Fdd's overnight brief

April 12, 2022

In The News


More than six weeks into his war against Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin is feeling the sting of failure. Thousands of Russian battlefield deaths. Three front-line retreats by the Russian military. Millions of Ukrainians who will never forgive Moscow. More isolation than ever — and perilously few goals achieved. – Washington Post 

Ukraine and its international partners are bracing for Russia to launch a new offensive, with the Pentagon on Monday saying there are signs that the Kremlin has begun reinforcing and resupplying its forces in the eastern Donbas region as a top official in Moscow vowed there would be no letup in hostilities before the next round of peace talks. – Washington Post

Russia is resupplying and reinforcing its troops positioned in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, with the town of Izyum, some 70 miles southeast of Kharkiv, likely to become a staging point for further attacks on southern cities, the Pentagon said Monday. – Washington Post

Russians outnumber other nationalities on the lists of individuals who have turned to the law firms and financial advisers that cater to global elites seeking to shelter their assets in Panama, the Cayman Islands and other tax havens. – Washington Post  

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine in his latest address seized on an apparent Russian threat to use chemical weapons against the remaining defenders of Mariupol, as they prepare for what he called a “new stage of terror against Ukraine.” – New York Times

The last Ukrainian soldiers defending Mariupol said they were “running out of ammunition” on Monday and expected to be killed or taken prisoner very soon by Russian forces surrounding the city. – The Guardian  

Russia is receiving munitions and military hardware sourced from Iraq for its war effort in Ukraine with the help of Iranian weapons smuggling networks, according to members of Iranian-backed Iraqi militias and regional intelligence services with knowledge of the process. – The Guardian  

Ukraine’s finance minister has made an appeal for immediate financial support of tens of billions of dollars to plug a gaping fiscal deficit caused by the Russian invasion. – Financial Times  

Ukraine’s allies in Europe are moving beyond their usual emphasis on diplomacy and sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with a new focus on urgently arming Kyiv as the best chance at changing Vladimir Putin’s decision-making. – Bloomberg 

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said he fears more “organized” brutality from Russia after Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed Gen. Aleksandr Dvornikov to lead its ongoing invasion of Ukraine. – The Hill 

Andrey Kortunov the director-general of the Russian International Affairs Council admitted in an interview to Sky News that the launch of Russia’s military operation caught him by surprise. “I was shocked because for a long time, I thought that a military operation was not feasible. It was not plausible.” In an article posted on the RIAC website, Kortunov listed the negative effects of the invasion. – Middle East Media Research Institute 

Dan Hannan writes: Let’s flip that around. The thing that Putin’s Western admirers tended to drool over was how “strong” he was. Far-right European politicians such as Marine Le Pen and Matteo Salvini, as well as a few Trumpsters in the U.S., thrilled to the way he knocked opponents aside and sneered at gay rights. But ask yourself this: How strong does he look now? It turns out that, although his goons were plenty strong when murdering female journalists or breaking up peaceful demonstrations, they fell to pieces against regular soldiers. – Washington Examiner 

Michael O’Hanlon writes: There potentially will be many other threats in coming days and weeks. I worry, as well, about what Russian forces, refit with new recruits and stocks of fresh technology, may be able to do in the open country of eastern and central Ukraine when the ground firms up in June. And, of course, intense territorial struggles continue now in the east and southeast of the country. But a knockout blow against Ukraine’s government is what Russian President Vladimir Putin most wants, and expected to achieve, all along. He likely will try for it again. – The Hill 

Tom Mockaitis writes: The United States and its NATO allies have walked a careful path between aiding Ukraine and not provoking Putin into a wider war. We may be at the point were that careful strategy no longer works. Perhaps it is time to supply Zelensky with those Mig 29s. One thing is certain: appeasing dictators or confronting them with half measures doesn’t work. – The Hill 

Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan write: But the siloviki are ruthless in protecting their own interests, and there is one way, at least, that they might lose faith: if Russia’s economic troubles reach the point that its regional governors begin to break ranks with Putin and the economic order that has sustained Putin’s security state for more than 20 years begins to collapse, then the siloviki may well conclude that the Kremlin is losing control of the country and that their own future is threatened. In that case, they could step aside and let it happen—or even provide a hand. – Foreign Affairs 

Mason Clark, Karolina Hird, and George Barros write: The Kremlin’s belated appointment of a single overall commander in Ukraine will not automatically solve Russian command, logistics, and morale issues, and Dvornikov faces several ongoing operations that may exceed his span of control. […]Dvornikov will likely struggle to integrate units redeployed from western to eastern Ukraine into his ongoing operations, which have to date been conducted by Southern Military District troops under his direct command. – Institute for the Study of War 

Walter Clemens writes: The Putin administration has waged a zealous and accelerating campaign to throttle alien influences. It has closed Memorial and other human rights organizations as alleged foreign agents. […]Putin may be hoping that the same fate awaits the Russian people — as it did the spaceship builder protagonist in Yevgeny Zamyatin’s sci-fi dystopia We, banned by Soviet censors in 1921. Not until surgeons removed both his soul and imagination could the rocket engineer live in the world of the Great Benefactor. – Center for European Policy Analysis 

Gregory Arcuri writes: As Russian missiles continue to rain down on Ukrainian civilians, discussions of the future of a vibrant Russia remain sidelined. A Russia that invests in its innovation economy will more likely contribute to the global good and be a reliable partner. The world needs a stable and prosperous Russia to emerge from the wreckage of the Ukraine invasion. Russia, and the world, should learn from its mistakes. – Center for Strategic and International Studies 

William Reinsch writes: We can do considerable damage to the Russian economy, but the full effects will play out in months and years, not weeks. The main reason for that lies in gaps in the import sanctions. Europe continues to buy Russian gas and oil (though as of last week, not coal). One can debate the wisdom of those exceptions, but both sides acknowledge that with oil prices as high as they are now, failure to cover oil and gas will keep the Russian economy afloat and help it continue the war. The lesson for the Europeans is no pain, no gain. – Center for Strategic and International Studies

Azeem Ibrahim writes: Democratic countries ought to take the lead and table a motion in the U.N. General Assembly to dissolve the council, which was meant to expose and censure the abusers of human rights but is, for the moment at least, run by them. The best possible replacement has already been suggested, notably by U.S. President Joe Biden: a congress of democracies, states representing the free world, that can be made accountable to their electorates. Diplomats can turn their back on Lavrov and expel Russia itself, but while the council remains as is, kicking out one dictatorship isn’t enough. – Foreign Policy 


One of the last obstacles to reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal – Tehran’s demand to remove its Revolutionary Guards from a U.S. terrorism list – is more an issue of politics than substance, analysts said. – Reuters 

Iran on Monday urged the Taliban to provide better security at Iranian diplomatic sites in neighboring Afghanistan after angry Afghan protesters pelted the consulate in Herat with rocks, state media reported. – Associated Press 

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh confirmed on Monday reports that about $7 billion of Iran’s assets frozen abroad would be released “soon” according to Iranian media. – Jerusalem Post  

Israel’s Ambassador to the US, Mike Herzog, said on Monday that no deal would put Iran in a box “unless there is a serious deterrence vis a vis Iran.” In a live interview with The Washington Post, he said that he would like to see that deterrence in place “with or without a deal.” – Jerusalem Post  

Defense Minister Benny Gantz called for a regional alliance and an expansion of intelligence cooperation in order to make up for a lack of inspections on Iran’s nuclear project. – Jerusalem Post  

David Albright and Sarah Burkhard write: Absent IAEA assurance that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful, Iran’s production and use of HEU should be seen as directly or via further enrichment building a stock of material intended for use in nuclear weapons, a way to be more prepared to build nuclear weapons in the event the leadership gives the order. – Institute for Science and International Security   

Benjamin R. Young writes: While competition with Russia and China remains the top priority for U.S policymakers and security officials, understanding the cyber threat posed by Hezbollah needs to be taken into greater account. A devastating cyber attack on U.S critical infrastructure could not only imperil U.S financial interests but put the lives of American citizens in danger as well. – The National Interest 


Basheer was a young Taliban fighter barely out of his teens when the Islamic State group took over his village in eastern Afghanistan, nearly eight years ago. The militants rounded up villagers identified as Taliban and killed them, often beheading them, forcing their families to watch. – Associated Press 

The Taliban has faced international scorn for their sudden reversal on girls’ education. Just days after the decision was announced, the US cancelled planned talks with the Taliban in Qatar, and issued a joint statement with the governments of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the UK, expressing “condemnation” of the decision. – Business Insider 

Lynne O’Donnell writes: The bigger problems are internal divisions. The old guard of the failed republic with ambitions of a return to power include warlords, power brokers, and ethnic leaders such as Abdul Rashid Dostum, who is ethnically Uzbek, and Muhammad Mohaqiq, who is Hazara. They are generally reviled among Afghans who see them as a cause of the republic’s collapse. – Foreign Policy 

Omar Sadr writes: Nonetheless, the Taliban and its secular ideologues present a complicated challenge. This challenge precludes any easy and ready-made solutions. Rather, it requires a strategic approach to mobilize the people and create synergies between different strata from within the democratic constituency. – The National Interest 


Annual Israeli arms sales reached a new record in 2021, according to Defense Ministry figures released Tuesday, with officials citing a sharp increase in demand for Israeli-made weapons. – Times of Israel  

Joint List party leader Aymen Odeh on Monday doubled down on his call to Arab Israelis not to serve in the security forces operating in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, now also calling on Jewish Israelis to also refuse to do so. – Times of Israel  

A man stabbed a police officer at an apartment complex in Ashkelon early Tuesday morning in an attempted terror attack, Israel Police confirmed. – Jerusalem Post  

A thermal mug gifted to Israeli government offices by the Chinese embassy contained a suspicious piece that may be a listening device. – Jerusalem Post  

After nearly a month of deadly violence that has gripped Israel, the country’s military is warning of more potential attacks to come as tensions continue to mount in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. – Newsweek 

An angry Israel said Palestinians vandalized Joseph’s Tomb, a shrine located near Nablus on the West Bank, just days before Easter. – Newsweek 

Jonathan Spyer writes: Might the power of shared religious symbols eventually prove sufficient to unite these populations? If so, the result will be the return of this conflict to its acute form. At present, however, there are few signs of this. Periodic outbreaks of individual terror, with each attack fueling the next, look to be the main active form that this unresolved dispute is set to take. – Wall Street Journal 

David Makovsky writes: The Biden administration does not want to see the Bennett government hobbled, let alone ousted. First, a weakened government would presumably be pressed to build more settlement units in the West Bank, which is incompatible with the administration’s desire to move the Israeli-Palestinian conflict toward an eventual two-state solution. – Washington Institute 

Oded Eran: The pace of Israel depleting its natural gas reserves by local and regional consumption, and preferably with European demand, will also determine how fast it moves towards reliance on renewable energy sources .The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a human, moral and economic disaster. It may be also remembered as a major catalyst in the elimination of dependence on fossil energy resources, not just Russian ones. – Jerusalem Post 

Alon Pinkas writes: Does Israel actually think that in the absence of an agreement – which Israel is prematurely beginning to take credit for – the United States will heed Israel’s warnings and indulge its anxieties? Does Israel believe that the interplay of American, Chinese and Russian interests is playing to its advantage on Iran? […]If there is no agreement – good, bad or ugly – that may very well be the dilemma facing Israel. – Haaretz  

Ahmed Charai writes: The growing tensions highlight the vulnerabilities of a paradigm shift in Israeli-Palestinian relations that has accelerated in recent years: that Palestinian peace talks, moribund for nearly a decade, are not necessary for Israel to be embraced by the Arab world, and that Israel can manage its century-old conflict with the Palestinians through economic and confidence-building measures. – The National Interest 


Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said on Monday he will visit Saudi Arabia during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Al-Jadeed TV reported, in a sign of improving ties with the kingdom following the return of the its ambassador to Beirut after he was withdrawn during a diplomatic rift. – Reuters 

At least one person was killed and seven were injured in an explosion at a scout centre affiliated with the Shi’ite Amal Movement near Sidon in southern Lebanon, officials told Reuters early on Tuesday. – Reuters 

A delegation from the European Union election observers on Monday wrapped up a six-day visit to Lebanon during which they discussed the deployment of observers ahead of the upcoming May 15 parliamentary elections in the crisis-hit country. – Associated Press 

Middle East & North Africa

The U.N. special envoy for Yemen arrived Monday in the capital of Sanaa for the first time since he assumed his post eight months ago for talks with the Houthi rebels, his office said. – Associated Press 

Italian Premier Mario Draghi secured a deal Monday for more natural gas imports across a Mediterranean pipeline from Algeria, marking the latest push by a European Union nation to reduce dependence on Russian energy following its invasion of Ukraine. – Associated Press 

A young Yazidi woman testified on Monday that American aid worker Kayla Mueller told her she was raped by former Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and threatened with death if she tried to escape. – Agence France-Presse 

Syrians are mobilizing to support Ukrainians, sharing hard-earned knowledge gleaned from years of war involving Russian forces, such as surviving shelling, helping refugees and responding to chemical attacks. – Agence France-Presse  

Besides being a fascinating place to tour, visiting Istanbul only a month after President Isaac Herzog started the reset of Israeli-Turkish relations with his visit to Ankara last month can be a bit disorienting. – Jerusalem Post  

Michael Rubin writes: There are ways to support Turkey without throwing Yezidis, Kurds, Armenians, Greeks, and Cypriots under the bus. Perhaps the U.S. can provide Turkey with the same nonlethal support that Turkey insists we limit ourselves to with Cyprus. Simply put, it is national security malpractice to arm and equip a regime intent on attacking victims of genocide and America’s allies. – Washington Examiner 

Crispin Smith, Hamdi Malik, and Michael Knights write: While Sabereen is proud of the position it has built for itself as a premier muqawama media platform, it remains answerable to a higher authority with the power to enforce an extensive shutdown. The mechanism for such a shutdown may have involved the confiscation of Sabereen devices and/or account passwords, real-world punishments (such as withdrawal of funding or physical detentions), or the threat thereof. This is strong evidence of centralized direction, control and financing by either a cross-muqawama leadership or Iranian sponsors. – Washington Institute 

Korean Peninsula

The USS Abraham Lincoln strike group is operating in waters off the Korean peninsula, a U.S. official said, after South Korean media reported that the ships were deployed amid tensions over North Korea’s missile tests. – Reuters 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Monday asked Seoul for any military aid it could provide as he said Russia could only be forced to make peace. – Reuters 

North Korea’s minister of foreign affairs on Monday denounced last week’s suspension of Russia from the U.N. Human Rights Council, calling it an “unreasonable act” led by the United States and the West to maintain political hegemony. – Reuters


Only a month ago, the White House warned China not to amplify Russia’s campaign to sow disinformation about the war in Ukraine. The Chinese efforts have intensified anyway, contradicting and disputing the policies of NATO capitals, even as Russia faced renewed condemnation for the killings in Bucha and other atrocities in recent days. – New York Times  

On March 13, 2022, Professor Tang Yonghong, a deputy director of the Center for Taiwan Research of Xiamen University and a well-known CCP expert on Taiwan issues, published an article, titled “‘Today’s Ukraine, Tomorrow’s Taiwan’ is not Impossible,” in the Chinese media outlet Duowei News Network. Tang stated that, if the U.S. will continue to play the “Taiwan card” and the “Taiwan independence” forces will keep engaging in “separatist activities,” Chinese warships and military aircrafts will keep encircling Taiwan. – Middle East Media Research Institute 

Editorial: One authoritarian state with an iron grip over information’s flow has every reason to aid another in achieving the same goal. By imposing clear rules for government outlets that result in the removal of Chinese channels, social media sites would land another blow in service of Ukraine. But they’d also land a blow against authoritarianism everywhere. – Washington Post  

Editorial: When and whether the Chinese will mount an organized political response to his rule remains unclear. However, the rest of the world should pay close attention to what is happening in Shanghai because China currently aims to expand its power and influence around the world as a replacement for the American-led, rules-based system that dominates today. If Xi is willing to treat his own people this poorly, how should others expect a rising Chinese global hegemon to treat them? – Washington Examiner 

Sergey Radchenko and M.E. Serotte write: Instead of being dragged along by Russia, China should use the leverage that it has with Putin to persuade him to desist. As the Imperial German experience suggests, there is no greater folly for a world power than to cater to the whims of a trigger-happy neighbor. It is Putin, not Biden, who has tied a bell to the tiger’s neck. If Xi knows what is best for China, he will help untie it. – Foreign Affairs 

South Asia

Shehbaz Sharif became prime minister of Pakistan Monday through a vote in Parliament, inheriting a highly polarized political situation and a deteriorating economy. – Wall Street Journal 

President Biden on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India not to increase his country’s reliance on Russian oil and gas, officials said, part of a global effort by the United States to maintain economic pressure on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. – New York Times 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States was monitoring what he described as a rise in human rights abuses in India by some officials, in a rare direct rebuke by Washington of the Asian nation’s rights record. – Reuters 

Sri Lanka’s leaders are showing no signs of stepping down in the face of mounting protests as the government ramps up efforts to find emergency funds to import essential goods and avoid an international default. – Bloomberg 

To ousted leader Imran Khan, Pakistan’s new prime minister is simply a “slave of America” who conspired with the U.S. to remove his government and reorient the nation’s foreign policy. – Bloomberg 

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif unveiled a raft of populist measures and pushed for the speedy development of a key project under Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative in his first policy speech after getting elected. – Bloomberg 

Eyeing China, U.S. and India committed to deeper defense ties in space and cyberspace as well as an expansion of their joint military exercises, officials from both countries announced Monday. – Defense News  

Walter Russell Mead writes: Worse, from an Indian perspective, American policy isn’t helping. The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan effectively strengthened Pakistan at India’s expense and suggested that Team Biden doesn’t see Indian security as a major concern. American attempts to isolate and punish Myanmar’s junta, however morally inspiring, appear to some in Delhi to be making a bad situation worse and creating opportunities for China. – Wall Street Journal 

Mihir Sharma writes: Anti-Americanism is the drug of choice for populists across the world and Khan is no exception. The only element of truth to his story is that his rhetoric may have alienated his most crucial supporters: Pakistan’s military establishment. The generals very conspicuously stayed out of this political battle; previously, when Khan was leading street protests against his predecessors, they had equally conspicuously made clear he enjoyed their support. – Bloomberg 

Simon Henderson writes: The main competition for influencing Pakistan’s geopolitics is between the U.S. and China, the source of most of Pakistan’s weapons and missiles. Beijing funds expensive infrastructure projects and backs Islamabad against India, its own main regional geopolitical rival. But institutionally, Islamabad seems to want to preserve its links with Washington, even though anti-Americanism runs deep. – The Hill 


Taiwan’s military released a handbook on civil defence for the first time on Tuesday, giving citizens survival guidance in a war scenario as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine focuses attention on how the island should respond to China’s pressure. – Reuters 

Last month, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force commissioned JS Kumano, the first of its new Mogami-class multi-role frigates. The warship was built at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries facility in Tamano and is the first of a planned class of 22 ships that are destined to replace the fleet’s aging Abukuma-class destroyer escorts and Asagiri-class light destroyers. – USNI News  

Matthew P. Goodman and Aidan Arasasingham write: There is a pressing need for affirmative U.S. economic engagement in the Indo-Pacific region. The Biden administration’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework is a good first step in that direction. However, a number of substantive and organizational questions will need to be addressed before the framework is seen as credible and durable by its intended audiences. This project’s conversations with regional partners revealed that they are interested and invested in developing a successful IPEF with the U.S. government. – Center for Strategic and International Studies 


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday launched a fresh appeal for military aid as the country prepared for some of the conflict’s heaviest fighting so far, while France sent a police unit from its armed forces to Ukraine to investigate possible war crimes, the first disclosed deployment of military personnel in Ukraine from a North Atlantic Treaty Organization country. – Wall Street Journal 

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said he had a “direct” and “tough” conversation with Vladimir Putin on Monday as he became the first Western leader to meet with the Russian president since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. – Washington Post 

Britain said on Monday it had imposed sanctions on Bosnian Serb separatist leader Milorad Dodik and a second Bosnian-Serb politician for what it described as their attempts to undermine the legitimacy and functionality of Bosnia and Herzegovina. – Reuters 

A Russian journalist who last month protested Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by interrupting a live news broadcast on Russian state television has been hired by a German media company. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty  

OPEC told the European Union on Monday that current and future sanctions on Russia could create one of the worst ever oil supply shocks and it would be impossible to replace those volumes, and signalled it would not pump more. – Reuters 

Editorial: Occupied by the Ukraine crisis and, possibly, underestimating his foes, Mr. Macron has done little campaigning so far. For the next couple of weeks, he must give his all to the electoral fight, for France’s sake and for the sake of Europe’s vital center. – Washington Post  

Editorial: Whatever the eventual solution to the Ukraine crisis looks like, it will require continent-wide resolve. It will probably entail asking EU citizens to bear further costs, such as through further restrictions on Russian oil and gas imports. It will be easier to sell pain if citizens believe everyone, across all of western Europe, is sharing it. Britain was right to go its own way on arming Ukraine, but victory is more likely to come from acting in concert. – Financial Times  

Gerard Baker writes: If Mr. Macron is re-elected, expect to hear conciliatory words from him and his allies around the world about the need to listen more carefully to the concerns of the people. But they will be words only. Their deeds—on everything from immigration, climate, the endless war on traditional cultural values—will speak louder. If words and deeds remain unaligned, the tide of popular frustration will eventually sweep them all away. – Wall Street Journal

Megan A. Stewart writes: The war in Ukraine is unique in that it is an interstate war of conquest and annexation, not seen for many years in the international system. Nevertheless, the United States can still learn key lessons about the dynamics that could define this war from other conflicts, especially those in which Russia is a leading antagonist. Rather than approach the war in Ukraine as special or unique because it is unfolding in Europe, the U.S. should look to the Syrian civil war, which may provide a useful set of lessons learned and policies to consider both in the near and long term. – Middle East Institute 

Yasmeen Serhan writes: For all the attention being paid to the autocratic threat from Russia, the European Union seems belatedly to be coming to the realization that autocrats among its ranks are just as great a risk. […]Even if money is a powerful form of leverage, the threat of losing it is unlikely to have a transformative effect on Orbán, at least in the short term. – The Atlantic 

Torben Schütz, Joseph Verbovszky, and Heiko Borchert write: Industrially, Germany should harness its dominant land-forces industry to create defense-industrial supply webs that actively integrate with suppliers in allied countries. Technology transfer and local industrial developments would increase Europe’s resilience and reduce duplication. Politically, though, this would require Germany to make sure that component exports into allied countries are guaranteed and would not be held hostage to politics in Berlin. – War on the Rocks 


Nigerian vice president Yemi Osinbajo said on Monday he wanted to run for president next February on the ruling All Progressives Party ticket but faces a challenge from another party stalwart who said he also wanted to join the race. – Reuters 

Crowds of Sudanese protesters gathered in parts of the capital and other Sudanese cities on Monday, the third anniversary of Omar al-Bashir’s ouster to protest the prospect of renewed military rule. – Reuters

At least 50 people were killed and dozens abducted by gunmen in Nigeria’s Plateau state, residents and a community leader said on Monday, the latest in a spate of attacks by armed gangs in northern parts of Africa’s most populous nation. – Reuters 

The EU on Monday decided to halt its military training missions in Mali but will keep a presence in the Sahel, the bloc’s top diplomat said on Monday. – Agence France-Presse  

The Americas

More than 9,000 people have been arrested in the past two weeks after legislators gave President Nayib Bukele’s government emergency powers for up to 30 days to curb a record wave of killings that terrorized residents, forcing businesses to close and public events to be canceled. The violence was triggered by an apparent breakdown of a truce between gangs and the government. – Wall Street Journal 

Brazil’s top election authority, the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE), told Reuters on Monday it has invited the European Union for the first time to observe its general elections this year, when President Jair Bolsonaro will seek re-election. – Reuters


Then came the deluge of misinformation: On social media, some argued the images were fake, that the bodies were actors pretending to be dead. Others falsely claimed the Ukrainian military had slain their own countrymen. – Washington Post 

Federal prosecutors working the insider trading and hacking case against a Russian millionaire extradited to the U.S. in December inadvertently gave the Russian’s lawyers materials from separate, non-related cases, the suspect’s lawyer said in a court filing last week. – CyberScoop  

The Israeli spyware maker NSO Group is turning to the U.S. Supreme Court as it seeks to head off a high-profile lawsuit filed by the WhatsApp messaging service. – Associated Press 

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, will give content creators the opportunity to sell virtual items to users in Horizon Worlds, its main platform in the metaverse, the company said Monday. – Agence France-Presse 

Defense News

U.S. Northern Command has asked Congress for an additional $29.8 million to buy information technology equipment and to optimize infrastructure for artificial intelligence and machine learning at its joint operations center with the North American Aerospace Defense Command. – Defense News  

The U.S. Army has sent a one-page wish list to Congress seeking another $5.1 billion beyond its fiscal 2023 budget request to ramp up modernization efforts and more quickly improve its infrastructure. – Defense News 

The US Department of State has approved a possible USD73 million Foreign Military Sale of T-6 Texan aircraft sustainment and related support to Argentina, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said on 8 April. – Janes