Ukraine updates: 'We didn't attack Putin,' says Zelenskyy

Zelenskyy said he leaves the final word on Moscow's accusation that Kyiv attempted to attack Putin to a war tribunal. Meanwhile in Kherson, Ukraine said Russian strikes killed several civilians

Ukraine updates: 'We didn't attack Putin,' says Zelenskyy (Photo: DW)
Ukraine updates: 'We didn't attack Putin,' says Zelenskyy (Photo: DW)


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reiterated denial of his country's responsibility for an alleged drone attack on the Kremlin, which Moscow says targeted President Vladimir Putin.

"We don't attack Putin, or Moscow, we fight on our territory," Zelenskyy told a news conference in Helsinki, where he is attending a meeting with Nordic leaders.

The Ukrainian president suggested that Russia staged the attack because "Putin needs to motivate his people" after a shortage of Russian victories in the ongoing war.

He said Kyiv will leave it to a war tribunal to determine responsibility for the alleged attack.

Ukraine presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak had earlier sent out a note to various media outlets, saying Kyiv had "nothing to do with the drone attacks on the Kremlin."

Russia claimed it thwarted a drone attack on the Kremlin overnight, which it claims was a Ukrainian attempt to target Putin. Click here for more on the story.

Here are some of the other headlines concerning Russia's war in Ukraine on Wednesday, May 3:

Several dead in Russian attacks on Kherson

Russian strikes on the southern Kherson region on Wednesday killed 18 people and injured 46 more, the Ukrainian presidency said, as the region prepares for a 58-hour curfew starting Friday.

Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukraine's presidential office, said on Telegram: "Russian attacks on Kherson continue. They are hitting civilians."

Wednesday's attacks struck the "only operating hypermarket" in Kherson city, as well as residential buildings and a train station.

"When the enemy can achieve nothing on the battlefield, it strikes at peaceful cities," the Reuters news agency quoted Ukrainian military spokesperson Serhii Cherevatyi as saying.

Moscow gains from alleged Kremlin attack, DW correspondent says

Moscow has a lot to gain from the alleged drone attack on the Kremlin, for which it has blamed Ukraine, said Jennifer Palke, DW's correspondent in Riga, Latvia.

Palke told DW that residents close to the Kremlin heard a noise which sounded like an explosion and saw a spark in the sky, before they saw "people with flashlights at the Krmelin walls."

"The Kremlin says as a result of timely actions taken by the military and special services the drones were rendered inoperable," Palke said.

She reminded, however, that the explosion was only reported by Russian media, with no Western media or experts yet able to verify it.

Ukraine denies involvement in alleged drone Kremlin attack

Ukraine has denied any involvement in an attack on the Kremlin reported by Moscow, allegedly targeting President Vladimir Putin.

"We do not attack the Kremlin because, first of all, it does not resolve any military tasks," the Reuters news agency quoted him as saying.

Podolyak warned that Russia would use the attack "to justify massive strikes on Ukrainian cities, on the civilian population, on infrastructure facilities" in coming days, the Associated Press quoted him as saying.

He added to Reuters that the attack "clearly indicates the preparation of a large scale terrorist provocation by Russia in the coming days."

Ukraine presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak sent out a note to various media outlets, saying Kyiv had "nothing to do with the drone attacks on the Kremlin."

Russian officials said Putin was not in the Kremlin at the time of the attack.

Russia claims it thwarted drone attack aimed at Putin

Russia says it intercepted two drones sent to attack the Kremlin, accusing Ukraine on Wednesday of a failed attempt to kill President Putin.

"Two unmanned aerial vehicles were aimed at the Kremlin. As a result of time actions taken by the military and special services with the use of radar warfare systems, the devices were put out of action," the Kremlin said in a statement.

No one was reported injured or killed in the operation, according to Russian officials.

The Kremlin did not provide evidence from the reported incident, and the statement with the accusations did not include details on the alleged attack.

It added that Russia reserved the right to retaliate suggesting that it could use the incident to justify an escalation in its war in Ukraine.

State news agency RIA reported that Putin was not in the Kremlin at the time, and was working on Wednesday at his Novo Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow. Ukrainian authorities are yet to comment on the allegations.

Nordic summit backs Ukraine's eventual NATO, EU membership

Leaders of Finland, Sweden Norway, Denmark and Iceland have expressed their support for Ukraine's eventual membership of both the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), wrapping a summit in Helsinki attended by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The five nations vowed in their closing statement to "continue their political, financial, humanitarian and military support for as long as it takes."

"Ukraine is already a de facto member of NATO and we are actually cooperating for the sake of common defense," Zelensky said.

The Ukrainian president arrived Wednesday in Helsinki for the daylong summit, where he emphasized the importance of NATO membership.

Zelenskyy met with four Nordic prime ministers at the gathering at the residency of Finnish President Sauli Niinisto. The leaders discussed support for Ukraine.

"The theme of the summit is Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, the Nordic countries' continued support for Ukraine, Ukraine's relationship with the EU and NATO, and Ukraine's initiative for a just peace," Niinisto's office said.

Zelenskyy pressed for Ukrainian membership in NATO at the conference, saying the "aim is to have full NATO membership, that is one [of] the reasons I am here."

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Icelandic Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdottir and Finnish President Niinisto gathered in the Finnish capital for the meeting.

Finland, which shares an 830-mile (1,340-kilometer) border with Russia, formally joined NATO last month after decades of nonalignment.

Russian navy ships in vicinity of Nord Stream pipelines before blast, says Nordic investigation

Three Russian navy ships were present in the vicinity of the Nord Stream pipelinesbefore the underwater blasts damaged the pipelines, an investigation by four Nordic broadcasters found.

The Russian navy ships were traced using satellite images and intercepted radio communication from the Russian fleet, the four broadcasters, Denmark's DR, Norway's NRK, Sweden's SVT and Finland's Yle, found.

Danish, Swedish and German officials have said the explosions that led to leaks in the pipelines last year were the result of deliberate actions and weren't accidents.

Authorities are yet to publish any findings of their respective investigations.

The Nordic broadcasters said that between June and September last year, the Russian ships sailed from navy bases in St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad to the area northeast of the Danish island of Bornholm close to the area of three of four explosions.

The Kremlin has denied any involvement in the blast.

Zelenskyy set to visit Berlin next week

In addition to Wednesday's surprise trip to Helsinki, German police said President Volodymyr Zelenskyy would travel to Berlin next week.

He is scheduled to meet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz before traveling on to the western German city of Aachen, where he will be awarded the 2023 Charlemagne Prize.

The news was first reported in Berlin newspaper BZ, citing police sources. Several other media outlets later obtained similar statements from law enforcement.

"At the invitation of the federal chancellor, the president of Ukraine, Mr. Volodymyr Zelenskiy, is expected to make an official visit to Berlin and Aachen from May 13 to 14," the federal police directorate for Berlin said in a written response to Reuters, for example.

Typcially, albeit with some exceptions, Zelenskyy's travel plans have been kept secret for security reasons.

EU unveils €500 million plan to ramp up ammunition production

The European Union presented a proposal to boost ammunition production in Europe as the war in Ukraine continues.

The war has depleted stocks of certain ammunition as European countries send supplies to Kyiv.

The proposal would make €500 ($550 million) available from existing European funds to boost arms production.

Curfew in Kherson from Friday

Officials in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson have declared a curfew beginning Friday for 58 hours.

The curfew, from 1700 GMT Friday until 0300 GMT Monday, comes as Ukraine prepares for a spring offensive.

Long curfews have been used by Ukrainian authorities to move troops and arms.

Suspect in killing of Russian war blogger says she was set up

Darya Trepova, who Russian authorities suspect of killing military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky in April, said she was "insanely sorry" for the blast.

The 26-year-old told the St. Petersburg online news channel Rotonda that she did not know the actual content of the parcel she presented to Tatarsky before the blast.

Trepova is now in detention in Moscow on terrorism charges, accused of cooperating with Ukrainian special services to kill the popular pro-war blogger.

"Most of all I want to die," Trepova told Rotonda. "I replay the events over and over in my head... Why did I simply believe that there was nothing dangerous in the package that I was asked to deliver?" she was quoted as saying.

"The most unbearable thing is that they killed a man with my hands, and maimed dozens. I have always been against violence," she said.

Trepova has not revealed the identity of the person who handed her the statue — with explosives inside — that killed the blogger.

US to deliver rockets in new aid package

The United States is sending $300 million (€272 million) in fresh military aid to Ukraine including air-to-ground rockets, artillery rounds, howitzers, and ammunition ahead of an anticipated spring counteroffensive.

On Tuesday, Pentagon officials outlined the aid package to the Associated Press and other media outlets, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The new package includes Hydra-70 unguided rockets, which are fired from aircraft.

Also included are an undisclosed number of rockets for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, as well as mortars, 155-mm howitzers and Carl Gustaf anti-tank rifles.

These weapons and ammunition will be drawn from excess US inventory under the Presidential Drawdown Authority, which authorizes the president to transfer articles from domestic stocks without congressional approval during an emergency. This means the package can quickly be delivered to the front lines.

The European Commission also announced €1 billion in funding for European ammunition production, which is set to help supply Ukraine as well as replenish the European Union's own stocks.

"It's all about speed, speed, speed," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said following a meeting with Czech President Petr Pavel on Tuesday.

As Ukraine's spring counteroffensive looms, the country's Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov recently declared that preparations are on the "home stretch, when we can say: 'Yes everything is ready.'"

Reznikov said on Monday that supplies of weapons, ammunition, shells and fuel would be key to the success of the counteroffensive.

Russia detains seven with connections to Ukrainian intelligence

Russia's Federal Security Service, the FSB, detained seven people connected with Ukrainian intelligence, Russian state news agency TASS reported.

The FSB said in a statement that the individuals were detained in Crimea and that attacks against Crimean governor Sergei Aksyonov and other officials had been thwarted.

Large fire breaks out in Russian village near Crimean bridge

A fuel depot in the Russian village of Volna, close to the Russian-built bridge that connects the mainland with the occupied Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, caught fire overnight, according to the regional governor.

"A tank with petroleum products caught fire in Volna village of Temryuksky district. The fire has been assigned the highest level of severity," Krasnodar Krai governor Veniamin Kondratyev said on Telegram.

"According to preliminary information, there are no dead or injured," he added.

The bridge, which crosses the Kerch Strait, is a vital lifeline for Russian occupying forces in Crimea which also acted as a launchpad for Russia's full-scale invasion that was launched last year.

A truck bomb destroyed part of the bridge in October last year. Russia blamed Ukraine for the attack, but Ukraine has rejected the accusation.

In recent days, a suspected drone attack struck an oil depot in the occupied Crimean city of Sevastopol and explosive devices derailed two Russian freight trains close to the Ukrainian border.

Kyiv said over the weekend that disrupting Russian logistics was part of its preparations for Ukraine's expected counteroffensive, but it has not claimed responsibility for any attacks on Russian soil.

White House did not warn Zelenskyy of leaks: reports

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an interview with The Washington Post that US authorities did not inform him about a leak of classified documents relating to the war that made global headlines last month.

"I did not receive information from the White House or the Pentagon beforehand,” Zelenskyy was quoted as saying.

"It is unprofitable for us," he added. "It is not beneficial to the reputation of the White House, and I believe it is not beneficial to the reputation of the United States."

A Pentagon spokesperson said US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin did speak to a number of allies about the leak, including his Ukrainian counterpart Reznikov.

Russian defense chief calls to double missile output

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Tuesday urged a state-owned missile company to double its output as an anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive looms.

The Tactical Missiles Corporation manufactures a variety of different missiles, bombs and other munitions.

At a meeting with the military's top brass, Shoigu said "right now it is necessary to double the production of high-precision weapons in the shortest possible time."

More DW coverage on Russia's war in Ukraine

Many independent media professionals in Russia fled after the invasion of Ukraine amid intense government pressure. DW spoke to the journalists who stayed.

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines