press briefing, the Pentagon’s Joint Staff director said the military has experience “taking down” small islands
US disregards Beijing’s nonsense, says it can take down South China Sea islands | Business Insider
The US issued a stark warning to Beijing on Thursday, as Chinese militarization of the South China Sea creates a potential flashpoint in a longstanding battle for control of the Pacific. The US warned Beijing on Thursday that it could take out its islands in the South China Sea as military tensions in the important waterway heat up. China has flatly denied any militarization of its artificial South China Sea islands, even as it deploys missiles and lands nuclear-capable bombers there. Increasingly, China is bullying its neighbours and taking small acts of military force against US allies. The US has already said it won’t stand for the Chinese Communist Party’s doublespeak and has a legal case for using military force to protect freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.
US warns of ability to take down Chinese artificial islands – CNNPolitics
The Pentagon on Thursday ratcheted up rhetoric about China’s militarization of islands in the South China Sea, even as the Trump administration presses China for cooperation on North Korea.
Pentagon: US military has a lot of experience ‘taking down small islands’ in Pacific | TheHill
The Pentagon on Thursday said it would continue to seek China’s cooperation on North Korea, but made clear it could devastate Beijing’s assets should provocations in the South China Sea arise.
US will continue to confront China over disputed islands, Mattis says | Fox News
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday that the U.S. will continue to confront China’s increasing militarization of islands in the South China Sea — despite the U.S. angering Beijing over the weekend by sending two Navy ships to the region.
US plans ‘steady drumbeat’ of exercises in South China Sea, Mattis says – CNN
US Defense Secretary James Mattis said on Tuesday that the United States will continue “a steady drumbeat” of naval exercises to challenge China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, amid Beijing’s militarization of the contested waters.
Many belts, many roads at the Shangri-La Dialogue – Policy Forum
China may not like it, but this weekend’s Shangri-La Dialogue will reinforce the growing importance of the Indo-Pacific concept, Rory Medcalf writes.
Commentary: Many helping hands to the North Korea headache begin work this weekend – in Singapore – Channel NewsAsia
A multilateral approach to the North Korea issue may see a revival in Singapore, on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue, says one observer.
Pentagon Rebrands PACOM as ‘Indo-Pacific Command’ – Defense One
The change is symbolic, defense officials say, but it emphasizes the U.S.’s commitment to new partnerships.
In symbolic nod to India, U.S. Pacific Command changes name | Reuters
The U.S. military on Wednesday renamed its Pacific Command the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, in a largely symbolic move underscoring the growing importance of India to the Pentagon, U.S. officials said.
U.S. Pacific Command Changes Its Name in a Nod to India | Time
The U.S. Pacific Command will now be called the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, a mostly symbolic gesture in recognition of India
The US has formalised a slight rhetorical change — and it’s part of a bigger effort to counter China | Business Insider
On Wednesday during a change-of-command ceremony for US Pacific Command, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis announced that the command will change its name to US Indo-Pacific Command to better reflect what he described as linkages and values in the region. The Defence Department changed the name of US Pacific Command to US Indo-Pacific Command on Wednesday. The change is meant to reflect the US’s growing relationship with India. But the rhetorical shift is also likely part of a gambit to undercut China’s growing clout in the region.

China’s navy ‘warned off’ US warships that sailed through disputed South China Sea | Business Insider
China’s military warned off US warships conducting “unauthorised” sailing in waters Beijing claims in the South China Sea. China’s defence ministry said two US warships, the Antiem guided missile cruiser, and the USS Higgins destroyer, entered disputed waters around the Paracel Islands on Sunday. The move comes at a sensitive time between the US and China, after the US disinvited China from an international military exercise last week and the two countries continue to spar over trade and foreign policy.
U.S. Navy: Chinese warships maneuvered in “unprofessional” manner – CBS News
China said it dispatched warships to identify and warn off a pair of U.S. Navy vessels sailing near one of its island claims in the South China Sea
China calls U.S. warships in South China Sea ‘a provocation’
Defense officials said the ships “undermined strategic mutual trust between the two militaries and damaged peace, security and good order in relevant waters.”
China Warns 2 American Warships in South China Sea – The New York Times
The country’s defense ministry said it had confronted the U.S. warships, which passed through waters near the Paracel Islands that China claims as its own.
China Tries to Erase Taiwan, One Ally (and Website) at a Time – The New York Times
Can China simply wipe out Taiwan’s international identity? Taiwan says it’s trying harder than ever, bringing its leverage to bear on countries and companies alike.
Using satellites to count buildings in South China Sea – Channel NewsAsia
HONG KONG: Shrouded in Chinese military secrecy and hidden from the eyes of journalists, Beijing’s build-up of man-made islands on reefs deep in …
China Is Waging Namefare against Taiwan | The National Interest
Part of Xi Jinping’s effort includes challenging Taiwan’s de facto existence through attacking its very name.
Taiwan Loses 2 More Allies To China And Scrambles Jets To Track Chinese Bomber Drills : Parallels : NPR
Taiwan’s president says China crossed a “red line” after Burkina Faso became the latest country to cut ties with the island in favor of Beijing.
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 new infrastructure, trade deals and other connections, was a “plan in the sunshine.” But make no mistake, the BRI’s outlook is darkening. Critics — including some of Beijing’s actual and potential partners — are raising concerns about transparency, debt sustainability and usefulness, as well as questioning China’s underlying strategic aims. Blowback from the BRI’s aggressive expansion can be seen in Malaysia’s recent general election. The winner, Mahathir Mohamad, criticized Chinese projects for raising Malaysia’s debt without delivering local benefits. He has promised to reexamine his predecessor’s deals and renegotiate them if necessary. That will be difficult in practice, but the election suggests that skepticism of the BRI is spreading.
Chinese state media slam US trade announcement, say Beijing ready to fight
“China’s attitude, as always, is: we do not want to fight, but we are also not afraid to fight.”

Duterte’s South China Sea Flip-Flops Will Put The Philippines In A Place It Doesn’t Want To Be
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s flip-flops on the South China Sea disputes will get Manila in the middle of an open military confrontation between China and the US, trying to decide who’s the friend and who’s the enemy.
Philippines takes diplomatic actions against China
Manila protests Beijing’s militarization and its continued harassment of Filipino fishermen – Anadolu Agency
Philippines could go to war over South China Sea: Duterte aide – Channel NewsAsia
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has said his nation could go to war if its soldiers were hurt in the disputed South China Sea, a top aide …
Philippines says it told China of ‘red lines’ in sea feud
The Philippine foreign secretary says China has been notified of
Philippines ‘confident’ Chinese missiles ‘not directed at us’ | China News | Al Jazeera
Manila to seek ‘diplomatic means’ to address issue as Beijing declares ‘indisputable sovereignty’ over disputed islands.
Philippines rebuilding runway on South China Sea island, scene of stand-off with Beijing, think tank says | South China Morning Post
Satellite images show dredger moored off Thitu Island in disputed waterway, US-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies says

Putin: It’s important to look for Russia-Japan WW2 peace treaty solution | Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday it was important to patiently look for a solution with Japan that would allow the two countries to finally conclude a World War Two peace treaty that would reflect the strategic interests of both.
Vladimir Putin and Shinzo Abe enjoy a night at the Bolshoi Theatre after territory dispute talks | Daily Mail Online
The Russian President showed his Japanese counterpart a good time in Moscow after they tried to move forward resolving the 73-year-old Kuril Islands territorial dispute.
Putin, Abe Vow To Seek WWII Treaty, Solution To Island Dispute
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to accelerate efforts to seek a World War II peace treaty and to reach an agreement over a disputed island chain.
Putin To Hold Talks With Japan’s Abe On North Korea, Disputed Islands
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are due to meet in Moscow on May 26 to hold talks that are expected to focus on North Korea, the disputed Kurile Islands, and…

Top secret report details Chinese Communist Party attempts to influence Australian politics  | Daily Mail Online
The report details a decade-long Chinese Communist Party effort to infiltrate and influence domestic Australian politics by targeting both major political parties in order to manipulate policy.
Australia’s intelligence laws face most significant review in 40 years – CNN
Australia has ordered a sweeping review of its intelligence laws amid growing concerns over interference by foreign agents in the country.
Hugh White | Australia’s real choice about China | The Strategist
Australia’s problem with China is bigger and simpler than we think, and thus harder to solve. It isn’t that Beijing doesn’t like Julie Bishop, or that it’s offended by our new political interference legislation, or that it’s building impressive new armed forces, or staking claims in the South China Sea. It’s that China wants to replace the United States as the primary power in East Asia, and we don’t want that to happen. We want America to remain the primary power because we don’t want to live under China’s shadow. And that’s a big problem for Beijing. Its ambition for regional leadership isn’t something the Chinese are willing to compromise. Nothing—not even economic growth—is more important to them. So our opposition is a big fault line running through the relationship. This shouldn’t come as news. China’s ambition, and the problems it poses for Australia, have been unmistakably obvious for a decade, but most of us have been in denial about it. And we all know why. Opposing China would risk the economic relationship, and we cannot imagine a future for Australia without the opportunities that only China can offer. But equally we cannot imagine a future for Australia in which China takes America’s place as Asia’s dominant power, and America withdraws.
China shunned Australia’s minister during recent visit: diplomat | Reuters
China rejected a request for a senior bilateral meeting during a recent visit by Australia’s trade minister, a high-ranking diplomat said on Thursday, as relations between the two major trading partners fray.
Australian says China uses different tone in private talks | Fox News
An Australian official says China uses a different tone in private talks than it used in a recent public statement that demanded Australia take off its tinted glasses and take concrete actions to improve bilateral ties.
China snubbed Australian minister during visit, says diplomat | South China Morning Post
Trade Minister Steven Ciobo wanted to see his Chinese counterpart during trip to China this month, but official says offer was rejected, amid strained ties between two nations
Australia launches $35b frigate fleet plan, Australia/NZ News & Top Stories – The Straits Times
Australia is embarking on a A$35 billion (S$35.4 billion) project to secure a new fleet of frigates but the massive undertaking has raised concerns about the risk of cost blow-outs and delays.. Read more at straitstimes.com.
MH370: Four-year hunt ends after private search is completed – BBC News
Mystery surrounds Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 which vanished with 239 people on board.

Foreign Policy Reports


Good day for Russia in Europe, 112.international – Good day for Russia in Europe – 112.international
Gazprom had “agreed to play by European rules” and was now locked into “a structured process
UAWire – PACE representative preparing resolution on Nemtsov murder case denied entry to Russia
Lithuanian politician Emanuelis Zingeris, who was supposed to prepare a resolution of the Council of Europe on the investigation of the murder …
Brexit U.K. Risks Repeat of Nazi Appeasement Error, Lord Says – Bloomberg
A former U.K. Foreign Office minister said cutting ties with the EU risks a repeat of isolationist mistakes of the past, including Nazi appeasement.
EU to impose measures against ‘unacceptable’ U.S. tariffs: Juncker | Reuters
The European Union will impose counter measures after the United States decided to no longer exempt it from steel and aluminum tariffs, the head of the bloc’s executive Jean-Claude Juncker said on Thursday.
US Trade War: Juncker FURIOUS at Donald Trump in the wake of trade war | World | News | Express.co.uk
EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker unleashed his fury after the US dramatically ignored the European Union’s plea for a permanent exemption on steel and aluminium tariffs, warning the EU will react “within hours” as tensions escalate between the two former trade allies.
EU Latest: Italy is ‘too much’ for EU to handle says finance minister | World | News | Express.co.uk
THE long-lasting political crisis sweeping Italy after the inconclusive March 4 election will hit the European Union harder than Brexit, the finance minister of Latvia said.
UAWire – Kyiv: Nord Stream-2 is Russia’s weapon in hybrid war
At a conference in Brussels, Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman called Nord Stream-2 pipeline &quot;a new hybrid weapon&quot; directed against …
Russia Refuses Entry To Polish Political Scientist
Poland’s government has asked Moscow to explain why Russia has refused entry to the head of Poland’s Institute of international affairs, the Polish Foreign Ministry said on May 29.
European Watchdog Criticizes Ukraine For Banning Russia’s RIA Novosti
A European media watchdog has criticized Ukraine for putting Russian state news agency RIA Novosti on a sanctions list that bars the news outlet from operating in Ukraine.
Ukraine’s PM Groysman urges to prevent implementation of Nord Stream 2 project | UNIAN
Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman has called on to prevent the implementation of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 project. Groysman says this project is a new hybrid weapon, targeting the European Union.
Financier Browder Released By Spanish Police After Detention On Russian Interpol Warrant
British-American financier Bill Browder says he has been arrested in Madrid on a Russian Interpol arrest warrant.
EDL founder Tommy Robinson fears ‘price on his head’ among prisoners after being jailed for 13 months for contempt of court
The 35-year-old was arrested last week on suspicion of breaching the peace while at Leeds Crown Court
Tommy Robinson: Anti-Islam activist secretly jailed in Britain – The Washington Post
Donald Trump Jr. compared Tommy Robinson’s secret arrest to the causes of the American Revolution. Roseanne Barr called it a “death sentence.”
Hungary, in latest ‘Stop Soros’ laws, wants to criminalize migrant helpers | Fox News
Hungary’s government is ramping up its battle against billionaire George Soros by drafting new laws criminalizing those who help migrants seeking asylum.
Hungary: Draft bill criminalises aiding undocumented immigrants | News | Al Jazeera
Under the new bill, any individual or group accused of helping irregular immigrants could face up to a year in prison.
Stop bashing Trump, Hungary’s foreign minister tells Europe
Criticizing the U.S. will only backfire on European countries, Hungary’s foreign minister said Thursday.
Denmark bans the wearing of face veils in public | Reuters
Denmark has banned the wearing of face veils in public, joining France and other parts of Europe in outlawing the burqa and the niqab worn by some Muslim women.
The Suicide of Europe | RealClearPolitics
On Friday, the British police arrested Tommy Robinson, founder and former leader of the English Defence League, a far-right anti-Islam group. Robinson is a controversial character, to be sure, a sort…
Lithuania and Romania Complicit in C.I.A. Prisons, European Court Says – The New York Times
The findings offered confirmation from the justice system of the countries’ role in the C.I.A.’s torture program after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Romania and Lithuania knowingly hosted secret CIA jails, European court rules | Reuters
Lithuania and Romania hosted secret CIA prisons a decade ago and their authorities were aware that detainees were held there illegally, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on Thursday.
Decades Of Torment: Serbian Parents Demand Answers On Missing Babies
Distraught parents fear that officials told them their newborns were dead so they could be trafficked in the 1970s.
‘Heretic’ in the Vatican – POLITICO
ROME — “They call me a heretic.” Not the words you’d expect to hear from the head of the Roman Catholic Church. But that’s what Pope Francis told a group of fellow Jesuits in Chile earlier this year, acknowledging the fierce pushback from arch-conservatives in the Vatican. Celebrated by progressives around the world for his push to update and liberalize aspects of church doctrine, Francis is facing fierce blowback from traditionalists who take issue with his openness to Muslim migrants, his concern for the environment and his softer tone on divorce, cohabitation and homosexuality. Opposition has become so heated that some advisers are warning him to tread carefully to avoid a “schism” in the church. Father Thomas Weinandy, a former chief of staff for the U.S. bishops’ committee on doctrine, has accused Francis of causing “theological anarchy.” Another group of bishops has warned Francis risks spreading “a plague of divorce.” Last fall, more than 200 scholars and priests signed a letter accusing Francis of spreading heresy. “This was not something I did lightly,” Father John Rice, a parish priest in Shaftesbury in the U.K. said, claiming the pope’s liberal push has caused “much division and disagreement, and sadness and confusion in the church.” “It’s not merciful to let people continue to sin and say nothing,” Rice said. “If you see a child trying to put his hand in a fire you say stop.”

Rumors of War With the U.S. Run Rampant in Venezuela
This is shaping up as the next really big crisis, but most people in the United States aren’t paying attention.
EDITORIAL: Greed, rampant socialism reduce Venezuela to ruin – Washington Times
Viva la revolution &mdash; or something. Alas, the slow-motion catastrophe that is the Venezuelan revolution shows no signs of abating. It keeps going, going and going, and in ever steeper descent.
Is socialism to blame for Venezuela’s never-ending crisis? | Business & Economy | Al Jazeera
Though ’21st-century socialism’ is implicated in Venezuela’s collapse, so too are many characteristics of capitalism.
Chelsea Halts New Soccer Stadium Plans Amid Uncertainties Over Russian Oligarch Owner
Uncertainty surrounding Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich’s ownership of Britain’s Chelsea soccer team deepened on May 31 when the club abruptly halted plans to build a new stadium in west London…
UAWire – Russia considers running Turkish Stream Gas pipeline through Bulgaria
Following talks with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Gazprom was &quot;working out in practical …
UAWire – Putin expresses readiness to maintain gas transit through Ukraine after Nord Stream-2 is launched
Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the Russian Federation is ready to maintain the transit of exported gas through Ukraine following …

Strategy / History / Capability Publications


US Needs New Strategy To Combat Russian, Chinese ‘Political Warfare’: CSBA – To Inform is to Influence
I find it interesting that Information Operations/Information Warfare/Influence Warfare is being elevated to Political Warfare at the national level in this article. I agree with this perspective. </end editorial> If war is politics by other means, then politics is war by other means, Chinese and Russian leaders believe. And political warfare must be conducted with…
US Needs New Strategy To Combat Russian, Chinese ‘Political Warfare’: CSBA « Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary
If war is politics by other means, then politics is war by other means, Chinese and Russian leaders believe. And political warfare must be conducted with the same ruthless ingenuity as open war because the stakes are equally high: the survival or destruction of the regime.
A New Blueprint for Competing Below the Threshold: The Joint Concept for Integrated Campaigning  
 In The Weary Titan, Aaron Friedberg paints a picture of a global power that cannot bring itself to adapt to changing times. Comfortable atop the world order, Britain saw the tempest brewing on the horizon, but proved unable to sufficiently adjust to challenges posed by rising powers. Rather than changing its ways,
Bad News: Russia And China Could Soon Shoot Down Stealth F-22s and F-35s | The National Interest Blog
What can the air force do about it? 
Russia’s Su-57 Fighter Launches A New Cruise Missile From Its Weapons Bay – The Drive
Russia’s new super fighter appears to be in the process of receiving a missile that will drastically improve its deep strike capabilities.
Death Match: Russia’s ‘Stealth’ Su-57 vs. Su-35S Flanker-E (Who Wins?) | The National Interest Blog
Which plane is better? 
Japan New Stealth Fighter Jet – X-2 Shinshin – YouTube
 
Alert 5 » India to develop indigenous dual-band IRST for Su-30MKI – Military Aviation News
 
How the Navy’s New Block III Super Hornet Could Crush China’s J-20 or Russia’s Su-57 | The National Interest Blog
A big leap forward? 
Land Ceptor completes it’s first successful firing trials – Defence Blog
MBDA’s Land Ceptor air defence system has successfully destroyed its target during an end-to-end system demonstration firing at the Vidsel Test Range in Sweden, an important milestone for the project prior to entry to service with the British Army. Land Ceptor utilises the proven Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) currently in production and delivering a common stockpile to meet the air defence needs of both the British Army and the Royal Navy (as Sea Ceptor). In British Army service Land Ceptor will replace the current Rapier air defence system and provides a step-change in capability, including over triple the range and the ability to intercept a much more challenging target set. The system demonstration trial showcased the maturity of the Land Ceptor system across a full engagement sequence. This included launcher deployment; munition loading; receipt of air tracks from a Giraffe-AMB radar; air track processing by Land Ceptor’s onboard command and control (C2) system; and execution of a full engagement chain, with two-way data exchange with the missile during its mid-course fly-out phase, and successful interception and destruction of a target using the missile’s seeker in the terminal phase. Land Ceptor with CAMM is the latest generation of air defence system, providing exceptional capability from very short ranges (VSHORAD) below 1 km into the medium range air defence (MRAD) tier beyond 25km. Key features of CAMM are its next generation solid-state active radar seeker, two way data-link, low-signature rocket motor and its 360° soft-vertical launch system. These combine to enable the missile to rapidly intercept the most challenging and dangerous of threats including saturation attacks from precision guided munitions and manoeuvring high-speed missiles emerging late from low altitude and from multiple directions simultaneously. The demonstration in Vidsel coincides with the transition into production of the Land Ceptor weapon system, which will now undergo system-of-system integration and test as part of the British Army’s Sky Sabre air defence architecture. It is the latest in a series of highly successful trials of CAMM and its related systems over several years that have consistently proven its maturity and game changing performance.
Smart Rifles For Foot Soldiers: Army NGSW Prototype Contracts Out In June « Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary
The Army is just weeks away from awarding contracts to begin buying prototypes of new infantry weapons, with live-fire tests next year.
Improving The Apache Of The Future | Defense content from Aviation Week
As the AH-64E matures, work on a Future Apache is getting underway.
3 big takeaways from the Navy’s new robot road map
The U.S. Navy’s new road map on unmanned systems sees a future of robots and machines fighting alongside one another, but first the Navy wants to shape the rules for robots.
Special Operations Forces Are Changing Combat Medicine With Jury-Rigged Hospitals and Freeze-Dried Blood – Defense One
Fighting that takes place far from friendly hospitals is driving experimental techniques that may one day see wide adoption by the Pentagon
The Fastest Supercomputer for Astronomy Comes Online in Japan
A giant parallel supercomputer, calculating three quadrillion operations per second, will create more detailed models of the cosmos than any before. 

IW/EW/IO/Cyber Reports


Facebook: Russian Bias Much? – To Inform is to Influence
By Christina Dobrovolska Today the Chief Editor of InformNapalm Roman Burko was blocked by Facebook Administration for 3 days for the post that he made in August 2015. Essentially, Facebook accuses Roman of using hate speech and, thus, violation of Facebook Community Standards. While this may look fair to you at the first glance, this is…
Revealed: Facebook’s internal rulebook on sex, terrorism and violence – To Inform is to Influence
Nick Hopkins Sun 21 May 2017 13.00 EDT Leaked policies guiding moderators on what content to allow are likely to fuel debate about social media giant’s ethics Facebook’s secret rules and guidelines for deciding what its 2 billion users can post on the site are revealed for the first time in a Guardian investigation that will fuel…
Artificial Intelligence In Disinformation Wars – To Inform is to Influence
The following article takes you, the reader, to the edge of the precipice and allows you to peer over the edge, but only slightly.  Please allow me to show you more. A peek into hell itself, in the information realm. Says Sean Gourley, founder, and CEO of Primer, a company that uses software to mine data sources…
Bosch’s Dr. Stefan Hartung: I might still want to be allowed to have my secrets. In the era of the Internet of Things, discussion on personal data issues is needed – individuals are at stake | UNIAN
A new concept of technology development, the Internet of Things (IoT), has become a real fetish for the engineers at largest technology corporations. IoT is a concept assuming that all devices in our everyday life become “smart” (at least equipped with sensors and remote control), interconnected in a single network designed to provide maximum comfort to people and save energy. Among the most affordable solutions in the area include the function of activating or deactivating home alarm or a car engine and AC via smartphone; refrigerators connected to the internet, home climate control or home coffee machines that can be operated the internet. Humankind is entering a new era of the Internet of Things. In the coming years, everyday necessities like cars and household appliances will become interconnected in a single network to ensure our comfort. Technology already allows accomplishing this. But the risks to an individual that innovation might bring along lead to an active discussion about the boundaries of people’s personal space, where technology might penetrate.
Defending The Indefensible: A New Strategy For Stopping Information Operations – To Inform is to Influence
This article is well worth reading, although it has some serious flaws. It correctly identifies the US State Department’s GEC as seriously flawed but offers no suggestions on how to improve. The article also correctly identifies an approach, using the CDC as a model for how to approach countering foreign propaganda efforts. Unfortunately, using the CDC…
Is AI the answer to Army electronic warfare troubles?
Can artificial intelligence help reduce burden on electronic warfare officers?
Disinformation Wars – Foreign Policy
The United States and Europe are ill-prepared for the coming wave of “deep fakes” that artificial intelligence could unleash.
Macron’s Fake News Solution Is a Problem – Foreign Policy
A new French law aims to separate truth from fiction, but it will mostly just give the government more control over the media.
Here’s how the Navy is developing information warfare ‘Top Guns’
The Navy is advancing its development of information warfare personnel.
Elon Musk Increases Criticism Of The Media, Proposes Highly Redundant “Pravda” – To Inform is to Influence
Elon Musk is proposing that journalists and the media be rated for credibility.  He wants to call it Pravda.  Elon Musk wants to fix media mistrust with a dopey rating system. There’s a better way. I agree the idea is a good one, but Pravda is already taken. Anything using “Pravda” would be far too…
Special Operations Command Takes Aim At Enemies Hiding Files Inside Seized Electronics – Defense One
Terror groups are using new techniques to reduce the intel value of seized laptops and cellphones.
Japan buys radar warning receivers that adapt to new threats
The contract for Raytheon’s all-digital radar warning receivers adds upgradable capabilities for electronic warfare.
5 ways government will fight against botnets
A new report from The Departments of Commerce and Homeland security listed many areas where the U.S. can improve its botnet defense, and five where government can get the ball rolling.
Why did the Air Force cancel the F-15C electronic warfare upgrade?
The Air Force canceled plans to buy the Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System for its F-15C fleet in the FY18 budget. Is that a smart idea?
Telegram CEO Durov: ‘Apple Didn’t Side With Us’
Telegram CEO and founder Pavel Durov says Apple has prevented the popular messaging service from updating globally since Russian authorities “ordered” the U.S. mobile-phone giant to remove Telegram…
Hacker Accused Of Aiding Russian Spies In Massive Breach Gets Prison
A Kazakh-born computer hacker who U.S. prosecutors say unwittingly worked with a Russian spy agency in a massive Yahoo data breach has been sentenced to five years in prison.
FBI: Reboot Your Routers or Risk Russian Malware Infection – The Daily Beast
A hacking group is believed to have already infected 500,000 routers globally.
Senate Defense Bill Aims to Scrub Cyber Adversaries from U.S. Military Tech – Defense One
The bill would require companies to disclose if they’d shared source code with foreign governments.
Judge Dismisses Kaspersky Bid To Overturn U.S. Ban On Its Software
A U.S. judge has dismissed lawsuits by Russia’s Kaspersky Lab that sought to overturn bans on the use of its software in U.S. government computers.
FBI issues formal warning on massive malware network linked to Russia | TheHill
The FBI on Friday issued a formal warning that a sophisticated Russia-linked hacking campaign is compromising hundreds of thousands of home network devices worldwide and it is advising owners to reboot these devices in an

US Domestic Policy Reports


Trump pours kerosene on the global trade wars | TheHill
The move drew withering criticism from Republicans, business groups and U.S. allies, who had all tried to push the president onto another path.
Trump: Obama didn’t want to ‘upset the apple cart’ by investigating Russians | TheHill
President Trump on Sunday accused former President Obama of knowing about Russian meddling in the 2016 election and not doing anything to stop it — despite reports that the Obama administration made multiple attempt
Religion Corrupting Policy, and Vice Versa | The National Interest Blog
Current events are exhibiting not only a corruption of policy by injecting religion but also a corruption of religion, or of religious values, by subordinating those values to certain policy objectives.
Democratic Candidate Who Criticized Israel Faces Charges of Anti-Semitism – The New York Times
Leslie Cockburn, the Democrat running for an open House seat in Virginia, faces G.O.P. charges of anti-Semitism for her 1991 book highly critical of Israel.
Putin has lost faith in Trump’s promise to improve US-Russia relations | Business Insider
Russian President Vladimir Putin said President Donald Trump’s promises to improve US-Russia relations have stalled because of political firestorms currently engulfing the Trump administration. Speaking to international journalists on Friday, Putin offered a veiled criticism of ongoing US investigations, like the one targeting Russian meddling in the 2016 US election, and said he believes Trump’s hands are tied because of that.; During his campaign, Trump argued for a warmer embrace of Russia – often ignoring bipartisan calls to acknowledge the Kremlin as an enemy of the US.
Reports: Russian Tycoon Met With Trump’s Lawyer Days Before Inauguration
A Russian billionaire with links to the Kremlin met with U.S. President Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen at the Trump Tower in New York City less than two weeks before Trump’s inauguration, media are reporting.
Trump Ex-Campaign Aide Loses Court Bid To Dismiss Some Criminal Charges
A U.S. judge has rejected a bid by President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort to have some of the criminal charges against him thrown out.
The Five Methods Corrupt Obama Officials Used to Spy on the Trump Campaign – True PunditTrue Pundit


U.S. Senate panel targets China, Russia in massive defense bill | Reuters
The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee passed its version of a $716 billion annual defense policy bill on Thursday, joining counterparts in the House of Representatives in labeling China and Russia as threats to the United States and its allies.
Senate panel rebuffs Mattis request on Russia sanctions waivers | TheHill
The Defense secretary has been arguing the sanctions bill left no wiggle room to exempt allies who intend to move away from Russian arms.
Wilson: Leave High-End Fighters Out of Low-End Fights | Defense content from Aviation Week
Here’s How the USAF Is Using Its New Purchasing Power – Defense One
Next week, program heads will meet at the Pentagon to brief the service’s new acquisition board of directors.
US Air Force Is Waiting a Year for Parts That It Could 3D-Print – Defense One
Its chief weapons buyer is mulling licensing arrangements to allow third-party manufacture.
The Status Quo Killed 17 US Sailors. The Navy Must Change. – Defense One
The surface warfare community should embrace, not reject, a congressional mandate to divide new line officers into two specialties.
What Planes Will Tom Cruise Fly in ‘Top Gun: Maverick’?
It looks like Maverick is flying the F/A-18 Super Hornet this time.

 

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