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Russia accuses Ukraine of fresh drone attack outside Moscow

FILE Aftermath of drone attack in Moscow earlier this week (AP)
FILE Aftermath of drone attack in Moscow earlier this week (AP)

A new drone attack took place outside Moscow in the early hours of Saturday, Russia has alleged.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said that a drone was brought down by air defence systems over the Istra district of the Moscow region.

The drone briefly caused flights to be suspended for a couple of hours at Moscow’s three major airports, Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo and Vnukovo

It caused a large fire to break out, with plumes of thick black smoke seen emerging from the blaze.

Aerial attacks on Moscow and other Russian-held territory have intensified in recent weeks, including 42 drones intercepted over the Russia-occupied Crimean Peninsula on Friday.

Kyiv confirmed that one of its drones had hit a Russian military base deep inside annexed Crimea, while residents reported casualties, explosions and a road closure.

Early on Friday, Russia reported one of the biggest coordinated Ukrainian air raids yet over Russian-controlled territory but said air defence systems had downed all 42 drones attacking Crimea before they could hit their targets.

Ukrainian intelligence officials said the attack struck Russia’s 126th Coastal Defence Brigade based in Perevalnoye, a town more than 120 miles from Ukraine-controlled territory.

“We confirm that there was a hit,” said a spokesperson for the Ukrainian GUR intelligence agency, according to Ukrainian media outlet Liga.Net.

Residents of Perevalnoye reported hearing blasts, with some claiming casualties, but this has not been confirmed.

Russia has blamed Ukraine for the Friday attack and all the previous assaults that intensified after two drones were destroyed over the Kremlin in early May.

The drone strikes over Moscow have not caused extensive damage but they have forced the Russian authorities to temporarily shut down airports serving the capital several times this week.

Ukraine has not yet commented on the Moscow drone strike and almost never publicly claims responsibility for attacks inside Russia.

Its military and leaders have previously said that destroying Russia’s military infrastructure helps a counteroffensive that Ukraine began in June, and that it was a “fair” response to Putin’s unprovoked invasion.