Military Expert: Ukraine Accustoming Kremlin To Fighting On Russian Territory

The talks about “red lines” have long lost all meaning.


Earlier this week, a UJ-22 Airborne drone went down in the suburbs of Moscow. The German publication Bild wrote that it could have been aimed at eliminating Putin.

Could Kyiv have really been planning such an operation?

The co-head of foreign policy and international security programmes of the Razumkov Centre, first assistant to the Ukrainian defence minister (2005-2008), military expert Oleksiy Melnyk answered this and other questions for the website.

– This version is too exaggerated. I am inclined to say that Ukraine is testing new drones of its own production, as well as modified ones based on civilian drones, under real conditions. To say that the target of this drone was Putin, however, seems to me to be out of the realm of science fiction.

– We are seeing more and more explosions on Russian territory. Can we say that this is already a strategy and not just isolated incidents?

– I would say that there is a definite moment of strategy in transferring combat operations to the territory of the Russian Federation.

Practically every drone incident gets media attention, but apart from them there are other events that for some reason are less interesting to the press. For example, reports from the local administration on shelling of border villages in the Belgorod region are coming in almost daily. In my opinion, this information is undeservedly neglected.

I am certain that Ukraine is not targeting civilian targets on Russian Federation territory. The enemy positions and troop concentrations near the Ukrainian border have been under fire for quite a long period of time. At the same time, the official Russian authorities are reacting rather poorly to all this. If we talk about strategy, these are attempts to accustom the Russian leadership gradually to the fact that Ukraine will attack military targets on Russian territory, and talk of “red lines” has long lost all meaning. This includes those warnings about some “extraordinary reaction” from Putin to military action on the illegally annexed peninsula of Crimea.

– Is there any real damage caused by such attacks or is it more of a psychological impact on the enemy?

– The psychological effect plays a secondary role here. But speaking of real losses, it is clear that Russia does not report on the effectiveness of these strikes. They use the standard cliché that there is destruction, but no casualties, and if there are, it is allegedly only of the civilian population. But once again, I repeat that the real targets for Ukrainian strikes are the positions from which the border regions and other Russian military facilities are shelled. Confirmations, although rare, indicate that there are casualties among the enemy’s manpower.


  1. That’s good news. Although shelling civilians targets in mafia land would be a righteous thing to do, destroying military ones is the more sensible one.

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