Russia ‘thwarts’ attack on border as three killed in Kyiv

Friday, Jun 02, 2023

MOSCOW: Moscow said Thursday it thwarted a Ukrainian attempt to “invade” its southwestern border as Russia pounded Kyiv with missiles, killing three including a child.The Ukrainian capital has faced nearly nightly air raids in May, including an unusual daytime attack on Monday that sent residents running for shelter.As Kyiv deployed its air defences against a fresh volley of Russian missiles, Moscow said it thwarted an attempt by Ukrainian troops to “invade” its southwestern Belgorod region.

“At about 3:00 am (0000 GMT), Ukrainian units comprising up to two motorised infantry companies, reinforced with tanks, attempted to invade,” the Russian defence ministry said.Moscow used jets and artillery to repel the attacks and prevent Ukrainian troops from crossing over into Russia, it added.The Belgorod region, which saw an unprecedented two-days armed incursion last week, has come under intensified fire in the past days.Regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said eight people were wounded in “uninterrupted shelling” in the town of Shebekino.

As shelling continued on Shebekino, its residents poured into centres for displaced people in the regional capital, also called Belgorod. Gladkov said that the city’s main such centre was filling up with hundreds of arrivals, so additional people arriving “are being sent in an organised manner to the remaining centres.”

“There are many families with children, including infants and disabled people. We will try to provide them with as much care as possible,” Belgorod mayor Valentin Demidov said.“The main question now is to provide assistance to people, and support resettlement for those who need it,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, adding that Putin was being constantly informed of the situation.

Peskov also denounced what he said was silence from the international community over the strikes.Despite “every opportunity to see the footage describing strikes on residential buildings, social infrastructures... there is not a single word criticising Kyiv,” Peskov said.

Russia has seen unprecedented attacks on its soil, with a drone attack in Moscow last week.After at least eight drones were used in the attack, the Russian foreign ministry accused the West of “pushing the Ukrainian leadership towards increasingly reckless acts.”Ukraine, which has seen almost daily attacks on its capital, denied “direct involvement.” Moscow’s latest attack on Kyiv began just before 3:00 am local time when missiles were fired from Russia’s Bryansk region. Ukraine’s air force said it intercepted and destroyed all 10 missiles launched by Russia.Three people, including a nine-year-old child, were killed in Kyiv’s northeastern Desnyanskyi district as a result of falling rocket fragments. Another 16 people were wounded. Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko confirmed the three people were killed when “a fragment of rocket” fell close to a clinic as they ran for cover after an air raid alert.

“A closed shelter in wartime is not just indifference, it is a crime,” said Interior Minister Igor Klymenko, adding that an investigation had been opened.Moscow claims that it targets military installations in Ukraine only.In the United States, the Pentagon announced a new $300 million arms package for Ukraine, including air defence systems and tens of millions of rounds of ammunition.

The United States said it did not support any attack inside Russia and was instead providing Kyiv with equipment and training to reclaim its territory.These aid shipments will bring the total value of US security assistance to Ukraine to $37.6 billion since the start of Russia’s military operation in February 2022, the Defense Department said.