Officials in the Russian border region of Belgorod have claimed that the area has been shelled from the direction of Ukraine over the past week.
The region’s governor Viacheslav Gladkov said that the village Solokhi was shelled “from the Ukrainian side” several times over a period of days. On Telegram on Wednesday, he said one man was wounded.
Earlier this week, on Tuesday, Mr Gladkov reported that Belgorod village Bezimeno was also shelled “from the Ukrainian side” and that there was one person who sustained “slight injury”.
The sounds of war have become louder in Belgorod, a mid-sized Russian city about 25 miles (40km) from the Ukrainian border. And the blasts are more frequent.
“On Sunday, we were woken up again by explosions. You never know if it’s them or us firing,” said Vladimir, a shopkeeper in the city.
Locals such as Vladimir first witnessed Russia’s military buildup at the start of the year, when thousands of troops amassed near Belgorod before Moscow’s attack in late February.
“When the conflict started, we would hear rockets being launched into Ukraine. But now we get hit too. It is a different sound.”
On 13 May, he said an 18-year-old man – Ruslan Nefedov – was buried after he “died during the shelling of our border village of Solokhi by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”
The first alleged Ukrainian attack on Belgorod amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was reported on 1 April, when two helicopters struck an oil depot.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian government adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said Ukraine should only be offered a ceasefire if Russian troops completely withdraw.
He added: “Ukraine is not interested in a new ‘Minsk (Protocol)’ and the war starting up again in a few years.”
Ukraine has not directly accepted responsibility but has described the incidents as payback and “karma” for Russia, almost three months after it invaded its neighbour.
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