The United States has denied allegations made by the Kremlin that it was behind an alleged drone attack on the Kremlin that occurred on Wednesday. The alleged attack, apparently aimed at assassinating Russian President Vladimir Putin, was dismissed as “ludicrous” by US National Security spokesman John Kirby.
According to President Putin’s spokesperson, the attack on the Kremlin occurred early on Wednesday, with footage on social media showing smoke rising over the complex. A second video showed a small explosion above the site’s Senate building, while two men appeared to have climbed up the dome.
The Russian government accused Ukraine of being behind the alleged attack. On Thursday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov went further, claiming that the US was “undoubtedly” behind it, without providing any evidence. Mr. Peskov argued that decisions on such attacks are made in Washington, not Kyiv.
US officials immediately rejected the accusation, with Mr. Kirby telling US media that Peskov was “just lying there, pure and simple.” Kirby added that the US had no role whatsoever in the attack, nor did it encourage or enable Ukraine to strike outside its borders or endorse attacks on individual leaders. He went on to say that Washington did not know precisely what had happened.
Ukraine has also denied any involvement in the incident while accusing Moscow of staging it to escalate the ongoing war. The Russian attacks have continued, with 21 people killed in the Kherson region on Wednesday, but there has been no sign yet of any intensification on Moscow’s part. On Sunday evening, however, a drone was shot down over the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, not too far from the presidential office.
Many experts argue that Russia has little interest in staging an attack that would make the Kremlin look vulnerable. Some believe that the Russian government may have staged the incident itself in an attempt to increase tensions with Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague in the Netherlands on the same day the Kremlin made its accusations. In a speech afterwards, he called for the creation of a special tribunal to hold Russia accountable for its “crimes of aggression.” He accused President Putin of “deserving to be sentenced for criminal actions in the capital of international law,” referring to The Hague. He also listed alleged war crimes committed by Russia, including the “millions” of strikes in the Donbas region and the occupation of Bucha, near Kyiv, during the onset of the full-scale Russian invasion last year.
The ICC has already issued an arrest warrant for President Putin for alleged war crimes in Ukraine, but it has no mandate to prosecute the crime of aggression. The Ukrainian president’s call for the creation of a special tribunal comes amid growing calls for Russia to be held accountable for its actions in Ukraine. Despite international pressure, however, the conflict shows no sign of abating, with the recent drone attack being just one of many incidents in the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia.