Ukraine war comes to Moscow as drones hit both capitals

  • Two people were injured in Moscow and one person was killed in the Kiev attack
  • Ukraine denies direct involvement
  • Kiev faced 17 airstrikes in May
  • IAEA chief urges both sides to protect Zaporizhia plant

MOSCOW/KYIV, May 30 (Reuters) – Ukrainian drones struck wealthy districts of Moscow on Tuesday in what one politician said was the deadliest attack in the capital since World War II, while Kyiv was hit from the air for the third time. Time is 24 hours.

Since Russia sent tens of thousands of troops to its neighbor in February 2022, the war has mostly been fought inside Ukraine.

Airstrikes on targets far from the front have intensified amid a chaotic stalemate on the ground, with Russian forces deployed along an extended line in Ukraine’s east and south.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is one of the strategic southern sites Russian forces have controlled almost since the start of the invasion, and the head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog on Tuesday asked Ukraine and Russia to respect five principles to protect the plant. Neither Ukraine nor Russia have committed to honoring the principles.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Croci has been trying for months to secure an agreement to reduce the risk of a catastrophic nuclear accident from military action, such as the shelling of Zaporizhzhia, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.

UN In a briefing to the Security Council, Croci included principles that no attack would be carried out on or against the plant, and that it would not be used as a base for heavy weapons and military equipment. He called for electricity to be available and safe outside the plant.

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“The nuclear safety and security situation at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant … continues to be very weak and dangerous,” Krosi said. “Military operations continue in the region and may increase significantly in the near future.”

Russia’s UN ambassador, Vasily Nebenzia, said: “Mr. Krosi’s proposals to ensure the safety of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant are in line with measures we have already been implementing for a long time.”

Ukraine’s ambassador to the UN, Serhii Kislytsya, said the policies “must be complemented with a demand for complete demilitarization and occupation of the station”.

Injuries and evacuations in Moscow

Commenting on the early Tuesday airstrikes in Moscow, the Defense Ministry said eight drones sent by Ukraine and aimed at civilians were shot down or diverted by electronic jammers, although BASA, a Telegram channel linked to the security services, said there were more. 25.

Mykhailo Podoliak, an aide to the Ukrainian president, denied that Kiev had made direct contact, but said “we are happy to watch the events” and foresee such strikes.

Two people were injured when some apartments were briefly evacuated, according to Moscow’s mayor. Residents reported hearing loud noises followed by the stench of petrol. Some captured footage of the drone being shot down and a plume of smoke.

The drones targeted some of Moscow’s most prestigious districts, including the residences of Russian President Vladimir Putin and other elites. He was later in the Kremlin and received a briefing on the attack, a spokesman said.

Putin later said that Ukraine’s massive drone strike on Moscow was an attempt to intimidate and provoke Russia, and that air defenses around the capital would be strengthened.

Civilian targets in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities have been repeatedly attacked by Russian drones and missiles since the early days of the war.

But Tuesday was only the second time Moscow came under direct attack.

In Washington, the White House said it was still gathering information on reports of drone strikes in Moscow.

“We do not support attacks inside Russia. That’s it. Period,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told a briefing. Washington is a major supplier of weapons to Ukraine, which it uses to defend itself and to retake Ukrainian territory occupied by Russian forces.

Russian lawmaker Maxim Ivanov called the attack on Moscow the most serious since the invasion by Nazi Germany in World War II, adding that no Russian could now avoid a “new reality.”

Russian state television provided silent coverage of the attacks, and many Muscovites decried them. Olga, who said she lived near the site of the drone crash on Profsoyuznaya Street, called the strikes “logical, to be expected…what else were we waiting for?”

Meanwhile, Russia put Ukraine’s top generals on a “wanted list,” the RIA news agency reported.

Kiev City was hit 17 times by airstrikes in May

Ukraine reported that four people were killed and 34 injured, including two children, in the latest Russian attacks across the country.

Ukrainian air defenses shot down 29 of 31 Iranian-made Shahid drones in Kyiv, the Armed Forces General Staff said.

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A 33-year-old woman died on her balcony after debris from a destroyed Russian missile crashed high above Kyiv, authorities said.

Russia attacked Kiev 17 times in May with drones or missiles, mostly at night.

In a video address Tuesday evening, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky suggested that some authorities were not doing enough to protect civilians during airstrikes.

“Shelter in cities should be accessible. People need to understand when and how the number and availability of shelter will increase,” he said, but did not elaborate.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, Max Hunder, Olena Harmash, Pavel Polityuk, Valentyn Ogirenko, Gleb Garanich, Lidia Kelly, Trevor Hunnicutt and Steve Holland; Written by Andrew Cawthorne, Mark Heinrich and Grant McCool; Editing by Michael Perry, Giles Elgood, Alison Williams and Richard Chang

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Guy Falconbridge

Thomson Reuters

As Moscow bureau chief, Guy runs coverage of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Prior to Moscow, Guy ran Brexit coverage as London Bureau Chief (2012-2022). On the night of Brexit, his team delivered one of Reuters’ historic successes – breaking the news of Brexit first to the world and financial markets. Guy graduated from the London School of Economics and began his career as an intern at Bloomberg. He spent more than 14 years covering the former Soviet Union. He speaks fluent Russian. Contact: +447825218698

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