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Russian authorities report attack on Belgorod Oblast; propaganda outlets accuse Ukrainian sabotage groups of breaking in – photo

Thursday, 14 March 2024, 09:33
Russian authorities report attack on Belgorod Oblast; propaganda outlets accuse Ukrainian sabotage groups of breaking in – photo
Photo: Russian Telegram channels

Vyacheslav Gladkov, the governor of Russia's Belgorod Oblast, has said that Russian air defence assets and personnel shot down eight air targets over the city of Belgorod and the surrounding district of the same name. At the same time, Russian Telegram news outlets are reporting an alleged attempt by a "Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group" to enter the territory of the oblast, but Russian volunteer soldiers who are fighting on Ukraine's side said that it was them attacking military targets in Russia. They explained that they were forced to open fire because Russia continues to hit peaceful settlements in Ukraine.

Source: Gladkov; Russian Ministry of Defence; Russian Telegram channels; an Ukrainska Pravda source in the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine; Alexei "Lyutik" Baranovsky, a volunteer soldier of the Freedom of Russia Legion, on air during the 24/7 national joint newscast; Russian Volunteer Corps on Telegram

Quote from Gladkov: "Our air defence assets have responded to the attack over Belgorod city and Belgorod district – eight air targets approaching the city were shot down. Emergency services are gathering information about the consequences on the ground. According to early reports, a car driver was killed in the incident. The ambulance service also received a report of two women and one man who were injured. Ambulance crews have arrived at the scene."

Photo: Russian Telegram channel Astra

Details: The Russian Defence Ministry said that eight rocket projectiles were supposedly shot down over Belgorod Oblast at around 08:30.

Gladkov said that two private houses and a healthcare facility were damaged in Belgorod, as was one car.

Russian Telegram channels posted photos and videos of the fire in Belgorod.

Photo:  Russian Telegram channel Belplus

Mash, a Kremlin-aligned Russian Telegram channel, reported that on the morning of 14 March, a Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group was supposedly trying to enter the territory of Belgorod Oblast and that a battle was supposedly taking place near the village of Spodaryushino. However, they did not provide proof to back this up.

It is worth noting that the day before, Russian volunteers from the Russian Volunteer Corps and the Freedom of Russia Legion called on residents of Kursk and Belgorod oblasts living near military facilities to evacuate.

"Putin's murderers are launching large-scale attacks on peaceful Ukrainian settlements, setting up their positions between your homes, your children's schools and government institutions. Every day, dozens of ordinary innocent people (mostly women and children) are killed in attacks from Belgorod. The attacks on Ukraine from the territory of Belgorod must stop! Due to this, we have been forced to inflict strikes upon the military positions located in the cities of Belgorod and Kursk. To avoid civilian casualties, we urge everyone to leave the cities immediately. We urge the local authorities to protect people's lives and start evacuating the cities of Kursk and Belgorod," the Russian Volunteer Corps stated.

Ukrainska Pravda's source in the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine said that the local authorities of Belgorod and Kursk oblasts are blocking the evacuation, forbidding people to leave under the threat of fines and dismissal from their jobs.

On the morning of 14 March, the Russian Volunteer Corps published a second message.

"We are once again addressing the residents of Kursk and Belgorod oblasts! Your authorities have not taken any measures to protect you or evacuate you, and the attacks on peaceful towns and villages in Ukraine continue as before! We are forced to retaliate and fire at military facilities in the border areas! Evacuate immediately. We will open fire on military targets within an hour and a half after this video message (published at 09:14 – ed.)," they said.

Alexei "Lyutik" Baranovsky, a volunteer of the Freedom of Russia Legion, clarified that the strikes are to be carried out by drones.

Earlier, Denis Nikitin, who goes by the alias White Rex, the head and founder of the Russian Volunteer Corps, told Ukrainska Pravda that the volunteers had already captured some weapons. He said that with each new operation on the territory of Russia, the scale of the fighting increases – they obtain "more artillery, more equipment and more people."

Baranovsky reported on the morning of 14 March that "the situation is tense in Kursk Oblast and fighting continues in Belgorod Oblast" and that their "liberation operation has been going on for three days and will continue."

"The goal is to ultimately overthrow the Putin regime," Baranovsky said.

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