Moscow bans use of drones

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The Russian capital’s mayor, Sergey Sobyanin, said on Wednesday that the unlawful use of drones is now prohibited. The measure was enacted immediately after an unsuccessful Ukrainian attempt to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to target Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin home.

Sobyanin announced on Telegram that flying UAVs in the Russian capital would be outlawed beginning today, with an exemption granted for drones used with the authorities’ license.

“This decision was made to prevent unauthorized use of UAVs, which could impede law enforcement agencies’ work,” the mayor added, reminding his audience that anyone who violates this rule faces administrative and criminal penalties.

The announcement came as the Kremlin press office stated that Kiev forces attempted to strike Putin’s house with two drones overnight. The Russian leader was not harmed by what the service called a “terrorist act,” since the UAVs were deactivated by electronic warfare procedures. It was also said that the drones did not cause any further casualties or damage.

Since the conflict began more than a year ago, Kiev forces have used drones to assault Russian civilian and military infrastructure facilities, including those located far from the countries’ borders.

Ukraine claimed responsibility for an attack on an oil terminal in the Crimean city of Sevastopol in late April, which destroyed four oil tanks, according to local authorities. Kiev declared at the time that the attack was intended to lay the groundwork for the much-touted Ukrainian spring counteroffensive.

In the same month, Russian media reported that a drone, purportedly of Ukrainian design and carrying approximately 17kg of explosives, crashed near Moscow after running out of fuel.