Belgorod apartment bombing
© Sputnik
Many more were injured when an apartment building collapsed as a result of the strike in Belgorod, the local governor has reported

At least 19 civilians died in a series of Ukrainian strikes targeting the Russian city of Belgorod on Sunday, local governor Vyacheslav Gladkov has said. The bodies of 15 victims were taken out from under the rubble of a multi-story building that had collapsed earlier in the day as a result of one of the strikes.

Kiev's forces launched another "massive shelling" targeting the city after the incident, the governor said on Sunday evening. This attack claimed the lives of three more people, including a 17-year-old girl, Gladkov confirmed. Five more suffered various injuries in the strike, according to authorities.

Gladkov added that, in addition to the fatalities, over two dozen people were injured in the strikes. The second strike also damaged 17 apartments in five residential buildings, the governor said. That figure did not include the damage suffered by the partially collapsed apartment block.

Earlier, the governor said that "an entire section of an apartment building - from the tenth to the first floor - collapsed as a result of a direct hit" during a Ukrainian bombardment.

At some point, the roof of the damaged building collapsed as well, while the rescuers were clearing the rubble underneath. A source in the governor's office told Mash Telegram channel that no one was hurt in that incident. Another Telegram channel, Shot, claimed that at least three people sustained injuries in the roof collapse.

The Russian Defense Ministry reported that Ukraine had attacked residential areas of Belgorod, using a Tochka-U tactical missile system, as well as rockets from Olkha and RM-70 Vampire multiple launch systems. The ministry further asserted that Russian air defenses had intercepted six Soviet-era Tochka-U missiles, four Vampire rockets, and two Olkha projectiles.

The Investigative Committee of Russia has opened a criminal case into terrorism following the strike that caused the partial building collapse.