October 9, 2022 News Russia-Ukraine

Black smoke rises from a fire on Kerch Bridge, October 8.

Kremlin intends to show Crimea Bridge Attack It’s not that serious, and the vital lifeline from mainland Russia to the illegally annexed Crimean Peninsula will soon return to normal.

The physical damage can be repaired – Russia immediately sent a large emergency team to the scene – but the damage to Russia’s reputation and, more importantly, to Vladimir Putin’s image, will not be easy. repair.

This is his bridge, his project, built with the equivalent of nearly $4 billion from the Russian treasury. It’s an iconic “wedding band” that unifies Russia and Ukraine, or at least an area that still legally belongs to Ukraine, important not only to Putin’s war effort but also to Putin’s war effort. with his obsession with bringing Ukraine back under Russian control.

Putin’s Address February 21 to the Russian people, given just before he ordered the invasion of Ukraine, clearly demonstrated his erroneous view of history. He asserted that Ukraine is not really an independent country: “Ukraine is not just a neighboring country for us,” he declared. “It’s an integral part of our history, culture, and spiritual space.”

That speech, one of the most revealing of his presidency, made it clear that this fratricidal war against Ukraine was very personal to him. For many years, he was attached to Peter the Great, the Russian emperor who founded St.Petersburg, the city where Putin was born and raised. I once visited the city administration office where Putin worked in the early 1990s after he returned from his job as a KGB special agent in East Germany. On the wall above his desk is a portrait of Peter the Great.

In June of this year, as the abrasive war in Ukraine entered its fourth month, Putin again compare yourself to Peter the Greatemphasized that Peter, who had conquered the land from Sweden, was “give back” to Russia what really belonged to it.

Clearly, Putin now believes that the return of Ukraine to Russia is his historic destiny. He could see the galloping attack on the Crimean bridge not only as an attack on the Russian homeland, but as a personal humiliation. And he will likely respond maliciously.

The day after the attack, Russian forces were bombing civilian apartment buildings in Ukraine. Putin’s hard-line supporters are urging more attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure. Western leaders warn that Putin is increasingly frustrated that he could use tactical nuclear weapons. Military experts claim that he can retaliate asymmetrically, striking unexpected targets.

For years, Putin has had another obsession: punishing traitors. A month after his forces invaded Ukraine, he threatened to retaliate against any Russians who opposed the war, calling them “the fifth column…traitors of the nation” in the Western offensive. West.

This Sunday, the day after the bombing of the bridge, he called it a “terrorist attack” whose “author, executor and mastermind” are the secret services of Ukraine… and “foreign citizens of Russia”.

It is clear that as hostilities approached Russia, Vladimir Putin found his “historic mission” in jeopardy. And that means emotions can outweigh reason. For Ukraine, for Russians who oppose the war, and for the world, this is a dangerous moment.


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