Drone strikes on Moscow damage buildings; Russia says several UAVs shot down

No immediate comment from Ukrainian officials; rare attack on Russian capital comes hours after one person killed in Kyiv in aerial assault by Iranian-made drones

Screen grab from an unverified video circulating on social media said to show damage to a Moscow building after a drone attack, May 30, 2023 (Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Screen grab from an unverified video circulating on social media said to show damage to a Moscow building after a drone attack, May 30, 2023 (Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

The Russian capital was targeted by a rare drone attack Tuesday morning, causing “minor” damage to buildings and no casualties, the city’s mayor said.

The attack came hours after Russia launched a pre-dawn assault on Ukraine’s capital, killing at least one person and sending Kyiv’s residents again scrambling into shelters.

“This morning, at dawn, a drone attack caused minor damage to several buildings. All the city’s emergency services are on the scene… No one has been seriously injured so far,” Moscow’s mayor Sergei Sobyanin said.

Moscow, located more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) from Ukraine, has only rarely been targeted by drone attacks since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, even though such attacks have become more common elsewhere in Russia.

Images posted on social media showed traces of smoke in the sky. Others showed a broken window.

Residents of two buildings damaged in the attack were evacuated, Sobyanin said.

Andrei Vorobyov, governor of the wider Moscow region, later said several drones were “shot down on the approach to Moscow.”

There was no immediate comment on the attacks from Ukrainian officials.

It was the second reported an attack on Moscow, after authorities said two drones targeted the Kremlin earlier this month in what was labeled an attempt on President Vladimir Putin’s life.

The Tuesday attack followed an assault on Kyiv, which was carried out by Russian drones overnight and left at least one person dead, according to the city’s mayor Vitali Klitschko.

At least 20 Iran-made Shahed drones were destroyed by air defense forces in Kyiv’s airspace in Russia’s third attack on the capital in the past 24 hours, according to the Kyiv Military Administration.

Ukrainian air defense intercepts a Shahed drone mid-air in the third Russia aerial attack on the capital in 24 hours in Kyiv, Ukraine, May 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

The buzzing of drones could be heard over the city, followed by loud explosions as they were taken down by air defense systems.

One person was killed and three were injured when a high-rise building in the Holosiiv district caught fire. It was not immediately clear what caused the blaze but frequently the falling debris from drones being hit and the interceptor missiles have caused damage on the ground.

The building’s upper two floors were destroyed, and there may be people under the rubble, the Kyiv Military Administration said. More than 20 people were evacuated.

Resident Valeriya Oreshko said that even though the immediate threat was over, the attacks had everyone on edge.

“You are happy that you are alive, but think about what will happen next,” the 39-year-old said.

Oksana, who only gave her first name, said the whole building shook when it was hit.

“Go to shelters, because you really do not know where it (the drone) will fly,” she advised others. “We hold on.”

Police officers help an injured man evacuate from a multi-story apartment building to an ambulance during a wave of bombardments targeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, May 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Babenko)

Elsewhere in the capital, falling debris caused a fire in a house in the Darnytskyi district and three cars were set alight in the Pechersky district, according to the military administration.

The series of attacks that began Sunday included a rare daylight attack Monday that left puffs of white smoke in the blue skies.

On that day, Russian forces fired 11 ballistic and cruise missiles at Kyiv at about 11:30 a.m., according to Ukraine’s chief of staff, Valerii Zaluzhnyi. All of them were shot down, he said.

Emergency workers extinguish a fire in a parked car, caused by falling debris from an aerial Russian attack in the Pecherskyi district of Kyiv, Ukraine, May 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Roman Hrytsyna)

Debris from the intercepted missiles fell in Kyiv’s central and northern districts during the morning, landing in the middle of traffic on a city road and also starting a fire on the roof of a building, the Kyiv military administration said. At least one civilian was reported hurt.

The Russian Defense Ministry said it launched a series of strikes early Monday targeting Ukrainian air bases with precision long-range air-launched missiles. The strikes destroyed command posts, radars, aircraft and ammunition stockpiles, it claimed. It didn’t say anything about hitting cities or other civilian areas.

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