Moscow targeted again as Kyiv steps up drone attacks inside Russia

Russia says Ukraine targeted Moscow with drones on Sunday, the latest in a series of attacks that have brought the Ukraine war to Russia’s capital.

The Russian Defense Ministry said three drones were intercepted but a business and shopping development in the west of the capital was hit. The fifth and sixth floor of a 50-story building were damaged, and no casualties were reported, state news agency TASS reported.

Videos showed debris as well as emergency services at the scene.

A spokesman for Ukraine’s Air Force said the latest drone attacks on Moscow were aimed at impacting Russians who, since the Kremlin invaded Ukraine in February 2022, felt the war was distant.

“There’s always something flying in Russia, as well as in Moscow. Now the war is affecting those who were not concerned,” the spokesman, Yurii Ihnat, said on Ukrainian television.

“No matter how the Russian authorities would like to turn a blind eye on this by saying they have intercepted everything … something does hit.”

Ukraine’s military has increasingly been deploying unmanned aerial vehicles for more than just reconnaissance.

Ukrainian Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, whose Digital Transformation Ministry oversees the country’s “Army of Drones” procurement plan, had said there would be more drone strikes to come as Kyiv ramps up a summer counteroffensive aimed at pushing Russian troops out of Ukrainian territory.

Moscow was targeted earlier this week. Ukraine claimed responsibility for a strike on Monday that hit two non-residential buildings, including one near the Ministry of Defense headquarter. Russia called that incident a “terrorist attack,” although the Kremlin’s military actions in Ukraine have regularly caused civilian casualties.

A Russian missile attack in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Sumy late on Saturday killed one civilian and injured another five, while a rocket strike on Zaporizhzhia left another two people dead.

Both areas had been subject to lengthy bombardments over the weekend. Ukrainian authorities in Sumy said there had been 25 instances of shelling in a single day, while a military leader in Zaporizhzhia said Russian forces had carried out 77 attacks on 20 settlements across the Zaporizhzhia, hitting 31 residential buildings and other pieces of infrastructure.

Though the strikes in Moscow did not reportedly cause any injuries or fatalities, they have unsettled residents of the Russian capital.

One witness to Sunday’s attack explained how the incident upended some planned down time.

“My friends and I rented an apartment to come here and unwind, and at some point, we heard an explosion – it was like a wave, everyone jumped,” she told Reuters. “There was a lot of smoke, and you couldn’t see anything. From above, you could see fire.”

Ukrainian drones also targeted the Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula on Sunday.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said it intercepted 25 unmanned aerial vehicles over the territory, which Moscow illegally annexed from Ukraine in 2014, shooting down 16 of them with air defense systems.

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