FirstFT: Ukraine says ‘all evidence points to Russia’ in cyberattack

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Ukraine said it had evidence that a cyberattack on 70 government websites on Friday was likely to have been carried out by Russia.

The cyberattack came amid fears Moscow was planning military action against the country after failed security talks with the United States and NATO.

“At the moment, we can say that all the evidence points to Russia being behind the attack,” Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation said in a statement yesterday. But Kiev said the investigation was still ongoing and had not yet officially attributed the attack to Russia.

Refraining from blaming Moscow, Jake Sullivan, national security adviser to US President Joe Biden, said: “It wouldn’t surprise me at all if it ends up being blamed on Russia.”

Separately, Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council said over the weekend that it suspected a hacking group linked to Belarusian intelligence services had carried out the attack, suggesting that Russia could have used its ally to create plausible deniability of his own involvement.

Belarus’ authoritarian government, which spearheaded a rapprochement with Moscow after mass protests in the summer of 2020, has yet to comment on the allegations.

Ukraine’s Western allies have warned cyberattacks could be a prelude to further military aggression after Moscow mustered 100,000 troops near the border in recent months.

Russia has moved large combat units and sophisticated weapons near the Ukrainian border. © Cartography by Steven Bernard

1. JPMorgan forecasts “astonishing” $12 billion in tech spending Wall Street’s biggest lender said it plans to dramatically increase spending on technology and talent to strengthen its competitive position. But the forecast has raised concerns among investors about U.S. bank earnings in 2022.

2. FBI Identifies Texas Synagogue Hostage Taker The gunman who captured four worshipers on Saturday was a 44-year-old British citizen. The revelations came a day after a “tense hostage situation” near Dallas, where a gunman interrupted a Facebook live-streamed church service. The hostage taker died in a shootout.

3. European electric car sales overtake diesel models Thanks to generous government subsidies and strict emissions regulations, sales of electric cars in Europe have reached record growth. More than 20% of new cars sold in 18 European markets were powered by batteries, while diesel cars accounted for less than 19% of sales.

4. Supply chain constraints may have peaked in 2021 Supply chain pressures remain well above pre-pandemic levels, but there are signs that global trade relations could start to normalize this year, even as many countries face an increase cases of the Omicron variant coronavirus and persistently high inflation.

5. Novak Djokovic leaves Australia after losing visa battle The unvaccinated tennis star has left the country for Dubai, after judges unanimously upheld the government’s decision to cancel his visa. Novak Djokovic said he was “extremely disappointed” and will not be able to participate in the Australian Open, a tournament he has won nine times.

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Summary of coronavirus

  • Worldwide, companies are struggling to address worker vaccinations.

  • Pandemic-era managers deserve our sympathy, says the FTdrafting committee.

  • Covid hospital admissions hit an all-time high in the we but some patients seek care for reasons unrelated to the virus.

  • ChinaThe zero Covid policy risks causing greater disruption to manufacturers and supply chains than in previous waves of the pandemic. Yet the country’s trade surplus soared to $676 billion in 2021, its highest level on record.

  • hong kong has no “timing” for the lifting of strict international border restrictions this year. The city’s zero Covid policy threatens Hong Kong’s place in the world.

Monthly passenger arrivals at Hong Kong International Airport (millions)

Monthly passenger arrivals at Hong Kong International Airport (millions) © FT Graphics

The day ahead

Economic data China releases its quarterly GDP data for the fourth quarter of 2021. What to expect from the new economic data from China? Here are 5 things to watch ahead of Xi’s push for a third term.

European elections The European Parliament elects its new president, following the death of David Sassoli last week. He should be replaced by Roberta Metsola, a Maltese MEP.

australian open The first Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year begins in Melbourne.

martin luther king day Financial markets are closed today in the United States.

What else we read

The problem of Wall Street in Washington There is an outcry in the US Congress over investments made by officials, which has raised questions about unfair market opportunities and prompted lawmakers to ban active investing. Who among the powerful should be allowed to trade?

Afghanistan’s currency crisis leaves millions at risk of starvation The Afghani has fallen almost 25% against the dollar since the Taliban took power in August. The weakening currency has fueled the country’s economic collapse and humanitarian crisis, as more than half of the population faces food insecurity.

Line chart of Afghans per US dollar showing the Afghan currency falling

Chinese cuisine: the beginning of a new ice age? As extreme shutdowns drag on in China, parts of the country are experiencing food shortages. Frozen products may be the best way for the government to achieve greater food security.

“What if the Bank of Japan blinks? » Until last week, the yen trade reflected an expectation that the Bank of Japan was unlikely to rock the boat with any significant change. But core inflation is rising in the country, signaling that even Japan is not immune to the global trend.

The environmental crisis in Venezuela As the economy imploded and oil revenues dwindled, Maduro’s regime looked elsewhere for money. Venezuela has thus begun to exploit the country’s natural resources, and an ecological catastrophe now threatens certain parts of the Amazon.

To travel

Where to find sun, sand and solitude in 2022? From Rajasthan to southern Mongolia, here are five fabulous desert getaways.

A desert excursion from Suján Le Serai in the Thar Desert

A desert excursion from Suján Le Serai in the Thar Desert © Suján

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