A Ukrainian drone crashed into a building in central Moscow on Friday after Russian air defenses shot it down, disrupting air traffic at all of the Russian capital’s civilian airports, Russian officials said.
A Reuters witness who was in the area described hearing “a massive explosion.”
Reuters images showed workers and rescue workers inspecting the damaged roof of a non-residential building hit by the drone.
The Russian Defense Ministry and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said there were no casualties after anti-aircraft defense forces destroyed a drone in the early hours of Friday, which then crashed into a non-residential building of Moscow’s Expo Center complex.
The Expo Center consists of a large cluster of exhibition pavilions and multipurpose halls located less than 5 kilometers from the Kremlin.
“Around 4 a.m. Moscow time, the Kiev regime launched another terrorist attack using an unmanned aerial vehicle on objects in Moscow and the Moscow region,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.
There was no immediate comment from Kiev.
Air traffic was briefly suspended at four major airports around the capital – Vnukovo, Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo and Zhukovsky, but later reopened.
According to the Russian aviation authority, seven flights were diverted to alternative airports.
Drone airstrikes deep inside Russia have increased since a drone was destroyed over the Kremlin in early May.
Later in May, civilian areas of the capital were attacked and earlier in the month a Moscow business district was attacked twice in three days.
Both Ukraine and Russia deny that there were targeted attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure during the nearly 18-month war.
Ukraine usually does not comment on who is behind the attacks on Russian territory, although officials have publicly expressed satisfaction.
The New York Times reported in May that US intelligence agencies believed Ukrainian spies or military intelligence were behind the drone attack on the Kremlin.
Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, sparking a war that devastated much of eastern and southern Ukraine, killing or injuring hundreds of thousands and triggering the biggest rupture in Russia’s relations with the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.