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Turkmenistan Halts Moscow Flights Amid Drone Attacks

A Turkmenistan Airlines plane. Turkmenistan Airlines

Turkmenistan’s flagship carrier Turkmenistan Airlines announced it was suspending direct flights to Moscow starting Tuesday, just days after consecutive drone attacks on the Russian capital.

Turkmenistan Airlines will instead perform flights to and from the city of Kazan, located some 800 kilometers east of Moscow, the company said in a statement.

The announcement comes after an office tower in the Moscow-City business development was struck by a drone on Tuesday, the second time in the span of just three days.

The Kremlin called the strikes an “act of desperation” by Ukraine following battlefield setbacks during its counteroffensive to reclaim captured territories.

Turkmenistan Airlines’ statement did not say why or for how long it plans to avoid the airspace around Moscow. 

But an archived version of Tuesday’s statement — which has since been changed — cited “the situation in Moscow’s airspace” and “risk assessment to ensure flight safety” behind the company’s reasoning.

Moscow’s Vnukovo airport briefly closed following the recent drone attacks. Air traffic at the airport was also disrupted amid a wave of drone attacks earlier in July. 

Russia’s state-run news agency TASS reported that Turkmenistan Airlines suspended flights to Moscow until at least Aug. 22.

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