Russia: Russia says used air force, artillery to wipe out border attackers

MOSCOW: Russia said on Tuesday it had deployed jets and artillery to destroy an armed group that infiltrated the border from Ukraine, while Kremlin Ask the army to prevent any repeat attacks.
It was the deadliest armed attack since the start of Moscow’s assault on Ukraine last year, prompting the Kremlin to express “deep concern” and evacuate nine villages in the southern region of Belgorod.
The announcement by the Ministry of Defense that it is using air force and artillery on Russian territory represents an unprecedented use of force in the country since the military operation in Ukraine began last year. Regional authorities said 12 civilians were injured.
“During the implementation of the anti-terrorist operation, nationalist units were blockaded and destroyed by air strikes and artillery fire,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
“The remaining fighters were pushed back to Ukrainian territory, where they continued to be hit by bullets until they were completely annihilated,” the ministry said.
The Kremlin expressed “deep concern” after explosive attacks forced civilians from border villages to flee.
Local authorities say the Belgorod area has come under constant artillery and mortar fire during the fighting with a group they believe have crossed from Ukraine.
Moscow said Russian forces had destroyed more than 70 Ukrainian warplanes and destroyed four armored vehicles, but AFP could not independently verify those claims.
‘Deep concern’
Governor of Belgorod Vyacheslav Gladkov said civilians had been evacuated from nine border villages in the region, which have previously faced shelling attacks that have killed dozens since Moscow launched an offensive in 2014. last.
“What happened yesterday is cause for deep concern and confirms once again that Ukrainian fighters continue to operate against our country,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
Members of the anti-Kremlin Russian Free Corps have claimed responsibility for the Belgorod incursion, while Kiev denies involvement.
Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Ganna Malyar said: “We do not wage war on foreign territory.”
In a video released by a Telegram channel claiming to represent the anti-Kremlin group, a spokesman in disguise, surrounded by armed men in fatigues, said Monday: Russia will be free!” — a slogan frequently used by Russian opposition activists.
Governor Gladkov said security operations were taking place on Tuesday in border areas.
Several drones hit homes and a government building overnight but no one was killed, the Belgorod governor said as Ukraine’s leader visited the eastern frontline.
Gladkov on Tuesday added that it was too soon for the fleeing residents to return and said authorities would make a clear announcement when everything was safe.
guerrilla move’
On Monday, Russia said its troops were fighting a “sabotage” group from Ukraine and launched a “anti-terrorist regime” in the Belgorod region, the first since the start of the operation. of Moscow in Ukraine in February 2022.
The UK Ministry of Defense notes that “Russia is facing an increasingly serious multi-sectoral security threat in its border areas, with the loss of fighter jets, explosive device attacks improvisation on the railroads and now direct partisan action.”
Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhaylo Podolyak suggested that Russian “guerrilla groups” may be responsible.
“The only driving political force in a totalitarian state with its nails clenched has always been an armed guerrilla movement,” he said on Monday.
The “anti-terrorist regime” grants special powers to security agencies and requires the enforcement of a number of restrictions and measures including increased security and monitoring of communications.
A similar regime was in place in Chechnya from 1999 to 2009, when Russian authorities fought insurgents during Moscow’s second military campaign in the mountainous region.
Russia’s attack on the region was reported ahead of a widely expected Ukrainian attack, although President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said his country was not ready yet.
Zelenskyy visits the front
Russia has been fortifying hundreds of kilometers of the front line with tanks, trenches and troops.
Zelensky on Tuesday visited Ukrainian troops on the front lines in the eastern Donetsk region, where Russian forces have concentrated their efforts to capture territory.
“Every day on the battlefield, Ukrainian marines prove that they are a powerful force that can destroy the enemy, liberate Ukraine and carry out the most difficult missions in the most difficult conditions.” , said Mr. Zelensky.
“And we need more of this force. So, starting today, we are significantly increasing the potential of the marines and creating a marine corps,” Zelensky said.
The Ukrainian military thwarted Russian forces around Vugledar during the Moscow winter offensive, which offered the Kremlin only limited gains in the battle-scarred Donetsk region.


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