Ukraine Update 21 March, 2022 (Evening)

  • The White House is warning US businesses of the growing possibility Russia could engage in cyberattacks in the near future. This is not a new warning. Concerns about Russia’s intentions in the cyber realm have been present since the days leading up to hostilities. Now, with the war not going in Russia’s favor, Moscow might be persuaded to open a new front in cyberspace against US and other Western companies supporting the economic sanctions now squeezing Russia.
  • The Russian military’s chain of command for the Ukrainian theater of operations remains a mystery. Despite efforts, the US has been unable to piece together who the senior Russian commanders in Ukraine are. What is clear is that multiple Russian generals have become battlefield casualties in Ukraine since late February, possibly leading senior Russian officials to keep information about Russian commanders secret for now.
  • Pro-Kremlin tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda (KP) published supposed Russian Defense Ministry casualty figures today. 9,861 Russian troops were listed as combat deaths and 16,153 as battlefield casualties that were not fatal. This afternoon, KP released a statement claiming the figures were wrong and their website was hacked.
  • There is more evidence of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s growing frustration with Russia’s intelligence community. Today, Colonel-General Sergei Beseda and his deputy were placed on house arrest. Beseda is the FSB officer who was placed in charge of intelligence operations in Ukraine during the period leading up to the start of the war. It has become clear to Putin that neither this officer or his deputy succeeded in their mission and the result now is a Russian military operation hanging on the edge of complete failure.

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