Ukraine War, May 24, 2023: Conceptual errors–framing the Belgorod raid

1) Owen Matthews, “Ukraine’s daring strikes on Russian soil risk a catastrophic escalation; Kyiv’s new campaign of sabotage could give Putin the excuse to mobilise a bigger army and consider nuclear weapons,” The Telegraph, May 24, 2023 (3:00pm);

2) Andrew E. Kramer, Valerie Hopkins and Michael Schwirtz, “Fresh From Attack on Russian Soil, Raiders Taunt the Kremlin; The cross-border raid by Russian fighters based in Ukraine appeared intended in part to force Moscow to divert its soldiers from the battlefield,” New York Times, May 23, 2023 (updated May 24 at 1:14 a.m.ET);

3) Cristian Segura y Javier G. Cuesra, “Ucrania intensifica las operaciones de confusión en suelo ruso como previa a la contraofensiva; El asalto sorpresa a la región de Bélgorod se enmarca en una estrategia de Kiev de distracción de las líneas defensivas del invasor,” El País, el 23 de Mayo, 2023 (13:28 ET);p


1) Unchanged: in title: “Kyiv’s new campaign of sabotage”


This week a small force of Russian volunteers fighting for Ukraine raided and briefly occupied seven villages and a border post inside Russia’s Belgorod region, just opposite the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. Calling themselves the Russian Volunteer Corps and the Free Russia Legion, the group claimed to be acting independently of the Ukrainian army and government – though they drove into Russia from Ukraine in US-supplied Humvees.


While little is known about the two self-described Russian “partisan groups” who raided Belgorod, several of the citizens involved are well-known neo-Nazis. Putin and his propagandists have regularly, and ridiculous


The US has made it very clear that it disapproves of Ukrainian sabotage and terror operations inside Russia. In August 2022, American officials took the unprecedented step of admonishing Ukrainian officials over the car-bomb assassination of the daughter of ultranationalist philosopher Aleksandr Dugin. The Biden administration has also held back on supplying medium-range rocket artillery systems known as Atacms – with a 300km range as opposed to the already-gifted 80km of the Himars system – precisely for fear that Kyiv could use them for attacks inside Russia.


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