(Moscow) Russia said on Wednesday it shot down two Ukrainian drones trying to attack the Kremlin in Moscow, denouncing an assassination attempt on Vladimir Putin a few days before major military celebrations.
“Last night the Kyiv regime tried to hit the Kremlin […] with drones. Two drones aimed at the Kremlin. The craft were disabled through the use of electronic warfare radar systems,” the Russian presidency said in a statement.
“We consider these actions an attempted terrorist act and an attempt on the life of the president” Vladimir Putin, added the Kremlin, specifying that the Russian leader had not been injured.
A video posted by some Russian media on social media showed a plume of smoke rising above the Kremlin overnight. It was not immediately possible to verify these independent source images.
According to the Russian presidency, “there were no casualties or damage caused by the falling and scattering of the fragments” of drones on the Kremlin.
If drones have already crashed in the Moscow region in recent months, it is the first time that an incursion attributed to Ukraine has occurred in the heart of the Russian capital, located some 500 km from the Ukrainian border. .
The attempted attack reported by the Kremlin comes days before “Victory Day” celebrations on May 9, when Russia marks with great fanfare the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945.
Several military parades have been canceled across Russia due to security concerns.
Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, however, said on Wednesday that the grand military parade in Moscow’s Red Square, the main event, would go ahead as planned, despite the attack on the Kremlin.
The mayor of the capital, Sergei Sobyanin, announced for his part that drone flights over the Russian capital would now be prohibited, except with government authorization.
Incidents involving drones have multiplied in recent months in Russia, targeting military bases or energy infrastructure. Moscow accuses Kyiv of being behind these attacks, but the Ukrainian authorities do not claim them.
In recent days, two acts of spectacular railway sabotage have also occurred in the Russian province of Bryansk, bordering Ukraine, causing the derailment of two trains.
The increase in such incidents comes as Kyiv claims to have completed preparations for a major spring offensive against Russian positions in Ukraine.