Jul 03, 2022 15:39 UTC
  • 3 killed, buildings damaged in Russian city; Moscow blames Ukraine

At least three people have reportedly been killed and dozens of residential buildings damaged in a missile strike in a Russian border city as Moscow blames Kiev for the attack.

Eleven apartment buildings and nearly 40 private houses were damaged in Belgorod, situated some 40 kilometers north of the border with Ukraine, said Vyacheslav Gladkov, the governor, on Sunday. He added that at least four people were injured, including a 10-year-old boy.

“The sound was so strong that I jumped up, I woke up, got very scared and started screaming. All the windows in our house were shattered,” Reuters quoted a resident of the city as saying. The explosions occurred about 3 a.m. local time.

The Kremlin says Ukraine carried out the missile attack on Belgorod, home to nearly 400,000 people.

“I emphasize that this missile attack had been intentionally planned and was launched at the civilian population of Russian cities,” said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.

Kiev has not commented on the allegation.

Furthermore, Konashenkov said Russian air defenses had managed to destroy three Tochka-U missiles. However, remains of one of them hit residential buildings, he added.

The Russian official said air defenses further destroyed explosives-laden Ukrainian drones approaching Kursk, another city in southern Russia.

Since the onset of Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24, there have been many reports of missile attacks on Belgorod and other border regions of Russia. Moscow insists Kiev has carried out such strikes.

The Ukrainian government has not claimed responsibility but has termed the incidents at Russia’s weapons stores and other sites “karma” for Moscow’s war in Ukraine.