Information operations

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (258)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

</end editorial>

Su-57E export drive gathering momentum. VKS PacRim provocations. V-MF devolution.


Should the US buy Greenland from Denmark? There is a case for placement of BMD assets and runways, whether it justifies the cost versus leasing would require considerable analysis.

Update on the “Flying Chernobyl” FUBAR.

Some more analysis on Muscovy’s ongoing descent. Increasingly we see delusional thinking by the leadership and its immediate supporters. Solovyey’s observations are very interesting indeed. Several reports on the growing schism between historical revisionists in the regime, and descendants of CPSU mass murder victims.

Updates on overseas meddling – Turkey, Bulgaria, Africa, and more on the Salisbury attack.

Amb Volker makes some apt comments on how Russian propaganda hinders the peace process – ultimately that is its purpose. IR updates. Crimea and Russia updates.

Donbas update – ceasefire and Minsk deployment violations. The Russian passport scheme does not appear to be selling very well – the numbers reflect the size of the Donbas merc formations and immediate dependents. Industry update.

Politics update.

Russia to feature export version of 5th-generation Su-57 fighter at MAKS air show – Military & Defense – TASS

The Su-57E fighter and the Il-112VE military transport plane will be the main exhibits of the Russian exposition’s military segment at the airshow

Chinese, Russian Warplanes Test U.S. Patience in Skies Near South Korea – WSJ

Chinese and Russian warplanes have increasingly nosed around and even into South Korea’s airspace, conducting close patrols that allow Beijing and Moscow to test the air defenses of the U.S. and its allies in the region.

The Russian Navy Is Evolving Right Before Our Very Eyes | The National Interest

The Russian navy’s transformation into a small-ship fleet has been accelerating. More large ships are decommissioning and smaller vessels — both new and upgraded — are taking their place, reshaping what was once a major global force into a new kind of regional fleet.


Trump Greenland: US president ‘mulls buying island from Denmark’ – BBC News

US media report that the president is interested in a purchase, though he may have been joking.

Trump’s Green New Deal: President considering buying Greenland

Greenland, with envy? The president has “with varying degrees of seriousness” talked about trying to buy the country, sources told the Wall Street Journal.

Donald Trump reportedly wants to purchase Greenland from Denmark | US news | The Guardian

US president has ‘expressed interest’ in the icy territory, according to the Wall Street Journal, but the Danes have yet to weigh in

Trump’s Green New Deal: President reportedly considering buying Greenland – AOL News

President Trump has on multiple occasions discussed trying to buy the country of Greenland, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Greenland tells Trump it is open for business but not for sale – Reuters

Greenland on Friday dismissed the notion that it might be up for sale after reports that U.S. President Donald Trump had privately discussed with his advisers the idea of buying the world’s biggest island.

Trump inquires about US buying Greenland, but it’s not for sale – CNNPolitics


Norway detects radioactive iodine days after explosion in Russia – CNN

The Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority on Thursday said “tiny amounts of radioactive iodine” had been detected at an air-filter station, one week after a mystery-shrouded explosion at a Russian military test range.

Norway May Have Found Radioactivity From Failed Russian Missile

Norway radiation and nuclear safety office says it has found radioactivity in the air not far from where a test of a Russian missile resulted in an explosion and five deaths.

Norway detects radiation near border – follows deadly Russian military explosion | World | News |

NORWAY’S nuclear safety authority has detected radioactive iodine following a deadly explosion during a rocket engine test over the border in Russia.

Gregg Herken: Russia’s mysterious ‘new’ nuclear weapons aren’t really new – Twin Cities

Last week, Vladimir Putin’s government cryptically announced that there had been an explosion at a missile test center in remote northern Russia that involved the release of radioactive materials. Initially, two people were said to have been killed; the death toll was subsequently raised to seven. A nearby village was ordered evacuated, then the villagers were told to stay put. U.S. analysts think the accident involved the prototype of a nuclear-powered cruise missile that the Russians call Burevestnik, or Petrel, but is known in the West by its NATO designation, Skyfall. Putin has called it “a fundamentally new type of weapon” — an “invincible missile” with virtually unlimited range, easily able to evade U.S. defenses. When Skyfall was first announced, early last year, some Western military analysts started hyperventilating. “That’s a technological breakthrough and a gigantic achievement,” claimed one. “These weapons are definitely new, absolutely new.” But in fact, these “new” missiles are a throwback to the early days of the Cold War. And back then, it was the United States that developed a nuclear-powered cruise missile, in the early 1960s. “Project Pluto” was part of a Pentagon program known as Supersonic Low Altitude Missile, a clunky name almost certainly designed to yield its catchier acronym, SLAM. The missile was canceled in 1964, never having taken flight. Nuclear-powered cruise missiles were not a good idea then, and they are not a good idea now.

Russia’s ‘Skyfall’ Nuke Missile Mishap, Decoded: Spies, Lies, and Radioactivity

Moscow’s prized sci-fi weapon runs into reality in the form of an accidental explosion and a curtain of radiation.

Russia’s Mystery Missile – The New York Times

An explosion at a military testing site in northern Russia is suspected to have involved a nuclear-propelled missile. It might be the worst nuclear accident in the region in decades.


Vladimir Kara-Murza | Russia’s protests continue to grow — in a major warning to Vladimir Putin – The Washington Post

You can’t sit for long on a throne made of bayonets.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russian Elites Don’t Want a Chekist Dictatorship, Solovyey Says

Paul Goble Staunton, August 14 – In the wake of the brutal actions of the siloviki against Moscow protesters and the falling ratings of Putin and his regime, many are speculating that the Kremlin is going to move toward a Chekist dictatorship and only mass public protests can prevent such a horrific outcome. But Moscow political commentator Valery Solovyey, formerly an instructor at MGIMO, argues that there is an even more important source of resistance to such a development: Russian elites, who do not want to suffer as they would if “a police-chekist dictatorship” were established ( Solovyey gives five reasons why this is so:

  1. “There is completely lacking the ideological and what is most important organizational and cadres basis for a dictatorship.”
  2. The entire elite, including the siloviki, are “categorically against a dictatorship of the chekists.” They are “cowardly opportunists” but they are quite skilled at “sabotage” and will undermine any attempt to set up such a dictatorship.
  3. “Putin doesn’t need a dictatorship.” Giving the siloviki “carte blanche” to repress challenges “do not mean giving the siloviki a license to establish a new political regime. And going against ‘the leader’ is something the heads of the siloviki party are not in a position to do.”
  4. The use of force against protest won’t suppress it but rather spread it and it will both intensify tensions among the various components of the siloviki and highlight how thin this stratum is. After all to control the situation in Moscow, they’ve had to bring in OMON units “from throughout the European part of Russia and from the Urals.”
  5. “The public denial by the Kremlin of ‘a political crisis’ in reality means its recognition of a new discourse reality,” one that means both there will be more protests and a variety of efforts, not just force alone, to cope with it.

In his brief comment, Solovyey does not make reference to what may the most compelling precedent for his conclusion: the decision of the post-Stalin leaders, all of whom had blood on their hands from the repressions, to arrest and kill Lavrenty Beria, lest the secret police chief establish a chekist dictatorship in which all of them would be at risk. They acted not from some abstract commitment to some principle beyond saving their own lives and careers. That almost certainly will guide them if there is any indication that some in the Kremlin are preparing to try to create a state that might be strong enough to save Putin but would also be powerful enough to destroy them.

Vladimir the Great: How 20 years of Putin has shaped Russia and the world | The Independent

Vladimir Putin is arguably the most consequential world leader since Winston Churchill.  That, if one thinks about it, is quite a statement for a man who initially harboured zero political ambitions. Had an ailing and desperate Boris Yeltsin not reached out to guarantee his power and his family’s immunity – or simply looked elsewhere – Russia’s history would likely have looked

The Week In Russia: Nothing To See Here: Kremlin Shrugs As August Events Pile Up

Russia has endured deadlier and more momentous developments in August in the past, but not always so many of them. Amid massive wildfires, weekly protests whose size has grown, and a mysterious bla…

Moscow’s East-German scenario Oppositionist Leonid Volkov explains how a daring new voting strategy is supposed to destroy Russia’s political monopoly — Meduza

Moscow’s political crisis continues, as demonstrators gear up for more protests against election officials’ refusal to register dozens of independent candidates for September 8’s City Duma race. On August 14, supporters of Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) proposed a voting strategy for the opposition, coordinated through the organization’s “Smart Vote” project. If the city’s independent candidates are not allowed onto the ballot, Navalny’s team wants people to vote for the most competitive candidates who aren’t directly associated with the Mayor’s Office. Meduza special correspondent Kristina Safonova spoke to close Navalny aide and FBK project manager Leonid Volkov to find out how this campaign is supposed to work.

Russian Deputies Question ‘Strange’ Results Of ‘Foreign-Registered’ Yandex Search Engine

Yandex, known as Russia’s Google, has caught the ire of Russian Duma deputies who dislike how it ranks top news stories, especially when they shed light on unpopular proposals that the national l…

Russia’s draft foreign ownership law not aimed at making Yandex state-owned – lawmaker – Reuters

A draft law proposing to limit foreign ownership in ‘significant’ Russian technology firms to 20% is not aimed at making its top search engine Yandex state-owned, the lawmaker behind the idea, Anton Gorelkin, said.

Moscow Court Rejects Opposition Politician Yashin’s Appeal Against Ban From Municipal Election

The Moscow City Court has rejected an appeal by opposition politician Ilya Yashin against multiple election commissions’ refusal to register him as a candidate in the September 8 municipal election…

Experts Unable To Establish Financial Fraud In Trial Of Prominent Russian Director

Experts have been unable to establish that state money allocated for Russian theater director Kirill Serebrennikov’s projects were misused, Judge Irina Akkuratova said as the director’s high-profil…

New inspection results in Seventh Studio theater case give Kirill Serebrennikov and other high-profile defendants a glimmer of hope — Meduza

On August 16, the results of a new inspection in the Seventh Studio case were revealed in court. Judge Irina Akkuratova had ordered the inspection in April. Its results indicated that the Platforma project carried a market value of 260 million rubles ($3.9 million) and that “with taxes included, its total costs significantly exceeded 300 million rubles [$4.5 million].” The defendants in the case, including several prominent theater directors and producers, stand accused of using the 216 million rubles ($3.3 million) allocated to the project by the Russian government for personal gain.

Huawei Plans to Triple R&D Staff in Russia by 2025 According to Russian State Media

Huawei plans to triple its research and development (R&amp;D) staff in Russia within the next six years, according to a new report from Russian state media outlet Sputnik. The Chinese tech giant, which is currently the largest telecom company in the world, will reportedly hire about 500 new staff by the end of the year and 1,000 more personnel after that.

Trump’s Oil Sanctions Leave Russian Exporters $1 Billion Richer – Bloomberg

U.S. President Donald Trump’s sanctions against Iran and Venezuela have inadvertently increased demand for a Russian brand of crude oil, boosting revenues for the nation’s exporters.

Russia’s FSB Publishes Foreign Worker Statistics for First Time in 20 Years – The Moscow Times

President Putin plans to use work-related migration to offset Russia’s population decline.

295 feet to save 233 lives Why the Russian cornfield landing was even harder to pull off than ‘the miracle on the Hudson’ — Meduza

On the morning of August 15, pilots Damir Yusupov and Georgy Murzin landed an Airbus A321 jet in a cornfield shortly after taking off from the Zhukovsky airport outside Moscow. All of the airplane’s passengers and crewmembers survived, spurring comparisons between this Ural Airlines landing and the 2009 incident in which American pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger managed to land a jet on the Hudson River in New York City. In fact, Yusupov and Murzin faced an even more complex and dangerous task: Their plane was flying much lower than Sullenberger’s, and they had much less time to plan their emergency landing.

World War II Bomb Found Beneath The Kremlin

A World War II-era bomb was discovered intact beneath the surface of the Kremlin in Moscow during construction works on August 15, Russian media reported.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kremlin Using Archaeologists in Karelia to Undermine Truth and Whitewash Stalin’s Reputation

Paul Goble Staunton, August 14 – Moscow has deployed archaeologists at Sandarmokh, the site in Karelia where more than 10,000 of Stalin’s victims were buried, in a transparent effort to rewrite history a la Katyn by suggesting that those buried there were killed by the Finns during the Winter War rather than by the Soviet dictatorship throughout its history. Sandarmokh attracted attention beginning in the 1990s thanks to the heroic efforts of investigators like Yury Dmitriyev and Sergey Koltyrin to call attention to Stalin’s crimes. The authorities have locked both of them up on faked charges, but that hasn’t been sufficient to obscure what they proved. Consequently, as the Region.Expert portal reports, Moscow has brought in new forces, in this case the Russian Military-Historical Society whose members are now engaged in further excavations of the site not to provide additional confirmation of what Dmitriyev and Koltyrin found but to disprove it ( On its webpage, the Society admits as much (; and now, working with the Investigative Committee, it says it is “testing the hypothesis” advanced by Moscow historians in 2016 that “at Sandarmokh are buried not only (or even not so many) victims of Soviet repressions as of ‘prisoners of Finnish concentration camps.” Region.Expert points out that “what we are observing here is the open falsification of history of the kind imperial propagandists love to accuse their opponents. This obviously is a direct order from the Kremlin to wipe out the ‘inconvenient’ memory about Soviet terror and replace it with ‘victorious’ myths.” “The empire can continue to exist only with the help of these myths,” the portal continues; “but when Karelia restores its sovereignty, it will also restore an adequate study of history.” In the meantime, others are working hard to do just that, not only by helping to defend Dmitriyev and his colleagues against the false charges that Russian officials have brought against them but also establishing a Facebook page that keeps track of what these officials and their archaeologist co-conspirators are doing ( That group now has almost 300 members, is updated almost every day, and is yet another example of the ways in which the Internet makes it far more difficult for the Kremlin to put out an unchallenged lie about the past.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: New Russian Novel Detailing Nenets Revolt against the GULAG Attracting Attention

Paul Goble Staunton, August 14 – There are now fewer than 50,000 Nentsy, a numerically small people of the Russian Far North; but they continue to attract attention because of their commitment to freedom and their willingness to rise up despite all odds against Russian occupation and Soviet oppression. For more than four centuries, they have fought back against Russian efforts to suppress them by coming together in what they call “mandala” actions, a Nenets word which translated as “a group of armed people.” Led by their shamans, they often fought for decades at a time against Russian settlers ( Their resistance attracted attention as a result of Edward Topol’s 1986 émigré novel Red Snow about a Nenets revolt against the Soviets and because of suggestions by some Russian nationalists that the Nenets are conspiring with the West to overthrow the Russian state ( But now the Nenets and their conflicts with the Soviet authorities have become the subject of a new Russian novel, I will Always Be With You by Aleksandr Yetoyev, one that has attracted enough readers and enough attention to be short-listed for the National Bestseller in Russia this year. The novel is set in 1943 and involves contacts between Nenets shamans who are organizing their people to resist Soviet occupation and officers of the German navy who have come by submarine to the coastline where the members of that small nation live, contacts that actually took place. In an interview with Andrey Filimonov of Radio Liberty’s SibReal portal, Yetoyev says he was inspired to write the novel after reading the unpublished memoirs of a man who was there and decided to write it in the form of “a tragic grotesque” in order to capture the spirit of the GULAG ( Yetoyev says that Tyumen historian Aleksandr Petrushin says that the 1943 Nenets mandala was in fact “inspired by NKVD officers” who wanted to make use of the rising in order to suppress it and win preferment from their superiors (немецкие-лодки-на-ямале-вымысел-или-пр/ But the GULAG jailors would not have succeeded had it not been for the fact that “the Nentsy were really upset by many things,” Yetoyev says, and where prepared to fight even to the point of losing more than 80 percent of those who took part. “My heroes,” he says, “are the generation of the condemned … by the times themselves.” “Such complicated periods as war and repression are our entire history,” the novelist says. “It is necessary to write about these things so that people will not forget. I tried to do this in a grotesque manner. Why not? Remember the style of Andrey Platonov, laughter through horror and horror through laughter.” “I very much like such combinations in literature,” Yetoyev says. “I did not make the novel simply full of moaning and groaning as do many who write about this. I tried to introduce a certain element of humor as well. In my opinion, I achieved something.” His increasing number of readers appear to agree. The novel is clearly worth reading – Filimonov provides sizeable excerpts to suggest the nature of the text – but it is also important not only as a reminder of the brutality and stupidity of the Stalinist state and the heroism of those who resisted it but of the new ways these things can be discussed even as the Putin regime promotes an entirely positive image of Stalin’s regime.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: The ‘Special Settlers’ – Stalin’s Other and All-Too-Often Forgotten Victims

Paul Goble Staunton, August 14 – There are hundreds of books about those Stalin confined to the GULAG camps but only a handful about another category of his victims, those classed as “special settlers” who were forced to move from their homes and prevented from returning to them or to major cities. Perhaps the two best studies of this category available in English are Pavel Polian’s Against Their Will: The History and Geography of Forced Migrations in the USSR (Budapest/New York, 2004) and Lynn Viola’s The Unknown Gulag: The Lost World of Stalin’s Special Settlements (Oxford, 2007). One of the reasons why there are so few is that there have been far fewer memoirs and studies in Russian of these people, who were “moved against their will” either to get them away from border areas, promote ethnic cleansing and mixing, or to provide workers for regions where there were too few. (There have been far more books and articles by non-Russians who were swept up in these forced movements, but all too often these studies, some of them quite remarkable and affecting, have remained untranslated and thus unavailable to those who know only English or Russian.) But now the situation may be about to change thanks to the efforts of people like Irina Yanchenko and Gulnara Koryagina, residents of a village in Tomsk Oblast to which many special settlers were sent who inspired by a recent film have tracked down the graves of these people and now have organized a forum of and about special settlers and their descendants. Nikolay Loginov, a correspondent for Radio Liberty’s SibReal portal, reports on their first meeting and their plans for the future in an article entitled “This was an operation designed to destroy people” ( Aleksandr Poluyanov attended as the great grandson of one special settler who together with his family was set to Tomsk during collectivization because the authorities had classified him as a kulak. He sought information in many places before finding some documents in the local archives. Poluyanov said that “this was an operation to destroy people.” His great grandfather and great grandmother both died of dystentary. Their son, the returnee’s grandfather, fled from the village and went as far as possible – to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk – in order to survive. That kind of flight was typical, Loginov says. Another descendant of special settlers in this one village now lives in Australia and has relatives in Moscow, the Czech Republic and Norway as well. Such dispersal also works against collecting information about what happened to this category of Stalin’s victims. Local activists, however, are doing what they can to assemble evidence. They plan to erect “the first memorial to de-kulakized peasants ever” in Russia not only as a monument to the victims but also as a way of attracting more attention to the special settlers and thus gaining more information about them. “Not all residents of Palochka” are happy about this, Loginov continues. One says that “history must be correct,” that not everyone who was repressed was a victim because “the majority of them were guilty.” The man says he doesn’t know what they were guilty of but that he is confident that no state can simply take an innocent person from the street and sent him off.” It is worth knowing where people are buried, of course, he continues. “But it is still early to put up monuments to them.” The time for that “hasn’t yet come and perhaps will never come. Russian historian Yakov Yakovlev says that “the history of the special settlers is the history of hunger.” His own grandfather and aunt died that way, and people should remember them. Those who now oppose doing that, he says, “are standing on the very same positions which stood the big and little bosses during the years of the special settlement program.” “The only difference is that the latter were dealing with living people while these are dealing with memories.” Another specialist on Stalin’s repressions, Vasily Khanevich who heads the Memorial Museum of the NKVD Investigation Prison, says it is important to tell the story of all special settlers and to get the testimony of their descendants. He notes that a Latvian who participated in the recent meeting said his ancestors had survived only thanks to Russian special settlers. The Tomsk activists plan to create an information center and to hold another forum of the descendants of special settlers on October 30, the memorial day in Russia for victims of political repressions.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Fearing Demands for a Republic, Moscow Won’t Recognize Cossacks as a Separate People, Russian Experts Say

Paul Goble Staunton, August 13 – The recent signing of an agreement between the All Cossack Social Center and the Assembly of the Peoples of the North Caucasus, one that treats the Cossacks as a people with national-territorial aspirations, has sparked discussions about the status of the Cossacks and Moscow’s attitudes toward them. (On the agreement, see for additional materials published after that article, see For background on Cossack aspirations, see this author’s “Cossackia: No Longer an Impossible Dream?” Jamestown Eurasia Daily Monitor, February 21, 2019 at the sources cited therein.) The Kavkaz-Uzel news agency has now published two surveys of expert opinion about the current state of play concerning the status of the Cossacks as well as why and how Russian officials continue to block their claims to nationhood ( The comments the scholars make are important not only for what they say about the Cossacks but also for the insights they offer about how Russian officials and researchers understand ethnicity and what officials can do to manipulate the situation via the census and other means. Aleksey Gun of the Moscow Institute of Geography says that in his view, “a people [narod] is something more than an ethnos or nation; it is a certain historical community in which people position themselves in common in relation to worldwide processes. But if one speaks specifically about the Cossacks, I would not use the word ‘people.’” The issue of whether the Cossacks are an ethnic group is a more serious one, he says; but again, in his view, the Cossacks are not one but rather a sub-ethnos of the Russian nation.” They lack too many of the characteristics he believes are needed for this separate status, and Moscow isn’t ready to recognize them as a separate people. Sergey Abashin, an anthropologist at the European Institute in St. Petersburg, says that the problem is complicated by the fact that some believe that people are members of a group if they believe themselves to be while others insist that they are only if they share a series of characteristics. “The desire to be recognized as a people existed among the Cossacks at the beginning of the 20th century, but then the Cossacks lacked the political will to achieve that.” Instead, they remained largely a social stratum. “In Soviet times, they were repressed and included in the Russian people,” he says. According to Abashin, “from time to time, ideas have appeared that the Cossacks are a people, but there is no mobilization, mass support of Cossacks and political will behind such ideas.” And he notes that the number of people identifying as Cossacks in the census fell fro 140,028 in 2002 to 67,573 in 2010. That reflects several things, he suggests, including assimilation, the inclusion of the category of “Russian Cossacks,” and the actions of census takers who included them as Russians even if they weren’t, all factors that reflect what the powers that be want and work against other non-Russians as well. Yevgeny Varshaver, a sociologist at the Russian Academy of Economics and State Service, acknowledges that there is little agreement on who constitutes a people and who does not. Instead, many scholars follow the political decisions of the countries in which they live, including Russia. Eduard Burda, a historian and the author of The Terek Cossack Uprising of 1918, says many Cossacks continue to identify as a separate people but Moscow doesn’t want that to continue because it fears that if the Cossacks identify as a people, they will ultimately make territorial demands. The government’s “state registry of Cossacks,” he says, has “only one goal,” to undermine the possibility of such an identity. And it has been “successful,” because officials have listed people on it “from the street who have no relationship at all to the people.” Genuine Cossacks, he says, are thus leaving the registry. Dmitry Uznarodov, a researcher at the Cossack Laboratory of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Southern Scientific Center, notes that demands for recognition of the Cossacks as a people come not from those on the register but from “unregistered” Cossacks and the regime won’t recognize them. Andrey Benkov of the Southern Federal University says “for the majority of Cossacks it is not so important whether they are recognized as a people or not. Real Cossacks calls themselves a people.” But if Moscow “officially” declares they aren’t, Cossacks will be angry, so the center should avoid doing that. Finally, Yury Anchabadze of the Moscow Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology says that he doesn’t see any danger to the state from recognizing the Cossacks as a people as long as they remain a cultural community and do not make political demands. But he believes that at present such recognition is “impossible.”

Two Decades on, Russian State Media Omits Facts About the Kursk Submarine Disaster

Nineteen years after the Kursk submarine disaster, Russian state media present a misleading chronicle of the events — omitting key facts deemed damaging to Vladimir Putin’s reputation.

How Trump Can Avoid War with Russia | The National Interest

Our Russia challenge does not fit neatly into either the “offensive Russia” or “defensive Russia” schools of thought, but the tangled set of issues crisscrossing the U.S.-Russian relationship does reflect the complexities of a classic wicked problem.


No F-35, No Problem for Turkey: Russia Could Sell them Su-35s and S-400s | The National Interest

But why?

Russian jet purchase could confirm Turkey’s defence reorientation – analysis | Ahval

If Turkey decides to acquire Russian Su-35 jets, this could confirm some analysts’ opinion that Turkey’s defence priorities have been reorienting and drifting away from the West, analyst Mark Episkopos said in the National Interest on Friday. Turkish defence officials have been considering alternatives for the country’s air forces, after the United States halted the delivery of 100 F-35 stealth fighters to Turkey last month due to Ankara’s decision to acquire Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems. The Pentagon also suspended Turkey’s participation in the programme to build F-35s over concerns that S-400 systems could access sensitive data on the aircraft’s defence.

Russia Suspected by Some in Giant Bulgaria Hack – The New York Times

Whoever was responsible, experts say, the episode raised serious concerns about the state of Bulgaria’s cybersecurity.

U.S. Worries About Russian and Chinese Influence in Africa

In testimony obtained via the Freedom of Information Act, the current and former heads of U.S. Africa Command sketched out their concerns.

Britain Bans Submarine Exports to Russia Over Undersea Cable Concerns – The Moscow Times

Britain claims Russia is developing “the ability to track, access and disrupt undersea communication cables” that power the global internet.


Novichok Sickened 2nd British Officer, Police Say – The New York Times

The police officer, who was not identified, was exposed to the Soviet-developed nerve agent that was used to attack a former Russian spy last year.

British Police Say A Second Officer Was Exposed To Novichok

British detectives said on August 15 that a second police officer was contaminated with a banned Soviet-era nerve agent that was used to target a former Russian spy last year in Salisbury, England. The military-grade chemical agent known as Novichok was found in the blood sample of another officer who wished to remain unidentified, British police said in a statement. “The officer displayed signs at the time of the incident that indicated exposure to a very small amount of Novichok,” the statement said. It makes him the sixth confirmed person to be exposed to the nerve agent since March 2018 when former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia fell ill after encountering it. Two suspected members of Russia’s GRU military intelligence service are wanted by British authorities for carrying out the attack. The officers were identified as Anatoly Chepiga and Aleksandr Mishkin — both of whom denied taking part in the attack, saying instead they were visiting England to admire church architecture, according to interviews they gave Russian state-controlled TV. Moscow denies involvement and said news of a second officer being affected “lacks all credibility.” “First…it is unclear why we find out about this important fact only a year and a half after the incident,” the Russian Embassy in the United Kingdom said, as cited by TASS. “The name of the allegedly injured police officer is undisclosed, while earlier the British side was glad to announce the names of persons responding to the incident, including Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey,” it said. Bailey required hospital care but returned to active duty two months after the attack. The second Wiltshire police officer showed signs at the time of having been exposed to a tiny amount of Novichkok, the BBC reported. He sought medical treatment and returned to work shortly afterward. Dawn Sturgess died after high levels of exposure in June 2018 in nearby Amesbury. She and her partner, Charles Rowley, were contaminated when they came into contact with a perfume bottle that British police believe the Skripals’ attackers had discarded. Rowley became severely ill but recovered. A joint investigation by the British-based open-source investigation group Bellingcat and the BBC’s Newsnight program in July alleged that a third Russian GRU officer was involved in the Skripal attack. Examining telephone metadata logs, they concluded that the poisoning was supervised and coordinated in London by Denis Sergeyev, an active duty GRU major general. “The involvement of a GRU major general would indicate the unusually high importance of the operation,” Bellingcat said.


U.S. Special Envoy To Ukraine Says Russian Propaganda Hindering Peace Efforts

The U.S. special peace envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, says Russian propaganda is making it a challenge to solve the conflict in the east of the country.

Reports on denial of candidates for post of Ukrainian ambassador by U.S. untrue – FM

Information that the United States denied some candidates for the post of the Ukrainian ambassador in Washington is untrue, State Secretary of the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine Andriy Zayats has said.

PACE delegation to be invited to first sitting of newly elected Parliament

The parliamentary group for the preparation of the first sitting of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the ninth convocation decided to invite a delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to the sitting. — Ukrinform.

Marshal of Polish Senate to pay two-day visit to Ukraine

Marshal of the Senate of the Republic of Poland Stanisław Karczewski will pay a visit to Ukraine on August 16-17, where he will take part in solemn events dedicated to the Battle of Kostiuchnówka in Volyn region, according to the Polish Radio. — Ukrinform.

UAWire – Merkel: EU cooperation with Russia will be limited until it adheres to Minsk agreements

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the full cooperation of the European Union with Russia would not be possible until it implements the …

Jemilev comments on Erdogan’s statement on Crimea

The statement of President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Turkey will never recognize the annexation of Crimea is very important for the Crimean Tatars, leader of the Crimean Tatars Mustafa Jemilev, who accompanied Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during his visit to Turkey, told the Anadolu news agency.


Moscow Court Upholds Extending Pretrial Detention Of Ukrainian Sailors

A Moscow court has upheld an earlier court ruling to extend until October 24 the pretrial custody of six Ukrainian sailors who were detained by Russian forces, along with 18 other sailors and three vessels, in November near the Kerch Strait. In May the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ordered Russia to release all the sailors and vessels.

Moscow Court Upholds Extension Of Pretrial Detention For Six Of 24 Ukrainian Sailors

A court in Moscow has upheld a lower court’s decision to extend pretrial detention for six of the 24 Ukrainian sailors detained by Russian forces along with their three naval vessels in November ne…

Russian FSB intimidating Ukrainians into pleading guilty of illegal fishing in Azov Sea – news politics | UNIAN

Russian FSB security operatives, in order to obtain guilty pleas from Ukrainian fishermen over their alleged violations of fishing rules in the Sea of Azov, resort to threats to charge the crew with sabotage and espionage against Russia punishable by 20 years in prison, the Security Service of Ukraine reported. SBU says these actions constitute gross and systemic violations of international law on the part of Russia.

UAWire – Aksyonov accuses the US of organizing water blockade of Crimea

Sergey Aksyonov, head of the annexed Crimea, wrote on Facebook that the water blockade of the Crimean peninsula is part of the West’s anti- …

Political prisoner Balukh transferred to Moscow

Volodymyr Balukh, a Ukrainian political prisoner currently imprisoned in the Russian Federation, was transferred to a pre-trial detention center in Moscow. — Ukrinform.

Korynevych: Occupied Crimea is ‘grey zone of lawlessness’

The temporarily occupied Crimea is a “grey zone of lawlessness” and Ukrainian citizens should remember this when visiting the peninsula. — Ukrinform.

Gerus lays out condition for Ukraine-EU-Russia gas talks

The trilateral Ukraine-EU-Russia talks on gas transit, scheduled for September 16, will take place after the formation of a new government and the composition of a delegation, according to the president’s representative in the Cabinet of Ministers, Andriy Gerus. — Ukrinform.

UAWire – Ukraine prepares the basis of a new gas contract with Russia

Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Olena Zerkal said that Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is developing an Energy Memorandum, …


Russian-led forces violate ceasefire in Donbas 12 times on Thursday

16.08.19 09:30 – Russian-led forces violate ceasefire in Donbas 12 times on Thursday Over the past day, August 15, Russian-occupation forces 12 times breached the ceasefire agreement introduced July 21. View news.

Russian-led forces violate ceasefire in Donbas 12 times on Thursday – news war | UNIAN

Over the past day, August 15, Russian-occupation forces 12 times breached the ceasefire agreement introduced July 21. No losses have been reported among the Ukrainian military.

Invaders deploy howitzers, anti-tank guns, MLR systems, tanks beyond withdrawal lines in Donbas – OSCE – news war | UNIAN

Observers with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Special Monitoring Mission say they have again documented the deployment by the Russian invaders of banned heavy weapons, including howitzers, anti-tank guns, Grad MLR systems, and tanks, beyond the designated withdrawal lines in Donbas. Heavy weapons were spotted near the settlements of Bile, Debaltseve, Novoamvrosiivske, Kruhlyk, and Shymshynivka.

60,000 residents of occupied Donbas asked for Russian passports, Russian authority says – Over 60,000 residents of occupied Donbas appealed for Russian citizenship, – Russia’s Interior Ministry –

Russia’s Interior Ministry states 60,000 residents of occupied Donbas appealed for Russian citizenship

UAWire – Kyiv prepares transitional justice system for Donbas and Crimea

A transitional justice system will be developed in order to restore peace and normal life in the occupied Donbas territory, eliminate the human …

Cybersecurity reform discussed at NSDC Office

On August 15, under the chairmanship of Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov, a meeting of the working group on reforming the cybersecurity sector within the national security system of Ukraine was held at the NSDC Office. — Ukrinform.

Valeriy Kirsanov, artillery observer for ‘DNR’ walks free

Valeriy Kirsanov who helped the Russian occupants adjust fire during the attack on Mariupol in January 2015 is now walking free. He was released from the detention center on August 16. Vyacheslav Abroskin, the chief of criminal police posted that on Facebook. In June, Kirsanov was sentenced to nine years behind the bars. But now, he is free due to the so-called “Savchenko law”; this specific document stipulates that one day of pre-trial detention is counted as two days of freedom restriction as the court chooses the sentence duration. The court found Kirsanov guilty in adjusting the artillery fire during the attack on residential quarters of Mariupol on January 24, 2015. Prior top that, the law enforcers searched his house and found firearms, ammunition and explosives.


Cost Reduction: The Air Force again canceled a tender

It seems that 2019 is not the year of the Air Force – due to cost reductions following the refusal to buy multimedia simulators of the Buk-M1 SAM and S-300P, they also abandoned the MANPADS simulator. In particular, yesterday, August 15, military unit A2860 of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, in connection with the reduction of expenditures for the purchase of goods, works and services, canceled the tender announced on June 7 for the purchase of a modular electronic simulator of a portable anti-aircraft missile complex of the type “anti-aircraft missile complex” »/« Needle-1 »worth 1.45 million UAH. It is worth noting that a similar simulator, which is a virtual reality helmet with a space orientation system and a simulator launcher MANPAD, is already used in the preparation of cadets of the Kharkiv National University of the Air Force. We will remind that earlier also for the reason of reduction of expenses this military unit refused from purchase of multimedia simulators of SAM “Buk-M1” worth about 8 million UAH, and 38th training center of the Air Force refused to purchase five multimedia complexes for preparation of operators of SR -300P for 2.56 million UAH. At the same time, the Navy does not seem to have such problems, and on the same on August 15, tenders for the purchase of the 198th Navy Training Center of a complex system of visualization of processes and stages of warfare worth 5.4 million UAH.

Defense ministry denies blocking purchase of APCs, pushing Morozov Design Bureau into bankruptcy

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry had declared baseless accusations of alleged intentions to block the purchase of BTR-4E armored personnel carriers and pushing the state-owned enterprise Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau (known as Morozov Design Bureau) into bankruptcy.

Ukroboronprom lies on BTR-4 and blocking the work of KhMBD – Defense Ministry statement

Despite the concluded contracts, Ukroboronprom produced only 7 BTR-4E in 2 years, and did not start the T-64 modernization in three years at all. The management of the group actually eliminated the organization of works, allowed a break in production terms, which also led to an increase in the price of equipment, now requires not to impose penalties and to delay the delivery of armored vehicles for almost a year. The Ministry of Defense has released an official response to the accusation by Ukroboronprom of allegedly blocking the work and bringing bankruptcy of the Kharkov Machine-Building Design Bureau (HKBM), which was distributed by the concern’s service. Next is straightforward language. statement of the Ministry of Defense The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine carefully analyzed the allegations against the defense department of “intentions to block the purchase of armored personnel carriers BTR-4E” and “to prove the state enterprise” Kharkov Design Bureau for Mechanical Engineering. OO Morozov “to bankruptcy”. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine emphasizes that the allegations are completely unfounded, and the facts disseminated by a number of news agencies and online publications do not have reliable evidence. At the same time, the advance of state contracts amounted to 70 to 80 percent for the purchase of raw materials, materials and components, payment of wages to employees. In most of the enterprises, the deadlines for the delivery of products were disrupted, which led to the payment of penalties. The last such contract, concluded in 2017 for the supply of armored personnel carriers BTR-4E, was generally terminated in order to prevent bankruptcy of the enterprise due to the failure of SE “KhKBM” to make the equipment in full (the products were delivered in part, which led to the failure to execute Forces of Ukraine necessary modern models of armored vehicles). With regard to the state contract for the purchase of armored personnel carriers BTR-4E, referred to in the above articles: between the Ministry of Defense and the state enterprise «Kharkov Design Bureau for Mechanical Engineering named after. OO Morozov ”has actually concluded and is executing the state contract on defense order for the purchase of armored personnel carriers BTR-4E with the attraction of loans under the state guarantee. The conclusion of the said Contract provided for ensuring the urgent need of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with armored vehicles in the shortest possible time and reducing the annual financial burden on the Ministry of Defense budget by attracting credit to the enterprise. At the same time, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, in full, in accordance with the requests of SE “HCBM”, agreed to select funds from the bank to advance the contract. However, during the two years of contract execution, with proper financing, the company manufactured only 7 units of BTR-4E armored personnel carriers, some armored personnel carriers are at different stages of production, and almost half are not put into production at all (including cases for armored personnel carriers at LLCs forging and mechanical plant ”due to the underfunding of the latter by SE“ KhKBM ”). In addition, for unclear reasons, a considerable number of accessories for the execution of the contract, which is provided with the financial resources from the Ministry of Defense, were not purchased or delivered to SE “HCBM”. At the same time, the vast majority of suppliers of these components are just enterprises that are part of Ukroboronprom SC, which has removed itself from the general management of the project under the slogan “impossibility of interfering with business activities of enterprises”. At present, the contract with the contract of the HCBM has completely canceled the terms of production and delivery of products, which is urgently needed by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Delayed delivery has led to negative consequences, the main ones being the failure to meet the urgent needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in armored personnel carriers and a significant increase in the price per unit of production. Read also: Ukroboronprom explained why it raised the price of APCs for the Armed Forces In order to resolve the issue of further manufacturing, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine held two meetings in June and August 2019 with the participation of representatives of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine, the State Concern “Ukroboronprom” and the State Enterprise “KhKBMˮ”. At these meetings, in order to obtain armored personnel carriers, to prevent losses to the state, and to bankruptcy of SE “KhKBM”, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine proposed ways to reduce the cost of contracted products by an estimated amount of about UAH 220.0 million. But most importantly, what the management of SC “Ukroboronprom” and SE “HCBM” wants, so that the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, contrary to the terms of the contract and the legislation of Ukraine, to refuse to recover from SE “HCBM” penalties for non-compliance with the terms of the contract, and postpone delivery deadlines year, which entails unjustified payment of interest on the loan in the amount of UAH 11.2 million per month. Such management of the management of SC “Ukroboronprom” and SE “HCBM” led to numerous dismissal of qualified personnel of the enterprise due to non-payment of wages. Regarding the section on “Blocking the T-64 tank from the Ministry of Defense development”. Indeed, in 2016, a joint decision was signed between the Ministry of Defense and Ukroboronprom to open a research and development work on the modernization of the T-64, the main contractor of which is HCBM. Since 2016, the Ministry of Defense has planned to finance this work. However, in connection with the self-removal of the management of the Ukroboronprom SC, the HCBM SE has for almost three years created cooperative enterprises (which are also part of the concern) and coordinated their work with them. The contract for the performance of the Ministry of Defense with SE “HCBM” was concluded in 2019, but until now the company has not concluded the relevant contracts with the contractors of works, which does not allow to start the advance of the contract, the funds for which are kept in the accounts of the Ministry of Defense. DK Ukroboronprom does not take any measures. According to the current situation, on August 15, 2019, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine sent the relevant appeals to the senior leadership of the state.

Motor Sich moves into a four-day work week

Motor Sich, a Zaporozhye enterprise that could soon become Chinese-owned, is transitioning from a shortened working week to September, workers expect a reduction. About it reports Ukrinform with reference to employees of the enterprise. “On the evening of August 13, an order was signed to switch to a four-day working week. Friday will be off starting September 1st. Previously, four days were allowed to work for those employees who are not involved in the production process, and now the extra output will be absolutely for all factory workers. We do not know what will happen next. We are waiting ”, – said the interlocutor of the agency, who asked not to be named. It should be reminded that the Antimonopoly Committee has started consideration of cases concerning the sale of Motor Sich shares to the offshore company Skyrizon Aircraft Holdings Limited, which is related to China, which in case of a positive decision may receive more than 50% of the votes in the highest governing body of the company.


More Managers Charged For Price Fixing At Ukraine Power Producer

Two more executives of DTEK, Ukraine’s largest private power and coal producer, have been charged in a criminal case on August 14 involving an alleged conspiracy to fix electricity prices with th…

Ukrainian Deputy Minister Detained Over Alleged $1.1 Million Bribe Scheme

A Ukrainian deputy minister and his aide have been detained after allegedly taking a bribe worth $480,000, the National Anticorruption Bureau (NABU) said on Facebook.

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.

Servant of the People leader vows punishment to faction members for breaching rules – news politics | UNIAN

Leader of the Servant of the People Party, Dmytro Razumkov, says his political force intends to monitor the discipline of its faction members in the newly elected Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament. The political force plans to use its mono-majority in parliament to pass a package of bills tightening legislative discipline, including the one on lifting immunity.

Ukraine government could launch census in late 2019 – Zelensky’s advisor – news politics | UNIAN

Presidential Advisor on health care Mykhailo Radutsky believes that holding an all-Ukrainian census should be the first step on the path to transforming the healthcare field. The census could cost UAH 4 billion (US$15.8 million).

Schengen visa applications in Ukraine remain large despite visa-free regime

Despite the abolition of visa requirements for short-term travels to Schengen area in June 2017, the number of Schengen visa applications from Ukrainians remains relatively large. — Ukrinform.

Australian MP praises role of Ukrainian community in developing his country

Member of the Parliament of Victoria Bruce Atkinson praised the important contribution of the Ukrainian community of Victoria in the development of Australia’s multicultural life. — Ukrinform.

Corruption Scandal in Uman: Will Netanyahu’s Visit Help Bring to Reason Bribe Takers

On Friday, August 16, at 11.00 the press center of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency will host a press conference “Corruption Scandal in Uman: Will Netanyahu’s Visit Help Bring to Reason Bribe Takers” with the participation of the founder and head of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce (New York) Duvi Honig (8/5a Reitarska Street). Registration of journalists requires press accreditation. Additional information by phone: +38 067 862 5997.

5 thoughts on “Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (258)

  1. “Should the US buy Greenland from Denmark? There is a case for placement of BMD assets and runways, whether it justifies the cost versus leasing would require considerable analysis.”

    How much would it cost?

  2. Good luck purchasing Greenland! Just keep your hands off the Icelandic women and soil. So that you do not repeat what you did the last time there was a war you war mongerers.

  3. Don’t put pressure on Iceland! I care only for the Icelandics. The Icelandics have an unfortunate strategic location but I would have cared for the Icelandics even if they had been located around New Zealand. We don’t need you pressuring Iceland or occupying the country! On the other hand, if you ask them nicely if they want your precence on their island it’s a complete other thing. But remember, we see you and what you’re doing. We all Owe Iceland for how we treated them when they had their deep depression. I want to emphazise the Words “Deep depression” because compared to Obama’s US they had a real depression. They owed Three times their national GDP!!!!!! There are two kinds of crising nations, the extorter kind and the extortioner kind. You were the latter. If we can agree on this I have no beef with the US. If not, prepare for war! (You will bloody hell likely start it.)

    1. Hi Roger. I’ll take your comment as mild friendly joking tinged with acidic truth.

      You must see, however, that the US, 1, won’t buy Greenland, and 2, any move to increase basing on Greenland is meant to offset Russian increasing their offensive capabilities in the Arctic.

      War mongering? Oh, puhlease, it’s nothing of the sort. Perhaps Sputnik and RT are spinning it that way, but there is no accompanying rhetoric, no movement of large amounts of soldiers or equipment.

      1. Taking the risk of you not reading this through I will post a long reply text. I wrote this on my blog a while ago:

        Russian warships with Kalibr missiles in the West Atlantic. Lesson twentyfour

        In January 2019, Bill Gertz, senior editor of the Washington Free Beacon, writes that ”Russia is deploying long-range, precision cruise missiles to the western Atlantic that American defense officials say will allow Moscow to target Washington and other East Coast cities with conventional or nuclear attacks. Moscow is adding Kalibr land attack cruise missiles to both warships and missile submarines that Moscow plans to use in Atlantic patrols near the United States, sorties that were once routine during the Cold War.”

        Putin is just exploiting an opportunity. By cornering the Americans like the Americans have cornered China he is forcing the US to;

        1. Either respond with violence against Russia’s Naval ships, and that would leave the US open to a Chinese violent response in the South China Sea.
        2. Or the US can shrug off the Russian behavior and win the South China Sea dispute, if Xi Jinping stays reasonable, which is far from certain. But then the Russians would have moved forward their positions in the West Atlantic Ocean permanently.

        What does the US rather want, I think is the million dollar question. Freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, or owning their ”own” waters and thereby securing their safety? I might add that securing your ”own” waters only means marginalized higher security for American bases and cities on the east coast. But it does limit Russian ability to commit sneak attacks against the US.

        Now I will advise you.

        a. Make efforts to shadow the Russian submarines 24/7.
        b. Then double the stakes by deploying submarines in the Barents Sea.
        c. Norway has long since requested an increased US presence in the Barents Sea. Exploit it!


        Is there a German thumbprint on this venture spearheaded by the Russians? The Trump administration has cornered Germany and its allied partner the Netherlands pretty hard these passed days in the beginning of 2019.

        To me it looks like the Germans’ thumb-mark, although I would say that the thumbprint is to small at this moment to justify a reproach. But I would also say that jumping to conclusions is not really jumping to conclusions, it’s merely making them a suspect. But to openly accuse the Germans at this point wouldn’t be the right rapprochement.

        This is the lesson for today; Every time you get suspicious, keep the thought in the back of your head and never stop contemplating it, never stop comparing it with new information, until you can confirm it or until it has been falsified, even if it will take years of fact searching and cognitive thinking. Your level of perseverance determines if you will become a good intelligence person or not.

        End quote//

        I don’t know if you follow me or not in my discourse.

        Regarding my former reply, I feel obliged to point out that you might be a useful tool to your most friendly government to you. I was not talking about Russia when I said that you were war mongerers. Putin and Trump are closing in on each other. If not Russia collapse beforehand Putin sure look forward to something like a WWII Alliance with the West of the West. I admitt, I am a Little bit paranoid, but am I not justified in being so? I foresee a war coming between the Scandinavian countries and Germany on one side, and the US, Britain and if they get their wish also Russia on the other side. I don’t wish it to happen! Trump’s motive? Economical gain, Reality politics, recent recentments against Trump from high ranking officials in the Swedish armed forces, personal issues with us, you pick one or all! It is in this context you should consider the Rocky ASAP statement from Trump. It is in this concept you should read that Angela Merkel visited Iceland recently. It is not just random happenings, almost everything that happens on the top levels has a causality.

        Russias motive is that Kremlin is in a race to make something happen so that they will not implode as a state, again. I Think that I am on a complete other intelligence level than you are, Joel. There are layers in the intelligence communities with different realities, you were high enough ranked to understand that.

        I pray that good people like you will prevail in America. If not, remember for the future what I told you today.

Comments are closed.