• Sat. Apr 1st, 2023

Russian Volunteer Corps crossed border into Russia at Bryansk

A bizarre situation is unfolding on the Russia-Ukraine border as a group of controversial Russian expats claim to have carried out cross-border operations.

Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin claim the country has fallen victim to “terrorist attacks” after Kremlin-backed media reported on firefights in the Bryansk and Kursk regions on the Russian side of the border.

Russian media has blamed Ukrainian “sabotage groups” for the attacks, while Ukraine dismisses the reports as a “false flag” attack.

The Kremlin claims “(a) sabotage group opened fire on a moving automobile” resulting in the death of a resident and a 10-year-old child becoming injured.

The Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC), a group comprising Russian émigrés, including several notorious far-right figures, claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The group released an online statement in which it claimed it entered Russia on Thursday but denied reports of civilian casualties.

The RVC describes itself as a “liberation army that came to its own land” and called on Russians to “take up arms and fight Putin’s bloody regime”.

Russia’s FSB security service says it has launched an operation to “destroy armed Ukrainian nationalists” threatening its border.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Putin planned to hold a meeting of the security Russia’s Security Council.

“We are talking about a terrorist attack,” he said.

“Measures are being taken to eliminate them.

Putin also referred to the attacks as “yet another terror attack, another crime” in a press conference.

Russia claims the infiltrators deliberately shot at civilians

“They saw the car was a civilian one, they saw the kids inside – but they opened fire,” Putin said.

Kyiv initially interpreted the reports as a “false flag” attack launched by Russia.

“The story about [the Ukrainian] sabotage group in [Russia] is a classic deliberate provocation,” wrote Mykhailo Podolyak, a Ukrainian presidential adviser, tweeted.

“Russia wants to scare its people to justify the attack on another country and the growing poverty after the year of war.

“The partisan movement in [Russia] is getting stronger and more aggressive. Fear your partisans …”

However, a video posted on Telegram shows two supposed members of the RVC, flags in hand, claiming to have entered Russian territory in the Bryansk Oblast.

“So friends, it happened,” one of the men, who The Guardian reported as being called Denis Kapustin, says.

“The Russian Volunteer Corps crossed the state border of the Russian Federation.”

The man points to a sign on a building and says, “The proof is right behind my back.”

He states that they do not fight civilians or kill the unarmed, calling on regular Russian citizens to start a mutiny and battle against Mr Putin’s “bloody regime”.

Kapustin has widely reported links to far-right and even neo-Nazi movements.

Machinegun fire can be heard nearby in another video filmed next to a Russian mailbox, which the group claims is also filmed in Russian territory.

“We are calling you to arm and fight against Putin’s bloody regime,” one of the men states.

The situation remains fluid, with conflicting reports from both Russia and Ukraine.

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