White House to look into Russia’s claims on US vehicles used in Belgorod raid, critics say pictures are staged
White House spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Wednesday that Washington will look into reports that US military vehicles were used in an incursion into Russia's Belgorod region
Claims that US vehicles were used in an incursion into Russia's Belgorod region will be investigated by American officials, according to the White House, Sky News reports.
White House spokesperson John Kirby said it has been clear with Kyiv that Washington does not support any such use of US-made equipment.
Kremlin comments on US vehicles allegedly used in Belgorod cross-border attack
Earlier the Russian defense ministry has released pictures of what they claim are abandoned Western military vehicles used by Ukraine – including what Sky News has identified as US-made Humvees.
The Kremlin said it is “no secret” that increasing amounts of Western military equipment is being used by the Ukrainian armed forces, following reports that US-made military vehicles were utilized in the cross-border attack by anti-Putin Russian nationals.
“It is not a secret for us that the direct and indirect involvement of these Western countries in this conflict is growing every day,” spokesperson Dmitry Peskov was quoted by CNN as telling reporters Wednesday.
Captured US vehicles or staged propaganda images?
Some critics claim that at least part of the pictures have been staged – pointing to details in the images which they say suggest the scene could have been choreographed.
Commenting on photos of two US Humvees stuck in a trench, social media investigators say the vehicles were lowered there by a crane.
“On the driver’s side rear of one of the vehicles there appears to be damage from an explosion. Rust in the non-painted areas suggests the damage is not new. There is also not damage to the dirt area near the vehicle, which would occur from an explosion. It is clear that this vehicle was disabled long before being moved to this location,” a Twitter user named Photo Wanderer says.
Another one points out that no gravel or dirt is stuck in the tire tread and shows other details.
“This Humvee slammed into the trench wall head on but no soil was pushed ahead of it. Which you would have even if it hit at 10MPH. It’s a heavy vehicle. It’s going to displace soil on impact. This vehicle was placed there off a flatbed,” Jack’s House tweeted.
He supposes that the vehicles were captured in Ukraine months ago.
Moscow said on May 23 that it had fought off an assault after two days of battles with attackers who had staged a cross-border raid. Russia blamed Ukrainian "saboteurs" for the attack, but Kyiv has denied the claim.
Two Russian groups, the Free Russia Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps, have claimed responsibility for the attack.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday that more than 70 “saboteurs” were killed, while the group of anti-Putin Russian nationals denied having any losses.
State Department said on May 23 that US is skeptical of claims on American-supplied weapons used in Belgorod region
No Ukrainian soldier took part in the May 22 infiltration operation in the Belgorod region – The New York Times
Military expert Serhiy Zgurets said that Belgorod cross-border raid destroyed Russian myth on their ability to protect border regions