Recent Pentagon leaks reveal that the shadow war between Russia and the US over Ukraine is becoming more overt—and far more dangerous.

by James Bamford, The Nation

On the eastern wall of the Kremlin, Spasskaya Tower rises high above the old gray paving stones of Red Square. Beneath its hipped roof are the “Kremlin Chimes,” a 500-year-old clock with four broad 20-foot faces. In the darkened, early morning hours of May 3, the hands registered 2:27 when the first drone appeared, quickly speeding in high above the yellow and white sign warning that the area was a “No Drone Zone,” in Russian and English. A split-second later, it exploded a few feet above the green dome of the Kremlin’s Old Senate Palace. Sixteen minutes later, a second drone coming from another direction set off a bright flash and crashed into the convex roof near a pole bearing a fluttering Russian flag. Security officers could be seen ducking as they scrambled up a ladder to check out the earlier damage.

In all of Russia, there is no greater symbol of power and authority than the green dome and the building beneath it. Completed in 1787 and the shape of an isosceles triangle, this was where Vladimir Lenin had a private four-room apartment, along with a 40,000-volume library; where Joseph Stalin had an office and a five-room suite that also housed his children, Svetlana and Vasily; and where Nikita Khrushchev paced the floor of his office, next to a desk cluttered with tacky models of satellites, planes, and locomotives, while pondering the fate of the world during the Cuban missile crisis. For all those who followed, from Brezhnev to Yeltsin, the Kremlin served as a way station during their years in power. Today, it is where Vladimir Putin has his presidential office, with its tall windows covered in French-style curtains of silky-white folds, his polish oak desk with a briefing console extending from the front, and his flat-screen computer monitor with its screensaver of the Spasskaya Tower at night.

January 29 2021:Intercession Cathedral (St. Basil's Cathedral).

The early morning dual drone attack was meant as a warning—not an assassination attempt. As the attackers certainly knew, Putin at the time was at his home in Novo Ogaryovo, a 19th-century English Gothic manor, surrounded by an 18-foot wall built on the banks of the Moscow River, near the village of Usovo. Had someone wanted to harm him, they would have loaded the drones with considerably more explosives and targeted his home in the middle of the night—not his empty office.

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