Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (73)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

One article contained in this compilation must be highlighted: 

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Whelan hostage case continues. Reports that China will solve Russia’s floating dock problem in exchange for Russian electromagnetic weapons tech – we can expect this trend to expand as the Chekist regime trades Russia’s crown jewels to sustain itself. Three articles on Russian meddling in Africa. France identifies Russia as a supporter of extreme fringe elements in the “Gilets jaunes” radical movement. Lithuania expects Russian election interference. Russian TV viewers migrating to Youtube. Eidman compares current Russian woes to the Oprichnina of Ivan the Terrible, a reasonable comparison. The“bomb Voronezh” joke develops a life of its own, citing Goble. Muscovy’s WW2 obsession leads to buying up thirty ancient T-34-85 tanks from Laos.

Muscovy objects in a very toxic way to Japan’s comments on the return of the Kuriles, whiles the US says it would not use the islands for basing, crippling Russia’s main argument for unlawfully holding on to the islands.

Two timely and relevant essays on nuclear capabilities by Drs Blank and Pry.

Russia’s Navy to develop a larger longer 2,500 nmi range Kalibr M SLCM for deployment on surface combatants and SSGNs. Russian engineer Solonin publicly points out some ground truths on the limitations of the Avangard MaRV – especially how detectable it is. Russia loses another Oko early warning satellite.

Russian censors harrass the Beeb. Update on the Skripals.

Ukraine’s DEFMIN Poltorak comments on NATO interest in early accession of Ukraine to NATO – this would be appropriate punishment for Russia.

Good Azov Sea backgrounder by Talmazan, Russia deploys an Udaloy DDG to theatre, update on Kerch/Azov, and EU demands Russia release Ukrainian hostages and POWs. Donbas update. SBU captures another operative.

Capability update: AFU Marine Corps gets latest Stugna P ATGWs. PSU FROGFOOT upgrades detailed. KrAZ finally delivers first militarised KrAZ-7634НЕ 8×8 all terrain vehicle intended for “coastal missile system, antenna heads for surface-to-air missile systems, and lots of other systems” – this will likely become the mass build replacement for the ubiquitous Soviet era MAZ-543 8×8 series. Bogdan to supply more 6×6 military trucks.

Two very nice retrospectives on the removal of Ukraine’s nuclear arsenal, clearly now regretted by many Ukrainians.

Finally, an update on politics.


Ex-U.S. Marine Held In Russia On Spy Charges Reportedly Seeks Bail

A lawyer acting for a former U.S. Marine detained in Russia on espionage charges has filed an appeal with a Moscow court seeking to have his client released on bail, Russian news agencies report.

Russia forced to sell technology to China in exchange for repairing ill-fated Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier | UNIAN

China is seeking to get Russian technologies in the field of electromagnetic weapons and engines for large surface warships. In case Russia fails to build another floating dock, all of their large naval vessels, including 1164- and 1144-type cruisers, will have to be repaired and modernized exclusively with China’s help, the report says.

Wagner PMC mercenaries may be involved in suppressing anti-government protests in Sudan – 112.international

The mercenaries from Wagner private military company may be participating in the suppression of public protests in Khartum, the capital city of Sudan. The Times referred to photos shot in Khartum and the reports by the local opposition. White men in camouflage arrived in Khartum inside the Ural-4320, a military van used by the Russian military. John Hutson, the political observer of The Times published respective images on Twitter. Hutson wrote that the said men reached the site of the protest actions on December 31, assuming that the individuals could be the members of Wagner PMC. According to The Times, the anti-government uprising in Sudan became the largest threat for the military dictatorship of Omar al-Bashir who has been in power for 30 years in a row.

Russia might open a military base in the Central African Republic — Meduza

A military cooperation agreement between Russia and the Central African Republic signed last August would allow Moscow to open an official base, CAR Defense Minister Marie-Noëlle Koyara told the news agency RIA Novosti in a new interview. The Berengo Palace, where Russian military instructors are currenting training local troops, does not qualify as a military base, Koyara argued, even though “people have already started seeing it as exactly this.”

Investigators find evidence tying July’s murder of three Russian journalists in Africa to ‘Putin’s chef’ — Meduza

Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s investigative project Dossier Center has reportedly completed a five-month study of the circumstances surrounding the murder of three Russian journalists in the Central African Republic, concluding that a local gendarme is likely involved in the triple homicide. The suspect allegedly followed the journalists, and remained in constant contact with their driver and with someone who works at one of Evgeny Prigozhin’s companies. Meduza retells the independent television network Dozhd’s summary of the report.

Khodorkovsky Investigators Say Evidence Links Vagner Group To Russian Journalists’ Killings

Private investigators working for former oligarch and Russian opposition activist Mikhail Khodorkovsky have urged the United Nations to push for a credible investigation of the July 2018 killings o…

Paris says “yellow vests” movement supported from beyond France | UNIAN

The French government reported that the “yellow vests” movement is receiving support from abroad, that’s according to a Cabinet spokesman, Benjamin Griveaux. France is aware of the approval of the protests by some propaganda tools, such as Russia Today. The French government reported that the “yellow vests” movement is receiving support from abroad, that’s according to a Cabinet spokesman, Benjamin Griveaux. Some demonstrators who commit acts of violence belong to the ultra-left camp, while some – to the ultra-right camp. “The fact that someone puts on a yellow vest doesn’t mean they share the same ideas,” Griveaux aid Wednesday, Jan 9, Deutsche Welle wrote. The government’s spokesman, in particular, was critical of the coverage of the rallies by Russia’s RT. “We are also aware of the approval [of the protests] by some propaganda tools that I don’t want to call ‘media’, such as Russia Today,” the official said, pointing out that some demonstrators believe this TV channel is, on the contrary, the only free media outlet.

UAWire – Lithuania: Russian may attempt to interfere in forthcoming presidential elections

After the meeting of the Lithuanian State Council on Defense,  government officials stated that Russia and other countries may conduct cyber- …

British Apaches arrive in Norway for the historic deployment to the Arctic – Defence Blog

The first AH-64 Apache attack helicopters of the British Army Air Corps have arrived in Norway for the historic deployment to the Arctic. 656 Squadron AAC squadron of the British Army’s Army Air Corps have arrived in Norway for the inaugural deployment of Apache helicopters to the Arctic. British Apaches to take part in biggest military drill into the extreme cold weather environment. The Arctic warfare exercise in Norway was signed off by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson as a warning to Moscow amid escalating Russian aggression towards Europe. According toexpress.co.uk, more than 1,000 British commandos, as well as US, Dutch and Norwegian Marines will be in Norway in upcoming weeks to practise a counter-attack against Vladimir Putin’s forces. A total of 8,000 troops are involved. It will be the biggest Arctic military exercise by the British Armed Forces and in 20 years. It comes amid escalating Russian aggression towards Europe, with Cold War levels of submarine activity reported in the Northern Atlantic and frequent air incursions on UK airspace. And since Putin’s Novichok attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury last year, tensions between London and Moscow have been on a knife-edge.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Youtube Accelerating Decline of Russian State Television

Paul Goble Staunton, January 9 – The Russian television scene on which Vladimir Putin has relied is changing rapidly in a variety of ways, some of which work to his advantage in the short term but most of which reduce the role of state television and allow more independent players to communicate with the population, something that promises to transform Russian politics. The Kremlin leader is gaining one short-term advantage at present: his government’s shift from analogue to digital broad casting means that many regional television networks will go off the air, allowing Moscow to achieve even greater domination of television time than before (region.expert/tv/ and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/12/shift-from-analogue-to-digital-tv-will.html). But his losses are far greater and reflect both declining viewership of television by Russians across the board and the rise of Youtube as an alternative, freer and more open television space for the increasingly Internet-connected Russian population who it appears will watch it rather than television and especially state television. During 2018, viewership of state television fell by more than ten percent, with Russia One’s audience declining in size by 12.87 percent and First Channel falling by 11.78 percent, figures that do not yet challenge their dominance but may if they continue in the future as there is every reason to expect (rbc.ru/technology_and_media/07/01/2019/5c31edd39a79473af81cf358). According to Moscow observers, it is the existence of video on Youtube and other Internet platforms that is drawing people away, not only because it is more interesting but also because it is more diverse, something that means that as the audience of state TV declines, the audience becomes more fragmented just as in the West with the radical increase in channels. Two new articles celebrate Youtube’s rise and state TV’s fall: Aleks Sinodov says “the Internet has opened the era of film-samizdat” (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5C31E41080C69) and Aleksandra Podolskaya of Novaya gazeta argues “instead of one big old TV, we now have many small new ones” (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2019/01/09/79128-vyklyuchi-mozg-teper-i-na-youtube). It would certainly be wrong to suggest that this is anything but a trend. However, anyone who has lived in the US from the time when everyone watched three national channels to one in which there are hundreds of very specific ones certainly knows, the multiplication of channels fragments the public in ways that few other things have. If something similar happens in Russia over the next few years, it is likely that something similar will occur there, a trend that will reinforce certain divisions while destroying others even as it makes if far more difficult for anyone at the center to count on television to mold opinion in the way the Kremlin wants.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘Oprichnina’ – ‘Zemshchina’ Conflict has Re-Emerged in Moscow, Eidman Says

Paul Goble Staunton, January 9 — The conflict in Russia five centuries ago between those loyal to the tsar and prepared to attack his enemies – the oprichnina — and those who wanted their control of land to be respected – the zemshchina — has re-emerged in Moscow between the siloviki around Vladimir Putin and the oligarchs around Dmitry Medvedev, Igor Eidman says. Russian historians have traced this conflict from the times of Ivan the Terrible up through Paul I, but Eidman, a Russian sociologist and regular Deutsche Welle commentator, argues that it continues to this day, yet another example of often obscure continuities in Russian political life (facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=2196228277106806&id=100001589654713). According to the commentator, “Russia’s ruling elite has finally divided into the oprichnina and zemshchina,” with the former organized around Putin and consisting of his personal representatives and the latter around Medvedev and including senior officials and Yeltsin oligarchs. In the former camp are people like Sechin, Patrushev, Shoygu, Bortnikov, Chemezov, Demin, Miller and Bastrykin; and in the latter, those like Vekselberg, Chubais, Yevtushenkov, Dvorkovich, Shuvalov, Khristenko, Usmanov, and Mikhelson, Eidman suggests. The oprichniki periodically raid and undermine the zemskiye. Among their recent victims have been such zemskiye boyars as Belykh, Ulyukayev, the Magomedov brotehrs, Gayzer and the like, given that “the majority of the oligarchs are zemskiye. The oprichniki can do so because they enjoy Putin’s protection. “The strengthening of the oprichnina,” Eidman says, “is reflected as well in Russia’s foreign policy course. They with Putin at the head are the main expansionist force and have supported Putin in his aggression against Ukraine, the annexation of Crimea and the Donbass, the intervention in Syria and the hybrid war against the West.” “Recently, in order to strengthen their power and secure its succession,” he continues, “the oprichnina has tried to make itself popular. The most characteristic example of this is the series based on Slepakov’s “House Arrest,” a series that presents the oprichniki as positive figures rather than the negative ones they were in Sorokin’s “The Day of the Oprichnik.” All this matters, Eidman says, because “in the future a clash between the oprichnina and zemshchina is practically inevitable and the sympathy of the population most likely will be on the side of the first,” something that will make the victory of the oprichniki more likely and long-lasting.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow ‘Bombing Voronezh’ – A Joke Takes on a Life of Its Own

Paul Goble Staunton, January 9 – When Vladimir Putin introduced counter-sanctions in response to Western sanctions on Russia, many Russians joked that he was “bombing Voronezh” because his counter-sanctions hurt the Russian population far more than they did any foreign producer or government. But each joke, the Region.Expert portal says, “is only partially a joke.” The residents of Voronezh have taken it seriously, and yesterday, a group of them went into the streets of that city with signs that reflected their anger at corruption and official irresponsibility, signs that few in Moscow would risk carrying (region.expert/bomb-voronezh/). Moreover, this aspect of the “joke” may soon spread: those engaged in the protest posted pictures of themselves and their signs on Facebook so that residents of other Russian cities and town can see how Voronezh residents feel about being “bombed” by Putin (facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1482446821891796&id=100003794766759).

Russia receives T-34 tanks from Laos – Defence Blog

The batch of 30 T-34 medium tanks purchased from Laos arrived in Russia in early January. Media reports on 9 January, citing local sources, stated that the first T-34 medium tanks have arrived in Russia as part of military-technical cooperation with Laos. “During the visit of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to Laos in January last year, agreements were reached on the return of T-34 tanks to Russia,” the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation said. “The combat vehicles has already covered more than 4,500 km by sea and arrived in Vladivostok. Then by rail, it will be delivered to the Moscow region, to the city of Naro-Fominsk “. T-34 tanks transferred by the Lao side is planned to be used during the Victory parades in various cities of Russia, for updating museum exhibits, as well as for making films about the Second World War. A military expert, editor of the «Arsenal Otechestva» magazine, Alexey Leonkov, commented on the RT decision of Laos’ Ministry of Defense to transfer 30 T-34 tanks to Russia. “T-34 produced several tens of thousands, then others went – T-54, T-62. We had a huge number of friendly countries scattered around the world, which required military equipment … Tanks in Laos came after the Vietnamese war in very good condition. And there they were treated very carefully, ”said the expert. But some experts claim that Laos’ transferred tanks in Т-34-85 configuration, are Czechoslovak-made vehicles of the mid-1950s. Tags: LaosRussia

Russia Expresses Anger Over Japanese Comments On Disputed Pacific Island Chain

Russia has summoned the Japanese ambassador and accused Tokyo of deliberately ramping up tensions ahead of a planned visit by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for talks with President Vladimir Putin on formally ending World War II hostilities. Russia’s Foreign Ministry on January 9 said it “invited” Japanese Ambassador Toyohisa Kozuki to the ministry over comments made from Tokyo about the possible return to Japan of a disputed Pacific island chain. The dispute over the chain — which Russia refers to as the Southern Kuriles and Japan calls the Northern Territories — has prevented Moscow and Tokyo from a signing of a formal peace treaty to end World War II. Soviet forces seized the islands at the end of the war, and Russia continues to occupy and administer the territory, although it has allowed visits by former Japanese residents and family members in recent years.

UAWire – Russia summons Japanese ambassador due to statements about Kuril islands

The Russian Foreign Ministry has summoned Japanese Ambassador Toyohisa Kozuki due to statements made by the Japanese government on the Kuril islands, the ministry reported on its official website. The ambassador was summoned due to statements by Tokyo that Japan would “waive” its claims to compensation for the Kuril islands. His attention was also drawn to statements by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe that the islands may be given back to Japan with the consent of the Russian citizens living there. “It was pointed out to the head of the Japanese diplomatic mission that such statements grossly distort the nature of the agreements between the Russian and Japanese leaders concerning the expediting of the negotiation process on the basis of the joint declaration of 1956,” the report states. Four of the Kuril islands – Iturup, Shikotan, Kunashir and Habomai – have been the subject of a territorial dispute between Russia and Japan since the end of World War II, when the Soviet Union annexed these Japanese territories. In 1956, the Soviet Union and Japan signed a declaration to end military aggression, but to this day a peace treaty between the countries has not been signed. At the end of November, after a meeting between the two countries’ leaders, the Kremlin announced that an agreement had been reached to return to the Soviet-Japanese memorandum of 1956, according to which Moscow would give Japan two of the four islands – Habomai and Shikotan – once a peace treaty had been signed. According to reports in the Japanese media, Abe is also considering the possibility of returning to the provisions of the 1956 declaration. Previously Tokyo demanded the return of all four of the South Kurils before it would consider a peace treaty. According to a poll carried out by the Levada Center, 74% of Russians are opposed to the idea of giving any of the islands back to Japan.

UAWire – US will not deploy troops in South Kurils if given to Japan

The US does not intend to deploy troops on the southern Kuril islands if Russia gives them back to Japan, Lieutenant General Jerry Martinez, Commander of the US Forces in Japan, said in a press conference. “At this stage the US has no plans to deploy troops there,” Martinez said. On January 5, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe said that the Japan-Russia peace treaty negotiations had reached a “decisive moment”. He noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin also wants to put an end to the peace treaty problem. Later, Abe reportedly said that he swore on his father’s grave to do everything in his power to ensure that a peace treaty is signed. The newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun reported that, in addition to a peace treaty, Tokyo intends to propose an agreement with Moscow in which it will waive its demands for compensation for Russia’s occupation of the islands. For more than 70 years, Russia and Japan have not had a peace treaty due to the dispute surrounding the Kuril islands.

Dr Stephen Blank | Russia Building Out Nuclear Capabilities in Its Fleet | Defense.info

During the Cold War two of Russia’s four fleets were nuclear ones, the Northern Fleet based out of Murmansk in the Kola Peninsula in the Arctic, and the Pacific Fleet based out of Vladivostok and Petropavlovsk. Most analysts have maintained that this disposition has remained the case until now. But can we be certain of that? Indeed, already in 2008 then Foreign Minister of Sweden, Carl Bildt, announced that, “According to the information to which we have access, there are already tactical nuclear weapons in the Kaliningrad area. They are located both at and in the vicinity of units belonging to the Russia fleet,”1 Since then Russia has also sent nuclear-capable Iskander missiles to be based in Kaliningrad. So while those are land-based missiles, there is good reason to see these missiles as potentially usable to gain command of the Baltic Sea and deny that to NATO. But apart from the possibility of elements of the Baltic Fleet being nuclear we should also have concerns that Russia may be nuclearing the Black Fleet and/or the Mediterranean Eskadra parts of which are based at Tartus in Syria. As this writer and others have observed, since 2014 a sustained buildup of Russian forces in Crimea and the Black Sea have gone far towards creating a layered A2AD (anti-access and area denial) zone in that sea although NATO has begun to react to the threat and exercise forces there.2.

Dr Peter Pry | US Inviting War by Ignoring Russia’s Inevitable Nuclear Superiority | Newsmax.com

The U.S. nuclear deterrent preserved peace during the Cold War by maintaining numerical and technological rough parity with the USSR, not allowing Moscow to gain any significant advantage that might tempt Russia to launch World War III. The U.S. nuclear deterrent preserved peace during the Cold War by maintaining numerical and technological rough parity with the USSR, not allowing Moscow to gain any significant advantage that might tempt Russia to launch World War III. Today, Russia has achieved many significant advantages over the aged U.S. nuclear deterrent, including an at least 10-to-1 superiority in tactical nuclear weapons; a largely modernized force of long-range strategic nuclear missiles, submarines, and bombers; and perhaps most significantly a new generation of advanced technology nuclear warheads that have no U.S. equivalents. Consequently, Washington faces a wide range of scenarios which U.S. nuclear forces are not designed to deter or defeat with equivalent and proportional response. Possible tomorrows: —U.S. fighters and bombers are swept from the skies by Russian fighters firing long-range air-to-air missiles armed with mini-nuclear warheads. —U.S. carriers, submarines, and other ships are sunk by nuclear-armed torpedoes, cruise and ballistic missiles, giving Russia mastery of the seas. —The Russian Army blasts its way across European NATO using tanks, artillery, and aircraft armed with mini-neutron warheads that produce virtually no radioactive fallout. —U.S. nuclear missiles retaliating against Russia are intercepted and destroyed by anti-ballistic missiles armed with nuclear X-ray warheads that are far more effective than the non-nuclear kinetic-kill weapons employed by the U.S. National Missile Defense. —A Super-EMP warhead delivered by a Russian, Chinese, or North Korean missile or satellite blacks-out the North American electric grid, paralyzing the U.S. economy and military, including nuclear forces. Today, the U.S. has no nuclear-armed air-to-air missiles; no nuclear-armed torpedoes or tactical anti-ship cruise and ballistic missiles; no mini-neutron warheads, X-ray warheads, or Super-EMP warheads. Nor are there any U.S. plans to develop advanced nuclear warheads. Instead, the Pentagon plans to spend an estimated $700 billion over the next decade modernizing strategic nuclear delivery systems, so the U.S. will have new missiles and bombers, upgrading command and control, and refurbishing the nuclear scientific and industrial base that maintains old-fashioned legacy nuclear weapons from the Cold War. But no advanced technology, new generation nuclear warheads, will be designed or built. The tip of the spear for the U.S. nuclear deterrent will continue to be Cold War era nuclear weapons, designed for high-yield blast and shock, not specialized nuclear effects. These may be as irrelevant to modern nuclear deterrence and war-fighting as the crossbow. The Pentagon does plan to de-mothball an old-design nuclear weapon having low-yield, to deter Russian use of low-yield tactical nuclear weapons. But it is not a new generation warhead for specialized nuclear effects. Worst — the decades-old legacy nuclear warheads that will continue to be used for the present and future U.S. nuclear deterrent may not even work. John C. Hopkins and David H. Sharp in “The Scientific Foundation For Assessing The Nuclear Performance Of Weapons In The Stockpile Is Eroding” (Perspectives Winter 2019) are the latest in a long chorus of nuclear weapon scientists warning the safety, reliability, and effectiveness of America’s geriatric nuclear warheads is increasingly doubtful. How did we get here? Why not arm our expensive new missiles and bombers with new advanced generation nuclear warheads? 23 years ago, the late great Congressman Floyd Spence, then Chairman of the House National Security Committee, warned the U.S. was moving toward unilateral nuclear disarmament through technological obsolescence in his report “The Clinton Administration and Nuclear Stockpile Stewardship: Erosion By Design” (HNSC October 30, 1996). Chairman Spence warned the Clinton Administration’s strong anti-nuclear bias and ideological commitment to nuclear disarmament was behind: —U.S. compliance with the unratified Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty despite Russian cheating; —Replacing nuclear testing with controversial “science-based nuclear stockpile stewardship” that relies instead on computer models; —The Spratt-Furse Amendment outlawing research on advanced new generation nuclear weapons; —Replacing the U.S. Defense Nuclear Agency, that focused on nuclear weapons for deterrence and war-fighting, with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, more about arms control of nuclear, chemical, biological and other weapons, and natural threats, like climate change. Unfortunately, President George W. Bush, preoccupied with the war on terrorism, did little or nothing to reverse U.S. nuclear obsolescence. Matters worsened under President Obama. Now in 2019, the nuclear weapon scientists who helped win the Cold War are mostly retired or dead, as are Pentagon strategists who gave highest priority to nuclear deterrence. Rep. Adam Smith, the new Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, in a recent interview opposes modernizing U.S. nuclear forces, would constrain President Trump’s launch authority, constrain military planning to a “No First Use” policy, and drastically cut the number of U.S. nuclear weapons with the goal of their elimination. Given the political and cultural opposition to nuclear weapons, it may be impossible for the U.S. to achieve their modernization. Russian nuclear superiority, and soon China’s, appears inevitable and permanent. Accordingly, the U.S. Space Force, space-based missile defenses, and hardening U.S. critical infrastructures against EMP and cyber-attacks may be more realistic goals. Such a revolution in military technology — that renders nuclear missiles obsolete and makes strategic defenses dominant — may be only way for the U.S. to win the New Cold War. Dr. Peter Vincent Pry is executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security. He served on the Congressional EMP Commission as chief of staff, the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission, the House Armed Services Committee, and the CIA. He is author of “Blackout Wars.” For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

UAWire – Russia develops new Kalibr-M cruise missile for its navy

Russia is busy developing the Kalibr-M, a modern cruise missile with a range in excess of 4,500 km, for its navy, TASS reports, citing a source in the Russian military industry. “For the navy, the latest ship-based precision cruise missile Kalibr-M with a maximum firing range of more than 4,500 km is being developed. The creation of the missile is at the scientific research stage and is being financed by the Defense Ministry,” the source said. He clarified that the development of the Kalibr-M is included in the state arms program for 2027. “The missile must be given to the fleet before the end of the program,” he noted. He added that the new missile will differ from the existing Kalibr missiles both in its greater range and in its overall dimensions. “The missile will be significantly bigger, the weight of its warhead is approaching 1 ton,” he observed. According to the source, the new missile is to be used by large surface ships, starting with frigates, as well as by nuclear submarines. The Kalibr-M is designed to destroy ground facilities and will be capable of carrying both a normal and a nuclear warhead,” he clarified. The Russian Navy currently uses Kalibr missile systems. According to open sources, the maximum range of the 3M-14 missile, flying at subsonic speeds, is around 2,000 km. The Kalibr-NK variant was developed for surface ships and the Kalibr-PL for submarines. Kalibr missile systems form part of the armament of Russian project 22350 frigates, project 21631 Buyan-M-class corvettes, Yasen-class multipurpose project 885 nuclear submarines, project 877 and 636.3 non-nuclear submarines, and other ships. The maximum mass of warheads that can be carried by the current Kalibr missiles is 500 kg. These missiles have been used by Russian military ships and submarines to attack terrorist targets in Syria.

Russia announces development of new ship-based cruise missile with 4,500 km range – Defence Blog

The TASS news agency reported on 8 January that new ship-based cruise missile, called the Kalibr-M, with a range of over 4,500 km is currently under development in Russia for the Russian Navy. “The newest high-precision ship-based Kalibr-M cruise missile with a maximum firing range of more than 4,500 km is being developed for the Russian Navy. The creation of the rocket is at the stage of scientific research and financed by the Ministry of Defense,” the source told TASS. The source also clarified that the development of the missile was included in the state armament program until 2027, and “the rocket must be transferred to the fleet before the end of the program.” The new cruise missile will offer major improvements in capabilities compared with the existing Kalibr missiles. “It will be much larger, the weight of its warhead will approach 1 tonne,” he noted. According to the source, large surface ships will be equipped with it, starting with frigates, as well as nuclear submarines. “Kalibr-M is designed to destroy land facilities and will be able to carry both conventional and nuclear warhead,” he said. At present, Kalibr missile system is in service with the Russian Navy. According to data from open sources, the maximum firing range of a 3M-14 cruise missile from this complex, flying at subsonic speed, reaches around 2,000 km.

Russian aviation engineer questions efficiency, precision of new Avangard hypersonic missile | UNIAN

The new Avangard missile, recently tested in Russia, has significant shortcomings, among which is precision, says Russian aviation engineer Mark Solonin. The expert admits that all the big talk about hypersonic vehicles in Russia is nothing but a bluff. The new Avangard missile, recently tested in Russia, has significant shortcomings, among which is precision, says Russian aviation engineer Mark Solonin. In particular, the gliding combat unit installed on Avangard has a higher miss probability than warheads of ordinary missiles, he said in an interview with the Novaya Gazeta newspaper. The expert recalled that with a guided warhead in place, the probability of an unpredictable miss increases significantly. “The usual detachable warhead falls down like a thrown stone, along a ballistic curve. The stone simply falls according to the laws of ballistics that exist independently of our errors. Accordingly, we can calculate the trajectory, check the calculations in numerous tests, adjust them, and, finally, we know for sure: if the warhead is separated from a missile at a certain altitude, at a certain speed, and at a certain angle, it will drop at a determined spot. For the best modern missiles, accuracy is nearly a hundred meters,” said Solonin. But if you attach small “wings” to a freely falling warhead, and some steering to them, then the free-falling stone will turn into a glider. At high speeds, even small wings are enough to actively maneuver tens of kilometers left-right or up-down. If we take over control of the warhead flight, the requirements for the control and guidance system increase immeasurably, while the likelihood that we will miss the target is very high. One thing is when the warhead falls along a well-known trajectory that is not affected by anything other than gravity. Quite another thing is when we interfere in the trajectory. The error probability increases significantly, to the point that we could hit somewhere tens of kilometers from the target,” the expert notes. Russian military did not comment on the accuracy of the glider following test launches: “(…) only one thing has a certain military sense: to deliver an aimed strike and disable enemy’s key positions. To this end, sufficiently high precision of defeat is needed. The gliding and maneuvering warhead creates enormous problems in this regard, to say the least. The commander-in-chief told us only about the unpredictability of the trajectory. Where the warhead plopped down, we don’t know,” said Solonin. Speaking about air defense systems, Solonin noted that, if Avangard really achieves the declared speed of Mach 27, it is surrounded midflight by a halp of red-hot ionized air. “As a result, it is very clearly visible. It is visible in the radar range, in the thermal range, it is very easily detected. At the same time, it remains completely blind: through this cloud of air ionized already to a certain degree of plasma, the onboard locators can’t see anything. That is, the question of the real combat effectiveness of such weapons is very controversial,” the expert believes. He also admits that all talk about hypersonic vehicles is a bluff. “This is a bluff aimed at drawing a potential adversary into a meaningless waste of intellectual and material resources,” said Solonin.

“Where the warhead plopped, we do not know” Aeronautical engineer Mark Solonin explains what is wrong with the Avangard hypersonic project | Novaya Gazeta [Russian]

Irina Tumakova Special correspondent of “Novaya Gazeta”111 009103 President Vladimir Putin called the Avangard hypersonic rocket with an unpredictable trajectory a gift to the Russians on New Year. Aircraft engineer Mark Solonin explains what else is unpredictable in this project.- The test of the Avangard missile is already the very jerk that we were promised?- I carefully re-read the message on the website of the Ministry of Defense. It is absolutely correct. Yes, intercontinental ballistic missile tests were conducted with – attention! – gliding warhead. This gliding warhead performed maneuvering in horizontal and vertical planes, that is, left-right and up-down, then maybe again and, finally, struck a conventional target on the Kamchatka Peninsula.

Russia loses “Kosmos-2430” with missile launch warning system – 112.international

Russian spacecraft “Kosmos-2430” with Oko missile attack warning system, which was launched in October 2007, fell from the orbit and burned down in the atmosphere, as TASS reported referring to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). According to the American experts, Russian military satellite (NORAD 32268) has ceased to exist on January 5. “Kosmos-2430” was placed in the orbit on October 23, 2007, from Plesetsk Cosmodrome by the Molniya-M rocket. It was designed for tracking the launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles from the territory of the United States with the use of optical telescopes and infrared sensors. According to the unconfirmed data, connection with “Kosmos-2430” was lost in 2012-2014 due to the fact that the satellite produced its own resource. Russia is trying to make a new space echelon of missile attack warning system. Tundra satellite is included in this one, the first was placed in orbit in 2015.

Blacklisted Russian Space Chief Says ‘Victim’ Of Trump-Congress Rivalry

The head of Russia’s Roskosmos space agency, an official who has been targeted by U.S. and European Union sanctions, has criticized President Donald Trump and U.S. lawmakers over the cancellation o…

Russia’s censorship agency has accused the BBC of posting materials that ‘broadcast terrorist ideologies’ — Meduza

Roskomnadzor, the Russian government agency responsible for monitoring mass media and communications, has announced that it found materials “that broadcast the ideological positions of international terrorist organizations” on the website of the BBC’s Russian Service.

Sergei and Yulia Skripal could still be in UK and even be working for security service, experts claim

Sergei and Yulia Skripal are still living in the UK, have contact with friends and may even have been given work by the security services, experts believe.

Russian Embassy Bizarrely Suggests the Poisoned Skripals Drove to Chemical Weapons Lab

The road on which the Skripals were spotted leads to Porton Down, but it also leads to the cemetery where Sergei’s wife and son are buried. It was established long ago that Sergei and his daughte…

‘They left home and drove toward the laboratory’ The Russian Embassy’s (rather conspiratorial) theory of the Skripals’ poisoning — Meduza

The Russian Embassy to the United Kingdom has published a press release in response to local media reports about the lives of Sergei and Yulia Skripal since their poisoning. According to The Telegraph, the two Russians are no longer being held in isolation, but medical experts have continued to observe them closely.

Poltorak: Almost everyone at the last NATO HQ meeting talked about our accelerated NATO accession

Ukraine’s Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak has said NATO representatives have changed their positions on Ukraine’s accession to the North Atlantic Alliance, and noted comprehensive assistance received by Ukraine from the bloc. “For more than four years, I have been observing the mood at NATO headquarters with regard to Ukraine. At first, we were not taken too seriously. Subsequently, we did not understand how accession to the bloc could be achieved. But during the last meeting in Brussels everyone talked about the need for our accelerated accession to NATO. We receive help from them in all directions. This was especially noticeable recently – after an act of open aggression by Russia,” he said in an interview with the state-owned Uryadovy Courier. Poltorak said he has met Britain’s Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson five times over the last six months. He said the number of tasks Ukraine must achieve before becoming a NATO member is large. “In the coming year, we need to complete the reform of the Ministry of Defense and the military authorities. This is one of the most difficult reforms – we must be very careful here so as not to disrupt the command and control. And the changes are gradually being implemented. Recently, we spoke about the need to directly purchase the weapons and equipment we needed abroad. …Everything we buy in the interests of Ukraine’s Armed Forces meets the standards of NATO,” he said. Poltorak said there are problems, of which resource provision is the biggest, but said Ukraine is making progress.

It is easier for Ukraine to become NATO member than EU member – Klimkin

It will be easier for Ukraine to become a member of NATO than a member of the European Union, this is a matter of a medium-term prospect, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has said. It will be easier for Ukraine to become a member of NATO than a member of the European Union, this is a matter of a medium-term prospect, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has said. “It is, of course, simpler to become the NATO member, since it’s a focus on security and defense sector reform. As for the European Union, you can think that this is trivial, but the better we fulfill the Association Agreement, the better we adopt European standards, the sooner we will get EU membership after we get a European prospect,” Klimkin told journalists in Kyiv on Wednesday. In his opinion, this can be achieved in the medium term. “We need to continue changes in this country. It is not just about reforms, but about fundamental changes in this country. We have to do a lot to become members of the EU and NATO,” he added.

Yuliya Talmazan | Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian ships, sailors brings muted U.S. response | NBC News

Former U.S. diplomats and experts say Washington should be doing more to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin after November’s clash in the Kerch Strait. …. Ukraine believes Putin is trying to blockade its ports and transform the Azov into a de facto Russian lake. John Herbst, who served as ambassador to Ukraine from 2003 to 2006 under President George W. Bush, said words would do little to stop Putin. “The Kremlin is not going to be dissuaded by condemnation,” said Herbst, who is now the director of the Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based foreign policy think tank. “They will be dissuaded by pain. Pain that comes from sanctions and the pain that may come from providing weapons to Ukraine.” Poroshenko: ‘Please, get out from Ukraine, Mr. Putin’ Nov. 28, 201801:54 Herbst said providing Kiev with anti-ship missiles and patrol ships would give Ukraine “a partial asymmetric advantage in defending itself in the Sea of Azov.” The U.S. sold $47 million worth of Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine in 2018 to help build its long-term defense capacity — something Herbst says many observers feared would exacerbate tensions with Moscow. However, that move was met with a “weak response” from the Kremlin, the former ambassador said. “You can never rule out a major escalation, but I think the price for Putin of doing that is pretty high,” Herbst added.

Ukraine to continue using Kerch Strait despite Russia’s threats, – Defence Minister – 112.international

Ukraine will continue carrying out passages through the Kerch Strait and sending vessels to Azov Sea ports despite the existing danger, as Ukraine’s Defence Minister Stepan Poltorak said, Ukurier reported. “There are still huge threats from the Russian side on the land border and in Azov Sea, its troops are deployed in occupied Crimea. But I assure such passages will be organized. There will be the twentieth and the hundredth passages. And always, because the Azov Sea is Ukrainian as well, as Mariupol and Berdyansk – our ports where a huge part of our economy is concentrated. We will not refuse from our right to pass through the Kerch Strait whenever we need. I hope our international partners will manage to convince Russia to comply with the international agreements,” the Minister stressed.

Severomorsk, the anti-submarine guided-missile destroyer of Russia’s Northern Fleet enters Black Sea – 112.international

Russia sent another naval warship to the Black Sea. Severomorsk, the anti-submarine guided-missile destroyer appeared in the sea’s waters on January 9, as BlackSeaNews portal reported. As may be seen on the photo above, the ship crossed the Bosphorus and entered the Black Sea on Wednesday. ‘Severomorsk (619), Russian designation’s Project 1155 Fregat or Udaloy class – under the NATO classification, the combat vessel of Russia’s Northern Fleet entered the Black Sea in the morning of January 9’, the message says. Related: Bodies of another three Ukrainian sailors found in the Black Sea According to the contributor, it is the first time since the annexation of Crimea by Russia that the major warship of such class appears in the Black Sea. Otherwise, it is quite usual for other Russian fleets to deploy landing ships for transportations from Crimea and Novorossiysk to Syria. The destroyer of Udaloy I class is considered the backbone of Russia’s firepower in the off-shore maritime zone. Udaloy I class is a series of anti-submarine destroyers built for the Soviet Navy, eight of which are currently in service with the Russian Navy. The Russian designation is Project 1155 Fregat. Twelve ships were built between 1980 and 1991, while a thirteenth ship built to a modified design as the Udaloy II class followed in 1999. They complement the Sovremennyy-class destroyer in anti-aircraft warfare and anti-surface warfare operations.

Russia deploys Northern fleet’s warship to Black Sea (Photo) | UNIAN

A warship of Russia’s Northern fleet entered the Black Sea on Wednesday, January 9. Earlier, USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) of the 6th U.S. Navy fleet entered the Black Sea via the Bosporus Strait. A warship of Russia’s Northern fleet entered the Black Sea on Wednesday, January 9. The vessel in question is the Severomorsk (619) anti-submarine Udaloy-class destroyer, according to Andriy Klymenko, an expert with the Ukraine-based Maidan of Foreign Affairs Foundation. “For the first time since the start of Crimea occupation, a warship of the Russian Northern fleet – not just a landing ship of another fleet but the one that is part of the Rusian navy’s main strike force – has entered the Black Sea waters,” the expert wrote on Facebook, also posting the relevant photos of the destroyer.

UAWire – Dutch NATO warship intends to enter the Black Sea

Ukraine’s Mission to NATO Head Vadym Prystaiko stated on TV channel “112 Ukraine” that a Dutch warship, head of a permanent NATO group, plans to …

U.S. electronic intelligence aircraft starts monitoring mission above occupied Crimea – 112.international

Boeing RC-135V electronic intelligence aircraft of the United States Air Force started a surveillance mission over the Black Sea, reports Liveuamap. It is reported that the aircraft is collecting information on the situation in Crimea. ‘PING41 6414841 USAF RC135V Rivet Joint on surveillance mission over the Black Sea, collecting intel on situation in Crimea and Russian coast,’ reads the message.

Ex-envoy names weapons U.S. should give Ukraine to bolster Azov defenses | UNIAN

The relatively weak Western response to a Russian attack on Ukrainian navy boats in the Kerch Strait means that Vladimir Putin has gained a tactical advantage, which makes it more likely that Moscow will escalate further in the future. “Today, Moscow exploits the lack of any naval deterrence.” The relatively weak Western response to a Russian attack on Ukrainian navy boats in the Kerch Strait means that Vladimir Putin has gained a tactical advantage, which makes it more likely that Moscow will escalate further in the future. It would be easy to dismiss the latest flare-up as Ukraine’s problem, but that would be foolish, ex-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst wrote for the Atlantic Council. The Kremlin is pursuing a revisionist policy designed to weaken NATO and the European Union, while its current aggression is focused on Ukraine. The smartest way for the United States to thwart Putin’s efforts is to make him pay a heavy price for his war against Ukraine, Herbst believes, adding that this can be done at a very low cost to the U.S.: sanctions on Russian leaders and the economy and weapons for Ukraine. The ex-envoy, who is now a director of the Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council, has named weapons the United States should provide to shore up Ukraine’s vulnerabilities. Read alsoShipping volumes at Mariupol port fall 10% against 2017 “We should provide at least six, and as many as twelve, Mark V PT boats. They should be equipped with at least fifty and as many as 100 Hellfire missiles. The United States should also provide at least 100 Harpoon anti-ship missiles. Mark V’s can be transported by air to Mariupol and Berdyansk, Ukraine’s two port cities in the Sea of Azov, where Russia fired on Ukrainian boats on November 25,” the op-ed reads. Harpoons have a range of over fifty miles and would be a problem for Russian ships approaching Mariupol or Berdyansk and for any amphibious operation against Ukraine’s coast, whether in Azov or the Black Sea. Given that the Ukrainian navy cannot match Russian firepower in the Sea of Azov, fast Mark V patrol boats would provide a punch that would put larger Russian vessels at risk. The Mark V’s carry torpedoes and the United States could make the boats much more of a threat to the Russian navy by providing nautical Hellfire missiles, which can be launched from the Mark V. “Finally, we should also provide the radar and intel systems that would help Ukraine’s military keep track of the Russian navy in the Sea of Azov. This would be essential to gauge the threat of that navy and would be important for targeting those ships,” John Herbst wrote, adding that this is “not to encourage Ukraine to shoot at the Russian navy, but to give it the capability to shoot back once provoked, which would establish a measure of deterrence in the Sea of Azov.” “Today, Moscow exploits the lack of any naval deterrence,” the ex-ambassador stressed. Read alsoUkraine lodges lawsuit against Russia with ECHR over captive Ukrainian sailors The Kremlin has established overwhelming military superiority in the Sea of Azov and, with their attack on and seizure of Ukrainian navy vessels in late November, have demonstrated that they want no challenge from Ukraine there. Since April, Moscow has used this predominance to harass shipping to and from Ukraine’s Azov ports, drastically reducing shipping. At the same time, its naval presence also gives Moscow the ability to conduct amphibious military operations against Ukraine’s Azov coastline. “The United States is not in a position to offset Moscow’s naval superiority in the Sea of Azov, just as it is not in a position to offset the Kremlin’s conventional superiority in the war in Donbas. But the United States could give Ukraine assets to provide an asymmetric challenge to Moscow in the Sea of Azov,” Herbst wrote. “This would be similar in some ways to the US provision of Javelins to Ukraine, which did much to neuter Moscow’s tank advantage in the Donbas and convince Kyiv that the US position remains firm.” In conclusion, the former envoy notes that the U.S. response to Moscow’s escalation in late November has been underwhelming, which Putin is likely to interpret “as a green light if we do nothing but cancel meetings.” “Putin is a menace to the international order and he’s only getting bolder,” says the expert. “Now is the time to act.”

Mark V Special Operations Craft – Wikipedia

Mark V Special Operations Craft | Military.com

Mission: Special Operations Insertion, Exfiltration

Ukraine invites partners to ‘trials’ of captive sailors in Russia

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry is working to ensure the presence of foreign partners in Moscow’s “trials” of Ukrainian prisoners of war on extending measures of restraint for them, Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has said. — Ukrinform

Ukrainian human rights commissioner plans to attend trials of captive sailors in Russia

Verkhovna Rada Human Rights Commissioner Liudmyla Denisova plans to visit Moscow next week to attend court hearings on the extension of the terms of arrest for captive Ukrainian sailors. — Ukrinform

Lawyer reveals prospects of release of Ukrainian sailors – 112.international

Russian lawyer Ilia Novikov spoke about the prospects of the release of 24 Ukrainian sailors captured by the Russian side near Kerch Strait in November 2018 as 112 Ukraine reported. “We know from the previous experience that Russia will agree on any variant of the exchange very reluctant, especially, for 70 people apart from the sailors, on whom exchange Ukraine presented the proposals at different times. In fact, it was able to make it with six persons, if we count the leaders of the Crimean Tatars community. At the same time, the situation with the sailors is unique. We hope for this uniqueness when we discuss the possibility of their return. According to the reaction of the last month and a half, it is very tough and far surpasses previously expressed reactions on other Ukrainian citizens detained by Russia. In this case, we look forward with great expectation not to the offers of the Ukrainian side but to the tough pressure,” the lawyer said.

EU urges Russia to immediately release Ukrainian sailors, Pavlo Hryb, Edem Bekirov, other political prisoners | UNIAN

The European Union reiterates that all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens in the Crimean peninsula and in Russia and the crew of the vessels captured by Russia on November 25 must be immediately released, that’s according to a statement by Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson for EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations. International human rights observers must be granted full, free and unhindered access to the Crimean peninsula, the EU says.

European Union demands that Russian Federation immediately release Ukrainian hostages

The EU expresses solidarity with the citizens of Ukraine, who were illegally detained by the Russian authorities, demanding their immediate release and the provision of urgent medical care to those who need it. Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Maja Kocijancic, said this in a statement on the cases of illegally detained Ukrainian citizens. “Pavlo Hryb, a disabled, 20-year old citizen of Ukraine was abducted on 24 August 2017 in Belarus, and detained by the Russian authorities without any clear charges. The European Union expects him to be immediately released and granted access to the special medical treatment he needs. Ukrainian doctors must be allowed to see him while he remains in detention, as required by a recent injunction from the European Court of Human Rights,” the report says. The European External Action Service (EEAS) statement also notes the demand for the release of Crimean Tatar activist Edem Bekirov, who was detained on December 12, 2018 after arriving in the Crimean peninsula illegally annexed by Russia. “Bekirov also needs daily medical assistance given his health condition. We expect him to be released without delay and granted access to urgent and appropriate medical care,” the document says. The European Union reiterates that all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens in the Crimean peninsula and in Russia and the crew of the vessels captured by Russia on November 25 must be immediately released. International human rights observers must be granted full, free and unhindered access to the Crimean peninsula. The European Union remains committed to fully implementing its policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol.

Klimkin: EU considers different options for sanctions against Russia over aggression in Kerch Strait

The European Union considers different options for punishing Russia for its aggression against Ukraine in the Kerch Strait, but this process will not be rapid as it requires the consent of all the parties. — Ukrinform

Lithuanian, Canadian foreign ministers discuss joint actions to assist Ukraine

Canadian and Lithuanian Foreign Ministers Chrystia Freeland and Linas Linkevicius have discussed the issue of providing assistance to Ukraine. — Ukrinform

Ukraine reports two ceasefire violations by Russian proxies in Donbas in past day | UNIAN

Over the past day, January 9, Russian proxy forces in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas twice violated the ceasefire. Militants fired from grenade launches and machine guns.

One step short of causing another “Chornobyl” disaster in Donbas, Russia prepares to blame Ukraine – media | UNIAN

Leaked documents have been released online confirming that Russia had set up a smear campaign, accusing Ukraine’s Armed Forces of plotting a “chemical attack” in the occupied town of Horlivka. Russia-controlled occupation authorities in Horlivka are aware of the pressing environmental threats in the area. Leaked documents have been released online confirming that Russia had set up a smear campaign, accusing Ukraine’s Armed Forces of plotting a “chemical attack” in the occupied town of Horlivka. According to a Ukrainian blogger “Fashik Donetskyi,” the Nykytsky mercury plant stopped pumping water from reservoirs as far back as late November 2018, which was a shocker to the locals who realize that in just a few months, groundwater across the area will be polluted, the Apostrophe online media outlet wrote citing Obozrevatel. At the same time, Russian experts say that at the Horlivka-based Chemical Plant, where rocket fuel used to be produced, barrels with toxic waste are in a terrible state and cannot be transported from the site. “The saddest thing is that Russian experts predict that a maximum period for the barrels to start leaking is from several months to a year. Barrel failure means toxic leakage with the damage radius ranging from 10 to 20 km,” the report reads. Read alsoEnvironmental hazard: Donbas militants burying Russian radioactive waste Russia-controlled occupation authorities in Horlivka are aware of the issues, adds the report. “Russia has built something like Somalia and is one step short of causing another Chornobyl,” the blogger wrote. “Don’t believe me? It’s your right. It’s just that I managed to get copies of documents, say, on the Stirol company, where it says clearly that ammonia storage conditions don’t meet safety requirements. Read carefully: occupation authorities are well aware of the possible ammonia leakage and the potential number of civilian victims.

Drone disarmed close to Ukrainian arms depot – LB.ua news portal

Drone disarmed close to Ukrainian arms depot. It was detected by a radar. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Ukraine’s security service blocks 360 cyber incidents in 2018 | UNIAN

Ukraine’s SBU Security Service identified and blocked 360 cyber incidents in 2018. Ukraine may expect an increase in cyber interference by Russia pending presidential elections in March 2019.

Ukraine reports more evidence of Russian support for illegal armed groups in Donbas | UNIAN

The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine says further evidence was revealed of Russian support to the illegal armed groups operating in the occupied part of Luhansk region. A cache was discovered in Luhansk region, typically set up by sabotage and reconnaissance groups.

Over 150 Russian citizens denied entry to Ukraine in 2018 – SBU | UNIAN

The SBU Security Service of Ukraine has reported that a total of 157 Russian citizens were banned from crossing into Ukraine in 2018. Among them, there are 83 Russian propagandists.

Russian special services recruit employee of Ukrainian state scientific enterprise in Kharkiv – SBU

Ukraine’s SBU State Security has said it exposed a Kharkiv citizen recruited by Russian special services to carry out subversive activities against the country – collecting information about military personnel and military units of Ukraine’s Armed Forces. “SBU counterintelligence officers found that during a trip to Russia for the purpose of employment, an employee of a Kharkiv-based state scientific institution was recruited by an enemy intelligence service to provide personal data of Ukrainian servicemen and their duty stations. He was instructed to transmit the received information to the curators through electronic communication channels,” the SBU’s press service said on January 10. The suspect immediately came to the attention of SBU when he returned from abroad. SBU agents documented the suspect’s activities gathering personal information about Anti-terrorist Operation participants from among employees of their state institution. The suspect failed to complete his criminal task. On the eve of the transfer of the collected data abroad, the suspect was detained by SBU agents. “During a search at the place his residence agents seized an electronic storage device with personal data of Ukrainian soldiers,” the SBU said, noting the information was “for official use” only and could harm state interests if divulged. A criminal case under Article 14 and Part 1 of Article 110 of Ukraine’s Criminal Code was opened and the suspect was serviced a notice of suspicion.

Ukrainian sailor saved from death row in Iran returned home in swap deal | UNIAN

Ukrainian sailor Andriy Novichkov, who was facing a death penalty in Iran for allegedly killing a Muslim crewman, has safely returned to Ukraine on Thursday, Jan 10. He was exchanged for an Iranian national convicted for espionage.

Marines armed with “Stughna” ATGWs

During the martial law that was introduced after the act of Russian aggression in the neutral waters of the Black Sea on November 25, 2018, a meeting with the operational reserve of the first stage was held. During the meeting of reservists of the 36th Marine Corps in December 2018, the newest Ukrainian anti-tank missile complexes “Stughna-P” This is reported by the Ukrainian Military Portal Earlier, the training of Marines was noticed during the opening of the 184th Training Center of the National Academy of Ground Forces of the School of training anti-tank missile systems specialists (PTRK) , where appropriate training on the “Stugna-P” and “Corsar”

Ukrainian upgrades of the Soviet Su-25 attack aircraft

In the previous issue of the Ukrainian Modernization of Soviet Fighters, we briefly introduced the development of the Ukrainian defense-industrial complex for the modernization of the Su-27 and MiG-29 fighters, which Ukraine has received as a result of the Soviet Union, in today’s acquaintance with other modernizations of the Soviet Su-25 attack aircraft In Ukraine, the “Zaporizhzhya State Aircraft Repair Plant” MiGremont “is engaged in the repair and modernization of the Su-25 attack aircraft. For the arming of the Air Forces of the Armed Forces in 2015, an upgraded Su-25M1K attack aircraft was adopted. It was created on the basis of another modernization – the Su-25M1, which was first received by the Ukrainian Army in 2010, and is distinguished, in particular, by the installation of the “Adros” protection complex produced by the State Enterprise “NTC” Progress “. This complex increases the safety of the aircraft from thermal guidance at times.

The Ukrainian Army received a new 8×8 KrAZ chassis

AvtoKrAZ PJSC completed the order of the Ukrainian military by forwarding them the 8х8 KrAZ-7634НЕ cab chassis truck. 27 tonne cab chassis truck is used for conversion to vehicle equipped with heavy special equipment. It is provided with powerful engine rated at 460hp and automatic transmission with maximum torque rated at 2500 N/m. Such a combination of engine and transmission with through-type powertrain help achieve excellent performance. The length from back of cab to end of cabover vehicle frame is 8080 mm, minimum outside turning radius is 14 m. 1st and 2nd axles are steerable, all the axles are driven. Integral power steering helps decrease steering effort to 10 kgf, thus easing driver fatigue. This all-wheel drive vehicle can be extensively used for driving off road. At customer’s request, exhaust system is located between 1 and 2 axles with exhaust directed to the right as viewed in the direction of vehicle motion, two 165 l round fuel tanks are provided instead of two rectangular tanks with capacity of 350 l. Height of ergonomic low mounted cab is 2800 mm (for reference: the height of the cab of the 8х6 KrAZ-7140Н6 is 3170 mm), this makes it possible to mount various special equipment on the cab roof. Wide windshield offers excellent visibility.

‘AutoKrAZ’ delivers new military chassis for Ukrainian army – Defence Blog

Ukrainian company ‘AutoKrAZ’ announced on 8 January that the first 8х8 KrAZ-7634НЕ military chassis has been delivered to the Ukrainian Army. According to the company’s statement, the new KrAZ-7634НЕ military chassis will be used to carry weapon systems, such as coastal missile system, antenna posts for surface-to-air missile systems, and lots of other systems. Also at KrAZ-7634НЕ military chassis will be developed new multi-mission recovery system for recovering other heavy vehicles and trucks. It will combine the repair, towing and evacuation of an immobilized wheeled vehicle functions. Unlike its predecessors, the new KrAZ 8×8 is provided with more powerful engine rated at 460hp and automatic transmission with maximum torque rated at 2500 N/m. Such a combination of engine and transmission with through-type powertrain help achieve excellent performance. At customer’s request, exhaust system is located between 1 and 2 axles with exhaust directed to the right as viewed in the direction of vehicle motion, two 165 l round fuel tanks are provided instead of two rectangular tanks with capacity of 350 l. The length from back of cab to end of cabover vehicle frame is 8080 mm, minimum outside turning radius is 14 m. 1st and 2nd axles are steerable, all the axles are driven. Integral power steering helps decrease steering effort to 10 kgf, thus easing driver fatigue. This all-wheel drive vehicle can be extensively used for driving off road. Height of ergonomic low mounted cab is 2800 mm (for reference: the height of the cab of the 8х6 KrAZ-7140Н6 is 3170 mm), this makes it possible to mount various special equipment on the cab roof. Wide windshield offers excellent visibility.

Bogdan received a new contract for trucks for the Armed Forces

Bogdan Motors Company has signed a new contract with the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine for the supply of Bogdan-6317 trucks for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The agreement envisages a significant increase in the production of such equipment for the army in 2019. This is reported by the press service of the corporation Bogdan . “After the use of Bogdan 6317 trucks in 2018, the Defense Ministry representatives expressed their full satisfaction with the cars produced at the Cherkassy Bogdan Motors plant. This year, the deliveries of trucks to the Ministry of Defense will increase significantly, compared with last year. The military is interested in maximizing their fleet of vehicles by modern, reliable, fast, convenient and high-quality Bogdan 6317, “the company said. Bogdan-6317 is a multipurpose vehicle equipped with a 6-cylinder diesel turbocharged engine WP10.380E32 with a working volume of 9,726 L and a power of 380 hp. The use of these engines allowed to improve the dynamic and performance characteristics of cars, as well as to refuse the components of Russian production. Also, cars are equipped with Fast Gear gearboxes from China and Turkish Hummer Kupplungen couplings. The truck is capable of speeding up to 85 km / h with a load of 11 tons and has a range of 1,447 km. The car can carry 50 people in an equipped body, tow trailers with all types of roads with hard and soil cover, as well as off-road. Each car is provided with a 10-year warranty from the manufacturer.

Alexander Smith and Yuliya Talmazan | Russia-Ukraine sea clash puts spotlight on 1994 agreement

Washington paid half a billion dollars for Ukraine to pass 5,000 nuclear weapons to Russia to be dismantled after brokering the deal. Twenty-five years ago, Ukraine was the world’s third-largest nuclear power, with more warheads than the United Kingdom, France and China combined. The government in Kiev inherited this arsenal after the breakup of the Soviet Union, finding itself in possession of an estimated 5,000 nuclear weapons, more than 170 intercontinental ballistic missiles and several dozen nuclear bombers. In 1994, Ukraine agreed to dismantle this stockpile in return for a promise from Russia that the country wouldn’t be attacked. But after Russian forces fired at and seized three Ukrainian naval vessels on Sunday, Kiev has pointed to this deal and suggested that the U.S. and Europe should do more to protect it against the vastly superior Russian military. For months Ukraine has accused Russia of restricting access to its own ports in the nearby Sea of Azov, alleging the Kremlin wants to turn it into a Russian lake.

The Destruction Of Ukraine’s Nuclear Arsenal [RFE/RL Photoessay]

Twenty-five years ago, Ukraine possessed the world’s third-largest nuclear arsenal. It had inherited 175 long-range missiles and more than 1,800 warheads after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Following two years of talks been the United States, Russia, and Ukraine, U.S. President Bill Clinton announced a breakthrough on January 10, 1994. Ukraine had agreed to remove all nuclear weapons from its soil in exchange for assurances that Russia would respect its sovereignty.

Ukraine not to accept Russians’ applications to monitor presidential election – LB.ua news portal

Ukraine not to accept Russians’ applications to monitor presidential election. The foreign minister has informed the OSCE accordingly. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Ukraine withdraws from another CIS agreement – 112.international

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine made a decision on the withdrawal of Ukraine from the Agreement on the development of exhibitions and fairies activity within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) as 112.ua reported. The explanatory note to the draft regulation of the government published by RBK-Ukraine states that this agreement was worked out for the development of the integration processes in the CIS and strengthening of the international contacts for the assistance in the forming of the common economic and information space. The agreement has become outdated in general and does not correspond to the modern state of the trade and economic relations between countries.

Ukrainian exports to Canada grow by almost 50% – ambassador

In the first three quarters of 2018, exports of Ukrainian goods to Canada increased by 48.5%. — Ukrinform

Ukrainian ambassador: No progress in visa-free regime with Canada

Last year, Ukraine failed to make progress in the abolishment of visa requirements for travels to Canada. — Ukrinform

Canada, Ukraine to extend effect of free trade agreement – ambassador

Ukraine and Canada will hold talks this year on extending the effect of the free trade agreement to the sphere of services and investment, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Canada Andriy Shevchenko has said in an interview with Ukrinform. — Ukrinform

Embassy of Ukraine in Hungary presents video ‘Ukraine under aggression’

The Embassy of Ukraine in Hungary presented English version of the video “Ukraine under aggression” at the meeting with Ambassadors from the EU and NATO member states, other European and Latin American countries. — Ukrinform

Ukrainian bandurists perform carols at residence of Canada’s FM Chrystia Freeland

The Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus performed Christmas carols at the residence of Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland. — Ukrinform

 

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