On December 4, Russian border guards prevented an attempt by 3 armed men to cross the Russian border from Ukraine. The gunmen resisted detention and opened fire on Russian personnel. As a result of the armed clash, one of the gunmen was eliminated, while two others fled back to Ukraine.
So far, the Border Service of the Russian FSB has provided few details of the incident. However, the intercepted group was likely a subversive reconnaissance unit affiliated with the Ukrainian (and thus Western) intelligence services. The neutralized unit was well equipped and, according to reports, received fire support from the territory of Ukraine during the incident. Over the past years, Ukraine with help from its ‘’democratic partners” has repeatedly tried to stage terrorist and sabotage attacks in Russia.
Russian media revealed some details of the armed clash indicating that the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the Ukrainian Special Operations Forces continue to plan and conduct active operations (even if they are not very successful) on the territory of Russia.
In particular, according to the version shared by Russian media, the armed clash erupted during an attempt by the Ukrainian unit to kidnap a Russian citizen from the territory of Russia. The report claims that the target of the operation was a former member of the self-defense forces of the region of Donbass – Denis Kharitonov.
The kidnapping attempt was reportedly a continuation of the SBU provocation that led to the temporary detention of Russia-linked private military contractors (some of them were previously members of the forces of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics) in Belarus. At that time, the SBU staged a provocation luring this group of people onto the territory of Belarus, as a supposed transport point under a fake security contract to protect Rosneft facilities in Venezuela. At the same time, Kiev informed Minsk that these people were allegedly preparing to stage an armed coup in Belarus and after their detention, requested their extradition. The operation failed, when the entire SBU plot was revealed due to multiple contradictions in the version of events provided by the Ukrainian special services.
This development was just one of an entire series of SBU attempts to kidnap or eliminate people on the territory of Russia. Just in August 2020, the FSB already prevented an SBU plot to kidnap one of the leaders of the Eastern Ukraine’s people’s militia in Russia and to take him to the Kiev-controlled part of Ukraine.
Additionally with multiple other reports about the increase of SBU attempts to conduct aggressive actions on the territory of Russia, these developments demonstrate the new trend. The special services of Ukraine with support from their NATO partners are not even hiding their active planning and employing of sabotage and other activities against Russia. This activity has slowly but steadily become a permanent factor of life in the Russian border regions.
So far, SBU-sponsored plots have successfully been repelled by Russian special services. However, in the long run, this threat will continue to grow.