DailySA: War in Europe: Russia Invades Ukraine – Forward Observer

DailySA: War in Europe: Russia Invades Ukraine

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Thursday, 24 February 2022. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa


  • War in Europe: Russia Invades Ukraine
  • White supremacists plead guilty to power grid plot
  • Democrat warns cyber ops could drag U.S. into war
  • China escalates language regarding Taiwan
  • Hazards Warning


  • In Focus: Anticipated economic impacts from Russian invasion
  • Economic Warning INTSUM


WAR IN EUROPE: RUSSIA INVADES UKRAINE: Overnight, the Russian military began a multi-pronged assault on Ukraine. Cities and strategic targets across the country came under fire. Russian air assault forces seized the Antonov airfield outside of Kyiv and are attempting to seize several other airfields across Ukraine. This operation is widespread and ongoing. The Baltic states invoked NATO’s article 4 to force the alliance into addressing the threat from Russia. (Analyst Comment: The Russians likely intend on taking the majority of Ukraine. The rapid assault on Kyiv and simultaneous nationwide missile strikes will degrade Ukraine’s ability to respond. There was no long, slow armored slog through muddy spring fields, and Russia is likely to take and hold the territory it chooses inside Ukraine. Moves against the Baltics or Polaremainins the most likely course of action for drawing U.S. troops into combat with the Russians. – D.M.)

Ukrainian targets hit in the past 12 hours by Russian forces.

WHITE SUPREMACISTS PLEAD GUILTY TO POWER GRID PLOT: The Department of Justice announced three men plead guilty to material support to terrorism. Assistant Attorney General for National Security Matt Olsen said, “These three defendants admitted to engaging in a disturbing plot, in furtherance of white supremacist ideology, to attack energy facilities in order to damage the economy and stoke division in our country.” The men met in an unspecified “chat group” and planned to take lethal amounts of fentanyl if interdicted by law enforcement. (AC: The guilty pleas will likely increase the pressure on social media platforms to proactively terminate accounts and shut down political advocacy groups to prevent government regulation. As the elections draw near, expect heightened attention from federal law enforcement on rhetoric in online conversations as pretext for involvement at the local level. Beyond foreign threats to infrastructure, accelerationist groups remain an independent threat to critical sectors like power. – D.M.) 

DEMOCRAT WARNS CYBER OPS COULD DRAG US INTO WAR: Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) warns Russia’s cyber activities could prompt NATO members to invoke common defense. Sen. Warner said, “It could spread to America, could spread to the U.K., but the more likely effect will be spreading to adjacent geographic territory … [such as] Poland. It suddenly gets into a gray area about what would the Polish people’s reaction be? What would NATO’s reaction be? What would America’s reaction be?” President Biden infamously said in the summer of last year that our next major conflict will likely be initiated by a cyber attack. (AC: The political class and federal cybersecurity apparatus are signaling very strongly that cyber intrusions are going to impact daily life in America. The ongoing conflict in Europe increases the risk for attacks in the homeland either through active measures or spillover from international entities. – D.M.)

CHINA ESCALATES LANGUAGE REGARDING TAIWAN: On Wednesday, China’s Foreign Minister released a statement saying that Taiwan is not Ukraine and has always been a part of China. In response to the statement, Taiwan’s President called for increased vigilance and for the island nation to beef up its defenses against a potential invasion by China. ​​The comments come after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson flagged the risk for Taiwan in a warning last week about the damaging worldwide consequences if Western nations failed to fulfill their promises to support Ukraine’s independence. (AC: China claims Taiwan as its sovereign territory and has stepped up military operations aimed at reunifying the two nations. Taiwan, which broke from China after a bloody civil war in 1949, is opposed to reunification. China will likely be watching the U.S. reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and adjust its strategy to retake Taiwan accordingly. – M.M.)


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