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ISW: Russian conscripts deployed to defend border ahead of sham presidential elections

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
ISW: Russian conscripts deployed to defend border ahead of sham presidential elections

Russia uses conscripts to defend its border with Ukraine against limited incursions ahead of the Russian presidential election, the Institute for the Study of War said in its new report.

Earlier, the battalions of the Freedom of Russia legion, the Russian Volunteer Corps, and the Siberian Battalion reported that they had entered the border territory of Russia to liberate Russia from the “criminal dictatorial regime in the Russian Federation.”

Russian sources initially denied reports of the incursion but later claimed that Russian forces repelled Russian pro-Ukrainian forces with tank, armored vehicle, and drone support attacking near Odnorobivka in Kharkiv Oblast and Nekhoteevka and Spodaryushino in Belgorod Oblast.

According to the US-based think tank, Russia’s decision to engage conscripts to defend its border is related to Russia’s unwillingness to transfer forces away from the frontline elsewhere in Ukraine.

Before the start of the offensive, the military volunteers published an address saying, “The Legion is coming to the Putin elections.”

“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.

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