October 3, 2023

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News at Another Perspective

Meet the Russian separatists combating in opposition to Putin in Russia

5 min read

By Devvrat Pandey, Dipti Yadav: On Thursday, combating in Russia’s western Belgorod space entered its fourth day after a military incursion from Ukraine. Russia blamed the incursion on Ukrainian armed groups and launched a terrorism investigation. Kyiv denied any involvement and talked about the attackers have been Russian residents. Two groups, the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC) and the Freedom of Russia Legion, claimed responsibility.

Earlier on May 22, a Ukrainian “sabotage” group allegedly crossed into Russian territory and attacked the town of Belgorod. The assault injured on the very least eight Russian troopers whereas killing two in full. The Russian governor of Belgorod claimed {{that a}} Ukrainian “sabotage group” had entered Russian territory and {{that a}} “counter-terrorism operation” inside the space was ongoing. Buildings, along with these housing Russia’s Interior Ministry and the FSB security service, have been reportedly attacked inside the space’s necessary metropolis of Belgorod.
Image reveals authorities developing beneath assault (Source: Twitter and Google Earth)

The battle has been ongoing for some time with rising clashes alongside the border in newest weeks. Russian nationalist paramilitary fashions primarily based in Ukraine, whereas the Liberty of Russia Legion – a Ukraine-based Russian militia which says it is working inside Russia to overthrow President Vladimir Putin – talked about on Twitter on Monday it had “completely liberated” the border metropolis of Kozinka. It talked about forward fashions had reached the town of Grayvoron, extra east.


The Freedom of Russia Legion, typically referred to as Free Russia Legion, Liberty of Russia Legion, Legion “Svoboda Rossii” is a unit all through the Armed Forces of Ukraine, that claimed responsibility for launching a cross-border raid from Ukraine. It is a unit all through the Armed Forces of Ukraine established in March 2022 to struggle the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The unit incorporates defectors from the Russian Armed Forces and completely different Russian volunteers who had not beforehand served in military fashions.

Apparently, a model new video from two Free Russia Legion fighters. They say the border is broken, Putin is unable to answer. One is carrying the Free Russia Legion insignia on his chest. pic.twitter.com/8R4CzzUXJ6
— Dmitri (@wartranslated) May 22, 2023

The Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC) is one different group involved inside the newest combating inside the Belgorod space. The RVC was based mostly by a far-right Russian nationwide ultimate August and incorporates Russians who’ve been combating in and for Ukraine in opposition to their very personal nation. The group has moreover been full of life over the border in Russian territory and claimed responsibility for a raid there in March, along with the incursion into Belgorod.

The Russian authorities declared the Freedom of Russia Legion a terrorist group and banned its actions on Russian territory. The Russian Supreme Court granted a motion made by Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov to acknowledge the legion as a terrorist group and by no means assist the legion.

Some of the primary characters combating in opposition to Russian armed forces inside the Russia-Ukraine wrestle:

According to the Bellingcat report, Alexey Levkin is a neo-nazi who glorifies Hitler. He is a Russian nationalist who’s a participant inside the armed incursion into Russia by pro-Ukrainian ‘partisans’ based mostly on the TASS data firm. He will also be on Russia’s federal wished guidelines.

Aleksandr Skachkov, who the SBU arrested in 2020 all through a raid on of us selling translated variations of the Christchurch Shooter’s Manifesto.
Image reveals defectors from the Russian Armed Forces

Here are one other Russian nationals, former military officers, activists, journalists, and completely different volunteers who’re alleged to be collaborating inside the Ukrainian International Legion, a bunch combating in opposition to the Russian armed forces inside the Russia-Ukraine wrestle.

Ilya Bogdanov: A former member of the Wotanjugend neighborhood and a former FSB officer, left for Ukraine in 2014. He acquired Ukrainian citizenship in 2015 after combating for Kyiv in opposition to Russian-backed forces in Ukraine’s east.
Kirill Belousov: A 22-year-old resident of the Saratov space who was convicted for changing into a member of the Freedom of Russia Legion.
Yevgeny Osipov: Osipov is a former Russian soldier who deserted the army in March 2022. He is now a member of the Freedom of Russia Legion and has been combating inside the Donbas space of Ukraine.
Dmitry Bykov: Bykov is a Russian journalist who fled Russia in 2014 after criticizing the Putin regime. He is now a member of the Freedom of Russia Legion and has been writing regarding the wrestle in Ukraine.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova: Tolokonnikova is a Russian activist who was imprisoned for her place inside the Pussy Riot punk band. She is now a member of the Freedom of Russia Legion and has been speaking out in opposition to the Putin regime.
Pyotr Verzilov: Verzilov is a Russian artist who was moreover imprisoned for his place inside the Pussy Riot punk band. He is now a member of the Freedom of Russia Legion and has been using his paintings to spice up consciousness regarding the wrestle in Ukraine.


Belgorod, a vital metropolis in southwestern Russia on the border with Ukraine, is a severe transportation hub with rail and road hyperlinks to Moscow, Kyiv, and completely different primary cities in Russia and Ukraine. It will also be home to quite a lot of military bases and facilities, making it a vital strategic location for the Russian military. This makes it a vital staging flooring for Russian forces and a key logistics centre for the Russian military. The lack of Belgorod would significantly disrupt Russian military operations.

Belgorod has been a key aim for Ukrainian forces given that start of the wrestle in 2022. In April 2022, Ukrainian helicopters attacked a gasoline depot in Belgorod, setting it on fireplace. In May 2022, Ukrainian forces reportedly launched a cross-border raid into Belgorod, killing quite a lot of Russian troopers. These assaults have highlighted the importance of Belgorod to the Russian military and have raised points in regards to the potential of extra assaults eventually. The Russian military is extra more likely to take steps to protect Belgorod from extra assaults, and this would possibly lead to elevated tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
Russia captured Bakhmut (Source: Institute for the Study of War)

On the second day of combating in Russia, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov suggested Russian data firms that efforts have been underway to take away the sabotage group, and talked about its goal was to draw consideration away from the jap Ukrainian metropolis of Bakhmut – which a Russian mercenary group claims to have taken administration of after months of intense and bloody combating.