Fdd's overnight brief

March 18, 2022

In The News


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought allegations of war crimes against President Vladimir Putin and his army, raising the question of whether he or his commanders will ultimately be charged. It is a complex legal issue, compounded in part by the fact that Russia, like the U.S. and China, isn’t a party to the International Criminal Court, which usually hears war-crime cases at its headquarters in the Netherlands. – Wall Street Journal 

Russia accused Canada on Thursday of childishly annotating a letter it sent at the United Nations seeking support for its draft resolution on providing aid access and civilian protection in Ukraine, which Ottawa reacted to with pointed comments. – Reuters 

The Kremlin said on Wednesday Joe Biden’s claim that President Vladimir Putin was a “war criminal” for invading Ukraine was an unforgivable remark by the leader of a country which had killed civilians in conflicts across the world. – Reuters 

Russian missiles struck an area near the airport of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv early on Friday, the mayor said, while Japan and Australia imposed new sanctions on Russian entities as punishment for its invasion. – Reuters 

President Vladimir Putin can be expected to brandish threats to use nuclear weapons against the West if stiff Ukrainian resistance to Russia’s invasion continues, draining conventional manpower and equipment, according to a new assessment by the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency. – Bloomberg 

The European Space Agency (ESA) has suspended its joint Mars rover mission with Russia as the nation continues its invasion of Ukraine. – The Hill 

Popular Twitter account “Anonymous” warned history “will not be kind” to “Russian asset” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. The famous hacktivist group account boasting 7.9 million followers, which is waging a “cyber war” against Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine, sent an ominous message to the congresswoman, who has been accused of being a “useful idiot” for Russian President Vladimir Putin. – Washington Examiner 

Editorial: If Mr. Putin is a war criminal, how can the world make concessions that allow him to rejoin world councils as if nothing happened? Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said Thursday the State Department is undertaking a separate legal inquiry into the war crimes issue. But with his relentless and deliberate bombing of civilians, Mr. Putin has crossed a line the world cannot forget. – Wall Street Journal 

Anthony Faiola writes: The prospect of any peace deal is predicated on Putin understanding that he has bit off more than he can chew, and that’s a really big if right now. Some have argued that he would even turn to low-grade nuclear weapons before risking defeat in Ukraine. – Washington Post 

Alex Garcia writes: There is no doubt that severe penalties should be imposed on a state invading another in cold blood. It is critical that the secondary effects of these measures are coordinated with long-term priorities of security and regime change. We can only hope that Western policy makers won’t let anti-Russian hysteria get in the way of enacting measures that will be truly painful for Mr. Putin. – Wall Street Journal 

Eugene Robinson writes: Logically, Putin’s best course of action at this point would seem to be finding some way to declare victory and withdraw. But Putin might not be engaged in what we would consider a dispassionate weighing of pros and cons. He should regret this whole tragic misadventure, but he might not. Which means there might be much more tragedy yet to come if he plows ahead on his terms instead of the principles Ukraine and the rest of the world are fighting for. – Washington Post 

Jonathan Ford writes: It was easy to take un-nuanced positions when the Greens were electorally powerless, or when proposed nuclear phaseouts were decades away. […]Now all such parties must take responsibility at a time of hard choices, when countries need to reconcile their climate goals with the imperative of security. Do they favor technologies that allow Europe to shun Vladimir Putin’s Russia without brownouts or beggaring consumers? How they rise to such challenges may determine their fortunes in coming years. – Bloomberg 

Andreas Kluth writes: It took the worst European war of aggression since Hitler’s to turn Germany’s political culture from messianic naivete to common sense. But sometimes it takes centuries to get off a Sonderweg. Putin may yet wreck the continent. But in this one way, he’s changed German history for the better. – Bloomberg 

Rebeccah Heinrichs writes: Biden officials should make clear that the U.S. will defend its already established mission to support Ukraine and defend NATO. This commitment — to the mission — is broader than Biden’s promise to defend every inch of NATO territory. […]Russia should know that if the proximity to Poland’s border or any other NATO nation’s border is meant to intimidate NATO’s established activity there, it will not work. Russia’s willingness to attack targets near Poland’s border runs a significant risk of inadvertent escalation. Russia must cease its attacks in Ukraine’s west to mitigate that risk. – Washington Examiner 

Tom Rogan writes: The pivot point in all of this is whether the West buckles under Putin’s coercion or whether Putin buckles under his own domestic pressure. This need not mean Putin’s relinquishing of power or suffering a palace coup, but rather his acceptance of a near term peace that is preferential to Ukraine overall. Putin’s ultimate problem is the same: Ukraine’s resistance suggests its people will not yield — no matter what Russia does. Time and the strategic initiative are not on Putin’s side. – Washington Examiner 

Peter Rough writes: The Biden administration is developing policy for a world that no longer exists. The era when the United States could badger its allies one moment and demand cooperation from them the next is over. A new Sino-Russian axis has formed to challenge the United States. To treat our allies with contempt only encourages them to hedge at a time when we can afford it least. Biden is right to speak of the importance of allies, but his actions don’t match his rhetoric. – The Hill 

Sen. Marco Rubio writes: It’s impossible to predict how the conflict in Ukraine will play out. Too much of it is in the hands of one man, a man who, against reason, continues to send Russian sons to die for a meaningless cause. One thing is certain, though — that man cannot achieve true victory. The Biden administration must continue to make that clear, in the hope that Putin will eventually acknowledge he has lost. – FOX News 

Victor Gilinsky and Henry Sokolski write: As for the nuclear plants that currently operate in potential war zones, our government needs to be frank about the risks and what, if anything, can be done to reduce them. After the Russian army’s shelling of Ukraine’s civilian nuclear plants, these risks can no longer be ignored. – The National Interest 


A U.S. Navy veteran who was jailed in Iran for nearly two years sued the Iranian government on Thursday for $1 billion, alleging that he was kidnapped, held hostage and tortured. – Associated Press 

Iran has started converting a third of its highly enriched uranium stockpile into material used to produce medical isotopes, potentially reducing tensions amid efforts to revive its landmark nuclear agreement with world powers. – Bloomberg 

The disclosure of personal information of Mossad Director David Barnea on Wednesday will not harm the agency’s current chief because it was old and mostly irrelevant data, former Mossad director Danny Yatom said in response to the incident. – Jerusalem Post 

Remember the Iran talks? It was only a few weeks ago that the parties involved were reassuring everyone that they would go on as usual, despite the war in Ukraine. Now, it seems like the attention of the world, including the government of Israel, has moved east of Vienna. – Jerusalem Post 

Editorial: Washington and Tehran both say they are willing to sign an agreement, but each is putting the onus on the other to get a deal over the line. Iran wants the White House to provide guarantees that no future US president can unilaterally abandon the accord. This is virtually impossible for the US to provide. There are disagreements, too, over the scope of sanctions relief. – Financial Times 

Yonah Jeremy Bob writes: But however fallible the Mossad may be, it is nearly universally acknowledged as the top clandestine agency for penetrating Iran, and the intelligence it provides the US and the West sometimes makes Israel even more valuable than its status as “the Startup Nation.” – Jerusalem Post 

David Albright, Sarah Burkhard, and Spencer Faragasso write: Iran has made significant progress in building, deploying, and operating advanced centrifuges since 2018, despite suffering significant setbacks due to attacks on its centrifuge production and assembly facilities. However, the effort to return to the status in 2015 or further limit Iran’s advanced centrifuge program has failed. […]Many of these gains, some irreversible and some merely accepted, have occurred during the Biden administration while it was seeking to revive the JCPOA. – Institute for Science and International Security 

Alex Vatanka writes: In short, Raisi’s call for détente with the Arab Gulf states is not yet rooted in a deep moment of policy reexamination in Tehran. It is a case of Iran accepting that open-ended or heightened regional tensions pose a risk to its internal stability. The Gulf states can still grasp this moment to nudge Iran toward re-examining its regional policies, however. In fact, if they can identify the most suitable “carrots and sticks” vis-à-vis Iran, it will signal to Tehran that they are interested in dialogue provided Tehran is sincere about changing the policies that so many of its neighbors resent. – Middle East Institute 


Dozens of Afghans who were evacuated to the United Arab Emirates as the Taliban seized power last summer are volunteering to be sent back despite the danger of reprisals so they can support families left behind,  evacuees say. – Wall Street Journal 

The U.N. Security Council on Thursday renewed the world body’s assistance mission in Afghanistan for another year, but Russia abstained from the vote over what it called a “stubborn ignorance of the new realities” after the Taliban seized power. – Reuters 

The Taliban will allow girls around Afghanistan to return to class when high schools open next week, an education official said on Thursday, after months of uncertainty over whether the group would allow full access to education for girls and women. – Reuters 

Beth Bailey writes: To date, around 44,500 Afghans have applied for humanitarian parole visas. At least 28,000 Afghans have been referred to the Priority-1 and Priority-2 programs within the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. The State Department tells me 15,000 have been “accepted into the system.” By any count, tens of thousands of Afghan allies remain destitute, food insecure, and terrified. Volunteer groups and Afghans without external support are approaching a breaking point. – Washington Examiner 


Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan offered in a phone call with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Thursday to host him and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy for talks, according to his office. – Reuters 

Ukraine wants Turkey to be among countries offering security guarantees to Ukraine as part of any deal with Russia to end the war, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Thursday after meeting Turkey’s foreign minister. – Reuters 

Paul Kolbe writes: Delivering Turkish S-400s to Ukraine would help Ukraine, NATO, the U.S, and Turkey and would harm only Russia. Using Russian-made S-400s, sold to Turkey with the goal of dividing NATO, to shoot down Russian jets bombing Ukrainian cities would be poetic justice. – Wall Street Journal 

Aaron Y. Zelin writes: U.S. officials should also stay abreast of Turkey’s leading role in rehabilitating the Taliban’s image and integrating the group into the international system. This entails continued dialogue with Ankara about the progress it is making on this front, so that the U.S. government remains fully informed about the Taliban’s activities as a nascent governing entity. – Washington Institute 


In a February 22, 2022 article on the Palestinian Amad website, journalist and political analyst Ashraf Saleh addressed the current relations between Hamas and Israel, stating that the coordination between them is now closer than ever. This coordination, he noted, is based on the principle of “economy in return for quiet,” whereby Israel bolsters Gaza’s economy on the pretext of providing humanitarian aid, while Hamas keeps quiet, an arrangement that benefits both sides. – Middle East Media Research Institute 

Lifting sanctions on Iran will fund terrorism against Israel and throughout the Middle East, US Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-New York) warned in an interview with The Jerusalem Post this week. – Jerusalem Post 

Seth J. Frantzman writes: It is plausible that Israel’s attempt to present itself as an island of democracy and human rights in the Middle East will one day run counter to right-wing talking points in the US. This is because Ukraine also presented itself as a cause for democracy, and the right-wing voices who hate Ukraine often say it’s a “flawed democracy” or “corrupt” country. – Jerusalem Post 


Arabian Peninsula

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, stressed the importance of maintaining the OPEC+ agreement and the kingdom’s keenness on keeping oil markets balanced and stable, in a phone call on Thursday with the Japanese prime minister, Fumio Kishida, Saudi state media reported. – Reuters 

All but one of the 30 crew members of a United Arab Emirates cargo ship that sank off Iran have been rescued, Iran’s official IRNA news agency said on Thursday. – Reuters 

The United Arab Emirates is keen to cooperate with Russia on improving global energy security, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said in Moscow on Thursday. – Reuters 

Denmark on Thursday signed a general extradition treaty with the United Arab Emirates which it said it would use to seek custody of a Briton charged with defrauding Danish tax authorities via so-called “cum-ex” trading schemes. – Reuters 

Middle East & North Africa

The International Monetary Fund remains engaged with Lebanese authorities on economic reforms in the country where a 2019 financial meltdown crashed the currency and left most of the population poor, and another IMF staff mission is planned there this month, spokesperson Gerry Rice said on Thursday. – Reuters 

The Iraqi Security Media Cell said on Thursday that four rockets fell in open areas in Balad air base, leaving no damage or casualties, the state news agency (INA) reported. – Reuters 

An Israeli in his 40s on Thursday crossed Israel’s eastern border to Jordan and was captured by Jordanian forces, Channel 13 reported. Negotiations between Israeli and Jordanian officials for the man’s release are reportedly underway. – Jerusalem Post 

Seth J. Frantzman writes: This brings up memories of those who gave their lives in the fight against ISIS as volunteers, such as Jac Holmes, John Gallagher, Keith Broomfield, Reece Harding, Konstandinos Erik Scurfield and many others. Some of their comrades have now gone to Ukraine to stand against the Russian invasion, driven on by the same sense of right and wrong that led them to Syria. The war in Ukraine has also united the same humanitarian volunteers and writers who went to the battlefields of Syria and Iraq. – Jerusalem Post 


China’s Communist Party has authorized a corruption inquiry into a senior official who was previously an influential advocate of Muslim culture, according to people familiar with the matter, in a signal of Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s resolve to push ahead with the country’s aggressive ethnic assimilation efforts. – Wall Street Journal 

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said on Thursday that the United States would punish China if President Xi Jinping chose to give military aid to Russia for the war in Ukraine, where Russian forces have killed thousands of civilians. – New York Times 

The central Chinese city of Wuhan has vowed to create a 100 billion yuan ($15.7 billion) space industry by 2025 and become China’s “valley of satellites”, joining other cities tasked with developing the sector. – Reuters 

A Chinese foreign ministry official met with Russia’s ambassador to China on March 17 to exchange views on bilateral relations, the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday. – Reuters 

The Chinese foreign ministry said on Thursday that it firmly rejects U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken’s comment that China’s unwillingness to condemn Russia is inconsistent with China’s position on the U.N. charter. – Reuters 

President Joe Biden set out to finally complete the “pivot to Asia,” a long-sought adjustment of U.S. foreign policy to better reflect the rise of America’s most significant military and economic competitor: China. – Associated Press 

U.S. Olympic figure skater Alysa Liu and her father Arthur Liu – a former political refugee – were among those targeted in a spying operation that the Justice Department alleges was ordered by the Chinese government, the elder Liu said late Wednesday. – Associated Press 

Editorial: That’s the right message, but China has already assisted Russia—and betrayed Western Europe. Its acquiescence in Mr. Putin’s invasion has shown that it puts the desires of a marauding dictator above its trading and diplomatic relations with the West. China has picked the wrong horse, and it has shown again, as in Hong Kong, that it can’t be trusted. The West should respond accordingly as it seeks to defend Taiwan and the free world’s interests from the Communist Party. – Wall Street Journal 

South Asia

The International Monetary Fund on Thursday said it was having constructive, ongoing discussions with Pakistan as part of a seventh program review of a $6 billion rescue package. – Reuters 

Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa signed a $1 billion credit line with India on Thursday to help ease crippling shortages of essential items, including fuel, food and medicine, officials said. – Reuters 

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will hold a summit meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India this weekend, an Indian foreign ministry spokesperson said on Thursday. – Reuters 

Mihir Sharma writes: Countries such India, struggling to manage deficits, or Kenya, facing a mounting grain import bill, may not be suffering as much as Ukraine is, but they are victims nonetheless. The international system needs to make space for these unexpected challenges through bailouts, central bank liquidity swaps and other extraordinary measures. […]The world can only build effective mechanisms to deter aggressors — whether Russia or China — if countries such as India have a voice in them. Otherwise, as with SWIFT, they will ignore and undermine those systems in their own national interests. – Bloomberg 


Japan said on Friday it will impose sanctions on 15 Russian individuals and nine organisations, including defence officials and the state-owned arms exporter Rosoboronexport. – Reuters 

Australia imposed sanctions on Friday on two Russian oligarchs with links to its mining industry, one of them a billionaire with an investment connection to Rio Tinto’s Gladstone alumina refinery joint venture. – Reuters 

Vietnam on Thursday objected to the United States granting a prize for courage to a dissident writer jailed for nine years for anti-state propaganda, describing her award as “unobjective and unsuitable”. – Reuters 

Uzbekistan, a Central Asian republic with close ties to Russia, called on Thursday for a diplomatic resolution of the conflict in Ukraine and said it would not recognise Moscow-backed separatist statelets there. – Reuters 

Ukraine is asking Japan for high-quality satellite imagery to help it fend off Russian troops, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Thursday. – Reuters 

Hit by soaring oil import costs and a dip in tourism revenue, Sri Lanka is racing to avert a default amid dwindling foreign-exchange holdings. With inflation already at 15% —the worst in Asia—the conflict is only making it harder for the tropical island located off the southern tip of India. Fuel shortages and blackouts lasting as long as seven hours have become daily routine, while the wait gets longer at gas stations where prices surged almost 50% this month. – Bloomberg 

Eric Cheung and Wayne Chang writes: Unlike Ukraine, Taiwan is an island, meaning Beijing would likely have to launch one of the largest amphibious assaults in history. A potential invasion would also likely draw a regional response, thanks to Taiwan’s close physical proximity and importance to Japan, which is just 62 miles (100 kilometers) from Taiwan. – CNN 


French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday he planned to increase the legal retirement age to 65 from the current 62, raising a controversial issue three weeks before national elections. – Wall Street Journal 

Rescuers dug through the debris of a bombed theater in Mariupol where hundreds of Ukrainian civilians had sought shelter as Russian forces continued to shell the southern port city and other urban areas across the country. – Wall Street Journal 

A U.S. citizen was killed in Ukraine on Thursday, the State Department confirmed, after Ukrainian police first reported that an American and several others died when Russian troops shelled the city of Chernihiv, roughly 90 miles north of Kyiv. – Washington Post 

To facilitate their evacuation and the arrival of aid into hard-hit areas, Ukrainian and Russian officials have periodically agreed to establish humanitarian corridors — with mixed results. While Ukraine has said that tens of thousands of people have used these routes, it has also accused Russia of repeatedly attacking protected areas. – Washington Post 

Slovakia’s defense minister said Thursday that his country is prepared to send long-range surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine “immediately” — provided that Western allies give them a “proper replacement” to avoid creating a security gap. – Washington Post 

President Biden is ramping up efforts to help Ukraine fight back amid Russia’s invasion, announcing an extensive new package Wednesday that he said would “provide unprecedented assistance” to the country. The increase in military aid includes a delivery of 100 Switchblade drones, small and precise weapons packed with explosives that are able to strike targets in “kamikaze” fashion, according to a U.S. official. – Washington Post 

Three current and former members of the Tennessee National Guard falsely identified in a Russian media report as mercenaries who were killed in Ukraine are in fact alive and well, the Tennessee National Guard said on Thursday. – Reuters 

Bulgaria’s former prime minister and leader of the largest opposition GERB party, Boyko Borissov, was detained late on Thursday as part of a police operation linked to probes by the EU Public Prosecutor’s Office, the interior ministry said. – Reuters 

The U.S. State Department said it approved on Thursday the potential sale of a $700 million missile defense system to the United Kingdom. – Reuters 

Britain will deploy its Sky Sabre missile system in Poland, its defence minister said on Thursday during a visit to Warsaw, as NATO moves to beef up the security of its eastern flank in view of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. – Reuters 

U.K. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has told officials to move to the next stage of preparations to suspend parts of the post-Brexit deal for Northern Ireland, a move that would inflame tensions with the European Union. – Bloomberg 

The Pentagon has seen “anecdotal indications” that the morale of Russian troops is disintegrating after three weeks without substantial gains in Ukraine, according to a senior official. – Washington Examiner 

Viktor Tereshchenko, mayor of Velykoburlutska in Ukraine’s northeastern region of Kharkiv, has been captured by Russian forces according to a video message from Oleh Syniehubov, Kharkiv Regional State Administration head, on Thursday. – CNN 

Belarus has claimed to have prevented a terror attack from taking place against Russian servicemen, Russian state media RIA reported on Thursday afternoon. – Jerusalem Post 

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate on Wednesday urged citizens to report Russian troop positions via an internet chatbot. – Jerusalem Post 

Marc A. Thiessen writes: The most likely reason is that Biden seems more afraid of provoking Putin than he is of letting Ukraine lose. He slow-walked military aid, clearly not expecting the Ukrainians to last this long. But now it looks like they could not only survive but also prevail. So, it’s time to stop worrying about what Putin thinks and start giving the Ukrainians everything they need to defeat him. – Washington Post 

David Ignatius writes: Diplomacy may seem irrelevant at a moment when Russian bombs are falling on Ukrainian maternity hospitals and opera houses. Zelensky needs more weapons to fight back against a tyrant — and pressure Russia to accept a cease-fire. But Zelensky’s allies should also be thinking about how to put the pieces back together when this war ends. – Washington Post 

Jake Sotiriadis writes: Today, the “Who do I call, if I want to call Europe?” question finally has an answer. The German chancellor—perhaps even more so than the president of the European Commission—wields the political and economic clout to claim this mantle. The United States must now assist Germany in developing and enhancing the security clout that befits its new role—that of America’s “special relationship” partner and the future bedrock of European security. – The National Interest 


Mali will suspend broadcasts by French state-funded international news outlets RFI and France 24 in an unprecedented clampdown on foreign media over what the ruling military junta said were false allegations of army abuses. – Reuters 

Armed men attacked a bus killing at least 19 passengers in western Niger near the border with Burkina Faso, the Association of Passenger Transport Companies said Thursday. – Associated Press 

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa gave Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane 10 days to provide reasons why he shouldn’t suspend her, bringing to a head a four-year battle with the graft ombudsman. – Bloomberg 

Latin America

Argentina’s Senate on Thursday night approved a government deal to refinance $44 billion in debt with the International Monetary Fund just days before the country risked falling into arrears with the Washington-based lender. – Wall Street Journal 

Peru’s top court on Thursday reinstated a controversial pardon for polarizing former President Alberto Fujimori, who governed the Andean nation during the tumultuous 1990s before being sentenced for human rights violations. – Reuters 

Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido on Thursday called on energy companies with joint ventures in the country to stick to democracy, amid talks over the possibility of the United States easing oil sanctions on the OPEC member nation. – Reuters 

United States

Asserting congressional power amid the international crisis in Ukraine, the House on Thursday voted to strip Russia and Belarus of key trade preferences and expand presidential human rights sanctions authority — a move the Senate is expected to ratify and send to President Biden in the coming days. – Washington Post 

A group of seven U.S. members of Congress on Wednesday called on President Joe Biden to withdraw support for Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry, saying he lacks legitimacy to organize the elections needed to resolve the country’s political crisis. – Reuters 

U.S. Republican Senators on Thursday introduced a bill to ban U.S. imports of Russian uranium to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine. – Reuters 

A rare point of bipartisan consensus in Washington is the desire to spend more than $50 billion to bolster U.S. chip production. That’s a key part of bills pending in both houses of Congress intended to increase U.S. competitiveness with China. The bills are similar, but not identical, and differences on auxiliary issues threaten to stall their progress. – Bloomberg 

Three weeks of war in Ukraine has brought both parties to full agreement, with Democrats and Republicans telling President Joe Biden: You’re not doing enough. Even as he announced $1 billion in new military aid for Ukraine, Biden came under fire for the limits of his response, beating back calls for measures the White House believes could prove escalatory. – Washington Examiner 

Mackenzie Eaglen writes: The Russian invasion of Ukraine has further exposed the problems posed by an inadequate defense budget. […]If the U.S. military is to deter China and Russia simultaneously, all while continuing other essential missions, it needs predictable, flexible, robust budgets to execute. Enacting defense bills on time, and at needed levels, are small first steps toward setting a better pace to compete globally. – The Dispatch 


Apple Inc. is facing one of the biggest challenges yet to how it controls and profits from the App Store as Europe prepares to complete a new competition law in the coming weeks. – Wall Street Journal 

Australia’s competition watchdog filed a lawsuit against Facebook owner Meta Platforms (FB.O) on Friday, alleging the social media giant failed to prevent scammers using its platform to promote fake ads featuring well-known people. – Reuters 

Japanese tyre manufacture Bridgestone Corp (5108.T) on Friday said its U.S. subsidiary had been hit by a ransomware attack, just weeks after suppliers of automaker Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) reported similar attacks. – Reuters 

A group of ransomware hackers used a variety of techniques to try breaching hundreds of companies last year, exploiting a vulnerability in Microsoft Corp.’s Windows and using artificial intelligence technology to create fake LinkedIn profiles, Alphabet Inc.’s Google found. – Bloomberg 

Experts testifying in front of the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday largely combatted the notion that virtual currencies are an escape route for oligarchs and other sanctioned entities to move large amounts of assets. – Cyberscoop 

Ukraine’s main security and counter-intelligence agency on Tuesday announced that it had arrested a “hacker” who allegedly provided Russian troops with mobile communication services in the country. – The Record 

Brandon Valeriano and Erica D. Lonergan write: Ukraine is now joining NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence as a contributing participant after a unanimous vote in favor of Ukrainian membership. Moving forward, it is imperative for the United States to take collaboration seriously by institutionalizing multilateral and bilateral agreements with partner states and making such agreements central to its cyber strategy. Shaping the environment in favor of the defense is a path toward stability amid the instability witnessed in outright warfare. – The National Interest