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ISW explained why Putin visited the occupied territories of Kherson and Luhansk regions

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) report says that Putin, who visited the occupied Kherson and Lugansk regions, had two goals: to "outshine" Volodymyr Zelensky and to publicly identify potential scapegoats on the eve of the planned Ukrainian counteroffensive. Informs Freedom Matrix.

The publication says that the Russian president likely visited the headquarters of the Russian group of forces "Dnepr" in the Kherson region and the headquarters of the National Guard "Vostok" in the occupied Luhansk region before April 16. At the same time, the Kremlin says that the visit took place on April 17. However, in one of the videos, Putin stated that "the Orthodox holiday of Easter is approaching." This indicates that his visit took place before April 16. The Kremlin later edited the video to exclude Putin's claim that the holiday was approaching at the time.

“Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the front line in Avdiivka on April 18, and it is possible that the Kremlin deliberately published footage of Putin’s visit in order to “eclipse” Zelensky’s visit in the information space,” analysts suggested.

Experts also believe that Putin's trip was made in order to designate potential "scapegoats" before the upcoming counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

“Probably, Putin deliberately singled out Teplinsky and Makarevich as commanders in charge of the south of Ukraine, and Lapin as a commander in charge of the Lugansk direction,” the authors of the publication note.


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