US-Russia On Verge Of "Open Armed Conflict" After Kremlin Drone Attack: Foreign Ministry

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, May 05, 2023 - 09:20 PM

On Friday the highest ranking Russian official thus far to have issued a statement on the Wednesday drone attack which targeted Kremlin buildings which house President Vladimir Putin's offices said that the drone operation out of Ukraine was impossible without US foreknowledge

"It's clear that without the knowledge of their minders, the terrorists from Kyiv could not have carried out (the attack)," Lavrov said while on a trip to India, in reference to Washington.

Image: AP

He followed with: "We will respond with concrete actions." The statements came the day after Putin press spokesman Peskov said such decisions are not "made in Kiev, but in Washington." He asserted that Ukraine is "doing what it is told to do by the US."

While the Biden administration has quickly rejected these accusations, and has downplayed the significance of the whole incident, which Russia called an "terroristic" attempted assassination of a sitting head of state, there's been a flurry of maximalist and fierce statements from various sectors of the Russian government. 

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said simultaneous to Lavrov's remarks on Friday that US-Russia relations are starring into the abyss, headed towards armed conflict

"We are working to keep relations with the US from falling into the abyss of an open armed conflict, we are already on the verge, on the edge of this abyss," Ryabkov said on Thursday night in an interview with Russian Pervy TV channel.

Russia and the US maintain contacts, and the problem is in the lack of trust, that Washington defies everything Moscow says as "disinformation," he said.

He followed by saying the US "has long been a direct part to the Ukrainian conflict, waging an open hybrid war." He emphasized: "Ukraine is only a tool in their hands. ... Their goal is to destroy a sovereign, independent Russia as an international factor, they are increasingly tempted to play with the idea of dismemberment of Russia. ... This is a direct encroachment on the foundations of our state system."

Ryabkov then recalled the "destructive role that the US played in events, preceding the 2014 coup in Kyiv" that led to an eight-year long war in the Donbas. "And now, they are trying to pretend that they are only helping Kyiv in its kind of struggle, this is the height of cynicism and hypocrisy," he said.

"We see that the US bets on further escalation and we warn them against it. ... We remind them that the risks have increased many times in recent months," he stressed, saying there's no "magic solution" at this point. 

Meanwhile, career diplomat and ambassador in the Indian Foreign Service and geopolitical commentator M. K. Bhadrakumar gets to the heart of the where things stand in the following excerpt in the wake of the 'assassination attempt' on Putin [emphasis ZH]: 

The West’s cryptic or mocking remarks doubting the Kremlin statement on the failed Ukrainian attempt to assassinate President Vladimir Putin do not detract from the fact that Moscow has no reason on earth to fabricate such a grave allegation that has prompted the scaling down of its Victory Day celebrations on May 9, which is a triumphal moment in all of Russian history, especially now when it is fighting off the recrudescence of Nazi ideology on Europe’s political landscape single-handedly all over again. 

The alacrity with which the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken debunked the Kremlin allegation, perhaps, gives the game away. It is in the neocon DNA to duck in such defining moments. That said, predictably, Blinken also distanced the Biden administration  from the Kremlin attack. 

...The heart of the matter is that Kiev’s much touted “counteroffensive” is struggling amidst widespread western prognosis that it is destined to be a damp squib. Actually, the salience of the Foreign Affairs podcast this week with Gen. Milley was also his diffidence about the outcome. Milley refused to be categorical that Kiev would even launch its “counteroffensive”! 

There is a huge dilemma today as the entire western narrative of a Russian defeat stands exposed as a pack of lies, and alongside, the myth of Kiev’s military prowess to take on the far superior military might of a superpower has evaporated. The Ukrainian military is being ground to the dust systematically. In reality, Ukraine has become an open wound that is fast turning gangrene, and little time is left to cauterize the wound. 

As we previously commented, the longer that Ukraine's spring counteroffensive stalls, the likelier it is that the Ukrainians (and their NATO backers) will ramp up the cross-border 'dirty war' and black ops campaign against Russia proper. This makes the situation much more unpredictable and dangerous, given Moscow could begin to view this as an existential threat.