Moscow briefly shuts down all 4 major airports amid drone threat

August 18, 2023

Moscow briefly shut down all four of the city’s major airports early Friday morning amid an alleged drone strike upon the city, according to Moscow’s civil aviation authority, Rosaviatsiya.

At least seven flights were diverted from Moscow’s Vnukovo, Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo and Zhukovsky airports.

Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin said Friday that Russian air defenses had shot down a drone over the city overnight, adding in his Telegram post that debris from the drone had fallen into Expocentre, an exhibition site about three miles east of the Kremlin.

Though the mayor said there hadn’t been “any significant damage” to the Expocentre, Anton Gerashchenko, Advisor to Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs, posted video of damage to one of Moscow’s airports “due to the drone attack,” though he did not specify which, and noted that Russian media said at least one flight had to be rerouted to Minsk.

Gerashchenko’s social media post came even as Kyiv has not taken responsibility for the incident, though Ukrainian officials have previously admitted to using drones to strike deep within Russian territory amid the nearly 18-month-long war.

Russia’s Defense Ministry quickly blamed Ukraine for the alleged drone attack adding that the unmanned aerial vehicle “after being hit by air defense systems, changed its flight trajectory and fell on a non-residential building near Krasnopresnenskaya Embankment in Moscow.”

PHOTO: Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport, 2014

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