- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, 2022 Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.

'The Only Thing They Could Do': Why Ukraine Raided Russia's Belgorod Region

© Press service of the Russian Ministry of Defense / Go to the mediabankWrecked military hardware used by Ukrainian troops in their ill-fated raid into Russia's Belgorod Region
Wrecked military hardware used by Ukrainian troops in their ill-fated raid into Russia's Belgorod Region - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.05.2023
After having lost thousands of soldiers in the Artemovsk meatgrinder and still failing to hold the city, Ukrainian forces apparently attempted to even the score by launching a sortie against the civilian population of the Belgorod Region.
Ukrainian forces' doomed foray into Russia's Belgorod Region was directly related to the military catastrophe that Kiev suffered in Artemovsk (Bakhmut), said military analyst Vasily Dandykin, Ret. Captain 1st Rank of the Russian Navy.
The city of Artemovsk was liberated by Russian forces by May 21 after months of intense fighting, despite Ukrainian forces' attempts to follow President Volodymyr Zelensky's demands to hold the city at any cost.
During an interview with Sputnik, Dandykin pointed out that Kiev lost about 50,000 soldiers, with many more wounded, adding that Ukrainian forces were evicted from Artemovsk, an important strongpoint, and suffered a "moral defeat" as a result.
"This is all they can do to [in response], aside from shelling the territory of Donbass," the analyst said, referring to the Ukrainian raid.
Dandykin suggested that Kiev sought to force Moscow to redeploy some of its troops from the frontlines in order to protect the Russian territory threatened by the actions of Ukrainian gunmen, and that Russia will come up with effective countermeasures to deal with this kind of threat..
Screengrab of Russian Defense Ministry video showing aftermath of attempted Ukrainian assault in Belgorod region. - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.05.2023
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
Watch Decimated Remains of Ukrainian Terror Group That Attempted Assault on Belgorod Region
He also dismissed claims made by the Ukrainian side about the attack on the Belgorod Region being perpetrated not by Ukrainian forces but by some "self-organized volunteers" from Russia who had defected to Ukraine.
"Previously, we've had [claims about] the self-organized Ukrainian patriots who, according to the Germans and the Americans, blew up the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines. This is the same kind of claim," Dandykin remarked.
He did note, however, that the perpetrators of the Ukrainian raid into the Belgorod region had among their ranks Russian nationals who previously participated in a Ukrainian attack against two villages in Russia's Bryansk Region back in March.
"This is not the first instance of the authorities in Kiev denying responsibility and blaming everything on these 'self-organized' types who sport Ukrainian weapons and insignia and operate Western armored vehicles," he added.
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