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Pro-Russian fighters Ukraine attacks in Russia | War in Ukraine

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These offensives come three days before the start of the Russian presidential election. (File photo)

Associated Press

Long-range Ukrainian drones struck two oil facilities in the heart of Russia on Tuesday, officials said. Meanwhile, an armed incursion claimed by Kremlin opponents of Russian origin based in Ukraine disrupted a border region, just days before the Russian presidential election.

The drone attack in eight regions of Russia demonstrated Kiev's growing technological capability as the war enters its third year.

The cross-border ground assault also contradicted statements by President Vladimir Putin, who claimed that life in Russia had not been affected by the war .

Russia's Defense Ministry said Moscow's military and security forces killed 234 fighters in foiling the incursion. /p>

In a statement, the ministry blamed the attack on the Kiev regime and Ukrainian terrorist groups, insisting that the Russian army and border forces were able to stop the attackers and prevent a cross-border raid. The attackers also lost seven tanks and five armored vehicles.

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Reports of border fighting on Tuesday were murky and it was impossible to be certain what was happening in Russia's Kursk and Belgorod regions.

Cross-border attacks in the region have occurred sporadically since the start of the war and have been the subject of claims and counterclaims, as well as disinformation and propaganda.

Soldiers who Kiev officials said were Russian volunteers fighting for Ukraine claimed to have crossed the border.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">The Freedom Legion of Russia, the Russian Volunteer Corps and the Siberian Battalion posted statements and videos on social media that they say show them on the Russian territory. They said they wanted a Russia free of Putin's dictatorship.

The authenticity of the videos could not be independently verified.

Fighters from Ukraine tried to reach the town of Tetkino, located near the border, according to the governor of the Russian Kursk region, Roman Starovoit. He said Tetkino had been shelled.

There was an attempt to break through by a sabotage and reconnaissance group. There was a shootout, but there was no breakthrough.

A quote from Roman Starovoit, governor of Russia's Kursk region

The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that the Tetkino attacks had been repelled, but provided no further details.

He also said Ukrainian fighters attempted to enter the Belgorod region at least four times, but all attacks were repelled by warplanes, artillery and missiles.

Ukrainian intelligence representative Andri Yusov told PravdaUkrainian that the military groups were composed of Russian citizens. On the territory of the Russian Federation, they operate completely autonomously and independently, he said.

In May, Russia claimed that dozens of Ukrainian militants entered one of its border towns in the Belgorod region, striking targets and forcing an evacuation, before more than 70 of the attackers were killed or repelled by what authorities described as an anti-terrorist operation.

On the diplomatic front, The United States has announced $300 million in military aid to Ukraine, although Congress remains reluctant to commit to a more substantial sum.

We must act before it is literally too late, because as Poland may remember, Russia will not stop at Ukraine, the US president said in attendance of the Polish Prime Minister.

Earlier in the day, a Ukrainian drone struck and set fire to an oil refinery in the Nizhny Novgorod region, according to the regional governor Gleb Nikitin. This region is located approximately 775 kilometers from the Ukrainian border.

In another major strike, a drone was shot down in the Moscow region, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said. Despite being shot down well south of the city center, the drone was near Zhukovsky Airport, one of Moscow's four international airports.

The Russian Defense Ministry said Ukrainian drones were also intercepted over Russia's Belgorod, Bryansk, Kursk, Leningrad and Tula regions on Tuesday.

Kiev has carried out increasingly bold attacks behind the 1,500-kilometer front line, which runs through eastern and southern Ukraine. It is also increasingly deploying maritime drones in the Black Sea, where it claims to have sunk Russian warships.

Kiev's forces hope to receive more military supplies from Ukraine's Western partners, but in the meantime they are battling a larger and better-supplied Russian army, which is putting heavy pressure on some front-line points. in Ukraine.

Zelensky said recent Russian advances have been halted and the situation on the battlefield is now much better than in the past three months.

We had some difficulties due to the lack of artillery shells, long-range weapons, blocking of the sky and the high density of Russian drones, said Mr. Zelensky in an interview given to BFMTV and to Monde and published Monday evening on the Ukrainian presidential website.

Tuesday Also, a Russian Air Force Il-76 heavy transport plane with 15 people on board crashed while taking off from an airbase in the Ivanovo region in western Russia, the Defense Ministry said. Its statement did not specify whether there were any survivors.

The ministry indicated that an engine fire during takeoff was probably the cause of the accident.

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