Russian volunteers fighting for Ukraine said Tuesday, March 12, that they had launched a cross-border attack into the Belgorod and Kursk regions of Russia and are engaged in active combat.

UPD: The Freedom of Russia Legion announced via their official Telegram channel at 13:24 that the village of Tyotkino in the Kursk region reportedly came completely under the control of anti-Kremlin volunteers.

"Putin's army quickly escapes from the village, abandoning positions and leaving behind heavy equipment," the statement read.

Kyiv and Moscow routinely attack each other's border regions with attack drones, but Ukrainian incursions led by Russian citizens are rare. 

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Engaged in this operation are fighters hailing from the Freedom of Russia Legion (LSR), the Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK), and volunteers affiliated with the Siberian Battalion.

Announcing their actions via social media, the Freedom of Russia Legion claimed the destruction of a Russian armored military vehicle in Tyotkino village, located within the Kursk region.

Another group called the Sibir Battalion said on social media that "As promised, we are bringing freedom and justice to our Russian land."

A representative of the Freedom of Russia Legion confirmed in a comment to Kyiv Post that fighting is currently taking place on Russian soil.

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"We are here to liberate you from poverty and fear, to rid you of the dictatorship imposed by a terrorist organization that seized power," read the statement from the Legion.

"The Legion marches toward the 'elections'," the fighters proclaimed.

They pledged to reclaim their land from the Russian regime "centimeter by centimeter."

Meanwhile, Russian volunteers from the "Siberian Battalion" also entered Russian territory. They released a video showing a group of fighters advancing through a forested area.

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"We have always maintained that the criminal dictatorial regime in the Russian Federation cannot be peacefully overthrown. It can only be dismantled through armed resistance. Tonight, we begin to fulfill that promise," reported the battalion's fighters.

"Intense battles are ongoing on Russian soil," they added.

The Legion shared footage of the infiltration across the Russian border. The video depicts Russian volunteers entering Russian territory under cover of night, utilizing heavy equipment.

According to the Russian Telegram channel Zhest Belgorod, the Graivoronsky district of the region is currently under attack. Reports from Russia claim that Russian air defenses have intercepted and downed eight rockets.

Several Russian Telegram channels, citing so-called Russian miliblogers, reported that armed groups attempted to break through into the Belgorod region using pickup trucks with mortar and artillery support.

Social media posts from Russians claim that tanks were seen near the Russian border, engaging in fire during the assault.

Russian propagandists also claim that the border settlement of Lozovaya Rudka in the Belgorod region is now under the control of Russian volunteers. This information was confirmed by former State Duma deputy Ilya Ponomaryev, a spokesperson for the National Republican Army affiliated with the RDK.

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Residents of the Kursk region reported a firefight near the settlement of Tyotkino, with corresponding videos on social networks capturing the sounds of automatic gunfire allegedly from the area.

Social media reports mentioned two people injured, including a civilian, though there is no official confirmation of this yet.

The LSR also released a video showing the destruction of a Russian armored personnel carrier in the village of Tyotkino.

What does the Ukrainian side say?

Andriy Yusov, a representative of the Main Directorate of Intelligence (HUR) of the Ministry of Defense, commented to Ukrainian media that the Russian volunteers who breached the Russian border are acting autonomously.

"The Freedom of Russia Legion, RDK, and Siberian Battalion are operating autonomously on the territory of the so-called Russian Federation as independent structures and organizations, fulfilling their socio-political tasks," he stated.

Yusov added that this is likely a joint operation of these structures within the territory.

"After all, they are citizens of the Russian Federation and have every right to do so," he concluded.

Russian volunteers have conducted raids on Russian territory on multiple occasions. One notable incident took place in May 2023, when members of two pro-Ukrainian groups, the Russian Volunteer Corps and the Freedom of Russia Legion, crossed the border from Ukraine into the Belgorod region of Russia. They entered in two tanks, an armored personnel carrier, and nine other armored vehicles.

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After attacking a border post, they proceeded to capture the town of Kozinka, situated within 600 meters of the border in the Grayvoron region of Belgorod Oblast. Chaos ensued as the pro-Ukrainian fighters engaged Russian forces in neighboring villages such as Glotove and Gora-Podol.

Ukraine emphasized that the fighters involved were Russian citizens. Andriy Yusov reported that the groups launched an operation in Belgorod Oblast to "liberate these territories... from the so-called Putin regime" and create a "security zone" along the border to protect Ukrainian civilians from further Russian shelling.

This piece will be updated as new information becomes available.

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Comments (4)

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Imokru2
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Other Russians must join them in large numbers, otherwise they are doomed to fail.

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John
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A Phigozhin led government, had Wagner's mutiny succeeded, would have continued with russia's malfeasant external actions and internal oppression. He worked out a deal with putin instead. One thug to another. He thus aborted, yet recall how russians were so desperate for change in putin leadership, that they stood on the sidelines cheering thug Phigozhin's forces on towards Moscow.

The new leader of russia however will also not rise from the pacifists and peaceful protesters. Navalny and thousands of others under putin's oppression have repeatedly proved that only fails. They can barely even gather these days, and any tiny slip even in the privacy of their home now lands them in jail or results in their death.

Now this from the Russian RDK and Siberian forces themselves:

"We have always maintained that the criminal dictatorial regime in the Russian Federation cannot be peacefully overthrown. It can only be dismantled through armed resistance."

The new leader of Russia will to rise from such people. Courageous conviction for government for the people by the people. Alignment with higher values and willing to fight.

The end of putin regime's thuggery draws nearer

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tony
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Great to hear this .Go at them and give the Russian people the courage to get rid of Putin .

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GregC
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good news, lets hope they can push further into Russia and that others within Russia will come out to support their efforts to gain freedom from the world's most evil man!

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