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Belgorod governor says 2 killed, at least 3 injured as anti-Kremlin Russian battalions fight in city

The aftermath of the shelling in Belgorod, Russia, 16 March 2024. Creidt: Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov
Belgorod governor says 2 killed, at least 3 injured as anti-Kremlin Russian battalions fight in city

Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on 16 March, there were at least two killed and three injured as a result of shelling in the city.

Russian authorities blamed the Ukrainian military, as the casualties were due to the battles between the Russian forces and the coalition of anti-Kremlin Russian battalions, who were reportedly fighting on the Ukrainian side.

Belgorod Oblast Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on Telegram that a man and a woman were killed due to the shelling, and a woman’s son and two other men were injured.

The shelling also reportedly damaged buildings and cars.

The Russian Volunteer Corps formation reported on the morning of 16 March that it continues a “limited military operation in the Belgorod and Kursk oblasts” and has “a new batch of prisoners from the Russian Armed Forces.”

On 12 March, fighting took place between Russian troops and fighters from the Russian Freedom Legion (RFL), the Russian Volunteer Corps, and the Siberian Battalion in the border areas of the Belgorod and Kursk oblasts.

Russian battalions, consisting of Russian citizens, have repeatedly carried out raids into the Russian Federation, crossing the Ukrainian-Russian border. The raids were mainly conducted in the Belgorod and Bryansk oblasts of Russia. One of the last actions occurred in the Belgorod region on 23 May 2023, when the Russian authorities declared a counter-terrorist operation regime.

The Russian battalions’ actions are aimed at liberating the Russian people from the “anti-national regime” and their opposition to the “criminal Kremlin government and all those who give and carry out criminal orders,” as well as those who support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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