Drone attacks overnight in Russian border region: governor

AFP , Wednesday 24 May 2023

A Russian official in the southern Belgorod region bordering Ukraine said Wednesday that the territory was targeted by numerous drones overnight, following an armed incursion into the territory from Ukraine.

This handout picture posted on May 23, 2023 on the official Telegram account of Vyacheslav Gladkov, governor of the Belgorod region, shows a damaged house in the Belgorod region.AFP


"The night was not entirely calm. There were a large number of drone attacks. Air defence systems handled most of them," governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said in a post on social media.

"The most important thing is that there are no casualties," he added.

The statement came a day after Moscow announced it had deployed jets and artillery to destroy the armed group that penetrated its border from Ukraine and the Kremlin ordered its military to prevent any repeat attack.

Members of two anti-Kremlin groups, the Freedom of Russia Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps, claimed responsibility while Kyiv denied official Ukrainian involvement.

The border region of Belgorod has been targeted by attacks since the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine but the days-long skirmish was the most significant since Russian began large-scale hostilities in Ukraine last year.

Gladkov said the drone barrage overnight had damaged several private homes, offices and vehicles but that the full extent of the damage was still being assessed.

He added that a gas pipeline was damaged in the Graivoron district and that "a small fire is burning".

Gladkov said that several settlements that lost power as a result of fighting between the armed incursion group and the Russian security forces, would be reconnect by the end of Wednesday.

"Nine people are hospitalised: three are in intensive care in a serious condition and six people are already in wards," he added, as a result of the border assault.

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