Vincent van Gogh Landscape Under a Stormy Sky 1889
Russia blamed Ukraine for Tuesday night’s attempted assassination of President Putin after two drones attacked the Kremlin but were disabled by the security services before they harmed anyone. Kiev rejected the accusation and lied that the incident was a false flag per the innuendo pushed by Zelensky’s spokesman Nikiforov and senior advisor Podolyak. US Secretary of State Blinken echoed their claims by advising to “take anything coming out of the Kremlin with a very large shaker of salt.”
The Kremlin’s predictably declared right to retaliate “anywhere and anytime it deems necessary” guaranteed that neither of those two would admit to any knowledge of the attack, but it wasn’t foreseen that they’d both collude in concocting a false flag conspiracy theory. Their credibility was already shattered after Russia failed to go bankrupt and subsequently collapse over the past year like they predicted, so it takes a lot of chutzpah to still lie about this attack in spite of their track record.
It’s unclear who their targeted audience even is anyhow since few are expected to fall for this fake news, though there’ll of course be some who play along since they’re reacting to those officials’ dog whistles and think they need to do their part in laundering this disinformation narrative. Nikiforov said that “What happened in Moscow is obviously about escalating the mood on the eve of May 9. It’s a trick to be expected from our opponents”, but that actually doesn’t make much sense if one thinks about it.
Russians are already very patriotic ahead of this practically sacred commemoration of their people’s victory over Nazi Germany so there’s no reason for the government to stage a false flag attack against President Putin for that purpose. As for Podolyak’s claim that “This would allow Russia to justify mass strikes on Ukrainian cities, civilians and infrastructure facilities”, that also doesn’t equate with objectively existing reality either.
Leaving aside his description of these strikes as “large-scale terrorist attack[s]” that he added at the end of his relevant statement, Moscow has already been striking military-relevant infrastructure for months without having to fake an attempted assassination of the country’s leader to justify this. Moreover, these precision strikes have been applauded by the population, many of whom believe that they’re still too low-scale for their liking.
Honestly speaking, a significant share of the population can be described as members of the “patriotic opposition” in the sense that they’re displeased with the scope of the special operation and sincerely believe that it should have been expanded long ago, especially after the Crimean Bridge bombing. That’s not even to mention the pullbacks from Kharkov and Kherson Regions, let alone Kiev’s drone strikes deep inside Russia late last year, all of which they felt should have been much more fiercely responded to.
The way that they see it, Russia’s so-called “red lines” keep getting crossed without Kiev being taught the relevant lessons to deter it from ever doing so again. Something worse seems to happen every time, but the cycle of bombastic rhetoric from the Kremlin, resultantly high hopes among Russian patriots, and their inevitable disappointment continues indefinitely and appears impossible to break. It’s little wonder then that some are cynical after the latest incident and worry that there won’t be a befitting response.
These sensitive observations about the true state of socio-political affairs in Russia nowadays are being shared not for the purpose of saber-rattling, but simply to point out that there’s literally no reason for the authorities to stage a false flag incident like Kiev and Blinken ridiculously implied. Many folks have wanted the scope of the special operation to expand for a while already and some have even gone as far as lobbying for their country to enter a formal state of war in order to fully mobilize all aspects of society.
These people had been warning for months that the authorities’ prioritization of political goals over military ones, which they believe is responsible for Russia not overwhelmingly responding every time its red lines were crossed, would inevitably embolden Kiev to go even further. No patriot is happy about what just happened, but quite a few are convinced that it might have been avoided had the Kremlin reacted much more muscularly to its opponent’s prior spree of provocations up until this one.
Returning to the false flag conspiracy theory that Kiev and Blinken are propagating by innuendo, there’s no credible reason to believe this blatant lie. Considering that few are expected to fall for this fake news, it can therefore be interpreted as them provoking the Kremlin by way of mockery since nobody in their right mind would ever believe this. They both seem convinced that Russia won’t overwhelmingly or at least reciprocally respond to this assassination attempt, but patriots hope that it’ll finally surprise them.