A family from the Kharkiv region who came to Russia to «wait out the hostilities» was killed in Belgorod in the explosions, RIA Novosti reports citing local resident Alexei Ruslanov. «A shell hit the guest house. The family was sleeping there - the son, mother-in-law and sister came from Kharkiv to wait out the fighting. There was a loud bang, and the house was torn apart,» he told the news agency.
The information about the killed Ukrainians was confirmed by the Governor of the Belgorod region Vyacheslav Gladkov. He said four people were killed, three of them Ukrainians.
The Russian Defense Ministry claims the strikes were carried out by three Ukrainian Tochka-U missiles, that were shot down by air defense forces. Military experts told The Insider that one of the high-rise buildings was probably hit by the rocket engine of a 9M335 anti-aircraft guided missile fired by the Russian Pantsir-S1 SAM system covering Belgorod.
According to Belgorod resident and deputy editor-in-chief of Fonar.tv Nikita Parmenov, many Belgorod residents are already calling last night «the scariest night since the start of the special operation.» «Panic has grown, people are worried. Entertainment festivals and events have been cancelled in the city today. People are confused by the «newspeak» used by the governor. It's okay, when the governor called explosions «claps», but when two houses burned down and people got killed, he still called it «a series of loud noises» for some reason. That's what people are mostly complaining about right now.»
Later, Belgorod region governor Vyacheslav Gladkov did use the word «explosions»; according to him, there were four victims, two of them in hospital. He also added that 21 apartment buildings and 40 private homes were damaged.
The explosions occurred on the night of July 2 to July 3.