War Comes Home For Russian Civilians

Less than a month after the Kremlin accused Kyiv of trying to assassinate Vladimir Putin with unmanned aerial vehicles, the Russian capital was targeted again.

A small fleet of drones flew into Moscow on Tuesday in what looked like the first Ukrainian attacks on Russian civilian areas since the onset of the war 15 months ago.

All of the drones were either shot down or disabled, but a trio of apartment buildings suffered cosmetic damage in what the Russian government unironically called a “terrorist attack.” Mere hours earlier, the Russian military launched 30 Iranian drones at Kyiv, injuring more than a dozen Ukrainians and killing a thirtysomething woman in the capital, where citizens endured near non-stop bombardment in May.

Kyiv was targeted three times in 24 hours, including a volley of ballistic missiles fired just before noon, as schoolchildren milled about. Although Ukraine’s air defense systems are highly effective, city residents are menaced by the rain of flaming, metallic debris. Russia, Ukraine’s Air Force Command said this week, is working to evade Ukraine’s defenses by leveraging “topography to disappear from radars.”

It’s difficult to interpret a daytime ballistic missile attack on a city of nearly four million as anything other than an attempt to terrorize the populace, although Russia apparently hit at least one military target during Monday’s barrage. Over the weekend, locals endured what city officials described as the largest drone attack yet. Nearly four-dozen Iranian-made drones descended on Kyiv Sunday.

Russia’s stepped-up efforts come as Ukraine readies a widely-telegraphed counteroffensive along the frontlines. With this week’s attacks, Russia has targeted the Ukrainian capital 17 times in May. Nearly all of the weapons deployed were intercepted, including a few of Putin’s hypersonic Kinzhals, which Moscow previously suggested couldn’t be downed.

There’s no use dancing around the obvious: Putin’s Russia is a terrorist state at this point. Euphemisms ostensibly employed in the interest of “fairness” serve no purpose, and as I’m always keen to remind readers (particularly passersby who might’ve missed Soviet Propaganda 101), allusions to America’s horrific track record in foreign conflicts from Vietnam to Iraq (to say nothing of the nation’s founding in forced labor and genocide) are complete non sequiturs — so, nothing whatever to do with Russia’s actions in Ukraine, and certainly not exculpatory for the Kremlin.

It goes without saying that civilians in Moscow no more deserve to experience the harrowing sound of a drone wing colliding with the side of their apartment building than do citizens in Kyiv. Let’s not forget: Were it not for one man’s late-life pursuit of imperial glory, neither capital would be living under threat of “terrorism,” or whatever you want to call it.

Just before the attack on Moscow Tuesday, Kyiv’s mayor Vitali Klitschko wondered, “If the Russians can make Kyiv a nightmare, why do the people of Moscow rest?”


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4 thoughts on “War Comes Home For Russian Civilians

  1. It certainly feels as if we haven’t done enough given that this has gone on for 15 months. The military support for Ukraine has been great for their defense, but it feels as if we need to provide more aggressive weaponry to force Putin to stop this senselessness. It has been suggested that the total sum of seized Russian assets should be transferred to Ukraine. Given the terrorist attacks and inhumane treatment they’ve received at the hands of the Russians, it makes a lot of sense to me. That would enable Ukraine to purchase their own military arms with Russian money to use against the Russians who are attacking them almost daily. That level of humiliation would have to cause some impact, one would think.

    Also, given that Putin is using mass amounts of Iranian sourced drones for these attacks, it feels like we need to step up the sanctions on them.

  2. My ongoing financial support for Ukraine includes …

    Razom for Ukraine
    Nova Ukraine
    USA for UNCHR
    USA for Unicef
    World Central Kitchen
    IFAW (International Federation for Animal Welfare)

    …welcome additional suggestions of practical assistance…

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