Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
The Salisbury CW attack and Russian propaganda are the major topic in UK/US mass media, displacing the impending disaster in Syria. Notably, UK media are beginning to focus on the Russian propaganda campaign, exploring the various Russian media phantasies and providing some insight for Western politicians and public as to how far Russia has drifted off into its Soviet-style alternate reality.
Very good essay by Niland and commentary by Harding – the not-so-smart in the Western media are simply acting as proxies for hostile anti-Western propaganda machines, not just the Russians, but every other crackpot regime out there, and the various terrorist movements. Every time the not-so-smart writers and editors in Western media treat propaganda as fact, they act as proxies on behalf of hostile foreign entities and become effectively agents of influence and an extension of these enemy propaganda machines – which is a far greater sin that simply propagating fake news through ignorance. In Dantean terms, the sin of these media players puts them firmly into 9th circle of Hell, rather than the 8th where they usually reside.
Also interesting commentary by Shelin – stating the obvious.
Multiple interesting disclosures in the UK on the Salisbury case. Four additional covert ops team members being sought by UK police. Karpichkov claims, on the basis of unverifiable sources, that Steele was targeted for a hit. Comparisons with Markov hit during the 1970s. Portnikov argues Skripal’s work for Spanish law enforcement made him a target. Multiple backfill reports.
CJCS briefs POTUS on Syria options. VKS and Syrian AF ramp up airstrikes in Idlib.
More bizarre statements from Tehran. Riots in Shia Southern Iraq focus on Iranian meddling, while likely Iranian proxies launch rockets at US and Kurdish facilities in Iraq.
Kremlin-controlled TV responded sarcastically to the naming of the men wanted for the Salisbury poisonings.
RUSSIA has claimed the Novichok assassin suspects are actually two British actors named Jeffrey and Paul in the latest bizarre twist to the Salisbury saga.
VLADIMIR Putin’s glamorous spy girl warned Russia and the US are heading “full speed” for a military clash over Syria amid fears of an imminent chemical attack.
It is highly insulting that after four years the media still uses words like separatist and rebel when describing the armed forces in Donbas, Ukraine. It is highly insulting that the press is not aware of the basic circumstances in Russia and Ukraine, that Russia is waging an ongoing war against Ukraine. Russia has invaded Ukraine twice, invaded Georgia twice, and is acting in a belligerent matter globally. Yet the press, and the mainstream media is the worst, persists in using words like rebel and separatist, echoing Russian propaganda. Russian propaganda is de facto echoed and amplified by our press. Because that would be a radical change from years of burying their heads in the sand, by acknowledging that Russia is a rogue state. The evidence is clear, Russia is a rogue state and the media made a decision on February 27th, 2014. On that night Russian Naval Infantry troops from the Russian fleet in Sevastopol took up key positions in Crimea. They took over Crimea. They were masked and wore no insignia. The press could not positively identify them as Russian troops, even though all their equipment was the latest state-of-the-art Russian equipment, issued only to Russians. Therefore, they were not called Russian soldiers. Later, Russia attempted the same thing in Donbas, Ukraine, but using GRU-led locals, “Russian volunteers”, and other masked and insignia-less soldiers. Again the press could not positively identify them as Russians, even though every indication was that they were mostly Russians and Russian led, Russian sponsored, Russian paid, and Russian bought. The media refused to call them what they were, and to this day refuses to call them what they really are. Russian soldiers, mercenaries, and Russian leaders had invaded Ukraine and continue to wage a low-level hybridized war against Ukraine. When President Putin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov or FM Spokesperson Maria Zakharova issue statements, the media reports on them at face value. When Russia denies responsibility for invading Ukraine twice or invading Georgia twice, they deny and give excuses, outright denials, and alternative theories. …and the media does not analyze and report the truth. The media echoes Russian lies without analysis. The media is not doing their job. The media must be held accountable. The media is blindly inflicting damage on the world by enabling Russian invasions, hybrid wars, and belligerent acts. </end editorial>
Reporting on the recent killing of Alexander Zakharchenko in Donetsk, Ukraine, has enraged many, and with good reason. Far too many reports from top outlets included the phrase or something similar, “Moscow denies sending regular troops and heavy weaponry to Ukraine, the rebels, or separatists.” Of course, Moscow regularly issues such denials. However, the time to simply report such claims by Moscow as if they are of equal validity to Ukraine’s claims is long past. “Moscow denies sending troops and weapons into Ukraine” should always be followed by “despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.” If a journalist does not know that there is abundant open-source evidence of Russian military involvement in Ukraine, they shouldn’t be journalists. If they repeat Moscow’s claim, in some blind commitment to the idea of “balance” or for any other reason, they are leaving their audience uninformed, and that is a disservice. Claims made by Kyiv and Moscow should not be treated equally; there is overwhelming evidence to substantiate Kyiv’s claims about the origins and continuation of the war in the Donbas, and that evidence proves Moscow’s claims to be outrageously false. Guilty news outlets include the BBC, Reuters, The Guardian, The Financial Times, RFE/RL, and the LA Times. Journalists would be wise to heed a journalism 101 lesson: “If someone says it’s raining and another person says it’s dry, it’s not your job to quote them both. Your job is to look out the window and find out which is true.” The truth behind the war in Ukraine is that it was created behind the walls of the Kremlin. There has never been any appetite for separatism in the Donbas. The US special envoy to Ukraine, Ambassador Kurt Volker, made this point a year ago: “The conflict in eastern Ukraine is not an indigenous uprising, it’s an externally driven conflict, and Russia is responsible.” Now there’s a legitimate debate to be had over the terms “rebels” and “separatists.” Both are misleading terms, and misleading in a way that directly supports Russia’s false narrative about the conflict in the Donbas. Collins English dictionary defines rebel as “people who are fighting against their own country’s army in order to change the political system there.” The same dictionary offers the following definition for separatists: “Organizations and activities within a country involve members of a group of people who want to establish their own separate government or are trying to do so.” Neither applies. Because the war in the Donbas was not a local uprising, and because it is an interstate war between two countries, the terms “rebels” and “separatists” aren’t accurate. In the early days of the war, and with the fog of war clouding clearer understandings of what was actually happening, and because of Russia’s attempts to portray the war as something it never was, the media adopted these terms and accepted them as accurate. We know far more now, and it is time to retire these terms. While there are some locals in the Donbas who have participated in hostilities, it is also true that they do so at the behest of Russia. The late Zakharchenko himself was indeed a Donetsk native, but he and his replacement are nothing more than proxies for Russia and Russian interests. They have no authority of their own, and would have no ability to fight were it not for the thousands of pieces of military hardware that Russia has sent across Ukraine’s borders. Something for which, again, there is ample evidence. What term should be used instead? In a recent tweet, the US Embassy in Kyiv used “Russian armed forces” and this is an approach many favor. It reflects the official position of Ukraine’s government which has formally declared Russia as the aggressor state in this conflict. Others use “Russian-backed” forces, but it also downplays Russia’s actual role in Ukraine. “Russian-led” is more accurate, but since the direction, hardware, manpower, and the ammunition all come from Russia, the term “Russian forces” is most accurate. To continue to use the terms “rebels” or “separatists” is to misinform. And misinform in a way that masks Russia’s culpability in starting and continuing this war.
Analysts say Russia is waging an information war against the news. What does a typical case look like?
Two Russian nationals accused by British authorities of having attempted to kill former spy Sergei Skripal had made several European trips in run-up to Salisbury nerve agent attack
Russia says there are inconsistencies in the UK’s claim that Moscow was behind Novichok poisonings on English soil. Who’s right?
Earlier this week Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov were revealed as the pair responsible for making an attempt on the life of Sergei and Yulia Skirpal
Busted! RT is a propaganda tool for the Russian government, and now they have openly admitted it. </end editorial> RT, formerly known as Russia Today, functions as “just one brick in a pyramid, at the top of which sits the Russian government,” as Polygraph.info reported in November 2017. The global information organization, which operates in a number…
Google removed a YouTube advert by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny after authorities complained that the videos would violate an election silence law before Sunday’s vote for regional governors, an aide to Navalny said on Saturday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin would never invade western Europe. Lets game it out, just for fun. Russia invades with thousands of tanks, aircraft, and infantry. Europe, beholden to years of low defense budgets, folds. Shortly afterwards, Russia’s economy collapses due to the massive cost of mobilizing it’s military and occupying now refugee-filled, and probably insurgency filled European states. China won’t help anyone because all of this could leave them as the sole superpower. The United States, rising to meet its NATO obligations, possibly retaliates with limited nuclear strikes; Russia does the same. Maybe things escalate from there, although it’s hard to conceive as to why; but even if it doesn’t, the death toll from both war and starvation would become mind-numbingly high — and, to any sane strategic thinker, an impossible price to pay in the interest of a territorial accession. This is just one worst-case scenario, and it’s worth ruling out ahead of the upcoming Vostok 2018 military exercises which, with more than 300,000 Russian troops , 1,000 aircraft, 900 tanks, and a 25-vessel naval armada tooling around in the Mediterranean, mark the largest wargames the country has seen since the height of the Cold War. To understand why, we need to flash back to 1981.
Paul Goble Staunton, September 8 – The inability of Vladimir Putin and his regime to admit error or take responsibility “is paralyzing the system and blocking its ability to get out of difficult situations” like the Skripal case and the government’s plan to boost retirement ages, Sergey Shelin says. Acknowledgement of mistakes if it is sincere, the Rosbalt commentator continues, “is a very strong political move, which Yeltsin sometimes used with success.” The Skripal case and the pension plan are two obvious Russian cases which “require something similar” given the costs of not doing something (rosbalt.ru/blogs/2018/09/07/1730474.html). Unfortunately, Shelin continues, “in the coordinates of the Putin system, recognition of guilty and apologizing for mistakes simply do not exist.” And because the number of mistakes is growing, this inability to do what is necessary is quickly becoming a major problem because it reflects “growing systemic weakness,” one Moscow will have to pay for more and more often. Had the Kremlin been able to admit a mistake in the case of Skripal early on, perhaps shifting the blame to some lower-ranking official, it would have escaped much of the opprobrium it has brought on itself and the new and harsher sanctions that Western countries have avoided. And had the Putin regime been able to admit a mistake in the case of the pension reform plan, perhaps by blaming Dmitry Medvedev or someone else and walking away, it would have won credit with the population rather than sparked protests that have left it with significantly less popular support and significantly more public cynicism than before. Its failure to do either, Shelin argues, has weakened it; but its unwillingness to face up to mistakes points to a more serious problem: both an unwillingness and even an inability to learn from what is going on around it, a pattern that almost guarantees there will be more and perhaps even larger errors of judgment in the future.
What are the chances that this lawsuit winds up in Court? Can an individual in the US sue a Russian state-run news agency? Can he sue a “commercial” television station in Russia, Channel One Russia? He is suing for punitive damages, is it possible he ever sees a dime? This I plan to follow closely……
THE RUSSIAN military agents who tried to murder Sergei and Yulia Skripal were identified thanks to a recently-turned Russian spy, according to intelligence sources. Codenamed Apollo, he was recruited in a spectacular coup by Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service in Rome, weeks after the Novichok nerve-agent attacks in Salisbury.
‘We will probably never see them in the UK,’ home secretary admits
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said it was unlikely Russia would extradite its citizens.
A RUSSIAN hit squad dubbed “The Cleaners” is reportedly being hunted by Britain as spooks have identified another four suspects linked to the Novichok attack in Salisbury.
Two GRU military intelligence hitmen named last week were actually part of a crew of six, according to reports
The Russian military intelligence service which despatched two agents to launch a chemical attack in Salisbury has already targeted vital infrastructure in the UK, Government sources have revealed.
NOVICHOK suspect Alexander Petrov may have visited the UK a year before the Skripal attack to try to assassinate the ex-British spy who compiled an infamous ‘dodgy dossier’ on President Trump, former Russian agent Boris Karpichkov has claimed, writes Jon Austin.
Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov could have been aided by hackers to sneak through Gatwick passport control and then leave via Heathrow.
On September 7 1978, an Italian assassin codenamed ‘Piccadilly’, working for Bulgaria’s DS intelligence agency, tracked the exiled dissident Georgi Markov to a bus stop near Waterloo Bridge and jabbed him in the right thigh with a device that inserted a tiny pellet containing ricin.
British authorities knew the identities of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov from as early as April, but withheld them over fears England fans would be ‘targeted in Russia’, a source claimed.
Paul Goble Staunton, September 8 – Sergey Skripal’s cooperation with the Spanish authorities in exposing the criminality of the Russian oligarchs rather than the idea that this action was revenge by the security services for someone who betrayed them is a far more likely explanation for Moscow’s decision to poison him, Vitaly Portnikov says. Until the New York Times report about Skripal’s work in Spain, the Ukrainian commentator says, most people explained the murderous attack on the former Soviet agent as revenge by the Russian security services. But that explanation had at least two shortcomings (ru.espreso.tv/article/2018/09/07/vytalyy_portnykov_skrypaley_atakovalo_mafyoznoe_gosudarstvo). On the one hand, Portnikov says, it doesn’t explain why Skripal was attacked while many other Russian agents and defectors have been left in peace. And on the other, it fails to recognize that “as long as Skripal was a traitor [only in this sense], he could count on being pardoned” if that would serve the Kremlin’s interests. But as soon as Skripal “touched upon the interests of the mafia” in Moscow as he surely did in Spain, then there was every reason for that mafia to “decide to liquidate him,” a decision that demonstrates as few other things have that the Putin regime is a mafia state rather than a normal one. In analyzing Kremlin actions, Portnikov says, it is important to keep in mind that Russia today is “a mafia state,” one in which the state not only participates in massive corruption but “above all acts in the interests of the mafia,” including going after and even murdering those who work against that mafia structure. Ukrainians in particular need to remember this because under Yanukovich, “we had precisely the same mafia state. But after 2014, Ukraine began the transition from a mafia state to a corrupt one. And if after the 2019 elections this transition continues … that will become our very biggest victory.” Corruption can be fought and contained in a country with a normal state of the kind Ukraine has been moving toward, Portnikov says; “but in a mafia state, there is simply no society at all, only government positions occupied by mafiosi and their assistants.” That kind of state can’t be reformed: it can only be overthrown. Yanukovich’s mafia state was overthrown by the Ukrainian people. “But Putin’s mafia Russia continues to exist – and to kill.”
A more likely explanation and motive for the Russian assassination attempt against Sergei and Yulia Skripal is tied into the Russian mafia and oligarchs exposure by Skripal in Spain. It still would call for Putin’s approval for assassination by the identified GRU operatives just named this past week, but it fixes Putin’s mafia state in…
The storyline’s straight out of a spy thriller: two men allegedly dispatched from Moscow to eliminate a defector in a quiet English city — but leaving traces of their movements everywhere to be painstakingly recreated by the intrepid British police.
POLICE have confirmed a second bottle of deadly toxic nerve agent Novichok could still be in the UK – although they are no closer to finding another suspected container.
Experts wearing protective suits were seen entering the Salisbury home as they began the cleaning process. Sergei Skripal has given them permission to clean the property.
An extensive operation is under way to decontaminate the home of Sergei Skripal, the Russian double agent who was attacked with a nerve agent.Military specialists are expected to take weeks or even months to make the Salisbury property safe after the Soviet-made agent novichok was pumped on to the f
Britain may have to resort to helpful cyberhacking in retaliation against Russia as the authorities cannot risk an escalation to attacks on the country’s infrastructure, security experts said.Despite the political rhetoric about launching cyberoffensives, experts said that a more palatable response
Members of an elite unit within the Met have an extraordinary ability – they never forget a face
The task of defending Russia’s “us against the world” stance is becoming extremely challenging. The reality of the aggression on the world is felt all over the world, and justifying them is no longer easy
Alexander Petrov, who is employed at mysterious Siberian ‘scientific’ company Virion in Tomsk, 2,235 miles from the Russian capital Moscow, insisted he had ‘nothing to do with the Skripal story’.
Media reports say the dose of Novichok nerve agent used in the Salisbury attack was high enough to kill thousands – but this would have been almost impossible
The United States’s top general said Saturday that President Trump has been presented with military options should Syria ignore U.S. warnings and use chemical weapons in an offensive against the rebel-held Idlib.
America’s top general on Saturday said he was involved in “routine dialogue” with the White House about military options should Syria ignore U.S. warnings against using chemical weapons in an expected assault on the enclave of Idlib.
Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Saturday said he was involved in “routine dialogue” with the White House about military options should Syria ignore U.S. warnings against using chemical weapons in Idlib.
Airstrikes were reported Saturday in the Syrian province of Idlib, the last remaining rebel stronghold in the war-torn country, according to volunteer rescue group the White Helmets and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Russian and Syrian government aircraft launched a massive airstrike on Syria’s Idlib province. According to preliminary information, the planes released several dozens of bombs. At least four civilians have been killed, including two children, according to reports from local monitoring groups. According to the media, this was the most powerful airstrike in the last month. It took place the day after negotiations on the situation in Idlib which were attended by the presidents of Iran, Turkey and Russia. The three countries have signed an agreement to coordinate their actions during the military operation in Syria. Moscow and Tehran are key allies of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, who support the offensive in Idlib, claiming that the province is being occupied by jihadists. However, Turkish President Recep Erdogan is afraid that the operation will send another wave of refugees towards his country, and said that it will end in a “humanitarian catastrophe and an even greater bloodbath”.
The top U.S. military commander said he is engaged in “routine dialogue” with the White House about military options should the Syrian government use chemical weapons in an expected assault on a rebel stronghold.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday urged Iran’s armed forces to increase their power to “scare off” the enemy, according to his official website, as the country faces increased tension with the United States.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused the United States and Israel on Thursday of waging a media war to discourage Iranians, state TV reported.
During his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, said that Iran and the Russian Federation can together hold back the US, reported the Fars agency. Khamenei said that Russia and Iran can have a mutual cooperation on global issues, one of which is the deterrence of the United States. Accoring to Khamenei, “America represents a danger to humanity”. As an example of the threat, he cited the situation in Syria and other Arab countries after the “Arab Spring.” He also added that despite attempts to influence the situation in these countries, the US “suffered total defeat.” In addition, Khamenei mentioned that in his experience, the cooperation with the Russian Federation is outstanding. “This has been an experience, highlighting the true meaning of mutual cooperation,” the Iranian leader said. Ruhani stated that Iran intends to keep a presence in Syria and does so at the request of Damascus.
Iran and Russia can work together to restrain America, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, according to Fars News.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan met Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran on Friday after a trilateral summit with Russia about Syria, Khamenei’s official website reported.
The Trump administration’s drive to crush Iran’s oil exports has moved forward after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington will help India to reduce its dependence on crude imports from the Islamic Republic.
As the world’s third-largest oil importer and the second-largest buyer of Iranian crude after China, complying with U.S. sanctions will require India to find new sources of crude at a higher cost. At a time of rising global oil prices and a weakening national currency, this is going to hurt.
The consulate was the latest symbol of authority to be destroyed during unrest in the oil-export city.
At least 15 people died in Basra and more than 200 were injured in protests against unemployment, crumbling infrastructure and rampant crime.
The protests in Basra are the most serious to shake Iraq’s oil-rich southern Shiite heartland in years
U.S. diplomatic missions in Iraq’s capital and the southern oil hub of Basra appeared to be the target of rocket fire, a day after protesters torched the Iranian consulate in a show of anger against the entire political class and foreign interference.
Basra airport was attacked with rockets on Saturday after another night of protests against Iraq’s political elite.
At least 12 people were killed and 50 others wounded Saturday when missiles pounded an Iranian Kurdish opposition party’s base in northern Iraq, party officials said, immediately blaming Iran for the assault.
At least 11 killed and 50 wounded in missile attack on Iranian Kurdish party offices in Koya, reports say.