Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
“Choke On Coffee Warning” clearly applies throughout this compilation.
“Our Boys in Salisbury” is clearly distasteful and reprehensible. Think about the implications. Russian hubris is toxic.
It appears the Whelan hostage play will be milked for what it is worth. A Russian state poll sees trust in the Vozhd collapse to the lowest number for 13 years – it does appear other analysts’ assessments that the regime has blown its credibility are correct. The Putin – Abe summit yields a lot of media traffic but no real outcomes – Bershidsky is correct the rabid ultra-nationalists in Russia are vehemently opposed to ceding any Russian (or Soviet) conquests (some in this group continue to bitch about the sale of Alaska). Russia presents the 9M729 to media and claims it is not in breach of the INF.
Karasik and Blank publish a new book of analyses on Russian involvement in the Middle East. VKS BACKFIRE C crashes near Murmansk. Harding on Big Tech vs. Fake News. Sipher compares Western versus Russian covert ops. Russian propaganda stunt on PACE explodes. Ukraine, the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, and Malaysia sign MoU on MH17 prosecution. UNIAN analysis on Russian motives for overrunning Belarus. SECSTATE Pompeo comments on Russia. US Congress passes a bill to impede NATO exit by the US. Amb McFaul interviewed on Russia. Jagland seeks to bring Russia back into COE/PACE.
Russia initiates legal steps to ban Facebook and Twitter in Russia. Former Rossia-24 cameraman briefs RFE/RL on Russian media deceptions.
2019 National Intelligence Strategy released.
Rodgers on why the Chekist regime so detests the UK. Russian company now selling a board game under the title of “Our Boys in Salisbury”.
Updates on Kerch and Donbas developments. USAF conducts RC-135V RIVET JOINT and MC-12W ISR sorties in Ukraine.
More on the FTA with Israel. Far more strategically significant, Israel drops its post-2014 embargo on military exports and direct military cooperation with Ukraine, signing an MOU with UkrOboronProm on mutual tech transfers with Elbit Ltd, a major supplier of tech upgrades for military systems including Russian/Soviet platforms, and now in discussions on training AFU personnel in Israel. Why did Israel drop its strict embargo after 5 years? Russia’s toxic behavior after their Latakia own-goal COOT kill made it abundantly clear Russia’s supposedly friendly relationship with Israel was simply another sham.
Updates on foreign policy, politics, and economy. Yanukovich treason trial verdict to be announced tomorrow.
The Moscow City Court has rejected suspected spy Paul Whelan’s attempt to appeal his arrest. On January 22, in a closed hearing, prosecutors revealed that Whelan was apprehended in possession of classified information. His lawyer, Vladimir Zherebenkov, later confirmed to journalists these allegations, also stating that Whelan has met with diplomats from the U.S., Ireland, and Canada, where he has citizenship. Whelan is also a British subject.
American Paul Whelan, who was arrested in Russia and accused of stealing state secrets, was duped into handling classified information, his attorney said at Moscow court hearing.
When a Russian citizen handed him a memory stick, Paul Whelan thought it contained travel snapshots, his lawyer told reporters. Whelan was denied bail at his first court appearance.
A Moscow court denied release on bail for Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine jailed in Russia on an espionage charge. After the bail hearing on January 22, Whelan’s attorney suggested his client was the victim of a setup. Whelan, who also holds citizenship from Ireland, Canada, and Britain, was arrested in Moscow by Federal Security Service (FSB) agents on December 28.
Public trust in President Vladimir Putin has fallen to its lowest level in 13 years, according to a Russian state pollster, a setback for the Kremlin which works hard to burnish Putin’s image as a wise father-of-the-nation-style leader. The poll, by the Public Opinion Research Centre, found that trust in Putin had fallen to 33.4 percent, its lowest level since 2006. The results do not pose an immediate problem for Putin who won a landslide election victory and a new six-year mandate in March last year, but could embolden would-be successors to begin what is likely to be a long game of jostling for position. Putin’s overall approval rating, which is different from his trust rating, is still high at just over 60 percent. His approval rating has slipped from its peak of nearly 90 percent amid dismay over falling household incomes and unpopular government moves to raise the retirement age and hike value added tax. Putin’s trust rating hit a high of 71 percent in July 2015 after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea the previous year. On the eve of last year’s presidential election, it stood at 55.3 percent. Since then, public trust in him has dropped sharply, falling to 38.3 percent three months later, ending 2018 at 36.5 percent. Putin remains far more trusted than any other politician in Russia however, the same poll showed. The second and third most trusted politicians in the poll were Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who received trust ratings of 13.7 percent and 9.3 percent respectively.
Public trust in President Vladimir Putin has fallen to its lowest level in 13 years as Russians contend with new taxes and a sluggish economy.
Vladimir Putin approval rating has slipped from its peak of nearly 90 percent amid dismay over falling household incomes and unpopular government moves to raise the retirement age and hike value added tax.
The ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Syria have led to a dramatic drop in popularity for Russian president.
Putin’s overall approval rating, which is different from his trust rating, is still high at just over 60 percent.
Resolving a dispute from WWII would require giving up territory. That would be deeply unpopular in Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that “painstaking work” remains before Russia can conclude a peace treaty with Japan to formally end World War II.
The leaders of Russia and Japan acknowledged Tuesday that settling a decades-long territorial dispute poses a daunting challenge but vowed to continue negotiations. The Soviet Union took the four southernmost Kuril Islands during the final days of World War II. Japan asserts territorial rights to the islands, which it calls…
The leaders of Russia and Japan acknowledged Tuesday that settling a decades-long dispute over four island disputes poses a daunting challenge, but vowed t
Hundreds of Russians protested against a feared giveaway of strategic islands to Japan on Sunday, two days before a key summit between the countries’ leade
Persuading Moscow to return more of the disputed territory increasingly seen as “unrealistic.”
Russian Presidential Aide Yuri Ushakov commented on the statement made by Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe on before the talks with Vladimir …
Russia’s diplomatic outreach to Japan over a 70-year territorial dispute is aimed partly at securing a more valuable prize for the Kremlin: new political inroads with one of the U.S.’s biggest regional allies.
Will the dictator be willing to take a step that his liberal opponents refused?
Russia hopes to expand its investment and technological collaboration with Japan, said Russian President Vladimir Putin following negotiations …
Russia and Japan have talked up efforts to finally sign a treaty formally ending World War II. But as Vladimir Putin and Shinzo Abe prepare for talks in Moscow, few analysts expect a breakthrough o…
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ended their latest attempt to resolve a seven-decades-old territorial dispute over four islands with a pledge to keep talking, even as the Kremlin damped expectations for a breakthrough.
Under pressure from nationalists, the Russian president backed off previous hints that he was ready to end a 73-year tussle over the Kurile Islands.
Any deal to end a territorial row with Japan needs public backing, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, giving a nod to widespread Russian opposition to ceding territory to Japan.
MOSCOW — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to continue accelerating negotiations toward a formal peace t
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin agree to accelerate talks on a postwar peace treaty that has not been concluded due to a territorial dispute, while suggesting the process will not be easy.
The feud over a string of volcanic islands has prevented the two countries from signing a formal second world war peace treaty
Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a summit to affirm their commitment to signing a peace treaty.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering the possibility of concluding a peace treaty with Russia if Moscow gives only two of the four …
With negotiations between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin set to take place today, 11 protestors have reportedly been arrested outside the Japanese Embassy in Moscow. The activists, who are associated with the Left Front movement and the Russian Communist Party, were protesting in opposition to the possibility that the Kuril Islands would be transferred from Russian to Japanese control. Sergei Udaltsov, the coordinator of the Left Front movement, posted on Twitter about the arrests and claimed that approximately 100 people participated in the protest.
The issue of sovereignty over the Kuril Islands has long been stalling the peace process between Japan and Russia since both states lay claim to the archipelago.
Trade and economic relations were a priority at talks with Abe, Putin stressed
Top stories in the Russian press on Tuesday, January 22
Russia aims to boost trade with Japan to $30 billion
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia and Japan have confirmed their interest in signing a peace treaty, hard work remains to be done, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday after talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
RT America Published on Jan 22, 2019 More than 70 years after the end of World War II, Japan and Russia haven’t signed a peace treaty. The two countries are in dispute over a chain of Pacific islands. The President of Russia and Prime Minister of Japan expressed a desire to reach an end to the Kuril Islands dispute. For more on this, RT’S Daniel Hawkins joins Rick Sanchez with the latest. Former Naval Intelligence Officer John Jordan joins Rick Sanchez for reaction to the meeting and the long unsolved dispute.
Published on Jan 20, 2019 Hundreds of Russians protest against a feared giveaway of strategic islands to Japan, two days before a key summit between the countries’ leaders in Moscow. “We are opposed to the transfer of the Kuril Islands, the native Russian land, from imperial Russia, under Japanese control. We are categorically against it. This is our land”.
Russia has held an elaborate presentation to amplify its claim that a new missile at the center of a dispute with the United States does not violate a key Cold War-era arms pact, the Intermediate-R…
The US is due to withdraw from the INF Treaty on 2 February 2019. Both the Obama and Trump administrations have confronted Russia, since 2013, over their non-compliance, but Russia denies everything. </end editorial> Congressional Research Service Russian Compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty: Background and Issues for Congress Updated January 18,…
There is an outpouring of reporting on Russian activities in Syria, and to a lesser degree other countries in the Middle East and North Africa. But until now, there has been no single effort to analyze the totality of Russian objectives there as well as its instruments of power, tactics and strategy or their implications for US foreign policy. Russia in the Middle East rectifies that gap by providing the basis and material for a multi-dimensional analysis of Moscow’s regional strategy and tactics. Based on the insights that emerged out of a series of three workshops headed by Theodore Karasik and Stephen Blank, this study addresses the hole in Western and, more specifically, US understanding of Russia’s goals as well as the pathways to the Kremlin’s success. Russia in the Middle East brings to bear the best expert assessments of the full range of Russian objectives and the strategies involved in realizing them throughout the Middle East from various perspectives, while exploring Russia’s political, economic and energy plans in the region out to 2025. The book is a must-have resource for all policymakers and experts working on understanding how Moscow is leveraging its relative strengths in this complicated corner of the world.
Moscow is building influence on the continent, to the chagrin of former colonial powers
A Russian long-range bomber has crash-landed in the Arctic, killing two of its crew of four, the Defense Ministry said on January 22.
A Tupolev Tu-22M3 supersonic strike bomber has crashed in Russia’s northwestern region of Murmansk.
While this CNN OpEd is necessary to keep some focus on fake news, the focus on a Big Tech approach to countering disinformation, propaganda, and fake news is disheartening. There is no systemic approach offered, even though Brett Bruen held what should have been a central position to that type of strategy. I am discouraged…
Most Americans now realize the Kremlin has attempted to influence, interfere, and subvert our democratic system. Recent reports even suggest the
Knock me over with a feather, I got mentioned in this superb article. John, I don’t believe we’ve met, but you honor me. Thank you! </end editorial> by John Sipher January 22, 2019 Most Americans now realize the Kremlin has attempted to influence, interfere, and subvert our democratic system. Recent reports even suggest the Russian intelligence…
On another website, where Russian and pro-Russian trolls infest the comment section, the following “whataboutism” was launched today. “The following is from Mr. Harding’s webpage. “US actions are painfully legal, moral, and ethical. Russian aggression is usually not ethical, not moral, and often not legal.” The statement is a manifestation of an interesting mindset and…
Russia received the same letter as every government in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) but claims it is a provocation against Russia. The Russian response is full nuclear, clearly over-reacting. “It’s a provocation, specifically to coerce the Russian delegation to slam the door and pull out of PACE.” During the course of Russia’s outrage, Pyotr Tolstoy, deputy speaker of the State Duma, revealed his dilemma. “These criteria are related both to the fractional principle, well-known to you, and to the perhaps less known principle of gender equality,” Tolstoy said. “I think six sexes are indicated.” Tolstoy later recanted, saying there are only two sexes. The ‘offending’ PACE letter to Russia is here. It appears Russia completely manufactured an incident so they could display outrage and that Russia was the victim. In their haste to portray outrage and victimhood, Russia failed to check the facts. Oops. </end editorial?
Ukraine, the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, and Malaysia have signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the financial support for the prosecution of MH17, a Malaysian Boeing shot down by Russian-led forces in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, in summer 2014. Ukraine’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands Vsevolod Chentsov signed the document on behalf of the Ukrainian government.
Relations between Moscow and Minsk have seriously deteriorated over the past few months. Experts and publicists offer a number of reasons that could push Russia to the attempt to annex Belarus. The conflict between Belarus and Russia became so serious that it could even threaten Belarusian sovereignty. Relations between Moscow and Minsk have seriously deteriorated over the past few months. Experts and publicists offer a number of reasons that could push Russia to the attempt to annex Belarus. According to TSN, during a meeting of the Eurasian Economic Forum in early December, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko went for a public dispute with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin over the price of gas. In just a month, the conflict between Belarus and Russia became so serious that it could even threaten Belarusian sovereignty. The relevant statements do not come from experts or journalists, but from Lukashenko himself. The Russian Federation has stepped up its activities under the Treaty on the Establishment of the Union State of 1999, according to which the Russian Federation and Belarus are to create a Confederation with a single political, economic, military, customs, monetary, judicial, cultural and other systems. In fact, this means merging the two countries into one state. Almost all Belarusian and Russian political experts are confident the Kremlin has begun active work to prepare for the actual seizure of Belarus. Analysts and political consultants offer a number of reasons why Russia has intensified these efforts today.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland that Washington and Moscow are not “doomed to a Cold War rivalry,” but “it has been a struggle” to reduce the risk of confrontation with Russia.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in his address to participants in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, delivered via video link after the U.S. delegation trip was canceled amid government shutdown, said that the U.S. and Russia were not “doomed to a Cold War rivalry.” Pompeo criticized the Kremlin for its aggressive policies on Ukraine, where Moscow has been supporting its Donbas proxy forces.
The White House urges the Kremlin to change its position concerning Ukraine and the interference with elections globally. Mike Pompeo, the U.S. Secretary of the State claimed that during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. ‘He pointed to Russia’s actions in Ukraine, where it has supported separatist rebels and annexed the Crimean peninsula, as well as Moscow’s attempts, as alleged by US intelligence, to interfere in elections in the United States and elsewhere’, France 24 wrote. “These aren’t the behaviors of nations that want to be part of the international community,”, the news agency quoted Pompeo as saying. Earlier, President Donald Trump cancelled his visit to Switzerland, where he was supposed to join the World Economic Forum. The reason is his ongoing opposition with the Democratic Party within the discussions about the wall construction on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Wess Mitchell’s portfolio includes Russia, a sensitive issue given ongoing investigations into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow in 2016.
A Senate vote today in support of continued U.S. membership in NATO would likely pass 99-1. That would send a strong message for Trump to back off from this dangerous
The Democratic-controlled House approved a bill Tuesday that would reiterate strong congressional support for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization alliance amid recent reports that President Donald Trump raised the idea of withdrawing from NATO several times last year.
The U.S. House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed a bill affirming congressional support for NATO, amid renewed concerns over President Donald Trump’s commitment to the 29-member alliance.
The bill includes a provision rejecting any efforts made by President Trump to potentially withdraw from the treaty.
Salon speaks with Michael McFaul, former US ambassador to Russia and a man that Vladimir Putin wants to interrogate
Salon speaks with Michael McFaul, former US ambassador to Russia, and a man that Vladimir Putin wants to interrogate.
If American-British businessman Bill Browder is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “public enemy no. 1,” then Michael McFaul, who served as President Barack Obama’s representative to Russia from 2012 to 2014 after helping him craft the “Russia reset” policy as a senior foreign policy adviser, is seemingly a close second. Along with Browder, McFaul was one of several people who Trump offered to hand over to Putin for interrogation at the Helsinki summit last July. Salon spoke to McFaul last month. This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.
Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, officially initiates work on amending the statue of the organization to solve the crisis with Russia’s participation in the Council of Europe and Russian non-payments, as EU Integration reported. “Jagland reported on preparations of an updated budget without Russia’s money. He noted that it might concern cessation of Russia’s membership in the organization. At the same time, the Secretary-General does not lose hope for Russia’s return to PACE and its full participation in the work of the Council of Europe,” the message says.
Roskomnadzor, the Russian federal executive body responsible for media and telecommunication censorship, has begun an administrative procedure against Facebook and Twitter, which do not abide by Russia’s law on personal data. The social networks, which are legally obligated to store users’ personal data in Russia, have not proposed any specific plans or deadlines to localize this information, Roskomnadzor director Alexander Zharov told Interfax. According to him, the companies have one month, after which concrete actions will be taken against them by the regulator. At present, the offenders have been fined a laughable 5,000 rubles. In future, however, the fine may be ramped up to 1% of the company’s annual profit in Russia, Zharov said on December 18. If Facebook persists in its stance, it may completely stop operating in Russia, Roskomnadzor threatened in September 2017. The business-related social network LinkedIn has already been blocked in Russia for non-compliance with the law on personal data. The network, with an estimated 6 million users in Russia and more than 460 million globally, was placed on Roskomnadzor’s list of offenders in November 2016. Russian presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said at the time that the Kremlin does not think that the blocking of social networks could be perceived as censorship.
Full disclosure, a few years ago I was interviewed by Rossya-24, the same channel discussed here by RFE/RL’s Dmitry Volchek. A director from their program “Agitprop” contacted me and we had quite open and honest discussions about a wide variety of issues, but we kept returning to propaganda. He openly admitted to me, “I am a propagandist!” Since the word has so many nuances, I never really dug into what he meant. I told him that I dealt with the truth, he said he did, too, but “which version” is the question. We’ve stayed in touch through the years, and he still admits, “I am a propagandist!” </end editorial>
Former Russian state television camera operator Leonid Krivenkov talks about why 10 years working inside Kremlin-controlled news prompted him to toss his TVs. Strict control of broadcast television has been a key element of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s nearly two decades in power. The vast majority of Russians continue to get most of their information from TV, giving the Kremlin a powerful tool for shaping public perceptions. Leonid Krivenkov worked as a camera operator for the Rossia-24 round-the-clock news channel from 2006 until his retirement in 2016. He worked in Studio Seven, where live broadcasts are organized, and recorded programs featuring leading political and cultural figures. He learned the ins and outs of Rossia-24’s parent company, the All-Russia State Television and Radio Company (VGTRK). Krivenkov spoke with RFE/RL Russian Service correspondent Dmitry Volchek about what goes into Russian state TV broadcasts — from how they squeeze out troublemakers and what they shout into the anchorwoman’s earpiece to what “Give me an 8!” means. I was shocked that they would delay a commercial flight just so Rossia-24 could do a telephone interview.” RFE/RL: When you began working at Rossia-24, did you have the political views that you have now? Or were they changed by what you saw there? Leonid Krivenkov: I have always been very cautious regarding the ruling regime. I understood that they pursue their own interests and deceive the public while pretending they adopt laws for the general good. But while I was there I began to take an interest in politics, since I was sitting there all day long watching the news and discussing developments with the moderators. Sometimes after work we’d drink a glass of cognac and chat. They told me things that were quite different from what they were saying on the air. I came to understand exactly how things work in Russia. In the first years of my work at Rossia-24, I was shocked by the cynicism that people had toward their work. They all, of course, understood perfectly that they were misinforming the viewers. On the in-ear talk-back channel, you can hear discussions about how best to present some bit of news — often you’d hear the most fantastic, mutually contradictory versions. It was a favorite joke of directors and moderators that “now it’s your turn to lie.” That’s exactly what they said to the correspondents right before they went on the air.
A major U.S. intelligence report released in Washington on January 22 says Russia’s efforts to expand its influence and the modernization of China’s military are among the “ever more diverse” threa…
Russia will seek to challenge the United States “in multiple regions,” spy agencies say.
The 2019 National Intelligence Strategy also mentions space as a key area of concern, alongside risks from cyberattacks and violent extremism
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats on Tuesday released the strategy meant to guide the U.S. intelligence community over the next four years, placing an emphasis on threats posed by new and emerging technologies.
Russia and China are taking advantage of changes in the “strategic environment” that has prevailed for almost a century to gain influence and undermine American objectives, according to a new strategy issued by U.S. intelligence agencies.
The new National Intelligence Strategy, which is released every four years, warns that some of the same trends pushed by President Trump — growing isolationism and weakening Western alliances — are making the world more dangerous.
Why is Russia singling the UK out for special treatment? JAMES RODGERS explores the complex relationship between the two countries. When it comes to Vladimir Putin, actions always speak louder than words. That said, the words can be revealing too. On the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry is a document – available in five languages – grandly titled the “Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation”, which outlines the country’s international strategic vision. The text, approved by Putin two years ago, contains a section on Moscow’s hopes for its relations with the rest of Europe. It talks of “stepping up mutually beneficial bilateral ties with the Federal Republic of Germany, the French Republic, the Italian Republic, the Kingdom of Spain and other European countries”. Given Russia’s strained relations with many of these countries, such benign ambitions may sound darkly comic. But what is most revealing about is that the UK is not mentioned in that section. In fact, it does not appear in the entire document – unless you count the general reference to “other European countries”. The implication is clear: the UK does not belong on a list of nations with which Putin will even pay lip service to the idea of seeking good relations. If any doubt was left, Putin has been clear in his actions. The UK may not have been the only country subjected to alleged Kremlin meddling in its democratic processes, but the poisoning of former Russian military officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury – and of former secret service agent Alexander Litvinenko, in London, over a decade earlier – does suggest the UK has been picked out for special treatment. The reasons for Russian antagonism towards Britain go back further than the murky career history of either of those agents or their involvement with the UK, further, even, than Putin’s rise to power. There is an entrenched view, among many Russians, that the UK is a country which has not treated them well, especially during those times in its history when it was weak. It was not always thus. For a long time, Russia admired Britain. In War and Peace, published in 1869, Tolstoy writes of an Englishman being self-assured because he comes from the best organised state in the world. Even then, though, the seeds of their future rivalry were being sown in the high peaks and plains of central and southern Asia, where British and Russian agents were engaged in what became known as the ‘Great Game’, as the two imperial forces vied for regional supremacy. It began a long period of – from a Russian perspective at least – underhand British espionage and involvement in encircling and constraining Russian ambition. The next notable chapter came in the aftermath of the October Revolution of 1917, when Britain landed troops in northern Russia to launch a campaign against the Bolshevik regime as it struggled to consolidate its power. This ill-fated military adventure cast a shadow over relations for the rest of Russia’s predominantly Soviet century. It is still recalled in this century. In his 2005 book, On My Country and the World, the last leader of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, wrote of his belief “nothing [had] been forgotten” since the time when western powers planned that “Russia not be regarded as a unitary state”.
A board game for children based on the Skripals poisoning, “Our Boys in Salisbury,” is on sale in Russia. The price of the board game is 77 Russian rubles, which is about US$1.16.
In Russia, a Salisbury board game for the manufacturer Igroland appeared on the market. Announcement of the sale published on the website “Gala Center” and “Market Assortment” . Judging by the image on the cover, the route of the heroes across the playing field of Europe coincides with the movements of the GRU officers Anatoly Chepigi and Alexander Mishkin, accused of poisoning Skripale. In both stores, The Insider confirmed the presence of the game.
On January 18, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas submitted to his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in Moscow a freshened-up German proposal for Russia to “ensure” unimpeded shipping through the Kerch Strait. In that case, a German-French group would monitor the traffic to certify that it is free (Interfax, RIA Novosti, January 18, 2019). Maas flew from Moscow directly to Kyiv to inform the Ukrainian side, after the fact. No indication exists that Berlin had consulted with Kyiv before going to Moscow; and indeed, the Ukrainian side has taken post-factum note of Berlin’s proposal with caution and palpable misgivings (Ukrinform, Interfax-Ukraine, January 18, 2019). Maas had pre-consulted with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin on the top German diplomat’s previous proposal to Lavrov last December, but evidently felt that his new proposal should go directly to Moscow. Unusually, the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs website shows no readout of Maas’s talks in either Moscow or Kyiv (Auswaertiges-amt.de, accessed January 21, 2019). This and other recent developments in and around the Kerch Strait confirm the anticipation (see EDM, December 3, 5, 10, 2018) that Russia does not aim simply to block the Kerch Strait outright to Ukrainian and Ukraine-bound international shipping. Blocking it outright, even for a short term (as Russia did after its November 25, 2018, unprovoked assault on Ukrainian naval vessels) would only result in prolonging international sanctions on Russia. Nor does Russia need to block the Kerch Strait for any reason or purpose (see below). Instead, Moscow intends to leverage its ability to allow or disallow shipping through the Kerch Strait, set the rules there uncontested, and have those rules de facto accepted by third parties. Rather than blocking, the aim is to wrest some international expressions of deference to Russia’s control of the Kerch Strait and the Russian-imposed navigation regime there. Such deference, if forthcoming, would advance Moscow’s goal to elicit de facto acceptance of Russia’s 2014 seizure of Crimea, which gave Russia full territorial control of the Kerch Strait.
Representatives of the Russian Federation say there were no agreements with France and Germany on the permanent presence of their observers in the Kerch Strait. Putin and Merkel discussed the possibility of sending German and French observers to the Kerch Strait.
The PACE Committee for Political Affairs and Democracy has upheld the Ukrainian report on Azov crisis. Lyudmyla Denisova, the Ukrainian parliamentary envoy for human rights reported that on Facebook. ‘The report on this situation was considered and approved by the PACE Committee for Political Affairs and Democracy, along with the amendments, offered by the MP Oleksiy Honcharenko, the member of the Ukrainian delegation in PACE’, she wrote. According to Denisova, the document was approved by all but one member of the specified committee. The report states the necessity of release of Ukrainian sailors, free maritime navigation and condemns the construction of the bridge over the Kerch Strait. Apart from that, the paper focuses on the protection of human rights, with a special emphasis on those of the Ukrainian sailors detained in Russia. 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. Ukrainian ships were rejected passage via the Kerch Strait, Russian coast guards opened aimed fire on them.
Ambassador of Ukraine to Turkey Andrii Sybiha has said Ankara’s position regarding the Russian occupation of Ukrainian Crimea remains unchanged despite the intention of the Turkish consuls to visit the peninsula to provide consular assistance to Turkish citizens affected in the fire that engulfed two gas tankers in the Kerch Strait. The ambassador shamed Russian “media” for exploiting the tragedy in their information war.
Two ships ablaze in the Black Sea region, leaving at least 10 crew dead, caught fire while transferring fuel mid-sea after one vessel was barred from using its usual port in southern Russia due to U.S. sanctions risk, two sources told Reuters.
Two commercial ships operating under the Tanzanian flag caught fire in the Kerch Strait off the coast of Crimea. At least 10 crew members were killed and 10 others were missing a day after the January 21 incident. The blaze was reportedly started by an explosion as a gas tanker was refueling another ship.
23.01.19 11:34 – Four attacks against Ukraine army in past day: one SES worker wounded, two terrorists destroyed, – JFO center Jan. 22, Russia occupation forces violated the ceasefire four times. Besides, the enemy employed small arms in Chermalyk and heavy machine guns and small arms against Ukraine State Emergency Service (SES) workers near Marinka. View news.
Occupation authorities in the militant-held city of Antratsyt, Luhansk region, slammed down on a protest action by employees of the Partyzanska Mine. Activists were threatened with layoffs.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry is considering the possibility of training the Ukrainian military in Israel. Ukrainian Minister of Defense Stepan Poltorak was on an official visit to Israel.
Thousands of blue and yellow postcards were brought on balloons to the militant stronghold of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine on Unity Day, according to the Povernys Zhyvym [Come Back Alive] charity project. Ukrainian military note that the move fulfills two objectives at a time.
The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine is ready to introduce a biometric visa regime with the Russian Federation. — Ukrinform.
U.S. Air Force has sent a Boeing RC-135V reconnaissance aircraft to patrol off the coast of the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula and the Black Sea coast of the Russian Federation near Novorossiysk. The aircraft with the call sign REMIT41 started its patrolling mission at about 09:00 Kyiv time. U.S. Air Force has sent a Boeing RC-135V reconnaissance aircraft to patrol off the coast of the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula and the Black Sea coast of the Russian Federation near Novorossiysk. The aircraft with the call sign REMIT41 began patrolling at about 09:00 Kyiv time, according to the Ukrainian Military Portal. The Boeing RC-135V is based at Souda Bay airbase on the island of Crete.
Twenty-five years ago this week, the United States, Russia, and Ukraine signed the Trilateral Statement and Annex, in which Ukraine agreed to transfer its nuclear stockpile to Russia. In exchange, Ukraine received compensation for the value of the highly enriched uranium in the nuclear warheads, assistance in eliminating the strategic delivery systems on its territory, and security assurances from the United States and Russia. To reinforce a commitment to nonproliferation, Washington must do more for Ukraine, the experts say. Twenty-five years ago this week, the United States, Russia, and Ukraine signed the Trilateral Statement and Annex, in which Ukraine agreed to transfer its nuclear stockpile to Russia. In exchange, Ukraine received compensation for the value of the highly enriched uranium in the nuclear warheads, assistance in eliminating the strategic delivery systems on its territory, and security assurances from the United States and Russia. Later that year, the United States, Russia, and the United Kingdom signed the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances with Ukraine, guaranteeing respect for Ukraine’s borders, independence, and sovereignty, and promising to refrain from the threat or use of economic and military force, distinguished fellow in residence in the Foreign Policy program Strobe Talbott and research assistant of the center Maggie Tennis wrote in an article for the Brookings Institution. They say in 1996, Ukraine sent the remainder of its nuclear warheads to Russia, completing the surrender of the country’s position as the third-largest nuclear power. In 2014, Russia violated the terms of the Budapest Memorandum by using military force to seize the Crimean pen
The Bureau of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe or PACE amended the rules for the formation of committees, effectively …
22.01.19 16:05 – Ukraine developing heavy combat UAV The state-owned enterprise Antonov and one of the foreign companies are developing a heavy high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle carrying foreign-made munition. View news.
During an official visit to Israel, he familiarized himself with advanced defense technologies from Elbit Systems. Today, the development of cooperation in the field of armaments and military equipment is very important for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, especially in times of confrontation with Russian aggression. Cooperation with an Israeli partner company will enable us to improve the capabilities of the Armed Forces. The result of the meeting was that a Memorandum of cooperation between DK “Ukroboronprom” and Elbit Systems Ltd was signed.
Ukraine’s state-run Ukroboronprom Concern signed a memorandum of cooperation with Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd. The parties will exchange technology and practical experience in the use of new weapons. Ukraine’s state-run Ukroboronprom Concern signed a memorandum of cooperation with Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd. The document provides for the further development of joint projects in communications, surveillance and reconnaissance systems for ground and air forces, aerial rescue equipment, radar stations, equipment for port protection, modernization of armored vehicles, the press service of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said. “The memorandum foresees the implementation of further projects through mechanisms of the exchange of technology and practical experience in the use of new weapons,” it said. Elbit Systems Ltd is a high technology company that implements defense programs around the world, developing and supplying a wide range of airborne, land and naval systems, as well as products for defense and homeland security. As UNIAN reported, Ukraine and Israel signed an agreement on a free trade area on January 21. The purpose of the agreement is to create the legal basis for the liberalization of both countries’ markets of industrial and agricultural goods.
An international high technology company engaged in a wide range of defense, homeland security and commercial programs.
We are an international high technology company engaged in a wide range of programs throughout the world. We develop and supply a broad portfolio of airborne, land and naval systems and products for defense, homeland security and commercial applications. Our systems and products are installed on new platforms, and we also perform comprehensive platform modernization programs. In addition, we provide a range of support services. Our major activities include: • military aircraft and helicopter systems; • helmet mounted systems; • commercial aviation systems and aerostructures; • unmanned aircraft systems and unmanned surface vessels; • electro-optic and countermeasures systems; • land vehicle systems; • command, control, communications, computer and intelligence (C4I) systems; • electronic warfare and signal intelligence systems; • cyber and intelligence systems; and • various commercial activities. Many of these major activities have a number of common and related elements. Therefore, certain of our subsidiaries, divisions or other operating units often jointly conduct marketing, research and development, manufacturing, performance of programs, sales and after sales support among these major activities.
The Ukrainian Minister of Defense Stepan Poltorak announced on Facebook that during an official visit to Israel a memorandum of cooperation between Ukraine and Israel was signed. This memorandum includes the development and modernization of weapons from Elbit Systems Ltd. “Cooperating with the Israeli company and partner will allow us to improve the capabilities of our Armed Forces,” said Poltorak. According to the minister, the Ukrainian side got acquainted with advanced defense technologies from the company Elbit Systems. Elbit Systems Ltd develops and modernizes various forms of weaponry: UAV, avionics, radar, guidance systems in artillery and missile technology. This is the largest private defense company in Israel. This company is also involved in the development of space intelligence satellites. As previously reported, Ukraine and Israel signed an agreement on a free trade zone between the two countries in Jerusalem. Thus, import duties for about 80% of Ukrainian industrial goods will be canceled.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry is considering the possibility of training the Ukrainian military in Israel. Ukrainian Minister of Defense Stepan Poltorak was on an official visit to Israel.
The agreement on free trade area (FTA) between Ukraine and Israel will stimulate cooperation between Ukrainian and Israeli companies in various sectors, ex-Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister, former Trade Representative of Ukraine Natalia Mykolska has said. “The agreement will give a green light for cooperation between Ukrainian and Israeli enterprises in many areas: high-tech, engineering, processing equipment for the food industry, and other,” she wrote on her Facebook page on Tuesday. She also said that the Israeli market is quite closed and there are high import duties, in particular, for agricultural products. “Therefore, the agreement opens up opportunities and competitive advantages for Ukrainian exporters, canceling 80% of import duties for industrial goods,” Mykolska wrote. As reported, on January 21, Ukraine and Israel signed the FTA agreement. The negotiations had lasted since 2015.
A free trade agreement between Ukraine and Israel will come into effect after the ratification by parliaments of the both countries. — Ukrinform.
Ukraine and Israel intend to start the talks on liberalization of trade in services within two years after the free trade agreement comes into force. — Ukrinform.
In January-November 2018, 251 new commodity items were added to the list of exports from Ukraine to Israel, which brought additional $6.5 million to Ukraine. — Ukrinform.
The Cabinet of Ministers should be more active in elaborating a free trade agreement with Turkey in order to sign it as soon as possible. — Ukrinform.
Lithuania and Poland will promote in the European Union a strategic initiative for giving Ukraine the EU membership prospects in 2027. — Ukrinform.
The main problem with extending the current gas contract between Naftogaz of Ukraine and Russia’s Gazprom is that the document does not contain any guarantees on transit volumes to be pumped via Ukraine, which will allow the Russian side to bring them to zero once the Nord Stream 2 pipeline bypassing Ukraine is completed, according to Naftogaz CCO, Yuriy Vitrenko. According to the company’s CCO, if the existing gas deal is extended as it is, Gazprom will be able to reduce gas transit via Ukraine to zero.
Ukraine’s state-owned oil and gas company Naftogaz will reduce the amount of the new claim against Gazprom from $12 billion to $2 billion if …
The Cabinet of Ministers, on the initiative of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, has approved the decision to terminate three agreements on economic cooperation signed as part of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the ministry’s press service has reported. — Ukrinform.
Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin during a discussion of digital democracy at the World Economic Forum in Davos told about Russia’s disinformation in Ukraine. — Ukrinform.
23.01.19 14:33 – Hungary ready to encourage Ukraine’s European integration, – Ambassador Íjgyártó Ambassador of Hungary to Ukraine István Íjgyártó said during his visit to the Zakarpattia region that positive developments in bilateral relations between Hungary and Ukraine have started to emerge. View news.
23.01.19 11:27 – 207 new plants put into service by investors in past four years, – Poroshenko In the past four years, investors have built and put into service 207 new plants. View news.
Russia will seek that Ukraine allow access of Russian observers to monitor presidential elections, said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin. Moscow believes they have a right to send their observers to Ukraine.
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has officially announced she will run for president, with polls showing her as the front-runner in the March presidential election.
A new law which creates a new organ donor database for Ukraine has led to surgeons refusing to perform transplants. They say operating could result in prosecution because many new bylaws have yet to be enacted. The government has called the move “an act of sabotage.”
23.01.19 13:01 – Verdict in Yanukovych treason case to be passed tomorrow The Obolonskyi District Court of Kyiv will pronounce verdict in the case of Ukraine’s ex-President Viktor Yanukovych who is charged with high treason. View news.
Kyiv’s Obolon District Court on Thursday, Jan 24, at 09:00 Kyiv time, will start delivering a verdict in the case of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who is being charged with high treason. Ukrainian prosecutors request that the court sentence Yanukovych to a 15-year prison term.
Ukraine and China have held political consultations to consider the status and priorities of strategic partnership development between the two countries. — Ukrinform.
In 2018, the Ukrainian agricultural exports grew by more than $880 million compared with 2017 and hit a record high of $18.8 billion. — Ukrinform.
Serbian national airline Air Serbia announced the launch of regular flights on seven new routes, including Kyiv, starting from June 2019. — Ukrinform.
With Soviet-style illiberalism on the rise, what is there to celebrate on the five-year anniversary of Ukraine’s Maidan uprising?
Lev Golinkin is the author of A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka. Mr. Golinkin, a graduate of Boston College, came to the US as a child refugee from the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov (now called Kharkiv) in 1990. His op-eds and essays on the Ukraine crisis have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, and Time.com, among others; he has been interviewed by WSJ Live and HuffPost Live.