Putin confirms Russian targeting of Ukraine's main Intel HQ in Kiev
The Russian leader says the air defense systems in Moscow operated in a "satisfactory" manner in intercepting the Tuesday morning drone attack.
Russia confirmed carrying out a strike targeting Ukraine's Main Intelligence Directorate in Kiev, stressing that Ukrainian decision-making facilities are legitimate targets within the reach of the Russian forces.
"Since the start of the special military operation, the Russian Armed Forces are striking Ukraine but with high-precision weapons. They are targeting military infrastructure, arms depots and other targets that could be used for military action," Russian President Vladimir Putin said while attending an economic conference on Tuesday.
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"We've already mentioned that we can strike the decision-making centers and headquarters. Obviously, the Military Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine's headquarters is also such a target. And in response, as you are well aware, the Kiev regime chose a different path, a path to try to intimidate Russia and its citizens, to try to target residential buildings. It is an obvious indicator of terrorist activity," he added, referring to Tuesday morning's drone attack on Moscow.
Russia's Defense Ministry accused Ukraine of targeting Moscow with eight drones on Tuesday, adding that all the drones involved in the incident were downed.
The Ministry added that three of the drones were suppressed by electronic warfare, lost control, and deviated from their intended targets and that another five drones were shot down by the Pantsir-S surface-to-air missile system in the Moscow region.
Emergency services are working at the scene of the UAV attack in Moscow's Leninsky Avenue pic.twitter.com/3WIArdw4FW— Sputnik (@SputnikInt) May 30, 2023
The Russian leader considered that the air defense in the capital operated "in a satisfactory manner" in intercepting the UAVs but said that "there's still some progress to be made."
"We've faced similar problems in Khmeimim in Syria, although of course the size of the territories of our airbase in Syria and Moscow are not comparable, because Moscow is a huge city... But it's obvious what needs to be done to make the air defenses around our capital city better, and we will do that," Putin said.
Kiev's continued provocations in attempts to push Russia for a response is "concerning," Putin said. "We'll see what we do with this."
He called on Ukrainian citizens to recognize what path Kiev is leading them toward, stressing that this is not only regarding the drone attack but also the targeting of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant ZNPP.
Putin touched upon the historical context of the crisis in Ukraine, saying that following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the country was controlled by parties that aimed to establish a Western-backed "anti-Russia" ruling.
In the same context, he added, NATO broke its commitments to Russia not to expand to its borders and today has reached Ukraine.
Ukraine has been increasing its drone attacks within Russian borders in the past few months.
Shortly after the incident, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin said on Wednesday that Moscow implemented a nationwide ban on the launch of UAVs. However, the ban will not apply to drones deployed by state authorities.
Moscow accused Kiev of carrying out the attack, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the targeting could not have taken place without Washington's knowledge, warning that Russia would respond with "concrete actions".
"It's clear that without the knowledge of their minders, the terrorists from Kiev could not have carried out (the attack)," the Russian Foreign Minister said then, in reference to Washington.