Putin struggles to recover from 'most significant' attack on Russia 'since the Second World War'
After Ukraine's successful drone attack on Moscow earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin failed in their retaliation efforts, resulting in former allies' continued loss of respect for the Russian leader.
Retired Brigadier General Kevin Ryan, a senior fellow at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, writes in an analysis for The Unhurd, the drone strike was "the most significant incursion into Russian territory since the Second World War."
Although Putin has previously promised "to defend Russia territories, including the annexed regions, with any means at his military’s disposal, including nuclear weapons" — according to Jonathan Sweet and Mark Toth, opinion contributors at The Hill — "even the most loyal of the Russian propagandists are at this point bewildered by the self-defeating military strategy and lack of resolve by the Kremlin to go all-in."
Sweet and Toth write:
Retired Russian naval officer Konstantin Sivkov, tried deluding his audience that the drone attacks on Moscow had been, in actuality, 'very positive, because they'll help to mobilize Russian society against the enemy.' Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin likewise downplayed the effectiveness of the attack saying the 'UAV attack caused minor damage to several buildings. All the city's emergency services are on the scene. They are investigating the circumstances of what happened. No one has been seriously injured so far.'
The contributors also notes, earlier this week, "Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky defiantly" declared "a decision had been made concerning the timing of Ukraine's counteroffensive," adding, "The head games continue — real and imagined, including action, reaction, counteraction — only this time, it is Ukraine dictating the conditions."
Fifteen months into the war, Putin's bombs have not broken Ukraine. An influx of 300,000 new soldiers over the winter has done little to improve the fighting of Russian units, and the reported deployment of tanks from the Fifties has added fuel to the rumour that Russian munitions are running out. Indeed, Russian military commanders appear to have exhausted their ability to effectively respond to Ukrainian escalation.
The contributors write:
Russian spin notwithstanding, the drone strikes provided yet another psychological jab that is picking at the scab of the Russian psyche. What was described as a “special military operation” is in its 16th month now, and as Igor Girkin apprised, something as militarily limited as the special military operation should not have involved Ukrainian strikes “against Engels or Moscow, where since Soviet times [they had] the best air defense and missile defense system in Russia."
- Here’s what Putin’s 'paranoid obsession' with 'public safety' is really about: Eurasian affairs expert ›
- Is Putin losing the war in Ukraine? ›
- 'The war is lost': Former Putin speechwriter predicts military 'coup' in Russia ›
- Leader of rebellion against Putin vows to back off: report - Alternet.org ›