Why the US is treading carefully before blaming Russia for Havana syndrome?

Editor-in-Chief of The Insider Roman Dobrokhotov told what the consequences will be for Russia when it is accused of involvement in the Havana syndrome
Editor-in-Chief of The Insider Roman Dobrokhotov told what the consequences will be for Russia when it is accused of involvement in the Havana syndrome

Roman Dobrokhotov, editor-in-chief of The Insider and co-investigator into Russian GRU's potential involvement in Havana Syndrome, discussed with NV Radio why the U.S. has yet to formally blame Russia.

Despite connections between the syndrome's victims and Russian intelligence, the U.S. has refrained from direct accusations due to the indirect nature of the evidence.

"All this evidence was indirect," Dobrokhotov said.

"Until recently the U.S. approached the matter with caution, stating that there were no grounds to believe it originated from another country, etc. They somewhat distanced themselves from the issue."

Dobrokhotov underscored the gravity of accusing Russia, saying that it should result in significant consequences.

"An attack on diplomats while they are carrying out their official duties within consulate territories, considered sovereign state territories, is justifiable cause for war," Dobrokhotov said.

"It's an extremely serious matter, it's impossible not to respond comprehensively, to say the least."

"If proven, then it's impossible to simply confine the response to a mere list of additional sanctions. Understandably, Americans cannot just let it slide. Beyond being humiliating, it would imply that further attacks on employees could occur without consequence. Therefore, if a response is warranted, it should be forceful."

Read also: Havana syndrome: Media uncovers evidence linking Russian GRU to ‘strange’ illnesses among American officials

Making accusations against Russia without substantial evidence carries political risks, he said.

"You can't just claim, 'Oh, it seems like the Russians are irradiating us,'" Dobrokhotov said.

"The head of the CIA would immediately be dismissed as crazy by the American media, or they would dismiss it as a political ploy. Republicans would promptly assail them, alleging that it's merely pre-election maneuvering, and so forth."

Following the emergence of evidence linking Russia to the Havana Syndrome, particularly as a result of journalists' investigations, Dobrokhotov suggested that Ukraine could receive "genuine military aid, substantial transfers such as F-16s, and perhaps even deploy personnel on-site, what we might call consultants."

"If Russia crosses the red lines so flagrantly, why shouldn't the U.S. respond symmetrically?" Dobrokhotov said.

"This could be one of the logical steps. Perhaps they'll devise their own approach. The U.S. possesses formidable resources in cyber warfare, conventional intelligence services, and armaments."

Havana syndrome explained

Havana Syndrome, first identified in Cuba in 2016, has affected American and Canadian diplomats with symptoms that some believe are caused by pulsed microwave radiation from non-lethal acoustic weapons. Recent investigations have connected some incidents to the travels of Russian GRU agents.

In a related development, the Pentagon confirmed a case of Havana Syndrome at the 2023 NATO summit in Vilnius, marking a continued concern over these mysterious incidents.

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