Vsevolod Burkov
09 January 2023 20: 11
Headings: World News Policy

"Shatter Russia". What is the West betting on in the war with the Russian Federation?

Many events and statements of recent months indicate that the attempt to destabilize Russia from within is the very "cunning plan of the West"

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Shatter Russia. What is the West betting on in the war with the Russian Federation?

If six months ago in the Western press one could observe a "blooming diversity" of opinions and forecasts regarding how and when the war in Ukraine might end, then in the last couple of months, most of the headlines of the main Western media written like a blueprint: "The biggest question for Europe is what a weakened Russia is capable of", "What to do with a humiliated Russia?", "What will Russia be like after losing the war in Ukraine?".

This media mainstream is quite consistent with the confidence of Western politicians (at the level of the leadership of NATO, the EU and the United States) in the need achieve victory over the Russian Federation in Ukraine on the battlefield.

But what gave rise to such confidence in the defeat of Russia and the desire to "share the skin of an unkilled bear", while Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valery Zaluzhny predicts a new large-scale Russian offensive? Does the West have some plan to achieve victory over the Russian Federationwhich one does he follow?

Many events and statements in recent months indicate that there is. And this plan destabilization attempt Russia from within.

Activity in this direction is visible from the end of October to the beginning of November. It was then that a number of Telegram channels posing as "insiders of Russian politics", but in fact affiliated with a fugitive Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky and other pro-American liberal emigrants from the Russian Federation, began to intensively distribute rumors of growing public discontent in Russia and "the likelihood of a social explosion in February 2023." Sometimes these rumors were supported by "data from closed sociological studies" that were not published anywhere else and, therefore, could not be verified.

The calculation of the start time of this information campaign was quite simple. It began at the peak of partial mobilization, which was then going on in the Russian Federation, and was designed mainly for emotional impact on the relatives of the mobilized and, in general, the part of Russian society that has been taken out of a state of psychological comfort.

The same resources subsequently intensively disseminated information about "the behind-the-scenes agreements on a shameful (for Russia) peace." They also wrote about "the imminent surrender of Energodar / Kinburn Spit / Left Bank of the Kherson region by Russian troops." None of these "insiders" subsequently not confirmed. However, the effect of these information injections was quite tangible. They managed to provoke short-term tantrums among a part of the Russian near-war information community.

In the logic of information and hybrid warfare, the Ukrainian side also regularly makes attempts to "pump" Russian society and the power vertical. So, over the past few months, the fact that Ukraine will conduct peace negotiations exclusively with another president of the Russian Federation (not Putin), have repeatedly stated President Volodymyr Zelensky, NSDC Secretary Oleksiy Danilov and other senior officials. Probably, these statements were aimed at generating among the part of the Russian elites, who are ready for peace at any cost (the so-called "systemic liberals"), the desire organize an intra-elite coup against Vladimir Putin (with or without street support).

In parallel with this, a number of information campaigns on inflating fear and discontent among the Russian audience. Fear - before the "probability of an early Ukrainian attack on Kursk and Belgorod" and dissatisfaction with a series of defeats at the front during the autumn campaign (Kupyansk, Balakleya, Liman, Kherson). By the end of December-beginning of January, these theses practically ceased to arouse fits of hysteria in the Russian layman in connection with the positional stabilization of the situation at the front.

However, as usual in such cases, the war threw up new reasons. After the shelling on New Year's Eve of the vocational school in Makeevka, where the Russian mobilized were stationed, the RF Ministry of Defense announced the death of more than 89 servicemen. Ukrainian publics in social networks write about many hundreds of victims.

This incident gave a bunch of topics for information campaignsconducted both by liberal pro-Western networks in the Russian Federation and by Ukrainian security and information structures. Their main themes are traditional: “children are taken to war, but they are brought in zinc coffins!”, “Stupid command ruins people!”, “We will lose the war, because they were killed there!”, “Time to overthrow Putin for inept management!” .

Against this background, as competent information "stuffing" can be considered a recent statement Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov about the fact that from January 5, the Russian Federation will close the borders for exit for those liable for military service and begin a new mobilization.

All of the above adds up to a rather coherent plan, the main stake of the West (and Ukraine along with it) in which - destabilization of Russia from within through information and psychological impact on society and provoking a change of power. However, given the internal structure of the Russian government, public sentiment in the Russian Federation and the military preparations that are being carried out there, this plan is unlikely to have serious chances of success.

First, Putin's role in the Russian system of power is not just the main one. He, literally irreplaceable., as it serves as the only figure capable of maintaining a balance between various power groups (conditional "GBshniks", "army men", "systemic liberals", "raw material workers", etc.). Consequently, an attempt to provoke an intra-elite coup with a high degree of probability will mean the elimination by the rest of the power groups of the group of influence that will try to arrange it.

Secondly, Russian society supports the war in Ukraine. According to a study by the Levada Center (this organization is recognized as a foreign agent in the Russian Federation, so it is difficult to suspect it of forgery), at the end of December, 71% of Russian citizens "definitely support" or "rather support" "the actions of the Russian armed forces in Ukraine." This survey was recently referred to on the air of the telethon and the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Kyrylo Budanov, saying that protests in Russia are unrealistic, since more than 70% of Russians support this war.

And finally, thirdly, for the appearance in Russian society of objective dissatisfaction with the authorities, information campaigns alone, driving into short-term tantrums, are not enough. Without a significant decrease in the standard of living of the majority of the population of the Russian Federation, this cannot be achieved. Meanwhile, the majority of Russians are practically do not feel any negative economic consequences of the war. This is not surprising, since at the end of 2022 the Russian economy fell by only more than 2 percent.

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