Church services on the eve of Russian Orthodox Christmas, celebrated on Jan. 7, have been canceled "due to the operational situation," Belgorod Mayor Valentin Demidov announced on Jan. 6.
A Dec. 30 strike on Belgorod, which lies about 40 kilometers from the Ukrainian border, reportedly killed 25 people and injured over 100.
Several Ukrainian media outlets reported that Ukrainian forces struck military facilities in Belgorod on Dec. 30, citing anonymous sources in Ukraine's special services.
Debris from the used weapons fell in the city center "due to the unprofessional actions of the Russian air defense," according to the sources.
Belgorod Oblast Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov claimed on Jan. 5 that the authorities have started moving residents out of Belgorod to towns to the north, further away from the border with Ukraine.
"I see several appeals on social media where people write, 'We are scared, help us get to a safe place.' Of course we will! We have already moved several families," Gladkov claimed.
The Kyiv Independent could not independently verify any of these claims.