Russian Volunteer Corps: The Shadowy Militia Group Shaking the Kremlin
Fighting in Russia’s western Belgorod region entered a fourth day on Thursday following military incursions from Ukraine. Russia accused Ukrainian armed groups of the raid and launched a terrorism investigation. Kyiv denied any involvement and said the attackers were Russian citizens. Two groups, the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC) and the Army of the Liberation of Russia, claimed responsibility.
According to Denis Kapustin, who calls himself the leader of the Russian Volunteer Corps, the organization plans to conduct another raid within the country.
The leader of the Russian fighter jets who attacked the border with Russia this week has threatened further incursions into Russia from Ukraine.
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Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC) commander Denis Kapustin addressed media on the Ukrainian side of the border on Wednesday, shortly after Russia claimed to have repelled an attack on the Belgorod region. Had completed the task. Have provided. Which, roughly speaking, lasted a day.
“I think you will see us again on that side,” Kapustin, a notoriously right-wing Russian nationalist who presented himself to the press under the handle White Rex, told the media.
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Answering journalists’ questions, the leader of the Russian Volunteer Corps, White Rex, says the unit had no losses during the Belgorod incident, only two wounded. He somewhat dodges questions about American combat vehicles, saying these could be re-captured from Russians,… pic.twitter.com/mQRSPIfvlA
— Dmitri (@wartranslated) May 24, 2023
On May 22, a group of armed men who called themselves the Free Russia Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps said they had crossed into Russia’s Belgorod region and taken control of nearby towns.
The governor of Russia’s Belgorod Oblast, Vyacheslav Gladkov, announced a “counter-terrorism operation,” which ended on May 23 after Russian officials said the groups had been defeated.
The Russian Defense Ministry said they had beaten what they called “Ukrainian formations.” They said they had “killed 70 combatants” and “destroyed four armored combat vehicles and five trucks” while “driving the remaining formations from Belgorod Oblast back into Ukrainian territory.”
Based on Kapustin, his team suffered two fatalities and ten injuries.
The Ukrainian armed forces, of course, also helped care for our injured. He argued that involving the Ukrainians any further than this “would make things difficult.”
“Every choice we make… outside the state line is our own choice. Naturally, we may enlist the cooperation of our Ukrainian friends and comrades in the preparation process,” he stated.
While Kapustin’s daring cross-border raid has embarrassed the Kremlin, it has also raised questions about the involvement of far-right Russian nationalists in Ukraine and how this may affect the willingness of Western allies to supply Kyiv with weapons. He has been described as “a Russian neo-Nazi” by the Anti-Defamation League in the United States.
The group, Kapustin said, leans to the right. Someone also questioned him if being called a Nazi bothered him.
“I have my own opinions, and they’re patriotic ones, and they’re conservative ones, and they’re traditionalist ones. I’m not the type to raise my hand in the Hitler salute or wave a swastika-adorned flag. Precisely why, then, are you calling me that?
Kapustin continually dodged questions from reporters regarding media allegations that his soldiers had utilized US military equipment in the raid on Russian territory. The United States had supplied the equipment to defend Ukraine against Russia’s invasion.
“I have no doubts about the source of my arms. Not from our Western allies, unfortunately,” he lamented. According to him, the Russians acquired Western military hardware during the Bakhmut struggle, now available on the black market.
I clarified that Western military aid is continually being plundered as it is passed back and forth. I know that the Russians raided many American armored vehicles in Bakhmut,” he stated.
The United States is investigating claims that American vehicles were utilized within Russian territory, authorities said on Wednesday.
The Kremlin said that the use of US military equipment in the cross-border operation demonstrated the expanding participation of the West in the conflict.
It’s common knowledge that this gear is being utilized against our armed forces. We are well aware of the increasing engagement of Western countries in this conflict, both directly and indirectly. Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesman, assured reporters that the administration was making the correct conclusions.
Sergei Shoigu, the Russian minister of defense, threatened on Wednesday that Russia would respond “extremely harshly” to further border raids.
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