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A terrorist tactic that does not work: Ukraine cannot be intimidated

by Anastasiya Glotova  •  Oct 15, 2022

Putin fights against women and kids, as he has nothing to offer on the fronts. But he doesn’t want to understand that his favorite terrorist tactics don’t work.

Recent days have reminded Ukrainians across the country of the first days of Russia’s full-scale invasion. Shelling of almost all regions, explosions in city centers, fires, dead and wounded people and children. And now, also power and water outages as well as temporary lack of online and mobile communications...

But the difference is that this time we all clearly understand what is happening and what needs to be done. There is none of the confusion and fear that we had in the beginning. And the main thing: we have ironclad confidence in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and in our inevitable victory.

Damages of the last days

Over October 11, the Ukrainian missile troops and artillery hit 20 control points of the Russian army, 17 areas of concentration of manpower, weapons and military equipment, four ammunition depots, as well as more than 20 important facilities of the Russian Federation, according to the AFU General Staff. This is how a normal modern army works.

Meanwhile the terroristic “army” of the Russian Federation is fighting against civilians. As a result of the massive missile strike over October 10, the infrastructure of more than 30 cities and towns was damaged. These are, in particular, Kyiv, Lviv, Rivne, Zhytomyr, Ternopil, Khmelnytskyi, Ivano-Frankivsk, Vinnytsia, Pryluky, Nizhyn, Konotop, Kharkiv, Kremenchuk, Dnipro, Kryvyi Rih, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv, Odesa.


As of morning of October 11, we knew about 19 killed and 105 injured people as a result of the attack on October 10. But shelling still continues, especially in the regions near to the frontline, so we have new casualties every day. In Zaporizhzhia alone, more than 70 people died in the last two weeks!

“Children or adults. An educational site or a cultural site. A critical infrastructure facility or, for example, a memorial to Holocaust victims. For Russia, these are all the same targets.

Already more than 2,600 educational facilities have been destroyed or damaged by Russian terrorist strikes.

540 is the total number of cultural heritage sites, cultural institutions and religious buildings damaged by Russian strikes in Ukraine during the full-scale war since February 24. About 200 churches destroyed or damaged!”

This is how Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky summarized the destruction in Ukraine after two days of massive attacks on October 10-11.


According to Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko, about 30 percent of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure was hit by Russian missiles in two days. Ukraine’s energy system has apparently become an important target of the occupiers, who want to “prepare” Ukrainians for winter and make their lives even more unbearable – all over the country.

Absolutely despicable attacks on residential houses are no longer news to anyone, but they continue to amaze everyone with their inhumanity. And here we would like to emphasize one symbolic detail.

The myth of the Russian soldiers as “liberators” of Ukraine has been now completely forgotten. Just think about it: a few days ago, they announced that they were “annexing” four Ukrainian regions to Russia. Including Zaporizhzhia, whose regional center they never managed to capture (by the way, historically Zaporizhzhia never was “Russian”, quite opposite: it was the center of the struggle of Ukrainians of the past centuries for their independence). And now almost every night Russians bombard the city of Zaporizhzhia with powerful missiles, destroying RESEDENTIAL houses. Is this what “liberation” in Russian style looks like?!


What are the purposes of the shelling of peaceful Ukrainian cities?

The trigger for the massive attacks was apparently the damage to the Crimea Bridge in the early hours of Saturday, October 8. But naturally, attacks of this scale were prepared in advance (within about a month). Ukrainian intelligence warned of their preparation at the beginning of October. And we are talking not about a military operation, but about a well-planned terroristic attack.

For us, Ukrainians, Putin’s reasons and goals are obvious. But for people from civilized countries it can seem a complete nonsense: what can be achieved by killing civilians or destroying kindergartens, residential houses, memorials or universities?..


However, the Russian leadership and army live in a different paradigm and system of values, so through these actions they are pursuing several goals at once:

  • To regain at least some initiative

Ukraine responded to Putin’s mobilization and annexation by continuing a determined counteroffensive in various directions and by further tactical and strategic successes.

Putin desperately wants to regain the initiative and be present on the daily agenda, to continue to be an important actor and to demonstrate that he can still call the shots. With no other real opportunity to do so, he has again decided to resort to the mean-spirited massive attacks on numerous Ukrainian cities from Russian territory.

But while in the eyes of the civilized world the Russian Federation looks like a terrorist, to the Russians these attacks and the destruction of Ukrainian infrastructure are presented as a kind of “victory”!

  • To destroy Ukraine’s infrastructure

We have said many times that Putin’s goal is to destroy Ukraine. Now, mad from defeats on the fronts and the impotence of his army, Putin has gone completely bonkers. 

However, even by firing more than 80 missiles in a day, Putin cannot create a catastrophe in Ukraine. On one hand, Ukrainians have been used to living in war mode for so many months and have acted accordingly. On the other hand, thanks to the well-coordinated work of rescue workers and utilities, all disrupted communications are restored rather quickly – most often within a day.

  • To terrorize Ukrainians

This point is nothing new. Putin has used these scare tactics before. Remember the shelling of Ukrainian cities in the summer – only then they were not so massive and there was no expressed goal of destroying infrastructure, such as power plants.

But Putin will not achieve his terrorist goal. His current actions do not arouse in Ukrainians fear, fatigue or desire for “peace” (i.e. peace on Putin’s terms), but fair anger and even greater bitterness. Especially among the Ukrainian military: they fight even harder because their native cities and towns, where their families live, are under attack.

  • To overload Ukrainian air defense systems

Why were so many missiles fired at Ukraine in such a short period of time (more than 80 missiles + dozens of drones on October 10)? It was a standard operation to overload air defense systems, Ukrainian officials say.

The Russians fired mostly old missiles (they are already running out of modern high-precision ones). But when a large number of them are fired, the air defense systems cannot physically shoot many of them down, that is why there was such a significant number of hits.

  • To disrupt Ukrainian electricity exports to Europe

Ukraine’s Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said on October 11 that Russia has “dramatically targeted” energy infrastructure.  

He said one reason is because Ukrainian electricity exports to Europe “help European countries to save on Russian gas and coal,” adding that Ukraine is trying “to reconnect quickly from the other sources.” The minister said that the Ukrainian energy system “is still stable,” but called on partners to provide “air protection systems which really could help us to protect our infrastructure.”

  • To press on the Ukrainian leadership and the West

This is the ultimate goal which unites all the previous ones. We can only imagine how infuriated Putin was by Zelensky’s statement when he signed Ukraine’s application for NATO membership: “We are ready for a dialogue with Russia, but already with another president of Russia”.

There is nothing more painful for the Russian dictator than when they refuse to speak to him as equals. But as Zelensky correctly pointed out, the constant terror against the civilian population is an obvious Russian refusal to engage in REAL negotiations.

Putin needs a ceasefire much more desperate than it was in summer – in order to restore his resources and to start a counteroffensive which he is not able to do now. Just curious: how does he imagine it? He is shelling Ukrainian cities till Zelensky calls him and says: “Vladimir, please stop! Let’s negotiate!” Putin doesn’t want to understand that this will never happen.


Ukrainian answer: “Ukraine cannot be intimidated”

Ukrainians have a saying which can be translated as: “We have to do our own”. This has been our motto for the last seven months. Nothing has changed about it. 

The military is doing their job. The available air defense systems, despite the large number of missiles, shot down more than half of them. At the same time, Ukrainian troops on the fronts are working more and more persistent every day, liberating new and new Ukrainian territories

Ukraine’s position is as firm as ever. “Ukraine cannot be intimidated, we have united even more instead,” Volodymyr Zelensky said


And Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba stated: “Putin’s only tactic is terror against peaceful Ukrainian cities, but this will not break Ukraine. It is also an answer to all the “peacemakers” who want to talk peace with him. Putin is a terrorist who negotiates with missiles”.

Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said that although the Russians have previously fired missiles at energy infrastructure, residential buildings, schools and hospitals in Ukraine, the massive attack on October 10 is an eloquent testament to their confusion and nervousness.

“Now we do not need any additional arguments to prove it: Russia is a terrorist state, a state sponsor of terrorism. Anyone who then tries to cooperate with Russia, to deny the terrorist nature of the Moscow regime, will have obvious problems with explanations. Avoiding a clear position is the actual support of the crimes,” the minister said.

Believe us, the top leadership articulates the thoughts of most Ukrainians: we think exactly the same way. And of course, Ukrainians now expect more decisive action and support from the Western partners.

What support do we need now?

Ukraine’s needs are now clearer than ever:

  • Political support for Ukraine on the international stage
  • Recognition of the Russian Federation as a terrorist state and increased pressure on it
  • Closing the sky over Ukraine

It is unclear what Putin hoped for in this regard, but all of Ukraine’s partners expectedly expressed even greater support for Ukraine. 

As for political assistance, President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola insisted on the unacceptability of concessions by the West under the blackmail of Russia. On October 13, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution calling the Russian Federation a terrorist regime.

As for sanctions, it is reported that the EU is working on a new package of sanctions against Russia – the ninth since the full-scale invasion. It could include confiscation of assets in Russia, a ban on the sale of property, and other details that were considered in previous rounds. 


As for military supplies, the good old appeal “Close the sky over Ukraine” is now more relevant than ever. US President Joseph Biden assured President Zelensky that the United States would provide Ukraine with modern air defense systems. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the focus of the nearest military supplies for Ukraine should be air defense systems

On October 11, the leaders of the G7 member states gathered for an emergency meeting due to the massive missile attack on Ukraine by the Russian Federation. Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the meeting via video link. “When Ukraine receives a sufficient number of modern air defense systems, the key element of Russian terror – missile strikes – will stop working,” Zelensky stressed.

On Wednesday, October 12, the sixth meeting of the contact group in the Ramstein format took place to discuss the provision of air defense equipment to Ukraine. The German Ministry of Defense promised that in the coming weeks it would provide Ukraine with new self-propelled howitzers and MARS II rocket launchers, an analogue of HIMARS on track. The Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren on Wednesday announced the provision of additional anti-aircraft missiles worth 15 million euros to Ukraine to strengthen the protection of the sky. Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand announced that her country would send artillery shells, winter gear and cameras for drones to Ukraine for a total of $47 million. There are also reports that France has promised to give Ukraine three of its LRU M270 missile launchers, a modernized tracked version of the HIMARS.


At the same time, despite Putin’s terrorist attacks, most Ukrainians just feel even more mobilized and determined: they work, prepare for hard winter, donate for the AFU and make everything they can to bring the victory closer. 

It is already clear to everyone: Russia is losing the war it started. The main question now is what price we will have to pay to end it? We will never pay for peace in our cities with Ukrainian territories and Ukraine’s sovereignty. Especially after the enormous price we have already paid.

The sooner and the more weapons are supplied to Ukraine, the sooner and less painful the end of the war will be.

Anastasiya Glotova

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