U.S. Officials Reveal Ukraine Likely Behind Kremlin Drone Assassination Attempt

ukraine kremlin drone
Screenshot YouTube : BBC News

Earlier this month, drones flew over the Kremlin loaded with explosives in a daring show of force against the highly-fortified iconic Russian complex. The footage alarmed the world, including the Russians, and like anything involving Russia, accusations began to fly.

Was it the Russians themselves who flew the drones over their beloved Kremlin in an attempt to sew misdirection? Was it the Ukrainians bravely and boldly striving to take out their Enemy #1?

Or was it unhappy Russians trying to overthrow their autocratic leader who had embroiled them in a war they didn’t want to start? Don’t worry; the mystery seems to have been solved thanks to the usual group of unnamed U.S. intelligence officials eager to spill the beans to the closest and most eager reporters.

It Was Ukraine, Duh

On May 3rd, two drones flew over the Kremlin in what appeared to be an assassination attempt on Russian President Vladimir Putin. This week unnamed U.S. intelligence officials told reporters that they had intercepted Ukrainian communication in which Ukrainian officials discussed their belief that their forces were responsible for the drone attacks but without the direct supervision of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy or his top officials. (Convenient, eh?)

Perhaps I’ve read too many Tom Clancy novels, but it seems to me that would be precisely what you would want the United States to believe, and if you know (which I’m sure they do) that the U.S. is listening in, you’d paint that picture for them to spread far and wide… which it appears the U.S. intelligence community is attempting to do. The same unnamed U.S. officials said they believed the drones were from one of Ukraine’s special military or intelligence units.

It’s hard to get solid intelligence from Ukraine as they rightly fear anything they tell us could find its way to Russia. Still, the U.S. believes President Zelenskyy and his top aids have a system to secure their plausible deniability. Essentially he has provided his covert units with broad parameters and allowed them to execute as they see fit.

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This is a clever way to satiate the alleged worries of the Biden administration that Ukraine may take this war too far, escalating the conflict to a more global affair. However, it does little to appease the Russians.

Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov explains:

“We immediately said that the Kyiv regime was behind this. In the end, it doesn’t make much difference which of the units of the Kyiv regime is behind it.”

It’s Been Them All Along

The same unnamed officials blabbing to The New York Times and anyone else who will listen said the U.S. government believes Ukraine was responsible for other attacks since the war began.

These attacks include:

  • The assassination of the daughter of a Russian nationalist
  • The killing of a pro-Russian blogger
  • Attacks in Russian towns near the Ukrainian border

The border attacks are relatively recent, with two pro-Ukrainian groups taking credit; ‘The Russian Volunteer Corps’ and ‘Free Russia Legion.’ Interestingly in images from the attack, the pro-Ukrainian groups were using Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles given to Ukraine by, you guessed it… the United States government.

To add insult to injury, images indicate that Russian forces captured two of our MRAP vehicles and spray-painted them with Russian symbols. Not a great look for the U.S., but I suppose the U.S. government doesn’t care. 

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State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said of the photos that the U.S. did not “encourage or enable strikes inside of Russia, and we’ve made that clear.”


“But we’ve also said it is up to Ukraine to decide how to conduct this war.”

So it’s all good; the U.S. government is fine with our weapons being used within the borders of Russia and captured by the enemy – after all, we’ve been okay with it for decades in other conflicts. So why would this one be any different?

Competing Narrative

These recent revelations by the U.S. intelligence machine haven’t stopped naysayers from arguing that there is no possible chance Ukraine was behind any of this, that naturally, the Russians attacked their own fortress of power.

Former Defense Intelligence Agency officer Rebekah Koffler whistled this tune, stating:

“I stand by my assessment that the drone strike – just like the industrial sabotage operation targeting Russia’s Nord Stream pipeline – was a false flag operation orchestrated by Putin’s regime.”

Those sneaky Russians… they sure love attacking themselves, don’t they?

Ms. Koffler goes on to claim:

“Ukraine by itself without external assistance is incapable of mounting such an operation.”

It’s interesting to me how the narrative bounces back and forth between trumpeting the resourcefulness and resilience of the Ukrainian military and claiming they can’t execute anything of any importance without the help of a Western ally.

RAND military analyst Dara Massicot counters:

“Watching how the Kremlin has responded suggests to me this was an embarrassment and surprise for them, and not a deliberate false flag.”

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Ukraine is well known for its penchant for symbolic war efforts such as:

  • The Ghost of Kyiv
  • The Snake Island attack
  • Ukrainian dog awarded war medal

The theory that these two drones were never meant to be successful with their assassination attempt isn’t a giant leap to make. The visual of two drones being flown with impunity over the Kremlin is quite a graphic symbol of the Ukrainian war effort.

Afraid Of Nothing

The Biden administration has seemingly dragged its feet on arming Ukraine with bigger and better weapons, stating a fear of escalation. Because of course, we wouldn’t want Russia to view our involvement as justification to use its nuclear arsenal or attack neighboring other countries…would we?

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Each time Biden has ‘caved’ to international pressure and supplied Ukraine with the weapons they requested. First, it was the tanks, and now it is American fighter jets.

Last Friday, President Biden agreed to let allies transfer American F-16s to Ukraine and promised to train Ukrainian pilots on the airframe. But, of course, all of this was made after Zelenskyy pinky promised not to use the fighter jets over Russian skies but only in defense of Ukraine. 

With the U.S. believing Ukraine is behind these attacks that have happened on Russian soil and in Russian airspace, it’s hard to really believe that our government is concerned about escalation and to be fair, so far, Russia has yet to escalate the war – so perhaps there isn’t anything to fear – other than another forever war. Undersecretary of Defense Colin Kahl said it would take 18 to 24 months to train Ukrainian pilots to fly the F-16.

That puts this war well into 2025. Good news for defense contractors, Zelenskyy, and Ukrainian flag-wearing politicians and activists – lousy news for Ukrainian and Russian citizens caught in the crosshairs. 

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USAF Retired, Bronze Star recipient, outspoken veteran advocate. Hot mess mom to two monsters and wife to equal parts... More about Kathleen J. Anderson

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