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An apparent drone attack on the Kremlin this week has sparked fears of an escalation in Russia's brutal war in Ukraine. On Wednesday night, two remotely-operated devices flew towards the domed roof of the Kremlin before being shot down by Russian air defences, exploding but harming no one. After the incident, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin declared that flying drones by private citizens was now banned in Moscow. Russia said the United States masterminded the attack, claiming Ukraine carried it out. Washington and Kyiv have denied responsibility, insisting that Ukraine's war efforts are purely defensive.
Kyiv, Ukraine – What happened over the vermilion walls of the Kremlin early on Wednesday could have been a dream come true for many Ukrainians, who have been suffering at the hands of invading Russian troops for more than a year. What could showcase Ukraine's resilience better than a drone attack on Russian President Vladimir Putin's residence in the medieval fortress-turned government seat of power, a centuries-old symbol of Russia's imperial power that stretched from the Baltic to the Pacific? But analysts told Al Jazeera that the details of the attack, which Russia blamed on Washington and Kyiv without providing any evidence, remain unclear and unverified. Both the United States and Ukraine have denied those allegations while the European Union warned Moscow against using the apparent assault as reason to further escalate its brutal war. Around 2:30am on Wednesday [23:30 GMT on Tuesday], a small drone flying from the south crashed into the dome of the Senate Palace, an 18th-century building that serves as Putin's official workplace.
Air raid sirens sounded in Ukraine's Kyiv after residents were subjected to drone attacks, spasms of gunfire and explosions during the fourth attack on the capital in as many days, according to officials. Officials said at least one drone was downed after anti-aircraft units went into action during the raid on Thursday evening, which began just after 8pm (17:00 GMT) and lasted about 20 minutes. Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said there had been two impacts from downed drones. "During the last air alert, an unmanned aerial vehicle was spotted over Kyiv. The object was shot down by air defence forces," Kyiv city military administration head Serhiy Popko said on Telegram.
Video appeared to show a drone being shot down over the Kremlin Wednesday, in what Russia says was an assassination attempt against President Vladimir Putin. Experts have accused Russia of staging a false-flag operation to justify increased mobilization, with a warning that more such attacks could occur in the coming months. "The alleged strike on Putin's residence in the Kremlin is likely a false flag operation orchestrated by Russian intelligence and security services and authorized by Putin himself," Rebekah Koffler, strategic military intelligence analyst and former DIA intel officer, told Fox News Digital. Russian government officials on Wednesday claimed that Ukrainian forces attempted to kill President Vladimir Putin with a failed drone attack. Video released by Russian media showed a small explosion over the president's residence at the Kremlin compound, which officials say were attacks by two drones that were disabled by defense systems, with no injuries or damage to the residence reported.
Russia has blamed Ukraine for setting ablaze one of its oil refineries, while Kyiv has accused Moscow of launching dozens of overnight strikes by unmanned aerial vehicles for the second day running. The targeting of the fuel facility on Thursday occurred at the Ilsky refinery near the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk in the Krasnodar region, Russia's TASS news agency reported citing local emergency services. A fuel reservoir was on fire, it said, but gave no further details. A day earlier, a fuel depot further to the west caught fire near a bridge linking Russia's mainland with the occupied Crimean Peninsula. "A second turbulent night for our emergency services," Krasnodar Governor Veniamin Kondratyev wrote on Telegram, confirming tanks with oil products were set ablaze.
Russia has threatened to retaliate against Ukraine for a failed attempt to assassinate President Vladimir Putin in an alleged drone attack on the Kremlin citadel in Moscow. Kyiv has denied any involvement and accused Russia of readying itself for a major offensive in Ukraine. Here's what we know so far about Wednesday's alleged attack: Moscow said two drones had been used in the alleged attack on Putin's residence in the Kremlin citadel, but had been disabled by electronic defences. "We regard these actions as a planned terrorist act and an attempt on the president's life, carried out on the eve of Victory Day, the May 9 Parade, at which the presence of foreign guests is also planned," the Kremlin said in a statement. "The Russian side reserves the right to take retaliatory measures where and when it sees fit."
Oleksandr Zahalskyy spent most of his life speaking only Russian. Born in 1960 in what was then the Soviet Union, Zahalskyy hails from the largely Russian-speaking Ukrainian city of Kherson. Now, at 63 and living in the capital, Kyiv, Zahalskyy and his wife Natasha are in the midst of the difficult but voluntary transition – making the Ukrainian language their own. "At first, we thought we needed to know our national language, but with the start of this full-scale war, the feeling changed from'I have to' to'I want to'," Zahalskyy told Al Jazeera by phone. The invasion Russia launched on February 24 last year, which started the biggest war in Europe since 1945, is seen by many Ukrainians as an attempt to wipe them out – and their culture, language and way of life.
Warning: Some readers may find some of the scenes described in this article disturbing. Kyiv, Ukraine – Ivan Ukraintsev, a stern-faced insurance broker turned director of a wartime charity providing crucial aid to Ukraine's military forces, is on a mission: to help Ukraine win the drone war. He is a polite but no-nonsense character, and he is here to talk about drones. "If we [Ukraine] had enough drones, we could end this war in two months," he says firmly. Ivan, who heads up the charity Starlife, had recently returned from overseeing a drone delivery to Bakhmut, a city in eastern Ukraine that has become the focal point for months of bloody battles between Ukrainian and Russian forces. Trench warfare, pockmarked and corpse-ridden swathes of no man's land, and constant artillery bombardments have drawn comparisons to battlefield conditions during World War I.
WASHINGTON/KYIV – Washington's top general has said the crash of a U.S. surveillance drone after being intercepted by Russian jets showed Moscow's increasingly aggressive behavior while Russia warned Washington that flying drones near Crimea risked escalation. A day after the U.S. drone went down over the Black Sea, defense ministers and military chiefs from the U.S. and Russia held rare telephone conversations on Wednesday with relations at their lowest point in decades over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. Moscow's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told his U.S. counterpart, Lloyd Austin, that American drone flights by Crimea's coast "were provocative in nature" and could lead to "an escalation … in the Black Sea zone," a ministry statement said. This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software. Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.