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Ukraine Drones Retaliate on Moscow - Kremlin on High Alert

By Belal Awad · July 25, 2023

In brief…

  • Russia thwarted an attempted attack by 2 Ukraine drones that breached Moscow's airspace, one exploding near the Ministry of Defense building.
  • Ukraine launched additional strikes, attacking Russian-occupied Crimea with 17 drones targeting airfields and ammunition dumps, causing significant damage.
  • Russia was accused of "weaponizing food" as they attached Ukranian grain warehouses
  • Russia has already damaged food-supply lines by pulling out of the UN-brokered grain deal.
Heron 1 drone  Naval Strike and Warfare Centre

Russia claims to have thwarted an attempted attack by Ukraine after two drones breached Moscow’s airspace and approached the Ministry of Defense building. One of the drones reportedly exploded near the office buildings, prompting concerns over national security. The incident follows Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s vow to retaliate against Russia in the wake of another attack on Ukraine’s port city of Odessa.

Former British Army intelligence officer Phillip Ingram told Sky News, “We know that two drones got into the center of Moscow and got within 200 meters of the Russian Ministry of Defense building, and [that] at least one of them exploded. They hit office buildings. The Russians say that they shot them down. In reality, they probably disrupted at least one of them through electronic warfare.” There were no reported casualties from the drone incident, but the proximity to such a sensitive location has no doubt left Russia’s leadership feeling vulnerable.

Other regions have also witnessed drone-led warfare against Russian-held territory. Ukraine reportedly attacked Crimea with 17 drones, targeting airfields and ammunition dumps, causing significant damage: “We had the attack in Odessa on the cathedral yesterday. Ukraine has almost certainly attacked Crimea in the early hours of this morning with at least 17 drones going into hit airfields and ammunition dumps… where there’s clearly secondary explosions causing a lot of the ammunition to to detonate.”

At the same time, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly accused Russia of “weaponizing food” as they targeted grain warehouses in various locations, including the port of Reni near the Romanian border. This escalation further complicates the ongoing tension surrounding the UN-brokered grain deal that Russia recently ended.

The grain deal facilitated the export of millions tons of grain from Ukraine, one of the world’s primary breadbaskets. With 10% of the world’s wheat, 13% of its barley, 15% of its corn, Ukraine accounts for a crucial component of the global food supply. Any disruption of its food-export system, now threatened by Russia’s termination of the grain deal, poses a direct threat to the food security of approximately 47 million people, according to the UN.

Responding to the fast-moving events in the war, the European Union issued a statement, saying, “The recent drone attacks in Moscow and the targeting of grain warehouses are deeply troubling. We call for an immediate ceasefire and a return to diplomatic negotiations to de-escalate tensions and find a resolution that respects the sovereignty of all nations involved.”