According to reports from Russian state media, a Russian Sukhoi-34 supersonic warplane accidentally fired a weapon into the city of Belgorod near Ukraine late on Thursday, causing an explosion and injuring at least three people. Video footage from the site showed piles of concrete on the street, several damaged cars, and a building with broken windows. One shot showed what appeared to be a car upside down on the roof of a store.
Belgorod region governor Vyacheslav Gladkov announced a state of emergency overnight and said there was a crater measuring 20 meters (65 feet) across on one of the main streets. Four cars and four apartment buildings were damaged, he added. Three people had been injured, but thankfully no one was killed. An apartment building had to be evacuated overnight.
The Russian news agency Tass cited the Russian Defence Ministry as saying that a Su-34 supersonic fighter-bomber had accidentally discharged a munition. “As a Sukhoi Su-34 air force plane was flying over the city of Belgorod, there was an accidental discharge of aviation ammunition,” Tass cited the Defence Ministry as saying. It did not say what kind of weapon was involved. The ministry said some buildings had been damaged and announced a probe was already underway.
The Belgorod region is one of several parts of southern Russia where targets such as fuel and ammunition stores have been rocked by explosions since the start of what Moscow calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
Mayor of the city of Belgorod Valentin Demidov visited the accident scene following a large blast in a street in Belgorod, Russia, on April 20, 2023.
This incident highlights the dangers of military operations and the importance of ensuring that proper safety protocols are in place to prevent accidents like this from happening. It also raises questions about the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the impact it is having on neighboring regions. The fact that explosions have been occurring in the Belgorod region since the start of the military operation in Ukraine suggests that the conflict is having a wider impact than just on the immediate area of fighting.
It is important for all parties involved in the conflict to consider the wider impact of their actions and to take steps to minimize harm to civilians and non-combatants. Accidents like this only serve to increase tensions and make it more difficult to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
In the meantime, those affected by the accident in Belgorod will need support and assistance to recover from their injuries and rebuild their lives. The local authorities and emergency services will need to work together to ensure that those affected receive the help they need as quickly as possible.
It is also important for the Russian government to take responsibility for this accident and to provide compensation to those affected. Accidents like this should not be swept under the rug or ignored, but rather used as an opportunity to learn and improve safety protocols to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
Overall, this incident serves as a reminder of the importance of safety in military operations and the need for all parties involved in conflicts to consider the wider impact of their actions. It is only through cooperation and a commitment to peace that we can hope to prevent accidents like this from happening in the future.