Five killed in Ukrainian strikes on Russian border regions, Donetsk, officials say

By Thomson Reuters May 11, 2024 | 8:26 AM

MOSCOW (Reuters) -Five people were killed and nine wounded in three separate Ukrainian drone and artillery strikes on the Russian border provinces of Belgorod and Kursk, and the city of Donetsk, which Russia claims to have annexed, local officials said on Saturday.

Denis Pushilin, the Russian-installed head of east Ukraine’s Donetsk region, said in a statement posted on the Telegram messaging app that three civilians had been killed and eight more injured when a Ukrainian missile struck a restaurant in Donetsk city.

Donetsk, which fell under the control of Russian-backed separatists in 2014, regularly came under Ukrainian shelling after Moscow ordered tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in February 2022, but became more secure after Kyiv’s troops were forced from its outskirts earlier this year.

Belgorod region governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said in a statement posted on Telegram that one man had been killed and another injured after a Ukrainian drone hit a parked truck in the border village of Novostroyevka-Pervaya.

His counterpart in neighbouring Kursk region, Roman Starovoit, said that a civilian had died in hospital after being wounded in a drone strike on the frontier town of Sudzha.

Both Belgorod and Kursk regions have come under regular attack since Moscow ordered tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in February 2022.

Separately, a Moscow-installed official in Ukraine’s Luhansk region said that the death toll in a missile strike that caused a large fire with major damage at a fuel depot in the town of Rovenky had risen to four, with 11 injured.

Russia’s defence ministry said earlier on Saturday that it had intercepted a string of attempted Ukrainian drone and rocket artillery strikes on its territory.

In a statement posted on Telegram, the ministry said its forces had downed 21 rockets and 16 drones across Russia’s Belgorod, Kursk and Volgograd regions.

(Writing by Felix Light; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge, Alison Williams and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)