Moscow blames U.S. for Kremlin drone attack
STORY: Russia on Thursday claimed that the United States was behind what it says was a drone attack on the Kremlin that aimed to kill President Vladimir Putin.
That accusation came from Putin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov on Thursday who said, without providing any evidence, that Ukraine had carried out the alleged drone strike acting on orders from Washington.
White House national security spokesperson John Kirby called that claim "ludicrous."
Kirby told CNN, "the United States has nothing to do with it. We don't even know exactly what happened here, but I can assure you the United States had no role in it whatsoever."
Footage from Wednesday shows what appears to be a flying object nearing the domed roof of the Kremlin before exploding.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Kyiv did not target Putin and denied involvement.
But Wednesday's alleged strike isn't the first time suspected Ukrainian drones have hit targets deep inside Russia.
BENDETT: "It's technically possible."
Samuel Bendett is a senior fellow with the Center for a New American Security. He told Reuters Ukraine might have good reason to show Russia its reach.
BENDETT: "If it was, in fact, a Ukrainian drone that was able to penetrate all the way into the Kremlin speaks volumes about the strengths and the gaps and the problems within the air defense and electronic warfare defenses if, in fact, they failed to stop this drone."
Next week Moscow is set to hold a massive Victory Day parade, a Soviet-era military display commemorating the defeat of Nazi Germany. Were Ukraine able to hit the Kremlin in the run-up, it could send a powerful message.
VINDMAN: "This notion of the Kremlin as a fortress, I mean, that's what it is - it's a fortress - now being subject to air attacks is something that's going to be difficult for the Russian establishment to kind of explain."
Alexander Vindman is a former U.S. Army officer and now with Johns Hopkins University.
"It's interesting that the Ukrainians have probably been trying to do this for many, many months at this point - to strike out at a critical strategic target, not from a military standpoint. This isn't going to win the war, but from a messaging standpoint that Russia can't just go on attacking Ukrainian cities and not suffer some sort of blowback or some sort of consequence."
Before dawn on Thursday, Russia fired two dozen combat drones at Ukraine. Kyiv's air defenses claimed to have shot down 18 of 24 drones fired at the capital.
There were no reports of any casualties.