Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Thursday, 23 June 2022.
- READ TIME: 2 min 41 seconds
- Russia-NATO INTSUM
- Indo-Pacific INTSUM
- Geopolitical INSTUM
UKRAINIAN SUICIDE DRONES HIT RUSSIAN REFINERY: Russia accused Ukraine of attacking its Novoshakhta Oil Refinery with two suicide drones. Russian officials claim the resulting fire lasted about 90 minutes, but refinery operations remain suspended. U.S. commercial satellite operator, Maxar Technologies, is drawing the ire of Moscow for allegedly providing targeting imagery on the refinery, Snake Island, and other Russian interests.
RUSSIAN HELICOPTER CROSSES ESTONIAN BORDER: A Russian Mi-8 helicopter flew from Russia into Estonia for an estimated two minutes with its transponder turned off. Attempts to communicate with the Russian helicopter went unanswered. One Estonian official said Russia was “simulating missile attacks against Estonia.”
GERMANY: RUSSIAN GAS CUT IS ‘ATTACK ON US’: Germany’s economic minister Robert Habeck said Russia’s reduction of gas supplies on Nord Stream 1 is an economic attack. “When we go into the winter with half full gas stores, and the taps are turned off, then we are talking about a difficult economic crisis in Germany,” he said. Habeck believes Russia is attempting to “create chaos” in Europe as it has in years past. Germany mandated filling its gas reserves to 90 percent before winter, while current stores sit just under 60 percent of capacity.
XI PROPOSES AUTHORITARIAN-GLOBALIST ALTERNATIVE TO U.S.-LED WORLD ORDER: Earlier today at the BRICS virtual summit, China’s President Xi Jinping heavily criticized the U.S.-led coalition in the West for its expanding military alliances. Xi proposed to the BRICS principals, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, an alternative vision to U.S. global leadership through an authoritarian globalist order with heavily integrated economies. In his address to the summit, Xi “sounded the alarm for humanity” over the conflict in Ukraine and said the U.S.-led sanctions regime against Russia stating it was a “double-edged sword” that could boomerang on the global community by weaponizing global economic trends and financial flows.
SRI LANKAN PRIME MINISTER SAYS ECONOMY HAS COLLAPSED: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in an address to Parliament, said the South Asian nation is “facing a far more serious situation beyond the mere shortages of fuel, gas, electricity, and food. Our economy has completely collapsed.” He went on to add that the country has no money in its national reserves and could no longer buy oil to supply its economy. Its state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is now over $700 million in debt and is no longer solvent. Sri Lanka suspended $7 billion in sovereign debt payments and continues to petition global benefactors for financial assistance in order to head off a humanitarian crisis.
SOUTH KOREA ESTABLISHES NATO MISSION: South Korea has decided to establish a diplomatic and military mission with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Brussels, according to officials in the presidential office. President Yoon Suk-yeol will participate in a NATO summit next week in Madrid, Spain. While South Korea is not a member of NATO, it has been invited as a partner nation along with Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. On the sidelines of the NATO summit, Yoon is expected to hold a trilateral meeting with President Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to discuss regional Pacific security issues.
BELARUS HOLD MOBILIZATION EXERCISE ON UKRAINE BORDER: Belarusian officials announced a mobilization exercise on the Ukrainian border with reservists and special operations forces. When the exercise begins, reservists will muster without organizational equipment at the unit headquarters. (admin indicator for actual conflict mobilization).
RUSSIA VOWS RESPONSE TO DIPLOMATS STUCK IN U.S.: Russia’s Foreign Ministry said its diplomats are prohibited from leaving the U.S. on airplanes, per U.S. rules. Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Russia will consider “countermeasures, including asymmetrical ones, will inevitably follow, of which we will notify through diplomatic channels in accordance with the established procedure.” Russia is effectively accusing the U.S. of holding diplomatic hostages.
CHINA-RUSSIA ALLIANCE SUPPORTING COUPS IN RESOURCE-RICH AFRICA: According to analysts at the Africa Center in the United States Institute of Peace, the China-Russia alliance is responsible for a surge in the number of military coups against democratic governments across Africa. Seven coups or coup attempts have occurred in the past two years, the highest rate in four decades. The coups in resource-rich developing nations like Chad, Mali, Sudan, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, and Niger were at the hands of military cliques with connections to Chinese influence and money. According to analysts, China has created a permission structure for coup plotters in Africa to block any sanctions that might result from the United Nations Security Council.
IN TODAY’S EARLY WARNING: Mike provides the weekly economic outlook, which includes one forecast for even higher inflation. You can get access to his daily report here: https://forwardobserver.com/subscribe
— END REPORT