Ukraine likely behind Kremlin drone attack, US officials say (report)
A drone attack on the Kremlin earlier this month was most likely orchestrated by Ukraine, which carried out a series of attacks on Russian targets, US officials said.
Russia has claimed that Ukrainian forces tried to kill President Vladimir Putin in the failed attack on May 3.
Two drones were used in the “assassination attempt” at the president’s residence inside the Kremlin compound, but were disabled by Russian defense systems, Russia said.
One drone caused a fire and the second drone exploded.
They cause little damage and no one was injured.
US intelligence agencies do not know which unit carried out the attack, and it was unclear whether Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine or his senior officials knew about the operation, The New York Times reported. .
The attack gave the United States pause for concern. The Biden administration has provided Ukrainian forces with billions of dollars in military aid, but fears that Russia could blame the United States and retaliate by expanding its war beyond Ukraine’s borders.
The United States intercepted Ukrainian communications in which officials said they believed their country was responsible for the operation without the oversight of senior officials, including Zelenskyy or his top aides.
The operation was most likely carried out by one of Ukraine’s special military or intelligence units, according to US officials, The Times reported.
“We didn’t attack Putin,” Zelensky said after the attack.
He added that Ukraine is fighting within its borders and keeping its weapons to defend itself and not to attack Moscow.
Intelligence experts, however, disagree that Ukraine is capable of carrying out such an attack and believe it could have been a Russian false flag operation aimed at giving Russia a reason to escalate the conflict beyond Ukraine.
“I stand by my assessment that the drone attack – like the industrial sabotage operation targeting the Russian Nord Stream gas pipeline – was a false flag operation orchestrated by Putin’s regime. Ukraine by itself, without outside help, is unable to mount such an operation,” Rebekah Koffler, a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer, told Fox News Digital.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration has warned Ukraine against carrying out attacks inside Russia for fear that Moscow could escalate the conflict and that the attacks themselves have not been very effective. , despite Kiev’s ability to penetrate deep inside Russia.
US officials have also publicly denied supporting the use of US military equipment for attacks beyond Ukraine.
Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the Ukrainian president’s office, previously dismissed the drone incident as a false flag intended to justify retaliation.
“Russia is clearly preparing a large-scale terrorist attack. This is why he first detains a large allegedly subversive group in Crimea. And then it shows ‘drones over the Kremlin’,” Podolyak wrote on social media.