Kyiv has said Moscow’s claims of a Ukrainian attack inside Russia’s borders on Thursday are ‘a deliberate provocation’, accusing the Kremlin of a false flag plot.
Putin called the incident a ‘terrorist act’ and said ‘fire was directed at civilians’ in the region, after Russian news agencies earlier reported the country’s forces were fighting to ‘eliminate’ a Ukrainian sabotage group in the Bryansk region – which borders Ukraine – after the group allegedly took hostages in a shop.
But a senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky quickly responded to the reports, saying that Russia is looking to justify an attack on another country.
‘The story about (a) Ukrainian sabotage group in RF is a classic deliberate provocation,’ Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on Twitter. ‘RF wants to scare its people to justify the attack on another country & the growing poverty after the year of war.’
There was no immediate proof or confirmation of the alleged Ukrainian incursion – which the FSB later said was ‘under control’ – outside of the Russian reports.