The Russian president’s office said Wednesday morning that two tiny unmanned planes were shot down using electronic warfare techniques over Vladimir Putin’s work apartment. The Kremlin claimed the incident was a “pre-planned terrorist action” by Ukrainian soldiers and an attempted assassination of Putin in a statement.
Since the start of Moscow’s military action in Ukraine last year, Ukrainian troops have carried out numerous strikes on Russian territory. As Secretary of State Antony Blinken said after a drone strike on Russian military sites in December, US authorities have always maintained that they “did not encourage or allow” the strikes.
Similar language has been used by US officials to justify their reluctance to supply Ukraine with long-range missiles, such as ATACMS rounds, for use with US-supplied HIMARS rocket artillery units in Kiev. Although not in Moscow, Ukrainian forces could use these missiles with a range of 300 kilometers to attack the border regions of Russia.
To attack Russian territory, Ukraine used certain weapons supplied by the United States. While the precise weapons used in the night attack on the Kremlin are unknown, US-made Switchblade drones were reportedly used to target the Belgorod region. Earlier this month, the United States also sent an unknown number of Altius 600 “kamikaze” drones to Ukraine.
With a three-kilogram warhead and a range of 445 kilometers, these drones can pretty much range from northeastern Ukraine to Moscow.
Additionally, the United States provided Ukraine with rocket-propelled bombs for use with its HIMARS systems as well as tacit approval for Kiev to use these weapons against Crimea, which has been an integral part of the Russian Federation since 2014.
According to Brigadier General Patrick Ryder, the Pentagon’s press secretary, “Ukrainian plans on operations are clearly their decision.”
The Kremlin said in response to the incident in Moscow overnight that Russia has the right to react “anywhere and anytime it deems necessary”. Putin’s administration made no mention of the nature of any retribution, but prominent Russian politician Vyacheslav Volodin urged the government to use “weapons capable of stopping and destroying the terrorist regime in Kiev”.