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Main War ISW: The Kremlin is using the situation in Israel against Ukraine

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ISW: The Kremlin is using the situation in Israel against Ukraine

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ISW: The Kremlin is using the situation in Israel against Ukraine

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The Kremlin is already and will likely continue to exploit the Hamas attacks in Israel to advance several information operations intended to reduce US and Western support and attention to Ukraine, reports ISW.

The Kremlin amplified several information operations following Hamas attacks in Israel on October 7, primarily blaming the West for neglecting conflicts in the Middle East in favor of supporting Ukraine and claiming the international community will cease to pay attention to Ukraine by portraying attention to the Middle East or alternatively Ukraine as a zero-sum comparison. Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev claimed the United States and its allies should have been “busy with” working on “Palestinian-Israeli settlement” rather than “interfering” with Russia and providing Ukraine with military aid.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused the West of blocking efforts by a necessary “quartet” of Russia, the US, the European Union, and the United Nations, leading to an escalation in violence, implicitly blaming the West for the current fighting.

Prominent Russian propagandist Sergei Mardan directly stated that Russia will benefit from the escalation as the world “will take its mind off Ukraine for a while and get busy once again putting out the eternal fire in the Middle East.”

These Kremlin narratives target Western audiences to drive a wedge in military support for Ukraine, seek to demoralize Ukrainian society by claiming Ukraine will lose international support, and intend to reassure Russian domestic audiences that the international society will ignore Ukraine’s war effort.

Many Russian milbloggers focused largely on the Hamas attacks in Israel on October 7, and some promoted Kremlin information operations by claiming that the West’s attention has shifted away from Ukraine and towards Israel.

This focus on Israel even prompted one Russian milblogger to urge others to not “forget” about the war in Ukraine.

ISW cannot forecast at this time how the source environment will change as the Hamas attacks in Israel unfold but will provide clear updates on any impact on ISW’s ability to collect from Russian milbloggers and geolocation sources, and subsequent effects on the detail available ISW can provide in these daily assessments.

The Odessa Journal
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