Russian schools near the border with Ukraine will not reopen for the new academic year amid the threat of cross-border attacks, the head of Russia’s Belgorod region said Wednesday.
At least four Russian border regions including Belgorod had canceled school and grounded flights in the days after Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. A number of attacks, some of which damaged infrastructure and claimed civilian lives, 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-kilometer border zone. They will be closed,” Belgorod region Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov announced.
Local authorities will designate which schools the children will attend when the academic year starts on Sept. 1, he added in a Telegram post.
Gladkov identified five Belgorod region towns and villages located nearest to Ukraine’s second-largest city of Kharkiv where schools will not reopen.
Kharkiv resisted Russia’s attempt to capture the city in the first two months of the war but has faced near-daily Russian shelling over the past month.
Four other Belgorod region settlements further from Kharkiv will resume studies on Sept. 1, Governor Gladkov said.