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Russia had a super-advanced air defense system within 300 meters of a drone attack in Moscow, but failed to shoot it down

Jul 26, 2023

  • A drone attack close to Russia's Defence Ministry on Monday left two buildings damaged.

  • But less than 300 meters away from the attack, Russia has an air defense system, Radio Liberty reported.

  • Satellite images show that the system was not activated on the morning of the attacks.

Russia had a super-advanced air defense system within 300 meters of a recent drone attack in Moscow — but failed to shoot it down, Radio Liberty reported.

Drones struck two non-residential buildings in the center of the Russian capital on Monday morning, according to Russian authorities, who said they had "thwarted" the attack.

The strike caused no casualties but damaged the buildings, causing debris to fall onto the street below, footage shows.

One of the broken buildings was located right next to Russia's Ministry of Defence, which has a Pantsir S-1 missile system placed on its roof, Radio Liberty reported, citing satellite images.

Related video: 2 Ukraine drones hit buildings in Moscow: Where is this war headed? (India Today)

The Pantsir S-1 missile system is a super-advanced, Russian-designed anti-aircraft system that can fire missiles that target any target in the air within 20 kilometers of it. This includes drones.

The system, which is located less than 300 meters away from the site of the attack, has been there since the end of 2022, the Ukrainian outlet Pravda reported.

The defense system was not activated on the morning of the attack, eyewitnesses told Radio Liberty.

It is unclear how exactly Russia thwarted the attack. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters that air defenses had worked successfully, according to Russian state-run media outlet TASS.

"All the drones have been neutralized today, and measures are being taken," Peskov said. "As for the development of the defense system, ensuring its more intensive work, this is a question for the Ministry of Defense."

In a statement on Monday, Russia's Foreign Affairs Ministry said it would take "tough retaliation measures' against Ukraine, the Ukrainian Pravda reported.

Ukraine has not formally accepted responsibility for the attack, though one unnamed intelligence official told CNN that Kyiv was behind it.

Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine's minister of digital transformation, noted on Telegram that the drone attacks demonstrated that Russia's air defenses are "less and less able to protect the skies of the invaders," adding that "there will be more" of them, CNN reported.

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