Espreso. Global

Russia is burning, and Kremlin keeps believing in logic of so-called ‘special operation.’ Vitaly Portnikov's column

13 March, 2024 Wednesday

It seems that the Russian leadership still doesn't believe that Russian territory can be attacked during the Russian-Ukrainian war

Since the morning (March 12 - ed.), there has been information about possible attacks on the territory of the Russian Federation's regions bordering Ukraine, allegedly carried out with the participation of Russian volunteers. There is not much reliable information about what is really happening in the settlements adjacent to the Russian-Ukrainian border. But anyone can watch the morning speech of the head of the Belgorod region administration, Vyacheslav Gladkov, and see for themselves that the governor of this region of Russia had a sleepless night, just like the head of the Kursk region, Roman Starovoit.

The two governors are, of course, trying to convince the residents of Kursk and Belgorod regions that everything is under control, that there are no problems, that everything is going according to plan, as the Russian political leadership says. However, the drone strike on the administration of the Belgorod region, which left only a memory of its name on the front of the building, can hardly be called planned. The most important thing that has become clear is that the border protection system in the Russian Federation, despite two years of war with Ukraine, remains a mess, to put it mildly. And this is despite the fact that there have already been raids in the border areas of the Belgorod region.

It seems that the Russian leadership still does not believe that Russian territory can be attacked during the Russian-Ukrainian war. Moscow remains committed to the logic of the so-called special operation, which of course must take place on the territory of Ukraine or on the occupied Ukrainian lands, and the citizens of the Russian Federation themselves must enjoy peace during the war of extermination and not notice any consequences of this war, at least before the presidential "elections." These so-called elections are in fact a plebiscite of confidence in Russian leader Vladimir Putin and his course for a long-term war with a neighboring country, a possible existential conflict with the civilized world, for which the Russian armed forces are already preparing and which is fueled by Russian official propaganda.

But of course, it will not happen the way Vladimir Putin planned. Just as the blitzkrieg planned by the Russian leader for February-March 2022, which was supposed to lead to the elimination of Ukrainian statehood, ended in a fiasco for its organizers. Similarly, the war in the coming years will take place not only on the territory of Ukraine, but also on the territory of Russia. By the way, we are talking not only about the border regions of the Russian Federation, not only about the Belgorod and Kursk regions, which, together with other border regions, as well as the occupied regions of Ukraine, have been turned by the Russian political and military leadership into a real springboard for the gradual destruction of the neighboring country.

Of course, now we can also talk about attacks by Ukrainian drones on Russian oil refineries. And as you can imagine, these attacks on fuel facilities in the Oryol and Nizhny Novgorod regions are a serious problem for Russia's energy system, especially given the fact that they are almost 400 kilometers from Moscow, where decisions are made about the further course of hostilities, and the stability of the entire Russia depends on the mood of the capital's population. After all, by and large, it is Moscow that dictates to the Russian Federation what the country should look like in the coming years and decades.

And the leadership of the Russian regions has to recognize the fact of the strikes. The head of the Nizhny Novgorod region administration, Gleb Nikitin, reported a strike on a fuel and energy facility that was attacked by unmanned aerial vehicles. The governor of the Oryol region, Andrey Klychkov, said that drones had also attacked a fuel and energy facility. Russian news agencies reported fires after the attack.

Thus, we can say that the situation is indeed very unpleasant for Vyacheslav Gladkov, who is monitoring possible hostilities in the Belgorod region, fearing to enter the building of his own administration. And also for Roman Starovoit, the governor of the Kursk region, who now talks about drones and possible fighting near the village of Tetkino. And for Gleb Nikitin and Andrei Klitschkoff, who are now looking into the consequences of drone strikes and how fires in the Russian fuel and energy complex are being extinguished. And even Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin received a visit from a drone that he said was shot down over the Ramensky district of the Russian capital.

So we can say that this is a large-scale attack on the territory of the Russian Federation. It is a combined attack that includes both combat operations in the frontline regions and drone strikes on the Russian fuel and energy complex. And we have to understand that every destroyed Russian oil depot, every destroyed oil refinery is not only a blow to the interests of the Russian population, which of course has to feel the results of this war on their own pockets and their own well-being, but also strikes first and foremost against the Russian Armed Forces.

The fewer resources Russia has for its army, the fewer opportunities it has to provide it with material support, the sooner the Russian leadership will realize the futility of a long war of attrition for Russia itself. Even if such a realization does not occur in the near future, at least the Russians will have to abandon the offensive on Ukrainian territories, the idea of occupying new Ukrainian lands and their subsequent annexation.

We must remember that Russian President Vladimir Putin has such plans. And Putin is going to devote his next term as president of Russia primarily to tasks 1, 2, and 3 - the destruction of Ukraine and other former Soviet republics. And our task is to disrupt these plans of Putin, who already in 2030 wants to be the owner and master of a new union state within the borders of the Soviet Union of 1991.

Let him first put out the fires near Oryol and Nizhny Novgorod.


About the author. Vitaly Portnikov, journalist, winner of the Shevchenko National Prize of Ukraine.

The editors don't always share the opinions expressed by the authors of the blogs.

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