Russia claims Ukraine orchestrated drone strike near Moscow that caused huge crater

Russian officials have claimed Ukrainian forces are responsible for a drone strike that injured three people in the town of Kireyevsk, 140 miles south of Moscow. Footage of the aftermath of the strike showed a huge crater, with locals describing an explosion across the town, according to Russian state media. Russia’s Ministry of Defence later claimed the drone had fallen after their radio-electronic system disabled the navigation of the UAV.

Footage of the aftermath of the drone strike showed dozens of local civilians gathered around a “smashed” house in the town of Kireyevsk in the central Tula region. The town is located just 180 miles from the eastern Ukrainian border.

A huge crater believed to be 15 metres in diameter and five metres deep was also pictured after the strike.

Russia’s TASS news agency, quoting a law enforcement source, alleged the drone had been deployed by Ukrainian forces. It reportedly struck the town on Sunday.

It is not standard policy for Ukraine to claim strikes outside of their mainland but the Russian state media alleged the UAV was a Ukrainian Tu-141 drone.

They reported that three people, including a young man and a girl, were injured after being hit by shards of glass.

According to locals, the explosion was heard throughout the city.

In some footage, a person can be heard saying: “There is nothing left of the house, everything is smashed. And the crater is so f****** huge, this is awful.”

Another voice adds: “The main thing is we are alive” before speculation that the explosion “must have been a drone”.

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Russia denied targeting residential areas although artillery and rocket strikes hit Ukrainian apartment buildings and civilian infrastructure daily during the war.

The Sloviansk attack followed a typical pattern of long-range shelling adopted by the Kremlin’s troops, particularly in recent months as fighting became entrenched during the bitterly cold winter months.

In the eastern Donetsk region, 10 cities and villages were shelled by Russian forces in the previous 24 hours, Ukraine’s presidential office reported on Monday.

This morning, Russian missiles hit the city of Avdiivka, damaging residential buildings, a hotel and a courthouse, it said.

Avdiivka Mayor Vitali Barabash said utility companies are being evacuated from the frontline city, as it “resembles more and more a landscape from post-apocalyptic movies.”