MOSCOW (Reuters) -Russia shot down two Ukrainian drones over the Moscow region with no casualties and brought down a further two drones over the Bryansk region that borders Ukraine, the Russian Defence Ministry said on Tuesday.
A Reuters reporter in the town of Krasnogorsk in the Moscow region, seat of the Moscow regional government, saw minor damage to tiling on a high-rise residential building and shattered glass exterior window panes in a few of its apartments.
Falling debris had also caused minor damage such as smashed windscreens to cars parked below. Police had sealed off the scene and investigators from Russia’s FSB security service collected what looked like drone fragments.
There was no immediate comment from Ukraine, which rarely takes direct responsibility for drone strikes on Russian territory or on areas controlled by Russia, but which appears to have stepped up such attacks since two drones were destroyed over the Kremlin in early May.
Such attacks have sometimes briefly disrupted flights across Russia and caused mostly minor damage to buildings. At least two people were injured a day earlier when parts of a Ukrainian drone destroyed by Russian air defences fell on a house in the Moscow region, the regional governor said.
A Reuters reporter in the Odintsovo district near the settlement of Chastsy to the west of Moscow, where one of the two drones was shot down in the early hours of Tuesday morning, heard four blasts shortly after 0300 local time (0000 GMT).
“Windows were shaking,” she said.
The Russian defence ministry said that nobody had been hurt in the latest attack.
“An attempt by the Kyiv regime to carry out terrorist attacks using unmanned aerial vehicles was foiled tonight,” it said in a statement.
“Two drones were detected and destroyed by air defence systems over the territory of the Moscow region.”
A further two Ukrainian drones were detected by air defence systems over the Bryansk region, which borders Ukraine, and crashed without hurting anyone after being brought down by jamming systems, it said in the same statement.
Air space over the Russian capital was briefly closed and three Moscow airports suspended flights, the TASS news agency reported.
Rosaviatsia, Russia’s aviation authority, said nine flights had been diverted at Moscow’s Vnukovo and Domodedovo airports, but that all of the capital’s airports were now working normally.
Russian officials have repeatedly cautioned that military drones could cause a major disaster while flying over Moscow, which along with the surrounding region has a population of nearly 22 million people.
Ukrainian military intelligence (GUR) said on Monday it had overseen an attack on the Russian Shaykovka military airfield in the Kaluga region in which it said several aircraft had been damaged.
Asked about Monday’s attack on Moscow, Andriy Yusov, a GUR spokesperson, said that “the GUR is working” but declined to give details.
(Reporting by Andrew Osborn in Moscow and by Maria Tsvetkova in New York; Editing by Jacqueline Wong, Michael Perry and Angus MacSwan)