Russia will use events in Israel to divert attention from war in Ukraine — ISW
Russia will try to use the Hamas attack on Israel to promote its disinformation aimed at undermining US and Western support for and focus on Ukraine
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) shared the information in its regular report.
It noted that the Kremlin has intensified several information operations after the Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel on October 7, accusing the West of neglecting conflicts in the Middle East in order to support Ukraine. Russia claims that the international community will stop paying attention to Ukraine.
Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, said that the US and its allies should have been "busy with" working on a "Palestinian-Israeli settlement" rather than "interfering" in Russia's affairs and providing military assistance to Ukraine.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also accused the West of blocking the efforts of the necessary "quartet" of Russia, the US, the EU and the UN, which led to the escalation of violence in Israel.
A prominent Russian propagandist, Sergei Mardan, bluntly stated that Russia would benefit from the escalation, as the world "will take its mind off Ukraine for a while and will again be busy extinguishing the eternal flame in the Middle East."
"These Kremlin narratives target Western audiences to drive a wedge in military support for Ukraine, seek to demoralize Ukrainian society by claiming Ukraine will lose international support, and intend to reassure Russian domestic audiences that the international society will ignore Ukraine’s war effort," ISW experts emphasize.
Events in Israel
On the morning of Saturday, October 7, 2023, the Palestinian armed groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad launched a massive air and land attack on the state of Israel in several places. The head of the Hamas military wing, Mohammed Deif, said that his militants had launched the Al-Aqsa Flood operation. According to him, these actions are intended to protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
The Palestinians launched 2,000 to 3,000 missiles at Israel and simultaneously seized 7 communities in the south.
In response, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) announced the mobilization of reservists and the launch of the Iron Swords counterterrorism operation. For the first time in 50 years, the government introduced martial law in the country.
The IDF actively used aviation to strike Palestinian command posts. It has also begun clearing Hamas-occupied communities.
In addition, there is a great threat that the Shiite Hezbollah could attack Israel from the north, as its main partner and supplier, the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), has called on jihadists to "liberate Jerusalem."
On the morning of October 8, the Saudi television channel Al Arabiya published the losses of both Palestinians and Israelis during the first day of the renewed military conflict. According to the channel, Israel lost 300 people killed and at least 1,600 wounded. The number of casualties from the Palestinian-populated Gaza Strip is 232 killed and 1,627 wounded.