Tuesday, July 14, 2015

British Citizen Exposed as a Tool of Russia's FSB

Briton Transformed from Obscure 'Sex Blogger' to Decorated Kremlin ‘Information Soldier’

Robert Schultz @RobPulseNews
Graham Phillips (center) escorted by Russia's DNR soldiers after being wounded in Ukraine, Nov 24th 2014
Graham Phillips is a British self-proclaimed “gonzo” war reporter, who appeared out of obscurity on the Ukrainian scene, covering ongoing hostilities in a light most favorable to the Kremlin. Prior to that, Phillips was a 'sex blogger,' reviewing brothels and individual prostitutes during his travels.

His lack of experience and poise did not deter Russian mainstream media, including RT (formerly Russia Today), and Zvezda (a Russian MoD outlet) from utilizing Phillips as their “stringer” and reporter. In fact, his bumbling ways provided a great cover for Russia’s FSB going in and out of Ukraine, under the pretense of delivering “humanitarian aid.”

For his participation, the blundering pseudo-journalist received an FSB medal in Russia, and ongoing protection by armed guards while ‘reporting’ for Russia’s MoD in the Russian-occupied Donbas under the guise of an ‘independent western journalist.’ Furthermore, in order to do this work he was undoubtedly assisted, particularly during his multiple illegal entries from Russia to Ukraine.
Screenshot 2015-03-25 15.04.05.png
Border Guard of the FSB of the Russian Federation medal awarded to Graham Phillips in Chekhov, Russia. March 2nd 2015
Graham Phillips' actual award: a medal and certificate dated March 1st - a "Distinction" for "support of Novorossiya"
Graham Phillips wearing medal (right centre) stood between Pavel Hlyupin (far right) and Pavel Semchuck.
To disguise the true nature of his activities, Phillips uses common Russian propaganda techniques, to which he was most likely introduced by his FSB contacts. He mixes doses of truth with blatant fiction, effectively polluting the information space. He overzealously takes propaganda tactics to the extremes, whilst also attempting to maintain the appearance of a goofy “gonzo journalist” searching for truth. Not being taken seriously is a useful tool for those who seek to weaken their enemy’s defenses.

Russia's FSB and GRU (military intelligence) are mostly likely assigning Phillips ‘mini-ops’ to attack western organizations, journalists, reporters and researchers who debunk the Kremlin’s propaganda narrative. He uses four main tactical techniques to counter western criticisms: “dismiss the critic, distort the facts, distract from the main issue and dismay the audience.”

Individuals who criticize and expose his biased “reporting” and other pro-Kremlin propaganda, become targets of personal abuse, often receiving accompanying personal threats from trolls and sympathizers on social media. Organizations which question Russia’s methods are branded as biased, or incompetent. All of the above are highly likely to have social media accounts and/or websites targeted for attack by a network of supporting pro-Kremlin trolls, sympathizers, hackers, and even by the FSB.

This abuse of Kremlin critics is subsequently used by Phillips to concoct further propaganda, and the cycle repeats. These predictable Russian tactics he employs serve to create a haze of disinformation, obscuring truth and allowing Phillips to conceal his own pro-Kremlin activities behind the veil of amateur reporting.

This pretense and appearance of an ‘impartial, independent, western journalist’ arguably provides Phillips with the perfect ‘cover’ for his nefarious activities, which is the lynchpin that he must maintain. Indeed, he has consistently demonstrated via his social media posts, desperation to maintain this convenient perception at all costs. These ongoing cover-up efforts have increased since the Russian MoD's public announcement in March 2015, that Russian journalists are ‘weaponized’ and are effectively considered to be Russia’s military assets or ‘information soldiers.’

Unmasked as nothing more than a biased, paid, coached and controlled participant, activist and propagandist, tasked with deceiving western audiences, Phillips would arguably become less useful for Moscow as a semi-believable western reporter ‘on the ground’ in Ukraine.
The following report provides a comprehensive insight into Phillips’ alleged ties to the FSB and other organizations, covertly participating in Putin’s "special war" that is currently being waged against Ukraine.
Click here > FULL REPORT 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Shoigu: Russian Media is Part of Russia's Military & is Yet Another Weapon

Russian media is "yet another part of the military", says Russian defense minister, Shoigu.

Shoigu made the extraordinary comments on March 27th at an awards ceremony at the National Center for Defense Management, where Russia's media were presented with Diploma's and prizes from Russia's Ministry of Defense (MoD)

"Then came the day when we all recognized that word, camera, photography, Internet and general information are another type of weapon, another view of the Armed Forces. This weapon can be applied in a good and a bad way. This weapon, which at different times in different ways to participate in events in our country, as in defeat and in victory", Shoigu said at the awards ceremony.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Putin Turns Up His Special War Against Europe

Over the last year, since the Russian theft of Crimea, I’ve unambiguously warned that Vladimir Putin means what he says and he will not shy away from confrontation with the West, even at the risk of major war. Opportunities to deter this resurgent Russia, which I counseled many months ago, were punted on by the U.S. and NATO, so we now face a serious risk of war with Putin over his mounting hegemony in Eastern Europe. Ukraine is just the beginning.

As I’ve long made clear, Russia does not play by Western rules, and Putin and his Kremlin, being Chekists to their core, place great value on what I term Special War, meaning a shadowy amalgam of espionage, propaganda, and terrorism that Western states are poorly positioned to counter. At the end of the last year I predicted that the Kremlin’s Special War against the West was sure to rise, and so it has in the first quarter of this new year.

Last week I explained how Russian espionage against the Czech Republic — no congenital hater of the Russians like, say, Poland or the Baltics — had become so serious that Prague had expelled three Russian spies in recent months, amid warnings from Czech counterintelligence that at least a quarter of the outsized number of Russian diplomats in the country were actually spies posing as diplomats.

Over the last year I’ve explained in detail how Russian intelligence abroad, encompassing the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) and the military’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), have increased the scope and intensity of their operations against many NATO countries, including FranceGermanyHungary, and Poland. Most of these operations are undertaken by SVR or GRU officers serving under what the Russians term Legal cover, meaning they are pretending to be diplomats, trade representatives, and whatnot.

But in recent years there has also been an uptick in operations by spies whom the Russians term Illegals, meaning intelligence officers who serve abroad without any official protection, often posing as third-country nationals. The massive 2010 round up of a whole network of SVR Illegals in the United States proved a serious blow to the Kremlin, and their espionage still exhibits weaknesses, as evidenced by the recent arrest of an SVR Illegal operating in New York, a second-rater did not belong to the elite of Russian spies.

Such Kremlin activities extend beyond NATO as well, and now it’s Sweden’s turn. A neutral that’s prone to downplaying threats on political grounds, and is always careful not to needlessly aggravate the Russian bear looming across the Baltic Sea, Stockholm has nevertheless had enough of clandestine Russian shenanigans in their country. This week they have gone public with the extent of the Kremlin’s Special War being waged against their Sweden.

According to the Swedish Security Service (Säpo), at least one-third of the Russian diplomats in the country are actually spies. Recent months have seen repeated incidents of Russian intelligence provocations — submarines off the coast, SVR and GRU ramping up clandestine in-country operations — and Stockholm is worried, particularly because Kremlin efforts to recruit spies inside Swedish military and political circles are increasingly obvious.
Gone are the bumbling, vodka-swilling Russian spies of the 1990’s, when the Soviet collapse curtailed much espionage abroad. Since 2006, SVR and GRU operations against the West have risen steadily, to the point that current activities are as intense in number and audacity as they were at the height of the Cold War. Sweden is no exception, and Säpo’s chief analyst noted that Russian spies today are “highly educated and often younger than during the Soviet era. They are driven, goal-oriented and socially competent.” Not to mention that this is only talking about Russian Legals, not Illegals, who can be assumed to add to the ranks of Kremlin spies in Sweden, perhaps considerably.

As always, these spies are recruiting sources, disseminating disinformation, and fomenting dissent in the host country, per longstanding Russian espionage practice. This has become so serious that Stockholm now considers Russia to be the top threat to Swedish national security. The Säpo analyst bluntly explained, “There are hundreds of Russian intelligence officers around Europe and the West. They violate our territory every day … We see Russian intelligence operations in Sweden—we can’t interpret this in any other way—as preparation for military operations against Sweden.”

There’s the rub. Every week of late, Putin turns up the heat on NATO and the West: diplomatic threats, aggressive maneuvers with combat aircraft, themovement of late–model missiles to Kaliningrad, putting Stockholm, Warsaw, and Berlin within easy range of Russian tactical nuclear weapons. Now, Putin either wants open war against the West — not just the clandestine games of Special War — or we wants us to think he does: in either case, this is a terrifying situation.

Many believe that Putin thinks he can use the threat of nuclear blackmail to gain a free hand for Russian aggression in Eastern Europe, and they may be right. Certainly there is little in NATO reactions to Russian aggression to date that suggests a backbone is forming in Berlin, Paris, or Washington, DC. Whether or not the Kremlin wants major war is known only to Putin and the tiny circle of advisors, all hard-edged Chekists like himself, whom the Russian leader listens to.

For now, Special War will continue to achieve Kremlin aims, possibly without major war, while laying the intelligence groundwork for that bigger conflict, should that happen. Today’s news brings word that Polish counterintelligence has detected an air force officer spying for Moscow. He is reported to have passed classified information about Poland’s wing of F-16 fighters, thebackbone of Polish defense against the Russians, in what may constitute a serious blow to NATO readiness on the Alliance’s exposed eastern frontier.

Another day, another Russian spy in the West detected. You can expect more of this. If we’re lucky, our conflict with Putin, which is being orchestrated by the Kremlin, will remain confined to SpyWar. Yet how robustly the West confronts Russian Special War — which is ultimately a question of politics, not counterespionage — is a good benchmark for how effectively we can deter a major, and possibly nuclear, war. Without political will, all the West’s acumen in military and intelligence affairs will matter little compared to the robust will shown by Vladimir Putin, who is playing for keeps, and intends to win.

Original source, republished with kind permission by the author, John Schindler.

Monday, December 22, 2014

MH17 Shot Down from Russian-held Area of Ukraine Suggest Eyewitness Photos

Dutch journalist Olaf Koens @OBK interviews a witness (& native Ukrainian) who lives in east Ukraine, who claims they heard a big bang when Malaysian Flight 17 (MH17) was shot down.
Olaf Koens - RTL Journalist
The witness took some photos indicating the plane was shot down from a Russian-held area in east Ukraine.

The translated, full interview by RTL journalist Olaf Koens:

Can you explain what you experienced on July 17th?
"That day I could not predict anything special would happen. In the morning I woke up and went to my work. At four ó  clock in the afternoon I arrived home. And at 16:20 we heard an explosion. The first explosion was not very heavy. 15 seconds later, something like that, there was a second explosion, which was louder and it made the windows shake."

What did you do when you heard the explosion?
"Explosions were not unusual anymore. But this was totally different, that explosion. It didn't sound like anything we heard before. I immediately looked around to see where the sound came from. What had exploded? Where? What? How? I ran to the covered balcony. I looked around and saw nothing.

I photographed the white trail in the air. At that moment I did not know what it meant. For me it was just a white trail: from the horizon up into the clouds where it diverged. Only after a while it became clear what it was."

How much time was there between the explosion and the photo?
"That was a minute after the explosions, I think. Maybe even less, something like 30 seconds."

You were there alone?
"I was the only one on the balcony. But the other inhabitants all were also on their balconies. Behind every window you could see a face."

There are more people who saw the trail at that moment?
"Yes, yes"

There are more people who photographed the same thing?
"That is very well possible. But at that time, July 17th, there were already rumours in the city that taking photos was not really safe. It was being said: don't make photos if you don't want to end up in 'uncomfortable situations'. At that time the city was already occupied. At the administration building there was a flag and it was not a Ukrainian."

Do you still have the camera with which you took the photos?
"I contacted a friend of mine and gave him the photos, including the originals. That friend contacted the SBU [Ukraine's security services]and they were interested in the photos. He handed them over to the SBU. After that I had to explain the details of the photo to them and hand the camera over to them."

Did they compensate you for this? 
"To replace it? Of course. They paid the value of the camera back to me."

Did you make private copies?
"Sure. But I had to give them the flash-cards too."

And after that you went to Kiev?
"Yes, in the beginning I directly spoke to with the SBU. After that representatives of the international investigation committee contacted me via the SBU. That was beginning of August, when I also handed them the camera. THe SBU didn't need it themselves and gave it to the Dutch researches. They had asked for the camera."

Did the researchers talk to you?
"Yes, I talked extensively with the researchers of the international committee. Those were two researchers: one from the Netherlands and one from Australia. We talked about three hours and it was recorded with a video camera."

Do you think they can use your material?
"Yes I think they will use it. The photos are circumstantial evidence. There are no other photos available that proof that this BUK launched something in that area. While everybody knows what the truth is, there is no other evidence."

Why did you agree to have this interview?
Are you hopeful about that?

"I want justice. I want that the people who did this will be judged.

"I think the truth will prevail whatever happens."

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Exclusive: МВД Hacked - Russian Interior Ministry Order Targets Ukraine's Right Sektor to Uncover Security Service Agents Posing as Russian Immigrants

By @RobPulseNews

A hacked archive of Russian Interior Ministry (МВД/MVD) documents has been released on twitter:

InformNapalm report the archive was hacked by Ukrainian cyber force volunteers led by programmer Eugene Dokukin, from Russian Interior Ministry (MVD) servers in October 2014. 

The entire (unverified) archive has been uploaded to numerous online sharing services, including Google Drive.
Several documents appear to confirm Russian military and security services involvement in the occupation and on-going war in eastern Ukraine.

WarLog has translated one document, which reveals that a Russian anti-extremism unit in Rostov is tasked with targeting Ukraine's Right Sektor to uncover Security Service (SBU) agents supposedly posing as Russian immigrants. 

Signed by Police Major Berezov, order 912, dated July 24th 2014, is addressed to the head of MVD's anti-extremism unit in Rostov, officer Samsonov:

Original (link):

English Translation :

Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) of Russia
Department of the MVD, Rostov region
Police Dept. (Kazan Station Deployment)
Int. Dept of Internal Affairs “Sholohovsky”
34617 Rostov Region, Verkhnedonsk area
Kazan Station, 3 Frunze St.
Tel:                         Fax:
                                                            To the head of Anti-Extremism Centre at MVD
In Rostov Region

Police Officer
V.I. Samsonov

Information on the carrying out of the order

Dear Valentin Ivanovich!

According to the order No. 912 from 24the July 2014 from the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) of Russia in the Rostov region, we are sending you information about the measures taken to identify the immigrants from Ukraine who are wanted, previously convicted, and on the run, as well as specially trained supporters of the right radical group – the Right Sektor, who are acting under the orders of Ukrainian SBU (intelligence service):

1.     We have established co-ordination with the following departments: Federal Immigration Service (FIS) receives daily reports on Ukrainian citizens arriving at Verkhnedonsk area and registering at the FIS; the data is being checked by IBD “Region”; the emergency Ministry receives daily data on the number of people who are being helped to settle in Russia. All citizens of interest are being checked. The information is being gathered on the motives of arrivals, and the planned places of settlement in Russia [and the Ukrainian regions.]
2.     The control on specially dangerous and important objects has been strengthened, and the workers are being instructed on how to prevent diversion and terrorist acts.
3.     If important data is received it will be reported immediately.

The temporary deputy head of Police Dept (Kazan Station Deployment)
International Dept. at MVD “Sholohovsky”
Police Major                                                                        Berezov A.A.

Link to latest post on Putin's invasion forces in Ukraine

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