The Ukrainian military did not take part in the operation to infiltrate the Belgorod region on May 22, a senior Ukrainian official told The New York Times.
According to him, the military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine provided support to the formations that entered the territory of the Russian region and covered the Ukrainian border in case of a counterattack by the Russian Federation. Not a single Ukrainian fighter entered the territory of Russia, the interlocutor of the publication emphasized.
The source of The New York Times claims that the units that penetrated the Belgorod region suffered losses, but not so significant as to affect their combat effectiveness. He did not disclose other details.
On May 22, the authorities of the Belgorod region announced that a “sabotage and reconnaissance group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine” had entered the border city district of Graivoron. Fighting was reported in the villages of Glotovo, Kozinka and Gora-Podil. A counter-terrorist operation regime was operating in the region for about a day.
The next day, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that the invading units “were defeated” and “thrown back” to the territory of Ukraine. The agency also said that more than 70 “Ukrainian terrorists” were killed as a result of the fighting.
Ukraine denied any involvement in the attack. The Freedom of Russia Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK), a largely Russian formation fighting on the side of Ukraine, claimed responsibility for the invasion . They called their operation “peacekeeping”, and its goals were “creation of a demilitarized zone between Russia and Ukraine”, as well as “demonstration” to the Russians of “successful struggle against the Putin regime”.
On May 23, the RDK also claimed that the fighting in the Belgorod region was continuing . At the same time, the leader of the formation, Denis Nikitin, according to the Financial Times correspondent in Kiev, Christopher Miller, denied the losses. In their social networks, the formations also did not report losses.