Russian Border City of Belgorod Rocked By Blasts – Explosions rocked the Russian city of Belgorod where at least four people were killed when Ukrainian forces launched a missile strike on the city which borders Ukraine.
The governor of the Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov stated that three of the dead were from a Ukrainian refugee family from Kharkiv. Gladkov added that the explosions damaged 11 apartment buildings and 39 houses.
Russian officials said Ukraine had fired three Soviet-era missiles at Belgorod that were all shot down by Russian air-defense systems. The destruction of one of those missiles falling to the ground is what caused the destruction in the civilian area of the city.
Gladkov added that Russian air defense systems had been activated by the air strike via his channel on the Telegram social media app.
A report from Al Jazeera stated that the attack was much more intense with the Ukrainians launching 25 missiles at the Russian airbase in Belgorod, which they have attacked before, as well as oil facilities inside the city. And at least one missile possibly more hit the Russian residential area.
Igor Konashenkov, a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman went against what had been the official Russian policy of downplaying any Ukrainian attacks on Russian soil. He stated that Ukraine had conducted “a deliberate strike” against Belgorod and nearby Kursk using Tu-143 drones and Tochka-U missiles.
“I want to emphasize that this missile attack was purposefully planned and carried out against the civilian population of Russian cities,” he said. He added that all of the missiles were shot down but that the destruction of one of those caused the residential damage, which contradicts the deliberate targeting of civilians allegation.
However, another Russian lawmaker, Andrei Klishas said that the attack was deliberate and called for a large military response.
“The death of civilians and the destruction of civilian infrastructure in Belgorod are a direct act of aggression on the part of Ukraine and require the most severe – including a military – response,” Klishas wrote on the Telegram app.
Elsewhere, in the Russian-occupied city of Melitopol, which was taken in the early hours of the war in February, the Ukrainian military has hit a large Russian base with a massive airstrike consisting of 30 missiles.
According to exiled mayor Ivan Federov, the Russian base had been “taken out of action.” The Ukrainians claimed that two fuel depots were destroyed and 20 units of field equipment were destroyed.
The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said that Ukrainian aircraft had flown 15 sorties in the airstrike “in all directions of hostilities.”
Belarus Says It Was Attacked by Ukraine as Well
The president of Belarus, strongman Alexander Lukashenko has accused Ukraine of firing missiles at military facilities inside of Belarus, calling it a “provocation.”
Lukashenko, who is a close ally of Russian president Putin offered no proof of this alleged attack but added that Belarus air defense systems had shot down all of the missiles.
“Thank God, the Pantsir anti-aircraft systems managed to intercept all the missiles launched by the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” Lukashenko said via the state-run news agency Belta.
While Lukashenko claimed that Belarus was being dragged into the war, the majority of Russian airstrikes, especially early in Moscow’s “special military operation” consisting of Tu-22 “Backfire” bombers were conducted via Belarus’ airspace.
Steve Balestrieri is a 1945 National Security Columnist. He served as a US Army Special Forces NCO and Warrant Officer before injuries forced his early separation. In addition to writing for 19fortyfive.com and other military news organizations, he has covered the NFL for PatsFans.com for over 11 years. His work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.