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A total of 25 civilians, including five minors, were killed in the Ukrainian shelling of Belgorod, local governor has said

A 4-year-old girl injured in the recent attack on the southwestern Russian city of Belgorod succumbed to her injuries on Monday, governor Vyacheslav Gladkov has announced.

“I offer my condolences to the family and friends of the deceased child. I understand that there are no words that can console this grief. This is a terrible loss for all of us,” Gladkov wrote on his Telegram channel.

The development brings the death toll of the Ukrainian shelling of the city to 25, including five children, the governor noted. Apart from that, more people who had received light injuries during the attack, have shown up at hospitals, according to Gladkov. All in all, 109 civilians received various injuries during the strike, with some 70 of them remaining hospitalized, the governor noted.

Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin squarely described the Belgorod shelling as a “terrorist attack” carried out by the Ukrainian forces using indiscriminate weapons, namely multiple rocket launchers.

“With these weapons they struck right at the center of the city, where people were going out on New Year’s Eve. Just an attack, a targeted strike on the civilian population. Of course, this is a terrorist attack; there is no other way to describe it,” the president said during a meeting with wounded Russian servicemen. “Of course, not a single such crime, and this is certainly a crime against the civilian population, will be left unpunished, there can be no doubt about that,” Putin added.

Belgorod, as well as other regions of southwestern Russia, have been subjected to repeated artillery, missile and drone strikes by Ukrainian forces amid the ongoing conflict, with the attacks causing numerous casualties among locals. The Saturday attack became the deadliest to date, with heavy casualties among the civilians and widespread damage to public venues and residential homes across the city.

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