Russia claimed to have thwarted a Ukrainian drone attack on the Kremlin, saying an assassination attempt on President Vladimir Putin had failed, and promised retribution for what it described as a “terrorist” act.
The Ukrainian president denied this, saying: We did not attack Putin or Moscow.
“President Putin was not in the Kremlin at the time, but was at his residence in Novo-Ogaryovo, a suburb of Moscow,” his spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russia’s state-run news agency RIA Novosti.
A video posted on social media, apparently taken from Red Square, shows a flagpole bearing the Russian tricolor on the roof of the Senate Palace in the Kremlin. Nearby, it seems to capture the moment when the drone explodes in flames. , debris is falling on the roof. The Kremlin said Russian forces and security forces stopped the drones before they could attack them.
The wreckage of the drone fell unscathed onto the Kremlin grounds, according to the official website.
Ukrainian presidential aide Mikhail Podlyak said the allegations could give Russia “a pretext to justify large-scale attacks on Ukrainian cities, civilians and infrastructure facilities.”
“It wasn’t an attempt to assassinate Putin because he doesn’t sleep on the roof and probably doesn’t sleep in the Kremlin,” said Phillips O’Brien, a professor of strategic studies at the University of St Andrews.
He will prove or disprove whether this was an attempt by Russia “to make Ukraine appear ruthless or to strengthen Russian public opinion” or whether the Ukrainian operation was acting to embarrass Russia. It is premature, he added.
He will either prove or disprove whether this was an attempt by Russia “to make Ukraine appear ruthless or to strengthen Russian public opinion” or an act of Ukraine to embarrass Russia. He added that it was too early to do so.
The Kremlin claimed the attack was planned to disrupt Victory Day, which Russia is celebrating in Red Square on May 9 to commemorate Nazi Germany’s defeat in World War II.
Before news of the alleged attack broke, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin banned the use of drones in the Russian capital, except those launched by authorities.
Kiev is urging allies to step up pressure as they consider when to push Russian forces out of Ukrainian territory.
US Officials say Washington plans to transfer about $300 million to Ukraine including an enormous number of artillery rounds, howitzers, air-to-ground rockets and ammunition.