- Sputnik Africa, 1920, 10.04.2023
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, 2022, Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate and defend the inhabitants of the Donbass region, where people have been suffering from a blockade and regular attacks by the Kiev regime's forces since 2014.

Terrorist Attacks in Russia's Belgorod Look to Divert Attention From Artemovsk, Expert Says

© Sputnik . Evgeny Biyatov / Go to the mediabankDestroyed buildings on Liberty Square, center of Artemovsk.
Destroyed buildings on Liberty Square, center of Artemovsk. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 24.05.2023
After intensive artillery shelling of a number of civilian facilities in Russia's Belgorod region, a unit of the Ukrainian nationalist formation invaded the country's territory on May 22. Following the infiltration, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that they were blocked and defeated.
The actions of the sabotage group that infiltrated the Belgorod region looked to divert information flows from the topic of Ukraine's defeat in Artemovsk to some kind of "exaggerated victory" on Russia's territory, said Ivan Mezyuho, a political scientist and chairman of the Crimean regional public organization "Center for Political Education," in an interview with Sputnik.

"The initiators of this provocation [...] have not achieved much success in terms of information management. By this sabotage, they failed to fully divert the attention of their own Ukrainian, and Western society, from analyzing the reasons for the defeat of Ukraine in Artemovsk," he stated.

On Tuesday, the Russian Defense Ministry underscored that the Kiev regime, after suffering a defeat in the city of Artemovsk (Bakhmut), proceeded to carry out terrorist actions against the civilian population. The ministry in particular referred to the recent incident in the Belgorod region.
Last week, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that Russian forces had gained full control over Artemovsk.
PMC near Artemovsk in the Donetsk People's Republic - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 23.05.2023
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However, in the Western media, the victory of Russia in this direction was covered quite poorly, the expert stated, noting that media outlets "fell into the trap set by their Ukrainian counterparts." According to Mezyuho, Ukrainian officials repeatedly stressed that they would never leave Artemovsk, and when the defeat happened they failed to come up with a convincing explanation.

"What happened, happened. They left the city. Russia liberated this settlement from the Kiev regime. And against this background, the Western media failed to say that Ukraine has suffered a defeat [...]. I think that they still have not formed any more or less sound justification base to explain to their viewers, listeners and readers what happened," he said.

On the one hand, he elaborated, Western media seems to have acknowledged that the city is lost, but on the other hand, they also somehow try to talk about it "as little as possible," because "a new manual has not yet come from the office of the president of Ukraine" that would explain how to present this information and event in the media.
Mezyuho also noted that the liberation of Artemovsk is demoralizing for Ukrainian society, at least for that part of Ukrainian society that is radically inclined and still "believes in the Russophobic and anti-Russian myths of its own propaganda."
A service member of Russia's private military company Wagner Group inspects a building in Artemovsk, also known as Bakhmut, as Russia's military operation in Ukraine continues, Donetsk People's Republic, Russia. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 21.05.2023
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Following this defeat, he added, the West will be even more actively demanding that Ukraine go on "the so-called counteroffensive," which was announced long ago, but is yet to be implemented. The liberation of Artemovsk, he added, may urge the Armed Forces of Ukraine to act rashly and irrationally.

"Against the backdrop of this military defeat, which has a symbolic meaning, the West will force and encourage Zelensky to throw his own soldiers on a suicidal counteroffensive that could cost the Ukrainian state dearly," he explained.

According to Mezyuho, "today it's time to say that Ukraine uses the toolkit of Nazi Germany."
He explained that during the existence of the Third Reich, there were so-called nationalist battalions and that Ukraine created something similar: the so-called "Russian" armed formations within the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which were ordered to commit sabotage in the direction of the Belgorod region in order to convince the West that Kiev adheres to the agreements, and does not conduct military operations on the territory of Russia. The situation is presented in such a way that opposition Russians attack other Russians who support Moscow and the special military operation.
However, he stated, it is unknown how many Russian citizens actually belong to these "Russian" armed formations. Moreover, "there is an impression that these so-called 'Russian' battalions" mainly conduct their activities and combat operations on social networks, and not on the actual battlefield.