Moscow just claimed it was targeted by its Ukrainian opponents early this morning in a surprising development,
What happened in Moscow?
Russian officials claim that the city was targeted in a drone attack early on Tuesday morning, and have already blamed Ukraine.
The Russian defence ministry said: “This morning, the Kyiv regime launched a terrorist drone attack on targets in the city of Moscow.
“Three of them were suppressed by electronic warfare, lost control and deviated from their intended targets.
“Another five drones were shot down b the Pantsir-S surface-to-air missile system in the Moscow region.”
The city’s mayor Sergei Sobyanin said that the attack did cause minor damage to several buildings, adding: “All the city’s emergency services are on the scene.”
He clarified: “No one has been seriously injured so far.”
Residents were evacuated from some apartments and two people sought medical assistance.
According to the governor of the wider Moscow region, Andrei Vorodbyov, several drones were also shot down on their way to the city.
However, Ukraine has denied carrying out the drone strikes. According to reports from the BBC, Mykhailo Podolyak, a presidential aide to Ukraine, has claimed that Kyiv was not directly involved in the attack – but that Ukraine enjoyed watching events unfolded and predicted there would be more.
Why was this attack so significant?
Moscow is more than 620 miles from Ukraine, and, up until this morning, has rarely been targeted throughout the war, as the BBC’s Russia editor Steve Rosenberg pointed out on Twitter.
He also told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme that until now, the war has been something happening “a long way away” for most people living in Moscow.
At the start of this month, two drones were shot down over the Kremlin.
Russia declared it was a Ukrainian assassination attempt on Vladimir Putin (even though he was not in the building at the time).
Just like the most recent assault, Ukraine denied any involvement.
Russian lawmaker Maxim Ivanov also declared after the assault that it was the most serious attack on the city since Nazi attacks during World War 2, and claimed that no citizen could avoid this so-called “new reality”.
“You will either defeat the enemy as a single fist with our Motherland or the indelible shame of cowardice, collaboration and betrayal will engulf your family,” he alleged.
Dr Jack Watling, expert on land warfare from the Royal united Services Institute, suggested to the BBC that it was a big deal because Ukraine has only struck airfields, not the capital.
What happened in Kyiv?
Before the attack on Moscow, there was an overnight drone attack on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Sunday, and a daytime missile barrage which began at 11am on Monday.
At least one person died in Kyiv and three others were injured by falling debris – this was allegedly part of a destroyed Russian drone which hit an apartment block on Tuesday and started a fire.
It faced its third air raid in 24 hours at the same time. Suspilne, Ukraine’s state broadcaster, reported that in the last 24 hours the Russian army shelled eight cities and towns in the eastern Donetsk region.
Serhii Popko, head of the Kyiv city military administration said that this showed the “enemy changed its tactics – after prolonged, nighttime attacks only, it struck a peaceful city during the day, when most residents were at work and outside.”
The head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, General Kyrylo Budanov, also warned that there would be a swift response to these strikes on Kyiv.
In a statement published by Ukraine’s intelligence ministry, he said: “All those who tried to intimidate us, dreaming that it would have some effect, you will regret it very soon. Our answer will not be long.”