- Moscow says the missile was shot down at a distance of 200 km (124 miles).
- Ukraine sends 42 zones to Crimea, Moscow objects to all
- There was no immediate comment from Ukraine on the major attack
- There was no loss of life or damage
MOSCOW, Aug 25 (Reuters) – Russia said on Friday it had fired missiles towards Moscow and struck Crimea with 42 drones, in what would be one of the largest Ukrainian airstrikes in Russian-controlled territory to date.
The Russian Defense Ministry said a modified S-200 missile was shot down over the Kaluga region bordering the Moscow region. The city of Kaluga is 200 km (124 mi) from Moscow.
“The missile was detected and destroyed by air defense on the border of the Kaluga region,” the Defense Ministry said.
Kaluga Governor Vladislav Shabsha said there were no casualties.
Ukraine did not immediately comment on the reports, and has never publicly claimed responsibility for attacks inside Russia or in Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine.
The Russian Defense Ministry also reported that the attack was carried out on Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014. It said nine drones were destroyed by air defense forces, 33 were suppressed by electronic warfare and crashed over Crimea without reaching their targets.
The Moscow-based governor of the port city of Sevastopol in Crimea, Mikhail Rasvozhayev, said on the Telegram messaging app that several drones had been destroyed on the outskirts of Sevastopol.
There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage from the attacks, which Russia blamed on Ukraine. Russian airports near Moscow have suspended flights for several hours.
The latest attacks come in a spate of similar incidents since the destruction of two drones in the Kremlin in early May.
Ukraine has said that the destruction of Russia’s military infrastructure is helping the counteroffensive, which Kiev began in June. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told an international conference this week that Kyiv would “remove” Crimea.
Russia shows no sign of withdrawing from Crimea, which it has used to launch missiles into Ukraine.
But Ukrainian military intelligence said this week it had assisted the navy in a “special operation” in which they landed units on the western tip of Crimea, exchanged gunfire with Russian forces and raised the Ukrainian flag.
The mission, which was not confirmed by Russia, coincided with Ukraine’s Independence Day and appeared aimed at showing that Ukrainian forces could conduct ground operations in Crimea and that the peninsula was invulnerable.
Ukraine’s military intelligence announced this week that it had deliberately tricked a Russian military pilot into landing his Mi-8 helicopter at a Ukrainian airfield. Russia did not comment. Fighterbomber, a popular Russian pro-war Telegram channel, said the helicopter had crash-landed.
Report by Lydia Kelly in Warsaw; Editing by Christopher Cushing, Miral Fahmy, Guy Falconbridge, and Timothy Heritage
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