Russia Stepping Up 'Decapitation Strikes' - Belatedly Adds Zelensky to Criminal 'Wanted' List

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, May 05, 2024 - 01:35 AM

Days ago, for the first time Russian forces mounted a major air attack on the Ukrainian command's southern headquarters in the port city of Odessa. This suggests Moscow is increasingly targeting Ukraine's top command and control centers.

There's been another key development late in the week suggesting Russia is escalating in response to more and more weapons and billions pouring into Kiev from the West: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has just been added to a Russian government most-wanted list of criminals.

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It was revealed Saturday that Zelensky's name is now on the Russian Interior Ministry's "wanted" list, which is an important online database. 

The database lists Zelensky as wanted "under an article of the criminal code" but provides no other specifics or details. This designation comes after well over two years of war, so the question is: why now?

It seems the Kremlin is signaling a new escalation which could focus on 'decapitation strikes' targeting Ukraine's top leadership. Or else, is Russia establishing a legal ground for arresting him in some future scenario?

While command and intelligence HQ's have been hit by Russian airpower in the past, strikes have yet to directly target top-ranking civilian and military leadership. But it seems this is about to change.

President Putin has for years demonstrated that he is very law-oriented and 'by the book' - that is, he must have a legal basis or rationale for acting. So Zelensky now personally being designated as 'wanted' perhaps provides the 'rationale' in a sense, from the Kremlin's perspective.

The anti-Kremlin independent news outlet Moscow Times suggests this sets the stage for new plots to try and assassinate Zelensky

The Ukrainian President said last year he was aware that at least "five or six" assassination attempts against him had been foiled.

The day after sending troops into Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave an address to the nation in which he called on the Ukrainian army to overthrow Zelensky.

Russia has placed several foreign politicians and public figures on its wanted list, which has tens of thousands of entries.

As for Russia's unrelenting and recently stepped-up aerial campaign, it has continued to pummel and degrade Ukraine's energy infrastructure. This appears a tit-for-tat retaliation for Ukraine's own devastating cross-border attacks on Russian oil depots and refineries. 

A fresh Russian Defense Ministry (MoD) statement has outlined that "In the past 7 days, the Russian Armed Forces carried out 25 group strikes via precision weapons and drones, hitting Ukrainian energy and transportation infrastructure facilities and Ukrainian military-industrial complex enterprises."

"Between April 28 and May 4, in response to the Kiev regime’s attempts to inflict damage to Russian energy and industrial facilities, the Russian Armed Forces carried out 25 group strikes via precision weapons and drones, hitting Ukrainian energy and transportation infrastructure facilities, military-industrial complex enterprises, missile and ammunition storage areas, as well as unmanned speedboats and drone manufacturing workshops," the ministry said.

The MoD has also warned that any "mercenary" positions and also foreign military equipment will be specifically targeted. There are reports that Ukraine has had to pull back it US-supplied M1 Abrams tanks precisely because they make for such an attractive target.