Suspected Drone Incidents in Moscow Region Lead to Interception and Flight Diversion

news 04-Jul-2023 Europe

Apparent Drones Shot Down over Moscow Region

Russia once again accuses Ukraine of attempted drone attacks in the Moscow region, stating that the unmanned aerial vehicles have been shot down. Flight operations at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport were temporarily redirected.

According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the air defense forces have shot down a total of five drones over the Moscow region. Previously, three drones had been reported. Four of the five drones were downed on the outskirts of the capital by the air defense forces, while the fifth one was neutralized and brought down using electronic warfare measures.

"This morning, we foiled an attempt by the regime in Kyiv to carry out a terrorist act using five drones," stated the Ministry of Defense. There were no casualties or damages reported. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin wrote on his Telegram channel that the Russian air defense had "repelled another attempted attack by Ukrainian drones."

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova referred to it as an attempt by Ukraine to attack an area containing civilian infrastructure. This also affected Moscow's Vnukovo Airport, which serves international flights. The drone attack is "a new act of terrorism," Zakharova added. The Ukrainian side did not claim responsibility for the alleged attack attempt.

Flight Operations at Moscow Airport Temporarily Redirected

Citing rescue services, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported that one of the drones was neutralized near Kubinka, about 40 kilometers away from Vnukovo Airport, located southwest of the Moscow city center. For safety reasons, air traffic was redirected to other airports. According to the Russian aviation authority, flight operations resumed at 8:00 a.m. Moscow time.

According to the Ministry of Defense, the Russian air defense destroyed four drones near Moscow, while the fifth one was "disabled using electronic warfare means" in the capital region. Two of the drones were reportedly shot down near the village of Valuyki in the Moscow metropolitan area, according to RIA Novosti.

Multiple Drone Incidents Already Reported

There were drone attacks on Moscow in early and late May as well. According to authorities, houses were damaged and people were injured during those incidents.

As a consequence, President Vladimir Putin called for an improvement in their own air defense capabilities. He held Ukraine responsible for the attacks, while the government in Kyiv denied direct involvement in the assaults.

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