A “Ukrainian sabotage group” has carried out an attack in the Russian county of Belgorod, the Russian president has been briefed, Russian media reports.
According to the Moscow Times, the governor of Belgorod claims that a Ukrainian sabotage group is behind it. Russia Today has the same interpretation of the attack. RT may be difficult to access without a VPN.
A Ukrainian saboteur group has intruded into Russia’s border Belgorod Region, with Moscow’s military and law enforcement agencies scrambling to repel the attack, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov confirmed on Monday.
NTB also writes about the story, which is ongoing at the time of writing. Ukraine denies being behind the attack.
“Ukraine is watching the events in the Belgorod district in Russia with interest and is studying the situation, but has nothing to do with it,” tweeted President Volodymyr Zelensky’s adviser Mykhajlo Podoljak.
The only driving political force in a totalitarian country of tightened screws is always an armed guerrilla movement. #Ukraine is watching the events in the #Belgorod region of #Russia with interest and studying the situation, but it has nothing to do with it. As you know, tanks…
— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) May 22, 2023
The Kremlin believes the action has been launched to “divert attention” from the Bakhmut battle in eastern Ukraine.
Russian soldiers are trying to eliminate the Ukrainian group, Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov further claimed. No civilians have been injured, adds Gladkov.
President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov says, according to the Ria news agency, that the president is aware of the attacks. Russian forces are trying to “chase out and wipe out” the sabotage group, according to Peskov.
But Ukraine’s military intelligence service believes that Russian paramilitaries are behind the action.
Those responsible belong to two paramilitary groups, says Andrij Jusov, spokesperson for the intelligence. He names the groups as the Russian Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps.
I think we can all only welcome the decisive actions of opposition-oriented Russian citizens, who are ready for an armed struggle against Vladimir Putin’s criminal regime, says Jusov as reported to Hromadske.
Russian authorities are evacuating civilians from the area, according to the governor.
The situation here is still extremely tense, says Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov in Belgorod County on Monday evening.
According to him, the authorities are going door to door to notify local residents.
I hope that our military forces will complete their task in the near future, adds the governor.