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Anti-Kremlin battalions announce offensive operation inside Russia against Putin’s regime

The battalions launched an offensive before the presidential election in Russia, reportedly against “the criminal dictatorial regime in the Russian Federation.”
Legion Freedom of Russia March 2024
The appeal of the Legion Freedom of Russia to the Russians before the beginning of the operation on Russian cities on 12 March 2024. Credit: Legion Freedom of Russia via Telegram
Anti-Kremlin battalions announce offensive operation inside Russia against Putin’s regime

The coalition of Russian battalions fighting on the Ukrainian side – the Russian Freedom Legion (RFL), the Russian Volunteer Corps, and the Siberian Battalion reported on 12 March that they had entered the border territory of Russia to liberate the “criminal dictatorial regime in the Russian Federation.”

Bloomberg reported in October 2023 that Ukraine’s military had formed a battalion of soldiers made up entirely of Russian citizens who wanted to fight against President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The activation of the battalions’ “assault” came before the presidential election in Russia, which will occur next Sunday, 17 March.

The battalions reportedly have taken control of the border village of Lozovaya Rudka in the Belgorod Oblast; firefights are ongoing in Tyotkino, Kursk Oblast.

“Well, we’re finally home. As promised, we’re bringing freedom and justice to our Russian land,” the Siberian Battalion said in a statement on their Telegram channel.

“The criminal dictatorial regime in the Russian Federation could not be overthrown peacefully. It can only be removed by force of arms. Tonight, we began fulfilling that promise. Fierce battles are underway on Russian territory,” they added.

Later, the Russian Freedom Legion released a video allegedly showing the destruction of a Russian armored personnel carrier in the village of Tyotkino, Kursk Oblast.

A representative of Ukraine’s Military Intelligence, Andrii Yusov, said to Radio Liberty on the morning of 12 March that the Russian Freedom Legion, the Russian Volunteer Corps, and the Siberian Battalion are units composed of citizens of the Russian Federation; it’s likely a joint operation by these battalions.

“On the territory of the Russian Federation, they are acting completely autonomously and independently, carrying out their socio-political agenda. These are not the first such actions by these structures and organizations on the territory of the so-called Russian Federation,” he said.

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