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Is Moscow Under Siege? Unraveling the Drone Attacks and Escalating Tensions between Russia and Ukraine

Moscow Under Attack: Rare Assault Leaves Two Injured, Raises Tensions with Kyiv

In a rare and alarming turn of events, Moscow, the capital of Russia, was targeted in a drone attack that resulted in two injuries. This attack has been dubbed the most severe assault on Moscow since World War II. Simultaneously, Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, experienced its third airstrike in just 24 hours. These incidents escalate the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which began when Russia invaded its neighbor in February of the previous year.

Previously, it was wrongly stated that Moscow is more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) away from Ukraine. The correct information is that Moscow is just a few hundred kilometers from the Ukrainian border.

According to Russia, the drones that struck Moscow on Tuesday were successfully neutralized, preventing further damage. However, reports indicate that over 25 drones were involved in the attack, contradicting Russia's claim. The Defense Ministry of Russia stated that eight drones sent by Kyiv were shot down or diverted. Still, other sources, such as the Telegram channel Baza, which has ties to security services, suggest a higher number.

Residents of southwestern Moscow were startled by loud bangs and the smell of petrol between 5 am and 6 am local time. Some eyewitnesses managed to capture footage of a drone being shot down and a plume of smoke rising over the Moscow skyline. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin confirmed that two individuals sustained injuries, although not of a serious nature. Additionally, residents of two partially damaged apartment blocks were temporarily evacuated for safety reasons.

Politician Maxim Ivanov likened this assault to the gravest attacks on Moscow since the Nazi regime, emphasizing that it presents a new reality that no citizen can ignore. Ivanov sternly warned that citizens must unite to defend their motherland, as surrendering to cowardice, collaboration, or betrayal would bring indelible shame upon their families.

This recent attack follows a similar incident that occurred two weeks ago when two drones exploded over the Kremlin. Russia attributed that attack to Kyiv and alleged it was an attempt on President Vladimir Putin's life.

While Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak denied direct Ukrainian involvement in the targeting of Moscow, he expressed satisfaction in witnessing these events and predicted further actions to come.

Russia's Defense Ministry labeled the assault as a "terrorist drone attack" orchestrated by the "Kyiv regime." On the other side, Ukrainian defense forces reported shooting down more than 20 Iranian-made Shahed drones in Kyiv on the same day.

Tragically, the attacks in Kyiv claimed the life of one person, a 30-year-old woman, and left four others injured. The destruction caused by a destroyed Russian projectile resulted in a high-rise apartment building catching fire, causing extensive damage to the top two floors. The Ukrainian officials are currently conducting search and rescue operations, as there is a possibility of people still trapped under the rubble.

Throughout the month of May, Russia has targeted Kyiv 17 times using drones or missiles, primarily under the cover of darkness. These attacks seem to be aimed at undermining the resilience of the Ukrainian people after enduring over 15 months of continuous warfare.

In the aftermath of the assault, Al Jazeera's Natacha Butler reported from Kyiv, describing scenes of devastation and distress. Survivors of the attack faced the daunting task of assessing the damage to their cars, inspecting their damaged homes, and deciding whether to evacuate with their belongings and pets. The traumatized residents expressed relief at having survived but voiced their anxieties about the ongoing attacks, which have left them sleepless and uncertain about what the future holds.

Contrastingly, journalist Yulia Shapovalova reported a sense of calm prevailing in Moscow despite the recent attacks. Life in the capital resumed its normal pace, with people going about their daily routines and public transportation functioning without disruption. Shapovalova noted that many Russians, influenced by the narratives propagated on television, believe that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine was inevitable. They perceive President Vladimir Putin as a strategic leader who initiated the conflict on foreign soil.

As tensions continue to escalate between Russia and Ukraine, these attacks mark a troubling escalation and further strain the fragile relationship between the two nations. The international community anxiously watches the developments, hoping for a swift resolution to the conflict to prevent further loss of life and destruction.

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