Russia Ukraine conflict

Two wounded in Ukraine’s drone strike near Moscow, disrupting nearly 50 flights

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At least two people were injured on Monday when parts of a Ukrainian drone destroyed by Russian air defences fell on a house in the Moscow region, the regional governor said.

Nearly 90 airplane flights in and out of the capital were disrupted after Russia said it jammed a Ukrainian drone in the Ruzsky district west of the capital and destroyed another one in the Istrinsky district nearby.

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Arrivals and departures from Moscow’s four main airports - Vnukovo, Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo and Zhukovsky - were restricted, disrupting 45 passenger planes and two cargo planes, Russian aviation authority Rosaviatsia said.

The governor of Kaluga region, south of Moscow, said a drone attack had also been repelled there. Mash, a Russian news channel on the Telegram messaging app, said the drone downed in Kaluga region had landed on a military airfield, causing a crater and a fire that was quickly put out.

Ukraine typically does not comment on who is behind attacks on Russian territory but on Monday Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) said it oversaw an attack on the Russian Shaykovka military airfield in the Kaluga region.

“We can state that groups coordinated by the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian defence ministry succeeded at their work,” Andriy Yusov, the spokeperson of the agency, told the RBC-Ukraine news outlet.

“It is known that several enemy aircraft were damaged,” he said declining to comment whether the airfield was hit by drones. Asked about the attack on Moscow he said that “the GUR is working” but refused to give details.

Russian officials have repeatedly cautioned that military drones could cause a major disaster while flying over Moscow, which along with the surrounding region has a population of nearly 22 million people.

Separately, the Russian Defence Ministry said it had downed two drones in the Belgorod region bordering Ukraine in the space of around an hour and a half.

On Monday night, the Russian military jammed two more Ukrainian drones over the Black Sea, Russia’s defense ministry said early on Tuesday. They crashed into the water 40 kilometers away from the coastline of Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014.

No damage or injuries were reported in any of the attacks.

Reuters could not independently verify the various reports.

Drone air strikes deep inside Russia have increased since two drones were destroyed over the Kremlin in early May. Drone strikes on the Russian capital have become increasingly common in recent months.

It is unclear what impact the drone attacks will have on perceptions of the war among the Russian population. Polling indicates support for the Russian military operation in Ukraine remains high, around 75 percent, though there are questions over how accurate polling is in Russia.

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