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Ukraine War: Moscow Targeted by Drones, Medvedev Warns of ‘Armageddon’, Deadly Strike On Sumy

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Five Ukrainian drones were shot down on Tuesday near Moscow and its wider region, according to the Russian Defence Ministry. 

“This morning, an attempt by the Kyiv regime to carry out a terrorist act was prevented,” the ministry said in a statement. 

Four drones were destroyed by anti-aircraft defence near Moscow, while the fifth was neutralised by “electronic warfare means”, they added.

No casualties were reported in the Russian capital as all the drones were successfully thwarted, Moscow’s mayor Sergeu Sobianine wrote on Telegram. 

According to the emergency services, two drones were shot down near the village of Valouïevo, located on the outskirts of the capital. Another was knocked out near Koubinka in the Moscow region.

The attacks briefly disrupted the operation of Vnoukovo Moscow Airport, with several flights redirected elsewhere. 

Located more than 500 km from the Ukrainian border, Moscow has rarely been targeted by drone attacks since the start of the war, even if they have multiplied elsewhere in Russia.

Russia will ‘continue to resist’ sanctions, says Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country will remain strong in the face of “external pressure” and “sanctions”, during a virtual meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). 

“Russia is standing firm and will continue to resist external pressure, sanctions and provocations,” he said.

Putin thanked the SCO – a group that includes China and India – which expressed their “support” during the Wagner mutiny occurring at the end of June.

“The Russian people are as consolidated as ever”, he added. “The whole of Russian society… [had] united against the attempted armed mutiny” by the mercenary group.

NATO chief to lead alliance for another year

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg will stay in his post for another year, the 31-nation military alliance decided on Tuesday.

Stoltenberg said in a tweet he is “honoured by NATO Allies’ decision to extend my term as Secretary General until 1 October 2024.”

“The transatlantic bond between Europe and North America has ensured our freedom and security for nearly 75 years, and in a more dangerous world, our Alliance is more important than ever,” he said.

The former Norwegian prime minister has been NATO’s top civilian official since 2014. 

His term had been due to expire last year but was extended after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Medvedev warns of ‘Armageddon’

Former Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said “Armageddon” is probable if the West does not agree to negotiate with Russia over its Ukraine invasion.

Medvedev’s essay, published on July 3, echoed inflammatory Russian rhetoric towards Ukraine and the West, aimed at undermining support for Kyiv ahead of the upcoming NATO summit next week.

He reiterated his portrayal of the war in Ukraine as part of a broader existential conflict against the West, restating many of Putin’s pre-war demands.

Medvedev implied Russia is prepared to engage in this broader conflict for “decades” if these demands are not met, hinting at the probability of a nuclear war.

Prior to Medvedev’s writing, other senior Kremlin officials have made similar statements addressing Western states, organisations, and media ahead of significant international discussions about military, political, and economic support for Ukraine.

Russian drone strike on Sumy kills two people

At least two people were killed and 16 injured after an air raid in the city of Sumy on Monday, according to Ukrainian authorities.

The Sumy Regional Military Administration reported four Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones struck the city centre, damaging an office building and two apartment blocks.

“Based on this fact, criminal proceedings have been opened under Article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine – violation of laws and customs of war,” a police representative at the scene said.

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