The Kremlin did not abandon its goal regarding Ukraine, but veiled it – ISW

Russia’s military failures and mounting casualties make the deliberate concealment of war aims only fueling discontent among Putin’s critical constituencies.

The Kremlin's statements about the war against Ukraine confuse Russian propagandists / Screenshot

The Kremlin did not abandon its maximalist goals of regaining control over Ukraine, but rather partially veiled Russia’s goals in order to mislead the West and force Ukraine to demand peace. This is stated in the report of the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

The “right hand” of the President of the Russian Federation, Dmytro Peskov, said on November 21 that the change of the current government in Ukraine is not the goal of a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, noting that Putin “already talked about it.” On October 26, the head of the aggressor state declared that Ukraine “has lost its sovereignty and has completely come under the control of NATO.” And on October 27, during a speech at the “Valdai” discussion club, the Russian president again rejected the sovereignty of Ukraine, noting that Russia “created Ukraine” and that “the only real guarantee of Ukrainian sovereignty” can only be the Russian Federation.

Putin also consistently maintains his opinion that Ukraine is a Nazi state that should be “denazified.”

“The fact that Peskov refers to these comments by Putin makes it highly doubtful that Russia is seriously backing away from its goals… The Kremlin’s silence on its goals is probably designed for a Western audience, but it confuses Russian supporters of the war,” analysts say.

ISW suggests that Peskov’s statement was probably aimed at mitigating the consequences of the statements of the vice-speaker of the RF Radfed, Konstantin Kosachov, that Russia “can normalize relations with Kyiv only after the capitulation of the Ukrainian government.”

Two conflicting statements confused the supporters of the war. In response to Peskov’s statement, a blogger associated with the “Wagner group” sarcastically noted that Russia is waging an aimless war without a clear goal.

ISW reported on a similar Kremlin reaction to the Kremlin’s decision to exchange Ukrainian prisoners of war from Mariupol, whom Kremlin officials and propagandists called “Nazis” and “war criminals.”

The Kremlin’s indecision about public commitment to an extreme ideology and the continuation of the war also surprises the propagandists who preach such an ideology to the Russian masses.

Putin generally tends to balance between strident nationalist theses to win the support of the nationalist community and more moderate theses to retain the support of the rest of the Russian population, according to a report by the Institute for the Study of War.

“Russia’s military failures and the increasing sacrifices that Putin is demanding from the Russian people to continue his pernicious invasion mean that his deliberate obfuscation of the war’s aims and attempts at rhetorical balance are becoming increasingly strident, potentially fueling discontent in critical constituencies,” the U.S. concluded. analysts

The news is supplemented…

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