By installing air defense systems on the roof of the Russian Ministry of Defense building in Moscow and elsewhere, the Kremlin is creating information conditions for a prolonged war in Ukraine, the U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War said in its latest report on Jan. 20.
According to analysts, the Russian authorities need air defense in Moscow for show – to scare the population and mobilize Russians for war.
"It likely engaged in this ostentatious play to support intensifying information operations to prepare the Russian domestic information space for a protracted war in Ukraine and further sacrifices," ISW analysts believe.
In their opinion, this demonstration of air defense systems is also likely to be part of an emerging campaign to promote a series of analogies with fighting during World War II, when air defense systems were also installed directly across Moscow.
The Institute’s analysts also note that the Kremlin continues to promote information campaigns to weaken Western support for Ukraine while continuing mobilization efforts, despite numerous statements about the official end of mobilization.
On Jan. 19, Moscow residents posted on social media photos of cranes lifting Pantsir air defense systems onto rooftops in central Moscow, as well as protective structures installed in the western suburbs near the official residence of President Vladimir Putin.