Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situation Report for Saturday, 02 December 2023.
- Ukrainian special operations forces destroyed a major railway that connected Russia and China.
- “This is the only serious railway connection [Severomuysky tunnel] between the Russian Federation and China. And currently, this route, which Russia uses, including for military supplies, is paralyzed,” said a Ukrainian official.
- The Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant lost power due to disruption of its last remaining power line, forcing the nuke plant to turn on emergency generators.
- Ukrainian nuclear officials warned the disruption could have led to a nuclear catastrophe.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin is encouraging Russian women to have “eight or more” children
- Swedish accession to NATO to be approved “within weeks,” say Turkish officials.
- Russia says addition of 170,000 troops to end line strength is due to Ukraine operation and “continuing NATO expansion”.
- NATO’s Stoltenberg: “Russia’s economy is on a war footing. Putin has a high tolerance for casualties. And Russian aims in Ukraine have not changed.”
- Russia intent on continuing the Ukraine war, will target Ukrainian critical infrastructure this winter, White House national security spokesman John Kirby says.
- NATO’s annual Cyber Coalition exercise concludes, bringing together 28 NATO countries and 7 partner nations to test defenses against cyber attacks targeting “electrical substations, energy grids and water treatment plants” .
- European Union defense plan needs to include Ukraine, says EU President Ursula von der Leyen.
- Moldova is next victim for the West’s “hybrid war” against Russia, says Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.
- U.S. Senate to receive classified briefing on Ukraine, Israel on Tuesday, 05 DEC 23.
- Chinese health officials continue to deny the emergence of a new infectious disease, saying the pneumonia outbreaks are caused by previously known pathogens.
- Chinese officials plan to open new pediatric outpatient clinics and encourage Chinese citizens to continue wearing masks.
- Chinese President Xi Jinping’s tour of Shanghai highlights the country’s top three priorities: financial development, science/technology innovation, and improvements in China’s quality of life, according to Chinese state media.
- The Understanding China Conference kicks off in Guangzhou featuring attendees from over 30 countries to discuss China’s modernization and economic development.
- Chinese officials hope to build trust and overcome the “understanding deficit”.
- U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a bipartisan letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to immediately reverse the installation of batteries linked to the Chinese Communist Party at Camp Lejeune, NC.
- “The CCP’s pattern of espionage leaves little room for doubt that CATL products pose a threat to national security at any base where they are installed,” reads the letter.
- Rep. Carlos Giminez (R-FL) sent a letter to Customs and Border Patrol inquiring about 19 Chinese nationals arrested in Key Largo.
- Giminez inquired about which country the Chinese nationals transited from, their suspected intentions, and where they’re currently being held.
- “The arrest of nineteen Chinese nationals in my district is yet another example of the growing trend of Chinese nationals attempting to enter the United States illegally,” reads the letter.
- The Philippines Coast Guard opened a new station to monitor Chinese vessels operating near the Spratly Islands.
- Regional observers remain concerned that China’s aggressive behavior could lead to more dangerous confrontations between the two countries.
- Israel has resumed bombing strikes and ground operations in Gaza following a temporary ceasefire to conduct a prisoner swap and hostage exchange.
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told U.S. officials that Israel will create a “buffer zone” in Gaza during ongoing operations.
- Hezbollah took credit for a number of attacks against Israeli targets near the Lebanon-Israel border.
- Vice President Kamala Harris is expected to lay out a U.S. vision for a post-conflict Gaza during her attendance at COP 28 climate summit in Dubai.
- The U.S. plan includes uniting Gaza and the West Bank as a single political entity and giving Palestinians a “clear political horizon”.
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered Israeli intelligence to hunt down and kill Hamas leaders around the world. Hamas leaders reside in Turkey, Lebanon, and Qatar.
- The world awaits another potential conflict and the Sunday, 03 DEC referendum on whether Venezuela will move to invade and annex Essequibo, a region of Guyana that Venezuela is disputing.
- The White House is considering a “pause” in sanctions relief for Venezuela over unmet demands to release political detainees, including Americans.
- Colombian, NATO officials hold “strategic analysis exercise,” discuss trade expansion and relations with China.
- Days after both North Korea and South Korea launched spy satellites, North Korean military officials say that any attempt to disrupt their satellite will be considered an act of war.
- “If our reconnaissance satellite is regarded by the US as a ‘military threat’ to be eliminated, the scores of US satellites constantly roaming the skies over the Korean peninsula and monitoring our key strategic sites should also be a priority target for destruction by our armed forces,” a North Korean defense official said.
- North Korean officials last week bragged that their satellite is taking photographs of sensitive U.S. installations.
- The Philippines and France have agreed to move forward on defense cooperation.
- The agreement is expected to include a status of forces agreement and could lead to French military personnel stationed in the Philippines. France has 7,000 troops already stationed in the Indo-Pacific region.