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2 Dead, 19 Injured in Ukrainian Strike on Russia's Belgorod Region – Governor

A car that was destroyed in a drone strike on the Belgorod region on Thursday. Vyacheslav Gladkov / Telegram

Updated with injury count.

Two people died and 19 others were injured on Thursday in western Russia's Belgorod region as the country faced widespread drone attacks for a third day in a row, officials said.

Russia's Defense Ministry said 14 Ukrainian drones were destroyed in border regions overnight, the latest wave of attacks ahead of the March 15-17 presidential election, which incumbent Vladimir Putin is all but guaranteed to win.

Belgorod region Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov wrote on social media that one woman was killed in the most recent Ukrainian air attacks on Thursday, while 19 others were injured.

"As a result of an explosion, a car driven by a female civilian overturned into a ditch. The woman died on the spot from her injuries," Gladkov said, adding that three other people had been wounded by shrapnel.

Earlier, he had said another person was killed and six others were wounded in a drone attack.

The strike damaged two homes and a medical facility, he added.

Gladkov later announced that shopping centers in Belgorod would be closed until the end of the day and urged people to delay taking any trips.

"There have been many requests to close shopping centers. We have already done this. They are now closing," he said in a video.

Besides the Belgorod region, in the neighboring Kursk region, another three drones were downed overnight, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, dozens of Ukrainian drones were launched at regions across Russia, mostly targeting oil refineries in the Ryazan, Nizhny Novgorod and Leningrad regions, all located hundreds of kilometers from the front line in Ukraine.

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