Kiev’s Virtual Attack on Kherson

NEW – August 10, 2022

Mikhail Podolyak: “We need to demoralise the Russian army”

A wave of information about the upcoming Ukrainian offensive on Kherson has been rushing from Kiev for four months, having taken on deafening proportions in recent weeks. This, as a completely solved case, is broadcast by official speakers, “semi-official” talking heads like Arestovich share details of the plan for the upcoming UAF operation.

Some also report on the successes already achieved. Thus, recently the number of “liberated” (by Kiev) settlements of the Kherson region was determined at 42, then it became 45, and the last time the acting head of the Kherson regional military administration raised the figure as much as 53. However, the name of these points is a military secret (so that the enemy does not guess that they have already lost these points).

Through social networks and anonymous Telegram channels, they distribute a panorama of Kherson taken from a drone, then a video with a certain soldier saying that 10 km remained to Kherson (although the author of the video forgot to turn off geolocation, and it turned out that he filmed it in Brovary near Kiev).

And of course, there are a lot of “insiders” about the timing of the offensive, then about its possible postponement, then about disagreements between Zelensky and the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Zaluzhny. Powerful information noise is created.

At least 70-80% of the information about the widely announced “battle for Kherson” is organised info planting. The goals of the campaign are exclusively political. First of all, there is a “spiritual” agenda both for the Ukrainian population and for that part of the Western ruling circles that express doubts about the need to continue this war for the West.

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Why is Kherson chosen as the object of the virtual offensive? It’s very simple: today it is the only regional centre of Ukraine liberated during the special military operation, and the operational and tactical situation of the grouping of Russian forces here looks quite difficult. In the area of Kherson – Berislav, a large bridgehead of the Russian Federation has been created on the right bank of the Dnieper, supplied through two crossings, which the UAF is actively trying to destroy, and this is served as preparation for a counteroffensive.

And yet the main addressee of the information offensive is the population of the liberated territories. It is necessary to make it as difficult as possible to restore normal life there, so that these territories do not become an example for residents of the rest of Ukraine.

A bet is made on intimidating some and “encouraging” others, those who are waiting for the return of the former government. People are being pushed to leave Kherson: deserted cities under the control of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are one of the arguments of Ukrainian propaganda.

And the main thing is to prevent any forms of cooperation of local residents with the new government. It is actively suggested that with the arrival of the Ukrainian “liberators”, a wave of repression will fall on the “collaborators”.

The concept of “collaborator” is interpreted extremely broadly. This is not only an official of the new governing bodies or a pro-Russian public figure, but also a doctor who remained to work in a medical institution that came under Russian jurisdiction, and the chairman of the Homeowner Association who got a job in a Russian bank, and an entrepreneur who opened an account in this bank and registered with the new tax authorities, and an employee of public utilities. All of them are being pushed “not to work for the occupiers”. Special attention is paid to disrupting the start of the new school year. Parents receive Internet mailings saying that “schools will operate in the former (Ukrainian) legal and educational field, but remotely”. And, of course, the Rada is already considering a law on criminal liability for everyone who will take Russian citizenship.

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The Kiev authorities are trying to ensure that all this leads to the collapse of the city’s life.

However, this propaganda is working worse and worse. Normal life is being restored in the city, over a thousand residents of Kherson took part in the forum “We are with Russia”. People are being employed in state institutions, branches of Russian banks are being opened, the payment of Russian pensions and social benefits is being adjusted, medical institutions and utilities have come under Russian jurisdiction and provide for the daily needs of citizens, preparations are underway for the new academic year.

And since the expectation of the Ukrainian offensive on Kherson has dragged on indecently, the adviser to the head of Zelensky’s office, Mikhail Podolyak, has to take his breath away and give explanations: “Was it an informational and psychological operation? Of course, today all public comments are part of the information-psychological operation. We need to demoralise the Russian army… And, on the other hand, what is a counteroffensive? It is gradually going on today…”

In general, both there and here: the “offensive” was virtual, but “slowly” we are advancing. Most likely, Kiev will continue to adhere to such tactics: periodic local attacks in order to capture individual settlements on the contact line, which will be presented as an “offensive” and advance to Kherson.

These attacks are conducted without the use of armoured vehicles, exclusively with manpower, which is not a pity for either the Kiev regime or its masters (the bet is that the military enlistment offices will deliver the right amount of cannon fodder).

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Meanwhile, information has already appeared in the open media about the transfer of additional Russian forces near Kherson, which makes the chances of the UAF completely illusory.

Igor Skripka

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