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Moscow Says Intercepted 2 Ukraine Missiles Over South Russia

Vasily Golubev / Telegram

Russia said Friday it intercepted two Ukrainian missiles over its southern Rostov region bordering Ukraine, with at least a dozen people wounded by debris falling on the city of Taganrog.

Regions bordering Ukraine have seen regular drone strikes and shelling since Moscow launched its military campaign in February last year, but have hardly ever been targeted by missiles. 

"Russian air defense equipment detected the Ukrainian missile and intercepted it in the air. The debris of the downed Ukrainian missile fell on the territory of Taganrog," Russia's Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said the first S-200 missile was aimed at "residential infrastructure" of Taganrog, a city of around 250,000 people.

Shortly after, it said it downed a second S-200 missile near the city of Azov, with debris falling in an unpopulated area.

Rostov region Governor Vasily Golubev said 15 people suffered "light injuries" from shards in an explosion near the "Chekhov Garden" cafe in central Taganrog.

"Rescuers are at the scene. There are no dead. There are several injured to whom ambulances have been dispatched," Golubev said on Telegram.

Nine people were in hospital, he added in an update. One person required surgery.

Golubev said that the "epicenter of the explosion" was in the Taganrog Art Museum, a few hundred meters away from the cafe.

He said a museum wall, its roof and outbuildings were destroyed. The window frames of a nearby three-story apartment block were damaged by the impact. 

Taganrog is located on the coast of the Sea of Azov and about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the border with Ukraine. 

The city is also on a road leading to the port city of Mariupol, which was captured by Russian forces last year following a devastating siege. 

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