Russia says it downed Ukraine-launched drones targeting Moscow

(Reuters) – Russia shot down Ukraine-launched drones targeting Moscow in Istra district of the capital region and the Kaluga region early on Tuesday, the defence ministry and Moscow’s mayor said.

The Russian defence ministry said that its air defence systems destroyed a Ukraine-launched drone around 3 a.m. (0000 GMT) over the Kaluga region which borders with the Moscow region to its southwest.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on the Telegram messaging app that drones were downed over Kaluga region and closer to Moscow over the Istra district, and that they “were trying to carry out an attack on Moscow.”

The Istra district of the Moscow region is located some 65 km (40 miles) northwest of the Kremlin.

Sobyanin said that according to preliminary information, there were no casualties or damage at the site where the drone debris fell.

Russian news agencies reported earlier that most flights were cancelled or postponed after midnight on Tuesday from the capital’s four major airports.

Drone attacks on Russian targets, especially in Crimea – annexed by Moscow in 2014 – and in regions bordering Ukraine, have become almost a daily occurrences since two drones were destroyed over the Kremlin in early May.

The attacks have disrupted flights in and out of Moscow in recent weeks. Ukraine rarely takes direct responsibility for such drone strikes but says destroying Russian military infrastructure helps a counteroffensive Kyiv began in June.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Stephen Coates)