The new strong attacks on Ukrainian cities this Monday (10) served as a reprisal for the explosion of the Kerch Bridge, which links Russia to Crimea, on Saturday (08), as announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Symbolically, the bridge serves as an umbilical cord between Russians and the Ukrainian territory annexed to the Russian Federation in 2014.
At the inauguration of the structure, in 2018, Putin drove a truck across the bridge, so proud was the Russian leader to have carried out the work that represents the advancement of his imperialist ambitions.
Therefore, more than Russia, the attack was directed at the head of the Kremlin, as the Crimea bridge, built at great expense, is associated with his name and the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula declared by him in 2014.
The explosion of this bridge sealed the Ukrainian counteroffensive, which in the last month took Russian troops to the borders and reconquered important territories, such as Kharkiv and Luhansk.
The attacks that followed the Kerch bridge explosion may serve as an attempt to hide Russia’s weaknesses. For geopolitical scientist Pascal Le Pautremat, the incident represents “a real defeat” for the country ruled by Putin.
“It is the proof of the end for Putin. The explosion brings to light the vulnerability of the entire its system, including the area considered as Russian”, highlights the specialist in an interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro. “It is really a masterstroke, because these operations require small and highly mobile groups, belonging to the special forces or the secret services, with a very strong coordination of logistical means and synchronization”, describes La Pautremat.
The analyst also recalls that the attack also created tactical and strategic problems for the Russians. The event paralyzed – or at least delayed – the supply of troops on the entire southern front, the large area around Kherson.
Despite the partial resumption of traffic later on Saturday night, for security reasons , instead of railways and roads, the Russian military will have to use sea transport or take longer routes, thus being more exposed to possible threats from the Ukrainians.
Crimea serves as a logistical rear base and Moscow did not count on the need to renovate the bridge, which should be compromised for at least two months, as predicted by the authorities.
Pressure on the Kremlin
Russian security services published a document on Sunday night indicating that Ukrainian bombings in southern Russia’s border regions (Belgorod, Bryansk, Kursk) “increased significantly” since early October, with 100 bombings affecting 08 localities and with one civilian dead.
The uc counteroffensive Raniana in September and the attacks at the beginning of this month reinforced criticism in the country, especially directed at the military and the Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, in addition to weakening the image of Putin.
The pressure on the Kremlin arises, above all, from the nationalists. Saturday’s attack was accompanied by renewed calls to “harden” the offensive in Ukraine, reinforcing the speech of the most radical that the operation “has not really started yet”.
One of the leaders of that group, Chechen Ramzan Kadyrov, was promoted by Putin to General of the Armed Forces last Wednesday (), after criticizing the country’s strategies and suggesting the use of nuclear weapons. Kadyrov met with a crowd of fighters (70 a thousand, according to him) on Friday ( )). They would be ready to leave for Ukraine.
Putin saw the explosion as a crossing of the red line, through “a terrorist attack” carried out by the Ukrainian secret service”. to the Kremlin, the president’s response would hardly be anything other than to attack the neighboring country more forcefully.