On the early hours of Wednesday, footage emerged showing a plume of smoke rising from the top of the Kremlin in Moscow after an unmanned aerial vehicle with an explosive payload struck near the flagpole. Russian media has claimed two drones were part of the overnight attack. Russian presidential administration claimed the attack was targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin who has a residential quarter inside the structure. Reuters reports that footage originates from Russian citizens who live across the Mosvka River, where it quickly spread across social media. Russian media claims the drones were intercepted before the target was reached, calling it an act of terrorism and meant to disrupt Victory Day plans on May 9th. Extent of the damage is unclear at this point. This is another of several attacks taken out in Russian territory suspected of being Ukrainian in origin, others include recent industrial and factory fires thought to be sabotage and explosions causing train derailment, although a number of other attacks in this year and last year were also thought to be Ukrainian. Mikhail Sheremet, a representative of Russian-occupied Crimea, suggested the Kremlin should strike Ukrainian President Zelensky’s private residence in Kyiv for retaliation. Ukrainian presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak denied the attack came from Ukraine, dismissing it as staged.
It seems like the attack might have been carried out with a UKRJET UJ-22 Airborne UAV; yet it's very hard get an exact result from the video. pic.twitter.com/XvEAFCJNB3
— War Noir (@war_noir) May 3, 2023
Russian state-owned TASS reports:
“Russian President Vladimir Putin was not harmed and continues to work as usual after Kiev’s attempted drone attack against the Kremlin this night, the presidential press service said on Wednesday. “The Russian president was not harmed as a result of the terrorist attack. His schedule has not changed and continues as usual,” the press service said. According to the press service, this night “the Kiev regime carried out an attempt to deliver a strike by unmanned aerial vehicles on the Kremlin residence of the Russian president.” “Two unmanned aerial vehicles targeted the Kremlin,” it said.
“As a result of timely actions taken by military and special services using electronic warfare systems, the drones were disabled,” the Kremlin stated. “Their fall and the fragments scattered around on the territory of the Kremlin caused no casualties or material damage,” the press service stressed.
— Faytuks News ? (@Faytuks) May 3, 2023
TASS continued: “Moscow will be ready to respond to Kiev’s attempt to carry out a drone attack on the Kremlin whenever and wherever it sees fit, the Russian presidential press service said in a statement on Wednesday. “Russia reserves the right to take retaliatory measures whenever and wherever it sees fit,” the statement reads. According to the statement, “last night, the Kiev regime attempted to attack the Russian president’s Kremlin residence using unmanned aerial vehicles.” The Kremlin noted that it was “a pre-planned act of terrorism and an attempt on the life of the Russian president, which took place just before the Victory Day and the May 9 Parade that will be attended by foreign guests.”
The Russian president on Tuesday worked in St. Petersburg, where he gave the go-ahead to resume tram traffic in Mariupol via video link, held a meeting with the government and a number of other working meetings. Putin also met in person with famous Russian conductor Valery Gergiev, who marked his 70th birthday. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that on Wednesday Putin is working in Novo-Ogaryovo outside Moscow, where he met with Nizhny Novgorod Governor Gleb Nikitin.”
Pravda UA reports:
“Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the head of the President’s Office, linked the Kremlin’s statement regarding the drone over the Russian President’s residence with the preparation of a large-scale terrorist attack by the Russian leadership. “Regarding the drones over the Kremlin. Everything is predictable… Russia is clearly preparing a large-scale terrorist act. Therefore, first it detains a large group of alleged saboteurs in Crimea. And then it demonstrates “drones over the Kremlin.”
He explained that, firstly, Ukraine is conducting an exclusively defensive war and does not attack objects on the territory of Russia, because this does not solve any military problem. At the same time, such statements by Russia give it grounds to justify its attacks on civilians. In addition, the adviser to the head of the OP noted that the leadership of Ukraine is watching with interest “the growth of incidents and excesses occurring in various parts of the Russian Federation… The appearance of unknown drones at energy facilities or on the territory of the Kremlin can only indicate the underground work of local resistance forces,” Podolyak emphasized. He also noted the loss of power control over the country by the “Putin clan”, although the Kremlin constantly declared its total control over the air.
Podolyak ironized that today drones can be bought at any military market. “In a word, something is happening in the Russian Federation, but definitely without Ukrainian drones over the Kremlin,” he noted.
Serhiy Nikiforov, the spokesman for President Zelensky, says that Ukraine has no information about the so-called night attacks on the Kremlin. “We have no information about the so-called night attacks on the Kremlin, but as President Zelenskyi has repeatedly stated, Ukraine directs all available forces and means to the liberation of its own territories, and not to the attack of others. The wording of the terrorist state is particularly surprising. A terrorist attack is the destroyed entrances of houses in Dnipro and Uman, or a rocket in the queue at the station in Kramatorsk and many other tragedies. And what happened in Moscow was obviously an escalation of the situation before May 9. Expected reception from our opponents.”