Russia downs drones close to Moscow and near Ukrainian border

(Reuters) -Russia reported a series of drone attacks on its territory on Saturday that killed at least one in a region bordering Ukraine and again forced the temporary closure of three major airports serving the capital Moscow.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said air defence systems brought down a Ukraine-launched drone over the Istra district of the Moscow region, some 50 km (30 miles) west of the Kremlin.

Moscow’s Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo and Vnukovo airports suspended flights for couple of hours, TASS news agency said.

One person was killed by shrapnel from a drone over the region of Belgorod that borders Ukraine in Russia’s southwest, regional Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on the Telegram messaging app.

He said six were wounded in Ukraine’s shelling of the village of Urazovo, where 16 houses were damaged.

Russian air forces shot down a Ukraine-launched drone on Saturday evening over the Bryansk region, which borders Ukraine in Russia’s west, the defence ministry said.

Bryansk regional Governor Alexander Bogomaz said Ukraine’s forces had shelled the village of Kirillovka near the border, damaging four homes. He reported no casualties in either incident in a Telegram post.

Reuters could not independently verify the reports.

There was no comment from Ukraine on the reported attacks. Kyiv seldom publicly claims responsibility for attacks inside Russia, which invaded it just over 18 months ago.

Cross-border shelling and drone attacks in southern Russia have occurred frequently for many months, but drones aimed at Moscow are a more recent phenomenon.

Two were fired at the Kremlin in early May. Since then, a business district of the capital has been hit several times and other parts of the city and wider region have also been targeted.

While they have not caused deaths or serious damage in the capital, the drone attacks have brought the war home for Muscovites, undermining the Kremlin narrative that its “special military operation” in Ukraine is proceeding according to plan.

(Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova, Lidia Kelly, Mark Trevelyan and Elaine Monaghan; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and William Mallard)