Russia Says It Repels Fresh Belgorod Border Incursion by “Ukrainian Terrorist Formations”
By Staff, Agencies
Moscow says it has repelled an attempt by the "Ukrainian terrorist formations" to break into the country's southwestern borders after the Ukrainian capital came under almost nightly airstrikes over the past month.
“Russia’s Armed Forces together with units of the border service…foiled a fresh attempt by the Kiev regime to conduct a terrorist attack against the civilian population of the city of Shebekino,” Russia's defense ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a daily briefing on Thursday, referring to a Belgorod region town close to the border.
As Kiev deployed its air defenses against a new barrage of Russian missiles, Moscow said it was repulsed by the attempts to attack the southwestern Belgorod region around 3:00 a.m. [0000 GMT].
The Ministry of Defense reported at least three attempts to cross the country and said that 70 militiamen, five tanks, four armored vehicles, seven pickup trucks, and one Kamaz truck were involved in the attack.
“The selfless actions of Russian servicemen repelled three attacks by Ukrainian terrorist formations,” Konashenkov said, adding that “No violations of the state border were allowed.”
The ministry announced that it used air force and artillery to repel these attacks and killed more than 50 Ukrainian fighters.
The Belgorod region, which witnessed an unprecedented two-day armed attack last week, has come under heavy fire in recent days.
Regional Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said 12 people were injured in the past 24 hours in the Shebkino region, whose residents have flocked to displaced persons centers in the city of Belgorod.
"There are many families, including babies and disabled people. We will try to take care of them as much as possible," said Belgorod Mayor Valentin Demidov.
Demidov said two people were injured in the city when a drone crashed near a gas station.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russian President Vladimir Putin was being kept informed of the situation.
He emphasized that currently the main question is providing assistance to the people and supporting resettlement for those who need it.
Peskov also condemned the silence of the international community regarding these strikes.
Despite every opportunity to see videos describing strikes on residential buildings, social infrastructure ... there is not a single word criticizing Kiev, Peskov said.
After at least eight drones were used in that attack over the past week, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused the West of pushing Ukraine's leadership into reckless actions. Ukraine has denied "direct involvement".
Russian air defenses separately shot down several Ukrainian drones near the city of Kursk, the regional governor said early Friday.
“We ask the residents of Kursk to keep calm, the city is under the reliable protection of our army,” Roman Starovoyt said in Telegram.
The wider Kursk region, which borders Ukraine, has been regularly bombed by Kiev forces since the conflict began.
Meanwhile, Dmitry Medvedev, the vice chairman of the Russian Security Council, described the actions of the Ukrainian government as terrorism, saying the only way to deal with terrorists is to destroy them.
"This is an act of terrorism, and there is no other way to qualify it. If it is an act of terrorism, there is only one way to respond to it. No country can afford to negotiate with terrorists, terrorists must be destroyed," Medvedev said commenting on the actions of the Ukrainian regime.
He posted a video on his Telegram account showing his conversation with army soldiers at the Prodboy combined arms training ground in the Volgograd region.
"It is clear to everyone that it was an absolutely terrorist attack, it was not a military battle, not military action. It does not even fit in with any rules of warfare," Medvedev said.
He wondered what purpose such an attack could have. "To cause damage to the civilian population and only that, because those means of destruction, those drones that were used, they cannot damage either military facilities or public administration buildings," he said.
"The aim was simple – to cause damage, to harm to the civilian population somehow," Medvedev reiterated.
"And the fact that our enemy is already behaving as a terrorist characterizes in a very specific way both the Ukrainian regime and those who are behind it – first of all the Americans and the Europeans, who, in fact, have got on the warpath with us," Medvedev stressed. He stressed, "terrorist acts must entail the harshest retaliation possible."
Russia began what it described as a "special military operation" in Ukraine on February 24, 2022, as part of a national security measure against the persisting eastern advance of the US-led NATO military alliance.
Moscow also said the military operation was aimed at defending the pro-Russia population in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk against persecution by Kiev, and also to "de-Nazify" Ukraine.
Since the start of the war, the US and its Western allies have been providing Kiev with military equipment worth tens of billions of dollars. Western weapons supplied to Kiev include advanced missile systems, armored vehicles, tanks, and communication systems.
Long-range attack drones have been also added to the list of Western weapons supplied to the Ukrainian forces fighting against Russian troops.
Russia has repeatedly warned against flooding Ukraine with weapons, insisting the massive shipments of armaments to Kiev will only prolong the conflict.