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Old 01-04-2016   #41
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New Kremlin management of Donbas: Dep PM Kozak has replaced Surkov & Boris Gryzlov new Russian chief negotiator.
http://bit.ly/1O6wD5Khttp://bit.ly/1O6wD5K
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Old 01-04-2016   #42
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A blackout in Ukraine on December 23rd was caused by a cyber-attack. Details :
http://www.welivesecurity.com/2016/0...ower-industry/

DNR Leader Zakharchenko Says Peacekeepers In Donbass Would Be 'Unacceptable'
http://bit.ly/1Z1dcAk

Ukraine's intel reports to #OSCE Russian militant MBTs, self-propelled guns near #Makyivka, #Mospine
http://www.unian.info/war/1228701-uk...a-mospine.html

Ukraine's intelligence reports to #OSCE SMM presence of large-caliber weapons in #ATO area.
http://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/315498.html
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Old 01-04-2016   #43
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Reference shot down of MH17..........

bellingcat ‏@bellingcat
We continue to monitor and archive social media accounts of 53rd Brigade members, taking note of those who delete content #mh17


53rd is a Russian BUK AD unit.....
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Old 01-04-2016   #44
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The Unexpected Death of Russia’s military intelligence (GRU) chief, Igor Sergun

by Mark Galeotti

Quote:
SergunToday, news broke about the death yesterday (3 January) of 58-year-old Colonel General Igor Sergun, head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff, better known as the GRU.

No cause of death has yet been announced, but there has been no suggestion of anything shady or strange about his demise, even at this relatively young age (especially by the standards of Russian military gerontocracy!). No doubt more details will follow tomorrow; today it's just the hurried eulogies. Putin issued a statement that said "Colleagues and subordinates knew him as a real military officer, an experienced and competent commander, a man of great courage, a true patriot. He was respected for his professionalism, strength of character, honesty and integrity." Defence Minister Shoigu and the Collegium of the ministry extolled "the bright memory of a wonderful man, a true son of Russian patriots of the Motherland [...who...] forever remain in our hearts."

Sergun was an extremely important figure in the revival of the fortunes of the GRU, an agency that was pretty much at rock bottom when he took it over at the end of 2011. Since then, it has regained control over the Spetsnaz special forces, been crucial in the seizure of Crimea and operations in the Donbas, emerged as the lead agency for dealing with violent non-state actors and generally consolidated its position as a crucial instrument of today's "non-linear war." Indeed, it was a perverse accolade to this effect that he was included in the EU's post-Crimea Western sanctions list.

It will be interesting to see who replaces Sergun and whether they are able to consolidate and maintain this turnaround. Reportedly -- and thanks for Michael Kofman for bringing this to my attention -- one of Sergun's deputies is recently-promoted Lt. Gen. Alexei Dyumin, formerly of the Presidential Security Service (SBP) and close to Putin not just from that role but also as a dacha neighbour and ice hockey team player. If Dyumin gets the job, he'll have a solid krysha, political cover, and it will also represent one more example of the colonisation of the security structures by veterans of the SBP and its parent organisation, the FSO. But on the other hand, Dyumin -- unlike Sergun -- is not a career military intelligence officer but essentially a security guard. Whether or not he will be anywhere near as successful operationally, and whether he is willing to bring unwelcome news to the president may well be another matter.

In any case, we await details. I'll follow up as they emerge.
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Old 01-04-2016   #45
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Horlivka, January 4
Russian military vehicles moved from Donetsk in winter camouflage
Decided to spend the winter...
https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/sta...55968020316161

OSCE sees 10 armed militants in reportedly occupied Kominternove
http://www.unian.info/war/1229041-os...internove.html
pic.twitter.com/fmg6x5egzj

Cold snap is starting to freeze Kerch Strait further isolating #Crimea
http://krymsos.com/ru/news/cherez-si...operevezennya/
pic.twitter.com/Enu93MlQ32

In 2015, 3 pro-Moscow rebel commanders (Dremov, Mozgovoy & Bednov) "were killed in a professional fashion" #Ukraine
http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs...wAefQw.twitter
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Old 01-04-2016   #46
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Krasnohorivka 20:48
Powerful BOOMs!

Krasnohorivka @666_mancer [vk]
17:00 quiet
20:48 strong booms
21:40 quiet

22:20 #Donetsk @olgarjpthju [fb] "#Pushkina Blvd can hear explosions" "So did #Druzhba. A strong one"

@OSCE_SMM access denial increase substantially? (along w/ violence threats & harassment)
http://www.osce.org/ukraine-smm/214676
pic.twitter.com/eiPbwLiMx2

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Old 01-04-2016   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
The Unexpected Death of Russia’s military intelligence (GRU) chief, Igor Sergun

by Mark Galeotti
He knew too much.
Vladimir #Putin's spy chief dies suddenly aged 58, #Kremlin reveals
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-n...arebar_twitter

In the news about Sergun's death Vesti.RU changes headline: falling https://archive.is/i56Jq
replaced by demise https://archive.is/90w9G
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Old 01-05-2016   #48
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Sergun, GRU chief who just died, led "most of complex operations" of GRU, i.e. wars abroad. Stepashin won't say more
http://crimea-24.com/novorossiya/120...hen-bereg.html
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Old 01-05-2016   #49
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Concerning - "highly destructive" malware has caused several days of blackouts in Western #Ukraine
http://arstechnica.com/security/2016...ng-escalation/
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Old 01-05-2016   #50
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Frequency Of Enemy Attacks In ATO Increased, – ATO Staff
http://ukraineunderattack.org/en/511...ato-staff.html
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Old 01-05-2016   #51
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Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
Sergun, GRU chief who just died, led "most of complex operations" of GRU, i.e. wars abroad. Stepashin won't say more
http://crimea-24.com/novorossiya/120...hen-bereg.html
Btw, not only head of GRU Sergun + general Shushukin died. Earlier: Nov05 - #Putin's adviser Lesin, Dec10 - ex-mayor of Sevastopol Saratov
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Old 01-05-2016   #52
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Unidentified men in camouflage uniform abduct people in #Kherson region
http://humanrights.org.ua/en/materia...ljudej__svidki … …
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Old 01-05-2016   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
Btw, not only head of GRU Sergun + general Shushukin died. Earlier: Nov05 - #Putin's adviser Lesin, Dec10 - ex-mayor of Sevastopol Saratov
Two Troubling Questions about Putin: Is He Sick? And Is He Getting Rid of Witnesses?
http://www.interpretermag.com/two-tr...tnesses/#11741
pic.twitter.com/xVQURtRi7w

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Two Troubling Questions about Putin: Is He Sick? And Is He Getting Rid of Witnesses?

Paul Goble

Quote:
Staunton, January 5 – In the dies non that exists in Russia over the winter holidays, two uncomfortable and potentially dangerous questions have been raised about Vladimir Putin: Does his fall off in public activity mean he is sick? And are recent deaths evidence that the Kremlin leader is getting rid of witnesses to his crimes?

That such questions are being asked at all is more important in terms of public attitudes than the answers that anyone may give to one or the other.

Yesterday, Moscow’s independent Dozhd television, citing a report by the Center for Economic and Political Reforms (cepr.su/2016/01/04/kolvo-ukazov/), said that in recent weeks, Putin’s activity has fallen to “a record low for the past 15 years,” sparking concerns that he is either tired or sick (tvrain.ru/news/ustalost_prezidenta-401269/).

Between 1994 and 2012, the center’s analysts found, Russia’s three presidents, Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev issued between 123 and 149 decrees monthly. But since 2013, they found that Putin had issued “almost half as many” and that “the number has contracted further.” In 2013, he issued 970; in 2014, 837; and in 2015, 638.

Nikolay Mironov, the center’s director, says that this fall off in activity “may be connected with physical problems” or simply the result of the wearing down of someone who has long been in office. The decline began in May 2013, and since that time, many have suggested that Putin doesn’t look as well as he did earlier.

He notes that the decline in official activity includes not just decrees but other forms of orders issued to subordinates. Over the last year, Mironov continues, the president has distanced himself “from all important questions,” as shown as well by the way in which he answered questions at his recent press conference.

But the director points to the most important consequence of this: Under Russian conditions, if the president doesn’t formulate his orders in a written form, many in the bureaucracy and society do not know what they are supposed to do – and being at a loss, they may either do nothing or go their own ways.

Today, Zoryan Shkiryak, an advisor to the Ukrainian interior ministry, suggested that the recent deaths of two military commanders who undoubtedly have access to many of Putin’s most closely held secrets suggests that the Kremlin leader may be killing off witnesses to his own crimes (nr2.com.ua/News/world_and_russia/Putin-izbavlyaetsya-ot-opasnyh-svideteley-svoih-prestupleniy-ekspert-114437.html).

He points specifically to the death on December 27 of Major General Aleksandr Shushukin, who led the occupation of Crimea, and of Col.Gen. Igor Sergun, the head of the GRU, who has long done secretive dirty work “at the order of the Kremlin in the war against Ukraine.”

Of course, the two deaths may be a coincidence, but they are convenient and getting rid of the executors of regime policy has long been a tradition for the Soviet and Russian security services. They in this as in much else operate according to the principle “no person, no problem.” That Putin might do the same should not surprise anyone, Shkiryak says.

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Old 01-05-2016   #54
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Numbers-Stations.com @Spy_Stations

Numbers Stations Newsletter is out!
http://paper.li/Spy_Stations/1430766...9-0cc47a0d1605
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Old 01-06-2016   #55
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Unexplained fuel shortage in #Luhansk #LNR #LPR region including cities near the Russian border #Ukraine
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Old 01-06-2016   #56
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Lt. Gen. Alexei Dyumin, another presidential bodyguard doing well…

by Mark Galeotti

Quote:
The former relationship of Lt. Gen. Alexei Dyumin to the GRU, mentioned in my last blog, is still unclear. As of 24 December 2015, he is a Deputy Defence Minister, although of still unclear portfolio. However, accounts of his promotion say that he was before then head of the Special Operations Forces (SSO: Sily spetsial'nykh operatsii) -- and the Spetsnaz are a GRU asset, so this might have been a position giving an equivalence to a deputy headship of the GRU -- and even before than, Ground Forces Chief of Staff. That's a pretty solid pedigree, but given that even back in May 2015 he was being name-checked as still being in the Presidential Security Service (SBP), that suggests a pretty meteoric rise.

Let's assume there aren't two Alexei Gennad'evich Dyumins within the Russian security elite. Let's further assume that these various accounts are correct. That means that in the space of at most seven months, Colonel Dyumin (as he was then), one of the deputy heads of the SBP, moved across to the Defence Ministry, took a senior operational role in the Ground Forces (despite not having been a career soldier), then a crucial command position in GRU special forces, and then a hop up to to deputy ministerial rank. In the process, he also went from colonel to major general to (two-star) lt. general. Pretty impressive.

But not wholly unprecedented -- let's not forget the infamous Viktor Zolotov, close Putin associate and judo sparring partner, who went at flank speed from head of the SBP to commander of the Interior Ministry's Interior Troops, to First Deputy Interior Minister and potential minister-in-waiting.

It's all conjecture, but the rapid promotion of close Putin clients from the SBP, people he knows, people he plays judo and ice hockey with, people who are his neighbours, may suggest a degree of insecurity. If he feels he cannot trust the elite as a whole (and I suspect he may be right), the temptation to colonise the key security structures with those you feel on whom you can rely, if push comes to shove, is logical. And interesting.
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Old 01-06-2016   #57
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Lt. Gen. Alexei Dyumin, another presidential bodyguard doing well…

by Mark Galeotti
Actually an interesting development as there are serious worries being voiced out of elite circles about the possibility of spring time demos due to the ever worsening economic conditions....
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Old 01-06-2016   #58
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Ukraine intelligence reported to #OSCE they found 3 TOS-1 Buratino near the frontline

Russian Strategy Seeks to Defy Economic Decline With Military Bravado
http://www.jamestown.org/programs/ed...-W6Lfm.twitter

Info on why even a temp shutdown would be catastrophic: A Ukr Factory That Can’t Close, and Workers Who Won’t Quit
http://nyti.ms/1Gk5yLn

Militants increase number of attacks: fired 23 times over last day, 14 of which after 6pm. Biggest attack was nr Mayorsk - ATO press center

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Old 01-06-2016   #59
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Reference the shot down of MH17......

Lockerbie victims lawyer #JerrySkinner confirmed, he would move on suing #Putin #Russia to #ECHR for #MH17 tragedy https://twitter.com/24tvua/status/684764072202600448
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Old 01-06-2016   #60
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Eliot Higgins @EliotHiggins
Putin's Next Potential Target: The Baltic States
http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs...WXMR-1.twitter

Very interesting to see the role the Orthodox church has assumed in #Russia, #Serbia, #Montenegro regarding #NATO http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/arti...sPQ5Nk.twitter
Following the Putin demands.....

Whenever Serbian clerics wax mystically about Russia+Orthodoxy, Apis smiles & the 10M dead of WW1 shake their heads.
https://twitter.com/20committee/stat...74402228109313

CIA eyes Kremlin hackers in electrical grid attack.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...ut-attack.html … pic.twitter.com/dVNxY66cEs

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