Central Moscow came under drone attack—for the third time in as many months—in what Russian officials are calling an “act of international terrorism” by Kyiv.
“Drone attacks on two non-residential buildings occurred at roughly 4 a.m. [Moscow time], causing no major damage or casualties,” Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin wrote on Telegram on the morning of July 24.
According to officials cited by Russia’s TASS news agency, one drone was downed in central Moscow, while a second struck an office building in one of the city’s southern districts.
The first drone was reportedly downed less than 1.5 miles from a Russian Defense Ministry building.
The ministry accused Kyiv of staging an attempted “terrorist attack” on “facilities in Moscow.”
The attack, it stated, involved two aerial drones, both of which were neutralized by electronic jamming systems before they struck their intended targets.
The ostensible targets of the attack, however, remain unclear.
Third Time in 3 MonthsWhile Kyiv didn't explicitly take responsibility, Ukrainian officials hailed the attack.
“Today, at night, drones attacked the capital of ‘the Orcs’ [a derogatory term for Russians] and Crimea,” Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, wrote on Telegram.
“Electronic warfare and air defenses are already less able to defend the skies of the occupiers.
“No matter what happens, there will be more of this.”
It wasn’t the first drone attack to target the Russian capital since Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine in early 2022.
On May 2, the Kremlin itself was attacked by two aerial drones, neither of which caused significant damage. On May 30, three residential buildings in downtown Moscow were slightly damaged in a similar attack.
At the time, Russian officials blamed both attacks on Kyiv and vowed to respond.
After the May 30 drone attack, Mykhailo Podolyak, a top Ukrainian presidential aide, denied Kyiv’s involvement but said: “We’re pleased to watch.”
Mr. Podolyak also predicted more of such attacks in the future.
Following the two earlier attacks in Moscow, the U.S. State Department affirmed that it “does not support attacks [by Ukraine] inside Russian territory.”
Crimea in the CrosshairsMoscow has also accused Kyiv of staging drone attacks on multiple targets in the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia effectively annexed in 2014.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the most recent attack—in the early hours of July 24—involved 17 aerial drones, all of which were successfully downed by air defenses and jamming systems.
While the attack didn't cause any casualties, an ammunition depot was hit in the Dzhankoi region, according to Sergey Aksyonov, Crimea’s Moscow-appointed governor.
Local residents in Dzhankoi were evacuated, while rail and road traffic in the vicinity was temporarily halted, Mr. Aksyonov said.
On July 18, the Russian military claimed to have foiled a similar wave of attacks in Crimea that involved 28 aerial drones.
On July 17, a bridge linking Crimea to the Russian mainland was attacked by two seaborne drones, which killed two people and damaged a roadway.
Kyiv has yet to claim responsibility for any of the recent attacks in Crimea.
On July 23, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy promised “retaliation” for continued Russian missile strikes in and around Odesa, Ukraine.
For the past six days, Russian forces have intermittently bombarded Ukraine’s port city of Odesa in ostensible retaliation for the July 17 Crimea bridge attack.
“Russian forces launched a group strike with long-range precision weapons on facilities [near Odesa] where terrorist acts against Russia were being prepared using drone boats,” the Russian Defense Ministry stated on July 23.
On the same day, Mr. Zelenskyy claimed that a Russian missile strike had left one person dead in the port city and injured another 20.
According to Ukrainian officials, Russian strikes also damaged an Orthodox Christian cathedral in central Odesa.
“These missiles target not just cities, villages, or people, but humanity and the foundations of our entire European culture,” Mr. Zelenskyy said.
On July 24, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed that the cathedral was damaged by an errant Ukrainian air-defense missile.
“Our military never strikes social infrastructure facilities, let alone temples, churches, or other such structures. We reject such accusations,” Mr. Peskov said, describing them as “absolute lies.”
The Epoch Times couldn't verify claims made by either side.
In response to the latest drone attack on Moscow, Dmitry Medvedev, deputy head of the Russian Security Council, urged Russia’s military to start hitting “non-standard targets ... not just storage sites, energy hubs, and oil bases.”
Speaking on Telegram, Medvedev said: “There are other places where nobody expects us, where strikes would have a widely felt impact.”