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Putin Launches Terrorist Attack On Ukrainian Cities – OpEd

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Having declared that the blowing up of part of the Kerch Bridge was an act of terrorism even through such transportation infrastructure is a legitimate military target in tine of war, Vladimir Putin has launched a genuine terrorist missile attack on civilian targets in Kyiv and five other Ukrainian cities. 

The Kremlin leader has done so in his own words as a response to the Kerch Bridge explosions, clearly confident that the international media will follow his line and link the two together, ignoring just how different military and civilian targets are, a confidence that appears justified in coverage so far.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked Ukrainians to remain in shelters because ‘we ae dealing with terrorists” who are “seeking to sow panic and chaos and want to destroy our energy system” as well as our people. That the people were targets is beyond doubt given that the time chosen for the attacks put the largest number at risk (graniru.org/War/m.286281.html).

His defense minister, Aleksey Reznikov, expressed confidence that this murderous terrorist attack will not shake the resolve either or Ukrainians or of our allies. “The only thing it will destroy without any possibility of recovery is the future of the Russian Federation, which will now be seen throughout the world as a terrorist outlaw.” 

Reports about the destruction the Russian attacks, using in at least some cases weapons from another terrorist state, Iran, are still coming in; but the numbers of civilian facilities destroyed and of Ukrainians killed and wounded are already rising. For that reason, if for no other, no suggestion of a false equivalency with the attack on the bridge should appear.

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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