Fdd's overnight brief

March 23, 2022

In The News


Moscow’s siege of the strategic port city of Mariupol has entered a bloody new phase. Russian forces are shelling from the sea and vivid new satellite images show widespread destruction, with homes ablaze and factories razed. Despite efforts for evacuation through humanitarian corridors, about 100,000 people are still trapped in the city — many without food or water — in conditions that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described late Tuesday as “inhumane.” – Washington Post 

Ukrainian forces claimed Tuesday to have retaken control of a strategically important town outside of Kyiv, a nascent sign they could be beating back Russia’s brutal, weeks-long effort to seize the capital as the Kremlin intensifies its attacks across the country. – Washington Post 

The air war over Ukraine appears to have entered a new phase, with the Russian air force boosting the number of flights it makes per day by 50 percent and deploying an increasing array of Russian drones and munitions over the battlefield, according to U.S. defense officials and military analysts. – Washington Post 

Few Americans have parsed Russian propaganda on its various platforms like Maxim Pozdorovkin. – Washington Post 

In the dark recesses of Gab.com, a social-media site popular with the far right in the United States, Russian President Vladimir Putin is glorified as a conservative lion. – Washington Post 

The Biden administration is preparing sanctions on most members of Russia’s State Duma, the lower house of parliament, as part of an effort to punish Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine. – Wall Street Journal 

In January, the head of a group of serving and retired Russian military officers declared that invading Ukraine would be “pointless and extremely dangerous.” It would kill thousands, he said, make Russians and Ukrainians enemies for life, risk a war with NATO and threaten “the existence of Russia itself as a state.” – New York Times 

Ukrainian leaders accused Russia of seizing 15 rescue workers and drivers from a humanitarian convoy trying to get desperately needed food and other supplies into the bloodied port city of Mariupol, which also came under naval attack after weeks of air and land strikes. – Associated Press 

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s chief spokesman has conceded that Russia has yet to achieve any of its military goals in Ukraine and refused to deny that Moscow could resort to the use of nuclear weapons. – CNN 

Russia traded accusations with the United States and Britain at the United Nations on Tuesday over the possibility of a chemical weapons attack in Ukraine, but none produced any evidence to back their concerns. – Reuters 

The United States and its Western allies are assessing whether Russia should remain within the Group of Twenty (G20) grouping of major economies following its invasion of Ukraine, sources involved in the discussions told Reuters on Tuesday. – Reuters 

Talks between Ukraine and Russia are confrontational but moving forward, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Wednesday, as the West plans to announce more sanctions against the Kremlin amid a worsening humanitarian crisis. – Reuters 

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday urged an end to the “absurd war” started by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine one month ago, warning that the conflict is “going nowhere, fast” and that the Ukrainian people are “enduring a living hell.” – Reuters 

Russia is throttling back capacity on a major pipeline that sends crude oil to global markets, driving prices higher and raising fears that Moscow was prepared to retaliate against western sanctions by curbing its own energy supplies. – Financial Times 

The United States slammed Russia for sentencing Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny to another nine years in prison, calling the move “outlandish” and demanding that he be released immediately. – The Hill 

While U.S. officials have been keen to portray their sanctions as devastating foreign policy tools, the bulk of the West’s economic countermeasures remain targeted at wealthy elites and their businesses, which are generally well insulated from the globalized economy. – The Hill 

Russian authorities’ refusal to claim responsibility for a single civilian death during its invasion of Ukraine has drawn comparisons to the country’s military operations in war-torn Syria. – Newsweek 

The Russian Navy fired eight long-range naval cruise missiles from a guided-missile warship near the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, according to multiple videos of the launch on several posts on social media. – USNI News 

Nuclear weapons are not off limits, said a leading voice from the Kremlin as Russia continues to wage its war in Ukraine. Dmitry Peskov, the chief spokesman of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said Tuesday that an “existential threat” to Russia is what would make it consider the most extreme form of escalation. – Washington Examiner  

In an exclusive interview, Navalny’s right hand and the most recognized leader in the opposition, Lyubov Sobol, told The Daily Beast that Moscow’s efforts to mute the Navalny movement have failed, and that her team has a “plan” for Putin as Russian troops continue to carry out their onslaught in Ukraine. – The Daily Beast 

Beneath the gold onion domes of the Danilov Monastery a few miles south of the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin’s chief shaman explains why Russia is hell-bent on destroying Ukraine. – The Daily Beast 

Editorial: As the war drags on, the Russian dictator also wants to burden the European nations whose military and humanitarian support is crucial to President Volodymyr Zelensky’s resistance. He wants France and Germany in particular to pressure Mr. Zelensky into a settlement on the Kremlin’s terms. The West needs to continue to provide Ukraine with whatever it needs to win a peace it can live with. To that end the West can shelter the country’s women, children and elderly as a defining contrast to Mr. Putin’s barbarism. – Wall Street Journal 

Editorial: Yet the energy with which Moscow has pursued its critic suggests it worries its support is brittle and could crack. Navalny may now be less able to continue his campaigning and faces a new battle to preserve his health and safety in the ruthless surroundings of a high-security facility. But he announced on Tuesday his foundation would become an international organisation that would “fight until we win”. Inspired by his example, others will continue the work of holding an ever more dangerous Kremlin to account. – Financial Times 

Anthony Faiola writes: Still, like many of his ilk, Putin’s message can be what the Atlantic Council’s Lukas Andriukaitis described to me as “schizophrenic.” He alternately rails against progressive thought, while leaving pragmatic room for Russian elites who embrace the decadent Wst to still be accepted — as long as they remain unquestionably loyal. – Washington Post 

David Ignatius writes: Take a good look at the face of the West’s adversary in Ukraine. Putin does not appear to be simply a bully or an opportunist, who can be swayed by economic pressure or vanquished by arms. He believes deeply in the evil that he is doing. He sees the destruction of an independent Ukraine almost as a religious duty. Two obvious warnings emerge from this narrative: Handle the volatile mix that is Putin with care, lest it explode in a far wider war. And do not let him succeed. – Washington Post 

Charles Lane writes: Putin is deeply invested in it — not only politically, but emotionally — and, determined not to fail for lack of will, as he believes the Soviet leadership did, he is likely to persist. We can hope that a Ukrainian counteroffensive or a palace revolt in Moscow will destroy Putin, and undo his plans. Meanwhile, the United States and its allies better start making some long-term plans of their own. – Washington Post 

David Von Drehle writes: In a sense, Dugin’s 600-page doorstop can be boiled down to one idea: The wrong alliance won World War II. If only Hitler had not invaded Russia, Britain could have been broken. The United States would have remained at home, isolationist and divided, and Japan would have ruled the former China as Russia’s junior partner. Fascism from Ireland to the Pacific. Delusional? I sure hope so. But delusions become important when embraced by tyrants. – Washington Post 

David C. Gompert writes: This isn’t to say that U.S. policy makers and intelligence chiefs should ignore the possibility that any direct hostilities between the U.S. and Russia could increase the risk of nuclear war. Rather, it is to say that Russia should be at least as fearful as America is. The more the U.S. falls for Mr. Putin’s nuclear messaging, and the more we signal that the U.S. dreads nuclear war more than Russia does, the less restrained Mr. Putin will be in Ukraine, and the more Ukrainian lives will be lost. – Wall Street Journal 

Jane Burbank writes: This brew of attitudes — complaints about Western aggression, exaltation of traditional values over the decadence of individual rights, assertions of Russia’s duty to unite Eurasia and subordinate Ukraine — developed in the cauldron of post-imperial resentment. Now they infuse Mr. Putin’s worldview and inspire his brutal war. The goal, plainly, is empire. And the line will not be drawn at Ukraine. – New York Times  

Andreas Kluth writes: The imperative, Clausewitz concluded, is to always align tactics and strategy. “War is nothing but the continuation of politics with other means,” he wrote in his most famous (and often misunderstood) phrase. He meant you must only fight the kind of war that makes the ensuing peace tolerable. Let’s pray there are people left in Moscow who understand that. – Bloomberg 

Janan Ganesh writes: The cold war was not a clash between freedom and its opposite. The enemy was a specific empire, and the forces that America assembled against it encompassed at various times secular dictators, theocrats, military juntas, partial democracies, absolute monarchs and Red China itself. […]The west is going to have to make the same distinction between ends and means for decades to come. It is a game for which the US has some talent, whether or not it can bring itself to say so. – Financial Times 

Martin Wolf writes: Last but not least, Russia must remain a pariah so long as this vile regime survives. But we will also have to devise a new relationship with China. We must still co-operate. Yet we can no longer rely upon this rising giant for essential goods. We are in a new world. Economic decoupling will now surely become deep and irreversible. I see no way of avoiding this. – Financial Times 

Liana Fix and Michael Kimmage write: The war has rendered Russia’s foreign policy untenable. Putin is pursuing ambitions that the Russian economy and the Russian polity will not be able to realize. Although Putin will not fundamentally recalibrate, Russia cannot escape the fact that its ends outstrip its means. At some point, Putin will meet his political Waterloo as a result of this war. And when the consequences of his overreach descend on Moscow and the dictator departs, Ukraine’s chance for a peace that is more than provisional may at long last come into view. – Foreign Affairs 


U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Tuesday that the onus is now on Iran on whether it is willing to enter into a mutual return to compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. – Reuters 

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian led a Foreign Ministry delegation to Syria on Wednesday, according to the Tasnim News Agency. – Jerusalem Post 

John R. Bolton writes: The tone of this debate need not be partisan, although in today’s Washington that is far from likely. The Senate may be 50-50, but Republicans should seize the moment; perhaps there is at least one Democrat who cares enough about the treaty clause to force the administration to send over the Iran nuclear deal for a vote. This is a matter of statesmanship, not politics. – Washington Post 

Bret Stephens writes: The Biden administration urgently needs to telegraph strength. An Iran deal that leaves us even weaker and meeker than the previous deal accomplishes the opposite at a moment when we can’t afford another reversal. – New York Times 

Jonathan Schachter writes: This pause in negotiations gives the administration a chance opportunity to reassess its fidelity to this quixotic deal. […]The lessons for handling Iran’s nuclear ambitions couldn’t be starker. It’s time to take the Iranian nuclear threat seriously, to stand with America’s allies and stand up to Iranian aggression and terrorism and to end the regional nuclear arms race that the Iran deal sparked. It’s time to stop bluffing. – New York Post 

Omer Carmi writes: Khamenei’s Nowruz speech can be seen in two ways. On one hand, it may be another attempt to deprioritize the importance of returning to the nuclear deal and minimize public expectations on that front, which in his view could hinder Iran’s economic momentum. On the other hand, the speech may be his way of signaling his expectations and guidelines regarding the kind of economic policy Tehran should pursue if a deal is struck in Vienna—namely, a policy that prioritizes self-sufficiency while simultaneously using money reaped from the agreement to fix Iran’s core economic problems. – Washington Institute 


The Taliban reopened schools across Afghanistan Wednesday, but issued a last minute ruling banning classes for girls beyond the sixth grade, citing space constraints and “technical issues,” according to the acting deputy minister for education, Sakhaullah Saeed. – Washington Post 

The parents of Reuters photographer Danish Siddiqui, who was killed in a Taliban attack in Afghanistan last year, have begun legal action at the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the Islamist group, a lawyer for the family said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

The family of the man the United States targeted in a drone strike remains in Afghanistan more than six months later despite concerns for their safety. – Washington Examiner 


An assailant killed four people and seriously injured two others in southern Israel Tuesday, stabbing several people and ramming his car into a cyclist in one of the deadliest suspected terrorist attacks against Israelis in recent years. – Wall Street Journal 

Gil Troy writes: We all know: Ukraine could happen here and we would be on our own far more than Ukraine because even some of our best friends would blame us, soft-pedaling our enemies’ enmity, deeming our tragedy self-inflicted. Israel is super-skittish because as the Russian bloodbath grows despite impressive Western sanctions and massive arms shipments. […]Whenever someone from or for President Joe Biden’s administration says Putin’s aggression proved that you must take dictators’ threats seriously, I want to scream, “What about Iran?!” – Jerusalem Post 

Yonah Jeremy Bob writes: A new British government-sponsored report by a London-based think tank focuses efforts on blocking the Iranian ballistic-missile threat in a way that might safeguard Western Europe and the US but leave Israel vulnerable. […]This would leave Jerusalem exposed for the foreseeable future, though the report accurately points out that no prior efforts have stopped the Islamic Republic’s progress. – Jerusalem Post 

Saudi Arabia

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels this week struck the same oil storage tank in the Saudi Arabian city of Jiddah they had previously hit a year and a half ago, satellite photos showed Tuesday. – Associated Press 

The United States has stepped up its military support for Saudi Arabia over the past few months following missile strikes on the kingdom by the Yemeni Houthi group, Western diplomats said, an indication that Washington is trying to mend its strained ties with traditional Gulf allies. – Reuters 

Saudi Arabia’s cabinet emphasised on Tuesday “the essential role” of the OPEC+ agreement in bringing balance and stability to oil markets, Saudi state news agency SPA reported. – Reuters 

Gulf States

Released Wednesday, the report by the New York-based organization in collaboration with Iraqi LGBT rights group IraQueer also accuses Iraqi police and security forces of being often complicit in compounding anti-LGBT violence and of arresting individuals “due to non-conforming appearance.” – Associated Press 

Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince spoke with Azerbaijan’s president about the global energy market in light of the Ukraine crisis, and stressed that the UAE is keen on energy security globally and the stability and balance of energy markets, state news agency WAM reported on Tuesday. – Reuters 

Michael Knights writes: U.S. officials also need to recognize that the timing of this crisis was manufactured by Tehran and its militia allies. […]By splitting America’s Kurdish and Arab partners in Iraq, Tehran no doubt hopes to torpedo the nascent cross-sectarian majority government and enable its militia partners to essentially reverse last year’s election losses. A historic opportunity still exists for progress in Iraq, but the KRI is being punished for trying to seize it in the face of Iranian opposition. – Washington Institute 

Middle East & North Africa

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard on Tuesday begins a tour of the Middle East and India lasting 10 days for talks covering a jump in energy prices, investment opportunities and efforts to prevent a potential food crisis, his ministry said. – Reuters 

The U.S. State Department said it welcomed the trilateral summit on Tuesday between the leaders of Egypt, Israel and the United Arab Emirates, who met in Sharm el-Sheikh for talks on the economic impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the growing influence of Iran in the region. – Reuters 

The Egyptian pound slid another 1% on Tuesday, after a 14% devaluation on Monday, and the government announced a budget restructuring in a sign it may be preparing for a new finance package with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). – Reuters 

Simon Henderson writes: The target of Middle East diplomacy appears to be the Biden administration, which seems close to agreeing to a revived Iran nuclear agreement (from which former President Trump walked away). This diplomatic strategy is, at best, high-risk and could be a distraction to resolving the Ukraine crisis. Washington’s Middle East allies have decided what their priorities are. Unfortunately, they appear to be largely at odds with those of Washington. – The Hill 

Anchal Vohra writes: A slew of social reforms undertaken in Saudi Arabia and the UAE are intended to tackle some of that disenchantment while investments in Turkey are a tool to create economic interdependence. The hope is that creating more constituencies with an interest in strong mutual ties will make it harder for Erdogan to adopt outright hostile policies in the future. In that way, the monarchs hope to earn some leverage over Turkey’s decision-making. Whether that will work in the long term is another question entirely. – Foreign Policy 

Korean Peninsula

South Korea on Wednesday nominated veteran International Monetary Fund official Rhee Chang-yong as its new central bank chief, a pick who is widely expected to continue the bank’s efforts to curb inflation with aggressive interest rate hikes. – Reuters 

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov met with North Korea’s ambassador to Russia and discussed developing bilateral relations “in the context of changes happening on the international arena,” the Russian foreign ministry said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

Aboriginal people from northern Australia have filed a lawsuit aimed at stopping South Korea funding a proposed deep-sea gas field. – BBC 


China has repeatedly called for peace talks in Ukraine. What it has not done is press Russia to negotiate an end to a war that has already cost thousands of lives, displaced millions and threatened to disrupt the world’s economy and even food security. – New York Times 

Chinese regulators have asked some of the country’s U.S.-listed firms, including Alibaba, Baidu and JD.com, to prepare for more audit disclosures, sources said, as Beijing steps up efforts to ensure domestic companies remain listed in New York. – Reuters 

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday he has not seen any evidence of China providing military equipment to Russia. U.S. President Joe Biden has warned China that providing Russia with assistance would draw a reaction from the U.s. – Reuters 

Ukraine wants China to play a more “noticeable role” in halting the war being waged by Russia on its territory and also to become a future guarantor of its security, a senior aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

The United States should immediately revoke visa curbs on Chinese officials or face reciprocal countermeasures, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

U.S. President Joe Biden’s warning of unspecified consequences if China supports Russia has smaller Asian nations worried they’ll be subject to similar penalties for maintaining neutrality over Vladimir Putin’s war. – Bloomberg 

Joseph Bosco writes: As for China, Washington should do it the favor of finally answering its question during the 1995-96 Taiwan Strait Crisis: What will America do if China attacks Taiwan? This time, rather than saying, “We don’t know, it would depend on the circumstances,” Biden should dispense with strategic ambiguity and affirm in a formal policy declaration what he has said in a couple of offhand remarks: “We will defend Taiwan.” As with Russia and Ukraine, allowing doubts to persist about Western resolve inevitably leads to disastrous miscalculation by freedom’s enemies. – The Hill 

Clara Ferreira Marques writes: If China does eventually shift away from the Kremlin, the change will be subtle — hoping for condemnation is, to quote the Chinese ambassador to the United States, “naive.” […]But a shift in the opposite direction is not completely impossible — and in that case we might see significant Russian military concessions to China, or deals in the Arctic, for example, an area where Russia has long been happy to accept Chinese funds but reluctant to yield influence. Course correction is difficult. For autocracies, whether that’s Moscow or Beijing, it can be impossible. – Bloomberg 

South Asia

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday suggested that close ally China and Islamic countries mediate in the Russia-Ukraine conflict and try to bring about a ceasefire. – Reuters 

Russian President Vladimir Putin intends to attend a G20 summit being hosted by Indonesia later this year, Russia’s ambassador in Jakarta said on Wednesday, following calls by some members for the country to be barred from the group. – Reuters 

China and Pakistan share concern about “spill-over effects of unilateral sanctions” on Russia over its war against Ukraine and called for a ceasefire and diplomatic resolution of the crisis, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi will fly to India on Friday, Bloomberg Quint said on Wednesday citing Bloomberg News, in the highest such visit by a Chinese official since border disputes flared between the countries a few years ago. – Reuters 


Taiwan is considering extending compulsory military service beyond the current four months, Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said on Wednesday, as the war in Ukraine renewed a discussion about how best to respond to China’s military threats. – Reuters 

A Vietnamese court jailed a prominent social commentator for five years on Wednesday for anti-state activities, his lawyer and state media said, among dozens of activists that rights groups say are being persecuted for criticising the government. – Reuters 

Small protests took place in military-ruled Myanmar on Tuesday against a visit by a Southeast Asian envoy, whose peace mission has been derided by critics as a failure and an endorsement of a junta condemned by the United Nations for its harsh rule. – Reuters 

Japan’s vice foreign minister summoned Russia’s ambassador on Tuesday, the foreign ministry said, a day after Moscow’s decision to halt peace treaty talks with Tokyo following sanctions imposed by Japan over Ukraine. – Reuters 

Wai Wai Nu writes: This week’s genocide determination is an important step on the path toward justice for the Rohingya people. My hope is that it is the first of many meaningful actions to come. – Washington Post 

Kathrin Hille writes: The biggest problem is not economic. There are signs that the invasion of Ukraine is spurring Japan to water down the pacifist defence posture it has had since 1945 because of its history as an aggressor in the second world war — a change also happening in Germany. – Financial Times 


Germany, in particular, is on high alert for information warfare by Moscow. It is the main target of Russian disinformation in the European Union, according to a report issued last year by the bloc’s disinformation watchdog. – Washington Post 

The United Nations will face three resolutions Wednesday on the worsening humanitarian situation in Ukraine after Russia decided to call for a vote on its Security Council resolution that makes no mention of its attack on its smaller neighbor. – Associated Press 

Russian President Vladimir Putin held a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday and discussed peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, Interfax news agency said. – Reuters 

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday that U.S. President Joe Biden will announce joint action on enhancing European energy security and reducing its dependence on Russian oil and natural gas. – Reuters 

Russia must adhere to the United Nations Charter, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during a call on Tuesday, according to a readout provided by Johnson’s office. – Reuters 

The British government on Tuesday said it would end retaliatory tariffs on U.S. motorcycles, whiskey and blue jeans after the United States announced “an expansive removal” of U.S. tariffs on UK steel and aluminium imports, effective June 1. – Reuters 

Top trade officials from the United States and Britain will meet in Scotland in April after two days of talks in the U.S. port city of Baltimore on forging deeper and more inclusive trade relations, and a surprise deal on cutting tariffs. – Reuters 

The US and NATO believe that Belarus could “soon” join Russia in its war against Ukraine, US and NATO officials tell CNN, and that the country is already taking steps to do so. – CNN 

Ukrainian government agencies risk running afoul of international law by posting pictures of captured Russian soldiers to their social media channels, human rights experts say. – Newsweek 

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will take part via video link in this week’s special NATO summit to discuss the Russian invasion, his spokesman said. Kyiv said the evacuation of civilians from the besieged southern port of Mariupol continued, but about 100,000 people remain there under bombardment. – Bloomberg 

Italian prime minister Mario Draghi publicly endorsed Ukraine’s bid for EU membership on Tuesday as he denounced Moscow for its “expansionist aims” and praised Ukraine’s resistance to Russia’s invasion. – Financial Times 

The prosecutor general of Ukraine will open its first investigation of an alleged rape committed by a Russian soldier during the invasion, a Ukrainian official said on Tuesday. – Washington Examiner 

A journalist in Ukraine was kidnapped and tortured for nine days by Russian forces, Reporters Without Borders said Monday. – Washington Examiner 

The U.S. intelligence community should leverage its power to warn of and document Russian war crimes in Ukraine, the House Intelligence Committee urged in a rare bipartisan letter. – The Hill 

NATO’s technical agency wants to make sure it has a say in ongoing 5G standardization talks to ensure the critical technology can be used for both civilian and military purposes. – Defense News 

Michael Gerson writes: Zelensky’s basic morality — his conception of good vs. evil — is not a perfect principle for the conduct of international affairs; but it is a good one. Its application in the 20th century would have left far less human carnage. Its urgency in the 21st century will require Biden to think anew — and has made a Ukrainian entertainer the moral conscience of our time. – Washington Post 

James S. Robbins writes: In time, the safe zone would expand to encompass the entire country. This would stem the humanitarian crisis and allow refugees to begin to return to their homes. The international community could then assist with the rebuilding stage and reconstituting Ukrainian government control. For the time being, though, it’s safe to say the Russian idea is a great one. We should thank them for it — and waste no time putting it into practice. – Washington Examiner 

Mark Penn writes: President Biden, I believe, will have the support of most Americans for an even stronger stand on the Ukraine crisis. But following the current course is likely to produce a slow-motion loss, with hundreds of thousands of casualties. It will take increased risk and strong presidential leadership to put the fear in Putin that no tyrant will be allowed to unleash unchecked aggression and pay only with his MasterCard. Russia must face a united NATO force, ready to take the next steps, even if it means edging toward a direct confrontation. – The Hill 

Jake Auchincloss writes: It likely also includes neutrality for Ukraine, swearing off the 2008 Bucharest Summit Declaration and agreeing to neither host foreign forces nor engage in foreign conflicts. This non-alignment, though, must be buttressed by Western security guarantees that are not subject to a Russian veto in the U.N. Security Council, as the 1994 Budapest Memorandum is. This is the painful path to peace. Through strength. Through diplomacy. But it does not end when the violence does. As Americans, we must be committed for the long haul, to the rebuilding of a sovereign, secure, democratic and prosperous Ukraine. – Fox News 

Mamuka Tsereteli writes: Most of all, European leaders need to understand that the long-term costs of inaction are liable to be measured in both economic pain and humanitarian suffering, as oil revenue continues to fuel Putin’s war machine. Officials in Brussels have the ability to alter this equation, if they have the political will to do so. – Center for European Policy Analysis 

Cynthia Cook writes: At the time of this commentary, the war in Ukraine is still ongoing, with no clear way out. […]We can hope that it is darkest before dawn, that soon the violence will cease, and that Ukraine will continue to exist as an independent and democratic nation embarking on an inspiring and effective national recovery. The attention of Ukraine’s leadership is now rightly focused on the war, but understanding that the next step includes triage and planning for recovery phases to come will leave Ukraine better prepared when that day arrives. – Center for Strategic and International Studies 

Christopher Layne writes: Moreover, for the United States, the stakes in Ukraine radiate outward to East Asia. The Biden administration is using this war to send a signal about American resolve and credibility to Beijing. […]In so doing, the administration has backed itself into its own corner. With these stakes believed to be on the line, Washington is likely to reject any outcome in Ukraine that appears to get Putin off the hook. This augurs badly for the chances of de-escalating and resolving the Ukraine conflict. – The National Interest 

Jeffrey Veidlinger writes: It’s understandable that Zelenskyy is making use of whatever reference points he think will help his country. It’s also true that Jews like Zelenskyy who grew up behind the Iron Curtain didn’t learn this history in the same way or on the same timeline as Jews living in the rest of the world. And I’m sympathetic to the idea, expressed by Israeli leaders to rebuff criticism of Zelenskyy after his speech, that we can all cut some slack to a world leader in a situation of life and death. Still, Zelenskyy’s voice matters. And when he utters untruths about the Holocaust, it’s important not to let them stand. – Arutz Sheva 


Sudan’s foreign ministry on Tuesday denied the presence of Russian private military contractor Wagner Group in the country, in response to a statement by Western diplomats. – Reuters 

More than 6,000 people have fled their homes in Gambia and Senegal following clashes between Senegalese soldiers and separatists near the Gambian border earlier this month, Gambia’s government said Tuesday. – Reuters 

Bobby Ghosh writes: The U.S. has already exerted considerable effort — President Joe Biden has spoken directly with Abiy, his Horn of Africa envoy has traveled to Addis Ababa and his administration has terminated favorable access for Ethiopian goods to the U.S. The only strategy that hasn’t yet been tried is the imposition of sanctions against the TPLF leadership and top government figures, including Abiy himself. With Tigray on the precipice of a humanitarian catastrophe, it’s time for Biden to signal that option is, at the very least, on the table. – Bloomberg 

Latin America

Now the Biden administration is listening closely to Chevron, say people familiar with the conversations, which says it can help double Venezuela’s 800,000 barrels-a-day production within months. That could replace the loss of roughly 700,000 barrels a day the U.S. was importing from Russia before it attacked Ukraine. And it could help lower gasoline prices—a major concern for the Biden administration in a tough election year. – Wall Street Journal 

Rodrigo Chaves, the finance minister in Costa Rica’s outgoing government, was in pole position to win a run-off for the presidency in less than two weeks time, a voter survey showed on Tuesday, though the race remained too tight to call. – Reuters 

Ryan C. Berg writes: Russia’s war in Ukraine has sent shockwaves around the world and accelerated the reconsideration of myriad U.S. strategies, but a Kirkpatrick Doctrine for the twenty-first century, with the Maduro regime in Venezuela as a leading contender for renewed U.S. engagement, makes little sense—if for no other reason than that the global corruption networks between authoritarians, stemming from their vast kleptocratic structures, prevent regimes like Maduro’s from playing any sort of reliable and constructive pro-U.S. role. […]More poignantly, Venezuelans may find the notion that their democratic aspirations must take a backseat to Putin and geopolitics a difficult notion to swallow. – Center for Strategic and International Studies 

North America

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau struck a formal deal with a smaller left-wing rival to ensure his minority Liberal government can rule for the next three years without fearing defeat in Parliament and a snap election. – Wall Street Journal 

Canada’s justice minister said on Tuesday he had ordered fashion designer Peter Nygard’s extradition to the United States to face sex trafficking and racketeering charges, but only after similar charges against him in Canada are addressed. – Reuters 

After the West broke off cooperation with Russia in the Arctic over its invasion of Ukraine, Canada is now scrambling to fortify defenses of what its top general called “NATO’s northern flank.” – Agence France-Presse 

United States

A man on the FBI’s wanted list for his alleged role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot has been granted asylum in Belarus, the country’s state media reported Tuesday. – Washington Post 

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador criticized the United States on Tuesday for its swift action to approve aid to Ukraine even as investment in Central America is stalled over “bureaucracy.” – Reuters 

The United States on Tuesday named former senior diplomat Joseph Yun to lead languishing talks with three tiny but strategically important Pacific Island countries, a signal that countering China remains a U.S. priority despite Russia’s war in Ukraine. – Reuters 

President Joe Biden faces a crucial test of his ability to project power and reassurance amid the biggest European security crisis in decades, as he seeks to rally U.S. allies around harder-hitting sanctions to punish Russia for invading Ukraine. – Bloomberg 

Over 80 Congress members on Tuesday urged the Biden administration not to delist Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terror group, a move it is thought to be weighing in its bid to return to the nuclear deal with Tehran. – Times of Israel 

John Kennedy writes: China and Iran have been taking notes at every turn. Mr. Biden’s end-run around Congress left rogue leaders emboldened and enriched. His task now is to get America out of Iran-deal negotiations, force Russia out of Ukraine, and keep China out of Taiwan. He needs to demonstrate resolve. He can start by disavowing future IMF allocations that would pour money into Russia, China, Iran and their like. Let’s shut off the IMF spigot to communists and terrorists and make sure it stays shut. – Wall Street Journal 

Diane E. Batchik writes: Mr. President, you’ve provided clear and decisive commander’s intent by stating bluntly that the U.S. “will welcome Ukrainian refugees with open arms.” We need your help to make it so, and the bureaucratic processes to move at speed. More than one-quarter of Ukraine’s population has already been forced from their homes, and it’s been less than a month since Putin launched this war. We need the president’s help — and action — now. – The Hill 


Microsoft Corp. said that the hacker group Lapsus$ gained “limited access” to its systems, following a claim by the group that it obtained source code for the Bing search engine and Cortana voice assistant. – Bloomberg 

Okta Inc (OKTA.O), whose authentication services are used by companies including Fedex Corp (FDX.N) and Moody’s Corp (MCO.N) to provide access to their networks, said on Tuesday that it had been hit by hackers and that some customers may have been affected. – Reuters 

President Joe Biden and national security officials warned that Russia may be ramping toward cyberattacks on U.S. critical infrastructure as the war in Ukraine continues. – Defense News 

The United Kingdom’s top cyber authority on Tuesday backed the Biden administration’s call for vigilance and beefed up security against potential Russian digital attacks as Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine grinds to a stalemate. – The Record 


The U.S. and Philippines will hold their biggest military drills in three decades as tensions grow with China, injecting new life into a defense alliance that had languished in recent years. – Bloomberg 

An F-22 fighter jet had a “mishap” upon landing Tuesday morning at an Air Force base in Florida, according to military officials. Emergency crews “immediately” responded to the scene, and the pilot was “transported to flight medicine for an evaluation,” Eglin Air Force Base said in a statement. – Washington Examiner 

The U.S. Navy is nearly done assessing whether to put missile tubes on an unmanned surface vessel, comparing the idea to other options for getting missile launchers out to sea. – Defense News 

The Pentagon has ordered a new independent commission to review suicides at three Alaska bases where a spike in the number of troops who have taken their lives has alarmed military leaders. – Military.com 

Kelly A. Grieco and Alec Evans write: Finally, Biden should propound loud and unambiguous support for European defense cooperation at the European Council, where, on Monday, it adopted a new security and defense strategy paper, the “Strategic Compass.” […]To put action behind his words, he should prioritize finally concluding an administrative arrangement with the European Defense Agency, so the United States could take part in the agency’s projects aimed at developing European capabilities and thereby foster a transatlantic industrial base. Europeans are ready to lead NATO. The United States should encourage them. – Defense News