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Russia Preparing "Ukrainian" Attack On Belgorod Region - ISW

Russia Preparing "Ukrainian" Attack On Belgorod Region - ISW

ISW, Institute for the Study of War

The Kremlin is setting information conditions for a false-flag attack in the Belgorod Region, Russia, in order to regain public support for the war in Ukraine.

It is reported by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

According to analysts, Kremlin propagandists began to hypothesize that Ukrainian troops allegedly seek to invade the Belgorod Region, and other propagandists note that Russian forces need to regain control of Kupiansk in the Kharkiv Region in order to minimize the threat of a Ukrainian attack.

These claims have long been circulating in the military corps community, which criticized the Russian military command for fleeing Vovchansk in the northeast of the Kharkiv Region.

They also intensified their calls to return the liberated territories in the Kharkiv Region on November 22, saying that such precautions would stop Ukrainians from conducting assault operations in the Kupiansk and Vovchansk directions.

The governor of the Belgorod Region Vyacheslav Gladkov also published footage showing the construction of fortifications on the border of Ukraine.

“Russian claims of an imminent Ukrainian attack on Belgorod Oblast are absurd and only aim to scare the general public to support the war. Ukraine has no strategic interest in invading Russia and no ability to do so at such a scale," analysts say.

 In their opinion, these "ridiculous speculations about a fantastical Ukrainian invasion of Russia" may also be part of the Kremlin's effort to acknowledge and appease the Russian pro-war nationalist community.

Russian military correspondents have repeatedly accused the Kremlin and the Russian Ministry of Defense of failing to protect Russia, including the newly annexed territories. The Kremlin, however, is unlikely to be able to re-capture the Kharkiv Region, as these nationalist figures demand, experts say.

The ISW also added that Wagner PMC financier Yevgeny Prigozhin is also using fear-mongering about the fictitious threat of Ukrainian invasion to strengthen his power in Russia's border regions.

Key takeaways of ISW analysts

- The Kremlin may be setting information conditions for a false-flag attack in the Belgorod Region, Russia.

- The Russian military has significantly depleted its arsenal of high-precision missiles but will likely still threaten Ukrainian infrastructure.

- The Russian military is likely struggling to replenish its arsenal of high-precision weapons systems.

- The Belarusian prime minister traveled to Iran to discuss economic cooperation and possible security ties.

- Russian military movements suggest that Russian forces are likely reinforcing positions in eastern Zaporizhia and western Donetsk Regions.

- Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations along the Svatove-Kreminna line.

- Russian forces continued offensive operations around Bakhmut and Avdiivka.

- Crimean occupation officials demonstrated heightened unease - likely over Ukrainian strikes on Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) in the peninsula and ongoing military operations on the Kinburn Spit.

- The Kremlin continues to deflect concerns about mobilization onto the Russian Ministry of Defense.

- Russian sources continue to tout the forced adoption of Ukrainian children into Russian families.      

As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, a multi-storey building was damaged in Russian Belgorod due to a rocket crash.

On October 12, in the Russian Belgorod, which borders Ukraine, the air defense system again worked.

On October 11, a fire broke out in Shebekino, Belgorod Region of Russia at an electrical substation, in which Russian officials blamed the Ukrainian military.

Also at the end of October, protective structures began to be installed in the Belgorod region.

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