Fighting in Ukraine shifts as Russia retreats from Kyiv to reconstitute and shift forces to the Donbas and the Black Sea.
The UK's Ministry of Defence watches the redeployment of Russian units as they retreat from scenes of atrocities around their initial objectives and redeploy to the Donbas. Redeployment is unlikely to be swift; the Russian units withdrawing are going to require some reconstitution.
US National Security Advisor Sullivan sees a long war ahead, Bloomberg reports, one that could last for months. “All indications are that Russia will seek to surround and overwhelm Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine,” Sullivan said early this week. The coming offensive, US intelligence services think, will have a narrative importance more significant than any tactical success it might achieve: it's likely to be used, assuming things work out as Moscow hopes, as evidence of Russian progress and battlefield competence that (Moscow hopes) will obscure the current record of failure, brutality, and ineptitude.
Russian atrocities draw widespread outrage.
The United Nations Security Council this morning held hearings on Russia's war against Ukraine. The UN Secretary General called for an immediate end to the war against Ukraine ("a humanitarian cease-fire"), Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, who appeared before the Council by video conference, denounced, in detail, Russian atrocities in Bucha and other cities Ukrainian forces have now been retaken. The war crimes he described were horrific. President Zelenskyy asked what the point of the UN Charter can be if its central article, Article One, which prohibits wars of aggression, is so easily flouted by a permanent member of the Security Council. Russia has turned its veto, he said, into a right to kill. He accurately predicted the disinformation Russia would shop in response to evidence of atrocities: "They will blame everyone, just to justify their own actions." His peroration called for equal treatment of all nations, and an end to the privilege Russia has enjoyed as a permanent member of the Security Council. "Either remove Russia as an aggressor and a source of war...or else dissolve yourself altogether." He asked the Council to watch a brief video in which names of towns were displayed, without narration, over images of dead civilians, many of them naked, some of them burned, many of them with hands bound behind their backs, clearly executed at close range.
Russia's representative, in a strikingly mendacious response which President Zelenskyy had accurately predicted, cast Russia as the victim, its invasion as a defensive operation against (again) "Nazis." In a strikingly creative explanation of Russian combat failure, he explained military incompetence as evidence of humanitarian restraint.
Russian cyber operations against Ukraine.
"A recently developed malware framework called Elephant is being delivered in targeted spear phishing campaigns using spoofed Ukrainian governmental email addresses. The four malware components delivered are used for stealing credentials, documents, and to provide remote access to the infected machine.
"Two of these components were first reported on by the Computer Emergency Response Team for Ukraine (CERT-UA) in March 2022. They named the two components GraphSteel and GrimPlant. When investigating these events, we have identified that Elephant has also been delivered via phishing emails from spoofed Ukrainian email addresses. Elephant is a malware framework written in Go. The activity has been attributed to UAC-0056 (TA471, SaintBear, UNC2589) by CERT-UA."
The utility of such a framework in both intelligence collection and battelspace preparation is obvious.
The CyberWire's continuing coverage of the unfolding crisis in Ukraine may be found here.