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Security Brief: Behavior/Leadership Week of April 3, 2022

April 3 - 6, 2022 | Issue 2

Zoe Beyer, Katie Lohret, Jacqueline Schluger, Sofia Stanga, Sara Buccino, B/L Team

Jennifer Loy, Chief of Staff



Bucha, Ukraine[1]



Date: April 4, 2022

Location: Washington DC, USA; Bucha, Ukraine

Parties involved: USA; US President Joe Biden; Ukraine; Russia; Russian President Vladimir Putin; Kremlin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov; Russian media; Russian citizens; UN; Spain; Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez; Poland; Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki; Western governments; International community

The event: Joe Biden accused Vladimir Putin of being a war criminal and condemned the Russian military for killing 410 Ukrainian civilians in Bucha, Ukraine. Joining Biden’s accusations, other world leaders like Pedro Sanchez and Mateusz Morawiecki called the Russian military actions in Bucha a genocide. Responding to Biden’s accusations, Dmitry Peskov said the photos and videos of the victims in Bucha were fake.[2]

Analysis & Implications:

  • An international court prosecution of Russian officials for war crimes will almost certainly take place due to the photographic and recorded evidence of the Bucha events and the international backlash that Russia has received after the evidence was released. Evidence of the Bucha killings is unlikely to get to Russian citizens given the heavy censorship and propaganda produced by the government. Current propaganda campaigns against Ukraine and a lack of unbiased information will very likely increase Russian citizens’ support and trust in the Russian government and the war with Ukraine. This will likely reinforce Ukraine as a target, which will very likely harm Russia’s alliances with countries who support Ukraine.

  • Putin’s repeated denial of accurate information will very likely contribute to disinformation efforts, which are very likely aimed at strengthening Russian citizens’ support for military action in Ukraine. Disinformation in the Russian media will very likely result in its citizens perceiving Russia as a target from Western governments, which will likely lead to increased support for Russian military action. Resulting anger and distrust directed towards Western governments will likely hinder future international agreements between Russia and Western governments. Increased support for the Russian military will likely allow Putin to continue war efforts in Ukraine without experiencing strong political opposition and decreased approval ratings.

  • Putin will likely continue to destabilize the region to create fear among the US and its Western allies. This will likely result in Russia’s demands of Ukrainian neutrality being met in an attempt by the West to end the conflict. If Russia achieves its initial demands, Putin will likely continue attacks to create more fear among the West and advance other political goals. Russia’s continuation of the attacks will very likely make the US and NATO allies more determined to end the conflict, likely increasing the chances that Russia’s demands are met in an attempt to prevent further escalation. If Putin advances his goals and increases his influence in the region, similar leaders will likely pursue similar actions to achieve their political goals.

Date: April 4, 2022

Location: Lima, Peru

Parties involved: Peru; Peruvian government; Peruvian President Pedro Castillo; Peruvian Cabinet; Peruvian protestors; Peruvian farmers and truckers; Peruvian police; Peruvian citizens; Russia; Ukraine; Western governments

The event: Western governments’ sanctions against Russia after its invasion of Ukraine caused a sharp increase in Peruvian fuel and fertilizer prices. The increase in price is due to Peru's dependency on Russian energy supplies. This led to protests and to the blockade of the central highway access to Lima, causing a rise in food prices as well. Demonstrations became more violent as protesters burned toll booths and attacked the Peruvian police, in which four people died. Protests are part of a general dislike of leftist President Castillo, whose approval ratings have dropped and has faced two impeachment proceedings. In response, the government reduced fuel taxes and raised the minimum wage.[3] The Peruvian Cabinet implemented a curfew in Lima and neighboring areas from 0200 to 2359 on April 5 to curb the increase in violence, but protesters demonstrated on the streets, resulting in President Castillo lifting the ban. The government has responded to the protesters with a proposal to forego most taxes on fuel to lower prices and to raise the minimum wage by 10%.[4]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Increased prices and decreased supply of food, fuel, and fertilizer from sanctions and supply chain blockages will almost certainly further infuriate Peruvians, very likely leading to larger protests due to increased discontent. Protests will very likely escalate and become more difficult to control as more people join. Increased participation in violent protest will likely result in injuries and possible deaths of civilians and police officers. Escalation of protests and increased casualties will very likely put a burden on emergency management resources and likely force the Peruvian government to enforce more measures to compel the protesters and decrease the violence.

  • President Castillo’s actions will very unlikely result in a significant improvement to his approval ratings because protests have continued despite his attempts to cater to protestors’ needs. It is almost certain that he will continue pursuing policy according to popular demand in an attempt to improve his perception among Peruvians after their anger over the mobility ban. Voters will very likely remove President Castillo from office in the next round of elections because of their frustration with his actions as president.

  • Other countries affected by increased prices resulting from the Russia-Ukraine conflict are likely to experience similar protests. Governments experiencing similar protests will very likely provide prompt responses to avoid increased violence in demonstrations. If the government’s measures are not satisfactory to the protesters, governments will very likely implement curfews and police presence to limit the violence and further demonstrations.

________________________________________________________________________ The Counterterrorism Group (CTG)

[1] Bucha Massacre by Prachatai licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

[2] ‘Tortured, executed civilians’: Reaction to Ukraine war dead, Associated Press, April 2022, https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-zelenskyy-kyiv-europe-war-crimes-ffe9c24e89689b081b93518c6b7bff1f

[3] Peru imposes curfew to stymie protests over rising fuel costs, Reuters, April 2022, https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/peruvians-protest-surging-gas-fertilizer-prices-amid-ukraine-invasion-2022-04-05/

[4] Peru’s Castillo lifts Lima curfew after widespread defiance, anger, Reuters, April 2022, https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/peru-pm-says-lockdown-could-spread-beyond-capital-curb-fuel-protests-2022-04-05/

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