Alleged attack on Kremlin likely to be the trigger for escalating tensions
Published: May 04, 2023 12:40 AM
A screenshot of the video.

A screenshot of the video.

Russia on Wednesday accused Ukraine of using two drones to attack the Kremlin in an attempt to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Ukrainian side quickly denied the accusation, claiming it was a "trick" by Moscow. The video shows that the small drones, supposedly strapped with micro-bombs, were destroyed. Unless the assassination in this way is accompanied by very accurate intelligence, the chances of success are obviously very low. My preliminary view is that the real purpose of this action is not to pursue a successful assassination - a goal that is not so important, but to create a shock, to disrupt the upcoming Victory Day parade in Moscow's Red Square on May 9, use it as a symbol that Moscow is not far from the battlefield and that the war has reached here, and eventually undermine Russian society's confidence in the final victory.

It is said that ordinary drones cannot fly nearby the Kremlin, and all major countries should have set up electromagnetic shielding devices in important areas. Thus, it is impossible for drones to fly into areas covered by electromagnetic shielding legally, and the Kremlin is supposed to be the place that is most alert to drone attacks in Russia. But experts in internet technology are able to tamper with the software of drones, and breaking through the electromagnetic shielding is far from impossible. One can have a basic judgment that the two drones were specially designed or modified for offensive purposes, and that they were not operated by ordinary people, but by a special operation team.

Since the outbreak of the war, Russian forces have been bombing important Ukrainian facilities, including command centers, but so far the Russian side has not carried out air strikes on Zelenskyy's office, nor has it made any public threats to the personal safety of key Ukrainian leaders. The Russian side said in a statement on Wednesday that it "reserves the right to take countermeasures wherever and whenever it deems appropriate," and it is expected that the Russian side will not let this matter go. On the Wednesday night, Beijing time, air raid sirens were heard in many places of Ukraine, leading people to think the retaliation of the Russian side probably has begun. 

But the focus is whether the Russian side will strike Zelenskyy's office. Once Russia and Ukraine openly attack each other's presidential offices and take the removal of each other's leader as one of the means of confrontation, it will mean that the war has entered a more unruly phase, and it will be bitterer and the losses on both sides will increase.

Recently the Ukrainian side has said that they are ready to launch a new offensive and the Russian side has recently launched a new wave of missile attacks on key Ukrainian facilities, which is believed to disrupt the Ukrainian offensive deployment. The drone attack on the Kremlin is likely to be the trigger for a new wave of bloodshed.

The author is a commentator with the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn