Fdd's overnight brief

June 7, 2022

In The News


Employees at the plant, site of the worst nuclear-reactor disaster in history, are now working to recover—and clean up—from the weeks of Russian occupation, which they say left the place in shambles. And while it could have been worse, the experience points to the acute dangers nuclear plants in war zones face. – Wall Street Journal 

U.S. authorities filed a warrant to seize two planes owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, saying that as U.S.-manufactured aircraft, they are subject to U.S. sanctions imposed in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. – Wall Street Journal

Russia escalated its assault against Ukraine on the battlefield Monday, pummeling a city that has emerged as a key battleground in the east as Moscow expanded sanctions against those who have condemned its actions during the war. – Washington Post 

Ukraine said it needs 60 multiple-launch rocket systems to have a chance at defeating Russia, indicating that the number of such weapons pledged by the West so far may not be enough. – Washington Post 

The monks and nuns cloistered in a monastery complex in eastern Ukraine absorb daily bombardments from Russian artillery. And yet they remain loyal to the Russian Orthodox Church. – New York Times  

The Kremlin-backed mayor of the Ukrainian town of Enerhodar was standing on his mother’s porch when a powerful blast struck, leaving him critically wounded. A week later, about 75 miles away, a car packed with explosives rocked the office of another Russian-appointed official in the occupied southern city of Melitopol. – New York Times 

Dozens of Ukrainian fighters killed at the Azovstal steelworks have been returned to Ukraine by the Russian occupiers of the fortress-like plant in the destroyed city of Mariupol, where their last-ditch stand became a symbol of resistance against Moscow’s invasion. – Associated Press 

European Council President Charles Michel accused Russia on Monday of using food supplies as “a stealth missile against developing countries” and blamed the Kremlin for the looming global food crisis, prompting Moscow’s U.N. ambassador to walk out of a Security Council meeting. – Associated Press 

Russia, hit by Western sanctions, has called on the BRICS group of emerging economies to coordinate measures to stabilise the economic situation, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Monday. – Reuters 

Russia’s progress made through May on the southern Popasna axis has stalled over the last week, Britain’s defence ministry said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

Russia has imposed personal sanctions on 61 U.S. officials including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and leading defence and media executives, the Russian foreign ministry said on Monday. – Reuters 

Three decades on, Russia’s assault on Ukraine has thrust defence spending up the agenda again. The US is providing billions of dollars of military assistance to Kyiv. Long complacent about defence, European countries including Germany have pledged to spend more. – Financial Times 

Boasting a quarter of the planet’s gas reserves and more than 5 per cent of its crude oil, Russia’s economy has long been dominated by the energy sector. As the country’s isolation intensifies following the invasion of Ukraine, the question now is what next for its most important industry? – Financial Times 

Estonia’s prime minister has criticised “premature calls for a ceasefire” in Ukraine by other EU leaders, saying the bloc has to be “prepared for a long war”. – Financial Times 

Russian advances have made it “very, very difficult” for Ukraine to win its war with Moscow, according to one of Kyiv’s top security officials who said the country was prepared for prolonged resistance. – Financial Times 

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday that there are “credible reports” suggesting that Russia is stealing grain from Ukraine “to sell for profit.” – Business Insider 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that retaking Severodonetsk will come at a great cost of equipment and troops should the eastern Ukrainian city fall to Russian forces. – Newsweek  

Russian President Vladimir Putin is leveraging the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline that runs from Russia to Germany to weaken Ukraine’s “security posture,” the CEO of the Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine (GTSOU) said in an opinion piece published Monday by The Kyiv Independent. – Newsweek 

The Kremlin is relying on poorly trained, ill-equipped Ukrainian troops who support Russia to carry out some of the most deadly fighting at the center of its current campaign in an attempt to spare the lives of its own forces, British intelligence believes. – U.S. News & World Report 

Even before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russia was preparing residents of Crimea for escalation by splitting Ukrainian society through propaganda in Russian media, Human rights activists and researchers said on June 6 during a press conference, where they presented a study about “Hate speech in online media covering events in Crimea.” – Jerusalem Post 

Russia’s president, calling the 2020s a period of “strengthening economic sovereignty” for his country, has said that this decade will see the formation of an independent and efficient financial system in Russia. In an advance greeting to the participants of the upcoming St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Vladimir Putin also blamed “a wave of global inflation” and “a sharp increase in poverty and food shortages” on “long-term mistakes” made by Western countries as well as the imposition of “illegitimate sanctions.” – New York Sun 

Gideon Rachman writes: Some historians now see the first and second world wars as two stages of the same conflict — separated by a generation of increasingly fragile peace. It may be that future historians will talk about the first and second cold wars — separated by a 30-year era of globalisation. The first cold war ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The second, it seems, began with the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. – Financial Times 


Pensioners protested in Iran on Monday against soaring living costs, according to Fars news agency and social media reports, in a further challenge to authorities grappling with weeks of unrest. – Reuters 

International nuclear monitors warned Iran that their questions over the provenance of uranium traces detected at undeclared sites won’t just go away and the continued failure to provide answers could dog the Islamic Republic for years. – Bloomberg 

World leaders can’t stop Iran from stockpiling enough nuclear material to build weapons of mass destruction, according to the United Nations’s lead nuclear watchdog. – Washington Examiner 

The Biden administration’s dogged determination to revive the dangerously flawed nuclear deal with Iran has not been shaken by a series of attacks launched by Iran’s Islamist dictatorship against the U.S. and its allies. – Washington Examiner 

A diplomatic source has warned that Iran now has enough enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs. The statement was made ahead of a conference of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). – Arutz Sheva 


Israel’s fragile coalition government lost a crucial vote Monday in parliament to pass a routine bill extending Israeli law to settlers living in the West Bank, a result that complicates the country’s rule over the territory and threatens new elections. – Wall Street Journal 

Israel has moved a production vessel to a natural gas field that’s partly claimed by Lebanon, as the Israeli government looks to boost supplies of the fuel to Europe. – Bloomberg 

Two suspected terrorists were arrested in Tel Aviv Monday, foiling a planned attack. – Arutz Sheva 


Hezbollah is ready to take action “including force” against Israeli gas operations in disputed waters once the Lebanese government adopts a clearer policy, the heavily armed movement’s deputy leader told Reuters on Monday. – Reuters 

Lebanon’s president has agreed to invite U.S. envoy Amos Hochstein to Beirut to continue negotiations over the demarcation of its southern maritime border with Israel, the office of the Lebanese caretaker prime minister said on Monday. – Reuters 

Israel’s defence minister said on Monday that the dispute with Lebanon over offshore natural gas deposits was a civilian issue to be resolved diplomatically with U.S. mediation. – Reuters 

Simon Henderson writes: The newly arrived FPSO is due to start producing gas in the third quarter of this year, and the London-based Energean company already has contracts to supply Israel power stations. […]Although this latest row remains for now at the diplomatic level, a significant danger exists of terrorist attack or larger military action. – Washington Institute 

Bilal Y. Saab writes: Strategic considerations regarding why the United States supports the LAF should trump secondary, process-related concerns raised by some U.S. lawmakers. There’s no point in continuing to give dozens of millions of dollars’ worth of U.S. equipment to the LAF every year if the Lebanese soldier — the backbone of the army — is barely able to survive and make ends meet. That would be illogical and a clear waste of U.S. taxpayer money. U.S. interests in Lebanon are best served if Washington adopts a more holistic and strategic view of its assistance to the LAF. – Middle East Institute 

Saudi Arabia

The White House on Monday defended plans for US President Joe Biden to meet with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, despite US intelligence determining that he had ordered the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. – Agence France-Presse 

Saudi Arabia is engaging in serious talks with Israel to build business ties and create new security arrangements as the conservative Islamic kingdom senses a shift among its public in favor of establishing official ties with the majority Jewish state. – Wall Street Journal 

Editorial: The president might also allow time during his visit to talk with another U.S.-supported dictator, Abdel Fatah al-Sissi of Egypt, who will be in Saudi Arabia at the same time for a regional gathering. If so, Mr. Biden should press for the release of Egyptian dissident Alaa Abdel Fattah, 40, a secular pro-democracy activist imprisoned for much of the past decade since Sissi took power in a coup. Modest though they would be, such gestures are the least Mr. Biden must do to retain U.S. consistency and credibility on human rights in the Arab world. – Washington Post 

Douglas London writes: Neither the crown prince nor the U.S. president enjoy the luxury of stepping away from a relationship that has weathered many storms and has served both nations well for over 75 years. And that means the U.S. can’t afford to undermine its credibility and reliability in the kingdom and across the globe by relenting in holding MbS accountable for Khashoggi’s murder, putting an end to his war in Yemen, and forsaking old friends and human rights. […]And U.S. actions must match its words to exercise the international leadership that American strategic interests abroad and democracy at home requires. – Middle East Institute 

Tiana Lowe writes: Unlike Biden’s “historic” release of our strategic oil reserves, which is by definition a time-limited downward pressure on pent-up oil demand, a restoration of our Saudi relationship could offset the small but not insignificant effect of Biden’s (wholly justified and laudable) ban on Russian oil imports. But any successful war on oil prices must start here at home with energy independence. That begins with increasing domestic oil production, not diminishing demand with perilous prices — unless Biden is fully willing to embrace his status as a successor of Jimmy Carter and an enemy to the working class. – Washington Examiner 

Gulf States

A British tourist who took pottery shards from an archaeological site was sentenced on Monday to 15 years in an Iraqi prison after a Baghdad court convicted him of trying to smuggle the artifacts out of the country. – New York Times 

Jordan has reached agreement with Iraq on an electricity grid interconnection that will begin supplies from the start of 2023, Iraqi state news agency INA reported on Monday, citing Jordan’s foreign minister, Ayman Safadi, who is visiting Baghdad. – Reuters 

South Africa on Monday said the United Arab Emirates had arrested Rajesh Gupta and Atul Gupta, brothers who face charges of political corruption under former South African President Jacob Zuma. – Reuters 

The Terrorist Financing Targeting Center (TFTC), consisting of six Gulf states, issued sanctions against a number of individuals, entities and groups affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, Hezbollah and the Saraya al-Ashtar and Saraya al-Mukhtar groups. – Jerusalem Post 

Middle East & North Africa

Syria’s state television reported Tuesday that Israeli missiles targeted Syrian army positions south of the capital of Damascus, causing material damage but no casualties. – Associated Press 

An investigation into an explosion in April that injured several U.S. troops at a base in Syria is now being investigated as an insider attack, according to U.S. officials across multiple reports Monday. Washington Examiner 

Tunisia’s political crisis deepened on Monday as President Kais Saied ordered judges’ salaries cut to take account of strike days after they began a week-long work stoppage in protest at his move to dismiss dozens of them. – Reuters 

Cyprus will lodge a complaint with the United Nations over Turkey’s new financial assistance deal with breakaway Turkish Cypriots that demonstrates Ankara’s “complete control” over them, the president of the ethnically divided island nation said Monday. – Associated Press 

After the controversial, multibillion-dollar purchase of a Russian-made missile defense system, the Turkish government appears to be taking advantage of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine to force a return to the Western procurement system. – Defense News 

Zaha Hassan and Marwan Muasher write: The United States cannot afford to kick the political can down the road until there is a more opportune moment for peacemaking. Palestinians and Israelis have reached a dead end, and the ground is unstable. Prioritizing the Abraham Accords while putting Palestinian rights on ice sends clear but diverging messages to both sides. To the Israelis: you have a free hand to take the West Bank. To the Palestinians: you are on your own. That is a recipe for violence. – Foreign Affairs 

Korean Peninsula

The South Korean and U.S. militaries flew 20 fighter jets over South Korea’s western sea Tuesday in a continued show of force as a senior U.S. official warned of a forceful response if North Korea goes ahead with its first nuclear test explosion in nearly five years. – Associated Press 

North Korean building work expanding key facilities at its main nuclear site at Yongbyon is advancing, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi told a quarterly meeting of his agency’s 35-nation Board of Governors on Monday. – Reuters 

South Korea has approved a plan to buy more Lockheed Martin-made Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles to enhance its defense against North Korea’s ballistic missile threat. – Defense News 


China said on Tuesday that its military has identified Australian military aircraft and warned them to leave after Australia said fighter aircraft intercepted one of its military surveillance planes in the South China Sea. – Reuters 

Diplomatic tensions between China and Canada are rising again, with each country accusing the other of using their military aircraft flying near North Korea of provocation and harassment. – Reuters 

Tom Rogan writes: Also, as usual, China’s response to Australia’s condemnation has only made things worse. Because, as usual, Beijing is furiously denying it did anything wrong […]As other nations deliberate how far to go in supporting U.S. efforts to counter Chinese aggression, incidents like this one can only persuade those nations that they face a simple choice: Join the U.S. orbit or accept their perpetual bow to Beijing. – Washington Examiner 

South Asia

After a spokeswoman for India’s ruling party made disparaging remarks about the prophet Muhammad during a recent televised debate, rioters took to the streets in the northern city of Kanpur, throwing rocks and clashing with police. It was only the beginning of a controversy that would have global repercussions. – Washington Post 

Authorities are investigating the safety measures taken to handle hazardous materials at a container depot in southeastern Bangladesh, where a fire set off a series of explosions, killing at least 41 people and injuring nearly 200, according to government officials and volunteers. – Wall Street Journal 

Sri Lanka’s cash-strapped government will need at least $5 billion in the next six months to maintain basic standards of living, including some $3.3 billion for fuel imports, the country’s prime minister told parliament on Tuesday. – Reuters 

China appears to be shifting its strategic focus toward Southeast Asia and Africa, Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said, noting that South Asian countries in financial trouble aren’t getting the same attention from Beijing as before. – Bloomberg 

Several Gulf nations, including India’s key energy partner Saudi Arabia, have expressed displeasure over derogatory comments made by members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party on Prophet Muhammad, sparking off a diplomatic row. – Bloomberg 

Walter Russell Mead writes: India and the U.S. are raucously democratic societies, and their foreign policies cannot ignore public opinion. Managing this critical relationship is never going to be easy. Building deeper ties between the two societies will help; so too will quiet, low-key conversations aimed at preventing blowups before they occur. Both sides need this relationship; we both need to focus on making it work. – Wall Street Journal 


China is secretly building a naval facility in Cambodia for the exclusive use of its military, with both countries denying that is the case and taking extraordinary measures to conceal the operation, Western officials said. – Washington Post 

Tens of millions of dollars disappeared from Afghan government bank accounts during the Taliban takeover in August, according to a U.S. government watchdog report released Monday, the latest in a series detailing the collapse of the Afghan government and its military. – Washington Post  

It is wrong to label Taiwan’s main opposition party the Kuomintang (KMT) as being pro-China as it has always been pro-U.S. and is dedicated to defending the island though also to talking to Beijing, its chairman said in Washington. – Reuters 

Myanmar’s ruling junta has condemned what it called “reckless and interfering” foreign statements about a rare execution order against two prominent opposition figures, accusing them of aiding terrorism by demanding their release. – Reuters 

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson will travel to Sydney this week to meet their counterparts in Australia’s new government, which took office late last month. – Bloomberg 

Taiwan came into renewed focus as an increasingly dangerous flashpoint just days after Biden’s inauguration last year when Chinese warplanes simulated missile attacks on a US aircraft carrier sailing in the vicinity of the country. Over the following months, China then boosted the tempo and size of fighter jet and bomber sorties near Taiwan. – Financial Times 

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has promoted his finance minister to his deputy as part of a succession plan, but the timing of the handover is unclear. – Associated Press 

The island nations that stretch across the South Pacific — sparsely populated atolls and volcanic archipelagos, known more for tourism than lucrative natural resources — may not seem, at first glance, to be a major geopolitical prize. Yet, Pacific Island countries have become the latest arena for a great power contest between the United States and China. – CNN 

A Fiji court has ruled a Russian-owned superyacht be removed from the Pacific island nation by the United States because it was a waste of money for Fiji to maintain the vessel amid legal wrangling over its seizure. – Reuters 


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson survived a cliffhanger vote of no confidence by his fellow Conservative Party lawmakers Monday evening, prevailing despite deep disgust over lockdown-breaking parties at Downing Street and broad discontent with his leadership, which one former ally branded a “charade.” – Washington Post 

Since Russia invaded, NATO nations have upgraded Ukraine’s arsenal with increasingly sophisticated tools, with more promised, like the advanced multiple-launch rocket systems pledged by the United States and Britain. But training soldiers how to use the equipment has become a significant and growing obstacle — one encountered daily by Junior Sgt. Dmytro Pysanka and his crew, operating an aged antitank gun camouflaged in netting and green underbrush in southern Ukraine. – New York Times 

The war in Ukraine and its knock-on effects have forced Bosnian Serb nationalists to delay plans to pull their region out of Bosnia’s national institutions, their leader Milorad Dodik said on Monday. – Reuters 

The United States sanctioned two prominent Bosnian officials Monday, accusing them of threatening the peace, stability and prosperity in their country which has never fully recovered from its brutal inter-ethnic war in the 1990s. – Associated Press 

Editorial: The broader lesson is that parties of the right fail when they lose sight of the free-market policies that produce economic opportunity and growth. The Tory slogan about “levelling up” parts of Britain left behind sounds like a joke when real incomes are falling. This is the mistake the new redistributionists on the American right want Republicans to make, cheered on by the progressive media. GOP presidential candidates might study Mr. Johnson’s tribulations before they try it. – Wall Street Journal  

Jason Furman writes: Both the U.S. and Europe have a combination of persistent domestic demand-driven inflation and transitory global supply-driven inflation, but the ratios are very different in the two economies. It would be a mistake for U.S. policy makers to overstate the degree to which inflation is global and neglect addressing the many U.S. specific causes. Conversely, Europeans should take a more measured approach and not overreact to the disproportionate amount of global inflation they are facing. Administering different treatments could make both families happier in the end. – Wall Street Journal  

Henry Olsen writes: There is no obvious front-runner to succeed Johnson, which is one reason some chose to back him on Monday. But after this debacle, many will start to call themselves to challenge for leadership. Others will follow suit rather than miss the tide that “taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.” We will soon see who has the cunning, charisma and skill to reunite a badly fractured and despondent party. […]Party and country now need someone new, and it will get that person. The sooner the better. – Washington Post 

Katy Balls writes: The prime minister, of course, has defied the odds multiple times. But as Mr. Johnson attempts to move on from a painful, authority-draining vote, it’s hard to escape the feeling that this cat is on his ninth and final life. – New York Times 

Therese Raphael writes: Unlike the Tory divisions over Brexit, the vote Monday was not fundamentally about policy so much as about the personality and competence of the prime minister. But underneath that is a profound policy-based question: What is the Tory vision for the country? Johnson lives to fight another day, but his party is stuck with the same dilemma it started with. – Bloomberg 

Anthony H. Cordesman writes: It is, however, dangerous for the U.S., NATO, the EU, and America’s broader range of strategic partners to focus on the military dimensions of the Ukraine War and to fail focusing on its evolving civil and political patterns and the near certainty of enduring confrontation with at least Russia, and with some combination of Russia and China. The Ukraine War is not the primary cause of these trends, but it is very likely to be a major catalyst in making them worse. It also seems all too likely that the optimism that shaped the approach to globalism was based more on comforting illustrations than reality. – Center for Strategic and International Studies  

Michael Lopate and Bear Braumoeller write: Many across the United States and Europe, the authors included, have a deep desire to help Ukraine, a nation that is suffering a monstrous injustice. Doing all they can to end the conflict is the virtuous choice, and we are certainly not arguing against a robust Western response. […]We want to underscore the unpredictability and danger of this path. If this conflict does escalate, if Russia decides reducing cities to rubble is its only path to victory, or if NATO countries decide to intervene directly, the potential for catastrophe is far higher than most people realize, and vastly too high for comfort. – War on the Rocks 

Tom McTague writes: Britain today is a country where religion has been replaced with a kind of state Shintoism in which the monarch is raised in exaltation while her chief ministers are ritually sacrificed to cleanse the nation of its sins. And all the while, nothing ever really changes. Deep-seated problems go unaddressed, left to fester, passed from one prime minister to the next, none of whom seems capable of even seeing the scale of the challenges they face, let alone addressing them. Johnson is just the latest prime minister to fail spectacularly at the job, though in his case, in uniquely grubby circumstances. He won’t be the last. – The Atlantic 

Mark Episkopos writes: With the war entering its hundredth day, the aims being pursued by the belligerents are as incompatible as they have ever been. Neither Russia nor Ukraine and its Western backers appear so much as willing to entertain a swift negotiated settlement and proposed pathways to regional de-escalation. The facts on the ground all point to an inescapably grim prognosis: the worst is yet to come. – The National Interest 


Two soldiers were killed in fighting against M23 militants in eastern Congo on Monday, the army said – the latest violence in a long-standing conflict that has escalated in recent weeks and caused a diplomatic rift with Rwanda. – Reuters 

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is facing a criminal investigation after a revelation that he failed to report the theft of about $4 million in cash from his farm in northern Limpopo province. – Associated Press 

Mali’s military rulers announced on Monday they would delay until March 2024 a return to civilian rule following double coups that have been denounced by countries in the region and foreign powers. – Agence France-Presse 

Latin America

Brazil ordered a Navy search team to scour a remote corner of the Amazon rainforest near Peru Monday after a British journalist went missing with one of the country’s top indigenous experts. – Wall Street Journal  

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro praised the “courage and clarity” of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador for choosing not to attend this week’s Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles. – Reuters 

Brazil has initiated discussions with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) aimed at clearing the way for it to use nuclear fuel in a submarine for the first time, the U.N. watchdog’s chief, Rafael Grossi, said on Monday. – Reuters 

The Biden administration’s decision to exclude Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba from the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles this week was a “mistake,” Chilean President Gabriel Boric said on Monday. – Reuters 

The Dominican Republic’s minister of the environment and natural resources — the son of a former president — was shot to death in his office by a close friend Monday, the office of the president said in a statement. – Associated Press 

The Americas

The United States has asked Mexico to probe alleged worker rights violations at an auto-parts plant owned by Italian-French carmaker Stellantis, the fourth such complaint under a revised trade deal, U.S. officials said on Monday. – Reuters 

President Joe Biden will announce this week at the Summit of the Americas an economic partnership for the Western hemisphere focusing on promoting economic recovery by building on existing trade agreements, U.S. administration officials said on Monday. – Reuters 

Editorial: But the “three-point plan” to stop inflation that Biden released last week got universally panned (mostly because it was empty), so the White House set off a new trial balloon. Problem is, the impact of dropping the tariffs won’t be all that large for most Americans (unless you’re eager to buy solar panels). To make a real difference on inflation, Biden needs to start reversing his own policies. – New York Post 

Bill Wirtz writes: China is already the leading trading partner for an increased number of countries in the world, particularly in developing nations. The United States cannot afford to fall behind in the world food trade and should guarantee its competitive edge to support its allies in times of crisis. – The Hill 

Erin Dwinell and Hannah Davis write: The ramifications of the Biden administration’s open-border policies have already been exposed. If terrorists can easily pose as asylum-seekers and abuse the laws so egregiously, it raises the question: How many domestic terrorist attacks are currently being planned? The Biden border crisis is not just a border crisis, nor just an illegal immigration problem. It’s the most obvious, preventable national security threat we face. Congress must do everything possible to neutralize that threat. – The Daily Signal 


An Australian court found Alphabet Inc.’s Google liable for defamatory videos posted on its YouTube platform that targeted a senior politician, a reminder that social-media companies could be held responsible in some jurisdictions for what users put online. – Wall Street Journal 

The phones of Ukrainian officials have been targeted by hackers as Russia pursues its invasion of Ukraine, a senior cybersecurity official said Monday. – Reuters 

A prominent ransomware group claimed early Monday it had successfully attacked cybersecurity giant Mandiant and would release company files. By the end of the day it posted a note slamming Mandiant’s recent research linking it to a separate, sanctioned, cybercrime group. – CyberScoop 

Stefan Soesanto writes: The most impactful hacking groups and hacktivists in recent years, such as Phineas Fisher, the people that breached Mossack Fonseca, or the individual that supplied the Xinjiang Police Files, operated in ways that are so far removed from the hacktivism seen amidst the war in Ukraine. For now though, while embarrassing for the Russian government and private entities, most of the data dumps stemming from the war in Ukraine are largely inconsequential. – The National Interest 


With two demonstrator aircraft logging hundreds of hours in the European and Pacific theaters, the U.S. Army is closing in on a replacement for its aging Guardrail turboprop aircraft that provides intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance with a faster, more capable jet. – Defense News 

The U.S. Army said it verified that military services and international forces participating in Project Convergence this year can exchange information and connect over long distances, a critical milestone ahead of the capstone experiment this fall. – Defense News 

Marines with 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment will join ground forces along with a fleet of ships, submarines and aircraft from 26 countries for this year’s multinational, Rim of the Pacific maritime exercise off Hawaii, officials told USNI News. – USNI News 

The Army on Monday activated the new 11th Airborne Division in Alaska, a historic move that brings the service’s 12,000 soldiers in the state under a single banner. – Military.com 

The US Navy (USN) has detailed the ‘exportable variant’ of the Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter that was announced for Israel, telling Janes on 6 June that it is to feature newly developed systems and sensors. – Janes 

Seth Cropsey writes: The Sea Services — and the military more broadly — lack a concrete understanding of their roles in an Indo-Pacific war. The Navy cannot simply throw money at its issues; it must return to basics and think through the nature of the strategic problem. Only then it can match its capabilities to its needs. – The Hill 

Caleb Larson writes: Though the USS District of Columbia is “scheduled for delivery in 2027 and expected to begin its first deployment in 2030,” the class “is expected to have a service life into the 2080s.” And, once in service, the Columbia-class will be the world’s stealthiest and most potent class of submarines the world has ever seen. – The National Interest