The raid was undertaken from Ukrainian territory, i.e. from the territory of the country that Russia attacked as part of a so-called special military operation. It is therefore surprising that it left the mutual border unsecured.
Whether it is bogusness, when the Russian generals think that some Ukrainians cannot attack in the area, or the result of efforts to find even more soldiers who could be deployed in tough battles in the Donbass even at the cost of weakening the border protection, it is for Vladimir Putin unpleasantly.
The Russians were caught off guard. The border with the country at war should not be as porous as emmental. It is completely impossible to prevent the launch of individual drones or the infiltration of enemy special forces. However, in the Belgorod region, it was not a small diversionary group, but a rather large group of dozens of people with several Humvees and a few heavier mine-resistant vehicles.
In Russia, the attack fueled speculation that its military is not as strong as it claims to be. Much has already been suggested by the attacks by old Soviet Tu-141 drones on the airfield of the Russian long-range air force, which failed to be shot down during a flight several hundred kilometers long.
It is more ammunition for critics of the Russian military’s performance. For example, the owner of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has already made it clear that the management is not interested in the residents of the Belgorod region.
“Sabotage and diversion and reconnaissance forces will calmly enter Russia, move here, shoot videos, drive their tanks and infantry fighting vehicles. Where is the guarantee that they won’t go all the way to Moscow?” he asked, calling on Russian elites to send their sons to the front. He warned that otherwise everything could end in a revolution like in 1917.
The fact that someone had to arm the legion and the volunteer corps does not change the impact of the event. Heavy equipment is not bought at car dealerships, even if their representatives try to claim it. They may be concerned in Washington because American vehicles were used in the event.
Moscow has already expressed its outrage, taking it as confirmation of US involvement in the conflict, but even that will not help it sweep the weakness in border protection under the rug.
If the Kremlin leadership does not point to the culprits, does not remove the people responsible, it will necessarily face accusations of weakness. The circle around Putin is shrinking and it is only a matter of time before the Russian president will also face criticism.
On the contrary, the event strengthened the position of Russian emigrant Ilya Ponomaryev, who has been living in Kyiv since 2016 and seeks to depose Putin by force. It seemed like a crazy dream wandering outside of reality, but it turns out that Russia is far from as strong and powerful as it thought. This is an action of a different kind than the assassination of Darja Duginová.
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