Ukraine: Smoke rises from Russian border post in Kozinka
Fighters from the ‘Freedom of Russia Legion’ and ‘Russian Volunteer Corps’ have taken credit for a daring cross-border raid into Russia, with the Ukrainian-allied unit claiming to have seized the settlement of Kozinka from the Russian army. Earlier, videos had emerged on Russian Telegram channels, appearing to show the destruction of the Grayvorona border checkpoint in the Belgorod region after following an assault from the Ukrainian side which Russian officials blamed on “saboteurs”
A statement from the Legion on Telegram on Monday declared: “The Legion and the RDK completely liberated the settlement of Kozinka, Belgorod Region.
“Advanced detachments entered Grayvoron.”
Intense clashes have been reported in the area with both sides believed to have sent additional forces, and there have been sightings of several drones in the sky
The Russian Volunteer Corps also announced the beginning of combat operations within the Russian territory in a video message released in the early hours of Monday.
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Specifically, the fighters released a video that featured road signs near the towns of Bezlyudovka in Belgorod Oblast, as well as Lyubimovka and Churovichi located in Bryansk Oblast.
At the same time, the Freedom of Russia Legion, supporting Ukraine, created a video message urging Russians to “stay at home” and not “resist”.
They said: “Stay at home, do not resist, and do not be afraid; we are not your enemies.
“Unlike Putin’s zombies, we do not harm civilians and do not use them for our own purposes.”
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The same ‘sabotage and reconnaissance group’ was involved in a similar incident in Bryansk Oblast at the beginning of March.
This was initially attributed to Ukraine by Russian propagandists, but the Russian Volunteer Corps addressed the issue by claiming that they had been in charge of the operation.
Furthermore, they asserted that Ukrainian authorities had been consulted and coordinated the operation.
It comes amid Russia’s boast that it now controls the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut in the east after a bloody nine-month campaign that claimed the lives of tens of thousands of combatants, however senior military figures in Ukraine insist that the conflict is far from over.
Officials from Ukraine acknowledge that they presently only control a small area of Bakhmut.
However, they stress that the fighters’ presence has been essential to their plan to deplete the Russian military.
Additionally, they assert that their current positions in Bakhmut’s environs give them the capacity to conduct counterattacks within the city.
Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, the commander of ground forces for the Ukrainian Armed Forces said: “Even though we currently have control over a limited part of Bakhmut, the significance of defending it remains relevant.”
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