Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Ad Hoc Media Update (36)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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 No major developments through the week, other than the arguably premature decision to form a US Space Force, but a great many followup and backfill reports on all of the major developments through preceding weeks. Notable that Russia reports show an increasing trend for existing fractures in the fabric of the society to further widen and deepen, as the regime further doubles down on its self-destructive choices post-2014. Multiple threads on the DPRK and China. Many interesting reports on European politics, strategy/capability, and IW/EW/IO/cyber. Finally, much happening in the US, along multiple threads.


NATO / EU / Russia Reports


Trump’s alpha dog strategy is making the world fall into line
During the 2016 presidential campaign, the criticisms of Donald Trump came thick and fast: that he was a political amateur, inexperienced in the ways of…
Nine EU Members Plan ‘Rapid-Response’ Cyberforce In Lithuania-Led Initiative
Nine member states of the European Union will establish “rapid-response teams” to counter cyberattacks, according to project leader Lithuania, which has issued warnings about what it calls Russia-d…
Russia Continues Intimidation Of Norway – To Inform is to Influence
Russia is attempting to, once again, intimidate Norway.   Russia vows consequences after Norway invites more U.S. Marines Please don’t forget Russia’s threat to nuke Norway in 2016.  Russia threatens to NUKE Norway in response to allowing US Marines to deploy in the country  Norway is no threat to Russia.  Yes, it controls the Skagerrak Strait, with…
UAWire – Norway responds to a large-scale campaign of Russia’s Northern Fleet
Major Brynjar Stordal, the press-spokesman of Norway’s Military Joint Headquarters, stated that Norway was not informed of the largest over the …
Estonia Says Russian Plane Again Violates Airspace
Estonia’s military says a Russian aircraft has violated its airspace for the second time this year and following several such incidents in 2016 and 2017.
NATO’s Stoltenberg Sees Strong Europe-U.S. Bonds Continuing
NATO’s secretary-general says he is confident close bonds between Europe and the United States will survive despite current differences over trade and U.S. decisions to withdraw from the Paris clim…
Political differences between Trump, EU leaders threatening NATO – Stoltenberg | UNIAN
Political differences are putting NATO under strain, but all parties must realize that the transatlantic union “makes us safer,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says. Back in 1952, Lord Hastings Ismay, the very first secretary general of the Alliance, predicted “that there will be persistent efforts to drive a wedge between us” and “that we shall have our little quarrels,” the NATO chief wrote in a column for The Guardian titled “Europe and North America need to stay united – now more than ever,” He adds that these words “seem remarkably prescient.” “These disagreements are real and they won’t disappear overnight. Nowhere is it written in stone that the transatlantic bond will always thrive. That doesn’t, however, mean that its breakdown is inevitable. We can maintain it, and all the mutual benefits we derive from it,” wrote Stoltenberg. The official notes that, despite differences, it has always been “in our fundamental interest to stand together on defence” in the face of the most unpredictable security environment in a generation where, among other threats, there is Russia that “has used force against its neighbours, that tries to meddle in our domestic affairs, and that seems to have no qualms about using military-grade nerve agents on our streets.”
Why Is the West Ignoring the War in Ukraine? – VICE
The war is active and people are dying. Most people just don’t care about it for a cocktail of both bigoted and ignorant reasons.
NATO Can Help Itself by Pulling Ukraine Closer Now | RealClearWorld
NATO is gearing up for its next summit. The Alliance’s Brussels summit in July will take place against the backdrop of growing Transatlantic strains. Europe’s chagrin over U.S. policies on the…
Ex-NATO deputy chief: NATO can help itself by pulling Ukraine closer now | UNIAN
Since 2014, Belarus has turned from Russia’s loyal ally to a neutral mediator between the West and Moscow, according to a U.S.-based private intelligence and analytic company Stratfor. At the same time, it was in the Belarus territory where a Ukrainian teenager Pavlo Hryb was abducted by the Russian FSB in August 2017 to further reemerge in a Russian prison in Krasnodar where he is being tried on trumped-up “terrorism” charges.
Ukraine Parliament passes National Security Bill | UNIAN
The Verkhovna Rada adopted Bill “On National Security of Ukraine” (No 8068), an UNIAN correspondent reports. Among the fundamental national interests of Ukraine, the law states the acquisition of membership in the European Union and NATO.
Poroshenko on Law on National Security: Significant step toward Ukraine’s membership in NATO | UNIAN
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said the Law on National Security passed on Thursday is a significant step toward Ukraine’s membership in NATO. Poroshenko stressed the law creates new opportunities for military-technical cooperation with allies, first of all the United States of America.
Ukraine may become NATO member in five years – MP (Video) | UNIAN
Ukrainian MP, Secretary of the Verkhovna Rada National Security and Defense Committee Ivan Vinnyk says Ukraine may become a member of NATO in five years, as the law “On National Security of Ukraine,” adopted by Ukraine’s parliament on June 21, opens the way for Ukraine to the Alliance. Vinnyk also demonstrated documents that indicated the law is in line with all NATO standards.
UAWire – NATO expects Ukrainian national security law to delimit functions of law enforcement agencies
NATO Representative to Ukraine Alexander Vinnikov anticipates that the Verkhovna Rada will pass a law on national security which will clearly …
UAWire – Poroshenko confident the NATO-Ukraine summit will take place despite Hungary’s efforts to block it
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declared several times during recent international talks that he was confident that the NATO-Ukraine summit …
Poroshenko reminds EU of new Kremlin crimes – 16.06.2018 12:50 — Ukrinform News
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has held a meeting with a delegation of the Political and Security Committee&nbsp;(PSC) of the European Union.
UAWire – Former Ukrainian Military Commander proposes to cut off the Crimean peninsula from land access
Anatoly Lopata, the Ukrainian former Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces and former First Deputy Defense Minister, stated that …
Dzhemilev assesses possibility of Russia forcing land corridor into Crimea amid severe drought | UNIAN
Despite drought in the illegally-annexed Crimea and serious problems with fresh water reserves that keep worsening, Russian President Vladimir Putin is unlikely to resort to a military operation to force the land corridor via mainland Ukraine to Crimea, since he needs the peninsula only as a military base while the price the Kremlin will have to pay for the offensive against the Ukrainian troops will be too high, says Mustafa Dzemilev, Ukrainian President’s envoy for the Crimean Tatar people. Putin will not go for a military campaign in the area, Dzhemilev believes. Despite drought in the illegally-annexed Crimea and serious problems with fresh water reserves that keep worsening, Russian President Vladimir Putin is unlikely to resort to a military operation to force the land corridor via mainland Ukraine to Crimea, since he needs the peninsula only as a military base while the price the Kremlin will have to pay for the offensive against the Ukrainian troops will be too high, says Mustafa Dzemilev, Ukrainian President’s envoy for the Crimean Tatar people. “Putin’s behavior is generally unpredictable, so nothing can be ruled out,” Dzhemilev told Apostrophe. But from Putin’s side, this [an attempt to pierce the land corridor to Crimea or influence Ukraine otherwise] would be very unreasonable and unpromising,” he said, adding that such a scenario is unlikely. Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/politics/10158446-dzhemilev-assesses-possibility-of-russia-forcing-land-corridor-into-crimea-amid-severe-drought.html Despite drought in the illegally-annexed Crimea and serious problems with fresh water reserves that keep worsening, Russian President Vladimir Putin is unlikely to resort to a military operation to force the land corridor via mainland Ukraine to Crimea, since he needs the peninsula only as a military base while the price the Kremlin will have to pay for the offensive against the Ukrainian troops will be too high, says Mustafa Dzemilev, Ukrainian President’s envoy for the Crimean Tatar people. “Putin’s behavior is generally unpredictable, so nothing can be ruled out,” Dzhemilev told Apostrophe. But from Putin’s side, this [an attempt to pierce the land corridor to Crimea or influence Ukraine otherwise] would be very unreasonable and unpromising,” he said, adding that such a scenario is unlikely. According to Dzhemilev, there will be some drinking water in the occupied Crimea, but not for agriculture: Russia is not interested at all in local economy. “But they will be supporting life there: delivering food, some electricity and water, so that people don’t actually die there. But there will never be a decent life as long as the occupation continues,” added one of the Crimean Tatar leaders. Previously, the media reported that in the near future, the occupied Crimea could switch to hourly water supply due to a drought.
Putin knows Donbas escalation could speed up his fall – Russian financier | UNIAN
Any escalation of Vladimir Putin’s aggression against Ukraine will in fact result in the speed-up of the fall of his regime, and the Russian leader is well aware of that, according to a Russian financier and blogger Slava Rabinovich. Rabinovich believes that an aggravation of hostilities in eastern Ukraine will lead to an instant collapse of both the Russian economy and, most likely, Putin’s regime.
Lithuania should be ready for Russian invasion – Grybauskaite | UNIAN
President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite says a threat of Russia’s invasion of Lithuania remains but if the country shows that it can and is ready to defend itself, this will not happen. The Lithuanian leader believes that the Western powers are naive in their assessment of Russia. President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite says a threat of Russia’s invasion of Lithuania remains but if the country shows that it can and is ready to defend itself, this will not happen. “The likelihood [of Russian invasion] is high if we don’t constantly defend ourselves,” Grybauskaite said in an interview with Der Spiegel. “If we demonstrate that we are able and willing to defend ourselves, no one will attack us,” the Lithuanian leader is convinced. According to the president, the country should be prepared for a possible Russian attack both “politically and technologically.” “Russian troops on the border with the Baltics and Poland are ten times stronger than those of NATO. But there’s more than just numbers. It’s about obligations and the will to defense. If our people and our partners support this, we have no grounds to be occupied,” added Grybauskaite. The President of Lithuania believes that the Western states are naive in their assessment of Russia. “Only when they have been attacked and they notice that Russia interferes in their interests, spies on them or manipulates their elections do they wake up,” added Grybauskaite. As UNIAN reported earlier, Estonia plans to spend almost EUR 190 million on strengthening its border with Russia.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘Without Soviet Troops, You’d be a Lampshade,’ Russian Embassy Tells Russian Opposition Figure in Estonia
Paul Goble Staunton, June 18 – The degradation of Russian official discourse takes many forms, but one of the clearest is offered today by what the Russian embassy in Tallinn told Yevgeny Kristafovich, a ethnic Russian Estonian politician whom Moscow has banned from visiting Russia because of his supposed Russophobia. Ten days ago, the Russian government put a large number of Estonians and residents of Estonia on a watch list because of their supposed Russophobia. Among them was Kristafovich, an ethnic Russian. (For background on this action and its hyperbolic character, see windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/06/kremlins-russophobia-charges-have.html). Following that action, many of those so listed have spoken out in the Estonian media to point out the absurdity of the Moscow action. Kristafovich has done so, and in response, the Russian embassy in the Estonian capital has issued what it views as an incontrovertible defense of its position. The embassy told Kristafovich that “if there had not been Soviet troops, then at best you would have been made into a lampshade or soap” by the Nazis and therefore any criticism of Russia is wrong. And now the Estonian news agency has reported it on its site (err.ee/840328/vene-saatkond-kristafovitsile-noukogude-vagedeta-oleks-teid-seebiks-tehtud). On the one hand, this is nothing more than a case of Russia using the Soviet Union’s contribution to the defeat of Hitler as a universal moral solvent that supposedly cleanses it of any responsibility for other actions it has taken, a position that Vladimir Putin has implicitly insisted on since becoming Russian president. But on the other, it is an example of the increasing nastiness of Russian diplomats who until recently had generally behaved better than the hosts of Moscow television talk shows but who now appear to have fallen in line with the very worst of them by deploying the kind of “argument” the Russian embassy in Tallinn has used in this case.
UAWire – Estonia to buy missiles for Mistral portable air defense systems from France for €50 million
Estonia’s state defense investment agency signed a contract for the purchase of short range missiles for Mistral man-portable missile system ( …
Kremlin Watch Briefing: Russian language = Russian responsibility? – To Inform is to Influence
Topics of the Week The Brexit campaign had close links to Russia and its ambassador to the UK According to Donald Trump, Crimea is a part of Russia because “everyone there speaks Russian”. (So, by that logic, should the British take back America?!) The US has imposed sanctions on Russian companies accused of assisting the Kremlin in spying on American…
Russia Wants to Sell Its Missiles to U.S. Allies – Bloomberg
The S-400 has never been used in combat, but it’s already causing geopolitical turmoil.
Ukrainian film director on hunger strike in a Russian prison casts dark cloud over World Cup
Revered Ukrainian film writer Oleg Sentsov has been on a hunger strike for 36 days in a Russian prison colony in northern Siberia. Concerns are growing about his fate after he has refused to eat until the Kremlin releases all 64 Ukrainian political prisoners.

Russia / Russophone Reports


Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia Experiencing Its Own ‘End of History’ Moment with Return of Stalinism, Pavlova Says
Paul Goble Staunton, June 19 – Ever more frequently, Irina Pavlova says, it is becoming obvious that Russia is experiencing its own “end of history” moment, not in the form of the triumph of liberal democracy and free market capitalism as the West expected but in actions that show “the organic quality of Stalinism for contemporary Russia.” In Russia today, the US-based Russian historian argues on her blog, “nothing remains from that brief historical moment at the end of the 1980s when in the public space [of Russia] appeared the term ‘Stalinism’ which expressed the essence of the Soviet system” (ivpavlova.blogspot.com/2018/06/blog-post_18.html#more). “In the atmosphere of those discussions for an instant the development of Russia not ‘from above’ but ‘from below’ seemed possible” and with it, “the appearance of ‘a state’ instead of ‘the powers,’ ‘a society’ instead of ‘the population,’ ‘an economy’ instead of ‘state production,’ [and] ‘an opposition’ instead of ‘progressive society.’” In short, Pavlova says, it appeared that there could appear “a genuine history of the country at least instead of its repeatedly falsified version.” But developments since then have dispelled those hopes, she continues. “Everything is just the same. Modernization in Russia proceeds in the same fashion as before,” and this isn’t about “the development of independent government institutions, civil society with independent public organizations … and business free from the powers with real private property rights.” Instead, the Putin regime engages in “gigantic projects of the Stalinist type – the Crimean bridge, the beautification of Moscow, enormous stadiums, ‘floating atomic power stations,’ ‘ports on the Baltic,’ international forums, championships, and competitions. And above all, modernization of military industry and the armed forces.” Two new legislative proposals only confirm that return of Stalinism: a plan to allow state corporations to more easily use the labor of prisoners and a second to steal from the population for the benefit of the regime by increasing the retirement age to the point where many will not live to receive pensions. Every day now, Pavlova argues, brings “new evidence that Stalinism is organic to present-day Russia” and “today the system isn’t frightened” by suggestions in the Internet that the regime is about to fall or by “spontaneous protests” or by “marginal public actions devoted to the memory of its harshest opponents.” All those things can continue and can confuse those who want to be confused, she suggests; but they do nothing to change the fundamental reality that Stalinism is back in the form of Putinism.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Tsarist Secret Police Penetration of Opposition Helps Explain Stalin’s Paranoia and Repression
Paul Goble Staunton, June 13 – An important source of Stalin’s paranoia and repressive actions lay in his knowledge of the success the tsarist secret police had in penetrating all opposition political parties before 1917. According to the archives, the Okhrana had more than 10,000 paid agents in these parties, including 2,000 in the Bolshevik Party, and 40,000 more who cooperated. Part of this network was exposed just after the revolution, Pavel Pryanikov’s Tolkovatel portal says; but many of the records were destroyed by revolutionary crowds and thus at least some were able to escape being punished, as the trials of others showed (ttolk.ru/articles/sistema_iz_10_tyisyach_provokatorov_tsarskoy_ohranki_i_paranoyya_stalinskih_repressiy). “This fact must be considered when we talk about the causes of the repressions of the 1920s and 1930s (and even of the 1940s and 1950s),” Tolkovatel says. “Only after October 1917 was exposed the extent of the infiltration of agents among the opposition, including among the Bolsheviks.” In the event, the site continues, “paranoia reached the top of the Bolshevik Party, especially given that … part of the cases on the provocateurs had been destroyed. Each could suspect another of being a secret agent of the Okhrana … Some Bolsheviks suspected that even Stalin had been a secret agent of the gendarmerie,” not to speak of more junior party people. “Moreover, many of the provocateurs were double agents, working for the Russian Okhrana and foreign intelligence services” and that not surprisingly gave the OGPU and NKVD the occasion to look for “’spies under the beds.’” Tolkovatel quotes extensively from Vladimir Ignatov’s 2014 book about the intelligence service operations of this kind. According to it, “of the 10,000 exposed agents, about 5,000 were Social Revolutionaries,” about the same number among the Bolsheviks, and sizeable numbers in the Bund, Paolei Tsion and Polish left.
Poll: Narrow Majority Of Russians Want Putin To Stay Past 2024
A new poll shows that more than half of Russians want President Vladimir Putin to stay in his current post after the scheduled end of his six-year term in 2024.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘Russia has Ceased to Be a Failed State and Demands Respect,’ Babitsky Says
Paul Goble Staunton, June 10 – Russian journalist Andrey Babitsky says that “Russia has ceased to be a failed state and thus demands respect,” an implicit but important acknowledgement that in the 1990s, the Russian Federation was a failed state, something few have been willing to acknowledge even in retrospect (vz.ru/opinions/2018/6/7/926496.html). (For the author of these lines, this acknowledgement however indirect is welcome. Fourteen years ago, I published an article entitled “Russia as a Failed State” in The Baltic Defense Review (bdcol.ee/files/docs/bdreview/bdr-2004-12-sec3-art3.pdf) and have been much criticized for the arguments therein. It will be interesting to see if Babitsky is similarly attacked.) The occasion for Babitsky’s remarks is the proposal by Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin to come up with legislation that will protect senior Russian government officials from defamation. Because of their responsibilities, he says, such officials cannot go into court to defend themselves as others do. And so the state must protect them by law. “There exists, of course, a small probability that the legislators will go to far and develop a law in which any critical opinion can be equated to an insult,” the Russian journalist continues; but senior Duma members say they will guard against that, especially given the changes that have occurred in Russia since 1999. According to Babitsky, “the term ‘Russian Federation’ over the years of Putin’s administration has begun to sound completely different” than it did under Boris Yeltsin. “Over this period, we have learned to respect our own state, to see and value the dynamic of its development, its strength and its prospects.” Russia today “is no longer a failed state which Russia was in the Yeltsin period but an organized and mature form of statehood, the presence of which even its opponents are not in a position to cast any doubt,” the journalist continues. If 15 or 20 years ago, it was not inappropriate to call senior officials all kinds of negative things, today, anyone who wants to make such charges must offer the public “facts which testify to the idea that they really are as described.” That often doesn’t happen; and the situation must change because those now in power aren’t the destroyers of the state but its revivers. “Criticize as much as you like but provide evidence for your opinion and be ready to defend your position in court,” Babitsky says, not as a result of suits by senior officials but against criminal charges. That is entirely justified now that Russia is again on its way to greatness and is not the failed state it once was.
U.S. Nominee Says Will Try To Prevent Russian Arms Sales To Allies
Planned purchases of weapons from Russia by U.S. allies in the Middle East likely would violate U.S. sanctions against Moscow’s defense sector, and Washington will work to discourage the sales, a t…
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Lowers Standards to Get More Draftees while Some Men Offer Bribes to Be Taken
Paul Goble Staunton, June 12 – The Russian defense ministry is changing the rules for the draft so that it can call to the colors those who could not meet current health requirements, experts say; but meanwhile, some young men are bribing draft boards to take them in so they can get the military ticket they need for future careers. Even though the Russian draft quota is falling as Moscow shifts toward a professional army, it still faces difficulties in getting all the draftees it needs. Consequently, the defense ministry is making it possible for soldiers initially rejected on health grounds to request a review and to serve if their problems are deemed minor (ura.news/articles/1036275191). Given that in recent years, nearly a third of those in the draft cohort – approximately 170,000 in all – are excused for health reasons, such a lowering of standards would likely make it far easier for the military to meet its needs. But experts fear that it will lower the quality of soldiers and possibly undermine unit cohesion. Academician Aleksey Arbatov of IMEMO worries that the military is less worried about that than about filling its quotas. Aleksandr Zhilin of the Moscow Center for the Study of Applied Problems of National Security says he is concerned that the draft boards will soon be ordered to pass as fit those that should not be. But Mikhail Timoshenko, a Moscow military expert, says that he can understand the position of the ministry: many young men will suffer severe career limitations if they do not have military service; and consequently, they will be eager to take a chance of gaining it if their health problems aren’t severe, especially now that the term of service is down to one year. Indeed, as Svobodnaya pressa reports, in some places, young men are not only trying this method of getting drafted but even paying bribes to the military commissions in the hopes of being drafted (vpressa.ru/war21/article/202512/). That is especially the case in the North Caucasus where the percentage of 18 to 21-year olds being drafted is smaller than elsewhere (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2017/04/demography-and-economics-shape-russian.html). At least some North Caucasians are desperate to get their military ticket because only those who have one can serve in the local police, often the best job available to them. But the Russian military, fearful of having too many Muslim soldiers, has kept draft quotas in the North Caucasus far lower, lest the Muslims form too large a share of the Russian army.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Three Largest Russian Militant Training Facilities Identified
Paul Goble Staunton, June 13 – After the Vagner disaster in Syria, Russian and Western journalists reported about its training facility near Molkino where members of that “private” armed grouping were trained. But the Ukrainian portal Obozrevatel observes that “it would be naïve” to assume that there is only one such site in Russia and points to the existence of three more. In the shadowy world of which such facilities are a part, this report should be treated as indicative rather than definitive; but it provides some important clues on where Moscow is currently training militants and even terrorists whose existence it can often successfully deny (obozrevatel.com/crime/ne-tolko-molkino-gde-rossiya-gotovit-boevikov.htm). The first of these is the Wolf International Center which has branches “not only in Russia but also in Hungary, Serbia, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Greece and Taiwan,” according to its website, Obozrevatel says. The head of this group is Denis Ryauzov, a military man who in June 2017 was included on the US sanctions list. The second is the Kadyrov Center in Gudermes, Chechnya. It came into existence in 2015 after Ramzan Kadyrov declared that he would open “’the most up-to-date international center’ for the preparation of special forces.” Kadyrov said it would train “not only people from Chechnya but from throughout Russia.” And the third is the Partisan Center in St. Petersburg. In contrast to the heads of the other centers, Obozrevatel says, Denis Vasilyev, the head of the Partisan Center, “does not conceal the fact that he is preparing militants for war in the eastern part of Ukraine,” not surprising since he himself fought for the pro-Moscow forces there. According to some sources, the Ukrainian site says, the Partisan Center has already prepared some 400 people to be dispatched for such service. These three are only the largest and most prominent. There are numerous other centers across the Russian Federation including in Pskov, Taganrog, Shakhty and even in Moscow oblast, Obozrevatel continues.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: By Turning from the West, Putin has Made Russia China’s ‘Younger Brother,’ Spivak Says
Paul Goble Staunton, June 24 — Vladimir Putin has just met for the 25th time with Chinese President Xi Jinping, a pattern that increasingly reflects the Kremlin leader’s desire to be part of the transformation of the international order but one that, since his turn from the West, leaves Russia in the uncomfortable position of China’s “younger brother,” Vita Spivak says. When Russia turned to China five years ago in the hopes of new investments and markets, the commentator says, “this step looked quite forced and even driven by despair” in the wake of the West’s response to the Crimean Anschluss and Russian involvement in the Donbass (theins.ru/opinions/106149). But now it is celebrated by both sides as a strategic partnership reflecting the full mutual understanding of the two leaders, Spivak continues. However, behind that public pose, there are real problems, especially for Russia. First of all, Russia simply is not a major player in the Chinese economy either as a trader or an investor. Moreover, China has its own agenda, one that Russia can sign on to only by closing its eyes to things it doesn’t like and “taking on the role of Beijing’s junior partner in international affairs and ever more depending on it economically,” a position that at a minimum is galling to Russian national pride and that may compromise Russian interests in the bargain. “If from the outside it appears that Russia and china are trying to create an alternative to the existing world order,” Spivak continues, “then this appears possible only as a result of the growing power of China in the international arena,” not in any way on Russia’s supposed partnership with it. “Whether Beijing will try to create alternative international rules or seek to take control of the existing mechanisms is still an open question,” she says; but even more unclear is how Russia will fit into either. “Moscow,” she says, “is behind Beijing on many international issues, including on the problems of the Korean peninsula, and in exchange it is receiving only a very selective and specific partnership.” It will bring political benefits to the Kremlin, income to Russian state corporations, and “a sense of being part of the main processes in the international arena.” But in the longer term, those may not be enough for the Russian government or the Russian people who have assumed up to now that in any partnership they take part in, they and not anyone else will be “the elder brother.” If they have to accept a change, that will require a fundamental redefinition by Russians of who and what they are in the world.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Post-Soviet States Split on Flight from Soviet Past Rather than Flight from Russia, Zubov Says
Paul Goble Staunton, June 13 – “Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Armenia are fleeing not from Russia,” Andrey Zubov says; “they are fleeting from their own totalitarian past in which unfortunately Belarus, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and the former Central Asian republics remain stuck.” The Russian historian’s words are quoted with approval today by commentator Yury Khristenzen who points out that Moscow and its supporters – and sometimes their opponents – confuse these two things even though it is critical to keep these very different motivations in mind (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5B1FFA7705616). “As an ethnic Russian and Russian-speaking citizen of Ukraine,” Khristenzen says, “I confirm the words of Andrey Zubov. Ukraine is interested in a flourishing, free, and democratic Russia,” one that is ready to be a partner, respects international law and relates to other countries “as an equal among equals.” According to the Odessa commentator, “Ukraine is not interested in a totalitarian and aggressive country which with tanks, lies and denials attempts to force its neighbors back into a totalitarian past, which violates obligations it has assumes, unleashes wars, and creates separatist enclaves in all countries seeking to break free from totalitarianism.” “Those Russians who really want to see Ukraine as a friend must understand that this is impossible to do via war and occupation. It is impossible to force someone to be friends by force … and those who view Ukraine as a partner and not a vassal must understand that it is necessary to change not Ukraine which is exporting lies and denials but rather change Russia itself.” Since becoming independent, Khristenzen says, Ukraine has never engaged in a single application of massive force “while during that period Russia has fought all the time to drive other countries into a totalitarian box. And today people in Ukraine are dying there and only there where the propaganda, military logistics and ‘we’re not here’ people of the Kremlin are.” If anyone has any doubts about what is going on and what is really at stake, the Kasparov portal commentator says, a recent photograph of a Russian tank in the Donbass should dispel such doubts. The tank, without any other identifying marks, bears the slogan “For Stalin,” hardly an indication of a desire to escape a totalitarian past or allow others to do so.


Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin Pension Plan has Achieved What Many Thought Impossible – Uniting Russians Against Their Government
Paul Goble Staunton, June 19 – The decision to raise the pension age, formally announced by the government but undoubtedly approved by Vladimir Putin, has done what many had thought impossible: it not only has united the Russian people against their government but it has prompted opposition figures and union leader to behave as they should. As commentator Aleksey Melnikov notes, the pension plan fiasco is “unique” in Russian history because it directly affects “the material interests of tens of millions of people” all at once and in ways that they understand (aleks-melnikov.livejournal.com/528575.html). Putin has thereby “achieved the impossible, in one moment drawing into politics the broadest masses of Russian citizens, including those who haven’t voted for anti-Putin parties, taken part in political meetings and are indifferent to the arrests of opposition figures, the commentator continues. Moreover, by taking this poorly thought out action, Putin has told Russians both that “social stability is at an end” and that “the political opponents of Putin have been right in everything.” That is creating a sea change in Russia, but whether this revolutionary situation will lead to a revolution remains unclear. It is certainly true, Melnikov says, that Russians are asking whether the policy they see being imposed reflects the political and economic system which exists under Putin. “And this is a revolutionary question.” Increasingly, they are drawing that conclusion and coming to see that “this system will be destroyed. Sooner or later.” Putin and his siloviki may be able to hold things in check for a longer time than one might expect, but in the end, the results will be the same as they were for the Russian Empire and the USSR. Putin is responsible for this, and for that, those who want a better future for Russia and Russians should be grateful, the commentator says. Melnikov almost certainly overstates his case and underestimates the resources of the Putin autocracy, but three developments this week support his view that the Russian people and their possible leaders have been transformed by what Putin has incautiously done after promising never to do it. They include: First, polls show that 92 percent of Russians oppose raising the pension age, and nearly two million have signed petitions to the government against that step, a greater unanimity than even Putin himself has ever achieved with all his political technology and repression (svoboda.org/a/29296510.html). Second, leaders of the opposition and leaders of the trade unions are being to act like they should, coming out against a government policy that hurts the people. They have organized some demonstrations and have announced more in the coming weeks; and now they may have the people behind them (echo.msk.ru/blog/corruption/2224438-echo/graniru.org/Politics/Russia/activism/m.270948.html and kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5B279EEBB89EF). And third, unlike many opposition enterprises in the past, this movement is drawing support not only from the two capitals but from cities and villages across the Russian Federation, something that will present a far greater challenge to the regime than it has faced in the past (kommersant.ru/doc/3661966). Moreover, the regime’s response is only making the situation worse. Russian officials have been insisting that pensions for those who get them will go up significantly if they continue to work a few more years. That notion is falling on deaf ears for both demographic and cultural reasons. On the one hand, many Russians, especially men, won’t live to get any pension. In the Russian Far East, for example, fewer than half will do so if the pension age goes up. In short, they will pay into the system with their taxes but get no benefits at all. The government will thus keep it all. (For useful discussions on the demographics of pension reform, see kp.ru/daily/26843/3885028/newizv.ru/article/general/18-06-2018/v-kakih-regionah-rossii-muzhiki-do-pensii-dozhivayut and kavkazr.com/a/kavkazcy-mogut-dozhit-do-pensii/29294906.html,) And on the other hand, concern about gaining a pension and living for a few years has been embedded in the minds of most Russians as the closet thing to a communist utopia any of them are going to see. Taking that away is a surefire means of infuriating them beyond the point of any explanation. As one thoughtful analyst puts it, one could raise the pension age in other countries without political fallout, but in Russia, because of its specific Soviet past, doing so, especially in the radical way Moscow has chosen to, will inevitably be not only unpopular but something that will snap the ties between the people and the state (nakanune.ru/articles/114043/).
As World Watches Russia, Opposition Seeks To Score With Pension Protests
With the World Cup under way in Russia, political players of various stripes are seeking to galvanize their bases with opposition to a controversial government plan to raise the retirement age.
Russians Rally Against Pension Reform In Krasnoyarsk
About 1,000 people have rallied in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk against a government plan to raise pension ages.
‘I’m Against This’: Russians Weigh In On Plan To Raise Retirement Age
People across Russia react to a government proposal to raise the retirement age from 60 to 65 for men and from 55 to 63 for women.
Russia is raising its retirement age. How and why? — Meduza
The federal government has finally decided to raise the retirement age for government pensions (what Americans know as Social Security). Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s cabinet has drafted legislation that federal lawmakers are expected to adopt in the fall.
Navalny Plans July 1 Protests Against ‘Crime’ Of Retirement-Age Increase
Opposition politician Aleksei Navalny is urging Russians to protest on July 1 against the government’s plan to raise the retirement age, calling it “robbery” and a crime against the citizenry.
Yabloko Party Official Detained In Moscow Over Pension Protest
The head of the Russian opposition party Yabloko’s branch in Moscow, Sergei Mitrokhin, has been detained while protesting the government’s plan to increase the pension age.
Russian Government Submits Bill On Raising Retirement Age
The Russian government has submitted proposed pension-reform legislation that would raise the retirement age — long a sensitive issue in Russia.


Russian Duma OKs ‘Native Languages’ Bill In First Reading
The lower house of Russia’s parliament has approved in its first reading a controversial bill on the teaching of native languages in schools.
A Common Language: Russia’s ‘Ethnic’ Republics See Language Bill As Existential Threat
A bill snaking its way through the Duma on the teaching of native languages has representatives of Russia’s so-called ethnic republics up in arms, arguing that Moscow’s intention is to “make everyo…
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin Won’t Back Down on Language Issue, but Heads of Republics Should Know Republic Tongue, Stepashin Says
Paul Goble Staunton, June 12 — In the course of a wide-ranging 9500-word interview published in today’s Kazan Business-Gazeta, former Russian prime minister Sergey Stepashin says that no one should expect Vladimir Putin to retreat a millimeter on his insistence on making the study of non-Russian languages voluntary. But the former senior officials says that if the country is to function adequately, it should be “an unwritten law” that anyone occupying or even aspiring to occupy the top jobs in the governments of the non-Russian republics should know the language of the titular nationality (business-gazeta.ru/article/385242). Stepashin provides enormous information on the events of the 1990s, but he makes five additional key points that have continuing relevance: · The Soviet leadership devoted enormous efforts to raise the standard of living in the non-Russian union republics, but it did not try to do the same with the Russian villages. · The USSR leadership did not manage to fully create a Soviet people. Instead, the residents of the country remained attached to their nations, classes and regions. · “Had Kazan broken away from Russia [in the 1990s], Chechnya would have seemed to us something beneath notice.” · “Russian oligarchs aren’t Rockefellers or Morgans. All of them know from whom and how they arose.” · And finally, Stepashin says that he “understands why Putin ever more often turns to God. Things aren’t easy for him: he is quite alone.”
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Finno-Ugric Maris have Long Looked to Estonia, Finland and Hungary – and Moscow Doesn’t Like It
Paul Goble Staunton, June 14 – The roughly 600,000 Maris, a Finno-Ugric nation in the Middle Volga, have long looked to the larger and now independent Finno-Ugric nations of Estonia, Finland, and Hungary for inspiration and support. Their interest has been reciprocated – and Moscow doesn’t like it. Last week, Hungary’s consul general in Kazan visited Ioshkar-Olga, the capital of Mari El, and proposed holding a Hungarian film festival for his fellow Finno-Ugrics there (idelreal.org/a/29275876.html). Whether that will happen remains to be seen, given Moscow’s opposition; but it has called attention to links between nations in this language community. To put this event in context, Dmitry Lyubimov in an extraordinarily useful article for Radio Liberty’s IdelReal portal has provided a detailed history of contacts between the Maris and the three now-independent Finno-Ugric nations as well as the reaction of the Soviet and now Russian governments (idelreal.org/a/29283225.html). Finnish and Hungarian scholars first made contact with the Maris in the 19th century; but already in the mid-1920s, the Soviet authorities sought to shut down these contacts, setting the stage for attacks on all Finno-Ugric cooperation almost like those launched against Pan-Turkism and for charges that various Mari figures were “Finnish spies.” In the 1970s, however, it became possible for some contacts to resume with Hungary, presumably because that country was part of the Soviet bloc. Contacts with Estonia, then occupied by Moscow, were possible as well; but anything having to do with Finland remained almost impossible. After the collapse of the USSR, there was a flurry of contacts between the Maris and the three Finno-Ugric countries, including visits by their ambassadors, talks about trade, and cultural and educational exchange. But that began to end in 2000 following the appointment of Leonid Markelov as head of the republic. Jaak Prozes, an Estonian expert on the Finno-Ugric peoples of the Russian Federation, argues that Moscow has tried out policies in Mari El that it has later extended to other non-Russian nations. For example, Markelov made the study of Mari voluntary in 2000 thus presaging Putin’s current push by 18 years (inosmi.ru/russia/20100623/160791328.html). Markelov also took the lead in dividing the national movement by creating pro-government groups to oppose more independent and popular ones and by attacking members of the latter, often with violence. His moves in that regard in 2005 were denounced by Finno-Ugric countries and the European Parliament as well. The Russian foreign ministry dismissed these criticisms as inappropriate and the Russian Duma followed suit, Lyubimov says. And Moscow together with Markelov did what it could to ensure that the Maris did not know how much support they had. The local media was silent about the controversy, and because the Internet had not developed there, few knew about it. In the 1990s, the Hungarian ambassador to Moscow visited Mari El four times, the Finnish ambassador and the Estonian ambassador once each. Then, in the first years of this century, they came as a group in 2002 and 2005, as well as individually, with the Hungarian diplomat coming six times, the Finnish four, and the Estonian three. But since 2011, no Finno-Ugric country ambassador has come to Mari El. At best, the republic has been visited by consul generals from Kazan or lower-ranking diplomats from the Moscow embassies. There have been some economic and cultural contacts; but those too appear to being frozen out. At least, when these do occur, the government media in Mari El even under Markelov’s successor have done what they could to downplay or even completely ignore them.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin Regime Not Just Xenophobic but Openly Racist, Yakovenko Says
Paul Goble Staunton, June 15 – Tamara Pletneva, the chairman of the Duma’s committee on the family, women and children, says that Russian women must avoid having sex with foreign fans during the World Cup lest there appear a large number of unwanted children to single Russian mothers as happened after the 1980 Moscow Olympiad. “Especially dangerous” in this regard, the deputy said on a Govorit Moskva radio program, is any sexual contact among members of different races. It would be a less bad if things were kept among members of the same race. “We must give birth to our own children,” she concluded (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5B22A51233070). Many Russians have expressed outrage, as have people of good will around the world who would demand that such a position be repudiated by the government and its source fired; but they have also indicated that many Russians share Pletneva’s view and the Putin regime does little to oppose them (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5B2215E7373E8). The voices of those of mixed race in Russia about this outrageous development are especially damning because they testify that if such attitudes are not opposed when they are expressed, they will spread and lead to even more horrific consequences including violence against minorities (takiedela.ru/news/2018/06/14/pletneva-ne-prava/). Russian commentator Igor Yakovenko suggests that the Putin regime not only is not opposing such outrageous comments but in fact is overlooking them on some occasions and sponsoring them on others, a pattern that he argues is leading the current regime toward Nazism (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5B22A51233070). Pletneva’s latest comment should have come as no surprise, Yakovenko says. She was involved with the distribution of cartoons “in which Barack Obama was portrayed with a banana,” she called for removing any reference to Jews on a Holocaust memorial in Rostov, and she explained that call by saying that “we have [in Russia] an ambiguous attitude toward Jews.” Not surprisingly, the Moscow commentator continues, “Pletneva, having offered her warning about sex with foreigners, immediately qualified her remarks by saying that she isn’t a nationalist. And this is the truth: because Deputy Pletneva is a Nazi and even more precisely a racist.” Her ideas are those of Adolf Hitler, Yakovenko says. The only difference so far is this: the Nazi leader put his ideas out in the form of laws while Pletneva issues her’s as “norms of morality. Now, “there is not the slightest doubt that if need be, the Duma will adopt a package of laws analogous to the Nuremburg ones – and do so unanimously just like Hitler’s Reichstag.” What is especially sad is that Western governments have not denounced Pletneva’s comments, insisted that the Kremlin distance itself from them, and refuse to take part in Putin’s World Cup show until that happens.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: FSB Tactics Now Getting in Way of Fighting Spread of Islamist Extremism, Expert Says
Paul Goble Staunton, June 12 – Many more Muslims in Russia are being exposed to Islamist radicalization because of the tactics the FSB is now using to fight that trend, Aleksey Grishin of the Religion and Society Analytic Center says, because jihadists have figured out how to use the FSB’s approach against it for their own purposes. He tells Artur Priimak of NG-Religii that “junior officers of the special services recruit their own network of agents in the cells of the extremists but the extremists have their instruction: the first time [the FSB approaches] don’t agree, but on the second or third, one can and must” (ng.ru/ng_religii/2018-06-06/13_443_yamal.html). By allowing himself to be recruited by the FSB, Grishin says, the extremist can “pursue the goals of his organization on a legal basis under the protection of the special services and count on being defended. When the police catch this extremist ‘red handed,’ the FSB says: ‘Stop, this is our agent!’ Or the reverse.” “And while the siloviki are questioning one another as to which of the extremists is whose agent, these extremists lead astray loyalists in the Islamist community. They make false reports which allow the officers to gain promotion.” And because a lot of federal money is involved, there is room for corruption. According to Grishin, at present, “the central apparatus of the Islamic State has as its chief task organizing cooperation with the Federal Penal System, the ministry of internal affairs, and the army who are fighting terrorism.” And that puts both regional officials and loyal Muslims in a difficult position. “Now,” he says, “a governor cannot telephone the Presidential Administration and ask which imam is pro-Russian or not,” unlike the situation when Vladislav Surkov was the curator for domestic affairs. But that system has collapsed and been replaced by one in which the FSB and its officers in the Presidential Administration run everything. According to Grishin, at the regional levels, officials are mostly responsible for ensuring that governors look good in Moscow. That means not challenging the FSB officers there, and those are the officers whose tactics are creating conditions for the spread of Islamist radicalism rather than its suppression. Priimyak quotes Grishin in the course of an article about the decision of officials in the Yamal to retrain local Muslim leaders this fall in an effort to stem the spread of Islamist violence. The NG-Religii reporter also interviews Aleksandr Yarkov, a specialist on Islam at Tyumen State University. Yarkov suggests there are other reasons for the deteriorating situation in the Yamal as far as extremism is concerned, including the increasing prevalence of imams from Central Asia and the Caucasus instead of natives of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan who better understand “Siberian Islam.”
Putin Advisers Question Legality Of Prosecution Of Jehovah’s Witnesses
Advisers to Russian President Vladimir Putin have questioned the legality of criminal cases opened against members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, saying law enforcement is misinterpreting a ruling las…
‘Extremist’ Faith: Russian Jehovah’s Witnesses Report Wave Of Police Raids, Detentions
Seventeen Jehovah’s Witnesses have been jailed in Russia in the year since Moscow declared the denomination an “extremist organization.” And raids on the homes of believers continue across the coun…


Window on Eurasia — New Series: Trolling of Patriarch Kirill Responsible for Declining Public Support for Orthodoxy, Church Says
Paul Goble Staunton, June 21 – Over the last 25 years, the percentage of Russians who say they view the dissemination of religious instruction has fallen by almost half, from 61 percent to 36 percent, leading some commentators to suggest that there is now a crisis in the relationship between the Russian people and the Russian Orthodox Church. Some blame this on the behavior of priests and senior clergy, behavior that polls show puts Russians off, and others simply on the growing secularization of Russian society, one in which for all the talk about religion, churches remain largely empty and the views of the church ignored. But the Moscow Patriarchate itself says there is no problem with its behavior or with the relationship to it of the Russian people. Instead, its officials insist, journalist Anna Popova says, that all the bad press the church gets is the result of an army of trolls that attack the clergy and especially Patriarch Kirill (dailystorm.ru/news/postoyanno-trollyat-patriarha-v-rpc-obyasnili-snizhenie-interesa-k-religii). Archpriest Dimitry Smirnov, head of the Patriachate’s commission on the family, the defense of motherhood and childhood and one of the most flamboyant attackers of modernity and defenders of obscurity, says that talk about a crisis of faith in Russia is the work of trolls who know nothing about the church or about Russia. In their telling, he says, every priest has a Mercedes, and such reports infuriate many Russians. “The people have acquired the sense of envy. And it is well-known that the Russian peasant woud like not to acquire a second cow but to see that the cow of his neighbor has died. The Bolsheviks inculcated this and changed the mentality of the people.” “There is a whole army of [such] people,” the archpriest says. “They constantly troll the church and the patriarch.” They treat any report about well-off clergy as if the next story would be about Nagasaki or Hiroshima. Indeed, “an entire pleade of such nihilists has arisen who know nothing.” According to Smirnov, “the main symbol of their worldview is the Mercedes … Yes, priests sometimes travel in good cars, because those who support them and can give them such vehicles, not new ones but all the same…” He says that he was given a nine-year-old Audi.” It was in good condition, he sold it and then bought a Volkswagen.” It is at least new. He argues that “Christianity is the foundation of European culture, and if Russia is a European country, then Russians must know the basics of the faith. Just like, for example, the French. Regardless of whether he believes in God or not, a Frenchman must know the basic commandments and know something about Christianity.” Russians must do the same.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin Now Defends Orthodox Church the Way the Soviets Did Official Atheism, Soldatov Says
Paul Goble Staunton, June 15 – “Russia is returning to the times of the repressive policy of state atheism,” Aleksandr Soldatov argues, but now the Putin regime is defending not official atheism as the Soviets did for 60 years but rather official Orthodoxy as defined by the Moscow Patriarchate. The Moscow commentator draws that conclusion on the basis of Moscow’s attacks in recent weeks on various independent Orthodox groups including the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church who are officially registered but differ from the Moscow Patriarchate on many issues (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2018/06/14/76801-pod-katkom-protoierey). Soldatov details what Russian siloviki have done against this group; but his article is important because of his larger point: Putin is not simply being repressive against various religions such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Muslims but he is following the very same pattern the Soviets did, choosing one, penetrating it with security officers, and oppressing everyone else. Most commentaries on the state of religious life in Russia under Putin have acknowledged that various groups are in trouble, but they have tended to treat each of them in isolation, looking for particular reasons why Putin is taking the repressive actions he has been taking. Soldatov’s article is a reminder that Putin is not opposing this or that religion for specific reasons, although he may make tactical choices, but rather seeking to repress all groups that are not totally loyal to him, that is, the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, in just the same way the Soviets did with official atheism.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russians Behave toward Putin in a ‘Passive-Aggressive’ Manner, Vitukhnovskaya Says
Paul Goble Staunton, June 14 – There are many ways in which Putin’s Russia is not like Hitler’s Germany, Russian poetess, writer and commentator Alina Vitukhnovskaya says, including not unimportantly three that explain reason people in the two countries conformed to the demands of their rulers (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5B2203FC93B90). First of all, she says, “in the Third Reich, the majority of citizens at a certain moment really believed in the postulates of propaganda, the success of plans for conquest and on the whole the policy of ‘the party and the government.’ In other words, support for the Nazi regime by Germany’s citizens was not passive-aggressive as in Putin’s Russia but immediately active.” Second, Vitukhnovskaya continues, “quantitively, the number of active supporters of the National Socialist regime significantly exceeded the number of such people in the Russian Federation.” And third, Hitler’s regime before the war was able to offer its citizens at least at an illusory level far more than Putin can offer his. “Summing up,” she says, “the tactic of conformism in the absence of a well-thought-through strategy inevitably leads to failures both in the short and medium term not to mention that it makes any long-term plans simply impossible to achieve.” Vitukhovskaya’s most important insight here is that many if not all Russians do act in a passive-aggressive fashion, a kind of behavior in which the individual does not directly oppose the demands of those in power – indeed, he or she may seek to avoid direct confrontation lest the regime respond – but acts in a conformist way without any enthusiasm. That in turn means that any support is far thinner and more fragile than many imagine and that a shock to the system could destroy it far more quickly than anyone now imagines.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kremlin’s ‘Russophobia’ Charges have Nothing to Do with Ethnicity, Everything with Politics, Shtepa Says
Paul Goble Staunton, June 11 – The Putin regime and its minions constantly invoke the term “Russophobia” to suggest that critics of the Kremlin are ethnic bigots or even racists; but in reality, such charges have nothing to do with ethnicity or language but are entirely determined by politics, Vadim Shtepa says. “Those who harshly criticize” Putin and his regime “are declared ‘Russophobes’” by that regime even if they are ethnic Russians or their criticism is entirely based on facts or even affection for the Russian people, the editor of the After Empire portal argues (facebook.com/vadim.shtepa/posts/1899980626719585). That becomes obvious if one looks at the latest list of people in Estonia Moscow has declared “Russophobes” whom it has banned from entering Russia. In addition to former president Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Estonian foreign policy experts like Kristi Raik, Ivo Juurvee, Kalev Stoicescu, and Erkki Bahovski, and political activists like Andres Herkel, Henn Polluaas, Urmas Reitelmann, and Toomas Alatalu, there are some Russians and Ukrainians as well. On the list as well are Dmitri Terepik, an ethnic Russian researcher at the Tallinn International Center for Defense and Security, Jevgeni Kristtafovits, an ethnic Russian activist who represents Kasparov in Estonia, Sergei Metlev who exposed the role of ethnic Russian teachers in stirring up trouble over the Bronze Soldier controversy, historian Igor Kopotin whose research focuses on Bolshevik atrocities in Estonia during that country’s fight for independence, and Evhen Tsybulenko, who heads the Ukrainian-Estonian society. As Shtepa points out, in the past, “’Russophobia’ was a market of Russian nationalist movements. But today the Kremlin has in fact privatized it after having disarmed the nationalists.” And its use of the charge “very much recalls the term ‘anti-Soviet agitation’ of the USSR era.” Like that, it is directed at anyone who fails to follow “’the party line.’” In short, he continues, “the term ‘Russophobia’ has acquired a purely political meaning – it refers to a negative attitude toward the Kremlin empire.” And that in turn means that the only way to overcome it is by means of “the final de-imperialization of Russia,” quite possibly accompanied by the disappearance of the term “Russia.” When the British Empire disappeared, London did not feel the need to deploy a term like “Anglophobia” against its critics in Canada, the US, Australia or New Zealand.” Those countries all speak English, but they are also “different nations,” something that the British people have no trouble recognizing. Within the borders of today’s Russian Federation, Shtepa says, “there are about 50 ethnic Russian oblasts and krays.” He suggests that “in the process of the final disintegration of the empire will appear approximately the same number of Russian speaking nations, from Koenigs on the Baltic to Primors on the Pacific Ocean.” Once that happens, Shtepa concludes, “the Kremlin’s accusations of ‘Russophobia’ will disappear” as well.
UAWire – Russian gas conglomerate Gazprom cut off from international capital markets
The Stockholm Arbitration Institute’s ruling obligating Gazprom to pay Naftogaz Ukraine $2.6 billion has threatened to disrupt the Russian gas …
Antidiscrimination Group Says St. Petersburg Has Shut Down Its Office
An umbrella group that campaigns against racism and antigay abuse in sports has accused the authorities in St. Petersburg of having shut down one of its “safe places” for the World Cup.
CPJ Urges Russia To ‘Carefully Investigate’ Stabbing Of Jailed Blog Editor
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has urged Russian authorities to “carefully investigate” the circumstances behind injuries sustained by a blog editor while in detention.
Austria Extradites Alleged Russian Crime Boss To Moscow
An alleged Russian crime boss suspected in a string of contract killings has been extradited by Austria to Moscow after losing a years-long legal battle, Russia’s Interior Ministry says.
Court Orders Moscow Cab Driver Who Injured Pedestrians Detained
A Moscow court has ordered a Kyrgyz taxi driver who drove into pedestrians near the Kremlin, injuring seven, to be held in pretrial detention for two months.
HRW: Russian Journalist Facing ‘Groundless’ Charges
An international human rights watchdog has called on Russian authorities to drop charges against Viktor Korb, a journalist who faces terrorism charges for transcribing and publishing a 2015 speech …
Russian To Seek Asylum In France Due To Pressure Over Artwork Depicting Poklonskaya, Tsar
A Russian artist who has faced pressure over works mocking nationalist lawmaker Natalya Poklonskaya says he left Russia earlier this year and plans to seek political asylum in France.
Exam Fail: Leaked Questions Burn Whistle-Blowing Russian Teacher, Not Cheaters
A teacher uncovers evidence that questions in the math section of Russia’s unified graduation exam were leaked ahead of time on the Internet. Instead of investigating the alleged source, the govern…
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Buying Defective Russian Nuclear Technology Will ‘Kill Us All,’ Chinese Commentator Warns
Paul Goble Staunton, June 19 –A Chinese commentator has warned that importing what he describes as low quality Russian nuclear technology will “kill the Chinese people.” Somewhat remarkably Moscow has chosen to translate this especially because it is part of a far larger pattern in which China wants Russia’s raw materials but has no interest in purchasing its manufactured goods. Earlier this month, Mao Chao, a Chinese commentator, says that a Russian offer to sell Beijing nuclear power technology must be rejected because it is so defective that it is likely to break down, cause an accident, and kill any Chinese living near such plants (mp.weixin.qq.com/s/1c7qqCPhPvjVZ5ZZNOlxnQ). That article has now been translated by the Russian Inosmi service and is currently available at inosmi.ru/military/20180618/242487820.html. If it is taken down, as its content suggests may be a real possibility, a copy of it has been posted as well at justicefornorthcaucasus.info/?p=1251679511). The Chinese commentator not only talks a great deal about the Chernobyl accident but argues that Russia has made little progress since 1986 in improving safety and reliability. “If in the USSR at that time had been working Western specialists,” he says, “the Chernobyl accident might not have occurred at all and would at least have been more rapidly controlled.” “Although the Russians are able to build atomic power plants, their technological level is insufficiently advanced. All Russian enterprises included in the 500 best,” Mao says, “are oil or finance companies. Not one of them is an industrial producer.” That says it all, the Chinese writer continues. “The technological level of Russian industry is very low, and its products are distinguished by their low quality.” That is true in the defense industry from tanks to aircraft to aircraft carriers, the commentator says. None of those things is world class as recent events have shown. He adds: “In view of the low quality of Russian production, countries wishing to purchase it ought to think twice, especially if one is talking about equipment for atomic power stations.” There, the use of Russian products “could put at risk the lives and security of the people.” Wouldn’t it be a better idea not to buy from Russia, the Chinese author says, and instead choose to purchase equipment from countries whose industrial producers operate at a more advanced level and can guarantee greater reliability and safety? Indeed, he says, “China has already brought Russia enough profit.” And then Mao concludes that “such a narrow-minded individual as Putin who is capable only of secret furthers can survive by selling oil to China. That’s enough: we must show Russia that we will not allow Russia technology to kill our people.” A new study by the Russian Academy of Economics and State Service concludes that “China has been refusing to purchase goods in Russia” other than raw materials, thus suggesting that Mao’s comments are far from an isolated view in China and that Moscow is going to have a hard time selling more there (finanz.ru/novosti/aktsii/kitay-otkazalsya-pokupat-v-rossii-nesyrevye-tovary-1027170183).


Window on Eurasia — New Series: Two Dangerous Proposals on Crimea with Even More Dangerous Consequences
Paul Goble Staunton, June 14 – Any time a dispute lasts beyond a few weeks, it is almost inevitable that some of those involved will seek to end it by accepting the position of their original opponents or by proposing what seems to be a way around the problem by recasting it in different terms. Both these steps represent serious risks in and of themselves; but often they also pose dangers far larger than the problem they purport to solve, dangers neglected as people react to them. Two such ideas have surfaced today regarding Crimea, one from US President Donald Trump and a second from Greeks on that occupied Ukrainian peninsula. The one that is certain to gain the greater amount of attention is a report in Buzzfeed today that Trump told the G7 meeting in Ottawa that “Crimea is Russian,” a reversal of the US position up to now and a major victory for Vladimir Putin (buzzfeed.com/albertonardelli/trump-russia-crimea and thebell.io/buzzfeed-tramp-nazval-krym-rossijskim/). That is disastrous enough as a betrayal of Ukraine, but the reason Trump reportedly invoked to justify this idea is even more disturbing. It goes further than even Putin has in justifying Russian aggression. Since 2014, Putin has justified the Anschluss by pointing to the referendum he orchestrated after Russian forces moved in. What Trump reportedly said was that Crimea is Russian because “all the people there speak Russian,” a position that mirrors the Kremlin leader’s earlier assertions about “a Russian world” embracing more than just Crimea and the Donbass and one that Moscow might seek to apply to northern Kazakhstan, parts of Belarus and so on. As of now, the White House has neither confirmed nor denied Trump said this, and one should treat the Buzzfeed report with caution because its sources were not authorized to report this and spoke only on condition of anonymity. But if it is true – or even if it is a trial balloon – no one should forget these larger problems as well as the immediate ones it can cause. The second proposal comes from the ethnic Greek community on the occupied Ukrainian peninsula. It has called for going back to the tsarist-era term for the region and calling Crimea again the Tauride, thus eliminating “Crimea” as a problem by eliminating the name – or at least creating confusion (ura.news/news/1052338816 and cont.ws/@comandanteoleg/975344). Nomenclature matters, and one perhaps can even sympathize with the tiny Greek minority on the peninsula for wanting to have a name more closely associated with themselves and their history than “Crimea” does. But there are two far-reaching consequences if this proposal gains any traction. On the one hand, it would dramatically undercut the position of the Crimean Tatars, for whom the Crimea is their unique national homeland. Indeed, some in Moscow and the West would likely view the Greek proposal as a way of denying that the Crimean Tatars have any rights to national self-determination. And on the other – and far more seriously – it would open the way for more Russian aggression. Those who are ready to accept the notion of going back to “Tauride” as a name for the peninsula may not know or have forgotten that in tsarist times, the Tauride included not just Crimea but a large part of the south of what the Putin regime has referred to as Novorossiya. Thus, this new-old term would lend support to Russian aggression not only in Crimea but in the Donbass – and by extension elsewhere wherever imperial Russian boundaries and names do not correspond with current post-1991 ones. Both proposals then must be rejected and denounced by all those who care about Ukraine and about the maintenance of international law, not only because of what would be their immediate consequences but even more because of what would be their longer-term ones as well.
EU Ministers Extend Crimea Sanctions For Another Year
European Union agricultural ministers have prolonged the bloc’s investment ban against Crimea for another year.
Ambulance Called To Crimean Court For Hunger-Striking Ukrainian Defendant
An ambulance has been called to a court in Russian-controlled Crimea after defendant Volodymyr Balukh, an imprisoned pro-Kyiv activist who has been on hunger strike for almost three months, felt un…
UN outraged by Russian ‘nationalizations’ in Crimea – 22.06.2018 14:31 — Ukrinform News
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights calls on the Russian Federation to stop human rights violations and seizure of private property in the occupied Crimea.
Five Crimean Tatar Activists Get Suspended Prison Terms Over 2014 Protest
A Russian court in Crimea has convicted five Crimean Tatar activists of taking part in “mass disturbances” in February 2014 and handed them suspended prison sentences ranging from 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 years.


Council Of Europe Calls On Russia To Free Ukrainian Filmmaker Sentsov
The chief of Europe’s top human rights body is urging Russia to release imprisoned Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, who is currently on hunger strike while serving a 20-year sentence.
Thirty-Eight Countries Ask UN Chief To Intervene With Putin In Sentsov Case
The United States, France, Britain, and 35 other countries have asked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to raise the case of jailed film director Oleh Sentsov and dozens of other Ukrainian pris…
G7 Ambassadors ‘Deeply Concerned’ About Jailed Ukrainian Filmmaker Sentsov
Ambassadors of the Group of Seven (G7) leading industrialized states say they are “deeply concerned” about the situation of film director Oleh Sentsov and “other Ukrainian prisoners and detainees” …
A Siberian prisoner spoils Putin’s extravaganza – NYT | UNIAN
Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent an email to all employees on Monday morning about a factory fire, and seemed to reference possible sabotage. Several employees, from different divisions within Tesla, confirmed receipt of the e-mail to CNBC.
UAWire – Russian public figures ask Putin to pardon Sentsov
Russian filmmakers Andrey Zvyagintsev, Pavel Lungin, Alexander Sokurov and other public figures have asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to …
U.S. Calls On Russia To Release Dozens Of Political Prisoners
The United States has called on Russia to release dozens of people it says have been identified by rights groups as political prisoners.
UAWire – Ukrainian President: human rights are not part of the vital interests of Russia
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko welcomed the resolution adopted by the European Parliament on Thursday condemning Russia’s massive …
UAWire – Poroshenko calls on Macron to intensify pressure against Russia to release Ukrainian political prisoners
The Ukrainian President’s Press Service reports that President Petro Poroshenko held a telephone conversation with French President Emmanuel …
Ukrainian Ombudswoman Not Allowed To Meet With Ukrainian Journalist Held In Russia
Ukrainian ombudswoman Lyudmyla Denisova was not allowed to meet with Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko in a Moscow detention center, the Ukrainian parliament’s deputy speaker says.


Russia Hides Bad News Behind World Cup – To Inform is to Influence
First, the news of the Pension Age for Russian citizens is announced during the Russia/Saudi Arabia World Cup Game.   Russia proposes raising the pension age, the first hike in almost 90 years Then the news of the Value Added Tax is increased from 18% to 20% during the World Cup in Russia. Russian government submitted a draft…
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Besides the Russian Victory: Five Other Stories from the World Cup
           Paul Goble Staunton, June 20 – As a result of its second victory, the Russian team has advanced to the second round of the World Cup, the first time it has done so since 1986, an occasion for congratulations and massive celebration by Russians across the country, developments that are eclipsing almost everything else. But today, there were five reports of other developments at the World Cup competition in Russia that deserve mention as well because of the light they cast on Russia today.  They include:
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Minute of Silence for Cats and Dogs Killed before World Cup – and Eight More Stories Putin Media Unlikely to Report
Paul Goble Staunton, June 16 – In Saratov yesterday, animal rights activists organized a minute of silence before a World Cup match in memory of the thousands upon thousands of homeless cats and dogs Russian officials killed in venue cities in advance of the competition, just one of the stories the Kremlin, committed to good news only, is unlikely to cover. The independent Sobkor portal carried that story today (sobkorr.ru/news/5B23C8554B99A.html). Eight of the many other stories the Russians powers that be hope undoubtedly hope will be overlooked or at least downplayed during the much-ballyhooed world sporting event in Russian cities include the following: · Fan attendance at some of the first round competitions between less prominent squads has been so low that both Russian organizers and FIFA have launched investigations (newsland.com/community/4109/content/orgkomitet-chm-2018-poobeshchal-razobratsia-s-nizkoi-iavkoi-fanatov/6376198newizv.ru/news/sport/15-06-2018/match-egipet-urugvay-ustanovil-antirekord-poseschaemosti, and thinktanks.by/publication/2018/06/16/fifa-rassleduet-nizkuyu-poseschaemost-chm-2018.html). · Meanwhile, members of the Russian elite are expressing unhappiness with the quality of the special seats allocated to them. Perhaps they won’t attend future matches unless something is done or they are pressed to do so (momenty.org/worldcup/663). · In Yekaterinburg, a scandal has broken out because organizers have sold tickets for seats in sections of the stadium that hasn’t yet been completed (sobkorr.ru/news/5B24BFB49DCCC.html). · Another scandal is occurring in Moscow. There, visitors say, a Russian restaurant near a World Cup venue has set prices on its English-language menu twice as high as on the Russian one for the very same food (charter97.org/ru/news/2018/6/16/294063/). · Some teams and fans from countries used to warm weather, like Uruguay and Egypt, have complained that they are freezing to death in Russia (momenty.org/worldcup/630). · A Yeltsin makes an appearance at the World Cup. That is the first name of one of the Costa Rican players (ura.news/news/1052338969). · Ethnic Sakha have expressed outrage at what they see as the slighting portrayal of their nation in a Russian film clip about the World Cup (nazaccent.ru/content/27493-nacionalnye-aktivisty-nedovolny-obrazom-severyan-v.html). · When a Nigerian fan made too much noise while staying in a Moscow high rise, a group of Russians decided to “solve” that problem by throwing him out of the window. He has been hospitalized as a result (znak.com/2018-06-16/moskvichi_vybrosili_iz_okna_nigeriyskogo_bolelchika_kotoryy_shumel).
Russia Stages World Cup Celebration At UN In New York
Russia has staged a celebration of the World Cup at UN headquarters in New York with large screens to watch matches and an invitation to UN ambassadors to show up in the jerseys of their national t…
‘Football Soaked In Blood’: An Artist’s World Cup Vision
Vladimir Putin sitting on a pile of skulls, a footballer running through a cemetery… viral images created by Ukrainian artist Andriy Yermolenko offer a provocative take on the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Russian police ordered not to release bad news during World Cup – 15.06.2018 17:31 — Ukrinform News
The Russian Interior Ministry has demanded that police departments stop spreading bad news in the media during the 2018 FIFA World Cup and instead report on successes in solving crimes, Reuters has reported, with reference to a copy of the order.&nbsp;
‘Navalny Soccer’: World Cup Commentator’s Mention Of Kremlin Foe Causes A Stir
A World Cup commentator for Russian state television’s broadcast of the Germany-Mexico match mentioned opposition leader Aleksei Navalny in a joke, triggering a wave of snickers given state media’s aversion to covering the Kremlin foe’s criticism of the government.
English Fans Arrive In Volgograd Amid Tight Security, Warm Welcome
England fans began to trickle into Volgograd for their team’s World Cup opening match and were being received warmly by local residents despite many previous clashes between Russian and English s…
U.S. Warns Of ‘Terrorism’ Risk During World Cup In Russia
The U.S. State Department is warning that “terrorists” may target World Cup venues in Russia, which is hosting the month-long soccer tournament, but it did not point to any specific threat.
State Dept. warns Americans of terrorist threat at World Cup | TheHill
The department issued a travel advisory on Friday urging Americans to “reconsider travel to Russia due to terrorism and harassment.”
Burger King In Russia Apologizes For Ad Urging World Cup Pregnancies
The Russian division of the American fast-food restaurant chain Burger King has apologized for offering a lifetime supply of Whoppers to Russian women who get pregnant by World Cup players.
Fines Issued As Some World Cup Fans Heap Abuse On Women, Gays, Minorities
The soccer teams of Mexico and Serbia are the first to be hit by fines at the World Cup over offensive and discriminatory behavior by their fans amid a growing number of reported incidents of abuse…
World Cup: England fans lay wreath at Volgograd memorial as deputy ambassador praises historic ties | News | The Times
Britain’s deputy ambassador to Moscow and the chairman of the Football Association praised the welcome England fans have received in Volgograd in a departure from the recent hostile rhetoric between London and Moscow.Speaking at a wreath-laying today by England fans at a war memorial in the city to …

Central Asia / Caucasus Reports


UAWire – Armenia begins unprecedented corruption investigations
The Armenian government, headed by Nikol Pashinyan, has begun a large-scale fight against corruption and the country’s shadow economy. The …
Telegram’s Durov Awarded In Kazakhstan For Standing Against Censorship
The Union of Kazakhstan’s Journalists has awarded Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov for his stance in a long-running battle between popular messaging service Telegram and the Russian authorities.

Belarus Reports


Belarus Passes Legislation Against ‘Fake News’ Media
Belarusian lawmakers have passed controversial amendments to the country’s media laws despite claims by domestic and international groups that the move risks leading to further censorship of the pr…
Russia losing long-term ally – Stratfor – news about politics
Since 2014, Belarus has turned from Russia’s loyal ally to a neutral mediator between the West and Moscow, according to a U.S.-based private intelligence and analytic company Stratfor. At the same time, it was in the Belarus territory where a Ukrainian teenager Pavlo Hryb was abducted by the Russian FSB in August 2017 to further reemerge in a Russian prison in Krasnodar where he is being tried on trumped-up “terrorism” charges. Since 2014, Belarus has turned from Russia’s loyal ally to a neutral mediator between the West and Moscow, according to a U.S.-based private intelligence and analytic company Stratfor. In 2011, Belarus was firmly within Russia’s orbit and completely isolated from the West politically. A crackdown on protests after the 2010 presidential elections, in which the long-serving President Alexander Lukashenko secured his fourth term in a controversial vote, led the European Union and United States to impose sanctions on the country and its top officials, including Lukashenko. Russia was Belarus’ major and only ally,” Stratfor wrote in a report titled “Belarus, the Borderlands and the U.S.-Russia Standoff.” However, the situation in Belarus changed dramatically in 2014 after the Euromaidan uprising in Ukraine, when Lukashenko realized that his survival could be at risk if he did not adapt to the changing geopolitical winds.
Lukashenka Hails ‘Friendly’ Belarus-EU Ties
Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has hailed the improvement of relations between his country and the European Union, saying he sees economic ties to be the “foundation” of Minsk’s partnership with the bloc. Lukashenka made the comments in Minsk on June 21 during a meeting with Johannes Hahn, commissioner for European neighborhood policy and enlargement negotiations. “Talks about democracy, freedom of speech, political prisoners, abolishing capital punishment are surely necessary, we keep those issues on the agenda, taking about them boldly and openly,” the Belarusian president said. But Lukashenka insisted that “the foundations of our ties are trade, economic, and financial ties.” “We decided to go toward each other, to revive our friendly partner relations,” he also said, while Hahn said the EU and Belarus had to develop trustful relations in recent years, according to Belarusian news agencies. The EU introduced restrictive measures against Belarus in 2004 in connection with the unresolved disappearances of two opposition politicians, one businessman, and one journalist. The European Council adopted further sanctions in the wake of a crackdown that followed December 2010 presidential election. But in February 2016, the EU lifted most sanctions against Minsk– asset freezes and visa bans on 170 Belarusians, including Lukashenka and senior officials, and restrictive measures against 14 companies. It said the sanctions were lifted “in response to the release of all Belarusian political prisoners on [August 22, 2016] and in the context of improving EU-Belarus relations.”
Eating Over The Bones At Stalin Killing Field?
The opening of a restaurant a few dozen meters from a Stalin-era killing field in Belarus has sparked uproar among those who say the crimes that took place there should never be forgotten.
UAWire – Putin and Lukashenko sign a statement on the expansion of strategic partnership between Russia and Belarus
Following a Higher State Council meeting of the Union State, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko …

Transnistria / Moldova Reports


Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moldovan President Should be Investigated for Treason on Behalf of Russia, Candu Says
Paul Goble Staunton, June 15 – It is a measure of the kind of actions Vladimir Putin has been taking and the difficulties they can cause that the speaker of the Moldovan parliament now says that Igor Dodon, the president of his country, is “working for Russia” and suggests the official be investigated for treason on behalf of Moscow against Moldova. In an interview with Ukraine’s Censor.net news agency, Andrean Candu, 42, the speaker of the Moldovan parliament, says that it is obvious that Dodon always supports Moscow’s position against Moldova and that this makes it clear that he is “working for Russia” (censor.net.ua/resonance/3070828/est_ideya_edinogo_iska_gruzii_ukrainy_i_moldovy_po_okkupirovannym_territoriyam_spiker_parlamenta_moldovy). “Unfortunately,” Candu continues, the president of Moldova is elected directly by the population but “his role according to the Constitution and in the state system is more decorative” than substantive. Because [Moldova] is a parliamentary republic. He has some powers, but they are very small.” In Moldova, the speaker says, “we say that he has ‘a strong voice but weak hands.’” Asked if he was prepared to launch an investigation into Dodon for treason, Candu replies that “we think that there will be a time and context for beginning an investigation in the parliament. But you must understand that the investigation must lead to something after this. Perhaps, we will remove him, at least for 30 days.” “After 30 days, we must organize a referendum, and he remains quite popular. Therefore, let us wait until things move a big more. Let us big a major investigation because by the way, a month ago, he flew to St. Petersburg on a jet chartered and paid for by Russian businessmen, and this is already having an impact on his reputation.” As a result, the speaker says, “we think that we will begin the investigation in parliament.” Then, of course, it will need to be turned over to Moldova’s law enforcement agencies who must look into cases involving the betrayal of the country to a foreign power.
UAWire – Convoy of Russian military equipment spotted near Ukrainian border in Transnistria
A convoy of Russian military equipment heading towards the Ukrainian border has been reported by social media users. &quot;A convoy of Russian …
Moldova Concerned Over Russian Troops Movement In Breakaway Region
Moldova has expressed concern over what it says were unauthorized movements by Russian military forces in the breakaway Transdniester region.
Moldovan Court Upholds Voiding Of Chisinau Mayoral Election Amid Protests
A Moldovan appeals court has upheld a lower-court ruling invalidating the results of Chisinau’s mayoral election, citing violations by both candidates of the country’s campaign law.
Moldovan Court Annuls Chisinau Mayoral Election Results
A court in Moldova’s capital has not validated the mandate of Andrei Nastase, whose election victory in the mayoral election earlier this month had been challenged by opponents.
Moldovans Protest After Mayoral Candidate’s Victory Blocked
Thousands of people have joined protests on the streets of the Moldovan capital, Chisinau, after a court invalidated the election victory of a pro-Western candidate to the mayor’s post.
Reports: Russian Energy Executive Arrested On Spying Charges
Russian news reports say an executive with energy holding company Inter RAO has been arrested and charged with spying for an unnamed foreign country.
Police in Moscow reportedly arrest an energy company executive on espionage charges — Meduza
On June 19, a court in Moscow placed a woman named Karina Tsurkan under arrest on espionage charges, according to the news agency TASS. A spokesperson for the court identified Tsurkan as a foreign national, saying she will be detained until at least August 13, while investigators build their case, the details of which have been classified.

Ukraine Reports


Surkov to continue supervising occupied Donbas in Putin’s administration – Peskov | UNIAN
Speaking at a Washington briefing June 14, White House Spokesperson Sarah Sanders said she was unaware of U.S. President Donald Trump allegedly telling G7 leaders that “Crimea is part of Russia because everyone who lives there speaks Russian.” The spokesperson told journalists she would not speak of a private conversation she had not participated in.
Poroshenko, Putin hold phone talk on Minsk Agreements, UN peacekeepers, political prisoners, 112.international – Poroshenko, Putin hold phone talk on Minsk Agreements, UN peacekeepers, political prisoners – 112.international
Poroshenko, Putin hold phone talk on Minsk Agreements, UN peacekeepers, political prisoners
Joint Forces Operation report, 112.international – Ukrainian military detain light aeroplane in JFO zone – 112.international
Ukrainian military detain light aeroplane in JFO zone
Situation in Azov Sea may escalate amid expansion of Russia’s military presence – Turchynov | UNIAN
Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov has said the situation in the Azov Sea may escalate due to the expansion of Russia’s military presence. Turchynov also reminded about the Russians’ attempts to block ships moving to Ukrainian ports in the Azov Sea.
Poroshenko expects from EU “rigid” stance toward new challenges Russia poses in Black and Azov Seas | UNIAN
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko says he expects from the European Union to take a strong stance toward new security challenges Russia is now posing in the Black and Azov Seas. The Head of State welcomes the decision of the EU Council to extend the ban on European companies to invest in Crimea.
Poroshenko and EU leaders will discuss Russian threat in Black Sea, Sea of Azov – Poroshenko, EU leaders to discuss Russian threat in Black, Azov Sea – 112.international
Ukraine’s President is counting on a firm position. Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko intends to discuss Russia’s threats to country’s security in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov with the EU leaders during the Ukraine-EU summit on July 9. President wrote this on his Facebook page. “We are counting on a firm position of the EU on the challenges caused by Russia in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov. We will discuss this question with the EU leaders at the Summit on July 9,” he wrote. As it was reported earlier, Petro Poroshenko, during a meeting in Germany with President of the European Council Donald Tusk, agreed to hold the jubilee 20th Ukraine-EU summit in the summer of this year in Brussels. The parties at the meeting also discussed the situation in Donbas, the course of the JFO, the violation of the armistice by Russia and the continuation (strengthening) of anti-Russian sanctions. Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko intends to discuss Russia’s threats to country’s security in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov with the EU leaders during the Ukraine-EU summit on July 9. President wrote this on his Facebook page. “We are counting on a firm position of the EU on the challenges caused by Russia in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov. We will discuss this question with the EU leaders at the Summit on July 9,” he wrote. As it was reported earlier, Petro Poroshenko, during a meeting in Germany with President of the European Council Donald Tusk, agreed to hold the jubilee 20th Ukraine-EU summit in the summer of this year in Brussels. The parties at the meeting also discussed the situation in Donbas, the course of the JFO, the violation of the armistice by Russia and the continuation (strengthening) of anti-Russian sanctions.
Responsible for building Kerch Bridge have to be included to EU sanctions list, – Klimkin – Responsible for Kerch Bridge building have to be included to EU sanctions list, – Klimkin – 112.international
Earlier, European Union extended the sanctions against Russia for Crimea’s annexation
UAWire – Ukraine to discuss Russia’s actions in the Azov and Black Seas with the EU
During the Ukraine-EU Summit on July 9, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko plans to discuss Russia’s military presence in the Black and Azov …
Putin using aggression against Ukraine as battering ram against Europe – Turchynov – 21.06.2018 16:47 — Ukrinform News
The leadership of the Russian Federation is using aggression against Ukraine as a battering ram against Europe, provoking a split in the unity of the EU countries. Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov said this during a meeting with Foreign Minister of the Republic of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius, the NSDC’s press service reported. “Putin is using aggression against Ukraine as a ram against Europe, provoking a split in the unity of the EU countries,” Turchynov said. According to him, Russian aggression is an attempt to destroy the foundations of the world security architecture that formed after the Second World War. During the meeting, the interlocutors discussed the aggravation of the situation in eastern Ukraine in May. “The excessive concentration of the Russian troops has been recorded on the Ukrainian-Russian border,” Turchynov said, adding that the Kerch bridge allowed the Russian Federation to quickly deploy its armed forces in the south. They also discussed the issue of tightening sanctions against Russia. According to Linkevičius, Lithuania “supported and will support Ukraine on the way to European integration.”
Terrorism suspect wanted by Ukraine’s Interpol bureau arrested in Slovakia (Photo, video) | UNIAN
Law enforcers in the Slovak city of Kosice have arrested on suspicion of terrorism a Ukrainian citizen with a fake Hungarian passport. The detainee is a Ukrainian national who has been hiding out in Slovakia for nearly two years.
Ukraine’s intelligence catch former Armed Forces officer, who took militants’ side – Ukraine’s intelligence catch former Armed Forces officer, who took militants’ side – 112.international
It is noted that the fact of desertion was not a surprise, as Bidusenko initially seemed to be a cowardly person
UAWire – Ukrainian Security Service demands Ukrainian Internet providers block 181 sites
The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) has sent a letter to Internet providers requiring the blocking of 181 websites on the country’s territory. …
‘It’s Time To Endorse Safe Schools Declaration,’ HRW Tells Ukraine
Human rights Watch (HRW) has urged Ukraine to endorse the Safe Schools Declaration, an intergovernmental political document aimed at better protecting children’s right to education in wartime.
Secretary of the NSDC of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov met with the UK Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Ukraine Judith Gough – National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine
Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov held a meeting with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United Kingdom to Ukraine Judith Gough. During the meeting, Mr. Turchynov informed Ms. Gough of the aggravation of the situation in the East of Ukraine due to constant aggression and intense shelling by the Russian-occupational troops. “At the same time, the Joint Forces are ready to respond adequately to any provocations”, – Secretary of the NSDC of Ukraine emphasized. Moreover, the interlocutors discussed the aggravation of the situation in the Azov Sea due to the expansion of Russia’s military presence. “The expansion of the landing capabilities of the Russian Federation in this region indicates the possibility of provocations on their part in the Azov coast”, – Secretary of the NSDC of Ukraine said reminding about the Russians’ attempts to block ships moving to Ukrainian ports in the Azov Sea. The parties also considered the possibility of conducting a peacekeeping operation in the East of Ukraine. Also, the interlocutors paid considerable attention to the adoption of the Law of Ukraine “On National Security”. Oleksandr Turchynov expressed his hope that next week “the law, which was worked out together with international experts, will be approved by the parliament as a whole”. “It is vital to adopt this law on the eve of the NATO Brussels Summit, as it regulates bringing the entire security and defense sector of Ukraine in line with the Alliance’s standards, which is essential for further integration of our country into NATO”, – Secretary of the NSDC of Ukraine stressed. In her turn, the UK Ambassador Judith Gough emphasized that UK supports the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, United Kingdom remains a reliable Ukraine’s partner and friend.
UAWire – The United States will decrease its military aid to Ukraine
Section 1233 of the bill for the US defense budget for 2019 as approved by the Senate proposes the allocation of $200 million to cover “the …


No reason for Russia to get drawn into full-blown war with Ukraine – expert | UNIAN
Ukraine is able to adequately resist Russia in case a major war breaks out, as Ukraine’s army demonstrated in 2014, says a military expert, Colonel (Rtd) Oleh Zhdanov. Meanwhile, Oleksandr Turchynov is calling for boosting Ukraine’s air defenses. Ukraine is able to adequately resist Russia in case a major war breaks out, as Ukraine’s army demonstrated in 2014, says a military expert, Colonel (Rtd) Oleh Zhdanov. At the same time, Russia would not benefit from a large-scale war with Ukraine, Zhdanov told Glavred. “In the case of a large-scale offensive for which Russia has no sufficient forces and resources, they would get stuck in a protracted position war in the territory of Ukraine, even taking into account the fact that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are in a state of stagnation,” the expert says.
Donbas update: Ukraine reports 1 WIA amid 29 enemy attacks | UNIAN
Russia’s hybrid military forces mounted 29 attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas in the past 24 hours, with one Ukrainian soldier reported as wounded in action (WIA). According to intelligence reports, the enemy suffered losses in the last day: three occupiers were killed and three others were wounded.
The Ukrainian army re-claimed another piece of the enemy-occupied territory in Donbas – Ukrainian military claims new area in Donbas – 112.international
The Ukrainian army re-claimed another piece of the enemy-occupied territory in Donbas. The Ukrainian army re-claimed another piece of the enemy-occupied territory in Donbas; according to the HQ of the joint forces operation, the military units advanced two kilometers forward from their previous positions near Zholobok, Luhansk region. The Facebook post mentioned that lately, the pro-Russian mercenaries have been too close to the Ukrainian positions, so the Ukrainian military command decided to move the emplacements forward, thus creating the ‘safety line’. The respective operation took about two weeks to complete, no casualties among Ukrainian troops occurred over the period; the operation was strictly classified. ‘The HQ planned, prepared and conducted measures to create a two kilometers-deep provision line. It was a tough task for the troops that held the defense lines in Luhansk region intact because the enemy constantly landed attacks and performed intense reconnaissance. Nevertheless, the task was completed successfully’, the message said. Last month, the HQ of the Joint Forces Operation claimed that the government troops released Pivdenne village in Donetsk region. ‘The tactical situation of the defenses in the area of Horlivka somewhat improved. The well-planned and prepared actions of the reconnaissance of the 24th brigade allowed them to provide safety for the civilians in Pivdenne (Chygyri). A group of enemy fighters was spotted in the area in early April. They were checking if the locals were loyal to the Ukrainian government, showing their presence there,’ the HQ of the Joint Forces Operation said. The Ukrainian forces developed the operation plan and brought it to life; the fight occurred in the vicinities of the village. The Ukrainian side took no casualties; the enemy lost one man killed, and another man wounded.
Russian troops and reconnaissance system spotted in Novoazovsk area, Donetsk region – 112.international
The Headquarters of the Joint Force Operation published the photo of the Russian soldiers located in the hostile positions in Novoazovsk area, the occupied area of Donetsk region. It is specified that the electronic warfare means complex is depicted in the photo (two antennas and two solar batteries). It is supposed that the means were used as part of radio stations working at the short-wave frequency. A man in the Russian mold uniform stays near an antenna. It is supposed that he is a representative of one of the illegal armed units or a military advisor of the Armed Forces of Russia.
Ukraine’s Joint Forces show new evidence of Russian military presence in Donbas (Photo) | UNIAN
Ukraine’s Joint Forces Operation (JFO) Command has showed another evidence of Russian military presence in Donbas. The photo depicts a complex of radio-electronic reconnaissance means (two Soviet-made circular aerials and two solar batteries).
UAWire – US State Department accuses Russia of using intimidation tactics against the OSCE mission in the Donbas
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert declared that Russian-backed militants must stop shooting in the direction of the Special …
Volunteer reveals number of military equipment destroyed by Ukrainian army in five months | UNIAN
Ukrainian volunteer activist Yuriy Mysiahin has summarized the results of five months of “work” of the K-2 group from the 54th brigade at the Svitlodarska Duha bulge. In addition, according to the volunteer, the militants’ advanced positions were repeatedly destroyed.
Almost 203,000 explosive devices disposed in eastern Ukraine since start of combat actions – 20.06.2018 13:23 — Ukrinform News
Since the beginning of combat actions in eastern Ukraine, sapper units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces have disposed almost 203,000 explosive devices, the Defense Ministry reports.
Archbishop: Russian invasion of Ukraine is a ‘silent war’ – To Inform is to Influence
Monday, 18 June 2018, 10:58 Speaking at the end of a closed-door meeting on religious freedom at the US Embassy to the Holy See, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head of the Greek Catholic Ukrainian Church, stressed that “it is a matter of fact that the war in Ukraine has become a silent war.” The meeting…
General Staff: Foreign instructors have trained thousands of Ukrainian soldiers – 21.06.2018 10:38 — Ukrinform News
American military instructors have trained 11 battalions in Ukraine, while the instructors from Canada and the UK have trained 6,000 and 8,000 more Ukrainian soldiers, respectively.


Ukraine highlights MT-LB Shturm-SM-2 tank destroyer – media | UNIAN
Ukraine’s UkrInnMash Corporation is developing the Shturm-SM-2 tank destroyer based on the widely deployed MT-LB multipurpose tracked armored fighting vehicle (AFV) that was originally manufactured in the Ukraine and in service with over 20 countries. The missile has a stated minimum range of 400 m and a maximum range of up to 5,500 m with a 25 second flight time to the target at maximum range. Ukraine’s UkrInnMash Corporation is developing the Shturm-SM-2 tank destroyer based on the widely deployed MT-LB multipurpose tracked armored fighting vehicle (AFV) that was originally manufactured in the Ukraine and in service with over 20 countries. The rear troop compartment of the baseline MT-LB has been raised to provide greater internal volume for its new role and fitted with a retractable launcher which can be raised up to a maximum height of 3 m, Jane’s 360 wrote. The launcher is equipped with four RK-2M laser guided missiles (LGM) in the ready to launch position with the day/night target engagement pod in the middle. The vehicle carries eight missile reloads internally. The RK-2M LGM can be armed with several warhead types, including a tandem high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead that is claimed to penetrate at least 1,100 mm of steel armor protected by explosive reactive armor (ERA). It can also be fitted with a high explosive fragmentation/explosively formed penetrator (EFP) warhead which is claimed to be capable of penetrating at least 120 mm of armour. The missile has a stated minimum range of 400 m and a maximum range of up to 5,500 m with a 25 second flight time to the target at maximum range. The baseline MT-LB is typically equipped with a manually operated turret armed with a 7.62 mm PKT machine gun (MG). However, this has been replaced by a locally developed remote weapon station (RWS) armed with a stabilized 12.7 mm MG aboard the Shturm-SM-2 variant. The combat weight of the Shturm-SM-2 is being quoted as 14.5 tonnes and, like the original vehicle, it is fully amphibious being propelled in the water by its tracks at a maximum speed of up to 5 km/h. Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/war/10157585-ukraine-highlights-mt-lb-shturm-sm-2-tank-destroyer-media.htmlThe launcher is equipped with four RK-2M laser guided missiles (LGM) in the ready to launch position with the day/night target engagement pod in the middle. The vehicle carries eight missile reloads internally. The RK-2M LGM can be armed with several warhead types, including a tandem high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead that is claimed to penetrate at least 1,100 mm of steel armor protected by explosive reactive armor (ERA). It can also be fitted with a high explosive fragmentation/explosively formed penetrator (EFP) warhead which is claimed to be capable of penetrating at least 120 mm of armour. The missile has a stated minimum range of 400 m and a maximum range of up to 5,500 m with a 25 second flight time to the target at maximum range. The baseline MT-LB is typically equipped with a manually operated turret armed with a 7.62 mm PKT machine gun (MG). However, this has been replaced by a locally developed remote weapon station (RWS) armed with a stabilized 12.7 mm MG aboard the Shturm-SM-2 variant. The combat weight of the Shturm-SM-2 is being quoted as 14.5 tonnes and, like the original vehicle, it is fully amphibious being propelled in the water by its tracks at a maximum speed of up to 5 km/h. Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/war/10157585-ukraine-highlights-mt-lb-shturm-sm-2-tank-destroyer-media.html The launcher is equipped with four RK-2M laser guided missiles (LGM) in the ready to launch position with the day/night target engagement pod in the middle. The vehicle carries eight missile reloads internally. The RK-2M LGM can be armed with several warhead types, including a tandem high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead that is claimed to penetrate at least 1,100 mm of steel armor protected by explosive reactive armor (ERA). It can also be fitted with a high explosive fragmentation/explosively formed penetrator (EFP) warhead which is claimed to be capable of penetrating at least 120 mm of armour. The missile has a stated minimum range of 400 m and a maximum range of up to 5,500 m with a 25 second flight time to the target at maximum range. The baseline MT-LB is typically equipped with a manually operated turret armed with a 7.62 mm PKT machine gun (MG). However, this has been replaced by a locally developed remote weapon station (RWS) armed with a stabilized 12.7 mm MG aboard the Shturm-SM-2 variant. The combat weight of the Shturm-SM-2 is being quoted as 14.5 tonnes and, like the original vehicle, it is fully amphibious being propelled in the water by its tracks at a maximum speed of up to 5 km/h.
Ukraine, U.S. to build combat modules in line with NATO standards | UNIAN
Ukrainian State Foreign Trade Enterprise SpecTechnoExport, a part of the state-run Ukroboronprom Concern, and one of the leading U.S. small arms manufacturers have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation on building a joint combat module in line with NATO standards. The U.S. company will supply machine guns for combat modules, while the production will be organized at one of Ukroboronprom’s enterprises.
NSDC: Ukraine ready to consider possibility of joint production of armored vehicles with Thailand | UNIAN
First Deputy to the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleg Hladkovskiy says Ukraine is ready to consider the possibility of joint production of armored vehicles together with Thailand. Hladkovskiy stressed that Ukraine had proven itself as a reliable supplier of military production.
Could Ukraine’s T-84 Tank Take on the World’s Best in a Fight? | The National Interest Blog
Or is just the best of the USSR’s long line of tanks? 
Ukraine’s T-84 Tanks Have Problems | The National Interest Blog
They still nearly beat U.S. M-1 Abrams at Europe’s annual tank competition.
UAWire – Kyiv and American company Hyperloop Transportation Technologies sign a Memorandum of Cooperation
The Infrastructure Ministry of Ukraine and the American company Hyperloop Transportation Technologies signed a Memorandum on Cooperation which …
Incomes from combat smuggling in Ukraine enough to buy five divisions of anti-aircraft warfare, 112.international – Incomes from combat smuggling in Ukraine enough to buy five divisions of anti-aircraft warfare – 112.international
Incomes from combat smuggling in Ukraine enough to buy five divisions of anti-aircraft warfare
UAWire – Ukrainian Defense Minister proposes that Ukraine buy American Patriot air defense systems
During a government meeting ,the Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Stepan Poltorak offered to buy five divisions of Patriot anti-aircraft defense …
Government approves military-industrial complex development strategy until 2028 – 20.06.2018 13:37 — Ukrinform News
The Cabinet of Ministers has supported a draft resolution &quot;On the Approval of the Military-Industrial Complex Development Strategy for the Period until 2028&quot;.
James Bezan: Canada should provide Ukraine with weapons, previously intended for Kurds – 22.06.2018 11:50 — Ukrinform News
Ukraine should be provided with lethal defensive aid previously intended for the Kurdish Peshmerga.


Ukraine’s Tymoshenko Announces Presidential Run
Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko says she plans to run for president in 2019, setting up a possible showdown with incumbent Petro Poroshenko.
Thousands March For LGBT Rights In Kyiv
Thousands of activists have marched in Ukraine’s capital, marking an annual celebration of gay and lesbian rights that has been marred by violence in the past.
LGBT Activists Hold ‘March Of Equality’ In Kyiv
Gay-rights activists marched through the center of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, for an annual pride rally, amid increased police presence. The June 17 March of Equality took place without serious incident, but police said they detained 56 members of radical groups who tried to disrupt the event. Police said several thousand people attend the march, which started near Taras Shevchenko Park and lasted more than one hour.
Thousands Join LGBT March In Ukraine’s Capital
Thousands of activists marched on June 17 in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, marking an annual celebration of gay and lesbian rights that has been marred by violence in the past. The June 17 March of Equality was one of the largest such events staged in the country in years.
Ukraine’s Rada adopts bill on establishing High Anti-Corruption Court | UNIAN
The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s Parliament, has adopted presidential draft law No. 8497 on the establishment of the High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC). The HACC location, territorial jurisdiction, and status have been determined.
U.S., IMF Praise Ukrainian Anticorruption Law But Say More Work Needed
The United States and International Monetary Fund are praising Ukraine for enacting legislation to establish an independent anticorruption court, but say more work is needed to complete the reforms…
Propaganda war against Ukraine’s aspirations to gain Tomos on autocephaly | UNIAN
Among the external factors opposing the receipt by the Orthodox Ukrainians of Tomos from the Patriarch of Constantinople, it’s the Russian factor that dominates above others. It consists of religious and secular components (the division into which, however, is conditional in present-day Russia). In the international arena, Moscow continues to oppose the recognition of Ukrainian autocephaly, actively involving not only the clerics of the Russian Orthodox Church, but also its diplomatic corps. This is especially noticeable in countries with their own Orthodox autocephalous churches. It is about the attempts to convince the local religious and secular (primarily – political) establishment in the inexpediency and future threats of such developments. Various ways are used to find incentives for officials, including authoritative church hierarchies and to influence the process in order to prevent the recognition of Ukrainian Orthodox autocephaly, LB.ua reports. Lb.ua explains the narratives the Russian propaganda uses in countering Ukraine’s efforts and goes on to debunk them all. Thesis 1: “Autocephaly in Ukraine will cause a split in the global Orthodoxy, which can only be compared with the division between East and West in 1054. If this happens, Orthodox unity will be buried.” Why this is not the case: Read more on UNIAN:
Russian Political Parties, Others Added To Ukraine Sanctions List
The government of Ukraine has added 30 legal entities and 14 individuals to its blacklist of those sanctioned over Russia’s annexation of Crimea and Moscow’s backing of a separatist campaign in eas…
Ukraine’s parliament committee backs renaming of Dnipropetrovsk, Kirovohrad regions | UNIAN
Director of the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance Volodymyr Viatrovych has said the Verkhovna Rada Committee on State Building, Regional Policy and Local Self-Government backed the renaming of Dnipropetrovsk and Kirovohrad regions. Read alsoSweeping out Soviet past: Kirovohrad renamed Kropyvnytsky “The Committee on State Building, Regional Policy and Local Self-Government of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has backed the proposal to rename Dnipropetrovsk region into Sicheslavsk, and Kirovohrad region into Kropyvnytskyi. Decommunization cannot be stopped,” he wrote on Facebook. According to the agenda of today’s meeting of the committee, the deputies considered the draft law on amendments to Article 133 of the Constitution of Ukraine (on renaming Dnipropetrovsk region) (No. 8329) and the draft law on amendments to Article 133 of the Constitution of Ukraine (on renaming Kirovohrad region) (No.8880). At the same time, the main committee on these bills is the Committee on Legal Policy and Justice.
Ukraine’s Chornomorsk port sees 33% rise in cargo handling – media | UNIAN
The Chornomorsk maritime merchandise port increased cargo handling in January-May 2018 by 32.51% year-over-year, to 8.735 million tonnes. Transit cargo transshipment rose by 59.3%, to 442,930 tonnes.
Ukraine’s National Joint Stock Company Naftogaz-Ukraine turned to the Appeal Court of Sweden, which previously suspended the implementation of the decision of Stockholm Court of Arbitration in the Naftogaz-Gazprom dispute – Naftogaz-Gazprom dispute: Ukraine turns to Swedish Appeal Court – 112.international
Ukraine’s National Joint Stock Company Naftogaz-Ukraine turned to the Appeal Court of Sweden, which previously suspended the implementation of the decision of Stockholm Court of Arbitration in the Naftogaz-Gazprom dispute
English court allows Naftogaz freezing Gazprom’s assets in England, Wales | UNIAN
Naftogaz on Tuesday served Gazprom with an order to freeze assets in England and Wales. The order was issued by the Commercial Court in London on June 18, 2018, to enforce the Stockholm arbitration award, whereby Gazprom owes Naftogaz US$2.6 billion. Naftogaz is confident that the Stockholm court will rescind its decision to suspend the Stockholm Arbitration award, Kobolyev believes. Naftogaz on Tuesday served Gazprom with an order to freeze assets in England and Wales. The order was issued by the Commercial Court in London on June 18, 2018, to enforce the Stockholm arbitration award, whereby Gazprom owes Naftogaz US$2.6 billion. In addition to freezing assets, it requires Gazprom to provide Naftogaz with a list of all assets with a value greater than $50,000 located in England or Wales, according to the Naftogaz press service. The court has scheduled a hearing on the order for July 6, 2018. In the meantime, Gazprom is obligated to maintain assets in England and Wales equal to the value of the transit award. Naftogaz today has also notified the London offices of 17 banks doing business with Gazprom of that they may not facilitate any reduction in Gazprom’s assets in England and Wales of the order against Gazprom. Banks that fail to comply could be penalized. The English court ruling was made in full knowledge of a temporary decision made on June 13, 2018, by the Svea Court of Appeal in Stockholm to suspend the enforcement of the transit award. On June 17, 2018, Naftogaz filed a pleading with the Stockholm court requesting that the court reverse its decision. In its request, Naftogaz submitted evidence refuting Gazprom’s allegations that the award had not been drafted in a proper manner. “Naftogaz is confident that the Stockholm court will rescind its suspension decision in light of our submission. Despite media reports to the contrary, the Swedish court ruling does not suspend the award itself, it only suspends enforcement in Sweden. It is up to the courts of each individual country to determine, under its own national laws, whether the Swedish ruling suspends the enforcement of the award in such country. The Transit Award remains valid, and interest continues to accrue and we will seek enforcement in jurisdictions where enforcement is an option,” says Andriy Kobolyev, CEO of Naftogaz”.
Ukrainian Veterans, Workers Clash With Police Outside Parliament
Ukrainian protesters including coal miners, Chernobyl cleanup workers, and Soviet Afghan war veterans scuffled with police outside the parliament in Kyiv during a demonstration on June 19 for improved state support.
Protesters Clash With Police, Seek Entry Into Ukraine Parliament
Crowds of protesters including coal miners, Chernobyl cleanup workers, and Soviet Afghan war veterans have clashed with police outside the Ukrainian parliament.
No Relief: Wave Of Attacks, Police Indifference Heighten Fears Among Ukraine’s Roma
There’s more to the racism confronting Ukraine’s Romany minority than just a recent spate of attacks by ultranationalists, say Roma.
SBU opens case against C14 nationalists for detention of Brazilian mercenary – lawyer | UNIAN
The Investigation Department of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine has opened criminal proceedings against the Ukrainian nationalist organization C14 (Sich) over the detention of Brazilian mercenary Rafael Lusvarghi, who earlier confessed in fighting on the side of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Repiblic” in Donbas. Ukrainian nationalists on May 14 caught a Brazilian mercenary, Lusvarghi, who fought on the side of Russian-led forces in Donbas.

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports


Somalia, Ethiopia to jointly invest in four seaports on the Red Sea | Reuters
Somalia and Ethiopia announced they were jointly investing in four seaports to attract foreign investment to their two countries, the latest move in a tussle for access to ports along one of the world’s most strategic waterways.
Russia, Saudis Agree To Request Increase In OPEC+ Oil Output
Russia and Saudi Arabia will ask OPEC to increase oil output by 1.5 million barrels a day in the third quarter of 2018 to counter fears that U.S. sanctions on Iran could disrupt supplies.
Libya: Haftar forces launch push against militia in oil crescent | News | Al Jazeera
Haftar’s forces in bid to regain control of Ras Lanuf and Al-Sidra oil terminals in Libya’s northeastern oil crescent.
Pakistan: Killing of Pakistan Taliban chief ‘significant’ | Fox News
Pakistani caretaker Prime Minister Nasir-ul-Mulk has described the killing of Pakistani Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah in a U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan as a significant development in the fight against terrorism.
State Department: Russia, Iran ‘hedging their bets’ to back Taliban – To Inform is to Influence
Russia and Iran appear to be either disingenuous in their fight against the Taliban, or just are just plain lying, and should be considered rogue states sponsoring terrorism. </end editorial> by Joel Gehrke June 20, 2018 12:12 PM Russia and Iran are “hedg[ing] their bets” by backing the Taliban against other terrorists at the expense of…
Australia rules out moving its Israel embassy to Jerusalem | World news | The Guardian
Julie Bishop will not follow US lead, despite pressure from her party to do so

DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports


Putin Reentering Korea Conflict in Big Way – To Inform is to Influence
Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 15 Issue: 94 By: Paul Goble June 19, 2018 05:34 PM Some, especially in the West, have argued that United States President Donald Trump has effectively sidelined Russia from the rapidly evolving Korean situation by his rapprochement with North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-un, at the recent summit in Singapore. But such…
Putin to meet with South Korea’s Moon as World Cup diplomacy continues | Fox News
Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday to discuss the recent denuclearization efforts in the Korean Peninsula amid the Kremlin’s diplomatic offensive during soccer’s World Cup.
Russia May Build a Pipeline Through North Korea After Donald Trump’s Kim Jong Un Meeting
Trump’s diplomacy may have cleared Russia’s path to a lucrative deal.
After forging new ties with North Korea, Trump administration turns to Russia – The Washington Post
Overcoming resistance from his top aides, the president plans to meet with Putin next month, an administration official and diplomats say.
Poll: Trump fuels optimism on North Korea but concern about old allies
Poll: Trump’s outreach of North Korea fuels cautious optimism, a USA TODAY/Suffolk Poll finds, but there is unease about his treatment of old allies.
Here’s What Trump Actually Achieved With North Korea – Defense One
It wasn’t what he said. But it was much more than nothing.
What Critics of the U.S.-North Korean Singapore Summit Get Wrong
Critics of the U.S.-North Korean summit in Singapore are wrong to label Pyongyang the “winner” of the meeting.
North Korea sanctions to remain until denuclearization achieved: South Korea minister | Reuters
Sanctions against North Korea will remain in place until Pyongyang can assure concerned parties such as South Korea that “complete denuclearization has been achieved”, the South’s foreign minister said on Wednesday.
Pompeo Says China Will Maintain Sanctions on North Korea – WSJ
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said China had committed to maintain United Nations sanctions on North Korea, as he sought to secure international support for rapid progress toward disarming Pyongyang.
Kim Jong Un ends visit to China with a message for the US – CNNPolitics
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ended a celebratory visit to China’s President Xi Jinping on Wednesday with tea, praise, handshakes — and a message for the US.
North Korea leader Kim Jong Un on two-day visit to China
Kim is expected to brief Chinese President Xi Jinping on his summit with President Donald Trump last week, where he pledged the “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
Kim Jong Un visits China again following summit with Trump – YouTube
Fox News Published on Jun 19, 2018 North Korean leader visits China for third time since March. Hudson Institute senior fellow Rebeccah Heinrichs discusses the significance of the meeting.
Trump says news coverage of North Korea summit is “almost treasonous” – CBS News
The president claimed the &quot;fake news&quot; media painted him as &quot;losing&quot; negotiations with Kim Jong Un
The Latest: Trump slams media coverage of North Korea summit | Fox News
The Latest on developments in inter-Korean relations after last week’s landmark summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (all times local): 11:55 p.m.
Moon Jae-in’s Gamble on North Korea Bears Fruit – WSJ
After a run of diplomacy, South Korea’s leader finds himself in a vastly improved position, with key policy goals accomplished: direct U.S. engagement with North Korea, and a dialing back of military tensions between the adversaries.
U.S., South Korea Cancel Major War Game Planned for August – WSJ
The Pentagon said it had agreed with South Korea to cancel an important military exercise that was scheduled for later this summer, in keeping with President Donald Trump’s pledge to halt war games while talks are under way with North Korea.
US and South Korea cancel key military exercise—just as China wanted — Quartz
Early last year, China suggested a way to defuse the escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula: North Korea would stop its nuclear and missile tests, while the US and South Korea would stop their joint military drills. In the following months, the Trump administration repeatedly dismissed the “dual suspension” or “freeze for freeze” proposal, which Russia also…
Trump rattles Pentagon with Korea war games decision | TheHill
Defense experts say the decision caught officials and allies off guard.
South Korea, US to announce suspension of major military drills
South Korea and the United States are expected to announce the suspension of “large-scale” military drills this week.
U.S. forces in South Korea not subject to North Korea-U.S. talks: South Korea official | Reuters
U.S. military forces in South Korea are not subject to negotiations between North Korea and the United States because they are a matter for the U.S.-South Korean alliance, a senior official in South Korea’s presidential office said on Friday.
Kim Jong Un visits China for the third time, showing ties with Beijing are stronger than ever | Business Insider
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has touched down in Beijing, marking his third visit to China in as many months. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made his third visit to China since March. Kim has landed in Beijing for a two-day visit. Cameras captured what appears to be a motorcade including the leader’s $US1 million armoured Mercedes. The fact that state media confirmed the North Korean leader’s trip marks a new era in which Kim Jong Un is treated as any other world leader. It also reiterates China’s role as a crucial ally of North Korea, which could be a crucial relationship to maintain as US President Donald Trump seeks denuclearization.
Steel Rain: The Korean Nuke Movie Crazier Than Real Life
The South Korean thriller released last year takes us to the brink of peninsular apocalypse, and now it’s playing on Netflix.
North Korean missile site Trump says Kim pledged to destroy identified | TheHill
A United States official named the missile test site that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to demolish during the recent summit with President Trump.
U.S. Is Beholden to North Korea for Return of War Remains – WSJ
The U.S. has little say in North Korea’s recovery work of soldiers’ war remains as America prepares to receive remains from more than 250 service members who fought during the 1950-53 Korean War.
Susan Rice: Kim Jong Un beat Trump at summit – YouTube
CNN Published on Jun 17, 2018 Susan Rice. a national security adviser to former President Obama, says that North Korea’s Kim Jong Un won the summit with President Donald Trump, because Kim was able gain prestige and got Trump to end “war games” on the Korean peninsula while committing to less than previous North Korean leaders.


Russia, China Are Outmaneuvering US: Generals Recommend New Authorities, Doctrine « Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary
  China and Russia are outmaneuvering the US, using aggressive actions that fall short of war, a group of generals and admirals have concluded. To counter them, the US needs new ways to use its military without shooting, concludes a newly released report on the Quantico conclave. The US military will need new legal authorities and new concepts of operation for all domains — land, sea, air, space, and cyberspace. From Little Green Men in Crimea to fortified artificial islands in the South China Sea, from online meddling with US elections to global information operations and to industrial-scale cyber espionage, America’s adversaries have found ways to achieve their objectives and undermine the West without triggering a US military response, operating in what’s come to be called “the grey zone.” No less a figure than Defense Secretary Jim Mattis took on the topic in his National Defense Strategy and in this morning’s graduation address to the Naval Academy. “Putin seeks to shatter NATO. He aims to diminish the appeal of the Western democratic model and attempts to undermine America’s moral authority,” ran Mattis’s prepared text. “His actions are designed not to challenge our arms (emphasis added), but to undercut and compromise our belief in our ideals.” Likewise, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Joseph Dunford, has publicly warned that our adversaries don’t abide by our doctrine, with its clear distinction between war and peace and its tidy phases of escalation. The American military operates in phases, with Phase 0 being peace (officially, “shaping” the environment) and so on. Traditionally, actions other than war are just that to the US and do not merit a military response, let alone a kinetic one. What adversaries are doing is “competition with a military dimension short of a Phase 3 or traditional conflict,” he said as far back as 2016. “(Their) employment of cyber, unconventional capability, space capabilities (and) information operations (go beyond) what we would call Phase 0 shaping.” “From SecDef and chairman, down to the units in the field… there’s great recognition” of the grey zone problem, said Nate Freier, a researcher at the Army War College. (Freier wasn’t involved with the Quantico conference or writing the report, but I consulted him as a leading expert on the concept). Awareness has grown dramatically since just two years ago, Freier said, when he and his colleagues published a study on the grey zone called Outplayed and Dunford was making his comments on competition. “I do think that the US military recognizes that dilemma, but I’m not sure they know how to respond to it yet,” Freier told me. “This idea that states like China and Russia are engaged in a persistent campaign to undermine US and allied interests over time, employing methods that fall well short of conventional military conflict…at the national level, we’re still coming to grips with that.” War & Peace & None Of The Above “The force is not adequately competing in the ‘gray zone’ below the threshold of armed conflict,” the generals and admirals concluded at the Quantico conference in May, according to the Army Training and Doctrine (TRADOC) report released yesterday. “Peer adversaries/competitors don’t want competitive activities to progress to war because they know the capability of U.S. forces in open conflict. Why would they go there when they are achieving strategic objectives by remaining in competition short of armed conflict?” I covered the Quantico conference, but, like most attendees, I wasn’t allowed in the special seminar reserved for generals and admirals. The event focused on the effort to coordinate forces across the land, sea, air, space, and cyberspace in a single seamless campaign known as Multi-Domain Operations. But the senior officers concluded that “battle” was too narrow a term, “too focused on the tactical-level of war during conflict alone,” in the words of the report. The concept should be renamed Multi-Domain Operations to better capture “throughout the competition continuum…. from deterring adversaries during competition, quickly defeating adversaries in a short and decisive action to return to competition, or defeating adversaries in the event of a protracted conflict.” (“Short and decisive” won’t apply in conflict against a great power, one briefer emphasized during the conference.) The cycle described here — competition either deters or escalates to conflict, conflict resolves and deescalates to competition — derives from Mattis’s National Defense Strategy, which emphasizes “the reemergence of long-term strategic competition.” Arguably, the word “competition” better captures what’s happening between the US and China, or the US and Russia, than the terms like “peace” or “strategic shaping” (aka “Phase 0”). To the extent that saying “competition” helps people understand Russia and China are “rivals” engaged in “”deliberate malign activities,” Freier told me, the term is helpful. But, it’s not helpful, he went on, if “conflict” and “competition” just become a new pair of rigid categories to replace “war” and “peace,” obscuring the messiness of the real world. The report from Quantico keeps falling into this intellectual trap. Consider this passage: “Just as the binary war/peace paradigm is insufficient to describe the global operating environment, authorities that are only available during conflict are insufficient. The Joint Force needs certain authorities prior to conflict in order to set the conditions to dominate if hostilities commence.” Yes, the first words of this passage acknowledge that war and peace are not a clear-cut either/or — but the rest of it talks about “during conflict” and “prior to conflict” as if these are clearly distinct phases. “We’re stuck,” Freier told me. “We are still institutionally and culturally stuck in this five-phase model of operations. Our adversaries certainly aren’t.” Freier’s Strategy “The US military should recognize that we can’t operate in this peace-war dichotomy effectively anymore,” Freier said. “We are actually in a persistent competition….That competition sometimes becomes more heated, it sometimes becomes closer to cooperation.” Rather than distinct phases, he said, “it’s a sine wave.” As tensions go up and down, you always have two goals in mind. “You’re trying to impose costs on the opponent and, at the same time, offer off-ramps to the opponent for de -scalation,” Freier said. “That’s actually a pretty sophisticated approach.” Every ship that sails, every advisor that goes abroad to train allies, every unit that participates in exercises, needs to be part of a larger plan to demonstrate US resolve and capability, Freier said. The ultimate goal isn’t just to respond to what the Chinese and Russians are doing in the grey zone, he told me. It’s to force them to respond to what we’re doing in the grey. For example, the US Navy already conducts Freedom Of Navigation Operations (FONOPS) to defy unwarranted maritime claims around the world. But we do them with an even-handedness that’s almost comically scrupulous, challenging everything from China’s island-building in the South China Sea to Malta’s “excessive straight baselines” in the Mediterranean. Instead, Freier says, “freedom of navigation operations should occur in a way that demonstrates military capability.” It’s not just a case of sailing some place to prove you can, he argues: It’s demonstrating you could conduct a military operation there if you needed to. On land, Freier said, special operations forces originated during World War II as a way to assist or create resistance movements in Axis-occupied territory. During the Cold War, NATO special ops laid the groundwork for partisan activity in West Germany in case of a Soviet invasion. If we rebuilt these “unconventional warfare” capabilities, we could make aggressors think twice about invading territory primed for resistance. We could even demonstrate to Russia and China we could assist resistance movements inside their territory, a threat both countries would take seriously given their long struggles with ethnic separatists. Actually conducting unconventional warfare on Russian or Chinese territory would escalate right out of the grey zone and into an act of war, Freier notes; he’s just saying we should prove to them we could. Likewise, he doesn’t think the US should conduct Russian-style assassinations on foreign soil or engage in “fake news” propaganda. “There are some places we’re probably not willing to go,” he told me, and that’s a good thing. Within those moral limits, however, there’s still a lot of innovative things we can think of, especially in cyberspace, Freier said, as long as we let ourselves. “We have to spend some intellectual capital right now in defining what ‘presence, ‘maneuver,’ and ‘action’ look like in those spaces, short of open military conflict,” he told me. “The United States has to become less rigid in its view of military operations.”
Beijing responds to US B-52 bombers flying over South China Sea with anti-aircraft drill | Business Insider
Beijing has carried out anti-aircraft drills with missiles fired against drone targets over the South China Sea after the US challenged it by flying B-52 bombers across the region. Beijing has carried out anti-aircraft drills with missiles fired against drone targets over the South China Sea after the US challenged it by flying B-52 bombers across the region. China’s drills were intended to simulate fending off an aerial attack on unspecified islands within the waterway. Typically, the US carries out its challenges by sailing warships, but recently it used nuclear-capable B-52s in a marked escalation.
Laser Attacks Against U.S. Forces Spread to the Pacific
The laser strikes follow reported incidents in Djibouti by Chinese military personnel.
American Military Aircraft Targeted By Lasers in Pacific Ocean, U.S. Officials Say – WSJ
Lasers have targeted pilots of American military aircraft operating over the Pacific Ocean more than 20 times in recent months, U.S. officials say, following a series of similar incidents in which Pentagon officials said Chinese personnel used lasers against U.S. pilots in East Africa.
Suspected Chinese lasers target US aircraft over the Pacific, US military source says – CNNPolitics
Lasers have been used to target US aerial operations in the Pacific, with 20 incidents recorded since September of last year, according to a US military official.
Will China have aircraft carrier that can match US Navy’s? – CNN
The US Navy’s newest aircraft carrier is regarded as the world’s most-advanced warship — but for how much longer?
China’s Pacific Islands Push Has the U.S. Worried – Bloomberg
The latest frontier in Beijing’s bid for global influence is a collection of tiny island nations. 
Beijing looks for clues on U.S.-Taiwan ties as Washington set to name new ‘ambassador’ to Taipei – POLITICO
The United States unveiled its new de facto embassy – the American Institute of Taiwan – last week, but has yet to appoint its chief.
China’s Eating Up US Drone Market; U.S. Troops At Risk « Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary
While Washington struggles to update its arms export policies, China is spreading its influence, one drone sale at a time.
Pentagon Pushes Counterintel For Industry As China Hacks Away « Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary
Pentagon kicking off new program to work with the defense industry on counter-intelligence to stop Chinese hackers. But lawmakers aren’t convinced.


Just the Fear of a Trade War Is Straining the Global Economy – The New York Times
As President Trump intensifies trade hostilities, the potential for conflict has begun to disrupt business, sowing worries about global economic growth.
Pompeo Calls China’s Appeals for More Trade Openness a ‘Joke’ – Bloomberg
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo amplified President Donald Trump’s tough line in a brewing trade war with China in a speech on Monday, saying U.S. action was long overdue and calling Chinese appeals for greater economic openness “a joke.”
Pompeo Issues a Warning to the World on Trade – The New York Times
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called China “the most predatory economic government” and said that trading relationships with U.S. allies were “out of whack.”
Chinese media says US has ‘delusions’ as impact of trade war spreads
U.S. protectionism is self-defeating and a “symptom of paranoid delusions,” the China Daily said on Friday.
Xi to Counter Trump Blow for Blow in Unwanted Trade War – Bloomberg
The first punches have been thrown in a potential trade war and now Xi Jinping is poised to match Donald Trump blow for blow.
Chinese State Media Suggests President Trump Is a ‘Fool’
Unsurprisingly, China was not happy about proposed tariffs on its goods.
‘He is PARANOID!’ China hits out at Donald Trump in NEW trade war | World | News | Express.co.uk
US protectionism is self-defeating and a ‘symptom of paranoid delusions’ that must not distract China from its path to modernisation, Chinese state media said on Friday as Beijing kept up with its war of words with Washington over trade.
China: ‘The US has launched a trade war’
The Commerce Ministry in Beijing was reacting to news of US tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods.
Trump slaps China with $50 billion in tariffs, Beijing immediately hits back, report says
The China tariffs come just as the United States is sparring with close allies like the European Union, Canada and Mexico in a separate conflict over trade in steel and aluminum.
How China could hit the U.S. where it hurts – POLITICO
Forget tariffs. Beijing may use tactics like consumer boycotts to turn up the heat on U.S. companies.
Strange Bedfellows: Trump Trade Fight Brings Japan and China Together – WSJ
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, after years of skirmishing with China over territory and security, is now promoting a rapprochement with Beijing that reflects Tokyo’s need for allies in upholding the postwar free-trading system amid President Donald Trump’s tough line on trade.
After China, India is fighting back in Trump’s global trade war — Quartz
The ongoing trade war between the US and China has caught global attention. However, US president Donald Trump’s trade tantrums have put the world’s largest economy in conflict with other countries, too, like Canada and those in Europe. And some of them have even retaliated in kind, including India. On June 16, India’s ministry for commerce reportedly notified…


UAWire – Media: India abandons joint development of Su-57 fighter with Russia
An agreement between Russia and India on the joint development of a new fifth-generation fighter aircraft has been abandoned due to a decision …
Beaches, bases, battles: The seven-decade fight for Okinawa – CNN
To much of Okinawa’s older populace, the US bases are associated with anger generated by rapes, protests and military accidents. They fear younger generations will forget the hardships endured during the war and its aftermath.
Japan protests South Korean military drills near contested islands – CNN
South Korea has angered Japan by staging military drills near a contested island chain, even as it discusses scaling back joint “war games” with the US to de-escalate tensions with North Korea.
20 June Event: Chinese Influence Operations in the Democratic World – To Inform is to Influence
Chinese Influence Operations in the Democratic World Under the leadership of Xi Jinping, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has invested an estimated $10 billion per year projecting its influence into the politics of overseas democracies. Key to this effort is the United Front, a “magic weapon” strategy that seeks to build mutually beneficial relationships with…
Former U.S. Diplomat Warns China Is Emulating Russian Political Interference : NPR
Former State Department official Victoria Nuland testified to Congress about the Obama administration’s response to Russian influence operations in 2016 and what other countries may be doing now.
How China tried to shut down Australian media coverage of its debt-trap diplomacy in the Pacific | Business Insider
Five days before Australia’s “60 Minutes” program aired a report on China’s dept-trap diplomacy in the Pacific region, the show received an unusually aggressive phone call.
Australians trust Xi Jinping more than Donald Trump, survey shows – CNN
Australians trust US President Donald Trump less than Chinese President Xi Jinping, and many view Trump’s presidency as a “critical” threat to their country, according to a national survey published Wednesday.
Australians Trust Xi Jinping More Than They Trust Trump – Bloomberg
Australians have less confidence in President Donald Trump than Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, but remain convinced that the U.S. alliance is vital for the country’s security, according to a survey.
2018 Lowy Institute Poll

Foreign Policy Reports


Trump blasts ‘Fake News Media’ for G7 reporting, posts photos of smiling at summit | Fox News
President Trump hit back at criticisms over his interactions with world leaders at the G7 summit last weekend, claiming on Twitter Friday that the “fake news media” is “once again, WRONG!”
What Trump told a stunned room of world leaders about Mexican migrants | Daily Mail Online
President Trump stunned fellow leaders at last week’s gathering of the world’s wealthiest nations by making coarse jokes about illegal immigration and terrorism.


Nord Stream 2 Russia-Germany pipeline unnerves U.S., riles region – Washington Times
It has driven a wedge between America and its allies, given Russia a chance to put a stranglehold on European energy markets and may even threaten U.S. national security, some observers suggest, by potentially doubling as a spy device.
Russia’s Nord Stream II Pipeline Is Ukraine’s Worst Nightmare
The completion of Nord Stream II will be a devastating blow to Ukraine’s economic and geopolitical condition and imperil Europe’s collective energy security. To increase its resilience, Ukraine must embrace domestic energy market reform, from the hydrocarbon to the renewables sector.
UAWire – Poroshenko: Ukraine to create EU group to stop Nord Stream 2
The Ukrainian authorities are creating a group in the European Union to halt construction of a second line of Nord Stream 2, the Russian gas …


Demand for Tighter Border Threatens to Undo German Government – WSJ
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling conservatives are holding last-ditch talks this weekend to defuse an escalating dispute over immigration and avert a breakup of her government as Interior Minister Horst Seehofer says he will tighten border policing on Monday.
Differences Over Migration Policy Throw German Government Into Crisis : NPR
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition partner wants to bar migrants from entering Germany if they’ve applied for asylum elsewhere, and has given her two weeks to tighten asylum rules.
UAWire – Merkel does not believe that ruling coalition of Germany will fall apart because of dispute over immigrants
German Chancellor Angela Merkel does not believe that the ruling coalition in Germany will fall apart due to disagreements between the parties ( …
Germany refugee ROW: Angela Merkel blasted by Horst Seehofer over EU migration policies | World | News | Express.co.uk
ANGELA Merkel has been slammed by German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer after the leader of Bavaria’s Christian Social Union (CSU) said he “could not work with the woman anymore” as the German chancellor continues to clash with her coalition Government over EU migration policies.
Bavarians give Merkel two weeks to reach EU deal on migrants
A row between Bavaria’s Christia Social Union and Angela Merkel is destabilizing her coalition.
Daily Briefing: Merkel in decline | Reuters
Tail wagging the dog? The fact that Bavaria’s small CSU party can set Angela Merkel a deadline of two weeks to revamp Europe’s migration rules or risk the breakdown of her coalition in Berlin speaks volumes about her declining stature.
Immigration in Europe: Helping Undocumented Immigrants Could Soon Get Hungarians a Year in Prison
“The whole of Europe has been disrupted by the refugee crisis. Unscrupulous leaders have exploited it even in countries that have accepted hardly any refugees.”
Hungary set to criminalise aiding migrants with ‘Stop Soros’ bill | News | Al Jazeera
Set of controversial laws targeting NGOs will impose jail terms on anybody seen to be aiding undocumented immigrants.
Hungary Passes ‘Stop Soros’ Laws, Bans Aid To Undocumented Immigrants : NPR
The right-wing parliament made it illegal for organizations and individuals to help asylum-seekers. A separate constitutional amendment declared an “alien population” can’t be settled in the country.
Hungary criminalises aiding migrants with ‘Stop Soros’ bill | News | Al Jazeera
Set of controversial laws imposes jail terms on anybody seen to be aiding undocumented immigrants.
Italy, Austria signal new hard-line axis on migration | Fox News
A meeting of Italy’s anti-migrant interior minister with like-minded Austrian populist leaders on Wednesday in Rome heralded a new hard-line axis forming in Europe on migration issues with pledges to more firmly protect Europe’s southern border.
Italian minister’s Roma census talk causes outrage – CNN
Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has provoked outrage by announcing plans to conduct a census of Italy’s Roma ethnic group.
Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini wants to do an ethnic census of the Roma — Quartz
Italy’s populist government, only in power since the beginning of June, is already taking steps to implement its nationalist agenda. First, it turned away a rescue vessel loaded with over 600 refugees. This week its interior minister said he wants to take a census of the country’s Roma minority—and throw out those who don’t have…
Italy’s Interior Minister Threatens to Take Census of Roma People and Expel Non-Italians – The Daily Beast
Wants all non-Italian Roma to be expelled.


Merkel to Trump: Falling German crime stats ‘speak for themselves’ | Reuters
Chancellor Angela Merkel coolly rebuffed U.S. President Donald Trump’s assertion that migrants were behind a surge in crime in Germany, pointing to statistics that showed crime was in fact down.
German lawmakers approve drone deal with Israel
Opposition parties in the German parliament were less excited about the decision.
New Czech government in jeopardy over foreign minister nomination | Reuters
The Czech Communist party will withhold support from the next government if the Social Democrats stick to their nominee for the post of foreign minister, Communist leader Vojtech Filip said on Sunday.
EU Parliament committee votes for tougher EU copyright rules to rein in tech giants | Reuters
Google , Facebook , Microsoft and other tech giants could face more curbs on their market power after a European Parliament committee voted in favor of tougher copyright rules on Wednesday.
‘Disastrous’ copyright bill vote approved – BBC News
Critics call it a “dark day” as an EU committee adopts two controversial changes to copyright law.
Introducing North Macedonia, a European Nation Rebranded – WSJ
Macedonia will rename itself “North Macedonia” as part of a landmark agreement with Greece aimed at ending a 27-year-old dispute between the two countries.
Macedonian Lawmakers Ratify ‘Historic’ Name Deal With Greece
Macedonia’s parliament has ratified an agreement with Greece to change the former Yugoslav republic’s name at a plenary session that was boycotted by the main opposition party.
UAWire – Russian ambassador from ‘cocaine case’ moves from Argentina to Mexico
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree relieving Russian ambassador to Argentina Viktor Koronelli, who informed the Argentine …

Strategy / History / Capability Publications


4 ways AI can let humans down on the battlefield
Researchers are making massive leaps in artificial intelligence. But the nascent technology still has to go through more growing pains before it becomes viable for military operations.
Can a software program predict the future?
The multitude of “what would happen if” questions keeps military planners up at night, and proves to be difficult to simulate. Now, BAE Systems may have the answer.
Top intelligence officials fear U.S. behind in quantum computing, cyber
A top National Security Agency official said the intelligence community should concentrate on innovation related to cybersecurity.
How the Five Eyes can win the race for quantum computing supremacy
To protect against this growing threat to their data and security, Americans should look to the country’s oldest intelligence allies.
The US made the wrong bet on radiofrequency, and now it could pay the price
“It’s not that we disarmed, it’s that we took a path that they have now figured out,
This Is the 1 Picture the U.S. Military Fears Most | The National Interest Blog
The Pentagon recognizes that it might not be able to stop an incoming missile before it launches…
New Army artillery doubles attack range and outguns Russian equivalent | Fox News
The Army is fast-tracking an emerging program to engineer a longer-range artillery cannon able to out range enemy ground forces by hitting targets at more than twice the distance of existing artillery.
Directed-Energy Capability Targeted By Pratt F-35 Engine Upgrade Plan | Defense content from Aviation Week
Feedback on its initial F135 engine upgrade proposal prompted P&W to include increased power and thermal management capability in its Growth Option 2.0 upgrade.
Thanks To NATO Infighting, the Future of the F-35 Is Shrinking – Defense One
The U.S. Senate wants to revoke Turkey’s license to buy the jet, while other European governments are looking to get a competitor off the ground.
The F-35 Is Getting Ready to Fight Russia’s Stealth Fighter and China’s J-20 | The National Interest Blog
A big update is coming. 
Lockheed’s ALIS Implies New Threats to National Sovereignty
By Giovanni de Briganti PARIS — Observers have long pointed out the potential threats to national sovereignty inherent in the F-35’s logistic support architecture, and notably in the way the Autonomic Logistic Support System (ALIS), owned and operated by Lockheed Martin, monitors the status and operations of each individual F-35 aircraft, with the ability to ground it by simply turning off its systems or by withdrawing its “flight-ready” status. But a recent story in Defense News now reveals another potential threat: the fact that ALIS can “see the number and types of parts available across the entire supply chain,” and then also “reprioritize parts.” This means that, knowing the location and availability of all spares parts, ALIS can control which part is shipped where, and so prevent any aircraft from flying until it decides to allow the shipment of a given new parts to a given base. This allows ALIS to control the status and availability of all F-35s in the world, and to prevent them from flying by simply programming a fault or a “hold” into the system. This is not to suggest that the United States government would ever use such a capability to nefarious purposes – although the current spat with Turkey on the F-35 suggests things could get out of hand quickly, especially if Congress got involved – but any foreign power taking control of the central ALIS data center could, for example, “turn off” all of the F-35s operated by one unit, one country or in one region of the world, if not all.
Bell Plans More Tech Advances As Valor Adds Flight Time | Defense content from Aviation Week
Bell Helicopter plans to add 360-deg. pilot’s vision capability to its V-280 Valor demonstrator this year, executives said June 18.
Slovakia Delays Decision On Replacing Russian MiG-29 Jets
Slovakia says it is postponing a decision on whether to buy U.S.-made F-16s or Swedish Gripen fighters to replace its aging fleet of Russian-made MiG-29s.
Is world ready for an undersea missile? Supercavitating torpedo offers speed of 230 miles per hour
THE MIL & AERO COMMENTARY – Military forces throughout the world are obsessed, it seems, with speed. Jet aircraft, the missile, even the lowly bullet typically go faster than the speed of sound. Everywhere is an obsession with speed except in undersea warfare. In fact, today’s most advanced militaries are working on so-called hypersonic missiles that eventually could travel through the air at about seven times the speed of sound, or 5,320 miles per hour.
World War 3: US to develop new ‘underwater WARFARE strategy’ with sub-killing torpedos | World | News | Express.co.uk
THE US Navy has revealed it is extending its range of sub-killing torpedoes as part of a new underwater warfare strategy that will make American submarines even more lethal and stealthy.
Navy says new ‘smart’ torpedo set for deployment | The Times of Israel
Secretive new underwater missile system is ‘digital,’ boasts electronic warfare capabilities, greater range and precision, and even the ability to hamper enemy detection
Doomsday warning: It would only take 100 nuclear weapons to wreak global devastation | Fox News
New research argues that 100 nuclear weapons is the “pragmatic limit” for any country to have in its arsenal. Any aggressor nation unleashing more than 100 nuclear weapons could ultimately devastate its own society, scientists warn.
World’s Nuclear Arsenal Declines, But Modernization Continues
World powers slightly reduced their stockpiles of nuclear warheads to 14,465 at the start of 2018, driven by cuts by the United States and Russia, although modernization programs are continuing, a …
Which Country Has the Most Nuclear Weapons? How U.S. And Russia Compare with the Rest of the World
These are the countries the world should be watching as everyone focuses on North Korea.
IQ scores are falling and have been for decades – CNN
IQ scores have been steadily falling for the past few decades, with changes in our environment and the way we are learning thought to be reasons why, a new study suggests.

IW/EW/IO/Cyber Reports


Pentagon GreenLights Offensive Cyber – To Inform is to Influence
The New York Times published a story titled Pentagon Puts Cyberwarriors on the Offensive, Increasing the Risk of Conflict. I couldn’t help but notice the negative spin on the headline, predisposing a negative perspective on the Pentagon’s approval before even starting the article. The objective, according to the new “vision statement” quietly issued by the command,…
Russian Troll or Clumsy Publicity Hound? – To Inform is to Influence
This article gives me a reason to air a fairly dated but now applicable theory. Loud, abrasive, inept, and sophomoric efforts at dispensing Russian propaganda like USAReally are most likely deliberate distractions for more sophisticated, low-level, more-professional efforts. Every single thing about USAReally screams they’re smoking hashish and planning this while drinking vodka. I can hear it now…”Da, da, dis we should doo. Vrite article making Alexader Malkevich loook like the next comingk of Joseph Stalin, loooking līk Vladimir Putin, talkingk like Hillary Clinton, but vith the eentelect of Rachel Maddow. Da? Nazdrovia! (More correctly, Za zdorovje)”. In the meantime, members of the Russian Troll Farm will be quietly snapping up dozens, if not hundreds of domains sounding like legitimate news sites, conservative and liberal sites, and sites from every ethnic, racial, cultural, sexual, and religious perspective. These sites, in turn, will probably be autopopulated with news feeds to establish long-term cred. Using AI, some will carry “original” stories. Each will have twitter feeds, follow other pirate sites, and feed yet more pirate sites. USAReally is a joke. A loud, obnoxious effort to make us confront our own First Amendment. We’ll handle them, we’ll even find a way to brand Malkevich an agent of foreign influence. It’s the other ones, the quiet ones, we need to find and stop. </end editorial>
How Russia Justifies Even More Propaganda – To Inform is to Influence
Igor Panarin used a pro-Russian website, BaltNews, to publish an article arguing that the West is unfairly launching propaganda at an undeserving Russia.   First, Baltnews is Sputnik’s brother, a confirmed Russian propaganda site. It’s owner, Media Capital Holding B.V., is wholly owned by Rossiya Segodnya, who owns Sputnik. StopFake documents it here, Sputnik’s unknown brother.  A few observations about…
How bots are making ‘the self-driving network’ a reality
This bold and compelling vision of networking’s future may seem impossible to some and even worrisome to a few. However, it’s exactly the type of revolutionary foresight that’s required as the government responds to disruptions.
Experts fear the growing threat of connected devices
Smart device manufacturers look to develop industry standards to strengthen cybersecurity and avoid government regulation.
A member of the European Parliament, Rebecca Harms, said she was a victim of a disinformation war – Rebecca Harms stated she was victim of disinformation – 112.international
A member of the European Parliament, Rebecca Harms, said she was a victim of a disinformation war. So she commented on her telephone conversation with an unknown person who pretended to be the head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine Igor Rainin and said that the head of state intends to present the draft law on equal rights next week. She wrote about this on Twitter after the presidential administration denied the fact of a call to her. “Me and my office have been systematically misinformed regarding the bill on equal rights through fabricated phone and mail, and a person posing himself as head of the presidential administration,” she noted. “This was my own experience, connected with the current misinformation war, I apologize for the problems and misunderstandings that this could entail,” the MEP added. She stressed that this incident does not affect the fact that the “Kyiv Pride” held on Sunday is a significant success for Ukraine and progress in civil rights and equality of Ukrainians. Earlier we reported that Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine, will present a bill on equal rights next week, as Rebecca Harms, the European Parliament Member, said after the Equality March in Kyiv, Interfax Ukraine reports. “Today in the morning I have received a call and Poroshenko informed me that he would not only support the March with the state institutions but also that he intends to present a draft bill on equal rights next week,” she said.
Google Plus: A Haven For White Nationalists And Nazis – To Inform is to Influence
In the never-ending Whack-A-Mole that are efforts to withdraw any support and legitimacy for racism, Google Plus appears to be the new safe haven for White Nationalists and Neo-Nazis.  Facebook just hired 20,000 more analysts to help secure that social media platform. Google and Google Plus appear to be doing the next big hire.  Either…
The Art Of War: Russian Propaganda In WWI
The spectacular posters that tsarist Russia used to drum up support for its war effort.
Researchers: ‘Olympic Destroyer’ Hackers May Have Returned – The Daily Beast
Appear to be targeting organizations that respond to chemical and biological threats.
On the Theft and Reuse of Advanced Offensive Cyber Weapons – Defense One
Last year, North Korea and Russia used a vulnerability stolen from the U.S. government to conduct the WannaCry and NotPetya ransomware attacks.
Canada announces controversial new cyber strategy
Canada’s new cyber strategy creates an authority tasked with protecting the public and private sector, among other initiatives.
China-based hackers target satellite and telecommunication firms
A Chinese group has launched a wave of cyberattacks in the last 18 months and has specifically targeted a satellite operator, a telecommunication company, a geospatial imaging company and a defense contractor,
Hackers are trying to infiltrate election systems
State and local officials said that American voting systems face daily threats to hackers, and the 2018 mid-term elections are a potential target for digital infiltration.
Kaspersky woes grow after ‘confirmed malicious’ accusation
The Russia-based company faced a tumultuous three days after accusations its software was a sieve for authorities in Moscow.
Justice Dept. releases new details on ‘micro-jamming’
New technology can block cellphone service inside an area as small as a jail cell.
Former C.I.A. official charged with espionage
A former C.I.A. officer is suspected of being behind one of the agency’s most embarrassing leaks in history.

US Domestic Policy Reports


Obama’s cybersecurity coordinator confirms Susan Rice ordered him to ‘stand down’ on Russian meddling
Michael Daniel confirmed Wednesday that former national security adviser Susan Rice ordered him and his staff to “stand down” in 2016 in regard to Russian attempts to meddle in the 2016 election.
Obama administration ‘flat-footed’ as Russians meddled in 2016 election: Senate panel – ABC News
Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee agreed.
Weak Response To Russian Meddling Emboldened Moscow, Official Says
Russia was emboldened by the lack of a decisive response by President Barack Obama’s administration during the 2016 presidential election and will seek to interfere in future elections, a former to…
Obama’s lack of response may have emboldened Russia election meddling: former officials | Reuters
Russia may have stepped up efforts to meddle in the 2016 U.S. election after President Barack Obama’s administration did not retaliate strongly to reports of its activities, former aides to the Democratic president told U.S. senators on Wednesday.


Trump Says He’s ‘Considering’ A Meeting With Putin Next Month
U.S. President Donald Trump says he is considering a meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in July.
Trump Floats Idea Of Summer Meeting With Putin
U.S. President Donald Trump says “it’s possible” he will meet with Russian President Vladimir this summer and has pressed again for Moscow to be allowed to rejoin the Group of Seven (G7) industrial…
Report: Trump Plans to Meet Putin in July – The Daily Beast
Reportedly weighing whether to make visit before or after NATO summit in Brussels.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin Likely to Win Tactically but Fail Strategically at Summit with Trump, Golts Says
Paul Goble Staunton, June 18 — The pro-Kremlin media is already predicting Vladimir Putin will triumph at a summit with Donald Trump later this summer, and they are certainly correct that he will gain some tactical victory, Aleksandr Golts says, because the US leader to get a win with his domestic base will give up something real for an unenforceable verbal concession by Putin. That is what happened in the case of Trump’s meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, the Moscow commentator says, when Trump called off real military maneuvers in the south in exchange for a promise by Kim for de-nuclearization at some unspecified point in the future (ej2018.ru/?a=note&id=32590). Kim got a tactical victory by making promises; and Trump got what he wanted: an apparent but far from certain triumph that he has used to mobilize his domestic base. That is what a Putin-Trump summit will look like as well. And as a result, many in Moscow are pleased and many elsewhere frightened by this prospect. But Golts points out that neither the Trump-Kim summit nor the prospects for a Putin-Trump one will do anything to alter fundamentally the strategic balance in the world; and that balance, he argues, will remain firmly on the side of the United States regardless of what transpires at a meeting of Russian and American leaders. A major reason why Moscow commentators are celebrating the prospect of a summit is that “at first glance, it is an obvious indication that the Western policy of isolating Moscow has not produced results.” And that in turn means, they write, that such a summit is “doomed to become a triumph for the Kremlin which has stoically withstood the pressure of ‘hostile forces.’” It is certainly the case, Golts says, that “the presence of Trump in the White House has essentially eased Russia’s international position. Until recently, Putin, with his view of world politics as an unending zero-sum game, seemed to many hopelessly out of date, stuck in the 19th century.” But to Putin’s good fortune, “a man who shares similar views became president of the most influential country of the world,” someone with little patience for or even interest in the kind of alliance building and diplomatic negotiations that his predecessors were committed to. That Trump has little interest in the common values of the West was shown at the G7 summit. As a result, many are rushing to declare “a victory for Putin’s strategy,” one that since the Crimean Anschluss in 2014 has been “extremely simple: we will force you to deal with us by constantly creating new problems and threats. You don’t want a direct military clash in Syria, which might lead to a third world war? Then you must deal with Russia.” And so on. “Moscow occupied such a large place in the G7 talks for one single reason: it completely consciously has made its goal to become a problem or more precisely a threat to the West. Before our eyes,” Golts says, “has occurred a global redistribution of roles in international political life.” It is worth recalling, the Moscow commentator says, that in the early 1990s, Russia, having rejected the Soviet heritage, “sought a new place in the international arena,” one in which it could “represent the interests of the collective ‘civilized world’ in negotiations with countries which from the first were called outcasts.” That didn’t work hard, largely because the autocratic leaders of these countries “are not idiots. They prefer to negotiate directly with ‘the main boss.’” And not there is a US president who relishes doing just think, talking “directly with ayatollahs and Kims” and who approaches relations in an entirely new way. Trump “is organically incapable for long serious negotiations with complicated compromises. It is no accident that instead of talks about tariffs, he simply began a trade war with China. He is bored by coordinating positions in the declaration of the seven. But he seriously needs foreign policy successes.” Consequently, Golts continues, Trump “has taken on himself the role of the main negotiator with ‘the outcasts.’ His most important victory became the largely senseless meeting with Kim Jong-un,” where he cancelled US-South Korean exercises, something real, in exchange for Kim’s promises about the future, something not. But Trump didn’t and doesn’t care because he got what he wanted: “an effective picture on television.” And now it is Putin’s turn. The Kremlin leader probably will get something real that he wants in exchange for meaningless promises because that will allow his American counterpart to claim victory. The American concessions will be a mistake given that they will do nothing to dissuade Putin from his aggressive foreign policy and repressive domestic one, especially in that Putin isn’t about to give up anything he really cares about when he can achieve part of his goals by making unenforceable promises. “However, even this likely tactical win will not be able to hide the new strategic reality … Russia finally has been confirmed in the role of the main outcast of the planet, a state from which one can only expect something bad. That is what Putin is condemned to be in Trump’s scenario. And this is much more important any possible [Russian] successes.”
Kremlin Says U.S. National Security Adviser Bolton Heading To Moscow
The Kremlin has said U.S. national security adviser John Bolton plans to visit Moscow, without providing details about the trip.


Former Trump Campaign Chair Manafort Jailed After Bail Revoked
A U.S. judge has jailed Paul Manafort, who served as U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign manager during the 2016 presidential campaign, after revoking his bail ahead of a trial on charges brough…
IG: Comey used personal email account for FBI business – CNNPolitics
James Comey used a personal Gmail account for official government business while FBI director, the Justice Department’s inspector general said Thursday.
Erik Prince: I ‘Cooperated’ With Mueller
The Trumpworld insider is under scrutiny for his alleged backchanneling with Russia, his work for China, and his plans for Afghanistan. He defends it all in a new interview.
Russian Troll or Clumsy Publicity Hound? – Foreign Policy
UAWire – USA urges Russia to release all Ukrainian political prisoners
The United States mission to the OSCE called on Russia to free Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov and other Ukrainian political prisoners who are …
UAWire – US senators call on Trump to impose sanctions against Russia for religious persecution in the Donbas and Crimea
A group of the American senators has submitted a resolution placing responsibility on Russia for violating religious freedoms in the annexed …
Trump called a female reporter ‘obnoxious’ and told her to be ‘quiet’ | Business Insider
President Donald Trump on Friday called a female reporter “obnoxious” as she attempted to ask him a question outside the White House.
Trump Calls Female Reporter ‘So Obnoxious,’ Tells Her To Be Quiet
CBS’ Weijia Jiang asked the president to explain why he thinks North Korea no longer poses a nuclear threat.
No comment from White House on Trump’s alleged “Crimea is Russian” remarks | UNIAN
Speaking at a Washington briefing June 14, White House Spokesperson Sarah Sanders said she was unaware of U.S. President Donald Trump allegedly telling G7 leaders that “Crimea is part of Russia because everyone who lives there speaks Russian.” The spokesperson told journalists she would not speak of a private conversation she had not participated in.
U.S. State Dept reiterates its Crimea policy after Trump’s alleged “Crimea is Russian” remarks | UNIAN
The U.S. State Department has reiterated its Crimea policy and support of Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Earlier, Buzzfeed claimed Donald Trump allegedly told G7 leaders that “Crimea is Russian because everyone who lives there speaks Russian.”
President Trump digs in on false claim that crime on rise in Germany – ABC News
The president has doubled-down on the claim despite facts to the contrary.
US State Department: Russia should stop this deplorable behavior, 112.international – Russia should stop this deplorable behavior, – US State Department – 112.international
Russia should stop this deplorable behavior, – US State Department
U.S. slams rights groups, says aided its withdrawal from U.N. body | Reuters
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley slammed rights groups on Wednesday for thwarting Washington’s attempts to reform the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council and said they had contributed to the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw.
US envoy Nikki Haley berates human rights groups – BBC News
In a letter, Nikki Haley says the groups worked to “thwart reform” of the UN human rights council.
Advocates Worry U.S. Withdrawal From UN Rights Body Empowers Despots
Those who don’t respect human rights are seen to be gaining from U.S. decision
U.S. Convicts Two Ex-Soviet Criminal Gang Members On Racketeering Charges
A U.S. jury has found two members of an organized criminal gang from the former Soviet Union guilty of racketeering and other charges in a verdict announced by the U.S. Justice Department on June 19.
U.S. Lawmakers Urge Officials To Eye Sanctions Against Russian Billionaire Yevtushenkov
Two U.S. lawmakers have urged U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to consider hitting Russian billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov with sanctions and examine whether he has engaged in corrupt…
Elon Musk emails employees about ‘extensive and damaging sabotage’ by employee – CNBC | UNIAN
Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent an email to all employees on Monday morning about a factory fire, and seemed to reference possible sabotage. Several employees, from different divisions within Tesla, confirmed receipt of the e-mail to CNBC.


Trump Calls For Separate Military Space Force | Space content from Aviation Week
President Donald Trump on June 18 directed the Pentagon to establish a “Space Force” as a sixth branch of the U.S. armed forces.
Why a U.S. ‘Space Force’ is ‘premature’ but ‘inevitable’ | PBS NewsHour
What would a space force look like? Why now? Will NASA play a role? Three experts, including a retired Air Force Lieutenant General, explain the rationale behind President Trump’s announcement.
Trump Orders Creation Of U.S. Space Force
U.S. President Donald Trump has ordered the creation of a new U.S. military branch that he says will ensure “American dominance in space.”
Trump orders establishment of ‘space force’ as 6th branch of military | Fox News
Speaking at a meeting of the National Space Council, Trump ordered the Pentagon to immediately establish a national “space force” that would become the sixth branch of the armed forces.
Space Force: Trump directs Pentagon to create military Space Force military branch – CBS News
At meeting of the National Space Council, the president called for the creation of a sixth branch of the U.S. military in space
Trump orders creation of independent space force – but Congress will still have its say
President Trump has ordered the creation of a new branch of the military focused on space — something his own Secretary of Defense has opposed.
What Trump’s Space Force Announcement Means – Defense One
New plan would create sixth service branch, and annoy the Air Force.
Proposed Space Force Would Pull Expertise From All Service Branches – USNI News
If created, a new Space Force would likely rely heavily on existing personnel form the Navy, Marine Corps, and other service branches.
Trump’s Space Force Faces Hurdles in the Pentagon and Congress – Foreign Policy
The U.S. president’s plan could put him at odds with his defense secretary.
Cut the Red Tape Slowing the Pentagon’s Race to Space – Defense One
If the Air Force is to harness cheap satellites and reusable rockets, it must transform a risk-averse bureaucracy built for a different era.
Trump Vows To Keep U.S. Ahead Of China, Russia On Space Endeavors
U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to maintain U.S. dominance in space as China, Russia, and other countries make advances in the race to explore the Moon, Mars, and other planets.


U.S. Navy’s BAMS-D To Fly On As Triton Nears Deployment | Defense content from Aviation Week
Northrop has received a contract worth up to $189.2 million to support four RQ-4A Block 10 unmanned aircraft for up to another 42 months.
Defense and delusion: America‘s military, industry are falling behind
Should a real national emergency occur, America’s industrial base does not have the capacity to surge, leaving its defense at significant risk.
A New Framework for Assessing the Risks from U.S. Arms Sales
In the past two years, Congress has tried (and failed) twice to halt American arms sales to Saudi Arabia in response to that country’s intervention in Yemen’s civil war. This level of concern is historically unusual. Arms sales rarely spur much debate in Washington, where they are viewed as a critical tool of
Can a new DISA app help solve the security clearance dilemma?
More than 4 million federal and contract jobs require some level of security clearance and the National Background Investigations Bureau currently needs to process more than 710,000 applications.
Study: To fix Air Force pilot shortage, look to contractors — and forget about warrant officers
The Air Force should make greater use of contractors to bolster its pilot training capabilities as it works to fix its festering pilot shortfall once and for all, according to a new report.
Why Pentagon And Silicon Valley Find Working Together Hard | Defense content from Aviation Week
The Defense Department and the tech community have distinctly different approaches to problem solving, but both sides are working on mutual understanding.
Communist West Pointer receives lateral commission into Russian Ground Forces — Duffel Blog (satire)
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