Russia: We Foiled Ukrainian Drone Attack on Moscow

Airport had to be temporarily closed as 5 drones were taken out
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 4, 2023 6:11 AM CDT
Russia: We Foiled Ukrainian Drone Attack on Moscow
A view of the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, May 3, 2023. Russian authorities have accused Ukraine of attempting to attack Moscow with five drones it says it took down.   (AP Photo)

Russian air defenses on Tuesday foiled a Ukrainian drone attack on Moscow that prompted authorities to briefly close one of the city's international airports, reports the AP, as a Western analysis said Russia has managed to slow Kyiv's recently launched counteroffensive. The drone attack, which follows previous similar raids on the Russian capital, was the first known assault on the Russian capital since an abortive mutiny launched 11 days ago by mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin. Authorities in Ukraine, which generally avoid commenting on attacks on Russian soil, didn't say whether it launched the drone raid. The Russian Defense Ministry said four of the five drones were downed by air defenses on the outskirts of Moscow and the fifth was jammed by electronic warfare means and forced down.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said there were no casualties or damage. The drone attack prompted authorities to temporarily restrict flights at Moscow's Vnukovo airport and divert flights to two other main Moscow airports. Vnukovo, which is about 9 miles southwest of Moscow, has since reopened, reports the BBC. In May, two daring drone attacks jolted the Russian capital, in what appeared to be Kyiv's deepest strikes into Russia. The raid came as Ukrainian forces have continued battering Russian defenses in the south and the east of their country in the initial stages of a counteroffensive.

Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine's Security and Defense Council, charged that the military was currently focusing on destroying Russian equipment and personnel and claimed that the last few days of fighting have been particularly "fruitful." The Ukrainians are up against minefields, anti-tank ditches, and other obstacles, as well as layered defensive lines reportedly up to 12 miles deep in some places as they attempt to dislodge Russian occupiers. The UK Defense Ministry said Tuesday the Kremlin's forces have "refined (their) tactics aimed at slowing Ukrainian armored counteroffensive operations in southern Ukraine." Moscow has placed emphasis on using anti-tank mines to slow the onslaught, the assessment said, leaving the attackers at the mercy of Russian drones, helicopters, and artillery.

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"Although Russia has achieved some success with this approach in the early stages of Ukraine's counteroffensive, its forces continue to suffer from key weaknesses, especially overstretched units and a shortage of artillery munitions," the assessment said. Western analysts say the counteroffensive, even if it prospers, won't end the war. Russia, meanwhile, continued its missile and drone barrage deep behind the front line. Oleksandr Lysenko, mayor of Sumy city in northeastern Ukraine, said that three people were killed and 21 others were injured in a Russian drone strike Monday that damaged two apartment buildings. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the attack also damaged the regional headquarters of the country's main intelligence agency. He argued that the country needs more air defense systems to help fend off Russian raids.

(More Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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