Interfor International - Weekly Security Matters Digest - June 29 2022

Interfor International – Weekly Security & Covid Digest – June 29, 2022

Interfor’s Weekly Security & Covid Digest – June 29, 2022

Global Security Matters

  • A Russian hacking group took credit for the wide-ranging cyberattack on Lithuania government institutions and airports on Monday. The attack comes in response to Lithuanian officials denying the transit of materials to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad following EU sanctions. Lithuania’s National Cyber Security Centre said it believes “attacks of similar or greater intensity” are likely to continue.
  • Top intelligence officials testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the intelligence community’s assessment of global threats to U.S. national security. Lawmakers focused on the IC’s successes and limitations in assessing Russia’s capabilities in Ukraine and how it relates to China and Taiwan. The director of the DIA and DNI considers China an unmatched priority for the IC and a major security challenge for the U.S.
  • In a statement released on Monday, leaders from the G7 countries promised to continue their financial, military, and humanitarian aid to Ukraine “for as long as it takes.” President Zelensky addressed the group virtually, asking for much-needed weapons and air defenses after the deadly Russian strike on a shopping mall in Ukraine. The group plans to tighten sanctions against Russia in the upcoming days or weeks to reduce Russia’s revenues and restrict access to key technologies.
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey is planning to launch a new military operation in Syria to link two areas already under Turkish control to create a “safe zone.” The plans raise fears of a renewed battle on the Turkey-Syria border. The targeted area is controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces, an umbrella group that includes the YPG, a Kurdish armed group.

Covid-19 Updates

Total Deaths: 6,330,937 (1,016,229 in United States) 

At least one vaccine dose administered: 68% globally (United States: 78% of population)

  • Advisors on an FDA panel are expected to vote on whether vaccines should be formulated to target Omicron or one of its sub-variants.
  • CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) epidemiologist Heather Scobie presented data on Tuesday showing that Americans 70 and older have been hospitalized from Covid-19 complications at substantially higher rates than other age groups in recent months.
  • The CDC has added two countries to its “high” category for Covid-19 risk. The Dominican Republic and Kuwait have joined France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and the UK at “Level 3: Covid-19 High.”
  • Covid cases are on the rise in the UK after all Covid prevention measures were dropped beginning April 1st.  Last week, Covid infections were reported to have increased by 43%, with an estimated 1.7 million people testing positive over the week, while hospitalizations rose by 23%.