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15 Feb, 2024 10:50

Infant among victims of deadly Ukrainian strike on Belgorod – authorities

The attack on the Russian border city has left at least six dead and 19 injured, including children, the region’s governor has said
Infant among victims of deadly Ukrainian strike on Belgorod – authorities

Six people have been killed and many others injured in a Ukrainian missile strike on the Russian border city of Belgorod, Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov has said. Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry is claiming to have shot down more than a dozen Ukrainian projectiles over the region.

In an initial post on Telegram on Thursday, Gladkov said, citing early reports, that five people, including one child, had been killed in the attack and that at least 18 others had been injured, including five children. He added that the wounded were brought to hospitals and received all necessary care.

Later, Gladkov and the Ministry of Health updated the death toll from the missile strike, saying six persons had been killed. The governor said that the latest deceased was a man who died on the operating table despite surgeons’ best efforts.

He added that the deceased child was a one-year-old girl, while Marina Akhmedova, a member of Russia’s Presidential Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights said she was four months old and shared a photo of the infant’s pram.

Gladkov said that 19 injured, including four children, have been hospitalized and that six of the wounded are in serious condition, with another nine in a moderately grave state. He also noted that the Russian Ministry of Health had dispatched medics from other cities to Belgorod.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that just after noon local time on Thursday, Moscow’s forces intercepted 14 projectiles launched from a RM-70 Vampire multiple-launch rocket system over Belgorod Region.

Photos and videos from the scene, which have been circulating online, show a heavily damaged building in the mall cordoned off by local law enforcement and its windows shattered. Clips shared on the Mash Telegram channel also show ambulances arriving at the stadium, with medics tending to an apparently injured person.

Another video shared by local Telegram channels appears to depict the moment of the Ukrainian attack on the shopping mall, with a powerful explosion heavily damaging the entrance.

Earlier in the day, the governor had announced a region-wide missile alert, urging residents to seek shelter and those who are inside buildings to stay away from windows.

Russian border regions, including Belgorod, have come under recurring Ukrainian missile and drone strikes in recent months. One of the deadliest of these hit Belgorod in late December, killing 25 people and injuring more than 100. Russian President Vladimir Putin at the time called the attack a “terrorist act,” vowing to respond by targeting Kiev’s military installations. He stressed, however, that Moscow does not plan to retaliate in kind by attacking civilians.