Moscow Shook, War Comes To Putin's Doorstep
The skies of Moscow were rocked early Tuesday morning when a series of drones launched what was likely an attack on residential areas in the city — the first instance of a targeted strike on a civilian area of the capital since the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces in March of 2014.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin reported that two buildings in the city had sustained minor damage after the attack. While there were no reports of serious injuries, the incident has caused concern over potential escalations in hostilities.
The attack comes a day after Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, was again rocked by a rash of airstrikes from Russian forces. The violence is believed to have caused at least one death and injured more than a dozen.
Ukraine has denied any involvement in the drone attack on Moscow, though the pattern of alternating strikes between both sides' capitals has hinted at a volatile state of affairs. Kyiv has suffered from relentless bombings in recent weeks, and it can be assumed that Russian forces are attempting to bring down Ukrainian air defenses before launching its expected counteroffensive.
The governor of Russia's Belgorod region said Tuesday that 200 artillery shells had hit towns near the Ukrainian border and that two people had died in the process. Further examination showed that some 8 ‘plane-type drones' had been used in the Moscow attack, with many more shot down.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, stated that Moscow residents should feel what it's like to live in an atmosphere of danger. Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, condemned the attack in the harshest of terms.
"This, of course, is a clear sign of terrorist activity," Putin said at a cultural center. "This attack was an attempt to intimidate [the people]."
Putin said that Moscow's air defense system had worked as intended, though there were still some issues that needed to be ironed out in the defense system. In total, more than 25 drones have reportedly been involved in the attack.
The incident has been met with apprehension in Moscow, though Kyivites are now accustomed to the sound of exploding bombs. Falling debris from a struck drone killed a 33-year-old woman and injured at least 13 people in the city.
Moscow and Kyiv are facing a turning point in the conflict after this series of strikes, bringing the war closer to each day closer to the brink and leaving citizens living in fear of what may come next.