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Overnight drone attacks in Moscow cause building damage, as Russia attributes blame to Kyiv

Russia’s defense ministry reported that three Ukrainian drones were downed over Moscow early on Sunday, leading to a brief closure of an international airport. While one drone was shot down on the outskirts of the city, two others were reportedly “suppressed by electronic warfare” and crashed into an office complex, resulting in a security guard being injured, as cited by Russia’s state news agency Tass.

Moscow’s distance of over 500km from the Ukrainian border and ongoing conflict has not prevented the city from experiencing multiple drone attacks this year. The most recent attack joins a series of drone assaults, including ones on the Kremlin and Russian towns near the Ukrainian border, which Moscow has attributed to Kyiv.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin conveyed the incident on Telegram, stating, “Ukrainian drones attacked tonight. Facades of two city office towers were slightly damaged.”

Kyiv has yet to respond to these accusations, as they typically refrain from claiming responsibility for attacks on Russia. In response to the incident, Russia’s defense ministry referred to it as an “attempted terrorist attack.”

The ministry detailed, “One Ukrainian UAV was destroyed in the air by air defense systems over the territory of the Odintsovo district of Moscow region. Two more drones were suppressed by electronic warfare and, having lost control, crashed on the territory of Moscow-City’s non-residential building complex.”

Following the attack, Vnukovo airport in Moscow was closed for departures and arrivals, with flights being redirected to other airports. However, operations appeared to return to normal within a short span of time.

This incident occurred amidst a Ukrainian counter-offensive aimed at reclaiming territory captured by Russia since large-scale hostilities began in February 2022. Earlier in the month, a series of drone attacks briefly disrupted air traffic at the same airport.

Russian regions bordering Ukraine have experienced regular drone strikes and shelling since the military campaign began last year, but missile attacks on these regions have been rare. On another front, Russia claimed to have intercepted two Ukrainian missiles over its southern Rostov region, resulting in at least 16 people being wounded by falling debris in the city of Taganrog.

In response to the Russian missile attack, at least one civilian was killed in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Sumy on Saturday evening, with five others injured, as reported by the national police.

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