Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
More aerial mischief. Fire onboard AS-31 “Losharik” submersible now being blamed on Ukraine. Inozemtsev and Bershidsky speculate on the eternal reign of the Vozhd. More blowback from pipeline contamination, pipeline war with Ukraine. Another GRU operator bagged. Claims Russia backstabbed Tehran by providing S-300PMU2 Favorit / SA-20B data to Israel. Galeotti on UK vs. Russia relations. Senate report on Russian election hacking.
NATO update – Erdogan despite concessions by the US appears determined to poison the relationship with the US and NATO. Bulgarian F-16 turmoil. German defense funding debate reboots.
POTUS and Ze talk by phone and agree meeting agenda: “ways to strengthen the relationship between the United States and Ukraine, including energy and economic cooperation,” Amb Volker meets with Ze in Kyiv. Klimkin warns on Russian Minsk agenda.
Much on Ukraine’s capture of the Russian tanker – crew reported released. Russia closes down a quarter of the Black Sea. Report that Russian Coast Guard in Azov Sea used green laser dazzlers against Ukrainian Coast Guard vessels – these are capable of causing permanent eye injuries.
Donbas update. Extensive industry update.
Election / politics update – likely Ze will hold 60% of the seats in the new parliament. UOC/ROC update.
The Finnish Border Agency confirmed that Finnish airspace had been violated by a Russian plane last week, reports Yle news agency. It’s reported that a Russian aircraft entered Finnish airspace for about one kilometer and was within the Finnish borders for about two minutes. “The border guards were not able to identify the pilots who operated the plane. For this reason, it is not possible to bring charges,” the statement said. Fighters of the Finnish Air Force were scrambled last Monday to intercept three Russian aircraft over the Baltic Sea.
One of the reasons for the incident on Russia’s deepwater military station AS-31 “Losharik” may have been unsuccessful import substitution: since sanctions prevented the use of Ukrainian batteries, Russian-produced components were installed on the submersible, Kommersant reports, citing sources close to the investigation. All 10 officers who remained in the vessel to put out the fire were poisoned by combustion byproducts, despite using protective gear. In 40 minutes they had exhausted all available means to fight the fire – fire extinguishers, foam generation cylinders, and 400 liters of freon. It is speculated that there was an explosion while the crew was preparing to evacuate. A source in the industry told the news outlet that for a long time the AS-31 had used silver zinc batteries produced in Ukraine. After the start of the war, they were replaced by Russian lithium ion batteries produced at the St. Petersburg RIGEL Battery Company. The batteries provided to the Russian Navy had supposedly been tested for explosive safety. There is currently an inquiry into how they were tested and why no representative of the Defense Ministry was present at the testing. Experts believe that, in addition to manufacturing or technological defects, the explosion could have resulted from the extreme operating conditions. In order to exclude the possibility of sabotage, several representatives of RIGEL have detonated TNT at a testing ground in order to compare the results with those from the submarine. On 1 July, 14 officers were killed in a fire on board a secret submersible in the Barents Sea. Russia announced the deaths the following day, and admitted three days later that the incident had taken place on a nuclear submarine.
Newspaper “Kommersant” №128 from 07.23.2019 page 1 “Kommersant” became aware of how the emergency situation developed at the nuclear deep-water station АС-31, which led to the death of 14 hydronaut officers. The whole crew, after ignition on board, could still be evacuated onto the carrier boat, but preferred to act in strict accordance with the “Guide to the fight for survivability”. Submariners, according to the participants of the investigation, until recently fought for the survivability of the station, having spent all means on board to extinguish the fires. Hydronauts died from the explosion of the battery, when they came to the rescue of the members of the crew. According to a source close to the investigation of the disaster, “Kommersant”, in the evening of July 1, the hydronauts completed the control exit AS-31 before the upcoming combat mission. Three days earlier, the Moscow Region nuclear submarine delivered a station docked to it at the Northern Fleet training ground in Motovka Bay, Barents Sea, where two interchangeable crews of the AS-31 tested the operation of devices and mechanisms of the deep-water apparatus after scheduled maintenance. At the end of the control exit, the carrier boat along with the AS-31 were supposed to return to the base, but during the docking of the station with the carrier boat aboard the AC-31, smoke appeared in the battery compartment. “For 20 years of service on different types of submarines, I have burned three times, but have never seen an open flame,” said one of the Kommersant interlocutors. According to him, there is no fire in the usual sense of the word on submarines, since the construction and decoration of the boat compartments is made of non-combustible materials, and the mechanisms are painted with non-combustible paint. A fire on boats appears more often and above all not by fire, but by smoke, and you have to touch the fire in the compartment almost by touch. Unfortunately, no one can tell how the fire developed at the AC-31, since everyone on board died. Problems may have arisen in the AC-31 electrical system, which uses currents up to 1000 amperes, and even a small cable defect, according to a specialist, could lead to their heating and subsequent melting of the insulation. Sources of “Kommersant” explained that the accident that occurred, in any case, in its initial stage, did not represent a great danger for the crew. All people aboard the AC-31 could evacuate through the lock device to the carrier boat. Each crew member had a PDU-3 portable breathing device with him, which allowed him to hold out for at least 20 minutes without oxygen, even with very strong smoke. How Hydronauts Died in a Bulk Fire However, the “Guidelines for fighting the survivability of submarines” operating in the Navy requires each crew member to remain in the compartment where the fire caught him and deal with an emergency situation in his place. Leaving the burning compartment without an order entails criminal liability. As explained by the interlocutors of “Kommersant”, there are no special instructions regarding the seafarers of deep-sea vehicles, and the hydronauts are guided by the relevant instructions for submariners. As soon as the commander was informed that there was smoke in the battery compartment, he reported to the commander of the submarine carrier that there was a fire aboard the AC-31 (on the submarine any smoke would immediately be declared a fire), ordered to check the breathing apparatus and transfer to the carrier for everyone will not be involved in the struggle for survivability. According to Kommersant, six people left the board, and ten hydronaut officers remained at the station, who continued to struggle for the survivability of the ship. According to Kommersant’s sources, the crew commander was Captain First Rank Konstantin Somov, and the senior on board was Captain First Rank Denis Dolonsky. According to experts, their actions will not be able to be restored exactly as all ten died. An inspection of the station that took place after the AS-31 was delivered to the base showed that in the struggle for its survivability the hydronauts had spent all the fire extinguishing equipment on board. The fire extinguishers, cylinders of the foam generating unit and all four stolitra tanks with Freon LOKH (boating, volumetric, chemical) turned out to be empty. In addition, after 40 minutes of work at the emergency station, the officers “breathed out”, as the interlocutors of “Kommersant” say, all isolating respiratory equipment. After the stocks of portable breathing devices had run out, the sailors joined in the hose breathing apparatus (SDA) supplying air from high-pressure air cylinders. Only when some crew members began to lose consciousness, the commander asked the commander of the boat carrier permission to evacuate to the carrier. “Kommersant” learned the chronology of the accident at AC-31 In the team, as follows from their message, there were casualties – despite all the means of protection, people breathed in combustion products. To help them climb from the AC-31 to the carrier, four hydronauts from the second crew met them at the lock device. What happened shortly after the hatch between the two ships was sealed once again, again, is unknown, since no one was able to escape. Most likely, at the time of preparation of the crew for evacuation an explosion occurred. Already in the dock, figuring out the incident, the experts found that the battery exploded. As experts close to the technical investigation explained to Kommersant, the explosion was very powerful. The battery, obviously, has also become a source of increasing volume burning. To find out the cause of ignition and explosion of the battery, dozens of examinations are carried out. As the experts explain, the commission considers three traditional versions in the investigation of any man-made disaster – equipment failure, crew error and malicious influence. It was found that the deep-sea station type AC-31 for a long time staffed silver-zinc batteries, which were produced in Ukraine. After the complication of relations with this country, the AC-31 batteries, which are under warranty service, were replaced by Russian lithium-ion batteries. As a manufacturer and supplier of batteries for deep-water vehicles, the St. Petersburg plant OJSC Battery Accordance Company Rigel was chosen. As stated on the company’s website, Rigel, founded in 1897, is the oldest specialized company in Russia, which today serves as an “advanced developer and manufacturer of batteries”, including those used for the needs of the deep-sea fleet. What is known about the nuclear power station AS-31 Read more Studying the accompanying documentation for the Rigel products, experts, according to Kommersant’s sources, found, among other things, certificates indicating that the batteries transferred to the fleet had passed explosion proof tests. It is now becoming clear who tested the products and how, and why the representatives of the customer, the Ministry of Defense, were not present. Representatives of the plant, to which “Kommersant” asked for clarification, refrained from commenting. How in St. Petersburg farewell to the hydronauts who died in the Barents Sea Meanwhile, according to experts, not only constructive or technological defects in batteries, but also extreme battery life conditions could lead to the tragedy. For example, the melting of the insulation of busbars and the resulting short circuits in the network could cause unpredictable failures in the station’s power system and its automatic control. It cannot be ruled out that it was short circuits that led to a recharge of the battery or the supply of currents to its terminals with abnormal parameters. It is also noted that in the history of the submarine fleet there have not yet been cases of supplying freon to the compartment with lithium-ion batteries. Until now, only bulk fires in the compartments were extinguished using the LOH system, and there were no cases of silver-zinc batteries igniting at all. Finally, some investigators generally doubt that the chemical reactions in the lithium-ion cells caused such a significant explosion. The interlocutors of “Kommersant” claim that although the terrorist version of the tragedy is not considered by experts as a priority, several provided by Rigel for testing battery packs have already been blown up at the test site by TNT bombs. Now, experts have to compare the wreckage of products destroyed on tests and in real life. Sergey Mashkin
Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 16 Issue: 106 By: Vladislav Inozemtsev July 24, 2019 05:52 PM Age: 2 days (Source: picture-alliance) Recent Western commentary suggests that Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing to change parliamentary election rules after his second two-term tenure in the Kremlin finally expires in 2024; but such news is hardly revelatory. In Russia, this scenario has been debated by experts since his return to the presidency in 2012 (Vedomosti, March 6, 2012); and in 2013, this author co-wrote a piece predicting that Putin would stay in power until at least 2030 (Cairn.info, 2013). But in the recent months, leaks from multiple high-profile officials elaborating on various scenarios to perpetuate Putin’s rule have appeared in the Russian media almost every week(Forbes.ru, June 21, 2018; RBC, April 23, 2019). Many insiders now indicate that the Constitution will definitely be rewritten prior to the upcoming parliamentary elections of 2021 (T.me/russica2, June 13). And here, it is worth noting the “conceptual” article on constitutional “adjustments,” written on July 17 by the chairperson of the State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, in Parlamentskaya Gazeta, that the Kremlin is reportedly now “acquainting itself with” (Parlamentskaya Gazeta, RIA Novosti, July 17). But Putin’s tenacious hold on power aside, the peculiarities of the Russian parliamentary system also deserve a closer examination because they suggest that the legislature was never considered to be a meaningful branch of authority inside Russia. It was always seen as a tool for preserving the ruling regime. And the legislative and administrative procedures carried out to ensure this date all the way back to the twilight of the Soviet Union. Between 1989, when Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika (“restructuring”) was in full swing, and today, Russians have gone to the polls eight times to elect their parliament, which (to stress Russia’s “federal” nature) consists of two chambers—one representing the people, and another the regions. During the 1990 elections to the parliament (Supreme Soviet) of the then–Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, the ruling Communists designed a two-step voting system: 1,068 people’s deputies were all elected in single-seat electoral districts by an absolute majority and requiring at least 50 percent turnout to make the vote effective. But of these, 252 Supreme Soviet members were chosen by the people’s deputies, with 126 allocated to the Soviet of the Republic and another 126 to the Soviet of Nationalities. This system, however, was used only once: afterwards, then-president Boris Yeltsin dissolved the Supreme Soviet and crushed the armed revolt of the deputies by military force. A new bicameral parliament (Federal Assembly) was created, consisting of the lower State Duma and the upper Federation Council.
None of the relatively legitimate scenarios for keeping the Russian leader in power past 2024 look comfortable for him.
The heads of Rosneft and Transneft, both Putin allies, are embroiled in a rancorous dispute.
Paul Goble Staunton, July 23 – At first glance, Dimitry Savvin says, “the events which have taken place in the Russian Federation in the first half of 2019 don’t inspire particular optimism;” but a deeper examination of them suggests that “the neo-Soviet Russian Federation is on the brink of a neo-Soviet Perestroika.” The editor of the Riga-based conservative Harbin Russian nationalist site argues that the same forces which drove the Soviet Union toward perestroika are again at work in the Russian Federation because it is in fact “the organic continuation of the Soviet system” however many the superficial differences (harbin.lv/znameniya-neizbezhnykh-peremen). In the last six months, Savvin continues, protest activity has increased but not to the level that it represents a threat or even a serious problem for the regime, Putin’s rating is falling but it is far from the bottom, sanctions are in place but not murderous in their impact, economic and infrastructure problems exist but not more than usual, and political repressions are growing. It might seem that nothing was going to change, exactly as people evaluated the Soviet Union in 1983 or 1984; but it is at precisely such times, the analyst says, that certain banners of looming and even inevitable changes appeared, the latest turn of the wheel of the cyclical history of Russia. That now is a similar time, Savvin insists, he is certain both because of “objective patterns which make this more or less inevitable” and, what is more, because there are “certain characteristic social-political phenomena and shifts which in and of themselves testify to the approach of an era of change.” He outlines three of them. First, he says, “everyone is expecting change.” Putin is no longer the dynamic new leader; he is an aging despot; and Russians can see that he won’t be in power forever. Moreover, it is increasingly clear that the generation that came of age at the end of Soviet times is giving way to one that was formed in the first post-Soviet decade. Up to now, the Putin regime “has tried to solve this problem by blocking social lifts and recruiting administrators exclusively from the reliable nomenklatura-chekist milieu – in essence by a dynastic principle. But even such a system is not a guarantee against generational shifts.” Each generation is different from its predecessor. While most Russians remain loyal to Putin personally and the state as such, they are increasingly unhappy with “’the situation.’” They may not have reached the point of feeling that “’we must not live like this’” as was the case in 1984, but Russians today ever more often feel that “’a lot needs to be changed.’” “This is a very important sign that Perestroika 2.0 is already at the door.” One needs to remember, Savvin points out, that “Perestroika No. 1 was carried out not by dissident anticommunists or anti-Soviet underground organizations. Its moving forces were on the one hand a new generation of party leaders” who believed change was needed to save their jobs “and by a multitude of completely Soviet people” without any interest in the demise of socialism or the USSR. “In an analogous way,” he continues, “the main driver of Perestroika 2.0 could be certain groups in the leading stratum of the Russian Federation and the comparatively moderate and even formally apolitical movements which are directed not at a struggle with the powers that be but at the solution of particular problems.” The second indication that change is ahead involves the environmental and urban activists who like their predecessors are nominally apolitical but in fact are proving to be seedbeds of activism that is on its way to becoming political when the times allow for that development. As in the early 1980s, “when political repressions are intensifying literally from day to day, the protest energy growing in society is concentrating in formally non-political spheres,” a trend that both the powers that be and society as a whole consider “relatively permissible” because it isn’t addressed “against the political system as a whole.” But both the authorities and much of society do understand that “in reality, environmental and urban defense protests are a kind of place des armes where at present are concentrating the forces of the still weak but ever more civil society.” The regime has no good answer: it can either increase repression or make compromises but both are losing strategies for much of the elite. It is thus extremely likely that “events will develop according to a simpler and logical schema for the regime: repressive attacks will alternative with attempts to find some kind of consensus with ‘the more adequate’ and ‘constructive’ people in society. That is approximately what happened in the USSR in 1986 to 1991.” The third sign is the clearest, Savvin suggests. It involves the way which the resolution of the Golunov case involved an appeal by part of the elite to civil society. “For the first time in the battle of various regime groups, one of them considered it possible to appeal to civil society” rather than continuing to decide among its own ranks and then imposing the decision on others. This shift has “enormous importance” because “it creates a precedent extremely undesirable for the Putin neo-Soviet regime” and because it “boldly testifies that divisions in the higher echelons of power are growing” and that those divisions are only going to intensify over the next five years. Clearly, Savvin concludes, “Perestroika 2.0” is about to happen. The question is what should it involve and where should it lead. That is what Russians should be focusing on rather than on whether change is in fact possible. It is already in train.
Paul Goble Staunton, July 23 – The USSR Citizens movement which rejects the existence of the Russian Federation and says that the Soviet Union still exists, allowing them to ignore Russian laws, taxes, and communal charges and profit by selling passports, has now taken a dangerous step: it has stripped Vladimir Putin of Soviet citizenship. That action, certainly intended to attract attention, has: This week, Putin’s Russian Guard along with the FSB, arrested 20 of the USSR Citizens movement in Nizhevartovsk (ura.news/news/1052392247 and mbk-news.appspot.com/suzhet/back-in-ussr/; for background on the group, seewindowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/03/many-russians-nostalgic-for-soviet-past.html). The followers of this group believe that by claiming Soviet citizenship, they can act as they please with regard to Russian laws, not something Putin wants to encourage, however much he still believes that the disintegration of the Soviet Union was “the greatest geopolitical disaster” of the 20th century. Most of the followers seem less interested in restoring the former empire than in avoiding paying for things they don’t approve of, while most of the leaders of the group seem to be using it as a profit-making enterprise, charging 3,000 rubles (50 US dollars) for each passport after issuing citizenship certificates for 300 (5 US dollars). The group seems to be growing larger and more active. Not only has it declared Putin and other Russian leaders non-citizens, but some of its branches, independent of the entity’s “government,” the heads of that say, have attacked local officials and sought to take over government offices. The Russian authorities do seem worried. Prosecutors in the Komi Republic are calling for the Union of Slavic Forces of Russia which in Russian has the acronym USSR to be banned as an extremist organization (komiinform.ru/news/182686), and one USSR citizen at least has been sent to a psychiatric hospital for treatment (kommersant.ru/doc/3960410). Maria Muradova, an expert on extremism at the SOVA Information and Analysis Center, says that the groups are divided among themselves and combine in various ways expressions of desire for the restoration of the Soviet Union and extreme nationalist rhetoric. She tells MBK that she doesn’t see them as a serious threat or anticipates that there will be a broader crackdown.
The blame game over a contamination scandal in Russia’s oil industry has breached President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. Igor Sechin, head of Rosneft, the world’s biggest publicly-traded oil company, and Nikolai Tokarev, the boss of Transneft, the world’s largest pipeline network, are embroiled in
Russia wants to strike a short-term deal with Kiev on gas transit to Europe when the current 10-year agreement expires in order to buy time to complete pipelines that will bypass Ukraine, four sources familiar with Russian thinking said.
Russia’s Prosecutor-General’s Office says it is designating Washington-based think tank the Atlantic Council, formerly run by the U.S. ambassador to Moscow, as an “undesirable” organization.
July 25, 2019 20:19 GMT By Mark Raczkiewycz WASHINGTON — Russia’s Prosecutor-General’s Office says it is designating Washington-based think tank the Atlantic Council, formerly run by the U.S. ambassador to Moscow, as an “undesirable” organization, a move that could potentially limit the group’s cooperation with Russian entities and prevent its employees from entering Russia. “Upon…
Installing the apps activates malware that steals personal data and sends it off to St. Petersburg.
Also, Fake PornHub And Google Android Apps Are Actually ‘Russian Spy Tools’ First FaceApp, now a fake PornHub, and a fake Google Android App are being created and distributed as Russian tools and weapons, all forms of Information Warfare. This appears to be a trend, perhaps State sponsored, controlled or coordinated App Warfare? App Warfare,…
Austria has issued European and international arrest warrants for a Russian man on suspicion of espionage and working for Russia’s Military Intelligence (GRU).
Tehran suspects that Moscow has given Jerusalem codes from the S-300 aerial defense systems, which enabled Israel’s multirole F-35 combat aircraft to stealthily penetrate Iran’s airspace, fly over several major cities (Tehran, Karajrak, Isfahan, Shiraz and Bandar Abbas) and carry out an aerial survey of the Islamic republic’s anti-air defense systems, the Qatari news agency Al Jarida reports. According to the Qatari journalists, the Israeli aircraft flew unhindered over virtually the entire western part of Iran, from the south to the north and back. Iran’s aerial defense system, including the anti-air missile systems supplied by Russia, were unable to follow the Israeli aircraft’s movement into and out of the country’s airspace. The article states that Ismail Kowsari, deputy head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, kept the incident a secret from Ayatollah Khamenei, fearing criticism. Kowsari was later dismissed from his position. Iranian intelligence reportedly concealed the fact of the flyover by the Israeli aircraft, which were able to test out the possibility of an airstrike against structural elements of Iran’s aerial defense system, a number of other military and industrial targets, and to carry out a detailed aerial survey of a number of facilities, including secret military bases. The Qatar news outlet has proposed previously that Israeli aircraft could be flying to Iran and back several times a day, invisible to the Syrian, Iraqi, Iranian and Russian detection systems. In April 2018, Russia said that Israel’s F-35s could not and did not wish to fool the S-400 in Syria. In 2018, an American military expert said that Israel had made changes to the F-35’s onboard system, turning the aircraft into a monster. That same year, the commander of the Israeli Air Force said that the Israelis are the first in the world to try out the F-35 in combat conditions.
Britain’s new prime minister has a shaky record in dealing with the Kremlin and its cronies. Here’s how he can fix it.
Opinion | A piece of advice for Britain’s new prime minister on how to deal with Putin’s Russia. Boris Johnson may have in the past called Vladimir Putin a “ruthless and manipulative tyrant” (which is presumably a criticism in today’s political world?), but his Russian counterpart congratulated him on his election and suggested that “it would be in the interests of our countries and peoples to develop relations in various spheres.” How, though, could any improvement in relations be accomplished without blessing the Kremlin’s authoritarianism at home and adventurism abroad? Of course, Johnson has a lot on his plate, even before the snap general election that is looming. When he was Foreign Secretary, before the Skripal incident, he visited Moscow. Since, though, he has said that he “made the classic, classic mistake of thinking it was possible to have a ‘reset’ with Russia.” So relations with Moscow will not be a priority. But in due course, it is inevitable that Boris and Vladimir will meet at some summit, and more to the point, the wheels of state will continue to turn. One way or another, Johnson, his new Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, and the rest of this government will have to shape a Russia policy, whether through design or simply by inaction. Here, then, are some thoughts on how to go about it. First of all, a new government does not mean a new reality. That Johnson was not PM when Putin annexed Crimea, covered up the MH17 shootdown, tried to have Skripal assassinated and generally launched a political war on the West, does not mean that none of that still matters. The Kremlin relies precisely on its belief that the West is short of memory and stamina, and that any short-term turbulence can simply be waited out. The usual mantra — that Moscow must not be allowed to believe “business as usual” can return without it having to make serious policy changes — has to inform all aspects of British policy. One can have a serious debate as to whether the Western sanctions regime really is all that effective, but lifting them now would only embolden Putin.
On July 29, 1858, two steam-powered battleships met in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. There, they connected two ends of a 4,000 kilometer (2,500 mile) long, 1.5 centimeter (0.6 inch) wide cable, linking for the first time the European and North American continents by telegraph.
A Senate panel documented an effort largely undetected by state and federal officials at the time. But its report was so heavily redacted that key lessons for 2020 were blacked out.
Republicans in the Senate have twice in 24 hours blocked the advancement of bills aimed at strengthening election security just hours after former special counsel Robert Mueller warned of the continued threat that foreign powers interfering in US elections.
The Senate Intelligence Committee released the first volume of its long-awaited bipartisan report into Russian election interference efforts on Thursday, finding that the Russian government “directed extensive activity against U.S. election infrastructure” — but no evidence that any voting machines were manipulated or votes changed.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States stands ready to defend itself against attempts to interfere in the 2020 elections, during an interview with Bret Baier Thursday.
President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday Turkey would turn elsewhere for fighter jets if the United States will not sell it the F-35 jets, adding that a U.S. decision to cut Ankara from the program would not deter it from meeting its needs.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday seemed to indicate the US was softening its position on congressionally mandated sanctions for Turkey over its purchase of the S-400 Russian missile defense system, stressing that the country should not make the missile defense system “operational.”
Secretary of State Michael Pompeo urged Turkey not to make the S-400 missile defense system it purchased from Russia “operational” as President Donald Trump holds off on implementing new sanctions required by law.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called Turkey’s foreign minister on Wednesday at President Trump’s behest amid ongoing tensions over Ankara’s decision to buy a Russian antimissile system, the senator said Thursday.
Sen. Lindsay Graham says President Trump asked him to make the call.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on July 26 reiterated that Turkey plans to start using the Russian S-400 missile-defense system in April 2020.
Russian President Vladimir Putin abolished “some special economic measures” against Turkey, just as his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump was reportedly fighting to stop new sanctions against Ankara.
Bulgarian President Rumen Radev has vetoed a $1.26 billion deal to buy eight new Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets.
President of Bulgaria Rumen Radev vetoed the law on the ratification of Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 70 fighter contracts in the United States of America. In his view, the heated debate in the parliament during the ratification showed that there is no public consent on this issue, and because of the reduced legislative procedure, a number of important issues, such as price, guarantees, delivery terms, damage, compensation, and others, remained unclear. Recall that in order to replace the Soviet MiG-29, Bulgaria plans to accommodate six single-seater and two two-seater F-16 Block 70, which should arrive by 2023. An agreement worth $ 1.25 billion also includes ammunition, various equipment and pilot training. On behalf of the Government of Bulgaria, the Minister of Defense signed an agreement on July 12. This decision was also ratified by parliament. For it was voted 123 deputies, 78 were against, and two – abstained. The discussion lasted more than four hours. The Socialists tried to delay the vote by 3-6 months, which in effect would mean a cessation of the procurement procedure, as the US supply deadline for F-16 expires on September 5. In particular, Parliament approved a bill on the ratification of the BU-D-SAB International Contract “F-16 Block-70 Aircraft and Related Support”, an international agreement BU-D-AAA “Ammunition in Support for F-16 (Munitions in support of the F-16), BU-P-AAD International AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder, Related Materials and Services (Sidewinder AIM 9X Block II Missiles, related material and services) and the international agreement BU-P-LAR “Multi-functional information exchange system – the only tactical radio system MIDS-JTRS, the accompanying support and equipment” (Multidisciplinary Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio System (MIDS JTRS ) (5) and related support and equipment). Also ratified was the bill on the signing of a framework agreement between the Ministry of Economy and Lockheed Martin Global Inc on industrial cooperation and amended the “Law on the State Budget of Bulgaria for 2019”, due to the need for immediate payment for the purchase of aircraft. As a result, the defense budget of the country increased from 1.414 to 3.514 billion leva.
07/26/19 Bulgaria buys eight new F-16 Block 70 fighters The Bulgarian parliament overthrew a presidential veto on Friday for an agreement to purchase eight Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 70 fighter jets in the United States. It is reported by the European Court of Justice with reference to Reuters. On Monday, July 22, President Rumen Radev vetoed the law on the ratification of Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 70 fighter contracts in the United States. A $ 1.25 billion deal also includes the AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder missile, related equipment and services. The decision to abolish the veto was passed on Friday by 128 votes of the 240-seat parliament.
“If we want the Bundeswehr to be able to fulfill its role, the defense budget must rise,” the new defense minister said.
U.S. President Donald Trump congratulated his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy on his parliamentary victory as the leaders discussed the agenda of their first tête-à-tête. WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump congratulated his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy on his parliamentary victory as the leaders discussed the agenda of their first tête-à-tête. Trump and Zelenskiy spoke by phone on July 25 to discuss “ways to strengthen the relationship between the United States and Ukraine, including energy and economic cooperation,” the White House said in a statement. No date has yet been set for their first meeting, which will take place in Washington most likely before the end of the summer. Zelenskiy will come to the White House with a strong mandate for change after his Servant of the People party swept a majority of the seats in parliament during the July 21 elections, the first party in the history of independent Ukraine to control the Rada. Trump congratulated Zelenskiy for his party’s success, the White House said. Zelenskiy’s office said in a statement that Trump voiced confidence that the new Ukrainian government could improve the nation’s image and complete the investigation of corruption cases that have “held back U.S.-Ukrainian cooperation.” The United States has repeatedly called on Ukraine to tackle corruption and weaken the influence of business tycoons that control power behind the scenes. Zelenskiy, a former comic who played a fictitious history teacher on TV who is accidentally elected president, won a landslide presidential election in April amid popular frustration over endemic corruption and low living standards. His party repeated the feat on July 21, garnering 254 seats, more than 60 percent of those in the legislature, as citizens gave him a green light to reform the political system.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and U.S. President Donald Trump have held a phone call during which the latter has congratulated Ukraine on free and democratic elections to the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament. The presidents agreed to discuss in detail Ukrainian-U.S. cooperation during Zelensky’s future visit to Washington.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and United States Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker discussed the situation in Donbas. — Ukrinform.
26.07.19 15:52 – President Zelenskyi, Kurt Volker discuss situation in Donbas President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi and United States Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker discussed the situation in Donbas. View news.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has discussed the current situation in Donbas with U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker and U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, in particular, the process of the disengagement of forces and weapons near the village of Stanytsia Luhanska. The participants of the meeting expressed the hope the ceasefire introduced on July 21 would be comprehensive and sustainable.
Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli has outlined key reforms the new Ukrainian government should focus on. Mingarelli says Ukraine must continue privatization of large state-owned enterprises and conduct land reform.
Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin says that it is impossible to make a Donbas pact with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The minister says the Russian president wants Ukraine’s federalization for breaking up the Ukrainian state.
U.S. Mission to the OSCE chief Gregory Macris said in a statement, delivered to the Permanent Council in Vienna Thursday, titled “Ongoing Violations of International Law and Defiance of OSCE Principles and Commitments by the Russian Federation in Ukraine.” The United States reiterated its full support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, including its territorial waters.
The Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmyla Denisova has discussed with newly appointed head of the UN Monitoring Mission on Human Rights to Ukraine Matilda Bogner the situation in the east of Ukraine and conflict-related human rights violations.
Ukraine and the European Union may sign a common aviation area agreement by the end of the year if the United Kingdom leaves the EU in October. — Ukrinform.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine will submit to the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine proposals for expanding sanctions against 24 enterprises involved in the construction of the Krasnodar Territory-Crimea gas pipeline, illegal production of hydrocarbons within the continental shelf of Ukraine.
Posted by: Editorial July 26, 2019 Important, Situation around Crimea, Black Sea Region 0 Comments According to international regulations for seafarers, Russia has closed off five Black Sea areas since July 24, 2019, with a total area of 118,570 km², which is more than a quarter of its total area of 436,402 km². This is reported by the Ukrainian Military Portal In fact, these areas overlap with the usual and recommended international shipping shipping routes to Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania and Ukraine, almost blocking maritime links with these countries. Map of the overlapping area in the Black Sea under international regulations 0817/2019, № 280, №287A and №287B: Black Sea areas covered by international regulation 0817/2019 Validity of international regulations №280, №287A, №287B and 0817/2019 – until August 19. There is no clear reason for the closure, part of the sites are called “with dangerous navigation and the danger of swimming,” part of which is closed for the conduct of combat training. However, it should be noted that there are not so many ground and surface forces in the Russian Federation as there was a need to block such an area in the areas concerned for a complex of combat training activities. It also lacks the required number of craft to control and overlap the areas concerned in order to ensure the safety of navigation and, above all, fishing and individual fishing enterprises that may not always be able to receive the relevant requirements on time. Therefore, it is worth considering these actions as another act of hybrid aggression at sea, now not only against Ukraine but also other countries of the Black Sea region. Prior to the start of the Sea Breeze 2019 exercises, Russia’s international prescription 0698/2019 blocked an area of 8,000 square kilometers in the Black Sea where one of the locations of international exercises involving the ships of Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia, the United Kingdom and the United States . Earlier, the Security Service of Ukraine together with the Ukrainian Military Prosecutor’s Office yesterday arrested the Russian tanker “NEYMA”, which participated in blocking the Kerch Strait on November 25, 2018, during the planned transition of the Ukrainian ship-and-boat group from the Odessa port to the port of departure of Mariupol. This tanker in February 2019 replaced the owner of the bankrupt LLC “Metida” at ALTOMAR SHIPPING LTD. After a long idle at the end of June, the vessel began to recruit a new crew and on July 18 went to Izmail. Such a maneuver is difficult to explain, because according to Ukrainian justice, this tanker passes as evidence in the case of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine in neutral waters of the Black Sea on November 25, 2018, and the detention of the vessel was expected. Therefore, it is likely that the decision to move to Ukraine was taken in order to provoke against our state and may also be part of a special operation, along with the overlapping of a large area of the Black Sea.
Author: Editorial July 26, 2019 Azov Sea 1 Comment Not far from Mariupol, during the last two days after 21:00, the Russian ships of the Coast Guard of the FSB carried out illumination of the boats of the Marine Security of the SBGS This is reported by the press service of Operation Joint Force Lighting is carried out in a green light and lasts for several minutes. Similar cases have already been recorded on the OSCE land in the region of Stanisla Luhansk and border guards of the Kramatorsk detachment of the State Border Service near Marinka, where the soldier was injured by the retina and the loss of vision by doctors is 80%. Since such cases were discovered at sea, measures were taken to protect the lives and health of shipboard personnel from the Marine Security Department of the SBGS. During the two previous “sessions”, damage to crew health and equipment failure after exposure to the beam was not recorded. According to this fact, the territorial units of the military prosecutor’s office, the National Police and the SBU have been reported.
A coast guard ship of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) has staged acts of provocation in the Sea of Azov. A Russian coast guard ship emits a green beam to light Ukrainian marine guard boats up after dark.
Ukrainian authorities have seized a Russian tanker that Moscow allegedly used to block Ukrainian vessels in the Kerch Strait last November. Russia has been holding 24 Ukrainian sailors since the November 25, 2018, incident. An official Ukrainian video handout shows members of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) boarding the Russian tanker Nika Spirit anchored at the Ukrainian port city of Izmayil on July 25.
The move is likely to further raise tensions between Moscow and Kiev. Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it was investigating.
The Ukrainian Security Service said Thursday it had seized a Russian tanker that blocked off the Kerch Strait in a November spat between the two countries.
Ukraine seized a Russian tanker that it said parked itself sideways in November 2018 to prevent Ukrainian vessels from entering the Kerch Strait, escalating tensions and leading to Russia seizing two Ukranian vessels and 24 Ukrainians. Negotiations to free the Ukrainians are still ongoing.
Russian sailors released from detained tanker in Black Sea port amid threats of ‘consequences’ from Moscow.
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has seized a crucial piece of evidence for the Kerch Strait incident that took place back in November. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has seized a crucial piece of evidence for the Kerch Strait incident that took place back in November. Russia still holds 24 Ukrainian sailors that were captured after an FSB attack on a Ukrainian ship on November 25. “The SBU, together with the Military Prosecutor’s Office, have detained the Russian tanker “NEYMA,” which blocked Ukraine’s military ships near the Kerch Strait,” a Facebook post by the SBU reads. READ MORE: Mother of Ukrainian Sailor Captured by Russia Recalls November 25 Events According to Ukraine’s state border service, a tanker under the name “NIKA SPIRIT” entered the Izmail sea port, 250 km southwest of Odesa on July 25. The Ukrainian investigators established that it is the same NEYMA tanker that was used during the November attack. Ukraine is currently preparing court documents in order to arrest the ship as a crucial piece of evidence. According to the Russian state-owned news agency Interfax, “approximately” 15 Russian citizens were on board of the detained ship. Russia has already promised “consequences” to Ukraine. “If this is the case of holding Russians captives, it will be classed as a gross violation of international law and the consequences will not be long in coming,” Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Interfax.
Crew members of the Russian tanker NEYMA, detained in the Ukrainian port of Izmail by the SBU Security Service of Ukraine, are returning to Russia. The vessel remains in a Ukrainian port, waiting for repairs.
The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) has become a politicized instrument for spreading Russia’s regional hegemony and cannot fulfill peacekeeping functions, Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Volodymyr Yelchenko has said. — Ukrinform.
Russia’s hybrid military forces on July 25 mounted one attack on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, with one Ukrainian soldier reported as wounded in action (WIA). Since Friday midnight, Russian-led forces haven’t attacked Ukrainian positions yet.
Moscow-backed forces in the Donbas warzone continue planting Russia-made landmines, proscribed by international conventions, says the report published on Ukraine defense ministry’s website. Russian invaders also keep fortifying their forward positions.
The Commander of the Special Security Office (SSO) of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lieutenant-General Ihor Lunev at the briefing said that the …
Ukroboronprom state concern has sent the first set of BTR-3KSh (command and staff) armored vehicle to Thailand for licensed assembly in this country, director general of the concern Pavlo Bukin has said.
In the morning of July 25, the next stage of testing of the multiple rocket launcher system Vilha took place in the Odessa region, reports the …
The latest stage of testing of the artillery rocket system “Vilkha” (“Alder”) was conducted in Odesa region on Thursday morning, Deputy National Security and Defense Council Secretary (NSDC) Serhiy Kryvonos has said.
In connection with the reduction of expenditures for the procurement of goods, works and services, the Air Forces refused to purchase complexes of multimedia service simulators of the Buk-M1 MRK service. Recently, Ukrainian Military Pages reported that there were bids for the purchase of the 96th anti-aircraft missile crew of the complex of multimedia training simulators of the services of the MRK “Buk-M1” division, which allows the training of all calculations in a single information space. In particular, it was planned to acquire training systems for self-propelled fire equipment (SIV) 9A310M1 for 3.2 million hryvnas, 9C470M1 for 2,125 million units, 9C18M1 targeting stations for 532 thousand targets, and a complex for simulation of the combat situation and Reproduction of a single information space for the training of the Division’s services for 2.137 million. Today, July 25, the minutes of the meeting of the tender committee of the military unit A2860 (96th anti-aircraft missile brigade) were announced regarding the cancellation of all four tenders in connection with the reduction of expenditures for the purchase of goods, works and services. It is also worth noting that the Buk-M1 anti-aircraft missile system is not (or at least not before) armed with this part. At the same time, the 41st air training center of the Air Force is located at the site of the brigade.
Author: Editorial July 26, 2019 On July 16, 2019, a pro-Russian activist Yuriy Boyko was present at the MIGRemont with the campaign propaganda campaign, which demonstrated the aviation equipment that was undergoing repairs at the enterprise. This is reported by Military Aviation One of the photos depicts the Su-27 b / n 48, which is apparently ready for the transfer to the Air Forces of the Armed Forces after repair and possible partial modernization. The board 48 arrived in Zaporozhye in January 2017. And in December 2017, an agreement was signed between the Command of the Air Forces of the Armed Forces and the State Enterprise ZDARZ “Migremont” on the mid-repair stage of the two Su-27 fighters, b / n 47 (s / nu 36911014206, 1986 issue) and b / n 48 ( s / n 36911014411, 1986 issue). Su-27 board number 48 after repair Su-27 in January 2017 during transportation Photo:militaryaviation.in.ua The named Su-27 was a participant in many air show in the 1990’s. Since the first half of the 2000s, the plane did not fly due to the end of the resource up to 1 repair. Su-27 board number 48 in the 90’s Multipurpose high-maneuverable all-weather fighter Su-27 is designed to conquer domination in the air. The first flight of the prototype took place in 1977, and in 1984, aircraft began to arrive in aviation parts. At present, it is one of the main aircrafts of the Ukrainian Air Force, its modifications are in service in the CIS, India, China and other countries. Designed by OKO Sukhoi. The main designers of the Su-27 at various times were Volodymyr Ivanovich Antonov, Leonid Ivanovich Bondarenko, Naum Semenovich Chernyakov, Mikhail Petrovich Simonov, AA Kolchin and AI Knyshev.
Kickbacks, smuggled military equipment, and allegations of industry and government corruption have rocked Ukrainian politics and Ukroboronprom.
Some 130 of 199 member of parliament candidates who won majoritarian races in early parliamentary elections came ran on the Servant of the People ticket, Ukraine’s Central Election Commission (CEC) has said.
Ukraine’s Central Election Commission says it has counted all of the ballots cast in July 21 snap parliamentary elections, confirming an overwhelming win for President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s Servant…
Four unidentified men attacked the car of former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko after he left questioning as a witness over the sale of his shipyard. The men were driven off by Poroshenko’s security guards.
At least four men rushed toward the vehicle of former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, with one of them jumping on the hood, after he was questioned as a witness on July 25 over the sale of his shipbuilding plant.
A decision by Ukraine’s prosecutor-general to suspend an investigation against a high-ranking regional official charged in the death of a Ukrainian anti-corruption activist has sparked concern in t…
Klitschko brothers sue propresidential TV channel. “My brother and I have filed a lawsuit against One Plus One TV which mud-slings us.” Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today
Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli has said the problems in the work of the Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO) are linked with its chief, Nazar Kholodnytsky. Mingarelli said SAPO’s chief should be capable of good cooperation with the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine.
Agents of the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) together with the Prosecutor General’s Office are raiding the premises of Kyiv’s district administrative court. The searches are being conducted as part of a probe into possible criminal offenses by the chairman and individual judges of the court.
Chief of the Office of Special Investigations at the General Prosecutor’s Office (PGO) Serhiy Horbatiuk has announced that senior officials and four more judges of Kyiv’s District Administrative Court will be soon notified they are suspected of meddling in the work of the High Qualifications Commission of Judges and the adoption of knowingly unjust decisions. The PGO’s Office of Special Investigations set up a joint investigation team with the SBU Security Service and the NABU to investigate these crimes.
The Department of Special Investigations at the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) has served two employees of a Kyiv-based district court with charge papers on possible abuses during the Maidan events. The officials are suspected of meddling in the automated court document management system.
Bogdan Motors has notified the ambassadors of the G7 countries and the office of the European Business Association (EBA) about “politically motivated actions” in relation to the company’s enterprises on the part of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU).
Ex-President and European Solidarity Party leader Petro Poroshenko has said he is upset about the leak of materials from Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigations (SBI). He said he does not rule out that the information is going to Russia.
Groysman distances from Poroshenko, mentions conflict. “We have different principles and approaches. And it has always been like this.” Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today
The National Agency on Corruption Prevention needs to be restarted due to its inability to check electronic declarations, says EU Ambassador to Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli. — Ukrinform.
Paris Hilton, the American actress and heiress of the world’s largest hotel chain, plans to hold a world-class beauty contest in Ukraine. — Ukrinform.
The United States is concerned by media reports of looting the only cathedral of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) in the Russia-occupied city of Simferopol. U.S. diplomats have once again called on Russia to end the occupation of Ukraine’s Crimea.
Graffiti artists have descended on the Russian city of Yekaterinburg for an illegal street-art festival. No one knows how many artists took part in the unofficial, guerrilla-style event and many participated anonymously.