Russia today accused saboteurs from Ukraine of crossing into Russian territory to fire on villages there. Little is known about the attack that supposedly occurred in the Bryansk region of Russia, though the regional governor there has asserted that two civilians were killed in the attack. President Putin of Russia blamed Ukraine for the attack and called them terrorists. Further, the Russian president asserted that the attack confirmed that the invasion of Ukraine against the “neo-Nazis” there was justified and that his country will not stop until the entire state is denazified.
For their part, Ukraine has denied these allegations and asserted this may be the latest attempt by Russia to justify increasing its attacks against Ukraine. It has even been asserted that Russia is now also attempting to scare its own people in order to further justify the war in Ukraine, as well as the costs that have been inflicted on the general population of Russia following the sanctions levied against it. There is some potential precedent for this thinking. Attacks on Russian citizens in the form of a number of bombings were used in the past to justify an invasion of Chechnya when President Putin first rose to power. Officially the attacks were blamed on Chechen terrorists, but significant suspicion remains that the Russian security services were themselves behind the attacks. Whether or not similar circumstances underlay the attack in Bryansk, it is quite possible this latest incident will be used by the Russian regime to increase the mobilization of resources and manpower for the war in Ukraine.
The United States, meanwhile, has continued to signal to Russia that it would continue supporting Ukraine so long as the war lasts. Indeed, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken briefly met with his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, to assert that support for Ukraine was not wavering. Whether or not this statement of continued commitment to supporting Ukraine has an impact on how Russia reacts to this incident in Bryansk remains to be seen.
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