Friday, May 26, 2023

UKRainian-Backed Troops Stage Cross-Border Incursion Into RUssia; Fighting in RU Border Region Following Incursion Enters Second Day; RU forces unsuccessfully attempt to advance on village near Bakhmut; Freedom of RU Legion says they are creating a "demilitarised zone" in RU, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

WSJ: Ukrainian-Backed Troops Stage Cross-Border Incursion Into Russia:
KYIV, Ukraine—Russia said that its military and security forces were fighting against Ukrainian units that had crossed into its southern Belgorod region, the largest such incursion into Russian territory since the war began.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was briefed on the situation by the military and security services, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, as Moscow appeared to be caught off guard.
Peskov said Russia had sufficient forces to eject what he described as a commando unit. Regional authorities said they were evacuating civilians from border villages and announced emergency security measures known as a “counter-terrorist operation.”
Ukraine’s military intelligence directorate, known as HUR, identified the troops as two volunteer groups of Russian citizens who work closely with HUR and said that the incident was a consequence of the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The extent of the incursion couldn’t immediately be established, but videos of armed men and armored vehicles that spread online appeared to indicate that the troops had taken control of several villages along the border. One grainy shot, which appeared to have been filmed in front of a sign marking the entrance to a village in the Belgorod region, showed four soldiers who identified themselves as members of the Russian Volunteer Corps.
“Russia will soon be free,” one of them says. The video couldn’t immediately be verified.
The incursion is a stunning reversal for Russia, which launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year with the aim of seizing control of the country in days.
The events on Monday echoed Russia’s covert invasion of Ukraine in 2014 when Russian troops without insignia appeared on Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. Putin denied they were Russians and said at the time that all the equipment they had could easily be bought in a military hardware store. --->READ MORE HERE
Madeleine Kelly/Zuma Press
WSJ: Fighting in Russian Border Region Following Incursion Enters Second Day:
Russian forces are still fighting for control of parts of the border region of Belgorod, the region’s governor said Tuesday, warning residents of a handful of border villages not to return to their houses the day after authorities there blamed Ukraine for the war’s largest incursion into Russian territory.
Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov warned residents not to panic, after some border areas had been evacuated the previous day, but said Russia’s military was still concluding what President Vladimir Putin labeled an antiterrorist operation to push the combatants out of Russia. Early on Tuesday afternoon, Russia’s Defense Ministry said forces had encircled the fighters and destroyed the group without giving more details. The ministry said it killed 70 people in the operation. The information couldn’t be independently confirmed.
“The cleanup operation by the defense ministry and security structures is continuing,” Gladkov said in a video on his Telegram channel. “Right now it’s not worth returning to your houses.”
Ukraine’s military intelligence directorate, known as HUR, identified the troops as two volunteer groups of Russian citizens who work closely with HUR and said the incident was a consequence of the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russian military correspondents said battles were continuing well into the afternoon on Tuesday, with Russian forces trying to stop two units of combatant reinforcements from joining up with the groups inside Russia.
The Russian Defense Ministry said it had launched attacks against the combatants using artillery and air power. Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Igor Konashenkov said the groups had been encircled and at least 70 members had been killed.
The extent of the original incursion and the affiliations of the combatants couldn’t be confirmed independently but the incident has exposed embarrassing weaknesses around Russia’s border areas as Moscow’s troops prepare for an expected Ukrainian offensive.
“Russia is facing an increasingly serious multi-domain security threat in its border regions, with losses of combat aircraft, improvised explosive device attacks on rail lines, and now direct partisan action,” the British Defense Ministry wrote Tuesday on Twitter. --->READ MORE HERE
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