KYIV – Two Russian military groups reportedly fighting on Kiev’s side of the war in Ukraine – the Legion of Free Russia and the Russian Volunteer Corps – said they entered Russia’s Belgorod region on Monday and captured villages .
“The Army and the RVC completely liberated the village of Kozinka, Belgorod Oblast. Forward units have entered Gravoron. Keep moving forward. Russia will be free!” Army Tweeted.
Russian groups claimed the liberation of at least two villages – Kozinka and Gora-Podol – in the region bordering Ukraine.
Local Russian Telegram Channels and Media informed of Heavy fighting broke out in several villages along the border, including Gravoron, a town where a Russian military base is located.
“The sabotage group of the Ukrainian Armed Forces entered the territory of the Gravoronsk district. Armed Forces of the Russian Federation together with the Border Service, the Russian Guard and the FSB [intelligence service] are taking the necessary measures to eliminate the enemy,” Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said in a statement.
later he added to his telegram channel that an “anti-terrorist operation” had been launched by the Russian authorities, including ID checks and the “suspension of activities of industries using explosive, radioactive, chemical and biologically hazardous substances”.
Ukrainian military intelligence claimed that both military groups consisted only of Russian citizens and aimed to create a demilitarized zone on the border with Ukraine.
“Yes, today the Russian Volunteer Corps and the Army of the Liberation of Russia, consisting of citizens of the Russian Federation, launched an operation to liberate these areas of the Belgorod region from the so-called Putin regime and to push back the enemy. Create a certain security zone to protect the Ukrainian civilian population,” Andrey Yusov, Ukraine’s military intelligence representative, told Ukrainian public broadcaster Suspilne.
Legion of Free Russia published Monday morning video statement Claiming the soldiers who attacked Belgorod on their Telegram channel are Russians who want to free Russia from Putin. “Stay home, don’t protest, and don’t be afraid: we are not your enemy. Unlike Putin’s corpse, we don’t touch civilians or use them for our own purposes. Freedom is near.
On Tuesday, Gladkov Said The drone was shot down by local air defense “in Belgorod and the Belgorod region” without casualties.
This article has been updated.