Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Salisbury CW Attack / Syria / Iran / Russia Ad Hoc Update (170)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Russian journalist Kanev reports that the Vozhd this Saturday bawled out the leadership of the GRU, causing much distress to Col-Gen Korobov, Head of the GRU. Kanev cites comments such as  “deep incompetence” and “infinite carelessness.” Let it never be said the Vozhd lacks a wicked sense of humour, apparently stating “Why didn’t you just wear Budenovka hats?” (see below). Evidently the political damage to Russia’s numerous proxies in the West, especially the EU, has been understood even if not publicly acknowledged. Galeotti predicts a purge in the GRU. Latest Levada poll shows the Vozhd’s popularity novediving.

Bellingcat disclose that the second Salisbury operator was Dr. Alexander Yevgenyevich Mishkin, naval medical officer who transfered to the GRU. Peskov rejects the Bellingcat finding.

In the MidEast, reports PM Netanyahu will meet with the Vozhd. Williams on Russia’s superior social media IO in the MidEast. Euphrates Post reports Russia intends to deploy a battery of S-300PM2 / SA-20B in Deir ez-Zor, location of the Wagner turkey shoot earlier year, while the Ukrainians name more Wagner PMC KIAs from that event. Update on Turkey. Russian meddling in Libya.

Putin’s ‘moronic’ GRU spy chief falls ill after furious dressing down from Russian leader over his unit’s Novichok blunders

VLADIMIR Putin’s shadowy spy chief has fallen ill after a furious dressing down from the Russian President over the bungled Salisbury attack. VLADIMIR Putin’s shadowy spy chief has fallen ill after a furious dressing down from the Russian President over the bungled Novichok operations in the UK and Holland. Col-Gen Igor Korobov, 62, was shaken and in sudden “ill health” after his confrontation with the enraged Kremlin strongman. At a meeting on Saturday at the Russian Defence Ministry the “morons” behind the botched spy operations – details of which have publicly emerged in recent weeks – were blasted by Putin. Those in charge of the catastrophic blunders were denounced for their “deep incompetence” and “infinite carelessness.” They were taunted “Why didn’t you just wear Budenovka hats?” in reference to the Communist military uniform adopted after the Russian Revolution. The explosive claims of Putin’s fury came today from Russian journalist Sergey Kanev who has been close to revelations on the identities of the GRU agents sent to Britain and Holland.

Colonel-General Igor Valentinovich Korobov

Head of the GRU is in ‘ill health’ after furious dressing down from Putin about the ‘morons’ behind the novichok attack – as second spy is revealed to be Russian military doctor | Daily Mail Online

The head of GRU, Col-Gen Igor Korobov, 62, reportedly emerged shaken and in sudden ‘ill health’ after his confrontation with the furious Russian president over the Salisbury attack. GRU chief Col-Gen Igor Korobov told off in person by President Putin. Korobov, 62, reportedly suddenly fell ill after the telling off this weekend. Spy named Ruslan Boshirov unveiled as Colonel Anatoliy Vladimirovich Chepiga. Alexander Petrov now revealed as Dr Alexander Mishkin, trained military doctor. He trained as a doctor for the Russian naval armed forces then recruited by GRU. Dr Mishkin assumed undercover identity in 2010 and became Alexander Petrov.

Head of the GRU is in ‘ill health’ after furious dressing down from Putin about the ‘morons’ behind the novichok attack – as second spy is revealed to be Russian military doctor – To Inform is to Influence

By Joe Middleton and Will Stewart In Moscow for MailOnline 14:50 EDT 08 Oct 2018, updated 06:19 EDT 09 Oct 2018 GRU chief Col-Gen Igor Korobov, 62, reportedly emerged shaken and in sudden ‘ill health’ after his confrontation with the furious Russian president. Korobov’s telling off came as the second Salisbury suspect was named as…

Budenovka – Wikipedia

GRU (GU) facing a little purge? If so, it’s not to spy less, but spy better | In Moscow’s Shadows

As is inevitable, in the wake of the Dutch hacking bust, the US DOJ indictment, and Bellingcat’s claim that the second member of the Skripal hit team was a naval doctor turned spook, Alexander Mishkin, that there is talk of Putin’s displeasure, of GRU* director Gen. Korobov being on medical leave after being hauled over the coals, of heads about to roll. That may be, although so far we really only have one source, and that being one bankrolled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who has his own axes to grind. But it’s not at all implausible given not just that several mission have failed of late, but that there has also been evidence of sloppy tradecraft. However, two points need to be made: Let’s not overplay the sloppiness. Sure, in hindsight it is always easy to see what was done wrong, just live every inquest after every tragedy, disaster or intelligence failure concludes that they were avoidable. That’s like saying every student could have passed an exam, if they had given the right answers: true but meaningless. Every service makes mistakes, and the GRU has, and if – as the Russians are – you’re operating at flat-out tempo, you’re going to make even more mistakes. Yes, there was some clearly sloppy tradecraft (though still the revelation of 305 GRU officers’ details in Moscow because they registered their cars at their unit’s address was arguably the biggest such breach), but keep it in perspective. And let’s not overplay any ‘purge.’ There is no evidence the GRU has been operating beyond Kremlin orders, none of the kind of paralysis that, for example, followed the Nemtsov murder. If Putin is showing his anger, it is not because they are spying and hacking and killing, but because they are not doing it well enough. Any purge would be for political purposes (to help distance the Kremlin from these operations) and also to encourage greater professionalism. *Yes, I know that since 2010 it’s technically the GU, but everyone, even in the Russian military, still calls it GRU. It’s one of those MI6/SIS things.

GRU (GU) facing a little purge? If so, it’s not to spy less, but spy better – To Inform is to Influence

As is inevitable, in the wake of the Dutch hacking bust, the US DOJ indictment, and Bellingcat’s claim that the second member of the Skripal hit team was a naval doctor turned spook, Alexander Mishkin, that there is talk of Putin’s displeasure, of GRU* director Gen. Korobov being on medical leave after being hauled over the coals, of heads about to roll. That may be, although so far we really only have one source, and that being one bankrolled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who has his own axes to grind. But it’s not at all implausible given not just that several mission have failed of late, but that there has also been evidence of sloppy tradecraft. However, two points need to be made:

Putin Denials Mask Dismay at `Laughable’ Spy Shortcomings Abroad – Bloomberg

Beneath President Vladimir Putin’s angry denials that Russian spies were involved in attempted murder and hacking operations abroad, there’s palpable unease at the catalog of sometimes laughable mishaps by his now-infamous GRU military-intelligence service.

Bloomberg: Putin denials mask dismay at ‘laughable’ spy shortcomings abroad | UNIAN

Beneath President Vladimir Putin’s angry denials that Russian spies were involved in attempted murder and hacking operations abroad, there’s palpable unease at the catalog of sometimes laughable mishaps by his now-infamous GRU military-intelligence service. Even before the latest revelations, Putin betrayed his irritation with the performance of his spies. One commentator on Russia’s usually tightly-controlled state TV blasted the “incompetent” intelligence officers and said “the whole world is laughing at us.” While western nations often cast Russia “as a strong and vicious enemy, it’s not so unpleasant as when we seem like a joke,” political consultant Dmitry Nekrasov said on Rossiya 1 TV. Even before the latest revelations, Putin betrayed his irritation with the performance of his spies. He took a dig at the alleged agents accused of carrying out the U.K. attack after his Foreign Intelligence Service chief Sergei Naryshkin – whose agency is traditionally in competition with the GRU – acidly observed that Russia couldn’t have been behind the operation because it was done so unprofessionally. “Putin is well aware that he was let down by his own special services,” said ex-KGB major Alexey Kondaurov, “His emotional public reactions speak volumes: he’s confused, angry and worried.”

Peskov on Bellingcat’s New Claims: Kremlin Will Not Use Media Info – Sputnik International

In the absence of official information from the United Kingdom about suspects in the poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK, the Kremlin will not explain or comment on media reports, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Bellingcat Claims Second Skripal Poisoning Suspect Identified – Sputnik International

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – UK-based investigative blogger group Bellingcat, which has previously issued unfounded materials, on Monday published a story alleging that Alexander Petrov, a suspect in the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, was “in fact” a military doctor called Alexander Mishkin.

Blogging site names second Skripal ‘suspect’ as Dr Alexander Mishkin – YouTube

RT UK Published on Oct 9, 2018 Blogging site Bellingcat has named the second suspect behind the Skripal poisoning in Salisbury as ‘Dr Alexander Mishkin’.

Russia blocks spoof song mocking ‘gay’ Salisbury novichok suspects | News | The Times

Russia has blocked an online music video mocking Moscow’s ham-fisted attempts to portray the Salisbury nerve attack suspects as a gay couple with a passion for spires.The Bellingcat investigative website said last night that it had discovered the true identity of the second suspect and named him as

Russia dismisses suspected spy actions as routine Dutch trip

The Netherlands revealed the four men’s identities, and media organizations including The Associated Press corroborated these allegations, proving that the men were linked to the GRU.

Russia dismisses suspected spy hacking as routine trip to The Hague | The Times of Israel

Sergey Lavrov denies 4 people tried to break into chemical weapons watchdog computer system; investigative group says suspect in UK poisoning is a doctor for Russian intelligence

Russia Says Suspected Spy Actions Were Routine Dutch Trip

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has rejected accusations made by the Dutch authorities against suspected Russian spies.

Russia dismisses suspected spy actions as routine Dutch trip – ABC News

Russia’s Foreign Minister was the first senior official to address the claims.

Lavrov says Russians accused of spying in Netherlands were on ‘routine’ trip | Reuters

Russia’s foreign minister said on Monday that four Russians detained and expelled by the Netherlands in April on suspicion of spying had been on a “routine” trip, adding that Moscow did not receive a Dutch complaint at the time of the incident.

Russia summons Dutch ambassador over hacking revelations | World news | The Guardian

Netherlands exposed Moscow’s attempts to hack into chemical weapons body

Cyber operations and useful fools: the approach of Russian hybrid intelligence – To Inform is to Influence

David V. Gioe Cyber operations and useful fools the approach of Russian hybrid intelligence Published online: 28 May 2018 This article argues that Russian intelligence has achieved recent success in influencing democratic elections and referenda by combining the traditional Human Intelligence (HUMINT) discipline of manipulating useful fools with cutting…

What Is Russia’s GRU Military Intelligence Agency?

Britain said two GRU officers were responsible for the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter; Russia denies any involvement

Britain has reportedly practiced a cyberattack to send Moscow into total blackout | Business Insider

British military forces reportedly practiced a cyberattack on Russia on Saturday to send Moscow into total darkness if Vladimir Putin’s forces attack the West.

Latest Poll Shows Putin’s Popularity Decreasing Sharply

A new survey shows the number of Russians who regard President Vladimir Putin as Russia’s most trusted politician has fallen significantly over the past year.

UAWire – President of the European Council: Russia undermines everything possible in Europe

“Under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin, Russia poses a serious threat to the European Union’s unity,&quot; said President of the European …

UAWire – Poland expects a decision on NATO base by spring 2019

Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz hopes that the decision on the deployment of a NATO base will be made in spring 2019. The diplomat …

Ukraine Launches Air Exercises With NATO Countries

Ukraine has opened a series of large-scale air-force exercises with the United States and seven other NATO countries, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry says.

“Clear Sky-2018”: Ukraine launches exercise with participation of U.S. aircraft (Photo) | UNIAN

Nine countries will take part in the drills, the report says.

Where Is the Arms Control Community on Russia’s Intermediate-Range Cruise Missile? – Defense One

The kerfuffle over a U.S. diplomat’s words underscores a strange apathy toward a treaty-breaching weapon.

UK blames Russian GRU for cyber attacks – and vows to respond

Sky News Published on Oct 8, 2018 The identity of the second suspect in the Salisbury poisoning has been revealed as Dr Alexander Mishkin, a doctor in Russia’s military intelligence agency. The Bellingcat investigative website posted the name online almost a fortnight after it outed the first suspect as Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga, 39, also a GRU officer.

bellingcat – Second Skripal Poisoning Suspect Identified as Dr. Alexander Mishkin – bellingcat

In the preceding report from the current investigation into the two suspects in the Skripals poisoning case, Bellingcat and its reporting partner the Insider disclosed the identity of one of the two suspects. The person travelling under the alias of Ruslan Boshirov was identified as GRU’s Col. Anatoliy Chepiga, recipient of Russia’s highest state award. Bellingcat can now report that it has conclusively identified the second suspect, who travelled to Salisbury under the alias Alexander Petrov. In its previous reporting, we already produced evidence that “Alexander Petrov” is not an authentic persona, but an undercover alias for an officer of a Russian security agency. In another report, we established that “Petrov” was specifically working for Russia’s military intelligence, the GRU. We have now identified “Alexander Petrov” to be in fact Dr. Alexander Yevgenyevich Mishkin, a trained military doctor in the employ of the GRU. Bellingcat’s identification process included multiple open sources, testimony from people familiar with the person, as well as copies of personally identifying documents, including a scanned copy of his passport. The full identification process will be described in the upcoming full report.

Second Skripal Poisoning Suspect Identified as Dr. Alexander Mishkin – To Inform is to Influence

Автор: Bellingcat Investigation Team In the preceding report from the current investigation into the two suspects in the Skripals poisoning case, Bellingcat and its reporting partner the Insider disclosed the identity of one of the two suspects. The person travelling under the alias of Ruslan Boshirov was identified as GRU’s Col. Anatoliy Chepiga, recipient of…

Trail of blunders gave away second Salisbury attack suspect Alexander Mishkin | News | The Times

Real personal details were given by the second suspect in the Salisbury poisoning in his fake passport used to enter the UK in another apparent security blunder by Russian intelligence.Alexander Yevgenyevich Mishkin, 39, used the alias Alexander Petrov, which includes his real first name and also pu

Alexander Mishkin: 2nd suspect in poisoning of Sergei Skripal is doctor for Russian intelligence, Bellingcat says – CBS News

Group says man charged with trying to kill Sergei Skripal had traveled to Britain under an alias and was identified as Alexander Mishkin with ties to Russian military

UK group Bellingcat: Putin honored poisoning suspect in 2014 – ABC News

Alexander Mishkin was named as a suspect in the Novichok attack in the UK.

Bellingcat Names Second Skripal Poisoning Suspect As Russian GRU Agent

Investigative website Bellingcat has identified the second suspect in the nerve-agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Britain as a military doctor employed by Russia’s GRU military i…

Second Salisbury spy’s identity revealed in fresh embarrassment for Russia’s beleaguered GRU

The real identity of the second Russian agent sent to kill Sergei Skripal can be disclosed.

Military doctor named as second novichok spy | News | The Times

The second suspect in the Salisbury poisoning was unmasked last night as a military doctor working for Russian intelligence.Alexander Yevgenyevich Mishkin, 39, allegedly travelled to Britain in March under the pseudonym Alexander Petrov to carry out the nerve agent attack on the former Russian doubl

Report: Second Suspect in Skripal Poisoning Identified | Time

One suspect in the poisoning of an ex-spy in England is a doctor who works for Russian intelligence, according to a new report

Second Russian blamed for Skripal poisoning named as GRU doctor: Bellingcat | Reuters

The second of two Russians who Britain blames for the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal was named by investigative website Bellingcat on Monday as a military doctor for Russia’s GRU intelligence service.

Salisbury spy poisoning: Putin’s lies EXPOSED as second HITMAN identified | UK | News | Express.co.uk

THE IDENTITY of the second assassin involved in the Salisbury nerve agent attack unprecedentedly exposes Vladimir Putin’s lies about Russia’s involvement in the Skripal poisoning, a leading researcher has claimed.

Alleged Skripal Assassin ID’d as Russian Military Doctor

Using security camera footage and leaked passports, news outlet Bellingcat identifies a second would-be killer of a former Russian spy as a physician for the GRU.

Second Skripal attack suspect identified as Russian military doctor in report | TheHill

The online investigative group Bellingcat has identified the second Russian intelligence officer suspected in the poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal as Alexander Yevgenyevich Mishkin, a trained military doctor.

Second U.K. Spy-Poisoning Suspect Identified as Russian Military Doctor – WSJ

A London-based investigative journalism group says it has learned the real identity of Alexander Petrov, the second suspect in the near-fatal poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Britain earlier this year.

Skripal attack: Second Russian Salisbury suspect named – BBC News

The Bellingcat website says Alexander Mishkin travelled to the UK under the alias Alexander Petrov.

Skripal poisoning suspect is Russian doctor who works for military intel: report | Fox News

The investigative group Bellingcat is reporting that one of the two suspects in the poisoning of an ex-spy in England is a doctor who works for Russian military intelligence.

Netanyahu and Putin will meet for the first time since a Russian jet was shot down – CNN

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have agreed to meet for the first time since the downing of a Russian military aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea last month.

Katie Bo Williams | Russia is Winning the Information War in Iraq and Syria: UK General – Defense One

Moscow is “better than us” in using social media to shape the strategic landscape, says a former deputy commander of the West’s anti-ISIS coalition.

UAWire – Russia deploys troops and S-300 missile systems to Syrian Deir ez-Zor as Iran leaves the area

After the forces of Bashar Al-Assad and his allies took control of several areas in Deir ez-Zor province, Iran has attempted to strengthen its military and religious presence in the area. However, according to the Euphrates Post which reports on the developments in the area, pro-Iranian militias withdrew from their bases in the cities of Mayadin and Abu Kamal while Russian troops have moved in these areas. Euphrates Post reports that the Russian military arrived on Saturday along with their special forces units and anti-aircraft defense systems. The newspaper states, citing its sources, that the Russian military intend to deploy S-300 air-defense systems in the area. Earlier, the Iranian forces withdrew from the Tiyas (T4) military airbase which was their main stronghold. Iran has been trying to avoid Israeli air strikes on its troops by relying heavily on local militias and setting up its military headquarters alongside the command posts of Russian troops. Satellite imagery of Iranian facility in the city of Baniyas showed that it was built near a battery of the Russian S-300 missile systems. On October 2, Russian Defense Ministry announced that Russian completed the delivery of S-300 missile systems to Syria. Moscow decided to deliver the S-300 anti-aircraft missile to the war-struck region after a Russian military airplane was shot down in Syria. The Kremlin accused the Israeli military of provocation, which resulted in the destruction of the Russian aircraft. Israeli authorities expressed condolence over the death of 15 Russian soldiers and blamed the Syrian military forces for the incident. In addition, Jerusalem assured that it will continue bombing the Iranian armed forces located near the Israeli border in Syria.

UAWire – Ukrainian Security Service publishes names of 8 more Wagner mercenaries killed by US in Syria

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has published information on another eight mercenaries from the Wagner Private Military Company (PMC) who …

US officials voice concern over missing Saudi journalist | Saudi Arabia News | Al Jazeera

Chorus of comments by US indicates level of anxiety over Jamal Khashoggi’s fate and effect on Saudi American relations.

Erdogan: Saudi Arabia should prove missing journalist Khashoggi left consulate – CNN

Turkey has asked for permission to search the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul as the mystery over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi deepened.

Turkey’s Walking Dead: Zombie Companies Lurk Around Every Corner

Following Turkey’s failed coup attempt in July 2016, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan imposed a state of emergency, curtailing not only political but also

Russia sends troops, missiles into Libya in bid to enforce stranglehold on West – media | UNIAN

Russia is moving troops and missiles into Libya in a bid to enforce a new stranglehold on the West, Theresa May has been warned. Intelligence chiefs have told Theresa May that Vladimir Putin wants to make the war-torn North African nation “his new Syria.”

 

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