Ukrainian secret service agents tried to assassinate Vladimir Putin with a kamikaze drone carrying explosives – but failed after it crashed a few miles short of their target, it has been claimed.
The Ukrainian forces reportedly launched the UJ-22 drone, laden with 17 kilograms of C4 plastic explosives, from Ukraine on Sunday with the aim of reaching a newly built industrial estate near Moscow that Putin was due to visit, German newspaper Bild claims.
But before the deadly drone reached the Rudnevo industrial park on its alleged mission to take out the Russian despot, it crashed mere miles away from the site.
Bild cited a tweet by Ukrainian activist Yuriy Romanenko, who claims to have close ties to Kyiv’s intelligence services, alleging that Ukrainian secret service agents had received ‘information’ about Putin’s apparent trip to the industrial site and had decided to launch the deadly drone in an attempt to assassinate the president.
He claimed that a kamikaze drone that had crashed in Voroskogo village, 12 miles east of the Rudnevo industrial park, was the one that Ukrainian forces had launched as part of the assassination plot.
In a tweet cited by Bild, Romanenko said: ‘Putin we are getting closer. Everyone saw the news about the drone that flew to Moscow, but did not explode? So, this drone flew for a reason.
‘Last week, our intelligence officers received information about Putin’s trip to the industrial park in Rudnevo. Accordingly, our kamikaze drone took off, which flew through all the air defenses of the Russian Federation and crashed not far from the industrial park.’
Kyiv has yet to officially comment on the claims made in Bild.
A UJ-22 drone, which has a range of 500 miles, did crash near Vorokogo village on Sunday, with images posted on social media sites including Telegram showing the destroyed UAV in a forest near Moscow.
The drone was laden with 30 C4 plastic explosive blocks weighing 17 kilograms, which are often used by the US army.
Bild, citing Romanenko, claims that the drone was supposed to crash into Rudnevo industrial park and kill Putin, who was reportedly expected at the site on Sunday.
Putin propagandist Paval Zarubin said on Sunday morning that Putin was planning to ‘visit an industrial park in Moscow’ without giving timings.
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Video posted on social media showed the lawn in front of the Rudnevo industrial park had been spray painted green. It was said this was in preparation for Putin’s arrival.
But Russian state media said Putin was set to visit the Rudnevo industrial park and hold a meeting on the development of unmanned aircraft systems today.
TASS news agency said the Russian despot would look at how the systems are developed. There was no mention of the drone incident in the state media report.
However Bild cited Romanenko claiming that there was an assassination attempt.
He said: ‘Considering how much Putin is obsessed with his own security, this story could have huge implications for the Kremlin towers’.
And Ukraine expert Sergej Sumlenny told the newspaper: ‘It is clear that a precision strike against the Russian head of state with a kamikaze drone is an almost impossible action.
‘But the very fact that such a drone would reach a place where Putin plans to stay is a slap in the face for the Russian dictator.’
Putin is said to be fearful of assassination since his invasion of Ukraine, after hit squads were sent into Ukraine to take out President Zelensky in the early days of the conflict.
Putin has previously claimed he has escaped numerous assassination attempts.
In 2017, Putin told filmmaker Oliver Stone that there had been five assassination attempts against him – and the only reason he is alive is because he deals with his own security personally.
‘I do my job and the security officers do theirs and they are still performing quite successfully,’ Putin said in the documentary The Putin Interviews.
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