Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu says Moscow has intensified attacks on Ukraine in response to drone strikes on his country’s territory, including those in Moscow on Sunday.
“The intensity of attacks on Ukrainian military facilities, including those supporting these terrorist attacks, has been increased several times,” he said Monday.
Speaking during a conference call with Russian Armed Forces leadership, Shoigu said that "additional measures" had been taken to protect domestic targets.
The Russian defense minister also alleged that attempted drone attacks by Kyiv were carried out to deflect from what he said was Ukraine’s lack of success on the battlefield.
“Obviously, the supplied Western weapons do not lead to success on the battlefield, but only prolong the military conflict,” he claimed. “Against the backdrop of an unsuccessful so-called counteroffensive, the Kyiv regime - with the support of Western sponsors - focused on carrying out terrorist attacks on civilian infrastructure in the cities and towns of the Russian Federation.”
Some context: No casualties were reported in the attempted Moscow drone strikes over the weekend. However, Russian bombardments in Ukraine have struck civilian homes, schools, hospitals, churches and power plants, killing thousands of bystanders in the process.
Ukraine's counteroffensive has gone slower than expected, with Russian troops putting up tough resistance as Ukrainian soldiers attempt to break through the front lines.
Since the counteroffensive started, 204.7 square kilometers (79 square miles) have been retaken, of which 12.6 square kilometers (5 square miles) were retaken over the past week, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said Monday.