Russia says weekend strike on Belgorod was aimed to provoke Moscow

Vladimir Putin ordered military operation in eastern Ukraine

Moscow says the alleged missile strike carried out by Ukrainian forces on the city of Belgorod aimed to provoke Russia, according to the spokeswoman for the country’s Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova.

“The goal of the Kyiv regime is to strike with unguided weapons at residential areas of cities.

We understand that these actions of the Kyiv regime were not just coordinated with its Western curators, but most likely prompted by them,” Zakharova said in a video statement on Sunday. “This is being done in order to push us to launch retaliatory strikes of this kind, and then further spin the anti-Russian hysteria.”

“We have so far refrained from taking such steps, but we will be following developments very closely,” she added.

The Russian Ministry of Defense accused Ukraine of targeting the city of Belgorod with three Tochka-U missiles and of using drones laden with explosives to hit the Russian city of Kursk on Sunday.

Ukraine has not acknowledged the strikes.

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