Russian schools near the border with Ukraine will not reopen for the new school year due to the threat of cross-border attacks, the head of Russia’s Belgorod region said on Wednesday.
At least four Russian border regions, including Belgorod, had canceled schools and ground flights in the days after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. A number of attacks, some of which have damaged infrastructure and caused civilian casualties, have been reported there in the five months of hostilities – but Ukraine has neither confirmed nor denied being behind them.
“For the time being, we will limit the work of schools and kindergartens located in the five-kilometre border zone. They will be closed,” Belgorod Region Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov announced.
Local authorities will designate which schools the children will attend when the school year begins on September 1, he added in a Telegram post.
Gladkov identified five towns and villages in the Belgorod region located closest to Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, where schools will not reopen.
Kharkiv resisted Russia’s attempt to seize the city in the first two months of the war, but faced near-daily Russian bombardment in the past month.
Four other settlements in the Belgorod region further from Kharkiv will resume their studies on September 1, Governor Gladkov said.