Russia said it had shot down two Ukrainian drones near Moscow on Wednesday, one near a major airport to the south of the city and one to the west of the capital.
The drones shot down near Moscow’s Domodedovo and Minsk highway come a day after Russia claimed a missile attack that it said targeted a Ukrainian army command post in the eastern city of Pokrovsk.
Two missiles – launched 40 minutes apart – damaged residential buildings, a hotel, cafes, shops and administrative buildings.
At least nine people were killed in the attack and 82 were wounded, including two children, Zelenskyy said Tuesday.
The Russian claim to be targeting a command post was an “absolute lie”, Sergiy Cherevaty, the spokesman for Ukraine’s operational command east, told AFP.
“This is the third or fourth time they (the Russians) say they destroyed it,” Cherevaty said.
“An attempt by the Kyiv regime to carry out a terrorist attack with unmanned aerial vehicles was prevented over the territory of the Moscow region,” the defense ministry said.
“Two UAVs were destroyed by air defenses.”
One was shot down near Domodedovo, where one of Russia’s biggest international airports is located, and another near the Minsk motorway, Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin said.
“Two combat drones’ attempt to fly into the city was recorded. Both were shot down by air defence,” Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Telegram.
He said one drone was downed in the Domodedovo area on the southern outskirts of the city, while the second was shot down in the Minsk highway area, west of the capital.
He said emergency services were on the ground.
Russia’s defence ministry said Ukraine attempted the attack using unmanned aerial vehicles.
“Air defence destroyed two UAVs,” the ministry said, adding there were no reported casualties or damage.
The strikes are at least the third attack near Moscow within a week, with Ukrainian drones downed on Sunday, in the Podolsky district on the capital’s outskirts, and Monday, near the Kaluga region, according to Russian officials.
Until a series of attacks in recent months, the Russian capital had not been targeted during the conflict in Ukraine, which started more than a year ago.
Russia’s defence ministry said Thursday it had downed seven drones — also near Kaluga, which is less than 200km southwest of Moscow.
On Jul 30, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that “war” was coming to Russia, with the country’s “symbolic centres and military bases” becoming targets.
An office block in the capital’s main business district was recently struck twice within days by debris from a downed drone attack.