It is difficult to overstate the importance of this moment.
As the icons go, badminton Kerch Linking mainland Russia to the illegally annexed Crimea is tantamount to throwing two fingers at Vladimir Putin and his territorial invaders. The day after his 70th birthday, which the world of Ukraine’s memoirs is enjoying very much.
It’s like a blow of lost prestige Battleship Moscow in March – despite the fact that memorable images of this bridge engulfed in flames have reverberated in the Russian media that will make this attack replay to the public in the way that Moscow’s defeat did. not occur.
It could also be a turning point because, from Russia’s point of view, it requires a response. After all, this is Crimea. That’s where Russians vacationed in Soviet times and where, since 2014, they vacation now. It holds a special place in the hearts of many Russians, which is why annexation has become so popular.
Margarita Simonyan, head of state RT whose only career these days seems to be emerging on the talkshow circuit, said just one word on her telegram channel this morning: “And?”
Vladimir Putin has some decisions to make.
His troops are retreating on the battlefield. First the stunning Ukrainian victory around Kharkiv, then the exploration around Kherson, now the Kerch Bridge.
This attack shows that Ukraine’s intention to retake Crimea is right, which is still a distant ambition so far but one Volodomyr Zelenskyy has made it clear that he intends to realize and this is starting to appear. a little less far-fetched.
The calls from across Russia’s patriotic establishment grew louder.
“Special military operation is END. It’s time to FIGHT,” staunch lawmaker Sergei Mironov wrote on Twitter. “There’s no way back!”
But what does Putin do? The mobilization of a division did not go down well in Russia and may only last longer than win him the war.
Total mobilization and declaration of war would be less common and repeated, might not make a difference in reversing his destiny – despite calling it and imposing some This kind of martial law, at least around the border areas, could feign to deal with what Russia sees as Ukraine’s “terrorist threat”.
So then he’s left with his worse choices.
As the US President said on Friday, with his military “significantly underperforming”, Vladimir Putin can use nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.
He may decide to target Kyiv. He could take steps that would actually risk a broader outbreak.
He is being raised domestically, he – or at least his defense secretary – is under domestic criticism, and he has little way out of the terrible quagmire he has dug himself in the land. next-door neighbor’s territory.
It won’t end well.