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3 Jan, 2024 14:52

EU justifies Ukrainian attacks on Russian civilians

Ukraine has the right to defend itself, a bloc representative said when asked about Kiev’s attacks on Belgorod
EU justifies Ukrainian attacks on Russian civilians

Kiev has the right to defend itself against Moscow, EU spokesman on foreign affairs Peter Stano has told TASS. The Russian news agency contacted Stano for a comment on recent attacks on the Russian city of Belgorod which resulted in over two dozen civilian casualties.

The official largely evaded the agency’s question about the bloc’s stance on the Belgorod attacks; Kiev reportedly used weaponry supplied and paid for under the so-called European Peace Facility, a war chest fund used almost exclusively to bankroll the Ukrainian conflict.

“In general, Ukraine has the legal right to defend itself from… aggression,” Stano told TASS on Wednesday.

“Regarding the specific incident in Belgorod, no information that comes from Russia can be considered trustworthy,” the spokesman added, accusing Moscow of “constant lies, manipulation and propaganda.”

The remarks provoked a sarcastic reaction from Stano’s Russian counterpart, Maria Zakharova, who suggested that the official’s take on the Belgorod attacks was actually a perfect illustration of the so-called “rules-based world order” propagated by the West.

“Western countries have legalized lawlessness and come up with a name for it – the ‘rules-based world order,’” the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman told TASS when reached for comment about Stano’s take on Belgorod.

Belgorod Region, like other Russian federal subjects bordering Ukraine, has repeatedly been subject to drone, missile, and artillery attacks amid the ongoing conflict. The strikes have repeatedly inflicted material damage and caused civilian casualties in the affected regions.

The attacks on the border regions have intensified in recent days, with the deadliest one occurring last Saturday, when the city of Belgorod was hit by heavy multiple rocket launchers. The attack caused widespread destruction across the city; multiple public facilities and residential buildings were damaged. The strikes claimed the lives of at least 25 civilians, including five children, while more than 100 were wounded, according to local authorities.

Ukrainian forces have continued their efforts to strike the city over the past few days, with the Russian troops intercepting multiple incoming projectiles. Earlier on Wednesday, the Russian military said it had shot down multiple Tochka-U tactical ballistic missiles and Olkha rockets heading for the region.