Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Ad Hoc Media Update (50)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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NATO / EU / Russia Reports


UK fighter jets intercept Russian bombers approaching UK airspace – GOV.UK
Russian Blackjack bombers were not talking to air traffic control, making them a hazard to all other aviation
UAWire – German and Belgian fighter jets intercepted two Russian bombers over the Baltic Sea
German and Belgian fighter jets intercepted two Russian supersonic bombers Tu-160 over the Baltic Sea, DPA news agency reported on Wednesday, September 26th, referring to a NATO representative. According to DPA, the Bundeswehr has confirmed this information. The incident occurred on September 25th, two of the six aircraft currently stationed in Amari airbase in Estonia participated in the interception. The fighter jets are stationed in Estonia as part of NATO’s observation mission of the region’s airspace.
Macedonia’s ‘Fake News’ Exports Now For Domestic Consumption
In Macedonia’s shadowy “fake news” industry, it seems that what goes around comes around.
NATO Chief, Russian FM Lavrov Agree To ‘Continue Contacts’
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says he wants a more constructive relationship with Russia, even as the alliance is taking steps to respond to Moscow’s increasing assertiveness.
There’s No Disputing That Macedonia Is At A Watershed Moment
Skopje is gripped by uncertainty as Macedonia approaches a historic crossroads. (The views expressed in this blog post do not necessarily reflect those of RFE/RL.)
Two Reasons Not to Build Fort Trump in Today’s Poland – Defense One
Even as it exacerbated Russian fears, a permanent U.S. force would burnish Warsaw’s dangerous turn.
Stoltenberg: NATO not to be seeking Russia’s permission for Ukraine’s membership | UNIAN
NATO will not be seeking Russia’s permission for Ukraine to join the Alliance. Stoltenberg expressed concern about Russia’s military interference in Ukraine and Georgia, support for Syria’s Bashar Assad, and the buildup of Russia’s naval forces in the eastern Mediterranean.
NATO does not need Russia’s permission for Ukraine to join alliance – Stoltenberg – 26.09.2018 12:30 — Ukrinform News
NATO will not be seeking Russia&rsquo;s permission for Kyiv to join the alliance.


Russian army fighter jets scrambled in fresh WW3 fears | Daily Star
RUSSIA’S air force has scrambled its military fighter jets 13 times in the past week in a fresh rise in military tensions.
Combat robots and cheap drones obscure the hidden triumph of Russia’s wargame
The Vostok exercises were a major practice run of Russian C4ISR and logistics.
Russia Has Big Plans for the Sukhoi Su-30SM Flanker-H Fighter
Some big upgrades are coming. Russia Has Big Plans for the Sukhoi Su-30SM Flanker-H Fighter Russia hopes to order 36 upgraded versions of the two-seat Sukhoi Su-30SM Flanker-H multirole fighter that would replace the jet’s existing Salyut AL-31FP with the Saturn AL-41F-1S found onboard the Sukhoi Su-35S Flanker-E according to a new report. The new engine would not only afford the Flanker-H with roughly an additional 4,200lbs thrust per engine—or about 8,400lbs thrust total—it would also increase the Su-30SM’s electrical power-generation capability, opening up the potential for future avionics upgrades such as a new radar. The aerospace industry trade journal Aviation International News, citing Yuri Slyusar, head of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation, reported that the Russian defense ministry will order 36 more improved Su-30SM fighters. According to the report, the Russian defense ministry will place a firm order for the plane later this year. The report, written by reporter Vladimir Karnozov, states that the money to develop the improved Su-30SMs was already included in the 2017 budget. Indeed, United Engine Corporation’s Ufa Machinery-Building Production Organization (UMPO) division is already working on adapting the AL-41F1S to the Su-30SM. The addition of the AL-41F1S, which can produce roughly 31,900lbs of thrust, would significantly boost the Su-30SM’s thrust-to-weight ratio, which should improve the Flanker-H’s overall kinematic performance by some margin. But while the additional thrust would boost the fighter’s raw aerodynamic performance, the AL-41F1S also incorporates more powerful generators, according to Karnozov. That means that the Su-30SM would have additional electrical power available for future avionics upgrades such as a new or upgraded radar with much greater power. Indeed, Karnozov speculates that the Su-30SM’s Bars-R passive electronically scanned array (PESA) could be upgraded to match the power output levels of the Su-35’s Irbris radar, which has a peak output of 20kW. However, the additional reserve electrical power could also help the jet to one day accommodate a future Russian active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, which would further boost the capability of the Su-30SM. The Russians are likely to retrofit the upgraded engines to its entire existing fleet of Su-30SMs since it would boost commonality across more of the Kremlin’s fighter fleet. Versions of the AL-41 are already flying onboard the Su-35 and the developmental Su-57 PAK-FA, though in the later case, the current engine will eventually be replaced with a much more powerful izdeliye 30 powerplant that is currently in development. Indeed, earlier this year, Russian deputy defense minister Yury Borisov told the state-owned TASS news agency that Moscow’s would upgrade its Su-30SM fleet this year, with deliveries of the modernized jets starting in 2019.
Sukhoi Su-57 fifth-generation fighter to be armed with ultra-long-range hypersonic missile – New Russian weapons
In July, it was reported that the missile was going through the final stage of trials. It was reported that the R-37M hypersonic missile will be able to strike high-speed targets at a range of more than 300 km. The missile is capable of developing a hypersonic speed up to 6 Mach at the final stage of its flight. The R-37M missile comes as a development of the R-37 ultra-long-range missile of the previous generation, the development of which was launched in the early 1980s. The size of the missile (more than four meters long and the take off weight of six tons) limited its use to only the MiG-31 interceptor aircraft. The work to create the R-37M was launched in the late 2000s. See more at http://www.pravdareport.com/news/russia/economics/26-09-2018/141672-sukhoi_hypersonic-0/
UAWire – Russia tests its supersonic missile system in the Arctic
The Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet held military exercises in the Arctic to test launch the Oniks missile from the Bastion missiles system, reported Russian TV Channel Zvezda. According to the Russian media, the anti-ship missile was launched against a target sixty kilometers away. The Bastion missile launch ssytem is designed to defend the sea coast. It has a range of 600 kilometers and can strike ships despite active radio-electronic and firing counter efforts. One such system includes up to 36 Oniks missiles.
Russia test-fired newest Kh-35U anti-ship missiles during recent drills – Defence Blog
The Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) successfully test-fired a Kh-35U anti-ship missile (ASM) from its Su-34 long-range strike aircraft at a naval test range of the Pacific fleet, according to the country’s Ministry of Defense. “As part of the implementation of planned combat missions at the Pacific Fleet’s naval test range, Su-34 multifunctional fighter-bombers carried out practical launches of the newest guided anti-ship missiles Kh-35U,” the statement said. It is noted that the launches were carried out in a tricky targets situation, imitating a group of ships. “All in all eight launches were carried out, all missiles successfully hit targets,” the Ministry of Defense added. The Kh-35U advanced anti-ship cruise missile has been developed by JSC Tactical Missiles Corporation (KTRV). According to some source, the new missile uses inertial guidance with a Glonass Receiver and an active radar seeker to find its target. The Kh-35 is Russia’s first universalized missile which сan used by surface combatants, coastal defense missile systems and aerial platforms. Also, Russian officials claim that the KH-35U is immune to enemy countermeasures. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the Kh-35U anti-ship missile is designed to destroy surface ships displacing up to 5,000 tonnes and surface targets. The missile has a range of about 250 kilometers.
The flashy Russian KH-35U missile video isn’t all that scary
While Russia’s recently-released video is fun to watch, the threat of the KH-35 is massively overstated. The U.S. has the reach and punching power to completely negate it.

Russia / Russophone Reports


Steve Gutterman’s Week In Russia – To Inform is to Influence
If you’re interested in Russia, you’ll love Steve Gutterman’s Week In Russia. RFE/RL’s news editor dissects some of the key developments over the previous week and offers some of the takeaways going forward. Every Friday, direct to your in-box. Click here to subscribe View this e-mail in your browser right here! or share this content via The…
The Week In Russia: Rough Around The Edges — Challenges For The Kremlin At Home And Abroad
The Kremlin suffered setbacks along edges of its sphere of influence over the past week: Syrian forces shot down a Russian reconnaissance plane, killing 15 servicemen; a ruling-party win in the Russian Far East was annulled amid evidence of “shocking” fraud; and the Russian Orthodox Church slipped closer to a historic loss of clout in Ukraine.
Russia’s elderly live rough lives, and the state offers almost no help, but officials say everything is about to change — Meduza
Responding to widespread criticism of the government’s plan to raise the retirement age, Russia’s state-controlled media has been busy telling readers how important it is to live vigorously into old age to avoid becoming a “grumbling old fogey.” “For many people, a pension is an excuse to stop being active, to become frail, and not to want anything, or to want to do things but not to do them, because their finances or health don’t allow it,” explains one op-ed published by the Rossiya Segodnya news agency. The message to readers is clearly that the reason for older people’s unhappiness is that they retired too early. In reality, Russia is a particularly hard place to grow old. According to the 2015 Global AgeWatch Index, compiled by the NGO HelpAge International, Russia’s “report card” ranked it 65th out of 96 countries. When judged on life expectancy and mental well-being, Russia falls to 86th place. Meduza’s medical news editor Darya Sarkisyan takes a closer look at Russia’s geriatric care infrastructure and how officials have promised to change it.
Age Against The Machine: In St. Petersburg, 81-Year-Old Takes On Russian Authority
Yury Sternik is setting a timeless example for opposition activists in St. Petersburg protesting the government’s controversial pension-reform plan.
UAWire – More than $6 billion withdrawn from Russian banks in one month
The outflow of capital from the Russian banking system has picked up speed once again, according to a new survey by Raiffeisen Bank. In August, …
Russians Rally Across The Country Against Plan To Raise Retirement Age
Rallies are being held across Russia to protest government plans to raise the eligibility age for retirement pensions by five years.
Putin Is Losing Russia’s Far East – Bloomberg
The Kremlin is throwing money at a strategically important region. That isn’t buying loyalty.
United Russia Candidate In Khakasia Withdraws From Second Round Of Gubernatorial Vote
Viktor Zimin, the acting governor of the Russian region of Khakasia, has withdrawn from the second round of the gubernatorial election that was scheduled for September 23, citing poor health.
Russians Vote In Gubernatorial Runoffs As Kremlin Candidates Face Pushback
Russian voters in two regions head to the polls on September 23 in gubernatorial runoffs that have left the ruling United Russia party scrambling to avoid defeat for its pro-Kremlin candidates.
Kremlin Scrambles As Regions Prepare For Runoff Votes
Regional elections have exposed cracks in the Kremlin’s “power vertical,” leaving Moscow scrambling to avert defeat in regional runoff elections.
Russian Opposition Leader Navalny Detained, Again, After Jail Release
Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny has been detained immediately after his release following a 30-day jail term, aides say.
Challengers Defeat Pro-Kremlin Candidates In Regional Races
Two challengers have defeated pro-Kremlin candidates in gubernatorial runoffs, amid widespread anger over pension reforms backed by the ruling United Russia party and President Vladimir Putin.
Moscow Court Orders Bad Driving Activist Group Closed — Again
A Moscow court has again ordered the closure of a Russian activist group renowned for its efforts to stop bad driving in the country.
Harmful Alcohol Use Kills More Than 3 Million A Year Globally, New WHO Report Says
The harmful use of alcohol killed more than 3 million people in 2016, representing one in 20 deaths worldwide, a new study by the World Health Organization (WHO) says.
Russian Supreme Court Chief Urges Halt To ‘Pointless’ Criminal Cases Over Online Speech
The head of Russia’s Supreme Court says the judiciary should halt “pointless” criminal cases over online speech if investigators fail to demonstrate criminal intent by Internet users who post all…
Russia’s Athletics Federation Challenges Suspension In Court
The Russian athletics federation says it has launched a legal challenge to overturn a three-year ban on its athletes, which followed a major doping scandal.
Dirty Laundry: Muscovites Oppose Homeless Laundromat
A laundromat for the homeless is facing opposition in Moscow.
Russia news: ‘Cannibal wife’ suspected of eating up to 30 people faces jail over murder | World | News | Express.co.uk
A WOMAN who reportedly confessed to killing and eating dozens of victims with her husband faces up to 15 years in jail if convicted at an upcoming trial.
Russia woos white South African farmers – The Washington Post
The sales pitch includes abundant land, relative safety and Putin’s disdain for the liberal West.

Central Asia / Caucasus Reports


Window on Eurasia — New Series: Will Intensifying Online Conflict over Russian in Uzbekistan Spread to the Streets?
Paul Goble Staunton, September 27 – Something disturbing is happening in Uzbekistan at a time when the new government is promoting a thaw after the death of Islam Karimov – some Uzbeks are taking to the Internet to denounce those who don’t speak the language of the titular nationality and posting anti-Russian comments in the Uzbek-language web. Because this is occurring largely on Uzbek-language pages and because the Uzbek authorities have not responded to it with a crackdown or even criticism, this development over the last two months has not attracted much attention from the outside world, even though it has the potential to destabilize the situation in that Central Asian country. The Fergana news agency provides a useful glimpse into this bubbling controversy, recounting not only how it began and spread but translating some of the hundreds of posts about language issues in Uzbekistan that have surfaced as a result, almost all of which suggest that inter-ethnic relations there are far less good than advertised (fergananews.com/articles/10196). The story began in August when a university rector refused to speak Russian with a woman in the building they both live in but rapidly escalated into dueling posts about what happened. Some of them presented the rector as an Uzbek “national hero,” while others treated the Russian woman as the victim of Uzbek xenophobia. Almost all of the Uzbek nationalist posts were in Uzbek, first in sites based in Uzbekistan itself and then in Uzbek sites based abroad, including one major site that is registered in Canada, while the defense of the Russian-speaking woman appeared almost exclusively in Russian-language portals. What that means, of course, is that those who rely on one or the other alone will have a highly distorted view of what is going on. The posts on both sides suggest a growing level of hostility among some Uzbeks and some Russians to the other side. It is unclear how large the group of what might be called language extremists is in either camp; but it is certain, judging from the posts Fergana translates, that the situation is potentially dangerous, especially if it leaps from the web to the streets. That may not happen; but if it does, the Uzbek authorities and Moscow will have to confront something they have long denied – hostility not just between language communities (many Uzbeks continue to learn and use Russian) but hostility between the two nations, even as the number of Russians in Uzbekistan continues to decline.
Putin In Tajikistan For CIS Summit
Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Tajikistan’s capital, Dushanbe, where he will attend a summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on September 28.
Armenian PM Pashinian’s Bloc Takes Landslide Election Victory In Yerevan
Early results in the Yerevan municipal elections indicate the alliance backed by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian is cruising to a landslide victory in the first major test of the new Armenian leader…
Russia deployed Nona-SVK self-propelled gun systems to Kyrgyzstan – Defence Blog
The Russian Armed Forces have deployed 2S23 Nona-SVK self-propelled gun systems for the Issyk-Kul Anti-Terror 2018 CIS exercise in Kyrgyzstan. A Russian defense official was quoted by the RG.RUnewspaper as saying on 25 September that the maneuvers involve military command and control units, ground and air forces of Russian and Kyrgyz armed forces. The drills will involve in total some 2,000 troops from the two countries and almost 400 pieces of military hardware including aircraft. A motorised rifle brigade of the Central Military District stationed in Tuva has covered over 2,000 km to represent the Russian Armed Forces at the exercise. Besides, Iskander-M crews of the Central Military District were redeployed to the drill site in Kyrgyzstan. As to 2S23 Nona-SVK, this is a wheeled self-propelled gun system designed for combines the capabilities of both mortar artillery system and a self-propelled howitzer. The Nona-SVK chassis is based on the hull of the BTR-80 wheeled armoured personnel carrier and is equipped with a roof-mounted turret with a 120mm gun. According to the Armyrecognition.com, the Nona-SVK battalion level self-propelled gun (SPG) is designed for use against enemy troops, armament and military equipment. Its armor protection, cross-country mobility, and maneuverability are identical to the wheeled armored personnel carrier BTR-80. This mortar system can be used as mortar or howitzer, delivering direct or indirect fire. A maximum range of fire is 8.85 km with ordinary projectiles, 12.8 km with rocket-assisted projectiles and 7.15 km with mines.

Belarus Reports


Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Officials Currently Preparing for Anschluss of Belarus, Larionov Says
Paul Goble Staunton, September 26 – Moscow’s demand that Minsk agree to the opening of a Russian base in Belarus in order to continue receiving economic assistance (openmedia.io/kakix-ustupok-putin-trebuet-ot-lukashenko/) is an indication that Russian officials are now actively planning for the Anschluss of Belarus, Vikor Larionov says. But it is far from the only sign of that, the Russian commentator adds. In an article for Rusmonitor entitled “Russia and Belarus: Yet Another Step Closer to Anschluss,” Larionov points to the “bold” statements Mikhail Babich, the new Russian ambassador in Minsk, made immediately after presenting his credentials to Alyaksandr Lukashenka (rusmonitor.com/rossiya-i-belarus-eshhe-na-shag-blizhe-k-anshlyusu.html). To a casual observer, they may have appeared entirely quite normal, the commentator continues. But “for those who follow the situation more closely, they point to only one thing: Belarus has become one step closer to an Anschluss and the Russian authorities are seriously preparing for that” and for this to occur “before 2020.” As he and the Nezygar Telegram channel have said before, the Kremlin views this as “the optimum resolution” of a Kremlin problem: by creating a new union of Russia and Belarus, Moscow would create the need for a new presidency, something Vladimir Putin could occupy without violating the terms of the existing Russian constitution that would be superceded. “Everything is simple,” Larionov says. “The union of rwo independent states into one centered on Moscow would not only require a change of constitutions: formally, this would be a completely new state in which the current ban on the occupation of the presidency for more than two terms in a row would no longer apply to Putin.” And as a result, “this ‘ingatherer of Russian lands” could occupy the post of the head of such a ‘new’ state for another 12 years in a row.” Other expert Telegram channels which exist primarily to disseminate Kremlin views, Larionov says, are suggesting the same thing. And “therefore, there can be no doubts that quite soon, this idea will rise from the telegram ‘underground’ into the mainstream media” where far more people will recognize where things are headed. The events this week, Larionov suggests, all came from the September 23 meeting between Putin and Lukashenka in Sochi where the former made to the latter, “a proposal he couldn’t refuse,” one that in the short term means Minsk must do what Moscow wants and in the longer term, “agree to being swallowed up by Russia.” “In exchange,” the Russian commentator says, “Putin promised to continue financial support” to Belarus.
UAWire – Belarus President Lukashenko speaks about ‘hard’ negotiations with Putin in Sochi
The negotiations of Russia’s and Belarus leaders on September 21 in Sochi were &quot;hard&quot; but effective, said Belarusian president Alexander …
UAWire – President of Belarus Lukashenko ordered to strengthen security on the border with Ukraine
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has ordered to reinforce the security of the border with Ukraine. &quot;We have decided to strengthen …
Belarus not to send its peacekeepers to Donbas | UNIAN
Belarus’ officials say they will not send their peacekeepers to Donbas, eastern Ukraine, as part of a UN peacekeeping mission. Belarus has very little experience in peacekeeping.
“Historical truth campaign”: Belarusians remind Russians of joint military parade held by Red Army and Wehrmacht in 1939. PHOTOS (18.09.18 15:25) « Incidents | Censor.NET
18.09.18 15:25 – “Historical truth campaign”: Belarusians remind Russians of joint military parade held by Red Army and Wehrmacht in 1939. PHOTOS In Brest, Belarus, the local activists held the “Historical truth campaign” by sticking posters showing the military parade jointly held by the Wehrmacht and Red Army in this city on Sept. 22, 1939. View photo news.
Belarus Detains Tajik Soccer Player Banned Because Of His Beard, Wife Says
Belarusian authorities have detained a Tajik former soccer player who was prevented from playing in Tajikistan several years ago because he wore a beard, his wife has told RFE/RL.
Belarus: The Capital Of Cold Hearts?
A new survey claims Belarusians are among the least emotional people on Earth. But judging from these moments captured over the years by photojournalists, statistics don’t count for everything.

Transnistria / Moldova Reports


UAWire – European Court of Human Rights finds Russia guilty of violating human rights in Transnistria
The European Court of Human Rights has found Russia guilty of violating human rights in Transnistria, obliging the Russian authorities to pay …
Moldova Court Again Suspends President’s Appointment Powers
The Moldovan Constitutional Court has suspended the powers of the country’s Russia-friendly president amid a standoff over ministerial appointments with his opponents in Chisinau’s pro-Western go…
Moldova court suspends president Dodon – media | UNIAN
Moldova’s Constitutional Court has suspended President Igor Dodon, a court representative has told dpa on Monday, declining to give a reason. With Dodon suspended, the speaker of parliament should be able to temporarily fulfil the president’s role.
UAWire – President of Moldova Dodon speaks about Putin’s warning
President of Moldova Igor Dodon said in an interview with Lenta.ru that his Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin does not mind if …
UAWire – Moldavian Parliament appoints new ministers against President Dodon’s wishes
Speaker of the Moldavian Parliament Andrian Candu signed decrees on the appointment of two new ministers, reports Sputnik Moldova. Silvia Radu …
Over half of Moldovans oppose NATO membership
Moldova’s integration with the European Union is favored by 38% of the country’s citizens; with the Eurasian Economic Union, by 34%, according to the findings of a social survey unveiled by the Centre for Sociological Research of Moldova (CCSM) at a press conference on Friday.
Ukraine, Moldova discuss ecological problems of Dniester River – 18.09.2018 15:30 — Ukrinform News
A meeting of the Permanent Moldova-Ukraine Commission on Sustainable Use and Protection of the Dniester River Basin was held in Chisinau.
Ukraine, Moldova discuss cooperation in education – 21.09.2018 16:50 — Ukrinform News
A meeting of the Moldova-Ukraine group on education has been held in Chisinau.

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports


Turkey-Germany: Erdogan urges Merkel to extradite Gulen ‘terrorists’ – BBC News
President Erdogan uses a state visit to demand the extradition of followers of Fethullah Gulen.
Angela Merkel and Recep Tayyip Erdogan Clash in Berlin Talks – Bloomberg
German Chancellor Angela Merkel clashed with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over a Turkish journalist whose presence threatened to disrupt his visit to Berlin, underscoring deep differences standing in the way of improved relations.
Erdogan’s Charm Offensive in Germany is More Offensive Than Charm – The New York Times
A three-day state visit by the Turkish president was supposed to help repair relations. In just 24 hours, it has already fallen short.
Free-press conflict overshadows Merkel meeting Turkey′s Erdogan | News | DW | 28.09.2018
Angela Merkel says she raised human-rights issues with Recep Tayyip Erdogan — an issue where they can only agree to disagree. The Turkish president’s visit to Berlin was met with protests from public and press alike.
Breaking: Heckler dragged out of Erdogan’s press conference (video)
BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:20 P.M.) – A man who was disrupting the speech of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his press conference with German
Turkey important counter-terror partner, German interior minister says – Daily Sabah
Germany’s interior minister on Thursday hailed Turkey as an important counter-terror partner. Horst Seehofer met his Turkish counterpart Süleyman Soylu…
Stephen BLANK, Younkyoo KIM | Making Sense of Russia’s Policy in Afghanistan | IFRI – Institut français des relations internationales
Stephen BLANK, Younkyoo KIM | Making Sense of Russia’s Policy in Afghanistan Russie.Nei.Reports, No. 24, Ifri, September 2018 For some time, Western sources have been accusing Moscow of backing the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

Foreign Policy Reports


UAWire – Putin: Russia ready to finance Nord Stream 2 in event of US sanctions
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia is prepared to fully finance the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline if the US places sanctions on participants of the consortium. Putin informed the German government of these plans during his visit to the Schloss Meseberg on August 18, when he met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports, citing informed sources. At present, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is being built by an international consortium of which 50% belongs to Russia’s Gazprom. The consortium members include BASF subsidiary Wintershall, Uniper and Shell. The US has repeatedly threatened to place sanctions on Russia’s energy sector to punish it for Moscow’s interference in the US presidential election campaign in 2016. The sanctions could also affect Russia’s western partners. However, US President Donald Trump said recently that the US will not place sanctions on Nord Stream 2 participants. “We do not plan to do this. We are just sorry that Germany is going to be paying billions of dollars for energy from Russia. And believe me, the Germans are not going to like it,” Trump said, calling Germany’s policy on this matter “absurd”.
Germany not to abandon Nord Stream 2 – news about economy
Germany does not plan to abandon the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline despite U.S. pressure and an option to buy liquefied gas from the United States. Kempf insists Germany needs the second channel of gas delivery for reliable energy supplies.
UAWire – Ukrainian energy expert: Nobody can stop Nord Stream-2
Nobody can stop the construction of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline. Sanctions could provoke another trade war and were a motive for negotiations, said energy expert Valentin Zemlyansky in an interview with Inforesists news outlet, when commenting on the U.S. President Donald Trump decision not to impose sanctions against Nord Stream-2. “It is absolutely clear that these sanctions were directed not so much against Russian companies but against Germany and the EU. If introduced, they would lead to full-scale trade wars because Germany would not be silent either. It would react to this situation accordingly, and this would lead to a deterioration of trade relations between the U.S. and the EU. Therefore, I think that this decision was made to avoid such events. Most likely, the U.S. has achieved the goals it set for these negotiations. Therefore, because of this, they made such decision, “he said. According to the expert, Ukraine originally was on the sidelines in this process. “In fact, we played the PR game. The logic of the U.S. was clear it was necessary to bargain with the EU and, accordingly, to show some muscles to their own voter. What did Ukraine get as a result? Not quite clear. Because then again, it has to deal with its problems by itself. ” At the same time, Zemlyansky noted that negotiations would help solve the problems. “Initially I said that we should negotiate and we must find a compromise solution with both the EU and the Russian Federation. Because, unfortunately, we are a transit country and not the owners of resources. Taking into account Nord Stream-2, we are only one of the possible routes for Russian gas supplies. Therefore, our main task should have been to compete with Nord Stream-2, with the Belarusian gas transportation system, with Turkish gas supply.
UAWire – Ukrainian President warns Europe against Russia’s gas blackmail
The Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline is a geopolitical tool to pressure Western Europe. European countries’ dependence on Russia’s gas supplies opens …
BDI, the Federal Union of German Industry – German industry not to give up on Nord Stream II construction – 112.international
BDI, the Federal Union of German Industry, blames ‘third parties’ for interference with Germany’s energy supplies policy. Germany will not succumb to the U.S. pressure, as Washington demands that its NATO allies refuse from participation in the Nord Stream II construction and buy the American liquefied gas. Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote that quoting Dieter Kempf, the CEO of BDI, the Federal Union of German Industry. The official criticized the ‘third parties’ for interference with Germany’s energy supplies policy. According to Kempf, it is the German government that decides whether the ‘second source’ is necessary, referring to the Nord Stream II. At the same time, he marked, the low price of U.S. gas ‘matters little’ because it still needs to be brought across the Atlantic. During his recent meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian leader Vladimir Putin claimed that Russia is ready to fund the construction of Nord Stream II to the full extent if the U.S. imposes sanctions against those involved in this campaign. U.S. leader Donald Trump, on the other hand, claimed that he would not introduce any sanctions against the Western companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream II.
The Chemnitz Attacks and the Crisis of German Democracy
Germany, like the United States, has entered a post-truth hall of mirrors.
German Coalition Party Pulls Out of Deal on Spy Chief – WSJ
An agreement reached four days ago to stabilize German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s fractious government collapsed Friday, forcing the coalition to hurry back into talks to resolve the future of a top intelligence official.
Germany news: Angela Merkel on brink as approval drops to ALL-TIME LOW | World | News | Express.co.uk
SUPPORT for Angela Merkel’s German coalition has plummeted to its lowest ever level, a new poll has suggested, with the beleaguered Chancellor beset by problems on all sides as she desperately tries to hold her Government together.
Save the Council of Europe from Russian blackmail |Euromaidan Press |
On October 9, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will vote for a resolution which, if adopted, will effectively allow the Russian delegation, which was sanctioned after the country occupied Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014, to return to PACE as full-fledged members. This would have grave consequences not only for Ukraine but for the entire human rights situation on the continent. If PACE gives into Russia’s blackmail and changes its sanctioning rules, the Council of Europe would be rendered toothless to punish violators not only in Russia but any other European country. Then what’s the point of its existence?


Laugh at the U.N., Not With It – WSJ
The world body’s record on human rights is a cruel joke.
Macron Denounces Rise of Nationalism as Crisis For World Order – WSJ
French President Emmanuel Macron denounced the rise of nationalist forces that he said had plunged the system of international cooperation into crisis.
Steve Bannon, ex-Trump strategist, wants European nationalist revolution
Trump’s former strategist spoke in Italy, one of several European countries he will tour to begin creating a European anti-establishment movement.
Julian Assange replaced as Wikileaks editor-in-chief | TheHill
Julian Assange has been replaced as editor in chief of Wikileaks, according to the online publisher.Former spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson, an Icelandic investigative journalist, will take over the role.
Was there a plan to help Julian Assange escape to Russia? – ABC News
Diplomatic credentials might have given Assange immunity.
Pope Begins Trip To Baltic States, Honors Victims Of Nazi, Soviet Occupations
Pope Francis arrived in Vilnius on September 22 at the start of a four-day visit to Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia as the Baltic states mark their 100th anniversary of independence this year.
Pope Francis says snuff out ‘any whiff’ of resurgent anti-Semitism | Fox News
Pope Francis warned Sunday against any rebirth of the pernicious anti-Semitic attitudes that fueled the Holocaust as he marked the annual remembrance for Lithuania’s centuries-old Jewish community that was nearly wiped out during World War II.
Pope Francis warns of the dangers of anti-Semitism – YouTube
euronews (in English) Published on Sep 23, 2018 At a service to commemorate Lithuania’s devastated Jewish community under the Nazis the Pope has spoken of the dangers of a rebirth of anti-Semitism…
UAWire – Lithuanian President thanks the Pope for help resisting the USSR
Pope Francis arrived in Lithuania on a state visit and met with the President of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaitė. The President thanked the head …
Lavrov Denies Russian Interference In Bosnian Affairs During Visit To Republika Srpska
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied Western allegations that Moscow was interfering in the affairs of Bosnia-Herzegovina, even as he met with the leaders of Republika Srpska in the entity’s capital.
U.S. Rejects ‘Appalling’ Bosnian Election-Meddling Claims
The U.S. Embassy in Bosnia-Herzegovina has rejected “appalling accusations” that Washington has sought to interfere in the country’s elections next month, and blasted “irresponsible actors” who are…
Poland news: EU demands European Court of Justice BLOCKS law change | World | News | Express.co.uk
THE European Union has demanded the European Court of Justice (ECJ) freeze Poland’s radical overhaul of its judicial system in order to prevent “irreparable damage” to the country’s law and order system.
In Warsaw’s local election, Europe’s identity crisis plays out | Reuters
For would-be Warsaw mayor Patryk Jaki, allowing Muslims into Poland poses a threat akin to the Nazi invasion of 1939. His opponent, Rafal Trzaskowski, agrees the country faces an existential threat, but says it comes from Jaki and his allies.
The KGB Stalked A Snap-Happy French Tourist For Eight Years. But Was He A Spy?
From 1955 until 1963, Soviet KGB agents constantly monitored French citizen Julien Galeotti as he made tourist excursions to the Soviet Union. They were convinced he was a spy aiming to discredit the socialist haven by photographing its seamier side.


Guy Verhofstadt | Hungary is a threat to international order. The US must act — now – CNN
The inconvenient truth is that under the current circumstances, it would be impossible for Hungary to join the European Union today, writes Guy Verhofstadt.
Hungarian top diplomat opposes automatic extension of EU anti-Russian sanctions – Russian media | UNIAN
Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in an interview with RT that, in his opinion, EU nations should discuss anti-Russian sanctions instead of extending them automatically. A similar opinion was earlier voiced by Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
UAWire – Hungary wants to ease Russian sanctions
In an interview with the Russian channel RT, Hungarian Prime Minister Péter Szijjártó said that he believes that there is a need to discuss anti-Russian sanctions instead of automatically renewing them. At the same time, the head of the Hungarian diplomacy substantiates his position by the fact that the sanctions are allegedly useless. “Let’s analyze the facts, did the sanctions help the European economy or the Russian economy or, conversely, helped to put pressure on the Russian economy, whether they helped to fulfill the Minsk agreement? By answering these questions, we need to make decisions about our future,” – Szijjártó said. At the same time, Szijjártó said that he is against the violation of the EU unity on this issue. “Now the current government of Italy seems to share our view: there should be no automatic renewal of sanctions, and there is a need for discussion. Since Italy is a strong country and a member of the G7, it will be easier for a smaller country to represent this position along with a larger country,” – Szijjártó said.
Hungary’s territorial claims: Row over Hungarian passports issued to Ukrainian nationals (27.09.18 17:40) « Incidents | Censor.NET
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) initiated criminal proceedings into the issue of Hungarian passports to Ukrainian citizens in the Zakarpattia region. “Criminal proceedings have been launched. The SBU is conducting an investigation,” Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko said commenting on the incident, Censor.NET reports citing UNIAN. According to Lutsenko, the situation with dual citizenship is obvious: such offence entails liability in the form of deprivation of Ukrainian citizenship. He cited an example of fugitive Member of Parliament Andrii Artemenko, who was stripped of Ukrainian citizenship after it had become known that he had dual citizenship. Source: https://en.censor.net.ua/n3088387
UAWire – Hungary promises to expel Ukrainian consul if Kyiv expels Hungarian consul from Zakarpattia
Hungary intends to expel the Ukrainian consul if the Hungarian consul is expelled from Berehove in Zakarpattia Oblast, stated the press service for the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. “If the Ukrainian government decides to expel the Hungarian consul from Berehove, than Hungary will immediately expel the Ukrainian consul from the country,” the message reads. A similar statement was made at the 73rd session of The United Nations General Assembly by the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó. Szijjártó noted that everything that happened in the Hungarian consulate in Berehove, and in every Hungarian representation in Ukraine regarding granting Hungarian citizenship fully corresponds to Hungarian and international law.
All you need to know about passport scandal in Zakarpattia region – Challenge to Ukraine’s national security: How to deal with multiple-citizenship issue – 112.international
Author : News Agency 112.ua Last year Ukraine and Hungary could not find common ground due to Ukraine’s new “language policy,” now the situation has been significantly aggravated by more sensitive issue – dual citizenship
UAWire – Kyiv and Budapest fail to reach agreement on Hungarian passports for Ukrainians
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and his Hungarian counterpart Péter Szijjártó were unable to reach agreement on key issues related to the covert issuance of Hungarian passports to Ukrainian citizens. Klimkin reported back on the results of the negotiations with his Hungarian colleague after the meeting, which took place in New York, Ukrinform reports. “After an hour-long discussion, we did not reach agreement on how to interpret this incident. I suggested to Mr Szijjártó that he call back the consul, and as I understand, he does not agree. If the corresponding decision is not made one of these days, he [the Hungarian consul] will be going home, absolutely,” said the Ukrainian Foreign Minister. Klimkin remarked that the logic adhered to by Hungary is in many ways reminiscent of Russian logic. Budapest appeals to the “alleged existence of nationalist inclinations, the supposed deliberate persecution of the Hungarian community” in Ukraine. “We have always tried to help our Hungarian community, to help them feel good in the country they are citizens of, and not to be isolated,” Klimkin commented He stressed that Budapest does not want to accept Ukraine’s perspective, that the Hungarian consul committed an offense. “I explained very clearly to him: the problem is not only the issuance of passports. Of course, this is a problem, but not only this. The second fundamental problem is that Hungary is violating international law and Ukrainian legislation,” Klimkin emphasized.
Poroshenko wants to improve rating by oppression of Hungarians, – Szijjarto – 112.international
Foreign Minister of Hungary claimed that the election in 2019 can change the situation
Citizens of Zakarpattia will never participate in anti-Hungarian provocations – governor – 112.international
Hennady Moskal, Zakarpattia Oblast Governor, claimed that all attempts of the anti-Hungarian provocations in the region were disclosed and its citizens did not participate in them as Segodnya reported. According to him, the difficult situation in the region was always used by Russia, but such state of affairs was countered. “For example, once the office of the Hungarian Culture Society was burned, we have solved this case. It was burned for the second time, the roads led to Transnistria, the Ministry of State Security. Who does this? FSB career officer heads the Transnistrian State Security Ministry. Moreover, the provocateurs wanted to see the mass clashes in Uzhhorod when the Hungarians celebrated the national holiday. 53 people were stopped at the checkpoint “Nyzhni Vorota.” They had the balaclavas, knives, batons, metal objects and so on. Then our services spotted the cars of the provocateurs near Skole. They did not allow anyone to cross the border, each of them was identified. Everything that fell under the Criminal Code of Ukraine was confiscated. The criminal proceedings were opened. There was a series of them. The cars were burned in Berehovo. This case was also solved,” he said.
Tensions flare after Hungarian consul caught secretly issuing passports in western Ukraine |Euromaidan Press |
Ukraine and Hungary have entered another round of conflict escalation. A video which surfaced on 19 September showing Ukrainian citizens in the Zakarpattia Oblast swearing allegiance to Hungary has caused Ukraine to declare the Hungarian consul a persona non-grata and vow to expel him from Ukraine. The ceremony took place in the Hungarian consulate in the city of Berehove. To top it off, the consul suggested that the new dual citizens conceal the fact of receiving a Hungarian passport from the Ukrainian authorities.
Hungary pressuring Ukraine to get dividends from Russia – Foreign Ministry – 24.09.2018 10:58 — Ukrinform News
The Hungarian side’s statements about the possibility of taking steps to slow Ukraine’s integration into the EU due to the “passport” scandal are in the interests of Russia and can be regarded as the use of this situation to obtain certain dividends in negotiations with Moscow, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Vasyl Bodnar has told Ukrinform. “This approach is not in line with the policy of good neighborly relations and partnership with Ukraine. The steps already taken by Hungary have a certain goal, and, as far as I understand, it is not at all a concern for the rights of Ukrainian Hungarians. Similar statements are in the interests of not even Hungary, but of a certain third party, which has long tried to block our movement along the European and Euro-Atlantic way. It can be assumed that they are trying to use such an approach to receive certain dividends from a third party, that is from Moscow, in negotiations that are of interest to Hungary,” he said. Bodnar added that this, of course, is a potential threat to Ukraine. In this context, he recalled that after the June meeting of the foreign ministers of Ukraine and Hungary, the Hungarian side blocked a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at the highest level, appointed an authorized person responsible for the development of Zakarpattia region, and then a video emerged with the distribution of Hungarian passports to Ukrainians with a recommendation to conceal this fact from the Ukrainian authorities. “This is not a coincidence. Moreover, the agreements reached between the ministers during the telephone conversation [on August 31 concerning the change of the name of the envoy for ‘Zakarpattia region’] are not being implemented. So now we have a question as to how we can reach agreement with the Hungarian issue,” the deputy minister said. He noted that Ukraine, unfortunately, faces Hungary’s unwillingness to cooperate. Instead, the Hungarian side is trying to use the methods of blackmail. On the other hand, the requirements of the Venice Commission regarding the language clause of Ukraine’s law on education, in particular with regard to the extension of the transition period, are gradually being fulfilled. Commenting on the “passport” scandal, Bodnar noted that Budapest’s reaction shows that Hungary is aware of the illegality of these actions. “They are beginning to threaten us with further aggravation only because we pay attention to the violation by Hungarian consuls of the legislation of our state and their possible responsibility – it’s not about expulsion or not expulsion, but about solving this problem in general. This means that they feel the inevitability of this responsibility and the fact that it was done illegally, in violation of Ukrainian legislation and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations,” he said. He noted that there are “many nuances” in Hungary’s actions as a foreign state interfering in Ukraine’s internal affairs so they must get the final legal qualification and a respective decision of Ukraine. When asked about possible concrete steps that Hungary may take to slow Ukraine’s integration into Europe, Bodnar noted that it is not clear how the Hungarian side will behave in addressing specific issues concerning Ukraine. “Anything can be expected here. We do not know that the Hungarian side will want to restrain or block something, because the level of relations with the European Union is broad – from a political dialogue to a free trade area, that is, a large set of issues,” Bodnar said. He stressed that the Ukrainian side would not be watching Hungary’s interference in Ukraine’s internal affairs. “Of course, we will defend our position. We will appeal accordingly through our embassies, we will explain through the direct contacts of the minister, the head of state will speak at the UN, and my colleagues and I will have contacts,” he said.
UAWire – Ukrainian Foreign Minister warns of Russian hybrid threat in Transcarpathia
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin stated in an interview with Radio NV that Transcarpathia is a high-risk region in terms of hybrid …
Anxious neighbour. Hungary squabbles with Ukraine and the EU – LB.ua news portal
Viktor Orban, the prime minister of an EU member state, has gone too far, having provoked a sharp response from the union’s leadership. The reason is violations of European standards and procedures. Orban’s destructive actions with regard to the EU offer a different angle at Budapest’s clearly non-European policy towards Ukraine. However, in this case, there is no leverage against Hungary available. Therefore Kyiv will have to deal with Orban’s cunning anti-Ukrainian policy on its own.
Hungarian politicians in search of allies in Ukraine against new education law – LB.ua news portal
What happens if you breed a hedgehog and a snake? Two meters of barbed wire. And if you “breed” the two events held recently – the Forum on violation of rights of national minorities in Ukraine and the Forum of Left Forces, you’ll get yet another anti-Ukrainian coven organized by Hungarian politicians for Russian money and aimed at undermining Ukraine. It involved even more freaks – and this time, they were from Ukraine.
Hungary not to leave possible expulsion of its consul from Ukraine unanswered
If Ukraine expels the Hungarian consul, Budapest will give a proportionate response, although this could hopefully be avoided, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said. Speaking to journalists before leaving for a UN General Assembly session in New York, Szijjarto confirmed that he planned to meet with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin in the United States, the Hungarian publication Origo said. Anti-Hungarian sentiments have lately been growing in Ukraine, which could be attributed to upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in that country, Szijjarto said.
Hungary might expel Ukrainian diplomat due to passport scandal – 112.international
Péter Szijjártó, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated that if Ukraine expels the Hungarian consul to Berehove, Budapest will expel a Ukrainian diplomat of the same rank. He said it before his flight to New York, where he is to participate in the session of the UN General Assembly, as Origo reports. The Minister noted that if Kyiv expels the consul after the scandal with the passports issuance in Berehove, Budapest will have to do the same. He also thinks that recently, anti-Hungarian vibes increased before the elections in Ukraine. According to him, Ukraine violates “the main rules of diplomacy”.
Ukraine must stop playing with Hungarian authorities – Tuka – 24.09.2018 09:49 — Ukrinform News
Ukraine’s Deputy Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons Heorhiy Tuka has said that Ukraine must stop playing with the Hungarian authorities that brutally disregard Ukrainian laws. Tuka wrote this on his Facebook page. “Should we expel the [Hungarian] consul? Are there any doubts? The diplomat roughly violates the rules of conduct and must be punished for that. It’s time to stop playing with the Hungarian authorities that brutally disregard Ukrainian laws in public,” he wrote. According to Tuka, being aware of the violation of the law, the Hungarian authorities did not apologize and did not suggest finding a way for understanding. “In fact, the Hungarian authorities began to blackmail Ukraine. The reaction to the actions of a blackmailer must be unequivocal – all diplomatic institutions operating in Ukraine must comply with Ukrainian legislation,” he said. He also expressed confidence that the Verkhovna Rada is obliged to adopt a legitimate mechanism for responding to the cases of dual citizenship in Ukraine. “Hushing up this fact leads only to a deterioration of the situation,” Tuka said. Earlier, Ukrinform published a video showing how Hungarian passports are issued to citizens of Ukraine at the Hungarian Consulate in Berehove, Zakarpattia region. The procedure was accompanied by a glass of champagne in honor of receiving a second citizenship and instructions for Ukrainians to conceal the fact of obtaining Hungarian citizenship from the Ukrainian authorities.
Residents of Zakarpattia region with Hungarian citizenship included in Ukraine’s Myrotvorets database | UNIAN
Residents of Zakarpattia region who received passports with Hungarian citizenship have been included in Ukraine’s Myrotvorets database, which lists individuals who pose a threat to the country’s security. The first five violators of the Constitution and the Law of Ukraine on citizenship have been recorded in the ‘Purgatory’ section.
Hungarian Government amid the exacerbation of relations with Ukraine didn’t fulfill the agreement about the change of scandalous title of “Commissioner for Zakarpattia” – MFA – 112.international
Hungarian Government amid the exacerbation of relations with Ukraine didn’t fulfill the agreement about the change of scandalous title of “Commissioner for Zakarpattia”. Vasyl Bondar, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs claimed this, Ukrinform reports. Bondar having commented the exacerbation of relations of Ukraine and Budapest pointed out that Hungary didn’t fulfill the main agreement about the change of conflict title of the official responsible for the help Hungarians in Zakarpattia region.


Nikki Haley joins megaphone protest against Venezuela’s Maduro
The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations took up a megaphone and addressed protesters calling for the ouster of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro outside the U.N. building in New York on Thursday.
U.S. Ramps Up Pressure on Venezuela, But Maduro Keeps Hanging On – Foreign Policy
The United States has announced new sanctions on Venezuela and may threaten further action—but there’s little sign that will bring the regime down anytime soon.
Latin American Countries Urge Investigation Of Venezuela For Crimes Against Humanity : NPR
The countries have submitted a request to the International Criminal Court in the Hague for an investigation of alleged human rights abuses in Venezuela dating back to 2014.
Neighbors Refer Venezuela to Criminal Court in ‘Historic’ Rebuke – The New York Times
Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru have urged the International Criminal Court to investigate abuses in Venezuela. Here’s what that means.
Trashed by Trump, UN Court is Asked to Investigate Venezuela
The move came as Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was en route to the U.N. General Assembly, where his leadership has elicited sharp criticism and widespread concern.
Trump: Venezuelan socialist president easily toppled – ABC News
Get breaking national and world news, broadcast video coverage, and exclusive interviews. Find the top news online at ABC news.
Officials keep talking about intervening in Venezuela, and it’s drawing an ominous comparison | Business Insider
President Donald Trump’s unexpected declaration in August 2017 that he was “not going to rule out a military option” in Venezuela earned swift rebuke both inside and outside the US.
U.S. preparing ‘actions’ in coming days against Venezuela: Pompeo to Fox News | Reuters
The United States is preparing a “series of actions” in the coming days to increase pressure on the Venezuelan government, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News on Friday.US
US imposes sanctions on Venezuela’s First Lady Cilia Flores – BBC News
The US is increasing pressure on Venezuela’s president by imposing sanctions on his key allies.
U.S. Sanctions Venezuela’s First Lady – WSJ
The U.S. and several South American countries sharpened their stance toward Venezuela’s government, with Washington imposing sanctions on the country’s first lady and others as the country’s neighbors ready a push for an international investigation into its alleged crimes against humanity.
Venezuela crisis: Maduro willing to ‘shake hands’ with Trump – BBC News
The Venezuelan leader also used an unexpected UN visit to accuse the US of trying to overthrow him.

Capability / Strategy / History Publications


Lawmakers Urge More Spending on Artificial Intelligence – To Inform is to Influence
Artificial intelligence technologies are capable of disrupting every aspect of society and the United States must do more to maintain leadership in the area, the leaders of a House panel said in a bipartisan report released Tuesday.  DARPA has said it plans to invest about $2 billion to bolster American leadership in the area.  The report was released by the chairman…
New head of Strategic Capabilities Office wants to focus on AI
The Pentagon’s
New strategy: let’s not miss out on quantum science
Before quantum information science can be turned to national security purposes, it first has to be understood.
Google Maps Is a Better Spy Than James Bond – Foreign Policy
Open-source intelligence is a vital tool for governments—and for checking them.
The Defense Department has produced the first tools for catching deepfakes – To Inform is to Influence
Fake videos are now detectable with new tools devised by the Department of Defense.  </end editorial> Fake video clips made with artificial intelligence can also be spotted using AI—but this may be the beginning of an arms race. by Will Knight August 7, 2018 The first forensics tools for catching revenge porn and fake news created with…
An Air Force ‘Way of Swarm’: Using Wargaming and Artificial Intelligence to Train Drones
For decades, swarms in nature, like locust swarms, have intrigued scientists and inspired them to uncover their fundamental laws. Swarms represent the
Suddenly Superhuman: If the Pentagon Turns People Into Augmented Super-Soldiers, Can It Turn Them Back?
How the need to reverse the effects on augmented soldiers might drive the future of military tech.


The Must-Haves of the Next Strategic Nuclear Bomber – Defense One
Air Force officials opened up — just a bit — about at the thinking that’s informing the design process.
Editorial: USAF J-Stars Replacement Needs Quick Definition | Defense content from Aviation Week
Technology needs to be proven carefully, but the service should not risk losing funds budgeted for a multidomain command-and-control system of networks.
How to Configure the Space Force? A Question For All the Services
Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from “Policy Roundtable: Does America Need a Space Force?” by our sister publication, the Texas National Security
With USAF T-X Award, Boeing Seizes a Trio of Contracts | Defense content from Aviation Week
C​apping a monthlong winning streak worth up to $24.5 billion, Boeing’s clean-sheet T-X proposal has won an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract for $9.2 billion to supply the U.S. Air Force with 475 advanced jet trainers and 120 simulators to secure the future of the company’s historic St. Louis factory. Coming fast after the Sept. 24 award for the Air Force Huey replacement and the Aug. 30 selection by the U.S. Navy to build the MQ-25 (AW&ST Sept. 3-16, p. 54), Boeing’s latest victory, in the three-way T-X competition, completes a dramatic shift for Boeing’s once-imperiled St. Louis factory complex and establishes the manufacturer as a new global competitor in the training market. The contract will allow the service to buy up to 475 aircraft, it says in a statement. “Through competition we will save at least $10 billion on the T-X program,” says Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson.
Despite KC-46 problems, US Air Force optimistic about Boeing’s Huey replacement
Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson doesn’t believe the Huey replacement is
An Italian-Designed, American-Built Helicopter Will Replace US Air Force Hueys – Defense One
The selection of the Boeing-Leonardo MH-139 ends a years-long quest to replace the 1970s-era UH-1Ns.
The Air Force picks a winner for its Huey replacement helicopter contract
One of the competitors pulled off an upset victory.
AgustaWestland AW139 – Wikipedia
US Air Force & US Navy Team Up to Test Improved Quickstrike Naval Mines
The U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force teamed to test Quickstrike heavy naval mines fitted with JDAM-ER guided wing kits during Valiant Shield 2018. Valiant Shield is a biennial, U.S. only, field training exercise with a focus on integration of joint training among U.S. forces.
Cavalry soldiers test replacement vehicles for the Army’s aging Vietnam-era armored personnel carriers
The Army’s primary armored fighting force has been due for a vehicle upgrade for quite some time.
BAE Systems Presents First AMPV Prototype to US Army
BAE Systems rolled out its first general purpose variant of the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) prototype for the US Army Thursday in a ceremony at its facility in York, Pennsylvania, just two years after being awarded the contract to build 29 vehicles in five variants.
US F-35 fighter jet conducts first-ever airstrike – CNNPolitics
The US military’s F-35B joint strike fighter conducted its first-ever airstrike on Thursday, according to the US Marine Corps and three US defense officials.
The US F-35 has entered combat for the first time, conducting its first airstrike against the Taliban in Afghanistan | Business Insider
The US has sent the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter into combat for the first time, CNN reported Thursday, citing defence officials.
Lightning Over Tel Aviv; What the F-35 Can Do for Israel and Why Its Induction Has Been Controversial – Part Two
While costly, a number of key figures in Israel’s military leadership have expressed considerable faith in the capabilities of the F-35 as exactly what the country needs to counter emerging security threats. Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak stated regarding the fighter’s capabilities and its place in the future
Germany looking to sell costly, rarely used drone to Canada
Germany is looking to sell a secondhand surveillance drone that has cost the country more than 700 million euros ($823 million) to Canada — without many core components it needs to fly.
Canada to acquire used F-18 fighter jets from Australia – Defence Blog
The U.S. government has approved Canada’s purchase of used F-18 fighter jets from Australia, the National Post news agency reported on 21 September. The sign-off from the Americans was needed because the aircraft were built in the U.S. with U.S. technology. Dan Le Bouthillier of the Department of National Defence (DND) also confirmed that negotiations with Australia over the sale of the 25 used fighter jets is on-going. “Should all negotiations and approvals move forward as planned, aircraft would start arriving in Canada in 2019, and the project remains on track to achieve this milestone,” Dan Le Bouthillier said. “The delivery plan, including mode of delivery, will be finalized once negotiations are complete and the aircraft being purchased are selected.” Daily Herald Tribune reported that the Liberal government originally announced it would buy 18 used Australian F-18 jets to augment the Royal Canadian Air Force’s CF-18s until new aircraft can be purchased in the coming years. But it has added seven more used Australian F-18 aircraft to the deal. Those extra aircraft will be stripped down for parts or used for testing.
US Marines Corps’ F-35 fighter jet poised for combat debut – CNNPolitics
The US Marine Corps’ stealth F-35B Lightning fighter jet could fly its first combat mission within days, according to several US defense officials, who told CNN that the fifth-generation aircraft are currently aboard the USS Essex amphibious assault ship and should soon be in a position to conduct airstrikes over Afghanistan.
Shockwaves from WWII bombing raids reached the edge of space – CNN
While the impact of the massive bombing raids during World War II left deep and obvious scars on the land, a new study suggests that the shockwaves reached the edge of space as well. As a result, those shockwaves actually weakened Earth’s upper atmosphere, called the ionosphere.
Allied bombing raids in Second World War were so powerful they sent shockwaves to the edge of space | Daily Mail Online
Bombing raids by Allied forces during the Second World War sent shockwaves through Earth’s atmosphere to the edge of space, Reading researchers found.

IW/EW/IO/Cyber Reports


European Commission says Facebook, Google agree to tackle fake news – media | UNIAN
Facebook, Google and others have agreed voluntary measures to tackle fake news due to concerns they can influence elections, the European Commission said on Wednesday, a move intended to stave off more heavy-handed legislation. The measures include closer scrutiny of advertising on accounts and websites which spread fake news.
Facebook, Google agree to tackle fake news: EU | Reuters
Facebook, Google and others have agreed voluntary measures to tackle fake news due to concerns they can influence elections, the European Commission said on Wednesday, a move intended to stave off more heavy-handed legislation.US
Lawrence Martin-Bittman, who spread disinformation as a spy before teaching at BU, dies at 87 – To Inform is to Influence
It’s shame that someone must die in order for us to gain this unique insight into how the Soviets spread disinformation.  We also learn how the Soviets were duplicitous, causing Lawrence Bittman to defect to the West and expose Soviet Active Measures methodology. He then became Lawrence Martin. When his name was cleared, he became Martin-Bittman.…
Russia Is Running an Actual Contest to Troll the World – To Inform is to Influence
Moscow is switching from covert to overt means to influence Americans and others, helped by a U.S. president who has set an example and given it cover. By Kimberly Dozier 09.25.18 4:43 AM ET Forget bots and trolls. Russia has stepped up its overt public diplomacy – taking a page from President Donald Trump’s Twitter…


U.S. Case Involved Alleged Russian Intelligence Theft Through Kaspersky – To Inform is to Influence
September 26, 2018 02:30 GMT RFE/RL A U.S. intelligence worker has been sentenced to prison for transferring top-secret material to a home computer that was allegedly accessed by Russian intelligence through Kaspersky software. Nghia Hoang Pho, 68, a 10-year veteran of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) elite Tailored Access Operations hacking unit, was sentenced to…
If it wants to keep secrets, the intelligence community needs a new vision for cyber
The posture seeks to better defend networks and craft more strategic and tactical responses.
Mattis predicts DoD will one day offer cyber protection to private sector
The top Pentagon official is predicting that the US government will offer cyber protection to the private sector and even individuals in light of technological advances.
The tools hackers and law enforcement needed during a simulated election nightmare
A simulated Election Day showed how hackers and law enforcement officials rely on tools to complete their missions.
U.S. Case Involved Alleged Russian Intelligence Theft Through Kaspersky
A U.S. intelligence worker has been sentenced to prison for transferring top-secret material to a home computer which was allegedly accessed by Russian intelligence through Kaspersky software.
Social engineering attacks skyrocket more than 500 percent
Social engineering methods of hacking jumped five-fold in the past quarter thanks in part to the World Cup.

US Domestic Policy Reports


Trump’s United Nations Speech Almost Adds Up to a Doctrine – Bloomberg
The president makes his best case yet for the importance of American sovereignty.
What Trump’s UN Speech Says About What Comes Next – Defense One
His General Assembly speech laid out his worldview—and offered some clues about what could lie ahead.
Trump Takes Aim at Iran, China, and the Global System in Big U.N. Speech – Foreign Policy
And draws a rare laugh from world leaders while boasting of his accomplishments.
A Solitary and Defiant Message to the UN In Trump’s Second Speech – Defense One
“We reject the ideology of globalism. And we embrace the doctrine of patriotism,” Trump told world leaders.
Trump brushes off laughing UN audience, doubles down on ‘America First’ | Fox News
President Trump was met with awkward laughter from a U.N. General Assembly audience on Tuesday while boasting of successes under his administration, but brushed off the response as he doubled down on an “America First” agenda at the globalist body.
Trump’s America is a bully, not a beacon – The Washington Post
Trump’s speech to the U.N. was an attack on the international order.
Trump Warns Germany Could Become Reliant On Russian Energy
U.S. President Donald Trump warned Germany not to become dependent on Russian energy. Speaking to the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 25, Trump praised Poland for developing alternative sources. The Trump administration has said Russia’s undersea pipeline project to Germany, known as Nordstream 2, would concentrate 75 percent of Russian gas exports to Europe in one pipeline.
At U.N., Trump hails Poland, slams Germany over Russian energy reliance | Reuters
U.S. President Donald Trump told Germany on Tuesday to follow Poland’s example and not rely on Russia for its energy supplies which could make it vulnerable to “extortion and intimidation”. US
Trump Faces Laughter at UN, Then Unleashes Global Grievance List – Bloomberg
“Didn’t expect that reaction,” he said. “But that’s OK.”
Trump praises Poland a day after EU moves to sue Warsaw – CNNPolitics
President Donald Trump praised Poland for its independence at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, a day after the European Commission decided to sue Warsaw for violating the independence of its judiciary.
In his speech at the U.N., Trump again embraces Poland’s shift away from liberal democracy – The Washington Post
Trump praised the “sovereignty” of a country that’s rolled back democratic processes and civil liberties.
Trump arrives at U.N. struggling to sell his foreign policy record – POLITICO
The president once expected that his brash and disruptive style of foreign policy, while horrifying to Washington elites, would be political asset with American voters.
Donald Trump’s punchy diplomacy may yet solve the Iran nuclear crisis
The American leader will ruffle feathers in his Security Council speech
Trump at the UN is ratings gold
About this time last year, the normally wooden United Nations was treated to a spectacle the likes of which the organization hadn’t seen since former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez likened former President George W. Bush to Satan. The man who captured all of the attention was none other than President Trump, who used his time at the lectern to promote American nationalism, threaten North Korea’s Kim Jong Un with total annihilation, and insult Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro for taking an otherwise prosperous nation in the Western Hemisphere and turning it into a garbage heap of poverty, starvation, corruption, and incompetence.
Trump takes stage at U.N. against backdrop of praise for Kim and Putin, criticism of allies – CBS News
President Trump's address comes as he praises Kim Jong Un and questions allies
Trump returns to United Nations with praise for North Korea’s dictator and warnings for Iran – Los Angeles Times
A year after he derided North Korea’s dictator as “Rocket Man,” President Trump returns to the United Nations with praise for Kim Jong Un, noting “It’s a very different world.” The fire and fury he once aimed at North Korea shifts to Iran.
The Latest: Trump cites ‘very good experiences’ with France
NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump at the U.N. General Assembly (all times local): 7:15 p.m. President Donald Trump is meeting with F
Trump ‘went off’ on French President Emmanuel Macron in New York meeting – CNNPolitics
US President Donald Trump was “ranting and venting on trade” to French President Emmanuel Macron during their bilateral meeting Monday evening, according to a senior diplomatic source.
U.N. Gathering Brings to Fore Clash Between Sovereignty and Multilateralism – WSJ
World leaders streamed into New York for the annual United Nations General Assembly gathering this week, taking aim at persistent global challenges that include wars in the Middle East, nuclear weapons in North Korea, the world-wide flow of refugees and climate change.


The Pentagon’s New Ambassador to Silicon Valley Is Hawkish on China – Defense One
The former Symantec CEO also thinks immigration is key to a tech race the US is currently losing.
Former Symantec boss takes over the Defense Innovation Unit
Air Force buildup: All of the ambition with no cost restriction
The service didn’t include a price for its ambitious plan. But that wasn’t the point
Air Force announces plans for expansion, squadron increase – Government Matters
At last week’s Air Force Association Conference, Secretary Heather Wilson announced plans to increase the number of active squadrons to 386. Wilson says that the 74 additional units are needed to accomplish goals laid out in the National Defense Strategy. The branch plans to purchase more aircraft and recruit more airmen, but have yet to say how many. Lt. Gen. David Deptula (USAF-Ret.) dean of Aerospace Studies at The Mitchell Institute, says that this announcement is a reaction to the changing face of war. “What’s happening today is a greater realization that the threat situation facing the United States is very much changing,” said Deptula. “Today, we have the smallest, the oldest, and the least ready Air Force in the history of our nation. So that’s why you see Secretary Wilson and Chief Goldfein getting out there and saying ‘in order to meet our challenges, we need to grow the force.’”
The Air Force wants to make a multidomain moonshot
The Air Force has provided a clearer path forward on its multidomain operations campaign.
The new infrastructure the Air Force needs for multidomain operations
In order to conduct multidomain command and control, the Air Force will need this.


DHS Aims to Replace Slow, Outdated Bioterror-Detection System – Defense One
A new plan to draw on big data and distributed sensors will replace a 2003 system that can take up to 39 hours to detect a threat.
How Silicon Valley Became a Den of Spies – To Inform is to Influence
The West Coast is a growing target of foreign espionage. And it’s not ready to fight back. By ZACH DORFMAN July 27, 2018 SAN FRANCISCO—In the fall of 1989, during the Cold War’s wan and washed-out final months, the Berlin Wall was crumbling—and so was San Francisco. The powerful Loma Prieta earthquake, the most destructive…
Gina Haspel Is Skeptical of North Korea’s Willingness to Give Up Nuclear Arms – The New York Times
The C.I.A. director is supportive of the Trump administration’s diplomatic efforts, but reflects a widespread view that North Korea is reluctant to denuclearize.
CIA Director Gina Haspel Comments On Agency’s New Direction | NBC News – YouTube
NBC News Published on Sep 24, 2018 CIA Director Gina Haspel gave a speech at the University of Louisville in which she made clear the new direction the agency will head into under her tenure.
Haspel delivers first public remarks as Trump’s CIA chief | TheHill
Gina Haspel delivered her first public address as CIA director on Monday, offering a robust endorsement of the clandestine foreign intelligence service she leads and laying out her priorities in her first months on the job.


Big donor to Trump campaign made overture to top Russian official, boasting of connections
A big donor to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign made an overture to a top Russian official, boasting of his connections.
Russian-US tycoon boasted of ‘active’ involvement in Trump election campaign | US news | The Guardian
Exclusive: Simon Kukes was in contact with senior Kremlin official in 2016 while donating to Trump-supporting committee
Russia Did Influence The US 2016 Election – To Inform is to Influence
Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Ph.D., just released a book: Cyberwar: How Russian Hackers and Trolls Helped Elect a President—What We Don’t, Can’t, and Do Know.  I have real heartburn about the title. It was not a cyberwar. It was a political war, it was an information war, it was even part of an ongoing hybrid war being…
John Kerry accuses Trump team of ‘interfering’ with the Obama administration before the inauguration
Former Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday accused President Trump’s team of “interfering” with the Obama administration before the inauguration.
McFarland Revised Her FBI Statement on Flynn’s Russian Contact: Report | Fortune
Flynn’s former deputy said he may have discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador. She changed her statement after Flynn’s guilty plea.
KT McFarland revises statement in Mueller probe about Flynn’s talks with Russian diplomat – CNNPolitics
A former Trump official corrected a claim she made to federal investigators about what she knew during the presidential transition about Russia sanctions after former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s guilty plea in the Russia investigation contradicted her account, according to a person familiar with the matter.
FCC Hiding Evidence Of Suspected Russian Role In Ending Net Neutrality: Lawsuit
The Federal Communications Commission has obstinately hidden information
Ex-White House official revises statement to Mueller after Flynn guilty plea: report | TheHill
Former top White House official K.T. McFarland has reportedly revised her statement to the special counsel’s office about her knowledge of former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s Russian contacts.
Ex-White House aide revises Flynn sanctions conversation account: report | Reuters
An ex-White House official has revised a previous statement by telling investigators that former national security adviser Michael Flynn may have referred to sanctions when they discussed his calls with a former Russian envoy, the Washington Post reported on Saturday.US
How a British music publicist ended up in the middle of the Russia storm – The Washington Post
Since helping broker a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer, Rob Goldstone said his life has been “quite a whirl.”
U.S. Extends Deadline For Investors To Divest Rusal Holdings
The U.S. Treasury has extended until November 12 a deadline for investors to divest holdings of debt, equity, and other assets in sanctioned Russian aluminum giant Rusal and its parent holding comp…
Trump Says ‘Prefers’ To Keep Rosenstein In Job Overseeing Russia Probe
U.S. President Donald Trump, citing denials from his deputy attorney general that he once sought Trump’s removal from office, has said he is leaning toward keeping Rod Rosenstein in his job oversee…
Obama Won – American Greatness

 

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