The news of a cross-border raid in the Russian territory of Belgorod have been extremely popular of late, as the ground operations are the first notable ones inside Russia’s own borders. But now, it is reported that another paramilitary group was involved.
On May 22, 2023, Russian partisan groups in support of Ukraine crossed the border into the Belgorod Oblast. The two Russian partisan groups were the Freedom of Russia Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps.
Naturally, the news spread very quickly, and for a few different reasons:
- The news was seen as a major PR blow to Putin and Russia, as these groups are made up of ethnic Russians supporting Ukraine
- It was reported that the partisans were using Western — and allegedly American — equipment. This is particularly important as the US has made it known they do not want major offensive operations to occur against Russia with their own weapons and technology
- The attacks — which were small tactical victories — are the first notable engagements against Russia on their own soil (in terms of ground engagements)
Skirmishes have apparently continued, and for a time the partisans actually held some of the territory they initially raided. But now, some new details have come to light. Specifically, that a Polish group also took part in the raids.
The Polish partisan group known as the Polish Volunteer Corps recently posted on their social media platforms that they had a part in the operations in the Belgorod Oblast. The Polish Volunteer Corps is not made up of just Poles, however. It is claimed that the group also includes Americans, Brits, Canadians, and Romanians.
To what degree of impact the Polish group had on the raids is unknown, but the unit is reportedly used for reconnaissance and sabotage operations.
What is increasingly interesting is the Polish governments rhetoric about a larger war looming over the horizon. It is no secret Poland has been building up its military, but a Polish General recently spoke about how Poland should assist Belarussian protestors and partisans in a struggle against Lukashenko’s regime. It should also be known that Poland was integral in garnering military aid to Ukraine, particularly as it pertained to convincing Germany to support with their main battle tanks.
Poland’s patriotism and distaste for Russian aggression is also no secret to the world, but with Poles actively serving in foreign paramilitary units in Ukraine, I am sure some will start to question if Poland’s government has a covert involvement in the conflict.
Za wolność Naszą i Waszą.