Two drones reportedly crashed into the Kremlin on Wednesday after Russian security forces shot them down. The Kremlin said Wednesday that no property or people were hurt in the incident, calling it a “planned terrorist act” by Ukraine.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov shifted the blame to the United States a day later.
“We are well aware that decisions on such a level of terrorist attacks are made not in Kyiv, but in Washington,” Peskov told reporters, according to NBC News. “Kyiv only does what it is told to do.”
He called U.S. and Ukrainian denials about involvement in the drone incident “absolutely ridiculous.”
National security spokesman John Kirby denied Moscow’s allegations.
“Mr. Peskov is lying, obviously. It’s a ludicrous claim. The United States had nothing to do with this. We don’t even know exactly what happened here,” Kirby told CNN Thursday morning. “I can assure you the United States had no role in it whatsoever.”
“We neither encourage nor enable Ukraine to strike outside Ukraine’s borders,” he added.
Kirby said the U.S. does not know who was behind the drone strike. He added that the U.S. does not “endorse strikes on individual leaders.”
““Mr. Peskov is lying. I mean, it’s obviously a ludicrous claim. The United States had nothing to do with this… I can assure you the United States had no role in it whatsoever.”
John Kirby denies U.S. involvement in Kremlin drone attack: pic.twitter.com/m2kohv1Rv9
— CNN This Morning (@CNNThisMorning) May 4, 2023
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also denied Russia’s allegations on Wednesday.
“We don’t attack Putin or Moscow,” said Zelensky during a trip to Helsinki, Finland.
“We fight on our territory, we are defending our villages and cities. We don’t have enough weapon[s] for this. That’s why we don’t use it anywhere [else],” Zelensky said. “We didn’t attack Putin. We leave it to tribunal,” he said.
Immediately after news of the drone incident broke, Andriy Yermak, Zelensky’s chief of staff, posted on his Telegram channel three fire emojis without any further explanation. He deleted the post shortly after.
Some speculation about the incident has suggested that Ukraine or Russia could have been behind the drones.
“To be clear, this really doesn’t look anything like an assassination attempt,” Le Beck head of intelligence Michael Horowitz said. “This looks like #Ukraine (assuming it was Ukraine) is trying to bring the war home to #Russia, by hitting symbolic targets.”
CNN host Kaitlan Collins asked Kirby if Russia may have launched the drones to come up with a pretext to escalate conflict with Ukraine. Kirby said he had no information on the source of the drones but said Moscow does not need a pretext to “kill innocent Ukrainians.”