Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (53)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

A DDG is a guided-missile destroyer, for those of you without naval or military training.

Russia threatens Europe with being targeted for nuclear strikes if the US withdraws from the INF treaty.  You mean Russia stopped targeting them?  Did all the Russian nukes suddenly not have a target?  Methinks Gerasimov and Putin doth spew. 

Please allow me to interpret this sentence: “Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday the United States had yet to provide any evidence Moscow was in breach of a landmark arms control treaty, but said it was ready to keep discussing the matter with Washington.”  What Russia is saying is “we don’t know how you busted us, so please tell us how you discovered us cheating so we can hide it better next time”.  Uh, Russia, no. It’s called “sources and methods”. 

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Russian firehose campaign continues, the two main threads being the INF and Ukraine. More Russian threats and saber-rattling, although devoid of logic, but that has never stopped Russian propagandists.

Excellent INF analysis by Blank and Huessy. Pres Poroshenko OpEd in the NYT, warning against complacency with Russia. Starikov predicts Russia’s next play against Ukraine may involve air power.

US Navy sails a surface combatant near a Russian contested area in the Sea of Japan. Preparations underway to send a DDG into the Black Sea for a patrol.

Parliament in Kyiv votes to terminate the major treaty with Russia: “The termination of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership with Russia exempts Ukraine from any obligation on its implementation and does not influence the rights, commitments and legal status of Ukraine which occurred as a result of the execution of the treaty till its termination according to the 70th article of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.”

Ukraine expands its maritime control zone from 12 to 24 nautical miles, and coast guard is given authority to use lethal force without warning against intrusions.

Updates on Kerch, martial law, Russia’s covert ops campaign in Ukraine, excellent analyses of Russian disinformation by Harding, and EU. Updates on US and Canadian military aid.


US planned to ditch INF in advance, now seeks reason why it should – Putin on Pompeo ultimatum — RT World News

The US has long planned to withdraw from the INF Treaty but it’s only now that they started seeking justifications for it and conveniently pinned the blame on Russia, Vladimir Putin said after Washington’s 60-day ultimatum.

Russia Will Develop ‘Unique’ Weapons if US Exits INF Treaty – Senior Lawmaker – Sputnik International

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Moscow and Washington must hold talks on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), so that it could be adapted to the current situation and limited only to Europe, Chairman of Russia’s upper house Defense and Security Committee Viktor Bondarev told Sputnik on Tuesday.

US’s 60-Day Notice Over INF Treaty Fuels Fear of US-Russian Arms Race – Scholars – Sputnik International

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States announced it will suspend adherence to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty within 60 days unless Russia returns to full compliance with the agreement, sparking concerns of an arms race among US lawmakers and allies.

US Not Interested in Maintaining INF Treaty, NATO Ready For Arms Race – Analysts – Sputnik International

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Key decision makers within the Trump administration have zero interest in preventing the collapse of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and NATO is well positioned to exploit the situation including the predictable missile buildup to follow, analysts told Sputnik.

US Arms Control Assoc: NATO Must Explore Russian Proposal to Avert INF Collapse – Sputnik International

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – NATO leadership should explore Russia’s invitation to review proposals to prevent the collapse of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, the US Arms Control Association (ACA) said in a press release.

Vladimir Putin warns US against walking away from arms treaty talks

Mike Pompeo announced at a NATO meeting that Washington will suspend its obligations under the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, citing Russian “cheating.”

Putin warns Russia will ‘REACT’ to ‘sneaky’ US withdrawal of INF nuclear agreement | Daily Star

VLADIMIR Putin has hit out against Donald Trump over the destruction of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty as he vows to produce missiles if the US does.

Putin: Russia Will React If U.S. Exits Arms Treaty – YouTube

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Published on Dec 5, 2018 Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Moscow will follow suit if Washington pulls out of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Originally published at – https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-putin-…

UAWire – Russia threatens Europe with retaliatory nuclear strike

Russia will certainly respond to the US’s decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, if such a step is ultimately taken, Russia’s Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov said on Wednesday. According to him, any European countries which agree to host American missile launchers will inevitably become the targets of a Russian response strike. “As military professionals, you must understand that it is not the US, but the countries that have American systems with intermediate and short-range cruise missiles deployed in them, that will become the targets for Russia’s response actions,” Gerasimov said, adding that he “wants to convey this information to the leaders” of European countries’ defense departments. Gerasimov said that by accusing Russia of violating the agreement which put an end to the Cold War in 1987, the US is “trying to camouflage the true state of affairs”, whereas the “real picture” is that the States are violating the treaty themselves. The MK-41 universal launchers deployed in Romania and soon to be deployed in Poland can fire intermediate range cruise missiles, “which is a direct violation” of the INF Treaty, the Chief of General Staff observed. Furthermore, Washington is violating another key agreement – the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II), which prohibited both Russia and the US from having more than 1,550 nuclear warheads in their armaments. “In order to get out of the numerical parameters established by the treaty, over the course of two years, our American partners reequipped some of their strategic offensive facilities (four launchers on each of the 14 Ohio-class submarines and 41 B-52H heavy bombers) and unilaterally excluded them from the calculation for the treaty. This gives them the ability to rapidly expand the potential of their strategic offensive forces and to increase the number of warheads by more than 1,200,” Gerasimov remarked. Gerasimov met with military attachés the day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered the Kremlin an ultimatum during an address at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, demanding that Russia comply with the INF Treaty within 60 days. According to Der Spiegel, in November the US showed its NATO allies satellite photos of Russia testing an SSC-8 missile (also known as the 9M729 in Russia). Washington believes the missile’s flight trajectory implies a range of between 500-5,500 km, which the INF Treaty prohibits. NATO supports the US’s conclusions, and urges Russia to resume compliance with the treaty as soon as possible, the alliance noted after a meeting of its foreign ministers on Tuesday.

Russian General Threatens to Target U.S. Allies if Trump Leaves Nuclear Treaty

“Russia’s violation of the INF Treaty erodes the foundations of effective arms control and undermines Allied security,” NATO said in a Tuesday statement.

Russia Threatens to Target U.S. Allies If Trump Exits Treaty

Russia will target countries hosting U.S. missiles if Washington goes ahead with plans to pull out of a landmark Cold War arms treaty, General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov said Wednesday. “If the INF treaty is destroyed, we won’t leave it without a response,” he said in a presentation to foreign military attaches in Moscow, according to an official transcript. “You as military professionals must understand that the target for Russian retaliation won’t be U.S. territory but the countries where the intermediate-range missiles are deployed.” His comments came hours after the U.S. said it would pull out of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 60 days if Russia doesn’t stop alleged violations. Moscow says it’s complying with the deal. Gerasimov accused the U.S. of seeking to shift the blame for its demise to Russia. The U.S. has said it has no plans to deploy land-based nuclear missiles in Europe once it pulls out of the treaty. In the past, Russia has threatened to target European countries that hosted U.S. missile defenses.

Russia lashes out, threatens to target U.S. allies if Trump kills arms treaty – Washington Times

Russian President Vladimir Putin lashed out Wednesday at Washington’s threat to pull out of a key Cold War weapons treaty, while a top general warned Russian forces will target European countries hosting American missiles if the U.S. follows through on the threat.

Putin threatens arms race if US dumps nuclear treaty | World news | The Guardian

Russia would also build new medium-range missiles if the US were to do so, says president

Kremlin says U.S. ultimatum on nuclear treaty is a tactical ploy | Reuters

The Kremlin said on Wednesday that the United States was manipulating facts in order to falsely accuse Russia of violating the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces arms control treaty and create a pretext to leave it.

Russia will build missiles if US leaves treaty, Putin warns – BBC News

President Vladimir Putin warns Russia will build missiles if the US quits a key arms pact.

Putin Threatens Arms Race as U.S. Prepares to Exit Nuclear Treaty – WSJ

Russian President Vladimir Putin raised the prospect of an arms race with the U.S. in response to Washington’s announcement that it could withdraw from a nuclear pact.

Putin threatens to develop more nukes in response to Trump ultimatum

Putin’s response comes a day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Russia to stop violating the INF treaty and come into compliance within 60 days.

Russia says U.S. has shown no evidence it is in breach of nuclear treaty | Reuters

Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday the United States had yet to provide any evidence Moscow was in breach of a landmark arms control treaty, but said it was ready to keep discussing the matter with Washington.

UAWire – Russia rejects U.S. demands regarding Intermediate and Shorter-Range Missiles Treaty

The United States will suspend its obligations under the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles Treaty if the Russian …

UAWire – Putin tells Russian military to prepare for arms race with US

Russian President Vladimir Putin had recently  a series of meetings in Sochi with the heads of the Defense Ministry and other departments, as …

Russian Defense Ministry Unveils New Laser Weapon

A video published on the Russian Defense Ministry’s Twitter feed on December 5 showed the new Peresvet laser system being moved out of a hangar and put on display.

Russia unveils terrifying LASER CANNON that can ‘zap satellites out of space and destroy planes in a fraction of a second’

The deadly Peresvet laser cannon, similar to one described in the hit 1997 Mike Myers comedy, is already being deployed and used by Russia’s armed forces

Pompeo, Mattis, 29 Countries Accuse Russia of Violating Arms Treaty; Russia Has 60 Days to Comply

The INF Treaty prevents Russia and the U.S. from possessing land-based cruise missiles that can strike within a range of 310 to 3,410 miles.

Trump Administration Sets Timeline to Withdraw from Treaty | Time

The Trump Administration publicly set a two-month timeline for formal withdrawal from a 31-year-old nuclear arms agreement with Russia.

NATO unifies against Russia’s INF missile treaty breach

While it has long been clear that Russia is in breach of that treaty, the collective agreement of NATO members to that effect is significant.

Cheney Supports Trump Policy on INF Treaty: They Deserve ‘Tremendous Credit’ for Responding to Russia’s Non-Compliance

Rep. Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.) announced her support for the Trump administration’s decision to remove the U.S. from the INF Treaty if Russia does not comply.

Why the U.S. Is Quitting a Key Nuclear Weapons Treaty

Washington believes Moscow has violated the treaty by testing a new land-based cruise missile.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Bush’s Loss to Clinton in 1992 Presidential Elections ‘Saved Russia,’ Sultanov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, December 5 – George H.W. Bush “planned to deprive the Russian Federation of its nuclear arsenal” during his second term, Shamil Sultanov, the head of the Russia-Islamic World Analytic Center and Izborsky Club member, says. Only his defeat in 1992 by Bill Clinton who dropped that idea saved Russia from being marginalized as a result. According to the Izborsky Club member, Bush Senior “was above all not vice president or even president but in the first instance head of the military-intelligence complex of the US,” a position he held for “about ten years” and which explains his enormous influence on foreign policy (business-gazeta.ru/article/404995). Sultanov argues that Bush “was a representative of that intellectual leadership which defined the most important priorities, goals and strategies of the American military-intelligence complex,” a grouping which it is now fashionable to refer to as “’the deep state’” and whose goal was the destruction of the Soviet Union as a strong opponent. “Countries and empires die, however, not because some particular people want them,” the Russian analyst says. “Large states die as a result of an intense sharpening of the system of the main internal contradictions with which their leadership is incapable of dealing. But their opponent only uses these contradictions and capable plays on them.” That Bush did. But having defeated the USSR, Sultanov says, Bush did not celebrate his triumph or denigrate the losing side. That is because he felt “a certain feeling of aristocratic superiority over ‘the defeated’” and didn’t rub their defeat in. But he did pursue American national interests and he did want Russia to lose the only lever that made it a major power, its nuclear arsenal. Had Bush been re-elected, the Russian analyst says, he would have pursued the program with regard to Russia that had already been worked out by the military-intelligence complex he had headed: first, the concentration of all nuclear weapons in Russia, then the introduction of “’his own people’” to control them, and finally their transfer to UN, that is, US control. In 1991-1992, there was talk about some kind of “deal” that would be like the Marshal Plan, one in which Russia would sacrifice its nuclear arsenal in exchange for 1.2 trillion US dollars. Many Russians who later became the oligarchs were counting on that money, not clearly recognizing what it would cost their country if not themselves. According to Sultanov, “the US did not intend to occupy us given that the Russian Federation was already to a great extent occupied. The corresponding cadres n the localities were Americans or pro-American. Remember, we even had such a candidate for Russian defense minister as Starovoitova?” But Bush lost the 1992 election to Bill Clinton. He “was not a hawk but a saxophone player,” the product of a division in the American elite that had arisen because of the possibilities new technologies and the stock market gave to make enormous sums in short periods of time. They did not want to be engaged in foreign affairs. Had Bush been re-elected, Russia would have been in a terrible position, Sultanov says; but “who saved us then at the very beginning of the 1990s? Not our patriots, not our army, and not our intelligence service. Instead, Russia was saved from complete bankruptcy by the great American people which did not choose George Bush the Elder for a second term.” “They and not we did this. It is paradoxical, but it is so.” Sultanov’s words are worth noting, not because they are true: At the very least, they are an exaggeration of trends he and others saw. Rather they are important because they highlight three things about the thinking of those close to the Kremlin that help to explain Moscow’s actions in the years since 1992. First, for all the Kremlin’s bombast about “standing up from its knees,” key members of the Russian elite apparently believe that they and their country remain dependent in large measure on the outcomes of American elections. Consequently, they have every reason to intervene if they can to protect themselves. Second, despite Vladimir Putin’s personal hostility to Hillary Clinton, Sultanov’s argument suggests that Moscow remains even more concerned about the traditional Republican establishment and may have been more interested in blocking the rise of any of its members in recent times than in promoting any particular candidate. And third, Sultanov uses terms that figure strongly in the propaganda from Moscow and from some American outlets, terms like “deep state,” which suggest that that vision is not just for public consumption but in fact informs how members of the Kremlin elite really think and how they make decisions. To the extent these things are true, Sultanov’s words say more about how the Kremlin views the situation in the US in the last two or three years than how it in fact thinks about the elder Bush. Indeed, it may very well be that the Izborsky Club member simply

Percentage of Europeans Who Are Willing To Fight A War For Their Country – Brilliant Maps

The map above shows the percentage of residents in various European countries who are willing to fight and go to war for their country. Full results here.

State Department sees weakening German support for controversial Russian gas pipeline

BRUSSELS — Russia’s violent closure of the Kerch Strait, the sole shipping lane to a major Ukrainian port city, is undermining German support for Russia’s proposed natural gas pipeline to western Europe, according to the State Department.

After US ultimatum to Russia, EU reacts – WorldEnglish – on B92.net

Latest Serbia news in English, latest Kosovo news in English, Serbian economy news, Serbian business news, Serbian politics news, Balkan regional news in English

UAWire – Russian diplomatic mission in The Hague suspected of coordinating hacker attack on Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

A senior diplomat from the Russian embassy in The Hague is suspected of coordinating a hacker attack on the Organization for the Prohibition of …

UAWire – Russian oligarchs fleeing to London at record rate

The UK remains the favorite “end point” for the money of wealthy Russians, who are buying residential and commercial property in the British capital, finanz.ru reports. In the third quarter, the demand from ethnic Russians for property in London spiked to a record high due to growing tension between Russia and the West. According to Knight Frank, one in every five houses in London costing more than £10 million was purchased by Russian citizens. In 2016, Russians accounted for only 6% of such sales, RBC notes. Last year, however, Brexit and a reform of the taxation on secondary property ensured a low figure. In 2018, the number of deals involving Russians grew due to a drop in the exchange rate between the pound sterling and several other national currencies. The difference in exchange rate was most profitable for holders of Russian rubles and South African rands. Holders of rubles were able to buy property in the UK for 20% cheaper than in 2016, before Brexit.

Stephen Blank and Peter Huessy | How to Rebalance US Global Security Cheaply and Easily | Gatestone Institute

Russia, evidently not restrained by the agreement, is already building missiles outside the INF treaty, according to an October 29, 2018 report from the Congressional Research Service. The bottom line is: If the Russians do not comply with the INF arms control treaty, there is no treaty to be saved. Worse, as China was never a party to the INF treaty, it is deploying thousands of such INF range missiles in the Pacific, thereby putting the USA and its allies at a serious military disadvantage. To counter such threats effectively and stand up to the culture of intimidation and threats of both Russia and China, the US needs create a conventional missile and nuclear deterrent capability that is at least on a par with those of Moscow and Beijing. Such deployments, rather than undermining arms control, might even induce Russia and China to negotiate any future arms negotiations with the US in better faith, while simultaneously strengthening US security. If created with US allies in the Pacific, such relatively inexpensive and easily produced conventionally armed missiles would, in short order, rebalance the Pacific security situation in the favor of the US and its Indo-Pacific alliances.

Petro Poroshenko | Putin Must Be Punished – The New York Times

Russia can’t be allowed to get away with its brazen aggression against Ukraine. The West needs to act.

Petro Poroshenko: Putin must be punished | KyivPost

In 2014, for the first time in seven decades, a state sought to redraw Europe’s map by way of military aggression. Russia’s theft of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula commanded condemnation and economic sanctions from around the world. But as the news coverage moved on, Moscow was left to design a new assault: a 12-mile bridge between Russia’s mainland and Crimea.

toomas hendrik ilves on Twitter: “Russia can’t be allowed to get away with its brazen aggression against Ukraine. The West needs to act. https://t.co/8mn7bwzgyr”

 

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow’s Next Move Against Ukraine Likely to Involve Use of Air Power, Starikov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, December 5 – Pointing to a buildup in Russian forces near the border, the Ukrainian military says that the Russian threat to Ukraine is the highest it has been since 2014 when Moscow invaded, seized and annexed Crimea and launched the war in the Donbass (reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-crisis-russia-military/russian-threat-highest-since-2014-ukraine-military-chief-id). Some have dismissed this as an echo of concern over Moscow’s actions in the Kerch Straits, but other analysts are taking it seriously and asking where Moscow might strike next. One of the latter is Ukrainian military commentator Oleg Starikov (http://gordonua.com/news/war/starikov-dumayu-sleduyushchaya-provokaciya-rossii-budet-v-vozduhe-suhoputnye-i-morskie-uzhe-byli-557954.html). He argues that Russia is unlikely to launch a ground attack because Ukrainian forces have the advantage and that it is even more unlikely to try another provocation at sea given the overwhelmingly negative reaction of the Western powers to the Kerch incident. Instead, he suggests, Moscow is likely to use airpower to try to undermine Ukrainian self-confidence. Moscow’s best option and the one it is likely to continue to use is low intensity conflict, Starikov continues. “I do not see a basis for Russia to begin a broad attack on Ukraine. Land operations from their side are also improbable. But our military must remain at the ready. I personally support the beginning of active military actions.” “If the Russian Federation renews the active phase of military actions in the Donbass,” he says, “Ukraine will win. Plus in this case, the international community will not be able to keep quiet. War now doesn’t work to Russia’s advantage … I think the next provocation of Russia will be in the air. There have already been land and sea variants.” Starikov does not specify what such a provocation from the air might look like, but the obvious possibility is that the Moscow-backed forces in the Donbass might be given Russian planes with markers removed and bomb or strafe Ukrainian units or even military bases. That would be a high risk action, but Putin, as many have observed, may now be going for broke.

Peter Dickinson | Why the West Needs to Step Up in Ukraine

Much will depend on the West’s collective readiness to confront Russian aggression in Ukraine after the November 25 incident in the Black Sea.

Kremlin will not win war in Ukraine – Herbst – 06.12.2018 15:27 — Ukrinform News

The Kremlin is doing everything possible to change the current leadership in Ukraine to the one more favorable to Russia’s interests, and it hopes it will be able to do so if not in the presidential elections, then in the parliamentary elections to be held in Ukraine next year. Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst, who now serves as director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, said this during a discussion entitled “Stopping Russian Aggression in the Sea of Azov” on Wednesday, December 5, an Ukrinform correspondent reported. “There’s no doubt that Moscow’s policies are designed to produce a leadership in Ukraine more favorable to Kremlin interests. I don’t think they [Russians] believe they can achieve this in the presidential election, which will happen next spring, but they are hoping this will occur with the Rada elections that will happen next fall,” Herbst said. The expert recalled statements by Putin who not only said that the current Ukrainian president “represents war,” but also stated that he wants to have better relations with Ukraine after the elections, with a new leadership of the state. According to Herbst, that can be interpreted that the Kremlin wants to see in Ukraine the people who will do what it wants, and then, according to Moscow, everything will be fine. “But that will not happen. No matter who [in Ukraine] wins the presidential election or how the parties shape after the Rada elections, Putin will face a dynamics in Ukraine similar to what he faces today – which is a largely united political class, a largely united people against Kremlin aggression,” the former U.S. ambassador said. He also noted that everybody understands that this is the Kremlin’s war against Ukraine. “The Kremlin will not win this war in Ukraine. They will have to make peace, and a peace on terms that are largely acceptable to Ukraine and to Ukraine’s Western backers as long as Western policy remains at least as strong as it is today,” Herbst said.

Sara McLaughlin Mitchell | Could the new fighting between Russia and Ukraine escalate into all-out war? – The Washington Post

This maritime conflict is not just about the sea.

RICHARD BURT and THOMAS COUNTRYMAN | Save the INF Treaty, Save the World – POLITICO Magazine

President Trump wants to pull the U.S. out of an arms-control agreement that has been crucial to American and global security.

Chad Groening | Putin moving chess pieces to control Black Sea

Eyeing the current conflict in Ukraine, a national defense analyst says there’s no question Vladimir Putin wants to control the Black Sea.

Maritime Scuffle: Russia and Ukraine in the Sea of Azov – Foreign Policy Research Institute

On November 25, Russian border service patrol boats opened fire on two Ukrainian navy gunboats and rammed a Ukrainian tugboat as they attempted to transit through the Kerch Strait from the Black Sea into the Sea of Azov, a body of water sandwiched between Russia, Ukraine, and the disputed territory of Crimea. Russian President Vladimir Putin was quick to explain that Russian border guards fired on the Ukrainian vessels after they illegally entered Russia’s territorial waters and ignored orders to stop. Six Ukrainian sailors were wounded. Ultimately, Russia seized all three boats and captured two dozen Ukrainian sailors. At this writing, those sailors remain in detention after being moved to Moscow. While Russian and Ukrainian forces have faced off before, the incident marked the first time they openly clashed.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Moves to Reassert Russian Dominance over Caspian Sea

Paul Goble Staunton, December 5 – Two events reported today highlight a development few have been paying much attention to: Moscow is moving quickly not just to be an important littoral state on the Caspian but to be the paramount power from north to south much as the Soviet Union was until its collapse in 1991. On the one hand, Turkmenistan became the first littoral state to ratify the agreement on the delimitation of the sea, one that specifies the central Central Caspian is for the free use of all the littoral states and where Russia’s Caspian Flotilla is overwhelmingly dominant (casp-geo.ru/zapushhen-protsess-ratifikatsii-konventsii-o-pravovom-statuse-kaspijskogo-morya/). And on the other, Moscow’s Kommersant reported the Russian military has vetoed plans to sell to Azerbaijan batteries of shore rockets because of concerns such weapons systems could be used against the ships of other nations, including Russia (kommersant.ru/doc/3820453 and meduza.io/news/2018/12/05/rossiya-otkazalas-postavlyat-azerbaydzhanu-beregovye-raketnye-kompleksy-iz-za-ugrozy-korablyam-na-kaspii). That suggests that the recent build up of Russia’s Caspian Flotilla, including the shift of its home base from Astrakhan farther south to Kaspiysk in Daghestan and the expansion of marine units that could be deployed against oil platforms or targets on land is part of a general Moscow plan to ensure that the Caspian will once again be a Russian lake. For background on the rise of the Caspian Flotilla, see this author’s articles in Jamestown’s EDM, including jamestown.org/program/caspian-flotilla-highlights-growing-international-role-of-russias-coastal-navy/jamestown.org/program/new-russian-naval-base-in-dagestan-assumes-more-menacing-dimension/jamestown.org/program/moscow-shifts-flotilla-from-caspian-to-azov-sea-giving-it-a-new-offensive-capability/ and jamestown.org/program/russias-caspian-flotilla-dominant-at-sea-gains-new-shore-landing-capability/).

U.S. Destroyer Sails Through Waters Claimed by Russia – WSJ

The U.S. Navy sent a warship through the Sea of Japan, in a rare challenge to Russia’s maritime claims in international waters, officials said.

US warship challenges Russia claims in Sea of Japan – CNNPolitics

The US Navy sailed the guided missile destroyer USS McCampbell near contested waters in the Sea of Japan Wednesday, an action that is bound to irk Russia.

U.S. destroyer challenges Russian claims in the Sea of Japan

The Navy sent the USS McCampbell near Peter the Great Bay as the United States and Russia are clashing over a variety of issues.

The US just sent a guided-missile destroyer to challenge Russia at sea – INSIDER

The US Navy sent a warship to challenge Russia’s maritime claims in the Sea of Japan at a time of rising tensions between Washington and Moscow.

US May Send Warship to Black Sea Amid Kerch Strait Tensions – Reports – Sputnik International

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The US military has asked the Department of State to notify the Turkish government about its intent to sail a warship in the Black Sea, according to media reports.

US makes preparations to sail warship into Black Sea amid Russia-Ukraine tensions – CNNPolitics

The US has begun making the necessary preparations to sail a warship into the Black Sea, a move that comes amid heightened tensions in the region following Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian ships and detention of Ukrainian sailors.

CNN: U.S. Making Plans To Sail Warship Into Black Sea

CNN has reported that the United States is making plans to sail a warship into the Black Sea, a move that comes with tensions remaining high between Ukraine and Russia.

US prepares to sail warship into Black Sea amid Ukraine-Russia tension, report says – Daily Sabah

The U.S. military has begun preparations to sail a Navy warship into the Black Sea amid heightened tensions over Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian ships and…

Report: US Navy Planning to Sail Into Black Sea | Newsmax.com

CNN reported Wednesday the United States might soon sail a Naval ship into the Black Sea as Russia flexes its military muscles there in the wake of a dramatic showdown with Ukraine.

Parliament of Ukraine terminates treaty on friendship with Russia – 06.12.2018 15:05 — Ukrinform News

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has passed the Law of Ukraine &ldquo;On Termination of the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.&rdquo;

Ukraine parliament votes not to prolong Treaty of Friendship with Russia | UNIAN

The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, has chosen not to prolong the term of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. The relevant bill received support of 277 MPs, while 20 legislators voted against it.

Ukraine’s Parliament rules to terminate Treaty of Friendship with Russia – 112.international

Ukraine’s Parliament adopted the presidential bill No. 0206 on termination of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership with Russia. 277 people’s deputies voted “for” the document. 112 Ukraine broadcasted the session. Given Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine, people’s deputies ruled to stop the operation of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership with Russia since April 1, 2019. “The termination of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership with Russia exempts Ukraine from any obligation on its implementation and does not influence the rights, commitments and legal status of Ukraine which occurred as a result of the execution of the treaty till its termination according to the 70th article of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties,” the text of the bill says.

Rada terminates Ukraine-Russia friendship treaty

Ukrainian parliament backed the presidential bill No. 0206 terminating the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. As reported by a correspondent for Censor.NET, 277 lawmakers supported the decision while 20 voted against it. It is worth noting that before consideration of the bill at a plenary session on Thursday, the MPs voted down the proposal to consider it in a fast-track procedure. The legislation was presented by Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Serhii Kyslytsia from the Verkhovna Rada rostrum. 

Verkhovna Rada doubles zone of Ukrainian control in Black Sea

Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada has adopted a measure on the adjacent zone of Ukraine, which will actually increase the territory of control in the Black Sea. The corresponding bill (No. 8361) in the second reading and in general was supported by 244 deputies at a plenary session of parliament on December 6. According to the document, the adjacent zone of Ukraine will be the open sea belt, which is adjacent to the territorial sea of Ukraine, and whose outer border is at a distance of no more than 24 nautical miles (they are counted from the same reference lines as the width of the territorial sea of Ukraine). As is known, the territorial waters of Ukraine are 12 miles. Ukraine in this territory will exercise the control necessary to prevent violations of the customs, fiscal, immigration and sanitary legislation of Ukraine. The competent state authorities of Ukraine will have the right to stop, inspect, detain and arrest ships and crew members, with the exception of warships and other government ships that are used for non-commercial purposes, in the adjacent territory. If a vessel violates Ukrainian legislation in the above areas and attempts to escape, the authorized body will have the right to pursue such a vessel without delay in order to detain and prosecute it, according to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The right to prosecution is terminated as soon as the vessel enters the territorial sea of the state under the flag of which it is walking, or of any third state. Disabling the automatic identification system in the adjacent area by all ships, with the exception of warships or other ships used for non-commercial purposes, will be grounds for stopping, inspecting the vessel or pursuing hot pursuit. As noted in the preamble, this law complies with the provisions of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The law will take effect the day after publication. Ivan Vinnyk, a member of the Committee on National Security and Defense, said before the voting for the law, the document is a framework, and further, it is necessary to develop amendments to a number of legislative acts, in particular, to the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine. When considering the bill in the first reading, one of the authors of the initiative, at that time, MP Iryna Friz said: “This bill will allow de facto to double the territory of control in the Black Sea.” “The adjacent zone, according to international standards, is neither a zone of jurisdiction nor a zone of sovereignty. However, this zone is the part of the sea space where any coastal state can exercise limited control over the prevention or detention of vessels for violating certain rules,” she said. According to her, the adoption of this law will allow ships of the sea guard and the Navy to check suspicious ships not within the 12-mile zone, as it is now, but 24 miles from the coastline.

Rada allows Ukraine coast guards to open aimed fire without warning when repelling attack | UNIAN

The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, has determined that the weapons installed on ships and boats of the Coast Guard of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine may be fired without warning, to repel an invasion or attack on Ukrainian vessels. The law also establishes the status and determines the legal regime of the adjacent zone of Ukraine.

‘Pandering to Kiev will lead to more dangerous provocations,’ Russia warns foreign parliaments — RT Russia News

Backing Ukraine in the Kerch Strait crisis will fuel the adventurism of the Kiev authorities and lead to more provocations, endangering security in the region, Russia’s Federal Council said in an address to foreign parliaments.

Russian Embassy in London: UK Ignores Ukraine’s Illegal Activity in Kerch Strait – Sputnik International

LONDON (Sputnik) – The UK government encourages Ukraine’s aggressive rhetoric on Russia, ignoring the fact that Kiev has illegally crossed borders of Russian territorial waters in the Kerch Strait, the Russian Embassy in London said on Wednesday.

Russia Holds Drills in Black Sea Region Amid Ukraine Tensions

Russia is holding naval and surface-to-air missile drills in the Black Sea region amid tensions with Ukraine and the West over the capture of three Ukrainian naval ships and their crews off the coast of Crimea last month. Two submarines, the Rostov-on-Don B-237 and the Stary Oskol B-262, practiced emergency deployments for detecting, accompanying and destroying sea and coastal targets with rocket fire, the Defence Ministry said. Submarine crews from the Black sea fleet were also due to practice deep dives and to work on techniques such as emergency surfacing, it said. The statement did not give a start or end date for the drills or say if the submarine exercises were part of larger-scale drills in the Black Sea and on the Crimean peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014.

Russia to hold naval war games and surface-to-air missile drills in Black Sea region amid Ukraine and Nato tensions

SUBMARINES, warships and sophisticated air defences are being tested just in case war breaks out with Ukraine which drags in NATO. Moscow’s already strained relations with the West have been deteriorating over the past year.

Russia Holds Naval War Games, Missile Drills in Black Sea near Ukraine

Russia is holding naval war exercises and surface-to-air missile drills in the Black Sea region amid tensions with Ukraine.

Donald Trump Wants to Meet Vladimir Putin When Ukraine Issue Is Resolved, Russia Media Claim

Moscow claims that Trump will meet with Putin as soon as Russia releases detained Ukrainian soldiers.

Russian Embassy slams Riigikogu statement supporting Ukraine | News | ERR

The Russian Embassy in Tallinn on Tuesday published a statement criticising the statement in support of Ukraine adopted by the Riigikogu on Monday.

Russian Disinformation Analysis Regarding The Kerch Strait Incident – To Inform is to Influence

         Russia’s goals in releasing propaganda are consistent.

  • Blame Ukraine for the Kerch Strait incident
  • Say Ukraine planned the Kerch Strait incident
  • Say Ukraine is taking their orders from the West, usually from the US
  • The West has been planning a Ukraine vs. Russia provocation for decades

EU experts expose Russia’s long-term disinformation plan for Azov Sea | UNIAN

When Russia seized three Ukrainian vessels and their crews after shooting at them on November 25, it was not the moment when the disinformation campaign around the Azov Sea started. One of the most latest, and most outrageous fake stories claims that Russian special forces actually managed to stop a provocation that might have led to World War 3 – as UK and Ukraine secret services were apparently transporting a portable nuclear device to explode the Crimea bridge When Russia seized three Ukrainian vessels and their crews after shooting at them on November 25, it was not the moment when the disinformation campaign around the Azov Sea started. In fact it had been launched much earlier, EUvsDisinfo, a European watchdog tasked with tackling disinformation, reports. More than a year ago, Russian media started publishing claims of “Ukraine deepening the seabed for a NATO fleet at the Azov Sea”. In fact no link to any such “NATO fleet” can be found. During the last summer and autumn the disinformation campaign intensified. There came reports that Ukraine had suddenly “infected the Azov Sea with cholera” (the World Health Organisation reported that they have no data of any cholera cases there). In September the messaging was already preparing the ground for later disinformation, forecasting “West-inspired provocations on the Azov Sea shore” and that the US has been “planning for clashes between Ukrainian and Russian naval forces in the Black Sea since 1990s”. The “evidence” is based on a video game a former Russian soldier claims to have seen 15 years ago.

‘Pain Will Grow’ Over Detained Ukrainian Sailors, U.S. Warns Russia

A senior U.S. State Department official warned Moscow on Tuesday that it must release the Ukrainian sailors it detained in a naval incident late last month or face growing consequences. Russian vessels fired on and seized three Ukrainian naval ships on Nov. 25th as they attempted to pass through the narrow Kerch Strait into the Sea of Azov, which lies between Russia and Ukraine. Last Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump canceled his scheduled meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a G20 summit over Moscow’s actions in the Kerch Strait.

U.S. could disconnect Russia from SWIFT over aggression against Ukraine | UNIAN

U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, Ambassador Kurt Volker says the United States and its Western allies are considering a number of options to prevent Russia from asserting any more “unilateral control” in the shared waters of the Azov Sea. Besides, European partners could ban port calls to Russian ships sailing from the occupied Crimea or the Sea of Azov. U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, Ambassador Kurt Volker says the United States and its Western allies are considering a number of options to prevent Russia from asserting any more “unilateral control” in the shared waters of the Azov Sea. Volker told Voice of America one of the possible measure is cutting Russian banks from the international SWIFT banking network, which operates under Belgian law and facilitates international transactions by sending payment orders between institutions in different countries. “People refer to it as a nuclear option,” Volker said. “It would have costs for everybody involved. Big costs for Russia, but big costs for allies as well. Ultimately, we have to keep it on the table as a possibility because we just can’t continue to see Russia launch further steps of aggression in its neighborhood like this.” Volker said the United States’ European allies could move to bar Russian vessels coming from Crimea or the Azov Sea from European ports. He said the move was suggested recently by Annegret Kramp-Karrenabaue, general secretary of Germany’s ruling Christian Democratic Union and an aspiring successor to

Russian banks might be disconnected from SWIFT international network – 112.international

The international community might disconnect Russian banks from SWIFT banking network as a reaction to the Russian aggression near Kerch Strait, as Kurt Volker, the U.S. Special Representative to Ukraine, said for Voice of America. In particular, Volker noted that the U.S. and the European allies insist that Russia return captured vessels and 24 Ukrainian servicemen and intelligence agents, arrested by the Russian special services. According to him, various options for response actions are being considered to put pressure on Russia and “reach the moment when Russia like to conduct talks to reach a decision”. One of these measures, Volker stressed, is a disconnection of the Russian banks from the international banking network SWIFT, which is regulated by Belgium’s laws and accelerates the international transactions while sending payment orders to the financial institutions in different countries.

Ukraine-Russia: EU ‘extremely concerned’, Kyiv calls for sanctions | Euronews

Ukraine-Russia: EU ‘extremely concerned’, Kyiv calls for sanctions

UAWire – Ukraine calls on OSCE to start monitoring the Sea of Azov

During the talks in Minsk, Ukraine called on the OSCE to start monitoring the Sea of Azov, stated Iryna Herashchenko, the representative of …

Russia deploys nuclear weapon carriers in occupied Crimea – Yelchenko | UNIAN

Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Volodymyr Yelchenko has said Russia deployed in occupied Crimea carriers and other means capable of delivering nuclear weapons. Ever since Russia occupied Crimea, it has been tightening its military grip over the illegally annexed peninsula, according to the Ukrainian envoy.

 

Ukrainian Navy Commander ready to turn himself in to Russia in exchange for captured sailors | UNIAN

Ukrainian Navy Commander, Admiral Ihor Voronchenko says he is ready to go to Russian prison if Vladimir Putin releases 24 Ukrainian POWs captured by Russian coast guards Nov 25. The Commander called on NATO to increase presence in the Black Sea.

Ukraine prosecutors show re-enactment of Russia’s Kerch Strait attack (Video) | UNIAN

The Prosecutor-General’s Office (PGO) of Ukraine has presented a re-enactment of the Russian Coast Guard’s attack on the Ukrainian naval vessels near the Kerch Strait. Eight individuals have been informed that they are suspects in the criminal case launched earlier.

Reconstruction of the events in the Kerch strait – YouTube

Генеральна прокуратура України (Attorney General of Ukraine) Published on Dec 5, 2018

 

Russia-Imposed Authorities In Crimea Detain Prominent Lawyer

SIMFEROPOL — Russia-imposed authorities in Crimea have detained a prominent lawyer, Emil Kurbedinov, his colleagues say. Attorney Lilya Hemedzhi told RFE/RL that officers from the Russian Anti-Extremism Center detained Kurbedinov on December 6 in Simferopol in a case linked to a social media post made before Russian forces seized Crimea from Ukraine and annexed the peninsula. Hemedzhi said Kurbedinov is accused of writing a Facebook post in 2013 that, according to investigators, carried “elements of extremism.” Russian lawyer Nikolai Polozov said Kuberdinov’s detainment was another case of “pressure on lawyers involved in political cases in Crimea.” Polozov also noted in a December 6 statement posted on Facebook that Kurbedinov is currently representing some of the 24 Ukrainian sailors seized by Russian special forces on November 25 along with three Ukrainian navy ships off the coast of Crimea.

Crimean lawyer detained for Facebook post dating back to 2013 – media | UNIAN

Journalist Anton Naumlyuk says a Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov was detained in the occupied Crimea, apparently for his Facebook posting he made back in 2013, months before Russia illegally annexed the peninsula. The pressure has been mounting on lawyers dealing with “political” cases in the occupied Crimea.

SBU exposes Russian provocation aimed to sow panic in social networks over martial law | UNIAN

Security officials exposed a disinformation campaign orchestrated from Russia and occupied Crimea, aimed at sowing panic among Ukrainian users of social networks against the background of the recent introduction of martial law. Russian masterminds behind the disinformation effort deliberately recruited a Ukrainian national to spread fake news to make their messages look more solid. Security officials exposed a disinformation campaign orchestrated from Russia and occupied Crimea, aimed at sowing panic among Ukrainian users of social networks against the background of the recent introduction of martial law. During a raid in Dnipropetrovsk region, a local resident was revealed who had been recruited to become one of the provocateurs working “in the field” as part of the scheme. The suspect would post on social networks public calls for violating Ukraine’s integrity. Security officials got hold of the man’s electronic correspondence with Russian nationals and Crimea residents who had tasked him with distributing provocative material, the SBU press service reported Tuesday.

Ukraine urges ‘comprehensive’ NATO response to Russia

Ukraine on Tuesday pressed NATO to come up with a “comprehensive answer” to Russian aggression in the Black Sea, as the alliance treads carefully for fear of escalating tensions further. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin hinted that at least one NATO member was ready to enhance its

 

Martial law allowing Ukraine to strengthen defense, relocate military formations — Poroshenko

A week that has passed since the declaration of a state of martial law in ten regions of Ukraine has testified that this decision was right, President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine has said.

Russia Is Ramping up Forces Near Border, Ukrainian Military Chief Says

Russia has been ramping up its forces near the border with Ukraine since August and now poses the greatest military threat since 2014, the year Moscow annexed Crimea, the commander of Ukraine’s armed forces told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday. General Viktor Muzhenko gestured to a series of satellite images which he said showed the presence of Russian T-62 M tanks stationed 18 kilometers from the Ukrainian border. They had more than doubled to 250 from 93 machines within the space of two weeks from mid-September to Oct 1. For Muzhenko this is evidence of a concerted build-up of Russian forces in the run-up to Nov. 25, when Russia fired on and captured three Ukrainian vessels at the Kerch Strait, an action Kiev’s leadership fears may be a precursor to a full-scale invasion.

Ukraine says Russia tried to hack its critical infrastructure again – VICE News

The attack is part of a familiar trend.

Russia vs. Ukraine: U.S. Warns Americans to ‘Exercise Increased Caution’ in Ukraine Amid War Fears

As tensions mount between Kiev and Moscow over the seizure of Ukranian ships and sailors in the Sea of Azov, the U.S. State Department warns U.S. tourists to “exercise increased caution” should they visit Ukraine.

Russian infowars: FSB to claim captured Ukrainian sailors injured in skirmish between each other | UNIAN

The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation mulls another special informational operation on covering the act of armed aggression against Ukraine near the Kerch Strait on November 25, 2018, the Information Resistance OSINT community says. The effort will aim at whitewashing Russian coast guards whose armed attack on the Ukrainian naval boats led to a number of Ukrainian crew being injured.

bne IntelliNews – Russia partially unblocks Sea of Azov ports, Ukraine takes its complaints to international bodies

Russia has partially unlocked Ukrainian ports on the Azov Sea, Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan said on December 3, reports …

UPDATE 1-Ukraine resumes grain shipments from Azov Sea | Reuters

(Updates with agriculture ministry, adds German minister, background)

“You have been holding shield protecting entire European civilization,” – Poroshenko congratulates Ukrainian fighters on Army Day | Censor.NET

06.12.18 12:43 – “You have been holding shield protecting entire European civilization,” – Poroshenko congratulates Ukrainian fighters on Army Day Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko congratulated Ukrainian military on the Day of Ukraine’s Armed Forces. View news.

Ukrainian president decorates nearly 200 military – 06.12.2018 11:11 — Ukrinform News

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, on the occasion of the 27th anniversary of the creation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, has presented state awards to servicemen who showed courage and bravery in protecting the independence and territorial integrity of the state, the press service of the head of state has reported.

Pentagon hiring English-Ukrainian translators to support U.S. troops | UNIAN

Mission Essential, a U.S. government contractor primarily serving intelligence and military clients, is searching for linguists read to provide services in support of U.S. military. Only U.S. citizens can file applications.

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense arrives in Kyiv to discuss Ukraine’s military modernization – 06.12.2018 15:45 — Ukrinform News

United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper has arrived in Kyiv to hold consultations on Ukraine&rsquo;s military modernization and Russia&rsquo;s aggression, the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine has reported. “We welcome Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper to Kyiv for consultations with Ukrainian officials to discuss Ukraine’s military modernization and Russia’s unacceptable and reckless aggression,” the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine wrote on Facebook. As Ukrinform reported, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent visited Kyiv on December 3-4.

Ukraine to buy Canadian sniper rifles – ambassador – 06.12.2018 10:00 — Ukrinform News

Ukraine is at the final stage of acquiring Canadian sniper rifles, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Canada Andriy Shevchenko has said.&nbsp;

Rada grants fighters for Ukraine’s independence in 20th century combatant status | UNIAN

The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine parliament, has passed the bill to amend the Law of Ukraine “On the Status of War Veterans, Guarantees of their Social Protection” regarding the enhancement of social protection of participants in the struggle for the independence of Ukraine in the 20th century. The relevant procedure shall be established by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

EU To Sanction Nine People Over Ukraine Separatist Vote

The European Union is now expected to add nine individuals allegedly involved in the organization of last month’s elections in the areas controlled by Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine…

New gas field discovered in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region | UNIAN

The state-owned Ukrgazvydobuvannya gas producer announced the discovery of another gas field in Ukraine. Prospective resources could reach 3.7 billion cubic meters.

Hungary interested in preserving gas transit via Ukraine territory – Ukrainian Embassy | UNIAN

The Hungarian government is interested in preserving gas transit to Europe via Ukrainian territory, according to Minister of Innovation and Technology of Hungary, Laszlo Palkovics who met with Ukrainian Ambassador Liubov Nepop, the Ukrainian Embassy reports. Budapest assures that the Hungarian government supports Ukraine.

UAWire – Yanukovych wants to leave for treatment in Israel

Aleksandr Goroshinsky, the lawyer of former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych said that the former president might leave the country to …

 

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