Putin’s blue-light dash to the Kremlin: Police convoy races Russian leader to mystery late-night meeting in Moscow seat of power after agreeing to share nuclear-capable missiles with Lukashenko
- Putin made unusual late night dash to Kremlin in cavalcade of sirens yesterday
- There are suspicions he has prepared a new televised statement on the war
- Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov denied this and said ‘everything is normal’
- The dash came directly after a meeting with Belarus president Lukashenko
- A few hours later Russian bombers launched missiles at Ukraine from Belarus
Mystery surrounds a late night dash to the Kremlin by Vladimir Putin amid suspicions he has prepared a new televised statement on the war in Ukraine and tensions with the West.
Video shows his Aurus limousine in a late night dash to his Moscow seat of power at 23:00 on Saturday night.
His Kremlin visit immediately followed talks with Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko in St Petersburg, 440 miles away, in which he agreed to supply advanced nuclear-capable arms to the Minsk dictator.
A night of bombardment on Ukrainian cities including Kyiv from Russian warplanes using Belarus airspace followed the meeting.
Putin’s spokesman did not deny the late night dash to the Kremlin, but ruled out the purpose being a crisis meeting of top officials.
He also denied that Putin was to make an immediate emergency statement.
Peskov in a late night statement told TASS: ‘No. Everything is not like that. Everything is normal.’
Yet Peskov did not explain the purpose of Putin’s sudden visit.
Vladimir Putin’s entourage made a late night dash to the Kremlin last night which has sparked speculation as to the reason why
Video shows Putin’s Aurus limousine in a late night dash to his Moscow seat of power at 23:00 on Saturday night
Putin’s spokesman did not deny the late night dash to the Kremlin, but ruled out the purpose being a crisis meeting of top officials
The Kremlin, the seat of power in Russia, located in Red Square in central Moscow on the Moskva River
The Russian president has previously pre-recorded major announcements in the Kremlin which are then later released.
One suspicion is that this might have been the purpose of his visit, possibly to announce an escalation of hostilities.
Ukrainian official Anton Gerashchenko expressed concern that the visit signalled a new Putin statement on the war
His nighttime address which launched his ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine on February 24 is widely believed to have been pre-recorded earlier.
Putin does not live in the Kremlin but at an out of town official residence, and in summer is frequently based in Sochi on the Black Sea.
So the sight of his entourage arriving late on a Saturday night at the Kremlin was seen as exceptional and immediately triggered reports on social media, forcing Peskov into a reaction.
Ukrainian official Anton Gerashchenko expressed concern that the visit signalled a new Putin statement on the war.
‘Late at night on Saturday Putin suddenly drove into the Kremlin,’ he said.
‘Details: Peskov denied suggestions that appeared in the media that it was linked to an emergency meeting, and said that ‘everything was normal’.’
Rescue workers evacuate a person from a residential building damaged by a Russian missile strike which Kyiv major Vitali Klitshko says has injured many
Fourteen cruise missile strikes reverberated around the city and its surroundings at approximately 6.30am this Sunday morning, shattering the fragile peace and tranquillity the city had been enjoying since Putin’s forces moved out of the north of Ukraine
Firefighters worker to put out a fire as smoke rises from a residential building damaged by the Russian missile strikes that rocked the city
Yet before the invasion Putin had pre-recorded a statement ‘to announce the start of the attack’.
And for weeks and months before the announcement, Putin and Peskov had denied they had any intention of invading Ukraine.
Just a few hours after the dash to the Kremlin, Putin attacked Kyiv for the first time in weeks, launching fourteen missiles at the city and surrounding region from bombers flying over Belarus airspace.
Kyiv had enjoyed three weeks of relative peace and quiet during the war until the early Sunday morning strikes, the first attacks since June 5. There were reports of many injuries.
Several large bangs shook the city around 6.30am and rescue services were seen battling flames and rescuing civilians from the blasted out windows of a burning nine-story apartment building.
Officials say that it’s too early to say if anyone has been killed, and the head of the regional military administration, Oleksiy Kuleba, stated that air defence systems shot down one of the missiles, which landed on a village in the surrounding areas.
At his meeting with Lukashenko, Putin vowed to supply Minsk with missile systems capable of carrying nuclear weapons.
The Iskander missiles are short range nuclear-capable hyper-sonic cruise missiles with a range of up to 310 miles, bringing large parts of eastern Europe up to Berlin within striking distance of the weapons in a matter of minutes.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko shake hands during their meeting in St. Petersburg yesterday, when Putin agreed to send Iskander nuclear-capable missiles to Belarus
The Iskander missiles are short range nuclear-capable hyper-sonic cruise missiles with a range of up to 310 miles, bringing all of eastern Europe up to Berlin within striking distance of weapons in a matter of minutes
Pictured: A test launch of a cruise missile of the operational-tactical missile system ‘Iskander’ from at the Kapustin Yar training ground
The transfer to Belarus Iskander-M tactical missile systems would bring large parts of eastern Europe into range of the hyper sonic missiles
‘In the coming months, we will transfer to Belarus Iskander-M tactical missile systems, which can use ballistic or cruise missiles, in their conventional and nuclear versions,’ Putin said in a broadcast on Russian television at the start of his meeting with Lukashenko in St Petersburg.
At the meeting, Lukashenko expressed concern about the ‘aggressive’, ‘confrontational’, and ‘repulsive’ policies of Belarus’s neighbours Lithuania and Poland.
He asked Putin to help his country mount a ‘symmetrical response’ to what he said were nuclear-armed flights by the US-led NATO alliance near Belarus’s borders.
Putin also offered to upgrade Belarus’ warplanes to make them capable of carrying nuclear weapons, in comments broadcast on Russian television.
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