From CNN Analysis by Nick Paton Walsh, International Security Editor, CNN
Moscow’s accusation that Ukrainian drones struck two airbases deep inside Russia has once again raised the febrile question of escalation nine months into the war.
The strikes are an extraordinary breach of Russia’s assumptions that it can protect its deep interior, from which safe harbors its strategic bombers have caused carnage across Ukraine with relative impunity.
These are airbases very far inside Russia, and whatever the truth of the strikes – whether they represent a new long-distance drone capability Ukraine has advertised, or there’s another explanation – this is just not something that was meant to happen when Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his “10-day invasion” in February. Week by week, there are yet more signs that Moscow’s military machine cannot do what it says on its can.