The Russian defense ministry has confirmed that one of its fighter jets unintentionally bombed the city of Belgorod, located in eastern Russia near the Ukrainian border. The incident resulted in a powerful explosion in the city center that caused damage to several multi-story buildings and left three people injured, according to the region’s governor, Vyacheslav Gladkov. The city is home to several Russian military bases and training grounds.
The Russian official statement read, “On April 20, during the flight of an Su-34 aircraft of the Aerospace Forces over the city of Belgorod, there was an abnormal descent of an aircraft munition. As a result, there was damage to residential buildings, no casualties. An investigation is underway.”
The explosion was attributed to an emergency ammunition drop, the Defense Ministry stated in a Thursday statement. The blast caused damage to four apartments, four cars, and power line poles, and it left a “huge” crater in the city center, Gladkov said on his Telegram channel. He added that restoration work should be completed by Monday.
According to the governor, one woman was hospitalized with a head injury resulting from the explosion. The incident has not yet been linked to any conflict in the area, although it occurred close to the Ukrainian border, which has experienced violence and tension between Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces. The Russian military has a significant presence in the region and conducts training exercises there.