Drone Attack on the Kremlin Puts Us on the Edge of the Abyss

In the early morning hours of May 3, Moscow time, two Ukrainian drones approaching the residence of Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin were neutralized by personnel onsite before causing damage, but catapulting the proxy war of NATO against Russia to new heights. The Russians made clear, from the very first statement on, that they held the Ukrainian authorities responsible for “this terrorist action and an attempt against the Russian President”. But as Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated on May 4, “such decisions — choice of targets, choice of means, etc. — are dictated to Kiev from Washington”.

From the U.S. capital, officials rushed one after the other to assure that the Biden Administration was not involved in any way in the attacks, while the hard core of the “war party” asserts that the attacks were staged by Putin himself. Peskov dismissed all such denials by Ukrainian and U.S. officials as “laughable”. In any case, the Kremlin made clear that Russia would respond in appropriate measure, when the time comes, while indicating that a counter-attack would not take place before the celebrations on May 9 of the “great victory” over nazism.

To Americans who might caution Moscow not to “over-react”, the Russian Ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, posed a pertinent question: “How would Americans react if a drone hit the White House, the Capitol or the Pentagon? The answer is obvious for any politician as well as for an average citizen: the punishment will be harsh and inevitable. Russia will respond to this insolent and presumptuous terrorist attack.”

A similar point on the targeting of the White House by anyone was raised on separate occasions by Larry Johnson and Scott Ritter, both members of the VIPS (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity). Nonetheless, in Johnson’s view, Vladimir Putin will remain “cool and collected”, and won’t lash out. Among the retaliatory measures that various sources believe Moscow could take are an escalation of the offensive against Ukraine, increasing human losses, and possible strikes on the presidential palace and the Defense Ministry in Kyiv.

How Beijing will respond to this latest provocation is cause for much concern in the West. Insight into the answer was given in an unsigned Opinion column published in the May 4 edition of the semi-official Global Times, headlined “Drone Attack Crosses Tacit Red Line between Russia, Ukraine, Further Escalating Tensions”. The op-ed concludes: “Moscow has indeed been given a ‘surprise’ and it will certainly respond. Russia’s designation of these actions as a planned terrorist attack will cause significant changes in the nature of the entire military conflict, inevitably leading to further tensions on the battlefield.”

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov warned in a May 5 TV interview that “We are working on preventing a fall of our relations with the U.S. into the abyss of an open armed conflict. We are already on the verge of this abyss.” And that is, indeed, the crux of the matter. The world has been brought to the edge of a thermonuclear war, and yet, Western leaders continue to escalate the war effort, while dissuading Ukraine from seeking a settlement. And as their empire crumbles, they remain above all oblivious to the need to change policies… and fast.

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