The Freedom of Russia Legion (FRL) and fighters of the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC) are conducting an operation to create a "safety strip" in Russia's Belgorod Region to protect Ukrainian civilians, the spokesman for the Ukrainian Defence Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate, Andriy Yusov, has said in a commentary to Suspilne.
He noted that the operation is being carried out exclusively by Russian citizens.
According to him, at around 14:00, the FRL and the RVC claimed to have "liberated" Kozinka in Belgorod Region and entered the village of Grayvoron.
The governor of Russia's Belgorod Region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, confirmed that a "sabotage and reconnaissance group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine" had entered Grayvoron District. According to him, Russian FSB units are "taking measures".
Earlier, Russian volunteer groups said they were returning to "liberate" Russia. Before that, explosions were heard in the border areas.
Local authorities initially denied that anything extraordinary was happening in the region, but admitted that there had been a drone attack. Governor Gladkov said that explosives had been dropped from an UAV. In Bryansk Region, governor Aleksandr Bogomaz said that one settlement was shelled.
Mykhaylo Podolyak, an adviser to the head of the Ukrainian presidential office, said that the stories about Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance groups in Russia were a classic provocation. At the same time, the Main Intelligence Directorate said that the events in Bryansk Region were an internal confrontation between Russian citizens.