Russia's constant trolling of US power [e.g #OpenSkies overflight of Langley instead of White Sands] is clearly an intentional policy. Similar trolling is seen on many of its social media accounts and its constant attempts to signal, in English, that it is behind many events that irritate the U.S. establishment. This includes constantly trying to steal credit for @wikileaks publication work.


All weak countries that feel threatened like to engage in deterring displays of strength and resolve but this is not the answer. Russia has a GDP less than South Korea or Spain and is surrounded by NATO bases and China, which has 7x the GDP and 10x the population. Sun Tzu's “Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak” explains Russia's strength displays but not obvious trolling.
There is a difference between trolling and displays of strength. Trolling is designed to provoke reactions rather than to deter them. I do not know the answer but it is fascinating that no-one in the West is talking about it. This seems to be as a result of incentives. Western security state interests want to hype up "threat" as opposed to "trolling" so as to increase their importance and budgets. Democrats want to hype up "threat" as opposed to "trolling" so as to foster their excuse for losing election narrative. Russian apologists and anti-Westerns want to make Russia look strong or honest so they also will not talk about Russian trolling.


Germany is headed into an election so the Merkel camp are incentivized to increase perceptions of the Russian "threat" so as to make criticism of her government and its policies subject to neo-McCarthyisst suspicions. But perhaps these observations about Western amplification and instrumentalization of the Russian "threat" provides a clue.  The more the Russian security state can provoke a belligerent, threatening tone from the West the greater the domestic political support for defending Russia from these Western threats. This translates into increased budgets for Russia's security sector and greater unity, both within the state and between Russia's population and its state structures. Russia has a presidential election next year. Just as in Germany, the Kremlin is motivated to paint opposition figures as Western backed by provoking conspicuous anti-Russian intelligence programs it is easy for the Kremlin to make the case.


Consequently any Kremlin critic linked to the West can be accused of being part of an anti-Russian conspiracy. A neo-McCarthyist mirror. Security establishments, media and arms makers always seek to increase fear and tension. Good for them. Bad for everyone else. 
~ Julian Assange

WikiLeaks has become the rebel library of Alexandria  ~  Julian Assange


Re: The 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR) and the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations form the core of international diplomatic and consular law.

Expelling "diplomats" is perfectly lawful. But seizing diplomatic property is a clear and dangerous breach of the Vienna Convention. I know all about this as I had to study whether the UK could legally seize Ecuador's embassy. No--even if every diplomat is expelled.

The Vienna Convention governs all diplomatically certified buildings. Inviolability is explicit. Obama's seizure of two Russian embassy properties is seen by the global diplomatic community as beyond the pale. Why? Not because of any great love of Russia. But because it places all embassies everywhere at risk by setting a new norm. That is why even countries that opposed the US supported its rights in relation to the 1979 occupation of its embassy in Tehran.

Obama's action in seizing the two Russian embassy properties is much worse than the seizure of the US embassy in Iran. Why? Because...Iran had just had a revolution and was in chaos. Protestors and not the Iranian government occupied the embassy (at least formally). By contrast, the US seizure of Russia's property was proclaimed to be an act of state, a flagrant and destabilizing breach of Vienna.

The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations is not just some obscure international law. It is the foundation of all diplomatic law. It is the most widely obeyed and respected international law there is. It governs every diplomat, embassy and consulate.

So Obama's flagrant breach of it strikes at the heart of the entire diplomatic system. Normally it is only seen when armed mobs take over and a militia occupies an embassy. As both the US and Russia are signatories to the Optional Protocol on Disputes, any time Russia wants to it can take the case to the International Court of Justice and win within months. https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/17843.pdf

If the US doesn't obey the ICJ ruling on it, it will alienate the global diplomatic community and the ICJ. It will then be open season on US diplomats and diplomatic properties around the world and states will look to take other ICJ cases against the US since its standing at the ICJ will have diminished, increasing the chance of victory for the plaintiff.

[This] is likely why we are seeing talk about the US giving the Russian properties back. The Trump admin doesn't want to look weak or frightened or as if it can be pushed around by the ICJ or the global diplomatic community, so it pretends that its a quid pro-quo for Russia playing nice in Syria.

~ Julian P. Assange, Ecuadorian Embassy, London , July 14, 2017

www.justice4assange.com
www.wikileaks.org

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

~ George Orwell


"We have a perfect record in detecting forgeries and unlike the traditional press we publish every doc so everyone else can check too"  ~ Julian Assange

"This generation is burning the mass media to the ground."

~ Julian Assange