Russian air defences shot down two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and electronically disabled another over central Moscow, the latest raid on Russia’s capital city by combat drones that authorities have accused Ukraine of launching.
Russia’s defence ministry said one drone was jammed electronically and crashed into a building in downtown Moscow early on Wednesday morning, and two more were shot down by air defence systems outside the capital.
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Moscow’s Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on the Telegram messaging app that one downed drone had hit a building that was under construction in central Moscow, and another was shot down in a district to the west of the city.
“Tonight, air defence shot down a drone in Mozhaisky district of Moscow region. The second UAV hit a building under construction in the City,” Sobyanin said on Telegram.
Russia’s defence ministry said that the third drone was shot down in the Khimki district of Moscow.
Russian state news agency TASS reported that air traffic at Moscow’s Vnukovo, Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo airports was halted, the second day in a row that operations were disrupted at the airports due to a drone attack on the capital. Operations at the airports resumed later on Wednesday morning, Russia’s state aviation authority said.
The TASS state news agency quoted emergency services as saying that a building under construction in Moscow’s business district sustained “minor damage”.
Emergency services were inspecting the area in the business district, Sobyanin said on Telegram.
“Several windows were smashed in two adjacent five-storey buildings,” he added.
Sobyanin and the defence ministry said there were no reports of casualties.
Video footages shared on Russian-language social media on Wednesday, which purported to capture the moment the drone crashed into an office block, showed a bright flash followed by a large explosion and smoke.
On Tuesday morning, two drones were shot down over the Moscow region town of Krasnogorsk and the settlement of Chastsy. Two other drones were also repelled over the Bryansk region near the Ukrainian border, Moscow’s defence ministry said on Telegram.
Windows were broken over several floors of a multi-story residential building in Krasnogorsk and vehicles were damaged on the ground due to debris falling from the destroyed drones, according to authorities.
Drone raids on Moscow have become regular occurrences in recent weeks, a development that follows Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s warning in late July that the war Moscow had launched in Ukraine was coming to Russia.
A spokesman for the US State Department said on Wednesday that the United States – Kyiv’s largest military supporter – does not encourage or enable attacks by Ukrainian forces on Russian territory.
Ukraine decides how it chooses to defend itself against Russia’s invasion, a State Department spokesperson said, according to the Reuters news agency.