Published On: Tue, May 23rd, 2023
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Putin’s security services’ building in Russia attacked by rebels | World | News

Russian sources claimed the building of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation in Belgorod was attacked on Monday this week (May 22). SOTA, a Russian Telegram channel and Readovka, a Russian pro-Kremlin news outlet, on Telegram both claimed explosives were allegedly dropped on the FSB building.

SOTA said: “There has been a strike on the FSB building in Belgorod.”

“In Belgorod, explosives were allegedly dropped from a drone on an FSB building. Smoke is visible on the roof of one of the buildings. The road to the building is blocked. Fire and emergency services are already at the scene,” Readovka confirmed.

The alleged attack comes after Russian officials claimed Ukrainian rebels launched an attack across the border in the same town.

Kyiv officials denied any link with the group and blamed the fighting on a revolt by disgruntled Russians against the Kremlin.

Neither version of events could be independently verified in an area that has witnessed sporadic spillover from the almost 15-month war in Ukraine.

The governor of Russia’s Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine, said that a Ukrainian Armed Forces saboteur group entered the town of Graivoron, about five kilometres (three miles) from the border. The town also came under Ukrainian artillery fire, he said.

Gov. Vyacheslav Gladkov said eight people were wounded and most residents had left the area, but the situation remained “tense”.

READ MORE: Putin on brink as furious Russian rebels vow to storm Moscow and Kremlin

In nearby Zamostye village, a projectile hit a kindergarten and caused a fire. One woman was wounded in her hand, Gladkov said. He also reported that Russian anti-aircraft systems shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle over Belgorod region.

Gladkov said a counterterrorist operation was underway and that authorities were imposing special controls, including personal document checks and stopping the work of companies that use “explosives, radioactive, chemically and biologically hazardous substances.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russian President Vladimir Putin was informed about the alleged saboteur incursion. An effort to “push them out from the Russian territory and liquidate them” was underway, he said.

Peskov described the action as an attempt by Ukraine to divert attention from the eastern city of Bakhmut, which Moscow claimed to have captured after months of battle but where Kyiv says it is still fighting.

But Ukrainian military intelligence officials did not confirm that Kyiv had deployed saboteurs. Instead, they claimed that Russian citizens seeking regime change in Moscow were behind the Graivoron incursion.

Ukraine intelligence representative Andrii Cherniak said Russian citizens belonging to groups calling themselves the Russian Volunteer Corps and the Freedom of Russia Legion were behind the assault.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s advisor, Mykhailo Podolyak, said on Twitter that Ukraine “has nothing to do with it”. He suggested an “armed guerrilla movement” was behind the attack.

The Russian Volunteer Corps claimed in a Telegram post it had crossed the border into Russia again, after claiming to have breached the border in early March.

The Russian Volunteer Corps describes itself as “a volunteer formation fighting on Ukraine’s side”. Little is known about the group, and it is not clear if it has any ties with the Ukrainian military. The same is true for the Freedom of Russia Legion.

The RVC was founded last August and reportedly consists mostly of anti-Putin far-right Russian extremists who have links with Ukrainian far-right groups.

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