(Photo by MUHAMMAD HAJ KADOUR/AFP via Getty Images)
OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 2:20 PM – Friday, April 21, 2023
A Russian warplane accidentally dropped a bomb on a Russian city near the Ukrainian border on Thursday.
The bombing caused three injuries, and a massive 66-foot-wide crater in the street of the city of Belgorod. The Russian Defense Ministry released a statement acknowledging the friendly fire.
“As a Sukhoi Su-34 air force plane was flying over the city of Belgorod, there was an accidental discharge of aviation ammunition,” the Defense Ministry said.
It was not immediately clear what type of weapon had been dropped in Belgorod. Analysts suggest that it could have been a UMPK FAB-500M62 glide bomb, which weigh approximately 1,100 pounds, whose wings failed to deploy.
According to military officials, the bomb was meant to explode after a small delay, and was targeting underground facilities.
❗️ Russian Defense Ministry commented on the explosion in #Belgorod
“In the evening of April 20, while performing a flight of a Su-34 aircraft of the Air Force over the city of Belgorod, there was an accidental fall of an aircraft munition,” the ministry said in a statement.… pic.twitter.com/rnFmIVdP91
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) April 20, 2023
The governor of Belgorod, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said one apartment building close to the explosion was temporarily evacuated, and a state of emergency was announced in city overnight.
“The residents of Belgorod were faced with tough ordeals last night,” Gladkov said. “Together, I think we will go through them.”
Belgorod, a city with a population of about 340,000 located approximately 25 miles east of the border with Ukraine has experienced regular drone attacks, which officials blame on Ukraine. However, the explosion on Thursday was more powerful than anything the city has seen. Witnesses reported hearing a low hissing noise followed by a blast that made nearby buildings tremble.
Due to its close proximity to the Ukraine border, the Belgorod region has served as a staging ground for the Russian military since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
The region is one of the few areas in Russia where the impact of the war is felt directly by Russian civilians. The residents of the region have become accustomed to daily drone strikes, shelling, casualties, ammunition and oil depot fires.
Military experts have warned that as the number of Russian military flights and operation increase in the area, accidents and crashes will most likely increase as well.
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