Russia has the right as a self-respecting state to respond to this US-ordered threat against its leader however it feels is most aligned with its objective national interests. Its policymakers, who obviously have much more information available to them than the public does, know how best to achieve this. Whatever they end up agreeing to do should be seen as a response to the latest unprecedented US provocation, however, thus making America fully responsible for it.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN the following on Thursday in response to a question about alleged American culpability in Tuesday night’s attempted assassination of President Putin:
“Undoubtedly. Such decisions, the definition of goals, the definition of means — all this is dictated to Kiev from Washington. We are well aware of this.
We are well aware that decisions on such actions and such terrorist attacks are not made in Kyiv, but in Washington. And Kiev is already executing what it is told to do. Such attempts to disown this both in Kyiv and in Washington are, of course, absolutely ridiculous.
We know that it is often not even Kiev who determines the goals themselves, they are determined in Washington, and then these goals are brought to Kiev so that Kiev fulfils [those tasks]. Not every time Kiev is given the right to choose the means, this is also often ordered from across the ocean.
Washington must clearly understand that we know this.”
His words should be taken seriously since it’s no small matter that Russia just officially accused the US of plotting President Putin’s assassination.
This doesn’t mean that it’ll reciprocally try to kill Biden via some proxy, but just that it’s now absolutely impossible for there to ever be any restoration of their prior relations after the US just crossed the proverbial Rubicon by ordering Kiev to carry out Tuesday night’s audacious drone attack. Thus far, there seemed to be an unspoken code of conduct in place between all participants in the NATO-Russian proxy war to not target each other’s leaders, ergo why Zelensky could freely visit the front lines so many times.
It remains uncertain whether he knew about what his side was plotting against President Putin or if one of Kiev’s “deep state” factions ordered this behind his back as part of a power play against him. Either scenario remains credible since his surprise trip to the EU at the time of this attempted assassination suggests that he either knew about it ahead of time and wanted to avoid being targeted in response or that someone knew his schedule and wanted Russia to think that he was fleeing to safety ahead of time.
In any case, the Kremlin’s declaration that it reserves the right to retaliate “anywhere and anytime it deems necessary” might make Zelensky reluctant to put himself in harm’s way like before after Moscow seemingly no longer recognizes their unspoken code of conduct that it believes Kiev and the US broke. That said, his potential appearance at the front lines sometime in the coming future without any attempt being made against his life during that time might make those two think that the Kremlin was bluffing.
Of course, it could also be that Russia wants to lull the Ukrainian leader into a false sense of security, but sometimes the most likely answer is the least convoluted one per the principle of Occam’s razor. Moving along, Russia’s unprecedented threat perception of the US is expected to manifest itself in the diplomatic and military spheres, which could take the form of Moscow putting itself on the opposite side of Washington in most crises with few exceptions and being reluctant to coordinate on any security issues.
About the first, Russia might not openly support the opposite side of whatever crisis it might be, but it should be taken for granted that most major incidents across the world will at the very least be indirectly connected to their New Cold War competition going forward. As for the second, recent reports prior to this week’s assassination attempt already suggested that their de-confliction mechanism in Syria is breaking down, just like last year’s Ukrainian peace talks and the global arms control regime before then.
Regarding those last security-related issues, Russia would regard the US’ involvement (whether direct or indirect) in any possible resumption of the former very cynically while tacitly believing that there no longer exists any trust upon which to build a dialogue for extending the New START after its expiry. The combined effect of these diplomatic and military consequences stemming from Russia’s allegation of the US’ complicity in this week’s attempted assassination of President Putin will lead to further uncertainty.
To be perfectly clear, however, Russia has the right as a self-respecting state to respond to this US-ordered threat against its leader however it feels is most aligned with its objective national interests. Its policymakers, who obviously have much more information available to them than the public does, know how best to achieve this. Whatever they end up agreeing to do should be seen as a response to the latest unprecedented US provocation, however, thus making America fully responsible for it.
Nobody can say for sure what Russia will ultimately do, but there shouldn’t be any doubt that this week’s assassination attempt against President Putin represents a pivotal point in bilateral relations with the US, which will in turn prompt some sort of response at a time and place of its choosing exactly as it declared. Nevertheless, it’s extremely unlikely that this will take the form of any reciprocal assassination attempt against Biden, so nobody has any reason to panic about World War III.
Source: the author’s blog