Russia destroys drone near Moscow in latest attack on Russian capital

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin says air defence systems destroyed a drone in the Istra district west of Moscow.

Police officers block off an area around a damaged office block of the Moscow International Business Center
Earlier this month, Russian police officers block off the area around a damaged office block at the Moscow International Business Centre (Moskva City) following a drone attack in Moscow on August 1, 2023 [File: Alexander Nemenov/AFP]

Russian air defence has repelled a new drone attack on Moscow, the city’s mayor said, the latest of several attempts to attack the Russian capital with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) this week.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said early on Saturday that a drone was destroyed by air defence systems over the Istra district west of Moscow.

Emergency services were at the scene and there have been no initial reports of damage or casualties, Sobyanin said on the Telegram messaging app.

The early morning drone raid on Saturday forced authorities to temporarily shut down all three main airports serving the capital.

Russia’s military has reported that Ukrainian drones and a missile attack have repeatedly targeted Russian territory over the course of the past week, and three Moscow airports – Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo and Vnukovo – have been forced to suspend flights temporarily as a result.

Flights were also disrupted at the Moscow airports on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, according to reports.

Ukraine did not immediately comment on the latest drone raid and almost never publicly claims responsibility for attacks inside Russia or on Russian-controlled territory in Ukraine.

Russia’s Ministry of Defence reported on Friday that its forces had shot down nine Ukrainian drones and suppressed 33 others with “electronic warfare” in the largest drone attack so far by Kyiv on the Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine began last year.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies