Putin’s war in Ukraine has now reached his doorstep – what does that mean for Russia?

The targeting of the capital is another sign that the Kremlin’s war isn’t going as planned, writes James Nixey

Wednesday 31 May 2023 15:20 BST
Russian president Vladimir Putin is still talking a good game
Russian president Vladimir Putin is still talking a good game (Sputnik via Reuters)

When it comes to the Russian reaction to the drone attack on Moscow, there must now be an understanding in the Kremlin that if you dish it out, you are going to have to take it. Russia’s regular bombardments of Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities are now being met with counter-punches in Russia’s capital city.

For Muscovites, after 15 months of Vladimir Putin’s war rhetoric and assurances that his “special military operation” wouldn’t affect them, this is a decidedly different phase.

For Kyivans, by contrast, it is a welcome new element. They now know they can play offence, not just defence. While Moscow still has considerable ammunition at its disposal – it is not a level playing field between the two nations in that regard, even with Western backing – this will boost Ukrainian morale and sap that of Russia, accordingly.

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