Ukraine’s military intelligence service on Monday blamed “opposition-minded Russian citizens” belonging to two paramilitary groups for an armed operation in Russia’s Belgorod region, Ukrainian media outlet Horomadske reported.
Belgorod governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said a “sabotage group” of the Ukrainian military had entered Russian territory in the Gravoron district bordering Ukraine.
Hromadske quoted military intelligence spokesman Andrey Yusov as saying that the Russian Independence Army and the Russian Volunteer Corps were responsible for the raid. He did not specify whether he had provided evidence for his claim.
Responsibility for these incidents was borne by (Russian) civilians, in particular by the RDK and the “Liberation of Russia” army,” he said, using the acronym of the Russian Volunteer Corps.
“I think we can all welcome the decisive actions of opposition-minded Russian citizens who are ready for an armed struggle against the criminal regime of (President) Vladimir Putin.”
Yusov claimed that the Belgorod operation would create a “security zone” to protect Ukrainians from cross-border attacks from Russia.
A senior aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared that Kiev had nothing to do with Monday’s armed operation in Russia’s Belgorod region.
“Ukraine is following with interest the developments in Russia’s Belgorod region and is studying the situation, but has nothing to do with it,” tweeted Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the president. “As you know, tanks are sold in any Russian military store, and underground guerrilla groups are made up of Russian citizens.”