A Russian official claimed Thursday that a Ukrainian sabotage operation had been foiled in Bryansk, southwestern Russia, with several Ukrainians killed or captured.
Alexander Bogomaz, governor of the Bryansk region that borders both Ukraine and Belarus, said on his Telegram channel that two of the group had died and five were detained in the Navlinsky district on Wednesday.
“The goal of the saboteurs was to commit a series of high-profile terrorist attacks on military and energy infrastructure facilities,” Bogomaz said, claiming the group was made up of troops from the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), the Main Intelligence Directorate and Ukraine’s special forces.
Responding to the claims, the SBU told CNN: “We do not comment on the fantasies of the Russian special services.”
Bogomaz also said that “each saboteur had with him an impressive baggage of various weapons: American-made machine guns with devices for silent shooting, powerful explosive devices, a large number of NATO-style grenades and cartridges, night vision devices.”
The Russian state media agency TASS released a video showing the weapons and other equipment allegedly seized in the operation.
Meanwhile, the Russian National Guard said two of its soldiers had been injured in the clashes, according to the official Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
Bryansk neighbors northern Ukraine and eastern Belarus, Moscow’s close ally that helped facilitate Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year. The area has been previously targeted in other cross-border raids.
This marks the second alleged sabotage attempt by Ukraine in the region this month. Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) claimed on August 16 that it had stopped an attempt by a Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group to enter Bryansk.
“The FSB together with forces of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation thwarted an attempt to enter the territory of the Russian Federation by a Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group in the border Starodubsky district of the Bryansk region,” the FSB said in a statement at the time, according to TASS. “Four saboteurs were destroyed.”