Penetration or attack: Attempt to assassinate the Russian president with drones
The Russian-Ukrainian war has taken a dangerous turn and entered an unprecedented phase of escalation following the attempted assassination of Russian President Vladimir Putin by two drones before they were destroyed on the dome of the Kremlin presidential palace in the center of Moscow. Russia pointed the finger at Ukraine and described it as a planned terrorist act and an attempt to assassinate the Russian president, stressing that it reserves the right to take retaliatory measures at the appropriate time and place.
Kyiv is trying to deny its connection to the attack, as it knows very well the dire consequences, and this was evident in the statements of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at a joint press conference with the leaders of Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Iceland in the Finnish capital on Wednesday, May 3, where he denied his country’s involvement in the drone attack on the Kremlin, saying, “We do not attack Putin or Moscow. We only fight on our lands; we defend our villages and cities. We did not attack Putin.”
The attempt to assassinate the Russian president with drones is significant, as it came days before the celebration of the Victory Day over Germany during World War II, which Russia celebrates on May 9 every year in the Red Square adjacent to the Kremlin, causing a negative impact on the morale of the soldiers, Russian public opinion, and the decline in Putin's popularity. This may lead Putin to take nervous decisions to save the face of the Russian army and further involve him in the Ukrainian quagmire, which ultimately is in favor of the Western coalition led by the United States.
In this context, Alaa Awwad, a researcher in international affairs, confirmed that the attempt to assassinate Putin and the danger approaching his residence, which is one of the most sensitive and secure places around the world, reflects the existence of Russian internal penetration and not from the outside, raising questions as to who disrupted the air defenses and allowed enemy aircraft to approach the Kremlin.
He added that this attempt serves as a Ukrainian warning to start a counterattack in the Russian depths using drones, which have proven successful recently and caused great losses among the ranks of the Red Army, the second most powerful army in the world, before it fell into the Ukrainian quagmire, which is similar to the scenario of the fall of Russia in Afghanistan and was one of the reasons for the dissolution and collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the 20th century.
Awwad confirmed that the Russian president wanted the incursion into Ukraine to be a lightning military operation that did not exceed three days, but he was surprised by the Ukrainian steadfastness, which resulted in the embarrassment of the Russian army on several occasions, and his forces were suffering from a lack of supplies as a result of the successive Ukrainian strikes on ammunition stores and cutting off supply lines, to the point that Russia was unable to advance. On the day after the Kremlin was targeted, and after the bombing of the Crimean fuel depots last week, the Russian army received a painful blow to its supply line in Stavropol Krai in the North Caucasus, which is 470 kilometers away from the Ukrainian theater of operations, where a huge fuel depot was destroyed, confirming that Putin's close circle is working to quickly get rid of him by facilitating the task of Ukrainian drones reaching Russian strategic goals in a way that completely embarrasses the Russian president and shows him in front of his people that he is reluctant to even protect himself in the war he started and thought would be short, and a year later he finds the wind reversing the fires he kindled in Kyiv.
He added that Ukraine's attempt to assassinate Putin confirms its ability to launch precise and deep strikes in Russia, as evidenced by its access to the Kremlin with the help of some Russian officials who now see that Putin has become a burden on the Russian state and must be eliminated.
Awwad expects that the coming days could witness some beheadings, whether on charges of complicity or negligence that resulted in the enemy drones reaching the Kremlin, so Russia's threats to take retaliatory measures at the appropriate time and place must be taken seriously, as the Russian president is stubborn and will not calm down until he takes revenge on those involved in the attack, whether internally or externally, and he may use brute force to invade Kyiv or destroy it with missile strikes, or attempt to liquidate the heads of the Ukrainian regime.
On the other hand, some observers believe that Russia is the one who orchestrated the attack in order to renew a justification for the use of excessive force in Ukraine and turn it upside down, and it also makes the Western alliance refrain from supplying Kyiv with offensive weapons, which ultimately is in the interest of Moscow, which wants to resolve its military operation as soon as possible.