Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
Noticeably absent from most reporting is Putin. He just traveled to Austria to take part in the Apple conference.
A lackluster day for Russian propaganda, spread across multiple topics and again lame. More saber-rattling in the maritime domain. Russian proxies in Austria and Brussels earning their keep. Good commentary by Bielokolos.
The outstanding essay on the Babchenko sting is by Kasparov, who nails it with his usual precision: “The Ukrainians faked the death of a journalist — but in doing so, they have dramatically advanced the cause of deterrence.” The Russians now have to guess as to whether any attempt to subcontract a hit is not a sting. This will force them to use their own personnel, sinking the deniability play if caught. Many interesting articles on the audacious hitlist of 47 targets, and briefings by SBU – this has caught the attention of the global media. Very Russia – when you crash and burn, do it on a grandioze scale.
No new Salisbury reports, but some related reporting.
Argument over Iran vs. Israel vs. Russia continues. A bizarre media frenzy when SECGEN NATO states the obvious, that NATO is not obliged to aid non-members like Israel, if attacked by Iran. Russia, having sold the S-400 Triumf to the Saudis, now says despite Saudi objections it will sell the very same S-400 Triumf to Qatar, the Saudis promising military action if Qatar deploys it. BI discover Russian reports about an alleged offer to supply the Su-57 FAK-FA to Turkey as a substitute for the F-35.
The man who claims that he was paid to assassinate a Russian journalist in Kiev turned out to be an alleged member of an extremist organization with a penchant for Nazi symbolism.
Russia is apprehensive about NATO’s increasing muscle-flexing close to its borders. Such a move is fraught with a dangerous flare-up of tensions between former Cold War foes.
It is expected that NATO has to be ready to deploy around 30,000 service members in the conflict zone within 30 days in a crisis situation.
BERLIN (Sputnik) – NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview with German magazine Spiegel that the military alliance would not provide help for Israel in case of a potential attack from Iran.
NATO is not obliged to come to the rescue should a hypothetical war break out between Iran and Israel, Jens Stoltenberg has told Germany’s Der Spiegel, amid increased tensions between the bitter Middle East rivals.
MOSCOW ― Russia’s next generation of multipurpose nuclear submarines, reportedly known as the Husky class, will be armed with hypersonic missiles, with the lead boat slated for launch in 2027, according to an unidentified Russian defense industry official quoted by the TASS news agency on Thursday. “Zircon hypersonic anti-ship missiles will become the main armament of the newest multipurpose submarine,” the source said, referring to a Russian sea-based hypersonic missile project intended to replace the P-700 Granit anti-ship missiles that are common among Russia’s heavier-hitting warships. Little is known about the Husky-class submarines. They’re called fifth-generation multipurpose submarines in the Russian press and are being designed by the Malakhit design bureau in St. Petersburg, but there is not yet a finalized version of the boat’s design. According to TASS, the Husky class will feature a typical ― or rather typical for Russian subs ― dual-hull design, with a 12,000-ton displacement. This places the Husky in a similar weight class to the old Soviet-built Akula submarines that the Husky is intended to replace, and the newer Yasen-class multipurpose nuclear boats currently under construction in Russian yards. Yasen began as a late Soviet design that was delayed by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the subsequent decade of economic turbulence in Russia.
“Britain will never be intimidated when it comes to protecting our country, our people, and our national interests,” Britain’s defense commander said.
Visits by French and German heads of states to Russia have given false hopes that the Kremlin and the West have made up.
ZURICH (Reuters) – Austria’s vice chancellor and leader of the country’s far-right Freedom Party called for ending the European Union’s sanctions against Russia, days before
European commission president reveals dismay over state of EU-Russia relations
EU COMMISSION President Jean-Claude Juncker has said it is time for people to stop “Russian bashing” and try to reconnect with the Kremlin, in a shocking statement amid increasing tensions between the West and Vladimir Putin’s regime.
In a textbook example of blameshifting, Russia is accusing Ukraine of what Russia is most likely responsible for, targeting journalists within Ukraine. This has been a common tactic for Russia since Putin’s third term as President. This coincides with the buildup of the Russian information warfare machine and the widespread attacks on freedom of speech…
The site, USA Really, is quite amateurish, the articles petty, and the content worthy of conspiracy theory Class C sites. The first story was written by an author that normally writes for Russia Insider (Eric Zuesse), the second for Sputnik News (Andrew Korybko) and most of the rest were written by the droll “USA Really”,…
The White House is planning for a possible summit between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The US and Russia are currently in talks to arrange a summit between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Experts say the US has nothing to gain and everything to lose from a meeting between Trump and Putin given current US-Russia relations and Trump’s personal affinity for Putin. “But that seems to be the pattern of Trump’s dealmaking,” said one former State Department official. “We move the US embassy to Jerusalem and get nothing in exchange. We give the North Koreans a summit and get nothing in exchange. We pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and get nothing in exchange. This is par for the course.”
It seems to me that the West is naively expecting that Russian aggression can be stopped only by sanctions, UN resolutions and rulings of international courts. It seems to me that the West is naively expecting that Russian aggression can be stopped only by sanctions, UN resolutions and rulings of international courts. Interestingly, according to some historians, it’s the terrible human losses in World War II that explain the wave of post-war pacifism and the overwhelming support of the European population for the appeasement of that period’s aggressors – Germany, Italy, and Japan. The conditional list of historical appeasers could start from British Foreign Secretary John Simon, who, on March 22, 1932, in his Parliament address on the aggression of Japan in China, said that toward Japan, the British government could only act in a friendly and conciliatory manner. Further on, this list could include another acclaimed British politician, Austin Chamberlain, who on February 27, 1933, during a parliamentary debate on the Manchurian crisis, said: “When these troubles began in Manchuria the facts were obscure, and, having regard to the long continued and severe provocation which the Japanese had suffered at the hands of China, my sympathies were wholly with Japan.” However, the classic case in the history of the appeasement diplomacy is the Munich Conspiracy of 1938, when Britain, France, Italy and Germany together destroyed the only democratic East European state at that time – Czechoslovakia. At the same time, the appeasers of that period persistently persuaded Prague, which had a powerful military industry and a rather capable army, not to resist the attacker, because it “could cause a pan-European war.” No wonder a well-known British historian Norman Davis called Munich one of the most horrific capitulations in history. In his book World War II, Winston Churchill wrote about Britain’s then prime minister Neville Chamberlain: “His all pervading hope was to go down in history as the great Peacemaker.” By the way, it was then that the “epidemic of appeasement” first affected the fate of Ukraine, since under the conspiracy of Nazi Germany and Hungary, the modern Zakarpattia, which at that time was an autonomous part of Czechoslovakia, was arbitrarily and contrary to the will of the people transferred under Budapest’s control. With the end in the 1990s of the confrontation between the U.S. and Soviet Union and the rapid expansion of globalization, which meant an increase in intergovernmental interdependence, at last, it seemed, the time would come to recognize and respect the rights of smaller states and peoples. Unfortunately, this did not happen. Apparently, today one can agree that the flywheel of the next global conflict has actually been launched: it can be seen in the aggressive actions on the part of Russia, Moscow’s attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of the countries in the post-Soviet space, the ever higher rates of the global arms race, and an increase in the level of tensions in Middle East and Asia, as well as in the construction of the Nord Stream 2… Many in today’s world don’t want to notice this: some are frankly afraid of unpredictable nuclear Russia, some passively observe, selfishly worried only about their wealth, hoping for some compromise to be reached. And some naively expect that aggression can only be stopped by economic sanctions, UN resolutions and decisions of international courts. Oleh Bielokolos is a Director of the Department for International Bilateral Relations at the Maidan of Foreign Affairs NGO.
The Ukrainians faked the death of a journalist — but in doing so, they have dramatically advanced the cause of deterrence.
Kasparov “gets it”. This is a qualitative statement of his ability to perceive that unspoken yet most important quality of how influence, propaganda, misinformation, disinformation, and fake news really works in Putin’s world. In Babchenko’s own words from earlier this year, “Putin’s main weapon is propaganda,” he said in his talk. Babchenko seems to get it as well. When will Americans? When will the rest of the world? We seem more concerned about morons insulting the President’s daughter than the hybrid war in Ukraine being waged by Russia with the rest of the world suffering collateral damage. </end editorial>
The group of the mass media representatives was invited to the Security Service of Ukraine apart from Matvy Hanapolsky and Yevhen Kiselyov. Journalist Oleksy Bratushchak reported this on Facebook. According to him, Osman Pashaev, Serhy Ivanov, Yulia Mostove, the chief editor of weekly Dzerkalo Tyzhnia, Deputy Director of ATR TV channel Aider Muzhdabaev and political journalist Viltaly Portnikov are among the representatives of the mass media. Pashaev reported to Hromadske that he has signed a non-disclosure agreement. Also, the journalist added that he has not seen the list of 47 people, however, it seemed to him that there were fewer people at the meeting. On June 1 Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yury Lutsenko claimed that thank to the staging of the murder of Russian journalist Arkadiy Babchenko, the prosecution got the list of the famous Ukrainian and ex-Russian journalist who should be killed too. Totally, there are 47 people on the list. On May 29 it was reported that Arkadiy Babchenko, a Russian journalist, was murdered in Kyiv. He was allegedly shot in his apartment. Ukraine’s police suggested that the murder of the journalist was connected with his professional activity. There were also reports on Russia’s connection. Vasyl Hrytsak, the Head of SBU, at the briefing stated that Arkadiy Babchenko is alive, but the murder of Russian journalist was ordered by Russian special forces. Ukrainian citizen was enlisted for that. On May 31, the suspected in the organization of Babchenko’s murder was detained for two months without a right for the bail. Earlier President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko claimed that he knew about the staging of Babchenko’s murder. At the same time, the OSCE has condemned the fact that Ukrainian institutions spread fake information on the “murder” of Arkadiy Babchenko, a Russian journalist.
Facts are a matter of life and death and lies increasingly difficult to discern. It is up to all of us to learn how to distinguish them
The man captured after a Russian journalist staged his own death says his murder plot was also a hoax used to spy on Putin.
Late on May 31, a Kiev district court placed the businessman Boris German under arrest for allegedly organizing the attempted murder of the journalist Arkady Babchenko. At the trial, German offered up his own version of events, and it’s radically different from the story we’ve heard from Ukraine’s National Security Agency and the Prosecutor’s Office, which jointly staged Babchenko’s death.
By Matthias Williams and Natalia Zinets KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine, seeking to reassure its Western allies after faking the murder of a Russian dissident to thwart what it said was a plot on his life, told them on Friday its ruse led to the discovery of a hit-list of 47 people whom Russia planned to kill abroad. The Kiev authorities drew both praise and consternation this week for staging the fake shooting of Arkady Babchenko, an exiled journalist, which they said was necessary to protect him and dozens of others who were targeted in a genuine Russian plot. Russia has poured scorn on Ukraine’s allegations while some organizations and commentators criticized Kiev for the kind of trickery which Ukraine routinely accuses Russia of using. Ukraine’s credibility matters as it counts on Western financial support and sanctions on Moscow in its standoff with Russia over the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and a Russian-backed separatist conflict in which more than 10,000 people have been killed. General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko, one of the few Ukrainian officials who knew about the ruse in advance, briefed the ambassadors of the United States, the European Union and other countries. In a statement after the meeting, Lutsenko said faking the murder was necessary because it allowed Ukrainian investigators to obtain more information about the list of people targeted and about who had ordered the murder. As a result, “the investigation received a list of 47 (!) people who could be the next victims of terrorists,” he wrote on Facebook. He did not provide any names but said the list included prominent Ukrainian and Russian journalists. The 47 number is higher than the 30 people, including Babchenko, whom Ukraine originally believed were targets. The investigation also gleaned important evidence linking the plot to Russian intelligence services, which would be divulged later, Lutsenko said. STATE PROTECTION Ukrainian officials reported on Tuesday that Babchenko, a Kremlin critic, had been gunned down in his apartment building in Kiev. Lurid pictures of him lying in a pool of blood were published, and officials suggested Russia was behind the killing, something Moscow flatly denied. A day later, Babchenko appeared in public alive, andUkrainian state security officials admitted they had faked his death to foil and expose what they described as a Russian plot to assassinate him. That drew criticism from media and commentators abroad who questioned whether the ruse and the false outpouring of grief and finger-pointing at Russia it provoked had undermined credibility in Kiev and handing the Kremlin a propaganda gift. One senior EU country diplomat who attended Friday’s meeting said Lutsenko had given a convincing explanation to justify the means Ukraine had employed. “I’m happy, others are happier than before. I’d say it was the right thing to,” the diplomat told Reuters, adding that Lutsenko did “acknowledge that the media reaction came as a surprise and that side should have been handled better.” Separately two television presenters based in Ukraine, one Russian and one Ukrainian, disclosed publicly that the Ukrainian authorities had shown them evidence of being on Russia’s hit list and were now living under state protection. A senior European Union official involved in Ukraine said the staged murder could undermine trust in Kiev if the government did not come forward quickly with evidence of what they claimed and the plot’s links to Russia. A marker will be the July 9 EU-Ukraine summit in Brussels, where President Petro Poroshenko will need to show proof, if not before, the official said. “What if they fail to provide evidence? It all depends on how well they follow up,” the official said. (This version of the story has been refiled to recast headline. Text unchanged) (Additional reporting by Robin Emmott in Brussels; Editing by Richard Balmforth) Copyright 2018 Thomson Reuters.
Ukraine last week faked the murder of a Russian journalist to thwart what it said was a plot on his life
Ukraine, seeking to reassure its Western allies after faking the murder of a Russian dissident to thwart what it said was a plot on his life, told them on Friday its ruse led to the discovery of a hit list of 47 people whom Russia planned to kill abroad.
Matthias Williams, Natalia Zinets KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine, seeking to reassure its Western allies after faking the murder of a Russian dissident to thwart what it said was a plot on his life, told them on Friday its ruse led to the discovery of a hit-list of 47 people whom Russia planned to kill abroad. The…
The Kiev authorities drew both praise and consternation this week for staging the fake shooting of Arkady Babchenko, an exiled journalist, which they said…
The chain of responsibility for the attempt to kill Arkady Babchenko reaches into the Russian security services, according to Ukraine. But for the moment you have to take their word for it.
The man is accused of paying a hitman $40,000 to kill Arkady Babchenko
“I’ve seen good people killed by Russian agents here in Kiev.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s record of liquidating inconvenient journalists does not excuse this week’s shenanigans, or Ukraine’s enlistment of Arkady Babchenko in them.
The Russian journalist who staged his own murder has told of how he watched reports of his death from a Ukrainian morgue.
ENGLAND fans face being bribed with booze and prostitutes in exchange for appearing on TV during the World Cup in Russia next month, an intelligence expert has warned.
The Football Federation of Australia says it’s up to Russia to decide who they allow into the country for the World Cup after a small group of friends had…
Using yet another tool, that of Interpol Red Notices, Russia seeks to punish critics and people responsible for causing Russia’s reputation harm. Interpol Red Notices are yet another form of Hybrid warfare for which Russia is so famous. This is another example where Russia will do something that is not technically illegal but is immoral…
MPs will urge the Home Secretary to intervene over Russia’s "abuse" of Interpol to target a prominent British critic of Vladimir Putin.
by Tony Brenton April saw the lowest point in Russia’s relations with the West since the early 1980s – as embodied in three events. On 6 April the US imposed new, tougher, economic sanctions on Russia, battering the rouble and other economic indicators. On 12 April the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirmed that the nerve agent used in the attack on Sergei Skripal was of Russian design, thus in effect inculpating Russia in the attack and validating the expulsion of over a hundred Russian diplomats from virtually all Western capitals. And on 14 April the US, UK and France, despite the presence of significant Russian armed forces in Syria, bombed that country in response to the regime’s use of chemical weapons. These events graphically underlined how far Russo/Western relations have deteriorated in the past four years. The catalytic moment was the overthrow in 2014 of the pro-Russian President of Ukraine. This directly led to the Russian seizure of Crimea and support for the (ongoing) war in the Donbass, to all of which the West has responded with extensive economic and other sanctions. A year later Russian armed forces went into Syria in direct support of Assad’s war against the Western backed opposition, producing serious moments of Russia/Western sabre rattling – some of it nuclear. Alarmed by the new Russian activism, NATO has stepped up its military readiness. Meanwhile Russia has launched cyberattacks in Ukraine and elsewhere, interfered via social media in Western elections, and attempted to murder ex-Russian spy Skripal on the streets of Salisbury. Both the US and Russia have now announced the modernisation of their nuclear arsenals.
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria’s foreign minister said Saturday Iranian military advisers are embedded with Syrian troops but Tehran has no combat forces or fixed bases in the country.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will visit Kim Jong Un, North Korean state media reports. The announcement comes days before Kim is set to meet President Trump.
Buyan-M-class missile corvette Vyshny Volochyok was officially made part of the Black Sea Fleet and is headed off for global military drills.
AS MISSILES rolled across Red Square during Russia’s Victory Day parade on May 9th, Binyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, stood squarely beside President Vladimir Putin. He had come to secure Russian support for containing Iran in Syria.
The Syrian army is about to start a military operation against rebels in Southern Syria.
NATO would not automatically defend Israel in the event of an attack by Iran, the alliance’s secretary-general said.
The head of NATO said the alliance would not aid Israel in the event of an attack by Iran, according to reports.
Jens Stoltenberg said Israel is a partner, but not a member and that NATO’s “security guarantee” wouldn’t apply during a conflict in the Mideast.
BERLIN — NATO’s secretary-general says the alliance wouldn’t come to Israel’s defense in case of attack by arch enemy Iran. Jens Stoltenberg told the…
NATO’s secretary-general says the alliance wouldn’t come to Israel’s defense in case of attack by arch enemy Iran.
A German Green Party politician questioned the statement on Twitter.
NATO is not obliged to come to the aid of partner Israel if Iran attacks, secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg revealed on Saturday.
Jens Stoltenberg tells Der Spiegel that while Israel is a partner, it is not a member and therefore NATOs security guarantee doesnt apply to it.
NATO Secretary General says organization doesn’t involve itself in Middle East conflicts, security guarantee doesn’t apply to Israel.
Russia’s plans to supply S-400 Triumf air defense systems to Qatar will not be affected by the opposition of Saudi Arabia, Russian senior lawmaker Aleksei Kondratyev told Sputnik. “Russia seeks its own interest, supplying S-400 to Qatar and earning money for the state budget. Saudi Arabia’s position has nothing to do
Russian lawmaker says Moscow’s plans ‘will not change’ by Riyadh’s opposition to the sale of surface-to-air missiles.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates severed diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar last year, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism, which it denies.
The kingdom has reportedly appealed to France for help in stopping Qatar from acquiring a Russian air defense system.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has threatened to take military action if Qatar installs a Russian air defense system, France’s Le Monde newspaper reported. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates severed diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar last year, accusing Doha of supporting
Qatari Defence Minister Khalid al-Attiyah says Doha and Tehran have differences but they could be resolved with talks.
The GCC crisis has inflicted significant financial loss on Qatar, but it has failed to bring it down.
A year after Qatar’s neighbors imposed a blockade over its alleged involvement in sponsoring terrorism, Defense Minister Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah said the small, gas-rich Gulf state has emerged stronger than it was before.
Al Jazeera English Published on Jun 3, 2018 Iran was one of the countries which quickly stepped in to ensure Qatari supermarket shelves remained well stocked.
War-torn Yemen’s third largest city, Hudaida, serves as the main entry point for about 90 percent of all food imports.
The US Senate passed a defence spending bill recently that sought to prevent Turkey from getting the 100 F-35 stealth jets it ordered – and now Turkey could become the first buyer of Russia’s Su-57 “stealth” jet killer. The US Senate passed a defence spending bill recently that sought to prevent Turkey from getting 100 F-35 stealth jets, and now it could turn to Russia for the Su-57. Turkey has already agreed to buy one Russian weapons system, the S-400 missile defences, which could give Moscow a window into NATO’s defences, which would be a nightmare for the alliance. The Su-57 and Turkey’s embrace of Russian military equipment both pose serious threats to NATO and its aircraft.
Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan has said ride hailing app Uber is finished in Turkey, following pressure from Istanbul taxi drivers who said it was providing an illegal service and called for it to be banned.