The governor of Russia’s Belgorod region which borders Ukraine has said the area is experiencing “hard times” due to recent shelling by Kyiv.

Speaking at an event in Moscow, Vyacheslav Gladkov said: “What Belgorodians have endured and are enduring, not everyone can physically cope with it.

“Everyone is afraid, but it is one thing when you sit and are afraid alone, and another thing when we cope with this misfortune together.

“The Belgorod region is going through hard times.”

Gladkov’s comments come after Belgorod authorities said Ukrainian shelling in the city killed 25 people earlier this month.

For nearly two years now, Ukrainian cities across the entire country have been shelled by Russian forces thousands of times, killing thousands of people.

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Entire cities now under Russian occupation razed to the ground. The death toll in places like Mariupol are not known but have been estimated at 100,000.

In Belgorod, children could be seen gathering at Belgorod train station Wednesday as they prepared to leave for safer regions, AFP reports.

The evacuations represent a frustration for the Kremlin, which has tried to maintain normality ahead of presidential elections this year.

It has vowed that Russia's military would do “everything” it can to stop the attacks, but has yet to present a plan.

As well as the evacuations, city authorities have advised residents to tape up their windows in order to protect themselves from shattering glass.

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Ukrainian special forces have also been active in the region in recent weeks – a “complex mission” destroyed two Russian anti-aircraft systems in the Belgorod region on Saturday.

The Main Directorate of Intelligence (HUR) released footage of the attack on Sunday, saying it had taken out two Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missile complexes, each one valued at around $15m.

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