ISW: Putin downplays drone attack on Moscow

    WORLD  31 May 2023 - 10:01

    Russian President Vladimir Putin attempted to downplay the drone attack on Moscow to avoid exposing the limited options he has to retaliate against Ukraine.

     Putin claimed that Russian forces struck the Ukrainian military intelligence headquarters “two [to] three days ago” and claimed that the Russian Armed Forces continue to respond to Ukraine’s “war against Donbas” by striking Ukrainian military infrastructure, Caliber.Az reports, citing a report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

    Putin insinuated that the drone strike on Moscow was Kyiv’s response to Russian strikes, and the Russian Defence Ministry (MoD) conveniently claimed on May 30 that Russian forces carried out “a group of strikes with long-range high-precision air-launched weapons at main decision-making centres” in Ukraine.

    The Russian MoD did not claim that it had struck the Ukrainian military intelligence headquarters recently and there is no available confirmation of Putin’s claim. Putin stated that Ukraine is trying to provoke a response and make Russia “mirror” its actions.

    The report noted that Putin’s emphasis on past and ongoing missile strikes is likely an attempt to signal that Russia is already actively retaliating and does not need to respond to further Ukrainian provocations.

    “Putin has consistently retaliated against genuine and purported Ukrainian actions by ordering massive missile and drone campaigns, likely due to Russian forces’ inability to achieve any decisive effects on the battlefield,” the ISW reported.

    Previously, the Russian MoD accused Ukraine of attacking Moscow with eight drones on the morning of May 30, and claimed that Russian forces shot down five of the drones and suppressed three drones with electronic warfare systems. Russian propagandist Vladimir Solovyev, however, claimed that Ukraine launched 32 drones of which some targeted the prestigious neighbourhood of Rublyovka in Moscow Oblast.

    A Russian independent outlet claimed that the drone strikes predominantly targeted areas near Russian President Vladimir Putin’s residence in Novo-Ogaryovo and other elite neighbourhoods in Moscow Oblast. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin stated that several buildings in Moscow suffered minor damage, and Russian sources amplified footage of a minor explosion in the Novaya Moskva neighbourhood.

    Key Takeaways

    • Russia claimed that Ukraine conducted a series of drone strikes against Moscow on May 30 as Russia again targeted Ukraine with Iranian-made Shahed drones.
    • Russian President Vladimir Putin attempted to downplay the drone attack on Moscow to avoid exposing the limited options he has to retaliate against Ukraine.
    • The drone attack on Moscow generated varied responses from the Russian information space.
    • The Russian MoD is likely attempting to conceal the high Russian losses in Ukraine by artificially inflating Ukrainian casualties in the war.
    • EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell stated that Russia will not enter negotiations while trying to win the war.
    • Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks northeast of Kupyansk and northwest of Svatove, and Russian sources claimed that Russian forces conducted a ground attack south of Kreminna.
    • The tempo of Russian and Ukrainian offensive operations in the Bakhmut direction remains low as of May 30.
    • Russian forces made marginal advances amid continued ground attacks on the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
    • Russian forces did not conduct any confirmed ground attacks along the southern axis.
    • Russian officials are establishing domestic veteran support programs which likely aim to advertise the perks of military service in Russia.
    • Russian occupation officials continue to deport Ukrainian children to Russia under the guise of providing pediatric healthcare.

    Caliber.Az

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