Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Ad Hoc Media Update (54)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Most interesting developments are related to the PRC, especially the detention of the Uighurs and impending public disclosures on the H-20 Sino-Batwing, and in Europe, the FRG who agreed to procure US LNG.

NATO / EU / Russia Reports

NATO “Trident Juncture 2018” drills kicks off in Norway –
50,000 soldiers, 10 vehicles, 250 aircraft and 65 vessels from 31 countries will participate in the drills.
Canada deploys eight CF-188 Hornets to Norway in support of Trident Juncture 18 – Defence Blog
The Royal Canadian Air Force has deployed eight CF-188 Hornet fighter aircraft to Norway in support of Trident Juncture 2018. The supersonic CF-188 Hornet, popularly known as the CF-18, can engage both ground and aerial targets. Its twin engines generate enough thrust to lift 24 full-size pick-up trucks off the ground. The CF-188 went through a phased modernization program to ensure that the Canadian Armed Forces have a modern and interoperable fighter fleet. The CF-188 Hornets with one CC-150 Polaris aerial refueller, and two CP-140 maritime patrol aircraft to take part in NATO’s biggest exercise since Cold War that will take place in Norway and the surrounding areas of the North Atlantic and the Baltic Sea, including Iceland and the airspace of Finland and Sweden. The live exercise will include a collective defense scenario. It will train NATO and partner nations to work together seamlessly. Trident Juncture 18 will include 45,000 participants from 31 NATO and partner countries. It is the largest in a series of long-planned NATO exercises to ensure that NATO forces are trained, able to operate together and ready to respond to any threat from any direction. Canada will send approximately 2 000 personnel. The CAF contribution includes:
Norway To Free Russian Spy Suspect
Norway is to release a Russian suspected of spying, the country’s intelligence agency, the PST, has said, adding that it had withdrawn its appeal against his release.
Norway Frees Russian Spy Suspect, Аs Moscow Demands Apology
Norway has freed a Russian suspected of spying, as Moscow demanded an apology from Oslo.
Lithuania received a batch of UNIMOG U5000 military vehicles
The Ministry of National Defense of Lithuania announced the transfer to the National Army of a new party of tactical trucks UNIMOG U5000 manufactured by the German company Daimler AG. This batch includes the supply of 54 5-tonne trucks in the framework of a 2015 agreement with Daimler AG for the purchase of 340 lorries, valued at 70 million euros.
Poland makes official request for US rocket launchers
Poland’s plans to expedite its purchase of the American-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket System moves forward, as the country has sent an official letter of request to the U.S. government to proceed with the sale.
Finland moves to boost its naval power in the Baltic Sea hotspot
The government has invited bids for new multirole corvettes, as regional players hone their strategies for a key region in the tensions between NATO and Russia.
All roles in UK military to be open to women, Williamson announces | UK news | The Guardian
Women to be able to apply for all jobs including in frontline infantry, Royal Marines and SAS
Latvian envoy explains NATO move to reinforce contingent in Baltics | UNIAN
Without participation in such major international unions as the EU and NATO, it would be very difficult for Latvia to retain its independence in the current geopolitical situation, according to the country’s ambassador to Ukraine Juris Poikans. He clarified that the annexation by the Russian Federation of the Ukrainian Crimea only confirmed the fact that Riga had taken a right decision to join the Alliance, Obozrevatel reports. “In this regard, joining NATO was very, very important for us. And the EU, too. The European Union is often seen as an economic organization, but there is a very strong security component,” Poikans emphasized.
To combat Russian subs, NATO allies are teaming up to develop unmanned systems at sea
Thirteen NATO allies, including the United States, signed onto a plan to jointly pursue unmanned systems aimed at mine and sub hunting, a field where the U.S. has made big strides.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia’s Military Air Transport Arm Aging and Overstretched, Moscow Expert Says
Paul Goble Staunton, October 21 – Because of Russia’s size, its commitments, and the smaller size of its armed forces, Moscow needs a large and up-to-date military air transport capacity to shift troops and materiel around, Oleg Falichev says; but it currently lacks the ability to meet all the demands placed upon it and may soon be unable to respond in the event of a crisis. In the current issue of Voyenno-Promyshlenny Kuryer, the military analyst says that Russia’s campaign in Syria has simultaneously highlighted the importance of military transport aircraft and the difficulties that sector faces because it has been forced to rely on Soviet-era equipment ( “A large part” of this force, Falichev says, was built in Soviet times “or in the 1990s.” It is now reaching the end of its useful life, and because of the lack of government investment, the new planes Moscow has talked about or even promised are unlikely to come into service before some in this aging fleet break down. Indeed, he suggests, the current tempos of production “even under ideal circumstances” won’t prevent the size and capacity of Russia’s military transport from declining at least for a time in the coming years. Russian industry is producing too few airplane motors and more than half of the planes in the aging fleet are down for repairs at anyone time. According to the military analyst, these problems among others mean that Moscow can’t move troops and materiel around as quickly as it needs to in order to respond to a crisis as in Syria because of its continuing responsibilities to support Russian bases in Armenia – which can be done only by air – and to stage exercises in various parts of the Russian Federation. After providing chapter and verse numbers of the difficult kinds of planes in the Russian forces and their problems, Falichev says that “the state needs a long-term complex program for the development of aviation, not only military but civilian. Without that, Russia will cease to be an aviation power and will continue to fly about in Boeings and Airbuses.” “Some say that this is far from the worst possibility. After all we use foreign cars. That’s true,” the analyst says. “But what will we do when money from the sale of oil and gas ends or the prices for these resources fall? Will there be enough for our time? Possibly. But the next generations will not forgive this ‘sleep of reason.’” “As for our Western ‘partners,’” Falichev concludes, “with the onset of military times, they will immediately veto” on Russia’s ability to purchase or lease planes and thus have the ability to cripple its air power not only for civilian purposes but for the military ones on which the security of Russia depends.

Russia / Russophone Reports

Imprisoned Ukrainian Director Oleh Sentsov Wins Sakharov Prize
The 2018 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought has been awarded to Ukrainian director Oleh Sentsov, who is serving 20 years in a Russian prison on terror charges that are widely seen as politically motivated.
Imprisoned Ukrainian Film Director Oleh Sentsov Wins 2018 Sakharov Prize
The European Parliament has awarded Oleh Sentsov, a Ukrainian film director imprisoned in Russia after opposing Moscow’s takeover of his native Crimea, with its prestigious 2018 Sakharov Prize for …
Sentsov wins Sakharov Prize 2018
Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov on Thursday was awarded the Andrei Sakharov prize “For Freedom of Thought” by the European Parliament, the Associated Press agency has reported.
Russian political prisoner Sentsov wins 2018 Sakharov Prize
25.10.18 14:31 – Russian political prisoner Sentsov wins 2018 Sakharov Prize Oleh Sentsov, a Ukrainian filmmaker jailed in Russia after opposing Moscow’s takeover of his native Crimea, was awarded by the European Parliament with its prestigious 2018 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. View news.
Sentsov will become for Russia what Sakharov was for the USSR – Klimkin
Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov will play the same role in the history of Russia as academician Andrei Sakharov played in the history of the USSR, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has said. “Russia hoped to deemphasize the story and dampen emotions at the end of his hunger strike. But the story got even bigger. First Senstov received a Polish award and now the 2018 Sakharov Prize,” Klimkin said on Facebook on Thursday. As earlier reported, Sentsov on Thursday was awarded the prize of the European Parliament named after Andrei Sakharov for freedom of thought. He was nominated for a prize by a group from the European People’s Party in the European Parliament.
Sentsov should be able to accept Sakharov Prize in person – U.S. Embassy in Ukraine | UNIAN
The United States Embassy in Ukraine says the Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, who has been illegally sentenced in Russia, should be able to accept in person the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize awarded to him this year. The diplomats once again called on Russia to release the film director.
Imprisoned Ukrainian Film Director Sentsov Makes His Will Public
Imprisoned Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who ended his nearly five-month hunger strike in a Russian prison earlier this month, has made his will public.
UAWire – Poland bestows imprisoned filmmaker Sentsov with ‘For Human Dignity’ award
Poland bestowed the eighth annual Pro Dignitate Humana (“For Human Dignity”) award to Oleh Sentsov who has been illegally imprisoned in Russia, stated Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz at a joint press conference with Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin. The award was founded by former Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Radosław Sikorski in 2011. Klimkin stressed that the filmmaker deserves the award not only because he is a political prisoner but also because the aim of his hunger strike was the release of all Ukrainian and Russian political prisoners. In September, the European Parliament made Sentsov a candidate for the Sakharov Prize. His candidacy was supported by Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. The winner will be chosen by the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani and leaders of political groups on October 25.
Supreme Court upholds sentence for Ukrainian “saboteur” Panov –
A court session took place today in Moscow where it was decided that the sentence for the Ukrainian “saboteur” Panov as of July 13 is legal. Therefore, he was sentenced to eight years behind bars.

Russia furiously reacts to idea of renaming Crimea | UNIAN
Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, Member of Parliament of Ukraine Refat Chubarov’s idea of renaming Crimea has been met with a furious reaction in Russia. Chairman of the Duma Committee on CIS Leonid Kalashnikov calls such an idea “absurdity.” Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, Member of Parliament of Ukraine Refat Chubarov’s idea of renaming Crimea has been met with a furious reaction in Russia. For example, Chairman of the Duma Committee on CIS Leonid Kalashnikov called such an idea “absurdity” and said that options of the new name were “factitious,” Russian media reported. Read alsoMost Ukrainians say ‘no’ to idea of swapping Crimea for Donbas peace – Poll “Member” of Russia’s State Duma from Crimea Ruslan Balbek accused Chubarov of seeking popularity. “Chubarov wants to become a local tsar, therefore he has been lobbying the idea of renaming Crimea,” Balbek told the Russian newspaper Izvestia. “Member” of the Crimea State Council Vladislav Ganzhara said the de-facto authorities in Russian-occupied Crimea do not care how Ukraine will call Crimea. Earlier, Chubarov reported a possible change in the name of the administrative territorial unit “Autonomous Republic of Crimea” within Ukraine after the creation of the Crimean Tatar national autonomy on the peninsula.
Crimean Tatars Stand By Woman Sentenced For ‘Insulting’ Police
A Crimean Tatar woman felt she was unfairly sentenced by a Russian court to community service for “insulting a police officer” and many people agreed with her. She did her time with a little help from her new friends.
Crimean school killer’s ex-girlfriend says he was bullied | Daily Mail Online
Vladislav Roslyakov, 18, let off ‘nail-bombs’ and stalked halls with a shotgun before killing himself in the school library. Ex-girlfriend says ‘he lost trust in people’ after being ‘humiliated’
‘Crimea’s Columbine’: Massacre Draws Comparisons to U.S. Shootings – WSJ
The death toll in a shooting-and-bombing rampage at a Crimea college campus rose to 20 as grisly details emerged about an attack that drew comparisons to school shootings in the U.S.

Russian Oil Chief Sees ‘Major Imbalances,’ Rising Prices From U.S. Sanctions
The head of Russia’s state-controlled oil giant Rosneft is warning that U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela will trigger “major imbalances in the oil market.”
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Real Russian Nationalists Must Be for Putin and His State, Kremlin Leader Says
Paul Goble Staunton, October 19 – While Putin’s remarks about how all Russians will go to paradise and their enemies will burn in hell after a nuclear war have not surprisingly attracted more attention, his comments about “correct” and “incorrect” nationalism say a great deal about his retreat from his own rhetoric of a Russian world and thus about where he may be headed next. In a commentary for Deutsche Welle, Russian political analyst Fyodor Krasheninnikov notes that in his Valdai remarks yesterday, Putin made no reference to the idea of “a Russian world” that so animated him four years ago (комментарий-владимир-путин-и-вопросы-национализма/a-45952433). Instead, his comments “only confirmed the obvious,” the analyst says. “The theme of Russian ethnic nationalism no longer interests him and even is an annoyance.” Putin declared that “our national identity … is our culture and our history …We have 160 ethnoses living on the territory of the Russian Federation.” The country is thus “a multi-national state, and ‘if we want Russia to be preserved as it is, to develop and strengthen,” Putin says now, then it is in the interests of the Russians “as the state-forming people” to do whatever they can for “the preservation of this country,” its current borders and its current government. Putin isn’t talking about “a Russian world” here: “all the peoples of Russia are equal, although the Russians are a little more ‘equal’ than the rest” and together they form “a multi-national people” and it is there and not in any ethnos that “their identity” lies and must lie, Krasheninnikov says. With these words, the analyst argues, “Putin in effect refuses to th largest ethnos of Russia to right to any other identity separate from fidelity to the multi-national Russian state as it exists in 2018.” For the Kremlin leader, “to be a Russian means to be loyal to ‘this country,’ that is, in a practical sense to him personally.” Any other view, Putin clearly views as “‘the nationalism of the caveman.’” By taking this position, Putin moves away from the more ethnically defined “’Russian world’” of 2014 and calls on Russians ethnic and otherwise to display instead “loyalty to multi-nationality and tolerance in his own understanding of these terms.” According to Krasheninnikov, “Putin is no longer offering any other ‘Russian world.’ He is simply proposing the kind of Russian nationalism one might expect from a retired lieutenant colonel of the Soviet KGB – statist not ethnic, authoritarian not democratic. Indeed, the analyst suggests, in Putin’s mind, “real nationalism is to be for Putin regardless of whether you are an ethnic Russian or a Tatar. All the rest is ‘cavemanlike,’ ‘foolish,’ and ‘moronic’ and will lead to the disintegration of the state.” Given Putin’s falling ratings, the analyst suggests, Putin “needs right now some new conception of legitimacy which must not be put under any doubt by elections or polls.” He is thus presenting himself as “the leader of 146 million” people with the same views who support the same “specific person, Vladimir Putin.” His ratings may fall; his candidates may lose; but as the leader of the nation in the sense he uses it, Krasheninnikov continues, Putin “a apriori does not depend on election procedures of the results of polls.” But in this, he is fooling himself if no one else just as was the case when he and his regime insisted that he was supported by 86 percent of the population. The truth is, the analyst concludes, that neither “’the Russian world’ nor Putin’s nationalism, nor 146 million” who supposedly share his views can support him and his regime forever. On public view, “there is only the moral exhaustion of Vladimir Putin, his falling ratings, and his attempts to cover all this with sophistic and mutually exclusively slogans, nationalistic demagogy, and demonstrative over-confidence.” That is what Russians, ethnic and otherwise, saw and heard with Putin yesterday. It is almost certainly what will cause them to look at the Kremlin leader with new eyes – and that is the very last thing Putin himself wants or can afford.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin Core Team On Its Way to Being as Old as Brezhnev’s Politburo Was
Paul Goble Staunton, October 21 – Vladimir Putin has hyped his youthful physical well being so often that many are in danger of forgetting that at the end of his current term in 2924, he will be 72, the Ustinov Trolling Telegram channel says. But even more, his closest entourage will in many cases be as old or older and thus resemble the aging Leonid Brezhnev’s Politburo. The Telegram channel lists these ages in 2024 of the President’s men: Ivanov – 71, Shoygu – 69, Chaika – 73, Bastrykin – 71, Zorkin – 81, Lebedev – 81, Patrushev – 74, Bortnikov – 73, Sobyanin – 66, Chemezov – 74, Sechin – 66, Rotnberg –73, Kovalchuk – 73 and Timchenko – 72 ( Even the youthful Medvedev will be 59. While these are ages in which many leaders in other countries are still vigorous, they are older in Russia where 43 percent of males do not live to 65.
Russian Intel Chief: Internet Should be Controlled By ‘Proper Authorities’ – Defense One
The FSB says it’s trying to curb extremism online — but it’s also muting foreign and dissenting voices.
State Duma lawmakers want to limit foreign ownership of Russian Internet news aggregators — Meduza
Russian lawmakers have introduced their latest draconian law on the Internet, proposing a ban on all online news-aggregation services with more than 20-percent foreign ownership. The legislation was drafted by members of LDPR, including Andrey Lugovoy, the Russian lawmaker wanted in Great Britain for his alleged role in the murder of Alexander Litvinenko. After the draft bill was announced, shares in the Russian Internet company Yandex dropped four percent on the Moscow State Exchange. Russian lawmakers have introduced their latest draconian law on the Internet, proposing a ban on all online news-aggregation services with more than 20-percent foreign ownership. The legislation was drafted by members of LDPR, including Andrey Lugovoy, the Russian lawmaker wanted in Great Britain for his alleged role in the murder of Alexander Litvinenko. After the draft bill was announced, shares in the Russian Internet company Yandex dropped four percent on the Moscow State Exchange. A 20-percent ceiling on foreign ownership is already enforced against registered mass media outlets in Russia. According to current media regulations, the state identifies news aggregators as any websites that index and redistribute news publications in Russian (or any of the Russian Federation’s other national languages), earn money on advertising in Russia, and have daily audiences greater than 1 million visitors. Currently, the biggest news aggregator in Russia is Yandex News. “If such a law is adopted, the company’s board of directors will review potential options to restructure the news service in accordance with the new legal requirements,” Yandex’s spokesman told reporters on Monday.
Russia’s military to spend half a billion rubles on software to monitor cadets online — Meduza
The Russian Defense Ministry has announced a procurement contract worth 485 million rubles ($7.4 million) to supply the military with equipment enabling it to monitor cadets’ online activities. According to public documents, the government plans to acquire licenses for computer software, including an extension of its existing license for “InfoWatch Traffic and Device Monitor.”
Russia May Toughen Punishment For Engaging Minors In Illegal Public Activities
Punishment for engaging children in “dangerous public activities” may be toughened in Russia, according to a draft bill published by the Justice Ministry on October 24.
Lawyer of Navalny’s Anticorruption Foundation Detained In Moscow
Russian authorities have detained the lawyer of opposition politician Aleksei Navalny’s Anticorruption Foundation in Moscow.
Russian Rights Group: Permission Revoked To Honor Soviet Victims At FSB HQs
A prominent Russian human rights group says city authorities have revoked permission to hold its annual remembrance ceremony near former KGB headquarters in central Moscow honoring the victims of S…
Memorial Reaches Agreement With Moscow On Honoring Stalin’s Purge Victims
The head of the Russian human rights group Memorial says an agreement has been reached with municipal authorities in Moscow to go ahead with an annual remembrance ceremony near the former KGB headq…
Human rights movement files police report against Russian reactionary group infamous for harassing oppositionists — Meduza
Lev Ponomarev, who heads the “For Human Rights” movement, says he’s filed a police report against the reactionary right-wing group “SERB,” following its repeated efforts to disrupt his movement’s work. Most recently, SERB members raided Ponomarev’s office in Moscow on August 22, chanting accusations that his team promotes extremism instead of humanitarianism. Ponomarev says he wants to meet with police to discuss these “unacceptable actions.”
Window on Eurasia — New Series: New Russian Nationality Policy Document All about National Security
Paul Goble Staunton, October 24 – Russia’s various nationality policy strategy documents in the past have been about social policies, but the new one, prepared by the Federal Agency for Nationality Affairs and slated to be approved by the Presidential Council on Inter-Ethnic Relations is all about national security. On the one hand, this shift is nothing more than part of a general trend in Russian policy pronouncements under Vladimir Putin in recent years to stress the way in which they contribute to national security, as a means of gaining the Kremlin’s attention and suggesting that those working in a particular area see security questions as paramount. But on the other, it also reflects an increasing understanding that nationality issues really are at the core of Russian national security not only because they could once again threaten the territorial integrity of the state but also because they create problems that outsiders could exploit or that undermine Russian programs like the military draft. In Kommersant today, journalist Natalya Gorodetskaya says that the document may be changed again before it is promulgated by Vladimir Putin but that, in the words of Aslambek Paskachev, a member of the presidium of the Presidential Council, it is a very different document than its predecessors ( It is far briefer than they were, perhaps in order to avoid raising some of the issues on which there is little agreement such as the relationship between ethnic and non-ethnic Russianness. And it is, Paskachev says, “a document of strategic planning in the sphere of national security.” Aleksandr Brod, another presidium member, confirms that. Among the challenges the document lists, Gorodetskaya continues, are “the influence of international terrorism and extremism, the dissemination of radical ideas based on national and religious exclusiveness,” and tensions within Russian Federation arising from regional conflicts beyond the borders of the country. Among the specific threats the strategy paper lists are “an overemphasis on regional interests and separatism, including support from abroad, illegal migration and problems with the system of adaptation of migrants, the formation of closed ethnic enclaves, social and wealth inequality, regional economic differentiation, the results of inter-ethnic conflicts, and the outflow of ethnic Russians from the North Caucasus, Siberia and the Far East.” One particularly tricky issue for those who prepared the document is the relationship between the concept of ethnic Russians (russkiye) and that of non-ethnic Russians (rossiyane) and the role of the former as “the state-forming” people around whom all the others have been grouped. The new document specifies that “the Russian state was formed as a unity of peoples, the system forming core of which was historically the Russian people. Present-day Russian society,” it continues, “is unified by a single cultural (civilizational) code based on the preservation and development of Russian [russkaya] culture and language, the historical-cultural legacy of all the peoples of Russia.” The new document spends a great deal of time defining key terms, because, as sociologist Leokadiya Drobrizheva says, research shows that “people understand in different ways unity and a unified political nation.” Now with these definitions, she suggests, “people will know that a unified nation is not about the suppression of peoples and languages.” One reason for the delay in the production of this strategy paper was that Vladimir Putin asked Academician Valery Tishkov to prepare a law on a single non-ethnic Russian nation. His efforts sparked opposition from many non-Russians. As a result, the document did not appear as scheduled in August 2017 but may now be worked on again. An innovation in the new document, Gorodetskaya says, is that it called for “strengthening the non-ethnic Russian nation,” a goal that will require a reduction in the number of conflicts, the elevation of the status of the Russian language, support for numerically small peoples, and increasing inter-regional cooperation. Vyacheslav Mikhaylov, a former nationalities minister, says it would be wrong to draw sweeping conclusions as the document may be changed before Putin signs it. In any case, he suggests, “discussions will continue.” And while he doesn’t say so, its stress on a non-ethnic Russian nation and on national security will provoke both Russians and non-Russians alike.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘Dozens’ of Territorial Disputes in the North Caucasus Now at Risk of Exploding, Chablin Says
Paul Goble Staunton, October 23 – Chechnya’s territorial claims on Ingushetia and Daghestan have sparked disputes that have eclipsed the dozens of other claims and counter-claims among the various republics and krays of the North Caucasus, Anton Chablin says, any one of which could under the right circumstances have explosive consequences. That is why in recent decades Moscow has been reluctant to change any of them lest it lead to demands for change in many more, but now the center’s man in the region, Ramzan Kadyrov of Chechnya, has opened this “Pandora’s box” in which perhaps not even hope remains ( These disputes have their roots in Soviet or even tsarist times, the rulers of both frequently changed the borders but not managed to change the memories and beliefs of residents as to where the borders should be, the specialist on the North Caucasus says. People in each of the units can remember when their borders were different and “better” than now. Chablin gives several examples. Between 1926 and 1937, there was the North Caucasus kray “which extended from the Black to the Caspian seas. It was then subdivided, and out of it was taken Kabardino-Balkaria, Checheno-Ingushetia, and others; and then as a result of the deportations, the area of Checheno-Ingushetia was shared out among neighboring republics. When the peoples of the North Caucasus were allowed to return home in the mid-1950s, their previous territories were restored but in no case completely. And that too has put in the place the delayed action mines that contemporary Russian writers love to refer to but blame on the original Soviet plans. This set of problems is compounded by three others: the continuing existence of two bi-national republics – Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachayevo-Cherkessia – “irredenta” of ethnic groups tied to neighboring republics, and the aspirations for historical justice of the much-subdivided Circassians and some other groups. According to Chablin, there are real questions of justice; but there are also political figures who make use of these tensions from other and more immediate political goals without reflecting on the ways a demand of this kind can trigger other, more far-reaching demands by others as well. The danger of that is now on view with Russian and Cossack demands that part of Chechnya be “returned” to Stavropol Kray and Chechen desires to absorb into their republic Chechen districts now within Daghestan, two moves that may be justified on ethnic grounds but not on economic or political ones ( In almost all cases, political analyst Ruslan Martynov says, the competing sides will only move toward a change if Moscow signals that it is prepared to support it. If the center agrees, then it will put pressure for change; if it doesn’t, then no change is likely – even though the aspirations and anger will continue. Because of the domino effect of any decision to change borders, Moscow in recent years has generally been opposed to shifts. But now that it is deferring to Ramzan Kadyrov of Chechnya, he and it have opened “a Pandora’s box” out of which are likely to come conflicts many had thought settled or had never imagined existed at all. And that will be true not only in the North Caucasus but across the Russian Federation – and not just among non-Russians but among Russians as well.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Where Ancient Ethnic Animosities Really Do Explain Conflicts in the North Caucasus
Paul Goble September 19 – “Ancient ethnic animosities” are often invoked to explain ethnic conflicts in the North Caucasus and elsewhere; but in fact, while many groups have long histories of hostility to others, most contemporary nationality conflicts are the products of more recent developments. Indeed, in one sense, this common invocation is not an explanation at all but rather a way of avoiding the hard truths about such conflicts. The only times when such an explanation is appropriate is when groups are when conflicts have been going on at more or less the same level for centuries, something exceedingly rare or when groups are fighting over the past itself. The latter kind of conflict unfortunately is more common, and one of them is now bubbling up in the North Caucasus over the legacy of Alania, a medieval Christian kingdom in that region which existed between the late 9th century and the Mongol occupation in the middle of the 13th. That legacy includes numerous churches, and they are the subject of dispute. In The Caucasus Post, regional specialist Anton Chablin traces the ways in which these “present-day conflicts in the North Caucasus are rooted in this antiquity,” one the few outside the region understand but that is a matter of profound concern within it ( He focuses on the way in which Karachays and Cherkess (Circassians) are now locked in a dispute about what institution is to control the ancient churches surviving from Alania times. The Karachays are angry that the old churches whose establishment had nothing to do with the Russian Orthodox Church are being handed over to that institution, while the Circassians view these churches primarily as tourist sites. The fight has grown from a local one to a political battle involving the presidential plenipotentiary for the North Caucasus and even Moscow officials, with each side appealing to that level from which it believes it can gain the best outcome and the outsiders taking positions or not on the basis of similar calculations. The conflict has become particularly intense, Chablin says, because a great deal of money is involved, with each side hoping to gain control of some 150 million rubles (2.3 million US dollars) in funds slated for “renovation” and thus to be in a position to hire members of its community rather than others. As the analyst notes, this is not the only place in the region where ancient grievances are generating conflict now. He cites two: in Derbent, where various groups are locked in conflict over the restoration of a mosque even more ancient than the Alan churches; and in Stavropol kray, where there is a growing dispute over how to handle archaeological digs. Such conflicts stay below the radar screens of most people beyond the region; but they have the ability to trigger or at least exacerbate contemporary disputes and thus must be tracked in order to predict where conflicts will break out in force. This is no small challenge, and it is one that few appear up to meeting.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: In Echo of Ingush Protests, Arkhangelsk Residents Condemn as Genocide Moscow’s Plan to Send City’s Trash There
Paul Goble Staunton, October 22 – Villagers in Arkhangelsk Oblast and the Komi Republic have denounced a plan by Moscow officials to use their area as a dump for trash from the capital as an act of genocide and demanded that the city “keep its trash to itself” rather than spread it around the country to places which don’t generate so much waste. At a meeting the regional officials gave permission for, the villagers said that what Moscow calls “a priority plan” will contaminate the land and waterways of their region and represents nothing less than another outside invasion of the kind they fought off during the Russian Civil War and World War II ( And one participant in the protest said that the protests must continue until the plan to bury trash around their villages is stopped. “It would be ideal if we had a meeting like the one in Ingushetia” and continue until we are able to “carry out a referendum on the territory of the Lena region with our own forces and without the participation of the powers that be.” “For the entire history of Russia, not one leader of a region has included the disposal of trash of others in a swampy area as a priority plan,” Lyudmila Marina, a district deputy says. “We don’t need any investment projects [which is what the center is offering] in exchange for the destruction of an entire region.” Ivan Ivanov, a local ecological activist, says that in his view the only reason regional and local officials have gone along is that they have received enormous amounts of money from Moscow, a kind of bribe in exchange for the death of the region, with others saying that officials had hoped to hide what they and Moscow were doing until it was too late to stop them. NIMBYism is not a rare thing either in Russian regions or even in the neighborhoods of Moscow. Residents routinely object to the plans of the authorities by saying “not in my back yard.” But the protest in Arkhangelsk is noteworthy not only because of the level of anger – few denounce Moscow for genocide – but for the fact that it referred to Ingushetia. The former suggests that even in predominantly Russian regions anger about the overreaching of the Moscow authorities is growing; and the latter that despite Moscow’s efforts to ignore what has been happening in the North Caucasus, even villagers in the Far North have heard about it and are following the example of the Ingush protesters.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russians Feeding Their Pets Even When Money is Tight, New Study Says
Paul Goble Staunton, October 19 – Despite the horror stories about the rounding up and killing of homeless animals by officials in advance of the World Cup, Russians are adopting more cats and dogs, taking better care of them, and feeding them even when their own economic conditions deteriorate, according to a new study by Mars Petcare, a leading produce of cat and dog food. In the new issue of Profile, journalist Aleksandr Koshkina says that the study shows that “despite all the economic difficulties, Russia remains one of the most pet-friendly countries in the world” with the number of house pets rising more than six million since 2014 ( Unlike most other nations, Russians own more cats than dogs, 33.7 million against 18.9 million, a reflection, at least in part, Koshkina says, of the country’s growing urbanization and the fact that it is far easier to keep a cat in a city apartment than it is to maintain a dog there. Cats don’t have to be walked, and 37 percent of Russian cats never leave their apartments. Urbanization also explains another trend: Russians are selecting smaller dogs than they used to have. But the biggest change the MarsPetcare study found is that “Russians are changing their attitudes toward pets,” viewing them less in rational terms than in emotional ones and considering them members of the family. Russians are spending more on pet food than they used to as well, with 45 percent of cats, but only 15 percent of dogs, living primarily on store-bought food. And the study says ever more Russians are willing to adopt cats and dogs they find in the streets, although Koshkina reports that pounds dispute that. Yet another trend the journalist notes is that Russians are far more willing to take in cats without regard to their breed; but when it comes to dogs, ever fewer of them wants mongrels, preferring instead purebreds. That makes placing mixed breed dogs, who form a large share of those in pounds, often very difficult.
‘I Could Kill You’: Harrowing Report Faults ‘Weak’ Russian Response To Domestic Violence
In months of research, Human Rights Watch says it found that serious gaps in Russian legislation, the lack of protection orders, and inappropriate police and judicial conduct deprive women of prote…
Let Them East Cheese: Russian Plant Thrives Amid Sanctions 
Western economic sanctions have made things tough for some Russians, but others see opportunity.
Activist Cuts Her Veins In Protest Against Conditions In Russian Prisons
Olga Shalina, an activist with an ultraleftist unregistered political party, has cut her veins on her left hand to protest conditions in Russian prisons at an event in Moscow.
Russian Director Serebrennikov’s Trial Postponed Until Next Month
A court in Moscow has postponed the trial in a high-profile case against Russian theater and film director Kirill Serebrennikov and his associates.
A World Cup Pass Into Sexual Slavery
Bella, a 21-year-old Nigerian, says she was released from sexual slavery in Moscow after an NGO helped police locate her. She says she entered Russia with promises of work and a Fan ID for the World Cup — an alternative to a visa that was arranged by human traffickers.
UAWire – Russian tycoon Rotenberg files lawsuit against Scandinavian banks for failure to provide service because of sanctions
Representatives of the Swedish banks Svenska Handelsbanken and Nordea, the Danish bank Danske Bank and their Finnish divisions have confirmed to …
Putin just handed over even more of Sochi’s Olympic infrastructure to a center co-founded by the man suspected of hiding his ‘billions’ — Meduza
Vladimir Putin has reportedly ordered the creation of a new science and technology innovation center in Sochi, at the Olympic Park and on territory controlled by the “Sirius” educational center. A spokesperson for “Sirius” told the magazine RBC that the new center will occupy nearly 100 acres, featuring a vocational school, a kindergarten, a swimming pool, a concert hall, and a university — all converted from the media center built for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Floods In Russia’s Krasnodar Krai Region Kill Six
At least six people have been killed in Russia’s southwestern Krasnodar Krai region during flooding caused by heavy rain.
Struggling Spartak Moscow Sacks Italian Head Coach Carrera
Spartak Moscow has dismissed head coach Massimo Carrera, citing what the board of directors said were “unsatisfactory” results over the past year and uninspiring play by the soccer team this season.
Russia Tries Seven For Bath Lotion Drinking Deaths
The defendants were charged with production and selling the bath lotion that contained methanol — which can be fatal if consumed — instead of regular alcohol, or ethanol.
Russian Researcher Reportedly Stabs Colleague At Antarctic Research Station
The Russian news agency Interfax is reporting that a researcher at Russia’s Antarctic station has stabbed and injured a colleague in an apparent emotional breakdown.
At Least Two Dead In Fireworks Factory Explosion Near St. Petersburg
At least two people died and several more were injured on October 19 in an explosion at a fireworks factory outside St. Petersburg, Russian authorities said.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: KGB Opposed Afghan Operation but Its Reports of CIA Involvement Led Soviet Military to Demand It, Former KGB Officer Says
Paul Goble Staunton, October 22 – Thirty years ago, Moscow ended its ten-year-long military operation in Afghanistan, an operation that proved disastrous for the Soviet Union and that Valery Samunin, a KGB veteran, says both his agency and the CPSU leadership opposed but the military insisted on because of reporting by Soviet intelligence of CIA involvement there. He says that this pattern of support and opposition for the invasion of Afghanistan is now being obscured because many of the military officers who pushed for military action in that country now insist they were opposed and in fact were dragged into that war by the intelligence community and the communist leadership ( Samunin, who was a senior KGB operative in Afghanistan at the time, provides new details both on the run up to the introduction of Soviet troops at the end of 1979 – he says that Kabul repeatedly asked for them in the months before while Moscow resisted – and on conflicts among Soviet siloviki about how to act and what the prospects for a Moscow victory were. According to him, both the KGB and the CPSU leadership opposed sending military forces to Afghanistan not only because they did not want to undermine the policies of détente and plans for the 1980 Olympiad but also because the leaders of the two still remembered the Cuban missile crisis and did not want a repetition. The Soviet military, on the other hand, took a different view, not only because its leaders wanted to have a role in Afghanistan, something which until that time the KGB had monopolized, but also because they were persuaded by KGB reports that suggested that Moscow was confronted not just by local opposition but by the Central Intelligence Agency of the US. Samunin says that he infuriated military personnel at the Soviet embassy a month before the invasion by telling them that the USSR would suffer the same fate in Afghanistan if it sent in troops that Great Britain had during three wars in the 19th century – namely, it would lose not only there but elsewhere as well. The introduction of Soviet troops was not welcomed by a large swath of the Afghan population, he continues. “In the streets of Kabul, women came out holding bras, going up to soldiers of the Afghan army, and telling them that if they did nothing to oppose foreign soldiers, then they weren’t men and needed to put on bras.” The situation of the Soviet military rapidly deteriorated not only because of the resistance of the Afghans, but because of a CIA-orchestrated propaganda war equal to the one “which in the 1920s and 1930s, British operatives launched in support of the Basmachi in Central Asia against the Soviet Union.” That effort which told Afghans that the Soviets wanted to “deprive them of their Muslim faith, make all women common property, and carry off their children to the USSR had great success” and contributed mightily to the growth of the Afghan resistance, the former KGB officer says. Samunin says he cannot comment on reports that the CIA was training Central Asians to go over the Soviet border and fight inside the USSR but does say that he knows “for sure” that there were CIA bases in Pakistan where the American intelligence service was preparing Afghan militants. He says that the Afghan leadership by its extremism, obstreperousness, and poor choice of words did itself no favors. In 1986, Samunin says, Babrak Karmal attended the 27th CPSU congress and, after listening to Mikhail Gorbachev speak, said that “Gorbachev isn’t a communist” and needed to be overthrown. “These words reached Gorbachev who said that if Comrade Karmal was saying such things, it means that he is seriously ill and needs treatment. After that, Karmal was pulled from Afghanistan and put in a sanitarium in Serebryany Bor where he remained in essence under house arrest. And this place was occupied by Mohammed Najibullah.” Samunin says “that was the correct choice.” But it did represent another milepost along the road toward Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Red Stars Over Moscow
Stalin’s red stars still shine above the Kremlin despite calls to revert to an older symbol.
Legacy Issue: Comedy On Siege Of Leningrad Attracts The Spotlight
A comedy set during the Siege of Leningrad touches on a hot-button topic in today’s Russia: the Soviet Union’s World War II legacy.

Central Asia / Caucasus Reports

Bolton: After Elections, ‘No Better Time’ For Armenia To Resolve Nagorno-Karabakh Issue
U.S. national security adviser John Bolton says that resolving Armenia’s conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh is the best way for Yerevan to free itself “excessive outside influence.” Bolton spoke at a news conference on October 25 after meeting with Armenian leaders in Yerevan. (RFE/RL’s Armenian Service)
‘He Calls Me His Son’ — The Man Who Dreams Of Stalin
A Georgian man who says Stalin speaks to him is planning to open a new memorial center to the infamous Soviet dictator in Tbilisi in December.

Belarus Reports

Ukraine, Belarus should maintain trend of strengthening relations – Poroshenko
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has noted the trends of strengthening Ukrainian-Belarusian relations, according to the official website of the head of state.
Moscow will regard military attack on Belarus as attack on Russia – Envoy | UNIAN
Moscow will regard any military attack on Belarus as an attack on Russia, the Russian ambassador to Belarus, Mikhail Babich, said in an interview with the Belarus 1 television channel Sunday. Plans to increase the U.S. military contingent near the borders of Russia and Belarus do not contribute to the security of neighboring countries, according to the ambassador.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Belarusians Back Activists But Don’t Trust Organizations They Head, New Survey Shows
aul Goble Staunton, October 25 – A new survey conducted over the past summer in Belarus documents a problem that exists throughout the post-Soviet world: many people there approve and trust individual activists, including anti-government ones, but they do not trust the organizations these individuals have created and lead. That personalist approach and distrust of institutions limits the ability of these leaders to mobilize the population. At the same time, it is a mirror image of the situation which obtains in the government sector where ordinary people may identify with and support a leader but aren’t willing to support institutions created by him. Natalya Ryabova, a senior official of one of the two agencies which conducted the poll of some 1200 Belarusians, has now shared this and some of the other findings its organizers came up with ( According to the survey, she says, Belarusians were slightly more inclined to approve of the work of public activists than to disapprove, 46 percent to 40.7 percent; but they showed little trust in government or non-government instituitons, disapproving of them overall 50.5 percent to 28.2 percent and disapproving of NGOs in particular 47.6 percent to 24.6 percent. Intriguing, Ryabov reports, were the poll’s finding that 36 percent of respondents favored having the government create favorable conditions for all organizations “without exception.” At the same time, only 10 percent said that the government should give such opportunities only to those groups which support the regime and its agenda. And perhaps most important of all as far as the future is concerned, only 6.9 percent of those taking part in the poll said that any NGO must show “loyalty to the powers that be and support its initiatives.”
Belarusian Activist Says He Was Mistreated, Denied Medical Care In Prison
Freed after 18 months behind bars on what he contends were false charges, Belarusian civil society activist Dzmitry Paliyenka said he was under constant pressure in prison and was denied adequate medical treatment.
Belarus overhauling Uzbek Air Force fighters
The Belarus enterprise 558 Aviation Repair Plant in Baranavichy has completed repair of the MiG-29 fighter of the Uzbek Air Force
Minsk Marks 75th Anniversary Of Mass Killings Of Jews
Belarusian officials, foreign diplomats, and representatives of Jewish organizations have gathered in Minsk for three days of events commemorating the killing of thousands of Jews during World War II.

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports

Russian, Pakistani Forces Launch Joint Exercise In Northwestern Pakistan
A contingent of more than 70 mountain troops from a motorized rifle brigade based in the North Caucasus republic of Karachai-Cherkessia is participating in the Druzhba-2018 exercises, Russia’s Sout…


North Korea is using the internet ‘like a criminal syndicate’
A new report says North Korean leaders have ‘dramatically’ changed their internet use in a way that could be costly to U.S. interests, and former U.S. officials say it is difficult to deter the country’s hacking operations.
North, South Korea withdraw troops at border village
SEOUL, South Korea — The rival Koreas and the US-led UN Command completed withdrawing firearms and troops from a jointly controlled area at a border village…
US cancels major military exercise with South Korea – CNNPolitics
The US and South Korea decided Friday to suspend another major joint military exercise to give the diplomatic process with North Korea “every opportunity to continue.”

China says military will act ‘at any cost’ to prevent Taiwan split | Reuters
China’s military will take action “at any cost” to foil any attempt to separate the self-ruled island of Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own, the country’s defense minister said on Thursday.
‘We will not be intimidated’ — Mattis doubles down on US vow to counter China’s attempts to dominate the South China Sea | Business Insider
Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis met his Chinese counterpart Thursday to discuss a host of tense issues. The meeting focused heavily on the South China Sea, but tensions persist. Speaking with allies Friday, the secretary called on US partners to counter Chinese efforts to dominate the South China Sea. He doubled down on America’s determination to stand up to China, stressing, “We will not be intimidated.”
U.S. Sails Warships Through Taiwan Strait in Show of Force to China – Bloomberg
China expressed concern after the U.S. Navy sailed a pair of warships through the Taiwan Strait, the second such show of force since July.
U.S. Warships Transit Taiwan Strait in Defiance of China – WSJ
Two U.S. warships sailed through the Taiwan Strait, U.S. and Taiwan defense officials said, a maneuver intended to signal to China that the U.S. could travel in any international waters.
Two U.S. Navy warships sail through Taiwan Strait – ABC News
Two U.S. Navy warships sailed through the international waters of the Taiwan Strait on Monday.
Pentagon sends two warships through Taiwan Strait, further straining relations with Beijing – Los Angeles Times
Two U.S. warships sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Monday, a sign of American support for the self-ruled island of Taiwan by the Trump administration that is sure to worsen already-tense relations between Washington and Beijing.
US reportedly considers new warship passage through Taiwan Strait
The United States is considering a new operation to send warships through the Taiwan Strait, U.S. officials tell Reuters, a mission aimed at ensuring free passage through the strategic waterway but which risks heightening tensions with China.
Mattis: US, Japan, South Korea must work together against China on South China Sea | TheHill
Secretary of Defense James Mattis called for further cooperation among the U.S., Japan and South Korea in combating growing Chinese militarization of islands in the South China Sea.
China’s Growing Ability To Drive Away U.S. Forces | Defense content from Aviation Week
Yearly, China introduces systems to find, track and attack U.S. targets beyond the first chain of islands to its east; and yearly, the deployed numbers rise.
New Missiles and Sensors Extend Reach Of Chinese Airpower | Defense content from Aviation Week
Following decades of steady investment China’s air arm seeks to “go out.”
US, China defense chiefs hold ‘straightforward’ talks amid tensions – CNN
Top US and Chinese defense officials met in Singapore Thursday for a head-to-head meeting which nearly didn’t take place amid growing tensions between the world’s two most powerful countries.
U.S. Military Wants to Fix Its Relationship with China, But Russia Has Already Stepped In
President Donald Trump has gone to economic war with China, giving Russia a chance to further consolidate its ties to a fellow U.S. foe.
With Naval Exercises, China Cozies Up to U.S. Friends in Southeast Asia – WSJ
China is expanding its military cooperation with U.S. security partners in Southeast Asia, seeking to bind those countries closer to Beijing and loosen their long-established defense ties with Washington.
China world’s largest amphibious plane does first water takeoff test – INSIDER
The AG600, said to be the world’s largest amphibious aircraft, is designed for civil aviation and operations like firefighting, but experts think it could be repurposed for military uses.
The Sino-American cold war’s collateral damage | The Strategist
The escalating trade feud between the United States and China is increasingly viewed as the opening campaign of a new cold war. But this clash of titans, should it continue to escalate, will cost both parties dearly, to the point that even the winner (more likely to be the US) would probably find its victory Pyrrhic. Yet it is the rest of the world that would pay the steepest price. In fact, despite the low probability of a direct military clash between the US and China, a new cold war would undoubtedly produce collateral damage so far-reaching and severe that the very future of humanity could be jeopardised. Already, bilateral tensions are contributing to an economic decoupling that is reverberating across the global economy. If the end of the Cold War in 1991 launched the golden age of global economic integration, the beginning of the next cold war between the world’s two largest economies will undoubtedly produce division and fragmentation. It is easy to imagine a world divided into two trade blocs, each centred on a superpower. Trade within the blocs could continue, or even flourish, but there would be few links, if any, between them. The global financial system would also unravel. President Donald Trump’s administration has shown just how easy it is for the US to hurt its foes (such as Iran) by using sanctions to deny them access to the dollar-denominated international payment system. Given this, America’s strategic adversaries, China and Russia—and even its ally, the European Union—are trying to establish alternative payment systems to protect themselves in the future.

🇨🇳 One million Uighur Muslims in China internment camps | Al Jazeera English – YouTube
Al Jazeera English Published on Oct 18, 2018 China says the facilities where human rights activists say up to a million Muslims are being detained are actually ‘vocational training centres’.
China’s reeducation camps for Uighur Muslims are concentration camps – Vox
The government is buying cattle prods and police batons to use against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.
China’s hidden camps – BBC News – YouTube
BBC News Published on Oct 24, 2018 The BBC has new evidence that China is building a vast network of internment camps for its Muslim population in the western region of Xinjiang. Experts say one facility we’ve identified could be one of the biggest detention centres in the world. It’s thought as many as a million Muslims from the Uighur community are being held without trial in Xinjiang. China denies the claims, saying it has a programme of “vocational training centres” – needed to combat the threat of terrorism. But the BBC has seen analysis that suggests the number of secure, prison-like facilities in the area has more than doubled in the past two years. Accounts of life for individuals inside these places tell of abuse and humiliation. Our China correspondent John Sudworth reports from a part of the country where journalists are often prevented from filming.

Axios report says Trump will not back down from China trade war – Business Insider
US President Donald Trump has no intention of de-escalating trade tensions with China, according to Axios, citing three unnamed sources with knowledge of his…
Trump’s Tariffs Give Democrats a Chance to Lead on Trade – WSJ
Reclaim the tradition of global engagement sustained by FDR, JFK and Bill Clinton.
Trump tariffs could hurt China economy ‘very badly’ in months ahead
President Trump’s latest $200 billion worth of tariffs and threats of more to come puts China in a tough spot, says data analyst Leland Miller.
China Looks to Historic Foe for Lessons on Handling Trump – Bloomberg
As China braces for the full impact of President Donald Trump’s trade war, it’s seeking to learn from Japan’s economic battles with the U.S. during the Reagan years.

Macau Hong Kong bridge, world’s longest sea-crossing, finally opens – CNN
A $20-billion bridge connecting Hong Kong and Macau to the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai is set to finally open this week, marking the completion of the longest sea-crossing bridge ever built, nine years after construction began.
Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge opening: Hong Kong residents see world’s longest sea bridge as China’s infrastructure propaganda – CBS News
The Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge spans 34 miles and could cut travel time between certain cities from about 3 hours to 30 minutes
Xi Jinping celebrating China’s $20 billion sea bridge opening speech – INSIDER
After 10 years, 420,000 tons of steel, and at a devastating cost in lives and renminbi, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge is officially open — and the announcement came by a strangely curt Chinese President Xi Jinping in the port city of Zhuhai.
Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge: World’s longest sea-crossing will open this week in China | Daily Mail Online
The much anticipated Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge will open to traffic on Wednesday 9am local time. Construction on the 55-kilometre (34-mile) crossing started nine years ago.
Beijing’s Top Official in Macau Dies in a Fall – WSJ
Beijing’s highest-ranked official in the world’s biggest casino market was found dead on Saturday, according to a government statement.
High-profile disappearances raise concerns in China – YouTube
CNN Published on Oct 21, 2018 CNN’s Matt Rivers reports on actress Fan Bingbing and the former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei who went missing in China. #CNN #News
Rich kids of China flaunting wealth with ‘falling stars challenge’ | Fox News
It usually involved someone tumbling and “accidentally” flashing people with their money.
The Pope, the Party and the Cardinal: Catholicism in China – WSJ
Despite China’s crackdown on religious freedom, the Vatican struck a historic pact with Beijing, drawing sharply divided reactions from members of the clergy and other Catholics. The WSJ investigated.

Why Countries Are Turning Against China’s Belt and Road
Far from expanding Chinese soft power, the Belt and Road Initiative appears to be achieving the opposite.
China, Japan Vow to Cooperate as Trump Hits Both on Trade – Bloomberg
China and Japan capped a restoration of ties with agreements on everything from currency swaps to ocean rescue Friday, a thaw that comes as President Donald Trump seeks better trade terms with both nations.
China-Japan summit: Abe meets Xi under the shadow of Trump 
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faces a challenging trip to Beijing for a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, as close ally the United States wages a trade war against China. 
Japan’s Shinzo Abe travels to China to meet Xi Jinping – The Washington Post
Xi and Abe will hold their first bilateral meeting in more than seven years this week.
Retired U.S. general says war with China likely in 15 years
The former commander of the U.S. Army in Europe warned Wednesday that it’s very likely the United States will be at war with China in 15 years.
Kevin Rudd | How the United States Can Avoid an Avoidable War with China
The United States and its allies around the world will need to consider a number of critical questions about Washington’s new policy of strategic competition toward China. …. A THIRD WAY? Those who have spent decades dealing professionally with the rise of China in general, and the U.S.-Chinese relationship in particular, know that these are challenges of formidable intellectual and policymaking complexity. Nonetheless, I fear that the public space for open, considered debate and discussion on the China question is shrinking as name-calling grows. There is a danger that those who seek to address complexity are accused of being China appeasers or “panda huggers.” And that those who recommend a harder-line approach are simply written off as unrequited Cold War warriors or just plain warmongers. We also need to be wary of the emergence of any form of new McCarthyism, whereby anyone seeking to explain the complexity of China’s rise is simply accused of “un-American” activities if they off a complex response to what are otherwise rendered as simple but critical questions—namely what is China now doing, what is different, and what should the rest of us do about it. There are already tremors of this emerging around the edges of the foreign and strategic policy community, including think tanks and the academy. What we should all be seeking, at critical times like this, is analytical and policy clarity. At this stage of the unfolding great global debate on China, as a lifelong supporter of Australia’s 100-year alliance with the United States, I’m on the side of avoiding an unnecessary war between the United States and China. In other words, both Washington and Beijing, together with others in the international community, need to identify whether there is a credible third way, beyond the demands of either capitulation or confrontation, to help navigate our way through the Thucydidean dilemma that we now confront.
F-35: How the fifth-generation fighter jet might take RSAF to the next level – Channel NewsAsia
In the first of a three-part series on the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, Channel NewsAsia’s Aqil Haziq Mahmud visited Lockheed Martin’s …
Existential crisis for HAL: No new orders for fighter aircraft – Nation News – Issue Date: Oct 29, 2018
India’s aerospace PSU giant is starved for orders and struggling to stay afloat. It’s also now caught in a political crossfire between the Congress and the government. – Issue Date: Oct 29, 2018

Foreign Policy Reports

In Win for Trump, Merkel Changes Course on U.S. Gas Imports – WSJ
Chancellor Angela Merkel has offered government support to efforts to open up Germany to U.S. gas, a key concession to President Trump as he tries to loosen Russia’s grip on Europe’s largest energy market.
Merkel moves to open up Germany to US gas imports after Trump’s push: report | TheHill
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is making a move to open up Germany’s market to U.S. gas companies, following a lobbying push from President Trump, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Europe’s Gas Game Just Took A Wild Twist | Zero Hedge
“…a key concession to President Trump as he tries to loosen Russia’s grip on Europe’s largest energy market.”
Poland urges Germany to give up on Nord Stream II construction –
Polish leader Andrzej Duda urged the German government to give up on Nord Stream II construction. Polish President Andrzej Duda urged the German government to give up on Nord Stream II construction. He made the respective statement at the joint press conference with German President Frank-Walther Steinmeier on Tuesday, October 23, as Ukrinform wrote. Duda called on Germany to drop this initiative since Nord Stream II creates a hazard for Ukraine and Slovakia. The Polish President insisted that the new pipeline would breach the current energy balance, posing danger to the energy safety of some countries in Central and Eastern Europe. That circumstance, in turn, would increase the dominating position of Russian state-run energy monopolist Gazprom.
Duda: Nord Stream 2 poses danger to Ukraine and Slovakia – 23.10.2018 11:48 — Ukrinform News
The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project poses danger to Ukraine, Slovakia and Poland, that&rsquo;s why Warsaw is trying to prevent its implementation.
UAWire – Poland acquires shares of Norwegian continental shelf gas field
The Polish Radio announced that the Norwegian subsidiary (Upstream Norway AS) of the Polish oil and gas company (PGNiG) acquired Equinor Energy …

The Party Is Over – Foreign Policy
The mass political movements that once dominated Europe are fading fast—and the nationalist populists and upstart parties taking their place are here to stay.
Austrian Foreign Minister goes after lifting sanctions against Russia –
Nevertheless, Karin Kneissl stands for strengthening bilateral dialogue with Russia
Putin Hosts Italy’s Conte For Talks On Boosting Ties
Russian President Vladimir Putin has hosted Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in Moscow for talks that were expected to focus on efforts to boost economic relations.
Italian Leader Urges End To EU Sanctions On Russia During Moscow Visit
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is urging an end to European Union sanctions on Russia and said he is committed to boosting trade with Moscow despite the sanctions.
Italy not to veto prolongation of Russia sanctions – PM Conte | UNIAN
Italy will not use its veto right regarding the prolongation of European sanctions against the Russian Federation, imposed over Russian aggression against Ukraine, according to Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. The head of government noted that the conditions that led to the sanctions on the part of the EU were preserved, but it is also right to maintain economic ties between Italy and Russia.
UAWire – Media: Italy intends to ask Putin for a bail out
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte came to Russia on an official visit on Wednesday. Conte is the head of Italy’s populist government which …
Italy’s game of chicken with Europe is getting serious again – The Washington Post
For a long time, Italy has been Europe’s hidden crisis. Now, though, it’s becoming much more open.

Spain Plans To Remove Franco’s Remains From A Memorial, Angering His Supporters : NPR
More than four decades after his death, the dictator Francisco Franco remains a divisive figure. His tomb is situated at a memorial outside Madrid that has become a pilgrimage site of sorts.
Spain’s plan to exhume Franco revives memories of an unsettled past – The Washington Post
The country has never achieved consensus about its bloody civil war and decades of dictatorship.

Poland must suspend Supreme Court judges law, EU’s top court says – CNN
The European Union’s highest court ordered Poland to “immediately suspend” the application of a controversial law, which lowered the retirement age of its Supreme Court judges, in a ruling Friday.
Merkel Opens New Front in Fight Against Diesel Vehicle Bans – Bloomberg
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she’ll seek to amend German anti-pollution laws to avoid driving bans for diesel vehicles in cities where harmful nitrogen-oxide emissions are just slightly above the limit.
Meet The Jews Of The German Far Right : NPR
Fellow Jews in the country are baffled by a small Jewish faction within the Alternative for Germany, a party accused of racism and of downplaying the Nazis.
Budapest flirts with Moscow – Anti-European demarche of Hungarian PM Szijjártó –
A few days ago, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Péter Szijjártó voiced loud allegations against the authorities of the European states. He stated that they criticized Hungary, expressing their claims for too friendly relations with Russia, while they themselves were secretly engaged in big business with Russia and hide it behind “superficial quarrels.” The Hungarian minister accused European countries of having double standards, noting that the Hungarians are already fed up with it all. This is not the first similar demarche of the Hungarian minister. In 2016, he said that he would never accept the approach of large European countries with a high level of GDP that easily cooperate with Russia and accuse small countries of being engaged in relations with Moscow, of neglecting the common European unity and espionage. Last year, Szijjártó admitted that he taught Russian at school and at university and he likes to watch Russia 24 and RT TV channels. Szijjártó’s statement should be taken as a reflection of the position of the official Budapest, which is interested in business cooperation with Moscow and is in a kind of confrontation with Brussels and Kyiv.
Central European University makes last stand in Hungary – BBC News
Central European University threatens to move most teaching to Vienna amid row over academic freedom.
University founded by George Soros ‘forced out’ of Hungary | World news | The Guardian
Central European University plans to move to Vienna next year after moves against it by Hungarian government

EU news: Greece backs Macedonia name change in major breakthrough | World | News |
GREECE has backed Macedonia’s proposed name change – potentially opening the way for the nation to join the European Union in a major breakthrough.  Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Saturday welcomed the approval by Macedonia’s parliament of a proposed change to the country’s name as a decisive step towards ending decades of discord between the two neighbours.
Macedonia Moves Ahead With Name Change, Helping Its NATO Bid – The New York Times
In a tenuous victory for Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and his Western allies, Parliament voted to proceed with renaming the country the Republic of North Macedonia.
Macedonia parliament votes to start name change process – BBC News
The country would be known as North Macedonia, resolving a 27-year dispute with neighbouring Greece.
Russian PMCs, War Veterans Running ‘Patriotic’ Youth Camps in the Balkans (Part One) – To Inform is to Influence
Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 15 Issue: 151 By: Sergey Sukhankin October 24, 2018 05:37 On August 16, the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs shut down the “Zlatibor” youth camp, where 44 adolescents (aged 14–23) had been learning a wide range of paramilitary skills, including wilderness survival techniques, first aid, martial arts, and basic handling of various weapons and explosives. The camp, located in western Serbia, within ten miles of the Bosnian border, featured Russian and Serbian war veterans providing instruction in what the organizers described as “patriotic upbringing.” Interior Minister Nebojša Stefanović explained the authorities’ actions to close the site as a countermeasure against “child abuse and stirring up public uneasiness” (, August 17). In response, Željko Vukelić, the chair of the Veterans of the Yugoslav War Society, assured that “the camp had nothing to do with the militarization of youth.” He claimed that the Serbian Ministry of Defense—which has not publicly commented on the matter—had been fully informed about the initiative. Vukelić also noted that the idea of the camp and its organizational aspects were fully supported by the Russian embassy in Serbia (, August 18). Yet, the alleged “peacefulness” of the enterprise was compromised by a statement from one of its main organizers, ultra-conservative writer and Cossack leader Valery Shambarov. Specifically, he declared that the main purpose of the Zaltibor camp was to “teach the youth how to become real warriors and defenders of the Motherland” (, August 17).

Exclusive: Ecuador no longer to intervene with UK for WikiLeaks Assange – foreign minister
– Ecuador does not plan to intervene with the British government on behalf of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in talks over his situation as an asylee in the South American country’s London embassy, Ecuador’s foreign minister said on Tuesday.
Julian Assange is fighting Ecuador over a cat – Vox
Julian Assange is suing Ecuador’s London embassy over a cat. They may kick him out for Russia soon.

Capability / Strategy / History Publications

Are We Truly Prepared for a War with Russia or China? | RAND
The U.S. Department of Defense will likely need a strategy to overcome a war with either Russia or China. As threats from these two countries grow, what can the United States do now to prepare for major conflict?
US Army is updating its missile defense strategy with Russia and China in mind
The Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command is hard at work on its revised air-and-missile defense strategy.
Hypersonic weapons: can anyone stop them?
In August, the U.S. Air Force contracted Lockheed Martin to develop a hypersonic prototype weapon – the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW), nicknamed Arrow
China’s H-20 Stealth Bomber: Everything We Know About It | The National Interest
If the H-20 does have the range and passable stealth characteristics attributed to it, then it could alter the strategic calculus between the United States and China by exposing U.S. bases and fleets across the Pacific to surprise air attacks.
B-21 Raider: Russia, China and North Korea’s Greatest Fear (And For a Good Reason) | The National Interest
Like its predecessor, the B-21 Raider will be a heavy strategic bomber designed to carry both nuclear and conventional weapons. If the B-2 is of similar size, it follows it will carry a similar amount of ordinance.
The Era of the Drone Swarm Is Coming, and We Need to Be Ready for It – Modern War Institute
The first KC-46 delivery is not happening this October as planned
A new delivery date has not yet been specified by the Air Force.
Pressure mounts on UK defense chief over pick of Boeing surveillance plane
Saab is crying foul over the British Defence Ministry’s claim that only U.S. defense contractor Boeing can ensure problem-free fielding of a new aircraft fleet for early warning.
France unveils model of the New Generation Fighter – Defence Blog
The well-known French company Dassault used this year’s Euronaval 2018 exhibition to display a model of the New Generation Fighter (NGF) that will eventually replace the current generation of Dassault’s Rafales and Germany’s Eurofighter Typhoons aircraft by around 2035-2040. The Dassault ‘s next-generation aircraft has no tail fin and a swept W-shaped wing design and incorporates highly advanced stealth technologies and integration with information systems. The new aircraft will have tricycle-type landing gear for runway take-off and landing. The air vehicle is expected will be adapt to contemporary air threats and exploiting the potential of artificial intelligence. It is likely that the new fighter jet project is developing as part of Europe’s Future Air Combat System (FCAS) and will eventually replace the current generation of Eurofighter and Rafale fighter aircraft by around 2035-2040. According to a news release put out in April 2018, Germany and France have agreed on the central requirements for a new fighter jet to replace Eurofighter Typhoon and Rafale warplanes beginning in 2040. The CEO of Dassault Aviation, Eric Trappier early said the Airbus and Dassault decided to team up to ensure that Europe retains control over its future weapons systems. Airbus and Dassault said it was important for France and Germany to launch an initial joint study this year so they could get demonstrators of the technology done for 2025. Trappier said the fighter jet would not be a copy of the U.S. F-35 fighter, but would be more ambitious.
The Air Force’s Plan for the Future: A-10s Until 2030s, F-35s Coming In Mass (With a Catch) | The National Interest
Is the Pentagon planning to refurbish F-15Es, F-16s and F-18s just in case the F-35 doesn’t work out as planned?
Air War: China’s J-15 Fighter vs. Russia’s Su-33 (Which Is Better?) | The National Interest
We take a look.
British Carrier Trials Test Unique Landing Capability | Defense content from Aviation Week
Shipborne rolling vertical landing was developed to yield payload bring-back benefits and reduce engine wear.
Electronic warfare (EW) upgrades to enhance electronic attack capability of EA-18G Growler
PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md. – U.S. Navy airborne electronic warfare (EW) experts are working together with the Boeing Co. and Northrop Grumman Corp. to upgrade the AN/ALQ-218 signals intelligence (SIGINT) system aboard the Boeing EA-18G Growler aircraft to provide the system with electronic attack capability. Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., announced a $24.4 million order Monday to the Boeing Defense, Space & Security segment in St. Louis to provide airborne electronic attack system enhancements to the ALQ-218 receiver hardware and communication lines between assemblies to accommodate future planned functional growth and enhancements. The AN/ALQ-218 from the Northrop Grumman Mission Systems segment in Baltimore is a passive sensor system that functions as a radar warning receiver, electronic support measures, and electronic intelligence. The system provides airborne situational awareness and signals intelligence (SIGINT) by detecting, identifying, locating, and analyzing sources of radio frequency (RF) emissions. The AN/ALQ-218 is aboard the EA-18G electronic warfare (EW) jet and the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, and is being considered in the future for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and submarines. Related: U.S. Army’s new electronic warfare capabilities hit the ground in Europe The Navy EA-18G carrier-based electronic warfare aircraft carries multi-mode radar detection, suppression, and countermeasure equipment, such as the multiple AN/ALQ-99 radar jamming pods on its wing tips and tail, the AN/ALQ-218 EW receiver, and a communications countermeasures system installed in the plane’s gun bay. Electronic warfare experts from Boeing and Northrop Grumman aim to provide upgrades and enhancements to communications among the Growler’s jammers and RF receivers to enable future capabilities like automatic jamming of enemy radar and communications systems quickly once detected.
Laser weapons show their stuff in real-world conditions – Military & Aerospace Electronics
From surface warships, jet fighter aircraft, military tactical vehicles, and even unmanned systems, laser weapons are demonstrating with increasing frequency that they are ready for the battlefield
Textron buys ground robot manufacturer Howe & Howe
Textron is adding to its unmanned systems portfolio.
FACT: The CIA Flew U-2 Spy Planes From Aircraft Carriers | The National Interest
Big-wing spy planes once operated from America’s flattops. 
Man who foiled Nazi nuclear plan dies aged 99 | Reuters
The leader of a daring World War Two raid to thwart Nazi Germany’s nuclear ambitions has died aged 99, Norwegian government officials said on Sunday.

IW/EW/IO/Cyber Reports

Tech firms have ‘weaponised’ personal data, says Apple chief Tim Cook | News | The Times
“Deeply personal” data is being “weaponised against us with military efficiency” by tech companies, Apple’s chief executive warned today as he called for tough GDPR-style data laws in the US. Speaking at a privacy conference in Brussels, Tim Cook made a thinly veiled attack on rival companies such
Facebook Turns to U.K. Politician to Help Repair Its Image – WSJ
Facebook has hired Britain’s former deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, as its top policy and communications executive, giving a Silicon Valley outsider the task of mending the social network’s image.
Facebook gets top fine from ICO for Cambridge Analytica data breach – INSIDER
The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office fined Facebook £500,000 ($645,000), the highest punishment it can dish out for a data breach.
Facebook wants to buy a big cybersecurity company after 2 catastrophic data breaches | Business Insider
Facebook is shopping around for a big cybersecurity company,The Information reports.
Facebook May Buy A Cybersecurity Company To Prevent Another Major Hack
Facebook may be working on a shortcut to better security… and restoring public trust.
Russian trolls get DM from US Cyber Command: We know who you are. Stop it | Ars Technica
Part of new cyber strategy to identify, track, warn Russian operatives.
Russian trolls get DM from U.S. Cyber Command: We know who you are. Stop it | UNIAN
The U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) is engaging in a campaign to deter further disinformation operations by Russian operatives—individuals like those employed through Russian companies as part of the “Project Lakhta” program described in last week’s Justice Department indictment of Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova—by letting them know that they are being watched. Part of new cyber strategy to identify, track, warn Russian operatives.
The voting day crisis election officials fear
Hacking of the unofficial results could lead to confusion and mistrust of the final result, according to election officials.
Martens Centre Report: Political Subversion in the Age of Social Media – To Inform is to Influence
Edward Hunter Christie The information space that is used by voters, politicians and interest groups in Western nations is being contested and challenged by new risks and threats, both from within and from without. The aim of this report is to identify some of the main vulnerabilities with respect to current forms of political subversion,…
Propagandist who claimed Ukraine downed MH17 distorted voice via… pot on the head – Russian media |Euromaidan Press |
Modern digital technology can make it almost impossible to discern disinformation from facts. For example, computer games now look so authentic that Russian state TV has used them to illustrate what they presented as real battle scenes in Syria. And experts warn that “deep fakes” in the near future will make it increasingly difficult to separate fiction from reality. However, some people involved in the production of disinformation still stick to old-fashioned tricks. Who needs digital technologies when kitchenware can help you produce disinformation?

Calls grow for Bloomberg to retract ‘Big Hack’ report
Heads of Amazon Web Services, Apple and Super Micro, as well as United States intelligence officials, have disputed Bloomberg’s findings.
Top NSA official skeptical of ‘hack back’
Experts have called hack back

ISPI Report: Confronting an “Axis of Cyber”? – To Inform is to Influence
Fabio Rugge 25 October 2018 The new US National Cyber Strategy points to Russia, China, North Korea and Iran as the main international actors responsible for launching malicious cyber and information warfare campaigns against Western interests and democratic processes. Washington made clear its intention of scaling the response to the magnitude of the threat, while…
Pentagon moves to secure supply chain from foreign hackers
The Pentagon has started a test pilot program to see what companies supply its parts, according to a top defense contractor.
How to Keep a Cyberattack from Turning into Nuclear War? Keep Talking – Defense One
Trump’s Pentagon declared that \”significant non-nuclear strategic attacks\” may invite U.S. nuclear use, but does that matter to North Korea?
3 new tactical cyber units the Army is prototyping
A new cyber battalion and multidomain detachment were among them.
The Army turns its attention to aerial electronic warfare
The Rapid Capabilities Office is looking to prototype aerial electronic systems.
Why cybersecurity intelligence is still bad (and a way to fix it)
The ability to predict an impending cyberattack is insufficient, according to a new survey, but there are systems that may help.
The US Needs a Cybersecurity Civilian Corps – Defense One
Like the auxiliaries that arose during WWII, a new volunteer organization will help face today’s threats.
DHS Plans to Rejigger Government’s Cyber Sensor System for Move to Cloud – Nextgov
The government’s current system of Einstein cyber threat sensors isn’t well-suited to the scale and complexity of cloud systems.

US Domestic Policy Reports

What’s Nikki Haley really up to? – CNNPolitics
On Thursday night, soon-to-be-former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley spoke to an annual gathering of media and political types in New York City. While her speech was primary defined by its jabs — at herself and others, including Elizabeth Warren — the most important and telling moment of the speech came when Haley turned serious at its conclusion.
Haley Keynote at NYC Dinner: ‘You Wanted an Indian Woman But Elizabeth Warren Failed Her DNA Test’ | Fox News Insider
Outgoing U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley brought laughter to the annual Al Smith Dinner in New York City on Thursday when she riffed on Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Bolton: Trump Invited Putin To Visit Washington In 2019
U.S. national-security adviser John Bolton says that he extended an invitation from President Donald Trump for Russian leader Vladimir Putin to visit Washington in 2019.
NY Times: Kelly, Lewandowski Had Altercation in February |
According to The New York Times, White House chief of staff John Kelly and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski got into a February physical altercation outside of the Oval Office and had to be separated by Secret Service agents.

Will Americans Vote for Congressional Gridlock or US National Security? |
Will Americans vote for congressional gridlock or for U.S. national security?
Big Bear and Big Panda Just Joined the Discussion – Vice President Mike Pence Reveals Central American Invasion Horde is: “Financed by Venezuela”… | The Last Refuge
Well, there it is.  Quietly within the deliberate words from Vice-President Mike Pence a revelation that explains the origination of the Central American invasion force.  For those who are not deep in the geopolitical weeds, the subtlety can pass unnoticed; for those who travel within the deepest international conflicts, Pence’s words here are as subtle…
White nationalist leaders arrested in L.A.; private messages show effort to ‘reimagine’ movement – Los Angeles Times
Federal authorities have arrested the leader of a Southern California white power group, less than two weeks after other members of the organization were indicted for inciting a riot in Charlottesville, Va., last year, federal authorities said. 
Pipe Bombs Sent to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and CNN Offices – The New York Times
The similar devices set off an intense investigation into whether a bomber is going after people who have often faced barbed right-wing criticism.
Opinion | Rhetoric, Mobs and Terror – The New York Times
The explosive devices were released into a toxic atmosphere created by Trump.
WATCH: Henry Kissinger Told to ‘Rot in Hell’ During NYU Speech | Fox News Insider
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was shouted down by angry protesters during a speaking appearance this week at New York University.

FBI Silent On Lab Results In Kremlin Foe’s Suspected Poisoning
RFE/RL Exclusive: The FBI has refused to release laboratory results into the suspected poisoning of anti-Kremlin activist Vladimir Kara-Murza last year, frustrating his congressional supporters and deepening the mystery behind his illness.
Explosive device found at residence of George Soros, liberal philanthropist and target of far right – media | UNIAN
An explosive device was found Monday in a mailbox at the New York residence of George Soros, the liberal philanthropist and target of far-right, nationalist groups, according to authorities. The FBI’s New York office said in a tweet late Monday that it was conducting an investigation, and that there was no threat to public safety.
Conspiracy theories about Soros aren’t just false. They’re anti-Semitic. – The Washington Post
Blaming Jewish outsiders for dissent and social unrest isn’t new.
Who is George Soros and why is he blamed in every right-wing conspiracy theory? – CBS News
An explosive device sent to Soros’ New York home is the latest reminder that he is a perpetual focus of critics

U.S. Agencies Again Warn Of Foreign Interference In Elections By Russia, Iran, China
U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement agencies issued another warning about foreign interference — by Russia, China, Iran, and others — in the upcoming congressional elections and other elections…
The Issues That Russian Operatives Used to Divide Americans, in Their Own Words – The New York Times
A criminal complaint offered a rare view into how Russian operatives tried to disrupt the American political process, including the midterm elections.
How Political Campaigns Weaponize Social Media Bots – To Inform is to Influence
Please do not be fooled that the only people using these tools are US political parties.  These tools are used by the Russians, the Chinese, and various non-State actors, but usually as weapons against their own citizens, then the West. Unfortunately, the article does not state exactly that point.  </end editorial> Analysis of computational propaganda…
Russian Information War On Ukraine Waged Inside US, Hoax Alert Generated – To Inform is to Influence
The Ukrainian Embassy in Washington put out this alert. Apparently, Russians are waging an information war against Ukraine inside the United States, calling up various US State governors and asking for a telephonic interview for Ambassador Valeriy Chaly with the governor. The call will be recorded and exploited after editing. The request is fake, Ambassador Valeriy Chaly…
Embassy of Ukraine in U.S. warns of fakes –
The Embassy of Ukraine in the U.S. denies its involvement in the fake requests received by the U.S. governors

Rudy Giuliani Claims Manafort Has Shared Nothing Damaging on Trump |
In an unusual arrangement under the circumstances, Paul Manafort’s attorney said his client has not said anything damaging about President Donald Trump, according to the president’s lawyer, while keeping Trump informed about the former campaign chairman’s meetings with prosecutors investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.
Paul Manafort Appears In Wheelchair At Court Hearing For Sentencing Date | HuffPost Australia
The former Trump campaign chairman is awaiting sentencing on charges brought in Mueller’s Russia probe.
Paul Manafort shows up to court in a wheelchair, learns sentencing date
Paul Manafort was rolled into a Virginia court in a wheelchair, missing his right shoe and suffering from what his lawyer described as “significant” health issues.
Ignore the cutout factor, the Russian midterm attack is Putin’s responsibility. He must pay
Following the Department of Justice’s indictment on Friday of Elena Khusyaynova, for targeting the U.S. midterm elections, President Trump should work with Congress to impose significant new sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime.
Russian National Charged with Interfering in U.S. Political System – To Inform is to Influence ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A criminal complaint was unsealed here today charging a Russian national for her alleged role in a Russian conspiracy to interfere in the U.S. political system, including the 2018 midterm election. “The strategic goal of this alleged conspiracy, which continues to this day, is to sow discord in the U.S. political…
Spy Bosses Warn Of Foreign Interference As Feds Unseal New Russia Charges : NPR
The intelligence agencies said the threat of foreign interference persists; DOJ unsealed a criminal case against a Russian accused of being the top accountant for Moscow’s disinformation effort.
U.S. Charges Russian Woman With Trying To Interfere In Elections
U.S. prosecutors charged a Russian woman with conspiring to interfere in U.S. elections, in what appeared to be the first such charges related to next month’s key congressional elections.
Russian national charged with attempting to interfere in 2018 midterms – CNNPolitics
A Russian who allegedly worked on funding online propaganda efforts to manipulate voters in the 2016 and 2018 elections was charged with a federal crime Friday as part of a wider conspiracy to hurt American democracy.
Russian woman charged with attempted meddling in upcoming U.S. midterms
Khusyaynova, who works for a Putin friend, is accused of using social media and e-mail to “create and amplify divisive social media and political content.”
Russian accountant conspired to interfere with US elections: Justice Department – AOL News
The government on Friday charged a Russian national with playing a financial role in a Kremlin-backed plan to conduct “information warfare” against America.
U.S. Panels Postpone Interview With Rosenstein About Report He Had Discussed Ousting Trump
Two U.S. congressional committees have postponed a closed-door interview with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein scheduled for October 24 to question him about a report that he sought to secretly record President Donald Trump and discussed removing the president from office.
Rand Paul’s Campaign to Appease Russia Comes to Congress – Bloomberg
The Kentucky Republican wants his fellow senators to lift sanctions.
Chinese, Russian spies listening to Trump’s phone conversations: report | Fox News
White House officials have learned that President Donald Trump’s cellphone conversations are being intercepted by Russia and China to gather information on his associates and policy positions, The New York Times reported Wednesday.  
When Trump Phones Friends, the Chinese and the Russians Listen and Learn – The New York Times
President Trump has been repeatedly told by aides that his cellphone calls are not secure from foreign spies. But he has refused to heed the warnings to stop talking.
NYT report: China is eavesdropping on Trump’s unsecure iPhone calls — Quartz
It’s trying to figure out “arguments that work” to help it lobby Trump over the trade war, the New York Times reported.
China and Russia listen in on Trump’s personal phone calls: NYT | TheHill
What If Trump Has Been a Russian Asset Since 1987?
When Trump has his summit with Putin, will he be meeting with his counterpart — or his handler? A plausible theory of mind-boggling collusion.

Pence Says U.S. Aims To Create New Space Force By 2020
The White House says it is pushing ahead with plans to establish a new U.S. space force, but the first steps will stop short of creating a sixth branch of the military as touted earlier this year b…
“Space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air and sea,” – US vice president announces space force creation by 2020
24.10.18 09:35 – “Space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air and sea,” – US vice president announces space force creation by 2020 U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the National Space Council, a government body that was revived last year after a decades-long hiatus, Tuesday said the White House does not foresee the creation of an independent space force before 2020. View news.
Here’s The Pentagon’s Initial Plan For Creating a Space Force – Defense One
Parts of the Air Force, Navy and Army would move into a sixth branch, but the NRO will likely remain independent.
Pentagon Officials Debating How Fast to Launch Space Force, Deputy Says – Defense One
White House panel announces formal recommendations, while Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan confirms NRO will remain apart from Space Force.
MDA Joins Tri-Service Hypersonic Weapon Program | Defense content from Aviation Week
Stan McChrystal: I Threw Away My Robert E. Lee Painting – Defense One
“It was not a simple decision,” says the retired Afghanistan war commander.
Bolton’s Whisper Campaign to Oust Mattis – Foreign Policy
Sources say the hawkish national security advisor is behind rumors that the defense secretary plans to resign.