Incursion of the Russian anti-Putin militia in Russian territory

"We are Russians like you.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
23 May 2023 Tuesday 05:15
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Incursion of the Russian anti-Putin militia in Russian territory

"We are Russians like you. We want our children to grow up in peace," says a heavily armed man in a video posted on Twitter yesterday Monday to claim an incursion into Russian territory from Ukraine and the invasion of a border population. Like his four colleagues in the recording, he belongs to the Russian Freedom Legion, a group of Russian volunteers fighting against Moscow with the Ukrainian army. "It's time to put an end to the Kremlin's dictatorship," he says.

Earlier, Russia had denounced the incursion into its region of Belgorod by a group of Ukrainian saboteurs. "The armed forces of Russia, with the Border Guard and the FSB, are taking measures to liquidate the enemy," said Vyacheslav Gladkov, the governor of Belgorod.

In the skirmishes, in several localities in the region, at least eight civilians were injured.

But the Ukrainian government denied having anything to do with it, and attributed the action to two Russian volunteer groups opposed to the Kremlin fighting with the Ukrainian army, the Russian Volunteer Corps and the Russian Freedom Legion. The goal is to create "a security zone" that protects Ukrainian civilians, Andrí said, from Ukraine's military intelligence.

In fact, these two formations claimed on Telegram and other social networks that they were carrying out combat actions in Belgorod and Briansk, Russian regions bordering Ukraine.

The Russian Freedom Legion said it had invaded a border town, Kozinka, for the first time since the beginning of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. In addition, he had sent units to the city of Graivoron.

"We are not your enemies. Unlike Putin's zombies, we do not harm civilians and do not use them for our purposes," the Russian Freedom Legion assured Telegram.

In another video, the Russian Volunteer Corps said it is the third time they have entered Russian territory from Ukraine. The first was on March 2, through the neighboring region of Briansk.

For the Kremlin, however, everything is a distraction maneuver to divert attention from Bakhmut, which Russia calls Artyomovsk. On Sunday, Russia's Defense Ministry announced that its troops had taken Bakhmut after months of fighting. Ukrainian authorities have denied this and say the battle continues. "We fully understand the purpose of these sabotages ... to minimize the political effect of the loss of Artyomovsk," said Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin.