Vladimir Putin’s twisted mind games in Ukraine have reached a disturbing new low

Russian authorities They are trying to sow the seeds of a propaganda effort aimed at convincing residents of the occupied territories that Ukraine is indeed divided, according to a new report from the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

And the Russian occupiers said: “Ukraine has already been divided.” intelligence agency. “On the territory of the western regions, the Polish zloty was traded, and in most stores there are double price tags. There is nowhere to escape from Russia. Ukraine is not what it used to be.

The intelligence agency said the false information, which focused on Melitopol in Zaporozhye, was intended to sow suspicion in the population of Ukraine after nearly six months of war.

“These steps are aimed at undermining the moral and psychological stability of the Ukrainian-minded population remaining in the city,” the agency said in a statement.

The Ukrainian government urged residents to remember that Ukraine would not yield to Russian intimidation tactics, and that one day the region would be rid of its occupiers.

“All residents of the occupied territories must remember: all Ukrainian lands will be liberated, Ukraine will remain a united and indivisible state, and each occupier and collaborator will receive the revenge he deserves,” the agency said.

The apparent publicity effort is not an isolated incident. Russia is waging a media operations war alongside its kinetic battle in Ukraine this year as well, in an attempt to portray Ukrainian and Ukrainian officials as the aggressors, and to win favor with Russia. In the days leading up to the invasion earlier this year, Russia was preparing to launch false operations against its forces in order to claim there was justification for attacking Ukraine, Administrator He told the Daily Beast in January.

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In the months before the war broke out, too, Russian Officials and Russian Influencers The spread and amplification of narratives that focus on mapping Russian troop movements on the border with Ukraine as a response to the West’s provocation and the spread of anti-NATO sentiment.

News of Russia’s apparent efforts to convince Ukrainians that their country is indeed divided comes as US officials warn that Russia has a plan to annex certain Ukrainian regions. White House National Security Council Coordinator John Kirby warned a few weeks ago that Russia has potential plans to annex Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, as well as Zaporizhia and Kherson, just as The Ukrainians are working on a counterattack there.

In 2014, when Russia invaded and annexed Crimea, Russia relied on spreading propaganda to reshape the narrative in her favour. Russia had stifled Ukrainian broadcasts in Crimea and replaced many of them Russian broadcast, enabling Moscow to publish pro-Russian novels. And in March of that year, when the referendum in Crimea showed support for joining Russia, only three in 10 Ukrainians outside Crimea believed that the referendum reflected the truth while the majority of Crimeans I asked By saying they thought it reflected their views. (The referendum was widely viewed as a hoax around the world; the United Nations declared The referendum was invalid In 2014, countries, including the United States, continued to reaffirm that Crimea is part of Ukraine and not to recognize the peninsula’s annexation).

The White House has warned that Russia may now republish its 2014 annexation manual.

“We see a lot of evidence in the intelligence and in the public domain that Russia intends to try to annex additional Ukrainian territory,” Kirby told reporters at a July briefing. “Russia is starting to come up with a version of what you might call ‘proof of annexation,’ which is very similar to the one we saw in 2014.”

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Kirby said Russia’s plans could include coordinating “sham referendums” and claiming to justify the annexation. Already, Russia’s plan includes the installation of proxy officials in the captured territories.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine again this year, Russia’s efforts to spin the narrative around the war to a steady pace have solidified and targeted audiences outside Ukraine as well. The Biden administration has assessed that Russian disinformation agents are mapping Western aid to Ukraine as the cause of the continuing war and the cause of a looming food crisis, in an apparent attempt to dilute US support for Ukraine, according to the US. intelligence, As The Daily Beast first reported.

The European Union worked to ban RT and Sputnik in order to curb the spread of propaganda and disinformation in Russia, but Russia has found ways to get around them. Russia relied on diplomats to spread disinformation in the meantime, and began relying on more than 200 websites with no apparent ties to Russia to spread Russian propaganda, including allegations that Ukrainian forces launched Russian attacks, According to the Associated Press and NewsGuard.

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