giovedì, Maggio 30, 2024



Al Jazeera

Most of the world’s nations have voted in favour of a United Nations resolution demanding that Russia “immediately, completely and unconditionally” withdraw its military forces from Ukraine, in a powerful rebuke of Moscow’s invasion of its neighbour. The resolution was adopted on Wednesday at a rare emergency session of the UN General Assembly. UN General Assembly demands Russia withdraw troops from Ukraine

As the Western world moves to diplomatically isolate Russia amid widespread global condemnation over its war on Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) stands out as one of a few countries keen to maintain a neutral, if not supportive, stance towards Moscow. On Wednesday, it was among an overwhelming majority of states that backed a resolution at an emergency session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) reprimanding Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and demanding Moscow immediately withdraw its forces. Arwa Ibrahim: UAE stance on Ukraine war reflects ‘strong alliance’ with Russia

Atlantic Council

Amid the escalating war in Ukraine, some US legislators and former officials have sounded the alarm about Russia using cryptocurrencies to evade American sanctions. In reality, though, Moscow’s abilities to do so are more limited and illusory than they might initially appear. JP Schnapper-Casteras: Here’s why crypto won’t save the Kremlin from sanctions

On February 28, 2022, Russia indiscriminately shelled Ukraine’s second largest city, Kharkiv, in an attack that claimed at least eleven civilian lives, wounding many more, and destroying homes. This incident was not isolated; as previously reported by the Digital Forensic Research Lab, Russia has shelled the city since the beginning of the war. Michael J. Sheldon: Mapped: Russia’s shelling of civilians in Kharkiv


As Russian tanks roll through Ukraine, the United States and its European allies are responding to Russia’s military aggression through a sweeping set of economic sanctions, including the unusual step of cutting Russian financial institutions off the global financial system by kicking them out of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) system. Weaponizing the financial and payments system is working better than many predicted, and President Biden rightly took credit for his administration’s leadership in the State of the Union address on Tuesday night. Sweeping sanctions were the right opening strategy here. But our time working in government on sanctions issues also taught us that this approach poses clear risks—ones which the United States and its allies must prepare for and confront as the conflict drags on. Aaron Klein and Norman Eisen: Economic warfare is hurting Russia. But it’s risky for the US, too.

Chatham House

On 21 February, as part of his televised speech that heralded the Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin issued what was interpreted as a threat to use nuclear weapons against NATO countries should they interfere in Ukraine. ‘Russia will respond immediately’ he said, ‘and the consequences will be such as you have never seen in your entire history’. Patricia Lewis: How likely is the use of nuclear weapons by Russia? 

Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine — surprising to many Russia-watchers, dangerous and risky to most observers, and condemned by a broad range of international actors — has prompted many questions, including: Why did Putin choose this option? And why now? Juliet Kaarbo: What happened to Vladimir Putin?. Juliet Kaarbo investigates the…

Defense News

The Biden administration has taken further steps aimed at Russia’s defense industry, announcing sanctions Wednesday that could affect not only Russia, but countries that rely on its military hardware. The measures, triggered by Moscow’s war against Ukraine, target both Russia and its ally Belarus, which has been a staging ground for the invasion. The White House said sanctions on Russia’s defense sector would “impose significant costs on Russian weapon development and production companies.”. Joe Gould: New US sanctions target Russia’s multibillion-dollar defense sector

The Pentagon announced that it is postponing a nuclear missile test launch scheduled for this week to avoid any possible misunderstanding in light of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent decision to put his nuclear forces on higher alert. The Associated Press: Pentagon postpones nuclear missile test launch amid Ukraine crisis

Defense One

In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and Moscow’s use of its veto to scuttle an initial response by the United Nations, some U.S. lawmakers have called for revoking the country’s permanent seat on the UN Security Council. Experts said they understand the anger and frustration, but that it’s not possible to expel Russia—nor would it be wise to shut down a communications channel at a time of high tension. Jacqueline Feldscher: It’s ‘Effectively Impossible’ To Kick Russia Out Of The UN, But There Are Other Options

The West’s response so far to Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine has been beyond expectations—certainly beyond what the Russian leader had anticipated. This is especially true for Europe, whose transformation into a geopolitical power has happened all at once. Amid Putin’s brutal invasion and the bravery of Ukrainian resistance, what failed to materialize over decades did so in a weekend: upping the ante on sanctions, arming Ukraine through the European Peace Facility, and providing refuge for Ukrainians. The most profound shift has occurred in the EU’s largest member state—Germany—and its energy, fiscal, and security policies. Liana Fix, Steven Keil: Give Putin a Way Out of This


The decision by OPEC+ to stick to its plans for only a small increase in crude oil output in April shows the producer group is increasingly disconnected from the new reality of the market following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Clyde Russell: Column: OPEC+ has an ostrich problem. It’s ignoring Ukraine | Reuters

Ukraine’s “IT army” of volunteer hackers announced a new set of targets on Thursday – including the Belarusian railway network and Russia’s homegrown satellite-based navigation system, GLONASS. : Ukraine’s ‘IT army’ targets Belarus railway network, Russian GPS

Sova Capital, a London-based broker controlled by Russian banker Roman Avdeev, said on Thursday it was entering special administration because of liquidity problems, as a barrage of Western sanctions hurts businesses with Russian ties. Russian-owned broker Sova enters special administration

The London Stock Exchange Group’s clearing arm LCH said on Thursday it had placed VTB Capital, the trading arm of Russia’s VTB Bank (VTBR.MM), in default as a clearing member.  London Stock Exchange places VTB Capital in clearing default

The Russian rouble slumped to new record lows against the dollar and euro on Thursday after Fitch and Moody’s downgraded Russia’s sovereign debt to “junk” status, with steps by the central bank and finance ministry failing to halt its slide. Russian rouble falls to new lows after ratings downgrades

Oil prices soared again on Thursday as the Ukraine war triggered a dash for commodities that could be in short supply, while stock markets slipped as investors worried about higher inflation and slowing economic growth. Tommy Wilkes: Oil surge rattles markets as Ukraine conflict intensifies

Disruptions to automotive supply chains in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could impact demand for platinum group metals (PGMs), the chief executive of South African miner Sibanye-Stillwater said on Thursday. Helen Reid: Sibanye-Stillwater sees Ukraine crisis disrupting automotive supply chains

British satellite company OneWeb said on Thursday it was suspending all launches from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan after Moscow’s space agency demanded guarantees that its technology would not be used for military purposes. UK satellite company OneWeb suspends Baikonur launches

IKEA, the world’s biggest furniture brand, is closing its stores in Russia and pausing all sourcing in the country and ally Belarus, joining the wave of Western firms curbing business with Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. : IKEA temporarily closes stores in Russia, flags bigger price hikes

A responsible-investing group representing $10 trillion of assets under management and advisement said companies could be right to cut Russian business ties to protest Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, but urged executives to take care to avoid causing unintended harm to employees, political dissidents or consumers. : Investors warn of unintended consequences as companies cut Russian ties

Ukraine’s central bank governor Kyrylo Shevchenko said on Thursday the Ukrainian banking and financial system remained resilient amid Russia’s invasion and had been boosted by international financial support amounting to around $15 billion. Ukraine’s banking system remains resilient despite war, says central bank governor

An advance team left the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague for “the Ukraine region” on Thursday to start investigating possible war crimes, its top prosecutor told Reuters in an interview. : ICC prosecutor: Team leaves to investigate Ukraine war crimes

The Amsterdam Hermitage, a museum of Russian art in Amsterdam that assembled its collection in cooperation with the famed State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, said on Thursday it was “severing ties” with Russia. Amsterdam Hermitage museum breaks ties with famed Hermitage in St. Petersburg

Britain’s culture minister said she had asked social media company Tik Tok and Facebook’s parent company Meta Platforms (FB.O) if they could prevent access to Russian state-owned television network RT in Britain. UK asks Meta, Tik Tok to prevent access to RT

A growing tide of Ukrainian refugees fleeing a brutal Russian invasion streamed into central Europe on Thursday, as volunteers and officials speededup efforts to process arrivals whose numbers a U.N. official said had crossed the one million mark and : Tide of Ukrainian refugees grows as UN says a million have fled

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine entered its second week on Thursday an apparent tactical failure so far, with its main assault force stalled for days on a highway north of Kyiv and other advances halted at the outskirts of cities it is bombing into wastelands. : Russian column stalled for days outside Kyiv

Ukraine’s defence lines were holding against the Russian attack, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his latest video on Thursday, adding there had been no respite in Moscow’s shelling of Ukraine since midnight. Ukraine’s Zelenskiy says defence lines holding against Russian attacks

The EU must prepare for the arrival of millions of refugees as they flee war in Ukraine, the bloc’s top home affairs official said on Thursday, adding that she expected governments to agree a temporary protection scheme in the coming days. EU prepares for millions of refugees from Ukraine

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday he believed some foreign leaders were preparing for war against Russia and that Moscow would press on with its military operation in Ukraine until “the end”. Lavrov says Russia will continue Ukraine war till ‘the end’

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is likely to threaten one of China’s most discreet but important strategic relationships in recent years: its use of Ukraine as a source of technology for the expanding Chinese military. Military analysts and diplomats say that although the Ukraine-China link has come under increased pressure from the United States, the current conflict could largely scupper a trade that has helped China’s military modernise over the last two decades. Greg Torode: Analysis: Ukraine crisis threatens China’s discreet pipeline in military technology

Russia’s advance on Kyiv has made scant progress and Ukrainian forces still held Kharkiv and several other cities under attack, British military intelligence said on Thursday, a day after Moscow claimed to have captured the Black Sea port of Kherson. Britain says Russian column inches towards Kyiv, Ukrainian refugees top 1 million

Ukrainians working at Western tech companies are banding together to help their besieged homeland, aiming to knock down disinformation websites, encourage Russians to turn against their government, and speed delivery of medical supplies. They are seeking, through email campaigns and online petitions, to persuade firms such as internet security company Cloudflare Inc (NET.N), Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O) and Inc to do more to counter Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and : Ukraine’s tech diaspora races to mobilize Silicon Valley in war with Russia

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the imposition of tough sanctions on Moscow has put landlocked Mongolia in a tight spot economically and diplomatically, and experts warn that its delicate balancing act between East and West could be upset.  : Mongolia’s East-West balancing act buffeted by Russian invasion of Ukraine

Security Affairs

Cyber attacks are an important component of the military strategy against Ukraine, experts observed a spike in the attacks against Ukrainian WordPress sites since the beginning of the military invasion of the country. Pierluigi Paganini: Ukrainian WordPress sites under massive complex attacks

Russia considers it legitimate to invade another country but warns it will consider cyberattacks on its satellites an act of war. Pierluigi Paganini: Russia can invade Ukraine, but an attack on its satellite is an act of war

Researchers from cybersecurity firm Proofpoint uncovered a spear-phishing campaign, likely conducted by a nation-state actor, that compromised a Ukrainian armed service member’s email account to target European government personnel involved in managing the logistics of refugees fleeing Ukraine. Pierluigi Paganini: Asylum Ambuscade spear-phishing campaign targets EU countries aiding Ukrainian refugees

The popular collective Anonymous, and its affiliates, relentlessly continue their offensive against Russian targets. In the last few hours, in addition to government sites, the sites of the country’s main banks have been brought to their knees. News of alleged data leaks is circulating online, a hacker group known as AgainstTheWest which is supporting Anonymous claims to have hacked the Russian state-owned Sberbank bank and promise to leak the data soon. Stolen data included is DNS infrastructure, private keys for SSL, sberbank API, CLI and SDKs. Pierluigi Paganini: Anonymous and its affiliates continue to cause damages to Russia

US Department of State

Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the United States condemn Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and note the grave impediments to international cooperation, including in the Arctic, that Russia’s actions have caused. Joint Statement on Arctic Council Cooperation Following Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine



Africa’s challenge with the COVID-19 pandemic goes beyond the health implications that have plagued the world, as the severe impact of the pandemic on global trade flows, investment opportunities, and commodity prices has also created unprecedented human and economic challenges. Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili: Managing COVID-19 response public resources with accountability in Africa


Institute for Security Studies

The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) terror group is broadening its recruitment base from its traditional pool of Congolese and Ugandan fighters to Kenya and Tanzania. Countries in the region were made aware of this risk several years ago. But as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) prepares to join the East African Community, there is new reason to worry. Mohamed Daghar, Mohamed Haji: Expansion of the Allied Democratic Forces should worry East Africa


Institute for Security Studies

Since his inauguration in 2020, President Évariste Ndayishimiye has introduced a raft of foreign and domestic policy reforms to salvage Burundi’s international reputation and restore economic partnerships. His efforts seem to be paying off, with the European Union (EU) announcing on 8 February that it will be lifting the sanctions it placed on Burundi in 2016. Chido Mutangadura: Burundi’s return to the international fold



Under President Xi Jinping, China has pushed for self-reliance in key areas of technology and the payments needed to settle trade to minimise its vulnerability to economic pressure over flashpoints, from trade policy to Taiwan. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the tough global response, including curtailment of access to the SWIFT payments system and a freezing of Russian assets, provide a case study for China on the economic and financial vulnerabilities analysts expect it will continue to address. Tony Munroe: Analysis: Sanctions response to Russia’s invasion offers clues for China



Earlier this year, major technology companies, non-profits, and government agencies convened for an urgent meeting at the White House to discuss how best to address the security concerns posed by free and open-source software (FOSS)—software that is developed by a distributed community rather than a centralized company. For years, tech companies and security experts have made the case for greater investments in the security of the FOSS ecosystem, as it has become an increasingly important part of critical digital infrastructure. The importance of doing so was highlighted by the recent Log4Shell vulnerability in the log4j FOSS package. Deployed across a vast range of digital applications, log4j exposed a huge amount of software to a devastating security vulnerability and illustrated the urgent need to improve security in open-source software. Frank Nagle: How to prioritize the improvement of open-source software security

Security Affairs

The chipmaker giant Nvidia was recentty victim of a ransomware attack that impacted some of its systems for two days. The security breach is not connected to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, according to a person familiar with the incident. Pierluigi Paganini: NVIDIA discloses data breach after recent ransomware attack


Defense News

Airbus is cleared to build new Tiger attack helicopters for the French and Spanish armies, while Germany’s participation still remains to be seen. The NATO procurement arm Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR) signed a contract with the aerospace giant to move forward on the awaited upgrade program, Airbus announced in a Wednesday statement. Vivienne Machi: Airbus kicks off Franco-Spanish ‘Tiger’ helo upgrade program – with Germany TBD


Defense News

India is now gearing to counter the impact of new economic sanctions on Russia by the U.S. and Europe that could hamper armaments and military spares supplies from Moscow. Russia has been the largest arms supplier to India since the early 1970s. Today, 60% of India’s military hardware inventory is from Russia or the former Soviet Union and the bulk of India’s license-based defense manufacturing comes from Russia. Vivek Raghuvanshi: India braces for sanctions on Russia to delay weapons programs, deliveries


East Asia Forum 

Japan and South Korea seem stuck in a ceaseless exchange of invectives. In January 2022, Japan’s Council for Cultural Affairs recommended that the island of Sado’s defunct gold mine, now a museum, be nominated as a World Heritage site. But when Prime Minister Fumio Kishida gave the go-ahead, South Korea responded with protests. Taku Tamaki: A clash of realities blocking the reset in Japan–South Korea relations


Al Jazeera

The United Nations has voiced concern over reports that a vote in Libya’s parliament to install a new government, which risks triggering new fighting or a return to territorial division, “fell short of the expected standards”. The UN secretary-general’s spokesperson said in an emailed statement there were reports that Tuesday’s vote did not meet standards of transparency and procedure, and of acts of intimidation before the session. UN voices concern over vote on new Libyan prime minister


Institute for Security Studies

French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent decision to withdraw troops from Mali nine years after first intervening in the conflict against jihadi separatists sparked debate across Africa. The failure of Operations Barkhane and Takuba to stem the spread of violent extremism begs the question: can big multinational troop interventions against the type of terror groups in the Sahel and northern Mozambique, for example, ensure lasting peace and security? Liesl Louw-Vaudran: Lessons for Mozambique after France’s withdrawal from the Sahel


East Asia Forum 

Controlling the COVID-19 pandemic is becoming a political battleground and diplomatic tool in Myanmar. The country remains embroiled in political and economic turmoil after the 2021 coup, with political competition between two rival governments — the military junta and the National Unity Government (NUG) — escalating. Both sides are still struggling to gain international recognition as the official government of Myanmar more than one year after the coup. Htet Myat Aung, Myanmar’s pandemic politics goes international



A South Korean presidential candidate dropped out on Thursday, throwing his support to conservative Yoon Suk-yeol in a surprise move that could tip the balance of next week’s closely fought election toward the conservatives.  : S.Korea presidential candidate backs conservative, may tip tight race


Institute for Security Studies

Against a backdrop of protracted conflict and civil war, South Sudan has experienced a series of stop-start peace processes. Innovative approaches are now needed at national and local level to address the root causes of violence. This report synthesises the findings of the Network for Innovative Resilience-Building in South Sudan. It shows the importance of understanding conflict drivers and focusing on longer-term peace outcomes. Gaps in knowledge, evidence and learning are also identified. Caitriona Dowd, Liezelle Kumalo: Better ways to build peace and resilience in South Sudan



Taiwan plans to more than double its yearly missile production capacity to close to 500 this year, the island’s defence ministry said in a report, as it boosts its combat power amid what it sees as China’s growing military threat. : Taiwan to more than double annual missile production capacity amid China tension



It is not often that the State of the Union address coincides with a major turning point in history, but Joe Biden’s first State of the Union did just that. When the Russian invasion of Ukraine began just a few days ago—the first major ground war in Europe since World War II—the speech that had been in the works for weeks acquired a new and important opening. Biden had no choice but to open with a stern warning to Putin and friends—“Tonight I say to the Russian oligarchs and corrupt leaders—no more!”—and to characterize the moment as a battle “between democracies and autocracies,” a battle where “freedom will always triumph over tyranny.”. Elaine Kamarck and William A. Galston: Biden’s State of the Union—a turning point in history?

Defense News

The Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency granted facility clearance to Rafael Systems Global Sustainment, an American subsidiary of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, in February, according to company president and CEO Joseph Anderson. RSGS is the only US-based subsidiary of Israeli defense company Rafael to receive the clearance, Anderson, told Defense News in a Feb. 28 interview. Jen Judson: Rafael subsidiary gets classified clearance to work in US

The U.S. Navy has a carefully balanced plan to dig out of a fighter shortfall and stave off another in the 2030s — but several pieces must come together exactly as planned. The plan involves adding 4,000 more flight hours of service life to existing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, fully fielding the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter and developing the Next Generation Air Dominance program’s F/A-XX manned fighter — and doing all of that on schedule. Megan Eckstein: US Navy confident it can fix its fighter jet shortfall — and avoid another (

China and Russia have developed unprecedented arsenals of precision-guided missiles and UAVs designed to overwhelm our military’s defenses, just as Russia is now doing in Ukraine. The sheer scale of these threats means that traditional kinetic systems like Patriot missile batteries will not have the capacity to defend U.S. forces operating in harm’s way. Integrating non-kinetic, directed-energy systems like high-energy lasers with kinetic defenses will be essential to defeating these threats. Col. Mark Gunzinger (ret.): Winning 21st century wars requires directed-energy capabilities

The deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare recently warned sailors and other military officials they are marks for hacking attempts, especially at a time of international hostilities. “Cyberattacks against businesses and U.S. infrastructure are increasing in frequency and complexity,” Navy Vice Adm. Jeffrey Trussler said in an unclassified memo, dated February. “DoD and federal law enforcement report adversary interest in our remote work infrastructure. This means that you are a target — for your access and your information.”. US Navy memo warns of cyber risks amid global tensions

Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Heidi Shyu recently outlined the Pentagon’s critical technology areas. Not surprisingly, 11 of the 14 are heavily commercial areas such as biotechnology, artificial intelligence, quantum science and advanced materials. The Department of Defense’s increased engagement with commercial companies in recent years clearly demonstrates the critical role these and other technologies will play in future military systems. Unfortunately, DoD has struggled to adopt commercial technology at scale, in large part due to its industrial-age acquisition practices. Jerry McGinn: You don’t need to rewrite acquisition regulations to improve DoD buying

Defense One

Long known for supporting ground operations, Air Force Special Operations Command is now looking to plague adversaries in new ways—and to do it on the cheap, the force’s commander says. That will mean creating new capabilities and finding new uses for things either already in the inventory of AFSOC or easily obtainable, Lt. Gen. James C. “Jim” Slife told the Global SOF Foundation’s Air Warfare Symposium in Florida last week. Patrick Tucker: Air Force Special Operations Looks To Reinvent Itself On the Cheap


Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and the chairmen of three key committees, are worried about the Treasury Department’s ability to enforce new sanctions against Russia, given reports the Kremlin is planning to evade them by increasing its activities in the cryptocurrency industry. Mariam Baksh: Russian Aggression Hastens Lawmakers’ Push to Enforce Sanctions in Crypto Industry

Potential fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could help lawmakers overcome timing and jurisdictional hurdles and pass legislation to require private-sector owners of critical infrastructure to report cybersecurity incidents to the government and to update the Federal Information Security Modernization Act. “With everything that’s happening in Ukraine, I think there’s more motivation for people to get some legislation passed,” former Federal Chief Information Security Officer Grant Schneider told Nextgov. “It becomes harder for anyone to fall on their sword over the nuances of any given provision.”. Mariam Baksh: Russia-Ukraine Conflict Could Push Major Cybersecurity Legislation Past Finish Line

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs is to angle its modernization efforts in a flexible direction with new virtual reality technology that can be scaled and utilized as a “one size fits all” solution to meet a variety of the department’s virtual health care needs. Outlined in a request for information, officials at the VA’s Office of Healthcare Innovation and Learning hub are looking for help in designing a new platform specializing in virtual reality simulations that can be tailored to VA enterprise operations. Alexandra Kelley: VA Continues Healthcare Modernization With Simulated Employee Training

With plans to apply synthetic biology and machine learning to speed up the discovery of therapeutic antibodies to fight against potential COVID-19 variants, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and A-Alpha Bio researchers joined forces this week. A Defense Department subcontract valued at $1.1 million will finance this fresh effort. Brandi Vincent: DOD-Backed Effort Will Use Supercomputing to Predict Therapies for Future COVID-19 Variants

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