Ukraine's Drone Strikes Against Russian Oil Refineries Complicate Biden's Re-Election Bid

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Friday, Apr 12, 2024 - 03:45 AM

Authored by Andrew Korybko via Substack,

CNN published a detailed piece on Tuesday about howUkraine’s AI-enabled drones are trying to disrupt Russia’s energy industry. So far, it’s working”. Although an unnamed source close to the program told them that “The flights are determined in advance with our allies, and the aircraft follow the flight plan to enable us to strike targets with meters of precision”, there are reasons to believe that the US is against these sorts of attacks. Not least among them is what CNN itself reported in that same piece.

According to them, “Ukrainian strikes on refineries have caused global oil prices to rise, with Brent crude up nearly 13% this year, leaving politicians in the United States worried about their potential economic impact in an important election year.” They also cited an expert who claimed, “That was the deal with Ukraine: We will give you money, we will give you weapons, but stay away from the export facility, stay away from Russian energy, because we don’t want a massive energy crisis.”

That individual added in reference to the Congressional deadlock on Ukraine aid that “If they’re not getting the weapons and money that they were promised, what is their incentive to abide by that deal with Washington?” This aligns with what Zelensky himself hinted in an interview with the Washington Post late last month when he revealed that “The reaction of the US was not positive on [us attacking Russian oil refineries]…(but) We used our drones. Nobody can say to us you can’t.”

Secretary of State Blinken echoed that sentiment in a joint press conference with his French counterpart on Tuesday when he said in response to a question about these oil refinery strikes that “we have neither supported nor enabled strikes by Ukraine outside of its territory.” He was asked about this after a Ukrainian drone strike targeted Russia’s third-largest refinery in the Republic of Tatarstan, which is located in the country’s heartland a full 800 miles away from the front lines.

When reflecting on Blinken’s statement, CNN’s report, and Zelensky’s earlier words, it certainly appears to be the case that the US doesn’t want Ukraine striking Russian oil refineries out of fear that the massive energy crisis that this could catalyze would capsize Biden’s re-election bid.

If that’s indeed its position, then it raises the question of which allies are determining the flight paths of these drones and why Zelensky would risk Trump returning to power when he’s much less pro-Ukrainian than Biden is.

It might very well be the case that there are divisions emerging within NATO over these strikes exactly as RT editorialized when drawing attention to how Blinken’s French counterpart seemed to support the latest attacks in his response to the question that they were asked during Tuesday’s press conference. France might therefore be providing this sort of assistance, which could also be complemented by the UK’s and other countries’ complementary contributions, whether on their own or as part of a joint effort.

As for why Zelensky would want to rankle Biden and risk Trump’s return, he might have a “god complex” after being promoted so heavily as a Churchillian leader over the past two years, which could have become part of his identity despite the media souring on him since last summer. In his mind, Biden will do his bidding in somehow getting the Republicans to approve more Ukraine aid under pain of him unleashing a massive energy crisis by taking out more of Russia’s refining and export capabilities.

Biden would have already gotten the Republicans to do this if he was able to so it’s delusional for Zelensky to imagine that holding his re-election bid hostage will make a positive difference. If anything, wider awareness his thuggish tactics among the Republicans could further solidify their resistance to approving more Ukraine aid since Zelensky isn’t just holding Biden’s re-election bid hostage, but the entire American economy as well and therefore also threatening the US’ objective national interests.

Should he authorize a series of strikes that catalyzes the massive energy crisis that the Biden Administration fears, then the most hawkish anti-Russian deep state faction that’s responsible for artificially perpetuating this conflict might lose the influence that it exerts over policymakers. Their comparatively less hawkish rivals could replace their dominant role in that scenario and possibly convince the Biden Administration to finally agree to a pragmatic compromise for ending the conflict.

Zelensky’s decision to hold Biden’s re-election bid hostage by threatening to unleash a massive economic crisis as revenge for the Congressional deadlock on Ukraine aid might be his downfall. He’s not only biting the hand that feeds his regime on the taxpayers’ dime but also threatening the US’ objective national interests.

The desperation that his forces feel on the battlefield is driving him to “go rogue”, but his patrons might soon tire of this and decide to replace him after his term expires on 21 May.