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Putin reacts to raid in Russia's border area by Ukraine's volunteer soldiers from Russia, claiming they are foreign mercenaries

Wednesday, 13 March 2024, 08:22
Putin reacts to raid in Russia's border area by Ukraine's volunteer soldiers from Russia, claiming they are foreign mercenaries
Russian President Vladimir Putin, Photo: Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin has commented on the breakthrough into Russia's Belgorod and Kursk oblasts by volunteer soldiers from the Freedom of Russia Legion, the Russian Volunteer Corps and the Siberian Battalion fighting for Ukraine. He believes this is an attempt to disrupt the elections and "get a bargaining chip" for an exchange of territories in possible negotiations.

Source: Putin in an interview with Kremlin-aligned Russian news agencies Russia 1 and RIA Novosti

Quote from Putin: "Nevertheless, their [the raiders’] main goal, and I am sure of it, is to disrupt the presidential election in Russia, or at least somehow interfere with the normal process of expressing the will of the citizens. That's the first thing. The second is the information effect, which I have already mentioned. But the third is, if they succeed in getting some opportunity, some advantage, some bargaining chip in a possible future negotiation process: [they will say] we will give this back to you, but you will have to give that back to us."

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Details: On the other hand, the Russian president added, such attacks are supposedly taking place "amid Ukraine's failures on the front" and are designed to have an "informational effect".

In addition, Putin claims that there are foreign mercenaries among the volunteer soldiers. "The enemy attempted to launch attacks along the state border line, primarily with sabotage and reconnaissance groups – the latest report from the General Staff [indicates that there are] up to 300 people, including foreign mercenaries," Putin explained his train of thought.

Background:

  • Earlier, volunteer soldiers from the Freedom of Russia Legion, the Russian Volunteer Corps and the Siberian Battalion fighting for Ukraine reported that they had entered the Russian border area and posted a message about it. A video showing the purported presence of military personnel on Russian territory and gunfire was posted on various Telegram channels.

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