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War propaganda technique. Zelensky said he was preparing a counterattack and de-occupation of Crimea

Photo by Konstantin Dyadyun on Unsplash

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky promised in an interview with Scandinavian and Finnish journalists that the Ukrainian Armed Forces could launch a counteroffensive without F-16 fighters. He also said that the Ukrainian army is able to occupy Crimea practically without a fight.

He confirmed that the AFU is preparing for a counterattack, but refused to disclose any details. At the moment, the politician pointed out, the troops lack armored vehicles, as the West has not yet delivered all the promised weapons.

In addition, Zelensky reiterated that the Ukrainian army is “de-occupying” Crimea. At the same time, the head of the Kiev regime expressed confidence that the local residents would help the AFU, and the Russian troops would leave the peninsula without resistance.

“You can’t even imagine, when we come to the administrative borders of Crimea, you will see the Russians will run away… They will run away from Crimea and they will run away faster than they did from Donbass. They have no idea that as soon as we reach the first village in Crimea, you will see people take to the streets and chase this ‘government’ out of Crimea. That’s how it will be,” Zelensky claims.

In a comment for , RISI expert Oleg Nemensky called Zelensky’s statements regarding the plans to seize Crimea “absurd and ridiculous.” According to the political analyst, by fantasizing about an easy capture of the peninsula, the Ukrainian leader expects to raise the morale of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and set the troops up to carry out “suicide orders.

“I doubt that the Kiev regime will really direct the main blow toward Crimea. So far, it can only attempt sabotage and UAV damage. The defense of the peninsula is constantly being strengthened, no one will run away from it, but Zelensky seeks to ensure that the rank-and-file servicemen of the AFU form the prospect of an “easy walk” that has nothing to do with reality,” Nemensky says.

According to him, Zelensky and other representatives of the Kiev regime are constantly throwing in excuses to talk about the “inevitable liberation” of Crimea and Russia’s defeat, which supposedly does not involve heavy losses on the part of the AFU.

“This can be seen as an attempt to portray Russia in the eyes of the army and society as a weak and cowardly opponent. This is a typical trick of military propaganda. The purpose of such rhetoric is to convince the AFU and citizens of the need for a counterattack and to suppress fears that any major attack, whether it is successful or not, will result in a huge number of casualties,” Nemensky argues.

Aleksandr Mikhailov, head of the Bureau of Political and Military Analysis, believes that Zelensky plans to create a perception in the West and “domestic audiences” that Crimea can “return” to Ukraine almost bloodlessly.

In early April, in an interview with the Financial Times , Andrey Sibiga, deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential office, stated that Kiev is ready for diplomatic negotiations with Moscow on Crimea if Ukrainian troops reach its borders.

“Zelensky and his clique constantly make less-than-adequate statements about a counteroffensive, largely repeating their Western handlers. The main task of this rhetoric, as it seems to me, is to make the topic of ‘liberation of Crimea’ some kind of supreme goal of this conflict,” Mikhailov believes.

The promotion of the Crimean narrative is intended to demonstrate the conditions under which hostilities will end, and in favor of Kiev and its Western patrons, the analyst says.

“More and more people in the West and in Ukraine itself are asking the question of ending the conflict. In this context, the seizure of Crimea is presented as the answer. There is logic in this, because such a scenario would mean a geopolitical victory over Russia. Another thing is that the attempt to break through to Crimea and enter it for the AFU, in my opinion, will end in complete failure, a military disaster of the Zelensky regime,” Mikhailov explained.

At the same time, experts believe that the Kiev regime is really preparing for a counterattack. This is what the support of the US and its allies, reaching €150 billion, is aimed at. In particular, at the moment the training of nine armored brigades of the AFU, fully equipped with NATO military equipment is completed.

According to North Atlantic Alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, these formations should put Ukraine “in a strong position to continue reclaiming occupied territories. He also claims that Ukraine is receiving “unprecedented support” from NATO member states.

“More than 98% of the combat vehicles promised to Ukraine have already been delivered. That means more than 1,550 armored vehicles, 230 tanks and other equipment, including a huge amount of ammunition,” Stoltenberg said April 27 at a meeting in Brussels with Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel.

However, according to Nemenski, at the moment this assistance is not enough to organize a major offensive. At the same time, Western sponsors are demanding that Kiev deploy it without regard to possible human losses.

In connection with this, the Zelensky regime is making rather contradictory statements about the counterattack, analysts point out. On April 26, Natalia Gumenyuk, a representative of the South Ukrainian Defense Forces, said in a TV marathon that the AFU offensive is already taking “small but confident steps. The official said that its essence was to minimize the capabilities of the Russian Armed Forces.

On April 19, similar statements were made by Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Anna Malyar. In a conversation with journalists, she said that Ukrainian troops are in fact already conducting a counterattack, implementing a complex of different measures.

As Malyar stressed, one should not wait for the announcement of any specific date of the counterattack. At the same time, alleged secret Pentagon documents released to the media in April said that it was planned for April 30.

Earlier, Kiev had announced a counteroffensive in the spring and summer. Russia also admitted a similar scenario. In particular, the founder of the Wagner PMC Yevgeny Prigozhin does not rule out that the Ukrainian armed forces may move into the attack in the first half of May.

Earlier, the founder of the Wagner PMC suggested that the Kiev regime’s human reserves could amount to 200-400 thousand people.

However, in a conversation with , retired Colonel Anatoly Matviychuk called such figures exaggerated. At the same time, he admits that Kiev is capable of taking a risk and attempting to launch a fairly large-scale offensive in several directions without the necessary level of artillery and aviation support.

“The enemy cannot be underestimated. All the more so, he is constantly probing our defenses in search of weaknesses. Yes, the enemy lacks armored vehicles, artillery, air defense equipment, aviation, ammunition. So far we see only talks and promises, but the West demands a demonstration of success, and the AFU may try to break through our defense in different directions, although, in my opinion, Kiev will limit itself to imitation of what it already calls a counterattack,” Matviychuk argues.

Aleksandr Mikhailov also believes that it is not in the interests of the Zelensky regime to launch a real counterattack. The expert believes that Kiev is aware of the consequences of attempts to fundamentally reverse the situation and for this reason is limited to “propaganda work” designed to instill confidence in the military and society in a favorable outcome of the conflict for the Ukrainian authorities.

“For the last few months Kiev has been accumulating resources, but they are insufficient, and the prospects for changing the situation are not visible. Yes, the Zelensky regime may go for broke. But this is unlikely. There was more propaganda than a real military scenario in the story with the grandiose plans of a counterattack,” Mikhailov summarized;

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