Russia claims hundreds of fighters killed in foiled attack from Ukraine

Moscow releases footage it claims to show thwarted pro-Ukrainian attack on Belgorod. (Photo/Reuters)

Russian military and security forces have killed 234 fighters while thwarting an incursion from Ukraine into Russian border regions, Russian Defence Ministry said.

In a statement on Tuesday, the ministry blamed the attack on the "Kiev regime" and "Ukraine's terrorist formations," insisting that the Russian military and border forces were able to stop the attackers and avert a cross-border raid.

It also said the attackers lost seven tanks and five armoured vehicles.

Reports of border fighting earlier on Tuesday were murky, and it was impossible to ascertain with any certainty what was unfolding in Russia's Kursk and Belgorod regions.

Soldiers who Kiev officials say are Russian volunteers fighting for Ukraine claimed to have crossed the border.

The Freedom of Russia Legion, the Russian Volunteer Corps and the Siberian Battalion released statements and videos on social media claiming to show them on Russian territory.

The authenticity of the videos couldn't be independently verified.

Fighters coming out of Ukraine attempted to reach the town of Tetkino, which lies close to the border, according to the governor of Russia's Kursk region, Roman Starovoit. He said Tetkino was being shelled.

"There was an attempt by a sabotage and reconnaissance group to break through. There was a shooting battle, but there was no breakthrough," he said in a video message on Telegram.

The Russian Defence Ministry said the Tetkino attacks were driven back, but provided no further details.

It also said Ukrainian fighters made at least four attempts to cross into the Belgorod region but all attacks were repelled by warplanes, artillery and missiles.

The representative of Ukraine's intelligence agency, Andrii Yusov, told Ukrainska Pravda that the military groups are made up of Russian conscripts.

"On the territory of the Russian Federation, they operate completely autonomously and independently," he said.

Drone attacks

In May, Russia alleged that dozens of Ukrainian fighters crossed into one of its border towns in the Belgorod region, striking targets and forcing an evacuation before more than 70 of the attackers were killed or pushed back by what the authorities termed a counterterrorism operation.

Ukrainian officials have denied any link with the group.

Meanwhile, one Ukrainian drone struck and set ablaze an oil refinery in the Nizhny Novgorod region, according to regional governor Gleb Nikitin.

In another deep strike, a drone was shot down in the Moscow region, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said.

Though it was brought down well south of the city centre, the drone was close to Zhukovsky Airport, one of Mocow's four international airports.

Another drone hit an oil depot in Oryol, 116 kilometres from Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said last year that his country had developed a weapon that hit a target 700 kilometres away, in an apparent reference to drones.

The Russian Defence Ministry said Ukrainian drones were also intercepted on Tuesday over the Belgorod, Bryansk, Kursk, Leningrad and Tula regions of Russia.

Kiev has staged increasingly bold attacks behind the 1,500-kilometer front line running through eastern and southern Ukraine.

It has also increasingly deployed sea drones in the Black Sea, where it claims to have sunk Russian warships.


Source: TRT