Invasion of Russia Day 1? Incursion in Belgorod Region by Russian Volunteers

Russia | May 22, 2023, Monday // 16:46|  views

Patch of the legion "Freedom of Russia"

"Sabotage-reconnaissance group" from the Armed Forces of Ukraine was accused by the administration of Russia's Belgorod region of having infiltrated its territory. This was announced on the Telegram channel of the governor of the region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, according to whom the Russian military and counterintelligence are working to "liquidate " the opponent.

At the time of this article's publication, Gladkov had not yet released the promised "details", although Russian state agencies were quick to clarify that they were keeping the Kremlin in the loop. The press secretary of the presidency, Dmitry Peskov, saw in what was happening only an attempt to divert attention from Bakhmut, less than 48 hours after the private military company "Wagner" announced that this city was under its control.

However, a dispute arose between the Russian authorities and Kyiv about who is responsible: the spokesman of the General Directorate of Intelligence (GUR) Andriy Yusov said that opposition-minded Russian citizens, such as the Legion "Freedom for Russia" and the "Russian Volunteer Corps", may be behind what happened.

Both organizations are volunteer military units formed in March and August respectively last year after Russia invaded Ukraine. Both are simultaneously units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (VSU).

The formations have already announced that they are conducting an operation on Russian territory, and for independent Russian media, their representatives define the situation as "complex". The "Legion" went further, reporting the complete "liberation" of the village of Kozinka, in Belgorod Oblast, with a population of less than 1,100 as of 2010. Russian and Ukrainian Telegram channels previously reported that in border areas, a Ukrainian tank was spotted at a checkpoint.

However, on Twitter, the adviser to the president, Mykhailo Podolyak, stated that Kyiv had nothing to do with the operation in Belgorod. Ukraine is "watching events... with interest," he said.

"As you know, tanks are sold in any Russian military store, and underground guerrilla groups consist of Russian citizens," said the adviser.

Read more from the 452nd day of the war in Ukraine.

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Tags: Russian, Ukraine, belgorod, Russian


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