Armed men flying above Kremlin? Just drills, says Putin aide

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MOSCOW, Nov 23, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – Was it a movie shoot? A coup? Moscow was
abuzz Friday with talk of mysterious videos showing helicopters flying above
the Kremlin, one of them apparently carrying a group of heavily armed men.

Nothing to worry about, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov
told reporters — just security drills.

“I can confirm that drills have taken place,” Peskov said in his regular
briefing. “There’s nothing extraordinary about it.”

“While most of the residence is open to the public it is still a facility
with restricted access, so the holding of such drills is standard practice.”

The videos first emerged on Thursday, showing two helicopters taking off
from the Kremlin, the official residence of the Russian leader in the heart
of Moscow.

Suspended under one of the choppers was a platform carrying a group of
masked, heavily armed men in fatigues.

“Helicopters are flying above the Kremlin,” said one Russian, Artyom
Klyushin, on Twitter. “We are trying to guess what kind of load it is.”

News agency Interfax, citing informed sources, said the flight was part of
what would become regular drills by security services in the centre of
Moscow.

Peskov referred all further questions to the Federal Guard Service that
protects the Russian leader.

The service described the flights as one of its planned drills, indicating
that more would follow.

“This stage of the drills went as planned,” spokesman Alexander Ryaskov
told AFP.

The video footage, which was broadcast on national television on Friday,
sparked bewilderment and set social media alight.

“Most likely, emergency drills for an attack on the Kremlin scenario,” one
commentator said on Twitter.

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