This is the DEFCON Warning System. Alert status for 5:45 P.M., Thursday, June 23th, 2016. Condition code is Blue. DEFCON 4.

There are currently no imminent nuclear threats against the United States at this time, however there are events occurring in the world theater which require closer monitoring.

The United States and Russia continue to shuffle assets around, especially in the Baltic region. Meanwhile, the heaviest fighting in Ukraine of the 2-year engagement in the Donbass region is being recorded. Russia continues to build its forces in and around Ukraine, Belarus, and Kaliningrad. Adding to that, NATO continues to move assets into Poland and the rest of the Baltics, but all strategic movements except those of training exercises have ceased which has prompted the DEFCON Warning System to lower the alert back to DEFCON 4. We will continue monitoring military movements by both sides and assess the situation, but for now it seems tensions have eased slightly between the two superpowers for the time being.

Russia continues to advance further into Ukraine from the center near and west of Donetsk, south near Mariupol, and into the north near the Belarus border with Donetsk now almost completely under rebel control. In a move which is not completely unexpected, Russia has sent tactical nuclear weapons into Kaliningrad. This is not the first time Russia has done this, but it is however more weapons than have previously been stationed there in the past. Russia has sent more than 10 naval ships into the areas close to Japan. This is believed to be linked to an ever increasing amount of joint operations with China in the South China Sea.

NATO continues to build its military forces in both Poland, and the rest of the Baltics with large scale land, naval, and air exercises beginning to conclude. While most of these units consist of quick reaction expeditionary forces and those which participated in the exercises, assets continue to arrive which are not a part of the exercises, and include heavier equipment used for holding territory and fighting large armies. NATO has decided to go ahead with plans to build their ballistic missile defense system in Poland, however with the introduction of tactical nuclear weapons in Kaliningrad which do not follow a ballistic trajectory, the defense system would be useless to those weapons.

North Korea claims to have successfully tested a medium range ballistic missile. This comes after repeated failed attempts. If the weapon were to work correctly, it has the potential of flying more than 4000 kilometers carrying a large payload.

Dual U.S. Carrier Operations began in the South China Sea earlier this month. Tensions remain high in the region with several U.S. allies claiming the islands to be theirs, while China continues to conduct more naval maneuvers in the area. China continues to build bases on several islands, with some already being completed and operational. The U.S. Navy plans to keep both USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) battle groups in the area for the foreseeable future to deter Chinese aggression.

The DEFCON Warning System is a private enterprise which monitors world events and assesses nuclear threats against the United States by national entities. It is not affiliated with any government agency and does not represent the alert status of any military branch. The public should make their own evaluations and not rely on the DEFCON Warning System for any strategic planning. At all times, citizens are urged to learn what steps to take in the event of a nuclear attack.

If this had been an actual attack, the DEFCON Warning System will give radiation readings for areas that are reported to it. Your readings will vary. Official news sources will have radiation readings for your area.

For immediate updates, go to Breaking news and important information can be found on the DEFCON Warning System message board and on the DEFCON Twitter feed DEFCONWS. You may also subscribe to the YouTube channel DefconWarningSystem and the DEFCON Warning System mailing list. Note that Twitter and YouTube updates may be subject to delays. The next scheduled update is 6 P.M. Pacific Time, July 14th, 2016. Additional updates will be made as the situation warrants, with more frequent updates at higher alert levels.

This concludes this broadcast of the DEFCON Warning System.