The Kremlin has condemned what it called a new terrorist attack on its soil Thursday carried out by Ukrainian saboteurs who allegedly breached a border region.
Russian presidency spokesman Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said militants entered the Bryansk Oblast in Western Russia and attacked villages there, resulting in the death of one civilian and another wounded. "This is an attack by terrorists," Peskov said.
Conflicting initial reports indicated Russia’s Federal Security Service engaged in a gun battle with the infiltrators, with the Kremlin saying "Measures are currently underway to eliminate these terrorists."
The Associated Press describes based on national media that "Tass, citing Russian law enforcement, reported earlier that the saboteurs were holding up to six people hostage."
"The local governor said the group had fired on a vehicle there, killing one man and wounding a 10-year-old," AP continues. The report details further:
Thursday's apparent incursion was also embarrassing for Russian President Vladimir Putin, coming days after he ordered the Federal Security Service to tighten controls on Russia’s border with Ukraine.
Tass reported, citing an unnamed security official, that two villages in the Bryansk region — Sushany and Lyubechane — were under attack by "several dozen armed fighters."
Alexander Bogomaz, the governor of the Bryansk region, which borders Ukraine, said the group fired on a vehicle in Lyubechane, killing one man and wounding a child. He also said that a Ukrainian drone struck a house in the Sushany, setting it ablaze.
Multiple war monitoring accounts have picked up on the below video which is widely being flagged as showing one of the alleged attackers:
🚨BREAKING: A Ukrainian terrorist attack is underway in Bryansk, Russia.— Clint Ehrlich (@ClintEhrlich) March 2, 2023
The attackers said on video they wouldn't kill civilians, but there are reports of hostages and mass casualties.
President Putin has convened an emergency meeting of the Security Council. 🚨 pic.twitter.com/Zfi74Y80c8
Peskov said in response to a question over what action Moscow could take in the international arena, "On the international arena, [we] have drawn and continue drawing the attention of the world public to those terror attacks that these people [Ukrainian terrorists] carry out."
Putin also directly addressed the cross-border terror attack in a video address after convening his national security council to be briefed on the matter...
"They opened fire on civilians,... they saw that there were children in the car," Putin said.
⚡️Putin called what happened today in the Bryansk region a terrorist attack pic.twitter.com/XXHpevnUir— War Monitor (@WarMonitors) March 2, 2023
The incident comes after Monday into Tuesday a series of drone attacks on Russian facilities, believed launched by the Ukrainians, triggered air alert sirens in various locations across the country. One or more even reached to within 100km of Moscow.
Concerning the drone attacks, Russia's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs has charged that the Ukrainians had covert help from the United States in carrying out the sophisticated drone operations, one of which damaged an oil facility some 500km inside Russian territory. "Attack of drones on aviation facilities in Saratov and Ryazan could not have been carried out without the active assistance of the United States," Ryabkov said in a press statement.