Blasts Heard in Russia’s Belgorod, Nearby Ammunition Depot on Fire: Governor
A series of blasts was heard in the early hours of Wednesday in the Russian city Belgorod near the Ukrainian border, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said, and an ammunition depot in the province was on fire.
Gladkov said no civilians had been hurt by the fire which broke out at a facility near Staraya Nelidovka village. Russia this month accused Ukraine of attacking a fuel depot in Belgorod with helicopters and opening fire on several villages in the province.
The Belgorod province borders Ukraine‘s Luhansk, Sumy, and Kharkiv regions, all of which have seen heavy fighting since Russia invaded Ukraine two months ago.
Kyiv Pulls Down Soviet-Era Monument Symbolizing Russian-Ukrainian Friendship
Ukrainian authorities on Tuesday dismantled a huge Soviet-era monument in the center of Kyiv meant to symbolize friendship between Russia and Ukraine, a response to Moscow’s invasion, according to the city’s mayor.
The eight-meter (27-foot) bronze statue depicted a Ukrainian and Russian worker on a plinth, holding aloft together a Soviet order of friendship. The statue was located underneath a giant titanium “People’s Friendship Arch,” erected in 1982 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Soviet Union.
“We now see what this ‘friendship’ is—destruction of Ukrainian cities … killing tens of thousands of peaceful people. I am convinced such a monument has an entirely different meaning now,” Kyiv mayor Vitaly Klitschko said.
Workmen started by removing one of the two bronze heads, which fell to the ground with a hollow clang.
As a crane lifted the monument off its moorings and gradually lowered it to the ground, a crowd of around 100 people cheered and shouted “Glory to Ukraine” and other slogans.
“Russia invaded Ukraine … Can we be friends with Russia? What do you think? This is our worst enemy, that is why the monument to Russian-Ukrainian friendship doesn’t make sense anymore,” said Serhiy Myrhorodsky, one of the designers.
“We should not have any relations with the nation of aggressors … no friendship, no relations, nothing,” said Diana, a young woman, who did not give her full name.
Klitschko said the arch would remain in place but be renamed the Arch of Freedom of the Ukrainian People.
Blasts Heard in Russia‘s Belgorod: Regional Governor
A series of blasts were heard in the early hours of Wednesday in the Russian city Belgorod near the Ukrainian border, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said in a Telegram message.
Gladkov said the authorities were trying to establish the location and cause of the explosions. Russia this month accused Ukraine of attacking a fuel depot in Belgorod with helicopters and opening fire on several villages in the province.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.