Russia Ukraine War: Russian authorities accused Ukraine of launching a drone attack on Moscow early Monday that saw one of the aircraft fall near the Defense Ministry’s main headquarters, while the Russian military unleashed new strikes on port infrastructure in southern Ukraine.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said there were no casualties when the drones struck two nonresidential buildings in Moscow. Separately, a Ukrainian drone struck an ammunition depot in Russian-annexed Crimea, forcing a halt in traffic on a major highway, Russian authorities said.
In Moscow, Russian media reported that one of the drones fell on the Komsomolsky highway near the capital’s center, shattering shop windows and damaged the roof of a house just about 200 meters (just over 200 yards) away from the towering riverside Defense Ministry building. The ministry’s main headquarters has Pantsyr air defense systems placed on the roof.
Russia says Moscow and Crimea hit by Ukrainian drones while Russian forces bombard Ukraine’s south https://t.co/837Z3uHRsl
— Mynameis…Miro (@zg4ever) July 24, 2023
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the drone targeted the Defense Ministry’s headquarters, which is located 2.7 kilometers (1.7 miles) away from the Kremlin, or was heading to some other target in central Moscow.
Another drone hit an office building in southern Moscow, gutting several upper floors — more visible damage compared to earlier drone strikes on the Russian capital.
Emergency workers were inspecting the damage and traffic was halted on sections of highways where the drones fell.
Ukrainian authorities didn’t immediately claim responsibility for the strike, which was the second drone attack on the Russian capital this month.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted Monday that “the intensity of attempts to attack our regions with drones has grown.”
“So measures are being taken, a very intense daily 24-hour work is underway,” Peskov said, without offering any details about whether Russia’s air defence systems have been enhanced because of the increased attacks.
Russian authorities said that another Ukrainian drone attack early Monday struck an ammunition depot in northern Crimea and forced a halt in traffic on a major highway and a railway crossing the Black Sea peninsula that was illegally annexed by Moscow in 2014. Railway traffic was restored several hours later.
The Moscow-appointed head of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, said that authorities also ordered the evacuation of several villages within a five-kilometer (three-mile) radius of the depot that was hit.
Aksyonov said the military shot down or jammed 11 attacking drones, while the Defense Ministry claimed later that 11 of the 17 attacking drones were jammed and crashed into the Black Sea and another three were shot down.
Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s digital transformation minister, noted on his messaging app channel that Monday’s drone attacks on Moscow and Crimea signaled that Russia’s electronic warfare means and air defenses are “less and less able to protect the skies of the invaders,” adding that “there will be more of it.”