Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Salisbury CW Attack / Syria / Iran / Russia Ad Hoc Update (102)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

</end editorial>



An interesting end to an interesting week. Wiltshire Police find a small bottle of Novichok agent in the residence of one of the victims, tests at Porton Down reported to be now underway to determine whether it is from the same or another batch as the agent used on the Skripals. The tests are important as they will determine whether the agent was discarded during the initial attack on the Skripals, or planted after the event as a lame diversion to support one or more of the Muscovian propaganda constructs.

In the US, the DOJ indicts twelve GRU officers over the election year hackings, the perpetrators appear to have fallen foul of the Blockchain transaction records used by the Bitcoin they used to pay for various web products used during the attacks and to distribute the hacked materials.

Many reports on Helsinki, much of it speculative. Interesting observations by Lithuania’s President Grybauskaitė on the NATO summit. Russians bragging about their ability to overrun Estonia. Three positively fascinating reports on how Russia is destroying itself – the abyss appears increasingly inevitable.

POTUS observations on Iran, Iranian bluster continues.



Novichok Vodka Producer: Our Aim Was to Poke a Little Fun at Tense Situation – Sputnik International

Bristol Dry Gin has drawn much criticism in the UK after it released a 75 percent proof limited edition vodka named after nerve agent Novichok – which sold out within hours. Sputnik has reached the beverage producers to find out more.

Russian MFA Information and Press Department Commentary Regarding New Anti-Russian Accusations in the US

… 13-07-2018 Washington is struggling to reanimate the old “duck” about the alleged “Russia’s interference in the US presidential election in 2016”. It was for this purpose that the special prosecutor R. Muller, who was appointed to investigate what had not happened, brought charges against 12 persons named by officers of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. That’s just from the heap of conspiracy schemes, which are trying to hit the American philistine, it does not follow their belonging to this department and involvement in cyberwar. And the very assertion of illegal penetration into the computer network of the Democratic Party of the United States is not backed up. Obviously, the purpose of this throw-in is to spoil the atmosphere before the Russian-American summit. Now the influential political forces of the United States, who oppose the normalization of relations between our countries and have been exposing themselves for two years with blatant slander, are rushing to squeeze the most out of the next “dummy”, which will quickly be forgotten. It is regrettable that the replication of false information in Washington became the norm, and criminal cases are set for obvious political reasons. The question remains: how long will they continue to break this shameful comedy that disgraces the US. After all, sooner or later, its initiators will have to be held accountable for the damage they have caused and continue to inflict on their American interests and continue to inflict on American democracy, undermining its credibility.

U.S. Charges 12 Russian Intelligence Officers For 2016 U.S. Election Meddling

A U.S. grand jury has charged 12 Russian intelligence officers for their roles in hacking into the U.S. Democratic Party and leaking stolen e-mails and other information during the 2016 presidentia…

U.S. indictments show technical evidence for Russian hacking accusations – To Inform is to Influence

A copy of the actual indictment is located here.  The 12 indicted individuals are all officers, ranging from a Senior Lieutenant to a Colonel, with five of unnamed rank.  </end editorial> JULY 13, 2018 / 5:11 PM Joseph Menn SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – U.S. indictments against a dozen Russian intelligence officers on Friday provided detailed…

Grand Jury Indicts 12 Russian Intelligence Officers for Hacking Offenses Related to the 2016 Election – To Inform is to Influence

This was released on Friday the 13th, three days before President Trump is supposed to meet President Putin.  Russia does not extradite people for American indictments.  I am not certain if this indictment will be actionable or ever evolve.   </end editorial> Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs The Department of Justice today announced that…

How Bitcoin Fueled Russian Hacks – WSJ

The Russian intelligence officers charged with hacking into the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign used bitcoin to finance and obscure their operations, according to an indictment obtained by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office.

Two key takeaways from the latest indictment in Mueller’s investigation

Special counsel Robert Mueller has indicted 12 Russian officials for federal crimes committed during the 2016 U.S. election, including trying to hack into servers belonging to Democratic officials.

Bombshell indictments reinforce significance of midterm elections | TheHill

If Republicans continue to refuse to do their jobs, voters will remember in November.

Russian Hackers Kept DNC Backdoor Longer Than Anyone Knew

The Democrats swore in the summer of 2016 that they had banished all outside intrusions from their networks. They were wrong.

Congress to Trump: Cancel Putin summit after new Mueller indictment | Business Insider

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle on Friday called on President Donald Trump to consider cancelling his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin set for next week in Finland following a new indictment in the Russia investigation.

White House Rejects Calls To Cancel Putin Summit After Russian Indictments

The White House is rejecting calls from leading members of Congress to cancel a U.S.-Russian presidential summit in the wake of indictments that for the first time charge the Russian government with directly interfering in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump Pressed to Confront Putin After Mueller’s Indictments – Bloomberg

Whatever Donald Trump had hoped to get out of his summit with Vladimir Putin, Robert Mueller changed the game.

Roger Stone: This indictment exonerates me – YouTube

CNN Published on Jul 13, 2018 Longtime Donald Trump associate Roger Stone says he is exonerated by special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictments against 12 Russians for their involvement in interference against the 2016 election.

Trump on Russia indictment: Why didn’t Obama do something? | TheHill

President Trump on Saturday in his first comments about the indictment of 12 Russian military officers “for conspiring to interfere with the 2016 presidential election” by blaming former President Obama and the “deep state.”

Donald Trump blames Obama for Russian hackings ahead of Putin meeting

President Donald Trump, who meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin Monday, said Obama was responsible for not doing enough to stop Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Trump Hopeful For Better Russia Ties Ahead Of Putin Talks

U.S. President Donald Trump said he hoped to have a very good relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in remarks made during a visit to Britain on July 13. Trump, who meets Putin on July 16, also repeated criticism of a gas pipeline deal between Germany and Russia.

Lavrov Says Summit Will Be Success If Communications Reopened

Russia’s foreign minister has said the July 16 summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin could be considered successful if it leads to a reopening of communica…

Trump in England with PM May outlines agenda of his meeting with Putin | UNIAN

President of the United States Donald Trump said he would discuss the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons at an upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, on July 16. Trump will also bring up Syria, Ukraine and other countries.

Trump could be even more vulnerable in a summit with Vladimir Putin than he was with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un | Business Insider

Current and former US officials sounded the alarm about President Donald Trump’s upcoming summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Donald Trump looks ahead to Putin summit after reality-bending visit with US allies – CNNPolitics

As President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Theresa May arrived at the lip of the stairs leading to their lecterns, the US President took his British counterpart’s hand and helped her down the four short steps to the stage.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Trump’s Challenging of Broad Consensus on Crimea Will Lead to a Broader War, Skobov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, July 13 – Even if Donald Trump doesn’t recognize as legitimate Vladimir Putin’s Anschluss of Crimea, the US president’s hints that he might do either because the Ukrainian peninsula’s residents speak Russia or because that might allow for “a deal” has undermined the global consensus about what Putin has done, Aleksandr Skobov says. “Optimists continue to assert,” the Russian commentator says, “that the extravagant declarations of Trump about the theoretical possibility of recognizing the Russian annexation of Crimea mean nothing” because the American political system is so constructed that it won’t allow the US to do so (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5B47D3B525539). But – and this is what is critical to understand, Skobov continues – Trump’s remarks about the possibility of recognizing as legitimate a fundamental violation of international law “undermines a fundamental principle of international stability – a consensus concerning the prohibition of annexations.” Today, he says, “it is already obvioius that the chances for the peaceful return of Crimea to Ukraine almost no longer exist.” And that in turn means that “Crimea will be returned only by military force.” That conflict can remain local if the leading world powers maintain what had been their consensus; it will not happen at all or spread more widely if they don’t. The destruction of this broad consensus on Crimea, a destruction in which Trump has played a key role regardless of what he may say or do in Helsinki, has “two global consequences,” Skobov says. “first, it makes impossible a local military operation to expel Putin from Crimea.” And “second, it makes inevitable the drift of the world toward global war of all against all in the next several years.” And that war need not be over Crimea; but the change of attitudes about Crimea that Trump is working to bring about will mean that this bigger war when it happens will have its roots in Crimea and in Trump’s remarks about it. That is because, the commentator argues, “when everyone understands that the prohibition on annexations as the fundamental principle of international stability has ceased to work,” they will decide that previous “’red lines’” against doing something similar elsewhere no longer have any meaning and their actions in that regard will lead to a new world war. That is what Trump has contributed to, and that is the real meaning of his words about Crimea, whatever happens between him and Putin in Helsinki.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Trump Heads into Summit as Leader of the Free World Only by ‘Inertia,’ Baunov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, July 13 – At all previous summits between American and Russian leaders, the US president has participated not only as the representative of his own country but as the leader of the Western or Free World, Aleksandr Baunov says. But this time, he occupies that position if at all only “by inertia” rather than by acclamation. That is because, the analyst and editor at the Carnegie Moscow Office says, “a significant part of the West does not recognize him in this role and isn’t certain that [Trump] who has proclaimed the interests of America above all will stand up for the interests of the allies” as well (https://carnegie.ru/commentary/76793). According to Baunnov, “the reason for Trump’s mysterious respect for Putin and other leaders of non-Western countries is most likely his business background: Russia asks nothing from America, isn’t supported by it, and guarantees its own security. Business people like Trump respect independent enemies more than dependent friends.” The people around Putin are not opposed to the normalization of relations with the West, Baunov says; “but the siloviki are frightened by recollections of Gorbachev’s trustingness. They want to return to a world without sanctions but only as the result of a skillful and clever deal,” one where the West lifts restrictions on Russia in exchange for marginal concessions. A precondition for such an exchange, they believe, in Baunov’s telling, is that “the West must not form a single anti-Russian front,” something that is no longer as sturdy as it once was given Brexit, Trump’s criticism of allies like Germany and the rise of populism and nativism across the West. Those developments, the Moscow analyst says, make “Trump the ideal partner for a relaxation in tensions without any [serious] concessions.” The US president is “an enemy of that very America which is hostile to Russia.” That means Vladimir Putin won’t have to make significant concessions or be “naïve” about the West. Instead, “Russia now has been able to set up a summit for the sake of a summit,” exactly what Putin needs, especially because “Trump cannot bring back from Helsinki only joint photographs” with the Kremlin leader. The US president needs to show that he can achieve results more than Barack Obama did. Trump got promises from Kim Jong-un at their meeting in Singapore but far from the all-encompassing deal he wanted and suggested he had achieved, Baunov says. “He would like to bring back something more impressive from Putin.” But the question is open as to just what that might be. Putin doesn’t need a deal to have the summit be a success; but Trump does – and that gives the Kremlin leader the whip hand, especially given that Trump is there only in his capacity of president of the United States and not, as his predecessors always were, as the unchallenged leader of a united West.

UAWire – Lithuanian president calls Trump’s pressure on NATO allies ‘positive aggression’

On the sidelines of the NATO summit in Brussels, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė described the pressure placed by US President Donald …

“He Chooses the Hammer Every Time”: NATO Left Fuming as Trump Turns Toward Putin | Vanity Fair

The president’s three-country European tour has been NATO’s worst nightmare, weakening the alliance and empowering Russia. “This meeting confirmed that Trump barely knows the politics, if even the geography, of Europe,” one foreign diplomat said. “Diplomacy has become a sadly hilarious affair with him.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russians Dismiss Estonian Claim that a Russian Attack would Fail in Tallinn

Paul Goble Staunton, July 12 – Colonel Riho Uhtegi the commander of Estonia’s special forces, told a Western outlet this week that any Russian invasion of Estonia might reach Tallinn in two days but that it would “die” in the Estonian capital because Estonian special forces and the united Estonian people would cut its supply lines and make a further advance impossible. He told Politico’s Molly K. McKew Estonians are constantly talking about what a Russian invasion would be like. People say, “yeah, the Russian can get to Tallinn in two days … Maybe” as it is only 125 miles from the Russian border. “But they can’t get all of Estonia in two days” (politico.com/magazine/story/2018/07/10/they-will-die-in-tallinn-estonia-girds-for-war-with-russia-218965). Russian invaders may get to the Estonian capital in two days, he acknowledges. “But they will die in Tallinn. And they know this” because the entire Estonian people will rise against them, destroying their lines of communication and supply and forcing the Russian forces first to stop and then retreat. Uhtegi sees the Georgian case in 2008 as instructive: “You know why the Russians didn’t take Tbilisi in 2008? They were just up the road, 50 kilometers of so, and nothing was stopping them.” But they stopped because the “Georgians are crazy and they would fight. The idea of this unwinnable asymmetric fight in Tbilisi was not so appealing to the Russians.” Estonia’s defensive doctrine rests on General Order No. 1 that Aleksandr Einseln, the Estonian-American who served in the US military before returning to his homeland in the 1990s to take command of the Estonian Defense Forces. That order specifies that in the event of an invasion, the country’s military is to resist the invader without waiting for orders. More than that, Estonian citizens both those organized in the Kaitseliit guard as well as ordinary Estonians are to fight as well. They will focus on defending their local communities against both hybrid and direct threats. Such defense, Uhtegi says, “is very local … This village. This town. This bridge. This river. This piece of land. It’s theirs to defend.” But in defending these parts, they defend the whole and would make it impossible for Russia to sustain any invasion – by raising the price for Moscow to a point that Russian leaders would find unsustainable. “I don’t know what it would be like if the Russians really start to fight … Just that every Estonian will fight” back. Not surprisingly, Russian officials are having none of this. Vladimir Shamanov, head of the Duma defense committee, for example, calls Uhtegi’s remarks “the words of a mad man” and says his place should not be “in the armed forces or some other structure but in a mental hospital” (stoletie.ru/lenta/estonija_predrekla_rossijskoj_armii_gibel_v_talline_430.htm). Konstantin Sivkov, vice president of the Russian Academy of Rocket and Artillery Science, says that “the very idea of ‘the seizure of Estonia by Russia’ is a fantasy.” Any military conflict with NATO would “instantly” escalate into a nuclear war “in the course of which Estonia would simply disappear” (vz.ru/politics/2018/7/11/556525.html). If by some miracle the conflict didn’t go nuclear, Sivkov continues, Russian forces are sufficient to achieve its primary goal: creating a land corridor to the exclave of Kaliningrad. If these forces were directed to take Tallinn as part of that, the Estonian capital “would be seized not in two days but in one. Estonia doesn’t have any army to speak of.” The Estonian military numbers 6400 effectives in the regular forces, he says In addition, there are 15,800 members of the regional defense forces or Kaitseliit. Uhtegi’s suggestion that they and the population could cut Russian supply lines in the event of an invasion is simply “unserious.” The only real obstacle to a potential Russian advance, the Moscow analyst says, is the presence of NATO forces. Without them, a single Russian division would be sufficient to occupy Estonia; with them, a far larger force would be required. And it would need “two weeks or more” to complete the job. Yury Melkonov of Latvia’s military historical journal Baltfort agrees, arguing that Russia could use its superiority in the air and on the sea to ensure that it could continue any advance its forces were ordered to make. Tallinn could be taken but it is not the primary target for Russia which would be concerned about security ports and coastline. Uhtegi’s declaration, he argues, is “the ordinary rhetoric of military personnel,” adding that any Estonian officer who makes such claims does himself and his country no honor. Russia isn’t planning to invade Estonia, and Estonians and their friends should know that. Russians will come as visitors not invaders, he says. As for the timing of Uhtegi’s remarks, Konstantin Zatulin of the Duma’s CIS committee suggests that this is all about sending a message to the Trump-Putin summit that will take place in Helsinki less than 100 kilometers from the Estonian capital and that nothing more should be read into the declaration. Three things are interesting about the Russian response. First, it verges on the hysterical. Second, it shows that Moscow has enormous confidence that NATO will defend Estonia and other member states. And third, it shows that despite that confidence, the Russian military has developed plans for seizing Estonia if so ordered.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: NATO Signals Georgia Closer to Membership in Western Alliance than is Ukraine

Paul Goble Staunton, July 13 – The just-completed NATO summit reaffirmed its promise to Ukraine and Georgia that they can eventually join the alliance and that no third country, meaning Russia, has a voice in the matter or can prevent the alliance and applicant countries from reaching an agreement, Yury Sheyko reports. But the Deutsche Welle journalist says there were some important differences in the language about the two, differences that suggest that NATO is likely to admit Georgia before it admits Ukraine (dw.com/ru/как-нато-пережила-саммит-трампа-и-не-забыла-об-украине-и-грузии/a-44654502). The final declaration specified that Georgia is a country which “can become a member of the alliance and an action plan concerning membership is part of this process.” Moreover, when speaking of Georgia, it used the term membership repeatedly. But the declaration treated Georgia very differently, referring to it only as a country “seeking membership in NATO.” At the summit meeting among Ukraine, Georgia and NATO, members of the alliance praised both countries for carrying out reforms that bring them up to alliance standards. But there, too, NATO appeared to treat the two countries differently, by making a clear nod to Georgia. Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary general, went out of his way to say that “Georgia will be a member of NATO.” He did not give a date but his words suggest that in NATO councils today, Georgia is now ahead of Ukraine in the race to join the Western alliance and gain protections from Russian aggression (kommersant.ru/doc/3683768). Such diplomatic language almost certainly is intended to put more pressure on Kyiv to carry out reforms; and it is entirely possible that in the end the two countries may enter NATO at more or less the same time. But at the same time, this tilt is likely to have an effect that some may ultimately conclude is far from an entirely positive development. This suggestion from Brussels that Tbilisi is now ahead could prompt Russia to adopt a more aggressive stance toward Georgia without any guarantee that it will lessen its pressure on Ukraine.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Planning New Provocation in Occupied Crimea in Order to Blame Kyiv, Ukrainian General Says

Paul Goble Staunton, July 11 – Likely with an eye on the Helsinki summit, the Russian authorities are preparing some sort of provocation in occupied Crimea, one they will blame on Kyiv as part of their continuing effort to discredit it in the eyes of the West, according to Lt. Gen. Vasily Bohdan, a Ukrainian specialist on security matters. He tells Adrian Radchenko of Apostrophe today that the recent upsurge in Russian commentary about Ukraine’s illegitimacy and its ongoing efforts to demoralize and destabilize Ukraine in general all point to that conclusion (apostrophe.ua/article/society/accidents/2018-07-11/putin-gotovit-novyie-teraktyi-chego-opasatsya-ukraine/19297). Putin has a long history, extending back to the apartment bombings of 1999, of orchestrating terrorist attacks, blaming them on others, and using the reaction to his benefit,the general continues. Now is clearly a time when such a terrorist event would again appear to work for him if he could shift blame to Kyiv. Consequently, Ukraine and its friends should be on alert for such a possibility in the coming days.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Implicitly Conceding Ukrainian Autocephaly, Moscow Makes Plans to Split Orthodoxy and Dominate One Part of It, Analysts Say

Paul Goble Staunton, July 12 — Now that it has become clear that autocephaly for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is only a question of time, it is also becoming clear that Moscow plans to use this event to take control of one part of the orthodox world thus achieving a longstanding goal of Moscow Patriarch Kirill and Vladimir Putin as well. (For a useful and detailed discussion of the current state of play on Ukrainian autocephaly and Moscow’s preferences and fallback position, see Tatiana Derkach’s two-part article atlb.ua/world/2018/07/04/401948_mirovoy_raskol_pravoslaviya_izza.html and lb.ua/world/2018/07/05/402051_mirovoy_raskol_pravoslaviya_izza.html.) Both the Russian patriarch and the Russian president still hope to block autocephaly, given that it would significantly reduce the size and influence of the Russian Orthodox Church. Indeed, statements from Moscow about a split in world Orthodoxy if the Ukrainian church becomes independent are part of that continuing effort. But they are also something else: an indication of Moscow’s fall back position, one in which the Russian church would dominate one part of the Orthodox world while another part, including Ukraine, would go its own way. And such an outcome may not be entirely unwelcome either in the Patriarchate or in the Kremlin. On the one hand, it could allow Kirill to realize his longtime dream of establishing the Moscow Patriarchate as the Orthodox equivalent of the Vatican and himself and his successors as the counterparts to the pope, no longer one of many Orthodox patriarchs but very much the first among an increasingly unequal heads of other and smaller Orthodox communities. And on the other, such an outcome could allow the Kremlin virtually unrestricted opportunities to promote the reactionary and obscurantist kind of Christianity associated with Putin’s favorite churchman, Metropolitan Tikhon (Shevkunov) of Pskov and that the Kremlin leader has used to reach out to fundamentalists in the West. But if both religious and civil leaders in Moscow can see some advantages in this outcome, there are at least three reasons why they are going to continue to fight right up and quite likely after the Universal Patriarch in Constantinople publishes a tomos granting the Ukrainian church the independent and self-standing existence it seeks. First, independence of the Ukrainian Orthodox would likely reduce the size and hence income of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate by half, measured by the number of parishes, indeed creating a situation in which the Ukrainian church would in fact be larger, something Russian leaders would view as an unacceptable threat. Second, without a significant church presence in Ukraine, Moscow could find it far more difficult to continue its campaign to undermine and destabilize Ukraine. And the Moscow Patriarchate would find its own standing in the Kremlin reduced further as a result, given what the church hierarchy, if not always Kirill, have promised about this in the past. And third, a Moscow Patriarchate delinked from Ukraine and those more progressive Orthodox communities would become increasingly obscurantist and reactionary, almost certainly reducing its influence within Russian society if not within the Putin leadership and quite possibly leading more Russians to exit that traditional faith for Protestantism or Roman Catholicism. Such a step in the longer term could even lead to a new and far deeper split within the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate along ideological or territorial lines within the Russian Federation, a development that would have a major and from Moscow’s point of view negative impact on the future of Russia.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin’s Proposed Language Law has ‘Awakened’ and Radicalized Tatar Intellectuals

Paul Goble Staunton, July 12 – Vladimir Putin’s plan to make the study of non-Russian languages entirely voluntary while maintaining the compulsory study of Russian has had the effect of reawakening the recently somnolent Tatarstan intelligentsia and led to a new radicalization of their views on the entire relationship between Kazan and Moscow, Gulnaz Badretdin says. Despite the holidays, numerous senior scholars in Tatarstan attended and spoke at a meeting convened at the Kazan Institute of History concerning the proposed language law who joined their voices to the chorus of those in Tatarstan and elsewhere who object and see the measure as being a serious threat to non-Russians (business-gazeta.ru/article/388454). The tone of the meeting was set by Academician Indus Tagirov who said that ever since Muscovy conquered Kazan in 1552, “the task of russifying the non-Russian peoples has been the chief goal of the state; and it has never been changed, not in Soviet times or now.” Sometimes the government has been explicit; sometimes now; but it goals remain the same. The Tatars of the Middle Volga have never blindly submitted, he continued; instead, they have led the resistance. Today, regardless of what answer the Tatars give, “protest attitudes will only grow.” But because the Putin regime is so blatant, it has “awoken us – and not only the Tatars but also the Udmurts, the Bashkirs and other peoples as well.” Historian Murat Lotfullin said that everyone must recognize that what Putin is trying to do is far more serious than he admits: By killing off non-Russian language instruction in the middle school years, the Kremlin leader has effectively prevented the republics from training teachers in universities. And that means there won’t be any instructors. If there are no teachers for these languages in the future, he continued, then Moscow will say there can’t be any instruction in them even if parents request it. That is suggested by the draft bill’s references to “limitations” that may prevent instruction in one or another language. Apparently a very small thing but something with a long shadow. Rashit Shakirzyanov, the editor of the Tatar journal Science and Language, said this threat means that Tatars must take the lead in creating a Tatar-language university while there is still time. There are enough teachers and resources to do so now, he suggested; but there may not be enough in a few years’ time. Alfrid Bustanov, a professor at St. Petersburg’s European University, and Alsu Gilmutdinova, a specialist on publications, both agreed, with the latter arguing that the promotion of bilingualism is becoming ever more important not only for Tatars but also for ethnic Russians as well. “More than 60 percent of people in the world know a minimum of two languages,” she said. In Russia, the figure is much lower – about 15 percent – and most of that reflects Russian language knowledge among non-Russians. Very few Russian speakers have bothered to learn a second language, especially one spoken by a people within Russian borders. Finally, political scientist Ruslan Aysin called for including more Tatar literary works in translation in the Russian speaking programs. “They study Shakespeare” in translation; “why can’t they study our writers as well.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin’s Russia Rejecting Western Nature of Slavic World, Shiropayev Says

Paul Goble Staunton, July 12 – The Slavic world, as Aleksey Tolstoy observed, is “a purely Western affairs, not and eastern or Asiatic one,” Aleksey Shiropayev says; but Vladimir Putin’s Russia has rejected the Western nature of Slavdom and simultaneously lost the healthy interaction with the Slavic peoples of the West, something from which it may not recover. On the Kasparov portal, the Russian regionalist commentator says that Croatia, whose team members attracted criticism in Moscow for shouting at the end of their victory over Russia at the World Cup “Glory to Ukraine” is the incarnation of the Western nature of Slavdom and of Russia’s new isolation from that world (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5B4630D0A1E52). “The Slavs from the beginning thought of themselves as part of the West and preserved their Western essence,” Shiropayev continues. “Ukrainians in particular throughout their history and especially today think that way;” and the Croatian footballer by acting as he did while knowing the risks showed that he felt this way too. His words thus were “a conscious gesture of solidarity of the solidarity of Slavs who have made a Western choice.” The reaction of the Russian lumpen was immediate and negative. For its members, sunk in their “Eurasian-Horde” world, he argues, the Croatians have become “something like Ukrainians, that is ‘traitors,’ ‘fascists,’ and ‘Westerners,’” a group that also now includes the Bulgarians, the Serbs and indeed “the entire Slavic world.” According to Shiropayev, “the Russians haven’t noticed that they remain alone, Slavs who have forgotten their European base and angrily retreated into their Asiatic bears’ cave,” traitors to the true nature of Slavdom even while claiming to be “the elder brother” of all the Slavs. Instead, and increasingly in recent years, the Russian people as a result of the actions of its leaders have cut themselves off from that tradition even when they try to keep others in Moscow’s understanding of the Slavic world often by force as against the Czechs in 1968 and the Ukrainians now. Russia’s retreat “from the spirt of the Slavic world began a very long time ago,” Shiropayev says. “From the first, [the Muscovites] christened the free Novgoroders and Pskovians as traitors and Westerners; today, they call the Ukrainians and the Croatians the same thing.” In the understanding of the Muscovites, “all are traitors and only we are correct.” In fact, the reverse is true: by rejecting Slavic Westernism, “all this Eurasian-Horde-Empire view is the real betrayal,” while the Slavic world – the Poles, Czechs, Bulgarians, Montenegrins, Croatians and Ukrainians have somehow remained true to their original Western nature. One can only thank the Croatian footballer for making this clear to a larger audience then perhaps ever before.

Fatal Novichok dose ‘came from bottle’ in victim’s house – BBC News

The bottle containing the substance that killed Dawn Sturgess was found at Charlie Rowley’s house.

Bottle containing nerve agent found at Charlie Rowley’s home in Amesbury | Salisbury Journal

COUNTER terrorism detectives investigating the contamination of two people by the nerve agent Novichok believe they have found the source of the…

Novichok that killed woman came from bottle, police believe | UK news | The Guardian

Object found in Amesbury home of Charlie Rowley held nerve agent, officers say

Salisbury poisoning cops find bottle of Novichok in victim Charlie Rowley’s home

It comes months after ex-spy Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal were targeted with Novichok in the same city

Source of deadly Novichok found, detectives believe | Daily Mail Online

A bottle was recovered from the home of Charlie Rowley, who is seriously ill in hospital.

UK found nerve agent allegedly used to poison British woman: report | TheHill

British police say they’ve located the source of the nerve agent used to poison two British citizens earlier this month, killing one of them and hospitalizing the other, Reuters reported on Friday.

UK police say bottle was source of pair’s Novichok poisoning – ABC News

Novichok is a lethal substance produced in the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Deadly Novichok dose ‘came from bottle’ in victim’s house / Boing Boing

Novichok that poisoned a couple in Wiltshire came from a small bottle found in the home of one of the victims, said British police on Friday. From Scotland Yard, the results of an investigation into a second Russian nerve agent attack on British soil that killed one and gravely sickened a man who remains hospitalized:…

British Police Find Bottle Containing Novichok In Amesbury Victim’s Home

British counterterrorism police say they believe they have found the source of the Novichok nerve agent that killed a woman in southwest England and made her partner critically ill.

British police confirm source of Novichok poisoning – CBS News

Dawn Sturgess​, 44, died in a hospital Sunday after exposure to the nerve agent

British police determine source of nerve agent that poisoned couple

Two Roswell, Georgia, police officers are on leave after using a coin-toss app while before deciding whether to arrest a woman caught speeding in April.

‘Small Bottle’ of Novichok Found by Police in U.K. Victim’s Home – The New York Times

The bottle found on Friday in Amesbury, England, may give investigators new insight into the poisoning that killed one woman and sickened others, including a former Russian spy.

Police have finally found a bottle containing the nerve agent that killed a British woman | Business Insider

British police say they have finally found the source of the deadly nerve agent that killed a woman and left her partner fighting for his life in Amesbury, England: A bottle.

Police have finally found a bottle containing the nerve agent that killed a British woman – AOL News

British police say they have finally found the source of the nerve agent that killed a woman and left her partner fighting for his life in England.

UK police confirm source of Novichok nerve agent in Amesbury has been found – YouTube

euronews (in English) Published on Jul 13, 2018 British counter-terrorism officers say the source of a military-grade nerve agent that poisoned two British citizens in June has been found.…

Police seize four more vehicles in Swindon and Salisbury as probe into Amesbury Novichok poisoning widens further

A couple were found critically ill after being exposed to Novichok – months after ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal were targeted with same substance in the same city

Novichok poisonings ‘putting huge strain’ on police resources | UK news | The Guardian

Crime commissioner says other major events adding to extraordinary level of demand

Novichok poison victim Dawn Sturgess before life took its toll

The early life of nerve agent victim mum Dawn Sturgess who turned to alcohol after suffering postnatal depression but who was always dearly loved by her family and boyfriend Charlie Rowley and hoped to turn her life around

What is Novichok? A neurotoxicologist explains

Novichok are a set of molecules that are some of the most deadly nerve agents ever developed. They are almost impossible to detect and clean up.

Novichok: The Deadly Nerve Agent Explained by a Neurotoxicologist

Novichok kills by disrupting communication between nerves and muscles or nerves in the brain.

Sister of man who died in nerve agent test 65 years before Salisbury relives ‘vibrating skin’ horror – Mirror Online

Ronald Maddison, who thought he was helping find a cure for the common cold, is believed to be the only other person in the UK to die from a nerve agent

Trump says there ‘might be an escalation’ between US, Iran

President Donald Trump on Thursday forecast an unspecified “escalation” between the United States and Iran following his withdrawal from a landmark deal that provided sanctions relief for Tehran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

Trump Says Iran Will Seek Deal To Ease Economic ‘Pain’ From Sanctions

U.S. officials are claiming that looming sanctions are putting economic pressure on Iran and helping to stir up street protests, with President Donald Trump saying he expects the economic “pain” to…

UAWire – Iran accuses the US of pressuring NATO partners

Official representative of the Iranian Foreign Ministry Bahram Kasemi said that the U.S. is pressuring its NATO partners and imposing its views …

Rouhani says U.S. isolated on Iran sanctions, even among allies | Reuters

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday the United States was more isolated than ever over sanctions against Iran, even among its allies.

Iran: Scientist forced to flee is casualty of power struggle between Rouhani and Revolutionary Guard  

Kaveh Madani was sitting in the Iranian vice president&rsquo;s office in Tehran when he got the job offer:

🇸🇾 Syria’s Deraa: Regime raises flag in cradle of protest movement | Al Jazeera English – YouTube

Al Jazeera English Published on Jul 12, 2018 Syrian government forces and their Russian allies have raised the national flag over Deraa province’s capital, which has been held by rebels for years. It is a highly symbolic moment in the more-than-seven-year Syrian war. Major protests against President Bashar al-Assad first erupted in Deraa in 2011 and were widely seen as heralding the start of the conflict. Al Jazeera’s Zeina Zhodr reports from Beirut.

U.S. Coalition Says It ‘May Have’ Launched Syria Strike That Killed Scores of Civilians, According to Monitor

The U.S.-led coalition said its warplanes or “partnered forces” may have been behind strikes that killed up to 28 civilians in eastern Syria.

Advertisements