Cyber Security, Digital Transition, Technology Geopolitics & Worlds In-Defense

Open newsletter – march 18, 2022 p.m.



  • Having obtained the support of most of Indonesia’s political parties, President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo is ready to proceed with preparations for shifting the nation’s capital from Jakarta to Nusantara in East Kalimantan. But the US$32 billion (Rp 466 trillion) megaproject stands on far shakier political and fiscal grounds than when it was first announced in 2019. Jefferson Ng – East Asia Forum – Nusantara capital plans to carve out Jokowi’s legacy


  • The Canadian government is to invest CAD27.2 million (USD21.6 million) in Westinghouse Electric Canada Inc to support its next-generation eVinci microreactor. This is the third investment in small modular reactor (SMR) technology to be made through Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s (ISED) Strategic Innovation Fund. World Nuclear News – Canadian government invests in third SMR technology : New Nuclear
  • Finnish utility Fortum Power and Heat Oy has submitted an application to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment to operate both units 1 and 2 of its Loviisa nuclear power plant until the end of 2050. The current operating licences expire at the end of 2027 and 2030, respectively. – World Nuclear News – Fortum applies to operate Loviisa until 2050 : Regulation & Safety
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director general says consultations about an agreement for the safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities are on-going. World Nuclear News – IAEA continues efforts for a safety framework for Ukraine : Regulation & Safety

RUSSIA – UKRAINE (impact, reaction, consequences) 

  • It was highly distressing to watch African leaders, from whom I expected better, squirm and struggle to explain why their nations abstained from voting on the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on March 2. While the resolution passed with overwhelming support, only 28 African countries voted for it. Seventeen African nations chose to abstain, and eight did not attend the vote. Tafi Mhaka – Al Jazeera – Africa should not help Putin whitewash his crimes in Ukraine

  • Since the start of Russia’s all-out invasion of Ukraine, many Israelis have been passionately protesting against the aggression, and demanding their leaders do more to help Ukrainians. Indeed, according to a poll conducted by Direct Polls LTD in early March, 76 percent of Israelis support the Ukrainians, while only 10 percent favour the Russians in this ongoing conflict. While the same poll showed that half of the Israeli population supports the government’s decision to remain neutral, there is still widespread disappointment over how this policy of neutrality has been implemented. Richard Silverstein Al Jazeera – Indifference to Ukrainian suffering could prove costly for Israel

  • Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that 130 people had been saved after the bombing of a theatre in the port city of Mariupol under Russian siege, but “hundreds” were still trapped in the rubble. Ukraine accused Russia of hitting the theatre on Wednesday. It had been feared that up to 1,000 people may have been taking refuge underground at the time of the blast. Russia has denied responsibility for the attack. Al Jazeera – Zelenskyy: 130 rescued, ‘hundreds’ under Mariupol theatre rubble
  • The Kremlin has blamed a technical glitch for the interrupted transmission of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech to a packed Moscow stadium to mark the eighth anniversary of Crimea’s annexation. During Friday’s speech, Russian state television suddenly cut away from Putin hailing what Russia calls its special operation in Ukraine and the bravery of its soldiers, to show patriotic songs being played at the event instead. Al Jazeera – Kremlin says Putin’s speech interruption due to technical glitch
  • Russia has demanded that Alphabet Inc’s Google stop spreading what Moscow labelled as threats against Russian citizens on YouTube amid the war in Ukraine. Roskomnadzor, the regulator in Russia, said adverts on YouTube were calling for Russia’s communications systems and Belarus’s railway networks to be suspended and that their dissemination was evidence of the United States tech giant’s anti-Russian position. Al Jazeera – Moscow wants Google to stop spreading ‘threats’ against Russians
  • U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel said Friday he feels a “moral obligation” to help host individuals who have evacuated Ukraine. Emanuel, the former mayor of Chicago and former President Obama‘s onetime chief of staff, said in a statement he will host refugees at his residence in Tokyo. Chloe Folmar – The Hill – US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel says he will host Ukrainian evacuees
  • Russian state TV confirmed on Friday that one of its top commanders died in in Ukraine, CNN reported. Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense claimed on Twitter that its soldiers “eliminated” Col. Sergei Sukharev, commander of the elite 331st Guards Airborne Regiment. Jordan Williams – The Hill – Russia state TV confirms death of top commander
  • Canada’s United Nations mission on Thursday blasted Russia for a letter it sent to the U.N. regarding the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, prompting a Russian official to hit back at the move, calling it “kindergarten-level Russophobic libel.”. Lexi Lonas – The Hill – Canada blasts Russia over UN letter


  • It has become increasingly evident that South Korea’s public perception of China has cooled considerably in recent years. There are several reasons behind this development, including bilateral cultural spats, the dispute over Seoul’s procurement of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, and China’s close ties with North Korea.  Sangpil Jin – East Asia Forum  – Can Seoul court Beijing’s perception problem ?


  • Members of South Sudan’s government committed human rights violations “amounting to war crimes” in the country’s southwest, the UN has said, including for abuses against children. The world’s newest nation has suffered from chronic instability since independence in 2011, with the UN warning last month that it risked a return to war as interethnic violence and political infighting threaten an already fragile peace process. Al Jazeera – Abuses by South Sudan govt amounts to ‘war crimes’: UN | News | Al Jazeera


  • Tunisian President Kais Saied, who last year grabbed power in what critics labelled a coup, has now asked voters for their political views – but days before an online poll closes, fewer than six percent have taken part. Most people in the small North African country are more concerned with food shortages, unemployment and financial woes than in joining in the process to help rewrite the constitution. Al Jazeera – Tunisians snub poll on reforms as economic crisis deepens
  • Tunisia’s powerful UGTT labour union says it will not remain silent if authorities do not include it in negotiations over the country’s political and economic future, rejecting proposed reforms. “The country needs political stability for the return of international donors,” its deputy head Salah Eddine Salmi warned on Thursday. Al Jazeera – ‘Union will not remain silent’: Tunisia’s UGTT demands dialogue