Russia steps up cyber operations ahead of Putin's reelection, Ukrainian intelligence warns
Vladimir Putin (Photo: EPA)

Russia is intensifying the information operation "Perun" against Ukraine in order to destabilize the situation in the country, as well as to undermine the support of Western partners, reported the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense.

The intelligence officers say that they involve units of the Russian Guard and spies of the Russian GRU to participate in the operation.

Propagandists give instructions to discredit Ukrainian and Western politicians, accusing them of "corruption and betrayal of Ukraine's interests", to justify Russia's aggression, to spread fakes about the "normalization of life" in the occupied territories, and to create the image of "Ukrainian Nazis".

The Russian special services should talk about the events in Ukraine in the first half of 2024, while using old fakes about the "coup d'état in Kyiv", accusing Ukraine of "starting the war in Donbas" and the death of pro-Russian activists in Odesa on May 2, 2014.

The peak of the campaign activation will be the day of the "elections" in Russia on March 17, the end of the "Perun" operation is planned by June 30.

At the end of November 2023, the representative of Defense Intelligence, Andriy Chernyak, reported that the Russians allocated $1.5 billion for the information operation "Maidan-3", of which $250 million was spent on Telegram.

On February 27, 2024, the Intelligence Committee under the President of Ukraine announced that the Russian special operation "Maidan-3" will reach its climax in March-May 2024. According to the plan of the Kremlin, they will be able to "shake up the situation" in Ukraine by the first half of June – and then it will be complemented with a military defeat in the east, this is the key idea of Moscow's operation.

In order to achieve the goals of promoting Russian narratives and destabilizing the situation in Ukraine, mass purchases and creation of Telegram channels are carried out, as well as troll farms are created that amplify Russian rhetoric on social media.