Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
More over-indulgence in Dugin’s “Russian truth”, while Russian govt bonds crash as a result of the draft Senate sanctions bill. Excellent essay on Russian PMCs by Dr. Stephen Blank. Russia’s chargé d’affaires in DC chastised by State. More reports on Russia’s descent.
In the UK, the media report that UK is about to demand extradition of two GRU covert operators who attacked the Skripals with a CW agent.
US announces the first round of sanctions on Iran. IRGC report the conclusion of Strait blockade exercise. Head of Syria’s CW plant killed by car bomb.
British officials are constantly pressuring their own police forces over the Salisbury and Amesbury poisoning cases, and wish to obscure the truth, according to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has blasted the latest sanctions efforts coming out of Washington, contending that experience has shown such sanctions “do not work.”
The market for Russian government debt, which has already experienced two major sell-offs since April, is going into a recession, finanz.ru reports. The price of Russian debt on the Moscow Exchange has fallen for two consecutive days, in light of news that the US Senate has introduced a bill which would drastically increase the sanctions against Russia. The document, which was put forward by an inter-party group, including Republican John McCain and democrat Bob Mendendez, demands that the restrictions on the oil and gas sector be tightened, that Russia be investigated for sponsoring international terrorism, and that foreign investors be banned from participating in any operations with Russian government debt. The current sanction regime “has been unable to force the Kremlin to change its behavior”, and so “devastating sanctions against Putin’s Russia are needed, until it stops interfering in the US electoral process,” said Republican Lindsey Graham from South Carolina. “Once again the voiced sanction rhetoric has aggravated the situation of Russian securities,” observed Olga Sterina, an analyst at Uralsib. In daily trading on Friday, the most liquid Federal Loan Bond issuances hit lows since June: the 26207 bond, a favorite among non-residents, dropped by 0.18% after falling 0.54% the day before, to 102.57% of nominal. The Russian Government Bond Index slipped by 0.9 points over two days, and stopped only 0.16 points shy of the 10 month low. Foreign investors, who hold 1.9 trillion rubles worth of Federal Loan Bonds and control almost 29% of the market, have begun to treat the possibility of sanctions on Russian government debt as a fundamental, said analyst Denis Poryvay from Reiffeisen Bank. This was witnessed in the intense dumping of securities after the Russian aluminum producer Rusal was placed on the sanctions blacklist. According to the Central Bank of Russia, between April and June non-residents sold $6.7 billion worth of Russian government debt, equivalent to 370 billion rubles. Russian investors were forced to buy out the market failure, at the expense of the population’s pension savings and possibly also Central Bank funds, Poryvay observed. If the bill is passed, a new sell-off will follow, senior analyst from the Alpari Group Roman Tkachuk believes. Although it currently appears that the bill would only affect operations with new Federal Loan Bond issuances, this still can start an all-encompassing the flights of non-residents. “Compliance may not permit them to hold even old issuances,” Porivay explains. In this case, the Russian government debt market will be under threat of collapse. According to Citigroup’s predictions: the yield on 10-year securities could surge from 7.8% to 11.6% by the end of 2019.
A government informant was involved in the deaths of the Russian journalists in the Central African Republic, MBK Media reports, citing the …
The author is one of the foremost experts on Russia, Dr. Stephen Blank. </end editorial>
Three seasoned journalists were shot dead as they were investigating Russian military contractors and mining interests far beyond the country’s borders, while pension-reform plans put millions of p…
The mysterious deaths of three Russian journalists in the Central African Republic have put a spotlight on the murky activities of Russian security firms in the heart of Africa.
The U.S. State Department has called in Russia’s chargé d’affaires in Washington over what it says are Moscow’s efforts to use social media to “promote violence” and divide U.S. society. Rus…
con·voke kənˈvōk/ verb formal past tense: convoked; past participle: convoked 1. call together or summon (an assembly or meeting). The minister-counselor of the Russian Embassy in Washington was called on the carpet by US Assistant Secretary Wess Mitchell about Russia’s ongoing social media and other online means to “foment division” in the United States. This Sputnik article says Moscow has said that Russia did not interfere with other states’ internal affairs, and denied the US allegations as unfounded. Deny, deny, deny. The actions are clearly in evidence, Russia is interfering, on an ongoing basis, in the elections and the very social fabric of the United States. Russia is committing hundreds, if not thousands, of provocations without incident and without consequence. We need to see more than convoking. </end editorial>
Wess Mitchel, the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs summoned Dmitry Zhirnov, the charge d’affaires of Russia in the…
The United States has called on Russia to comply with UN sanctions on North Korea, citing “deeply troubling” reports that Moscow has granted new work permits to North Korean laborers that are barre…
The U.S. Treasury has targeted a Russian bank for “facilitating a significant transaction” on behalf of a person with ties to North Korea’s banned weapons program.
Moscow has accused U.S. authorities of mistreating a Russian woman jailed on charges of acting as an unregistered foreign agent for the Kremlin and called on international rights organizations to i…
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Steven Seagal has been appointed “special representative” for Russian-American humanitarian relations. The report, below, was posted by Russian propaganda expert Igor Panarin on Facebook, today. New Special Representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry: martial arts master, film actor, bluesman, Buddhist. Seagal’s appointment must be a source of pride to Russians, ignoring opinion that Seagal is a buffoon. “The task is to promote the further development of Russian-American relations in the humanitarian sphere, including interaction in the field of culture, art, public and youth exchanges and more,” the ministry said on its official Facebook page, according to a CNN translation of the post. The reporting has been mostly straightforward. Here are global reports, in reverse chronological order. Notice Sputnik, TASS, and RT are first.
Many Russia-watchers are questioning or making light of the Foreign Ministry’s surprise appointment of Steven Seagal as a special envoy for humanitarian ties with the United States — but not the a…
Intelligence analysts warn that Russian worker believed to have had full access to secret data is unlikely to be an isolated case
Alec Luhn on Twitter: “Three Russian regions have temporarily banned abortions as part of a pro-life action by a foundation led by PM Medvedev’s wife. Traditional values here we go again https://t.co/MWUfVWMczd”
Regional branches of Russia’s Health Ministry and maternity hospitals across the country have been enforcing temporary “moratoriums” on abortion services, as part of a campaign called “Give Me Life!” The project has been organized for the past several years by the Foundation for Social and Cultural Initiatives, whose president is none other than Svetlana Medvedeva, the wife of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. The foundation told the newspaper Kommersant that its campaign is expressly “educational,” stressing that it doesn’t advocate the suspension of access to abortion, but many health officials seem to be unaware of this caveat.
In 1944, Moscow unleashed a second D-Day that ended Nazi Germany. Today, that strategy of maskirovka is being used again.
Author : George Getsos In 1944, Moscow unleashed a second D-Day that ended Nazi Germany. Today, that strategy of maskirovka is being used again. Operation Bagration, which was conducted in 1944 between June 22 and August 19, was perhaps the single most successful Soviet operation of World War II. The goal of the operation was ambitious—the destruction of the German Army Group Center as well as the liberation of Belarus. The success of Bagration would also enable sequential operations across the entire theater to retake western Ukraine and enter the Baltics States and Poland. To do this, Russia used a strategy of deception and intelligence operations designed to disrupt Germany’s center of gravity. After an elaborate maskirovka (deception) campaign, which ensured the bulk of German Panzer divisions remained in western Ukraine and northern Romania for the critical first week of the operation, the Soviets unleashed four fronts on German Army Group Center, catching the Germans by surprise. The defeat was devastating for Germany. Besides losing most of Army Group Center, the German front receded 240–310 miles in depth and was broken in two, isolating Army Group North in the Baltic States. Bagration systematically reduced German armored formations and placed the Soviet Army in an excellent position to press the advantage into Poland and the Balkans. Related: Russia brings in Putin’s ‘National Guard’ ‘to prevent sabotage’ or crush protest in occupied Crimea Operation Bagration can be used as a case study to illustrate critical lessons on the synergy between intelligence and maneuver at the operational level. Intelligence and deception should not be viewed merely as operational support, but rather as a cognitive maneuver. At the operational level, deception can be used to affect posturing and as a result, maneuver. By affecting posturing and the ability to maneuver, intelligence operations can be used to create operational level vulnerabilities in the enemy by setting the Clausewitzian “Center of Gravity” out of focus. This enables opportunities to pursue non-traditional avenues of attack, where intelligence and deception in combination with a coordinated and well-executed operational maneuver create a critical imbalance in the enemy’s correlation of forces. As Bagration shows, this is not just an asymmetric tool for the weaker side, but a critical advantage which should always be pursued. In our modern age of high tempo and highly destructive warfare, the lessons of Bagration resonate as strongly as ever. Related: Journalists & filmmaker murdered while probing Russia’s Wagner ‘mercenaries’ An off-balance center of gravity today creates vulnerabilities even greater than in 1944. For instance, reaction times are much shorter and destructive power is much more accurate and prompt. In addition, the ever-present specter of nuclear weapons presents combatants with the temptation to pursue short, decisive wars to quickly alter the situation on the ground and then dare their opponents to either escalate significantly or accept the changes in the status quo. Instances include the invasion of Georgia in 2008, the takeover of Scarborough Shoal in 2012 and the annexation of Crimea and the destabilization of eastern Ukraine in 2014. These all demonstrate how a decisive and prompt aggressor power can use force to change de facto borders and escape retribution, at least militarily. It also does not take much effort to think of such a strategy being applied against Taiwan or the Baltic States. For example, where those states to be overrun in a short period of time, then the West might be unwilling to risk theater-wide war for something that is already lost. Furthermore, even if the West did, the correlation of forces may be too imbalanced to be able to meaningfully challenge the invasion immediately. All the aforementioned operations succeeded because the West, the enforcer of the status quo, was caught off guard. Therefore, despite the repeated emphasis on information dominance and stealth, contemporary Western military commentary does not pay sufficient attention to deception on a grand scale.
A bomb blast has badly damaged the front door facade of a state Pension Fund office in the Russian city of Kaluga, local media reports say.
Kremlin certain to reject request that will reignite simmering diplomatic row
The Government is set to demand Moscow hand over the people they believe are behind an attack that left one dead and three injured
WOULD-BE assassins who failed to kill spy Sergei Skripal will not receive the Russian military honors they may have expected, according to one of the world’s leading chemical weapons experts.
The first round of U.S. nuclear sanctions on Iran snaps back into place on Monday, putting limits on Iran’s already faltering economy.
The Trump administration will struggle to isolate Iran — and, in the process, may find itself isolated.
IRANIAN President Hassan Rouhani will address the nation to respond to Donald Trump’s trade tariffs which come into effect today.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says US wants Iranians to have a voice in who their leadership will be
Fox News Published on Aug 5, 2018 Former Connecticut senator and chairman of United Against Nuclear Iran praises President Trump for pulling the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal, hopes the re-imposition of sanctions will force Tehran back to the negotiating table.
Sanctions are set to start coming back online after President Trump’s decision in May to withdraw from the 2015 multi-nation nuclear deal.
Pompeo said: ‘It’s an important part of our efforts to push back against Iranian malign activity.’
Officials say the measures have been effective against Iran, North Korea and other nations. But critics say they are being overused.
If Germany prevents Iran from acquiring nearly $400 million in U.S.-currency reserves held on its territory, Chancellor Angela Merkel will deserve a thank-you tweet from President Trump.
German authorities will introduce financial rules this month that could delay or even block an attempt by the liquidity-strapped Iranian regime to claim cash parked in Germany that has become an irritant in the relationship between Washington and Berlin.
Iran said its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps held a naval exercise in the Strait of Hormuz last week “within the framework of their annual training program.”
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards confirmed on Sunday it had held war games in the Gulf over the past several days, saying they were aimed at “confronting possible threats” by enemies, the state news agency IRNA reported.
IRAN’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has taken to social media to mock the US Navy’s use of the phrase “Arabian Gulf” – and point out that its vessels were “7,000 miles from home”.
IRAN’s Revolutionary Guards have confirmed they carried out military drills in the Persian Gulf over the past several days, in order to “enhance defense readiness” in response to increased threats from enemies.
Raul Sankey, Mizuho Oil Analyst, joins the ‘Power Lunch’ team to discuss the impact we could see on crude oil if Iran takes action near the Strait of Hormuz.
The United Nations has confirmed Russia’s claim that UN peacekeepers have returned to a buffer zone on the border between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights for the first time in six years.
A car explosion took the life of Aziz Asber, the man who chaired the chemical weapons plant in Syria
The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that Valery Gerasimov, the head of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff, sent a letter to US Joint …
War-ravaged Yemen is teetering on the brink of a third cholera epidemic, the World Health Organization warned Friday.