by SIMPLICIUS THE THINKER
Now onto the last big news, which is AFU’s incursion into Russia’s Belgorod region. I almost didn’t even want to cover this because I think it to be inconsequential, and to cover it at length is to give Ukraine exactly the type of psychological ‘victory’ they sought with their desperate failed stunt. But alas, I’ll cover it if only to show how miserable of a failure it was.
But first, I’ll say how awed I am that so many people still fall for these stunts and consider them to actually be some major sign of Russia’s impending loss or failure of the SMO. As ex-Austrian army officer, GeromanAT noted on his Twitter:
How people think border defenses work vs. how they actually work:
The fact is, the AFU crept a few hundred meters into the border, got destroyed and ran away. Here’s the checkpoint they made such a big deal about ‘taking over’:
You know how deep into Russia that checkpoint is?
The yellow lines are indicating the Ukrainian border. But the psyop included artillery and MLRS fired from the rear, as well as drones, much deeper into Russia which gave the appearance of their actually having swept through the whole region, which was not the case.
However, the desperate psyop was very elaborately orchestrated—we must admit that.
They carried out a number of simultaneous, sophisticated psychological actions all while bursting through the border with a battalion of mixed units from Kraken, Azov, etc. It was obviously pre-planned for a long time and carried out multi-modally through a variety of hybrid warfare methods.
Here’s a list of the simultaneous actions they carried out in order to create mass panic, demoralization, informational distortion, etc:
- Attacked the border and rear areas with Uragan MLRS systems
- Began to try to cut the power of the outlying villages in order to cut communications with further regions
- Began a mass terror campaign of drone bombing various neighboring cities, including Belgorod itself, which consisted of indiscriminately targeting civilian cars and businesses with bomblets dropped from drones
- Launched a multitude of spoofing shell channels which pretended to be official community channels for the respective cities/towns in that region. These channels then, under the guise of some authority figure, reported wrong information about mass panic, evacuations, etc.
- One such psyop campaign involved broadcasting to thousands of people that the militants had broken into a police station and disguised themselves as Russian police. The channel urged all citizens of the region to immediately take up arms and shoot any police officer they see. This last number is particularly cynical, like something out of the Joker’s bag from the Dark Knight movies and demonstrates the levels of depravity and terror that the Ukrainian Nazi regime has stooped to
- Make fakes about Russian forces retreating, Russian planes and helicopters being downed and destroyed, which didn’t happen
- Broadcast interviews with one of the leaders of the group who stated that the citizens of Belgorod infact invited the group in because they were sick of the Russian government and wanted the true Russian dissident forces to provide ‘security’ for them
- Broadcast that Russian nukes are stored nearby and were at risk of being seized
- Synchronized release of professionally produced fake videos claiming to show a Russian soldier captured as well as a Russian border station chief killed and his office raided
Here are sample photos of the civilian cars destroyed in a mass drone terror campaign in the region that day:
They also shot up many cars, took hostages inside homes and killed/injured several civilians.
Here are two of their devious pysops. They created a fake channel for the town of Grayvoron, and spread the disinformation that the governor defected to the militants. And the second is the request for all citizens to open fire on the police:
It’s so deviously cynical you almost have to respect it for its boldness. And yet, it’s like a child’s game for sickos. Does anyone actually think such paltry, feckless, and inane little games can win you a war? But I suppose we must look at it from their perspective: they have nothing else. Wouldn’t you do the same in their shoes? They’re really trying.
Here’s an example of their psyop: on the left shows their channel which was originally established as Vinnytsia Live at the beginning of last year. But in preparation for yesterday’s psyop, they changed the channel’s name to Grayvoron Live to carry out their info attack:
Here’s what one Russian analyst had to say about the operation:
Dedicated to everyone who is looking for yellow scotch tape and cartoons on the corpses of killed Nazis, whose photos have been scattered around the network.
Yesterday I wrote [ t.me/notes_veterans/9584 ] that up to a battalion of Nazi personnel was involved in the attack on Russian territory. The composition was motley – “Kraken”, “Azov”, “RDK”, Kharkov Terodefense, and a number of other units that carry out the main service in the border areas, in this particular case in Velikaya Pisarevka.
“Azov”, “Kraken” and “RDK” in fashionable multicam and pasted with tape like parrots came to shoot tik tok, their home video shooting was covered by the very auxiliary units of the Kharkiv Terodefense and the military of the Armed Forces of Ukraine that serve in Velyka Pisarevka.
Tik tokers from “Azov”, “Kraken” and “RDK” already by 12 o’clock on May 22, 2023, having filmed the content, dumped from the territory of Russia, leaving the Armed Forces of Ukraine at the MAP “Grayvoron” to “cover” their departure. It was them that our artillery guns petted, and the infantry subsequently collected the corpses. Such things are small.
And here’s one Ukrainian channel’s version of what the secret operation was actually all about:
And reportedly it is true, that Russia did in fact once store nuclear weapons at this storage base nearby:
Geolocation: 50.564436746379215, 35.736953217001755
MSM channels like Newsweek even sprang into action with such headlines:
However, this appears to be another part of the info war psyop as it was the Ukrainian MOD that “confirmed” these facts. Russian channels on the other hand report that Russia had long ago removed the nukes from this ‘Belgorod-22’ storage site.
So, how did the rest of the story pan out? Local Russian territorial forces kept the elite Ukrainian assault group at bay until General Lapin arrived with his ground forces and mopped the rest of them up:
Not to mention, all the while, the Russian airforce was hammering them mercilessly from the skies, inflicting a reported 70+ casualties with guided strikes on their vehicles at the border checkpoint.
Ukrainian National Security secretary Danilov verbalized what the real goal of the incursion was in this interview:
The point is to create uprisings of scared and fed up Russian citizens against their government, to destabilize the Kremlin. Naturally, he states these border DRG diversions will increase in many other regions, including Kursk.
Now they’re trying to save face by claiming this was merely a ‘raid’. However, uncovered fortifications showed they were actually digging trenches and had meant to dig in and occupy the villages:
Good job, I guess. You lost an entire company of men, over a dozen total vehicles, for what? Oh, that’s right—we know exactly what it achieved:
The blue line shows ‘Bakhmut’ searches on the internet, the red line is ‘Belgorod Oblast’. Guess which narrative was suddenly swept under the rug in brisk fashion as soon as this psyop was launched?
Note that Bakhmut was liberated on the 20th, when its searches shot up and was conveniently and predictably sandbagged by the fake raid.
So what did this achieve? Did it buy another few days for Narco-Führer Zelensky to beg for more F-16s? Did it buy an extra week for comatose Zaluzhny’s brain to reduce swelling?
Oh, let me guess. It “exposed” how weak Russian border defenses are, is that the narrative? Well, if they’re so weak, then why did Russia lose almost no men while an entire battalion of the most elite units of the AFU (Kraken, Azov, etc.) was hastily driven back with a large part of them liquidated, their vehicles destroyed? Were the elite AFU forces not able to withstand ‘weak’ Russian border conscripts?
To me, this mass delusion is akin to the infamous survivorship bias, which is defined roughly as a logical fallacy of concentrating on instances where something has passed a selection process, while overlooking instances that did not. So, for example Ukraine constantly makes attacks on Russian lines, including border areas. No one bats an eye when hundreds of such attacks are destroyed and driven back every month, no merit or recognition is awarded to Russia. But when one measly attack gets a few hundred meters in, suddenly it’s the end of the world and the AFU is celebrated.
It’s also compounded by a large dose of recency bias. For instance, Russia shot down several Ukrainian aircraft this week, including a Mig-29 today, but that just passes through the sieve. But when a single Russian craft is shot down, it’s considered a major blow—which is illogical as it’s much more of a major blow for the country with almost no aircraft to have one shot down, rather than for the country which has the second largest airforce on earth.
The same goes for Russian gains and advances. The little Belgorod escapade naturally screened the fact that Russia just made more inroads in several theaters, including gains in Kremennaya, Kupyansk, and a new important gain in Belgorovka, near Seversk, which Russian forces are now almost encircling:
⏺ Ukrainian sources report that the situation on the front around Seversk has worsened
▪️According to his statements, the crew in Belogorovka found themselves in semi-encirclement, as the Russian army launched an attack from several directions, where they managed to achieve certain tactical successes that enable it to act in the rear of the Ukrainian forces.
📌 The local road connecting Belogorovka with Serebryanka, and further with Severska (about 12 km as the crow flies) is particularly at risk.
The Ukrainian command announces that at this moment extraordinary efforts are being made to improve the situation.
But is this to completely dismiss all the legitimate concerns, complaints, etc., about the incident? No, of course not. The Belgorod incident has spurred the usual bacchanalia of teeth-gnashing rage and worry. Much of it is in fact healthy. There are legitimate concerns about the situation and why, despite being beaten back, the AFU units were able to incur into Russia to begin with.
There is a multitude of perspectives from every station, such as this reported post about how Russian EW is too strong for its own good, hampering Russia’s own drones in the region:
👉👉👉 Apparently a post from a Russian military man…
The first problem is our Electronic warfare. Artillery would be happy to fire back, but for it to be useful, they need to see where to fire, and not just shoot at the sound, somewhere “there”. To do this, it is necessary to raise a drone. Which, because of our own EW, is not always possible. It is impossible to get higher than 30 meters near the border, and often the drone even “goes crazy” and begins to perform. There was a case of an acquaintance when a Matris 300 flew to the Ukrainians. Now in order to skip our EW, my crew has to look for “holes”. Of course we know some places to fly from, but this is not a solution either. It’s not safe to fly from the same place every time. But the bummer is that the Ukrainians are now switching en masse to
433, 1.2, 1.4 MHz, and our EW squeezes the most common frequencies used in the Mavic. Consequently, the Ukrainians misses our EW more often. So it turns out that we crush our drones, depriving our artillery of prompt fire, because each battery does not have its own “Eagle”(Orlan-10), but has a Mavic. And Khohol has adapted and bypasses our EW by changing frequencies.
But these are all problems which can be addressed and fixed.
Another sensible complaint:
There are a lot of questions about the situation in the Grayvoronsky district for our intelligence and not only intelligence.
1. Why were the enemy’s attack plans not revealed at the initial stage of the preparation of the operation?
2. Why weren’t they opened and worked out to prevent the movement of the enemy on the way to the state border?
3. Why did the border guards and the military have to leave the first line of defense?
4. Why are civilians still living in settlements that are 1 kilometer from the border (in fact, the front line), because of which artillery and aviation could not inflict fire damage on the enemy?
5. Why are people who want to defend their land still not armed and are in sham “terodefense”, and not in the extermination squads of the people’s militia?
The above highlights another issue, which was that the region has a 3,000 man, several battalion strong force which wants to fight and provide security, but—according to them—due to the bureaucratic nightmare of the Russian government, they have not yet been issued weapons; the Russian MOD is famously cautious and painstaking when it comes to such things.
But a lot of the issues were also greatly exaggerated and amplified, as per the guidelines of the psychological operation, by the AFU group, and so it’s difficult to know for absolute certain how much of it is true.
Certainly there is a growing critical mass of people, at least in the information field, who are losing patience with the Russian MOD’s way of dealing with things. I mean this in a general sense, even if they handled the situation decently well on the ground, people have found the informational aspect highly inadequate. Some have complained, for instance, that the MOD waited for a whole day or more to show the losses of the AFU, all while ceding the informational space fully to the UA psyop, allowing them and their words, images, and deeds to dominate the information space. I’m definitely sympathetic to that angle.
Another top Russian account angrily posted the following:
Unofficial Bezsonov “Z”: “The rhetoric of our speakers and media on the breakthrough of saboteurs in the Belgorod region: “we will squeeze out”, “they pushed us back”, etc. Are you on the fun side!? The war is on. Saboteurs need to be killed, destroyed, and eliminated. You understand that rhetoric is very important. Our front-line soldiers read the news and get fucked up. People often ask me why they were sent to war to actually kill their enemies, and all the officials are afraid to even say that.”
Even the famous FighterBomber channel agreed with the sentiment, stating how the morale of Russia’s airmen operating over the Belgorod region during this flare up was affected after the fake about a ‘shot down’ Russian helicopter was broadcast by Russian channels. The Ukrainian assault group, by the way, was said to have advanced with an Avenger AD system covering them as well as a large amount of manpads.
So, yes, there are problems. There will always be problems. They are being worked out and worked on constantly. But how can, in the minds of some people afflicted with the worst cases of the aforementioned logical fallacies and biases, could these relatively minor problems possibly overshadow not only the fact that Russia destroyed the group and pushed them out, but the general fact that Russia is handily winning the war and has just captured Bakhmut?
The regime media is trying to say this was Russians revolting against Putin.