Last piece of Putin’s puzzle slots into place: preparing Russians for war_freckle removal tips

Julian Borger·3 min readIn this article:
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  • Vladimir PutinVladimir PutinPresident of Russia
<span>Photograph: AP</span>
Photograph: AP

The omens of impending war we were warned about now seem to be lining up like the horsemen of the apocalypse.

The field hospitals have been set near the border, blood banks have reportedly been brought in. On the information war front, a dossier of alleged Ukraine war crimes circulated at the UN security council, and a video popped up purporting to show an attempted Ukrainian attack on chlorine tanks in the Donbas.

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Now the rebel leaders in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts have ordered the evacuation of women and children to Russia, claiming – with no evidence whatsoever – that a Ukrainian attack is imminent. Right on cue, a car bomb went off in Donetsk, injuring no one, but providing a fireball for the cameras.

All of this is more or less what US and UK briefers have told journalists to expect in the run-up to a Russian invasion. The one piece that had been missing from Vladimir Putin’s relentless build-up was an effort to prepare the Russian population for the prospect of a major war. That piece seems to be slotting into place.

Just as Russian armour and helicopters are edging up the border, Russian messaging is also advancing to the brink. War is becoming more probable by the hour, but it still does not necessarily mean that Putin has made his final decision.

Other explanations are still possible, and events unfolding today may be messier than a single Kremlin-orchestrated master plan.

If the chlorine video was the “false flag” pretext for war, it is a very crude and low-budget version of what US and British briefers had predicted, which had involved actors, borrowed corpses and high production values.

In a similar vein, the dossier presented to the security council on Thursday was extremely thin and did not claim anything other than civilians have been killed in shelling on the rebel side of the lines in the Donbas since 2014. That was already known, it mirrors civilian casualties on the other side, and falls a very long way short of genocide.

(editor:)

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