One of the war's most serious cross-border attacks was allegedly repelled by Russia
One of the war's most serious cross-border attacks was allegedly repelled by Russia

Kyiv: More than 70 "Ukrainian nationalists" were killed, and the remainder were forced back into Ukraine, according to the Russian military, which claimed on Tuesday that it had routed militants who had attacked a border region with armoured vehicles the day before.

The attack in Russia's Belgorod region was claimed by two alleged anti-Kremlin armed groups using Russians based abroad, in what appeared to be one of the largest incursions from Ukraine since the war started 15 months ago.

According to the Russian defence ministry, which laid the blame at the feet of the Ukrainian government, its forces encircled the enemy fighters and routed them using "air strikes, artillery fire, and active action by border units."

Also Read: PM Modi talks to Anthony Albanese on his concerns regarding the attacks on temples in Australia.

According to a ministry statement, four armoured vehicles and five pick-up trucks were destroyed along with more than 70 Ukrainian fighters.

The ministry added, "The remnants of the nationalists were pushed back to Ukrainian territory, where they continued to be hit by gunfire until they were totally eliminated."

One civilian had been killed, according to the regional governor of Belgorod, "at the hands of the Ukrainian armed forces."

A State Department spokesman said on Tuesday that the US is sceptical of reports that US-made weapons were used in an attack inside Russian territory and added that Washington does not support or permit strikes inside Russia. 

Also Read: Indian wrestlers conduct a candlelight protest calling for the arrest of a sports official for sexual misconduct

The Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC), one of the two combatants, posted on social media that "One day we'll come to stay." The group denied that its forces had been defeated in a later statement. It stated, "The Russian Volunteer Corps has suffered no losses."

Another group, the Freedom of Russia Legion, claimed to have destroyed armoured vehicles and "demilitarised" a Russian motorised rifle company. It claimed that statements made by the Russians about stopping the incursion spoke of "imaginary losses."

In a post on social media, it claimed that Putin's forces "have not distinguished themselves with any successes in the past day," adding, "While they cowardly hide in the bushes, we will move forward to our goal — the complete liberation of Russia!"

The government of Ukraine had stated that while it was monitoring the situation, it had "nothing to do with it." When one of the groups allegedly comprised far-right Russian extremists controlled by Ukrainian intelligence and launched an incursion into another border region in March, Moscow claimed the same thing.

Former Russian President and current vice-chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev called Kiev's denial "lies" and said the attackers should be eliminated "like rats."

A "counter-terrorism operation" regime that had since Monday allowed authorities to impose a number of restrictions on freedom of movement and communication has been cancelled, according to Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov.

He had earlier on Tuesday urged people who had been evacuated to hold off on returning home because the army and other security forces were still cleaning up.

He said three people were receiving medical attention for injuries and that an elderly woman had passed away during the evacuation. Later, he added that a civilian had been killed without going into further detail.

Ilya Ponomaryov, a prominent member of the Russian opposition, is the leader of the Russian militia known as the Freedom of Russia Legion, which claims to be working inside of Russia to topple President Vladimir Putin.

Ponomaryov is wanted in Russia, where the government has labelled him a terrorist and accused him of disseminating false information about the army.
Denis Kapustin, a Russian nationalist based in Ukraine, founded the RVC in August, and it announced its alliance with the Legion on May 17. The RVC took credit for the incursion in March.

Also Read: DeSantis intends to announce his 2024 bid on Twitter Spaces on Wednesday with Elon Mus

According to Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, Russia is carrying out its "special military operation" in Ukraine in part to prevent further occurrences of this nature.

"This demonstrates once more that militants from Ukraine are still waging war against us. We are making ongoing efforts to accomplish this, which is very difficult.

Ukraine has been independent since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, and Kyiv and its Western backers claim that Russia's campaign is an unprovoked invasion to seize territory from Ukraine. Moscow claims it is defending its security against an allegedly constantly growing NATO.

Peskov responded when questioned about claims that the attackers were ethnic Ukrainians rather than ethnic Russians: "They are Ukrainian fighters from Ukraine. In Ukraine, a large population of Russian ancestry resides. But they continue to be militant Ukrainians.

Join NewsTrack Whatsapp group
Related News