Russia’s psyop “Maidan 3” to reach climax in March-May

Illustrative photo: Facebook/93rd Mechanized Brigade Kholodny Yar

Russia’s malign influence operation to destabilize Ukraine is expected to culminate in March-May 2024.

That’s according to a statement released by the Intelligence Committee under the President, Ukrinform reports with reference to the press service of Ukraine’s defense intelligence.

“Two years after Russia unleashed a full-scale war of aggression, Ukraine is facing an objective threat to its existence as a state, as a nation, as a community of free and equal people.

In the context of deliberate distraction of the world’s attention from the long and bloody Russian-Ukrainian war, the leadership of the aggressor country has resorted to a plan of planned sabotage, information operations and arrogant provocations,” the statement reads.

As the intelligence community emphasizes, the main directions and goals the enemy pursues include the disruption of Ukrainian mobilization, spread of disinformation about Ukraine’s alleged inability to win, the creation and distribution of fake news about “Ukraine fatigue” among its international partners and allies. The ultimate international goal of the Russians is to reduce support for Ukraine from the pro-Ukrainian coalition.

At the same time, Russia’s goal within Ukraine as part of the operation is to demoralize the population, to sow panic, to drive a wedge between military and civilians, and to pit people against each other, including the country’s political leadership and civil society.

“Russian special services have extensive experience in conducting hybrid wars. They spend no less on information attacks against Ukraine than on conventional warfare,” the intelligence noted.

As the Intelligence Committee reported, in November 2023, as part of the Maidan 3 psyop, Russia spent almost $250 million on spreading anti-Ukrainian sentiments on the Telegram platform alone. The operation’s total budget amounted to a staggering $1.5 billion. This is the most costly “active measure” executed by Russia’s intelligence agencies in history.

“Special Operation Maidan-3 will reach its culmination in March-May 2024. In the coming weeks, the enemy will make every effort to spread narratives destructive to global security and attempt to incite conflicts – both inside Ukraine and in other parts of the world where there is effective support for Ukraine,” the statement emphasizes.

The handbook is traditional for Russian spymasters: to question the legitimacy of government decisions made in Ukraine after May 20, to spread panic and disbelief, to artificially pit civilians against the military, to make Ukraine fight with its allies, and to spread all kinds of “conspiracy theories” domestically.

“This is happening against the backdrop of Russia’s public statements about the creation of new types of superweapons, which, according to the Russians, should ensure Russia’s technical superiority over the West for the next decade. This implies that resistance to Russia’s goals in Ukraine is dangerous for the world, and therefore Russia will push other countries to engage in direct dialogue on Ukraine without our participation,” the Intelligence Committee emphasized.

Also, the Russians, through their agents of influence in Ukraine and around the world, will work on setting up various protest actions and deliberately compromise the process of POW exchange.

“According to the enemy’s plan, in the first half of June, the situation in our country will be undermined and after that, taking advantage of the situation, it will be defeated militarily in the East of Ukraine, which is the key idea of their operation,” the Committee noted.

In view of these circumstances, the intelligence community appeal to Ukrainians, international partners and allies with a call to strengthen joint resistance and comprehensive security measures, especially in the information space, in order to effectively counter global threats and challenges of a “new global hybrid war” Russia and its criminal allies are waging against the entire civilized world.

“Our society needs unity,” the statement concludes.

As Ukrinform reported earlier, in November 2023, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia was seeking to sow division in Ukrainian society and “chaos” within the country in order to remove the president from office. He referred to the extensive disinformation plot as “Maidan 3”.

Read also: Police documented over 113,000 Russian crimes in Ukraine in past two years