The most serious charge Moscow has levied on Kyiv since the start of its attack on its neighbour is that Kyiv attempted a nighttime drone strike on the Kremlin with the intention of assassinating President Vladimir Putin.
The Russian government made the accusation on Wednesday, and various state news organisations covered it.
Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior official of the Ukrainian presidential administration, told Reuters that Kyiv had nothing to do with the claimed incident and that such acts would not further Kyiv’s interests on the battlefield but would instead spur Moscow to take more drastic measures.
According to Russian sources, Putin was not inside the building at the time, and there was no physical harm done to the Kremlin.
The Kremlin declared that it will take appropriate legal action and that it considered the alleged assault to be a “terrorist” assault.
“The Kremlin has assessed these actions as a planned terrorist act and an assassination attempt on the president on the eve of Victory Day, the May 9 Parade,” state news outlet RIA reported, adding Putin had not changed his schedule and was working as usual.
According to RIA, on Wednesday, the president was working at his residence in Novo Ogaryovo, a suburb of Moscow.
“It is hard to say which kind of drones were used,” Pavel Felgenhauer, a Russian defence analyst who served as a senior research officer in the Soviet Academy of Sciences, told Al Jazeera. “At nighttime, Putin doesn’t appear to be in the Kremlin. He goes there for working hours and doesn’t live there.”
He continued by saying that in retaliation Russian soldiers in Ukraine “could attack the presidential offices in central Kyiv.”