Russia ‘Defeats Insurgents’ Killing Scores Of Fighters
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
MOSCOW/KYIV/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – Moscow said Tuesday it had pushed back armed insurgents who crossed the border from Ukraine to launch attacks in Russia’s Belgorod region in the deadliest cross-border confrontation since the war began 15 months ago.
Russian authorities claimed that the anti-Kremlin forces had been “defeated” and that 70 fighters were killed after villages in the border region were evacuated due to sustained shellfire.
But Kyiv denied involvement and said two Russian paramilitary groups were behind the incursion.
Monday’s raid prompted Moscow to declare a counter-terrorism operation, giving the authorities special powers to clamp down
on communications and people’s movements.
These measures were only lifted on Tuesday afternoon, and even then, one of the paramilitary groups claimed it still controlled a “small but our own piece of the Motherland.”
The claims by the warring sides have not been independently verified. Still, any assaults on Russian soil would make leaders of the NATO military alliances nervous. Analysts said the development could prove a mixed blessing for Kyiv, as the West has made clear it does not want its weapons to be used inside Russia, where President Vladimir Putin hasn’t ruled out using nuclear weapons if the country’s territorial integrity was to be violated.
Two anti-Kremlin groups claimed responsibility for the incursion – the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC) and the Freedom of Russia Legion.
The RVC is reportedly founded by Moscow-born Denis Kapustin, also known as Denis Nikitin, who described himself as “a nationalist fighting for a Russia that belongs to ethnic Russians.”
Additionally, the Freedom of Russia Legion is said to be a Ukraine-based Russian militia group allegedly led by Russian opposition figure Ilya Ponomarev. The group is working inside Russia to overthrow Russian President Putin supposedly.
A video released by a channel on the social platform Telegram claims to represent one of the anti-Kremlin groups, which shows a camouflaged spokesman surrounded by armed men in fatigues.
The footage was released with a person saying, “Russia will be free!” a slogan frequently used by the Russian opposition.
As fighting expanded into Russia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited troops, including Marines, on the eastern front line, where he also
presented awards to commanders of several units.
“Happy Marines Day, especially to such strong people who are in one of the hottest but also one of the strongest… sectors – the Vuhledar-Marinka direction,” said the Ukrainian president in his video on social media.