Deadly attack on Russian shopping centre near border

At least five people have been killed in an air attack on the Russian city of Belgorod, the region’s governor says.

Eighteen others are said to have been wounded in the strike not far from the Ukrainian border.

Videos circulating on social media showed several ambulances parked outside a heavily damaged shopping centre with shattered windows.

Russian officials said air defence systems had shot down 14 Ukrainian missiles over the Belgorod region.×200&!c&btvi=1&fsb=1&dtd=10003

Russian Zvezda TV, which is closely affiliated with the ministry of defence, said one rocket hit a shopping centre and one landed on the city’s sports stadium.

Belgorod lies about 30km (19 miles) from the border with Ukraine.

It has often been targeted by Ukrainian forces since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine nearly two years ago.

A drone and rocket attack in December killed 25 people and wounded another 100 in the deadliest strike on Belgorod so far.

Last night, Russia fired 26 missiles at Ukraine, killing a 66-year-old woman in Chuguyiv, near Kharkiv in the east, and wounding several more people.

Meanwhile, the battle for Ukraine’s eastern town of Avdiivka rages on.

Some Ukrainian soldiers have told the BBC that the town could fall at any moment, describing severe shortages of weapons and ammunition.

Nato Secretary General, Jen Stoltenberg warned on Thursday that the US failure to approve continued military assistance to Ukraine is already having an impact on the battlefield.

Avdiivka is a key location because it is a gateway to the Russian-controlled city of Donetsk. It has been effectively on the front line since 2014 when the conflict in eastern Ukraine started.

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