Fatal Shelling Claims Lives of Two Women in Belgorod, Russian Border Region
According to Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov, two women tragically lost their lives in the shelling that occurred in the border region of Belgorod. The victims were struck by shrapnel while traveling in a car near the village of Maslova Pristan.
Reports indicate that neighboring regions, Bryansk and Kursk, also experienced shelling, as well as an overnight drone attack, causing damage to several buildings. Ukrainian officials have not yet provided any comments regarding the incidents.
However, Kyiv has consistently denied involvement in previous cross-border attacks, attributing them to Russian anti-government groups. In the case of Belgorod, Governor Gladkov confirmed that two other individuals traveling in a separate vehicle were injured in the shelling.
A prominent paramilitary group opposing the Kremlin, the Freedom of Russian Legion (FRL), claimed responsibility for engaging in military operations in the nearby village of Novaya Tavolzhanka. The FRL stated that the two civilians killed were mistakenly targeted by Russian artillery, as their vehicle was thought to contain FRL members. These claims have not been independently verified.
Additionally, long-range drones targeted two towns in the Smolensk region, as reported by the local governor, while an explosion was reported in a forest, according to the head of the Kaluga region.
Recent weeks have witnessed a surge in cross-border attacks, with eight people sustaining injuries from shelling in Belgorod on Thursday. These latest strikes occurred more than a week after a significant cross-border raid that took place since the beginning of the war.
Ukrainian officials announced on Friday that their air defenses successfully downed approximately 30 missiles and drones launched by Russia. Over the past month, Russia has carried out more than 20 missile and drone attacks on Ukraine.
During his visit to Finland, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, speaking from Helsinki, described Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as “a strategic failure.” He emphasized that the invasion has weakened Russia diplomatically, economically, and militarily while bolstering the European Union, NATO, and Ukrainian national identity.