Ukrainian President Zelenskyy addressed the British House of Commons by video link yesterday. He thanked the UK for its support, and struck a deliberately Churchillian note: "We will not give up, and we will not lose. We will fight to the end in the sea, in the air. We will fight for our land, whatever the costs. We will fight in the forests, in the fields, on the shores, in the streets." He asked for more support: "Please increase the pressure of sanctions against this country, and please recognise this country as a terrorist state," he said. "And please make sure that our Ukrainian skies are safe. Please make sure that you do what needs to be done and what is stipulated by the greatness of your country." His broader appeal was to "civilized countries." The Telegraph reports that the MPs gave him a standing ovation.
Many nations have increased their sanctions against Russia, moving to block or at least significantly limit Russian oil and gas exports. Augmenting these formal sanctions has been a widespread exit of private companies from Russian markets. That exit extends across many, perhaps most, sectors. The effect on the Russian economy is already significant. Markets Insider reports that Fitch has cut its rating of Russian debt from B to C, and warned that default on Russian sovereign debt is "imminent."
Russian tactics in the war against Ukraine seem to have shifted decisively in the direction of attacking civilians and reducing cities to rubble as its conventional forces in the northern part of the country remain stalled and roadbound. That failure has been ascribed to a combination of Russian logistical failures and stiff Ukrainian resistance.
Cyber operations in Russia's war against Ukraine.
US and European policymakers continue to watch for a significant increase in the Russian cyber threat, waiting, as the Record puts it, for the other shoe to drop. In the EU, Reuters reports, the telecommunications ministers of the twenty-seven members have called upon Europe to establish an emergency fund that would be used to respond to major cyberattacks. Citing the war in Ukraine, the ministers, who will meet today to discuss the proposal, said, "The current geopolitical landscape and its impacts in cyberspace strengthen the need for the EU to fully prepare to face large-scale cyberattacks. Such a fund will directly contribute to this objective,"
The US Intelligence Community's recently released Annual Threat Report, for example, published as Russia was completing its preparations to invade Ukraine, highlights the threat in cyberspace and suggests that Russia would wish to avoid direct, kinetic combat with the US.
The CyberWire's continuing coverage of the unfolding crisis in Ukraine may be found here.