Metropolitan of Belgorod and Starooskolsky John, after the shelling of Belgorod, called on the faithful to pray for "an end to the bloodshed" in Ukraine. His statement is published on the website of the diocese.
“Tonight, rockets from the armed forces of Ukraine hit sleeping Belgorod residents in residential areas. Among the dead were residents of the Kharkov region, who came to hide from the war in peaceful Belgorod. However, no one knows the day or hour when our earthly life will end, no one knows how it will happen (Matthew 24:36-39). We call for an intense prayer for the repose of the dead and for the recovery of the injured, for an end to the bloodshed that is taking place on Ukrainian soil, but today it has also come to our homes. It's time, according to the word of the Holy Scripture, "to beat swords into plowshares" (Is.2:4). May the Lord preserve all the living and grant peace on earth,” the Metropolitan said in a statement.
On July 3, a series of explosions took place in Belgorod. According to the agency, four people were killed: one citizen of Russia and three citizens of Ukraine. The Russian Defense Ministry claims that the strikes were carried out by three Ukrainian Tochka-U missiles, which shot down the air defense forces. The APU denies this. Military experts told The Insider that one of the high-rise buildings was likely hit by the propulsion engine of a 9M335 anti-aircraft guided missile of the Russian Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft missile system covering Belgorod.
Prior to this, the governor of the Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, called the incident "a series of loud sounds." A video of Gladkov's communication with local residents was also published . "How can we sleep peacefully now?" the woman asked him. “Well, we won’t sleep peacefully,” the governor replied. - Everything that depends on me, on mine, on the operational services - we are in place. <...> What happened now is, of course, an extremely difficult situation. Therefore, to say that I will tell you now that there will never be [this] again, I cannot.”
According to Belgorod resident and Fonar.tv deputy editor-in-chief Nikita Parmenov, Belgorod residents are already calling last night “the worst night since the beginning of the special operation”: “Panic has increased, people are worried. Entertainment festivals and events have been canceled in the city today. There is confusion about the "newspeak" that the governor uses. Okay, when you called some explosions in the sky “pops”, but when two houses burned down in your house, people died, the governor for some reason again called it “a series of loud sounds”. This is the main complaint against the authorities now.”