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3 May, 2023 15:17

Kiev claims ignorance of attempt on Putin’s life

Russia has warned it will retaliate for an apparent Ukrainian drone attack on the Kremlin
Kiev claims ignorance of attempt on Putin’s life

The Ukrainian government has denied Moscow’s accusations that it attempted to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin in a drone attack on the Kremlin in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

“We don't attack Putin or Moscow, we fight on our territory, we're defending our villages and cities, President Vladimir Zelensky said at a press conference in Helsinki, after meeting with the leaders of Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. "We don't have, you know, enough weapons for this."

“We have no information about the so-called night attacks,” Zelensky's press secretary Sergey Nikiforov told BBC Russian. He claimed his country was focused on “liberating its own territory, not attacking other nations.”

Zelensky’s aide Mikhail Podolyak attributed the drone attack to “the guerilla activities of local resistance forces.” He likewise insisted that Ukraine was conducting “an exclusively defensive war and [did] not attack targets on the territory of the Russian Federation.”

The night attack involved two drones, which were ultimately downed by electronic warfare measures over the grounds of the Kremlin, according to a statement released by the Russian presidential office on Wednesday. The UAVs were allegedly targeting Putin’s residence.

The Kremlin said it considered the attack a “pre-planned terrorist act” and an attempt on Putin’s life. It reserved the right to retaliate by any means it deems necessary at a time and place of its choosing.

Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said the Russian president was not in the Kremlin at the time of the incursion. There were no casualties as a result of the incident, according to reports.

Russia has accused Kiev of orchestrating several high-profile crimes on its territory, including the assassination of journalist Darya Dugina last August. The Ukrainian government denies any involvement in these incidents. According to Western media, even its backers in Washington believe Kiev was responsible for the Dugina murder and chastised the Zelenksy government for recklessness. 

Since the start of the conflict in February 2022, several Russian regions bordering Ukraine, including Bryansk, Belgorod and Kursk, have been repeatedly targeted by Kiev’s drone and missile attacks. The strikes have targeted energy infrastructure and residential areas, resulting in several civilian deaths and many injuries, as well as the destruction of property.