Russian missiles and psyops did not break the will of the Ukrainian people.
On November 15 Russia unleashed its biggest wave of missile strikes against Ukrainian critical energy infrastructure. According to the Ukrainian Air Forces Command, 96 missiles have been fired, and at least 75 of them were shot down by air defense systems. But still many facilities of Ukraine’s energy system have been damaged or destroyed, resulting in blackouts across Ukraine.
The Kremlin’s responsibility for the missile strikes on vital infrastructure
The Kremlin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov took the responsibility for the strikes but blamed what it said was Kyiv’s refusal to negotiate. “The unwillingness of the Ukrainian side to settle the problem, to start negotiations, its refusal to seek common ground, this is their consequence.”
Russian military operation aimed at provoking unrest in Ukraine
These Russian military efforts were combined with propaganda campaign and psychological operations in the media and social networks aimed at provoking unrest in Ukraine.
A whole army of unidentified bot users simultaneously spread template pictures via social networks and messengers calling for protest against blackouts, blaming Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for all the problems, and starting to push for negotiations with Moscow.
As was in previous years, many of these pictures were made with errors in the Ukrainian translation, which points out an evident role of Russian intelligence in this operation.
Russian propaganda called the missile strikes a “holy hatred”
This psychological campaign was backed by anchors of Russian state TV propaganda channels arguing that the strikes against Ukraine’s critical infrastructure are meant to express Russia’s “holy hatred” towards Ukrainians and prompt them to overthrow President Zelensky.
Some Russian media outlets and Telegram channels even published pictures of alleged massive protests in the Odessa region, which were related to a road accident in Kazakhstan. Later the Security Service of Ukraine reported that several people involved in these psychological operations were identified and detained in Odesa.
Ukraine repairs energy system damaged by Russian missiles
Despite all the troubles, Ukrainian authorities do their best to repair the country’s energy system as soon as possible. For that international assistance is becoming even more crucial. On October, 31 Dmytro Sakharuk, executive director of DTEK, Ukraine’s largest energy group, said that the company runs out of spare parts, while there is not enough money to buy them.
Meanwhile, Ukraine resists. Ukraine stands firmly. Life goes on even during the blackouts. Ukrainian medics continue their cardiac surgery using generators.
Russian missile strikes did not provoke a new wave of Ukrainian refugees
What is more interesting, all Russian missile strikes didn’t push Ukrainians to leave their country. According to Andriy Demchenko, a spokesperson of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, there was no change in the number of people crossing the Ukrainian border after the latest Russian missile attacks.
The same information was shared by Maksym Kozytskiy, governor of the Lviv region in which several border crossings are located. Non regarding the troubles, Ukrainians prefer to stay in their country.
In these conditions, international assistance for Ukraine, not only military but also humanitarian aid, becomes even more critical to maintain resilience. Ukrainians demonstrate that despite all the suffering they are not going to obey the Russian aggressor’s ultimatums.