Gibraltar Messenger

Russia just changed the rules of the game

FROM THE WEST’S AWAKE – Over 100 missile and drone strikes across all cities and regions of Ukraine.

“If attempts to carry out terrorist attacks on our territory continue, Russia’s responses will be tough and equal, no one should have any doubts about this” – Vladimir Putin

For a number of hours this morning Kiev’s central underground system turned temporarily into a bomb shelter as residents fled from Russian air attacks on the city’s infrastructure. The war events of the last six weeks in the Russia – Ukraine conflict have now culminated with a massive Russian response in the early hours of this morning. Initial reports indicate Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin have started a campaign to target civilian energy, transport and communication infrastructure in all areas of Ukraine including the capital Kiev. It signals a significant change in the Russian approach to this war.

All European countries are now once again advising evacuation of embassy staff and citizens. Even the most western city of Lviv, near the Polish border has been hit multiple times this morning – with reports indicating that the city, like many others, is temporarily without electricity.

Yury Ignat, a spokesman for the Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has made the following statement:

“ Russia has launched at least 100 missile and drone strikes on the largest cities of Ukraine and almost all regional centers ”

A little reported incident that occurred last week, seems relevant now. Lost, as it was, in the western euphoria of apparent Ukrainian territorial advances in the east of the country. A small number of Russian drones managed to breach Ukrainian air defences and take out a military installation very close to Kiev. It seemed an odd singular act at the time. It now seems to have been the final Russian calibrations and testing of the Ukrainian air defence systems before this morning’s all-out strikes.

Multiple reports are emerging that the Russian attacks have been carried out by a combination of cruise missiles and these next generation, Iranian engineered, military grade drones that the Russian military has purchased in large stockpiles. Indeed, much of the NATO diplomatic pressure applied to the Tehran regime in recent weeks has been with a view to halting these drone supplies to Russia.

Key Ukrainian communications and infrastructure has been targeted and destroyed in the initial volleys of this attack. A list of some of these target is provided below. The destruction of energy infrastructure has already led to the formation of queues of cars – miles long – in Kiev as residents prepare for the inevitable fuel, heat, electricity and probable food shortages that await in the days and weeks ahead.

The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation released the following statement in the last hour:

Today the Russian armed forces carried out a massive strike with long-range high-precision weapons on the objects of military command and control systems, communications and energy infrastructure in Ukraine – the purpose of the strike was achieved, all designated objects were hit.

The question now becomes a new one. Will today’s attacks on countrywide infrastructure targets become a daily feature of the war?

Putin is due to chair a meeting of the Russian Security Council later today and I’m sure that the timing of these latest attacks is not coincidental. It is not known yet if he plans to formally address the Duma or indeed the Russian public as a result of this change in tactics and this new, expanded approach to the war in Ukraine.

Currently the list of cities in Ukraine badly affected by electricity outages are as follows:

Lviv, Zhitomir, Sumy, Kharkiv, Khmelnitsky, Poltava, Ternopl, Lutsk, Rivne

Russian strikes on important infrastructure:

– EU Advisory Mission (Kiev)

– Department of law enforcement agencies (Kiev)

– Glavk SBU (Kiev)

– CHPP-5 (Kiev)

– CHPP-6 (Kiev)

– Lviv CHP (Lviv)

– Burshtynska TPP (Ivano-Frankivsk region)

Incidentally, one rocket targeted the warehouse of the Ukrainian cosmetic brand Lamel. Obviously, the company celebrated a little too excitedly, on social media, about the Ukrainian attack on the Crimean bridge last weekend for Russian tastes. I bring it up because it is a sign, perhaps, that Russian intelligence is monitoring very carefully the output of companies and people across the various western media platforms.

Now, you won’t hear this from western media sources but critics of the Kremlin in Russia have been complaining that Putin’s response to the Ukrainian counter-offensive in Eastern Ukraine has been far too lacklustre. In addition, Russian media have been somewhat openly criticizing the Kremlin for showing too much restraint in response to the sabotage of the Nordstrom pipelines and Ukrainian advances into the Kharkov region and others, over the last couple of weeks. However, it would seem that the attempted take-down of the Russia-Crimea land bridge last weekend, by as yet unconfirmed elements of the Ukrainian security services was the straw the broke the camel’s back and triggered today’s fearsome response.

As I have suspected since the Nordstrom sabotage, this war has been threatening to kick off onto an even more sinister level. Today, it did just that. Surely, at some point soon, an adult in the room will stand up and shout peace. Yet, even as I type – the EU speak only of more sanctions. If this attitude doesn’t change I’m afraid we will wake up to many more mornings such as this one. Earlier, Russian Army General S.V. Surovikin left no-one in NATO in any doubt about what morning’s like that will look like:

“For the enemies of Russia, the morning does not start with coffee.”

Troubling times ahead. Very troubling indeed.

Source: The West’s Awake – Russia just changed the rules of the game.

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