Russia accuses Kyiv of ‘terrorist’ attack on Belgorod civilians

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“In order to increase the number of casualties of the terrorist attack they used cluster munitions,” he continued, claiming that Kyiv targeted a sports centre, an ice rink and a university.

“(It was a) deliberate, indiscriminate attack against a civilian target.”

“UN Security Council members have an opportunity to do their duty and assess the damage done to a Russian city, Belgorod,” Nebenzya added, holding up a QR code linking to what he said was video of the attack’s aftermath.

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Ukrainian allies quickly retorted, saying Russia had started the war.

Ukraine’s ambassador to the UN Serhii Dvornyk said that “as long as this war, unleashed by the Kremlin dictator, endures the toll of death and suffering will continue to grow.”

“As Ukraine is still recovering from yesterday’s horrendous strikes, new raids of Russian terror persist. Just hours ago … Russia again terrorised Kharkiv with its S-300 missiles hitting a residential area.”
US congressman John Kelly also put the blame squarely on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“This is (Putin’s) war, it is his choice,” he said.

“Russia could end this war today … We call for the protection of all civilians on all sides of every conflict.”

Firefighters extinguish burning cars after shelling in Belgorod, Russia on Saturday. Photo: Russia Emergency Situations Ministry Telegram channel via AP

British envoy Thomas Phipps said London “deeply” regrets any civilian losses, but also called out Moscow for having started the war with an invasion two years ago.

“There are hundreds of thousands of Russian soldiers in Ukraine. There is not a single Ukrainian soldier in Russia,” he said.

“If Russia wants someone to blame for the deaths of Russians in this war, it should start with President Putin.”

Phipps likewise said that Russia was the side to blame for targeting non-combatants, saying: “After having failed to defeat Ukraine militarily, Russia has now turned to indiscriminate attacks on civilians.”

The French envoy Nicolas de Riviere said Ukraine was simply defending itself under UN laws, while Moscow was “trampling” over the UN Charter.

Ukraine, which has been resisting a Russian invasion for nearly two years and earlier this week came under a huge Russian missile and drone assault, has not officially commented on the strike against Belgorod.

Belgorod lies about 30 km (19 miles) from the border with Ukraine and has been repeatedly struck by what Moscow says is indiscriminate shelling by Kyiv’s forces.

“As the war continues we will see more Ukrainian and Russian civilians killed,” said UN assistant secretary general Mohamed Khiari, warning there were “very real dangers of escalation and spillover of this war.”

A man holds a fire extinguisher near a burning car following what Russia’s Defence Ministry says was a Ukrainian strike in Belgorod, Russia on Saturday in this still image taken from video. Photo: Ostorozhno Novosti via Reuters

Unverified footage showed a street strewn with debris and smoke billowing from burnt-out cars in the city’s centre, while a large blast could be heard on dashcam footage posted on social media.

Agence France-Presse was not able to immediately verify the circumstances of the strike, one of the deadliest on Russian soil since Moscow launched hostilities against Ukraine in February 2022.

Two Vilkha missiles and Czech-made rockets were used in the attack, Russia said.

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Russia accuses Kyiv of ‘terrorist’ attack on Belgorod civilians

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