Ukraine acknowledged an operation inside Russia’s Belgorod region that the Russians called “sabotage,” but Kyiv said the attacks were undertaken by Russian nationals acting independently.
Anton Gerashchenko, advisor to Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs, tweeted video on Monday that he said an organization that called itself the “Russian Volunteer Corps” (RVC) had published, “showing the organization’s members by different village signs in Bryansk and Belgorod regions of Russia.” (See photo.)
According to Gerashchenko, one of the men in the video says, “RVC is back to the motherland. We’re home. The time to fight for Russia’s freedom has come.”
In another tweet, Gerashchenko posted video that he said was of “Russia residents reportedly fleeing after alleged ‘Russian volunteers’ have started their operation in Belgorod region,”
Belgorod’s regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on Telegram that shells hit an administrative building and damaged three residential buildings, which caught fire. He said a shell also hit a kindergarten in the neighboring village of Zamostye, where a woman was injured with a hand wound.
Gladkov also claimed that an unmanned aerial vehicle had been shot down by Russian air defense forces.
Meanwhile, Andriy Yusov, a representative of Ukraine’s defense intelligence agency, told CNN, “We can confirm that this operation was carried out by Russian citizens.”