After the successful Ukrainian offensive in Kharkiv region, the bloody war unleashed by Vladimir Putin has moved right to the doorstep of Russia itself, where military targets are being destroyed.
According to the Washington Post, officials in border cities are hastily trying to evacuate residents.
So, on Saturday, the Belgorod region again experienced the breath of war. One person died and two more were injured. Last Friday, Ukraine attacked the base of the Third Motorized Rifle Brigade near the town of Valuyki, located 14 kilometers from the Ukrainian border. Russian officials do not admit that the strike was on a military target. However, they claim that one local resident was killed during the shelling, and the local power grid was also damaged. Therefore, for some time people in the region were without electricity.
Russia blames Ukraine for the attacks. But Kyiv does not take responsibility for the destruction of targets in Russia. The Ukrainian government has assured the US that the transferred US weapons will not be used to strike targets on the Russian side of the border. But the Ukrainian army is now so close to the border that it will have enough of its own not so “advanced” weapons to destroy Russian targets.
The Russians began to feel the impact of the war acutely and directly. And this creates additional pressure on Vladimir Putin, who has just returned from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Uzbekistan. There, he had to face public criticism from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as well as uncomfortable questions about the war from Chinese leader Xi Jinping. The head of the Indian government surprised the public when he told Putin that “today's era” this is not the era of war, and I talked to you about it on the phone. These words came after the Russian president admitted that he had heard “concerns and questions” from the Chinese leader. about the war against Ukraine.
Valuyki and Krasny Khutor are among dozens of small settlements in Russia that the Russian army is using as a springboard for attacks against Ukraine. This placed them at the center of Moscow's invasion and Kyiv's increasingly powerful counteroffensive.
In recent months, by order of the Governor of the Belgorod Region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, hundreds of people have been evacuated in border towns and schools have been closed. But now the authorities in Belgorod have come under increasing pressure from disgruntled residents who are facing what many Ukrainians have been suffering for months now: nightly explosions, houses destroyed, and sometimes casualties.
«I ask again, where is our army, the one that should protect us? We are at the border. They are shooting at us. We need an army and protection. Wake up the President», – Tatyana Bogacheva from Belgorod wrote on Gladkov's VK page.
The Washington Post writes that Russian forces were exhausted after mistakes on the battlefield. Now Moscow is trying to recruit new soldiers and find working equipment in order to maintain its position in northeastern Ukraine. The recent hasty retreat from Izyum and Balakleya, as well as Russian fears that the war is now coming home, have led Moscow to send young conscripts to the border as reinforcements. In particular, Moscow sent conscripts from the First Taman Motorized Rifle Division, who were called up in the spring, to protect the state border.
Prepared by: Nina Petrovich