Kremlin intensifies rhetoric promoting 'division of Ukraine': an alarming indicator, warns Institute for the Study of War
Many reports by Russian media or government representatives are elements of propaganda. Such accounts are part of an information war led by the Russian Federation. Recently, the deputy chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, Dmitrij Medvedev, broached a topic related to constructing a railway line running from Spain, through southern Europe, to Lviv. Since the outbreak of the Ukraine conflict, Medvedev has repeatedly made use of misleading theories to rationalize this unjustified and unprovoked attack on the neighbouring country.
Medvedev and the Railroad to Lviv
"This seems to be the first confirmation that Lviv-Lemberg (Lviv's names in Hebrew and German - editor's note) will be the new capital of Ukraine within the Lviv region. It's not about the discrepancy in track widths between the West and Malorussia. It's more about business being more predictive than politics," Medvedev wrote on the X portal.
The aim of such posts is clear and straightforward. "The Kremlin is escalating rhetoric in support of a spurious divergence of Ukraine, broaching unrelated subjects, in a possible attempt to normalize the idea of a division in Western discourses about Ukraine," writes ISW.
Analysts emphasize that this plan is entirely unconnected with Ukrainian borders or the end state of the Ukraine war. Instead, it's representative of a separate European infrastructure project.
"Vladimir Putin and other high-ranking Russian officials have once more revived their narrative, depicting their invasion of Ukraine as a historically justified imperial move. In December 2023, they suggested to the predominantly Russian-speaking audience that Russia and European powers could carve up Ukraine and leave it as a 'sovereign' state within the Lviv region's boundaries. This proposal piqued the interest of several right-wing nationalist politicians from Central Europe," the American think tank's analysts reveal.
Significantly, Medvedev posted this note on the X platform, not on Telegram (the most popular messaging app in Russia), suggesting that he intended to reach international recipients rather than domestic ones.
Medvedev's post deepens Russia's information operation, which inaccurately portrays Ukraine as an artificially constructed state. The objective is to diminish Western military support for Ukraine and make discussions in the West about "pushing Ukraine to give a large part of its territory to Russia" seem normal.
ISW continues to conclude that Putin is persisting with his extremist goals in Ukraine, which equates to the complete capitulation of both Ukraine and the West.