Unprecedented drone attack on Moscow, kyiv hit again

Vladimir Putin has accused Ukraine of seeking to "terrify" Russians after an unprecedented drone attack Tuesday against Moscow and its region, as kyiv suffered a new wave of deadly strikes

Unprecedented drone attack on Moscow, kyiv hit again

Vladimir Putin has accused Ukraine of seeking to "terrify" Russians after an unprecedented drone attack Tuesday against Moscow and its region, as kyiv suffered a new wave of deadly strikes.

Several drones fell at dawn on buildings in the Russian capital, located more than 500 kilometers from Ukraine, taking residents for whom the conflict seemed far away.

"We were all asleep, it was four in the morning, then there were two explosions and the alarms of all the cars went off" in the street, told AFP Maxime, a 40-year-old customs officer who lives near an affected building in the southwest of Moscow.

"I thought it was all far away, that it didn't concern us. And then, suddenly, it happened near our home," says Tatiana Kalinina, a retiree living in another district of the capital affected by the fall of 'a drone.

In this district, AFP saw a building whose several windows were shattered and whose access was blocked by a police cordon. Some evacuated residents were sipping tea at a nearby school while watching an old Soviet comedy on TV.

According to Russian authorities, eight drones were detected in Moscow and its region, all were neutralized, but some wreckage fell on homes. Two people were slightly injured, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said.

If Ukraine has denied any involvement, Mr. Putin accused it of wanting to “terrify Russia” and “intimidate Russian citizens”, while saying he was “satisfied” with Russian anti-aircraft defense, which intercepted the drones.

The Russian president considered that this attack was a response to a recent Russian strike on the headquarters of the Ukrainian military intelligence services. kyiv has not recently reported a strike on this building.

Russian diplomacy has also accused Western countries of being responsible, through their support for kyiv, for the "irresponsible" attack against Moscow.

The United States for its part once again repeated its position of principle on Tuesday, namely that it "does not support attacks inside Russia".

Although spectacular and unprecedented in its scale, the attack on Moscow remains modest compared to the waves of Russian missiles and drones that the Ukrainian capital has suffered for several days.

Another person was killed and eleven residents were injured in kyiv overnight from Monday to Tuesday in a new salvo, the third in 24 hours, local authorities announced.

The Ukrainian Air Force said it shot down 29 out of 31 Iranian-made explosive drones launched overnight from Monday to Tuesday, "almost all near the capital and in the skies of Kiev".

At the foot of a building in the Ukrainian capital with a charred facade, stunned residents are wrapped in blankets and hug each other for comfort.

"There was a loud bang, which blew up the windows and doors," says Mikhaïlo Ovtcharenko, who just had time to take refuge inside his apartment, away from the windows, with his wife and their families. two children, before the explosion.

On Monday, Russian missiles fell in broad daylight on kyiv, sowing panic in the streets, after another night of bombardments. Many residents took refuge in underground shelters, especially in the metro.

By contrast, Moscow and its region have so far only very rarely been targeted by drone attacks since the start of the conflict, even if this type of attack has multiplied elsewhere in Russia.

In early May, two drones were shot down over the Kremlin, the seat of Russian power, in a spectacular attack blamed on Ukraine.

In recent months, drones have also targeted military bases or energy infrastructure in Russia.

On Tuesday evening, the governor of the Russian region of Belgorod, close to the Ukrainian border, indicated that the security guard of a center for displaced people had been killed there, and two others injured, in an artillery bombardment. Ukrainian.

On Telegram, Vyacheslav Gladkov wrote: "Ukrainian armed forces fired artillery at a center for displaced people housing elderly civilians and children (...) A security guard was killed and two people injured".

The Belgorod region has been targeted on several occasions by Ukrainian bombardments, as well as by incursion attempts by armed groups from Ukraine.

For Tatiana Stanovaïa, an analyst at the Carnegie Russia-Eurasia Center, it is "astonishing to see how the Russian authorities unanimously minimize the importance of drone attacks on Russian cities".

Russian media and officials have pointed out that several drones fell in an affluent area west of the capital where several members of the political elite live.

Valentin Yemelyanov, who lives in southwest Moscow near one of the impact points, told AFP there was "no panic" in his neighborhood, saying the defense Russian anti-aircraft "works well".


05/30/2023 21:39:28 -         Moscow (AFP) -         © 2023 AFP