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Russian dictator Vladimir Putin attempted to downplay the recent drone attack on Moscow in order to "avoid exposing the limited options he has to retaliate against Ukraine," the Institute for the Study of War said in its latest update on Russia's war in Ukraine.
Several drones were downed over the Russian capital on May 30 in the first attack on the city since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The drone attack caused minor damage to the exteriors and windows of buildings.
According to the D.C-based think tank, Putin "insinuated" that the Moscow drone strike was Kyiv's response to Russian strikes, claiming that Russian forces had struck the Ukrainian military intelligence headquarters "two to three days ago." The Russian Defense Ministry has made no mention of a strike on Ukraine's intelligence headquarters, the ISW said.
"Putin’s emphasis on past and ongoing missile strikes is likely an attempt to signal that Russia is already actively retaliating and does not need to respond to further Ukrainian provocations," the ISW wrote.
At the same time, Putin has ordered constant and massive missile and drone strikes in apparent "retaliation" for Ukrainian actions, "likely due to Russian forces’ inability to achieve any decisive effects on the battlefield," according to the ISW.