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Kyiv Denies Involvement as Moscow Undergoes Second Drone Attack

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Drones crashed into three residential buildings in Moscow in the early hours of May 30, according to the Russian authorities.

The attack failed to cause any casualties, although several apartment buildings sustained minor damage, Moscow mayor Sergey Sobyanin said in a statement.

Residents were briefly evacuated in the immediate wake of the incident, the mayor added.

According to Moscow transport officials, traffic in the vicinity has since come to a standstill while emergency services and other agencies conduct investigations.

Fuel depot strike
Members of the Russian Emergencies Ministry extinguish a fire at a fuel depot in the city of Belgorod, Russia, on April 1, 2022, in a still from video. (Russian Emergencies Ministry/Handout via Reuters)

The Russian Defense Ministry blamed Kyiv for the incident, which it described as a “terrorist attack.”

As of the time of writing, however, evidence implicating Ukraine had yet to be produced to the public.

According to the ministry, the alleged attack involved eight fixed-wing combat drones, five of which were successfully shot down while the rest were neutralized “by electronic warfare.”

Mykhailo Podolyak, a top aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, denied Kyiv’s involvement in the incident.

“But we are pleased to watch,” he told reporters, predicting similar attacks in the future.

It was the second drone attack to target the Russian capital in less than a month.

On May 2, the Kremlin itself was targeted by two combat drones, which failed to cause casualties or significant material damage.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was not at the Kremlin complex at the time of the incident.

While Ukrainian officials likewise denied involvement, Moscow blamed the attack on Kyiv, vowing to retaliate “in the manner, place, and time of its choosing.”

Mounting Attacks Inside Russia

Since Russia invaded Ukraine early last year, attacks inside Russian territory—of varying size and intensity—have occurred with increasing frequency.

On May 22, pro-Ukrainian forces staged a large-scale assault, using drones and artillery, on Russia’s western Belgorod region. In March, Russia’s Bryansk region was the target of a similar cross-border attack.

In both cases, the attackers were swiftly repelled by Russian security forces.

Last December, three Russian airbases—all inside Russian territory—were struck by drones, damaging aircraft and killing servicemen. While Kyiv refrained from claiming responsibility, the attacks were celebrated by Ukrainian officials.

An explosion is seen in the sky over the city during a Russian drone and missile strike in Kyiv, Ukraine, on May 29, 2023. (Gleb Garanich/Reuters)

Over the course of the 15-month conflict, the United States and its allies have provided Kyiv with increasingly sophisticated—and costly—arms and equipment.

These have included advanced combat drones, HIMARS long-range rocket launchers, Western-made battle tanks, and Patriot air-defense systems.

Earlier this month, Washington and other allies of Kyiv unveiled plans to begin training Ukrainian pilots how to operate American F-16 fighter jets.

However, U.S. officials have repeatedly warned—citing the risk of escalation—that Western arms were not to be used to strike targets inside Russian territory.

The Epoch Times has requested comment from the U.S. State Department regarding the latest drone attack in Moscow.

‘Massive’ Bombardments of Kyiv

Moscow hasn’t been the only city to come under drone attack in recent days.

Over the past 48 hours, Kyiv, has been the target of at least three waves of intense drone and artillery strikes carried out by Russian forces.

Speaking on Telegram on May 30, Serhiy Popko, the head of Kyiv’s military administration, said that “massive” aerial bombardments had pounded the city from “different directions in several waves.”

Natalya Gumenyuk, a spokeswoman for Ukraine’s southern military command, said the strikes sought to overwhelm Ukrainian air defenses “and our physical and moral strength.”

According to Ukrainian officials, one person was killed in the capital when debris from an intercepted Russian projectile struck a high-rise apartment building.

Zelenskyy hailed the performance of Patriot air-defense systems in staving off the Russian assaults.

“When Patriots in the hands of Ukrainians ensure a 100-percent interception rate … terror will be defeated,” he said in a May 29 video address.

Officials in Kyiv claim that Ukrainian air defenses successfully downed more than 20 Iranian-made Shahed drones during the latest round of attacks.

At midday on May 30, the Kremlin alleged that the drone attack in Moscow had come in response to a Russian strike—carried out two days earlier—on a high-value target in Kyiv.

“What we have seen was the Kyiv regime’s reaction to our very effective strike against one of their decision-making centers [which] took place on Sunday [May 28],” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

The Epoch Times was unable to verify assertions made by either side.

Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February of last year. Kyiv and its Western allies decry the move as an unprovoked war of aggression.

Moscow says its “special military operation” aims to protect Russian speakers in Ukraine and halt the further expansion of NATO to its doorstep.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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