Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Ad Hoc Media Update (46)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

</end editorial>


European calls for a reset with Russia, and “realism” are little more than a euphemism for rolling over and giving Putin what he wants. Many interesting reports from Europe, noting that the disturbances in Saxony may have been organised by Russian proxies.


 

NATO / EU / Russia Reports

 


 

Putin Is Sneaking Up on Europe From the South – Foreign Policy
The Kremlin understands that the best way to undermine the West is through its soft underbelly—the Middle East.
Europe Wants to Defend Itself From Russia? Good Luck With That. – Bloomberg
Macron is the latest leader to call the U.S. an undependable military ally. 
France Calls On EU To Not Rely On U.S. Defense, Reach Out To Russia
French President Emmanuel Macron is calling on the European Union to boost military cooperation and stop relying on the United States for defense while reaching out to Russia to develop a “strategi…
Macron urges Europe to take charge of own defense | UNIAN
French President Emmanuel Macron pushed Monday for Europe to take more responsibility for its own defense, saying the continent’s security shouldn’t rely so much on the United States and could even include discussions with Russia. In a speech to French ambassadors in Paris, Macron said “Europe cannot rely on the United States only for its security. It’s up to us to meet our responsibilities and guarantee our security, and therefore European sovereignty,” the Associated Press reports. He said discussions on defense cooperation should be extended to all European countries and Russia, on condition that progress is made with Moscow on putting an end to the fighting in eastern Ukraine between the government and Russia-backed forces. Macron’s vision included a more united front on at least half a dozen security topics and comes after U.S. President Donald Trump’s repeated demands for Europe to become more self-sufficient in its defense. Read more on UNIAN:https://www.unian.info/world/10238730-macron-urges-europe-to-take-charge-of-own-defense.html
Macron Wants to Create a European Army—But First He’s Reviving French Military Might
The president has warned Europe can no longer rely on Trump’s United States—and is busily preparing France and its allies to face off Islamist threats and an increasingly ambitious Russia.
UAWire – Macron proposes to reset relations with Russia
During a visit to Finland, French President Emmanuel Macron said that “a full renewal” is needed in relations with Russia. “I believe that we need a complete renewal of our relations with Russia set at the end of the Cold War. Our actions – both on the one hand and on the other – sometimes involve mistakes or misunderstandings that we inherited from the last two decades and that prevent us from making the right conclusions, “said Macron at a news conference with the Finnish President in Helsinki. “We have a lot of work to do, considering all the difficulties that we have undergone in recent years, but this work needs to be done. We need to continue the dialogue,” the French leader said. Macron said that the dialogue with Russia should be conducted under two conditions. First of all, “we must be much stronger inside the European Union, we should have strategic autonomy,” he said. In his opinion, without “a sufficiently strong defense and security system, there can be no question about strategic partnerships.” The second condition for Macron was the settlement of the conflict in the Donbas. Russia should “give signals” that it is ready to implement the Minsk agreements. “It’s not about forgetting about everything that happened in recent years It would not be a very good method. With a realistic approach and with the conditions that I’ve listed here, we need to deepen cooperation,” the French leader outlined European-Russian relations and said that it required a will on both sides.
It’s time for realism in EU-Russia ties: France’s Macron | Reuters
French President Emmanuel Macron urged the European Union on Thursday to modernize its post-Cold War ties with Russia and pursue “strategic relations” with Turkey as well as other close neighbors, including in defense matters.
Macron’s BLOW to NATO amid plans to ‘team up’ with Russia’s defence | World | News | Express.co.uk
FRENCH President Emmanuel Macron has urged European states to work with Russia and construct new security architecture, in a bid to strengthen defence capabilities within the European Union.
Germany ready to ‘take more responsibility’ in European defence policy, says Merkel  – EURACTIV.com
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that she supports the idea of a European security council as well as the project of European intervention troops, a notion also favoured by France. 
Germany’s Merkel says Europe must set its own destiny
The German chancellor said Europe needs to take on more global responsibility, including on defence, as the US pursues a global trade war.
Merkel’s Call for Assertive Europe Sets Up Busy EU September – Bloomberg
Angela Merkel marked her return to the political front line with a call for Europe to assert its interests more forcefully as President Donald Trump punches holes in the world order.
Merkel and Putin may seek a detente amid the Trump effect – 112.international
The two are due to discuss Syria, Ukraine and Nord Stream 2 at a crucial summit


Navy re-establishes Atlantic fleet to check Russia – POLITICO
It’s “back to the future,“ in the words of one former 2nd Fleet commander.
CNO: New 2nd Fleet Boundary Will Extend North to the Edge of Russian Waters – To Inform is to Influence
By: Sam LaGrone August 24, 2018 2:32 PM ABOARD AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH – The boundaries of the Navy’s reestablished U.S. 2nd Fleet extends well past the old submarine stomping grounds of the Cold War and into waters north of Scandinavia and the Arctic Circle, near the submarine headquarters of Russia’s Northern Fleet, Chief…
NATO’s largest military exercise since 2002, kicks off in Norway – Defence Blog
The Royal Norwegian Ministry of Defence has announced that the first shipload of military equipment arrived in Norway this weekend as a part of NATO’s exercise Trident Juncture 18. NATO’s exercise Trident Juncture 18 is still two months away, but the first shipload of military equipment arrived in Norway. The field exercise starts in late October, but the first military materiel and vehicles arrived in Åndalsnes, Western Norway on Saturday 18 August. The military vehicles and equipment arrived on the Italian roll-on/roll-off ship Capucine , which was unloaded by Norwegian Home Guard and Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation personnel, who prepared its onward movement to the exercise areas. Lieutenant General Rune Jakobsen, chief of the Norwegian Armed Forces’ Joint Headquarters, described ‘Trident Junction’ as “vital for Norway’s defense capability”, providing “valuable training along with our allies. But equally important is to test our ability to receive reinforcements from NATO,” he added. Trident Juncture 18 will be NATO’s biggest military exercise in recent years (since 2002), held in Norway in November 2018. It will bring Allies and partners in a 40,000 strong, regularly scheduled exercise commanded by Joint Force Command Naples and designed to certify the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force and NATO Response Force 2019 rotation. Around 130 aircraft, 70 vessels and up to 10,000 vehicles will be used during the exercise. Large exercises like Trident Juncture 18 are necessary for ability to deploy and receive troops, and undertake large-scale military operations under challenging conditions. Exercises like this make NATO better prepared to counter any aggression, if necessary.
NSPA received the first lot of Precision Guided Munitions from United States – Defence Blog
The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) received the first lot of Precision Guided Munitions, acquired through a NATO project involving 11 Allies and one NATO partner, according to a report issued on 22 August. The Precision Guided Munitions (PGMs), produced in the United States, will be delivered to their final recipients, Belgium and Denmark, in the coming weeks. The value of this initial acquisition is around 20 million US dollars. The delivery is part of a cooperation effort, launched in 2014 at the NATO Summit in Wales, which offers Allies a framework to acquire air-to-ground PGMs in a cost-effective and flexible way. Working through this NATO initiative, rather than individually, allows Allies to draw upon each other’s PGM stocks in case of need: during air operations or in a possible crisis. This will also help NATO and Allies to reduce dependence on the US for air missions. “This initiative seeks to address a problem that NATO first encountered during the Libya Operation: when some Allies ran out of their stockpiles of munitions, they found it incredibly difficult to use those of other air forces. We realized that we needed a new, flexible approach to the provision of air-to-ground precision-guided munitions. I am happy that this approach is now delivering its first results,” said Rose Gottemoeller, NATO Deputy Secretary General. The project is managed by the NSPA on behalf of the Allies. So far, 11 NATO members have joined this effort: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom . NATO partner Finland is also a participant. Following the first delivery today, the second and third rounds of acquisition for PGMs are already underway. While continuing to expand this cooperation in the air domain, NATO has started to build similar frameworks for the acquisition of land and maritime munitions. This is part of NATO’s effort to increase joint investments in the critical capabilities that the Alliance needs. Tags: NATO
Amid Russian military buildup, Poland reacts – To Inform is to Influence
Yet another former Soviet Republic is actively resisting Russian efforts to bring them ‘back into the fold’.  Russia is it’s own worst enemy, chasing the people who should at least respect them.  Notice Poland is reacting to a Russian military buildup, whereas Russian propaganda says Russia is just reacting to Western military buildup.  </end editorial>…
MQ-9 Reaper drones in Romania? It could happen soon
The U.S. has built facilities that could shelter MQ-9s on Romanian soil.
UAWire – NATO to help Ukraine in mine clearance of the Donbas
The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine is preparing to sign the Agreement between NATO and the Ukrainian Government on the creation of the NATO …
Swedish military presence on Gotland to defend against aggression from Russia – The Washington Post
Swedish photographer Loulou d’Aki takes us inside Sweden’s military
Latvian military train to repel “Ukrainian scenario” at Namejs 2018 drills | UNIAN
The Latvian military have worked out the “Ukrainian scenario” during the Namejs 2018 drills in the city of Jekabpils. The suppression of “clashes” in Latvia was also worked out by the allied Polish military.
UAWire – Lithuania publishes proof of Red Army crimes
The Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania published documents on crimes of the Red Army in Lithuania that included murders, rapes and robberies, Delfi news outlet reports. The publication ran on the anniversary of the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Lithuania. Documents of the Communist Party, the Red Army, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and other departments were published on the Internet, disclosing their “repressive and violent actions in Lithuania from 1944 to 1953”. The documents show that women were raped in Klaipeda and Silute, regardless of age or nationality, after the arrival of the Soviet military. “Seventy-year-old grandmothers and 14-year-old girls were raped, even in the presence of their parents,” the Center said. The documents also describe a shooting spree by drunken Soviet soldiers that resulted in deaths of people, arson of estates, robbery and other crimes. Decades later, Soviet troops would finally leave Lithuania on August 31, 1993. Earlier, it was reported that Estonia and Latvia want to receive compensation from Russia for the Soviet occupation. In November 2015, Ministers of Justice of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia signed a memorandum of cooperation in which they announced their intention to claim damage compensation from Russia for “Soviet occupation.” In response, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said that the Baltic countries will receive “dead donkey’s ears.”


Russia secretly finances news outlets in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia as part of information warfare | UNIAN
The Russian government discreetly funded a group of seemingly independent news websites in Eastern Europe to pump out stories dictated to them by the Kremlin, BuzzFeed News and its reporting partners can reveal. Skype logs and other documents obtained by BuzzFeed News offer a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the Kremlin’s propaganda machine.
Russia tests new missile defense system – 112.international
Russia has tested new rocket of the missile defense system at the firing range “Sary Shagan” in Kazakhstan as the Russian Defense Ministry reported. All characteristics of the rocket– speed, flight range and even the exterior are classified. “New anti-missile rocket of the missile defense system conclusively prove the enshrined characteristics after the number of tests and successfully complied with the task, hitting the conditional target with the predetermined accuracy,” Andry Prikhodko, the Deputy Commander of the Russian Air and Missile Defense Forces Unit of the Russian Aerospace Forces.
The Russian Military Might Have One Big Advantage Over NATO in a War | The National Interest
Can America crush Russia’s A2/AD ‘bubbles’? 
Russia Cannot Afford An Adequately Equipped Modern Military – To Inform is to Influence
Russia is rattling its saber, or, rather, its military, but it is mostly a paper tiger. Russia can only afford extremely limited military actions. It invaded South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia. It invaded Crimea and Donbas in Ukraine. It has de facto occupied Transnistria in Moldova. Russia, however, cannot afford to invade the Baltic countries, cannot invade Poland or Belarus, and cannot afford a full-out invasion of Ukraine. Russia does not have sufficient modern or modernized equipment to support such actions, it does not have the diplomatic bank to survive the global damnation it would receive, and the Russian economy cannot support a prolonged action. Internally, Russia is already on shaky ground with the Russian citizens. Awareness of a fabricated reason for an invasion may result in a colored revolution, and we know that is Putin’s greatest fear. Russia cannot afford to launch a large invasion in the foreseeable future. </end editorial>
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Katyn Redux? Moscow’s New Effort to Cover Up Stalin’s Executions Sparks Outrage
Paul Goble Staunton, August 25 – One of the most notorious crimes followed by a coverup in the Soviet period was the brutal execution of hundreds of Polish officers by Stalin’s secret police at Katyn, an action Moscow insisted was actually the work of the Germans — and a murder even Mikhail Gorbachev never came completely clean about. Instead, Soviet propagandists sought to muddy the waters by playing games with dates and commemorating some victims so as not to have to acknowledge others. Now, in yet another echo of the Soviet past, Vladimir Putin’s regime appears to be carrying out something similar in Karelia, seeking to shift blame for mass murders there from the NKVD to the Finns. And Russian officials are doing so in a way that undercuts the work of besieged Memorial investigator Yury Dmitriyev, who exposed the Stalin-era killing fields at Sandarmokh in the first place, and has outraged a growing number of relatives and friends of those whom the Soviets and in no way the Finns killed. Dmitriyev’s research proved that Soviet chekists were responsible for the murders; but in a transparent effort to sow confusion and thereby raise questions about responsibility, several Karelian writers suggested starting in 2016 that in fact the dead were Red Army prisoners and that they had been killed by the Finns during the Winter War. Serious scholars have called this theory “politically motivated” (semnasem.ru/sandarmokh/). But it has been proved sufficient to give the Russian authorities to authorize excavations on the site in an effort to prove that the Finns and not the Soviets killed people there (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2018/08/24/77592-ne-trevozhte-mogily-otkrytoe-pismo). The excavations which would among other things disturb the burial sites of those killed there could begin as early as next week, and that has prompted relatives of those shot in Sandarmokh during the Great Terror to write an open letter to officials in Moscow and Petrozavodsk in opposition to this project (rtvi.com/stories/raskopki-v-sandarmokhe-vozglavit-titberiya/). “We, the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of those shot at Sandarmokh are opposed digging on this territory,” the open letter begins. “We respect the activity of those seeking to discover and return from oblivion the memory about soldiers who fell without being recovered.” “But the carrying out of searches with the goal to find at the Sandarmokh memorial cemetery burial sites of hostages of Finnish concentration camps is an entirely different matter. Sandarmokh is a memorial recognized around the world after investigations in 1997 and is thus not only a historical site but a unique testimonial to the terror of the 20th century.” The proposed digs “threaten to violate the integrity of the memorial cemetery and disturb the peace of the dead. Sandarmokh is not some nameless forest or swamp but an accessible, much visited and generally recognized memorial,” the letter continues. “Neither in 1997 nor later did we demand the exhumation and reburial of the remains of our relatives. We agreed that this territory should remain entirely untouched and are grateful to those who found this place,” including Yury Dmitriyev. “Let this place remain untouched now and forever. We are against carrying out new digs here for which there is no documentary confirmation or scientifically demonstrated basis. Don’t touch the graves of our relatives. Don’t destroy the memorial.” The signatories call on people of good will throughout the world to join in their appeal.

Russia / Russophone Reports

 


 

Putin’s ‘A Solid Man’: Declassified Memos Offer Window Into Yeltsin-Clinton Relationship
“You need to eat something.” Newly released memos document the chummy relationship in the 1990s between Boris Yeltsin and Bill Clinton. They also offer a striking contrast to the plummet in U.S.-Ru…
The Power of Putin – Documentary 2018, BBC Documentary – YouTube
Astrobum Published on Jun 3, 2017 Roast this video in the comments.
New Poll Suggests Xenophobia On The Rise Among Russians
A new survey released on August 27 shows that a growing number of Russians favor limiting the influx of non-ethnic Russian immigrants into the country.
Kremlin Says Putin Open To Talks With Trump At Upcoming Events
The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin could hold talks with U.S. President Donald Trump at three summits by the end of this year.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Some Elite Groups Will View Putin as Weak if, as Expected, He Now Softens Pension Plan
Paul Goble Staunton, August 23 — Now that Vladimir Putin appears committed to softening the unpopular pension reform plan (newizv.ru/news/politics/23-08-2018/peskov-podtverdil-vozmozhnoe-smyagchenie-pensionnoy-reformy-putinym), many commentators are celebrating him as a superman or at least as someone who has defused a political problem (babr24.com/msk/?IDE=180128). But not everyone is likely to view any concessions by the Kremlin leader in this area as a good thing, and their reactions may play an important role in what will happen next in Russia, especially because those most likely to have a negative view of this action are elites who will see Putin’s move as an indication of his weakness. The Telegram channel commentator Nezygar notes today that “it is interesting how various elite groups are playing at interpretations of the future initiatives of the President on pension reform. Already they are saying: the President was forced to make concessions and has shown that he can be pushed around” (t.me/russica2/9244). For these groups, the Telegram commentator says, all this is a manifestation of “weakness, weakness, weakness. This is something new, and it is a bad scenario” at least for the powers that be who may feel that they too can dissent on issues they had feared to and even push back harder than they have up to now. That has led some commentators to suggest that there are now going to be questions about the power vertical itself and its ability to push through unpopular measures, measures that even Putin himself has acknowledged are now very much needed given the situation Russia finds itself in (dailystorm.ru/vlast/pensionnaya-reforma-vyderzhit-li-vertikal-vlasti-nepopulyarnye-zakony). And perhaps even more importantly, such negative assessments by some members of the elite of the Kremlin leader’s latest action raises the question as to what Putin may do after he makes concessions in order to demonstrate that he did so as part of a well-conceived plan of his own rather than in response to dissent.
U.S. Says Russia Breaking WTO Rules With Retaliatory Tariffs
The United States has accused Russia of breaking World Trade Organization rules by imposing tariffs in retaliation for U.S. duties that targeted Russian steel and aluminum.
With his approval rating falling and street protests rising, Putin backtracks on pension reform
Russian President Vladimir Putin softened on an unpopular proposal to raise the country’s retirement age..but only for women.
CNA: Not Just Money: Constraints Facing the Russian Armed Forces – To Inform is to Influence
Not Just Money Constraints Facing the Russian Armed Forces Alexei Nikolsky Staff Writer, Vedomosti August 2018 Abstract In this CNA Occasional Paper, noted Russian military journalist Alexei Nikolsky analyzes the macroeconomic conditions and budgetary constraints that affect Russia’s military expenditures. The paper contains data on the main programs that attempt to overcome the current budgetary…
Belgian police arrested 2 tons of cocaine with the logo of “United Russia” – To Inform is to Influence
I honestly have no clue what to make of this.   Surely United Russia is not fundraising by selling cocaine.  However, stranger things have happened.  But including advertising for United Russia on each brick?   This is so bizarre, I honestly debated for two seconds before posting it. A whole two seconds!  I can’t read into this…
A 64-year-old Russian scholar charged with treason says he’s being mistreated in jail — Meduza
Alexey Temirev says he’s being mistreated in pretrial detention, where guards are allegedly keeping him indoors, denying him needed medical treatment, and delaying his access to medications. You remember Alexey Temirev, right? He’s the 74-year-old Russian scientist who allegedly passed secret information to the Belgian von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics. Just kidding — that’s Viktor Kudryavtsev. Alexey Temirev is a top executive at the energy company “Inter RAO,” charged with espionage for allegedly being a foreign citizen and collaborating with businessmen who have ties to either Moldovan or Romanian intelligence. Nope — that’s Karina Tsurkan.
Alexey Navalny’s researchers dig up lavish real estate owned by the mother-in-law of Russia’s Pension Fund director — Meduza
He’s currently behind bars, serving out a 30-day jail term, but Alexey Navalny is making himself heard in Moscow this week, nevertheless. On Thursday, the Anti-Corruption Foundation published its latest investigative report about alleged government corruption, revealing that Russian Pension Fund director Anton Drozdov’s mother-in-law owns a lavish country home outside Moscow worth an estimated 400 million rubles ($5.9 million).
Kadyrov: Rights Activists ‘Have No Right To Walk On My Territory’
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has been frequently accused by international groups for human rights abuses. After recent threats against activists and other incidents, three organizations have called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to rein in Kadyrov.
Two Russian Prison Guards Detained In Torture-Video Case
Two Russian prison guards have been detained in an alleged torture case at a notorious penal colony in the city of Yaroslavl.
Russian Opposition Leader Navalny Detained In Moscow
Russian opposition politician and anticorruption campaigner Aleksei Navalny has been detained outside his residence in Moscow, his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said on Twitter on August 25.
Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny detained outside Moscow home | Russia News | Al Jazeera
Opposition leader’s detention came shortly after he announced a string of rallies across Russia over a pension reform.
Putin Foe Aleksei Navalny Detained in Moscow – The Daily Beast
After calling for nationwide protests to denounce Putin and controversial new pension reforms.
Belgian Steel Executive Found Dead In Moscow After Apparent High Fall
A Belgian businessman has died after what appeared to be a fall from an apartment building in downtown Moscow, Russian media said on August 30.
Activist Says Agents Searched Her Home In Crimea, Accused Her Of ‘Terrorist Ties’
Security officials in Russia-annexed Crimea have searched the home of a local Ukrainian activist on suspicion of having ties to “terrorist organizations” in Ukraine.
Jailed Hunger-Striking Activist Udaltsov Hospitalized Again
Russian opposition activist Sergei Udaltsov has been hospitalized again as he continued a nearly two-week hunger strike in prison.
Khodorkovsky Ends Funding For News Site After Russian Journalists Killed In Africa
Former Russian oil tycoon and Kremlin foe Mikhail Khodorkovsky is halting funding for an investigative news site whose journalists were killed last month in the Central African Republic (CAR) while reporting on Russian private military contractors there.
Alexei Navalny jailed in Russia over anti-Vladimir Putin protest – CBS News
Alexei Navalny sentenced to 30 days for holding unsanctioned anti-Putin protest in January — long enough to keep him from joining next one
Russian court jails Kremlin critic Navalny over protest | Reuters
A Russian court sentenced opposition leader Alexei Navalny to 30 days in jail on Monday after convicting him of breaking public protest laws, a move he said was illegal and aimed at stopping him leading a rally against pension reform next month.
Russian Feminist Blogger Probed For Potential Hate Speech Against Men
An outspoken Siberian blogger who calls for separating women from men at “all levels” is being investigated for potential online hate speech, the latest Russian social-media user targeted in such c…
Kadyrov Pledges To Ban Rights Activists From Chechnya
The leader of Russia’s Caucasus republic of Chechnya has pledged to ban human rights advocates from the region after being repeatedly accused of overseeing systematic rights abuses.
Putin Urged To Curb Kadyrov Following Threats Against Rights Activists
Human rights groups have urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to condemn recent threats made by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov against activists and families of alleged insurgents in the North Cau…
Russian Court Sentences Navalny To Jail Ahead Of Pension Protest
Russian news agencies say a Moscow court has sentenced opposition activist Aleksei Navalny to 30 days in jail after convicting him of violating protest laws.
‘C’ Is For Corruption: Russian School Notebooks Feature Remarks From Mayor Charged With Bribery
Schoolchildren in the Russian city of Orenburg have received notebooks for the new school year featuring the portrait and introductory remarks of the mayor — who is currently in custody on charges…
Member Of Outlawed Russian Nationalist Group Jailed In Siberia
A Russian court has sentenced a member of an outlawed Russian nationalist opposition movement to 3 1/2 years in prison for allegedly plotting mass disturbances, his wife says.
No Ukrainian school left in Russian-occupied Crimea – media | UNIAN
No Ukrainian schools are left in Russian-occupied Crimea and the number of schools with the Crimean Tatar language of instruction is more than halved. There were seven Ukrainian schools on the peninsula before Russia occupied it in March 2014.
Unknown substance emission in Crimea: Situation out of countrol, – leader of ‘Crimean government’ – 112.international
The situation with the emission of the unknown chemical substance in Crimea is now beyond normal. The situation with the emission of the unknown chemical substance in Crimea is now beyond normal. Sergei Aksenov, the pro-Kremlin ‘leader’ of the Cabinet of the Russian-annexed Crimea posted that on Facebook. ‘According to the preliminary data of Rospotrebnadzor, the said incident is not a threat to the public health. From the point of view of visual signs, the situation is beyond normal’, Aksenov wrote. He added that the necessary samples were collected; so far, the given substance’s origins are unknown. According to Aksenov, the emission of the substance occurred at ‘Titan’, the factory owned by Groop DF, which, in turn, belongs to Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash.
Russia Blacklists U.S.-Based Environmental Group
A California-based environmental organization was placed on Russia’s “undesirable” blacklist, after Moscow said on August 24 that the group poses a threat to “Russia’s state security.”
Russia Moves To Restrict U.S.-Based Environmental Group, Labeling It ‘Undesirable’
Russia has formally moved to restrict the activities of Pacific Environment, labeling the longtime U.S.-based environmental and advocacy group an “undesirable organization.”
Russian Police Detain Three People Marking 1968 Red Square Protest
Police in Moscow on August 25 detained three people on Red Square commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1968 protest there against the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia.
Telegram CEO Defends New Privacy Policy, Says User Data Still Safe
The founder of Telegram defended the company’s new privacy policy, insisting it would not result in turning over users’ data to Russian intelligence agencies but would also discourage extremist…
Industrial Acid Leak Blamed For Ravaging Northern Crimea
Russia-imposed officials in Ukraine’s occupied Crimea region say a leak from a chemical factory in the northern part of the peninsula is the cause of an oily film that has coated nearby villages an…
Russian-occupied Crimea faces new disaster as rust covers Armyansk | UNIAN
Residents of the town of Armyansk in Russian-occupied Crimea are alarmed: metal objects in their houses and apartments have been covered with sticky rust overnight. Residents of northern Crimea have complained of a specific odor and a haze shortly before the appearance of the rust. Residents of the town of Armyansk in Russian-occupied Crimea are alarmed: metal objects in their houses and apartments have been covered with sticky rust overnight. Citizens write in social networks these are probably emissions from a local titanium producer, the Crimean Titan plant, and they are unlikely useful for health, RFE/RL’s Krym-Realii media project reports. Local residents say their house keys, radiator grilles in cars and construction tools stored on balconies have become rusty. People put forward different theories about what has happened. But they do not suggest anything good for the residents of Armyansk. Residents of northern Crimea are said to have complained of a specific odor and a haze shortly before the appearance of the rust. “It’s a disaster. The occupiers are silent. Everything is in rust – both outdoors and indoors. The pavement in the town is greasy. Equipment is out of order. People feel bad, have allergic reactions. It has been continuing for several days,” a blogger whose nickname is Crimean Banderovets wrote on Twitter.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: An Everyday Evil in Putin’s Russia: Pregnant and Nursing Prisoners No Longer Being Given Additional Food
Paul Goble Staunton, August 26 – There are so many monstrous and egregious evils in Vladimir Putin’s Russia that it is all to easy to overlook the banal ones, smaller evils that nonetheless harm defenseless people and reflect the nature of a regime that has created the largest wealth differentiation in the world. Olga Romanova of Novaya gazeta reports on one of these “banalities” – the decision of the Russian prison system not to give pregnant women, nursing mothers and young people in places of preliminary confinement the additional cottage cheese, butter and vegetables they need (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2018/08/25/77600-lyuboy-myakish-krome-golodovki). Since April of this year, the Moscow journalist says, the Russian prison system has been denying these things not only to people accused but not convicted of a crime but also to their children whose only “crime” is that their mothers have been accused. This “innovation” was not announced but discovered recently by prison monitoring groups. When challenged, the Moscow prison administration said that such additional foodstuffs had been cut off, on orders from higher ups. Pregnant women, mothers, and young children can survive without such foods, but they can only survive not thrive now that the prison system has cut back from the earlier miserly supplements it had been provided. “Of course,” Romanova says, “this was done out of the best intentions. The ration was reduced so that it could be raised, sometimes, perhaps,” to be celebrated by the pro-government media and accepted by some as an indication of the humanism of the Putin regime, yet again a revival of an old, old Soviet tactic. This is not a small problem, the journalist continues. Last year, there were 715 pregnant women in the prisons system, 282 of whom gave birth. The year before, 457 children were born behind bars, and now, there are “about 600 children” in detention centers. All of them are suffering as a result of the new order whatever officials say. Indeed, the situation appears on course to become even worse, Romanova continues. The Federal Penal System says that the amount of money allocated for the daily ration for prisoners will decline by 25 percent by next year to 64 rubles (about 85 US cents).
Olympic Officials Upgrade Medals For Two Russians After Doping Bans
Olympics officials say they will give medal upgrades to two Russian runners who have served bans after testing positive for doping.
TASS: Emergencies – Explosion rocks Russian defense plant leaving three dead, and three missing
The blast sparked a fire, engulfing an area of 100 square meters
Russian Central Bank Fire Extinguished, Says Emergency Situations Ministry
Firefighters quickly extinguished a blaze on the fourth floor of Russia’s central bank building in Moscow on August 24, the press service of the capital city’s branch of the Ministry of Emergency S…
UAWire – Media: American Actor Steven Seagal becomes a Russian entrepreneur
American actor Steven Seagal has registered as an individual entrepreneur in Russia, reported RIA Novosti, citing Seagal’s representative, Anar …
‘Happiest Man On Earth’: Vasily Ozerov, His Dog, A Mobile Home, And The Russian Road
Vasily Ozerov has been traveling around Russia in his tractor-powered mobile home for 40 years. “I’m probably the happiest man on Earth,” he says. “I have the road ahead of me.”


The “Soviet Sinatra” Bows Out
Legendary Russian crooner Iosif Kobzon died at the age of 80 on August 30, 2018. Hugely popular during the Soviet era, he was a strong supporter of President Vladimir Putin and was a lawmaker from 1997 until his death.
Leonid Bershidsky | Russia Mourns Iosif Kobzon, Who Sang From Stalin’s Time to Putin’ – Bloomberg
Iosif Kobzon thrived under rulers from Stalin to Putin. …. Kobzon, who made no secret of his respect for Stalin, took to Putin’s Soviet revival project with gusto. In 2014, he embraced the Crimea annexation. He even sang a duet with Alexandxer Zakharchenko, leader of the unrecognized Donetsk People’s Republic set up by Russian proxies in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine stripped him of the numerous honors it had given him over the years, and in 2015, the European Union sanctioned him, making it difficult for him to get cancer treatments abroad. Like many in the patriotic Putin elite, he preferred European health care. The singer’s vocals have been an occasional unwelcome soundtrack to my entire life. Even now that he’s dead, his voice grates on my nerves like steel on glass. It’s the sound blaring from every TV set I have ever wanted to toss out the window. But I’m doomed to hear his voice loud and clear in my memories. That’s because he channeled something important about the country of my birth. Kobzon’s career should be a powerful reminder that in Russia, the more things change, the more they stay the same. His life helps to see that what appear as a chain of upheavals and abrupt turnabouts in Russian history is an unbroken, logical chain of events that only scratched the surface of the essential nature of a huge, mostly dormant country.

 


 

Central Asia / Caucasus Reports

 


 

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kazakhstan’s Ethnic Russians aren’t about to Become ‘a Fifth Column,’ Kazakhstan Experts Say
Paul Goble Staunton, August 23 – Especially since the Crimean Anschluss, many in Kazakhstan and elsewhere have speculated that the ethnic Russians living in Kazakhstan could play the role of “a fifth column” against Astana and help Moscow to seize portions of Kazakhstan and subordinate the rest of that country to its will. But six experts from Kazakhstan with whom Yuliya Kistkina of that country’s Central Asian monitor spoke say that while anything might be possible, there is little chance that the ethnic Russians in Kazakhstan will ever play that role for Moscow (camonitor.kz/31516-hotyat-li-russkie-voyny-kak-kazahstanskie-russkie-otnosyatsya-k-putinu-i-k-ego-politike.html). They give different reasons reflecting their different perspectives for that conclusion; and while there are differences among them over the possibility of the ethnic Russian community becoming “a fifth column” if Moscow tried to transform it into one, their overwhelmingly common view is that such an attempt is unlikely and would fail if it were made. Kazakh political analyst Sultanbek Sultangaliyev says that the whole idea of the ethnic Russians is “a myth” because if fails to recognize that “those who could not accept Kazakhstan as an independent state and who had an imperial way of thinking left the country already in the 1990s” and that many who did regret their choice. But the real reason that ethnic Russians in Kazakhstan cannot play that role, he continues, is that “in our country, not a single ethnos is a political force, not even the Kazakhs.” The bureaucracy is but not either of those ethnic groups. Andrey Chebotaryev, head of the Alternative Center for Significant Research, agrees. He says that only a specific group of people could be a fifth column in any circumstance and certainly not all the members of a single ethnos. The latter is simply too diverse to imagine in that way. There are simply no organizations in Kazakhstan that can represent or mobilize people on that ethnic basis, Chebotaryev continues. Some existed in the 1990s, but they don’t at present. And the few that might be candidates for that task, he says, are “to a significant degree controlled by the authorities.” Political analyst Nurul Rakhimbek says that there is very little chance that the ethnic Russians in Kazakhstan could become a fifth column unless and until an outside force – in this case, Moscow – would try to transform them into one. But the Russian state has every reason especially in the wake of Ukraine not to go down that route. He acknowledges that Kazakhstan is “a favorable breeding ground” for Russian imperial attitudes. But he insists that “while there is the skeleton for that, putting meat on those bones is a question of technique” – implying that Russia would find it hard to do unless Astana makes some fundamental mistake. Maksim Kramarenko, head of the Russian Harmony Slavic Movement, argues that it is “stupid” to view ethnic Russians in Kazakhstan as “’a fifth column’ of the Kremlin. Kazakhstan is our common home and therefore neither Harmony nor the organizations [close to it] will work to destroy it.” Yaroslav Razumov, an independent journalist in Kazakhstan, says that “throughout all the post-Soviet years, ethnic Russians have demonstrated their loyalty to Kazakhstan” and will continue to do so. Portraying them as a potential fifth column is offensive and if it continues could nonetheless become a self-fulfilling prophecy. And political analyst Aygul Omarova says that one reason why the Russians won’t become a fifth column is that they “do not have leaders who could unite them.” And the reason they don’t in Kazakhstan, she says, is that ethnic Russians and ethnic Kazakhs are remarkably similar in their views and behaviors.
Uzbekistan’s Forbidden Art Treasures
In a dusty town in the Uzbek desert, a collection of once-banned Soviet-era art worth hundreds of millions of dollars is finally attracting the world’s attention.
Majlis Podcast: China’s Debt Trap For Central Asia
In the latest Majlis podcast, we return to the subject of Chinese influence in Central Asia, specifically Chinese economic influence.

Belarus Reports

 


 

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Lukashenka Caves, Accepts Babich as Putin’s Man in Belarus
Paul Goble Staunton, August 24 – In the end and despite a long delay, Alyaksandr Lukashenka could not refuse Vladimir Putin’s insistence that Minsk accept Mikhail Babich as Russian ambassador and Putin’s special representative to Belarus, even though Ukraine had rejected him two years ago and many in Minsk are concerned about his role there. Belarusian officials have made it clear they’re nervous about someone with a background in the security organs rather than diplomacy and fear that he may be “too active” in areas beyond what a diplomat is normally responsible for. But at their Sochi meeting, Lukashenka finally gave agrément (belaruspartisan.org/politic/435714/ and belaruspartisan.org/politic/435711/). And having won this latest “diplomatic” standoff, both Vladimir Putin and Russian commentators could not refrain from rubbing it in and underscoring what is the unfortunate fact that Babich is going to be far more than just another ambassador even of Belarus’ most important trading and political partner. Putin for his part told Babich that “you ill be involved not only in diplomatic work, but in work in the sphere of economics representing the interests of Russia as its special representative. I expect, given your experience of government work in the most varied and senior positions, that this responsible task will be in your reliable hands” (rosbalt.ru/russia/2018/08/24/1727024.html). Further, the Kremlin leader said, he intends to have “regular meetings” with Babich to discuss how this “work” is going.” Sergey Markov, a Moscow commentator with close ties to the Kremlin and the security organs, indicated that diplomacy will not be Babich’s primary responsibility (kp.ru/daily/26873.7/3915355/). “I am certain,” Markov says, “that such a strong and experienced official as Mikhail Babich will be able to untying all ‘the knots’ between Russia and Belarus which do exist.” But even more, the Moscow commentator says, “Babich will work jointly with the Belarusian authorities to counter Western efforts to organize a Maidan in Minsk.” “Before our eyes,” he continues, “Western foundations are trying to repeat in Belarus what they have already done in Ukraine by fostering anti-Russian nationalism. By his character, Babich is a special forces man [spetsnazovet]” and thus can be counted on to proceed regardless of the obstacles he may face. (For background on the issue of Babich’s appointment and Minsk’s reluctance to accept it, see windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/07/might-belarus-follow-ukraine-and-reject.htmlwindowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/08/lukashenka-has-rejected-two-moscow.html and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/08/moscow-raises-ante-on-appointment-of.html.)
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin’s Imposition of Babich on Belarus Signals a New Kremlin Approach to CIS Countries, Baranchik Says
Paul Goble Staunton, August 26 – Vladimir Putin’s imposition of Mikhail Babich as his man in Minsk has already been declared a serious defeat for Alyaksandr Lukashenka and his country (svaboda.org/a/29451529.htmlsvaboda.org/a/29451683.html and eurasia.expert/o-chem-lukashenko-govoril-s-putinym-v-sochi-kommentarii-belorusskikh-ekspertov/). But this action may have even more profound and widespread consequences, Russian nationalist commentator Yury Baranchik says, marking a new departure for Moscow’s policy toward the CIS and even “the ingathering of lands” of those countries “beginning with Belarus” (iarex.ru/articles/59575.html). The way Babich was imposed on Belarus “undoubtedly is a turning point not only in Belarusian-Russian relations,” the commentator says; but it is also for Russian policy in the entire post-Soviet space. As such, it merits particular attention. Even the formalities of the appointment show this, he says. Putin appointed Babich rather than Babich being received by Lukashenka and the Kremlin leader imposed not only an ambassador but simultaneously someone with the status of a special representative of the Russian president “This is only the third such case, with the two previous being in Ukraine, with Viktor Chernomyrdin and Mikhail Zurabov. Given how things have developed in that country, it is obvious that what Putin has done is absolutely “correct,” especially given the recent deterioration of relations between Moscow and Minsk. “However, the most important aspect of this situation consists not so much in the foreign policy realm as in the domestic Russian one, since the post of special representative in fact has great important not in foreign but in domestic policy,” Baranchik says. “The status of special representative says that Moscow needed an effective anti-crisis coordinator of Russian interests and lobbyists in the Belarusian direction,” something it clearly has not had in Minsk up to now. Someone who is only an ambassador cannot hope to play that role. Given his status as a special representative, the new ambassador in fact gets out from under the Russian foreign ministry and puts him on a level with a minister or even a deputy prime minister, Baranchik says, thus making him the key player in the Belarusian direction for Russian firms and institutions. The Russian commentator then lists eight changes which Babich’s appointment represents, changes which he says should now “become a model for relations of all the republics of the former Soviet Union.” (emphasis supplied) · First, Babich’s appointment marks “the end of an era of Russian powerlessness” in Belarus. Now all Belarusians know that opposing Russian interests or challenge Moscow’s position not only is to oppose Putin but to put themselves at risk of losing their positions. · Second, his appointment will strengthen Lukashenka’s hand in dealing with his subordinates who no longer fear him or fear Moscow and thus are looking to the West instead. Babich will stiffen Lukashenka’s spine in enforcing discipline. · Third, Babich will in time also oversee the “upcoming transition of power” in Minsk in which Lukashenka will be replaced by someone more loyal to Moscow. · Fourth, Babich will also help to “impose order in the ideological sphere” in Belarus and mobilize the population there to back the Moscow-Minsk agenda. · Fifth, the new appointment shows that “Moscow is finally in a position and is ready to carry out an active foreign policy line on the post-Soviet space.” It is moving in Belarus first for obvious reasons but will move in similar fashion elsewhere in the future. · Sixth, Babich, given his experience with the oil and gas corporations in the Volga Federal District will work quickly to resolve controversies about both transit and the supply of energy resources to Belarus. Critically, Baranchik says,, he will work to ensure that Belarus becomes economically profitable economically and no longer require Moscow subsidies. · Seventh, Babich will coordinate closer military-political ties to cope with “threats to Belarus from the north, west, and south.” · And eighth, Babich will give a new impulse to the development of the Union State so that its integration becomes real and not just declarative, again “a model for relations” between Moscow and “all the republics of the former Soviet Union.”
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russians Increasingly Accept that Belarus is a Separate Country and Belarusians a Separate Nation, Gudkov Says
Paul Goble Staunton, August 25 – In the course of a wide-ranging interview with Radio Svoboda’s Belarusian Service, Lev Gudkov, the head of the Levada Center, says that Russians increasingly accept that Belarus is a separate country and that Belarusians, while culturally close to Russians, are a separate nation as well (svoboda.org/a/29449856.html). Gudkov, on the basis of polls he and his colleagues have taken in Russia over several decades, makes five other points that are of critical importance: First, he argues that it was precisely the authoritarian nature of Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s regime that caused Russians to first make these distinctions, given that in the 1990s, Russians viewed themselves as a people on the way to democracy and Belarusians are mired in an authoritarian past. Those differences, Gudkov says, caused Russians to see Belarusians and Belarus as different. Second, in the 1990s, some Russians viewed Lukashenka in a positive light and even believed that he should be the president of the union state between the two countries, but “Putin has squeezed Lukashenka out of [Russian]mass consciousness” as the Kremlin leader has become more authoritarian. Lukashenka has been reduced to the second tier of leaders and is now considered in Russia as “a capricious dictator who tries to play his own game between the West and Russia in order to preserve relative independence from the Russian leadership.” Far fewer than ever before view him in a positive light. Third, Russians if not yet Putin at the level of declarations increasingly reject the idea that Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians are one people, Gudkov says. The whole notion is “a survival of the Soviet system of education when everything was traced back to Kievan Rus. Today this remains more a memory of a common past than a future of various peoples and countries.” “Today, the idea of restoring a common state has been reduced to naught after the annexation of Crimea and the war in the Donbass,” at least with regard to Ukraine but to the extent one can judge from the limited attention this issue has received to Belarus as well. When Kremlin propaganda eases, Russians recognize that the Russians and Ukrainians are different peoples and should have different fates and different states with their own borders.” “If the idea of open borders but independent states was popular,” Gudkov continues, today, the popularity of closed borders with customs and border controls has gained in popularity. Today, the understanding that the empire will not be restored has been strengthened,” again among Russians with regard to Ukraine. Four, Russian attitudes about Belarus are less clear; but it is certain that Russians see the Belarusians are much closer to them than the Ukrainians are. In Gudkov’s own opinion, if Russia were in some unlikely event to invade, “there would not be much resistance” on the part of the Belarusians. Five, the impact of Russian attitudes on the Kremlin’s foreign policy is limited. Under Putin, Russia’s “foreign policy is conducted as a special operation, prepared in secret and there is no broad public discussion of it. That in turn means that the shift in Russian attitudes about Belarus and Ukraine will have less of an impact than many might think.
At Least Seven Belarusian Journalists Ordered Not To Leave Country
Belarusian authorities have imposed travel bans on several journalists working for three independent media outlets who are suspected of having obtained information illegally from state-run news age…
Belarusian Union Leaders Sentenced To Four Years Of ‘Restricted Freedom’
Two Belarusian independent trade union leaders involved in organizing street protests in 2017 have been sentenced to four years of “restricted freedom” in a high-profile trial in Minsk, while sever…
He Wanted To Buy A Prosthesis. He Uncovered A Massive Belarusian Health-Care Scandal Instead.
A retired prosecutor’s quest to root out corruption in Belarus’s health-care system lifted the lid on a massive scandal.

Transnistria / Moldova Reports

 


 

UAWire – Russian troops conduct exercises in Transnistria
Military exercises involving the armed forces of the unrecognized Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic and servicemen of the Operational Group of the Russian Armed Forces in the region (about 200 people) are held at the training ground in Tiraspol, Ukrinform reports. According to the published data by the so-called Defense Ministry of Transdniestria, military exercises with the participation of artillery units are conducted “with the aim of increasing the effectiveness of interaction between various armed forces.” A few days earlier, similar military exercises imitating the crossing of the river were held in the Security Zone on the Dniester. Head of the Ministry of Defense of Moldova Eugen Sturza called the exercises provocative. Official Chisinau has not yet commented on the next military exercises in the territory of the unrecognized Transnistria. The Republic of Moldova had repeatedly stated the need for a full and unconditional withdrawal of the Operational Group of Russian troops from the region. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense considers the Russian grouping in Transnistria a threat not only for Moldova but also for the southern regions of Ukraine. As reported, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu announced the largest military exercises since 1981, in which about 300,000 servicemen and about 36,000 units of ground equipment will take part. The exercises named “East-2018” will be held on September 11-15.
UAWire – Poroshenko expects Moldovan President Dodon to recognize the annexation of Crimea as illegal
On August 28, at the meeting with the leaders of foreign diplomatic institutions of Ukraine, the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko …
UA|TV expands broadcasting in Moldova – 29.08.2018 12:30 — Ukrinform News
UA|TV Ukraine&rsquo;s international broadcasting TV channel has appeared in the network of StarNet cable TV and Internet provider of Moldova.
‘This Is A Dictatorship’ – Protests Mark Moldova’s Independence Day
Moldovans marked Independence Day on August 27 but antigovernment protesters said there was no reason to celebrate.
Moldovan Leaders, Protesters Face Off On Independence Day
Moldova’s leaders gathered in downtown Chisinau for a ceremony marking Independence Day as hundreds of protesters shouted antigovernment slogans nearby.
Thousands Rally Against Moldovan Government
Thousands of people rallied on August 26 in Moldova’s capital to protest against the government. The event was the latest in a series of protests against the ruling Democratic Party, which is headed by controversial billionaire Vladimir Plahotniuc.
Moldovan Expats Protest Against Government In Chisinau
Dozens of expatriate Moldovans have protested in Brussels against Moldovan government policies. The August 26 rally outside the headquarters of the European Commission slammed Moldova’s recent changes in its electoral system and the annulment of the mayoral election in the country’s capital, Chisinau. The protesters signed a joint statement that they are planning to send to leading institutions of the European Union.
Thousands Protest Against Government In Moldovan Capital, Chanting ‘Down With The Mafia’
Thousands of people have rallied in Moldova’s capital to protest against the Democratic Party-led government.

 


 

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports

 


 

Toward A Smaller, Smarter Force Posture in the Middle East – Defense One
The National Defense Strategy’s turn toward Russia and China requires the U.S. military to alter its Gulf assets.
UAWire – Russia: US forces and allies can increase missile strike capabilities in a day to strike Syria
The US Armed Forces and allies can build up missile capability to strike Syria in a day,stated the official representative of the Ministry of …
Afghan Officials: Tajik Or Russian Plane ‘Bombs’ Afghan Border Area
A Tajik or Russian plane carried out an air strike on August 26 in Afghanistan’s northeastern Takhar Province after clashes erupted near Tajikistan’s border, Afghan officials said on August 27.
Plane bombs Afghan border area, six dead — Afghan officials | Arab News
KABUL: A Tajik or Russian aircraft bombed a northeastern Afghan border district during a clash between gunmen and Tajik border guards, and six of the gunmen were killed after they killed two of the guards, two Afghan government officials said on Monday. However, the RIA news agency cited the Russian Defense Ministry as saying that Russia was not behind the air strike in
ISIL leader in Afghanistan killed in air raids | ISIS/ISIL News | Al Jazeera
Abu Saad Erhabi killed along with 10 other members of ISIL’s Afghan branch, security agency says.
ISIS leader in Afghanistan killed in airstrike, US says – CNN
The head of ISIS in Afghanistan, Abu Sayed Orakzai, also known as Sad Arhabi, and 10 other ISIS fighters were killed Saturday night in an airstrike in Nangarhar province, according to provincial spokesman Attaullah Khogyani.
Russia, Tajikistan deny air raids in Afghanistan | News | Al Jazeera
Afghan officials said clashes broke out between drug smugglers and Tajik border guards before the air attack.
Russia Foreign Ministry Says Afghan Peace Talks Delayed
Russia’s Foreign Ministry says that multiparty talks aimed at ending the war in Afghanistan have been postponed, after a request from Afghanistan’s president.
Downplaying Ghazni, Mattis Defends Trump’s Afghanistan Strategy – Defense One
The Taliban’s apparent willingness to negotiate is the more important signal of progress in America’s longest war, the defense secretary said Tuesday.
🇵🇸 Gaza brain drain: Woes force thousands to leave | Al Jazeera English – YouTube
Al Jazeera English Published on Aug 26, 2018 Palestinians in the Gaza stripped have been locked in what has been described as the world’s largest open-air prison for the past 11 years by Israel’s strict blockade.
U.N. Accuses Myanmar Army Of Genocide In Rohingya Deaths | HuffPost
It’s the first time the United Nations has explicitly called for Myanmar officials to face genocide charges.
Facebook blocks accounts of Myanmar’s top general, other military leaders – The Washington Post
The social media giant took the rare step the same day that a scathing U.N. report called for war-crimes prosecutions of Myanmar’s top military brass.
Burmese military chiefs must face genocide charges, says UN | World | The Times
Senior Burmese generals, including the country’s commander-in-chief, should be prosecuted for the genocide of Rohingya Muslims, a United Nations report has concluded.The report also denounces the country’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, for failing to use her authority as a heroine of the struggle for
Myanmar generals had ‘genocidal intent’ against Rohingya, must face justice: U.N. | Reuters
Myanmar’s military carried out mass killings and gang rapes of Muslim Rohingya with “genocidal intent” and the commander-in-chief and five generals should be prosecuted for orchestrating the gravest crimes under law, U.N. investigators said on Monday.
Myanmar Reuters journalists’ verdict delayed by judge’s health – BBC News
The two journalists, who documented a massacre of Rohingya Muslims, say they were set up by police.
Western Officials Ignored Myanmar’s Warning Signs of Genocide – Foreign Policy
U.S. and U.N. diplomats overlooked atrocity amid hopes of democracy.
Banned From Facebook, Myanmar’s Top General Finds Russian Refuge – WSJ
The Myanmar army chief whom U.N. investigators want to prosecute for genocide has sought refuge at Russian social-media site VK after being banned from Facebook.

 


 

Foreign Policy Reports

 


 

Why World Worries About Russia’s Natural Gas Pipeline: QuickTake – Bloomberg
A planned new natural-gas pipeline into Europe from Russia is shaking up geopolitics. Nord Stream 2, as it’s called, worries leaders in Eastern Europe, has stirred the ire of U.S. President Donald Trump and has put German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the hot seat.
UAWire – German concern Uniper to abandon Nord Stream 2 if US imposes sanctions
The German concern Uniper, one of Gazprom’s five European partners participating in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, will be forced to pull out of the project if it is placed under US sanctions, said Uniper board member Christopher Delbrück on Wednesday, as reported by Down Jones. According to him, the risk of sanctions exceeds the possible losses for the concern if it withdraws from the collaboration with Gazprom. “Of course, Uniper cannot risk US sanctions,” he said, “In that case, we would be excluded from the payment system, and would no longer be able to use the dollar in trade operations, which is unacceptable.” “We still hope that all parties will act reasonably in this situation,” Delbrück emphasized, alluding to the bill on anti-Russian sanctions which was passed by the US government last year. The document gives the US president the power to put sanctions on any gas pipeline project which would be used by Russia to export hydrocarbons. All investors with a stake greater than $5 million would also be placed under restrictions. Although Donald Trump has not yet exercised this right, the preparation of a new package of sanctions has nearly been completed, sources told The Wall Street Journal in the middle of August. According to the sources, restrictions may be placed both on the companies involved in the construction and the banks providing the financing. According to the US’s current Foreign Policy, even European companies can be placed under sanctions: in addition to Uniper, this could apply to the German company Wintershall, the British-Dutch company Royal Dutch Shell, Austrian OMV and French Engie. Deputy Engie CEO Pierre Chareyre said in July last year that, if sanctions become a reality, the company will immediately cease all investments in the project.
UAWire – Latvia: Nord Stream-2 pipeline is dangerous for transatlantic relations
Latvian Foreign Minister Edgar Rinkēvičs believes that Nord Stream-2 can become a big problem in transatlantic relations, as stated in a report …
Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin’s Nord Stream pipeline tightens complex ties – Washington Times
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s meeting this month with Russian President Vladimir Putin — their second since May — should not be construed as bowing to Moscow’s will, despite a determination by both sides to continue with the Nord Stream 2 energy project, analysts say.


Angela Merkel warns against erosion of democracy | News | DW | 26.08.2018
Merkel defended democratic values in an interview following a contentious summer for her government. Interior Minister Horst Seehofer also said he doesn’t expect a repeat of the crisis that nearly upended Berlin.
Germany’s CDU Flirting With Military Conscription Idea Amid Polls Setback – AfD – Sputnik International
BRUSSELS (Sputnik) – Germany’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, is floating the idea of a compulsory national service for young people and migrants after losing some of their voters.
Emmanuel Macron sparks row by saying French are stubborn Gauls | World | The Times
President Macron is facing a barrage of criticism after saying that his countrymen had an Asterix-style hostility to reform and comparing them unfavourably to the more adaptable Danes.Speaking during an official visit to Copenhagen, Mr Macron described the typical French person as “a Gaul resistant
Merkel and EU under pressure as Seehofer ATTACKS Brussels’ failures: ‘This is a tragedy!’ | World | News | Express.co.uk
ANGELA Merkel and Brussels are under pressure after the German Chancellor’s interior minister Horst Seehofer hit out at Europe’s failure to strike an agreement on the migrant crisis, as tensions rise between the EU and Italy.
Macron: French ‘Gauls’ resistant to change, unlike ‘Lutheran’ Danes – BBC News
The French president causes an outcry as he pokes fun at attitudes to his economic reforms.
France news: Emmanuel Macron needs ‘electroshock’ wake-up call says former minister | World | News | Express.co.uk
FORMER French Environment Minister Ségolène Royal said on Wednesday that her successor Nicolas Hulot’s decision to resign in frustration over sluggish progress on climate goals should serve as a wake-up call to President Emmanuel Macron’s government.


Russia Is Co-opting Angry Young Men – Defense One
Fight clubs, neo-Nazi soccer hooligans, and motorcycle gangs serve as conduits for the Kremlin’s influence operations in Western countries.
Germany: Saxony Governor Visits City Shaken by Protests
A man has died and two others were injured in an altercation between several people of “various nationalities” in the eastern German city of Chemnitz.
German government offers to send federal police to Saxony state to keep peace after violent far-right protest
Germany’s top security official offered to send federal assistance to the eastern state of Saxony on Tuesday following violence during a far-right protest in the city of Chemnitz that left at least 18 people injured.
Germany riots: Leaks in Chemnitz stabbing case raise fears of far-right infiltration of police | World | The Times
The leaking of an arrest warrant containing the names and addresses of two men suspected of stabbing a man to death in an incident that sparked the worst neo-Nazi rioting in Germany for decades, has raised fears that it was released by far-right sympathisers among the police.Photos of the war
German police mole may have leaked details of stabbing to neo-Nazis | Daily Mail Online
German officials have launched a probe into the leak of an arrest warrant that identified suspects in the stabbing of Daniel Hillig, a married carpenter from Chemnitz.
Police in Chemnizt, Germany brace for neo-Nazi protest in Saxony after far-right demonstration violence – CBS News
Far-right protesters to gather as governor holds meeting in town where anger over suspected killing by migrants sparked violent protests
Tensions high in Germany where far-right protests on Thursday will be met with counter-demonstrations – ABC News
Tensions remain high as new far-right protests are scheduled for Thursday, with counter-demonstrations planned around Germany in protest of far-right violence.
Chemnitz protests: Anti-migrant demonstrations continue for third night in Germany – CNN
A few hundred protesters gathered for a nationalist rally in Chemnitz on Thursday evening, as local officials met with community groups to discuss violent anti-migrant sentiment that flared in the eastern German city earlier this week.
German City Becomes Rallying Point for Anti-Immigration Protests – WSJ
The German city of Chemnitz saw renewed anti-immigration protests Thursday, five days after the violent death of a resident turned the city into a rallying point for far-right opponents of the government’s refugee policy.
Mob Protests in Chemnitz Show New Strength of Germany’s Far Right – The New York Times
A rampage in the eastern city now stands as a high-water mark in the outpouring of anti-immigrant hatred that has swelled in Germany.
Far-right rallies in Germany descend into violence – Vox
Several people were injured after days of anti-immigrant protests in the city of Chemnitz.
German Far Right and Counterprotesters Clash in Chemnitz – The New York Times
Demonstrations in the city began after a 35-year-old man was killed over the weekend, and nationalists called on people to “defend” their country from immigrants.
What To Know About Violent Anti-Migrant Protests In The German City Of Chemnitz | TIME – YouTube
TIME Published on Aug 28, 2018 Clashes between anti-migrant crowds and leftist counter-protesters in the eastern German city of Chemnitz entered a second night of violence Monday night, leaving several injured.
Chemnitz protests: Far right on march in east Germany – BBC News
A murder in Chemnitz led to thousands hitting the city’s streets. But who’s stirring the protests?
Germany: Hysteria About Knifings Fuels Anti-Immigrant Violence – Bloomberg
Hype about an epidemic of stabbings sparks two days of far-right violence.
German far-right street mob alarms police in Chemnitz – BBC News
A city festival ends abruptly in eastern Germany as hundreds of protesters take to the streets.
German rival protests end in violence – BBC News – YouTube
BBC News Published on Aug 28, 2018 Several people were injured as objects were hurled on both sides of the protests about the status of migrants in east Germany.
Anti-Immigrant Protest Turns Violent In Eastern German City Of Chemnitz : NPR
The incident, with right-wing protesters, some thrusting Nazi salutes, as well as leftist counterprotesters, was triggered by the arrest of a Syrian and Iraqi man in connection with a fatal stabbing.
Ugly racist mobs aren’t on the march in Brexit Britain – but in Germany | Daily Mail Online
Here in the UK, the far-Right has all but vanished and even Ukip is a busted flush. The most alarming signs of racism entering the political mainstream are to be found on the Left of Labour.
Czech Republic not to host refugees as it receives Ukrainians, – Prime Minister – 112.international
At the meeting with the Prime Ministers of Italy and Malta on issues of illegal migration from Africa states, Andrej Babiš, the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, stated that the Czech Republic will no longer host any refugee as it receives Ukrainians, Radio Praha reports. “Just before the flight to Italy the Czech Prime Minister stated that “the Czech Republic will not accept the refugees who cross the Mediterranean Sea to the European Union as it hosts people from Ukraine,” the message says.
Gaining strength in Europe, the far-right holds brazen rally in Swedish capital – ThinkProgress
 
Neo-Nazis Rally Alongside Counter-Demonstrators In Stockholm | HuffPost
After a few hours, the Swedish crowds wilted.
Sweden: Truth, lies & manipulated narratives? – BBC Newsnight – YouTube
BBC News Published on Aug 25, 2018 A film about Sweden. But also about us. And liberal democracies everywhere.
When Jeremy Corbyn talks about ‘British Zionists,’ we know exactly what he means – CNN
To get to the truth about the Labour Party leader, just look at who’s cheering him on.
Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker cancels Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest | Fox News
A far-right opposition Dutch lawmaker, who for years has lived under round-the-clock protection because of death threats sparked by his fierce anti-Islam rhetoric, canceled a planned Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest Thursday, following concerns of extreme threat.
Artists put up a golden statue of Turkey’s leader in Germany to spark a conversation. It worked. Too well. – The Washington Post
The statue lasted only a little more than a day before officials determined it posed a security threat.
Wildfire southwest of Berlin sets off WWII ammunition still buried in forests – CBS News
&quot;The ammunition is very dangerous, because one cannot step on the ground, and therefore one cannot get close to the fire&quot; to extinguish it
Exploding World War II ammo slows firefighters as forests outside Berlin burn
Wildfires burning south of Berlin have forced the evacuation of three villages as the flames continue to detonate grenades and other rusting munitions left behind from World War II, slowing efforts by firefighters to get an upper hand on the fast-moving blazes.
German town evacuated over WW2 bomb – BBC News
More than 18,500 residents of Ludwigshafen had to leave their homes while the bomb was defused.
German explosive experts defuse an unexploded WWII aerial bomb  | Daily Mail Online
The bomb, thought to have been dropped by American forces, made people leave their homes for six hours in Ludwigshafen, Mannheim after it was discovered earlier in the week.
Hitler’s forgotten four-legged victims: Two million British pets were slaughtered during WWII | Daily Mail Online
The government plotted to get rid of all ‘non-essential’ animals, launching a clandestine anti-dog hate campaign and backing the criminal prosecutions of those who gave cats so much as a saucer of milk.


UAWire – Czech President calls sanctions against Russia ‘ineffective’
The sanctions of the European Union against Russia are ineffective and not beneficial, said the President of the Czech Republic, Miloš Zeman …
‘I Submit To No One’: Austrian Minister Defends Wedding Curtsy To Putin
Austria’s foreign minister has defended her curtsy to Russian President Vladimir Putin at her wedding last week, calling it a customary dance move and not a sign of submission.
In The Age Of The Internet, Serbia Aims To Keep Its Cyrillic Alive
Cyrillic has a place in Serbia’s constitution, and students there learn it first. But Latin script is making inroads.
Brutal Beating Of Independent Bosnian Serb Journalist Sparks Outrage
Several hundred people on August 27 gathered in the center of Banja Luka in Bosnia-Herzegovina’s predominantly Serb entity to protest against an attack on a reporter.
Romania’s Ambassador To U.S. In Trouble After Criticizing Giuliani Letter
Romania’s ambassador to the United States is in trouble with his superiors after he criticized a letter from U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer about Romania’s leaders.
Head Of Night Wolves’ Slovak Chapter Fined 33,000 Euros
The head of the Slovak branch of a Russian motorcycle club known for its allegiance to the Kremlin has been fined a hefty amount for storing decommissioned military equipment, including a tank, on …
‘Before 1968, we had nothing against Russia or the Soviet Union’: How Soviet invasion changed the Czechs forever. A report from Prague, 50 years after the end of ‘socialism with a human face.’ — Meduza
Before dawn on August 21, 1968, Warsaw Pact armies invaded Czechoslovakia and shut down the Prague Spring, ending the nation’s attempt to put a “human face” on socialism. In 36 hours, as many as 406 people were killed. Afterwards, many more were arrested, fired from their jobs, or forced to leave the country. The subsequent effort to “normalize” Czechoslovak stagnation would continue until the collapse of the Communist regime in 1989. Meduza special correspondent Konstantin Benyumov went to Prague and learned how the Soviet invasion 50 years ago still affects the Czech Republic and shapes attitudes about Russians today.


Spain to Exhume Former Dictator Franco – WSJ
Spain’s government said the remains of Francisco Franco, the dictator who died in 1975, will be removed from a public mausoleum in coming months.
Franco’s family to take charge of Spanish dictator’s remains
The family of the late Spanish dictator Francisco Franco will take charge of his remains after Spain’s government has them exhumed from a mausoleum.
Spain Will Dig Up Dictator Franco’s Remains And Remove Them From Memorial To Civil War Dead | TIME – YouTube
TIME Published on Aug 24, 2018 Spain’s center-left government approved Friday legal amendments ensuring that the remains of former dictator Gen. Francisco Franco will be dug up and removed from a controversial national mausoleum honoring its civil war dead.
Spanish dictator Franco’s family to oppose exhumation plan: media | Reuters
The family of Spain’s late former fascist dictator Francisco Franco will use all possible legal means to prevent a government plan to move their ancestor’s remains from a grand monument near Madrid, Spanish media said on Saturday.


German City Removes Erdogan Statue After Protests
A golden statue of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that was installed at an art festival in the German city of Wiesbaden has been taken down after authorities said it was becoming a security…
Germany returns skulls of Namibian genocide victims – BBC News
Tens of thousands of Namibians were killed in what is called the first genocide of the 20th Century.
Tears, anger as Germany returns human remains seized from Namibia | Namibia News | Al Jazeera
Descendants of those slaughtered by Germany a century ago accuse Berlin of failing to properly atone for the atrocity.
Germany returns skulls from colonial-era massacre to Namibia | Reuters
Skulls and other remains of massacred tribespeople used in the colonial era for experiments to push claims of European racial superiority were handed over by Germany to Namibia at a church ceremony in Berlin.
Europe struggles to atone for its colonial evils – The Washington Post
Germany returned a set of skulls to Namibia more than a century after it carried out an apparent genocide. Can it do more to atone?


Takeaways from Venezuela’s Long Descent – War on the Rocks
This month’s highly publicized drone attack on President Nicolas Maduro is but the latest manifestation of the crisis gripping Venezuela. By now, the
Venezuela Has Lost 2.3 Million People, So Far – Defense One
UN officials say the flow of Venezuelan refugees into neighboring countries is building to a Mediterranean-style crisis.
Special Report: In Venezuela, new cryptocurrency is nowhere to be found | Reuters
To hear Venezuela’s leftist President Nicolas Maduro tell it, this remote hamlet of 1,300 souls is perched on the cutting edge of an innovation in cryptocurrency.
Venezuela’s Neighbors Join to Contain Crushing Flow of Refugees – Bloomberg
Venezuela’s accelerating slide toward mass starvation has become a continental disaster and South American governments this week began trying to manage it together.
Venezuela crisis: Brazil to send army to safeguard border – BBC News
Brazilian soldiers will be sent to “guarantee law and order” after an influx of Venezuelan migrants.
Brazil sends army to border as Venezuelans flee crisis at home | Reuters
Brazil said it was sending armed forces to keep order near the Venezuelan border area, while Peru declared a health emergency, as a regional crisis sparked by thousands of Venezuelans fleeing economic collapse escalated on Tuesday.
Venezuela to Sell Gold Ingots to Pensioners as Inflation Soars – Bloomberg
President Nicolas Maduro said Venezuela will begin to sell certificates backed by gold ingots as a savings mechanism starting next month.
Venezuelan migrants pour into Peru before new rules enforced | Fox News
Thousands of Venezuelans fleeing their nation’s economic and humanitarian crisis rushed to reach Peru on Friday before stiffer new rules go into effect that will make entering the fellow South American nation more difficult.
🇻🇪 Oil-rich Venezuela takes desperate measures to bolster economy | Counting the Cost – YouTube
Al Jazeera English Published on Aug 25, 2018 Venezuela, once considered one of the richest countries in the world, is now suffering from skyrocketing inflation, emigration, starvation and political unrest. The national currency, the bolivar, has become almost useless.
Venezuela migration nears ‘Mediterranean crisis point’ – BBC News
Stark warnings are issued as neighbouring countries tighten controls on Venezuelan migrants.
Borders won’t be able to contain Venezuela’s disaster
For years, the world watched corrupt socialists turn Latin America’s richest nation, Venezuela, into one of its poorest. Now, as the country’s economy nears…
‘At home, we’ve no chance’: Thousands reach Peru before new rules | News | Al Jazeera
Peru brings into force new entry restrictions to limit the flow of Venezuelans fleeing their country’s economic crisis.
In Chilean desert, global thirst for lithium is fueling a ‘water war’ | Reuters
On Chilean water regulator Oscar Cristi’s desk, a small white espresso cup teeters atop piles of documents and loose folders that appear on the point of collapse, perhaps an apt metaphor for the growing water crisis in parts of the Andean country.
South Africa farm seizure: ANC drops 2016 bill… but does it mean change is over? | World | News | Express.co.uk
SOUTH Africa’s parliament withdrew a 2016 expropriation bill on Tuesday which gave the state powers to make compulsory purchases of land. The move paves the way for the bill to re-emerge as part of new laws on land reform.
US Embassy in South Africa rejects Trump tweet: report | TheHill
The U.S. Embassy in South Africa has reportedly sent out a memo tacitly rejecting President Trump’s tweet tying land reform issues to a “large scale killing of farmers” in the country.
South Africa FARM SEIZURES: Government policy could DESTROY the country, warn experts | World | News | Express.co.uk
SOUTH Africa’s policy of seizing privately-owned land from white farmers without compensation could destroy the country for years to come, experts have warned.
Sri Lanka mass grave: Dozens of skeletons found in Mannar – BBC News
Dozens of bodies have been unearthed in the country’s former war zone in the north.

IW/EW/IO/Cyber Reports

 


 

Following an investigative report by BuzzFeed and others, a network of pro-Kremlin news outlets in the Baltic states suddenly admits to being run by the Russian state — Meduza
Either immediately before or shortly after the publication on August 29 of an investigative report by BuzzFeed News, Re:Baltica, and Postimees, the news outlet BaltNews finally admitted to being owned and operated by the Russian state through the Rossiya Segodnya media agency. “Skype logs and other documents offer a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the Kremlin’s propaganda machine,” the investigative story begins, laying out the breadcrumbs in a byzantine evidence trail that connects three pro-Russian news websites to Moscow’s state-run media.
Russia Influence Operations Seek to Sow U.S. Division – To Inform is to Influence
State official urges Senate not to politicize Russian subversion in U.S. BY: Bill Gertz August 22, 2018 5:00 am Russia’s aggressive influence and cyber operations targeting the United States are not aimed at supporting specific political parties but seek to sow internal divisions, a senior State Department official said Tuesday. A. Wess Mitchell, assistant secretary of…
Russian trolls accused of spreading anti-vaccine propaganda online – To Inform is to Influence
It would be most interesting to see a research project conducted, studying the correlation of Russian trolls running anti-vax propaganda versus Europe’s developing contagious disease epidemic (not a contagion, yet).  From Hamilton 68, vaxxed is one of the top ten trending hashtags. </end editorial> BY JACK MORSE 1 DAY AGO Well this is disturbing.Apparently not content to…
Russian trolls targeted Australian voters on Twitter via #auspol and #MH17
A lot of attention has been focused on Russia’s efforts to influence American politics, but Australia has also been a target – and continues to be a target – of covert foreign influence.
Russian social Media giant VKontakte Illegally Sharing User Data – To Inform is to Influence
When private user data ends up in the hands of law enforcement and university officials, there is a problem.   The General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR is an EU regulation which ensures privacy and protection of user data. The law applies to Russian VKontakte.  Global Voices investigates and tells us that Vkontakte appears not to be…
The Dark Side of War Propaganda – To Inform is to Influence
It’s interesting that the term “war propaganda” is used, as if to differentiate from ‘propaganda during peace’.   Surprisingly, there is no reference to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s exhibit on propaganda, which became a traveling show a few years ago.  </end editorial> How is hawkish fanaticism whipped up at home? One exhibition offers insight. By BRADLEY…
“Active Measures” Accidentally Makes Trump-Russia Collusion Sound Like Mad Propaganda – To Inform is to Influence
Let’s take a momentary pause from reality and take a quick glimpse into how “facts” are presented in this turbulent period of “post-truth”, where Russian collusion, the media, and Hollywood have gone wild presenting innuendos, assertions, and disinformation as news.   </end editorial> More a mega-thread than a movie, Jack Bryan’s tying-it-all-together Donald Trump–Russia doc connects…
Why too much attention on foreign actors and voting machines can hurt cybersecurity
The overwhelming majority of cyberattacks occur because of basic security failures, phishing attempts and human error, according to research.
Astroturf and manipulation of media messages & How Real Is Fake News? – To Inform is to Influence
Astroturf and manipulation of media messages In this eye-opening talk, veteran investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson shows how astroturf, or fake grassroots movements funded by political, corporate, or other special interests very effectively manipulate and distort media messages.   How Real Is Fake News? Was the effort to focus America’s attention on the idea of “fake…
Sarah Jeong’s The Internet of Garbage” now free to download – To Inform is to Influence
https://www.theverge.com/2018/8/28/17777330/internet-of-garbage-book-sarah-jeong-online-harassment Today, The Verge is publishing an interim edition of Sarah Jeong’s The Internet of Garbage, a book she first published in 2015 but has since gone out of print. It is a thorough and important look at the intractable problem of online harassment. After a year on The Verge’s staff as a senior writer,…
The Internet of Garbage by Sarah Jeong – The Verge
First published in 2015, Sarah Jeong’s book provides an accessible look at how online harassment works, how it might be categorized and understood, and why the structure of the internet and the policies surrounding it are incapable of stamping it out.
Moscow’s Cuban Propaganda Movie Was a Cinematic Masterpiece — And a Commercial Flop | War Is Boring
PPD-20 elimination opens arguments over how U.S. should conduct offensive hacking operations – To Inform is to Influence
Sean Lyngaas AUG 16, 2018 | CYBERSCOOP President Donald Trump has rescinded a key policy directive that governed the approval process for cyberattacks conducted by the U.S. government, potentially opening the door to more offensive operations, an administration official familiar with the matter confirmed to CyberScoop. Presidential Policy Directive 20, which then-President Barack Obama signed…
Joint Concept for Operating in the Information Environment – To Inform is to Influence
Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Paul Selva on July 25 signed the Joint Concept for Operating in the Information Environment, detailing the joint force’s new approach to information warfare. The final version is available here: http://www.jcs.mil/Portals/36/Documents/Doctrine/concepts/joint_concepts_jcoie.pdf?ver=2018-08-01-142119-830 DoD’s Strategy For Operations In The Information Environment, June 2016, can be found here: https://dod.defense.gov/Portals/1/Documents/pubs/DoD-Strategy-for-Operations-in-the-IE-Signed-20160613.pdf Note: there…
Former NSA, CIA director on cyber, Facebook and hacking back
Former head of the NSA and CIA Michael Hayden sat with Fifth Domain to discuss American cyber policy and global digital threats.
New document lays out American military’s early cyber struggles
A lack of resources, staff shortages and blurry lines of authority were just some of the difficulties that the American military experienced in cyberspace in 2014, according to a Freedom of Information Act request.
Why reversible cyberattacks could become standard in digital warfare
Reversible cyber operations have been praised as a warfare tactic of the future, and some have argued attacks whose affects cannot be restored may violate the laws of war in years to come.
An Army aerial electronic attack platform prepares to fly
One major electronic warfare program could be ready soon.
The Army is testing deceptive cyber technology despite past struggles
The Army is testing the deceptive cyber techniques, but experts both inside and outside government warn that the idea has struggled to go from concept to reality.
Army announces winners of electronic warfare challenge
Three teams won cash prizes for developing an AI that used machine learning to identify which new signals from a batch mattered for electronic warfare.
Army delivering EW vehicles to FORSCOM this fall – To Inform is to Influence
August 15, 2018 | Ashley Tressel The Army’s Rapid Equipping Force this month will complete testing of tactical vehicles equipped with electronic warfare offensive and defensive capabilities for delivery to soldiers this fall. The REF and its partners developed the new vehicles, composed of an EW system mounted on the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle “in…

US Domestic Policy Reports

 


 

The Truth About the Liberal Order
The liberal order is largely a myth.
The Roots of Trump’s Unconstrained Presidency
Since taking office, President Trump has made a series of unilateral decisions with enormous consequences for U.S. foreign policy. But Trump hasn’t single-handedly destroyed the checks and balances that are supposed to constrain executive power in foreign policy: his actions are merely exposing that they have been wearing away for decades.
Democracies Beware: Russia and China are on the Offensive | The National Interest
Democracies Beware: Russia and China are on the Offensive
When Free Speech and National Security Are at Odds – Defense One
A federal judge heard arguments Tuesday in a case about whether keeping 3-D-printed guns from getting into the wrong hands limits First Amendment freedoms.
Tech Companies Are Gathering For A Secret Meeting To Prepare A 2018 Election Strategy
Reps from up to a dozen of the US’s biggest tech companies plan to meet in San Francisco to discuss efforts to counter manipulation of their platforms.
More Evidence of Political Coverup in Dem IT Security Scandal – Judicial Watch


Lawmakers Want Classified Documents on Trump’s Meeting with Putin – Foreign Policy
Top Democrats still worry the president is hiding commitments he gave the Russian leader.
Trump’s Untested Authority to Revoke Security Clearances – Defense One
Can the president restrict a person’s access to classified material for any reason he wants? It may take a lawsuit from former CIA Director John …
US and Mexico reach a preliminary trade deal – CNNPolitics
The United States and Mexico have reached an agreement to change parts of NAFTA, the trade deal that President Donald Trump has derided for years as unfair.
Giuliani letter criticizing Romania’s anti-corruption drive draws State Department attention – The Washington Post
The missive raised more questions about Giuliani’s decision to work for foreign clients while serving as one of President Trump’s personal attorneys.
Melania’s Dad, a New American Citizen with a Record in Yugoslavia’s Secret Police Files
At a time when people are being denied U.S. citizenship because of their pasts, the case of Viktor Knavs—and his record in Yugoslavia’s secret police files—is an interesting one.
Trump Steps Up Attacks Against FBI, Justice Department Over Russian Collusion Probe
U.S. President Donald Trump has stepped up his attacks on law enforcement agencies, warning that he may have to “get involved” in decisions amid “disgraceful” investigations being carried out by th…
Mueller fights Russian firm’s attempt to ‘intervene’ in Roger Stone aide’s appeal – ABC News
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team is fighting a bid by a Russian firm to join an appeal brought by an American who is seeking to challenge Mueller’s appointment.
Russian company latches on to ‘witch hunt’ accusations – CNNPolitics
The Russian company Concord Management and Consulting has latched on to the idea that special counsel Robert Mueller is conducting a “witch hunt,” and accused him in a court filing Wednesday of indicting the company because of anti-Russian political motivations.
Report: Devin Nunes sought info on British spy who wrote Trump dossier
House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes flew to London to ask British intelligence officials for information on an ex-spy, The Atlantic reported.
Devin Nunes’s Secret Field Trip to London Ends in Failure | Vanity Fair
The staunch Trump ally seems determined to uncover a conspiracy against the president, but he keeps botching the job.
U.S. Justice Department Official Grilled Over Role In Russia Investigation
A U.S. Justice Department attorney who has drawn President Donald Trump’s ire has been grilled for more than seven hours by congressional Republicans over his role in aiding the department’s invest…
The danger of troubled presidents and foreign distractions | TheHill
Trump should make foreign affairs his administration’s top priority; a foreign affairs win would change the narrative, likely with his supporters and detractors alike.
‘Trade not aid’: farmers urge Trump to make a deal amid Nafta uncertainty | Environment | The Guardian
At world’s largest farm show many say US government aid has helped ease their pain – but what they want is trade security
What Is Trump Getting for Sucking Up to Saudi Arabia? – POLITICO Magazine
In our 65-plus years of experience working on U.S. Middle East policy, we’ve never seen anything like the Trump administration’s willingness to prostitute American interests to Saudi Arabia.


Manafort’s Attorneys Say They Will Ask To Move Second Trial Out Of Washington
U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s attorneys said on August 28 that they will ask to move his second trial from Washington to another location because of pretria…
Washington Operative Who Lobbied For Ukrainian Party Charged With Foreign-Agent Violation
Samuel Patten, a longtime Washington operative and associate of a Russian-Ukrainian man indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, has been charged with failing to register as a foreign agent in the United States.
Manafort associate charged over illegal lobbying for Ukraine’s pro-Russian politicians | UNIAN
A Republican political consultant linked to Paul Manafort, who also once worked for Cambridge Analytica, has been charged with operating illegally in the U.S. as an agent for pro-Russia politicians from Ukraine. Sam Patten was charged under Foreign Agents Registration Act.
Robert Mueller objected to Paul Manafort plea deal – Washington Times
Paul Manafort’s legal team was in talks with federal prosecutors about a possible plea deal in the former Trump campaign chairman’s upcoming Washington, D.C., trial, but those talks fell apart after special counsel Robert Mueller raised objections, according to a media report late Monday.
WSJ: Paul Manafort sought plea deal before second trial – YouTube
CNN Published on Aug 27, 2018 Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort sought a plea deal before his trial in Washington, DC, federal court next month, but talks stalled over issues raised by special counsel Robert Mueller, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Manafort passes up chance to attend court hearings – POLITICO
The decision limits courtroom appearances in jail garb as second trial nears.
Paul Manafort’s trial in D.C. to take 3 weeks, probe Ukraine lobbying world – The Washington Post
A court filing on Friday night listed 1,500 exhibits, some referring to U.S. lobbyists Tony Podesta and Vin Weber.
Attorneys estimate three weeks for Manafort’s next trial | TheHill
Attorneys working on the upcoming Washington, D.C., trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort expect that trial to last three weeks and explore more deeply his lobbying work in Ukraine.
Mueller team shortens estimate for length of 2nd Manafort trial – POLITICO
Manafort is set to go on trial in Washington beginning Sept.17.


Army expects to spend up to $50 billion a year on Futures Command – News – Stripes
Futures Command hopes to help do that by working with technology companies, startups, academia and businesses of all sizes with ideas on how to modernize the Army and be prepared to fight forces of similar strength.
Danger Close: Military Politicization and Elite Credibility    
Speaking at a National Guard leadership conference in 2011, then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey mused on a request he made to
The Gulf of Mexico is Full of Unexploded Bombs and Mustard Gas
Millions of pounds of unexploded bombs rest at the bottom of the gulf, and nobody knows where they are.
NASA chief guarantees launches of astronauts from U.S. soil in 2019
NASA Administrator James Bridenstine all but guaranteed his agency would soon be back in the business of flying humans into low-Earth orbit by 2019.


John McCain’s Final Statement – USNI News
Rick Davis, Senator John McCain’s former presidential campaign manager and a family spokesman, read the statement from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) at a press conference at the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix, Ariz. on Monday:
McCain’s True Legacy | The National Interest
I was fortunate to get to know John McCain as a man, not just as a legislator.
John McCain and the Dying Art of Political Compromise – WSJ
He had strong views, but his willingness to reach across the aisle has become all too rare.
H. R. McMaster Remembers John McCain
The late U.S. Senator John McCain’s life was one marked by courage, empathy, pride, and determination.
How McCain’s faith sustained him and allowed him to forgive himself – CNNPolitics
He rarely showed it in his public life, but John McCain spent a lot of time thinking about this moment — when he would face his final judgment before God.
Joe Biden: I’m a Democrat and I love John McCain – YouTube
CNN Published on Aug 30, 2018 Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke at Sen. John McCain’s funeral service in Arizona, where he described the late senator as a “brother.”
Joe Biden’s McCain eulogy just explained exactly what’s wrong with American politics – CNNPolitics
Here’s a paragraph from Joe Biden’s eulogy of the late John McCain that you need to read:
Joe Biden’s heartfelt eulogy for John McCain – The Washington Post
The former vice president says an emotional goodbye to his friend, and offers words of comfort to the senator’s family.
“I’m a Democrat. And I loved John McCain”: Joe Biden laments the end of bipartisanship at memorial | Salon.com
The former Democratic vice president had a close friendship with the Arizona senator
John McCain to be buried at the Naval Academy – The Washington Post
By Michael E. Ruane August 30 at 6:00 PM When John McCain is buried in the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery on Sunday afternoon, he will rest one row from the graves of Midshipmen William Edward Neumann and Thomas Ward Jr., who were killed in a turret blast on the battleship USS Missouri in 1904. Nearby is the tombstone of Marine Lt. Col. David Kerr Claude, who was killed in the Battle of Tarawa in World War II after diving into the ocean to rescue wounded comrades in danger of drowning.
Kremlin Critic Kara-Murza To Be Pallbearer At McCain’s Funeral
Outspoken Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza will be a pallbearer for John McCain when the coffin of the late Republican senator is carried at Washington’s National Cathedral.
McCain’s choice of Russian dissident as pallbearer is final dig at Putin, Trump – POLITICO
McCain and Kara-Murza had each other’s backs as each criticized Putin and what they saw as his autocratic tendencies in Russia.
John McCain Picks Anti-Putin Russian Poisoned, Almost Killed as Pallbearer in Apparent Dig Against Trump
The late senator’s choice appears to be a dig at President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin.
NATO should rename its headquarters after John McCain – CNN
Every veteran remembers the first time they came under fire. That combination of adrenalin and fear makes combat so electric that it links you with every other generation who fought. That realization — relief even — that you weren’t a coward, you didn’t run and you did your duty.
NATO considering naming its HQ building in honor of McCain – CNNPolitics
NATO is considering a recent request by a UK member of parliament and chair of the foreign affairs committee to name the alliance’s new billion-dollar headquarters building in Brussels in honor of the late US Sen. John McCain.
NATO considers naming headquarters after Sen. John McCain
The proposal comes as some Republicans tap the brakes on a proposal to rename the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington after the late GOP senator and war hero from Arizona.
Poroshenko to attend U.S. Senator McCain’s funeral ceremony on Friday
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will pay a private visit to the U.S. on Friday and on Saturday (August 31 – September 1) to participate in mourning farewells to U.S. Senator John McCain, the press service of the presidential administration has reported.
Poroshenko to visit farewell ceremony for Senator McCain in U.S. – 112.international
The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko will pay a private visit to the U.S. on August 31 – September 1 to participate in the ceremony of commemoration of Senator John McCain, as the President’s Administration reports. “On the behalf of the Ukrainian nation and me personally, I want to give the last tribute to an eminent personality and big friend of Ukraine. The strength of his spirit motivates. His feeling of a historic moment amazes. His vision of the future inspires,” the Head of the State noted.
John McCain, Nuclear Disarmament, and What Might Have Been – Defense One
If McCain had become president in 2008, the world might have had far fewer nuclear weapons today.
McCain warns about Trump and Russia in documentary set to be released a week after his death | Daily Mail Online
In a film set to be released a week after senator John McCain (left) died, he warns that Trump’s ties with Putin (right) and Russia allegedly meddling in the 2016 election should ‘alarm us all.’
Trump Won’t Say If McCain Would Have Been Better Than Obama – Bloomberg
President Donald Trump insisted Thursday he properly honored John McCain following his death but wouldn’t say whether he thought the Arizona Republican would have made a better president than Barack Obama.
Bloomberg: Trump says he didn’t miss a chance to unite the country after McCain’s death – CNNPolitics
President Donald Trump on Thursday defended his response to the death of Sen. John McCain in an interview with Bloomberg News.
The Disgusting and Self-Discrediting Conservative Attacks on John McCain
Sure enough, if the mainstream admires him, the hard right is going to hate him. That they choose this president over a man of McCain’s integrity speaks volumes.
Russia Hated John McCain, and Will Miss Him Dearly – The New York Times
The death of the Arizona senator has deprived Moscow of its favorite punching bag, the supposed leader of a global conspiracy of “Russophobes.”
Russia will struggle to find substitute for McCain to justify claim of global “Russophobia” conspiracy | UNIAN
Senator John McCain was long reviled by Russia’s state-controlled media as a deranged warmonger. President Vladimir Putin said he had “lost his roof” — in other words, gone crazy — during his time in captivity in Vietnam. Despite, or rather because of, all the abuse, however, McCain will be sorely missed in Moscow. The beauty of “Russophobia” from Russia’s perspective is that it absolves Moscow of any responsibility for the consequences of its own actions — the annexation of Crimea, its military incursions into Georgia and eastern Ukraine, the shooting down of a Malaysian passenger jet and its repeated meddling in Western elections — and has turned the country into an innocent victim of, well, John McCain.

 


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