Russian Defense Ministry acknowledges air defence caused apartment building collapse in Belgorod

An entrance of a multi-storey residential building in Belgorod collapsed on Sunday morning, May 12, shortly after a missile threat alarm was announced in the city. Vyacheslav Gladkov, Governor of the Belgorod region, reported that the entrance collapsed as a "result of a direct hit by a projectile."

The Russian Ministry of Defence released a statement alleging that the Ukrainian side shelled Belgorod using a Tochka-U tactical missile system, multiple rocket launcher systems Vilha and RM-70 'Vampire'. In the repelling of the attack, Russian air defense systems reportedly destroyed six Tochka-U missiles, four reactive shells from the Vampire MRLS, and two from the Vilha MRLS. Fragments of one of the downed Tochka-U missiles damaged a residential building in Belgorod.

Russian Telegram channels published footage of the damage to the residential building at 55 Shchorsa Street on the outskirts of Belgorod.

Photos and videos show the entire entrance of the panel building, from the first to the tenth floors, collapsed. According to the latest information announced by the Investigative Committee of Russia, a woman died, and another 28 adults and a child suffered shrapnel wounds. The Telegram channel Mash reported that people could be heard screaming under the rubble of the collapsed entrance; their cries could be heard a hundred meters from the scene of the tragedy. During the rescue operations, the roof of the building collapsed, burying some of the emergency service workers beneath the debris.

Emergency services of Russia managed to rescue 12 people, including two children, from under the rubble in Belgorod, as reported by the ministry's press service.

Reports of the building collapse came shortly after a second missile alert that morning in the city located near the Ukrainian border. The Ukrainian military has not yet commented on the reports of the shelling.

Belgorod and the Belgorod have been under constant shelling from Ukraine. On May 11, one person was killed and 29 were injured during the shelling of Belgorod and the Belgorod region, reported Governor Gladkov the previous evening.

Intense fighting is currently underway in the Kharkiv region of neighboring Ukraine, where Ukrainian forces are holding back the advance of the Russian army, which crossed the Ukrainian border on May 10 and is trying to advance towards Kharkiv. Russian authorities have previously stated their intention to create a "sanitary zone" along the border to protect the adjacent regions of Russia from shelling.

  War in Ukraine, Belgorod