“Last night, during an attempt to reach Moscow, the air defense forces destroyed the drone. The body of the drone fell back in the area of the exhibition center, and the building was not significantly damaged,” said Mayor Sergey Sobyanin. .
The capital’s emergency services are at the scene, and according to initial reports, no casualties have been identified, the elected official said.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Kyiv launched the attack at 4 a.m. local time (0100 GMT) and targeted “locations in Moscow and the region.”
Located in the west of the Russian capital, about 5 km from the Kremlin, the “Expocenter” exhibition center hosts trade fairs, according to its website.
“A partial collapse of the outer wall was observed in one of the complex’s pavilions,” Russian state news agency TASS reported, citing emergency services.
Airspace near Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport was also briefly closed, according to TASS.
Drone strikes inside Russian territory have been on the rise for weeks, mostly without causing damage or casualties, particularly targeting the capital.
The Russian military announced on August 11 that it had destroyed a Ukrainian drone in a forest west of Moscow.
In late July and early August, planes were destroyed over downtown Moscow, the capital’s business district adjacent to the Exhibition Center, causing minor damage to the facades of two towers. In May, two drones were shot down over the Kremlin.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed “war is coming to Russian borders” at the end of July.
A new offensive in the Black Sea
On the Black Sea side, Russia said hours earlier it had repelled a new Ukrainian attack by naval drones against its fleet in the Black Sea.
UN approves Ukrainian grain exports These types of devices have targeted Russian ships on several occasions in recent weeks since Moscow refused in mid-July to renew the brokering agreement.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the vessels targeted on Thursday evening were “carrying out navigation control operations in the southwestern part of the Black Sea, 237 km southwest of Sevastopol”, the local Russian naval headquarters.
The same source reported that an “unmanned enemy boat was destroyed by fire” from Russian military vessels.
Despite this maritime blockade, the first cargo ship to leave Ukraine since the end of the grain deal arrived in Istanbul as scheduled on Thursday evening, according to maritime transport sites.
The Hong Kong-based container ship ‘Joseph Schulte’ left Ukraine’s Odesa port on Wednesday in a challenge to Russia, which has threatened to attack such vessels since withdrawing from the EU treaty.
Last weekend, Russia fired warning shots at a cargo ship owned by a Turkish company en route to the Danube port of Ismail in southern Ukraine.
On Thursday evening, the Turkish president broke his silence and announced that “interlocutors in Russia have been warned to avoid this kind of initiative that could raise tensions in the Black Sea.”
Moscow has stepped up attacks on Ukrainian port infrastructure on the Black Sea and Danube since it withdrew from a grain deal brokered by the UN and Turkey and came into effect in the summer of 2022.
Russian efforts to gain unilateral control of navigation in the Black Sea come in the wake of a military counteroffensive launched by Ukrainian forces in June and relying on new Western equipment, but progressing slowly.
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