MOSCOW- Early on Friday morning (Aug 18, 2023), Russia temporarily closed all four major Moscow airports following an alleged drone strike on the capital city. The country’s civil aviation authority announced this decision.
As a result of the closures of Vnukovo, Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo, and Zhukovsky airports in Moscow, seven flights were diverted, as confirmed by Rosaviatsiya, the aviation authority.
Moscow Airports Closed After Drone Attacks
Moscow’s Mayor, Sergey Sobyanin, revealed that Russian air defenses intercepted and downed a drone over the city during the night.
In a Telegram post, he explained that debris from the drone fell within Expocentre, an exhibition center located about three miles (five kilometers) to the east of the Kremlin, within the broader city center of Moscow.
He mentioned that the drone did not result in “any substantial harm to the structure” and that there were no records of casualties.
This event on Friday marked the third instance within the last month where this particular area of Moscow experienced debris from a drone strike.
The Russian Defense Ministry promptly attributed the alleged attack to Ukraine. The ministry stated, “The Kyiv regime carried out another terrorist drone attack on facilities in Moscow and the Moscow region on August 18 at 4:00 Moscow time,” utilizing the Russian spelling for the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
“The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), after being intercepted by air defense systems, altered its flight path. It descended onto a non-residential structure close to Krasnopresnenskaya Embankment in Moscow.”
Ukraine has not issued a response regarding the incident. Nonetheless, CNN reports that Kyiv has previously acknowledged deploying drones for targeted strikes deep within Russian territory to protect itself against Moscow’s unwarranted hostilities.
Earlier this week, CNN received exclusive footage from Ukrainian security services, revealing the moment in July when they utilized an experimental maritime drone to target Russia’s bridge to annex Crimea.
This release provided fresh insights into the attack while also conveying a caution that additional similar assaults are on the horizon.
In the previous month, Kyiv officially announced that Ukrainian forces had executed a drone strike within Moscow and issued a warning of further forthcoming strikes.
Mykhailo Fedorov, the Ukrainian Minister overseeing the country’s “Army of Drones” procurement initiative as part of the Digital Transformation Ministry, affirmed last month that more drone strikes are anticipated as part of Kyiv’s counteroffensive strategy aimed at repelling Russian troops from Ukrainian territory.
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