Russian artillery attacks continue across border into Sumy, Ukrainian military says

Ukrainians attend a rally in central Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, during a protest against the potential escalation of the tension between Russia and Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Joe Biden are to hold a high-stakes telephone call on Saturday as tensions over a possibility imminent invasion of Ukraine escalated sharply and the U.S. announced plans to evacuate its embassy in the Ukrainian capital. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Russian forces have continued to shell border areas after a night of missile attacks and cross-border clashes in the Sumy region, according to the Ukrainian military.

The armed forces Operational Command (North) said there had been more than 80 impacts in border areas on Tuesday morning. 

Almost all the shelling was aimed at the border village of Boyaro-Lezhachi, which was previously shelled last week, and at the end of April.

It is unclear why the Russians are targeting border villages with such intense fire. Some of the villages have already been evacuated and there are no obvious infrastructure targets in the areas that have been shelled.

Some background: This comes a day after Ukraine’s State Border Service said Russian troops opened fire across the frontier in the Sumy region, adding that “border guards fought enemy saboteurs” who tried to enter Ukrainian territory from the village of Lokot.

The State Border Service claimed the Russians had “fired mortars, grenade launchers, machine guns and automatic rifles. Border guards fought the saboteurs and forced them to retreat beyond the state border.”

Sumy region in northeastern Ukraine lies 30 miles (48 kilometers) from the border with Russia, and Sumy was one of the first cities to be attacked in the Russian invasion.

Analysts say the Russian attacks on Sumy and also across the international border into the Chernihiv region are likely intended to tie down Ukrainian units that might otherwise be deployed to the main front lines in Donbas.

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