A drone attack temporarily closed three airports in the Moscow region on Sunday as Ukraine made efforts to give Muscovites a grim taste of the war that has plagued Ukraine since the Russian invasion began nearly 19 months ago.
It grounded two of the airports for several hours before announcing that all airport activities were returning to normal at 8:30 a.m. local time, Russian state media reported. Another airport stopped air traffic for about an hour. Dozens of flights were canceled or delayed. Similar incidents a day earlier also briefly disrupted airport operations, Tass reported.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Sunday that air defenses shot down the drones in Moscow’s Istria region, about 35 miles west of central Moscow. Another drone was shot down in the Ramenky district. No casualties or serious damage were reported in the incidents, Sobyanin said.
Drone strikes have damaged buildings, caused minor injuries and disrupted flight schedules for several weeks. Ukraine has not specifically claimed responsibility for the attacks, but has defended them as fair play, citing the battering Ukrainian cities have taken from Russian rockets and mortars since the start of the war.
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∎ The Defense Contact Group for Ukraine will meet in Germany on Tuesday for its monthly update meeting. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is leading the meeting, the primary global forum for raising military support for Ukraine.
∎ The West must prepare for the reality that the war will last a long time and that if Ukraine stops fighting, “their country will no longer exist,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
Russian minister accuses the US of waging war for Ukraine
The US is dictating Ukraine’s military actions and waging America’s own war against Russia by providing weapons to Kiev, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Rossiya-1 television. Lavrov, speaking on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum, was asked whether US officials had agreed to supply Ukraine with long-range shells containing depleted uranium.
“No matter what he says, he is directing this war, supplying weapons, ammunition, intelligence, data from satellites, he is waging a war against us,” Lavrov said. “Ukraine was ready, it had been ready for a long time to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia with its hands and bodies.”
North Korea is likely to start supplying Russia with artillery shells and other weapons soon, but the lifeline the military is throwing to Russian President Vladimir Putin is unlikely to change the course of the war, a top US general says. Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said it remains unclear how soon Moscow will acquire the munitions and how much North Korea can or is willing to provide. Aid was among the topics Putin discussed with Kim Jong Un during talks with the North Korean leader last week.
“Would it make a big difference? I’m skeptical about that,” Milley said. “I doubt it would be decisive.
Contributor: The Associated Press