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Russia Urges Belgorod Residents Living Near Ukraine Border to Evacuate

The village of Golovchino in the Graivoron District after shelling.

Authorities in western Russia’s Belgorod region have urged residents living near the border with Ukraine to evacuate amid ongoing Ukrainian attacks. 

Gennady Bondaryov, who heads the Belgorod region’s Graivoron district, urged a voluntary evacuation of local residents, noting that “the situation remains tense” in the area.

The Graivoron district, which has been repeatedly attacked since Moscow invaded Ukraine more than two years ago, lies over 50 kilometers west of the regional capital Belgorod and is located on Russia’s border with Ukraine.

“Colleagues from the Yaroslavl region are ready to receive the residents of Graivoron,” Bondaryov wrote on the messaging app Telegram, referring to a Russian region over 100 kilometers northeast of Moscow. 

Anti-Kremlin militias fighting alongside the Ukrainian army have launched repeated incursions into the Graivoron district for more than a week. 

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

Regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said Thursday that five civilians were injured in the city of Belgorod and the nearby districts from Ukrainian shelling.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Defense Ministry said it had shot down 10 Ukrainian missiles over the Belgorod region earlier in the day.  

Gladkov announced on Tuesday that around 9,000 children would be evacuated from the Belgorod region and schools in some border areas would switch to remote learning amid ongoing Ukrainian attacks. 

In the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, just across the border from Belgorod, authorities said five people were killed by a Russian missile strike on Wednesday. Nine others were injured and five more were unaccounted for as search and rescue operations continued into the night.

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

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