Russia intends to force Zelenski to negotiate with the greatest offensive against its civilian infrastructures

On Monday, October 10, General Sergei Surovikin It was presented in partnership with the launch of 84 missiles on Ukrainian civil and military infrastructures, causing terror in certain residential neighborhoods of the country’s large cities. The attack was then considered a retaliation for the attack on the Kerch bridge in Crimeawhich had taken place just twenty-four hours earlier, but in reality it was the beginning of a crueler strategy that had a new episode this Tuesday.

The launch of about a hundred missiles on different Ukrainian cities has caused blackouts throughout the territory, as well as internet drops and water and gas cuts. President Zelensky’s office has estimated the number of civilians affected at seven million, while stressing that at least seventy of the Russian missiles would have been shot down by anti-aircraft defenses, a considerably higher numbers than we saw in the October attacks.

In a fair war, the attacks would focus on military infrastructure or, at most, in those civil infrastructures that could have a military use. In that category, we would include bridges, highways, airports, or railways. Since this is not and has never been a clean war, Russia seeks direct attack on the population. They are the ones who will be cold this winter, the ones who will not have electricity, the ones who will lack potable water and the ones who will have serious problems maintaining their quality of life even hundreds of kilometers from any front. It is they, they think of the Kremlin, who can soften Zelensky’s position with his suffering. A complete blackmail.

[Rusia bombardea Kiev y se activa la alerta antiaérea en toda Ucrania]

Looking for a deal

And it is that this brutal and indiscriminate attack can only have one objective: undermine Ukrainian morale and try to turn the citizens against their government in search of an accelerated negotiation. It is a desperate and short-lived resource unless Russia manages to ensure that the damage to infrastructure also affects the supply to the army in some way, even if it is due to the need to derive resources. It was assumed that this new strategy was going to change the inertia of the warbut since the arrival of Surovikin, all we have seen is a lot of dead trying to take Bakhmut without any success and the withdrawal of troops from the west of the Dnieper River, including the capital Kherson.

The idea repeated by the Russian “cold kill Europe” propaganda it seems that it is going to focus only on Ukraine. Josep Borrell himself stated this Monday that, despite his obvious shortcomings on the ground, Russia was still capable of destroying Ukraine’s key infrastructure and jeopardize its functioning as a state. Presumably, after months of threats, the Zelensky government, together with its Western partners, will have prepared an alternative plan that allows the country to continue to function without sinking into economic misery. On the contrary, NATO will do well to help reinforce the anti-aircraft defenses as soon as possible and thus protect said facilities.

Explosions in kyiv.


Condemning a population of millions of inhabitants to cold, hunger and thirst requires a notable lack of scruples. For this reason, no one is surprised that he is being Putin’s resource to sit Zelenski at a table and impose his conditions on him. In fact, from what we have seen, what is striking is that he has not tried it before, just as he has not tried, on the other hand, to damage military infrastructure with too much zeal. Perhaps the conviction in his victory and in the need to use those facilities to later control the country have delayed the decision. In a way, as British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has pointed out, these attacks can only be understood as recognition that such a victory is unfeasible.

Collateral damage in Poland and Moldova

The question is whether, apart from being desperate and cruel, it is an effective strategy. In the short term, clearly not, as evidenced by the Ukrainian advances on the southern front. However, we understand that the objectives will not have been set in the short term, but in the medium. The cold of November is not comparable to that of December, January or February, and the Russian state press is already speaking shamelessly that negotiations would take place in springthat is to say, with the cold still in the bones and a position of presumed extreme weakness.

The President of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelenski, met with local authorities during his visit to Kherson on Monday.


It is, in any case, a risky move. Any attempt to “Russify” Ukraine from a cultural or even affective point of view – that was the dream of the Novarrosiya that will never exist anymore – can be considered impossible after these months of attacks. Moldova, another of Putin’s unspeakable dreams, has also referred to power outages caused by the Russian attack. Besides, it is rumored that a missile has fallen on NATO territory, specifically in Przewodow, Poland, killing two people. If the news is confirmed, we will have to see how the Warsaw government reacts, not so much to this specific attack but to the possibility of it being repeated.

It does not seem in any way an attempt to escalate on the part of Russia or a provocation. It would rather be a new act of clumsiness when neither your objectives are well defined nor your technology allows you to be precise when it comes to achieving them. Russia knows that it has lost the war as it proposed and tries to save at least the furniture: that Ukraine needs peace enough to force Zelensky to accept a bad deal in exchange for some stability. The problem is that Russia has been miscalculating the resistance capacity of others since February. It may be that here, again, he is making a mistake and Ukraine, once again, will put up with everything, even anger.

Russia-Ukraine War