The governor of Russia’s Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, has denied the latest border incursion claims by a group of anti-Putin Russian nationals.
“There was no enemy on the territory of the Belgorod region and there is none,” Gladkov said in a Telegram video message Thursday.
“There is massive shelling. Of course the lives of civilians, the population is under threat. Mainly in Shebekino and in the surrounding villages,” he added.
It comes after the Russian Volunteer Corps, a group of anti-Putin Russian nationals aligned with the Ukrainian army, claimed Thursday that its members were fighting on Russian territory but did not provide any evidence.
In a separate Telegram post, Gladkov said he had reported to Russian President Vladimir Putin about the situation at the border.
“It was decided that schoolchildren from the Shebekino urban district will not take exams,” Gladkov added.
Belgorod incursions: Last week, two groups of pro-Ukrainian Russian nationals – the Freedom for Russia Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps – launched a cross-border raid on their motherland, in the neighboring Belgorod region.
One civilian from the village of Kozinka died as a result of the fighting, Gladkov said at the time. He added that six districts of the Belgorod region, as well as the city itself, were targeted, and that a counter-terror operation was launched in response.
Belgorod has also been targeted by a number of drone strikes in recent weeks, as fighting intensified around Ukraine’s eastern border.