Moscow office tower hit again with drone, Ukraine hospital suffers deadly attack

Investigators are shown at a damaged office building in Moscow on Tuesday, the second time the area has come under deadly attack in three days. (Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters)

A high-rise building in Moscow’s business district that houses three Russian government ministries was struck by a drone for the second time in three days on Tuesday, in what Russia called an attempted Ukrainian “terrorist attack.”

The building that was struck is known as the “IQ quarter,” which houses the Ministry of Economic Development, the the Ministry of Digital Development and the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Video obtained by Reuters showed a section of its glass facade, high above the ground, had been destroyed by the impact.

“At the moment, experts are assessing the damage and the state of the infrastructure for the safety of people in the building caused by the deadly attack. This will take some time,” Darya Levchenko, an adviser to the economic development minister, said on the Telegram messaging service. She said staff were working by video-conference.

Moscow has come under repeated drone attacks since early May, when two drones were fired at the roof of a building in the Kremlin complex.

Emergency personnel work outside a damaged office block in the Moskva-Citi business district following a reported drone attack in Moscow on Tuesday, the second drone strike since Sunday. (Alexander Memenov/AFP/Getty Images)

While the incidents have not caused casualties or major damage, they have provoked widespread unease amid the Kremlin’s narrative that Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine is proceeding according to plan.

Ukraine hasn’t directly claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks, although Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said Russia should expect “more unidentified drones, more collapse, more civil conflicts, more war.”

“Moscow is rapidly getting used to a full-fledged war,” Podolyak wrote on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter.

In a statement, the Russian Defence Ministry said it had thwarted the “attempted terrorist attack” and downed two drones west of the Moscow city centre.

It said another one was foiled by jamming equipment and went “out of control” before crashing into buildings in the Moskva-Citi business district.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said it hit the same tower that had been struck on Sunday.

“The facade has been damaged on the 21st floor. Glazing was destroyed over 150 square metres,” he said.

A witness told Reuters: “We were going to see the tower where the explosion happened the day before yesterday. Suddenly there was this explosion, and we immediately ran. There were shards of glass and then smoke rising. Then the security services starting running that way. The shards were really big.”

Vnukovo airport, one of three major airports serving the capital, briefly shut down but later resumed full operations.

After the first drone hit the business district on Sunday, tech company Yandex sent a memo to staff instructing them not to be in the office at night and urging them to “take care.” Many companies in Russia continue to allow employees to work in hybrid mode, split between home and the office, following the lockdowns imposed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that Ukrainian deadly attacks on Moscow and other targets inside Russia were “acts of desperation” and that Russia was taking all measures possible to protect against strikes.

Kyiv typically does not claim responsibility for specific incidents on Russian territory, and it did not claim Sunday’s deadly attack, though President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the war was “gradually returning to Russia’s territory — to its symbolic centres.”

Two drones reached the Kremlin in May, the most high-profile incident, but other attacks have targeted buildings near the Defence Ministry’s headquarters on the Moscow River and the capital’s exclusive Rublyovka suburb, home to much of Russia’s political, business and cultural elite. 

Inside Ukraine on Tuesday, a doctor was killed and five medical workers were wounded in Russian shelling of a hospital in the southern city of Kherson, regional officials said.

“Today at 11:10 a.m., the enemy launched another deadly attack on the peaceful residents of our community,” military administration head Roman Mrochko wrote on Telegram.

Photos posted by officials showed the bloodied floor of a balcony and a gaping hole in a roof with debris strewn over the floor.

Regional governor Oleksandr Prokudin said four medical workers had been wounded, in addition to a badly wounded nurse whose injuries were reported earlier.

Mrochko said the young doctor had only worked in his job for a few days and that doctors were fighting for the life of the nurse. The facility’s surgery department was also damaged in the shelling, Prokudin said.

Medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières, also known as Doctors Without Borders, said it had been working at the hospital supplying medical equipment and providing mental health consultations to people displaced by the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam in June.

“We unequivocally condemn this disgraceful deadly attack on a medical facility and extend our condolences to the family of the doctor who died,” the group said in a social media post.

In a separate incident in the northeastern village of Pershotravneve, an elderly woman was killed and a man was wounded in midday Russian shelling, Kharkiv regional governor Oleh Synehubov wrote on Telegram.

Reuters could not immediately verify the details of the reports.

Investigators examine a damaged skyscraper in the ‘Moscow City’ business district after a reported drone attack in Moscow early Sunday. (The Associated Press)

Three Ukrainian drones attacked Moscow in the early hours on Sunday, Russian authorities said, injuring one person and prompting a temporary closure of traffic in and out of one of four airports around the Russian capital.

It was the fourth such attempt at a strike on the capital region this month and the third this week, fuelling concerns about Moscow’s vulnerability to attacks as Russia’s war in Ukraine drags into its 18th month.

The Russian Defence Ministry referred to the incident as an “attempted terrorist attack by the Kyiv regime” and said three drones targeted the city. One was shot down in the surrounding Moscow region by air defence systems and two others were jammed. Those two crashed into the Moscow City business district.

Photos from the site of the crash showed the facade of a skyscraper damaged on one floor. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said the deadly attack “insignificantly damaged” two buildings in the Moscow City district. A security guard was injured, Russia’s state news agency Tass reported, citing emergency officials.

No flights went into or out of Vnukovo airport on the southern outskirts of the city for about an hour, according to Tass, and the airspace over Moscow and the outlying regions was temporarily closed to all aircraft. Those restrictions have since been lifted.

Moscow authorities have also closed a street to traffic near the site of the crash in the Moscow City area.

Without directly acknowledging that Ukraine was behind the deadly attack on Moscow, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian air force said that the Russian people were seeing the consequences of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“All of the people who think the war ‘doesn’t concern them,’ it’s already touching them,” spokesperson Yurii Ihnat told journalists Sunday.

“There’s already a certain mood in Russia: that something is flying in, and loudly,” he said. “There’s no discussion of peace or calm in the Russian interior any more. They got what they wanted.”

Ihnat also referenced a drone attack on Russian-occupied Crimea overnight. Moscow announced Sunday that it had shot down 16 Ukrainian drones and neutralized eight more with an electronic jamming system. There were no casualties, officials said.

In Ukraine, the air force reported that it had destroyed four Russian drones above the country’s Kherson and Dnipropetrovsk regions. Information on the attacks could not be independently verified.

Meanwhile, two people were killed and 20 wounded by a Russian missile strike late Saturday evening on the city of Sumy in northeast Ukraine. A four-storey building belonging to a vocational college was hit, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said. Local authorities said dormitories and teaching buildings were damaged in the blast and the fire that followed.

Russia’s Defence Ministry reported shooting down a Ukrainian drone outside Moscow on Friday. Four days earlier, two drones struck the Russian capital, one of them falling in the centre of the city near the Defence Ministry’s headquarters along the Moscow River about three kilometres from the Kremlin. The other drone hit an office building in southern Moscow, gutting several upper floors.

In another deadly attack on July 4, the Russian military said four drones were downed by air defences on the outskirts of Moscow and a fifth was jammed by electronic warfare means and forced down.

Ukraine has been dealt some blows in the last month. Kyiv has seen the most air strikes since the start of the war, and the city of Bakhmut is almost entirely occupied by the Russians.

However, a shift could be coming. After receiving billions of dollars worth of international military aid, Ukraine may be ready to launch its much anticipated spring counteroffensive. And after a drone strike hit an apartment block in a Moscow suburb, some are asking whether it’s already underway. 

Plus, tensions between the powerful mercenary organisation, The Wagner Group, and the Kremlin are increasing, after more than 20,000 of their soldiers were killed in Bakhmut. Could Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin be a threat to Putin’s leadership?

Paul Adams, the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent, has been watching this all closely and helps us make sense of the latest developments — and where the war in Ukraine could be headed.

A 10-year-old girl and her mother were among four civilians killed in a Russian airstrike on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s home town on Monday, officials said, while his forces reported new incremental gains along the front line.

Zelenskyy, who had described Sunday as “a good day, a powerful day” at the front, said Monday’s Russian strikes had hit a residential and a university building in Kryvyi Rih, the steel city where he grew up, far from the front line.

“This terror will not frighten us or break us. We are working and saving our people,” he said on the Telegram app.

A senior defence official said earlier that Ukrainian forces had recaptured nearly 15 square kilometres of land over the past week from Russian troops, who occupy almost one-fifth of Ukraine in its east and south.


The gains make a total of more than 200 square kilometres retaken in the south since the Ukrainians launched a major Western-backed push against Russian forces early last month, Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar said on the Telegram messaging app.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told a military conference Ukraine was “desperately hurling new forces” into attacks on Russian positions, but had failed to advance and was wasting billions of dollars of Western weaponry.

Reuters could not immediately verify either side’s report.

In Kryvyi Rih, smoke billowed from a gaping hole smashed in the side of a nine-storey residential building, and another four-storey building was almost levelled, video footage posted by Zelenskyy showed.

Emergency services said at least 43 people had been wounded.

“Tragic news. Four people have already died in Kryvyi Rih,” Serhiy Lysak, the regional governor, wrote on Telegram. The city’s mayor Oleksandr Vilkul said they included a girl, 10, and her 45-year-old mother and there could be as many as eight people trapped under the rubble.

Two more civilians were reported killed in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, now on the front line after being recaptured from Russian forces in November.

An early-morning rocket attack killed a 60-year-old utility worker and wounded four others as they were out on the street doing their jobs, the regional military administration said.

A 65-year-old man driving his car was badly wounded in the second strike and died as an acquaintance tried to rush him to hospital, regional governor Oleksandr Prokudin said on Telegram.

In Ukraine’s Russian-occupied eastern Donetsk region, the Russian-installed governor said two people had been killed and four injured in Ukrainian shelling of what he said was a civilian bus in Donetsk city, the regional capital.

There was no comment from Russia or Ukraine on the other side’s reported civilian casualties.

Russian forces have levelled residential areas across southern and Eastern Ukraine since they invaded more than 17 months ago. They conducted systematic strikes on Ukraine’s power grid over the winter and this month started knocking out its grain export facilities.

Moscow says it does not target civilians in what it calls a special military operation to demilitarize its neighbour, portraying Ukraine’s moves away from Russia’s orbit toward the European Union and NATO as an existential threat.

Russian territory has been largely untouched by the conflict, beyond sporadic drone and missile strikes on oil and military infrastructure that Moscow has blamed on Ukraine, and brief incursions across one part of their common border.

Ukraine rarely comments on strikes on Russian territory, which have recently begun to include drone attacks on Moscow.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Russia would take extra measures to defend against such strikes, after drones hit Moscow’s financial district on Sunday. Russia said it had brought down three drones and no one was hurt.

Ukraine did not directly claim responsibility for the deadly attack but Zelenskyy said the war was “gradually returning to Russia’s territory — to its symbolic centres.”

His government, which calls Russia’s invasion an imperial-style land grab, has reported slow but steady progress in its counteroffensive, saying that Russian mines and fortifications along the front line are proving a challenge.

A senior Ukrainian official reported heavy fighting in the northeast on Sunday, with Kyiv’s forces holding their lines and making gains in some areas. Russia’s military said it had halted Ukrainian forces in the region.

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