The US government has dismissed accusations that Russia was behind the alleged drone attack on the Kremlin as "ridiculous". "The United States had nothing to do with it. We don't even know exactly what happened here," National Security Council communications director John Kirby said on US television on Thursday. Referring to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Kirby said: "Mr. Peskov is lying."
Peskov had previously said without providing any evidence: "We know that the decision on such acts and acts of terrorism is not made in Kiev, but in Washington. And Kiev carries out what they are told." Kirby stressed that the US would not encourage or allow Ukraine to attack outside Ukrainian borders. "We do not advocate attacks on individual heads of state, we do not encourage them, we do not support them," he added.
According to international military experts, Russia probably staged the alleged attacks on the Kremlin itself. This was intended to bring the Russian public closer to the war and create the conditions for broader social mobilization, the Washington-based Institute for War Studies (ISW) wrote in its report on Wednesday (local time). Several indications indicated that the attack was carried out from within and staged in a targeted manner.
Alleged attack on Putin
On Wednesday, the Kremlin reported an attempted attack with two drones, allegedly aimed at President Vladimir Putin. Moscow initially blamed Ukraine for the execution. However, the neighboring country, which has been defending itself against a Russian invasion for more than 14 months, immediately rejected the accusation.
According to the US think tank, Russian authorities have recently taken steps to bolster air defenses, including within Moscow itself to create the city. It is therefore extremely unlikely that two drones could have penetrated multiple air defense perimeters and been detonated or shot down directly over the heart of the Kremlin - in a way that could be easily captured on camera to provide spectacular images, according to the report .
According to the ISW, the immediate and coordinated Russian response to the incident suggests that the attack was prepared internally in such a way that its intended political impact overshadowed the embarrassment of hitting the Kremlin. With the action shortly before the "Day of Victory" on May 9, the war should be presented to the local audience as existential.
"Considered, Balanced Steps" announced
Putin, on the other hand, will most likely discuss the incident at a scheduled meeting of the National Security Council this Friday, Kremlin spokesman Peskov said. Regarding the retaliatory measures already announced by the Kremlin, he only said that these would be "well thought-out, balanced steps that correspond to the interests of our country".
Meanwhile, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has expressed concern. "What worries us is that this could be used as a justification for further attacks on Ukraine," Borrell said Thursday on the sidelines of a meeting of EU development ministers in Brussels. "We call on Russia not to use this alleged attack as a pretext for a further escalation of the war." Addressing the EU states, Borrell said the most important thing now is to continue to support Ukraine militarily, politically and economically.