Drone attacks on Moscow and Crimea battered buildings Monday and drew warnings of “tough retaliatory measures” from the Kremlin as the war dragged into its 18th month with little hope of a quick resolution.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said no injuries or serious destruction were reported, but photos from the scene showed high-rise business center with burned-out top floors and a street-level store with its windows blown out. Russian media said one of the drones fell on the Komsomolsky highway in downtown Moscow, shattering the shops windows and damaging the roof of a house 200 yards from the Defense Ministry building.
Thick smoke was seen pouring out of the upper floors of the business center immediately after the pre-dawn strike, state media site Pravda reported.
The Russian Defense Ministry said the attack was thwarted by electronic warfare systems that forced the drones to crash. The Ukraine military did not publicly take responsibility for the attack, but a Ukraine defense official who declined to be named told Agence France-Presse the strike was a “special operation” carried out by Kyiv forces. Moscow is less than 300 miles from the Ukraine border.
Another drone struck an ammunition depot in Russian-annexed Crimea, forcing a halt in traffic on a major highway, Russian authorities said. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova described the attacks as “acts of international terrorism.” This despite recurring Russian strikes on energy and residential targets in Ukraine. The ministry issued a statement saying Russia “reserves the right to take tough retaliatory measures.”
∎ Almost 250,000 Russian soldiers have been “liquidated” since the start of the war, the Ukraine military estimated Monday. Ukraine does not reveal its own losses.
∎President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine and its partners were preparing new Western military aid packages, including air defense equipment, artillery and long-range weapons.
∎ Russian attacks targeted nine regions injured eight people over the past day, local officials reported Monday.
Medvedev calls for retaliatory strikes against Ukraine
Moscow should expand its targets for its retaliatory strikes in response to Kiev’s attacks on civilian facilities, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said Monday. Medvedev, in a Telegram post, said the latest strikes on Moscow and Crimea were acts of desperation by the Ukraine military prompted by what Medvedev described as Kyiv’s failed counteroffensive and pressure from the West to show results.
“We need to choose non-standard targets for our strikes, not just storage sites, energy hubs and oil bases,” Medvedev wrote. “There are other places where nobody would be expecting us and where strikes would have a widely felt impact.”