KYIV, Ukraine—A rocket strike killed at least one person in Russia’s Belgorod region near Ukraine, local officials said, as Russia’s defense minister made a rare visit to the Ukrainian war zone.
A rocket salvo targeting Belgorod on Sunday was intercepted by Russian air defenses, but falling debris and shrapnel killed one resident, injured eight others and caused damage to 14 buildings, the region’s governor, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said on social media. He didn’t explicitly blame Ukraine, and Kyiv didn’t acknowledge responsibility for the attack.
Russia regularly uses bases in and near Belgorod to strike nearby Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, which Moscow tried and failed to seize earlier in the war. Friday’s massive Russian cruise-missile attack against Ukrainian infrastructure targets left Kharkiv and several other cities, including the capital, Kyiv, without power, water and heating for several hours.
While Ukraine has pledged not to use U.S.-supplied weapons to retaliate against targets inside Russia, it has made no such promises when it comes to weapons in its own arsenal, such as Soviet-designed artillery, drones or Tochka-U missiles. It isn’t clear what weapons systems were used in Sunday’s strike on Belgorod.
Russia’s Defense Ministry on Sunday released a video of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu hopscotching the battle zone in a helicopter where he reportedly inspected troops and their provisions.
The reported inspection came as the government in Kyiv said it was working to restore heat and power to the city.
In his nightly television address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that power was brought back online for six million people throughout the country overnight. The mayor of Kyiv said that heating was fully restored to the capital, but that one third of the city remained without electricity.
With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine plagued by setbacks, the Kremlin has sought to play down public discussions about the ground war on television while celebrating the missile and drone strikes that are depriving Ukrainians of utilities. Ukraine has been launching apparent counterblows, and on Sunday Russian news services said that several missiles were shot down over Russian territory and that their remnants hit an apartment building in the Russian city of Belgorod, near the Ukraine border.
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