The news of an apparent drone strike on the Kremlin sent shockwaves around the world on Wednesday, not least in Russia itself.
Social media channels were flooded with Moscow citizens expressing a wide range of emotions often accompanied by some very colorful language.
Predictably, there was much fury and calls for revenge:
"We need to hit the Ukrainian decision-making centers," said one person on Telegram.
"Hopefully, it will be a command to demolish the Dnipro bridges and Lviv," said another.
One person insisted: "We need to hit the Ukrainian parliament."
There was also a lot of sarcasm and criticism of President Putin. In reference to a popular but unproven theory that a suitcase carried by a man who accompanies Putin on trips outside the Kremlin contains the president’s feces, one person wrote: "Looks like our idiot president needs to carry two excrement suitcases already."
Another comment dripping with sarcasm, said: "Everything goes according to plan – they use the Kremlin to shoot down Chinese drones."
Ironically, earlier in the day after news of yet another drone strike on a fuel depot in Russian-occupied Crimea, Russians had suggested that the only place adequately protected in the country was the Kremlin:
"Does it mean that the Russian Armed Forces only defend the Kremlin and the rest of the Russian territory is defenseless? I propose that Putin and Shoigu be held accountable for not properly discharging their duties," one person wrote.
The news from Crimea sparked outrage that Ukraine could once again strike territory that Moscow considers its own.
“Where is our air defense?" wrote one, while another said: "We were bombing Ukraine at that time, so why is our oil depot on fire?”
Authorities have tried to reassure Russians that the conflict is distant and does not pose a threat to their territory, but the series of recent attacks are making this promise increasingly more difficult to keep.
A recent report revealed one of the biggest fears among the Russian population, currently, is the danger from acts of sabotage on their own territory.
A Ukrainian military intelligence official told Kyiv Post this week that this feeling will continue to be warranted until “Russian troops are withdrawn from Ukraine, war criminals are extradited and Ukraine is compensated for the damage caused.”
On Thursday, Moscow accused the U.S. of masterminding the attack and ordering Kyiv to carry it out, but western analysts have concluded the incident was “likely staged” by Russia itself.
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