Information operations · Iran · Russia · Syria

Salisbury CW Attack / Syria / Iran / Russia Ad Hoc Update (157)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

It appears like all the Israeli news sources are urging caution, now that Russia is giving an S-300 to Syria. It’s almost as if Russia and Syria are being lulled to sleep…  

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The Russian intent to deploy S-300P / SA-20B GARGOYLE to Syria remains the dominant thread, while Iran’s incessant threats against all and sundry further escalate – SECDEF Mattis’ comment “ludicrous” applies. Some quite good analysis essays on the impact of the S-300P / SA-20B GARGOYLE in the Israeli media – the ToI observation on the Russian crews is on the money, as plinking batteries crewed with VKS PVO pretending to be Syrians will not be as easily denied by Russia as the 18th Special Air Defense Missile Division of the Soviet Voyska PVO, comprising four Bdes of SAMs, was denied by the Soviets during the War of Attrition. More saber-rattling by Russia, likely to impress Kyiv, with launches of the Kh-35U / AS-20 KAYAK, P-15 Termit / SS-N-2 STYX and supersonic P-800 Onyx / SS-N-26 STROBILE. Chinese appraisals of Vostok-2018 were not flattering, with the Russians criticised for using ancient tactics and mostly just as ancient equipment. Very good essay by Shelin on the Chekist regime’s credibility gap in Russia, more reports on the bizarre in Russia, Lavrov insults the Norwegians over the espionage case and much more on the Finnish arrests that involve what appears to be a Russian ploy to gain control of strategically important shipping lanes in Finland. Verzilov being guarded by German police due to concerns he is at risk.

Tehran’s tirade of threats and blameshifting continues, while NATSEC Adviser Bolton spells out some basic realities. Turkey update.


Russia’s S-300 Delivery to Syria ‘Appropriate Move, Game Changer’ – Ex-Diplomat – Sputnik International

Moscow has announced that Russia’s supplies to Syria would be able to close Syrian airspace where necessary, adding that the arguments of Russian allies, who had previously asked not to deliver the S-300s to Syria, have no effect anymore. Bhadrakumar Melkulangara, a former diplomat and a writer with The Asia Times, gave his take on the issue.

Russia’s S-300 Will be Able to Close Parts of Syrian Airspace – Moscow – Sputnik International

On Monday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that Moscow would provide Syria with its advanced S-300 air defense systems to boost the security of Russian servicemen stationed in the country following the downing of the Russian Il-20 plane last week.

S-300 Deliveries May Help Deter Any Power to Strike Syria – Professor – Sputnik International

The Russian Foreign Ministry has announced that the S-300 systems that are due to be sent to Syria will be able to close parts of the country’s airspace, enhancing the security of Russian troops. Sputnik has discussed the issue with Marcello Ferrada de Noli – editor-in-chief of the online geopolitical magazine “The Indicter.”

S-300 Deliveries to Syria to Make Russia Reliable Arms Supplier – Arab League – Sputnik International

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Jaber Habib Jaber, the ambassador of the LAS to Russia, told Sputnik constant position of the LAS on S-300 deliveries to Syria, further dialogue with Russia and Russian-Turkish agreement on Syria’s Idlib.

Russian deployment of S-300 missiles will push Israel to reconsider before striking Syria: official – Xinhua | English.news.cn

DAMASCUS, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) — Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said Tuesday that the arrival of Russia’s S-300 to Syria will push Israel to reconsider before striking Syria again. Answering a Xinhua question in Damascus, Mekdad said that the Russian S-300 missile system, which will be sent to Syria soon, would be used only if Syria was attacked. His remarks come against the backdrop of the recent remarks by Russian officials that Moscow was going to deliver the S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile system to Syria. The Russian move comes days after Israeli F-16 jets attacked Syrian military positions in Syria’s Latakia province and was accused by Russia of being behind the targeting of a Russian aircraft during the attack. “Israel which got used to carrying out many attacks under different pretexts would have to recalculate and reconsider before attacking again,” Mekdad said. He stressed that “the aggression on Syria is an aggression on the forces that fight against terrorism in Syria.” Asked by Xinhua if Israel would launch other attacks on Syria after obtaining the S-300 system, Mekdad said: “Let the Israelis try and we will defend ourselves as we have done before.”

‘Israel will think twice before attacking’ – Israel National News

Syrian Dep. FM says Israeli ‘aggression’ is aimed at those who want to ‘reduce terror,’ claims S-300s will ‘paralyze’ Israel. Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said Israel should “think twice” before attacking Iranian bases in Syria. Speaking with China’s Xinhua news agency, Mekdad said the next shipment of S-300 missiles sent from Russia to Syria will paralyze Israel’s aerial defense abilities. “Israel got used to this, that whenever it wants, aircraft attack Syrian territory,” he said. “From now on, we’ll see if their army will attack our territory again.” Mekdad also said that Syria isn’t afraid of Israeli attacks. “Israel can try to attack, and we will defend ourselves well and successfully, just like we have in the past,” he added. “The Israeli aggression in Syrian territory is aimed at everyone who wants to reduce terror in our country.”

With Russia’s S-300 in Syria, Israel will have to think twice about the next strike – Israel News – Haaretz.com

The new missile system provided by Russia is not a total barrier to airstrikes, but Israeli jets’ freedom of action will be significantly curbed

Russia claims S-300 may close parts of Syrian airspace – World News

Russia claimed that its S-300 defense system will be able to close parts of the Syrian airspace “where necessary”, a Russian Foreign Ministry director said in a news conference on Tuesday.

Russia: US being ‘malicious’, electronic gadgets sent to Syria’s Hmeimim – Al Arabiya English

Despite American condemnation and the Israeli state of alert with the Russian Defense Ministry announcement on Monday that it will supply the Syrian regime with S-300 defense missiles, it seems that Russia is determined to proceed with its project. According to Russian newspaper Izvestiya, the first group of electronic warfare devices was delivered on Monday on an El-76 plane, to Syria’s Hmeimim military base. This is despite the warning that it will disrupt the functioning of radars and communications systems on aircraft trying to approach the Syrian shores. The Interfax news agency said that the work of these groups will aim to disrupt the work of radars and communications systems and control aircraft that will attack Syrian territory. The means of electronic warfare would disrupt the work of satellite navigation systems. This development, comes after a Russian reconnaissance plane was shot down on September, 17, off Lattakia, killing 15Russian servicemen on board. The Russian Defense Ministry blamed the Israeli air force for that incident and described Israeli conduct as “deliberate.” On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin that supplying advanced weapon systems to “irresponsible players” would increase dangers in the region, Netanyahu’s office said. Full story

Russia: We have proof Israel is lying about downing of recon plane – International news – Jerusalem Post

Moscow has placed the blame of the downing of the Russian reconnaissance plane last week on Israel, accusing it of using the IL-20 as cover to carry out the strikes on targets in Syria.

The Russian plane’s downing, minute by minute — according to Moscow | The Times of Israel

Moscow account accuses Israel of providing misleading information at short notice, claims pilot deliberately flew close to reconnaissance aircraft to draw fire

Russia claims to have evidence of Israeli guilt in crash of IL-20 in Syria – 112.international

The official representative of Russia’s Defense Ministry Ihor Konashenkov claimed during the briefing on September 24 that Russia possesses the evidence of the guilt of the Israeli Air Force in the downing of the Russia IL-20 on September 17 in Syria as Interfax-Ukraine reported. “Today’s data does not witness but proves that the blame for the tragedy with the Russian IL-20 lies with the Israeli Air Force and people who made the decision on such activity,” Konashenkov claimed, presenting the supposed data from the indicators of the combat command facility of S-400 system that spotted the actions of the Israeli fighters and the flight of the missile of the Syrian S-200 complex.

Russia to Arm Assad With Advanced Air Defenses Designed to Counter Warplanes and Cruise Missiles

The move is designed to defend Syrian forces from Israeli air attacks, but could also have an impact on any future U.S. cruise missile strikes, such as those President Trump has ordered twice over the past 17 months in response to chemical weapons attacks blamed on the regime.

Russia Modernizes Syrian Defenses in the Wake of Il-20 Shootdown | Defense News: Aviation International News

Russia will supply Syria with “the modern S-300 surface-to-air missile system” within two weeks, defense minister General Sergei Shoigu said in a televised broadcast on Monday, September 24, a week after 15 Russian personnel lost their lives when their Il-20 aircraft was accidentally shot down by a Syrian air defense battery. He added that the command and control centers of the Syrian Arab Army’s air defense arm will receive “automated control systems,” which so far “have never been delivered” to any of Moscow’s foreign clients. In the minister’s words, “This shall enable a centralized control over all means and equipment of the Syrian air defense system, as well as surveillance of the airspace over the country and timely targeting.” Most important, this will ensure that the Syrian military can correctly identify Russian aircraft flying in Syrian airspace. In addition to re-equipping President Bashar Al-Assad’s army, Shoigu also announced additional measures concerning the Mediterranean waters off the Syrian province of Latakia, where the Russian expeditionary force is based. They include the suppression of satellite-aided navigation, onboard radars, and communication systems in use on “combat aircraft committing attacks on targets in the Syrian territory.” He explained that these measures are necessary “to cool down the hotheads” and deter actions that threaten the safety of Russian servicemen deployed in Syria. He promised additional steps “in accordance with the situation as events unfold.” The Russian defense ministry stepped up its involvement in the Syrian war under orders from President Putin, following his consultations with Al-Assad. During the discussion, the two leaders agreed on “long-term normalization of the situation in Syria, its sovereignty and territorial integrity.” Moscow and Damascus agreed on the delivery of the S-300PMU-2 Favorit surface-to-air missile system in 2011, but two years later Putin canceled this and other deals that concerned advanced weaponry (notably the Iskander land-attack missile), following a request from Israel and in view of the uprising against Al-Assad’s government. The Kremlin has now revisited its earlier decision following the downing of the Russian Air and Space Force’s Ilyushin Il-20 spyplane on September 17.

The true threat of S-300s is not that they’re powerful, but that they’re Russian | The Times of Israel

The Israeli Air Force likely has the means to work around Russian electronic warfare and Syrian air defenses, but doing so risks inflaming the growing Jerusalem-Moscow crisis

Russia’s transfer of S-300 to Syria: A disturbing, but surmountable, military challenge | JNS.org

The move comes as a response to the downing of a Russian spy plane, which was shot out of the sky by Syrian air-defense units that fired recklessly while trying to hit Israeli jets.

Former envoy: Israel-Russia crisis artificial, driven by anti-Semitism – Israel Hayom

As tensions rise over shooting down of Russian plane in Syria, researcher Zvi Magen says two clear factions have emerged in Russia: One is pleased that Israel is doing the work for Russia and acting against Iran, while the other one sees Iran as an ally. The crisis between Israel and Russia resulting from a Russian military aircraft being shot down over Syria last week is “calculated and artificial, unrelated to reality or the facts, because the Russians want payment,” former Israeli Ambassador to Russia Zvi Magen told Israel Hayom in an interview. Now a senior researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies, Magen underscored that “it doesn’t matter what Israel does. From the moment the other side wants a crisis, there’s no way of preventing one. “The media blamed Israel on the day of crisis in a well-timed orchestrated manner, filled with anti-Semitic elements. This wasn’t random.” According to Magen’s analysis, the Russian defense establishment never changed its stance, even after Israeli Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin visited Moscow to present Israel’s findings on the incident. The Russian plane was shot down by Syrian anti-aircraft missiles trying to repel an Israeli strike in Latakia. The Russians claimed Sunday that Israel failed to give them enough advance warning and “misinformed” the Russian command about the exact location of the strike. The Russian Defense Ministry blamed Israel “entirely” for the downing of the plane, which killed all 15 crew members. However, the findings presented by Norkin suggested that Israel had given Russia plenty of advance warning and had acted entirely in line with the “deconfliction” agreements between Israel and Russia. “The same evening after those meetings concluded, they blamed Israel, just as they did the day the plane was shot down,” Magen said. “True, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin took a more moderate line, playing the role of the responsible adult. But until that moment, it was unclear whether that was really his position or not, or whether it was a coordinated gambit between him and Russian Defense Minister [Sergei] Shoigu, where one was playing good cop and the other the bad cop.” Magen said there are two opposing voices in Russia when it comes to Iran. “One sees it [Iran] as a threat, and is somehow pleased that Israel did the work for Russia in dealing with Iran in Syria. The Russian defense establishment, on the other hand, as usual, sees the Iranians as a kind of ally against the U.S. and the West. So it doesn’t like Israel’s actions against Iran in Syria. “In addition, three years after entering Syria, Russia wants to finish things and leave. As far as that goes, Israel’s activity – which is destabilizing to Syria – is a hindrance,” he said. Magen believes that the crisis with Russia over the downed plane was artificially constructed and designed to help Russia achieve gains.

Was Russia Just Waiting for an Excuse to Arm Syria? – Israel Today | Israel News

Russia and Israel have been getting along surprisingly well considering that they are on opposite sides of the Syrian civil war. Russia remains a staunch ally of the Syrian regime, and by extension its allies in Iran and Hezbollah. Israel, meanwhile, has been busily bombing Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria, with Moscow’s tacit approval. But Russia’s final response to last week’s accidental downing of a Russian spy plane during the course of an Israeli air raid on Syria suggests that the Kremlin hasn’t been too happy about the Jewish state interfering in its war zone. Contrary to claims by Israeli officials, Moscow did blame Israel for Syrian anti-aircraft batteries inadvertently shooting down a Russian spy plane that was flying near to where the Israeli aircraft had launched their missiles. Ostensibly to prevent such a mishap from reoccurring, Russia has agreed to sell it’s most advanced anti-aircraft system, the S-300, to the Syrian regime. Russia tried to sell the S-300 to Syria years ago, but backed down following a fierce outcry from Israel and other Western powers. The loss of 15 Russian servicemen has finally given Moscow the excuse it needs to conclude the deal. And that’s bad news for Israel. The Israel Air Force is innovative, and will likely find ways to continue striking Iranian targets in Syria despite the presence of the S-300, which Syria is expected to take possession of in the coming months.

Russian-Israeli Conflict in the Skies of Syria | The National Interest

Russia, Iran and the Syrian regime have been functioning as allies in the Syrian war despite their different interests.

Russian missile defenses in Syria could set off war with Israel – INSIDER

A new decision by Russia to deploy S-300 missile defence systems to Syria raises the stakes in the conflict, especially with Israel, which regularly bombs Syria. Now, if Israel knocks down a Syrian air defense site, it runs the risk of killing Russian servicemen, that could easily escalate.

Netanyahu: IDF to continue anti-Iran strikes in Syria, despite S-300 – Israel News – Jerusalem Post

“Israel has been very successful in the last three years in preventing Iran’s military buildup in Syria as well as its attempts to deliver lethal weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon,” Netanyahu said.

Giving Syria S-300 Surface To Air Missile Systems Won’t Halt Israeli Strikes – The Drive

If the missiles actually arrive and stay, they would represent a clear escalation, but Israel won’t stop its strikes because of them.

PM: Operations in Syria to continue despite supply of S-300

Netanyahu says Israel will ‘do what is necessary’ to prevent Iranian entrenchment in region, despite Russian Defense Ministrys decision to transfer advanced anti-aircraft unit to Assads army following downing of Russian spy plane.

Benjamin Netanyahu warns Vladimir Putin against upgrading Syria’s anti-aircraft defenses

Russia should not give “irresponsible actors” in Syria an upgraded anti-aircraft defense system, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

PM warns against Russian delivery of S-300 system to ‘irresponsible’ Syria – Israel Hayom

Amid crisis with Russia over downed plane, Israel convenes emergency security cabinet meeting to discuss Russia’s imminent transfer of advanced S-300 air defense systems to Syria • Israel will continue to defend its security, PM Netanyahu tells Putin.

Israel to keep fighting Iran in Syria, coordinating with Russia: Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged Tuesday to continue combatting Iranian “entrenchment” in Syria and coordinating with Russia after the downing of one of Moscow’s planes. “We will continue to act to prevent the Iranian military entrenchment in Syria, and continue the

Israel-Russia ties tested after plane downed over Syria

The accidental downing of a Russian plane with 15 soldiers on board has tested relations between Moscow and Israel, which fears President Vladimir Putin will seek to curtail its actions in Syria as a result. Analysts say they believe Russia and Israel will eventually move past the incident without severely

Netanyahu heads to US as cabinet convenes over Russia row – Israel National News

Prime Minister to leave for New York Tuesday, will meet with President Trump Wednesday, address UN Thursday after PA chief Mahmoud Abbas.

Netanyahu hails ‘great success’ in curbing Iran, says cooperation with Russia will continue

Israel will continue to curb Iran’s aggression in the region as well as maintaining its security coordination with Russia, Netanyahu stated before boarding a plane to New York.

Netanyahu and Trump will not discuss peace plan – Israel National News

PM will spend afternoon with President Trump; US source: Peace plan not to be raised at meeting, will mainly discuss Russia.

i24NEWS – Analysis: Israel can deal with the S-300, but must solve the crisis with Russia

Vladimir Putin said on the eve of Yom Kippur that Russia take steps “that everyone will notice” in response to the downing of its intelligence aircraft during an Israeli air strike on Syria last week. On Monday, his defense minister, Sergei Shoigu implemented the threat by announcing three measures aimed at strengthening the defense of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s army and limiting Israel’s air and missile freedom of action throughout Syria and apparently also in Lebanon. These three steps are in descending order by severity: 1. The supply of Russian S-300 anti-aircraft batteries to the Syrian air defense system. 2. The supply of computerized and modern systems to command and control centers of the Syrian air defense system. This will make it possible to better distinguish between enemy planes and friendly aircraft — for example, Russian planes — and to “lock” hostile targets automatically, without need for a decision by the battery operator, which invites mistakes. This system will probably also allow the commanders of the Russian air defenses stationed in Syria to control the missile systems already possessed by Assad’s army, as well as the S-300. 3. The use of electronic warfare and apparently cyber warfare in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Syria and Lebanon, disrupting GPS navigation systems and the radars of fighter planes that Russia does not want to approach the Syrian coast or attack targets in the country. Shoigu did not say that this was intended to prevent Israel from reaching target areas in Syria and disrupting its missiles or bombs, but it is clear that the Israeli Air Force (IAF) planes and its precision munitions are the target of the measures.

Putin’s Missiles for Syria – WSJ

So much for the idea that Russia will help Israel against Iran.

Tel Aviv Diary: What Next for Israel and Russia? | Opinion

The Russian announcement that they will supply the S-300 to Syria is a troubling development for Israel.

Is Russia taking control of Syria’s air defences? – BBC News

The sale of the S-300 system to Syria suggests Russia will no longer turn a blind eye to Israeli raids.

How to make Russia back off in the Middle East

For the first time in decades, Israel finds itself on the receiving end of Russian threats. The tensions follow the downing last week of a Russian Ilyushin…

Israel under threat in shifting Middle East diplomacy: Analysis – ABC News

Growing Iranian influence in neighboring Syria is worrisome for Israel.

World War 3 fears as Putin BREAKS promise with Israel by sending missiles to Syria | World | News | Express.co.uk

RUSSIA has broken its promise to keep out of the Middle East crisis by arming war-torn Syria with advanced surface-to-air missiles.

Iran’s activities could ignite a dangerous fire – Jewish Journal

The events that led to the tragic downing of a Russian plane over the eastern Mediterranean underline just how dangerous Iran’s activities are to regional and international security.

Russia releases video showing what its newest Kh-35U anti-ship missile can do to a vessel | Business Insider

The Russian Defence Ministry released a video on Monday of a Kh-35U anti-ship missile blowing up a vessel.

Vladimir Putin tests terrifying new anti-ship missiles by blowing up a fleet of warships in training exercise

The missiles have a range of 155 miles and successfully hit all eight targets during the training exercise

Пуски новейших ракет Х-35У с самолетов Су-34 – YouTube [AS-20 KAYAK FOOTAGE]

Телеканал Звезда Published on Sep 24, 2018 На морском полигоне Тихоокеанского флота экипажи истребителей-бомбардировщиков Су-34 провели стрельбы по макетам кораблей новейшими ракетами Х-35У

Russia tests Bastion coastal missile system at the Arctic exercise on Kotelny Island – Defence Blog

Russia says it has for the first time used its Bastion coastal missile system at the Arctic exercise on Kotelny Island. On 26 September, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation has announced that Northern Fleet to use Bastion coastal missile system at the Arctic exercise on Kotelny Island for the first time. According to the officials, the crew of the Bastion coastal missile system successfully carried out missile firing at a naval target position at a range of over 60 kilometers to prove its readiness to effectively fulfill combat duty in the Arctic and protect the island area and the sea coast of Russia. Earlier Rubezh coastal missile system had been used as the main one. It is in service with the Northern Fleet tactical group. It successfully fired two Termit missiles at targets placed over 50km off the coast in the Laptev Sea. The Bastion is a modern Russian mobile coastal missile system. It is designed to engage target surface fighting ships and auxiliaries vessels both single and belonging to Task Forces radiocontrast shore targets in the environment of organized fire and electronic opposition. Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation also released a video that shows launch P-800 Onyx missile from Bastion coastal missile, which can travel at speeds of up to 1,980mph, shooting up in the air and then gliding above the sea towards a mock target designed to simulate a group of hostile ships. The Bastion launcher can carry two Onyx anti-ship missiles, which can engage targets at a range up to 300km with a high-low trajectory, or 120km with a low-low flight trajectory. Although designed to be deployed against ships, it can be used against ground targets as well.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Beijing Commentators Not Impressed by Russia’s Vostok-2018 Exercise

Paul Goble Staunton, September 25 – The Vostok-2018 exercise, launched with such pomp and advertised as the largest Russian military exercise since Soviet times, has ended, with even Russian descriptions less effusive and elaborate than they were at its beginning. (Cf. https://vpk-news.ru/articles/45198.) As they got under way, it became obvious to Moscow analysts at least that the maneuvers would not be as large or as impressive as the Kremlin and its controlled media suggested (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/09/moscows-much-ballyhooed-vostok-2018.html). And the exercise has passed with less attention than its advance notice would have led one to expect. But the most important coverage of the exercise may have come from Chinese media outlets who have been anything but impressed with what Moscow did, an assessment that should be taken seriously because Chinese troops took part and thus could see at firsthand what the Russian military was up to. A Russian blogger whose observations have been repeated by Novyye izvestiya today notes that the Chinese “love to discuss the shortcomings of their northern neighbors” and thus it is no surprise that for them “’Vostok-2018’ became not so much a triumph of the Russian army … as a demonstration of its shortcomings” (https://zloy-odessit.livejournal.com/2513653.html, repeated in newizv.ru/news/world/25-09-2018/kitayskie-smi-vysmeyali-taktiku-rossiyskih-voennyh-na-ucheniyah-vostok-2018).“Numerous Chinese state media outlets including even CCTV devoted attention to the fact that their Russian colleagues in the course of the exercise used” exactly the same tactics that Soviet commanders had used 37 years ago, an indication that Russian operational art has not advanced since then. They also pointed to the presence of outdated military equipment in many areas, although they acknowledged that the Russians did make use of some of their most advanced tanks when acting as the attacking force, the blogger says. But the Chinese also suggested that their equipment was better than the Russians in both cases. That is especially the case regarding maneuverability. “Chinese experts noted,” he says, “that if Russia were to apply similar tactics against average brigades of the Chinese Peoples’ Liberation Army, its losses would be colossal.”

Russian Retirement-Age Hike Advances As Putin’s Adjustment Approved

An unpopular plan to raise the retirement age has advanced in the Russian legislature after lawmakers overwhelmingly approved President Vladimir Putin’s proposal to limit the increase for women to …

Pundits Say Russian Vote Results Signal Protest, Not Real Change

The ruling party’s recent defeat in two Russian regions can be seen as a symbol of widespread public anger, but few see it as a real challenge to Putin’s political establishment.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin has Lost Face Not Power, Shelin Says

Paul Goble Staunton, September 25 – “The chief secret of the Putin system,” Sergey Shelin says, “has been the consonance of its utopia with the aspirations of the people.” But the pension reform debacle reflected in the party of power’s defeats in the September 9 elections show that “this no longer exists” and the Kremlin will be forced to rule without that resource. According to the Rosbalt commentator, “the system of rule which Vladimir Putin so long worked to put in place and almost achieved is the latest variation of a bureaucratic centralizing utopia which from time to time arises in Russia.” Its chief advantage is that for a time, the population falls under its spell (rosbalt.ru/blogs/2018/09/25/1734467.html). Putin’s regime has done in most cases precisely what ordinary people would like to have done or at least managed to act as if it has, Shelin continues. “Even the crisis of 2011-2012 … did not shake this deep and warm feeling” of the population for the ruler. Only a tiny and isolated minority of the capital intelligentsia became disaffected at that time. What did Russians want 20 years ago? The commentator asks rhetorically: the restoration of order, sufficiency without lines of the Soviet kind, and super power status. And the Putin regime worked hard to achieve all these things. The population didn’t care about self-rule; and Putin oblige, restricting elections and restoring appointments from the center. But “our regime did not want to look like a dictatorship … and so elections were restored, but in their Soviet variant, albeit with a pluralist cover: That is, there were now more than one participant but the winner was defined in advance.” All this won Putin even more support for a time and convinced him that this could go on forever. “This was a typical dizziness from success, but it ignored to facts: that any utopia has limits, and that the coincidence of the desires of those at the bottom and those on top may last a long time but will not be eternal,” Shelin argues. But economic problems and then the pension reform plan had the effect of dispelling this utopia. “The Sovietized political system” Putin has been using “bored the people much more quickly than it did the last time,” and “the illusions that the masses would accept everything that the bosses proposed” were shown to be just that, illusions rather than a permanent reality. The pension reform had “a domino effect,” leading the population first to object to that and then to object to the rulers who thought they could ignore the desires of the population entirely. Russians have begun to view the regime as the problem and not just the particular policy. And they voted against it on September 9. The Putin regime has compounded its problems in this regard, Shelin continues, by overdoing things. Its restoration of order no longer pleases people but makes them angry. And as a result, the regime has “also lost a monopoly on the dreams of the people.” And they voted against it, not for any opposition but against the regime. To be sure, the party of power won out in most places, but it lost in four and it suffered declining support almost everywhere, regardless of whether it offered young technocrats or old cadres. What follows from this, the commentator says, is “hardly the flourishing of freedoms.” The political field is a scorched earth. Opposition figures within the regime are distinguished from the mainstream “only by the roles they play but in no way by the principles” that inform them. And the regime can always lock up the leader of the opposition. But despite that, “in just a few months, the system has ceased to look effective” as the realization of popular utopian fantasies. “for the first time in two decades, it has lost face. Now, it is simply powerful” but without that resource. As a result, it can force people to do what it wants but it isn’t capable of leading them.

Anti ‘manspreading’ campaign on Russian trains sees female law student spray BLEACH onto crotches of offenders

Anna Dovgalyuk, 20, has been started splashing a mixture of water and bleach on the groins of men with their legs spread too far on the St Petersberg metro

Russian activist combats ‘manspreading’ by pouring water and bleach | Daily Mail Online

Anna Dovgalyuk, 20, from Russia, accuses men of ‘gender aggression’. The concoction she pours on men’s groins leaves permanent stains on their clothes. Anna Dovgalyuk, from Russia, accuses men on the metro of ‘gender aggression’. The student said the mixture she pours on men’s groins leaves permanent stains. The 20-year-old recently flashed her underwear on the metro to stop ‘upskirting’.

Governor Seagal? Putin’s Favorite Action-Film Actor Says He Would Like To Head Russian Region

Action-movie actor Steven Seagal has an answer to the Kremlin’s political problems in the Primorye region: himself.

Lavrov Sarcastically Blasts ‘Norwegian Hospitality’ In Suspected Spy Case

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has criticized Norway for arresting a Russian parliamentary employee last week, calling the espionage accusations against the man “propaganda.”

UAWire – Russian detained in Norway on suspicions of espionage turned out to be Russian Parliament employee

A Russian national who was detained in Oslo on suspicions of espionage was an employee of the Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation as reported on the website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “It was stressed that an employee of the Council of the Federal Assembly M. A. Bochkarev was is Norway by invitation, at the European Center for Parliamentary Research and Documentation attending an international seminar which took place in the Norwegian Parliament,” the statement reads. As noted, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the Norwegian Ambassador to Russia Rune Resaland, where he was informed of strong disapproval of the detention of Russian national Mikhail Bochkarev and his arrest on charges of espionage. “Such steps will not be left without consequences,” added Moscow. As reported, the Russian citizen was detained at the airport in Oslo on suspicion of “illegal espionage activity on sovereign territory.” The Russian embassy in Norway later confirmed the detention of a 51-year-old Russian and said that the detention and subsequent arrest “are contrived and committed under an absurd pretense.”

Raids On Reportedly Russia-Linked Island Properties Sets Finland Abuzz

Several strategically important islands off Finland’s southwest coast have been put under lockdown, as law enforcement raided multiple sites with ties to a company with Russian links. Finns, and ot…

UAWire – Russian arrested in Finland on money laundering charges

A Russian citizen was detained in Finland on a money laundering charges, RBC news agency reports, citing Natalia Vezhlivtseva, the press attaché of the Russian Embassy. “The Consular Department of the Russian Embassy in Finland has been duly notified by the Finnish police of the detention of a Russian citizen, whose identity is not disclosed in the interests of the investigation,” she said. The press attaché said that the Russian Embassy in Finland remains in touch with the police. She added that the detained Russian citizen has the opportunity to contact the embassy for consular assistance. Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation reported that 17 searches were conducted in the south-west of the country from September 22 to 23. As a result, documents and computer drives were seized. This is related to the investigation of the laundering of several million euros and the tax evasion by a Finnish company. According to the police, the company is also suspected of using undeclared labor for the construction. The police arrested three people, one of whom was later released. Seven people were questioned as part of this investigation. As reported by Yle, searches were conducted in the premises and land plots owned by the company Airiston Helmi. According to Yle, the company concluded land transactions in the archipelago of Turku from 2007 to 2014. The transactions amounted to € 9.2 million. In 2017, the company’s losses amounted to € 300 thousand. Yle notes that Airiston Helmi was registered in 2007, and the head of the board was a Russian national born in 1964. According to the Finnish register of commercial companies, the Russian citizen also has the citizenship of Malta. There is also a Polish man among the heads of the company.

Russian Dissident Under German Police Protection After Suspected Surveillance

Russian dissident activist Pyotr Verzilov and those close to him are under around-the-clock protection by German police while he receives treatment for a suspected poisoning, his former wife says.

UAWire – US extends sanctions against Russian defense industry

The US Department of Commerce announced on Tuesday that new sanctions were being introduced against Russian companies. According to a publication in the Federal Register, 12 new legal entities were blacklisted, meaning that it is prohibited to carry out operations with them, and they are banned from supplying technology. The blacklisted entities include two of Rostec’s subsidiaries, the Vector scientific research institute and the Technologiya scientific production company. Washington believes that the former collaborated with the Russian hackers who acted in the interests of Russia’s Defense Ministry, and the latter supplies components for the military aerospace industry. Aerokompozit, Aviadvigatel, the Scientific Production Corporation, Precision Instrumentation Systems and NII Vega were also blacklisted for the same reasons. DiveTechnoService from Saint Petersburg and the underwater technology production company Oceanos have been placed under sanctions for supplying and servicing equipment for the Russian Navy. Information Technologies and Communication Systems (“Infotecs”), Syrus Systems, and the scientific research company Gamma are accused of facilitating illicit cyber activity. Sanctions have also been placed on the companies of the Nilco Group in Moscow, Belarus and Iran, for providing “material support” to the Iranian missile program.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Why Did Moscow Deport Pskov Residents from Near Baltic Borders in 1950?

Paul Goble Staunton, September 25 – Between 1944 and 1952, Moscow deported some 200,000 Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians to break the back of the Baltic resistance to the Soviet occupation of their countries. But in addition, the Soviet authorities deported a significant number of people from neighboring Pskov Oblast in the RSFSR. If the deportations from the Baltic countries are still far less known than those from the North Caucasus and Middle Volga, they have received far more attention that the analogous deportations from Pskov Oblast, a shortcoming that a new article on the Russian 7 portal seeks to rectify (russian7.ru/post/deportaciya-zhiteley-pskovskoy-oblast/). In it, historian Taras Repin says that resistance movements had emerged in Pskov, especially in the newly absorbed Pechora, Pytalov and Kachanov districts, some of it indigenous as the areas had bene under German occupation and some of it linked to Latvian “forest brothers” who came into the Russian areas during and after the war. He says that in combatting these forces, which in some cases involved units of as many as 700 fighters, the Soviet authorities made use of “the means and methods that had worked for them in the 1920s and 1930s,” arresting, executing and deporting those whom they deemed a threat to Soviet power. According to Repin, fighting such groups in Pskov was especially difficult because of “the enormous number of supporters from among the local population who provided the militants with food, clothing and also information about the movements of officers of Soviet organs, the location of military units … as well as weapons.” The first wave of deportations of forest brother units and their supporters took place in Lithuania in 1948; the second in Latvia and Estonia a year later. During that period, the Soviet authorities did not adopt that measure against the militants in Pskov Oblast. That occurred only at the end of 1949; but by then, the historian says, “the situation had changed.” The Soviet Union had been rocked by the so-called “Leningrad affair,” in which various officials were accused of planning to form a Russian Communist Party in opposition to the CPSU. The resulting purge ultimately spread to Pskov Oblast; and the newly installed party authorities in the oblast capital moved against not only forest brother units but also those they deemed unreliable on this other issue. On December 25, 1949, the USSR Council of Ministers ordered the expulsion of a variety of categories of people from the western regions of Pskov Oblast. Most of just over 1500 people from these areas expelled were peasants but some lower-ranking officials appear to have been swept up as well. They were dispatched to Krasnoyarsk Kray east of the Urals. Although Repin does not mention it, there may have been another factor behind the deportations from this border area. At that time, Lavrenty Beria was quietly exploring the possibility of allowing the Baltic states to become peoples’ democracies like the countries in Eastern Europe. If Beria had succeeded in this plan, Moscow would have a particular interest in “cleansing” border regions. (For hints about Beria’s calculations and plans, seewindowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/01/berias-bet-on-republics-in-1953.html and https://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2016/11/the-longer-russia-occupies-crimea-more.html.) Stalin’s secret police chief hoped that doing so would cause the West to back away from forming NATO and lead to the neutralization of a unified Germany. The plan came to nothing, but among the charges Beria was executed for in 1953 was that he was working to divide the USSR.

Five common notions about Russia’s disintegration all defective, Shtepa saysEuromaidan Press |

The five most common stereotypical notions about how the Russian Federation might fall apart do not reflect realities on the ground but instead are put forward by those who want either to prevent that from happening or to promote it, according to Vadim Shtepa, the editor in chief of Tallinn’s After Empire portal. Vadim Shtepa, Russian philosopher, political writer Vadim Shtepa According to the first, the disintegration of Russia would follow “’the Yugoslav scenario’” and become “a war of all against all,” a notion, the Russian regionalist says, that completely ignored the fact that “in the Russian Federation there is no analogue to ‘Serbia’ as an imperial metropolitan center. In Russia, “only Moscow could be called ’the imperial metropolitan center’” since “the majority of Russian regions are politically without rights and economically victimized. For them, Shtepa says, fighting against the equally repressed neighbors makes no sense. “What should Ingria do with Karelia or Kursk with Bryansk,” to give but two examples. This all is “the obvious fruit of Moscow propaganda which asserts that without imperial supervision, ‘everything will fall apart.’” There are some conflicts between neighboring federal units in certain parts of Russia such as the North Caucasus, but they won’t spread to the entire country.

Mystery as the word ‘Novichok’ is scrawled on doors of Bristol café after Salisbury incidents – Bristol Live

This is either a tasteless joke or a tasteless name change

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis: Iran’s threat of revenge is ‘ludicrous’ – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday the attackers who killed 25 people at a military parade had been paid by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and that Iran would “severely punish” those behind the bloodshed. WASHINGTON/LONDON – US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Monday dismissed Iran’s threats of revenge after Saturday’s deadly attack at a military parade in southwestern Iran and said it was “ludicrous” for Tehran to allege US involvement. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday the attackers who killed 25 people at a military parade had been paid by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and that Iran would “severely punish” those behind the bloodshed.

U.S. Pulling Some Missile-Defense Systems Out of Mideast – WSJ

The Pentagon is removing U.S. missile systems from the Middle East next month, U.S. military officials said, a move that will leave American allies with fewer defenses as the White House ramps up its rhetoric against what it says are threats posed by Iran.

Pentagon withdrawing some missile defense systems from Mideast: report | TheHill

The Pentagon is removing missile defense systems from the Middle East as the U.S.

Iran Warns US, Israel Of Upcoming ‘Devastating’ Response To Saturday Attack

In the wake of a Saturday attack in Iran, one government official is warning the U.S. and Israel against upcoming “devastating” action. At least one government official believes that the …

Iranian Media Threatens Saudi Arabia, UAE With Missile Strikes – Reports – Sputnik International

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has accused Riyadh and Abu Dhabi of financing the perpetrators of the terror attack which killed at least 25 people and injured more than 60 others during a military parade in southern Iran on Saturday.

Iran video threatens missile strikes on UAE, Saudi capitals – Iran – Haaretz.com

The video tweeted and later deleted by the semi-official Fars news agency comes as Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blamed Riyadh and Abu Dhabi for the attack in the city of Ahvaz

New Iran video threatens Israel, Gulf states with missile strikes and ‘heavy punishment’ following parade attack | Fox News

A threatening video showing a simulated Iranian ballistic missile strike on Israel and Saudi Arabia was posted to a pro-regime Twitter account Tuesday — but it was quickly yanked just hours ahead of a speech by the country’s president at the U.N. General Assembly.

22 Arrested for Links to Attack on Military Parade – Iranian Intel Ministry – Sputnik International

Iran’s Intelligence Ministry announced on Monday that authorities have apprehended nearly two dozen in connection to the deadly attack on an Iranian military parade on Saturday that left 25 dead and 53 wounded.

Iran says 22 people arrested in connection with deadly attack: Tasnim | Reuters

Iran has arrested 22 people in connection with a deadly attack on a military parade in the southern city of Ahvaz last week that Tehran blamed on the United States and its regional allies, the Intelligence Ministry was quoted as saying on Monday.US

Iranian President Decries Haley’s Remark on Terrorist Attack in Ahvaz – Sputnik International

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday harshly criticized US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley’s remark on the terrorist attack in Ahvaz.

Rouhani compares Ahvaz parade attack to 9/11 as he slams US for implying Iran is to blame — RT World News

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has compared the terrorist attack at the Ahvaz military parade to the 9/11 attacks, and lambasted US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who suggested the attack was a result of Tehran’s policies.

‘People in Iran Are Very Angry Right Now, Are Accusing the Saudis’ – Expert – Sputnik International

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that the US is a bully that wants to create insecurity in Iran. Earlier, the leaders of Iran said that foreign states were behind an attack on a military parade in the city of Ahvaz, which left 25 people dead, including members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards.

Wails and vows of revenge at Iran funeral after parade attack – Los Angeles Times

Thousands of Iranians on Monday attended a mass funeral service for victims of a weekend attack targeting a military parade that killed at least 25 people.

Saudi Arabia Has a Very Specific Plan on How It Wants to Re-Map Iran – Analyst – Sputnik International

Iran’s president has criticized the US ambassador to the United Nations’ response to the deadly attack in Ahvaz. He tweeted “a US official has held the Iranian government responsible for the attack,” adding, “What would Americans think if we were to say such a thing about the 9/11 terrorist attacks?”

Saudi Arabia rejects Iran’s claim it backed parade attack

Saudi Arabia denied it had backed the gunmen who killed 25 people at a military parade in southwestern Iran over the weekend, almost half of them Revolutionary Guards, the Saudi state news agency reported on Tuesday. “Saudi Arabia rejects and condemns the false accusations that Iranian officials

Terrorist attack in Iran a concern for Saudis, oil markets | TheHill

Simon Henderson says my fear is that things may be spinning out of control.

Is it Ahvaz or Ahwaz – and what difference does it make? | Iran | Al Jazeera

Ahvaz is a cosmopolitan city that cannot be defined by narrow-minded ethno-nationalism.

Iran’s Rouhani slams US ‘economic terrorism’ in clash with Trump | News | Al Jazeera

US president makes case for Iran’s isolation in global trade as his Iranian counterpart denounces US ‘recklessness’.

Trump, Iran’s Rouhani exchange threats, insults on U.N.’s world stage – AOL News

President Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani viciously taunted and threatened each other at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

Bolton Warns of ‘Terrible Consequences’ for Those Doing Business with Iran – The New York Times

Senior members of the Trump administration promised harsh penalties for European governments and companies that defy Iran sanctions.

US-Iran: John Bolton warns Iran of ‘hell to pay’ if crossed – BBC News

The two sides taunt each other at the UN, with Iran accusing the US of “bullying and imposition”.

In UN Speech, Trump Calls On ‘All Nations To Isolate’ Iran’s Government

U.S. President Donald Trump has called on “all nations to isolate” the Iranian government for as long as its leadership continues policies of “aggression” in the Middle East and beyond.

EU, Russia and China join forces to dodge Iran sanctions 

The mechanism, called a “special purpose vehicle,” would aim to “assist and reassure economic operators pursuing legitimate business with Iran,” according to a joint statement released by the Iranian nuclear deal’s remaining members.

UNGA: Europe, China and Russia will make a special fund to get around US sanctions on Iran — Quartz

Iran is on the run from the US financial system

What Russia and Turkey really want in Syria – Europe – Haaretz.com

After reshaping the Syrian battlefield, Russia is now trying to design the peace

Trump, Erdogan Shake Hands at UN With Major Tensions Unresolved – Bloomberg

The leaders met briefly backstage at the UN General Assembly.

Despite Trump’s tough rhetoric, his administration is appeasing Turkey

When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ascends the podium at the United Nations General Assembly, the question for Turkey watchers and journalists is not what he will say. After all, Erdoğan is in his rhetoric, his antics, and his nepotism increasingly like Muammar Qadhafi version 2.0. Rather, the looming question is when his body guards will attack protesters on the streets of New York. Alas, it seems that a series of decisions, first made by then-Secretary of State John Kerry and more recently from his successors Rex Tillerson and Mike Pompeo, make such incidents more likely.

Exclusive: Turkey’s Erdogan says court will decide fate of detained U.S. pastor | Reuters

Tayyip Erdogan said a Turkish court, not politicians, will decide the fate of an American pastor whose detention on terrorism charges has hit relations between Ankara and Washington.US

Turkey cannot remain silent over use of sanctions as ‘weapons’: Erdogan | Reuters

  1. rs) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that his country could not remain silent over the use of sanctions as weapons while it is in a bitter standoff with the United States over the fate of an American evangelical Christian pastor detained by Ankara.US

Turkey Must Choose the Tough Option and Leave Syria

Ankara doesn’t want to leave, but it doesn’t want armed conflict either.

 

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