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Russia’s missile strike across Ukraine of 2023 likely served only to advance Russian state propaganda objectives – ISW

KYIV. March 10 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The largest missile strike by Russian occupiers on the territory of Ukraine in 2023, committed on March 9, most likely only served the purposes of Russian state propaganda, according to a report of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) for March 9.

“The Kremlin likely deliberately launched missiles that Ukrainian air defenses cannot intercept to achieve results within the Russian information space despite the dwindling supplies of such missiles … Russian President Vladimir Putin likely used these scarce missiles in fruitless attacks to appease the Russian pro-war and ultranationalist communities, which have overwhelmingly called on him to retaliate for Bryansk region incident on March 2 … Putin likely attempted to offset these narratives with another missile attack similar to the ones that Russia conducted in the fall of 2022, using advanced missiles to guarantee some damage in Ukraine,” the analysts consider.

It is also reported that the occupiers on Thursday continued offensive operations in Bakhmut and its surroundings, but did not surround the city. According to analysts, the offensive operation of the private military company Wagner in the east of the city has entered a temporary tactical pause, and it remains unclear whether the Wagner fighters will retain their operational advantage in future Russian offensive operations.

“The arrival of an increased number of conventional Russian forces to the area may suggest that Russian forces intend to offset the possible culmination of Wagner’s offensive operations in Bakhmut with new conventional troops. Wagner Group fighters may also be conducting a temporary tactical pause to wait for these conventional Russian reinforcements and replenish themselves in preparation for costly operations within central Bakhmut,” the report reads.

According to ISW, the occupiers on Thursday continued to carry out ground attacks along entire Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line in Kharkiv and Luhansk regions, and also continued offensive operations on the outskirts of Donetsk city and in Vuhledar area of Donetsk region.