Ukrainian drones intercepted across Russia, military says

By Josh Pennington, Mariya Knight, Zahra Ullah and Heather Chen, CNN

CNN  —  Three drones were intercepted in “Moscow City” in an attempted attack on Sunday on the business and shopping development in the west of the Russian capital, Russia’s Ministry of Defense said.

“One Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was destroyed in the air by air defense forces over the territory of the Odintsovo district of Moscow region,” a statement said.

“Two more drones were jammed using electronic warfare capabilities and after losing control, they crashed on the territory of a complex of non-residential buildings in Moscow City.”

Overnight in Russia-occupied Crimea, 25 Ukrainian UAVs were intercepted, the Defense Ministry added. Sixteen were destroyed by Russian air defenses while the rest crashed in Black Sea after their signals were jammed by electronic warfare equipment, according to the ministry.

No casualties or damages have been reported.

CNN has not been able to verify the claims made by Russia’s Defense Ministry.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) were first deployed by Ukraine to help artillery locate Russian targets on the battlefield, and now many believe they are being used to hit targets well inside Russian territory.

Russian state news agency TASS reported the attack, attributing it to security sources. “There was a strike in the building of the “IQ-Quarter” located in “Moscow City” (shopping center),” TASS said.

In subsequent reporting, it added that a “temporary no fly zone had been introduced for the Moscow flight zone… reported by emergency services.”

“As a result of the strike, glass broke on the fifth and sixth floors of the 50-story building. There are no casualties. It did not result in a fire.”

Videos showed debris as well as emergency services at the scene.

A witness told Reuters that there were explosions and fire. “My friends and I rented an apartment to come here and unwind, and at some point, we heard an explosion – it was like a wave, everyone jumped,” she said. “There was a lot of smoke, and you couldn’t see anything. From above, you could see fire.”

It also came after a Russian missile attack on the northeastern Ukrainian city of Sumy late on Saturday, which left at least one civilian dead and five others wounded, according to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry.

In eastern Ukraine, local military officials reported at least two deaths from a rocket strike on Zaporizhzhia – a 32-year-old woman and a 45-year-old man.

“The enemy made 77 attacks in 20 settlements of Zaporizhzhia region over the past day,” Zaporizhzhia military head Yurii Malashko said, adding that there were at least 31 reports of destruction to residential buildings and infrastructure.

Second drone attack in a week

Sunday’s drone attack was the second reported in Moscow in the past week.

Ukrainian forces carried out drone strikes on July 24, Ukrainian officials confirmed with CNN, adding that security forces were responsible for the strike. Russian officials said it was a “terrorist attack of the Kiev regime.”

Ukrainian Minister Mykhailo Fedorov whose Digital Transformation Ministry oversees the country’s “Army of Drones” procurement plan, said there would be more strikes to come.

A view shows the damaged facade of an office building in Moscow.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Russian Africa forum in St. Petersburg on Saturday, President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow had never rejected peace negotiations with Ukraine and a ceasefire was hard to implement when the Ukrainian army was on the offensive.

To start the process an agreement is needed from both sides, Putin added.

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