Whilst contemplating Ukraine’s latest attack on Europe’s largest bridge, I was reminded of the October 12, 1984, IRA bombing of Brighton’s Grand Hotel. The bomb was intended to take out the British prime minister and her cabinet who were hotel guests during a Tory party conference.
Whilst four people were killed, Margaret Thatcher and the Tory Cabinet emerged shaken but unstirred. Many members of parliament said it was ‘miraculous’ that Prime Minister Thatcher and members of her cabinet survived.
The following day the Provisional IRA claimed responsibility and issued the comment: ‘Today we were unlucky but you need to be lucky always. We need to be lucky only once.’
This seems to be the sentiment expressed by the Kyiv regime after their July 17 attack on the Crimea Bridge by sea drones caused much less damage than that intended. The almost simultaneous drone raid on Moscow resulted in morale-boosting attention-grabbing international news but was otherwise of little or no consequence.
The Russian side – as might be expected – was quick to point out that Kyiv was striking at civilian rather than military structure. Kyiv’s retorted that these attacks brought the war closer for ordinary Russian citizens. Andriy Yusov, the spokesperson for Ukrainian military intelligence, told the Kyiv Post that the strikes exposed Moscow’s weak air defenses, something Ukraine intends to take advantage of. Not true, Russia’s advanced technology prevents the vast majority of drone attacks on its territory.
However, there can be no doubt about the effectiveness of air and seaborne drones and their role in modern warfare. Given NATO’s inability to match Russian superiority in advanced weapon production, Kyiv might be forgiven for thinking that drones are the secret weapon that could be a game changer. Russia’s swift and resolute response appears to concede this point.
Following the sea drone strike on the Crimea bridge, the Russian military launched a destructive long-range missile and suicide-drone blitz against Ukrainian military infrastructure, SBU HQ in Dnipro, fuel depots and weapon stockpiles, including sea drone production and storage facilities in Odessa and elsewhere.
Kyiv’s military complex in Ukraine’s last major Black Sea port was likely the origin of the attack on the bridge. The Biden Administration played a vital role in both recent attacks by providing Ukraine with the essential technology, US journalist Seymour Hersh reported on Thursday, citing a US official.
‘Of course, it was our technology,’ the US official was quoted as saying. ‘The drone was remotely guided and half submerged like a torpedo.’
When Hersh asked if there was any thought before the bridge attacks about the possibility of Russia’s retaliation, the official responded, ‘What will Putin do? We don’t think that far. Our national strategy is that Zelensky can do whatever he wants. There’s no adult supervision.’
There was speculation that the drones were launched from Odessa itself. The 722-kilometer complex route makes this highly unlikely. Tellingly, with immediate effect, Russia warned that ships of any flag approaching a Ukrainian port ‘will be regarded as potential carriers of military cargo.’
The Russians presume that the drones were launched from conventional ships masquerading as grain and permissible product carriers. Russian suspicions are well-founded: According to the FSB (Federal Security Service), inspectors found traces of explosives inside the ВМО River cargo hold and on one of its lifeboats. The suspicious compounds were identified as the explosive trinitrotoluene (TNT) and dinitro (DNT), which are used in TNT production.
The FSB assessed that the vessel ’may have been previously used to transport explosives to Ukrainian territory,’ based on the test results and its record of visiting the Ukrainian port of Reni in June and July. The ship was forthwith denied access to the Azov Sea and left Russian territorial waters, the Thursday statement said.
Earlier this week, the FSB reported turning away another Rostov-on-Don-bound ship sailing from Turkey after finding traces of explosives. The agency similarly claimed that the vessel may have been previously involved in smuggling weapons to Ukraine.
Who then is calling the shots, Russia or NATO-sponsored Ukraine? Russia is decades ahead in the production of space-age drones. These state-of-the-art weapons played a major part in Russian retaliation following the attacks on a Crimea arsenal and its bridge.
Over the past 18 months Russian defense enterprises have demonstrated that it is capable of developing, and in many cases fielding a range of weapons from a new generation of kamikaze UAVs to advanced anti-drone defenses, and smart systems featuring AI capabilities for drones and missiles.
‘We have witnessed, in the last 15 months the demolition of the American military mythology,’ Andrei Martyanov, a veteran Russian military analyst and best-selling author, told Sputnik’s New Rules podcast.
How does Western weapon technology stack up against their Russian counterparts? Martyanov suggested that they don’t have the ability to comprehend realities on the ground because they take their primary data from Kyiv, which falsifies it, and from ‘pseudo-academic shysters’ in US academia whose ‘only task is to rewrite and then reiterate what Russia is and what is history, especially of the 20th century, is, and sell it to the public and policymakers.’
Describing the West’s lack of weapon sophistication, the expert pointed out that most captured weapons were of little use other than as museum pieces.
‘The myth of Western superiority has been cruelly exposed,’ says Alastair Crook, a former British diplomat and ex-MI6 intelligence agent. ‘The failure of weapons systems that promised to bring dramatic changes. The failure of theory, the failure of real actions, sending Ukrainians in tanks to minefields.
‘Has anyone wondered what will happen if the Russians defeat us in Ukraine? What will be the consequences for the West? I doubt it. They just get down to business with great enthusiasm and their agenda. And the agenda is everything: ‘Oh, we are the West, we cannot lose.’
About the Author
Michael Walsh is the author of over 70 published book titles. He has also ghost-written (book edited) over 40 books, novels and biographies for writer clients. He offers professional help for writers: editing of website content, books, novels and marketing content. You write it HE rights it.
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