“We have suffered a terrorist attack. A group has crossed the border from Ukraine and opened fire on civilians. They knew the car they were shooting at was full of children… but they kept shooting anyway.” In this way he related Vladimir Putin what happened in Sushany and Liubechane, towns in the Russian region of Bryansk, in a telematic meeting with the heads of the educational community in the annual celebration of Teacher and Mentor Day.
Both the imprecision of the details, as well as the importance given to them -the president himself commenting on them in a televised audience and announcing a meeting of the Security Council- makes it difficult to give the story excessive veracity. In fact, the Zelensky government reacted after a few hours, qualifying the “Russian provocation” incident and speaking of “false flag attack”.
Neither kyiv nor Moscow seem to be hitting the nail on the head with their claims. Some by default and others by excess. We know that a group called Russian Volunteer Corps He crossed the border and at least walked through both towns, leaving behind several photos and at least one video in which, precisely, they emphasized that they “did not shoot civilians.” His identity is out of the question because the one who appears in all the photos and all the videos is Denis Kapustinleader of the group in question and well-known neo-Nazi guru, expelled from Germany at the time for his ideological fanaticism.
Another video of the Russian Volunteer Corps from the Russian region of #Bryansk.
The men say they came to Bryansk “to show their compatriots that there is hope, that the free Russian people with arms in hand can fight the regime.”🤡🤡🤡 #falseflag #UkraineWar pic.twitter.com/wvD3ZkEpwC
— AUSTROHUNGARIAN (@AUSTROHUNGARO2) March 2, 2023
The rest of the information is confusing. What were the members of the Russian Volunteer Corps doing on the other side of the border? The Kremlin speaks generically of forty or fifty soldiers who would have taken hostages in these cities and would have killed at least one driver and wounded a ten-year-old boy. How did forty armed men in camouflage uniforms with yellow ribbons on their arms manage to evade the border defense? Exactly what was his purpose in Bryansk beyond publicity and feeding Kapustin’s ego?
Who are these guys?
There is no evidence of “terrorist” acts in its passage through Russia. Neither of the supposed hostage-taking nor of the shooting of a car full of children – there are always children in these stories, it is the ABC of propaganda – nor of any sabotaging intention. We have the photos, the video and little else. Ukraine could not even be accused of anything in this regard. The Russian Volunteer Corps, as its name suggests, is made up of Russian citizensstarting with their leader. It has no relationship with the Ukrainian armed forces and its presence in that country is due, above all, to its deep hatred of the figure of Vladimir Putinwhom they consider to be too soft and tolerant of ethnic minorities.
[Bakhmut, Vuhledar y ahora Limán: Rusia acumula fracasos al iniciar su nueva ofensiva]
Kapustin’s ideology is abject. A man convinced of Aryan superiority and the need to demonstrate that superiority in practice. He is in Ukraine because in Russia he would be arrested and imprisoned. Does your Volunteer Corps display any type of military activity? Not that we know of. In fact, nothing is said in their propaganda video that the action has anything to do with the war. Kapustin’s words are: “It’s time for the ordinary Russian citizen to realize that he is not a slave.” A message, as can be seen, in the key of internal politics.
There is nothing, then, that suggests a terrorist act, but a protest against the Russian government by one of its most alienated detractors. Nor can it be said that it is a false flag attack in the strict sense, since it has not been carried out by the Russian army itself to blame a third party and justify a reaction. Having said that, neither the reaction nor the repercussion it has had seems normal this border incident. In other words, it seems that the Kremlin has done very well.
too many coincidences
We have spent days talking about possible “false flag attacks” in Belarus and Transnistriabut we had missed a news from the agency TASS, controlled by the Moscow government, from forty-eight hours ago, warning of a possible invasion attempt in Bryansk. How did the agency know TASS that something was going to happen in Bryansk and how is it possible that, knowing it, the Kremlin did not reinforce the border? Could it be that Kapustin’s plans were leaked and the authorities didn’t mind letting him do it? There are too many coincidences and too many clumsiness not to intuit something of premeditation.
The action also has propaganda material to give and take: a neo-Nazi group, hosted in Ukraine, that crosses the border to cause terror among Russian children. It reinforces practically all the narratives of the Putin government. It is obvious, of course, that those neo-nazis are russians, who have no military relationship with Kiev and what happened is decorated with several pills of heroism: one of the wounded, a ten-year-old boy, after being shot several times, would have managed to save the other children from the car, flee to a forest and come back later to ask for help. Not bad for his age.
[Finlandia ya construye una valla de alambre y púas de tres metros de altura en la frontera con Rusia]
It is the typical action that, even if it were true, would not even deserve a headline in a newspaper. Much less than the almighty president I commented on it live and bring senior security officials together to discuss possible retaliation. A Duma deputy immediately pointed out the need to kill Zelensky as soon as possible as the person responsible. Proportionality, above all.
Exaggerate, that something remains
Of course, it gives every impression that Moscow is exaggerating with all this. One possibility is that they do so because they have made a fool of themselves in front of the whole world with the crossing of the border by a group of geeks armed, and another possibility, we have already said, is that they have consented to it and want to take advantage of the situation. Now, what does Russia gain from this? A false flag action in Belarus could justify sending troops. A false flag action in Transnistria could justify the annexation of the pro-Russian region… what is Putin going to do in practical terms to avenge the Bryansk affront? Hard to tell.
In fact, on Thursday afternoon, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) reported that “Ukrainian saboteurs” they had been expelled towards Ukrainian territory, where, later, they had been killed with a “massive artillery attack”“In order to avoid casualties of the civilian population and damage to civilian infrastructure, the enemy has been expelled to the territory of Ukraine, where a massive artillery attack has been inflicted on it,” the FSB said in a statement. picked up by the Russian news agency interface.
Be that as it may, what is clear is that, after giving it so much hype in such a public way, something will have to be invented. Presumably will increase the bombing on civilian populations, as we have seen this very Thursday in Zaporizhia. Other than that, there isn’t much else you can do. It has already invaded the Ukraine, it cannot invade it twice. He already has practically his entire army deployed in the area, to see if Bakhmut falls at once. It seems more like an excuse for internal consumption to reinforce his leadership and to emphasize the terrible existential threat facing his country. So, sooner or later, he will be able to mobilize another two or three hundred thousand citizens to send them to some meat grinder. Other than that, little else: publicity for a neo-Nazi and excuses for a totalitarian.