Russia reports downing two Ukrainian drones near Moscow.

In the early hours of Monday, Russia reported neutralizing two Ukrainian drones over Moscow, with one crashing close to the defense ministry in the city center. The drones struck non-residential buildings, causing no casualties.

One day prior to the incident, Kyiv had threatened to respond in response to a “Russian missile attack” on the Black Sea port of Odesa. Russia’s defense ministry stated that the attempted terrorist act using two drones on objects within Moscow’s territory, carried out by the Kyiv regime, was thwarted.

According to reports, one drone crashed near the defense ministry on  Komsomolsky Prospekt, while the other hit a business center on Likhacheva Street, located near one of Moscow’s main ring roads. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin confirmed that the drone strikes happened at approximately 4:00 a.m. local time, and emergency services responded to the scene, confirming no casualties.

Notably, despite being 500 kilometres (310 miles) from the Ukrainian border, Moscow and its surroundings have been the target of many drone assaults this year, including one that struck the Kremlin in May. This month, Russia was reported to have shot down five Ukrainian helicopters, preventing Moscow’s Vnukovo airport from operating normally.

Meanwhile, Russian forces have been targeting the Ukrainian port city of Odesa after Russia abandoned a deal allowing Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea. In the latest strike on Sunday, two people were killed and a historic cathedral suffered severe damage. Icons were rescued from the rubble inside the Transfiguration Cathedral, which had been demolished under Stalin in 1936 and later rebuilt in the 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union.

The Ukrainian government condemned the cathedral strike as a war crime, attributing its destruction to both Stalin and Putin. President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed retaliation, emphasising the importance of not allowing people worldwide to become accustomed to terrorist attacks. He emphasised that the targets of these missiles go beyond cities and villages; they aim to threaten humanity and the foundations of European culture.

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