- The formal U.S. response to Russian demands was leaked to a Spanish news outlet with its authenticity being confirmed by Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby. In this proposal, the U.S. offered to allow the inspection of NATO's Aegis Ashore defense systems in Poland and Romania to confirm the absences of Tomahawk cruise missiles in exchange for inspections of two missile sites in Russia. The text confirms that there is space to negotiate European security framework and arms control; however, Russia's key demands will not be met.
- On 03 February, in his first major media conference in a month, President Putin underscored that the West continues to ignore Russia's core demands, namely no further NATO expansion and a rolling back of NATO "infrastructure" to 1997 lines—tantamount to rewriting the NATO charter and abandoning the alliance's former bloc members, obvious non-starters. While the counter-proposal is a start, it alone will not likely be enough to have justified President Putin's high-stakes gambit.
- On the military front, the U.S. announced it would send 2,000 troops to Poland and Germany and redeploy 1,000 troops from Germany to Romania. The presence of Russian Iskander short-range ballistic missile systems in Belarus has been confirmed, bringing the number of Iskander missile launchers near Ukraine to approximately 50. The Iskander platform is a dual-use mobile short-range ballistic missile system that could be used to target surface-to-air missile batteries, airfields, ports, command and communication centers, and other critical military targets.
- In the information space, on 03 February, Moscow shut down Deutsche Welle’s operations in Russia in retaliation for Germany banning broadcasting of RT Deutsch. The U.S. also publicized declassified U.S. intelligence that Russia was planning a fake false flag attack to be used in a propaganda video as a pretext to attack Ukraine. The U.S. hopes that by making this plan public, it will not come to fruition.
- Diplomatic efforts are continuing as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban visited Moscow on 01 February to lower tensions and increase gas imports from Russia. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on 03 February to offer to act as a mediator between Kyiv and Moscow. French President Emmanuel Macron will travel to Moscow on 07 February and then to Kyiv on 08 February.
- Global Guardian recommends against non-essential travel to Ukraine.
- Expats should consider leaving Ukraine while commercial flights remain available.
- Those who remain in-country should prepare emergency supplies.
- Secure your assets and prepare your emergency evacuation plan.
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- Evacuation by ground, air, or sea
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