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Russia says drone attack on Moscow foiled, 3 killed in border region

Law enforcement officers stand next to a damaged building of the Moscow International Business Center (Moskva City) following a drone attack in Moscow on August 23, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

Russia said on Wednesday it had destroyed three Ukrainian drones that attempted to stage a “terrorist attack” on Moscow, but three people were killed in a drone strike near the Ukrainian border.

The governor of the Russian border region of Belgorod, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said the drone hit a sanatorium in a village. He said two people had died on the spot and doctors had been unable to save the life of the third.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that air defenses “thwarted another attempt by the Kiev regime to carry out a terrorist attack on Moscow, which involved three aircraft-type unmanned aerial vehicles.”

"Two drones involved in the attack were destroyed by air defenses over the Mozhaisky and Khimkinsky districts of the Moscow Region, while the third one was jammed by electronic warfare and lost control, crashing into a building under construction in the Moscow City complex," the statement said, noting that there were no casualties in the attack.

One drone hit a building under construction in central Moscow early on Wednesday, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on the Telegram messaging app.

The Moscow City financial district has been targeted in previous Ukrainian "terrorist" drone attacks which have briefly disrupted flights and caused slight damage to buildings.

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However, Moscow’s four airports -- Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo, Vnukovo, and Zhukovsky -- briefly suspended flights early on Wednesday, TASS news agency reported.

These airports had been repeatedly forced to stop departing and arriving flights, disrupting schedules in recent days, due to the Ukrainian drone attacks.

The Defense Ministry also said on Tuesday Russia shot down two Ukrainian drones over the Moscow region with no casualties and brought down a further two drones over the Bryansk region that borders Ukraine.

Ukraine typically does not comment on who is behind attacks on Russian territory, with Kiev treating the matter as an open secret.

Ukrainian drone strikes on the Russian capital have increased significantly in recent months, signaling a change in Kiev policy.

Observers link the new development to Kiev's failure on the battlefield despite receiving all-out material and political support from the West.

The observers also reckon that Kiev aimed to make up for what it could not deliver against the Russian troops on the battlefield by staging negligible drone attacks on the Russian capital city.

US condones Ukraine drone strikes inside Russia

The United States claimed on Wednesday that it does not support Ukraine's largely failed drone attacks inside Russia, nor does it decide for the war-mongers in Kiev how the developments on the battlefield play out for them.   

It is up to Ukraine to decide how it chooses to defend itself from the Russian invasion that began in February last year, a US State Department spokesperson was quoted by mainstream media as saying, noting that Washington had neither encouraged nor enabled Ukraine to carry out attacks inside Russia.

In contrast to Washington’s statement, analysts say the White House wants victorious results after the US-led Western countries, and especially the United States itself, provided the Kiev regime with a wide variety of weapons and firepower, ranging from drones, aircraft, tanks, and armored vehicles to massive artillery guns and missile launchers, in addition to the munitions, which include banned cluster bombs and rockets capable of reaching targets deep inside Russia.

Russia launched its special military operations in Donbas in February 2022 to stop NATO's eastward expansion.

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