Fighting between the Russian army and pro-Ukrainian rebels in the south of the country continued overnight and led to a mass evacuation of civilians from the city of Shevkino, close to the Russian-Ukrainian border.
The governor of Belgorod region, which was invaded by Free Russian Legion forces, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said two civilians were killed overnight by shelling by the Ukrainian army, which is supporting the rebels with artillery fire. According to Gladkov, 4,000 people were evacuated from Shvkino, which has a population of 44,000, to areas farther from the fighting in the province.
Russia: Fighting rebels on the outskirts of Shabakino
The Free Russian Legion, along with another rebel group, has a force of several hundred fighters whose members entered Russian territory from its southern border and fierce fighting is now taking place in a southern suburb of the city of Bekino. During the night, the Russian military fired phosphorus shells, making use of these weapons for the first time inside Russian territory.
In addition, reports continue to arrive of looting in the city of Shebekino, apparently by civilians taking advantage of the disintegration of public order following the rebels' entry into the area. While Ukraine refuses to comment on the operations officially, Russian rebel forces, apparently alongside at least one unit of Polish-speaking troops, have continued to attack near the city of Shevkino for three days.
The bombed building in the city of Dnipro, Ukraine,
The attack on Shabakino is the second of its kind after pro-Ukrainian rebels attacked the Grivron border crossing in late May and fought battles with the Russian army in the country for nearly a day. The raid ended with the withdrawal of the attacking forces, but it caused great embarrassment to the Kremlin as it exposed the unpreparedness of the Russian army in defending its long southern border with Ukraine.
Meanwhile, a two-year-old baby girl was killed in a Russian bombing of the city of Dnipro in eastern Ukraine. A missile fired by the Russian army hit a residential building, completely toppling it. Another 22 civilians were wounded, many of whom were rescued from under the rubble of the building.
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