DailySA: Russia attempts to restore order after Kazakh government collapse – Forward Observer

DailySA: Russia attempts to restore order after Kazakh government collapse

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Thursday, 06 January 2022. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa

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  • Russia attempts to restore order after Kazakh government collapse
  • Homeland Security targets encrypted messaging apps
  • China deploys robotic weapons to Indian border
  • Far Left’s gerrymandering fears unfounded, still pushing “reform”
  • North Korea launches missile toward Japan, claims hypersonic test


  • Economic Warning INTSUM


KAZAKHSTAN GOVERNMENT RESIGNS, PROTESTORS SEIZE ALMATY AIRPORT: Anti-government protesters in Kazakhstan seized control of the city of Almaty and its International Airport yesterday. The protestors stormed the Almaty mayor’s office on Wednesday setting parts of the building on fire. Additional protests have broken out, forcing the Kazakhstan government to resign. Demonstrations started on Sunday in response to skyrocketing fuel prices and COVID restrictions. On Tuesday, the government cut all internet services to the country. U.S. officials denied Russian claims of backing the protests saying such accusations are “a familiar disinformation tactic.” (Analyst Comment: The speed at which the demonstrations turned violent surprised the Kazak government. Wednesday afternoon, a Russian delegation arrived on a private jet from Moscow, likely to work with remaining government officials to create a plan to restore order. With Russia massing troops on Ukraine’s border for an anticipated invasion, massive unrest in neighboring Kazakhstan will be a concern and potential distraction to the Russian government. – M.M.)

ENCRYPTION CONCERNS IN DHS: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is looking into solutions to deal with the perceived threat landscape, enabled by encrypted communication platforms. Domestic extremism is cited as the underlying reason for this concern in the wake of the Capitol protest.  DHS Secretary Mayorkas addressed how the department is “very focused on the lone actor or a loose affiliation of individuals” that use “encrypted channels of communication.” (AC: Encryption tools readily available to the public are concerning to DHS, especially during times of civil unrest. The ability for groups to coordinate their actions without effective means for the government to intercept leads agencies to seek alternative means to bypass encryption as in the FBI’s Operation Trojan Shield and the case against the company Phantom Secure. – D.F.

CHINA DEPLOYS ROBOT WEAPONS ON DISPUTED BORDER WITH INDIA: China has ramped up its defenses at the Indian border by deploying robotic weapons platforms armed with machine guns. The automated units are intended to cover blind spots in China’s perimeter as troops struggle to handle the altitude and terrain of the Tibetan region claimed by both countries. Multiple Indian media outlets report that China has deployed unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) to the region in an effort to bolster its position along the border. According to reports, China’s People’s Liberation Army acquired the UGVs in 2014 but has largely neglected their use until now. Presently, the Chinese military utilizes two different types of UGVs, the Sharp Claw and the Mule-200. The Sharp Claw can be operated remotely in addition to performing autonomous behavior, according to National Interest. The Mule-200 can perform unmanned deliveries or operate firearms, including mounted guns. India military officials report that at least 400 of the robotic weapons platforms have been deployed along the border. (AC: The Line of Actual Control is the buffer zone between China and India located in the Karakoram and Himalayan mountains. Elevations along the LAC reach over 7000 meters above sea level. The deployment of robotic weapons allows China to conduct security patrols in areas difficult for human soldiers to operate without the use of supplemental oxygen. – M.M.)

China deployed Sharp Claw Unmanned Ground Vehicles to the Line of Actual Control region

GERRYMANDERING FEARS UNFOUNDED: Analysis of the states’ redistricting process has not resulted in a Republican-biased Congressional landscape, according to a Cook Political Report study. With the completed redistricting, Democrats would gain four additional districts, based on 2020 results. Redistricting observers note that Republicans do control the process for 187 seats versus 75 for Democrats, but the new political maps “look like a wash.” Only Democrat-led states have “unabashedly” redrawn maps in Illinois, New Mexico, and Oregon. (AC: Threats of gerrymandered districts continue to be a political talking point for Far Left politicians pushing “voting reform” measures in D.C. Politicians are likely to claim renewed voter suppression and lack of representation in their ongoing quest to federalize elections. Expect ongoing “democracy in crisis” claims as justification for abolishing the Senate filibuster in the run-up to this year’s midterms. Passage of current proposals could hamper Congressional election certification with widespread claims of voter suppression at the state level, going back up to 25 years. – D.M.)

NORTH KOREA FIRES POSSIBLE HYPERSONIC MISSILE TOWARD JAPAN: The South Korean and Japanese military said North Korea launched a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said, “We find it truly regrettable that North Korea has continued to fire missiles from last year.” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs believe the missile launched from Jagang Province and traveled approximately 500km before falling into the sea. U.S. officials decried the test and called for a return to diplomacy while affirming security cooperation agreements with Japan and South Korea. Kim Dong-yub, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, said North Korea may have tested a hypersonic missile or a nuclear-capable KN-23 missile with a highly maneuverable and lower-trajectory flight path. (AC: This missile test was likely an ongoing project with North Korea’s development of medium range weapon systems. Given that there has been little friction between North Korea and the U.S. and South Korea since 2019 the test was unlikely an effort at saber rattling. – M.M)

North Korea says it conducted a hypersonic missile test on 5 Jan 22. Credit: AFP


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