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Putin’s press service claims two Ukrainian drones targeted Kremlin last night, promises retaliation

Alleged drone attack on the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. 3 May 2023. Screenshots from the video.

UNIAN reported that last night, two explosions were heard near the Kremlin in Moscow, and residents of a house on the embankment of the Moskva River reported seeing sparks and smoke in the sky. Later, the lights of the Kremlin and the embankment were turned off. Meanwhile, the Moscow mayor banned drones in the city.

In a statement, the Russian President’s press service  claimed that “the Kyiv regime attempted a drone strike on the Kremlin residence of the President of the Russian Federation.”

According to the report, two drones targeted the Kremlin but were ostensibly disabled by “the timely actions undertaken by military and special services with the application of radar-tracking systems.”

“As a result of their fall and scattering of fragments on the territory of the Kremlin, there are no victims and material damage,” the Kremlin press service says.

Fire in Moscow’s Kremlin after an allegedly UAV attack overnight into 3 may 2023. Screenshots: Telegram channels @yakimanca, Pozdnyakov.

The Kremlin sees terrorism in the allegedly Ukrainian drone attack and promises retaliation:

“We consider this action a planned terrorist action and [assassination] attempt on the President [Putin], carried out on the eve of Victory Day and the Parade on 9 May, at which foreign guests are also expected to be present. […] The Russian side reserves the right to retaliate when and where it sees fit,” the statement reads.

Videos published on social media show smoke over the Kremlin and fire on the roof of one of its buildings, suggesting that some damage was done, contrary to the statement by Putin’s press service. Another video allegedly shows a moment of the strike:

Despite Kremlin allegations, it remains unclear what actually happened in Moscow last night. For instance, since the Russian capital is oversaturated with air defense systems, it is possible that one of them attempted to shoot down a quadcopter launched by a local to film footage of Moscow at night, with a missile hitting the rooftop. Another option may be a false flag attack to justify some “retaliation action” in the future.

Update:

In his commentary to Ukrinform, Mykhailo Podoliak, Advisor to the Head of the Presidential Office, says Ukraine has not attacked the Kremlin or any other facilities on the Russian territory:

“Ukraine has not attacked the Kremlin or any other facilities on the territory of the Russian Federation. The targets of our Defense Forces are exclusively military facilities on the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. Obviously, attacks on objects like the Kremlin do not solve any military tasks and do not contribute to the preparation of a counteroffensive operation,” he said.

Update 19:40:

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy denies Ukraine’s attack on Moscow or Russian President Putin. He made the relevant statement during a joint press conference with the Presidents and participants in the Nordic-Ukrainian Summit in Finland’s Helsinki, according to Ukrinform.

“We do not attack Putin or Moscow. We fight on our territory, we are defending our villages and cities. We didn’t attack Putin. We leave it to the tribunal,” said Zelenskyy.

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