Ukraine claims not to be responsible for this incursion into the Russian border region. For the Kremlin, this operation aims to “divert attention from Bakhmout” where the pro-Russians have announced the start of mine clearance while kyiv has not confirmed the loss of the city.
Of the “saboteurs” Ukrainians have been spotted in Russian territory, in the Belgorod region, announces the authorities. “A sabotage and reconnaissance group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine entered the territory of the Grayvoron district (Belgorod region)“, announces this Monday the governor of the region. “The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (…) take the necessary measures to eliminate the enemy”assures Vyacheslav Gladkov on Telegram.
Kyiv wants to “divert attention”
The Kremlin spokesman said that Vladimir Putin had been informed by the Ministry of Defense, the FSB (secret service) and the border service about an attempt to break into Ukrainian saboteurs in the Belgorod region. “We fully understand the purpose of such sabotage: to divert attention, to minimize the political effect of the loss of Bakhmout by Kyiv”added Dmitry Peskov.
The “Freedom of Russia” legion, made up of Russians who have crossed over to Ukraine (an organization recognized as a terrorist and banned in Russia) declares that its units have crossed the border. In the Telegram channel of the same name, the settlements of Kozinka and Grayvoron are mentioned, in which “ advanced detachments entered” into Russian territory, reports Kommersant.
Andriy Yusov, spokesman for the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate, told Ukrainian newspaper Obozrevatel that “Russian volunteers” fighter for the Ukrainian Armed Forces are carrying out an operation in the Belgorod region in order to create a “safe zone to protect civilian Ukrainians”. Kyiv denies, on Monday, any involvement in this attack.
According to Kommersant, a source close to the administration of the village of Gora-Podol in the Belgorod region indicated that Ukrainian saboteurs seized the Rural House of Culture. According to him, they were surrounded. The town of Grayvoron is located 5 km from the border with Ukraine.