The border city was targeted in a massive Ukrainian attack that killed more than 20 people
Around a dozen Russian cities have canceled public New Year’s celebrations in the wake of a massive Ukrainian attack on the border city of Belgorod, their mayors announced on Sunday. Kiev launched a barrage of rockets targeting the city center of Belgorod on Saturday, in a strike that claimed the lives of 24 people, including four children, and left 108 injured.
Holding festivities at this time would be “inappropriate,” Yury Grishin, the mayor of the Far-Eastern Russian city of Magadan, said in a Telegram post as he announced the cancelation of public celebrations. He also called on residents to refrain from setting off fireworks.
The mayor of the Far-Eastern city of Blagoveshchensk, which borders China, issued a similar statement. “We’ve decided to cancel the holiday fireworks show planned for the evening,” Oleg Imameev said on Sunday, explaining that it would have been “out of place.” He added that there will be time to celebrate in the future, and called on people to spend New Year’s with their relatives and loved ones.
Vladivostok Mayor Konstantin Shestakov said on social media that his city mourns along with the rest of the country as he canceled the local fireworks show.
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Mayor Konstantin Bryzgin, however, argued it would be wrong to “be led by the nose by terrorists” and deprive children of the holiday. He nevertheless canceled the New Year’s fireworks display in the city, but said the rest of the celebrations would go ahead as planned.
The city of Kolomna in Moscow Region canceled all New Year’s festivities. The authorities of Veliky Ustyug, the ‘residence’ of Ded Moroz (Father Frost, the Russian counterpart of Santa Claus), also called off the holiday events in the city center.
Roman Satrovoyt, the governor of Kursk Region, which borders Belgorod Region, said on Sunday that illumination on all public offices and government buildings will be switched off in solidarity with the victims of the attack. He also called on people to provide assistance to those affected by the assault through a Belgorod fund that supports the families of Russian soldiers.
The governor noted that a terrorism alert is still in place in the region, which also borders Ukraine, adding that the use of any pyrotechnics is currently banned. He called on residents to remain at home and spend time with their loved ones, and exercise “restraint,” as people in the neighboring region deal with “terrible grief.” He expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and said, “Belgorod! We are with you!”