According to sources reportedly linked to US intelligence and cited by CNN, there are claims that Ukraine is involved in arming its “agents and sympathizers” within Russia with drones for the purpose of carrying out sabotage operations against the Russian government. These sources also attribute the recent drone attack on the Kremlin to these agents, who allegedly launched the drones from inside Russia instead of operating them from Ukrainian territory, which would have been a considerable distance away.
Several other drone attacks have taken place in Russia over the last few days, including one on a residential neighbourhood near Moscow and another on an oil refinery in southern Russia. However, it was not clear whether those strikes were carried out by Ukrainian agents operating within Russian territory.
“No US-made drone used in attacks”
The sources quoted by CNN also clarified that drones used by Ukraine’s agents in Russia were manufactured by Ukraine itself, and no US-made drone was used to stage attacks inside Russia. As per the sources, Ukrainian forces have established well-practised smuggling routes beyond the Russian border to send drone components to its operatives in Russia, where they assemble drones and carry out strikes on Russian targets.
CNN also quoted a European intelligence source as saying that since the Russia-Ukraine border was very vast and difficult to control, it provided Ukraine with a god-sent opportunity to set up such smuggling routes along the border and use it to its own advantage.
“Strikes and explosions inside Russia will continue”
According to a spokesperson from the Ukrainian Security Service, as reported by CNN, it was suggested that the series of unexplained explosions and drone strikes within Russia would continue, indicating that its network of agents will continue to be active.
The spokesperson quoted the head of the Security Service, Vasyl Malyuk, stating that they would only comment on these incidents, referred to as “cotton” by Ukrainians, after achieving victory. Furthermore, the spokesperson emphasised that “cotton” had occurred, is currently happening, and will continue to occur.
The term “cotton” is a slang word used by Ukrainians to describe explosions, particularly those happening in Russia or Russian-occupied territories within Ukraine. The term originated during the early stages of the war due to the similarity between the Russian word for “pop” and the Ukrainian word for “cotton.”