The war in Ukraine continues to escalate ahead of Kiev’s planned counter-offensive. The Russian regime described the still unexplained explosion of a flying object over the Kremlin as a drone attack by Ukrainians with the aim of killing President Vladimir Putin. Regardless of what happened over Moscow on Wednesday night, the conflict is entering a phase of further escalation. Kremlin hawks are already hinting at nuclear retaliation. Ukraine rejects the Russian version.
“Moscow considers the attack on the presidential residence to be a planned terrorist act,” Russian broadcasting said. | Video: Associated Press
Russian politicians have already come up with several options for allegedly retaliating against Ukraine for its attack. Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev spoke about the liquidation of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, in turn, said that Russia should “use weapons that are capable of stopping and destroying the Kyiv terrorist regime.”
It is not clear what he meant. In the past, however, some representatives of the Kremlin regime threatened to use nuclear weapons.
Drone explosion over the Kremlin. | Photo: Reuters
The Russian human rights website Gulagu.net, which has sources inside the security forces, wrote that an order had been issued to prepare a Tupolev Tu-22M strategic bomber for a possible attack on government buildings in Kyiv.
“It is very serious and it is not certain how it will end,” the source added. The British newspaper The Times assessed that the incident reinforced fears of an escalation of the war.
A possible attack by Russian partisans
Ukraine rejects the Russian accusations, but in the past it has already proven that it is capable of hitting targets deep in Russian territory, for example during an attack on an air base near the city of Ryazan, located 240 kilometers from Moscow. The number of drone strikes carried out by Kiev in Russia has also increased, mainly on fuel tanks, wrote the British website The Guardian.
“We are not attacking Putin or Moscow, we are fighting on our territory,” said President Volodymyr Zelenskyi, who is on an official visit to the Netherlands on Thursday, regarding the accusations against Ukraine. At the same time, he offered his own explanation for why Kiev was designated as the aggressor: “Russia has not won any victory. Putin no longer has anything to motivate society and can no longer send his troops to death. He now needs to somehow motivate his people”.
Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the Ukrainian president, even believes that this is actually a fake Russian operation to justify attacks on civilians. “Russia is undoubtedly afraid of the start of the Ukrainian offensive on the front line and is trying to distract attention. To create confusion of catastrophic proportions,” he is quoted by the American station CNN.
Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, on the other hand, thinks it could have been a real attack. But instead of Kiev, he looks for the culprit directly in Russia – specifically in partisan groups. They have already carried out several strikes on Russian military infrastructure in the past and are also associated with the August assassination of the daughter of an influential pro-Kremlin ideologue, propagandist Darya Duginová.
This may also be indicated by a message on the Telegram social network from the Russian Rospartizan group supporting violent resistance to the war. It states that the Kremlin burned down with a “just fire”. “This is just the beginning,” she added, but did not admit responsibility. “What Putin is selling to the nation, and especially to the elites, is a sense of invulnerability and security. And the partisans are destroying both. What they are actually saying is that there is a war here and you personally are not safe,” Ilya Ponomaryev, a former Russian opposition politician who is associated with the Rospartizan group.
Military parades could become a target for Ukrainians
Recent placements of air defense systems on government and military buildings in Moscow, as well as on Putin’s residences outside the capital, show that fear of possible Ukrainian attacks is growing in Russia. The Kremlin regime has also canceled several military parades held annually on May 9 on Victory Day.
According to The Times, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense even warned the Russians against visiting events in which war criminals will participate and where there will be military equipment. According to Ukrainian military expert Roman Svitan, this may mean that Kiev is planning an attack on armored vehicles and tanks that will be preparing for a parade in Moscow’s Red Square.
“These are legitimate goals,” Svitan said. Nevertheless, the celebrations in Moscow, which Vladimir Putin is expected to attend, will go ahead as planned.
Video: While Ukraine is preparing for a counter-offensive, Russia is preparing trenches (27/04/2023)
Russia prepares trenches while Ukraine prepares for counter-offensive | Video: Reuters
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