Ukraine accused of deploying drones in attack near Moscow airport

Vnukovo airport. Credit: Mikhail Starodubov /

Russia has claimed Ukraine attacked Moscow with at least five drones on June 4, 2023, forcing it to shut down one of the capital’s main airports for a few hours. 

More than 14 flights were canceled from Vnukovo International Airport (VKO) or redirected to other airports in the capital, including those from Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt, after an early attack at 6:00 am local time. 

According to the country’s defense ministry four Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) “were destroyed by air defense systems”, while another was “suppressed by means of electronic warfare” and crashed in Kubinka, which is about 36 kilometers from Vnukovo airport. 

Maria Zakharova, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, called the attack an “act of terrorism” and blamed Western countries and United Nations Security Council (UNSC) members, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, for financing the “terrorist regime”. 

Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the attack. 

On the same day as the attacks on Moscow, Russia’s armed forces carried out yet another drone strike on Ukraine. The attack targeted the port city of Kherson at 6:00 am, local time, resulting in two deaths after residential buildings were damaged. 

Similar attacks against Ukrainian cities have been a weekly or even daily recurrence since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February 2022. 

On May 30, 2023, Russia accused Kyiv of attacking Moscow with multiple drones for the first time. At the time, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy denied the country had been directly involved in the attacks but had enjoyed watching the situation unfold.   

After normal operations resumed at Vnukovo airport at 8:00 am, the Mayor of the Russian capital Sergei Sobyanin announced in a statement on Telegram that “no casualties or injuries have been reported, and emergency services are on the scene”.  

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