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Vladimir Putin ordered nationwide drills on Tuesday in preparation for “armed conflicts involving nuclear powers,” but not because he is scared of a major scale attack from NATO but to villainize the West and instill “fear’ in Russians, an expert has claimed.
The Russian leader ordered the wide-scale drills due to the “growing danger of armed conflicts including [with] nuclear-capable powers near Russia’s borders”, according to the Baza Telegram channel which has links to Russia’s security service.
This is the first time nationwide drills have been held, though there have been similar, smaller drills in specific regions.
The exercise will enact martial law under the narrative of up to 70 percent of housing in the country being destroyed.
Irina Tsukerman, a national security lawyer and geopolitical analyst, and President of Scarab Rising, told Daily Express US: “Putin is not seriously concerned about possibility of a nuclear or other major scale attack by NATO.”
“The drone attacks on buildings do not warrant such preparations.”
However, it is the Kremlin’s goal is to terrorize the population and reassert false claims about NATO being an existential threat, she said
Putin has also ordered the drills to help justify Russia’s own “continuing and domestically destructive aggression” in Ukraine.
Martial law is the replacement of civilian government by military rule and the suspension of civilian legal processes for military powers.
Tsukerman said: “The practice of martial law is particularly useful as Putin continues to crack down and isolate Russia from external influence.
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“The current circumstances allow plausible deniability for a crackdown using Western liability as an excuse to redirect outrage away from the leadership – and to get buy-in from the masses for upcoming further – and likely long-term restrictions.”
She added: “In reality, Russia is not preparing for a nuclear attack; it’s preparing for a long-term imposition of internal restrictions, such as martial law.
“It does not really matter whether anyone believes it, but at least a portion of the population is sufficiently indoctrinated to accept the official explanation.”
Tsukerman’s comments come after drone strikes over the weekend including one which reportedly damaged a Russian cruise missile factory in Smolensk.
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Three kamikaze drones struck the factory that produces Kh-59 cruise missiles, damaging the production line, according to Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR).
Russia denied the attack was successful and claimed to have downed five Ukrainian drones in the region.
The military expert said that Putin’s recent drills is a “step aimed at internal compliance rather than at the West”.
She added: “As over-the-top as these preparations and information warfare steps may seem to the informed strategists, they are actually quite effective because of all the preparatory work Russia has already done to ensnare its own population into an anti-Western compliant mindset and in terms of sowing panic and confusion abroad.”
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