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Police officers secure an area outside a damaged non-residential building on Komsomolsky Prospekt after a reported drone attack in Moscow on July 24, 2023. — AFP
Police officers secure an area outside a damaged non-residential building on Komsomolsky Prospekt after a reported drone attack in Moscow on July 24, 2023. — AFP

Russian defence ministry said Sunday that it destroyed three Ukrainian drones, forcing an airport to close and damaging office buildings in Moscow, as fighting continues to take a toll on both sides.

Of three drones, one was downed on the outskirts of the city, while the two others were “suppressed by electronic warfare” and were forced to crash into an office complex without injuring people. 

The Russian capital and surrounding areas have rarely been attacked by the Kiyv troops — about 500 kilometres (310 miles) from the Ukrainian border until several drone attacks this year.

The latest attack is another in a series of recent drone assaults — including on the Kremlin and Russian towns near the border with Ukraine — that Moscow has blamed on Kyiv.

The defence ministry called it an “attempted terrorist attack”.

“On the morning of July 30, the Kyiv regime’s attempted terrorist attack with unmanned aerial vehicles on objects in the city of Moscow was thwarted,” it said on Telegram.

“One Ukrainian UAV was destroyed in the air by air defence systems over the territory of the Odintsovo district of Moscow region.”

“Two more drones were suppressed by electronic warfare and, having lost control crashed on the territory of Moscow-City’s non-residential building complex.”

Moscow City is a commercial development in the west of the capital.

Its mayor Sergei Sobyanin posted on Telegram that the “facades of two city office towers were slightly damaged”.

He added that there were “no victims or injured”.

Police officers had cordoned off the area.

Air traffic disruption

According to the TASS news agency, the capital’s Vnukovo airport was “closed for departures and arrivals, flights are redirected to other airports”.

Within less than an hour, operations appeared to have returned to normal.

Earlier this month, a volley of drone attacks briefly disrupted air traffic at the same airport, to the city’s southwest.

The attacks on Moscow come several weeks into a Ukrainian counter-offensive to claw back territory captured by Russia since large-scale hostilities erupted in February 2022.

Russia’s foreign ministry has said such attacks “would not be possible without the help provided to the Kyiv regime by the US and Nato allies.”

On Friday,sl Russia said it had intercepted two missiles over its southern Rostov region bordering Ukraine, with at least 16 people wounded by debris falling on the city of Taganrog.

Shortly after, it said it downed a second S-200 missile near the city of Azov, with debris falling in an unpopulated area.

On the other side of the border, a Russian strike killed two people in the southern city of Zaporizhzhia Saturday, authorities there said.

And at least one civilian was killed in a missile attack on the northeastern city of Sumy, according to Ukrainian national police, who added that there were five injured.

According to public broadcaster Suspilne, the building was destroyed in an explosion at about 8:00pm.

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