Escalation of Tensions: Zelensky Warns of War 'Returning to Russia' After Drone Attack on Moscow

Escalation of Tensions: Zelensky Warns of War 'Returning to Russia' After Drone Attack on Moscow

In a stern warning, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that war is returning to Russia, following a drone strike on the Russian capital, Moscow. This remark came in response to the escalating conflict between the two countries. Mr. Zelensky deemed the assaults on Russian soil as an "inevitable, natural and absolutely fair process."

According to Russia's defense ministry, three Ukrainian drones were intercepted on Sunday, with two crashing into offices. Moreover, Vnukovo Airport, southwest of the city center, experienced a brief shutdown.

The early Sunday drone attack was the latest in a series Moscow has blamed on Kyiv. From the western Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankivsk, Mr. Zelensky emphasized Ukraine's growing strength. He highlighted the extended duration of the 'Special Military Operation,' initially expected to last only a few weeks by the Russian leadership.

This change in narrative signifies a shift from Kyiv's typical stance of non-admission of responsibility for attacks inside Russia. Far from a full admission, it indicates Zelensky's confidence in intensifying the pressure, even beyond the Kremlin. These drone attacks present an avenue to speak directly to the Russian public, many of whom believe the Moscow-led invasion is justified.

There were reportedly no injuries from the drone attack, with minor damages inflicted on two office buildings. The aftermath of the attack was described by eyewitnesses as an explosion followed by billowing smoke and visible fire.

Despite its proximity to the Ukrainian border, Moscow has seldom been the focus of attacks since the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. However, recent months have seen Ukraine accused of orchestrating several drone strikes on Russian soil, including multiple on the capital. The most significant of these alleged attacks was in May when Ukraine was accused of targeting the Kremlin using two drones, a claim Ukraine denied.

Meanwhile, Russia reported an overnight Ukrainian drone attack on Crimea, a territory annexed by Russia in 2014. They claim to have destroyed 16 drones and suppressed a further nine. In contrast, Ukrainian officials reported a Russian missile attack on the northeastern city of Sumy, resulting in one fatality and five injuries.