Ukraine accused of drone attack on Moscow

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30th May 2023 – (Moscow) Russia’s defence ministry has said that Ukraine attacked Moscow with at least eight drones, but all were either shot down or suppressed using electronic warfare systems that caused them to navigate away from their targets. The rare attack on the Russian capital caused “minor” damage to buildings and no casualties, according to the city’s mayor, Sergei Sobyanin.

The Russian defence ministry called the attack a “terrorist attack” and said that all the drones were intercepted. Three of them were suppressed by electronic warfare, lost control and deviated from their intended targets. Another five drones were shot down by the Pantsir-S surface-to-air missile system in the Moscow region.

Earlier media reports had said as many as 30 drones were involved, and authorities have said several of them fell on buildings after being downed. There has been no comment from Kyiv, but on Monday, the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, Gen Kyrylo Budanov, warned of a swift response to a series of Russian missile strikes on Kyiv.

Images posted on social media showed traces of smoke in the sky above the Russian capital, while others showed a broken window. Mr Sobyanin said that some residents were being evacuated and that two people had sought medical assistance.

The attacks on Moscow follow an overnight drone attack on the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, in which at least one person was reported killed. Ukrainian officials said falling debris set buildings on fire as Ukraine’s air defences intercepted more than 20 drones.

The strikes on Moscow and Kyiv have raised concerns among local residents. The war in Ukraine was something that many Muscovites saw on television, but now it has come closer to home. The alleged drone attack on the Kremlin in early May also caused alarm.

Unverified footage circulated online showing smoke rising above the complex, while a second video showed a small explosion above the site’s Senate building. Russian authorities claimed it was an attack ordered by Kyiv, while Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky denied his country was involved in the incident.