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ISW: Prominent Russian milbloggers to portray the Ukrainian counteroffensive as a failure

30 Jul, 2023
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ISW: Prominent Russian milbloggers to portray the Ukrainian counteroffensive as a failure

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Prominent Russian milbloggers have been increasingly presenting Ukrainian counteroffensive operations inaccurately as a series of failed Ukrainian assaults along the entire line of contact.

Russian milbloggers widely amplified footage on July 29 claiming that it showed a single Russian tank defeating an entire Ukrainian company with armored vehicles as if the event had occurred recently, but the footage is actually from June 7 and shows Russian artillery units striking the Ukrainian column.

Russian sources have previously recirculated old footage to support claims that Ukrainian forces are suffering significant armored vehicle losses, and the amplification of the footage on July 29 indicates that Russian sources are deliberately amplifying old footage to support the Kremlin narrative.

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently claimed that Ukrainian forces lost 39 armored vehicles in a few days of fighting in western Zaporizhia region, a notable inflection in his exaggeration of Ukrainian losses during the Ukrainian counteroffensive.

ISW previously assessed that the Kremlin is likely shifting its policy about the coverage of the war to downplay the possibilities of a successful Ukrainian counteroffensive and to promote itself as an effective manager of the war effort.

Russian milbloggers continue to report on localized Ukrainian advances and some issues with Russian defensive operations, but the pro-war Russian information space’s wider operational framing of the Ukrainian counteroffensive aligns with the likely shift in the Kremlin’s portrayal of the counteroffensive.

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