Ukraine’s president has denied his country’s involvement in what Russia said was an assassination attempt on the Russian president, accusing Moscow of fabricating the attack on the Kremlin with drones. This comes as the Kremlin’s announcement of the incident sparked strong reactions and speculation in the country.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of fabricating the attack on the Kremlin with drones.
Zelensky said at a press conference in the Finnish capital Helsinki on Wednesday (May 2023,): “We do not attack Putin or Moscow, we fight on our land, and we defend our villages and cities.”
He said Russia fabricated the attack because it knew it had lost the war it started 14 months ago against Ukraine. The Ukrainian president added that the Kremlin is using this narrative to motivate its soldiers to continue the war.
Videos of an alleged drone attack on the Kremlin last night circulated that Moscow described as an “assassination attempt” of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Moscow’s account could not be independently verified.
For its part, the United States said it was taking “great caution” with Russia’s statements. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: “I have seen the information. I can’t confirm it. We don’t know,” he said, adding: “I deal with great caution everything that comes from the Kremlin.”
WATCH: An unverified video showed an alleged drone attack on the Kremlin. Russia accused Ukraine of attempting to assassinate President Putin, but Ukraine has denied the allegation. pic.twitter.com/xRg132A0vz
— DW News (@dwnews) May 3, 2023
The White House said it was aware of reports that Russia had accused Ukraine of attacking the Kremlin with drones in an attempt to kill Russian President Vladimir Putin, but could not verify or confirm the allegations.
White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters: “We are aware of the reports but cannot confirm … Her health at the moment.”
Anger and threats inside Russia. and open an investigation into the incident
Following the announcement of the incident, Russia announced “the opening of an investigation into a terrorist act,” accusing Ukraine of a “terrorist” assassination attempt. Russia’s Investigative Committee, tasked with investigating the most serious crimes, said in a statement it had “opened a criminal investigation into terrorism linked to the attempted bombing of the Russian president’s residence in the Kremlin”.
The Kremlin’s announcement sparked strong reactions and speculation in the country, with the deputy head of the Russian Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, saying that the only option after the Kyiv regime’s attack on the Kremlin was to “eliminate Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and his entourage.”
Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel today: “After today’s terrorist attack (the drone attack on the Kremlin), there are no options but to physically eliminate Zelensky and his gang.”
Sergei Mironov, deputy chairman of the State Duma (lower house of the Russian Federal Assembly), wrote on Telegram that the arrival of two marches to the Kremlin raised questions about the state of air defense in Russia. At the same time, Mironov called for the “elimination” of what he called “the terrorist elite in Ukraine.”
Heated situations on the ground
On the ground, and inside Ukraine, Russian shelling on Wednesday killed 21 people and wounded 48 in Kherson in the south of the country, according to the latest toll. “21 people were killed and 48 injured,” Zelenskiy wrote on Telegram, adding that the strikes hit “a train station, a tool shop, a supermarket, and a gas station.”
This comes after the Kherson frontline authorities announced a curfew.
Analysts often point to Kherson as one of the potential theaters of counterattack. Kiev recaptured the city of Kherson in November but has since come under Russian bombardment.
Analysts have speculated about when the Ukrainian counterattack will take place and where it will be launched.