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Kremlin continues to present the war as "justified imperial conquest": ISW explains its real goals

Maryna LisnychukNews
Kremlin continues to present war as "justified imperial conquest", ISW says

In the 23rd month of its full-scale war against Ukraine, Russia continues to make it clear that it is not interested in negotiating in good faith and intends to achieve its maximalist goals. This public rhetoric of the Kremlin about its imperial plans is increasingly penetrating the information space of the aggressor country.

Russian propaganda is rapidly spreading the beliefs of the "Russian world" to present the invasion of a neighboring state as a "historically justified imperial conquest." This is stated in a report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) on December 30.

The analysts cited recent remarks by Russian Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin that Russia would agree to a settlement of the war when Ukraine is "neutral and non-nuclear," "demilitarized," and "denazified." In this way, he presented the Kremlin's long-standing demands that Ukraine abandon its aspirations for NATO and EU membership, deprive it of the ability to defend its land and people and replace the current elected government with one "approved" by Moscow.

Galuzin also confirmed the Kremlin's version that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, not Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, is "to blame for the lack of negotiations." According to him, the peace plan proposed by Kyiv "has nothing to do with peace" but "justifies" the continuation of hostilities. The Russian minister said that Russia "has never refused" to engage in dialogue with Ukraine, adding that it allegedly has "no choice" but to fulfill all its "tasks."

According to analysts, the Kremlin's recent public rhetoric about its maximalist goals and imperial plans in Ukraine is penetrating the information space of the terrorist state. For example, a prominent Russian blogger said on December 30 that Western media are spreading "rumors" about negotiations that will end the war in Ukraine by transferring unspecified parts of Ukrainian territory to Russia.

He also emphasized that Russia is not interested in such "limited proposals," suggesting that its military goals go beyond the territories it has temporarily seized. The propagandist also cynically noted that Ukraine is "not yet demoralized and exhausted enough" to accept a "catastrophic surrender," suggesting that Russia should only accept such a course of events, achieving it partly through psychological means.

The ISW emphasized that Russian sources also specifically reinforced the statement of the Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev on December 28, who said that Odesa, Dnipro, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv and Kyiv "have always been Russian cities. "Following these words, the blogger said that the war would end when Ukraine allows Russia to seize Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Odesa and other regions".

Kremlin continues to present the war as ''justified imperial conquest'': ISW explains its real goals

Eduard Basurin, a former spokesman for the so-called "DPR" people's militia, also claimed that Russia's task in the war against Ukraine was previously "blurred" and "there was no understanding of where Russian borders should end." Medvedev's statement allegedly "clarified the situation" and it is now clear that Russia's borders "should ensure full control" over the Black Sea and "include" Kyiv. Basurin called the city "the capital of a great empire," the birthplace of Russian Orthodoxy and the word "Rus" (applied to Kyivan Rus).

"All these statements echo Putin's words. He made similar claims in his essay 'The Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians' in July 2021 and recently returned to stories about Kyivan Rus as part of the 'Russian world' to frame Russia's invasion of Ukraine as a 'historically justified' so-called imperial conquest," the ISW concluded.

As OBOZ.UA reported, at the end of 2023, a number of Western officials issued statements that Russia had already lost the war in Ukraine and was unable to achieve its strategic goals. However, Ukrainian officials have warned that in reality, dictator Putin continues to seek not only to retain the occupied territories but also to expand the occupation zone.

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