The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has entered its second year with no signs of coming to a close. President Vladimir Putin gave the go-ahead for the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and has since relentlessly attacked the Ukrainian forces. Recently, there are allegations that the authoritarian leader orchestrated an assassination plot.
Global news outlets reported on May 3 that Russia had made accusations against the Ukrainian government regarding an alleged plot to assassinate President Putin. According to a statement from the Presidential Press Service, two drones were said to have targeted the president’s residence at the Kremlin. It is claimed that the military successfully intervened using radar technology to disable the unmanned aerial weapons.
BREAKING: The Kremlin has reportedly been attacked by at least 2 drones.— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) May 3, 2023
Russia now claims that the attacks were an assassination attempt on President Vladimir Putin.
The Two drones (One which can be seen in the video below) exploded behind the Kremlin walls.
Putin's Office… pic.twitter.com/snC4KP05Bj
Although the drones crashed to the ground, causing debris to scatter, there were no reported injuries resulting from the purported attack. Russian officials classified the incident as a “premeditated terrorist act and an assassination attempt,” occurring just days before the May 9 Victory Day Parade, which was set to be attended by foreign dignitaries. Additionally, the Kremlin released a video depicting the alleged assault, showcasing an explosion in the sky.
There were skeptics who questioned Russia’s claims. The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) released a report suggesting that the Kremlin may have orchestrated the drone attack as a means of instilling fear among Russian citizens, making them believe that the war had reached their country and put them in immediate danger. The aim of this alleged staged attack, according to the think tank, was to create conditions for a broader societal mobilization.
The ISW presented several indicators that pointed towards the Russian government being the likely perpetrator of the attack. One such indicator was the strengthening of defense systems, particularly in the vicinity of the Kremlin, to prevent potential Ukrainian attacks. As a result, experts find it highly improbable that two drones could have breached all of Russia’s defense systems and reached the heart of the country.
To manipulate public perception and portray the war in Ukraine as a direct threat to significant historical events in Russia, the Kremlin has initiated the cancellation and restriction of Victory Day celebrations. By framing it this way, they seek to create a narrative where Ukrainian actions are portrayed as jeopardizing Russia’s cherished historical observances.
Accusations of false flag operations are not new when it comes to Russia. Even before the commencement of the war, the United States had cautioned about Putin potentially employing such tactics to provide a justification for invading Ukraine. Subsequently, events unfolded in a manner that aligned with that prediction.