At a glance.
- Unrest in Kazakhstan declared to be over.
- Toning down propaganda in Russian state media?
- A convergence between deep fakes and physical camouflage.
Kazakhstan's government declares an end to civil unrest in the country.
And Russia, too, sees the troops it sent as having succeeded in bringing disorder under control. Reuters reports that Russian troops are expected to begin withdrawal today. The news service quotes President Putin on the outcome of what he and Kazakh President Tokayev have characterized as disorder fomented by foreign organizers:
"Putin told a virtual summit of the CSTO military alliance of ex-Soviet states that the body had managed to 'prevent the undermining of the foundations of the state, the complete degradation of the internal situation in Kazakhstan, and block terrorists, criminals, looters and other criminal elements.
"'Of course, we understand the events in Kazakhstan are not the first and far from the last attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of our states from the outside," he said. "The measures taken by the CSTO have clearly shown we will not allow the situation to be rocked at home.'"
The CTSO is the Collective Security Treaty Organization, an association of post-Soviet republics in the Near Abroad that are more-or-less reliably aligned with Moscow. Its members include Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan. Former members Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Uzbekistan withdrew from the alliance more than a decade ago.
An essay in World Politics Review sees the Russian intervention as having positioned Russian President Putin as "autocracy's defender of last resort." As unrest increased (and its initial cause seemed to have been widespread discontent over energy prices in the country), Kazakhstan's government quickly placed blocks on Internet service throughout the country. Fair Planet points out that the tactic may be in some respects self-defeating, that if your goal is to keep people indoors and off the streets, cutting off the Internet may not be the best way to accomplish that end.
Moscow toning down some propaganda in media outlets?
As tension between Russia and Ukraine moves into a phase of high-level diplomacy (and the maintenance of troops in marshaling areas), Bloomberg notes that there seems to have been a decline, a "tapering," of coverage of Ukraine by Russian state media: "There is now a renewed diplomatic flurry with talks between U.S. and Russian officials, again in Geneva, followed by other discussions including a NATO-Russia council meeting. Dialing back the heat in state media could be a move to see if such talks bear fruit." Bloomberg's report reads this sign with cautious optimism, since no such quiet period was observed during the run-up to Russia's 2014 invasion of Crimea.
A convergence between deep fake, computer-manipulated imagery, and physical camouflage?
Defense One reports that “data access and integrity” have been identified as one of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's (NGA) four mission imperatives. What this means, specifically, was explained this week by NGA's Chief Information Officer Mark Andress. Defense One quotes him as saying that data integrity “is not just about ensuring that the data we obtain and deliver is secure from a cybersecurity perspective, but the integrity of the data in a world where the exploitation of imagery, the manipulation of imagery and deep fakes, computer-driven manipulation of data is huge. So we have an obligation to ensure that integrity.” With so much imagery collected and processed digitally, manipulation of files is a low-cost alternative to expensive physical camouflage and deception installations.