Ukrainian terrorist drone attacks a “morale booster” – Western media
Unable to fight on the battlefield, Kiev’s armed forces launch drone strikes to show strength and capability to respond.
Lucas Leiroz, journalist, researcher at the Center for Geostrategic Studies, geopolitical consultant.
According to Western media, Kiev is launching drone strikes against Moscow to “boost morale“. Unable to counterattack effectively, the Ukrainian army is using a terrorist drone strategy to simply make it look like they are able to respond and keep fighting. This shows despair on the part of the Kiev regime’s forces and at the same time makes it clear how the western media normalizes terrorism.
On August 25, the New York Times published an article stating that the recent wave of drone strikes against the Russian Federation “is intended to demonstrate to the Ukrainian public that Kyiv can still strike back, especially as the counteroffensive against entrenched Russian troops moves slowly”. In another moment of the text, it is emphasized that the attacks are not “symbolic”, but “are meant to give heart to Ukrainians who may be anxious about the slow progress of the counteroffensive, buying time for Mr. Zelensky and his forces in the coming weeks.”
In an interview with journalists from the New York Times, Andrey Yusov, a spokesman for Ukraine’s military intelligence service, assured that the attacks will continue and also stated that one of the objectives is to show the Russian population that the war is also happening in Moscow and affecting ordinary people in big Russian cities.
“Russian elites and ordinary Russians now understand that war is not somewhere far away on the territory of Ukraine, which they hate (…) War is also in Moscow, it’s already on their territory”, he said.
In the article it is also said, citing the opinion of several experts, that Ukrainians are simply struggling with what they still have in their current circumstances. The sources consulted by the author of the text do not believe that there is a great strategic objective behind the attacks, being only a way of “boosting morale”, showing strength and bringing a situation of danger into Russia’s demilitarized territory. In other words, the article normalizes Ukrainian terrorist tactics, describing them as if they were a mere matter of military strategy, rather than illegal attacks on civilians, banned under international law.
The article also ignores the possibility of an escalation of the conflict. It is said that, despite previous US warnings about the risks of intense Russian attacks in response to Ukrainian strikes, Kiev’s use of drones has been “calibrated”, avoiding escalations. Furthermore, Ukrainian sources believe that the Russians are unable to respond on an escalatory way, given that Moscow is already using its maximum artillery, drone capacity on the battlefield.
“Earlier in the war, U.S. officials had warned of the possibility that Ukrainian drone strikes on Moscow could prove escalatory, giving Mr. Putin an excuse to intensify Russian attacks on civilian targets. But U.S. officials conceded that attempted Ukrainian strikes had so far been calibrated, and they had not provoked any drastic escalation by Moscow. Ukrainian officials said the drone strikes posed little risk of escalation because Russia could not further intensify its fight given that it was already firing as many missiles and drones at Ukraine as it could”, the article reads.
Obviously, this kind of rhetoric sounds merely propagandistic and without any material proof. The Russians are using only a small percentage of their military capacity on the special operation. Moscow’s artillery attacks are intense and constant because the Russian military avoids losing soldiers on the battlefield by using as much long-range technology as possible to prevent lives being lost needlessly in prolonged infantry attrition situations.
However, as already stated by several military experts, the Russians could do much more than they are actually doing. There is clearly a Russian intention to avoid major escalations, which serves some strategic objectives, such as the possibility of destroying as much western military equipment as possible on the battlefield, causing prolonged damage to Moscow’s actual enemies – which are NATO countries, not the Ukrainian proxy.
In addition, there is the simple Russian diplomatic willingness to give opportunities for Ukrainians to sovereignly choose to stop fighting for the West. Russia sees the conflict as friction between brotherly peoples, which motivates it to avoid causing heavy losses on the enemy side.
It must also be remembered that Russia has been efficient in ensuring the safety of its civilians, neutralizing in time most of the enemy drone attacks. Using air artillery and electronic warfare techniques, Moscow has shot down or diverted several Ukrainian drones that entered its airspace, avoiding civilian casualties. The absence of these casualties is fundamental for Moscow to continue avoiding appropriate responses, since in an eventual scenario of many civilian deaths it would be inevitable to strike back.
However, the more Ukraine insists on a terrorist practice, the greater the chances of Russian patience running out and Kiev facing a wave of bombings much more intense than that which has been seen so far. And then the Ukrainian strategy of showing strength, boosting morale and “buying time” will absolutely fail.