One person was injured, two Russian government buildings were damaged, and a Moscow airport was briefly forced to close Sunday after a drone attack as Ukraine ramped up efforts to take the war into Russia.
The developments came as former President Donald Trump called for a temporary halt in U.S. military support.
The damaged buildings contained offices of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Digital Development and the Federal Agency for Nationalities among other agencies, the Russian media outlet The Insider reported. The area was evacuated and several streets were cordoned off. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said it was “inevitable, natural and … fair” to bring the war to Russian territory.
“Ukraine is becoming stronger,” Zelenskyy said. “The war is gradually returning to Russian territory, to its symbolic centers and military bases.”
One drone was destroyed in the air and the other two were electronically suppressed, crashing in the city, the Russian Defense Ministry said. A security guard at one of the downtown buildings was injured, the Russian state-run Tass website reported.
Vnukovo airport was closed for arrivals and departures for about an hour. Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said the attack “insignificantly damaged” the facades of the two damaged buildings. Photos from the scene show windows blown out.
It was the third strike at Moscow in less than a week. But a Ukrainian air force spokesman said Russians are finally beginning to face the consequences of invading Ukraine in February 2022.
“All of the people who think the war ‘doesn’t concern us,’ it’s already touching them,” spokesperson Yurii Ihnat said.
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◾ The Pentagon is buying up to 500 Starlink terminals, the satellite internet technology made by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, so Ukraine officials can conduct sensitive communications without fear of interruption, The New York Times reported.
◾ Two people were killed and 20 were hurt in a missile attack Saturday in the northeastern Ukraine city of Sumy, authorities said on Facebook. Multiple buildings were damaged.
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Trump calls for halt in military support for Ukraine
Trump wants Congress to withhold military aid for Ukraine until the Biden administration cooperates with congressional investigations into the business dealings of Biden’s son, Hunter. Trump, speaking at a rally Saturday in Erie, Pennsylvania, said no additional weapon shipments should be authorized until the FBI, Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service provide “every scrap of evidence” they have of possible misbehavior by Biden family members.
Trump threatened Republican lawmakers who didn’t join the effort with primary challenges. Trump candidates have brought down multiple Republicans in the past as his rabid public following routinely puts pressure on GOP lawmakers who fall into the former president’s disfavor.
“They have to play tough,” Trump said. “If they’re not willing to do it, we got a lot of good, tough Republicans around … and they’re going to get my endorsement every single time.”
“Congress should refuse to authorize a single additional shipment of our depleted weapons stockpiles … to Ukraine until the FBI, DOJ and IRS hand over every scrap of evidence they have on the Biden crime family’s corrupt business dealings,” Trump said at the rally.
The Bureau of the International Fencing Federation overturned its own suspension of Ukrainian sabre fencer Olga Kharlan, ruling she can participate in the women’s sabre team competition at the 2023 Fencing World Championships underway in Milan. The bureau said Kharlan conceded the penalty against her was correct after she refused to shake hands with a Russian opponent she defeated in an elimination bout Thursday in women’s individual sabre. FIE president Emmanuel Katsiadakis said officials discussed the issue thoroughly and met with Ms. Kharlan.
“After consultation with the International Olympic Committee, we believe this decision is made in keeping with the Olympic Spirit,” Katsiadakis said. “It also sends a message of sensitivity and understanding to our members and all sports federations, as the world faces tremendous challenges.”
Kharlan said in a statement that she was thankful for the decision.
“The most important thing for an athlete is to be able to compete, for my family, my team, my country and all the people who support me,” she said. “During these difficult few days, I appreciate all the support I’ve had from around the world.”
A high-ranking Russian lawmaker warned his nation Sunday that Moscow must win the war in Ukraine or “cease to exist as a people.” Pyotr Tolstoy, deputy chairman of the Russian Duma, urged Russians to rally around President Vladimir Putin or face harrowing consequences, according to a translation from Russian Media Monitor.
“Right now, Russia is in a situation where either we win in this war, or we cease to exist as a people and as a nation,” Tolstoy said. “There is no stopping, fortifying, or entrenching.”
Tolstoy said Russia “should seriously be thinking through” how to take Odesa and Dnipro and place Kyiv under siege.
“How we will go about convincing those who didn’t pick up a weapon but put a pot on their head thinking that Ukraine is an independent nation,” Tolstoy said. “Either they destroy us or we destroy them!”
Contributing: The Associated Press