Saboteurs in Belgorod Oblast: "Previously, we would have taken them all out quietly with single knives"

On the photo: liquidation of saboteurs in Belgorod region. (Photo: Maximum quality. Russian Defense Ministry press service/TASS)

On May 19 in the program "10 Questions to the Governor" the head of Belgorod region Vyacheslav Gladkov, in particular, stated: "Everything necessary has been taken for our self-defense. <...> Our self-defense is strong, united and prepared. I am proud of those Belgorod residents who are now training and are ready to defend their homes if necessary. I hope our enemy will think twice about sticking his nose into the territory of Belgorod region. Because if they do, they will surely lose their heads. At that he stressed that they did everything they could.

Literally in a few days afterwards, on May 22, a rather large sabotage group of the Ukrainian armed forces, supported by armored vehicles, entered the territory of the Belgorod region (online broadcast of the special operation in Ukraine of May 22 - details), and there was an impression in the society that it did this without much effort.

As a result, we have wounded and killed civilians in the region, evacuations from some areas, and on the second day of the counter-terrorist operation, you can still hear shelling in the region somewhere. The settlements of Glotovo and Kozinka are under the control of government forces, but local residents are still being asked to stay indoors and not to interfere with the search operations, the enemy has left engineering charges both on roads and roadsides. During the night, Ukrainian drones made attempts to attack the buildings of the Federal Security Service and the Main Department of Internal Affairs in Belgorod itself.

And all this - not only under incessant artillery strikes by the AFU, but also against the background of sharply escalated mutual claims by the military, military cadres, State Duma deputies and the media resources of Wagner about each other's incompetence.

However, ordinary civilians have little concern for the political background to these events. For them, it is more important to find an answer to a single question - is the Russian leadership, the Russian Armed Forces and other special services able to ensure that the border of the Belgorod region, as well as the borders of all other Russian regions neighboring Ukraine, become impervious to such terrorist sneaks once and for all?

- Of course, I cannot make decisions for the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces or any other representative of power, but in my personal opinion, until the end of the USO it would be advisable to clearly distinguish Russian regions from the area of military operations, concentrating efforts on the protection of Russian borders as of February 24, 2022, - a retired FSB colonel and former head of the special forces unit "Vympel" shared his own perspective on the situation Vladimir Klukin.

- However, I think it would be necessary to give another 20-30 kilometers on the other side of the border to the frontier troop motorized maneuvering groups (MMG), like it was done, say, during the Afghan war. At the time territories 100 kilometers deep into Afghanistan were placed under the responsibility of such MMGs, reinforced with reconnaissance units, while reinforcements were concentrated on our side of the border to move them into a particular area for blockade if necessary.

In the first place, this would enable us to receive signals in advance about the enemy's preparations to break through to our territory, and second, to carry out timely pre-emptive strikes against DRGs, and arrange interceptions and ambushes on the way of saboteurs.

 On May 22 some tg-channels of our military correspondents said that they warned of such a scenario in the border regions in advance, citing intelligence information from the Ukrainian population, interceptions of radio conversations, etc. But, according to them, no one paid much attention to this information...

- Are the Border Troops, other branches of the Armed Forces, or the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces simply obliged to read everything written by various tg channels? If I were a military correspondent, I wouldn't make waves, and if I were to receive such information I would simply pick up the receiver and report it to the appropriate person.

 But who and how would this information help, if for example at the end of April the chairman of Defense Committee of the State Duma Andrey Kartapolov stated that Russia simply had no opportunities to protect its borders along the whole perimeter, as it was in the USSR? Would the local self-defense units created in the border regions be able to get under arms in time?

- I personally tend to agree with Andrei Kartapolov on the issue of assessing the capabilities of Russian border protection. However, in my opinion, self-defense squads are totally ineffective against professional saboteurs. Such units can be used only to rescue the population, organize evacuations, and at most take the first strike of the saboteurs upon themselves before reinforcements come.

If only the Soviet system of compulsory military service were preserved - then it would be possible to create an effective civil defense, then it would be a different story, because having gone through 2 years of the army, any citizen of any age would be able not only to quickly orientate themselves in such a situation, but also respond to the threat intelligently, providing protection for their loved ones.

- And special-purpose units, say, of the Interior Ministry or Rosgvardia, could become a reliable shield in the way of saboteurs?

- I have long been out of the service and do not know who and how prepares the current special forces units, as there are so many of them now, and each has its own tasks, so I can't answer your question directly.

But I should note that according to my personal convictions, when in the 1990s the special operations forces represented by the Alfa and Vympel groups were disbanded, they began trying to create a copy of the Western services instead, which should not have been done. If I and my comrades-in-arms were in line now, and if I were to lose my age as well, we could have removed the whole DRG in Belgorod region quietly at night, without the need for all the shooting and artillery attacks of the present day.

 So it turns out that the only hope of the civilian population of the border regions of Russia under the current circumstances is to rely on the Border Guards and the units of the Ministry of Defense?

- It turns out that this is the case. At least, I personally do not see any other ways out. And in these conditions I am very annoyed with the fact that the vast majority of the media, including the most renowned federal information resources in the current situation the first place as news sources are given to various "divan experts" whose chattering ranges from panic to cap-and-trade moods. And this only further disorients our population.

- The current Internet hype around the DRG penetration into Belgorod region reflects certain difficulties that accompany the political processes in Russia and have become the dominant factor in our domestic life", states independent information security expert Igor Nikolaychuk. - We have currently formed a kind of triangle, with interests so far poorly coordinated among themselves: the Defense Ministry with its information supply mechanism, Vagner and other "private companies" with their media capabilities, and military correspondents in the editorial offices of various media whose work, to be frank, generally depends on the views of their owners.

As a result, there is now, figuratively speaking, a sluggish "civil war" going on in the networks between these three parties, each pursuing its own goals and objectives. However, in my opinion, too much importance should not be given to this, because the Russians in the masses are not interested in it.

 In general, all Russians are worried about the only question - when the sabotage will stop and they will be able to live in peace.

- You may close the border with Ukraine with a "Berlin Wall", you may put sensors on all the saboteurs or train dogs on everyone, but one way or another the enemy sabotage and terrorist groups will still infiltrate through any cordons. This, unfortunately, is the truth of life. It's impossible to prevent this from happening 100%.

Let's recall the 20s of the last century - for example, terrorist gangs of Tyutyunnik and other "hetmans"-terrorists entered the territory of the already Soviet Ukraine from the territory of Poland for quite a long time.

Valiant Soviet frontier guards, of course, selflessly stood in their way, but they could be hacked to pieces only when "Kotov" or "Budyonov" units jumped to their rescue. This only stopped when the Entente preferred to negotiate with the Soviet government, dropping its support for Petliura and all the other "atamans."

So until the Kiev regime gets rid of the illusion of "quick victory" that the West will not abandon it, all these sabotage attacks will unfortunately continue, because the current Kiev has to somehow "play with its muscles, demonstrate its "indestructibility" and "readiness to fight" in order to receive Western support.

So the only guarantee to stop all this outrage is the unconditional surrender of the Kiev regime, the hoisting of the Victory Banner on Bankova in Kiev and the replacement of the current Kiev regime with a loyal pro-Russian one.

By Andrey Zakharchenko

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