US Suggests Ukrainians Involved in Drone Strike on Kremlin

Thursday, 25 May 2023

US intelligence, having assessed the intercepted conversations of Ukrainian officials, has suggested that the Ukrainian side was involved in the drone strike on the Kremlin in early May.

Accroding to CNN, citing sources familiar with intelligence data, US officials have taken into account conversations between Ukrainian officials blaming each other for the drone attack on the Kremlin in early May, contributing to the US assessment that Ukraine may have been responsible.

In the intercepted conversations, some members of the Ukrainian military and intelligence bureaucracy suggested that the operation was carried out by Ukrainian special operations forces.

These conversations, combined with other interceptions of Russian officials blaming Ukraine for the attack and wondering how it happened, led the Americans to consider the possibility that a Ukrainian group was behind the 3 May incident. That morning, two drones flew to the Kremlin's Senate Palace and struck the roof of the building.

However, the US has not been able to reach a definitive conclusion as to who was responsible and is only speculating with a low degree of confidence that a Ukrainian group may have been behind the incident, the sources said.

US officials also continue to believe it is unlikely that senior Ukrainian government officials, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, ordered the attack or had any prior knowledge of it.

Recent US intelligence reports indicate that Russian officials have both privately and publicly suggested that Ukraine was behind the attack, leading intelligence officials to believe that the incident was likely not a state-sponsored false flag operation intended to give Russia a pretext to further escalate its war against Ukraine.

A source familiar with the intelligence said, declining to elaborate, that the Kremlin has also made some changes to its internal security system in response to the attack. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov publicly stated after the incident that the city's air defences would be strengthened.

The drones that hit the Kremlin were small, with relatively light load, which is likely why they did not trigger Russian air defence systems. It is unclear whether they had sufficient range to reach Moscow from Ukraine.

Earlier, the White House called Russia’s allegations that the US ordered Ukraine to attack the Kremlin with drones "ludicrous".

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