Ukraine's military intelligence (widely known under its Ukrainian acronym, HUR) said on Jan. 5 that its forces engaged in a cross-border raid on Russian positions in Belgorod Oblast and inflicted an undisclosed number of losses.
Incursions into Russia's western Belgorod Oblast have been reported on several occasions since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. Most notable were high-profile battles that occurred after a group of armed men calling themselves members of the Free Russia Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps recorded videos saying they had crossed into Russia in May 2023 and taken hold of several villages.
The HUR said it had received intelligence that Russian commanders planned to inspect military positions in the Gayvoron district of Belgorod Oblast, some 80 kilometers west of the city of Belgorod and the location of the May 2023 incursions.
The inspections were allegedly due to complaints from Russian soldiers about poor conditions in the area, the HUR said.
A corresponding operation was planned, and the HUR mined the only road in the area and attacked a Russian platoon, sharing a video of parts of the assault. The number of casualties inflicted was still being determined, the HUR said.
The incursion comes after Russia claimed that at least 24 people were killed in an attack on Belgorod on Dec. 30.
Several Ukrainian media outlets reported, citing anonymous sources in Ukraine's special services, that Ukrainian forces had launched an attack on military facilities in Belgorod in response to Russia's Dec. 29 massive attack on Ukraine that killed over 50 people.
Debris from anti-air munitions fell in the Belgorod city center "due to the unprofessional actions of the Russian air defense," according to the sources.
The Kyiv Independent could not independently verify any of the claims above. Kyiv generally does not comment on reports of attacks and explosions on Russian soil.