Putin says Moscow drone attack an attempt by Ukraine to 'provoke' and 'scare' Russia - but Kyiv denies involvement

30 May 2023, 07:55 | Updated: 31 May 2023, 00:34

Damage could be seen on local buildings in the Russian capital following the suspected strike.
Damage could be seen on local buildings in the Russian capital following the suspected strike. Picture: Alamy / LBC

By Danielle DeWolfe

Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed that a kamikaze drone attack on Moscow was an attempt by Ukraine to "provoke" and "scare" the country - but Kyiv denies being directly involved.

Moscow was hit by a wave of kamikaze drones on Tuesday morning, with a string of small explosions heard across the Russian capital.

The attacks, which hit buildings at 6:24am local time, could be heard across the city, rattling the windows of buildings miles away from the scene.

Putin said Ukraine had chosen the path of attempting "to intimidate Russia, Russian citizens and attacks on residential buildings", and that it was "clearly a sign of terrorist activity".

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He said air defences around the capital would be strengthened.

A Ukrainian presidential aide denied that Kyiv was directly involved in the attack.

"Of course we are pleased to watch and predict an increase in the number of attacks," presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said, "But of course we have nothing directly to do with this."

Damage could be seen on local buildings in Moscow following the alleged series of attacks by Ukraine.
Damage could be seen on local buildings in Moscow following the alleged series of attacks by Ukraine. Picture: LBC / Alamy

The explosions came just hours after Russia unleashed a series of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) attacks on the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, for the third night running.

In a statement, Moscow's Mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, said there had been minor damage to a number of buildings, however, no serious injuries have been reported following the attack.

Sobyanin went on to call the damaged caused by the attacks "insignificant", with the city's air defences shooting down several drones.

According to Reuters, the ministry said: "This morning, the Kyiv regime launched a terrorist drone attack on targets in the city of Moscow."

Read more: Russia strikes Kyiv in fresh daylight attack following overnight drone barrage

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"Three of them were suppressed by electronic warfare, lost control and deviated from their intended targets.

"Another five drones were shot down by the Pantsir-S surface-to-air missile system in the Moscow region."

Striking blocks of flats in Leninisky Prospekt and Profsoyuznaya Street near Moscow's city centre, initial reports suggested two people had been injured, according to Sobyanin.

One individual was hospitalised, with the residents in two apartment blocks evacuated as a precaution.

The buildings, in a wealthy district of Rublyovka, were damaged, with the area cordoned off as a crime scene by local police as objects were taken away for analysis.

Moscow hit by wave of kamikaze drones in 'revenge attack' following sustained air strikes on Ukrainian capital Kyiv
Moscow hit by wave of kamikaze drones in 'revenge attack' following sustained air strikes on Ukrainian capital Kyiv. Picture: LBC / Alamy

The explosions follow 17 days of sustained attacks on the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, with officials noting around 20 Iranian-made Shahed drones launched by Russia had been destroyed by the city's air defence systems overnight.

The latest attack comes after the "most massive attack" on the city occurred overnight into Sunday with Iranian-made Shahed drones, according to senior Kyiv military official Serhii Popko.

The attacks were part of a new wave of increasingly frequent and intense air strikes launched by Moscow this month as Kyiv prepares to launch a counteroffensive to try to take back territory occupied by Russian forces.

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