Updated: 18:09 BST, 21 August 2023
All airports across the Russian capital were temporarily closed on Monday after Russia’s defence ministry claimed a Kyiv drone was downed over the capital.
Explosions were heard in the sky above the city as Kremlin air defences attacked the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAVs) reportedly aimed at Moscow.
One drone came down close to the sprawling mansion of pro-Putin propagandist Margarita Simonyan, 43, head of the RT state media empire, and a pro-war fanatic.
Video footage captured across the city appeared to show a trail of air defence missiles and a drone exploding as grey smoke engulfed the surrounding air.
A video from Shot media highlighted a drone exploding as it was hit in an air defence strike over Moscow on Monday
One drone came down close to the sprawling mansion of pro-Putin propagandist Margarita Simonyan, 43, head of the RT state media empire, and a pro-war fanatic. She is pictured with Putin
‘The drone that was shot down in the Istra district fell on the street next to us,’ propagandist Simonyan said.
‘Thanks to our air defences there were no casualties,’ she said.
A video from Shot Media evidently highlighted a drone exploding as it was hit in an air defence strike.
The Russian defence ministry said an aircraft-style drone was blasted out of the sky at 8.16am over the Istra district of Moscow region.
Ukraine – which does not typically comment on attacks inside Russian territory – did not immediately comment on the suspected drone strike attempt.
Earlier a drone was downed by electronic warfare means, crash landing in a street near the village of Pokrovskoye, in the Ruzsky district of Moscow region.
There was no independent verification of Russian claims that there was no damage.
Hundreds of flights were diverted or delayed from all four major Moscow airports – Sheremetyevo, Vnukovo, Domodedovo and Zhukovsky – as air space around the capital was shut under the so-called ‘Carpet regime’, an emergency plan for incoming drones.
An explosion is pictured above Moscow on Monday as airports were thrown into chaos amid the suspected Ukrainian attack
Video footage captured across the city appeared to show a trail of air defence missiles and a drone exploding as grey smoke engulfed the air around
Video footage and images appeared to show a trail of air defence missiles following the suspected Ukrainian attack
At least four planes bound for Domodedovo were diverted as far as Kazan, some 500 miles to the east.
One pilot told passengers: ‘All airports in Moscow are closed.’
Russian media quoted a spokesperson for Domodedovo airport as saying flights were restricted ‘in order to ensure additional flight safety measures.’
Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin posted: ‘Air defence forces shot down a drone while trying to fly up to Moscow. No damage or casualties.’
The airports were closed for two hours during the attacks. Normal operations resumed afterwards.
Moscow’s airports have been thrown into chaos and all outgoing and incoming fights delayed as Russia’s air defence missiles (smoke trail pictured) scrambled to intercept the attack
Russian media quoted a spokesperson for Domodedovo airport (pictured) as saying flights were restricted restricted flights ‘in order to ensure additional flight safety measures’
The airports, including Vnukovo in Moscow, were closed for two hours during the attacks. Normal operations resumed afterwards
Trains were also thrown into chaos around the Moscow Kyivsky station after an apparent sabotage attack on signalling and points equipment at Solnechnay.
‘Trains in both directions are significantly behind schedule,’ said a report.
It comes as the Netherlands and Denmark indicated they would provide Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets on the stipulation that certain conditions be met.
The additional supply of aircraft would be a long awaited addition to Ukraine’s forces and defence capabilities.