In Russia, statements voiced by senior officials have long lost contact with any common sense, but in the near future the euphoria of top-level conspiracy theories will reach its climax.
I have repeatedly noted that Russian fake news claiming it’s the NATO army that is fighting the Russians instead of the Ukrainian forces was intended to discredit the Armed Forces of Ukraine and justify initially hybrid aggression against Ukraine, and now a full-scale invasion. But, these hoax reports will soon take on a new level.
The thing is that the Russian Defense Ministry is staging a large-scale act of provocation involving “foreign legions” that had been fighting in Ukraine. Russian propaganda pundits intend to show some urban combat instructors with Israel’s IDF, training Ukrainians to use civilians as a human shield.
With this spin, Russian propagandists intend to justify their failures to capture a number of Ukrainian cities, such as Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, and Mariupol. As we know, the Russian occupiers have already claimed that their failure to this end is due to the Ukrainian Army allegedly exploiting local residents as human shields. Now it will be alleged that they have been trained to do so by IDF!
Also, Russian propaganda will show some officers with the French military intelligence and the British SIS, who had been training the Ukrainian forces in the use of foreign-made anti-tank and counter-battery systems.
Such training undergone by Ukrainians is actually no secret at all, but there have been no foreign instructors on the territory of Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion of the country began. On the other hand, Russian propaganda needs to show its audience that the invasion failure is not due to the success of the Ukrainian Army but that of some foreign military and specops instructors.
In addition, after the crimes committed by the Russian occupiers in Bucha, Irpin, and Borodianka, as well as the strike on Kramatorsk, came to an international spotlight, Russian propaganda is pushing the narrative that it’s the Ukrainian Army that’s been shelling own cities only to shift the blame onto the invaders. In this regard, the Russian side seems to be announcing further strikes on a number of cities and villages and doesn’t abandon the threat of a chemical attack on Chernihiv and Sumy regions.
It is obvious that the general set of psyop narratives – covering foreign legions, strikes on Ukrainian cities, as well as the chemical attack scenario – will be played out almost simultaneously, but only accompanying some local victory of the occupying forces.
Most likely, the chain of these events will be launched amid the ultimate battle for Mariupol, which the Russian invaders have been announcing for the past month. Meanwhile, their announcements haven’t matched reality so far.