Building in Moscow Hit for Second Time in Fresh Drone Strike

A high-rise building in Moscow housing Russian government ministries has been hit by a drone for the second time in three days, according to the city’s mayor. Additionally, air defences shot down “several” drones targeting the capital region. The Russian defence ministry reported that two drones were destroyed in the Odintsovo and Naro-Fominsk districts near Moscow, while a third was jammed and crashed in the Moscow City business district, which houses a cluster of glass skyscrapers showcasing Russia’s integration into global financial markets. The ministry attributed the attempted terrorist attack to Ukraine.

The building

The IQ-Quarter skyscraper, situated 3.4 miles (5.5 km) from the Kremlin, suffered damage to its 21st-floor facade, with 150 sq meters of glazing broken. The building houses staff from various ministries, including Russia’s Ministry of Digital Development, Communications, and Mass Media. Thankfully, there have been no reported injuries, and the towers are often unoccupied at night. While these towers are located further from the Kremlin and have less defense compared to other government targets, the recent attacks demonstrate how drone warfare can exploit their vulnerability.

Ukraine has not officially claimed responsibility for the drone strikes, but it seems to be part of a strategy to bring consequences of the ongoing war to Russia’s civilian population. A Ukrainian presidential adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, suggested that Moscow is experiencing payback for its actions. President Volodymr Zelenskiy also stated in a video address that the war is returning to Russia’s territory, targeting symbolic centers and military bases.

Its Vulnerability

These recent attacks mark at least the fifth time that unmanned aerial vehicles have reached the Russian capital since May, highlighting Moscow’s susceptibility to drone warfare. It seems that the attackers designed the attacks on Sunday and Tuesday to expose this vulnerability. Meanwhile, Russia launched its own drone strike on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, using five Iranian-made Shahed drones. The attack injured one person and caused destruction in densely populated areas.

While the damage from these drone strikes has been relatively minor so far, they have become a significant concern for Russia and underscore the potential risks posed by such attacks. Ukrainian bloggers have ironically echoed claims made by Russia’s air defences commander that Moscow’s sky shield is one of the best in the world. As the situation escalates, the impact of these drone strikes on the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine remains a significant concern for regional stability.