Now war comes to Moscow as drones strike capital

Update Now war comes to Moscow as drones strike capital
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Law enforcement officers stand guard near a damaged multi-storey apartment block following a reported drone attack in Moscow on May 30, 2023. (Reuters)
Update Now war comes to Moscow as drones strike capital
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Above, the Russian defense ministry headquarters in Moscow. The Russian capital was targeted by a rare drone attack Tuesday morning. (AFP)
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Updated 31 May 2023

Now war comes to Moscow as drones strike capital

Now war comes to Moscow as drones strike capital
  • Elite residential districts targeted in ‘most dangerous attack since Second World War’

JEDDAH: Ukrainian drones struck wealthy residential districts of Moscow early on Tuesday in what one Russian politician called the most dangerous attack since the Second World War.

Explosions detonated before dawn, apartment block windows in the southwest of the capital were shattered and there were scorch marks on buildings after the attack.

Two people were injured and residents in some apartment blocks were moved to safety, Moscow’s mayor said. Residents heard loud bangs followed by the smell of petrol. Some filmed a drone being shot down in a plume of smoke.

Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak denied that Kyiv was directly involved but said: “We are pleased to watch events,” and forecast more such strikes.

At least 25 drones took part in the attack targeting some of Moscow’s most prestigious districts, including areas where President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s elite have homes. Putin said the attack was an attempt to frighten and provoke Russia, and that air defenses around the capital would be strengthened. Ukraine had chosen the path of trying “to intimidate Russia and Russian citizens with attacks on residential buildings,” he said.

Russian politician Maxim Ivanov said it was the most serious assault on Moscow since Nazi Germany’s invasion in the Second World War, and no Russian could now avoid “the new reality.”

Another Russian politician, Alexander Khinshtein, called for a radical strengthening of defenses. “The sabotage and terrorist attacks of Ukraine will only increase,” he said. “Do not underestimate the enemy.”

Moscow residents were surprised by the arrival of the Ukraine conflict into their daily lives. “I somehow thought it was far away, that it would not affect us,” said Tatiana Kalinina, a pensioner who lives near one of the target buildings in a leafy corner of the capital. “And then, suddenly, it came to us.”