During an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council in response to an alleged attack in Belgorod, U.S. official John Kelley stated that "ordinary Russian civilians are also bearing the brunt of the Kremlin’s brutal war."
Russia called an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council following an attack on Belgorod on Dec. 30 that allegedly killed 20 people, including two children. Nearly 111 are also reportedly injured. The Kyiv Independent could not verify the claims.
"The United States mourns every civilian life lost to this conflict, and all conflicts worldwide," Kelley said. "We have not lost sight of the fact that ordinary Russian civilians are also bearing the brunt of the Kremlin’s brutal war...Just as we discuss issues openly and plainly in this Chamber, Putin should be honest with his people about the true and mounting cost of his war."
Kelley emphasized the importance of contextualizing the Belgorod attack with Putin's motivations for the war and its effects on the Russian people.
"Every day the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine continues, and Putin is responsible for the senseless and unnecessary loss of life. This is his war. It is his war of choice...Russia alone is responsible for starting and prolonging this war in violation of the UN Charter and for the resulting loss of life."
Russia has vowed retaliation for the alleged attack, however, Ukraine has not claimed responsibility. Kyiv generally does not comment on reports of attacks and explosions on Russian soil.
The day before explosions were reported in Belgorod, a city only 40 kilometers from the Ukrainian border, Russia launched a massive wave of strikes against Ukraine that killed at least 39 people and injured over 160 others.
According to RBC-Ukraine, unnamed sources in the intelligence service reported that Ukraine launched a missile strike on military targets in Belgorod in response to Russia's massive attack on Ukrainian cities the night before.
Several hours after the alleged attack in Belgorod, Russia sent at least six missiles into downtown Kharkiv, injuring at least 26 people and damaging civilian infrastructure.