Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Salisbury CW Attack / Syria / Iran / Russia Ad Hoc Update (180)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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More saber rattling, while NATSEC Advisor Bolton spells out some basic realities unpalatable to Muscovy. Russian bid for UN vote on INF fails. More GRU and Troll Farm embarrassments. Latest Russian helo briefing leaked.

Shelin articulates the disturbing reality many have long suspected, that the Russian leadership are believing their own propaganda, and acting upon those beliefs. This was a feature of the NSDAP leadership in their latter years.

Some backfill reports on Salisbury.

Updates on Syria, Iran, Turkey and Saudis. Tehran seems to be playing Russian Roulette as Muscovy has – emulating the Troll Farm was a high risk, low payoff game. Baiting Israel using proxies will cost them.

UAWire – Putin says Russia will produce weapons that have never been seen before

After Washington’s announcement that the US would be pulling out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia will make weapons that have never been seen before. On Thursday, speaking to high-ranking representatives of the Armed Forces and Law Enforcement agencies, Putin said, “Russia does not threaten anybody. We strictly adhere to our obligations in the sphere of international security and arms control.” He added that Russia’s current weapons will be modernized to be able to protect against potential threats. The largest NATO military exercises since the Cold War started in Norway on Thursday. The exercises involve 55,000 military from the NATO countries. Russia’s military buildup on its European border has long been a source of tension for the neighboring countries that are wary of the repetition of Russia’s actions like those in Ukraine and Georgia. US President Donald Trump said that the United States would be pulling out of the 1987 Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which prohibits both countries from creating weapons that could be used in a nuclear conflict.

Russian stocks & ruble strengthen as Bolton says US has no plans for further sanctions at the moment — RT Business News

Russian stock indices and national currency ruble strengthened after US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton said on Wednesday that no additional sanctions on Russia are being planned.

Russians don’t hold Kremlin responsible for Skripal poisoning, say British did it themselves – poll — RT Russia

Only a half of surveyed Russians follow the Skripal poisoning saga and just 3 percent of those, who do, believe the UK’s claims that Russian secret services were behind the Salisbury attack, a fresh poll revealed.

Trump adviser says Russia should ‘get out of’ Crimea and eastern Ukraine | Reuters

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton said on Friday it would be helpful if Russia got out of Ukraine’s Crimea and eastern Ukraine, stopped meddling in U.S. elections, and was less intrusive in the Middle East.

Bolton Says Russia Should ‘Get out of’ Crimea and Eastern Ukraine

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton said on Friday it would be helpful if Russia got out of Ukraine’s Crimea and eastern Ukraine, stopped meddling in U.S. elections, and was less intrusive in the Middle East. Bolton made the comments in an interview with Reuters in Tbilisi, the capital of ex-Soviet Georgia, where he was holding talks with senior government officials. “It will be helpful if they (the Russians) stop interfering in our election … get out of Crimea and the Donbass in Ukraine … stop using illegal chemical weapons to conduct assassination attempts against Russian exiles in the West, and if they would be less intrusive in the Middle East,” said Bolton.

Trump adviser says Russia should “get out of” Crimea and eastern Ukraine | UNIAN

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton said on Friday it would be helpful if Russia got out of Ukraine’s Crimea and eastern Ukraine, stopped meddling in U.S. elections, and was less intrusive in the Middle East. Russia’s behavior was what had prompted Washington to impose sanctions on this country in the past, according to Bolton.

Bolton Tells Russia To ‘Get Out’ Of Ukraine, Stop Election Meddling

U.S. national-security adviser John Bolton has told Russia that it should “get out” of Crimea and eastern Ukraine and “stop interfering” in U.S. elections, warning that Washington could imp…

Trump adviser warns more sanctions against Russia could be coming | Reuters

The United States will do what it deems necessary, including considering more sanctions, to address Russia’s interference in its elections and its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea, U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton said on Friday.

Bolton: U.S. Took Necessary Sanctions Against Russia Over 2008 War In Georgia

U.S. national-security adviser John Bolton says Washington had taken all necessary sanctions against Russia related to the war it fought against Georgia in 2008.

U.S. has put all necessary sanctions on Russia over 2008 Georgia war -Trump adviser | Reuters

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton said on Friday that Washington had taken all necessary sanctions against Russia related to a war it fought against Georgia in 2008.

Bolton says Putin has been invited to visit Washington in early 2019 – POLITICO

It would be the first time the Russian president visited the White House since the George W. Bush administration.

Russia Fails In Bid To Schedule UN Vote On Nuclear Treaty Spurned By Trump

Russia has failed in a bid at the United Nations to schedule debate on a resolution to preserve a 1987 nuclear arms treaty that U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to abandon.

Russia loses in vote to criticize US leaving missile treaty | Fox News

Russia has lost a vote that would have allowed the U.N. General Assembly to consider a resolution supporting a landmark missile treaty and opposing U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from it.

How have Moscow and Washington violated the agreement? What’s so dangerous about intermediate-range missiles? Meduza answers the questions about the INF Treaty that you’re too afraid to ask — Meduza

On October 20, President Donald Trump announced that the United States will withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which prohibits Russia and the U.S. from developing or deploying missiles with short or intermediate ranges. After Trump’s declaration, National Security Adviser John Bolton flew to Moscow for talks with Vladimir Putin, and in an interview with the newspaper Kommersant Bolton blamed Russia for the collapse of the arms control agreement, saying the Kremlin has violated the treaty constantly. Moscow, for its part, has also accused Washington of breaking the agreement. Meduza takes a look at why two countries with thousands of intercontinental missiles should want rockets with shorter ranges, who’s more to blame for the agreement’s disintegration, and what will happen, if the INF Treaty really is scrapped.

Trump Withdrawing From INF Treaty: How Arms Control Dies | Time

Twice in the 20th century, the great powers tried to create peace by limiting armaments. It now appears such efforts have twice failed.

An Arms Race with Russia? We Know How This Story Ends – Tsarizm

An Arms Race with Russia? We Know How This Story Ends. Bring It On Says Trump!

Vladimir Putin’s Russia can’t win U.S. arms race – Washington Times

Russian President Vladimir Putin is warning this week of a new arms race and threatening to target European nations that may host U.S. midrange nukes, in response to National Security Adviser John R. Bolton’s trip to Moscow this week where he confirmed President Trump’s intention to pull out of the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

World War 3: NATO exercise in Norway Trident Juncture may spark cold war and nuclear war | World | News |

NATO is holding its largest military exercises since the end of the Cold War in a bellicose signal of sabre-rattling branded by its critics as “insane”, as it threatens to ignite all-out conflict.

More Russian GRU Incompetence Uncovered – To Inform is to Influence

Russia spies are supposed to live in a shadowy world.  They do, except for the GRU.  In an attempt to hide GRU officers’ children’s presence in the GRU housing area, they added 100 years to their ages. Not only did this create a noticeable anomaly within the pension bureau database, but the area gained the…

New blow to GRU: More Russian military spies exposed

The Russian military agency had its inner workings exposed again Friday as determined journalists and Kremlin critics remain focused on uncovering its secrets.

New blow to GRU: More Russian military spies exposed | Fox News

It seems like open season on the GRU.

Russia’s Military Intelligence Service: A Closer Look

The Russian military intelligence service GRU is not as famous as other Russian government agencies, like the KGB or the FSB. But the GRU has been getting more attention as other countries accuse it of launching secretive and deadly operations.

Russia accidentally leaks image of future high-speed helicopter – Defence Blog

The Kamov Design Bureau appears to have leaked the details of future high-speed helicopter it is about to develop for Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. In Russian social media were posted the images from the helicopter project defense shows of a new concept that could provide increased speed and less drag. The concept feature a ‘delta’ fixed-wing, co-axial rotor system, a side-by-side cockpit, and pusher engines in the rear similar to what is utilized on the Sikorsky S-97 Raider and Bell V-280 Valor. The co-axial rotor system will be driven by two engines. Also, a concept of the high-speed helicopter will eqquiped infrared (IR) heat suppressing systems and various fuselage contour constructions with internal weapons bays as a stealth technology to avoid detection. According to a presentation, Kamov believes new technologies will provide more speed and range and better fuel efficiency. It is expected that the new helicopter will reach speeds of more than 435 mph (700 kph), nearly three times the speed of a conventional helicopter. The project of future Russian high-speed helicopter was displayed by Sergei Mikheyev, General Designer of the Kamov Design Bureau. Sergei Mikheev is an academic, researcher and helicopter designer. He has served as General Designer of Kamov Design Bureau since 1987.

Scary extrajudicial murder accusations raise questions about Putin’s managerial competence – To Inform is to Influence

Hello! The talk of Moscow and Washington this week was the announcement that Trump and Putin have set up a hasty meeting in just three weeks time: what will be on the agenda? The world also learnt one of Putin’s close associates may be running a terrifying-sounding murder squad targeting regime critics and that a…

Kremlin Believes Its Own Propaganda and Loses Touch with Realities Russians and Russian Officials Can See, Shelin Says – To Inform is to Influence

True story.  Several years ago I was exchanging email with a Russian propagandist.  I was young and dumb, so I asked him a question I had been dying to ask for a long time.  “This propaganda that you publish, do you actually believe it”?  His response, “We only publish the truth”.  My main concern was…

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kremlin Believes Its Own Propaganda and Loses Touch with Realities Russians and Russian Officials Can See, Shelin Says

Paul Goble Staunton, October 26 – The Kremlin has fallen into a trap that almost any government in power for a long time does. It has increasingly begun to accept its own propaganda as an accurate description of reality, thus losing touch with what is going on and offending both its own officials and the population at large, according to Sergey Shelin. In support of that contention, the Rosbalt commentator points to the absurd situation in which Putin and his top officials are talking about rapidly rising wages at a time when they are falling and the response of Duma deputies to claims that they and their constituents know are completely imaginary and false ( What is especially harmful and even dangerous is that top officials are coming up with figures that have no connection with reality. If they overstated increases by a few percent, Russians might understand; but when they claim there has been a massive growth when Russians are experiencing massive declines that undermines trust and ultimately support for the powers that be. Shelin provides an analysis which shows that the people are right and the powers that be aren’t, that real incomes are falling after a brief uptick earlier in the year and not rising at ten percent or more as Vladimir Putin and his ministers have insisted. It is not just the people who know this; it is the regime. But the people on top don’t care about facts but only effects. Unfortunately for them, suggesting things are far better than they in fact are is having an impact very different from the one the Kremlin would like. It is undermining public confidence not only in these figures but in the adequacy of their rulers – and it is undermining as well the confidence of more junior officials that their bosses really know what is going on. This doesn’t mean that the population is about to revolt or mid-level officials are about to conspire against the regime, but it does mean that the Kremlin has an ever smaller reserve of public and official confidence in what it is doing. That points to an outcome that may as the poet said be more of a whimper than a bang, but an end nonetheless.

Russian Troll Farm’s Comically Fake U.S. Military Video Incites Ridicule Online

In a bid to counter U.S. efforts to stop Russians from interfering in the mid-term elections, Russia’s infamous troll farm has released yet another patently forged video that is comically bad in …

UAWire – Kremlin intends to fine Google

Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media or Roskomnadzor has accused Google of violating Russian law and will request a court to fine the company between 500 ($7,615 USD) and 700 thousand (10,660 USD) rubles, Radio Liberty reports. The reason for this is that the Internet search engine did not connect to the Russian federal state information system, which contains a list of banned and blocked sites in Russia. According to the Russian law, search engine operators are obliged to exclude such sites from the search results. Roskomnadzor claims that they provided Google with a notification about the need to connect to the system, but this was never implemented.

Why was Sergei Skripal attacked? – BBC News

Evidence suggests the former spy was active across Europe, perhaps even investigating the Russian mafia. Almost eight months after the poisoning in Salisbury of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, the BBC has pieced together the extent to which he had been briefing foreign intelligence agencies before the attempt on his life. Far from living quietly in retirement, Skripal had been travelling extensively across Europe and to the United States providing information to Western security services about Russian intelligence, including its alleged links with the mafia. Richard Galpin has been investigating.

Poisoned By Putin | WAMU

Why did the Russians target Sergei Skripal?

Who Poisoned The Skripals?

On March 4, 2018, the former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in England with the nerve agent Novichok. Britain blames Moscow. Here’s whom Russians blame for…

UAWire – Media: Four Russian S-300 batteries located in northwest Syria

Israeli company ImageSat International reports that 4 batteries for the S-300 missile system, delivered from Russia, are deployed in the northwest part of Syria in the area of Masyaf. According to the company, the systems are located on the newly created site near the Syrian city of Masyaf in the province of Hama. It was there that the Israeli aviation had previously delivered air strikes against targets related to the Syrian chemical weapons program. ImageSat International claims that the systems are not yet operational, and it is not certain who services them, the Russians or the Syrians. It is reported that S-300 systems are located 1.3 kilometers from the Russian anti-aircraft missile systems S-400. The location of the S-300 batteries is approximately 55 km from the Khmeimim Air Base and 45 km from the base of logistics of the Russian Navy in the Syrian port of Tartus. After the crash of the Il-20, in which the Russian Defense Ministry accused Israel of, it was reported that Russia may begin to supply S-300 air defense systems to Syria. Syrian anti-air defense systems shot down a Russian Il-20 reconnaissance plane over the Mediterranean sea in the early morning hours of September 18, killing all 15 crew members on board. The aircraft was shot down by an old Soviet S-200 system. The Russian Defense Ministry blamed not Syria, but Israel, whose F-16 fighters were attacking Syria’s Latakia province. The Russian military department claims that the Israeli pilots “were close to the Il-20 and put the large plane in the line of fire of the Syrian anti-air defense systems”.

UAWire – Israel refuses to warn Russia about air attacks in Syria

Israel rejected Russia’s request to notify Moscow of Tel-Aviv’s operations in Syria in advance. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that the Israel Defense Force “does not intend to limit the freedom of its actions”, Times of Israel reported. Presently, Israel warns Russia about its military operations in Syria only a few minutes before they begin. Moscow requested Israel to notify of their operations in advance.

Mattis Says Russia Cannot Replace U.S. Commitment In Middle East

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has told Arab leaders that Russia is no replacement for the United States in the Middle East, following Moscow’s military intervention in Syria.

UN, West Call On Russia To Stop Syria From Blocking Peace Effort

UN and Western diplomats are urging Russia to help overcome Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s opposition to giving the UN a role in forming a committee to draft a new constitution for the war-torn…

After Gaza strikes, Israel threatens Iranian forces in Syria | Fox News

The Israeli military on Saturday struck dozens of targets across the Gaza Strip in response to heavy rocket fire and threatened to expand its air campaign to Syria after accusing Iranian forces in Damascus of orchestrating the rocket attacks.

Israeli jets hit 80 targets in Gaza amid rocket fire and protests | Israel News | Al Jazeera

Fighter jets attack dozens of sites across the Gaza Strip as fighters fire about 30 rockets into Israel.

Two Iranian attack boats approached US Navy ship with top US general on board – CNNPolitics

Two Iranian fast attack boats came within 300 yards of USS Essex in the Persian Gulf Friday while the four star head of the US Central Command was on board, according to two US defense officials.

Iranian boats approach Navy ship in Persian Gulf while U.S. general aboard

The armed Iranian fast inshore attack craft approached both the USS Rushmore and the Essex, coming within about 300 yards of the Essex at one point.

Is Trump going to blink at making Iran sanctions real?

With the next phase of painful Iran sanctions almost here, European leaders are trying to gut them — and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is taking their…

Facebook finds evidence of Iranian disinformation campaign – To Inform is to Influence

BY ALI BRELAND – 10/26/18  Facebook has discovered Iranian disinformation activity on its platform and is working to reduce its impact. The company’s head of cybersecurity, Nathaniel Gleicher, revealed Friday that Facebook had removed 82 pages, accounts and groups that engaged in “coordinated inauthentic behavior.” Roughly 1 million accounts followed those pages, with another 25,000 accounts joining at…

Facebook uncovers Iran disinformation to sow discord over Trump, race

Facebook has uncovered more activity from a covert Iranian disinformation campaign and has taken steps to insulate its users from it, the company said.

Facebook has discovered an Iranian influence campaign that was followed by more than 1 million people | Business Insider

Facebook said it had detected a coordinated influence campaign run out of Iran that created pages and groups followed by more than 1 million accounts on the social network.

Facebook Identifies Iran-Linked Disinformation Effort With More Than 1 Million Followers | HuffPost Australia

The pages were overseen by Iranians posing as U.S. and U.K. citizens.

Trump imposes sanctions on Hezbollah, says his administration has ‘done a big number’ on Iran | Fox News

For the second time this year, President Trump on Wednesday imposed new sanctions on the Islamist terrorist group Hezbollah, as his administration continues its all-out economic squeeze on the beleaguered Iranian regime.

Iran news: US sanctions force EXTRAORDINARY reaction from Tehran | World | News |

IRAN is launching emergency financial measures to protect 20 million people ahead of a fresh wave of Donald Trump’s sanctions.

‘Death’ Or ‘Martyrdom’? The Answer Threatens To Land Another Iranian Journalist In Jail. Or Worse.

When journalist Pouyan Khoshhal penned an article about the potential health risks to Iranians of a major Shi’ite pilgrimage to neighboring Iraq, he might not have guessed that it could cost him hi…

Turkey Hosts Syria Summit With Russian, French, German Leaders

The leaders of Turkey, Russia, France, and Germany are holding a summit on October 27 in Istanbul to discuss security and political issues in Syria, hoping to find a lasting political solution to S…

The Long Struggle for Supremacy in the Muslim World – WSJ

Turks and Saudis have been enemies for centuries. Now the Khashoggi investigation has rekindled their fierce rivalry—and may upend the politics of the Middle East

Mattis says Khashoggi’s brutal slaying ‘undermines regional stability,’ doesn’t directly blame Saudis | Fox News

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Saturday that the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi “undermines regional stability” and the State Department will take action in response to the killing.

Jamal Khashoggi: Turkey seeks extradition of 18 Saudis in murder – CNN

Eighteen Saudis are being investigated on the charge of “intentional homicide with premeditation” and torture over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a senior Turkish official with knowledge of the investigation told CNN.

Khashoggi fiancee declined Trump invite fearing public opinion ploy

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Friday issued what he said was a “final warning” to those who would endanger Turkey’s borders, saying Ankara was determined to focus its attention on Syrian Kurdish fighters east of the Euphrates.