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Russia claims Ukrainian drone strikes hit two non-residential buildings in Moscow

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Ukrainian drones struck two non-residential buildings in Moscow in the early hours of Monday morning and were “suppressed” by defenses there, Russian authorities said, describing the incident a “thwarted” attack.

The strikes caused no serious damage or casualties, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Telegram Monday.

Russia’s Ministry of Defense blamed Ukraine, describing the strike as a “terrorist attack of the Kiev regime” and that the two drones were “suppressed” and crashed in Moscow.

“On the morning of July 24, an attempt by the Kyiv regime to launch a terrorist attack using two unmanned aerial vehicles against facilities on the territory of the city of Moscow was thwarted,” the ministry said on Telegram.

“Two Ukrainian UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) were suppressed by electronic warfare means and crashed,” the ministry added.

According to Russian state media outlet, TASS, a drone hit a high-rise business center on Likhacheva Avenue in Moscow.

TASS is reporting drone debris was found on Komsomolsky Avenue in Moscow on Monday morning. TASS said that based on initial reports, there were no casualties.

Law enforcement agencies and emergency services are currently working on the scene, according to TASS.

Traffic on Komsomolsky Avenue from the center of Moscow towards the region has been blocked off, TASS reported citing the Department of Transportation and Road Infrastructure Development of Moscow.

CNN could not independently verify the reports.

A police officer blocks a road following a reported drone attack in central Moscow on July 24, 2023.

A resident who was the area at the time of the alleged attack told Reuters she was asleep and woken by an explosion.

“Everything started to shake. It felt like the whole building had come down. I looked out of the window, I live (in the neighboring building) on the side where there’s less damage. And it felt strange – the damage was so minor,” the resident, who gave her name as Polina, said.

“It sounded worse than it looked, as it seemed like the whole mall had exploded,” she added.

A second resident, who identified themselves to Reuters as Sergei, said he heard a bang “and then nothing.”

“We did not see anything flying, even though the windows were open … and we should have heard the sound (of something flying), but no, nothing,” he said.

Russia’s Ministry of Defense also on Monday accused Ukraine of launching 17 drones towards Russian-occupied Crimea overnight. The drones had been downed by its air defenses, with no casualties, the ministry said.

The reported attacks comes after Russian missiles badly damaged a historic Orthodox cathedral in the southern Ukrainian port city of Odesa, sparking outrage and prompting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to vow retaliation.

The Odesa strikes killed at least one person and injured several others, Ukrainian officials said, the latest in a wave of attacks on the port city. The attacks also destroyed other historic buildings, Ukraine’s culture ministry said.

Ukraine almost never publicly claims responsibility for attacks that have taken place on Russian soil or in Russian-occupied territories during the course of the war, which Moscow began when it invaded in February last year, unleashing its military might on its democratic neighbor.

Ukraine denied direct involvement in a drone attack on Moscow in May, which damaged two buildings and injured two people.

Earlier this month, Russia said it “destroyed or neutralized” five Ukrainian drones in what it also described as a “terrorist” attack.

Meanwhile, Russian drones attacked Ukraine’s port infrastructure on the Danube river overnight Monday, targeting Ukrainian grain stocks, according to the Ukrainian Army.

Six people were injured in the attack, Oleh Kiper, head of the Odesa Regional Military Administration, said on Telegram.

The Ukrainian Army also said a hangar with grain was destroyed while storage tanks for other types of cargo were damaged.

CNN’s Maria Kostenko in Kyiv and Martin Goillandeau contributed to this report.

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