In the recent days the Kremlin has intensified the false flag operations through production of hostile events, thus increasing the “formal reasons” to further invade Ukraine.
On 21 February, in the Macedonian online space, an information that a “Russian borderline post”, near Rostov was shelled by the Ukrainian Army, was recorded. This claim was initially referenced to the Russian Security Service (FSB) and published by RIA Novosti and other Russian state-controlled media outlets.
Some international outlets went with articles expressing suspicion: “The RIA news agency shared video footage published by the FSB, which showed that a small outhouse had been torn apart. The footage did not show the projectile.”
However, the Joint Forces Operation and General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine both dismissed the allegations, providing arguments that this was not possible, underlining that “the Joint Forces artillery units are withdrawn to the rear of the Ukrainian positions. Therefore, taking into consideration the technical characteristics of the artillery systems available to the Armed Forces of Ukraine the shelling of the aforementioned shed is impossible.”
What are the real facts about this “false flag” operation which was dramatically broadcasted by the Kremlin backed media is shown in the OSINT analysis. The analyses show that (1) Prior to the 21 February event there was another that happened on 19 February and there is video that confirms that the FSB is responsible for the shelling which proves the disinformation of the Russian state-controlled media, (2) the direction and the almost exact location of the launch of the missiles shows territory which is on the Russian controlled side/bank of the North Donetsk River, which can be seen from the coordinates on the footage which was released by FSB. (3) The Ukrainian army is at least 20km from the location, which makes it impossible for shelling operation. Which makes both cases showing the same pattern.
The geolocation and the analyses prove that physically the missiles could not be launched from the territory which was controlled by the Ukrainian authorities showing the exact position of the launch which is controlled by the Russian hybrid forces.
In a post from 19th of February they provide facts why the Ukrainian artillery is not capable to reach the “place where they hit the border post” and that is that the artillery is located 21 km from the collision line, and that the artillery is not capable to perform such action, answering to the accusation which is again sourced back to FSB on that day but to the Kremlin controlled NewsFront portal. This also makes the case in terms of this staged attack on “Russian border post”.
Another source claimed that the distance between the positions of Ukrainian Forces and the place where “the shell hit” is 40 km.
This is a plane example of how the Russian malign information operations are conducted when performing “false flag” operations therefore seeking casus belli, or a staged cause for war, i.e. to launch further invasion of Ukraine and frame Ukraine as the one responsible for it.
This project was funded in part through a U.S. Embassy grant. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed herein are those of the implementers/authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Government.