Ukrainian drones hit infrastructure in Moscow on Tuesday, with one Russian politician characterizing the attack as the largest one since World War II. The attack was in a neighborhood where Russian President Vladimir Putin, along with other wealthy Moscovites, have residences. Kyiv was also attacked by air for the third time in just the last 24 hours, per Reuters.
The recent attack in Moscow could represent a new chapter in the war, given that for the past 15 months, the conflict has primarily taken place inside Ukrainian borders. However, this is not the first such attack; earlier this month, there was an apparent assassination attempt on Russian President Vladimir Putin, though no country has taken responsibility for the attack and all sides were pointing fingers a the other.
It does not appear that the attack on Moscow was directed at military infrastructure, but instead toward residential areas. One of Moscow’s wealthiest areas, where Putin and some Russian elites have residence, was targeted in the recent attack. Putin was reportedly notified of the attack soon after.
There were apparently two people injured in the attack after apartment buildings were briefly evacuated. A few residents said that there was a loud bang sound, soon followed by the smell of gasoline. Russia’s defense ministry said that there were eight drones that were shot down or diverted. However, according to Basa, a Telegram channel, which has links to Russia’s security services, said that there were a total of 25 drones involved in the attack.
Reuters reported that Maxim Ivanov, a lawmaker, said that the recent drone attack was the most serious to take place on Russian soil since the Nazis, saying that there is no way for citizens not to take this seriously. He said: "You will either defeat the enemy as a single fist with our Motherland, or the indelible shame of cowardice, collaboration and betrayal will engulf your family.”
The recent attack by Ukraine raises questions about President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has previously said that Ukraine has not attacked any location outside of its own borders. He has insisted that the defense systems he has utilized have only been deployed within his own country.
The US previously accused Ukraine of being involved in the drone strike aimed at the Kremlin, but others have said that Ukraine does not have that capability on their own.