Moscow has repeatedly accused Washington of taking a direct part in the war, with the intention of inflicting a "strategic defeat" on Moscow. The White House denies this, saying it is simply arming kyiv to defend itself and take back territories illegally taken by Moscow. But the argument is internally used by the Russian government to explain the poor performance on the battlefield. And abroad, it uses it to pressure against new arms supplies to Ukraine.
Putin's spokesman Dimitri Peskov said yesterday that Ukraine had acted on US orders with the alleged drone attack in the very center of Moscow early Wednesday morning. "We know very well that decisions on such actions, on such terrorist attacks, are not taken in Kiev but in Washington," Peskov told reporters. The spokesman argued that "attempts to repudiate" this attack, "both in kyiv and in Washington, are, of course, absolutely ridiculous."
Peskov said an urgent investigation is underway and any response would be carefully considered. Various analysts have doubted that it is a genuine attack, speculating that it could be used by Russia to its advantage. On the one hand, what happened highlights the apparent vulnerability of central Moscow and Russia in general, which is what kyiv has pursued with previous attacks. But inside Russia, it helped reinforce the Kremlin-backed narrative that its war in Ukraine responds to an existential threat to the Russian state and people. Until now, this pretext has not captivated many Russians, who, although in many cases have a bad opinion of Ukraine, fail to explain where the 'Ukrainian danger' comes from.
If there is a good time to try to draw the Russians into the fight for the homeland, it is precisely before the Victory Day celebrations in May. But it seems that the burning of a dome in the Kremlin has not shaken public opinion, that it would have reacted differently to a massacre of civilians in the capital.
MATERIAL TO GET REVENGE
Outrage, fear and patriotism is what Russian propaganda tries to instill every day with its apocalyptic messages about the 'Kiev regime'. All with perspectives to prepare the population for new sacrifices, including a possible new partial mobilization. Although the attack is most likely the work of Ukraine or some group close to its cause, the truth is that the Kremlin can use it for its revenge. Moscow can carry out what it calls its "special military operation" in Ukraine in a much tougher way. The main fear is that the nuclear option will be considered, although it would not solve much on the battlefield and would alienate Russia before its few partners. Many Russian nationalist commentators staunchly on Putin still do not advocate that path.
But Moscow has other assets to escalate the conflict, paying attention to what the hard sector has been asking for months: attack the decision-making centers. This could amount to attacking the Ukrainian presidential administration building and other government offices in central kyiv. Or try again to assassinate Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky and members of his team in a new 'hunt' over kyiv, this time from the air.
Former President Dimitry Medvedev, and also Vladimir Solovyov (one of the most prominent pro-Kremlin television commentators), defended precisely such action after the drone attack. The speaker of the lower house of parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin, compared the Ukrainian government to the Islamic State terrorist group, saying it will demand "the use of weapons capable of destroying it."
So far Moscow has inflicted new punishments. The Russians have relaunched their drone strikes against Ukrainian cities, including the capital kyiv. A reprisal for attacks that the Ukrainian government, as always in these cases, denies having committed.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said the alleged drone strike shows that kyiv did not wish to end the war. Russian diplomacy condemned Kiev for the two drones that reached the center of Moscow, but it did so hours after Russia fired two dozen drones into Ukraine, attacking Kiev for the third time in four days. Multiple explosions were heard in kyiv on Thursday, the day after a night of drone strikes in the Ukrainian capital, AFP journalists reported.
kyiv has been gradually increasing the pressure. A series of explosions over the past week targeting freight trains and oil depots in western Russia and Russian-controlled Crimea. Moscow has also blamed Ukraine for those attacks.
According to the criteria of The Trust Project