April 22, 2024

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What do we know about attacks by pro-Kyiv Russian volunteers on Russian territory?

What do we know about attacks by pro-Kyiv Russian volunteers on Russian territory?

Three pro-Ukrainian battalions of Russian recruits began infiltration into the Belgorod and Kursk border regions on Tuesday. The raid happened days before the Russian presidential election.

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This image, taken from a document released by the Russian Defense Ministry on March 12, 2024, shows a destroyed armored vehicle in the Belgorod border area.  (Russian Ministry of Defense / AFP)

Three days before the Russian presidential election, the operation of force and destabilization. Less than a year after the first incursion, three groups of Russian volunteers fighting for Ukraine claimed to have crossed the border into the Belgorod and Kursk regions between Monday 11 and Tuesday 12.

The intrusion occurred at the same time as several Ukrainian drone strikes targeting Russian energy sites. “All this is happening in the background of failures [ukrainiens] front row”, told the Rossia 1 channel and Ria Novosti news agency that President Vladimir Putin, lacking an opponent, was widely favored in the election. Here's what we know about these attacks.

An arena invasion denouncing “bloodthirsty dictator” Vladimir Putin

On Tuesday morning, the Russian Defense Ministry said militants from Ukraine tried to enter the Belgorod and Kursk border areas, equipped with tanks and armored vehicles. “Extreme Shelling” At night time. For their part, these three pro-Ukrainian battalions, the Siberian Battalion, the Russian Liberation Army and the Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK), announced in the morning that they had crossed the border from Ukraine, staging themselves in onboard videos. Cameras and drones. In one of them, three armored vehicles can be seen driving in the dark on a country road.

From the night of Monday, March 11 to Tuesday, March 12, Russian army tanks entered Russia after fighting with Ukraine.  They chose to launch this attack days before the Russian presidential election.

War in Ukraine: Russian Militants Attack Their Own Country

From the night of Monday, March 11 to Tuesday, March 12, Russian army tanks entered Russia after fighting with Ukraine. They chose to launch this attack days before the Russian presidential election.

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(France 2)

The Russian Independence Army said in a telegram that it captured the village of Teotkino in the Kursk region. “destroy” A Russian armored vehicle and forced Moscow's forces to withdraw “quickly” The village abandoned heavy weapons. In another video, images of soldiers posing as Russians captured by pro-Ukrainian forces can be seen. A claim that cannot be independently verified.

“The element of surprise was completely on our side and the Russian army retreated. For now, the fighting has calmed down. The situation is pending.“, declares one of the fighters filmed. “Friends, say hello to your motherland”Another laughs. Yet in these videos, a soldier from a Siberian battalion says: “Guys, there is no need to vote by ballots in the election, let's vote by 7.62.”

“We are Russians like you”, Maximilian Andronnikov, deputy commander of the Freedom Legion of Russia, announced his role in a speech posted on social networks. “We also have the right to express our will. And our choice A bloodthirsty dictator like Vladimir Putin cannot be recognized.

Moscow says it foiled the attack before it crossed the border

Russian officials have denied the attack was cross-border. The Russian Defense Ministry said soldiers and border guards were present “Disrupted attempts by Kiev to penetrate into the territory of the Belgorod and Kursk regions”Cited national press agency RIA reports The New York Times. However, the governor of Russia's Kursk region confirmed that pro-Ukrainian forces had approached Tyodkino and that the city was being bombarded. “A saboteur and intelligence team tried to break into the city. Firing ensued, but no progress was made.”He said in a video message posted on Telegram.

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Moscow claims to have inflicted heavy losses on its enemy. According to the Russian news agency Tass, Russian forces lost 234 soldiers and destroyed seven tanks and three Bradley fighting vehicles. Again, this claim could not be independently verified.

According to local authorities, the pro-Ukrainian attack left one person dead and ten wounded on the Russian side. “Ten civilians were injured, six of them hospitalized (…) Our regional security member died”The governor of the Belgorod region said in a telegram.

The attack was carried out by the Russian army and militias fleeing from the Nationalists

Two of the three groups, the Russian Freedom Legion and the RDK, conducted raids in the Belgorod border area in May and June to confront border patrols and the Russian military.

A spokesman for the Russian Liberation Army, Nicknamed “Caesar”, he described himself in January 2023 “Right-Wing Nationalist”A Interview on Radio Svoboda. The high-ranking official admitted to being a member of the Russian Imperialist Movement, a far-right paramilitary organization classified as terrorist in Russia, shortly before 2014 and fighting in the Donbass.

RDK is made up of Russian citizens who have lived in Ukraine for many years. Its ideology is extremism and extremism. The organization was officially created in August 2022, but it already includes elements that were fought in 2014. Its founder, Moscow-born Denis Kapustin, better known as “White Rex”. A former hooligan and organizer of MMA competitions, in 2008 he launched a brand of clothing with Black Sun, popular among neo-Nazi groups.

According to the world, Russian Freedom Legion and Russian volunteer forces also work within the Ukrainian military. “Both units are integrated and form part of regional security. They must respect the orders of the Ukrainian civil service, but sometimes its leaders demonstrate a certain autonomy, as was the case in Belgorod.” Last spring, Adrien Nonjon, an expert on far-right and nationalist movements in Ukraine, explained to franceinfo.

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As for the Siberian Battalion, it is attached to the International Legion, a unit of thousands of foreigners stationed in Ukraine. According to AFP, its ranks include fifty people of various origins, political opponents of Vladimir Putin, Caucasian Russians and members of ethnic minority groups such as the Yakuts and Buryats, who live predominantly in the Far East. . This battalion shares contacts with kyiv. The volunteers of this Russian rebel unit are volunteers and under a military contract with the Ukrainian armed forces, a spokesman for it explains to AFP.