A huge explosion rocked Moscow today after a suspected Ukrainian kamikaze drone blasted a building just four kilometers from the Kremlin.
Footage showed flames and a column of black smoke rising from the Moscow Expocentre after the strike.
The building sits on the edge of the city’s skyscraper zone which was previously targeted by Ukraine.
The Kremlin and Russian Ministry of Defense are protected by Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missiles. Pantsir-S1 efficiency has been questionable since it was first deployed in Syria. Pantsir-S1 failed to intercept single kamikaze drone since Ukraine started pounding Moscow with Kamikaze drones.
Video showed a massive explosion and flash as the drone hit the low building – which is close to main White House office building of the Russian government.
All airports in the city were temporarily closed.
Moscow mayor Sergey Sobyanin claimed air defences had “destroyed” the drone and the falling debris caused “no significant damage” to the building.
But footage showed an explosion at the Expocentre, around one mile from the British Embassy in Moscow.
And pictures showed a huge hole in the side of the building.
According to reports, one of the outside walls of the centre – used for conferences and conventions – had partially collapsed.
Witnesses said the attack sparked “a powerful explosion”.
A local resident said: “We live in the tower opposite, on the 68th floor. We heard a bang and saw a flash.
“At first we thought it had hit the Federation Tower, but it turned out to be the Expocentre.
“We could see a column of smoke from our windows.”
Another eyewitness said: “We were sitting on the embankment at the time – we didn’t see the drone itself, but we heard a very loud noise, then smoke was billowing from the other side.”
The Russian defence ministry said the 4am drone strike was “another terrorist attack using an unmanned aerial vehicle against targets in Moscow”.
It said: “The UAV changed its flight trajectory after being hit by air defence weapons and crashed into a non-residential building near Krasnopresnenskaya Embankment in Moscow.
“There were no casualties or fires.”
Initial reports suggested the drone had come close to the 1,226ft Federation Tower – the Russian capital’s tallest tower.
Moscow has been repeatedly targeted by drone strikes this year as Putin’s war in Ukraine lands on his doorstep.
In July, two separate drones crashed into a skyscraper just a few hundred metres from the Expocentre.
At the time, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the war was “returning to the territory of Russia” and it was an “inevitable, natural and absolutely fair process”.
Hours before the latest strike in Moscow, a Ukrainian sea drone was wiped out during an attempted attack on Russia’s ships in the Black Sea.
Russia’s defence ministry said: “The unmanned boat of the enemy, without reaching the target… was destroyed by fire from onboard weapons of the Black Sea Fleet ships.”
The incident involved the patrol ships Inquisitive and Vasily Bykov.
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