The Kremlin has yet to present physical evidence supporting the Russian government’s claim Wednesday that it foiled an attempt by Ukraine on President Vladimir Putin’s life with a drone attack, although videos have surfaced that purport to show the attack — including what appears to be the shooting down of a drone — and its aftermath.
CNN analysis of video showing the incident supports the Kremlin’s claim that two drones were flown above the Kremlin early Wednesday, but CNN found no evidence of Ukrainian involvement.
Here's what CNN knows so far about how events unfolded: A video that appeared to show smoke rising from the Kremlin, which was geolocated by CNN, surfaced on a local neighborhood Telegram channel at 2:37 a.m. local time Wednesday. The first reports of the incident citing the Kremlin came via Russian state media TASS and RIA around 2.33 p.m. local time — around 12 hours later.
Shortly after the first media reports, another video appearing to show the moment a drone exploded above the Kremlin began circulating widely on social media. In the video, the drone appears to fly toward the building’s domed roof, followed by what looks like a small explosion. In this video, two people appear to be climbing on the dome holding flashlights and can be seen ducking down just before the moment of the explosion. The people climbing the drone are not present in the first of these videos, but appear in the second, suggesting they were responding to the fire caused by the first drone at the time the subsequent drone appeared.
CNN has analyzed videos shared by the Russian state-run channel TVC that appear to show there were two separate drones from different directions within minutes of each another, based on the times displayed on the nearby Spasskaya tower clock. The first drone was spotted over the Kremlin at 2:27 a.m. local time. It exploded over the Senate Palace, after which a fire broke out on its roof. The second drone was recorded at 2:43 a.m., and its fragments fell on the territory of the Kremlin. While the first drone caused a fire at the top of the dome, the second didn’t, appearing instead to explode in the air.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov did not mention the incident Wednesday during a routine weekday call with reporters at around 12:30 p.m. local time, roughly two hours before media reports emerged.
Ukraine has denied any responsibility for the alleged attack, with Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak telling CNN that Ukraine has "nothing to do with drone attacks on [the] Kremlin."