The Russian capital, Moscow, was the target of several drone attacks in the early hours of Tuesday (30/05), according to the Russian Ministry of Defense, hours after Kiev suffered air strikes by Russia for the third time in 24 hours .
Since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February 2022, the war has been fought mainly on Ukrainian soil, although Moscow has reported a few attacks on its territory, even defining one of them as an assassination attempt on President Vladimir Putin.
The drone strikes targeted some of Moscow’s most affluent areas, including a region in the west of the capital where Putin and Russia’s elite own homes.
Moscow Mayor Serguei Sobyanin said the attacks caused “insignificant damage to several buildings”, and two people were injured and sought medical attention. In addition, two apartment blocks were evacuated for a few hours. There were no reports of deaths.
Kiev denies involvement
The Defense Ministry in Moscow said all drones were intercepted, adding that “this morning, the Kiev regime carried out a terrorist drone attack on targets in the city of Moscow”.
Russian MP Maxim Ivanov described the attack as the most serious since World War II, saying no citizen could now avoid “the new reality”. “Either you defeat the enemy hand in hand with our motherland, or the indelible stain of cowardice, collaboration and betrayal will engulf your family,” he said.
If confirmed that Ukraine was responsible for the attack, it would be one of the strongest and boldest to occur in Russia since the beginning of the war, more than 15 months ago. Recent attacks have raised questions about the effectiveness of Russia’s air defense systems.
Advisor to the Presidency of Ukraine, Mykhailo Podoliak, denied the country’s direct involvement in the attacks on Moscow. However, Podoliak said: “We are happy to watch.” And he predicted more attacks.
deaths in Kiev
Ukraine has reported that four people have died in the country after Russia’s strikes on Tuesday left 34 injured, including two children.
In the capital, Ukrainian defense forces say they shot down more than 20 Iranian-made Shahed drones.
Russia has attacked the Ukrainian capital 17 times this month, using drones or missiles. Most of the attacks were carried out at night, in an apparent attempt to undermine the Ukrainians’ fighting resolve.
President Volodymyr Zelensky has claimed that Patriot anti-missile systems, supplied by the United States, are achieving a 100% intercept rate. “Terror will be defeated,” he said in his evening address on Monday.
In an interview with DW, Marina Miron, senior researcher at King’s College London, said that the attack on Moscow could be “a fake operation, which means that Russian intelligence services very likely” could be responsible “for the attack with drones”. According to the researcher, the attack can serve to “reinforce Russia’s narrative and the need to continue the so-called ‘special military operation'”.
Another possibility, according to Miron, would be the version of the Ukrainian military intelligence leadership, which spoke of a “Ukraine response to recent drone attacks on Kiev”.
According to the researcher, it will be difficult to obtain “clarity” about the developments due to the fact that both sides have “a narrative to promote”.
Miron also highlighted that drones have been playing an important role in the conflict. “For Russians, it’s a way to weaken Ukraine’s air defense. And for Ukrainians, it’s good to use drones because they don’t have as much ammunition.”
Ukraine has been promising a counter-offensive with Western weaponry to try to drive the Russians out of occupied territories since the start of the conflict.
According to Ukrainian military sources, on the front lines in the east of the country, Russian troops and motorized units even replaced units of mercenaries from the Wagner group in the city of Bakhmut – the main focus of the fighting for months.
Moscow says it is open to resuming peace talks with the Ukrainians, saying mediation from partners such as Brazil and China is welcome. Ukraine, for its part, claims that withdrawing Russian troops from the country is the only way to end the war.