Moscow will be under tremendous pressure to do something, the former US lawmaker has said A beach chair with traces of blood in Sevastopol in Russia’s Crimea on June 23, 2024. © Konstantin Mikhalchevsky / Sputnik

There is a tremendous popular pressure on Moscow to retaliate against the US over Sunday’s ATACMS missile strike on a beach near Sevastopol, former US Congressman Ron Paul has said.

Five civilians were killed and over 150 injured by cluster munitions from a US-supplied missile launched by Ukrainian forces. Among the dead were at least two children.

Paul, a retired lawmaker from Texas, described the strike as “an Ukrainian and American attack on Russia” on Monday’s Ron Paul Liberty Report. He reminded his audience that some kind of escalation was inevitable after the US supplied long-range missiles to Ukraine and gave Kiev permission to use them for strikes deep inside Russia.

“What’s Russia going to do about this?” Paul asked. “Are they going to twiddle their thumbs and walk away? They might – for a day or two – ponder it, but there will be something that they’re going to do.”

While Moscow might prefer a “minimal response,” Paul continued, “They can’t not respond.” The Russian public simply demands that something be done, he added.

Russian Foreign Ministry officials summoned US Ambassador Lynne Tracy on Monday and told her that the “bloody atrocity” in Crimea would “not go unpunished.”

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Ukrainian military fired five ATACMS missiles at Crimea. While Russian air defense systems destroyed four of the projectiles in mid-air, the fifth was damaged, veered off course, and exploded over a packed beach.

US lawmaker condemns attack on Crimea US lawmaker condemns attack on Crimea

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US lawmaker condemns attack on Crimea

The Kremlin has described the beach bombing as an act of terrorism that the US was as responsible for as Ukraine. The attack happened while a US drone loitered over the Black Sea, while ATACMS launches rely on targeting and intelligence provided by the Americans, Moscow’s ambassador in Washington, Anatoly Antonov, said.

Paul and his co-host, Daniel McAdams, wondered if the missile attack was a deliberate escalation to justify further direct involvement of NATO inside Ukraine. They approvingly quoted Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican, who on Monday condemned the attack as something the US military should not be doing.

“The only border our American military should be defending is our own border,” Greene wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

Paul worked as a physician before going into politics. He served in Congress for a total of 23 years and ran for president three times – as a Libertarian in 1988, and in Republican primaries in 2008 and 2012 – before retiring and founding the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. (RT)