Anti-Putin Militias Overrun Russia's Belgorod Region
Two paramilitary groups crossed from Ukraine into Russia's Belgorod region on Monday, overrunning a border checkpoint in the settlement of Kozinka, resulting in armed clashes that injured a number of civilians.
- Two paramilitary groups crossed from Ukraine into Russia's Belgorod region on Monday, overrunning a border checkpoint in the settlement of Kozinka, resulting in armed clashes that injured a number of civilians.1
- Russian officials alleged the groups were Ukrainian saboteurs and said that the Russian military, the National Guard, and the Federal Security Service were taking "necessary measures to eliminate the enemy." They further alleged the move was initiated to divert focus away from Russia's capture of the Donetsk city of Bakhmut over the weekend.2
- Meanwhile, Ukrainian officials denied responsibility, alleging the groups were made up of Russian citizens that opposed Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin's government. Kyiv identified the groups as the Liberty of Russia Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps, and did not comment on whether they had assisted them.1
- While the nature of the groups has yet to be independently confirmed, footage released on social media showed them operating US-made equipment recently delivered to Ukraine, including Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles.3
- As the Russian "mopping up" operation continued into Tuesday, Belgorod governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said officials were taking measures to evacuate civilians and warned residents not to return to their homes until the threat had been eliminated.4
- Gladkov added that artillery fire and mortar shelling has been reported in roughly 20 border regions. He said 12 civilians had been reported injured at this stage.5
Sources: 1BBC News, 2TASS (a), 3Frontier India, 4Guardian, and 5TASS (b).
- Pro-Russia narrative, as provided by TASS. These attacks in Russia's Belgorod region were perpetrated by Ukrainian saboteurs with the help of the country's security services. Russian authorities are on scene and are taking the necessary steps to eliminate the threat.
- Pro-Ukraine narrative, as provided by Ukrainska Pravda. Ukraine has no involvement in these attacks. These movements are being carried out by Russian citizens who support Ukraine's fight against Vladimir Putin's tyranny.