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did Russia carry out the operation itself?

WAR IN UKRAINE – “ strange episode », « quite difficult to understand », « mysterious “… It is with these words – chosen with care – that Catherine Colonna, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, qualified this Thursday, May 4, the attempted drone attack on the Kremlin which occurred during the night of Tuesday to Wednesday.

Since the first report on the events, Russia has relentlessly accused Ukraine of orchestrating ” a planned terrorist attack against Vladimir Putin at the request of the United States. But kyiv formally denies being behind this attack, just like Washington, which accuses Moscow of ” lie “.

And in recent hours, several voices have been raised to underline the singular nature of the events of the night of May 2 to 3. Like the cautious but intriguing declarations of Washington and then the French Minister of Foreign Affairs at the microphone of France Inter, doubt seems tenacious as to the very origin of this attack, which some attribute to Russia itself, as you can see in the video at the top of the article.

Intriguing timing

Even the serious Institute for the Study of War (ISW) does not believe the Russian version. For this American think-tank “several indicators” can suggest “that the attack was carried out internally and deliberately staged” In view of “the Kremlin’s immediate, coherent and coordinated response “.

The ISW mentions in its daily report of May 3 that Russia would not have been able to provide such a coherent narrative without being aware of the events. ” If the drone attack had not been staged internally, it would have been a surprise event. It is very likely that the official Russian response would initially have been much more disorganized “, insists the institute.

Especially since in view of previous events that have occurred since February 22, 2022, ” the Kremlin has failed to generate a timely and coherent informational response to other military humiliations not of its making “. The ISW also notes drones ” shot just above the heart of the Kremlin in a manner that provided spectacular well-camera images “, which the American channel MSNBC also underlines by evoking “ controlled images, at least “. Images exclusively provided by the video surveillance of Red Square which make General Jérôme Pellistrandi say on BFMTV that “Russia wants us to see” this event.

The Kremlin’s communication timing also raises questions. For an attack that occurred between two and three o’clock in the morning, it was necessary to wait almost 10 hours before a first communication from President Putin’s press service. The first mention of the attack by Russian news agency TASS was at 1:34 p.m.

Putin’s Fortress

Although absent at the time of the attack, Vladimir Putin was the target, according to the Kremlin. However, it is established that this fortress located in the heart of Moscow is one of the best protected places in Russia. Even the world.

The ISW also notes that ” Russian authorities have recently taken steps to increase Russian internal air defense capabilities, including in Moscow itself.” And to add that “geotagged images from January 2023 show that Russian authorities have placed Pantsir air defense systems near Moscow “.

That ” two drones were able to penetrate several layers of air defense and explode “is therefore judged” extremely unlikely by the American think-tank. A foreign attack on the Senate Palace would be ” a major embarrassment for Russia “, he adds.

I am in the thesis of the put-up of the Russians. It’s too good to be true… It’s a cute missile, a drone comforter! “, also comments on LCI General Michel Yakovleff, former vice-chief of staff of Shape, a NATO organization.

Another intriguing element: that of targeting Putin in the Kremlin when it is established that the Russian president regularly shuns the Kremlin, preferring his official and ultra-secure residence of Novo-Ogariovo, 25 kilometers west of the capital. Russian.

An ideal pretext for Russia?

In the event of a Russian self-attack on one of its most important buildings, the question of motive remains. The incident which occurred early on May 3 comes less than a week before the highly symbolic date of May 9. Essential in the Kremlin’s agenda, this date is the occasion of a great military parade in Red Square in Moscow, marking the victory over Nazi Germany in 1945.

And if Vladimir Putin never needed a pretext to strike Ukraine, the attack on this place in the midst of preparations for May 9 could have a leverage effect on the population, seized with a feeling of insecurity. . The idea being, according to James Nixey, director of the Russia and Eurasia program at the Chatham House think tank interviewed by AP, that a ” Moscow false flag operation » would allow « justify more intense attacks in Ukraine or more conscription “.

Especially since Ukraine is finalizing a major counter-offensive announced many months ago.

However, a clearly identified Russian source, Ilya Ponomarev, assures that this attack is Russian. But it would not be the work of the Kremlin but rather that of a group of militants opposed to Vladimir Putin. This is what this former Russian deputy, now exiled, told CNN.

In 2014, this man had been the only elected member of the Duma to vote against the annexation of Crimea. ” It is one of the groups of Russian opponents ” made up of ” young people, students, inhabitants of large cities “, he advances. And Ilya Ponomarev understands that drone attacks are a “new line of operation” of these militant groups. ” What Putin sells to the nation and especially to the elites is a sense of invulnerability and security. And these opponents ruin both. They feel the war is here and you, you personally, are not safe “.

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