The key to the attempted drone attack on the Kremlin: what happened and what could happen now

On Wednesday, Russia reported that two drones were shot down over the Kremlin at 2:30 a.m., intending to attack the official residence of President Vladimir Putin. According to the authorities, the drones were neutralized using military radars.

Several videos depicting the incident were circulated on social networks. Two of them, taken from different angles, show the same explosion above the dome of the Senate building, which is now the president’s residence.

According to the Kremlin, there were no casualties or material damage as a result of the downing of the planes. Moscow this Wednesday banned the launch of drones, except those used by the government.

“We perceive these actions as a terrorist act and an assassination attempt against the President on the eve of Victory Day,” the Kremlin said in a statement. Russia directly blames the “Kiev regime” and assured that it “reserves the right to take retaliatory measures where and when it deems appropriate.”

Mark Galeotti, an analyst specializing in Russian politics, CEO of Mayak Intelligence and researcher at analyst Royal United Services, believes that “people should stop talking about this as an assassination attempt on Putin.” “Putin rarely goes to the Kremlin, let alone overnight. There were also no early meetings scheduled to suggest he might be in his palace,” he said in a Twitter thread.

“To call this an assassination attempt is an extraordinary exaggeration, even by Kremlin standards,” said Jan Bremer, president of the Eurasia Group. “Obviously not an attempt to kill the Russian president, but a Ukrainian demonstration that they can (and will) attack Moscow or a Russian false flag operation to mobilize the population and justify increasing attacks on Kiev.”

This is not the first time Russia has condemned Ukrainian drone attacks on its territory, but this will be the closest it will come to striking at the heart of Russian power. On April 24, the mayor of Bogorovsky announced that a Ukrainian plane carrying 17 kilograms of explosives crashed about 30 kilometers east of Moscow. In February, the governor of the Moscow region said that a Ukrainian plane crashed into a natural gas distribution center in the city of Kolomna, 110 kilometers from the capital. Nevertheless, Ukraine denies that it is carrying out attacks on Russian soil. At the end of March

“We are not against Putin or Moscow, we are fighting on our territory,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said during his visit to Finland. Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak suggests that it could be a fake Russian operation. “This is predictable… Russia is clearly preparing a large-scale terrorist attack,” he said.

In the same line, Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat believes that Russia staged the attack to show escalation and portray Ukraine as the aggressor.

“Kiev’s explanation is not particularly convincing,” argues Galeotti. “It’s hard to believe that Putin is so desperate for political capital that he’s willing to show that his air defenses can’t stop jets from flying 280+ miles up the Ukrainian border and into the symbolic heart of the Russian state.” addition.

Bremer expresses himself along the same lines: “I suspect it’s the Ukrainians. It’s very embarrassing for the Kremlin to show that Ukraine can cause a small but symbolic/ineffective explosion.”

“This is probably what it looks like: Kyiv, witnessing continuous attacks on its infrastructure, homes and hospitals, feels it has no reason to hold back,” says Galeotti. The Kremlin was already involved in one of the most spectacular security breaches in 1987, when an 18-year-old German boy landed his plane on the Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Bridge, very close to Red Square. The incident led to several high-ranking dismissals.

“Assuming this was a Ukrainian attack, it should be seen as a show of force and a statement of intent that Moscow is not safe. This is a clear message. What is less clear is whether this is unnerving for the Russians. annoys them. must see (And what does Washington think, given that it appears to have sought to abandon Kiev rather than escalate its attacks on Russia).

“I’ve seen the information. I can’t confirm it in any way. We just don’t know,” said US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. “Secondly, I will accept whatever comes out of the Kremlin. More generally, when it comes to Ukraine, which is under attack on a daily basis, we let Ukraine decide how it is going to defend itself.”

Four US government sources confirmed to Politico that the Biden administration had no prior knowledge of the drone attack on the Kremlin and that it is investigating its authorship.

Last August, Daria Dugina, the daughter of a prominent Russian nationalist leader, was killed in an explosion outside Moscow. Ukraine has denied responsibility for the attack, while the US has denied any involvement. Months later, US intelligence agencies concluded that parts of the Ukrainian government had authorized the attack. Washington then reprimanded Ukraine for the incident, government sources told The New York Times.

“A shocking attack with many casualties, attacks in Russia, drones over the Kremlin, a day of limited victory and a possible counterattack from Ukraine. That’s a lot of failures at once. The impulse for revenge is likely to be strong to define ‘us'” “but time will tell if not” , said Dara Massicot, a researcher at the Rand Corporation who specializes in Russian defense issues.

In its statement, the Kremlin said it “reserves the right to take retaliatory measures where and when it deems appropriate.”

“On the rhetorical front, the Kremlin is pulling out all the stops. By calling for an ‘act of terror’ and an attempt on Putin’s life, they are clearly fanning the flames of retribution from the populace,” wrote Sam Green on Twitter. Professor. at the Russian Institute of King’s College London.

“The political class, Kremlin media and friendly bloggers are calling for the ‘total destruction’ of the Ukrainian government, and the Kremlin itself isn’t stopping them, at least not yet,” Green says. “So far, the public seems to be responding the way the Kremlin wants. A quick look at the Kremlin’s pro-Kremlin Telegram chats suggests that public responses are, if anything, tougher than those of politicians.” .

In this sense, the expert believes that it also has its risks: “The most common criticism I see in Telegrams in favor of the Kremlin is that people expect the government’s response to be weak or non-existent. The height of the rhetoric, people will notice. Green believes it remains to be seen whether Wednesday’s rhetoric will be reflected in Putin’s future speeches and general framing of the war ahead of Victory Day (May 9). “If we see a change, it may indicate that the Kremlin is not convinced of its public commitment to this cause.”

Source: El Diario

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