On May 22, an armed group infiltrated the Graivoron district of the Belgorod region. Governor Gladkov reported that eight individuals sustained injuries, and evacuation was initiated as a precautionary measure. The Legion of Free Russia* and the Russian Volunteer Corps have asserted responsibility for this action.
On the morning of May 22, Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov announced that the Graivoron area was being bombed. Within a couple of hours, news spread about a potential infiltration by a group of saboteurs into the region. Governor Gladkov officially confirmed this at 2 pm, revealing that two local residents had been injured.
Claiming responsibility for the incident are the Legion of Free Russia* and the Russian Volunteer Corps. Throughout the day, they urged residents not to fear them, advised against resistance, and recommended seeking shelter within their homes. The saboteurs assert that they have established control over the villages of Kozinka and Gora Podol. By doing so, they have advanced at least 9.4 kilometers into Russian territory. Although the local authorities and the Ministry of Defense have yet to confirm the village seizure, Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov acknowledged the "tense" situation in the region and the subsequent evacuation of local residents during an evening live broadcast.
Residents of Grayvoron and Kozynka have informed 7x7 about explosions and gunshots.
Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin's press secretary, said that the president had been briefed on the sabotage in the Belgorod region. Peskov suggested that its purpose was to "divert attention from the Bakhmut direction and minimize the political impact of Ukraine's loss of Artemivsk." The Ukrainian Defense Ministry acknowledged the "operation" on Belgorod territory but specified that only Russian citizens were involved in the action. Allegedly, they are establishing "security corridors" in the region to protect Ukrainian civilians.
On the evening of May 22, Aleksandr Kulagin, head of the Federal Security Service of Russia in Belgorod Oblast, introduced an anti-terrorist regime in the region. This authorizes law enforcement to legally access private properties, including land plots, houses, and apartments, as well as conduct inspections of individuals, vehicles, and belongings at regional borders.
The sabotage resulted in eight civilian injuries, with no reported fatalities. Baza, a Telegram channel, claims that 39 saboteurs were killed within the region.
On March 2, a sabotage group entered the Bryansk villages of Sushany and Lyubechane, resulting in the deaths of two civilians. A ten-year-old boy named Fyodor, who later became a propaganda figure, sustained injuries. Despite his wounds, the child guided two schoolgirls out of a vehicle and hid them in the nearby woods.
The Russian Volunteer Corps, which has been fighting alongside Ukraine since 2014, claimed responsibility for the attack on the Klimovsk district. Vladimir Putin referred to the incident as a terrorist attack. In response, Russia initiated a "retaliatory strike" against Ukraine.
*The organization is recognized as a terrorist organization in Russia.