Drones struck Moscow on Tuesday but were neutralised, Russia said, in what one politician called the worst attack on the capital since World War Two, while Kyiv was also hit by air for the third time in 24 hours, APA reports citing Sputnik.
Since Russia sent troops into its neighbour in February last year, the war has largely been fought inside Ukraine, though Moscow has reported some attacks on its territory and blamed them on Ukraine, including an alleged assassination attempt against President Vladimir Putin.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said two people were injured, but not seriously, while some residents in two lightly damaged apartment blocks were briefly evacuated.
Russia’s defence ministry said eight drones sent by Kyiv were shot down or diverted, though Baza, a Telegram channel with links to the security services, said more than 25 were involved.
Residents in southwestern Moscow said they heard loud bangs followed by the smell of petrol at around 5am to 6am local time [02:00 to 03:00 GMT]. Some filmed a drone being shot down and a plume of smoke rising over the Moscow skyline.
Lawmaker Maxim Ivanov termed it the most serious assault on Moscow since the Nazis, saying no citizen could now avoid “the new reality”.
“You will either defeat the enemy as a single fist with our Motherland, or the indelible shame of cowardice, collaboration and betrayal will engulf your family,” he said.
Two weeks ago, two drones exploded over the Kremlin in an attack Russia also blamed on Kyiv and said was aimed at Putin.
Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak denied Kyiv was directly involved in targeting Moscow on Tuesday, though he said “we are pleased to watch” and forecast more to come.
Russia’s defence ministry cast the assault as a “terrorist drone attack” launched by the “Kyiv regime”.