Shelling by Ukrainian forces on Russia’s Belgorod region continued overnight on Sunday after two people were killed the previous night and hundreds of children were evacuated away from the border, Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on Sunday.
“Overnight, it was quite restless,” Gladkov said on the Telegram channel, adding that the Shebekino and Volokonovsky districts suffered “lots” of damage from shelling during the night.
More than 4,000 people were relocated to temporary accommodation in the region, which borders Ukraine to its south and west, Gladkov said.
The reality of the war, which Moscow launched in Ukraine in February 2022, has been increasingly brought to Russia, with intensified shelling on border regions but also air strikes deep inside the country, including earlier this week on Moscow.
In late May, Russia’s military said it had repelled one of the most serious cross-border attacks by a Ukrainian “sabotage group” that it said had entered Russian territory in Belgorod.
Ukraine denied attacking Moscow last week and has also denied that its military is involved in the incursions into Belgorod. It says they are conducted by Russian volunteer fighters.
On Saturday, Gladkov escorted about 600 children from the region’s Shebekino and Graivoron districts to Yaroslavl and Kaluga.
“The children of Shebekino are very worried about their hometown,” he said. “I started leaving, they stopped me and with anxiety started asking questions.”
Shebekino, a town of about 40,000 on the border, and other Belgorod places have been attacked repeatedly recently, with Gladkov telling the Russian media that the region now lives in “conditions of actual war”.
Moscow calls its actions in Ukraine a “special military operation,” not a war and says it was launched to protect Russia from the threat of Ukraine’s moves toward the West. Kyiv and its allies say it is an unprovoked aggression to grab land.