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2 Belgorod Civilians Killed in ‘Massive’ Border Shelling, Governor Says

Two civilians have been killed in a Ukrainian shelling attack on southwestern Russia’s Belgorod region, Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said Wednesday as anti-Kremlin militias of Russian nationals threatened more cross-border incursions.

“The Graivoron district has been under massive shelling since early morning,” Gladkov wrote on the Telegram messaging app, referring to a Belgorod region district that lies on the Ukrainian border.

“Unfortunately, two men who were on the street at the time were killed,” Gladkov said, adding that two others were hospitalized with various injuries.

Militias of Russian volunteers fighting alongside the Ukrainian army have over the past week launched repeated incursions and engaged Russian border guards in heavy fighting in the Graivoron district. 

One of them, the Russian Volunteer Corps, on Wednesday afternoon warned of continuing attacks and urged Gladkov to evacuate “everyone” from the Belgorod region.

Soon after, Russia’s Defense Ministry claimed that its forces had “fully cleared” the Graivoron district village of Kozinka of pro-Ukrainian fighters.

“The enemy lost up to 650 fighters as a result of air strikes and artillery fire,” the Russian military said, a claim that could not be independently verified.

Open-source military analyst Julian Roepke has assessed that Russian forces had air-dropped high-explosive FAB-500 bombs on Kozinka to fight off the militias.

Earlier Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin vowed to restore security in the country's border areas.

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