MOSCOW (Reuters) -A Ukrainian drone hit a building in central Moscow on Friday, disrupting air traffic after triggering a blast that was heard across the business district of the Russian capital, Russian officials said.
A Reuters witness who was in the area described hearing “a powerful explosion”. A video published by Russian media outlets showed thick smoke rising next to skyscrapers in the capital.
The Russian defence ministry and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said there were no casualties after air defences destroyed a drone which then fell on a non-residential building of Moscow’s Expo Center complex in the early hours of Friday.
Air-traffic was briefly suspended at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport in the city’s west.
The Expo Center is a large spread of exhibition pavilions and multi-purpose halls, fewer than 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) away from the Kremlin.
“At about 4 am Moscow time, the Kyiv regime launched another terrorist attack using an unmanned aerial vehicle on objects located in Moscow and the Moscow region,” the Russian defence ministry said.
Drone strikes deep inside Russia have increased since a drone was destroyed over the Kremlin in early May. Civilian areas of the capital were hit later in May and a Moscow business district was targeted twice in three days earlier this month.
There was no immediate comment from Kyiv.
Ukraine almost never publicly claims responsibility for strikes inside Russia.
(Reporting by Reuters, Writing by Maria Tsvetkova, Lidia Kelly and Mrinmay Dey; Editing by Jacqueline Wong/Guy Faulconbridge)
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