A top aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy denied Moscow’s allegation, calling it a false pretext for “a large-scale terrorist attack.”
Moscow on Wednesday accused Ukraine of attempting to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin after two unmanned Ukrainian drones reportedly struck the Kremlin.
In a statement, Russia’s presidential press service said that “timely actions taken by military and special services” disabled the drones.
“Their fall and the fragments scattered around on the territory of the Kremlin caused no casualties or material damage,” said the press service, which noted that “the Russian president was not harmed.”
A spokesperson for the Ukrainian armed forces said in response to the Russian government’s claims that “we do not have such information” and called Moscow’s comments “political statements.”
Video footage posted online showed smoke emerging from the Kremlin after an object exploded over the complex:
Russia says Ukraine tried to assassinate Vladimir Putin overnight in a drone attack on the Kremlin. Putin was unharmed and is working as normal.
It’s not clear when or whether this happened, but Telegram channels are posting what looks like anti-aircraft fire over the Kremlin. pic.twitter.com/Bw6Bp4OwFk
— max seddon (@maxseddon) May 3, 2023
The alleged attack could spur another deadly escalation of a war that has dragged on for more than a year with no end in sight, as substantive diplomatic negotiations remain nonexistent and heavy weaponry continues to flow into the war zone.
“Russia reserves the right to take retaliatory measures whenever and wherever it sees fit,” the Russian presidential press service said Wednesday after the alleged attack, which Moscow called “a pre-planned act of terrorism and an attempt on the life of the Russian president.”
Mykhailo Podolyak, a top aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, responded on Twitter that Ukraine is waging “an exclusively defensive war and does not attack targets on the territory of the Russian Federation.”
“Russia is clearly preparing a large-scale terrorist attack,” Podolyak added, arguing that claims of an assassination attempt against Putin give Moscow “grounds to justify its attacks on civilians.”
On Monday, Russia launched a missile attack in Ukraine that reportedly killed two people and wounded 40.
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