An alleged drone strike attempt on Moscow forced authorities to suspend traffic to four major airports in the Russian capital on Friday, according to the country’s civil aviation authority, Rosaviatsiya.
“This morning, August 18, 2023, in order to ensure the safety of civil aircraft flights, flights to Moscow airports: Vnukovo, Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo were temporarily restricted. Also to Zhukovsky airport,” Rosaviatsiya said on its Telegram channel.
Russia blamed Ukraine for Friday’s attempted drone strike on Moscow, calling it a “terrorist attack.”
“On 18 August at around 04:00 Moscow time, the Kiev regime launched another terrorist attack using a drone against facilities in Moscow and Moscow region,” Russia's defense ministry said in a statement on Friday.
“The UAV, after being hit by air defense systems, changed its flight trajectory and fell on a non-residential building near Krasnopresnenskaya Embankment in Moscow.”
“There were no casualties or fires,” it added.
During the suspension, seven flights were diverted to alternative locations: three to Nizhny Novgorod, three to St Petersburg and one to Minsk, in Belarus.
Restrictions on air travel have since been lifted and “Vnukovo, Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo and Zhukovsky airports are operating normally,” Rosaviatsiya also said.