Russia has accused Ukraine of attempting an overnight drone attack on the Kremlin with the aim of killing President Vladimir Putin, the most dramatic charge Moscow has levelled against Kyiv since its war on its neighbour began.
The allegation was made on Wednesday by the Russian government and reported by several state news agencies.
But senior Ukrainian presidential official Mykhailo Podolyak told the Reuters news agency that Kyiv had nothing to do with the alleged incident.
In a tweet, he suggested Russia’s claims were a false flag, saying “Russia is clearly preparing a large-scale terrorist attack”.
Putin was not in the building at the time and there was no material damage to the Kremlin, Russian officials said, as they warned of their right to retaliate.
“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 at his Novo Ogaryovo residence outside 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 night-time, Putin doesn’t appear to be in the Kremlin. He goes there for working hours and doesn’t live there.”
He added that in retaliation, it was possible that Russia could order its forces in Ukraine to attack the presidential offices in central Kyiv.