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Shopping mall in Belgorod


Russia has accused Ukraine of attacks on the city of Belgorod that left at least 18 dead and more than 100 injured. In addition, the Ministry of Defense in Moscow is making a threat via Telegram: the attack will not go "unpunished."

On Friday night, Russia shelled Ukraine with almost 160 missiles, cruise missiles and drones of various types. At least 39 people died in this worst attack since the beginning of the war.

Air-raid shelters allegedly cordoned off

Among the 111 injured in Belgorod, according to the Ministry of Defense, there are also several children. Initially, the information could not be independently verified. Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov wrote on Telegram that mass events on New Year's Day will be canceled because of the attack.

There was no official reaction from Kiev for the time being. The newspaper »Ukrayinska Pravda« wrote, only citing an anonymous Ukrainian intelligence source, that the Ukrainian army had targeted military objects of the Russians. Civilians were injured as a result of "unprofessional actions by Russian air defenses, as well as deliberate and planned provocations."

Meanwhile, in Moscow, President Vladimir Putin instructed Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko to fly to Belgorod with a team: Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said this, according to the Interfax agency. In the meantime, the people of Belgorod had been called upon to hide in shelters. At the same time, there were complaints from residents that several air-raid shelters were apparently cordoned off and thus inaccessible.

Moscow calls for Security Council meeting

Videos also circulated on social networks showing numerous columns of smoke, burning cars and damaged house facades. In some recordings, explosions and screaming people could also be heard. According to media reports, it was the heaviest shelling of Belgorod since Russia invaded Ukraine almost two years ago.

Russia calls for a special session of the UN Security Council after the Ukrainian missile attack. "The terrorist attack on Belgorod will be the subject of proceedings in the UN Security Council," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, as quoted by the state-run Tass news agency.

Belgorod is located in the border region and is therefore repeatedly affected by hostilities. However, the damage and number of victims are usually disproportionate to those in Ukraine, which has been attacked by Russia. It was only on the night of last Friday that Russia had attacked the neighbouring country with its most serious attack to date. According to official Ukrainian figures, at least 39 people were killed.