Russia has reserved the right to retaliate to an alleged Ukrainian drone attack on the Kremlin on Tuesday evening in what it claims was an assassination attempt against Vladimir Putin.
Unverified footage picked up by Russian state media purports to show a drone exploding above the presidential palace in Moscow late on Tuesday.
Few details have been released about the ownership of the drone or from where it took off, but Russian media outlets on Wednesday accused Kyiv of orchestrating the attack.
“Last night, the Kyiv regime attempted to attack the Russian president’s Kremlin residence using unmanned aerial vehicles,” a Russian government statement read.
Russia described the drone explosion as “a pre-planned act of terrorism and an attempt on the life of the Russian president, which took place just before the May 9 Victory Day Parade that will be attended by foreign guests.”
“Russia reserves the right to take retaliatory measures whenever and wherever it sees fit,” the statement added.
“As a result of timely actions taken by military and special services using electronic warfare systems, the drones were disabled,” another statement from the presidential press service read. “Their fall and the fragments scattered around on the territory of the Kremlin caused no casualties or material damage.”
Sergei Sobyan, the mayor of Moscow, announced a ban on all drone activity over the Russian capital following the alleged attack.
The state-run Russian news agency Tass reported on Wednesday that Putin will not amend his schedule in light of the alleged assassination attempt, and confirmed the May 9 Victory Day Parade in Moscow will take place as planned.
The incident follows a report by the German newspaper Bild that claimed the Ukrainian secret service had attempted to assassinate the Russian president using explosives attached to a drone on Sunday during a visit by Putin to a new industrial park near Moscow.
According to the report, Ukraine used a medium-range UJ-22 drone, which has a range of up to 800 kilometers, in an attempt to murder Putin during the visit.
“Last week, our intelligence officers received information about Putin’s trip to the industrial park in Rudnevo. Accordingly, our kamikaze drone took off, which flew through all the air defenses of the Russian Federation and crashed not far from the industrial park,” Ukrainian activist Yuriy Romanenko told Bild.
The incident on Tuesday is the latest accusation made by Russia about the use of Ukrainian drones on its territory.
Last month, Igor Sukhin, head of the Bogorodsky city district, located 12 kilometers northeast of Moscow, claimed a Ukrainian drone had been found in a nearby forest by a local resident. “This is not the first drone to appear in the Moscow region,” Sukhin told his followers on the Telegram messaging app.
Similar drones have also been identified in towns on the periphery of the Russian capital in recent months, although the devices have not been independently verified as originating from Ukraine.