Today’s Headlines and Commentary

Benjamin Pollard
Wednesday, August 24, 2022, 3:25 PM

Lawfare’s daily roundup of national security news and opinion.

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

Subscribe to receive this newsletter directly to your inbox.

A New York Times review of the costs of the war in Ukraine painted a vivid picture of all that has been lost in the conflict. According to reports, approximately 25,000 Russians and 9,000 Ukrainians have been killed while fighting in the war. More than 6.6 million refugees have fled Ukraine and the number Ukrainian civilian casualties likely reaches the tens of thousands. Russian and proxy forces have taken approximately 20 percent of Ukraine’s landmass, according to Ukrainian officials.

On Ukrainian Independence Day, President Joe Biden announced a $2.98 billion aid package to help Ukraine in its military response to the Russian invasion. “This [package] will allow Ukraine to acquire air defense systems, artillery systems and munitions, counter-unmanned aerial systems, and radars to ensure it can continue to defend itself over the long term,” Biden said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the Russian invasion of Ukraine led to a rebirth of the country, and also promised to retake the Crimean peninsula in a speech on Ukrainian Independence Day. “We will not sit down at the negotiating table out of fear, with a gun pointed at our heads. For us, the most terrible iron is not missiles, aircraft and tanks, but shackles. Not trenches, but fetters,” Zelenskyy said.

Yevgeny Roizman, the former mayor of the Russian city of Yekaterinburg and an outspoken critic of the war in Ukraine, was detained by police under a Russian censorship law. Roizman could spend up to three years in prison for characterizing the Russia-Ukraine conflict as a Russian invasion. In response to his arrest, he said, “We know all there is to know about our country. This is nothing new.” AP News reported Tuesday that the Russian government has also launched criminal investigations into eight people with connections to the imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny for comments they made about Russia’s invasion.

The United Nations Security Council could not reach an agreement about how to prevent a nuclear disaster at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine. During the meeting, the United States, Russia, and other member-states exchanged accusations over who is to blame for recent attacks on the plant while United Nations officials emphasized the need for a demilitarized zone around the plant and inspections of the plant’s reactor.

Conflict resumed between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, ending a ceasefire and re-engaging Ethiopia in a civil war that has lasted for almost two years. Both groups have said the other violated the ceasefire agreement. 

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid warned Western countries that they have offered too much to Iran in their talks to revive the Iranian nuclear deal, saying that the deal would not prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. “In our eyes, it does not meet the standards set by President Biden himself: preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear state,” said Lapid.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which Bryce Klehm sat down with Michael Gordon to discuss Gordon’s new book on Iraq, “Degrade and Destroy.”

Shalini Bhargava Ray argued that it is the president’s duty to set immigration enforcement priorities in light of an immigration enforcement case that the Supreme Court will consider in December.

Roger Parloff assessed whether the Jan. 6 defendants who are looking to change their trial locations will be successful.

Samantha Lai and Darell M. West shared an episode of TechTank in which they sat down to discuss West’s new book, “Power Politics: Trump and the Assault on American Democracy.”

Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for additional commentary on these issues. Sign up to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Check out relevant job openings on our Job Board.

Benjamin Pollard is a student at Brown University studying history and political science. He is a former intern at Lawfare.

Subscribe to Lawfare