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Russia Declares Victory Over Belgorod Insurgents After Unusual Cross-border Incursion


According to Moscow, Russia declares victory over Belgorod insurgents after unusual cross-border incursion as armed insurgents who infiltrated the Belgorod region from Ukraine with the intention of launching attacks were effectively countered. Following intense shelling in nearby border villages, residents were evacuated, marking one of the notable cross-border raids since the commencement of Russia's invasion.

Russia asserts that 70 assailants, believed to be Ukrainian fighters, were eliminated during the operation. Conversely, Kyiv has refuted any involvement in the incident, while two Russian paramilitary factions have claimed responsibility for the incursion.

Following Monday's raid, Moscow invoked a counter-terrorism operation, granting the authorities enhanced powers to restrict communications and individuals' mobility. These measures remained in effect until Tuesday afternoon, and even then, one of the paramilitary factions maintained its assertion of controlling a "limited yet significant portion of the homeland."

While the veracity of the conflicting claims from both sides remains unverified, any incursions onto Russian territory unsettle NATO leaders, presenting a situation that could have both positive and negative implications for Kyiv.

These Are Russian Patriots

COPYRIGHT_BP: Published on https://bingepost.com/russia-declares-victory-over-belgorod-insurgents-after-unusual-cross-border-incursion/ by Cecilia Jones on 2023-05-23T22:33:50.746Z

According to Russia's defense ministry, a "Ukrainian nationalist formation" launched an invasion into Russian territory, resulting in intense shelling at the Kozinka checkpoint and surrounding areas. The ministry stated that it conducted artillery and air strikes, leading to the elimination of numerous "Ukrainian terrorists," while forcing the remaining fighters to retreat towards the Ukrainian border.

In contrast, Ukrainian officials have attributed the attack to Russian forces belonging to the Liberty of Russia Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC). They contest the Russian narrative and assert that the attackers were not Ukrainian nationalists but rather Russian militants.

"These are Russian patriots who want to change the political regime in the country," Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar told Ukrainian TV.

In a Twitter announcement on Monday, the Liberty of Russia Legion claimed to have achieved "complete liberation" of the border town of Kozinka, and their units purportedly advanced as far as the town of Grayvoron in the eastern direction. The group asserted that it was persistently advancing to liberate the Belgorod region, confidently stating that the Russian armed forces were incapable of opposing their progress.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC) shared a video showing their fighters advancing towards what appeared to be a border checkpoint, asserting their continued control over a "small... piece of the homeland." Additionally, both the Liberty of Russia Legion and the RVC informed Ukraine's public broadcaster, Suspilne, that they were in the process of establishing a demilitarized zone along the border with the Russian Federation. They claimed that this zone would serve as a buffer where they would refrain from shelling Ukraine.

‘Cross-border raids’ into Russia’s Belgorod on Ukraine border | Al Jazeera Newsfeed

Raid Plays To Russian Narrative

The cross-border incursion presents a potential embarrassment for Moscow and partially counters the negative perception for Ukraine, which has reportedly experienced a loss of control in Bakhmut following prolonged and fierce conflicts. This incident is likely part of Ukraine's strategic operations as it prepares for an upcoming counter-offensive, with the intention of diverting Russian forces away from the southern region where Kyiv plans to launch its attack.

However, the Western nations are unlikely to welcome this development, as it further escalates tensions in the region and adds complexity to an already volatile situation. Although the long-range weapons supplied to Kyiv come with restrictions against targeting Russia, it is important to note that these weapons were not utilized in the mentioned attack.

Despite official denials from Kyiv, there are doubts regarding the possibility of this raid being launched without some form of assistance from Ukrainian military intelligence. The circumstances surrounding the incident suggest a potential involvement or facilitation from Ukrainian sources, even if it hasn't been officially acknowledged.

The incident aligns with the Kremlin's narrative, which asserts that Russia's security is being threatened by malign forces supported by Western powers. This narrative is likely to gain further traction due to reports indicating that some participants in the attack have links to far-right extremism.

Such reports reinforce Moscow's claim that it is attempting to eliminate neo-Nazi elements from Ukraine. The presence of individuals with extremist affiliations adds credibility to the Kremlin's narrative and reinforces its stance against perceived radical elements within Ukraine.

Thousands Displaced

Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov of Belgorod confirmed that multiple individuals, including two civilians being evacuated from their residences, sustained injuries during the fighting. He also reported that several villages had undergone evacuations, cautioning displaced residents against returning until a "mopping-up" operation by Russian forces had been completed. The governor's statement indicates ongoing efforts by Russian forces to ensure the area is secure and free from any remaining threats.

Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov further mentioned that air defenses successfully intercepted and shot down drones during the previous night, resulting in some damage to buildings. In response to the displacement caused by the conflict, local authorities have established temporary shelters in the Grayvoronsky district to accommodate approximately 9,300 individuals who have been displaced from their homes. This indicates the local authorities' efforts to provide assistance and support to those affected by the ongoing situation.

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About The Authors

Cecilia Jones

Cecilia Jones - Cecilia Jones loves to write about movies, music, and the most popular and exciting news.

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