Another Russian region comes under Ukrainian fire – governor
Another Russian village located near the border with Ukraine was shelled on Thursday, Vyacheslav Gladkov, the governor of the Belgorod Region, has claimed. Earlier on Thursday it was reported that two Ukrainian helicopters were responsible for an attack on the border village of Klimovo in Bryansk Region, and in a separate incident a border crossing some 40km southwest of Klimovo was shelled.
The village of Spodaryushino in Belgorod Region was also targeted, Gladkov wrote on Telegram. “There are no injuries or fatalities among the civilian population,” he said, adding that damage to property was also avoided.
The residents of Spodaryushino and the nearby village of Bezymeno have been evacuated to safety, while additional security personnel were deployed at both locations, according to the governor.
It was the second reported attack on Russian territory from Ukraine on Thursday. Earlier in the day, seven people, including a pregnant woman and a child, were injured in an apparent airstrike on the village of Klimovo in Bryansk Region, some 10km north of the border.
According to Moscow, the civilians were targeted by two Ukrainian helicopters, which had violated the country’s airspace.
On Wednesday, the Russian Defense Ministry warned that it would intensify military action in the neighboring country and even target “decision-making centers” in Kiev if Ukraine continues with its cross-border attacks.
Russia launched a large-scale offensive in Ukraine in late February, following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered Minsk Protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.