An attack on possibly Russia’s most symbolic target would be a victory for Ukraine, but it could also be used by Putin to rally support.
A video has surfaced showing what appears to be a drone attacking the Senatsky Dvorets dome in the Moscow Kremlin. Russian authorities claim Ukraine attacked the building and have vowed to retaliate, while a senior Ukrainian official denies Kyiv’s involvement in the incident.
A video shows what appears to be a drone approaching the dome and exploding in a fireball that lights up the sky. Apparently, the drone did not impact the dome but detonated very close to it, dropping flaming debris. It is suspected that two drones attacked the dome in succession.
Images captured in another video appear to show two drone strikes, one at 2:27 pm and another at 2:43 pm.
Moscow residents claim that the sound of the explosion could be heard from the other side of the Moskva River, according to the Yakimanca Telegram channel, a social network in a Moscow neighborhood.
“The force of the [explosion] was like the rumble of thunder, write the residents of Serafimovicha street,” according to Yakimanca. “In addition, the House on the Embankment residents saw sparks in the sky and people with lanterns near the Kremlin wall after the rumblings. The lighting of the Kremlin and the Kremlin embankment is turned off.”
Residents of the House on the Embankment, a landmark one-block apartment building on the banks of the Moskva River, reported “a loud bang and smoke downtown around 2:30 am,” according to Yakimanca, who posted videos of the incident. “A few minutes later, the explosion was repeated.”
For Ukraine, having Putin’s press department accuse their country of the attacks is a significant symbolic win leading up to Victory Day on May 9. The Kremlin is a prime example of a high-profile target. They might also be used to rally the Russian people behind Putin’s military campaign. Some have speculated that Russia is trying to send a message with this action.
Uncertainty surrounds the events because the footage shows persons climbing the tower immediately before one of the drones detonates.
“Last night, the Kyiv regime attempted a drone attack on the residence of the President of the Russian Federation in the Kremlin,” Russia’s official Presidential Press Service stated.
“Two UAVs targeted the Kremlin. Timely action by the military and special services with radar systems allowed them to disable the devices. They crashed into the Kremlin compound, scattering fragments without causing casualties or damage.”
“We consider these actions as a planned terrorist attack and an assassination attempt against the president, carried out before the Victory Day and the May 9 Parade, where the presence of foreign guests, among others, is expected.”
Despite the terrorist incident, Putin “has not suffered. He continues his regular routine and work schedule. Russia says it would retaliate “whenever and wherever it sees fit.”
However, Mikhail Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, denied Kyiv’s involvement.
As for the drones over the Kremlin, everything is predictable,” Podolyak said in a tweet. “It is clear that Russia is preparing a large-scale terrorist attack. That is why he first arrests a large supposedly subversive group in Crimea.
And then he does a demonstration of “drones over the Kremlin.” Firstly, Ukraine is waging an exclusively defensive war and does not attack targets on the territory of the Russian Federation. So that? This does not solve any military question. But it gives the RF arguments to justify its attacks against civilians.”
Podolyak’s claim that Ukraine never actually attacks Russian territory is even more deceptive. We have consistently recorded a large number of events involving attacks on Russian border cities and beyond.
The Defence Ministry headquarters and another government building in Moscow both had Pantsir air defense systems installed on their roofs in January, so it’s evident that Russia is prepared for an attack on its capital.
At this time, we do not know what kind of drones these are or where they were launched from, but there have been other apparent attempts by Ukraine to attack near Moscow, and Ukrainian drones have been getting closer and closer to the capital in recent years last months. On April 24, an explosives-laden Ukrainian drone, probably a UJ-22, was found a short distance from Moscow.
We also reported on an incident in February in which a Ukrainian drone came within 70 miles of Moscow.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS that Putin would march in the Victory Day parade as planned. According to RIA Novosti, Putin is currently working from his Novo-Ogaryovo estate outside of Moscow.
“The president’s agenda remains unchanged,” he said.
As a result of the attack, the mayor of Moscow issued an order prohibiting the flight of drones in the city. Meanwhile, about 160 kilometers from the Ukrainian border, an additional Ukrainian attack took place in the Briansk region.
Russia’s Baza news agency said on its Telegram channel that Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) assaulted a military base in the Bryansk region on the evening of May 3.
As stated by Baza, preliminary data suggest that five UAVs were involved in the attack. Two were shot down, and another exploded on airfield property. There was no sign of another drone.
As a result of the attack, a “non-operational” An-124 cargo plane “received minor damage,” according to Baza. “There were no victims.”
The Briansk region, which borders Ukraine, has been a frequent target of attacks. According to a local government official, another suspected drone attack occurred on a Russian oil facility in Crimea.