Groups of Russian saboteurs tried to enter Ukrainian territory seven times in the past two weeks, but five of the attempts were caught in the act by Ukrainian troops, Lieutenant General Serhii Naiev said on Dec. 15.
The Russian groups were forced to withdraw after suffering losses, according to Naiev.
He did not clarify what happened the two times that the saboteurs were not spotted on time.
The incursions were detected in the northern Sumy and Chernihiv oblasts and the eastern Kharkiv Oblast. Since retreating from northern Ukraine in April 2022 following the failed assault on Kyiv and being routed from Kharkiv in the fall 2022 offensive, Russian forces have continued to attack the area.
State Border Guard Service spokesperson Andrii Demchenko said on Dec. 1 that Russian saboteurs were increasingly trying to cross into Kharkiv Oblast, as opposed to the Sumy direction that was previously their main focus.
Demchenko said the shift in tactics could be a response to a lack of success from incursions into Sumy Oblast.
It's unclear if this strategy was maintained as of Dec. 15, as Naiev specifically spoke about an incursion in Sumy Oblast.