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Second drone hits Moscow as war-torn Ukraine tries to penetrate belligerent Russia

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Second drone hits Moscow as war-torn Ukraine tries to penetrate belligerent Russia

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Emergency personnel work outside a damaged office block of the Moscow International Business Center (Moskva City) following a reported drone attack in Moscow on August 1, 2023. — AFP
Emergency personnel work outside a damaged office block of the Moscow International Business Center (Moskva City) following a reported drone attack in Moscow on August 1, 2023. — AFP

Days after the announcement by Ukrainian President Vlodomyr Zelenesky that war is coming upon Russia, officials said Tuesday a Kiyv drone hit a tower in Moscow after it was downed by the defence forces of the country, marking it a second incident within three days.

“Several drones were shot down by air defence systems while trying to fly to Moscow. One [drone] flew into the same tower in [Moscow] City as last time. The facade on the 21st floor was damaged,” Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Telegram.

“There is no information on casualties and emergency services were on the scene,” he added.

Russia said Sunday, it had downed Ukrainian drones targeting the capital in an attack that damaged two office towers in Moscow-City, a commercial development.

Emergency personnel work outside a damaged office block of the Moscow International Business Center (Moskva City) following a reported drone attack in Moscow on August 1, 2023. — AFP
Emergency personnel work outside a damaged office block of the Moscow International Business Center (Moskva City) following a reported drone attack in Moscow on August 1, 2023. — AFP

Russia’s defence ministry blamed Tuesday’s attack on Ukraine, saying that multiple facilities in the Moscow region had been targeted.

“Two Ukrainian [unmanned aerial vehicles] were destroyed by air defence systems over the territory of the Odintsovo and Narofominsk districts of Moscow region,” the ministry said in a statement.

“Another drone was suppressed by electronic warfare and, having lost control, crashed on the territory of the Moscow-City non-residential building complex.”

“Shortly after the drone attack, Moscow’s Vnukovo international airport was briefly closed,” TASS news agency reported.

“Vnukovo was temporarily closed for arrivals and departures, the planes are redirected to other airports,” TASS reported quoting emergency services. It later reported that it had resumed normal operations.

The same airport was briefly closed after Sunday’s attack, and earlier this month, a volley of drone attacks disrupted air traffic from Vnukovo, to the city’s southwest.

A view of a damaged office block of the Moscow International Business Center (Moskva City) following a reported drone attack in Moscow on August 1, 2023. — AFP
A view of a damaged office block of the Moscow International Business Center (Moskva City) following a reported drone attack in Moscow on August 1, 2023. — AFP

Moscow and its environs, located about 500 kilometres [310 miles] from the Ukrainian border, had rarely been targeted during the conflict in Ukraine until several drone attacks this year.

Tuesday’s attack is the latest in a series of drone assaults — including on the Kremlin and Russian towns near the border with Ukraine — that Moscow has blamed on Kyiv.

Act of desperation

On Monday, a missile strike on a residential building killed six and wounded dozens in Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s hometown of Kryvyi Rig.

A day earlier, Zelensky had warned that war was coming to Russia.

“Gradually, the war is returning to the territory of Russia — to its symbolic centres and military bases, and this is an inevitable, natural and absolutely fair process,” Zelensky said Sunday.

The Kremlin Monday called the recent strikes on the capital an “act of desperation” by Ukraine following setbacks on the battlefield.

Ukraine began its long-awaited counteroffensive in June but has made modest advances in the face of stiff resistance from Russian forces on the frontline.

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