Will Russia Attack the UK?
Russia is in big trouble in Ukraine
Russia is in big trouble in Ukraine and is blaming the British for some of its travails.
Russia has now ratcheted up its attacks on the British. A string of complaints came this week from Moscow. The Foreign Ministry summoned Britain ambassador to Russia to its headquarters. Deborah Bronnert, the UK’s ambassador was greeted, as she arrived at the Ministry Headquarters, with a mob chanting “Britain is a terrorist state.” The special greeting was certainly arranged and stage managed for effect by Kremlin authorities.
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Russia believes the British were behind the attacks on the Crimean bridge and in Sevastopol harbor in Crimea, which apparently damaged at least one Russian warship. Apparently, Russian intelligence has tracked British commandos training Ukrainian special forces personnel in Nikolaev. The Russians also contend that the underwater drones used in Sevastopol bay were sent to Ukraine by Britain for this special operation.
The Russians are also convinced that the UK was involved in the destructions of parts of the Nord Stream pipeline, and they have leaked word it may have been carried out by an Astute class submarine, possibly the HMS Ambush (S-120) but it appears Russia only has circumstantial evidence.
The image below shows an Astute class submarine with a Dry Deck Shelter that can house commandos for special raids. It is also known that the Shelter can launch RIB Boats (outboard engine powered rapidly inflatable boats) that carry commandos or divers.
It is very hard to track submarines, and the Russians did not know for sure where HMS-Ambush was when the Nord Stream pipeline exploded. They did know there was a US P-8 that arrived shortly after the first explosion happened, and Vladimir Putin has pointed to the alleged Liz Truss (then Foreign Minister) text message to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken with the message “It is done.”
Russia right now is under extreme stress and Russian leaders are tense and unhappy. The operation in Ukraine has not only ground to a halt, but Russia continues to suffer agonizing losses of men and material. It has had to make secret deals with Iran and North Korea to have enough ammunition and supplies to stay in the war. Its home industry is too tardy and underfunded to be able to keep up with demands for urgent production of war goods. It has run out of soldiers, drafting middle age and older men and yanking prisoners from confinement to serve on the two main fronts of the Ukraine conflict. None of this has seemed to work. Every day Russia makes more military blunders and Putin has just fired one of his top commanders, General Alexander Lapin. While Russian opinion polls (which may be fake) claim Putin is still popular, he is facing a grim future if the losses turn into a complete route and the Russians have to evacuate Ukraine. In fact, Russian commanders are now preparing to evacuate the important city of Kherson, claiming that it is of no importance (which is complete nonsense).
There is growing talk in Russia about using nuclear weapons. Such talk is very dangerous, but it does reveal all too clearly that Russia is running out of options.
It may also be that Putin is thinking of going after targets outside of Ukraine, but he runs the risk of triggering off a NATO response. Article 5 of the NATO Treaty is the collective defense provision of the Alliance.
So far Western leaders are letting this play out and are continuing to ship weapons to Ukraine including the latest decision to send the NASAMS air defense system there to try and stop Russian cruise missile and drone attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure.
But the question is, how long can this game continue if it could turn into a suicidal nuclear affair? There is neither a nod nor a blink coming from Washington, which is key to finding an alternative way to solve the crisis in Ukraine.
That is a growingly dangerous waiting game that can have a very bad result.