The Atlas Newsletter - Volume 5

The Atlas Newsletter–World Updates & News

Monday, February 20, 2023

Good morning everyone,

It's been a big week for the news and another great week for Atlas. Hopefully it's been just as great for all of you. There isn't much to update on the newsletter itself, which is a sign of progress and stability, and as far as the site itself, we continue to send out quality free and exclusive content for you all. We cannot thank you enough for the massive support from our community, and we continuously look for new ways to bring you all awesome new content centered around unbiased and unfiltered international news and open source intelligence.

The one-year anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine has passed, and while the world expected something major, such as a new offensive or attacks, it remained relatively quiet, though the US did announce new military assistance. China has also been active lately, making moves towards friendlier relations with Russia and drawing up peace plans for Ukraine. North Korea teeters on the edge as international monitors notice worrying signs of a coming famine. The earthquake in Syria and Turkey is finally wrapping up as rescue operations have halted and people attempt to return to normal amidst the ruins. Meanwhile, the insurgent conflicts in Africa and Oceania have been fairly active the past week, with the governments and their Western allies responding in kind to the aggression.

What can I say? It looks like just another day at the office. Let's take a look:- Joshua Paulo, Sebastien Gray, & the Atlas team

One Year of the War in Ukraine

Friday, February 24th, 2023: In the early morning of February 24, 2022, Russian troops rolled across the border into Ukraine in what was expected to be a lightning advance to Kyiv. However, one year from that day, Ukraine kept up the fight. Ukraine has demonstrated its combat capability by keeping the Russians out of Kyiv and scoring several major victories of its own. Notably, Russia has also shown the world its own capabilities. Despite Russia having an incredibly large and powerful military, the war in Ukraine has shown a lack of logistical capabilities and command efficiency. What many expected to be a blitzkrieg-style assault straight to the capital city of Ukraine has turned into a trench warfare slugfest with mounting casualties on both sides.

Western support has indeed made the difference in this war, with the United States' latest arms package coming in at about $2 billion including artillery ammunition, mine clearing equipment, rocket system munitions, electronic warfare equipment, and more. This comes just weeks after the West upped the ante by promising main battle tanks to Ukraine, a move that had previously been explicitly dismissed, perhaps indicating Ukraine's increasing needs, as no doubt war fatigue has set in on both nations. Over the past year, some of the most major events of the Ukraine war, in no particular order, include:

  • The initial Russian assault captured about a fourth of Ukraine

  • Major Western sanctions on Russia and Putin allies

  • Ukraine defends Kyiv and is able to launch counter-attacks

  • The sinking of the Russian flagship Moskva

  • Crimea bridge attack

  • The taking of Azovstal and the destruction of several Ukrainian units

  • The Ukrainian offensives for Kherson and Kharkiv

The peace process has been rather stalled since the initial talks ended in March of 2022. Dozens of nations, including China, Turkey, and the United States, have called for an immediate peaceful resolution to the war. For the anniversary, China released a proposed peace plan, which was mostly ignored by Ukraine and denied by Russia. Worryingly, in January of this year, Russian spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that "there is currently no prospect for diplomatic means of settling the situation around Ukraine," as both sides hold concessions for proceeding that neither side is willing to acknowledge. Despite this, it is hoped that negotiations will continue soon as the world awaits a resolution to a war that has displaced 14 million Ukrainians, a million Russians, and cost the lives of hundreds of thousands on both sides.


February 25th, 2023 - "Together, the EU member states have imposed the most forceful and far-reaching sanctions ever to help Ukraine win the war," said President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen as the EU unveiled their tenth package of sanctions against Russia. It primarily targets the Russian defense and technology industries, the individuals and groups that support them, and also further cuts off several Russian banks from the SWIFT banking system. It also targets several individuals it calls "Russian propagandists."

February 22nd, 2023 - The International Court of Justice, or the World Court, issued a binding decree ordering that Azerbaijan open the Lachin corridor, which it has held closed since December 12th. Azerbaijan is to "take all measures at its disposal to ensure the unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles, and cargo along the Lachin corridor in both directions." Their blockade of the breakaway Republic of Artsakh has led to widespread shortages of medicines, foods, and other necessities. Though the court's order is binding, it has no real means of enforcement.

February 26th, 2023 - 59 people are dead, including 12 children, and dozens are missing after a boat carrying around 200 migrants broke apart while trying to land on the southern coast of Italy. 80 people have been found alive, and search and rescue efforts are taking place to try and locate all those who are missing. Rough weather caused the boat to slam into some rocks, which led to it breaking apart. One of the survivors was arrested on human trafficking charges. "It is inhumane to exchange the lives of men, women, and children for the price of the "ticket" they paid in the false perspective of a safe journey," said Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. The boat took off from Turkey, as is often the case, carrying migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Iran.

Italian rescuers work on rescue operations for survivors and those still missing from the wreck (Photo from REUTERS/Giuseppe Pipita)

Middle East

February 22nd, 2023 - Israel launched a daytime raid in the West Bank city of Nablus that resulted in widespread clashes, leaving 10 Palestinians dead and 102 wounded. The raid was initially targeting two "Lions Den" militants, but quickly grew as other militants began engaging the IDF, with Israeli troops allegedly opening fire on civilian populations, according to witnesses. A funeral was held the same day for those killed, which saw a large and public Lions Den presence. 82 of the 102 injured were from live fire.

A Palestinian man throws paint onto the windshield of an Israeli vehicle. (Photo from Raneen Sawafta/Reuters)

February 21st, 2023 - Saudi Arabia has deposited 1 billion dollars into the Central Bank of Yemen as part of an economic reform program. Saudi Arabia has in the past invested billions in the Yemeni government, though this latest investment, some claim, may be ill-intended. A Lebanese newspaper has claimed that the $1 billion is a loan rather than money for humanitarian aid. Meaning, a loan would have to be paid back, netting Saudi Arabia a profit. The claims of the newspaper cannot be effectively verified, and it is worth noting that the newspaper has Iranian sympathies, which supply the Houthi rebels against whom Saudi Arabia leads a coalition.

February 25th, 2023 - Iran claims to have developed a long-range cruise missile capable of hitting targets 1,650 kilometers away, specifically including Israel. The new weapon, named the Paveh, is just one of many recent developments in Iran's missile program. The announcement came alongside a television broadcast showing the launch of the missile.


February 25th, 2023 - At least 19 people were injured in Cameroon in an attack carried out on the Mountain Race of Hope marathon. The attack, a detonation of a roadside IED, was claimed by the Ambazonia Defense Forces rebel group. Capo Daniel, the Deputy Defense Chief of the group, said that civilian casualties were not intentional and that the attack was meant to target Cameroon military forces. "Our Primary target of the Mountain race was the Cameroon occupation terrorist BIR that are responsible for atrocities in Ambazonia. Civilian casualties were unintended. Please stay away from places where the Cameroon BIR are present. We are at war," he tweeted.

February 27th, 2023 - "The goal of the visit is primarily humanitarian, and to pass on our solidarity – from the leadership, the government and the people of Egypt to the people of Syria", a quote from Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry as he visits both Syria and Turkey, the first such visit from a high ranking Egyptian official in over a decade. Egypt has had rocky relations with Syria, as has much of the world, since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, and has had ill relations with Turkey since Egypt’s 2013 coup. Egypt has supplied Syria with humanitarian aid in the aftermath of the massive earthquake that struck both Syria and Turkey a few weeks ago. Due to sanctions and poor political relations, support for Syria paled in comparison to that for Turkey, but a recent increase in support for Syria by neighbors in the region has shown the normalization of relations with the Assad government.

President Assad and Foreign Minister Shoukry meet in Damascus (Photo is a Syrian Presidency Handout)

February 21st, 2023 - Burkina Faso security forces announced that on the 17th they were attacked in a large-scale ambush, in which they say 51 of their soldiers were killed. The attack, carried out by the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, was followed by another on the 20th, which claimed 12–19 more soldiers' lives, with "others still missing." ISGS claims the attack on the 17th killed 70, posting pictures of five captured soldiers. The Burkinabe military claims they launched a counterattack that killed 160 ISGS militants.

The Americas

February 24th, 2023 - El Salvador’s super prison, the Terrorism Confinement Centre, received its first batch of prisoners, numbering 2,000. "This will be their new house, where they will live for decades, mixed up, unable to do any more harm to the population," declared President Bukele in a tweet announcing the transfer. The Terrorism Confinement Centre recently finished construction and has a capacity of 40,000 people, providing much-needed accommodation for El Salvador’s overcrowded prisons.

Gang members in El Salvador’s prisons (Photo by Salvadorean Presidency / AFP)

February 24th, 2023 - After January showed positive signs for reducing deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, this February is slated to be the worst ever February for deforestation. Data recorded from the beginning of the month to the 17th showed 209 km2 of destroyed forest, just over halfway through the month, which was already more than in February 2022, which was the previous worst February. President Lula’s government has made many promises to reduce and eventually stop deforestation in the Amazon by 2030.

Asia and Oceania

February 26th, 2023 - Bryce Barker, a New Zealander archeologist who was taken hostage by a gang along with several other researchers in Papua New Guinea, has now been rescued through what the government is calling "covert operations." Last week, it was announced that the group had been taken hostage and that the government was negotiating their release. However, Prime Minister James Marape has said that no ransom was paid for their release. No information has been given regarding details about the gang.

New Zealand Archeologist Bryce Barker

February 23rd, 2023 - Fears are growing that North Korea will soon begin to face another famine. State media, though admitting changes need to be made, have commented reassuringly on the matter. However, satellite imagery is showing North Korea’s agricultural system in rough shape, showing an extended drought in the nation. The World Food Programme estimates that 10.7 million people, or 40% of North Korea’s population, are already undernourished and require assistance. Despite this, they have completely shut down the idea of any foreign aid, calling it "poisoned candy."

To access all the benefits of an Atlas News subscription, sign in or subscribe

To access all the benefits of an Atlas News subscription, sign in or subscribe.

Thanks for reading.

Our Partners

The Atlas News has partnered with WRMFZY to bring you guy's some awesome merch and other goodies.

More to come!

Join the fastest-growing news company in the world. Covering geopolitics, conflict, terrorism, crime, business, wall-street, underreported stories, and places in the world you've never heard of. Comments, twitter-style brief updates, long-form articles, full podcasts, and documentaries.Join 30,000+ members today on the Atlas News App.

Atlas News

What do you think of todays Atlas Newsletter?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.


If you'd like to get involved in anyway with Atlas News, please reach out to us with your experience or ideas. If you're a solid fit, we'll be in touch. – The Atlas News Team

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2022 Atlas News.