Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
Of note, the pictures of the possible anti-satellite missiles seem to be disappearing from Russian websites. None of the pictures I have here are from Russian sites, so they should remain viable.
The only noteworthy propaganda item overnight was Bondarev’s brief on combat losses in Syria – that appears to exclude all of the PMC mercenaries KIA and WIA – the euphemism “IkhTamNyet” [they-are-not-there] applies. Bellingcat’s leading Russian collaborator, Dobrokhotov, flees Russia. More saber-rattling with the exposure of the resuscitated Soviet era air-launched ASAT carried by FOXHOUND. UK to deploy Royal Marines to far North of Norway, RAF to Iceland. Kuhaleyshvili on Fort Trump. Russian FLANKER buzzes Ukrainian ship. SACEUR comments on hybrid warfare, while Russian supported groups in Germany cause mayhem. Hungary as a Russian proxy inside the EU. Babchenko briefs much more detail on the large-scale Russian assassination plot.
UK media very active on Salisbury, especially Col Chepiga, in part looking at German Focus magazine that argues Col. Skripal was attacked due to his consultancy work for Western agencies – German media are frequently pro-Russian and this may be an attempt to justify rather than explain the attack, as powerful domestic propaganda incentives applied at the time. Galeotti on the evolution of Russian intel methods.
Iran launches multiple TBMs over 500 km range to hit an alleged ISIS site in Syria, said to be retaliation for Ahvaz attack. Iranian diplomat caught planning terrorist attack will be extradited. More very sorry reports on Iran.
Syria reports dominated by S-300P / SA-20B deployment to Syria. Update on Erdoğan’s visit to Germany, that appears to have been designed to offend as many Germans as possible, while Erdoğan baits Washington over Iran.
Viktoria Spripal, whose ex-spy uncle was poisoned by Kremlin thugs in Salisbury in March, says she was involved in a “serious crash” while driving to a TV interview.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, who is believed to have been poisoned in the UK town of Salisbury in March, twice passed secrets to the UK Secret Intelligence Service MI-6 through books using invisible ink, Daily Mail reported, citing an extract from the upcoming book, The Skripal Files.
Israel blamed Syria for the accident and noted that its jets had returned to Israeli airspace by the time the Russian plane was shot down. Asked by a reporter if the proposed $8.5 billion defense deal with Russia, which includes a missile defense system, that was expected to be signed next month during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India was on hold, Lavrov said: “I haven’t heard anything about the timing, about postponement, about putting anything on hold”. The Syrian regime paid Russian Federation $1 billion for a new air defense system that Damascus says will deter Israeli air raids, Israeli public broadcaster KAN reported on Saturday.
Tehran believes that Russia’s deliveries of S-300 air defense systems to Syria will contribute to the security and stability in this country, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said Sunday that deliveries of Russian S-300 air defense systems were a “timely step.”
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said Sunday that deliveries of Russian S-300 air defense systems were a “timely step.” “It is a system which is
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem welcomes deliveries of Russian S-300 air defense systems to his country.
On September 17, a Russian maritime reconnaissance aircraft Il 20 was shot down by Syrian air defense after Israeli jets used it as a cover to launch an attack in Syria.
“The deliveries started already,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. “The measures we will take will be devoted to ensure 100 percent safety and security of our men in Syria, and we will do this.”
The Syrian foreign minister says the US military presence on Syrian soil is illegal and an act of aggression.
And the Israelis Aren’t Happy.
During three years of military operations in Syria, Russia lost 112 people, stated the former Commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces and the chair of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security, Viktor Bondarev, reports Interfax. According to Bondarev, almost half of these losses are due to the An-26 crash and downed IL-20. “At the moment, the total loss of our armed forces in Syria is 112 people. In regards to the equipment, we have lost 8 aircraft, 7 helicopters, and possibly 1-2 armored personnel carriers and armored vehicles,” said Bondarev. He also said that the Russian operation in Syria proved that “we have learned to fight.” At the same time, for comparison, Bondarev referred to data on the USSR army losses in Afghanistan during the first 3 years of the war. Almost 4.8 thousand dead with loss of at least 60 tanks and 400 armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles and armored vehicles, 15 aircraft and 97 helicopters. In addition, Bondarev stated that Russian troops killed 85,000 terrorists in Syria. “All the attacks of the VKS (the Russian Aerospace Forces) were hit and continue to hit precisely the terrorist targets. During three years, the number of destroyed terrorist targets amounts to tens of thousands. The number of killed terrorists is about 100 thousand. Approximately 85 thousand are the merit of our VKS,” said Bondarev.
One of the journalists claiming to have unmasked the true identity of a suspect in the Salisbury poisonings has fled Russia, fearing that security service officials are planning to accuse him of involvement in a plot to assassinate President Putin. Sergei Kanev works for The Insider, an opposition
The Russian journalist behind the Salisbury poisoning exposé flies back to Moscow today expecting to be detained by the authorities. Roman Dobrokhotov, the editor of The Insider, the Russian investigative website which unmasked Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga, said that he could get political asylum but he had
GDANSK — The MiG-31 interceptor has found a second life – in fact, more than one. Not only has the aircraft known to NATO as the Foxhound been extensively upgraded, but the MiG-31 has also taken on new tasks – as the Kinzhal ground-strike system and as an aerospace missile system that can deliver small satellites to orbit or fight enemy satellites. In September 2018, at the Russian aviation industry’s test center in Zhukovsky, an experimental MiG-31, number “81,” performed its first flight with an extremely large unknown missile suspended on the centerline pylon. The first high-speed taxiing of this coupling was performed several months earlier. The current program is supposed to be a follow-on of the 30P6 Kontakt (Contact) satellite intercept program of 1984-1995, under which the MiG-31D aircraft with Fakel 79M6 missile was made, and the improved MiG-31DM with Fakel 95M6 missile was being designed. As early as August 2009, the then Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Air Force, Alexander Zelin, said the Kontakt program might be reactivated. In November 2013, the Russian Duma’s defense committee appealed to President Vladimir Putin to resume the anti-satellite Kontakt program. A parliamentary document sought to order the government to implement the measures needed to renew research and development work on Kontakt within the nation’s armament program from 2016-2025. It is likely that at that time the activities on the new aerospace system, the actual codename of which is unknown, were already in progress.
This paper discusses various anti-satellite projects initiated by the Soviet Union in the 1980s, mainly in response to the Strategic Defence Initiative announced by US President Ronald Reagan in 1983. Most attention is focused on Naryad-V, which reached the flight testing stage in the early 1990s and later evolved into the Rokot/Briz-KM launch vehicle programme. Keywords: Soviet anti-satellite programme, Naryad-V, Rokot, Briz, IS, Skif, Kaskad, Kamin, Kontakt, Strategic Defence Initiative
The U.K. will send Royal Marines to Norway’s Arctic training program because of the growing threat of Russian aggression in the area as the polar cap melts.
In a warning shot to Russia, Gavin Williamson said the Government was drawing up a ‘defense Arctic strategy’ with hundreds of commandos being deployed to Norway next year
The measure announced by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson is the latest step in bolstering Britain’s cyber defenses against interference from the Kremlin, rogue states and terrorists.
Polish president Andrzej Duda suggested informally calling the American base “Fort Trump”. The US considers establishing a new military base in Poland. Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, Polish-American working group has already been created in the framework of an agreement with the Pentagon. In his opinion, Poland has enough places where the US military could deploy. The constant presence of a brigade of the US military (about 3.2 thousand people) is being considered. US President Donald Trump and his Polish colleague Andrzej Duda during a recent meeting in the White House have already told about it. Then the Polish president, not without irony, suggested informally calling the American base “Fort Trump” and expressed the intention to allocate $ 2 billion from the state budget for its arrangement. The issue of creating a military base in Poland has coincided with the annual 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, during which Trump and Duda have voiced rather tough statements concerning Europe, where 62 thousand American troops are located. The American president claimed that Germany would become completely dependent on Russia’s energy supplies unless it changes the course. Duda noted that Europe would not be fair and safe without sovereign Poland, and each country has the right to independence, which it cannot be deprived of. The Polish president expressed his concern about Russia’s deployment of Iskander operational and tactical complexes near Polish borders in the Kaliningrad region (Russia) and violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Duda also stressed that weak countries should receive some additional opportunities to gain equality. It seems that the leader of Poland has cited arguments for the permanent presence of the US military in his country. However, the Russian threat is just an excuse for creating a new US military base in Poland; given that there are 35,000 American troops and 36 US Army military bases are stationed in neighboring Germany. The military base in Poland is a political gesture of Trump, loogie in the face of old Europe, which for a number of issues has moved away from the fairway of US foreign policy.
The Ukrainian Navy released a video showing a Russian Su-27 fighter jet’s dangerous flyby over Ukrainian warships, participants in the Kozatska Volia-2018 (“Cossack Will-2018”) strategic command and staff exercises. Ukraine’s Kozatska Volia-2018 strategic command and staff exercises have been launched on September 25.
Russia is disturbing the peace, and NATO countries must combat its hybrid strategy, the alliance’s supreme allied U.S. European Command Commander Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti. Scaparrotti said Russia already is a competitor that operates in domains “particularly below the level of war,” the general said, but in an aggressive way, noting that the Russians use cyber activity, social media, disinformation campaigns, and troop exercises to threaten and bully other countries. Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its actions Eastern Ukraine show their determination to continue to intimidate neighboring countries. Undermining Western Values, Governments “[They are] operating in many countries of Europe in that way, with basically the common theme of undermining Western values and the credibility of Western governments, in my view,” Scaparrotti said. Short of conflict, Russia sends money to organizations in Europe at both ends of the ideological spectrum, the general said. “Really, their view is — I call it a destabilization campaign. That’s their strategy,” he added. “If they can destabilize these governments, if they can create enough questions, then that is to their benefit.” The Russians’ doctrine looks to achieve their ends without conflict, Scaparrotti said. “They have the idea that ‘I don’t have to put a soldier there or fire a shot, but if I can undermine the government, then I’ve achieved my ends,’” he explained. “That is particularly true of the countries that are in the Eastern part of the alliance that are on their border.” The Soviet Union subjugated those countries after World War II, and Russia sees those countries as areas where it should still have privileged influence, he said. “They want to keep those governments in the position that they could influence them, and this is a tactic for doing that.”
Commando units from the German police have arrested six right-wing extremists on suspicion of plotting a terror attack on foreigners and politicians in Chemnitz, a city haunted by xenophobic violence. The alleged cell, which dubbed itself “Revolution Chemnitz”, is said to have been planning to unleash a wave of murders on Wednesday, when the country will celebrate the 28th anniversary of its reunification. A fortnight ago the group apparently wounded a 26-year-old Iranian with a glass bottle during a “dry run” for the atrocity in the grounds of the city’s castle. Prosecutors said all the men, who are aged between 27 and 31, were linked to the hooligan and neo-Nazi underground in eastern Germany. The suspects were trying to procure semi-automatic weapons with the goal of “overthrowing the rule of law and democracy”, the authorities added.
It is the latest sign that many citizens are drawn to a populist movement that is reshaping politics in Germany by focusing debate squarely on immigration.
In one very overt operation and in another probable operation, Russia is attempting to use Hungary and the Hungarian diaspora in Ukraine to smear Ukraine’s name and to perhaps literally attack Ukraine. There is concern that Hungary is for all practical purposes as hostile to Ukraine as is Russia. Hungary’s partnership with Russia is squeezing Ukraine Kyiv…
Diplomats from Ukraine, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States draw the attention of the Hungarian authorities to the continued Russian aggression. The Embassies of Ukraine, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States in Hungary continue to encourage sustained support for a sovereign, unified, and secure Ukraine.
Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko, who now lives in Kyiv and who with the SBU help outsmarted an assassination attempt, revealed some details of the investigation deal with the man charged with the attempted hit, Borys Herman, who had already been sentenced. The journalist says it’s not the information about Herman’s guilt that is more important but that about “the roots” of the assassination attempt. The journalist says it’s not the information about Herman’s guilt that is more important but that about “the roots” of the assassination attempt. My interest begins where the SBU interests end – at the border with Russia.” “The FSB makes inquiries about me with all government agencies, collects information, and forwards it to [Viacheslav] Pivovarnik [previously accused of financing terrorism in the territory of Ukraine for money from a so-called ‘Putin’s fund’], who transfers it to Herman as a file on me. Ahead of the hit, a distracting rumor is being spun about the ‘ISIL terror acts’ plotted in Kyiv. They plan to kill another person, a Russian opposition figure, a refugee, in Vilnius on the same day. The executor is also selected in Ukraine. It is important for them to have traces leading to Ukraine. Most likely, this order did not come from Herman. Therefore, there is at least one more center in Ukraine which organizes terrorist attacks,” Babchenko said. Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/politics/10281318-russia-was-plotting-massive-terror-attacks-in-ukraine-babchenko-discloses-previously-classified-data-around-life-attempt.html
A German magazine has claimed the supposedly retired Russian double agent Sergei Skripal was actually still active and working through an MI6 handler
Sergei Skripal (pictured), 67, is believed to have been active and working through an MI6 handler prior to his attempted assassination in March this year. German magazine Focus claims Skripal continued work after moving to Britain. It quotes ‘senior employee of NATO counter-espionage’ counter-intelligence. Magazine claims Skripal helped MI6, Spanish intelligence, Estonians and more. Source concludes that his work was reason enough for attempted assassination.
FORMER Russian spy Sergei Skripal passed secrets to MI6 using invisible ink after being flipped by British intelligence after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
A new book by Mark Urban claims Skripal provided the information to the UK due to political changes in Russia.
A woman has told the BBC she recognizes one of the key suspects in the Salisbury attack as a military officer, Anatoliy Chepiga, a decorated “Hero of Russia”.
A woman in the Russian village of Beryozovka tells the BBC she recognizes the Salisbury suspect.
The man accused of poisoning Sergei Skripal grew up in a family with ties to the Russian army and signed up for officer training straight out of school, according to neighbors from his hometown near the Chinese border.
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt warned Russia on Sunday it would pay a high price for its actions if it sought to intimidate Britain and flout international rules.
Deborah Haynes on Twitter: “Still waiting for the Russian authorities to offer any kind of credible evidence to rebut the case that they were responsible for #Salisbury attack and that 2 GRU officers are the prime suspects #Skripal #disinformation… https://t.co/ZnofdksNbh”
Alex King and his wife Anna Shapiro claim to have been targeted by Russian agents in a plot mirroring the Novichok attack on Former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter. Alex King and Anna Shapiro claimed to have been targeted by Russian agents. Police couldn’t find any trace of poison and believe the incident may be a hoax. The couple have declined to comment since they were questioned by police.
Quantity instead of quality is, it has to be said, something of a Russian strength. Why not use some Spetsnaz tough guy rather than a highly-skilled career case officer, if the mission is strictly one-shot? So too is a willingness to brazen a way through awkward situations, relying on the usual dramas, denials and disinformation. If anything, then, the Russians may actually be better placed to deal with the realities of espionage and active measures in the Information Age. One way it may be thinking of responding, though, is by taking another look at Bellingcat and similar organizations, which are neither civil society nor investigative journalism, but somewhere in between. Looking at how Russian media and also Russophile commentators are characterizing Bellingcat, they claim it is funded by Western government fronts and suggest it is used by Western intelligence. Bellingcat denies any such connections, but it is not hard to see why Moscow — itself prone to use proxies and “useful idiots” — would leap to this conclusion. If in the Information Age even civilians can become, in effect, their own intelligence agencies, then are they still civilians in the eyes of a Kremlin that sees itself facing covert Western gibridnaya voina or “hybrid war?” In myriad ways, the boundaries between war and peace, combatant and civilians, official and unofficial are becoming less and less meaningful. Prof. Mark Galeotti is a senior researcher at the Institute of International Relations Prague and Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute and the author of “The Vory: Russia’s Super Mafia.” The views and opinions expressed in opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the position of The Moscow Times.
Bellingcat, the investigative website unmasking the Skripal affair suspects, grew out of one man’s efforts to track the origin of Syrian civil war weapons — from the comfort of his sofa. The latest revelations from the UK-based citizen journalism group on the nerve agent attack on Russian ex-spy
The founder of Bellingcat explains how his site went from a hobby to exposing the identity of one of the novichok poisoning suspects
Revolutionary Guard says targets were ISIS militants it blames for assault on parade in Iran that killed at least 24 people and wounded dozens
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said Monday they launched a missile strike against a "terrorist" headquarters in Syria in retaliation for an attack that killed 24 people in the Iranian city of Ahvaz.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said the missiles were launched early Monday from bases in western Iran.
Iran launched multiple missiles into eastern Syria early Monday targeting militants allegedly involved in the September 22 attack on a military parade in the southwestern city of Ahvaz, according to state media.
A diplomat accused of involvement in an attack in France has no immunity, a German court rules.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Sunday denied that his country was responsible for increased threats against a U.S. consulate in the Iraqi city of Basra.
“The United States is asking countries to violate international law, and is telling countries and companies that if they observe the law they’ll be punished,” Javad Zarif said
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an interview aired Sunday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made “all the wrong moves against Iran.”
Special courts in Iran set up to deal with financial crimes have sentenced three suspects to death over corruption, the official IRNA news agency reported Sunday.
The arrangement would constitute the most open break between President Trump and European allies that objected vociferously to his decision to pull out of the 2015 nuclear deal.
By Missy Ryan , Paul Sonne and John Hudson September 30 at 6:07 PM The Trump administration has opened a new chapter in American involvement in Syria, vowing to remain until the civil war’s conclusion in a bid to halt Iran’s expansion across the Middle East. The vision articulated last week by senior U.S. officials marks a dramatic reversal six months after President Trump said he would pull American troops out of Syria and end U.S. involvement in a conflict that has killed at least half a million people and confounded two administrations. James Jeffrey, the State Department’s special representative for Syria, said the United States would maintain a presence in the country, possibly including an extended military mission, until Iran withdraws the soldiers and militia forces it commands. U.S. officials expect that possible outcome only after world powers broker a deal ending the war. “The president wants us in Syria until that and the other conditions are met,” Jeffrey told reporters Thursday, saying the U.S. withdrawal was also linked to achieving a lasting defeat of Islamic State militants. Jeffrey spoke days after national security adviser John Bolton announced that the United States would not withdraw “as long as Iranian troops are outside Iranian borders,” for the first time tying the U.S. trajectory in Syria to challenging Iran.
A high-level Israeli source said that his country won’t attempt to prevent the delivery of S-300 missiles to Syria but has its own ways to deal with it.
Russia has decided to deliver the advanced S-300 missiles system to Syria after Israeli Air Force was held completely responsible for the downing of Russian IL-20 on September 18.
In an article he published on Haaretz daily, Israeli journalist and author Gideon Levy delivered an unexpected response to supplying Syria with the Russian S-300 missiles
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that an important meeting on the future of Syria and region will be held in mid-October in Istanbul, with the participation of the leaders of Turkey, Russia, France, and Germany
US on Friday said it will close its consulate in Basra following threats from Iran and Iran-backed groups.
Ties between Ankara and Washington risk further deterioration if the former chooses to circumvent American sanctions.
Germans were little impressed by visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who defied protocol showing support for an extremist Muslim group.
After a 3-day visit to Germany to mend fractured ties following Turkish leaders crackdown in wake of failed 2016 coup, local press runs headline: Hate speech against Germany.
Germany and Turkey can overcome a period of ups and downs in bilateral relations during the term in 2019. Both countries will take steps for boosting relations, however, Ankara and Berlin are still having differences on the understanding of terror concepts, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said.
Arsenal star Ozil retired from the German national team after posing for a snap with the Turkish president in London
Turkey was able to evade the cost of hosting the 2024 European Football Championships as the UEFA voted Germany would host Euro 2024 after beating Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said.