Russia shoots down drones over Moscow; Zelensky reinforces plea for long-range missiles

Russia shoots down drones over Moscow; Zelensky reinforces plea for long-range missiles
Police officers inspect a damaged building in the Moscow business centre after a reported drone attack on 1 August 2023. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Yuri Kochetkov)

The World Health Organization cited a ‘grave violation’ after a Russian strike killed a doctor at a medical facility in the southern city of Kherson. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, meanwhile, reinforced a plea for long-range missiles, saying that a missile strike on his hometown of Kryvyi Rih that killed six — including a child and her mother — originated in occupied Crimea.

Russia shot down two Ukrainian drones over the Moscow region and jammed a third, part of an intensifying campaign against Kremlin targets in recent days that’s having a bigger impact in Ukraine’s occupied south.

The jammed drone in Moscow crashed into the 21st floor of the same office tower in a commercial district that was struck two days ago, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Telegram. A Ukrainian drone and missile campaign has mostly focused on logistics lines, command and control posts and other military sites.

Latest developments




Ukraine summons Polish envoy, showing cracks in wartime alliance

Ukraine summoned Poland’s ambassador in Kyiv to protest about comments by a senior official who said the war-battered nation should be “grateful” for the assistance it’s received.

The comments, made by presidential adviser Marcin Przydacz to a public broadcaster on Monday, were part of a defence of Poland’s decision earlier this year to ban Ukrainian grain imports in response to plummeting prices.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said Poland’s ambassador, Bartosz Cichocki, was told that the comments were “not acceptable”.

The episode lays bare cracks in an alliance between Kyiv and Warsaw that’s otherwise flourished since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with Poland at the forefront of European allies calling for weapons deliveries to help Ukraine’s military campaign against the Kremlin.

But Poland’s surprise decision in April to impose restrictions on grain imports — a response to weeks of demonstrations by Polish farmers decrying a glut — prompted protests from Kyiv. Przydacz defended the decision as part of a duty to protect Polish farmers and suggested that Ukraine should be happy with the support it has.

“Ukraine should be grateful for having received significant support from Poland,” Przydacz told TVP1.

Russia’s seaborne crude flows slump to lowest since January

Russia’s seaborne crude flows in the four weeks to 20 July fell to the lowest since early January, shortly after a European Union import ban and a wider price cap on the country’s exports came into effect.

Four-week average shipments dropped to 2.98 million barrels a day, the smallest since the 28-day period ending on 8 January and down by more than 900,000 barrels a day from the peak seen in mid-May. More volatile weekly flows rose, with record-equalling shipments from the Arctic.

As overseas shipments fell, more crude was processed in Russia’s refineries in July, with several plants completing major maintenance.

The figures support the notion that Moscow is honouring a pledge to keep supply off the global market alongside its allies in the Opec+ producer coalition. Russia initially said that it would cut oil production in retaliation for Western sanctions and price caps on its oil imposed after the invasion of Ukraine, using February as a baseline. But seaborne flows continued to rise, only dropping significantly in the past few weeks.




Russia says Ukrainian drone hit Moscow tower again in attack

Russia’s Defence Ministry said it shot down two Ukrainian drones over the Moscow region early on Tuesday and electronically jammed a third one which crashed into the same office tower in Moscow’s commercial district that was hit two days ago.

While there were no reports of injuries in the attack, the jammed drone damaged the facade of the building on the 21st floor, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Telegram. This floor is occupied by the Economy Ministry.

Ukraine hasn’t commented. It was the third drone attack on the Russian capital in just over a week, following strikes that damaged the tower in the Moscow City business district on Sunday and the downing of two unmanned aircraft that crashed into buildings on 24 July.

Russian authorities briefly closed Vnukovo airport in southwest Moscow for the third time in a month in response to Tuesday’s incident, before later resuming regular operations. DM


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