Zelensky Claims Ukraine Doesn't Attack Russian Settlements as Border Regions Come Under Fire
01:04 GMT 03.05.2022 (Updated: 01:42 GMT 03.05.2022)
© AP Photo / Ukrainian Presidential Press OfficeIn this image from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks from Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 26, 2022.
© AP Photo / Ukrainian Presidential Press Office
Over the past month, Russian authorities in the regions bordering Ukraine have regularly reported shelling with rockets and artillery, and even air raids on border settlements and infrastructure, in particular bridges, by the Ukrainian military. Kiev usually refuses to comment on its involvement in the attacks.
The Ukrainian army does not conduct operations on Russian territory, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with the Arab TV channels Al-Arabiya and Al-Hadath, despite numerous cases of shelling of Russian border regions by Ukraine.
According to Zelensky, the conflict is confined to Ukrainian territory and has not spread to Russia, stressing that the Ukrainian military does not conduct combat operations on Russian soil.
He further stated that the military is defending their homeland and has no intention of occupying Russian territory.
In mid-April, following reports by Russian authorities of Ukrainian Mi-24 helicopters firing at an oil base in Belgorod, Russia, Zelensky declined to directly answer the question of whether the pilots had an airstrike order, thus neither confirming nor denying Kiev's involvement.
Shelling of Russian Territory by Ukraine
Meanwhile, on April 29, in the Bryansk region, located north of Ukraine's Chernigov and Sumy regions, the Belaya Berezka border checkpoint was subjected to mortar fire from Ukraine; there were no casualties, as the governor of the region reported. The next day, the governor said that the air defense system of the region prevented Ukrainian Air Force aircraft from entering Russia. In addition, on April 25, the Ukrainian military reportedly fired more than 50 mines at the Troebortnoe checkpoint in Bryansk.
In mid-April, two Ukrainian helicopters intruded into Russian airspace, firing several shots at residential areas in the village of Klimovo, as reported by the Russian Investigative Committee. Several people sustained injuries.
Moreover, several shells were fired from Ukraine at the Krupets checkpoint in the Kursk region, east of Sumy. Earlier, the firing point was suppressed. The local authorities said that there were no casualties, injuries or damage.
On May 1, Kursk Region Governor Roman Starovoit stated that the railway bridge in the region had partially collapsed due to sabotage.
A similar situation developed in the Belgorod region, adjacent to Ukrainian Kharkov, where explosions were heard on the night of May 2, and eyewitnesses filmed flashes in the sky. Luckily, no damage or casualties were reported. Later on Monday, Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov clarified that the explosions were not triggered by any incoming attack from Ukraine.
"Our [Russian] military aviation was carrying out combat missions as part of the special military operation. Nothing threatened the security of local residents," Gladkov said on Telegram.
In early April, a fire broke out at an oil depot in the city of Belgorod roughly 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of the Ukrainian border. The fire was started by airstrikes carried out by two Ukrainian military helicopters that had entered Russian airspace at a low altitude, according to the governor.