Ukrainian saboteurs launch attack across the border on Russian soil after Russia largely takes control of Bakhmut
Attacks continue in southern Russian region of Belgorod after anti-Kremlin, pro-Ukrainian fighters set off explosives across the border in rare offensive on Russian soil
Attacks continue in the southern Russian region of Belgorod after anti-Kremlin pro-Ukrainian fighters set off explosives across the border in a rare offensive on Russian soil.
According to The New York Times, the Free Russia Legion — a group of Russians that have started fighting against Russia and in favor of Ukraine — took responsibility for the attacks.
Ukraine denies responsibility.
What does Russia say about Belgorod attacks?
However, Russian officials claimed it was Ukraine’s military and that it “sought to use the attacks to justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” per the Times.
“This once again confirms that Ukrainian militants are continuing their activities against our country,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri S. Peskov told reporters, per the Times.
At least eight people were injured in the attacks, and the fighting damaged three homes and one administrative building, BBC reported.
What’s happening in Bakhmut, Ukraine?
Peskov said that the attack’s “purpose was to draw attention away from the eastern Ukrainian town of Bakhmut” — a city Ukraine and Russia have been battling over for months, per BBC.
“We perfectly understand the purpose of such sabotage — to divert attention from the Bakhmut direction, to minimise the political effect of the loss of Artyomovsk (Bakhmut) by the Ukrainian side,” Peskov said, per BBC.
Over the weekend, Russia took control of a large portion of the city with the help of the Wagner Mercenary Group, but Ukraine says letting go of some of the city was strategic and allows its forces to focus on some of Russia’s weaker front lines.
Most resident civilians have fled the city, and “the aerial imagery of Bakhmut’s approximately 10 square miles reveals how homes, schools, shops and a red-roofed theater have been flattened,” The Washington Post revealed.