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Military Intelligence: Anti-Kremlin militias' raid thwarts Russia's plans for potential new attack

by Kateryna Denisova March 22, 2024 5:44 PM 3 min read
The spokesperson of Ukraine's Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR), Andrii Yusov, at the Military Media Center in Kyiv, Ukraine, May 4, 2023. (Kaniuka Ruslan / Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
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The recent incursion into Russia by Russian anti-Kremlin militias made Moscow "change plans" on a possible new attack in Ukraine's northern sector, Andrii Yusov, a spokesperson of Ukraine's military Intelligence told the Kyiv Independent on March 22.

Yusov confirmed the statements of three Ukraine-based units comprised of Russian citizens, which crossed the border into Russia from Ukraine on March 12 to conduct combat operations in Russia's Belgorod and Kursk oblasts.

Russian nationalist Denis Kapustin, the commander of the Russian Volunteer Corps, said at a press conference on March 21 that the militias "stabilized the front" and "eased the pressure of Russian troops in certain areas."

Alexei Baranovsky, the Freedom of Russia Legion volunteer, claimed that anti-Kremlin forces had received intelligence about Russia's alleged plans to advance further into Kharkiv Oblast.

"The clashes (on Russia's territory) forced Russia to deploy additional reserves and withdraw its troops from their positions (in Ukraine) to relocate them to Belgorod Oblast," Yusov said.

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…

Recently, Kyiv has recorded an increase in the threat in this area, including from Russian sabotage and reconnaissance groups, according to HUR’s spokesperson.

The Russian Defense Ministry published footage depicting several disabled pieces of hardware, including a tank and a U.S.-made Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

“Western samples are the weapons that the enemy captured once, and they were later taken back from the Russian forces,” Yusov told the Kyiv Independent, when asked about the weapons used by the units.

Russian fighters stay "legally" in Ukraine and use on the battlefield the weapons they have been issued, while on Russia's territory they use trophy weapons and recaptured ones — which Russian troops once captured from Ukrainian fighters and anti-Kremlin forces took them back, according to Yusov. They also have Ukraine-made weapons "of various nomenclature," HUR's spokesperson said.

Russian troops intensified their attacks in the Kupiansk sector in January and captured the village of Krokhmalne, Kharkiv Oblast. As of mid-February, Ukrainian intelligence said that Moscow did not have enough resources for a new large-scale offensive in the region.

What we know about anti-Kremlin militias’ raids into Russia
In the early hours of March 12, three anti-Kremlin Russian armed groups announced they had crossed the border into Russia’s Belgorod and Kursk oblasts, promising “to fight the criminal Russian regime” with “weapons in hand.” The footage capturing the crossing revealed that the fighters were well-ar…
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