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The Russian Volunteer Corps.
The commander of the Russian Volunteer Corps, Denis (C), known as "White Rex," flanked by fighters in camouflage, attends a presentation for the media in northern Ukraine, not far from the Russian border, on May 24, 2023. (Sergey Bobok/AFP via Getty Images)
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The Russian Volunteer Corps claimed to have captured 25 Russian soldiers during their incursions into Kursk and Belgorod oblasts, the militia said on its Telegram channel on March 16.

Anti-Kremlin militias, including the Russian Volunteer Corps, the Freedom of Russia Legion, and the Siberian Battalion, launched raids into the two border regions of Russia from Ukraine on March 12.

In a video published on Telegram early on March 16, the Russian Volunteer Corps's commander Denys Nikitin, also known by his nom de guerre "White Rex," talks to a man introduced as captured Russian senior lieutenant Alexei Volkov.

Both Nikitin and Volkov denied earlier statements by the Russian Defense Ministry that the incursions were all repelled while inflicting heavy losses on the militants.

Other alleged Russian prisoners were also shown in the video with blurred faces. According to the militants, they have captured 25 Russian military personnel. Nikitin appealed to Belgorod Oblast Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov to meet and facilitate the handover of the prisoners.

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"Fighters of the Russian Volunteer Corps continue carrying out military operations in Kursk and Belgorod oblasts," Nikitin said in the video.

Over the past few days, fighting was reported in several settlements of Kursk and Belgorod oblasts. The Freedom of Russia Legion said they destroyed two military warehouses in Tyotkino, Kursk Oblast, on March 14.

The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that its forces had thwarted attempts at incursion by who they called "Ukrainian sabotage units," allegedly inflicting hundreds of casualties.

The Kyiv Independent could not verify the claims.

Ukraine's military intelligence spokesperson Andrii Yusov said the militias are comprised of Russian citizens under Ukrainian defense and security forces, but their incursions into Russia are not taking place under Kyiv's orders.

"On the territory of the Russian Federation, they act absolutely autonomously, on their own, and pursue their social and political program tasks," Yusov told the media.

What do we know about the ‘Siberian Battalion’ that reportedly crossed into Russia?
Editor’s Note: The Kyiv Independent doesn’t provide the full names of soldiers mentioned in the story to protect them and their families from persecution in Russia. They are identified by callsigns. KYIV OBLAST – In the early hours of March 12, Russian state media sounded the alarm. A number of Ukr…

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