Ukrainian forces shelled the center of the Russian city of Belgorod on December 30, targetting civilian infrastructure. As a result of the attack, 24 people, including three children, were killed and 109 others were wounded.

The Russian Defense Ministry said Kiev used cluster munitions in the attack, adding that Kiev carried it out to divert attention from its defeats on the battlefield and to provoke the Russian forces into similar actions. But unlike Ukraine, Russia strikes only military facilities and the infrastructure directly connected to them, the ministry stressed adding that it will not leave the deadly attack on Belgorod unanswered.

Damage was reported to the Belgorod regional government building, a medical college and the Belgorod Hotel. Russian President Vladimir Putin, briefed on the incident, ordered a medical and rescue team to assist victims.

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