June 24, 2024

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The war in Ukraine spills over into Russia

The war in Ukraine spills over into Russia

The conflict in Ukraine spilled over into Russia for the first time this week. Paramilitary groups have caused chaos by temporarily seizing a few Russian villages in the name of “Free Russia”. Kyiv has distanced itself from this spectacular military operation by far-right militants.

Journalists were invited to an extraordinary press conference in northern Ukraine on Wednesday. Dozens of microphones reached the spokesmen of two Russian battalions: “Freedom for Russia Legion” and “Russian Volunteer Army”. Both were proud of the “success” of the joint operation aimed at “liberating” Russia from the yoke of Vladimir Putin.

This plaster is based on some proven facts. As well as photos of soldiers posing with signs marking the Russian-Ukrainian border, a few short videos of armored vehicles with their flags aloft and purportedly crossing the Russian border have been circulating online.

This attempt at destabilization had the effect of alarming the Russian authorities. The latter expressed their “deep concern” about the uprising and later, a few days later, described everything as a “normal situation”.

“About 70 Ukrainian terrorists have been destroyed. According to the latest data, no civilians were killed and 12 injured as a result of the sabotage team’s actions. Accurate The Kremlin said in a statement.

Three Russian villages temporarily occupied “highly likely” According to a general reference British intelligence.

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No matter, the damage was done in this “attempt to discredit the Russian government as incapable of defending its territory,” observes Paul Robinson, an expert on the Russian military question at the University of Ottawa. Because, “militarily, [cette capture momentanée] Doesn’t matter”.

An “information bomb” that went off as planned greeted the leader of the Freedom Army for Russia, presenting himself as “Caesar.”

A series of explosions have rocked Russian border areas since the start of the war, but this is the first incursion into Russia by pro-Ukrainian forces.

Paul Robinson, the author of the work, underlines that the support of the Russian people for these small groups will still be “low and not a statistically measurable part”. Conservatism in Russia.

Far right groups

Kyiv quickly broke away from this move by Russian citizens. “Ukraine is closely monitoring the events in Russia’s Belgorod region and is analyzing the situation. However, she has no direct contact with them. He tweeted that Mykhailo Podoliak, adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky from the first hours of the invasion.

These soldiers, though armed to the teeth, have received help from the Ukrainians, a spokesman for the Freedom Army for Russia admitted. The Yellow and Blue Army would have provided “light weapons, artillery, heavy vehicles, everything [ils avaient] required”.

The Russian side also released photos of American armored vehicles captured during the mission, but could not prove their authenticity. If Ukraine received more than 500 tanks from Washington, “Caesar” promised to buy them in “war stores”.

The US General Staff has always insisted that its weapons should not be used on Russian territory. A US spokesman on Wednesday expressed “skepticism” about the images.

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Neo-Nazi ideology in particular operates through these paramilitary groups. Members of the Freedom for Russia Legion “miss the pre-Soviet tsarist era,” while being “right-wing conservatives and traditionalists,” its spokesman told reporters. A 2018 report Guardian Another leader was Denis Kapustin (also known as Denis Nikitin). qualified him “Russian neo-Nazi who claims to have once kept a framed photograph of Joseph Goebbels in his room”.

Paul Robinson notes that exposing these fighters to the world’s cameras is a double-edged sword for Ukrainians. “On the one hand, it will undermine the credibility of the government [russe], but on the other hand, it may have the effect of justifying state propaganda that claims Ukrainians are neo-Nazis. »

While the Russian military expects a broader Ukrainian response, creating a diversion is another “successful” objective, “Caesar” acknowledged with a smile at a press conference, while promising to resume.

With Agence France-Presse

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