Russia blames Ukraine for “terrorist” drone attack on Moscow

July 24 (Reuters) – Russia’s defence ministry accused Ukraine of a “terrorist” drone attack on Moscow on Monday, after the city’s mayor said that two buildings were hit and media reported that debris was found not far from the defence ministry’s buildings.

The defence ministry said on its Telegram messaging app that two drones “were suppressed and crashed.”

Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on his Telegram messaging app that two non-residential buildings were struck at around 4 a.m. (0100 GMT), adding that there was no “serious damage or casualties.”

It was unclear whether the drones hit the buildings when they were downed, or whether they deliberately targeted the buildings.

Neither the defence ministry nor the mayor said where the drones were intercepted.

Russia’s state news agencies reported, citing emergency services, said that drone fragments were found near a building on the Komsomolsky Avenue, which runs through central Moscow. The site is about 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) from the defence ministry’s buildings.

Traffic was closed on the Komsomolsky Avenue as well as was on Likhachev Avenue in Moscow’s south, where a high-rise office building was damaged, Russian news agencies reported.

“I was asleep and was woken up by a blast, everything started shaking,” said Polina, a young woman who lives near the high-rise building on Likhachev Avenue.

Russia’s defence ministry television channel Zvezda published a short video on its Telegram channel showing a high-rise building with missing windows on its top floors and damaged structure.

Other Russian Telegram channels, with links to Russia’s security forces, published videos of glass and concrete debris on what they said was the Komsomolsky Avenue.

The alleged attack comes after nearly a week of Russia’s continued pounding of Ukraine’s southern port of Odesa, where on Sunday, missiles killed one person, injuring scores and badly damaging a historic Orthodox cathedral.

There was no immediate comment from Kyiv. Ukraine almost never publicly claims responsibility for attacks inside Russia or on Russian-controlled territory in Ukraine, but has been saying in recent months that destroying Russia’s military infrastructure helps Kyiv’s counteroffensive.

Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne;; Editing by Kim Coghill & Simon Cameron-Moore

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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