The Belgorod region in Russia has experienced another attack from across the Ukrainian border, with at least eight individuals reportedly injured due to shelling. Russia’s defence ministry also claimed that it had prevented further attempts by Ukraine to “invade” the region. While Kyiv has not commented on these allegations, it has denied any involvement in previous cross-border attacks.
This incident occurs over a week after one of the most significant cross-border raids since the conflict began. Belgorod’s governor, Vyacheslav Gladkov, stated that Ukraine’s armed forces shelled several districts on Thursday, causing damage to buildings. Although there have been no reported fatalities, Gladkov mentioned that hundreds of families would be evacuated once the situation stabilised.
Gladkov also revealed that school exams in Shebekino had been cancelled due to the attacks, and authorities were currently working on alternative methods for students to secure university placements without taking the exams. Additionally, an explosion occurred in Belgorod city, believed to have been caused by a drone, resulting in injuries to two individuals.
Russia’s defence ministry has asserted that its servicemen in the region “repelled three attacks by Ukrainian terrorist groups”, inflicting “significant losses” and driving them back. However, there have been conflicting reports regarding the violence on the border. BBC Verify has seen videos from two pro-Ukrainian paramilitary groups announcing raids into Russian territory. Local officials have denied reports of a Ukrainian troop breakthrough in Shebekino, but they have acknowledged that the situation remains challenging and that the “shelling is ongoing”.
In recent weeks, there have been multiple attacks inside Russia. Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of attempting to intimidate Russians following drone attacks in Moscow. Kyiv has denied any involvement in these attacks.
In a separate incident, three individuals, including an 11-year-old girl, have died during an attack on Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. This marks the fourth attack on the city this week and follows 17 strikes on Kyiv throughout May. These events transpire as Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, reiterated his call for Ukraine to join NATO and the EU. Zelensky was visiting Moldova for the European Political Community summit, where he met European Commission President Ursula von Der Leyen. He stated that their discussions revolved around security guarantees for Ukraine while it awaits NATO membership.
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