Moscow was targeted by a large-scale drone attack for the first time in its 15-month-long war in Ukraine. Russia blamed Ukraine for its largest drone attack to date against Moscow, but added that its anti-aircraft defences destroyed all eight drones.
Vladimir Putin described the “strikes” early Tuesday morning as an act of terrorism by Ukrainian forces. The attack on peaceful areas confirms what methods Kiev is using, the Russian leader added.
“Attempts to provoke a reaction from Russia and respond in the same way are worrying, Ukrainian citizens must understand this. It was a provocation,” Putin said.
Although the Russian Ministry of Defence referred to eight drones, Russian media significantly increased the number, claiming that more than 30 drones were involved in the attack. Three of the drones hit buildings in the southwest of Moscow, but no explosions were reported. At the same time, Russian forces launched a new attack on Kiev, with the Ukrainian side denying that it was directly involved in the attack on Moscow today.
What the attack means
The attack on Moscow took place a few weeks after the Kremlin was hit by a drone attack. And for this attack, Russia blamed Ukraine. However, the latest attack could mark a new turning point in a conflict that the Kremlin has stated many times that it will never threaten the lives of ordinary Russians.
Although he does not accept its involvement, retired general and author Mick Ryan believes that Ukraine is behind the attack. “Today’s drone operations over Moscow are a testament to Ukraine’s growing reach in conducting strike operations. At the moment it is not known who carried out the attack. The attack on Moscow may have been planned directly by the Ukrainians or financed by them,” it says.
According to Ryan, however, adaptability is made more difficult by the inherent messiness of military operations, particularly large-scale warfare that absorbs masses of manpower and national resources.