Ukraine continues missile strikes on Russian city
Ukrainian rocket artillery has launched another “indiscriminate” attack on Belgorod, local authorities confirmed shortly after midnight on Friday. Residents have been warned to shelter in place.
Warning sirens went off just before midnight as air defenses detected and engaged incoming missiles, shooting down ten incoming rockets on approach to the city, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said. According to the official, two civilians have been taken to local hospitals with shrapnel injuries.
Local residents were warned to stay indoors and away from windows if possible.
Videos posted on social media showed cars damaged by debris and on fire. Gladkov said that several buildings had their windows shattered by an explosion, and that more than 30 cars were damaged.
The mayor of Belgorod, Valentin Demidov, said that at least 130 windows had been shattered in the attack, sharing multiple photos of the aftermath. With outside temperatures below -10 degrees Celsius (14 Fahrenheit), the emergency services worked overnight to urgently restore the thermal envelope of the affected flats, the official added.
Friday’s attack marked the seventh consecutive day of Ukrainian attacks on Belgorod, which is some 40km from the border. A rocket attack on New year's even hit the city's main square, killing dozens – including children – and wounding 100 more.
Although Ukrainian forces have been striking civilians in Russia’s border regions for months, the December 30 attack was the worst of its kind since the start of the conflict. Moscow has accused the US and the UK of helping plan the strike. A security source told RT that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky personally ordered the massacre, and that it was carried out by the neo-Nazi ‘Kraken’ unit based in Kharkov, with the involvement of military intelligence chief Kirill Budanov.
Russia has responded with drone and missile strikes on Ukrainian military industry facilities, repair shops and ammunition warehouses, including depots loaded with weapons donated to Kiev by the US and its allies.