Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Ad Hoc Media Update (56)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Yet again, reports from inside Russia are not suggestive of either stability or internal cohesion. Also, many interesting reports from the EU, and developments in the IO (Facebook) and cyber domains. Some reports on midterms and US defense policy.


NATO / EU / Russia Reports


European defense coalition launched in Paris | Reuters
A coalition of European militaries ready to react to crises near the continent’s borders was launched on Wednesday with Finland becoming the 10th country to join, amid calls by French President Emmanuel Macron for a “real European army”.
France Urges ‘European Army’ To Defend Against Russia, U.S.
French President Emmanuel Macron is calling for a “real European army” to allow the European Union to defend itself against Russia and even the United States.
UAWire – Macron proposes to create EU army
French President Emmanuel Macron announced that it is necessary to create a “real European army”, “taking into account Russia, China and even the United States.”, reports DW. According to him, without their own army, Europeans will not be able to defend themselves. Russia stands at our borders, and this can be a threat,” he added. Noting that “peace in Europe is fragile,” the president recalled attacks in cyberspace and repeated attempts to “interfere in democratic processes”. At the same time, Macron stressed that the United States cannot be the only defense of the EU because if America withdraws from the Intermediate-Range and Short-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the European security can become the “main victim”. On October 20, 2018, it was reported that the U.S. wants to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty concluded at the end of the 80s between the presidents of the USA and the USSR Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev.
France’s Macron pushes for ‘true European army’ – BBC News
As France marks the World War One Armistice, he says Europe must defend itself better alone.
US war WARNING: Macron says threat from America is as big as RUSSIA and CHINA | World | News | Express.co.uk
EMMANUEL Macron accused the US of being as much of a threat to Europe as China and Russia after Donald Trump pulled out of a Russian Cold War treaty and the Iran nuclear deal.
Macron Fears Europe’s War Demons as Change Enrages Voters – Bloomberg
President Emmanuel Macron is touring France’s World War I battlefields this week to highlight the dangers posed by the resurgence of nationalism in Europe.
NATO general: Europe not moving fast enough on military mobility
Are there changes that NATO nations can easily make to ease the logistics challenge in Europe?
UK Plans a Decade of Weapons Purchases As Auditors Sound Warning Bells – Defense One
Defense procurement minister reiterates commitment to 10-year, £186 billion purchase plan.
U.S. Navy Starts Top Gun Training Program for Submarines
The Navy is taking a page out of its own “Top Gun” book, but this time for submarines instead of F-14s. The service is creating a unit designed to teach submariners how to fight their Russian and Chinese counterparts. The “aggressor squadron” is part of the Navy’s push to prepare for—and with any luck, avoid—a major war with another major power. USNI News reports that the new commander of the U.S. Navy’s Naval Submarine Forces, Vice Adm. Charles Richard, is standing up the new unit as part of a training overhaul for attack submarine commanders and crews. Admiral Richard wants to focus the submarine fleet away from the diversified missions of the post-9/11 period—which often included intelligence-gathering and other anti-terrorism missions—and back on the ability to fight other navies.
Norwegian warship collides with oil tanker following NATO exercise
The Norwegian frigate KNM Helge Instad is in danger of sinking after colliding with an oil tanker.
Norwegian warship at risk of sinking after collision with oil tanker
All 137 crew have been evacuated from the ailing frigate.

Russia / Russophone Reports


UAWire – Medvedev issues a decree to protect Russian companies from sanctions
In a governmental decree published on the website of the Cabinet of Ministers, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered measures to alleviate the negative influence of retaliatory sanctions against Russian companies. “The Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Economic Development should ensure a balance of commodity markets and eliminate the negative influence of the special economic sanctions on the activities of Russian organizations,” the document stated. The new Russian retaliatory measures against Ukraine affects 322 individuals and 68 legal entities. Olexiy Poroshenko, son of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, leader of the Fatherland party, Yulia Tymoshenko, the Head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Arsen Avakov and others were among those affected. Judges of the Constitutional Court, Deputies of the Verkhovna Rada and other businessmen and officials were also subjected to sanctions. In May 2018, Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers, Security Service, and National Bank initiated the introduction of new sanctions against individuals and legal entities involved in Russian aggression against Ukraine. The sanctions target individuals who prepared and facilitated voting during the Russian presidential elections in annexed Crimea. Additionally, the sanctions effect representatives of the Russian administration in the Crimea, militants of Russian armed groups in the annexed territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and individuals involved in cyber-aggression against Ukraine and those who commit unlawful actions against Ukrainian citizens illegally held in Russia. Deputies of the State Duma and members of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly are also included on the list. The sanctions imposed in previous years have been extended; the new sanctions will last for three years or, in some cases, an indefinite term.
UAWire – Kremlin: Russia and China may establish cross-border payment system in national currencies
Russia and China can create cross-border payment systems using national currency, according to the First Deputy Head of the Russian Government, Executive Office Sergei Prihodko, TASS reports. According to Prihodko, after the American sanctions, “new mechanisms for conducting reciprocal payment are needed.” “We believe that shifting to payments in national currencies will significantly reduce sanctions risks and dependence of bilateral trade on the US dollar, to avoid exchange rate fluctuations and fees for money transfer,” Prihodko explained. In October, the Russian government confirmed that it was working on reducing the Russian economy’s dependence on the US dollars.
Russia Tightens Control Over Cell Phone Messenger Services
The Russian government has approved regulation aimed at tightening control over popular anonymous messenger services by identifying users by their cell phone numbers.
Someone spammed a Novosibirsk City Hall forum, lobbying hard for a Stalin monument — Meduza
From October 9 to 29, Internet users in Novosibirsk were invited to share their thoughts about a proposal to build a monument in the city to the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. In three weeks, 243 comments rolled in.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kremlin Doesn’t Believe Putin and Regime are Less Popular than They Were, Stanovaya Says
Paul Goble Staunton, November 7 – The Kremlin doesn’t believe that there has been any decline in the popularity of Vladimir Putin or his regime “as a whole,” Tatyana Stanovaya says. Instead, it thinks any appearance of declines in support for officials is their fault or something the regime can easily manage. If those around Putin do conclude that there has been a decline, the Russian analyst says, they may artificially seek to boost in via media campaigns or alternatively they may tighten the screws still further, eliminating the last remnants of any real competition in the political system (carnegie.ru/commentary/77646). The latter variant is more likely, she argues; and either is far more probable than one that some in Moscow are talking about – “the liberalization of the regime.” That is because for “a significant part of the Russian elite, especially the siloviki, that is viewed as capitulation before the West.” The Putin regime, she argues, was not prepared and is not now prepared for declining ratings of itself. Instead, it blames any appearance of that on the bad decisions of particular officials or even as a natural result of the extremely unpopular pension reform. The first can be replaced, and the second will ultimately be accepted. Those attitudes have governed the Kremlin’s response to losses in the gubernatorial elections and to demands for policy changes, Stanovaya says. This means that governors now aren’t “the subjects of the political process but part of the faceless mechanism of corporate administration,” something that could make the current problems even worse. The oft-repeated thesis that “’there is no catastrophe’ sums up the general attitude in the Presidential Administration, Everything is built around the conviction that Putin is the only choice and that his rating cannot seriously fall;” and that in turn means that those in his entourage are increasingly concerned only about him and not about anything else. There is a logic here, Stanovaya says. “An alternative to Putin can only be a successor of Putin.” And consequently, she continues, if there is more evidence of a decline in his or the system’s popularity, “the kremlin will see in this everything except the political weakness of the president.” It cannot face that because it cannot admit that it is possible. That in turn means that the Kremlin is unlikely to eliminate the basic features of the electoral system lest it appear weak but instead seek to cope with occasional defeats by a focused cadres policy. And that attitude is true for the political system as a whole. The Kremlin now isn’t planning on any major changes. If any changes do take place, Stanovaya says, “this will be connected with the process of the transition of power and not with any adaptation to the declining ratings of support.” This isn’t “stupidity or shortsightedness,” but rather the result of an almost exclusive focus on Putin as the source of power and legitimacy. Via cadres policy, the Kremlin will largely rid itself of politicians and put administrators in their place, people who aren’t interested in or skill at political activities. They won’t be like the Surkovs or Volodins of the past but rather faceless people who will shine only with the reflected light of Putin. Intrigues will decline because such people won’t engage in them. The Putin regime, Stanovaya concludes, is working on the formation of a corporate state “where the interests of the corporation are automatically classed as those of the people and the population itself loses its last political rights.” Only if the regime becomes indecisive will this change, and that will only happen if there are serious challenges from below.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Ever Fewer Russians Making Long-Term Plans, Levada Center Reports
Paul Goble Staunton, November 8 – Russians have not only lost hope in the future but have stopped making plans for it, at least in the longer term. A new Levada Center poll finds the percentage who are making plans five and six years our has dropped from 17 percent to 11 percent since May 2016 and the share of those planning for a year ahead fallen from 37 percent to 35 percent. Still worse, the center found, the share of Russians who haven’t made plans even for the next few months has risen by almost ten percent, from 37 percent to 46 percent, according to Dozhd TV which said it had obtained a pre-publication copy of the Levada report (tvrain.ru/news/levada_tsentr_v_rossii_sokratilos_chislo_ljudej_planirujuschih-474667/). The Levada Center study reported that the decline has continued throughout the period and that all the figures about planning for the future were higher six months ago, an indication that this secular decline likely is continuing in response to the deteriorating economic and social situation many Russians find themselves in. Surveys support that conclusion, the Levada Center sociologists say. Those not making plans for the future now are overwhelmingly part of the segment of the population which assesses its material situation as “below average.” Those with higher assessments of their position on the social latter are more inclined to make longer-term plans. The sociologists also noted that the share of Russians who believe that their country is headed in the wrong direction has grown over the last year. In October 2017, 27 percent of Russians said they believed that; last month, the figure was 40 percent. And the share of those ready to take part in protests has grown by “more than 10 percent” over the same period.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moving Buryatia, Transbaikal Kray from Siberian to Far Eastern FD Creates Winners and Losers
Paul Goble Staunton, November 5 – Yesterday, Vladimir Putin signed a decree shifting the Buryat Republic and the Transbaikal Kray from the Siberian Federal District to the Far Eastern FD, a superficially small administrative change that in fact is creating whole new classes of winners and losers in the Russian Federation east of the Urals. The decree (publication.pravo.gov.ru/Document/View/0001201811040002) appears to have been in the works for several months and may have been part of Putin’s appointment of Aleksandr Osipov as governor of the Transbaikal in October. In any case, he greeted the decision (stoletie.ru/lenta/zabajkalje_i_buratija_voshli_v_sostav_dalnevostochnogo_okruga_745.htm). He suggested that “now the kray will receive more subsidies for air travel” and also more investments for new jobs, a view Buryatia head Aleksey Tsydenov shared. The latter added that it will also mean that those families who have a third child will now get government aid, something that has not been true in the Siberian FD. Duma officials also welcomed the move for similar reasons, but at least one deputy, Nikolay Nikolayev, who heads the natural resources committee, worried the change might harm efforts to save Lake Baikal, a view echoed by Russian environmental activists (sibreal.org/a/29583419.html). The Russian expert community and commentariat also saw the move creating new winners and losers. Among the losers will be the Siberian FD which will now have less power and get even less attention, even as the Far Eastern FD gets more of both, given Putin’s commitment to the development of the latter region. Some in Moscow, including Sergey Rayevsky of the Russian Academy of Economics and State Service, suggested that the move in fact was all about strengthening Russia’s position on the Pacific Rim; but Sergey Markov, a political analyst, disagreed, saying it was all about “logistics” and Moscow’s own interests in that regard (kp.ru/daily/26903/3948878/). Commentators in Irkutsk, on the other hand, are very upset by the move, seeing it as undermining their efforts to promote a greater Baikal region, on the assumption that they will get less money and less support for the development of Irkutsk as a regional center for Siberia as a whole (babr24.com/bur/?IDE=182654). One of their number, Andrey Svetlov, argued that the transfer of the two federal subjects will make things “still worse” for Siberia; and another, Leonid Fedorov, said it was “the funeral of ‘the Baikal region’” and a political defeat for officials there who will become less important than they were (babr24.com/irk/?IDE=182670). But more generally, Putin’s action suggests that the Kremlin leader has no intention of doing away with the federal districts anytime soon. He may shift some subjects from one to another but won’t touch that basic arrangement. And it shows he is quite prepared to change this kind of border and so may be ready to change other borders regional and republic as well.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Criminal Youth Bands Re-Emerging in Russia’s Regions, Threatening Country’s Survival
Paul Goble Staunton, November 5 – Bands of young people intend on violence and crime are re-emerging in many of the cities in Russia’s regions, according to experts who have examined official figures, the result of falling incomes and a sense of hopelessness like the trends that gave rise to their predecessors in the 1990s (ura.news/articles/1036276678). And this development, according to a Urals regional activist, not only undermines public order and confidence in the future among the population as a whole but has the potential to threaten the very survival of the country much as the descent into lawlessness destroyed the Soviet Union earlier (freeural.org/vozvrashhajutsja-lihie-90-e-s-posledujushhim-razvalom-strany/). Mikhail Bely of the URA news agency says that official statistics shows that criminal youth groups like those in the 1990s have re-emerged in the cities of Russia’s regions. One measure of that is that crime among young people has risen by 4.7 percent for the country as a whole and by much higher percentages in the most economically depressed areas. Konstantin Dolinin of the Parental Assembly movement says that the rise of criminal youth groups is no surprise. It reflects three facts: the lack of any serious youth policy by the government, the depressed economic situation young people and their parents face, and the absence of any legal possibility to express their point of view.” Under current conditions, if you appear in the street with a sign “’Against Bad Weather,’” the siloviki will detain you as an extremist, Dolinin says. Not surprisingly, criminal organizations find it easy to recruit young people because such groups can give them hope for the future. A member of one such group told Bely on conditions of anonymity, that the growth of criminal youth groups reflects the fact that there are fewer resources available and that adult criminal groups are now being forced to fight over their division. These groups recruit young people to help them do so. It is wrong to think of criminal youth groups as separate organizations, he says. They are simply “the lowest rung of criminal groups” more generally. Psychologist Aleksandr Kolesnikov confirms this: “Now many youths see that their parents work, get tired and don’t have much. It is hard to achieve success if you don’t belong to the elite. This creates complexes. The groups play on this: one must recognize that social lifts really function in them.” “Theoretically,” the psychologist continues, “today you can be at the lowest level and after a few years, you can become a more or less high-status bandit, if of course you aren’t put in prison or killed.” And Sergey Zhuravsky, a political analyst at the Moscow Institute of Regional Expertise, says that these bands “have literally seized the country.” Now, they dominate things throughout the Urals region where young people feel they have been abandoned by everyone. Soon they will spread everywhere: “this is already an epidemic which it is hard to stop.” Andrey Romanov, in a comment for his Free Urals portal, says that those who want to understand where Russia is heading should not be looking at Moscow where Putin will keep the standard of living relatively high to forestall any protests but rather at the cities in the regions where criminal youth groups now hold sway. “Travel through the regions and look at how people live” and then you will see the future, one in which no one trusts anyone else and in which the Russian Federation as a single country is being undermined. This “chain reaction will pass through the regions and eventually reach Moscow,” he continues. “Out of the popular protests in the regions will come new leaders” and they won’t be stopped by the Kremlin’s siloviki. “The people do not believe anyone, not the right, not the left, not the systemic or the extra-systemic.” Many are suffering, and the re-emergence of criminal bands of young people is a harbinger of the collapse of the entire system.
Russia To Mark National Unity Day
Russia is marking National Unity Day with nationalists and government supporters expected to march through the streets of Moscow.
Russian Nationalists March On National Unity Day
Supporters of Russian nationalist groups marched in Moscow on November 4, a day officially marked as National Unity Day. Several people were detained during the march. The holiday was created by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2005 to celebrate a Russian victory over the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1612.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Monday Could Well be Last Day of National Unity Because There is No Unity to Celebrate, Shelin Says
Paul Goble Staunton, November 2 – Rumors are flying (kommersant.ru/doc/3787780) that the Kremlin in the future dispense with the November 4 Day of National Unity altogether or shift it to March 18 where it would be combined with the Day of Crimea. Either action would be appropriate, Sergey Shelin says, because at present, “there is no unity” in Russia to celebrate. The Rosbalt commentator says that doing that would be a “radically softened replacement of another project,” also rumored but uncertain to be achieved, annexing Belarus or Kazakhstan or both, in order to demonstrate the existence of Vladimir Putin’s much-ballyhooed “Russian world” (rosbalt.ru/blogs/2018/11/02/1743885.html). This year, the November 4 holiday will be marked but “more modestly than in past years, without marches, political meetings or a big show.” That in and of itself is a sign that the powers that be have decided that “the Day of Unity has fallen out of favor” and that it would be best to simply ignore it altogether. The events of 1612 remain cloudy for most Russians, and November 7th, the holiday that November 4th was created to displace, no longer has the allegiance or even interest of many, Shelin continues. “There is no problem of competition” any more. Worse, November 4th is on its way to becoming like the second-tier holidays like the Day of the Flag. What November 4th was intended to be about was the coming together of the people and the elite as did Minin and Pozharsky in order to stand up to foreign foes together, the Rosbalt commentator says. But over the last few years, the people have come to realize that the elites are not their allies and may even be their enemies, hardly the basis for unity. And in that situation, talking about unity has the effect of highlighting how little unity there now is and perhaps even exacerbating the situation by leading those who still feel something like unity to ask themselves why they do when so many others have already reached a negative conclusion. That is all the more likely, Shelin says, because “today’s princes Pozharsky aren’t ashamed of their wealth” and are interested only in extracting more from the population so that their own wealth will increase. That can’t be hidden now as easily as it was during the “Crimea is ours” euphoria. The naked truth of the division is too obvious for all. “There is no unity” in Russia today, Shelin concludes. Staging a holiday that suggests otherwise won’t produce it. Instead, it will lead to more questions by more people of the kind the powers that be in the Kremlin don’t want anyone to ask.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Academic Dishonesty in Russia Increasingly Condemned but Still Widespread
Paul Goble Staunton, November 1 – One of the most dangerous threats to the intellectual future of Russia has been widespread tolerance of plagiarism and other former of academic dishonesty in even the best universities of that country. If people are certified without having the knowledge and skills that requires, they will undermine far more than just their own careers. Now, there is some evidence that Russian higher education has begun to turn the corner. A joint study by the Higher School of Economics and the Levada Center has found that “higher educational institutions are ever less tolerance to academic fraud and are monitoring it more carefully” (vedomosti.ru/politics/articles/2018/11/02/785516-vshe-akademicheskogo-moshennichestva). To track this phenomenon, the study divided Russia’s higher schools into four categories: leading, ordinary, creative and private. “Fewer than half (47 percent) of instructors from all categories said they had not heard of any cases of bribery; 30 percent said they had heard of them in other schools; and 20 percent had heard about them in their own as well as others.” The incidence of bribery was reported as highest in private universities – 51 percent – and lowest in the creative ones – 20 percent. But instructors in all categories are more inclined now than earlier to insist on checking for plagiarism has gone up from 68 percent in 2012-2014 to 75 percent now, perhaps in the wake of the exposure of so many plagiarized dissertations. But Vedomosti noted, “in comparison with 2014, cases of dishonest behavior among instructors, according to the instructors themselves, have not become less frequent; and in certain cases, they have even increased” despite the overall figures suggesting growing disapproval of this plague. Students polled said that the most common form of academic dishonesty among them was preparing with a group work that is supposed to be done independently (34.3 percent), using already published works without adequate citations (29.9 percent), and pulling articles off the Internet (26.9 percent). At the same time, the students reported that their instructors were more prepared now than four years ago to give bad marks to students who were caught engaging in these activities, a reflection of the fact that ever more higher educational institutions have put in place programs to monitor and then eliminate academic dishonesty.
Crimean TV Mocks Mom Worried By Chemical Leaks
A mother of four has been vilified by Russian media in Crimea for protesting against what she says may be continuing leaks from a chemical plant. The factory was shut down and hundreds of children temporarily evacuated in September due to a sulfur dioxide leak, but reopened on October 20.
Pro-Kremlin Propagandist Attacks Ukrainian Ambassador in Austria – To Inform is to Influence
UK blogger and wanna-be journalist Graham Phillips, is up to his tricks, once again.  Of late, he has turned from trying to report the news, to trying to make the news – also not successfully. Attacked Ukrainian Ambassador to Austria Last month he defaced the grave of Ukrainian hero Stepan Bandera in Germany. Reported for…
Russian State Missile Firm’s CEO ‘Funnels Business’ To Hairstylist Daughter
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman sought to cast doubt on a newspaper’s allegations of top-level corruption at Tactical Missiles Corporation, the state-controlled weapons manufacturer known as KTRV. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman sought to cast doubt on a newspaper’s allegations of top-level corruption at Tactical Missiles Corporation, the state-controlled weapons manufacturer known as KTRV. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters on November 7 that the government is aware of the report and that law enforcement authorities will look into the matter “if it presents some interest to them” to do so. Peskov did not comment on the substance of the report but said that people should “retain sobriety and not…believe unsubstantiated declarations.” The independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper earlier reported that the 29-year-old daughter of the missile corporation’s director owns a large stake in the business from which the state-controlled organization makes much of its supply purchases. The report said that Olga Zorikova, daughter of KTRV Director Boris Obnosov, works as a makeup artist and hairstylist at weddings and fashion shows, but also owns 20 percent of TRV-Engineering through a complicated series of ownership structures under the Zvezda-Strela name. In the past five years, it said, TRV-Engineering had signed contracts with KTRV worth about $91 million.
How Vladimir Putin’s ‘top missile adviser’ got rich on Russia’s nuclear defense industry — Meduza
The Tactical Missiles Corporation (KTRV) is one of the biggest state corporations in Russia’s military industrial complex. Among other things, the company manufacturers hypersonic weapons, air-to-surface and air-to-air missiles, and naval weapons systems. Sergey Prikhodko (Dmitry Medvedev’s current first deputy chief of staff) served as KTRV’s board chairman until 2013, and former State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov has had the job for the past several years.
A Russian aviation technician was convicted of treason for writing about airplanes in online forum. Here’s his story. — Meduza
This Tuesday, the human rights group “Team 29” published a report about what happened to Roman Dmitriev, the aviation technician at an aircraft factory in Komsomolsk-on-Amur who was convicted of treason in October 2017. Dmitriev’s crimes included posting information about planes on the forum Airforce.ru, and — according to Russia’s Federal Security Service — handing over secret data to a supposed Israeli intelligence agent. Last year, the Khabarovsk Regional Court sentenced Dmitriev to 4.5 years in a maximum-security prison. He was 26 years old at the time. This Tuesday, the human rights group “Team 29” published a report about what happened to Roman Dmitriev, the aviation technician at an aircraft factory in Komsomolsk-on-Amur who was convicted of treason in October 2017. Dmitriev’s crimes included posting information about planes on the forum Airforce.ru, and — according to Russia’s Federal Security Service — handing over secret data to a supposed Israeli intelligence agent. Last year, the Khabarovsk Regional Court sentenced Dmitriev to 4.5 years in a maximum-security prison. He was 26 years old at the time. After the Khabarovsk Regional Court’s reached its verdict, the FSB briefly summarized the case, without revealing any details (not even Dmitriev’s name). An anonymous source familiar with the investigation and the trial later provided that information to Team 29. Federal agents arrested Roman Dmitriev in April 2016 at the Gagarin Aircraft Plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, where he’d worked since 2013. When first interrogating him, officers asked about his comments in an Internet forum, threatened him with pretrial detention, and simultaneously offered him a suspended sentence. Then they released him without any explanation. Dmitriev went back to work, but in September he was charged with disclosing state secrets (punishable by up to four years in prison). After he signed a confession, the charges were raised to treason (punishable by up to 20 years). At the Gagarin Aircraft Plant, Dmitriev had level-three security clearance (the lowest there is). One employee at the factory told Team 29 that the information Dmitriev shared online was first published on the enterprise’s local network. According to Team 29, federal officials opened another investigation against a fellow technician, whom they accused of leaking state secrets to Dmitriev. The second suspect’s surname was Laiter, and the case against him was likely “closed or never went to court,” says Team 29. The FSB classified three of Dmitriev’s 230 online comments as state secrets. In one comment, for example, he wrote about the export of Sukhoi Su-35 and Su-57 aircraft to China between 2016 and 2020, also listing the planes’ tail numbers. The first expert evaluation of Dmitriev’s online activity determined that he had disclosed no state secrets, but the Gagarin Aircraft Plant’s security department later conducted its own review and decided that he had leaked classified information. According to Team 29, Dmitriev’s comments with this data are still accessible at Airforce.ru.
Russian human rights NGO systematically crushed for defending political prisoners – Human Rights in Ukraine
The prominent Russian NGO ‘For Human Rights’ may be forced to cease its work after being denied a presidential grant, one of the chief forms of funding since the so-called law on ‘foreign agents’ made it near impossible to function through grants from abroad –
Russian Lawyer’s Car Torched In Reprisal For Human Rights Work, Watchdog Says
The car of a Russian human rights lawyer who is involved in cases against law enforcement agencies has been set on fire, a rights watchdog reports.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia Cracking Down on Jehovah’s Witnesses Even More Often than on Islamist Radicals
Paul Goble Staunton, November 6 – The number of religious people in Russia charged with extremism has doubled over the past year, with “the lion’s share” of cases being directed against the Jehovah’s Witnesses, rather than against Muslim radical groups like Hizb ut-Tahrir, SOVA experts say. In part, this reflects the fact that Muslim radicals are often charged with other crimes such as terrorism; but in part, it is the result of the hostility of both the Russian state and the Russian Orthodox Church to a religious group that is pacifist and disciplined and that is increasingly numerous unlike most other non-traditional religions in Russia. Olga Sibiryeva, an analyst at the SOVA Center, says that “the unjustified application of anti-extremist legislation toward believers in recent years has become the most important instrument of repression.” The repression of the Jehovah’s Witnesses has gone up since it was banned by the Russian authorities (idelreal.org/a/29583668.html). “To accuse pacifists of extremism is, of course, a great ‘achievement’ of our powers that be,” she continues. It reflects both the general dislike of religious minorities and the specific dislike of any whose religious convictions lead them to oppose what the state wants. From the government’s perspective, they are “dangerous.” Moreover, because the regime’s confiscation of their property has not stopped the Jehovah’s Witnesses from continuing to meet, Moscow has decided to take more extreme forms against the group, including charging them in an unwarranted way with crimes, Sibiryeva says. Hence the large number of them found in this category. Moscow human rights expert Lev Levinson says the repression against the Jehovah’s Witnesses has opened the way to more repression against other religious groups not identified as “traditional” for Russia in the 1997 law (Orthodoxy, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism), a move intensified by media campaigns against what Moscow views as “cults.” Russian television has created “a collective portrait of new religious movements which are cultured totalitarian sects as dangerous for life, health, property, and the inviolability of the individual. It is said that they occupy themselves with ‘encoding’ their beliefs,” turning their followers into zombies. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are an especially attractive target from Moscow’s point of view, Levinson says. Their headquarters are in the United States, and they have a centralized organization. Moreover, they are extremely disciplined, pacifist, and ready and able to compete in many places with the Russian Orthodox Church. Few other groups are as effective. They number more than 150,000 in Russia, far larger than most of these others; and because of their pacifism, they form the largest share of those doing alternative service rather than agreeing to be drafted. That makes them stand out in the view of both state and church, the human rights expert says. Levinson adds that the persecution of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is “the obvious result of the formation in Russia of an ideological state” in which Orthodoxy is viewed as one of the basic building blocks of the state ideology. The campaign against them is purely political and not about any religious issue. The situation with regard to Muslims and especially Muslim minority trends, Ali Charinsky, the leader of the For the Rights of Muslims group now in emigration in Ukraine, is both similar and different, similar in that Moscow is generally tightening its control over these groups but different in that there are major regional variations with the situation in the North Caucasus getting better while that elsewhere is becoming worse. He even says that the repressions against the Jehovah’s Witnesses have helped raise the consciousness of Russians that what their government is doing is wrong and is leading ever more of them to resist. “It is one thing when you deceive people by telling them that Hizb ut-Tahrir is a terrorist group and you are only fighting against them. People believe that.” But, Charinsky continues, it is quite another matter when the government calls Jehovah’s Witnesses or all non-muftiate Muslims the same thing. That is absurd on its face, and people are beginning to recognize that fact. They can see that if these groups are called extremist, anyone can be, including political opposition figures or even themselves.
Three Police Officers In Russia’s Bashkortostan Arrested On Suspicion Of Raping Colleague
A court in Russia’s autonomous republic of Bashkortostan has ordered the arrests of three police officers in the regional capital, Ufa, on suspicion of raping a colleague.
Jailed Russian Gangster Placed In Solitary Confinement Over Scandalous Photos
On of Russia’s most infamous gangsters, who is serving a 20-year prison sentence, has been placed in solitary confinement after photos of him receiving privileged treatment circulated on the Internet.
Top Russian Tycoons Asked To Stay Away From Davos: Report
Several Russian tycoons blacklisted by the United States have been asked not to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Switzerland in January, a Russian state bank reported.
Monaco Charges Russian Billionaire Rybolovlev In Graft Case
A judge in Monaco has charged Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev in a corruption-related case, the principality’s chief prosecutor says.
Russia Asks For Explanation After Billionaire Rybolovlev ‘Detained In Monaco’
The Russian Embassy to France has asked for clarifications from authorities in the Principality of Monaco after Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev was reportedly detained there for questioning i…
Russian Billionaire Rybolovlev ‘Detained In Monaco’
Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian billionaire and owner of the Monaco soccer club, has been detained in Monaco for questioning in a corruption-related case, French newspaper Le Monde reports.
Russian oligarch who bought mansion from Trump detained and questioned on corruption charges: report | TheHill
A Russian billionaire who purchased a mansion from President Trump in 2008 in a business deal that is now being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller was detained Tuesday in Monaco and questioned related to an ongoing corru
Media Reports Say Acting Mayor Of Daghestani Capital Detained
Media reports in Russia says that the acting mayor of Makhachkala, the capital of the North Caucasus region of Daghestan, has been detained after his office was searched.
Two Killed In Siberian Bridge Collapse; Latest Of Four In Russia
Russian officials say a bridge in the Khanty-Mansiisk region of Siberia collapsed while undergoing repairs, killing two people and injuring at least five others.
Russia Claims Thwarted Drone Attacks On World Cup Events This Summer
The head of Russia’s Federal Security Service has claimed that it thwarted attempted drone attacks at World Cup events this summer.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia has Fewer than Half as Many Airports as Papua New Guinea Does and Only One 60th as Many as the US Does
Paul Goble Staunton, November 6 – Russia is currently tying itself in knots about the names to give its airports and how to refit its only aircraft carrier (afterempire.info/2018/11/06/airports/), but what it really needs to do, Russian analyst Dmitry Milin says is to build more airports rather than come up with names for the existing one or spend money on rebuilding the Admiral Kuznetsov. “Russia doesn’t need an aircraft carrier,” the analyst says. It doesn’t have a mission for such vessels and they in essence become “’a big target’” in the event of war. Moreover, Russia hasn’t built one for decades and doesn’t know how to build one now (newizv.ru/article/general/06-11-2018/dmitriy-milin-rossii-nuzhny-ne-avianostsy-a-aerodromy). What Russia does need and can build, Milin continues, “are airfields. Many, hundreds more even. Airfields which can be used both for peaceful purposes and military ones.” Given how enormous the country is and how underserviced it is by highways and rail lines, airports are a key way of linking the country together and providing the basic infrastructure for shifting investments and workers in peacetime and soldiers in the event of war. If Russia built more airports, it would boost its GDP. Just how far is Russia behind other countries? The numbers tell the story: the US now has 13,513 airports; Brazil, 4093; Mexico, 1714; Papua New Guinea, 561, Venezuela, 444; and Iran, 319. Russia in contrast has 228, down from 1450 in 1991. It thus has today 60 times fewer airports than the US and fewer than half as many of these facilities as Papua New Guinea.
Russia investigating ‘whale jail’ holding 101 captured Orcas and Belugas in Pacific bay
Prosecutors are investigating whether more than 100 whales crowded into tiny enclosures on Russia’s Pacific Coast are being held illegally.
Russia Reports Computer ‘Malfunction’ On International Space Station
Russia’s Roskosmos space agency says one of the computers on the International Space Station (ISS) has malfunctioned, but it gave assurances that the defect has no impact on the safety of the crew.
Love Conquers Truth: New Romantic Comedy By RT Chief Simonyan Spins Crimea Drama
Margarita Simonyan, chief editor of RT television, and her filmmaker husband have produced a romantic comedy set against the building of the Kerch Strait Bridge in which the main object of adoration is the Russian flag.

Central Asia / Caucasus Reports


Central Asia’s Economic Picture | Center for Strategic and International Studies
This event will be live webcast from this page. With reports of food shortages in Turkmenistan and deepening economic troubles in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia’s economic situation looks increasingly precarious. Please join us to discuss the implications of these economic challenges for the region, the authorities’ response, the impact on ordinary citizens, and the larger geopolitical consequences. This event is made possible through general support from CSIS.
UAWire – Kazakhstan explains why Musk’s rockets are better than Russia’s
The first two Kazakhstani scientific satellites will be launched using a Falcon-9 launch rocket developed by Elon Musk’s company SpaceX, because this will be cheaper than launching using a Russian rocket, said Aset Nurkenov, spokesperson for the Kazakhstani Ministry of Defense and the Aerospace Industry, as quoted by Interfax. He noted that in future, Kazakhstan may launch “space apparatus of such a configuration” from its Baikonur Cosmodrome using Soyuz and Proton rockets. “This time we are using a Falcon-9 because it was cheaper to launch on a Falcon-9. The amount is a commercial secret, we were asked by the American party not to disclose it,” Nurkenov explained. He specified that the satellite launch is scheduled for November 20, and will be done at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The two satellites to be launched are the scientific satellite KazSaySat and the technology satellite KazistiSat.
Armenia ‘May Lose Post’ On Russian-Led Defense Group
The Russian business newspaper Kommersant is reporting that Armenia may lose its temporary leadership position on a Russian-led defense organization as a result of its ouster of the current chairman.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: In Uzbek Schools, the Russian Language is Ceasing to Be Russian, Fergana Journalist Says
Paul Goble Staunton, November 2 – Moscow is so concerned about having Russian taught in the former Soviet republics that it has typically failed to take note of the fact that instructors in Russian there make so many mistakes that their students are no longer speaking a Russian language that a Russian would recognize. The situation is particularly acute, Sabina Adolatova of the Fergana News Agency says, in Uzbekistan where the problem is not confined to regular schools but extends to university instructors as well. As a result, she continues, it is fair to say that “Russian in Uzbekistan is ceasing to be Russian” (fergananews.com/articles/10262). She gives example after example of grammatically and syntactically incorrect Russian that teachers and students in the Central Asian republic are using on a regular basis, imagining that they know Russian. Each is perhaps funny in and of itself, Adolatova says; but the overall pattern can only lead to regret and perhaps even anger. The journalist says that many of the items which appear on the website of Samarkand State University appear to have been “prepared with the assistance of Google Translate” rather than by someone who actually knew Russian. But in many cases, Google Translate would give a better rendering of the Russian version of the Uzbek than the Uzbeks do. There are many reasons for the decay of knowledge of Russian, Adolatova continues, including desire to learn other foreign languages, the departure of native Russian speakers who can serve as teachers or for practice, and the size of the rising generation which has overwhelmed the schools and universities. Uzbekistan officials at all levels acknowledge the problem, but so far, they have failed to take adequate steps to address it, the Fergana journalist suggests. Instead of ensuring that students at least know Russian well, many schools in Uzbekistan are pushing other languages which may not be mastered any better than Russian now is. As Uzbek Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov put it in June, with regard to languages other than Uzbek, “without having put in place the new, we are destroying the old.” Among the old that is being destroyed, Adolatova concludes is a genuine knowledge of Russian. Uzbek students increasingly speak something that resembles Russian but really isn’t that language.

Belarus Reports


Lukashenka Says No Need For Russian Military Base In Belarus, Praises U.S. Role In Europe
Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka says that his country is Russia’s ally but that there is no need for a Russian military base in Belarus. Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka says that his country is Russia’s ally but that there is no need for a Russian military base in Belarus. Speaking to a group of U.S. experts and analysts in Minsk on November 6, Lukashenka also said the U.S. “military and political role” is crucial to security in Europe. “The Belarusian armed forces are capable of providing security and carrying out their duties much better than any other country, including the Russian Federation,” Lukashenka said. He also stated that Belarus was “a European country” that is interested in “a strong and united Europe, adding that Europe today was “our planet’s major pillar.” “God forbid somebody ruins it…. We are certain that regional security [in Europe] depends on the cohesion of the region’s states and preservation of the United States’ military and political role in the European arena,” Lukashenka said. An authoritarian leader who has ruled Belarus since 1994, Lukashenka has sought to strike a balance between eastern neighbor Russia, which he depicts as both an ally and a threat, and the EU to the west. The EU eased sanctions against Belarus in 2016 after the release of several people considered political prisoners, but has criticized Lukashenka’s government for a violent clampdown on demonstrators protesting an unemployment tax in March 2017. Belarus and Russia are joined in a union state that exists mainly on paper, and their militaries have close ties — though Lukashenka has resisted Russian efforts to beef up its military presence in Belarus, which lies between Russia and the NATO states.
UAWire – Lukashenko says no to Russian military base in Belarus
Belarus is “categorically opposed” to the deployment of a Russian aerospace base in its territory, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko …
Belarusian Journalists Charged With ‘Illegally Obtaining Data’ From State-Run News Agency
Belarusian authorities have charged the chief editor of the BelaPAN private news agency and the editor of the independent online news portal Tut.by with illegally obtaining information via the Inte…
Belarusian Sergeants Jailed Over Death Of Conscript Who Complained Of Hazing
Three Belarusian Army sergeants have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms over the death of young conscript, Alyaksandr Korzhych, in October 2017.

Ukraine Reports


UAWire – Russia: Ukraine ‘went too far’ with unfriendly steps
The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova stated at a press briefing that Ukrainian authorities went too far with their unfriendly steps and provoked retaliatory steps from Russia, TASS reports. “Russia restrained itself for a long time in order not to take such measures, but the current Kyiv regime went too far, and we cannot ignore such unfriendly steps,” she explained. When asked about a possible negative reaction from the west, Zakharova said, “People who advocate the global sanctions policy should understand this.” On November 1, Russia imposed economic sanctions against 322 individuals and 68 legal entities of Ukraine. In May 2018, Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers, Security Service, and National Bank initiated the introduction of new sanctions against individuals and legal entities involved in Russian aggression against Ukraine. The sanctions target individuals who prepared and facilitated voting during the Russian presidential elections in annexed Crimea. Additionally, the sanctions effect representatives of the Russian administration in the Crimea, militants of Russian armed groups in the annexed territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and individuals involved in cyber-aggression against Ukraine and those who commit unlawful actions against Ukrainian citizens illegally held in Russia. Deputies of the State Duma and members of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly are also included on the list. The sanctions imposed in previous years have been extended; the new sanctions will last for three years or, in some cases, an indefinite term.

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports


Kabul Undecided About Afghan Peace Talks In Moscow
An Afghan official says that Afghan authorities “have not yet” decided about sending a delegation to international talks Russia hosts next week on the Afghan peace process.
Modern Russian-made MiG-29 multirole fighter crashed in Egypt – Defence Blog
On 3 November, a Russian-made MiG-29 multirole fighter crashed during a training mission in Egypt. The cause of the crash is unknown at this point, the Egyptian pilot managed to eject safely. No further details on the modification of MiG-29 aircraft have been released. The aircraft belonged to the Egyptian Air Force (EAF). According to Russia’s Kommersant newspaper, MiG-29 fighter jet was supplied by Russia to Egypt as part of a commercial contract in 2018. Also, the Russian aircraft corporation confirmed that EAF’s MiG-29 multirole fighter crashed in Egypt. “We are in possession of the latest information about the crash of a MiG-29M belonging to the Egyptian army. Our technical experts will travel to Egypt very soon to help in the investigation,” said in the corporation. The corporation, which unites state-owned military and civilian aircraft construction companies, did not provide possible reasons for the crash. It could not immediately be reached for comment. The MiG-29M/M2 is a major development of the legacy MiG-29, boasting design changes to the airframe, improved turbofans in the RD-33MK (which is similar in weight to the RD-33, but benefits from a higher thrust rating and full-authority digital engine control), fly-by-wire flight control system, updated avionics and Zhuk-ME pulse-Doppler radar.
Police kill knifeman in Melbourne, Australia, terror attack | News | The Times
One person was stabbed to death and two others were injured in a terror attack in Melbourne before police shot the perpetrator dead.Officers initially responded to reports of a car on fire in Bourke Street, one of the city’s busiest shopping districts, during the afternoon rush hour.They arrived to

Foreign Policy Reports


Polish envoy says in Kyiv, Warsaw interests not to allow implementation of Nord Stream 2 | UNIAN
Polish Ambassador to Ukraine, Jan Pieklo, is confident that it is in the interests of both Kyiv and Warsaw not to allow the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. The Ambassador stresses that halting the project is a top priority for Poland.
UAWire – European politicians call on Merkel to stop Nord Stream 2
Postimees news agency reports that 69 European parliamentarians and 20 politicians from the European Union countries have called on Merkel to …
Outgoing German spy chief sacked for branding SPD as ‘radical left’ | Reuters
Germany’s outgoing domestic intelligence chief was sacked on Monday over a speech given behind closed doors condemning “naive and leftist” government policies and hinting that he was considering entering politics.
France and Germany Are Getting Stressed With Each Other – Bloomberg
The powerful French-German alliance showed further signs of stress this week, calling into question the viability of Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel’s ambitious European Union reform agenda.
If everything is so “wunderbar” in Germany, why are the voters so unhappy? | Salon.com
Germany’s two-tier economy is creating more economic misery. When Merkel leaves, will a “German Trump” be next?
No 2019 Eastern Partnership Summit Foreseen In Busy Post-Brexit EU
The European Union will not hold an Eastern Partnership summit in 2019, but a “high-level conference” marking the 10th anniversary of the forum will bring together the EU and the former Soviet repu…
Italy Gets a Warning From the 14th Century – Bloomberg
The New Hanseatic League’s attempt to beef up the ESM shows a growing mistrust of the European Commission from euro zone members.
Lithuanian activists demand Amazon to stop selling clothes with Soviet symbols – 112.international
Lithuanian activists demand to take the goods with Soviet symbols off Amazon, as Delfi reports. “We think that Soviet symbols are the symbols of bloody crimes, which killed the same number of people as during Nazism period,” Giedrius Sakalauskas, the author of the initiative said. He urged to spread a hashtag #WhyNotSwastika. According to him, the action was initiated in Lithuania, which was joint by Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia. Recently, a similar incident took place. World’s largest chain store Walmart suspended selling clothes with Soviet symbols under the request of the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry.


Macron warns ‘nationalist leprosy’ threatens Europe
French President Emmanuel Macron said the spread of populism was dividing Europe and weakening it against rivals such as China and Russia.
Warsaw bans nationalist march marking Polish independence centenary | Reuters
Warsaw’s mayor has banned a far-right march planned for Sunday to mark the centenary of Polish independence, citing the risk of violence and expressions of hatred.
Warsaw mayor bans far-right Independence Day march | Far Right News | Al Jazeera
Poland president calls for official state march along the same route that the far-right march was to take place.
Is There A Cure For Hate? : NPR
After the Pittsburgh mass killing, many are wondering how to turn extremists away from violence and hate. But there is very little research, and even less funding, to make that happen.
Canada Formally Apologizes For Rejecting Jewish Refugees Fleeing Nazi Germany | HuffPost Australia
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized for Canada’s decision to reject refugees on the MS St. Louis — about 250 of whom later died in the Holocaust.


World Leaders Gather In France To Commemorate End Of WWI
A weeklong series of commemorations begins on November 4 in France to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, with some 80 world leaders expected to attend.
Macron kicks off First World War centenary battle at site of one of France’s worst military disasters
Emmanuel Macron, the French president, made an unexpected start to his week-long commemoration of the centenary of the First World War by visiting the site of one of the country&rsquo;s worst military disasters.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘The Great War hasn’t Ended,’ Mlechin Says
Paul Goble Staunton, October 5 – The world war, the centenary of whose armistice people around the world will mark this Sunday, has not ended. Its innovations and particularly its transformation of the consciousness of Europe and the world more generally continue to define how people live to this day, Leonid Mlechin says. As a result, “the Great War hasn’t ended.” “World War I was senseless,” the historian and commentator says. “In order to justify it, the opposing sides gave to the conflict an ideological dimension. This was a time of unlimited my-making about the cruelties which the sadistic enemies inflicted and the nobility of one’s own miracle workers” (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2018/11/05/78468-velikaya-voyna-ne-okonchena). “In Germany, stories passed around that the French and Belgians cut off the ears and noses of German prisoners … and in the countries of the Entente, it was said that German soldiers, having seized Belgium, impaled babies on bayonets and that in Germany itself there was a factory which made sausage out of corpses.” Each side described the other in horrific terms and its own only in heroic ones, Mlechin continues. This was intended to inspire the troops to greater efforts. But it had the effect of leading to a collapse in the value of human life and a willingness to kill anyone identified as an enemy by the powers that be. “When in the fall of 1918, the armistice was concluded, it seemed that hostility had receded into the past. The recent enemies shook hands and offered each other cigarettes. They symbolically buried the last shell, and there as a confidence that there would not be any more wars in Europe.” But it soon became clear that many who had been part of that conflict didn’t agree, Mlechin says. “They thought about revenge” and “were prepared to accept fascism, the most tragic inheritance of the great war” in order to get it. The war itself lasted four and a half years and spread through most of the world. And it “fundamentally changed the contemporary world. Kaisers, kings, tsars, and sultans were overthrown, entire empires were destroyed. The central European countries, formed on the ruins of empires received independence.” And “new countries arose in the Middle East with borders their neighbors didn’t recognize.” “The Great War became a catastrophe for Russia as well. If it had not occurred, the revolution would not have taken place and our country would have developed in an evolutionary way. Millions of people would not have died in the name of the building of communism,” the historian says. “Of course, Friedrich Nietzsche predicted that the 20th century would be the century of great wars which would be conducted in the name of philosophical doctrines. But had there not been the First World War, total ideologies would not have played such a role and dictatorships would not have arisen.” According to Mlechin, “World War I was an unnecessary and senseless fight. This was the self-destruction of Europe which led to the loss of a large portion of European youth. It put an end to Europe’s confidence in its own strength, gave birth t mass disappointments … and reduced to the second tier the old European powers.” Two countries moved up: “Bolshevik Russia which considered the entire surrounding world hostile and the US which was converted into a world superpower.” Of course, the historian continues, “it isn’t war which changes the fates of people. They themselves choose their fate. But few governments have been able to draw lessons from the tragedy of the world war. Humanity thus has entered into the 21st century just as divided as it was a hundred and even a thousand years ago.” “The old wounds can reopen at any moment. In 1914, nationalist enthusiasm and irrational madness seized entire peoples,” only to be followed by disillusionment. “The Great War showed how easy it is to manipulate entire peoples. It is sufficient to cry ‘Let us destroy the shameful enemy!’ and no one will ask why.” Everyone began to arm himself, “experiencing a passionate desire to kill more out of a conviction of his own rightness!” Mlechin observes. “Not for nothing after World War II, British writer Richard Aldington called his main novel, All Men are Enemies.” What the Russian commentator doesn’t add but should have is that Aldington subtitled his book “a romance.”
Emmanuel Macron: Six held in ‘attack’ plot against French president – BBC News
French police detain five men and a woman on suspicion of planning a violent act against the president.
French authorities arrest 6 in planned attack on President Emmanuel Macron
Six people have been arrested in connection to a foiled plot to attack French president Emmanuel Macron, an official said Tuesday.
With Trump shackled at home, Europeans fear more disruption abroad
A coalition of European militaries ready to react to crises near the continent’s borders was launched on Wednesday with Finland becoming the 10th country to join, amid calls by French President Emmanuel Macron for a “real European army”.
French president Macron flatters Trump, but fails to convince him: Experts – ABC News
Emmanuel Macron has developed a close personal relationship with the U.S. president since taking office but has failed to influence Trump on policy issues.
Following outcry, Macron backs off from honoring France’s most famous marshal — and Nazi collaborator – The Washington Post
For years, Philippe Pétain, the leader of the Vichy government, has been seen as a villain of the country’s history.
Emmanuel Macron row: Nazi collaborator Philippe Pétain won’t be honored – CNN
The French government has backed down over apparent plans to pay tribute to Marshal Philippe Pétain — who collaborated with the Nazis in the deportation of Jews from France during World War II — as part of commemorations to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
President Macron’s Petain Nazi collaborator remark creates row – BBC News
The French president is criticised for paying homage to a WW1 general – and later Nazi collaborator.
Armistice centenary: Field of remembrance opens at Royal Wootton Bassett | News | The Times
Like a miniature version of the war cemeteries that sprawl across the fields of France and Belgium, thousands of tiny wooden crosses stood in massed ranks in Royal Wootton Bassett this morning for a remembrance service.In a town that received the bodies of more than 300 dead British service personne
WW1 photos in color mark 100 years since conflict ended – CNN Style
The UK’s Press Association has released a new selection of colorized images from a century ago to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.


Maduro’s Mafia State | Center for Strategic and International Studies
As the Venezuelan crisis worsens, an international consensus is beginning to form around one key issue: Venezuela is not just a dictatorship but is also involved and complicit in criminal activity, including narcotrafficking. This was the topic of an event that the CSIS Americas Program hosted on Friday, October 12, 2018, featuring Ambassador William Brownfield and Juan Zarate. Their comments provide the basis for this article, which further explores the path Venezuela has taken to becoming a mafia state.
UN: Number of migrants, refugees from Venezuela reaches 3 million | Venezuela News | Al Jazeera
The exodus, driven by violence, hyperinflation and shortages of food amounts to around one in 12 of the population.
EU extends Venezuela sanctions over democracy, rights violations | Reuters
The European Union on Tuesday extended sanctions against Venezuela until November 2019 for what it said were human rights violations and undermining of democracy and the rule of law under President Nicolas Maduro.
Venezuela really wants its $550 million worth of gold back from the Bank of England | Business Insider
The deepening economic crisis in Venezuela means the government really wants to repatriate its gold reserves, worth more than $US500 million.
Putin, Cuban President Vow To Bolster Ties, Denounce U.S. ‘Interference’
The presidents of Russia and Cuba have vowed to strengthen political, economic, and military ties and denounced what they called U.S. “interference in the domestic affairs of sovereign nations.”

Capability / Strategy / History Publications


Up close: Russia’s 5th-gen Su-57 fighter jets captured from breathtaking angle (VIDEO) — RT Russia
A breathtaking video offers the chance to take a detailed, up-close look at a pair of Russia’s newest supersonic Su-57 stealth fighter jets as they smoothly glide and maneuver in the air.
A unique shot of the flight of the newest Su-57 – footage from the ramp of an An-12 – YouTube
Телеканал Звезда Published on Nov 6, 2018 Zvezda publishes the first footage of the flight of the newest Su-57 fighter aircraft taken from the ramp of the An-12 transport aircraft
Stealth killer? Russia’s sixth-generation fighter might have a “radio-photonic radar” – Military & Aerospace Electronics
MOSCOW – Russia’s future sixth-generation fighter well as its next generation unmanned aircraft could be equipped with what is described as a “radio-photonic radar.” The National Interest reports.


Hurricane-Battered F-22s Are Now Flying Out of Michael’s Aftermath
The Raptors are survivors of one of the worst hurricanes in history. As it turns out, despite severe damage to the hangars that sheltered them, all of the jets survived the hurricane in relatively good condition. The F-22 is tough, after all. Nearly a month later, all of the Raptors are slated to leave the base—on their own power. Here’s a collection of photos showing Raptor pilots and maintainers working to get the planes airworthy and off the damaged base. According to the Air Force, the 43rd and 2nd Fighter Squadrons’ F-22 Fighter Training and T-38 Adversary Training Units will relocate operations to Eglin Air Force Base. The planes and personnel from the F-22-equipped 95th Fighter Squadron will relocate to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia; Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska; and JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
Europe’s next-gen fighter jet is stuck in the bickering phase
The future Franco-German combat aircraft program is set to begin in earnest early next year, but a key project phase is already in full swing.
An A-10 Pilot Describes What Its Like To Fly A Cannon With Wings
An A-10 Warthog pilot told us the ins and outs of his aircraft, what it’s really like to take it on gun runs in Afghanistan, among other stuff.
DVIDS – Images – Hurricane Michael 2018 [Image 1 of 8]
TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, FL, UNITED STATES 11.05.2018 Photo by Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Schultze 9th Reconnaissance Wing Subscribe 6 Tech Sgt. Robert Miller, 43rd Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, turns a screw on a F-22 Raptor at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Nov. 5, 2018. Maintenance Airmen from multiple units and bases have worked together in the wake of Hurricane Michael to service the Raptors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Schultze)
Lockheed Martin awarded $350M for JASSM production support – Defence Blog
In a statement made Monday, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that Lockheed Martin Corp. has been awarded a $350,000,000 increase to an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) production support. “Contractor will provide lifecycle support for all efforts related to JASSM, Long Range Anti-Ship Missile, JASSM-Extended Range, and any JASSM variant in the areas of system upgrades, integration, production, sustainment, management and logistical support,” said DoD in a statement. Also noted that work will be performed in Orlando, Florida, and is expected to be completed by April 17, 2022. According to Lockheed Martin, JASSM is a long-range, conventional, air-to-ground, precision standoff missile for the U.S. and allied forces. Designed to destroy high-value, well-defended, fixed and relocatable targets, JASSM’s significant standoff range keeps aircrews well out of danger from hostile air defense systems. A 2,000-pound class weapon with a penetrator/blast fragmentation warhead, JASSM employs precision routing and guidance in adverse weather, day or night, using a state-of-the-art infrared seeker in addition to the anti-jam GPS to find a specific aimpoint on the target. Its stealthy airframe makes it extremely difficult to defeat. JASSM is integrated on the U.S. Air Force’s B-1B, B-2, B-52, F-16 and F-15E. The B-1B also carries JASSM-ER. Internationally, JASSM is carried on the F/A-18A/B and the F-18C/D aircraft. With superior performance and affordable price, JASSM and JASSM-ER offer the best value of any weapon in their class.
Air Force more than triples JASSM, LRASM support contract funding | InsideDefense.com
Lockheed Martin this week received a $350 million boost to a Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile and Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile production support contract it won last year, raising the ceiling to $450 million.
Navy Aircraft Carriers: “Too Vulnerable to Survive”? | The National Interest
“China—together with a resurgent Russia—have poured billions into build a force that could in theory keep the U.S. Navy and its carriers at bay”.
F-35 squadron ramps up ops tempo, tests for combat deployments
The Air Force’s 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, pumped out 150 sorties in the past two weeks, in addition to the unit’s normal flying operations, to test their capabilities to operate the F-35A Lightning II in a deployed environment.
The sun’s setting on Corps’ last EA-6B Prowler squadron with end of final deployment
The EA-6B Prowler has been around since the Vietnam War.
Could a Navy Railgun “Blow the Top Off a Mountain”? | The National Interest
Maybe. 
Honeywell receives $8.8M for repair and upgrade avionics of C-5M Super Galaxy – Defence Blog
The U.S. Department of Defense has announced that Honeywell received the contract, which covers a repair and upgrade of the C-5M Super Galaxy’s Versatile Integrated Avionics/Avionics Integrated Units (VIA/AIUs). The contract, announced by the Department of Defense, is worth more than $7,8 million. Also noted that this order subsumes all work on previous order FA8625-18-F-6801, providing for the repair and upgrade of 85 of the existing -903 and -904 configuration VIA/AIUs to the -905 configuration. Work will be performed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is expected to be completed by July 5, 2020. Honeywell’s Versatile Integrated Avionics for C-5M Super Galaxy uses line replaceable units with shared functions to lower weight, reduce wiring and decrease spares inventory. New board Honeywell’s solution is based on key advances that were made by the company in the development and implementation of the advanced avionics architecture.


Persistent Eye in the Sky: How Commercial Satellites Can Help the Navy Achieve Superior Maritime Awareness
The world’s largest constellation of satellites is not operated by the U.S. government, but rather by Planet Labs, a San Francisco-based startup that uses
The chief of naval research on AI: ‘If we don’t all dogpile on this thing, were going to find ourselves behind’
Where do humans fit in artificial intelligence? If you ask Rear Admiral David Hahn, understand the algorithm and the consequences, but then relinquish (some) control.
U.S. Army unveils experimental 155mm truck-mounted howitzer – Defence Blog
The U.S. Army developed an experimental 155mm truck-mounted howitzer, called the Brutus. The photos of experimental truck-mounted howitzer were published on the Facebook page of the 75th Field Artillery Brigade (artillery brigade in the United States Army) on 26 October. The Brutus is a 155mm truck-mounted howitzer for increased mobility and enhanced firing capabilities. Experimental 155mm howitzer installed on an FMTV 6X6 truck chassis. Howitzer is capable of using a wide range of ammunition for deployment against protected and unprotected targets, to create counter-mobility obstacles to block the manoeuvres of enemy armoured forces and to obscure or illuminate an area. No further details on the type of howitzer have been released. The U.S. Army interested in new, more mobile, lightweight artillery pieces. Early, Army’s officials showed interest in 105mm Mobile Weapon System (105MWS), also dubbed HAWKEYE by AM General, consists of one 105mm cannon mounted at the rear on HUMVEE light tactical vehicle chassis. Maybe U.S Army is also interested in upgrades for or modification to its existing weapons, especially lightweight 155mm cannons, or various types of self-propelled guns. Having that kind of firepower on-call is immensely important for the Army’s light infantry, especially when conducting independent operations where they might not have the guarantee of support from other services or even other elements within the Army.
Speeding up how the Army acquires satellite bandwidth
The Defense Information Systems Agency wants a core network to provide ‘on-demand’ bandwidth capabilities.
Turkey’s first indigenous maritime cruise missile is ready for mass production – Defence Blog
Turkey’s Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSB) announced that it has signed deals with two local firms for the production of Turkey’s first maritime cruise missiles. In a statement published Friday, the SSB said it had signed an agreement for the mass production of ATMACA cruise missiles with Roketsan. Meanwhile, Turkish defense giant Aselsan will produce launch control systems and other equipment for the missiles, the statement added. According to the SSB, the companies developed both the missiles and the launch systems using local resources. Under the agreement, the equipment and spare parts for the missile’s fire control system will be produced by leading Turkish defense company Aselsan. The Atmaca project was launched to meet the need for naval cruise missiles to be deployed in the Turkish Naval Forces MILGEM national warship program.
Don’t dumb down this US Army radar
Army leadership shouldn’t make it easier for the enemy to suppress air defenders by lowering sensor requirements.


Russia vs. America: How U.S. Jets and Soviet MiGs Secretly Battled During the Korean War | The National Interest
Only in the 1990s did Russia declassify its own account of the air battle near Vladivostok and reveal the names of the four Soviet pilots fallen in action, including Captain Valandov and Lieutenants Palomkhin and Tarshinov.

IW/EW/IO/Cyber/Social Media Reports


British lawmakers want rules to protect traditional broadcasters from internet giants like Netflix
British lawmakers have called on the government to curb the “threat” of internet giants to the U.K.’s public service broadcasters.
Christine Dugoin: “Completely separating propaganda from journalism will never be easy” | The Ukrainian Week
The Ukrainian Week talked with French cybersecurity expert Christine Dugoin-Clément about mechanisms for fighting fake news, the prospects for certifying true information, and the likelihood of separating propaganda from journalism once and for all.
Russia seen adopting new tactics in U.S. election interference efforts – To Inform is to Influence
I can echo this article in its entirety, I have observed all the same findings. Russian actors are still attempting to gain access to all forums on Facebook, establish new accounts on all social media, and these new accounts are better hidden as to origin. For the most part, these new accounts are still established in haste so there may be one, sometimes two pictures, they are very sparse on details, and their pictures are always a touch too appealing. A moderator on one of the largest closed groups on Facebook reported similar findings to me, she must block and report over 20 accounts every day, for the past six months. No longer do the fake accounts list Moscow or St. Petersburg as their home address, now it is a typical town in the United States – if they list a city or town at all. The fake accounts might have a handful of friends with no discernable pattern. They usually list no identifying information. </end editorial>


Cyber and Information warfare in the Ukrainian conflict – To Inform is to Influence
Cyber and Information warfare in the Ukrainian conflict Author(s): Marie Baezner, Patrice Robin  Series: CSS Cyber Defense Hotspot Analysis  Volume: 0  Issue: 1  Publisher(s): Center for Security Studies (CSS), ETH Zurich  Publication Year: 2018  The second version of the Hotspot Analysis on cyber and information warfare in the Ukrainian conflict reports on the cybertools, their…
The Untold Story of NotPetya, the Most Devastating Cyberattack in History – To Inform is to Influence
22 August 2018 It was a perfect sunny summer afternoon in Copenhagen when the world’s largest shipping conglomerate began to lose its mind. The headquarters of A.P. Møller-Maersk sits beside the breezy, cobblestoned esplanade of Copenhagen’s harbor. A ship’s mast carrying the Danish flag is planted by the building’s northeastern corner, and six stories of blue-tinted…
Hackers targeting election networks across country prior to midterms – To Inform is to Influence
By Jana Winter SPOTLIGHT FELLOW  NOVEMBER 05, 2018 Hackers have ramped up their efforts to meddle with the country’s election infrastructure in the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s midterms, sparking a raft of investigations into election interference, internal intelligence documents show. The hackers have targeted voter registration databases, election officials, and networks across the country, from counties…
How cyberspace makes the DoD think differently
Key Pentagon leaders assert nontraditional partnerships are critical in competing against top threats.
How the world’s first cyberattack set the stage for modern cybersecurity challenges
Back in November 1988, Robert Tappan Morris, son of the famous cryptographer Robert Morris Sr., was a 20-something graduate student at Cornell who wanted to know how big the internet was – that is, how many devices were connected to it. So he wrote a program that would travel from computer to computer and ask each machine to send a signal back to a control server, which would keep count.
Israeli Spyware May Have Helped Khashoggi Killers, Snowden Says – Bloomberg
Israel-based NSO Group Ltd. may have helped Saudi Arabia track and kill government critic Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul last month, fugitive U.S. whistle-blower Edward Snowden told an Israeli audience by video conference.


Tim Berners-Lee, web inventor: internet is at ‘tipping point’
Governments, companies and citizens all have a role to play in setting the web back on its original course, the founder of the World Wide Web says.
US has plan to cyberattack Russia if it interferes in midterms: report – INSIDER
For the plan to go ahead, Russia would have to assert “malign influence” on the elections, such as tampering with voter registration and vote recording.
W3C launches internet hippie manifesto: ‘We’ve lost control of our data and that data is being weaponised against us’ • The Register
Why can’t we all go back to being nice to each other, like in the Usenet and IRC days, er, wait…
Web creator Berners-Lee launches contract for better internet | Reuters
Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, has launched a campaign to persuade governments, companies and individuals to sign a “Contract for the Web” set of principles designed to defend a free and open internet.
Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee wants to protect the internet. Here’s how – CNN
Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web nearly 30 years ago. Now he wants to fix it.


Countering Russian Social Media Influence | RAND
The Russian government’s campaigns of disinformation — political, social, religious, or otherwise — have found a comfortable home on social media. This report presents strategies to counter Russian social media influence.
Zuckerberg snubs British, Canadian lawmakers’ request for testimony on fake news | TheHill
Zuckerberg didn’t directly respond to the lawmakers, instead opting to speak through Facebook officials in both countries.
Facebook Says Removed More Accounts Linked To Russia During U.S. Elections
Facebook says it blocked more accounts associated with Russia during U.S. congressional elections that saw Democrats capture a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives but Republicans retain c…
Facebook suspends multiple accounts for ‘coordinated’ suspicious activity on eve of election | TheHill
Facebook announced Sunday that it has suspended 115 accounts due to suspicious behavior on the eve of the midterm elections.
Facebook discloses possible foreign election meddling before midterms
Acting on a tip from law enforcement, Facebook removed more than 100 accounts on Facebook and Instagram believed to be from Russia or foreign actors.
Facebook Blocks 115 Accounts After Alert From U.S. Authorities
Facebook says it has blocked 115 user accounts after U.S. authorities alerted the social network to suspicious activity that may be linked to a foreign country.
Facebook boots 115 accounts on eve of U.S. election after tip | Reuters
Facebook Inc blocked about 115 user accounts after U.S. authorities tipped it off to suspicious behavior that may be linked to a foreign entity, the company said in a blog post on Monday, hours before U.S. voters head to the polls.
Facebook IDs, blocks dozens of flagged accounts before midterm elections | Fox News
With less than 24-hours before the midterm elections, Facebook revealed Monday evening that it has “identified around 30 Facebook accounts and 85 Instagram accounts” that were flagged by law enforcement officials as having possible ties to foreign entities.
Facebook Admits Platform Used to Incite Hate Attacks in Myanmar – To Inform is to Influence
Facebook report available here. </end editorial> By Jason Koutsoukis November 6, 2018, 10:21 PM EST Company found its platforms used to incite violence in country  In war-torn Myanmar, Facebook so popular it ‘is the internet’ A report commissioned by Facebook Inc. it found its platforms were used to incite violence in Myanmar, helping organized groups to conduct sectarian…
Facebook says human rights report shows it should do more in Myanmar | Reuters
Facebook Inc on Monday said a human rights report it commissioned on its presence in Myanmar showed it had not done enough to prevent its social network from being used to incite violence.
Facebook used to ‘incite offline violence’ in Myanmar, says report – BBC News
An independent reports says Facebook created an “enabling environment” for rights abuses and violence.

US Domestic Policy Reports


John Bolton Keeps Citing This 2002 Pact as an Arms-Control Model. It’s Really Not. – Defense One
The Treaty of Moscow was ill-defined, unverifiable — and not something that Russia would sign today.
Trump Blames Obama ‘Regime’ For Ukraine’s Loss Of Crimea
U.S. President Donald Trump blamed the “regime” of former President Barack Obama for Ukraine’s loss of its Crimean Peninsula, which was seized and annexed by Russia in 2014.
Trump asks Pence during press conference to be on 2020 ticket | TheHill
President Trump on Wednesday asked Vice President Pence to be his running mate in 2020 in an impromptu exchange during a White House press conference.
Lower House Poised to Take Upper Hand on National Security – Defense One
Where are Congress’ new foreign-policy leaders? Look to the House\’s recently elected veterans and natsec pros.
Liz Peek: Midterm elections prove Trump’s critics still underestimate him as ‘blue wave’ becomes a ripple | Fox News
Despite spending more money than ever before for a midterm election, and even though they were confident of crushing a historically unpopular president, Democrats appear to have mustered only a slim majority in the House while not even coming close to taking over the Senate.
Democrats take House, but Trump voters bolster GOP in Senate
The Democrats were projected to gain more seats than in 2006, the year they delivered what then-President George W. Bush described as a “thumping.” 
White House: Russia Probe ‘Will Continue’ After Sessions Leaves
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election will continue despite the change in leadership at the Justice Department, t…
U.S. Protesters, Democrats Demand Protection For Russia Investigation
Hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets of major U.S. cities to call for protection of the special counsel charged with investigating ties between Russia and President Donald Trump’s 2016 …
NEW U.S. Attorney Matthew Whitaker: ‘Enough Evidence to Have a Special Prosecutor Investigate Clinton Foundation’ – True Pundit
In August 2016, Matthew Whitaker, the new interim U.S. Attorney for the United States who has replaced feckless and fired Jeff Sessions, told SiriusXM host Matt Boyle of Breitbart News Daily that he has always believed “this pay-to-play, Clinton Foundation, State Department situation is much more serious” than the original Clinton email scandal. “James Comey, the director of the FBI, stood up and talked about the emails, and the emailing of classified information. That was serious, but the real ballgame is the situation you’re describing, and that is where Clinton Foundation donors were given preferential treatment,” Whitaker told Boyle. He added:
U.S. Attorney General Sessions Resigns, Throwing Doubt On Russia Probe
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has resigned as the country’s chief law enforcement officer at the request of President Donald Trump, throwing the future of the special counsel’s Russia inves…
Midterm Elections 2018: What Russia, Putin Are Expecting From Election Day Results
Moscow is managing its expectations.
‘King of the world’: Trump to ditch D.C. for Paris days after midterms – POLITICO
The president’s long-planned visit to France could be a convenient escape from a potential election bruising, and a chance to refocus on his foreign policy agenda.
Trump, Kremlin Say Substantive Meeting ‘Unlikely’ In Paris
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman says a full-fledged meeting with President Donald Trump in Paris, tentatively announced for November 11, is now “unlikely to happen.”
Trump says he ‘probably’ won’t meet with Putin in Paris – ABC News
Get breaking national and world news, broadcast video coverage, and exclusive interviews. Find the top news online at ABC news.
Donald Trump ‘probably’ won’t be meet with Vladimir Putin this weekend
Aides to Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have discussed a brief meeting this coming weekend in Paris, as they gather for a World War I commemoration.
Trump Warns Against New Russia Probes by Congress – Defense One
Incoming House intelligence chair: We “have a compelling interest in making sure that U.S. policy is not driven by leverage that the Russians have over …
Legacy media celebrates election of anti-Israel radicals – Conservative Review
Are Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib the future of the Democratic Party?
Trump Won the Midterms. Here’s Why. | The National Interest
The blue wave was too small, and Trump is ready for 2020.
America is Addicted to Sanctions | The National Interest
Ukraine is a good case study in the ineffectiveness of sanctions.
In Manafort’s World, Everyone Had A Price | KyivPost
For the first few months Paul Manafort worked in Ukraine, his home was a luxury hotel in downtown Donetsk – the Donbass Palace. There, on assignment for local tycoon Rinat Akhmetov in early 2005, Manafort would work from the room, reached by associates via the hotel telephone. But when an Ukrainska Pravda reporter called through to his room, Manafort hung up, refusing to talk to the reporter, who later described him in a story as “famous for an indiscriminate assortment of clients.” As history has since shown, by that time Manafort was already winding up his work with this broad “assortment of clients,” focusing instead on one. From then on, Manafort would work for the Party of Regions, burnishing the image of then-Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine and in Western capitals while running errands for the party’s wealthy backers around the world. Documents from the court cases that have dogged Manafort since then, and interviews with those who encountered him during this period, tell a markedly different story about his time in Ukraine than has previously been portrayed. He comes off as a man intimately acquainted with post-Soviet dealmaking, leading him to break the law in running an illegal pro-Western lobbying campaign to convince the European Union to sign an Association Agreement with Ukraine. Manafort pitched the campaign to Yanukovych in practical terms — “to ensure that you never have to deal with a 2004 scenario again” — a reference to the Orange Revolution, which saw Yanukovych lose in a repeat second-round presidential vote to Viktor Yushchenko. Manafort pleaded guilty to failing to register as a foreign agent in September after being convicted of tax and bank fraud in an August trial. He has agreed to cooperate with the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, appointed to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Two Capitals, One Russian Oligarch: How Oleg Deripaska Is Trying to Escape U.S. Sanctions – The New York Times
Mr. Deripaska has spent millions building influence in Washington and London. Now he awaits a key decision from the Trump administration.
Trump’s Kremlin Ties May Have Begun in 1970s, New Evidence Suggests | Observer
New evidence suggests Moscow’s spies could have gotten close to Donald Trump as far back as the late 1970s.


America’s Air Force is too small
America’s Air Force cannot afford to come up short. It needs 386 operational squadrons to remain the pre-eminent Air Force in the world.
Mattis wants to boost fighter readiness. Here’s how industry could help.
Getting to an 80 percent mission-capable rate is a major goal for the Pentagon. It’s also a major opportunity for defense contractors.
A new DoD task force addresses the growing threats to critical technology
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis announced an additional effort to help safeguard American technology, the U.S. government and the defense-industrial base.
Here’s how the Trump administration plans to increase American weapon sales abroad
New details emerge about the Trump administration’s Conventional Arms Transfer policy.
US defense industry pushes back on White House’s proposed $33B budget cut
WASHINGTON — The American defense industry is warning that defense cuts proposed by the Trump administration could undermine the Pentagon’s efforts to modernize the military and address threats from Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and transnational terrorism. The Aerospace Industries Association, with the weight of the country’s large and small defense firms behind it, issued a statement Thursday warning President Donald Trump and Congress “to provide steady and stable growth in defense spending in the fiscal year 2020 budget request and beyond” if they want to be able to meet those threats.
Space expertise isn’t necessary to run the Space Development Agency, says Pentagon deputy
Expect to get clarity on the Pentagon’s future space structures soon.
Pentagon predicts a third of industrial base gaps could be addressed in one year
There are 300 critical weak spots for the defense-industrial base, per a U.S. government report.
Boeing Is Selling Off Its Historic C-17 Production Line Facility In Long Beach – The Drive
The property could be attractive to space launch and other aerospace firms, but there are also proposals to completely transform the area.
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