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Shelling of Belgorod: Residents are offered evacuation to safe cities in region

Shelling of Belgorod: Residents are offered evacuation to safe cities in region Belgorod authorities suggest evacuating residents due to shelling (Photo: Getty Images)

In Belgorod, partial voluntary evacuation of residents has been launched due to regular shelling of the city. People are offered to relocate to more remote cities of the region, away from Ukraine, where they promise a safe stay, according to BBC.

On Friday, January 5th, the governor of the Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, stated that he had seen messages from residents on social media expressing fear and asking for help to move to a safe place.

Gladkov expressed readiness to assist residents and added that several families have already been resettled.

He also announced that residents would be taken to the cities of Staryi Oskol (140 km from Belgorod) and Gubkin (120 km from Belgorod) and promised them safe accommodations where they could stay "as long as needed."

However, according to Gladkov, it will not be possible to accommodate all residents in these cities, so he will ask colleagues from other regions to help.

Later on Friday, January 5th, the governor issued a warning about a possible missile attack and urged residents to return home or seek shelter.

Shelling in Belgorod

On December 30, the security and defense forces of Ukraine launched a missile strike on military targets in Belgorod. The shelling was a response to Russia's massive missile strike on cities in Ukraine on December 29, resulting in 39 deaths and over 160 injuries.

As a result of the strike in the Russian city, more than 40 buildings and 60 vehicles were damaged. 25 people were killed, and over 100 others were injured.

This was the first large-scale shelling of Belgorod since the start of Russia's major invasion of Ukraine. It was seen as a form of retaliation for the regular Russian strikes with S-300 ballistic missiles on Kharkiv and its region.

The so-called shelling continued on January 1 and 2. The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed to have intercepted rockets.

On the evening of January 4, explosions were reported again in Belgorod. Residents mentioned the operation of air defense systems and strike reports.