War against Ukraine: Attacks on Ukraine amid Kremlin 'assassination attempt' on Vladimir Putin row as Volodymyr Zelensky visits Netherlands
Ukraine's Air Force Command said Russian forces attacked multiple Ukrainian regions overnight with Iranian-made drones. Air raid sirens sounded across Ukraine overnight and explosions were reported in the southern city of Odesa and the capital, Kyiv.
In Odesa, three drones – inscribed "for Moscow" and "for the Kremlin" referencing the alleged Ukrainian drone attack on the Kremlin – hit a dormitory of an educational facility, but the fire was quickly put out and there were no casualties.
On a visit to Helsinki on Wednesday, Mr Zelensky insisted Ukraine was not behind the drone attacks on Russia.
He said: "We didn't attack Putin. We leave it to [the] tribunal."
Mr Zelensky added: "We don't attack Putin or Moscow. We fight on our territory. We are defending our villages and cities."
Some experts have argued the alleged drone strike on the Kremlin was internally conducted and purposefully staged by Russia – as a “false flag” attack.
The Institute for the Study of War said it was "extremely unlikely that two drones could have penetrated multiple layers of air defence and detonated or been shot down just over the heart of the Kremlin in a way that provided spectacular imagery caught nicely on camera".
It said "Russia likely staged this attack in an attempt to bring the war home to a Russian domestic audience and set conditions for a wider societal mobilisation".
The Kremlin has branded the attack a “terrorist act”.
Mr Putin was not in the Kremlin at the time and was at his Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, his spokesman said.
There was no independent verification of the purported attack, which Russia authorities said occurred overnight.
Mr Zelensky’s visit to The Hague, which hosts the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the United Nations' top judicial organ, the International Court of Justice, comes just weeks after the ICC said Mr Putin was “allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of [children] and that of unlawful transfer of [children] from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation".
However, the prospect of Mr Putin being sent to The Hague is a remote one as the court does not have a police force to execute warrants and the Russian president is unlikely to travel to any of the ICC's 123 member states that are under an obligation to arrest him if they can.
ICC prosecutor Karim Khan has made repeated visits to Ukraine and is setting up an office in Kyiv to facilitate his investigations in the country.
However, the ICC does not have jurisdiction to prosecute Mr Putin for the crime of aggression – the unlawful invasion of another sovereign country.
The Dutch government has offered to host a court that could be established to prosecute the crime of aggression and an office is being established to gather evidence.
The new International Centre for Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression should be operational by summer, the European Union's judicial cooperation agency, Eurojust, said in February.
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