Two dead in a strike on the Russian region of Belgorod, bordering Ukraine
Sergei Supinsky Agence France-Presse Residents of Kiev seek refuge in an underground shelter due to a Russian strike on June 1.
Two civilians were killed and two wounded Friday in a bombardment on the Russian region of Belgorod, bordering Ukraine, where the capital Kiev suffered a sixth wave of strikes in six days.
The Belgorod region has been targeted for several days by strikes of an unprecedented intensity on Russian territory since the start of the conflict in Ukraine last year.
On Friday, the regional governor affirmed that shells fired by Ukrainian forces had crashed on a road near the town of Chebekino, located about ten kilometers from Ukraine and frequently shelled.
“Shrapnel hit cars who were passing. In one of them, two women […] died on the spot of their injuries,” Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on Telegram.
Two men were injured in another vehicle and are hospitalized in serious condition, Gladkov said, adding that other localities had been hit by gunfire which caused material damage but no casualties.
The strikes on Belgorod have intensified in recent days, as Kiev says it is preparing to launch a major offensive against the areas captured by the forces Russians in Ukraine.
On Thursday, the Russian army claimed to have repelled with its artillery and air force a Ukrainian attempt to “invade” Belgorod, a week after a spectacular incursion by armed men which shocked Russia.
These attacks on Russian soil were claimed by groups of Russian volunteers fighting for Kiev and the Ukrainian authorities have denied any involvement.
Faced with this rain of gunfire, residents of the Belgorod region, particularly the town of Chebekino, which had 40,000 residents before the conflict, fled and were received in temporary reception centres.
Governor Gladkov said on Friday that more than 2,500 people had already taken in temporary accommodation centers in the region, including in the regional capital, also called Belgorod.
Early Friday, several Ukrainian drones were also shot down near Kursk, another Russian city near Ukraine, according to the region's governor, who asked residents to “stay calm”.
Kiev still targeted
In Ukraine, the capital Kiev was targeted by a new wave of explosive drones and missiles on Friday at dawn, said its mayor Vitali Klitschko, specifying that there were no casualties to report. This is the sixth attack on the Ukrainian capital in as many days.
“Tonight the enemy used 15 cruise missiles and 18 Iranian 'Shahed' attack drones for strikes — all of these air targets were destroyed by our defenders,” the Ukrainian military said on Facebook.
“During the past day, the enemy launched 12 missile strikes using ten “Iskander” type ballistic and cruise missiles on Kiev (destroyed by our defenders) and two anti-aircraft guided missiles S- 300 on Kharkiv,” she said.
Russia has been stepping up drone and missile attacks on Kiev since early May, often at night, a tactic denounced by Ukraine as aimed at terrorizing the civilian population.
Thursday morning, at least three people, including a child, were killed in Kiev during one of these attacks.
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