An operation in Russia's Belgorod Region has supplied Ukrainian intelligence with important information, Andriy Yusov, a representative of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate, has said.
According to Yusov, the current objective of Russian partisans is to free the state from the Putin regime. He noted that the resistance forces are operating in both the border villages of Russia and its capital region.
He cautioned against overestimating the Kremlin's reaction to the Freedom of Russia Legion and Russian Volunteer Corps operation. However, he mentioned that the Russian leadership is compelled to redeploy its troops in response to the events in the region.
Yusov stated that the operation in Belgorod Region has provided valuable information for Ukrainian military intelligence, which cannot be disclosed for obvious reasons. Nonetheless, some of this data, briefly described as "the king is naked," has been made available to the world. Yusov explained that it pertains to the erosion of Putin's power structure and Russia's vulnerability to internal attacks.
On 22 May, Russian volunteer formations of the Russian Volunteer Corps and the so-called Freedom of Russia Legion announced their return to "liberate" Russia. Explosions were heard in the border areas.
Initially, local authorities denied anything extraordinary taking place in the region but later acknowledged a drone attack. Belgorod Region governor Gladkov claimed that a UAV had dropped explosives, while Bryansk Region governor Bogomaz said that a settlement had been shelled. Subsequently, Russian authorities admitted that "saboteurs" had entered the territory of Belgorod Region. They evacuated the Belgorod-22 facility, which stored nuclear munitions.
The Main Intelligence Directorate reported that the Freedom of Russia Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps are conducting an operation in Belgorod Region to establish a "security belt" to protect Ukrainian civilians from Russian shelling. The intelligence service emphasized that the operation is carried out exclusively by Russian citizens and is an internal conflict.
The Freedom of Russia Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps are composed of Russian citizens who claim to be fighting on Ukraine's side. These formations first gained public attention on 2 March when RVC volunteers crossed the border into Bryansk Region. At that time, Ukraine's intelligence said that it was an internal conflict in Russia.
On 24 May, the Freedom of Russia Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps returned after an "operation" on Russian territory.