The Evening: Putin Orders Cease-Fire, NK Drone, Slow Train Coming, and More

Putin Orders Cease-Fire

Vladmir Putin on Thursday ordered his military to implement a 36-hour cease-fire along the front line in Ukraine for Orthodox Christmas, and urged the government in Kyiv to do the same. As the NYT reports, a senior Ukrainian official quickly dismissed the move as a “banal trick” and a “propaganda gesture.”

U.S. and Germany to Send Armored Fighting Vehicles to Ukraine

Germany and the US will send armored fighting vehicles to Ukraine, the White House said, in a move that will deliver a big boost to Kyiv’s offensive capabilities, as the FT reports.

North Korean Drone Entered No-Fly Zone Near Seoul’s Presidential Office

A North Korean drone entered a no-fly zone surrounding Seoul’s presidential office last week, South Korea’s military said Thursday, in the latest example of the growing military threat from Pyongyang, which has also ramped up missile testing and sent planes near the border, as The Washington Post reports.

Executive Education

Gain key insights on what the Biden administration's FY 2024 budget and strategy documents reveal about strategic priorities from CSIS experts and practitioners in the one-day course offering, Inside DOD's FY 2024 Budget. Participants will have a unique opportunity to dive deeply into how these changes will affect the defense enterprise, leaving with the most critical data and information for their own organizations. 

Video Shorts

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In That Number


Putin orders 36-hour unilateral cease-fire in Ukraine for Orthodox Christmas.

Source: The Washington Post

Critical Quote

“Keep hypocrisy to yourself.”

— Mykhailo Podolyak, senior Ukrainian presidential adviser

iDeas Lab

Ukraine’s recent string of victories makes planning for the country’s economic reconstruction a top priority. Experts discuss how the critical international effort of economic reconstruction should focus on three key sectors: digital, energy, and agriculture.

The Andreas C. Dracopoulos iDeas Lab at CSIS enhances our research with the latest in cutting-edge web technologies, design, and multimedia.


(Photo credit: CSIS.) The Honorable Yasutoshi Nishimura, Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry, discusses Japan's 2023 G7 priorities and articulate his vision for the future economic order on January 5, 2023 at CSIS.

Recommended Reading

The Strategic Importance of the Middle East” by CSIS’s Anthony H. Cordesman.

This Town Next Week

On Monday, at 2:00 p.m., the CSIS International Security Program launches a new report, The First Battle of the Next War: Wargaming a Chinese Invasion of Taiwan.

On Tuesday, at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Strategic Technologies Program hosts a conversation exploring government action on open-source software from around the world.

Also on Tuesday, at 1:00 p.m., the CSIS Ukraine Economic Reconstruction Commission launches their new report, Enabling an Economic Transformation of Ukraine: Recovery, Reconstruction, and Modernization.


Today, the CSIS Korea Chair explored unanswered questions about Kim Jong-un's health, the succession plan, and new revelations about the Kim family. Watch the event here.


The Trade Guys talk about the North American Leaders' Summit next week, USMCA, and what the Biden administration should anticipate in trade in the year ahead. 

Listen on Spotify & Apple Podcasts.


I love coming across video clips of my favorite artists that I didn’t know existed. Today, I found Dylan and the Dead performing Dylan’s iconic “Slow Train Coming.”

I invite you to email me at and follow me on Twitter @handrewschwartz