Putin’s strategy of panic and disorder to ‘blackmail’ Ukraine laid bare

Ukraine: Sky News team take cover in Kiev and Kharkiv

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Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy insists the nation will not yield to the Russian military after Kiev experienced widespread air strikes. President Zelenskyy says 137 people have been killed in Ukraine so far, including civilians. The plan, according to the Ukrainian intelligence source, involves targeted strikes designed to sow panic and weaken defences, before seizing the capital and “blackmailing” Ukraine with a Russian-favoured peace deal.

This appears to contradict a claim by the UK’s Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, who said that Russia intends to take the entire country.

The next part of Russia’s plan for the capital, the source claim, is for around 2,000 Russian Special Forces to seize either Sikorsky or Boryspil airport. This will enable them to bring in further forces along with aircraft and light armoured vehicles.

At the same time, sabotage groups already present in Ukraine will work to take out power grids to disconnect the capital from electricity and communications.

This tactic will sow panic, and will happen alongside a massive cyber attack on Ukrainian government websites.

This could work to undermine the Ukrainian government’s ability to communicate with its population.

Once the city has been destabilised, the targeted strikes will be followed by an intensification of military efforts on the front line, the source suggests.

This part of the strategy aims to draw out as many troops from Kiev onto the front line as possible, leaving the capital less well-defended.

The source claimed: “The task of the landing party is to block Kiev, communications, military control channels, capture/blow up arsenals, and sow panic.

“The Russians want to create conditions for ‘uncontrolled columns of refugees’ from Kiev, which will block highways and roads.

“That will hinder the movement of troops, including law enforcement agencies on the roads of Kiev.”

The UN’s refugee agency today said about 100,000 Ukrainians have been displaced across the country. Thousands are fleeing to nearby European states.

Finally, Russia will aim to “capture and control the main authorities including the General Staff, the Cabinet, the Verkhovna Rada, and retain them until the arrival of Russia’s main forces”, it is suggested.

They claimed: “The desired result is to seize the leadership of the Ukrainian state and force a peace agreement to be signed on Russian terms under conditions of blackmail.”

Sources add that Russia’s end-game is believed to be to bisect Ukraine into two de facto states, much like the division of Germany into East and West following World War Two.

The division was marked by the Berlin Wall during the Cold War, but Ukrainian sources argue that, in this instance, Kiev would fall under Russian dominion.

Such a situation was warned by Ukrainian Minister of Defence Oleksii Reznikov, who drew parallels between Putin’s latest move and Soviet Russia.

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He tweeted earlier this week, just days before the invasion began: “We remain confident and calm. We are ready and able to defend ourselves and our sovereignty.

“Another brick in the wall? New Berlin Wall?”

In a rant against Ukraine and the West on Sunday, Putin cited the history of Ukraine as though it were entirely created by Russia.

The Russian president also echoed Soviet values in his criticism of Western ideals, accusing them of “fooling millions of people for many years, promising them paradise.”

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