At least 14 people, including two children, have been killed and 108 injured following a Ukrainian attack on the centre of the Russian provincial capital of Belgorod, the Russian Emergencies Ministry has said.
Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on Saturday that the attack on Belgorod, about 30km (19 miles) from the border with Ukraine, had hit a residential area. In a Telegram post, he urged all residents to move to air raid shelters as sirens sounded.
Belgorod borders Ukraine’s Luhansk, Sumy and Kharkiv regions, some of which were hit by Russian air raids on Ukraine on Friday, in what was one of the deadliest attacks since the war began in February 2022. The death toll has risen to 39 from those attacks.
Belgorod is about 600km (373 miles) from the Russian capital, Moscow, and has been a front-line region, serving as a vital base for the Kremlin’s armed forces to launch attacks towards Ukraine.
Russia’s Defence Ministry said in a statement the attack would “not go unpunished”.
The ministry said its anti-aircraft units had destroyed 13 Ukrainian rockets over the Belgorod region on Friday.
And Russian forces shot down 32 Ukrainian drones across the country, Moscow officials said earlier on Saturday.
Drones were seen in the skies over Moscow, Bryansk, Oryol, and Kursk regions, the ministry said in a statement. All the drones had been destroyed by air defences, it added.
Cities across western Russia have come under regular attack from drones since May, with Russian officials blaming Kyiv.