President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has issued a stark warning, stating that the specter of war is once again looming over Russia following a recent drone attack on Moscow’s capital.
Mr. Zelensky asserted that such attacks on Russian soil are an “inevitable, natural, and absolutely fair process” in the ongoing conflict between the two nations.
According to Russia’s defense ministry, three Ukrainian drones were shot down on Sunday, with two of them crashing into office buildings in the city center. The incident prompted a brief suspension of operations at Vnukovo Airport, situated southwest of the city.
Speaking via a video address from the western Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankivsk, President Zelensky expressed the growing strength of his country. He marked the 522nd day of the so-called “Special Military Operation,” initially anticipated by Russian leadership to last only a few weeks.
The conflict, however, has now returned to Russia’s own territories, impacting symbolic centers and military bases. Zelensky views this as an inevitable and just outcome.
This bold characterization represents a notable departure from Kyiv’s typical stance of denying responsibility for attacks inside Russia. President Zelensky appears confident enough to exert pressure not just on the Kremlin but also on the Russian population, many of whom support Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
By linking the drone attacks to events within Ukraine, Zelensky aims to challenge Vladimir Putin’s justifications for the invasion, which he seeks to expand.
Thankfully, the drone attack did not result in any injuries. The city’s mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, reported only slight damage to two office buildings. Eyewitnesses described the chaos and impact of the explosion, with smoke and fire spreading throughout the affected area.
The defense ministry has labeled the incident an “attempted terrorist attack” that was thwarted. Moscow, situated approximately 500 km from the Ukrainian border, has seldom been targeted since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
However, Russia alleges a string of drone strikes launched by Ukraine on its territory in recent months, with the most notable one directed at the Kremlin itself in May. Ukraine denies responsibility for this attack on the heart of the city, dismissing any intent to harm President Vladimir Putin.
The mounting tension between the two nations has also led to a recent drone attack on Crimea, the territory annexed by Russia in 2014. Ukrainian officials report the destruction of 16 drones and the suppression of nine more during this incident.
Meanwhile, Russia’s aggression has also led to casualties in Ukraine. One person lost their life, and five others were injured during a missile attack on Sumy, a city in the northeast. Another two individuals were killed in Zaporizhzhia, a southern city, on the previous day.
As the situation continues to escalate, both countries find themselves embroiled in a dangerous and unpredictable conflict that threatens peace in the region.
President Zelensky’s bold stance and his efforts to connect with the Russian population demonstrate his commitment to confronting the ongoing crisis head-on. The international community remains watchful, hoping for a peaceful resolution to this troubling conflict.