Ukraine War: Thousands Of Children To Evacuate Belgorod

Authorities in Belgorod, Russia, are overseeing the evacuation of approximately 9,000 children from the city and surrounding areas following shelling incidents attributed to Ukraine.

According to Belgorod governor Vyacheslav Gladkov, three individuals, including a child, sustained injuries in the recent attacks, resulting in power outages in parts of the region that shares a border with Ukraine.

Furthermore, he noted that the week’s casualties include 16 fatalities and 98 injuries. These figures emerge in the aftermath of strikes that necessitated widespread closures within the city.

In Belgorod, students were directed to stay home from school on both Monday and Tuesday, coinciding with the closure of shopping centers in the city on Sunday and Monday. Mr. Gladkov, addressing a gathering of the Kremlin’s United Russia party, mentioned that villages within Belgorod and other regions were also affected by these closures.

The initial batch of 1,200 children is scheduled for evacuation on Friday. Russia’s defense ministry reported that its forces intercepted and downed nine Ukrainian shells above Belgorod on Tuesday.

The ministry later announced that it had conducted pre-emptive strikes near the borders of the Belgorod and Kursk regions, successfully eliminating two groups of Ukrainian “saboteurs.”

As tensions escalate, Ukrainian border areas remain under siege, with continued reports of Russian attacks and subsequent evacuations. In the north-eastern Sumy region, authorities stated earlier this week that over 150 individuals had been forced to flee due to increased shelling.

On Tuesday, the mayor of Bilopil, a village nestled in Sumy, reiterated that the situation remained unchanged and highlighted two more explosions for emphasis.

“A critical infrastructure object has been hit,” Yuriy Zarko told Ukrainian media. “The houses of local residents were also damaged.”

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He went on: “There is no information about the injured or the dead. The scale of the destruction is being clarified.”

No official statement has been issued by Kyiv regarding the recent wave of assaults in Belgorod. Russian President Vladimir Putin had previously alleged that Kyiv orchestrated attacks on the region to disrupt his re-election campaign, where he claimed a sweeping victory.

Many critics deemed the contest to be anything but free and fair. With no credible opponent in sight, Mr. Putin’s victory was all but guaranteed.

In remarks made on Tuesday, Mr. Putin called upon the Federal Security Service to uncover and take action against pro-Ukrainian Russian fighters accused of participating in fatal attacks on Russia’s border regions.

“About these traitors… we must not forget who they are, we must identify them by name. We will punish them without statute of limitations, wherever they are,” he told a meeting of the FSB board.

Earlier this month, three Russian paramilitary groups stationed in Ukraine stated that they had infiltrated Russia and were involved in combat against government forces. The Freedom of Russia Legion (FRL) and Siberian Battalion (SB) posted videos purportedly depicting their fighters in the Belgorod and Kursk regions.

According to the Freedom of Russia Legion (FRL) and an exiled Russian politician, “liberation forces” had seized control of two villages. Nonetheless, Russia’s defense ministry countered, indicating that the attempted breakthroughs had been effectively stopped.

Africa Today News, New York 

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