The Institute for War Studies (ISW) said in a Tuesday analysis that Russian officials are promoting a narrative that falsely portrays Russia’s war in Ukraine as existential to the continued existence of the Russian Federation. Moscow’s goal is to mobilize Russian society and discourage the West from helping Ukraine.
Think tank recalls that in an interview on state television on February 26, the president of Russia Vladimir Putin he warned that he did not know whether “the Russian nation can survive in its present form” if the West succeeds in “destroying the Russian Federation and establishing control over its regions.”
Putin also blamed the “collective West” for exploitation in his speech to the Federal Assembly on February 21 war in Ukraine to the threat to the existence of the Russian Federation.
Also vice-president of the Security Council Russia and former president of the country Dmitry Medvedev “referred to similar sentiments in an essay published on February 27 entitled ‘Points of no return’, in which he accused the West of fueling the current situation in Ukraine since the collapse of the Soviet Union” – reminds ISW.
According to the center, “both statements engage in an information operation that defines the war in Ukraine as having existential significance for the continued survival of the post-Soviet Russian Federation, which is probably an attempt to portray the war as having higher stakes for Russia and the West than the actual one.”
ISW: response to military failures and Western support for Ukraine
According to ISW, Vladimir Putin probably hopes to create information conditions to accuse Ukraine and the West of threatening the survival of the Russian Federation, which is supposed to be a response to Russian military failures and the West’s support for Ukraine’s victory.
The think tank points out that no prominent Western official has called for the dissolution or destruction of the Russian Federation, and Western leaders have been very cautious in expressing their goals as allowing Ukraine at most to liberate its entire territory.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated a few days ago during a TV interview with Rossiya-1 that the types of weapons the West decides to supply Ukraine will determine how far Russian troops will have to “push the threat” away from Russia’s borders.
Putin made a similar statement in his Feb. 21 speech, seeking to discourage the West from supplying Ukraine with long-range systems, suggesting that providing such systems would prolong the war by “forcing” Russia to occupy more of Ukraine’s territory.
This rhetoric, according to ISW, is aimed at increasing support for the war in Russia itself and fueling fears in the West of instability that is expected to follow Russia’s possible collapse, thus stopping Western aid to Ukraine and convincing it to force Kiev to accept Russian demands .
Institute for the Study of War
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