Andriy Yusov, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Defense Ministry's Main Directorate of Intelligence (HUR), confirmed to news outlet Suspіlne Novyny that the Russian Volunteer Corps and the Freedom of Russia Legion are conducting an operation to “liberate the territories of the Belgorod region from the so-called Putin regime and push back the enemy in order to create a secure zone to protect the civilian population of Ukraine.”
Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov earlier announced that a Ukrainian “sabotage group” had crossed over into the Belgorod region from Ukraine. He said that “the Russian Armed Forces together with the Border Guard Service, the Russian National Guard, and the FSB, are taking necessary measures to eliminate the enemy.”
The official added that a man and a woman with mine blast wounds were taken to the regional hospital “after the shelling” of the village of Glotovo in the Grayvoronsky District.
On the morning of May 22, the Russian Volunteer Corps (“Rossiskiy Dobrovolchesky Korpus,” or RDK) claimed that its fighters crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border in a post on their Telegram channel. The channel also posted four short videos. Three videos depict men in military uniforms standing in front of several village signs in three different Russian regions: Bezlyudovka in the Belgorod region, Churovichi in the Bryansk region, and Lyubimovka in the Kursk region. The fourth video shows no indication of the area, and depicts people in military uniform in a car, while a man behind the scenes shouts “RDK, onward!”
Freedom of Russia and RDK announced the “liberation” of Kozinka in the Belgorod region and their entry into the town of Grayvoron at around 14:00 (GMT +3).
The Telegram channel of the Russian propaganda media outlet RT reported that “Ukrainian saboteurs had seized” the House of Culture in the nearby village of Gora-Podol. The Russian pro-Kremlin Telegram channel Shot reported on the “grave situation” in the village of Kozinka, and the partial evacuation of its residents.