The Russian Defense Ministry has sent conscript soldiers to repel saboteur attacks in the Belgorod region, VGTRK military correspondent Aleksandr Sladkov reports.
“In some places, conscripts are repelling attacks. Yes, there are conscripts of the Defense Ministry there, they are not involved in the SSO, but since such a bacchanalia is going on here now, conscripts are at some sites”, Sladkov quoted military journalist Gennady Alekhin, who is on the scene, as saying.
According to him, the soldiers of the military allow the conscripts to sleep and replace them in the trenches. However, the military department does not report anything about the presence of conscripts in the front line of the defense. “If units of the Defense Ministry of the Western Military District are involved in covering the border, it would not hurt the head of the press center of the Western grouping to say something, this is an official source”, – noted Alekhin.
The conscripts to the Belgorod region on the border with Ukraine began to be sent in large quantities in September 2022, the newspaper 7×7 wrote. Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised that the soldiers will not be involved in the war against Ukraine. However, they are actually involved in it, being on Russian territory and repulsing strikes by saboteurs.
“[The conscripts] stand ahead of the border guards like targets. Adult men, who are paid for this and joined the border guards of their own free will, stand behind our untrained minors. And ours are paid 2,319 rubles, I think”, – said the mother of one of the conscripts.
According to her, the conscripts live in dugouts, go on patrols and keep guard, like border guards. “They were literally sent to the fields two weeks after they were sworn in. They’ve been to firing ranges a couple of times, and that’s it – they’re digging trenches. They learn everything in the fields, and how to survive, too”, said the mother of another soldier.
According to 7×7 journalists’ calculations, at least seven conscripts have been killed in Belgorod region as a result of shelling in the past few months.
The State Duma suggested that the conscripts involved in the clashes in the Belgorod region be recognized as combatants. “I appeal to the Ministry of Defense: it is necessary to take joint operative actions on this issue. So that the conscripts who fought the enemy in the Belgorod region were recognized as participants in combat operations and received all the payments due under the law”, wrote the leader of the LDPR Leonid Slutsky in his Telegram channel.
Diversionary groups of the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC) and the Legion “Freedom of Russia” have been carrying out raids in the Belgorod region since late May. On May 22 they entered the territory of Graivoron district of the region. The Russian Defense Ministry reported that the saboteurs were driven out only 24 hours later.
This was followed by frequent attacks on the border areas. The last battle was fought on June 4 in the village of Novaya Tavolzhanka. Saboteurs captured several Russian servicemen and offered to hand them over to governor Vyacheslav Gladkov in a personal meeting. However, Gladkov did not show up at the appointed place and time. The RVC promised to hand over the soldiers to the Ukrainian exchange fund.