President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that a drone attack on Moscow was Kyiv’s “response” to a Russian strike on a military intelligence headquarters in Ukraine.
A Ukrainian “headquarters of military intelligence was struck two or three days ago,” Putin said on state television.
“In response, the Kyiv regime chose a different path to frighten Russians,” referring to the attack on Moscow earlier Tuesday.
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Earlier on Tuesday, Russia’s defense ministry said that its forces carried out strikes on Ukrainian “decision-making centers” in Ukraine, the Interfax news agency reported.
Putin also said the attack on Moscow was an attempt to scare and provoke Russia, and air defenses around the capital would be strengthened.
Russia said eight drones targeted civilian areas of Moscow and the Moscow region - with a population of over 21 million - in the early hours of Tuesday but were either shot down or diverted with special electronic jammers.
Ukraine, Putin said, had chosen the path of attempting “to intimidate Russia, Russian citizens and attacks on residential buildings.”
“This is clearly a sign of terrorist activity,” he said.
Air defenses around Moscow - which as the capital of the world’s biggest nuclear power is already protected by an extensive early warning system - would be strengthened, he said.
A Ukrainian presidential aide denied Kyiv was directly involved in the Moscow attack, but said Ukraine was enjoying watching events and forecast more to come.
“Of course we are pleased to watch and predict an increase in the number of attacks. But of course we have nothing
directly to do with this,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said.
There is little sign of peace in one of the deadliest wars in Europe since World War Two, and Moscow has repeatedly warned that the West is escalating the war by supplying Kyiv with so much weaponry.