child russia
© Sputnik / The Russian Emergencies MinistryCivilians injured in Ukraine’s attack on Belgorod are transported to Moscow, December 31, 2023.
A four-year-old girl injured in the recent attack on the southwestern Russian city of Belgorod succumbed to her injuries on Monday, Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov has announced.

"I offer my condolences to the family and friends of the deceased child. I understand that there are no words that can console this grief. This is a terrible loss for all of us," Gladkov wrote on Telegram.

The development brings the death toll from the Ukrainian shelling of the city to 25, including five children, the governor noted. Apart from this, more people who received light injuries during the attack have shown up at hospitals, according to Gladkov. All in all, 109 civilians were injured in the strike, with around 70 remaining hospitalized, the governor said.

Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin described the Belgorod shelling as a "terrorist attack" carried out by Ukrainian forces using multiple rocket launchers indiscriminately.

"With these weapons they struck right at the center of the city, where people were going out on New Year's Eve. Just an attack, a targeted strike on the civilian population. Of course, this is a terrorist attack; there is no other way to describe it," the president said in a meeting with wounded Russian servicemen.

"Of course, not a single such crime, and this is certainly a crime against the civilian population, will be left unpunished, there can be no doubt about that," Putin added.

Belgorod and other regions in southwestern Russia have been subjected to repeated artillery, missile, and drone strikes by Ukrainian forces amid the ongoing conflict, resulting in numerous casualties. The attack on Saturday is the deadliest to date, with heavy casualties among civilians and widespread damage to public and residential buildings across the city.