April 24, 2024

Russia says it has destroyed 2 drones targeting Moscow

Russian authorities said they foiled two attacks drones aimed at Moscow on Monday morning in a strike they called Ukrainian forces. No one was injured, they said. There was no immediate comment from Ukraine.

At least two non-residential buildings were targeted around 4 a.m. local time, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on his Telegram account, adding that there was no “serious damage or casualties.” The Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed earlier that it used electronic defenses to the drones.

Authorities closed part of Komsomolsky Prospect, an avenue that runs through central Moscow, and were investigating a drone found there, according to Tass, a state-run news outlet. Videos verified by the New York Times show damage in at least two locations near the Moscow River in the south of the city.

Smoke was billowing from the upper floors of a high-rise building in a complex for Leroy Merlin, a home improvement store in France. Other footage shows damage to several structures along Komsomolsky Prospect – close to Russia’s defense ministry – including the building of the Military University and the Central Military Band, a performance group of the Russian Armed Forces. It was not possible to determine from the sightings which drones caused the damage.

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year, the fighting has focused on the front lines in eastern Ukraine. Russia has fired missiles and drones at cities across Ukraine almost every day and Russian cities, including Moscow, have not been spared the violence of the war. But in May, Moscow’s relative safety was shattered when full-scale drone attacks of the first scale were launched on the capital, which is almost 800 kilometers from the border with Ukraine and even further from the front lines.

Ukraine has maintained a policy of not commenting on any attacks inside Russia that appear to involve its military or supporters, arguing that silence allows it to maintain an element of surprise and a military advantage. But on Sunday, President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed to retaliate against Russia after a week of deadly strikes on Odesa that targeted civilians, infrastructure and port facilities vital to exporting grains. Ukraine has begun to publicly take credit for attacks in Crimea, the peninsula illegally annexed by Russia in 2014, arguing that the attacks are taking place inside Ukrainian territory.

Shawn Paik and Young Jin Yu reporting helped.

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