Ukraine has been accused by Russia of carrying out a drone attack on Moscow early in the morning. This incident marks the first time that Moscow has been targeted by multiple drone attacks since Russia’s Ukraine invasion.
According to Russia’s defence minister, the city has been affected by over eight drone attacks. He added that several buildings in Kyiv were damaged due to the terrorist attack. According to Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, no serious injuries were reported as a result of the drone attacks.
At the same time, Ukraine completely opposes Russia’s accusation regarding the carrying out of the drone strikes. According to Mykhailo Podolyak, a presidential aide, Kyiv denies any direct involvement in the drone strikes. However, he mentioned that Ukraine had been observing the events unfold and predicted a potential increase in similar incidents.
The defence ministry of Russia claimed that they had successfully intercepted all eight drones.
The Ministry of Defense in Russia pinned down that, three of the drones were neutralized using electronic warfare, resulting in a loss of control and deviation from their intended targets. Additionally, the ministry stated that the Pantsir-S surface-to-air missile system successfully shot down five drones in the Moscow region.
Previous reports from Russian media had indicated the involvement of up to 30 drones. Authorities have also stated that several of these drones fell on buildings after being brought down. According to Mr Sobyanin, certain residents were initially evacuated but later permitted to return home. He mentioned that two individuals had sought medical assistance.
Steve Rosenberg, the BBC’s Russia editor based in Moscow, reported hearing an explosion at 06:24 local time which is 3:24 GMT in the northwest part of Moscow. The blast caused the windows of his home to shake. He further stated that another explosion was heard at 06:58.
Based on the discussions observed on social media, it appears that a significant number of people in the Moscow area also heard the explosions. To many residents of the Russian capital, the war in Ukraine seemed distant and confined to what they witnessed on television.
Multiple Drone Attacks on Russia’s Moscow Follow Overnight Strike in Kyiv, Resulting in Fatalities
As Ukraine’s air defences intercepted over 20 drones, Ukrainian officials reported that falling debris ignited fires in buildings. Before this, General Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, had issued a warning about a prompt retaliation in response to a series of missile strikes by Russia on Kyiv.
According to Dr Jack Watling, a land warfare expert from the Royal United Services Institute, Ukraine has previously targeted airfields in Russia but had not attacked the capital city before.
In early May, an alleged drone attack was reported to have targeted the Kremlin. During that period, unverified videos circulated online, depicting smoke rising above the complex. Another video showed a small explosion occurring above the Senate building on the site.
Russian authorities attributed the attack to an order from Kyiv, whereas President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine denied any involvement of his country in the incident.
Russia Ukraine War
In a significant development in the 15-month-long war in Ukraine, Moscow has experienced a large-scale drone attack, signalling a new turning point in the conflict. This event contradicts the Kremlin’s previous assertion that the war would not endanger the lives of ordinary Russians.