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Kremlin Blames U.S. for Attempted Drone Strike on Putin Residence

The Russian Presidential banner flies on top of the dome of the Senate Palace (C back) in the Moscow Kremlin. Sergei Bobylev / TASS

The United States was behind Ukraine's decision to strike President Vladimir Putin’s residence in the Kremlin with drones, his spokesman said Thursday.

Russia’s presidential press service said two Ukrainian drones had attempted to strike Putin’s residence in the night between Tuesday and Wednesday. The Kremlin called the incident a “terrorist act” and vowed to retaliate as it sees fit.

On Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Moscow believes “decisions on such terrorist attacks are made not in Kyiv, but in Washington.”

“We know that often it isn’t even Kyiv that determines the targets, but Washington,” Peskov said during a daily briefing.

“It’s very important that Washington understands that we know this and understands how dangerous such direct involvement in the conflict is.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denied claims that Kyiv had attempted to assassinate Putin. 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he could not validate the drone strike, but urged to take claims from the Kremlin with a “very large shaker of salt.”

Peskov on Thursday derided their statements as “absolutely ridiculous.”

He vowed a “well-thought-out” response to the drone strike that would not go against Moscow’s interests and appeared to allude to a non-conventional retaliation involving non-state actors.

“Many countries around the world have faced a monstrous manifestation of international terrorism. Many tragedies have happened. We’d want people not to forget this history,” Peskov said.

John Kirby, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, said on MSNBC that Washington "had nothing to do with this."

"Peskov is just lying there, pure and simple," he added.

Peskov said Putin was working in his office in the Kremlin as normal on Thursday but added that security measures in Moscow would be beefed up following the attack.

"Of course, everything will be strengthened. Everything has already been strengthened in preparation for the Victory Day parade" on May 9, he said.

Russia has also reported a series of drone attacks on oil facilities and train derailments, blaming Ukraine.

"The terrorist and sabotage activities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are gaining unprecedented momentum," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

It added that Russia "reserves the right to take retaliatory measures."

AFP contributed reporting.

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