Ukrainian drone strikes forced the temporary closure of four major airports in Moscow in the early morning of Friday, August 18.
Several commercial flights were forced to divert as a result of temporary closures at the four principal civilian Moscow airports.
Temporary closures at 4 Moscow airports
The four affected airports were Vnukovo International Airport (VKO), Domodedovo Mikhail Lomonosov Airport (DME), Sheremetyevo Alexander S. Pushkin International Airport (SVO) and Zhukovsky International Airport (ZIA), according to Rosaviatsiya, the Russian Federal Agency for Air Transport.
Video footage posted to social media by the Russian Telegram channel Mash captured the moment of an explosion in the Russian capital’s ‘Moscow City’ business district, which is a few kilometres west of the Moscow city center.
The explosion was reportedly caused by the Ukrainian attack drone on Friday morning. The building of the local expo center suffered extensive damage as a result.
Flight operations at the four major Moscow airports were reported to be operating normally within about an hour of the strike.
Further footage has surfaced on social media through the day, Friday August 18, depicting office workers being evacuated from the Moscow City district.
Russian Defense Ministry statement
The Russian Tass News Agency stated that Russian air defenses had shot down the Ukrainian drone targeting Russian facilities over the country’s borderline Belgorod Region, citing a statement by the Russian Defense Ministry.
“At around 9:00 a.m. Moscow time today, an attempt by the Kiev regime to carry out a terrorist attack with the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) against facilities on Russian territory was thwarted. [Russian] air defenses detected and destroyed a Ukrainian combat UAV over the Belgorod Region,” the Defence Ministry stated.
According to the Defense Ministry, the thwarted terrorist attack caused neither casualties nor damage.
Ongoing drone attacks
This morning’s incident becomes the latest in a spate of drone attacks on the Russian capital, which previously saw the destruction of an unmanned aerial vehicle over the Kremlin in May this year.
Moscow airspace was similarly disrupted by a Ukrainian drone attack on July 30, with the drone again striking the ‘Moscow City’ complex during that attack.
In the July incident, the Russian Ministry of Defense claimed that 2 drones were suppressed by electronic countermeasures and subsequently crashed on the Moscow City building complex.
On the night of August 1, another drone fell in the same district.
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