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Putin announced mobilization to overshadow the release of captured Ukrainian defenders, says the Ministry of Defense

The prisoner swap: the Kremlin tried to overshadow the release of Azov fighters by announcing mobilization, says Maliar. Photo: Ministry of Interior

The prisoner swap: the Kremlin tried to overshadow the release of Azov fighters by announcing mobilization, says Maliar. Photo: Ministry of Interior

By announcing partial mobilization in Russia, the Kremlin intended to divert public attention away from the prisoner swap and especially the release of Azov fighters. Deputy Minister of Defense Hanna Maliar wrote this in her post.

However, according to her, the effect appeared to be quite the opposite of what was expected.

Quote"The Kremlin tried to overshadow the prisoner swap informationally. This is their traditional unsophisticated tactics… However, it worked the opposite way — the informational effect doubled. No absorption or overshadowing occurred," she explained.

Maliar added that it wasn’t accidental that Putin’s address, initially announced to be aired on September 20 night, was eventually rescheduled to the next morning. The Moscow leadership realized that it was "technologically more expedient to make the announcement on the day of the prisoner swap."

Context. On September 21, Putin announced a partial mobilization in Russia. After that, mass protests emerged all over Russia, while negative statements about the Russian government and calls for overthrowing it spread on social media.

Last night, a prisoner swap between Ukraine and Russia was disclosed. There were 215 Ukrainian defenders released by the Russians, including Azov fighters, commanders who fought at Azovstal, and 10 foreign volunteers who defended Ukraine. This caused a massive outrage among Russians on social media, with Russians infuriated at Ukrainian defenders giving their speeches on the same day when mobilization started. Even Russian propagandists engaged in the outcry.

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