Drone attack probably wasn’t assassination attempt but you can’t blame Russia for making the most of it

Whoever flew a drone into the Kremlin knew what they were doing. The footage is spectacular.

A flight path over a full strike of Russian icons – St Basil’s distinctive onion-domed cathedral, then across the breadth of Red Square, over Lenin’s mausoleum and the walls of the Kremlin, and finally crashing in flames into one of its roofs beyond.

A sign in central Moscow says drones are banned in the area

Ukraine war latest – Russia says Kyiv terrorist machine’ must be destroyed

What it probably wasn’t was an assassination attempt as claimed by the Russian government, unless Vladimir Putin has a penthouse in the roof of the Kremlin. But you can’t blame it for making the most of the attack.

Moscow is using it to throw more accusations at Ukraine and criticise the West for sending Kyiv weapons.

It will also be useful for the Putin regime as it tries to tamp down Victory Day commemorations next week.

Usually, 9 May is one of the most important dates in the Russian calendar, when Russians remember their great victory over Nazi Germany.

More on Russia

This year, the event’s been all but cancelled in several Russian cities, purportedly for ‘security reasons’. Authorities say they fear Ukraine attacks on large gatherings of people.

President Vladimir Putin attends a cabinet meeting via videolink in Moscow. Pic: AP

But they are also afraid of something else. The ‘immortal regiment’ processions when ordinary Russians parade would have been carrying pictures of relatives who died fighting the Germans.

Had people also brought photographs of loved ones who have died in Ukraine that could have become tricky for the regime that is trying to mask the full extent of casualties in Putin’s war.

Read more:
Putin ally calls for ‘weapons capable of destroying Kyiv’
Russia’s Victory Day celebrations scaled back over fears of attack

The drone spectacular has of course prompted a furious guessing game and already a welter of conspiracy theories. Did Russia stage the attack? It was certainly filmed from almost every direction and it does help authorities control events next week.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player


Kremlin attack under scrutiny

On the other hand it seems so over the top. Could it not have achieved the same by flying into a more minor landmark? Would authorities really want pictures beamed around the world that project such an impression of weakness?

Perhaps not, but then, on the other hand.

Coming weeks may threaten Putin regime like never before

The war is not going well for Russia and may soon go even more badly. Its much-vaunted winter and then spring offensives have never really materialised and Ukraine is now limbering up with a mass of Western weaponry to do its worst.

The coming weeks or months could threaten the Putin regime like never before.

As senior Nazi Hermann Goring told the Nuremberg trials: “If you manage to find a way to scare people, you can make them do what they want.”

A fiery strike on the citadel of Russian government just before a key patriotic anniversary will have deeply alarmed many Russians today and reinforced claims by the Putin regime that their country is under assault by a Russophobic West that will stop at nothing.

Whoever was behind the attack, if it helps to keep Russians in line, as the casualties continue to mount in Putin’s disastrous war with nothing to show for it, the Kremlin will not complain.

Articles You May Like

China’s Oppo debuts ‘mixed reality’ headset as Apple, Microsoft explore similar devices
China warns over AI risk as Xi urges national security improvements
Tesla appears to be liquidating Model 3 ahead of refresh launch
Texas AD favors 9-game model upon joining SEC
Binance is sued by another US regulator, sparking plunge in cryptocurrency values and shares