Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Ad Hoc Media Update (38)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Much interesting reading on Helsinki, NATO summit, Russia’s internal instability, former Soviet republics, especially Belarus. Ukraine media focussed on religious war with Russia (who are losing badly), Russian ethnic cleansing of Crimea and other nastiness, NATO, Russian covert ops aimed at destabilization, and Donbass war. Also, interesting Mideast reports, further movement in the DPRK, and a lot of China / PACRIM related reports. Much on Russian meddling in Europe. An abundance of tech media on PLA, Russian tech, and US programs. IW/IO/cyber and US domestic reports follow recent trends closely.

NATO / EU / Russia Reports

Huntsman: Russia’s ‘Malign Activity’ To Top Trump’s Meeting With Putin, NATO
The U.S. ambassador to Russia has defended President Donald Trump’s decision to meet with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and insisted that it was up to Moscow to reverse the downward spiral in relat…
Bolton: U.S., Russia ‘Have To Agree To Disagree On Ukraine’
White House national security adviser John Bolton says that he has discussed Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
White House: US, Russia ‘agree to disagree’ on Crimea | TheHill
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday the U.S.
Heritage Foundation on Twitter: “Things to remember before @realDonaldTrump travels to Europe: -Russia is the aggressor—Ukraine is the victim -Crimea belongs to Ukraine -NATO & US troops in Europe serve our national interests -Europeans must spend more on defense -Putin’s track record shows he can’t be trusted”
Trump gets memo for NATO summit, Putin meeting: “Russia is the aggressor” | UNIAN
The Heritage Foundation analytical center, which is said to be close to the U.S. President’s Administration, has prepared a special memo on America’s position with regard to NATO, Ukraine and Russia. The memo is addressed to the U.S. president on the eve of his working trip to Europe.
Trump: Critics Say ‘Putin Is KGB,’ but Really Putin Is ‘Fine’ – The Daily Beast
The president said he would pay Elizabeth Warren $1 million to take a DNA test to prove her Native American heritage.
White House Says U.S. Still Rejects Russia’s Annexation Of Crimea
A White House spokeswoman said the United States continues to reject Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula, days after President Donald Trump cast doubt on that position.
Q&A: Will Trump Give Away Crimea at Helsinki?
On June 29, President Donald Trump told reporters that he hasn’t ruled out recognizing Russia’s illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea in 2014. Trump is set to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on July 16 and many worry that he may gamble away Crimea. US policy on Crimea has been consistent since 2014, and was clearly articulated by the State Department spokeswoman on the anniversary of Crimea’s annexation: “Crimea is part of Ukraine and our Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns control of the peninsula to Ukraine.” UkraineAlert asked its experts and friends the following: Will President Donald Trump give away Crimea at Helsinki on July 16? Is this a real possibility, and what would a deal look like if it happened? What would it mean for Europe (and the United States)?
Trump discussing recognizing Crimea and abandoning Germany – Business Insider
President Donald Trump has reportedly asked the Pentagon to examine removing US troops from German and appears to be willing to recognize Russia’s control of…
Trump fails to rule out accepting Russian claim on Crimea
US President Donald Trump refused on Friday to rule out accepting Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region when he meets his Kremlin counterpart Vladimir Putin next month. Trump’s refusal to reaffirm the long-standing US opposition to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine will dismay
Trump on meeting Putin: ‘I’ll talk to him about everything’ – POLITICO
President Trump said he planned to address election integrity when the two leaders meet in Finland.
Trump planning one-on-one meeting with Putin without aides present: report | TheHill
President Trump is planning on meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin alone later this month, a source
Russia’s Lavrov Meets U.S. Lawmakers, Hopes Visit Symbolizes ‘Resumption Of Relations’
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held a meeting with Republican members of U.S. Congress on July 3 in Moscow. The lawmakers are in Russia this week for what they say is a mission to try to help revive bilateral relations, which have been severely strained in recent years.
Ahead Of Putin-Trump Summit, Kremlin Says Everything (Except Crimea) Up For Discussion
The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin is open to searching for compromises with his U.S. counterpart on “all” issues except the status of Ukraine’s Crimea region, which Moscow claims is…
Moscow: Crimea not on Trump-Putin agenda at summit | TheHill
A Kremlin spokesman on Monday told reporters that Crimea will not be on the agenda when President Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland on July 16,
Kremlin Says Putin, Trump May Meet One-On-One In Helsinki
The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart may meet in private during their summit in Helsinki later this month.
Zhirinovsky: Russia may give up on Nord Stream 2, TurkStream “if Trump gives Ukraine” to Moscow | UNIAN
One of Russia’s most odious political figures, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, has said Russia may suspend the construction of the Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream gas pipelines if U.S. President Donald Trump “gives Ukraine” to Moscow. The populist politician believes the United States and Russia, by the will of their leaders, could successfully divide Europe into spheres of influence.
U.S. Senators In Moscow On Mission To Improve Ties, Observe Economy
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says a visit by Republican members of the U.S. Congress is very timely ahead of a July 16 summit and should improve ties between the two nations’ legislatures.

Trump is right to criticize NATO allies on defense spending
President Trump’s approach here will win dividends at the margin of where it matters.
Trump Wants Allies to Pay for Protection – Bloomberg
The U.S. won’t necessarily be competitive if the global security system turns into a marketplace.
Trump demands NATO spend more or face shifts in US military – CNNPolitics
President Donald Trump is demanding that Norway ramp up its defense spending as a NATO partner, according to a letter he wrote to Prime Minister Erna Solberg that was obtained by CNN.
In Pointed Letters, Trump Demands More Defense Spending From NATO Allies – The New York Times
The letters, which went out last month, are the latest sign of acrimony between Mr. Trump and American allies as he heads to a NATO summit meeting next week in Brussels.
Trump Sends Disturbing Letters to Nine NATO Leaders Before Key Summit
The Atlantic Council promotes constructive leadership and engagement in international affairs based on the central role of the Atlantic Community in meeting global challenges. Founded in 1961, the Council provides an essential forum for navigating the dramatic shifts in economic and political influence that are shaping the twenty-first century by educating and galvanizing its uniquely influential, nonpartisan network of international political, business, and intellectual leaders. Through the papers we write, the ideas we promote, and the communities we build, the Council’s ten regional centers and functional programs shape today’s policy choices and foster transatlantic strategies to advance international security and global economic prosperity.
Ahead of NATO Summit, U.S. President Exhorts Allies to Pay Up – Foreign Policy
European officials worry that Trump could roil yet another international summit.
🇺🇸 What if NATO members ignore Trump’s call on spending? | Inside Story – YouTube
Al Jazeera English Published on Jul 3, 2018 Leaked letters are said to show the U.S. President’s increasing frustration with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Donald Trump accuses allies in the military alliance of failing to adequately pay for their protection. The New York Times says Trump wrote to NATO members, including the leaders of Belgium, Canada and Germany. In his letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel, he warned that what he called Germany’s continued underspending on defence undermines the security of the alliance. Will NATO members heed Trump’s call? And is the North Atlantic alliance still relevant? Presenter: Elizabeth Puranam
Withdrawal of U.S. troops from Germany is not being discussed, U.S. ambassador to NATO says – The Washington Post
Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison’s comments ahead of next week’s NATO summit come as the Pentagon does a cost analysis of American forces in Germany.
Pentagon denies audit of troops stationed in Germany is in anticipation of Trump demands | TheHill
A Pentagon spokesman on Monday pushed back on suggestions that a new Defense Department-initiated audit of U.S. troops stationed in Germany is in anticipation of potential orders from the White House to reduce U.S.
Reagan would denounce Trump’s attacks on NATO, democratic allies | TheHill
Reagan believed the American leader should be the leader of the free world, not an apologist for dictators seeking to destroy it.
Calls to boost military spending add to U.K.’s growing sense of unease
Not only does the U.K. risk “failing both its citizens and its allies,” a report said, but also becoming obsolete in the eyes of its American partners.
Trump Not Planning to Threaten US Troop Withdrawal from Europe; Solo Putin Meeting Was His Idea – Defense One
Previewing the NATO Summit and Putin meeting, officials say Trump has the facts on Russian meddling, wants Putin meeting to start \”dialogue.\”
Gavin Williamson attacks Theresa May for sticking plaster on Ministry of Defence military budget | Daily Mail Online
Gavin Williamson (pictured) told friends after a meeting with Theresa May that he did not believe that Mrs May was committed to long-term investment in the British Armed Forces.
Petro Poroshenko and Jens Stoltenberg will make statement upon NATO summit –
The NATO summit will be held in Brussels on July 11-12. Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will make a joint statement at the NATO summit in Brussels next week. It was reported by Ukrinform news agency. “The President and NATO Secretary General will make a joint statement in the morning of July 12 before the session of the North Atlantic Council at the level of heads of states and governments with the participation of the presidents of Ukraine and Georgia,” the statement said. The separate format of one of the meetings of the two-day summit is foreseen only for the Ukrainian and Georgian partners of the Alliance. As it was reported earlier, President of Ukraine stressed that the recently adopted law on the national security will be the plan of Ukraine’s cooperation with NATO member states. The law on the national security was signed by the speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andry Paruby and passed for the sign of President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko on June 27.
Hungary to block any NATO decision on Ukraine, – media – Hungary to block any NATO decision on Ukraine, – media –
Budapest warned NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg about the change of its position concerning Ukraine in a letter
UAWire – NATO reconnaissance satellite center to be established in Czech Republic
On July 1, NATO begins construction of the new reconnaissance satellite center SATCEN in the Czech Republic, stated the press secretary of Czech …
NATO advances in its new operational domain: cyberspace
The aim is for the alliance to integrate voluntary sovereign national cyber contributions and augment cyber resilience and achieve mission success in a cyber environment that is increasingly contested by adversaries.
MiG-29 fighter aircraft crashed in Poland at night on July 6 – MiG-29 pilot dies in crash in Poland –
MiG-29 aircraft crashed in Poland at night on July 6
Polish MiG-29 fighter jet crashes on night mission – Defence Blog
MiG-29 fighter jet of Polish Air Force crashed near the village of Paslek, Warmia-Mazury province (north-east of the country) during a night training mission, officials said. On 6 July at 02:57 CET, a Polish Air Force MiG-29 jet fighter from the 22 Tactical Air Base crashed near Paslek village. The pilot ejected from the aircraft over the vicinity of the settlement Sakuv near the town of Malbork, but did not survive. The plane fell 500 meters from the houses. On Friday, July 6th the Ministry of Defense of Poland Mariusz Błaszczak officially confirmed the death of pilot of the MiG-29 fighter jet of the country’s air force, which crashed near Paslek village. The 22nd Tactical Air Base is a Polish Air Force Air Force Base east of Malbork, Poland, near the village of Królewo Malborskie.
Sean French, Commanding Officer of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia – 06.07.2018 11:20 — Ukrinform News
We are ready to defend if necessary. When Russia occupied Crimea in 2014, NATO had to urgently build up its defense in order to protect its members. Canada then took an important role in maintaining security in Europe by leading one of NATO’s multinational battlegroups urgently deployed in the Baltic States and Poland. The United States, Germany and the United Kingdom did the same. Ukrinform used an opportunity to talk to Commanding Officer of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia, Lieutenant-Colonel Sean French. His 1,150-strong battle group includes approximately 450 Canadian Armed Forces soldiers, as well as troops from seven other NATO member states. It is based at Camp Ādazi, near Riga, Latvia.
US Army executes active electronic attack in Europe for first time since Cold War
Operators, and even commanders, are cutting their teeth in the electromagnetic spectrum using the Army’s rapidly developed EW prototypes in Europe.
Nuclear Gravity Bomb Completes First Qual Tests on B-2 Bomber |
Two non-nuclear system qualification flight tests of the B61-12 took place June 9 at the Tonopah Test Range in Nevada. The B61-12 guided nuclear gravity bomb has gone through its first series of tests on the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber. The Air Force, together with the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, earlier this month released a B61-12 non-nuclear test assembly from the Spirit. The kit included a NNSA-designed bomb assembly and the Air Force’s acquired tail-kit to be used on the B61-12 variant of the bomb, according to a Department of Energy release. “These qualification flight tests demonstrate the B61-12 design meets system requirements and illustrate the continued progress of the B61-12 life extension program to meet national security requirements,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Lutton, NNSA’s principal assistant deputy administrator for military application. “The achievement is also a testament to the dedication of our workforce and the enduring partnership between NNSA and the U.S. Air Force,” he added in the release.

Russian experts fears US’s new nuclear gravity bomb – Defence Blog
Russian military expert has raised concerns about developing a new version of the B61-12 nuclear gravity bomb in the USA, the Russian military news agency Interfax-AVN reported on 2 July. Russian Academician Alexei Arbatov, a military expert, said that the B61-12 nuclear gravity bomb, a series of tests conducted by the United States, poses no direct threat to Russia, but it complicates strategic relations. The Russian expert, who heads the Center for International Security of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, told Interfax-AVN that the B61-12 nuclear gravity bomb fits into the American concept, allowing limited nuclear warfare that “allegedly will not entail a general escalation and a general death,” and this, in turn, may lower the threshold of using nuclear weapons. According to him, the bomb tested in the US is not just another modification of the B61. “This is a certain qualitative leap, if earlier the US had free-fall bombs, this bomb is guided, it has much more accuracy, ” the expert said. The former chief of the Strategic Missile Force Staff, and current adviser to the missile force commander, Viktor Yesin, said on Monday to the newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets that the version of B61-12 bomb now tested by the US military from a strategic bomber, before this test was conducted by tactical aircraft. “This means that this bomb will be universal, and can be used not only by tactical aircraft but also by strategic ones.” This is the first high-precision nuclear bomb, ” V. Yesin noted. According to him, Russia does not have a similar weapon. “We focus only on one type of high-precision weapons – high-precision cruise missiles,” said the expert. Previously, the US Air Force has tested the B61-12 nuclear bomb by dropping a dud from a B-2 Spirit stealth bomber over Nevada.
Putin Names Regiments After Ukrainian, Belarusian Cities, Warsaw, And Berlin
Russian President Vladimir Putin has named several military units after cities or other places in Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Germany, and Romania, a step that may be seen as provocative by people in…
Army Electronic Warfare Prototypes Reach First CONUS Brigade – To Inform is to Influence
The Infantryman in me is groaning at the picture of the soldier wearing an EW rig, complete with a deployed H-Adcock antenna.  Can’t the system be put on a robot mule?   I’m curious how he is going to get an azimuth to share, won’t the rig interfere?  Oh, wait, I wonder if they only use…
Window on Eurasia — New Series: With Trump, Shifts on One Issue Won’t Lead to Shifts on Others, Kortunov Warns
Paul Goble Staunton, July 4 – Previous American presidents in their dealings with Moscow have typically moved from progress in one area to progress in others, Andrey Kortunov says; but Donald Trump is different: he will treat each “’deal’” with Moscow separately; and thus any forward movement on Syria won’t make an agreement on Ukraine any easier. Helsinki is very different from Singapore, and Russia is even more from North Korea, the Moscow foreign policy expert says. But Trump’s manner in dealing with Kim Jong-un strongly suggests how he will deal with Vladimir Putin – and Moscow must be ready to face that fact ( Kortunov points out that “it is well known” that Trump likes stronger leaders, “even thoe of whom can in no way be called friends or allies of the US … But namely therefore in dealing with potential opponents, Trump seriously needs a victory or at least the appearance of one.” That was true in Singapore and it will be true in Helsinki. There are at least two obvious candidates for such “’a triumph’” as far as Trump is concerned: a commitment by Moscow not to interfere in the upcoming American mid-term elections, something Russia has always denied doing anyway, and an arrangement in Syria tht would allow the US president to pull out American troops. In his relations with other leaders, “Trump characteristically seeks to distance himself from the methods of his predecessors and in the first instance from the foreign policy of Barack Obama.” That way, he can present to his base anything he achieves as being his alone and not the result of diplomatic work over time. “That is the approach one should expect during the Helsinki meeting,” Kortunov says. And it has some important consequences for what will happen: Trump will insist on generalities so that he can’t be attacked by his opponents at home and so he can change course after the meeting if he wants to. As a result, the Russian side should not focus on specifics because Trump isn’t interested in them. He wants a show and a triumph not really a breakthrough. Thus, the most important thing Putin can seek is the creation of a spirit of Helsinki based on friendship with Trump that may lead to progress later. At the same time, he says, no friendly exchanges will ensure progress either within the frameworks of some vague declarations or on other issues. Indeed, it has become a hallmark of Trump’s approach that no agreement is final and that no agreement on one thing will open the way to agreements on others. There won’t be “positive linkage” of the kind seen in the past. The fallout from the Singapore meeting highlighted that. On the one hand, Trump’s understanding of what was “agreed” there doesn’t correspond with that of Kim Jong-un; and on the other, any progress on nuclear and missile issues did not lead Trump to lift or try to lift sanctions. They remain very much in place. Moscow should be ready to expect the same outcome from the Putin-Trump summit. “In any case,” Kortunov argues, “one must be prepared for the possibility that the meeting in the capital of Finland will become not a turning point but only the very beginning of a complex process of restoring relations between Moscow and Washington.” But Moscow must try to make the most of it because given the domestic situation in the United States and Trump’s own proclivities, he concludes, “the next such change to do will not appear soon.”
Top Russian, U.S. Diplomats To Meet After Helsinki Summit, Lavrov Says
Russia and the United States have agreed that their top diplomats will meet after a summit between the two countries’ presidents scheduled for later this month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavr…
How the Soviet Navy Would Have Fought World War III | War Is Boring

Russia / Russophone Reports

How a Search for Respect Explains Russia
Many observers of contemporary Russia focus on the state’s grip on society. What they miss is that society itself has a grip on the state.
Secret of Putin’s despotism explained in three books –
How Russian society created Putin. In 1839, the French aristocrat Astolphe Louis Léonor, better known as the Marquis de Custine, traveled to Russia to understand “the empire of the Czar.” Competing with his compatriot Alexis de Tocqueville’s study of American democracy, Custine produced a travelogue that was also an analysis of “eternal Russia.” Russians excelled at submission, Custine believed. Dissidents were dispatched to Siberia, “that indispensable auxiliary of Muscovite civilization.” Despotism at home kindled the desire for empire abroad. “The idea of conquest,” Custine wrote, “forms the secret aspiration of Russia.” More than anything, Custine was overwhelmed by the artificiality of imperial Russia. “The Russians have everything in name, and nothing in reality,” he wrote. He called its princes “false and crafty” and deemed the country “better served with spies than any other in the world.” A conservative, Custine began his trip as an advocate for a French-Russian alliance, a union of Christian autocrats. His trip changed his mind about which major power France should befriend: “Everything which tends to hasten the perfect agreement of French and German policy is beneficent.” Many of Custine’s conclusions would not seem out of place in American or European analyses of contemporary Russia. Current EU policy toward Moscow, based on the French-German alliance that Custine advocated, presumes precisely the Russian duplicity and danger that he described. Serhii Plokhy, Shaun Walker, and Masha Gessen, the authors of three recent books on Russia, walk, perhaps unconsciously, in Custine’s footsteps.They rely on history and direct observation to explain eternal Russia and to chart the enigmas of its statehood, its foreign policy, and its president, Vladimir Putin. They explore Putin’s recipe for despotism: conjuring a glorious Russian past from the rubble of Soviet and prerevolutionary history, presenting himself as the apogee of this past, and exerting his power as a strong ruler blessed by fate. Yet all three books, stimulating and insightful as they are, bypass the problem that has most vexed Western policy since 2014. The psychology of Putin, the ideology of his regime, and the machinery of the Russian state and military have received exhaustive attention in the West. The Russian people, however, remain poorly understood. Like many Western analysts (and like Custine before them), Plokhy, Walker, and Gessen lean on the motif of Russia as a place where nothing is real, a Potemkin village built on ancient myths and postmodern memes where the nation must be willed into being by the state. In their portraits, Russia is defined by the state’s grip on society. What they miss is that society itself has a grip on the state. In Russia’s future, this embrace will prove the decisive factor.
Panarin Claims Putin-Trump Summit Purpose Is To Jointly Fight The UK – To Inform is to Influence
An illustrative article, preceding the Putin-Trump summit, shows a rather bizarre actual purpose.   Actually, this doesn’t seem to be as much imagined as it is carefully constructed.  Russia wants to always appear to be the victim, and what better way than to create a history where the UK is always controlling the US and interfering and…
The Great Russian Disinformation Campaign – To Inform is to Influence
One of the most unique and interesting concepts introduced here is “schizo-fascism”.  “Actual fascists calling their opponents ‘fascists,’ blaming the Holocaust on the Jews, treating the Second World War as an argument for more violence.” Putin’s favored ideologist, Alexander Dugin, “could celebrate the victory of fascist in fascist language while condemning as ‘fascist’ his opponents.”…
UAWire – Putin’s rating falls by 15% in two months
In June, the approval rating of the activities of the Russian President Vladimir Putin fell by15% compared to the data for April 2018. This is …
Russian state TV brags about how the country ‘elected Trump’ – Business Insider
Russia 24, a government-funded network covering domestic and international news, criticised the issue of cyber security being included in Mr Putin’s…
Russia Becoming More Self-Reliant Because Of Western Sanctions: Lavrov
Russia is learning to be more independent and self-reliant as a result of Western sanctions, though it still has extensive trade ties with Western Europe, Russia’s foreign minister has said.
UAWire – Russia preparing for independent internet
A “parallel internet” may be created for Russians if the West continues its policy of imposing double standards, said Ilya Rogachev, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for New Challenges and Threats (DNCT). According to Rogachev, all the capabilities for disconnecting Russia from the global internet and transitioning to its own local equivalent are already in place, and the government may use them “in the worst-case scenario”. Russia’s own policy is not aimed at internet isolation, but the actions of the West, especially the “imposition of double standards” may lead to such a drastic action, Rogachev explained. “If these double standards continue to be imposed, then, as a worst-case scenario in this respect, one could speak of the creation of a kind of parallel internet,” the diplomat emphasized. He added that Russia already possesses “the technical, financial, intellectual and all other capabilities for this”, although at present it is not the goal. Rogachev stressed that censorship in western countries “is far more developed than in Russia”. “They use their own mechanisms, but this does not mean that we do not have to ‘cover’ the internet in case of calls to commit acts of terror, or as part of the opposition of violent extremism,” he continued. “In this area we need to act in such a way as to satisfy the requests of all partners as far as possible, but certain entities deliberately act to harm other countries,” the diplomat concluded. In November last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the order to develop autonomous internet management systems which could rid the internet of “US dominance”.
UAWire – Half of Russian scientists want to emigrate
According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which involved 24,000 respondents from Russia, including both specialists and …
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Even Russians who Voted for Putin are Now Calling for His Resignation
Paul Goble Staunton, July 4 – Something remarkable is happening in cities across Russia: Even Russians from the most reliably pro-Putin strata of the population who undoubtedly voted for him in March are now demanding that he resign from office because of the government’s plan to raise retirement ages. In some places, they are not only demanding that Putin leave office but that the entire Russian government be dismissed, the parliament prorogued and new elections scheduled so that the will of the people can triumph against the interests of the Kremlin and its clique of oligarchs ( And some commentators are focusing on an even more fundamental and dangerous aspect of the Russian political system today: everything depends on Putin rather than on a set of institutions that act as checks and balances to each other and prevent abuse ( Coming on top of polls that show fewer than 50 percent of Russians now trust Putin – after all, he promised never to raise the pension age – these things are worrisome not because they necessarily presage a revolution – they probably don’t given that Putin still has more support than anyone else and that there is no obvious alternative. Rather they are disturbing because of how the Kremlin leader is likely to respond. Some believe he will try to recover his standing by a combination of concessions and repressions just as he did in 2005 ( But the Putin of 2018 is not the Putin of 13 years ago. He doesn’t like to back down when he is under pressure. Indeed, he is more likely to double down. And that points to two dangerous possibilities, which are far more mutually exclusive and more likely will be applied at one and the same time. Putin is likely to increase repression at home, probably selecting some new set of “enemies of the people” to attack, and also to expand his aggression at home possibly trying to annex Belarus or move against Georgia or Kazakhstan. But in both cases, he faces obstacles that didn’t exist a decade ago. The West, while hardly united and under attack from within, is now far more prepared to sanction Russia than it was in 2005 or 2008; and the Russian people, as the latest protests show, can see through Putin’s tactics and are prepared to oppose him, something that would have seemed impossible just weeks ago.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Five Important but Often Overlooked Demographic Developments in Russia
Paul Goble Staunton, July 4 – When Russians or others talk about demographic developments in Russia, they typically focus on global ones like the relationship of birthrates to death rates, overall growth or decline in the total population or changes in that country’s ethnic mix. But many of the most important demographic developments are elsewhere. This week alone and so far has featured reports about five of them: First, new research shows that younger workers are far less willing than older cohorts to move to the periphery of the country even for high wages or to work in raw materials extraction industries. As a result, Moscow faces a bottleneck in that key sector, one it is being forced to address by bringing in more Muslim migrants ( Second, while the numbers are both small, more Russians moved to China in the first third of 2018 than moved to Germany, an indication of the reorientation of Russia toward the East but also a clear of the dynamism of the Chinese economy compared to the Russian ( Third, debates about the government’s plan to raise the retirement age has led to calculations that the life expectancy of Russians once they reach 65 – in sharp contrast to the situation in other advanced countries – has changed little since 1917. (Life expectancy at birth the more common figure has gone up.) ( Fourth, like his Soviet predecessors, Putin has celebrated what used to be called “hero mothers,” who have a large number of children. Recently, in a much ballyhooed event, he handed out awards to eight of them. But a survey shows that his government has done little or nothing for most women with large families, something that will further depress the birthrate ( And fifth, social media on the Internet are now playing a key role in bringing people together. It has risen dramatically as a factor both for traditional marriages and has become the dominant form for single-sex unions, responsible for more than 20 percent of the former and more than 70 percent of the latter (
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin Can’t Return Russia to a Real Past: He can Only Invent ‘New Chimeras,’ Shelin Says
Paul Goble Staunton, July 4 – The Putin regime is trying “to sit on two stools” by claiming to be the successor of both tsarism and Stalinism, but the Bolsheviks destroyed the first so thoroughly as to make its restoration impossible. As a result, Sergey Shelin says, Vladimir Putin can only invent “new chimeras” in both sense of that term. On the one hand, he is seeking to combine two things that are not only absent but fundamentally incompatible and thus is creating a monster. And on the other, this chimera, as Russian readers of the influential Eurasianist writer Lev Gumilyev will recall, is an indication of the final degradation of any system. It is going to be difficult to fit in a commemoration of the murder of the Imperial Family next week given the World Cup, the Putin-Trump summit and the Duma’s first reading of the bill to raise retirement age; but something will be done and that is appropriate, the Rosbalt commentator says ( For the current bosses in Russia, “the history of Russia (and of the USSR) is the history of rulers,” and the murder of one of them is thus a signal event, one of the clearest signs that the Bolsheviks were making a radical break with the past and would not allow any of its aspects to return. The Left SRs, who at the time of the murder, were allied to the Bolsheviks recognized the threat and tried unsuccessfully to stop it in the summer of 1918; and “we see now that this was the last chance to overthrow the Bolsheviks from within. In the next seventy years, all real threats came only from outside.” Thus, after the failure of the SR rising, the Bolsheviks were in a position to establish a totalitarian regime and to destroy all the pre-existing groups and arrangements in society in one wave after another, each of which was carried out in the name of wiping “’the former people’” off the face of the earth. Indeed, Shelin says, the Bolshevik system “was distinguished from almost all revolutionary regimes in other countries by the exceptional radicalism of its break with the past of the country and with the people who in this past played any essential role, be he an aristocrat, a merchant, a kulak peasant or a socialist of a non-Leninist variety.” When the Soviet regime collapsed despite having become a super power, many looked back to the pre-Bolshevik past of the country. But “to return to the past of the ancien regime even in part as impossible – in its place remained a field of scorched earth.” “But it has been possible to play at it” and thus to imagine something else that is not the case either: that the Soviet past has thus been overcome as well, Shelin continues. “Decades have passed, and today our autocracy is trying to balance on two stools, imaging that it is the successor of tsarism and Stalinism at one and the same time. “This cult of all leaders is called the restoration of the connection of time, although there is no such connection and to reconcile the irreconcilable is impossible,” however much some want to do so. As a result of Kremlin propaganda, Russians now rate Nicholas II, Lenin and Stalin “as equals” and as part of Putin’s “single stream” of Russian history. But “all this show about historical themes is itself a distant consequence of that destruction of public memory which the Bolsheviks took up a century ago,” the Moscow commentator says. “What fruits that would give, they of course didn’t guess at the time.” They simply went about destroying the past and building a chimera that lasted until 1991. The chimeras the Kremlin is building now because of their incompatible components will not last that long, Shelin concludes.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: How Bad are Things in Russia? So Bad that One Russian Tries to Fleet in Homemade Boat
Paul Goble Staunton, July 4 – That ever more of the youngest and most educated Russians want to leave their homeland for other countries is well-documented and widely accepted, all of Vladimir Putin’s bravado notwithstanding. (See and But in a story that echoes those of flights successful and unsuccessful from Soviet oppression such as Teppo Turen’s classic The Tuntsa, a Russian a few days ago sought to flee his country for Japan on a homemade boat that looked like a wooden box covered with a tarp ( Unfortunately for the man and his dash for freedom, things ended badly: he and his boat were seized by Russian border guards. There is no word yet on his fate in their hands, but one fears for the worst.
Kremlin Critic Calls On Trump To Raise Plight Of Russia’s Political Prisoners
A fierce critic of the Kremlin is urging U.S. President Donald Trump to be tough with his Russian counterpart during an upcoming summit and use the occasion to discuss political prisoners held by M…
Russians Rally Against ‘Cannibalistic’ Pension Reform
Thousands of people have taken to the streets across Russia to protest against the government’s plan to raise the retirement age.
Russians Protest Retirement-Age Hike
Thousands of Russians have protested in several cities against the government’s plan to raise the retirement age. There was a strong presence of opposition politician Aleksei Navalny’s supporters and the Russian Communist Party at a number of the July 1 protests. Current Time TV filmed rallies in Chelyabinsk, Tomsk, Kazan, Saratov, and Krasnodar.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Stalin and Hitler Needed Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact Only for Its Secret Protocols, Ikhlov Says
Paul Goble Staunton, July 3 – Most people in Russia and the West believe that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between Nazi Germany and Communist USSR made war possible in Europe because it committed Berlin and Moscow not to attack one another. But that view is fundamentally mistaken, Yevgeny Ikhlov says. In fact, Germany and the Soviet Union had signed a friendship and non-aggression pact with each other in 1926 that opened the way for Germany to become a member of the League of Nations; and it was still in force when the two signed the more infamous pact in August 1939, the Russian commentator says ( Moreover, Hitler had in fact confirmed the continuation of that 1926 agreement by a note in May 1933. And as a result, Ikhlov says, “there was no need for a non-aggression pact [between Germany and the USSR] except for the conclusion of the secret protocols about the division of Europe” (emphasis supplied). The Soviet government denied the existence of the secret protocols, as do many Russians to this day. But Ikhlov’s analytic note makes it clear not only that they existed but that they were the primary reason that the two dictators decided to conclude such an agreement when they did. And that in turn means something more. It means that by making this deal with Hitler, Stalin was seeking to occupy much of Eastern Europe already before the war, a goal that he achieved only after defeating his former ally and taking even more than the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact had given him.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russian Nationalists Don’t Like Civic Nation Idea Any Better than Non-Russians
Paul Goble Staunton, July 3 – Non-Russians generally oppose Vladimir Putin’s proposal to create a civic Russian identity, viewing it as a threat to their own nations because they suggest it is a hybrid way of pushing for their assimilation into an ethnic Russian one given the numerical dominance of the ethnic Russians. But many Russian nationalists oppose the idea as well, arguing that the latest Kremlin idea is intended to deracinate their nation in much the same way that CPSU efforts to create a supra-ethnic “Soviet people” did and thus deprive them of the opportunity to push for the establishment of a Russian nation state and of a true “Russian world.” Russian objections to a non-ethnic civic Russian identity may constitute an even bigger problem for Putin than non-Russian ones not only because they are more difficult for the regime to counter but also because they raise the possibility that there could be a linkup or at least a synergy between Russian and non-Russian nationalists. And nervousness among officials about such possibilities may help to explain why even as the Putin regime promotes its own kind of civic Russian nationalism and a Russian world, the authorities have repressed Russian nationalist groups at least as harshly as they have non-Russian ones – and in some cases even more. However that may be, the Russian nationalist positions on this issue deserve more attention than they normally receive, and Ramazan Alpaut of Radio Svoboda’s IdelReal portal helps fill the gap by interviewing some Russia nationalists about their objections to any non-ethnic one ( It is a measure of official pressure against Russian nationalists on this point that one of his interview subjects spoke only on condition of anonymity. That nationalist pointed out that “Russian nationalists support the idea of an ethnic Russian political nation,” one that includes ethnic Russians abroad who may not be citizens of the Russian Federation. The difference between a civic Russian nation and a Russian political nation is above all the way it is defined and formed, he says. A Russian political nation, he says, presupposes “unity on the basis of language, culture and a common history” and also Russian Orthodoxy as the religion of its members. Another Russian ethnic nationalist, Vladimir Basmanov, who heads the Movement Against Illegal Immigration that Moscoow has declared extremist, argues that the ethnic Russian people is being sacrificed by the authorities in the attempt of the later to create a non-ethnic Russian nation. “Considering the low birthrate among Russians and the tempos of the so-called replacement by migration, if Russians have their national identity taken from them and replaced by one that is inseparable from all the other peoples of the Russian Federation … then in one or two generations, there won’t be any ethnic Russians left.” Basmanov says that Russian nationalists are “supporters of a primordial and not constructivist understanding of the nation. For us, the nation is a biological-cultural community which exists through history, an ethnos, if you like.” What the authorities call a civic nation, he says, Russian nationalists understand as “a civil society.” “It is a good thing when these terms are divided and bad when they are mixed together,” he continues. “I want that ethnic Russians, Tatars, Komi, and Sami remain themselves and preserve their own uniqueness and identity. A policy directed at eliminating the ethnoses seems to me criminal … We do not need a Russia without Russians.” At the same time, “Tatars do not need a Russia without Tatars.” If a civic identity is supported in attention to ethno-national ones, that will be just fine. But “if it tries to subordinate them to itself, this will be bad for all people living in the state, for whom their roots and special features are valued.” Unfortunately, Basmanov says, just as was the case in Soviet times, the Russian authorities are pursuing the latter rather than the former. He says he favors arrangements like those which existed in the Russian Empire before 1917. Its successors, the USSR and the Russian Federation, he argues, are not states of “an imperial type” but rather “colonialist” because they sought to subordinate everything first to the world revolution and “now simply for personal enrichment” of the elites. Another Russian activist, Aleksey Klimin, who supports the Russian imperial movement, says that the current regime is discriminating against both ethnic Russians and non-Russians by refusing to allow them to form political parties on the basis of ethnic communities and subordinating everything to itself. “The authorities are creating another chimera,” he says, “the non-ethnic Russian nation thus displacing health nationalism which presupposes respect for traditions with ordinary Nazism. The coal is to frighten, to call black white and white black, and to set one nation against another.” This reflects the Kremlin’s longstanding policy, he says, of “divide and rule.”
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia, like North Korea, Looks Great if Its Officials Organize Visits, Gennady Gudkov Says
Paul Goble Staunton, July 2 – Many visitors to Russia for the World Cup have been impressed by what they have seen, exactly the response the Kremlin hopes for and one that government-controlled media have played up to suggest that any criticism of the Putin regime is thus entirely misplaced. But opposition politician Gennady Gudkov points out what should be obvious but is often forgotten: “Any country is beautiful when you are shown a parade façade and the most beautiful scenes: North Korea, Iran, Turkmenistan, and other dictatorships. It is just that it is better not to live in these countries but visit for a short time” ( “Specialists in building ‘Potemkin villages’ exist in every authoritarian or totalitarian state. The first three days, you will think you have landed in paradise, as long as you don’t have to go to a district hospital somewhere near Saransk” or suffer some other indignity. Then the clouds obscuring your view will dissipate more rapidly,” he says. At least some Russians have been swept up in the enthusiasm, with Putin’s press secretary saying domestic reaction to the Russian team’s recent victory resembling the 1945 victory day celebration, a hyperbolic comparison that does no one any credit ( But there are dark sides to this World Cup that few are attending to, including police attacks on fans captured on video (, FIFA fines against Russia for discrimination (, and attacks on Russians who are insufficiently enthusiastic ( Moreover, some commentators are suggesting that the Russian reaction to their national team’s victories is disturbing. According to Sergey Medvedev of the Higher School of Economics, wild celebrations are entirely normal but one aspect of Russian actions among them is not ( For Russians to post on social media that as a result of the victory “’on this evening I was with my people,’” he suggests, “only shows that we do not inn fact have any people in fact. What we have is only a crowd that suddenly appears and equally quickly disappears.” For people to say otherwise “is testimony of a still greater divide.” After the victories and celebrations are over, he says, Russia will be what it was before; and people will have to deal with that, however much they have tried to forget with this bacchanalia. Indeed, the situation may deteriorate just as it did after the Sochi Olympiad especially if Kremlin malfeasance is once again uncovered. Igor Eidman, a Russian commentator for Deutsche welle, raises that possibility. Indeed, he argues it is all too likely ( Long before the World Cup, he says, “Russian officials and chekists were given the task [by their bosses in the Kremlin] to secure for Russia the best possible result … and “they will seek this by any criminal methods. Judging from everything, that is what is happening.” Indeed, logic itself compels such a conclusion. That has long been the case with sport in Russia, as the Sochi Olympiad showed, Eidman continues. “And I will never believe that those who use such tactics have changed their stripes and begun to win honestly. Such a transformation in principle will not happen.” They may change their tricks but not their goals. “We do not know what sharp methods are being used now,” he acknowledges, whether they will involve “doping, chemicals, the corruption of judges, pressure on competitors or something else.” But there can be no doubt that Moscow has done something. It “simply can’t do otherwise.” “Sooner or later,” Eidman concludes, all this will come out. “Then there will be a grandiose scandal which could lead to a change in the results of this shameful championship” in a country whose rulers have long shown that they do not respect any rules and care only about winning regardless of how they achieve that end.
Russian Senate admits possibility of Sentsov swap | UNIAN
Oleh Sentsov, a Ukrainian film director illegally sentenced by a Russian court to 20 years in prison can be included in the list of Ukrainian political prisoners to be swapped for Russian convicts sentenced in Ukraine, according to Alexei Kondratiev, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s Defense and Security Committee. The Federation Council commented on the option of a Ukrainian film director being exchanged for one of the Russians nationals convicted in Ukraine.
The Russian independent media’s boycott against the State Duma is falling apart — Meduza
The independent television network Dozhd has returned to Russia’s State Duma, roughly three months after withdrawing its parliamentary correspondents in protest against the Ethics Committee’s decision to take no action against deputy Leonid Slutsky, whom multiple journalists (including one Dozhd reporter) have accused of sexual harassment. Officials accredited Mikhail Rubin, Dozhd’s representative in the Kremlin press pool, to report from the State Duma, according to the newspaper Vedomosti.
Russia Fines RFE/RL Over Alleged ‘Foreign-Agent’ Violations
A court in Russia has fined Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) for allegedly failing to comply with a Russian law regulating media outlets branded by the government as “foreign agents.”
Russian Rights Activist Says Authorities Search His Home In Ingushetia
A rights activist in Russia’s North Caucasus region of Ingushetia says investigators accompanied by masked officers searched his home on June 30.
Ukrainian Blogger Held By Russia-Backed Separatists Declares Hunger Strike
A Ukrainian blogger being held by Russia-backed separatists in Ukraine’s eastern region of Donetsk has declared a hunger strike, a longtime friend and former lawmaker says.
Oleh Sentsov: The Latest In A Long Line Of Notable Hunger Strikers
Oleh Sentsov is staging a hunger strike in a Russian prison for the release of Ukrainians. It may be an extreme form of protest, but fasting has long been a weapon in activists’ arsenal.
Pro-Ukrainian Activist Sentenced To Five Years By Russia-Controlled Crimea Court
A pro-Ukrainian activist in the Russia-annexed peninsula of Crimea has been sentenced to five years in a penal colony in a verdict assailed by Ukraine as “absolutely arbitrary and illegal.”
‘Only For Thoughtcrime’: Meet Boris Stomakhin, Russia’s Longest-Serving ‘Hate-Speech’ Prisoner
Russian publicist Boris Stomakhin has spent nearly a decade in prison for his incendiary writings denouncing Russia’s government. He’s not optimistic about his future on the outside.
Trolls spread a story misrepresenting anti-Kremlin oppositionists’ positions on pension reform — Meduza
Somebody up to no good apparently planted a hit piece at the online publication TJournal, twisting and misrepresenting quotes from various opposition activists (especially Alexey Navalny) who supposedly supported raising Russia’s retirement age before the federal government recently proposed pension reforms. The text’s author and two dozen of the comments were posted from the same St. Petersburg IP address — all created on the same day, from an address at a small Internet provider called Chaika Telekom.
Edward Snowden describes Russian government as corrupt – To Inform is to Influence
Wait. What? Edward, you’ve proven once that you are not trustworthy. Then you ran and found someone to coddle you. Do you know the old expression about not biting the hand that feeds you? Oh, and also, when you publicly criticize the government in Russia you have a tendency to wind up dead. It may be too late already. If you fall off a balcony tomorrow, we’ll know what happened. …and Novichok is not as painless as once thought, but it’s quick in the right amount. Watch out for men with umbrellas in sunny weather. We know that the Russian government is corrupt, save your breath. </end editorial>
Nizhny Novgorod: Soviet ‘closed city’ teems with tourists | Fox News
It’s hard to fathom for 21-year-old Valeria Kashnikova as she delivers pizzas to tables jammed with Swedes, Croats, and Argentines that her Russian city was closed to foreigners for almost 60 years during the Soviet Union era. I don’t know much about that time, said Kashnikova, a waitress at Pronto Pizza e Pasta.
FIFA Fines Russian, Serbian Soccer Federations After Fans Display Racist Banners
World soccer’s governing body has fined the Russian and Serbian federations after racist banners were displayed by fans during recent World Cup matches.
Russia Bars Mexican Fans From Staging Parade Of ‘Dead’ On Red Square
Objections from a Russian communist party have forced Mexico’s soccer fans to call off plans to celebrate their team’s advance in the World Cup tournament with a parade in Moscow’s Red Square.
Spooked Official Bans Work On Horror Film In Southern Russia’s ‘City Of The Dead’
Museum director blocks film crew from North Ossetian village and medieval burial ground, saying the script casts Ossetians in an “unfavorable light.”
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia has Become China’s ‘Near Abroad,’ Piontkovsky Says
Paul Goble Staunton, June 30 – Many continue to use the Moscow term “near abroad” to designate the former Soviet republics, implicitly recognizing a greater Russian role in those now independent countries than it has any right to expect and completely forgetting that other countries have neighbors that they may consider as part of their rather own “near abroad.” In an Ekho Rossii commentary, Russian analyst Andrey Piontkovsky says that with little fanfare and almost without notice, the entire Russian state is becoming part of China’s “near abroad,” something few in Moscow can be happy about but a development that reflects the changing power balance in Eurasia ( This process began, the analyst says, in 1949, when the newly victorious Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong visited Russia, refused to get off at a station near Lake Baikal (once an inland sea of China’s) and boldly declared that the Soviet leadership was good because it had annulled the unequal treaties the Russian Empire had imposed on his country. During his time in Moscow, Mao challenged the treaty Stalin had signed with Chang Kai-Shek in 1945 and raised the question of the status of Mongolia, clearly underlining what for him was Beijing’s “minimum program” and challenging the Kremlin in ways that no other leader ever dared to or did without the most serious negative consequences. By so doing, Piontkovsky continues, “Mao clearly indicated that he did not intend to recognize Stalin as the leader of the world communism movement nor as ‘an elder brother.’” Instead, the Beijing leader made it clear that he considered himself at least co-equal as the leader of a civilization extending back several millenia. Stalin couldn’t use the tactics against Mao that he used successfully against the West because Mao was just as much a bandit as he was and because Mao was creating a new political religion that challenged his own. Mao understood that and made his own position crystal clear from the very beginning. First, Mao in effect declared, “we are absolutely independent of you;” and second, “in the 19th century your imperialist rulers took from China enormous territories. We remember this and we will always remember this.” The ensuring 70 years have seen the working out of these principles in China’s relationship to Russia, Piontkovsky argues. Over this period, he says, China’s advantages have only grown. On the one hand, its economy has far surpassed that of Russia. And on the other, Russia’s pursuit of respect from others has not worked in the case of China. Beijing is deaf to appeals on that basis and will be increasingly so. In recent years, Piontkovsky says, “the confrontation with the West and the course toward ‘strategic partnership’ with China has led inevitably not only to the marginalization of Russia but to its subordination to the strategic interests of China and to the loss of control over the Far East and Siberia, initially de facto but eventually de jure.” Russians “simply haven’t noticed” how China has treated them like “some vassals in ‘the near abroad’” and how “Russia itself is already being transformed into the near abroad of China,” to the point that now Beijing doesn’t feel any need to hide what its goals are and what is going on. China’s “maximum program,” which Mao only hinted at in 1949, is “practically fulfilled.” The Kremlin kleptocrats in their pursuit of money have handed over control of much of the economy east of the Urals, and the Chinese have treated that region much as they treat African countries in which they invest. Indeed, Piontkovsky says, the Chinese treat the Africans better than they do the Russians because in African countries, Chinese firms hire more locals than they do in Siberia and the Russian Far East. This reflects the fact, he suggests, that from now on, “the game will be played exclusively according to Chinese rules.” “The secret of China’s success is to understand the psychology of the Other, to subordinate him to your will, to use in your interests his complexes, and to operate on the basis of the absolute cynicism and irresponsibility of the Putin kleptocracy, the last generation of the Soviet communism nomenklatura and the final product of the process of its degeneration.” That China has far-reaching plans for Russia east of the Urals is suggested by its military games in recent years, its build up of conventional arms, and its tolerance for far greater losses as a result of any strike including a nuclear one than are Western countries or than is – and that is critical in this case – Russia as well, Piontkovsky argues. All this allows for the conclusion, he suggests, that “the 70-year Chinese-Russian war which began on December 19, 1949, has ended. Russia has suffered a defeat even though Beijig has not yet insisted on a formal capitulation because the current Russian administration is actively and effectively cooperating with the victorious power.” After the Putin regime disappears one way or another, Piontkovsky continues, “certain fundamental results of this past war will be legally fixed.” Lands that used to belong to China will be reunited with it; “the remaining territories in the zone of China’s vital interests, will be institutionalized as its fraternal subjects.”
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Mormons May Become Kremlin’s Next Target among Religious Groups
Paul Goble Staunton, June 30 – Although few in the West appear to be paying attention, the Russian government continues its attacks on the Jehovah’s Witnesses and other non-Orthodox faiths almost unabated. But many apparently assumed that the Mormons were going to escape this wave of anti-religious persecution. The reason for their hopes is that the US ambassador to the Russian Federation, John Huntsman, is a Mormon; and so any attacks on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Russia would not only be noticed by the US but would represent a direct slap in the face at Washington’s representative in Moscow. Unfortunately, there are no indications that elements in the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian regime are getting ready to attack the Mormons not in spite of Huntsman’s position but because of it, blaming him for the rise in Mormon activism in Russia and thus portraying this group as they have portrayed other believers as foreign “agents.” An indication of this danger is offered by an article on the Russkaya liniya portal, a site with close ties to many conservative elements within the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian government ( The Missionary Department of the Chelyabinsk Bishopric of the Russian Orthodox Church, it says, has announced that the Mormons have in fact acquired a building there that they are converting into a Mormon church, the second such facility on the former Soviet space (the first is in Kyiv), and will use it for missionary and other less religious purposes. The Department continues that the Mormons have long sought such a facility and became more active in their successful pursuit of it after the US named a Mormon to be ambassador in Moscow. It adds that Mormonism is “pseudo-Christian and in essence pagan” and thus entirely alien to Russian traditions. Despite all that, however, Russkaya liniya notes, “representatives of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints has become part of the US establishment” and “many of its members have occupied and occupy now responsible posts in the leadership of the American special services.” “In Russia,” it continues, “Mormons have often been detained near closed defense sites,” an indication that they are “not only an instrument of ‘soft power’ directed at the reforming of the public consciousness of Russians but as a specific branch of strategic intelligence.” And the Mormons in Russia expand on this by organizing English language courses and sports events. “The Missionary Department of the Chelyabinsk Bishopric,” the portal continues, “directs the attention of residents of the Southern Urals to the fact that many destructive cults, especially of foreign origin, at present are in a ‘sleeping’ or ‘semi-sleeping’ state” in which they observe the law but create the basis for undermining the government. That is very much the case with the Mormons today, the Missionary Department says; and Russians need to learn “to say ‘no’ to recruiters” from that cult. Given the way the Russian Orthodox Church operates and cooperates with the Russian state, it is unfortunately unlikely that this attack on the Mormons will be limited to that alone.
CPJ Blasts Russia’s ‘Systematic Policy’ Of Obstructing Free Flow Of News
Russia’s moves to label some individual journalists and bloggers as foreign agents are the latest step in the authorities’ “systematic policy” toward obstructing the free flow of information, the…
Hosting World Cup helps lift ‘iron curtain of Russian sexuality’ – To Inform is to Influence
Perhaps hosting the World Cup will not have the effect on the Russian citizenry as Putin intended.  Russian women may be learning that their men do not have to act hyper-macho, they can actually bathe, deodorant should not be optional, women can be treated with respect, and a toothbrush and toothpaste is not just for…
Russian Teens Detained After Staging Protest Supporting Sentsov
A Russian teenage activist was among four people detained after she staged a protest outside the World Cup stadium in St. Petersburg wearing a bloodied shirt that she said was intended to draw atte…
Russian Stalin Historian Charged With Sexual Assault
Russian authorities have formally indicted historian Yury Dmitriyev on a charge of sexual assault against his adopted daughter following an earlier acquittal on child-pornography charges.
UAWire – Media: Russia admits possibility of Sentsov exchange
Alexei Kondratyev, Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Federation Council Defense and Security Committee, stated on July 2 that the Ukrainian filmmaker …
Cannibal Island: In 1933, Nearly 5,000 Died In One Of Stalin’s Most Horrific Labor Camps
Eighty-five years ago this summer, more than 4,000 people died of disease, exposure, violence, and starvation at a Stalinist labor camp on Nazinsky Island in Siberia. Until 1988, the Soviet governm…
Blood-red rain pours down on Arctic Russian town in bizarre weather event | World | News |
BLOOD-COLOURED rain poured down in a remote Siberian city, creating an eerie scene that witnesses compared to a biblical plague or the apocalypse

Central Asia / Caucasus Reports

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia Seen Being Edged Out of Central Asian Markets Not Just by China and West but by Kazakhstan
Paul Goble Staunton, July 4 – A great deal of attention has been given to the inroads China and Western countries have made in the economies of Central Asian countries since the end of Soviet times; but now Kazakhstan, a dark horse in this competition, is expanded its presence and edging Russia out as well, according to Viktoriya Panfilova of Nezavisimaya gazeta. The specialist on the former Soviet republics reports that Kazakhstan is beginning to export oil and gas to other Central Asian countries, despite its earlier agreement not to do so because Kazakhstan imports these commodities from Russia and Moscow opposes their resale ( But Astana has just spent six billion US dollars on the modernization of its oil processing plants and is seeking to gain energy independence from Russia. As a result, it has some gas and oil available to sell to other Central Asian countries and is seeking at meetings this week a revision in its agreement with Moscow on that possibility. Russian specialists in the oil market suggest that there is no conflict of interests between Moscow and Astana over this issue; but, of course, there is: if Kazakhstan is able to expand its sale of gas and oil to the other Central Asian countries, something it is likely to be able to do because its prices are much lower, Russia’s sales and its leverage there are likely to decline. What Moscow would like to do is to get Kazakhstan to sell its oil and gas not to the former Soviet republics, Panfilova says, but rather to Afghanistan; but that possibility is limited by the lack of adequate pipelines and by the greater profits financial and political Astana can gain by selling these things closer to home.
Rising From The Steppe: Kazakhstan’s Capital Turns 20
Once an obscure township on Kazakhstan’s wolf-plagued plains, Astana has outgrown its teen years and is now firmly established as the country’s capital city.
Azerbaijan Goes Dark After Power Station Explodes
The lights went out across Azerbaijan, as a network-wide power outage plunged cities, towns, and businesses into darkness. Drivers had to cope with failed traffic lights in the capital, Baku, a city of over two million people. Officials said the blackout in the early hours of July 3 was due to an explosion at a hydroelectric power station in the northern city of Mingacevir. Heavy use of air-conditioning during extremely high temperatures was blamed for the power surge which led to the explosion. Later in the morning, the government said electricity supplies to most districts of Baku had been restored.
Head Of Azerbaijan’s Second-Largest City Wounded In Shooting Attack
Elmar Valiyev, the administrative head of Azerbaijan’s second largest city of Ganja, was seriously injured in an armed attack late on July 3, authorities said.

Belarus Reports

Lukashenka Says Belarus Prepared To Defend Its Independence
Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has addressed a military parade marking the country’s Independence Day, saying his government is pursuing peaceful and constructive ties with Russia, Chin…
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Lukashenka Now Invoking Russian Threat Domestically to Build Support for Himself
Paul Goble Staunton, July 1 – For several years, Artrem Shraybman says, Alyaksandr Lukashenka and his government have told Western diplomats that Russia may swallow up Belarus unless Minsk gets support from their countries in at least the form of Western tolerance for his repressive moves. But now, at a time when ever more Russian commentators are talking about the annexation of Belarus and the ways it might boost Russia’s power and Putin’s standing, the Belarusian leader is talking about this threat not just to foreigners but to his own people, the Carnegie Moscow Center analyst says ( Lukashenka’s remarks suggest he is really afraid that Moscow will annex his country (, a fear entirely understandable given talk in Moscow about how much such an action would strengthen Russia and boost Putin’s popularity ( But Shraybman suggests that the explanation for Lukashenka’s action lies somewhere between a genuine fear and a conviction that such arguments will work with his own population, an indication that he now views Belarusian patriotism and even nationalism as forces as useful to himself and possibly as too strong to ignore. Lukashenka has done relatively little to develop real defenses against any Russian move, the analyst continues, but he and his entourage are increasingly nervous because “Moscow today is an elephant in a china shop,” unpredictable and dangerous and thus quite possibly a threat to their rule and their country. “The fundamental unwritten rule of Belarusian politics always was not to allow the appearance in the country of a significant force which would be more pro-Russian than Lukashenka,” Shraybman says. That would give Moscow too great a temptation to use it against the Belarusian leader. And consequently, “even at times of the most serious conflicts, support for Lukashenka must appear in the eyes of Moscow a lesser evil in comparison with all available alternatives.” Following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Lukashenka decided that he needed to defense himself “from more aggressive elements of the ideology which Russia was pushing from outside.” In the judgment of Minsk, “the imperial-patriotic discourse coming from Moscow was poorly compatible with the image of a Belarus balancing [between Russia and the West].” And consequently, Lukashenka has taken three steps: First, he has promoted “the so-called soft Belarusianization,” providing more support to a national agenda and forming “an informal tactical alliance” with his quondam opponents within the country. Second, Lukashenka has cracked down on “the most obvious Russophile activists, people who by their words and deeds demonstrate greater loyalty and sympathy to the Russian course than to the Belarusian one,” as in the case of the three Regnum journalists. And third, “and the most interesting part of this trend – a gradual expulsion of Russian influence from historical memory” in Belarus by promoting national symbols and anniversaries and opposing Russian efforts to define holidays like May 9. So far, however, Shraybman says, “this doesn’t mean that Minsk is seriously concerned about the prospects of being swallowed up by Russia and has undertaken a broad campaign to distance itself from its main ally.” Lukashenka has generally limited himself to superficial and symbolic moves rather than substantive ones. He hasn’t moved closer to the West economically or even by following Western recommendations on laws and human rights, and he hasn’t reduced Belarusian dependence on trade with Russia. It remains where it has been for a decade. And all three of his moves are in fact less than they appear. For example, “the state doesn’t want to increase the use of Belarusian in the educational system or even spend money for publishing laws in both languages and not just in Russian.” And it hasn’t significantly cut back the amount of Russian programming on Belarusian television and doesn’t appear likely to. “If Lukashenka really believed that the existence of the country hangs by a hair and its swallowing up is not beyond the hills, it would be logical to expect more decisive steps to lower this threat,” Shraybman says. But at present, he appears to be invoking the Russian threat because he doesn’t have a better one to use with the Belarusian people.
Lukashenka Calls For Remembrance Of Trostenets Nazi Death Camp Near Minsk
A memorial honoring victims of Trostenets, a Nazi extermination camp near Minsk, has been unveiled by Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka together with delegations from Austria, the Czech Re…
Belarusians Protesting Restaurant At Stalin-Era Execution Site Detained, Jailed
Several activists protesting against the opening of a restaurant at a site near Minsk where thousands of people were executed by the Soviet secret police were detained over the weekend, and some of…
Belarusian Opposition Leader Statkevich Detained On Way To Rally
Prominent Belarusian opposition leader and former presidential candidate Mikalay Statkevich has been detained on his way to a rally meant to mock authoritarian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka on th…
Planned Belarusian Nuclear Plant Passes ‘Stress Test,’ Neighboring Lithuania Still Worried
The planned Belarusian nuclear power plant at Astravets has “generally met the requirements” of a European Union “stress test” designed to avert repeats of the Fukushima disaster, while the controv…

Transnistria / Moldova Reports

Thousands Of Moldovans Decry Mayoral Vote Annulment
Thousands have rallied in Moldova’s capital, Chisinau, in protest against the nullification of municipal elections. The July 1 rally was organized by opposition parties and civil activists. Protesters marched from the Moldovan parliament to the headquarters of the ruling Democratic Party. Chisinau’s mayoral runoff was won on June 3 by pro-Western candidate Andrei Nastase, but court rulings annulled the results, citing violations of the country’s campaign laws by both candidates.
EU Parliament Blasts ‘State Capture’ Of Moldova Courts
European lawmakers have expressed serious concern over the “further deterioration” of democratic standards in Moldova, after local courts invalidated the results of the mayoral election in the …
Chisinau Demonstrators Protest Decision To Void Mayoral Election
Tens of thousands of people have gathered in the center of Moldova’s capital for another protest rally against the invalidation of last month’s mayoral election.
Moldovan Electoral Commission Confirms Court Ruling To Throw Out Mayoral Vote
Moldova’s Central Electoral Commission has confirmed the Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate the recent mayoral election in the capital, Chisinau.
Moldova’s Andrei Nastase: The Man Who Would Be Mayor — Or More
The invalidated mayoral vote in the Moldovan capital have robbed pro-Western candidate Andrei Nastase of his victory, but have propelled him to the top of a protest movement that could shake the fo…

Ukraine Reports

Russia Losing Religious War Against Ukraine – To Inform is to Influence
Yet another instrument of Russian Information Warfare and larger political warfare against Ukraine is religious warfare. In this case, using the Eastern Orthodox Churches, Russia tried to “unify” smaller Orthodox churches under the Moscow Patriarchy centuries ago, but this was never recognized by the ruling body, the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople. The Kyiv Patriarchate was one…
Ecumenical Patriarch takes Moscow down a peg over church relations with Ukraine – news portal
Ecumenical Patriarch takes Moscow down a peg over church relations with Ukraine. Constantinople does not recognize the transfer of the canonical Kyiv Metropolis to the Moscow patriarchate. Political – news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today
Ecumenical Patriarch: Constantinople never recognized Moscow’s church authority over Ukraine | UNIAN
Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople of the Eastern Orthodox Church Bartholomew I says Constantinople has never recognized Moscow’s church authority over Ukraine. “Let us not forget, at any rate, that Constantinople never denounced the territory of Ukraine in any way but the right of ordination of the Metropolitan of Kyiv in Moscow on condition of being elected in Kyiv at the Clerical Assembly and mentioning the Ecumenical Patriarch,” he said on the 40th day after death memorial service for Metropolitan Evangelos of Perga on July 1, according to the Ukrainian news outlet “This is said in the Tomos on autocephaly that the Mother Church gave the Polish Church: our See has never recognized the secession of the Kyiv Metropolis and its dependent Orthodox Churches of Lithuania and Poland and their attachment to the Moscow Church, which was carried not in accordance with ordinances and without respecting the rights of the Kyiv Metropolitan who had the title of an Exarch of the Ecumenical See,” Patriarch Bartholomew said. This message of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s press service was posted by the head of the information department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, Archbishop Yevstratiy (Zorya), on Facebook on July 1. Patriarch Bartholomew said that the Ecumenical See was looking forward to “the restoration of the unity of the divided ecclesiastical body in Ukraine – dozens of millions of believers, baptized and enlightened by the direct care and missionary activities of the Ecumenical See.” “Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew expressed his unwavering interest in the treatment of the Ukrainian ecclesiastical issue and the restoration of the unity of the divided ecclesiastical body in the country. He recalled that the Church of Constantinople, which worked and solved difficult ecclesiastical issues, always in the light of the benefit of the people of God and the preservation of the Pan-Orthodox unity, is still struggling to definitively settle ecclesiastical issues in Ukraine,” the message reads.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia’s Transformation of Ethnic Mix in Occupied Crimea an Act of Genocide
Paul Goble Staunton, July 2 – Most definitions of genocide focus on the mass murder of one ethnic group by representatives of another, but that crime against humanity also includes the artificial transformation of the ethnic composition of a place by the artificial expulsion of its historical residents and the artificial introduction of outsiders. That is a crime, growing evidence suggests, that the Russian Federation is guilty of in occupied Crimea. In an article for the IdelReal portal, Radio Svoboda’s Ramazan Alpaut survives one of the aspects of this act of genocide, “the de-Tatarization” of the Ukrainian peninsula ( According to Russian official statistics, Alpaut says, “about 247,000 Russians have moved to Crimea since 2014, while “about 140,000,” overwhelmingly ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars have departed for other parts of Ukraine. These movements have increased the Russian share of the population from 60 to 65 percent and cut that of the Ukrainians from 24 percent to 15 with Crimean Tatars increasing from 10 to 12 percent. But Ukrainian officials and experts say the numbers of those arriving and departing are greater and the ethnic shift thus far larger. Boris Babin, the permanent representative of the Ukrainian president for Crimea, says that “we can with confidence say that we are talking about hundreds of thousands of people.” “A large number of Russian government employees are being shifted to Crimea with members of their families, and the latter are seeking work. In addition, there are many gastarbeiters” from the Russian Federation, he says. And there are far more people who have fled than the 40,000 who have officially registered with Ukrainian authorities. At the end of May, Mustafa Dzhemilyev, a leader of the Crimean Tatars and advisor to President Petro Poroshenko, said that Moscow had moved in or sponsored the migration of between 850,000 and one million people to Crimea, significantly changing the ethnic balance there. But he acknowledged that the exact figures are impossible to specify because the Russian occupation authorities treat them as “a military secret” given that “they know very well that they are committing a military crime,” one defined as an act of genocide by the Geneva Convention of 1949. Refat Chubarov, another Crimean Tatar leader who is a deputy in the Verkhovna Rada, seconds that view. He points out that one of the major reasons is Moscow’s expansion of pre-existing military bases and the creation of new ones, something that has brought many soldiers and sailors and members of their families to the Ukrainian peninsula. According to Andrey Klimenko, editor of the Black Sea News, the Russian occupiers treat the demographic situation in Crimea solely from the perspective of how best to ensure that they have a loyal population which won’t engage in protests or make significant demands on the authorities. Igor Tyshkevich, an expert at the Ukrainian Institute for the Study of the Future, says, that he has evidence that Moscow has a plan to shift prisoners from the Far East and other parts of Russia to Crimea in order to save money as it costs less to hold them on the Ukrainian peninsula than elsewhere. In support of these population shifts, Ukrainian expert Yevgen Goryunov says that the occupiers give preferences to the new arrivals in schools and kindergartens. “This is the only thing that Russia can give them so that they will settle here.” At the same time, the occupation authorities make local people wait in line. Finally, Irina Pribytkova, a sociologist at the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, say that what Russian officials are doing now is a direct continuation of what tsarist and then Soviet officials did earlier – trying to change the ethnic balance in Crimea in order to be in a better position to hold its acquisition. “This must be watched via constant monitoring,” she says, something “Ukraine is doing,” in order to see both the ways in which Russia is bringing in new people and seeking via repression to force the departure of Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Warms to Greek Diaspora Proposal to Add Tauride to Crimea’s Name
Paul Goble Staunton, July 1 – Ivan Shonus, the head of the national autonomy of the Greeks of Crimea, says that his group’s call to rename Crimea with the tsarist-era name the Tauride is gaining traction in Moscow whose officials say that despite some problems, doing so is “possible,” via a name like “the Autonomous Republic of Crimea – Tauride.” Because the Tauride included not just Crimea but also a large portion of southeastern Ukraine, this would be an aggressive step, one that would threaten the Crimean Tatars as the main indigenous people of the peninsula and the territorial integrity of Ukraine. (See Shonus’ words and his insistence that his group “intends to continue to push the idea” because it is convinced that “if such a decision will be taken, it will serve as an additional stimulus to the affirmation of the Russian status of Ukraine” are cited by Moscow commentator Artem Leonov on the Soletiye portal ( Leonov for his part suggests that the restoration of the name Tauride is appropriate for three reasons: first, the Greeks were on the peninsula long before the Tatars were; second, the Russian Imperial government always used this term; and third, Stalin favored restoring the term at the end of his life but Nikita Khrushchev ignored that after the dictator’s death. The Greeks have a history on the peninsula extending back to classical times, he writes; and when Russia annexed Crimea the first time, it called the region the Tauride. Thus it remained until the end of the imperial period even though Greeks during that time were subject to harsh assimilation pressures and even deported from Crimea to other parts of the empire. After the Bolshevik revolution, the toponym was very much a contested one. In March 1918, a Soviet Republic of the Tauride was proclaimed but five weeks later, German forces entered the region and suppressed it. Then in April 1919, a Crimean Soviet Socialist Republic was announced only to be liquidated by anti-Bolshevik White forces. Finally, on October 18, 1921, Lenin settled the matter by signing a decree “On the formation of a Crimean Autonomous Republic.” But according to Leonov, Tauride has a better claim. The name “Crimea” only began to be used after the 13th century when the Golden Horde expanded into the area. Before that the Tauride was much more often commonly employed, he says. The Ottomans insisted on Crimea, and that name continues to be supported by Muslims and Crimean Tatars. After Lenin’s proclamation of a Crimean Autonomous Republic, Leonov continues, many ethnic Greeks left to return to their historical homeland, and their numbers on the peninsula declined precipitously. They were repressed as well during World War II by the Germans, Romanians and “especially” Italian occupiers. Then, following a decision in Moscow on June 2, 1944, “almost 14,000 Crimean Greeks” were resettled in Perm oblast, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan “without the right to return to Crimea.” Nonetheless, beginning in the late 1950s some did; and they and their descendants now number approximately 3100. That might seem too small a number to take into account, Leonov acknowledges; but he argues that “the inclusion of the name ‘Tauride’ in the official name of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea has an historical basis” and not one as distant historically as its opponents try to suggest. According to him, at the end of the 1940s and beginning of the 1950s, P.I. Titov, the head of the Crimean oblast party committee convinced Stalin that this would be a good idea and the Soviet leader approved it. “But after Stalin, this project was put on hold by his ‘comrades in arms’ and in 1954, they separated Crimea from Russia.”
Taurida Governorate – Wikipedia
Taurida Governornate Map – Taurida Governorate – Wikipedia
Chiygoz: Putin afraid of peacekeepers in Donbas because of Crimean issue | UNIAN
Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, Akhtem Chiygoz, has said Russian President Vladimir Putin is afraid of the deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission to Donbas because of the Crimean issue. The Normandy format should determine the overall pressure on Putin, Chiygoz said.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Boosting Tensions in Sea of Azov But Can’t Change Strategic Situation There, Senior Ukrainian Intelligence Officer Says
Paul Goble Staunton, July 2 – Ukrainian forces long anticipated what Russian ships are doing in the Sea of Azov and have taken measures that haven’t been able to prevent an increase in tensions around that body of water but have succeeded in ensuring that Moscow can’t change the strategic situation there, according to Ukrainian Lt. Gen. Vasilii Bohdan. Russia has indeed introduced more ships in the inland sea, the intelligence veteran says, and has been able to harass Ukrainian and foreign shipping; but despite the fears of some, Kyiv in anticipation of this development has taken significant steps to limit its impact ( “Russia’s strategic plans toward Ukraine are well known: the dismemberment and destruction of it as a state, Bohdan says. “Undoubtedly, the Azov direction – Mariupol, Berdyansk and so on – from a strategic point of view interest Russia” both to drive a land bridge to Russian-occupied Crimea and to attack other parts of Ukraine. “Plans are plans and strategy is strategy,” the general continues, “but for the Ukrainian General Staff and the command of the Unified Forces Operation is neither new nor unexpected.” To the best of his knowledge, the general says, Kyiv long ago predicted what has happened and has taken steps to respond. He argues that “the military contingent of the Ukrainian Armed Services which is there now will not allow for any unexpected action from the point of view of the moves of the Russian Federation in the Azov direction.” “Yes, this is a threat and there are definite risks but there is still no basis for considering that this situation can change in any significant way the balance of forces in Russia’s favor.” Indeed, Ukrainian forces are now at such a level there that “it would be difficult and I would say impossible,” the general adds, “to achieve the strategy in this direction that it has planned.” Russia’s harassment of shipping and stopping of ships is just one more aspect of its “hybrid war” against Ukraine, clearly intended in the first instance to establish an economic blockade of the country. Not surprisingly, this is creating tensions; but these aren’t sufficient to win Moscow a victory. “Russia still has not achieved the desired effect,” he says. Most Ukrainian and foreign shippers are ignoring Russia’s campaign and this gives rise to “a certain optimism.” And international bodies which supervise the laws of the sea are on Ukraine’s side, something important even though Moscow has no intention of abiding by their decisions. If our foreign partners stand with us and expand their sanctions regime, everything will be well, the general says. But even if there are problems in that direction, the Ukrainian military is in a position to stand on its own, now possessing better weapons and more training. Its units can repel any possible Russian action. The most positive thing Kyiv can do, the general concludes, is to promote “the consolidation and unity within the country,” identifying and disarming “’the fifth column’” and any collaborators” who spread negative stories about the situation around the Sea of Azov and elsewhere as well.
Hunger-Striking Mother Of Crimean Tatar Jailed In Russia Hospitalized
The mother of a jailed Crimean Tatar man has been rushed to hospital after two weeks on a hunger strike to demand the release of her son, who was convicted of terrorism charges he contends are false.
Expert names Kremlin’s most dangerous scenarios for Ukraine | UNIAN
Russia will try to get in the upcoming Ukraine elections A president they can control and a disabled parliament, military expert and blogger Alexei Arestovich says. First of all, the Kremlin will try to ensure that a Moscow-loyal president is elected, the expert says.

Ukrainian General Condemns Russian Renaming Units After Ukrainian Cities
A top Ukrainian military officer has condemned an order by Russian President Vladimir Putin to name several Russian military units after cities and other places in Ukraine. A top Ukrainian military officer has condemned an order by Russian President Vladimir Putin to name several Russian military units after cities and other places in Ukraine. General Viktor Muzhenko’s comments on July 3 were the latest in a growing number of critical responses to Putin’s decree. Putin’s decrees gave a number of regiments and divisions in the Russian armed forces honorary names that hark back to World War II. Putin’s order was “a claim to the lands of other nations,” Muzhenko wrote on Facebook on July 3. “With these decisions Russians continue their old tradition — to steal others’ history and glory. That is a clear signal to the world that the aggressor does not plan to limit itself with Donbas [eastern Ukraine] and Crimea,” wrote Muzhenko, who is the chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ General Staff. According to the Kremlin, the renaming decrees are intended “to preserve glorious military and historic traditions, and to nurture loyalty to the fatherland and military duty among the military personnel.” The Soviet victory in World War II has always been a venerated holiday, including after the Soviet breakup, and Ukraine, like Russia, has honored its war veterans and victims. But the Kremlin in recent years has embraced nostalgia of the war victory to a larger degree, using it in part to demonize Ukraine after the 2014 Euromaidan protests and to help justify the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula. Under the decrees, the 933rd Missile Regiment is now called the Upper Dnieper Regiment, after the river in Ukraine. The 6th Tank Regiment is now called the Lvov Regiment and the 68th Tank Regiment the Zhitomir-Berlin Regiment and the 163rd Tank Regiment is called the Nezhin Regiment. The decrees all use Russian spellings of the Ukrainian names, which in Ukrainian are Lviv, Zhytomyr, and Nizhyn. In 1944, Stalin named the 93rd Tank Brigade after Zhytomyr for the city’s role in World War II. The brigade was later reformed into the 68th Tank Regiment, then dissolved after the Soviet collapse. The regiment was reestablished last year, a development that caught the attention of military historians. In addition, Russian Army regiments were renamed after the Belarusian cities of Vitsebsk, Kobryn, and Slonim as well as Warsaw, Berlin, and Romania’s Transylvania region.
General Muzhenko signs order on decommunization in Ukrainian army – 03.07.2018 11:16 — Ukrinform News
Chief of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Viktor Muzhenko has signed an order regulating the fulfillment by the commanders of all levels of management of the law on the condemnation of the communist and national-socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regimes in Ukraine. He wrote about this on his Facebook page, having posted a copy of the document. “On the assignment of the so-called honorary names to Russian army units. The Ukrainian army has its own military and historical traditions and Russia’s actions in no way influence us. By their decisions, the Russians continue their longstanding tradition – to steal someone else’s history and glory. This is the marking of the territory and the sounding of claims on the land of other peoples, to which Russia has no relation,” Muzhenko wrote. He said that “it is a clear signal to us and to the world that the aggressor is not going to stop in Donbas and Crimea.” “It is also aimed at mobilizing pro-Russian forces on the territory of Ukraine,” he added. “The traditions of the modern Russian army are a strange mix of Russian imperial and Soviet myths. For the Ukrainian Armed Forces the awareness of this was the year 2014 when each of us made a choice,” Muzhenko said. Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed decrees to add names of certain Ukrainian cities, in particular Lviv, Nizhyn and Zhytomyr, to the “honorary names” of certain regiments and divisions of the Russian army. The decrees say that the honorary names have been assigned to various military units “in order to preserve glorious military historic traditions, educate the servicemen in the spirit of devotion to the Fatherland and fidelity to military duty.” Thus, the 6th tank regiment of the Russian army is now bearing the honorary title of the “Lviv Guards,” the 68th tank regiment of the “Zhytomyr-Berlin Guards,” and the 163rd tank regiment of the “Nizhyn Guards.”
General Staff Chief signs order on de-communization of Ukraine’s army –
The Russians continue their long tradition – to steal someone else’s history and glory, Viktor Muzhenko said. Giving the names of Ukrainian cities to the units of the Russian army does not affect the Army of Ukraine, which has its own military historical traditions. Chief of the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces Viktor Muzhenko stated this on Facebook. “By their decisions, the Russians continue their long tradition of stealing another country’s history and glory by marking the territory and claiming other peoples’ lands, to which Russia has nothing relation. It is a clear signal to us and to the world that the aggressor is not going to stay in Donbas and Crimea. It is also aimed at mobilizing pro-Russian forces on the territory of Ukraine, “the Chief of Staff said. He emphasized that the traditions of the modern Russian army are a mixture of Russian-imperial and Soviet myths, and the Ukrainian Armed Forces realized this in 2014 when each soldier made his choice. Muzhenko also reported that he had signed a General Staff order that regulates the implementation by the commanders of all levels of the Law of Ukraine “On the Conviction of Communist and National-Socialist (Nazi) Totalitarian Regimes in Ukraine and the Prohibition of Their Symbols”.
Why Putin “occupied” Ukrainian cities by assigning their names to Russian army units | UNIAN
From now on, on the orders of the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, the 6th Tank Regiment of the Russian army received the honorary title of Guard Lviv, 68th Tank Regiment – “Guard Zhytomyr-Berlin, and the 163rd regiment – Guard Nizhyn.From now on, on the orders of the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, the 6th Tank Regiment of the Russian army received the honorary title of Guard Lviv, 68th Tank Regiment – “Guard Zhytomyr-Berlin, and the 163rd regiment – Guard Nizhyn. By assigning the names of Ukrainian cities to the Russian army units, Putin is trying to form among citizens of the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and above all citizens of Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, the idea that the territories of all these countries are the common zone where shared interests prevail and which has a common history, tightly intertwined during World War 2. And hence, Russia has the right to give such names to its military units that carried out joint operations to liberate the territories during World War 2. In other words, it is another attempt by Putin to emphasize that Ukrainians and Russians are one nation with a common history. And to prove his point, he resorts to actions related to sensitive historical issues, in particular, that of the fight against fascism. But the main thing is that he’s trying to translate it into modern realities. The Kremlin chief seeks to reach out to at least some of the people in Ukraine, claiming that common history can unite the peoples.
Poroshenko signs law on national security – 05.07.2018 15:09 — Ukrinform News
President Petro Poroshenko has signed the law on the national security of Ukraine.
Biggest threat in Europe is Russia. Biggest problem in Europe is military potential of Ukraine –
The NATO summit will soon begin in Brussels. Before this event, Ukraine was in a hurry to pass a law on national security. – How do you assess the point that the Minister of Defense, who is obliged to determine the forms and methods of using weapons, types of weapons, and plan and give orders to the military, should be a civilian? – First of all you need a civilian minister. But the tasks that you just listed are not the tasks of the Minister of Defense. The defense minister should not be a general. The work of the Minister of Defense is very clear, first of all, to translate the government’s strategy into a political strategy that the chief of staff can understand and use. Its task is to manage a common defense, not military efforts. In other words, the types and number of troops should be the subject of discussion between the State Secretary of the Defense Ministry and the Chief of the General Staff: to decide what is best suited to the strategy, what is available, what is sustainable in the long term. And the main thing in the defense minister is a course that others can follow. This is a civilian, because the course is a political activity at this level. And the Ministry of Defense is an organization, its work is economic activity, the best use of money, to make sure that money is not wasted on what they should not spend – it’s always better for a civilian to do this. Even better, if this civilian has a certain business and international political experience. – Let’s talk about the relations of Ukraine and the North Atlantic Alliance. In 10 days, the NATO summit starts. Jens Stoltenberg invited the President of Ukraine to take part in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the level of heads of state. Tell me, what is this gesture about? – The biggest threat in Europe is Russia. The biggest problem in Europe is the military potential of Ukraine. Therefore, for NATO, it would be unthinkable not to invite President Poroshenko. And rightly, he should be there. What NATO wants to hear from him is what Ukraine is doing to actually oppose Russia in order to develop in the future and, of course, what steps are being taken to make the country look like Western democracy in its form and essence, because NATO is the values organization. If Ukraine wants to join NATO, then Ukraine must follow the same values as other countries in NATO. Therefore, NATO members would like to hear from President Poroshenko what he is doing in this respect. On the other hand, I think that NATO would give him a strong, hopefully positive, signal. You know, membership in NATO is a real possibility, but changes and reforms must occur before NATO membership comes. – Previously, Poroshenko said that Ukraine continues to reform the security and defense sector in accordance with NATO standards. Earlier you held the position of adviser to the head of the Estonian president on the issues of joining the Alliance. On this basis, do you see any progress in reforming the defense sector of our country? – There are two points. First, I worked with Estonia, Latvia, Montenegro on NATO membership. The most important thing in this is absolute honesty and openness. This is something that the defense and military system of Ukraine has yet to work on. I think there is a second point, according to which Ukraine is now 90% ready for NATO membership. I would have looked at it differently. The Pareto principle says – 80% of what you are doing accounts for 20% of the effort. The remaining 20% account for 80% of the effort. I think that this is exactly what is happening with the reform. In fact, many simple things have been done. The more complex challenges of reform, especially the way in which soldiers treat human rights in the defense sector, are difficult. The rejection of Soviet thinking, the transition to Western-style doctrine, especially in governance and the reduction of control, is an extremely difficult task for the military. I still do not see them working on this at the moment. Others may see, but I’m not. – Poroshenko said earlier that he dreams that membership in the EU and the North Atlantic alliance will come in the medium term in 2030. In your opinion, is it realistic to achieve this in 12 years? – It is realistic, and both forecasts are possible. 12 years is actually more than enough. But membership will not be without any tough action on the part of parliament, the government and the president himself. There are big changes. Across Ukraine there is still a question – why people leave and what else can be done? This is all in the hands of the government, moreover, in the hands of the president. If he wants to do this in 12 years, I think it’s possible, but it is not always possible with the speed with which he is now moving.
Putin preparing for new large-scale aggression – expert | UNIAN
Military expert and blogger Oleksiy Arestovych has said Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing for new large-scale aggression and another serious escalation can be expected during the 2020 Summer Olympics. According to Arestovych, Russia is not going to escalate the situation amid the 2018 World Cup. Military expert and blogger Oleksiy Arestovych has said Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing for new large-scale aggression and another serious escalation can be expected during the 2020 Summer Olympics. Yet, Arestovych assures, Russia is not going to display aggression while the 2018 World Cup is under way, though there was much talk about a possible escalation pending the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and a number of security measures were taken, such as limited movement in the frontline areas, strong border control, transportation of cargo and most of the bus traffic were blocked.
USA is true strategic partner of Ukraine – Poroshenko – 04.07.2018 12:25 — Ukrinform News
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has congratulated the United States of America on its Independence Day. “The USA is a true strategic partner of Ukraine. Happy Independence Day!” the president wrote on his Facebook page. The Fourth of July – also known as Independence Day – is America’s biggest national holiday. Independence Day celebrates America’s independence from the British Empire. It is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

On July 5, Russian militants opened fire 26 times, hitting Ukrainian positions in Donbas – Donbas: 26 attacks on Ukrainian positions, one serviceman wounded –
On July 5, Russian militants opened fire 26 times, hitting Ukrainian positions in Donbas
Militants violated ceasefire in eastern Ukraine 26 times in last day – 06.07.2018 09:25 — Ukrinform News
Militants launched 26 attacks on Ukrainian positions in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) area in eastern Ukraine over the past day.
OSCE observers recorded over 8,000 ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine for last week – Hug – 05.07.2018 15:50 — Ukrinform News
The observers of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission recorded more than 8,000 ceasefire violations in Donbas for the past week.
Russian-led forces’ dugout destroyed near Avdiyivka – volunteer (Video) | UNIAN
Ukrainian volunteer activist Yuriy Mysiahin says one of the dugouts made by Russian-led forces in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, was destroyed near the town of Avdiyivka. An unknown ‘third force’ appeared in the sky a few days ago, Mysiahin said.
New truce in Donbas fails as Russian-controlled troops mount two attacks on Ukrainian army | UNIAN
A newly agreed, so-called “harvest ceasefire” has failed in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, as Russia’s hybrid military forces have mounted two attacks on Ukrainian troops since 00:00 local time on Sunday, July 1. One Ukrainian soldier was wounded in action as a result of hostilities on June 30.
Russian-led forces suffer huge losses within week – JFO | UNIAN
The press center of Ukraine’s Joint Forces Operation (JFO) has said the Ukrainian Armed Forces most likely caused significant damage to the enemy’s troops last week – 27 members of the Russian occupation forces were killed and 26 were wounded. The Ukrainian army liberated one more village in Donbas. In addition, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have liberated another populated locality in occupied Donbas: Ukrainian troops on June 30 retook the village of Zolote-4 in Luhansk region, as volunteer Roman Donik reported on Facebook. According to him, the active phase of the operation to liberate the settlement with a population of 300 people lasted about three weeks. The village, which is directly on the contact line, is now controlled by the Ukrainian army.
Ukrainian army took under control the road near Zolote-4 in Donbas – Ukraine’s army took control of road near liberated Zolote in Luhansk region –
In the near future residents of the village will receive humanitarian and social aid
Three Ukrainian Soldiers Die In Training Accident
Three Ukrainian soldiers have died and nine were wounded during a training accident on July 6, the Ukrainian military said in a statement.
Violation of safety rules behind incident at Rivne training ground – Ukraine Def. Ministry | UNIAN
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has reported there are several theories of an incident at the Rivne training ground on Friday morning with the violation of safety rules during the military drills being the main theory. At least 12 people have died in Molot blasts in the past two years, the journalist said.
National Guard detains “DPR prosecutor” near Mariupol | UNIAN
Officers of the National Guard of Ukraine have detained the so-called “DPR prosecutor” on the outskirts of the Ukrainian-controlled strategic port city of Mariupol. The man is a native of Mariupol, who now lives in Sevastopol.
Russian invaders training future “cannon fodder” in children’s camps across occupied Donbas | UNIAN
Russian “curators” in the occupied part of Luhansk region continue training in children’s camps local youths for future participation in hostilities as part of illegal youth militia formations, Ukrainian Member of Parliament, coordinator of the Information Resistance analytical group Dmytro Tymchuk says. The cadets are learning how to handle firearms, also gaining basic skills in hand-to-hand combat and terrain orientation.
Berlin’s regional MP from AfD party offers Donbas militants to hold Oktoberfest in occupied Donetsk – Ukraine NGO | UNIAN
Gunnar Lindemann, member of Berlin’s regional parliament from the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, has suggested that the Russian-led invaders hold an Oktoberfest beer festival in the militant stronghold of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian Member of Parliament, coordinator of the Information Resistance analytical group Dmytro Tymchuk says. Lindemann suggests the beer festival could be held early October.
Russia deploys 700 tanks, 1,000 artillery systems in occupied areas – Poroshenko – 05.07.2018 09:47 — Ukrinform News
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said in an interview with Serbian television channel RTS that there are no &quot;red lines&quot; for Russia, and it is not a frozen conflict in Donbas, but a hot war, according to the official website of the head of state.
Oleksandr Turchynov, Philip Barton speak about Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine – 06.07.2018 15:25 — Ukrinform News
Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov has met with the Director General,&nbsp;Consular&nbsp;and&nbsp;Security&nbsp;at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Philip Barton. The sides discussed topical issues in the security and defense sector of Ukraine and Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine, according to the website of Oleksandr Turchynov. “Despite another ceasefire agreement, Russian-backed militants continue to shell our territories,” Turchynov said. At the same time, he notes that despite Russia’s ongoing aggression, the reform of the security and defense sector does not stop, as evidenced by the Law on National Security of Ukraine, which was signed by the Ukrainian president on July 5. “This law is an important step for us towards European and Euro-Atlantic integration,” the NSDC’s secretary emphasized. The sides also discussed promising areas of military and technical cooperation between Ukraine and Great Britain. In addition, the parties discussed the need to continue sanctions against Russia and the negative impact of the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. In turn, Barton congratulated Turchynov on the approval and signing of the law “On National Security of Ukraine.” “Britain supports positive changes in the security and defense sector of your country and is ready to help reform Ukraine in the future,” Barton assured.

Ukraine’s Antonov to build up to 10 aircraft in five years | UNIAN
President of Ukrainian-based State Enterprise Antonov Oleksandr Donets says his enterprise plans to build from five to 10 aircraft in the next five years under a base-case scenario. The aircraft will be manufactured after full import substitution of Russian components.President of Ukrainian-based State Enterprise Antonov Oleksandr Donets says his enterprise plans to build from five to 10 aircraft in the next five years under a base-case scenario. “The An-178 is my priority, because Antonov has always been famous for its transport aircraft. Then we will launch the manufacture of the An-158 aircraft. We would also like to continue work on unmanned aerial vehicles. However, much depends on a customer here,” he told the Ukrainian news outlet on July 2.Donets also added that the serial An-178 would be equipped with new D-436FM engines manufactured by Ukraine’s major machine-building enterprise Motor Sich. According to the official, Antonov has a firm contract with Azerbaijan for the production of 10 An-178 aircraft, which will be manufactured after full import substitution of Russian components, and testing. “Two weeks ago, an Azerbaijani delegation came to us for talks. I should note that they are professionally addressing the issue, being well versed in the situation and aware that we cannot build and supply the aircraft with Russian components. They need the aircraft, so they are ready to wait until import substitution is complete,” Donets said. As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukraine’s state-run military-industrial concern Ukroboronprom, by its order of May 30, appointed Oleksandr Donets, who was Vice-President for Production at state-run Antonov, as president of the enterprise. UNIAN memo. State-owned Antonov is the manufacturer of freight and passenger aircraft, as well as special purpose aircraft. Among the company’s most recognized projects are the An-32, An-148, An-158, An-74, An-124, An-70, and An-225.
Russia cannot build Ukrainian-designed An-124 Ruslan aircraft – Ukraine’s Antonov | UNIAN
President of Ukrainian-based Antonov State Enterprise Oleksandr Donets says Russia will not be able to independently implement the project to build the Ukrainian-designed heavy-lift strategic transport aircraft An-124-100 Ruslan. Even if Russia tries to implement the project, it would be a completely different aircraft, which will not be produced under the An brand, the official said.
UAWire – Expert: Ukraine to develop a ‘powerful’ cruise missile by the next year
Kyiv will be able to create a “powerful” anti-ship cruise missile next year, stated Valentin Badrak, Head of the Ukrainian Center for Army, Conversion and Disarmament Studies. According to the Ukrainian expert, the new anti-ship cruise missile will be able to hit “any target” at a distance of 280-300 kilometers. “This is a powerful mobile surface weapon that can be used by the Coast Guard,” said Badrak, adding that the missile will become a “psychological factor” of deterrence against Russia. At the same time, he admitted that the sea has always been the “weakest place” for Ukraine and the corresponding weapons were created “based on the residual principle”, which significantly affected their quality. He stressed that Ukraine has limited response capacity, which, in his opinion, needs to be fixed. “The naval forces have always been an outsider in terms of Kyiv’s views on how to develop and how to finance them,” Badrak said in an interview to Apostrophe news outlet.
Ukrainian army gets modernized An-26KPA aircraft – 06.07.2018 14:04 — Ukrinform News
Ukraine’s Civil Aviation Plant 410 has transferred a repaired and upgraded An-26KPA aircraft to the Ukrainian Air Force.
Government approves creation of National Research Foundation – 04.07.2018 13:12 — Ukrinform News
The Cabinet of Ministers has taken the decision to establish the National Research Foundation. The relevant resolution was approved at the government meeting on Wednesday, July 4, an Ukrinform correspondent reports. “The main goal of the foundation is to provide grants for fundamental and applied research and scientific developments,” Education and Science Minister Liliia Hrynevych stated. She stressed that the creation of the foundation is one of the key steps in establishing a new system of management and financing of scientific activities in Ukraine in line with the law on scientific and technical activities, which was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada in 2015. The National Research Foundation is an independent budget non-profit institution. The maximum number of employees is 60 people.
Ukraine refutes reports of troubles with recently received Javelin ATGMs – Defence Blog
The report by some Russian news agencies about the alleged troubles with recently received Javelin anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) does not correspond to reality, the Ukrainian officials said on 6 July. The representatives from the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine and Ministry of Defence of Ukraine have strongly refuted the news being circulated by an of some media and social networking about fake report. The fake news report, which was published at social networking and some Russian news sites, alleged that US-supplied Javelin ATGMs have some technical troubles and Ukrainian missile developers reported about that to the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine. Dmytro Tymchuk, a deputy in Ukraine’s parliament and expert on military affairs said about the Russian footprint in history with a fake report. “The Kremlin continues to form an anti-Ukrainian agenda … Now the next step is American-Ukrainian military-technical cooperation,” – said Dmytro Tymchuk. “Yesterday, Russian propagandists through social networks began to disperse the fake … This letter severely criticized the technical condition and characteristics of the US-supplied Javelin ATGMs to Ukraine,” – noted expert.

UAWire – Ukrainian MP: Russian special services planned attacks on Jewish organizations in Lviv
In addition to the attack on the Roma camp near Lviv, the Russian special services planned to use Ukrainian youths to attack Jewish organizations in Lviv, stated People’s Deputy Anton Herashchenko, reported 112 Ukraine. “The tragedy that occurred in Lviv is not a spontaneous situation; it’s a well-planned action involving Russian special services. Today, we know that two leaders of this youth organization were recruited via the Internet.They were convinced to organize attacks not only against the Roma, but there were plans to attack Jewish organizations in Lviv,” Herashchenko said. According to him, the main purpose of the attack was to show that a xenophobic organization operates in Ukraine. “The intention was to show that a xenophobic organization operates in Lviv, which, on the basis of racist views, shows its hatred of people of different nationalities,” the People’s Deputy noted. Earlier, Herashchenko said that the organizer of the attack on the Roma in Lviv received instructions through social networks.
UAWire – Ukraine submits lists of foreign mercenaries who fought in the Donbas to the International Court of Justice
Ukraine handed over the lists of all identified foreigners who were fighting for Russia in the Donbas to the International Court of Justice, as …
Ukraine’s Justice Ministry on MH17 crash: Russia leadership responsible | UNIAN
Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine for European Integration Sergiy Petukhov has said Russia will be responsible for the MH17 crash over Donbas. The organizers and executors of the terrorist act, which killed 298 people, will face Dutch justice, Petukhov said.
Russian leaders to answer for downed flight MH17 – Ukrainian Justice Ministry – 05.07.2018 11:56 — Ukrinform News
The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has collected enough evidence to assert that Russia’s top military and civilian leadership is responsible for the downing of flight MH17.
Man gunned down in central Kyiv: Shooter at large | UNIAN
“Interception” protocol has been launched in Kyiv as police scramble to identify and detain a perpetrator who earlier gunned down a male victim, 30, on Antonovycha Street in central Kyiv. Police search for a man 30-35 years of age who had fled the crime scene after fatally wounding his victim.
SBU backs controversial bill on website censorship | UNIAN
The SBU Security Service of Ukraine backs the need for the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to pass draft law No. 6688 “On amending certain legislative acts of Ukraine on countering national security threats in the information sphere.” Russia’s use of new technologies against Ukraine as part of hybrid warfare has turned the information sphere and cyberspace into one of the key arenas of confrontation with the aggressor, the SBU said. The SBU Security Service of Ukraine backs the need for the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to pass draft law No. 6688 “On amending certain legislative acts of Ukraine on countering national security threats in the information sphere.” The relevant statement was posted on the SBU’s website. The agency said the introduction of changes to the current legislation in terms of ensuring information security and cybersecurity will ensure the introduction of a legal mechanism for blocking websites based on a decision of the investigating judge and the court in criminal proceedings. The blocking is possible by the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, adopted in accordance with the Law of Ukraine “On Sanctions.”
Kyiv Ready To Exchange 23 Russians For Ukrainian Prisoners
A senior Ukrainian lawmaker has named 23 Russian nationals she says Kyiv is prepared to exchange for Ukrainian citizens held by Russia in a potential prisoner swap.
Ukraine, Denmark, Canada, Great Britain will work out a five-year cooperation program – Ukraine to develop a five-year cooperation program with Denmark, Canada, UK –
Such decision was made at the conference in Copenhagen
Serbia, Ukraine Set Aside Differences Over Russia, Vow Cooperation
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has met with his Serbian counterpart in a bid to repair ties with the Balkan country, a key Russian ally in Europe, as both states seek to join the European Union.
UAWire – Poroshenko confirms Ukraine’s non-recognition of Kosovo during visit to Serbia
At a joint briefing with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić , President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, who is on an official visit to Serbia, …
Russian call prankers ‘Lexus’ and ‘Vovan’ call head of Ukraine’s SBU Vasyl Hrytsak, identifying themselves as ‘Arkadiy Babchenko’ –
Russian call prankers ‘Lexus’ and ‘Vovan’ call head of Ukraine’s SBU Vasyl Hrytsak, identifying themselves as ‘Arkadiy Babchenko’. The members of the SBU, Ukraine’s state security service commented on the piece of information widely spread by the Russian media – about the phone conversation between Russian prankers and Vasyl Hrytsak, the head of Ukraine’s state security service. BBC Ukraine reported this on Tuesday. According to the previously released information, prankers known for playing up many politicians, including the Ukrainian ones, called Hrytsak on the behalf of Arkadiy Babchenko; the Russian reporter was earlier involved in a special operation of the SBU, during which they staged his death by the hands of the man hired by a Russian special service. Then, Babchenko ‘resurrected’, appearing alive and well in front of the press. xDuring the phone call, one of the prankers who posed himself as Babchenko said he was allegedly beaten in Kyiv, as he was watching a football game between Spain and Russia. Hrytsak apparently recognized the deception; he turned to the pranker, calling him ‘Kostya’ – definitely not Arkadiy Savchenko’s name. The pranker asked for help, saying there were reporters around him, asking for a commentary. Hrytsak said he would send some help, and the conversation broke up soon after that; the prankers hung up.
Ukrainian political prisoner Hryb beaten during transfer from Krasnodar to Rostov-on-Don penitentiary – Father | UNIAN
Ukrainian political prisoner Pavlo Hryb, 20, who had been abducted from Belarus by the Russian FSB and who is being wrongfully accused of plotting a terror attack at a Russian school gathering, was assaulted during the transfer from Krasnodar to Rostov-on-Don to attend at a court hearing, according to the teenager’s father who spoke with the lawyer. Russian prisoners who “learned” about the charges pressed against the Ukrainian youngster also took all his belongings and food products earlier brought to him by Ukrainian consuls.Russian prisoners who “learned” about the charges pressed against the Ukrainian youngster also took all his belongings and food products earlier brought to him by Ukrainian consuls.
SBU receives letter with threat to kill children-hostages –
SBU receives letter with threat to kill children-hostages
Egyptian kidnappers of Libyan diplomat’s son to be held in custody pending probe | UNIAN
The two Egyptian nationals charged in Kyiv with kidnapping the son of a Libyan diplomat will be remanded in custody for at least 60 days, according to a Shevchenko District Court ruling. No bailout option has been set.
Romany Woman ‘Found With Throat Slashed’ In Ukraine
Media reports in western Ukraine’s Zakarpattya region say that a 30-year Romany woman was killed in the city of Berehove amid tensions over a series of attacks on Romany community members.
UAWire – Ukraine accuses two Russian MPs of financing terrorism
The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine (GPU) has drafted reports suspecting two members of Russia’s State Duma of financing terrorism, as …

Chernobyl nuclear disaster: Wolves could spread mutant genes as animals leave | World | News |
PACKS of wolves living near the site of the Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine could spread mutant radioactive genes as they begin to venture outside the exclusion zone which surrounds the abandoned nuclear power station, scientists have warned.
Chernobyl is Turning Into a Wildlife Preserve for Wolves
The exclusionary zone around the nuclear disaste site is surprising fertile ground for gray wolves.
Chernobyl’s radioactive ‘wildlife preserve’ spawns growing wolf population | Fox News
Gray wolves from the radioactive forbidden zone around the nuclear disaster site of Chernobyl are now roaming out into the rest of the world, raising the possibility they’ll spread mutant genes that they may carryfar and wide, a new study finds.

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports

New Russian mercenary group reportedly fighting in Syria – media | UNIAN
A new Russian mercenary group is reportedly active in Syria. Defense Ministry officers, comparing the new PMC to the Wagner Group, noted that Patriot pays more and offers better combat assignments.
Israel: Hamas created fake dating apps to hack soldiers’ phones | World news | The Guardian
Up to 100 soldiers said to have downloaded malware, which included World Cup aid
Hamas tried to spy on soldiers with fake dating apps, Israeli military says | Fox News
In the terror group’s latest devious plot targeting Israeli soldiers, Hamas turned to the most powerful weapon of all — love.
Heartbroken over Hamas: IDF intel uncovers more Hamas honeypots – Arab-Israeli Conflict – Jerusalem Post
Operation “HeartBreaker” was launched to uncover the cell behind the suspicious online actions targeting IDF soldiers.
Israel recovers hanged spy Eli Cohen’s watch from Syria – BBC News
It belonged to famed secret agent Eli Cohen, who was executed in 1965 after being unmasked by Syria.
Israel’s Secret Operation to Recover the Watch of a Legendary Spy – The New York Times
For years, the Israeli spy agency has tried to find the body of a spy who was executed in Syria. It has not found the body but it has found his watch.
British air force lost special forces plane on covert Syria mission – Middle East News –
The British Royal Air Force targeted pro-Assad forces after a fight between coalition and pro-Assad forces broke out in the desert on the border between Jordan, Syria and Iraq
Islamic State Says Its Leader’s Son Was Killed in Syria – The New York Times
Hudhayfah al-Badri, a son of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in the central Syrian province of Homs, the Islamic State’s news agency announced.
ISIS says leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s son Huthaifa al-Badri killed in battle vs Russia, Syria forces – CBS News
Terror group’s propaganda arm makes announcement, showing a young boy with a rifle and calling him an elite fighter
ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s son killed in Syria
The son of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed while trying to attack a power station in the Syrian province of Homs, the terror group’s propaganda news agency announced. Hudhayfah al-Badri and other jihadists were fighting Russian forces and Assad regime troops during an assault on the station.
ISIS executioner who burned Turkish soldiers alive is killed in Syria | Daily Mail Online
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT. Abu Talha al Turki has been killed by the US-backed Syrian Defense Forces (SDF). The Islamic State executioner was among thugs who burned soldiers.
Drone Strikes Kill Two Key Pakistani Militant Commanders
Two Pakistani militant commanders have been killed in separate drone strikes, Pakistani and Afghan officials say.


Trump reportedly plans on gifting Kim Jong Un a CD featuring Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man’ song | Business Insider
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo travelled to North Korea to Friday, his third trip to the region, as part of an effort to solidify agreements on denuclearization.
U.S. softens North Korea approach as Pompeo prepares for more nuclear talks | Reuters
The United States appears to have shelved an “all or nothing” approach to North Korean denuclearization as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo prepares to head back to North Korea this week hoping to agree a roadmap for its nuclear disarmament.
Bolton says there’s a one-year plan for North Korea to denuclearize, stays mum on WaPo report – CNNPolitics
White House national security adviser John Bolton offered up new details on Sunday about the path toward the nuclear disarmament of North Korea and addressed a recent Washington Post report suggesting that the country plans to deceive the United States about its nuclear stockpile.
US plans for dismantling North Korea nukes may face resistance
The United States has a plan that would lead to the dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs in a year, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser said, although U.S. intelligence reported signs that Pyongyang doesn’t intend to fully give up its arsenal.
Satellite images raise alarms about North Korean nukes | TheHill
North Korea Mulls Ways To ‘Conceal’ Nuclear Weapons From U.S.: Reports
Pyongyang is “exploring ways to deceive Washington” about its number of nuclear warheads, The Washington Post reports.
U.S. intelligence believes North Korea making more nuclear bomb fuel despite talks: NBC | Reuters
U.S. intelligence agencies believe North Korea has increased production of fuel for nuclear weapons at multiple secret sites in recent months and may try to hide these while seeking concessions in nuclear talks with the United States, NBC News quoted U.S. officials as saying.
It sure looks like China’s preparing for a trade war with the US – Vox
China is looking for ways to wean itself off its dependence on US exports.
Singapore to announce F-16 fighter jet replacement plans in few months 
A number of manufacturers could be in the running for a deal potentially worth billions of dollars.
US trying to make friends, counter China with massive naval exercise – CNN
The Pentagon kicked off the world’s largest naval war games last week, the biennial, month-long Rim of the Pacific exercises, known as RIMPAC, bringing together 46 ships and submarines, 200 aircraft and 25,000 troops from 25 nations.
More Americans Evacuated From China Over Mysterious Ailments – The New York Times
At least 11 Americans have been moved out of the country after “abnormal” sounds were reported by consulate employees in Guangzhou.
North Korea working to conceal key aspects of its nuclear program, U.S. officials say – The Washington Post
Assessment comes weeks after Trump declared that nation was no longer a nuclear threat.
North Korea Is Keeping Nuclear Program Alive, Officials Say | NBC Nightly News – YouTube
North Korea believed to be ‘deceiving’ US, increasing nuclear production: report | Fox News
U.S. intelligence officials said they believe the U.S. is being “deceived” by North Korea, stating the hermit kingdom was increasing nuclear production.
World’s Biggest Trading Bloc a Step Closer After Tokyo Meeting – Bloomberg
Asian trade ministers took another step toward creating what could be the world’s biggest trading bloc on Sunday, expressing hope that a deal could be signed by the end of this year.
North Korea reportedly expands major missile plant: report | Fox News
The North Korean government is reportedly putting the finishing touches on the expansion of a major missile plant just weeks after Kim Jong Un’s summit with President Trump in Singapore.
Are the US and North Korea on the brink of another nuclear showdown? | Fox News
For the moment, all sign point to a solid yes.
North Korea satellite images show missile plant construction, analysts say – CNN
North Korea appears to be finalizing the expansion of a key ballistic missile manufacturing site, according to an analysis of satellite imagery by researchers in the United States.
WaPo: North Korea working on ways to conceal nuclear weapons – YouTube
North Korea Expands Key Missile-Manufacturing Plant – WSJ
North Korea is completing a major expansion of an important missile-manufacturing plant, according to researchers who have examined new satellite imagery of the site, the latest sign Pyongyang is pushing ahead with weapons programs even as it pursues dialogue with Washington.
North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Wants to ‘Completely Eliminate Manual Labor’
The Sinuiju Cosmetics Factory is known for its special “spring fragrance.”
North Korea ‘hacking the hell out of Latin America’
A top analyst’s statement comes after a string of high-profile North Korean attacks on financial institutions in Latin America and a summit with President Donald Trump.

China Will Lose The South China Sea Game – To Inform is to Influence
JUL 1, 2018 Panos Mourdoukoutas China wants to control the entire South China Sea. Every inch of it. That’s why will lose all of it, one day. In the South China Sea game, China is one player playing against all the rest: The Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam. China is also playing against the…
Why China’s Anti-Air Exercises in the South China Sea Should Spook the U.S. Military | The National Interest
A show across America’s bow?
Defense Ministry’s Regular Press Conference on June 28 – Ministry of National Defense
Senior Colonel Wu Qian, Director General of the Information Office of China’s Ministry of National Defense and Spokesperson for the MND, answers reporters’ questions at a monthly press conference on June 28, 2018.
China Develops Star Wars-style ‘Laser Ak-47’ That Can Set Fire to Targets and Pass Through Windows
The weapon can burn “through clothes in a split second… If the fabric is flammable, the whole person will be set on fire.”
Chinese military has built Star Wars-like laser-firing AK-47s | Daily Mail Online
The prototype ZKZM-500 was developed Xian Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shaanxi province.
China’s H-6K: The ‘Old’ Bomber That Could ‘Sink’ the U.S. Navy | The National Interest
She might be old, but she can kill. 
The Next Pacific War: Lessons From Wake Island For The PLA « Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary
China’s increasingly aggressive rise puts the Pacific theater in play in a way it hasn’t been since 1945. In this essay, Singaporean scholar Ben Ho Wan Beng and retired US Marine Gary Lehmann look at what a critical but overlooked World War II battle has to tell us about the potential strengths — and weaknesses — of the Marine Corps’s new concept for waging the next Pacific war. — the editors

Trade war begins: US-China tariffs kick in, China retaliates
President Trump’s tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods kick in, escalating a war of words between the world’s two largest economies into a full-blown trade conflict. China immediately retaliates in what it calls the “biggest trade war in economic history.”
China retaliates, accuses US of launching ‘largest trade war in history’
China implemented retaliatory tariffs on some imports from the U.S. on Friday, immediately after new U.S. duties had taken effect.
The US-China trade war is about to get real
The world’s top two economies are set to hit $34 billion of each other’s exports with steep new tariffs, the first moves in what may become a devastating cycle of retaliation.
Trump’s trade war with China is finally here — and it won’t be pretty, analysts say – The Washington Post
President Trump’s first tariffs are scheduled to hit $34 billion of Chinese imports on Friday, and Beijing plans to swiftly respond with levies on an equal amount of goods, beginning an unprecedented commerce battle between the world’s two largest economies.
Trade war: China retaliates after Trump launches $34 billion in import duties
China’s foreign ministry said that tit-for-tat duties on U.S. goods took immediate effect Friday after Washington’s tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods kicked in at 12:01 a.m. ET.
Leaked documents show China using tariffs to target Trump’s base: report | TheHill
A leaked propaganda notice from the Chinese government states that the country is using to tariffs to try to disrupt and split President Trump’s base,
China issues warning to nationals traveling to US amid trade tensions | TheHill
China’s embassy in Washington has issued a notice warning Chinese nationals about high medical bills and violent crime in the U.S.
Exclusive: China presses Europe for anti-U.S. alliance on trade | Reuters
China is putting pressure on the European Union to issue a strong joint statement against President Donald Trump’s trade policies at a summit later this month but is facing resistance, European officials said.
Lessons from the America-Japan Trade War of the 1980s | The National Interest
Tokyo and Washington engaged in a small-scale trade war in the 1980s. What could this teach us?

Lockheed to reportedly beat out Raytheon for Japan missile defense radar
Japan has been seeking to bolster its missile defense as North Korea barges ahead with its missile development program.
Shoko Asahara: Japan doomsday cult leader executed 23 years after Tokyo sarin attack – CNN
Seven members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult, which carried out the deadly 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway, have been executed, Japanese officials said Friday.
Tokyo Sarin attack: Aum Shinrikyo cult leaders executed – BBC News
Among them is Shoko Asahara, leader of the cult behind the deadly 1995 subway poisoning.
Indo-Russian aircraft Deal: DRDO’s technology claim fells $9 billion Indo-Russian aircraft deal
India has already paid $295 million to Russia for the preliminary design phase. Official said termination meant that all this money has now gone ‘down the drain.
Australia Strikes Back Against Beijing’s Influence Campaign (and America Should Pay Attention) – To Inform is to Influence
I am curious how “Jailer” can either quantify or qualify his statement that the Russian information warfare effort against the United States was, by any standard, a little league effort. Even a cursory perusal of my almost 8,000 blogs reveals quite the opposite… I am most certain Jailer cannot quantify anything, even the best minds…
China Frees Australian Executive at Center of Diplomatic Dispute – The New York Times
Stern Hu, who worked for Rio Tinto, was convicted of corruption and jailed in 2010. But many of the tensions that framed his trial have not gone away.
China Releases Ex-Rio Tinto Executive From Jail – WSJ
Stern Hu, the Australian who previously spearheaded sales for Rio Tinto in China, was in 2010 found guilty of bribery and stealing commercial secrets.

Foreign Policy Reports

Chance of return: Will new PACE President change Russia’s positions | UNIAN
Recently, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe elected its new President, a Swiss Socialist Liliane Maury Pasquier. However, first and foremost, we must understand that today, PACE, as well as the Council of Europe, is losing its influence after their reputation was undermined by the scandal with Pedro Agramunt.
Russia not to be able to build Nord Stream 2 pipe bypassing Ukraine – Ex-U.S. envoy | UNIAN
Despite the recent decisions, first by Finland and then Sweden, to permit the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to use their Exclusive Economic Zones, it is unlikely that the project will be implemented, former U.S. Ambasssador to Ukraine John Herbst wrote for the American Interest. Potential investors should realize that the risks of falling under U.S. sanctions cross out all potential benefits from the Russian pipeline.
Reuters: U.S. sanctions unlikely to hamper Gazprom financing of Nord Stream 2 | UNIAN
Russian energy giant Gazprom will still be able to finance the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project even if U.S. sanctions are imposed on Western European partners in the project, an executive told a German newspaper. The new pipeline will double Russia’s export capacity of 55 billion cubic meters to Germany.
UAWire – Estonian Foreign Minister calls for a stop to Nord Stream-2 pipeline
Estonia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sven Mikser has urged the termination of the German-Russian gas pipeline Nord Stream 2. He expressed his …
UAWire – Speaker of Ukrainian Parliament: Nord Stream 2 pipeline is Russia’s tool for putting pressure on EU
On 3 July, China launched two Type 055 guided-missile destroyers at a shipbuilding facility in Dalian, Liaoning province. According to Chinese media, two of the Type 055 destroyers constructed for the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) were launched at the same time on Tuesday. The Type 055 destroyer (NATO/OSD Renhai-class cruiser) is a class of guided missile designed for long-range air defence, anti-surface warfare (ASuW), anti-air warfare (AAW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), electronic warfare (EW), land and maritime strike, escort, long-range patrol and surveillance missions. With advanced active phased array radar system and battle management system, the Type 055 destroyer will form China’s anti-missile system together with the 052D destroyer, serving as part of the so-called Chinese Aegis. TheNaval Technology noted that the new Chinese destroyer features an aft helicopter deck for supporting the operations of a single medium-size rotorcraft such as Harbin Z-9 and Changhe Z-18 helicopters. It is also equipped with a stern hangar facility to house up to two helicopters. Type 055 has a length of 180m, an overall beam of 20m and a 6.6m hull draught. With a full load displacement of approximately 13,000t, the warship is heavier than the US Navy’s Ticonderoga-Class cruisers and Arleigh Burke Class destroyers.
UAWire – Russia to finance Nord Stream 2 if US imposes sanctions
The construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which will connect Russia and Germany directly, may be financed even if Washington places …
EU not needs Nord Stream 2 which undermines its security – Morawiecki – 04.07.2018 14:22 — Ukrinform News
Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki said this in his address to the European Parliament on Wednesday, an Ukrinform correspondent reported. “All efforts in Eastern Europe [regarding energy security] can be undermined by the Nord Stream-2 project. This is not an economic project, but a political project. The European Union does not need Nord Stream 2,” the Polish prime minister said. He noted that this project would bring high risks of destabilization to Eastern Europe and would give Russia levers of influence on the European economy and politics.
Revealed: Brexit backer Arron Banks’s golden Kremlin connection | News | The Sunday Times
The hidden scale of Kremlin links to the biggest donor to the Brexit campaign are revealed today.Arron Banks, the millionaire businessman who helped fund Brexit, was offered a business deal involving six Russian goldmines.He also had undisclosed meetings with the Russian ambassador to Britain — set
Russian influence in the Brexit vote? We don’t really know how to deal with that
The rules are clear on campaign donations but meetings with foreign representatives are more of a grey area.
How the ‘Bad Boys of Brexit’ forged ties with Russia and the Trump campaign — and came under investigators’ scrutiny – The Washington Post
An unusual intercontinental charm offensive by a wealthy donor and his associates has captured the interest of British parliamentary officials and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.
Russians Offered Business Deals to Brexit’s Biggest Backer ~ Independent Recorder
EU Officially Extends Russia Sanctions Through January 2019
The European Union has officially extended until January 31, 2019, the economic sanctions first placed on Russia after its 2014 annexation of Crimea and its backing of separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Trump to meet Queen Elizabeth despite chorus of discontent | Reuters
When Donald Trump meets Queen Elizabeth next week, he will become the 12th U.S. President that the monarch has met during her 66 years on the throne, the longest in British history.
We love Donald Trump: U.S. president’s UK fans look forward to visit, denounce protests | Reuters
Tens of thousands of protesters are expected to turn out against Donald Trump when he visits Britain next week but some believe the protests are an embarrassment and that the U.S. president deserves a warm welcome.

Himmler’s daughter worked for German spy agency in 1960s – CBS News
Gudrun Burwitz-Himmler, who herself was a notorious postwar supporter of the extreme right, died in May at age 88
A Compromise On Migration Keeps German Chancellor Angela Merkel In Power : NPR
Under the deal, migrants registered in other European Union countries will be held in transit centers as Germany negotiates their return, ending a threat to Merkel’s 12-year ruling coalition.
Competing visions of Europe are threatening to tear the union apart | Hans Kundnani | Opinion | The Guardian
EU leaders have never been more divided about the very nature of the project – with Merkel, Macron and Orban split on fundamental issues
Merkel’s Political Future in Jeopardy Over Migration Deal | Time
Resolving Germany’s government proved elusive after the head of Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc offered to resign over a migration deal
Reports: Merkel Secures Agreement From 14 EU States On Returning Asylum Seekers
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has gained support from 14 fellow European Union members who say they are prepared to sign an agreement to take back asylum seekers who had previously registered els…
Migration Deal in Europe Makes No Commitments. Victory Is Declared. – The New York Times
The resolution of a long and bitter debate over E.U. migration rules seems to have saved Angela Merkel and bolstered the power of Matteo Salvini in Italy.
Migrant crisis: EU leaders split over new migrant deal – BBC News
A deal to curb irregular migration was reached at a gruelling summit but leaders interpret it differently.
Germany migrants: Key Merkel ally Seehofer threatens to quit – BBC News
Germany’s interior minister agrees to hold final talks on Monday before making his decision.
EU summit 2018: Angela Merkel’s authority in ‘ASHES’ following Brussels summit turmoil | World | News |
ANGELA Merkel has been branded a “beggar” by a leading journalist after the German Chancellor was forced to obtain a compromise on the European migrant crisis at the EU summit in Brussels in order to stave off a rebellion within the German Bundestag.
Furious row erupts between France and Italy as EU migration deal nears collapse | World | News |
THE Italian prime minister has lashed out at his French counterpart, claiming that Emmanuel Macron ‘was tired’ and did not fully understand the EU migration deal.
Italy clears Roma camp weeks after Salvini called for census | Italy News | Al Jazeera
Local authorities in Rome evicted 450 Roma in an official camp just weeks after far-right minister proposed a census.
Europe fears it occupies a special place in ‘Trump hell’ – CNNPolitics
Tensions between the Trump administration and Europe are reaching a fever pitch ahead of next month’s NATO summit, on the heels of President Donald Trump’s announcement of tariffs against European allies and his comments denouncing the transatlantic alliance.
Denmark’s new laws on immigrant ‘ghettos’ are a chilling look into what happens after the border | Business Insider
In the past few news cycles, the discussion about immigration has been focused on the border and on whether we should let people into this country or criminalise their entry and imprison them. But there’s a question that comes after who we let in and when, and that’s how we treat them when they get here.
In Denmark, Harsh New Laws for Immigrant ‘Ghettos’ – The New York Times
The Danes, who have struggled to integrate non-Western families, are getting tough: From age 1, immigrant children will receive mandatory instruction in “Danish culture.”
Migrants: Merkel and Orban clash over Europe’s ‘humanity’ – BBC News
The German leader says Europe risks losing its soul, but Mr Orban insists closing borders is humane.
EU Lawmakers Adopt Prescreening For Visa-Exempt Nationals
The European Parliament has adopted a plan to screen travelers who don’t need a visa to enter the EU’s Schengen visa-free travel zone.
Tech Companies Win Reprieve as EU Parliament Delays Copyright Law – WSJ
EU lawmakers rejected new copyright rules, instead opting for more debate, a victory for tech firms that are facing a broader European effort to rein them in on topics ranging from privacy to taxes.

Croatia’s Defence Minister inspects purchased F-16 fighter jets in Israel – Defence Blog
Croatian Defence Minister Damir Krsticevic visited Ramat David Airbase in Israel to view used F-16D Barak fighter jets, it was announced on 2 July. Defence Ministry said in a statement on Monday evening, that it was very important that the Israelis share their valuable knowledge and experience with Croatian pilots and aircraft repair and maintenance personnel. “The plan is that the Israeli F-16s come to Croatia from this base. Our dream is to see two of these planes in the Croatian skies in 2020 and I hope this will happen. We are now at the stage of preparing contracts and selecting pilots and maintenance personnel who will go to Israel next year for training,” the defence minister said. It should be reminded that Croatian government decided to buy twelve F-16D Barak multi-purpose fighter jets from Israel in March this year. The acquisition of 12 aircraft is estimated to be worth about $500 million. The Croatian government plans to replace its aging fleet of Mikoyan MiG-21 aircraft with new fourth-generation aircraft. “The transition to fourth-generation aircraft is a major technological step forward for the Croatian Air Force. We have a chance to work with the best and it is very important that we are mentored by the Israelis, that they share their valuable knowledge and experience with Croatian pilots and maintenance personnel,” noted Defence Ministry.
Serbia refutes reports on purchasing Russian S-300 air defence systems – Defence Blog
Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin has refuted the recent reports from local news outlets on plans to ordered Russian S-300PMU-2 missile systems, said in a 5 July statement. In the official statement from the Serbian Defense Minister highlighted that Serbia has a high level of cooperation with Russia, but the news on buying S-300 systems is inconsistent with the reality. Before that, Russian state news agency TASS on 4 July reported that Russia has received an official request from Serbia for supplies of S-300PMU-2 missile systems in 2021. “Serbia has sent an official request for the supplies of a regimental package of S-300PMU-2 that consists of a regimental command post and two missile battalions,” said in the report by TASS. “At present, the relevant organizations of the Russian defense industry are examining the query,” also noted Russian news agency. It should be noted that Serbian Prime Minister Alexander Vucic said in April 2017 his country would like to have two battalions and a command point of the Russian antiaircraft missile system S-300 Favorit. But, he said S-300 systems were overly expensive for Serbia but Russia had voiced its intention to help through certain agreements.
UAWire – Serbia sentences several mercenaries who fought in Donbas
Serbia sentenced several of its citizens who were fighting for Russia in the Donbas, said Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin. &quot; …

‘We are at verge of autocracy’: Poles protest Supreme Court law | Europe | Al Jazeera
New law forcing top court’s judges into retirement is a further attempt by the government to extend power, say critics.
European Union moves against Poland for its new court law | Fox News
The European Union opened another rule-of-law procedure Monday against Poland over what it sees as flaws in the country’s Supreme Court law, intensifying a standoff that could threaten Poland’s EU voting rights and funding.
Amid Growing Uproar, Poland to Remove 27 Supreme Court Justices – The New York Times
The forced dismissal of the judges, including the court’s president, has provoked cries of “Soviet-style justice” while posing a test for the European Union.
Thousands Protest In Poland Over Supreme Court Purge
“With no guarantees of basic freedoms, the fundamental rights of Polish citizens will be destroyed,” said the top justice.
Poland’s Government Forcing Supreme Court Justices To Step Down : NPR
Justices, including the highest-ranking member of the court, have united in defiance of a new law that would force nearly 40 percent of the court’s judges into early retirement.
Poland’s top judge Gersdorf defies retirement law – BBC News
The chief justice arrives for work rejecting measures likely to force 40% of judges to retire early.
Poland’s Supreme Court in Disarray After Judges Defy Purge – The New York Times
Lech Walesa, the Solidarity leader and former president, warned of “civil war” if the right-wing governing party did not cease efforts to erode the independence of Poland’s judiciary.
🇵🇱 Poland faces turmoil over ‘purge’ of Supreme Court | Al Jazeera English – YouTube
Al Jazeera English Published on Jul 3, 2018 Dozens of senior judges have been forced out of their posts in the Supreme Court in Poland, after a new law came into effect reducing their retirement age. The European Union is taking legal action against the Polish government, accusing it of undermining the independence of the judiciary.
Polish Crisis Deepens as Judges Condemn Their Own Court – The New York Times
An open rebellion by members of the Constitutional Tribunal came days after the government began a purge of the Supreme Court.
Polish-EU tensions flare again as new law requires judges to quit | Reuters
A long-running dispute between Poland and the European Union over democratic values escalated on Wednesday when new legislation came into force that requires about a third of judges at the Supreme Court to retire.
Yad Vashem Rebukes Israeli and Polish Governments Over Holocaust Law – The New York Times
Israel and Poland tried to put a dispute over a Holocaust law behind them with a joint statement. But Israel’s Holocaust memorial center found “grave errors and deceptions” in the statement.
UAWire – Poland finds violations in Gazprom contracts
Poland’s Supreme Audit Office (NIK) has discovered violations in gas contracts made with Gazprom between 2009-2010, according to a document …

Donald Trump Actually Considered Invading Venezuela Last Year – Defense One
Trump first floated the idea at a meeting in the Oval Office while discussing sanctions on Venezuela.
Trump pressed aides about Venezuela invasion, official tells AP
With a fast unraveling Venezuela threatening regional security, President Donald Trump asked why the U.S. can’t just simply invade the troubled country, according to a senior administration official familiar with what was said.
Trump pressed aides on Venezuela invasion, US official says | Fox News
As a meeting last August in the Oval Office to discuss sanctions on Venezuela was concluding, President Donald Trump turned to his top aides and asked an unsettling question: With a fast unraveling Venezuela threatening regional security, why can’t the U.S. just simply invade the troubled country?
Trump asked advisers about invading Venezuela – YouTube
CNN Published on Jul 4, 2018 Last August, President Donald Trump asked several top foreign policy advisers about the possibility of invading Venezuela during a meeting about diplomatic sanctions the US was enacting on the autocratic government, a senior administration official familiar with the comments said.
US says 26th diplomat hurt in mysterious health incident in Cuba | Fox News
The State Department confirmed Thursday that another U.S. diplomat has been affected by mysterious health incidents in Cuba, bringing the total of Americans suffering from such ailments to 26.

Duterte ‘Using Drugs War to Kill Opponents’: Rights Groups | Time
Human rights groups in the Philippines say the country’s autocratic president is using the drug war as a cover to assassinate opponents.
South African universities can compete with foreign rivals at the PhD level — Quartz
Introducing more skilled employees into the economy is an important path to development for many middle income countries. That’s why increased and improved training at the top end of the education level – PhDs – is considered so vital. Many countries encourage students to pursue their PhDs abroad in nations with well ranked universities, particularly…

Strategy / History / Capability Publications

Russia finalises testing of new long-range missile for fifth-generation fighters – Defence Blog
The Armed Forces of Russia are in the final phase of testing of the R-37M long-range air-to-air missile which will be part of the arsenal of Russian fighters of the fourth and fifth generations, in particular, the Su-57. According to citing the Russian Defense Ministry, an advanced version of the R-37, developed in the Soviet years, is able to hit high-speed air targets at a range of more than 300 kilometers. Some source reports that the range depends on the flight profile, from 150 km for a direct shot to 300 km for a cruise glide profile. The range of new Russian interceptor missile more than a twice exceeds the AIM-120 AMRAAM, which is in the arsenal of NATO countries. Technical specifications of the R-37M interceptor are not revealed, it is known only that its design is made in a normal aerodynamic scheme with a wing of small elongation. With an estimated launch weight of 500 kg, and equipped with and with 60 kilograms high-explosive fragmentation warhead, missile at the final stage of the flight can accelerate to 6 Mach. The baseline R-37M uses a combination of an inertial navigation system and active radar homing. The new Russian interceptor missile also eventually be integrated onboard of the Sukhoi Su-35S Flanker-E and the Mikoyan MiG-31BM Foxhound fighters.
Russia’s Aging Bomber Could Sling Mach 10 Missiles
The 1970s Backfire bomber could get a new lease on life by carrying hypersonic weaponry. 
Backfire Bombers With Hypersonic Missiles | War Is Boring
Russia may test its Kh-47M2 Kinzhal aero-ballistic missile onboard the Tupolev Tu-22M3 Backfire bomber, which would greatly extend the number of targets Moscow could hold at risk with the new weapon. The missile is currently launched from onboard the Mikoyan MiG-31K variant of the Mach 2.83-capable Foxhound interceptor, but the Kinzhal might be better operationally suited for a bomber.
UAWire – Russia completes official tests of its new S-400 long-range missile
Russia has completed official tests of the 40Н6Е long-range missile for its S-400 surface-to-air missile system, TASS reports, citing a source …
Russia completes state trials of S-400’s long-range missile – Defence Blog
Russia successfully completed the state trials of the 40N6E long-range missile for the S-400 surface-to-air missile system, according to a 3 July statement by the TASS news agency. “The state tests of the long-range 40H6E missile of the S-400 system were completed at the Kapustin Yar test site, the interdepartmental commission recognized them as successful, and a relevant act was signed,” said in a statement quoted by the TASS news agency. Also, specified that “the missile can be adopted for service until the end of the summer.” The 40N6E is a long-range missile with an estimated operational range of 400 kilometers and an altitude of up to 185 kilometers. Some source reports that new missile capable of exo-atmospheric interception of intermediate-range ballistic missile warheads in their terminal phase. The pilot batch of the 40N6E missiles, as reported in open sources, has been made in late 2013. In 2015, the Ministry of Defense for the first time announced the successful fire-test of this missile on an air target. Compared with the Soviet-developed S-300, the S-400 air defence system with a new missile can destroy a much wider range of threats travelling at a speed of 4,800 m/s, e.g. intermediate-range ballistic missiles with a range of 3,000-3,500 km.
Russia orders twelve Su-57 stealth fighters – Defence Blog
The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded JSC Sukhoi Company contract for the supply of 12 Su-57 fifth-generation jet fighters, according to a 30 June statement by the news agency. “The first contract for 12 aircraft has been agreed on, and the deliveries under this contract will begin shortly,” Deputy Defense Minister Alexey Krivoruchko told reporters at a briefing in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. According to the source, the first new fifth-generation jet fighters will be ready in 2019 to delivery for Russian Aerospace Forces. The aircraft will be manufactured at Komsomolsk-na-Amur plant (KNAAPO) in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. The Su-57 made its maiden flight eight years ago. CEO of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation Yuri Slyusar said the first batch of Su-57s could come into service in 2019. Development of this aircraft commenced in 2001. A prototype of Su-57 (T-50) was revealed and made its maiden flight in 2010. In 2014 a pre-production prototype was delivered to the Russian Air Force for trials and evaluation.
Russia signs contract for first 12 Su-57 multirole fighters | Jane’s 360
On 30 June, Russian Deputy Defence Minister Alexei Krivoruchko signed the contract for the supply of the first 12 Su-57 PAK FA jet fighters, Russian media reported. The fifth generation multirole fighters developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau will be built at the Yuri Gagarin Aircraft Plant

China is working on a new fighter jet for aircraft carriers to replace its J-15s | South China Morning Post
Experts say the task has become more pressing after a series of mechanical failures and crashes, as Beijing pursues global navy ambitions
China to replace J-15 Flying Shark fighters with J-31 stealth
CHINA is racing to develop a new fighter jet to operate from its aircraft carriers after a series of deadly accidents involving its Russian-designed ‘Flying Shark’.
​Beijing keen to develop J-15 successor – report
Beijing wants to develop a new carrier-borne fighter to replace its Shenyang J-15s, which have been plagued by safety and mechanical problems. According to a report in the South China Morning Post, quoting Chinese air force lieutenant general Zhang Honghe, a “new carrier-based fighter to replace the J-15” is in development. The report goes on to add that the type, a Chinese copy of the Sukhoi Su-33, has been involved in four crashes and suffers a range of mechanical problems. At one point, this resulted in the entire fleet being grounded four three months. There has been persistent speculation that the developmental AVIC FC-31 will become a carrier-borne aircraft, but the aircraft’s status is unclear. AVIC has suggested that a foreign buyer is needed to move the type’s development along. The J-15 is the heaviest carrier-borne fighter in current operation, with an empty weight of 17,500kg (38,500lb), higher than the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet’s 14,600kg, but considerably less than the Grumman F-14, whose empty weight was 19,800kg.
China to Develop New Carrier-based Fighters to Replace J-15 Aircraft
Defense, aerospace, news, exhibitions, C4ISR, aircraft, procurement, pentagon, contracts, companies, categories, events, interviews.
Three catapult launchers spotted in image of China’s new aircraft carrier | South China Morning Post
Image on developer’s social media site appears to show new technology installed on Type 002
The J-15 Flying Shark: China Has Its Very Deadly Aircraft Carrier Jets | The National Interest
But how good are they? 
Images show J-15 fighter fitted with wingtip EW pods | Jane’s 360
Photographs recently published in online forums show a two-seat Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) J-15 multirole fighter aircraft equipped with what appear to be wingtip electronic warfare (EW) pods, suggesting that an electronic attack (EA) variant of the aircraft may be at a late stage of
China Reveals Another ‘Growler’ | Defense News: Aviation International News
An electronic warfare version of the carrier-based J-15 fighter has appeared.
China’s aircraft carrier conundrum: hi-tech launch system for old, heavy fighter jets | South China Morning Post
PLA Navy’s J-15s, based on a Soviet design more than 30 years old, are world’s heaviest carrier-based fighters
China’s Type 001A Aircraft Carrier to House 40 J-15 Fighter Jets
Defense, aerospace, news, exhibitions, C4ISR, aircraft, procurement, pentagon, contracts, companies, categories, events, interviews.
China’s J-10 Fighter Jet: Could it Take on the Air Force’s Best in a Dogfight? | The National Interest
Here is what you need to know. 
Why China’s first stealth fighter was rushed into service with inferior engines | South China Morning Post
Problems encountered in development of new WS-15 engine mean PLA Air Force’s first J-20s are not so stealthy at supersonic speeds
China increased Y-20 transport aircraft production rate – Defence Blog
Chinese aviation enterprise increases the production volumes of new Y-20 Kunpeng heavy military transport aircraft, China’s version of the C-17 Globemaster. Imagery captured by commercial satellite on 12 June shows that production of the new Y-20 Kunpeng transport aircraft is continuing at Xian Aircraft Corporation facility on a high level. In total, were spotted nine Y-20 aircraft, of which seven were newly built. Also 6 new aircraft already painted and several still without their engines. The Y-20 is a newest Chinese military transport aircraft that has an empty weight of 110 tons. US transport aircraft C-17 Globemaster III is bigger than the Y-20—the C-17’s empty weight is about 60,000 pounds more than the Y-20 and its payload capacity is 25,000 pounds more—but production stopped in 2015. The Y-20 made its maiden flight in January 2013, and debuted at the 10th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in November 2014.

Counting Dollars or Measuring Value | Center for Strategic and International Studies
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Here’s What the White House’s AI Committee Will Focus On – Defense One
The committee created two groups, one dedicated to machine learning and another for research and development priorities.
Tech Companies Just Woke Up to a Big Problem With Their AI – Nextgov
AI and facial recognition are colliding in an alarming way.
How America Protects Its Citizens and Allies from Ballistic Missiles
Here’s how the U.S. can stop a missile attack in the 21st century
The New Frontlines Are in the Slums – Foreign Policy
The Middle East’s wars are turning cities into Stalingrads.
Special Report: How America Protects Its Citizens and Allies from Ballistic Missiles – Defense One
The U.S. military has four primary means of shooting down incoming missiles. But even together, they can’t promise to stop everything.
Bell-Boeing receives $4,2 billion contract for Osprey delivery – Defence Blog
A joint venture of Boeing Co and Bell Helicopter, a unit of Textron Inc, is awarded a $4,2 billion contract for the manufacture and delivery of new V-22 Osprey medium-lift, multimission tilt-rotor aircraft, the US Department of Defense (DoD) announced on 29 June. According to DoD, the contract covers the manufacture and delivery of 39 CMV-22Bs for the US Navy; 34 MV-22Bs for the US Marine Corps; one CV-22B for the US Air Force, and four MV-22Bs for the Government of Japan. The order is expected to be completed in November 2024, the statement said. The aircraft operates as a helicopter when taking off and landing vertically. The nacelles rotate 90° forward once airborne, converting the aircraft into a turboprop aircraft.
Congress Divided On $75M For Army Scout Aircraft: Fly The Deadly Skies « Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary
WASHINGTON: Senate appropriators want to give the Army $75.4 million to kick-start its new scout aircraft, but key authorizers told us they are skeptical. (House appropriators are so far silent). The crucial questions: Can a manned, low-altitude, lightweight aircraft survive against the Russian threat? And can the Army afford the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) along with its other Big Six priorities? An industry day held Thursday provided details that reassured our industry sources. “The Army, I’ve got to give them credit,” said retired Maj. Gen. Rudy Ostovich, a former Army aviator who’d been uneasy about the early, vague reports. “I didn’t know all of the details. They kept it very close to their chest, (but having seen them,) if I were writing these requirements, I would do the same thing.” Requirements are a hard part of any program, but they’ve been particularly all over the place in the Army’s repeated attempts to replace its aging OH-58 Kiowa scout helicopter, now retired from service. The cancelled RAH-66 Comanche was a high-tech, radar-evading stealth chopper, but it’s the sound of rotor blades that normally give a helicopter away, not radar, which they can often fly under. The cancelled ARH-70 Arapaho was much less ambitious, a militarized Bell 407. The stillborn Armed Aerial Scout never saw a prototype.
U.S. Special Operations to receive 4 new MH-47G Chinook helicopters – Defence Blog
The U.S. Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment will receive additional four new MH-47G Chinook helicopters, the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) said in a 28 June statement. According to the DoD,the Boeing Co., Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, was awarded an $80,729,096.00 cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order for four new build MH-47G rotary wing aircraft. Fiscal procurement funds amounting to more than $80 million will be obligated at the time of the award. A majority of the work will be performed in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania. The Boeing MH-47G is a special operations variant of the CH-47 ChinookThe MH-47G is used in heavy-lift missions such as the transportation of troops, ammunition, vehicles, equipment, fuel and supplies, as well as civil and humanitarian relief missions. The helicopter can conduct long-range missions at low level, in adverse weather conditions during the day / at night. multi-role, heavy-lift helicopter.
UAE seeks to buy F-35 fifth-generation fighter jets – Defence Blog
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been seeking to buy an unknown number of F-35 Lightning II fifth-generation fighter jets, said in the report byi24NEWS. According to the Israeli news portal, the UAE seeks to purchase its own fleet of the advanced F-35 fighter jets, built by US defense giant Lockheed Martin, and amid reports of a burgeoning Israeli-Gulf alliance against Iran. The UAE is building one of the most modern armed forces in the region and for this purpose visited Israel to review operations of the advanced US-made F-35 fighter jets. A delegation from the USA was also present at the time of the UAE visit to Nevatim Air Base in Israel. However, there is no official confirmation of both the visit of the UAE delegation to Israel and the negotiations on the F-35 at the moment. The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th Generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations, and advanced sustainment. Israel is the only country in the Middle East to have the F-35 fighter jet, where they are operated by the IAF’s Golden Eagle Squadron, based in the Nevatim Air Base in the center of the country.
Egypt plans to procure additional Rafale fighter jets – Defence Blog
Egypt is set to acquire additional Rafale multirole fighter aircraft from Dassault by the end of this year, the French newspaper La Tribune reported on 4 July. According to the newspaper, Egypt’s government is looking to sign a new agreement with France to supply the new 24 Rafale multirole fighter aircraft by the end of 2018. Under the previous contracts, France had concluded several major military agreements with Egypt, including the sale of 24 Rafales, at a cost of € 5.2 billion. To date, the French company has delivered 14 of Egypt’s Rafale aircraft. Egypt was the first export client for the Rafale, which was part of a French arms deal that included a Naval Group multimission frigate and four Gowind corvettes, with options for two more. According to the Dassault, the Rafale is a twin-jet combat aircraft capable of carrying out a wide range of short and long-range missions, including ground and sea attacks, reconnaissance, high-accuracy strikes and nuclear strike deterrence. From 2006 to 2011, French Air Force and Navy Rafale fighters were engaged in countless combat missions in Afghanistan where they demonstrated a very high proficiency and a tangible military value. The AASM/HAMMER precision-guided modular air-to-surface armament, PAVEWAY laser-guided bombs, and the 30 mm cannon were employed on many occasions, scoring direct hits with remarkable precision. In 2011, French Air Force and French Navy Rafale fighters were successfully engaged in coalition operations over Libya. In Iraq and Syria, Rafales operate in difficult conditions, far from their bases, taking advantage of their huge operational range to strike distant targets with clinical accuracy.
Israel’s IAF wins tender for Finnish anti-ship missile systems – Defence Blog
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has won a tender worth USD189 million (162 million euros) from the Finnish Navy. According to the statement of Finland’s defence ministry, IAI has won a public tender to supply new Gabriel surface-to-surface missile system. The acquisition of the Gabriel Missile System will cost 162 million euros ($189.62 million), with a 193 million euros option, and will include launchers, missiles, simulators, test equipment, spare parts and training. The contract, announced by Finland’s defence ministry on 6 July, will take place during 2019-2025. The system will replace the navy’s current anti-ship missile system which is nearing the end of its life. IAI reported that the new Gabriel Missile System is a designed to be superior compared to most contemporary missiles, particularly when employed in littoral waters. It used an advanced active radar seeker backed by a sophisticated weapon control to optimize operational effectiveness in a target congested battlespace.
World powers rush to build huge, missile-laden submarines
As tensions escalated in the South China Sea, these three countries — which boast the world’s largest navies — are aggressively preparing for any potential undersea or nuclear conflict, as they develop or perfect nuclear ballistic submarines (SSBNs) and attack submarines (SSNs).
So Long TNT, There’s a New Explosive in Town
Bis-oxadiazole could replace TNT and other explosives in military ordnance. 
How a Whiskey on the Rocks Nearly Started a War Between Russia and Sweden | The National Interest
A Whiskey-class submarine, that is.
Czech passive reconnaissance and surveillance system showed its potential in Germany – Defence Blog
The modern passive reconnaissance and surveillance system called the VERA-NG has shown its potential in an international Baltic CESMO Trial 2018 (BCT18) at PUTLOS military training area on North of Germany. The VERA-NG passive electronic support measure tracker developed by Czech communications specialist ERA a.s.. The system could provide the most advanced and state-of-the-art Passive Surveillance System designed for detection, location, identification and tracking of air, ground and naval targets. According to company’s statement, the goal of the trial was to test new procedures of electronic warfare information collection, exchange, fusion and evaluation according to AEDP13 and STANAG 4658 CESMO. EW product was distributed to EWCC and shared between other NATO nations in form of C-EOB formats and Link 16. Tasking of the unit was provided from SEWOC in Ramstein. VERA-NG was in between other assets integrated to CESMO/EWCC contributing to Common Operational Picture. Capt. Petr Kos stated: “Cooperation between ERA company and Czech Army was effective. We are really contended that soldiers could try to operate new VERA-NG system in the CESMO.” An immediate and direct feedback from soldiers is key for company further developments.
Tightening Chest and Tingling Fingers: Why Are the Military’s Fighter Pilots Getting Sick? – Foreign Policy
The Navy is investigating the latest in an alarming string of incidents that left pilots disoriented and shaken.
Navy Testing Superhydrophobic Hull Coatings For Submarines
The water-repellent coating should make submarines and other ships more fuel efficient, faster, and quieter.
Turkey unveiled new laser weapon system capable cuts through steel armor – Defence Blog
Turkish defense companies are successfully and actively developing new laser weapon systems and this time was shown a new system capable of cuts through steel armor from 500 meters. On 5 July, Undersecretary for Defense Industries (SSM) Ismail Demir has released the video o the successful tests on the new 1.25 kW and 20 kW laser weapon systems, called the ISIN Project. The new High Energy Laser System is a product of Turkey’s Informatics and Information Security Research Center (Tübitak Bilgem) and has been introduced by the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM). Turkey’s Undersecretary for Defense Industries released video showing the new 1.25 kW laser system mounted on the Cobra armoured vehicle chassis and 20 kW laser systems that successfully cuts a 22-millimeter steel armor plate from a range of 500 meters. According to the DAILY SABAH newspaper, the weapons is said to have been developed to effectively eliminate threats posed by unmanned aerial and underwater vehicles at the range of 500 meters as well as improvised explosive devices and suspicious roadside packages at the range of 200 meters.
Study finds these gaps in Army’s small unit counter-drone capabilities
Army units aren’t ready to defeat aerial drones, the study shows.
Rheinmetall awarded €20 million Fieldguard system production contract – Defence Blog
The Düsseldorf-based high-tech group Rheinmetall with its Swiss subsidiary Rheinmetall Air Defence has been awarded €20 million to build and deliver Fieldguard 3 measurement systems to two international customers. Announced on 6 July, the contract provides for the production and delivery of Fieldguard 3 active fire control system which measures the flight path of projectiles in order to assure maximum precision during target engagement. According to the contact, one customer country is expanding its existing capacity by three systems, while another nation – a first-time customer – is initially ordering a single system. In this constellation, Rheinmetall is acting as a subcontractor to Avibras of Brazil, the prime contractor. Encompassing a total of four systems, the contract is worth a total of €20 million. Delivery will be complete by the end of 2019. The programme Rheinmetall is supporting here is the ASTROS 2020 multiple rocket launcher, made by its Brazilian partner Avibras. The Fieldguard 3 measurement system can cover distances of up to 100 kilometers.
X-ray bombs: When conventional explosives just won’t do
How does one destroy biological and chemical weapons without damaging the structures that contain them? Very carefully.
5 technology trends driving an intelligent military
These are the essential components of any intelligent defense organization.
How landmines of the past can help prevent future fatalities
The Army is developing easy-to-use, real-time countermine tech that uses historical data, stereoscopic sensors and artificial intelligence to map out buried explosives.

IW/EW/IO/Cyber Reports

Can the US bank on AI to stop financial hacks?
The Department of Homeland Security has invested in open-source sandbox software that uses artificial intelligence to response to the growing malware threat.
Americans may appreciate knowing when a news story is suspect, but more than a third will share that story anyway – To Inform is to Influence
What I find most disturbing about this story is the not-so-professional attitude of a CNN reporter, Hadas Gold, at the very end of the article.  In her tweet she says: What I find fascinating about the several meet-ups social media has had w/ conservatives, is the feeling that there’s an inherent need for these platforms…
Dirty public secrets: Yandex leaks internal Google Docs apparently shared by Russian banks, state officials, and Internet trolls — Meduza
On the evening of July 4, Russian Internet users realized that the search engine Yandex has been indexing a surprising array of information stored on Google Docs, including files containing passwords, credit card numbers, and corporate documents. Yandex’s press service says the company’s actions were perfectly legitimate, but within hours of Wednesday’s discovery the search engine stopped producing any hyperlinks to Google Docs. Meduza takes a closer look at what information leaked to the public because of this unintended loophole.
Mysterious use of hacked OPM data raises questions
The first illicit use of federal employee data swiped by suspected Chinese hackers in 2015 has created a cloud of mystery that has sparked the attention of members of Congress.
Media Bias Chart version 3.1 – To Inform is to Influence
I specifically do not agree with the placement of the Wall Street Journal, Time, and especially The Hill. CNN’s placement is curious, especially shading into the Incomplete story and Unfair Persuasion. I wish this included some quantifiable data and X, Y coordinates. Source: Origin:
ProtonMail CEO: ‘The attacks are continuing’
The popular encrypted email messaging service says it is “under heavy” distributed denial-of-service attacks and “there may be intermittent connection problems.”
Banning Software Won’t Keep the Government Safe, Says Nuclear Security Agency Official – Defense One
Rather than banning software from China or Russia, the U.S. government should focus on reducing the danger any particular app can pose.
The Army is bringing new electronic warfare prototypes home
Electronic warfare prototypes designed to counter Russian capabilities in Europe hit Army units stateside.
Experts agree that a critical infrastructure attack is imminent
The results of a Black Hat survey are an alarm bell from IT professionals regarding America’s porous digital infrastructure.
To Report Or Not To Report, A Case Of Selective Coverage – To Inform is to Influence
Rand Paul is a Republican Senator, the Junior Senator from Kentucky, and was threatened in the vilest possible manner. The threats included: “gut you like a hog” and leave “your kids bowels splayed out across floor blood spattered on the door as you lay dead” as well as threatening to “hack to pieces” the official…
EW: Russia Establishes New Counter-UAV Unit – To Inform is to Influence
Jul 4, 2018 This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew) Russia has been accelerating its counter-uav efforts. Its Ministry of Defense announced the creation of a new unit designed to counter unmanned aerial vehicles. The new unit, made up of 50 military personnel specialized in air defense and electronics systems, will use Borisoglebsk 2 as a…
You’ve Got to Have (150) Friends – The New York Times
Facebook has provided a way to maintain real-life relationships in a fractured, dynamic world.
Dunbar’s Number and the Future of Social Media – Matt Diederichs – Medium
Every ‘expert’ will tell you that social media is all about relationships. It’s a way to be personal, a way for brands to nurture 1:1 connections with consumers and establish a kind of relationship…

US Domestic Policy Reports

Donald Trump: Highlights from his wide-ranging interview with Fox News
President Donald Trump’s wide-ranging interview included mentions of denuclearization of North Korea, mentions of Harley Davidson and discussing the Abolish Ice movement.
Trump Boils Maine Lobstermen – WSJ
A case study in how a tariff war will hurt small businesses and blue-collar workers.
U.S. Senate Committee Backs Intelligence Findings On Russian Meddling
The leading U.S. congressional committee looking at Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential race has endorsed the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusions, saying that Russian propagand…
Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia: Putin ‘Obviously’ Helped Trump Win, With Propaganda and Hacking
Michael McFaul got to know how Russia’s president thinks. And he’s clear on one thing: Thanks to Trump, “the world looks pretty good from Putin’s point of view.”
Senate panel agrees with intel community that Putin was trying to help Trump – CNNPolitics
Breaking with their House Republican counterparts, the Senate Intelligence Committee said Tuesday that the intelligence community properly concluded in January of last year that Russian President Vladimir Putin was trying to help Donald Trump when Moscow meddled in the 2016 election.
Findings that Russia meddled to help Trump beat Clinton were ‘accurate and on point’: Senate intel panel | Fox News
The FBI’s and CIA’s significant analytical disagreement with the NSA over whether Russia tried to help the Trump presidential campaign was reasonable, according to an unclassified report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released Tuesday.
The True Danger to America’s Democracy | The National Interest
The founders worried that political disunity at home would allow hostile foreign governments to exacerbate domestic cleavages, sow strife, and undermine America’s sovereignty.
Boston Bomber Seeks Recordings Of FBI Interviews With Chechen Man
Lawyers for convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are asking for recordings of police interviews with a Chechen man who was killed in 2013 during a confrontation with the FBI.
‘Family, Country First’: Trump’s Lawyer Signals Possible Cooperation With Probe
U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer said that he intends to “put family and country first,” comments that suggest that he may be prepared to cooperate with federal prosecutors.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte Tells Off Trump Right To His Face
Paul Manafort case ruling led to Robert Mueller’s extensive investigation – Washington Times
Understanding why special counsel Robert Mueller has widened his Russia investigation beyond the 2016 presidential election may require perusing a federal judge’s opinion on June 26 in the Paul Manafort case.
Paul Manafort’s Lawyers Want to Know Where Jurors Get Their News – Bloomberg
Lawyers for Paul Manafort want to know where his prospective jurors get their news, how they vote and what they know about the one-time Trump campaign chairman charged with bank fraud and filing false tax returns.
US ambassador to Estonia resigns ‘over Trump comments’ – BBC News
Criticism of Nato and the EU appears to have been the last straw for the envoy to Estonia.
US ambassador to Estonia resigns in frustration over Trump – CNNPolitics
The US ambassador to Estonia is resigning in frustration with President Donald Trump’s comments about, and treatment of, European allies.
U.S. Ambassador To Estonia Announces Exit With Criticism Of Trump’s EU Comments
The U.S. ambassador to Estonia has announced his retirement with a sharp critique of President Donald Trump’s comments about the European Union and NATO.
Trump’s Ancestral Village Abounds With His Relatives. Few Admit a Link. – The New York Times
The German village of Kallstadt doesn’t like to advertise its connection to President Trump. “The topic is too controversial,” a tourism official said.

Boeing and Embraer attempt a joint venture – Defence Blog
Boeing and Embraer will attempt to form a joint venture that would push the U.S. aerospace giant more aggressively into the regional aircraft market. The new company, which has faced heavy scrutiny from lawmakers in Brazil, is being valued at about $4.7 billion. The companies said Thursday that Boeing will own 80 percent of the joint venture, and Embraer the remaining 20 percent. Brazilian lawmakers have been hesitant to allow any deal, fearing the loss of control of a major industrial and defense asset. Embraer is one of Brazil’s industrial giants, and the government sees the company, which is involved in defense manufacturing, as strategically important. President Michel Temer had previously rejected selling control of the jet maker to Boeing. The government has veto power over any change in the company’s controlling interest, an indication of how highly prized it is and how sensitive any deal with foreign investors is. Any partnership between Boeing, based in Chicago, and Embraer, based in São José dos Campos would counter strengthening ties between Europe’s Airbus and Canada’s Bombardier, which have threatened Boeing. Embraer’s lineup of E-jets would help Boeing counter Airbus’ new majority stake in Bombardier’s C Series planes that have 100-150 seats and help it compete with small airliners from China.
US Air Force cancels remaining light-attack experiment flights, but effort will continue
The Air Force has made a decision on the future of the light-attack experiment.
The US Navy is fed up with ballistic missile defense patrols
The unusually direct comments from CNO come amid growing frustration among the surface warfare community that the mission is eating up operational availability that could be better used confronting growing high-end threats from China and Russia.
The Wounds of the Drone Warrior – The New York Times
Even soldiers who fight wars from a safe distance have found themselves traumatized. Could their injuries be moral ones?
Northrop Grumman employs a white nationalist who attacked demonstrators in Charlottesville in its aerospace division — Quartz
It’s been a tough 2018 for aerospace contractor Northrop Grumman, culminating in today’s news that a member of its engineering team with a security clearance is part of a white nationalist group and has been filmed attacking protestors at two different events. The Northrop employee, Michael Miselis, was identified by ProPublica and Frontline during an…