MOSCOW (Reuters) -A governor of a western Russian region blamed a Ukrainian drone for damage to an apartment building in the city of Belgorod on Sunday, after Russia’s defence ministry said air defences shot down at least four Ukrainian drones in the west of the country.
“State of emergency in Belgorod,” Vyacheslav Gladkov, Belgorod governor, said on his Telegram channel, where he shared images of smashed windows and shattered building tiles at a multi-story building, as well as a fragment with concentric blue and yellow circles the color of the Ukrainian flag.
“The reasons for the incident are being established,” he said, adding, “According to the preliminary version, the damages came about as a result of a UAV attack,” referring to an unmanned aerial vehicle, or combat drone.
Gladkov said he had visited the site, where he said there were no casualties, and talked to residents. He said an explosion at 5:43 p.m. local time at 9 Yesenina Street, building 1 had damaged apartments, broken windows and smashed tiles on the building facade.
Earlier the Russian defence ministry said three drones were shot down over Belgorod region and another over the Kursk region, and said there had been no casualties or damage. It was unclear whether the damage Gladkov reported was one of the drones the defence ministry referenced or a separate incident.
Drone air strikes deep inside Russia have increased since a drone was destroyed over the Kremlin in early May. Civilian areas of the capital were hit later in May and a Moscow business district was targeted twice in three days earlier this month.
(Editing by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Mark Porter)