Three Ukrainian drones attacked Moscow in the early hours on Sunday, Russian authorities said, injuring one person and prompting a temporary closure of traffic in and out of one of four airports around the Russian capital.
It was the fourth such attempt at a strike on the capital region this month and the third this week, fuelling concerns about Moscow’s vulnerability to attacks as Russia’s war in Ukraine drags into its 18th month.
The Russian Defence Ministry referred to the incident as an “attempted terrorist attack by the Kyiv regime” and said three drones targeted the city. One was shot down in the surrounding Moscow region by air defence systems and two others were jammed. Those two crashed into the Moscow City business district.
Photos from the site of the crash showed the facade of a skyscraper damaged on one floor. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said the attack “insignificantly damaged” two buildings in the Moscow City district. A security guard was injured, Russia’s state news agency Tass reported, citing emergency officials.
No flights went into or out of Vnukovo airport on the southern outskirts of the city for about an hour, according to Tass, and the airspace over Moscow and the outlying regions was temporarily closed to all aircraft. Those restrictions have since been lifted.
Moscow authorities have also closed a street to traffic near the site of the crash in the Moscow City area.
Without directly acknowledging that Ukraine was behind the attack on Moscow, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian air force said that the Russian people were seeing the consequences of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
“All of the people who think the war ‘doesn’t concern them,’ it’s already touching them,” spokesperson Yurii Ihnat told journalists Sunday.
‘No discussion of peace’
“There’s already a certain mood in Russia: that something is flying in, and loudly,” he said. “There’s no discussion of peace or calm in the Russian interior any more. They got what they wanted.”
Ihnat also referenced a drone attack on Russian-occupied Crimea overnight. Moscow announced Sunday that it had shot down 16 Ukrainian drones and neutralized eight more with an electronic jamming system. There were no casualties, officials said.
In Ukraine, the air force reported that it had destroyed four Russian drones above the country’s Kherson and Dnipropetrovsk regions. Information on the attacks could not be independently verified.
Meanwhile, two people were killed and 20 wounded by a Russian missile strike late Saturday evening on the city of Sumy in northeast Ukraine. A four-storey building belonging to a vocational college was hit, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said. Local authorities said dormitories and teaching buildings were damaged in the blast and the fire that followed.
Russia’s Defence Ministry reported shooting down a Ukrainian drone outside Moscow on Friday. Four days earlier, two drones struck the Russian capital, one of them falling in the centre of the city near the Defence Ministry’s headquarters along the Moscow River about three kilometres from the Kremlin. The other drone hit an office building in southern Moscow, gutting several upper floors.
In another attack on July 4, the Russian military said four drones were downed by air defences on the outskirts of Moscow and a fifth was jammed by electronic warfare means and forced down.