Russia claims Ukraine targeted Putin in attempted drone attack
Moscow alleged Wednesday Ukraine flew two drones toward the Kremlin overnight in what it claimed was an attempt to kill President Vladimir Putin.
The Russian president was not in the building at the time, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.
The Kremlin said the attack was foiled and the alleged drones destroyed. “No one was injured as a result of their fall and scattering of fragments,” state media RIA Novosti reported.
Ukraine says it had no knowledge of any attempted drone strike on the Kremlin, that it did not attack other countries. “We do not have information on so called night attacks on Kremlin,” the spokesman for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Sergiy Nykyforov, told CNN on Wednesday.
“As President Zelensky has stated numerous times before, Ukraine uses all means at its disposal to free its own territory, not to attack others,” Nykyforov added.
A social media video appears to show a flash and some smoke in the vicinity of the Kremlin, but the source of the smoke is unclear. CNN has not been able to independently verify the Moscow’s claims.
The Kremlin Press Service called the purported drone attack an “attempt on the President’s life.” “Russia reserves the right to take retaliatory measures where and when it sees fit,” it added.
Russia referred to the incident as an “act of terrorism,” blaming Ukraine.
Kyiv said that accusation an accusation was better directed at Russia.
“A terror attack is destroyed blocks of residential buildings in Dnipro and Uman, or a missile at a line at Kramatorsk rail station and many other tragedies,” said Nykyforov, the Ukrainian presidential spokesman. “What happened in Moscow is obviously about escalating the mood on the eve of May 9.” That day is known as “Victory Day” inside Russia, commemorating the Soviet Union’s role in defeating Nazi Germany in World War II.
“It’s a trick to be expected from our opponents,” he said.
Kyiv is approximately 862 kilometers (about 535 miles) from Moscow. Russia has accused Ukraine of multiple attempted drone strikes deep inside Russian territory, including one earlier this year when the governor of the Moscow region claimed a Ukrainian drone had crashed near the village of Gubastovo, southeast of the capital.