Pushilin sets the task for Surovikin to liberate the “DPR,” while Moscow needs time to get out of Ukraine. The Centre for Strategic Communication and Information Security has collected the main fakes and narratives of Russian propaganda for December 14.
- Bakhmut “breakthrough” of the occupiers: 3–5 km in 3.5 months
- How corrupt officials make money on “Putin’s illusions”
- Three broken Mercedes cars of Mariupol “developers”
- Russia will not have time to get out of Ukraine before Christmas
Bakhmut “breakthrough” of the occupiers: 3–5 km in 3.5 months
Konashenkov, Kadyrov, “war correspondents,” and gauleiters of the temporarily occupied territories have wishful thinking about Bakhmut and the Donetsk Oblast in general.
Thus, the leader of the DPR, Pushilin, said that as of November 13, “more than 50% of the territory of the republic was liberated.” And “set a task” (for Surovikin?) “to liberate the entire territory of the DPR within its constitutional boundaries.”
IN FACT, OSINT analyst Def Mon showed the “progress” of the Russian forces in the most tense area — near Bakhmut, from August 31 to December 11, on two of his maps.
The “progress,” as we can see, is obvious: the advance was about 3–5 kilometres.
In total, Bakhmut has been stormed for more than 4 months. During this time, Russians temporarily seized several so-called “forest huts” and forest plantations. All this at the cost of thousands of lives and tens of thousands of wounded. As we can see, the pace of the “special operation,” which was going according to the plan of 330 meters a day back in August, has since fallen significantly.
Neither Prigozhin’s convicts, nor Shoigu’s chmobiks, nor the Syrian-style shelling of Ukraine from Surovikin help. There is also no support from the locals. Why? The question is no longer even rhetorical. The Kremlin was given the answer by the terrorist Girkin with his bitter truth, but Putin does not need the truth.
How corrupt officials make money on “Putin’s illusions”
He still requires only the illusion he has already created. In the future, it will be realized, for example, by “building” a new city in the occupied Kherson region.
On December 13, its gauleiter, Saldo, reported that Putin had suggested building a “small city in the Henichesk district on the Arabat Spit.”
According to Saldo, “a development project is already in process. New housing blocks with all the necessary social infrastructure will appear on the Spit. There will also be conditions for the work of government bodies.”
IN FACT, the existence of, at least, a political awareness that “Kherson, which was with Russia for good until recently,” will not be part of it is a good thing.
It turned out that it is much more promising to build a new “capital” than to recapture the already Ukrainian Kherson. But it is more advisable to do it not on the Arabat Spit, but in the Zabaykalsky Krai. Firstly, the issue of the highest unemployment rate in this region of Russia will be resolved, and secondly, there will finally be a reason for its gasification. The Armed Forces of Ukraine are unlikely to reach Transbaikal. At least, there is no such task yet.
And Girkin, for example, already proposes to immediately “think about the creation of New Kherson (and, in general, New Simferopol, New Sevastopol, New Donetsk and New Luhansk) somewhere in Siberia.”
Construction on the territory that is being shelled today and is likely to be lost tomorrow is a sure sign of “snatch” with corresponding kickbacks throughout the vertical of the Russian government. So, among Putin’s “elite,” in addition to the political one, there was also an economic awareness that the illusions of the leader could be used to earn money. After all, the embezzlement process in Russia is established in accordance with the traditions of the tsarist Russia.
This is how even an avid supporter of the Kremlin dictator, the traitor Khodakovsky, describes it, citing the example of one “Putin’s illusionist” who “does not just have, but already crashes his third ‘G-Wagen’ using the restoration of Mariupol.”
By the way, the so-called vice-governor of Kherson region Katerina Gubareva is still under house arrest on charges of economic crimes, which was reported by TASS on December 13.
Consequently, the main mechanism in the process of “joining new territories” is as old as the entire historical and corruption essence of Russia — a kickback.
And Russia begins to realize that in the end it will have both political and economic negative balance (and not only in the occupied part of Kherson oblast).
Three broken Mercedes of Mariupol “developers”
Speaking of the occupied Mariupol. On December 13, two stories appeared that, funnily enough, vividly illustrate what Putin’s Ukrainian illusion is costing ordinary Russians. On Dvotrsova Square, an LED composition “Double Hearts” was installed in honour of the “brotherhood of St. Petersburg and Mariupol.”
At the same time, Putin’s native city is suffering from snow-covered roads, ice, dirt and general collapse of services.
IN FACT, St. Petersburg doesn’t have enough money to clean up the city because they spent too much on Mariupol. This was officially recognized by municipal workers.
It was found rather unexpectedly. One of the residents of St. Petersburg fell on a frozen street three years ago and broke her leg. She sued the city utility company “Centre” and won — she was awarded compensation of 300,000 rubles.
“Centre” appealed the ruling. The appeal claims that the amount of compensation was overstated, and the company demanded to reduce it. One of the reasons brought up by the company was the enterprise’s losses, which constituted 269 million rubles in the first six months of 2022.
Of them, 100 million was spent on “works on ensuring the functioning and restoring the objects of the city of Mariupol according to the order of the St. Petersburg Improvement Committee of June 15, 2022, No. 157-r.”
According to the investigation of Poligon, St. Petersburg businessman Ivan Orinchuk is the one working on the restoration of Mariupol. One of his structures, “Petersburg Renaissance”, repeatedly received large state orders, even claimed to restore the Kremlin towers in Moscow (the contract was terminated in 2019 after a scandal involving a bribe that Orinchuk gave to an official).
This is all rather telling, considering the state of both St. Petersburg and Mariupol.
Therefore, Moscow is aware of the negative political and, soon, economic balance in the occupied part of the Kherson oblast, in Mariupol and in the rest of the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories. And they are not even doing much to hide it.
The Kremlin will not have time to leave Ukraine before Christmas
On December 13, Putin’s spokesman Peskov made a rather strange remark about Putin’s reaction to the suggestion of Volodymyr Zelenskyy “to take a specific meaningful step towards diplomatic regulation, which is so often brought up in Moscow, and withdraw Russian troops before Christmas.”
“There is no question of the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine by the end of the year. In order to achieve peace, the inclusion of new regions into Russia should be taken into account,” said Peskov. To put it differently, the budgets still need to be spent, and Putin’s illusions still need to be put to good use.
IN FACT, the decision, no matter how strange it sounds, is completely in the spirit of current Russian realities. Little by little, the rats are preparing to scurry away from Putin’s boat.
What do they objectively have at the moment?
- On the Ukrainian front, there has been practically no forward movement for more than six months, if one does not consider the heroic advance of 3-5 km over 3.5 months;
- Fires are burning everywhere, which are called “acts of terror” and “diversions” by officials (FSB director Bortnikov on December 13) with growing frequency;
- The position (rhetoric, sanctions) of the West is only getting stronger;
- Putin is self-isolating (he has cancelled the annual press conference, the New Year reception in the Kremlin and, very likely, the address to the Federal Assembly, which violates the Russian constitution);
- After disclosing the plan of the special operation of “peace talks, Surovikin is staying silent, because he has nothing to report;
- Only questionable military correspondents and weird officials are still saying anything at all.
So, Putin’s “patriotic” rats have nothing they can get in Ukraine. And they were the first to realize it.
Centre for Strategic Communication and Information Security