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Russia says U.S. was behind Kremlin drone attack

Newsman:  Russia accused the United States on Thursday of being behind what it says was a drone attack on Moscow’s Kremlin citadel intended to kill President Vladimir Putin.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the United States was “undoubtedly” behind the incident and added – again without stating evidence – that Washington often selected both the targets for Ukraine to attack, and the means to attack them.

“This is also often dictated from across the ocean … In Washington they must clearly understand that we know this,” Peskov said.

 “Attempts to disown this, both in Kyiv and in Washington, are, of course, absolutely ridiculous. We know very well that decisions about such actions, about such terrorist attacks, are made not in Kyiv but in Washington,” said Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Pesk.ov during a press conference.

“Kyiv only does what it is told to do,” Peskov said.

The White House was quick to reject the charge.

Ukraine has also denied involvement in the incident in the early hours of Wednesday, when video footage showed two flying objects approaching the Senate Palace inside the Kremlin walls and one exploding with a bright flash.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby told MSNBC television the Russian claims were false, and that Washington does not encourage or enable Ukraine to strike outside its borders. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that he’d take any claims coming from the Kremlin with a “large shaker of salt.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy denied the accusation, and U.S. officials said they had no advanced knowledge of the attacks. “We don’t attack Putin or Moscow,” Zelenskyy told the Nordic broadcaster TV2 during a trip to Finland on Wednesday. “We fight on our territory. We’re defending our villages and cities. We don’t have enough weapons for these.”

Russia has said with increasing frequency that it sees the United States as a direct participant in the war, intent on inflicting a “strategic defeat” on Moscow. The United States denies that, saying it is arming Ukraine to defend itself and retake territory that Moscow has seized illegally in more than 14 months of war.

Russia has also said it reserves the right to retaliate, and hardliners including former president Dmitry Medvedev have said it should now “physically eliminate” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

The incident took place less than a week before Russia’s May 9 Victory Day celebrations marking the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War Two – an important public holiday and an opportunity for Putin to rally Russians behind what he calls Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine.

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