Russia: Three people killed in airstrike near Ukrainian border

Damage to houses in Belgorod

Ukraine has denied Russian claims of shelling Belgorod, saying the Kremlin is known to lie about similar incidents (Image: east2west news)

At least three people have died in a Russian town on the border with Ukraine after it was reportedly hit by a rocket in the early hours of the morning.

Horrifying footage captured by a resident of Belgorod — home to 370,000 people — shows a giant fireball towering over buildings.

At least 11 apartment blocks and 39 private homes were damaged while five were destroyed, Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov announced in a statement on Telegram.

A 10-year-old boy with concussion and bruised eyes and a man in critical condition were taken to hospital after an alleged rocket attack.

Two other people were also injured but were treated at the scene by rescue workers.

The Kremlin accused Ukraine of shelling Belgorod, which is 25 miles north of the border.

Senior lawmaker Andrei Klishas claimed it was a war crime and called for immediate retribution.

However, Ukraine denied the allegations, saying the Russians had previously lied about similar incidents.

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Damage to houses in Belgorod

At least four people were injured, including a 10-year-old boy (Image: social media/e2w)

Emergency services inspect a house that was completely destroyed by the explosion

Emergency services inspect a house that was completely destroyed by the explosion (Image: social media/e2w)

Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Yuriy Sak told the BBC: “Our security service intercepted telephone conversations between the Russian soldiers many times, proving that these types of activities are sometimes, mostly… provocations by the Russian side itself.”

In a later statement on Russia’s relations with the West and the war, Mr. Klishas concluded: “We have only two choices: either we continue to put up with this [further shelling]or we will conquer all of Ukraine.”

A resident said of the attack: “The noise was so strong that I jumped up, woke up, was very scared and started screaming. All the windows in our house have been smashed.’

It comes just days after a Ukrainian shopping mall with about 1,000 people inside was destroyed by a Russian missile.

According to the State Emergency Medical Service, the explosion in the city of Kremenchuk killed 19 civilians.

Another 66 people were injured, 26 of them were hospitalized.

Crews said up to 29 body fragments have been discovered since rescue operations began.

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Justin Scacco

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