West cannot stay silent on Kremlin drone attack but won’t admit anything – experts
RT, May 3, 2023 —
The strike breaks an unofficial deal between Moscow, Kiev and the West not to target political leaders, analysts warn.
A Ukrainian drone attack on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s working residences in the Kremlin has shaken the status quo in the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev, a group of experts told RT following the incident. It could also lead to a dangerous escalation possibly involving the use of nuclear weapons, they warned, adding that Russia is bound to retaliate.
Thomas Roeper, a German author and war correspondent currently residing in St. Petersburg, said he was “quite surprised” to hear of the attack, since it clearly violated “an unofficial agreement not to bomb, not to attack places where the leading politicians are.”
“There is no doubt that Russia will have to retaliate,” said Ralph Niemeyer, the head of the German Opposition Group for German Sovereignty and Constitution. “There will be further escalation, even up to the threat of the use of nuclear [weapons], which I think is still possible,” he added.
A Turkish professor of international law and an expert on terrorism, Mesut Hakki Casin, suggested that an escalation may have been the goal of the people who planned the strike. The forces behind the attack might have sought to put the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine “at the center of European warfare” and potentially even provoke Moscow into launching a tactical nuclear strike, he told RT.
“It’s a very unacceptable and a very, very dirty game,” the Turkish analyst warned. Casin also said Kiev may not have been alone in planning and organizing the strike. “This is an organized international attack,” he said.
Ukraine’s Western backers will not be able to ignore the incident in any case, Niemeyer believes. The German opposition figure still anticipates that the US and its allies will try to downplay the incident and “say it was not the Kiev regime, it was not [President Vladimir] Zelensky’s people,” as they did with the Nord Stream pipeline sabotage.
According to Roeper, the attack could also affect relations between Kiev and Washington if the Ukrainians did not inform their backers about the planned attack in advance.
“Maybe Washington was not informed, and maybe it was. We will see by the reaction. If Washington was not informed, there will be some angry reaction because this is a quite big danger to attack the president of a nuclear power,” the journalist said.
Two drones targeted the Kremlin in an attack in the early hours of Wednesday morning. One exploded over the Senate Palace, which houses the Russian Presidential administration. The second fell in the grounds of the Kremlin, not far from the president’s official primary workplace, the Great Kremlin Palace. Moscow blamed the incident on Ukraine and has reserved the right to retaliate. Kiev denies any responsibility.