Oct 7, 2022
Stephen Komorek on Russian invasion PSYOP intended to break Ukrainian morale. Early actions by Russian forces included the bombing of police stations and empty prisons.
When the Russians invaded Ukraine, one of their first priorities was to bomb police stations and to empty prisons. When I visited Ukraine August with Stephen Komorek and other members of the ULET Working Group, which supports humanitarian aid and helping law enforcement in Ukraine, I found myself wondering why.
We asked General Andriy Nebytov of the Kyiv Regional Police about this tactic while visiting his Kyiv headquarters, and he explained, "A demoralized population is easier for the invader to control. Attacking the ability of the police to protect people was a carefully planned operation, and they knew what they were doing."
And what exactly was that? They were conducting a psychological operation (PSYOP) aimed at undermining the morale of the Ukrainian people. A PSYOP is a form of military operation that targets the emotional and mental state of the enemy. By degrading the police’s ability to serve and protect, the Russians sought to make the war-traumatized Ukrainians feel even less safe and destroy their will to resist.