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World News

Seven killed in Ukrainian missile strike on Russian building

By Guy Faulconbridge

MOSCOW (Reuters) – At least seven people were killed and 17 others injured when an entire part of a Russian building collapsed after being hit by a Soviet-era missile launched by Ukraine and shot down by Russia, Russian officials said.

In one of the deadliest attacks to date in the Belgorod region, Ukraine launched what Russian officials called a massive missile attack with Tochka ballistic missiles and multiple launch rocket systems Adler and RM-70 Vampire (MLRS).

Images from the scene showed at least 10 floors of the building collapsing. Later, as emergency services searched the rubble for survivors, the roof collapsed and people ran for their lives, dust and rubble falling behind them.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the attack, which it described as a “terrorist attack on residential areas”, took place at 0840 GMT and involved at least 12 missiles.

“Fragments from one of the downed Tochka-U missiles damaged a residential building in the city of Belgorod,” the ministry said.

Russian news agencies said at least seven people were killed and 17 injured, including two children. Others were still trapped under the rubble.

Ukraine and Russia say they do not target civilians, even though many civilians have been killed in the war by both sides.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the strike was a targeted attack on civilians, demonstrating the criminality of both Ukraine and its supporters, primarily the United States and its allies. Europeans.

There was no immediate comment from Ukraine on the attack.

KHARKIV FRONT

After heavy shelling of the Kharkiv region in northeastern Ukraine, Russian forces crossed the border in recent days and claim to have pushed Ukrainian forces from at least nine villages in the region.

The move threatens to open a new front and has forced Ukraine to dedicate additional troops to the area just as Russian forces advance on key points of the front to the south and east.

Russian troops said on Sunday they had captured four more villages – Hatyshche, Krasne, Morokhovets, Oliinykove – in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region.

Russian military bloggers said Russia took advantage of its numerical superiority on the battlefield to penetrate relatively undefended areas with small, highly mobile troop units, which then surrounded Ukrainian positions.

Ukraine’s military leader said his country’s forces were facing a difficult situation in the fighting in the Kharkiv region, but were doing everything they could to hold the line.

“Defense Forces units are waging fierce defensive battles, attempts by Russian invaders to break through our defenses have been stopped,” Oleksandr Syrskyi said.

In response to Ukrainian attacks on Belgorod, President Vladimir Putin suggested in March that Moscow might attempt to establish a buffer zone inside Ukrainian territory due to attacks on Belgorod.

Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

The conflict in eastern Ukraine began in 2014 after the overthrow of a pro-Russian president in Ukraine’s Maidan revolution and Russia’s annexation of Crimea, with Russian-backed separatist forces fighting the Ukrainian armed forces.

Around 14,000 people were killed there between 2014 and the end of 2021, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), including 3,106 civilians.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Sharon Singleton)

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