Fragments of two Ukrainian drones slammed into the Kremlin, causing a fireball near the roof of one building in the early hours of Wednesday, the Russian government said in a statement.
“Last night, the Kyiv regime made an attempt to strike with unmanned aerial vehicles on the Kremlin residence of the President of the Russian Federation,” the state-run TASS news agency said, citing the Kremlin.
The statement said no one was injured. It called the incident a “terrorist act.” It was not immediately clear whether Russian President Vladimir Putin was in the building at the time of the attack, but the statement characterized the attack as an assassination attempt on Russia’s leader.
Ukraine’s government has not commented on Moscow’s claims it launched drones.
The drones struck the Kremlin after being shot down by Russia’s military, the government said.
The incident comes as Russia prepares to mark “Victory Day” on May 9 − its annual celebration of World War II victory. The day is usually marked with a parade on Red Square.
Russia has previously staged false-flag operations in order to try to justify assaults on Ukraine.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was in Finland on Wednesday to meet with Nordic leaders, but presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak dismissed Russia’s claim.
“Ukraine has nothing to do with drone attacks on the Kremlin,” he said, claiming it was a Russian ruse “to justify massive strikes on Ukrainian cities, on the civilian population, on infrastructure facilities” in coming days.
∙ Zelenskyy, speaking at a press briefing in Helsinki, Finland, said Ukraine’s counteroffensive is coming “very soon.” This year “will be decisive … for victory,” he said.
∙ A massive blaze broke out at an Russian oil depot in Russia’s southern Krasnodar region, located east of the Russian-held Crimean Peninsula, according to Krasnodar Gov. Veniamin Kondratyev. No cause for the fire was released.
Russia may be diverting strikes away from Ukraine energy targets
Damage in Ukraine from recent Russian strikes indicates a possible shift away from targeting Ukraine’s electrical power network, the British Defense Ministry said in its most recent assessment of the war. A least two recent strikes, April 2 and May 1, were likely focused on Ukraine’s military, industrial and logistical infrastructure, the assessment says. Both strikes used smaller numbers of missiles than seen in previous attacks, which is likely because of Russian attempts to rebuild its stockpiles of cruise missiles, the ministry says.
The attack May 1 injured at least 34 people, but Ukraine air defense systems shot down 15 out of 18 missiles, the Ukraine military said.
Contributing: The Associated Press