In its October 12 Russian offensive campaign assessment, the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War reported that Russia is “intensifying efforts to set information conditions to falsely portray Ukraine as a terrorist state to deflect recent calls to designate Russia as a terrorist state.”
- Several Russian sources made unverified claims that Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) officers detained Ukrainian citizens for allegedly planning “terrorist attacks” in Russia’s Sverdlovsk, Moscow, and Bryansk oblasts on 12 October 12.
- Russian “military bloggers” amplified rhetoric accusing Ukraine of being “a terrorist state” and calling for Russian authorities to enhance “counterintelligence” procedures and formally designate Ukraine as a terrorist state.
ISW says that claims of preparations for alleged and subversive Ukrainian activity in Russia “align with a wider attempt to set information conditions to respond to Ukrainian attempts to formally designate Russia a terrorist state, especially in the wake of recent massive attacks on critical Ukrainian infrastructure and residential areas.”[quote]The Russian information space may also be setting conditions to justify further massive strikes on Ukrainian rear areas; although, as ISW has previously assessed, these tactics are part of the Russian way of war and will likely be utilized regardless of informational conditions.[/quote]
ISW also concludes that Russian authorities may also be “setting conditions for false-flag attacks against Russia framed as Ukrainian-perpetrated acts of terrorism.”