Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Russia / Strategy Ad Hoc Media Update (40)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Interesting reports in all categories, although Ukraine is possibly the most interesting with the creeping annexation of the Donbass and Azov Sea.



 

NATO / EU / Russia Reports

 


 

Leaving NATO Would Make The U.S. And The World Less Safe | HuffPost
From nuclear security to cybersecurity, abandoning NATO would make the U.S. more vulnerable to attack.
NATO Chief Says Georgia, Not Russia, Must Decide On NATO Membership
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has defended Georgia’s right to decide for itself whether it wants to join NATO, saying that Russian pressure against Tbilisi on the issue is “totally un…
Trump’s Worst Blow To NATO Came at Home – Defense One
After threatening to withdraw from the alliance, the president is now simply, and devastatingly, suggesting the U.S. won\’t come to its allies\’ aid.
Half of Americans Don’t Want to Defend NATO Allies if Spending Commitments Don’t Increase
Many Americans seem to be buying President Trump’s anti-NATO—and often misleading—rhetoric.
Russia ranks second in ECFR’s threats survey – world news
The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) has published a survey on security threats in the European Union, with Russia and international criminal groups sharing second place among the international actors. Europeans expect these threats to persist until at least 2028.
UAWire – Slovakia to replace Russian MiG-29 aircraft with American F-16 fighters
The government of Slovakia agreed to buy fourteen F-16 fighter jets to replace their aging Russian MiG-29 aircraft.   “We picked the best …
Romania plans to procure five additional F-16 fighter jets from Portugal – Defence Blog
Romanian Defense Minister Mihai Fifor has announced it intends to move forward with the procurement of an additional five F-16 fighter jets from Portugal, theresboiu.ro reported on 13 July. “In the next period, we will also discuss the other 36 F-16s we want to buy. There are several possibilities taken into account, we’ve talked with several states that have F-16 planes and could make them available for us to buy, including the US, Israel or Greece,” said Fifor said during a press conference broadcast by Digi 24 TV station. The aircraft will progressively replace part of Romania’s fleet of Russian built MiG-21 Lancer fighter aircraft. Also, Defense Minister adding that State secretary Mircea Dusa made a trip to Portugal a few days ago and talked with Portuguese partners, who had previously sold Romania 12 of the planes. “We’ll talk about the amount we’re going to pay for these planes towards the end of the year, when we intend to promote a law in the Parliament to continue the F-16 programme. It is too early to talk about costs at the moment,” Fifor added. In October 2017, Romania received the last three of 12 F-16 fighter jets from Portugal, as part of its programme to replace its ageing fleet of Soviet-era MiG fighter jets with aircraft that comply with NATO standards. The 12 used aircraft have, on average, 4,000 hours of flight and have resources for at least another 4,000 hours, after being revamped and upgraded by American company Lockheed Martin. Total, Romania paid USD732 million for the 12 F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft it has already acquired from Portugal, which went through a Mid-Life Upgrade process. The combat-proven F-16 has proven itself as the world’s most capable 4th Generation multi-role fighter, serving as the workhorse of the fighter fleet for 28 customers around the world.
New Lithuanian Vilkas infantry fighting vehicles tested in Germany – Defence Blog
On 18 July, Ministry of National Defence Republic of Lithuania has announced that the new Vilkas infantry fighting vehicles take part in intense tests at the German military training areas. According to the official statement, the manufacturer of Vilkas Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV), ARTEC, is putting two prototypes of IFVS bought by Lithuania, to intense testing at the German military training areas. Both prototypes have been made according to requirements of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, have Israeli-made turrets, 30 mm rapid-fire cannons and Spike LR anti-tank missiles. “The IFV project is one of the key elements of modernisation and strengthening of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. The Vilkas have been adjusted to the needs of our armed forces and mark a qualitative leap in the modernisation of our forces in providing it with modern equipment and weaponry that brings it to NATO standards and contributes directly to strengthening the security of all of us,” Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis says. The key task of the prototypes is to assist the manufacturer in identifying the weaknesses in Vilkas IFVs to remove technical deficiencies before mass manufacturing begins thus ensuring high quality and work of all systems. Specialists from the Lithuanian Armed Forces are participating in the testing to gain experience in maintaining and operating the IFVs.
Romania reportedly looking to buy new mobile coastal defence systems – Defence Blog
Romania’s Ministry of National Defence (MND) has established an ambitious strategy to boost its marine defense capability through procuring a newest mobile coastal defence system. The MND has confirmed its plans to procure the new mobile anti-ship missile systems for defence purposes at the Black Sea coast, with a quick reaction capability for covering large sea areas and a wide range of hostile vessels. After Crimea’s annexation and the subsequent military buildup in the peninsula, the Romanian decision makers have signaled their intention to acquire new coastal defense batteries to replace the outdated Rubezh systems. According to thehotnews.ro, the potential contract is understood to be worth EUR137 million (USD159 million). The contract is expected to be completed between 2018 and 2023. However, the stake for potential bidders is much higher, as Romania is expected to use the same anti-ship missile systems in the future for its military ships, namely the two frigates that will be modernized and the four multirole corvettes that will be built.
UAWire – Prime Minister of Hungary complains to Putin about EU’s anti-Russian sanctions
The European Union’s anti-Russian sanctions have jeopardized Moscow-Budapest relations, said Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban at a meeting …

Russia / Russophone Reports

 


 

The Week In Russia: Summit Shortcomings, Pension Perils
From Washington to Moscow, the summit in Helsinki was widely seen as a big win for Vladimir Putin. But despite President Donald Trump’s follow-up invitation for Putin to visit the White House withi…
Russia Dumped U.S. Bond Holdings This Year Amid U.S. Sanctions Push
While Russian President Vladimir Putin has been seeking to mend relations with his U.S. counterpart, his government has been dumping U.S. debt in a way seldom seen in global markets, financial anal…
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin is Just as Much Yeltsin’s Direct Heir as Stalin was Lenin’s, Eidman Says
Paul Goble Staunton, July 13 – Those who oppose Boris Yeltsin to Vladimir Putin now recall those who a half century ago counterposed “the good Lenin” to “the bad Stalin,” Igor Eidman says, with both suggesting that the successor undermined something that was initially “good,” communism in the first case and democracy in the second. “In reality,” the Russian commentator for Deutsche Welle says, “the Putin is just as direct the logical heir of Yeltsin’s system as Stalin’s was of Lenin’s. The legal, economic, and political foundations of the Putin regime was put in place under Yeltsin. Putin operates on the Yeltsin constitution which gives him enormous power” (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5B4902D994E6C). Moreover, Eidman continues, “Yeltsin’s privatization formed the criminal economic base of the regime. The Yeltsin business oligarchy supported him with unearned wealth. And the Yeltsin bureaucracy and special services became the basis of ‘the power vertical’” which many prefer to ascribe to Putin alone. Unless this is understood, the commentator implies, no one in Russia will be able to take the steps to overcome the authoritarian disaster that is Russia today because he or she will not go far enough back to see its roots in the 1993 Constitution, the voucher privatization, and the vicious war in Chechnya. Only by recognizing these links is there any chance to move forward now just as only recognizing the commonalities of Lenin and Stalin, had it occurred, might have kept the generation of the 1960s – and many others besides – from pursuing a goal that inevitably led to another blind alley.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: The Puppet Strings are Showing: Kremlin’s Controls Increasingly on Public Display
Paul Goble Staunton, July 18 – A major difference between Soviet times and Putin’s is that now the orders to officials and politicians from above are increasingly out in the open, making the current regime’s manipulation all the more offensive precisely because it is visible since it is not yet as total. Some Russian politicians and commentators have already learned to read the Kremlin’s intentions so carefully that there is no need for such directives as this week when former Russian critics of the US transformed themselves overnight into pro-American mouthpieces overnight just as Soviet ones changed from anti-Hitler to pro-Hitler after the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. One Moscow newspaper has documented that without specifying exactly how these people knew to make the shift (ng.ru/politics/2018-07-17/3_7268_kreml.html); but three other reports this week reflect the fact that Putin’s puppet strings are now increasingly in public view and thus unintentionally part of the public discussion. Significantly, all three involve efforts by the regime to suppress anger about the Russian government’s plans to boost pension ages. First, in Pskov, the authorities have ordered all district newspapers to reprint articles from the center which promote the pension reforms (meduza.io/news/2018/07/17/pskovskie-vlasti-poprosili-rayonnye-gazety-perepechatat-publikatsii-v-podderzhku-pensionnoy-reformy). Second, the powers that be have ordered Russian commentators in the central media – and undoubtedly in the regional and local media as well — not to use the term “pension reform” lest they further rile the population (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5B4ED2717E5FE and apn.ru/index.php?newsid=37419). And third, the Kremlin has directed members of the Duma not to criticize Putin for the pension reform plans lest they cause the population to recognize who is, despite repeated denials, really responsible for the deeply unpopular move (vedomosti.ru/politics/articles/2018/07/18/775775-duma-ne-budet-kritikovat). This list could be extended, but these three reports are enough to indicate that the Putin regime has not yet found a reliable way to give orders to its minions without the risk that even the increasingly restricted Russian media will be able to report about this process, coverage that will further erode support for the regime at least among the politically attentive.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kremlin Planning Referendum to Make Putin President for Life, Establish a State Ideology and Do Away with Non-Russian Republics, Solovey Says
Paul Goble Staunton, July 16 – The Kremlin is preparing a referendum to amend the Russian Constitution in order to do make Vladimir Putin president for life, establish a state ideology, and do away with the non-Russian republics, Valery Solovey, an MGIMO professor and well-connected Moscow commentator says. Such a referendum would be necessary because the constitution currently limits the president to two successive terms in office, bans having a state ideology, and lists by name the non-Russian republics. If the referendum passed – and the Kremlin would make sure of that – it would constitute the most radical revision of Russian rule since 1991. Solovey reported this on his Twitter account, and his claim has been taken up by other Russian media outlets, although at present there is no confirmation that what he is saying is anything more than a rumor reflecting the long-established preferences of the Putin regime (rusmonitor.com/kreml-gotovit-vserossijjskijj-referendum-dlya-izmeneniya-konstitucii-socseti.html andbusiness-gazeta.ru/news/372881).
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin’s Once-Beloved ‘Dictatorship of Law’ is an Oxymoron, Klyamkin Says
Paul Goble Staunton, July 12 – The “dictatorship of law” Vladimir Putin and his regime used to invoke as a description of his system is “not an alternative to illegality,” Igor Klyamkin of the Liberal Mission Foundation says. Instead, “it is illegality acting in the name of law” and thus fundamentally a contradiction in terms. In a comment for the Rosbalt news agency, the longtime social analyst says that he has at long last understood why many Russians are put off by the term “’dictatorship of law’” and do not view it as a term which describes in any way the order of things in Putin’s Russia (rosbalt.ru/posts/2018/07/12/1716971.html). They are offended by the idea not because they view a dictatorship as a bad thing but rather as a system that hasn’t done enough to impose its will on the population and needs to take even harsher actions, Klyamkin says. But in fact, he argues, the situation is just the opposite because “dictatorship” and “law” are antithetical. “A dictatorship is a power which is not limited by law,” and therefore “a dictatorship of law is unlimited power operating in the name of law both in the elaboration of laws and in their application.” In coming up with new laws, such a regime feels completely free to violate the constitution; and in applying them, it selectively enforces them only against its enemies. “Why is this possible?” Klyamkin asks rhetorically. Among other reasons, this is because “the very dictatorship of law was put in place by law. The exiting Constitution, which violates itself” by proclaiming a division of powers like other democratic countries, in fact establishes “a fourth branch, the presidential,” whose power is above all the others. Were that not the case, he argues, there would not be any talk of “dictatorship of law.” And indeed, there is far less talk of it now than there was during Putin’s first term, perhaps because even the Kremlin leader recognizes that the combination of dictatorship and law is an oxymoron and will raise questions he doesn’t want any Russian to ask.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Can Putin or Anyone Else Govern Russia Where No One Revolts but Everyone Hates the Regime? Sociologists Ask
Paul Goble Staunton, July 19 – Three sociologists concluded in May that Russia does not now face any risk of a color revolution; but in doing so, they came up with a question to which so far no one has an answer: Can Putin govern the country in which no one revolts but in which everyone hates the regime? Sergey Belanovsky of the Russian Academy of Economics and State Service, one of the three (the other two were Anastasiya Nikolskaya and Mikhail Dmitriyev), says they looked into the possibility of a color revolution in Russia because of the general collapse in public approval for Putin and his regime (theins.ru/opinions/110401). They concluded, he continues, that support for Putin has been falling for most of the last decade – the upsurge after the Anschluss of Crimea was a temporary blip, almost like one from a narcotic, he says – because Russians have increasingly felt that the Kremlin leader has failed to keep his promises and they are asking themselves why he should remain in office. In addition, Belanovsky says, the decline in support for Putin reflects the Russian leader’s obvious “lack of a clear strategic vision. Someone has written,” he observes, “about the schizophrenic divide in Putin between the idea of ‘back to the USSR’ and ‘forward to capitalism,’” a metaphor he says he finds himself in agreement with. The decline in support for Putin, his increasing age, and the prospect that someone else will have to become president in 2024 is leading ever more people both in the general population and among elites to talk about who and what will come next, an increasingly fraught problem because of how long Putin has been in office. Some analysts have argued, Belanovsky says, that this combination of factors could trigger “’an orange revolution’” in Russia; but he and his colleagues in surveys in Moscow, Vladimir and Gus-Khrustalny two months ago concluded that in fact “there are no signs of such a revolution.” Putin made his own situation worse by failing to get rid of the even more unpopular Dmitry and his government and for bringing into it such odious figures as the disgraced Vitaly Mutko. When he did that, the sociologists found, Putin himself destroyed any hope that most Russians had for positive change anytime soon. Nonetheless, most are against a revolution convinced that whatever they do, “nothing will be changed and that it is better than all remain as it is” rather than take the risk that things could get much worse. If a charismatic opposition leader emerged, that could change overnight, Belanovsky says; but the prospects for that are still relatively small. But their most important finding, the sociologist says, is the emergence of “a strange phenomenon which required deeper investigation. Despite superficial calm and general apathy, “negativism toward the authorities and a demand for radical and decisive measures is growing” across Russia. And that raises a question that political science textbooks do not have an answer for, he continues. “Is it possible to govern a country where no one will revolt” at least over countrywide issues “but all totally hate the powers that be?” Most Russian analysts, Belanovsky suggests, would predict either the eventual emergence of “an orange revolution” or “stagnation … with ever growing negativism” and the decay of various social structures. Neither, however, appears that likely; and that raises the questions: is a third outcome possible?” No one can be sure, but the course of the future development depends in large measure, the sociologist suggests, on the regime’s ability to pay its officials and siloviki, something that it may not be able to do given its desperate search for cash from other groups in the Russian population. If the regime’s funds eventually do run out, then some kind of “orange revolution” becomes possible if a leader emerges to organize and direct the anger of the population. That risk is clearly on the minds of the Putin regime, Belanovsky argues. “What must the state do to avoid a revolution?” According to the sociologist, it must “radically restructure the state” by handing over vastly more power to the municipalities so that Russians will see a direct connection between the taxes they pay and the better roads and social services they need. According to Belanovsky, “reforms of that type are very complicated and require serious advance preparation. But the time for this has almost run out.” The current proposals before the government don’t really touch this issue. To avoid disaster, he says, the government must “now take up reforms in a serious way.”
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Tatar Experts Distribute Tough Resolution Against Moscow’s Language Policy
Paul Goble Staunton, July 19 – Last week, scholars, experts and activists from Tatarstan met in Kazan to discuss the sad state of Tatar-language instruction at present and the threats to it that will arise if Vladimir Putin’s proposal to make the study of all non-Russian languages voluntary while keeping instruction in Tatar mandatory. (For discussions of that meeting, see azatliq.org/a/29356655.html and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/07/putins-proposed-language-law-has.html). The meeting, called by its organizers the Inter-Regional Scientific-Practical Conference on Principles of Teaching Native Languages and State Languages of the Republics of the Russian Federation, has now distributed its resolution to other non-Russians, Moscow officials, and to interested experts abroad. Its key provisions are as follows: “At the present time, the training of pedagogical staff who speak their native language has been stopped even in Tatarstan itself, and only 7% of Tatar children study their mother tongue at schools in other regions of the Russian Federation, where more than two-thirds of the Tatars of Russia live. “Training of pedagogical staff for the ethnic schools and teachers of the Tatar language in the regions of Russia was ended in 2000. Under these conditions, the actions of the federal authorities … deprives the peoples of Russia … of the opportunity to receive higher education in their native languages, and the absence of training of pedagogical personnel who speak their native language leads to the elimination of education in the local native languages. “Participants of the Interregional Scientific-Practical Conference condemn attempts to introduce unconstitutional principles in the spheres of education in the native languages and teaching of native languages based on the ranking of languages and peoples.” To prevent the situation from deteriorating further, they call on the Duma to amend the draft law on languages so that all legal documents will be published in the non-Russian languages as well as in Russian, that all children who want to do so can study in it through the secondary level, and to require residents in the republics to learn the language of the titular nation. The participants at the meeting urge the Russian education ministry to restore the Department of Regional Education in the ministry, to develop programs and prefer textbooks for instruction in non-Russian languages, to support the training of teachers who know these languages and can carry out instruction of and in them, and to abolish rules requiring final examinations in secondary schools be conducted only in Russian. The meeting also called on the Tatarstan government to establish a Tatar National University, to restore the Institute of Regional Education, and to resume the training of Tatar-language teachers for all levels of the educational system.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kalmyk Activists Denounce Moscow’s Nationality Policy Tout Court
Paul Goble Staunton, July 15 – Something happened in the capital of the Republic of Kalmykia yesterday that hasn’t happened in one of the non-Russian republics within the current borders of the Russian Federation since the early 1990s: protesters denounced not just a specific policy, in this case, the language law, but the entire nationality policy of the Russian government. At a demonstration that as usual in Kalmykia was dominated by older age groups but that in this case attracted numerous young people as well, speakers sharply criticized Moscow’s language policy plans but did not limit themselves to that. Instead, they condemned Moscow’s approach to the non-Russian nations (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/323056/). Erenien Dolyaev, a longtime Kalmyk activist, said that the language measure was introduced into the Duma “for exactly the same reason that the pension age, VAT, and communal services have become higher. By adopting this law, the state frees itself from the obligation to finance the native languages of the indigenous peoples.” “That means,” he says, “that Moscow will not finance the publication of textbooks and other books in non-Russian languages and that there will not be lessons and teachers for native languages in the schools.” University training in non-Russian languages will end. And the last teachers of these languages will disappear upon retirement. Okna Tsagan, famed for his reading of the Kalmyk epic Dzhangar, began his remarks by citing the Daghestani poet Rasul Gamzatov who said that “if tomorrow my language is going to disappear, then I am prepared to die today.” He called on all Kalmyks to study their language “whether the Duma wants this or not.” In 1963, he recalled, the CPSU closed down Kalmyk language schools because the party “decided;” now, Moscow is doing the same thing. Kalmyks and other non-Russians must resist by studying the language anyway to keep it alive. Composer Boris Udzhayev said unfortunately the draft law will be passed because “United Russia today is capable for pushing through any initiative. This party is introducing measures which threaten the integrity of Russia.” Valery Badmayev, the editor of Sovremennaya Kalmykia, noted that many Kalmyk intellectuals had already protested but that more needed to be done. Pavel Matsakov, a Kalmyk from Belgium, called on Kalmyks to form “a national organization which will promote the interests of the Kalmyk people,” pointing out that two months ago a congress of Oirat Kalmyks had called for exactly that step. He further argued that “the problem of language is only the result of the political situation in the country.” In reality, he said, “we do not have a republic and that is what we must talk about in the first instance. If we had a federation like in Belgium, many issues would begin to be resolved. We must take power into our own hands and secure a division of powers between Moscow and the subjects of the federation.” Batyr Boromangnayev, the head of the Kalmyk branch of Yabloko Party, said that tragically “Kalmyks are not today the masters of their own land.” Those who make decisions about the Kalmyks and the Kalmyks themselves are not one and the same. The former act in their interests not those of the Kalmyks. Aducha Erdneyev, head of the Kalmyk committee of the Communists of Russia Party, called on those in attendance to “vote for real patriots of Kalmykia” at the upcoming elections in September. And finally Buddhist monk Ananda Kalmykiave called on the Kalmyks to preserve their language and their alphabet and to remember that their ancestors were capable of doing just that. When Stalin deported them, he said, “many Kalmyks [nonetheless] returned from Siberia without knowing Russian.” They preserved their language and Kalmyks now can do the same. Moscow can issue prohibitions, the monk concluded, “but we will do things in our own way.”
Window on Eurasia — New Series: The Ugly Flip Side of Putin’s ‘Single Stream of Russian History’ – Everyone is Responsible So No One is Guilty
Paul Goble Staunton, July 18 – Vladimir Putin has been promoting the idea of a single stream of Russian history, one in which he seeks to overcome past divisions that might spark new ones at present. His effort has been much criticized and even derided as absurd given that the Kremlin leader wants to reconcile the murdered and the murderer in all too many cases. But now a Russian commentator has highlighted yet another aspect of this Putinist idea: In a discussion today of the Bolshevik murder of the Imperial Family a century ago, Stanislav Minakov argues that “the murder lies on the consciousness and spirit of the entire people. Everyone is guilty in one or another degree.” And that of course means that if everyone is responsible no one is really guilty, an extrapolation of a technique politicians frequently use when they “take responsibility” to avoid having to identify those who really or to being held guilty themselves to the entire population (stoletie.ru/obschestvo/sta_let_nam_ne_khvatilo_452.htm). On the one hand, of course, this is simply another example of Putin’s promotion of a post-truth world in which nothing is true or false but only an opinion; but on the other, it represents a further degradation of the understanding not only of what is true but who is responsible. The Bolsheviks killed the tsar, his family, and millions of others. Lenin’s party is to blame for this crime and many others, not the Russian people or anyone else. The same thing holds in the case of the crimes Putin has committed, and to avoid that conclusion is perhaps the real reason this latest effort to deflect responsibility on to others has been undertaken.
Protesters Challenge Pension Reform As Russian Lawmakers Approve Bill In First Reading
Some 200 protesters gathered outside the Russian State Duma on July 19 to challenge proposed legislation to increase the country’s retirement age, as lawmakers prepared to vote for the bill in its …
Russia Hacker Indictments Should Make the Kremlin Squirm – Bloomberg
Mueller’s knowledge of individual Russian intelligence officers should make the Kremlin uncomfortable.
Politkovskaya Garden Opens In Moscow
A garden dedicated to the memory of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was assassinated in 2006, was opened in Moscow on July 13.
‘Politkovskaya Garden’ Opens In Moscow, U.S. Honors Journalists Killed In Russia
A garden created in honor of slain Russian investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya has opened near the offices of the newspaper she worked for in Moscow, while the United States honored two other…
Russian Court Adjourns Ukrainian Man’s Terrorism Trial Shortly After Its Start
A court in Russia adjourned the trial of Ukrainian citizen Pavlo Hryb, who is charged with abetting terrorism, shortly after the trial started on July 17.
Co-Defendant In Navalny Embezzlement Case Reported Dead
Pyotr Ofitserov, a businessman who was a co-defendant in one of the criminal cases against Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, has reportedly died at the age of 43.
European Rights Court Condemns Moscow Over Politkovskaya Probe, Pussy Riot Case
In two separate judgments, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has condemned Moscow over its investigation into the murder of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya and its treatment of the punk performance-art group Pussy Riot.
Slovakia Extradites Suspected Terrorist To Russia, FSB Says
The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) says that Slovakia has extradited a Chechen man suspected of involvement in terrorist attacks in the North Caucasus.
FSB Detains Former Head Of Moscow Investigations For Alleged Links To Crime Bosses
Russian media reports say the former head of the Moscow branch of Russia’s Investigative Committee has been detained until September 12 over alleged links to the bosses of organized criminal groups.
Parents Battle Officials As Siberian Kids With Cystic Fibrosis Face Infection Outbreak
More than 20 children with cystic fibrosis in Siberia’s Kemerovo region have come down with a potentially deadly infection. Parents say local officials are preventing them from getting the antibiot…


Tsar-Struck Russians Mark Murder Centenary
Thousands marched to commemorate the killing of Russia’s royal family by Bolshevik revolutionaries exactly 100 years ago.
Slain Russian Tsar, Family Commemorated On 100th Anniversary Of Executions
Fresh genetic tests on the bones of Russia’s last tsar and his family have confirmed their authenticity, Russian investigators announced on the eve of the 100th anniversary of their executions.
Before The Murders: Rare Photographs Of Russia’s Last Royal Family
After Tsar Nicholas II and his family were executed by Bolshevik revolutionaries early on the morning of July 17, 1918, a collection of the royal family’s personal photographs was smuggled out of Russia. The albums offer a haunting glimpse into the life of a family destined for tragedy. (All photos reproduced courtesy of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.) (Originally published March 13, 2017)
Russia’s Last Tsar, Family Remembered 100 Years After Executions
Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill led tens of thousands of people in a procession in the early hours of July 17 to mark 100 years since Bolshevik revolutionaries murdered Tsar Nicholas II and his family. The solemn march to a local monastery began from the murder site in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg.
Russia’s royals found: DNA evidence discovers the last tsar | Daily Mail Online
Tsar Nicholas II was murdered, alongside his family, 100 years ago today when they were living under guard in the Urals city of Sverdlovsk, now Yekaterinburg, Russia.
Russia’s royal family FOUND: DNA tests PROVE where bodies of murdered royals taken | World | News | Express.co.uk
BONES found in the Ural Mountains are those of the Russian royal family and their servants, new and detailed forensic tests in Moscow have concluded.
Russian Warship “Carrying $133 Billion In Gold” Discovered Off South Korea | Zero Hedge
A South Korean marine exploration company claimed to have discovered an armored cruiser reportedly transporting a cargo of gold worth an estimated $133 billion in today’s dollars.
‘Treasure-laden’ Russian shipwreck sparks controversy | Fox News
A recently discovered 113-year-old Russian shipwreck that may contain more than $130 billion in gold bars and coins is sparking controversy.


France Erupts In Celebration After World Cup Victory In Moscow
Paris and other cities throughout France erupted in celebration after the national team captured its second-ever soccer World Cup title.
Pussy Riot Claims Field Invasion At World Cup Final
The Russian protest performance group Pussy Riot has claimed responsibility for a pitch invasion during the football World Cup final.
Moscow Court Jails Pussy Riot Protesters For World Cup Stunt
A Moscow court has sentenced four members of the Pussy Riot protest group to 15 days in jail for briefly interrupting the July 15 World Cup final between France and Croatia by running onto the pitc…
France Defeats Croatia To Win Soccer World Cup, Pussy Riot Claims Field Invasion
France has won a second soccer World Cup title at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, defeating Croatia 4-2.
Croatians Root For Their Team Ahead Of World Cup Final In Moscow’s Red Square
Moscow’s Red Square is filled with jubilant Croatia fans hours ahead of the country’s first ever World Cup final appearance on July 15. Singing Croatian supporters in the center of the Russian capital appeared to outnumber their more low-key French counterparts. That may be due in part to the fact that Croatians are so thrilled their team has made it this far. Croatia eliminated hosts Russia in the quarter-finals and England in the semis, delighting their home country of 4.2 million people.
Four members of Pussy Riot ran to the field during the second half of the final match of the World Cup – Pussy Riot ran onto the field during 2018 World Cup finals – 112.international
Four members of Pussy Riot ran to the field during the second half of the final match of the World Cup

Central Asia / Caucasus Reports

 


 

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin Appears Ready to Re-Start Karabakh Conflict to Bring Yerevan to Heel, Khzmalyan Says
Paul Goble Staunton, July 13 – Moscow is furious with Armenia not only over the successful revolution that replaced its reliable friend in Yerevan Serzh Sargsyan with an unpredictable and more open Nikol Pashinyan but also by the latter’s moves to cozy up to the West and especially to NATO (svpressa.ru/war21/article/205219/). The Kremlin has signaled its displeasure not only via a series of high level visits to Baku during which Moscow officials said positive things about Azerbaijan and its position on the Karabakh dispute but now, and more ominously, by troop movements along the line of the front in Armenia, according to Tigran Khzmalyan (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5B48AE073DB99). The new Armenian government and the majority of the Armenian people, he says, “are under not the slightest illusion about the role and true intentions of the Kremlin in the region,” especially after the long history in which Russia has used the war and threat of war over Karabakh as a means of keeping the Armenians in line. Both are especially concerned now because of the unfortunate Russian “tradition” of marking major international sports events with a war – Georgia in 2008 after the Beijing Olympiad and Ukraine in 2014 after the 2014 Olympics. Now, he says, many in Armenia fear the World Cup will be followed by “a new war, in Karabakh.” There are ever increasing signs of preparations for just such an outcome, Khzmalyan says. “More than that,” he continues, “it is possible even to suggest a more or less exact date for a possible escalation – the middle of July. At that moment the football competition will be ending and the Putin-Trump meeting in Helsinki will be taking place.” Those events will create enough “information ‘noise’ for the conduct of a three or four-day special operation in Karabakh without much interference.” Making that even more likely, he says, is Pashinyan’s successful visit to Brussels for the NATO summit, something many in Moscow view in the darkest colors. But the clearest indication of all involves the shifting of Russian units on the ground along the front, moves that recall what happened before the outbreak of a new round of hostilities two years ago. Now as then, Khzmalyan says, “Putin wants to introduce Russian forces in key points (from Russia’s point of view) of the Karabakh front.” These ae in the north in the Mardakert district and in Goradiz on the Iranian border. Why there? the Yerevan commentator asks rhetorically. Because these are areas through which north-south pipelines could flow between Russia and Iran, an increasingly important dimension of Moscow’s policies given its ever greater involvement in the Middle East. Ensuring its base in the southern Caucasus, Kzmalyan says, is thus critical for Moscow. It clearly is hoping for the following scenario: “Russian forces are introduced into an earlier selected territory as ‘peacekeepers’ after three or four days of fighting, in the course of which an Azerbaijani shock group … is given the chance to seize as much territory as it wants.” Then, the analyst says, Moscow hopes that “an official appeal will come from Yerevan” for Russia or the Organization for the Collective Security Treaty to provide assistance to stop the Azerbaijani advance. And then Russia will introduce forces into Karabakh itself, possibly covered with soldiers from Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan. “Putin would thus obtain not only significant bases in a strategic region and direct leverage on both Armenia and Azerbaijan but also the laurels of ‘a peacekeeper’ with claims to a Nobel Peace Prize ‘for stopping the years’ long Karabakh conflict,” the Armenian commentator suggests. Azerbaijan of course isn’t prepared to take the risks that getting involved in a full-scale war would involve. It has too many internal problems as the recent energy blackout and riots in Ganca show, Khzmalyan says. But Ilham Aliyev is certainly ready to take advantage of a situation to advance during a short war. Putin wasn’t able to orchestrate everything to suit his goals in 2016; and there are reasons to think that he may not now, reasons that reflect the new government in Yerevan and the new calculations of the regime in Baku. But the Kremlin leader is pushing things up to the edge in the hopes of sweeping the board, something that unfortunately cannot now be excluded.

Belarus Reports

 


 

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Belarus Could Not Raise or Sustain a 500,000-Man Army: It would Bankrupt the Country, Porotnikov Says
Paul Goble Staunton, July 15 – For many years, Alyaksandr Lukashenka has said that “in the event of war,” Belarus could raise and support a 500,000-man military; but the realities are, Andrey Porotnikov says, that it could not field support one half that large, without the risk of driving the country into bankruptcy. Porotnikov, a commentary for Svobodnye novosti plyus, draws that conclusion on the basis of an examination of what West Germany faced and might have been able to do during the Cold War to conclude that Belarus’ fielding a 500,000-man force is in the realm of “science fiction” (gazetaby.com/cont/art.php?sn_nid=140572). West German military planners at that time assumed that “war could begin suddenly” and that there would not be time to call new soldiers to the colors or build up armaments. Moreover, they recognized that their country did not have significant “strategic depth.” That means that all military factories and transit routes would immediately come under enemy fire. Thus, the West Germans assumed, they would have to fight with the soldiers and weapons they had before any conflict broke out. Just how large the West German armaments were is suggested by the fact that they helped arm Poland, Sweden, Turkey and “now Ukraine” since 1991. They also assumed that the West German army could not number more than 1.2 million men, that is “a little more than two percent of the population.” There wouldn’t be sufficient time to raise a larger force, and the country, despite its wealth, could not hope to support a larger one, Porotnikov says. Despite those calculations, he continues, Minsk has assumed that it can put “more than five percent of the population” in uniform. That is nonsense for ‘besides the risk of military defeat the country would encounter not less and if you like even more real risks of bankruptcy in trying to assemble and feel a half-million strong army.” Moreover, Russian military calculations suggest, Minsk would have no chances to increase the size of its military by a factor of ten in the event of a crisis. The best the Russians calculate they can do is boost the number in uniform by 2.5 times. Belarus might manage that, but then it would have an army of approximately 200,000, not half a million.
Belarus grants refugee status to ex-defense minister of Ukraine, – 112.international
Belarus grants refugee status to ex-defense minister of Ukraine
Trial Date Set For Belarusian Union Leaders Charged With Tax Evasion
The leader of an independent trade union in Belarus says he and his accountant have been summoned to appear in court on July 30 to face trial on tax evasion charges.
Belarusian Journalist Sentenced For ‘Assaulting Police’
A Belarusian journalist who reported on the conflict in eastern Ukraine has been sentenced to four years of “limitation of freedom” by a court in Minsk.
Prosecutor Seeks Three Years In Prison For Belarusian Journalist
A Belarusian prosecutor in Minsk has asked the court to give a three-year prison sentence to a journalist reporting on the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where he was held by Russia-backed separatist…
Court Ruling Reveals Ex-Ukrainian Defense Minister Has Political Asylum In Belarus
A Ukrainian court ruling has revealed that former Defense Minister Mykhaylo Yezhel, who is wanted in Ukraine for the alleged misuse of state finances, has received political asylum in Belarus.
Belarus Police Kill Man Who Apparently Took His Own Daughter Hostage
Belarusian police have killed a man suspected of taking a young woman hostage in a bank in the central city of Zaslavye.
Belarus Refuses Asylum For Uzbek Transgender Woman
Belarusian authorities have refused asylum to a transgender woman from Uzbekistan and who says she will face torture and abuse if she goes back.
Belarusian Fine For Gay Activist’s Photos Hits ‘Absurd New Low,’ Amnesty Says
A Belarusian court has found a gay activist who posed for a photo holding a poster guilty of violating public assembly laws in what Amnesty International has called an “absurd new low in persecutin…

Transnistria / Moldova Reports

 


 

UAWire – President Dodon: Moldova will not be friends with the West against Russia
At the meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, the President of Moldova, Igor Dodon, said that he appreciates the cooperation with Russia and does not intend to unite with Western countries against it, the Kremlin’s website reports. “Our position is clear and understandable. We want to be friends with everyone, but we do not want to be used geopolitically against someone else. We do not intend to be friends with the West against Russia. This is my position,” Dodon said. He noted that the country’s government and parliament have a disagreement on this issue but the situation might change in several months. Dodon added that he believed that the Russian peacekeeping mission in Transnistria was successful; stressing that it “should be continued.” Dodon also posted on his Facebook page after the meeting with Putin that he had agreed with the Russian President that Russia would give Molodova equipment free of charge. “I hope that in the coming months, this assistance from the Russian Federation will go to the Moldovan cities and villages,” the President of Moldova said.
Moldova’s new defense strategy recognizes Russian military presence “threat to national security” | UNIAN
The Parliament of Moldova adopted the National Defense Strategy for 2018-2021, which recognizes the presence of the Russian military contingent in the country’s territory as a threat to national security. The document notes that the resolution of the conflict in eastern Ukraine in the medium term will be difficult, but not impossible.
Hundreds Rally In Chisinau Demanding New Mayoral Election
Hundreds of opposition activists loudly protested in front of the Moldovan parliament building, demanding new mayoral elections in the capital, Chisinau.

Ukraine Reports

 


 

Why Is the International Media Still Repeating Kremlin Propaganda about Ukraine? – To Inform is to Influence
Ukraine stands resolute in its stand against Russia.  Why does the media side with Russia, when Russia sides against the world? </end editorial? BY PETER DICKINSON When two members of Croatia’s World Cup squad recorded a nine-second video dedicating their quarter final victory over Russia to Ukraine, they chose to accompany it with the patriotic slogan…
Anticipating Putin’s next war – 112.international
A war denied by the head of state and spurred by cyberattacks and subversion, in which planes and tanks without markings, operated by soldiers without insignia, march into our territory
Retired NATO General Hodges points to growing Russian threat in Black Sea – 19.07.2018 14:32 — Ukrinform News
Retired Lt.&nbsp;Gen.&nbsp;Ben Hodges,&nbsp;former commander&nbsp;of&nbsp;U.S.&nbsp;Army&nbsp;Europe, calls on NATO to respond more quickly to the growing Russian threat in the Black Sea and to enhance security, particularly in Ukraine.
UAWire – Kremlin: Sea Breeze exercises in the Black Sea is ‘a game with fire’
Moscow views the American-Ukrainian Sea Breeze2018 exercise as another attempt to provoke an escalation of the situation in the Black Sea, …
Poroshenko: We will not tolerate illegal capture of Ukrainian ships in Azov Sea | UNIAN
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said Ukraine will not tolerate the illegal capture of its and foreign ships heading to Ukrainian ports. Seizing the Ukrainian strategic port city of Mariupol has always been a priority for the “Russian world” strategists, Poroshenko said.
Poroshenko doesn’t rule out Russia’s preparations for attack on Mariupol | UNIAN
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko does not rule out that Russia may be planning an attack on the Ukrainian port of Mariupol and a military operation in the Sea of Azov. The presence of the Russian group in the Sea of Azov has been strengthened significantly. zUkrainian President Petro Poroshenko does not rule out that Russia may be planning an attack on the Ukrainian port of Mariupol and a military operation in the Sea of Azov. Speaking while attending the Sea Breeze 2018 international drills in Ukraine’s Odesa region, the president said the situation in the Black Sea region is extremely tense after the occupation by Russia of Crimea and the Russian Federation constantly increases its military groups in the occupied territories, the president’s press service has reported.
We will increase the defense of Mariupol – President — Official website of the President of Ukraine
President Petro Poroshenko during his participation in the Freedom of Speech program emphasized:
Military columnist suggests his possible scenario of Russian attack on Mariupol: Airstrikes and tanks | UNIAN
Oleksandr Kovalenko, a military columnist of the website of Ukrainian OSINT NGO Information Resistance, has suggested his possible scenario of an attack by Russia on the Ukrainian strategic port city of Mariupol, Donetsk region, on the Sea of Azov. The expert claims that such scenario cannot be played out with the hybrid forces alone.
Russia’s hybrid activities on the Azov coast of Ukraine: preparation for a military invasion? – To Inform is to Influence
The Sea of Azov is considered international waters and Ukraine has the right of free passage by Articles 2, 3 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Russia, however, is de facto “occupying” these waters and has already detained two ships in passage from Mariupol. Ukraine risks war with every step. Russia is pushing all the buttons to provoke Ukraine. Ukraine has not acted, perhaps this is the reaction Russia wants. Perhaps not. Is this preparatory actions towards war, hybrid war, or merely provocations? As a good friend recommended, this is a must read article. </end editorial>
UAWire – Ukrainian President: Military situation in Black Sea extremely tense
During a work visit to Odessa, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that since Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the military and strategic …
UAWire – Ukrainian President intends to prevent Russia from inspecting ships in the Azov Sea
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced his country’s plans to challenge the actions of Russian border guards who are inspecting ships in …
Flexing muscles: Why Russia is tightening grip over the Sea of Azov | UNIAN
Addressing participants of the Sea Breeze 2018 multinational exercises, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko mentioned that Russia could be plotting an attack on Ukraine’s strategic port in the Sea of Azov, Mariupol, and, possibly, an offshore naval operation. According to the president, following the Russian occupation of Crimea, the situation in the Black Sea region has been growing extremely tense while Russia has since been amassing its forces in the occupied territories. But in order to realize the probability of the offensive, first of all, we need to analyze the present situation in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. In fact, it deteriorated because the Russians had actually strengthened their combat potential in Crimea by transferring there all kinds of modern technology of land, air and naval (submarine) forces that they had been manufacturing in recent years, thus forming a strike group armed with rocket and anti-aircraft missile systems and submarines. They also conducted exercises and combat coordination of military groupings in the area. In the Sea of Azov, they have been violating international maritime law by the construction of the Kerch Strait bridge which forced Ukraine to limit the height of cargo ships navigating to and from the ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk. In addition, they inspect all ships that enter said ports, both Ukrainian and foreign vessels, which is also a violation of international agreements. Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/politics/10191963-flexing-muscles-why-russia-is-tightening-grip-over-the-sea-of-azov.html
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kyiv Must Denounce 2004 Azov Sea Accord with Russia Now, Ogryzko Says
Paul Goble Staunton, July 19 – Despite loose talk about convoys and military action, former Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vladimir Ogryzko says, Kyiv up to now has lacked the political will to take the one step that it has every right to and that will put it in a much better position to counter Moscow’s actions by appealing to international bodies. That step, he says, is to denounce the 2004 accord on the Sea of Azov between Ukraine and Russia. That accord, of course, was a compromise and not without problems regardless of Russian actions; but those actions give Ukraine every right under international law to denounce it (nv.ua/opinion/ogryzko/zakryt-azovskoe-more-k-kakomu-stsenariju-vernulas-rossija-2483072.html). Many in Ukraine either do not know or have forgotten that Russia didn’t want to sign the accord in the first place because under the provisions of the Law of the Sea, Ukraine would have been assigned two-thirds of the aquifer while Russia would get only a third, something Moscow felt was an insult to its vision of “’Great Russia.’” Ukraine proposed as a way around this defining the Sea of Azov as an internal sea, something that could be divided in other ways. The Russian side then and now was most concerned about the possibility that NATO ships could enter the sea and dock at Ukrainian ports like Mariupol. Russia wasn’t willing to sign anything, but then a compromise emerged after Ukraine at that time showed that it recognized Russia’s strategy of “going as far as it is allowed” and wasn’t going to collapse in the face of bombast. The compromise required that no outside naval vessels could come in without the joint approval of Moscow and Kyiv. “It is not excluded,” Ogryzko says, “that in this way they also wanted to achieve a result more suitable to one side, but the agreement was a compromise … However, the Russians by it did not resolve all the issues which they wanted to.” Moscow “wanted to close the Sea of Azov” and to that end it staged a provocation and began a campaign of blackmail: We have created facts on the ground by our power, and you must accept them, the Russians have said. “Such traditional bazaar diplomacy is what Russia uses left and right: it is that country’s style of behavior.” “Now, despite what has occurred,” the Ukrainian diplomatic analyst says, “we must analyze all joint agreements with the Russian Federation to determine whether they correspond to our interests.” Kyiv should have done this “long ago” but “better late than never.” Ukraine should not be afraid to denounce them. It has that right under the accords themselves. Russian actions in the Kerch straits and in the Sea of Azov itself give Kyiv many reasons for taking that step. The only thing lacking in the Ukrainian capital, Ogryzko says, is “political will.” If the government won’t do anything on its own besides making empty statements, the Ukrainian people need to make their voices hear. That has worked on other issues and it can here as well.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Now Views Sea of Azov like Occupied Crimea — as Exclusively Its Own, Ukrainian Expert Says
Paul Goble Staunton, July 17 – Russia has now stopped and detained 148 Ukrainian and foreign ships in the Sea of Azov, Ukrainian officials report (qha.com.ua/ru/politika/fsb-zaderjala-v-azovskom-more-148-sudov-kabmin-gotovit-otvet/194116/), an indication, Mikhail Shamus says, that Moscow views the sea as its own in much the same way it views occupied Crimea. According to the deputy director of the Kyiv Center for Research on the Army, Conversion and Disarmament, Moscow is acting on the sea as on the land on the basis of the principle that “might makes right,” something Ukraine must challenge (qha.com.ua/ru/voina-bezopasnost/ukraina-mojet-vvesti-konvoirovanie-grajdanskih-sudov-v-azovskom-more-ekspert/194145/). Earlier this week, President Petro Poroshenko said that he had ordered the Ukrainian armed forces to take measures to prevent Russia from continuing to block ships on international waters, a directive Shamus says means that “everything will be carried out by force” rather than only by legal appeals. In this case, the Ukrainian military specialist says that this means that “convoys will be established and they will accompany merchant ships from point A to point B thus not permitting ships of Russia’s FSB to inspect them.” Such arrangements are entirely legal under international law; and if Russia challenges them, it would be an act of war. Shamus says that Ukraine has “sufficient forces” for establishing convoys because patrol boats from the coastal forces can be used. “Here is the issue is not the number of guns ona ship. The Sea of Azov is so small that in principle, if some conflict situation begins, then support can be provided by air, helicopters and shore complexes.” “This is not an open ocean;” he continues. “These are coastal waters.” At the same time, he acknowledges, “Ukraine undoubtedly needs to build up its forces in the Azov region.” No Ukrainian official has yet echoed Shamus’ words, a reflection of two things. On the one hand, the balance of forces on the Sea of Azov is so much in Russia’s favor that any step Ukraine might take, Russia would be able to counter, undoubtedly in the current environment able to blame Kyiv for any escalation. And on the other, Kyiv is certainly aware that as much as right and international law are on its side, many Western governments would be angry if the Ukrainian side did anything that would lead to a new upsurge in violence in the region. They likely are delivering exactly that message already. Consequently, it is likely that the statements by Poroshenko and Shamus are intended primarily to ratchet up pressure on international bodies to move quickly to find for Ukraine in its suits against Russia involving the situation in the Sea of Azov by sending them a message as to what could happen if the international community fails to take a stronger stand.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kremlin Urged to Follow Orel and Recognize Donbass ‘Now that World Cup is Over’
Paul Goble Staunton, July 17 – Now that the World Cup and the Helsinki Summit is over, Moscow analysts say, the Russian government should immediately recognize the independence of the Ukraine’s Donbass and then integrate it with Russia in the ways the governor of Orel Oblast has already taken steps to do. “Before the World Cup,” Aleksey Polubota of Svobodnaya pressa says today, “many political analysts in Moscow said that Russia’s hands were tied lest it disturb relations on the eve of sports event so important for us.” But now, he and many of them say, it is time to go ahead without regard to the West (svpressa.ru/war21/article/205448/). The governor of Orel Oblast has shown the way by setting up a joint commission to integrate the two Donbass republics into Russia, the Svobodnaya pressa analyst says. (For a discussion of his actions last week, see windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/07/russia-has-begun-integration-of-donbass.html.) Aleksey Kochetkov, the president of the Russian Foundation for Civil Society Development, says that he personally believes Moscow should have recognized the DNR and the LNR “already four years ago.” Had it done so, he continues, many lives would have been saved. But even now, taking that step would be a good one. “In general,” Kochetkov says, “it is necessary to put the question more broadly: does a Nazi regime, which has destroyed peaceful residents, have the right to exist in the center of Europe?” And that question must be raised, he says, because those under the protection of the Ukrainian powers that be represent a threat not only for Russia but also for other countries.” Having analyzed the problems of the so-called “unrecognized states on the post-Soviet space” for many years, he says he believes that the process of Russian recognition has gone too slowly both elsewhere and in the case of the Donbass, but despite its slow pace, Moscow is moving toward recognition of two Donbass republics as it did Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Aleksey Anpilogov, head of the Osnovanye Historical Research Foundation, stresses that each unrecognized republic is slightly different; and he points to the situation in Cyprus where the Turks have controlled the north but the south has been able to become a member of the European Union. “Apparently,” he continues, “the Kyiv regime hopes that approximately the same story will be repeated with Ukraine; that is, despite the unresolved territorial disputes, the country will be taken into the EU and NATO.” But however that may be, the peoples of the Donbass are moving toward Russia even though Russia is not moving fast enough to recognize them. The Donbass and Ukraine are growing apart, Anpilogov says, and soon no one will be talking about their coming back together just as no one talks about reuniting Austria and Hungary even though they were part of one country just over a century ago. Unfortunately, not everyone in Moscow appears to understand this. He gives as an example of this failure the demand by Russian officials that “residents of the Donbass renew their Ukrainian passports in a timely fashion lest they cease to be recognized on Russian territory.” Anpilogov says he has been assured that Russian officials are addressing this problem right now. According to the analyst, “Russia missed the first moment when it could have proceeded along this path, the fall of 2014. Now, however, for the recognition of the DNR and LNR, the Kremlin doesn’t see a basis and is waiting for the next crisis” when it can act. For the time being, he says, “a situation of ‘no war, no peace’ continues.” Some Russian officials appear to fear that giving Donbass residents Russian passports will upset the West. Of course, it will, Anpilogov says; but the West was “far more unhappy about the inclusion of Crimea into Russia. And despite that, the sky has not yet fallen.” It wouldn’t in this case either. “I think,” he concludes, “what is involved are the phantom concerns of the Muscovite ruling class. Namely the Muscovite and not the Russian because the main part of the ordinary citizens of Russia and even regional elites would entirely support not only handing out Russian passports to the residents of the Donbass but the inclusion of the DNR and LNR into Russia.”
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow’s Integration of Donbass from Below via Russian Regions Picks Up Speed
Paul Goble Staunton, July 18 – Earlier this month, the governor of Orel Oblast, a Russian region adjoining Ukraine, called for a commission to promote the integration of the self-proclaimed Donbass republics, the LNR and the DNR, into the Russian Federation (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/07/russia-has-begun-integration-of-donbass.html). Then, a Moscow commentator picked up on the idea and urged other federal subjects of the Russian Federation to work to set the stage, first, for their recognition by the Kremlin as independent and, then, their inclusion as subjects of the Russian Federation (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/07/kremlin-urged-to-follow-orel-and.html). Now, a candidate running for the governorship of Voronezh has called for his own region to take similar steps to promote those outcomes and organizing a new ideologically based campaign for other predominantly ethnic Russian regions to do the same to hasten the process (4pera.ru/news/picture_of_the_day/kandidat_v_gubernatory_arkadiy_minakov_voronezh_gotov_k_kompleksnomu_vzaimodeystviyu_s_respublikami_/). It is of course possible that these various moves are arising spontaneously; but it is far more likely that they reflect a concerted effort by the Kremlin to promote the integration of the Donbass into the Russian Federation in ways that will remain below the radar screen of most Western governments. Once these efforts get going and become too big to ignore, Moscow is likely to have created a sufficient number of what diplomats like to call “facts on the ground’ to prompt some in the West to conclude that they have no option but to support what Vladimir Putin is doing, however angry they may be about it. However that may be, the latest move on this chessboard in Voronezh this week merits attention. Arkady Minakov, a professor at Voronezh State University who is running for governor as a Rodina Party candidate, declared that his region and many others are ready to “deepen mutual cooperation” with the Donbass “republics.” “We consider the population of the LNR and DNR as friends and partners,” Minakov says; “they must not be left in isolation.” They are culturally, linguistically, historically, and economically closely tied with the Russian regions along their borders that are part of the Russian Federation. There is even a European precedent for this, he says. In 2010, Luhansk and Rostov-na-Donu agreed to be part of the Euroregion Donbass; and two years later, Donetsk and Voronezh joined that cooperative region. Minakov says that “the events of 2014” changed things but in the direction of “stronger and more confident” relations among the four. “Since 2014, Voronezh residents, including public and political organizations and business structures have expressed solidarity with the residents of the LDNR in various forms. They have begun not simply to work actively on the preservation and strengthening of the longstanding ties between Voronezh oblast and the Donbass but to actively develop them.” Minakov says that “Voronezh at a minimum is ready for complex integration cooperation with the republics of Novorossiya. Such work must be carried out in a serious and systemic way with the support of social and political organizations, business structures and it would seem the powers that be.” According to the Rodina gubernatorial candidate, the integration of these regions requires the dev elopement of “a new ideology which will be able to overcome the split of the Russian people. The LNR and DNR, like a large part of Ukraine … does not have any relationship even to what is called Malorossiya.” “These corresponding territories have traditionally been viewed as part of the Russian Empire; they are part of the imperial state construction.” They are dominated by ethnic Russians, Russian culture and Russian self-consciousness, he says. And they should be viewed therefore as a single whole. That requires dispensing with the Russophobic lines the Bolsheviks drew on the map and going back to the traditions of the Russian Empire. The ideology of that time was summed in Count Uvarov’s trinity – Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality. “Translated into present-day language one is speaking about the ideology of a strong, centralized and sovereign state.” The Russians of the Donbass should be part of that state, and Voronezh can help, Minakov concludes.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘Russia has Begun the Integration of the Donbass’ – at the Regional Level
Paul Goble Staunton, July 14 – In the best Putinite tradition, Russia has begun to take steps to integrate and absorb the Donbass into the Russian Federation not by some big declaration in Moscow but rather via moves taken by the governor of the adjacent Orel Oblast to form a group to promote that development. The news agency of the oblast reports this under the title, “Russia has begun the integration of the Donbass” (in24.org/politics/32420). But to underscore that the Kremlin is behind this action, Andrey Klychkov’s July 11 directive was posted on the very same day by the official Russian government site (publication.pravo.gov.ru/Document/View/5700201807120001). Such region-to-region contacts have a long tradition in Soviet times and were typically used to tighten the binds between the republics or countries concerned. That is one reading of what the Orel governor has done; but the news agency headline and the Moscow treatment the decree received suggest a far-reaching goal, the absorption of the Donbass by Russia. At the very least, this move suggests that Moscow is simultaneously preparing to take that step if conditions allow or putting in place the kind of cross-border linkages that would give Moscow even more influence and control should Vladimir Putin be compelled to withdraw and allow Ukraine to reabsorb the Donass. At the very least, this development, which likely is intended to take place below the radar screens of many, merits the closest possible attention as Orel moves forward.
UAWire – Russian region decides to integrate with DPR and LPR
Authorities of the Russian Oryol oblast (region) decided to create a working group to facilitate integration and cooperation with the so-called …
UAWire – Ukrainian Foreign MInister accuses all Russians in OSCE Special Monitoring Mission of espionage
Ukraine believes that all Russian citizens in the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in the Donbas are Russian intelligence agents, stated  …
OSCE’s Ukraine Observer Mission ‘Concerned’ About Reported Russian Spy Leak
Russian intelligence has acquired internal documents of the international team monitoring the conflict in eastern Ukraine, including dossiers with personal information about its hundreds of staff members, from a spy, likely a staff member, according to German broadcaster ARD.
Russia sharply increases its military presence in Crimea after annexation – Poroshenko – 16.07.2018 15:16 — Ukrinform News
The Russian Federation, after the illegal annexation of Crimea, has significantly increased its military presence on the peninsula and strengthened its fleet with the latest technology and armament.
UAWire – Herashchenko: Putin’s statements about ‘referendum’ in Crimea should be used in court
The first vice-speaker of the Verkhovna Rada and representative of Ukraine in the humanitarian subgroup of the Tripartite Contact group for …
New Maps Appear To Show Crimea Is Drying Up
According to Ukraine, vegetation in Crimea is drying up at record levels.
Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people: Russia intends to banish Crimean Tatars from the occupied peninsula – Russia aims to move Crimean Tatars from peninsula, substitute them with Boers, – Mejlis – 112.international
Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people: Russia intends to banish Crimean Tatars from the occupied peninsula


Ukraine Interior Minister outlines “red lines” in strategy for end of Donbas occupation | UNIAN
Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov on Monday presented the so-called “red lines” in his proposed strategy for ending the Russian occupation of Donbas, titled “Mechanism of Small Steps.” The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine should control the entire state border of Ukraine.
Expert names Putin’s three main goals in Ukraine | UNIAN
Military expert and blogger Oleksiy Arestovych has said Russian President Vladimir Putin has three goals in Ukraine. Arestovych said the implementation of any of these three tasks would satisfy Putin.
One Government Soldier Reported Killed In Eastern Ukraine
Ukraine says one of its soldiers has been killed in clashes in the country’s east.
Two members of Russia-led forces eliminated by Ukraine’s army in Donbas (Photo) | UNIAN
Officer of the 53rd separate mechanized brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Anatoliy Shtefan, has reported that two members of the Russian-led forces in Donbas were eliminated on July 17-18. One of them was from Russia, and the other was from Moldova.
Ukraine reports 1 KIA, 2 WIA’s amid 21 enemy attacks in Donbas in past day | UNIAN
Russia’s hybrid military forces mounted 21 attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas in the past 24 hours, with one Ukrainian soldier reported as killed in action (KIA) and another two as wounded in action (WIA). Three enemy troops were reportedly killed and another three were wounded in fighting with Ukraine’s Joint Forces.
Russian-led forces suffer loss of military hardware in Ukraine army strike (Photo) | UNIAN
The Russian-led forces in occupied Donbas have suffered a loss of military hardware in a strike by Ukraine’s Joint Forces. Enemy casualties are not known yet.
Military blogger on recent skirmish in Donbas: One Russian captured, three killed | UNIAN
Member of the Ukrainian military, volunteer and military blogger Viktoriya Rudenko has disclosed details about a recent skirmish between Ukrainian troops and an enemy special forces group in Donbas, as a result of which one Russian was captured and three enemy troops were eliminated. Two Ukrainian troops were wounded, but they refused to go to hospital.
Military blogger posts photo of captured Russian soldier in Donbas | UNIAN
Member of the Ukrainian military, volunteer and military blogger Viktoriya Rudenko has posted a photo of a Russian soldier captured by the Armed Forces of Ukraine during a recent skirmish with an enemy sabotage and reconnaissance group in Donbas. The Russian soldier will be prepared for a swap of prisoners of war between Ukraine and Russia.
Russian-led forces fire anti-tank missile at Ukraine border patrol near Mariupol | UNIAN
Members of the Russian-led forces in Russian-occupied Donbas, Ukraine’s east, have fired an anti-tank guided missile at a Ukrainian border patrol that provides cover for the Sartana border guard department near the Ukrainian-controlled strategic port city of Mariupol in Donetsk region. No casualties have been reported.
SBU detains “DPR” terrorists’ accomplice at Boryspil Airport | UNIAN
The SBU Security Service of Ukraine has detained an accomplice of terrorists of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) at Boryspil International Airport while he was attempting to leave for a country in the Middle East. The businessman provided militants with vehicles for transportation and fuel.
UAWire – Eight Ukrainian radio stations to broadcast to the annexed Crimea
Based on a temporary broadcasting agreement, eight radio stations in the mainland of Ukraine will cover the entire south of Kherson and the …
Structure and combat strenghts of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
Command and control system of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and their organizational structure according to the publication of the yearbook “White book-2017. Armed Forces of Ukraine”.
Announced English version of the year “White Book 2017. National Guard of Ukraine”
Anniversary of the White Book. The National Guard of Ukraine “was issued in accordance with the Law of Ukraine” On Democratic Civilian Control over the Military Organization and Law Enforcement Bodies of the State “for the systematic informing of the public. The materials are intended for civilian and military specialists in the field of defense and security, journalists, as well as all those who are interested in the state and development of the National Guard of Ukraine.
Snipers of the 79th Brigade – winners of the competition for the best sniper pair among the units of the RDF of the Armed Forces
For three days at the Joint Range Army assault troops of the Armed Forces of Ukraine the best masters of the long-range battle of the Ukrainian landing team competed for the right to be the best among the best. During the first two days, the participants of the competition worked out infantry exercises, and the third day began with practical actions in a tactical setting. Sniper paratroopers performed non-standard fire exercises from different positions: sitting, standing with a blockage, with a rifle to the side, and so on. They also performed shooting under load. That is, a jog, simulating the state of combat stress, shooting from uncomfortable positions, from different columns, sills, sitting from the floor, from the roof, half bed, window techniques, etc. By the way, this technique is practiced in the armies of NATO countries. – These exercises are from real life, your own experience of fighting. After all, the sniper does not always have the opportunity to shoot comfortably, and most often they have to fire from inconvenient positions, – said one of the commanders of sniper units. During the third stage of the competition, its participants had to perform the training and combat task, and in conditions that are as close as possible to combat. Snipers needed to overcome a mile long distance, work out the task of targeting the locality, masking, reaching the position, passing the minefield and directly executing the shooting task, as well as moving back to a specific area.


Poroshenko in Odesa meets with Commander of U.S. European Command Curtis Scaparrotti – 16.07.2018 15:57 — Ukrinform News
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, as part of his working trip to Odesa region, has met with Commander of the United States European Command General Curtis Scaparrotti and visited the American command ship Mount Whitney.
President of Ukraine met with Commander of the United States European Command Curtis Scaparrotti — Official website of the President of Ukraine
During the working trip to Odesa region, President Petro Poroshenko visited the American command ship “Mount Whitney”, which takes part in the Sea Breeze 2018 multinational training, and met with Commander of the United States European Command Curtis Scaparrotti.
UAWire – President Poroshenko: cooperation between Ukraine and NATO has been increasing over the past four years
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stated that he recently met with US Army General Curtis Scaparrotti, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe of …
Ukraine, NATO jointly defending Europe against Russian aggression – Poroshenko at Sea Breeze 2018 | UNIAN
While attending the multinational exercises “Sea Breeze 2018” during his working trip to Odesa, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Ukraine, located on the eastern flank of NATO, jointly with the Alliance defend Europe from Russian aggression, according to an UNIAN correspondent. The president stresses the importance of enhancing Ukraine’s integration with the European Union and the North Atlantic Alliance.
U.S. Marines train with Ukrainian troops near Crimean Peninsula | UNIAN
A platoon of U.S. Marine reservists with the 2nd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment trained with Ukrainian marines to attack a fictitious foe, roughly 100 miles from the Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula. The purpose of Thursday’s exercise was to increase combat effectiveness and demonstrate resolve among the 17 allied and partner nations participating in the training known as Exercise Sea Breeze, now in its 18th iteration.
The world helps us when we are united – President — Official website of the President of Ukraine
President Petro Poroshenko emphasized the importance of unity between the authorities and the opposition in the issue of Ukraine’s accession to NATO.
President: There is only one global security tool left in the world – NATO — Official website of the President of Ukraine
“Remember what was the discussion in society at that time? We had a lot of politicians who told that the non-aligned status is the only thing that will preserve the security of our state. I want to remind that Putin attacked us when we had non-aligned status enshrined in the law. And where are these politicians now? Why do not they answer to the Ukrainian people? Why did they block and cheat people then?” the President stressed. President Petro Poroshenko emphasizes that “the world is changing rapidly”. “The illegal annexation of Crimea and the aggression against our country in the east actually destroyed the entire post-war world security system based on the decision of the UN Security Council and the joint decision of the permanent members of the Security Council,” Petro Poroshenko said during the Freedom of Speech program on ICTV channel. “What happens when an aggressor is a member of the UN Security Council, which can veto and block, as was the case with the decision made by the independent tribunal and the investigation into the MH17 flight downing? Russia then blocked the decision, thereby recognizing its responsibility for this terrible crime,” Petro Poroshenko said. “Similarly, the UN Security Council is not an instrument of global security in the current environment,” the President said, adding: “There is only one global security tool left in the world. It is called NATO”.
U.S. brands Russian “propaganda” claim of faulty weapons sold to Ukraine | UNIAN
Washington is pushing back against recent reports claiming the State Department and Pentagon shipped defective anti-tank weapons to Ukraine, saying such allegations smacked of Russian propaganda. As UNIAN reported earlier, the National Security and Defense Council immediately debunked initial reports claiming that a Ukrainian missile design bureau had allegedly complained to the Council over the faulty launchers delivered from the U.S.
U.S. to give Ukraine $100 mln in aid for strengthening of defense – Poltorak | UNIAN
Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak has said the United States will provide a $100 million in assistance to Ukraine soon for strengthening the defense capability of the Ukrainian army. Poltorak also said the NATO summit participants had discussed the success in carrying out the reforms of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and changing the format of interaction with partners, from consultations to material and technical assistance.
British military train over 11,000 Ukrainian soldiers – 14.07.2018 14:58 — Ukrinform News
Over 11,000 Ukrainian servicemen have undergone training as part of British Operation ORBITAL since 2015, reads a report posted on the Facebook page of the British Embassy in Ukraine.


This year, on a parade in Kyiv, we will see the “Hrim” TBM, the new “Bogdan” self-propelled 155-mm howitzer and more
This year, at the military parade in honor of the Independence Day of Ukraine, for the first time we will see virtually all new models of technology and weapons: the “Hrim-2″TBM, the “Vilkha” GMLRS, the “Verba” automated MLRS, a new “Bogdan” self-propelled 155-mm gun and a number of other novelties. This was announced by the director of information-consulting company Defense Express Sergey Zgurets via Facebook: All our new weapons – let’s see live I will look like a journalist and I will not keep bombing information. So a little insider. At the military parade in honor of the Independence Day of Ukraine, for the first time we will see practically all the new models of technology and weapons that were still seen and only selected by the electorate. It is planned that Khreschatyk will carry the “Hrim-2″TBM, the “Vilkha” GMLRS, the “Verba” automated MLRS, a new “Bogdan” self-propelled 155-mm gun and a number of other novelties. I will not publish a complete list. In order not to cross the road to those who started it in all its glory and magnitude) Of course, as a well-informed optimiser, I would hardly dare to have such a wide show. If only because of the withdrawal to the state testing and mass production on individual samples, it will still have to be heavily populated. But, on the other hand, why, in fact, not to show? In general, wait for the prime minister. R.S. Yes, I almost forgot. As for “Notes”. No, until they show you.
The BDUs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be made of fabric, which is currently used by the US Army
The new generation of field uniforms for military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be made from the same type of fabric that is currently used in the US Army. This was stated by the head of the department of development of real estate of the Main Directorate of Development and Support of Material Supply of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lieutenant Colonel Vasyl Sakovets. – Another party of experimental field summer suits is already preparing. They will be made from the same type of fabric that is currently used in the United States. If now costumes are sewn mainly with 100% cotton or mixed fabric (65% cotton and 35% polyester of different types of weaving), then in the new generation of the single-stage, which we will examine, we will already use the formula 50% x 50% nylon cotton, – explains Lieutenant Colonel Vasyl Sakovets. – Our troops are asking for the shape to have a lower fabric density. Of course, we can not refine it indefinitely, because then indicators of breakage strength, mechanical abrasion resistance and other things deteriorate. The only way out is to move on to stronger materials. A nylon is noticeably stronger than polyester.
The tactical gloves in the AFU will be in two versions
The troops constantly undergo experimental exploitation of new developments of the elements of form and equipment. This year it will be known what kind and characteristics will be tactical gloves, which until recently had no standards in the Ukrainian army at all. This was stated by the head of the department of development of real estate of the Main Directorate of Development and Support of Material Supply of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lieutenant Colonel Vasyl Sakovets. The introduction of these products began in 2015. They were then made of leather. But military practitioners advised to depart from natural materials, but to give preference to modern synthetic fabrics. They looked like this:
The Armed Forces of Ukraine defined the requirements for protective helmets – compliance with the new NATO standard
In the Armed Forces, it is believed that there is a change in the approaches to improving the safety helmets that are in place at the time. Ukrainian Military Pages has already been informed about the development of a technical task by the Main Department for Development and Support of Material Support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The changes to the requirements for helmets are expected by the chief of the department for development of real estate of the Main Directorate of Development and Support of Material Support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Lieutenant Colonel Vasily Sakovets. – There is still no state standard in Ukraine that forms the requirements for ballistic helmets. The industry standard of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is used, which involves checking the product only for bulletproofness. By December 2017, the same NATO standard provided for 14 test parameters, including various types of deformations, resistance to water and fire, ergonomic indicators, etc. In May 2018, a new version of the standard was approved for NATO. It already contains about 20 parameters of mandatory testing of such helmets. The document was translated into Ukrainian and a new technical specification was prepared on its base. – On August 15 we plan to launch a kind of “batl” to determine which helmet in Ukraine will continue to be used by the military to meet the new requirements of the Alliance, says Lt. Col. Zakovets. – We have an upgraded all-out helmet, which was tested in the MTR and DSW. In it it is possible to descend, mount on it such hanging elements as lanterns, targets, night vision devices, a set of communication systems, etc.
Ukraine Def. Ministry to conduct extra tests of Molot mortar’s metal | UNIAN
Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak has ordered to conduct tests of the metal the barrel of the M-15 Molot mortar is made of. This order is part of an official investigation into an incident at the Rivne training ground.
DK “Ukroboronprom” modernizes the system of transparent procurement, which will become the only one for all enterprises
Ukroboronprom modernizes the system of transparent purchases, which will become the only one for all companies participating in the concern and will receive the latest innovative solutions developed by Ukrainian IT specialists. In order to choose the most effective way of modernization, the Concern hosted a meeting with representatives of the 8 most powerful electronic trading platforms, which was attended by the management of DK “Ukroboronprom” and Andriy Motovilovets, Operations Director of the State Enterprise “ProZorro.Svodzhi”. The newly upgraded system should replace the various electronic trading platforms that are currently being used at the enterprises. It should transparently cover commercial, non-commercial and after-market trades, have automated control mechanisms, procurement planning, and other customer requirements.
Ukraine’s An-178 makes demo flight at Farnborough Airshow 2018 (Video) | UNIAN
Ukraine’s multipurpose military transport aircraft An-178, built by Kyiv-based state-owned Antonov, has made its demo flight at the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow, which has started in the UK. New projects of the Ukrainian aviation industry were showcased as well.
Russia deleted from list of suppliers of components for Ukraine’s An-178 – Poroshenko | UNIAN
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says Russia has been excluded from the list of countries producing parts for the Ukrainian An-178 aircraft. Ukraine’s multipurpose military transport aircraft An-178 has recently made its demo flight at the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow in the suburbs of London.
Ukraine already working to increase ammo production by NATO standards – Poroshenko | UNIAN
Ukraine began mass production of ammunition in accordance with NATO standards, President Petro Poroshenko stated via Facebook. The president notes that Ukroboronprom is producing PGOF-40 ammunition rounds for the automatic grenade launchers.
Ukraine starts producing ammunition in line with NATO standards – 18.07.2018 16:14 — Ukrinform News
Shostka-based Impulse Plant and PJSC Kuznya on Rybalsky have started mass production of ammunition in accordance with NATO standards, reads a report posted on the website of the Ukroboronprom State Concern.
Airbus Helicopters, Ukrainian Interior Ministry sign for 55 helicopters | UNIAN
Following the Intergovernmental Agreement signed between France and Ukraine on June 8, Airbus Helicopters has signed a contract with the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior for the purchase of 55 civil helicopters destined for search and rescue (SAR), public services, and emergency medical service (EMS) missions in the country. Ukraine is set to modernize its civil helicopter fleet.
UAWire – Ukrainian President: Portion of French helicopters will be sent to Ukraine’s Armed Forces and Health Care Services
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko believes that it is necessary to ensure that a portion of the helicopters, which are supplied to Ukraine by …
Poroshenko wants to send some Airbus helicopters for army needs – 112.international
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko during a meeting with representatives of the Airbus Helicopters company, which intends to supply Ukraine with 55 helicopters, noted that some of this aircraft could go for the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko during a meeting with representatives of the Airbus Helicopters company, which intends to supply Ukraine with 55 helicopters, noted that some of this aircraft could go for the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and asked for clarifications when implementing the contract. This was reported by the press service of the head of state. “Our Ukraine now is at war with Russian aggression, and the amount allocated to this contract is very significant, we ask that part of this contract, some helicopters, go to the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” he said. The president added that he had instructed Prime Minister and Interior Minister to work out the relevant issue and, if necessary, to update the helicopter for such purposes. “We have a full and united position of the Ukrainian side, I would be very grateful if we could make this clarification during the implementation of the contract,” he said and recalled that Ukraine and France already have a positive experience of cooperation with French companies. “We are very grateful for both electronic warfare systems and other systems that are helping us today in this difficult situation,” Poroshenko said. At the same time, the head of state also stressed the need for helicopters to provide medical services in villages, especially in mountainous areas. As you know,Ukraine and France sign contract to purchase 55 Airbus Helicopters for the State Emergency Service’s needs. The press offices of Ukrainian Government and Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs claim this. The agreement was signed between Hennadii Balloi, the Head of Khoriv-Avia, the Ukrainian Aviation enterprise and Bruno Even, the Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Helicopter in the Cabinet of Ministers today. Volodymyr Groysman, the Head of Ukrainian Government, Arsen Avakov, the Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and French Ambassador Isabelle Dumont were present at the at the time of signature of the contract. ‘We are reforming the whole sector of the law enforcement system and homeland security. Security of citizens, timely response to challenges require a high level of technical support and equip of our structures. This contract we signing gives us 55 helicopters which will be used for maintaining the security of Ukrainian citizens. Today, we are completing a tremendous work which was undertaken by Arsen Avakov, the whole team of the Ministry of Internal Affairs system and French partners. And we are starting an important project for Ukraine,’ Groysman claimed this at the meeting.
UAWire – Ukraine to provide maintenance for engines of Indian warships
Indian company Bharat Heavy Electricals will set up a joint venture with Ukrainian Zorya Mashproekt to maintain the gas turbine power plants of …


Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council orders defense enterprises to produce modern air defense missile systems – 112.international
Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council orders defense enterprises to produce modern missile systems. Development of modern missile systems is among the key priorities of Ukraine’s national security. The respective order is made, so the defense enterprises can continue working in this area; Oleksandr Turchynov, the Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council said this during his visit to Vizar, the state-run defense industry company. ‘The Council charges the defense industry complex to create the new missile systems. That, above all, concerns the anti-aircraft missiles, which will provide the reliable AA defense for our country. So, this is the priority, which Vizar and other leading defense companies will be working on’, he said. According to Turchynov, Vizar’s management showed him the modern equipment and facility, which make it possible to produce such weaponry. ‘The respective program of technical re-equipment of Ukrainian defense industry is actively implemented this year’, he marked. The official added that ‘thanks to the liberalization of external economic activity, the Ukrainian enterprises can purchase the equipment and spare parts without the mediators’ monopoly of state-run exporters’. Turchynov also reiterated that Vizar is also involved in the modernization of the active-duty missiles, used by the Ukrainian army; besides, this particular factory completely gave up any cooperation with Russia in this area – though, until 2014, ’40 percent of the necessities were brought from Russia, and the Ukrainian company exported 88 percent of its production to Russia’. In May, the first test launch of Javelin missiles took place in Ukraine. ‘I’m sure that now, the combat efficiency of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, missile troops and the artillery have increased considerably’, he said. ‘Of course, this is defensive weaponry and it will be used only when Russia attacks positions of Ukrainian forces’, President Petro Poroshenko said after the test launch was performed at a firing range.
Turchenov: Developing new models of missile weapons is one of our top priorities (VIDEO)
As part of the control over the implementation of the national missile program, I visited the State Enterprise “VIZAR”. There is already a new equipment that was purchased and installed in the framework of the program of re-equipment of Ukrainian enterprises of the defense industry with new equipment.What is important, the newest state-of-the-art machines were purchased by the plant under direct contracts for the NSDC decision to liberalize the foreign economic activity of the defense industry. According to this decision, Ukrainian enterprises, regardless of the form of ownership, may purchase international technical equipment and necessary components for the production of powerful modern weapons without the intermediary monopoly of state special exporters.The National Security and Defense Council puts OPK in the task of creating new advanced missile systems. This is primarily about missiles that will provide reliable air defense to our country, and this is the priority that the state enterprise “VIZAR” and other leading defense enterprises of Ukraine will work on today.
Ukraine to set up production of own Buk missiles – media | UNIAN
Ukraine has purchased the necessary foreign-made equipment for setting up a closed cycle production of missiles for Buk missile systems and new medium-range surface-to-air missile systems. The process from blueprints to manufacture may take some time. Ukraine has purchased the necessary foreign-made equipment for setting up a closed cycle production of missiles for Buk missile systems and new medium-range surface-to-air missile systems. “Today, [Ukraine’s] anti-aircraft missile troops have the Buk-M1 anti-aircraft missile systems and S-300 surface-to-air missile systems of various modifications. This is second-hand equipment, maintenance is provided by repair teams, while designers are constantly working on its modernization,” the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Narodna Armia news outlet reported. In addition, Ukrainian enterprises are actively improving the old 9M38M1 model of Buk missiles. Particular attention is being paid to engines and solid rocket fuel whose quality and condition impact greatly on acceleration, speed and range of hitting the target. The process from blueprints to the manufacture of missiles may take some time. “State-run Research-Industrial Complex Pavlograd Chemical Plant has developed new mixed solid propellant with improved performance, which is being tested now. It is expected that the speed of the missiles and range will be increased significantly due to some changes in their software and new propellant powders. If testers are satisfied with the surface-to-air missile systems, the ‘refueling’ of the repaired missiles will begin immediately after the testing. Subsequently, these powders will be used for new systems,” the publication said. The Buk multifunctional medium-range anti-aircraft missile system (its latest modernized model is the Buk-M1-2) is designed to destroy strategic and tactical aircraft, cruise missiles, helicopters and other aerial vehicles (depending on modernization). The system can be used for air defense of troops, military facilities, important administrative, industrial and other areas (centers) against massive air attacks. It may be also used as a ballistic missile defense module.
The Air Defence Missile Forces will receive upgraded [SA-11 GADFLY] Buk systems and new missiles
The Commander of the Air Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine assures that intensive work is ongoing on the upgrading of the anti-aircraft missile armament fleet (ZRV). There are good results in modernizing the existing systems and developing new ones. Today, the ZRV is equipped with anti-aircraft missile systems “Buk-M1” and anti-aircraft missile systems of the C-300 of various modifications. In a short time Ukraine managed to get rid of the dependence on Russian defense enterprises and to independently establish its own production of spare parts and components necessary for the restoration and repair of SAMs. Thanks to this, it was possible to significantly increase the level of airworthiness of anti-aircraft missile weapons, in particular, almost 70% of the S-300P inventory has already been repaired. Very soon, Ukrainian units of air defense will receive weapons that can effectively withstand future means of air attack throughout the range of heights and speeds under conditions of intense radio-electronic and fire effects of the enemy. Everything thanks to the deep modernization program of the “Buk-M1” SAM, which made it possible to significantly improve the performance of the system. After analyzing the domestic scientific-technical and industrial potential, it was decided that this way can re-equip the units of air defense in a rather short time, with the use of relatively small resources. For the year, ZRVs are waiting for the first samples of modernized weapons from defense enterprises. They will receive increased operational-technical and tactical-technical characteristics, automated crew stations, a new long range thermal imaging system, modern digital communication, navigation and topography systems, a laser rangefinder and a new coordinate support mode [Ed: battery component geolocation]. In the future, the equipment is to be equipped with new surface-to-air guided missiles with a semi-active radar seeker. Over its creation already work the best domestic designers. Meanwhile, Ukrainian enterprises are actively mastering the repair of the old 9M38M1 “Bukivka” missile. Particular attention – engines and solid rocket propellant, the quality and condition of which affect the acceleration, speed and range of lethal envelope to the target. The Scientific-Production Association “Pavlograd Chemical Plant” has developed a new mixed solid rocket propellant with improved characteristics, the test of which is already ongoing. Due to new propellant and some changes in rocket software, it is expected that its speed and range will increase substantially. If the missileers are satisfied with the “behavior” of the SAM during test launches, then immediately after their completion, the “refueling” of refurbished missiles will begin. Subsequently, these propellant will be used for new future developments in SAMs. If we talk about the creation of a new generation of domestic surface-air guided missiles, then it should be understood that this requires a lot of resources and time. And although Ukraine has purchased the necessary foreign equipment to repair the closed cycle of the production of “Bukivka” rockets and a future Ukrainian medium-range missile defense missile, the process from designing to pushing missiles from the conveyor will still take some time. Today, experts of anti-aircraft missile forces are looking at developments regarding already existing missiles MLRS “Vilkha” and anti-ship missiles “Neptune”. They have good characteristics and are an eloquent testimony to the successful implementation of the scientific, design and production potential of the Ukrainian defense industry. Today, Ukrainian defense companies are actively working on adapting these missiles to the Air Forces SAMs. The increase in the fleet of combat-capable complexes is also solved by returning to the armory of short range S-125 [SA-3 GOA] and long-range S-200V (Vega). If all the planned events will be successful, in the near future the number of combat-capable systems in the anti-aircraft missile troops of the Ukrainian military will increase by a third. Therefore, in the face of cyclic financing, Ukraine is able to quickly strengthen its air defence shield. Alexander OLEKHNOVICH, “People’s Army”%
Зенітні ракетні війська отримають модернізовані комплекси «Бук» та нові ракети
фахівці зенітних ракетних військ придивляються до напрацювань щодо вже наявних ракет ОТРК СВ «Вільха» та протикорабельних ракет «Нептун»


Propaganda war against Ukraine’s aspirations to gain Tomos on autocephaly – LB.ua news portal
Propaganda war against Ukraine’s aspirations to gain Tomos on autocephaly. Among the external factors opposing the receipt by the Orthodox Ukrainians of Tomos from the Patriarch of Constantinople, it’s the Russian factor that dominates above others. It consists of religious and secular components (the division into which, however, is conditional in present-day Russia).In the international arena, Moscow continues to oppose the recognition of Ukrainian autocephaly, actively involving not only the clerics of the Russian Orthodox Church, but also its diplomatic corps. This is especially noticeable in countries with their own Orthodox autocephalous churches. It is about the attempts to convince the local religious and secular (primarily – political) establishment in the inexpediency and future threats of such developments. Various ways are used to find incentives for officials, including authoritative church hierarchies and to influence the process in order to prevent the recognition of Ukrainian Orthodox autocephaly, LB.ua reports. Lb.ua explains the narratives the Russian propaganda uses in countering Ukraine’s efforts and goes on to debunk them all. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today
Poroshenko: autocephalous church is one of backbones of Ukraine’s national security – 112.international
Autocephalous church is one of backbones of Ukraine’s national security, – Poroshenko
Fifth element of Ukrainian autocephaly – LB.ua news portal
Fifth element of Ukrainian autocephaly. Perhaps few in Ukraine in the summer of 2018 need an explanation of what is a Tomos. Today it is almost a meme, of which, however, no average Ukrainians were aware just a couple of years ago. This is a historic act granting Ukraine and its Orthodox believers a legitimate canonical right to break away from Moscow’s suffocating embrace. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today
Traffic will be restricted during events in celebration of 1030th anniversary of Kievan Rus Christianization – Ukraine to mark 1030th anniversary of Christianization of Kievan Rus – 112.international
Traffic will be restricted during events in celebration of 1030th anniversary of Kievan Rus Christianization


Poroshenko: Russia Must Be Held Accountable For ‘Terrorist Act’ Of MH17
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says Russia “must be held accountable” for downing Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 in 2014 over the war zone in eastern Ukraine.
UAWire – Ukrainian President asks NATO countries for assistance in creating Anti-Corruption Court
In an interview to Ukrainian TV channels, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has called on the leaders of NATO countries to provide Ukraine …
Poroshenko agrees with Hungary’s PM Orban on ministerial dialogue on language provisions | UNIAN
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has announced about agreements with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban to continue bilateral dialogue at the level of ministers about the language provisions of Ukraine’s new law on education. The two officials met on the sidelines of the NATO Summit.
President emphasizes that Ukraine has won a case against Russia in the Stockholm Arbitration — Official website of the President of Ukraine
President Petro Poroshenko stresses that the Stockholm Arbitration explicitly obliged Russian Gazprom to pay NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine $ 4.6 billion. The Head of State reminded that he had given the relevant instructions regarding the preparation of the appeal to the Stockholm arbitration and the resolution of the issue in the international court.
Savchenko announces indefinite hunger strike after arrest extended | UNIAN
Tetiana Protorchenko, the press secretary of Ukrainian Member of Parliament Nadiia Savchenko, who has been arrested on charges of plotting a coup, has said the lawmaker announced an indefinite hunger strike due to the extension of the period of detention. According to the decision of judge of Kyiv’s Shevchenkivsky district court, Volodymyr Buhel, Savchenko’s preventive measure in the form of arrest was extended until September 10.
Ukrainian Activist Attacked With Zelyonka And Pies
Attackers doused a Ukrainian activist with a green chemical and cream pies as he protested the dropping of a corruption case prosecution in Kyiv.
Ukraine climbs seven positions up in ranking of innovative countries – Poroshenko – 16.07.2018 11:12 — Ukrinform News
Ukraine has managed rise to the 43rd place in the ranking of innovative countries. &nbsp;
‘Murderers Not Found’ Two Years After Journalist Sheremet Killed In Kyiv
Dozens of people have commemorated journalist Pavel Sheremet on the second anniversary of his killing in a car-bomb blast in central Kyiv.
UN Urges Ukraine To Act To Protect Roma From ‘Systematic Persecution’
The United Nations has called on Ukraine to take “immediate action” to end what it called the “systematic persecution” of the country’s Roma minority population.
The building of a kindergarten in a Roma settlement was burnt down at night of July 15 – Romani kindergarten burned down in Zakarpattia region – 112.international
The building of a kindergarten in a Roma settlement was burnt down at night of July 15
Russia, Ukraine In EU-Backed Talks To Avoid New ‘Gas Wars’
Officials from Moscow and Kyiv are due to gather in Berlin on July 17 for EU-backed talks on the future of the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine.
Prosecutors accuse reproductive health clinic of selling babies – LB.ua news portal
Prosecutors accuse reproductive health clinic of selling babies. Conception did not involve clients’ biomaterial. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today
UAWire – US Senate majority leader calls for new anti-Russian sanctions
US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel has urged two key Senate committees to hold hearings on the possibility of placing new sanctions on …

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports

 


 

U.S. refuses European requests for exemptions from its new sanctions on Iran
The Trump administration has rejected an appeal from Britain, France and Germany to grant broad exemptions to European firms doing business in Iran.
Putin: ‘Powerful Forces’ Are Trying To Undermine U.S.-Russia Relations
Russian President Vladimir Putin says powerful forces in the United States are trying to undermine the results of his first bilateral meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump. Speaking at a meeting with Russian diplomats at the Foreign Ministry in Moscow on July 19, Putin blamed the “domestic political struggle” in the United States for tying to “belittle” the talks. Putin also said that NATO’s “aggressive moves that pose a direct threat to Russia’ will receive a proportional response.

DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports

 


 

Russia, China Block U.S. Bid At UN To Halt Fuel Deliveries To North Korea
Russia and China are blocking a U.S. effort at the United Nations to halt all deliveries of refined oil products to North Korea amid charges that Pyongyang is smuggling fuel into the country, diplo…
Russia, China Delay US Push for Halt of Refined Petroleum to North Korea
US had asked for stop to shipments after accusing Pyongyang of exceeding a UN limit on fuel deliveries through illegal imports
Tongue-lashings from North Korea’s Kim underscore shift in focus to economy | Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s strident rebukes of officials during recent trips to industrial sites were aimed at rallying support at home for his economic drive and convincing outsiders about his willingness to denuclearize.
South Korea scrambles military jets to intercept Russian aircraft – Business Insider
The Russian aircraft were believed to be military bomber jets and spent more than three hours in the Korea Air Defence Identification Zone.


China’s new destroyers: ‘Power, prestige and majesty’ – CNN
China’s navy is getting bigger and better and doing it at a speed unmatched by any nation around the globe.
The ‘great-grandmother of all scandals’ comes to China – BBC News
Two Chinese companies are implicated in the scandal around the Malaysian investment fund, 1MDB.
GEOFF RABY. Lessons from China’s 40 years of reform – a very personal reflection | John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations
 I am delighted to have been asked to open this conference [the China Economists’  Conference] which is occurring on the 40th Anniversary of the launching of China’s reforms and open-door policies, policies that have changed China and the world. There was nothing pre-destined about this.  There was no certainty that they would work or that…
Breakingviews – Really Big Data gives China medical AI edge | Reuters
(Reuters Breakingviews) – Forget autonomous driving: The latest digital buzzword is medtech. Investors at last week’s annual RISE technology conference in Hong Kong talked up a coming healthcare artificial-intelligence revolution, and the hype is as palpable in Silicon Valley. Chinese firms are well positioned to take the lead.


‘Acquiescence’ and the Senkaku Island Debate | The Diplomat
China’s long postwar silence undermines its claim to sovereignty.
EU signs its biggest free trade deal with Japan – BBC News
The agreement is a challenge to the increasing protectionism employed by US President Donald Trump.
China Built an Army of Influence Agents in the U.S.
The Russians may be getting all the attention for influencing American opinion and policy. But Beijing has been at it for decades.
China Built an Army of Influence Agents in the U.S. – To Inform is to Influence
By Elizabeth Brockway, www.thedailybeast.com July 18th, 2018 In May, a classified Australian government report revealed that the Chinese Communist Party had spent the last decade attempting to influence every level of that nation’s government and politics. “Unlike Russia, which seems to be as much for a good time rather than a long time, the Chinese are strategic, patient, and…
Defence demands total control over Australian tech R&D, exports – Strategy – Security – Software – iTnews
Expands powers to ‘uncontrolled’ technology.
Defence attacked over new technology restrictions – Strategy – Security – iTnews
Search and entry powers questioned.
Australian PM suggests ‘values test’ for migrants – CNN
Australia’s federal government will consider a “values test” for migrants hoping to gain permanent residence, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Friday.
Australia could add ‘values test’ for migrants, Malcolm Turnbull says | Australia news | The Guardian
Prime minister confirms government is considering a ‘values test’ for those seeking permanent residency

Foreign Policy Reports

 


 

Strongmen Die, but Authoritarianism Is Forever – Foreign Policy
It’s reassuring to think authoritarian governments depart with their leaders. It’s also wrong.
The Nationalist Internationale Is Crumbling – Foreign Policy
Steve Bannon is trying to sell Trumpism to Eastern Europeans—but shared ideologies die hard when they run into economic and military realities.
UAWire – Bill on sanctions against Nord Stream 2 pipeline introduced in the US Congress
John Barrasso, Senator from Wyoming and a member of the Republican Party of the USA introduced a new bill to Congress providing sanctions …
EU Urges U.S., Russia, China To Avoid Costly Trade Wars
European Council President Donald Tusk has urged the United States, Russia, and China to avoid starting trade wars that could threaten the global order and endanger world peace.
EU To Add Six Russian Entities To Sanctions List Over Kerch Bridge
European Union ambassadors have decided to add six Russian entities to its asset freeze and visa ban list for being involved in the recent construction of the Kerch Strait Bridge — a 19-kilometer-…


Europe’s Dependence on the U.S. Was All Part of the Plan – POLITICO Magazine
Postwar U.S. statesmen designed our world order as it is for a reason. They had lived through what happened without it.
Theresa May dismisses calls for 2nd Brexit vote as ninth parliament member resigns | Fox News
The British prime minister dismissed any calls for a second referendum vote on the country’s departure from the European Union, standing behind her plan that sparked the ninth resignation of a parliament member on Monday.
Theresa May Says Trump Advised Her To ‘Sue The EU’
The president said last week that he’d offered the British prime minister “brutal” Brexit advice.
The Guardian view on Donald Trump in Britain: this was the visit from hell | Editorial | Opinion | The Guardian
Editorial: Theresa May should have grasped that this US president is an enemy of stability in Europe. Now she should learn from her mistake
The Memo: Trump leaves chaos in his wake in UK | TheHill
President Trump’s conduct during his trip to the United Kingdom has left even seasoned observers scratching their heads.
Donald Trump apologises to Theresa May over Brexit attack but stays firm on US deal doubts
THE US President’s withering verdict on Mrs May’s troubled EU negotiation – in an interview with us yesterday – sent shock waves around the world. In a rapid about-turn overnight though, the President confessed he had apologised for his diatribe, and for revealing the PM had ignored his advice.
Trump Calls Criticism of British PM May “Fake News” : NPR
After slamming Prime Minister Theresa May in a British tabloid on her decisions carrying out Brexit, President Trump said at a joint press conference that May is doing a “terrific job.”
Opinion: Why Theresa May got the Trump gaslight treatment – CNN
Trump’s usual move in his by-now-boring dominance game involves selecting a target who is obviously weaker than him — especially if they are female or in any way less powerful — so he is guaranteed to ‘win.’ Both May — and Merkel — have taken the high road to wait till this hot air blows over, writes Michael D’Antonio.
Trump’s ‘Culture’ Comments About Immigrants Echo European White Nationalists’
The president continues to find allies in avowed racists.
London Mayor Says Preposterous for Trump to Blame Crime on Immigration | Newsmax.com
London Mayor Says Preposterous for Trump to Blame Crime on Immigration
UK tabloid reporter: Trump gave May a ‘wrapped hand grenade’ – YouTube
CNN Published on Jul 13, 2018 Tabloid reporter Tom Newton Dunn says that President Donald Trump gave Prime Minister Theresa May a ‘wrapped hand grenade’ after he criticized the British Prime Minister in an interview with The Sun.
President Trump: “I didn’t criticise the prime minister” in Sun interview – BBC News – YouTube
BBC News Published on Jul 13, 2018 Donald Trump has been speaking about his interview printed in The Sun newspaper. He said the story was “generally fine” but did not include the “tremendous things” he said about Theresa May. “Fortunately we tend to record stories now so we have it for your enjoyment if you’d like it. “But we record what we do with reporters – it’s called fake news.” The first question comes from the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg. She asks if the president’s criticism of Mrs May was the behaviour of a friend. Mr Trump denies criticising the prime minister. He says the only thing he asks of Mrs May is for the US to be able to trade with the UK. “I believe after speaking with the prime minister’s people and trade experts a deal will be possible,” he says.
President Trump rolls his eyes and brushes off Theresa May question – Daily Mail – YouTube
Daily Mail Published on Jul 13, 2018 President Donald Trump rolled his eyes after a journalist asked if he ‘regretted his comments in The Sun interview’ after speaking in front of the media with Prime Minister Theresa May at her Chequers residence.
Donald Trump And Theresa May Hold Hands As President Is Greeted At Blenheim Palace – YouTube
IBTimes UK Published on Jul 13, 2018 U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife Melania were greeted by British Prime Minister Theresa May and husband at Blenheim Palace on July 12. The two leaders were scene holding hands briefly, as they moved into position for the military band of British army guardsmen to play.
Trump arrives at Blenheim Palace – BBC News – YouTube
BBC News Published on Jul 12, 2018 Theresa and Philip May stand alongside Donald and Melania Trump on the steps of the palace to listen to Liberty Fanfare, the National Emblem, and a special arrangement of Dear Lord and Father of Mankind with Amazing Grace, played by the guards. There are bagpipes mixed in to the arrangement, in a nod to Mr Trump’s Scottish connections.
Queen Elizabeth II welcomes Trump to Windsor Castle – YouTube
CNN Published on Jul 13, 2018 President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump meet British monarch Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle.
Prince Charles and Prince William ‘snubbed’ Trump during his Queen visit – AOL News
Prince Charles and Prince William could have attended the Trump’s meeting with Queen Elizabeth II, but “snubbed” the American in favor of other engagements.


Russia Angers a European Friend, Greece – WSJ
Russia’s intensifying rivalry with the West for influence in the Balkan region is upsetting it a traditional friend inside the European Union: Greece.
Tensions Escalate Between Greece and Russia, With Macedonia in the Middle – The New York Times
As a war of words sharpened between Athens and Moscow, the Russian foreign minister canceled a visit to Athens.
Russia Protests Greece’s Expulsion Of Envoys For ‘Meddling’ In Macedonia Name Dispute
Russia has summoned the Greek ambassador in Moscow to protest Athens’ expulsion of two Russian diplomats accused of trying to block Greece’s landmark agreement settling a name dispute with Macedonia.
Greek Court Approves French Request To Extradite Russian Cybercrime Suspect
A Greek court has approved a French request to extradite a Russian cybercrime suspect who is also wanted in the United States and Russia, in a move which prompted Moscow to threaten reprisals.
Austrian state wants to force meat-consuming Jews and Muslims to register, drawing Nazi comparisons – The Washington Post
One Jewish association branded the law proposal an “Aryan paragraph.”

 


 

IW/EW/IO/Cyber Reports

 


 

Is Professionalism Dead? – To Inform is to Influence
Last evening I had a long talk with a good friend who happens to be an attorney. I had two concerns that I wanted to cover. The first concerned “fair use” of articles in my blog. The second was what I consider “Professionalism in Journalism” or a lack thereof. This has been a long-simmering issue with me, as the news coverage of politics in the US has become severely biased. Part of it is the nature of the beast, politics is news and bias is what sells, and people gravitate to whichever bias they have. This is a reinforcement or a validation of their opinion, it feeds their need. The problem is when that bias bleeds over into other professional work. In this blog, I try to keep any personal bias out of my writing, to the extent possible. 26 years in the Army teaches you that politics does not mix with work. Since then I have worked for a slew of defense contractors, was the Director of the IO Institute for four years, and have done consulting work since. My personal bias does not enter into anything I say or do.
Fake Views: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Of Soviet Photoshopping
Photoshop 1.0 was first released as the Soviet Union was collapsing, but long before the software made photo manipulation easy, Kremlin censors went to extraordinary lengths to touch up history.
Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election
Report: Undercover Facebook Moderator Told to Ignore Hate Speech, Fake News – The Daily Beast
An undercover journalist also found Facebook moderators weren’t deleting racist speech from far-right groups.
Secretly filmed footage reveals the training Facebook moderators are put through | Business Insider
The training Facebook moderators are put through has been revealed in hidden camera footage.
Deception strategies and threats for online discussions | Varol | First Monday
Deception strategies and threats for online discussions
8 top cyber attack maps and how to use them – To Inform is to Influence
Have worked in Cyber, cybersecurity, cyber warfare, and cyber policy, for close to 20 years, I can attest to how a briefing without graphics is about as boring as watching paint dry.  Good graphics about cyber are difficult to find. How many ways are there to show a packet of electrons being launched at a…
UAWire – Germany accuses Russian hackers of carrying out cyber-attacks on media and scientific organizations
In Germany, several media outlets and a chemical research organization were exposed to cyberattacks,  Deutsche Welle reports , citing the …
How To Operate And Communicate Securely In A Possibly Hostile Environment – To Inform is to Influence
I have quite a few friends in Finland.   Some of my friends in Finland are terrified of the SVR, Russia’s external intelligence service (much like the CIA).  These friends jump through every hoop imaginable to communicate securely, to ensure nothing they type or speak has a remote possibility of being intercepted and decrypted by the…
A $225 GPS spoofer can send sat-nav-guided vehicles into oncoming traffic * | Ars Technica
* Some restrictions apply.
Google Is Fined $5 Billion by EU in Android Antitrust Case – WSJ
The European Union fined Alphabet’s Google $5 billion, a record for the bloc and a decision that could loosen the company’s grip on its biggest growth engine: mobile phones.

US Domestic Policy Reports

 


 

Opinion | How Do You Say ‘Witch Hunt’ in Russian? – The New York Times
It sure is strange that Donald Trump is so angry at American justice for the indictment of 12 Russian military officers.
‘Warning Lights Are Blinking Red,’ Top Intelligence Officer Says of Russian Attacks – The New York Times
Days before President Trump’s meeting with Vladimir V. Putin, Dan Coats compared the danger of Russian cyberattacks to the warnings the U.S. had of stepped-up terror threats ahead of Sept. 11, 2001.
Pentagon calls on allies for ‘damage control’ after Trump NATO trip: report | TheHill
Pentagon officials have spent the hours since President Trump departed NATO headquarters in Brussels reassuring U.S.
Russian “troll factory” launches new site in run-up to election to US Congress, 112.international – Russian “troll factory” launches new site in run-up to election to US Congress – 112.international
Russian “troll factory” launches new site in run-up to election to US Congress
Lawfare’s Writeup Of Mueller’s Indictment – To Inform is to Influence
When I originally published this article, I edited one phrase out of this article.  It was immature, unprofessional, and reflected poorly on what I consider a very good publication.  I sent out a tweet telling them exactly what I thought, but the damage has been done. The issue is Lawfare’s use of the phrase “Leaker…
U.S. Court Denies Trump Ex-Campaign Chief’s Request To Relocate Trial
A U.S. judge in the state of Virginia on July 17 denied a request to relocate the trial of Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman.
Russia Continues To Sow Discord In U.S., FBI Director Says – To Inform is to Influence
This appears to be the second administration official deviating from President Trump’s statement from Monday. President Trump is backtracking that statement but it is not being well received. I cannot trust the mainstream media, however, their bias is too deep. It is getting more difficult to read between the lines to discern the real truth. The FBI is a member of the Intelligence Community, one of 17 agencies. This puts a very public statement on the record. The problem continues to be that the US government is not even attempting to counter Russian information warfare. The BBG is the only active program exposing Russian propaganda. The GEC remains focused on ISIS, even though the earmarked money from Congress was supposedly released. </end editorial>


The Self-Inflicted Demise of American Power – Defense One
The effect of Trump’s foreign-policy doctrine can be summed up as “Make America Weak Again.”
Trump reveals details of planned Air Force One makeover – CBS News
President Trump says he's giving the plane a more patriotic paint scheme, ditching the iconic powder blue
Trump: Redesigned Air Force One will be red, white and blue | TheHill
President Trump confirmed in an interview that aired Tuesday that Air Force One is set for a redesign with a red, white and blue paint job.
Mattis and Dunford call for classified nuclear changes – CNNPolitics
Even as the Trump administration looks for further nuclear arms reductions with Russia and full denuclearization with North Korea, the Pentagon is making crucial changes in nuclear weapons employment and options after Defense Secretary James Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently called for classified changes.
Jeff Bezos Becomes the Richest Man in Modern History, Topping $150 Billion – Bloomberg
Jeff Bezos is the richest person in modern history.

 

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