The Russian reaction and the accusations against Ukraine. The elite Rublyovka neighborhood, ‘millionaires’ zoo’, has been hit
Moscow “reserves the right to take the toughest possible measures” in response to the “terrorist attacks of the Kiev regime”. This is what the Russian Foreign Ministry said after this morning’s drone attacks on the Rublyovka district, the residential area of the Russian elites. The goal of what President Vladimir Putin called a ”terrorist attack” on Moscow was to try to “provoke” and “frighten” Russia. The air defenses in the Russian capital have worked well, but, the Kremlin leader has promised, they will be strengthened. “We hit the military intelligence headquarters of Ukraine two or three days ago. The target is within the range of headquarters and decision-making centers that can be hit.”
The attack was directed “against civilian targets,” Putin said, threatening retaliation and saying that Ukrainian citizens should understand that their government is pushing Russia to take measures in response.
This morning at least three drones flew over the exclusive residential district of Rublyovka, where the residence of President Putin of Novo Ogarevo and that of the number two of the National Security Council, Dmitry Medevedv, are also located. The drones, Moscow said, were shot down like others over four other areas of the Moscow region.
The attack caused minor damage and some injuries. Among the buildings affected, an apartment building on Profsoyuznaya street, where the top floors were damaged, the facade and several windows were broken, with the residents of the top three floors evacuated. Another building at 11 Atlasov Street in the New Moscow residential district had its facade and windows smashed. A building on Leninsky Street was also hit, possibly after a drone was shot down.
Dozhd TV reported that explosions were heard in the suburban residential districts of Odintsovo and Krasnogorsk and around the Novorizhskoe and Rublyovskoe highways, named after the exclusive neighborhood where Russia’s political and economic elite live. According to the Telegram Baza channel, 25 drones were involved in the attack. Instead, the Defense Ministry spoke of only eight drones, all of which it says were intercepted.
MOSCOW’S REACTION: ALLEGATIONS IN KIEV, WHICH DENIAL
“This morning, the Kiev regime conducted a terrorist attack in the Moscow region. Against civilian targets.” This was stated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Shoigu, speaking on Russian television, after the drone attack in Moscow today.
Drones over Moscow, Prigozhin: “Strike the houses of the Russian military elite, let them burn”
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu says Moscow is monitoring increased shipments of Western weapons to Ukraine and is targeting its depots. Western countries “are increasing the supply of weapons to Ukraine. We monitor the volume and route of supplies, and when we spot it, we strike. In recent days, large Western arms depots in Khmelnitsky, Ternopol and Nikolayev have been wiped out and a Patriot anti-missile system was hit in Kiev,” Shoigu said on a conference call, Tass reported. According to Shoigu, Western countries are pressing Kiev to launch a full-scale counter-offensive despite, he claims, Ukraine has suffered significant soldier losses.
The Ukrainian government has however denied any responsibility, but has argued that these raids will “increase” in the future. “Regarding the attacks: obviously we are happy with what we have seen and expect the number of raids to increase,” Mykhailo Podolyak, head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office, said in an interview with local media. “Obviously we have nothing directly to do with this,” he added. The Russian Defense Ministry blamed Kiev for the “terrorist” attack on Moscow with eight drones.
RUBLYOVKA, ‘MILLIONaireS’ ZOO’ STRIKED
Ivan the Terrible hunted here, and after Peter I, sixteen families of princes settled here. In the 19th century, when the aristocracy had settled there, “French or English were spoken in the houses and Russian was the language of the servants which the gentlemen often did not understand”. In the twentieth century, there were dachas and residences of members of the Central Committee and the nomenklatura, starting with Trozky who immediately after the October Revolution took up residence in the palace of the princes Yusupov. The cellist Rostropovich lived there and hosted the writer Aleksandr Solgenitsyn in the outbuilding of his residence before his exile. Boris Yeltsin the president lived there. In the 2000s, the villas of the oligarchs began to be built.
Here is the story of the Rublyovka district, which today at least three drones flew over shortly before being shot down, summarized in a few lines, an area of ancient woods that extends around the Rublyovo-Uspenskoe highway. The oligarchs have come and gone. But the area remains the most exclusive in the capital.
“In Moscow, the millionaires’ zoo is called Rublyovka. No trips around here. You can’t see the villas anyway, beyond the very high enclosure walls”, wrote Valerij Panjuskin, in the book Rublyovka, published in 2013 (in Italy the following year by E/O with the title “Putin’s Olympus”). An area in the shape of a “cucumber twenty kilometers long and a dozen wide”. And when the motorcades of the President or the Premier pass by, the luxury cars that usually travel that stretch of highway remain patiently stationary for 40 minutes.