At UN, President Trump threatens 'total destruction' of North Korea - Northwest Herald

Northwest Russia - 3 hours 34 min ago

Northwest Herald

At UN, President Trump threatens 'total destruction' of North Korea
Northwest Herald
And he made little mention of Russia. North Korea drew most of Trump's attention and anger. Trump, who has previously warned of "fire and fury" if Pyongyang does not back down, claimed that "no one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the ...

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Kremlin narratives on Crimea resurface in German election debate - 3 hours 53 min ago

This article is part of ECFR’s Wider Europe Forum

By Andreas Umland, for European Council of Foreign Relations

For the future of Ukraine, what Germany thinks and does really matters.

Last month, the German election campaign saw an unexpected statement by the leader of Germany’s liberals, Christian Lindner. The chair of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) – a centre-right force hitherto known for its hawkish stance in support of international law and all-European integration – proposed accepting Russia’s annexation of Crimea as a “permanent provisorium”. But, while this was unusual, Lindner only expressed a view which can be heard among many politicians, diplomats, and journalists in Germany and other Western countries. In fact, Lindner has – at least within the German political context – not been the most accommodative towards Kremlin expansionism.

For instance, the former chair of Germany’s oldest party, the social democratic SPD, Matthias Platzek, suggested in late 2014 to “retroactively regulate, in terms of international law,” Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Alexander Gauland, the deputy chair of the new right-wing populist Alternative for Germany party, which is poised to enter the Bundestag, said this summer that “Crimea is ultimately ancient Russian territory and cannot go back to Ukraine” – thereby fully embracing the Kremlin’s irredentist narrative. The leader of Die Linke, Sahra Wagenknecht, had called for Germany to accept the result of the Crimea referendum even before it took place.

The FDP chair was thus relatively moderate in his assessment. Lindner merely stated that, in distinction to the Donbas issue, Crimea’s return to Ukraine is a long-term project. His seemingly pragmatic approach is not only a reaction to Moscow’s manifest unwillingness to return Crimea to Ukraine, and to the very high popularity of the annexation among Russians. Lindner’s approach is symptomatic of larger trends within the EU’s political establishment to go soft on Russian imperialism, and to do so by simply ignoring the actual situation on the ground.

As ECFR’s recent research has shown, there are a number of leading parties which are mainstream but which nonetheless regularly incline towards giving their backing to Russia. As Gustav Gressel wrote, “These parties fully embrace the Western model, open societies, free trade, political liberties, social modernisation, and a secular state. But they also promote closer ties or economic cooperation with Russia, easing sanctions at the earliest opportunity, or are equivocal when it comes to how the European security order should be arranged.” As such, on the specific issue of Crimea, the Kremlin-supported narrative is a particularly popular argument of Europe’s Russlandversteher (Russia-understanders) in business circles, armchair punditry, and radical parties.

One of the most critical early reports on the pseudo-referendum came from three representatives of the Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights at the office of the President of Russia.[1] One of the members of this official Russian state body had visited Crimea in April 2014. On the basis of this private field trip to the freshly annexed peninsula, the Russian Presidential Council’s report, referring to local interlocutors, estimated that the referendum’s turnout was not 83.1 percent, as officially reported by the Kremlin-installed authorities on Crimea, but rather around 30-50 percent. Support for annexation among those Crimean voters who did vote was not 96.77 percent, as had been reported by the Moscow-controlled authorities, but around 50-60 percent. The latter is a figure not far from the results of opinion polls taken before the annexation, is supported by analyses alleging plain falsification of the voting’s results, and partially confirms even lower estimates by the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars.

Even allowing for a considerably higher turnout and larger real support for annexation in the city of Sevastopol – base of the Russian Black Sea fleet – this would mean that significantly less than a third of the overall Crimean population actually voted in support of the annexation. This is far too little to even partially justify such a momentous change in Europe’s post-war borders. The Russian Presidential Council report, moreover, quoted Crimean experts who said that the “population of Crimea did not so much vote for joining Russia than for, in their words, a termination of ‘the rampant corruption and predatory coercion of the Donetsk appointees’ [i.e. members of the Yanukovych clan dispatched to Crimea in 2010-2013].” In one of the last reliable polls conducted, in mid-February 2014, a few days before Crimea was occupied by Russian soldiers without insignia, a mere 41 percent of the peninsula’s respondents (excluding the special-status city of Sevastopol) supported unification of Russia and Ukraine into a single state.

The various polls that have been conducted after Russia’s military and political takeover seemingly demonstrate large Crimean support for annexation. Yet, for various reasons, this apparently unequivocal public opinion data has limited validity for an interpretation of the events in spring 2014. The more recent polling results partially reflect the effects, on Crimea’s citizens, of the shrill defamation campaign against Ukraine in the Kremlin-controlled media – the only major source of mass information left. Some of the polls also do not address the familiar popular bias towards support for the status quo – an effect that had earlier favoured the peninsula’s continuance in Ukraine even among many otherwise pro-Moscow Crimean respondents.

Most post-annexation pollsters seem to ignore the considerable stakes involved, for their respondents, to say to strangers that they support Crimea’s return to Ukraine. After its annexation by Russia, Crimea has become Europe’s most problematic territory in terms of the protection of civil rights of citizens, in particular of the indigenous Crimean-Tatar population. Moscow and its Crimean proxies work to stigmatise any disapproval of the annexation and are ruthless in their persecution of political dissidents, and even of mere sympathisers with Kyiv, on the peninsula.

There are further reasons why reference to the Russia-organised pseudo-plebiscite cannot serve as justification for an accommodative approach to Russia with regard to Crimea’s annexation. The date of the referendum was changed twice, and there was neither time nor opportunity for Crimea’s citizens to publicly, pluralistically, and freely discuss the choices they would be given in the alleged plebiscite on 16 March 2014. Before the ‘referendum’, the OSCE had explained its unwillingness to send an observer mission to this procedure saying that “international experiences […] showed that processes aiming at modifying constitutional set ups and discussions on regional autonomy were complex and time consuming, sometimes stretching over months or even years […]. Political and legal adjustments in that regard had to be consulted in an inclusive and structured dialogue on national, regional and local level.”

These conditions were not fulfilled, which is why the OSCE and all other relevant election observer organisations refused to attend.

Voting took place under conditions of psychological pressure from visible Russian regular troops without badges (‘little green men’ or ‘friendly people’), and armed pro-Russian irregulars omnipresent across the peninsula. Curiously, no option was presented, on the ballot, for the preservation of the status quo, i.e. the valid Constitution of Ukraine’s Autonomous Republic of Crimea adopted in 1998. Crimean voters were only given the opportunity to vote either for joining Russia, or for the reintroduction of an older, invalid Crimean constitution of 1992. Moreover, both of these two choices were ambiguous in their formulation and content.

The first option promised Crimeans ‘re-unification’ (vossedinenie) with Russia. However, Crimea had never been part of a ‘Russia’ that was politically separate from the mainland territory of the post-Soviet Ukrainian state to which Crimea has belonged since 1991. Most of today’s Ukraine had, for approximately as long as Crimea, been part and parcel of both the tsarist empire and the Soviet Union, ie. those states which the word “Russia” in the referendum apparently implied. From 1783 until 1991, Crimea had thus only been united with an empire sometimes called ‘Russia’, and not with a Russian nation-state. The larger part of today’s entire Ukrainian territory once belonged to this empire as much as most of the area of the current Russian Federation.

Crimea belonged, within the tsarist empire, to the Tauric Governorate that included not only the peninsula, but also most of today’s southern mainland Ukraine. Both post-Soviet republics, the Russian Federation and independent Ukraine, are therefore successors to the ‘Russia’ to which the 2014 ‘referendum’s’ promise of ‘reunification’ refers. As the Crimean peninsula had not belonged to an exclusively Russian state, separate from mainland Ukraine before 1991, Crimea could not have been separated from ‘Russia’ in 1991, and ‘reunited’ with it in 2014.

Until 2014, Russia’s post-Soviet leadership had never officially questioned Crimea’s place in post-Soviet Ukraine. Indeed, it confirmed this in several agreements. The two most important treaties were the 1991 Belovezha Agreement on the dissolution of the USSR, under Boris Yeltsin, and the 2003 Russian-Ukrainian State Border Treaty, under Vladimir Putin. Both agreements were ratified by Russian parliaments (the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and State Duma of the Russian Federation) and signed into law by Russia’s presidents. If one still accepts Moscow’s “historic right” to Crimea, with reference to its annexation to the tsarist empire in 1783, one would have to also concede an as deeply grounded historic justification for today Russia to annex much of the territory of today’s mainland Ukraine – colonised for approximately as long by Moscow as the Black Sea peninsula. In addition, many other territories outside today’s Russian Federation could then be also up for grabs by Moscow – as they had belonged to the same ‘Russia’, to which the 2014 pseudo-referendum refers, for roughly as long as Crimea.

The referendum’s second option, promising a return to the 1992 constitution, was even more confusingly formulated, as there had been two constitutions in force, in that year, on Crimea. The voters were – either intentionally or accidentally – left in the dark as to which of these two alternatives to annexation their choice would actually refer – to the more confederal Crimean Constitution of May 1992, or to the more federal Constitution of September 1992? Had this second option won, it would have been left to the powerholders to choose among these two different basic laws. One even suspects that this unorthodox second option – rather than the more standard option to simply preserve the status quo – was presented on purpose to increase support for the one clear option left: annexation to Russia. The choice that Crimeans were offered in March 2014 was not so much one between Russia and Ukraine than a decision between clarity and limbo.

None of this information is exceptional, secret, or original. The facts listed above and an array of other revealing aspects of these events are well known in Ukraine and among experts within Western academia, governments, mass media, and civil societies. Yet the Russian narrative is still widespread of a perhaps somewhat roughly initiated referendum that, however, eventually led to a decision allegedly supported by the vast majority of Crimeans.

The full outcome of this month’s federal election in Germany is not yet clear. But it is obvious that Moscow will warmly welcome leading German politicians repeating its preferred lines. It hopes that they in time become part of standard Western discourse on Crimea’s annexation.

By Andreas Umland, for European Council of Foreign Relations

Dr. Andreas Umland is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation in Kyiv, and editor of the book series “Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society” published by ibidem Press at Stuttgart and distributed by Columbia University Press at New York. Eleanor Knott (London School of Economics), Dmytro Shulga (Renaissance Foundation Kyiv) and Frank Golczewski (University of Hamburg) made useful comments on an earlier draft of this text.

Read more on: Wider Europe Forum

Categories: World News

Bombardment returns to rebel-held northwest as HTS aims to 'demolish, defeat' Astana ceasefire - Syria Direct

Northwest Russia - 6 hours 1 min ago

Syria Direct

Bombardment returns to rebel-held northwest as HTS aims to 'demolish, defeat' Astana ceasefire
Syria Direct
AMMAN: Rebel forces in rural northern Hama and southern Idlib provinces launched a military campaign with the express purpose of sabotaging a recent de-escalation zone agreement there, sources on the ground told Syria Direct, hours before Russian and ...

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Saipem CEO sees work on Nord Stream II going ahead if conditions right - Reuters

Nord Stream - 10 hours 53 min ago


Saipem CEO sees work on Nord Stream II going ahead if conditions right
MILAN (Reuters) - The Nord Stream II pipeline project will go ahead if conditions are right but sanctions may impact on work, the chief executive of Italian oil services group Saipem (SPMI.MI) said on Tuesday. Nord Stream II, led by Russian gas giant ...

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Saipem CEO sees work on Nord Stream II going ahead if conditions right - Reuters

Nord Stream - 10 hours 53 min ago


Saipem CEO sees work on Nord Stream II going ahead if conditions right
MILAN (Reuters) - The Nord Stream II pipeline project will go ahead if conditions are right but sanctions may impact on work, the chief executive of Italian oil services group Saipem (SPMI.MI) said on Tuesday. Nord Stream II, led by Russian gas giant ...

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Kremlin Watch Monitor ǀ September 19, 2017 - 10 hours 53 min ago

WANTED: Kremlin Watch Intern

European Values Think-Tank is looking for an intern for the Kremlin Watch Program.


  • Team work and independent activities in the
    Kremlin Watch team, which include:
  • Monitoring and cooperation on weekly Kremlin
    Watch Monitor in English language;
  • Involvement in the preparation of expert
    documentation within the area of disinformation
  • Participation in the preparation and realization of

Find out more about the opportunity on our website.

Weekly Update on the Kremlin’s Disinformation Efforts The Kremlin is a victim and is happy to pay for it

The UN Watch, a non-governmental human rights group, challenged the UN’s Special Rapporteur Idriss Jazairy for claiming in one of his reports that the Russian Federation is a victim of human rights violations due to the “unilateral coercive measures” imposed by the United States and the EU. According to the watch-dog group, Mr. Jazairy received $50,000 from the Kremlin for writing the report.

It’s official!

The Justice Department has allegedly instructed the company that runs RT’s American branch to register as a foreign agent, signifying that RT is being officially branded as an instrument of Kremlin influence. RT announced the news on September 11, but did not name the company in question. The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) is a statute from 1938, originally intended to combat Nazi propaganda, that requires Americans engaged in political work on behalf of foreign entities to disclose those relationships.

Facebook is a useful tool

Two explosive reports detail how Russian groups exploited Facebook to influence political attitudes in the US. First, Facebook representatives approached congressional investigators to testify that Facebook had discovered it had sold advertisements during the 2016 election to a shady Russian company aiming to target voters. The ad sales, about 3,000 in total and worth around $100,000, were traced to a Russian troll farm notorious for spreading pro-Kremlin propaganda. Second, The Daily Beast reported that Russian operatives using false identities created Facebook events “to remotely organize and promote political protests in the U.S., including an August 2016 anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim rally in Idaho.” These events are the first concrete indication that the Kremlin’s influence operations have moved beyond the mere propagation of fake news to the realm of stoking public action.

What can be done to make internet companies like Facebook and Google more responsible is the subject of one of our recent papers, co-authored by Jakub Janda and Klára Votavová. For a shorter read, you can also find their commentary on the Atlantic Council.

The EEAS East Stratcom Task Force has launched a new website, providing a user-friendly platform in three languages to look up disinformation cases in a searchable database, together with analysis of continuous and systematic disinformation campaigns. You can learn more about the new features in the following video:

Putin’s Champion Award

Our Expert Jury consisting of Jessikka Aro, Peter Kreko, Nerijus Maliukevičius, Anton Shekhovtsov and John Schindler, regularly votes on the dangerousness of several candidates you can nominate via e-mail or Twitter.

The 19th Putin’s Champion Award Recipient is

UN Special Rapporteur & former Algerian ambassador Idriss Jazairy

For reportedly accepting 50 000 USD for writing a manipulated report to show Russia as “victim of EU & USA human rights abuses”

U.S. Mission Photo/Eric Bridiers; (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The Expert Jury ranked his Putin-supportive job with


(out of 5) mark.

The rating signals how much the recipient contributed to the interest of the Putin’s aggressive regime. It is calculated as an average of ratings assessed by the Expert Jury of this Award.

You can find more details about the award and the former recipients here.

Kremlin Watch Reading Suggestion

A Second Look at the Steele Dossier

It has been eight months since the leak of the so-called Steele Dossier, a private intelligence report containing allegations of ties between Donald Trump and Russia. The dossier was a past topic of interest in the American media. Now, a new article by a highly respected former member of the CIA’s Senior Intelligence Service, John Sipher, offers a second intriguing look at it from an intelligence perspective.

The dossier, which was originally published by BuzzFeed, comprises a collection of reports produced by Orbis Business Intelligence, a private intelligence firm, of which the author of the dossier, Christopher Steele, is a co-founder. The reports, produced between June and December 2016, contain allegations of collusion between the Kremlin and key Trump campaign officials, as well as claims that Russians have compromising material on Trump that could be used to blackmail him. Even though the dossier’s publication triggered an uproar, the media repeatedly pointed out that the reports were “unsubstantiated”, and the topic slowly faded away. So, what news does Sipher’s article bring us?

With a 28-year career in the CIA, Sipher looks at the dossier from the perspective of someone who is familiar with the procedures that lead to the creation of such a document and is able to assess the dossier using his expertise. After a thorough examination, which takes into account events that happened after the dossier was leaked, Sipher concludes that information contained in it is generally credible. He points out, for example, that a lot of information learned in past months support the narrative that was presented in the dossier. Even though Sipher also considers certain parts of the reports to be incorrect or questionable, the core of the dossier is, in his view, now more reliable than before.

Good Old Soviet Joke

In the Soviet Union: “We have no problem with freedom of speech; however, freedom after speech still needs more work.”

Euroatlantic experts on disinformation warfare

CEPA reports on the continuous efforts of Russian-language pro-Kremlin media to persuade the population of the Baltic states that Western politicians support the Kremlin’s objectives in the region and criticise their domestic issues. Methods of misrepresentation and taking others’ words out of context are common manipulation and propaganda techniques.

The defence ministers of Sweden and Denmark co-authored an op-ed according to which they plan to cooperate more with respect to countering the threats of “hybrid warfare, including various forms of cyber attacks, disinformation and fake news, which can create uncertainty in societies” coming from the Kremlin.

Politico published an article examining the work of Ben Scott, a former technology adviser to Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful 2016 US presidential campaign. He is now part of a group of researchers fighting digital disinformation campaigns prior to the general elections in Germany.

Kremlin Watch is a strategic program of the European Values Think-Tank, which aims to expose and confront instruments of Russian influence and disinformation operations focused against liberal-democratic system.

Categories: World News

Secretary-General of IMO believes in a great future of Vostochny Port (photo) - PortNews IAA

PortNews IAA

Secretary-General of IMO believes in a great future of Vostochny Port (photo)
PortNews IAA
I have seen large scale work focused on environmental improvements and I hope to see even greater growth and further positive changes if I come to Vostochny Port in 10 years,” said Secretary-General of IMO. ... Port Management Company LLC is Russia's ...

Categories: Google News

Another view: New rules and old conflicts for legal defense funds - Northwest Herald

Northwest Russia - 18 hours 37 min ago

Another view: New rules and old conflicts for legal defense funds
Northwest Herald
Any White House staffer who is not personally wealthy, and is caught in the gears of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump connections to Russia, will face devastating legal bills. That's more than unfortunate; it's unfair. There's ...

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Fishing in Troubled Waters: The 4th Black Sea Stakeholder Conference - Georgia Today

Google News: --- Baltic Environmental - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 17:38

Georgia Today

Fishing in Troubled Waters: The 4th Black Sea Stakeholder Conference
Georgia Today
Berhnard Friess, EU Commissioner of Maritime Affairs, in his talk highlighted that sustainable economic growth is directly related to environmental protection: “The more you take care of the sea, the greater benefit it gives you back,” he said. In ...

Categories: Google News

Germany Reacts to Russia Sanctions, Asks to Postpone Nord ... - Georgia Today

Nord Stream - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 17:32

Georgia Today

Germany Reacts to Russia Sanctions, Asks to Postpone Nord ...
Georgia Today
The Federal Network Agency of Germany (Bundesnetzagentur) has demanded changes be made to the development plan for gas networks until 2026 and that it ...
Paksas defends Nord Stream 2 project in EU parliament :: The Baltic ...The Baltic Course
'We Must Take Countermeasures': US Anti-Russian Sanctions Anger ...Sputnik International
The European Commission is afraid to stay without Russian gas (press release)

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Categories: Google News

StopFake #149 with Lada Roslycky - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 16:47

The latest edition of StopFake News with Lada Roslycky. Among the disinformation debunked this week: President Poroshenko admits returning Crimea to Ukraine is unrealistic; Putin shatters atheism in five minutes; Ukrainians infecting Europeans with tuberculosis andwhat you really need to know about Russia’s government funded agencies RT and Sputnik.

Categories: World News

Vladimir Putin endorsed a list of instructions following the meeting on development of transport infrastructure in ... - PortNews IAA

Northwest Russia - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 16:32

Vladimir Putin endorsed a list of instructions following the meeting on development of transport infrastructure in ...
PortNews IAA
RF President Vladimir Putin endorsed a list of instructions following the meeting on development of transport infrastructure in Northwest Russia held on 16 August 2017, official website of Kremlin says. According to the document, RF Government is to ...

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Stories about Russia “are so hot right now” — so BuzzFeed is partnering with Meduza for more substantive Russia reporting - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 14:36

Photo of paintings of Vladimir Putin by Nicolay Volnov used under a Creative Commons license

“There’s an enormous interest in Russia we really haven’t seen since the Cold war.”

By Shan Wang, for NiemanLab

You may have noticed: Interest in news out of and about Russia is high these days.

“In 2016 and 2017, for reasons that I’m sure are fairly obvious, there was a spike of interest in the U.S. in stories coming out of Russia,” Ivan KolpakovMeduza’s editor-in-chief, told me.

“Audience-wise, I think Russia stories are so hot right now, and there isn’t a huge amount of reporting coming out of there,”Miriam Elder, BuzzFeed’s world editor, said. Elder had been the Guardian’s Moscow bureau chief before joining BuzzFeed. “On our side, there’s an enormous interest in Russia we really haven’t seen since the Cold War.”

So BuzzFeed News is beefing up its Russia coverage by partnering with the Latvia-based online outlet Meduza, which has grown rapidly since its launch less than three years ago. (Elder said this isn’t necessarily the first step to a full Russia site for BuzzFeed, the way, say, BuzzFeed Deutschland is for Germany.)

The partnership is editorial, and resources will be concentrated on joint investigations. BuzzFeed is paying for the investigations it commissions with Meduza, according to Kolpakov, though the sites will trade stories and Meduza translate occasional stories of its choosing from BuzzFeed, free of charge. Other exchanges: A Meduza reporter will sit in the BuzzFeed newsroom for a week to take in the BuzzFeed workflows; a BuzzFeed reporter will head to an annual conference Meduza puts on. Elder cited Meduza’s investigations on Russian cyber capabilities as one investigative topic of interest to both outlets.

“BuzzFeed has been a model for us in many respects, productwise and strategically,” Kolpakov said. (Since its earliest months of existence, Meduza has been following BuzzFeed’s growth, and interested in a more substantial partnership. It’s worked with BuzzFeed in the past informally on various exclusives, and Kolpakov was a guest on BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith’s podcast last month.) “We face a lot of the problems that BuzzFeed faces, most importantly with respect to maintaining brand presence across multiple platforms, the production of video and new formats, internal communications, and the convergence of hard news and entertainment journalism, native advertising, and so on. Honestly, I think that BuzzFeed has been more of a model for us than any other outlet.”

“Our story was known in the West, but not our actual product or the quality of our journalism,” he added. (Meduza was born out of Kremlin interference into the Russian site A number of staffers moved to Latvia, safe from Russian editorial interference, and launched Meduza.)

Both sides are interested in growing a global audience interested in Russia stories. BuzzFeed doesn’t offer a breakdown of unique visitors by country, but more than half the monthly unique visitors to come from outside the U.S. (It current publishes in content in Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, French, German, and Russian.) A quarter of Meduza’s readership — Meduza also has a complete English-language site— comes from outside of Russia.

Meduza is interested specifically in growing a subscriber base for its English-language email newsletter, which is targeted at readers who are interested in Russia and post-Soviet countries, but “who do not read Russian fluently.”

“Additionally, this is a way for our reporters and editors to reach an entirely new audience. I don’t think our expectations go beyond that,” Kolpakov said. “It’s a whole new market, and it’s the most interesting market in the world. And of course, it would be great if we could show that Russia has quality journalism, and that Russia is not just Putin and hackers, but a whole lot of other things that are scary, astonishing, and fun.”

By Shan Wang, for NiemanLab

Categories: World News

Is Russia Practicing a Dry Run for an Invasion of Belarus? - Foreign Policy (blog)

Northwest Russia - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 13:57

Foreign Policy (blog)

Is Russia Practicing a Dry Run for an Invasion of Belarus?
Foreign Policy (blog)
The exercises are being staged in the northwest of the country, given the name of another fictional state, “Veyshnoria.” This is the historical heartland of real Belarusian nationalism, where Belarusian activists in the early 20th century competed with ...

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Categories: Google News

Russian state TV’s targets last week: Ukraine, Poland and the US as antiheroes - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 13:15

By EU vs Disinfo

  • Below you can find a summary of the main topics on Russia’s most watched state TV news channels last week.
  • The news shows’ agenda in Russia is carefully attuned to serve the Kremlin’s needs.
  • Therefore, following Russian state media sheds light on our understanding of how the Kremlin seeks to influence the Russian-speaking audience in Russia and beyond. Read our story here.
  • Our monitoring of pro-Kremlin disinformation also reveals that many of the themes set out in Russia’s most popular state TV news programmes find their way into European outlets.

1. Undermining the statehood of Ukraine

The fact that former Odessa Governor Mikheil Saakashvili crossed the Ukrainian border even though he was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship was interpreted as a sign of Ukraine’s weakness. The sovereignty of Ukraine was repeatedly contested during the show on Channel One and the ”60 Minut” talk show on Rossiya 1.

Guests were claiming that “there is no Ukraine” but a “southern branch of the Russian people”, a state “built on lies” that “cannot be regarded as a serious state”, “an unformed nation and an unformed state” and finally a state “which is controlled by the USA and Europe and lives off their money and so on, and has de facto ceased to exist”. Speculation went further on Thursday on the same show, when some panelists suggested that Saakashvili might have links to the Kremlin.

As a culmination, Channel One reported on its talk show that Hungarian-American investor George Soros is behind Saakashvili’s return to Ukraine. Soros is one of the most repeated targets of disinformation outlets. Check out individual disinfo cases here.

2. The military have taken over control in Washington

Reporting on the tensions with North Korea, Vesti Nedeli describes the US as a “stratocracy” where political power lies in the hands of the military. The story describes three generals in key positions governing the US: current White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster, and Secretary of Defence James Mattis.

“Of course it’s not a junta, but a sort of a stratocracy, like a power of the military”, TV host Dmitri Kiselyov states.

TV channels in Russia have for some time been actively accusing President Barack Obama’s administration for today’s perceived failures. Now, according to NTV’s news programme, “grim Russophobia and witch hunts” have continued under Trump just like before.

3. Poland, Lithuania, and the battle for history

Weekly news show Vesti Nedeli made two distorted claims in its report from Poland: hinting that Poland might have been the initiator of World War II (Read more in our latest Disinfo Review) and stating that it was Joseph Stalin who handed over the “Polish city of Wilno” to Lithuania.

Both claims undermine the historical facts of the Molotov-Ribbentrop secret protocols in which eastern Europe was divided into German and Soviet spheres of influence. Eastern Poland and Lithuania, among others, fell under the Soviet sphere of influence.

Vesti Nedeli portrays Poland as a nationalistic aggressor that has during the last century strived to gain control over Lithuania, Ukraine, and Russia itself.

A new law in Poland demands the removal of mentions on public monuments that seem to glorify Communism or “any other totalitarian” regime. Channel One with its talk show Vremya Pokazhet discussed this topic and described those responsible as “Europe’s Taliban”, comparing them to Daesh.

By EU vs Disinfo

Categories: World News

Paksas defends Nord Stream 2 project in EU parliament - The Baltic Course

Nord Stream - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 07:25

The Baltic Course

Paksas defends Nord Stream 2 project in EU parliament
The Baltic Course
In a discussion at the European Parliament, Lithuanian MEP Rolandas Paksas on September 14th called on politicians to refrain from criticizing plans to expand the Nord Stream gas pipeline between Russia and Germany and to look for benefits in the ...
Germany Reacts to Russia Sanctions, Asks to Postpone Nord Stream-2 ProjectsGeorgia Today

all 5 news articles »
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'North by Northwest' coming to Hitching Post - Tehachapi News

Northwest Russia - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 04:43

'North by Northwest' coming to Hitching Post
Tehachapi News
Because good movies are a draw — who knew? — the Hitching Post is extending its classic series and Sept. 21 - 23, Alfred Hitchcock's classic "North by Northwest" will play. If you haven't seen it, or haven't seen it on the big screen, or, if you're ...

Categories: Google News

Streator family welcomes Russian cyclists -

Northwest Russia - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 04:34

Streator family welcomes Russian cyclists
Laurie Schmitt (second from right) and her daughter, Cassie, welcomed Russian bicyclists Karina Guliyants (in black) and Evgeny Zavyalov at their home northwest of Streator. The Russians are bicycling across the country. David Giuliani. Laurie Schmitt ...

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Apple Gets Mixed Reactions To New iPhone's Facial Recognition Technology - Northwest Public Radio

Northwest Russia - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 03:54

Apple Gets Mixed Reactions To New iPhone's Facial Recognition Technology
Northwest Public Radio
GARVIE: So right now happening in Russia, face recognition has been used to scan anti-government or anti-corruption protests, identify and then publicly name the people at those anti-government protests. What this means is these people will be subject ...

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Did Russia Bomb US-Backed Militias in Syria? - Newsweek

Northwest Russia - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 18:54


Did Russia Bomb US-Backed Militias in Syria?
... Al-Zor province, a flashpoint in an increasingly complex battlefield. GettyImages-510761326 A general view shows Russian fighter jets on the tarmac at the Russian Hmeimim military base in Latakia province, in the northwest of Syria, on February 16 ...
Video: ISIS on Run in Deir Ezzor Countryside, Russian Cruise Missile Attacks against ISIS Control CentersCenter for Research on Globalization

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