A large-scale early morning drone strike on Moscow Tuesday has left several civilian apartment buildings in the Russian capital damaged with the Kremlin immediately blaming Ukraine for the attacks. It is largely being described as the first attack on the city’s civilian neighborhoods.
According to Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, several buildings sustained minor damage but no fatalities have been reported after 8 drones were used in the attack.
“The Kiev regime launched a terrorist attack with unmanned aerial vehicles on targets in the city of Moscow,” the Russian Defense Ministry (MoD) said about the drone strikes.
The MoD statement also noted that 5 drones were downed by Pantsir-S air defense systems that were stationed outside the city, however, what appeared to be drone fragments were found near one of the damaged buildings. The MoD also said that 3 drones had their systems jammed by electronic warfare devices.
Several apartment buildings and homes had their windows blown out in the west and southwest areas of Moscow.
According to a Telegram post by Sobyanin, 2 people needed medical attention after the attacks but neither required hospitalization.
The buildings that were struck only suffered minor damage although residents from two highrise buildings were forced to evacuate. A total of 3 buildings are known to have been damaged in the attack, although Sobyanin attempted to downplay the incident saying that the strikes caused only “insignificant” damage.
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Meanwhile, Zelensky’s office has denied direct involvement in the attack saying that Ukraine “has nothing directly to do” with the Moscow drone strike. An official with the Ukrainian president’s office did say, however, that he was “pleased to observe and predict an increase in the number of attacks.”
The drone strikes on Moscow soil come weeks after Zelensky announced earlier this month that “We [Ukraine] don’t attack Putin or Moscow.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin neither gave formal remarks after the attack nor acknowledged it on Tuesday. Although, a ruling party lawmaker, Andrei Gurulev, noted that Moscow residents were more likely to be hit by an electric scooter than by a drone strike in the city and added, “We didn’t do too badly today,” referring to the interception of some of the drones by Russian air defenses.
The massive drone strikes on Moscow come after a weekend barrage of drone strikes by Russian forces on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. Between Saturday and Sunday, at least 3 different waves of drone attacks were reported in Kyiv, according to ZeroHedge.
An attack Saturday has been reported as the largest drone strike on Kyiv to date and came as the city’s residents celebrated the anniversary of its founding.
According to the Ukrainian air force, most of the drones used in the weekend attacks were Iranian-made “kamikaze” drones, and added that 58 of the 59 drones were taken down by Ukrainian air defenses.
While the tit-for-tat drone war continues between Moscow and Kyiv, it is clear that both sides appear to be escalating the situation with a Russian senator going so far on Tuesday as to threaten to use nuclear weapons against what he referred to as the Ukrainian reich. Meanwhile, the U.S. and NATO allies appear to be gearing up to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, which would further infuriate Putin and extend Kyiv’s reach deep inside Russian territory.
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