The Russian government said Wednesday that Ukraine tried to kill President Vladimir Putin in a drone attack that targeted the Kremlin and that Russia has the right to respond “whenever and wherever it sees fit.”
According to the Russian news agency TASS, the Kremlin was targeted early Wednesday morning by two drones that were taken down and destroyed by “electronic warfare systems.” No casualties were reported, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin was elsewhere at the time of the attack.
“The Russian president was not harmed as a result of the terrorist attack. His schedule has not changed and continues as usual,” Putin’s press service said.
For their part, Ukrainian officials denied any role in the attack. “I can repeat this message. I think it will be clear to everyone. We don’t attack Putin or Moscow. We fight on our territory, we defend our cities and villages,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said from Helsinki.
Zelensky aide Mykhailo Podolyak also denied Kyiv was responsible. On Twitter, Podolyak said attacking the Kremlin would serve no military purpose and would only give Moscow the pretext to escalate.
But Pentagon documents allegedly leaked by Jack Teixeira show that the US was concerned about Ukraine planning attacks in Moscow and that Zelensky might not have control over his intelligence services.
One leak showed that Ukraine’s security service, the SBU, determined its agents violated orders by attacking a Russian surveillance plane in Belarus. Another leak revealed that Ukraine postponed planned attacks in Moscow that would have coincided with the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion.
Drone attacks, shelling, and sabotage operations have increased inside Russia in recent weeks. Ukraine does not take responsibility for such incidents, but unlike the drone attack on the Kremlin, Ukrainian officials typically strongly hint Kyiv was involved.