After two drones targeted Moscow early Monday, a Ukrainian military intelligence spokesman warned such attacks on the Russian capital city will “continue and increase in scale” in a rare Ukrainian admission of responsibility for attacks inside Russia.
“The strikes on the key facilities of Russia’s security sector located in Moscow testify to the fact that the Putin regime is unable to fully control the sky even for the protection of the most important facilities,” spokesman Andriy Yusov told the Kyiv Post. “Obviously, this situation will continue and increase in scale.”
Russian authorities said the drones were downed with electronic warfare systems, but one struck a business center in Moscow, shattering the high-rise building’s windows. Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin said there were no casualties in the attack. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the drone attack an “act of international terrorism.”
A larger Ukrainian drone attack was also launched on Crimea early Monday, with the Russian Defense Ministry saying 17 Ukrainian drones were downed. The head of Crimea said an ammunition depot on the peninsula was hit, and a private residence was damaged.
The Biden administration maintains that it does not enable Ukrainian attacks inside Russia, but the restriction doesn’t apply to Crimea, as Washington and Kyiv don’t recognize the peninsula as Russian territory.
The operations risk a major escalation, especially if Russia believes the US and NATO are backing the attacks. Russia has previously said that Ukrainian attacks on Moscow are “not possible” without US support. The New York Times reported last month that the Biden administration is no longer concerned that Ukrainian attacks inside Russia might escalate the war.