The hypothesis of a former deputy about the role of Russian partisans in the alleged attack on the Kremlin

Ilya Ponomarev, a former Russian legislator, linked to militant groups in Russia, assured that the alleged drone attack against the kremlin it was the work of “Russian partisans, not the Ukrainian army”.

In an interview for the American chain CNNPonomarev said that “it is one of the Russian partisan groups”, adding that “I cannot say more, since they have not yet publicly claimed responsibility.”

The former legislator said that members of the group of “partisans” within Russia are usually “young people, students, residents of big cities. I am aware of partisan activity in about 40 cities in Russia, ”she told CNN.

“All partisan groups have their own focus, their specialty, their core knowledge. Some of them are focused on railway sabotage, some of them are burning down military recruiting posts. Some of them are attacking pro-war activists, some of them are doing hacking attacks,” he said.

According to Ponomarev’s statements, alleged drone attacks inside Russia are a “new line of operation” for the groups, which according to him represent a “real threat”.

What Putin is selling to the nation and especially to the elites is a sense of invulnerability and security. And the partisans are ruining both. In reality, they are saying that the war is here and you personally are not safe,” Ponomarev said.

The former deputy, who lives in exile between Ukraine and Poland, was the only one in his parliamentary days who voted against the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014 and since then has been the object of persecution and has been included in a list of suspected terrorism, according to the Russian authorities.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (Sputnik/Alexei Danichev/Pool via REUTERS) (SPUTNIK/)

The view of military experts

Likewise, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) affirmed that the government of Russia organized the drone attack on the Kremlin last Tuesday “in an attempt to bring the war to the Russian national audience and set the conditions for broader social mobilization” in the country.

According to the American think tank, the Russian authorities recently took steps to increase internal air defense, even within Moscow and therefore it is extremely unlikely that two drones would have broken through “multiple layers of air defense and exploded or were shot down right over the Kremlin, providing spectacular footage captured by multiple cameras.

Geolocated images from January 2023 show that Russian authorities have been placing Pantsir surface-to-air missile defense systems near Moscow to create defensive circles around the city.

The ISW believes that an attack that could not be detected by these air defense assets and managed to hit such a high-profile target as the Kremlin Senate Palace “would be a great embarrassment for Russia.”

Operative drones Donbas - War Ukraine Russia - Infobae in Ukraine
Drones are the new weapons of the wars of this century, either to spy on or to attack targets (Photo: Franco Fafasuli) (Franco Fafasuli /)

The Kremlin immediately accused Ukraine of carrying out a terrorist attack, and official Russian responses quickly coalesced around this position.

If the drone attack had not been internally organized and unexpected, “it is very likely that the official Russian response initially would have been much more disorganized” and not so coherent and so unequivocal when it comes to qualifying the attack, adds the ISW.

The rapid and consistent presentation of an official Russian narrative about the attack suggests that Russia staged this incident. too close to Victory Day, May 9, to frame the war as something existential for its national audience,” the US analysts added.

And they stressed that some of the Russian nationalist bloggers took advantage of the drone attack on the Kremlin to call for a Russian escalation in the war despite the fact that Moscow currently lacks the military capacity to do so.

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