The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rhetoric amounts to an attempt to accuse Ukraine and the West of threatening the Russian Federation’s existence in response to the invaders’ failures on the battlefield.
Details: Russian officials are promoting an information operation that falsely frames Russia’s war in Ukraine as existential to the continued existence of the Russian Federation.
The ISW gave a reminder that in an interview with TV channel Rossiya-1 on February 26, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that he does not know if “such an ethnic group as the Russian people can survive in the form in which it exists today” if the West succeeds in “destroying the Russian Federation and establishing control over its fragments”.
Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Head of the Russian Security Council, accused the West of fueling the current situation in Ukraine since the fall of the Soviet Union and concluded that “the calm power of our great country and the authority of its partners are the key to preserving the future of our entire world.”
“Both Putin’s and Medvedev’s statements engage with an information operation that frames the war in Ukraine as existential to the continued survival of the post-Soviet Russian Federation, which is likely an attempt to present the war as having higher stakes for Russia and the West than it actually does,” the report said.
The ISW believes Putin likely hopes to set informational conditions to accuse Ukraine and the West of threatening the survival of the Russian Federation in response to Russian military failures and Western support for Ukrainian victories.
“Putin’s language is designed to fuel support for the war in Russia and stoke fears in the West of the instability that would follow the collapse of Russia to deter Western support to Ukraine and persuade the West to coerce Kyiv into accepting Russian demands,” the ISW noted.
According to data collected by the ISW for analysis, Ukrainian forces are preparing for a spring counteroffensive in the south of Ukraine.
The ISW’s prior assessments of Russian military capabilities along the Zaporizhzhia Oblast contact line suggest that there are opportunities for Ukraine to conduct a counteroffensive in that strategically vital region.
The report also said that Russian forces are implementing new assault tactics to compensate for current combat power limitations in response to continued offensive failures.
“Assault detachments may be able to make tactical gains at a cost due to their simplicity but will likely culminate rapidly due to their small size and attritional tactics. Russian forces are unlikely to make operationally significant breakthroughs rapidly with this formation,” the ISW concluded.
Key Takeaways from February 27
Russian officials are promoting an information operation that falsely frames Russia’s war in Ukraine as existential to the continued existence of the Russian Federation.
Russian officials continue to conduct information operations in an attempt to discourage the Western provision of military aid to Ukraine.
Ukrainian forces are preparing for a spring counteroffensive in the south of Ukraine.
Russian forces are implementing new assault tactics to compensate for the current limitations on combat capability in light of continued offensive failures.
US Central Intelligence Director William Burns stated on February 25 that the CIA is confident that the Chinese leadership is considering the provision of lethal equipment to Russia but has not made a final decision or provided lethal aid to Russia.
Ukrainian officials stated that Russian forces have been concentrating and escalating operations along the Luhansk Oblast contact line.
Russian forces continued to conduct ground attacks northwest of Svatove and near Kreminna.
Russian forces continued to conduct ground attacks across the Donetsk Oblast contact line, and Russian sources widely claimed that Wagner Group forces made territorial gains north of Bakhmut.
Ukrainian officials reported that Russian forces continue to focus on establishing defensive fortifications in east (left) bank Kherson Oblast and Crimea.
Russian forces are continuing to expend their already limited stocks of precision ammunition.
Russian officials announced that all social support measures will enter into force in occupied territories on March 1.
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