Shelling kills two in Russian border region


Ukrainian shelling killed two people near Russia’s border city of Belgorod on Monday, bringing the total number of dead in the region since last week to 13, authorities said.

Attacks on Russian territory intensified in the run up to weekend elections that extended President Vladimir Putin’s rule into the 2030s.

“After air defences repelled an air attack by the Ukrainian army, two people were killed and four injured in the village of Nikolskoye,” Belgorod governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said.

“A 17-year-old and a man died of their wounds on the spot before the ambulance arrived. Our rescuers pulled a little girl from under the rubble of the same house,” he said.

Combined with previous figures released by Belgorod’s health authorities, at least 13 people have been killed across the region since last Tuesday.

The attacks have drawn anger and frustration from the Kremlin, which has been keen to downplay the impacts of its offensive in Ukraine on the Russian population.

Russia’s border regions were last week targeted by a series of brazen cross-border raids by pro-Ukrainian militias, who claimed to have seized control of a village.

In a press conference after his re-election victory, Putin said he was considering creating a “sanitary zone” in Ukrainian territory adjoining Belgorod to prevent further attacks.

“I do not rule out that, bearing in mind the tragic events taking place today, we will be forced at some point, when we deem it appropriate, to create a certain ‘sanitary zone’ on today’s territories subordinate to the Kyiv regime,” Putin said.


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