“We call on Russia not to use this alleged attack as an excuse to continue the escalation of the war,” the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs said before attending a ministerial meeting in Brussels.
“This is what worries us: this can be used to justify more conscription of people, more soldiers, more attacks on Ukraine,” Borrell went on, before adding that President Zelensky denies that Ukraine was behind the attack which occurred on early Wednesday, May 3rd.
As we reported before, the successful strike on the Kremlin was followed by two other drones flying over the Russian capital that were disabled by anti-aircraft units before completing their mission. Regardless, the Kremlin announced that it considers the attack a planned assassination attempt on President Putin and, therefore, a “terrorist act.”
However, it is still unclear who was really behind the drone strike. “We don’t attack Putin, or Moscow, we fight on our territory,” President Zelensky said at a press conference in Helsinki.
For its part, the EU stands by Kyiv’s position. “President Zelensky said clearly Ukraine is not involved in the attacks, that they are defending their country, but they are fighting on their soil, that they are not attacking Russian soil,” Borrell underlined.
In response, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called Borrell “an impudent old fool” for purporting that the drones were not coming from Ukraine, and added that “it is exactly to the escalation of the conflict it will lead.”
In his tweet, Medvedev also reiterated the Kremlin’s previous accusations of U.S.—and even EU—assistance behind the attacks. According to him, the drone strike was “committed by Kiev [sic] authorities, guided by the U.S., and approved by the EU leadership.” The escalation, therefore, “is just what Washington and many dumbheads in Brussels want,” Medvedev added.
Naturally, the United States reinforced Ukraine’s position, purporting that the attacks were indeed staged by Moscow to justify further escalations and denied any American involvement.
“[The Kremlin] is just lying there, pure and simple,” a U.S. National Security spokesman said on Thursday. “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.”
Although, as the BBC commented, “Russia would have little interest in staging an attack that made the Kremlin look vulnerable.” Furthermore, while Ukraine denies any involvement, the Ukrposhta still chose to commemorate the attack on a postal stamp in a clear sign of celebration.
During all the finger-wagging, another drone incident took place on Thursday evening, but this time over Kyiv. Following an explosion in the sky, the citizens of the Ukrainian capital were taking cover only to learn that the Ukrainian air defense shot down its own Bayraktar TB2 drone which it lost control of during a scheduled flight.
Ukraine said it had no choice but to disable its own equipment, “since the uncontrolled presence of UAVs in the sky of the capital could lead to undesirable consequences.” No casualties or injuries were reported.