William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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THE DEADLY MYSTERY:  We know, barely, that there was a drone attack on Moscow.  That's Moscow, Russia – a big-deal city that houses the Kremlin, the seat of Russian power.   The so-called news media reported the attack, and then the story kind of faded away.   Seems strange, and is strange.  Russia is at war in Ukraine.  You'd think the press would realize how big this could turn out to be.  From Daily Mail: 

A deluded Vladimir Putin and his cronies today accused Ukraine of trying to 'frighten' Russians with their 'increasingly reckless behaviour' after Moscow was targeted in a drone attack blamed on Kyiv.

Apparently forgetting that Russia has unleashed a series of deadly airstrikes on Ukrainian cities that have killed thousands since the start of the war 15 months ago, Putin claimed Kyiv had chosen the 'path of trying to frighten the citizens of Russia'.

Several buildings in wealthy suburbs of Moscow were damaged by suspected Ukrainian kamikaze drones, just hours after Putin unleashed yet another volley of strikes on Kyiv.

Putin claimed the attack was in revenge for earlier Russian strikes on 'command centres'. In reality the Kremlin air strikes have hit residential buildings in Kyiv, causing residents to run for their lives to bomb shelters.

'We have spoken about hitting command centres (in Ukraine). In response, the Kyiv regime has chosen a different path, the path of trying to frighten Russia, frighten the citizens of Russia and of strikes on residential buildings,' Putin said.

And Russia's foreign ministry parroted similar lines, claiming that Western support for Ukraine was 'pushing' Kyiv towards 'increasingly reckless' behaviour.

'Western support for the Kyiv regime is pushing the Ukrainian leadership towards increasingly reckless acts, including terrorism,' the Russian foreign ministry said, adding that the attacks on Moscow was aimed at 'spreading panic among civilians'. 

Russia's defence ministry claimed eight drones sent by Kyiv were shot down or diverted, though Baza, a Telegram channel with links to the security services, said more than 25 were involved. It called the incident a 'terrorist attack' by the 'Kyiv regime'. 

And a ranting Putin admitted there was 'some work to do' on Moscow's air defence system in a sign of his growing frustration with Russia's defences.

'Moscow's air defence system worked normally, satisfactorily, although there is some work to do,' Putin said on Russian television. 

Air defences around Moscow - which as the capital of the world's biggest nuclear power is already protected by an extensive early-warning system - would be strengthened as a result, Putin said.

A Ukrainian presidential aide denied Kyiv was directly involved in the Moscow attack, but said Ukraine was enjoying watching events and forecast more to come.

'Of course we are pleased to watch and predict an increase in the number of attacks. But of course we have nothing directly to do with this,' Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said.

One kamikaze drone exploded in a mushroom cloud near the village of Usovo, which is just down the road from Putin's official Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside of the capital. 

'[Putin's residence] would be in earshot of the explosion,' one local said.

In the city, explosive drones struck blocks of flats in Leninsky Prospekt and Profsoyuznaya Street about six miles from the centre of Moscow, reportedly wounding several residents and damaging the buildings.

If Ukraine is responsible, it would be one of Kyiv's deepest and most daring strikes into Russia since the Kremlin launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. 

Tuesday's early-morning raid targeted some of Moscow's wealthiest areas including a western enclave where Putin and the elite have residences. Two people were injured and some residents in two lightly damaged apartment blocks were briefly evacuated, according to Moscow's mayor.

COMMENT:  There's a big "if" here.   Ukraine, as the story notes, has not admitted any responsibility.  It is possible, and this is my speculation, that the attack was actually launched by Russian dissidents.  Russians cannot possibly be pleased with their country's performance in Ukraine.  Many Russians are coming home in coffins.  There may be plotters at work, with Putin as their target.

All this is dangerous stuff.  The official position of the United States is that we will provide Ukraine with the means to fight off the Russian invader.  But thoughtful analysts warn that the situation can get out of hand, and the war can expand.  Or...Ukraine can start to lose.  What do we do then?  Do we commit troops?  Do we let Ukraine collapse?  There is risk everywhere, and we are led by an impaired president and a dimwitted vice president. 

Quick, my sleeping pills.

May 30, 2023