Russian officials accused Ukraine of attempting drone strikes on the Kremlin to kill President Vladimir Putin and warned of potential retaliation.
Ukraine’s government denied involvement, accusing Moscow of using the incident to escalate attacks in Ukraine.
On Wednesday, the Kremlin’s press service reported that Russian air defenses shot down two drones targeting Putin’s residence within the Kremlin walls.
The Kremlin called this a planned terrorist act and an attempt on the president’s life.
During the alleged attack, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian state news agency RIA Novosti that Putin was not in the building.
The Kremlin reported no injuries or damage from the destroyed drones.
Unverified footage on social media shows an explosion above the Kremlin.
Moscow previously accused Ukraine of carrying out attacks and sabotage in Russia, which Ukraine denies.
Ukrainian officials rejected this latest accusation. “We are not attacking Putin or Moscow.
We are fighting on our territory, defending our villages and cities,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told reporters in Helsinki on Wednesday.
Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak suggested on Twitter that “local resistance forces” could be responsible. He accused the Kremlin of using this incident to justify large-scale attacks on Ukrainian civilians.
According to The Washington Post, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington could not confirm the attack reports and urged skepticism about any such Kremlin claims.
Analysts also warned against considering a drone attack, even if proven true, as an assassination attempt on Putin.
The Russian government warned of possible retaliation for the alleged plot.
“The Russian side reserves the right to take retaliatory measures where and when it sees fit,” the Kremlin said.
An audio conversation with National Security Correspondent Greg Myre was edited by Andrew Sussman and Sarah Handel and produced by Alejandra Marquez Janse.