Russia accidentally bombs own village, vows to rebuild homes

LONDON (Reuters) – A Russian regional governor said on Wednesday he had ordered the rebuilding of nine houses in a village that was accidentally bombed by one of Russia’s own warplanes.

The incident took place on Tuesday, when the state news agency RIA quoted the defence ministry as reporting an “abnormal discharge of aircraft ammunition” over the village of Petropavlovka in the southern region of Voronezh.

Governor Alexander Gusev said the nine houses would be rebuilt as soon as possible, and there had also been damage to a small local school, an arts centre and an administrative building.

No one had been killed but four people were treated for minor injuries and residents had access to psychological support, he said.

Five cars and a tractor had also been damaged, and the owners would get compensation.

“Not a single resident will be left without help, we will support everyone as much as possible,” Gusev said.

Authorities did not say what caused the incident. While the damage was limited, it was embarrassing for Russia’s military and came at a time of high alert in its southern regions close to the border with Ukraine.

Over the New Year period, Russia staged some of its heaviest missile and drone strikes on Ukraine since its full-scale invasion in February 2022. On Saturday, Ukraine’s deadliest cross-border attack of the war killed 25 people in Belgorod, near the border, officials said.

(Reporting by Mark Trevelyan; Editing by Kevin Liffey)