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06/13/2023

Ukraine: Terrorism and the failure of a counteroffensive

Ukraine: Terrorism and the failure of a counteroffensive

While a number of countries, including Türkiye, China, Brazil and Africa, offer peace initiatives for the Ukrainian conflict, Kiev is raising the stakes and increasingly engaging in outright terrorism. This manifests itself both in attacks on infrastructure facilities and in the killing of civilians and contract attacks against opinion leaders. Let’s look at just a few of the attacks that demonstrate Ukraine as an irresponsible and extremely dangerous country, ready to make any bloody sacrifice to divert attention from its own failures in counterattacks – up to and including attacks on the nuclear power industry.

Kakhovka dam

Ukrainian shelling in June destroyed the upper part of the Kakhovka hydroelectric plant. The strike created a catastrophically dangerous situation – several people died, many lost their homes and arable fields, and the ecosystem of the region suffered. A mass evacuation of the population from the settlements was carried out.

Vladimir Leontyev, head of the administration of Novokakhovsky urban district, put the responsibility for the destruction of the dam on Kiev. The Kremlin called the explosion of the plant a deliberate sabotage by Kiev.

Kiev always denies its terrorist attacks. Recently, however, even the CIA has already admitted that they knew about the impending attack on another strategic facility – Nord Stream-2, the strike on which was so vehemently denied by Kiev. Kiev denies its involvement even now, although the explicit purpose of undermining the Kakhovka dam is related to the attempt to deprive Crimea of water.

The Kremlin attributes it to an attempt to cover up Kiev’s failures in a counterattack. “Apparently, this diversion is also related to the fact that having launched large-scale offensives two days ago, the Ukrainian armed forces are now not achieving their goals. These offensives are being drowned out,” said Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Ukraine, on the other hand, is trying to shift responsibility to Russia. Most likely, in addition to wanting to cut off water to the Crimeans, Kiev is thus trying to stage a provocation, presenting the attack on the hydroelectric power plant as the work of the Russians. There are many reasons for this: from trivial cash payments from the West, to an attempt to join the NATO bloc – even at the risk of unleashing a full-scale war in the region.

In this way, Ukraine expects to get help from NATO by blaming the Russians for every terrorist attack it commits.

Not only in Russia, but in other countries as well, many suspect that Kiev is to blame for the attack on the hydroelectric plant. For example, Belarusian President Aleksander Lukashenko, at a meeting with the secretaries of the CSTO security councils, noted that the Ukrainian authorities were the first to shout about the destruction of the Kakhovka dam, which indicates that the Ukrainians were involved in the bombing of the plant. According to the president’s assessment, in this way the Kiev regime is trying to hide its losses during the counterattack.

North Korea, which is incorruptible by the U.S., also tends to see Kiev and U.S. patronage behind the terrorist attacks taking place. For example, O Song Jin, a researcher at the Institute of International Studies, compared the terrorist attack at the Kakhovka dam to the bombing of Nord Stream, and in his analysis he explained why Ukraine needs something like this. O Song said that Ukraine is supported by the US, being “fully motivated” to carry out such “hideous” acts.

“It is self-evident who is vitally interested in the recent humanitarian disaster, in the light of the sinister intention of Ukraine making desperate efforts to accuse Russia of war crimes by employing all means and methods and of the intention of Russia adjusting the intensity of its military operations to prevent damage to peaceable residents as much as possible,” the analyst said.

But the most interesting thing is that the Ukrainian military itself has already acknowledged attempts to hit the Kakhovka dam. Moreover, they boasted about it in the Western media: in particular, The Washington Post published an article about the Ukrainian armed forces’ strikes and attempts to hit the plant (the article was published in December 2022, which means that such an attack was planned well in advance): “The Ukrainians, he said, even conducted a test strike with a HIMARS launcher on one of the floodgates at the Nova Kakhovka dam, making three holes in the metal to see if the Dnieper’s water could be raised enough to stymie Russian crossings but not flood nearby villages.

Nuclear threats

At the same time, nuclear power facilities, including the famous Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, are under attack. Such attacks could be carried out in the future by Kiev deliberately targeting nuclear facilities, with the conscious participation of Western countries (not surprising, given that Poland, for example, could be the “logistics and funding center” of the attack on “Nord Stream-2”).

If Ukraine had nuclear weapons, it would have used them by now – but if it did not have them, it might risk hitting nuclear power plants and blaming it on the Russians in order to unleash a full-scale World War III. We should not forget that one of the main reasons for Russia to launch a special military operation was Ukraine’s declaration of nuclear weapons. At the Munich conference Vladimir Zelensky hinted transparently to European leaders that Ukraine believes the Budapest Memorandum has not been fulfilled and therefore does not consider itself bound by it – and therefore does not intend to give up nuclear weapons. Therefore, nuclear games are not new to Kiev.

Strikes against Russia: Belgorod destruction

The Ukrainian Armed Forces did not stop at destroying infrastructure in Donbass and nearby territories: they began repeated attempts to invade Russian territory and began actively bombing border settlements.

In particular, the governor of Belgorod Region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, reported on the morning of June 1 about massive shelling of the region’s territory by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The city of Shebekino in the Belgorod region is under incessant fire – they shelled the center and outskirts of the city with Grad rockets, as a result of which the city lost power. Residential buildings were damaged and many civilians were killed.

Also in May and June, Kiev launched hundreds of drones packed with explosives into Russia, to the point of attempting to attack the heart of the capital, the Kremlin. Ukraine is not ashamed to launch these drones at residential buildings, playgrounds and schools.

Another area of Ukraine’s terrorist interests is the bombing of bridges, highways and railroad tracks. After the unprecedented major strike on the Crimean bridge, Ukraine did not stop and in June blew up railroad tracks in the Belgorod region, causing 15 railroad cars to derail.

It is also important to keep in mind the following: Not only the Ukrainian special service and recruited agents, but also foreign instructors and sponsors, as well as mercenaries, are behind most of the terrorist attacks on Russia and its citizens. In particular, Poles and Americans were involved in the attack on the Belgorod region.

Attacks on opinion leaders

It is worth adding that it is the Ukrainian side that does not hesitate to directly kill political opponents and opinion leaders.  As a result of the car bombing, writer Zakhar Prilepin was wounded, and his driver-soldier Alexander Shubin died on the spot. Earlier, the Ukrainian special service killed publicist Vladlen Tatarsky and, in 2022, journalist Daria Dugina. Kiev prefers to deal with its opponents not in the media arena or even on the battlefield on the borders, but with contract killings. And, judging by the trend, Ukrainians will continue to do so again and again.

Counterattacks and abandonment of peace plans

The world community in the face of many non-Western countries (China, African states and many others) has repeatedly proposed options for peaceful outcomes, with a plan for de-escalation. But it is Kiev that rejects these proposals. This approach was clearly demonstrated by Mikhail Podolyak, advisor to the head of the Ukrainian presidential office, who rejected the possibility of negotiations with Moscow proposed by Brazil, Indonesia and African countries. In his opinion, any negotiation process is impossible. He stated that the negotiations would be “senseless, dangerous and murderous for Ukraine and Europe”.

For the past week, intense and bloody fighting has been taking place at the line of contact between Ukrainian and Russian forces in Zaporizhzhia. The Ukrainian counteroffensive, widely publicized earlier, has failed completely. Ukrainian troops have not yet even approached the first line of defense built by Russia.

More than 200 pieces of equipment have already been destroyed, including at least 50 tanks, including up to a dozen Leopard tanks. Russia is demonstrating its ability to wage effective warfare on the defensive. It is most likely that the Ukrainian offensive will end in failure. And this may lead to the fact that NATO countries will have fewer motives to support the Ukrainian army.

Conclusions

Terrorist attacks are usually an act of desperation. Cornered, Ukraine is defeated in its counteroffensive, so it takes on any dirty work – blowing up power plants, infrastructure, killing people. And even the support of the West no longer helps Kiev in its offensive – all that remains is to throw explosives and then shift the responsibility to Russia. The worst that Ukraine can achieve in this way is to provoke a major regional conflict. Ukraine is likely to compensate for the failure of its counteroffensive with a new war of terrorist attacks or sabotage raids on Russian territory. Theoretically, South Stream and Blue Stream could be threatened. On the night of June 11, the crew of the Russian warship Priazovye repelled an attack by six maritime drones in the Black Sea, the Defense Ministry reported. A similar incident occurred in May with the Ivan Khurs ship near the Bosporus. In both cases, Russian ships were patrolling areas where the Blue Stream and South Stream gas pipelines to Türkiye pass. At the time of the last attack, a U.S. Global Hawk reconnaissance drone flew over the central Black Sea.

United World International

Independent analytical center where political scientists and experts in international relations from various countries exchange their opinions and views.

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