25 drones in the air…”largest since the Nazis” attack on Moscow

A series of simultaneous unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) attacks hit the Russian capital of Moscow on Tuesday, destroying several buildings and injuring several people. Russia blamed Ukraine for the attacks, which promised a “great counterattack”. Ukraine has not responded.

Police officers control a crowd in front of a building damaged by a drone strike targeting the Russian capital Moscow, Russia, Sept. 30 (local time). AP

Several residential buildings were hit by a drone early in the morning on Leninsky Prospekt and Prosposnoyuzhnaya streets in southwest Moscow메이저사이트, partially destroying them and slightly injuring several people, according to CNN and the Russian state-run RIA Novosti news agency.

“We heard a loud explosion, similar to thunder,” said a RIA Novosti journalist who was near the scene at the time. Neighbors were scared and evacuated, and rescuers were quickly dispatched to clean up the mess. “There was debris around the building that looked like drone fragments,” Russian state media outlet Tass reported.

“Several buildings were partially damaged, but no one was seriously injured or killed,” Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said, urging citizens to “refrain from spreading unconfirmed information.”

A drone seen near Moscow on March 30. TASS

The drone was believed to have flown from a direction southwest of Moscow, where Ukraine is located. The distance from the front lines in Ukraine to Moscow is about 1,000 kilometers. “About 25 drones took part in the attack,” Russian internet outlet Bazaar said, adding that “some were shot down on the outskirts of Moscow, while others were caught in trees or power lines.”

“Eight drones were headed for Moscow, of which three were destroyed by Russian forces in electronic warfare, and five others were shot down by the Panchir-S surface-to-air missile system,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement. “Ukraine is responsible for the terrorist attack on Moscow using drones,” it added. The Ukrainian side has not reacted, CNN reported.

Russian lawmaker Maxim Ivanov called it “the most serious attack on Moscow since the Nazi bombings during World War II,” and told Reuters that “no citizen can now escape the ‘new reality’ (of Moscow residences being attacked).”

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. REUTERS

The attack comes as Russia continues to launch its largest airstrikes on the Ukrainian capital of Kiev since the conflict began in February last year. Russia launched more than 100 drones and cruise missiles for the third day in a row to mark the city’s founding anniversary, known as “Kyiv Day” on Aug. 28. The attacks continued on Aug. 30, with Ukrainian forces shooting down 29 of 31 drones targeting Kyiv in the morning alone, CNN reported.

In response, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on the 29th that he had “decided the time for a major counterattack.” “A decision has been made about when we will advance and the timing of it,” Zelensky said in a televised address to the nation. He did not specify when.

Earlier in the day, Russia said two drones flew over the Kremlin in Moscow overnight and were shot down by an air defense system. Russia accused Ukraine of trying to assassinate President Vladimir Putin, a claim that Ukraine denies. There have also been theories of Russian sabotage, but recent reports have suggested that U.S. intelligence officials believe it was a special operation by the Ukrainian military.

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