Moscow skyscraper burns as ‘Ukrainian drones’ slam into business centre near Russian Defence Ministry sites – while giant explosions rock Crimea
A skyscraper was left burning in Moscow this morning after drones were downed over the Russian capital in the latest suspected Ukrainian attack, while giant explosions rocked occupied Crimea.
The drones – believed to have been targeting Russian Defence Ministry facilities – were downed by electronic warfare jamming, according to Russian sources.
One caused severe damage to a business centre tower block on Likhacheva Prospekt near one of Moscow’s main ring roads.
A drone apparently fell close to a military university which acts as the headquarters of GRU military intelligence’s ‘cyber offensive’, according to Russian expert Hristo Grozev. There was no immediate confirmation of the attack or claim of responsibility.
It came as an ammunition depot was hit during a Ukrainian drone attack on Dzhankoi in Crimea early on Monday, with Russian air defence forces shooting down or electronically jamming 11 drones over the area, a Russian-installed official said.
A high rise building was left burning in Moscow this morning after drones were downed over the Russian capital in the latest suspected Ukrainian attack. A view of the damaged building is seen after a reported drone attack in Moscow, Monday, July 24
Members of Russian security services investigate the site of a damaged building following a reported drone attack in Moscow, July 24
Pictured: A video purportedly showing a drone flying over Moscow this morning
Meanwhile, a Russian overnight drone strike on port infrastructure in Ukraine’s Odesa region destroyed a grain hangar, Kyiv’s military said on Monday.
This followed a Russian missile strike that badly damaged a historic Orthodox cathedral in Odesa on Sunday, prompting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to vow retaliation.
In Moscow, fragments of a drone were found one mile from the Defence Ministry, said one report on Monday. Windows of shops and apartment buildings were also smashed on Komsomolsky Prospekt.
‘At 17, Komsomolsky Prospekt, the debris of a drone was discovered. According to preliminary information, there were no casualties,’ an emergencies official told TASS.
‘On the morning of July 24, an attempt by the Kyiv regime to launch a terrorist attack using two unmanned aerial vehicles against facilities on the territory of the city of Moscow was thwarted,’ the ministry said on Telegram.
‘Two Ukrainian UAVs [Unmanned Aerial Vehicles] were suppressed by electronic warfare means and crashed,’ the ministry add
The Moscow mayor Sergey Sobyanin said: ‘Drone attacks on two non-residential buildings were registered at about 4:00 a.m. today, causing no major damage or casualties. All emergency services are working at the scene.’
A drone was seen buzzing Moscow in the early morning light, while pictures from the scene in the aftermath of the stroke showed ground at the foot of the high-rise building covered in debris, with security services sifting through the rubble.
One Moscow video recorded a voice saying: ‘Something exploded next to our place.
Investigators examine a damaged building after a reported drone attack in Moscow, July 24
A police officer carries debris to the members of the security services investigating a bridge near the site of a damaged building following a reported drone attack in Moscow, July 24
‘Our windows nearly flew out. We better check the news. It was a very strong explosion.’
Two drone strikes which hit the Kremlin on 3 May were blamed on Ukraine by the Russians. This was portrayed as a bid to ‘assassinate Putin’.
In late May, a drone strike came close to Putin’s palatial official residence Novo-Ogaryovo, near Moscow.
There was no immediate comment from Kyiv on today’s strikes in Moscow.
Ukraine almost never publicly claims responsibility for attacks inside Russia or on Russian-controlled territory in Ukraine, but has been saying in recent months that destroying Russia’s military infrastructure helps Kyiv’s counteroffensive.
On the strikes in Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov – the Russian-installed governor of the peninsula that Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014 – said that a residential building was damaged in the region.
He said there was no indication of any casualties, but people within a 3 mile radius of the incident were being evacuated.
It was not immediately clear whether the ammunition depot was directly hit by a drone or if it was damaged by falling drone debris.
Russia has a military air base near Dzhankoi. Ukrainian officials have long said the city and surrounding areas have been turned into Moscow’s largest military base in Crimea.
Aksyonov also said on the Telegram messaging app that ‘for safety reasons’ railway and road traffic in the area was suspended.
A view shows a damaged building following a reported drone attack in Moscow, July 24
Police officers work at the site of a reported drone attack in central Moscow, July 24
Reuters news agency said it could not independently verify the reports of the attacks. There was no immediate comment from Ukraine on the alleged attack.
Ukraine has been saying in recent months that destroying Russia’s military infrastructure helps Kyiv’s counteroffensive.
It was the second such attack in three days in Crimea. On Saturday, Aksyonov said a drone caused an explosion at an ammunition depot in central Crimea, prompting authorities to evacuate nearby people and briefly suspend road traffic on the bridge linking the peninsula to Russia.
Ukraine did claim that incident, saying its army had destroyed an oil depot and Russian army warehouses.
Meanwhile, Kyiv’s military said on Monday that an overnight drone strike on port infrastructure in the Odesa region had destroyed a grain hangar.
‘Tonight an almost four-hour attack by ‘Shahed-136′ drones was directed at the port infrastructure of the Danube’ in the Odesa region, Ukraine’s southern military command said on Telegram.
‘As a result of the strikes, a grain hangar was destroyed, tanks for storing other types of cargo were damaged.’
Three of the Iran-made Shahed attack drones used in the attack were destroyed by air defences, the military said.
‘According to initial reports, about four workers of the port were injured, but the information is still being clarified,’ it said.
Attacks on Ukraine’s Odesa region have increased since Russia pulled out last week of a key deal which had allowed the safe export of Ukrainian grain on the Black Sea.
Russia launched 19 missiles on the Ukrainian city of Odesa over the weekend, devastating the grain hub port and historic buildings
Russian authorities then announced that they would consider any ships heading for Ukrainian grain ports on the Black Sea as military targets.
Russia launched 19 missiles against the city of Odesa over the weekend, crushing its historic city centre and grain hub port – leaving one dead and many more injured.
Ukraine on Sunday said the death toll from the overnight strikes killed one person and left 22 people wounded, including four children.
Kyiv has accused Russia of targeting grain supplies and infrastructure vital to any resumption of Ukrainian grain exports.
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