16 Russian Sabotage/ Recon Groups Caught In Kyiv In Just Two Days

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According to a new report from the Ukrainian news outlet known as The Kyiv Independent, 16 Russian sabotage and reconnaissance groups have been caught in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, in just two days. The Kyiv Independent shared this report on Thursday and cited Oleksandr Hruzevych, deputy chief of staff for Ukraine’s Ground Forces. According to Hruzevych, some of the members of these groups were “recruited Ukrainians,” as The Kyiv Independent summarized. There was a separate recent report that Serhiy Khlan, an official in the Kherson-area government, revealed how former members of a disbanded — and violent — Ukrainian riot police unit called the Berkut had been brought into occupied Ukrainian territory by the Russians.

Screenshot-2022-04-07-12.39.04-PM 16 Russian Sabotage/ Recon Groups Caught In Kyiv In Just Two Days Military Politics Top Stories

“Kherson is effectively under the control of the Russian National Guard. They are the so-called police. These are people from the Berkut who, after the Maidan in 2014 fled Ukraine. Now they are returning, filled with hate for Ukrainians… The Russians are deploying them in occupied towns to form an administration and install their so-called Russian order,” as Khlan explained it, discussing those former Ukrainian police. As for the Kyiv area, the administrative jurisdiction around the capital was recently reported to have been cleared of Russian forces, but — as these intercepted sabotage and recon groups make clear — local threats have remained. The Center for Combating Disinformation at the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council said that the “shift of the battlefield does not mean that Russia will stop air strikes with long-range missiles and aircraft throughout the rest of Ukraine.”

As for the path forward, Russia is further focusing its violence in the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine. For instance, the assault on Mariupol is continuing — in the city, mobile crematoriums run by Russian personnel were recently reported to have begun operation, and local officials indicated they feared the true death toll could reach the tens of thousands there. Russia is seemingly preparing for offensives in what’s known as the Donbas region, where Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba recently said that he expects imminent military confrontations to involve thousands of tanks, armored vehicles, and aircraft. Already, strikes in the Luhansk region of Ukraine have been devastating — every hospital in the region has been struck by Russian forces, according to area governor Serhiy Haidai. Russian soldiers “are intentionally depriving [the] Luhansk [region] of health care facilities in order for the wounded to have no chance of survival,” according to that Ukrainian official. Russian forces have already hit health care facilities elsewhere in Ukraine as well.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated, before images of horrors in newly liberated areas around Kyiv recently emerged, that the Biden administration believed Russian personnel to be guilty of war crimes. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland added more recently that the Justice Department would be involved in efforts to hold those who perpetrated these atrocities accountable. “The world sees what is happening in Ukraine,” he said. “The Justice Department sees what is happening in Ukraine. This Department has a long history of helping to hold accountable those who perpetrate war crimes. One of my predecessors — Attorney General Robert Jackson — later served as the chief American prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials. Today, we are assisting international efforts to identify and hold accountable those responsible for atrocities in Ukraine. And we will continue to do so.” A report made this week by CNN journalist Barbara Starr said U.S. intelligence personnel were highly prioritizing the identification of Russian forces involved in hundreds of murders of civilians in the Kyiv suburb called Bucha.