Ukraine denied Russia's accusations that it had tried to attack the Kremlin with drones in an attempt "to kill Russian President Vladimir Putin," prompting even more speculation over the incident. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that China has noted the relevant reports, and China calls on all parties to avoid any action that could further escalate the situation.
"China's position on the Ukraine crisis is consistent and clear. All sides need to avoid taking actions that might further escalate the situation," Mao Ning, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told a routine press conference on Thursday.
Some Chinese experts considered the attack as likely to be linked with Ukraine extremists who advocate prolonging the Russia-Ukraine conflict and coercing high ranking Ukrainian officials to continue the fight, while the odds are that there was support or even encouragement from international hegemonic forces for the operation.
Online footage showed a flying object exploding in an intense burst of light near the dome of the Kremlin Senate building. The Russian government said early Wednesday that Kiev "attempted a drone strike against the residence of the President of the Russian Federation" at the Kremlin.
The aircraft were downed using electronic warfare measures and caused no casualties or damage, RT said, citing a presidential administration statement. Moscow considers the incident an act of terrorism.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has denied the Russian claims, saying that "we don't attack Putin, or Moscow, we fight on our territory and defend our towns and cities," the Guardian reported on Wednesday.
But on Thursday, Russia accused the US of being behind of the drone incident. "Attempts to disown this, both in Kiev and in Washington, are, of course, absolutely ridiculous. We know very well that decisions about such actions, about such terrorist attacks, are made not in Kiev but in Washington," Putin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying in a Reuters report.
When asked about whether the incident would affect the visit of the Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Eurasian Affairs to Ukraine, the spokesperson said we will make further announcements in due course. China will continue to work with the international community to play a constructive role for the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis..
On the battlefield in Ukraine, both sides have paid a heavy price but neither has fully achieved their purpose in the war, and now both sides' willingness to continue the war is undergoing a great test, some Chinese experts said. Ukraine has been the defensive side, unwilling to see a large area of its land being controlled by Russia, but it has been unable to launch a large-scale counteroffensive, they noted.
"With divergences growing inside Ukraine, the conflict between those advocating for peace and those advocating for war has escalated," Wang Xiaoquan, an expert with the Institute of Russian, Eastern European & Central Asian Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Thursday.
The drone incident is likely to be the work of extremists advocating for war in Ukraine, with the aim of suppressing those pro-peace forces and coercing Ukrainian senior officials to continue fighting the war, Wang noted. "Also, there may have been support or even encouragement by international hegemonic forces," Wang said.
In response to the drone incident, Russia said in a statement on Wednesday that it "reserves the right to take countermeasures wherever and whenever it deems appropriate," which leads Chinese experts to believe that Moscow will retaliate in a massive way.
The incident crossed the new red line of the Ukraine crisis. After more than one year of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, neither side has attacked the other's government residences and leaders. [After this incident] Ukraine's government buildings could be targeted in the next phase, experts said.