U.S. Military Warns About Bogus War Photos Online

Last Tuesday, Kremlin officials said saboteurs were expelled in a counterterrorism operation after paramilitary groups made up of pro-Ukraine Russians mounted an attack on the Belgorod region of Russia on a border post, targeting a Federal Security Service (FSB) building, The Washington Post reported.

Vyacheslav Gladkov, the governor of Belgorod, claimed that one woman was killed while being evacuated and eight others were injured.

The Russian Defense Ministry released videos purportedly showing US-made MRAP armored vehicles and Humvees that were destroyed in the cross-border attack, according to NBC News.

Additionally, videos posted on Russian social media purportedly showed explosions in Belgorod on Monday, including the attack on the border post. According to the Washington Post, some of the video footage has been verified, including three videos of the alleged saboteurs at the Kozinka border crossing.

Officials from both Ukraine and Russia confirmed that an armed group of ethnic Russians crossed the border from Ukraine to carry out some kinds of attacks, but the scope and details of the attacks were not clear.

The UK Ministry of Defense said it is “highly likely” the attacks occurred and the Kremlin would use them to support the narrative that Russia is the victim in this war.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, when asked about video footage released by Moscow showing the US-made vehicles, Defense Department spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said the Pentagon is monitoring reports about the cross-border raid. He said the United States did not authorize Ukraine to give US-provided equipment to anyone else and Kyiv has not asked the US for the right to do so.

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller also expressed skepticism about the images and the reports from Russia. Like Ryder, Miller made it clear that the US will not “encourage or enable strikes” within Russia but added it would be up to Kyiv to decide how military operations are conducted, according to NBC News.