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The Two Drone Attacks Against Pskov Are Desperate Attempts To Provoke A Russia-NATO War
The importance of Russia’s calm and measured reaction to the latest drone attacks against Pskov can’t be overemphasized since it’s only through this mature response that the conflict didn’t spiral out of control like the US’ liberal-globalists, Kiev, the Baltic States, and Poland expected.
The northwestern Russian city of Pskov was attacked by drones twice the week. The first incident reportedly damaged an Il-76 military transport aircraft per Sputnik’s report here citing the regional headquarters of the Ministry of Emergency Situations while the second was stopped outside the city. Pskov’s proximity to NATO members Estonia and Latvia prompted speculation that the attacks were launched from that anti-Russian bloc.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday that “It is also clear that Ukrainian drones could not travel such a distance without a carefully planned route based on information obtained from Western satellites”, suggesting that they were launched from Ukraine and not the Baltic States. The next day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the “routes [of drone attacks] are being clarified, how this was done is being analyzed”. As can be seen, neither official jumped to conclusions about this.
In any case, the two drone attacks against Pskov are very dangerous precisely because of the possibility that they might have been launched from NATO territory. If they indeed were, then it represents an unprecedented escalation of the NATO-Russian proxy war that risks turning their indirect conflict in Ukraine into a hot war between one another. There’s also the chance, however, that these Baltic-originating anti-Russian drone attacks could have been carried out by non-state actors for that purpose.
If there’s any truth to either scenario, though no evidence has yet to emerge from the Russian side to suggest that there is, then it means that Moscow is exercising a saintly degree of patience by not responding reciprocally or asymmetrically. Although this approach would be predicated on avoiding a larger war that could end the world, “doom & gloom” conspiracy theorists like those that channel Igor Girkin’s views might claim that the Kremlin either “sold out” to the West or is “too weak” to confront it.
On the other hand, it might very well be that these attacks were launched from Ukraine with the assistance of Western satellites exactly as Zakharova claimed. In that event, it’s still a dangerous escalation, but short of the previously mentioned possibility that these drones came from the Baltic States. Regardless of whatever version of events one subscribes to, they both involve two drone attacks against Pskov over the past week, and this is very concerning due to the city’s proximity to NATO.
The preceding observation therefore strongly suggests that Pskov was targeted for psychological reasons that will now be discussed. The New York Times reported in late August that “Ukraine’s Drone Strikes Against Russia Are a Message for Its Own People” to boost morale by showing that it can strike back. This was followed by The Economist claiming that “The headline-making strikes on Moscow are intended to have a psychological impact, bringing ordinary Russians closer to the reality of war.”
The latest attacks against Pskov served to advance these psychological goals, but there are two others that they sought to achieve as well. By targeting that NATO-adjacent city, the US and Ukraine also wanted to discredit Russia in the eyes of its so-called “turbo-patriots” by manipulating their perceptions along the lines that were earlier described regarding Girkin-influenced narratives. Supplementarily but much less likely to succeed, they could have wanted to provoke an overreaction from Russia too.
Regarding the first of these additional psychological reasons, it’s self-explanatory why Russia’s enemies want to externally exacerbate preexisting differences between an increasingly vocal segment of society and the state. As for the second, it would predictably be spun as “unprovoked aggression against NATO”, with the consequences being to justify that bloc escalating matters further and/or delaying the resumption of peace talks.
The aforementioned motivations aren’t exclusively the US’ or Ukraine’s, or to be more specific, the motivations of the US’ liberal-globalist policymaking faction that believes in prioritizing Russia’s containment over China’s and is nowadays competing with their pragmatic rivals to stay the course. Poland and the Baltic States also want to escalate the NATO-Russian proxy war for ideological reasons related to their leaderships’ deeply rooted Russophobia and also to sabotage peace talks.
As the conflict moves closer towards what appears to be the inevitable resumption of these talks by year’s end or sometime early next year following the failure of Kiev’s counteroffensive and resultant US-Ukrainian blame game, those four countries fear that they’ll be left in the lurch and possibly “sold out”. It doesn’t matter whether one agrees or disagrees with their perspective since all that’s important is that it’s the paradigm through which they’re formulating policy towards this proxy war.
With this in mind, it can’t be ruled out that at least some of the drones might have been launched from the Baltic States, whether unilaterally by their own armed forces without US approval, in collusion with the US’ subversive liberal-globalist faction, or by state-aligned but formally non-state actors. All of them want to complicate the path towards peace by provoking an escalation in the proxy war, even if it leads to a NATO-Russian hot war, but they’re unable to succeed so long as Moscow doesn’t bite the bait.
The importance of Russia’s calm and measured reaction to the latest drone attacks against Pskov therefore can’t be overemphasized since it’s only through this mature response that the conflict didn’t spiral out of control like the US’ liberal-globalists, Kiev, the Baltic States, and Poland expected. The exact truth of what transpired might never be fully revealed, but nevertheless, everyone should still appreciate that the proxy war’s dynamics remain comparatively stable and on the trajectory towards peace.