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Russia’s retaliatory strikes mark new phase of conflict in Ukraine 

Kiev is unlikely to change its behaviour and will continue to carry out orders from the West

By Ahmed Adel | October 11, 2022

Continued strikes against Ukrainian infrastructure following the terrorist attack on the Kerch Bridge, more commonly known as the Crimean Bridge, can cause serious damage to Ukraine’s industry and significantly reduce the country’s combat capability. Russian strikes hit energy facilities in 12 regions across Ukraine on October 10, affecting power, internet and central heating, and in which Ukraine’s energy minister Herman Halushchenko described as “the biggest [attack] during the entire war.” In fact, the Russian strikes were so powerful that the Ukrainian energy ministry said in a statement that it must halt exports of electricity to the European Union.

“Today’s missile strikes, which hit the thermal generation and electrical substations, forced Ukraine to suspend electricity exports from Oct. 11, 2022 to stabilise its own energy system,” the ministry said.

It cannot be discounted that some factories involved in the production of weapons or the repair of military equipment could have been affected by the Russian strikes. Greater disruptions to Ukraine’s electrical infrastructure will inevitably also lower the combat capabilities of the Ukrainian military, which will also have an effect on mobility, replenishment of reserves, transportation and repair of equipment.

The retaliatory strikes occurred immediately after the statements made by Russian President Vladimir Putin on October 9. Symbolically, the Ukrainians discussed that they would give Putin “a gift” for his birthday, which is on October 7. On October 8 the Kerch Bridge was attacked. The terrorist strike was even commemorated in Kiev with the issuing of a postal stamp, even though three civilians were killed.

On October 10, at a working meeting with members of the Security Council, Putin announced that a series of high-precision missile strikes from air, sea and land targeted infrastructure throughout Ukraine. The Russian president then described the incident on the Kerch bridge as a terrorist attack aimed at destroying civilian infrastructure. According to him, Ukraine has placed itself on the same level as the most feared terrorist groups across the world, such as ISIS, and Russia simply cannot allow crimes of this kind to go unanswered.

For his part, Commander Apti Alaudinov commented on the recent air strikes against Ukraine’s military and energy infrastructure, noting that Russia could have carried them out a long time ago.

“Ukraine for many years – eight years – has tested the nerves of both Russia and the territories inhabited by the Russian-speaking community… It is a pity for those who may have to suffer the attacks, innocent people… but in the end, the people must understand that their leaders get mad and throw all their people into the furnace of war. It’s impossible that everything will be fine with them when something bad happens to us,” he said.

Strikes against Kiev and other parts of Ukraine signals a new phase of the war after Russia made all efforts to find a peaceful solution. It is recalled that there were also widespread reports that Moscow was ready for a peace agreement, but it was prevented by the arrival of then UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Kiev, who quite literally destroyed such plans.

It is little surprise that endless statements from Kiev, Washington, Brussels and London repeat that the only solution to ending the war is with Russia’s defeat. Effectively, the Russians have no one to negotiate with as none of the major parties are interested in a peaceful solution. On the contrary, there was an escalation by Ukraine since there was a terrorist attack on civilian infrastructure.

Effectively, Russia is forced to launch a real war, which will be far more devastating for Ukraine, especially since Moscow has refrained from major strikes for all these months.

Even with the assassination of Russian citizens, such as Darya Dugina, Moscow remained restrained with its responses. However, the Kerch Bridge, as already proven, is a line which Russia will not allow to be crossed without retaliation. 

Strikes and military action will continue until there is a change in the situation and Kiev’s attitude towards Moscow. It is more than likely that the decision to target the Kerch Bridge was not concocted in Kiev and is rather an attempt by the West to humiliate Russia when considering the date of the bridge attack was carefully chosen and the media covered this terrorist act with a birthday greeting to Putin. 

Even after Russia’s actions, Kiev itself will not change its behaviour and will continue to servilely carry out orders from the West and act according to the goals that are in line with Washington’s political strategy. The Ukrainian army enjoys material, logistical and intelligence support from the West, and its ranks include special forces from Romania, Poland and other NATO countries. For these reasons, Russia is moving the war into the next phase, especially as NATO is directly participating in military operations and civilian infrastructure are being targeted in terrorist attacks.

Ahmed Adel is a Cairo-based geopolitics and political economy researcher.

October 11, 2022 - Posted by | Aletho News | , ,

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