War in Ukraine: Governor of Belgorod “ready to meet” a group that captured two Russian soldiers | world news

A Russian governor has said he is willing to meet with a group of pro-Ukrainian Russian fighters who are holding two Russian soldiers captive.

The group – the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC) – said it was ready to exchange the soldiers in exchange for a meeting with the governor of the Belgorod region.

“They probably killed them, as hard as it is for me to say. But if they are alive, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. – Shebekino checkpoint. I guarantee security,” Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said.

In a video posted on Telegram, a man who identified himself as the commander of the RVC appeared with two captives.

A captive appeared to be injured and lying on an operating table.

The group gave Mr. Gladkov until 2 p.m. to meet with them.

“Today until 5 p.m. (local time) you have the opportunity to communicate without arms and bring home two Russian citizens, ordinary soldiers whom you and your political leaders have sent to the slaughterhouse”, reads- on in a joint statement by RVC and the Russian Freedom Legion. .

Neither Mr Gladkov nor Moscow commented on the video.

The governor also said fighting with a “group of Ukrainian saboteurs” was taking place in the town of Novaya Tavolzhanka, near the Ukrainian border.

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Why hasn’t the spring offensive started yet?

The Russian Freedom Legion and the RVC – allegedly made up of Russian nationals – have both been involved in clashes in the region.

The Russian Freedom Legion (FRL) has attacked Belgorod twice in recent weeks.

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The FRL would have been created in the spring of 2022 “to fight in the ranks” of the Ukrainian army “against Putin’s armed gang”.

Ukraine denied any involvement with the group, but the militia said it was cooperating with the Ukrainian armed forces.


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