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Russia says its border regions have been attacked; Moscow troops attacked a clinic in the center of Ukraine


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SUZIE BLANC – Associated Press

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia’s southern Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine, came under Ukrainian artillery, mortar and drone fire Friday, authorities said, hours after two drones struck a Russian town in the annexed Crimean peninsula.

Meanwhile, Moscow forces struck a psychological and veterinary clinic building in the city of Dnipro in central Ukraine, killing two people and injuring 30, including two children, Ukrainian officials said.

A video released by the regional governor, Sergei Lysak, showed the fire engulfing the three-story building, which appeared almost destroyed as firefighters battled the blaze, with only parts of the wall intact.

A Russian S-300 missile hit a dam in the Karlov district of the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, threatening to flood nearby settlements.

The town of Graivaron in Russia’s Belgorod region, about 7 kilometers (more than 4 miles) from the Ukrainian border, was shelled for several hours, damaging four houses, a shop, a car, a gas pipeline and a power line, the governor said. Vyacheslav Gladkov reported.

Closer to the border, in the village of Glotava, a recreation center, a shop and an empty house were damaged. One woman was wounded in the shelling of the nearby Nova Tavolzhanka, Gladkov said.

Earlier this week, Belgorod Oblast was the target of one of the most serious cross-border attacks from Ukraine with the war started 15 months ago. Details of the raid were sketchy. Russia blamed the Ukrainian armed forces, but two Russian groups said they were involved with the goal of overthrowing Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Officials in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar, in the Krasnodar region bordering Crimea, said two drones struck it. Witnesses told local media that they heard what sounded like the sound of a moped, followed by two explosions.

The roof of one of the buildings was pierced by the explosions and the windows of the residential building were broken.

“They just went to bed, and then there was such a loud, terrible roar,” said resident Tatsiana Safonova. “We ran outside. People were running, but nothing else happened.”

She said she described the sound beforehand as “like a screeching, noisy moped going by”.

The governor of the Krasnodar region, Veniamin Kondratiev, wrote in Telegram that there were no casualties, some buildings were damaged, but the essential infrastructure was not damaged.

The mayor of Krasnodar, Yevhen Naumau, said that the residential building and the administrative building were damaged.

Drone attacks on Russia’s border regions have become common since the incursion began in February 2022, and the number of attacks increased last month. Earlier this month, an oil refinery in Krasnodar was attacked by drones two days in a row.

The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine on Thursday released a video showing a naval drone heading towards the Russian reconnaissance ship “Ivan Khurs” in the Black Sea. The video does not show how the drone fell off the ship.

The video follows reports from the Russian Defense Ministry on Wednesday that Ukraine had launched a botched attack on the Ivan Khurs using three unmanned speedboats, with all three destroyed before reaching the ship. Moscow published a video that allegedly shows the destruction of one of the naval drones.

At least two civilians were killed and three others were injured as a result of Russian attacks on Ukraine over the past 24 hours, the office of the President of Ukraine reported on Friday.

In Moscow, China’s special representative Li Hui met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, during which they exchanged “opinions on the situation around Ukraine and prospects for resolving the conflict”, reports the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Lavrov cited “serious obstacles to the resumption of peace talks created by the Ukrainian side and its Western leaders,” the statement said, but did not reveal what Lee said or suggested.

Lee visited Kyiv earlier this month. Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s government says it is neutral and wants to mediate the conflict, but politically supports Moscow. Beijing unveiled a proposed peace plan in February, but Ukraine’s allies have largely rejected it, insisting that Russian President Vladimir Putin must withdraw his troops first.

Yuras Karmanov in Tallinn (Estonia) and Elise Morton in London.

Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine on https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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