Andrew Roth in Moscow and Pjotr Sauer
The victims were ordinary Ukrainians: those who died at the busy intersection of Volodymyrska and Shevchenko streets in Kyiv, at a downtown playground, or the hundreds of thousands now in homes without light, water and heat in cities across the country due to a barrage of Russian cruise missiles.
But Vladimir Putin’s “mass strikes” on Monday were also a desperate answer to his military’s critics at home, to the fact that Russia’s invasion is failing, and to his own wounded pride after the Crimean Bridge, a pet project, was rocked by an explosion this weekend. “What he is doing now is trivial revenge,” said Andrei Kolesnikov, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “Personal revenge as well.”
For months, Russian war pundits, armchair generals, military bloggers and others have been clamouring for all-out war against Ukraine. And, as the horrific images began to appear from Ukrainian cities such as Kyiv, Lviv and Dnipro of bodies in the streets and plumes of smoke rising from city centres, they were satisfied for a moment….