Russia blames Ukraine for collapse of Belgorod apartments after explosion

Russia blames Ukraine for attack after Belgorod explosion collapses entire apartment building.

A video camera at the scene shows a large explosion at the foot of the 10-story block and then the collapse of the building.

The governor of the region said that two bodies were removed from the rubble. At least 19 people were injured.

The Russian city is located near the border with Kharkiv, Ukraine, where Moscow’s forces launched an offensive on Friday.

Ukrainian forces have frequently targeted the Belgorod region since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, but Ukrainian officials have previously said the cross-border strikes do not target civilians.

“He could not escape”
The governor of the Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, accused Ukraine of bombing the region and described the cause of the explosion as a Ukrainian bullet.

Kiev disputed this, with one official suggesting it may have been a guided bomb dropped by a Russian aircraft headed for Ukraine, but whose gliders were not present.

Photos from the scene show rescuers manually removing debris as they search for survivors. The surrounding residences were evacuated due to fears of further collapse of the main building.

Mr. Gladkov added that people are believed to be trapped in the debris.

One resident told the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti that her husband was in his bedroom in the building when the explosion occurred and suffered head and facial injuries. “He didn’t have time” to escape, she said.

A spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee said a criminal case had been opened.

The incident occurred at a time when “intense fighting” continues across the border in northeastern Ukraine, where Russian troops have invaded the Kharkiv region.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his speech on Sunday evening that the Russian attack displaced thousands of people.

“The idea behind the attacks in Kharkiv Oblast is to increase our forces and weaken the morale and motivation of Ukrainians to defend themselves,” he added.

Moscow’s defense ministry says its forces have captured several villages there, while Kiev says it has launched counterattacks..

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