Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (75)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Amb Grenell in Berlin elicits a lot of Russian propaganda, but very little effect in Germany media – Nordstream 2 would have died already without the political support of the SDP, who are resolutely committed to protecting their retirement plans.

Muscovy plays political games over the Kurile Islands, exactly what their expected outcome might be appears to be a mystery to all but Muscovy itself.

Russia escalates its toxic propaganda offensive against Belarus, further alienating Belarusians, while Russian industry is testing a HEMTT-ski intended to replace the ubiquitous Belarusian supplied 8×8 vehicles and tractors – this suggests Russia expects to soon lose access to Belarusian industry. Clearly, the Chekist regime is as deluded about Belarusian attitudes to Russia now, as it was about Ukrainian attitudes in 2014.

Muscovy makes foolish claims about US compliance with START. Eidman on the lopsided “alliance” between Muscovy and Beijing.  Bogus bomb threats resume in Muscovy. Greece unhappy about Russian meddling in the Macedonia matter.

Russians continue to game around the 24 Ukrainian POWs, evidently intending to further antagonize the Ukrainians. Ukrainians comment on A2/AD in Crimea, sans the Western jargon. FM Klimkin joining NATO.

Muscovy states that if Ukraine elects a pro-Russian president, Donbas war could be quickly resolved, neglecting to mention in favor of Russia. Donbas update.

The National Interest on AFU UGVs.

Politics and economy update – Yanukovich’s former DEFMIN Salamatin expected to be charged with treason, and diverting more than a half billion dollars of defense export contracts from Ukrainian industry to Russia.


German Politicians Outraged Over US Envoy’s Threats to Nord Stream 2 Firms – Sputnik International

The US ambassador reportedly warned companies participating in the Russian-European project to build a gas pipeline bypassing Ukraine about the “reputational costs and sanctions risks” involved. These letters have been called a provocation while Grenell himself has been given the moniker “Emperor’s Governor”.

Berlin Sees US Ambassador’s Letters About Nord Stream 2 as Provocation – Reports – Sputnik International

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The German Foreign Ministry described letters from US Ambassador to Berlin Richard Grenell sent to German companies participating in the Nord Stream 2 project as yet another provocation, the newspaper Handelsblatt reported on Sunday, citing sources.

‘Despite Threat of Sanctions Nord Stream 2 Is Unstoppable’ – Scholar – Sputnik International

Washington has warned German companies of a significant risk of sanctions unless they suspend their involvement in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline construction.

US Does Not Consider Nord Stream 2 a Commercial Project – Researcher – Sputnik International

German media has reported that US Envoy to Berlin Richard Grenell had sent letters to a number of German companies, hinting at the possibility of imposing US sanctions for supporting Nord Stream 2 project. The ambassador’s spokesperson said that Grenell’s letters should be perceived not as a “threat”, but as a clear expression of US policy.

Ditching Russian gas will be economic suicide for Europe – analyst to RT — RT Business News

Washington’s attempts to derail the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project to supply Russian natural gas to the European Union will definitely backfire, according to a geopolitical expert Dr. Pierre-Emmanuel Thomann.

‘Consider the danger’: US ambassador threatens to sanction German Nord Stream 2 companies — RT World News

A US ambassador has reportedly threatened to punish German contributors involved in the multinational Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, and has tried to fan the ‘Russia scare’ to make his point.

Richard Grenell on Twitter: “Many of our European partners oppose Nord Stream 2. Giving Russia more influence over Europe is concerning to many.… “

 

UAWire – Media: Berlin tells German companies not to respond to US Ambassador’s letters threatening them with sanctions

The German Foreign Ministry recommended that German companies BASF and Uniper refrain from responding to the letters from US Ambassador Richard Grenell which warned them of US sanctions for participating in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, reported Handelsblatt newspaper on Sunday. According to the newspaper’s sources, the companies asked the Foreign Ministry how to better respond to Grenell’s censure. The Ministry recommended that the companies abstain from responding to the American diplomat. The newspaper noted that the companies viewed the letter as a “blatant threat.” The United States has repeatedly threatened to impose sanctions against the participants of the Nord Stream 2 project, but now, disagreements on the gas pipeline between Berlin and Washington have reached new levels. As the newspaper reports, Grenell’s directives to German companies to reduce activities in Iran led the German Foreign Ministry to decide to maintain contact with the USA only directly through the US Department of State in Washington. Earlier, on Sunday, January 13, the newspaper Bild am Sonntag stated that Grenell sent letters to German companies warning about the possibility of sanctions against them for supporting construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. According to Grenell, “if Nord Stream 2 and Turk Stream make European gas imports through Ukraine redundant, Kyiv will lose its significance for the security balance [in Europe] and the risk of Russia’s intervention will increase.”

US Ambassador Richard Grenell threatens German firms over Russian pipeline | News | DW | 13.01.2019

The US ambassador to Berlin, Richard Grenell, has sent threatening letters to German companies working on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, according to a German newspaper. Grenell reportedly warns of possible sanctions.

U.S. ambassador in Berlin warns Germans about Russian gas pipeline, triggering applause elsewhere – The Washington Post

U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell increased pressure on German companies over the weekend.

U.S. Threatens to Sanction German Firms Building Russian Gas Pipeline | Fortune

Continue to work with Russia on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and you could face consequences, the U.S. ambassador told German firms

US envoy warns German firms of sanctions over Russia-led pipeline | TheHill

The U.S. ambassador to Germany warned several companies that they could face sanctions if they continue their involvement in construction of a Russian-led pipeline, Reuters reported Sunday.

U.S. warns German companies of possible sanctions over Russian pipeline | Reuters

The United States has warned German companies involved in the Russian-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that they could face sanctions if they stick with the project.

USA threatens to sanction Germany over Russia gas trade | DW News – YouTube

DW News Published on Jan 14, 2019 Washington’s ambassador to Germany has issued a stark warning to German companies over a controversial pipeline that would supply Russian gas to Germany while bypassing eastern European countries.

US threatens EU companies with sanctions over Nord Steam 2, Turkish Stream – EURACTIV.com

 

US could issue sanctions to GERMANY over BILLION pound gas pipeline project with Russia | World | News | Express.co.uk

THE US has sent a stern warning to Germany and Russia over their proposals to build a gas pipeline between the two countries stating they face “a significant risk of sanctions”.

UAWire – Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Abe to negotiate peace treaty on January 22

Negotiations between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe are scheduled to take place in Moscow on January 22. The two leaders will discuss matters relating to the signing of a peace treaty between Russia and Japan, the Kremlin’s press service reported. “The plan is to discuss the state and development prospects of a bilateral collaboration in the political, commercial, economic and humanitarian areas. As a follow-up to the agreements achieved during previous meetings in Singapore and Buenos Aires, they are expected to consider matters relating to the conclusion of a peace treaty between the two countries. There is also the intention to exchange opinions on several current problems on the international and regional agenda,” the Kremlin’s press release states.

Russia to Japan: control over islands not up for discussion | Reuters

Russia told Japan on Monday that Moscow’s sovereignty over several disputed islands was not up for discussion and that disagreements between the countries still obstruct the path to a peace deal.

Russia tells Japan retaking Pacific islands not on horizon – ABC News

 

Kuril islands sovereignty not for discussion, Russia tells Japan | Russia News | Al Jazeera

Remarks by Russian foreign minister after talks with Japanese counterpart set stage for upcoming Putin-Abe meeting.

Lavrov Talks Tough At Meeting With Japan On Disputed Islands

Moscow has warned Tokyo not to expect progress toward an agreement over the disputed Kurile Islands unless Japan first recognizes Russian sovereignty over the Pacific island chain claimed by both c…

UAWire – Kremlin: Russia wants no US involvement in the peace process with Japan

The Russian Foreign Ministry opposes the inclusion of the United States in the negotiations process with Japan, said the Ministry’s official …

UAWire – Kremlin surprised that Japan decided to conduct a closed press conference after talks with Lavrov

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs official spokeswoman Maria Zakharova reported in an interview on the “Sunday evening” program on television channel Russia-1 on Sunday, that the Japanese side plans to organize a closed briefing, scheduled for Monday, after talks between the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono. “This morning, Japanese diplomats sent out invitations to various media representatives on a closed briefing for tomorrow evening,” said Zakharova. She noted that questions regarding bilateral relations with Japan and negotiations on a peace treaty, either way, will be touched upon on the press conference by Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday. “However, the approach itself of first creating an environment of information the destabilizes, mislead people, throw in a couple of fakes, then close the press conference and on the same day hold a background briefing, it’s strong,” commented the spokeswoman for the MFA. Earlier, it was reported that the Japanese representatives plans to abandon the joint press conference following the talks between Lavrov and Taro Kono. The meeting is held on the morning of January 14th, and the issue of concluding a peace treaty between Russia and Japan. As emphasized earlier by the Russian Foreign Ministry, the key condition to solve this issue is Tokyo’s unconditional recognition of the outcome of World War II in full, including the sovereignty of the Russian Federation over the South Kuril Islands. Earlier, Tokyo expressed the need “to gain an understanding of the residents of the South Kuril regarding the issue of “transitioning the territorial identity of the islands to Japan.” In this regard, on January 9th the Ambassador of Japan in Moscow Toyohisa Kozuki was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry, where he was told that these statements grossly distort the essence of the agreements between the leaders of the two countries.

Kremlin considering Kuril Islands referendum to legitimize Crimea – Bellingcat contributor | UNIAN

Christo Grozev, one of Bellingcat’s contributors and a senior researcher at Risk Management Lab, has said the Kremlin is considering a referendum on the disputed Kuril Islands to legitimize the annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine. The expert says Russia will retain most of the territory.

WW3: Top Russian diplomat warns US missile bases in Japan risk major fall-out | World | News | Express.co.uk

US MISSILE deployments in Japan pose a security threat to Russia and China and are hampering international relations in the region, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

‘Belarus Will Be a Friend of Russia or It Won’t Exist,’ Kiselyov Says – To Inform is to Influence

The more Russia denies attacking Belarus, the more Russia attacks Belarus. Now Dmitry Kiselyov is attacking Belarus. Notice his nice pink shirt and pink tie. </end editorial>

Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘Belarus Will Be a Friend of Russia or It Won’t Exist,’ Kiselyov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, January 14 – Dmitry Kiselyov, the flamboyant host of Russia-1’s News of the Week program, said yesterday that if Belarus stops being friend with Moscow, then at some point it will “simply disappear,” the kind of bombast that may mobilize Putin’s base in Russia but that is guaranteed to drive Belarusians away from Russia as fast as possible. The Putin regime propagandist declared that if Belarus refuses to cooperate with Russia on Russia’s terms, “Russia may lose an ally. Of course, we categorically do not want this. But if Minsk decides to exist without Russia, the future of Belarus will be ghastly” (by24.org/2019/01/13/the_russian_used_condom_threating_to_belarus/). “Russia, of course, will be weakened is that happens, but Belarus simply won’t exist. One must not have any illusions about that,” Kiselyov said. Kiselyov’s language is all too typical of what other Kremlin loyalists are saying, and it is one of the reasons why the Belarusian Popular Front is calling on Minsk to limit the broadcast of Russian TV channels in Belarus (belaruspartisan.by/politic/451486/, and znak.com/2019-01-13/v_belorussii_predlozhili_ogranichit_translyaciyu_rossiyskih_telekanalov). Russian reaction to the Belarusian Popular Front’s appeal was immediate: Aleksey Pushkov of the Federation Council commission on information policy denounced the Belarusian Peoples Front for trying to separate Belarus from Russia and declared that Russian TV never features anti-Belarusian materials. He said that the Front’s call was part of a larger effort to push Belarus “onto the Ukrainian path.” Others like Yury Zalog, a member of the Duma’s labor, social policy and veterans affairs committee were equally dismissive and equally condemning of the Belarusian Popular Front. The call to restrict Russian TV broadcasts in Belarus was made by the Front in a declaration it adopted two days ago calling for 2019 to become “The Year of the Belarusian Language” in the republic (news.tut.by/economics/622369.html).

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Eight Misconceptions Keep Moscow from Seeing Belarus will Enter EU before Ukraine Does, Belarusian Blogger Says

Paul Goble Staunton, January 14 – A large share of Russians have eight serious misconceptions about Belarus, views that are preventing them from understanding their western neighbor and seeing that it is far more likely to join the European Union in a decade or so than is Ukraine, Belarusian blogger Maksim Mirovich. In a post that Novyye izvestiya has reposted (maxim-nm.livejournal.com/472720.html and newizv.ru/article/general/14-01-2019/mify-o-belorussii-pochemu-eta-strana-voydet-v-es-bystree-sosedey), he discussed each of the eight and “myths” discusses why they are all dangerously incorrect. They include: 1. Belarusians are potato eaters. Belarusians do eat potatoes, Mirovich says, but not in greater amounts than do Russians or Ukrainians. 2. Belarus is an agrarian country. Seventy-five percent of Belarusians live in cities; only 25 percent live in rural areas, with the former increasing and the latter decreasing as throughout the world. 3. Belarusians are the same as Russians. The Russian authorities have promoted this idea but there is simply no basis for it. Belarusians have a different ethnic and political history than do the Russians and are distinct in a whole range of ways. 4. No one speaks Belarusian. Twenty-five percent of Belarusians use Belarusian as their primary language, and another 65 to 70 percent can shift to it without any difficulties. The remainder know it enough to get by. 5. Everything in Belarus is cheap. That might have been true a decade or more ago, but it isn’t now. Belarusian prices are comparable to those in Eastern Europe, and Russians who expect otherwise will be quickly disabused if they visit it. 6. Belarus is pristine. Belarusians are more careful about trash disposal than Russians but their country is not as pristine as the tourist firms suggest. Any visit to the edge of Minsk or another city proves that. It is in this regard comparable to Warsaw or Berlin. 7. In Belarus, there is order. There is more order in Belarus than in Russia because Belarusians feel more strongly against such things as theft and corruption than Russiuans do. But the amount of order there is far less than Russians think. 8. In Belarus, the Soviet system has been preserved. Belarus does have a large number of Lenin Squares “but in fact these are purely external attributes. Practically all young Belarusians today are focused on Europe and on life according to Western standards. Moreover, the country as a whole is increasingly oriented toward the West. Ukraine was more Soviet at least before 2014 and, despite changes, remains so in many ways to this day, Mirovich says. The Soviet element in Belarus exists almost exclusively among government officials. Indeed, he concludes, “the situation with us recalls less the sovietism of the USSR than the sovietism of countries in the socialist camp like Hungary or Poland.” That makes Belarus’ further transformation far less unlikely than many Russians now believe.

KAMAZ-7950

Classified military chassis spotted in Russia – Defence Blog

New Russian wheeled transporter was spotted at the way to test range, according to blogger and journalist Maksim Sofanyuk. A classified military chassis with 8×8 axle configuration has been captured in camera being traveled to the testing ground. According to a local source, the new 8×8 military chassis (part of Platforma-O family) is designed to carry large heavy cargo and will be used as transporter erector launchers (TELs). The prototype called the KAMAZ-7950 and will be used to carry modern Russian weapon systems, such as Iskander missile systems, Bal-E and Bastion coastal anti-ship missile systems, antenna posts for S-400 surface-to-air missile systems and lots of other systems. The key specific feature of this chassis is the new-generation electromechanical transmission (EMT). Is expected that new chassis will has a maximum road speed of 60 km/h (35 km/h on field roads and 15 km/h off-road). Russia’s armed forces will receive new Platforma-O family wheeled transporters to replace those produced by Belarus’s Minsk Wheel Tractors Plant (MZKT Volat).

Russia Challenges U.S. Compliance With Nuclear Treaty – WSJ

Russia has stepped up criticism of U.S. efforts to implement a major strategic arms treaty with an unusual message to lawmakers accusing Washington of undermining the agreement.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russians, Not Americans Should be Afraid of Russia-China Alliance, Eidman Says

Paul Goble Staunton, January 14 – Moscow is trying to frighten the US with the idea that Russia will form an alliance with China, but the people who really ought to be frightened are the Russians who will thus be left “one on one” with the Chinese in a relationship that will not be in any way an equal one, according to Igor Eidman.. “The strengths” of the two country are so unequal – China’s population and its economy are an order of magnitude larger than Russia’s – that either Russia will be swallowed up or the alliance between the two will break down, the Russian sociologist and Deutsche Welle commentator says (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5C3C3D9A25D69). He suggests that “China and Russia now recall the US and Mexico in the 19th century when the Americans, having begun with the peaceful colonization of Texas in the end seized half of Mexico’s territory.” That was because “a rapidly developing and powerful country which needed new resources bordered a stagnating and corrupt one.” “The result of such an arrangement between neighbors could only be the gradual colonization of the weak by the strong,” Eidman says. “Which is already taking place in [Russia’s] Far East.” According to the commentator, Russians ought to remember the old Radio Armenia joke from Soviet times. The radio is asked, given that vodka cost five rubles in 1981, how much will it cost in 2000? Radio Armenia answers: 10 yuan – the Chinese currency that would then be money used in what had been Russia. There is a second Radio Armenia joke that makes the same point, although it is not one Eidman offers here. Radio Armenia is asked: What will life be like in the Soviet Union in 2020? Radio Armenia answers: We don’t know, but conditions along the Sino-Finnish border should be quiet. This week brings two stories which underscore why Russia should be worried: On the one hand, Chinese firms are now prepared to play one federal subject off against the other, something they can do because the Chinese have money to invest and the Russians desperately need that (idelreal.org/a/29707116.html). And on the other, the Rex news agency reports that “the first Chinese enclave may appear in Russia” in the near future because of the deals Chinese firms have made with one region that will give them a good chance of dominating that region because they will become the largest and most important force in Chuvashia (iarex.ru/news/63404.html). This comes on top of reports about Chinese immigration to the Far East, Russian intermarriage with Chinese, and Chinese destruction of the environment east of the Urals because of its demand for water and other natural resources (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/12/main-separatist-region-in-russian.htmlwindowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/11/many-in-buryatia-transbaikal-fear.html,windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/11/on-arctic-and-pacific-shelf-russia.htmlwindowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/10/illegal-russian-loggers-in-siberia-and.html, and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/09/the-most-devastating-attacks-putin-has.html).

Russia, Moscow Reel From Bomb Threats – To Inform is to Influence

Shades of 1999. In 1999, four apartment building bombings were ostensibly blamed on Chechnyan terrorists and another War on Chechnya was launched. That theory of Chechnya being responsible has largely been ignored, as the more probable culprit was the FSB. Putin, the President of Russia, is largely credited with launching the bombings as a way to ensure his Presidency. No investigation was ever launched. None Dare Call It a Conspiracy. We have now had another bombing of an apartment building in Moscow. This is being followed by telephone bomb threats all over Russia, and, now, in Moscow. Once again, we think of Putin’s role behind the 1999 bombings. In the current crisis, so far there have been no links to any group or country, but some believe it is only a matter of time before such an accusation is made. What is troublesome, however, is that the FSB’s leftovers from FAPSI have a lock on the Russian telephone network. Why are they not revealing who made the telephone threats? Why are there no transcripts or arrests? Why is the FSB withholding information which they certainly must have? This is an obvious security threat to Russia, why isn’t the FSB reassuring the Russian public with information, revelations of finding the culprits, a little data from all this grossly expensive intelligence network that is supposed to be protecting Russia? First, a war in Chechnya was launched in 1999. What are the desired results of these telephone threats? Who is taking responsibility? With Russia blocked in almost every strategic effort, what is their strategic plan? Is this a ploy to get global sympathy? That’s not Russia’s style. Is this a “provocation” for something else? Ukraine, the US, the UK, Belarus, Turkey? Putin is remaining quiet. </end editorial>

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Telephone Bomb Threats Return to Moscow, Adding to Sense of Looming Disaster

Paul Goble Staunton, January 14 – Over a million Russians were evacuated from buildings between September 2017 and September 2018 because of telephone bomb threats that proved to be false (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/09/more-than-million-russians-have-been.html). There’ve been more since (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/11/telephone-bomb-threats-again-empty.html). But most of these were not in Moscow, thus allowing the Russian authorities to either ignore them altogether or play them down in state-controlled media. Now, however, they have come to Moscow, emptying a major shopping districts and the three airports of the capital (echo.msk.ru/news/2351777-echo.html and echo.msk.ru/news/2351761-echo.html). As in the past, the police initially refused to confirm what people could see with their own eyes (kp.ru/daily/26928/3978827/), until they could claim that they had identified those responsible, in this case, someone from Tatartan they described as mentally ill (znak.com/2019-01-14/v_tatarstane_zaderzhan_muzhchina_kotoryy_segodnya_zaminiroval_aeroporty_moskve and lenta.ru/news/2019/01/14/zaminiroval/). Because these bomb threats involve Moscow locations and because they come on top of what is becoming a wave of gas explosions and other technogenic disasters (vpressa.ru/accidents/article/221638/), they can’t be ignored and thus are adding to a sense among many Russians that the situation in their country is out of control. Such feelings are only likely to grow if more gas explosions take place in the coming winter months, when they are most likely, and if others engage in copycat crimes and telephone in even more bomb threats that the authorities will have little choice but to take seriously even if they try to play them down.

Russian army to receive 40 modern artillery systems in 2019 – Defence Blog

The Russian land forces in 2019 will receive over 40 modern artillery systems, included Tornado-G and Tornado-S, as well as 2S19M2 Msta-SM. According to a news release put out by the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, the Russian army will receive more than 40 modern multiple launch rocket systems and self-propelled howitzers with a fully automatic fire control system in 2019. As part of the state defense order for 2019, local industry will hand over to the Ministry of Defense of Russia modern Tornado-G and Tornado-S multiple launch rocket systems, as well as 2S19M2 Msta-SM self-propelled howitzers. Tornado-S is the advanced version of the Soviet-era Smerch multiple launch rocket system. It is being upgraded with the special GLONASS satellite navigation system used in the Smerch missile system and will have guided rocket rounds enabling it to fire out to 72 miles (120 km). Tornado-S is to replace Smerch in service of the Russian army.

UAWire – Poland plans to build an island in the Baltic Sea

Poland plans to build an artificial island with an area of more than 18 hectares in the Vistula Lagoon also known as Kaliningrad Gulf, Polish newspaper Onet reported with a reference to the government tender documents. The island will be built in Poland’s territorial waters in the Vistula Lagoon in Poland. The island will be made from the soil that will be extracted during the construction of the navigable channel going through the Vistula Spit (Baltiyskaya Kosa). According to the proposed solutions, the channel through the Vistula spit will be 1.3 km long, 5 m deep and 120 m wide. Vessels with a draft of up to 4 m, a length of up to 100 m, and a width of up to 20 m will be able to pass through the channel to the Elblag port. The artificial island will be an elliptical shape with its axes being 1,932 and 1,192 m long. The height of the island will be 203 m above sea level. The newspaper noted that the Polish authorities do not plan to use the island for tourism purposes. The construction of the island will be financed from the budget and will reportedly cost about 880 million zlotys (more than 15.8 billion rubles). Experts point out that public funds will hardly cover the expenses and, most likely, the construction budget will later significantly grow. The construction of the channel and the island will be carried out in accordance with the program for the construction of a waterway connecting the Vistula Lagoon and the Gulf of Gdansk adopted by the Polish government in 2016-2022. The goal of the program is to ensure security and defense opportunities in the region by providing access to the Baltic Sea from the Vistula Lagoon. The Polish Maritime Administration in Gdynia stated that they will start a tender after receiving all permits not earlier than March 2019. The tender will be held in three stages.

Greece condemns Russia’s statement on renaming Macedonia – accuses Russia of interference in internal affairs – 112.international

Greek Foreign Ministry accused Russia of interference in the internal affairs after the comment of the Russian establishment on renaming of Macedonia, as the website of the Greek Foreign Ministry reported. “We expect Russian Foreign Ministry to refrain from such statements in the future, as they are considered as interference in Greece’s internal affairs,” the message says. Russian Foreign Ministry condemned renaming of Macedonia and urged to consider this issue at the UN Security Council. The Greek establishment informed that Moscow’s comment “is not compatible with the level of friendly relationships between the countries”. “Russia’s statement on the political development of the internal affairs in friendly countries do not comply with the level of the relationships between Greece and Russia,” the statement says.

New Russian Propaganda Tactic: Attack And Expose Western Counter-Propagandists – To Inform is to Influence

An old Russian propaganda tactic is: if you can’t attack the message, attack the messenger. Now Russian propaganda efforts appear to focus on those attempting to expose and counter Russian propaganda, disinformation, misinformation, and fake news. The first recent attempt was a multi-faceted attack on Molly McKew. I highlighted her here, RT Attacks Molly McKew, Amusing “Experts” Contribute. To be certain, this is not the first time Molly has been attacked, Molly McKew “Information Warfare Expert?”. Approximately the same time this article was published, I had a luncheon meeting with Molly. I vetted her thoroughly. I’ve been doing Information Operations and Information Warfare since the mid-90s, and there is a test called “they get it”. I’ve caught quite a few “experts” who aren’t. To conduct the test, one sits down with an information warfare expert who can quote line and verse from the books, is intimately familiar with all the players, and know the tactics, techniques, and procedures. That part can be easily replicated. What makes Molly and other actual experts unique is to move into theoretical and emerging situations and question what might be done better, how, who might better do it, and what is needed to get that done. “Molly gets it.” But, Molly was attacked recently. It appears to be a long list of integrated, coordinated, and synchronized articles against Molly…

Russian Court Leaves Jailed Ukrainian Sailors In Pretrial Detention

A Moscow court has prolonged the pretrial detention for 12 of 24 Ukrainian sailors detained by Russian forces who attacked three Ukrainian Navy vessels in the Black Sea in November.

KHPG: Russia tries to impose secrecy on its illegal seizure of 24 Ukrainian POWs – To Inform is to Influence

15 January 2019 | Halya Coynash If Russia has nothing to hide in its ‘prosecution’ of 24 Ukrainian POWs, why is the FSB asking for their detention court hearings to be held behind closed doors?  Even in Russia, court hearings are open unless state secrets or similar are involved.  It is no state secret that Russia…

Russian court extends arrest of eight captured Ukrainian sailors

The Lefortovsky District Court in Moscow has extended the arrest of eight Ukrainian sailors, who were captured in the Kerch Strait, until April 24. — Ukrinform

Moscow’s court denies motions filed by lawyers of captured Ukrainian sailors

A court in Moscow denied the motions filed by the lawyers of captured Ukrainian sailors on changing jurisdiction to a military court in accordance with the Geneva Convention. — Ukrinform

Azov crisis: Moscow court holds hearing on Ukrainian POWs in camera – 112.international

Lefortovo court of Moscow closed the session on the extension of sentence term for the Ukrainian sailors will be held as TVRain reported. Earlier, Russian Security Service (FSB) filed a motion on carrying out the hearing in camera. Ukraine’s Ombudsman Lyudmyla Denisova, families of the POWs and journalists gathered near the court building. They wanted to be present at the hearing. Related: Russia prolongs investigation on captured Ukrainian sailors until spring The sailors were distributed into six groups, four people in each. As the lawyer Mykola Polozov wrote on Facebook, the first three groups were taken to the court under enhanced convoy. Hromadske reported that the following sailors were included in the first group: Roman Moryak, Andriy Oprysko, Sergiy Tsybizov and Yevgen Semydotsky.

Russian Ombudsman cancels meeting with Denisova – 112.international

Russia’s Ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova canceled the meeting with her Ukrainian colleague Lyudmyla Denisova by SMS. They had to discuss the exchange of the Ukrainian POWs in particular. Moskalkova heads to Uzbekistan tomorrow, as Denisova reported on Facebook. “Russia’s Security Service Investigation Department demands court to hold a session on the extension of sentence for the Ukrainian sailors in camera. What for if there is nothing to hide? I don’t understand. But now it’s clear why meeting with Moskalkova was canceled. Russian Ombudsman sent me an SMS informing she has to leave for urgent business trip and she will be back late in the evening. And tomorrow Tatyana Moskalkova heads to Uzbekistan,” Denisova wrote.

Moskalkova informs Denisova about cancellation of their meeting due to ‘urgent unscheduled business trip’

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmyla Denisova, who arrived in the Russian capital on Monday, reports that her meeting with her Russian counterpart Tatyana Moskalkova has been canceled, as the latter left for an urgent unscheduled business trip.

Five Foreign Ministers head to Mariupol – 112.international

On January 15, Western diplomats will visit front-line Mariupol, Donetsk region, as the press office of Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry reported. Pavlo Klimkin, the Foreign Minister of Ukraine, invited his colleagues Linas Linkevičius from Lithuania, Edgars Rinkēvičs from Latvia, Sven Mikser from Estonia and Jacek Czaputowicz from Poland. “The heads of the foreign ministers will come to Mariupol to “learn about the relevant social and economic situation, enhanced Russian aggression, including obstruction of freedom of navigation through the Kerch Strait to Berdyansk and Mariupol ports. The ministers will also be informed about with a complicated security situation caused by Russia’s aggression in Donbas”, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry reported. On November 25, the coast guard ships of the Russian Navy attacked the ships of the Ukrainian Navy, which have been carrying out a scheduled transition from Odesa port to Mariupol port in the Sea of Azov.

Foreign ministers Ukraine, Baltic States and Poland cut short their visit to Mariupol

The foreign ministers of Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland have cut short their visit to the town of Mariupol in eastern Ukraine because of adverse weather conditions. — Ukrinform

UAWire – Kyiv: Russia amassing military equipment in Crimea in order to block access to it

Russia is amassing military equipment in Crimea in order to block off access to it, not only for possible military opponents, but also for humanitarian organizations, international experts and monitoring, said Vadym Chernysh, Ukraine’s Minister of Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons, in a post on the ministry’s website. “This is already the fourth missile system in temporarily occupied Crimea, sent in order to control the sea waters and Ukraine’s territory. We are seeing militarization, we are seeing restrictions in access, a military threat, and we know that in any event Russia will influence the movement of ships to the Mariupol and Berdyansk ports,” Chernysh emphasized. The minister said that Russia has a “powerful physical factor, which it uses for blockading”. “In military theory, it is a so-called zone which cannot be attacked from the air, from the sea, or from land. This is why Russia is using an expanded military component to restrict access not only for possible enemies in military terms, but also for humanitarian organizations, international experts, monitoring, etc.,” Chernysh observed. He noted that due to this policy by Russia, Ukraine has been developing alternative logistics for Pryazovia and the eastern territories. “Soon, an EU mission will visit the eastern territories. Representatives of the European Commission who have already provisionally received projects from Ukraine’s government to improve transport infrastructure, will visit Pryazovia in order to assess how they can help in logistical terms, how best to establish a connection with the eastern regions of our country, in order to compensate for the logistical losses due to the blockading of the ports. Ukraine has already submitted several corresponding projects to enlarge the logistical system – motorway, railway and other compensatory mechanisms,” the official said. At the end of November 2018, Russia deployed a fourth division of S-400 anti-air missile divisions in temporarily occupied Crimea, close to the border with Ukraine, and announced that the peninsula is now “completely covered” against air attacks. The first division of S-400 “Triumph” anti-air defense systems was transferred to the armament of the Sevastopol-Feodosia missile guard regiment in 2016. The system became active in the Feodosia region at the start of 2017. The second division was deployed in January 2018 near Sevastopol. The third division of S-400 systems became active in September 2018 near Yevpatoria. The S-400 is a long and intermediate range Russian anti-air missile system, which can take out aerodynamic targets at a range of up to 400 km and ballistic targets at a range of up to 60 km. The system can intercept targets traveling at up to 4.8 km per second. On Saturday, Russia announced that it was beginning military drills in occupied Crimea, with more than 300 soldiers and 20 units of military equipment.

NATO officials are glad that Ukraine is so serious about joining Alliance, – Head of Ukraine’s Mission to NATO – 112.international

– Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said that joining NATO is not a matter of two, but also not a matter of 30 years. This, he said, is a medium-term perspective. What do you think? – I want to tell you that, first, 30 becomes a symbolic figure in NATO. As you know, during the last summit it was decided that in response to Russian aggression, NATO would launch the “4 to 30” initiative, which means 30 battalion groups, 30 ships, 30 squadrons of airplanes should be ready to fight back Russia for 30 days. In addition, we now know that negotiations on the 30th member of NATO began. Here I agree with Minister Klimkin that Ukraine will not have time to become the 30th member. But if we work, we can easily become the 31st or 32nd member of NATO. As you know, in addition to Macedonia, the alliance considers three more countries, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia and Ukraine, as those countries that are ready to become members of the alliance. The question of how we prepare for this process. – What are the main tasks you would have identified for Ukraine for this current year in terms of the course towards NATO? The most important task, not only for Ukraine, but also for all its diplomatic missions is the defense of our state in this war that we are waging. All our plans are connected with this. As for the defense of our state, we must do everything necessary so that our army will be able to repel the aggressor, so that our society will be able to win the hybrid war. But the result, joining NATO is like the final completion of the process, when Ukraine becomes one of the strongest alliance members in the world.

Kremlin assesses scenarios for “conflict” in Donbas | UNIAN

The Kremlin says the election of the president of Ukraine and the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, will determine whether the “conflict” in Donbas is going to be “frozen for many decades” or resolved. Peskov says everything depends on the elections in Ukraine in 2019.

Donbas war update: One Ukrainian soldier killed, another two wounded in past day | UNIAN

Russia’s hybrid military forces mounted 12 attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas in the past 24 hours, with one Ukrainian soldier reported as killed in action (KIA) and another two as wounded in action (WIA). According to intelligence reports, four enemy troops were eliminated and another three were wounded.

Ukrainian Armed Forces to participate in 20 international and 6 multinational exercises in 2019

In the current academic year, servicemen of Ukraine’s Armed Forces will take part in 20 exercises outside Ukraine and six multinational exercises in Ukraine. — Ukrinform

U.S. National Guard officer creates mapping app for combat following Ukraine deployment | UNIAN

New York Army National Guard 1st Lt. James Pistell has created a free computer application that makes it easy for leaders to create and share operations graphics he dubbed MGRS-Mapper. The app combines Google Maps, with a tool to overlay the map with a Military Grid Reference System (MGRS), and a symbol select graphic tool.

In Ukraine’s pro-Russia enclaves, some seniors must cross front lines for pensions – The Washington Post

For elderly Ukrainians in pro-Moscow breakaway enclaves, their pension money and paperwork are on the other side of the front lines.

Ukraine is Developing Remote-Control Killer Robots to Wage War in Eastern Ukraine | The National Interest

Get ready, Russia. or several years, Ukrainian troops have been locked in a “frozen conflict” with Russian-backed separatists for control of the Donbas region in Eastern Ukraine. The maneuver warfare and urban/airport siege phase of the conflict ended in 2015. Now the opposing forces glare at each other across no man’s land from fortified outposts and periodically lash out with sniper fire , artillery and mortar barrages, or even precision-attacks delivered by anti-tank missiles . When the slightest exposed movement spotted by adversaries could provoke a deadly bombardment, it’s easy to understand why Ukrainians are seeking to introduce robotic vehicles to minimize the risks to flesh-and-blood combatants. In the past, Ukraine harbored a major share of the Soviet Union’s military-industrial sector, building Antonov transport planes, T-64 tanks and even aircraft carriers . Ukraine is seeking to leverage that industrial base to strengthen its hand in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. The most high-profile Ukrainian Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) is the Fantom, a 6×6 first unveiled at a defense exposition in 2016. The diminutive robotic fighting vehicle is only one meter tall and three meters long, and can carry a 12.7-millimeter machine gun, or a pop-up turret mounting four Ukrainian-built Barrier anti-tank missiles that can bust tanks up five kilometers away. The pop-up launcher could allow the low-profile vehicle to hide safely behind cover, with only its raised launcher exposed to picks off enemy tanks. However, the Fantom more routinely could be used for reconnaissance missions, or to lug up to 770 pounds of cargo—conceivably delivering food and ammunition to isolated outposts, or even medically evacuating wounded soldiers from combat.

Ukraine Is Buying New Combat Drones…From Turkey – Defense One

The skies over Eastern Ukraine are becoming more crowded as Kiev looks to Ankara for weapons.

Tymoshenko calls for creation of strong professional army, Ukraine’s accession to NATO

Yuliya Tymoshenko, leader of the Batkivschyna party, has called to create a strong professional army in Ukraine and ensure Ukraine’s accession to NATO. “In today’s world, it’s very difficult to protect your borders alone. NATO spends $1 trillion a year to be able to fulfill its obligations to 29 member countries and protect them at any moment. Russia spends $66 billion, and Ukraine—$3 billion. We can either [join] the collective security system to be protected, or stand alone, and anyone will be able to take us in their hands as they wish. We need to be strong and join the collective security system,” she said at the Freedom of Speech program on ICTV in the evening of January 14. Tymoshenko said she believes Ukraine needs a strong modern professional army built in line with NATO standards. “Are you aware that at the end of last year almost 30,000 contracted servicemen left the army because they could not exist under the conditions they were offered? And a new contract, which has already been developed by our Military Cabinet and servicemen, will be passed into law,” she said.

Establishment of peace in Donbas doesn’t depend on Ukrainian politicians – Poroshenko

Ukraine will never return to the Russian yoke, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said, commenting on the promises of a number of Ukrainian politicians about the establishment of the earliest peace in Donbas. “Now some politicians promise that they will immediately bring peace. Peace does not depend on Ukrainian politicians. They can only bring defeat, only surrender, only Ukraine’s surrender and return to the Russian yoke. We, Ukrainians, will never allow this happen again,” Poroshenko said at the end of a thanksgiving service for the tomos of autocephaly and the formation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Lutsk on Tuesday. The head of state stressed that Ukraine is following its own path to Europe.

Admins of some popular Ukrainian pages operate from Russia, new Facebook rules reveal | UNIAN

Facebook is now offering users an opportunity to see from which countries pages they might like or follow are managed. In order to get authorized, the manager of a Page with a large audience now has to complete the two-factor authentication process on Facebook and confirm their location on a mobile device.

Hungary should realize scale of Russia’s hybrid methods – Klimkin | UNIAN

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin says Hungary should realize the scale of Russian hybrid methods, including in connection with last year’s arson attack on the Hungarian Center in Ukraine’s Zakarpattia region, which, as it emerged during court hearings in Poland, had been orchestrated by a pro-Russian journalist and executed by Polish members of a far-right group. Ukraine’s top diplomat stresses it’s time for Europe to think about ways to counter Moscow.

Russia Fails In False-Flag Operation In Ukraine – To Inform is to Influence

Russia is busted in another false-flag operation in Ukraine. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin suggested that Russia was behind both incidents. Far-Right German journalist Manuel Ochsenreiter directed the operation inside Ukraine. Ochsenreiter, 42, has ties to Polish right-wing activists, including Mateusz Piskorski, founder of the pro-Russian Change (Zmiana) party, was arrested in 2016 on suspicion of spying for Russia Russia is a rogue nation. </end editorial>

SBU questions Hrytsenko

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has interrogated Civil Position Party leader Anatoliy Hrytsenko. — Ukrinform

Trial of chief of Russian RIA Novosti’s Kyiv office to take place in Kyiv | UNIAN

The case on the merits against chief of the Russian RIA Novosti’s Kyiv office Kirill Vyshinsky, who was detained on May 15, 2018, on treason charges, will be considered by one of the district courts of Kyiv. The detainee, who is now in a detention center in Kherson, will be transported to Kyiv.

Ukraine’s ex-defense minister charged with treason – PGO | UNIAN

Ukraine’s former Defense Minister Dmytro Salamatin is suspected of participation in the criminal organization set up by ex-President Viktor Yanukovych, according to Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko. Dmytro Salamatin, who headed the ministry during the Yanukovych rule, is believed to have been working in Moscow’s interests to oust Ukraine from global arms markets.

Prosecutor’s Office suspects ex-Defense Minister in harming Ukraine in sum of $560 million – 112.international

Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine (GPU) notified ex-Defense Minister Dmytro Salamatin about suspicion in the participation in the criminal organization of former president Viktor Yanukovych, embezzlement in the especially large scale, and state treason, as Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko reported on reported on Facebook. “International and Legal Cooperation Department of GPU notified about suspicion to former Defense Minister of Ukraine D. A. Salamatin in participation in the criminal organization of V. Yanukovych, embezzlement in the especially large scale, abuse of authority and commitment of the state treason in the interest of the Russian Federation, undermining of the defense capacity, state and economic security of Ukraine by commitment of the international acts aiming for the displacement of Ukraine for the world markets in the interest of Russia,” he wrote. According to the GPU, the intentional acts of Salamatin on the disruption of the contracts between the state enterprise “Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau,” state enterprise “Antonov,” state enterprise specialized foreign trade firm “Progress” and Defense Ministry of Iraq for the supply, service and repair works of the hardware damaged Ukraine in the amount of $560 million. Dmytro Salamatin headed Defense Ministry of Ukraine in 2012. On February 8, 2012, he replaced Mykhailo Yezhel at this post and occupied it until December 24, 2012. On December 25, 2012, he was appointed as advisor of Viktor Yanukovych.

Police applies force at rally in in support of Ukrainian sailors – Scuffles with police take place in Odesa during rally in support of Ukrainian sailors (photo, video) – 112.international

Police applied force to the participants of a rally in support of the detained Ukrainian sailors. The rally was held near the Russian Consulate General, as Dumskaya reported. The protesters wanted to put red paint on the fence and gates of the establishment. The red paint symbolizes blood. Yet, the law enforcers did not let the protesters do that. As a result, the paint appeared on the road and on the participants of the rally. Related: Azov crisis: Ukrainian sailors to be tried before Moscow court on January 15 Two people were arrested, including Todor Panovsky, a former member of “Samooborona” organization.

INTERVIEW – Energy transition in Ukraine to bolster economic and national security

January 15 (Renewables Now) – The feed-in tariff (FiT) regime in support of renewables in Ukraine is expected to end in 2020, most likely to be replaced by

What’s it like living in Russia and Ukraine as an American expat? | NEWSREP

I recently spoke with Erinn Murray, a 28-year-old from Indian Harbour Beach, Florida who has spent several years abroad. Although she now lives in the US,

Ukrainian women being paid to carry babies for mid-life British mums | Daily Mail Online

Sally Williams spoke to women in Ukraine who are surrogate mothers for interfile couples from around the world. Stacy Owen, 42, ventured to Ukraine for her twins after having ten miscarriages.