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DEFCON Warning System – Update 2/1/2022

This is the DEFCON Warning System. Alert status for 11 P.M. UTC, Tuesday, February 1st, 2022. Condition code is Blue. DEFCON 4.

There are currently no imminent nuclear threats at this time. However, there are events occurring in the world theater which require closer monitoring.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE CRISIS

Russia continues to amass troops and military hardware around Ukraine at an unprecedented level. Russian troop placements currently have Ukraine surrounded, with troops and equipment in Belarus to the north, Russia to the east, Crimea to the south, and Moldova to the west. The buildup far exceeds what Russia had in place when they annexed Crimea in 2014, and there is global concern of another incursion into Ukrainian territory within the next four weeks or so.

How large that incursion might actually be remains to be seen, but the most likely scenario is Russia moving in from the southeast and capturing territory south of line from Luhanks to Donetsk to Zaporizhzhia, and then southwest to Kherson along the Dnieper River. This would establish a land bridge between Russia and Crimea, which is of immense strategic importance to Russia.

The next most likely scenario is a massive full-scale invasion of Ukraine from all fronts with the intent of taking Kyiv and establishing a pro-Russian government in place of the current more western-friendly Zelensky administration. We consider this to be less likely due to the manpower required to successfully invade and hold that much territory, as well as the increased chance of military intervention from western nations that would result from such a move.

NATO and the United States have both stated they will not be deploying troops to Ukraine in the event of a Russian invasion. They are, however, supplying Ukraine with military hardware as well as assistance with intelligence and logistics, and the United States has suggested it will support any Ukrainian insurgency in the event of an invasion. The United States has also stated that it will implement “severe” economic sanctions against both Russia and President Vladimir Putin personally if Russia crosses the Ukraine border, and that these sanctions would be proportional to the size of the invasion. Russia has responded that this would be “an act of war,” although it has not made any specific threats.

Russia and NATO have been engaging in talks with little indication of progress. However, as long as they’re talking, they’re not shooting. We continue to hope for a diplomatic solution, although due to the extreme demands being made by Russia, we consider it unlikely at this time. Nevertheless, it is considered a good sign that talks are not being held in the open arena as it means that the two sides are not attempting to make their case to the public for war.

The United States has accused Russia of planning “false flag” style attacks in Ukraine to justify their invasion, and Russia has already been engaging in cyberwarfare against Ukraine. The United States is sending troops to European NATO countries for extra security in the event that hostilities should break out between Ukraine and Russia. Russia has not ruled out the possibility of deploying troops to the western hemisphere specifically in Cuba and Venezuela.

As long as any conflict remains between Ukraine and Russia, with no NATO countries getting involved militarily, the odds of this crisis escalating into a nuclear exchange remain extremely low.

We continue to monitor this crisis very closely and we will issue further updates as needed.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

Talks between India and China over their border dispute have ended in stalemate again. Tensions also remain high with Taiwan, with China still conducting regular military flights into Taiwan’s ADIZ. However, with the world’s attention focused on China for the upcoming winter Olympic games in Beijing, we do not see China engaging in any hostilities for the month of February.

North Korea has test-fired multiple missiles of various types over the past four weeks, potentially due to the world’s attention being focused on Ukraine. If these tests continue at this pace, 2022 will see more missile launches from North Korea than any previous year. As with China, we do not foresee any real threat from North Korea at this time.

MIDDLE EAST

Iran has claimed to have launched a solid-fueled satellite rocket into space. This is the first time such a launch was carried out using a solid fuel rocket. The development of solid-fuel technology is strategically important due to its relative stability compared to liquid fueled rockets. Fuel tanks on liquid-fueled rockets must remain empty until just prior to launch due the extreme volatility and corrosive nature of the fuel. Solid-fuel rockets can remain fueled indefinitely and maintained ready to launch on short notice. Solid-fueled missiles can also be transported on mobile launchers with the fuel already in place, making missiles harder to locate and destroy. This is an important step in Iran’s ambitions to become the second nuclear-armed nation in the Middle East.

The DEFCON Warning System is a private intelligence organization which has monitored and assessed nuclear threats by national entities since 1984. It is not affiliated with any government agency and does not represent the alert status of any military branch. The public should make their own evaluations and not rely on the DEFCON Warning System for any strategic planning. At all times, citizens are urged to learn what steps to take in the event of a nuclear attack. If this had been an actual attack, the DEFCON Warning System will give radiation readings for areas that are reported to it. Your readings will vary. Official news sources will have radiation readings for your area.

For immediate updates, go to www.defconwarningsystem.com. Breaking news and important information can be found on the DEFCON Warning System community forum and on the DEFCON Twitter feed @DEFCONWSAlerts. You may also subscribe to the DEFCON Warning System mailing list. Note that Twitter updates may be subject to delays. The next scheduled update is 10 P.M. UTC, February 22nd, 2022. Additional updates will be made as the situation warrants, with more frequent updates at higher alert levels.

This concludes this report of the DEFCON Warning System.

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