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Russia urges border district to evacuate amid Urkaine shelling

Kyiv says Russia hit airfield in central Ukraine

June 05, 2023 00:00:00

MOSCOW, June 04 (AFP): Russian authorities on Sunday called on residents of an area on the Ukraine border to leave their homes as Ukrainian shelling intensified this week.

The district of Shebekino in the western Belgorod region on the Ukraine border has been hit by daily shelling, killing several civilians and forcing villagers to flee.

The governor of the region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, urged residents to cooperate with authorities and evacuate from the area.

"I ask that in the villages of, first of all, the Shebekino district that has been shelled, to listen to the position of authorities and leave-temporarily leave-their homes," Gladkov said on Telegram.

He said the goal was "to safeguard what is most important: your life and the lives of your close ones".

He said it was another "not calm night" in the district with "a lot of damage".

Gladkov spoke a day after two women were killed in border villages by shelling.

He said "more than 4,000 people" from border areas were currently in temporary housing in the Belgorod region.

He said authorities on Sunday would take minors from border villages and the children of mobilised soldiers fighting in Ukraine to youth camps.

Meanwhile, Kyiv said Sunday that Russian missiles had struck an airfield near the city of Kropyvnytskyi in central Ukraine.

"Six missiles and five attack drones" were launched by Russia, Ukrainian air force spokesman Yuriy Ignat said on television.

"Unfortunately not all of them were destroyed. Of the six, four were destroyed by air defence and two hit the operational airfield near Kropyvnytskyi," he said, giving no further details.

Kropyvnytskyi is a small city in the Kirovohrad region in central Ukraine, south of the capital Kyiv.

The attack comes as Russia has intensified air assaults on Ukraine, with the capital Kyiv attacked several days in a row this week.

The conflict, which has dragged on for more than 15 months, has escalated as Kyiv says it is preparing for a major counteroffensive.

Russian border villages have also been intensely shelled this week.

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