Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Ad Hoc Media Update (47)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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 Interesting developments in Russia, post-Soviet republics, China / PACRIM and Europe – the latter is seeing a shift away from moderate politics in multiple nations.


NATO / EU / Russia Reports


Stephen Blank | Russia’s Vostok-2018: a rehearsal for global war? | The Interpreter
           What are we to make of Russia’s Vostok (East)-2018 exercise? From 11–15 September Russia’s Far East will host Vostok-2018 the largest Russian military exercise since Zapad (West)-1981. According to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, this latest exercise will engage some 300,000 Russian troops, over 1000 aircraft, the Pacific and Northern Fleets, the entire Airborne forces, Mongolian and 3200 Chinese troops, including 30 aircraft and fixed-wing helicopters. These forces will allegedly exercise in something approaching real combat conditions. Observers have naturally focused on the exercise’s size and scope, and on China’s participation, but there are also other dimensions. Clearly Russia is rehearsing a large-scale war. But since Russia is not demobilising in the West against NATO and the Ukraine, Vostok-2018 will likely stress and thus test Russia’s steadily developing capability for mobilising the entire panoply of reservists and multiple militaries at its disposal, along with the civil administration. Furthermore, since all exercises invariably parallel or contain sizable nuclear exercises, and Russia’s two nuclear fleets are participating, this represents another example of rehearsing conditions for nuclear operation.
Imagining a World Without NATO
NATO never had it easy. From the day the Washington Treaty was signed, when the Washington Post quipped that the ceremony might be “more spectacular than the act itself,” observers have been skeptical about the viability of the Alliance. In 1982, at the peak of the “Euro-missile crisis,” the Economist saw the Atlantic Alliance “in the early stages of what could be a terminal illness.” In 1994, when the Allies were hesitating to get involved in the Balkans conflict, the director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies argued that NATO was in terminal decline and probably would not even reach the end of the decade. Again, in 2002, when the Allies disagreed on whether to join the United States in trying to topple Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, some lamented “the end of Atlanticism.” The Cassandras always got it wrong. For one, they misunderstood political debate as a sign of NATO fatigue, not realizing that tackling difficult policy issues and ironing out disagreements is one of the most basic functions of an alliance. They also mistook debate about the future course of the Alliance for disagreement over its fundamental value. Times change, however, and so do attitudes. Today, the European Union struggles with numerous crises, from “Brexit” to burgeoning nationalism. Formats like the Group of Seven (G-7) no longer seem to generate the common leadership on global issues that Western nations sought to exert for many decades. Moreover, the notion that even the venerable NATO alliance may well be dispensable is no longer confined to the “usual suspects” from academia or the wilder shores of isolationism. Some Western policy makers today seem perfectly capable of imagining a world without NATO as well as without the European Union (EU).
Defence chiefs alarmed by Russia’s military build-up | News | The Times
          Russia’s increasingly powerful conventional military is raising concerns in government on top of those about its subversive operations. The Kremlin’s role in assassinations, cyber attacks and espionage has taken centre stage this week. Ministry of Defence sources have signalled, however, that a spotlight on the Kremlin’s use of so-called hybrid war tactics must not divert attention from the “alarming” growth in mass and reach of Russia’s armed forces.

European Parliament comments on EU-Ukraine association agreement implementation – draft report – 01.09.2018 12:36 — Ukrinform News
The European Parliament positively assesses Ukraine&rsquo;s implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, noting the need for completing the ongoing reforms.
Estonia Arrests Army Officer, His Father On Suspicion Of Spying For Russia
An Estonian Army officer and his father have been arrested on suspicion of treason and spying for Russia, authorities say.
U.S. State Department approves sale of Patriot missiles to Netherlands – Defence Blog
The U.S. Department of State has approved a possible foreign military sale to the Netherlands of Patriot missiles. The sale, which was announced by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on 5 September, is valued at $105 million and covers the Recapitalization (RECAP) of four Netherlands Patriot Fire Units. The sale includes a variety of recapitalization services to the Netherlands including radar sets, processors, control stations, launch equipment, upgrades and other services, testing and other related elements of logistics and program support, which will produce fire units at the Configuration 3+ capability. According to the DSCA’s statement, this proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a NATO Ally, which is an important force for political stability and economic progress in the European region. This sale improves the Netherlands’ capability to meet current and future enemy threats. The Netherlands will use the enhanced capability to strengthen its homeland defense and deter regional threats, and provide direct support to coalition and security cooperation efforts. The Netherlands will have no difficulty absorbing this upgraded equipment and support into its armed forces.
Polish army receives modern Poprad anti-aircraft systems – Defence Blog
The Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland has taken delivery the first series-manufactured examples of the new Poprad anti-aircraft systems, on 31 August. According to a news report in the Defence24, the Polish military is now taking delivery of the self-propelled Poprad anti-aircraft systems, which based on the AMZ Zubr 4×4 platform. The Agreement concerning the acquisition of the self-propelled Poprad anti-aircraft systems was signed back in December 2015, by and between the Armament Inspectorate and the manufacturer of the systems – the PIT-RADWAR company, noted at the news report. Value of the agreement has been set at the level of PLN 1.083 billion. It includes delivery of 77 new anti-aircraft systems and customization of 2 systems of the trial batch. The first units equipped with Poprads have already reached the initial combat readiness status, however, further training is required to obtain full capability. The systems need to be integrated with other elements of the battlespace.
The Aviationist » Radom Air Show – Polish Air Force’s Centenary – A Birthday without the Main Guest?
Last week, on Aug. 25. and 26., the Polish Air Force celebrated its 100th Anniversary, during a special Centenary edition of the Radom Air Show. Even though the occasion was quite spectacular, the event left somewhat a bittersweet taste with the audience. The Polish Air Force, the celebrant who had his 100th birthday organized in Radom, was not fully present at the show. Due to the richness of the programme, the airshow had its flying organized from two airfields: whilst most of the display aircraft were taking off from Radom, some of the flying machines had to use a nearby airbase in Dęblin (home of the Polish Air Force Academy, which is the main pilot training facility of the Polish Air Force) Most of the Polish fighter force – the MiG-29 and Su-22 fighter aircraft – have been grounded, hence they did not participate in the flying portion of the show. This is quite significant – Su-22s have been in service with the Police Air Force for 35 years, and the MiG-29 has been the prime fighter of the service for almost 3 decades. Neither were present in the static display.
The Unsolved Mystery Of Soviet Nukes In Czechoslovakia
Decades after the end of the Cold War, experts are still debating whether the Soviet Union actually stored live nuclear warheads in three top-secret bunkers in Czechoslovakia. We visited the decaying sites to see what remains of this terrifying legacy.
Price that Putin pays for the wars held by Russia – The toll of Putin’s wars – 112.international
By intervening in Syria, annexing Crimea, and sustaining military presence in Eastern Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to have overextended himself. With an annual growth rate of just 1.5%, Russia is now expending 5.3% of its GDP on its military budget, while losing another 3-4% to legal, civilian, and other costs

Russia / Russophone Reports


Window on Eurasia — New Series: Beslan was ‘Point of No Return’ for Both Putin and Russia, Shenderovich Says
Paul Goble Staunton, September 3 – From the very first days in office, Vladimir Putin showed his intentions, with the relaunch of a war in Chechnya, the destruction of NTV, the arrest of Khodorkovsky, the seizure of property for himself and his friends, and the imposition on Russia of a cult of personality, Viktor Shenderovich says. But “the point of no return” for both him and for Russia came 14 years ago today, the Moscow commentator says, when the Kremlin leader took the decisions he did in response to the hostage situation in Beslan – and succeeded with many in covering up his crime and thus getting away with it (facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1889695701099164&id=100001762579664). On the third day of the crisis, Shenderovich continues, a resolution of the hostage crisis was on the horizon as a result of the appearance of Chechen leader Aslan Maskhadov who offered to be a mediator to save the lives of the 300 children being held captive. “This was an enormous chance” for their lives, he says, but it was also “an obvious political defeat for Putin who had invested enormous PR resources to de-legitimize the lawful resident of Ichkeria and Russia’s partner in the Khasavyurt Agreement.” Not surprisingly, “Putin decided to cut through this Gordian knot.” “Between the deaths of Ossetin children and his own political defeat, [Putin] chose the variant less traumatic for himself and gave the order for the immediate storming of the school, not by the Alpha group but by the army’s special forces,” Shenderovich continues. “This was a death sentence for the hostages.” The attack began “not with an explosion from inside as federal sources lied but with an artillery shelling of the school from outside, a fact established by numerous witnesses and reflected in the report of [Duma] deputy Savelyev.” Then the FSB moved in to clean up the scene of the crime, removing all evidence of who had committed it. That allowed Putin to control the official investigation which blamed the Chechens and exonerated Moscow of all blame, but it did not prevent others, including journalists at Moscow’s Novaya gazeta from documenting exactly what happened and pointing the finger of blame where it belonged: at Putin in the Kremlin. “The shooting in Beslan was more than practical,” Shenderovich says. “It was multi-functional. Maskhadov was not allowed to come out of the underground and soon the legitimate president of Ichkeria was simply killed; and while society was trying to recover from shock, Putin cancelled gubernatorial elections” and moved against the press and society. Two years later, Putin used force against those who dared to protest, and by then “Putin had defeated everyone,” the commentator says. God alone knows how he will be punished for his crimes, but Russia has already had to pay a very high price – and in fact continues to pay it every day Putin is in power. “Putin began as a typical personage of ‘the wild 1990s,’” Shenderovich says; but “he has ended as an international criminal responsible for unleashing several wars. But the point of no return” for him and for Russia, occurred in a small town in the North Caucasus 14 years ago with the government’s murder of children.
UAWire – Exodus of Russian oligarchs to Cyprus accelerates
The demand among Russians for property in European offshore havens with the consequent acquisition of citizenship is growing, finanz.ru reports. Between January and August 2018, the number of applications by Russian citizens to purchase residential and commercial property in order to acquire Maltese or Cypriot citizenship rose by 40%, according to the consulting company Knight Frank. Cyprus’s passport program requires applicants to invest at least €2 million in the economy, of which €500,000 must be used to buy property. By the end of July, the number of such transactions had grown by 25% year on year: Knight Frank estimates that 5,400 facilities were purchased. The Maltese program grants citizenship acquisition rights to persons investing € 650,000 in the country’s National Fund and € 150,000 in approved financial instruments for a period of at least five years. Applicants must also purchase property to the value of at least € 350,000 or rent for a minimum of €16,000 per year. 1,600 out of a possible 1,800 applications have been submitted in the Maltese passport program. The mass sale of European passports to ethnic Russians and citizens of former Soviet states is causing concern in the EU, said EU Justice Commissioner Věra Jourová at the start of August. She emphasized that the practice of issuing “golden” visas and passports in exchange for investments needs to be curtailed. New rules restricting the inflow into the EU of migrants with dubious capital origins will be drafted and published in September, she promised. “The EU must not become a haven for corruption and dirty money… several member states should do more to avoid providing citizenship,” she added. According to Der Spiegel, the European Commission has its sighs set on Greece, Cyprus and Malta, which actively trade in passports, whose primary buyers are Russians and citizens of former Soviet republics. Maltese government data indicates that every second participant in the “Citizenship for investment” program, which has been active since 2013, is presumably an ethnic Russian. These include Yandex founder and co-owner Arkady Volozh and his family, owner of the 01 Group investment company Boris Mints, and ICT Holding co-owner Alexander Nesis. All three feature on the Forbes list of wealthiest Russians with $1.1, $1.3 and $2.4 billion respectively. Among the new Maltese citizens are also namesakes of Russia’s largest vodka producer, Beluga Group co-owner Alexander Mechetin, major Russian land owner Igor Khudokormov and Alexei Marey – CEO and vice chairman of Alfa-Bank, who resigned in November 2017 in connection with his family moving to London. The list also includes the presumed family of Vladimir Voronin, owner of the development company FSK Leader, the namesake of a Kaspersky Lab senior manager, the CEO of the Polyus gold mining company Pavel Grachev, one of the 25 highest paid managers according to Forbes; Dmitry Doykhen and Nikolay Fartushnyak – founders of the Sportsmaster store chain; Igor Levitin, brother of former Russian transport minister and current presidential aide Igor, and many others.
‘Not Without Our Pitchforks’: Is Russia Pulling Out Stops To Tamp Down Protest Vote?
With public discontent in Russia running at rarely seen levels because of the government’s wildly unpopular pension-reform proposal, officials appear to be managing September 9 local elections care…
Russians rally once more against changing pension age – To Inform is to Influence
Thousands of Russians protested across the country against government plans to raise the pension age. The rallies come despite concessions made by President Vladimir Putin earlier this week. Large protests took place throughout Russia on Sunday as thousands protested again against government reforms to state pensions. Moscow was the site of one major rally that drew several…
Russians Protest ‘Cannibalistic’ Pension Reform, Despite Putin’s Concessions
Thousands of people across Russia have protested against a deeply unpopular pension reform, despite concessions offered recently by President Vladimir Putin.
Russia pension protests: Fresh anti-reform rallies held – BBC News
Rallies are held in Moscow and other cities, despite President Putin’s recent concessions.
Thousands protest against pension law despite Putin’s rollback | News | Al Jazeera
Several large rallies have taken place in recent months against an unpopular proposal to raise the retirement age.
US Did Not Discuss With Russia Transcripts of Clinton-Yeltsin Talks – Kremlin – Sputnik International
The US side did not discuss with Moscow the release of a phone call transcript dated 1999, which showed that Russia’s then-President Boris Yeltsin introduced Vladimir Putin to his US counterpart Bill Clinton as the next leader of the country, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced on Friday.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: With United Russia Now ‘Toxic,’ Initiative in Russia Moving to the Left, Byzov Says
Paul Goble Staunton, August 31 – Vladimir Putin’s modifications of the pension reform have lowered the level of dissatisfaction in society, Andrey Polunin says, and they may have even stabilized his own rating. But they have nothing to save the reputation of United Russia: It has become toxic in the eyes of Russians and is now certain to do badly in upcoming elections. “It is symptomatic,” the Svobodnaya pressa analyst says, “that President Putin has for a long time not positioned himself in relation to United Russia,” an approach Dmitry Medvedev and Sergey Sobyanin have followed as well. But not everyone can flee from that identification; and they are going to suffer (svpressa.ru/politic/article/209520/). If turnout is very low as it may be, the impact of this on the outcome of the elections will be less obvious, Polunin says. “But this will not solve the problems of the party of power.” Analysts divide on its future. Some say that United Russia in the parliamentary elections will receive 30 to 35 percent of the vote because of conformist attitudes among Russians. But others argue that as a result of the pension reform, there will be “a renewal of the current political class while Putin’s rating will remain relatively high. That could have many more far-reaching consequences. Leonty Byzov of the Moscow Institute of Sociology says that Putin’s speech on pensions did little to influence the attitudes of Russians about that problem. “but what is much more important,” as a result of the Kremlin leader’s remarks, “the picture of the world that people have began to change.” “In the picture of the world which was formed in 2000, Putin stood above the clans and was the last popular defender. In essence, he was the good tsar,” the sociologist says. But now that Putin has come out against the people together with the hated oligarchate and government, this picture has begun to disintegrate.” Russians are now beginning to ask themselves: “why must be sacrifice our last money … when the ruling class and the oligarchs aren’t prepared to sacrifice anything?” In this situation, the Kremlin is not unhappy with the idea that participation in the September 9 election will be low. If that is the case, it will do better because the increasingly angry population won’t be taking part while its supporters will. But the communists are going to pick up some support now and more in the future if they seize the moment. United Russia, Byzov says, is now “dead. It has already died but exists by inertia,” and the powers that be can’t count on it anymore. “The picture of the world people has changed. I do not want to assert that the situation is revolutionary. Nevertheless, it is becoming ever more socially dangerous.” People feel the elites are getting everything and they are getting nothing, and “this sense is very strongly revolutionizing people who to a great extent are beginning to feel they have nothing to lose,” Byzov continues. As a result, their relationship to the authorities is beginning to change. That doesn’t mean they are ready to go into the streets as most understand that this will not change anything. “But protest, I am certain,” he says, “will appear in something else. Simply because the country is entering into a time of complicated tests. And the powers already cannot count on the support of their former electorate.” Aleksandr Shatilov of Moscow’s Finance University, however, suggests that this may not be manifested anytime soon. On the one hand, in Moscow, many pensioners are continuing to work and so are less affected by the reforms. And on the other, in the regions, where it is hitting home, people are traditionally more loyal to the powers that be and likely to remain so for now.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: In Russia, Muslims and Non-Orthodox Christians Get More from Their Religion than Orthodox Do, New Study Says
Paul Goble Staunton, September 2 – Russians who identify as Orthodox say they get far less from their religion than do those who identify as other Christians or Muslims concerning confidence in the future, support from their faith, and encouragement to support others, according to a new study by sociologist Yana Roshina of Moscow’s Higher School of Economics. Her study, The Role of Religion in the Life of Russians (in Russian; partially available on line at publications.hse.ru/chapters/220231547), concludes that non-Orthodox and Musim Russians are more likely to say that religion plays a positive role in their lives than are the Orthodox (vedomosti.ru/opinion/articles/2018/08/17/778405-rossiyanam-religiya). Roshina says this reflects two things. On the one hand, those who identify with Orthodoxy seldom know as much about their religion as do those who join other faiths. Instead, they take religion less seriously and view it as a cultural marker about being Russian rather than as an independent matter of belief. And on the other, many who do identify as Orthodox are nonetheless put off by the archaic ideas about social life and the individual often promoted by Orthodox priests and the hierarchy. Such people may identify as Orthodox for political reasons, but they do not accept what the church as an institution is promoting. Among the most important findings of Roshina’s study are the following: First, “the most tolerant are the non-Orthodox Christians,” with 91 percent of them saying that religious makes them tolerant to the weaknesses of others. Only 82 percent of Muslims say that; and only 67 of Orthodox do. Second, “74 percent of non-Orthodox Christians say they receive support by other believers from,” 72 percent of Muslims say the same; but only 28 percent of Orthodox say that they do. And while non-Orthodox Christians and Muslims look forward to an afterlife (65 and 73 percent respectively), only 35 percent of Orthodox do. The strictly hierarchical and authoritarian nature of the Orthodox Church, Eduard Ponarin, another scholar who participated in the study, explains much of this. People are alienated from the hierarchy as well as by its “conservative policy.” Moreover, Orthodox congregations are larger, and often priests don’t know their parishioners well. Protestant and Muslim congregations in contrast are smaller, more democratic, and united by a sense that they are minorities and thus must provide greater support to fellow members, Ponarin adds.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Restoring Stalin’s Name to Main Street in Daghestan Port Said Act of ‘Historical Justice’
Paul Goble Staunton, September 2 – By a vote of 28 to two, residents of Kaspiisk have called on the mayor of their city to rename the main street of that Daghestani port for Stalin, an act they say would represent “the restoration of historical justice.” Anyone who dissents, they say, should simply go somewhere else. The city chief has two weeks to agree or not. Molodezh Dagestana reports that advocates of the change, members of the Stalin Socio-Political Organization, note the city’s Peace Street earlier was called Stalin Street, and some said that Stalin bore no responsibility for mass repressions. That was the work of “local people,” they say and advise opponents of the change to simply move away (md-gazeta.ru/news/54048). Backers of this change, the republic newspaper says, do face one obstacle: Kaspiisk, where Moscow plans to relocate its Caspian flotilla, already has a Stalin Street. But it isn’t an important thoroughfare, and advocates of renaming the main street in honor of the Soviet dictator say that this problem can be solved by giving the other street a different name. Stalin’s name still graces the names of some two dozen cities and towns in Russia, Meduza reports, although it is rare for any of them to have two Stalin streets at the same time (meduza.io/news/2018/09/02/ne-nravitsya-pereezzhay-na-obschestvennyh-slushaniyah-v-kaspiyske-reshili-pereimenovat-ulitsu-mira-v-chest-stalina). Meanwhile, another Russian has proposed another change in names. Roman Popkov, a Moscow blogger, says that “in a beautiful Russia of the future, streets will be named for Fanya Kaplan, the woman who unsuccessfully sought to assassinate Vladimir Lenin on August 30, 2918 (t.me/roman_popkov/1026).
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Plans to Divide Its Pseudo-Cossacks into Five Districts to Monitor Population and Counter Dissent
Paul Goble Staunton, September 2 – In yet another step that sets Vladimir Putin’s pseudo-Cossacks apart from genuine Cossack communities, the state-backed Council of Atamans of Russia has announced plans to divide the country into five “Cossack districts,” each of which will create a power vertical including a counter-intelligence function. Gennady Kovalyev, a general in the Federal Counter-Intelligence Service and deputy head of the Council of Atamans of Russia, says that in order to preserve “the state order,” the Cossacks will be divided into five corps districts,” each with a counter-intelligence staff (zavtra.ru/blogs/zachem_nuzhna_kazach_ya_kontrrazvedka_segodnya). The general adds that these staffs “will exercise control over the political attitudes of the population,” an indication of the real way that the Kremlin intends to use its own Cossacks and one that sets them apart from traditional Cossacks who are divided into more than a dozen hosts and typically unwilling to be used against the political opposition. According to Kovalev, a staff will be set up attached to the Council of Atamans which will oversee the activity of the entire counter-intelligence staffs at the district level. “Strict vertical subordination will be established,” and the corps counter-intelligence staffs will be responsible for reporting on all their activities and their monitoring of the population. “On the basis of that,” Kovalyev says, “we will carry out analysis and generalization of reports about the political situation in the regions and monitor information about subversive activity of opponents of the Cossacks in the Internet.” The network of its agents will reach “into the smallest Cossack units.” So far, the Cossack counter-intelligence operation has been gathering two kinds of materials: documents compiled on the basis of political monitoring and case records about “persons identified as being active in anti-government and anti-Cossack activity and propaganda.” These staffs, the general continues, will also monitor both relations between Cossacks and the local population and efforts by Cossack units not under its control who seek to compromise the Cossacks that are officially registered and seek to fulfill their patriot duty of supporting the state. Kovalyev’s brief remarks suggest that Putin’s pseudo-Cossacks are going to go over to the offensive against traditional Cossacks, demanding that the latter either conform to the Kremlin’s definition of Cossackry or disband, something many will be unwilling to do. And that in turn may lead to clashes, especially in the southern regions of the country.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Tatarstan Now Under Attack and Probability It will Disappear is ‘Extremely High,’ Gilyazov Says
Paul Goble Staunton, September 4 – Iskander Gilyazov, the editor of the Kazan Institute of the Tatar Encyclopedia, says that Tatarstan is now under intense attack, that Tatars have not found within themselves the resources to resist, and that as a result, the probability that their republic will disappear in the coming decades is “extremely high.” The Tatar historian gives this and other pessimistic assessments of the current state of the Tatars and Tatarstan in an interview in Tatar to the Tatar-Bashkir Service of Radio Svoboda, an interview which has been translated into Russian for the service’s IdelReal portal (azatliq.org/a/29455645.html and idelreal.org/a/29468373.html). “We are an excessively modest and subservient people,” Gilyazov says. “We live according to the principle ‘today things are like this but tomorrow we will see.’ We aren’t capable to defending out interests. All [out] qualities possibly are suitable for a major country but not for a nation.” These ethnic shortcomings, he suggest, go far back in time to the Russian sacking of Kazan in 1552 when the Tatar nation lost its urban component and became a rural people, a change that “exerted a negative influence” on the course of development of the Tatars as a national community. The situation began to change at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century when Tatars from the villages came into the cities and integrated themselves into broader social movements. But the numbers of such pioneers were very small and they did not achieve their goals. “Later when a new society already was being built, when religious persecution began, a very large number of Tatars were liquidated. A major part of those who survived left the country,” where the first generation was active despite everything especially in the Far East but also in Europe. Then everything died down. According to Gilyazov, “today there is nothing” abroad. “Why? Because Tatars who at one time consciously emigrated from their country have disappeared. There is no generation capable of continuing their work. Their children are either indifferent to the activity of their parents or have integrated into a foreign milieu.” Meanwhile, inside Russia, Tatars and Tatarstan have been under attack and have not defended themselves as well as they might. In a decade or two, he continues, “there will be an attack on the statehood of Tatarstan. The prospect of the destruction of the republic is even possible … That depends on the Russian president.” “I can say,” the historian continues, “that the probability of its disappearance is great.” The number of Tatars has already fallen remarkably far and fast, farther and faster than even Gayaz Iskhaki predicted a century ago. He said Tatars would disappear in 200 years, but the Tatars themselves being clever have reduced that figure to perhaps 90. “The Tatars themselves have pursued their own disappearance.” If things are going to change, Gilyazov says, the Tatars must place all their hopes on urban children. They must bring them up as Tatar speakers proud of their nation and prepared to defend it by all the means at their disposal, and they must avoid the mistakes of the last 25 years when Kazan failed to take such actions that were possible in cooperation with some Russians. After 1991, he continues, “the majority of Russians were not against studying Tatar. On the contrary, very many of them wanted to study it. We ourselves are guilty for what happened. It was necessary to teach Russian children differently” rather than assume that course that work for rural Tatars would work for urban Russians. “One must not forget,” he says, “that we live not only in Tatarstan but also in Russia. We constantly forget about this. We needed to consult with Russia. Whether you want it or not, Russia is a big state. An imperial tradition lives in the consciousness of the people and nagturally a big state strives to unity.” We missed a chance to change that two decades ago. Now, Gilyazov argues, we must deal with the results: “Tatarstan is part of Russia; it is not an independent state.” Tatars managed to survive in Russia for 450 years; they ought to be able to work out means for surviving at least for another century. Russia is making a fatal error in pursuing uniformity, the historian says; but that is what it is going to do. And “perhaps,” he says, “the current complicated position of the Tatars will work to their benefit,” leading to a recognition that no one is going to solve their problems for them and that they must take responsibility for themselves. “We haven’t done this,” Gilyazov says. “A child can master three or four languages with ease by means of games. If our scholars aren’t capable of coming up with a successful method, we need to turn abroad for help.” Tatars have “very many positive qualities,” the historian says. But they have three very negative ones – a proclivity to be envious, a tendency to be subservient, and an unwillingness to listen to the opinions of others. Unless those are tackled and overcome, he concludes, the future for the nation and the republic is bleak indeed.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Media Treat Russian Far East as Russia’s Enemies Do – ‘an Exotic Frontier’ Rather than a Full-Fledged Part of the Country, Vasiliyev Says
Paul Goble Staunton, September 5 – Next week, the Valdai Discussion Club will take up the issue of the Russian Far East in advance of the Eastern Economic Forum at which the club’s report will be presented. Unfortunately, Yury Vasilyev says, that report like the Moscow media in general reflects a fundamental problem in Moscow’s understanding of the region. Instead of treating the Russian Far East as an integral part of the Russian Federation, the Vzglyad commentator says, the report and the Moscow media treat that land as something separate and apart, “an internal frontier” whose problems can be solved only by Moscow and whose features are invariably “exotic” (vz.ru/opinions/2018/9/4/940368.html). Remarkably and troublingly, Vasiliyev continues, “such a conception practically coincides with how the Far East is viewed from abroad” by those who wish Russia well and those who don’t. And unless the Moscow media changes its approach, there are going to be more problems ahead. “The Far East,” he says, “hardly can become a full-fledged part of Russia which will then turn to our partners in the East until in the consciousness of the Russian media consumer his conception of this region as ‘an internal frontier’ is overcome” and replaced by a more adequate understanding that includes the Far East in Russia as “our common home.” “The most effective and least expensive path” in that direction, the Moscow writer says, “is the inclusion of the real problems of the Far East and Siberia both in the federal and in the regional media” where all too often they are treated as marginal and far away – and in any case as fundamentally different from those elsewhere in Russia. Russians should be encouraged to think of the Far East in much the same way they think about other regions of the country, as distinctive in some ways but fundamentally part of a common whole. At present, that is not the case, Vasiliiyev says. Instead, paternalism and exoticism rule. “A thoroughgoing de-exoticization of the Far Eastern theme in the consciousness of Russians doesn’t threat the unique view of the Far East for the average consumer of the Russian media, the commentator says. “It simply adds to this a sense of a common home necessary for the successful carrying out of a shift of Russia not only to Asia but to its very own East.” Put in simplest terms, Vasilyev says, “the main common task of Russian media at all levels in the Far Eastern ‘theater’ should be to begin ‘to convert Kolyma into Kostroma’ … first at the level of consciousness and then at the level of the collective unconscious of those who live beyond the borders of our ‘internal frontier.’” “Vladivostok is ours. And that’s it,” he concludes, unwittingly using the same terms Moscow now applied to its annexation of Crimea.
Despite Putin’s concessions, Russians protest pension reform law | Reuters
Thousands of people across Russia joined protests on Sunday against government plans to raise the pension age, despite recent promises by President Vladimir Putin to soften the unpopular measure.
Moscow Court Upholds Navalny’s 30-Day Jail Sentence
An appeals court has upheld the 30-day jail sentence handed down to opposition activist Aleksei Navalny for what Russian authorities say were violations of the law on public gatherings and protests.
Ukrainian Activist Flees Crimea Under Pressure From Russian Authorities
Olha Pavlenko, an activist from Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, has fled the Russian-occupied region after her home in Simferopol was searched by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and she was qu…
Chechen Refugee Forcibly Disappeared Hours After ‘Unlawful’ Deportation From Poland
Amnesty International has called on the Russian authorities to disclose the whereabouts of a Chechen refugee who was forcibly disappeared hours after being deported to Russia from Poland last week.
Lawyer: Sending Crimean political prisoners to Russia “war crime” | UNIAN
The fact that this is not the first time that Russia is so violating the Geneva Convention and other international agreements does not make it any the less serious, and human rights lawyer Emil Kurbedinov believes such behavior should be viewed as a war crime. Five Ukrainian political prisoners from Crimea will shortly be taken against their will to Rostov in Russia for “trial” with the conditions en route likely to be even worse than those in the Simferopol SIZO [remand prison] where they have been illegally held since October 2016.
Crimean Tatar Activists’ Family Members Detained
A Ukrainian human rights groups says Russian-imposed authorities in Ukraine’s occupied Crimea region have detained family members of a Crimean Tatar activist.
Borderline Problem: Kaliningrad Flats Behind Barbed Wire
After Lithuania declared independence in 1990, new borders appeared between the country and the neighboring Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. Residents of one apartment block in the Kaliningrad town of Sovetsk found themselves living inside the border zone, cut off from their neighbors by customs and passport control.
‘AIDS Boy,’ ‘Dog,’ And ‘Disgrace To Society’: How Russia Greets Gay Men Seeking Asylum
It’s no secret that LGBT Russians have fled their homeland in recent years amid what rights advocates call rising homophobia in the country. But a small number of sexual minorities have sought refuge in Russia — with mixed results.
Germany Extradites Suspected Islamic Militant Back To Russia
Germany has extradited a man from Russia’s North Caucasus region back to Russia, where he faces allegations of taking part in terrorist activities in support of a banned Islamic extremist group.
Putin’s Pistol-Packing Pensioners
These Russian pensioners burn dollars, smash iPads, and call Barack Obama “a cannibal.” They call themselves “Putin’s Troops” and now they’re preparing a message for Donald Trump.
Blast At Russian Explosives Factory Kills At Least Three
A blast at an explosives plant in Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod region on August 31 has killed at least three people.
Death Toll Rises To Five At Russia’s Sverdlov Explosives Plant
Russian authorities say the death toll from an explosion and fire at an explosives plant has risen to five people.
One Dead, 18 Injured After Plane Skids Off Runway During Landing At Sochi Airport
An airport worker has died and 18 people were injured when a passenger plane skidded off the runway after landing at Sochi airport.
Russia’s Beslan Marks 14th Anniversary Of Hostage Tragedy
The southern Russian town of Beslan has marked the 14th anniversary of a school hostage-taking attack that ended with 334 people dead after a botched rescue, including 186 children.
Three Killed In Mi-8 Helicopter Crash In Siberia
Russia’s government says three crew members have been killed in a helicopter crash in Siberia.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Soviets Considered Renaming Moscow a Minimum of Four Times
Paul Goble Staunton, September 3 – Three times, Soviet officials wanted to rename Moscow in honor of USSR leaders. Twice, Stalin personally intervened to prevent that from happening; and once, after his death, his successors intervened to block the idea given the historical importance of the name. The first time occurred in February 1927 when 200 party leaders asked the government to rename Moscow “Lenin” because of what they said was the Bolshevik leader’s role in “founding “free Rus.” But St. Petersburg already bore his name, and Stalin declared a second “Lenin” city excessive (weekend.rambler.ru/read/40704233-stalinodar-kak-esche-hoteli-pereimenovat-moskvu/). The second attempt came in 1938 when NKVD chief Nikolay Yezhov had his subordinates prepare a plan for renaming Moscow “Stalinodar.” Stalin apparently was both amused and angered and declared that he would never allow the Soviet capital to be renamed. Two years later, Yezhov was shot, although not primarily because of this proposal. There were two additional efforts to rename the capital in honor of Stalin, first, after World War II in honor of the victory and then after Stalin’s death. In 1945, Stalin again rejected the idea, although the archives lack details on just who made this proposal or whether it was ever a formal one, and the second after Stalin’s death. After his passing, many Soviet officials called for renaming Moscow in his honor. Some went even further and suggested that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics should be renamed the Union of Soviet Stalinist republics — which would have had the advantage of being more honest — and that the Georgian SSR should henceforth be called the Stalin SSR. As a result of Nikita Khrushchev’s de-Stalinization campaign, however, none of these ideas came to fruition. Instead, the renaming process went in the opposite direction with Stalin’s name being taken off streets, cities and other locations. However, the process isn’t over: his name still graces more than two dozen streets and some want to bring it back to others (meduza.io/news/2018/09/02/ne-nravitsya-pereezzhay-na-obschestvennyh-slushaniyah-v-kaspiyske-reshili-pereimenovat-ulitsu-mira-v-chest-stalina).
The Week In Russia: Novichok Charges, The Putin Show, And Final Farewells
Britain named, charged, and published photographs of the two alleged Russian military intelligence officers it says traveled to England on a mission to kill an ex-spy with a Novichok nerve agent. I…
UAWire – Russia prepares a plan to protect itself against US sanction
The Russian Security Council is preparing a response plan to protect against the new US sanctions and sanctions initiatives, reported RBC news agency with a reference to a source close to the Security Council and an interlocutor from a structure that prepared the proposals. It was reported that the Security Council has collected from ministries and departments proposals on the protection of the economy. The Ministries of Finance, Economic Development, Industry and Trade, as well as the Central Bank, Vnesheconombank, and Russian industrial conglomerate Rostec have already submitted their proposals. One of their ideas suggests including a paragraph on the inadmissibility of using the US law in the agreements between Russia and other countries, as well as inadmissibility of using US sanctions in force majeure clauses of international commercial agreements. Russian officials also consider the possibility of priority purchases of technological products that have not fallen under future U.S. sanctions, and developing alternative international payment systems, including those based on quantum technologies.

Central Asia / Caucasus Reports


Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Again Mobilizes against ‘Pan-Turkic Threats’ among Russia’s Turkic Peoples
Paul Goble Staunton, September 3 – A group headed by a Chechen activist has received more than 8.2 million rubles (110,000 US dollars) as a presidential grant to counter what it says are “pan-Turkic threats” to the Russian Federation that have been inspired from abroad and that are infecting the younger generation of the Turkic-speaking peoples of the country. The project, organized by the center for Support of the Stable Development of Civil Society which is led by Azamat Mintsayev of the Association of Chechen Social and Cultural Unions, also is receiving 3.2 million rubles (40,000 US dollars) from the organization itself (idelreal.org/a/29468256.html). The organization promises to use these funds over the next two years to conduct “systematic work with the Turkic-speaking youth of Russia “in five directions,” Ramazan Alpaut of Radio Svoboda reports, scientific, cultural, literary, sports, and business, and to create “an All-Russian Social Movement of Turkic Youth” to be called Inci. It specifies that “one of its chief tasks” is “’the reduction of the role of external influence on the Turkic-language youth of Russia.’” This is the latest in a series of such efforts including Turkic language festivals for young people in Ufa and Kazan, the capitals of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan, over the last two years. The language the organization uses to describe its tasks is Russian, an indication that it hopes to create a Russian-speaking Turkic youth who may view themselves as a community but who do not link their future to the broader Turkic world, even though at present relations between Moscow and Ankara are relatively good. “The authors of the project,” Alpaut continues, “consider that ‘a pan-Turkic threat’ exists in Russia” and cite as evidence of this large social network groups, including the Single Turkic People, Azatlyk, and Bashkort and the formation in Kyiv earlier this year of the Free Idel-Ural Political Movement, which seeks independence for the Urals and the Middle Volga. One of the new project’s prime targets appears likely to be the Tatar-Bashkir Service of Radio Svoboda. That service, founded in 1953, was long jammed by the Soviets and has been declared “a foreign agent” by the Putin regime which continues to work to impede its journalistic activities (svoboda.org/a/28899758.html).
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia Losing Out to US in Central Asia, ‘Nezavisimaya Gazeta’ Says
Paul Goble Staunton, August 31 – “The situation in Central Asia and Kazakhstan where Moscow’s position has always been considered fixed is changing before our eyes,” the editors of Moscow’s Nezavisimaya gazeta say, and “the region is being transformed into a successful American place des armes.” That reflects the success of the Five Plus One geopolitical project launched by the Obama Administration in 2015 and being continued by the Trump Administration, a project based on a program proposed by S. Frederick Starr, head of the Washington Institute for Central Asia and the Caucasus in 2005 (ng.ru/editorial/2018-08-30/2_7300_red.html). The goal of this project was to reorient cooperation between Central Asia and the outside world away from Russia and China and toward the United States and Europe, Nezavisimaya gazeta says. And the C5+1 format relies as well on increasing intra-regional cooperation with the US in the areas of economics, regional cooperation, environment and security. The successful visits to Washington by the presidents of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan reflect how much progress has been made in this regard, the editors continue. And they stress that the other countries of the region are now following Tashkent and Astana in refocusing their attention away from Moscow and towards Washington. Just how far things have gone has now been confirmed by the decision of the Afghan government not to take part in a planned international conference in Moscow to discuss how to cope with the Taliban but instead to hold the meeting in Tashkent where the Uzbekistan government will play the moderating role. According to Bakhiyer Ergashev, head of the Tashkent Ma’no Research Center, Uzbekistan will likely be able to fulfill that role, at least in part because Washington and Kabul have blocked Moscow from doing so. Russia will still play some role but it will no longer be “the first violin” in this orchestra. “Russia is losing the region to the US because Moscow has lacked a precise idea about the goals and means for their realization in the countries of Central Asia. Whether such an understanding of what Moscow wants in this part of the world today is unclear,” the paper continues. But one thing is certain, the editors argue. “Without a well-though-out policy and new forms of work, Moscow will not be able to retain its Central Asian partners.” Its economic role especially in terms of gastarbeiters and investments simply isn’t enough by itself to do that. Beyond the region, there are markets that are “no less promising.”
U.S. Envoy Backs Armenian Probe Of Violence After 2008 Election
The United States would like to see a “thorough and fair investigation” into who is responsible for the violence that followed Armenia’s March 2008 presidential election, the U.S. ambassador to A…
Armenian PM Calls For ‘More Strategic’ Relations With Russia Ahead Of Moscow Trip
Ahead of a visit to Moscow for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian has called for developing “much more strategic and cooperative” relations with Ru…
Armenian PM Downplays Problems In Russian Relations
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian has downplayed problems in Yerevan’s relations with Moscow, describing them as a “work process in its natural course.”
Kremlin-Sponsored Media Forum Held In Tbilisi Amid Protests
A Kremlin-sponsored media forum is under way in Tbilisi amid protests.
Conviction, Sentencing Of Two Soldiers Spark Protests In North Ossetia
The sentencing of two soldiers convicted of beating officers at a Russian base in the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia has sparked protests by relatives and supporters.
Hungary’s Orban Vows To Develop Ties With ‘Kin’ Central Asian States
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has vowed to develop closer ties with Kyrgyzstan and other Turkic nations of Central Asia.

Belarus Reports


Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Wants to Annex Belarus, Forcing Minsk onto the Defensive, Zhelenin Says
Paul Goble Staunton, September 2 – Neither Moscow nor Minsk is satisfied with the current arrangements between the two, Aleksandr Zhelenin says; and Vladimir Putin’s appointment of Mikhail Babich as the Kremlin’s man in Minsk suggests that Moscow wants to annex Belarus, a desire that has put Alyaksandr Lukashenka on the defensive. In a commentary entitled “Babich as the Forerunner of an Anschluss,” the Rosbalt writer says that Putin wants an Anschluss and has named Babich as his executor not only to win points at home but also to put additional pressure on Ukraine and the West by moving Russian military facilities toward NATO (rosbalt.ru/blogs/2018/08/31/1728913.html). “De jure,” Zhelenin says, “Belarus already for a long time has been part of a single Union State with Russia.” But that state in fact “exists mainly on paper,” although Moscow for its part has been signaling in recent months that it is time, in the words for Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin to “fill it with new content.” The problem for Moscow is that Moscow faces an obstacle to the realization of its plans. And that is Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, who as a result of his own intense efforts, has kept his country independent. “That isn’t a very firm basis for genuine sovereignty, but it is what it is …” Relations between Moscow and Minsk have deteriorated to the point that a month ago, Andrey Sudaltsev, a specialist on Belarus at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, said that “the cause of the worsening of the health of the Belarusian leader was Putin.” And Belarusian analyst Pavel Usov said Putin needs a cheap victory and Belarus is an obvious target, especially if the first stage is the establishment of a Russian military base there. According to Usov, Putin has leverage on Lukashenka because of the Kremlin leader’s knowledge about Lukashenka’s involvement in the kidnapping and murder of Belarusian opposition figures, something Minsk has tried to hide and that Moscow hitherto has not threatened to expose. “But Putin wouldn’t be Putin if he acted only with a stick. For Lukashenka, [the Kremlin leader] naturally has a significant carrot” as well,” Zhelenin says. One “carrot” might be a lifetime sinecure for Lukashenka as president of the Council of the Union State.” But given Lukashenka’s ambitions, that isn’t enough – and Putin may not be able to offer enough either. An indication that Lukashenka is under pressure and has no intention of backing down was his “pathetic declaration” after his June meeting with Putin that “we are at the front and if we do not hold out,” that would mean the end of Belarus or the unleashing of a war “like the one in Ukraine.” Lukashenka isn’t going to be satisfied with the appearance of power in either Minsk or Moscow, and Putin isn’t going to be willing to give him real power in Moscow. Consequently, the Belarusian leader has to defend Belarus in order to defend his own power, the Rosbalt commentator argues. That explains why Putin has installed Babich in Minsk, Zhelenin says. “According to Usov, “Babich is not that type of diplomat who must resolve disputes and not allow confrontations between the governments. He must provoke and create conditions in which these conflicts will as before appear.” “Besides his formal activity, Babich will be involved in informal activities connected with the support of various pro-Russian groups, the so-called representatives of ‘the Russian world’ in Belarus,” the Belarusian analyst continues. “In other words,” Zhelenin concludes, “one can say that with the appointment of BAbich to the post of Russian ambassador in Minsk, Moscow has moved to swallow up Belarus. What Lukashenka can do to oppose this course, and whether he will seriously try to do so, is still difficult to say.”
Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘Moscow Tired of Lukashenka’ and Doesn’t Want Him in Office beyond 2020, Russian Expert Says
Paul Goble Staunton, September 5 – Dmitry Drize, a political observer for Kommersant FM, says that “Moscow is tired of Lukashenka” and doesn’t want to see him or his son in office after the next presidential elections in Belarus. That vote is now scheduled for 2020, but it could be moved up. There are “rumors,” Drize says, that at Lukashenka’s meeting with Putin in Sochi, the issue of transition in Belarus was raised and that explains both Moscow’s imposition of Mikhail Babich as the Kremlin’s man in Minsk and Lukashenka’s erratic behavior in the days since (kommersant.ru/doc/3731249). According to the Kommersant commentator, Moscow feels that it has not gotten its money’s worth from Lukashenka and is now concerned that unless Russia takes a hard line, Lukashenka will pass power “by inheritance,” first to his older son Viktor and then to his junior one Kolya,” a format “Moscow does not like at all. Such tensions between Minsk and Moscow explain why Lukashenka is so nervous and also why he is taking steps both to shore up his power in Belarus and to send a message to Moscow with his own ambassador – he has delayed naming anyone — that the Belarusian leader is not to be trifled with. Drize provides no direct evidence for his assertion, but the circumstantial evidence he does offer not only explains what appears to be going on in Minsk but also suggests that Moscow has a timetable for ousting Lukashenka and even a plan to do it in a way that will create fewer problems for the Russian leadership.
Lukashenka thunderbolted – LB.ua news portal
Lukashenka thunderbolted. The 10 August news that came from Minsk and Moscow left quite some food for thought: has Belarus passed a point of no return after which its existence as an independent state becomes impossible? So far, from the outside, everything looks as if the Kremlin put an ultimatum to Alyaksandr Lukashenka: either he steps down or becomes a complete vassal of Russia. For Ukraine, these options are “both worse”. [[editor.image url=”https://i.lb.ua/english/021/44/5b732c8ef2a3b.jpeg” author=”EPA/UPG” ]][[endeditor]] Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Transnistria / Moldova Reports


Moldovan Helicopter Crashes in Afghanistan, Killing Ukrainian Crewmembers, Afghan Soldiers
A helicopter owned by a Moldovan company has crashed in northern Afghanistan, killing at least 12 people, including two Ukrainian crew members and 10 Afghan soldiers, officials say.
Rights Groups Protest Moldova’s ‘Unlawful’ Expulsion Of Turks
Moldovan and international human rights organizations have criticized a decision by the country’s authorities to detain and expel seven Turkish citizens.

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports


UAWire – Russia promises to continue military operation in Syria
At a UN international media seminar, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed that Russia intends to continue the “fight against terrorism in Syria”. According to her, Russia’s own security is at stake. “We have killed, are killing and will continue to kill terrorists… And it doesn’t matter whether it’s Aleppo, Idlib or other locations in Syria. Peace must be brought back to Syria,” she stated. The Foreign Ministry spokeswoman emphasized that it is not just a matter of regional security, asserting that the destruction of terrorist structures in Syria helps to ensure the security of Russia itself. “It’s not just a matter of our position, because we just want the region to live in peace and quiet. At the end of the day, we are talking about sovereign countries. This is a matter of our security,” she commented. On September 4, the Russian Air Forces struck rebel positions in Syria’s Idlib Governorate. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the aircraft destroyed warehouses and arsenals belonging to the terrorist group Al-Nusra Front. At the same time, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Turkish news agency Anadolu reported that the strike had targeted regiments of the Syrian opposition.
Russia In Talks With Eritrea To Set Up ‘Logistics Center’ On Red Sea Coast
Russia is in talks with Eritrea to set up a logistics center at one of the North African country’s seaports, Russian news agencies cited Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on August 31.
India and US sign military deal amid tensions over Iran sanctions | News | Al Jazeera
Agreement for purchase of sensitive military communication equipment signed with Mattis and Pompeo in New Delhi.
US announces death of ISIS leader in Afghanistan | TheHill
The U.S. confirmed on Sunday that coalition forces killed the self-proclaimed leader of the Afghan branch of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
How Jalaluddin Haqqani Went From U.S. Ally to Foe – Defense One
Influential for decades, the Haqqani network has lately been melding with the Taliban.
Jalaluddin Haqqani: Implacable U.S. foe dies in Afghanistan says Taliban – The Washington Post
Jalaluddin Haqqani’s network was one of the fiercest enemies of U.S. forces and the Afghan government.
U.S. Freezes Military Aid to Pakistan, Citing Inadequate Action on Militants – WSJ
The Pentagon said it suspended $300 million in military aid to Pakistan, in a move certain to heighten tensions ahead of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit this week to Islamabad.
Trump says he won’t give aid to Palestinians unless they agree to peace deal – CBS News
Last week, the Trump administration officially ended funding for a U.N. agency that helps the more than 5 million registered Palestinian refugees

DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports


Trump thanks North Korea’s Kim for promise to denuclearize during his tenure | TheHill
President Trump touted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday night for saying he’d agree to denuclearization on the Korea Peninsula during Trump’s current term.
North Korea wants to denuclearise by end of Trump’s first term – YouTube
Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un, and a Path Forward for North Korea – Bloomberg
Despite recent setbacks, the U.S. and its allies need to stay engaged.
South Korean envoys meet Kim in North to prepare for third summit | Reuters
South Korea said its envoys met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang on Wednesday to prepare for a third inter-Korean summit later this month, with hopes of putting momentum back into stalled talks between the North and the United States on denuclearization.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is not seen for a fortnight | Daily Mail Online
The North Korean dictator was seen visiting 30 economic sites between June and August as he ordered officials to boost the country’s output and improve infrastructure.
China eases economic pressure on North Korea, undercutting the Trump admin
After Trump’s outreach to North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong Un, Beijing relaxed restrictions on trade. Now the U.S. is losing its leverage over Pyongyang.
UAWire – Russia resumes coal exports via North Korea
Acting governor of the Primorsky Krai (the Far East region of Russia), Andrei Tarasenko stated that Russia has resumed coal supplies for export through the North Korean port Rajin, Interfax reports. “Today here [in Primorsky Krai], we have sent the first coal train to Rajin where we started to use their port facilities,” Tarasenko announced. He added that this route does not violate sanctions because there are no restrictions on the port infrastructure. Earlier, the Ambassador of Russia in Pyongyang, Alexander Matsegora stated that Seoul’s sanctions against North Korea are impeding the supply of Russian coal to South Korea through Rajin. In September 2013, Russia and North Korea completed the reconstruction of the Hassan-Rajin railway section. The project included the construction of the terminal in Rajin port. The section was expected to become a part of the Trans-Korean railway and make it the shortest route from Asia-Pacific countries to Europe.
Australia and New Zealand send aircraft to enforce North Korea sanctions | World | The Times
Bob Woodward’s Trump book could scare North Korea – Vox
Trump wants North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons. Bob Woodward’s book “Fear” might compel Pyongyang to keep them.
Does The UN Need A Stiffer Backbone? – To Inform is to Influence
Yesterday, Russia blocked a report critical of China because it says Russian ships helped North Korea bypass sanctions. Russia Blocking UN Report Finding North Korea Is Violating Sanctions. Russia is blocking publication of a United Nations report finding North Korea in violation of UN sanctions limiting its imports of fuel, including through some illegal transfers…
Gordon Chang to Newsmax TV: US Has ‘Overwhelming Leverage’ on Russia, China | Newsmax.com
Gordon Chang to Newsmax TV: US Has ‘Overwhelming Leverage’ on Russia, China
US says North Korean charged in Sony hack, WannaCry attack
The Justice Department has charged a computer programmer working on behalf of the North Korean government with the hacks
South and North Korean collaboration project blocked by the US | World | News | Express.co.uk
THE US has refused to let South Korea send a train through North Korea, a sign of growing disagreement between Washington and Seoul on how to tackle the hermit kingdom.
Chilling satellite images show North Korean prisoners in Kim Jong-un’s death camp that’s so big it can be seen from space
New satellite images of one of North Korea’s most notorious prison camps, Camp No 25, are so precise they appear to be able to pick out the individual inmates
Will America Lose Seoul? Redefining a Critical Alliance – War on the Rocks
As relations between the United States and North Korea move between maximum pressure, engagement, and stalemate, South Korea is pressing ahead with its
Kim Jong-nam murder: Police seek pair to testify at murder trial – BBC News
Malaysian police seek two women to testify at the trial of those accused of killing Kim Jong-nam.
Kim Jong Nam murder: Malaysian police looking for 2 witnesses to testify at trial – CNN
Malaysian police are seeking two Indonesian women to appear as witnesses in an ongoing trial over the murder of Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.


China warns Britain ties at risk after warship mission | Reuters
China on Friday warned Britain ties were at risk unless it took steps to “rectify” the situation, after a British warship sailed close to South China Sea islands claimed by China, while a major newspaper said sealing a free trade deal could now be harder.
A British warship got involved in a showdown with the Chinese military in the South China Sea | Business Insider
Following in the wake of the US Navy, a British warship recently challenged China’s claims to the disputed South China Sea, provoking a confrontation with the Chinese military and triggering outrage in Beijing, Reuters reported Wednesday.
WW3 WARNING: China UNLEASHES helicopters and warship at British Navy in South China Sea | World | News | Express.co.uk
THE Royal Navy was confronted by China’s military might after a British warship passed close by Beijing-claimed Paracel Islands, in a move the Asian superpower has dubbed ‘provocation’, with tensions escalating in the region.
Steer clear of South China Sea if you want a Brexit deal, warns China | News | The Times
 
Forget China’s Stealth Fighter: This Is the Plane the Air Force Should Fear | The National Interest
This is not what you think. 
China Deploys Strategic New Generation of Surface-to- Air Missiles (SAM) in Zimbabwe. S.I. DEFENSE – Strategic Intelligence Service
The China Hype – Defense One
While Beijing’s military gains are impressive, their value fades in the circumstances we’re told to worry about.
China’s Next Move: Invade the Philippines? | The National Interest
The Philippines should prepare to be invaded by China, warns a former top Philippines defense official.


Understanding the Chinese Communist Party’s Approach to Cyber-Enabled Economic Warfare – To Inform is to Influence
5th September 2018 – FDD Report Read the full report here. Executive Summary American prosperity and security are challenged by an economic competition playing out in a broader strategic context … Every year, competitors such as China steal U.S. intellectual property valued at hundreds of billions of dollars. Stealing proprietary technology and early-stage ideas allows competitors to…
Exclusive: U.S. accuses China of ‘super aggressive’ spy campaign on LinkedIn | Reuters
The United States’ top spy catcher said Chinese espionage agencies are using fake LinkedIn accounts to try to recruit Americans with access to government and commercial secrets, and the company should shut them down.
China solicits classified US secrets on LinkedIn (LNKD, MSFT) — Quartz
It remains unclear just how widespread the problem is on LinkedIn. The company says it has removed fewer than 40 accounts.
US accuses China of ‘super aggressive’ spy campaign on LinkedIn
The United States’ top spy catcher said Chinese espionage agencies are using fake LinkedIn accounts to try to recruit Americans with access to government and commercial secrets, and the company should shut them down.
US counterintelligence urges LinkedIn to shut down Chinese spies | TheHill
A top U.S. counterintelligence official is warning LinkedIn not to “be like Facebook” after finding that Chinese intelligence operatives are using its platform.
China’s tech bubble | The Interpreter
As debts mount and liquidity begins to dry up, it will soon become clear how much the growth of tech start-ups was fact.
Russia-China Gas Pipeline Nearly Complete | Newsmax.com
Construction of one of the world’s largest gas pipelines – from Russia to China – is about 93 percent finished.
China’s Belt And Road Initiative Opens Up Unprecedented Opportunities
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. A tale of two world leaders, Donald Trump and Xi Jinping. But whereas Xi is playing Santa Claus, doling out loans to finance-starved countries, Trump is playing Scrooge, waging an economic war with Canada, the European Union, China and others.
🇨🇳 🌍 Is Africa getting into a ‘debt trap’ with China? | Inside Story – YouTube
Al Jazeera English Published on Sep 4, 2018 China is Africa’s largest trading partner and has already spent billions of dollars in investment and loans – with the promise of much more to come.
China pledges $60 billion in aid and loans to Africa, no ‘political conditions attached’ – The Washington Post
Critics are concerned that Beijing is luring poorer nations into “debt traps.”
China-Africa summit: Xi denies money being spent on vanity projects – BBC News
China’s president announces $60bn (£42bn) in aid and loans to boost development in Africa.
China’s President Xi pledges another $60 billion for Africa – CNN
Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced a $60 billion package of aid, investment and loans to Africa, against a backdrop of growing concern about rising debt distress on the continent.
China says its funding helps Africa develop, not stack up debt | Reuters
China is helping Africa develop, not pile up debt, a top Chinese official said on Tuesday, as the government pushes back against criticism it is loading the continent with an unsustainable burden during a major summit in Beijing.
China bites back at U.S. suggestion of sanctions over concentration camps – ThinkProgress
 
U.N. Urges China To Stop Detaining Uighurs; ‘Political Reeducation’ Centers Reported : NPR
The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination says it is alarmed by reports of detentions, mass surveillance, and “frequent baseless police stops.”
U.N. accuses China of holding more than a million Muslims in a secret web of detention centers
A U.N. committee in Geneva examining China’s human rights record rebuffed Beijing’s denial that it has detention camps holding up to a million Uighurs and called for the release of all those detained in the “extra-legal” camps.


UAWire – Japan scrambles fighter jets to intercept Russian warplanes
Fighter jets from the Japanese Self-Defense Forces intercepted and escorted Russian aircraft, reported the website of the Japanese Ministry of Defense. Four JSDF jets scrambled to intercept two Tu-142 anti-submarine warfare planes and two Su-24 all-weather attack planes. According to the Joint Staff of the JSDF’s air force, the Tu-142 planes flew towards Hokkaido Island and continued along its west coast to the south making a circle and flying round the archipelago. Also, a Su-24 bomber flew near Honshu Island, the Ministry stated.
UAWire – Japan accuses Russia and China of escalating military activity in the region
At a meeting with the leadership of Japan’s self-defense forces, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said that Russia and China pose a …
Japan Goes Big on Missile Defense, Aircraft: China Blames Trump For Tensions « Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary
Japan is in the middle of taking a hard look at its role providing security for the region, while it races to meet fresh threats from China and North Korea.
The Plot to Nuke Japan’s Fleet | War Is Boring


Pompeo, Mattis Hold Security Talks With Indian Counterparts
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis have held talks with their counterparts in India, one day after Pompeo visited regional rival Pakistan.
U.S., India Sign Military-Intelligence-Sharing Agreement – WSJ
The U.S. and India signed a key agreement Thursday to pave the way for closer military and intelligence cooperation between the world’s largest democracies.
India, US Pact Opens Up Sale Of Critical American Defence Tech – YouTube
NDTV Published on Sep 6, 2018 The United States and India signed the high-level COMCASA defence agreement today that will allow India to buy advanced American military hardware. US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a two-plus-two meeting. NDTV is one of the leaders in the production and broadcasting of un-biased and comprehensive news and entertainment programmes in India and abroad. NDTV delivers reliable information across all platforms: TV, Internet and Mobile.
No decision on S-400 as US, India sign key defense agreement
India will have access to military communications networks like Link 16 under the new agreement,
Tiny Pacific island Nauru takes on Beijing in furious diplomatic spat – CNN
The tiny Pacific nation of Nauru has demand China apologize for the “crazy” behavior of its senior diplomat at the Pacific Island Forum, a gathering of 18 regional leaders hosted by Nauru this week.
Unwanted by Australia, refugees on Nauru have few options | Fox News
Surrounded by the shelves and furniture her older brother made, 13-year-old Parnian sits in the small, neat living room where she spends much of her time, recalling the day two years ago she watched family friend Omid set himself alight.
‘I’d do it again at the drop of a hat’: Pioneer fighter pilot looks back on 50 years of the RSAF   – Channel NewsAsia
SINGAPORE: Happily married for 43 years, Colonel (COL) (Ret) Frank Singam is a man who knows a thing or two about falling in love. In fact, the …
Commentary: The Republic of Singapore Air Force’s likely new fighter jet – Channel NewsAsia
Russian and Chinese offerings would present significant inter-operability issues with the rest of the SAF’s equipment, which are almost …
American sentenced to hang for killing ex-wife in Malaysia – ABC News
Gerald Wayne Mickelson was found guilty of murdering his ex-wife.
American Gerald Mickelson sentenced to hang in Malaysia for murdering ex-wife – CBS News
Gerald Mickelson claimed he was acting in self-defense when he killed her in November 2016; his lawyer says he’ll appeal
Tech sleuth claims he spotted MH370 wreckage on Google Maps
A British tech sleuth believes he has found the wreckage of the missing MH370 plane on Google Maps. Ian Wilson claims he has spotted the doomed jet, which…
MH370 plane spotted in Cambodian jungle on Google Maps, man claims | Fox News
A British tech sleuth believes he has found the wreckage of the missing MH370 plane on Google Maps.
World reacts to sentencing of Reuters journalists in Myanmar | Myanmar News | Al Jazeera
Nations and rights groups decry ‘outrageous injustice’ as Myanmar sentences Reuters journalists over Rohingya reporting.

Foreign Policy Reports


Russia’s controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline may now be unstoppable – Russia’s controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline may now be unstoppable – 112.international
Until today, construction on the pipeline has been limited to onshore and territorial waters
Lviv mayor, Bundestag vice president speak about threats posed by Nord Stream 2 – 07.09.2018 15:45 — Ukrinform News
Mayor of Lviv Andriy Sadovyi held a meeting with Vice President of the German&nbsp;Bundestag Wolfgang Kubicki. The Lviv mayor noted threats posed by the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
UAWire – Russia begins construction of Nord Stream- 2 in the Gulf of Finland
On Wednesday, September 5, Russia started construction of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline in the Finnish waters of the Gulf of Finland reported the press service of Nord Stream 2 AG. The Vessel Solitaire is carrying out the work. Pipes are welded together on the board of the vessel, after which the pipeline is lowered to the seabed. Russia plans to conduct the laying of pipes round the clock. The pipe layer ship will first lay part of the pipeline in the Finnish exclusive economic zone and then move to another site. Later this year, the Solitaire will start laying pipes in the waters of Russia.


Germany’s Return of the Repressed  – Foreign Policy
Reporter’s Notebook: In Eastern Germany, The Far-Right Has Found A Foothold : NPR
German leaders have dismissed the rise of the far-right as an electoral fluke that can be overcome by shifting policies a bit to the right. But if polls are to be believed, the approach isn’t working.
Germans told to ‘get off the sofa’ and stand against far-Right violence
The German foreign minister on Sunday called on the country&rsquo;s &ldquo;silent majority&rdquo; to &ldquo;get up off the sofa&quot; and take a stand against the far-Right in the wake of neo-Nazi riots.
Foreign minister to Germans: get off the couch, fight racism – ABC News
Get breaking national and world news, broadcast video coverage, and exclusive interviews. Find the top news online at ABC news.
Chemnitz protests: German mayor issues ‘state of emergency’ over right-wing rallies | World | News | Express.co.uk
THOUSANDS of people have joined both the anti-migrant protests and counter-protests in Chemnitz, amid escalating tension in the east Germany city – with eleven people hospitalised so far.
Chemnitz’s right-wing riots highlight fears of racism becoming more mainstream in Germany — Quartz
People who don’t want to be labeled “Nazis” are taking to the streets demanding foreigners get out.
Chemnitz mob violence reveals German fault lines over migration – CNN
In downtown Chemnitz, the makeshift memorial to the victim of Sunday’s stabbing attack, allegedly by two immigrants, still flickers every evening, a sea of candles and flowers that has survived the political turmoil of the last week. 
The Latest: German far-right groups stage ‘mourning march’ | Fox News
The Latest on anti-migrant protests in Germany after the fatal stabbing of a German citizen (all times local): 6:25 p.m. Thousands of far-right protesters have started marching through a city in eastern Germany where a German man was killed almost a week ago and two migrants face charges in the slaying.
In Germany, A Murder Sparks Anti-Immigrant Demonstrations : NPR
Far-right and anti-immigrant activists rallied in the German town of Chemnitz on Saturday to protest the murder of a local, allegedly at the hands of migrants.
Siemens warns of dangers of xenophobia after violent protests in Germany
Siemens is urging its employees to speak out against xenophobia following a series of violent protests in Germany.
A Swastika on a Church Bell: A Village Splits on How to Confront Nazi Past – The New York Times
Germany’s painful history has become highly personal in a sleepy village, where neighbors are fighting over what to do with a “Hitler bell” in the local church.


Far-right Sweden Democrats expected to do well in Sept. 9 election results – The Washington Post
Fears of immigrant crime have driven support for the Swedish Democrats.
Sweden Was Long Seen as a ‘Moral Superpower.’ That May Be Changing. – The New York Times
In coming national elections, the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats are forecast to get 20 percent, throwing the country’s image as a “moral superpower” into question.
Panic Grips Swedish Establishment Facing an Election Beating – Bloomberg
The birthplace of Ikea flat packs and Volvo cars is starting to look just as vulnerable to the populist movement as Italy, Hungary and the U.S.
Sweden election: All you need to know ahead of the vote
Sweden’s far-right anti-European Union party is poised to make big gains in the country’s general election on Sunday, capitalizing on voter discontent over issues such as immigration, crime and health care.


Russia’s return to PACE would end Council of Europe as human rights instrument – Ukraine’s ambassador to CoE |Euromaidan Press |
Russia had been sanctioned – effectively, stripped of its voting rights in PACE – in 2014 and 2015 following the occupation of Crimea and military involvement in eastern Ukraine. In the summer of 2017, Russia stopped its mandatory payments to the Council of Europe and in a public statement has stated it will resume them only if the Russian delegation is readmitted in its full rights. The fact that many PACE members are ready to discuss Russia’s return without the country fulfilling any of the demands to end aggression against Ukraine, which PACE had expressed in numerous resolutions, allow to speak of financial blackmail of the institution, and of a crisis of values. In his recent interview with European Pravda Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to Council of Europe, dwelled upon the risk of Russia’s comeback to PACE.
Britain would now vote to stay in the EU, new poll shows | Reuters
Britons would choose to stay in the European Union if given the option, according to an opinion poll on Wednesday that showed a six-point swing away from Brexit and the highest support for EU membership in such a survey since the 2016 referendum.
This poll shows support for Brexit is collapsing | Business Insider
LONDON – Voters would back remaining in the EU by an 8-point margin in a new Brexit referendum, according to new polling.
This poll shows millions of Brexit voters now want to remain in the EU | Business Insider
 
British opinion still deeply divided by Brexit – poll | Reuters
British public opinion on leaving the European Union is still deeply split, according to a survey on Wednesday, indicating only a slight increase in support for remaining a member despite growing pessimism about the outcome of negotiations.
Brexit could sway Scottish voters toward independence from UK: poll
Brexit could tip public opinion in Scotland in favor of seeking independence, an opinion poll showed on Sunday.
Brexit Gave Labour Party an Opening. Instead, It Has an Anti-Semitism Crisis. – The New York Times
Britain’s Labour Party is seeking once and for all to end a rift over anti-Semitism. But the infighting has exposed damaging divisions.
British Jews Have Reason to Fear Corbyn’s Labour Party – WSJ
The opposition leader has called Hamas terrorists ‘brothers’ and disparaged even domestic ‘Zionists.’
Jeremy Corbyn slapped down by allies over antisemitism | News | The Times
Jeremy Corbyn was humiliated last night after his attempt to add a 500-word caveat to the Labour Party’s definition of antisemitism was rejected by his own allies.The party’s ruling body agreed yesterday to adopt in full an international definition of antisemitism written by the International Holoca
Police to investigate leaked Labour ‘hate crime’ dossier | News | The Times
Scotland Yard will investigate a leaked dossier of antisemitism allegations against Labour members after a former senior policeman said many constituted hate crimes. The document with details of 45 Labour members accused of antisemitism was leaked to LBC. It includes allegations that a Labour counci
🇬🇧 UK: Labour Party adopts IHRA anti-Semitism code in full | Al Jazeeera English – YouTube
Al Jazeera English Published on Sep 4, 2018 Britain’s main opposition Labour Party has announced it will adopt in full an internationally recognised definition of anti-Semitism as it tries to end a long-running internal debate that engulfed senior members and its leader, Jeremy Corbyn.
Tony Blair doubts Labour can be ‘taken back by moderates’ – BBC News
The former PM tells the BBC “moderates” may have lost the party to Jeremy Corbyn and the left.
Wall Street Journal visits “Muslim England – what I saw shocked me” – Michael Smith News
Who says diversity and multiculturalism are strengths? Prove it. Here’s the Wall Street Journal Other tourists might remember London for Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus and Big Ben. I’ll remember it for its failed multiculturalism. Or perhaps this is what successful multiculturalism looks like. Other tourists may remember London for its…


The Slovak girl, Anna Kolesarova, killed by a Soviet soldier in 1944, was declared saint in the city of Kosice in Slovakia – 112.international
The Slovak girl, Anna Kolesarova, killed by a Soviet soldier in 1944, was declared saint in the city of Kosice in Slovakia. This is reported by Radio Liberty. “About 30 thousand Catholic believers on September 1 took part in the ceremony of beatification of Anna Kolesarova – a Slovak girl killed during the Second World War by a Soviet soldier for refusing to enter into an intimate relationship with him,” the report said. The representative of the Vatican Giovanni Angelo Beccia called Kolesarova “a martyr who gave her life to Christ in order to preserve purity.” 16-year-old Anna Kolesarova was killed in the city of Vysoka-nad-Ugom in eastern Slovakia in November 1944. A soldier of the Red Army, whose name remained unknown, is said to have shot a girl before her family’s eyes. Story of Kolesarova gained fame in her native land, and her grave became a place of pilgrimage for Catholic youth. Speaking at the ceremony of beatification, church representatives noted that the story of Anna Kolesarova makes us think about the humiliations that young women often experience in the modern world. At the same time, in connection with the beatification of Kolesarova against the Catholic Church, criticism also arises: it is accused of improper treatment of the victims of rape, in the production of the wrong moral choice between saving life and chastity, as critics say.
Why did Vladimir Putin attend the Austrian FM’s wedding? – BBC News – YouTube
BBC News Published on Sep 5, 2018 Russian President Vladimir Putin attended The Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl’s wedding Last August The wedding pictures – she insisted – were always meant to be private. They just got leaked to Russian TV. Karin Kneissl has spent the last few weeks trying to explain to her country what the Russian president was doing at her nuptials – and why she danced with him and curtsyed. Our diplomatic editor Mark Urban caught up with her for her first on camera interview since the Wedding.
Dancing with Putin damages Austria’s reputation in Ukraine, 112.international – Putin’s visit to Kneissl’s wedding damages Austria’s reputation in Ukraine, – Ambassador – 112.international
Putin’s visit to Kneissl’s wedding damages Austria’s reputation in Ukraine, – Ambassador
Italy’s Populists Begin Their Big Betrayal – Bloomberg
First the euro, now the spending splurge. Five Star and the League are rowing back furiously.
Tony Blair meets Italian populist Salvini to back new gas pipeline | World | News | Express.co.uk
TONY Blair held talks with Italy’s interior minister Matteo Salvini in what the Italian leader has called “Brexit, immigration and energy” talks.
U.S., Germany at Odds Over Serbia-Kosovo Land Swap – WSJ
The U.S. and Germany are in disagreement over a possible plan to redraw the border between Serbia and Kosovo, with Berlin concerned the move could open a Pandora’s box of ethnic recriminations in the region.
Germany, some EU partners oppose Serbia-Kosovo land swap | Fox News
Germany and some of its European Union partners voiced fears Friday that a possible land-swap between Serbia and Kosovo could open up old wounds in the Balkans rather than resolve their long-standing differences.
Ruling party leader wants Poland to be like western Europe | Fox News
The leader of Poland’s conservative ruling party, whose policies have led to clashes with European Union leaders, said Sunday he wants the country to remain in the EU so it can become like western European nations in every respect.
Defiant Kaczynski says Poland must avoid EU’s ‘social diseases’ | Reuters
Poland belongs in the European Union but should be careful not to be “infected by social diseases” that dominate the bloc, ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said on Sunday.


No One’s Supplanting U.S. Military Influence in Latin America – Defense One
Concerns about Chinese, Russian, and Iranian forays are overblown.
Brazil’s Presidential Front-Runner Is Seriously Wounded In Attack At Campaign Rally : NPR
Jair Bolsonaro was attacked as he was being carried on the shoulders of supporters in southeastern Minas Gerais state. Doctors say it could take months for him to fully recover.
Brazil far-right candidate Bolsonaro in serious condition after stabbing | Reuters
The leading candidate in Brazil’s presidential election is in serious but stable condition after being stabbed by an assailant at a campaign rally on Thursday, doctors said, pushing an already chaotic campaign into further disarray.
Venezuelan drivers face long lines for fuel as new payment system flops | Reuters
Frustrated Venezuelan drivers faced lengthy lines for gasoline in border states on Tuesday as the government struggled to roll out a new payment system that President Nicolas Maduro says will reduce smuggling of heavily-subsidized fuel.
Venezuela launches airlift for migrants to return home | Fox News
Some 300 Venezuelans gathered outside of their country’s embassy in Peru on Tuesday shouting We want to leave! after President Nicolas Maduro offered to airlift migrants who wanted to return back to their homeland.
 

Capability / Strategy / History Publications


Politico: U.S., Russia block formal talks on whether to ban ‘killer robots’ | UNIAN
The United States and Russia were among a small number of countries that blocked the U.N. from moving toward talks on whether to ban so-called killer robots. UN meeting concludes without moving closer to binding international rules.
Fully autonomous ‘mobile intelligent entities’ coming to the battlefields of the future
A killer robot by any other name is far more palatable to the general public, which perhaps was a contributing factor to how the Army Research Lab is positioning its grand plan in artificial intelligence.
It’s Now Possible To Telepathically Communicate with a Drone Swarm – Defense One
DARPA’s new research in brain-computer interfaces is allowing a pilot to control multiple simulated aircraft at once.
What excites the Defense Department about Project Maven
One top Department of Defense intelligence official described the potential she sees in machine learning and rapid acquisition.
Inside the Pentagon’s Plan to Make Computers ‘Collaborative Partners’ – Defense One
DARPA’s latest artificial intelligence project aims to bridge the gap between a machine that learns from data and one that adds new insights.
Air Force innovation hub launches in Alabama
An Air Force innovation hub has opened in Alabama to harness research and technology for the military.
Can the intel and defense community conquer data overload?
After decades of collecting adversary intelligence, the defense enterprise is coming to grips with the challenge of how to analyze data fast enough to keep it from being useless.
The rising importance of data as a weapon of war
Navy Cyber Security Division Director Rear Adm. Danelle Barrett shared her thoughts on a Navy pilot project to leverage web services and a new cloud architecture in the service of data security.
Open-source methods spot charred ruins to reveal the paths of war
Open source tools enable researchers to spot otherwise hidden massacres
Why startups are leaving Silicon Valley – The new geography of innovation
“LIKE Florence in the Renaissance.” That is a common description of what it is like to live in Silicon Valley. America’s technology capital has an outsize influence on the world’s economy, stockmarkets and culture.


US Air Force not large enough to handle future global threats
The US Air Force’s aircraft capacity falls short of being able to meet a variety of long-term future scenarios, including a new cold war with Russia or China, according to an analysis by Rand Corp. The think tank examined the USAF’s fleet and the likely demands placed on it under four future scenarios: two scenarios in which the USA enters a new cold war with Russia or China; one in which it renews peace enforcement commitments like those between 1990 and 2000; and one in which military operations are dominated by global counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations, such as they have been since 11 September 2001. In all four scenarios examined the USAF has capacity shortfalls, with no single class of aircraft, such as fighter, bomber or airlift aircraft, performing sufficiently across all possibilities. Fighter aircraft came closest to meeting capacity requirements, and C3ISR/BM (command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance/battle management) aircraft had the biggest shortfalls, reflecting their small fleets and high demand, Rand Corps says. The USAF’s fleet of aircraft is stretched thin by obligations the world over, the researchers write in the report.
Report: The United States Air Force Is Too Small | The National Interest
And warn out. 
Video: Podcast: B-52s for the Next Generation | Defense content from Aviation Week
Piecing together the U.S. Air Force’s emerging initiatives to revamp the 1950s-era bomber for long-range strike missions.
‘Everybody loves the B-52’: Step aboard one of the massive bombers patrolling the front line in the Pacific | Business Insider
US bombers have been plying the skies over the western Pacific since 2004, seeking to bolster allies in response to concerns about rival powers in the region.
Boeing completed FAA certification of its KC-46 Pegasus aircraft – Defence Blog
Boeing has announced on 5 September that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted KC-46 tanker program a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC), verifying that its refueling and mission avionics systems meet FAA requirements. According to the company’s announcement, to receive its STC, Boeing’s team completed a series of lab, ground and flight tests, which commenced in 2015. As part of the required flight testing, the team validated the KC-46’s boom and drogue aerial refueling systems met FAA certification criteria. “Our Boeing/Air Force test team did an outstanding job successfully leading us through all the requirements, and we appreciate the FAA’s collaboration as well,” said Mike Gibbons, Boeing KC-46A tanker vice president and program manager. “This milestone is important in that it is one of the last major hurdles in advance of first delivery to the U.S. Air Force.” The STC is one of two required FAA airworthiness certifications. Boeing received an Amended Type Certificate for its core 767-2C aircraft configuration in December 2017. While those certifications cover most of the jet, not all military functions and equipment can be certified by the FAA. The U.S. Air Force also must grant a Military Type Certificate (MTC), which is expected in the coming months. Boeing’s team concluded MTC flight testing, which included the jet’s aerial refueling, defensive and other military-specific systems, in early July. Six aircraft have supported various segments of STC and MTC testing. Overall they have completed 3,500 flight hours and offloaded more than three million pounds of fuel during refueling flights with F-16, F/A-18, AV-8B, C-17, A-10, KC-10, KC-135 and KC-46 aircraft.
Boeing again tapped for F-15 Legion Pod IRST system – Defence Blog
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has announced on 5 September that Boeing has again received a $208 million contract for the F-15 Legion Pod infrared search-and-track (IRST) pod. According to the DoD’s statement, Boeing has been awarded a $208,27 million contract for engineering, manufacturing, development, production, integration, testing and deployment of the F-15 Legion Pod infrared search-and-track (IRST) pod. All work will be performed in St. Louis, Missouri; and Orlando, Florida, and is expected to be completed by Nov. 30, 2020. It is worth noting that Boeing received a contract after a first announcement on 25 August 2018, and a retraction of the contract on 27 August. It was previously reported that The $208 million contract from the U.S. Air Force covers engineering and manufacturing development, in addition to full-aircraft integration of up to 182 Legion Pod IRST systems. The Legion Pod IRST systems provide high-fidelity detection and tracking of air-to-air targets. IRST enables the host aircraft to acquire and track airborne targets through the heat generated by the jet engine and through aerodynamic heating of the airframe as it travels through the atmosphere. Being a passive system, the target aircraft does not know that it is being tracked. According to the Boeing, Legion Pod has completed integration and flight tests on F-15C aircraft, successfully demonstrating its detection and tracking capabilities in representative threat environments. First flight test of the Legion pod with a US Air Force F-15C occured in September 2016.
Modular Northrop Grumman Vanguard Surveillance Radar Details Unveiled | Defense content from Aviation Week
Northrop Grumman has revealed the details of a production-ready new radar called Vanguard that its Electronic Systems division launched about five years ago.


Germany-based Stryker Infantry units receives remote weapons station mounting a Javelin – Defence Blog
The U.S. Army deployed a new variant Stryker wheeled combat vehicle outfitted with a Common Remotely Operated Weapon System-Javelin (CROWS-J) at the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Germany. According to the report by the Army Times news agency, researchers with Project Manager Soldier Weapons at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, adapted the Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station, which has been used for years to fire crew-served weapons from the interior safety of the Stryker, to fire Javelin anti-tank missiles. The upgrades to the Stryker platform also were operationally tested at the at the Joint Maneuver Readiness Center (JMRC), Hohenfels, Germany. The new Stryker’s upgraded kit consists of the Common Remotely Operated Weapon System-Javelin (CROWS-J) system with a mounted Javelin capability, which will be used to fire from the interior safety of the combat vehicle. Integration includes a new frame installed on the vehicle on which the fire control unit and the remote-control system are installed. The CROWS-J system is a stabilized mount that contains a sensor suite and fire control software. It supports four different weapons and can be integrated onto more than 20 platforms as well as fixed site applications. The new version features FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missiles and in addition machine gun, that gives crews the ability to employ weaponry against everything from troop formations, to helicopters, to heavily armored targets from the safety of their vehicles. The new system allows Soldiers to acquire and engage targets while remaining in an armored vehicle. The Army Times noted that if a soldier needed to fire a Javelin missile from the light-armored vehicle, the Stryker would have to stop, the soldier would get out and hit the target with the shoulder-fired missile, and then jump back on board.
This Giant Homemade Drone Crashed Into a Tree in Ukraine. You Might Be Surprised Who Built It.
 
CEA unveils Hawkei-mounted CEATAC radar for LAND 19 Ph 7B | ADBR
CEA Technologies has unveiled its prototype land-based radar version of its successful maritime-based Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA).
Next-gen RFID could improve how vehicles get to the battlefield
With next-gen RFID the U.S. military envisions a better way of moving arms munitions supplies and vehicles.
The US Navy Is Hacking Wetsuits for Arctic Warfare – Defense One
A new wetsuit treatment could allow troops to operate in frigid water for far longer.
This is Russia’s ‘next generation’ combat armor suit — and it’s straight out of RoboCop
While similar to the American Land Warrior and Future Combat Systems projects, Ratnik has actually succeeded where the other multi-billion dollar programs have stalled.


US Navy sends Russia, China a message with aircraft-carrier drills – Business Insider
Exercises including strong US allies and F-35C stealth jet fighters no doubt raised eyebrows in Moscow and Beijing.
UAWire – Media: Russia signs contract to supply rocket engines to the USA
Russian company NPO Energomash signed a new contract to supply four RD-181 rocket engines to the American aerospace company Orbital ATK for its …
A Space Force will make the F-35 jet fighter-bomber indispensable to Air Force relevance
President Trump has directed that the Department of Defense establish a new military branch, to be designated the Space Force. Much of the new service will be carved out of the Air Force, which traditionally has led military space efforts.
Leak At ISS Caused By ‘Drill Hole,’ Roscosmos Says
A pressure leak at the International Space Station (ISS) last week was a drill hole that happened during manufacturing or in orbit, the chief of Russia’s space agency says.
Russia Says Contract To Ferry U.S. Astronauts To ISS Ends In April
Russia’s contract with the United States to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) is due to expire in April, Russia’s deputy prime minister for defense and space agency said…


Japan to build SPACE ELEVATOR connected to Pacific Ocean platform | Science | News | Express.co.uk
JAPAN is set to begin tests on a space elevator which could one day see a lift travel all the way into the cosmos.
Russia behind “sonic attack” on U.S. diplomats in Cuba, scientist suggests | UNIAN
Unconventional weapons may have caused the baffling symptoms and ailments that, starting in late 2016, hit more than three dozen American diplomats and family members in Cuba and China. The Cuban incidents resulted in a diplomatic rupture between Havana and Washington, while a U.S. scientist suggested it could be Russia who stood behind the eerie attack. Doctors and scientists say microwave strikes may have caused sonic delusions and very real brain damage among embassy staff and family members. Allan Frey, the scientist who uncovered the neural phenomenon, said federal investigators have questioned him on the diplomatic riddle and that microwave radiation is considered a possible cause, the New York Times reports. He speculated that Cubans aligned with Russia, the nation’s longtime ally, might have launched microwave strikes in attempts to undermine developing ties between Cuba and the United States. “It’s a possibility,” he said. “In dictatorships, you often have factions that think nothing of going against the general policy if it suits their needs. I think that’s a perfectly viable explanation.” During the Cold War, Washington feared that Moscow was seeking to turn microwave radiation into covert weapons of mind control. More recently, the American military itself sought to develop microwave arms that could invisibly beam painfully loud booms and even spoken words into people’s heads. The aims were to disable attackers and wage psychological warfare. The medical team that examined 21 affected diplomats from Cuba made no mention of microwaves in its detailed report published in March. But Douglas H. Smith, the study’s lead author and director of the Center for Brain Injury and Repair at the University of Pennsylvania, said in a recent interview that microwaves were now considered a main suspect and that the team was increasingly sure the diplomats had suffered brain injury.
Doctors, scientists say microwave strikes may have caused mysterious ailments of US embassy workers: report | TheHill
Doctors and scientists say that microwave weapons are the main suspect behind the mysterious ailments of dozens of American diplomats and family members in Cuba and China.
Microwave Weapons Suspected As Cause Of U.S. Envoys’ Illnesses: Report
Doctors and scientists increasingly suspect that weaponized microwaves were the cause of unexplained noises and illnesses that afflicted American diplomats and their families in Cuba and China in t…
Microwave Weapons Are Prime Suspect in Ills of U.S. Embassy Workers – The New York Times
Doctors and scientists say microwave strikes may have caused sonic delusions and very real brain damage among embassy staff and family members.
Microwaves are ‘main suspect’ in attack on US diplomats in Cuba
The American diplomats and family members who mysteriously fell ill while stationed in the US embassy in Havana may have been struck by microwaves that could result in brain injuries, according to a frightening report Saturday.
‘Sonic’ Attacks On US Embassy Staff Could Have Been Weaponised Microwave Radiation | Gizmodo Australia
Researchers looking into bizarre reports of US diplomatic staff in Cuba and later China hearing troubling noises before developing symptoms very similar to brain trauma have pinned the most likely cause — and it’s not some form of mysterious sonic device, as previously speculated….
Diplomats ‘victims of microwave attacks’ | News | The Sunday Times
Microwave radiation may have caused a series of mysterious symptoms, including intense headaches, that hit dozens of American diplomats and their relatives in Cuba and China, doctors and scientists believe.In 2016 more than 30 embassy staff and their families reported high-pitched sounds in ho
‘Microwave weapons’ eyed as likely source of mystery ailments for US diplomats in Cuba, scientists say | Fox News
A team of scientists has singled out what it claims left U.S. diplomats in Cuba sickened by mysterious ailments and symptoms in recent months, according to a new report.
Microwaves suspected in attacks on US diplomats in Cuba and China – YouTube
CNN Published on Sep 2, 2018 They’ve been described as “sonic attacks” — bizarre, unexplained head injuries that spurred the United States to bring home diplomatic staff from China and Cuba. Now scientists are saying the ailments could have been caused by microwave weapons.
Microwave weapon blamed for apparent attack on US Embassy in Cuba | Fox News
Why did dozens of U.S. Embassy workers in Cuba hear loud sounds and suffer neurological symptoms in 2016? There’s a new, Cold War-era microwave explanation for the mystery.
 

IW/EW/IO/Cyber Reports


US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand Demand Encryption Backdoors – To Inform is to Influence
The US and the other Five Eyes governments have made their decision in the old argument of privacy versus security.   We no longer have a right to privacy.   We may no longer communicate without someone reading all our mail.  The delicate balance is no longer being maintained as of now,  The top law enforcement bodies…
Five Eyes Intel Alliance Urges Big Tech to Help Break Encrypted Messages – Nextgov
The U.S. and four major allies warn new legislation might be necessary to ensure law enforcement can access communications.
Why the Five Eyes boosted intelligence sharing despite tension
America’s closest intelligence allies agreed to boost cybersecurity and intelligence sharing despite political tension.
Honest ‘Government Ad’ About Anti Encryption Law – To Inform is to Influence
I haven’t laughed so hard about any video in a very long time. Apparently, Australia is introducing The Assistance and Access Bill 2018 – the Department of Home Affairs, full text here. Some people don’t like it, so they made a video, which protests the bill as invasive.  It also highlights a large number of…
Pompeo Eyes Fox News Reporter to Head Counterpropaganda Office – Foreign Policy
 
Event: Countering Disinformation: Interdisciplinary Lessons for Policymakers – To Inform is to Influence
Monday, September 10, 2018 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm CSIS Headquarters REGISTRATION ADD TO CALENDAR Email The email to associate with this registration. First name This field is required. Last name This field is required. Organization Title Subscribe to hear more about CSIS events CANCEL This event will be webcast live from this page. With the growth…
Russia Has Invented Social Media Blitzkrieg – Foreign Policy
Lies, ‘fake news’ and cover-ups: how has it come to this in Western democracies?
Truth and trust are in short supply in Western democracies. It’s imperative our political leaders end the constant bickering and sideshows and restore public confidence in good governance.
Is Truth a Political Luxury? | Global Policy Journal
Julian Baggini on lies, damn lies, and political realities.
The Latest: Facebook Cites gains against Election Meddling | Newsmax.com
Facebook Cites gains against Election Meddling
Meet Facebook’s top troll hunter – To Inform is to Influence
Posted: Sep 04, 2018 8:28 PM EDTUpdated: Sep 04, 2018 8:28 PM EDT CNN Wire By Donie O’Sullivan (CNN Money) — Nathaniel Gleicher may well have the toughest job in tech right now. Gleicher, a former prosecutor with the Justice Department, has been given the unenviable task of ridding Facebook of foreign trolls and state-run disinformation campaigns…
Facebook was not ready to resist the attempts of Russia to interfere the presidential election in 2016 – Facebook admits slow reaction to Russia’s interference into U.S. election – 112.international
A lot of Senate members find the social network unable to resist the foreign influence on the U.S. policy
“Russian Trolls” Can Still Easily Place Propaganda Into Google Ads – To Inform is to Influence
Google assures us it has algorithms in place to protect “us” from election interference by Russia and others.  In this BuzzFeed report, we see it is not working. We are not safe, and Russian trolls can easily insert injurious ads designed to be outrageously divisive into Google ads without problems.  This, coupled with Google’s CEO’s…
This Group Posed As Russian Trolls And Bought Political Ads On Google. It Was Easy.
Google says it’s securing its ad platform against foreign meddlers, but for just $35 researchers posing as Russian trolls were able to run political ads without any hurdles.
U.S. group posing as Russian trolls easily buys political ads on Google – media | UNIAN
Google says it’s securing its ad platform against foreign meddlers, but for just $35 researchers posing as Russian trolls were able to run political ads without any hurdles. Despite assurances from Google last month that it has installed “robust systems” to “identify influence operations launched by foreign governments,” the company approved the CFA ads in less than 48 hours.
How to Sow Discord Using Google and $100 (or 6,800 rubles) – To Inform is to Influence
A very detailed report on how Russian trolls put political ads into Google Ads. The bigger story is how Google is not protecting us from Russian interference and information warfare. The bottom line, Russia is a rogue state that uses hybrid warfare, including information warfare, as a means to tear down the US and other countries in the West. Despite all the bluster, all the posturing, and all the speeches, we do not hold Russia accountable, so they continue. An excellent piece by the Google Transparency Project. </end editorial>
Unique Confession of the Queen of Propaganda: I am looking around and wondering what kind of chaos I created, she says for Info.cz – To Inform is to Influence
For years, she participated in the intense spreading of pro-Russian propaganda in Czechia. She cooperated with a Czech national living in Russia who defends the occupation from 1968 as justified and advocates the return of Russian tanks. Today, Blanka Morávková herself became the target of propagandists who labeled her as a traitor because of her confession and her defense of homosexuals. Morávková spent several weeks discussing her activities with INFO.CZ, providing a unique behind-the-scenes insight into the actions of pro-Russian trolls in Czechia. It was February 2017, and Blanka Morávková published the following challenge on her facebook profile: “Have you had enough Western anti-Russian politics? Do you want to support Russia? And above all, do you want to see the faces of our politicians who open up Facebook and see that Putin’s agents are uniform and uniform? Change your profile photo to this (there was a picture of the Kremlin Agent under the text ). If you have any problems, you can hurt Russian hackers. ”
German Cabinet approves new cybersecurity agency
Officials in Berlin hope that a new organization devoted to all things cyber can make up for years of neglecting a growing threat.
Just like a hull breach, a cyberattack should take seconds to detect
Like shipboard damage control the cybersecurity continuum is broken into three main objectives representing before during and after an incident.
Washington Won’t Keep Rebuffing Moscow’s Cyber Proposals Forever – Defense One
Here’s where the U.S. will find common ground with the country that attacked its 2016 election.
British Airways hacked: Customers’ data stolen in massive cyber-attack leaving 380,000 bank cards ‘compromised’ – Mirror Online
BA confirmed personal and financial details of customers have been stolen and the airline is communicating with affected customers
Operational Guidance for the EU’s international cooperation on cyber capacity building – To Inform is to Influence
31 August 2018 The Operational Guidance is intended to provide a comprehensive practical framework when designing and implementing the EU’s external actions against cybercrime and for promoting cybersecurity and cyber resilience. The study was commissioned by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, Unit “Security, Nuclear Safety” and it was implemented by the…
5 ways the Army will keep pace in cyber and electronic warfare
The Army is undergoing several force design updates to keep pace with adversaries.
Lithuania Asks Walmart To Remove “Soviet” T-Shirt – To Inform is to Influence
Walmart is carrying a red shirt with the old Soviet Hammer and Sickle on the front. To many, this represents the most oppressive regime in the world, who were responsible for millions of executions of Russian people. The Lithuanian Ambassador to the US wrote an open letter to Walmart, asking for the shirt to be…
[Krebs on Security] Leader of DDoS-for-Hire Gang Pleads Guilty to Bomb Threats – To Inform is to Influence
A 19-year-old man from the United Kingdom who headed a cybercriminal group whose motto was “Feds Can’t Touch Us” pleaded guilty this week to making bomb threats against thousands of schools. On Aug. 31, officers with the U.K.’s National Crime Agency (NCA) arrested Hertfordshire resident George Duke-Cohan, who admitted making bomb threats to thousands of schools and…
Twitter permanently suspends Alex Jones and Infowars, citing ‘abusive behavior’
California’s net neutrality bill is one signature away from taking effect
After SB 822 passed California’s state Assembly yesterday, it just needed (re)approval from the Senate before going in front of the governor to be signed into l…
California passes strongest net neutrality law in the country – The Verge
California’s legislature has approved a bill being called the strongest net neutrality law in the US. The bill would ban internet providers from blocking and throttling legal content, prioritizing some sites and services over others, and it would apply these restrictions to both home and mobile connections.

US Domestic Policy Reports


Facebook, Twitter Face Grilling In U.S. Congress Over Election-Meddling Issue
Facebook and Twitter executives will testify before the U.S. Congress on September 5 on their efforts to root out Russian operatives and other agents who are trying to influence the upcoming congre…
Facebook, Twitter Grilled In U.S. Congress Over Election Meddling Issue
Facebook and Twitter executives are being questioned by U.S. senators on September 5 on their efforts to root out Russian operatives and other agents who are trying to influence the upcoming congre…
Facebook ex-security chief Alex Stamos warns of 2018 election hacking
Stamos’ comments echo an essay he wrote last month and add to the growing uncertainty around election security and meddling on social platforms. 
US to ‘turn up the knob’ on election security
Can better analysis and more collaboration combat the flood of information collection?
US elections: Effort to undermine American democracy “has not stopped,” former Facebook security chief says
After three years in the trenches of Facebook’s war against disinformation, Alex Stamos brings bad news from the front: US elections are still at great risk.
Election security bill backers say delay in Congress helps Russia
Just two months before the midterm elections bipartisan legislation to try to prevent foreign hacking into U.S. election systems is stalled in Congress as the White House and some Republicans worry it could exert too much federal control over the states.
Election security bill backers say delay in Congress helps Russia
Just two months before the midterm elections bipartisan legislation to try to prevent foreign hacking into U.S. election systems is stalled in Congress as the White House and some Republicans worry it could exert too much federal control over the states.
How election security became a Homeland Security priority
Election security wasn’t a mission initially envisioned for the Department of Homeland Security, the sprawling department creating after the Sept. 11 attacks. But it’s now one of the highest priorities, Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Wednesday.
Homeland Security vows change in face of cyber ‘pandemic’
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen outlined a reorganization of the agency to focus on nation-state threats amid a growing number of cyberattacks, but lawmakers seem unaware of the changes.
Hoping to Change Party’s Image, Dems Marshal Veteran Candidates – Defense One
“The Democratic Party just has a terrible brand within the military and we need to repair that. How do I hope to change it? Win. Get in.\”


The Woodward Book Comes for James Mattis – Defense One
A veteran Washington journalist describes the defense secretary as avoiding confrontation and showing respect. But the rest of the book may have blown …
Panetta: Democrats should hold off on impeachment – POLITICO
The former CIA director urges Democrats to let Robert Mueller finish his work.
Mueller’s report on Russia investigation ‘will ultimately determine’ whether to impeach: Panetta – ABC News
Former Defense Secretary and CIA Director Leon Panetta says Democrats should wait until Robert Mueller releases his report before considering impeachment.
Paul Manafort’s Daughter Files for Name Change – The Daily Beast
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s daughter has filed to officially change her last name, apparently to distance herself from her father in the wake of his criminal conviction. Jessica Manafort, 36, reportedly filed the paperwork in Manhattan Supreme Court late Friday. “I would like my new name to be Jessica Anne Bond, in place of my present name,” Manafort said in the legal filing, according to the New York Post. She reportedly chose Bond, her mother’s maiden name, because it “more closely suits [her] profession.” She told the Post she’d decided on the name change “to separate myself and my work from a public perception that has nothing to do with the person that I am.” Her father was found guilty last month of eight counts of tax fraud and bank fraud, and he faces a second trial in Washington, D.C. later this month.
Manafort Foreign Agent Trial Ruled by Judge to Remain in DC | Newsmax.com
A judge ruled Wednesday that Paul Manafort’s second trial will remain in the District of Columbia.
Former Trump adviser Papadopoulos to be sentenced Friday | TheHill
George Papadopoulos, the Trump campaign adviser who pleaded guilty nearly a year ago to lying about his Russia contacts, is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court on Friday.
Former Trump adviser Papadopoulos admits lies, asks for leniency in Russia probe
Onetime Trump adviser Papadopoulos admits he lied to federal agents, pleads for leniency in sentencing.
Trump approved campaign meeting with Putin, George Papadopoulos says
George Papadopoulos’ attorneys say Donald Trump “nodded with approval” when their client suggested he could setup a meeting with Vladimir Putin.
Mueller investigation news: Sam Patten flips, will cooperate with special counsel’s office – Vox
Patten is an associate of Paul Manafort and Cambridge Analytica.
Justice Dept. lawyer says he was told Russian intelligence believed they had Trump ‘over a barrel’ – CNNPolitics
A Justice Department lawyer whose ties to the infamous dossier about President Donald Trump and Russia has drawn the ire of Republicans told House lawmakers that he was told Russian intelligence thought they had the then-candidate “over a barrel” during the 2016 campaign, a source with knowledge of the testimony told CNN.
Former MI6 officer ‘encouraged Russian oligarch to give evidence against Trump campaign’
Christopher Steele, the former MI6 officer who attracted Donald Trump&rsquo;s fury for drafting a dossier of allegations about collusion with Moscow, was involved in efforts to flip a high-profile Russian oligarch, according to newly released emails.
Bruce Ohr Was Told Russia Had ‘Trump Over A Barrel’: Report | HuffPost
FBI and the intelligence community are still working to untangle possible connections between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russian intelligence.
Agents Tried to Flip Russian Oligarchs. The Fallout Spread to Trump. – The New York Times
American officials hoped they could persuade some of Russia’s wealthiest men to help with U.S. investigations. It didn’t work.
Report: Bruce Ohr and Christopher Steele Helped Try and Turn an Oligarch Into an Informant
For two years the FBI and the DOJ tried to flip Oleg Deripaska.
Bruce Ohr, FBI together attempted to flip Russian oligarchs to gather information on Trump campaign: Report
The FBI and Department of Justice partnered on a secret program aimed at flipping Russian oligarchs with potentially damaging information about the Trump campaign’s alleged involvement with the Kremlin, according to a New York Times report Saturday.
Kimberley Strassel: Bruce Ohr warned FBI that Steele had credibility problems. The bureau forged ahead anyway | Fox News
To believe most media descriptions of Justice Department lawyer Bruce Ohr, he is a nonentity, unworthy of the attention President Trump has given him.
Bruce Ohr told by British spy Russia had Trump ‘over a barrel’: AP
The previously unreported details of the 2016 breakfast with Christopher Steele reveal an exchange of potentially explosive information about Trump
Report: Former NRA President’s Wife Sought Jet Fuel Deal With Maria Butina – The Daily Beast
A plan to buy millions of barrels of jet fuel from Russia reportedly fell apart when prospective partners sensed a scam.
Wife of Former N.R.A. President Tapped Accused Russian Agent in Pursuit of Jet Fuel Payday – The New York Times
Maria Butina surrounded herself with prominent American conservatives and dubious characters bent on making a fast buck. It was not always easy to tell one from the other.
UAWire – Russian state-owned bank changes name and ownership structure of its US subsidiary to have foothold in the US market
Russian state-owned VTB financial group sold its US subsidiary, VTB Capital Inc, reports Interfax news agency, citing the bank’s press release. “ …


Leon Panetta Says Trump’s ‘Failed’ North Korea Summit Was ‘Doomed’ From The Start
The meeting with Kim Jong Un “was all about show,” the former defense secretary said.
Trump’s meeting with North Korea was ‘failed summit’ that was ‘all about show’: Leon Panetta – ABC News
Former CIA Director and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that when summit was over, “there was nothing to require” North Korea to denuclearize.
McCain’s Likely Successor Is No GOP Maverick – Defense One
Sen. Jim Inhofe’s record suggests his Armed Services Committee will hew even more closely to Trump.
Reuters: Former Republican Sen. Kyl to replace McCain; wins bipartisan praise | UNIAN
Former U.S. Republican Senator Jon Kyl is Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s pick to fill the U.S. Senate seat from Arizona vacated by John McCain, who died last month, the governor said on Tuesday. Once Kyl is sworn in, Republicans will return to the 51 seats they held in the 100-member Senate before McCain’s death.
Former Republican Sen. Kyl to replace McCain, bolstering conservatives | Reuters
Former U.S. Republican Senator Jon Kyl is Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s pick to fill the U.S. Senate seat from Arizona vacated by John McCain, who died last month, the governor said on Tuesday.
The Latest: Former presidents, family pay tribute to McCain – The Washington Post
The Latest on the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. (all times local):
Poroshenko bids farewell to US Senator John McCain – 112.international
“Senator, we are very grateful to you. And that’s why now I’m here today, bringing the thoughts and sympathy of a large 45-million nation,” Poroshenko said. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in Washington took part in funeral farewell to Senator John McCain. This was reported in the press service of the Ukrainian president. “Senator, we are very grateful to you. And that’s why now I’m here today, bringing the thoughts and sympathy of a large 45-million nation,” Poroshenko said. He added that McCain supported Ukraine at critical moments in the history of our country. “We all remembered him on Maidan during the Revolution of Dignity, when, at minus 26 degrees temperature, he turned to hundreds of thousands of people who stood on Maidan in order to express the words of support, absolutely necessary at that time. Saying that the whole world and the United States of America are together with Ukrainians. And when it was necessary to consolidate the world during the Munich Security Forum, he was the leader and helped us, “Poroshenko said. “Thank you again, you are a real hero of America, and you are a real hero of Ukraine, thank you,” said the President of Ukraine. Senator John McCain died on August 25 after a long battle with cancer. He was known as a war hero, a critic of authoritarian regimes and an influential friend of Ukraine.

 

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