In the latest drone attacks on Moscow, Russia’s capital, Russian air defences shot down two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and electronically disabled another over central Moscow early on Wednesday, August 23, 2023.
According to Russia’s defence ministry, one drone was jammed electronically and crashed into a building in downtown Moscow. The ministry added that two more were shot down by air defence systems outside the capital.
Russia’s defence ministry disclosed that the third drone was shot down in the Khimki district of Moscow.
Video footages shared on Russian-language social media depicted a bright flash followed by a large explosion and smoke.
Moscow’s Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on the Telegram messaging app that one downed drone had hit a building that was under construction in central Moscow.
“Tonight, air defence shot down a drone in Mozhaisky district of Moscow region. The second UAV hit a building under construction in the City,” Sobyanin said on Telegram.
Emergency services were inspecting the area in the business district, Sobyanin said on Telegram.
“Several windows were smashed in two adjacent five-storey buildings,” he added.
Sobyanin and the defence ministry said there were no reports of casualties.
Russian state news agency reported that air traffic at Moscow’s Vnukovo, Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo airports was halted, the second day in a row that operations were disrupted at the airports due to a drone attack on the capital. Operations at the airports resumed later on Wednesday morning, Russia’s state aviation authority said.
According to Russian media reports, there have been more than 150 suspected aerial drone attacks this year in Russia and in Russian-controlled territory in Ukraine.
Drone strikes deep inside Russia have increased, with Moscow a regular target.
Though drone attacks on Russian soil have occurred almost daily in recent weeks, they have caused little damage and no victims. Ukraine has not acknowledged responsibility for the attempted drone strikes.
Meanwhile, United States asserted on Wednesday that it does not encourage or enable attacks inside Russia.
In a statement, a U.S State Department spokesperson noted that while the West supplies the weapons to Ukraine’s forces, “it is up to Ukraine to decide how it chooses to defend itself from the Russian invasion.”
“Russia could end the war anytime by withdrawing from Ukraine,” a U.S official added.
Russia Launches Attacks On Grain Facilities In Ukraine’s Odesa And Danube Region
Also on Wednesday, Ukrainian military and local authorities disclosed that Russia attacked grain facilities in Odesa and the Danube River region overnight, causing fire in one grain storage facility.
“The enemy hit grain storage facilities and a production and transshipment complex in Danube region. A fire broke out in the warehouses and was quickly contained. Firefighters continue to work,” military stated on the Telegram messaging app.
According to Oleh Kiper, the Odesa Governor, the attack on the region lasted for three hours and the Ukrainian air force had destroyed nine Russian drones.
“Unfortunately, there were hits to the production and transhipment complexes where a fire broke out… The damage includes grain storage facilities,” Kiper said on Telegram.
The military published photographs showing piles of grain under the burnt shell of the storage facility.
A source divulged that Ukrainian Danube ports were the main targets. Ukraine operates two major ports on Danube; Izmail and Reni.
Ukraine’s Danube ports accounted for around a quarter of grain exports before Russia pulled out of a UN-backed deal to provide safe passage for the export of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea in July.
The ports have since become the main route out, with grain also sent on barges to Romania’s Black Sea port of Constanta for shipment onwards.