(Moscow) Russia on Thursday accused the United States of ordering the alleged Ukrainian drone attack on the Kremlin which it claims to have foiled the day before, alarmed by an “unprecedented” wave of “sabotage” on his floor.
On Wednesday, Moscow claimed to have intercepted two Ukrainian drones targeting the Kremlin, denouncing an assassination attempt against President Vladimir Putin, the most spectacular attack attributed to Kyiv since the start of the Russian offensive.
Ukraine denied any involvement and Washington questioned the Russian accusations.
“The efforts of Kyiv and Washington to deny responsibility (for the alleged attack) are totally ridiculous. Decisions about such attacks are not taken in Kyiv, but in Washington,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
“ Kyiv only applies what is asked of it ”, he continued. And to warn: “ Washington must understand that we know it ”.
Ukraine firmly denied on Wednesday any link with this incident, even accusing Russia of having “ staged ” to justify a possible escalation of the conflict to come.
The head of American diplomacy, Antony Blinken, told him to take the Russian assertions with “ very careful ”.
The Russian capital is located some 500 kilometers from the Ukrainian border and the Kremlin is in an ultra-secure district. Russian accusations over an alleged Ukrainian drone incursion surprised many analysts.
Mr. Peskov also said that Vladimir Putin was working inside the Kremlin on Thursday, where he will have “ an important discussion with the Minister of Economic Development ”, Maxim Rechetnikov.
Security measures will be “reinforced”, also announced Mr. Peskov, as the May 9 celebrations loom, marking the victory over Nazi Germany in 1945. In Moscow, the large military parade in Red Square is maintained and Mr. Putin will deliver a speech there, his spokesperson assured.
While Moscow usually minimizes attacks on its soil, the Russian Foreign Ministry estimated Thursday that “ terrorist and sabotage activities of the Ukrainian armed forces are taking on an unprecedented scale ”.
Attacks have indeed multiplied in recent days, including several drone attacks and railway sabotage.
Also on Thursday, drones struck two oil refineries in southwestern Russia, near Ukraine.
If Kyiv has not claimed any of these attacks, as usual, their multiplication 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 assault and its targets, with in any case the stated aim of reconquering the territories occupied by Moscow in the east and south.
Russia still occupies about 18% of Ukrainian territory and Kyiv has vowed to drive the Russian army out of its lands.
It is in this context that Russia carried out a new series of attacks on Thursday by launching “24 Shahed 136/131 drones”, according to the Ukrainian Air Force, which said on Telegram that it had “downed 18”.
Among the targets targeted by the Russian army, the capital Kyiv, for “ the third time in four days ”, according to the head of the city’s anti-aircraft defense forces, Serguiï Popko.
All the flying machines were shot down, he said. Shrapnel fell in the streets of three districts of Kyiv, damaging several cars, but without causing any casualties, according to the same source.
Other cities in Ukraine suffered these attacks on Thursday, including the port city of Odessa in the south-west, targeted by “15 drones” of which 12 “were shot down”, according to the spokesperson for the regional administration , Sergei Brachuk.
Among these drones, “three hit a dormitory”, without causing any casualties, he said.
The day before, the city of Kherson, near the southern front and which announced a 58-hour curfew from Friday evening, had been the target of “massive” bombardments, killing 23 people and wounding 46, according to a latest report. official released Thursday.
In addition, Mr. Zelensky called, during a trip to The Hague, for the creation of a special tribunal for the crime of aggression, after an unexpected visit to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“ There should be responsibility ” for this crime of aggression, the “ beginning of evil ”, he said, referring to the Russian military offensive in his country.