The Russian border region of Belgorod reportedly came under three separate artillery attacks on Sunday, as Ukrainian troops defending the city of Kharkiv said they reached the Russian border.
Belgorod Regional Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov recognized an attack on the border village of Sereda early on Sunday, reporting that one person had been injured in the shelling.
The Telegram Baza channel, which is believed to have links to Russian security services, said the Sereda bombing was the first of three cross-border incidents on Sunday and the only one to have resulted in injuries.
The outlet said Russian air defense systems shot down 10 shells targeting the village around 7:45 a.m. Moscow time. Shrapnel reportedly injured Suleiman Isfandiyev, a 30-year-old resident.
Ten more shells fell in a field near another village, Novostroyevka-Vtoraya, about an hour later without causing damage, Baza reported.
At around 11 a.m. another salvo of eight artillery shells reportedly damaged a power line and a number of agricultural structures in the village of Zhuravlevka.
Baza’s account could not be independently identified. But his report coincides with Ukraine’s announcement that its troops have regained control of territory on the Russian border near Kharkiv.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said in a social media statement late Sunday that the 127th Brigade “hunted the Russians and claimed the state border” in the Kharkiv region.
In a video released with the statement, armed Ukrainian soldiers in camouflage gear gathered around a border checkpoint painted yellow and blue to address President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The army has “reached the border with the Russian Federation – with the occupying country – we have done it, we are there”, said one of the soldiers.
The Russian Defense Ministry has not acknowledged whether Ukrainian troops have taken control of the border.
Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovich told local television on Sunday that Russian troops were being redeployed to the Donbass region south of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city, after pulling out of the region following a Ukrainian counter-offensive.
Since failing to seize the Ukrainian capital, kyiv, at the start of its invasion in late February, control of Donbass has become one of Moscow’s main objectives in the war against Ukraine. But Western intelligence predicted its campaign would come to a halt as it faces heavy casualties and fierce resistance.
“We thank all those who, at the risk of their lives, liberate Ukraine from Russian invaders,” said Kharkiv regional governor Oleg Synegubov. mentioned on Telegram.
“We still have a lot of work ahead of us,” he added.
Ukraine’s presidency said at a briefing on Monday that Russia had continued its strikes in the Luhansk region south of Kharkiv, killing two people and injuring nine.
AFP contributed reporting.