Border incursion proves Western influence in Ukraine. On Wednesday, the Kremlin said pro-Ukrainian fighters who raided a Russian border region this week used U.S. military weaponry, demonstrating the West’s expanding involvement in the Ukraine crisis.
On Tuesday, the Russian military announced it had defeated terrorists who invaded Belgorod with armored vehicles the day before, killing more than 70 “Ukrainian nationalists” and forcing the rest back into Ukraine.
It said it destroyed four armored vehicles and five pick-up trucks to thwart one of the greatest Ukrainian incursions into Russian territory since Moscow began its “special military operation” in Ukraine 15 months ago.
The Russian defense ministry released footage of wrecked Humvee military trucks.
Reuters confirmed the location of damaged vehicles and surrounding details in the video but not the date.
On Wednesday, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu pledged to “extremely harshly” retaliate for any further Ukrainian terrorist cross-border raids.
“It is no secret for us that more and more equipment is being delivered to Ukraine’s armed forces,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters when asked about the fighters’ use of Western-made hardware.
“This equipment is utilized against our soldiers. We know that Western nations are becoming involved in this fight. Our conclusions are correct.”
Military analysts said this week’s two-day incursion could compel the Kremlin to move soldiers from the front lines as Kyiv plans a strong counteroffensive to fight an unjustified Russian war of conquest.
According to Reuters, the defense ministry video showed damaged vehicles in Graivoron, a Russian town 5 km (3 miles) from the northeastern Ukraine border.
Buildings, fencing, roads, landscape, and tree lines matched satellite photos and corroborating videos.
The US, Ukraine’s largest military supplier, has denied that American military weaponry was utilized in the attack.
On Tuesday, U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller called the reports “sceptical.”
“As a broader general principle, we do not support or enable strikes inside Russia and we’ve made that plain. As we’ve said, Ukraine decides how to fight this conflict.”
The raid, claimed by two anti-Kremlin Russian armed groups fighting for Kyiv against their compatriots, was disputed by Ukraine’s authorities. Leaders are far-right.