Global SITREP for Friday, 26 May 2023 – Forward Observer

Global SITREP for Friday, 26 May 2023

Good morning, and welcome to the Global Situation Report for Friday, 26 May 2023

ADMIN NOTE: We will not produce a Global SITREP on Monday, 29 May 2023 in observance of Memorial Day and the lives of Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice. We will be back on Tuesday. – M.S.

  1. FIRST UP: Russia says Africa needs help against color revolutions
  • Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Petrushev said African countries approached him seeking aid against foreign-backed color revolutions during a recent security summit.
  • Another Russian official warned on Wednesday that Russia would not tolerate color revolutions in Central Asian states.
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping last week called on Central Asian countries to “stand firm against external attempts to… instigate color revolutions.” Xi offered Chinese security assistance in response.

Why It Matters: Long-time readers will notice a trend: the Russians and Chinese are preoccupied with warning against U.S. color revolutions. Repeated warnings may be intended to bolster foreign demand for their security assistance, however, the United States and the West are almost certainly trying to foment popular revolutions in Eastern-aligned counties.

  1. NO BUENO: Cuban economic, food crisis worsening
  • Cuban officials announced on Thursday that the country lacked the foreign funds to purchase food, fuel, fertilizer, and equipment imports due to the weak economy.
  • “If we can’t produce it, we won’t have it,” Cuba’s Economic Minister told the congress.

Why It Matters: Earlier this year, Russia provided an emergency ration of 25,000 tons of wheat to Cuba due to food shortages. Worsening conditions may spur the Biden administration to reduce Cuban sanctions on humanitarian grounds.

  1. NO PHONE: Chinese refuse open lines with U.S.
  • U.S. defense officials have noted the Chinese military has not responded to repeated requests to maintain open lines of communication regarding operations in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The Chinese have also not responded to requests made by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to meet his counterpart, Chinese PLA General Li Shangfu.

Why It Matters: Chinese PLA General Li Shangfu is currently under U.S. sanctions, specifically directed by Congress under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017… which is a good reminder of the law of unintended consequences.

  1. KILL LIST: Ukraine intelligence says Putin is top target
  • Vladimir Putin is the top high value target for Ukrainian intelligence and special operations, according to Ukraine’s military intelligence chief.
  • Other targets include Wagner chief Prigozhin, Defense Minister Shoigu, Chief of General Staff Gerasimov, and General Surovikin.
  • Kiev denied responsibility for the early May drone attack against Putin at the Kremlin, although U.S. officials now pin the operation on Ukraine.

Why It Matters: While a hit on Putin would be an incredible symbolic victory, Ukraine is likely not prepared for the Russian retaliation. The announcement of a kill list will have great propaganda value for both sides of the conflict.

  1. KALASHNIDRONE: Kalashnikov opens up drone division
  • Kalashnikov, makers of the AK-47, announced the formation of a new division to produce drones. Officials said the company will 10x their drone production.
  • The line of drones will be for tactical use, including reconnaissance and munitions-carrying.

Why It Matters: Kalashnikov is under U.S. sanctions, so don’t expect to see their drones over here any time soon (hopefully). The new expansion represents a new reality of the battlefield: drones are ever-present and lethal.

DON’T MISS: Retired Marine Lt. Col. and former CIA Paramilitary Operations Officer Max Morton releases his next Indications & Warning today. It’s available to Early Warning subscribers.

THAT’S A WRAP: This does it for today’s edition. If you want us to keep going, let us know in the comments or via email. And sign up below to receive this report in your inbox each day, Monday through Friday.

Mike Shelby is a former Intelligence NCO and contractor. He's now the CEO of Forward Observer.


  1. Greatly appreciate the daily global sitrep as well as other sitreps, keeping us informed of info not commonly known or broadcasted.

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