Russian propaganda intimidates its citizens with the fact that Ukraine is allegedly preparing an invasion of the Belgorod region. Thus, the Kremlin is creating informational conditions for a false flag attack in the Belgorod region in an attempt to restore public support for the war in Ukraine. This is stated in report Institute for the Study of War (ISW) for 22 November.
Institute analysts noted that Kremlin propagandists began to hypothesize that Ukrainian troops were preparing an invasion of the Belgorod region, and other Russian sources noted that Russian troops needed to regain control of Kupyansk in order to minimize this threat. The governor of the Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, also released footage showing the construction of fortifications on the border with Ukraine.
“Russian claims about an imminent Ukrainian attack on the Belgorod region are absurd and aimed only at scaring the public into supporting the war. Ukraine has no strategic interest in invading Russia and no way to do so on such a scale. After the victory in the Kharkiv region, Ukrainian troops continue to sack the occupied settlements in the west of the Luhansk region,” says the ISW report.
Institute analysts noted that Russian opposition media reported that since the end of October, relatives of the mobilized had staged protests in 15 regions of Russia, with the most notable of them taking place in regions bordering Ukraine. Meduza, citing two sources close to the Kremlin, reported that the Kremlin conducted a survey in various regions and many expressed apathy for the war. ISW also noted that calls for demobilization among mobilized relatives indicate that propaganda is ineffective in counteracting the real consequences of war for society.
“These nonsensical speculation about a fantastic Ukrainian invasion of Russia also may be part of the Kremlin’s efforts to recognize and appease Russia’s pro-war nationalist community. Russian milbloggers have repeatedly accused the Kremlin and the Russian Ministry of Defense of failing to protect Russia, including the newly annexed territories. However, the Kremlin is unlikely to be able to retake the Kharkiv region, as demanded by these nationalist figures.” says the ISW report.
Recall the loss of Kherson led to a split between Putin and the ideologists of the “Russian world”. Dugin and other right-wing nationalists openly criticize the Russian president, accusing him of insufficient devotion to the “true Russian idea.”