Russian authorities have accused Ukraine of attempting to attack the Kremlin with two drones in a bid to assassinate President Vladimir Putin. However, the Ukrainian government has denied any involvement in the incident. The Kremlin has called the alleged attack a “terrorist act,” with Russian military and security forces “disabling” the drones before they could strike.
A statement on the Kremlin’s website revealed that debris from the unmanned aerial vehicles fell on the grounds of Russia’s government seat but did not cause any damage. The Kremlin did not elaborate on the cause of the drones’ breakdown.
Footage posted on a local Moscow news Telegram channel showed what appeared to be smoke rising over the Kremlin. The accompanying text explained that residents of a nearby apartment building reported hearing bangs and seeing smoke at around 2:30 a.m. local time. However, it is impossible to verify the footage independently.
Ukraine’s presidential advisor, Mykhailo Podolyak, refuted the allegations, saying that targeting the Kremlin made no sense during Russia’s war on Ukraine. He added that such an attack would “allow Russia to justify massive strikes on Ukrainian cities, on the civilian population, on infrastructure facilities.”
The Kremlin did not present any evidence to back up its claims, including the allegation of an assassination attempt, particularly as Russia prepares to observe its annual Victory Day.
The Kremlin’s statement read: “We consider these actions as a planned terrorist act and an attempt on the life of the president of Russia, carried out on the eve of the Victory Day, the parade on May 9, where foreign dignitaries are expected.” Russia reserves the right to respond “when and where it sees fit,” the statement said.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that Putin was not in the Kremlin at the time of the incident and worked from his Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow. The Kremlin added that Putin was safe and that his schedule remained unchanged. Peskov also confirmed that the Victory Day parade would take place as scheduled.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced a ban on using drones in the Russian capital shortly before news of the alleged attack broke. He said the ban would prevent “illegal use of drones that can hinder the work of law enforcement.” Sobyanin did not cite a reason for the ban, nor did he give any explanation for the exception for drones launched by authorities.
A lawmaker who represents Crimea in Moscow, Mikhail Sheremet, suggested that the Kremlin should order a missile strike on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s residence in Kyiv as retaliation for Wednesday’s alleged incident.
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