Russian Territory Under Attack as Ukraine Shells Border Checkpoint—Official

A Russian checkpoint in the Kursk region near the Ukrainian frontier was shelled on Friday, a regional official said, in the latest sign that the war is spreading beyond Ukraine's borders.

The governor of Russia's Kursk region, Roman Starovoyt, said in a statement on the Telegram messaging app that mortar shells were fired at the checkpoint in the village of Krupets, close to the Ukrainian city of Sumy, at around 8.00 a.m. local time.

Starovoyt said Russian border guards and military "suppressed" the firing positions with retaliatory fire.

"There were no casualties or damage," he wrote.

He did not make clear if the shells had been fired from inside Ukrainian territory and it was not known if there were any casualties on the Ukrainian side.

Ukrainian tanks move on a road
Ukrainian tanks move on a road before an attack in Lugansk region on February 26, 2022. The governor of Russia's Kursk region, Roman Starovoyt accused Ukraine of shelling a Russian border checkpoint on Friday. ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP/Getty Images

It's not the first time that Russian officials have accused Ukraine of shelling checkpoints and Russian targets across the border, including in the Kursk region.

There have also been a number of mysterious incidents on Russian territory, such as an explosion and blaze at an oil depot and damage to a railway line. Although Kyiv denied responsibility, a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman earlier this month blamed the attacks on Ukrainian forces and threatened to strike "decision-making centers" in Kyiv in retaliation.

On April 6, Starovoyt accused Ukrainian forces of firing at frontier guards in the Kursk region.

"Yesterday ... they tried to fire mortars at the position of our border guards in the Sudzhansky district," the regional governor said at the time.

"Russian border guards returned fire ... There were no casualties or damage on our side," Starovoyt wrote.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described that alleged incident as "serious."

Newsweek has been unable to independently verify the reports.

According to the Russian-language Novye Izvestia media outlet, Ukrainian forces this week fired mortars at the villages of Nekhoteyevka, Zhuravlyovka and Golovchino in the Belgorod region and fired at a checkpoint in the Bryansk region.

Starovoyt said on April 25 that two Ukrainian drones were shot down in the region by Russian air defense systems.

"Today, at 04:15 Moscow time (0115 GMT), the teams of Russian air defense systems shot down two Ukrainian drones over the village of Borovskoye, Rylsky district," the governor wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

"There are no casualties, injuries, or destruction. The situation is completely under control," he added.

Blasts have been heard in the Russian city of Kursk this week, with video posted on social media purportedly showing the explosions.

A local Telegram channel post said that four Russian military personnel had died in the Kursk explosion, although this has not been confirmed and Starovoyt said there were "no casualties," Newsweek previously reported.

The regional governor wrote in a post on his Telegram channel that the explosions occurred at 2.45 a.m. on Wednesday, April 27, and that "the details of the incident are being clarified."

"According to preliminary data, the air defense system worked," Starovoyt wrote.

"There are no casualties or destruction," the governor said.

Newsweek has contacted Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ukrainian authorities for comment.