Today, a report came up about a Russian attack aircraft dropping ordnance over Belgorod, causing a crater 40m wide in one of the central streets of the city. Some reports indicate that this was an accidental weapons release, and the Russian Ministry of Defence stated that an investigation is underway.
In the current Russia invasion of Ukraine, the information war has been more important than ever, with both sides constantly trying to wrestle the truth to make it fit their own narrative, to rally both foreign and local receptors to their side.
I am wondering - considering the situation, and the previous instances of back-and-forth blaming for different actions like cross-border attacks on Russia, intention of nuclear attacks, or even the nord stream pipeline explosion - what would prompt Russia to directly admit to a mishap in such an incident?
It seems that it would be easier to blame the attack in Ukraine, considering the current state of affairs and the obvious convenience of the Russian government to rally their population behind them to increase the war support, why would they admit to an obvious blunder? Does this offer political advantages of any sort?
I can only think that NATO AWACS are able to identify which aircraft were in the vicinity of the city when the explosion happened, and western countries could use that information to counter the Russian narrative, should they decide to accuse e.g. Ukraine, but it would not seem anything too different from the information/disinformation campaigns we have already experienced.
UPDATE: As of 2023-04-23, two more unexploded ordnance were found in Belgorod coming from the same aircraft, giving more weight to the hypothesis of an accidental/deliberate emergency jettison, with maybe one of the bombs going off accidentally.