Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Salisbury CW Attack / Syria / Iran / Russia Ad Hoc Update (89)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

The Russian hit list first published by turned out to be authentic.  I sit corrected. Yes, how did a pro-Russian site get it first?  

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The Vozhd holds his annual phone-in talkback event, and we see a deluge of wishful thinking, alternate reality, nuclear war hysteria, and some very overt threats of invasion aimed at Kyiv – the latter is in line with Russian siloviki recently warning the public about the threat of Ukrainian terrorist attacks inside Russia. Consular access to Ms Skripal is demanded. The Dutch rebut MH17 blameshifting.  Belanovsky on how the Russian public is losing confidence. Respected analyst Inozemtsev discusses Russia’s structural descent into the early feudalism of the Mongol-Tartar Horde, joining a number of other Russian analysts and observers.

Many articles on the NATO gathering, and “four thirties” proposal, which falls well short of what it would take to truly deter Muscovy adventurism.  Most interesting is the report of the Bones’ BALTOPS EX practice drops of the Mk.62 Quickstrike – exactly the message the V-MF Baltic Fleet needs. Russians conduct major aerial EX in Crimea to spite Kyiv and NATO.

Debate over the Babchenko sting continues, with the hitlist validated by the SBU, begging the question of how pro-Russian media acquired it. Lisunova does a superb OpEd eviscerating Western media over their inappropriate conduct. UK urges release of 70 Ukrainian political prisoners (AKA hostages) held in Russia.

More Salisbury fallout, with police gaining additional powers to detained suspected foreign assets at the UK borders.

Iran debate continues, amidst increasing bluster from Tehran, and Pres Macron warning bluntly where this will end up if it continues. PM Netanyahu continues his European charm offensive.

Russia’s Vladimir Putin holds annual phone-in

Putin also said sanctions were counter-productive, remarking that “unilateral sanctions do not resolve problems” and were a way of restraining Russia.

Putin Bullish On Russian Economy, Blasts West In Q&A Session

Russian President Vladimir Putin has painted an upbeat picture of the country’s economy and accused the West of seeking to thwart its progress, setting a familiar tone for his new term in a maratho…

Putin demands Russian consular access to Yulia Skripal | UK news | The Guardian

Moscow wants role in investigation into poisoning of former spy and his daughter

Putin seeks consular access to Yulia Skripal – POLITICO

Kremlin offers to participate in investigation into Skripal poisoning case.

Putin: WWIII may be end of civilization, and that should restrain conflicts (VIDEO) — RT World News

A new world war could become “an end of civilization,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a live televised call-in show. Awareness of this should restrain international powers from engaging in global conflict, he added.

Putin talks World War III and World Cup during annual call-in show

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that any large-scale global conflict would lead to the “end of civilization” during his annual call-in TV show Thursday.

Putin promises “drastic consequences for Ukraine’s statehood” if it tries to liberate Donbas | UNIAN

Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised “drastic consequences for Ukraine’s statehood as a whole” if there is an attempt to liberate Donbas, the Russian-occupied east of Ukraine. Putin took part in an annual Direct Line Q&A show on June 7. Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised “drastic consequences for Ukraine’s statehood as a whole” if there is an attempt to liberate Donbas, the Russian-occupied east of Ukraine. “I hope such provocations will not take place, and if this happens, I think that this will have very drastic consequences for Ukrainian statehood as a whole. I want to emphasize once again that I hope nothing like this will happen,” Putin said during the annual Direct Line show, answering a question whether the Ukrainian army may take advantage of the World Cup in Russia and liberate Donbas, an UNIAN correspondent in Russia has reported. According to Putin, “it is impossible to intimidate people who live in these territories in Donbas – in the ‘LPR’ and ‘DPR.’ “We can see what has been happening there, how people are suffering, we help both unrecognized republics and will continue doing this,” Putin said. Read alsoPoroshenko: Donbas seeing hot phase of war, not “frozen conflict” In his words, what is happening in those territories is “sad,” and this shows that “the current Ukrainian leadership is unable to solve this problem.” “How can you solve this problem by considering these territories as your own and organizing a complete blockade there, consider people your citizens and subject them to shelling when civilians are suffering?” Putin said. He once again blamed Ukraine for the “violation” of the Minsk agreements. “Why should you do this if you just have to follow the Minsk agreements? It’s just ridiculous from the point of view of the final result – the restoration of the territorial integrity of the country. The longer, the further this happens, the worse it is for Ukraine,” Putin said. He forecasts Ukraine is unable to solve the “problem of these territories” under the current government when there is one year is left before the parliament and president elections, as the Ukrainian authorities do not need voters from these territories. “If the authorities are guided by their narrow selfish political and economic interests, if they continue to rob their people and save money for a rainy day in offshores for their own name, then this situation will not lead to anything good,” he said. “Let’s see how the situation will develop. We will do everything for it to be resolved within the framework of the Minsk process and the Minsk agreements,” Putin stressed.

Putin: Ukrainian ‘Provocations’ Would Have ‘Severe Consequences’

In his annual televised question and answer session on June 7, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned against what he called “provocations” by Ukraine in the regions controlled by Russia-backed separatists. He also said that Western countries see Russia as a competitor and a threat, and called sanctions against Moscow “useless.”

UAWire – Putin proposes special status for the Donbas

Ukraine could grant special status to the Donbas, the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin stated in an interview with Austrian TV channel ORF. Putin reminded the journalists that the same thing happened in Russia with Chechnya, which was granted the status that gave it a “great degree of independence within the Russian Federation”. According to Putin, the decision was “very difficult” but it had to be taken because Al‑Qaeda terrorists wanted “to tear off” Chechnya, creating an Islamic Caliphate from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea. “But the Chechen people made an entirely different decision during voting,” the President noted. Putin stressed that Russia is “very happy” about the decision of the residents of Chechnya and remains committed to the achieved agreements with them. According to Putin, Ukraine could end the armed conflict in the Donbas in the same way. “Why has this not been done yet?” he asked. The USA, EU and other Western countries imposed sanctions against Russia because of the annexation of the Crimea and because Russia granted aid to separatists in Eastern Ukraine. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert has claimed that the most dangerous place for Russian-speaking people to live is in eastern Ukraine, where Russia is “protecting” them.

Putin: US would need to offer firm guarantees to NKorea – ABC News

Get breaking national and world news, broadcast video coverage, and exclusive interviews. Find the top news online at ABC news.

President Putin confident about Russia’s long-term economic growth — RT Business News

Russia is currently on a stable economic growth path, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday during his annual direct Q&A line in Moscow. He stressed that inflation is at a historic low at the moment.

Putin says he warned Europe about US trade threat, nobody listened | Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he had warned Europe a few years ago about the risk of the United States imposing its rules on other countries, but that nobody had wanted to listen.

Putin tells Europe on U.S. trade threat: ‘I told you so’ | Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that he had warned European countries years ago about the risk of the United States imposing its rules on others, and that they were now paying the price for ignoring him.

Putin demands more from Russia ahead of World Cup – Channel NewsAsia

President Vladimir Putin has called on Russia’s reeling national team to pull themselves together as they head into their first home World Cup.

Russia’s World Cup shows the West can’t stop Putin – Business Insider

Vladimir Putin is struggling to get a summit with Donald Trump, has little hope of ending Western sanctions, and is seen in much of the West as a pariah. So…

For Putin, World Cup shows Russia cannot be caged by hostile West | Reuters

Vladimir Putin is struggling to get a summit with Donald Trump, has little hope of ending Western sanctions, and is seen in much of the West as a pariah. So hosting the World Cup this month is a welcome moment in the global limelight.

TASS: World – Austrian chancellor calls on EU to cooperate with Russia

Sebastian Kurz also noted that Vienna would continue to cooperate with the EU on the issue of anti-Russian sanctions

Strache’s Remark About Anti-Russian Sanctions Misunderstood – Juncker – Sputnik International

BRUSSELS (Sputnik) – The statement of Austrian Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache about the need to lift anti-Russia sanctions could be wrongly conveyed, President of European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said Wednesday.

Rise of far-right in Italy and Austria gives Putin some friends in the west | World news | The Guardian

Russian president in contact with two capitals that share belief in nation-first politics and mistrust of alliances

Relations with China? Partnership, trust and… a crate of ice-cream – Putin’s interview top quotes — RT World News

Russia-China relations are not all about strong economic cooperation and mutual trust, but also the close personal ties between the two leaders, President Vladimir Putin revealed in an interview with Chinese media.

Putin heads to China to bolster ties as US pressure grows

MOSCOW (AP) — Just a month after beginning his new term in office, Russian President Vladimir Putin is heading to China for a state visit, underscoring how mounting U.S. pressure is drawing the two countries increasingly close.

Promises Made, Promises Kept? Putin Pledges From Last Year’s ‘Direct Line’

On the eve of the Russian president’s annual Direct Line question-and-answer session with the Russian public, RFE/RL looks back at some of last year’s promises and how they turned out.

EU green alliance publishes map of Russia with places of political prisoners’ holding, – EU green alliance publishes map of Russia with places of political prisoners’ holding –

EU green alliance publishes map of Russia with places of political prisoners’ holding

UAWire – Netherlands: Ukraine cannot be responsible for MH17 crash

The Netherlands does not consider Ukraine responsible for the crash of the Malaysian Boeing in the Donbas due to the airspace over the region not being closed. Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok responded to a question on this matter from ministers of parliament, Dutch news outlet NOS reports. In the question, the legislators noted that, if Ukraine had information that Buk missile launchers had appeared in the conflict region, Kyiv would have had reason to close the airspace over the dangerous region or to raise the altitude of the air corridor. In a letter to the MPs, Blok pointed out that the information acquired by the Joint Investigative Team does not point to Ukraine being responsible. According to him, “there is no persuasive evidence that Kyiv did not take adequate measures to prevent a possible catastrophe”. The head of the Dutch Foreign Ministry also said that it would be inappropriate to carry out additional investigations on this topic. He clarified that the international commission is not directly investigating the question of whether or not Ukraine should have closed the airspace, and so “certain information from the investigation materials could be relevant later”. The Joint Investigative Team, which has representatives from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine, released a report on May 24 with the preliminary findings of the investigation. The report states that the airliner was shot down by a Russian Buk anti-air missile system belonging to the 53rd anti-air missile brigade of Russia’s Armed Forces, which is based in the Kursk province. The investigators concluded that the missile system was brought to the “Donetsk People’s Republic” from Russia. After the report, the Cabinet of the Netherlands said that it will consider Russia responsible for the plane crash. However, Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke said that there is not yet irrefutable evidence that Russia was complicit in the crash.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russians Losing Faith Putin’s Kind of Strong Power Can Bring Order to the Land, Sociologist Says

Paul Goble Staunton, June 4 – Increasingly, Russians doubt that the kind of strong power Vladimir Putin offers, one based on personalist rule rather than strong legislative, executive and judicial institutions, can bring order to the Russian Federation, according to sociologist Sergey Belanovsky. But at the same time, he says, those critical of Putin’s approach have not yet developed well-structured ideas about what they would like to see in its place but rather react to what is going on less on the basis of rational thought than emotionally ( What this means, he suggests, is that “the idea of a strong system of power, at least in the Putinist variant, has disappeared forever.” It may come back, but if it does, it almost certainly will be “on some completely different basis.” Belanovsky draws those conclusions on the basis of 12 focus groups, ten in Moscow, one in a regional center, and one in a company town. Seventy-five percent of what he admits is “a super-small sample” say the state must in the first instance be just; only seven percent say that it must above all be strong. Consequently, “the level of trust Putin enjoyed in the early years will never come back,” the sociologist says. Putin’s militarism hid this for a time, Belanovsky says; but it is now alienating people as the Kremlin seems to understand. It is increasingly showing him “not as a militarism but as a kind uncle of a social orientation. Yesterday [for example], he visited a birthing center … That is a mistake. It won’t restore his earlier ratings.” But the decline in public trust in Putin does not mean that there will be an upsurge in support for his opponents, the sociologist says. “Opponents of state policy do not have structured ideas and a fixed ideology.” As a result, “research does not confirm the view that opponents of state policy support liberal values.” Instead, “the psychological profile of the opponents of state policy” is such that they do not want a liberal system but rather a more effective authoritarian one, a desire that will make it almost impossible for the opposition to form a party with a winning message. That in turn gives Putin an advantage even if trust in his approach continues to fall.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia Today Resembles ‘Feudalism in the Making,’ Inozemtsev Says

Paul Goble Staunton, June 4 – Despite the fears of many and the hopes of some, the new Russian nobility is quite unlike the feudal aristocracy because its members do not feel secure as “they have no rights, self-consciousness or freedom from the state, Vladislav Inozemtsev says. Consequently, they are unlikely to play the positive role such groups did in early modern Europe. Instead, the Russian economist says, the situation in Russia today is to a certain extent “similar to the feudal orders” which preceded and then gave rise to the European nobility, orders when “a high position in society, just as the appearance of wealth from land depended less on family than on the will of the bearer of supreme power” ( “Under conditions of the obvious shortage of formal guarantees of the preservation of property, clear criteria of professionalism, and parameters of career growth,” Inozemtsev continues, no one should be surprised that the Russian regime is seeking to use family and clan ties to strengthen its stability. The regime really has no other choice, and history suggests that this could even have progressive consequences if the elite is able to secure its property rights. Then members will have every incentive to increase the wealth of the country in order to pass it on to its descendants. “However,” he says, “the key moments in the formation of a noble stratum are, on the one hand, the monarchical character of power and, on the other, unqualified membership in the higher strata by right of birth without any constant affirmation of loyalty.” Those are both things Russia now lacks. Indeed, Inozemtsev says, “a political system planning to rely on an aristocracy can exist only under conditions of the indisputable right of the monarch to power, the absence of any undermining institutions of the type of universal electoral rights and the presence of a resource (above all land) which guarantees the order of things economically. “There is nothing like this in present-day Russia,” he points out, “and more to the point, it is not visible on the horizon.” The supposed “nobility” do not feel themselves protected from the arbitrary action of the ruler; and the ruler does not feel himself guaranteed in office by birth alone. Moreover, the system in place in Russia now does not have social lifts within those called the nobility. Instead, its elite is dependent on rents that can be taken away at almost any time by the ruler. This does recall an earlier system but not that of mature aristocracy. Instead, it is very much like “feudalism in the making” of a much earlier period. That earlier system and Russia’s today encourage individual actions by members of the elite that harm state interests rather than contribute to their realization, Inozemtsev argues. There is, of course, another analogy to the current Russian system: Napoleon’s attempt to create a new aristocracy in Europe after the ravages of the French Revolution. For a brief time, it looked as if he would be successful in imposing his “new nobility” on the governments of Europe. But few of these noble houses survived the First Empire, Inozemtsev says. The only exception was in Sweden. Undoubtedly, “the majority of Russia’s ‘new aristocrats’ would be happy to repeat his path and not the fate of Murat and Ney.”

B-1B Lancer Bombers Support Exercise Baltic Operations > U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE > Article

Two B-1B Lancer bombers from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, took part in missions supporting Exercise Baltic Operations from Royal Air Force Fairford, England. The B-1s conducted missions with inert Quickstrike Mark 62 mines, providing U.S. and coalition military forces the opportunity to train for the laying and recovering of mines. These inert mines are recoverable and reusable. “Dropping naval mines gives the B-1 a lot of operational capability to complete the mission,” said Hojo, a B-1 pilot assigned to the 345th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron. The pilot’s full name isn’t used due to security concerns. The B-1 “can quickly deliver large quantities of precision and nonprecision weapons against any adversary, anywhere in the world, at any time,” the pilot said.

Here’s how the US is preparing for a possible Russian attack in Europe

The plans could involve more U.S. troops heading across the Atlantic.

NATO Ministers Expected To Okay ‘Four Thirties’ Initiative: Stoltenberg

NATO defense ministers are expected to give the go-ahead for a new U.S. initiative on June 7 that will increase the readiness of the alliance’s troops in case of a crisis amid continued concerns ab…

NATO’s Stoltenberg shows no support for Italy’s idea to lift Russia sanctions | UNIAN

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in Brussels Wednesday, commenting on the new Italian government’s statements calling for a review of Russia sanctions, that a political dialogue with Russia must be maintained but the economic sanctions are also important. Sanctions “send a clear message that what Russia has done in Ukraine has to have consequences,” the NATO Secretary General said, adding that “Russia has to change behavior” before the sanctions could be lifted. He added that NATO had been pursuing a dual-track approach to Russia, which is about having strong defense and deterrence, combined with political dialogue.

UAWire – NATO: Russia violates military balance in the Black Sea region

Russia’s actions in the Black Sea region have violated the zone’s military balance, NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs James Appathurai stated, the Agerpres agency reports. Appathurai, who is NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, made this statement while speaking on Tuesday at a forum devoted to security in the Atlantic and Black Sea. Following the annexation of the Crimea by Russia, “a lot of military equipment was delivered to the peninsula,” Appathurai stated. “All of that changes the balance of security in the region,” he concluded. Appathurai added: “Security of the North Atlantic is closely related to security of the Black Sea.” According to him, the Alliance applies an approach towards Russia involving deterrence and dialogue at the same time. He called the last meeting between the NATO Council and Russia “quite positive.” “We have made some progress, some evolution in this direction,” Appathurai noted. “We are seeking a constructive dialogue with Russia and look forward to this, but we should also ensure defense. So, NATO’s presence is strengthened in defensive and proportional manners in the Black Sea region.”

Mattis: Trade dispute with Europe won’t damage relations within NATO alliance

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday said he does not expect the unfolding dispute with Europe and Canada over U.S. import tariffs to damage military and security relations within the NATO alliance.

Mattis wades into new territory in trade comments – CNNPolitics

In an unusual move potentially rife with political implications, Defense Secretary James Mattis weighed in Wednesday on President Donald Trump’s imposition of trade tariffs on Canada, Mexico and the EU.

In Europe, Mattis is in familiar spot: calming U.S. allies | Reuters

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Brussels on Wednesday seeking to mollify European allies, again finding himself in the familiar position of mending relationships frayed by President Donald Trump’s policies.

Poltorak begins visit to NATO Headquarters in Brussels – 07.06.2018 15:20 — Ukrinform News

Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak has begun a visit to NATO Headquarters in Brussels, where he will hold meetings with defense ministers of the partner countries and the NATO Secretary General.

UAWire – Russia launches large-scale aviation exercises near the Ukrainian border and in annexed Crimea

The Russian Federation has launched large-scale aviation exercises for the Southern military district, involving roughly one hundred aircraft and helicopters. The Air Defense and the Black Sea Fleet forces will take part in the exercises, which are set to take place in the Rostov region, Krasnodar Krai, and annexed Crimea, the Interfax agency reports, citing the Russian Ministry of Defense. During the exercises, aircraft will land on a prepared airfield in the Rostov region and will perform bombing practice at the aviation test range in Stavropol Krai. Fighter aircraft and bombers of the Fleet will launch air-to-air missiles and drop bombs at the testing range called Kopanskoy in Krasnodar Krai, located 80 kilometers away from the Russian-Ukrainian border, and at the testing range Opuk on the Black Sea coast of the Kerch peninsula, which has been annexed by Russia. Army aviation helicopters will provide fire support for the Russian Black Sea Fleet Marine Corps’ amphibious landing on unequipped coasts. “As part of the exercises, anti-aircraft forces stationed in the Crimea will be involved in countering rocket strikes from the ships of a hypothetical enemy from the sea,” the Russian Ministry of Defense stated. Russia constantly rattles its saber in annexed Crimea. In March, the Russian army carried out exercises on 19 testing ranges, with some taking place along the Ukrainian border and in annexed territories. In April, Russia carried out military exercises in annexed Crimea, practicing “detection of ships of a hypothetical enemy.”

Kateryna Lisunova Writes Journalist Outrage Disingenuous – To Inform is to Influence

Arkady Babchenko was assassinated by a Russian, and then he was ‘un-assassinated’. That day Ukraine’s SBU exposed the truth, but some took umbrage. Journalists were outraged that they had been “lied to”, yet lying is often part of their job. Read the article below from LB.UA’s Kateryna Lisunova. If a journalist cannot accept the facts of the situation, that the government of Ukraine’s SBU had to fake an assassination to draw out the Russian mastermind, then the journalist lacks journalistic inquisitive, flexibility, and perseverance. If a reporter understands all the details from the beginning, why investigate? The obvious answer is that because things change, the conclusion often changes as new facts are discovered. At the same time, it is curious that there is a lack of outrage at Russian disinformation, misinformation, fake news, and propaganda. Every deep hole and dark shadow appears to be festering a new Russian lie. Where is the outrage? It almost appears that every journalist who is complaining about Ukraine’s deceit and subsequent untrustworthiness is pro-Russian. When journalists get the story correct the first time, every time, perhaps they can complain. Otherwise, just rewrite your story according to the new facts. </end editorial>

Babchenko case: are Western media “playing with the truth?” – news portal

Babchenko case: are Western media “playing with the truth?”. How come that no Western journalist has any interest in the fact that Russia is paying money to killers to get rid of journalists? The only thing they are truly concerned about is “public opinion” as well as “sad feelings” and disappointment after being fooled for less than a day.  The only reason why this case was held a bit longer is that the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has finally obtained the actual evidence against Russia and people who ordered the murder. Political – news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today. Today a lot of international journalists are texting me with the same question: what do I think about the special operation of the SBU? For example, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the “distressing simulation of Russian exile journalist Arkady Babchenko’s murder”. They say that the “Security Service of Ukraine played with the truth”… So, what do I think about this? I feel like it is some kind of a substitution of concepts. What is the most important thing for a journalist? Isn’t it the truth? How many famous journalists hide their sources to reveal the truth? Can you blame them? Can we say, using the RSF quote, that they are “playing with the truth”? How many of the greatest Pulitzer Prize winners worked undercover to expose crimes and injustices? Could we blame Anna Erelle, a French journalist, who was investigating European jihadi extremists? After all, she was pretending to be a 20-year-old girl named Melodie and was in contact with French jihadists. Could we blame Chris Terrill, a British anthropologist and documentary filmmaker who posed as a woman trader to expose human trafficking gangs operating in Denmark, Belgium and the Dominican Republic? Did they lie? Did they cheat by pretending to be someone they are not? By working with real criminals, murderers and fanatics. They were risking their lives to reveal the truth. And what is the truth inside Arkady Babchenko’s story? Are there any colleagues at all who get the real meaning? It seems that everybody is so focused on their feelings of being cheated, so deeply offended and blinded by emotions that they do not see the real story. The truth is that: according to the Security Service of Ukraine, the special services of the Russian Federation were plotting to kill Babchenko. He was only one of many targets. They planned to kill about 47 people. Now investigators know some names from Moscow’s “target list”. The only reason why this case was held a bit longer is that the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has finally obtained the actual evidence against Russia and people who ordered the murder. Who are they? Who are those possible victims of the Kremlin? Why does Russia want them dead? What evidence does the SBU have against Russia? When is the trial going to take place? Those are the questions that journalists should be asking. Journalists must be guided by facts, not by emotions. Saving people’s lives must always carry a higher value.

Staged Assassination Unnerves Ukrainian Journalists

Some tell Committee to Protect Journalists that they were upset by revelation of media ‘hit list’

We spoke to a journalist in Ukraine who is reportedly on Russia’s kill list – VICE News

A plan to target high-profile media personalities to make Ukraine “explode.”

SBU confirms authenticity of leaked “hit-list” of 47 journalists – BBC | UNIAN

The press center of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine has confirmed to the BBC that the leaked “hit-list” of journalists and bloggers contains the same names as the list seized during the SBU’s sting operation. Earlier, Ukrainian security services prevented an attempt on the Russian opposition journalist Babchenko.

‘Dingo’ Arraigned: Ukraine Prosecutors Drop ‘Russian Trail’ In Alleged Hit Attempt On Chechen Exile

Ukrainian officials initially said an alleged assassination attempt on a Chechen exile in Kyiv was linked to Russia’s leadership. But prosecutors now say the colorful Russian ex-con accused of the …

British Demand Russia Release Ukrainian Prisoners On Hunger Strike

The British Foreign Office says it is “deeply concerned” about the welfare of four Ukrainians being held in Russia who are conducting hunger strikes to protest Moscow’s detention of Ukrainian p…

UK urges Russia to release 70 Ukrainian political prisoners, especially those on hunger strike, – UK urges Russia to release 70 Ukrainian political prisoners, especially those on hunger strike –

UK urges Russia to release 70 Ukrainian political prisoners, especially those on hunger strike

Russia may stage terrorist attacks during World Cup to blame Ukraine – Hrytsak – 07.06.2018 16:30 — Ukrinform News

Russia may resort to destabilization on its territory during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in order to blame Ukraine for that. Russia may resort to destabilization on its territory during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in order to blame Ukraine for that. Head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) Vasyl Hrytsak said this in an interview with German newspaper Bild. “I would not be surprised if Russia resorts to destabilization in its own country in order to blame Ukraine. They can do everything, even stage attacks in their country so as to shift responsibility for them onto us,” he said, when asked whether he expects Russia to use the FIFA World Cup to carry out its special operations. According to Hrytsak, Russian security services do not recognize the rules. He also noted that the possible death of journalist Arkady Babchenko and other people could have led to unrest in Ukraine and Kyiv would have been accused that the authorities cannot protect people.

New power to target hostile state activity – GOV.UK

As part of the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill, the government will create a new power to investigate hostile state activity.

Police will get new powers to stop suspected suspected spies entering UK | Daily Mail Online

Russian former spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were left fighting for their lives after being poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok in an attack blamed on the Kremlin. New law would let officers stop those suspected of hostile activity at borders It extends powers which can currently only be used on terrorism suspects Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned by nerve agent Novichok

Border police power to hold suspected foreign agents – BBC News

The bill targeting ‘hostile state activity’ is in response to the poisoning of the Skripals.

Pompeo says U.S. won’t allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons | Reuters

The United States is aware of reports that Iran plans to increase its uranium enrichment capacity and Washington will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday.

Pompeo: We won’t allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon – Israel National News

Secretary of State says Washington watching reports on Iran’s plan to increase its uranium enrichment capacity.

🇫🇷 🇮🇱 Netanyahu seeks anti-Iran front on Europe tour | Al Jazeera English – YouTube

Al Jazeera English Published on Jun 6, 2018 Israel’s prime minister is touring Europe to drum up support against Iran. After visiting Germany, Benjamin Netanyahu flew to France in an attempt to get European countries to join the United States in withdrawing from the landmark nuclear deal. His visit coincides with Tehran’s announcement that it is increasing its capacity to enrich uranium. But French President Emmanuel Macron was not convinced. Al Jazeera’s Natacha Butler reports from Paris.

In U.K., May voices concerns about Gaza deaths, Netanyahu says Israel working to minimize Palestinian casualties – Israel News –

Israeli PM in London as part of trip dedicated to discussing Iran with various European leaders

UK’s May: Netanyahu and I have ‘differences of opinion’ on Iran deal | The Times of Israel

British PM says country committed to nuclear pact as long as Tehran is, expresses concern over Gaza deaths; Netanyahu highlights kite arson damage

Iran nuclear deal: Boris Johnson calls for UK to be SPARED from US sanctions against Iran | World | News |

BORIS Johnson and Philip Hammond have written a letter criticising Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, and have demanded UK companies be spared from stringent US sanctions.

Macron Warns Of Potential ‘Conflict’ As Iran Edges Away From Nuclear Deal

French President Emmanuel Macron warned of the potential for “conflict” after Iran announced plans to boost its uranium enrichment capacity following the U.S. decision to withdraw from its nuclear …

Netanyahu in UK as part of Europe tour against Iran’s nuclear deal

In Paris on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged France to turn its attention to tackling Iran’s “regional aggression,” saying the economic pressures will cause the 2015 Iran nuclear deal to dissolve.

Netanyahu: ‘Iran’s desire to destroy Israel the source of Gaza’s problems’ – Israel National News

PM, in meeting with Theresa May, blames Iranian regime’s hatred for Israel for Gaza’s suffering.

When it comes to Iran, America is still running the show | TheHill

The Iranian regime will need to choose between its nuclear program and terror sponsorship or the solvency of its economy.

Trump should give the EU 90 days to reach a new Iran nuclear deal or face secondary sanctions

If President Trump is serious about getting a better nuclear deal, a 90-day window offers a time-sensitive, albeit hard-edged, olive branch towards that objective.

EU takes step to protect Iran nuclear deal | News | Al Jazeera

Updated EU legislation seeks to shield EU companies that continue doing business with Iran from financial harm.

China urges respect for nuclear deal after Iran uranium plan

China urged all parties to the Iran nuclear deal to uphold the pact on Wednesday after Tehran unveiled plans to boost uranium enrichment capacity following Washington’s pullout from the agreement. Iran said Tuesday that it would boost its capacity by opening a centre for production of new centrifuges

Iran stands ground on nuclear inspections as France warns of red line

By Francois Murphy and Sudip Kar-Gupta VIENNA/PARIS (Reuters) – Iran will not cooperate more fully with atomic inspectors until a standoff over its nuclear deal is resolved, its U.N. envoy said, as one signatory warned Tehran against moving ahead with preparations to boost its uranium enrichment capacity

Iran Announces Plan to Increase Uranium Enrichment | Time

Iran announced a new centrifuge assembly plant at its Natanz nuclear facility, indicating a possible future restart to nuclear enrichment

Iran nuclear facility opens after U.S. withdrawal from global deal

Iran’s nuclear chief inaugurated the Islamic Republic’s new nuclear enrichment facility geared toward producing centrifuges that will operate within the limits of the nuclear deal Tehran signed with world powers. The move comes in the wake of the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the deal.

How Does Israel’s Military Compare to Iran?

Both nations have considerable military clout, and any prolonged confrontation between the two would be bloody.

Russia, Iran jostle for influence in Syria | Syria News | Al Jazeera

Tensions between Damascus’ allies are increasing as Moscow plans to expand troop presence in Syria war.

🇶🇦 How’s the ongoing blockade against Qatar affecting local businesses? – YouTube

Al Jazeera English Published on Jun 6, 2018 On June 5th, 2017, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt imposed a blockade on Qatar – closing their land, air and sea borders with it – accusing it of funding “terrorism” and fomenting regional instability. The Saudi, Emirati and Bahraini governments told their citizens to return from Qatar. They also asked Qatari citizens who were visiting, studying or living in their respective countries, to leave for Qatar within 14 days. This diplomatic move left Qatar partially isolated – economically, politically and culturally. Lulwa al-Obaidli is a Qatari entrepreneur who has founded a number of different businesses. Her potato-based snack business has suffered from the blockade, forcing her to downsize and look for new sources of potatoes and the customised flavourings. She has also felt the effect of the blockade on a personal level, with her siblings in the UAE seldom even communicating with her.

A Year Later, Iran Is the Big Winner of the Qatar Embargo – Bloomberg

A year into the Saudi-led embargo, the tiny Gulf nation is doing just fine.