Wednesday, November 30, 2022

ISW: Russian officials try realigning war in Ukraine with religious ideals accessible to Christians, Muslims

October 26, 2022 5:39 am

The Institute for the Study of War said in its latest assessment that Russian officials are increasingly attempting to rhetorically align Russia’s war in Ukraine with religious concepts ostensibly accessible to both Christians and Muslims. The experts note that it is likely done in order to cater to religious minority groups within the Russian Armed Forces. 

Assistant Secretary to the Russian Security Council Alexei Pavlov amplified statements made by Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov on Oct. 25 that the goal of the war in Ukraine should be “complete de-satanization.” Pavlov claimed that Ukrainian society is defined by “fanatics” who seek to abandon values held by the Russian Orthodox church, Islam, and Judaism. Kadyrov also declared that the war on Ukraine is now a jihad against Ukrainian “satanism.”

These statements may represent a desire to deflect dissent among religious minority groups in Russian army, the ISW said. "The invocation of war on religious but not overtly Christian grounds is likely an attempt to transcend religious divides and set information conditions for continued recruitment of ethnic and religious minorities to fight in Ukraine."

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