NewsRussian volunteer groups attack military sites in Belgorod and Kursk

Russian volunteer groups attack military sites in Belgorod and Kursk

Damaged city council building in Belgorod
Damaged city council building in Belgorod
Images source: © TG

3:35 PM EDT, March 13, 2024

Russian volunteers fighting alongside Ukraine revealed on Wednesday their offensive against Russian military sites in two significant cities near the Ukrainian border—Kursk and Belgorod. "We call for immediate evacuation," they urged in their statement.

Accusing Russian forces, the soldiers from the "Freedom of Russia" Legion, the Russian Volunteer Corps, and the Siberian Battalion wrote, "Putin's killers are launching massive attacks on peaceful Ukrainian cities, strategically placing their bases amidst your homes and children’s schools, as well as near state institutions. Countless innocent lives, predominantly women and children, are lost daily to shelling from Belgorod," in a shared message on Telegram.

Sirens in Kursk and Belgorod

The resistance groups highlighted their reluctant decision to target military positions in Belgorod and Kursk. "To minimize harm to civilians, we urge everyone to evacuate the city immediately. We appeal to local authorities to prioritize saving lives and initiate evacuations," they added.

Following the statement's release, the governors of Kursk and Belgorod promptly issued alerts.

Roman Starovoyt, the Kursk region's governor, advised, "If you are at home, seek shelter in windowless rooms with sturdy walls, such as hallways, bathrooms, or pantries. If caught outdoors, find the nearest building or designated shelter."

Both cities experienced the wailing of sirens, accompanied by broadcasted warning messages.

Announcement from Kursk:

In response, Belgorod's authorities canceled all large-scale events "due to the operational situation," as notified by the city administration.

The "Freedom of Russia" Legion's announcement led to several alarms being issued and later rescinded in both regions, with each cancellation followed by reports of air defense systems downing drones.

At 9 AM Eastern Time, Vyacheslav Gladkov, the governor of Belgorod region, reported, "As a result of intense shelling, 13 individuals were wounded, over 120 houses suffered damages, and numerous public buildings, including churches, schools, and shops in Belgorod, as well as 16 districts, faced destruction. Some power lines were severed, vehicles damaged, and roads obliterated."

The authenticity of this information remains unconfirmed.

Their advance into Russia: Legionnaires strike again

On March 12, partisans supporting Ukraine infiltrated the Russian territories of Belgorod and Kursk.

The Freedom of Russia Legion announced that they had seized complete control of the town of Tyotkino in Kursk region, with Russian forces swiftly retreating.

The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed the assault had been "repelled." President Vladimir Putin also commented on the matter.

Meanwhile, ASTRA channel reported that the attack resulted in at least 4 Russian soldiers killed and approximately 9 injured. Contrarily, Moscow declared that around 300 partisans were killed, with dozens of their vehicles destroyed.

From Kyiv, Andriy Yusov of Ukrainian intelligence shared with RBK-Ukraine, "These fighters operate independently, as autonomous groups fulfilling their socio-political objectives." - "This probably indicates a coordinated effort by these entities within Russia. Being Russian citizens, they are entirely entitled to such actions," Yusov explained.

This incident marks another operation by partisans in the region, with the previous one occurring in May 2023.

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