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Update: Death toll in Belgorod apartment building collapse reportedly rises to 16

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 14, 2024 12:53 PM 2 min read
Collapsed entrance of a residential building in Belgorod. (Screenshot of Vyacheslav Gladkov's video/Telegram)
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Editor's note: The article was updated with comments by Andrii Kovalenko, the head of the counter-disinformation department at Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council.

At least 16 people were killed in the Russian city of Belgorod after an apartment building collapsed on May 12, Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry claimed on May 14.

The death toll rose after the body of a woman was discovered, the ministry wrote on Telegram. At least 27 people were reported as injured.

According to the Belgorod Oblast Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov, a part of a 10-story apartment building collapsed there on May 12.

Gladkov also claimed that the building was hit by a Ukrainian projectile during an air raid alert in the oblast.

Russian air defenses allegedly shot down six Tochka-U missiles and six rockets over Belgorod Oblast, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. The ministry claimed that the residential building was "damaged" by a Tochka-U missile fragment.

The Kyiv Independent could not independently verify the claims.

Andrii Kovalenko, the head of the counter-disinformation department at Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, disputed Moscow's accusations.

"The video from the cameras does not show falling objects... therefore, Russia's accusations about Ukrainian strikes do not currently correspond to reality," Kovalenko said.

Kovalenko did not rule out the possibility that the incident was a result of an accident inside the building, which Russian propaganda now seeks to use for its own interests, or a provocation on Moscow's side.

Claims of rocket or drone attacks against Belgorod Oblast, which borders Ukraine's Sumy, Kharkiv, and Luhansk oblasts, have become a common occurrence in recent months.

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