More than 3,000 people were evacuated on Saturday from residential buildings in the Russian city of Belgorod after a bomb was found close to the area accidentally bombed by Russia’s air force earlier this week, Russian state media reported.
Explosives specialists assessed the device and said there was no danger of explosion, according to TASS.
Belgorod’s regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on his Telegram channel that the bomb had been removed from the area and the people were returning to their apartments.
Late on Thursday, a Russian warplane dropped a bomb on Belgorod – a city of more than 400,000 people close to the border with Ukraine – leaving a large crater, blowing a car onto a roof and damaging nearby buildings.
Two people were reported injured in the explosion, local officials said.
State media blamed an “accidental” or “emergency” drop of munition for the incident.
It has not been confirmed whether the device discovered this weekend was also dropped on Thursday.
Peter Layton, a visiting fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute and former Royal Australian Air Force officer, said the incident on Thursday was “odd.”
He said a pilot would normally release ordnance in a “safe” mode so it would not detonate and try to do so in an unpopulated area.
The Belgorod region has been the scene of several explosions and bombings since Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine in February 2022. The city was one of Russian troops’ staging areas in the run up to the invasion.