War rebranding. Putin may announce the end of the NMD and the start of a “counter-terrorist operation” in Ukraine


During a message to the Federal Assembly scheduled for February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin may propose changing the status of the military campaign in Ukraine. Instead of a “special military operation” with an unclear legal status, Putin could announce a “counter-terrorist operation” described by Russian law. Two political technologists cooperating with the presidential administration told The Moscow Times about this possibility.

“The message itself takes place in the mode of a special operation. First, it was hidden for a long time that the message would be at the beginning of the year. Secondly, public meetings were held with the leaders of systemic parties – this usually does not happen before a message. Thirdly, on February 22, a concert-rally with the participation of the president is scheduled. The main thing in this, of course, is not a concert, but a rally, ”said a source on condition of anonymity, participating in meetings of the Internal Affairs Department of the presidential administration and fulfilling his orders. However, no one knows what the final decision will be, except for the president and his inner circle, he makes a reservation.

Many in the Russian political elite will be optimistic about the transition to the CTO regime, which may be followed by a de-escalation of the conflict, a second source said. 

The “counter-terrorist operation” (CTO) regime is regulated by the law “On Combating Terrorism” and is introduced in territories where terrorist attacks or military clashes can potentially occur. The mode is terminated with the disappearance of the threat. The KTO provides for a number of restrictions for residents and extended rights for security forces: for example, the latter can freely enter any premises, check documents and use civilian transport. In 1999, the CTO regime was introduced in Chechnya and was canceled only in April 2009. 

In January, a group of State Duma deputies already proposed abandoning the term “special military operation” proposed by Putin at the beginning of the war in Ukraine: United Russia deputies Mikhail Sheremet and Yuri Shvytkin advocated declaring a full-scale war, and Righteous Russian Dmitry Gusev favored a counter-terrorist operation regime 

The decision on the format for continuing the war in Ukraine will be made by Putin based on the situation at the front, political strategist Abbas Gallyamov believes. From 2008 to 2010, he was Prime Minister Putin’s speechwriter, and after the outbreak of war, he left Russia and was recognized by the Russian authorities as a “foreign agent.”

“If there are resources, then he will continue in the hope of achieving some more convincing results; if not, it will depict victory from what is. Now nothing can be ruled out at all – the president demonstrates complete inadequacy, but it is not clear whether he is really inadequate or only pretends to be so in the hope of persuading Ukrainians to cede to him at least those territories that he controls, ”Galyamov believes.

Political technologist Konstantin Kalachev believes that now the main task of the Kremlin is to present Ukraine as an aggressor country. And this means that the Russian authorities will try to form the impression that the Russian Federation is conducting defensive actions.

“The special military operation can be completed only with access to the administrative borders of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. After that, in order not to look like an aggressor, we can talk about protecting Russian borders. Instead of CBO, you can offer OO. defensive operation. But this is purely hypothetical,” says Kalachev.

It is obvious that the “special operation” has dragged on, but the de-escalation plan also has opponents, political analyst Ilya Grashchenkov notes. The transition to the CTO can be imagined as a victory, he emphasizes: since the goals of the NWO were not clearly formulated and changed several times, one can, for example, say that it was possible to carry out the “denazification” and “demilitarization” of the annexed regions of Ukraine.

Putin’s message to the Federal Assembly appeared on TV channels on February 21 at 12:00. At the request of the government, a meeting of the Federation Council was postponed to February 22 from March 1, Valentina Matviyenko, speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament, said earlier. On the same day, an unscheduled meeting of the State Duma will be held. Then, on February 22, the authorities are planning a concert-rally in Luzhniki. The last time a similar event called “For a world without Nazism” was held on March 18, 2022. The event was timed to coincide with the 8th anniversary of the annexation of Crimea, Putin was present.


  1. Do the ruskie sheep even know what their shithole is fighting for and what to call this mess they’ve created? Special military operation, which most call war anyway, fighting Nazis and demilitarize Ukraine, kill demons, fight against NATO, fight Poland, fight Azov, and calls for ‘de-Ukrainization and now – drumroll – an anti-terrorist operation.
    I’m sure even the ruskies are making plenty of jokes about these clowns, especially the platform wearing dwarf.

  2. It makes sense. In no uncertain terms, the AFU are TERRORIZING the Russian invaders.

    Everyone in Russia knows this.

    Oh and sorry you are so poor Russia. Don’t pretend it hasn’t been your long history of poor economic and political choices. You alone destroyed your future.

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