Russian official says ‘Ukrainian’ drone found outside Moscow
A district official says Victory Day parade cancelled after drone discovered approximately 30km (19 miles) east of the capital.
A “Ukrainian” drone has been found outside Moscow, an official has said, adding that the discovery had forced local authorities to call off a Victory Day parade for security reasons.
Moscow has accused Ukraine of being behind a number of drone attacks on military infrastructure deep inside Russian territory.
On Monday, Igor Sukhin, head of the Bogorodsky city district outside the capital Moscow, said that a local resident had found a “Ukrainian” drone in a forest.
“This is not the first drone that appeared in the Moscow region,” Sukhin said on the messaging app Telegram.
A similar drone was in February found in the town of Kolomna approximately 100km (about 60 miles) southeast of Moscow, he added.
Russian news reports claimed Monday that the drone was found about 30 km (about 19 miles) east of the Russian capital.
The incident again underscored Ukraine’s capability to reach deep inside Russia as the Ukrainian military is thought to be preparing for a spring counteroffensive to reclaim occupied areas.
Sukhin said a planned Victory Day parade on May 9 had been cancelled in his community, as well as a concert linked to the festivities.
“Everyone understands that security issues have always come and will always come first,” he added.
Earlier authorities in several border regions including Belgorod said they would also forego Victory Day parades.
Russian authorities are however preparing to hold the annual display of military might in Moscow’s Red Square to celebrate Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in 1945, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.
“It will be a very important event,” he said.
Separately, authorities said Monday that Russian forces had “repelled” a drone attack on the port of Sevastopol in Moscow-annexed Crimea.
The Moscow-appointed head of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev, said the military destroyed a Ukrainian sea drone that attempted to attack the harbour in the early hours and another one blew up.
He said the powerful explosions shattered windows in several apartment buildings but didn’t inflict any other damage.
The attack was the latest in a series of attempted attacks on Sevastopol. Ukrainian authorities didn’t immediately comment on Monday’s attacks.