Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed that a Ukrainian sabotage group entered a Russian border region on Thursday and opened fire on civilians in a “terrorist act”, according to a media report.
Earlier, the Governor of Bryansk region had said that “saboteurs from Ukraine” had fired at a civilian car in Lyubechane, a border village, killing one person and injuring a child, BBC reported.
Speaking on Russian state TV, Putin said, “Today they committed another terrorist act, another crime, penetrated the border area and opened fire on civilians.
“They saw that it was a civilian car, that civilians and children were sitting there, and opened fire. It is exactly such people who set themselves the task of depriving us of historical memory. They will achieve nothing, we will put the squeeze on them,” BBC reported.
Kiev has strongly denied the Russian claim.
Mykhaylo Podolyak, an advisor to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, tweeted that it was “a classic deliberate provocation”.
“RF [Russia] wants to scare its people to justify the attack on another country,” he said.
Russia had previously reported some Ukrainian missile and drone strikes on Russian border areas, including the Bryansk region. But there have been no confirmed reports of Ukrainian ground forces infiltrating Russia.
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that “steps to destroy these terrorists are being taken”.
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said that FSB forces and regular troops were battling “Ukrainian nationalists” who had crossed into Russia, BBC reported.