Russia said on Thursday that the United States was behind what it says was a drone attack on the Kremlin that aimed to kill President Vladimir Putin, while Moscow’s forces fired more combat drones at Ukrainian cities including the capital Kyiv. Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, without providing evidence, said Ukraine had acted on U.S. orders with the alleged drone attack on the Kremlin citadel in the early hours of Wednesday.
Kyiv has denied involvement in that incident, which followed a string of explosions over the past week targeting freight trains and oil depots in western Russia and Russian-controlled Crimea. Moscow has blamed Ukraine for those attacks too.
“Attempts to disown this (attack on the Kremlin), both in Kyiv and in Washington, are, of course, absolutely ridiculous. We know very well that decisions about such actions, about such terrorist attacks, are made not in Kyiv but in Washington,” Peskov told reporters. The Kremlin has said it reserves the right to retaliate. Peskov said on Thursday an urgent investigation was under way and that any response would be carefully considered and balanced.
Separately, Russia’s foreign ministry said the alleged drone attack “must not go unanswered” and that it showed Kyiv had no desire to end the 15-month old war at the negotiating table.
US denies involvement in Kremlin drone attack
The White House on Wednesday denied any involvement in an alleged drone attack on the Kremlin, after Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused Washington of guiding Ukraine to launch the assault, reports AFP.
“We had nothing to do with this,” said John Kirby, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, on MSNBC. “Peskov is just lying there, pure and simple,” he added. Russia alleges that Ukraine carried out a “terrorist attack” overnight Tuesday into Wednesday with two drones, aiming to kill President Vladimir Putin, a charge which Kyiv has denied. Peskov, Putin’s longtime press secretary, said earlier Wednesday that “decisions on such attacks are not made in Kyiv, but in Washington.”
“Kyiv only does what it is told to do,” he added.
The incident at the Kremlin comes amid several other recent explosions and trail derailments on Russian and occupied Ukrainian territory.
Kirby reiterated in his interview to MSNBC on Wednesday that Washington does not support or condone attacks by Ukraine outside its borders.
“We’ve been clear with them publicly and we’ve been clear with them privately that we do not encourage nor do we enable them to strike outside Ukraine,” he said.