On May 3, pro-Kremlin Telegram channels circulated videos depicting an attack on the Kremlin. The Kremlin’s press service claimed that Ukraine was behind the assault, allegedly firing two drones at Vladimir Putin's Kremlin residence in an attempt to assassinate the president. Despite the attack, Putin himself was said to be unharmed, and his work schedule remained unchanged. Kyiv responded almost immediately, saying that it was not involved in the bombings. Russian pro-war propagandists, however, have already called for escalated attacks on Ukraine. Here are some of their reactions.
- “Will it maybe start for real now?” – RT head Margarita Simonyan.
- “But it's still not a red line, right? Not a reason to call it a war? To start [a war] already. Not a reason to aim to shoot down Zelensky's plane (he’s flying all over the place again). No, it's still not enough, of course. It’s all not enough,” wrote former RT journalist Anton Krasovsky.
Immediately after posting the above message, Krasovsky reacted to singer Alla Pugacheva's visit to Moscow, and again mentioned the drone attack: “The only reason for Pugacheva’s return to Moscow could be a performance of 'Arise, Vast Country' [‘The Sacred War, known by its first verse ‘Vstavai, Strana Ogromnaya’ (‘Arise, Vast Country’) is one of the most famous Soviet songs of WWII – The Insider] on Red Square on May 9. Otherwise, I don't understand how they let her back in. Like drones to the Kremlin. Maybe the old woman flew in on one of them.”
- “The attempted assassination of Russian President Vladimir Putin raises questions about Russian air defenses and proves the need to eliminate the ‘terrorist top brass of Ukraine.’ This is a very real casus belli – a reason for war. The very real war and liquidation of the terrorist top brass of Ukraine. We have something to hit their bunkers with. There can only be three options for Zelensky and his junta: to repeat the fate of Hitler, to repeat the fate of the [Chechen] terrorist [Dzhokhar] Dudayev or to face the International Tribunal for war and other crimes” – Sergey Mironov, head of the “Just Russia - For Truth” (“Spravedlivaya Rossiya – Za Pravdu”) party.
- “Now it is necessary, of course, to start a criminal case. Both on the fact of terrorism, and on the fact of an [assassination] attempt on the Supreme Commander-in-Chief [Vladimir Putin]. I remember when the topic of hitting the decision-making centers came up once again, I dropped the phrase: ‘Well, let's wait for a strike on the Kremlin.’ Well, here it is. Frankly, I don't see much sense in attacking Bankova Street [the location of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine in Kyiv – The Insider] or any other important brick building. It’ll be like waving your fists around after a fight. We should not file criminal cases against those who assassinate our president, our journalists, and those who kill Donbas citizens every day. They must be destroyed. [We need to] strike not the [decision-making] centers, but the actual people who make the decisions. Methodically, systematically and ruthlessly. The enemy on our territory is doing this systematically,” – pro-war blogger and self-styled “war correspondent” Alexander Kots.
- “There are terrorists entrenched in Kyiv, and negotiations with them, as you know, are pointless. They must only be destroyed, quickly and mercilessly. It's time to launch a missile strike on Zelensky's residence in Kyiv,” said Mikhail Sheremet, a Russian State Duma deputy from occupied Crimea.
- “If any guarantees of personal safety were given to Zelensky, as the former prime minister of Israel said, the Ukrofuhrer can forget about them now,” said propagandist Vladimir Solovyov.
- “This is a provocation initiated by the SBU [Ukrainian Security Service] or the General Staff of the [Armed Forces of Ukraine]. It’s possible that this wasn’t carried out by individuals from Ukrainian sabotage groups – ‘volunteers’ could have been involved. This is the fifth column, which, whether we like it or not, is present [in Russia]. The launches of these two drones, which were destroyed by the electronic countermeasures system in the area of the Kremlin and its internal structures, could have been carried out somewhere slightly outside the Moscow Ring Road,” claimed Russian military pilot Vladimir Popov.
- “I can't comment on this phenomenon in any way. Maybe it was lightning. The main thing for me is to get [artillery] shells and rounds in order to advance in Bakhmut. And the second – so that the [Russian] military flanks doesn’t f**k up our flanks,” – Yevgeny Prigozhin, convicted criminal and founder of the Wagner Private Military Company (PMC).
- “From today we should declare Vladimir Zelensky a terrorist, we need a blow, convincing the enemy that Russia has the ability to mortally punish such actions,” – Oleg Morozov, State Duma deputy from United Russia.
- “The terrorist attack on the President is an attack on Russia. The Kyiv Nazi regime must be recognized as a terrorist organization. Zelensky, by giving orders to commit terrorist attacks, has risen to the same level as other international terrorists.
The Kyiv regime today is no less dangerous than al-Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra, ISIS (all three organizations are banned in Russia). [...] There can be no negotiations with the Zelensky regime. We will demand the use of weapons that are capable of stopping and destroying the Kyiv terrorist regime,” – Vyacheslav Volodin, Chairman of the State Duma.
- “The actions of the Kyiv regime are a planned terrorist act. This was an assassination attempt on the president of Russia. The Russian side reserves the right to retaliate,” wrote the Kremlin press service.