Are Ukrainian drone strikes the start of the escalation?

For the second time in weeks, a Ukrainian drone penetrated deep into Russian airspace before being shot down near the Engels base about 650 km from the border.

Are Ukrainian drone strikes the start of the escalation?

For the second time in weeks, a Ukrainian drone penetrated deep into Russian airspace before being shot down near the Engels base about 650 km from the border. It is the main airfield for the bombers that Moscow uses to strike Ukrainian civilian infrastructure. These attacks demonstrate the very great vulnerability of Russian air defenses.

The London Times claims the Pentagon gave tacit approval to Ukraine's attacks on targets inside Russia after multiple Russian missile strikes against critical infrastructure in the country. The only limitations imposed by the Americans would be that the Ukrainians refrain from targeting Russian civilian targets.

The cycle of reprisals

The Pentagon no longer fears such operations will lead to Russian escalation, according to the Times, which quotes unnamed US defense officials. Moscow has not responded to strikes on its territory by attacking NATO countries or using nuclear weapons.

But it is to be feared that the American green light marks a new stage in the rise of belligerence which seems to be underway between the West and Russia.

When another Ukrainian drone attack from the same base damaged two Russian bombers, Russia retaliated by shelling more Ukrainian energy infrastructure: millions of Ukrainian civilians are currently without electricity and heat.

Moscow began launching large-scale attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure after the explosive-packed truck attack on the strategic Kerch Bridge, which connects Crimea to Russia. It is certainly a military objective, but it is also used by civilians.

Ukrainian special operations forces are conducting operations far behind Russian lines. Explosions were also recently reported at military installations in Ryazan, about 200 km south of Moscow, and in Kursk, 100 km from the Ukrainian border. The daughter of political theorist close to Putin, Alexander Dugin, died in the explosion of her father's car she was using.

The currency of their coin

Ukraine does not use US weapons to strike targets inside Russia. It uses its own drones: Soviet Tupolev TU‐141 Strizh surveillance aircraft from the 1970s modified to have much greater range and a better guidance system.

These TU-141s were also used against fuel tanks closer to the Ukrainian border, again outmaneuvering Russian air defenses.

British military intelligence believes that these drone attacks are considered by the Kremlin to be one of Russia's "most strategically significant failures" since the start of the war.

As one military historian has noted, Putin is now the first Russian leader since World War II under whose rule enemies have struck the motherland, Holy Russia.

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