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Anti-Kremlin militias warn of new attacks, again call on civilians to evacuate

by Martin Fornusek March 14, 2024 9:04 PM 2 min read
The patches with a white-blue-white flag and the logo of the Free Russia Legion are seen during a briefing in northern Ukraine, not far from the Russian border, on May 24, 2023. (Photo by NurPhoto/Getty Images)
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Anti-Kremlin militias on March 14 made another appeal to civilian residents on the Russian side of the Russo-Ukrainian border to evacuate, warning of new attacks.

The fighters launched cross-border incursions into Russia's Belgorod and Kursk oblasts on March 12, allegedly resulting in clashes with Russian forces in several settlements.

The Freedom of Russia Legion, the Siberian Battalion, and the Russian Volunteer Corps published the appeal on their Telegram channels this evening, promising to maintain a humanitarian corridor from 9 p.m. on March 14 until 7 a.m. on March 15.

A "massive attack" on Russian government forces will follow, the militias said, publishing a map marking the settlements in Kursk and Belgorod oblasts where their military operation will supposedly take place.

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The towns and villages marked on the map include Tyotkino, Glushkovo, Sudzha, Krasnaya Yaruga, Grayvoron, Borisovka, Shebekino, Valuyki, Shelayevo, and Urazovo.

"We see that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin's troops are hiding among civilians, so our task is to ensure maximum security for the local population," the militias says, calling on civilians to "save your lives and the lives of your children."

Ukraine's military intelligence spokesperson Andrii Yusov said that Russian authorities are preventing the evacuation of citizens from the areas where the hostilities are taking place.

Based on intercepted conversations, "transport hubs are surrounded by law enforcement officers, there are roadblocks, there are threats of fines and loss of employment," Yusov said on television.

The village of Tyotkino appears to be an important center of the hostilities. The anti-Kremlin militias claimed to have taken control of the settlement on March 12, while Russian forces alleged they had repelled attacks by "Ukrainian saboteurs" and "terrorists."

The Kyiv Independent could not verify the claims.

According to Yusov, the militias are comprised of Russian citizens under Ukrainian defense 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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