Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Russia / Strategy Ad Hoc Media Update (52)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Reports of significant local instability in Ingushetia, reflecting multiple previous policy mis-steps, while the gradual breakdown of Russia’s institutional structures continues. More instability in Armenia. More on Russian meddling in Europe. A multiplicity of very interesting reports on IW/EW/IO/Cyber. Most interesting US domestic reports are on DC politics and DoD topics.


NATO / EU / Russia Reports


UAWire – NATO asks Russia to keep calm about Alliance’s military exercises
Russia was asked not to be wary of the NATO exercises in Norway, which will be held this fall, stated the representative of Norwegian armed …
This armor-wrecking LAV with 2000 Marines and sailors will be steaming toward Norway
Trident Juncture will be NATO’s largest exercise in more than a decade.
Only Macedonians Can Decide If They Want to Join NATO | The National Interest
The referendum did not have enough votes to legitimize a move towards the West, so why treat it any other way?
Macedonian Opposition Leader Urges New Elections, End To Name-Change Deal
The leader of Macedonia’s opposition is urging the government to break off a deal to change the country’s name and to call early elections.
Italian Air Force completed operational testing of AARGM on their Tornado ECR aircraft – Defence Blog
On 4 October, Northrop Grumman Corporation has announced that the Italian Air Force completed operational testing of the company’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) on their Tornado Electronic Combat and Reconnaissance (ECR) aircraft at Naval Air Warfare Center, China Lake. A series of flight tests culminated with two direct hits on critical air defense threat targets confirming the operational effectiveness and suitability of AARGM on the Italian Air Force Tornado. The successful completion of operational testing allows the Italian Air Force to transition AARGM into operational squadrons. AARGM is the most advanced anti-radar missiles available today and is able to rapidly engage traditional and advanced land- and sea-based air defense threats, as well as non-radar, time-sensitive strike targets. AARGM provides legacy High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles with tactically significant improvements including a new guidance unit featuring global positioning system as well as an upgraded anti-radiation homing antenna and digital signal processor. AARGM is also equipped with a millimeter wave end-game terminal seeker providing substantially improved guidance. “We are proud to have supported our Italian Air Force partner in successfully completing this critical milestone and transitioning the weapon system to operational status,” said Cary Ralston, vice president and general manager, Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems. “Congratulations to the Italian Air Force and the joint team that worked closely in achieving this critical milestone.”
So Patriot and THAAD will talk. What does that really mean?
The Army decided earlier this year to drastically accelerate its plans to get the Patriot medium-range air-and-missile defense system and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system to communicate.
Russia-Friendly Party Hoping Latvian Election Will Propel Them To Power
Latvia holds parliamentary elections on October 6 in a vote that could propel a populist, Russian-friendly coalition to power.
UAWire – Japan protests Russia’s military exercises on the Kuril Islands
The Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan, Yoshihide Suga said that a protest was sent to the embassy in Moscow regarding the military exercises on …

Russia / Russophone Reports


Gunfire And Protests After Chechnya-Ingushetia Deal
A deal to draw a new border between Chechnya and Ingushetia has led to mass protests, gunfire, and arrests. The two north Caucasus republics are both parts of the Russian Federation, but have a long-standing border dispute.
Braving gunfire, rain, and National Guardsmen: Thousands in Ingushetia are staging the boldest protest Russia has seen in decades — Meduza
Yunus-bek Yevkurov, the head of Ingushetia, is facing a major crisis, following a controversial territorial-exchange agreement with Chechnya that was meant to resolve a decades-long border dispute in the Sunzhensky District. Meduza summarizes the past two days’ dramatic events.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: With a Maidan in Magas, Yevkurov Flees to Moscow
Paul Goble Staunton, October 8 – Ever more commentators are suggesting that the continuing demonstrations in Ingushetia against the border accord Yunus-Bek Yevkurov signed with Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov have become “the Maidan in Magas,” an analogy that gained added power today when Yevkurov “fled” to Moscow (babr24.com/msk/?IDE=181741 and newsland.com/community/4765/content/demarkatsiia-razdora-chto-proiskhodit-v-ingushetii/6503927). Others have suggested that the demonstrations are likely to be the trigger for a new war in the North Caucasus, with some even suggesting that such a conflict could mark the end of Putin’s presidency just as his earlier attack on Chechnya in 1999 allowed him to rise to power (rusmonitor.com/majjdan-v-ingushetii-predveshhaet-novuyu-vojjnu-na-kavkaze-i-raspad-rf.html and facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=2059915254071443&id=100001589654713). Meanwhile, below these interpretations, the protests continued for their fourth day into their fourth night. Parliamentary officials from Magas and Grozny met under the auspices of presidential plenipotentiary for the North Caucasus the with the latter assuring the former that Chechnya has no need of a single meter of Ingush land (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/326282/). In Moscow, Putin’s press spokesman, Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin was following the situation closely but insisted that any resolution of the conflict must come as a result of an agreement between the leaders of the two republics rather than by fiat from the center, thus effectively disclaiming responsibility for what is going on (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/326389/). That reaction has prompted some Ingush and others to observe that this suggests that the Kremlin has nothing to say and thus is increasingly irrelevant as far as what will happen next is concerned (rusmonitor.com/socseti-majjdan-v-magase-gde-reakciya-kremlya.html and blog.newsru.com/article/08oct2018/ingushetiya). The demonstrators said they would not end their protest until their goals of denunciation of the border accord and the removal of Yevkurov are achieved and did not disperse at night as the Ingush government had demanded in agreeing to the continuation of demonstrations for the next week (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/326381/). They have, however, agreed to move to a new location in Magas because it provides easier communication with the population (meduza.io/news/2018/10/08/uchastniki-mitinga-v-ingushetii-pereshli-na-novoe-mesto-ranee-vlasti-soglasovali-nedelnuyu-aktsiyu-protesta).. Former republic head Ruslan Aushev’s appearance and his denunciation of the border accord have brought more people into the streets, with their number rising from several hundred to about 2,000 after he spoke, although the authorities have been putting out consistently low-ball figures (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/326359/).
Photos of Ingushetia’s mass protest against a border deal with Chechnya — Meduza
For two days, demonstrators have gathered in Magas, the administrative center of the Republic of Ingushetia, to protest against a border agreement that trades a contested region to Chechnya. The rally only grew after members of the Ingush parliament claimed that the legislature’s endorsement of the land deal was falsified. Demonstrators say they want the parliament’s ratification nullified, arguing that the issue should be decided by a republic-wide referendum. The protest movement is also demanding the resignation of long-time Ingush leader Yunus-bek Yevkurov. So far, police have not tried to disperse the crowd, and some law enforcement even joined protesters in Friday prayer.
UAWire – Russian politician: Chechnya and Ingushetia on brink of war
The conflict between the Russian republics of Ingushetia and Chechnya, which arose due to the establishment of administrative borders between …
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Hardly an Equal Swap: Chechnya Received More than 25 Times as Much Land as Ingushetia Got in Border Deal
Paul Goble Staunton, October 9 – As demonstrations continued in Magas, cartographers released a map showing that the recent border agreement between Ingushetia’s Yunus-Bek Yevkurov and Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov was not the equal swap Yevkurov has insisted but rather a transfer of more than 25 times as much land to Chechnya as was given to Ingushetia. The Kavkaz-Uzel news agency asked geographers to come up with a map on the basis of the information that officials have released. They found that Chechnya had been given 26,800 hectares of land that had been part of Ingushetia, while Ingushetia had been given only about 1,000 hectares of formerly Chechen territory (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/326398/). Not only does that show that Yevkurov and his officials lied, but it guarantees that the protests will continue and be increasingly about demanding his removal as well as the denunciation of the border agreement. And it also explains why the protesters aren’t eager to talk with him even though former Ingush president Ruslan Aushev is urging them to (newizv.ru/news/politics/09-10-2018/uchastniki-protestov-v-ingushetii-ne-hotyat-vesti-peregovory-s-evkurovym and caucasustimes.com/ru/ruslan-aushev-prizval-mitingujushhih-vzaimodejstvovat-s-vlastjami/). In other developments over the last 24 hours, the protesters remained in the streets long after the times the officials had demanded they go home. They collected more signatures on their petition to have the parliament cancel the accord, but as a result of the work of the republic government, the parliament couldn’t assemble a quorum to do so, although there is growing evidence that many deputies favor voting the deal down (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/326282/). The demonstrators also made clear that they have no confidence in any representations from the Chechen side – and especially with the speaker of the Chechen parliament — and are unhappy that Russian officials are trying to force them to speak with such people rather than allow them to act on their own (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/326423/). As the demonstrations went into their fifth day, shopkeepers and restauranteurs in Magas supplemented the efforts of the Ingush population to feed and clothe the protesters and to communicate with outsiders, something that has become increasingly difficult given the disruptions in the city. A reported plan by pro-Yevkurov forces to stage a counter-demonstration in support of the border agreement reportedly collapsed before it could even begin, with suggestions circulating that the entire project was a case of government “disinformation” (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/326416/). Yevkurov did denounce the demonstration as the work of provocateurs rather than real Ingush (newtimes.ru/articles/detail/170953). Official Moscow remained largely silent on the protests, with no coverage in the government media; but ever more commentators have been weighing in on the meaning and consequences of the Ingush demonstrations with ever more apocalyptic predictions about them, including suggestions that the Kremlin wants them so that it can split the Vaynakh peoples and move to abolish the non-Russian republics (censoru.net/29997-massovye-protesty-v-ingushetii-silno-napugali-moskvu-stalo-izvestno-o-chem-molchit-kreml.htmlrusmonitor.com/avraam-shmulevich-o-situacii-v-ingushetii-vse-ehto-zateyal-kreml-i-on-igraet-s-ognem.html, ura.news/articles/1036276429, apostrophe.ua/article/world/ex-ussr/2018-10-09/raskol-rossii-mojet-nachatsya-tolko-pri-odnom-uslovii/21195 and afterempire.info/2018/10/09/zhirik-plan/).
Land Grab? Why The Ingush Are Furious With Chechnya
It was supposed to end tensions between Chechnya and Ingushetia that date back to the collapse of the Soviet Union. But a land-swap agreement reached by the two Russian republics has had the opposi…
Ingush police open criminal cases against two activists, as mobile Internet service fails across the republic and protests continue — Meduza
Protests are still happening in Ingushetia, where police just opened criminal cases against two prominent activists: General Civic Forum chairman Musa Malsagov and a local clan council leader named Malsag Uzhakhov. According to Barakh Chemurziev, the head of the “Support Ingushetia” movement, the two activists are charged with insulting the state authorities, and police already have warrants to search their homes.
Arrested Chechen Activist Says Police Planted Drugs On Him
Chechen human rights activist Oyub Titiyev accused police of planting drugs on him before he was arrested for the possession of an illegal substance. Titiyev was interviewed in Shali prison in Russia’s Chechen Republic on October 9 by Current Time, a Russian-language digital network produced by RFE/RL in cooperation with Voice of America. Titiyev is the head of the Chechnya office of the human rights group Memorial, and has been in detention since January. He was awarded the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on October 8.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Russia Now So Large Officials Either Aren’t Collecting Data or Hiding the Data They Have, Activists Say
Paul Goble Staunton, October 9 – Unlike in most modernized countries, Russia has not seen the HIV/AIDS epidemic ebb controlled by public health measures and powerful medicines. Instead, in the absence of both, more than a percent of all Russians and more than 3.3 percent of men between 35 and 39 are known to have the infection. The situation is deteriorating, medical professionals say; but just how bad things are or may get are difficult for even experts to predict because Russian officials do not collect much of the data needed to determine the outlines of the epidemic and now at least some of them are hiding the data they do have, on the principle that if there are no numbers, there is no problem. Iskander Yasveyev, a sociologist at the Higher School of Economics who specializes on health issues in the Middle Volga, reports on an especially disturbing example of this trend on the IdelReal webpage of Radio Liberty’s Tatar-Bashkir Service today (idelreal.org/a/29532094.html). After the Tatarstan medical authorities collected data showing that rates of HIV/AIDS infection were especially high in some places, the republic health ministry “or the president of Tatarstan” decided that “citizens should not now about HIV infections in the Bugulminsk district of the republic” because they’re “significantly higher than in Russia as a whole.” The authorities took the statistics down from the republic HIV/AIDS Center website, apparently oblivious to the fact that on the Internet most things are never entirely deleted. Yaveyev provides four pages of screenshots of the deleted information that underscores how bad things now are (drive.google.com/file/d/188ApwSgIAWoPYq11lTennO4INhtNwsr8/view). While the situation with infections is relatively better in other parts of Tatarstan, the sociologist says, the data from this district show that all is now well and that claims that Tatarstan is doing better in combatting the epidemic than Moscow is are not justified. But to support these claims, the data have now been removed from direct public view. Unfortunately, Yasveyev continues, some officials in Tatarstan have gone even further in trying to cover up what is going on. They have accused one AIDS activist, Timur Islamov, of being “a foreign agent” following his publications about the spread of HIV/AIDS in parts of the republic. These approaches, the activist says, will only mean that the situation in the republic will get worse and that “Tatarstan instead of being the ‘leading’ region in the struggle with the HIV/AIDS epidemic, will this time show other Russian regions exactly how they should not behave.”
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Shoygu Calls for Establishing ‘Something Like’ a New Russian Capital East of the Urals
Paul Goble Staunton, October 7 – Sergey Shoygu, the Russian defense minister who was born to a Tuvan father and a Russian mother and who considers himself to this day a Siberian, says that the only way to attract people to Russia east of the Urals is to establish “something like” a new Russian capital in the region. In an interview with Nezivestnaya Sibir, Shoygu says that “we need to establish her, east of the Urals, a major financial-industrial center, a kind of capital, which will give a powerful impulse to the development of Siberian and Far Eastern lands” (hiddensiberia.ru/read/articles/portret-na-fone-tajgi/). That prompts the question, Natalya Yeltsova of the URA news agency says, as to why the Russian defense minister is promoting this notion just now, given that Moscow has always been opposed to the creation of an alternative power center to itself and the decentralization that would follow (ura.news/articles/1036276412). In his interview, Shoygu acknowledges that his idea is “not new” and points both to the experiences of the late tsarist period and the Soviet one in which 2.7 million people moved east of the Urals in the first case and five million in the second, although many of these in each case moved back when they could. Experts are now speculating as to why Shoygu made this proposal and why he did so now. Andrey Ostrovsky, the Far Eastern editor of Novaya gazeta, says that talk about developing the region is popular now and the defense ministry may simply want to cash in on that, a view shared by Siberian activist Yevgeny Mitrofanov. But regional journalist Aleksey Mazur says that the real reason may lie elsewhere. Shoygu is “a patriot,” he says, and thus fears as do many others that “30 years from now, [Russia] may be facing a Siberia ‘populated by Chinese’” rather than by Russians. Experts divide as to which city could be the base of such “a capital.” Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Vladivostok, Irkutsk and Khabarovsk all have their advocates, the URA journalist says; but all of these cities have drawbacks either because of their location at the edge of the region or because of shortcomings in their development. Mazur for his part points to a fundamental problem. “Siberia,” he insists, “is too big for a single center,” although he personally favors Novosibirsk as the center if one has to be chosen at all. Reaction in Siberia is divided. Some think Shoygu’s idea is a good one; but others dismiss it as either absurd or impossible. But the conclusion of Natalya Zubarevich, a regional specialist at Moscow’s Independent Institute for Social Policy, observes that Shoygu is hardly “a great specialist in economics.” That makes his proposal “interesting” because while it is clear that “he can create a powerful military district, creating a powerful capital is not within his domain.” Meanwhile, talk of moving capitals is not restricted to Shoygu and Moscow. The acting governor of Primorsky kray, Oleg Kozhemyako, says that his region and its major city Vladivostok should be “the capital of the Far East. Not Khabarovsk but Vladivostok. That would give us status, money and attention,” adding that “we are hospitable people and we welcome everyone” (znak.com/2018-10-06/kozhemyako_predlozhil_perenesti_stolicu_dalnego_vostoka_iz_habarovska_vo_vladivostok).
Window on Eurasia — New Series: To Hold onto Power, ‘Russian Elite Moving Toward Collective Leadership,’ Auzan Says
Paul Goble Staunton, October 5 – In order to hold onto power “the last breath,” Aleksandr Auzan says, “the Russia elite is moving toward the principles of collective leadership,” toward a kind of “Politburo 2.0,” and for many of the same reasons that the Soviet leadership moved in that direction after the death of Stalin. Speaking to the Yeltsin Center, the dean of the economics faculty of Moscow State University says this arises from the fact that members of the Russian elite do have long-term interests but “very much fear” they will ousted from the elite and so, because even personal ties won’t prevent that, constantly focus on the short-term issues alone (znak.com/2018-10-04/rossiyskaya_elita_dvizhetsya_k_principam_kollektivnogo_rukovodstva_lekciya_aleksandra_auzana). “We live in conditions when independent courts do not work and where there are no conventions,” the economist says. “This means that one must hold onto power to the last breath or lose one’s property and perhaps also one’s freedom. This is a problem which is resolvable only by lengthy institutional problems.” The countries which have done the best economically and politically are those whose elites have a long-time horizon. In the US, there are 50-year plans, and in Saudi Arabia, 30-year ones. At least 20 years seems to be required, Auzan says, far longer than the one Russian elites now have. If Russian elites continue to have such a short time horizon, he argues, one that may be no longer than the presidential term, “then there will not be investments in healthcare and education because human capital produces a result only beyond ten years. In the course of five or six years, one can be involved only in construction, purchases of equipment and other things, which do not have a direct relationship to the development of education and health care.” For Russian elites to think longer term, Auzan continues, they must believe that they will remain in the elite for a lengthy period. And the most immediate challenge in that regard is “the restoration of collective control over the instruments of force. Its absence gives poor results not only within he country but outside” because of the uncertainties the lack of it produces. “In the 20th century,” he continues, “we had such control. After the death of Stalin, elites understood that they must never allow the application of the NKVD and MGB against themselves and the army; and collective control was retained through the entire period until the end of the USSR.” According to Auzan, institutions like the Duma and Federation Council can contribute little to the changes that are needed. That is the lesson of the period between 1954 and 1991. Then this control was exercised by the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee which limited the general secretary, the special services and the Armed Forces.” Today, there is no party that could produce such an organ. But there is an alternative: “It is necessary to transform, broaden and strengthen the Security Council. He must not be simply an advisory body: It must become a collective organ for the taking of decisions and holding officials to account.” If this “Politburo 2.0” were to be created, Auzan continues, “then all would understand that this or that personnel shifts would not create the threat of the overthrow of the state and civil war because there would be collective control over the instruments of force.” Moving in that direction won’t be easy or quick, but it is what the elites and the country require. And the reason is simple. On the other hand, any revolutionary change will only deepen and compound the current problems. And on the other, a move to such a system will allow people to take a longer view because “people are divided not by their views on this or that issue but by the length of their focus. “For example,” Auzan says by way of conclusion, “if a liberal, a socialist and a nationalist divide up an annual budget, they will curse each other to the death; but if they talk about development over a decade of what needs to be invested in this, this and this, then, it may happen that they will agree” and the country will benefit.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘Struggle for Democracy in Russia Meaningless without Struggle for Federalism,’ Krasheninnnikov Says
Paul Goble Staunton, October 6 – Modern history shows, Fyodor Krasheninnikov says, that a unitary state can be democratic “only in small countries or there where the country has a long history and established traditions as for example in France.” But unfortunately, Russia has no such tradition and must be a federal state if it is to become a democracy. All its political traditions, the commentator on regional issues says, “go back to various kinds of authoritarianism and dictatorship. Thus, without reliance on real, up-to-date and stable federalism, democracy in Russia will always be only a transitional stage to a new authoritarianism” (dw.com/ru /комментарий-сумерки-федерализма-в-россии/a-45769816). “The recent history of Russia teaches, Krasheninnikov says, “that ever the theoreticl preservation of the chance to influence elections in the subjects of the federation and to appoint there leaders suitable to the center will lead to the rapid demise of any democracy in general,” exactly what has happened since the end of free elections for governors in 2004. Consequently, the analyst continues, “the struggle for democracy in Russia is meaningless without a struggle for federalism and the rebirth of local self-administration with broad authority. Alas, this struggle will be long and hard [as] it must begin not from zero but with destruction of imperial and authoritarian institutions, traditions” and widespread attitudes. Unfortunately, Krasheninnikov says, Putin has made the situation worse by imposing outsiders as heads of the regions and republics and stripping them of any real power. Indeed, the commentator says, “Putin has consciously buried federalism and now doesn’t even consider it necessary to suggest that Russian regions and their leaders have any real status as subjects.” (Another blogger put it even more bluntly. He suggested that as of today, there are only two “subjects” of the Russian Federation – Moscow and Chechnya. All the others are objects of Kremlin policy with no real ability to act on their own or reflect the popular will (publizist.ru/blogs/107559/27285/-).) And he has arranged things so that even if some opponents of the Kremlin do win out in gubernatorial races, the Kremlin leader will hold the whip hand and be able to force them into an unequal battle that they are certain to lose. That can only change if Russians are able to win back both democracy and federalism.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Fall in Putin’s Ratings Could have Silver Lining for Kremlin, ‘Nezavisimaya gazeta’ Says
Paul Goble Staunton, October 9 – The declines in levels of public trust in Vladimir Putin and other prominent Russian politicians, the editors of Nezavisimaya gazeta says, are “creating a favorable milieu for the appearance of new figures” on the Russian political Olympus – and these need not be from the opposition, systemic or extra-systemic. To the extent that happens, they say in a lead article today, the rating declines may help the authorities rather than open the way for a challenge from one or another opposition figure who some believe might be able to take advantage of the current slump in the rating Russians give to Putin and the others (ng.ru/editorial/2018-10-08/2_7327_red.html). Trust in Putin has fallen from 59 percent in November 2017 to 39 percent, a figure that is what it was in 2013, the editors say. The reasons for the decline are “obvious” and include the pension reform which has sparked widespread protests, tax increases, and the wearing away at the boost the Kremlin received from the annexation of Crimea. In order to understand the meaning of these numbers, Nezavisimaya gazeta continues, “it is important to focus one’s attention on the indicators of other politicians. The highest trust rating after Putin, judging from the Levada Center poll, is held by Vladimir Zhirinovsky; but his is only 15 percent. [And] he has one of the highest anti-ratings – 20 percent.” “In other words,” the paper says, “Putin’s rating may be falling; but as before, he does not have any competitors among Russian politicians. For comparison, the most well-known extra-systemic politician, Aleksey Navalny is trusted by only three percent,” polls show, perhaps indicating that Russians don’t view him as someone they might have the chance to vote for. Moreover, the editors say, it is important “not to confuse this measure of trust with electoral indicators. The Russian powers that have in their hands effective levers of control over the political field.” They can keep out anyone; and if new presidential elections were held this weekend, Putin would win much as he did earlier, although participation might fall. But that doesn’t mean that these measures of trust are irrelevant or that they inevitably work against the powers that be. Of course, a left-of-center figure could emerge who would challenge the regime on the pension issue; but that is only one of the possibilities – and there are obvious ones that would work to the benefit of the Russian political system. “The powers that be themselves can fill the niche of trust,” the paper writes, arguing that “there is nothing paradoxical about that.” Over the next few years, the system has to decide on Putin’s successor. Dmitry Medvedev is hardly a good candidate given his “anti-rating” of 30 percent. Instead, Nezavisimaya gazeta suggests, the system needs to focus on “a relatively new figure whom public opinion doesn’t associate directly with unpopular reforms.” Consequently, what will be critical for this decision, it continues will be the anti-ratings of those from whom the Kremlin might make a choice. But what is critical is that such a figure could win over the population, “and closeness to Putin will not be for him or her politically toxic.” At the same time, the editors point out, Putin’s own anti-rating must not be allowed to grow. It currently stands at 13 percent, according to the Levada Center.
Only A Few ‘Likes’ For Putin’s Softening Of Controversial Meme Law
Moscow is moving to soften penalties for first-time violations of Russia’s law on inciting ethnic and religious enmity. But activists say the government still has plenty of tools to keep a lid on p…
Journalist says high-ranking police detective’s murder could be tied to case against former Russian Railways president’s family — Meduza
Novaya Gazeta special correspondent Irek Murtazin thinks Interior Ministry detective Evgeniya Shishkina was murdered this week possibly because she may have unearthed “explosive” information about an alleged corruption scheme orchestrated by the family of former Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin.
Kadyrov Castigates Young Chechen For Assaulting Russian On Bus
The leader of the Russian North Caucasus region of Chechnya has condemned the behavior of a young Chechen man who appeared in a video assaulting a teenager in a bus.
New chemical leaks reported in Russian-occupied Crimea | UNIAN
New chemical leaks have been reported in the town of Armyansk in Russian-occupied Crimea. The doctor recommended leaving the town.
UAWire – Head of Russia’s Alfa Bank sees no alternative to U.S. dollar
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Alfa-Bank Group, Petr Aven, does not see an alternative to the U.S. dollar in case Russia completely …
Russian Pedophile, 22, Forces GF, 12, To Eat Human Heart And Brain – To Inform is to Influence
I’ve eaten brain.  Beef brain and others, but this is sick. It’s cannibalism.  This story is sick, truly sick. It is a story about cannibalism, about a repeat offender pedophile (paedphile), and murder.  </end editorial> Girl, 12, made to EAT a human by her cannibal paedophile ‘boyfriend’, 22, says she fried a heart and found…
Russian girl made to eat a human by cannibal paedophile ‘boyfriend’ | Daily Mail Online
The 12-year-old, identified only as Valeria, told police that she cut meat from the chest of victim Alexander Popovich, 21, and ate it with Arkady Zverev, 22, (pictured) in a village near St Petersburg, Russia.
Ill-Treatment Of Inmates Blamed As Unrest Breaks Out At Siberian Prison
Authorities at a prison in Siberia say they have established control after what they said was violent unrest among inmates over the weekend.

Central Asia / Caucasus Reports


Window on Eurasia — New Series: Armenia Now Facing Something Like What Russia Did in October 1993, Moscow Commentator Says
Paul Goble Staunton, October 5 – “The legitimate parliament refuses to be dissolved; in response, one charismatic politician mobilizes his supporters and blocks the legislative assembly.” But “this is not a recollection about the events of October 1993 in Moscow.” Instead, it is taking place in Armenia now, Igor Karmazin argues in Izvestiya today. The dispute between the leaders of the Armenian parliament, all of whom were part of the old regime Nikol Pashinyan and the people overthrew in the spring, and Pashinyan himself has been brewing in the months since then. For most of the time, things were quiet. Now, they aren’t (iz.ru/796220/igor-karmazin/armianskii-eltcin-erevan-na-poroge-vtoroi-revoliutcii-za-god). The standoff reached its “apogee” three days ago. A massive crowd laid siege to the parliament building and the prime minister signed a decree dismissing six ministers. More than that and in another echo of 1993, Pashinyan called on his supporters on the street to “struggle with ‘the counter-revolution.’” The besieged deputies denounced the actions of Pashinyan and the crowd, again as in Moscow 25 years ago, Karmazin points out. The prime minister and a group of demonstrators went into the parliament building but “things have not reached the level of a storming of the parliament.” Pashinyan called on people not to fight with those guarding the building. Because the parliament is dominated by his opponents, Pashinyan needs to have an election called in advance of when it would normally take place. Polls show he would win it and that the supporters of the old regime would lose. Not surprisingly, he and the street want elections as soon as possible; and the current parliamentarians are opposed. The Armenian constitution allows for extraordinary elections to be called if the parliament can’t choose a prime minister after two tries. Pashinyan is working to stay within that limit by resigning, but now he faces a new task: On October 2, the parliament voted to allow itself to continue to work even without a prime minister. That has resulted in a deadlock, but it is not one that Armenia can solve in the same way Russia did a quarter of a century ago if for no other reason than this: the Armenian parliament has carefully stayed within the rules, while Pashinyan has led a revolution, something that might not be a problem were it not for the fact that Moscow is against any revolution there. Given that Moscow is the chief guarantor of the security of Armenia, the Izvestiya commentator concludes, that tilts the situation in Yerevan in potentially a very different direction than the one in Moscow in October 1993.
The independent republic where everything depends on Moscow: How a Kremlin lifeline aided by separatist Ukraine is developing South Ossetia — Meduza
After the war with Georgia in 2008, Russia became the first of five UN member states to recognize the independence of South Ossetia, effectively taking the breakaway republic under its wing. Ten years later, the territory’s governance and economy are largely controlled by Moscow, which has spent billions of rubles to keep South Ossetia afloat. Meduza special correspondent Ilya Zhegulev traveled to Tskhinvali to find out where that Russian money ended up, how the territory’s businessmen make ends meet, and how South Ossetia’s budget depends on the self-declared republics in eastern Ukraine.
Forest Reclaiming Abkhaz Ghost Town
A ghost town in the Georgian breakaway region of Abkhazia is being slowly swallowed by nature.

Belarus Reports


UAWire – Belarusian President Lukashenko names Putin’s most important military task
Being able to independently produce and modernize weapons is the most important task for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said Belarusian …

Transnistria / Moldova Reports


Ukraine, Moldova agree on supply, modernization of military equipment | UNIAN
State-owned enterprise Promoboronexport, which is part of the state defense giant Ukroboronprom, signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Moldova, which provides for the overhaul and modernization of armored and aviation equipment. According to the press service of Ukroboronprom, the document was signed during the Arms and Security Expo in Kyiv Thursday.
Ukraine names pro-Russian ‘Wagner mercenaries’ from Moldova – media | UNIAN
The Ukrainian Security Service, SBU on Monday published a list of 206 individuals who it claimed have been fighting for private military company Wagner in Syria and eastern Ukraine, among them three Moldovan citizens. The new name revealed among the Moldovan fighters on the list was 47-year-old Serghey Prida from Soroca in north-east Moldova, Balkan Insight reported. Prida was listed alongside two Moldovans who have been named previously – Veaceslav Apostol, who has already been killed in Syria, and Radu Donciu, an active fighter with the Wagner unit. The men’s names could not be independently verified. “Wagner’s mercenaries are instruments of Russia’s hybrid aggression against the rest of the world,” the SBU said.
Casualties Reported In Apartment Blast In Moldovan Capital
Several casualties were reported late October 6 after an explosion in a high-rise building in the Moldovan capital of Chisinau.

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports


Press freedom groups urge Saudi Arabia to account for Jamal Khashoggi’s whereabouts amid claims he was murdered – The Washington Post
Khashoggi’s alleged murder in Istanbul would ‘constitute a horrific, utterly deplorable, and absolutely unacceptable assault on press freedom,’ Reporters Without Borders said.
UAWire – Media: Israeli and US military specialists visit Ukraine to get acquainted with Russian-made S-300 missile systems
A joint US-Israeli delegation secretly visited Ukraine to acquaint themselves with several specimens of important weaponry, including an S-300 anti-air defense system, Vietnamese news portal Soha News reports. According to the article, Ukrainian specialists explained to delegation members the tactical and technical characteristics of the S-300 in Ukraine’s possession, and suggested that American and Israeli fighter jets be sent to Ukraine in order to test the system’s capabilities. Responding to the threat of Russian anti-air defense systems in Syria, the US dispatched 18 fourth-generation F-15C Eagle fighters to Ukraine, and Israel sent several pilots, who were able to test the S-300’s capabilities using the American aircraft. The article also notes that Ukraine previously sent the US a 36D6M1-1 mobile radar station, the technology of which is used in the S-300. The Ukrainian specialists are confident that the characteristics of the surface-to-air missile systems in Ukraine’s possession do not differ significantly from those of the modified S-300PMU2 system which Russia sent to Syria. The analysis of the S-300’s capabilities in conjunction with Ukraine has reportedly convinced the Israeli military leaders that the Syrian S-300s will not pose a threat to Israel’s fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters. Soha News emphasizes that Moscow is greatly displeased at Kyiv’s actions, which weaken Damascus’s military capabilities. On the other hand, it is not hard to understand any initiatives by Ukraine against Russia, since Ukraine considers Russia its archenemy. American F-15C Eagles first arrived in Ukraine on October 6. Kyiv and Washington both state that the planes will be used in the Clear Sky 2018 international military exercise. Eight NATO member-states and Ukraine will take part in the drills. Israeli Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi said that the capabilities of the S-300 have long been taken into account in Israel’s strategic planning. Russia recently sent four S-300 systems to Syria. The decision was prompted by an incident in which a Russian Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft was shot down by friendly Syrian fire from an S-200 system. The Syrian anti-air defense systems were trying to shoot down an attacking Israeli F-16 Fighting Falcon. Russia believes that the S-300 will improve the Syrian government’s defense. The three-coordinate centimeter band 36D6M1-1 radar station is designed to detect, identify and escort airborne targets at intermediate and low altitudes under conditions of intensive active and passive jamming by the enemy. The radar is produced by the Ukrainian scientific and production complex “Iskra”. The latest upgrade to the station, which was sent to the US in December 2017, enables it to detect stealth targets. The shipment of the radar to the US was opposed by the Innovative Technologies Company, which, according to Ukraine, represents Russian interests.
Saudi Arabia To Invest In New Oil Refinery In Pakistan’s Gwadar Port City
Saudi Arabia will invest in a new oil refinery in Pakistan’s growing deep-sea port of Gwadar in southwestern Balochistan Province, Islamabad announced on October 4.
Moscow’s S-300 Double Bluff in Syria – To Inform is to Influence
Russia is bluffing, aka lying, about its new S-300 systems in Syria. We know this as a certainty because the equipment belonged to different S-300 variants. Also, only four launchers arrived whereas it was supposed to be eight. Once again, one must ask why Russia would not supply Syria what it had promised. Is it all for show? Furthermore, is Russia going to hand off the equipment to Syria after a training period? I’ll bet dollars to donuts that the equipment never leaves Russian hands. This also gives a serious hindrance to an Israeli attack on the equipment as Israel does not want to provoke Russia unless it has to. The downside to this is it appears Russia is not truly serious about protecting Syrian or even Russian equipment from Israeli attacks. True, if Russia were to fire on Israeli aircraft, it would escalate the situation into a whole new level. That level would most likely not be palatable. Knowing this, are we supposed to take Russia seriously in Syria? The answer is of course, but there appears to be a little “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” at work. Things are not as they are supposed to be. </end editorial>
Congress Is Forcing a Reluctant White House to Confront Saudi Arabia – Defense One
The Jamal Khashoggi crisis may finally push lawmakers to put real pressure on Mohammed bin Salman.
Stop Military Aid to Saudi Arabia – Defense One
The regime must be held accountable for Jamal Khashoggi.

Foreign Policy Reports


US Senators Murphy, Johnson propose authorizing up to $1B for projects reducing Europe’s energy dependence on Russia
11.10.18 15:12 – US Senators Murphy, Johnson propose authorizing up to $1B for projects reducing Europe’s energy dependence on Russia U.S. Senators Chris Murphy and Ron Johnson on Wednesday introduced the European Energy Security and Diversification Act to provide new tools for the United States to combat malign Russian influence and create economic opportunities at home and… View news.
Poland expects US to impose sanctions on Nord Stream 2 implementation – 08.10.2018 12:46 — Ukrinform News
Poland expects the United States to impose sanctions on implementation of Nord Stream 2 project.
WILLIAM PESEK. ‘Great Depression’ ahead? IMF sounds dire warning. | John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations
Massive government debts and eroded fiscal buffers since 2008 suggest global dominos await a single market crash.  Is another “Great Depression” on the horizon? It would be easier to dismiss these words from Nouriel Roubini, Marc Faber or other doom-and-gloom prognosticators. Coming from Christine Lagarde’s team, though, they take on a new dimension of scary. The…
UK, German defense chiefs push for EU-level ties even after Brexit
London should be allowed to participate in defense projects without bureaucratic hurdles, argues Germany’s defense minister.
President of the European Commission calls to accelerate negotiations on the accession of the countries of the Western Balkans to the EU – Juncker calls to accelerate negotiations on accession of Balkan countries to EU due to war threat – 112.international
President of the European Commission calls to accelerate negotiations on the accession of the countries of the Western Balkans to the EU
Here’s How the European Union Can Fight Money Laundering | The National Interest
And possibly find a way to work around America’s sanctions.


Angela Merkel’s power is weakening, who could be Germany’s next leader? 
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has seen her grip on power wane following an inconclusive election a year ago. But nobody is sure who could succeed her.
France’s Macron, Celebrated Abroad, Faces Isolation at Home – WSJ
The presidency of Emmanuel Macron has reached a tipping point. Viewed from abroad, the 40-year-old former investment banker is a poster boy for international cooperation. At home, however, Mr. Macron is increasingly isolated.
Is Sweden Ungovernable? – Foreign Policy
The rise of populist parties has made it nearly impossible to form governments across Europe—and the deadlock only fuels support for populists.
Right-Wing Party Proposes Online Portal for Students to Report Teachers Who Criticize It
“What’s happening with this portal is pure denunciation. You just have to look at a history book or also at the present day to recognize this as something belonging to systems with a clear totalitarian character,” one teacher said.
Far-Right Party Urges German Students to Denounce Biased Teachers – The New York Times
Politicians and teachers say an effort by the Alternative for Germany party, urging people to report teachers for violating a neutrality law, resembles the work of East Germany’s secret police.
Budapest’s Masorti-run community centre says the Hungarian authorities are trying to close it down – The Jewish Chronicle
Pro-government media has slated the Auróra project as a ‘Soros drug den’
Couple accused of being members of banned Neo-Nazi group National Action ‘called child Adolf’ | Daily Mail Online
Claudia Patatas, 38, and Adam Thomas, 22, named their child after the German dictator after he was born in late 2017, Birmingham Crown Court heard.
Pope Francis: Satan Is Stalking The Catholic Church
He urges the faithful to call on Michael the archangel for help against the “malign one” amid new sexual abuse scandals.


One of Bosnia’s New Presidents May Want to Break the Country Apart – Foreign Policy
Dodik campaigned on independence for Republika Srpska. Will Putin help him get his way?
Serb Nationalist Claims Victory in Bosnia in Early Vote Count – The New York Times
A victory for Milorad Dodik, a pro-Russia Bosnian Serb strongman, could exacerbate ethnic rivalries in the Balkan nation and stall the country’s bid for European Union membership.
Serb nationalist Milorad Dodik wins seat in Bosnia’s presidency | News | Al Jazeera
Milorad Dodik secured the job of the Serb member in the tripartite inter-ethnic presidency.
Serb Nationalist Wins Bosnia Presidency Seat In Ethnically Charged Election
Bosnian Serb nationalist Milorad Dodik has taken the lead in a vote for his community’s seat on Bosnia-Herzegovina’s three-member presidency, as the Balkan country awaits final results due later …
Divide And Rule? Complex Ethnic Problems Dominate Bosnian Campaign
A fractious Bosnia heads into elections with ethnic divisions on the verge of deepening.


Viktoria Marinova: Arrest in Germany for rape and murder of Bulgarian journalist | World | The Times
A Bulgarian man in his early twenties has been arrested in Germany and charged with raping and murdering a television journalist. Viktoria Marinova, 30, was found dead over the weekend in Ruse, a town near the Bulgarian border with Romania, after disappearing while she was out jogging on a riverside path. She had recently begun presenting a current affairs talk show that has featured investigative reporting on the alleged embezzlement of funds from the European Union. The Bulgarian authorities believe that her murder was sexually motivated rather than an attempt to suppress anti-corruption journalism and this morning the country’s interior minister announced that Severin Krasimirov, 21, had been held in Germany and charged with her killing. It is alleged that his DNA was matched to…
Suspect arrested in murder of Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova, report says | Fox News
An arrest was made in the murder of Bulgarian television reporter Viktoria Marinova who had been reporting on alleged corruption linked to European Union funds, Bulgarian national radio reported Tuesday.
Police detain Romanian over murder of Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova
Bulgarian police have detained a Romanian citizen following the rape and murder of TV anchor Viktoria Marinova, whose body was found in a park in Ruse.
European Leaders Demand Investigation Of Slain Bulgarian Journalist : NPR
A suspect was briefly detained Tuesday, but was let go. Bulgarian officials have indicated Viktoria Marinova was not targeted for her work, and that no suspect or motive has been yet uncovered.
‘The horror we live in’: journalist’s murder shocks Bulgaria | World news | The Guardian
Killing of Viktoria Marinova reopens debate about safety although motive is unknown
Suspect arrested in murder of Bulgarian journalist to be released, no charges filed, police say | Fox News
The man taken into custody investigating the brutal murder of a female Bulgarian journalist won’t be charged in connection to the slaying, a senior police officer said Tuesday.
Bulgarian journalist who reported on EU corruption, found raped and murdered | Fox News
A Bulgarian journalist who had been reporting on alleged corruption linked to EU funds, was found raped and murdered on Saturday, authorities said.
Bulgarian Journalist Victoria Marinova Brutally Raped and Murdered
She is the fourth journalist murdered in Europe in the past 14 months.
Bulgarian TV Reporter Raped, Killed In ‘Barbaric’ Crime After Program On Alleged Corruption
A Bulgarian TV reporter has been found dead in a northern border city and authorities say they are investigating into whether it was a random crime or was connected to her reporting work.
Bulgarian investigative journalist killed, authorities say | Reuters
A Bulgarian journalist who reported on an investigation into alleged corruption involving European Union funds has been murdered in the Danube town of Ruse, authorities said on Sunday.
Bulgarian Television Journalist Viktoria Marinova Was Raped And Killed | TIME – YouTube
Popular Bulgarian journalist Victoria Marinova raped and beaten to death – AOL News
The semi-nude body of 30-year-old Victoria Marinova was found in a park on Saturday. She’d been beaten with such force that she was unrecognizable.


Venezuela’s Maduro: US planning to assassinate me | Venezuela News | Al Jazeera
Beleaguered president says Trump administration ‘has given the order’ that he be killed, but vows plan will not succeed.
Maduro says Trump administration wants to have him killed | Reuters
Socialist Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused the Trump administration on Thursday of seeking to assassinate him, as relations strain between the ideologically opposed nations.
Venezuela opposition honors politician who died in jail, U.N. calls for probe | Reuters
Singing the national anthem while carrying his coffin, Venezuelan lawmakers on Tuesday paid tribute to an opposition politician whom authorities say killed himself by jumping out a window while in prison but whose party says was murdered.
UN calls for investigation into jailed Venezuelan leader’s death after officials call it a suicide – ABC News
Alban, an opposition councilman, died on Monday after being detained on Friday.

IW/EW/IO/Cyber Reports


CSIS Proposed Strategy Shortsighted – To Inform is to Influence
This CSIS proposed strategy is shortsighted. It assumes official proclamations can somehow resonate within a targeted audience and induce change without supplementary and complementary actions. This is true in conventional diplomacy, but the accompanying options do not reinforce nor compliment diplomatic actions. This is the 21st Century, informing and influencing adversarial countries requires multiple tools…
The Problem Isn’t Fake News From Russia. It’s Us. – Foreign Policy
Propaganda has long affected elections around the world because publics have an appetite for it.
Winning “Like War”: A Conversation about Social Media and Conflict with Peter Singer – Defense One
A new book looks at how “likes” and lies are reshaping the nature of war and peace around the globe. We sat down with the author.
The Kremlin Hates America’s ‘Malignant Feminism,’ Loves Brett Kavanaugh
Putin’s hand-picked media official sounds remarkably like Donald Trump on women.
EU East StratCom Task Force: Russia Brings Back the Fifties and the Colorado Beetle! – Disinformation Review – To Inform is to Influence
Share Tweet Forward 11 October 2018 *TRENDS OF THE WEEK* Bring Back the Fifties and the Colorado Beetle! On 17 July 1983, the legendary Operation INFEKTION was unleashed. A marginal left wing Indian newspaper Patriot published an anonymous letter: “AIDS may invade India: Mystery disease caused by US experiments.” Supported by Soviet press and a pseudoscientific report from East…
How to Fight Russian Infowar in Central Europe – Defense One
Traditional counter-propaganda techniques are decreasingly effective. The next steps will require focus, engagement, and new thinking.
Maintaining Information Dominance in Complex Environments – To Inform is to Influence
Authored by Dr. John A. S. Ardis, Dr. Shima D. Keene. Added October 03, 2018 Type: Monograph 85 Pages Download Format: PDF Cost: Free Brief Synopsis View the Executive Summary There are many risks to the U.S. Army’s command and control (C2) operations and to its intelligence and information warfare (IW) capabilities. The challenges include: significant uncertainty; sudden…


The White House National Cyber Strategy: Continuity with a Hint of Hyperbole – Defense One
There seems to be a general consensus that the new cyber strategy is a continuation of existing policy. However, the us-versus-them approach the …
Many of the US Military’s Newest Weapons Have Major Cyber Vulnerabilities: GAO – Defense One
Testers achieved access with simple tools, default passwords, and long lists of known-yet-unfixed vulnerabilities.
US weapons systems can be ‘easily hacked’ – BBC News
A government report has found mission critical cyber-flaws in the US’s cutting-edge weapon systems.
How to protect jets, missiles and ships from cyberattacks
Experts told Fifth Domain that protecting American weapons systems from cyberattacks will require a culture of cyber hygiene, resilient systems and a workforce overhaul.
Are Pentagon weapons systems vulnerable to cyberattacks? Here’s what the GAO says
Defense Department weapons programs are vulnerable to cyberattacks, and the Pentagon has been slow to protect the systems that are increasingly reliant on computer networks and software, a federal report said Tuesday.
Security firm uncovers new cyber group targeting government, military sectors in espionage campaign – To Inform is to Influence
BY OLIVIA BEAVERS – 10/10/18 09:00 AM EDT 9 A new cyber group appears to have been targeting government and military organizations this past year as part of an espionage campaign, a security firm said on Wednesday. Symantec researchers say they have discovered a new cyber group that they’ve dubbed “Gallmaker,” which has carried out highly targeted attacks against targets such as overseas embassies in an…
Network defense is an always-on kind of warfare
Adversaries are constantly probing networks trying to exploit vulnerabilities.
Researchers link tools used in NotPetya and Ukraine grid hacks – To Inform is to Influence
Sean Lyngaas New research provides evidence linking some of the most impactful cybersecurity incidents on record – the 2015 and 2016 attacks on the Ukrainian power grid and the 2017 NotPetya malware outbreak – to the same set of hackers that Western governments say are sponsored by the Russian government. Researchers from cybersecurity company ESET…
IISS Cyber Report: 28 September to 4 October
Russian military intelligence caught red handed; China plants spyware microchips in US gadgets; privacy rights in South Asia on the slide.
Why the Department of Energy is worried about turbine hacking
Hackers are taking aim at America’s power grid, making renewable energy infrastructure such as wind turbines an increasingly tantalizing target.
In California, It’ll Be Illegal to Make Routers With Weak Passwords – Defense One
A new law covering a wide range of devices will take effect in less than 15 months.
Clandestine Chips Are The Perfect Hack And Technology Needs To Catch Up
Bloomberg alleges clandestine chips were planted on motherboards destined for the servers of major U.S. companies. Is something like this possible? Yes, and the reality is that’s it’s not even that difficult. What needs to be done about it?
Chinese spy chips would be a ‘god-mode’ hack, experts say – The Verge
The possibility of a malicious Chinese chip implant in Apple and Amazon’s servers has sent shock waves through the security world, which has traditionally focused on software attacks. Nicholas Weaver, a professor at Berkeley’s International Computer Science Institute, told The Verge, “This is a ‘god mode’ exploit in the system management subsystem.”
How a hacker network turned stolen press releases into $100 million – The Verge
For more than five years, hackers based in Ukraine infiltrated American business newswires, stole unpublished press releases, and passed them to stock traders to reap tremendous profits.
Chinese spies reportedly inserted microchips into servers used by Apple, Amazon, and others – The Verge
According to an explosive report, Chinese spies have infiltrated the supply chain of a server maker used by companies including Amazon and Apple. The spies reportedly organized for microchips to be inserted into the servers that can potentially siphon off data. Tech companies have denied the story.
The Last Jedi Russian troll study shows we still don’t know how to interpret speech online – The Verge
Russian “troll farms” were caught sowing discord around the 2016 presidential election, and The Last Jedi was a divisive film, so it wasn’t surprising that they might have weaponized that division. But there wasn’t actually much evidence for this theory — and it wasn’t the paper’s main focus, either.
Apple and Amazon explicitly deny claims that servers were compromised by Chinese chips – The Verge
Both Apple and Amazon are vehemently denying any claims that their servers were compromised by Chinese spies, following an explosive report from Bloomberg on Thursday.
Facebook warns of viral hoax message that claims your account has been ‘cloned’ by cyber criminals | Daily Mail Online
A Facebook hoax message targeting people across the globe tells users that someone is impersonating them on the social network.
Google Exposed User Data, Feared Repercussions of Disclosing to Public – WSJ
Google exposed the private data of hundreds of thousands of users of the Google+ social network, though it didn’t find evidence of misuse. The company opted not to disclose the issue this past spring, in part because of fears doing so would draw regulatory scrutiny.
Project Strobe: Protecting your data, improving our third-party APIs, and sunsetting consumer Google+
Findings and actions from Project Strobe—a root-and-branch review of third-party developer access to Google account and Android device data and of our philosophy around apps’ data access.
Rethinking the concept of trust
How best to protect the government’s critical data.

US Domestic Policy Reports


Trump’s Remarkable Week
Can we pause for a moment to consider what has transpired in the last seven days?
President Donald Trump’s winning streak – CNNPolitics
Donald Trump may never have a better day as President. Only a re-election party on the night of November 3, 2020, could possibly offer the same vindication as the 36 hours in which two foundational strands of his political career are combining in a sudden burst of history.
The Whirlwind Is Already Here
By Scott S. Powell In Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s defense before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he charged the Democratic senators on the committee with sowing “the wind for decades to come[, and] the whole country will reap the whirlwind.” The whirlwind is already here. To really grasp what’s going on in the political tumult of contemporary times, it’s necessary to go beyond the players, parties, and immediate issues and understand the sources of cultural transformation that set the stage for all modern politics to play out. Politics is, after all, downstream from culture. For about the last two and a half generations, there has been a subtle but growing assault on most of the values that were previously the bedrock of American society. Many older Americans scarcely recognize the country of their childhood. While technological progress has proceeded at a rapid pace, providing convenience, efficiency, and higher standards of material living, the foundational institutions of American society – the family, educational institutions, manners and civility, respect for law and order, and merit-based outcomes – have been in concurrent decline.
It Is Time to Debate—and End—Identity Politics | The National Interest
A democratic society based on civil liberties cannot survive being torn apart.
U.S. Unemployment Rate Hits 48-Year Low – The Daily Beast
But the numbers of jobs added fell below consensus forecasts.
Susan Rice walks back Senate talk, will give ‘consideration’ to challenging Susan Collins – ABC News
The former ambassador tweeted she was interested last week.
Former Obama official calls Susan Collins ‘fake’ feminist | Fox News
Former Obama White House official Jen Psaki appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, derided Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins, as a “fake” feminist for her support of Brett Kavanaugh, which ultimately lead to his nomination to the Supreme Court.
Susan Rice’s son, John Rice-Cameron, presses charges on Kavanaugh protester over Stanford shoving incident
Sophomore Melissa Hernandez was handed a citation for misdemeanor battery after the on-campus incident.
University of Michigan Student: I Was Forced to Attend ‘Antisemitic Lecture’ Comparing Netanyahu to Hitler | Jewish & Israel News Algemeiner.com
Europe Tells Trump: Don’t Bully Us on Trade – WSJ
The pressure tactics used by President Trump to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement won’t work in trade talks with the European Union, European officials said.
Trump news: Trade war averted as EU prepares to drop tariffs on US cars | World | News | Express.co.uk
DONALD TRUMP may have won his trade battle with the EU, after Germany said they are ready to discuss dropping EU tariffs on US cars, which currently stand at 10 percent.
German economy minister says he is willing to discuss equal auto tariffs with U.S | Reuters
German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier is willing to discuss equal tariffs on cars to ease trade tensions with the United States, he told Austrian public broadcaster ORF on Friday.


Nikki Haley resigns as UN ambassador, stays mum on next move | Fox News
Nikki Haley abruptly announced her resignation Tuesday as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, catching staff and lawmakers by surprise and leaving Washington guessing about the next move for one of the administration’s most prominent figures.  
Nikki Haley Stuns Washington by Announcing Resignation From U.N. Post – Foreign Policy
President Trump’s United Nations ambassador dismisses speculation that she intends to challenge him in 2020.
Who Will Replace Nikki Haley? – Defense One
Trump has increasingly sought advisers who are less apt to push back on his disruptive agenda.
Nikki Haley Leaves The UN: What To Know And What Comes Next
Nikki Haley’s announcement that she is leaving her post as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations blindsided many in Washington. Her 21 months in the position were marked by a forceful display of …
3 theories behind Nikki Haley’s shocking resignation – CNNPolitics
In a political world seemingly incapable of being shocked, the resignation of United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley on Tuesday did just that.
Here’s who Trump should pick to replace Nikki Haley at the UN
The surprise resignation on Monday of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley means that President Trump must now nominate a replacement to that important office. The president should strongly consider nominating one of these three officials.


Donald Trump set to shuffle top generals – CNNPolitics
As President Donald Trump grapples with a number of huge foreign policy challenges over the coming months, he is going to have to make some key decisions on the generals who advise him and lead the US military.
The US may not be able to fight two big wars at once
America’s “marginal” military means the U.S. would struggle if forced to take on a second major conflict at the same time, a new report has found.
How the U.S. Navy Forgot to Fight | The National Interest
The U.S. Navy is suffering from self-inflicted strategic dysfunction across the breadth of its enterprise.
The Navy’s Terrible Accident Record Is Now Hidden From Public View – Defense One
The latest incidence of a government agency quietly removing data from its website demonstrates the dangers of an ever-changing internet.
Here’s the US Army’s New Russia-Era Shopping List – Defense One
After Putin\’s Ukraine invasion, the Army\’s future command wants longer guns, better cybersecurity, and a new way to buy weapons.
Foreign Weapons Get a Closer Look as the Pentagon Races to Rearm – Defense One
That’s why Raytheon and others are eagerly courting non-U.S. partners with state-of-the-art gear.
The decline of the defense industrial base – and what to do about it
Supporters of a strong defense industrial base should view this report as a significant step forward for the U.S. military.
There’s a serious threat to the supply chain, says Pentagon
Amid a flurry of reports regarding Chinese digital espionage, a new report says that cybersecurity firms have not paid enough attention to securing a foundational sector of industry.
Trump administration touts 33% increase in foreign arms sales – CNNPolitics
US foreign military sales totaled $55.66 billion in 2018, a 33% increase compared to the nearly $42 billion in weapons sold in 2017, the Defense Cooperation Agency announced Wednesday.
Air Force hopes to train 1,500 new pilots each year by 2022 to help solve shortage
Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told lawmakers Wednesday that the Air Force trained 1,160 new pilots in fiscal 2017, and expects to train 1,311 in fiscal 2019, before expanding further to 1,500 by 2022.
‘You’re on your own’: US sealift can’t count on US Navy escorts in the next big war
In a major war, the U.S. Navy would likely have its hands full with combat operations, forcing the nation’s civilian mariners to confront the possibility of transporting weapons of war unescorted in contested waters.
More doctor visits, more money: Obese soldiers may be too expensive to keep, Army study suggests
A new study finds obese soldiers went to the doctor on average 13 times in fiscal year 2015.
Op-ed: What Neil Armstrong’s America could’ve been
The film “First Man,” starring Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong, may boost public recognition of Armstrong’s name and career. But his fate after his “giant leap for all mankind” mirrored that of public interest in the moon landings and, broader still, trust in government, which has steadily eroded since the early 1970s.


Christopher Steele, author of the Trump dossier, breaks his 18-month silence | Salon.com
Christopher Steele, who wrote the dossier tying the 2016 Trump presidential campaign to Russia, breaks his silence
British spy Christopher Steele breaks silence, issues a veiled swipe at Trump | Fox News
Former British spy Christopher Steele, author of the salacious Trump dossier, has broken 18 months of silence with a swipe at President Trump.
Russia dossier author criticizes Trump, slams ‘strange and troubling times’ – CNNPolitics
The retired British spy who wrote an explosive dossier about President Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia broke his silence to criticize Trump and the “distorted” state of US politics.
Pulitzer-winning reporter Greg Miller on Trump and Russia: We’ve all seen the smoking gun | Salon.com
Washington Post reporter on Trump’s “subservience” to Vladimir Putin and the “subversion of American democracy”
Man Who Sold Stolen Identities Sentenced To Prison In Russia Probe
Richard Pinedo, a man accused by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office of operating an online auction service for stolen identities, was sentenced to six months in prison and six months of h…

 

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