June 25, 2024

An Everyday Emergency


An Everyday Emergency
Firefighters extinguish a house damaged by shelling in the Belgorod Oblast.
  Telegram channel of the governor of Belgorod Oblast.

Warnings about the threat of shelling or drone strikes have become daily occurrences since May 2024 in Russia's regions that border Ukraine, according to an analysis by the independent news publication Agentstvo.

In the Belgorod, Kursk, Rostov, and Voronezh regions, the number of air raid warnings has been on the rise. In April, there were just 49 warnings; but in May, there were 160. By mid-June, there have already been 103. Most of these warnings were accompanied by sirens.

The number of days per month on which the alarm was sounded in at least one border region has also increased. There were eight and seven quiet days in April and March, respectively. In May and June, there was only one quiet day each month.

According to Agentstvo's research, the Belgorod region was the most targetted, with the governor warning of shelling 252 times in 3.5 months.

Other statistics also highlight Belgorod Oblast as a Russian region most affected by Russia's War on Ukraine. According to the local publication Fonar ("The Lantern"), more than 1,000 inhabitants of the region have been wounded by the war. In July 2023, Fonar reported that about 1,750 properties in the region had been destroyed beyond repair.

In 2023, the number of people leaving the region was 27 percent higher than in 2021. The war has also significantly impacted crime statistics in the region. In the first nine months of 2023, the number of crimes involving weapons increased 17-fold. Additionally, the number of crimes related to illegal weapons trafficking also rose significantly in 2023, with residents often finding weapons in the forest or purchasing them from the Russian military.

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