(Moscow) Russia accused the United States on Thursday of having ordered the alleged attack by Ukrainian drones against the Kremlin which it claims to have foiled the day before, “ a lie ” according to Washington, which denies any involvement.

In the midst of the exchange of accusations, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky demanded from The Hague, where he is on a surprise visit, the creation of a special international tribunal to try the “ crime of aggression ” that Moscow according to him committed against Ukraine.

Precisely, on the ground, the Russian bombardments have been increasing in intensity for several days: Kyiv, which claims to complete its preparations for a major offensive, said it shot down around thirty explosive drones sent by Russia on Thursday.

But it was other drones that first made an impression: on Wednesday, Moscow claimed to have intercepted two Ukrainian devices aimed at the Kremlin, denouncing an attempt to assassinate President Vladimir Putin.

A day later, a great blur still surrounds this supposed attack, the most spectacular attributed to Kyiv since the start of the Russian offensive in February 2022.

The Russian authorities have not made public any evidence and it is impossible to authenticate the videos broadcast by some Russian media on which we can see a small drone approaching the Kremlin before exploding in a sheaf of flames.

Ukraine has in any case firmly denied any link with this affair, even accusing Russia of having “ staged ” to justify a possible future escalation of the conflict, again without providing any convincing evidence.

“The efforts of Kyiv and Washington to deny responsibility are totally ridiculous. Decisions about such attacks are not made in Kyiv, but in Washington,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday, without however substantiating his accusations.

The United States “has nothing to do with this affair”, retorted on MSNBC John Kirby, the spokesman for the National Security Council of the White House. Mr. Peskov is “lying, plain and simple,” he continued.

The Russian capital is located some 500 kilometers from the Ukrainian border and the Kremlin is in an ultra-secure district. The Russian accusations relating to an alleged incursion by Ukrainian drones thus surprised many analysts.

Russian state television on Thursday broadcast footage it said showed Mr Putin during a business meeting inside the Kremlin, his first public appearance since news broke of the alleged attack.

Security measures will be “reinforced”, assured Mr. Peskov, as the May 9 celebrations loom, marking the victory over Nazi Germany in 1945.

In Moscow, the big military parade planned for that day in Red Square is maintained and Mr. Putin will give a speech there, according to his spokesman.

While Moscow usually minimizes attacks on its soil, the Russian Foreign Ministry estimated Thursday that “ the terrorist and sabotage activities of the Ukrainian armed forces ” were taking “ an unprecedented scale ”.

Attacks have indeed multiplied in recent days, with in particular several drone attacks and spectacular railway sabotage.

On Thursday, drones struck two oil refineries in southwestern Russia, near Ukraine.

While Kyiv has not claimed any of these actions, as usual, their intensification comes at a time when Ukraine claims to have completed its preparations for a major spring offensive announced for weeks.

Rumors are rife among analysts about the date of this attack and its targets, with in any case the stated aim of reconquering the occupied territories in the east and south.

During his trip to The Hague, where the International Criminal Court (ICC) sits, Mr. Zelensky called for the creation of a special tribunal to punish the Russian “crime of aggression”, “the beginning of evil”, he said. hammered.

He also said that “realistic” Ukraine did not expect to join NATO as long as the conflict continued to rage, while urging its Western allies to continue “as quickly as possible” deliveries of weapons.

On Thursday, Russia carried out a new series of attacks by launching “24 Shahed 136/131 drones” on Kyiv and “15” others on Odessa, the major port city in the south-west, according to Ukrainian authorities.

These ensured that 18 drones had been “shot down” over Kyiv and 12 in the sky over Odessa. The devices that pierced the anti-aircraft defense apparently did not cause any casualties.

The day before, the city of Kherson had been the target of “massive” bombardments which caused the death of 23 people and injured 46, according to the latest official report.

On Thursday, the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, urged Moscow not to use the alleged drone attack the day before against the Kremlin “ as an excuse to continue the escalation ” in the conflict.