The European Union and Ukraine have come to a consensus to extend their economic visa-free agreement for an additional year, as per a report from the Guardian.
This agreement, which was first established in the aftermath of the outbreak of war, permits Ukrainian businesses to continue selling goods to the EU without facing any quotas, export duties, or tariffs.
Furthermore, Ukrainian agricultural products will also be granted access to the EU market, as disclosed by Denys Shmyhal, the Prime Minister of Ukraine on Telegram.
Meanwhile, in a move to support Ukraine, the EU has agreed to expedite ammunition delivery to the country, with a commitment made in March to supply €2bn worth of shells.
Kremlin is the seat of Russian power and a symbolic representation of Russian glory. As a result, it has been targetted quite a few times. The most well known instances are mentioned below -
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has declared that Moscow has no other alternative besides "eliminating" Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his allies in Kyiv following the alleged overnight drone attack on Kremlin.
State Duma deputy Viktor Sobolev has said that, "This is the last red line that could have been. The Russian authorities must immediately hit the decision-making center in Kyiv for trying to kill Putin".
Kyiv. Sirens. If Moscow attacks now with missiles it means they have been preparing this for some time. This means: the reason for the Kremlin provocation is clear.— Iuliia Mendel (@IuliiaMendel) May 3, 2023
Zelenskyy is out of the country visiting Finland today pic.twitter.com/ccXzzDEhsV
Zelenskyy, whilst speaking at a press conference in Helsinki, has said that, “We don’t attack Putin, or Moscow, we fight on our territory, defending our villages and cities. We do not have enough weapons even for this... Therefore, we did not attack Putin, we will leave it to the (international) tribunal".
This is the Ukrainian President's first direct statement on the drone attack.
Was the drone attack on Kremlin an assassination plot planned by Ukraine or not? Watch the debate on Republic.
Russia claims an attempted attack on Putin was blocked in Moscow by Ukraine. Ukraine denies the charge. Was there an assassination plot or not?— Republic (@republic) May 3, 2023
Tune in to watch The Debate - https://t.co/vhlcVKtzSA#Russia #Ukraine #VladimirPutin pic.twitter.com/SRDiEIpYuk
In response to fears that pro-Ukrainian saboteurs may target Victory Day celebrations, heightened security measures are being implemented in Moscow and several Russian regions have announced that they are scaling back their commemorations of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War, as per a report from Sky news.
As one of the most important holidays in the Russian calendar, the parade in Moscow's Red Square will still take place on May 9, with security forces taking extra steps to ensure safety.
This follows a series of drone and other attacks on Kremlin and Russian energy, logistics, and military facilities since the “special military operation” has been launched in Ukraine by Moscow.
Though Kyiv has not taken direct responsibility for these attacks, they have made cryptic or sarcastic comments that suggest approval. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has stated that all special services are doing their utmost to keep the country secure from these threats.
On Wednesday, 16 people were killed in the city of Kherson, Ukraine, in a series of attacks. According to a report from the Guardian, a prosecutor's office investigation has been opened for possible war crimes after the attacks on a supermarket and the railway station, with 12 people killed in the city center, three at the supermarket and five injured.
Additionally, three engineers working to restore power in Stepanivka and Muzikyvka were killed, and 22 were injured, including a child in serious condition who was taken to the hospital.
The Red Square in Moscow has been closed off but the downtown remains open to the public.— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) May 3, 2023
Residents noticed special services employees with anti-drone guns on the roofs of administrative buildings. pic.twitter.com/vgDq3EA5il
Russian MP Oleksiy Zhuravlev proposes creating a squadron of interceptor eagle drones to defend the Kremlin— Samuel Ramani (@SamRamani2) May 3, 2023
Alongside strikes on Zelensky's office, the Rada, the General Staff and Ukraine's Special Services buildings
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that “[We] take anything coming from the Kremlin with a large shaker of salt," as per a report from the Guardian. When he was asked by reporters about the attack on Kremlin, he responded by saying “I’ve seen the reports. I can’t in any way validate them. We simply don’t know.”
He said that the US cannot confirm Russia's claims of an attack on Russian President's life.
"We'll see what the facts are. And it's really hard to comment or speculate on this without really knowing what the facts are," Blinken said.
When he was asked about US' position on attacks by Kyiv on Russian soil, he responded by saying "these are decisions for Ukraine to make about how it’s going to defend itself".
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is on a rare trip to Finland, where he met with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto for a joint news conference. At the press event, Zelensky thanked Finland for its ongoing assistance in defending Ukraine's freedom, territorial integrity, and sovereignty. It is noteworthy that the recent alleged attack on the Kremlin did not come up during the press conference.
"We support and will continue to support your country. The 15th aid package is already being prepared, and I am absolutely sure that there will be the next 16th as well", - said the Finnish President whilst meeting with the President of Ukraine.
Zelenskyy landed in Finland to take part in the Ukraine-Northern Europe summit.
The United States was taken by surprise when it came to reports of the alleged drone attack on the Kremlin, which Russia claimed was an assassination attempt on President Vladimir Putin and which Ukraine has strongly denied, according to a US official who spoke with CNN.
The official noted that US authorities are still trying to understand what transpired, confirming that there was "no advanced warning" given.
New York Times is reporting that a 58 hour curfew has been imposed in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, as a result of threat posed by Russian forces. Meanwhile, Suspilne, Ukraine's state broadcaster is claiming that Russia's aerial attack has damaged a gas pipeline in the region.
Air-raid sirens are also blazing in Kyiv.
Vyacheslav Volodin, the chairman of Russia’s lower house of Parliament has said that "Western politicians who are pumping weapons to the Zelensky regime must realize that they have become not only sponsors, but also direct accomplices of terrorist activities. There can be no negotiations with the Zelensky regime".
"We will demand the use of weapons that can stop and destroy the Kiev terrorist regime," he added
Russian media is claiming that Zelenskyy's trip to Berlin might be cancelled. According to a report from Guardian, a controversy has erupted due to the leak of information about Zelenskyy's scheduled trip.
As per a report from RIA, Oleg Morozov, deputy of the State Duma from United Russia, has said that Zelenskyy should be declared a terrorist.
New York Times is reporting that despite the drone attack, Russia will go ahead with the Victory Day parade, which takes place on the iconic Red Square each year, on May 9th. It celebrates victory of Russia (USSR) over Nazi Germany, which was attained during the 2nd World War. 2nd World War is also known as the Great Patriotic War in Russia. It is an extremely important day in Russia.
Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the head of the office of president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy is claiming that the drone attack will be used by Russia as a pretext for a "large scale terrorist attack".
As for the drones over the Kremlin. It’s all predictable... Russia is clearly preparing a large-scale terrorist attack. That's why it first detains a large allegedly subversive group in Crimea. And then it demonstrates "drones over the Kremlin". First of all, Ukraine wages an…— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) May 3, 2023
The first drone was spotted flying over Kremlin at around 2:27 AM (local Moscow time). It exploded near the Senate Palace, after which a fire erupted on the roofs of the Palace. The second drone was spotted 16 minutes later, at around 2:43 AM (local Moscow time). Fragments of this drone fell on the grounds of Kremlin. This information is based on reports from TVC.
According a report from Russia's RT, fragments of another drone has been discovered near Moscow, in the forest of Kolomna.
According to a report from New York Times, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is working from his home outside Moscow.
Earlier, Peskov had disclosed that the Russian President was not at the Kremlin during the attempted drone attack.
Ukraine has denied any knowledge of an attempted drone strike on the Kremlin in Moscow and insisted that it does not use its means to attack other countries.
In an interview with CNN, Serhiy Nykyforov, spokesperson for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, asserted that Kyiv’s only goal is to free its own territory.
Russia labelled the incident as an “act of terrorism” and blamed Ukraine, which Nykyforov directed back to Moscow, citing events like destroyed blocks of residential buildings in Dnipro and Uman, a missile at a line of Kramatorsk rail station, and other tragedies.
He then suggested that the attack was merely a ploy by opponents as May 9, Victory Day, approaches. "What happened in Moscow is obviously about escalating the mood on the eve of May 9," the Ukrainian President's spokesperson said.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner Group, has claimed that in his estimation, the Ukrainian counteroffensive has begun.
His press service stated on Telegram that "active phase" of the Ukrainian counteroffensive will begin soon. His statement is based on his analysis of activity near the frontline.
Whilst speaking exclusively to Republic, Vadym Halaichuk, an Ukraine MP said that, "Ukraine has always talked about peace, but Putin has chosen war. Russia has not left any room for negotiation".
Ukraine has always talked about peace, but Putin has chosen war. Russia has not left any room for negotiation: Vadym Halaichuk, Ukraine MP to Republic's @shawansen on #ThisIsExclusive.#Kremlin #Russia #UkraineRussiaWar️ #VladimirPutin https://t.co/rZxvHlPMbH pic.twitter.com/ltAweBZVOW— Republic (@republic) May 3, 2023
Zelenskyy's press secretary has said that “we have no information about the so-called night attacks on the Kremlin, but as President Zelensky has repeatedly stated, Ukraine directs all available forces and means to liberate its territories and not to attack others".