Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has openly called for the murder of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky after accusing Kyiv of using a drone to assault the Kremlin in an effort to assassinate Vladimir Putin. A fuming Medvedev reacted to the attack on Wednesday by declaring the only option for Russia was the “physical elimination of Zelensky and his cabal”.
Moscow claims that a pair of Ukrainian kamikaze drones attempted to explode above Putin’s Kremlin apartment in the early hours but were shot down.
Russian MPs called for the government in Kyiv to be “destroyed” after the Russian government described the attack as a “planned terrorist act and an attempt to take the life of the President of the Russian Federation.”
Medvedev said: “After today’s terrorist attack, there are no options left aside from the physical elimination of Zelensky and his cabal.”
Since invading its neighbor more than 14 months ago, Russia has made several accusations against Kyiv with the claimed attempted assassination of Putin himself being the most dramatic yet.
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Ukraine has categorically denied any role in the attack.
Indeed Ukrainian authorities quickly responded by claiming they had “nothing to do” with the attack.
The latest accusations and Medvedev’s call for the assassination of the Ukrainian president have further escalated tensions between Moscow and Kyiv.
The situation remains tense, with the possibility of military escalation looming large.
Putin was not in the Kremlin during the purported attack, which took place overnight, and no evidence was presented to support Russia’s claims.
Videos of the incident emerged later in the day, but their veracity could not be independently confirmed.
The Kremlin said Russian military and security forces had stopped the drones before they could strike, and nobody was injured.
Ukraine presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said the claims could provide a pretext for Russia “to justify massive strikes on Ukrainian cities, on the civilian population, on infrastructure facilities.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the US was “unable to confirm the authenticity” of Russia’s claim.
Asked whether the US believed Putin was a lawful target of any potential Ukrainian strike, Jean-Pierre said that since the beginning of the conflict, the US was “not encouraging or enabling Ukraine to strike beyond its border.”
UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq said that the United Nations “is not in a position to confirm these reports.
“We strongly reiterate our call on all concerned to refrain from any rhetoric or action that could further escalate the conflict,” Haq said.