Armed Insurgents Defeated in Cross-Border Raid on Russia’s Belgorod Region
Moscow claims victory over armed insurgents who launched attacks in Russia’s Belgorod region after crossing the border from Ukraine. The raid led to the evacuation of nearby villages and prompted Russia to declare a counter-terrorism operation. Russia asserts that 70 attackers, identified as Ukrainian nationalists, were killed in airstrikes and artillery fire, forcing the remaining fighters back to the Ukrainian border.
However, Kyiv denies any involvement in the incursion, with two Russian paramilitary groups, the Liberty of Russia Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC), taking responsibility. Ukrainian officials describe the attackers as Russian patriots seeking to change the political regime. The Liberty of Russia Legion claims to have “completely liberated” the border town of Kozinka and advanced further east.
The conflicting claims have not been independently verified. The situation has raised concerns among NATO leaders, given the assaults on Russian soil. While the development could have mixed implications for Kyiv, the counter-terrorism operation measures have now been lifted, although one paramilitary group still asserts control over a small portion of the territory.