Russia-Ukraine War: Air Raids Continue in Kyiv, Moscow Targeted by Drones While Counter-Offensive Looms

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, Russia conducted an air raid on Ukraine’s capital city, Kyiv. Meanwhile, Moscow officials reported that the Russian capital was targeted by drone attacks.

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Per the Kyiv Military Administration, air defense forces destroyed 29 of 31 Iranian-sourced Shahed explosive drones in Kyiv’s airspace, during Russia’s third attack on the city in 24 hours. The attack caused at least one death and forced residents to evacuate to shelters.

In Moscow, residents reported hearing explosions, marking the second reported attack on Moscow, with Russian officials stating that two drones targeted the Kremlin earlier this month, allegedly in an attempt on President Vladimir Putin’s life. Ukrainian officials denied attacking the Kremlin. Strikes on residential areas of the Russian capital would be the first since the start of the war, while drone attacks within the country on military targets and oil refineries have been previously reported.

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Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin confirmed the drone attack in a Telegram post, saying that the attack caused minor damage to several buildings and that two individuals received medical attention for unspecified injuries but did not require hospitalization. Sobyanin relayed that two residential buildings affected by the attack had been evacuated, “for safety reasons.”

Andrei Vorobyov, the governor of the wider Moscow Oblast, reported that several drones were “shot down on the approach to Moscow.” The Russian defense ministry said in a statement that three were jammed and lost control, and the other five were shot down by the Pantsir-S anti-aircraft missile system in the Moscow region.

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Images and videos have begun to circulate on social media of the Moscow targeting by drones.

There has been no comment from Ukrainian officials regarding the Moscow attacks, which came after the third night of assaults in Kyiv.

Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko described the most recent air assault in Ukraine’s capital city as “massive,” and urged residents “not to leave shelters.” The air raid alert was lifted after three hours, signaling that the Russian strikes had ended, at least temporarily.

During overnight attacks in Kyiv, one person died and three others were injured when a high-rise building in the Holosiiv district caught fire. The cause of the blaze is yet to be determined, but falling debris from the intercepted drones and missiles is suspected. The upper floors of the building were destroyed, more than 20 people were evacuated, and there may be people trapped under the rubble, according to authorities.

The series of Russian attacks, which began in a Sunday offensive, included a rare daylight attack on Monday. Ukrainian Chief of Staff Valerii Zaluzhnyi reported that Russian forces fired 11 ballistic and cruise missiles at Kyiv around 11:30 a.m. and that all of them were successfully intercepted. Debris from the intercepted missiles fell in various parts of Kyiv, causing a fire on a building’s roof where at least one civilian was injured.

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The Russian Defense Ministry claimed to have launched precision strikes on Monday, targeting Ukrainian air bases with long-range missiles. It asserted that command posts, radars, aircraft, and ammunition stockpiles were destroyed, but didn’t address civilian areas.

Ukraine has been planning a counter-offensive for months, with National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, Oleksiy Danilov, hinting that it may come soon. Last week Danilov said:

It could happen tomorrow, the day after tomorrow or in a week. It would be weird if I were to name dates of the start of that or those events. That cannot be done…. We have a very responsible task before our country, and we understand that we have no right to make a mistake.

According to analysts, Moscow is aiming to weaken Ukraine’s air defenses in preparation for its anticipated counter-offensive.

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