NewsDrone strikes and clashes escalate in Russia amid presidential elections

Drone strikes and clashes escalate in Russia amid presidential elections

"Attempt to destabilize". The Kremlin reacts to the attacks
"Attempt to destabilize". The Kremlin reacts to the attacks
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7:22 AM EDT, March 16, 2024
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"Intensified attacks on Russian regions aim to destabilize the situation ahead of the elections," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Drones targeted a refinery in the Kaluga region, among other places. On the border of the Belgorod and Kursk regions, clashes with guerrillas persist. In Belgorod, sirens sound every few minutes.

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Since the early hours, regions of the Russian Federation have been under attack, coinciding with the start of three-day presidential elections on Friday. Overnight, drones struck a refinery in the Kaluga region. The most critical situations are unfolding in the border regions of Belgorod and Kursk.

"The increased attacks by the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Russian territories are attempts to undermine stability on the eve of elections," Peskov explained.

Shelling in Belgorod and the surrounding area has continued since morning, executed by guerrillas from the "Freedom of Russia" Legion, the Russian Volunteer Corps, and the Siberian battalion.

Previously, the guerrillas urged residents to evacuate immediately through designated humanitarian corridors.

Panic ensued. On Thursday evening, the state-run Russia Today broadcast reported the exodus of residents from the border region.

The report described dozens of cars hastily leaving the city, with people "fleeing from Grayvoron" and mentioned hearing nearby combat.

The guerrillas established humanitarian corridors, enabling Russians to escape safely.

"Since the humanitarian corridors were opened, over 7,600 vehicles have been utilized by residents of Belgorod and Kursk to vacate their homes," the Legion stated in a Friday morning press release.

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