What we know about the attacks in Russia's Belgorod

Watch: The latest situation after the news of the Belgorod fighting.

Multiple reports have been detailing clashes between Russian security forces and Russian anti-regime groups near the Ukrainian border.

The latest Ministry of Defence (MOD) intelligence update reported that "between 19 and 22 May 2023, Russian security forces highly likely clashed with partisans in at least three locations within Russia's Belgorod Oblast, near the Ukrainian border."

With information about what happened being pieced together from lots of different sources, often the social media messenger Telegram, Forces News has analysed what is known so far as there remains confusion about exactly what has been taking place in Belgorod.

Footage has been released showing smoke visibly rising around the small town of Kozinka near the border with Ukraine, with an anti-regime group claiming it was them.

MOD intelligence reported that the identity of the partisans remains "unconfirmed", "but Russian anti-regime groups claimed responsibility".

Russian officials, however, have said that a sabotage group entered from Ukraine and attacked a border checkpoint south of Belgorod.

But Ukrainian military intelligence, countering that aregument, has said it was two Russian opposition groups, the Russian Volunteer Corps and the Liberty of Russia Legion.

A clip surfaced from the second group, Liberty of Russia Legion, in which following the drone footage of the smokey Belgorod region, they call for an end to what they call the Kremlin's dictatorship.

Watch: Smoke above Russia's Belgorod region seen in drone footage.

Russian social media said there was fighting going on in three settlements along the main road leading from the border into Russia and that the saboteurs were being eliminated.

The group themselves said that they had now seized the district centre of Graivoron, further east into Russia.

A video also surfaced on Telegram claiming to show Russian Volunteer Corps members at the controls of a Russian armoured vehicle they had captured from the Russian FSB near Belgorod. 

Meanwhile, Ukraine continues to say it had nothing to do with the attacks. 


The Kremlin has said these reports of attacks now are, in fact, a tactic to draw attention away from its victory here in Bakhmut.

Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group say they have finally taken the city after eight months of bloody fighting. 

Kyiv, though, says it still controls parts of the city and is actually making advances on the flank trying to encircle the Russians inside. 

Ukrainian officials say what is being seen is, in fact, an emerging movement of Russian partisans, but they will not confirm or deny whether they are actually being supported by Ukraine.

Although some on social media are asking why they seem to have Humvees and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPs) which the US has given to Kyiv.

The situation remains mysterious and these groups involved say the 'Liberation' operation is still going on, so more news is expected imminently. 

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