“Western military analysts say the strikes came at a staggering cost, depleted a dwindling supply of long-range missiles, hit no major military targets and are unlikely to change the course of a war going badly for Moscow.
“Russia lacks the missiles to mount attacks of this sort often, as it is running out of stocks and the Ukrainians are claiming a high success rate in intercepting many of those already used,” wrote Lawrence Freedman, emeritus professor of war studies at King’s College London.
“This is not therefore a new war-winning strategy but a sociopath’s tantrum.”
President Vladimir Putin described the strikes as a response to what he called terrorist attacks by Ukraine, including a blast on Sunday that damaged Russia’s bridge to Crimea, which it built after annexing the peninsula it seized in 2014..
Hawks in Russia had been demanding for weeks that Putin escalate the conflict, and many of them hailed Monday’s attacks.
Ramzan Kadyrov, the Putin loyalist leader of Russia’s Chechnya region who had lately called for military commanders to be sacked, said he was now 100% behind the strategy.
Margarita Simonyan, head of RT, Russia’s state-run overseas media channel, said Moscow had been waiting for the perfect time to demonstrate its strength. Quoting a proverb, she tweeted: “A Russian harnesses his horses slowly but drives them quickly.”
Dmitry Medvedev, deputy head of Putin’s advisory security council, said Russia would now be able to widen its objectives: “The goal of our future actions, in my view, should be the complete dismantling of the political regime of Ukraine.””
Comment: This effort is reminiscent of all the “strategic bombing campaigns” waged since Douhet, LeMay, Trenchard and the other terror bombing nuts began their devil’s work. It seldom works. pl