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Russia Says Killed, Detained Ukrainian Saboteurs in Border Region

A weapons cache seized from the Ukrainian sabotage group. FSB

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said Thursday it has repelled a Ukrainian sabotage group’s attempt to infiltrate western Russia’s Bryansk region, the second attempted incursion this month.

Two Ukrainian fighters were purportedly killed and five others were detained Wednesday, the FSB said in a statement.

Russia’s intelligence agency did not say how many Ukrainian fighters in total tried to cross into the Bryansk region, which borders both Ukraine and Belarus to the west.

The FSB noted that the group consisted of personnel from Ukraine’s SBU security service, the GUR military intelligence and the Spetsnaz special forces.

“The purpose of the saboteurs’ infiltration was to commit a series of high-profile terrorist acts on military and energy infrastructure,” the FSB said.

The operation to repel the sabotage group was carried out jointly by the FSB, Russia's National Guard and law enforcement personnel.

Russia’s state-run news agency RIA Novosti published a video of a weapons cache seized from the Ukrainian group, including at least six automatic rifles, nine hand grenades and two dozen magazines.

The FSB’s statement noted that the seized grenades and ammunition were of a NATO standard.

Bryansk region Governor Alexander Bogomaz, who had reported the previous Ukrainian border infiltration earlier in August, commented on the latest incursion and echoed the FSB’s official statement.

Bogomaz’s remarks, however, identified the location of the attempted incursion as the Navlinsky district, situated just south of the city of Bryansk and 35 kilometers north of the Russia-Ukraine border. 

The FSB’s statement incorrectly referred to the Navlinsky district as “Nevelsky district,” which is not part of the Bryansk region’s administrative divisions.

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