Map shows where Ukraine allies have gained ground in Russian territory

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Military units made up of Russians fighting on behalf of Ukraine announced on Tuesday that they had entered into Russian territory before allegedly taking control of a village.

The separatist groups Freedom of Russia Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps posted messages online saying that they were “on the attack” when they arrived in Russia’s Belgorod and Kursk regions in armored vehicles. The War Gonzo Telegram channel reported the fighters were backed by mortar and artillery fire.

Hours later, the Freedom of Russia Legion said it had fully taken control of the village of Tyotkino in the Kursk region. Newsweek has not been able to independently verify this claim, and Russia’s Defense Ministry stated earlier in the day that it had “thwarted” attacks in border regions by “Ukrainian terrorist groups.”

The Eastern European outlet Visegrád 24 posted a map on X (formerly Twitter) that shows the path the separatist fighters took inside Russian territory as they allegedly seized land.

Russian separatist fighters seen in Ukraine
Fighters of the Russian Volunteer Corps and the Freedom of Russia Legion stand next to a seized armored personnel carrier in northern Ukraine near the Russian border on May 24, 2023. The two militias said…

Photo by SERGEY BOBOK/AFP via Getty Images

Newsweek reached out to the Kremlin via email on Tuesday for comment.

“Map of Russian forces allied with Ukraine breaking into Russian territory today. The war has yet again been taken to Russian territory,” Visegrád 24 wrote in the caption of the post containing a map created by X user Arcadi Doge.

The message continued: “Now, it’s Russian citizens for once that have to listen to automatic fire all day. Vote for Putin again? Bad idea…”

Andriy Yusov, spokesman for Ukraine’s military intelligence agency GUR, told Ukrainian media that Russian volunteer groups were not acting under orders from Kyiv and that “on the territory of the Russian Federation, they act absolutely autonomously, on their own, and pursue their social and political program tasks.”

Mark Krutov, a correspondent for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, also shared a Google Map on X that contained geolocated spots, which shows where the separatist fighters were striking near the border of Ukraine.

News of the military action taken by the separatist militias comes after multiple overnight drone attacks inside Russia. According to reports from Moscow authorities, Ukrainian drones targeted sites in nine Russian regions in what’s thought to be Kyiv’s largest drone assault on Russia since the start of the war.

One of the targets in the drone attacks was reportedly a government building in Belgorod. The city’s mayor later reported that four people had been killed by the strike.

Ukraine also reportedly conducted a drone strike over the weekend in Russia’s Rostov Oblast. The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) think tank wrote on Saturday that Ukrainian drones attacked a Rostov military plant, which reportedly resulted in the destruction of two A-50 long-range radar detection aircraft.