Espreso. Global

Freedom of Russia Legion says fighting for village in Russian Kursk region continues

12 March, 2024 Tuesday

On the morning of Tuesday, March 12, members of the Freedom of Russia Legion, located along the Russian-Ukrainian border, declared their intent to free Russia from the rule of dictator Vladimir Putin. The soldiers from the Siberian Battalion have reported intense fighting in Russia, and Freedom of Russia first reported that it had taken control of the village of Tyotkino in the Kursk region, and later clarified that fighting for the village was ongoing

They said this in a video message posted on social media.

The volunteers noted that, like all Russians, they dream of a homeland liberated from Vladimir Putin's dictatorship and are making "every effort to realize these dreams."

"We will take our land from the regime centimeter by centimeter. Russians will sleep peacefully, will not be afraid of a doorbell ringing, will speak their minds without fear. Russians will vote for whom they want, not for whom they have to," the Freedom of Russia Legion said in a statement.

According to the soldiers, they are marching to free Russians "from poverty, misery and fear, from the dictatorship of a terrorist organization that has seized power."

"To give your children a normal, civilized future - without sanctions and without repression, without elections and without 'Talking about important things'. And most importantly, without war. Putin usurped power for 20 years and what happened: sanctions, economic stagnation, a bloody war, political rivals killed and complete isolation from the world stage. And beautiful palaces. And now he plans to run for another term and rule until his death. We will not allow it. We are Russians like you: we also have the right to express our will. And our will is not to recognize the bloody dictator as president of Russia. The Legion is going to the polls, wait for us," the statement reads.

Later, Russian volunteers said they had crossed the border with tanks. The day before, Russians reported on social media about fighting in the Belgorod and Kursk regions.

At about 09:30, Russian volunteers showed a destroyed demilitarized APC of the Russian army in the village of Tyotkino, Kursk region.

"No one is leaving. There is nothing to leave on. They will wait for liberation. The APC is destroyed. We continue to work," wrote the fighters of the Freedom of Russia Legion.

Around 12:00 pm, volunteers showed footage of a Russian armored personnel carrier setting fire to a residential building, likely in the Kursk region.

"So much for the regime. Putin's APC set fire to a residential building with incendiary ammunition. We could not let it slide and destroyed this APC. The firefighters, apparently, fled the settlement," the Legion said in a statement.

According to the volunteers' report, at 1:24 p.m., as part of their operation on the territory of the Russian Federation, the fighters of the Freedom of Russia Legion took control of the village of Tyotkino. 

They noted that the settlement is completely under the control of the Russian liberation forces.

However, the military later edited the post, adding that the fighting for the village was still ongoing.

It is noted that the settlement is completely under the control of the Russian liberation forces.

"Putin's army is rapidly leaving the village, leaving behind positions and abandoning heavy equipment," the military added.

In addition, the Siberian Battalion announced they are also “going to the polls.” According to them, fierce fighting is currently taking place on Russia’s territory. 

"Well, we are finally home. As promised, we are bringing freedom and justice to our Russian land. Earlier we said that the criminal dictatorial regime in Russia cannot be overthrown peacefully. It can only be removed with arms in hand. Last night we began to fulfill our promise. Fierce fighting is underway on the territory of the Russian Federation," the battalion said.

Soldiers of the Siberian Battalion also appealed to Russian citizens to ignore the "elections" in Russia.

"Ballots and polling stations in this case are fiction. The only way to really change life for the better is to take up arms. Anyone who does not accept a miserable life in tyranny must make the right choice," the fighters emphasized.

Russia’s response

The governor of the Kursk region, Roman Starovoit, confirmed the attempt of the subversive group to breakthrough near the village of Tyotkino. 

"There was a firefight. But there was no breakthrough," he said.

The Kursk governor also added that the village was allegedly shelled by Ukraine and that there was a casualty.

Later, the Russian Defense Ministry said that in the morning, units of the armed forces, together with units of the Russian FSB border service, "thwarted an attempt by the Kyiv regime to break through to the Russian border territory in the Belgorod and Kursk regions."

"Ukrainian terrorist formations, supported by tanks and armored combat vehicles, attempted to invade the territory of the Russian Federation simultaneously in three directions near the settlements of Odnorobovka, Nekhoteevka and Spodaryushino in the Belgorod region," the Russian agency said.

They emphasize that all the attacks were repelled, so there were allegedly no violations of the state border.

In addition, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported four more attacks by "Ukrainian subversive reconnaissance groups" spanning from 08:00 am to 08:25 am on the border area near the village of Tyotkino, Kursk region. 

At the same time, the FSB denied the information about saboteurs' infiltration into Belgorod and Kursk regions.

"Social platforms are spreading information about the infiltration of Ukrainian armed groups into some border settlements of the Belgorod and Kursk regions. The published data do not correspond to reality," the Russian special service said.

They noted that since March 10, saboteurs have allegedly lost over 100 people, 6 tanks, a French Caesar artillery system and 20 armored vehicles while trying to infiltrate the Belgorod and Kursk regions.

Ukrainian intelligence’s response to the raid by Russian volunteers

The fighting on the territory of Russia is a possible special operation of Russian volunteer battalions, stated the representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate, Andriy Yusov, in a comment to Channel 24.

"The Freedom of Russia Legion, the Russian Volunteer Corps and the Siberian Battalion act as independent units on the territory of Russia, as they consist of Russian citizens. They are, after all, at home. Probably, there is a joint operation of these units on the territory of the so-called Russia," he said.

The so-called presidential elections are taking place in Russia this weekend.

For reference: The Siberian Battalion is a unit of the Ukrainian Armed Forces consisting of Russian citizens who oppose Putin's rule. The unit includes Yakuts and Buryats, who view Ukraine's victory as an opportunity to gain independence from Russia. Before signing the contract, Russian citizens undergo a thorough vetting process that can take up to a year. The battalion does not recruit captured Russian soldiers. The unit took part in the battle for Avdiivka.

  • Meanwhile, on the night of March 12, drones attacked Russian territory: explosions were reported in the Moscow region, Kursk, Belgorod, Voronezh and Tula regions, and hits to oil depots in Oryol and Nizhny Novgorod regions.

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