Fdd's overnight brief

March 1, 2022

In The News


Talks between Russia and Ukraine on a potential cease-fire ended with no deal on Monday as Moscow intensified its assault, killing at least 10 civilians in a shelling attack on residential neighborhoods in the eastern city of Kharkiv and pursuing efforts to seize the capital, Kyiv. – Wall Street Journal 

The U.S. is expelling a dozen Russian diplomats assigned to the United Nations in New York on allegations that they are intelligence agents, after what people familiar with the matter say was a yearslong debate within the U.S. government about the value of providing them with visas. – Wall Street Journal 

Russian forces, frustrated by the tenacious defense of major cities by Ukrainian soldiers and ad hoc civilian militias, gathered menacing strength Tuesday, as a projectile appeared to strike near Kharkiv’s administration building and a convoy of troops and artillery more than 40 miles long approached Kyiv. – Washington Post 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree Monday temporarily lifting visa requirements for foreign volunteers who wish to enter Ukraine and join the fight against Russian forces. The move is part of a broader push to galvanize foreigners into joining what Zelensky has characterized as a battle to defend “security in Europe.” – Washington Post 

The ruble cratered, losing a quarter of its value, and the central bank shuttered stock trading in Moscow through Tuesday. […]Compounding the pain was the decision by Western countries to restrict the Russian Central Bank’s access to much of its $643 billion in foreign currency reserves, undoing some of the Kremlin’s careful efforts to soften the impact of potential sanctions and making it difficult for the bank to prop up the ruble. – New York Times

Three members of Russia’s rubber-stamp Parliament have criticized their country’s war in Ukraine, a rare episode of dissent from within the Russian establishment. – New York Times  

President Joe Biden and other top US officials played down the threat of Russia’s “dangerous” nuclear mobilization Monday as the war in Ukraine intensified with more arms being sent to Kyiv by the West. – Agence France-Presse 

Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskiy said on Monday it was time for the West to consider imposing a no-fly zone for Russian missiles, planes and helicopters in response to Russian shelling of the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. – Reuters 

The harsh sanctions imposed on Russia and the resulting crash of the ruble have the Kremlin scrambling to keep the country’s economy running. For Vladimir Putin, that means finding workarounds to the Western economic blockade even as his forces continue to invade Ukraine. – Associated Press 

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Monday he plans to open an investigation “as rapidly as possible” into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine. – Associated Press 

Canada will supply anti-tank weapons and upgraded ammunition to Ukraine to support its fight against a Russian invasion, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday, and it will ban imports of Russian crude oil. – Reuters  

The separatist forces in Donetsk say they have established two corridors for the evacuation of civilians from Mariupol, an indication that a large attack on the key Azov Sea port could be imminent. – Associated Press 

The presidents of eight central and eastern European nations on Monday called on European Union member states to immediately grant Ukraine a EU candidate country status and open membership talks according to an open letter published on Monday. – Reuters 

The European Union on Monday added top Kremlin-linked oligarchs and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman to its sanctions blacklist as part of its punishment for the Ukraine invasion. – Times of Israel 

As intense fighting continues in Ukraine, the country is offering Russian troops amnesty and money to surrender, Ukraine’s defense ministry said Monday on its official social media channels. – Defense One 

A former Israel Defense Forces soldier currently fighting with the Ukrainian military in the capital city of Kyiv told Israeli news site N12 on Monday that he is shocked by the Russian army’s poor conduct of the war, saying, “they have no motivation and no capabilities.” – Algemeiner  

International football governing body FIFA has expelled Russia from competing in the World Cup due to its invasion of Ukraine. – Jerusalem Post  

Editorial: Both Russia and the United States maintain strategic nuclear weapons on launch-ready alert, a relic of the Cold War. But the risks of accident or miscalculation are not a relic and have not gone away. Mr. Putin has committed an act of utter folly by injecting reckless nuclear weapons threats into the volatile mix he has created in Ukraine. – Washington Post  

Editorial: None of this means economic sanctions will win the Ukraine war. That takes military power. Sanctions take time for the pain to sink in, and Mr. Putin is willing to let Russians suffer for a long time to achieve his goals. But sanctions will make the war harder to fund, and they are already increasing the economic and political costs of waging it. – Wall Street Journal  

Mark Hannah writes: “Never interrupt your enemy when he’s making a mistake,” Napoleon Bonaparte advised. Mr. Putin appears to be in the middle of a major strategic miscalculation. His overconfident assessment of his own power has been matched by his underestimation of Ukrainian resolve. Tempted by visions of Russian troops being greeted as liberators, Mr. Putin has exposed himself as a naive idealist. Mr. Biden may yet prove to be the true realist. – Wall Street Journal  

James Bacchus writes: President Biden and his administration should be leading a charge at the trade organization’s headquarters in Geneva to kick Mr. Putin and his crony government out of the WTO by seeking broad support for an amendment that would deny the Russian Federation its rights and relieve it of its obligations as a member of the WTO. – Wall Street Journal  

Gerard Baker writes: As we rush to channel funds and arms to Kyiv and cut Russia adrift from the global economy, and as the Ukrainians continue to resist bravely, it still seems probable that Mr. Putin will achieve at least his immediate goal: the subjugation of Ukraine to his own authority. – Wall Street Journal 

Adam Taylor writes: But so far, the Russian president has refused to budge on his key demands, which include Ukrainian recognition of Crimea as a part of Russia, “demilitarization and denazification” of Ukraine and formal neutrality. Even if Putin is cornered, there may be no backing down. – Washington Post  

Alexander S. Vindman writes: Now that we’ve woken up, we must decide if we’re willing to learn from the past and change the course of history. We cannot just watch as the Kremlin assails a democratic nation and erodes the foundations of everything the international community has built. The onus is on the West to buttress Ukrainian ferocity on the battlefield using its immense economic resources, diplomatic influence and military power. – Washington Post  

David Miliband writes: Whereas the end of the Cold War marked a victory for accountability over impunity, the war in Ukraine risks a return to a world where the powerful do what they please and the weak do what they must. Mr. Putin’s attempt to rewind the geopolitical clock by 30 years will reverberate for the next 30. There is no time for moral complacency. – New York Times  

Lawrence J. Haas writes: Rather than impose sanctions incrementally, the United States and its allies should deploy every financial weapon at their disposal against Russia. The costs of doing so, in higher energy prices and other economic pain, could be greatly outweighed by the turmoil it may prevent down the road. – 19Fortyfive 

Noah Rothman writes: At the moment, Putin has a lot to prove, and the stakes as he views them are quite possibly existential—both for his regime and the greater Russia he has set out to reconstitute. As unappetizing as the prospect is, Western policymakers must consider the circumstances that Russia needs in order to confidently deescalate this situation. – Commentary Magazine 

Kori Schake writes: The UN may not have been able to prevent Russian aggression, but it served its purpose of forcing accountability onto governments for their positions. Kenya’s ambassador to the UN reminded us all that smaller powers, countries that suffered imperial conquest, are some of the biggest beneficiaries of a system that affirms “the sovereign equality of states, and states’ inviolable rights to territorial integrity and political independence.” – The Atlantic 


Iranian and U.S. officials are entering a crucial week of negotiations to restore the 2015 nuclear deal, with significant differences remaining on several key issues and new concerns that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could complicate the talks. – Wall Street Journal 

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday that the war in Ukraine should be stopped and accused the United States, which he called a “mafia-like regime,” of creating the crisis. – Reuters  

Iran said on Monday efforts to revive a 2015 nuclear deal could succeed if the United States took a political decision to meet Tehran’s remaining demands, as months of negotiations enter what one Iranian diplomat called a “now or never” stage. – Reuters 

A nuclear deal is at hand if Washington makes up its mind, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh, said in a tweet early on Tuesday. – Reuters 

Saeid Golkar writes: Learning from the Islamic Republic’s history, the third wave of the cultural revolution will fail to create an obedient university system or train ideologically devoted students. Instead, it will cost Iran dearly by expelling the brightest minds from national institutions and convincing them to leave the country. – Washington Institute  

Yonah Jeremy Bob writes: If sanctions are removed and no one is pressing them to answer the IAEA’s annoying and troublesome questions, there is literally no motivation whatsoever to make the JCPOA “longer and stronger” as the Biden administration pledged. There is also nothing to hold over Tehran to prevent it from massively expanding its centrifuge fleet for enriching uranium when limits on that expire in 2025. This is what is at stake if the connection between Mossad’s findings and the IAEA are broken in a potential impending deal. – Jerusalem Post  


Tens of thousands of Afghans, the largest single influx of refugees to come to America since the end of the Vietnam War, faced that choice during the frantic dash to get out of their country last summer after the Taliban swept into Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, unopposed. – New York Times

The Taliban have been carrying out extensive house searches around the Afghan capital, according to residents, a policy the group’s spokesman said was to detect criminal activity but that some Western diplomats said had targeted ordinary citizens. – Reuters 

The Taliban administration’s announcement that it would restrict Afghans from leaving the country under certain circumstances drew concern from the United States and the United Kingdom this week amidst fears they could hamper ongoing evacuation efforts. – Reuters  

The U.S. deported its first Afghan evacuee back to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan earlier this month due to a criminal record discovered after their arrival, Axios has learned. – Axios  


President Tayyip Erdogan on Monday repeated that Turkey could not abandon its ties with Russia or Ukraine, amid Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, adding Ankara would implement a pact on passage from its straits to prevent an escalation of the war. – Reuters

Senior advisers for Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday agreed to intensify efforts for talks between Ukraine and Russia to yield a ceasefire, Turkish media reported. – Reuters 

Turkey has closed off the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits to warships from any country, whether or not they border the Black Sea, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. – USNI News 


Israeli forces and armed Palestinians exchanged fire during an Israeli arrest raid in a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank early Tuesday, leaving two Palestinians dead, Israeli and Palestinian officials said. – Associated Press  

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid warned the other ministers at Monday’s Cabinet meeting that, following the situation in Ukraine, sanctions will soon be imposed on hundreds of individuals – including Russian oligarchs, some of whom have Israeli citizenship. – Arutz Sheva 

Israel Defense Forces soldiers thwarted an attempt by Palestinian assailants to attack Israeli drivers near the West Bank town of Halhul on Monday night, the military said. – Times of Israel  

Israel is studying the impact of stiff international sanctions against Russia, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said Monday. – Jerusalem Post 

The final portion of Israel’s 100-ton humanitarian aid package to Ukraine was prepared for transport Tuesday morning at Ben Gurion Airport, with the El Al plane carrying the aid — preceded by two additional flights in the past hours — set to take off later in the day to Warsaw, for expected delivery in Ukraine this week. – Times of Israel  

Editorial: Israel has put out statements critiquing the war and has held calls with both sides. And while Israel could potentially serve as a mediator, it would serve Jerusalem best to stay neutral and not become overly involved in this conflict. Israel is in the Middle East and should maintain its close alliance with the US and Europe, without becoming a focal point in the war in Ukraine. – Jerusalem Post   

Ilan Sheinfeld writes: If Putin succeeds in Ukraine, China will do it in Taiwan and Iran will do it in Lebanon. Thus, before we understand what happened here, we may find ourselves in World War III. Then, not only the Ukrainians, but also the Israelis may find themselves as refugees under fire. Therefore, Israel must decide where on the map of the world order it wants to be. Israel needs to make it clear that it opposes any such aggressive move on the part of Russia because Israel itself might become one of the next in line. – Jerusalem Post  

Seth J. Frantzman writes: You can see this by their social media backgrounds and how some not only back Russia and the Assad regime but are anti-Israel and anti-Kurdish. They don’t actually back the “resistance” of every group. They primarily are obsessed with Israel. This obsession is usually driven by antisemitism, and their talking points about Ukraine are merely a distraction. – Jerusalem Post

Arabian Peninsula

The United Arab Emirates campaigned hard for a seat on the U.N. Security Council in the country’s international push to highlight the 50-year anniversary of its formation. But it got more than it bargained for with Russia’s war on Ukraine. – Associated Press 

The U.N. Security Council imposed an arms embargo on Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis on Monday amid questions by some diplomats over links between Russia’s support for the move and abstentions by the United Arab Emirates on two council votes on Ukraine. – Reuters

Nabil Hetari writes: Until the Houthis accept that they cannot take over all of Yemen, the war and the humanitarian crisis will drag on. Therefore, escalation between the Houthis and the Emiratis will likely become a protracted challenge for Abu Dhabi. – Washington Institute  

Middle East & North Africa

From a tent in the rebel-held pocket of Syria, Ahmad Rakan has closely followed news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. More than two years ago, a Russian airstrike destroyed his house in a nearby village during a months-long Syrian government offensive backed by Moscow’s firepower that drove him and tens of thousands of others from their homes. – Associated Press 

As western powers have ratcheted up financial, diplomatic and military pressure on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah have been presenting Moscow’s action as a pertinent warning to those moderate Arab states willing to align with Israel and the US. – Algemeiner  

Top wheat importer Egypt was forced to yet again ditch efforts to buy the grain it needs to subsidize bread for its people, highlighting the threat that the Russia-Ukraine war poses to the world’s food needs. – Bloomberg  

Josh Rogin writes: The Syrian opposition, which has been attacked by Russian forces for almost seven years, has some advice for Ukrainians on surviving Russian military assaults and fighting invading Russian soldiers. They say that each day Ukrainians resist Russian aggression and fight for their homeland is a victory against Russian President Vladimir Putin. – Washington Post 

Korean Peninsula

North Korea said Monday it tested cameras to be installed on a spy satellite, a suggestion that it’ll likely soon conduct a banned long-range rocket launch to modernize its weapons arsenal and apply more pressure on the Biden administration. – Associated Press 

North Korea broke its silence on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Monday, blaming the “hegemonic policy” and “high-handedness” of the United States and the West. – Reuters 

The United States and 10 other countries condemned North Korea’s latest ballistic missile launch as “unlawful and destabilizing” and urged the U.N. Security Council to condemn it as well because it violates multiple council resolutions. – Agence France-Presse  


With petitions, poetry and one-man protests, a small but increasingly bold contingent of Chinese residents has spoken out against Moscow’s incursions against Ukraine directly contradicting their government’s firm support of its Russian partner. – Washington Post  

China’s rubber-stamp parliament begins its annual meeting on Saturday, when it is expected to unveil more stimulus to ease a growth slowdown that could fuel job losses in a politically sensitive year, with war in Ukraine adding fresh uncertainty. – Reuters  

When China’s President Xi Jinping issued his traditional Lunar New Year wishes from the country’s coal heartland in January, the subtext was clear: Beijing is not ready to kick its coal addiction, despite promises to slash emissions. – Agence France-Presse  

Sanctions leveled on Russia will ultimately cause more damage to the U.S. and its allies, a research group that advises Chinese President Xi Jinping said, as Beijing weighs how much backing to give its close diplomatic partner. – Bloomberg 

Chinese officials have said their relations with Russia continue to deepen despite the international backlash regarding Moscow’s military moves against Ukraine, but they dismissed speculation that Beijing had endorsed the Kremlin’s plan to attack the neighboring country. – Newsweek 

Stuart Lau writes: The issue here is that neither the Russians nor the Chinese see each other’s currency as useful. Indeed, as recently as early February, Russia and China agreed on a natural gas deal in euros, not their own currencies. – Politico 

Ivo H. Daalder writes: Containing Russia will therefore require paying attention to China. One way to increase the West’s leverage over Beijing would be to strengthen the political, economic, and military ties between the advanced democracies in Asia, Europe, and North America. An expanded G-7, for example, could include Australia and South Korea as well as the involvement of the heads of the EU and NATO. These nations and organizations will need to devise common strategies and policies not only to contain Russia but also to compete effectively with China. – Foreign Affairs 

Emily Schrader writes: The international community must learn from the example of Ukraine and prepare for such a possibility. It must take appropriate steps now, rather than “if and when” China takes action against Taiwan – another democratic ally of the West. – Jerusalem Post  

South Asia

Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan announced Monday that he was slashing fuel and electricity prices to help offset rising global energy prices because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. – New York Times  

A major Pakistani opposition party launched a march on February 27 aimed at toppling the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty  

While western nations condemned Russia’s aggression, New Delhi’s loyalty to its longstanding partner held firm. India, as a temporary UN Security Council member, abstained from voting on a resolution to condemn Russia’s invasion last week, along with China and the United Arab Emirates. – Financial Times  


A delegation of former senior U.S. defence and security officials sent by President Joe Biden arrived in Taipei on Tuesday on a visit denounced by China and happening in the midst of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. – Reuters 

Asia-Pacific markets rose on Tuesday as investors navigated the changing situation in Russia and Ukraine. – CNBC  

Japan on Tuesday joined the United States and other allies in slapping additional sanctions on Russia, including freezing assets of the country’s leaders and three financial institutions. – Reuters 

Australia has committed A$70 million ($50 million) to fund lethal defensive weapons for Ukraine, including missiles and ammunition, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday. – Reuters


Just last week, many European countries were still so somnolent about the threat Russia posed to Ukraine that Germany’s spy chief was caught unawares in Kyiv when the Kremlin invasion started. He had to be extracted in a special operation. – Washington Post  

Just a few years ago, Volodymyr Zelensky was playing Ukraine’s president on television. Now, he’s a real-life wartime leader directing his outgunned country in its fight against the Russian invasion. – Washington Post  

In a sharp break with its long-standing neutrality, Switzerland on Monday announced that it would join the European Union in imposing sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, filling a key gap in Western efforts to curb the Kremlin following widespread criticism of the Swiss government. – Washington Post  

Nations in Europe are opening the door to a historic wave of refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine, breaking with the continent’s past resistance to asylum seekers from the Muslim world and Africa, and embracing hundreds of thousands of new arrivals who some leaders are hailing as culturally and ethnically European. – Washington Post  

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has unified the West — and much of the world — in near-universal condemnation, prompting even friendly nations such as China to urge Moscow to settle the conflict through negotiations. But at least one leader has stood out as a staunch supporter of an increasingly isolated Russia: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. – Washington Post  

Three decades after a Soviet-built wall crumbled in this city, Germany shook up its defense and energy-security strategies in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a historic reversal of a foreign-policy tradition that long substituted trade and dialogue for hard power. – Wall Street Journal 

Ukraine’s vice prime minister said on Monday that internet terminals sent by Elon Musk, which were designed to work with satellites orbiting in space to provide online access, had arrived in the country. – New York Times

The Biden administration rejected calls for a “no-fly” zone over Ukraine, arguing that it would be an “escalatory” measure. – Washington Examiner 

Finnish MPs will debate how to handle a petition calling for a vote on NATO membership on Tuesday as a poll showed a historic change in attitude in the traditionally non-aligned country after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. – Agence France-Presse  

The European Union is preparing for any disruptions of natural gas supplies from Russia as it weighs the risk Moscow could halt shipments in retaliation for sanctions. – Bloomberg 

The U.S. for the first time has approved the direct delivery of Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine as part of a package approved by the White House last week. – Defense News 

Editorial: Wars of aggression have a way of speeding up history and reshuffling allegiances. The U.S. and Europe, which have the most at stake after Ukraine, should note well who is on their side, who is trimming, and who is siding with the autocrat in the Kremlin whose forces fire cluster bombs into urban neighborhoods. – Wall Street Journal  

Editorial: The Greens in Berlin are showing they can adapt to a changed world and are prepared to grapple honestly with its challenges even at the expense of their climate concerns. It’s a lesson the British and North American left could stand to learn. – Wall Street Journal  

Michelle Goldberg writes: This means that even if a democratic Ukraine wasn’t an existential threat to Putin before, it is now, since its survival would mean his humiliation. In 2019, I was intrigued by how earnestly Ukrainians I met spoke of liberal democracy. Perhaps they’d won it so recently that they hadn’t had time to grow cynical. Their idealism has turned out to be a powerful weapon. They’ve shown older democracies what it means to fight for their own putative values, leading to an almost ecstatic global outpouring of support. – New York Times  

Joseph Bosco writes: But the original fatal flaw in Western strategy — if it can be called a strategy — was the constant obeisance to the wishes of the “bright, tough” Russian dictator by deferring indefinitely the application of Georgia and Ukraine to join NATO, all the while professing to hold an “open door.” After all, Putin must not be “provoked.” Failing to arm those democracies properly added tragic injury to timorous insult. – The Hill


A court in the Democratic Republic of Congo has sidelined the Chinese owner of one of the world’s largest copper and cobalt mines, a major victory for the Congolese government as it seeks to become a bigger player in the global clean energy revolution. – New York Times  

The African Union (AU) said on Monday that it was disturbed by reports that African citizens in Ukraine are being refused the right to cross borders to safety as they try to flee the conflict in Ukraine. – Reuters 

A national conference in Burkina Faso has adopted a charter that will allow a junta that seized power in the West African state in January to lead a 3-year transition, a Reuters reporter said. – Reuters 

Around 20 people in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo were killed in a fresh attack by the suspected Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel group, monitors said on Monday. – Agence France-Presse 


Facebook and TikTok said Monday that the companies would shut down access to Kremlin-controlled media sites RT and Sputnik in Europe, setting the stage for retaliation from Russia. – Washington Post  

For more than a decade, military commanders and outside experts have laid out blueprints for how cyberwar would unfold: military and civilian networks would be knocked offline, cutting-edge software would sabotage power plants, and whole populations would be unable to get money, gas or refrigerated food. – Washington Post 

Last Wednesday, a few hours before Russian tanks began rolling into Ukraine, alarms went off inside Microsoft’s Threat Intelligence Center, warning of a never-before-seen piece of “wiper” malware that appeared aimed at the country’s government ministries and financial institutions. – New York Times  

Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, said on Tuesday that it would restart production in Japan after a cyberattack at a major supplier had forced the company to shut down its domestic production. – New York Times 

YouTube is blocking channels connected to Russian state-backed media outlets RT and Sputnik across Europe effective immediately, due to the situation in Ukraine, the company operated by Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google, said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Russia has some of the best hackers in the world, but in the early days of the war in Ukraine, its ability to create mayhem through malware hasn’t had much of a noticeable impact. – Associated Press 

Twitter will put warnings on tweets sharing links to Russian state-affiliated media, the platform said Monday, as Kremlin-tied outlets are accused of spreading misinformation on Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. – Agence France-Presse  

Facebook owner Meta on Monday announced it had taken action against a Belarus-linked hacking group that had been targeting and hacking into accounts of prominent Ukrainian figures. The firm also announced new steps countering Russian-linked disinformation efforts. – Politico 

A group of Belarusian hackers and IT specialists claimed Sunday that they’d attacked the Belarusian Railways in an attempt to “slow down the transfer of occupying forces and give the Ukrainians more time to repel the attack,” according to a Google translation of the message posted to the group’s Telegram channel. – CyberScoop 

A backdoor in use as recently as November 2021 is the “most advanced piece of malware” ever seen from China-linked spies, according to researchers at Symantec. – CyberScoop 

 U.S. cybersecurity companies are offering products and services for free to help cyberdefenders at home and abroad during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As of Monday, a crowdsourced list on GitHub listed more than a dozen experts, nonprofits and companies available for security assistance. – CyberScoop 

Linda Moore writes: Meanwhile, poll after poll after poll has shown that the American people want lawmakers to prioritize protecting data privacy, not harming our economy by breaking up technology companies that have produced so many of the products they count on every day. – The Hill  

Parmy Olson writes: Russia’s illegal invasion has underscored social media’s long-standing paradox in helping causes like the Arab Spring while also being exploited as a tool for disinformation. Facebook and Twitter can at once be critical windows to truth for Russian citizens and platforms for propaganda. – Bloomberg 

Tom Robertson writes: The superiority of Russian offensive cyber capabilities is well established and accepted; that the country has not made a more meaningful use of those capabilities in the days since it launched its invasion of Ukraine is hard to understand and should cause us to worry. It may be the case, as suggested herein, that Russia is “burying its lead” as part of a broader strategic plan; or that it is being prudent to avoid broadening the conflict beyond Ukraine’s borders; or even that Ukraine has successfully repelled Russian attacks. We should move quickly to explore these and other possibilities. – The National Interest 


Palantir Technologies recently received a $34 million order supporting the modernization of a military network used to relay information across the globe. – Defense News 

The U.S. Marine Corps this week will officially stand up its first Marine littoral regiment, a linchpin of its plans to conduct small-unit expeditionary advanced base operations and to move high-end gear into and throughout the Pacific. – Defense News  

A U.S. warship passed through the Taiwan Strait over the weekend, irking the Chinese government, which called the move “provocative.” – USNI News  

Despite that Ukrainian and Russian diplomats have begun conferring about a ceasefire, the Department of Defense (DoD) will continue fast-tracking substantial support to Ukraine in the form of weapons, money, and cooperative allied support. – The National Interest