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Zelenskiy warns ‘war’ coming to Russia after drone attack closes Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy (President Of Ukraine/WikiCommons)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has warned that it was “inevitable” that “war” would come to Russia after authorities there were forced to temporarily close a busy Moscow airport following an overnight drone attack on the capital.

“Gradually, the war is returning to the territory of Russia — to its symbolic centers and military bases. And this is an inevitable, natural, and absolutely fair process,” Zelenskiy said on July 30 during a visit to the city of Ivano-Frankivsk — which, although in western Ukraine, has been hit by Russian missile fire in the past.

Zelenskiy also warned Ukrainians that they must be prepared for further Russian attacks on the country’s infrastructure and to prepare now for the winter months.

“Ukraine is getting stronger,” he said. “But we must be aware that, just as last year, Russian terrorists can still attack our energy sector and critical facilities this winter.”

Russian officials said three Ukrainian drones attacked Moscow early on July 30, injuring a security guard and forcing the temporary suspension of traffic at Vnukovo airport, one of four major facilities serving the capital.

Russia’s Defense Ministry called it an “attempted terrorist attack” and claimed that one drone had been shot down and two others jammed, leading them to crash into Moscow’s prestigious Moskva-Citi business complex.

Russia’s state-controlled RIA Novosti agency published images showing damage to an office tower in the business district.

The reports could not be independently verified.

A spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force said in Kyiv on July 30 that “there is always something flying in Russia, and in Moscow in particular.”

“Something is coming, and loudly,” Yuriy Ihnat added. “No matter that the Russian authorities would like to close their eyes and say they have shot down everything…. There is no point in talking about peace in the Russian hinterland.”

It was the fourth time this month that Moscow has been targeted by drone attacks.

Local Russian Telegram channels said late on July 30 that a drone strike hit near the southwestern Russian city of Taganrog, causing a fire but no injuries. The reports could not immediately be confirmed.

Also unconfirmed was a report in the Ukrainian media of a late-night explosion in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, near the front lines of the war.

Meanwhile, Kyiv said its counteroffensive in southern and eastern Ukraine was proceeding with some success.

Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar wrote on Telegram on July 30 that Kyiv’s forces were “slowly, but surely advancing” in the direction of Berdyansk and Melitopol in the southern Zaporizhzhya region.

“Fighting continues in all directions of the offensive,” Malyar wrote.

Ukraine’s military said on July 30 that the Chonar Bridge, which links Crimea with the occupied part of the Kherson region, was damaged in an attack the previous day.

The Russian occupation authorities in Kherson also reported Ukrainian missile strikes targeting railroad supply lines in the region, claiming the attacks had been repulsed.

The Russian Defense Ministry also said that “25 drones” attacked unspecified targets in Crimea, adding that all were destroyed or disabled.

Crimea, which has been occupied by Russia since 2014, is the base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet and vital supply link between Russia and the Russian-occupied parts of southern Ukraine.

Ukraine’s General Staff reported 36 combat clashes during the July 29-30 period.

Local authorities in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Sumy reported on July 30 that one civilian had been killed and at least 17 injured in a Russian rocket attack the previous evening. The attack damaged a residential building and a school.