Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine | #cybersecurity | #cyberattack


WHO says at least 3,000 have died in Ukraine due to lack of medical services

Doctors care for a patient, Oleh, 58, on a medical evacuation train on its way to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on April 10, 2022.

Genya Savilov | AFP | Getty Images

The World Health Organization’s European chief said at least 3,000 people have died in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in February because they were unable to access treatments for chronic diseases.

So far, the U.N. health agency has documented some 200 attacks in Ukraine on healthcare facilities, and few hospitals are currently functioning, Hans Kluge told a regional meeting of WHO’s 53 member states as well as senior agency colleagues.

“Forty percent of households have at least one member in need of chronic treatment that they can no longer find, resulting in an estimated at least 3,000 premature avoidable deaths,” he said in a speech, mentioning diseases such as HIV/AIDS and cancer.

Matilda Bogner, head of the U.N. rights monitoring mission for Ukraine, said mortality rates have risen because of lack of access to care. In one cramped school basement in Yahidne, 10 older people died because it was unsafe to leave the shelter, she told a separate briefing.

— Reuters

EU and U.S. accuse Russia of cyber attack on internet satellite company ahead of invasion

The European Union and U.S. accused Russia of carrying out a destructive cyberattack that crippled the networks of internet satellite company Viasat.

“The cyberattack took place one hour before Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 thus facilitating the military aggression,” the European Union wrote in a statement. “This attack had a significant impact causing indiscriminate communication outages and disruptions across several public authorities, businesses and users in Ukraine, as well as affecting several EU Member States.”

The company wrote in a March 30 statement that the malign cyber activity impacted several thousand customers located in Ukraine and tens of thousands across Europe. The European Union also warned that Russian cyberattacks targeting Ukraine’s critical infrastructure could “spill over into other countries and cause systemic effects putting the security of Europe’s citizens at risk.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote in a separate statement that Russia carried out destructive cyber activities against Ukraine in the months leading up to its invasion.

— Amanda Macias

Global sanctions on Russia are working, top U.S. intel chief says

U.S. officials say Russia is grappling with 20% inflation rates and a 10% hit to its GDP this year as sanctions imposed over Putin’s invasion of Ukraine take hold across the country.

Mikhail Tereshchenko | Sputnik | via Reuters

The nation’s top intelligence chief told lawmakers that the global sanctions on Russia are crippling its economy and impacting the Kremlin’s ability to finance its ongoing war in Ukraine.

“We’re seeing close to about we predict approximately 20% inflation in Russia that we expect that their GDP will fall about 10%, possibly even more for the course of the year,” said Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“We’re also seeing how things like export controls on semiconductors and so on are affecting their defense industry. So I think that’s a very significant impact, although obviously, time will tell as we move forward,” Haines added.

Haines, who oversees the nation’s 17 intelligence agencies, said private-sector companies linked to oil production have also contributed to global efforts to apply pressure on Russia.

— Amanda Macias

US spy chief says Putin is preparing for prolonged war

Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Avril Haines testifies during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on “Worldwide Threats” at the U.S. Capitol in Washington May 10, 2022. 

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

The United States believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing for a long conflict in Ukraine, and a Russian victory in the Donbas in the east of the country might not end the war, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said.

“We assess President Putin is preparing for a prolonged conflict in Ukraine, during which he still intends to achieve goals beyond the Donbas,” Haines told lawmakers.

She added that Putin was counting on the Western resolve to weaken over time.

— Reuters

Map shows how NATO is patrolling its eastern flank

Norwegian F-35 in close formation.

NATO

From fighter jets to surveillance aircraft, the NATO alliance has placed up to 30 aircraft on patrol over the skies of its eastern flank.

So far, the U.S. has committed the most types of aircraft to complement the alliance’s security mission.

Here’s an overview of the NATO member aircraft flying the skies:

NATO’s Eastern Flank Air Domain

NATO

Since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, NATO has also placed more than 140 warships on heightened alert.

In addition, the 30-member-strong group has consistently warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that an attack on one NATO member state will be viewed as an attack on all, triggering the group’s cornerstone Article 5.

— Amanda Macias

UN says 3,459 killed in Ukraine since start of war, warns death toll is likely higher

Grave diggers shovel soil into the grave of a woman as her husband and son watch on April 20, 2022 in Bucha, Ukraine.

John Moore | Getty Images

The United Nations has confirmed 3,459 civilian deaths, including at least 238 children, in Ukraine since Russia invaded its ex-Soviet neighbor on Feb. 24.

The agency also reported 3,713 civilian injuries in the conflict so far.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said the death toll in Ukraine is likely higher, because the armed conflict can delay reports.

The international body said most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, as well as missiles and airstrikes.

— Amanda Macias

First responders work at the site of a missile strike in Odesa

Images below show first responders working at the site of a missile strike in Odesa, Ukraine. The major port city was hit by Russian missiles on Monday, killing one person and injuring five others, according to Ukrainian armed forces.

First responders work at the site of a missile strike, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Odesa, Ukraine in this handout image released May 10, 2022.

State Emergency Service Of Ukraine | Reuters

First responders work at the site of a missile strike, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Odesa, Ukraine in this handout image released May 10, 2022. 

State Emergency Service Of Ukraine | Reuters

A first responder works at the site of a missile strike, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Odesa, Ukraine in this handout image released May 10, 2022. 

State Emergency Service Of Ukraine | Reuters

A first responder works at the site of a missile strike, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Odesa, Ukraine in this handout image released May 10, 2022. 

State Emergency Service Of Ukraine | Reuters

Russia still faces a high chance of default, despite payment

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Alexei Danichev | Sputnik | Reuters

Although Russia has so far averted a historic debt default since sanctions were imposed on its foreign currency reserves, analysts believe it is delaying the inevitable.

In a note last week, MSCI Research said that despite the rally for Russian bonds, “probabilities of default implied by the credit-default-swap market were still exceptionally high across the one- and five-year horizons.”

Read the full story here.

—Elliot Smith

EU preparing joint borrowing to help Ukraine, report says

Reuters reported Tuesday, citing two EU officials, that the European Commission in considering new joint debt issuance to help with Ukraine’s liquidity gap.

The idea would be that Ukraine would get very cheap loans from the EU, with member states providing guarantees that the joint borrowing would be repaid.

The anonymous officials said that the EU would be expected to raise some 10 billion euros through the joint borrowing.

—Matt Clinch

Russian missiles hit port city of Odesa, killing one and injuring others

A rescue worker gestures in front of the shopping and entertainment center in the Ukrainian Black Sea city of Odessa on May 10, 2022, destroyed after Russian missiles strike late on May 9, 2022.

Oleksandr Gimanov | Afp | Getty Images

The major Ukrainian port city of Odesa was hit by Russian missiles on Monday, killing one person and injuring five others, according to Ukrainian armed forces.

In an update on Telegram, the operational command for the region said that the casualties occurred when seven missiles were fired at the city and hit a shopping center and a depot. The statement said that “rare Soviet-style missiles were clearly used.”

Rescue workers walk past debris and carsunder ruins in front of the shopping and entertainment center in the Ukrainian Black Sea city of Odessa on May 10, 2022, destroyed after Russian missiles strike late on May 9, 2022.

Oleksandr Gimanov | AFP | Getty Images

The attack came on the same day that the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, visited Odesa. Meanwhile in Russia, President Putin and senior Kremlin officials oversaw the “Victory Day” parade in Moscow. The event marks the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

A man takes pictures of the shopping and entertainment center in the Ukrainian Black Sea city of Odessa on May 10, 2022, destroyed after Russian missiles strike late on May 9, 2022.

Oleksandr Gimanov | AFP | Getty Images

Russia has no plans to close the embassies of European countries, official says

London Metro Police officers stand on guard outside Russia’s embassy in London.

Sopa Images | Lightrocket | Getty Images

Russia has no plans to close the embassies of European countries despite the very poor state of relations between Russia and its neighbors, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko has said, according to state news agency Ria Novosti.

“This is not in our tradition,” Grushko said. “Therefore, we believe that the work of diplomatic missions is important,” Grushko said, in answer to the question of whether Russia could close European diplomatic missions in the region against the backdrop of Western sanctions.

“We did not start a diplomatic war, a campaign of expulsions,” the deputy head of the Russian Foreign Ministry claimed.

Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 after months of building up over 100,000 troops along the shared border. Moscow has tried to justify its invasion by saying it’s protecting ethnic Russians in the country and has falsely claimed Kyiv’s leadership are “Nazis.”

Ukraine and geopolitical experts say Russia has created baseless justifications for the invasion as it wants to stop Ukraine’s pro-Western direction, and to re-assert its power and influence over the country.

Holly Ellyatt

Russia’s underestimation of Ukraine led to ‘unsustainable losses,’ UK says

Russia’s underestimation of Ukrainian resistance and its “best case scenario” planning have led to demonstrable operational failings, the U.K.’s Ministry of Defence said on Tuesday.

Those failings prevented President Vladimir Putin from announcing significant military success in Ukraine at the Victory Day parade in Moscow on Monday.

“Russia’s invasion plan is highly likely to have been based on the mistaken assumption that it would encounter limited resistance and would be able to encircle and bypass population centres rapidly,” the ministry said in its latest intelligence update on Twitter.

This assumption led Russian forces to attempt to carry out the opening phase of the operation “with a light, precise approach” intended to achieve a rapid victory with minimal cost.

“This miscalculation led to unsustainable losses and a subsequent reduction in Russia’s operational focus,” the ministry said.

Holly Ellyatt

Russia’s economy to shrink 10% this year, Ukraine’s to contract 30%: Report

Damaged buildings are seen as Russian attacks continue in Mariupol, Ukraine on May 4, 2022.

Leon Klein | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The war in Ukraine is hitting both Russia and Kyiv’s economy hard, with both expected to see sharp plunges in economic output, according to research from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) published Tuesday.

Russia’s economy, hit by international sanctions, is expected to contract 10% in 2022 while the Ukraine invasion — which has caused extensive damage to the agricultural producer’s economic hubs and output — is forecast to cause Ukraine’s economy to shrink by 30% this year, the EBRD said.

“With the 3.4 per cent GDP growth recorded in 2021 no more than a distant memory, the war is putting Ukraine’s economy under enormous stress, with the heavy devastation of infrastructure and production capacities,” the EBRD said. It’s estimated that between 30% and 50% of businesses have stopped their operations completely in Ukraine, causing about half of all employees to lose their jobs and income.

That latest gross domestic product forecast for Ukraine is a downward revision of ten percentage points compared with the bank’s projections released in March.

Ukraine’s GDP is forecast to bounce back to 25% next year, the EBRD said, but that’s assuming that substantial reconstruction work is by then already underway.

Holly Ellyatt

At least 1 million Ukrainians were ‘forcibly relocated’ to Russia, says rights official

An elderly woman sits in Kharkiv after fleeing from a war-torn Kutuzivka village in Ukraine, April 29th, 2022. At least a million Ukrainians have been “forcible relocated” and sent to Russia, Ukraine’s ombudsman for human rights said, NBC News reported.

Narciso Contreras | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

At least a million Ukrainians have been “forcibly relocated” and sent to Russia, according to a Ukrainian human rights official cited by NBC News.

“Not only are the occupiers hiding their crimes, but also relocating everyone they deem unreliable,” said Lyudmyla Denisova, Ukraine’s ombudsman for human rights.

“We have proof that forceful deportation was prepared beforehand,” Denisova said, according to NBC News. “There are facts that confirm that Russia had directives for their districts on how many Ukrainians and where to deport them.”

NBC News and CNBC were not able to confirm those claims.

An estimated 20,000 Ukrainians are in “filtration camps,” with most being sent to Russia, while the fate of the rest remains unknown, Denisova added, NBC News said.

Last month, the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine documented about 109 cases of suspected detention or enforced disappearances among civilians since the invasion began.

However, local officials said the figure does not represent the tens of thousands of Ukrainians who have been deported via “filtration camps.”

— Chelsea Ong

Ukraine’s prime minister says the U.S. steel tariff suspension came together in a matter of weeks

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal speaks during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (not pictured) at State Department, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Washington, April 22, 2022.

Susan Walsh | Pool | Reuters

Just hours after the U.S. announced it would suspend tariffs on Ukrainian steel for a year, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal expressed his appreciation for the speed with which the Biden administration moved on the issue.

Shmyhal said he first spoke about the tariffs with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo when he visited Washington on April 21.

Less than 3 weeks later, the U.S. announced that the current 25% tariff would not be applied to steel from war-torn Ukraine for at least a year.

The tariff suspension is the latest example of the White House and federal agencies slashing bureaucratic red tape in Washington in order to get money, weapons and humanitarian supplies to Ukraine.

— Christina Wilkie

Biden shifts course, calls on Congress to pass standalone Ukraine aid with no Covid funds

U.S. President Joe Biden pauses while speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Monday, May 9, 2022.

Samuel Corum | Bloomberg | Getty Images

President Joe Biden has very publicly shifted course in his quest to pass a $33 billion emergency funding package for Ukraine through Congress.

“Previously, I had recommended that Congress take overdue action on much needed funding for COVID treatments, vaccines and tests, as part of the Ukraine Supplemental bill,” Biden said in a statement.

Recently, however, Biden says he was informed that Republicans in Congress are not prepared to vote to pass a Covid bill anytime soon.

Given the reality of the situation, linking the two funding requests — as he had initially proposed — would have in practice meant slowing down the desperately needed money for Ukraine in order to give Congress time to debate the Covid funding.

“We cannot afford delay in this vital war effort,” Biden said. “Hence, I am prepared to accept that these two measures move separately, so that the Ukrainian aid bill can get to my desk right away.”

Biden’s change of strategy was also adopted by Democratic leaders in Congress, who have said they are prepared to move quickly on a standalone Ukraine bill. It is expected to be relatively easy to pass with bipartisan support.

— Christina Wilkie

Read CNBC’s previous live coverage here:



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