Written by – Elijah J. Magnier:
Drones have struck the Kremlin and other oil depots on Russian territory in an attempt by the US to move the fight inside Russia instead of keeping it confined to the Ukrainian arena. This escalation raises fears of a direct clash between Moscow and Washington. Is it an uncalculated risk for the US to push Moscow into a direct conflict with Washington? The US seems to be well aware of the dangers of escalation and is taking calculated risks to achieve its goals of further challenging Russia. Moreover, Moscow’s armed forces can significantly damage Ukraine without using unconventional weapons or direct attacks on the US.
President Vladimir Putin is no stranger to the risks of confrontation and calculated escalation with the US. There is no doubt that Russia lacks the military capability to confront the US and its other 30 NATO allies in a classic confrontation short of nuclear war. The Kremlin has no intention of sending its soldiers into a classic confrontation with the West and its allies.
America has long experience waging war, has occupied many cities, and has the weapons to do so. Conversely, Russia is well aware that it is no match for the US military and does not have an army capable of confronting NATO, a coalition of 31 countries, in a classic war. Therefore, any war against Russia, in which nuclear weapons would be the first word, would destroy several countries or capitals, which would be wiped out along with their populations.
This nuclear war scenario is not on the table because the attack on Moscow only damaged Russia’s prestige and targeted the flag flying over the Kremlin. This attack deliberately indicates that the drone was sent from within Russia and did not fly hundreds of kilometres to reach the heart of the Russian capital and over the most protected Russian buildings. This is a message about US allies inside Russia, which is nothing new as the two superpowers – like many other countries – have ongoing security breaches between countries. There is always some level of espionage and intelligence work carried out by all major nations.
Therefore, these attacks should not provoke a nuclear response from Russia because security breaches between the US and Russia are tolerated. While such attacks damage Russia’s prestige, flag and oil reserves, they do not require a nuclear response or a wider confrontation.
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It is important to note that the drone attacks are far from being led by Ukraine, which lacks the military capability to confront Russia. Instead, they are part of a broader US strategy to distract Russia and deal it a blow, whatever the calculated outcome. As US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin announced, the Ukrainian conflict is being played out at the German base of Ramstein with the participation of 50 other countries. The United States has a long history of waging war and occupying cities and has the military power to do so. However, a semi-direct confrontation with Russia gives the US an enormous insight into Russian military capabilities. Nevertheless, it has done Moscow great by reforming its military, arming itself for modern warfare and distinguishing between its allies and adversaries.
Russia can only respond to the drone attacks by bombing Ukraine so that the leaders in Kyiv feel the extent of the damage inflicted on them by the Pentagon’s management of the battle. Moscow can bomb Ukraine painfully. It can also respond to America in other theatres, in Syria or Iran, Latin America or elsewhere, by providing those countries with advanced weapons that the US fears. As a result, the Kremlin is not expected to respond by bombing the White House or using unconventional weapons. This means that Russia has the space to withstand US blows without being deterred and pushed into uncalculated or hasty steps to divert attention from the defeat of the Ukrainian army and Europe’s loss of appetite for continuing the war.
With its steadfastness and confrontation with the West, Russia has created a defect in the American hegemony over the world that has lasted for more than 75 years. With the BRICS countries and several other anti-American nations, Moscow has begun diversifying its financial options and monetary trade in currencies other than the US dollar. Indeed, Russia and China are dealing a severe blow to the dollar’s economic dominance by supporting the yuan, whose star has begun to rise at the expense of the euro and the British pound.
In addition, America’s failure to defeat Russia in Ukraine in the first months of the war and its military and economic intransigence against the most powerful countries of the Western world have combined to weaken the European currency.
In addition, America’s failure to defeat Russia in Ukraine in the first months of the war and its military and economic steadfastness against the most powerful countries of the Western world have collectively led to the weakening of the European ranks. From the beginning of the war, European nations thought they should unite against Russia to share their natural resources since defeat was guaranteed. Western EU states reluctantly accepted the sabotage of the Russian gas pipeline – seen as the future artery of Germany and its economy and industry – in the hope of defeating Moscow.
However, Russia’s victory lies not in the natural, slow progress of its forces on Ukrainian soil but in the failure of America’s stated goals of removing Putin and severely damaging the Russian economy. As a result, Moscow is not expected to respond to the US challenge by hitting Washington with a higher level of escalation in response to the attempt to hit the Kremlin. Instead, the continuation of the war is sufficient for Russia to attack the Western alliance and its unity, and to continue military and economic strikes against Ukraine (preventing it from exporting grain and wheat), which is seen as the most significant direct loser of the war and is paying a very high price for its decision to join the Western camp. Unfortunately, the ongoing conflict between Russia and the US has put small countries like Ukraine in a complex and uncertain situation.
It is unknown whether much Ukrainian territory will be left if the war continues for many years and Kyiv doesn’t come to the negotiating table very soon. This is the fate of small countries that struggle between two mighty powers. For Ukraine, the question is not whether to negotiate with Russia but when. It seems that the decision has never been under Ukrainian control.
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