Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (256)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Muscovy’s little aerial stunt over the Baltic Sea has been a successful media distraction – interesting how some splicing of telephoto lens footage can deceive so many media folk in the West.

By far Russia’s biggest media accomplishment has been the nuclear “Flying Chernobyl” FUBAR, in every respect. The evac was cancelled as soon as it became reported in the West, making the FUBAR even bigger. A lot of Western media attempts to analyse the 9M730 Burevestnik / SSC-X-9 SKYFALL that has morphed in the minds of the media from the transonic reduced signature GLCM we see on in-flight and factory photos into a low altitude hypersonic air vehicle, and laws of physics be damned! For comparison included some nice historical materials on the cancelled 1964 LTV SLAM supersonic nuclear ramjet powered GLCM.

A dozen reports and analyses on the political meltdown under way in Russia. Good observations by Zeveleva, Kagarlitsky, Shevtsova, and others. The regime seems oblivious to the destabilisation it created for itself by fracturing almost every fault line in Russian society. Reports that Russian scientists will get the Soviet treatment, this will simply accelerate the brain drain further dumbing down the nation’s technology base. In effect the Chekist regime is waging war on Russia as it is waging war on almost everybody else.

Bezsmertnyi and Piontkovsky chastise Ze for not taking the Vozhd’s duplicity seriously enough – and they may have a point. Former VP Biden prioritises Ukraine. Other IR updates. Crimea update – Russia deploys an SQN of Forpost RPVs to Sevastopol.

Donbas update – GRU “swallows” play the honey trap game on social media. Industry update – Poland negotiating with Ukraine to get Polish AF MiG-29 9-12 FULCRUMs overhauled and upgraded by LSARP in Ukraine. Ukroboronprom sells an An-178 airlifter to Peru.

Politics and OCU updates.


NATO fighters detect Russian military aircraft over Baltic 9 times a week | Radio Liberty

From 5 to 11 August, fighter jets serving in the Baltic Sea Air Force have identified and escorted 9 Russian Federation aircraft flying over the Baltic Sea. According to a report by the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense, in most cases interference in the airspace of the country was by planes with the radar off, except on August 6, when a Russian military aircraft flew into the airspace of Lithuania over the Baltic Sea due to “bad weather”. The Russian side did not comment on the reasons for the appearance of its military aircraft in the airspace of Lithuania. The NATO Aviation Police Mission in the Baltic States is carried out by forces based in Lithuania and Estonia.

UAWire – Over the past week NATO detected Russian military aircraft over the Baltic 9 times

During the period between August 5-11, NATO air patrol aircraft detected and escorted Russian aircraft nine times over the Baltics, reports …

NATO F-18 ‘spooked away’ from Russian Defense Minister’s plane (VIDEO) — RT World News

Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jets convoying a plane with the Russian defense minister on board chased away a NATO F-18 , which tried to shadow it over the Baltic Sea.

NATO Jet That Tried to Approach Plane Carrying Russian Defence Minister Belongs to Spain – Reports – Sputnik International

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – A NATO combat jet that attempted to approach the aircraft carrying Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu over the neutral waters of the Baltic Sea belongs to the Spanish Air Force and is currently based in Lithuania, El Pais newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Watch NATO fighter jet harass Russian minister – YouTube

RT America Published on Aug 13, 2019 Rick Sanchez shares nail-biting footage of the approach of Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu’s plane by a NATO aircraft before the latter is chased off by a Russian fighter jet.

Su-27 fighter jets ‘spook away’ NATO F-18 from Russian Defense Minister’s plane – YouTube

RT Published on Aug 13, 2019 READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/9zvjSukhoi Su-27 fighter jets convoying a plane with the Russian defense minister on board chased away a NATO F-18 , which tried to shadow it over the Baltic Sea.

NATO missions: Video: Tense incident between Spanish and Russian aircraft over Baltic Sea | In English | EL PAÍS

Footage shows NATO-led fighter jet closely tagging plane that was reportedly carrying the Russian defense minister

Russian Su-27 pushes NATO jet fighter from Defense Minister Shoigu’s plane

The Defense Minister was returning to Moscow after a working visit to Kaliningrad. A Russian Su-27 fighter pushed a NATO F-18 from the plane carrying Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu when flying over the neutral waters of the Baltic Sea, reports TASS. Shoigu was going to Moscow from Kaliningrad, accompanied by two fighter aircraft of the Baltic Fleet. The Spanish fighter tried to get closer but was driven away.

NATO explains rapprochement to Shoigu’s plane

The pilot did not know who was on board the Russian aircraft. The EF-18 fighter approached the plane with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on board to identify the aircraft, as it “flew close to the airspace of the alliance,” TASS reports citing the NATO press service. Having done so, the fighter returned to its base in Lithuania. Planes from the NATO air police mission in the Baltic approached to identify an airplane that was flying close to the alliance’s airspace, NATO explained. The alliance added that they did not know who was on board the Russian aircraft. Earlier, the news agency said that those accompanying Shoigu Su-27 prevented the rapprochement of the EF-18 and the plane of the head of the Ministry of Defense, who was on his way back to Moscow from a visit to Kaliningrad.

Russian Fighter Jet Wards Off NATO F-18 Nearing Minister’s Plane | Military.com

There have been frequent encounters between Russian and NATO aircraft in recent years.

Spanish EF-18 Hornet Shadowing Russian Defense Minister’s Jet Gets Shooed Away By Escorting Su-27 Flanker – The Aviationist

It’s not the first time a Flanker escorting the Russian Defense Minister jetmaneuvers towards a NATO jet. In a sort of remake of something we have already seen and reported in June 2017 and in January 2019, a Russian Su-27 escorting Sergei Shoigu’s jet turned into a NATO jet supporting the NATO Baltic Air Policing (BAP) mission, forcing it to move farther, recently. In this case the aircraft dispatched to intercept and shadow the aircraft is a Spanish Air Force EF-18, one of the 5 jets currently deployed to Siauliai Air Base, Lithuania, for BAP mission. The Russian jet carrying Shoigu is not the Tu-154 with registration RA-85686 we observed on previous Russia’s MOD trips, but a Tu-204, based on the type of winglet exposed in the video. Interestingly, the EF-18 appears to be armed with 2x IRIS-T and 2 AIM-120 AMRAAM AAMs (Air-to-Air Missiles) as well as a ventral Litening targeting pod (used in air-to-air mode for visual ID of the target). The Russian Su-27 carries a pair of R-27 and R-73 AAMs, although the exact type and number of missiles is not clear in the footage (as the aircraft turns away from the camera). According to Zvezda, the close encounter occurred in international airspace over the Baltic. The Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was on his way back from a working trip to Kaliningrad exclave, where he visited the Sea International Landing Army International Games contest at the Khmelevka training ground.

Russian fighter jet wards off NATO F-18 nearing defense minister’s plane

A Russian fighter jet warded off a NATO military aircraft that approached a passenger plane carrying Russia’s defense minister Tuesday, according to media reports in Russia.

Russia Says Its Jets Drove Off NATO Warplane

Russia’s Defense Ministry claims that Russian Su-27 warplanes forced away a NATO F-18 jet after it approached an aircraft carrying Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu over international waters.

Video: Russia Forces NATO Fighter Away from Defense Minister’s Plane

NATO told Newsweek it was tracking a Russian aircraft at the time, but did not confirm what appeared to be an encounter between a Spanish F/A-18 and Russia Su-27.

NATO jet chased off by aircraft escorting Russian defense minister’s plane, Moscow says | TheHill

Russian fighter jets on Tuesday forced away a NATO F-18 fighter jet that came near a plane carrying the Kremlin’s defense minister, according to Moscow’s state-ru

Su-27 shoos NATO fighter away from Russian defense minister plane – Business Insider

NATO says it had “no information as to who was on board,” and Russian jets escorting the defense minister have flown toward NATO jets before.

Russia news: Aggressive fighter jet confronts NATO plane – shock midair confrontation | World | News | Express.co.uk

A RUSSIAN fighter jet chased away a NATO warplane after it approached the plane of Russia’s defence minister Sergei Shoigu.

Moscow claims its fighter jets have seen off a NATO war plane which got ‘almost within touching distance’ of Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu’s aircraft over international waters in the Baltic Sea | Daily Mail Online

A NATO F-18 fighter tried to approach Sergei Shoigu’s jet over Baltic Sea before being ‘forced away,’ by two Russian Su-27s, Kremlin news agency TASS reported.

Dramatic moment NATO fighter jets stalk Putin minister’s plane before being chased off by Russian warplanes

NATO warplanes are chased by Russian jets after getting within touching distance of Putin minister’s plane over the Baltic Sea. The dramatic scene unfolded during one of NATO’s aerial patrols of the region, which have been stepped up in response to Russia’s perceived military strengthening.

UAWire – Turkey considers buying Su-35 fighters from Russia

After purchasing S-400 “Triumph” aerial defense systems from Russia, Ankara is now investigating the possibility of buying Russian Su-35 fighters for the Turkish Air Force now that Turkey’s membership in the American F-35 program has been suspended, the Turkish news outlet Yeni Safak writes. According to the news outlet’s sources, the military officials responsible for rearming the Turkish Air Force have asked the Defense Ministry to consider Russia’s offer to sell Turkey Su-35s. If the Defense Ministry approves the proposal, official talks will begin between Turkey and the Russian defense export agency, RosOboronExport. In July 2019, Rostec CEO Sergey Chemezov announced that Russia is prepared to sell Turkey Su-35 multi-role fighters if Turkey “expresses interest”. On December 29, 2017, Turkey and Russia signed a credit agreement as part of the S-400 deal. This is the first time that a NATO country is purchasing a Russian aerial defense system. The actual contract was signed in September. On May 22, CNBC reported with reference to its own sources that the US had given Turkey two weeks to call off the S-400 deal, or else Ankara would be excluded from the F-35 program. On May 29, news came out that the US might actually impose sanctions on Turkey as part of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) and exclude it from the F-35 program if Ankara chose to go ahead with the S-400 deal. On June 7, the US decided to stop accepting Turkish pilots into the preparatory pilot training program for the fifth generation F-35 fighters. Subsequently, even Turkish pilots and specialists who had already started training at the Luke Air Force Base were barred from admission. On June 28, the US Senate officially banned the allocation of any budget funds to the transferal of F-35s or the accompanying equipment and intellectual property to Turkey until the US Defense Department and Secretary of State can confirm that Turkey has called off the S-400 deal and guaranteed not to purchase S-400s in future. Turkish President Recep Erdogan said that if Turkey is excluded from the F-35 program, Ankara will file a lawsuit against Washington to reclaim the $1.25 billion it has already paid for the fighters.

 

Russia boasts of winning arms race days after fatal missile explosion | TheHill

Russia on Tuesday claimed that it was winning the race to develop new, far-flying nuclear weapons despite a rocket explosion in the country that forced the government to temporarily evacuate a nearby village.

Report to Congress on Russian Nuclear Weapons – USNI News

August 13, 2019 11:19 PM The following is the Aug. 5, 2018 Congressional Research Service report, Russia’s Nuclear Weapons: Doctrine, Forces, and Modernization. From the report Russia’s nuclear forces consist of both long-range, strategic systems – including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and heavy bombers – and shorter- and medium-range delivery systems. Russia is modernizing its nuclear forces, replacing Soviet-era systems with new missiles, submarines and aircraft while developing new types of delivery systems. Although Russia’s number of nuclear weapons has declined sharply since the end of Cold War, it retains a stockpile of thousands of warheads, with more than 1,500 warheads deployed on missiles and bombers capable of reaching U.S. territory.

Report: U.S. Thinks Russian Explosion Tied To Cruise-Missile Program

A senior White House official echoed President Donald Trump’s previous tweets to say that Washington believes a Russian hypersonic cruise-missile program is linked to the deadly August 8 explosion …

U.S. believes Russian explosion was connected with cruise missile program: senior official – Reuters

The United States believes last week’s deadly explosion in Russia was associated with the Kremlin’s hypersonic cruise missile program, a senior Trump administration official said on Tuesday.

‘Accidents happen, unfortunately’: Kremlin comments on fatal test of ‘Skyfall’ missile — RT World News

The five nuclear scientists who died during an explosion at a secret military range in northern Russia are heroes, the Kremlin said, without confirming US speculation the mishap was related to Russia’s hypersonic missile program.

‘Accidents happen,’ says Kremlin as it breaks silence on suspected nuclear missile explosion | KFOR.com

The Kremlin broke its silence Tuesday on the apparent explosion of a nuclear-powered cruise missile during a test, saying that accidents “happen” but that Russia remained “far ahead” in the development of advanced weaponry.

‘Accidents happen,’ says Kremlin as it breaks silence on suspected Skyfall nuclear missile explosion – CNN

The Kremlin broke its silence Tuesday on the apparent explosion of a nuclear-powered cruise missile during a test, saying that accidents “happen” but that Russia remained “far ahead” in the development of advanced weaponry.

Russian Nuclear Accident Highlights New Cruise Missile

An explosion in northern Russia last week highlights Moscow’s continued work on a new strategic cruise missile powered by a nuclear reactor.

Russian rocket explosion fuels fears of secret nuclear-powered missile

The company said the victims were on a sea platform testing a rocket engine and were thrown into the sea by an explosion. By Associated Press Thousands of people attended the funerals Monday of five Russian nuclear engineers killed by an explosion as they tested a new rocket engine, a tragedy that fueled radiation fears and raised questions about a secretive weapons program. The engineers, who died Thursday, were laid to rest Monday in Sarov, which hosts Russia’s main nuclear weapons research center, where they worked. Flags flew at half-staff in the city 370 kilometers (230 miles) east of Moscow that has been a base for Russia’s nuclear weapons program since the late 1940s. The coffins were displayed at Sarov’s main square before being driven to a cemetery.

Pentagon says US can defend against Russian and Chinese missile threats — if it’s willing to invest

The Pentagon’s chief of research and engineering says the military is capable of defending against missile attacks from China and Russia — should the country choose to invest in the necessary systems.

Failed Russian nuclear test hints at Putin’s dangerous plans to beat U.S. defenses

An explosion off the coast of Russia’s Nyonoksa military range was likely a test of its nuclear-powered Burevestnik missile, according to experts.

Russia Orders Evacuation of Village Near Site of Nuclear Explosion – The New York Times

Residents were told to leave on Wednesday, suggesting a serious danger, but later reports said the evacuation had been called off.

Russian villagers set for mini-evacuation from fatal nuclear blast area | World news | The Guardian

Train to take people from Nyonoksa so work can be carried out at military site where accident occurred

UPDATED: Locals say evacuation of nuclear testing area Nyonoksa is cancelled | The Independent Barents Observer

Inhabitants in the village located near Arkhangelsk had previously been told to leave by train on Wednesday morning.

Russia explosion: Village evacuation cancelled after suspected missile accident – CNN

Russian authorities have called off the evacuation of a village in northern Russia near the site of a suspected failed missile test, Russian state news agency TASS reported on Tuesday. The incident last week killed at least five nuclear specialists and caused radiation levels to spike.

Confusion over radiation levels grows as Russia orders, then cancels evacuation near site of missile explosion – New York Daily News

Residents of a Russian village near the site of a missile explosion that killed five nuclear engineers last week have been told to evacuate following a brief spike in radiation levels in the region, according to multiple reports.

Russia calls, then cancels, town′s evacuation after nuclear mishap | News | DW | 13.08.2019

Radiation has spiked at a nearby town following last week’s explosion at a rocket testing site. First responders have been silenced and villagers told to leave, but the evacuation order has since been canceled.

Russia told residents living near the site of last week’s failed missile test to evacuate but then mysteriously canceled the order | Business Insider

Russia ordered the evacuation of residents living near the military testing range where a suspected test of a nuclear-powered cruise missile ended in a deadly explosion last week but then mysteriously canceled the order, the Associated Press reports, citing Russian media.

Russia cancels evacuation after missile explosion, claims tests show radiation levels ‘normal’ | Fox News

Russia’s military appeared to do an about-face on Tuesday after telling residents of a village near a navy testing range to evacuate after a mysterious explosion, only to cancel the order hours later while adding to the uncertainty surrounding the incident as local officials claimed soil samples showed that radiation levels have not risen after the blast.

Mysterious Russian Nuclear Explosion Upgraded From Weird To Baffling Amid Evacuation Confusion | Gizmodo Australia

Russia military officials issued conflicting reports this week about whether residents in areas near a mysterious nuclear explosion must evacuate….

Opinion | What Happened at Russia’s Missile Test Site? – The New York Times

Don’t expect a straight answer from Vladimir Putin’s government.

Testing weapons with radiation source near populated areas a ‘serious concern’ | The Independent Barents Observer

Nuclear safety expert Andrey Zolotkov with the Murmansk-based environmental group Bellona says there is always a risk of unforeseen circumstances as now seen with the missile blast and radiation spike in the White Sea.

Russia nuclear blast: What was behind a fatal blast that killed five? | World | News | Express.co.uk

RUSSIA is still reeling from a mysterious blast which killed five scientists and injured three last week. What was behind the deadly explosion?

 

 

The staggering power of Russia’s new top-secret nuclear rocket | WIRED UK

It’s believed Russia’s 9M730 Burevestnik rocket – dubbed Skyfall by Nato – caused the country’s nuclear explosion. The engine is expected to be a nuclear-propelled cruise missile

How Russia’s ‘unstoppable’ nuclear-powered cruise missile works, and why it keeps failing- Technology News, Firstpost

The missile could, in theory, fly forever and attack at hypersonic speeds, making it unstoppable.

Dimitri K. Simes | Delusions About Russia | The National Interest

Russia is a dangerous adversary. But treating it as an outright enemy could result in a self-fulfilling prophecy, triggering mortal threats to its neighbors which otherwise may not be in the cards.

Sébastien Roblin: Russia’s nuclear explosion shows why John Bolton’s plan to kill off arms control treaties is scary

A Russian nuclear explosion while John Bolton, national security advisor, is in Europe hasn’t deterred him from trying to scrap the New START arms treaty.

 

Why the U.S. Abandoned Nuclear-Powered Missiles – Russia Nuclear Missile Accident

President Donald Trump says the U.S. has a missile like the one that killed seven in the Russian arctic. That’s untrue, because the U.S. abandoned the idea decades ago.

SLAM – America’s Big Stick & Doomsday Weapon – YouTube

Curious Droid Published on Oct 20, 2018 Just before ICBM’s became the de facto delivery system of choice, the US created what could be called the doomsday weapon of the cold war. It was deemed so dangerous that the same government that commissioned it, cancelled it before it went into production. This is the story of Project Pluto and SLAM the unstoppable nuclear-powered cruise missile it created.

 

 

 

 

 

Federico Rossi | An Atmospheric Nuclear Ramjet: the Supersonic Low Altitude Missile

Increasing concern about the human and economic cost of maintaining permanent land-based military forces in Asia led the Eisenhower administration (1953-1961) to abandon the “local defense” military doctrine (based on projecting power with ground-based forces) in favor of the “massive retaliation” paradigm, which relied on establishing the credible threat of a nuclear escalation in response to any hostile act from the U.S.S.R. or its allies. [1] Central to this doctrine was the ability to deliver effective nuclear strikes in Soviet territory, both as a first strike and in a retaliatory manner. The U.S. Strategic Air Command (SAC) explored several offensive concepts, generally divided into two camps: “high altitude” attacks, carried out from above the stratosphere, and “low and fast” attacks where attackers would rely on speed and ground cover to escape detection. While the former paradigm eventually prevailed, with Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) providing the bulk of the U.S.’s first-strike and retaliation capability from the mid-Sixties to the present day, several fascinating concepts in the latter field were developed in the early years of the Cold War. The Supersonic Low Altitude Missile is one of the most fascinating products of this age: a Mach-3 nuclear-powered ramjet, it was designed to deliver up to 42 nuclear warheads deep into Soviet territory and simultaneously expose vast swaths of Soviet land to devastating sonic booms and highly radioactive exhaust products. The concept was initially proposed in NACA reports in 1954 and 1955. [2,3] Fig. 1 shows a preliminary airframe design. Development of the reactor (codenamed Project Pluto) was entrusted to the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, whereas airframes were developed by Ling-Temco-Vought and Convair.

Project Pluto (SLAM) 1:72 Resin Model Kit by Fantastic Plastic

 

Putin’s pesky millennials Sociologist Olga Zeveleva explains what makes today’s protesters in Moscow something new for Russia — Meduza

“I am 20 years old, and in my entire life there has not been a single day of freedom,” a young woman proclaimed before TV cameras at a protest in Moscow on August 10. She was one of roughly 50,000 people who gathered that day to demand fair elections in September’s City Duma race, and advocate the release of activists arrested at earlier demonstrations for the same cause. The August 10 rally was the most-attended protest Russia has witnessed since the so-called “Bolotnaya” wave of anti-Putin rallies in late 2011 and 2012. But does Russia’s new protest movement belong to the millennials? In a special essay for Meduza, Olga Zeveleva, an Oxford Russia Fellow at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Sociology, looks at how generational politics and new forms of mobilization have shaped recent events in Moscow.

‘A whole army’ Russian senator breaks with political establishment and criticizes Moscow’s police crackdown on protesters — Meduza

On August 12, Vyacheslav Markhaev wrote on his Instagram page: “Instead of hearing out [protesters’] claims by organizing a dialogue, the administration found it easier to rely on force that was excessive in many cases.” The text was remarkable because Makhaev is a member of Russia’s Communist Party and a sitting senator in the Federation Council, as well as a former riot-police commander with 27 years of service. He says the actions of police officers and National Guard troops in Moscow in recent weeks has been “unlawful and professionally illiterate.” Makhaev’s comments about Moscow’s protests are sharply at odds with statements from other lawmakers. For example, Andrey Klimov, a fellow senator and chairman of Russia’s State Sovereignty Protection Commission, has accused the West of inciting activists. Communist leader and State Duma deputy Gennady Zyuganov, meanwhile, says the protests in the capital are the “evil grin of orange shenanigans” (referring to political unrest in Ukraine more than a decade ago). Meduza special correspondent Kristina Safonova asked Senator Markhaev why he’s decided to speak out in support of Moscow’s protesters, despite the hard-line positions of his colleagues and fellow party members.

Moscow municipal deputy demands criminal investigation into personal data leak of 3,000 ‘Navalny supporters’ — Meduza

Moscow municipal deputy Yuri Volnov has formally appealed to Russia’s Investigative Committee, requesting an inquiry into a database leaked last week by the Telegram channel Comrade Major that contains the personal information of roughly 3,000 people. On Facebook, Volnov said he filed the report with the help of attorneys from the “Agora” human rights group. If Russian officials refuse to investigate the matter, he says he plans to go to the European Court of Human Rights.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kremlin’s Strategy of Ignoring Protests Politicizing Them and Bringing on a Systemic Crisis, Kagarlitsky Says

Paul Goble Staunton, August 12 – Now, as at least since 2005 when Russians went into the streets in opposition to their government’s monetarization of benefits, the Kremlin has sought to ignore such protests, believing them to be not the voice of the people but a problem for the regime, Boris Kagarlitsky says. But such “ignoring of protests will lead to a political crisis” at some point, and the more protests there are and the more the Kremlin tries to ignore them, the sooner and greater this crisis is likely to be, the left-of-center sociologist and political commentator tells the Nakanune news agency (nakanune.ru/articles/115385/). Despite that, Kagarlitsky says, the Kremlin continues to believe that ignoring protests at the political level or at least giving the impression that it is ignoring them even while it uses its police powers to repress those who go into the streets is its optimum political strategy. But ever more other Russians are seeing through this ruse. According to a poll conducted by the Nakanune news agency, more than half of its self-selected sample of over 1600 people say that they are convinced that the protests in Moscow and other Russian cities are “evidence of a growing crisis of the political system” and not something that can continue to be ignored by the powers that be. That suggests that Russians if not yet the Kremlin leadership recognizes that the current wave of protests is not about the single issue of registering opposition candidates for the elections to the Moscow city council but the result of growing dissatisfaction among Russians with their rulers. The Kremlin’s effort to act as if the protesters are marginal and unworthy of its attention has been going on for more than 14 years, Kagarlitsky continues, since the monetarization of benefits fiasco of “distant 2005,” although the powers reacted more to demonstrations than they have more recently. According to the commentator, protests are an objective reaction to objective changes in society. They “absolutely do not depend on the desire or lack of desire of the opposition.” That means they are a measure of what is going on that can be ignored only by those who foolishly believe they can ride anything out. Indeed, he says, “protests are no more than a symptom of a major political and social illness which is a fatal one for the existing powers that be.” How quickly that disease will act on the body politic is uncertain, Kagarlitsky continues. But several things about this illness are already clear. “The Moscow protests are not even the tip of the iceberg; they are a point on the tip of the iceberg because they are the result of growing anger throughout the country.” Acting as if this isn’t so and ignoring them will only “deepen” the crisis, “politicizing protest and transforming the social crisis into a political one.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Month of Protests Forcing Kremlin to Look for New Ways to Maintain Its Power, Shevtsova Says

Paul Goble Staunton, August 12 – For the last month, Muscovites have been taking part in growing protests against the illegal actions of the authorities to prevent opposition candidates from being registered. This rising tide of demonstrations in the Russian capital, Lilya Shevtsova says, has undermined” the Kremlin’s self-defense mechanisms. In a 3500-word interview with Znak journalist Yevgeny Senshin, the Russian political analyst says that the Kremlin is scrambling to find a new means of maintaining power in the face of this challenge, while the opposition considers what steps it needs to take (znak.com/2019-08-12/mesyac_s_nachala_protestnyh_akciy_v_moskve_chto_budet_dalshe_intervyu). What matters, Shevtsova says, is not the growing size of the protests but the fact that people are so angry that they are willing to come out even in the face of increasing repression. “Each action today confirms the new quality of the protests,” ones with more younger people and more from the regions taking part. According to the Russian analyst, “the Moscow city council elections were never important.” The authorities didn’t want the opposition to gain a victory and the Kremlin will never allow Navalny and his immediate entourage to gain a foothold in legislative structures. But in opposing the population, she says, “the Moscow authorities committed a systemic error.” They would have been far better off with a few opposition figures in a legislative body that doesn’t matter than with what they have provoked – “a massive political conflict” – one that highlights the fact that “the autocracy has already for a long time already been in a state of agony.” “The collapse of the USSR,” Shevtsova continues, “in peace time and in the absence of threats confirms that this system does not have any prospects. But the agony of such constructions can extend for decades. Now there are already signs not of a crisis of the system but of its degradation and rotting.” “Up until now,” she says, “the Kremlin has balanced the interests of the siloviki and other oligarch corporations.” It is unlikely that the former have passed out of its control: the problem of the siloviki is in who controls them and how they are used. Fighting against them is “the best present for those who want an escalation of state terror.” “The authorities are moving toward a dictatorship, possibly not a personal but a group one. The Kremlin has been preparing itself for existence in a situation of limited resources and a rising tide of dissatisfaction. We are seeing the consolidation of a system which restructured itself after the annexation of Crimea and the beginning of Western sanctions.” The regime is turning to force because its other means are “running out” and because the ruling class cannot continue to exist if it remains within the boundaries of the law. “All this changes the former mechanism of survival which included imitation and personal integration of the ruling class ‘in the West.’” The Kremlin doesn’t want any repetition of any of Gorbachev’s reforms. Instead, it “is attempting to use ‘the summer of protest’ to form a new defense mechanism,” one that is based on increased repression justified by suggestions that those protesting against it are foreign agents, an echo of accusations about Russian interference in elections in the West. It is extremely difficult for the Putin regime to acknowledge that “people have gone into the streets on their own because they are dissatisfied. This must never be admitted. It is necessary to find an external enemy who has tempted our simple-minded citizens! In short, we see an effort to replace ‘Crimea is Ours’ with a new mobilization mechanism.” The Putin regime is doing this, Shevtsova continues, “because in Russia there is no chance either for a lengthy mass terror like Stalin’s or for a stable dictatorship. There are no ideas which would justify force of that kind and the dictatorial authority of the leader.” Neither elites nor the siloviki will support that. “We already live in a different country,” and so the Kremlin is seeking yet again another way to legitimize itself and retain power. But here is the crux of the current problem: “the system is falling apart more rapidly than an alternative is taking shape,” a pattern that allows the regime to remain in place and prevents the opposition from moving to replace it. The result of this conflict “will depend on two factors: the presence in society of an organized alternative and the readiness of part of the elite for dialogue with the opposition in the name of national salvation,” Shevtsova argues. The absence of clarity is sparking fear and concern among many. But one thing is certain: the preservation of the autocracy unchanged and forever is impossible. The system must be changed. There must be an end to the super-presidentialist system in which the incumbent has “greater powers than did the general secretaries of the communist party of the Soviet Union.” “But as Ukraine shows, escaping from an authoritarian-oligarchic system is much more difficult than doing the same thing from communism.” How to break the ties between power and property and how to restore confidence in institutions are questions for which no one currently has an answer. Unfortunately, the West isn’t helping. It has its own problems. According to Shevtsova, it “could influence Russia only by one means, the cleaning out of its own stables and the blocking of the export of corruption from counties like Russia.” At present, there is little interest among Western elites in taking those steps. And in conclusion, Shevtsova makes one final point. “Concentrating on the fate of Vladimir Putin and ‘the Putinization’ of the conversation and of our politics prevents the discussion of more important problems connected with the logic of a system which already does not depend on the leader alone.” All the babble “about ‘transition,’” she says, “represents a failure to talk about current challenges and how people should respond to them.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Siberian Fires Burning Away Last of Kremlin’s Legitimacy, Luzin Says

Paul Goble Staunton, August 12 – Forest fires have been a regular fact of Russian life for a long time, but this year’s fires have been transformed into “a public scandal” because the authorities first said there was no reason to spend money fighting them but then, under pressure from the population, deployed the Russian air force to do just that, Pavel Luzin says. In its dealings with the enormous fires, the powers that be have “demonstrated their own incompetence and the low capacity of the system as a whole” to cope with basic problems and cast doubt among Russians about the advisability of living according to rules dictated to them by the Kremlin, the Russian regionalist says (region.expert/moscow_fires/). Putting out massive fires is “very difficult,” Luzin concede; but “it is possible to predict them and not to allow them to spread to hundreds of thousands and millions of hectares.” Tragically, Moscow hasn’t been up to that. Its defenders have disingenuously pointed to the problems the US has had in California. But not only are California’s problems different in scale and nature because of the density of population, but no one there was proposing as Russian officials have about letting enormous “control zones” simply continue to burn because it would be difficult and expensive to fight fires there, the regionalist argues. “The Russian power system is based on total distrust in its own executors,” that is, these fire control zones “have appeared because the central powers that be are not capable of controlling the spending of resources for putting out these fires or capable of providing enough of these resources to do the job.” That has happened, Luzin says, because decisions about dealing with fires are concentrated in Moscow far away from the victims of such fires. Regional and local officials in Russia don’t have the resources or the authority to what is necessary. They must wait for Moscow which has a different agenda. What this means, Luzin continues, is that “the Russian power system in its present form a priori cannot be effective,” something ever more people can see and thus are asking why do they need such centralized institutions as the emergency services ministry if it is incapable of doing hat needs to be done. The “negative selection” of officials, of course, is making things worse. When governors say there is no need to fight the fires, Russians are angry just as they were when another official said they shouldn’t be asking the government for anything because the government didn’t ask them to be born. Vladimir Putin has sought to exploit such absurdities to make himself look good, but he hasn’t been able to deliver; and Russians suffering from fires and floods are drawing their own conclusions. Ever more of them distrust the authorities, a trend highlighted by the rumors and myths now circulating in Siberia. Some people say that the fires were set to hide Chinese exploitation of Russian forests, oblivious to the fact that only about 240,000 hectares would have to be burned to do that and millions of hectares are in flames. But to focus on that, Luzin suggests, is to focus on the bigger problem: the greed of the authorities and the increasing ability of Russians to see that. “The fires yet again have sown that Russian citizens are not indifferent to what goes on in their country,” he continues. “This is true regardless of the Kremlin’s efforts to convince people of the contrary.” And thanks to natural disasters and man-made ones like trash dumps as well, the green agenda is becoming “one of the dominant ideological trends” in Russian society. Such problems invariably have a local dimension with which the hyper-centralized Russian state cannot cope, and so anger about environmental degradation is leading to questions about the injustice and incompetence of the current power structure to protect Russians from disaster. “It is possible,” Luzin concludes, “that the civic consensus around the great idea will become in the foreseeable future one of the locomotives of political changes in Russia, including the need for serious decentralization.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russians Trust Even Their Friends and Relatives Less than Ever Before, New Poll Finds

Paul Goble Staunton, August 12 – Historically, Russians have seldom trusted people beyond their families and immediate circles of friends and associates, but a new study by scholars at the Russian Academy of Economics and State Service finds that increasingly, they don’t trust those close to them either. Almost a third – 30 percent – of Russians say they trust others less than they did. But what is especially striking and disturbing is that 12.6 percent fewer now say they trust their relatives less, 18.2 percent fewer say they trust their friends and 25 percent less their colleagues (rg.ru/2019/08/09/rossiiane-perestali-doveriat-dazhe-blizkim-rodstvennikam.html). Some Russian scholars like Aleksey Zubets of Moscow’s Finance University believe that these declines are artifacts of the way the questions were asked, but even they concede that Russian levels of inter-personal trust are far lower than in other countries and that this is a problem. Trust is an important form of social capital, and without it, people find it far more difficult to work with others and far more likely to remain socially isolated individuals, a pattern that invariably gives rise to anomie and anger but does not offer the means for overcoming these challenges.

FSB Raids Offices Of Moscow-Based Human Rights Group

Agents of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) have raided the offices of Russia Justice Initiative (RJI), a human rights group in Moscow.

Moscow Court Allows Opposition Candidate To Run Following Protest

A Moscow court has rescinded a decision by the city’s election commission to bar a Russian opposition candidate from running in a municipal election next month.

Four Yabloko Party Members Get On Ballot For Moscow Municipal Vote

Four of eight candidates from the liberal Yabloko party have been registered for next month’s election to the Moscow city council after a court on August 13 reversed a ruling by election official…

Ruling political party deletes St. Petersburg acting governor’s online bio, after he claims in debate to be unaffiliated — Meduza

Hours after St. Petersburg Acting Governor Alexander Beglov declared himself to be the gubernatorial race’s only candidate without party affiliation, his biography disappeared from the website of United Russia, the country’s ruling political party. Still archived by Internet search engines, Beglov’s United Russia bio described him as a member of the party’s high council and the former head of its St. Petersburg branch. The online anomaly was first reported by the newspaper Novaya Gazeta.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin has Created a Fifth International on the Right, Felshtinsky Says

Paul Goble Staunton, August 12 – Marx created the first International; Engels established the second; Lenin, the third; Trotsky, the fourth; and now Vladimir Putin heads a fifth International, although he hasn’t officially announced it and although this one, in contrast to its predecessors unites “right-wing neo-fascist forces” rather that socialist ones, Yury Felshtinsky says. That Putin has done so, the US-based Russian historian says, should come as no surprise because it is simply the extrapolation onto the world of the ways in which Putin himself came to power and the goals he has pursued since then as a revanchist leader committed to undoing the settlement of 1991 (svoboda.org/a/30086938.html). After being appointed to power and unleashing a war in Chechnya to build his authority at home. Putin went about in the first years of his rule “the destruction of the only obvious conquest of ‘the August revolution of 1991,’” Felshtinsky says, the destruction of the free media and its reversion to state control. The Kremlin leader restored the Soviet hymn and Soviet TASS, he called the disintegration of the USSR “the most important geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century and a personal tragedy,” and he began using Russian military power beyond the borders of the Russian Federation, attacking Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014. These acts of aggression, Feltshtinsky says, “were accompanied by unprecedented in size anti-Georgian and anti-Ukrainian propaganda campaigns which unleashed nationalist feelings among Russian citizens.” As a result, Russians were transformed in all too many cases from “neutral-apolitical” citizens to “militant fascists” in their views. So successful was this campaign within Russia that it was almost inevitable that Putin would extend it to the international arena, looking to “right-wing nationalist forces” as his allies and supporters, and that he would do so by overt and where necessary cover support of them throughout the West. It turned out, Felshtinsky continues, that “this has proved a more effective means of hitting back at an enemy” than any could have predicted. Sometimes, this support of right-wing forces to bring about regime change has worked – as in Hungary, the Czech Republic and the US,” the historian says – and sometimes not. But it remains the centerpiece of Putin’s approach. That is because is helps him pursue his “strategic tasks” including the unleashing of wars against former Soviet republics “who haven’t been able to join NATO,” the division or weakening of the Western alliance, the breaking apart of the European Union, and the expansion of Russian territories. “Since 2008,” Felshtinsky says, “everything has been subordinated to these tasks.” And Putin has been able “to return Russia too the state when it again as in Soviet times has become a military threat to the world.” He openly says Russia can fight and win a nuclear war, but he devotes most of his effort to winning a “hybrid” one using covert means. Among these are developing ties with and promoting the growth of right-wing nationalist forces in Russia and other countries via his Fifth International, an institution committed to “the destruction of the European Union and NATO,” the two institutions which after the end of the Soviet empire have played a stabilizing role in the world. “The new decade we are about to enter along with Colonel Putin will be a field of battle” where the forces of democracy and those of fascism (neo-fascism) will contest. Putin’s Russia will be the main player, but new “’fifth columns’ on the right will be among his most important agents and allies.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin’s Popularity has Collapsed in Belarus Too, New Polls Show

Paul Goble Staunton, August 12 – The decline in Vladimir Putin’s popularity in Russia in recent years with the collapse of the so-called “Crimean consensus” has been much documented and commented upon, but his standing in Belarus, which has been declining more or less continuously since 2002, has not. However, polls by Minsk’s Independent Institute for Social, Economic and Political Research and the Belarusian Analytic Center find that the peak of Putin’s standing among Belarusians as a leader of the Union involving their country and Belarus occurred only two years into his rule (svaboda.org/a/30101803.html; in Russian, belaruspartisan.by/politic/472892/). Since that time, the two research institutions say, as a result of various crises in the relationship between Minsk and Moscow, Putin’s standing as a possible leader of the two countries functioning as one has fallen consistently, even as Aleksandr Lukashenka’s standing with his own population has generally risen. Putin remains respected among Belarusians, the polls find, but only as the leader of a neighboring country and not as a potential leader of the Union state. Consequently, the object of one of Putin’s much cherished policies 20 years into his reign doesn’t see him as he would like to be seen. Whether as a result of these polls or merely a coincidence, Moscow has insisted and Minsk has agreed this week to allow a new group of Russian television channels to be distributed via cable in Belarus and thereby promote all things Russian among a population that is ever enamored of Putin (charter97.org/ru/news/2019/8/10/344335/).

 

Russian Scientists Complain New Rules Would Sharply Restrict Foreign Interaction

Scientists say the Russian authorities have ordered new restrictions limiting the interaction between Russian scholars and their foreign counterparts.

Russia imposes new restrictions on scientists’ contact with foreign colleagues — Meduza

Russia’s Science and Education Ministry has made it more difficult for scientists to have contact with foreigners, according to reports by Moskovsky Komsomolets and Troitsky Variant. The new regulations apply to all institutions under the ministry’s control, most but not all of which are dedicated to the natural sciences.

Russian officials say new restrictions on scientists contacting foreign colleagues are only ‘recommendations’ — Meduza

Early in the day on August 14, reports emerged that Russia’s Science and Education Ministry had issued an order establishing strict reporting requirements for foreign visitors at the Ministry’s subordinate institutions, which center on the natural sciences but include other fields as well. The new order also regulates meetings between Russian scholars and their foreign colleagues, requiring the latter to surrender any “recording or copying devices,” among other restrictions.

 

Bezsmertnyi: Zelenskyi far too trusting of Putin

Roman Bezsmertnyi, who was dismissed from the post of a representative Ukraine’s representative in the working subgroup on political issues of the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) to resolve the situation in the east of the country, has said that he takes well the decision of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi to dismiss him from the post, but he said that the head of state has illusions of trusting Russian President Vladimir Putin. Censor.NET reports citing LIGA. “I was absolutely okey about this decision. He has the right, he made a decision,” Bezsmertnyi said on the 24 TV channel on Tuesday, commenting on the decision on his dismissal. However, he said that the head of state, employees of his office and deputies of the Servant of the People Party lack an understanding of the current situation and risks. “The current situation is very dangerous because of the desire – and I believe in Zelenskyi’s honest desire to do better – he, unfortunately, is now being trapped. He simply does not understand who he is dealing with … This is his conscious conviction that Putin in this situation may be some kind of ally,” the diplomat said. “The Servant of the People… has a desire to give answers to these difficult questions, but like in the President’s Office and the president himself, there is neither knowledge nor understanding of the situation. I honestly acted as a person who tried to help… When I saw the president’s position, where he said that the first and second should be done, and I told him honestly – I do not believe them, I know that they will not do this… I could not understand the actions of Petro Poroshenko when he called Merkel, I cannot understand the actions of Zelenskyi, who immediately calls Putin, because it is clear to me how to act in one situation or other,” Bezsmertnyi said. Asked about the possible meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron in a week and about the arrangements for the date of the meeting of the Normandy Four, Bezsmertnyi said: “I think that around this date … not only Macron will meet Putin in southern France… but also President of France and President of Ukraine will meet.” In his opinion, consultations with U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker will also take place there, and consultations can also be held with “certain representatives of Germany,” and “now the possibility of expanding the Normandy format is being discussed.” According to him, the reason for his dismissal was his public position. “And this position is not only on issues… of tactics of actions on the contact line, tactics of actions in the negotiating group,” the diplomat said, explaining that he worked with five heads of state and the reason for his behavior was that he wanted to avoid repeating the mistakes made by his predecessors. “It is obvious that my position is welcomed now, but it is the president’s right to appoint, dismiss,” he said. Bezsmertnyi said that he would try to transfer his knowledge to other participants in the Minsk process. “I love Ukraine, and therefore I will do everything possible to ensure that the issue is resolved,” he said. The diplomat said that over the past two months he had prepared a draft decree, “which provided for the normalization of the work of the delegation and prepared a bill that laid down a completely different model for achieving peace in this war. And I was to introduce it the other day,” Bezsmertnyi said, adding that he will not do this, since earlier his ideas were discredited. Source: https://censor.net.ua/en/n3142728

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Zelensky May Yet Become a Defender of Ukrainian Independence, Piontkovsky Says

Paul Goble Staunton, August 12 – Unlike many of those on his team, Vladimir Zelensky is not a convinced opponent of an independent Ukrainian state, Andrey Piontkovsky says; and consequently, his apparent indifference to many of the things that will allow that country to remain so may be open to change. In an interview with Kseniya Kirillova, a US-based Russian journalist, the Russian analyst says that Zelensky’s visit to Ankara highlighted that possibility given that he insisted Crimea must be returned to Ukrainian control and that the repression of the Crimean Tatars must stop (ru.krymr.com/a/andrej-piontkovskij-o-vladimire-zelenskom/30104095.html).Especiallyindicative of the chance for positive change, Piontkovsky says, is that Zelensky included Mustafa Dzhemilyev, the longtime leader of the Crimean Tatars, in his delegation, proof that the Ukrainian president is prepared to have around him people “capable of exerting a positive influence on him.” Securing the return of Crimea is “a long process,” the Russian commentator says, “which will be crowned with success only after the fall of the Putin regime,” something that will happen more quickly if the international community continues to stand with Ukraine on the issue of its sovereignty over Crimea. Turkey, despite all of Erdogan’s “’playing’ with Moscow,” has been good in this regard, and it seems clear that Zelensky understands that. But the Ukrainian president has not take steps to correct “’the horrific error’” he made during his campaign for office and in the first weeks of his presidency. First among these mistakes, Piontkovsky says, is that Zelensky described the more than five years of “heroic resistance of the Ukrainian state to Russian aggression” as “a war unleashed by Ukraine. Second, Zelensky called his opponent the leader of “’the war party’” and said the fighting in the Donbass was “’a civil conflict’” Ukrainians must solve. And third, Piontkovsky continues, Zelensky during his debates said that the war could end if Ukraine “simply stopped shooting.” The absurdity of that given Russian aggression has been demonstrated not only by the actions of Russian forces since that time but by Putin’s reaction to Zelensky’s telephone calls. The Ukrainian president in approaching Putin asked the Kremlin leader to use his influence on the Donbass fighters, thus fitting himself into the Russian narrative that Putin is a third party rather than the individual responsible for the continuing aggression against Ukraine and Ukrainians. By adopting that stance, Zelensky has given Putin the advantage, Piontkovsky says; but the telephone call clearly left the Ukrainian leader confused because of Putin’s tough line. And there is evidence that Zelensky is “already beginning to understand” that what the Russian leader says and what he is doing are very much at variance. Unfortunately as of yet, there is no indication that Zelensky “understands that his rhetoric about ‘the party of war’ blackens not only Poroshenko and all Ukraine but also the country’s allies, including Macron and Merkel” who, if the Ukrainian leader is correct, haven’t been defending Ukraine but participating in a crime by working for “’the party of war.’” According to Piontkovsky, “Putin hopes in the end to force Kyiv to agree to his conditions and include the Donbass within the political body of Ukraine with the preservation and legalization of all Russian militants and their established orders,” thus inserting “a cancerous tumor” inside Ukraine to destroy the entire country. Zelensky needs to understand that, and he has displayed a certain learning curve since becoming president increasingly turning away from pro-Putin advisors to those who recognize reality. The Ukrainian leader has only “two ways out,” allying himself with those who would capitulate to Putin or “becoming the real leader of Ukrainian resistance.” Piontkovsky concludes that there is “a chance” that Zelensky will become the latter. His very human confusion after his conversation with Putin shows that clearly. “For the first time,” the commentator says, “I saw on the screen not the mask of a successful showman but the face of a living human being.” As a result, there is some reason for hope.

Joe Biden states he’d make Ukraine a foreign policy priority

The former vice president of the United States and Democratic 2020 presidential candidate, Joe Biden, stated that if he was elected president he would make Ukraine a foreign policy priority. — Ukrinform.

Joe Biden states he’d make Ukraine a foreign policy priority

14.08.19 14:25 – Joe Biden states he’d make Ukraine a foreign policy priority The former vice president of the United States and Democratic 2020 presidential candidate, Joe Biden, stated that if he was elected president he would make Ukraine a foreign policy priority. View news.

Reuters: Macron to push Putin to resume Ukraine talks during France visit: official – news world | UNIAN

French President Emmanuel Macron will seek to persuade his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin next week to resume peace talks with Ukraine after its new president offered an olive branch, a French official said on Tuesday. Topping the meeting will be the situation in Ukraine after new President Volodymyr Zelensky on August 6 pressed Putin for a resumption of peace talks.

Presidents of Finland and Russia to discuss Ukrainian issue

President of Russia Vladimir Putin will visit Finland on August 21, where he will discuss international issues with President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö. — Ukrinform.

Poland supports Zelensky’s proposal to expand Normandy format

Poland supports the proposal by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to expand the Normandy format on settling the conflict in Donbas and to invite the United States and the United Kingdom to these negotiations, Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz has told an Ukrinform correspondent in New York. — Ukrinform.

Turkish Ambassador to Ukraine outlines prospects for signing FTA

The economies of Ukraine and Turkey complement each other and it’s quite possible to reach a $10 billion trade turnover a year. — Ukrinform.

Ukrainian president may visit Japan in October

14.08.19 15:02 – Ukrainian president may visit Japan in October Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi may visit Japan in October 2019 to attend the ceremony of enthronement for Emperor Naruhito, as well as hold a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and discuss the situation in eastern Ukraine. View news.

Zelensky to hold talks with Netanyahu on August 19

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky will hold talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his visit to Kyiv on August 19. — Ukrinform.

 

The invaders placed a squadron of Forposts [RPVs] in Crimea

The invaders will intensify their grouping in Crimea with a squadron of long-range Forpost unmanned aerial vehicles. About it reports Izvestia It is part of the 318th Mixed Aviation Regiment, based at Kacha Airport, near occupied Sevastopol. As part of the grouping, they should participate in monitoring the Black Sea waters. In Russia, it is argued that the Forpost UAV will also be able to give targeting for X-35 and Caliber anti-ship missiles. Workplace of UAV operator Forpost Photo: Russian Defense Ministry Workplace of UAV operator Forpost Photo: Russian Defense Ministry Short tactical and technical characteristics: UAV weight: more than 450 kg Operator Location: Up to 250 km Speed: about 200 km / h Maximum time in the air: up to 17 hours Maximum altitude: up to 5 thousand meters The Outpost UAV was created on the basis of previously purchased Searcher Mk II drones in Israel. At the moment it is Russia’s largest unmanned aerial vehicle. It is expected to receive a shock version – “Forpost-M” in the near future. A UAV of this type was shot down on May 20, 2015 in Donbass by forces involved in the anti-terrorist operation:

Court in Ukraine dismisses prosecutors’ motion to seize vessel that earlier supplied fuel to Russia’s Black Sea fleet – news ukraine | UNIAN

The municipal court of Kherson on Aug 13 handed down a ruling upon considering a motion filed by prosecutors and the SBU security service on seizing the Mariya vessel which is believed to have supplied fuel to certain units of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, that’s according to the local prosecutors’ Telegram channel. The Maria, which in 2015 was called “Vilga,” used to supply fuel to the occupied Crimea, the investigation established.

Rights of Ukrainians violated in Crimea: UK envoy to UN – news politics | UNIAN

Rights of Ukrainian nationals are being violated in the Russian-occupied Crimea, Karen Pierce, UK Permanent Representative to the UN, has said. They are being denied access to basic services because they would not change their citizenship.

So-called “state authorities” in occupied Crimea illegitimate – Zelensky’s envoy – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian president’s permanent envoy for the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Anton Korinevych, has said that all of the so-called “state authorities” created by the occupying state in Crimea are illegitimate. Korinevych said the so-called “permanent representative office of the Republic of Crimea under the president of the Russian Federation” could not be considered legitimate since Crimea is part of Ukraine.

 

13 attacks against JFO positions yesterday: no losses among Ukrainian soldiers

14.08.19 10:35 – 13 attacks against JFO positions yesterday: no losses among Ukrainian soldiers On August 13, the armed formations of the Russian Federation and its mercenaries violated ceasefire in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) area in Donbas 13 times. View news.

OSCE spots Grad multiple launch rocket systems and tanks in Donbas

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine recorded seven Grad multiple launch rocket systems in the occupied Luhansk region in violation of the Minsk agreements. — Ukrinform.

Russian intel operatives posing as females in social networks trying to recruit Ukrainian military – news ukraine | UNIAN

The SBU Security Service of Ukraine says it has been monitoring numerous attempts by Russian intelligence agencies and Russia-controlled militants in the occupied Donbas, posing as females on social networks to establish contact with Ukrainian military in order to eventually recruit them into spying for Russia. In one of the cases exposed, after establishing psychological contact, the “female friend” tried to convince the serviceman into gathering intelligence, promising to take him out to Russia where he would allegedly be provided with housing.

Pro-Ukrainian student held hostage by Russia-controlled “LPR” for almost one year – news ukraine | UNIAN

Pro-Ukrainian student Serhiy Rusynov has been held hostage by the Russia-controlled “Luhansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”) in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, for almost one year. He was detained on August 24, 2018, for putting likes on pro-Ukrainian social media posts.

National-Security Council Chief: Ukraine’s Spy Agency Is Top Reform Priority

The reform of Ukraine’s SBU security service was high on the agenda at the August 13 meeting between the head of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) and an international advisory group…

Zelenskyi transfers Lytvynenko from NSDC to NISS

14.08.19 12:18 – Zelenskyi transfers Lytvynenko from NSDC to NISS Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi has dismissed Oleksandr Lytvynenko from the post of deputy secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine and appointed him director of the National Institute for Strategic Studies… View news.

Everyone has the right to a Kalash – a review of AK-based carbines

Every citizen of Ukraine from the age of 25 can legally own a Kalashnikov assault rifle. However, in a civilian version in the caliber 7.62×39 mm, which is slightly different from the army. How are AKM-based hunting carbines different from army machine guns? What are they like? How do they shoot? But how can they be made more modern and accurate weapons? Let’s get acquainted with Vitaly Pedchenko in the 68th issue of the program “Armory School”.

 

Poland is considering upgrading its MiG-29s in Ukraine

The Polish Ministry of National Defense is exploring the possibility of modernizing the MiG-29 aircraft fleet with Ukraine. This was reported by a representative of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine to the Defense-Industrial Courier news agency According to the agency’s interlocutor, Poland could join this modernization, which will take place at the Lviv Aviation Repair Plant. According to preliminary estimates, the cost of upgrading one aircraft may be about $ 1 million. According to the interlocutor of the agency, such a state of affairs is quite advantageous to a neighboring country, which is trying to significantly strengthen its capacity to protect the airspace. The modernization of the MiG-29 MU2 , the development of the Lviv State Aviation Repair Plant, or the modernization of MiG aircraft with the participation of foreign partners , announced by the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak, have not been specified. Poland is currently considering several powerful modernization programs for its troops, including the purchase of a large batch of new generation 5th-generation aircraft, the US F-35 aircraft and a large party of helicopters. There is also an option to enhance its defense capabilities by gaining new opportunities from upgrading existing weapons, in particular the Mig-29 aircraft. However, it is not yet known what decision will be taken in Poland. It is known that in the past three years three Polish MiG-29 fighter jets have lost their lives in accidents. The last time was in May 2019 . Before that, in July 2018, a MiG-29 fighter crashed in Poland near Pasłek, and the pilot failed to catapult, but he did not survive. A year earlier – in December 2017, during the preparation for landing at the airport in Minsk-Mazovia (Mazovia), the fall of the Soviet-made MiG-29 . Then the pilot managed to catapult and he survived.

 

Ukroboronprom to supply An-178 aircraft to Peru

The Ukroboronprom State Concern has won a tender announced by the Ministry of the Interior of Peru for the purchase of a certain number of military transport aircraft, the concern’s press service has reported, quoting Ukroboronprom Director General Pavlo Bukin. — Ukrinform.

Ukraine to supply An-178 military cargo aircraft to Peru – news economics | UNIAN

Ukraine’s state-run Ukroboronprom Concern has won the tender announced by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Peru for the purchase of a certain number of An-178 military transport aircraft. The Ukrainian An-178 aircraft will replace the Ukrainian An-32Bs, according to the concern’s press service. Ukroboronprom CEO Pavlo Bukin said the Ukrainian An-178 won against C-27 Spartan (USA-Italy) and C-295 (Airbus). “Peru may become the first export training ground for the new aircraft created at SE Antonov. In this case, both the professionalism and perseverance of Ukroboronprom’s contractors and the legendary reliability of the Antonov brand played in our favor,” Bukin said.

 

The Ministry of Defense stopped financing the development of new equipment

The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, without explanation, stopped financing the development of new types of armored vehicles, problems with KhKBM – the press service of the concern “Ukroboronprom”. In particular, it concerns the deep modernization of one of the main tanks of the Ukrainian army, which had to radically improve the effectiveness of the fighting machine. Also, due to problems with the acceptance of military armored personnel carriers BTR-4, which were made of imported armor and did not pass control during the transfer to the customer, their production was stopped. At the same time, according to the concern, the Ministry of Defense filed a claim to the Kharkov Design Bureau of Mechanical Engineering (KhKBM) for penalties of UAH 82.3 million for failure to comply with the order. It is reported that there were virtually no orders for the manufacture of new machinery, no money to develop promising designs and the threat of receiving a multimillion-dollar fine that would ultimately block the operation of the enterprise. The company is forced to transfer almost one thousand staff for a two-day working week. It was specialists of KhKBM who at one time created T-34 and T-64 tanks, Oplot, armored personnel carriers BTR-3, BTR-4, Dozor-B and other models of armored vehicles. The KhKBM is also working to develop promising models of combat equipment, including a new tank and infantry fighting vehicle .

The Armed Forces will buy spare parts for UPIK-82 mortars for 8 million UAH

The 3623th Central Arsenal of Ammunition and Weapons of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Voznesensk purchases spare parts for nearly 82 million hryvnia of UPIK-82 mortars. In particular, according to the open electronic auction bases, according to the negotiated procedure, 305 sets of ZIP-O up to 82 mm of UPIK-82 mortar are purchased at Bolverk LLC: washer 16x22x0,2 DIN988 – 4 pcs .; axis (A622J.304129.001.004.001) – 1 pc .; blade (A622J.304129.001.004.003) – 1 pc .; spring (A622J.304129.001.004.004) – 2 pcs .; lever (A622J.304129.001.004.005) – 2 pcs. The cost of the contract is 7 857 715 UAH. 82 mm mortar UPIK-82 Weapons and Security 2018. UPIK-82 at the stand of Ukrainian Armored Vehicles. Photo: Ukrainian Military Pages Recall that the UPIK-82 mortar was created in cooperation with LLC “Melitopol Plant of Autotractor Spare Parts”, LLC “Ukrainian Industrial Engineering Company” (UPIC) and LLC “Ukrainian Armored Vehicles”. The development of the mortar took three years, according to the results of the state tests, which ended in 2018, the mortar was adopted by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. At least, this statement was contained in the information materials of the Ukrainian Armored vehicles company at the exhibition “Weapons and Security 2018”.

 

Medvedchuk not to run for vice speaker in Ukraine, ally claims – news politics | UNIAN

Member of the Opposition Platform – For Life Party Vadym Rabinovych has claimed that head of the party’s political council Viktor Medvedchuk would not be running for a vice speaker’s post. At the same time, Rabinovych said the opposition should be granted top posts in parliamentary committees on budget, rules of procedure, and freedom of speech.

Medvedchuk won’t be nominated to position of Parliament’s vice-speaker

The Opposition Platform – For Life party will not nominate Viktor Medvedchuk to the position of the Vice-Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. — Ukrinform.

No separate Committee on Donbas should be created in Rada, leading party says – news politics | UNIAN

Leader of the Servant of the People Party, chairman of the Preparatory Deputy Group Dmytro Razumkov says a separate parliamentary committee should not be created solely for dealing with Donbas settlement issues. The party leader says such committee should also be engaged in a number of other issues related including to human rights and national minorities.

Ukraine’s Government Backs Away From Fight With Kyiv Mayor Klitschko

Ukraine’s government says it will not seek to take away part of Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko’s executive powers, at least for now.

Outgoing Cabinet not to consider Klitschko’s dismissal from top post in Kyiv Administration – news politics | UNIAN

The current composition of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine will not consider the issue of dismissal of Vitaliy Klitschko from the post of chairman of the Kyiv City State Administration. The issue has been discussed with officials, the prime minister’s spokesman said.

Ex-advisor of Rudy Giuliani comes to Ukraine due to investigation against Poroshenko

Sam Kislin came to Ukraine due to criminal proceedings against Poroshenko

Court Gives Green Light For Ukrainian Ex-President To Take Lie-Detector Test

A Kyiv court has granted permission for authorities to administer a polygraph test to former President Petro Poroshenko in a tax evasion case, a spokeswoman for the State Bureau for Investigations …

Global Measles Crisis Continues To Grow, With Ukraine Hit Hard

Measles outbreaks are continuing to spread around the globe, with Ukraine among the nations reporting the highest number of new cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

Measles outbreak in Kyiv becomes largest in history of independent Ukraine – News of Ukraine | UNIAN

Director of the Department of Health of Kyiv Valentyna Hinzburh has said an outbreak of measles in Kyiv became the largest since the independence of Ukraine. This year, two unvaccinated adults died, the report says.

Ukraine prepares gas facilities for possible transit supply cut – media – news economics | UNIAN

Ukraine’s gas transport company Ukrtransgaz has upgraded several gas pumping stations so it can provide gas to eastern and southern regions of the country if there is a disruption in supply from Russia, the company said on Wednesday. Kyiv and its European allies want guarantees that Ukraine will remain a transit route for Russian gas to Europe.

 

Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church disbanded | Censor.NET

14.08.19 13:43 – Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church disbanded The Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church has been liquidated. View news.

Ukraine’s Autocephalous Orthodox Church terminates its existence

Ukraine’s Autocephalous Orthodox Church terminated its activity