Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Ad Hoc Media Update (93)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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  1. Again, a great many reports on Russia’s domestic mayhem – it is appearing to destabilize;
  2. Updates on former Soviet republics;
  3. Syria updates, Saudi / UAE weapons procurement;
  4. DPRK TBM tests, SSB on display, economic meltdown;
  5. Again much reporting on the PRC: defence and strategy, PLA White Paper, Trade war, Hong Kong, Muslim detentions, Pacrim, Japan-RoK trade war;
  6. Four excellent policy essays, UK,  Germany, France updates, Med/Balkans and Venezuela – FLANKER harasses EP-3C;
  7. Capability updates – interesting PRC reports;
  8. Misc US domestic reports;


Russia / Russophone Reports



Russians Stage Protests Over Problems Big And Small : NPR
As President Vladimir Putin approaches his 20th year in power, anger over bread-and-butter issues is sparking demonstrations across the country.
Thousands Rally In Moscow For Barred Opposition City-Council Candidates
A rally is being held in Moscow to protest the refusal of electoral authorities to allow opposition candidates to register for upcoming city-council elections.
Opposition Leaders Address Moscow Protest
More than 10,000 people have gathered in Moscow to protest against the controversial ban of some opposition candidates from Moscow city-council elections set for September. The July 20 rally was addressed by leading figures of the Russian nonparliamentary opposition, including anticorruption activist Aleksei Navalny and Lyubov Sobol, who is one of the excluded candidates.
Anger Boils Over In Moscow After Barring Of Opposition Candidates
Russian opposition leaders rallied thousands of people in Moscow to demand free and fair election as a decision by officials to ban some independent candidates in local elections has seemingly spar…
Moscow Council Candidate Sobol Detained As Pressure Builds on Opposition
Lyubov Sobol, a Russian opposition figure, was briefly detained early on July 26 outside the headquarters of the Moscow Election Commission, the latest in a series of actions taken against politica…
Russian Authorities, Opposition Go Toe-To-Toe Over Moscow Duma Elections
On July 27, the Russian opposition is calling for an unsanctioned protest against alleged electoral abuse. It could be the largest election-related demonstration since 2012.
Students, Graduates Of Moscow State University Demand Jailed Math Student’s Release
Students and graduates of the Moscow State University (MGU) have staged a protest demanding the release of Azat Miftakhov, amid fears a math student who has been in custody for six months on what r…
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Any Conflict in Russia Can Become an Inter-Ethnic One and Grow into Something Bigger, Nationalities Chief Says
Paul Goble Staunton, July 17 – In the Russian Federation, almost any ordinary conflict, territorial dispute or even crime in which people of different nationalities are somehow involved “can take on an inter-ethnic coloration and almost instantaneously multiply in size and importance,” according to Igor Barinov, the head of the Federal Agency for Nationality Affairs. “In such cases,” he continues, “differences in the nationality of the contesting sides can become a real generator of hatred and hostility” and thus create a new situation very different and more dangerous than the one that existed before the clash, however distant from ethnicity, that set it off ( Barinov’s observation comes in his discussion of Moscow’s reaction to the recent clashes between Roma and ethnic Russians in Penza, clashes that he says reflect the growth in tensions between these communities “in many regions of the country where there are places in which the Roma live in compact settlements.” (For background on the Penza clashes, see,,, and Barinov’s acknowledgement about the way in which conflicts of various kinds can easily become ethnic clashes in multi-national Russia is refreshing given that Moscow officials almost invariably seek to dismiss suggestions that a clash is an ethnic one but insisting that it is something else entirely. But his prescription for what to do is anything but given that it is based on the all-too-typical Moscow assumptions that if there are problems, they lie with the non-Russians rather than with the Russians and that it is the non-Russians who must change fundamentally rather than the Russians change in any way at all. Barinov says that his agency in the wake of the Penza events and given the intensification of anti-Roma attitudes is currently working no proposals to promote “the socio-cultural development of Russian Roma” as if all the difficulties were on the side of that nationality ( Roma must be “socialized” differently than they now are, Barinov says, “beginning with kindergartens and schools” and “the social conception of the Roma people as a whole” must be changed, by talking about all the opportunities and successes that community has had and has now in the Russian Federation. Further, he says – and this too reflects Moscow’s approach to such issues – the nationalities chief says that this task must be performed less by “federal” television channels than by regional ones “especially where the representatives of the [Roma] people are in large numbers as, for example, in Moscow, Moscow oblast and the south of Russia.”
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russian Villages aren’t Dying a Natural Death; Moscow is Killing Them, Begiyev Says
Paul Goble Staunton, July 17 – It is universally acknowledged that be that Russian villages are dying. What is not understood is that this is not some natural process but rather the result of specific actions of the powers that be, including the adoption of laws that have “transformed rural life into a hell,” APN commentator Nikolay Begiyev says. In the first of what he promises will be a series of articles on Moscow’s pernicious role in this process, the commentator points out that “’in the depth of Russia’ no one knows precisely what is going on” because there are few sociological studies and the people there live in “a half-natural, almost medieval” way ( Moreover, “the powers that be in the Kremlin and at the level of federal districts is completely uninterested in the real picture of life in the villages, even from the point of view of protest potential,” Begiyev says. “The authorities aren’t afraid of the village and have already written it off.” Some of Moscow’s laws about the village appear to have been adopted because of good intentions, improving public health, for example; but they have been written without any recognition of the realities of the Russian village or applied in ways that have led to impoverishment or even starvation, the commentator continues. While some in the villages may be doing more or less all right, the rural poor now do not have money “even for daily bread for their children.” In the North Caucasus, for example, people have been reduced to what looks like “stone soup” because they do not know who now owns the land and cannot sell their own private production without being in violation of the law. “In recent years,” Begiyev continues, “a new generation of ‘inventors of laws’ has grown up.” Many of them are to be found in the Higher School of Economics whose denizens take their ideas and sometimes even texts from the Chicago school of economics without bothering to consider Russian realities and particularly the realities of the Russian village. For example, when Moscow began to talk about import substitution, instead of relying on the private plots and stock of Russian peasants, the authorities at the center decided that the only group worth supporting where the rural oligarchs, those who owned enormous swaths of land and could meet Moscow standards. As a result, new laws were adopted which made local trade illegal. The consequence was the impoverishment of rural Russians and the death of villages without a significant improvement of the diet of Russians in urban areas. This all was justified by reference to fighting disease, but the consequence was to fight Russian villagers in the first instance. Villagers were told they couldn’t raise food or livestock or, at a minimum, they could not offer it for sale. That led to a dramatic decline in the standard of living in the villages, a falloff in deliveries to urban centers outside of the megalopolises, and protests by hungry villagers. But Moscow did not reverse course. Instead, it imposed new limits on local production. The situation has been especially bad in Siberia and the North Caucasus, but the worst case involves Russian-occupied Crimea. There overly zealous officials have not just banned the sale of livestock owned by peasants but actually destroyed it, thus leaving the rural population without money, food or hope. All this has been compounded, Begiyev says, by problems with the registration of property. In many places, the peasants do not know who owns what and therefore decide not to grow food lest the rural oligarchs take it from them. Again, food production has plummeted as a result, with fatal consequences for the villages. But perhaps the worst Moscow law as far as villagers are concerned, at least among those Begiyev surveys in this first part of his report, involves legal requirements for packaging of foodstuffs. “Urban residents, in the opinion of liberals and liberal officials must east only products packed in plastic by major food corporations.” Laws back up these corporations, and individual peasant farmers are thus legally excluded from the marketplace. Fortunately, the APN commentator says, these laws aren’t enforced everywhere; but any peasant who sells his products piecemeal is at risk of being hauled into court. “The peasant and the small-time farmer aren’t needed by the Russian state,” and they know it. They have been “thrown to the winds of fate and the arbitrariness of local authorities.” They may protest, but ultimately, they are driven to flee their villages in order to save their lives.” Consequently, Begiyev says, when officials in Moscow shed tears about the death of the village, these are hypocritical crocodile tears shed by people who have caused many of the problems that they are now complaining about.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Opposition in Moscow Not Distinctly Muscovite and That is Its Problem, Region.Expert Says
Paul Goble Staunton, July 16 – Unlike most opposition movements elsewhere in the Russian Federation, the Moscow opposition is not distinctly Muscovite, the Region.Expert portal says, because most people in the city identify not as residents of a particular city but rather as residents of the capital of a country. The slogans, symbols and agenda of this opposition thus does not reflect the specific concerns of the city of Moscow but rather the slogans, symbols and agenda of the country as a whole, the result of the massive influx of people from elsewhere who have overwhelmed the indigenous Muscovite population ( These indigenes, those whose families have been in Moscow for four or five generations or more, do have a regional identity; and they display both interest and sympathy toward regionalists from other cities in the country. But they are a tiny minority, and the overwhelming majority, including of the opposition, identify not as Muscovites but as residents of the capital. As a result, the portal continues, “in present-day Moscow, the border between ‘urban’ and ‘federal’ has been erased. Moscow politicians thus consider themselves ‘federal,’ although no one elected them to that status, while the genuinely Muscovite urban consciousness does not find a clear political embodiment.” Despite what many think, this isn’t true of the city just because it is large. Many megalopolises around the world have very distinct city identities. New Yorkers identify with their city, even though many of them are from elsewhere, in large measure precisely because they are not the national political capital. The Moscow opposition reflects this pattern. “The ‘federal’ agenda dominates its actions. The slogans are absolutely correct,” of course, “about the struggle with corruption and the dictatorship” but if one looks closely, “there is practically nothing” unique to the city as such, Region.Expert says. “There is also no original and popular city symbolism,” it continues. At the protest meetings of the opposition, the same flag is in evidence that is on the uniforms of the police who suppress these actions. The opposition shouts “’Russia will be free!’” but “perhaps,” the portal asks, “you should make your Moscow free first?” But at present, “even opposition Moscow continues to consider itself ‘the capital of the empire.’” And that has the effect of preventing it from considering what are the chief issues of the city itself, its complete dependence on wealth from elsewhere and the view of many Moscow residents that they have the right to that and to send their trash back to the regions. Such attitudes are “the direct result of the imperial policy of total hyper-centralism in the capital. But how this problem is to be solved, the Moscow opposition doesn’t say because here is a vicious circle.” Moscow can escape from this trap only by giving up much of its income extracted from the regions. And few politicians are going to be successful if that is their program.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kremlin Fears Emergence of a New Trotsky in the Moscow City Council, Pastukhov Says
Paul Goble Staunton, July 19 – Blocking all opposition candidates from competing in elections to the Moscow city council, the powers that be in the Russian capital have behaved in a way “not characteristic of the Putin administration,” Vladimir Pastukhov says. That is they have acted in “a crude, obvious and mass violation of the law” rather than distorting it for their ends. Some suggest that the behavior of the Moscow authorities is irrational, the London-based Russian analyst says. If that is the case, “then it is entirely senseless to discuss it – the analysis of irrational motives by rational means is in and of itself irrational,” he argues ( And consequently, it is more useful to focus exclusively on rational motives if one is to find a cause. “The authorities, especially in Moscow, usually try to avoid political scandals,” Pastukhov says. And consequently, if they not only allow one to emerge but in fact take steps certain to provoke one, something serious even “sacred” must be behind that move. In this case, the Russian analyst continues, the rational explanation is that the powers that be were certain that “one or even several significant figures of the extra-systemic opposition” would win in elections and that they could not be blocked by the manipulation of the results that has characterized the Putin era. Lest that happen and lest there be some powerful tribune inside the city council, the powers that be clearly decided that blocking all the candidates from the opposition was “the lesser political evil,” however likely it was that this would provoke complaints and mass demonstrations. As a result, Pastukhov continues, the authorities drove themselves into a blind ally as a result of “their strange game of cat and mouse with [opposition leader Aleksey] Navalny, a person who officially does not exist in the public political space.” And worse, they showed that those in the city council don’t represent any real political force. According to the London-based analyst, “in the subconsciousness of the Russian powers that be, independent of coloration, is still very much alive the memory of Trotsky and the Petrograd Soviet” in 1917, where a powerful speaker moved an entire body in the direction he wanted by the strength of his speeches. Even more immediate an explanation, he suggests, is that after 15 years of dealing with assemblies it completely controlled, the powers that be have simply lost the ability too work with any open opposition. In such a situation, keeping such people out of the assemblies looks like the better choice or at least the lesser evil. What has occurred in Moscow is “extraordinary” for the Putin regime, Pastukhov says, “a departure into an extraordinary regime of administration.” But like any such move, it will only put additional pressure on the system and “therefore will not remain without consequences.” Not directly after Saturday’s protest but later. And when those consequences do surface, everyone will look back on the decision of the Moscow authorities to block opposition figures from running for election.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow University to Begin Training Masters Degree-Level Students in Ethnic Politics
Paul Goble Staunton, July 18 – The Russian State Humanities University has announced the opening of a masters degree program in ethnic politics to prepare students to work in the field of inter-ethnic relations and migration affairs, the first such program not only there but in the Russian Federation as a whole ( Up to now and without any announcement, Magomed Omarov, the director of the new program says, there have been 3.5 applicants for every slot. He said his institution had created the program because of “the colossal shortage of specialists” in nationality affairs in the Russian Federation. Among those who have agreed to teach courses in the two-year program are Leokadiya Drobizheva, the head of the Moscow Center for Research on Inter-Ethnic relations, Vladimir Zorin of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, and Vladimr Mukomel of the Moscow Institute of Sociology. Among the subjects the students will study are ethno-politics, regional political processes, the administration of ethno-political processes, nation building in Russia and the world, state nationalities and migration policies, national and civic identity, language policy, and ethno-political conflicts. Omarov says that he expects graduates of the program to work in the Presidential Administration, the Russian government, committees of the Federal Assembly, the Federal Agency for Nationality Affairs, the migration service of the Interior Ministry, the nationalities department of the city of Moscow, and international organizations involved in these issues. The appearance of this program will simultaneously fill gaps for practical workers that the existing Academy of Science institutions have not and challenge those institutions for dominance in the elaboration and application of state policy on nationality, legal and language issues.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Chechen Siloviki Kidnaped, Tortured, and Killed 27 at One Time, and Grozny Covered It Up, Rights Activists Say
Paul Goble Staunton, July 24 – The record of violence and illegality by the regime of Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov only continues to lengthen, with rights activists now reporting that in December 2016, his siloviki kidnaped, tortured and then killed 27 people all at one time – and then blocked any serious investigation into what had occurred. Abdul-Khadim Abdulmedzhidov, a Chechen who was in the same jail when this crime occurred on separate charges and who knew about the case, told a Memorial Human Rights Center press conference this week that investigators looking into the mass murder did not even bother to question him ( His testimony adds to the evidence gathered by rights activists over the last three years and also presented at this week’s event, evidence that shows official claims are not to be trusted. According to the “official” report on the claims, one of the 27 died at home from a heart attack, a story his relatives who work for the police were compelled to back up. Igor Kalyapin, head of the Committee Against Torture, told the press conference that his group had succeeded in having police who engaged in torture removed and even punished everywhere in Russia except in Chechnya where the authorities refuse even to acknowledge that this could be possible there. That republic’s magistrates do not see any crime even in cases where everyone else does because the evidence is so compelling, Kalyapin says; and the courts shut their eyes to all of this. When the evidence is overwhelming, investigators and judges say it must be investigated and thereby prevent any investigation from happening. And when they can’t deny any longer that they have held someone who was tortured, he continues, they have a standard action. “After his detention,” they say, “we released him and he joined the militants. It turns out, Kalyapin adds, that “in Chechnya, we do not have police stations but rather recruitment points for the militants.” That is true, of course, but not in the sense those who make such declarations intend. A major reason for all this duplicity is Kadyrov’s insistence that there are no militants in Chechnya anymore and that his is a “most peaceful” republic. When that is challenged, he becomes hysterical – and that, Memorial’s Oleg Orlov says, is likely the best explanation for why 27 people were slaughtered. That was necessary to maintain Kadyrov’s fiction. Unfortunately, Kalyapin adds, that pattern is found in more parts of the Russian Federation than just Chechnya. Many in the police try to do the right thing, he acknowledges, but for many others, “the falsification of cases has become the norm.” Chechnya may offer more examples of this than other federal subjects. But it is not different “in principle.”
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia Becoming Part of Central Asia after Trying to Leave It Behind, Kuzmin Says
Paul Goble Staunton, July 23 – Many Russians were pleased that the demise of the Soviet Union meant that the rapidly growing Muslim populations of the Central Asian republics were beyond the state borders of the Russian Federation and thus would no longer be a brake on the desire of Russians for development and even a certain Westernization. But their happiness has been short-lived, Versiya commentator Aleksandr Kuzmin says, because while the Central Asian republics may now be independent countries, large numbers of their populations have moved to Russia and are transforming it into the Central Asia of today ( And as a result, the developments many Russians in 1991 hoped for and expected has not happened. Instead, what they viewed as a burden then has become an even heavier one on them and their future now, holding Russia back from the kind of development they wanted and simultaneously bringing that Muslim abroad into their own neighborhoods. Russia’s attempts since 1991 to “leave the southern regions beyond its state borders has led to a situation in which border between civilizations has shifted to within Moscow itself,” Kuzmin says. In 1959, there were only about 7,000 Tajiks in the RSFSR; but by the end of Soviet times, there were more than 200,000 and now there are well over a million. The Soviet government tried to develop Central Asia in part to liquidate “the social marginalization” of its people but also to hold them there. But this plan backfired: Moscow had to dispatch Russians, Ukrainians and others from the European parts of the country, only to see ever more Central Asians come in the opposite direction. Until the end of Soviet times, Moscow kept this influx to a minimum; but with the collapse of the propiska system and other “archaic” mechanisms, it lost control and has become a magnet for young, uneducated, rural males especially from Tajikistan but from other Central Asian countries as well. As a result, Moscow did not “lose” the ballast that Central Asians represented; it simply allowed that weight to shift from beyond the borders of the Russian republic to within its major cities. That “ballast” includes not only the social costs of low-paid gastarbeiters but the costs related to heroine traffic and crime, organized or not. And because of Tajikistan’s location and the violence spreading from Afghanistan, that is now being translated into Russia by Tajiks who have come for one purpose or another. The Russian security services are naturally concerned about the influence of the Afghan war and Islamism as well. What is happening in addition, Kuzmin says, is that Russia is being drawn into Central Asia not only because of those fears but also because both supporters and opponents of governments in the region are to be found on Russian territory. If the Tajik government collapses, that situation will become even worse. Russia’s security services are already affected by this combination of immigration and geopolitics, and “as the experience of world history shows, very often the special services are drawn into” this shadowy world and degraded as a result, with even more negative consequences for the country as a whole. In sum, the Versiya analyst says, “having said farewell to Tajikistan at the beginning of the 1990s, we are encountering it again not just at the bottom of the social pyramid but at the highest political levels, remaining in essence as before its hostages,” not because of “geopolitics” but rather because of “a banal shadow economy.”
The Week In Russia: Unity Or Terror? Putin Seeks ‘Political Stability’ In Moscow And Bishkek
“The country needs political stability, and all the people must unite around the current president and help him develop the state.” That was Russian President Vladimir Putin’s message for Kyrgyzsta…
Russia arrests Alexei Navalny, opposition leader, after massive protest over Moscow parliament elections today – CBS News
Often-jailed dissident Alexei Navalny threatens even bigger demonstration if opposition figures kept off ballot in local election
Aleksei Navalny Is Sent to Jail in Russia Over Plans for Protest – The New York Times
His detention and sentencing came after a demonstration last Saturday against the exclusion of most opposition-minded candidates from an election for the Moscow legislature.
Navalny Says He Was Detained By Russian Police As He Was Jogging
Russian opposition figure Aleksei Navalny says he was detained by police in Moscow shortly after he left his apartment for a run.
Amnesty Calls On Russia To Release Navalny
Amnesty International has called on the Russian authorities to end their “open and shameless attempt” to intimidate the opposition ahead of September’s parliamentary elections in Moscow.
Trial Starts In Theft Of Painting From Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery
The trial over the theft of a 20th century Russian painting from Moscow’s state-run Tretyakov Gallery Arts Museum in January has begun in the Russian capital.
Director Oliver Stone Told Vladimir Putin That Russia’s Anti-LGBTQ Propaganda Law Is “Sensible”
The Oscar-winning director made the comments while interviewing Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
Days After A Hit List For Gays And Lesbians Disappears, A Russian Activist Is Killed
Russian activists had pressed the authorities for months to do something about a hit list called Saw that circulated on the Internet, threatening gays, lesbians, reporters, and others.
Russian LGBTQ activist is killed after being listed on gay-hunting website
Russian LGBTQ activist Yelena Grigoryeva was killed after being listed on a “Saw” movie-inspired website that offered prizes to people who hunt gays. (“Пила”)
LGBT Activist Yelena Grigoryeva Is Fatally Stabbed In Russia : NPR
Yelena Grigoryeva was found near her home in St. Petersburg on Sunday, with multiple stab wounds and signs of strangulation, activists said on social media.
Russian LGBT Rights Campaigner Found Dead With Stab Wounds
Human rights activists say that Yelena Grigoryeva, an LGBT rights campaigner in Russia’s second largest city of Saint Petersburg, has been killed.
Suspect Detained In Death Of Russian LGBT Rights Activist
Russian authorities say they have detained a suspect in the murder of LGBT activist Yelena Grigoryeva, who was slain near her home in St. Petersburg.
Demonstrators Rally In St. Petersburg To Mourn Slain Russian LGBT Activist
Several dozen demonstrators rallied in St. Petersburg to mourn Yelena Grigoryeva, an LGBT rights campaigner who was slain near her home in Russia’s second-largest city.
Detained Daghestani Journalist Officially Charged With Financing Terrorism
Daghestani reporter Abdulmumin Gadzhiyev has been officially charged with financing terrorism, a spokesman for the regional office of the Russian Investigative Committee told the TASS news agency o…
Russian Activist Navalny Sentenced Amid Clampdown On Moscow Opposition
A Russian court has sentenced Aleksei Navalny to 30 days in jail as part of a larger clampdown on opposition leaders ahead of an unauthorized protest this weekend.
Wildfires Engulf Siberia, Choke Cities
Nearly 170,000 hectares (420,000 acres) of forestland is burning in the Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Yakutia, Yamal, and Buryatia regions, TASS reported, citing the Aerial Forest Protection Service.
Metallica Plays Song By Soviet-Era Rock Star At Moscow Concert
The American rock band Metallica has surprised fans in Moscow by performing a song in the Russian capital by the late Soviet-era rock star Viktor Tsoi.
Why Is Leonardo DiCaprio Being Asked To ‘Save’ Lake Baikal?
The titanic debate over a Siberian lake that’s led thousands of Russians to call on the Hollywood star to #saveourbaikal.
Uzbeks Hospitalized In Russia For Suspected Food Poisoning
Uzbekistan’s Foreign Ministry says 69 Uzbek labor migrants, including a child, have been hospitalized with symptoms of food poisoning in Russia’s Samara region.
Honey Don’t: Russian Inspector Says He Drew The Line When Bribe Offers Were Sweetened
An official who inspected private vendors in Russia’s second-largest city, St. Petersburg, has admitted to taking bribes in cash, eggs, and butter, but says he drew the line when offers were sweete…
Children Rushed To Hospital After Bathing In Fountain In Russia’s Far East
Dozens of children have been rushed to a local hospital in Russia’s Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk after they bathed in a city fountain on July 23 amid a heat wave in the region.
Russian Children’s Camp Closed After Child Severely Beaten
A sports camp for children in Russia’s Far Eastern Khabarovsk Krai region has been shut down and an investigation launched after a young boy was hospitalized after being severely beaten.
Director Of Children’s Camp In Russia’s Far East Arrested Over Deadly Fire
The director of a children’s camp in Russia’s Far East has been arrested after a tent fire claimed the lives of four children.
Ethnic Armenian In Russian Border Guard Service Found Hanged In Armenia
Armenian police are investigating the death of a 30-year-old Russian border guard stationed in Armenia.
Eight Arrested, One Hospitalized After Soccer Fans Clash With Police In Russia
Eight people were arrested and one person hospitalized after fans of the Spartak Moscow soccer team clashed with riot police inside the stadium of host FC Rostov in the eponymous city of Rostov-on-…
Report Links Putin’s Purported Daughter To Landmark Russian Cancer Center Project
A woman reported to be the elder daughter of Russian President Vladimir Putin has been identified as a co-owner of a company that has a state tender to build what is planned to be Russia’s largest …
Kelp Is On The Way: A Green Business On Russia’s White Sea
There’s little work to be found in the dying villages of northwest Russia’s Solovetsky Islands. But there’s a rich crop of kelp just under the surface of the White Sea, and the farmers who harvest it say it’s a tough but viable business.
Russia Claims It Will Be ‘Competitive’ In 2020 Olympics Despite Doping Issues
A year ahead of the opening of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Russia’s sports minister says his country will be “competitive” at the event despite the sports-doping issues that have disrupted the team in recent years.
Russian, U.S., Italian Troika Lift Off For Space Station On Apollo Anniversary
A trio of Russian, American, and Italian astronauts has blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in a Russian spacecraft bound for the International Space Station (ISS) in low-Earth o…
Slap Shots: NHL Star’s Criticism Of Putin Is Rare For Russian Athletes
Russian President Vladimir Putin not only boasts of being a serious athlete, but cozies up with them as well, and few Russian athletes criticize him. Until now. NHL star Artemi Panarin recently fir…
Harari lets Russians delete Putin’s lies from translation of his book – Haaretz – news world | UNIAN
A section from a book by Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari discussing lies told by Russian President Vladimir Putin was omitted from the Russian translation of “21 Lessons for the 21st Century.” That part of the book was instead replaced by a section on U.S. President Donald Trump, a change made with the author’s permission, Haaretz reports. In a section of the book about the “post-truth” era, the Russian translation omitted paragraphs relating to the 2014 occupation of the Crimean Peninsula and the initial claims made by Putin and other officials that no Russian soldiers had been sent there. The paragraphs were replaced by a reference to Trump, who Harari claims has made 6,000 false public statements since assuming the presidency. Read more on UNIAN:

Central Asia / Caucasus Reports



Window on Eurasia — New Series: Is Turkmenistan about to Become a Hotspot and Thus a New Focus of Russian Attention?
Paul Goble Staunton, July 18 – No former Soviet republic attracts less attention in Moscow than Turkmenistan, an almost hermetically sealed dictatorship that rivals North Korea in restricting information about itself from reaching the outside world. But now a British report about that country has prompted Russian commentators to worry about it far more than in the past. Earlier this week, London’s Foreign Policy Centre released a 42-page report suggesting that Turkmenistan is “on the edge of catastrophe” with hyperinflation, hunger and corruption opening the way for the influx of radical elements from Afghanistan and the Middle East ( That report was picked up by Al Jazeera (, and that coverage in turn attracted the attention of Ivan Abakumov and Oksana Borisova of Moscow’s Vzglyad newspaper who argue that “Turkmenistan can become a new problem for Russia” ( They cite Russian experts like Andrey Serenko who says that he thinks that the British report is accurate and that the situation in Turkmenistan is “close to critical.” Its regime is clearly in trouble and the country may well be entering “the most dramatic period of its history,” one whose outcome is far from clear. “The existing authorities there are still saved only by one thing – the obvious growth of protest attitudes has still not been transformed into active protests,” the result of the political culture of the Turkmens and the immensely powerful security structures that the regime has put in place to defend itself. But now those may not be enough given both the domestic economic problems and the fact that outside actors ranging from the Islamic State to the Western powers are interested in the country as “one of the international transport corridors.” They will take actions, Serenko says; and consequently, Russia must as well.
Kyrgyzstan’s Embattled Ex-President Scores, With An Assist From Putin
Former Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev could have been headed to prison. But a trip to Moscow looks to have gained him some public support from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who called for a…
Kyrgyzstan’s Embattled Atambaev Leaves For Moscow From Russian Air Base Aboard Private Jet
Former Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev, who faces five counts of criminally abusing his office when he held power from 2011 to 2017, has left Kyrgyzstan aboard a private jet headed to Moscow.
UAWire – Armenia expects Su-30SM fighters and other ‘military surprises’ from Russia
Armenian Defense Minister David Tonoyan said that Armenia expects supplies of Su-30SM fighters and other &quot;military surprises&quot; from Russia, …

Belarus Reports



Shunned by West and Wary of Russia, Belarus Gets Help From China – The New York Times
A Chinese battery plant has raised the ire of some residents, but Belarus, like Russia, needs the economic lifeline and cannot expect much help from Europe.
Flexible Stagnation: How Lukashenka Has Held On To Power For 25 Years In Belarus
It’s been 25 years since Alyaksandr Lukashenka was first sworn in as president of Belarus on July 20, 1994. How has he managed to rule a poor country in a perilous geopolitical position for so long — and what might the future hold as he prepares for a sixth presidential term next year?
Belarusian Diplomat Shot In Turkey, Said To Be In Critical Condition
A Belarusian diplomat serving in Turkey is in critical condition after his neighbor shot and wounded him in the country’s capital city of Ankara.
Belarus diplomat shot in Ankara – news world | UNIAN
Belarusian diplomat was shot and wounded by his neighbor in the Turkish capital Ankara late on Wednesday, Ankara’s governor said, adding that the shooter had later committed suicide. The diplomat was taken to a hospital and was receiving treatment, while his attacker committed suicide.

Transnistria / Moldova Reports



Outrage After Moldovan Priest Drives With Dog Chained To Bumper
Tens of thousands of Moldovans have signed a petition calling for the authorities to punish a priest after he appeared in a social-media post apparently dragging a dog on a chain hooked to his car.
Petition · Cerem judecarea lui Ghenadie Valuță pentru cruzime față de animale. ·



Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports



Trump’s Syria envoy talks with Turkish officials in Ankara amid military threats | TheHill
The Trump administration’s envoy for Syria was in the Turkish capital earlier this week for talks aimed at setting up a safe zone in northeast Syria as the NATO ally threatens to launch a military operation into the area.
Syria: 1,000 U.S. troops still deployed in Syria months after last ISIS-held territory was liberated – CBS News
CBS News is traveling with Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East
Turkey has ‘no patience left’ with U.S. on Syria safe zone – Reuters
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday that new U.S. proposals for a safe zone in northern Syria fall short and Turkey was running out of patience as Washington appears to be stalling in efforts to seal an agreement.
Shocking image from Syria shows girl, 5, clinging to sister’s T-shirt at bombed building | Fox News
A shocking photo from Syria published Wednesday shows a father in agony as his 5-year-old daughter clings to her younger sister’s T-shirt while surrounded by rubble from an airstrike.
Syrian airstrike aftermath photo shows girl saving sister – CNN
This desperate moment is captured in a grainy image taken on Wednesday in the Syrian town of Ariha, Idlib province, by local media activist group SY24. It reveals the aftermath of an airstrike conducted by Syrian government forces, backed by Russia. Not pictured is their mother, who died in the attack.
UAWire – Russian S-300 systems in Syria attacked for the first time
Forces in opposition to Bashar al-Assad’s regime have attacked the S-300 “Favorite” anti-air missile systems, Al Masdar News reports. The attack was made using Grad missiles on 21 July. The S-300s are located near the city of Masyaf in the Hama province. Spokespersons for the Syrian army said that the attack had been repelled using anti-air defense systems located in the Tartus province. The S-300s themselves were unaffected. Experts observe that this is the first missile strike that specifically targeted the S-300 systems that have been delivered to Bashar al-Assad. Previously it was reported that three S-300 systems had been stationed in the Masyaf region, where the Iranians and members of Hezbollah have a research institute where they are working on improved missile technology. In April this year, the region was hit by an Israeli missile strike. The Israeli satellite imagery company ImageSat Intl. said that one of the facilities targeted in the attack was a missile upgrade factory. The analysts believe that this was a factory to improve Iranian surface-to-surface missiles and increase their precision. ImageSat published “before and after” photos of the facility from 12 and 13 April. Not far from the factory, the Israeli satellites located S-300 systems and a single S-400 system, apparently protecting the military facility. Israeli officials have not commented on the reports of a missile strike in Syria. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel “is continuing to act on all fronts, including the northern front”.
Benjamin Netanyahu to become Israel’s longest-serving PM
Benjamin Netanyahu will make history Saturday when he surpasses Israel’s founding father David Ben-Gurion as the country’s longest-serving prime minister.

Donald Trump defies Congress over arms sales to Saudi Arabia | World | The Times
President Trump has vetoed attempts by Congress to block arms exports to Saudi Arabia over its involvement in the civil war in Yemen.Mr Trump overrode technical resolutions by the House of Representatives that would have prevented him from allowing $8.1 billion of sales under 22 different US company
Trump Vetoes Bipartisan Resolutions Blocking Arms Sales to Gulf Nations – The New York Times
Lawmakers had tried to send an angry message to the president over his attempts to bypass them, but they do not expect to have the votes to override the veto.
Donald Trump vetoes bills prohibiting arms sales to Saudi Arabia | US news | The Guardian
Arms package includes thousands of precision-guided munitions and aircraft maintenance support
Trump vetoes 3 bills prohibiting arms sales to Saudi Arabia – CNNPolitics
President Donald Trump has vetoed three joint resolutions prohibiting arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the White House announced Wednesday, rejecting an attempt by congressional lawmakers to halt the controversial weapons transfers.
Pakistan wants to create a self-reliant, self-sustained defense industry
The Pakistani government is promoting aims to increase public-private cooperation. But the private sector is skeptical.
The Army’s Failure to Train and Equip Troops in Afghanistan – The New York Times
The recent deaths of U.S. service members in Afghanistan are part of a larger issue resulting from the Pentagon’s struggle to contend with multiple wars and new global threats at once.




Why North Korea is escalating missile tests and how Trump should respond
President Trump must warn Kim Jong Un that new missile tests won’t earn any relief from American sanctions. The need is newly urgent following the North Korean leader’s latest missile tests on Thursday.
North Korean Missile Test Seen As Pressure Tactic Aimed At U.S. : NPR
The test of short-range missiles — one of which may be a new design — is seen as a pressure tactic on Washington as Pyongyang warns against a resumption of U.S.-South Korea military exercises.
N. Korea says missile test was ‘solemn warning’ to S. Korea – AOL News
The message in the country’s state media quoted Kim Jong Un and was directed at “South Korean military warmongers.”
North Korea says launch was a ‘warning’ – CNN
North Korea says the two new short-range ballistic missiles it launched Thursday toward the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan, were intended to send a warning to South Korea.
North Korea’s not-so-new sub could be a game changer
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has reportedly inspected a new submarine, but how new the vessel actually is remains uncertain.
North Korea Shows Off Advanced New Submarine – WSJ
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un examined a new submarine that experts believe could carry multiple missiles, including those with nuclear capabilities, in Pyongyang’s latest display of military strength as denuclearization talks with Washington remain gridlocked.
Close analysis of Kim Jong Un’s new nuclear-missile submarine reveals it’s bound for a suicide mission | Business Insider
North Korea on Monday recalled the days of “fire and fury” by releasing images of leader Kim Jong Un touring a suspected nuclear-capable submarine, and a close reading of the images reveal once again that a US fight with North Korea could mean death for millions in the region, and suicide for Pyongyang, the country’s capital.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects new submarine that could potentially threaten US – ABC News
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspected a newly built submarine on Tuesday as North Korean and U.S. negotiators wait to return to the bargaining table.
North Korea: Kim Jong Un’s new submarine, possible ballistic missile
The new submarine which was built under the “special attention” of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, state news agency KCNA says.
Kim Jong Un seen beside apparent submarine in state media photographs – CNN
North Korean state media released images Tuesday of leader Kim Jong Un inspecting what appeared to be a submarine under construction.
Leaked documents reveal Huawei’s secret operations to build North Korea’s wireless network – The Washington Post
The company, which faces growing scrutiny and suspicion, worked with another Chinese firm to funnel equipment across the border for nearly a decade, internal documents say.
Kim Jong Un’s former chef feared detained for ‘betrayal’ pictured making sushi for UK ambassador | Fox News
The rumors that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s former sushi chef was arrested were cleared up on Tuesday after British Ambassador to the country shared a photograph with him.
North Korea’s economy contracts by most in 21 years: report | Fox News
International sanctions and drought shrunk North Korea’s economy by the most in 21 years in 2018, South Korea’s central bank said Friday, according to a report.
South Korean nationals aboard Russian ship detained by North Korea
North Korea has been holding a Russian fishing ship carrying two South Korean nationals since July 17, after the vessel drifted into waters off eastern North Korea due to a mechanical problem, Seoul’s Unification Ministry said Wednesday. The 300-ton red crab fishing vessel, Xiang Hai Lin 8, which sails under the flag of Russia, was apprehended at sea by North Korea authorities and moved to the port city of Wons…
Diplomats working for release of Russian ship, detained by North Korea – Russian Politics & Diplomacy – TASS
The Russian-flagged fishing vessel has 17 crew members on board
South Korean Jets Fire At Russian Military Plane : NPR
The skirmish occurred over disputed islands in the East China Sea during a joint China-Russia air patrol Tuesday morning.

China takes aim at U.S., Taiwan in military blueprint – The Washington Post
Beijing said it would not hesitate to go to war to prevent ‘separation’ of the self-ruled island.
China’s National Defense in the New Era – Ministry of National Defense
The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China released a white paper titled “China’s National Defense in the New Era” on Wednesday. Preface Today, with their interests and security intertwined, people across the world are becoming members of a community with a shared future. China is at a critical stage of completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and embarking on the new journey of building a modernized socialist country in an all-round way. Socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era. The Chinese government is issuing China’s National Defense in the New Era to expound on China’s defensive national defense policy and explain the practice, purposes and significance of China’s efforts to build a fortified national defense and a strong military, with a view to helping the international community better understand China’s national defense.
The U.S. Could Lose a War With China – The Atlantic
It’s not that the Chinese Communist Party would take over Washington. But in its own region, China has the advantage.
South China Sea: China ready for war to stop US helping Taiwan | World | News |
CHINA warned it is ready for war to ensure it retains sovereignty over Taiwan after accusing the US of undermining global stability as the two nations grow closer.
US warship crosses through Taiwan Strait after China says US using ‘power politics’ | Fox News
The U.S. Navy said Wednesday it sailed a warship through the Taiwan Strait between Taiwan and mainland China one day after Beijing said the United States is undermining global stability through “power politics.”
U.S. warship sails through Taiwan Strait, stirs tensions with China – Reuters
China expressed “deep concerns” on Thursday over a U.S. Navy warship sailing through the Taiwan Strait, a day after Beijing warned that it was ready for war if Taiwan moved toward independence.
US Navy sails warship through Taiwan Strait as Beijing issues warning – CNNPolitics
The US Navy sailed a warship through the Taiwan Strait Wednesday, a move that came on the same day Beijing warned that it would not rule out using force against self-governed Taiwan to block any move toward formal independence.
China-Russia joint exercise sends a message to Washington
An unprecedented joint China-Russia bomber patrol over disputed territory off the coast of South Korea and Japan was a &quot;massive development&quot; in their bid to challenge US influence in the region, analysts said Wednesday. The joint patrol caused outcry from Washington’s two main allies in
PACOM: China Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile Tests a Signal to US, World
China recently tested a new anti-ship ballistic missile, firing six missiles into the South China Sea, the commander of the Indo-Pacific Command said.
U.S. Accuses China of ‘Bullying’ in South China Sea Oil Activity – Bloomberg
The U.S. said it’s concerned about reports of China’s interference with offshore oil and gas activities by Vietnam in the South China Sea, saying Beijing is threatening regional energy security.
U.S. State Department says concerned by reports of Chinese interference in South China Sea – Reuters
The U.S. State Department said on Saturday it is concerned by reports of China’s interference with oil and gas activities in the South China Sea, including Vietnam’s long-standing exploration and production activities.
Vietnam demands China withdraw vessel from South China Sea | News | Al Jazeera
Reports suggest large-scale standoff between several coastguard ships from each country near the Spratly Islands.
South China Sea latest World War 3 news: Vietnam condemn Beijing for oil vessel | World | News |
SOUTH CHINA SEA tensions have erupted after Vietnam ordered Beijing to withdraw from the controversial waters.
UAWire – China sends soldiers to Russia for ‘army games’
China’s People’s Liberation Army is sending soldiers to Russia to participate in the International Army Games 2019 which will be held in Russia …
A New Red Scare Is Reshaping Washington – The New York Times
A long-defunct Cold War group has come back to life to warn of the dangers of China. They also risk triggering a new Red Scare.
America’s defense export strategy is key to deterrence in the Indo-Pacific region
American foreign military sales should align with the broader objective of deterring China without unnecessarily risking escalation or alienation of partners.
FBI Director Names China the Nation’s Most ‘Severe Counterintelligence Threat’ – Defense One
Russia also shows no signs of stopping its election interference efforts ahead of 2020, Christopher Wray told lawmakers.
Xi Jinping Is a Jealous God
Early this year, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party ordered the destruction of a large Buddhist statue that had been carved into a cliff face in Hebei Province. The 190-foot-high statue of Guanyin, the goddess of compassion, had attracted up to ten thousand worshipers per day. The official excuse was that the Chicom regime objected to the commercialization of Buddhism; the reality is that they were jealous of a belief system that doesn’t involve the Chinese Communist Party. As Mussolini said, “everything within the state, nothing outside the state.” From a Chinese interlocutor who has escaped the open-air prison that is current-day China: A couple of years ago I began to suspect that Xi and company are trying to create a new religion in China, yes, a religion in the true sense of the word — an absolute, omnipotent, omnipresent metaphysical Deism. The new religion didn’t start from nowhere. It started from the Chinese Communist Party’s ever more feverish self-glorification and the personal cult of Xi Jinping. It’s telling the Chinese people what a wonderful feat is being accomplished to make China the greatest, the most powerful and most envied (or feared) country of the world, all thanks to the wonderful leadership of the CCP and its genius leader Xi Jinping. China shows the way the rest of the world will follow, and in the long run only China, under the leadership of the CCP, can save the world from any global disaster. The horrible destruction of Christian and Buddhist symbols throughout China is so bizarre it can only be understood in the context of the attempt to create a religion worshiping the CCP. The Chicoms are old-style communists in the Stalinist tradition. The Sino-Soviet split in 1960 was due to Khrushchev’s renunciation of Stalinism.

Trump: U.S. had ‘very good talk’ with China; in-person talks may follow – Reuters
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin had a very good talk with his Chinese counterpart, amid signals from China that officials could soon meet face-to-face in their bid to end a yearlong trade war.
Xi Ally Zhong Emerges From Shadows as U.S. Trade Talks Restart – Bloomberg
The differences on substance are vast and the mistrust between the two sides high. Yet one of the biggest questions hanging over U.S.-China trade talks as negotiators prepare for the resumption of face-to-face talks in Shanghai next week is over the new prominence of an old China trade hand.
Trade war forces dozens of US firms to move factories out of China
More than 50 multinational companies are moving production out of China or considering it because of President Trump’s tariffs, but that doesn’t mean they’re coming to America.
China scrambles to stem manufacturing exodus as 50 companies leave – Nikkei Asian Review
TOKYO/SHANGHAI — China is racing to keep foreign enterprises in-country, dangling special benefits so that the advantages of staying outweigh the hea
China Needs New Places to Sell Its Mountain of Stuff – The New York Times
Faced with severe factory overcapacity at home and tariffs on exports to the U.S., Beijing wants to finish a much-delayed Asian free-trade pact.
Chinese Money in the U.S. Dries Up as Trade War Drags On – The New York Times
Tougher regulations and uncertainty about tariffs have made America less friendly for foreign investment.

China tells U.S. to remove ‘black hands’ from Hong Kong – Reuters
China accused U.S. officials on Tuesday of being behind violent protests in Hong Kong and advised them to remove their “black hands” from the territory.
Trump attacks ‘socialists’ at home, but in Hong Kong he just sided with the Communists – The Washington Post
Trump all but offered Xi Jinping an invitation to crack down on a movement that is fighting for liberal values.
Hong Kong police make ‘largest ever’ seizure of explosives on eve of protest – CNN
Police in Hong Kong have seized what is thought to be the largest ever cache of high-powered explosives uncovered in the city, in a raid Friday night on a suspected bomb-making factory.
Thousands in pro-police rally as Hong Kong braces for another mass protest – Reuters
Tens of thousands gathered in Hong Kong on Saturday to voice support for the police and call for an end to violence, after a wave of protests against an extradition bill triggered clashes between police and activists and plunged the city into crisis.
Trump is missing an opportunity in Hong Kong | TheHill
The United States may be missing an opportunity not just to express its values but to achieve its economic goals.
Heckled BBC reporter dismisses fake news claim – BBC News
Stephen McDonell was reporting live from a pro-China rally, ahead of more pro-democracy protests in the city.
Hong Kong police find large cache of explosives ahead of weekend protests: Reports – ABC News
The discovery came on the eve of the latest of ongoing protests, in part calling for the resignation of the city’s chief executive, Carrie Lam.
Hong Kong at a Standstill as Protesters Return to the Streets – WSJ
Hundreds of thousands marched through city streets as unrest stretched into a seventh weekend, with crowds registering their support for both sides in a political battle sparked by a proposed extradition law.
Hong Kong protests: Carrie Lam accused over attacks on train passengers | News | The Times
Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, was accused of colluding with criminals after suspected Triad gang members violently attacked train travellers following an anti-government protest.Ms Lam denied claims that Hong Kong police turned a blind eye to the attack in which white-clad men used sticks
Mob Attack at Hong Kong Train Station Heightens Seething Tensions in City – The New York Times
A group of club-wielding attackers apparently targeted people, including a pro-democracy lawmaker, who had participated in antigovernment protests, leaving dozens injured.
Hong Kong’s Lam Faces Torrid Questioning After Political Clash – YouTube
Bloomberg Politics Published on Jul 22, 2019 Jul.22 — Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam has decried a night of violence in the city as police clashed with protesters. She says the government wants to find the root cause of the public’s anger. Yesterday, police fired tear gas to clear the streets around the China Liaison office after demonstrators surrounded the building and defaced the national emblem at the building’s entrance. Bloomberg’s Karen Leigh reports on “Bloomberg Markets: European Open.”
Apple Shuts Hong Kong Stores Early as Fears of Lawlessness Rise – WSJ
Tech giant Apple shut its stores early citywide on Monday, as fears of escalating violence and spiraling lawlessness linked to weekslong protests spurred concern among businesses and the public.
Former U.S. Envoy Says America Should Defend Hong Kong – Bloomberg
America’s recently departed envoy warns that Beijing poses a dire threat to the city’s cherished freedoms. 
China’s State Media Show Hong Kong Protest Images, Fanning Public Anger – WSJ
China’s state media aired images from the aftermath of Hong Kong’s latest antigovernment protests, a change in tack that appears aimed at fanning public anger against the demonstrations, as Beijing signaled support for a stronger crackdown by authorities in the city.
China threatens military action in Hong Kong | World | The Times
The Chinese military said this morning that it is “closely following” developments in Hong Kong and it could be deployed at the request of the territory’s government after a series of mass protests that have rocked the city and sparked a broader movement against the influence of Beijing. The stark w
China Hints at Use of Force in Hong Kong and Says U.S. Is Undermining Stability – The New York Times
In a new defense strategy, Beijing warned against efforts to divide the country, citing support for independence for Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own.
Beijing suggests it could mobilize troops in Hong Kong if necessary
China’s defense ministry on Wednesday indicated that the People’s Liberation Army could be deployed in Hong Kong as protests continue in the semi-autonomous city.
China’s internet trolls target Hong Kong protesters — Quartz
The aim of the campaign is to “support Hong Kong police and condemn some of the Hong Kong rioters for insulting the Chinese emblem,” says the group.
Hong Kong protests: As police face public anger, some would rather be on the other side. – The Washington Post
The force has become isolated and embattled amid rising protest tensions and violence. 
Why Hong Kong’s young protesters feel they’re running out of time to fight for democracy – CNN
When protesters in Hong Kong targeted the Chinese government’s headquarters in the city, social media users in China were united in outrage.
What Is the Chinese Military Doing in Hong Kong? – The New York Times
The People’s Liberation Army has kept a low profile in the city since China resumed control. But the recent protests have some fearing it could emerge from the barracks.
Hong Kong mob attack prompts fears of thugs-for-hire – CNN
Six men have been arrested in Hong Kong in connection with a seemingly unprovoked and indiscriminate mob attack that injured 45 people at a metro station on Sunday night and outraged a city not used to such violent scenes.
Chinese official urged Hong Kong villagers to drive off protesters before violence at train station – Reuters
A week before suspected triad gang members attacked protesters and commuters at a rural Hong Kong train station last Sunday, an official from China’s representative office urged local residents to drive away any activists.

Li Peng, hated figure of Tiananmen crackdown, is dead — Quartz
Li Peng, the premier of China from 1987 to 1998 who was also known as “the Butcher of Beijing,” has died.
Li Peng: Former Chinese premier known as ‘Butcher of Beijing’ dies at 90 – BBC News
Li was best known for backing the use of force against protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Xinjiang’s Uyghurs didn’t choose to be Muslim, new Chinese report says – CNN
China has delved back centuries in an attempt to justify its alleged mass detention of up to two million Uyghurs and other minorities in the far-western region of Xinjiang.
China denies Uighurs’ Turkic descent and says ‘hostile forces’ trying to split country | World news | The Guardian
The government said ‘hostile forces’ wanted to break China apart and called the region of Xinjiang an ‘inseparable’ part of China

China won’t rule out force in reuniting Taiwan with mainland | Fox News
The Chinese government said Wednesday it will not rule out the use of force and vowed to take all necessary military measures in efforts to reunite Taiwan with the mainland.
China Eyes Cambodia For Its Military Operations, But PM Denies Report : NPR
Prime Minister Hun Sen called the report, which appeared Sunday in The Wall Street Journal, “made up news.” The report cited unnamed U.S. officials.
China is slowly expanding its power in Africa, one TV set at a time – CNN
In China, few people have heard of StarTimes. But in Africa, the Chinese company is helping villages switch from analog to digital television and exerting China’s power along the way.
Pacifist constitution reform at stake as Japan goes to polls – Reuters
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling bloc was forecast to win a solid majority in an upper house election on Sunday that could determine whether his dream of revising the post-war, U.S.-drafted pacifist constitution can be kept alive.
Shinzo Abe Appears to Be Headed to Victory and Place in History as Polls Close in Japan – The New York Times
If Mr. Abe’s party wins a majority in the Upper House of Parliament on Sunday, he could soon become the country’s longest-serving prime minister.
South Korea to build ship for short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing aircraft
South Korea is to launch a new version of a large-deck landing ship, amid naval buildups in China and Japan.
Why China is challenging Australia for influence over the Pacific Islands – CNN
To many, the Pacific Islands are remote holiday destinations. To China and Australia, they’re the scene of a show down.
Australia sets up military force in battle with China for Pacific influence | World | The Times
Australia will create a military force aimed at countering growing Chinese influence in the Pacific, the defence minister announced today.The unit will include an expeditionary training force to work alongside South Pacific nations such as Fiji, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea and will provide increase
Trump to host state dinner for Australian prime minister | Fox News
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump are hosting an official visit and state dinner in September for the prime minister of Australia.

An Old Feud Between American Allies Rattles Tech Giants’ Supply Chains – WSJ
A trade feud between Japan and South Korea, two of the world’s leading tech producers, has prompted groups representing Silicon Valley giants to warn an escalation could wreak long-term damage across an already-buckling global supply chain.
Trump Bemoans Request to ‘Get Involved’ in Seoul-Tokyo Dispute – Bloomberg
Donald Trump said South Korean President Moon Jae-in had asked for his help mediating a dispute with Japan’s government, and bemoaned the fresh demand on his time.
South Korea-Japan trade war threatens to disrupt the global tech industry – CNN
The South Korea and Japan spat could become a trade war, upending a relationship worth $80 billion and threatening the global supply chain for smartphones and electronic devices.
How Smaller States are Choosing Sides in the Indian Ocean – Defense One
From Sri Lanka to Kenya, governments try to balance major-power influence — except in arms purchases.
South Korea and Japan on white list of minimum trade restrictions
South Korea said on Wednesday a Japanese plan to remove South Korea from a Japanese list of countries that face minimum trade restrictions would impose tougher conditions without legitimate grounds and consultation.
Japan-South Korea slanging match over tiny islands dragged again into Olympic arena – Reuters
A war of words over ownership of a group of tiny islands in the sea between Japan and South Korea spilled over to the Olympics on Wednesday as Tokyo criticized Seoul’s complaint over a map of Japan on the Tokyo Games website.
Japan restricts trade to South Korea as hostility grows | World | The Times
South Korea has pleaded with Japan not to impose trade restrictions in an increasingly bitter dispute about wartime slave labour as the two countries also fell out over a map designed for the Tokyo Olympics.Japan rejected complaints about the map — on a website for next year’s summer games — that us

Foreign Policy Reports



Churchill, Orwell And The Fight Against Totalitarianism | Fresh Air Archive: Interviews with Terry Gross
Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Tom Ricks says the writings of Winston Churchill and George Orwell still resonate today. Ricks also discusses the generals serving in the Trump administration.
Max Weber Diagnosed His Time and Ours
One hundred years later, Max Weber’s “Politics as a Vocation” remains a guide for the increasingly wretched and disruptive events now unfolding in our own time and place. In early 1919, Germany risked becoming a failed state. Total war had morphed into a civil war that pitted revolutionaries against reactionaries, internationalists against nationalists, and civilians against soldiers. Munich was the bloodiest arena: over a few short months, the city was ruled by a Bavarian king, a socialist prime minister, and a Soviet republic. The first was overthrown, the second murdered, and supporters of the third slaughtered. “Everything is wretched, and everything is bloody,” Victor Klemperer, a professor at the University of Munich, wrote in his diary, “and you always want to laugh and cry at once.” These events framed the much-anticipated lecture “Politics as a Vocation” that Klemperer’s colleague Max Weber gave that same year. One hundred years later, there are few better texts to serve as a guide for the increasingly wretched and violent events now unfolding in our own time and place. In particular, Weber’s discussion of the charismatic politician, as well as his distinction between the ethics of conviction and the ethics of responsibility, has perhaps even greater relevance in our own era than in his.
Reflections on the end of the century | The New Criterion
On how we view the crimes of Communism
Globalization Isn’t Dying, It’s Just Evolving
For good or bad, we are more exposed to a global culture of ideas than we have ever been. And we are only becoming more global as a result.
UN Nuclear Watchdog Appoints Romanian Diplomat As Acting Chief After Amano’s Death
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has appointed Romanian diplomat Cornel Feruta as acting director-general until a new chief for the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog is chosen following…

Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt will replace Theresa May as Britain’s PM
Britain’s next leader will either be Boris Johnson, regarded as an eccentric populist, or Jeremy Hunt, who has a reputation as a steady pair of hands.
Factbox: Incoming UK PM Johnson’s stance on Iran, Trump, Huawei and the economy – Reuters
Former foreign minister Boris Johnson was elected leader of Britain’s governing Conservative Party on Tuesday, and will take over as prime minister when Theresa May steps down on Wednesday.
Boris Johnson should call a general election before it is forced upon him | News | The Times
It’s not advice Boris Johnson will want to hear, and he may not heed it, but this is what I think he should do. Within a month he should call a general election
Boris Johnson will be the new prime minister | News | The Times
Boris Johnson has won the Tory leadership race and will replace Theresa May as prime minister. Mr Johnson beat Jeremy Hunt in a ballot of Tory members, securing 92,513 votes compared with 46,656 for Mr Hunt. The announcement was made just after noon today at the Queen Elizabeth 2 conference centre
Tory leadership: Boris Johnson set to be named new prime minister amid Brexit mutiny | Daily Mail Online
Barring a last-minute shock, Boris Johnson will be named as the new Conservative leader at 11.45am following a bruising six-week contest against rival Jeremy Hunt.
SNP considers bill to change no-deal Brexit default – BBC News
The party’s Ian Blackford says cross-party talks have identified a way of stopping a no-deal Brexit.
Boris Johnson’s win brings Brexit Party voters back to Tory fold | News | The Times
The Conservatives have picked up voters from the Brexit Party since the election of Boris Johnson but lost support to the Liberal Democrats.A Times/YouGov poll conducted over the past 24 hours in the wake of Mr Johnson’s election as Conservative leader put the Tories on 25 points, the LibDems on 23
Boris Johnson: New PM to form government after taking office – BBC News
The new Conservative leader will make key appointments after taking office, as Theresa May bows out.
Editorial: Will Boris Johnson become the third Conservative prime minister to be undone by Brexit? – Los Angeles Times
Boris Johnson must be willing to compromise on Brexit.
Boris Johnson to Take Leadership of a Britain in Deep Crisis – The New York Times
Promising Brexit, the new Conservative Party leader will take over with less political clout than just about any prime minister since World War II.
Boris Johnson’s cabinet carnage | News | The Times
Johnson has reassembled the team that won the Brexit vote three years ago after conducting the most brutal cabinet clear-out in modern political history on his first day in Downing Street.Britain’s new prime minister last night handed no-deal preparations to Michael Gove and brought Dominic Cummings
Donald Tusk’s 12-word letter to Boris Johnson sets tone for Brexit battles ahead | News | The Times
The EU is braced for a no deal Brexit after Boris Johnson’s first speech as prime minister and the appointment of hardline cabinet ministers who are regarded with hostility in Brussels. Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, sent his shortest letter of congratulations to the new Briti
Boris Johnson: preparing for no-deal Brexit is top priority | News | The Times
Boris Johnson has said that preparing for a no-deal Brexit is a “top priority” as he used his first prime ministerial address to the Commons to warn the EU that the Irish backstop must be “abolished”. He said that preparations for a no-deal Brexit will have to be “turbo-charged” as he urged the Euro
Boris Johnson overhauls cabinet on first day as PM – BBC News
Mr Johnson says the “buck stops with me” as he gives leading cabinet roles to fellow Brexiteers.
Boris Johnson’s Brexit Hard Line Could Force Europe to Compromise – Bloomberg
By committing to a come-what-may strategy, Britain’s new leader could force Europe to compromise. 
New PM Boris Johnson is already spilling about talks with the queen
Twitter fantasized about whether Queen Elizabeth II could say “no” to Boris Johnson as her next and 14th prime minister. Answer: She can’t.
Who is Carrie Symonds? Boris Johnson’s partner could make history by moving into 10 Downing Street. – The Washington Post
British media have been in a frenzy over whether Johnson and Symonds will become the first unmarried couple to occupy the storied residence.
Britain gets new defense secretary amid mass leadership shuffle
The former Defence Ministry boss was sacked after the new prime minister took office. She held the job for only 85 days.
Boris Johnson: Relationship with Trump will be ‘sensational’, says top diplomat – BBC News
The US and UK leaders have a “lot in common”, the American ambassador in London says.
Brexit latest: US Ambassador ‘looking optimistically to the future’ under Boris Johnson’s premiership
The UK will be at &quot;the front of the line&quot; if it seeks a free trade deal with America, the US Ambassador to the UK has said.
EU rebuffs Johnson as Brexit showdown looms | News | Al Jazeera
EU negotiator rejects ‘unacceptable’ demands by new UK PM, urges member states to ‘stay calm, show unity’.
Boris Johnson’s blistering Commons debut has sent Labour into meltdown
The PM’s serious election footing should be worrying Corbyn
Carrie Symonds: Think Boris Johnson breaks the mold? Wait until you meet his girlfriend – CNN
Up until now, Johnson’s 31-year-old girlfriend has done a pretty good job of staying out of the media spotlight. Keeping a low profile as the prime minister’s partner will prove more difficult.
Boris Johnson’s Brexit policy ‘unacceptable’ – EU negotiator – BBC News
The EU chief negotiator calls a proposal to scrap the Northern Ireland backstop “unacceptable”.
Donald Trump won’t hold grudge against Boris Johnson, says US ambassador | News | The Times
Donald Trump will “try and move the ball forward” rather than holding a grudge against Boris Johnson for accusing him of “stupefying ignorance”, the US ambassador to the UK has said. Woody Johnson said that the US president will be relaxed about comments the new British prime minister made as Mayor

German Chancellor Merkel expresses ‘solidarity’ with freshman lawmakers after Trump attack – ABC News
Chancellor Merkel answered questions about her health and Germany’s relationship with the US during her annual summer press conference.
Germany honors opponents who tried to assassinate Hitler | Fox News
Germany is marking the 75th anniversary of the most famous plot to kill Adolf Hitler, honoring those who resisted the Nazi regime. The resisters, who were stigmatized for decades as traitors, will be honored as pillars of the country’s modern democracy amid growing concerns about resurgence of the far-right.
Germany honors resisters who tried to assassinate Hitler – ABC News
Get breaking national and world news, broadcast video coverage, and exclusive interviews. Find the top news online at ABC news.
Merkel marks Hitler assassination attempt with anti-extremism appeal – BBC News
The German leader uses the 75th anniversary to call on citizens to counter rising right-wing extremism.
Seventy-five years ago, a suitcase bomb nearly killed Hitler
It’s been 75 years since Adolph Hitler was nearly killed by his aide, Claus von Stauffenberg, using a suitcase bomb in an attempt to end World War II.

The new Italy? Spain’s political crisis has no clear end in sight
Political infighting in Spain could soon lead to another election, which would be its third in three years, raising questions on whether instability has become the new normal for the southern European nation.
Franky Zapata, French Flyboard hero, fails to cross English Channel | CNN Travel
French inventor Franky Zapata failed in his attempt to cross the English Channel on his jet-powered Flyboard, after missing a platform mounted on a boat as he tried to land midway for refueling.
Franky Zapata: Flyboard inventor fails in cross-Channel bid – BBC News
Franky Zapata was hoping to cross from northern France to southern England in just 20 minutes.
Macron’s Belgrade Pivot
French President Emmanuel Macron visited Serbia on July 15, the first such visit of a sitting French head of state since former President Jacques Chirac in 2001, only months after the fall of the regime of former Serbian President Slobodan Milošević. While the international landscape has seen dramatic shifts in the two decades since, including a return of great power politics, the European Union’s attitude toward the Balkans has changed less than many might think. While Serbia and Montenegro have opened EU accession talks with Brussels, the region seems as distant from the EU as ever. France lies at the heart of the EU debate about enlargement to the region, as it is one of the member states most reluctant about opening accession negotiations for candidates North Macedonia and Albania. His reservations are shaped by the opposition to further EU enlargement in the entire French political establishment and the vast majority of voters. Frustratingly for Kosovars, France even opposed visa liberalization for Kosovo, a right that the EU has already extended to rest of the Balkans, as well as countries with far gloomier EU prospects, such as Moldova and Ukraine. As expected, Macron’s visit to Belgrade therefore attracted considerable attention and Serbian media provided live minute-by-minute updates. Many claimed that Macron’s trip marks “the return of France in Balkans,” though many in Belgrade also said the same thing a few years earlier, when former French president François Hollande seemed semi-interested in the region. While Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić clearly basked in the glow of an endorsement by the French president, the Serbian opposition were less than impressed, as they were unable to meet Macron, who claimed that their request “came too late.” Overall, the visit appeared designed to meet a number of broader goals. First, it appeared to be primarily a fence-mending exercise. The trip was heavy on World War One symbolism and marked the centenary of the Armistice. Last year, when Macron invited global leaders to commemorate the ending of World War One in Paris, Kosovar President Hashim Thaçi was placed in the front stands, just behind the leaders of France, Germany, Russia, and the United States. Meanwhile, Vučić was placed in a separate stand across the street, infuriating Serbs, and leading to a French monument in Belgrade being defaced. Months later, when the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris was in flames, Serbian tabloids, in an explosion of schadenfreude, ran stories about how the flames were “God’s punishment” for the flying of the Kosovar flag along with several others during a November ceremony at the cathedral to mark the centenary of the end of World War One. Macron clearly wanted to heal those tensions during his visit, as he gave a very powerful speech remembering Serbian victims during World War One. In many ways, however, the biggest development was the announcement of several defense agreements between the two countries and confirmation that Serbia had purchased French Mistral short-range homing air defense missiles, which are man-portable and highly effective against low-flying aircraft like helicopters. Needless to say, political leaders in Bosnia and Kosovo reacted strongly, especially given Serbia’s recent shopping spree of Russian weaponry. Serbia’s purchase of anti-helicopter missiles is probably more aimed against France’s NATO ally Croatia, however, which in recent years has obtained, through US donations or purchases, dozens of combat helicopters and with whom Serbia is in a real arms race. Thirdly, Macron delivered a clear message on what he expects from Serbia regarding Kosovo: Serbia and Kosovo are both European and they need to make peace. Recalling the words of Umberto Eco, who once said that “the language of Europe is translation,” Macron urged Serbs and Kosovars to translate their past misunderstandings and build a spirit of compromise. Internationally, the statement received a lot of attention and reports suggested that Macron had pledged to restart a dialogue process between Belgrade and Pristina. While this sounds impressive, it is less than clear whether he really has a plan to tackle the big obstacles in any Kosovar-Serbian negotiations. At present, Paris, Berlin, and Washington all agree on the aim of any dialogue: for Kosovo to become a member of the United Nations and Serbia to be offered a realistic chance towards EU membership. The trouble is that they are not on the same page regarding the specifics for how to get there. This mixed messaging has had serious consequences in Kosovo, in particular. While President Thaçi is open to a mutually-agreed demarcation of borders, an idea that Washington has signaled it is willing to support, Kosovar Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj* is vehemently against the proposal, supported by Germany. In between these two poles sits France, which at some points seems open to border changes and at other times opposed. Macron avoided taking a formal position in Belgrade. Instead, he focused on trying to create the conditions for renewed dialogue, which has been suspended since last year, rather than focus on the precise outcome at this stage. In his comments, he vaguely referred to the need for “each party to abstain from unilateral and non-constructive gestures.” This could be read as a call for Kosovo to suspend the 100 percent taxes imposed on Serbian products last autumn. Equally, it could be a request for Serbia to suspend its campaign to prevent Kosovo from joining multilateral organizations. He also added that the present tensions between Kosovo and Serbia “are fueled here and there by external powers that have an interest in making sure no deal is found.” In the days that have followed, some possible details of how talks could resume have emerged. Vučić has stated that he expects the previously scheduled but postponed Paris Balkans summit to unfold in September. Additionally, Blic, a leading Serbian newspaper, has reported that Macron intends to appoint a special envoy for peace talks, which could be a valuable development. Until now, the process has been overseen by the EU’s High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. Both France and Germany have complained, however, that Mogherini was too thinly spread on other global issues and frequently appeared not to have the focus—nor the required staff—to deal with the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue. Importantly, Berlin also seems to be warming to a more active European role in the negotiations. Former German ambassador to the United States Wolfgang Ischinger, the highly-respected chairman of Munich Security Forum, recently argued that since “Serbia and Kosovo have been unable to come up with an ‘indigenous solution’ to the problem…Europe needs to come up with a plan—one it can present with authority to Belgrade and Pristina. And that plan needs to be backed up with determination.” A return to shuttle diplomacy led by France, Germany, and the United States may also be beneficial for the incoming EU high representative, Josep Borrell. As Spanish foreign minister, he currently cannot even acknowledge Kosovo as an independent state, though some believe he will play a far more constructive role than might be expected. Compared to Iran, Ukraine, and North Korea, the Kosovo-Serbia deal is relatively low-hanging fruit for Europe and the United States. If Macron has smelled that the fruit is ripe, his visit to Belgrade may yet be remembered as a turning point for French involvement in the Balkans. A significant problem remains for Macron. Paris may want to co-author a big diplomatic victory in the Balkans, but it has so far been unable to wield the tool that could persuade Kosovo and Serbia to ‘translate their differences’ into compromise: EU accession. The payoff could be big for France, but it must first decide if it is willing to prove that the Balkans truly belong in Europe. *Editor’s note: This piece was written prior to the news of the resignation of Prime minister of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj on July 19, 2019. Petrit Selimi is the former foreign minister of the Republic of Kosovo and a Marshall memorial fellow at German Marshal Fund of United States.

Russia Challenges The U.S.: Putin Willing to Send More Troops to Venezuela
The vice-chancellor of Russia reaffirmed that the troops previously sent to Venezuela have already accomplished their task.
U.S. Sanctions Venezuelan Elites for Alleged Food Corruption Scheme – The New York Times
Three stepsons of President Nicolás Maduro and a Colombian business partner are accused of running a scheme to siphon money meant to feed the country’s starving population.
U.S. sanctions target food subsidy scam in Venezuela, charges businessman – Reuters
The United States imposed sanctions on Thursday on 10 people and 13 groups in a Venezuelan food subsidy scheme the U.S. Treasury said lined the pockets of President Nicolas Maduro, his stepsons and others as ordinary Venezuelans suffer food shortages.
Venezuela crisis: Vast corruption network in food programme, US says – BBC News
The US accuses President Maduro and his allies of profiteering amid acute food shortages.
Venezuela standoff leads to mini arms race as US and Russia sell proxies fighter jets
Colombia is considering buying new F-16 fighter jets from the United States in response to Venezuelan strongman Nicolás Maduro’s partnership with Russia, according to a top U.S. official.
Maduro asks Colombia’s military to ‘disobey’ orders against Venezuela – Reuters
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday called on Colombia’s military to “disobey orders to disrupt Venezuela’s peace,” in the latest sign of deteriorating relations between the neighboring South American countries.
UAWire – Kremlin: Russia has contact with Venezuela’s Juan Guaido
Venezuela’s self-declared interim president Juan Guaido has been trying to contact Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told RT in an interview. He said that Moscow has never ceased its dialog with Venezuela. “We are actively talking to all members of the Venezuelan political landscape – the government, the opposition, we even have people from Juan Guaido coming to us,” he noted. Lavrov said that Moscow has explained to him “the inadmissibility of attempts to resolve internal problems by provoking external intervention”. In Lavrov’s opinion, the situation in Venezuela is now “changing for the better”. Initially there were several associations trying to resolve the Venezuelan crisis. One of them was an international contact group promoted by the European Union. “This contact group was united around what was effectively an ultimatum: we will immediately hold presidential elections again, and then all will be well,” he said. An association with representatives from Bolivia, Mexico, Uruguay and countries from the Caribbean Community proposed dialog between the Venezuelan government and the opposition. “After unsuccessful attempts to externally provoke another ‘color revolution’ there, the situation has now transitioned to what we call the ‘Oslo process’. This is a process aimed to achieve agreements and compromises between the government and the opposition. In other words, common sense is gradually starting to prevail,” Lavrov remarked. He also expressed the hope that an agreement “that makes everyone happy” will be achieved at the end of the negotiation process. “That would be in the interests of the Venezuelan people, first and foremost,” he said. Recently Venezuela’s incumbent president Nicolas Maduro announced that the government was in constant negotiations with the opposition. Norway has been acting as an intermediary between the conflicting sides. Government and opposition representatives engaged in talks in Barbados at the start of July. Maduro, who did not get into the details, said that the discussion had touched on six points that “address all the country’s problems”. Guaido, in turn, said that the goal was to resolve the Venezuelan crisis “once and for all”.
Opposition rallies as Venezuela blackout eases in some areas – Los Angeles Times
Venezuela’s opposition sought to harness anger over a massive blackout that deepened hardship nationwide.
Venezuela’s congress approves mutual defense agreement amid showdown | Miami Herald
Venezuela’s congress approved to reincorporate the country into a hemispheric mutual defense agreement that some hope will open the doors for a military solution to the deep crisis that has two men claiming to be the country’s sole leader.
Venezuelan government blames ‘electromagnetic attack’ for nationwide blackout – CNN
Venezuela is facing its fourth nationwide blackout this year, which officials are blaming on a hostile “electromagnetic attack.”
U.S. Southern Command on Twitter: “1 of 2 JUST RELEASED #Venezuela SU-30 Flanker “aggressively shadowed” a U.S. EP-3 aircraft at an unsafe distance July 19, jeopardizing the crew &amp; aircraft. The EP-3 was performing a multi-nationally recognized &amp; approved mission in international airspace over #CaribbeanSea.” / Twitter
U.S. Southern Command on Twitter: “2 of 2: This action demonstrates #Russia’s irresponsible military support to Maduro’s illegitimate regime &amp; underscores Maduro’s recklessness &amp; irresponsible behavior, which undermines int’l rule of law &amp; efforts to counter illicit trafficking. Pics &amp; vids” / Twitter
DVIDS – Search – Venezuela SU-30 Flanker Aggressively Shadows a U.S. EP-3 Aircraft
Search news, images, audio, and video from military operations around the world on
Venezuelan jet ‘aggressively shadowed’ US military plane: US | Venezuela News | Al Jazeera
Pentagon says its aircraft was in international airspace and the Venezuelan action endangered the safety of the crew.
Venezuela jet shadows U.S. plane: Video shows fighter jet “aggressively” following American EP-3 over Caribbean – CBS News
U.S. Southern Command said that Venezuela’s action demonstrates &quot;reckless&quot; behavior by President Nicolás Maduro​
Video shows Venezuelan fighter jet ‘aggressively shadowed’ U.S. aircraft, Pentagon says
The Russian-made SU-30 Flanker approached the U.S. Navy EP-3 Aries II on Friday at an “unsafe distance” and in an “unprofessional manner,” U.S. Southern Command said.
Venezuelan fighter jet ‘aggressively shadowed’ Navy aircraft over Caribbean Sea, US military says | Fox News
A U.S. Navy intelligence aircraft was “aggressively shadowed” by a Venezuelan fighter jet over the Caribbean Sea on Friday in a move that U.S. officials are calling “unprofessional” and endangered the safety of those on board.
U.S. Plans for Post-Maduro Future With Team to Send to Venezuela – Bloomberg
The U.S. State Department is setting up a 13-person Venezuela unit that will be based in Colombia for now and deploy to Caracas once security allows, as the Trump administration continues to exert pressure on President Nicolas Maduro to step down.
Venezuela Political Chaos Deepens With Third Claim to Presidency – Bloomberg
If Venezuelan politics weren’t convoluted enough, they just got a bit more complicated this week.
U.S. judge orders Peru ex-president Toledo held in jail as extradition sought – Reuters
Former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo, facing extradition from the United States as part of a corruption investigation, was deemed a flight risk by a U.S. judge on Friday and ordered held in jail.



Capability / Strategy / History Publications



The Future of Conflict is Proxy Warfare, Again – Defense One
A new CNA study offers seven lessons from America’s experience with supporting one side from afar.

Fact Check: China ‘Claims’ Massive Breakthrough in Stealth Technology | The National Interest
Here’s why. 
Chinese scientists hail ‘incredible’ stealth breakthrough that may blind military radar systems | South China Morning Post
Researchers at academy of science believe electromagnetic wave model is key that will herald new era in radar detection and avoidance for military ships and aircraft.
Research Progress—-The Institute of Optics And Electronics The chinese Academy of Sciences
Metallic Metasurface: How to Stay Under the Radar? Metallic skin has been widely used in various engineering applications because of its excellent mechanical and physical properties, such as high strength, large flexibility, and good ductility, as well as its high temperature resistance and excellent thermal conductivity. As a typical example, aircraft and ship skins often use metal materials to meet the physical requirements. In stealth technology however the strong reflection of electromagnetic waves by metal is disadvantageous in order to remain undetected. Though radar scattering signal could be reduced by changing the geometries of objects to guide the reflected wave into other directions, shaping the physical geometry is usually undesired due to other physical constraints, such as the compatibility of aero- and hydrodynamics.
China’s engineers in race to build best stealth jet for nation’s aircraft carriers | South China Morning Post
Developers at Chengdu Aerospace working on shorter version of J-20 to make it suitable for use with next generation catapult launch systems, insiders say.
Stealth Hacked? China Claims It Can Find and Destroy the Air Force’s F-22s and F-35s | The National Interest
Is it possible?
An Open Secret: Russia Will Never Become a Stealth Fighter ‘Superpower’ | The National Interest
Why not?
How AI Will Help Radar Detect Tiny Drones 3 Kilometers Away – Defense One
Small drones are becoming a big problem. Here’s how next-generation neural networking techniques could help.

Coming in 2021: The B-21 Raider’s first flight?
Mark your calendars for Dec. 3, 2021. Maybe.
The US Air Force’s Next Generation Air Dominance program is key to mission success
America’s air-superiority capability is exceedingly fragile. Here’s what two readers say must be done.
Need for new F-15s reflects F-35 catastrophe | Fox Business
While it is too late to reverse the errors that led to the current situation, it is not too late to fix the F-35’s problems. 
The F-35 Is Getting a Life-Saving Autopilot Feature
The Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System will prevent the F-35 from crashing into the ground.
Canada’s final solicitation for its next-gen fighter is out. Who will bid for the contract?
Canada plans to announce a winner in 2022.
How many sixth-gen fighter projects is too many? Britain’s defense secretary weighs in.
Some analysts believe the huge cost and possibly small numbers of jets required for the post-2040 battlefield will eventually prohibit the Europeans from running two separate sixth-gen fighter programs.
U.S. Air Force to produce next-generation 2,000-lb. fragmentation bomb – Defence Blog
The U.S. Air Force is moving forward with the next-generation 2,000 lb.-class bombs called BLU-136, according to a Federal Business Opportunities notice. In a notice posted on the Federal website this month, the Air Force Materiel Command announced that the service will issue a pre-solicitation notice/procurement synopsis for the BLU-136/B Next Generation Area Attack – production. The Direct Attack Munitions Branch (AFLCMC/EBDA), Direct Attack Division (AFLCMC/EBD), Armament Directorate (AFLCMC/EB), Eglin AFB, FL, plans to award a multiple award Indefinite-Delivery Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) contract for the production of the BLU-136/B area attack warhead. The Air Force expects to release a request for proposals by July 31 and intends to set-aside the multiple-award contract to small businesses. Interested parties may submit responses to the presolicitation notice through Aug. 2. The U.S. Air Force is developing a new type of bombs as a replacement for cluster munitions, which are being phased out by the Pentagon. Cluster munitions are a type of weapon that has been banned by 102 countries largely because of concerns that they armed and unexploded cluster munitions left on the battlefield pose a long-term hazard to civilians. A 2010 international treaty outlaws the use of cluster bombs, but the U.S. is not a signatory. Although, in practice, the U.S. rarely uses cluster bombs. According to the current information, the BLU-136/B is a 2,000 lb.-class bomb designed to rain down metal fragments on enemy forces as a replacement for cluster munitions, without leaving behind unexploded ordnance. This weapon is four-times the size of the BLU-134/B Improved Lethality Warhead, which is now being put into production. The BLU-134 and BLU-136 are different designs.
Boeing: $85B Competition to Build New ICBMs Favors Northrop Grumman – Defense One
The company says it will sit out if the U.S. Air Force does not change the bidding parameters.
Boeing drops from next-generation ICBM competition
This move leaves Northrop Grumman as the sole bidder in the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program.
How a new missile warning system benefits industry
The Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared program is an early warning missile system that will replace the Space Based Infrared System.

Raytheon unveils interceptor that would defeat Chinese anti-ship missiles – Defence Blog
Tomahawk missile maker Raytheon Co on Monday has released a video showing the capabilities of new self-defense technologies in reference to modern anti-ship missiles. A marketing video released by Raytheon supposedly reveals that the new interceptor, developed in collaboration with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is capable of would take out multiple waves of enemy missiles, and other threats, including Chinese-made modern missile. Video posted on U.S. Defense contractor Raytheon’s Twitter account, show guided rounds that can stop anti-ship missiles which launched from aircraft and ship similar to Chinese H-6 bomber and frigate. The company’s website said the interceptor called the Multi-Azimuth Defense Fast Intercept Round Engagement System, or MAD-FIRES, and designed to defeat simultaneous oncoming cruise missile threats, anti-ship missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as other threats on the same time. Also added that Raytheon Company already successfully tested a hot fire rocket motor for DARPA’s MAD-FIRES. “The Navy is asking for leading-edge capabilities that can take out rapidly approaching targets, and Raytheon’s interceptor for the MAD-FIRES program will deliver,” said Dr. Thomas Bussing, Raytheon Advanced Missile Systems vice president. “This test shows Raytheon is right on track to provide an affordable, advanced technology to the fleet.” If fielded, this capability will combine the speed, rapid fire and depth of a gun weapon system with the precision and accuracy of guided missiles.

U.S. Army accelerates its future long-range assault aircraft program – Defence Blog
The U.S. Army has approved a draft, “abbreviated” capabilities development document for the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft, or FLRAA, intended to support the service branch’s Future Vertical Lift program. The DefenseNews confirmed on Wednesday that the U.S. Army Requirements Oversight Council (AROC) approved aircraft program’s draft capabilities development document. A global magazine about business and technology of defense, DefenseNews, quoting Brig. Gen. Wally Rugen in charge of the service’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) modernization efforts, reported the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) has passed through the gauntlet of the AROC. The FLRAA is a pre-Major Defense Acquisition Program commissioned to develop and field the next generation of affordable vertical lift utility aircraft to the Army. New aircraft, developed under Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft program, to replace some Army’s AH-64 Apache and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. According to FlightGlobal, the US Army wants each aircraft to have an average unit manufacturing cost of $43 million. That’s significantly more than the average unit cost of its current asset, the UH-60M, for which the service paid about $20 million a unit on average in FY2019. The FLRAA helicopter should be equipped with two turboshaft engines, created by General Electric Corporation under the program of the U.S. Army Future Affordable Turbine Engine (FATE) and having a take-off power of more than 5000 hp. For the FLRAA program, the Army team expects to award two vendors next year to create competitive prototypes that will perform a government-sponsored fly-off in 2023, Brig. Gen. Walter Rugen, the team’s director, said in March.
Bell, Boeing position for Australian helicopter gunship program
The government’s acquisition announcement has taken observers by surprise, as it was widely expected that Australia would persist with operating its Tiger fleet for a little while longer.
It ain’t broke, but still fix it: How predicting repairs is transforming maintenance
Conditions-based maintenance has already been tested on C-5M cargo planes and KC-135R tankers at ten bases around the world, and has also been used on the B-1B Lancer bomber.

France’s hoverboard hero, Franky Zapata, to attempt Channel crossing Thursday | CNN Travel
Ferry passengers traveling between England and France should keep their eyes peeled for an unusual sight on Thursday as French inventor Franky Zapata attempts to cross the English Channel on his jet-powered hoverboard.
Inventor to cross English Channel on jet-powered hoverboard | Fox News
The former French military reservist known as the “flying soldier” will attempt to cross the English Channel this week on a jet-powered hoverboard.
Franky Zapata Crashes In Water Trying To Cross English Channel On Hoverboard, : NPR
“It was like flying in a dream,” Franky Zapata said, after his trip across the Channel from northern France ended with a crash into the water.
France’s flyboard hero fails to cross the English Channel – YouTube
FRANCE 24 English Published on Jul 25, 2019 Subscribe to France 24 now:
Jet Engines Strapped to Feet Going 103.4 MPH! In 8K! – YouTube
devinsupertramp Published on Jul 18, 2018 We reached out to our friend Franky Zapata the inventor of the Flyboard Air to make this project happen! Find out more about his rad inventions here: Jet Engines Strapped to Feet Going 103.4 MPH! In 8K!
Flyboard® Air
The Zapata Flyboard Air™ The jet powered personal aerial vehicle, capable of VTOL and unprecedented individual mobility. The Zapata© technology platform is the safest, easiest, lightest, most maneuverable personal aviation system ever created.

Fly Me To The Moon | History Today
In 1961, rattled by Soviet advances in space, President John F. Kennedy declared that, within a decade, the United States would land a man on the Moon. David Baker tells the story of how it took the US Air Force to change NASA and make the dream a reality.
This Plane Could Have Replaced the F-16 Fighter | The National Interest
Imagine this. 
Boeing says it might have to shut down 737 Max production – CNN
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg warned investors Wednesday that the company might need to further slow or temporarily halt its 737 Max production.

IW/EW/IO/Cyber/Social Media Reports



Cyberdeterrence Needs People, Not Weapons – Foreign Policy
Mass mobilization might be the best line of defense in a world of online warfare.
Deepfake videos pose a threat, but ‘dumbfakes’ may be worse
Unlike deepfakes, which require sophisticated artificial intelligence, audio manipulation and facial mapping technology, dumbfakes can be made simply by varying the speed of video or selective editing.
US attorney general says encryption creates security risk
Attorney General William Barr’s comments at a cybersecurity conference mark a continuing effort by the Justice Department to push tech companies to provide law enforcement with access to encrypted devices and applications during investigations.
The Arguments for Weakening Encryption Aren’t Any Better Under Trump – Defense One
Law-enforcement backdoors would still make everyone less safe, even as U.S. officials set their sights on broader access to data.
US attorney general says encryption creates security risk
Attorney General William Barr’s comments at a cybersecurity conference mark a continuing effort by the Justice Department to push tech companies to provide law enforcement with access to encrypted devices and applications during investigations.

US Domestic Policy Reports



Senate confirms Milley as chairman of the Joint Chiefs
Mark Milley has been confirmed as the 20th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Esper confirmed as new defense secretary, ending Pentagon leadership uncertainty
The Pentagon had gone more than 200 days without a permanent leader.
Esper Confirmed As Defense Secretary, Despite Opposition from Some 2020 Dems – Defense One
Tuesday\’s 90-8 vote ends the longest period in history that the Defense Department has gone without a confirmed leader.
Senate committee approves Esper and Milley to lead Pentagon, teeing up final vote
The Senate Armed Services Committee has approved President Trump’s picks to the Pentagon’s top two spots.
How Can Congress Authorize War When It Can’t Decide What War Is? – Defense One
There’s bipartisan agreement that the law governing America’s wars needs an update. There’s also bipartisan agreement that it won’t happen anytime soon.
Gen. Hyten to Get His Senate Confirmation Hearing – Defense One
His previously uncontroversial nomination to be vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs was thrown into question after a former subordinate accused him of …
Boeing’s Exit From ICBM Bid Shouldn’t Become Another Excuse To Delay Modernizing U.S. Nuclear Deterrent
Boeing unexpectedly won’t bid for a contract to replace the aging Minuteman III over fairness concerns, leaving Northrop Grumman as the only option. Here’s why moving forward with a single bidder would be acceptable and the serious risks if congressional skeptics use this to derail the effort.
Has Lockheed Replaced Boeing as Trump’s Favorite Defense Firm? – Defense One
The U.S. president and Lockheed’s CEO have been cheering each other on, while Boeing\’s chief has kept a lower profile.
Intel chief addresses ‘enduring challenge’ of election security
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has assigned a new executive position to coordinate activities.
Dan Coats, Director Of National Intelligence, Picks Election Security Czar : NPR
Spy world veteran Shelby Pierson will attempt to centralize election security efforts across the intelligence community with soon-to-be-designated agency leads.
What do Republicans have against secure elections? – The Washington Post
Once again, the GOP leaps into action — on Russia’s side
Can we limit Russian political interference in future elections? | TheHill
What should the U.S. do?
4 almost invisible threats to keep US intel officials on edge
Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley explains some of the major emerging technologies the agency is concerned about.
Ex-NSA contractor sentenced to 9 years for stolen documents
Harold Martin, 54, apologized to the federal judge who sentenced him for a theft that prosecutors have called

Trump: Barr Has ‘Anything He Needs’ for Reverse Russia Probe |
Trump: Barr Has ‘Anything He Needs’ for Reverse Russia Probe
FBI Director Wray: Russia intent on interfering with U.S. elections – Reuters
Russia is determined to interfere in U.S. elections despite sanctions and other efforts to deter such actions before the next presidential election in 2020, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday.
FBI’s Wray sounds alarm over China, warns of ‘severe counterintelligence threat’ | Fox News
FBI Director Christopher Wray warned Congress on Tuesday that China poses “a more severe counterintelligence threat” to the United States than any other country. 
Justice Department tells Mueller his House testimony ‘must remain within the boundaries’ of public report | Fox News
A Justice Department official told former Special Counsel Robert Mueller that his upcoming testimony to House lawmakers “must remain within the boundaries” of the public, redacted version of his report, in a letter obtained by Fox News on Monday evening.
Mueller testimony: Special counsel faces Congress for pair of blockbuster public hearings – CNNPolitics
Robert Mueller arrives on Capitol Hill Wednesday morning for the most highly anticipated hearings so far of this presidency, with the potential to reset the narrative about his two-year investigation into President Donald Trump.
Special Counsel Mueller Set To Deliver Highly Anticipated Congressional Testimony
Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who led the U.S. investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 president election, is set to testify before Congress in a highly anticipated public event that is s…
Partner Of Ex-Trump Adviser Convicted Of Secretly Lobbying For Turkey
The former business partner of U.S. President Donald Trump’s former national-security adviser, Michael Flynn, was convicted on July 23 of conspiring to lobby for Turkey.
Ex-Flynn business partner convicted of illegal lobbying
A jury found Kian illegally acted as a Turkish agent when he and Michael Flynn undertook a project to discredit an exiled cleric wanted by Turkey’s government.
Trump transition adviser convicted on foreign-agent charges – POLITICO
Bijan Rafiekian faces up to 15 years in prison.
U.S. Court Orders Force-Feeding of Russian On Hunger Strike
An Arizona court ordered a Russian on hunger strike at an immigration detention facility to be force-fed.

I Went to a Socialism Conference. Here Are My 6 Observations.
Since there’s often confusion as to what socialism really is, I decided to attend the Socialism 2019 conference in Chicago over the Fourth of July weekend.
Dems decry Omar resolution defending Israel boycott: ‘Dead on arrival’ | Fox News
High-profile Democrats are decrying a controversial resolution from Rep. Ilhan Omar affirming the right to boycott Israel, even as they rally behind her and three other first-term congresswomen attacked by President Trump.
Jewish lawmakers brush off pro-boycott resolution from Ilhan Omar – Washington Times
Jewish Democrats brushed off Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Israel boycott resolution this week and instead kept their focus on their own resolution to denounce the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
REPORT: Tlaib’s Father Says She ‘Lied Big-Time To Get Elected’ – STAR POLITICAL
REPORT: Rep. Tlaib’s Father Says She ‘Lied Big-Time To Get Elected’
Trump makes surprise appearance at wedding reception at his NJ golf club – CNN
President Trump popped into a wedding reception at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Saturday night, prompting the bride, groom and guests to chant, “USA! USA!”
Trump approval rating at new high in NPR/PBS poll after racist tweets
His support was sharply divided along party lines, with 90% of Democrats saying they disapprove of the job he has done and 90% of Republicans saying they approve.
Trump turns tables on ‘Squad,’ calls reps ‘very racist’ as feud drags on | Fox News
President Trump’s feud with four freshman congresswomen known collectively as the “Squad” dragged into its second week as the president sought Monday to flip the script on those accusing him of stirring racial tensions. 
La. officer suggests Ocasio-Cortez should be shot –
It was not clear from his Facebook post whether police officer Charlie Rispoli knew he was responding to fake news when he suggested Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., should be shot. “This vile idiot needs a round……..and I don’t mean the kind she used to serve,” Rispoli, a 14-year veteran of the Gretna Police Department in Louisiana, said Thursday, referring to a gunshot and the lawmaker’s earlier career as a bartender, reported. The post, which appears to have been deleted along with Rispoli’s Facebook account, comes amid a reckoning with racist and violent social media posts by police and federal law enforcement officers. As posts have been made public, firings and investigations have followed across multiple departments. Ocasio-Cortez and three other minority freshman lawmakers dubbed “the Squad” have become frequent targets of President Donald Trump, who said the four citizens and members of Congress should “go back” to the “totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Rispoli’s comment was made in response to a post on a self-described satirical page,, with the headline “Ocasio-Cortez on the Budget: ‘We Pay Soldiers Too Much.’ ” Gretna Police Chief Arthur Lawson did not respond to a request for comment. In an interview with, he called Rispoli’s comment “disturbing” and probably in violation of department social media policies, but he stopped short of describing it as a threat. “I will tell you this: This will not go unchecked,” Lawson told the outlet. “I’m not going to take this lightly and this will be dealt with on our end. It’s not something we want someone that’s affiliated with our department to make these types of statements. That’s not going to happen.” Belinda Constant, the Democratic…
Fox’s Ingraham: ‘Good riddance’ to fired officers who said Ocasio-Cortez should be shot | TheHill
Fox News host Laura Ingraham tweeted her approval after two Louisiana police officers were fired for suggesting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) should be shot. “Good riddance. Disgusting,” Ingraham tweeted.
Ilhan Omar’s second husband soaks up the sun on Kenyan beach
Rep. Ilhan Omar’s second husband Ahmed Nur Said Elmi was seen relaxing at Nyali Beach resort near Mombasa in Kenya over the weekend amid questions over her marriages.
The House Voted To Condemn The Boycott Israel Movement Over Protests From Reps. Ilhan Omar And Rashida Tlaib
The measure to formally condemn the BDS movement passed the House overwhelmingly Tuesday night. “Dissent is how we nurture democracy,” Tlaib said.
House overwhelmingly OKs resolution opposing Israel boycott in rare bipartisan vote | Fox News
The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan resolution Tuesday opposing an international effort to boycott Israel.
Stephen Miller ‘profoundly outraged as a Jew’ at AOC’s ‘sinful’ concentration camp comment – U.S. News –
The White House adviser and immigration hardliner says Ocasio-Cortez’s criticism of border detention camps is a ‘historical smear’ that ‘paints every patriotic law enforcement officer as a war criminal’
Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib will not be denied entry into Israel
Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib will be admitted to Israel as part of a congressional trip in the coming weeks. Early reporting suggested that the two lawmakers could be denied entry for their outspoken support of boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement against Israel.
Accused ISIS sniper from Brooklyn done in by texts: feds
A Kazakhstan-born Brooklyn man who the feds say moved to Syria six years ago to join ISIS  — rising to become one of the terror group’s top snipers — was ordered held without bail Friday as it emerged that a trove of threatening and boasting text messages was his undoing.
How trove of vicious text messages led to capture of Brooklyn man who became top sniper for ISIS  | Daily Mail Online
Ruslan Maratovich Asainov, a 42-year-old Kazakhstan-born US citizen, was charged yesterday with providing material support to a terrorist group, including training soldiers.