Eight injured in Ukrainian air attack on Belgorod as Russia prepares to mark Victory Day

Firefighters at the scene of an air strike on the city of Belgorod, Russia,  9 May 2024. Photo: Vyacheslav Gladkov

Firefighters at the scene of an air strike on the city of Belgorod, Russia,  9 May 2024. Photo: Vyacheslav Gladkov

At least eight people were injured in the western Russian city of Belgorod as Ukraine launched an air strike on the region in the early hours of Thursday morning, Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on Telegram.

Gladkov reported that five people, including an 11-year-old girl, had been hospitalised due to shrapnel wounds received in the attack, which he said had damaged at least 19 buildings.

Belgorod Mayor Valentin Demidov said that the attack had targeted a residential area of the city and that there had been “direct hits” on residential buildings, with emergency services working at the scene to assess the scale of the damage.

Russia’s Defence Ministry said that it had downed 15 missiles and one drone over the Belgorod region in response to what it called Ukrainian “terrorist attacks”, but did not say how many missiles had been launched in total.

The authorities in other Russian regions also reported Ukrainian attacks overnight, with emergency services in the southern Krasnodar region saying that a fire had broken out at an oil depot in the village of Yurovka due to debris falling from six downed drones.

Regional governors also said that two drones had been downed over the Bryansk region and three over the neighbouring Kursk region, both of which also border Ukraine.

The attacks come as Russia gears up to celebrate Victory Day, with events scheduled across the country to commemorate the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.

In April, authorities announced that the nationwide Immortal Regiment procession, in which people march with photos of their ancestors who fought in World War II, would be cancelled for the second year running due to “security concerns”.

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