Five people killed in Belgorod region apartment building collapse

Photo: the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations

Photo: the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations

Five people were killed and another six were injured after an apartment building collapsed in the town of Shebekino in Russia’s Belgorod region near the Ukrainian border on Friday, Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on Saturday.

While Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov blamed the building’s collapse on the “indiscriminate shelling of civilian infrastructure by the Ukrainian army” on Friday, military expert Yan Matveyev stressed on his Telegram channel that it was impossible to determine the cause of the collapse without a video of the explosion.

The Belgorod region has been regularly struck by glide bombs from Russia’s own aircraft. One such incident was even confirmed by the Russian Defence Ministry in April 2023.

Russian independent media outlet Vot Tak estimated in May that up to 60 Russian bombs may have been accidentally dropped on the Belgorod region over the past year. According to Belgorod-focused media outlet Pepel, this could be due to Russian jets launching glide bombs at targets in Ukraine from the Belgorod region to avoid carrying out sorties over Ukrainian territory, some of which fail to reach their target.

Belgorod, which is just 40 kilometres from the Ukrainian border, has borne the brunt of Ukrainian airstrikes on Russian territory since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. On 12 May, an apartment building in the city collapsed killing 17 people, an incident that the Russian Defence Ministry said was caused by falling debris from a downed Ukrainian Tochka U missile.

Ukraine has not commented on the Shebekino building collapse.

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