The US government does not support attacks by anti-Putin partisans on Russian soil and has distanced itself from such initiatives after a raid in the Belgorod border region led to the first significant raids in Russia since the Putin regime launched an invasion of Ukraine last year. reports the BBC.
Parts of Russia’s border region of Belgorod came under attack on Monday by an anti-Putin paramilitary group that claims it has established a “people’s republic” there in the style of the ones invented by Putin in southern Ukraine.
The regime in Moscow then released images of Western-made vehicles abandoned or destroyed in Belgorod. The Russians claim to have defeated the insurgent movement in Belgorod.
The US government insists it “does not encourage or support strikes inside Russia.”
A State Department spokesman acknowledged there was information “circulating on social media and elsewhere” that US-made weapons were used in Belgorod, but said the US was “skeptical that truth value of this information”.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Matthew Miller added: “It’s up to Ukraine how it decides to fight this war.”
Several villages in Belgorod, very close to the border, were evacuated after being bombed. Russia claims 70 insurgents were killed and insists these fighters were Ukrainian and not Russian.
On the other hand, Ukraine denies that it led such operations. Two Russian paramilitary groups, however, claim they were behind the attacks and that their goal is to topple the Kremlin regime.
On Monday, Russia declared the start of an “anti-terrorist operation” in Belgorod in an attempt to stop the insurgency in the region. The special surveillance measures were lifted in the afternoon, the Russians said, but one of the paramilitary organizations said it still controlled “a small part, but ours, of our homeland”.
Belgorod Governor Viaceslav Gladkov said one civilian had died in the violence and several others were injured. On Tuesday evening, the same Gladkov said that Belgorod was attacked again, this time by drones.
Conflicting statements on the identity of the insurgents
The Russian Defense Ministry commented on the violence in Belgorod saying it was instigated by “a Ukrainian nationalist formation unit” that invaded its territory and launched attacks.
In one of the photos, a wrecked vehicle can be seen with the words “for Bahmut” written on it, a reference to the city in eastern Ukraine that is heavily fought over by Ukrainians and Russians and that the invading army claims to have captured, in despite the denials of the Ukrainian authorities.
The murderous regime in the Kremlin claims to have killed “dozens of Ukrainian terrorists” in Belgorod with aerial and artillery fire and pushed the rest “back inside the Ukrainian border”.
On the other hand, however, the authorities in Kiev say that the attackers were Russians, from organizations such as the Legion for the Freedom of Russia and the Russian Volunteer Corps.
Social media posts from the two organizations appear to confirm their involvement in Belgorod. Both organizations also told Ukrainian public broadcaster that they want to “create a demilitarized zone on Russia’s border with Ukraine, so that invaders can no longer bomb Ukraine.”
The West does not see with very good eyes
Any kind of attack on Russian territory causes emotions among NATO leaders, who fear that such events could degenerate and not be entirely positive for Ukraine.
The incursion in Belgorod could be a new source of shame for the criminal regime in the Kremlin, which has failed spectacularly in its year-long attempts to destroy Ukraine. At the same time, it is possible to shift attention from the supposed fall of Bahmut, otherwise a negative image for the Ukrainian army.
It is also possible that the attack in Belgorod is part of the Ukrainian counter-attack operation, in an attempt to force the Russians to move resources and troops to Russia, away from the Ukrainian front, where the counter-attack is expected Ukrainian defenders.
However, such developments are not exactly viewed favorably by the West, given that the weapons supplied to Ukraine are sent with the express clause that they cannot be used for attacks on Russian territory.
Editor: Adrian Dumitru
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