Fdd's overnight brief

March 9, 2022

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


The number of people forced to escape Ukraine has passed a milestone of two million, as the civilian toll of the Russia-Ukraine war mounted along with international efforts to press President Vladimir Putin to halt the Russian offensive. – Wall Street Journal

At nearly every stop on his whirlwind European tour over the last week, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken had an identical message seemingly directed straight at Russian President Vladimir Putin. – Washington Post

As thousands flee the besieged Kyiv suburb Irpin, allegations are emerging of Russian forces looting, hiding military equipment in residential areas, deploying snipers and cutting water and power as they seek to use the area as a potential launchpad to invade the capital. – Washington Post

Global energy giant Shell apologized Tuesday for past purchases of Russian petroleum products and agreed to phase out all involvement with the country’s oil and gas industry, which accounts for about a 10th of global oil supply. – Washington Post

Up to 4,000 Russian troops may have died since President Vladimir Putin launched Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, a senior U.S. military officer said Tuesday, as the Kremlin’s military forces continued to face fierce resistance. – Washington Post

It took less than two weeks for Russian President Vladimir Putin to turn his country into the most-sanctioned nation in the world, dwarfing the high sanction totals imposed on the likes of Iran, North Korea and Syria, thanks to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. – Washington Post

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has damaged landmarks across the historic center of the mostly Russian-speaking city Kharkiv, including an opera house, and threatened the Derzhprom building, a classic example of constructivist architecture that was the tallest skyscraper in the Soviet Union when it opened in 1928. – Washington Post

The United States and European Union took steps Tuesday to dramatically scale back imports of Russian energy, attempting to economically isolate the Kremlin following its invasion of Ukraine even if the moves lead to higher oil prices for millions of consumers worldwide. – Washington Post

Top U.S. intelligence officials said on Tuesday that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had been surprised and unsettled by the problems that have hampered his military in Ukraine, issues that will make it more difficult for Russian forces to control the country. – New York Times

At a televised gathering with female pilots and crew members from Aeroflot, Russia’s flagship airline carrier, one participant asked President Vladimir V. Putin a question that was perfectly crafted to conform with new government rules for reporting on his invasion of Ukraine. – New York Times

The United States believes Russia underestimated the strength of Ukraine’s resistance before launching an invasion that has likely caused thousands of Russian casualties, the Biden administration’s top intelligence official told lawmakers Tuesday. – Associated Press 

McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and General Electric __ ubiquitous global brands and symbols of U.S. corporate might __ all announced Tuesday they were temporarily suspending their business in Russia in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine. – Associated Press

Russia warned the West on Wednesday that it was working on a broad response to sanctions that would be swift and felt in the West’s most sensitive areas. – Reuters

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on Tuesday announced it had suspended Russia and Belarus from any participation in its organization. – The Hill

Anthony Faiola writes: Russia stands as a testament to how authoritarians can stage-manage a narrative. The Ukrainian city of Mariupol is suffering a horrific siege by Russian forces, who Ukrainian officials say have stymied attempts to establish a humanitarian corridor. But read the pro-Putin daily Izvestia, and you’ll be told it was Ukrainian nationalists who shot at civilians trying to flee the city. – Washington Post

Frank Fannon writes: Russia itself is inflicting untold human suffering on a peaceful Ukraine and shaking the global community. By eliminating Russian oil from global markets, America can transform #StandingWithUkraine from a slogan into a powerful diplomatic tool. – Wall Street Journal

Bret Stephens writes: All of this made Putin’s Ukraine gambit seem like a good bet — except for his failure to reckon with the courage of the Ukrainian people, their magnificent president, and his own military’s ineptitude. That courage has given the West time to regroup to help save Ukraine. It should also be an opportunity to rethink the way in which we look at foreign affairs for the next decade. We need new rules for a new world. – New York Times

Martin Wolf writes: We should strengthen sanctions, though they may ruin Russia’s economy without changing its policy or its regime. We should state that our war is not with Russian people, though they may not forgive us for the pain we are inflicting upon them. We should ask China and India to persuade Putin to end his war, though we must recognise that such an effort is highly likely to fail. – Financial Times

Seth J. Frantzman writes: A cornered and isolated Russia which already works with China will work with China more. China and Russia will want to work with Iran. Whereas before Iran was not a close ally of either state, now it may become one. Iran already signed a new 25-year agreement with China. How will China balance its relations with Israel and the Gulf when Iran wants to use China for its own benefit? What will Turkey do next? What will India do now that it has appeared to abstain from critique of Russia? – Jerusalem Post

Fredrick W. Kagan, George Barros, and Kateryna Stepanenko write: Russian troops are likely attempting to bypass Mykolayiv and cross the Southern Bug upriver of that city to permit an advance on Odesa combined with an impending amphibious operation against that city. – Institute for the Study of War

Benjamin Zycher writes: The central point here is that a U.S. “ban” on imports of Russian petroleum would have few real effects as distinct from symbolic ones; but a system of enforced sanctions on banks facilitating the financial flows that are the necessary adjunct of crude oil sales might prove effective, however cumbersome administratively. – RealClearEnergy


With negotiators all but finished with their work to restore the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has made an agreement both more urgent and more difficult to get. – New York Times

Western powers on Tuesday warned Russia against wrecking an almost completed deal on bringing the United States and Iran back into compliance with the 2015 nuclear accord, as Iran’s top negotiator was set to return from consultations in Tehran. – Reuters

Qatar has stepped up its role in mediating between the US and Iran as western powers have been striving to convince wary Iranian leaders to ink a deal to revive the 2015 nuclear accord, according to people briefed on the talks. – Financial Times

Iran’s pragmatic/reformist circles have criticized the regime circles’ practice, particularly under President Ebrahim Raisi, of negotiating indirectly with the U.S. while publicly shunning it, especially in light of reports that the American negotiating team has requested direct negotiations numerous times. – Middle East Media Research Institute

On March 5, 2022, a video was uploaded to the IMA Media YouTube channel showcasing an IRGC underground UAV and missile base. In the video, senior IRGC commanders, including Commander-in-Chief Hossein Salami, are seen touring the base. […]The video concluded with a simulation of the UAVs and missiles being launched from the underground base and hitting a target in the desert. – Middle East Media Research Institute

CIA Director William Burns on Tuesday told the US House Intelligence Committee that regardless of the outcome of the nuclear negotiations with the world powers in Vienna, Iran will continue to present a threat throughout the Middle East. – Jerusalem Post

Sen. Marco Rubio writes: By reviving the failed Iran deal, the Biden administration will fill the coffers of a murderous, terrorist regime, without putting an end to Iran’s nuclear weaponization. And some of that windfall may find its way to Russia, fueling Putin’s war machine. – Fox News

David Albright and Sarah Burkhard write: Given that the IAEA has already said that Iran violated its safeguards commitments at Lavizan-Shian, it is likely that Iran is continuing with its fiction that it never had a nuclear weapons program—hardly an optimistic start to a difficult joint process. […]In any nuclear deal, sanctions should not be reduced unless Iran cooperates with the IAEA and fully addresses its concerns. In other words, if Iran continues its deception during the implementation period of a new nuclear deal, a practice it followed during the implementation period of the JCPOA, sanctions should not be reduced. – Institute for Science and International Security 


For decades, the smuggling trade — of people, drugs and money — has dominated the economy here, flushing cash into an otherwise desolate stretch of Afghanistan where endless desert blends into a washed-out sky. Now, as hundreds of thousands of Afghans try to flee the country, fearing persecution from the Taliban or starvation from the country’s economic collapse, business has boomed for people smugglers like H. who hold the keys to the gate. – New York Times

The Taliban halted a blood donation drive by women activists to mark International Women’s Day on Tuesday, activists said. – Associated Press

In Zaranj, a border town in southwestern Afghanistan, people smugglers say the flow of would-be exiles now reaches 5,000 to 6,000 a day — four times more than before the Taliban’s return to power in August. – Agence France-Presse 

Teresa Casale writes: It is doubtful that the Ukrainian women will look to the U.S. for support. If we can tolerate a situation where Afghan women are deleted from public life and refuse to acknowledge that women leaders need special protection from the Taliban, the U.S.’ credibility as champions of women’s rights is found wanting. No more does this sting than on International Women’s Day. – The Hill


Israeli President Isaac Herzog travels to Turkey on Wednesday, becoming the first Israeli leader to visit in 14 years, as the two countries move to turn a new page in their troubled relationship. – Associated Press 

Security and emergency response forces are not fully prepared to deal with attacks on Israel’s many hazardous materials facilities in the event of war, according to a state comptroller report released Wednesday. – Times of Israel

Israel has used F-35i Adir fighter jets to shoot down two Iranian drones, the Israel Defense Forces revealed this week. Although the interceptions took place last year, Israel only revealed the full story on Monday. – Defense News

Editorial: The EastMed pipeline could provide solutions to one of the biggest problems facing Europe that has emerged as a result of the brutal Russian aggression against the Ukrainian people. It is incumbent on Israel to explore ways to push forward the plan with or without the participation or approval of the US. But it needs to be done smartly, quietly and with nuance. – Jerusalem Post

Eldad Ben Aharon writes: In order for Herzog’s diplomatic dance to succeed, he needs to incorporate the public’s feelings towards Turkey. As a first step, Herzog’s mission should be focused on building rational trust and demonstrating readiness for rapprochement, along with clarifying that Israel is not giving up on its important interests. – Jerusalem Post

Arabian Peninsula

The White House unsuccessfully tried to arrange calls between President Biden and the de facto leaders of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as the U.S. was working to build international support for Ukraine and contain a surge in oil prices, said Middle East and U.S. officials. – Wall Street Journal

Lockheed Martin (LMT.N) will invest more than $1 billion in manufacturing in Saudi Arabia, a senior executive said on Tuesday, as the kingdom looks to use its clout as a major arms buyer to help diversify its economy away from oil. – Reuters 

The United Nations and Yemen’s Houthi rebels have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at resolving the environmental threat posed by a tanker carrying more than 1 million barrels of crude oil that has been moored off the coast of the war-torn Arab nation since the 1980s, the U.N. said Monday. – Associated Press

Middle East & North Africa

Libya’s east-based army rounded up at least 50 people in a coastal city following a prison escape earlier this year, a rights group said Tuesday. – Associated Press 

The Foundation for the Defense of Democracy’s Jonathan Schanzer joins the podcast to discuss the state of play in Ukraine and the West’s headlong rush into a new nuclear deal with Iran. Does isolating Russia have to come at the expense of efforts to isolate Iran? – Commentary Magazine

Katherine Bauer writes: With the Biden Administration pursuing a more transactional foreign policy in the Middle East, it is signaling a desire to see solutions come from the region, rather than U.S. intervention. However, the UAE and Israel, in particular, also share concern that U.S. pressure to repel Chinese economic and political inroads in the region will deprive them of investments and technology. As economic ties deepen and the partners branch out, they may be able to leverage emerging economic blocs within and beyond the Middle East, such as the so-called “new Quad,” to substitute for some of these lost opportunities. – Hoover Institution

Intissar Fakir writes: Algeria and Morocco have dueling proposed pipelines to connect Nigerian gas to Europe. This could be a long-term opportunity for Algeria to play a leading role in helping connect Africa to Europe and beyond. But these projects face substantial challenges given the distances involved, the difficulty of reaching individual agreements with transit countries, the insecurity of these vast swaths of land, and the sheer scale of investment required. – Middle East Institute

Korean Peninsula

As a star prosecutor, Yoon Suk-yeol, the leading conservative candidate, helped imprison two former presidents as well as the head of Samsung and a former chief justice of the country’s Supreme Court on charges of corruption. Now, Mr. Yoon hopes to become president himself by appealing to South Koreans who are deeply dissatisfied with the outgoing president, Moon Jae-in. – New York Times

South Koreans were voting for a new president Wednesday, with an outspoken liberal ruling party candidate and a conservative former prosecutor considered the favorites in a tight race that has aggravated domestic divisions. – Associated Press

South Korea’s military on Wednesday returned a North Korean boat and its seven crew members across the countries’ disputed western sea boundary a day after they drifted into waters near a South Korean border island. – Associated Press


Gina Raimondo, the secretary of commerce, issued a stern warning Tuesday to Chinese companies that might defy U.S. restrictions against exporting to Russia, saying the United States would cut them off from American equipment and software they need to make their products. – New York Times

The United Nations’ top human rights official said on Tuesday that China would allow her to visit the country and examine conditions there, including in the Xinjiang region, a startling twist after years of negotiations and stonewalling by Beijing. – New York Times

A “troubling new strategic convergence” between Beijing and Moscow has developed and the risk of “major power conflict” had grown since Russia invaded Ukraine, Australia’s intelligence chief said on Wednesday. – Reuters

US intelligence chiefs on Tuesday said they were monitoring how China was interpreting the war in Ukraine and said the swift western reaction would probably influence Beijing’s calculus over its goal of securing control of Taiwan. – Financial Times

Before Russia invaded Ukraine, Wu Hao-chin had never heard of Javelin anti-tank missiles. Now, Wu is discussing their merits in urban warfare with his friends and argues that Taiwan should train its reservists to use them. – Financial Times

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday called for peace and “maximum restraint to prevent a massive humanitarian crisis” in Ukraine, but the leader stopped short of criticizing Russia or its president, Vladimir Putin, directly in his most detailed comments in recent memory on the conflict. – U.S. News & World Report

David Von Drehle writes: Ultimately, Xi must decide whether to end the bromance now or later. He probably has the power to call off Putin’s brutalizing of Ukraine — but only if he intervenes forcefully. It’s a tough call for a man who has blundered into the wrong friendship. Xi thought he and Putin together could disrupt the Western alliance. He didn’t realize his pal was crazy. – Washington Post

Bonnie S. Glaser and Jude Blanchette write: Mr. Xi should also draw a lesson from the rapidly evolving discussions in Sweden and Finland about possible membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. If Beijing uses force against Taiwan, it may encourage some of China’s neighbors to align themselves more closely with the U.S. Even a failed effort to seize Taiwan could produce a firmer anti-China coalition as countries like India and several South China Sea claimants, such as the Philippines and Vietnam, commit more strongly to countering Beijing. – Wall Street Journal

Kathrin Hille writes: For Beijing, which has had an ambivilant attitude towards the war in Ukraine, this is potentially alarming. Russia’s involvement in conflicts over the past 15 years, such as the 2008 Georgia war, its 2014 invasion of Crimea and the war in Syria, created the impression that its forces were highly organised. China has even modelled part of its military structure on the Russian example. – Financial Times


As the U.S., European Union and others hit Russia with crippling economic sanctions in response to President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, they are facing demands to go hard against another regime: Myanmar’s military junta. – Wall Street Journal

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for an attack on a security convoy in southwestern Pakistan early Tuesday that killed at least five soldiers, according to a monitoring group. – Associated Press

Robert D. Blackwill and Richard Fontaine write: Over the next several years, the U.S. must adopt a slower, less-intense pivot to Asia than it intended before Putin’s war. That is, however, preferable to no pivot at all, or to pretending that the crisis in European security does not alter American plans. The long game will be all-important. – Bloomberg

Michael R. Pompeo writes: The United States should immediately take necessary and long-overdue steps to do the right and obvious thing: to recognize that Taiwan is a free and independent nation. We must offer Taiwan full diplomatic recognition and cement our ironclad relationship. In so doing, we will send a clear and unmistakable message to the Chinese Communist Party that what has happened in Ukraine, will never be permitted to happen in Taiwan. – Fox News


The war in Ukraine has severely hobbled shipping in the Black Sea, with broad consequences for international transport and global supply chains. Dozens of cargo ships are stranded at the Ukrainian port of Mykolaiv, shipping trackers said. An estimated 3,500 sailors have been stuck on some 200 ships at Ukrainian ports, according to London-based shipping tracker Windward Ltd. More ships are stranded around the globe than at any point since World War II, maritime historians said. – Wall Street Journal

The White House last week modified existing guidance for the Pentagon and U.S. spy agencies on sending intelligence data to the Ukrainian government to clear the way of any bureaucratic roadblocks to information sharing, a senior Biden administration official said. – Wall Street Journal

The United States all but declined an offer from Poland on Tuesday to deliver an unspecified number of MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine so that the warplanes could be used against invading Russian forces. – Washington Post

The desperate effort to secure safe passage for civilians trapped in Ukrainian cities under attack by Russian forces remained deeply precarious on Tuesday: A single evacuation route opened, allowing thousands to escape safely, while Ukraine accused Russia of shelling another proposed corridor. – Washington Post

The European Commission on Tuesday presented a plan to cut Russian gas imports by two-thirds this year, steeply reducing — but not severing — energy ties to Moscow. – Washington Post

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky remained defiant on Monday in a pair of videos recorded at the leader’s Kyiv office — the first time he has publicly appeared there since the Russian invasion began — where he declared that his outgunned army “will endure” and said everyone involved in the Kremlin’s assault should be considered a war criminal. – Washington Post

A man slammed a truck through the gates of the Russian Embassy in Dublin on Monday, prompting Russia to summon the Irish ambassador to Moscow and demand an apology. – Washington Post

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the British Parliament on Tuesday via video, receiving a standing ovation. He recounted events from each of the last 13 days since Russia invaded and repeated calls for tougher sanctioning of Russia and for a no-fly zone over Ukraine. – Washington Post

Across Moldova, a small, poor post-Soviet democracy next to Ukraine’s southwestern border, Moldovans are watching Russia’s advance on nearby Odessa — and packing their bags, just in case. – New York Times

With Russia and Ukraine engaged in an information war that is at times as intense as the clashes on the battlefield, attempts to capture losses and victories by either side are obscured by the fog of conflict and the work of powerful propaganda machines. – New York Times

The Russian attack has triggered the fastest displacement of people in Europe since World War II. More than 2 million Ukrainians have fled since last month, according to the United Nations, and many more are expected to join the exodus. Much of Europe has allowed the refugees to enter without visas, but Britain has required visas and an application process that is confusing many and slowing their arrival in Britain. – New York Times

The Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine and the humanitarian tragedy it provoked over the past two weeks have raised a Western outcry of heartfelt support and spawned calls for a fundamental rethink of how the geopolitical map of Europe should be redrawn in the future. – Associated Press

European Union officials on Tuesday defended the 27-nation bloc’s decision to ban Russian state-controlled media outlets from broadcasting in the region as decisive steps to check a Kremlin-led “information war.” – Associated Press

The UK foreign secretary admitted on Monday that Britain had been “slower” than the EU and US to impose sanctions on Russian oligarchs with links to President Vladimir Putin, blaming the House of Lords for making relevant legislation more “onerous” after Brexit. – Financial Times

The sweeping sanctions and rapid decision making the EU has achieved since Russia invaded Ukraine two weeks ago have confounded critics accustomed to a glacial pace of progress in a bloc where conflicting national interests often hobble its ambitions. – Financial Times  

Canada’s satellite builder and operator MDA Ltd. (MDA.TO) is providing Ukraine with near real-time satellite images to track Russian troop movements even at night or through cloud cover, Chief Executive Officer Mike Greenley said on Tuesday. – Reuters

With ongoing negotiations between Ukraine and Russia, Zelensky’s Servant of the People Party has proposed a new security agreement as an alternative to the country joining NATO. The party believes that in such an agreement, the guarantors may be the United States, Turkey, and neighboring countries – even including Russia. – Jerusalem Post

Muhamed Latic writes: Complete and official reconciliation can be achieved only when the 1995 Srebrenica genocide, which the Serbian political and military establishment at the time failed to prevent, is fully acknowledged, following the ruling of the International Court of Justice. Yet, the responsibility for the crimes is to be ascribed to its perpetrators only, freeing the collectives for a life with dignity and mutual respect. – Washington Post

Christine Brinkley writes: Every Ukrainian life lost in this unwarranted invasion would be for nothing if the land Ukrainians love is contaminated with radiation and uninhabitable. It would be an unthinkable loss for Russians, too, and a meltdown could result in mass evacuations in Europe, as radiation knows no boundaries. – New York Times

Helen Thomas writes: Either way, the UK’s position arguably illustrates the difficulties inherent in taking back swaths of powers, responsibilities and rulemaking in a hurry. Sovereignty, it turns out, is no substitute for good lawmaking, adequate resourcing and plain old-fashioned competence. – Financial Times

Richard Milne writes: Another possibility is a limited Russian incursion into the Baltics, perhaps by forces claiming to be separatists. “The most dangerous scenario for us is a very limited incursion. It might be hard to find an immediate Nato response,” says a second Baltic national security official who fears such a move could divide the allies. Still, most officials think the “little green men” used by Russia in Crimea are unlikely to be tried a second time. Latvia’s former president once said the tactic to be used against such an incursion would be simple: shoot them on sight. – Financial Times

Joseph Bosco writes: The West deserves credit for what it has done belatedly for Ukraine, but history will also judge what it long failed to do. Hopefully, as it struggles to salvage what it can for the Ukrainian people it will not repeat the mistakes with China and Taiwan. – The Hill

Jeremy Fassler writes: In their attempts to support a larger narrative about interventions and imperialism, these left-wing thought leaders make nuance-free arguments to support a predetermined conclusion that all intervention, regardless of context or intent, is imperialism. Not only does this give their readers permission to ignore the atrocities committed by Milosević and Putin, it’s also license to ignore the suffering of the victims themselves. – The Daily Beast


The foreign ministry in Nouakchott on Tuesday accused Mali’s army of crimes against Mauritanians after protesters in the capital charged they had been killed “in cold blood”. – Agence France-Presse

The release of Tanzanian opposition leader Freeman Mbowe last week raised hopes of an easing of political freedoms in the East African nation, but observers say much more is needed to turn the page on years of authoritarian rule. – Agence France-Presse

The Mozambique Army downed drones belonging to the Islamic State using Israeli-designed jamming systems manufactured by MCTECH technologies. – Jerusalem Post

Latin America

The Venezuelan government has released at least two Americans detained in the country for years, according to five people with knowledge of the situation, days after a U.S. delegation made a rare trip to the socialist state. – Washington Post

President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela signaled on Monday a willingness to increase his country’s oil production if Russian supplies are shut out of the international market, as he described a meeting with American officials over the weekend as “respectful, cordial, very diplomatic.” – New York Times

U.S. officials have demanded Venezuela supply at least a portion of oil exports to the United States as part of any agreement to ease oil trading sanctions on the OPEC member nation, two people close to the matter said. – Reuters

Russia and its allies have been using their media platforms to target Spanish speakers with propaganda that is inaccurate or an incomplete picture of the invasion of Ukraine, worrying some about the impact it can have on U.S. Latinos and across Latin America. – NBC

Ryan C. Berg and Karla Rios write: Lastly, in the wake of Russia’s unprovoked war in Ukraine, the United States should think about Russian connections to Venezuela and Nicaragua, including their respective gold mining industries, as Russia has been linked to the illegal transport and laundering of gold bars in the past. This will become especially important as the international community thinks about measures to isolate and punish Russian president Vladimir Putin, and in an ongoing context where both Maduro and Ortega have expressed support for Russia’s military operations. – Center for Strategic and International Studies

David Smilde writes: Getting a commitment from the Maduro government to return to the Mexico talks is an important success. Getting its commitment to make progress there would be even more important. The Maduro government has developed a modus operandi of using dialogue as a nonbinding substitute for the democratic institutions it has undermined. Getting Maduro to commit to a road map for negotiations—with benchmarks for humanitarian improvements, restoring the rule of law, and an election calendar—could spur the return to democracy Venezuelan citizens have been struggling for. – Foreign Policy

United States

Congressional leaders reached a bipartisan deal early Wednesday providing $13.6 billion to help Ukraine and European allies plus billions more to battle the pandemic as part of an overdue $1.5 trillion measure financing federal agencies for the rest of this year. – Associated Press

Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip to Warsaw to thank Poland for taking in hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion took an unexpected turn before she even left Washington. She’ll be parachuting into the middle of unexpected diplomatic turbulence over fighter jets. – Associated Press 

A woman with Russian and U.S. citizenships who founded what prosecutors called a “Russian propaganda center” in New York City was charged Tuesday with subverting laws for the last decade that require foreign agents to register with the U.S. – Associated Press

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved a resolution condemning the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin in waging war against Ukraine. – Associated Press

Editorial: Replacing Russia’s five million barrels of global crude exports with U.S. and Canadian oil and building pipelines to transport it would take time. But the transition to a fossil-free world will take decades and technological breakthroughs—and will leave the U.S. dependent on China, Russia and other countries for minerals like lithium and nickel. Mr. Biden bemoans today’s skyrocketing gas prices, yet he remains hostage to the green-energy donors whose policies guarantee higher prices. The President is enabling Vladimir Putin’s energy leverage even as he claims the opposite. – Wall Street Journal

Ilya Somin writes: Expanded Russian emigration to the West would be a tremendous moral victory for the United States and other liberal democracies. During the Cold War, America welcomed refugees from the U.S.S.R., Cuba and other Communist nations in part for this very reason. I was one of the beneficiaries of this understanding. An open door to Russian immigrants would also be a powerful signal that we do not regard the people of Russia as our enemies — undercutting a pillar of Mr. Putin’s domestic propaganda. – New York Times

D. Brian Hay and Peter Vincent Pry write: This would leave China and Russia as the sole remaining superpowers, able to dominate the world. Inevitably, these “empires of evil” would clash with each other for global dominance. And what would India and Pakistan do, or Iran and Israel, in the aftermath of a shattered world order, bereft of the benign United States as global policeman? This unthinkable scenario is why we believe the future of mankind could be at stake in Russia’s war in Ukraine, if the worst-case possibilities were to unfold. – The Hill


Belarus conducted widespread phishing attacks against members of the Polish military as well as Ukrainian officials, security researchers said Monday, providing more evidence that its role in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has gone beyond serving as a staging area for Russian troops. – Washington Post

Hackers working on behalf of the Chinese government broke into the computer networks of at least six state governments in the United States in the last year, according to a report released Tuesday by a private cybersecurity firm. – Associated Press

A little more than a year removed from its role in advancing some of the most significant cybersecurity legislation ever enacted, the Cyberspace Solarium Commission is transforming into version 2.0 of itself. – CyberScoop

Editorial: The biggest danger is that Russia misconstrues sporadic hacks against its systems as co-ordinated nation state attacks and escalates the conflict. That makes it all the more imperative to step up international efforts to create a Digital Geneva Convention, establishing humanitarian norms and legal standards for cyber warfare. Reaching any consensus will be extremely difficult. But the very debate is itself useful in highlighting the world’s collective cyber vulnerabilities.. – Financial Times


Commander of U.S. Northern Command Gen. Glen VanHerck told the House Armed Services Committee the technologies the U.S. needs to bolster its homeland defense against Russian submarines and missiles are currently available and in use by other countries around the world — meaning the Defense Department could move out quickly on buying and fielding them. – Defense News

As China refuses to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and a day after China’s foreign minister called Russia his country’s “most important strategic partner,” U.S. Strategic Command’s chief, Adm. Chas Richard, said his organization must have plans ready for scenarios in which the two collaborate. – Defense News 

Testing delays will push a decision on whether to move the F-35 to full-rate production into late fiscal 2023 — and perhaps into fiscal 2024. – Defense News

The backbone of the Navy’s next nuclear ballistic missile submarine is starting to take shape in a series of understated white buildings on the edge of Narragansett Bay. – USNI News

John G. Ferrari writes: Given DoD’s disastrous track record of converting future technology into plausible weapon systems, DoD should instead focus on integrating today’s technology into the force, which is a leap forward from what is currently on hand. The new defense strategy should prioritize procurement of weapons and munitions today, incrementally inserting technology, and reverse the trend of more research spending at the expense of near-term procurement. – Breaking Defense