In a startling admission, Russia’s military has confirmed that one of its warplanes dropped a bomb that caused a powerful explosion in Belgorod, a city of 340,000 located about 25 miles east of the Russia-Ukraine border. This accident caused two injuries and widespread panic among local residents.
Belgorod has been the target of regular drone attacks during Russia’s ongoing military operations in Ukraine, and the Russian authorities have blamed the Ukrainian military for these attacks. However, the Ukrainian military has not claimed responsibility for them.
The explosion that occurred late Thursday was much more severe than anything the residents of Belgorod had experienced before. Witnesses reported a hissing sound followed by a blast that shook nearby apartment buildings and shattered windows.
The explosion left a 66-foot-wide crater in the middle of a tree-lined boulevard and damaged several cars, throwing one vehicle onto a store roof. Two people were injured, and a third person was hospitalized with hypertension.
Russia’s air force accidentally bombs own city of Belgorod: Immediately after the blast, many Russian commentators and military bloggers began speculating about the type of weapon that Ukraine might have used for the attack and called for retaliation.
However, about an hour later, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that the explosion was caused by a weapon accidentally released by one of its own Su-34 bombers. The ministry did not provide any further details, but military experts believe that the weapon was likely a powerful 1,100-pound bomb, which was set to explode with a small delay after impact, allowing it to hit underground facilities.
Following the explosion, Belgorod Gov. Vyacheslav Gladkov announced that local authorities would temporarily resettle residents of a nine-story apartment building while it was inspected to ensure that it was safe to live in.
This incident has led to questions about why the warplane flew over Belgorod, with some commentators urging the military to avoid such risky overflights in the future.
This is not the first time that a Russian military plane has crashed or caused an accident in the area, with a warplane crashing next to a residential building in Yeysk on the Sea of Azov in October 2022, killing 15 people.
Experts have noted that the number of Russian military flights has increased sharply during the fighting, leading to a higher number of crashes and misfires.
Another deadly incident in the Belgorod region occurred when two volunteer soldiers fired at Russian troops at a military firing range, killing 11 and wounding 15 others before being shot dead.