Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Salisbury CW Attack / Syria / Iran / Russia Ad Hoc Update (94)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Possibly the most interesting Russia reports are the Muscovian reaction to a Ukrainian proposal to rename Russia to Muscovy, and the Muscovian reaction to a Kazakh’s historian’s observation that the city of Muscovy was founded in 1088 by a Kazakh – during the era of the Mongol-Tartar Horde.

Updates on Salisbury and the Babchenko sting.

Russia crashes and burns at the OPCW meeting.

Much bluster and bluff emanating from Tehran, as the currency crashes, and protesters return to the streets.

Assad launches another offensive with Russian air and land support, despite US warnings.

Turkey dives into the abyss – excellent assessment by Ozalp.

TASS: World – Russia criticizes arbitrary interpretations of OPCW report on Skripal case

The commentary described the UK’s allegations about the Russian origin of substance Sergei and Yulia Skripal were exposed to in Salisbury as fully unsubstantiated and contradicting reality

Destroying evidence? UK may buy Skripal’s house using taxpayers’ money – report – YouTube

RT Published on Jun 28, 2018 Reports have emerged in the British media, claiming that the UK government is going to spend a million pounds to buy the house of former Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal. READ MORE: Check out RT LIVE Subscribe to RT!… Like us on Facebook Follow us on Telegram Follow us on VK Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Instagram Follow us on Google+ RT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.

Russian Embassy reacts to London’s plans to buy Skripal’s property

Moscow reminded London that this step will be regarded as London’s deliberate efforts to make a joint investigation with Russia impossible. The embassy does not doubt that the facilities will be destroyed.

Inside Russia’s long history of poisoning political enemies

Russia’s reach is long, its methods secret, and its vengeance coldly calculated. On March 4, 66-year-old Sergei Skripal and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia,…

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Ukrainian Suggestion that Russia Should be Called Muscovy Infuriates Russians

Paul Goble Staunton, June 24 – Even though Russian officials and commentators have felt free to call Ukraine and Ukrainians other names, the suggestion by Ukrainian writer Larisa Nitsa that Russia should be called Muscovy has sparked outrage among Russians – even though Muscovy is a more historical term for what is now Russia than many terms Russians now use for Ukraine. Residents of Ukraine should “apply to the Russian Federation the historical name ‘Muscovy since the term ‘Rus’ was stolen from the Ukrainians by the Russians,” Ukrainian writer Larisa Nitsoi says. Moreover, she continues, the tsars had to impose the name Russia on reluctant Muscovites ( “Do you know how they became Russians?” she asks rhetorically. The Russian tsars first stole the name ‘Rus’ from us. They were at the time Muscovites. Rus is ours. It’s as if someone stole the house of your parents and then you say that the owners are those who did the stealing,” Nitsa continues. People in Ukraine are in fact “’Russians,’” she tells an interviewer. “You and I are Russians; they are Muscovites. The Muscovite stardom by order of Peter I called itself Rus. Just imagine if Germany woke up today, and France had issued an order specifying that we now are Germany. This is the same nonsense!” Indeed, Nitsa recalls, “the Muscovites continued to call themselves Muscovites,” forcing Catherine II to issue a decree – all Muscovites who call themselves Muscovites will be piteously beaten. This is a historic fact; it can be confirmed in museums! As a result, the Muscovites wer called and forced to call themselves Russians.” Few things anger those who call themselves Russians now than anyone who calls attention to some of the problematic aspects of their history, their names or the name of their language. And not surprisingly, Nitsa’s remarks sparked an immediate and universally negative response in the Russian Federation. For a sample of these reactions by politicians and commentators, see among many others, and

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kazakhs Founded Moscow, Something Russians have Tried to Hide, Kazakhstan Scholar Says

Paul Goble Staunton, June 16 – Mekemtas Myrzakhmet, a Kazakh historian, says there is impressive archival evidence that a Kazakh founded the city of Moscow and that the city was even named in his honor, despite all efforts by Russian officials and scholars to deny this and to destroy the documents that prove this. “Truth sooner or later enters the arena of history,” he writes, even if some try to hide it. “Moscow was ruled in 1088 by a youth named Akhat Moska. The local people loved him and named the city in his honor. Thus, the capital of the Russian empire was named as a mark of respect for a Kazakh” ( and Evidence for this, Myrzakhmet says, is even now circulating in academic circles and will soon lead Kazakhs to speak openly about that historical truth. Akhat Moska was married to a Russian woman, and “the Russians aren’t going to rush to share with us such information.” Indeed, he suggests, they will do everything to hide it. “At present,” the historian says, “we must more deeply study the heritage of the great Abay and escape from a slavish consciousness. Indicative of what is going on is that documents concerning us are being destroyed in the Russian archives. Soviet power didn’t allow the Kazakhs to raise their national self-consciousness and held the Kazakh people under its control.” But now things have changed, Myrzakhmet continues. “We are a people with pure blood, great intellectual potential and a broad range of views.” We even established what is now Russia’s capital, he implies, and eventually the Russians will have to acknowledge that. For centuries, there have been disputes about where the name Moscow came from and who founded the city. The most common conjectures are that it is a Finno-Ugric name and that the city was founded by groups who lived in the region before the people who came to be known as the Russians ever arrived. Myrzakhmet’s suggestion is a relatively new one, but it is certain to spark controversy. At the very least, it is an indication of the growing national self-consciousness of the Kazakhs and their willingness to challenge Russian nationalist and imperial thinking, something many in Moscow will take the most extreme umbrage at.

Russian Embassy Calls Stoltenberg’s Remarks on Skripal Case ‘Disinformation’ – Global Times

The Russian Embassy in the United Kingdom on Friday described NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s recent comments on Russia’s alleged involvement in the Skripal poisoning incident as

Renewed Russian State Council Could Give Putin Chance to Rule for Life – To Inform is to Influence

Sunday, June 24, 2018 Paul Goble Staunton, April 24 – There is a minor boomlet in the Russian media for reforming and expanding the role of the Russian Sate Council Vladimir Putin created earlier so as to create a kind of “Central Committee of the ruling party like the CPSU Central Committee,” and thus create…

Russophobia acceptable form of racism – Experts to RT after journos kicked from Ukraine — RT World News

Ukraine is unlikely to see criticism from the West, where “Russophobia has become an acceptable form of racism”, experts told RT after Kiev stopped journalists in Russian media from attending OSCE press freedoms conference.

UAWire – Russia accuses U.S. of trying to push its gas into Europe

The United States is trying to push its gas into the European market, said First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Energy Igor …

Russia blames Denmark for ‘deliberate dragging of time’ in the issue of construction of Nord Stream II pipeline – Nord Stream 2 construction: Denmark intentionally drags time, Russia says –

Russia blames Denmark for ‘deliberate dragging of time’ in the issue of construction of Nord Stream II pipeline


Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 25.06.2018 NATO is on the mend. But you wouldn’t know it from reading most Western media. While members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization build collective security against the Russian threat, most Western media outlets report “Russia says” as if it’s news. What Russia says about NATO is always bad. The good news about NATO and about Ukraine is being shouted down by Russian propaganda. “Russia says” is being amplified by the Western press, which is reporting Russia’s war against Ukraine from Moscow and not from Kyiv. The salient fact guiding everything about security and international relations in these times is that Russia is invading Ukraine. This cataclysmic event which began in 2014 is as significant to global affairs as Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union invading Poland in 1939. Unlike the Second World War, though, most of the Western press is not reporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as an invasion, or Putin’s War as the war that it is. That is because Kremlin propaganda is stronger than Goebbels’s was, and the Western press is weaker now than it was almost 80 years ago. Today we have a Russo-centric and Ukraine-ignorant press, which favours the aggressor over the defender.

Russia Nosedives in Global Reputation Ranking – To Inform is to Influence

June 22 2018 – 19:06 Russia’s standing has taken a major hit in the eyes of other countries, according to the latest study of the reputations of nations around the world. The Reputation Institute (RI) consulting firm ranks 55 of the world’s biggest countries based on 58,000 individual ratings evaluating factors that include economic health,…

UAWire – Capital outflow from Russia reaches record level since annexation of Crimea

Foreign investors are continuing to withdraw capital from the Russian equity and bond markets due to the tightening of Federal Reserve System (FRS) policy, the European Central Bank scaling down carry trades, and the risk of a global trade war. Over the week ending June 20, the sell-off rate of Russian securities by non-residents doubled, reports, citing data from EPFR Global (Emerging Portfolio Fund Research). Cumulatively, foreigners withdrew $520 million, a record amount since March 2014, when Russia’s annexation of Crimea led to the country’s economy being placed under the most severe western sanctions since the end of the 1970s. Just like the week before, the primary blow was dealt to the equity market, where the non-residents’ weekly sell-off rate doubled, reaching $460 million, a record since the start of 2014. The two-week outflow approached $700 million, and the monthly outflow exceeded $1 billion. Funds were withdrawn both by funds focused solely on Russia, and by those which include Russia in a package alongside other developing countries. Russia-focused funds pulled out $150 million, doubling the sell-off compared to the previous week. The largest ETF in the US which includes Russian shares has had to return investors $83.5 million since Friday, June 15. Money flowed out of the fund each day over the course of last week. Since the start of the month, $104 million in clients’ money has left the fund; $500 million since the start of 2018, and more than $1 billion over the last year and a half. As a result, the fund has liquidated all of the investments made in the market over the last three years. From the iShares MSCI Russia ETF (ERUS), which buys the Russian MSCI index basket, $16.2 million was withdrawn last week, $26.2 million since the start of June, and $229 million since the start of the year. The latest major sales of the ETF took place on June 15 ($6.6 million) and June 19 ($9.5 million), according to statistics from

Long watch: Russia’s dirty secret – To Inform is to Influence

I seldom watch longer videos. This one is worth watching. It is sobering, very somber. </end editorial> Volokolamsk – a town on the outskirts of Moscow and home to 20,000 people – is being poisoned by a massive and out of control landfill site next door. The locals are getting sick and they’ve started a protest movement. Now other small towns around Moscow which also have landfill sites have joined in.

UAWire – China declares Silk Road through Russia unprofitable

The project to create a Eurasian high-speed railway line from Beijing through Moscow to Berlin, which the Russian government planned to insert into China’s “New Silk Road” to the EU, is unprofitable. This was the conclusion reached by China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group (CREEC) after an analysis of the financial and technical conditions of the project. As RBC reports, citing a source in the government and in Russian Railways, the company presented its assessment to the Russian-Chinese work group, which will now have to decide on the way forward. CREEC estimates that the 9,500 km line, which would stretch from China through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Poland to Germany, would have a total cost of 9.8 trillion rubles. This is 40% higher than the Russian estimates, which put it at 7 trillion rubles. The Russian stretch of the line would be the most expensive, accounting for almost half of the project. In order to pay off the line, the interest rate on the loans would have to be virtually 0%, according to the calculations by the Chinese company: even then it would take 27 years to pay off, since the internal rate of return is 2.88%. Based on the current project parameters, assuming that 60% of the funds came from loans, the project would never pay itself off. In its calculations, CREEC put the interest rate at 5.75% per annum, which is almost half as low as the market conditions for business in Russia. The project would have to be paid for with taxpayers’ money, according to the Chinese assessment. “Each country would need government support, and to take complex measures,” the CREEC presentation states. However, the company warns that due to the “poor profitability, the ability to repay the debt with interest is also poor”.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia and West Defeated Communism in 1991 but Not Russian Imperialism, Shenderovich Says

Paul Goble Staunton, June 26 – In 1991, Russian liberals successfully defeated communism, but they failed to understand that they needed to defeat a fare more deeply rooted problem: the imperialism that had informed Russia and then the Soviet Union for centuries. And as a result, that imperialism has proved remarkably alive to this day, Viktor Shenderovich says. In his essay in today’s Nezavisimaya gazeta, the Moscow writer does not stress but he could very well have observed that far too many Western leaders assumed that the victory over communism was sufficient – “the end of history,” some called it — to put Russia on the path to civilizational greatness ( This failure to understand what was at stake and what was necessary, Shenderovich continues, has come back to haunt Russia and the world and will continue to do so until it is addressed. That requires, he argues, that everyone understand the fundamental differences between civilizations and empires. Russia reached its apogee as a civilization in the eighteenth and nineteenth century when its intellectuals became Europeans; but it reached its height as an empire only the middle of the 20th century when the Soviet Union dominated half the world. Unfortunately, in Russia’s case, this imperial tradition predominated and predominates over the civilizational one. “In present-day Russia,” he suggests, “there are two Russias which have almost nothing in common.” There is one that is traditionally oriented toward European values; and there is a second which remains mired “in a feudal-imperial consciousness. Empire and civilization [in Russia’s case] clash over the space of time,” with the empire winning now. It doesn’t have to be that way, Shenderovich says. “In England, civilization triumphed.” It has demonstrated that a strong civilization can “survive a great empire,” retaining only “decorative” elements of the latter and that by sacrificing the empire, it gains the possibility for moving forward. Russia acquired a European civilization in the 18th century, and it had a communist civilization for about two decades. But after each of these breakthroughs, it retreated into its imperial nature, seeking to conquer others and justifying authoritarianism in the name of that expansion. Today, some do not understand this, Shenderovich says, because “the Putin empire trades in images of a dead civilization” just as some modern Greeks take pride in Socrates and the School of Athens to which they are only connected in the most indirect way.. According to the Moscow writer, “the majority of Russians sincerely consider themselves part of the civilization which gave the world Leo Tolstoy … Our dominant gene is imperial and not civilizational.” And that explains the success Putin has enjoyed. As some have noted, he is “an outstanding politician of the 19th century” who confuses the acquisition of territory with greatness.” As Shenderovich points out, “the United States over the course of the entire 20th century did notadd one square meter to its territory. Civilization spread the influence of Silicon Valley! And Russian civilization has or more correctly had enormous possibilities to do the same.” But it did not make use of them. Instead, “Putin like his predecessors remembered about ‘the Russian world’ only in connection with the imperial theme.” That isn’t surprising because “the theme of the defense of civilization contradicted the imperial theme.” As Klyuchevsky observed, Russians are like gypsies who find it easier to settle new territories than to develop old ones. Or as Aleksandr Herzen put it, “the state is situated in Russia like an army of occupation.” And as in most occupations, most people adapt and go along, supporting whoever is in power, tsar, commissar or president, especially if those in power can provide a better live because of the accident of a rise in the price of oil. In 1991, it appeared that Russia was about to break out of its imperial past; but it didn’t because the price of oil didn’t support Gaidar as it later propped up Putin. Instead, Russians cursed the wild 1990s and celebrated the Putin oil boom – a pattern that has happened all too often in Russian history. Shenderovich recalls the comment of one historian that “Russian civilization did not defeat the Tatars but only took over the instruments the Tatars had used. Today’s Putin federalism is just the same yasak or collection of tribune from the lands” as the Tatar khanate collected almost a millennium ago. Moreover, Russian rulers used the threat of retribution from the masses to keep most of the intellectuals in line – and Putin continues to do so to this day. And having been successful at that, for Putin’s regime, “the return to the imperial theme was almost pre-determined. A decade of Russian freedom which did not produce a breakthrough came to an end.” Another feature of this imperial rather than civilizational definition of the state is its constant participation in “unending” or “incomplete” reforms. That too is “a Russian tradition.” Had any reforms been carried through to the end, the outcome would have been different: civilization would have won and the empire would have lost. But that didn’t happen. Russian liberalism failed and its support from abroad failed as well, Shenderovich says. “After September 11, 2001, the US focused all of its attention in the Taliban-Iran direction.” Putin understood this and met it in a way that served his interests. He provided the US with a way to get arms to Afghanistan; and the West did what he hoped. For that Russian support, he says, “American forgave Putin for everything – the suppression of NTV, the arrest of Khodorkovsky and the falsification” of elections. That ended with Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and his Anschluss of Crimea; but his degradation of the population meant that the party of television continues to defeat the party of the refrigerator. That won’t last forever, Shenderovich concludes. “Any narcotic sooner or later enters into the strongest conflict with the real needs of the organism.” How long that will take is far from clear, but even Russia can’t escape from the laws of history. If it tries, it will only fall further and further behind.

MH17: EU calls on Russia to accept its responsibility – 29.06.2018 11:05 — Ukrinform News

The leaders of the European Union call on Russia to accept responsibility and cooperate with all the efforts to identify the perpetrators of MH17 crash.

UAWire – Media: Russia and Ukraine both spied on MH17 investigators

The Russian and Ukrainian intelligence agencies both monitored members of the mission from the Netherlands which came to investigate the MH17 …

SBU head promises to reveal ‘Russian trace’ in attempted murder of Babchenko | KyivPost

Most of the journalists and activists whose names were on the “hit list of 47” alongside that of journalist Arkady Babchenko could have fallen victim to the “Russian security services” and are now under round-the-clock protection, according to Head of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) Vasyl Hrytsak. “I promise this [Russian] trace is already there. And we will talk about it,” Hrytsak told reporters in Kyiv on June 25 when asked about progress in the Babchenko inquiry. As reported, on the evening of May 29 first mass media and later Ukrainian authorities said that Russian citizen Babchenko, who had worked for the Kyiv-based television channel ATR since 2017, had been “shot dead” on the stairway landing in his apartment block in Kyiv. The following day, Hrytsak said at a briefing that the announcement was part of a security operation aimed at foiling a plot to kill the journalist. Babchenko himself then appeared before the reporters. On the same day, it emerged that the organizer of the plot, Boris German, who had offered and partially pre-paid $30,000 to a Donbas combatant to kill Babchenko, had been arrested. German talked about eliminating a total of 30 people in Ukraine. Shortly afterwards, O. Tsymbaliuk, a monk, volunteer, and activist with Right Sector (banned in Russia), aka Aristarkh, a former hierodeacon with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of both the Moscow and Kyiv Patriarchates, said that he was the man who had been hired to kill Babchenko, after which he passed the information on to the SBU. Later, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko said there were 47 potential victims on the hit list.

Arkady Babchenko Fears Another Russian Assassination Attempt – To Inform is to Influence

oday, Arkady Babchenko (Аркадий Бабченко)shared his words on Facebook about his current situation following the fake assassination. Russia was embarrassed, so obviously, Russia is going to try to squash this little bug. That is all he is to Russia. He caused Russia embarrassment, so he means even less and they also have an incentive to kill him. You know, because Russia is all macho like that. In his own words, Babchenko tells us how life is after embarrassing Russia. </end editorial>

Botched Novichok hit items to be incinerated | Daily Mail Online

Items contaminated by Novichok during the assassination attempt on Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, pictured with daughter Yulia, will be incinerated at 1,200C – hotter than molten lava.

Salisbury spy poisoning: Taxpayers foot bill for Sergei Skripal’s contaminated home | News | The Sunday Times

Sergei Skripal’s home and a house belonging to a police officer poisoned in the Salisbury nerve agent attack will be bought by taxpayers in a £1m deal that also includes cars and other family possessions. The novichok used in the failed attempt to assassinate the former Russian spy and his daughter,

Taxpayers to pay for homes of Salisbury nerve attack victims | Daily Mail Online

UK taxpayers will cover £1million costs owed to Russian spy Sergei Skripal and Wiltshire policeman DS Nick Bailey who were exposed to military nerve agent Novichok in the Salisbury attack.

Sergei Skripal’s contaminated home to be bought for £1million… and YOU’RE paying for it | Daily Star

BRITISH taxpayers are set to shell out £1million on contaminated possessions belonging to ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal.

13 security breaches at toxic lab used to test Russian poison | Daily Star

THE chemical weapons lab investigating the Salisbury poisonings has had at least 13 big safety scares in recent years.

Russia Says It Does Not Recognize Chemical Watchdog’s Expanded Powers

Moscow does not recognize new powers the international community has given to the global chemical-weapons watchdog to identify who is responsible for chemical-weapons attacks, Russian Deputy Foreig…

OPCW Gets Power To Assign Blame In Chemical Attacks, Despite Russia’s Objections

Countries have overwhelming voted to give the world’s chemical weapons watchdog new powers to assign blame for attacks using banned toxic materials, in a motion backed by the West and opposed by Moscow.

Britain Pushes To Empower Chemical-Weapons Watchdog To Identify Attackers

Britain and the United States have led an effort to empower the world’s chemical-weapons watchdog to identify who is behind toxin attacks, triggering strong opposition from Russia and Syria.

UK calls for more chemical weapons powers – BBC News

The UK wants new powers for inspectors to assign blame for nerve agent attacks in Syria.

UK set to overcome Russian objections in chemical weapons vote | World news | The Guardian

Boris Johnson wants to give inspectors power to identify source of chemical weapons attacks in Syria

West, Russia face off over empowering chemical weapons body | Reuters

Britain, which has condemned Russia over the nerve agent poisoning of an ex-spy, is pushing to give more teeth to the global chemical weapons watchdog so that it can identify those responsible for attacks with banned toxic substances.

Chemical weapons watchdog OPCW holds emergency conference | Al Jazeera English – YouTube

Al Jazeera English Published on Jun 26, 2018 The meeting was requested by the UK after a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter. The substance in question was confirmed by investigators to be Novichok, a nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union. While such weapons have been widely banned since the end of the first world war, where it was used to devastating effect, there have been other attacks that will addressed at the meeting. Chemical attacks in Syria will also be addressed. Al Jazeera’s Sonia Gallego reports.

EU Leaders Endorse New Sanctions Regime Targeting Chemical Weapons

European Union leaders are calling for a new sanctions regime targeting the use of chemical weapons, and an action plan to respond to disinformation campaigns.

EU Leaders Agree To Extend Sanctions On Russia

European Union leaders have agreed to extend the bloc’s economic sanctions penalizing Russia for its aggression in Ukraine.

France Warns Russia’s RT Over Claims In Broadcast On Syrian Chemical Attack

France’s media regulator has issued a warning to RT France, the French outlet of Russia’s state-run broadcaster, over its presentation of facts and claims made in a program about a chemical-weapons…

U.S. Reportedly Withholding Funding For New UN Counterterrorism Office

The United States is withholding $2 million in promised funding for the United Nations Counterterrorism Office in the latest move by the White House to push for reform of the world body, media repo…

Pompeo: Protesters in Iran fed up with country’s leadership | TheHill

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday commented on demonstrations in Iran, saying protesters are fed up with the country’s leadership.

Mike Pompeo issues stern warning about Iran and nuclear weapons

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday warned Iran not to pursue nuclear weapons, saying it would face the “wrath of the entire world” if it did so, but added that he hoped it would never be necessary for the United States to take military action against the country.

Pompeo warns Iran on nuclear arms; hopes military force will never be needed | Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday warned Iran not to pursue nuclear weapons, saying it would face the “wrath of the entire world” if it did so, but added that he hoped it would never be necessary for the United States to take military action against the country.

As US Tightens Sanctions, Iran Seeks Leverage — and Russia May Win Either Way – Defense One

Iran\’s recent relatively mild public statements belie the cards it might play in regional conflicts.

Rouhani Outlines What Iran Wants to Remain in Nuclear Accord – Bloomberg

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has sent a list of demands to France, Germany and Britain as its price for staying in the nuclear accord, vowing not to give in to growing U.S. pressure to curb its oil sales and complicate efforts to salvage the deal.

Iran’s Rouhani Writes to Europe Leaders On Nuclear Deal Demands – Bloomberg

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has written to counterparts in France, Germany and Britain outlining his country’s demands from its partners to remain in the nuclear accord, the official government website said on Wednesday.

Iran reopens nuclear plant that had been idle for nine years | TheHill

The government of Iran has ordered a formerly idle nuclear plant to resume operations on Wednesday to be ready in case discussions with European leaders over saving the nuclear agreement vacated by the Trump administration fall through.

President Rouhani Says Iran Won’t Buckle Under U.S. Pressure – WSJ

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged his people to stand up to the pressure being heaped upon the Islamic Republic, a day after the U.S. threatened to impose sanctions on countries that don’t stop importing Iranian oil.

Iran: Khamenei urges judiciary to confront those who harm economy | News | Al Jazeera

Members of Iran’s judiciary say ‘economic saboteurs’ could face capital punishment, up to 20 years in jail.

UAWire – Iran threatens Europe with ‘terrible future’ if the nuclear deal is broken

The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, warned the European countries of the “terrible future” if the nuclear agreement with Iran is abolished, Interfax news agency reports with reference to the Iranian TV channel Press-TV. “If the EU and other countries supporting a joint comprehensive action plan do not demonstrate a principled position and respond to U.S. policy in a timely fashion, they will face a terrible future and unprecedented security gaps in the region and in the whole word because of the failure of the nuclear deal, “Salehi said at a forum in Oslo. In his opinion, European countries should be critical of the US decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal with Tehran.

One Building, One Bomb: How Assad Gassed His Own People – The New York Times

Syrian officials say there wasn’t a chemical attack. What really happened?

King Dollar Tightens Noose on Iranian Economy – WSJ

Foreign banks that kept Iran trading oil through previous sanctions are pulling out under pressure from the latest round of U.S. restrictions, hitting a lifeline for the Iranian economy. Banks fear that they will be cut out of the dollar-based global financial system.

America created ISIS, Top Iranian Official Claims

Ali Akbar Velayati said Syria would become America’s “second Vietnam.”

Rouhani says Iran will not yield to pressure from Trump | Reuters

President Hassan Rouhani promised Iranians on Tuesday the government would be able to handle the economic pressure of new U.S. sanctions, a day after traders massed outside parliament to protest at a sharp fall in the value of the national currency.

What Trump doesn’t get about ideology in Iran. It’s about nationalism, not theocracy. – The Washington Post

How U.S. tough talk is uniting Iranians behind an unpopular regime.

President says Iran in ‘economic fight’ with US – ABC News

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

Iran protests broaden as U.S. sanctions takes toll on the economy

The demonstration came a day after protests forced two major shopping centers to close in Tehran and after demonstrators earlier closed its Grand Bazaar.

Iran economic protests shut Tehran’s Grand Bazaar – BBC News

Traders took part in a big protest against price rises and the plummeting value of Iran’s currency,

Zarif Warns Collapse Of Nuclear Deal ‘Dangerous’ For Iran

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has told domestic entrepreneurs that the collapse of the 2015 nuclear deal would have “very dangerous consequences” for the country.

Former NATO chief Javier Solana not permitted to enter U.S. – NY Daily News

Javier Solana has held numerous prominent positions and played a key role with the Iran nuclear deal negotiations.

Former Nato chief Javier Solana denied US visa waiver – BBC News

The US rejects Javier Solana’s application because he visited Iran as a senior EU official in 2013.

Iran Says ‘Half of Americans Are Ashamed of Their Government’ Because of Donald Trump

As Donald Trump attempts to address a controversial border separation policy, Iran faces its own crisis at home.

What an Israeli Airstrike on an Iranian Militia in Syria Says About What’s to Come | The National Interest

The message sent to Iraq and Syria  is that the presence of militias is not acceptable.

Putin Says Russia Withdrew Many Troops, Aircraft From Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin says more than 1,000 military personnel and dozens of aircraft have been withdrawn from Syria over the past several days.

UAWire – Putin reports withdrawal of 1000 Russian soldiers from Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that over the last few days 1,140 Russian soldiers have been withdrawn from the Middle Eastern country, …

U.S. Warns Russia To Rein In Syrian Assault In Southwest Cease-Fire Zone

The United States has warned Russia to rein in its ally Syria after reports that government forces have stepped up attacks on rebels in an area of southwest Syria that was designated as a “de-escal…

UAWire – Washington warns Russia and Damascus of ‘serious repercussions’ if ceasefire in Daraa de-escalation zone continues to be violated

“The U.S. remains troubled by reports of increasing Syrian regime operations in southwest Syria within boundaries of de-escalation zone …

You’re on your own, US tells Syrian rebels, as Assad goes on offensive | World news | The Guardian

Russian jets make first foray into south-west as government ramps up campaign to regain strategic area

Syrian rebels say U.S. tells them it won’t intervene in south Syria | Reuters

The United States has told Syrian rebel factions they should not expect military support to help them resist a Russian-backed government offensive to regain opposition-held parts of Syria bordering Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Syrian barrel bomb attack on rebels jeopardises US-Russia deal | World news | The Guardian

A major offensive in the area close to Israel could risk drawing Washington further into the conflict

Russia-Backed Syrian Forces Intensify Assault on Rebel Stronghold – WSJ

Syrian forces backed by Russian airstrikes intensified an assault on the city of Daraa, expanding their campaign to retake an opposition stronghold in Syria’s southwest as the U.S. backed away from enforcing a cease-fire.

Syria resumes use of barrel bombs in southwest offensive – The Boston Globe

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said more than 12 barrel bombs hit the province of Daraa in one day.

Monitoring Group Says Russian Jets Aid Syria In New Assault

A monitoring group says Russian jets have struck rebel-held areas in southern Syria in the first such attacks since Moscow agreed to a cease-fire in July 2017, endangering one of the so-called “de-…

Syria war: Air strikes knock out hospitals in Deraa – BBC News

Three facilities are put out of service as troops press on with an offensive in Deraa province.

UAWire – UN: Escalation southern Syria will be like battles for Aleppo and Ghouta combined

The United Nations warned that a full-scale battle in the southwest of Syria could affect the population and area similar to those affected by …

🇸🇾 Syria intensifies offensive to retake Deraa | Al Jazeera English – YouTube

Al Jazeera English Published on Jun 24, 2018 Syrian activists report at least four civilians were killed when 25 Russian air raids targeted eastern parts of Deraa and thousands have been forced from their homes. Retaking Deraa has become a major focus of the Syrian government, backed by Moscow and Tehran. The city is where anti-government protests first began in 2011. Al Jazeera’s Hashem Ahelbarra reports.

🇸🇾 Is the battle for Deraa decisive for the war in Syria? | Inside Story – YouTube

Al Jazeera English Published on Jun 24, 2018 It was anti-Assad grafitti in the city of Deraa that sparked Syria’s revolution in 2011. What started as a peaceful uprising turned into a war that has killed hundreds of thousands and uprooted millions. It’s drawn in an assortment of foreign powers and now with the backing of Russia, Iran and the Lebanese militia, Hezbollah, President Bashar Al Assad is seeking to recapture control of Deraa, one of the last remaining rebel held areas Government forces and their allies are firing shells and dropping barrel bombs – the opposition says Russian warplanes are on the attack too. Deraa’s supposed to be a so-called ‘de-escalation zone’ – agreed by Assad, Russia and the United States. That agreement is void, much to the consternation of neighbouring countries. So, would victory for the government and its allies signal an end to more than seven years of fighting? Presenter: Martine Dennis

Assad pledges to regain control of northern Syria by force if needed | Reuters

The Syrian army will regain control of the country’s north by force if rebels there refuse to surrender, President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview with Russian television channel NTV on Sunday.

Russian Airstrikes Hit Southwest Syria, Breaking a Cease-Fire Deal – WSJ

The Syrian regime’s main military ally, Russia, carried out airstrikes Sunday in the country’s southwest, defying a cease-fire pact with the U.S. and Jordan.

UAWire – Kremlin: 11 Russian aircraft and helicopters returned from Syria

11 Russian military planes and helicopters returned from Syria last week, arriving at their permanent bases in Russia, the Russian Defense Ministry reported as quoted by to RIA Novosti. “Eleven aircraft have returned to their permanent bases in the Russian Federation from Syria over the past week,” the Ministry informed. According to the Defense Ministry, the Russian warplanes flew to their base while the army aviation helicopters were carried by military-transport aircraft. Additionally, the flight officers and technicians responsible for maintenance and repair of Russian aviation equipment at Khmeimim Airfield have also returned from Syria to their permanent bases. Russia has been providing support to Damascus in Syrian conflict since September 2015.

Iraqi Political Alliance Unites a U.S. Friend and Foe – The New York Times

The outgoing Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, an American ally, has teamed up with the radical cleric Moktada al-Sadr, who was the surprise vote-leader in elections.

Iraqi PM al-Abadi and Shia leader al-Sadr announce alliance | News | Al Jazeera

New coalition increases the chances of forming a government after weeks of political tensions following May vote.

Russia Backs OPEC Oil Production Increase

OPEC has agreed with Russia and other oil-producing countries to increase production from July.

Trump’s New Deal for the Middle East – Bloomberg

The U.S. will tell the Palestinians to take it or leave it.

Turkey’s President Erdoğan compares himself with Putin –

Erdoğan compares himself with Putin.

Mehmet Ozalp | Erdogan’s victory will have far-reaching implications for Turkey and the Middle East

With the Turkish leader winning yet another election, the stage is set for him to consolidate his power at home and in the world.

Muharrem İnce concedes defeat to Erdoğan in Turkey elections | World news | The Guardian

CHP politician vows to continue fighting one-man rule in opposition during Ankara speech

Inside Turkey’s Election: A Democracy on the Brink | NYT News – YouTube

The New York Times Published on Jun 24, 2018 What does an election look like when democracy’s very survival is in question? To find out, we came to Turkey, where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been in power for more than 15 years.

Opinion | The Erdogan Supremacy – The New York Times

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey, faces no elections for five years, and few checks on his power.

Turkey’s Erdogan Wins New Term In Poll Criticized By Monitors

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won a new five-year term and will enjoy sweeping new powers after his victory in an election that international monitors said lacked “equal” conditions an…

Erdoğan’s victory has broken our hearts. But we will keep hoping | Ece Temelkuran | Opinion | The Guardian

After years of division, the feeling of brotherhood among Turkey’s different factions has been inspiring, says Ece Temelkuran, a Turkish political commentator

🇹🇷 What will Erdogan do as executive president? | Inside Story – YouTube

Al Jazeera English Published on Jun 25, 2018 Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dominated Turkey’s political scene for the past 16 years, and looks set to continue for many more to come. His re-election on Sunday makes him Turkey’s first executive president. That means he has new, expanded powers because of changes to the constitution approved in last year’s referendum. His main opposition rival accepts the result – but Muharrem Ince says the election was unfair, and warns Erdogan’s ‘one man rule’ is a danger to Turks. So how will the balance of power be changed? Presenter: Sami Zeidan

Turkey election: Erdogan win ushers in new presidential era – BBC News

President Erdogan’s election victory means sweeping new powers for him, which his opponents decry.

Turkey enters new era with same man in charge after Erdogan election triumph

Tayyip Erdogan’s presidential victory gives him sweeping powers to pick ministers and judges — but he is under pressure to fix Turkey’s struggling economy.

Turkey elections: Recep Tayyip Erdogan re-elected president – CNN

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won the majority of votes in Sunday’s presidential election, with 97.7% of the votes counted.

Erdogan Wins Turkish Elections But Opposition Has Yet To Concede | HuffPost

The country’s electoral board said Tayyip Erdogan had an absolute majority on Sunday.

Turkish elections Sunday will create a problem for the world – a re-elected President Erdogan | Fox News

Turkish citizens will go to the polls for snap parliamentary and presidential elections Sunday, putting the world is at the doorstep of another decade-long, dangerous problem: a re-elected and empowered Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Despite the odds, Turkey’s opposition mounts tough challenge | Fox News

Turkey’s airwaves and billboards are dominated by speeches and campaign ads for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ahead of Sunday’s presidential and parliamentary elections, drowning out the opposition candidates in a country where the media is strongly biased in favor of the government.

Turks begin voting in presidential and parliamentary elections | Reuters

Turks began voting on Sunday in presidential and parliamentary elections that pose the biggest challenge to Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted AK Party since they swept to power more than a decade and a half ago.

U.S. Official Says Warned Turkey F-35 Jet Sales Jeopardized By Russian Deal

A top U.S. State Department official says Turkey has been warned that its purchase of F-35 stealth fighter jets is in jeopardy unless it drops a plan to buy S-400 missile defense systems from Russia.

Turkey Says It Won’t Honor U.S. Demand To Stop Buying Iran’s Oil

Turkey has said that it does not plan to honor a U.S. call for countries to stop importing oil from Iran, calling the demand “not binding” on Ankara.