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February 22, 2022


Japan (Security threat level – 1): On 22 February 2022, airport officials suspended flight operations at New Chitose Airport (RJCC/CTS), the main airport on Hokkaido island, until at least 23 February due to heavy snowfall. Emergency crews are clearing the runways; however, there is no estimated time as to when operations will resume. Eniwa city, located approximately 15 km (10 mi) from the airport, received nearly 48 cm (18 in) of snow on 22 February.


Ukraine / Russia (Security threat levels – 4 / 3): On 21 February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed decrees formally recognizing the independence of the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, both located in southeastern Ukraine. The edicts include mutual aid, cooperation and friendship agreements for both breakaway regions. The Russian parliament is now expected to ratify new legislation introduced on 22 February to formalize the decrees. Following Russia’s recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states, Putin ordered the Russian Defense Ministry to deploy troops to the rebel-held territories. The Russian government has yet to confirm the deployment of its military, although Western leaders stated that Russian troops have already moved into the separatist regions. In response to Russia’s actions, Western governments have announced various sanctions against the country. Most notably, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz halted the approval process for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline until further notice. The Russia-operated gas pipeline, which runs through Germany, cost 10 billion euros (11 billion U.S. dollars) to build and would provide more than 25% of total natural gas supply to Europe if operable.


Saudi Arabia (Security threat level – 3): At approximately 2000 local time (1700 UTC) on 21 February 2022, Saudi-led coalition forces destroyed an explosives-laden drone deployed toward King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Airport (OGEN/GIZ) in the southern city of Jizan, located approximately 100 km (60 mi) north of the country’s border with Yemen. The drone was destroyed before it reached the airport; however, at least 16 civilians at the facility were injured by falling shrapnel. Three of those wounded are reportedly in critical condition. Saudi forces stated that the drone was fired from Sanaa International Airport (OYSN/SAH) in Yemen. While no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, Houthi rebels in Yemen frequently fire drones and missiles at targets in southern Saudi Arabia.


Burkina Faso (Security threat level – 4): On the afternoon of 21 February 2022, a large explosion occurred at a makeshift gold mining site in the southwestern village of Gomgombiro, located approximately 15 km (10 mi) from the city of Gaoua. Local reports indicate that the blast originated at a facility where chemicals used to treat gold were stored. Multiple blasts followed the initial explosion. At least 60 people were killed in the explosion and more than 100 others were injured.

Madagascar (Security threat level – 3): As of 1200 local time (0900 UTC) on 22 February 2022, Tropical Cyclone Emnati was located approximately 310 km (192 mi) east-southeast of the capital Antananarivo and was moving southwest at 20 kph (13 mph), according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, Emnati was generating maximum sustained winds of 148 kph, with gusts of up to 185 kph. On its current forecast path, the storm is expected to make landfall on the southern portion of the country during the evening of 22-23 February before re-entering the Indian Ocean by 24 February. Authorities stated that flooding and landslides are likely in affected areas, where recovery operations are currently underway following three other recent storms.

Sudan (Security threat level – 5): On 21 February 2022, approximately 200 demonstrators were injured in multiple cities over the course of “Break the Chains” protests, which were being staged to demand the release of detainees. In the capital Khartoum, 87 protesters were injured when riot police deployed tear gas and stun grenades as the demonstrators moved from the Sharwani bus station to the Republican Palace. In Khartoum North, police fired live ammunition and rubber bullets at protesters, injuring 67. In Omdurman – located approximately 25 km (16 mi) north of Khartoum – police deployed tear gas against protesters near El Azhari square, resulting in 33 injuries. Protesters in Port Sudan – located approximately 850 km (530 mi) northwest of Khartoum – were also subjected to tear gas, resulting in several injuries. Demonstrations calling for the reinstitution of civilian rule and the release of political prisoners have been a regular occurrence since the military declared a state of emergency and dissolved the Sovereign Council on 25 October 2021.


Myanmar (Security threat level – 4): On 21 February 2022, the U.S. Embassy in Yangon issued an alert regarding potential telecommunications disruptions, which reads as follows: “The Embassy is aware of potential disruptions to telecommunications between February 21st and February 23rd, 2022, in response to social media messages calling for a ‘Crowd Strike’ on February 22. These disruptions could affect voice and data capabilities. American citizens should expect a heavier security presence through the city over the next few days. The Embassy advises all Americans to exercise caution on those days.

“The Embassy advises all Americans that recent explosions and attacks in Yangon present a serious threat to American citizens and may increase in frequency and intensity. In addition, a security response of unknown proportions may result. Roadblocks and security operations are a particular concern.

“The Embassy advises Americans to avoid public gatherings and limit their outside activities. Review your personal security plans and keep a low profile. Anticipate possible communication outages and have a plan in the event telecommunications become limited or unavailable. Advise family and associates of this possibility in advance. Always keep some form of communication with you, keep your electronic devices charged, and monitor local events. Maintain an adequate stock of food and water should you need to shelter in place for several days. Updates from the Embassy may not be readily accessible due to an outage during a crisis.”