Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

A voluntary evacuation in the face of Ukrainian bombings | War in Ukraine

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Since the invasion, Moscow has strived to give the image that the conflict does not affect security Russians.

Agence France-Presse

The authorities of the Russian region of Belgrorod, bordering Ukraine and targeted by intensifying Ukrainian bombings, on Friday offered residents who wish to evacuate and invited them to secure their windows to protect themselves from shrapnel.

At the same time, the Ukrainian army has indicated that it cannot corroborate at this stage the ;use by Russia of North Korean missiles following accusations to this effect from the United States.

From today, we are ready to transport you to Stary Oskol and Gubkin [further from the border, Editor's note], where you will be in very comfortable conditions, in warm and safe rooms. You will stay there as long as necessary, the governor of the Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, announced on Telegram.

I see appeals on social networks, where people write: "We are afraid, help us to get to safety". Of course we will! We have already displaced several families, he said, referring to other evacuations in 2023 from smaller localities closer to the border.

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Firefighters put out burning cars after a bombing in Belgorod, Russia.

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This unprecedented measure for a large city in Russia is at odds with the efforts of the Kremlin, which has always strived to present the image for almost two years. ;invasion, that the conflict does not directly affect the daily lives and security of Russians.

This strategy was shattered on December 30 when 25 people lost their lives in Belgorod in a Ukrainian attack, the deadliest civilian death toll on Russian soil since the start of the assault on Moscow on February 24, 2022.

On Friday, Vyacheslav Gladkov also promised to call other Russian regions to the rescue if his own were to run out of place in reception centers.

A sign of growing concern, earlier in the day, the town of Belgorod had already called for the first time on its residents to secure their windows to protect themselves from possible shards of glass in the face of the Ukrainian bombings which are taking place. #x27;y multiply.

The day before, the regional authorities had announced to postpone the start of the school year from January 9 to 19 in the city and in some surrounding localities.

Hostilities further increased between Russians and Ukrainians at the turn of the new year, with an increase in particularly deadly strikes.

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Russian rockets are launched against Ukraine from Russia's Belgorod region, as seen from Kharkiv, Ukraine, July 16, 2023.

In retaliation for the unprecedented attack on Belgorod, Vladimir Putin had promised to intensify Russian strikes against military targets in Ukraine.

On the night of Thursday to Friday, Russia attacked its neighbor with 29 Shahed drones, according to the Ukrainian Air Force, which assured that it had shot down 21, without mentioning the damage caused by those who were slipped through the cracks.

Further south, the Ukrainian general prosecutor's office reported four wounded in a strike in Kherson, an almost daily target of Russian bombings .

In this context, municipal authorities in Kiev urged residents of the capital not to take part in mass events to celebrate Epiphany on Saturday.

The Russian Defense Ministry reported having detected and destroyed a Ukrainian Neptune missile over the Black Sea at midday.

To support its campaign of increased strikes, Russia used several missiles delivered by North Korea on December 30 in the Zaporizhia region (south) and on January 2, the United States accused on Thursday.

On Friday, the Ukrainian authorities, however, delayed: At this stage, we have no information on the use of such missiles, assured Air Force spokesperson Yuri Ignat.

The United States has made a statement to this effect, so experts will study the [missile] wreckage and then we will be able to say whether this is the case or not. I can't confirm yet, he added.

Russia has been making an accelerated rapprochement with North Korea since the start of the #x27;invasion of Ukraine.

In September 2023, Kim Jong-un went to the Extreme -Russian East where he met Russian President Vladimir Putin. A relationship that worries Washington, because Moscow could also, in exchange for ammunition, strengthen the North Korean regime to face the West and their Asian allies.

If no military agreement between the two countries under Western sanctions was announced at the time or since, North Korea is already suspected of having supplied the Russian army with more than a million artillery shells intended for operations in Ukraine.

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