Authorities in Russia’s Belgorod region – a frequent target of shelling – have spent almost four times as much on public entertainment as on civil defense this year, according to Mozhem Obyasnit’s Telegram news channel Report Friday.
The Belgorod region bordering Ukraine has come under repeated shelling and drone strikes since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine last year, with the number and intensity of attacks rising in recent weeks ahead of an expected Ukrainian counteroffensive.
Newest attack At least two people were killed and two were injured in the Shebekino district of the Belgorod region on Friday.
But publicly available procurement data show local officials prefer to spend money organizing public celebrations and festivals rather than boosting the region’s civil defense capabilities.
According to Mozhem Obyasnit, authorities have spent 30 million rubles ($371,000) on public entertainment until 2023, compared with only 8 million rubles ($98,700) on civil defense.
A large dumpling festival organized by local authorities in January came days after the town of Shebekino, about 5 kilometers from the Ukrainian border, was shelled, damaging at least a dozen houses.
In May – when shelling of the area first intensified – local authorities held a two-day tulip festival In the regional capital Belgorod.
At the same time, residents of border areas expressed frustration Lack of evacuation help from authorities, as well as complaints about the lack of air sirens and barrier free Air-raid shelter facility.