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Kyiv drones targeting Moscow shot down

MOSCOW, August 10 ------ Two Ukrainian combat drones headed for Moscow were shot down, Russian officials said, the latest in a surge of drone attacks targeting the capital.

The attempted attack comes a day after the death toll from strikes on the eastern Ukrainian city of Pokrovsk rose to nine. "Two combat drones' attempt to fly into the city was recorded. Both were shot down by air defense [systems]," Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Telegram. One drone was downed in the Domodedovo area on the city's southern outskirts, while the second was shot down in the Minsk highway area, west of the capital, he added. Emergency services are on the ground, the mayor said.

Russia's Defense Ministry said Ukraine attempted the attack using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) — another term for drones. "Air defenses destroyed two UAVs," the ministry said, adding that no casualty or damage was reported. The strikes are at least the third attack near Moscow within a week. Ukrainian drones were downed in the Podolsky district, on Moscow's outskirts, on Sunday, and in the Kaluga region the next day, Russian officials said. Until a series of attacks in recent months, the Russian capital had not been targeted during the war in Ukraine, which started on Feb. 24, 2022. The Defense Ministry said last Thursday it had downed seven drones, also near Kaluga, less than 200 kilometers (124 miles) southwest of Moscow.

On July 30, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that the "war" was coming to Russia, with the country's "symbolic centers and military bases" becoming targets. An office block in the capital's Moscow City business district was recently struck twice within days by debris from a downed drone attack. The drones shot down near Moscow's Domodedovo and Minsk highway come a day after Russia claimed a missile attack that it said targeted a Ukrainian army command post in Pokrovsk. Two missiles, launched 40 minutes apart, damaged residential buildings, a hotel, сafés, shops and administrative buildings. At least nine people were killed in the attack, and 82 were wounded, including two children, Zelensky said on Tuesday.

The Russian claim to be targeting a command post was an "absolute lie," Sergiy Cherevaty, the spokesman for Ukraine's operational command east, told AFP. "This is the third or fourth time they (the Russians) say they destroyed it," he said. Pokrovsk sits just 40 km (25 miles) from the eastern front line, where Moscow says it is gaining ground and repelling Ukrainian attacks.



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