War in Ukraine: Russia reports, for first time, to fight on its soil

A unit of Russian volunteers fighting for Kiev claims the attack on Thursday of two villages in the British region, a few hundred meters from the Ukrainian border.

by Benoît Vitkine (Moscow, correspondent)

Nearly twenty-four hours after the foray into Russian territory of combatants from Ukraine, Thursday, March 2, there is still no image of the fighting that followed or their consequences. This episode of the war between the two countries remains imbued with intense fog, that specific to military operations but also that of the opacity of Russian communication, densified by inevitable suspicions of manipulation.

According to the stories reported by several witnesses to Russian sites, it seems proven that armed clashes have taken place in two villages in the region of Briansk, Souchani and Lioubiétchané, located a few hundred meters from the Ukrainian border . This simple information is of importance: these fights are the first reported on Russian territory since the start of the invasion of Ukraine in 2022, and even since the start of the war in 2014.

According to the official Russian assessment, two civilians were killed and an 11 -year -old was injured “by a bullet pulled by a weapon of NATO”. All were in a car. This assessment strengthens the shock effect aroused in Russia by this foray, qualified by Vladimir Putin as “terrorist”, but it does not correspond to the magnitude that the Russian official channels mentioned during the day. Telegram channels and official agencies thus relayed various rumors, then denied: shots on a school bus, death of a child, hostage of dozens of inhabitants, explosion of a power plant …

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Until now, the degree of intensity of the battles have been carried out. A few hours after the facts, the FSB – the Russian security services – claimed that the attackers had returned to Ukrainian territory after having undermined buildings with “a large number of explosives”. Friday morning, Moscow specified that two border guards had been injured, which suggests limited fire exchanges.

As of Thursday, the attackers staged themselves in two brief videos, posing in front of indicator panels proving their presence in the village of Lioubiétchané. Their outfit corresponds to that described by witnesses. Men assure to be members of the “Russian volunteer body” (RDK), a combatant unit for Kiev, renowned by the far right, and which has been integrated into the Ukrainian Battalion Azov.

“Time has come for Russian citizens to realize that they are not slaves and to rise,” says one of the men, identified by the Russian media in exile agentstvo as the head of this “body volunteers “. Denis Nikitine (Kapoustine of his real name), known for belonging to the Russian neonazi movement, indeed fighting Ukrainian on the Ukrainian.

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/Media reports cited above.