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30 Dec, 2023 12:20

Children killed in Ukrainian attack on Russian border city

The barrage, which hit a residential area of Belgorod, has left many dead and injured
Children killed in Ukrainian attack on Russian border city

A Ukrainian strike on the Russian city of Belgorod has killed at least 14 people, including two children, and left over a hundred injured, the country’s Emergency Ministry said on Saturday.

The barrage was first reported by regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov, who said, citing preliminary data, that at least two of the casualties were children.

Writing on Telegram, the official said that the barrage had hit the center of the city, located about 40km from the Ukrainian border, although he did not provide details on what weapons had been used. He added that the attack had hit a residential sector.

Later, however, as the death toll continued to mount, the Emergency Ministry said that the Ukrainian attack had claimed the lives of 12 adults and two children. It noted that 108 people were injured, including 15 minors.

The Telegram channel Baza reported that two of the injured sustained their wounds after a Ukrainian shell fragment hit a car. According to the outlet, one shell fell directly on a downtown ice skating rink.

Baza also shared pictures from the scene of the attack, showing several vehicles burning in the parking lot, with plumes of black smoke rising into the air. Another photo showed a burning truck parked near a New Year’s tree.

Gladkov later declared that the threat of missile attacks remained and issued an alert to that effect, urging the city’s residents to seek shelter. The warning was echoed by local emergency services, who told residents to leave their homes and move to safe places. They also asked citizens to turn off electricity, gas and water before leaving.

RIA Novosti reported that authorities were blocking traffic from the city downtown and shared footage of several police cars lined across a street, with officers ordering oncoming vehicles to stop.

Another disturbing video shared by Baza appears to show the direct aftermath of the strike, with several people cowering on the ground and explosions and screams heard nearby.

Ukrainian forces routinely shell and launch drone attacks on Russian border regions, killing civilians and damaging infrastructure. In the early hours of Saturday, the Defense Ministry in Moscow said that Kiev had launched an attack on the Belgorod and neighboring Bryansk regions, adding that the Russian military had destroyed 13 projectiles over Belgorod Region. 

The local governor, however, said that one projectile nevertheless had hit a house in the city of Belgorod itself, killing one person and injuring four others, including one child.

The Ukrainian outlet RBK claimed, citing sources, that the Ukrainian missile attack orchestrated by security and defense forces on Belgorod had targeted Russian military installations in the area. It also described the barrage as retaliation to Moscow’s recent attacks on Ukrainian facilities.  

On Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry said that in recent days the military had conducted 50 “group” strikes and a single “massive” barrage using precision missiles and drones that had hit a wide range of military targets inside Ukraine.