After the defeat in Artemovsk (Bakhmut), where they are believed to have lost between 30k-60k troops, the Ukrainians staged this Sunday (May 22) an incursion into the Belgorod Oblast, pre-war Russian territory, in what can best be described as a publicity stunt or a ‘psy-op’.
While the Discord Leaks have revealed that Zelensky has plans to take and hold Russian border towns to gain some leverage in future peace talks, that was not it.
The incursion consisted of a DRG (Diversion and Reconnaissance Group) with 2 tanks, an infantry support vehicle and about 9 troop-carrying cars, with a number of troops that have initially been estimated not to have surpassed one battalion.
Belgorod has been known to be a weak spot and a soft-target for long. Governor Gladkov has been begging people to evacuate border settlements since September 2022.
Ukraine Watch reported:
“At the beginning of their operation, Ukrainian hackers took over computer control of many areas of the region, as well as some radio frequencies.
They gave messages to civilians in the villages and throughout the region with the intention of spreading panic, as well as promulgating messages inciting civilians to rebel against their government.
Ukrainian troops stopped civilians on the roads and then used their vehicles as roadblocks.”
A legal regime of a counter-terrorist operation was introduced in the Belgorod Oblast (region), and the ‘Special Military Operation’ has been Extended into the area to ‘Liquidate Terrorist Elements that have entered the Region from Ukraine’.
The DRG penetrated the Russian territory by attacking the Graivoron border checkpoint. Russian border guards withdrew to fortified line and took up the fight.
The Ukrainians divided their troops, and proceeded to the shelling of settlements in the area.
On the wall of the building in the Grayvoron checkpoint they left the inscription “Greetings from Bakhmut”, highlighting the propaganda nature of the attack, designed to shift the focus from the loss of Artemovsk.
The American ‘sponsors’ of Kiev were quick to respond. State Department Spokesman Matthew Miller explained how the US does not encourage attacks on Russian territory, but immediately proceeded to justify it: “We’ve made it very clear to Ukrainians that we don’t allow or encourage attacks outside Ukraine’s borders. But I really think it’s important to take a step back and remind everyone and remind the world that Russia started this war.”
With the arrival of the Rapid Response Forces from the Russian Military, the main Ukrainian forces and equipment are said to have fled the settlement.
But a substantial group of Ukrainian troops took positions in Kozinka, where they have occupied a church building, with weapons that including anti-tank missiles. There is a concern that they may be hiding in houses, using civilians as human shields.
Russian sources say there are still up to a hundred militants in the vicinity of the church, in addition to an enemy platoon.
Russian armored vehicles and special forces have surrounded them, as assault aviation had been seen is working on the dug position of militants.
Donbas Devushka reported:
“As of 10:00 [on Monday], a cleanup of the settlement is underway. Kozinka, the enemy left engineering charges both on the roads and on the roadsides.
[…] Night is a special condition for combat, there are civilians in settlements, Ukrainians do not disdain to use civilians as a shield, the history of the SMO [Special Military Operation] has already proven this, in order to reduce the minimization of victims and there were no active actions at night.”
While this unfolds, Ukrainian reinforcements are concentrating in other sections of the border in order to sow panic.
While this can’t possibly result in any meaningful military or strategic gain, Ukrainians online are creating the narrative of the ‘liberators’ of the ‘Belgorod People’s Republic’. A classic Psy-op to distract from the Artemovsk (Bakhmut) defeat, the destruction of the Patriot Air Defense system in Kiev by the Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, and the ‘disappearance’ of the Commander in chief Zaluzhni.
Russian Federation Ministry of Defense:
“The Kiev regime, having suffered a defeat in the city of Artemovsk, switched to the implementation of terrorist actions against the civilian population.
Yesterday, after intensive artillery shelling of the Kozinka international checkpoint, as well as a number of other civilian facilities in the Graivoronsky district of the Belgorod region, a unit of a Ukrainian nationalist formation invaded the territory of the Russian Federation.
In the course of the counter-terrorist operation, the nationalist formations were blocked and defeated by air strikes, artillery fire and the active actions of the cover units of the State Border of the Western Military District.
The remnants of the nationalists were driven back to the territory of Ukraine, where they continued to be hit by fire until they were completely eliminated. More than 70 Ukrainian terrorists, four armored fighting vehicles and five pickups have been destroyed.”
Watch the video: