city:moscow

  • How Russia Hacked U.S. Politics With Instagram Marketing – Foreign Policy
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/12/17/how-russia-hacked-us-politics-with-instagram-marketing

    While the message itself was not aimed at swaying voters in any direction, researchers now believe it served another purpose for the Russian group: It boosted the reach of its account, likely won it new followers, and tried to establish the account’s bona fides as an authentic voice for the black community.

    That advertising pitch was revealed in a report released Monday by the Senate Intelligence Committee and produced by the cybersecurity firm New Knowledge. The report provides the most comprehensive look to date at the Kremlin’s attempt to boost Trump’s candidacy and offers a surprising insight regarding that campaign: Moscow’s operatives operated much like digital marketers, making use of Instagram to reach a huge audience.

    By blending marketing tactics with political messaging, the Internet Research Agency (IRA) established a formidable online presence in the run-up to the 2016 election (and later), generating 264 million total engagements—a measure of activity such as liking and sharing content—and building a media ecosystem across Facebook and Instagram.

    The authors of the report believe @blackstagram__ served as a vehicle for Kremlin propaganda targeting the American black community, skillfully adopting the language of Instagram, where viral marketing schemes exist side by side with artfully arranged photographs of toast.

    As Americans streamed to the polls on Nov. 8, 2016, @blackstagram__ offered its contribution to the Kremlin’s campaign to depress turnout, borrowing a line from a Michael Jackson song to tell African-Americans that their votes didn’t matter: “Think twice before you vote. All I wanna say is that they don’t really care about us. #Blacktivist #hotnews.”

    While the effect of the IRA’s coordinated campaign to depress voter turnout is difficult to assess, the evidence of the group’s online influence is stark. Of its 133 Instagram accounts, 12 racked up more than 100,000 followers—the typical threshold for being considered an online “influencer” in the world of digital marketing. Around 50 amassed more than 10,000 followers, making them what marketers call “micro-influencers.”

    These accounts made savvy use of hashtags, built relationships with real people, promoted merchandise, and targeted niche communities. The IRA’s most popular Instagram accounts included pages devoted to veterans’ issues (@american.veterans), American Christianity (@army_of_jesus), and feminism (@feminism_tag).

    In a measure of the agency’s creativity, @army_of_jesus appears to have been launched in 2015 as a meme account featuring Kermit the Frog. It then switched subjects and began exclusively posting memes related to the television show The Simpsons. By January 2016, the account had amassed a significant following and reached its final iteration with a post making extensive use of religious hashtags: ““#freedom #love #god #bible #trust #blessed #grateful.” It later posted memes comparing Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to Satan.

    “The Internet Research Agency operated like a digital marketing agency: develop a brand (both visual and voice), build presences on all channels across the entire social ecosystem, and grow an audience with paid ads as well as partnerships, influencers, and link-sharing,” the New Knowledge report concludes. “Instagram was perhaps the most effective platform.”

    #Instagram #Politique #USA #Russie #Médias_sociaux


  • How Russia Hacked U.S. Politics With Instagram Marketing – Foreign Policy
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/12/17/how-russia-hacked-us-politics-with-instagram-marketing

    The Internet Research Agency took to the photo-sharing network to boost Trump and depress voter turnout.

    Donald Trump as U.S. president, Kremlin operatives running a digital interference campaign in American politics scored a viral success with a post on Instagram.

    The post appeared on the account @blackstagram__, which was in fact being run by the Internet Research Agency, a Kremlin-linked troll farm that U.S. authorities say orchestrated an online campaign to boost Trump’s candidacy in 2016. It racked up 254,000 likes and nearly 7,000 comments—huge numbers for the Kremlin campaign.

    But oddly, the post contained no political content.

    Instead, it repurposed an ad for a women’s shoe, with a photo of women of different skin tones wearing the same strappy high heel in different colors. The caption pitched the shoes as a symbol of racial equality: “All the tones are nude! Get over it!

    While the message itself was not aimed at swaying voters in any direction, researchers now believe it served another purpose for the Russian group: It boosted the reach of its account, likely won it new followers, and tried to establish the account’s bona fides as an authentic voice for the black community.

    That advertising pitch was revealed in a report released Monday by the Senate Intelligence Committee and produced by the cybersecurity firm New Knowledge. The report provides the most comprehensive look to date at the Kremlin’s attempt to boost Trump’s candidacy and offers a surprising insight regarding that campaign: Moscow’s operatives operated much like digital marketers, making use of Instagram to reach a huge audience.

    By blending marketing tactics with political messaging, the Internet Research Agency (IRA) established a formidable online presence in the run-up to the 2016 election (and later), generating 264 million total engagements—a measure of activity such as liking and sharing content—and building a media ecosystem across Facebook and Instagram.

    That campaign sought to bring Russian political goals into the mainstream, exacerbate and inflame divisions in American society, and blur the line between truth and fiction, New Knowledge’s report concludes.

    Amid the intense discussion of Russian interference in the 2016 election, investigators probing that campaign had devoted relatively little attention to Instagram until now. But following their exposure in 2016 and early 2017, the IRA’s operatives shifted resources to Instagram, where their content often outperformed its postings on Facebook. (Instagram is owned by Facebook.)

    Of the 133 Instagram accounts created by the IRA, @blackstagram__ was arguably its most successful, with more than 300,000 followers. Its June 2017 ad for the shoe, made by Kahmune, was the most widely circulated post dreamed up by the Kremlin’s operatives—from a total of some 116,000. (The shoe continues to be marketed by Kahmune. Company officials did not respond to questions from Foreign Policy.)

    The authors of the report believe @blackstagram__ served as a vehicle for Kremlin propaganda targeting the American black community, skillfully adopting the language of Instagram, where viral marketing schemes exist side by side with artfully arranged photographs of toast.

    As Americans streamed to the polls on Nov. 8, 2016, @blackstagram__ offered its contribution to the Kremlin’s campaign to depress turnout, borrowing a line from a Michael Jackson song to tell African-Americans that their votes didn’t matter: “Think twice before you vote. All I wanna say is that they don’t really care about us. #Blacktivist #hotnews._

    Special counsel Robert Mueller and his team of investigators have secured indictments against the Internet Research Agency’s owner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, and a dozen of its employees.

    While the effect of the IRA’s coordinated campaign to depress voter turnout is difficult to assess, the evidence of the group’s online influence is stark. Of its 133 Instagram accounts, 12 racked up more than 100,000 followers—the typical threshold for being considered an online “_influencer” in the world of digital marketing. Around 50 amassed more than 10,000 followers, making them what marketers call “micro-influencers.”

    These accounts made savvy use of hashtags, built relationships with real people, promoted merchandise, and targeted niche communities. The IRA’s most popular Instagram accounts included pages devoted to veterans’ issues (@american.veterans), American Christianity (@army_of_jesus), and feminism (@feminism_tag).

    In a measure of the agency’s creativity, @army_of_jesus appears to have been launched in 2015 as a meme account featuring Kermit the Frog. It then switched subjects and began exclusively posting memes related to the television show The Simpsons. By January 2016, the account had amassed a significant following and reached its final iteration with a post making extensive use of religious hashtags: “#freedom #love #god #bible #trust #blessed #grateful. ” It later posted memes comparing Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to Satan.

    The Internet Research Agency operated like a digital marketing agency: develop a brand (both visual and voice), build presences on all channels across the entire social ecosystem, and grow an audience with paid ads as well as partnerships, influencers, and link-sharing,” the New Knowledge report concludes. “Instagram was perhaps the most effective platform.

    Monday’s report, which was published alongside another by researchers at the University of Oxford and the network analysis firm Graphika, is likely to increase scrutiny of social media platforms. The New Knowledge report accuses technology firms of possibly misleading Congress and says companies have not been sufficiently transparent in providing data related to the Russian campaign.


  • The Kaiser goes : the generals remain - Theodor Plivier
    https://libcom.org/history/kaiser-goes-generals-remain-theodor-plivier-1932

    Text entier en anglais : https://libcom.org/files/TheKaiserGoesTheGeneralsRemain.pdf https://libcom.org/files/TheKaiserGoesTheGeneralsRemain.mobi

    Du même auteur : Stalingrad (1945), Moskau (1952), Berlin (1954), une trilogie sur la guerre contre les nazis. Je n’ai pas encore trouvé de version en ligne.

    This is an amazing novel about the German Revolution, written by a participant. Republished here in PDF and Kindle formats.

    I’m republishing a novel about the German Revolution called The Kaiser Goes: the Generals Remain, written by a participant in the naval mutinies which kicked the whole thing off. But the novel doesn’t just concern rebellion in the armed forces, there’s all kinds of other exciting events covered too!

    I first became aware of the novel when I noticed some quotations from it in Working Class Politics in the German Revolution1, Ralf Hoffrogge’s wonderful book about the revolutionary shop stewards’ movement in Germany during and just after World War I.

    I set about finding a copy of The Kaiser goes..., read it, and immediately wanted to make it more widely available by scanning it. The results are here.

    Below I’ve gathered together all the most readily accessible information about the novel’s author, Theodor Plivier, that I can find. Hopefully, the sources referenced will provide a useful basis for anybody who wants to do further research.

    Dan Radnika

    October 2015

    THEODOR Otto Richard PLIVIER – Some biographical details

    Theodor Plivier (called Plievier after 1933) was born on 12 February 1892 in Berlin and died on 12 March 1955 in Tessin, Switzerland.

    Since his death Plivier/Plievier has been mostly known in his native Germany as a novelist, particularly for his trilogy of novels about the fighting on the Eastern Front in WWII, made up of the works Moscow, Stalingrad and Berlin.

    He was the son of an artisan file-maker (Feilenhauer in German) and spent his childhood in the Gesundbrunnen district in Berlin. There is still a plaque dedicated to him on the house where he was born at 29 Wiesenstraße. He was interested in literature from an early age. He began an apprenticeship at 17 with a plasterer and left his family home shortly after. For his apprenticeship he traveled across the German Empire, in Austria-Hungary and in the Netherlands. After briefly returning to his parents, he joined up as a sailor in the merchant navy. He first visited South America in 1910, and worked in the sodium nitrate (saltpetre) mines in 1913 in Chile. This period of his life seems to have provided much of the material for the novel The World’s Last Corner (see below).

    He returned to Germany, Hamburg, in 1914, when he was still only 22. He was arrested by the police for a brawl in a sailors’ pub, and was thus “recruited” into the imperial navy just as the First World War broke out. He spent his time in service on the auxiliary cruiser SMS Wolf, commanded by the famous Commander Karl August Nerger. It was he who led a victorious war of patriotic piracy in the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, seizing enemy ships and their cargo, taking their crews prisoner, and returning in glory to Kiel in February 1918. The activities of SMS Wolf are described in fictional form in the final chapter of Plivier’s The Kaiser’s Coolies (see below). The young Plivier didn’t set foot on land for 451 days, but while at sea he became converted to revolutionary ideas, like thousands of other German sailors. Nevertheless, he never joined a political party. In November 1918, he was in Wilhelmshaven and participated in the strikes, uprisings and revolts accompanying the fall of the German Empire, including the Kiel Mutiny. He also played a small role in the November Revolution in Berlin.

    He left the navy after the armistice (11 November 1918) and, with Karl Raichle and Gregor Gog (both sailor veterans of the Wilmhelmshaven revolt), founded the “Green Way Commune”, near Bad Urach. It was a sort of commune of revolutionaries, artists, poets, proto-hippies, and whoever turned up. Two early participants were the anarchist Erich Mühsam and Johannes Becher (see below), who was a member of the German Communist Party (KPD). At this time several communes were set up around Germany, with Urach being one of three vegetarian communes set up in the Swabia region2.

    It was the beginning of the anarchist-oriented “Edition of the 12” publishing house. Plivier was certainly influenced by the ideas of Bakunin, but also Nietzsche. Later he took on some kind of “individualist anarchism”, ensuring that he didn’t join any party or formal political organisation.

    In Berlin in 1920 he married the actress Maria Stoz3. He belonged to the circle of friends of Käthe Kollwitz4, the radical painter and sculptor, who painted his portrait. On Christmas Day 1920 he showed a delegation from the American IWW to the grave of Karl Liebknecht5. In the early ‘20s he seems to have associated with the anarcho-syndicalist union, the FAUD (Free Workers’ Union of Germany), and addressed its public meetings6.

    Plivier underwent a “personal crisis” and began to follow the example of the “back to nature” poet Gusto Gräser7, another regular resident of “Green Way” and a man seen as the leading figure in the subculture of poets and wandering mystics known (disparagingly at the time) as the “Inflation Saints” (Inflationsheilige)8. In the words of the historian Ulrich Linse, “When the revolutionaries were killed, were in prison or had given up, the hour of the wandering prophets came. As the outer revolution had fizzled out, they found its continuation in the consciousness-being-revolution, in a spiritual change”9. Plivier began wearing sandals and robes…10 According to the Mountain of Truth book (see footnote), in 1922, in Weimar, Plivier was preaching a neo-Tolstoyan gospel of peace and anarchism, much influenced by Gräser. That year he published Anarchy, advocating a “masterless order, built up out of the moral power of free individuals”. Supposedly, “he was a religious anarchist, frequently quoting from the Bible”11. This was not unusual amongst the Inflationsheilige.

    His son Peter and his daughter Thora died from malnutrition during the terrible times of crisis and hyper-inflation in 1923. A year later he began to find work as a journalist and translator. He then worked for some time in South America as a cattle trader and as secretary to the German consul in Pisagua, Chile. On his return to Germany he wrote Des Kaisers Kulis (“The Kaiser’s Coolies”) in 1929, which was published the following year. It was a story based on his days in the Imperial Navy, denouncing the imperialist war in no uncertain terms. At the front of the book is a dedication to two sailors who were executed for participation in a strike and demonstration by hundreds of sailors from the Prinzregent Luitpold12. Erwin Piscator put on a play of his novel at the Lessingtheater in Berlin, with the first showing on 30 August 1930. Der Kaiser ging, die Generälen blieben (“The Kaiser Goes: The Generals Remain”) was published in 1932. In both novels Plivier did an enormous amount of research, as well as drawing on his own memories of important historical events. In the original edition of Der Kaiser ging… there is a citations section at the end with fifty book titles and a list of newspapers and magazines consulted. This attention to historical fact was to become a hallmark of Plivier’s method as a novelist. The postscript to Der Kaiser ging… clearly states what he was trying to do:

    “I have cast this history in the form of a novel, because it is my belief that events which are brought about not by any exchange of diplomatic notes, but by the sudden collision of opposed forces, do not lend themselves to a purely scientific treatment. By that method one can merely assemble a selection of facts belonging to any particular period – only artistic re-fashioning can yield a living picture of the whole. As in my former book, The Kaiser’s Coolies, so I have tried here to preserve strict historic truth, and in so far as exact material was available I have used it as the basis of my work. All the events described, all the persons introduced, are drawn to the life and their words reproduced verbatim. Occasional statements which the sources preserve only in indirect speech are here given direct form. But in no instance has the sense been altered.”

    His second marriage (which didn’t produce any children) was to the Jewish actress Hildegard Piscator in 1931. When Hitler came to power as Chancellor in 1933, his books were banned and publically burnt. He changed his name to Plievier. That year he decided to emigrate, and at the end of a long journey which led him to Prague, Zurich, Paris and Oslo, he ended up in the Soviet Union.

    He was initially not subject to much censorship in Moscow and published accounts of his adventures and political commentaries. When Operation Barbarossa was launched he was evacuated to Tashkent along with other foreigners. Here, for example, he met up (again?) with Johannes Robert Becher, the future Culture Minister of the DDR! In September 1943 he became a member of the National Committee for a Free Germany (NKFD), which gathered anti-Nazi German exiles living in the USSR – not just Communist Party members, although there were a fair number of them involved. In 1945 he wrote Stalingrad, based on testimonies which he collected, with official permission, from German prisoners of war in camps around Moscow. This novel was initially published in occupied Berlin and Mexico, but ended up being translated into 14 languages and being adapted for the theatre and TV13. It describes in unflinching and pitiless detail the German military defeat and its roots in the megalomania of Hitler and the incompetence of the High Command. It is the only novel by Plievier that was written specifically as a work of state propaganda. It is certainly “defeatist”, but only on the German side – it is certainly not “revolutionary defeatist” like Plievier’s writings about WWI. The French writer Pierre Vaydat (in the French-language magazine of German culture, Germanica14) even suggests that it was clearly aimed at “the new military class which was the officer corps of the Wehrmacht” in an effort to encourage them to rise up against Hitler and save the honour of the German military. The novel nevertheless only appeared in a censored form in the USSR.

    He returned to Weimar at the end of 1945, as an official of the Red Army! For two years he worked as a delegate of the regional assembly, as director of publications and had a leading position in the “Cultural Association [Kulturbund] for German Democratic Renewal” which was a Soviet organisation devoted to changing attitudes in Germany and preparing its inclusion into the USSR’s economic and political empire. As with so much else in Plievier’s life, this episode was partly fictionalised in a novel, in this case his last ever novel, Berlin.

    Plievier ended up breaking with the Soviet system in 1948, and made an announcement to this effect to a gathering of German writers in Frankfurt in May of that year15. However, Plievier had taken a long and tortuous political path since his days as a revolutionary sailor in 1918… He clearly ended up supporting the Cold War – seeing the struggle against “Communist” totalitarianism as a continuation of the struggle against fascism (logically enough). What’s more, his views had taken on a somewhat religious tinge, talking of a “spiritual rebirth” whose foundations “begin with the Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai and end with the theses of the Atlantic Charter”! Although it can be read as a denunciation of the horrors of war in general, it’s clear that Berlin, his description of the collapse of Nazi Germany in 1945, is far more of a denunciation of Soviet Russia than anything else. The character Colonel Zecke, obviously a mouthpiece for Plievier’s views, even claims that Churchill and Roosevelt only bombed Dresden because they wanted to please Stalin. If you say so, Theo…! One virtue of Plievier’s single-minded attack on the Russian side is that he draws attention to the mass rape of German women by Russian soldiers. This was a war crime which it was not at all fashionable to mention at the time he was writing, despite the existence of perhaps as many as two million victims16.

    Berlin ends with one of the recurring characters in Plievier’s war novels being killed while participating in the East German worker’s revolt in 195317. Despite his conservative turn, Plievier obviously still has some of the spirit of Wilhelmshaven and can’t restrain himself from giving the rebellious workers some advice about how to organise a proletarian insurrection – seize the means of production! Another character says:

    “What use was it raising one’s fists against tanks, fighting with the Vopos [Volkspolizei – People’s Police], trampling down propaganda posters – one has to get into the vital works, to get busy at the waterworks, the power stations, the metropolitan railway! But the workers are without organisation, without leadership or a plan –the revolt has broken out like a steppes fire and is flickering away uncoordinated, in all directions at once.”

    He went to live in the British Zone of Occupation. He got married for a third time, in 1950, to Margarete Grote, and went to live next to Lake Constance. He published Moscow (Moskau) in 1952 and Berlin in 1954. He moved to Tessin in Switzerland in 1953, and died from a heart attack there in 1955, at the age of 63.

    His works – particularly the pro-revolutionary ones – are almost unknown in the English-speaking world (or anywhere else) today. The republication of The Kaiser Goes: The Generals Remain in electronic form is a modest attempt to remedy this!

    Finally, please read Plivier’s novels! Even the reactionary ones…

    #Allemagne #histoire #révolution #littérature


  • Moscow & NATO Playing a ’Dangerous Tit-For-Tat Game’ in the Ukraine
    https://therealnews.com/stories/moscow-nato-playing-a-dangerous-tit-for-tat-game-in-the-ukraine

    I keep asking myself, if Americans really were asked to fulfill Article 5 of the NATO treaty for a place like Tbilisi, or even a place like Riga, or any of those countries we’ve now expanded NATO into or proposed expanding NATO into, like Ukraine, what would Americans say when they were told that full conscription was in process, full mobilization was in process, war taxes are going to be levied, and we’re going to war for a city you can’t even pronounce and couldn’t find on a map? That’s what we’re talking about. And oh, by the way, Russia is generally speaking cheek and jowl with that city, whereas we’re ten thousand miles away.

    #OTAN #Russie


  • Russia-Ukraine tensions rise after #Kerch Strait ship capture - BBC News
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46340283

    Ukraine’s parliament is to decide whether to bring in martial law, after Sunday’s capture of three of its naval vessels and 23 crew members by Russia.

    The three ships were sailing off the coast of Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, when they were seized.

    Russia opened fire, before its special forces stormed the vessels. Between three and six Ukrainians were injured.
    Ukraine said it was a Russian “act of aggression”. Moscow said the ships had illegally entered its waters.

    On Monday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he was proposing that parliament back a 30-day martial law - half the length of that recommended by Ukraine’s security and defence council a day earlier.

    In a televised address, Mr Poroshenko said he did not want martial law to affect presidential elections set for 31 March 2019. If backed by MPs, martial law would enter into force at 09:00 local time (07:00 GMT) on 28 November.

    Sunday’s clash between Russian and Ukrainian vessels marks a major escalation of tension between the two countries.
    This is the first time the two militaries have come into open conflict in recent years, although Ukrainian forces have been fighting Russian-backed separatists and Russia volunteers in the east of the country.

    #Crimée

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpxNuTlwwEA

    • La Russie bloque le passage en mer d’Azov en immobilisant un pétrolier sous le pont de Crimée.

      Russian jet fighters fly over a bridge connecting the Russian mainland with the Crimean Peninsula with a cargo ship beneath it after three Ukrainian navy vessels were stopped by Russia from entering the Sea of Azov via the Kerch Strait in the Black Sea - H24info
      https://www.h24info.ma/monde/la-russie-capture-trois-navires-ukrainiens-escalade-de-tensions-entre-kiev-et-moscou/attachment/russian-jet-fighters-fly-over-a-bridge-connecting-the-russian-mainland-with-

      Russian jet fighters fly over a bridge connecting the Russian mainland with the Crimean Peninsula with a cargo ship beneath it after three Ukrainian navy vessels were stopped by Russia from entering the Sea of Azov via the Kerch Strait in the Black Sea

    • Détroit/Kertch : la Russie a agi « en stricte conformité avec le droit international »
      http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2018/11/26/97001-20181126FILWWW00122-detroitkertch-la-russie-a-agi-en-stricte-conformi

      Les gardes-frontières russes qui ont arraisonné dimanche trois navires ukrainiens dans le détroit de Kertch ont agi «  en stricte conformité avec le droit international  », a assuré aujourd’hui le porte-parole du Kremlin Dmitri Peskov au lendemain de cet incident sans précédent. «  La partie russe a agi en stricte conformité avec la législation, à la fois le droit international et le droit intérieur_ », a-t-il déclaré aux journalistes, précisant qu’il s’agissait d’une «  intrusion de navires de guerre étrangers dans les eaux territoriales de la Fédération de Russie  ».

    • Occasion de clarifier (à chaud !) le statut de la mer d’Azov et du détroit : s’il s’agit d’eaux internationales, la Russie n’a pas le droit de bloquer l’accès,…

      Tensions en mer d’Azov | Grip
      https://www.grip.org/fr/node/2634

      Statut juridique de la mer d’Azov

      Le statut juridique de la mer d’Azov est complexe pour deux raisons : la chute de l’URSS et l’annexion russe de la Crimée. Cet espace maritime était considéré du temps de l’URSS comme une mer intérieure et la question se pose de savoir si ce statut aurait pu être transmis à la fois à l’Ukraine et à la Russie après 1991. Selon cette hypothèse, la mer d’Azov serait donc une mer intérieure partagée entre l’Ukraine et la Russie. Dans un autre scénario, la mer d’Azov aurait perdu ce statut de mer intérieure lors de l’indépendance de l’Ukraine et le régime classique du droit de la mer s’appliquerait donc avec des zones économiques exclusives pour la Russie et l’Ukraine et un régime d’eaux internationales au centre de la mer d’Azov. L’annexion de la Crimée complexifie l’équation puisque les deux États revendiquent des zones économiques exclusives autour de la Crimée. Pour compliquer davantage le casse-tête juridique, plusieurs accords bilatéraux ont été signés entre l’Ukraine et la Russie garantissant la liberté de navigation sur cette mer. En 2003, un Accord de coopération sur l’usage de la mer d’Azov et du détroit de Kertch a été signé entre l’Ukraine et la Russie réitérant le statut de « mer interne partagée ». L’Ukraine pourrait cependant dénoncer cet accord au vu des incidents récents et revenir au régime classique de partage des eaux territoriales selon les définitions de la Convention des Nations unies sur le droit de la mer. Cette question du statut de la mer d’Azov est importante car elle conditionne la possibilité pour l’Ukraine d’intenter une action devant la justice internationale.

    • Russia Ignores Western Calls to Free Captured Ukrainian Ships

      Ukraine introduces martial law citing threat of Russian invasion | Reuters
      https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-ukraine-crisis-russia-idUKKCN1NV0MW


      Seized Ukrainian ships, small armoured artillery ships and a tug boat, are seen anchored in a port of Kerch, Crimea November 26, 2018.
      REUTERS/Pavel Rebrov

      The crisis erupted when border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and a tug boat after opening fire on them and wounding three sailors on Sunday.

      The Ukrainian vessels had been trying to enter the Sea of Azov from the Black Sea via the narrow Kerch Strait that separates Crimea from the Russian mainland.

      Interfax news agency quoted Russia’s human rights commissioner, Tatyana Moskalkova, as saying on Monday that 24 Ukrainian sailors were being detained. Three of the sailors were wounded but were not in a serious condition and were recovering in hospital.

      The FSB said the Ukrainian ships had ignored warning shots, forcing Russian vessels to open fire for real, after they illegally entered Russian territorial waters.

      A Reuters witness in Kerch, a port in Crimea, said the three Ukrainian vessels were being held there on Monday.

    • Trump Says He Does Not Like Russia-Ukraine Situation
      http://themoscowtimes.com/news/trump-says-he-does-not-like-russia-ukraine-situation-63606

      U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said he does not like what is happening between Russia and Ukraine, a day after Russian crews seized Ukrainian vessels near Crimea.

      We do not like what’s happening either way. And hopefully it will get straightened out,” Trump told reporters as he left the White House.

      Trump said European leaders were working on the situation. “They’re not thrilled. We’re all working on it together,” he said.

    • Et donc, il s’agit des canonnières Nikopol (P176, le nom est très clairement lisible sur le côté de la passerelle) lancée en novembre 2015 et Berdiansk (P175) lancée en juin 2017, de la classe Gurza-M.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyurza-M-class_artillery_boat


      P175 Berdiansk
      Ministry of Défense of Ukraine, via WP

      et du remorqueur Yani Kipu, A947 (bizarre, c’est un nom turc !?)

      EDIT : non, le nom donné par liveuamap
      https://liveuamap.com/en/2018/26-november-photo-tugboat-yani-kipu-a947-and-2-armored-boats
      n’est pas le bon…

      il s’agit du Krasnoperekopsk, A947 de la classe Prometey
      http://www.shipspotting.com/gallery/photo.php?lid=1091579


      Photographer : Igor Terokhin
      shipspotting.com

      EDIT (bis) ben si, Yani Kapu et Krasnoperekopsk sont deux noms pour désigner les mêmes choses :

      • une ville du nord de la Crimée (juste à l’ouest de l’isthme de Perekop) nommée donc, Perekop la rouge
      https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krasnoperekopsk

      • qui a donné son nom à un remorqueur « d’attaque » (« de raid » disent les versions en anglais) soviétique en 1974
      https://uk.wikipedia.org/wiki/Яни_Капу_(буксир)

      La ville a été rebaptisée par l’Ukraine Yani Kapu (Yañı Qapı, la nouvelle porte en tatar) le 12 mai 2016, deux ans après l’annexion de la Crimée par la Russie… Et le remorqueur a suivi.

    • Vladimir Poutine qualifie les incidents en mer Noire de « provocation »
      https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2018/11/28/vladimir-poutine-qualifie-les-incidents-en-mer-noire-de-mousse-politique_538

      Jusqu’ici plutôt en retrait, Vladimir Poutine a, pour la première fois, commenté en public, mercredi 28 novembre, les incidents survenus quatre jours plus tôt en mer Noire entre la marine ukrainienne et les forces de sécurité russes. Interrogé sur le sujet en marge d’un forum d’investissement organisé par la banque VTB à Moscou, le chef du Kremlin a répondu : « C’est une provocation, bien sûr ! »

      Sans jamais prononcer le nom de Petro Porochenko, le chef du Kremlin a ouvertement accusé son homologue ukrainien de calculs politiques. « C’est une provocation organisée par les autorités actuelles, je pense même par son président actuel, à l’approche de l’élection présidentielle en Ukraine au mois de mars de l’année prochaine », a souligné M. Poutine. Qui ajoute : « Les sondages, si je ne me trompe pas, placent le président au cinquième rang, il y a même des chances qu’il ne passe pas au second tour, donc, il fallait faire quelque chose pour exacerber la situation et créer des obstacles infranchissables pour ses concurrents. (…) Je suis sûr de cela. »

      A aucun moment, le président russe n’a évoqué les trois navires ukrainiens saisis par les forces de sécurité russes – sauf pour déclarer qu’elles avaient accompli « leur mission » et respecté « les ordres » – ni même le sort des 24 marins capturés à leur bord. Ces derniers comparaissent depuis mardi devant un tribunal russe pour être placés, les uns après les autres, en détention provisoire pour deux mois.

      « C’est un incident frontalier, pas plus », a-t-il minimisé, en évoquant des éléments récents « d’une autre envergure » tels que « le rattachement de la Crimée à la Russie » en 2014, ou « la guerre civile » dans le Donbass, dans l’est de l’Ukraine qui opposent les séparatistes prorusses soutenus par Moscou et les forces armées de Kiev. « Une guerre de facto, a poursuivi M. Poutine, et pourtant, aucune loi martiale n’avait été instaurée. Et là, un petit incident et on instaure la loi martiale ! C’est évident que c’est organisé à l’approche de l’élection présidentielle. »

    • Un avion espion US mène une reconnaissance près du détroit de Kertch - Sputnik France
      https://fr.sputniknews.com/russie/201811281039082977-vol-reconnaissance-boeing-detroit-kertch

      Au surlendemain de l’incident en mer Noire, où trois navires militaires ukrainiens ont violé les eaux territoriales russes, un avion de lutte anti-sous-marine Boeing P-8A Poseidon de l’US Navy a effectué un vol de reconnaissance dans la région du détroit de Kertch et de la Crimée, selon le portail de suivi des vols PlaneRadar.

      Le mardi 27 novembre un Boeing P-8A Poseidon américain a mené une mission de reconnaissance dans la région du détroit de Kertch et de la Crimée, a annoncé le site PlaneRadar via Twitter.


      Un avion de patrouille maritime, Boeing P-8A Poseidon de l’US Navy, immatriculé 168848, effectue un vol de reconnaissance le long des côtes russe de la mer Noire, a annoncé le site.

      L’appareil, appartenant à la 26e escadrille de patrouille de la marine américaine est passé à une distance de 31 km des côtes de la Crimée.

      Plus tôt le même jour, cette même région a été espionnée par un drone stratégique RQ-4A Global Hawk de l’US Air Force, qui avait également été repéré à proximité de la ligne de séparation dans le Donbass.

    • Un excellent article de synthèse antérieur à la crise (12 septembre 2018) par Igor Delanoë.

      Jeux dangeureux en mer d’Azov - Le portail des forces navales de la Fédération de Russie
      http://www.rusnavyintelligence.com/2018/09/jeux-dangeureux-en-mer-d-azov.html

      Voilà plusieurs mois que la tension monte en mer d’Azov entre Russes et Ukrainiens au sujet de la liberté de navigation. Pour l’instant, les escarmouches n’ont pas dégénéré en accrochages, mais l’Ukraine a commencé à transférer par chemin de fer des vedettes armées depuis la mer Noire vers la mer d’Azov.

      Depuis le printemps derniers, des chalutiers ukrainiens et autres navires étrangers souhaitant se rendre dans les ports d’Ukraine situés en mer d’Azov sont régulièrement arraisonnés par les gardes-côtes russes. La Russie fait en outre attendre parfois pendant plusieurs jours les navires qui souhaitent transiter par le détroit de Kertch depuis la mer Noire à destination des côtes ukrainiennes de la mer d’Azov. Depuis l’annexion de la Crimée par Moscou, cette mer est de facto sous contrôle de la Russie qui en commande l’accès par le détroit de Kertch, situé entre la péninsule criméenne et la presqu’île russe de Taman. Russes et Ukrainiens ont signé en 2003 un accord selon lequel les eaux de la mer d’Azov et celles du détroit de Kertch sont considérées comme des eaux intérieures. Toutefois, depuis l’annexion de 2014, Kiev souhaite déchirer ce papier et internationaliser le régime de la mer d’Azov, en espérant ainsi que l’arrivée de nouveaux acteurs maritimes étrangers fera contrepoids à l’hyper-influence russe dans cette sous-région du bassin pontique.

      L’inauguration du pont de Kertch qui relie la Crimée à la Russie continentale en mai dernier a aiguisé les tensions. La Russie, qui n’écarte pas la possibilité que l’Ukraine tente une opération de sabotage contre l’édifice, a transféré depuis la flottille de la mer Caspienne, via le canal Volga-Don, 2 canonnières fluviales ainsi que des petits navires lance-missiles, qui ont rejoint plus tard le détachement opérationnel russe en Méditerranée. Kiev, de son côté, a transféré 2 vedettes du Projet 58155 faiblement armées depuis la mer Noire vers le port de Berdiansk par chemin de fer. La première unité est arrivée le 8 septembre et la seconde, le 11 septembre. Une troisième vedette doit prochainement être basculée en mer d’Azov. L’idée pour les Ukrainiens est de pouvoir assurer la protection des deux principaux ports de commerce que sont Marioupol et Berdiansk. A terme, Kiev souhaite établir une division de vedettes en mer d’Azov. Compte-tenu du peu de profondeur de cette mer - 6 mètres en moyenne - seules des unités de faible tonnage peuvent y être engagées. Toutefois, pour Moscou, le bassin de la mer d’Azov demeure fermé à toute activité des flottes de l’OTAN - qui ont en revanche accès à la mer Noire selon les conditions énoncées dans la Convention de Montreux (1936). Aussi, en cas de conflit dans le Donbass, ce « lac russe » constituerait une plateforme de tir potentiel pour des missiles Kalibr ainsi qu’un point de départ pour des opérations amphibies.

      Quels sont les objectifs recherchés par les uns et par les autres à travers ces escarmouches ? Pour Kiev, il s’agit de maintenir à l’ordre du jour le sujet « Crimée » qui est une affaire classée - outre la question des sanctions criméennes - par nombre de chancellerie occidentale. Par ailleurs, l’année 2019 sera une année charnière en Ukraine : l’élection présidentielle à lieu en mars, et le contrat de transit gazier qui lie Kiev à Gazprom depuis la fin des années 2000 arrive à son terme. Aussi, ces escarmouches visent potentiellement à renforcer la position de négociation de Moscou tout autant que la rhétorique patriotique à Kiev. L’Ukraine ne se satisfait pas du statu quo en mer d’Azov et souhaite mettre sur la table la question de la délimitation des frontières maritimes, sans être pour autant prête à sérieusement négocier. Rappelons par ailleurs que l’Ukraine a coupé les canaux d’alimentation d’eau fraîche vers la Crimée. Il pourrait y avoir là une monnaie d’échange potentielle.

      Contrairement à ce que pourrait laisser croire le nom de son blog, Le portail des forces navales de la Fédération de Russie, il ne s’agit pas d’un site officiel.

      A propos - Le portail des forces navales de la Fédération de Russie
      http://www.rusnavyintelligence.com/pages/A_propos-4830107.html

      A propos
      Igor Delanoë est docteur en histoire moderne et contemporaine de l’Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, et chercheur associé au Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute (Harvard University) ainsi qu’au Center for International and European Studies (université Kadir Has, Istanbul). Il est le directeur adjoint de l’Observatoire franco-russe, le centre d’analyse de la Chambre de commerce et d’industrie franco-russe depuis septembre 2015.

    • Pour mémoire, l’accord russo-ukrainien de décembre 2003 sur la circulation en mer d’Azov (il est parfois – pas systématiquement – cité) est officiellement toujours en vigueur malgré l’annexion de la Crimée en 2014.

      Et personne ne semble réellement se soucier de savoir si l’Ukraine avait demandé l’autorisation préalable de franchissement du détroit, étant entendu que, des deux côtés, on renforce les (faibles) moyens militaires…

      Il est difficilement concevable que la Russie ait pu arraisonner les navires ukrainiens si l’autorisation avait été demandée et, a fortiori, accordée…

      Accord russo-ukrainien sur la mer d’Azov - Libération
      (article du 27 décembre 2003)
      https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2003/12/27/accord-russo-ukrainien-sur-la-mer-d-azov_456591

      La conclusion, mercredi [24 décembre], d’un accord russo-ukrainien sur la mer d’Azov était interprétée, à Kiev, comme une nouvelle concession du président Léonid Koutchma à Vladimir Poutine. Selon le texte signé par les deux chefs d’Etat, la mer d’Azov et le détroit de Kertch (en Crimée, sud de l’Ukraine), qui la sépare de la mer Noire, seront désormais « gérés conjointement ». Les bateaux ukrainiens et russes jouiront de la liberté de navigation. En revanche, les bâtiments militaires des pays tiers ne pourront y entrer que sur autorisation des deux pays, ce qui permettra à Moscou d’empêcher l’entrée de navires de l’Otan. « Cette mesure est peu compatible avec l’intention de l’Ukraine d’adhérer à l’Alliance atlantique », relève l’hebdomadaire Zerkalo Nedeli. Un différend a récemment éclaté après que la Russie a mis en doute l’appartenance à l’Ukraine de l’île de Touzla, dans le détroit de Kertch.

    • J’aime bien le double discours – dès les éléments soulignés après le titre… _ la part du trafic qui passe par Kertch est marginale (moins de 5% et déplorable vers d’autres ports) mais le blocus (temporaire) souligne le risque sur les approvisionnement en blé ukrainien (qui sera très abondant cette saison)

      Chokepoint Blockade Exposes Supply Risk for Black Sea Grain - Bloomberg
      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-26/russian-flareup-with-ukraine-brings-focus-on-shipping-chokepoint

      •  Access cut to Kerch Strait between Black Sea and Sea of Azov
      The ports handles a relatively small share of Ukrainian grain
      •  Access cut to Kerch Strait between Black Sea and Sea of Azov
      The ports handles a relatively small share of Ukrainian grain

      Russia’s brief blockade of a key shipping channel for Black Sea grain highlights the risk of disruption to an important source of global supply.

      Russia cut off access to the Kerch Strait between the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea after tensions with Ukraine flared up over the weekend, and has since reopened the passage. Still, the conflict means some traders will likely reroute cargoes to avoid passing through the strait, according to the Ukrainian Grain Association.

      We are expecting a record harvest this season, and we plan record exports,” said Mykola Horbachov, head of the Ukrainian Grain Association. “So any window that is being closed for us means heavier pressure on our infrastructure, both seaport and railway. We are stretched to the limit.

      Ukraine ranks among the world’s biggest corn and wheat producers, supplying food to major markets in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Analysts said they didn’t expect much market impact because the proportion of Ukrainian grain that moves from ports on the Sea of Azov is relatively small, and the incident seems limited so far.

      Grain markets largely shrugged off the news. Benchmark prices in Chicago rose 1 percent and milling wheat futures in Paris added 0.2 percent.

      Shipments from the Ukraine ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk make up about 5 percents of the country’s grain exports, and cargoes that had previously planned to leave those areas may instead move by rail or other ports, Horbachov said. The two ports are on the Azov Sea and rely on the Kerch Strait.

      In terms of grain exports, it won’t have a big impact because I don’t think that Russia will stop their boats in the Kerch Strait, and in terms of Ukraine exports, there is not a lot of exports from the Azov Sea,” said Gautier Maupu, a Black Sea grains analyst with Agritel in Kiev. “Russian exports will not slow down, so there will not be a strong impact on markets.

      Still, the blockade highlights the threat of disruption to Black Sea supplies just as global grains markets are buffeted by the trade war between the U.S. and China. Wheat has jumped about 20 percent this year in Chicago as heat and dryness worldwide curbed output, including in the Black Sea.

    • Poutine défend sa version des affrontements avec l’Ukraine en mer Noire
      https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2018/12/03/poutine-avance-sa-version-des-affrontements-avec-l-ukraine-en-mer-noire_5391


      Vladimir Poutine, à Buenos Aires, le 1er décembre.
      MARCOS BRINDICCI / REUTERS

      Privé de rencontre bilatérale avec Donald Trump, en représailles après les incidents survenus le 25 novembre au large de la Crimée qui ont abouti à la capture de trois bateaux et de vingt-quatre marins ukrainiens par la Russie, M. Poutine a livré sa version des faits au président américain « debout », comme il a lui-même décrit l’échange, en marge d’un dîner.

      Face à son homologue français, Emmanuel Macron, ou avec la chancelière allemande, Angela Merkel, avec lesquels il a pu s’entretenir en aparté, il a même sorti un stylo pour dessiner sur le papier sa chronologie des événements. Aux journalistes ensuite, M. Poutine a assuré que « la guerre va continuer » dans l’est de l’Ukraine, tant que les autorités actuelles de Kiev « resteront au pouvoir ».

      Version de VVP dont la seule chose que l’on ait le droit de savoir est qu’il qualifie l’événement de provocation. Absolument rien sur le déroulement des faits, ni en gros, ni en détail.

    • Ukraine resumes grain shipments from Azov Sea | Reuters
      https://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFKBN1O30M5


      FILE PHOTO: Cranes are seen in the Azov Sea port of Mariupol, Ukraine December 2, 2018.
      REUTERS/Gleb Garanich/File Photo

      Ukraine said on Tuesday it had resumed grain shipments from the Azov Sea, blocked for around 10 days after a military standoff with Russia in the Kerch Strait off Crimea.
      […]
      Earlier, Ukraine’s infrastructure minister Volodymyr Omelyan had said the two ports - vital for eastern Ukraine’s economy - had been “partially unlocked” with the restoration of some free movement through the Kerch Strait.


  • Russia’s Gazprom says offshore part of TurkStream is complete | Reuters
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/turkey-russia-gas-pipeline-idUKL8N1XU3N5

    Construction of the offshore part of the TurkStream pipeline that will carry Russian gas across the Black Sea to Turkey has been completed, Russian gas producer Gazprom said on Monday.

    TurkStream is part of Moscow’s efforts to bypass Ukraine as a gas transit route to Europe, which imports around a third of its gas needs from Gazprom.

    Projects of this kind and this project in particular are not directed against the interests of anyone. Projects of this kind are purely creative,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said as he and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attended an official ceremony in Istanbul.

    Work will now focus onshore and is on track to be completed by the end of 2019, he said.

    Gazprom is building the TurkStream in two lines, each with a capacity of 15.75 billion cubic metres of gas per year. The first will supply Turkey and the second southern Europe.

    Turkey is almost completely reliant on imports to meet its energy needs. A crippling currency crisis which has seen the lira plummet has increased costs, prompting energy companies to hike consumer prices.

    Turkey’s state pipeline operator Botas will build the 69-km section of TurkStream which will carry natural gas from the coast to its distribution centre in Luleburgaz in northwestern Turkey, Energy Minister Fatih Donmez told private broadcaster NTV, adding he expected this to be completed in 2019.

    A 145-km section of pipeline from the distribution centre to the border will be constructed by Botas and Gazprom, he said.


  • Quitting Instagram : She’s one of the millions disillusioned with social media. But she also helped create it.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/technology/2018/11/14/quitting-instagram-shes-one-millions-disillusioned-with-social-media

    “In the early days, you felt your post was seen by people who cared about you and that you cared about,” said Richardson, who left Instagram in 2014 and later founded a start-up. “That feeling is completely gone for me now.”

    Je me souviens très bien de cette période là, Instagram était une quasi communauté qui avait, comme le disait Bailey Richardson, l’objectif tourné vers le monde et non l’inverse. J’ai participé à des Instameet ou des instachallenge ; Exemple le #Achallenge, poster une photo avec un A dedans. Un concours avec un seul hashtag :) où le gagnant avait recueillit 3000 likes sur une semaine de jeu :D maintenant c’est le symbole d’une mauvaise communication sur Instagram. Un flop quoi. Je trouvais ça ludique, amusant, bien veillant et surtout cohérent avec la culture numérique.

    When Richardson joined Instagram in February 2012, at age 26, the former art history major was drawn to what was then a fast-growing indie platform for photographers, hipsters and artistic-types who wanted to share interesting or beautiful things they discovered about the world. At that time, Instagram was “a camera that looked out into the world," said one of the company’s first engineers, "versus a camera that was all about myself, my friends, who I’m with.”

    Richardson ran the start-up’s blog as well as the official @instagram account from the company’s offices in San Francisco’s South Park neighborhood. Before there were software algorithms suggesting accounts to follow, Richardson selected featured Instagrammers by hand. For the most devoted users, she organized in-person “Insta-meets” in places as far-flung as Moscow and North Korea.

    “We felt like stewards of that passion,” Richardson said.

    Richardson moved to New York after leaving Instagram. (Yana Paskova/For The Washington Post)

    One of the first people she featured prominently was an early Instagrammer in Spain. The exposure Richardson gave @IsabelitaVirtual, an amateur photographer whose real name is Isabel Martinez, helped Martinez become one of the most popular Instagram users in the country and led to a career in high-end fashion photography.

    Both say that type of random connection that resulted in their friendship is hardly possible in the current iteration of Instagram. Too many people to follow, too much showmanship, too many posts flickering by, they say. “I don’t even see her posts anymore,” Richardson said. Martinez told The Post that while she wouldn’t quit Instagram for professional reasons, the app has in recent years become more anxiety-producing than pleasurable for her.

    #social_media #Facebook #Instagram #réseaux_sociaux


  • Israel has struck in Syria since Russia plane downed: Israeli official
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/israel-carried-attacks-syria-since-downing-russian-plane-163048763.html

    But since the Russian plane was shot down shortly after Israeli jets attacked a nearby target, there have been no reports of Israeli air strikes in Syria.

    The apparent pause raised speculation in the Israeli media that Israel was either holding back at Russia’s request or had paused the attacks over concern that they would fuel further tensions with Moscow.


  • Premature Postcolonialists: the Afro-Asian Writers Association and Soviet Engagement with Africa | Lefteast
    http://www.criticatac.ro/lefteast/premature-postcolonialists-the-afro-asian-writers-association-and-soviet-

    In October 1958, over two hundred writers from Asia and the emerging African nations descended onto Tashkent, the capital of the Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan. Among the participants was W. E. B. Du Bois, who at age 90 had just flown in from Moscow (where he persuaded Nikita Khrushchev to found an Institute for the Study of Africa). Alongside leading Soviet writers and cultural bureaucrats, some of the major figures of the 1930s literary left outside of Europe or the Americas were in attendance: the Turkish modernist poet Nazim Hikmet and his Pakistani counterpart Faiz Ahmad Faiz, the Chinese novelist Mao Dun and Mulk Raj Anand. Though poorly known at the time, some of the younger delegates at that meeting would go on to become the leading literary figures of their countries: the Senegalese novelist-cum-filmmaker Sembene Ousmane, the Indonesian writer Pramoedya Toer, the poet and founder of Angola’s Communist Party Mario Pinto de Andrade, and the Mozambican poet and FRELIMO politician Marcelino dos Santos. By all accounts, Tashkent impressed visitors with its mixture of Western modernity and familiar “eastern-ness,”—an effect carefully curated by the Soviet hosts who sought to make it a showcase city for Third-World delegations.

    The gathering that brought all these writers together—the inaugural congress of what would later become known as the Afro-Asian Writers Association—represented the literary front of the Soviet Union’s return to the colonial question after a two-decade-long lapse. The Stalinist state’s geopolitical zigzags and the rumors, confirmed in Khrushchev’s 1956 Secret Speech, of oppressive practices at home had considerably dimmed the flame of the Russian Revolution by the mid-1950s. African and Asian intellectuals’ doubts over the Soviet state’s emancipatory promises were now partly made up by the resources of a world super-power, which interwar Soviet anti-imperialism had lacked. These resources exercised a powerful, if ambiguous, effect on black political life worldwide, resulting, on the one hand, in devastating proxy wars in Angola and Mozambique and, on the other, fueling emancipatory struggles against apartheid in South Africa and Jim Crowe in the US.1

    This article will be particularly interested in the cultural consequences of the Soviet engagement with the postcolonial world, namely, in its effect on African letters. As a heir to the literature-centrism of the revolutionary Russian intelligentsia of the late nineteenth century, the Soviet state, down to its very bureaucracy, believed in the capacity of literature to transform society and invested heavily in literary engagements even with societies very different from its own. By the reciprocal logic of the Cold War, the U.S. State Department and CIA, institutions not known as patrons of literature before or after the Cold War had to match those investments. The real beneficiaries of this competition were African writers, interest in whose work significantly increased, as well as readers in the first, second, and third worlds, who were given greater access to those writers.


  • Rick Gates Sought Online Manipulation Plans From Israeli Intelligence Firm for Trump Campaign
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/08/us/politics/rick-gates-psy-group-trump.html

    A top Trump campaign official requested proposals in 2016 from an Israeli company to create fake online identities, to use social media manipulation and to gather intelligence to help defeat Republican primary race opponents and Hillary Clinton, according to interviews and copies of the proposals. The Trump campaign’s interest in the work began as Russians were escalating their effort to aid Donald J. Trump. Though the Israeli company’s pitches were narrower than Moscow’s interference (...)

    #Facebook #algorithme #élections #manipulation #SocialNetwork #PsyGroup


  • Thank you, Mother Russia, for imposing boundaries on Israel - For the first time in years another state is saying to Israel: Stop right there. At least in Syria, that’s the end of it. Thank you, Mother Russia.

    Gideon Levy SendSend me email alerts
    Sep 28, 2018
    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/.premium-to-russia-with-love-1.6511224

    A ray of hope is breaking through: Someone is setting limits on Israel. For the first time in years another state is making it clear to Israel that there are restrictions to its power, that it’s not okay for it to do whatever it wants, that it’s not alone in the game, that America can’t always cover for it and that there’s a limit to the harm it can do.
    Israel needed someone to set these limits like it needed oxygen. The recent years’ hubris and geopolitical reality enabled it to run rampant. It could patrol Lebanon’s skies as if they were its own; bombard in Syria’s air space as if it were Gaza’s air space; destroy Gaza periodically, put it under endless siege and continue, of course, to occupy the West Bank. Suddenly someone stood up and said: Stop right there. At least in Syria: That’s the end of it. Thank you, Mother Russia, for setting limits on a child whom no one has restrained for a long time.
    >>What Russia and Turkey really want in Syria | Explained ■ Russia’s claims on downed plane over Syria are dubious, but will usher in new reality for Israel | Analysis ■ Russia vs. Israel: The contradicting accounts of the downing of a plane over Syria

    The Israeli stupefaction at the Russian response and the paralysis that gripped it only showed how much Israel needed a responsible adult to rein it in. Does anyone dare prevent Israel’s freedom of movement in another country? Is anyone hindering it from flying in skies not its own? Is anyone keeping it from bombing as much as it pleases? For decades Israel hasn’t encountered such a strange phenomenon. Israel Hayom reported, of course, that anti-Semitism is growing in Russia. Israel is getting ready to play the next victim card, but its arrogance has suddenly gone missing.
    In April the Bloomberg News agency cited threats from retired Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin and other officers that if Russia gives Syria S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, Israel’s air force would bombard them. Now the voice of bluster from Zion has been muted, at least for the moment.
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    Every state is entitled to have weapons for defense against jet bombers, including Syria, and no state is permitted to prevent that forcibly. This basic truth already sounds bizarre to Israeli ears. The idea that other countries’ sovereignty is meaningless, that it can always be disrupted by force, and that Israeli sovereignty alone is sacred, and supreme; that Israel can mix in the affairs of the region to its heart’s content – including by military intervention, whose true extent is yet to be clarified in the war in Syria – without paying a price, in the name of its real or imagined security, which sanctifies anything and everything – all this has suddenly run into a Russian “nyet.” Oh, how we needed that nyet, to restore Israel to its real dimensions.
    It arrived with excellent timing. Just when there’s a president in the White House who runs his Middle East policy at the instructions of his sponsor in Las Vegas and mentor on Balfour Street; when Israel feels itself in seventh heaven, with an American embassy in Jerusalem and no UNRWA, soon without the Palestinians – came the flashing red light from Moscow. Perhaps it will balance out, just a bit, the intoxication with power that has overtaken Israel in recent years, maybe it will start to wise up and recover.
    Russia, without meaning to, may yet turn out to be better for Israel than all the insane, corrupting support it receives from the current American administration, and from its predecessors, too.
    Russia has outlined for the world the way to treat Israel, using the only language Israel understands. Let those who truly care for Israel’s welfare, and for justice, learn how it’s done: Only by force. Only when Israel gets punished or is forced to pay a price does it do the right thing. The air force will think twice now and perhaps many times more before its next bombardment in Syria, whose importance, if indeed it has any, is unknown.
    Had such a Russian “nyet” hovered above Gaza’s skies, too, so much futile death and destruction would have been spared. Had an international force faced the Israeli occupation, it would have ended long ago. Instead, we have Donald Trump in Washington and the European Union’s pathetic denunciations of the evictions at Khan al-Ahmar.


  • US to transfer Coast Guard ships to #Ukraine amid Russia tensions - CNNPolitics
    https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/25/politics/us-transfer-coast-guard-ships-ukraine/index.html


    La photo représente le WPB 1326 Monomoy, de même classe que les Drummond et Cushing, ceux-ci portant les numéros de coque 1323 et 1321.

    The US Coast Guard plans to transfer two former 110-foot Coast Guard ships to Ukraine during a ceremony on Thursday in Baltimore.

    Coast Guard Vice Adm. Michael McAllister and Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko are expected to attend the transfer ceremony.

    The transfer of the two armed Coast Guard cutters come as tensions between Ukraine and Russia in the Sea of Azov have increased in recent weeks, with Kiev and the US accusing Moscow of interfering with Ukrainian shipping in the region.

    The United States condemns Russia’s harassment of international shipping in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement late last month.

    Russia has delayed hundreds of commercial vessels since April and in recent weeks has stopped at least 16 commercial ships attempting to reach Ukrainian ports,” she added.

    A US defense official told CNN that the cutters Drummond and Cushing were purchased by Ukraine from the Pentagon’s Excess Defense Articles program.
    PUBLICITÉ
    The Island-class cutters are typically armed with a 25 mm machine gun mount and four .50-caliber machine guns.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Island-class_patrol_boat

    #poussière_navale

    Note : le fait d’armes du Drummond est d’avoir patrouillé dans le Détroit de Floride et d’y avoir intercepté (au moins) 550 immigrants cubains illégaux depuis 2004 (source : WP)…


  • With Russia’s S-300 in Syria, Israel will have to think twice about the next strike
    The new missile system provided by Russia is not a total barrier to airstrikes, but Israeli jets’ freedom of action will be significantly curbed

    Amos Harel SendSend me email alerts
    Sep 25, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-with-russia-s-s-300-in-syria-israel-will-have-to-think-twice-about

    The two latest developments in Moscow – the Defense Ministry’s report that placed full responsibility for last week’s downing of a Russian plane over Syria on Israel, and the announcement of the transfer of advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to the Assad regime – shouldn’t surprise anyone in Israel except maybe a few foolish supporters of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. No matter how good his relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin may be, Netanyahu can’t make the problem disappear.
    Russia suffered an embarrassing blow when Assad’s anti-aircraft fire shot down the plane, and it still has widespread interests to promote in Syria. It was quite clear that the affair would lead to a Russian condemnation of Israel and to demands of Israel. The bottom line still depends on Putin, who initially sufficed with a cautiously worded statement the day after the incident. For the time being it seems the result of the Russian steps will be a significant restriction of Israel’s freedom of action over Syria.
    >> Netanyahu warned Putin: S-300 air defense system in irresponsible hands will endanger region
    Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced Monday that his country would supply Syria with S-300 ground-to-air missiles. Russia, he said, would also use electronic warfare systems to prevent the activation of satellite tracking systems along Syria’s coast, making it harder for Israel to conduct airstrikes. And Russia will equip Syrian anti-aircraft units with Russian tracking and guidance systems to prevent mishaps in which Syria downs Russian aircraft.

    S-300 Air Defense System infographicHaaretz


  • How Jimmy Carter and I Started the Mujahideen » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names
    http://archive.is/VH3r#selection-801.1-919.214

    January 15, 1998

    by Alexander Cockburn And Jeffrey St. Clair

    Q: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs ["From the Shadows"], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?

    Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

    Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?

    Brzezinski: It isn’t quite that. We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.

    Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn’t believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don’t regret anything today?

    Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

    Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic [integrisme], having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

    Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

    Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated: Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.

    Brzezinski: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn’t a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.

    * There are at least two editions of this magazine; with the perhaps sole exception of the Library of Congress, the version sent to the United States is shorter than the French version, and the Brzezinski interview was not included in the shorter version.
    The above has been translated from the French by Bill Blum author of the indispensible, “Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II” and “Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower”

    #Afghanistan #USA #URSS #histoire


  • ‘Criminal negligence’ or disregard to Russia-Israel ties : MoD details chronology of Il-20 downing — RT World News
    https://www.rt.com/news/439151-russia-israel-il-20-negligence

    A minute-by-minute account of the Il-20 downing shows Israel’s culpability and either its military bosses’ lack of appreciation of relations with Moscow, or their control of commanding officers, the Russian defense ministry said.

    We believe that the blame for the Russian Il-20 aircraft tragedy lies entirely with the Israeli Air Force,” said spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov, before revealing a detailed account of events leading to the downing of the Russian Il-20 military aircraft on September 17. The plane was shot down by the Syrian air defense units as Israeli’s F-16s effectively used it as a cover during the attack on its neighbor.

    The report featured previously undisclosed radar data and details of communications between Russian and Israeli militaries, and concluded that “the military leadership of Israel either has no appreciation for the level of relations with Russia, or has no control over individual commands or commanding officers who understood that their actions would lead to tragedy.

    On the evening of September 17, the Russian Ilyushin IL-20 with 15 crew on board was circling over the Idlib de-escalation zone on a special reconnaissance mission, when four Israeli F-16 fighter jets left their country’s airspace and flew over the neutral Mediterranean waters towards the Syrian coast. The Israeli Air Force gave the Russian side less than a minute’s warning before dropping the precision-guided glide bombs, leaving virtually no time for any safety maneuvers, Konashenkov said, calling such actions “a clear violation of the 2015 Russian-Israeli agreements.

    Moreover, the Israeli military failed to provide the location of their jets or properly specify their targets, claiming they were going to attack several ’industrial facilities’ in northern Syria, close to the Il-20’s area of operation. The misinformation prompted the Russian Command to order the recon plane back to the Khmeimim air base. The Israeli jets, however, instead almost immediately attacked the western Syrian Latakia province.

    • RUSSIA’S IL-20 DOWNING RESPONSE - THIS IS WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN NEXT - Fort Russ
      (article paru avant la conférence de presse du ministère de la Défense russe)
      https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/09/russias-il-20-downing-response-this-is-what-needs-to-happen-next

      It would seem that there were two significant contributory factors here: i) the Israeli ‘bad-faith’ abrogation of the proper protocols for communication between themselves and the Russian Military, in order to attain a deliberate advantage for carrying out their attack; and ii) the regrettable features of outmoded air-defence hardware which ultimately lead to the shoot-down.

      The solution to the second issue is rather straightforward: Russia had earlier proposed selling S-400 systems to Syria – a move which wound up effectively ‘veto’d’ by Israel stating in no uncertain terms that they would carry out airstrikes against any such systems before they had been fully installed, regardless of whether they were still Russian crewed at that point. Given Israeli airstrikes are presently causing Russian casualties anyway; as well as the fact that the Russians have already had their own advanced SAM systems for Russian defence set up in Syria for some time now, in the present situation of Israeli diplomatic weakness created by Monday’s events, now is the ideal time to engage in such technology-transfer directly to Syria with an explicit view to ensuring that Monday’s events do not recur thanks to half-century old hardware malfunctioning.

      The first issue is much more complex, as I would be rather surprised if Russia genuinely wanted to seriously contemplate abandoning its significantly close relationship with Israel – although it may potentially be convinced to ‘downgrade’ it somewhat, assuming that we do not see a repeat of what happened following Turkey’s downing of a Russian military aircraft in 2015 (ironically, a seeming catalyst for the two countries beginning to work more closely together than ever before). Whether Russia chooses to remain on ‘friendly’ ‘terms with Israel in a militaristic sense or not, the plain reality is that the Israelis have demonstrated that they cannot and should not be trusted to behave in an up-front manner when it comes to the communication and co-ordination protocols essential to allowing them to continue to operate with relative impunity above Syrian airspace.

      Russia should therefore suspend this facility they have provided to the Israelis forthwith – and openly state that future instances of Israeli military aircraft turning up unannounced above Syria will simply be treated as hostile, and dealt with accordingly. After all, from the perspective of that IL-20 crew, what else characterizes the Israeli conduct than this designation? Certainly not the actions of something approaching a ‘trusted’ ally! The net effect of this would be to impose a ‘no-fly zone’ of sorts over Syria – thus allowing operational freedom for Russian and Syrian air assets, and denying precious, vital air-cover to the extremist forces which theoretically everybody agrees need to be wiped out.

    • Avec, au passage, l’utile rappel de la possibilité de perte de contrôle des vieux missiles anti-aériens S-200.
      C’était il y a longtemps, le 4/10/2001 époque où il y avait encore des manœuvres communes russo-ukrainiennes.

      Vol 1812 Siberia Airlines — Wikipédia
      https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vol_1812_Siberia_Airlines

      Un rapport préliminaire russe confirma les évaluations de responsables militaires américains faites à titre privé : le missile S-200 avait dépassé sa cible téléguidée qui avait été détruite avec succès par un S-300 tiré au même moment. Au lieu de s’autodétruire, le missile S-200 prit pour cible le long courrier qui se trouvait à près de 200 kilomètres ; le projectile explosa en projetant des billes d’acier (shrapnel) 15 mètres au-dessus de l’avion.

      Les responsables militaires ukrainiens nièrent d’abord que leur missile avait abattu l’avion ; ils déclarèrent que le S-200 avait été lancé vers la mer et qu’il avait réussi à s’autodétruire. Le porte-parole du ministère de la Défense Konstantin Khivrenko affirma que « ni la direction ni la portée (des missiles) ne correspondaient à l’endroit réel ou théorique où l’avion avait explosé. » Toutefois, les responsables ukrainiens admirent par la suite que c’était bien leur armée qui avait abattu l’avion de ligne.


  • Les généraux israéliens se précipitent à Moscou
    http://www.dedefensa.org/article/les-generaux-israeliens-se-precipitent-a-moscou

    Les généraux israéliens se précipitent à Moscou

    Il est rarissime, sinon complètement inédit, qu’Israël envoie aussi rapidement ses chefs militaires concernés dans le pays lui-même directement concerné par un incident militaire, plus encore quand sa participation directe à l’incident n’est pas exactement établie. On peut même dire qu’il s’agit d’une démarche sans précédent. Ce pays (Israël) a toujours agi en complet mépris des lois internationales et des us & coutumes des relations politico-militaires, et le plus souvent laissé dire sans trop se préoccuper les protestations suivant ses actions militaires ponctuelles illégales, considérant que ses intérêts stratégiques primaient tout et ne valaient pas la moindre explication, encore moins une excuse. Ici, c’est vraiment tout à fait différent.

    Le fait que, 24 (...)


  • Google caves in to Russian demands, censors videos promoting a protest rally · Global Voices

    https://globalvoices.org/2018/09/08/google-caves-in-to-russian-demands-censors-videos-promoting-a-protest-

    One day before a major rally against an unpopular pension reform was planned in Russia, Google informed the rally organizers, the Anti-Corruption Foundation, that it was taking down their YouTube videos promoting the rally, citing violation of Russia’s laws.

    Russia’s administrative code imposes a “day of silence” on the day before an election, and all political campaigning is prohibited. The rally coincides with mayoral elections in Moscow on Sunday, September 9, as well as polling in other regions. Ads for several videos promoting the rallies in the 80 Russian cities where they were scheduled to take place were rejected, and the videos themselves were taken down by YouTube.

    #russie #internet #google #censure


  • Russia warns US of pending attack in Syrian area with US troops - CNNPolitics
    https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/06/politics/syria-russia-attack-warning-pentagon/index.html

    While the situation is described by one US official as “concerning,” there clearly is US interest in discussing Moscow’s warning to ensure the Russians have a clear view of any potential US military response.

    #Syrie #etats-unis #Russie



  • Navy re-establishes Atlantic fleet to check Russia - POLITICO
    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/24/navy-atlantic-fleet-russia-751660

    The U.S Navy on Friday formally reactivated the Cold War-era naval command it relied on for decades to confront adversaries in the waters off North America — the latest in a series of efforts to check Moscow’s military expansion.

    The move comes as Russian submarine activity surges in the Atlantic.

    #russie #etats-unis


  • Kalashnikov takes on Tesla with retro-look electric ’supercar’ | Environment | The Guardian

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/aug/23/kalashnikov-takes-on-tesla-with-retro-look-electric-supercar

    The Russian arms maker Kalashnikov has unveiled its new electric car, inspired by a rare 1970s model, saying the technology will rival Elon Musk’s Tesla.

    The brand, best known for the AK-47 machine gun, on Thursday presented the retro-looking pale blue prototype, the CV-1, at a defence expo outside Moscow.

    #voiture_électrique #el_bil #design #modernité #vintage #production_post_soviétique et peut-être #nostalgie :)


  • The Rise and Fall of #Soft_Power – Foreign Policy
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/08/20/the-rise-and-fall-of-soft-power

    In his recent book, Has the West Lost It?, Kishore Mahbubani, a Singaporean academic and former diplomat, calls all this Western hubris. Indeed, hubris may be the only appropriate word for what transpired. Confidence in the potency and legitimacy of soft power was so great that tremendous hard power was deployed in its name. The Iraq War was the most prominent example. And the intervention in Libya, with European support, was the most recent. In both cases, the United States and Europe were left worse off.

    Third, the hubris of soft power led to the illusion that soft power could somehow exist on its own . [...] The idea that soft power could perhaps be effective on its own perhaps underpinned the fatally mistaken belief that Iraq would automatically become a liberal democracy after Saddam Hussein was toppled.

    The European project, perhaps even more so, was built on a false understanding of soft power. For many decades, Europe was essentially a free rider in the soft power game; the United States guaranteed its security, and its economic well-being was reliant on the U.S.-led global economic order. With the United States now less interested in providing either—and focusing more on hard power—Europe is facing real challenges.

    [...]

    When the West was confident of its soft power, it cherished the belief that the more open a society, the better. But now, calls for censorship of parts of internet are heard routinely in the media and in legislative chambers. Internet giants are under tremendous political and social pressure to self-censor their content. And many, including Facebook, YouTube, and Apple, are doing so. And so, one of the bedrocks of liberalism’s soft power—free speech—has fallen from favor.

    Now, hard power is everywhere. The United States is no doubt the biggest player in this game: Fire and fury to North Korea, trade wars on everyone, gutting the WTO, and using domestic laws to punish foreign companies for doing business with a third country. The list goes on. For its part, Europe looks like a deer in headlights. As some, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, call for standing firm against Trump, others, including French President Emmanuel Macron, are looking for peace.

    And, of course, there is Russia. By adroitly using its limited but still considerable hard power, Russia achieved the most significant territorial gain by force since the end of World War II, taking Crimea from Ukraine. Meanwhile, Moscow’s forceful actions in Syria changed the course of the civil war there to its favor.

    [...]

    There is little doubt, in other words, that the era of soft power has given way to an era of hard power—and that is dangerous. For centuries, hard power politics resulted in immeasurable human suffering. Just in the 20th century alone, hard power drove two world wars and a long Cold War that threatened to annihilate mankind.

    It is possible to aspire to something better this time. And this is where China may come in.

    [...]


  • No Stealth For You!: Trump Signs Defense Bill That Blocks Transfer Of F-35s To Turkey - The Drive
    http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/22859/no-stealth-for-you-trump-signs-defense-bill-that-blocks-transfer-of-f-35s-

    The escalating F-35 saga between Ankara and Washington D.C., which you can read about here, hit a crescendo today when President Donald Trump signed the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) at Fort Drum in upstate New York. Language in the bill specifically stops the delivery of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to Turkey—a NATO ally and one of the first international partners on the program dating back two decades. Turkey has plans to buy 100 of the stealthy fighters, 30 of which are already on order, and has invested $1.2B into the program so far.

    The sanctions have sent Turkey’s already faltering economy into a tailspin, with its currency, the Lira, taking a huge nosedive. Erdogan has stated that America’s move to impose sanctions is a “stab in the back” and his administration is working to forestall more economic damage and to stabilize the situation. He also said that “economic terrorists” will be dealt with, which apparently includes media that print negative information about the economy.

    As the once tight relationship between the U.S. and Turkey fractures, Turkey continues to be pulled closer into Moscow’s orbit, especially in an economic sense—a reality that is very concerning for its NATO partners. Beyond its increasing affinity towards Russia, the F-35 and S-400 issues, and the escalating spat over the extradition of religious figures, many other issues between the Washington D.C. and Ankara persist.


  • Europe’s forgotten war : The Georgia-Russia conflict explained a decade on | Euronews
    http://www.euronews.com/2018/08/07/europe-s-forgotten-war-the-georgia-russia-conflict-explained-a-decade-on

    Moscow’s annexation of Crimea may have been prevented if Europe and others had ‘reacted adequately’ to Russia’s war with Georgia a decade ago, it’s been claimed.

    Expert George Mchedlishvili told Euronews that by forgiving Russia, the west had emboldened it ahead of the conflict in Ukraine.

    #géorgie #ossétie #russie #ossétie_du_sud
    The deadly five-day conflict, fought over Georgia’s separatist regions South Ossetia and Abkhazia, erupted on the night of August 7-8, 2008.

    Here we explain the roots of the war, the impact it’s had over the last decade and prospects for the future.
    What’s the background to the conflict?

    South Ossetians were accused of siding with the Kremlin after the Red Army invaded Georgia in the early 1920s.

    As a result, it ended up as an autonomous region within Soviet Georgia, with North Ossetia, on the other side of the Caucasus Mountains, part of Russia.

    Fast forward to the early 1990s, when the break-up of the Soviet Union saw Georgia gain independence from Moscow.

    The subsequent coming to power of Georgian nationalist Zviad Gamsakhurdia helped stoke separatist sentiment in South Ossetia and after flashes of violence it claimed independence from Georgia in 1992.

    Others say powerful figures within the Russian military, annoyed at the breakup of the Soviet Union, encouraged South Ossetians to rise-up in order to weaken Georgia and get revenge for its departure.


  • Photo Tampering throughout History

    http://tampering.izitru.com/index.html

    Though photo manipulation has become more common in the age of digital cameras and image editing software, it actually dates back almost as far as the invention of photography. The pages that follow contain an overview of some of the more notable instances of photo manipulation in history. For recent years, an exhaustive inventory of every photo manipulation would be nearly impossible, so we focus here on the instances that have been most controversial or notorious, or ones that raise the most interesting ethical questions.

    Promoting the narrative that anti-government activists were actually puppets being manipulated by the U.S. government to undermine the Russian government, the Russian national television network REN-TV published a photo showing that U.S. ambassador to Russia John Tefft had attended a Moscow rally of these activists. The U.S. Embassy responded that Tefft had actually spent that day relaxing at home, and then mocked REN-TV’s coverage by releasing a series of composites showing Tefft at a variety of other historical events. After the original source photo was revealed to be from an interview Tefft gave in February at the site where Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov had been murdered, REN-TV conceded that the version they had published was a fake that they had found on Twitter.

    Ultra-orthodox Jewish newspaper Actuali published on its front page a group photo of the new Israeli coalition government ministers, but it modified the photo to remove three women. Two of the women had been standing side-by-side, so the paper filled the noticeable gap by moving in a minister from another region of the photo which had been cropped. Another ultra-Orthodox news source, the website B’Haderai Haredim, also felt the need to hide the women when publishing the photo, but it took the less extreme measure of pixelating their faces.

    After the Azerbaijan Ministry of Defense published a photo depicting its soldiers participating in a Victory Day parade in Moscow, online observers quickly pointed out that the image had been modified to hide the fact that Armenian soldiers were positioned immediately behind them in the parade, which was organized alphabetically. In an original version of the photo, the Armenian flag is clearly visible in the background, but this flag has disappeared in the “official” Azerbaijan version. The two countries have long had an adversarial relationship due to a territorial dispute.

    While it may not be the most outrageous example of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish publication removing a prominent woman from a photo, the website Kikar HaShabbat’s approach to removing Kim Kardashian deserves some recognition for its amusingly pragmatic simplicity. Before publishing a photo showing Kardashian and rapper Kanye West having lunch with Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat, the website hid Kardashian by clumsily compositing a dining receipt over that portion of the photo. When asked about the modification, editor Nissim Ben Haim said it was necessary because Kardashian is a “pornographic symbol” who is inconsistent with the values of their site.

    #photographie #manipulation #Photoshop