Russia said Tuesday, Dec. 19, that Ukrainian forces had attempted to attack Moscow with a drone, but said defences destroyed the unmanned aerial vehicle with debris falling outside the centre of the capital.

The nearly two-year conflict between Moscow and Kyiv has seen both sides launch drones at each other's towns and cities, with Ukraine announcing daily that it destroyed Iranian-designed drones in overnight attacks.

Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin initially announced the drone attack over the Russian capital without claiming whether Kyiv was responsible or saying where the drone had been launched from.

The defence ministry later blamed Kyiv and said air defence systems had downed the drone it said was targeting "facilities" in Moscow, with elaborating.


"The Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicle was destroyed by the air defence forces on duty over the territory of the Odintsovo district of the Moscow region," the defence ministry said.

Sobyanin said that according to preliminary information he received the debris that fell had not resulted in any material damage or injuries to bystanders.

"Emergency services specialists are working at the scene," he added in a statement to residents of the capital.

Moscow's Vnukovo airport said it was temporarily pausing accepting arrival flights, citing "reasons beyond the airport's control".

The attack on Moscow comes hours after the defence ministry said it had downed several Ukrainian drones over the southern region of Bryansk on the border with Ukraine.

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Moscow blamed Ukraine for a spate of aerial attacks on the Russian capital earlier this year when drones hit the Kremlin and repeatedly targeted the city's financial district.

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