Anti-Putin rebels close to SEIZING Russian town near Ukraine border as 'Freedom for Russia Legion' vows march on Moscow | The Sun

ANTI-PUTIN rebels are close to seizing a Russian town on the Ukraine border as they vow to march on Moscow.

Fighters for the Freedom of Russia Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps plan to storm Shebekino in the Belgorod region as Putin's war backfires and lands at his doorstep.

In footage released on Thursday, the Russian Volunteer Corps said they were approaching the "outskirts of Shebekino".

"Soon we will see the suburbs of Shebekino," they said.

"Stay home and do not worry. Fighters of the Russian Volunteer Corps do not fight civilians."

And the Freedom of Russia Legion – who have been staging attacks against their motherland not seen since World War II – also vowed to strike over the border to "bring freedom".

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"We, the Freedom of Russia Legion, are currently located near the border of our homeland," they said.

"Very soon, we’ll move once again onto the territory of Russia in order to bring freedom, peace, and calm."

Russia's defence ministry said it had battle three cross-border attacks near Shebekino on Thursday – accusing Ukraine of using "terrorist formations" to carry out attacks on Russia.

"The selfless actions of Russian servicemen repelled three attacks by Ukrainian terrorist formations," the ministry said.

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"No violations of the state border were allowed."

The Russian ministry claimed more than 30 Ukrainian fighters had been killed, along with four armoured vehicles destroyed.

According to reports, the anti-Putin fighters tried to storm a border checkpoint.

Shocking footage showed a five-storey building – believed to house a police station – on fire in Shebekino with huge plumes of black smoke pouring out of the roof.

It's understood some 40,000 people have fled the town amid Russian fears it will fall into the hands of anti-Putin partisan rebels.

Air raids have wailed non-stop for days as the town faces relentless shelling.

Footage shared by the Freedom of Russia Legion appeared to show burnt out military equipment belonging to Putin’s forces close to the border.

Moscow blames Ukrainian "terrorists" for targeting Russia's western border – but Kyiv says anti-Putin Russian volunteers are working there.

Belgorod governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said Shebekino was “under relentless fire" – but insisted there had been no incursion by enemy forces.

According to local reports, Belgorod's operational headquarters denied there had been a “breakthrough by the Ukrainian military".

Russian pro-war reports said "saboteurs" were using tanks on the border – but were held back by Russian border guards and the army. 

Last week, pro-Ukrainian freedom fighters charged across the Russian border in tanks and supported by drones in an attempt to "liberate" Russian villages on May 22.

The rebels led the "invasion" in the Belgorod region – the first armed assault on Russian territory since 1969.

They claimed to have taken of eight villages, captured a FSB vehicle and destroyed others in a humiliating blow to Putin.

Moscow originally attempted to declare it was a "Ukrainian Army sabotage group" behind the attack, while Kyiv stated it was "solely Russian nationals".

Russian officials were forced to evacuate hundreds of civilians before the invading forces went back into Ukraine – emboldened by their adventure into enemy territory.

The Freedom of Russia Legion – dedicated to "fighting against the dictatorial regime in Russia" – said: "We have again crossed the border of the Russian Federation. Russia will soon be free.

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"The time to fight for the freedom of Russia has come. We want our children to grow up in peace and be free people… but that has no place in today's Putin's Russia."

The pro-Ukraine saboteurs claim to be a battalion strength (between 500 to 1000 troops) and believe an attack on Moscow will happen once they have built up strength.

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