Russia says it has managed to down at least five Ukrainian military drones, one near the capital Moscow, and the rest in the south of the country.
In a statement on Thursday, the Russian defense ministry said one drone was downed in Ramensky district, 60 kilometers southeast of Moscow, at around 3:00 a.m. local time (2400 GMT), without causing any casualties.
Separately, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin gave his account of the attack, saying that early on Thursday, “air defense forces thwarted a drone attack on Moscow. No damage or casualties were preliminarily reported from the site where the fragments hit the ground.”
Russia’s air defense system also managed to down two more drones in Rostov-on-Don, a city in southern Russia, one of them fell down in the center of the city, lightly wounding one person and damaging several cars.
“According to verified information, air defense systems shot down two unmanned aerial vehicles. One fell down in Rostov’s western suburb, the other one - in the city center. As a result, several passenger cars were damaged. One person was hurt. He refused from hospitalization,” said Vasily Golubev, governor of the Rostov region.
According to the defense ministry, two other Ukrainian drones were shot down several hours later in the Bryansk region, bordering Ukraine, without causing any casualties.
Following Kiev's abortive months-long counteroffensive, Ukrainian troops have resorted to drone warfare, targeting civilian infrastructure, to make up for their military shortcomings on the battlefield, failing to deliver as expected on its promises of a vain victory against the stronger Russian troops.
Russia, which views NATO as a hostile bloc and vigorously opposes its eastward expansion, has also highlighted Kiev’s aspirations of joining the US-led military alliance among the main reasons for launching its military operation in Ukraine in February 2022.
The Kremlin says the West and NATO are playing a direct role in the Ukraine conflict by pouring advanced weapons and military equipment into the country, warning that NATO weapons are "legitimate targets" for its armed forces.
Moscow has frequently warned that the continued supply of Western arms and military equipment to the Ukrainian military would only prolong the war and add to the suffering of the Ukrainian people.