The Russian Defence Ministry accused Ukraine of orchestrating a drone attack on the Russian capital. The incident, which involved multiple drones targeting the Moscow region, led to Moscow’s Vnukovo airport’s temporary closure.

According to Mayor Sergei Sobyanin’s Telegram post, the drone attack involved several unmanned aerial vehicles. One struck a tower that had been targeted two days earlier. No injuries were reported, though the building sustained damage with around 150 square metres of glazing broken.

The Russian Defence Ministry revealed that Russian air defence systems thwarted the attack, destroying two drones in the Odintsovo and Narofominsk districts near Moscow. A third drone was jammed and crashed near the capital.

The drones originated in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, leading Russian officials to pin the blame on Ukraine for the assault.

The attack came after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s statement on Sunday, suggesting that the conflict could extend beyond Ukraine’s borders and reach Russia.

Moscow experienced a similar drone attack, with three drones shot down over the city on a previous Sunday. The Russian authorities also attributed that attack to Ukraine, though Ukrainian officials had not claimed responsibility.

The drone attack on Moscow marks at least the fifth time unmanned aerial vehicles have reached the Russian capital since May. It indicates a troubling trend of drone incursions into Moscow despite its considerable distance from the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, over 500 kilometres away.

Photos and videos of the incident reveal that one of the drones damaged part of the facade of a modern skyscraper called IQ-Quarter. This skyscraper houses several government agencies, located approximately 5.5 kilometres from the Kremlin. The same building, IQ-Quarter, was targeted again on Tuesday by a drone strike, further intensifying concerns about Moscow’s vulnerability to such attacks.

In addition to Moscow, Russia targeted Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. The strike injured one person and targeted densely populated areas in the northeastern city. Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov announced that the drone strike led to the destruction of two floors of a college dormitory. The dormitory caught fire due to the attack. Three explosions were heard in the city during the incident, the mayor added.

Kharkiv Police Chief Volodymyr Tymoshko confirmed the two night-time drone strikes in the city. The first drone strike targeted a college building. The status of individuals inside the college at the time of the attack was initially unclear, with local media reporting that the building was empty. The second drone strike hit Kharkiv city centre resulting in one person being injured.

The conflict originated when Russian launched a full-scale invasion in February 2022.

The situation has not been one-sided, as Ukrainian forces have also been involved in shelling the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine. According to Moscow-installed local officials, three people lost their lives in Donetsk due to Ukrainian shelling on Monday. Such incidents highlight the complexity of the conflict, with violence and loss of life on both sides.

In response to the recent drone attacks and the mounting casualties in Ukraine, various countries have imposed sanctions on Russia to pressure it to end the invasion.