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Ukraine Crisis

Is Russia waging a global cyber war to support conflict in Ukraine?

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As the war in Ukraine rages on, Russian strategists are taking the battle online in a bid to turn the tide

Russia has made slow progress in its bid to conquer Ukraine.

Mounting military failures and unexpected resistance from Ukrainian fighters has led to much slower progress for President Putin’s campaign.

Russia is facing the prospect of further EU sanctions, as well as mounting dissatisfaction within the country about the slow progress of the conflict.

U.S. Military Veteran Ricoh Danielson told Ticker NEWS the Russian military is in desperate need of victory.

He says troops need to some success to maintain morale, something the “demoralised” Russian military is currently missing.

“A battalion actually… runs on morale and welfare,” he says.

But Danielson says the offensive is slowly becoming more organised.

“They are slowly moving to a more strategic and also defensive posture to obtain more real estate. And that’s kind of what they do, they slow it, they move into these big slow machines, and get what they need.”

Ricoh Danielson, U.S. Army veteran

Because of this, Danielson is expecting the war to get progressively worse.

“We’ll probably see more strategic manoeuvres from Russia, we will probably see a lot more aggression.”

Increase in threat actors

One method Russia may use to escalate the war is by increasing the number of threat actors in operation.

A threat actor is a person or group who attempts to attack elements of the cyber world including computers, online systems and networks.

Danielson says there has been “an uptick” in Russian threat actors since the start of the war.

He says Russian threat actors can target anything from critical infrastructure to government networks.

Recently, there has been evidence they are specifically targeting the financial sector to cause economic damage and loss to their adversaries.

As cyber attacks are not a traditional form of warfare, it means Russia can expand the scope of their offensive.

While they are lodged in conflict with Ukrainian threat actors, Danielson says Russia is also “launching attacks” on the U.S. and other nations.

He says they are trying to “cause damage to countries… who are partaking in the sanctions.”

He is also not ruling out the possibility of Russia enlisting other nations to help it fight a global cyber war.

“I wouldn’t be surprised that they reach out to some of their known other threat actors, such as North Korea, China to get in the fight with them. For force multiplication.”

Ricoh Danielson, U.S. Army veteran

Russia’s cyber war

According to Danielson, Russia has always been “number one” in terms of cyber warfare and tactics.

“They’re just dominating the cyberspace.”

Ricoh Danielson, U.S. Army veteran

They are also a big producer of both malware and ransomware, which they use to target innocent civilians.

“You’re probably going to see an uptick on ransomware as a service, which is when they try to extort money from you, to you know, get victims,” Danielson says.

They may also use traps to lure unsuspecting customers and consumers into gaining access to their company infrastructure.

Danielson also notes how Russia is targeting networks for critical infrastructure, such as those used for power plants, banks and schools among others.

“It’s starting to rear its ugly head again,” he says.

Bryan Hoadley contributed to this report

Ukraine Crisis

Zelensky addresses the U.N. as protests break out in Russia

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Zelensky addresses the U.N. as protests over Putin’s mobilisation plan break out in Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

Zelensky says his nation just wants peace and believes Russia should be punished and ostracised for its actions.

“A crime has been committed against Ukraine and we demand just punishment. The crime was committed against our state borders. The crime was committed against the lives of our people,” Zelensky said. “Ukraine demands punishment for trying to steal our territory”.

In the powerful speech, the Ukrainian President also called for Russia to lose its U.N. veto power. Russia is currently one of the five permanent members of the Security Council.

He is also seeking more military aid, pleading for more weapons to help liberate his country’s land.

Protests engulf major Russia cities

In Russia, police have arrested hundreds of protestors who are rallying against Vladimir Putin’s military mobilisation.

Human rights group OVD Info estimates more than 1,000 people have been taken into custody so far. The largest number of arrests were made in St Petersburg and Moscow.

As the Kremlin announced its intention to call up thousands of extra troops to fight the warn in Ukraine, flights departing Russia sold out almost immediately.

The mobilisation will likely see at least 300,000 military reservists drafted to bolster Russia’s forces.

In Moscow, the prosecutor’s office is warning that calls on the internet to join protests, or participation in these protests, could result in up to 15 years in jail time.

Russia’s disinformation laws about the war have made public demonstrations rare.

In his first national televised address since the war began, Putin said he will use “all available means” to protect Russian territory.

In theory, this could include nuclear weapons.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says the alliance remains vigilant.

“We will make sure that there is no misunderstanding in Moscow about exactly how we will react. Of course it depends upon what kind of situation or what kind or weapons they may use. The most important thing is to prevent that from happening and that is why we have been so clear in our communications with Russia about the unprecedented consequences,” Stoltenberg said.

Meanwhile, Putin’s mobilisation follows weeks of heavy losses for Russia in Ukraine, with Kyiv recapturing a huge area just east of Kharkiv.

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Ukraine Crisis

U.S. to provide Ukraine with tanks in the future

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U.S. to provide Ukraine with tanks in the future, but there is a catch

The U.S. will provide tanks to Ukraine in the future, but issues with maintenance and training may delay the rollout.

Ukraine has received billions of dollars worth of weapons and military equipment, allowing the war-torn nation to defend itself against Putin’s regime.

Russian forces are continuing to “conduct airstrikes that are impacting civilian infrastructure”, most recently striking a “dam near Kryvyi Rih”, according to a top U.S. official.

“This disturbing pattern which includes strikes that hit power stations last week continues to show Russian forces’ disregard for civilian life,” the official added.

When it comes to further military aid, the offical confirmed tanks are “absolutely on the table”, but are not an option for the immediate battle.

Once training, maintenance and sustainment issues are addressed, the roll out is more likely.

This follows verified reports Ukraine has successfully shot down 55 Russian
fighter jets.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed there would be no let-up in fighting to regain
territory lost to Russia.

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Ukraine Crisis

Mass burial site discovered in Ukraine

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A mass grave with over 400 bodies has been found in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region

The price of war is beginning to reveal itself in Ukraine as a mass grave, with over 400 bodies has been discovered in the recently liberated Kharkiv region.

The burial site was found in the city of Izyum, an area captured by Russian forces at the beginning of the war, and a victim to ultimate brutality.

Over recent days, Ukrainian forces have recaptured the area. So far, they have discovered over 1000 bodies in the city, with this number rising every day.

The mass grave site shows the extent of Russia’s atrocities, although Russia denies responsibility.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is launching an investigation and says “Russia leaves death everywhere and it must be held accountable for that.”

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