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Drone Downed Over Moscow as Vnukovo Airport Halts Flights

Smoke billowing over where the drone on Friday was reported to have crashed. Social Media

Russian air defense systems shot down a drone flying over Moscow, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Friday morning, as Vnukovo international airport temporarily halted flights.

“One drone attempted to fly over the city. It was eliminated as a result of air defense work,” Sobyanin wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

He said there were no injuries or “serious destruction” from the debris that fell in the Karamyshevskaya embankment in western Moscow.

Video shared on social media showed smoke billowing near a multi-story building on the embankment of the Moskva River. 

Mayor Sobyanin did not say whether the drone had come from Ukraine.

But Russia’s Defense Ministry later accused Kyiv of “an attempt to carry out a terrorist attack on a facility in Moscow.”

The Defense Ministry’s statement said its electronic warfare systems “suppressed” the drone, forcing it to crash in a forested area.

Meanwhile, landings and takeoffs at Vnukovo airport in southwestern Moscow were temporarily restricted for a second consecutive day. 

Kaluga airport, less than 200 kilometers southwest of Moscow, was also temporarily shut down for unexplained reasons earlier Friday.

There was no immediate information on whether the closures were related to the drone sightings over Moscow.

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