Russia vows ‘severe’ response to cross-border incursion
Moscow, May 24 (EFE).- Russia will “severely” respond to any further Ukrainian attacks on its border, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu warned on Wednesday.
The comments came after a series of alleged incursions in the Russian border region of Belgorod which came under attack on Monday.
“We will continue to respond to such actions by Ukrainian militants in a swift and extremely severe way,” Shoigu told officials during a ministerial meeting, according to the official Tass agency.
Regional Governor Viacheslav Gladkov said Belgorod came under a massive attack with drones on Monday when “a sabotage and reconnaissance group” from Ukraine crossed the border.
The regional governor said “a large number of drone attacks” continued on Tuesday night.
“Most of the air defense systems were dealt with, but there are damages in Belgorod,” Gladkov said on Telegram, adding that there were no casualties.
During Monday’s attack, at least two Russian soldiers were killed and four others wounded in a military garrison 10 kilometers from the border, according to Russian media.
The attack also destroyed the Graivoron district administration building, a town with a population of around 6,000.
The Russian Defense Ministry reported on Tuesday that it had killed 70 Ukrainian nationalists during the cross-border attack and had pushed the rest back into Ukraine.
The incursions have sparked criticism within Russia but Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov stood by the nation’s defense authorities.
“Our military units, our border guards and corresponding agencies are doing their job,” Peskov stressed during his daily press conference.
Kyiv has denied any involvement in the attack and blamed Russian anti-Kremlin rebel groups for the incursion.
The Russian Volunteer Corps, a Russian nationalist paramilitary unit based in Ukraine, and the Freedom for Russia Legion, a paramilitary group that opposes Vladimir Putin’s regime, have since claimed responsibility for the cross-border incursion but have denied the Kremlin’s reports on the number of losses the militants have incurred.
“We do not know what columns of equipment Mr. Konashenkov destroyed in his reports, but the Russian Volunteer Corps has no losses,” the group said.EFE