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Zelensky says war ‘returning to Russia’ after Moscow drone attack


By Josh Pennington, Mariya Knight, Zahra Ullah and Heather Chen, CNN

(CNN) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that war is “gradually returning” to Russia hours after the Kremlin accused Kyiv of targeting Moscow with drones, the latest in a series of attacks.

The Russian Defense Ministry said three drones were intercepted Sunday but a business and shopping development in the west of the capital was hit. The fifth and sixth floor of a 50-story building were damaged, and no casualties were reported, state news agency TASS reported.

Videos showed debris as well as emergency services at the scene.

“Ukraine is getting stronger, and the war is gradually returning to Russia’s territory, to its symbolic centers and military bases,” Zelensky said in his daily address. “This is an inevitable, natural, and absolutely fair.”

A spokesman for Ukraine’s Air Force said the latest drone attacks on Moscow were aimed at impacting Russians who, since the Kremlin invaded Ukraine in February 2022, felt the war was distant.

“There’s always something flying in Russia, as well as in Moscow. Now the war is affecting those who were not concerned,” the spokesman, Yurii Ihnat, said on Ukrainian television.

“No matter how the Russian authorities would like to turn a blind eye on this by saying they have intercepted everything … something does hit.”

Ukraine’s military has increasingly been deploying unmanned aerial vehicles for more than just reconnaissance.

Ukrainian Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, whose Digital Transformation Ministry oversees the country’s “Army of Drones” procurement plan, had said there would be more drone strikes to come as Kyiv ramps up a summer counteroffensive aimed at pushing Russian troops out of Ukrainian territory.

Moscow was targeted earlier this week. Ukraine claimed responsibility for a strike on Monday that hit two non-residential buildings, including one near the Ministry of Defense headquarter. Russia called that incident a “terrorist attack,” although the Kremlin’s military actions in Ukraine have regularly caused civilian casualties.

A Russian missile attack in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Sumy late on Saturday killed at least two people civilian and injured another 20, while a rocket strike on Zaporizhzhia left another two people dead.

Both areas had been subject to lengthy bombardments over the weekend. Ukrainian authorities in Sumy said there had been 25 instances of shelling in a single day, while a military leader in Zaporizhzhia said Russian forces had carried out 77 attacks on 20 settlements across the Zaporizhzhia, hitting 31 residential buildings and other pieces of infrastructure.

Though the strikes in Moscow did not reportedly cause any injuries or fatalities, they have unsettled residents of the Russian capital.

One witness to Sunday’s attack explained how the incident upended some planned down time.

“My friends and I rented an apartment to come here and unwind, and at some point, we heard an explosion – it was like a wave, everyone jumped,” she told Reuters. “There was a lot of smoke, and you couldn’t see anything. From above, you could see fire.”

Ukrainian drones also targeted the Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula on Sunday.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said it intercepted 25 unmanned aerial vehicles over the territory, which Moscow illegally annexed from Ukraine in 2014, shooting down 16 of them with air defense systems.

The other nine crashed into the Black Sea after their signals were jammed by electronic warfare equipment, according to the ministry. There do not appear to have been any casualties, but CNN has not been able to verify claims made by Russia’s Defense Ministry.

On Friday Russia said it shot down a Ukrainian missile over the southern Russian city of Taganrog. Ukraine did not comment on the attack, an apparent rare case of Ukraine using missiles inside Russian territory.

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