Support Us

Putin downplays drone attack on Moscow: ISW explains why

Wednesday, 31 May 2023, 05:55
Putin downplays drone attack on Moscow: ISW explains why
Vladimir Putin. Photo by KREMLIN.RU

Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to minimise the drone strike on Moscow in order to conceal his limited options for retaliation against Ukraine, analysts of the Institute for the Study of War state.

Source: ISW report

Details: While reacting to the Moscow drone attack, Putin claimed that Russian forces managed to hit the Ukrainian military intelligence headquarters "two [to] three days ago" and said that striking Ukrainian military infrastructure is Russian Armed Forces’ way of responding to Ukraine’s "war against Donbas".


The Russian president insinuated that the drone strike on Moscow was pay-back from Kyiv for the attacks carried out by Russia, and the Russian Defence Ministry alleged on 30 May that Russian forces carried out "a group of strikes with long-range high-precision air-launched weapons at main decision-making centres" in Ukraine.

Quote from: "The Russian MoD did not claim that it had struck the Ukrainian military intelligence headquarters recently, and there is no available confirmation of Putin’s claim.

Putin stated that Ukraine is trying to provoke a response and make Russia "mirror" its actions.

Putin’s emphasis on past and ongoing missile strikes is likely an attempt to signal that Russia is already actively retaliating and does not need to respond to further Ukrainian provocations."

More details: The ISW draws attention to Putin’s statement that, while the Moscow air defence systems "worked normally," Russia still needs to "work" on improving these systems.

The ISW considers this statement a "notable attempt to pre-empt criticism from Russian ultra-nationalists", who have in the past voiced criticism, saying that Russian air defence systems are ineffective, both in Moscow and in the regions of Russia along the Ukrainian border.


  • According to various reports from Russian media, 25 to 32 drones attacked Moscow on the night of 29-30 May, damaging at least two multi-storey residential buildings, and most of the drones were reportedly shot down near the Russian capital.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow's air defences were "operated properly" during the 30 May drone attack, but "there is still room for improvement".
  • Vyorstka, a Russian media outlet, mapped the locations of the drone attacks in Moscow, including the areas of drone strikes and the points where explosions were reported.

Journalists fight on their own frontline. Support Ukrainska Pravda or become our patron!