Moscow/Kyiv, May 31 (EFE).- Russia will not introduce martial law in the country – for the time being – after the drone attack on the capital city this week, while Moscow considers retaliatory measures against Ukraine.
“We will think calmly and consistently about how to deal with this,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday, the day after the Russian capital suffered its first massive drone strike and after hardliners including Wagner mercenary group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov called for a tougher Russian response.
Kadyrov said the Russian authorities, who have blamed Ukraine for the “terrorist attack” in Moscow, should declare martial law in the country “and use all combat resources to sweep this whole terrorist cell (out of Ukraine) once and for all”.
The Ukrainian government on Wednesday told Kadyrov to “take revenge on Moscow and (Russian President Vladimir) Putin personally, and not threaten Ukraine.”
“It was the Russians who killed and annihilated Chechens (…) It was not Ukrainians who razed Grozny with its civilians to the ground with tanks, it was Russian tanks. The Chechen people remember this, and it’s time for those who have forgotten to recall!” tweeted Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Oleksiy Danylov.
Kremlin spokesman Peskov tried to reassure Russians who have been worried that the war has reached Russia’s heartland, telling the nation that authorities “will continue work to improve the anti-aircraft defense system.”
Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin admitted that “several families went to psychologists” immediately after the attack, which caused minor damage to some buildings and prompted evacuations of residents.
The Kremlin lamented the lack of Western condemnation of the attack. “We would certainly like to hear some words of condemnation,” Peskov said, not only with regard to the capital, where civilian infrastructure was affected, but also with regard to the continued shelling of Russia’s Belgorod region.
The governor of that border province, Vyacheslav Gladkov, reported Wednesday that at least four people were wounded in a Grad rocket attack on the town of Shebekino. One person was also injured in the outskirts of the village of Bogun-Gorodok by shells.
In view of the worsening situation in the region, the governor announced the evacuation of the first 330 children from Shebekino and Graivorono, where Russian paramilitaries fighting on the Kyiv side carried out an armed assault on May 22.
“We are really concerned about the alarming situation there, where shelling of civilian targets continues,” said Peskov, who also noted that, so far, “no Western country has said its words of condemnation.” EFE