Intrigue in the air: Drone attack against Putin or false flag operation?

There is the outrage and the timing of the outrage. Russia's state media is in overdrive after the purported downing of two drones over the Kremlin, just days before the May 9 Victory Day parade on Red Square. The Russian capital was quick to brand it a plot to assassinate Vladimir Putin, with calls to eliminate his Ukrainian counterpart and bomb its capital Kyiv. But while no one was injured at the Kremlin, the daily dose of strikes on Ukraine left at least 23 dead in the southern city of Kherson on Wednesday.

Is the Kremlin installing a climate of fear ahead of an announced spring counter-offensive? Or is it a deliberate plan to keep Russian public opinion on edge and squarely behind a leader who frames this not as an unprovoked invasion of a neighbouring state, but as an all-out war by the West, hell-bent on bringing Russia to its knees?

Beyond the war of words, what are the life or death consequences in the real world?

Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Josephine Joly and Imen Mellaz.

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