Russia blames Ukraine for drone ‘terrorist attack’ on Moscow

Moscow came under repeated drone attack in what experts billed a major shift in the dynamic of its war with Ukraine.

At least two people were injured and a number of buildings were damaged in a raid by up to eight unmanned bombers which Russia described as a “terrorist attack”.

Ukraine denied responsibility but the attack came just days after its chief intelligence officer warned of retaliation for airborne strikes on Kyiv.

One woman was killed and several other people injured when Russia bombarded the Ukrainian capital in the early hours of today.

Downing Street denied that British-supplied weapons were used in the Moscow raid.

Natia Seskuria, an expert in Russian security at London’s Royal United Services Institute, said the incident could undermine Vladimir Putin’s domestic support.

She told the BBC: “It raises a lot of insecurities despite the propaganda which we know has been working 24/7 to justify the Russian war effort.

“These attacks are impossible to be hidden. We know that after the mobilisations, Russians have not been as enthusiastic as Putin wanted them to be.”

She added: “We know Ukraine has pledged to the West it will not use their weapons on Russia territory.

“So long as the West remains united, Ukraine will remain committed to this.”

Putin accused Ukraine of trying to “frighten” Russia by aiming for “civilian targets”.

He added: “Moscow’s air defence system worked normally, satisfactorily, although there is some work to do.”

Russia’s defence ministry accused President Volodymir Zelensky of a “terrorist attack” but claimed five drones were shot down and three veered off course.

Two people were treated for injuries, two high-rise apartment blocks were evacuated and some other buildings suffered “insignificant damage”.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier that the President was back at work and being briefed on the attacks.

Although the Kremlin itself came under drone attack earlier this month, yesterday’s raid was more audacious and potentially destructive.

It followed last week’s cross-border incursions into the Belgorod region by members of two anti-Putin military groups.

In the run-up to yesterday’s developments, General Kyrylo Budanov, head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, warned Russia would “regret” its aggression.

In Kyiv, the woman killed had been on her balcony in the Holosiiv district watching drones when she was caught by an attack.

The high-rise in the same district caught fire after being hit by debris or from missiles fired by the Ukrainian air defences.

Kyiv’s Military Administration said two upper floors had been destroyed and residents feared to be trapped under rubble.

In total, 29 out of 31 Shahed drones were destroyed as the air was filled with their buzzing and explosions. Afterwards the streets were littered with burned-out cars.

Resident Valeriya Oreshko said the whole city was on edge, adding: “You are happy that you are alive, but think about what will happen next.”

Peter Stano, EC foreign affairs spokesman, said the raid shows Putin continued to “indiscriminately terrorise” its neighbour in a “heinous and barbaric way”.

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