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Frontline report: Russian insurgents imitate large-scale attack, prepare for referendum in Russia’s Belgorod Oblast

Map: screenshot from the video
Frontline report: Russian insurgents imitate large-scale attack, prepare for referendum in Russia’s Belgorod Oblast
Russian insurgents intensify operations in Russia’s Belgorod Oblast, employing strategic tactics to draw Russian forces from the Ukrainian territory, engaging in heavy fighting, and imitating a large-scale attack while “preparing for a referendum.”

Day 464: Jun 02

The commander of the Russian Volunteer Corps stated that the second phase of its operations had begun. As you remember, on 1 June, the insurgent forces destroyed border guards and security service forces and withdrew before Russian tanks and other reinforcements arrived at Shebekino. The goal of the 2 June raid was to draw these mechanized forces in one direction and destroy them as well.

Frontline report: Pro-Ukrainian Russian insurgents conduct more operations in Russia’s Belgorod region

Russian sources reported that on 2 June, the insurgents attacked Tavolzhanka from a new and unexpected direction, namely, west of the Sieverskyi Donets River. To draw heavy Russian units, the insurgents used two tanks. Geolocated footage confirms that the insurgents entered the town and engaged Russian forces on the territory of the settlement. Other footage shows heavy fighting between infantry units in the residential area. As expected, the advancement was very difficult because, on 2 June, Russians had more forces in the region.

Some Russian sources reported that Russian forces conducted an intense artillery strike, destroying 1 out of 2 tanks, after which the crew of the second tank abandoned an intact machinery mid-fight for fear of being the next target, which prompted all other forces to run away as well. Less prominent sources claimed the tank was not destroyed but just damaged, and the insurgents even managed to return it to the base, while the second tank and the infantry continued their operations.

Freedom of Russia insurgents claim they are “moving forward” in Russia’s Belgorod region

Local residents reported that Russian forces had lost at least three tanks already in the first 90 minutes of fighting. Local residents also reported that the insurgents are conducting much more intense shelling, especially in the areas of regional administration and law enforcement departments, which are effectively used right now as bases.

However, this is just the beginning. It was reported that the radio in certain areas was hacked, and the citizens were informed that there would be a referendum this Sunday and asked to vote for the establishment of the Belgorod People’s Republic. Simultaneously, the insurgents imitated preparation for a large-scale attack near Grayvoron, which they assaulted last time, and also Urazovo, which would be a new direction.

This prompted Russians to relocate a lot of forces to these directions, which is exactly what the insurgents wanted them to do. Dozens of drone operators identified and tracked the position of multiple Russian columns. Based only on the available footage, the insurgents struck at least three areas of forces concentrations that together had at least eight pieces of equipment, including four trucks.

Anti-Putin Russian fighters start “second stage” of Belgorod operation

Due to the active fighting on the approach to Shebekino, thousands of civilians were evacuated. Later the town was closed, and the emergency services stopped helping the locals because they were either dead or busy fighting. Hearing about the possible referendum was the last straw, and the town was consumed by chaos. Some people started fleeing, while others took advantage of the fact that law enforcement was too busy and started raiding supermarkets and even the houses of people who just left.

While the Russian population went mad because of a lack of protection, the infighting in the Russian Army just started a new chapter. This time, Chechen commanders and officials launched a concerted attack on Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin. This attack was seemingly a response to Prigozhin’s relatively neutral statement in an interview where he was asked about Chechen forces, and he just said that he is unaware of Chechen units’ new positions and that Chechen forces usually fight for select settlements across multiple directions, and do not have one big distinct area under their control.

Chechen member of the Russian State Duma, Adam Delimkhanov, called Prigozhin a blogger who is constantly crying about problems and said that Prigozhin does not know about Akhmat because he should not know, but if he really wants to know, they could select a time and place and teach him.

Akhmat Special Forces Commander Apty Alaudinov also said he did not respect the Wagner Head and that Prigozhin would have been killed for his critiques during World War II.

This is ironic because the first person who started openly and viciously critiquing the Russian Ministry of Defense was the Head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov. However, due to the violent protest inside the Chechen republic and the growing instability, Kadyrov switched sides, likely to receive help from the Ministry of Defense to prevent a coup.

In our daily frontline report, we pair up with the military blogger Reporting from Ukraine to keep you informed about what’s happening on the battlefield in the Russo-Ukrainian war.

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