Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Salisbury CW Attack / Syria / Iran / Russia Ad Hoc Update (107)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Russian alternate reality continues. More ICBM and ABM rattling. Chinese combat aircraft arrive in Russia for exercises. Excellent legacy recording of Bezmennov interview – a good snapshot of the persistent Soviet mindset.

Multiple updates on Salisbury/Amesbury. Most interesting report by the Mail summarising how the covert op was conducted.

Iran makes multiple and rather absurd threats against the US. More on Iran’s self-inflicted troubles. More on Israeli interventions in Syria.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry says, no, it’s not hypocrisy when it continues to use an instant messenger banned in Russia — Meduza

Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson for Russia’s Foreign Ministry, says she doesn’t see any hypocrisy in the ministry continuing to post updates on Telegram, despite the Russian federal censor’s efforts to block the instant messenger. She says the mid-April 2018 court ruling instructing Roskomnadzor to ban the service doesn’t apply to the Foreign Ministry.

Amesbury incident latest: Man reportedly poisoned by Novichok discharged from hospital – YouTube

RT Published on Jul 21, 2018 British police have confirmed Charlie Rowley, one of the two victims exposed to what the British authorities claim to be the Novichok nerve agent, has been released from the hospital. His partner, Dawn Sturges, died there earlier this month.

Niece of alleged UK poisoning victim registered as candidate in Russian regional election — RT Russian Politics News

Viktoria Skripal, niece of former intelligence agent and alleged poisoning victim Sergei Skripal, has been registered as a candidate in one of Russia’s regional legislative assemblies.

Russia Tells Pompeo That U.S. Arrest of Butina Is Unacceptable – Bloomberg

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the U.S. arrest of Russian Maria Butina on suspicion of trying to infiltrate Republican circles and acting as an unregistered foreign agent was unacceptable.

Lavrov Urges Butina Release In Phone Call With Pompeo

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has complained to his U.S. counterpart, Mike Pompeo, about the U.S. detention of Russian national Maria Butina on charges of conspiracy and acting as an unreg…

Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov tells Pompeo to free Russian woman accused of espionage in US – AOL News

Sergei Lavrov told Mike Pompeo on Saturday that a woman arrested on accusations of being a Russian agent is being detained on “fabricated charges.”

US Oil Companies Allegedly Lobbying Congress Not to Ramp Up Russia Sanctions – Sputnik International

With this week’s US-Russia summit in Helsinki setting off a new wave of media speculation about Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 US election, the US Congress is mulling a new round of sanctions against Moscow.

Russia successfully tests new hypersonic interceptor missile – Defence Blog

Russia once again successfully tested its new PRS-1M hypersonic interceptor missile, which is part of the A-135 missile defense system, at Sary Shagan anti-ballistic missile testing range located in Kazakhstan. Russia’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 20 July that a missile defence unit of the Russian Aerospace Forces has tested PRS-1M hypersonic interceptor missile. The PRS-1M is a new interceptor missile that reportedly has a new engine capable of speeding it up to 4km per second, lighter hull components and an upgraded guidance system, which allows it to better resist countermeasures deployed by an incoming ICBM. According to, the Russian Armed Forces conducted the first test ever of the PRS-1M interceptor in November 2017 from Kazakhstan and the second one on February 12, 2018, from the same location. Russian media also reported that the new interceptor is apparently the replacement for the 53T6 short-range anti-ballistic missiles, which serve as part of an ABM shield protecting Moscow from a possible nuclear strike. The size of the projectile is the same as 53T6, since it is meant to be deployed from the same silos around the Russian capital.

UAWire – Kremlin: Russian Armed forces received seven intercontinental ballistic missiles in 2018

Since the beginning of 2018, Russia's Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN) have received seven intercontinental ballistic missiles, stated the Deputy …

UAWire – Media: information on Russian hypersonic weapons leaked to foreign intelligence agencies

The Federal Security Service of Russia (FSB) began executing search warrants as part of the investigation into the leak of the data related to…

Russia’s Latest ‘Super Weapons’: What Are They and What Can They Do?

Russia released clips of six super weapons said capable of thwarting even top U.S. defenses.

Chinese H-6K strategic bomber arrives in Russia – Defence Blog

Chinese modern H-6K long-range strategic bombers have arrived in Russia to participate in the International Army Games. The crews of long-range bombers of the People’s Liberation Army Xian H-6K, military transport aircraft Shaanxi Y-9, JH-7A fighter-bombers were deployed to the competition sites of the International Army Games at the Dyagilevo air base in Ryazan Oblast, about 5,000km from central China. Also, until the end of the week, the crews of the J-10 fighter jets of the PLA will arrive here. The Chinese H-6 was intended to serve as a medium-range bomber for delivering unguided ordnance over land and sea. The H-6K is an advanced version of the older H-6 (which is a licensed version of the Soviet-designed Tu-16 bomber) that has new nose cone. The H-6K also has two larger engine intakes and three hardpoints installed on each wing. Another distinction for the H-6K is the absence of separate tail and belly oscillating gun turrets that were permanent features on both the original Tu-16 and H-6. The H-6K is designed for long-range attacks and stand-off attacks.

Putin Moves Away From Unpopular Move To Increase Retirement Age

Russian President Vladimir Putin has distanced himself from an unpopular government plan to increase the retirement age, saying “I do not like any of the ways that have been discussed” to implement…

Putin Ends Silence on Pensions to Say Russia Needs Fix Soon – Bloomberg

Russian President Vladimir Putin broke weeks of silence over the government’s plan to revamp the pension system, saying no final decision has been made but warning of a growing strain on public finances.

Russia Protests Greek Diplomatic Expulsions Over Macedonian Name Deal

Russia’s government has summoned the Greek ambassador in Moscow to protest Athen’s expulsion of two Russian diplomats, in the latest episode of a diplomatic spat stemming from Macedonia’s plans to …

Facebook Suspends Analytical Firm With Alleged Ties To Russia

Facebook says it has suspended an analytical firm with alleged ties to Russia as it investigates how the firm assembles and shares information it gets from the social network’s users.

Russia Probing Video Purporting To Show Prison Torture

Russian authorities are looking into a video purporting to show an inmate being tortured by prison guards in the Yaroslavl region.

Two Russian Police Officers Killed By Gunmen In Daghestan

Two police officers in the Kizilyurtovsky District of Russia’s volatile Daghestan region were killed on July 20 when their patrol was attacked by gunmen, a police spokesman said.

With Trump Going Soft on Nord Stream, Congress Moves to Kill the Pipeline – Foreign Policy

U.S. lawmakers, at least, worry that Europe’s reliance on Moscow for energy could give Russia key leverage.

34 years ago, a KGB defector chillingly predicted modern America – To Inform is to Influence

According to this article, it seems the West has been targeted by Russian Information Warfare for decades using classic KGB methodology. We appear to be past the demoralization stage and into the destabilization or crisis phase… Thought provoking article. </end editorial> July 18, 2018 by PAUL RATNER President Trump was almost universally panned for the press conference that…

KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov’s warning to America – YouTube

KGB DEFECTOR YURI BEZMENOV’S WARNING TO AMERICA: 29 YEARS AGO, Soviet defector and KGB operative Yuri Bezmenov, specializing in the fields of Marxist-Leninist propaganda and ideological subversion; warned us about the silent war being waged against America as part of a long term plan to take over and destroy the American system and way of life. Watch this clip in AMAZEMENT as you realize he is describing EXACTLY what’s happening in America today, where by Obama and his gang of Marxist usurpers who now have control of your government are just the culmination of a very long term plan, but are the ones who are about to bring it into fruition. Bezmenov was born in 1939 in Mytishchi, near Moscow to a high ranking Soviet Army officer. At the age of seventeen, he entered the Institute of Oriental Languages, a part of the Moscow State University which was under the direct control of the KGB and the Communist Central Committee. In addition to languages, he studied history, literature, and music, and became an expert on Indian culture. During his second year, Bezmenov sought to look like a person from India; his teachers encouraged this because graduates of the school were employed as diplomats, foreign journalists, or spies.[2] As a Soviet student, he was also required to take compulsory military training in which he was taught how to play “strategic war games” using the maps of foreign countries, as well as how to interrogate prisoners of war.[2]

Bill Browder and Vladimir Putin: A tangled tale of two nations, two centuries and a lot of history |

Behind this week’s Helsinki headlines lies a fascinating mystery with deep roots and many unanswered questions

How ‘Putin’s spy agency’ hit squad carried out Novichok mission | Daily Mail Online

A team of up to four spies including a woman are claimed to have been sent to murder Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia – two agents to carry and administer the Novichok and two more as back up. Team of up to four Russian spies including woman sent to Salisbury to kill Skripals, report quotes MI6 source. Novichok was smeared on Sergei’s front door and double agent and daughter fell ill on afternoon March 4. Hit squad linked to GRU military intelligence service may have flown in on March 3 and out again on March 5. British listening station in Cyprus may have intercepted coded message to Russia saying: ‘Package delivered’. Aeroflot jet believed to have taken spies home landed in London on March 30 and UK agents searched cabin. Facial recognition software, 4,000 hours of CCTV and flight manifest helped ID them and their aliases. Dawn Sturgess died after finding discarded nerve agent in Salisbury park said to be hidden in perfume bottle.

Russia planning massive cyber attack on the UK following diplomatic row over Novichok – Mirror Online

Security chiefs are convinced Vladimir Putin is intent on causing disruption to undermine Britain following finger-pointing over deadly planting of Novichok in Salisbury

British Police Reportedly Identify Russian Suspects In Nerve Agent Attack On Skripals : NPR

Citing a source close to the investigation, the Press Association reports that police used closed-circuit television to identify multiple Russians who participated in the attack.

Russia’s GRU military intel behind Salisbury poisoning – media | UNIAN

Detectives believe that the Salisbury nerve agent attack was probably carried out by present or former agents of Russia’s military intelligence service, as reports emerged that a number of suspects have been identified. The investigation believes that potential assassins used a perfume bottle with Novichok to spray the nerve agent on the doorknob of Skripal’s house in March.

Police intensify Novichok search – BBC News

Officers continue with investigations into the Novichok nerve agent poisoning with searches in a Salisbury park.

Novichok poisonings: police release drone footage of search | UK news | The Guardian

One theory is that one of the victims found the bottle in the park in Salisbury and sprayed it on their hands

Novichok investigation: police search Salisbury park visited by couple – YouTube

Guardian News Published on Jul 20, 2018 Wiltshire police release drone footage showing officers searching Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury as part of their investigation into the novichok poisonings. A fingertip search of the city centre park, which Dawn Sturgess visited before she fell fatally ill, started on Wednesday Subscribe to Guardian News on YouTube ►

Novichok investigators in hazmats continue search at Salisbury public toilets

Protective screens are in place and and swabs are being taken as part of the inquiry into the second novichok poisoning.

Novichok officers swab benches in Salisbury

Sky News – First for Breaking News, video, headlines, analysis and top stories from business, politics, entertainment and more in the UK and worldwide.

Wiltshire Police on Twitter: “Here’s a video message from our Chief Constable Kier Pritchard following Charlie Rowley’s release from Salisbury District Hospital. #Amesbury #Salisbury…”

Novichok victim Charlie Rowley became contaminated after breaking bottle, brother says 

The Salisbury man struck down by the Novichok nerve agent which killed his girlfriend was contaminated when the container containing the chemical weapon splintered in his hand, his brother revealed on Sunday.

Bottle containing Novichok broke in nerve agent victim Charlie Rowley’s hand, brother claims  | Daily Mail Online

Charlie Rowley has been moved to a secret location after being exposed to nerve agent Novichok in Amesbury. He was injured when a bottle of the agent ‘broke in his hand’ according to his brother.

Charlie Rowley’s brother: ‘He’s stronger than I thought’ – Daily Mail – YouTube

Daily Mail Published on Jul 21, 2018 The brother of Amesbury Novichok victim Charlie Rowley has told of his shock at his sibling’s recovery after he was released from hospital. Mr Rowley was discharged from Salisbury Hospital three weeks after being poisoned by the deadly nerve agent. The 45-year-old collapsed at home in Amesbury, Wiltshire, when coming into contact with the substance on June 30, alongside his partner Dawn Sturgess, 44, who died shortly after. ‘I’m very suprised because when I first saw him I thought he’d be there for months,’ his brother, Matthew Rowley, revealed. ‘Obviously he’s stronger than I thought, which is a great thing.’

Novichok victim Charlie Rowley is discharged from hospital | Daily Mail Online

Novichok attack victim Charlie Rowley, 45 (pictured) has been discharged from Salisbury District Hospital three weeks after being poisoned by the deadly nerve agent.

Novichok victim Charlie Rowley leaves hospital – BBC News

Novichok victim Charlie Rowley has been discharged from hospital after being poisoned on 30 June.

British Man Exposed To Novichok Released From Hospital

A British man who was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok has recovered sufficiently to be released from the hospital, authorities say.

Charlie Rowley discharged from hospital after Novichok poisoning – Daily Mail – YouTube

Daily Mail Published on Jul 21, 2018 Novichok attack victim Charlie Rowley, 45 has been discharged from Salisbury District Hospital three weeks after being poisoned by the deadly nerve agent. Mr Rowley, 45, collapsed after coming into contact with the substance at his home in Amesbury, Wiltshire on June 30. His partner, mother-of-three Dawn Sturgess, 44 died on July 8. Experts have scoured several areas of Amesbury and Salisbury where former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned earlier this year, in a bid to find out how they fell ill.

Iranian president warns Trump: ‘War with Iran is the mother of all wars’

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday cautioned President Donald Trump about pursuing hostile policies against Tehran, state news agency IRNA reported.

US launches campaign to erode support for Iran’s leaders – AOL News

Current and former officials said the campaign paints Iranian leaders in a harsh light, at times using information that is exaggerated.

Iran’s Rouhani warns Trump about ‘mother of all wars’ | Reuters

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday cautioned U.S. President Donald Trump about pursuing hostile policies against Tehran, saying “America should know … war with Iran is the mother of all wars,” but he did not rule out peace between the two countries, either.

Iran Warns Trump Not to Threaten Country’s Oil Exports – Bloomberg

Iran’s president warned his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump not to threaten the Persian Gulf nation’s oil exports and called for improved relations with its neighbors, including arch-rival Saudi Arabia.

Khamenei backs threat to stop Gulf exports if oil sales halted | News | Al Jazeera

Supreme leader denounces US decision to withdraw from deal and calls negotiations with Washington an ‘obvious mistake’.

Iran leader backs Rouhani’s suggestion Iran to block Gulf oil exports if own sales stopped | Reuters

Iran’s supreme leader on Saturday backed President Hassan Rouhani’s suggestion that Iran may block Gulf oil exports if its own exports are stopped, according to his official website.

Iran leader backs suggestion to block Gulf oil exports if own sales stopped | Reuters

Iran’s supreme leader on Saturday backed President Hassan Rouhani’s suggestion that Iran may block Gulf oil exports if its own exports are stopped, according to his official website.

Iran’s ‘fantasy’ of support from Putin | Arab News

Iranians watched the news conference given by US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin after their summit in Helsinki last week with particular interest — and with a particular eye on Putin. Apparently they believed the Russian leader might defend their national interests — a curious about-face, since the Russians are usually portrayed in Iran as users and back-stabbers. Indeed, despite relations with the US having broken down 40 years ago, an American in Tehran would be treated with more compassion than a Russian. In fact, it was the regime who conveyed to the public the notion that Putin might raise with Trump the issue of the Iran nuclear deal, and find a way to avoid renewed sanctions. Ali Akbar Velayati, special adviser to the Supreme Leader, went to Russia to meet Putin before the summit. Some super-optimistic Iranian dreamers thought he might be carrying a message for Trump to be delivered by Putin. What actually happened turned out to be something of a cold shower for these fantasists. Putin mentioned Iran only briefly at the press conference, and did not criticize Trump for his withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

Iran ready to launch cyberattack on U.S. and Europe as Trump administration prepares hefty sanctions, according to report – NY Daily News

Iran ready to launch cyberattack on U.S. and Europe

At least 10 Iranian Revolutionary Guards killed in border attack | Iran News | Al Jazeera

Iranian border guards were killed by unidentified gunmen near the Iraqi border.

Iran says 10 Revolutionary Guards just killed near the Iraqi border – Business Insider

Iran also said that several of the attacking “terrorists” were killed in the fighting in which a munitions depot was blown up.

🇮🇷 Iran currency halves in less than a year | Al Jazeera English – YouTube

Al Jazeera English Published on Jul 21, 2018 The value of the Iranian Rial has halved in less than a year. There have been further threats to the economy posed by the imposition of US sanctions and the loss of oil customers after Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal. While some Iranians blame the Americans, others say their own leaders should have known better. Al Jazeera’s Zein Basravi reports from Tehran.

Netanyahu Tells Putin That Israel Still Targeting Iran Assets In Syria

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Israel will continue to target Iranian military assets in Syria.

Israel Mocks Its Founding Ideals – Bloomberg

A new Jewish “nation-state” law embraces ethnic nationalism at the expense of democracy and equality.

Russia, U.S. Eyeing Joint Plan For Return Of Syrian Refugees

The Russian Defense Ministry says it has sent a proposal to Washington to jointly organize the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland following agreements reached between the Russian and Ameri…

France, Russia Jointly Sending Medical Aid To Embattled Damascus Suburb

France and Russia will jointly deliver humanitarian aid to the former Syrian rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta, the two countries announced in a joint statement.

Israel Aids Evacuation of Hundreds of ‘White Helmets’ and Families in Syria – The New York Times

The Israeli government facilitated the passage of the rescue workers and their families through its territory to Jordan so that they could be resettled abroad.

Israel evacuates 800 White Helmets from Syria to Jordan | Syria News | Al Jazeera

Jordan says it has taken in the volunteers and their families and plans to transfer them to the UK, Canada and Germany.

Turkey’s Rise Sparks New Friendship Between Israel and Greece – WSJ

Greece’s leftist Syriza party ditches its antagonism toward Israel and cooperates with Netanyahu’s government as Ankara asserts power in region.

The Woman Who Defied Iran – Foreign Policy

On the podcast: Masih Alinejad took off her headscarf and started a movement.