Fourteen soldiers from Russia’s western Pskov Region died repelling an armed incursion from Ukraine earlier this month, Governor Mikhail Vedernikov said on Wednesday.
On June 4, an armed group from Ukraine carried out a raid into Russia’s Belgorod Region, where they were met by soldiers from different parts of the country, including those from Pskov.
“At this moment, we know about at least 14 fatalities,” Vedernikov said in a video shared on Telegram. He described the fallen soldiers as “real heroes,” who “did not falter in the face of an larger enemy force bigger.”
Vedernikov added that at least ten Russian soldiers were captured, three of whom subsequently returned home as part of prisoner swaps.
The fighting in early June centered on the village of Novaya Tovalzhanka. The intruders suffered significant casualties and were eventually driven back, the Russian Defense Ministry said at the time.
The incursion was conducted by the Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK) and the ‘Freedom of Russia’ Legion, two Kiev-aligned units that include fighters with neo-Nazi backgrounds.
President Vladimir Putin hailed the bravery of the soldiers who fought off the Ukrainian forces. “They acted exceptionally. No one has faltered,” Putin said during a chat with Russian military correspondents and bloggers on June 13.
Ukrainian infantry raids into Russian territory began this spring. The border regions of Belgorod, Bryansk, and Kursk have been frequently attacked by drones and artillery since Russian launched its military operation in the neighboring state in February 2022. The constant shelling of Shebekino has prompted the Belgorod authorities to evacuate civilians from the hardest-hit areas.