Rescuers look for survivors after a residential building  partially collapsed in Belgorod, on Sunday.—AFP
Rescuers look for survivors after a residential building partially collapsed in Belgorod, on Sunday.—AFP

MOSCOW: At least seven people were killed and 17 injured when a whole section of an apartment building in Belgorod collapsed after being hit by a missile fired by Ukraine, Russian officials said.

In one of the deadliest attacks to date on the region of Belgorod, Ukraine launched what Russian officials said was a massive missile attack with Tochka ballistic missiles and Adler and RM-70 Vampire (MLRS) multiple launch rocket systems.

Footage from the scene showed at least 10 storeys of the building collapsing. Later, as emergency services scoured the rubble for survivors, the roof collapsed and people ran for their lives, dust and rubble falling behind them.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was briefed by acting emergencies minister and Belgorod region governor about the ‘barbaric’ missile attack, the TASS news agency cited Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, as saying on Sunday.

Troops push back Ukrainian forces by capturing several villages in Kharkiv region

Russia’s defence ministry earlier called it a terrorist attack on residential areas. “Fragments of one of the downed Tochka-U missiles damaged an apartment building in the city of Belgorod,” it added.

Russian news agencies said at least seven people had been killed and 17 injured, including two children. Others were still trapped under the rubble.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the strike was a targeted attack on civilians which showed the criminality of both Ukraine and its backers — primarily the United States and its European allies.

There was no immediate comment from Ukraine on the attack.

Kharkiv front

On the other side, Russian forces after heavy shelling of Kharkiv region smashed through the border and pushed Ukrainian forces out of many villages in the area. Russian troops on Sunday said they seized four more villages — Hatyshche, Krasne, Morokhovets, Oliinykove — in Kharkiv region in Ukraine.

The move has forced Ukraine to dedicate additional troops to the area just as Russian forces advance at key points along the front in the south and the east.

Russian military bloggers said Russia was taking advantage of its numerical superiority on the battlefield to push hard into relatively undefended areas with highly mobile small units of troops, which then surrounded Ukrainian positions.

Ukraine’s military chief said his country’s forces were facing a difficult situation in fighting in the Kharkiv region, but that they were doing all they could to hold the line.

“Units of the Defense Forces are fighting fierce defensive battles, the attempts of the Russian invaders to break through our defenses have been stopped,” Oleksandr Syrskyi said.

Published in Dawn, May 13th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

First steps
Updated 29 May, 2024

First steps

One hopes that this small change will pave the way for bigger things.
Rafah inferno
29 May, 2024

Rafah inferno

THE level of barbarity witnessed in Sunday’s Israeli air strike targeting a refugee camp in Rafah is shocking even...
On a whim
29 May, 2024

On a whim

THE sudden declaration of May 28 as a public holiday to observe Youm-i-Takbeer — the anniversary of Pakistan’s...
Afghan puzzle
Updated 28 May, 2024

Afghan puzzle

Unless these elements are neutralised, it will not be possible to have the upper hand over terrorist groups.
Attacking minorities
28 May, 2024

Attacking minorities

Mobs turn into executioners due to the authorities’ helplessness before these elements.
Persistent scourge
Updated 29 May, 2024

Persistent scourge

THE challenge of polio in Pakistan has reached a new nadir, drawing grave concerns from the Technical Advisory Group...