The Kremlin said it “annihilated” anti-Putin partisans, but one group released videos of their raids on Belgorod

A group of Russian militiamen opposed to Putin and aligned with the Ukrainian army claimed responsibility for a attack in the southwestern Russian region of Belgorodbordering the northeast of Ukraine.

Two areas of the region were attacked by Dronesaccording to the regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov, which caused the fire of two houses. A civilian from the village of Kozinka has died as a result of cross-border fighting, Gladkov said on Tuesday. About a hundred people were evacuated from the Russian border settlements of Glotovo and Kozinka in Belgorod, according to local authorities.

Members of the Russian Volunteer Corps pose on top of an armored vehicle in Kozinka, Belgorod, in this photo released on May 23. (Russian Volunteer Corps via Reuters/Screenshot)

The Ukrainian government denied having participated in the attack, which has been claimed by two anti-Kremlin armed groups made up of Russian citizens who are fighting for kyiv against their compatriots. Its leaders include far-right figures.

One of these groups, the Russian Volunteer Corps (CVR), opposed to the Kremlin, released a series of videos and images on Tuesday showing its fighters driving armored vehicles through the Belgorod region.

The group of “partisans”as these fighters are also known, seemed to have achieved surprise, apparently taking control of a border post and showing the world for the first time the image of Russian citizens actively taking up arms against the Kremlin.

Ukraine - Belgorod raid

Smoke was also seen coming from explosions in the regional capital of Belgorodwhere local authorities confirmed what they described as two drone strikes.

Ukrainian raid on Belgorod
Two areas of the region were attacked by drones, according to the regional governor, causing two houses to burn. (Reuters)
Ukrainian raid on Belgorod

Another group, the Freedom for Russia Legion said on Telegram early Tuesday that together with the Russian Volunteer Corps, “they continue to liberate the Belgorod region!”.

The message described the groups as “patriot volunteersand stated that Russia was vulnerable to attacksince “it has no reserves to respond to military crises. All military personnel are dead, wounded or in Ukraine.”.

Ukrainian intelligence considered that the Russian fighters intend to create a “security zone” for the ukrainians.

What does the raid show?

According to analysts, the partisan raid on Belgorod strengthens the position of Ukraine against a possible counteroffensive, since it could force the Kremlin to divert troops from the front lines.

kyiv is preparing a major counter-offensive with which it hopes to defeat what it sees as an unprovoked Russian war of conquest.

“It shows that the russian border is not defended and this, of course, will cause Russia to divert troops from defensive lines elsewhere in Ukraine to try and reinforce that border,” he stated. Keir Gileswho works on the program on Russia and Eurasia of Chatham Housea prestigious British study center.

Ukrainian raid on Belgorod
A Russian partisan covering the letter “Z” on a Russian army vehicle (Reuters)

The Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigupromised on Wednesday that Moscow would respond to any new incursion cross-border removal of Ukrainian militants with speed and “extreme harshness”.

The Russian army declared on Tuesday that it had defeated militants who attacked the Russian border region of Belgorod with armored vehicles the previous day, killing more than 70 “Ukrainian nationalists” and driving the rest back towards the Ukraine.

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