Russian authorities report clashes with Ukrainian “saboteurs” crossing border, Ukraine calls it “classic provocation”

Russian soldiers are carrying out an operation for “the destruction of armed Ukrainian nationalists” who have violated the border in the oblast, in the southwest of the country and near the Ukrainian border. This has been reported by the Russian domestic intelligence service FSB. The information cannot be verified by independent authorities.

A group of Ukrainian saboteurs is said to have taken hostages in a store in the province on Thursday morning. “A group of Ukrainian saboteurs infiltrated two villages, taking local residents hostage,” said an unnamed source at the state news agency. Tass. “Soldiers of Rosgvardia(a Russian army component for domestic use, ed.) have engaged in combat with the militants.

According to Bryansk Governor Alexander Bogomaz, the group also killed one person crossing the Russian-Ukrainian border. “A Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group entered the Klimovsky district today, in the village of Lubechanye. The saboteurs fired at a moving car. As a result of that attack, one resident was killed and a 10-year-old was injured.” Rumors are also circulating on social media that the group shot at a school bus.

The Kremlin speaks of “a terrorist attack”. “Measures are being taken to destroy the terrorists,” said spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

False flag operation?

It is unclear whether the attack is really the work of Ukraine. Ukrainian sources deny any involvement, citing a so-called “false flag‘-operation. A video of a group calling itself the “Russian Volunteer Corps” is circulating on social media, claiming to be behind the attack.

Michailo Podoljak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Zelensky, has described the Russian messages as a “classic provocation”. Russia wants to frighten its own people to justify the war, he says.

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