The ruins of a destroyed chemical plant pictured after an alleged Ukrainian missile att*ck in Shebekino, Russia, on November 4, 2022. A Tuesday report by the Institute for War Studies says that Russia is setting the stage for a fake Ukrainian invasion of the Russian region to boost public support for the war.

Russia plans to carry out a false flag att*ck on its territory to increase public support for its war in Ukraine, the Institute of War Studies (ISW) has reported.

HEI report published on Tuesday evening, it emerged that the Kremlin was setting the stage for a fake Ukrainian invasion of southern Russia’s Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine near Kharkiv. The think tank suggested that the “absurd” claims of a Ukrainian invasion made by “Kremlin propagandists” could be used to gain public support and reassure the “Russian pro-war nationalist community.”

“The Kremlin appears to be setting informational conditions for a false flag att*ck in the Belgorod region of Russia, possibly in order to regain public support for the war in Ukraine,” the ISW report reads. “Russian claims about an impending Ukrainian att*ck on the Belgorod region are absurd and are only intended to scare the public into supporting the war.”

“Ukraine has no strategic interest in invading Russia and has no capacity to do so on such a scale,” he continues. “These preposterous speculations about a fantastic Ukrainian invasion of Russia may also be part of the Kremlin’s efforts to recognize and appease the pro-war Russian nationalist community.”

The ISW says the false flag att*ck could be used specifically to increase public support for an attempt to regain previously occupied territories. Ukrainian counteratt*cks successfully liberated much of the territory Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed he had annexed in late September.

The report says that “support for the senseless Russian invasion is declining among Russian residents of the border regions”, particularly due to Putin’s mobilization efforts and repeated Russian “military failures” during the war.

While there is no evidence to suggest that the Ukrainian military has any plans to directly invade Russian territory, there have been several instances of Russian shelling in areas near the Ukrainian border.

Belgorod was shaken by explosions several times, resulting in many injuries and d*aths. While Russia blamed the explosions on shelling from Ukraine, Kyiv did not explicitly admit responsibility. However, Ukraine described the explosions as “karma” for Russian aggression, According to to Reuters.

Belgorod governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on Tuesday that Ukrainian shelling in the regional villages of Shebekino and Staroseye killed three people, According to to Agence France-Presse. Gladkov told Russian state news agency TASS on Monday that Russia had been “strengthening borders” in the area since April.

HEI report He also said on Monday that Russia was planning false flag att*cks on critical infrastructure in Belarus as part of a desperate effort to force Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to join the war. ISW assumed that Russia “probably will not succeed in putting pressure on the Belarusian army to join the war in Ukraine.”

Newsweek asked the Russian Ministry of Defense for comment.

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