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Russia moves 5,000 children from Belgorod after Kyiv attacks

By AFP - Mar 31,2024 - Last updated at Mar 31,2024

A man covers windows with plywood boards of a building that was heavily damaged following a recent shelling, in the town of Mykolaivka, near Sloviansk in the north of the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, on Saturday (AFP photo)

MOSCOW — Five thousand children have been evacuated from Russia's Belgorod region bordering Ukraine following weeks of deadly bombardment by Kyiv, the region's governor said Saturday.

Regional authorities last week said 9,000 minors would be moved to other regions after a spate of cross-border shelling and drone strikes killed over a dozen civilians.

"Five thousand of our children are already outside the region. Yesterday, 1,300 children arrived in Saint Petersburg, Bryansk, and Makhachkala," governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said.

Children who remain in the region and live in municipalities close to the border, including the region's capital Belgorod, will switch to remote learning next month, he added.

He said businesses that had been forced to close due to the attacks will be allowed to re-open as long as "staff are trained in first aid" and windows are taped up.

Belgorod has been repeatedly targeted by what Russian officials have called indiscriminate Ukrainian attacks since the conflict began more than two years ago.

On Friday, a Ukrainian drone crashed into a multi-storey apartment building in Belgorod city, killing a man and wounding two others, including his wife, Gladkov said.

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