Russia's Belgorod region says 120 civilians killed by Ukraine strikes since 2022

  • World
  • Tuesday, 23 Apr 2024

FILE PHOTO: Governor of the Belgorod region Vyacheslav Gladkov attends a commemoration ceremony marking 40 days since the deadly shelling, which local authorities called a Ukrainian military strike, in the course of Russia-Ukraine conflict in Belgorod, Russia, February 7, 2024. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's Belgorod region which borders Ukraine said that 120 civilians had been killed there in Ukrainian strikes and 651 people injured since the start of the war over two years ago.

Belgorod has been repeatedly attacked by Ukrainian artillery, drones and proxies over the past year. Russia invaded Ukraine in February, 2022.

Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said 11 children were among the dead and 51 children had been injured, some of them suffering amputations.

"The situation is extremely difficult. The attacks continue. People continue to die," Gladkov said in a video message on Telegram in which he warned citizens to be vigilant during celebrations of Orthodox Easter on May 5.

Kyiv denies targeting civilians and says it has the right to strike Russia, though U.S. officials are concerned that attacks on Russian territory could trigger an escalation of the war. Ukrainian proxies have repeatedly tried to pierce the border and push into Belgorod.

Russia says the use of Western weapons to attack Belgorod shows that the West is essentially already a party to the war, which has killed and injured many thousands of soldiers.

Neither Russia nor Ukraine give casualty figures for their soldiers.

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, editing by Ed Osmond)

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