“A Ukrainian nationalist formation” that broke into Russia’s Belgorod region on Monday has been defeated, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.
“During a counter-terrorist operation, the nationalist formation was blocked and destroyed due to air strikes, artillery fire and active action by the units of the Western Military District that covers the state border,” the ministry said in a statement.
The “remaining nationalists” were pushed back into Ukraine, where they continued to be hit until wholly eliminated, said the statement. They lost over 70 people, four armored fighting vehicles and five pickup trucks.
The Ukrainian side has denied involvement in the incursion. Two anti-government paramilitary groups in Russia were behind the operation in the Belgorod region, which aimed to create a “security strip” to protect Ukrainian civilians, a Ukrainian military spokesperson said.
The Belgorod region, located next to Ukraine’s Kharkov region, has recently been a center of hostilities. On Tuesday, the region’s governor Vyacheslav Gladkov reported several drone attacks that caused damage to local private residential buildings.