During the night, several drones attacked the Russian region of Belgorod on the border with Ukraine, the governor of the region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, announced, adding that there were no dead or injured. The planes were shot down by anti-aircraft defenses, he said.
Drones hit houses and a government building, but did not cause any injuries or deaths, Gladkov wrote on Telegram, according to the French news agency AFP.
At the same time, he explained that it continues in the region “anti-terrorist operation” and for law enforcement to proceed “cleaning” territory on the border with Ukraine, in the district of Grajvoron.
According to him, one woman was killed and two people were injured during Monday’s evacuation from the area, but Russian security forces were unable to reach them. He told the evacuated residents that it was still too early to return home, reports the German news agency DPA.
Gladkov announced on Monday that a group of saboteurs from Ukraine entered the Belgorod region and that eight people were wounded in the clashes. A legal counter-terrorism regime was then introduced in the region, giving security forces extensive powers such as identity checks, surveillance of communications and the possible evacuation of residents from affected areas.
The Freedom Legion of Russia, which describes itself as an anti-Kremlin militia, claimed responsibility for the attack. In a video posted by the group on Telegram, a masked representative explained that they had attacked two settlements. At the same time, he said: “Russia will be free!” This is a slogan often heard among Russian opposition activists.
Al Jazeera cites a Ukrainian intelligence officer Andrij Černjak, who said the attacks in Belgorod were carried out by the armed groups Legion of Freedom of Russia and the Russian Volunteer Corps. The aforementioned corps announced on Telegram that it had already crossed the border into Russia at the beginning of March. The organization calls itself a unit “volunteers fighting on the side of Ukraine”.
Little is known about this group and it is unclear if it has any connection to the Ukrainian military. The same applies to the Legion of Freedom of Russia, reports Al Jazeera.
Since the beginning of the war, the Belgorod region on the border with Ukraine has been the target of shelling several times, in which several people were killed and wounded.
Kyiv: We control the edge of Bahmut
Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Hana Maliar said that Ukrainian forces still controlled the southwestern edge of Bahmut and that fighting in the city had subsided.
She said on Telegram that Ukrainian forces have made some progress on the northern and southern outskirts of the city, and Russian troops are consolidating control over the area they control.
Russia has already confirmed that it has fully captured Bahmut. Before the war, the city in eastern Ukraine had a population of 70,000, but now it is completely destroyed.