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Russian insurgents claim to kill Belgorod counterinsurgency senior officer

Screenshot from video by Free Russia Legion, where the insurgents claim to have killed the top commander of the Russian military operation against them in Belgorod Oblast
Russian insurgents claim to kill Belgorod counterinsurgency senior officer

The Free Russia Legion has shared a video allegedly proving the death of Colonel Stesyev, while the Russian Volunteer Corps claims control of the village of Novaya Tavolzhanka

Anti-Putin insurgents from the Free Russian Legion (LSR) released a video allegedly showing the site where Russian Colonel Andrey Stesyev, of the “Belgorod” operational group, was killed. The video appears to show a body in Russian military uniform and a bullet-riddled vehicle with a Z on its door. However, the video does not show the deceased’s face or any identifying documents.

The death of Stesyev, the senior officer of the Belgorod operational group, was previously reported by Ukrainian intelligence, which said that he was killed in the village of Nova Tavolzhanka on the night of 4-5 June.

Photo of Stasyev’s documents shared by Ukraine’s intelligence

Previously, he served as the commander of the 104th airborne assault regiment of the Russian airborne troops, the Ukrainian intelligence added.

The Russian Volunteer Corps, along with the Free Russia Legion, are engaged in combat in this area. The Corps claims complete control of Nova Tavolzhanka, while Belgorod authorities acknowledge they cannot enter the village. According to the Russian insurgents, fighting in the Belgorod Oblast is intensifying.

In a video message addressed to the leaders of the Russian Army counterinsurgency measures, the Free Russia Legion called on them to cease operations and “stop combat sorties, air strikes, bombardments, artillery shelling, and missile attacks on the territories bordering Ukraine.”

“Ordinary Russian people, their homes, critical infrastructure, factories, and enterprises suffer from your actions. The civilians of the region do not deserve to be killed by their own brothers. We want to save them, and save all of Russia. Enough! Leave Shebekino and the region alone! This is already a liberated territory of Free Russia, and WE, the Russians, will now put things in order here, and most importantly, we will show what a real Russia should be. The Russia of the future, in which one wants to live, not survive!” they posted on Telegram.

Free Russia Legion near Shebekino. Photo from their Telegram

In the spring of 2023, the Russian Volunteer Corps and the Free Russia Legion reportedly penetrated Russian territory several times. Their first raid with the use of heavy equipment was on May 22-23, when they conducted a raid into the Belgorod Oblast and called on Russians to join the fight against the current regime. The Legion stated its intent to create a demilitarized zone in the Belgorod Oblast, from where Russia would not be able to shell Ukraine.

The Russian Volunteer Corps stated that during the raid they advanced 42 kilometers into Russian territory but currently lack the resources to fully seize and hold territory. The Corps and the Legion also reported that they captured prisoners and seized military equipment. According to their own estimates, they suffered two fatalities and approximately ten injuries during the raid.

Following the raid, Russia redeployed forces to Belgorod Oblast, drawing them away from the front with Ukraine.

Both the insurgents and the Ukrainian authorities claim that the insurgents, which fight against Russia alongside Ukrainian forces on Ukrainian territory, operate independently inside Russia.

In the night of June 1, fighting began near the Ukrainian-Russian border, close to the Russian populated area of Shebekino, in what the insurgents called the “second stage” of their operation. Russian Telegram channels wrote that the Shebekino road checkpoint was attacked with tanks, and during the shelling, one of the shells hit the building of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

On 4 June, the anti-Putin insurgents announced that they had taken Russian prisoners and proposed to exchange them to the Belgorod authorities, which declined the opportunity. Following this, the insurgents said they will hand over the prisoners to the Ukrainian side for future exchanges.

Russian Volunteer Corps fights for Ukraine and to dismantle Putin’s regime

Potential Headlines

  1. “Video Alleges Russian Colonel’s Death in Belgorod Released by ‘Legion Svoboda Rossii'”
  2. “‘Legion Svoboda Rossii’ Claims Killing of Russian Colonel in Belgorod”
  3. “Battle Intensifies in Belgorod ‘Legion Svoboda Rossii’ Releases Video Alleging Russian Colonel’s Death”

Possible Lead Sentences

  1. “‘Legion Svoboda Rossii’ has released a video allegedly showing the site where Russian Colonel Andrey Stesyev was killed in Belgorod Oblast.”
  2. “A battle for control in the Belgorod Oblast continues to intensify, with a recently released video purporting to show the body of Russian Colonel Andrey Stesyev.”
  3. “In the context of growing tensions in Belgorod Oblast, ‘Legion Svoboda Rossii’ released a video alleging the death of Russian Colonel Andrey Stesyev.”

 

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