Kremlin accuses Ukraine of terrorism as drones strike Moscow

Russia continues air strikes on Kyiv with Iranian explosive drones

The Kremlin has accused Ukraine of resorting to “terrorism” after eight drones were shot down over Moscow, even as Russia continued its campaign of daily air strikes against Kyiv with another deadly attack using more than 30 explosive drones supplied by Iran.

Moscow said two people were slightly hurt and three apartment blocks damaged by debris from the drones, five of which were shot down by air defence systems over the city or surrounding region, while the other three were disabled by electronic jamming.

Russian president Vladimir Putin said the attack was “a clear sign of terrorist activity” by Ukraine, which he accused of trying to “intimidate Russia, intimidate Russian citizens” in response to recent air strikes on Ukraine’s military intelligence service and other targets.

The foreign ministry in Moscow said that “assurances from Nato officials that the Kyiv regime will not strike deep into Russian territory turn out to be completely hypocritical” and warned that Russia “reserves the right to take the most severe measures in response to the terrorist attacks of the Kyiv regime.”


Ukraine has assured allies only that weapons they provide will not be used for operations inside Russia, and there is no evidence that western drones were used in Tuesday’s attack.

Officials in Ukraine denied it was directly connected to the Moscow attack, repeating the public line they have used after recent drone strikes on military and industrial sites in Russia and a cross-border raid this month by Russian anti-Putin guerrillas who are fighting alongside Kyiv’s forces. Two drones also hit a Kremlin building earlier this month.

“We enjoy watching and predicting an increase in such attacks. But of course, we have nothing to do with it directly,” said Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak, joking that the drones over Moscow were guided by “karma” or by “artificial intelligence” that redirected Russian drones aimed at Kyiv back to their origin.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenary group that has led Russia’s campaign to take the city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, reacted to Tuesday’s drone strike with another tirade against Moscow officials whom he accuses of greed and incompetence.

“As someone who understands something about this, I can tell you that we should have worked on these [drone] programmes many years ago. And that now we are lagging years behind our opponents – years or maybe decades. But to catch up with them, we are doing precisely nothing,” he said on social media.

“Why the f**k are you letting these drones to fly to Moscow? Who gives a s**t that they’re flying to your homes on Rublyovka! Let your houses burn,” Mr Prigozhin said, referring to an elite suburb of Moscow that was in the flight path of some of the drones. “And what should ordinary people do when drones with explosives crash into their windows? So as a citizen, I am deeply outraged ... and that’s why I think the people have every right to ask them these questions, these bastards.”

Ukraine’s military said it shot down 29 of 31 explosive Shahed drones fired at the country by Russia in the early hours of Tuesday, most of which were targeting Kyiv. One woman was killed and 13 injured by falling debris during the third large-scale aerial attack on the capital in 24 hours and the 17th this month.

“The probability of aerial attacks is very high. Therefore, I urge Kyiv citizens not to neglect their own safety, not to ignore air raid sirens,” said city mayor Vitali Klitschko, explaining that the woman killed on Tuesday had been on her balcony watching the work of the city’s air defences.

Daniel McLaughlin

Daniel McLaughlin

Daniel McLaughlin is a contributor to The Irish Times from central and eastern Europe