Russia claims to shoot down three drones overnight, Moscow airports again closed, causing cancelations and delays

Russian air defenses shot down three drones approaching the Russian capital Moscow in the early hours of Sept. 5, in Tver, Moscow and Kaluga oblasts, the Russian Defense Ministry has claimed, informs NV.

The Russian ministry blamed the alleged drone attack on Ukraine, saying it had stopped «Kyiv’s attempt to attack Russian territory with UAVs.»

One drone was allegedly destroyed over Kaluga Oblast by air defense systems, the Kremlin-controlled RIA Novosti news agency said.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin also claimed that UAVs had been attempting to attack the Russian capital. One of them was allegedly intercepted in Kaluga Oblast, and the other in the Istrinsky District of Moscow Oblast, he said.

Early reports claimed there was damage or injuries at the crash site in Istrinsky District, although emergency services were reported to be working at the site.

Later, Russian news media claimed gas cylinders had exploded due to the falling debris, and published a photograph apparently showing damage to a building at the crash site in Istrinsky District, which was about 37 kilometers west of the center of Moscow.

Sobyanin later said that at 5:17 a.m., Russian air defense forces allegedly destroyed another drone in Tver Oblast near Zavidovo, about 110 kilometers to the northwest of the Russian capital, which it was claimed was flying in the direction of Moscow.

Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport declared the “Kovyor” contingency plan, which is activated when unidentified aerial objects are detected in the airspace close to Russian airports. Russian media also reported that the capital’s Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo airports had also been closed temporarily. Across all Moscow airports, authorities canceled five flights and delayed 13 others, Russian media reported.

Russia typically blames Ukraine for launching drone attacks on its territory, and always claims to have shot down or disabled with electronic warfare all attacking drones, although there is evidence that some drones strike their intended targets — several Russian military aircraft have been destroyed in recent weeks at air bases deep inside Russia.

Ukraine has typically denied being responsible for the attacks, but recently the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate or HUR has claimed responsibility for carrying out attacks on two Russian airbases last December.

The HUR has also claimed responsibility for attacking the Moskva City financial district in western Moscow with drones. One skyscraper there, which houses the offices of several Russian government ministry, was hit twice over a period of three days at the end of July — beginning of August.