NewsThousands evacuate as Russia confronts saboteurs near Ukraine border

Thousands evacuate as Russia confronts saboteurs near Ukraine border

Russians cannot control the saboteurs on the border.
Russians cannot control the saboteurs on the border.
Images source: © Photo. Telegram | Getty Images
11:28 AM EDT, March 20, 2024

Due to heavy shelling and saboteur activity, thousands of residents from border villages near Graivoron in the Belgorod region of Russia were urged to leave their homes, as per unofficial statements by the Russian channel Belgorod No. 1 on Telegram. Concurrently, online videos surfaced showing the Russian army trying to repel the intruders at great lengths, even resorting to using half-ton aerial bombs, which resulted in the devastation of Russian villages.

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For the past week, the Belgorod region's border areas have faced unrelenting shelling from Ukraine, with diversionary groups comprised of Russian volunteers who side with Kyiv—including the "Freedom of Russia" Legion, the Siberian Battalion, and the Russian Volunteer Corps—actively engaging in the region.

On Tuesday, the local authorities of the Belgorod region noted that access to the Graivoron area close to the Ukrainian border, where some residents had already been relocated from, has been limited since March 20. Checkpoints have been established at entry points to communities, allowing residents temporary access to their homes for tasks such as feeding animals.

In addition, Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov announced the evacuation of nine thousand children from Belgorod and the region's border areas.

Evacuation ordered

On Wednesday morning, the Belgorod No. 1 channel on Telegram announced that authorities had instructed thousands of residents in the vicinity to evacuate. There has been no confirmation of this from official Russian agencies.

However, Ukrainian military intelligence had already disclosed a few days prior that Graivoron was undergoing evacuation after they intercepted a conversation between a local resident and a police officer discussing the evacuation.

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that "authorities are working to enhance security in the region." He added, "There are various strategies to achieve this. The task is challenging, but we are determined to see it through," applauding the bravery of residents in the border regions.

Bombing their own villages

Putin also vowed to do everything in his power to assist those who have lost their homes due to the conflict in the Belgorod region. This promise comes as no surprise as the Russian army confronted the saboteurs with a heavy-handed approach typical of the Soviet era, clearly demonstrated in a video from Kozinka—a village on the border with Ukraine—where half-ton FAB-500 aerial bombs were deployed against the saboteurs.

If the violence continues, it's feared that the entire Graivoron area will soon be reduced to ruins and rubble.

Source: Telegram/Ukrainian Truth

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