Kremlin accuses Ukraine of attempting to assassinate President Vladimir Putin during drone attack

Russian authorities accused Ukraine of attempting to assassinate President Vladimir Putin in an overnight drone attack — a blatant “terrorist” act they said warrants retaliation.

The Kremlin’s press service said on Wednesday that Russian military and security forces downed two drones before they could strike Putin’s residence, tucked inside the Kremlin in the heart of Moscow. Nobody was hurt and there was no damage reported, it added.

Putin was not home at the time, having spent the night at his Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside the capital city, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti.

Unverified video shared on a local Moscow news Telegram channel, shot from across the river near the Kremlin, appeared to show smoke unfurling along the horizon. Based on text accompanying the footage, residents in a nearby apartment building reported hearing a blast around 2:30 a.m.

The allegations, presented without evidence, were immediately denied by the Ukraine government.

“We don’t attack Putin or Moscow. We fight on our territory. We’re defending our villages and cities,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is currently in Helsinki for talks with the leaders of five Nordic countries, all of them among Ukraine’s biggest supporters in its conflict with Russia.

His spokesperson added that Ukraine has been focusing on liberating its own territory after Russia launched its invasion last year. The alleged attack would be a significant escalation in the 14-month conflict, but Kyiv emphasized it had nothing to do with the strike.

Ukraine presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak warned Russia could use the purported drone attack “to justify massive strikes on Ukrainian cities, on the civilian population” and “on infrastructure facilities” in the near future.

Meanwhile, Russia used Iranian-made drones in its third attack on Ukraine’s capital city in six days. A series of blasts rattled residents of Kyiv and beyond as Ukrainian air defenses shot down 21 of the Russian drones overnight, Ukraine’s Air Force Command said.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the Pentagon is investigating Russia’s claims but have yet to determine their veracity.

“I can’t in any way validate them. We simply don’t know,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a World Press Freedom Day event in Washington.

“I would take anything coming out of the Kremlin with a very large shaker of salt,” he added. “So let’s see. We’ll see what the facts are and it’s really hard to comment or speculate on this without really knowing what the facts are.”

The alleged attack comes days after the United States revealed it plans to send Ukraine about $300 million in additional military aid, including artillery rounds, howitzers, air-to-ground rockets and ammunition.

With News Wire Services

Source by [author_name]

Related Articles

Back to top button