Re: The Russians are undoubtedly trying to distract attention away from Ukraine.
The Russians are frustrated, they've started to drag away civilians to torture. Downed Russian pilots are admitting they've been ordered to bomb civilians. Meanwhile, the US is flooding Ukraine with weapons of all sorts from advanced surface to air missiles to anti-tank weapons and there is no shortage of Ukrainians to use them. Soon enough the Russians will lose the little air superiority they now have and then they won't be able to bomb the civilian areas without huge losses or to prevail even on the ground in an attack without bringing up huge numbers of troops. They have lost the propaganda war everywhere but in China but even China is getting nervous. And the sanctions are beginning to be felt, they can ship gas to Europe but they can't get paid for it.
So what do you if you're Putin, get your friend, Iran to start a sideshow to take the attention away.