The Chinese Global Times government newspaper described the alleged drone attack on the Kremlin early Wednesday morning as the crossing of a “red line” in the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine: the targeting of heads of state.
Videos surfaced on Wednesday of unidentified objects in the airspace above the Kremlin in Moscow on Wednesday, apparently attempting to target the Russian capital. Russian officials announced shortly thereafter that the skyward objects civilians observed were armed drones deployed in an attempt, they claimed, to assassinate Vladimir Putin. The Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry vowed “imminent and inevitable punishment” for the culprits once an investigation identifies them and, without directly blaming Ukraine, claimed the drone incident was proof of the necessity of Russia’s ongoing invasion of the country.
“This makes fulfilling all the objectives and goals of Russia’s special military operation even more obvious. There must be no security threats emanating from the territory of Ukraine and no terrorist attacks must be perpetrated from there,” the Ministry asserted.
“The Kremlin views this incident as a premeditated terrorist attack and attempted assassination of the head of state,” the Russian news agency Tass detailed on Thursday. “Russia reserves the right to take countermeasures wherever and whenever it deems fit, the press service pointed out.”
Ukraine has denied responsibility for the presumed attack.
“We do not attack Putin or Moscow,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said during a press conference on Wednesday. “We fight on our territory, we are defending our villages and cities. We didn’t attack Putin. We leave it to [a] tribunal.”
Zelensky suggested that the Kremlin was blaming Ukraine for the attack because Putin “can no longer motivate his society and cannot simply send his military to their deaths. He has no victories, the world’s second army has lost on the battlefield.”
Communist China, a friendly state to Ukraine and one of Russia’s closest allies, had abstained from commenting on the Ukraine war for much of this week as a result of the country’s May Day holiday celebrating communist ideology, which spans the entire “Golden Week.” On Thursday, however, the Foreign Ministry held a regular press briefing where it addressed the drone attack.
“China’s position on the Ukraine crisis is consistent and clear. All sides need to avoid taking actions that might further escalate the situation,” spokeswoman Mao Ning said. Asked if China would revoke its plan, announced last week, to send a negotiating team to Ukraine in light of the attack, Mao did not answer directly but appeared to indicate that the plan would not change.
“About the Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Eurasian Affairs’ visit to Ukraine and other countries, we will make further announcements in due course,” Mao said. “China will continue to work with the international community to play a constructive role for the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.”
Chinese genocidal dictator Xi Jinping held a phone call with Zelensky last week, their first conversation since Russia expanded its eight-year-old invasion of the country last year, in which Xi reportedly vowed to send a team of Chinese diplomats to Kyiv. Chinese media described the team as a group of “special representatives” seeking to chaperone talks for a “political settlement” to the Russian invasion. Zelensky reportedly embraced the opportunity after spending over a year encouraging Xi to help Ukraine, either financially or diplomatically.
Ukraine is a member of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), its predatory loan program for impoverished countries. Last year, Zelensky encouraged “Chinese businesses” to help rebuild post-war Ukraine.
The Chinese government-run Global Times had more to say on the attempted drone attack on Thursday than the Foreign Ministry. Citing Chinese regime-approved “experts,” the propaganda outlet described the attack as the crossing of a “red line” that had not yet been addressed in the war: the targeting of heads of state of either country. The attack is “very serious,” the government outlet claimed, because it opened the door for Russia to attempt to kill Zelensky.
“Since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, there has never been a public attack on the Kremlin or an attempted assassination on Vladimir Putin. The main targets of previous attacks were military facilities and important infrastructure,” a Global Times editorial observed.
A Chinese “military expert” identified as Song Zhongping told the outlet that he believed that Russia would “implement effective strikes against more significant targets in Ukraine” and seek “retaliation against Zelenskyy.”
“The possibility of retaliatory strikes on facilities, including the presidential palace and the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, also cannot be ruled out,” Song predicted.
Top Russian national security official Dmitry Medvedev, who has regularly threatened nuclear attacks on Western nations, called for Moscow to “physically eliminate” Zelensky in response to the attack on Wednesday.
In a separate article, the Global Times repeated its warning that the attack “crossed the new red line of the Ukraine crisis.”
“After more than one year of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, neither side has attacked the other’s government residences and leaders. [After this incident] Ukraine’s government buildings could be targeted in the next phase, experts said,” the article predicted.
Ultimately, the newspaper blamed the United States for the incidents because the White House abstained from speculating on who was responsible for the drone attack when asked.
“In the face of the alleged attack on Putin, the US came out to state that it couldn’t verify its authenticity. By contrast, if it were Zelenskyy who was attacked, the US would have condemned it indignantly,” the Global Times claimed. “This shows that the US does not take a relatively rational and neutral stance and it’s the biggest stumbling block in urging peace and promoting dialogue.”
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