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 Post subject: Re: What is Putin up to?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:56 am 
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Russians are poisoning people in the UK, the US and more than a dozen EU countries expel Russian diplos and in less than 90 days the World Cup for soccer/football will be kicking off a month's worth of matches in Russia.

Should be an interesting spring and summer coming up!

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 Post subject: Re: What is Putin up to?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:06 am 
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I put this post here as it crosses multiple areas that Putin's LGM are involved in:

https://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htiw/ ... 80402.aspx

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Information Warfare: The Syrian Ban

April 2, 2018: By July 1st all bases where Russian forces operate in Syria, including major ones like Hmeimim airbase and the naval facilities at the port of Tartus, must begin to jam signals used by cellphones capable of handling 2G and 3G speeds. All Russia personnel have been ordered to only use older cell phones without cameras and GPS. Hmeimim was ordered to impose permanent jamming by March 30th. These orders were issued in mid-February after several ISIL attacks using fixed wing and quad copter UAVs. These mass attacks were made possible by using the features and capabilities of modern cell phones. This ban also solves another problem that has long caused headaches for Russian propagandists as well as military commanders. As a bonus this ban makes it much more difficult for Russian personnel to post military information on the Internet. This ban will only show down the battlefield information leaks because the Russian soldiers and civilian contractors will still have their smart phones for taking pictures and writing email to the folks back home. Whenever they get into a jamming free zone they can send that stuff or post it to social media sites (where more of these “leaks” tend to appear.) But jamming will make improvised mass attacks by cheap commercial UAVs (carrying explosives) less common and more difficult to carry out. Several such attacks occurred between the end of 2017 and February, causing two deaths and a lot of property and equipment damage.

What happened in Syria was unusual because it is usually the Russians who are exploiting cell phone technology on the battlefield although the information leaks because of Russian troops with cell phones has long been a problem, but not as serious as enabling aerial attacks on major bases.

The cell phones have become a major intelligence problem in Russian occupied areas of Ukraine as well. For example in late 2017 the Russian backed rebel government in eastern Ukraine (Donbas) sentenced a local man to ten years in jail for distributing a cell phone photo via twitter that showed Russian Army vehicles and other equipment in the rebel controlled half of Donbas. Russia denies they have troops there but it has been an open secret because of cell phones, Internet access and most Ukrainians there want the Russians gone. Sending this guy to prison and publicizing it is expected to make the population less ready to do this sort of thing.

While the Russians have been in Donbas since 2014, since mid-2015 Ukraine has become a secondary operation for Russia with Syria, the rest of the Middle East plus North Korea demanding more attention. This has made it easier for Ukrainians to document the presence of Russian troops inside Donbas. This is possible because Donbas has cell phone service a lot of people in Donbas take pictures and share them. Although the Russian soldiers in Donbas are supposed to remove all identifying items from their uniforms, not all the troops do that completely. The Russian troops are not supposed to spend too much time socializing with the locals but they do and often share those experiences on Internet based social networks. Russia denies everything and since Russia has state controlled mass media most Russians see the official version of who is in Donbas, not the reality. The Russian veto in the UN limits international blowback because of Donbas and the fact that Russia has ignored nearly all the things it agreed to in several recent Donbas ceasefire agreements.

While Russia decreased military support for their forces in Donbas Russia continued using Ukraine as a test site for new Cyber War tactics and techniques. Thus by the end of 2016 Ukraine accused Russia of employing hackers to insert trackers into cell phones used by Ukrainian military personnel fighting in Donbas. Ukraine has also found evidence of the same or similar hackers (usually civilian groups working as contractors for the Russian government) going after numerous government and commercial networks in Ukraine. Some of these hackers were also identified as going after targets in the United States. The hacking of military personnel cell phones is believed to be the cause of several recent accurate and fatal attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas. The hackers made it possible to track the location of the phone owners and accurately fire shells at them.

These capabilities had already attracted the attention of the U.S., which was supplying Ukraine with military equipment and technical assistance. American and NATO electronic warfare experts paid close attention to what the Russians were up to in Donbas and the cell phone hack was not unexpected. When it did arrive it was scrutinized and dissected.


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 Post subject: Re: What is Putin up to?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:39 pm 
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https://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htmur ... 80413.aspx

Quote:
Murphy's Law: Russian Defense Production Is Bad And Getting Worse

April 13, 2018: Russia has been trying, since the late 1990s, to build replacements for Cold War era warships. Many of these have reached the end of their useful lives and many of them, while still listed as in service, rarely, if ever, seem to leave port. Russian admirals have been aware of the fact that they won't have much of a navy by the 2020s unless these older ships are replaced. The problem is that the older ships cannot be refurbished or upgraded because that would cost more than buying new ones, These older ships are not just falling apart, but because there was not any money available right after the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, there were few repairs and no upgrades during the 1990s.

The Russian parliament finally came up with more money after 2000 to build enough surface ships to maintain a respectable fleet. But there's the other problem. Most of Russia's warship building capability (experience and kills) disappeared during 1991. Before 2014 the government thought it had a solution and that was to make a deal with France to import modern warship building techniques, by purchasing two Mistral amphibious assault ship/helicopter carriers, and the right to build two more in Russian shipyards. During that process, Russian shipbuilders would learn how it's done in the West. Since the late 1990s, most of the Russian construction effort went into finishing a few subs and building some surface ships for export. Even these subs had serious construction problems. Mainly it was quality control and the navy refused to accept ships, especially subs that could not pass sea trials. Apparently, the ship yards were ordered to put all their efforts into the subs and eventually some of these limped into service. But the deal to import French shipbuilding techniques disappeared when Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014. France refunded the billion dollars paid for the two Mistrals (and later sold them to Egypt) leaving the Russians on their own.

Now the Russian navy is in desperate shape. The latest example of how this is working out can be seen in the continuing delays getting the new class of 4,500 ton frigates (the Gorshkov class or "Project 22350") into service. Construction on these began in 2006 but by 2010 only one had been launched and it was still only half complete. The navy wanted twenty Gorshkovs to replace the Cold War era Sovremenny class destroyers and Burevestnik class frigates. The government has only promised money for twelve Gorshkov sand has since raised that to fifteen. But so far the first Gorshkov has not passed sea trials. This ship was commissioned in 2017 but could not enter service until it passed the sea trials. So far the Gorshkov has not done so. The latest delay is the failure of the anti-aircraft missile system to function properly. There are also problems with the engines. The builder says all will be ready by July. A second Gorshkov was launched in 2014 and is to be ready for sea trials in 2018. A third Gorshkov is under construction but the launch date is unknown because another side effect of the Ukraine invasion was Ukraine refusing to supply any more naval turbines. Russia said it was having a Russian firm begin construction but that is behind schedule and now it looks like no more Gorshkovs (aside from the first two) will be available for completion until the early 2020s.

The Gorshkov's are armed with a 130mm gun, two Kashtan autocannon systems for missile defense, 8 Yakhont 3M55 or PJ-10 BrahMos anti-ship missiles (both are three ton supersonic missiles, with the BrahMos being an advanced version of Yakhont developed in cooperation with India), a launcher for 24 Uragan 1 (SA-N-12) anti-aircraft missiles (30 kilometers range, 70 kg/154 pound warhead), four 533mm (21 inch) torpedo tubes, four RPK-9 (SS-N-29) anti-submarine rockets and a helicopter. These ships require a crew of 210 sailors and will have the latest electronics the Russians have available for anti-air and anti-submarine work. These ships cost about $400 million each and will replace larger ships like the 7,900 ton Sovremenny class destroyers. These older, larger, ships, were designed for high seas operations far from Russian shores. The new fleet will be a return to the traditional Russian navy job of defending coastal waters. Even accomplishing that mission is in doubt if Russian cannot get its shipyards up to speed. Russia has been able to build some new corvettes but these are smaller and much less capable ships than the Gorshkovs.

The Gorshkovs are not an isolated example. The same problems have been encountered with the Su-57 stealth fighter, the radical new T-14 tank, the new Borei SSBN and the Bulava ballistic missile it uses. In general Russian defense, industries continue to have problems developing new engines. The Russian space program is having similar problems with its rockets. The list goes on and on. Russia plays down all these problems but the net result is they have very little locally produced stuff to replace their Cold War designs. Worse, China is now producing improved and more reliable versions of those Cold War era weapons, along with new Western tech (like large, missile armed UAVs) that Russia cannot master.


This does not sound good for the Russian military, but its not something that we haven't heard before.

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 Post subject: Re: What is Putin up to?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:39 pm 
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Quote:
... the navy refused to accept ships, especially subs that could not pass sea trials ...


Wow, good on them!! I'm surprised !

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 Post subject: Re: What is Putin up to?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:38 pm 
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GLONASS is down they say. Brit hacker attack?


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 Post subject: Re: What is Putin up to?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:26 pm 
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wulfir wrote:
GLONASS is down they say. Brit hacker attack?


Hmmm? Seems to me if that is truly hackable you DO NOT let on but save it for an emergency...like when 30 Backfires are closing in on Invincible.

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 Post subject: Re: What is Putin up to?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:27 pm 
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Not to mention potentially dangerous to civilian aviation or maritime traffic?

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 Post subject: Re: What is Putin up to?
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 8:02 am 
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https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/ar ... ce&ffid=gz

Quote:
Army Dolphins Starved After Russian Annexation: Ukraine

Newsweek
Damien Sharkov
7 hrs ago

Dolphins trained by the Ukrainian military for missions at sea are likely dead because they refused food from Russian handlers and starved, a top official in Kiev has claimed .

The facility for training sea mammals in Crimea is one of several Ukrainian assets that fell under Russian control in 2014 following Moscow’s annexation of the territory. Since then, Ukrainian authorities have made repeated requests for the return of the animals it began training in 2012.

Four years later, Ukraine appears to have lost hope it will see its service animals again, after an envoy of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he was informed that the dolphins are dead.

“There is a very sad story related to the dolphins,” Borys Babin, Poroshenko’s permanent representative in Crimea, told Ukrainian news site Obozrevatel. According to him, when Russian forces annexed the peninsula and took over the facility, the dolphins did not take to their new masters.

“The dolphins, trained by the [Ukrainian] naval forces in Sevastopol, would communicate with their trainers through special whistles,” Babin said. “The Russians obtained these whistles and the rest of the special equipment belonging to the military unit but the trained animals refused not only to cooperate with the Russian trainers, but [also] refused food and subsequently died.”

The facility is not unlike the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program based in San Diego. There, dolphins and other sea mammals are taught to recover objects at sea and detect mines and other naval hazards, as well as alert officers and help in rescuing people overboard.

When Russian forces seized public buildings in Crimea, Ukrainian military personnel there received offers to defect to Russia or face deportation. Ukraine had permitted Russian use of some facilities on the peninsula and the invite to join the Russian military divided the loyalties of staff in the Russian-speaking, southern region of Ukraine.

“It is very sad that so many Ukrainian soldiers, deployed to Crimea in 2014, treated matters of defection and loyalty to the flag much more poorly than these dolphins did,” Babin added. Crimea served as a hugely important part of Ukraine’s naval presence, housing two of the country’s four main military ports on the Black Sea.

Sevastopol served as the country’s main military port and Russia’s annexation effectively cost Ukraine two-thirds of its fleet, according to Reuters. Kiev has drafted a plan to rebuild its naval presence with assistance from both the U.S. and NATO.

Babin’s story about the dolphins’ tragic fate lead to heated discussions online about the animals, both in Ukraine and Russia. Some hailed the dolphins as heroes, while others disparaged Babin’s account.

“There can be no talk about any Ukrainian patriotism with regards to the combat dolphins because precisely under Ukraine the special forces dolphins… were involved entirely in commercial activities, not underwater operations,” Dmitry Belik, a Russian representative in Sevastopol, told state news agency RIA Novosti. He seemed to suggest that the facility now had relatively few dolphins, if any, but said old age and sales of the animals in the past were to blame.

Speaking to Ukraine’s Channel 112, Babin stressed that ridiculing the story about the dolphins’ cause of death missed the bigger point he wanted to make.

“The issue is not about a handful of mammals who died because they were obviously distressed, be it because of their trainers or for other reasons,” he said on air. “However we can speak about something else—that over the course of these few years, unfortunately, our potential in many spheres including the naval sphere, requires significant improvement.”


Ukrainian dolphins are more patriotic that some Ukrainian soldiers were....

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 Post subject: Re: What is Putin up to?
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 8:07 am 
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The dolphin story sounds ridiculous but here is another news article regarding it:

Quote:
Ukraine’s dolphin army in ‘patriotic hunger strike’ after Russian capture

May 17, 2018
Kiev official claims mammals starved themselves to death following takeover of military base

http://www.theweek.co.uk/93657/ukraine- ... an-capture

More proof that the Ukrainians and Russians will make up all sorts of shit in their conflict against each other.

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 Post subject: Re: What is Putin up to?
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 8:42 am 
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chijohnaok wrote:
Ukrainian dolphins are more patriotic that some Ukrainian soldiers were....


To be fair, there was no war, the president was on a helicopter flying towards Russia and they had been issued orders not to fire under any circumstances.

No one knew shit, the only person with the power to authorize force response and recall previous orders was fleeing towards Russia and suddenly a huge force of special forces without insignia surround the garrison and you don't know what's going on except for your previous standing orders.

There's been no story on any potential ruses used by Russians but imagine if they pretended to be Ukrainians themselves or had some clever fake story by which to order the garrisons to stand down.

They did what they were allowed to do, such as parking vehicles by gate entrance etc. but of course this would not stop the Russians, only stall them while no orders were coming back to authorize defense or use of force.


And that's a bitchy situation for anyone. Russians *were* the historic friends and allies of Ukrainians. It's like US troops showed up in Canada, they would not assume that they were there to annex the whole place especially if they had some clever story with them such as "oh, there's been X and we need to evacuate you all now". They might not buy it but would they open fire?

It didn't help that huge portion of the officer cadre were either Russian or at least trained during Soviet years. In fact they had to clean up their army considerably to ensure that it would function as needed.

When Yanukovich suggested to use the military against Maidan protesters the army actually said they would not shoot their own citizens. There's that too.

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