Assassination Attempt Made On Russian President, Vladmir Putin

We will take “retaliatory measures whenever and wherever it sees fit.” – Russia declares.

The Kremlin was struck by Ukrainian drones early on Wednesday morning, officials in Moscow claimed, adding it was an attempt on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s life, potentially marking a major escalation in the ongoing conflict between the two countries as Kyiv is expected to mobilize its forces for a planned spring offensive.

Officials in Moscow claimed that two Ukrainian drones crashed into the Kremlin after being shot down by the Russian military’s electronic air defense systems.

No injuries were reported from this purported attack.

In a statement, the Kremlin said it will take “retaliatory measures whenever and wherever it sees fit.”

Kremlin statement reacting to the attack: 

“We view these actions as a planned terrorist attack and an assassination attempt targeting the President, carried out ahead of Victory Day,” (referring to the May 9 celebration of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.)

“Russia reserves the right to take countermeasures wherever and whenever it deems appropriate,” 
– The kremlin said in a statement on its website.

Zelenskyy’s press officer, Serhiy Nikiforov, said in a comment to local media that Kyiv had no information about “the so-called night attacks on the Kremlin,” repeating its stated focus on its own territory. “Ukraine directs all available forces and means to liberate its own territories, not to attack foreign ones.”

Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the Russian parliament’s lower house, demanded “the use of weapons capable of stopping and destroying the Kyiv terrorist regime,” in a Telegram post.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of Russia’s Wagner Group whose mercenary forces have led the assault on Bakhmut, said the Ukrainian counteroffensive had already begun.

“The enemy has also become more active outside the historical borders of Ukraine — the Russian Federation,” Prigozhin said in a statement.

“We see the situation in our various areas: trains, drones, and so on. Therefore, I think that everything has already gone. When will it become active? I think that in the near future, maybe days,” he added.

Fear amongst Ukrainians of ‘false flag’ attack

Al Jazeera’s Charles Stratford, reporting from Kyiv, says the Ukrainian official’s statement denying Kyiv’s involvement in the alleged drone attack is Russia’s attempt at a “false flag”.

“Basically, what he is saying is that this is the fear amongst Ukrainians of the false flag attack. It wouldn’t be the first time that we’ve seen something like that,” Stratford said.

“At the beginning of the war, there were false flags used by pro-Russian separatists in Russian-controlled territories, and that was seen by many as a precursor for a full scale invasion.”

Stratford added that the footage, which is yet to be verified, looks “dubious” but that the alleged attack comes at a time when Kyiv has been vocal about an upcoming counteroffensive.

“Interestingly, over the last couple of minutes or so, we have heard air sirens over Kyiv during the day. We haven’t heard that for some time. So you can imagine the city is tense. ”